By: Carolyn Menyes, Interviews & Live Reviews Editor
Maybe this is stereotypical... but junior year sucks. More specifically, winter quarter of junior year sucks: Too many classes, too much homework, and yeah, it's only week two. The only thing that got me through my 19 hours worth of classes this week was the idea that I would get to go to Casa Cantina on Thursday to see one of my favorite local bands, Scubadog. And that's exactly what I did.
I strolled into the venue and paid the $5 cover just in time to catch the last few songs of Jesse Remnant's solo acoustic set. At this point, the crowd was a little sparse, but the music was good, as is to be expected. Because of my tardiness, Remnant's time on the stage came and went too quickly, though he was soon to return performing bass duties for Scubadog.
Before that, though, Columbus' Old Hundred was set to play. They're frequently around Athens these days because they're recording an album at 3 Elliott Studio, and they sure do fit in. Their brand of alternative folk rock is perfect for Athens and Casa, specifically. The band produced full sounds that perfectly fit this old college town, and the audience definitely felt it.
A highlight of their set was certainly their last song: a cover of Neutral Milk Hotel's "King of Carrot Flowers." I've heard this song done by several other bands at local shows, but never before was the emotion of the lyrics captured so perfectly. The crowd, which had grown since Remnant's set, sang along to every word, creating one of those special bonding moments.
And finally, the moment I'd been waiting for all week had arrived: Scubadog was about to play. After their opening number, lead singer Jake Householder asked those in attendance to get cozy and close to the stage, which the audience did. Householder also preceded most of the songs at the beginning of Scubadog's set with something along the lines of "this is a dancing number."
And dance the audience did. Casa's floor was a mess of boogying bodies. Scubadog's infectious indie-pop was, in fact, the perfect way to let loose after a long school week, and not just for me. People shook their tailfeathers and shuffled their feet like they never had before. It was very much a party.
I'm unfortunately unfamiliar with most of Scubadog's song titles, but a highlight every time I see these guys is their love song, which Householder always precedes with asking the audience to grab and sway with the person/people in the audience they love. Seeing couples hold hands and friends sway during this lovely melody always melts my heart.
And also to continue their tradition of being slightly zany and always incorporating food, Scubadog brought out a birthday cake for David Bowie, who had just turned 65 on January 8. The audience sang "Happy Birthday" to Bowie, and a lady brought out a cake for him. Unfortunately, she dropped the pastry on the floor at the conclusion of the song, so no one was able to eat it (though many probably still would have). A Scubadog banner also found its way into the audience, and fans held it up and danced with the banner, while shouts of "SCUBA" echoed through the venue. It was all a little silly, but it was the perfect kind of Scubadog antic that makes their shows so fun.
The indie pop funtimes continued for a good while, but unfortunately, Scubadog's show was over all-too-soon. However, it was a dancing crazy fun time that was the perfect release for busy students.