BE KIND, REWIND: The creative principals behind JOKERJOKER Gallery, VHS.or.Die and Super Carnival Recordings have put out a call for vendors for the performance space’s upcoming event, the inaugural Athens VHS Fest, which happens Saturday, Oct. 15. This unique event celebrates all things videotape and is specifically described as “an event for VHS collectors, vendors, filmmakers and analog loving geeks to buy, sell, trade at this first annual VHS swap and shop event.” Also on deck for the day are local artists, musicians and filmmakers presumably hanging out and doing stuff. Those interested in vending and/or performing opportunities can find more information and sign up at jokerjokertv.com/athens-vhs-fest. The deadline for signing up is Saturday, Oct. 8.
DO 21ST CENTURY FLOWER CHILDREN GRAZE ON ELECTRIC DAISIES?: Two albums in two months is a stunning feat for anyone, but whoever is behind electro/trip-hop/dubstep project MedicusX has done just that. Sure, the above mentioned genres aren’t super compatible and generally reside as neighbors instead of roommates, but MedicusX isn’t married to any specific thing. Nor is he forcing anything. The tracks appear to take shape accordingly. The first album, New Beginnings, begins slowly but auspiciously with the violin-flavored trip-hop track “Missing Moments.” The record then quickly swoops through the sprightly and glitch “Rough Draft” and the full on dubstep of “Smacky The Frog” before shining out with the breakbeat-only “Dandy Lions.” The rest continues along similar paths to comparable success. The newest record, released this month, is The Blue Album. Right out of the gate, MedicusX easily exhibits the Giorgio Moroder-inspired “Gold Fools.” From there listeners hear the minimal R&B of “Jammin,” the subdued happy hardcore of “Between The Hedges” and, later on down the album, the straight dub-n-lounge of “Calico.” There’s a lot to dig through on each of these, so start digging over at medicusx.bandcamp.com.
O HOLY NIGHT: Tickets are on sale now for country artist John Berry and his 26th annual Christmas tour. The show takes place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 15 at The Classic Center. Advance tickets range from $28–56. Berry is an award-winning songwriter and performer who cut his teeth over the space of several years in Athens, notably performing regularly at such forgotten venues as Wrapper—where he and his group were a hired house band from about 1983 to 1987—O’Malley’s, The Athens Yacht Club and others. He has received three Grammy Award nominations for his work, and won a Grammy in 1993 for his work on the collaborative album Amazing Grace: A Country Salute to Gospel Vol. 1. This show will most likely sell out, so if you’re game, you better grab the ball and run. Other Georgia dates on this tour will see Berry perform in Sugar Hill, Cedartown, Toccoa, Macon, Augusta and Tifton. For tickets and more information, please see classiccenter.com/483/John-Berry-Christmas. To learn more about all things John Berry, including ticket information for other shows, please see johnberry.com.
CHOPPIN’ ONIONS: The slightly shambolic and thoroughly second-wave emo influenced Feral Joy is back with a new EP named EP. The group’s last release was December 2021’s self-titled full-length debut. While Feral Joy still maintains its inspirational sources, this new EP is much more wide open and really stretches itself inside the pop-punk-rock parameters. Specifically, it’s quite challenging to listen to the entirely infectious indie-pop joy of “Pretty” without becoming agitated to movement. (I’d be remiss in my duties, though, if I didn’t admit I heard a distinct hook in the chorus that is, if not exactly the same, a close cousin to the hook of “Whiskey Glasses.”) Further, opening song “How Does It Feel?” is just this side of sing-along-worthy. There’s just hook after hook on this and the, well, let’s just say understated production qualities completely erase the past 25 plus years of sonic prejudice your ears have built up. Find this at feraljoy.bandcamp.com.
BROWER’S ON THE BALL NOW: So, I got tipped to the new album from Jake Brower by the dude who mastered it, musician Ryan Donegan (Cinnamon Queen). This clever nine-song album is a sweet ride through trippy, yet entirely accessible, light-psychedelia and pop swoon. It’s titled Psychofunky Dancing which is a God-awful name for, well, anything, but we’ll set that aside for now. There’s a notable Michael Quercio (Salvation Army/The Three O’Clock) and the whole Paisley Underground influence here whether Brower realizes it or not. Specifically, “Bean Dream (For Free)” could’ve been plucked right off a late-night KROQ playlist from 1983. Similarly, “Poosh Path (To My Beach)” recalls XTC without that group’s cynicism. The most modern sounding track here is “Sunbeam,” but even that evokes memories of Laurie Anderson’s multi-tracked vocals and work with echo. It’s just packed with real gems. Word is, too, that Brower recorded the entire thing via the Garageband app on his iPhone. So, take that, King Crimson! Find this little slice of aural joy over at jakebrower.bandcamp.com.
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