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June 09, 2018 (Saturday) - We've got your hops. In case you're still in denial, summer and sweltering heat are upon you. Winter lasted all of a mid-morning. Regardless, Thayer Sarrano and her magic band play tonight at Creature Comforts in Athens. Eschewing her String Ensemble for the moment -- and sending her power trio scurrying under the carpet for another -- Sarrano offers a special full-tilt jam set in support of The Head, who are from Atlanta, which we Guildwater monks understand is a small, quaint village in Texas, where traffic jams are a thing of the future. Their hometown scarcely matters, though, any more than our myopic scriptorium scribal cartographers err, relying as is our medieval wont upon a Catalan Atlas from the fourteenth century, because The Head, most admirably, and much to their credit, tour in virtual perpetuity in support of their album -- Space (2017). Check out the video for the album's anthemic lead single "Tea Colored Radio." We dig it. Also getting in on this summer heat and summer hops will be Dead Neighbors, who are local Athenians. Far from supine, and scarcely recumbent, these Dead Neighbors indeed have a pulse, and are quite lively, active even -- in short, they rock -- having released their album Less in March of this very year of 2018. This follows their self-titled debut from 2015. Real music is alive and well. Lest ye doubt it, render yourselves on down to Creature Comforts. Sweat a little. They've got your hops.
May 30, 2018 (Wednesday) - The Basement hosts Thayer Sarrano and her band, as she plays in support of Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, out there, along the Cumberland River, in Nashville, Tennessee. The Glory Fires are an Alabama-based band, bouncing back and forth now between Birmingham and Atlanta. Check out their "Sweet Disorder" from the Jam in the Van Series, where they meld and mutate southern roots rock into a flame-throwing preternatural cocktail worthy of early Motor City madness and early (but chronologically later) Clash. If the MC5 had been born in a more southerly environ it might sound something like this, in the best of ways. The Glory Fires' latest studio effort -- Youth Detention (2017) -- is number three in a tripartite catalog extending back to 2012. Also kicking out the jams this evening at The Basement will be International Friendly -- a Nashville-based four-piece. Check out their song "Found," from their Bridesmaid EP (2017), as found on Bandcamp. Between the fuzzy gospel dirge rock of Thayer Sarrano, the brimstone and fire of Lee Bains III, and International Friendly, it is heart-warming, indeed, knowing that the flames of music are alive and crackling. Just don't tell anybody on mainstream radio. They will learn about it eventually, when the pendulum finally swings back and away, from all its flossy pop, as it must. And it must. And if it mustn't, please, don't breathe a word. Bliss be ignorance on occasion.
May 19, 2018 (Saturday) - At the Georgia Theatre in downtown Athens, Thayer Sarrano and her String Ensemble join in the album release celebration of that man of the hour -- Don Chambers. That would be Don Chambers pictured above, in the embers of the Georgia Theater, sometime after its destruction by fire in 2009. That would also be the said man gracing the cover of Athens Potluck, with his bright red megaphone, in the snow. (All photos by Jason Thrasher.) Chambers now returns to that same theatre, fresh and resurrected, with a new record under his arm -- Love of Oblivion. You should definitely watch the new video for the lead single "Your Lovers" right now, dear readers. You would also be thoroughly remiss, if you did not explore his "Cabinet of Curiosities" Series on Instagram. This is Chambers' eighth LP release. It follows Disquietude from 2014, in a catalog that extends back to 1998, the year which marked his debut, with Into the Burlesque.
Also aiding Chambers in his celebration of his new album will be Joe Rowe, a multi-instrumentalist of the Athens music scene. Rowe has performed with The Goons, Bliss, and Hall of Fame, among other acts. Explore the story of Rowe's musical accomplishments and journey in his interview with the Athens Music Project, as archived by the Russell Library, of the University of Georgia. As mentioned, Thayer Sarrano takes a brief hiatus from her fuzz-laden musical explorations, offering her song-craft in a guise that weaves the textures and sonorities of a String Ensemble. According to our Archives, Thayer Sarrano last played atop the Georgia Theatre on July 7th, 2017, in a show that marked the album release tour of Tristen, a moment emblazoned on the marquee of that historic venue below.
The Georgia Theatre