Saturday, February 15, 2014

ACRN Date Auction / February 13, 2014 / The Union

By: Garrett Bower, Staff Writer

The Union was true to its name last night. The ACRN Date Auction was fraught with love and alcohol. I couldn’t tell you who sold for what—or who even sold, for that matter—but what I can tell you is that between loud and amazing sets by four awesome bands, I was an inebriated cupid, scrambling to spread the love and hug anyone I had ever met or maybe even heard of once in passing.

On the stacked line-up was Friends In Distraction, Nightstalker, Hundos and Zaleski. It was one of the more well-rounded shows I’ve been to in recent memory, with each band offering up a nice spin on their loud, punk archetype. From Nightstalker’s fabulous, kimono-clad psychedelic set, to Zaleski’s unrelenting fury, everything clicked magnificently.

So it’s the day of sickly sweet mushiness and I’ve got a spectacular headache and a few fuzzy memories of me kissing a distraught Rob Kerr passionately on the cheek to recall Date Auction 2014. If you excuse me, I’ve got a hot date for hella free wings—more spoils of the evening.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Uptowne Buddha, Bright at Night & Mrs. Helen Highwater / February 7, 2014 / The Union

By: Alexa Smith, Staff Writer

A great group of pals and sibs assembled Friday night on Union and good times were had. The night reeked of insane musical talent that certainly revealed some wicked dance moves from the crowd. And what a crowd they were, reacting to the sweet sounds their ears beheld them with nothing but smiles and endless energy. You know the night was a success, for when they left, all were noticeably sweatier from when they had arrived.

Mrs. Helen Highwater heated things up in a big way. They proved themselves as newcomers, and certainly impressed. The early crowd was into it, and those who came later missed some great stuff. No worries, though! Redemption is available Friday for a V-Day party at the Skull or Saturday at Jackie O’s. Be there or be square.

On deck was Bright at Night, also keeping their word in their one goal of the night: to get everybody dancing. They had a very likable quality and rare, distinctive excellence that made them stand out as a group. Bartlett hypnotized with his deep rasp, a voice that is individual and uncommon. Big fans of guest performers that they are, Bright at Night invited Emcee Schwartz from The Dysfunktional Family to mix things up a bit. It was happenin’.

Feeling pretty good from some complementary "to-kill-ya" from a kind sir named Ernie, the anticipation of the Buddha was piling high. When the jams started, something about them made you want the show to never end. So fresh and so clean. They had an old school feel about them that reminds me of the days when a crowd’s heart was really in it, no matter who was playing—live music is live music. An overwhelming sense of togetherness was happening and it was pretty cool to be a part of it. A collective love of music that could bring a tear to your eye.

Left exhausted and fulfilled, the night came to a close, but with sore-legged reminders of a truly splendid time.

Friday, February 7, 2014

ACRN Presents: Sal Lake, Method Air & Vio/Miré / February 6, 2014 / The Smiling Skull

By: Megan Fair, Copy Editor

The Smiling Skull was filled to the brim last night for a stacked ACRN show. The night featured rad tunes from Sal LakeMethod Air and Vio/Miré. The diverse line-up was way cool, and it was fun to see the Skull so bumpin'.

Sal Lake's set was probably my favorite Sal Lake set thus far. Between the crescendos of chaos and overwhelming noise, there were pieces of floating electronic music that flowed along in a sweet and energetic way. At points it felt dance-y, but it was very interesting. It was, oddly enough, a brief set, but it was good while it lasted. Hats off to you, Sir Lake.

Vio/Miré performed probably one of the most beautiful sets I have ever witnessed in Athens. It was a shame that many people talked through their set and the crowded venue kept the sounds of their gorgeous music from the front half of the Skull. But I weaseled my way slowly to the front corner, and I'm so glad that I did. The impeccable cello work of Emily was chill-inducing, and Brendan's vocals were silky and soothing. I melted into my own universe as I watched them, especially during "Foxes." It was a soul-shaking experience. I hope I get the opportunity to see them many more times in my life.

Method Air took the stage after Vio/Miré and changed the tone from soft and magical to wonderfully energetic. Method Air never ceases to impress me with its energy and musical prowess. The post-punk sound is ever enthralling and always varied. It was a really great way to close out the show, and it was probably the most packed I've ever seen the Skull. It was supremely cool to see so many people huddled around Method Air immersing themselves in local jams on a random, icy Thursday in February. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Speaking Suns & The Big Cover-Up / February 1, 2014 / The Smiling Skull & The Union

By: Alexa Smith, Staff Writer

Damn, was it a good night for music in Athens.

Being the eager beaver that I am, I was way too excited for a night of live music and way too early for the night’s activities. Turns out most things start two hours after the time given and the cool kids show up an hour after that. Lesson now learned.

In the meantime, I got the tip of a show at the Smiling Skull. A young sir opened (name unknown, sadly), but I give mad props to anyone who can get up in front of a bar of people and do their thang, so shout out to that guy.

The discovery of Skull’s rooftop surely had me in smiles. What a wonderful oasis to take advantage of the gorgeous weather we were having.

I was summoned downstairs with a text reading, "Yo come down they jam," and jam they did. The Speaking Suns were hella good. They had a wicked bass line that didn’t stop grooving and the doll on keyboards had some great hair that, when I later saw him at The Union, was gathered into a quality bun. Sending a virtual high five to the Speaking Suns for playing a bangin' set.

I got a little distracted and might have missed a good bit of the Union’s Big Cover-Up, but I got there in time to catch the ass-end of some wicked Bowie covers. The guys went all out--they were decked in sequin armor and really got into character with some intriguing face paint. They had a great time and so did the crowd, without a doubt.

Blond, the entire reason for the night, didn’t go on until about midnight 30, but the wait was 100% worth it. Saying I’m a big Dr. Dog fan would be huge understatement, so I was very excited. Blond put its own spin on many of Dog’s tracks, doing a rendition of “The Truth” that I actually preferred to the original. Conor Stratton did Toby Lehman good with a passionate “Die, Die, Die” and Jamie Scott had a voice that I was certainly not expecting, but was left in literal awe.

Like the preview recommended, I got a little too drunk and belted out the lyrics, cheesing the whole time. Top night.