Photo Credit: Anna Webber
T. Hardy Morris and the Hardknocks
I GOT CHILLS: Did you forget to pick up a copy of the split 7-inch release between Athens' Futurebirds and T. Hardy Morris on Record Store Day? Hopefully, your local dealer will still have some in stock, so hop to it. In other news, Morris will release his sophomore solo album June 23, courtesy of Dangerbird Records. It's titled Drownin On a Mountaintop, and you can check out the first single, “Painted On Attitude,” over at soundcloud.com/dangerbirdrecords. The song has a deliberate, driving rhythm, and the bass line stuck in my ears for hours. I knew it sounded familiar but just couldn’t place it. Then, whammo, it hit me: It's straight out of “The One That I Want” from Grease. Although I highly doubt this was a conscious act on Morris’ part, it shows how pop music can become so ingrained in the subconscious that it becomes a language all its own. Morris plays the 40 Watt Club on Thursday, Apr. 30. Keep up via t.hardymorris.com.
SOUTH CENTRAL PLAYIN': If you've been tuning into the all-volunteer, community radio station WPLP-LP Bulldog 93.3 FM on Sunday evenings from 7–10 p.m., you've heard the inimitable Dusty Blades blasting through his “Three-Hour Power Hour.” While much of the station’s playlist could easily fit on classic—and sometimes contemporary—rock radio, there's also a healthy love for Athens music. Actually, you'd be hard pressed to find a group of broadcasters in northeast Georgia as dedicated to promoting the Athens scene both on the air and through social media as those at WPLP. Blades has put out a call for bands fitting the station’s format—“active rock,” in that middle ground between harder-edged classic rock and newer metal and rock—to send in their material for airplay. The above description notwithstanding, the last time I tuned in they were playing Widespread Panic, so things can get loose. If you're game, send some mp3s and your band information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOOKIN' OUT MY FRONT PORCH: Now that you've had time to work off your Record Store Day hangover, it’s time to hit the Front Porch Record Sale, hosted by Athens' Kurt Wood. It'll happen Saturday, May 2 from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. and Sunday, May 3 from noon–6 p.m. Wood has been in the record acquisition game for decades, and his picking ability is pretty darn stellar. A few times a year he runs a sale right on his front porch, with thousands of titles starting at a mere dollar. The location is 1080 Oconee St., and he'll even let you call him at 706-546-9602 if you need more information.
TODO ESE…: Jazz-pop vocalist Marty Winkler will perform with her band Trio at La Cabaña de Don Juan on Saturday, May 2 and Saturday, May 9 from 7–9 p.m. each night. The group is composed of four members, so it's not technically a trio, but whatever. Those members, in addition to Winkler, are Kate Morrissey, Rose of Athens Theatre director Lisa Cesnik-Ferguson and Tony Oscar. La Cabaña de Don Juan, an easy contender for best restaurant name in Athens or anywhere, is located next to Bell's grocery store on Hawthorne Avenue.
SETTING SIGHTS: A new release by the prolific Future Ape Tapes came out last week on cassette tape courtesy of MMM Sound. Titled Visuals, it was recorded by Jesse Mangum at The Glow Recording Studio. The first side is available for streaming via futureapetapes.bandcamp.com. It's good and weird and all those things we've come to expect from Future Ape Tapes. There's not much more I can say about them that I haven’t said for, like, the past nine years, so just trust your gut and get it.
SWEET STREAMS: By total chance, I stumbled across a great mixtape of Athens hip hop and R&B this week, and even though it came out about eight months ago, I still wanna go ahead and mention it. It's titled Versatyle tha Wildchyld Presents The Best of the Best Vol. 1: Classic City Compilation. Included are tracks by Blacknerdninja, LG, 3ft, Kaliko, Tashia Love, Chrismis, Billy D. Brell, Versatyle himself, African Soul and many more. Dig it at soundcloud.com/bestofthebest-athens-ga.