Threats & Promises

hotwetgarage is A Digital Boy in a Bipolar World, and More Music News and Gossip


TWO PATHS: Athens musician and songwriter Donnie Malone, working under the name hotwetgarage, released a full-length album named A Digital Boy in a Bipolar World this month. The album is centered on Malone’s struggle with bipolar disorder and is not only an exploration of his navigation but is also an example of bright self-awareness. To this end, the 15 tracks here are not an easy or particularly linear listen. Indeed, they seem to mirror Malone’s internal dialogue—as best I can estimate—and if this is true, then I suppose they’re doing what they should. Stylistically, they run a gamut between bedroom indie pop and hip hop. That said, there are gem-like moments of quality here, such as the DIIV-flavored “vraylar” as well as the multi-layered “self medicate.” You’ll likely have to dig a bit to find your particular flavor, as I did, but you may still find something. Check this out on Spotify and/or

ALMOST GRADUATION: Nearly four years ago live recordist Sloan Simpson documented a live set from Fourth Mansions at the Georgia Theatre. The 10 songs captured here are notable for their sparseness, especially during the plucked-guitar delivery of the first four tracks. The difference between these songs and the rest of the set are so bold it sounds like two different projects. The remaining songs, all strummed and more immediately accessible, further main man Joe Rowe’s plain spoken lyrics and everyman demeanor. The album is named Live At The Georgia Theatre, a title which also reiterates the non-pretentious delivery. Check it out at

WHERE WERE YOU IN ’72?: As strange as the news sounded when I first heard, it only took a minute of fact-checking to find the truth that, yes, Atlanta Rhythm Section will play the 40 Watt Friday, Jan. 28. Tickets are $31 in advance and $36 day of show. The Doraville natives first played Athens back in 1972 at UGA’s Fine Arts Auditorium and in the ensuing years became international stars. The band, which has endured multiple lineup changes over the past five decades, is still best known for its 1978 album Champagne Jam featuring the titular yacht rock staple. Some readers may have even attended the Champagne Jam festival-styled concerts, promoted by the late Alex Cooley, held at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium in 1978 and 1979. For tickets, please see and for more information, please see 

CATCH UP: It took nearly five years for The Grawks to release any new music, so there’s no point in complaining that the release show for the band’s latest record is over two months since it came out. The Athens garage-rock staples will shine out at the 40 Watt Thursday, Jan. 27 in between openers Fishbug and headliners Palace Doctor. The Grawks’ new EP Not Pretty was released in early December 2021. The record is a continuation of the band’s signature sound of fuzzy guitars and classic four-on-the-floor rock and roll with occasional touches of early ‘70s glam. To listen, please see and for more information, please see

PARTY AT THE END OF THE WORLD: Multifaceted experimental doom-metal-noise project Ixian quietly released two new things over the past couple of months. Anyone would have given project head Daniel Shroyer some time off considering he released the whopping triple album Folding Space in November. But he just keeps going. In December, in conjunction with Chicago noise outfit Veidrik, he put out the two-track, but over 30 minutes long, Theta Eridani. The first track “World On Golden Plates” is, relatively speaking, the more traditional of the pair in that it has a discernible structure and close listening can eke out some melodies. The second track, “Call of the Abdl,” is a straight up lesson in destroyed audio that sounds like a desperate and broken cell signal sent from within a collapsing building. Earlier this month, Ixian released the five-track EP The Mule, inspired by Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series of books. The six tracks here, ranging from sparse ambient works to semi-glitchy noise tracks, work well as a single unit for listening and lend way to a meditative experience. Find both of these releases over at