Athens own Blackoutfest turns legal age this year, celebrating 18 years of Scott Winland bringing awesome underground rock and roll to Athens for a weekend each year for one big party of music. The 18th annual Blackoutfest will take place THIS WEEKEND (Thursday, April 11 – Saturday, April 13) at The Union in Athens, Ohio. 30 bands over three nights including music from Cheap Time, Natural Child, Greg Ashley Band, Birthday Suits, and Useless Eaters and some great Ohio bands like Grafton, EYE, and Unholy TwoÂ along with the usual Athens mainstays too. Tickets are on sale at Haffa’s Records in Athens right now, or you can buy them at the door.
Aquabear Legion is honored to co-sponsor Friday Â night (April 12th)Â of Blackoutfest with music from Natural Child,Â Birthday Suits,Â EYE,Â Grafton,Â The D-Rays,Â Hex Net,Â Unholy Two,Â Homemade Drugs,Â Hook & Eye andÂ Unmonumental. Starts at 6:00pm SHARP. Â We’ll have some free pizza at the start of Friday night from Avalanche courtesy of the Aquabear, so come early.. plus free Aquabear stickers for all! And there is a guitar raffle all weekend (you could win a badass guitar from United Lutherie made just for the show) and sweet screenprinted posters from Jason Frederick. Come out, see bands, support rock and roll, and buy some stuff. And the brand new Splooge Magazine is co-sponsoring Saturday night!
Times New Viking is one busy little band. Last week, they released their latest record entitled Dancer Equired on Merge Records. Contrary to what you may have heard, it’s the band’s strongest work to dateâ€”a logical evolution of the vociferous rock and roll the group has been pounding into our eardrums since their inception. A few weeks back, just ahead of their European tour, Adam, Beth and Jared snuck down to Athens to headline a night of Blackoutfest at the Union. The Aquabear couldn’t miss out on a chance to sit down with these Ohio-bred noisemakers, so we cornered them in an alley and politely asked them to partake in an interview. They kindly obliged.
Aquabear: You folks have been jumping around labels quite a bit lately, your latest release will be coming out on Merge Records. What was the reasoning behind the move to this new label?
Jared: No one else wanted to do it. I don’t think…
Adam: That’s not true. (laughs) It’s just a matter of contracts, I guess. We had the chance to be on a different label so we just went for it.
There’s a blackout in store for Athens just a few weeks from today, and fortunately it’s not the kind that will leave you reading by candle light. Rather, the 16th annual Blackoutfest will be taking place April 14-16, organized by the locally-based Blackout Booking and bringing bands from across the nation as well as regional and local favorites onto the Union’s stage for a weekend of wall-to-wall garage/punk-inclined rock and roll. Headliners for this year’s lineup include Columbus’s Times New Viking, who are preparing to embark on a European tour in support of their upcoming Merge Records release Dancer Equired. Also heading up the bill are Tennessee glamrockers Cheap Time, psychedelic devotees Buffalo Killers, Chicago power duo White Mystery and eclectic noisemakers Fergus & Geronimo.
Once again, Blackoutfest will be sharing the weekend with the annual Record Store Day, which means you’ll be able to start your Saturday off at Haffa’s before jumping across the street to the Union for some live music. Tickets are currently on sale at Haffa’s, at $8 a night or $20 for all three days. Doors open at 6PM on Thursday and Friday, and at 4PM on Saturday. Complete list of band (which we’ll update as we receive more information) after the jump!
Oh man, I cannot in any way at all think about my life without We March. When I came to Athens as an Ohio University freshman in 2001, We March was one of the first bands I saw down here and it made me feel instantly at home. These guys are the real deal. And we are honored to have them once again play their third Aquabear County Fair on Saturday, March 6th at The Union.
Not only has We March seen most venues and towns the road has to offer, been written up in Maximum Rock and Roll, and broken bones while playing shows but they have been doing it FOR TEN YEARS plus. And they are still very, very good.
Watch the video of them playing last year’s Blackoutfest from our friend Milo: