Blackoutfest Turns 18 in Athens This Weekend!

blackout2013Athens 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 Two 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  night (April 12th) of Blackoutfest with music from Natural Child, Birthday Suits, EYE, Grafton, The D-Rays, Hex Net, Unholy Two, Homemade Drugs, Hook & Eye and Unmonumental. Starts at 6:00pm SHARP.  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!

Schedule below and you can attend on Facebook here.

Thursday PRE-PARTY!!! 8PM // $5
Weird Science
Buring Itch
County Pharoahs
Fat Elvis
Sportfishing USA
Shower Beers

Natural Child
Birthday Suits
The D-Rays
Hex Net
Unholy Two
Homemade Drugs
Hook & Eye

Saturday – SPLOOGEOUT!!! 4PM // $8
Cheap Time
Greg Ashley Band
Useless Eaters
Shockwave Riderz
Frankie Teardrop
Small Steps
Mom’s Weekend
Method Air

Best of Ohio 2012: Part Three

volume-2-comp-250x250Aquabear is kicking off a brand new year-end tradition by asking some of the state’s best musicians and music related folks to share their favorite Ohio music finds and experiences of the year. Look for a whole bunch of these before the start of 2013! Here’s the second batch featuring Nathan Moore (Yellow Springs/Athens – Sportfishing USA, Hex Net), Brett Helling (Columbus – The Cabdrivers, Winter Makes Sailors),  AJ Hitmar (Athens – Dark Circles Records), Dave Straub (Cleveland – Burger Boys, HOMeOwners, McShitz), Jessica Makosky (Athens – The Revulvas, Whip & Tickle). Look for more in the coming weeks and please share, if you would like to participate drop us a line at


Nathan Moore
Yellow Springs / Athens  (Sportfishing USA, Hex Net, Teen Age)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Valleyboys – Chronic Youth. I’ve been nagging Chris Lute to put this out for two years, It was worth the wait, and it sounds GREAT!

Favorite new Ohio band
Hyrrokkin. This power trio is one of the most incredible bands I’ve ever seen. Instrumental, weird time signature rock, played by free-jazz aficionados. They are putting out a new full length soon.

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
Pierced Arrows at the Union in Athens, OH in April. I couldn’t stop smiling during their set.

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Putting out a new full length Sport Fishing USA album!

What have you been working on lately?
Sport Fishing USA just finished tracking drums for a few brand new songs. We are overdubbing like hell. I’ve been spending a lot of time writing new songs and recording them on this little cassette 4-track machine. I love being limited to 4 tracks, it makes me write better songs.

What are you listening to right now?
“Mature Themes” by Ariel Pink. These songs are starting to make me insane though, I keep finding myself singing “bad breath on the cross eye guards” while I’m checking out at the grocery store.

Brett Helling
Columbus (The Cabdrivers, Winter Makes Sailors, The Kyle Sowashes, Swimsuit Edition)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
THE WHILES – “Somber Honey” Hands down my favorite album of the year…Ohio and beyond. It’s concise, warm, distant, melodic, and incredibly addictive. WATERSHED – “Brick And Mortar” Always been a big Watershed fan and it’s nice to see they’re still making great, punchy power-pop for all the right reasons. Joe Oestrich’s vocals are incredible. GUIDED BY VOICES – “The Bears For Lunch” Some very interesting songs on this one and Tobin really shines. I can honestly say I’ve never heard anything like “Finger Gang” and probably never will. A very noteworthy album for a band who has a career filled w/noteworthy albums.

Favorite new Ohio band
Bicentennial Bear(if they still count as new), Connections

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
Wilco @ The LC (August)

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Should be full-length LP’s this year(finally) from two of the bands that I play guitar in: Winter Makes Sailors – “Moving On” and Swimsuit Edition – “Take A Dip”, The Cabdrivers, my songwriting/recording project should be doing more shows this year and maybe I’ll even write another song?? I accidentally put together a super-group to be my band and it’d be a shame if we didn’t at the very least play a bunch of shows. Nelsonville Music Festival – WILCO!!!  This could be the year that launches the festival into mega-festival status. Went last year and was very impressed and I hate music festivals.

What have you been working on lately?
I guess I sort of answered most of this in #4. Aside from those still playing w/The Kyle Sowashes on bass a lot and I’m guessing we’ll start writing the follow-up to “Somebody” soon. I’ve always been a fill-in for them but it looks like I’m gonna finally get to be on a record.

What are you listening to right now?
I’ve been in an Afghan Whigs phase. I’ve always liked them but just realized how incredible Black Love is and am obsessed w/”Summer’s Kiss”(track 10 or 11?). Ha, I just realized that they are from Ohio also. I suppose if some weird, music apocalypse happened that wiped out all music except Ohio music, my iPod would still be in pretty good shape.

AJ Hitmar
Athens  (Dark Circles Records)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Homemade Drugs from Cincinnati just released their self-titled in November and it sounds great. Also Hundos, the Hundley brothers in Columbus, have made 3 albums this year, each with multiple collaborators. Weird Science in Athens finally released their debut online, rad tunes with the cover art to match.

Best new Ohio band?
I kind of have tunnelvision for the house scene in Athens, so I feel pretty out of the loop. Small Steps and Frankie Teardrop have been putting in some hard work recently though.

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year?
Big Whoop in Columbus was a blast. 35ish bands in two days in the dead heat of July, it was like a punk rock rite of passage. I’m not sure what the organizers have planned for Summer 2013, but I know I’ll be there.

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Dark Circles has a few releases lined up already which is exciting. I’ll be getting as much done in Ohio as I can…I plan on moving to Chicago in July.

If you are a musician what have you been working on lately?
I’ve spent the last few months mixing and mastering an album for a band I was in, Dawgtooth, and it’s just about ready to go. Two other projects of mine, Valleyboys and Vodou, just released albums online. There’s also Cophugger, which had two songs pressed onto a 7″ split earlier this year.

What are you listening to right now?
I’ve been listening to the Trojan Box Sets nonstop, all year. Also Darker My Love, Jaill, The Bats, The War on Drugs, Camp Lo, Caetano Veloso, Pantha Du Prince, Donald Byrd, Can, and Eskmo have all frequently met my ears this year.


Dave Straub
Cleveland (Burger Boys, HOMeOwners, McShitz)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Off the top of my head the founding father’s LP. This is a good record but it is the only one I can think of that I had nothing to do with and I actually listened to.

Favorite new Ohio band
Murderedman but they may already be over with.

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
Cassette Fest 2012 at Pats in the Flats. The highlight was Murderedman’s performance: involved lights , balloons, mirrors and hard rockin riffs. Homeowners played, Phyllis Dillenger, Wet Brain and some other crap. 10 -15 minute sets fun times.

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Lottery League

What have you been working on lately?
Upcoming Tuk Peenerson and his Wienerman split LP with Sloth. HOMeOwners debut release. PALACES new line up with Rosanna SAfos, Eben Nichols, Jesse Alison, Curtis Frey.

What are you listening to right now?
Goblin, Blouse, SoFt KIll, Litanic Mask, Zombi, THE Frustration and Pretty Things.

Jessica Makosky
Athens (The Revulvas, Whip & Tickle)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Aquabear Legion & Disjointed Records 16 in 16.

Favorite new Ohio band

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
Porch Stage at the Nelsonville Music Festival

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Recording an album (finally and hopefully) with The Revulvas

What have you been working on lately?
Different styles of drumming (music styles that is)

What are you listening to right now?
Desent/The White Spider (It’s Disjointed Mike’s latest solo project about crazy dudes climbing mountains and dying)

Aquabear Legion Volume 4 is (almost) OUT! Release Party at Union This Saturday!

Things are really exciting here at Aquabear HQ. Our brand new compilation Aquabear Legion Volume 4 is all finished up and ready to be heard by all, coming in at a whopping 38 songs from 38 Ohio bands all on 2 CD’s. We are celebrating the official release THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 11th at The Union in Athens, Ohio with music from Seascapes, Black Owls, Scubadog, and Weedghost. Comps will be for sale (at a special price!) and there will be some awesome music which will start around 10pm.

The compilation features hand screen printed art by Jed Collins and looks real sweet. They will be for sale at the show and then on our website and at good places around the state in the coming weeks.