MusicThreats & Promises

R.I.P. Leo Charles of Suspect Raptor

In Memoriam: We’re saddened to report the passing of Suspect Raptor bassist Leo Charles. Charles passed away Friday, July 19 and was laid to rest Thursday, July 25. He was a 2010 graduate of Chamblee Charter High School and was due to graduate from Georgia State University in 2014. Although I never knew Charles personally, I had seen him perform several times, and testimony from his friends and bandmates reveals a picture of a lifelong music enthusiast, a gentle soul and a caring human being. Suspect Raptor released its debut album, Ghost In Hand, only a month ago, and most of it was recorded here in Athens at Japanski Studios with engineer Matt Tamisin. Please give it a listen at, and then hug your friends an extra time.

Higher Learning: Longtime Athens musician Kai Riedl (Electrophoria) has been teaching religion classes at UGA for some time, but this fall he’s got something new happening. Riedl is a PhD student in Ethnomusicology, and he’ll be teaching a new course of his own creation named “Music in Athens, GA.” The class will examine the impact of Athens music on a global scale and the boomerang effect of that recognition back here at home. On a headier level, the course also plans to explore ideas concerning “authenticity, virtual space, the ritual of performance, festivals and how collective musical memories are made.” There are no prerequisites, and all UGA majors are welcome. The course number is MUSI 4290, and it will meet Tuesday and Thursday. If this sounds good to you, and you’re a student at UGA, then go ahead and register while the gettin’s good. If you’ve got any questions, drop a line to Riedl via

Good Noms: The dizzyingly good TaterZandra has just released its debut album, Nom de Plume, digitally via The band has been selling through a fair chunk of the CDs it manufactured before the release show back in June, and is planning another pressing soon with hopes of releasing it on vinyl, too. CDs are available locally at Wuxtry Records. Although it seems impossible that anyone reading this column wouldn’t have heard the group’s music by now, all I can really say is point your browser toward that link and you can stop wondering what Patti Smith fronting Sonic Youth would sound like. Sure, maybe that’s the lazy way of getting you to listen, but damn if it won’t work, right?

Snap, Crackle, Pop: I can’t think of a single reason I would mention semi-local noiseniks Ochre Aunt, except to tell you that the ongoing concern has uploaded no fewer than four albums (Castles; Stormtronics, Vol. 6; Applied Error, Vol. 1; and Applied Error, Vol. 2) to Bandcamp since April. I know the band’s static-n-fuzz and musique concrète isn’t for everyone, but, you know, nothing is ever for everyone. For those willing or wanting to hear the inside of their own skull scraping against the abandoned tarmac of a decommissioned military airport, head to and keep the faith via In case you can’t tell, I do sincerely dig this.

Listen Closely: Experimental Athens musicians Leslie Grove and Cary Whitley, who perform as Rainy Taxi, continue to upload tracks to The duo played at Ciné earlier this month, and it’s definitely something you’ll need to keep your ear to the ground about, but the group manages to simultaneously tickle and disturb the senses in a very pleasing way. The band’s combinatorial improvisations feature minimal percussion, electronics and saxophone, and are totally worth the time spent with them.

Teach ‘Em The Ropes: Hey, music-related businesses, are you interested in helping usher another young person into your fast-paced, exciting world? Well, the folks behind the UGA Music Business Program want you to know that they’ve got interns available for the fall 2013 semester. The requirements are fairly minimal: the students must work at least six hours per week, and the tasks you assign them can be pretty wide-ranging, so long as they are actively involved in some hands-on aspect of the music business. So, recording studios, clubs, promotion companies, et al are encouraged to drop a line to program director David Barbe via if interested.

The Bros Knows: Y’all might be familiar with the work of The Bros. Marler, but it’s high time for an update. Daniel Marler (Lionz, Booray) has been living in China since 2011 teaching English, and Drew Marler is amassing an impressive number of new songs, in addition to getting some solid touring under his belt. Each is still writing and recording separately, and you can stream their respective tracks via and Drew’s page is updated more regularly, but fans of pure, authentic, rootsy Americana will do well to check each out and then bookmark ’em. Word is that there’s a new upcoming Bros. Marler album, too, but it’s probably gonna be a while.

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