Hi, y’all. This is normally the column in which I welcome new and returning students to Athens and encourage everyone to get involved with our local music and arts scene. Needless to say, if you’re one of the above-mentioned folks, your experience this time isn’t going to be anything like previous years. Even if you’re raring to dive head first into each, the universe has seemingly conspired against you. That said, now’s the time to just get a little more creative and begin exploring our continually robust scenes online, and connect with your new or adopted community in smaller groups. Stay healthy, keep your chin up and keep your head about you. And don’t forget to check this space weekly for new and ongoing news from the Athens music scene. That’s probably the most important thing. With that, let’s get to it…
FIRST THINGS FIRST: All props go out to musician, composer and all-around swell dude Gene Woolfolk for his new soundtrack work. Specifically, his project Dream Tent just finished tracking all the music for the new season of the I Heart Radio-produced true crime podcast “Happy Face Presents: Two Face.” This season, specifically, is set in 1983 and covers the story of killer Diane Downs and one of her surviving children. The vocals of longtime Athens rocker Erica Jean Strout feature in some of these tracks, and Woolfolk demonstrates a real knack for twisting his dreamscape new wave/electropop tunes into eerie, haunted, psychological hypno-threats. Find this on all major streaming services, and keep up to date with Dream Tent over at dreamtent.bandcamp.com.
BUBBLING UNDER: Generally speaking, when something is named Odds and Ends I expect it to contain a whole bunch of, well, odds and ends. This week, however, Telemarket breaks the trend with a new two-song release named just that. But as with all things Telemarket, I’d rather have this meager set than nothing. The first song, “Hello, Hello Girlfriend,” is a seamlessly dreamy, multi-layered slow-pop tune that lands just this side of psychedelia. The second track is a goldarned futuristic version of The Ramones’ “She’s The One” that sounds like it was recorded by Berlin in between bouts of laser tag. Neat-o! Check it at telemarket.bandcamp.com.
KEEP ‘EM COMING: As they continue to refuse to let the sun set on them, Wieuca just released its fifth single of the year and this time at bat is “Everybody’s Living In Their Own World.” This is a biting, nearly-teeth-baring, guitar-propelled track that is musically akin to later-era Pavement as well as mid-period Urge Overkill. Repeated listens reveal much in terms of melody, structure and hidden elements (e.g. the handclaps that enter right toward the end). Just a tight lil’ tune that deserves a slot of your 2020 year-end mixes. Grab this and the rest of this year’s booty over at wieuca.bandcamp.com.
ASK ME NO QUESTIONS: Rocker Chris McKay is back in quick succession with a “B-side” to his other new single, “If You Don’t Wear A Mask (You’re Showing What An Ass You Are),” and this time he’s paired up with longtime Athens hip hop artist Elite Ellison (AKA Elite Tha Showstopper). This latest tune is named “What’s That Got To Do With America?” and McKay does a very smooth job of fusing his tuneful, glam-oriented power pop with Ellison’s smooth rap flow. Lyrically, McKay pitches out several questions that at first glance seem antithetical to both the spirit and purpose of the United States, but he closes these inquiries by saying “everything.” Check it out at chrismckay.bandcamp.com.
LET’S DO THE PSY-OPS AGAIN: Mysterious and not-to-be-trifled-with project Wuornos slaps August in the face with a new record named We Are Not In The Least Afraid Of Ruins, which consists of a single track titled “Planet Earth About To Be Recycled.” The track’s title and opening dialogue are taken directly from a recording of the same name by doomsday cult Heaven’s Gate back in the mid-1990s. After this brief introduction, Wuornos delivers 42 minutes of nothing but fluttering oscillations that change only occasionally in pitch but never in tempo. Although nominally quieter than previous releases, it remains on-brand for Wuornos and doesn’t fail to convey a sense of doom and overall uneasiness. Head to wuornosath.bandcamp.com and do your own head in at your convenience.
Like what you just read? Support Flagpole by making a donation today. Every dollar you give helps fund our ongoing mission to provide Athens with quality, independent journalism.