Countdown To Christmas Eve

Christmas has a way of sneaking up on you. One minute you're getting up from the Thanksgiving dinner table, and the next it's Christmas Eve. And you haven't gotten anybody anything. But luckily you can be worry-free this holiday season if you just go ahead now and decide to buy everybody some music to listen to.

"But wait," you say, "how will I know what music to get for everyone on my list? I desire to please my beloved ones."

And that's where I lend a hand with an alphabetical Christmas Eve countdown calendar thing. Not Christmas day itself, but Christmas Eve. Everyday from here to X-mas Eve we will focus on an album that will make a great gift and bring a smile to any face. Sure to delight one and alphabetical order! So, let's get started:

A is for: Ace of Base, The Sign (1993, Arista)

An instant classic that sold over 10 million copies. Who could ever forget the breakout smash hit All That She Wants? And the title track release that followed? And of course my personal favorite Don't Turn Around. This album is so good that sixteen years later this is the best picture of the artwork that you can find.

Imagine the joy you'll bring to your pals and relatives when they slip this in the player and take in some of that driving, syncopated reggae? Now this is real reggae. From the heartland and birthplace of reggae, Goteborg, Sweden. Get this for Granny, thank me later.

Saturday, November 29:

Happy Thanksgiving (Random Giblets)

R.E.M.'s 25th Anniversary of Murmur party at the 40 Watt was pretty fun for the most part. Last night's crowd was massive and seemed to enjoy themselves and the music. Considering that all of the proceeds were for charity, I feel pretty good about the fact that the merch booth sold out of the Deluxe Remastered version of Murmur about halfway through the night, and it also looked like they sold out of the Perfect Circle t-shirts at the end of the night. This is good news for Community Connection and Hands On Northeast Georgia, two of the charities that benefited from the sales. Lisa and I were there on behalf of these charities, encouraging people to sign up for an R.E.M. day of charitable service taking place sometime in April 2009. Click the link to sign up. Highlights of the night included Iron Hero (without a doubt one of the most intriguing and captivating acts), Don Chambers and Goat, Nate Nelson (I love the effect that dude puts on his vocals), Liz Durrett, and about 400 people crapping themselves to get a chance to talk to Michael Stipe. The sizable crowd disputes the idea that "everybody leaves Athens for the holidays" and proves that even if they were in town, most UGA students are more likely to inexplicably go see Stewart and Winfield, or something like that. But you truly can't say enough good things about R.E.M. and all that they do for the Athens community. Thanks!

From the news you can easily read in the Flagpole but choose to read here department:
The shifting monikers of Contraband/Megaband/Ninja Gaiden Band have been consolidated under the new name Bit Brigade. They still continue to play the same amazing sets covering the Contra, Megaman, and Ninja Gaiden NES game soundtracks while some dudes beat the games on a big screen without dying once. They are playing the Georgia Theatre on Friday, December 5 with The Buddy System opening up. More to come on that. Promo video!

I was kind of lazy on the calendar a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to mention that I caught Hank Sullivant's solo set at Mercury last week and although I only heard the last four songs I really enjoyed it. The crowd was small but attentive and the effects on his guitar and vocals were just plain outta site, my man. Sorry I left that show off the calendar, but make sure you do yourself a favor and check out his band Kuroma.

In the spirit of solo sets and shameless self-promotion, I just want to remind everyone that Matt Decamp, Mitchel Thunderbolt, and myself will be playing our own solo sets Saturday, November 29 at the Flicker Theatre. The show is FREE and starts at 8 o'clock or so. Here's the respective descriptions in this week's Flagpole: MATT DECAMP Sweeping, acoustic instrumentals plucked gracefully on guitar from this local musician. MIKE STOKES Guitarist/vocalist for Athens' own reverb-heavy psych band Gift Horse. MITCHEL THUNDERBOLT Soft, swaying folk with an introspective croon and experimental approach. Hope to see you there.

In this Flagpole-laden post, check out this article on Julian Koster's holiday caroling tour. He's basically going around to houses that he has been invited to and caroling door to door, playing songs from The Music Tapes and some traditional carols on the singing saw. I thought this was just too good to leave out. One of the coolest ideas I've heard of to date and he gains more and more of my respect as a musician and all around human being as the days pass. I'm not really saying much here am I? Maybe you should just go scoop up a Flagpole...

Above all else, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday from all of us here at Rebel Forces. Be safe going where you go, eat too much, be safe coming back home, and don't worry about the economy for a few days.

November 24-30

Tuesday, November 25:
Perfect Circle: Athens Bands Play R.E.M.'s Murmur. 40 Watt. 8 p.m. $10 (advance).
CD release party for the 25th anniversary, deluxe edition of R.E.M.'s debut LP. Don Chambers & Goat, Liz Durrett, Iron Hero, Nate Nelson, Heavy Feather, Spring Tigers, and Packway Handle Band cover songs from the 1983 album. The event features a screening of vintage footage of the band and limited edition Perfect Circle event shirts for sale. See the Flagpole's Calendar Pick and Redux Nation spots for more.

Saturday, November 29:
Thats me as in, well, me. I'm excited to do some solo stuff with my good friends Matt (aka Rebel Forces contributor and Gift Horse/Panic co-manager) and Vaughan (aka Mitchel Thunderbolt and Gift Horse bassist). Matt's got a cool acoustic/fingerpicky set worked up, Mitchel Thunderbolt is a touch deeply moving acoustic melancholy-folk aimed at the religious right, and I'm just gonna play some stuff off of my demo page and a few obscure covers, experimental noise rock style. Hope to see you there...

The Black Fortys, The Duke Spirit, Eulogies, Spring Tigers. 40 Watt. 9 p.m. $5 (advance).

Heavy Petty. Farm 255. 11 p.m. FREE!
Kevin and Jeff from the Caledonia staff roster rock through Tom Petty's catalogue of songs. This is probably where most of our crowd will go after our sets at Flicker considering it's also free, right next door to Flicker, and a hell of a good time.

The Sammies, Idiot Slowdown, JY, Pretty Lights. Tasty World. 10 p.m. $5.

This is the weekend of NoPhest #5 in Atlanta. This year the festival is held at a community arts venue called WonderRoot and it's only $5 bucks a day. Not a clue about most of these bands but here's the entire lineup:
Friday, November 28:
Walk To Run Records Showcase:
8:00 p.m-Leadcar Holiday
9:00-The Jonesplan
10:00-Nerd Parade
11:00-Sunday Drive Bye
12:00 a.m.-Phoenix for Saints
1:00-Lions & Scissors

Saturday, November 29
2:00 p.m.-Intrepid Souls
3:00-Lindsay Appel
5:00-Jesse Nobody
7:00-Mice in Cars
8:00-Extraordinary Contraptions
9:00-It's Elephant's
12:00 a.m.-Pistolero

Sunday, November 30:
1:00 p.m.-Toby Foster
2:00-Dustin and the Furniture
3:00-Red The Exploder
4:00-The Sneaky Hand
5:00-Eric Zer
6:00-The Blacks
7:00-Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship
9:00-Gift Horse-->
11:00-Free Ticket
12:00 a.m.-Finletter

Thanks to the boys of Bambara for that flyer.

Francis and The Lights: "The Top"

Check out this video for the song The Top by a band called Francis and The Lights

I know very little other than a few things I've heard from Vaughan & MKY, which are:  his name is Francis Starlight, the band is from NYC, the video is directed by Jake Schreier, and Hank (Kuroma) and Nick (Velveteen Pink) saw Francis and The Lights live in New York during CMJ and came back to Athens raving about the show. Daddy likey.


On this very calm Friday afternoon, my work is done for the week, so I thought I would share some music for everyone to partake in this weekend.

I first heard Adrienne McCann (Adron) about a year and a half ago on a road trip the significant other and I took down to Orange Beach, AL. On her myspace page she describes her music as acoustic and tropical. Indeed. She pretty much owns on the classical guitar and I believe the majority of the music she is pushing now was written when she was 15 or 16 years old. She's an Atlanta native who I believe has relocated to Brooklyn. Nonetheless, it's always a treat to hear that music so pure spawned from such a place as the suburbs of Atlanta.

Referencing my previous post about Deparment of Eagles, there's an instant, unstoppable smile I get on my face when music truly gels with my soul. I don't use the word "gel" very often, but think of it as my way of saying "super-duper awesomeness in my ears."

Anyway, give her a listen in the iMeem players below as well as at her MySpace page. And, if you're so inclined, grab a copy of her debut "Adron". Have a good weekend!

Los Angeles (Follow-up)

I'm going to chock my New Orleans posts up to a loss. I had that flicker of motivation, but it has since passed...or passed about two weeks ago. Either way, I went to Los Angeles this weekend:

No, that isn't my home video of the trip, though I do have a new found appreciation for what Randy Newman is saying. Seeing as I only spent 3.5 days there, for now, let's just say I've got a little crush on L.A. (Now I know this isn't a travel blog, but please bear with me, it becomes relevant down the way).

Everything in my being had told me "L.A. is fake, it sucks you in, kills your identity, and pollutes the hell out of your body." And I can't say that all of that is false. But I can say that there are plenty of positives to be found right alongside all of that.

I arrived 4 EST, 1pm PST. It is extremely exciting to get off a 5 hour flight and realize you only lost 2. My good friend Ryan hosted the weekend at his pad in what I like to think as the perfect beach scenario: Hermosa Beach, CA. The weekend was overall a lot of debauchery and testing for our bodies ability to handle small meals and large volumes of alcohol on less than 4 hours of sleep. Jury's still out.

Friday night the plan was to catch Jon Brion at Largo in Beverly Hills at 9:30pm and swing over to downtown to catch Dead Confederate at Spaceland. What I hadn't planned on was a ticket price to Largo. $30 a head would have been fine had it just been Ryan and myself--I would've been front row--but we ended up with a local Hermosa posse. The more the merrier, but at such a price, not all could be included. So, sensing a slight defeat, I shouted as loud as I could from Southwest LA "Hey Jon, I like your music!" and hoped the good man heard.

We arrived at Spaceland...I don't even know what time, but Apollo Sunshine was about mid-set. We grabbed some drinks and surprised the heck out of the good fellas in Dead Confed. I was happy to see them. I don't care if you're traveling with 20 other folks: When you're in an unfamiliar place, it is ALWAYS good to see a familiar face. After brief reunions and slight confusion as to where exactly I lived, the band set up and performed. I have to say, it was the coolest thing to watch the reaction of the local L.A. folk to Dead Confederate. You could have easily thought these guys were performing at one of the usual spots in Atlanta or Athens. The crowd was thick, response was wonderful, and the band's performance was solid. Ryan and I couldn't help but feel so happy for those guys.

They closed out their set with "Flesh Colored Canvas", a song I hadn't heard live to date (and my personal favorite from "Wrecking Ball"). I was afraid this 12-minute mellow-rocker would run some folks off, but everyone in the crowd stayed glued to what was going on on-stage.

Afterward, drinks and conversations were had until last-call. There was talk of an after-party, and seeing as it was only 2, we ventured to the worst side of Hollywood Blvd (and my first glimpse of it). We entered the sketchiest Thai restaurant/bar I have ever been in and to sum it up: there was theft, illegal alcohol, and constant karaoke until the sun started to peak o'er the horizon. At the time, I concluded that this was a typical Friday night in LA and later cried myself to sleep back in Hermosa.

I love L.A.!

"The $250 Sandwich"

Last Sunday, the night of our show with Arizona at the farm, I wondered aloud: "Does farm 255 give the bands that play there some of it's delicious, locally grown delights?" Much to my chagrin they do not comp food for the bands that play there, or at least not us. They do, however, allow for a generous bar tab which was enjoyed by the members of our band who imbibe the adult fluids. So thank you to the farm from 75% of Gift Horse.

Deciding that it might be a little bit too expensive for me to buy some of their delicious food, I wandered over to the Subway on Broad Street with my lady friend. Not only is Subway a poor consolation for the exquisite farm, but the cashier turned out to be completely and totally inept. I ordered a couple of crappy six-inch replicas of sandwiches. The "sandwich artist" eloquently convinces me that they are worth $8.54, then proceeds to take my card and run that sucker for $85.44. Bewildered, she swipes it again for $8.54. She will later refuse to credit the money back to the card, despite the fact that the lovely Lisa tells her she can easily coach her right through the not-so-delicate process of putting the money back on the card.

These days I try much harder to give everyone a break, even unreasonable people, but she also seemed mad at us throughout the entire process. She just wrote "error" on the receipt and went on to help the next customers, who were no less eager to jump right in line and order some sort of Monterrey cheddar contraption that I'm assuming set them back about $65.70. By the way I checked it out and there is no retail transaction error in the book that can be fixed by scribbling "error" on the receipt. So she gets no slack. We consider officially declaring fisticuffs but instead I just get her to staple the receipts together and off we go to play the show.

I call my bank...they immediately wipe it off my statement...I call the Scrubway owner...she attempts to call the manager and stop the is sent to my bank anyway...the fraudulent transaction overdrafts my account (I'm poor as hell)...the overdraft fees total $175.00...

Today is Thursday and I should have about $65.00 in my account but I'm -$205.00. I considered sending Jared a copy of the receipt for $85.44 and a letter that starts: "Hey Jared, I eat Subway sandies every day but I'm not losing weight..." but instead I just decide to write a blog post and send a link to Subway corporate.

Just to let you know the manager gave me the $85.44 back plus the $8.54, so the replicas turned out to be free. I've yet to meet up with the owner to get my $175.00 in overdraft fees, but have no fear I will be receiving that check tomorrow.

So what have we learned? The Subway on Broad is more expensive than the farm.

I was driving home yesterday listening to Neutral Milk Hotel's "Song Against Sex" and my iPod died. So I turned the radio dial to WUOG 90.5 just in time to hear the very first bar of "Song Against Sex" as it was starting. Coincidence? Perhaps an intention?

Perhaps An Intention?

So I'm lying in bed a moment ago reading a book and I decided that I needed to get up and write about a few things.  The book I'm reading is Kim Cooper's fantastic and insightful study of Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (pictured) from the popular 33 1/3 series. Thanks to Hunter and Mary Katherine for letting me borrow it.  They both read it and felt like I needed to read it, and they were right.  For more on the 33 1/3 books, see the "worthy" links over there <---.  

First off, those of you who have read Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey (the book I just finished reading) will recognize the title of this post as the title of the final chapter of that book.  It's kind of hard to explain if you haven't read it, but let's just say that sometimes things happen that seem too serendipitous.  Some events are so coincidental that it seems like there must be some intentional force at work behind the coincidence.  I guess it's going to seem that way when you live and create in Athens and you're reading a book about one of the greatest bands to ever live and create in Athens.  For example, you flip the page and there's a photo of the house on Grady Avenue.  Right above that is a picture of "The Landfill" house on Reese Street.  Both of these houses are within a mile or two of our house.  But aside from the obvious geographical coincidences there are so many other connections I feel to the actual attitudes and feelings the guys in the Elephant 6 crew seemed to have while trying to find their footing.  Just the loving, genuine caring that they all felt for one another.  A sincere, judgement-free appreciation for whatever it was that creatively came out of the souls in their clan.  Man that sounds nice.  

Some people in Athens aren't really impressed with stuff like this; either they are jaded from years of living here amongst the mythical status music folklore, or for whatever reason they kind of act like it isn't that big of a deal.  But I'm floored by this type of stuff.  In my opinion, this is why we should all love Athens, because it breeds and fosters this type of behavior:  cheap-rent houses and plentiful part-time day jobs, the beautiful "Southern Gothic" landscape, a whole bunch of kids, a whole bunch of bars, people who care, I don't know...something that makes people come here to play music.  Something in the water.  It's what made these gentlemen come from Ruston, Louisiana and it is what has made countless others make the move also.

So anyhow, on to the more coincidental stuff.  As of late Hunter and I have been recording like mad in our palatial Park Avenue estate and today was no exception, but alas!  We lacked various components of a drum kit, as we have yet to fully set our gear up after our farm 255 show Sunday night with Arizona.  (Speaking of which, check out the Flagpole's glowing review of the show, hot off the presses).  So after I rigged up a hi-hat stand by twisting a coat hanger through the broken chain links of the pedal and assembling some leftover cymbals in the basement, we called up our boy Blaze from Bambara and he was kind enough to allow us to borrow the last two necessary ingredients that I could not skimp on:  a kick pedal and some drum sticks.  By the way I'm officially sold on Bambara, they rocked one hell of a bombastic free set last night at Go Bar and played two really, really good new songs.  Go see them promptly in order to save your mortal soul.  So, Hunter and I head downtown to borrow the gear, listening to The Gerbils on the way.  Hunter mentions that Gerbils leader and Neutral Milk Hotel horn guy Scott Spillane is a big dude with an amazing voice and a big ass white beard.  We scoop up Blaze on the street corner and proceed to get a pedal and two of the crappiest shredded drumsticks I have ever seen and head back to drop him off.  As we approach the corner of College Avenue and Washington Street (still listening to The Gerbils) we look to our right and notice that Scott Spillane is stopped right next to us at the red light, driving a big white band van.  We all sat there, unable to comprehend the serendipity.  Hunter swears something almost compelled him to say "What if Scott Spillane just pulls up next to us?" right before we saw him.  I mean, I know Athens is pretty small but come on, it's not that small.  The light turned green, as it sometimes does, and we dropped Blaze off and went back to the house to lay down some demo drums for four new songs.  

Whether someone is trying to tell us something or not, I don't know.  We have decided that we will gladly keep our ears open and probably create connections that do not even exist.  But reading the 33 1/3 book In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is nearly as inspiring as listening to the album and I feel like it's telling me something 39 pages in.  In no way am I self-absorbed enough to think that I am a prodigal son following in the footsteps of my cult heroes, but it feels good to have the reason for your very existence validated by the words of your cult heroes. 

I guess what I mean is when Mary Katherine let me borrow the book last night, she made me read the last page first, and once again she was right to do so.  Seriously, thanks to Hunter and Mary Katherine for this book.  It has already helped me in numerous ways.  Realizing that some of you may not get to read it, I'm going to share with you the passage she made me read:

Julian Koster, whose life was immeasurably enriched by the souls he found in Ruston, has a message for young musicians and artists who are trying to find their way.  It seems like he's talking to his teenage self when he says, emphatically and sweetly, "I think what Elephant 6 meant for us is very simple:  there's something pure and infinite in you, that wants to come out of you, and can come out of no other person on the planet.  That's what you've got to share, and that's as real and important as the fact that you're alive.  We were able, at a really young age, to somehow protect each other so we could feel that.  The world at large, careerism, money, magazines, your parents, the people at the rock club in your town, other kids, nothing is going to give you that message, necessarily.  In fact, most things are going to lead you away from it, sadly, because humanity is really confused at the moment.  But you wouldn't exist if the universe didn't need you.  And any time I encounter something beautiful that came out of a human somewhere, that's them, that's their own soul.  That's just pure, whatever its physicality is, if the person can play piano, if they can't play piano, if they're tone deaf, whatever it is, if it's pure, it hits you like a sledgehammer.  It fills up your own soul, it makes you want to cry, it makes you glad you're alive, it lets you come out of you.  And that's what we need:  we desperately need you." 

November 17-23

Monday, November 17:
Bambara, Dynamite Club, Marriage. Go Bar. 10 p.m. FREE.

Arizona, Horse Feathers, Ben Trickey. The Earl. (ATL) 9 p.m. $8.
We had a really good time playing with Arizona last night at the farm. They were in fact some very nice dudes and they sounded unbelievable. Thanks to everyone who came out. Go see them at the Earl tonight if you are up in Atlanta, they will not disappoint.

Tuesday, November 18:
Blue Flashing Light, Romaneko, The Heligoats, Leaving Araby. Caledonia. 10 p.m. $6.

The Whigs, Kings Of Leon, We Are Scientists. Tabernacle. (ATL) 6 p.m. $37.50.

Lazer/Wulf. On WUOG's 90.5 f.m.'s Live in the Lobby. 8 p.m.

Wednesday, November 19:
Lazer/Wulf, Marriage, The Classic Bastards. Caledonia. 10 p.m. $6.

Thursday, November 20:
The Judies, Tendaberry, How I Became the Bomb. Star Bar. (ATL) 9 p.m. FREE.

Friday, November 21:
Trances Arc, The Empties. Caledonia. 10 p.m. $5.

All the Saints, The Coathangers, Noot d'Noot. The Earl. (ATL) 9 p.m. FREE.

Saturday, November 22:
Deaf Judges. Cine. 10 p.m.

Abbey Road Live. Georgia Theatre. 9 p.m. $10 (advance), $12 (door).

Gift Horse, Overhead Ground, Citizen Icon. Vinyl. (ATL) 9 p.m. $8.

and in the same complex you can check out

Eagles of Death Metal, The Duke Spirit. Center Stage. (ATL) 8 p.m. $18-$20.
Along with playing right across the way from us at Vinyl, Eagles of Death Metal are also playing an in-store set at Criminal Records at 5 p.m.

I'm dragging behind a little bit on the this week's calendar so I'll probably add some more shows tomorrow. Please contain your excitement.

News Wire

Hi I'm Ron Burgundy and here's what's happening in your world today:

....Dead Confederate has been out in my fair city of San Diego playing on KBZT and chatting with Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips. Currently they are on their way to Vegas (best of luck at the nickel slots)...

...The Whigs were robbed in Wisconsin recently and Delta managed to break Parker's guitar during a flight to Cali. Don't worry they seem to be just fine as nothing incredibly important was taken and they are always making light of any misfortune...

...I heard that Blue Flashing Light played a really good set last night at The EARL to a grand and responsive crowd...

...San Diego's favorite band Gift Horse received a pretty good concert review in the Flagpole's online archives. The show was with Sleepy Horses and Pride Parade at Caledonia and good things were also said about los compadres. Thanks Jordan Stepp...

...Speaking of Sleepy Horses, they've recently gotten a live recording posted on Sloan's Southern Shelter...

...The boys from Bambara continue to make waves by receiving a decent amount of plays on WUOG 90.5's regular rotation, selling their album on iTunes (not sure how to link to that), and also getting a live recording posted on the Southern Shelter page...

...News to me: Joel Hatstat did a really good job with the new Deaf Judges album All Rise over at The Bakery, and I am currently listening to that album nonstop. Actually, I am taking breaks to listen to Modern Skirts' All of Us In Our Night which is also fantastic. David Lowery (Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker) and Mike Mills (uh, R.E.M.) did a real number producing that album as well...

...Speaking of Joel Hatstat, his band Pegasuses-XL has somewhat quietly released a new album called Electro Agitators. I think it is a compilation of material off of their first three EP's, and that seems like a really good idea to me. Check out the live recording of the Electro Agitators cd release party on (guess what site?)...

...There is a bunch of other stuff happening as we speak, but in the spirit of reporting the news I'm going to omit some important items. I'll leave the comments section as an open thread for anyone to post relevant (or random) news...

...You stay classy San Diego...

Arizona & Gift Horse

I really like Arizona.

We are excited to be playing with this group out of New York City/Asheville, NC. I've already told a few people in passing this week, but to me one of the best things about playing music is getting to play shows with bands like Arizona. It's nice to play with bands whose albums you already own and frequently listen to, and I humbly suggest that you come check these guys out (and us too, maybe?) on Sunday FOR FREE, or pick up a few of their albums. I only have their 2006 effort Welcome Back Dear Children, and I just got the new one Glowing Bird, which came out on October 14th, but both of these albums are fantastic and I can't wait to get Fameseeker and the Mono (2007), and The Sun and the Room EP (2005).

So anyhow, they're great and our friends and relatives in Dead Confederate told us that they are some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. So we're really looking forward to playing the show. Below are some videos of Arizona and the flyer and info stuff. We hope to see you there.

First, the video for the song Colors from the album Glowing Bird. From Arizona's youtube channel:

And a candid, impromptu house party performance of the song Somersby off of the album Welcome Back Dear Children. From vivatheseed:

The flyer and info:

Sunday, November 16:

Arizona, Gift Horse. Farm 255. 10 p.m. FREE!

One Part Mission Statement, Two Parts Daydreaming...

As the crackpot, uh "staff" here at the Forces write more and more entries, it is becoming clear exactly what we are trying to do with this blog. When we first started writing it we pretty much just wanted to lay down anything that had to do with anything regarding music, Athens and life. With great pride I purport that we are painstakingly still travelling alongst the path.
Bullet Points!
  1. This site is intended to be used for promoting Athens music. A quick glance around the interwebs will reveal many other sites that are dedicated to this very same idea. I noticed that ours is a little different in one very important way: it remains positive regarding every band that we talk about. See points #2 and #5 below.

  2. I vow to delete every single comment that I deem unworthy. Every other Athens blog has at least one post that contains a thread of comments that are hurtful, ignorant and unnecessary. You'll find none of that here because I usually don't give people the benefit of the doubt. You are a hypothetical music snob whose scope is limited to about fifty obscure bands that are very hard to listen to. Or you are in another band in Athens and you look at local music as a competitive market that you think you can control with your words (but you can't). All you can do is make music. Sorry I think I've said this multiple times in other posts. So far I've only had to delete one comment. But I don't respond, I delete.

  3. Having called out most people for being dumb, we do not profess to know everything about Athens here at Rebel Forces. I know that there are really great bands left off of our list and really important monumental historical stuff has happened that we were not a part of. Anything that is left out and fits this category should be added and it is someone else's responsibility to tell us (THIS MEANS YOU! please). Also I don't consider myself an expert or a very capable writer. There is nothing competitive about this site so if we are way off base about something then feel free to tell us. We have very open minds here and that is why we discuss the happenings of many different bands playing many different styles of music. We don't love everybody but everybody gets a fair chance.

  4. Although this site focuses on Athens in general, we will more often deal with a few specific groups because the contributors either play in these bands or are employed by these bands. Matt works for Brown Cat (Widespread Panic). J.J. plays drums for Blue Flashing Light. I play guitar for Gift Horse. We will write about these bands more than others because hey, you've gotta write what you know. See point #3 about telling us what's going on around here. By the way at no point do any of us speak for or represent any of our respective bands or organizations. We're just some dudes.

  5. Okay, I think this is it for the "mission statement" because this is redundant. But please realize that this site is meant to represent a pretty sincere effort to do no harm to Athens music. Remember Athens is a very unique place. There aren't many towns like it. So please don't come here to be told what sucks. Please be humble and passionate. Listen to music.

In unrelated and less Buddhist news, I've been thinking a lot lately about how nice it would be to have mountains of cash. I wish I could say that I am completely unmotivated by the pursuit of money but I am just a lowly human being. Remember that scene from Office Space where Peter and Lawrence ask each other what they would do with a million dollars? No? Well here it is, cut right before the best part:

..."Look at my cousin man he's broke and he don't do shit."

Okay, If I had a million dollars I would do the following:

  1. Open up a retail store in downtown Athens that sells nothing but local music and related artifacts. Only stipulation: you must be from the area in order to have your disc sold in my store. My store would be called...REBEL FORCES (eureka!). We would sell all formats: CD's, vinyl, and I would have an mp3 database. Bands would bring in one copy of their cheap demo cd or a rare live recording. I would take this cd and enter it into my mp3 database. When someone wanted music from this particular band but it isn't in stock at my store (or anywhere in existence), I could burn it and sell the customer a cheap CDR with the Rebel Forces logo stamped on it. We could also do this with DVR's of live video footage of shows in the same database and sell merchandise from Athens bands. This would include a huge stockpile of t-shirts, original artwork, flyers, movies, memorabilia, you name it.

  2. In the back of this store there would be a small performance space. I would host as many in-store performances and record release shows as humanly possible. These would be relatively chill, relatively cheap, and open to music lovers of all ages. I envision the bigger bands that roll through town possibly playing an in-store show at 2 p.m. on the day of their Athens show. Something like that.

  3. Along with continuing to write this here online version of Rebel Forces, I would start an independent monthly print magazine called...REBEL FORCES (too confusing?). It would be advertisement driven in order to keep it free for the fair citizens of Athens. It would be placed around in various bins just as the Flagpole is now, but Rebel Forces mag would be devoid of all political influence and contain no insight regarding the best place in Athens to eat tacos. Strictly music. Mainly features on bands and upcoming shows and stuff. Some reviews of shows and albums, but no bad reviews. Athens has a cool enough music scene that it's citizens deserve at least one printed paper that is strictly devoted to music. But the Flagpole is still a great publication. Tacos are delicious.

  4. Start a record label called...well, you know what I'd call it by now. Make records with good local bands using local studios and then proceed to promote and sell the hell out of it in my own store. Your band's success is my success!

  5. Make movies. Arthouse films scored by local musicians. Documentaries on bands and the scene and stuff. Random music videos. Maybe even a video magazine that you could subscribe to and get a new short film or collection of music videos every month. Guess what I'd call this video magazine?

  6. Of course, I would continue to create my own music.

Sounds good, right? I'm a little bit of an idealist and a daydreamer, but I like talking about it. So back off. Just kidding. Any rich, bored people out there don't try to steal my idea please because now it is published and documented as my idea on November 11, 2008. I'll just sue you, take your money and then use it to fund my scheme. But if you are rich, bored and reading this feel free to become my benefactor and donate for a good cause. Support the arts. I am seriously thinking about a grant proposal that might help me do this. Not kidding.

In the meantime we'll just talk about some records and other random unimportant stuff. You know, dog fart films and my iPod.

I know that we aren't kicking up too much dust yet, but I hope this long-winded self-absorbed post gives you an idea of where the three of us are coming from. Thanks for reading.

November 10-16

Monday, November 10:
Ryan Hetrick. Flicker. 8:30 p.m. $5.

Tuesday, November 11:
Bambara. On Live in the Lobby WUOG 90.5 fm at 8 p.m.

Wednesday, November 12:
Subrig Destroyer, Telestrion. Go Bar. 10 p.m. FREE.

The N.E.C., Derek Lyn Plastic. Star Bar. (ATL) 9 p.m. $3.

Thursday, November 13:
Benji Hughes, Randall Bramblett Band, Ben Deignan. 40 Watt. 9 p.m. $10. $5 for UGA students.

Blue Flashing Light, Silent and Listen, Lions and Scissors. The Earl. (ATL) 9 p.m. $7.

Subrig Destroyer, The Dead Sea, Armazilla, Nigredo. Lenny's. (ATL) 9 p.m.

Friday, November 14:
No Age, Titus Andronicus, Soft Circle. 40 Watt. 9 p.m. $12 advance.

A.Armada, Grails, Silver Apples. Drunken Unicorn. (ATL) 9 p.m. $10.

Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band. Variety Playhouse. (ATL) 8 p.m. $22.50-$25.

Saturday November 15:
The Black Lips, All the Saints, The Spits. 40 Watt. 9 p.m. $10 advance.

A.Armada, Grails, Silver Apples. Caledonia. 10 p.m. $8 advance.
Links to these bands can be found up yonder after the posting for their Friday show.

Local H, Electric Six, Golden Dogs. Lenny's. (ATL) 9 p.m. $12.
So that's what those dudes in Local H are doing now...

Dexter Romweber Duo, Black Diamond Heavies, Pearlene. Star Bar. (ATL) 9 p.m. $8.

Sunday, November 16:
We're pretty excited to be playing with Arizona (from North Carolina). More info to come...

Fun with Flash

My guitar player and all-around self-taught genius Adam made this and I love it.

New Orleans Day 2

Friday was the first show, and I spent the first part of the day double, triple, and quadruple checking ticket lists and website information for the evenings show. was going to be on hand filming the show for a live stream set to feed through our site. Brushing up on my Javascript and page-building abilities, I made sure a player and stream were up and running to give fans on them there inter-webs a chance to see the band's sold out performance.

All along 20 minute drive to the venue, I could see a city still with many scars and wounds to heal from the Hurricane only 3 years ago. One particular example, The UNO Lakefront Arena (the scene for the weekend's shows) still had yet to replace their shredded sign on the roadside. All respect to the city and its inhabitants, one can't blame the city when half of its population still has not returned.

I was still nursing a hangover by the time I got to the venue at 2pm, but it did little to phase me. I couldn't wait to see what the band had in store for the evening. By tradition, Widespread Panic's Halloween show(s) features cover songs never performed by the band before that night--and most of the time never played again. On top of that, the band members always dress up in costumes along with most everyone in attendance.

The theme of the night for the stage, crew, and band was "Night of the Living Dead". I'll let some photos I took give you an idea:

It ended up being a very cool night with a handful of cover songs: "Mama Kin" (Aerosmith), "Baby Please Don't Go" (Lots of People), "Born on the Bayou" (CCR), "Time Waits for No One" (Stones), "Proud Mary" (Fogerty), and "Brown Sugar" (Stones). Third Day in NOLA (and one that I won't soon forget) to come...

Silk Suit Parachute

Here it is, folks. Hot off the griddle. I actually dropped onto the griddle and said "shit" and quickly removed it from the griddle.

Silk Suit Parachute
by Large J and Mike Tiny
and introducing Miss Sandra

November 3-9

Tuesday, November 4:
George W. Bush Cover Band, Kebert Xela. 40 Watt. 9 p.m. $2.
Election Day Party.  CD Release party for George W. Bush Cover Band's new disc Hits From the Oval Ranch.

Cale Parks, Anathallo.  The Loft.  (ATL)  7 p.m.  $10.
Cale Parks is the multi-talented drummer/multi-instrumental guy from Aloha.    


Wednesday, November 5:
Subrig Destroyer, Night of the Wolf, L.A. Cross, Guzik. Caledonia. 10 p.m. $5.

Pinche Gringo, Sweet Teeth Super Blooze Band, Timmy Tumble.  Farm 255.  11 p.m. FREE!

Trial By Fire, Ominous Castle, Derek Lyn Plastic.  Star Bar.  (ATL)  $3.  9 p.m.

Thursday, November 6:
Deaf Judges.  Live in the Lobby on WUOG 90.5 fm.  8 p.m.

Colour Revolt, Rose Hill Drive. The Melting Point. 9 p.m. $11.50 (advance). $13 (door).

Casper and The Cookies, Keith John Adams, Mary O'Harrison.  Flicker.  8:30 p.m.  $5
Friday, November 7:
The Dumps, Jucifer, Still Small Voice and The Joyful Noise. 40 Watt. 9:30 p.m. $6.

Kuroma. Georgia Theatre. 10 p.m. $10.

Saturday, November 8:
Brandon Bower Band.  Wild Wing.  10 p.m.  FREE!

Deaf Judges, Chrissakes, Mouser. Caledonia. 10 p.m. $5.
CD release party for Deaf Judges new one titled All Rise.

Matthew Sweet, The Bridges. 40 Watt. 8 p.m. $15 advance.

Of Montreal, Icy Demons.  Tabernacle.  (ATL)  $19.  9 p.m.   

Twin Tigers, For Against, Springhouse.  The Earl.  (ATL)  9 p.m.  $8.

Sunday, November 9:
Pegasuses-XL, Icy Demons, The Gerbils.  Cine.  8 p.m.  $5.

Pelican, Kayo Dot, Stephen Brodsky.  The Drunken Unicorn.  (ATL)  $12.