Threats & Promises

Joe Orr’s Summery Hooks of Superhuman, And More Music News and Gossip

Joe Orr

TURN UP: The final night of the month-long Hip-Hop Pit Stop residency at Live Wire happens Wednesday, June 30 from 8–11 p.m. The entire series has been coordinated and presented by ATHFactor-Liberty Entertainment (aka ALE) and this night is ALE Night with hosts Montu Miller and DJ Chief Rocka. Feature performers are Yung Petro, Caulfield, Convict Julie, Tony B, Clark County, Young Mo, Tech Da Don, Foreign and Lil’ Kell. Following the format of the series, the night will flow like this. Segment I (8–9 p.m.) is an open mic session with artists performing pre-submitted tracks. Segment II (9–9:30 p.m.) features guest DJs. Segment III (9:30–11 p.m.) presents the feature performances. These shows appear to be just the first out-of-the-gate events for ATHFactor this summer (the “gate” being our long international pandemic nightmare), and judging from their success, it’s looking to be a good season. For all other information, please see

FURTHER TAKES FOREVER: At very long last, there’s a release date for the Blunt Bangs album and a debut video as well. The album, Proper Smoker, will arrive Sept. 17, courtesy of the Ernest Jenning Record Company, but presales are happening as we speak. It was engineered and produced by star-maker Drew Vandenberg. The first single, “Decide,” can be heard and seen over at In other news, visual artist and musician Eli Saragoussi has joined the existing lineup of Reggie Youngblood, Cash Carter and Christian DeRoeck on bass guitar and appears in the video for the single. People, let me tell you, I’ve been privy to the entire record, and this thing just smokes—pun fully intended but also totally coincidental. It spans a very tight and consumable 10 songs, each one a possible single to my ears. The power pop bona fides of this crew are unimpeachable, and it’s a real pleasure knowing this music is going out soon. Please see for all other information. 

ATHENS DAYDREAM: Songwriter and musician Joe Orr will release his new album Superhuman this Friday, July 2. The 11-song album is, for the most part, one of those breezy summer albums full of hooks and eminently listenable melodies and big choruses. Indeed, there doesn’t seem to be a hook available that he hasn’t made his friend. Although I think he shines brightest when driving ahead with straightforward guitar pop (“Superhuman,” “Girl Fight,” “Inappropriate”), he can still swing with modern funky styles as well (“Full-Scale Alien Invasion”). There are some songs here, though, that aren’t necessarily missteps but don’t quite belong. For example, “Alone in the Wilderness,” “Always Do the Best You Can,” “Thought Distortion” and “We’re Not Friends Anymore”—which appear next to each other and comprise a big chunk of the record—are all perfectly acceptable B-sides if we’re keeping to the tradition that B-sides are generally the less-than siblings of A-sides. For the back third of the album, though, they diminish its impact. Notably, this follows in the tradition of 1990s guitar pop and not that of the 1970s-‘80s. So think Matthew Sweet, Fountains of Wayne, Jellyfish, et al. Check this out at and

POD FLAVORS: Athens musician and UGA student James Tankersley isn’t just the leader of his band, Jameson Tank, but also a podcaster with some success under his belt. Specifically, he began the “Jameson on the Rocks” podcast last year during quarantine and has amassed a pretty astounding 40 episodes. Tankersly has a really engaging and casual—yet not meandering—style of hosting. He allows his guests to answer questions thoroughly without interrupting or forcing the direction of the conversation. Some episodes of note feature Cannon & The Boxes, Sarah Mootz, Elijah Johnson, Luke Deraney and Keith Pritchett and Amanda Rockenbach. Upcoming are episodes with Well Kept, Tommy Trautwein and Forrest Whitlark from AFTM. It’s completely unpretentious and entertaining to boot. Follow this on Facebook via, and find the podcast on all services via

WAVE & SAY HEY: Aubrey Entertainment barely takes a pause these days. For example, the Athens promotion machine is hosting the Classic City American Music Festival this weekend at Southern Brewing Co. The one-day event happens Saturday, July 3. Doors open at 1 p.m.; music starts at 2 p.m., and the final act goes on at 10 p.m. The lineup for this is (in order of appearance) Hibbs Family Band, The Valley Below, Andrea & Mud, Broken String Band, MrJordanMrTonks, The Packway Handle Band, Grassland, Heart of Pine and Parts & Labor. Earlybird tickets are gone, but advance tickets are still available for a mere 12 bucks, and if you want to wait until the day of show, it’ll run ya $15 at the door. For all other information please see