Threats & Promises

Zahra Daftar is Alive & Blessed, And More Music News and Gossip

EASY, BREEZY: I have no idea who Zahra Daftar is, nor do I have any insight into her connection to or participation in the Athens music scene. What I do know is she has just released a killer new album named Alive & Blessed. This seven-song release stands solidly at the intersection of indie electro-pop and trip hop. Indeed, a couple of these tracks (notably “Down To The Letter” and “Show Me”) could have easily experienced a past life as early Danger Mouse productions or even mixtape tracks from WesdaRuler. Daftar’s voice is smooth and relaxed but not exhausted, worn and put upon. Fans of, say, Sia, Sade or Portishead should find an easy home here. Find it at

MY RULES: The irrepressible Foodeater has once again blessed classic hardcore fans. Right on the heels of seeing its album released on vinyl, the group has released Spring ’22 Tour Tape, the title of which should be entirely self-explanatory. The self-referential sample from River’s Edge right at the beginning of the spectacular “Badge Number” is a nice touch, too. At a certain point, there’s very little to actually say about this, because there’s only so many ways you can say “loud, fast, etc.” So, while I don’t believe anyone should be forced to listen to this, I honestly can’t imagine anyone so inclined to walk away disappointed at all. Find your bliss over at 

DON’T LOOK BACK IN ANGER: After working it, so to speak, since its release, musician and songwriter Drew Beskin will play his last set directly promoting his album Problematic for the People during the middle slot of the show happening Saturday, May 28 at the 40 Watt Club. Bookending Beskin and his band this night are Atlanta’s Quiet Hounds (formerly Trances Arc) headlining and new Athens group The Echolocations opening. Beskin describes the latter as “an awesome ‘50s/‘60s sounding band,” so consider yourself advised. Doors are at 8 p.m., and music starts at 9 p.m. He also reports that, after this show, he’s likely to lay low until around September, when he begins working on his new, upcoming album. Get up to speed at 

PLEASE HELP IF POSSIBLE: Possibly the hardest working man in Athens music—or at least the most consistently productive—needs our help. Mike Dyer, who writes and records under various monikers, including Cabbage Looper and Killa Cabbi, has suffered a house fire and lost all his possessions including his music production gear. Funds for his recovery are being raised as we speak, and you can contribute to a dedicated GoFundMe campaign via or assist directly via Venmo at @Michael-Dyer-121. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, which absolutely zero regular readers of this column should be, please become familiar over at 

SUMMER SELECTION: Sebastian Marquez (Dead Neighbors) has released a charity single under his new-ish Slime Ring name, which is sometimes stylized as SLM_RNG. The track is named “SLM_RNG_Wrinkles, Creases, Grooves.” And it is, indeed, a groovy indie-pop tune that’s a little spacey but, melodically speaking, incredibly similar to old Athens group Masters Of The Hemisphere. Marquez reports that all proceeds from this song will go to Atlanta’s Feminist Women’s Health Center. So, check it out and drop a buck if ya want. Head to to find what you seek. 

PUT A LOAD ON YOUR FEET: The 2022 Athens Surf Stomp will happen at Southern Brewing Co. Saturday, May 28. Doors are at 2:30 p.m. and music starts at 3 p.m. The lineup for this year’s event is El Capitan & The Reluctant Sadists (3 p.m.), The Spectre of Surf (3:50 p.m.), The Mystery Men? (4:40 p.m.), Kinky Waikiki (5:30 p.m.), Genki Genki Panic (6:20 p.m.), Outersea (7:10 p.m.), The KBK (8 p.m.), and Trycoh (8:50 p.m.). In between bands DJs Nate Mitchell and Kurt Wood will spin records to keep your attention and enthusiasm. Tickets are a mere $7 in advance and only 10 bucks at the door. For more information and tickets, please see