16th Annual Blackoutfest Lineup Revealed

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!

Aquabear County Fair Preview: NIGHT THREE Saturday, March 5 at The Union

Cleveland's Megachurch joins Chickenpussy, Hex Net, Scubadog, Left Hand Shake, and Weedghost at The Union on Saturday, March 5 for Aquabear County Fair Night Three!

The 5th annual Aquabear County Fair is coming up this weekend (March 3-6) and we think this year just might be the best yet. The Aquabear is serving up four days of Ohio music with 16 bands.

SATURDAY, March 5th the County Fair moves back to The Union for a huge night of rock and roll. Chickenpussy (Athens), Hex Net (Athens), Megachurch (Cleveland), Scubadog (Athens), Left Hand Shake (Athens), and Weedghost (Athens/Dayton). Music starts at 9pm (sharp), doors before that.

Chickenpussy! I guarantee that I will be right up in front of the stage rocking out really hard. I hope we can all do that together.

Hex Net is Seth Riddlebarger (Dragline Brothers) new project with an all-star lineup of some of our county’s finest musicians. These guys play some damn near perfect psychedelic garage rock, and can be counted on for both badass riffs and weird projects. There is no videos of the Hex Net, so you will just have to come see them with your real non-internet eyes.

Megachurch is from Cleveland, Ohio. They were described by our own Aquabear writer Kris Poland who said of their self titled debut “Through a mere six songs, Megachurch rocks out more than most bands can accomplish in their entire careers.” Agreed. Aquabear gladly welcomes them back for their second trip to Athens.

Scubadog is from Athens is also made up of some pretty great local musicians. Featuring folks who have spent time in Kaslo, Southeast Engine, She Bears, and others. No videos I can find, so make sure to head over to their bandcamp and download their singles. “Patience/Nations” will be on the upcoming Aquabear Legion Volume Four.

Left Hand Shake is a brand new Athens band put together by Zach Oden (The 65’s, Sad Bastards, etc.) and I think this one of their first shows. Sweet.

And of course the Aquabear County Fair would not be complete without a visit from Weedghost. The duo will play short, improvised sets in a booth upstairs in-between bands.

Buffalo Killers + Chickenpussy + Hexnet + D-Rays at the Union 2/19

Perhaps you’ve heard, but Aquabear Legion and Blackout Booking have once again teamed up to present a jam-packed night of rock and roll at the Union this Saturday, February 19.

Headlining the evening will be Cincinnati-based psychedelic blues-rockers Buffalo Killers, who last appeared in Athens this past October. Over the past year, the trio has been hard at work on their next record, the follow-up to their Dan Auerbach-produced 2008 release Let It Ride. The latest finds the group self-producing and expanding their already rich sound—Kelley Deal of the Breeders even provides guest vocals on a track. The record should find its way out this year, but in the meantime the band has contributed a cover of “Scalding Creek” to a Guided By Voices tribute album that will be released on April 16th via No More Fake Labels.

Rounding out the night’s bill are Athens regulars Chickenpussy and Hexnet as well as newcomers D-Rays—a new project from Erick Coleman, formerly of the Speedknobs.

Doors open at 9 PM, so come celebrate the (temporary?) return of warm weather here in Athens with some blazing-hot rock and roll this Saturday at the Union!

5th Annual Aquabear County Fair (March 3-6 in Athens) Lineups Announced!

This year mark’s the 5th annual Aquabear County Fair so we decided to make it bigger than ever before. We’re pretty excited for this one… many more details to come.

This year we present 16 bands total in Athens, Ohio over 4 days on March 3-6. 15 Ohio bands and even 1 from Japan.

Thursday, March 3 at 10pm
COUNTY FAIR NIGHT ONE
at The Union curated by Blackout
Zoobombs (Japan)
Wheels On Fire (Athens)
Valleyboys (Athens)
The Pleasuredomes (Athens)

Friday, March 4 at 10:30pm
COUNTY FAIR NIGHT TWO
at Casa Cantina – FREE SHOW!
She Bears (Columbus)
Narrow + The Brights (Columbus)
Whale Zombie (Athens)
*donations benefit Aquabear Legion

Saturday, March 5 at 9pm
COUNTY FAIR NIGHT THREE
at The Union
Chickenpussy (Athens)
Megachurch (Cleveland)
Hex Net (Athens)
Scubadog (Athens)
The 65’s (Athens)
Weedghost (Athens/Dayton)

Sunday, March 6 at 2pm
COUNTY FAIR DAY FOUR
at ARTS/West – FREE AFTERNOON POTLUCK
Super Desserts (Columbus)
Brian Harnetty (Columbus)
Adam Remnant (Athens)
*donations encouraged to benefit bands and space

Support Local Music! Help spread the word.

Bacon, Boobies & Bands: The First Annual Bacon Fest in Review

Showing up for something like Bacon Fest completely sober (hungover) may not have been my best idea, especially when it means abandoning my cool-kid time-code and showing up to the Union at the crack of 10pm. But after a few hours of bacon, boobies and bands, I found myself with whiskey in hand, appreciating the spectacle.

The bacon.

The night started with a contest for the best bacon-inspired food, which became more of a sexed-out, greasy pep rally for all things pig. Boxcar Burlesque’s Dolly Derringer hosted the festivities, dread-locked, long-lashed and oozing with the kind of sexiness usually reserved for female drummers, bartenders and tattoo artists. Her judges—a  mohawk, an ironic mullet and a fake pig nose—braved through dozens of bacon dishes submitted by audience members. There was bacon-stuffed, deep-fried deviled eggs, bacon meatloaf, bacon jam, bacon doughnuts, bacon ice cream, bacon pie, bacon cake, bacon baklava, bacon toffee and more. The judges picked their favorites, and the winners received adorable, homemade pig trophies. I appreciate a good theme, but this part of the night just dragged, probably because it can’t be all that easy to rehearse and time an unprecedented bacon extravaganza. Or maybe I should have been drunk.