Coast to Coast: Sometimes, cool things are just dropped right in your lap. Case in point: a tip I received this week about vocalist and UGA journalism student Angela Seal and her collaboration with San Francisco dubstep producer R/D. After the DJ put out a call on his Facebook page for female vocalists, Seal commented that she was interested. The two ended up coordinating to produce the track “I'm Not Afraid,” which rose to the No. 1 spot on Dubstep.NET before finishing the month of November at No. 7 on the influential website. It was also featured at untz.com and earmilk.com, both of which EDM fans will immediately recognize. Seal is currently working with a to-be-named producer who is, she says, “a little closer to home,” but she has several recordings available for streaming at soundcloud.com/angela-lee-seal, including the aforementioned tune, which you can hear below.
He Got Game: It was bound to happen sooner or later, so join me in welcoming Sloan Simpson and his Southern Shelter website/live recording archive into the fold of Athens show promoters. Although Simpson has made clear that, for now, this is a one-off experiment, he has a really cool event happening at the 40 Watt Club on Thursday, Dec. 12. He has organized a night of music featuring Athens stalwarts Five Eight, new head-busters Motherfucker and on-again/off-again ambient project Chartreuse, and the audience only has to pay five bucks to see it all. Keep up with Simpson's incredible collection of concert recordings over at southernshelter.com, and feel free to toss a few bucks his way via the donation button if you use the site regularly for streaming or downloads. Stuff costs money, y'all!
Song Sung Blue: Athens singer-songwriter Drew Marler has some new material recorded and available for streaming over at reverbnation.com/drewmarler. His voice has become much more soulful on some of these tracks, especially on the tender love song “Good Morning Sunshine” and the working class dirge “Bailout.” Marler, one half of The Bros. Marler, has steadily kept working up new material this year, and I'm looking forward to what 2014 brings his way.
Stop, Look, Listen: Local troubadour T.S. Woodward will record a new album this month at Gypsy Farm Studio, to be self-produced with assistance from Zeke Sayer and engineer Matt Garrison. Regular readers of this column will remember that, in addition to the music's intrinsic art-for-art's-sake nature, this album also constitutes Woodward's senior thesis project at UGA. (Don't sweat it, academics. He's also got to write a 20-page paper on it.) Garrison will handle bass duties, and James Owen will play percussion on the record, which is set to be mixed at the electronic music labs located inside the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. Woodward is anticipating a May 2014 release date to coincide with his graduation. Several weeks ago, I attempted to stream his video for the track “Blue Ribbon,” but it just wasn't working. All that has been resolved now, and the gorgeously cinematic video is available for all to see over at youtube.com/tswould.
Two for Flinching: In our current blink-and-you'll-miss-it era, it's so easy for albums to just slip right on by. So, let me tip you to two brand-new releases from two Athens groups (well, one group and one solo artist). First up is Strange, the new full length from Dank Sinatra. It's a textbook example of a band making a superb album but hindering itself with a goofball name. It's heavy on funky, Southern swagger, and I've streamed it more than once simply for my own enjoyment. Find it at danksinatramusic.bandcamp.com. Next up is F[_]ck Depression by Werewyatt. This is the solo work of Wyatt Strother of Werewolves, and if you like Werewolves, you'll like this. The lyrics are unusually personal, even for the generally confessional and open-hearted Strother. This release is designed to help pay his way through school, so consider throwing a few bucks his way if you enjoy what you hear at athenshorseparty.bandcamp.com. And read Flagpole's official review here.
We Wish You a Shit-Hot Christmas: Newly de-bearded local cowboy Matt Hudgins will perform a special holiday-themed show at The World Famous Tuesday, Dec. 17. Says the Hudge: "I'm going to play for at least a couple of hours, a mix of originals and holiday favorites which may or may not include some very special guests." The songwriter will offer up merch for sale ("last-minute stocking stuffers," he says), but all paid guests will receive a free download of the "official bootleg Shit-Hot Band holiday album." Hudgins also encourages folks to bring snacks to share. [Gabe Vodicka]
Doin' the Things that We Want To: Lou Reed's reach and influence surpassed his record sales by several country miles. As such, the 40 Watt and several Athens artists are teaming up to give him a Classic City-sized tribute. It's happening Friday, Dec. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 21, and proceeds from the shows will benefit AIDS Athens. Participating artists include Monsoon, Still Small Voice & The Joyful Noise, Sea of Dogs, Supercluster, Glasscrafts, Elf Power, Moths, Don Chambers & Sanni Baumgartner, Pilgrim, T. Hardy Morris, Todd McBride, Four Eyes, Tunabunny and Grape Soda. The music performed will span the gamut of Reed's career, beginning with his earliest work with The Velvet Underground. Oh, yeah, before you ask, Tunabunny will be playing selections from Reed's exasperatingly defiant Metal Machine Music, so rest assured that the universe is unfolding as it should. Each night costs a mere $5. Throw it down, homies.