BROTHER'S KEEPER: The new self-titled album by Dead Neighbors came out toward the end of last month. The 12-track record is a jangly pop feast that's only marred by three tracks, titled “a,” “b” and “c,” that are nothing more than barely audible studio gurgle scratch. Although the band bills itself as “shoegaze,” it's actually much more reminiscent of 1980s Atlanta band Sheer Thursday; New Haven, CT history book entry Bleached Black; and in its softer moments, even 1990-era Athens band Doubts Even Here. It's college-rock as all get out, and it's a damn fine listen. Stream at deadneighbors.bandcamp.com, and keep up at facebook.com/DeadNeighbors.
GET OUTTA TOWN: Tickets are on sale now for the upcoming Wildwood Revival. The event is centered around a down-home vibe, and quite literally held down home at Cloverleaf Farm (536 Wolfskin Road, Arnoldsville). This year's festival happens Aug. 29 and 30 and features a musical lineup including Cicada Rhythm, Tall Tall Trees, Darnell Boys, Lindi Ortega, Blackfoot Gypsies and more. On-site camping, a farm-to-table sit-down dinner, a dance party hosted by Electric Western and many more amenities and features will be showcased. Visit wildwoodrevival.com for tickets and information.
HIT THAT PERFECT BEAT: Go Bar is hosting a superb night of creative and weird hip hop Friday, July 10. Featured performers are Donny Knottsville, North Carolina's SOHI, CEO SnapDaddyDogg and White Mike, Midnight Boi, Space Brother and Atlanta's Digiganics. There's really not a whole lot more to say about this, other than it's cool to see multi-artist hip hop bills starting to spread around the city a little more. Dig it.
LIFE OF LEISURE: I'm generally an information fiend, and I have bouts of intense frustration when I can't find out something relatively simple, like the last names of band members. That said, sometimes one just has to vaya con dios. Despite my non-familiarity with the catalog of musician Michael Pierce or his project Wet Garden, I've been absolutely drawn into his current work as Leisure Service. Although I've still not caught him live, I've been listening to the hastily recorded six-track audio document Live at Little Kings Shuffle Club for the past week. It's a great trip into a deep pool of modular synthesizer rhythms and melodies, boom bap beats, electronic drone, echotastic reverb and more. I usually write in complete silence, but this has been playing the entire time I’ve been writing this week's column, so there's that, too. Dig it at freelancefiend.bandcamp.com, and explore Wet Garden at soundcloud.com/wet_garden.
HISTORY LESSON: The Foundry will host a rare show by Phil and the Blanks on Friday, July 31. Initially formed in 1977, and preceding Athens' rise as the new music capital of the world—a designation that seems more quaint than anything now—the group is solidly outside anything that was ever deemed new music. Instead, the Blanks concentrated on select folky rock covers and originals that also owed much to swing jazz legends. Incredibly popular locally and regionally, the group was at one time the house band at the pre-restaurant version of The Last Resort and featured several notable Athens musicians, the most recognizable outside of Athens being engineer John Keane. I'm mentioning this show weeks ahead of time because it will totally sell out, and even if you think this may not be your thing, I'd still encourage you to open your mind a bit and soak in some real, living Athens history. See thefoundryathens.com.
BITS-N-BOBS: July 16 is your last chance to catch Eureka California before they head across the pond to see what the British know. They're on the Georgia Theatre rooftop this night with New Wives… Kinda wanna give a hat tip to former Athenian and now Nashvillian Lera Lynn for her success on HBO's “True Detective.” Now known in the major press as the “mysterious barroom singer,” Lynn spent several years here in Athens cutting her teeth, and I still sort of think of her as local. Glad to see her star rising as high as it is.