Stretch your arms and slather on the sunscreen, because the season of easier parking and automatic sweat is here! That's right, spring semester is officially over this week and all you permanent townies can waltz about in native stride. I'd also like to extend a welcome to all those UGA students that are sticking around town this season for the first time. Summer in Athens is a real treat, and everyone should experience it at least once, if not each year for decades. Now, on with this week's news…
Godspeed: It is with a heavy heart that I report the passing away of Matt Kiritsy. Born Matthew Noel Kiritsy, he was an accomplished piper, playing mostly pennywhistle in local Irish folk band Banish Misfortune. He moved to Athens in the early 1990s and worked at The Grill until he lost the use of his legs during a drive-by shooting in 1994. His passing comes after health complications directly due to this incident; he was under hospice care at the time of his death. A lifelong avid music fan, Matt was an active member of the Athens punk and house show scene and had toured during the past few years with former Athenians Blue Stockings. Over the years he was quite active with Food Not Bombs and involved with many direct-action social justice projects. All who knew Matt can attest to his kind spirit and boundless enthusiasm for music, friendship and fellowship. He passed away Apr. 26 and was laid to rest in his native Marietta, GA last week. He was 39.
Four Strings Good: SJ Ursrey (Nanny Island, Dream Boat) is heating up the Sterno under her fondue pot of a project, Honeychild. What started as a simple ukelele songwriting cycle with a lyrical focus on outdoor adventure has blossomed into something bigger. Spurred by students at her yoga class who wanted recordings of the songs Ursrey performed at the end of each session, she started working with engineer Suny Lyons at Popheart Studios. From this point, the shape and scope of the tracks grew, and Ursrey was joined by Page and Claire Campbell (Hope For Agoldensummer), Kris Deason (Dark Meat) and Rebecca Rogers Coulter. The band is en route to a completed album and working on arranging itself for live performances. Keep up with the action by searching for Honeychild on Facebook, and maybe drop a polite note to the group to strip its URL into a clean, sans-numbers one.
Duty Now For The Future: It's time for you to cast your vote in the 2013 Flagpole Athens Music Awards. This year there are 18 categories, and I think you'll find them slimmed down and meshed where warranted. You can also help Flagpole choose its new theme song from the three finalists of our recent competition. Don't be a dummy, either, and be sure to fill in all your info at the bottom, or your ballot won't be counted. You don't have to vote in every category, but weirdo shenanigans like writing in the same band name in each section renders your ballot bogus. The deadline to vote is May 31, so you can be sure that I'll remind you again if you sleep through this mention. The 2013 Flagpole Athens Music Awards show happens Thursday, June 20 at the Morton Theatre.
Tooting The Horn Again: In related news, have you heard about the Flagpole-sponsored AthFest showcases happening at the Georgia Theatre? Well, punky, on Friday, June 21, we'll be presenting Reptar, Yip Deceiver and Velveteen Pink on the main stage, along with The Dream Scene, murk daddy flex and The Barlettas on the rooftop. On Saturday, Dead Confederate, Easter Island and Blue Blood will perform inside, with Glasscrafts, The Powder Room and k i d s playing the roof. You must have an AthFest wristband to attend Friday’s show, but you can get into Saturday's show for a mere 10 bucks if you find yourself wristband-less. See athfest.com for set times and the full festival schedule.
Last Blast: The live album featuring the final duo performance of the late Craig Lieske (Garbage Island) and Serson Brannen (The Subliminator) was just released via Atlanta label Scared Records. Titled Last Call, Live at the 40 Watt and credited simply to Brannen & Lieske, the album was recorded Jan. 3 by mobile engineer Sloan Simpson. Lieske passed away Jan. 18. There's a quote from him on the inside of the cover art that reads, “Playing a bad note ain't a big deal. Playing without passion is.” Funnily enough, the show at which this was recorded was dubbed “Craigmas”—and also featured Taxicab Verses, Garbage Island and Jay Gonzales—but, in the end, we're the ones who got the gift. Brannen says that there will be some sort of release celebration for it locally, but those plans are still in the works. Pick it up at local stores and keep abreast of its whereabouts via facebook.com/BrannenLieske.
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