Threats & Promises

AthFest Educates Awards $35,000 Grant to Orchestra Program, And More Music News and Gossip

Family and Friends performing at AthFest in 2018. Credit: Jamie DeRevere.

THE RETURN: This year’s AthFest will be held  Sept. 24–26. Rumors have been circulating for several weeks over what exactly the plans for this year’s AthFest would be. Out of an abundance of caution, last year’s event was canceled months in advance lending another signpost for safety but a disappointing blow to the Athens music scene. Distinctly, this year’s event—due to its move from summer to fall—will not feature a “club crawl” component. The artist’s market, KidsFest, food and retail vending and beer gardens will all be operational. All performances will take place on the main stage, Hull Street stage, or the Kids’ stage. Applications to perform are not yet being accepted but watch this space, as well as and, for updates.

MAKE YOUR OWN KIND OF MUSIC: AthFest Educates announced that it will, as part of a partnership with the University of Georgia’s Community Music School, award a $35,000 grant to Howard B. Stroud Elementary School to help fund a multi-year after school orchestra program. The project will host 12 students per grade in levels three, four and five and will begin with the third-grade group. The program provides two lessons per week for 20 weeks. The inaugural participants will be recruited this spring to begin lessons in the fall. All interested Stroud Elementary parents should contact music educator Joy Smith at Stroud. For more information please see and

THE PHIL OF IT ALL: Phillip Brantley has another new EP out this week under his Terminally Phil moniker. Punishingly titled Jagged Little Phil, its debut single “Another Jam” was released earlier this week. Don’t feel slack, though, because the whole thing will be out this Friday. The single, though, is very much like an early Beck song matched with a Nirvana-style chorus. This is a tight four-song collection, and I’m most partial to the sweet and indeterminately sad pop-isms of “How Long (Demo).” Find this on all major streaming services as well as

A FISH NAMED WANDER:  Also new this week, and available on May 13, is the single “Stranger” by Wanderwild which blends Ameri-indie rock with some nostalgic Britpop stylings. The song is actually the third single to be released from the band’s upcoming album Music In An Emergency, which comes out May 28. I’m choosing to believe the title is an homage to poet Frank O’Hara, and I don’t care to imagine it being otherwise. Word on the street is we’ll be featuring these dudes in an upcoming issue, so I’m not about to spill all the beans right now. However, you can snack around for a while over at and Spotify. If you’ve still got questions, head to and ask for the manager.

TIME AND RELATIVE DIMENSION IN SPACE: There is a new song-based release from Motion Sickness of Time Travel, one of the major artistic repositories for composer and songwriter Rachel Evans, and it delivers tales told twice within its small confines. Our City features two versions (electronic and acoustic) of its newly written title track. The lyrics are nicely descriptive and ones of love and devotion. Significantly, each sounds like a standalone piece and, without close listening, a casual observer won’t notice they’re the same at all. The acoustic version is lovely, but I’m inclined toward the propulsive rhythm of the electronic version even if, necessarily, it comes across a little colder. The record ends with “If You Want Me To” which promises a litany of nice things, but the crux is they need to be desired first. It, too, is an acoustic guitar-based tune, but is augmented with ambient drones. The occasional folk-blues twang of this is a nice touch, too. Give it a spin at