December 3, 2014

What's Old is New Again With Hunger Anthem and Flight Mode USA

Threats & Promises

Photo Credit: Barry Marler

Dreams So Real plays its first show at a house show in 1984. From the Athens Music History Facebook page.

Grandpa’s Attic: Regular readers will readily note that I’m always hype to tip folks to resources concerning Athens music history and such. Well, wouldn’t you know there’s an actual Facebook group now named Athens Music History? Generally speaking, the page, created by Athens Human Rights Festival founder Michael Collins, covers a lot of the same ground that other similar pages and groups have, but there’s a good concentration of stuff here I’ve never seen before. Plus, it’s being constantly updated with band profiles, photos, etc., which Collins is reportedly collecting for an upcoming book titled, yes, Athens Music History. Although the tone is pretty genial and politely nostalgic, you’ll still find instances of that favorite Athens game, “Old Townies Arguing About What Happened Where and When.” Enjoy! And thanks to all those responsible for sharing and archiving their memories. 

Listen In: Apropos of nothing, except I want to shout them out, please turn your attention to Hunger Anthem. Recalling nothing so much as the days when melodic, guitar-centric indie rock was referred to as “college-rock,” a descriptor only meaningful to maybe half our readers, there’s so much melody and punch pouring off their stage it’s difficult to describe it without totally geeking out. The group is made up of Brendan Vaganek, Cameron Kelly and Jesse Stinnard and is among a small handful of groups this year that made my disgust at most new guitar music recede. There’s a handful of tracks available at, and even more at Follow along at

Wrapped in Winter: Fans of dark electronic music that veers into but isn’t really married to goth should be edified by the presence of Flight Mode USA on our streets. The band is composed of Athens veterans Leslie Grove and Kenneth Aguar, each of whom has been in numerous projects over the past three decades. Indeed, the history behind Flight Mode USA stretches back, basically, 25 years or so, to a time when there was a decent (if in all actuality tiny) industrial scene here in town, populated by bands such as Sky City, Jarvik 8, Nerve Clinic and others. In Flight Mode USA, Aguar handles bass and vocals while Grove plays electronics, shortwave radio and a globe scanner. The pair employed a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign in October to record an album with Zeke Sayer at Gypsy Farm, and a couple of preliminary tracks can be heard over at True, one is a New Order cover and the other is by The Cure, but listen in, anyway. Also, catch them live on WUOG 90.5 FM Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 9 p.m., when they play the popular "Live In The Lobby" portion of local-music show “Sound of the City.” For all other things, see

The End is Nigh: The deadline for fully funding the current campaign by Nuçi’s Space is quickly approaching. This is, of course, the effort that seeks to fully restore the old St. Mary’s Episcopal Church steeple and also build a nest egg for ongoing Nuçi’s Space services. As of this writing, the total raised, after an initial gangbusters-like burst of enthusiasm and support, is still under $100,000. (The goal of the campaign is $250,000.) Thus far, enough money has been pledged to save the steeple itself with a little left over. The campaign ends at 2:59 a.m. (EST) on Sunday, Dec. 14, so there’s still time to get your money in. Most of all, everyone should be thankful that someone over at Nuçi’s Space had the good sense to use the IndieGoGo platform, where they will receive all money raised, and not Kickstarter, which would have only delivered if the total goal was met. Wanna help out? Head to or for links and information.