Photo Credit: Rian Archer
Welcome to the first Threats & Promises of the new year, and let me say best wishes for a grand 2018 for all of you. With that, let’s jump into it:
BUNDLE UP: Ann Catherine Carter—aka AC Carter, aka Lambda Celsius, aka Λ°C—is new to Athens and arrives via Nashville. Lambda Celsius has a new song out right now named “R & R” that honestly doesn’t sound like it came out of either city. Imagine a scene in a slightly damp, almost too cold pre-wall-fall West Berlin discotheque where the DJ has a stack of American R&B records and also a stack of Belgian minimal synth records. Then she accidentally drops them all, they get mixed together, and this song pops up. All of which is to say, this is a pretty tasty slice of icy yet soul-seeking sorta cold-wave stuff that’s totally worth your attention. Check it out at soundcloud.com/ann-catherine-carter, and be a fan at facebook.com/lambdacelsius. Catch Carter at Go Bar on Friday, Jan. 12.
EVERYBODY GET TOGETHER: The 11th annual Visions of MLK community celebration takes place Saturday, Jan. 13 at the Lyndon House Arts Center from noon–3 p.m. Hosted by Montu Miller and Chief Rocka, this event features an hour-long, all-ages, family-oriented, hands-on art project, then two hours of celebration. Performers include Lingua Franca, Squalle, Think Out of the Box Dance Crew, Stella Groove, Kxng Blanco, Rhema Christian Fellowship, Eric Johnson, On Fire for God and many more. There is no admission charge, and the entire community is invited. The Lyndon House is located at 211 Hoyt St.
LIFT WITH YOUR KNEES: Joe Willey and the Movin’ Men have a new album out named The Toll, and you can hear it on Spotify, stream it on YouTube or hear most of it through the entirely more convenient URL of reverbnation.com/joewilleyandthemovinmen. The group’s bona fides are solid, with longtime Athens songwriter and guitarist Willey at the helm, Dan Horowitz (Five Eight) on bass and John Evans (The Welfare Liners) on lead guitar and dobro. Although the group is self-described as Americana and dips into other folksy areas (blues, bluegrass, Celtic, etc.), it’s at its best when it keeps its head down and the mood low. For example, the lighthearted tracks like “Puddin’ Gal,” “It Must Have Been the Movin’ Man” and the pulsating, driving “Gifts of the Magical Banjo Fairy” leave me pretty nonplussed, whereas songs such as “Fancy Gap,” “Drink You In” and “Sweetness” are a bit more compelling. It’s not a bad record by any stretch. It’s nicely recorded, and everything is crisp and clean, but it’s lacking some much-needed distinctive personality, and, like Jules Winnfield said, personality goes a long way. Find the band at facebook.com/themovinmen. The group plays Hendershot’s Coffee Bar on Friday, Feb. 9.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON’S ALRIGHT FOR FIGHTING: The journalism program at Cedar Shoals High School is hosting the Athens Area High School Battle of the Bands at the 40 Watt Club on Saturday, Jan. 13 from 1–4:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale for $6 at 40watt.com, or if you’re a student at Cedar Shoals, you can buy one directly from a journalism student. This all-ages show will feature groups from Cedar Shoals, Clarke Central, Oconee and select area private high schools. Featured acts are The Drapes, Venus, Basil, Cheese Dream, Freaky Stylee, The Voltures and The Varsity Band. While you’re making plans to attend, go ahead and check out the impressive news outlet the students at Cedar Shoals maintain over at cedarblueprints.com.
CLICK ON THROUGH: OK, gang, it’s that time of year when the most organized among you are already prepared to submit an application to play at the 2018 AthFest Music & Arts Festival. And, conveniently, applications are now being accepted. As usual, it’s a pretty painless procedure. Basically, all you need is a simple electronic or physical press kit and some recorded music. All Georgia-based artists may mail in applications for no submission fee, but out-of-state bands must pay $15 to apply this way. However, if you choose to submit electronically, there is a $5 fee for Georgia artists and a $10 fee for all others. You can find application forms, appropriate links and more information at athfest.com/athfest-musician-applications. This year’s AthFest happens June 22–24.