Threats & Promises

JoE Silva of ‘Athens 441’ Stays Dialed In, And More Music News and Gossip

JoE Silva. Photo by Bryan Redding.

FOR YOUR KIND CONSIDERATION: Funds are still being collected to support the family of Bloodkin’s Danny Hutchens. Although approaching its goal of $50,000, the fundraiser is still short of that goal and could use some amplification and reiteration. When Hutchens passed May 9, he not only left behind a staggering legacy as a musician, songwriter and recording artist but also his two children. Please help if you can and, even if you can’t, please spread the word. Please see for all other information. 

TURN IT UP OR TURN IT OFF: Amplify My Community and Aubrey Entertainment have teamed up to present Amplify Athens Saturday, June 12 at Southern Brewing Company. The event runs from noon to 11 p.m., and featured acts are Drivin N Cryin, John Moreland, Lera Lynn, T. Hardy Morris, S.G. Goodman, Jay Gulley & JoJo Glidewell, Claire Campbell, Austin Darnell and Mike Killeen. This is a damn solid lineup and I fully expect the day to be packed. If you go, please carpool or get dropped off or something. Proceeds will benefit Family Connection-Communities In Schools. Early bird sales happened a while back, so the extra-cheap tix are long gone. Going forward, tickets are $45 in advance and $50 day of show. Congratulations to everyone involved with this worthy event. Have a ball, y’all. For more information please see,, and

SNAP, CRACKLE, POP: Sweetearthflying, a one-man project courtesy of Michael Pierce (Wet Garden, Leisure Service), has a new release out on Null Zone titled Return To Whatever. These nine improvisational tracks were recorded directly to stereo and Pierce used both guitar and controlled modular instruments for this. The record is meditative in its own way but, personally, I still have physical issues with modulating sound as it makes me nauseated and disoriented. That said, these effects are not terribly extreme here. The most traditionally enjoyable track is the 12-minute-plus “Motel Perpendicular,” which lends itself most readily to the album’s descriptor of being “for mind/body sound bathing.” Find this at

OCTAFISH FINGERS: I’ve no idea who is behind Space Dust Surfer and its new self-titled release, but I’d rather listen to this than ever read the inscrutable and silly liner notes that accompany it. I mean, hey, if you want to attribute your music to “a transcendent other” who “passes over you” then go right ahead, but it’s a real task trying to take anything like that seriously. Thankfully, the tunes themselves are decently jagged shards of instrumentalism that bring to mind Athens’ own Garbage Island as well as others, such as Frank Zappa’s very early work, Captain Beefheart and The Hampton Grease Band. Of course, all those examples are somewhat specialized tastes and outside the norm of what traditionalists call rock-n-roll, but whatever. Check this out at

ONE MAN’S TRASH IS ANOTHER MAN’S ISBN: You know those band/show flyers you’ve got stuffed into boxes and stored away for no good reason? Well, longtime Chunklet Magazine publisher Henry Owings—an art director for multiple high-level projects and boxed sets (Pylon, Husker Du, Unwound and more)—would like to borrow them. He’s currently working on compiling material for two books: one featuring Athens flyers from 1975-2000 and one featuring Atlanta flyers from 1975-2005. The parameters of interest are very broad and can include any type of artwork and any size group from micro-audience hand-drawn things to huge-crowd professionally done things. As far as the care and feeding of your collection goes, Owings will pick up and return immediately, and his bona fides as an archivist are well established. He can be contacted via or 404-423-6547. Publication dates for each are still TBA, but that’s life. 

DIALED IN: You know who does good work? JoE Silva, that’s who. It’s been forever since I mentioned his radio program “Athens 441” (which is itself a continuation of his decades-long program “Just Off the Radar”), so it’s time. It broadcasts Friday nights at 9 p.m. via WUGA 91.7 and 94.5 FM. While locally produced and hosted, its scope is quite broad and each episode has a featured guest. Most recently, guests have included Martin Atkins (Public Image Ltd, Ministry, et al), Chris Hillman (Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers) and Dave Davies (The Kinks). Each show is available for streaming as well. For more information and a huge collection of past shows, please see