January 23, 2013

Ken Stringfellow, More to Play The World Famous

Threats & Promises

Ken Stringfellow

Don’t start your summer slacking just yet. Keep the coffee pot percolating and your blood buzzing, and check out this week’s newness. And, as always, thanks for coming around…

Six-Pack Fabs: There are six new tracks available from the newly christened Blue Blood. The band formed after Hunter Morris (Gift Horse) played some demos for Hank Sullivant (Kuroma); Sullivant then became a primary collaborator. The pair is joined by J.J. Bower (Dead Confederate) on drums. These six songs comprise half of Blue Blood’s debut album, which is slated to be released next month. The record is being engineered by Joel Hatstat, mixed by Drew Vandenberg and will be played practically in its entirety when Blue Blood performs at the Caledonia Lounge on Thursday, Feb. 14. The band’s got this energy that only really comes from being in a new project. The songs range from unobvious pop and organ-driven psychedelia to mid-tempo fuzzy rock—not unlike Gift Horse. I dunno, there’s just a lightness to it, a playfulness. Maybe this impression will change if I ever get to read a lyric sheet. And we all know how first impressions can be, so grain of salt and all that. But, for now, listen in at and keep up at

Bain All Around the World: It looks like things are swimming along toward the opening of new downtown venue The World Famous. The spot, located inside the guts of the former Wilson’s Soul Food at 351 N. Hull Street, is imagined as an intimate space with a capacity of less than 100, and even casual observers can abide that the laws of physics would prevent it from being anything more than that. Its first live music event will happen Friday, Feb. 15 and feature longtime Athens artist Madeline, along with The Darnell Boys' extracurricular project Empty Wells. A list of upcoming concerts includes appearances by Ken Stringfellow, Shannon Wright, Hardy Morris and a reunion show by World Famous owner Bain Mattox's band Shot From Guns. Follow the steps towards opening day at

Now Hear This: Hammer Squadron Productions will present a regional hip-hop showcase at Farm 255 on Friday, Jan. 25. Featured acts include So-Hi (Greenwood, SC), ContraVerse (Atlanta), Last of the Horsemen (Nashville, TN), Athens homeboys Mad Axes, Projekt Lotus (Greenville, SC) and new local artist Chop Bryant. The event is hosted by longtime promoter and community enthusiast Montu Miller. The night's special event is the release of the new album by So-Hi, which features guest appearances from the guys in Mad Axes, along with some of their fine production work.

Sturm und Klang: The blessed weirdos (which I mean entirely affectionately) in Pretty Bird released a new album last week. Titled In the Machine, the 14-track record feels sparser than previous material, and the group’s telltale rhythmic clatter is pushed fully to the front. I’ve enjoyed experiencing the work as a front-to-back listening experience, but if you need something meaty and more traditional, relatively speaking, to grab on to, skip ahead to tracks like “You Can’t Hellpitt,” “Policeman” and “Big Lil.” The album was recorded by Jesse Mangum at The Glow Studio and features appearances by a bunch of Birdhouse Collection conspirators like Josh Evans of Muuy Biien. Dig it the most over at In other Birdhouse news, the collective released a new compilation/mixtape titled Patchwork at the turn of the new year. It’s got tracks from Ritvals, The Rodney Kings, Rotter, Gyps, Tree Spirit, Muuy Biien, Green Gerry, k (v) i d s and more, and you can find it at the aforementioned URL.

New Clear Days: Chris McKay is steadily working on his upcoming solo album. He’s released a new song, titled “The Best of What’s Around,” which is a half-sad/half-whimsical take on using what you’re blessed with. Having stepped away from his long-running band The Critical Darlings, McKay has had some fun experimenting with different studio techniques, etc. He’s currently gearing up to play his first ever solo acoustic show—the type of gig he’s always turned down in the past. He seems pretty set on giving it a solid try, but with the caveat that if he doesn’t enjoy it, he’s not doing it again. So, McKay fans, this may be your only chance. Mark your calendar—and then, you know, consult it—for Feb. 9 at Flicker Theatre & Bar. You can stream his new song, and one he released a little while ago named “That Excites Me,” at There’s a new video for “The Best of What’s Around” at, so click around if you feel the spirit move you.

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