Threats & Promises

No Yonder’s autofocus, And More Music News and Gossip

No Yonder. Credit: Cole Williamson

GONE FISHIN’: After such an optimistic season of booking, the Delta Variant Pledge Season is really running amok, and cancellations are beginning to roll in steadily. In addition to the postponed Wildwood Revival (originally scheduled for Friday, Oct. 8–Sunday, Oct. 10), newly removed from your calendar are AthFest Music & Arts Festival (Friday, Sept. 24–Sunday, Sept. 26), the North Georgia Folk Festival (Oct. 9), and LatinxFest (Oct. 9). Potentially rescheduled is the Dexter Romweber show at Flicker (Saturday, Sept. 18), but no new date is set yet. Anyone who purchased advanced tickets for the Romweber-Subsonics bill will have those tickets honored on the new date. 

IT’S A BAND NEW DAY: I have one friend in particular who hates the term “singer-songwriter” because it ignores that every single instance of a singer performing a self-penned song must necessarily be included, which makes the term basically meaningless. It seems Athens musician Brad Gerke feels similarly, and to prevent this designation, is now playing under the band name No Yonder. The new album, autofocus, was engineered by Annie Leeth (who also plays on it) and includes contributions from Tyler Key, Ryan Moore and Garrett Hibbs, as well as four background singers (Jessica Gerke, Beth Marcinko, Ryan Lachacz and Michael Marcinko). The result is a very smooth album that fits comfortably underneath the big umbrella of Americana. Relatedly, and probably not terribly coincidental, anyone who ever dug Wilco should groove with this instantly. The best instance of this phenomenon is “Sara, Money, All Magic,” which is somehow both city-ready and beach-ready. The minor chord tinged “Hold Out/On” is also a nice highlight. Honestly, there’s not a whole lot to say about this, other than it’s pretty darn good, it knows itself and is just a pleasant listen. Check it out at all major streaming services and

MIAM MIAM: It’s been just over two years since The Pierres released their full-length album The Tub and blessed listeners with their kinetic and jittery pop-isms. The band’s first new music since late 2019 arrived last week in the form of a single named “Baby Brick.” While I can’t say if this song is necessarily representative of a new direction for the band, let’s just say the difference is akin to Crazy Rhythms-era Feelies vs. The Good Earth-era Feelies. Taking cues from a page that’s previously been scribbled upon by punters as varied as The Rolling Stones, The Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan, “Baby Brick” revels in its fat main riff and pretty perfect sung-spoke vocals. What I like so much about this is it doesn’t really make any of these influences, each assumed by me, obvious. Rather, each element is really just the shared musical language of the rock and roll vernacular. Dig it at 

LIL’ PREVIEW: The first single from composer Andrew Steck’s upcoming album Theater is coming out this week. The track is named “Plane at an Angle” and is quite on-point for this ambitious record, which Steck describes as “conceived as a series of instrumental one-act plays, each portraying different scenes and moods, with some brief ‘set change’ vignettes between featured tracks.” Having been privy to the whole album, I can tell you that “Plane At An Angle” is quite representative of this goal. It cycles through a few different movements and has notable sections of whimsy, bombast, excitedness, relaxation and perhaps a few other moods. Find the single on all streaming services beginning Thursday, Sept. 16. 

PASS THE PLATE: Once upon a time, The Rompers were formed, at the suggestion of member Tod Nance, from members of Barbara Cue and Bloodkin. The goal was to write and record songs for kids, but also ones enjoyable for adults. So several years ago the group—Todd Nance, Danny Hutchens, Jon Mills and William Tonks—recorded an album at Chase Park Transduction. They meant for years to go back in and finish up some things but, you know, best-laid plans and all that. Now, both Nance and Hutchens have passed away. Funds are now being raised to complete the album fully through additional overdubs and handling mixing, mastering and manufacturing. Please see for more information.

GLOW UP: The Glow Recording Studio has wrapped up its Summer Singles Series for 2021 and, wouldn’t ya know, it’s just as good as when these were released under the Moeke Records name. Each of these tracks were recorded in a single six-hour session at Glow. In all, there are nine songs here from, in running order, Jock Gang, Nomenclature, Pinkest, Saint Syzygy, The Corsican, Hunger Anthem, Mary Margaret Cozart, Cannon & The Boxes and Honey Puppy. These collections from Glow are always a sweet taste of the breadth of Athens’ indie scene across multiple styles, so if you’ve dug ‘em in the past, there’s no reason not to enjoy this one. Check it out at