WHISTLE AS THE WIND BLOWS: Athens lost another treasure recently. Musician, fan and friend Jason Granfield passed suddenly Aug. 19 at age 38. Many knew him from his time working at Little Kings and Daily Groceries, as well as his time spent in Athens band Helen Scott. He leaves behind his beloved wife Jerilynn, stepsons Gabriel and Jericho, and his cat Odin, as well as his mother Cindy, father Robert, and sisters Kim and Cheri. Jason was universally known as kind, gentle, generous and just simply lovely. On a personal note, I never once had an interaction or conversation with Jason that did not make my day better. His presence in all of our lives was a gift I believe we knew we were lucky to receive. I hope he knew how we felt. Funds are now being gathered to assist Jerilynn with unexpected and ongoing expenses. If you would like to contribute, please send funds via Venmo to @JerilynnGranfield. A celebration of life will be held Thursday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. at Little Kings. Godspeed, Jason.
WAX ON, BLAST OFF: At long last, Classic City Wax Vol. 2 is slated to be released with a celebration party Saturday, Sept. 4 at Creature Comforts. The all-ages event costs $10 and begins with a meet-and-greet at 7 p.m. Performances begin at 8 p.m. I cannot stress strongly enough that you arrive as early as possible around the 7 p.m. start, because copies of the album are free for attendees but limited. The release show is presented by ATHfactor-Liberty Entertainment and Aubrey Entertainment, and your hosts this evening are ATHFactor principles Montu Miller and Chief Rocka. A truly Athens-supported release, major funding for this album comes from the 2020 Creature Comforts DIY Fund. The album was pressed locally at Kindercore Vinyl, mastered by Joel Hatstat (High Jump Media) and the cover designed by Larry Choskey. Artists featured on the album are Nony1, Dope KNife featuring Anne Santos, Jahkiem, Duddy Ken, BYV_Trubb featuring Blesstheplaya, Wesdaruler featuring Louie Larceny, Blakley Jones, Valley Girl D, Graffiti’Heart (JyShohn Lyryc & O.M.U.R.D.A.), Young Gutta, Frank The Eagle, Seline Haze, Blacknerdninja, KidArsenic and Amun-Ra.
THEIR ECSTATIC TRAGEDIES BEQUEST: The increasingly, and successfully, real gone rock unit Wieuca has a new single out this week named “Brian Jones” featuring guest star Sienna Chandler (Monsoon). This was described to me as, and I’m paraphrasing here, a tune addressing the phenomenon of local bands’ egos becoming easily inflated, only for said groups to break up. This is a piece of superbly wound-up rock and roll with an insistent refrain of, “Hey, you, get the fuck off my cloud!” And if, for any reason, you don’t get that reference, then stop reading this right now and seek help immediately. The video can be found on YouTube and the song, to be released Sept. 1, on streaming services including wieuca.bandcamp.com. Keep facebook.com/wieucaband bookmarked for all other information.
DEGREES IN THE HUMANITIES: Sasha Stray, a new group formed by guitarist/vocalist Sophie Saffan and drummer/bassist Brent Davenport, just released a new album named Foolish Human. Four of the eight songs here (“Foolish Human,” “Sophia The Robot,” “Sicker Breed” and “Wild Fires”) were previously released as demo versions back in 2019 under the name Sophie & Your Uncles. The album kicks off with what could easily be a great unreleased Oh-OK song, “Apartment in the Universe,” with its sing-song verses and bouncy bass line. The title track is a quickly strummed and fairly dramatic affair, but always manages to stay solid in its delivery. This mood is revisited in slightly lighter form on “Wildfires.” Indeed, except for the klezmer flourishes on “No Zion,” the whole record is a tight menu of mid-tempo indie-pop. The best thing here is the pop-punk album closer, which is a new version of the previously mentioned “Sophia The Robot.” Find this at sashastray.bandcamp.com.
TWO OUTTA FOUR AIN’T BAD: The Performing Arts Center at UGA and its UGA Presents concert series have four shows coming up soon, and two of ‘em are completely free. Keep in mind, though, that these remain ticketed events, and you’ll need to contact the box office to reserve yours. The free shows are The Doric String Quartet and pianist Jonathan Biss on Oct. 5 and “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band on Oct. 25. The two paid shows during this period are classical-crossover trio Time for Three ($30–50) on Oct. 14 and Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn ($20–67) on Oct. 24. While these shows are the most immediately upcoming, individual tickets are now available for the entirety of the current Performing Arts series at pac.uga.edu/events. Please take some time to check out this truly incredible series of shows.
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