MusicThreats & Promises

Purses Drops a Pleasant Debut, and More Local Music News

IN THE BAG: The debut album from Purses came out last week courtesy of the newly minted Laser Brains label. The record is titled Obsess Much and runs a full 10 tracks. The mostly taut yet smoothly flowing indie songwriting feels influenced in its background by The Replacements and Uncle Tupelo and in its foreground by, say, The Lumineers tempered by Deer Tick and Bon Iver. All in all it’s a totally pleasant—if unduly subdued in parts—album by a band I’ve yet to catch live, though I’ve seen each member in other acts. The veritable supergroup is populated by Drew Beskin, Phillip Brantley, McKendrick Bearden, Hunter Morris, Jeremy Wheatley and Frank Keith IV. Associated bands include Modern Skirts, The District Attorneys, Grand Vapids, Tedo Stone, Blue Blood and Crooked Fingers. If there’s one totally stand-out track on this, it’s got to be “Wheels On the Run.” Consider yourself double-dared to not be singing along before it’s over. Check it out over at

NOW HEAR THIS: Full Moon Recording Studios and the Oconee School of Rock will host a young singer-songwriter night Saturday, Apr. 30 at 7 p.m. on the studio’s premises at 10 School St. in Watkinsville. Organizer Mamie Davis, a crack songwriter herself, will introduce each musician, who will then play a song. Each song is followed by a back-and-forth conversation regarding “structure, chords, rhythm, lyrical content and tone of the song as the other musicians chime in with their opinions and questions.” This will be the second such event held at the space. Davis says the vibe is that of a listening environment; audience members are asked to put their phones away and pay attention, even during the conversational parts of the evening. The lineup of performers is Jacob Conley, Tim Foley, Melanie Bowden and Simone ZJ, and Full Moon owner Josh Perkins will figure as a featured artist. It’ll run ya a mere five bucks, so don’t forget to bring a Lincoln.

GET THAT WORM: Full festival early-bird passes for the revamped Athens PopFest are on sale now. These pre-lineup-announcement passes are less expensive than they will be and allow entry into all headlining shows and showcase performances. They’re priced at $48 and cover all four days of the event, which runs Aug. 10–13. Grab yours at

WHAT’S IN A NAME, ANYWAY?: A new, as-yet-unnamed group will play Flicker Theatre & Bar Apr. 29 and 30. The members are Chris McKay, whom most of you should know from his work with The Critical Darlings, new-to-Athens player Gary Taylor and other Athens dudes Justin Sheffield and Jack Reed. There won’t be any other bands on these bills, and the idea is for these guys to play a selection of their original songs fleshed out with covers they’ve never gotten to perform with others. McKay admitted via email that this is a nebulous idea, but it really kinda sounds like a couple of live rehearsals. Although I’m totally unfamiliar with the other guys in the group, McKay has always specialized in highly dynamic and polished arena-style pop-rock, so let that be your jumping-off point for this. As always, I’ll keep ya updated on any future developments.

THIS MAGIC MOMENT: Ben’s Bikes is the latest group to host a springtime event with a prom theme and, generally speaking, there are so many of these things they don’t warrant any mention. But, punters, this one is for a damn good cause, so it’s getting mentioned front and center. It takes place at Little Kings Shuffle Club Saturday, Apr. 30 and its theme is “Rock ’n’ Roll Prom 2016: A Space Oddity.” It’s a benefit for the BikeAthens Bike Recycling Program. In pure prom form, the festivities include live music, prom photos, prizes and more. Creative dress is encouraged, so be a sport and honor the theme. Live music is happening via Andrew WK tribute band Girls Own Love, Cramps tribute band The De Lux Interiors, Silver Jews tribute band Hasidic Gold and Electric Wizard tribute band Dopethrone. Spinning tunes this night are DJ Mahogany and DJ Background Props. Admission is $5 for singles and $8 per couple, so take a pal and have a ball.