Photo Credit: Brett Falcon
After 18 years, Atlanta's Rock*A*Teens returned this summer with Sixth House. While the group’s sixth album doesn’t throw any surprise punches, songs such as “Billy Really,” “Lady Macbeth” and “Crystal Skies” rise above the signature haze of reverb and distortion layered over singer and guitarist Chris Lopez’s haunting tales of heartache in the Deep South.
Flagpole caught up with the band's Chris Lopez and T. Ballard Lesemann in advance of their show at the 40 Watt Club this Saturday. This interview has been edited for length.
The Athens Jazz Festival moves to Bishop Park this year, with Saturday's all-day eventfeaturing some of the most prominent names in local jazz. We asked a few of them about the music that inspires their own work.
Comedian Judah Friedlander ("30 Rock," Wet Hot American Summer) is coming to the 40 Watt Club Tuesday, Apr. 10 to promote his fictitious run for president that began in his new Netflix comedy special, America Is the Greatest Country in the United States. We hopped on the phone with Friedlander to discuss his special, comedy in the Trump era and what it means to be a real American.
In honor of the 25th-anniversary reissue of R.E.M.'s landmark album Automatic for the People, the 40 Watt Club will host #Automatic25, a listening and viewing party, this Saturday. We caught up with Jeff Montgomery, the proprietor of local-music respository Athensmusic.net and an organizer of Saturday's event who has helped throw a number of R.E.M. listening parties over the years.
Photo Credit: Andrew Hreha
Best known for playing an exaggerated version of himself on NBC’s “The Office,” Creed Bratton has a storied history as an American icon. In the late 1960s, Bratton was recruited to be the lead singer and guitarist in folk-rock group The Grass Roots. During his brief time with the band, it released its most enduring single, “Let’s Live for Today." Years later, he began a new career as an actor, taking bit parts in a slew of TV shows and movies before landing the “Office” role and becoming one of the show’s most popular figures. Bratton has also released music under his own name since the early 2000s. His current tour is a unique mix of comedy and music that aims to please fans from every generation.
Ahead of his show at The Foundry Monday, May 8, Flagpole picked Bratton’s brain on his unique dual career, the current state of his live show and what he thinks the future may hold. (Warning: Some his answers may or may not be facetious.)
Photo Credit: Greg Pallante
Comedian Jim Breuer has been active for nearly three decades, and shows no signs of slowing down. Anyone raised on copious amounts of Comedy Central will know Breuer for his late-'90s run on "Saturday Night Live," as well as his role in the cult-classic stoner film Half Baked. Breuer’s most potent material, however, is his unique stand-up comedy.
Photo Credit: Anna Staddon
After dropping off the radar following 2014’s brilliant Genesis full-length, local psychedelic hip-hop producer murk daddy flex has returned with a triumphant new EP, Bring on the Major Leagues, which he will perform in its entirety Tuesday, Apr. 4 at the Athens Institute for Contemporary Art. Flagpole caught up with the man behind the murk, Terence Chiyezhan, for an interview.
Photo Credit: Wes Frazer
There are plenty of progressive, thoughtful bands from the South, but few have the fury of Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires. Following in the tradition of the Drive-By Truckers, who mused about the “duality of the Southern thing,” for the Glory Fires' 2014 release, Dereconstructed, the band brought hellfire and guitars along with meditations on the Civil Rights Movement and how the South is implicated in American history, warts and all.
In anticipation of their follow-up of Dereconstructed (due later this year on Don Giovanni Records), Bains and company bring their ethically infused rock and roll fireworks to the Caledonia Lounge on Thursday, where they’ll be joined by Athens mainstays Five Eight and T. Hardy Morris.
Photo Credit: Cara Robbins
It's been close to five years since singer-songwriter Green Gerry left Athens to return to his native California. Gerry has kept busy since then, following up his 2013 sophomore record, King Baby, with a string of singles released over the summer on L.A.-based label Hit City U.S.A. A combination of frustration with the music industry and despair over current events led him to release his third effort, Electric Iron, on his own, with all proceeds going to charity.
Flagpole caught up with Green Gerry to talk about the newest record, industry woes, and plans for the future.
When Caleb Keith isn’t moonlighting as a country singer and songwriter, he’s a doctoral candidate at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education and the senior coordinator for assessment and research in the Department of Student Affairs, Assessment and Staff Development. A full-fledged Dawg who pursues his musical passions on the side, his life encompasses two different takes newcomers and outsiders have on the promises and opportunities of this tight-knit college town.
Keith will be chasing a different dream soon, once he relocates to Arkansas and begins a new career at the University of the Ozarks. In anticipation of his farewell show this Saturday at Flicker, Keith talked to Flagpole about his overall Athens experience.
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