I hardly ever do an introduction to this column anymore, because it’s been around so long that I assume most of y’all just know what it is. Sort of like The Tree That Owns Itself, the definition is kinda already in the name. Similarly, it’s sort of like AthFest, which hopefully all of you will get out to this weekend. Speaking of which, if you’re just visiting Athens: Please have a great time, but also be respectful of our town, try not to litter, and don’t be an extra burden to all the nice folks serving you drinks, food, etc. And all you locals: Please be nice to our visitors, and don’t assume they know where everything is or how everything works as well as you do. Remember, they’re our guests, and we should always give everyone a reason to keep coming back to the Classic City. Now, let’s get into the news…
COMING AROUND AGAIN: About 13 years ago, there was this band around named Fairburn Royals who gigged a whole lot, put out a few albums, then went the way of most bands as members married off, had children, etc. Now, they’re back with a new album that is arguably better than anything they did way back then. It’s named ’Til the Sun Disappeared, and it’s 10 tracks of steady ’n’ catchy guitar pop. Generally speaking, it’s closer to straight-up power pop—without ever really making the commitment to such—than anything else, and good for a night of beer drinking or whatever else you do when you throw on a power-pop record. Certain tracks carry over the pop spirit of the early 2000s (“On the 32,” “So Long to Disease,” “Century Ride”), when emo points were still measured by sweater thread counts and eyeglass frames. So, there’s that, too. The band will celebrate its release at Flicker Theatre & Bar on Saturday, July 7, so go say hey. You can listen in at fairburnroyals.bandcamp.com or follow along at facebook.com/froyalsband.
TAKE IT ON THE RUN: Experimenter, label head and all around solid dude Michael Potter is taking his Null Zone label on the road this month. He’s kicking off the tour Thursday, June 28 at Go Bar, where he, Wet Garden and the current project from Thom Strickland (Smokedog) will share the bill with Mezzanine Swimmers and Dean Cercone (New York). It’s an early-ish show beginning at 8 p.m. and wrapping up by 11. After this, the trio of Potter, Wet Garden and Strickland will play shows in Atlanta; Asheville, NC; Columbus, OH; Baltimore; New Haven, CT; Brooklyn, NY; Philadelphia; and Boone, NC. Get caught up on all this music over at nullzone.bandcamp.com, and catch a show, why don’t ya?
ACQUAINTANCES & FRIENDS: The Redstone Ramblers’ own Mark “Mojo” Wilmot is hosting a songwriters’ revival series at No. 3 Railroad Street in Arnoldsville. It happens the third Sunday of each month, and you’ll need to get out your pencil and write these dates down, because the whole thing is scheduled until November! No. 3 Railroad Street is a neat, community-oriented space where people can host events and get-togethers, and it’s nice to see someone putting in the effort to make things happen. Upcoming shows are Ty Manning and Laura Connely (July 15), William Tonks and Cody Gibson (Aug. 19), Daniel Hutchens and Matt Linden (Sept. 16), Donna Hopkins and Carly Gibson (Oct. 21), and Wilmot himself with Jeff Pike (Nov. 17). For more information, see 3railroad.org.
RISE UP, GATHER ’ROUND: Athens rock band Greco is hosting a two-day, wristband-free, no-cover-charge event at The Roadhouse this Friday and Saturday. Friday’s show starts at 8 p.m. and runs all night, and Saturday’s soiree starts at 1 p.m. and goes all night. This isn’t an AthFest event, and is pretty much billed in such a way as to declare that it’s not, but even though I don’t know any of the artists involved, I’m kind of a softy for a good ol’ fashioned contrarian streak, so there ya go. The order of bands isn’t announced yet as of this writing, but over the course of the two days, you can catch Flashback Flash, Greco, Quiet Coyote, Honey Strikes, Nobody’s Darling, Brown Goose, Last Chance Ryders and Michael Tracy. Oh, yeah, Sylvia Rose Novak is also playing, and she’s pretty darn good, so I can at least recommend her.