MusicThreats & Promises

R.I.P. Daniel Marler

GODSPEED: Very sad news came in last week that longtime Athens musician and songwriter Daniel Marler passed away suddenly. He’d been teaching English in China since 2011 after spending just over a dozen years here in Athens playing music with a host of bands, including Lionz, Boo Ray and the Burning Angels. Most of all, he was known for his duo work with his brother Drew under the name The Bros. Marler. The pair moved to Athens from Auburn, AL in 1998, and I was fortunate enough to know them since about 2001. Although deeply interested and influenced by a range of styles and players, Daniel and The Bros. Marler were best known for their acoustic duo style, with which they toured extensively along the East Coast and Florida. The bond between Daniel and Drew was clear to all who met them, and music was a lifelong pursuit and passion for them. The closeness they shared often made it difficult to imagine one without the other. More than anything else, I know I’ll never forget Daniel’s disarming smile, immediate graciousness and permanent friendliness. He continued to release and play music during his time in China and had been booked in several cities there since his arrival. He was preceded in death just last month by his father, Roger, who was an ardent supporter of his sons’ music and had been known to travel great distances to hear his boys play. Daniel was born June 18, 1974 in Opelika, AL and is survived by his brothers Drew and Bart, his mother and fiancée. His family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses.

SWEEP THE DECKS: Hip-hop artisan Donny Knottsville just released a new mix of instrumentals, sound loops, samples and other stuff titled The Studebaker Hawk Tapes. It’s exactly what it sounds like, too: Ten tracks using noise, sound effects, beats, movie and TV dialogue and other stuff to create a nice jammy background for whatever you’re doing. As Knottsville says, “It might be good kind of background music for while you’re doing your spring house cleaning or playing pinochle or Parcheesi with friends.” This is the first Knottsville release to require payment for downloading, as he’s trying to raise funds for the release of what he’s calling his official debut album, although he’s got tons of material already out. Anyway, if you’ve been enjoying his music for free all this time, throw a few bucks his way and let’s make this happen. Dig it at

UNDER THE BIG, BLACK SUN: Composer Michael Potter has a new cassette album out through his project The Electric Nature. Joining him on this round of exploratory merriment are Scott Crossman, Michael Pierce, Thom Strickland and Ben Vance. The four-track record is titled Dark Sun Sets Circle, and the pieces are “Dark Sun Sets Circle” I–IV. This harshly aggressive instrumental work punches hardest on the second track after opening up kinda gently on the first. There’s no way to reasonably experience this, though, without simply sitting back and letting the noise float through you. It’s all actually quite musical if you give it half a chance, and Lord knows I gave it a full one. Go and do the same. Check it out via

CONVERGENCE: This season’s occurrence of the Georgia Museum of Art’s Museum Mix will happen Thursday, Apr. 21. For the unfamiliar, these events mix music and art in a casual setting that allows people to see current exhibits, enjoy some tunes and hang out with like-minded folks in a refreshment-punctuated atmosphere. Music this time around is provided by DJs Lunar Landers and Jack Jigglez—good Lord—who will spin 45 RPM records. The Slingshot Festival-associated exhibition “VVOX: Refining Realities” is available for viewing, as well as the current Masters of Fine Arts show by graduate students at the Lamar Dodd School of Art. The whole thing is free, includes refreshments (including food!) and runs from 8–11:59 p.m.