Our good friends over at Blackout our presenting a great show this Saturday, March 21st when Shilpa Ray comes to her “second home” of Athens, Ohio for a night of rock and roll. (attend on the facebook here) Shilpa is no stranger to Athens have played here many times over the years in various incarnations and she is heading back from a SXSW tour in promotion of a new EP (stream it here) and an upcoming full length, both put out by the fine folks at Northern Spy Records. In addition to singing backup vocals for Nick Cave and putting on some great records (including one on Cave’s own label) she has made time for new material including an EP of Lou Reed and Dinah Washington covers. We had a chance to talk with Shilpa while she was out on the road and thought we would share. Go this show.
AQUABEAR:Â You’ve been a staple in Athens music scene since the days of Beat the Devil and now for years as a solo artist and with the Happy Hookers, what makes Athens special for you?
SHILPA RAY: I’ve always loved the music scene there. It heavy on Rock n Roll and you down get that in Brooklyn much. I’ve also been adopted by various people in Athens so it really is like my second home.
AB:Â What’s your favorite Athens show memory? Or Ohio memory overall? SR: There’s a few. Some are painful so I’ll stick the fun shallow ones instead. Let’s see… When Dirty Johnny of the Makebelieves dressed up as Curious George for Halloween and started rolling around stage with someone dressed as Snow White. That was visually stunning. Getting trapped in a snow storm. When our van broke down and we played as a CCR cover band to pay for the repairs. The after parties. ALWAYS the after parties
AB:Â Favorite Ohio band from over the years? SR: The Makebelieves, Dropdead Sons, We March
AB:Tell us about the new LP, Last Year’s Savage. SR: I wrote and recorded it through years of severe depression.Â It’s pretty raw and heavy.
AB:Â With the Make Up EP, what made you decide to release a cover EP? How did you select the songs? SR: This is my story and I’m sticking to it:Â Make Up – I had an epiphany about this song when I was in Palermo around Christmas time after the Bad Seeds tour. Lou had died late October. I found out 10 minutes before I had to play solo before a sold out crowd at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. Needless to say his passing had a massive effect on me. He was my childhood hero. Europe was hard to grasp for me in a lot of ways. The culture, language barriers,the overload of dairy and ghettos of freshly placed refugees from countries, some I had never heard of before. I was exhausted and getting drunk outside a bar where you can get Marsala for a Euro, basically all I could afford. There were tons of kids dancing in the streets getting high and happy, when this stray yellow lab comes up to me and starts swaying back and forth. The song Make Up came on and I started swaying with the dog. It was one of those rare moments I felt alright.
What A Difference A Day Makes – We had decided to go to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame during a tour stop in Cleveland. I was pretty cynical about the whole thing and tour hadn’t been smooth. I had to send a dude home for being a brat in Kansas City among other places and was feeling pretty exposed as the bad guy. It was a stressful situation and trying to justify my actions in the passive aggressive world of music where no one’s making any money felt daunting. I separated myself from the group, the costumes, the Katy Perry and the Beyonce and hung out in the listening booth for hours. Dinah Washington came on and put every wannabe singer, myself included, to shame. What a voice! She draws her breath so long and never loses the listener. I had to challenge myself with this one. I hope I can sing like her someday.
AB:Â You are out on tour right now, are you debuting new material? If so what is it like to play those songs in front of audience after working on the album? SR: Yes! It’s kind of freaky cause it’s never as tight as the rest of the set. It can be a mind fuck at times, to sing, play, remember and get judged all at the same time.
AB:Â What are you listening to right now? SR: This very second? Chris Bell – I Am The Cosmos (editors note: hell yeah)
Today was a sad day in Athens, Ohio. In the early morning hours of Sunday, November 16th a fire broke outÂ somewhere on West Union Street between Court Street and Congress. Extensive fire, smoke, and water has damaged buildings including The Union Bar and Grill, Jackie O’s Public House, Jack Neal Florists, Kismet, Campus Sundry, and Smoke Zone Smoke Shop. The Union and Jackie O’s both received considerable damage, as of now it appears that Jackie O’s kitchen and Public House will be closed indefinitely though the hope is the Brewery side will open soon. The Union received significant damage and more details will be known in the coming weeks. Aquabear Legion stands in full support of all of the business owners and people who lost their homes, a GoFundMe donation site is already up to help Union Street employees during this difficult time and more benefits and work is already in planning. You can read about all of the events here over at WOUB Public Media.
Simply put, the Aquabear Legion would not exist without the Union. It is an essential part of the Athens music community. It has hosted countless Aquabear shows and 6 of our County Fairs, not to mention served as the place for all underground rock and roll existing in our town and all that passed through.
When I came to Athens in 2001 as a Freshman at Ohio University I felt as I imagine a lot of kids feel: excited and confused to be out on my own and in general a little out of place. That feeling was short lived because I set foot in the Union after only being in town for a couple weeks. Instantly I felt at home. In the 13 years since then I have since graduated and made Athens my home that place has become a central location for some of the most important events in my life and led to countless friendships, creative collaborations, amazing shows, and even eventually to my own wedding. The Union is an institution. Having a space like that is essential to a vibrant community, for over 90 years people who were looking for all of the other folks who didn’t fit in found them by looking there.
The Union has been a central location to my life for the last 13 years and I cannot imagine where I would be without it. In terms of firsts alone: I had my first beer (at a bar) there and played music in front of people for the first time, and it was the first place I went to after graduating college and marrying my wife Sherri who would be found the night of our wedding in her wedding dress downstairs surrounded by all our friends. The list of great bands I saw there is endless, some from far away towns and cities and some from right down the street. I had the privilege to play shows there in every band and project I have been in and believe that I still will play on a stage at that building again. Â I feel honored to be a part of that family and the Athens music community, and I believe that with the support of that community we will be able to rebuild the home base for Athens rock and roll and make sure that institution is there for generations to come.
My thoughts are with all of those affected at this time, especially those whose homes and businesses were destroyed and all of the wonderful people who will be dealing with the loss of work as a result of the damage. The damage to all of the businesses and housing is unbelievable, and the loss of The Union and Jackie O’s Public House in the immediate future will be huge for the Athens music community and the Athens community members who work in those places.
This one is last minute and on a school night, but you should all totally come anyway, we promise you will not be sorry. Aquabear Legion, AndrewÂ & Peacock present Peter Walker with Dead Winds of Summer andÂ more at The Union in Athens on Wednesday, October 1st at 8:00pm.Â Tickets are $8 in advance and will be $10 at the door.Â You can soon purchase tickets at Haffa’s Records or you can purchase tickets online by clicking hereÂ (please note there is a $1.27 service fee for the online ticket).Peter Walker is an American folk guitarist noted for dynamic instrumental pieces inspired by the Indian Raga and Spanish flamenco traditions blended with traditional American folk and occasional rock influences. Walkerâ€™s debut LP Rainy Day Raga was released by Vanguard Records in 1966, followed by the release of Second Poem in 1968. Along with Sandy Bull, John Fahey, and Robbie Basho, Walker is considered one of the premier guitarists of his generation. On Second Poem, Walker plays guitar and sitar and is accompanied by flutist Jim Pepper (of The Free Spirits) along with violin, tabla, & tamboura. Walker is the missing link between Ravi Shankar and Timothy Leary in more ways than oneâ€¦..Â We might even bring out some chairs so you can enjoy this show in comfort.
It’s Aquabear County Fair time! Now in it’s 8th year (whoa), this annual Aquabear celebration of Ohio music will be in Athens, Ohio on Friday, September 5th (at The Union at 9:00pm) and on Saturday, September 6th (at Haffa’s Records at 3:00pm and The Union at 8:00pm) and it is all FREE. Poster above and full schedule (subject to change of course) is below. We can’t wait to see everyone, here’s the event on Facebook to attend and share.
2014 AQUABEAR COUNTY FAIR SCHEDULE (subject to change)
Friday, September 5th at 9:00pm The Union (18. W. Union Street) â€“ FREE!
10:15pm The Heartlanders
11:15pm Speaking Suns
12:15am WV White
1:15am The D-Rays
Saturday, September 6th at 3:00pm Haffa’s Records (15 W. Union Street) â€“ FREE!
3:00pm Chris Biester
3:45pm Adam Remnant
4:30pm Joe Anderl
Saturday, September 6th at 8:00pm The Union (18. W. Union Street) â€“ FREE! 8:00pm Weedghost
10:00pm Dead Hand of Man
11:00pm The 1984 Draft
1:15am Hex Net
The Aquabear Legion mainly focuses on Ohio music but every once in a while we get a chance to bring in a non-Buckeye musician or band and cannot pass it up.Â William Hooker’s body of uninterrupted work beginning in the mid-seventies defines him as one of the most important composers and players in jazz. Aquabear presents the William Hooker Trio at The Union in Athens on Friday, August 15th at 9:00pm. Tickets will be only $5 in advance because we don’t want any excuses on this one You can buy them at Haffa’s in advance and they will be more at the door. As bandleader, Hooker has fielded ensembles in an incredibly diverse array of configurations. Each collaboration has brought a serious investigation of his compositional agenda and the science of the modern drum kit. His coming to little old Athens, Ohio on a Friday night to play for you dudes. Hooker’s trio includes an Ohian in Edward Ricart (of Aquabear favorites Hyrrokkin among many more) and DC underground jazz lynchpin Luke Stewart. This will be incredible and I suggest you don’t miss it.
His work is frequently grounded in a narrative context. Whether set against a silent film or anchored by a poetic theme, Hooker brings dramatic tension and human warmth to avant-garde jazz. His ability to find fertile ground for moving music in a variety of settings that obliterate genre distinctions offers a much-needed statement of social optimism in the arts.
William Hooker (drummer,composer and poet) has created works that range from jazz and “new” music to experimental genres. He has released over 60 CDs a a leader. Mr. Hooker has performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Atrium at Lincoln Center, Wadsworth Atheneum, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Walker Art Center,MTV, The Kitchen, Roulette, Real Art Ways. He has also presented his work at the JVC Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, CMJ Music Festival,Vilnius Jazz Festival, Experimenta Argentina,The Knitting Factory and the Victoriaville Music Festival.Â William Hooker has received commissions and support from the New York State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, Tokio Marine Insurance Company and colleges and universities such as Oberlin, Fordham, Columbia, New York University, Boston University, Princeton, Dartmouth and many more. Accompanying musicians have included Billy Bang, David S. Ware, William Parker, Thurston Moore, David Soldier, Roy Campbell, DJ Spooky,Steven Bernstein, Zeena Parkins, Lee Ranaldo, Jason Hwang, Sabir Mateen, Elliott Sharp, David Murray, Ted Daniel, JD Parren and many more.
Edward Ricart is a guitarist and bassist presently located in Yellow Springs, OH. His creative outlets include avant-rock power trio Hyrrokkin; free jazz/noise rock quartet Haitian Rail; free-rock duo Matta Gawa; and the Edward Ricart Quartet, alongside Herb Robertson, Jason Ajemian, and Andrew Barker. He has also collaborated with William Hooker, Marshall Allen, Merzbow, Peter Brotzmann, Paul Dunmall, Andrea Parkins, and members of the rock groups Tortoise, Black Flag, and Fugazi, among many others.
A veteran of Washington DC’s creative music underground, his weekly New Atlantis series of concerts earned him the designation of ‘Avant Garde Savior’ and Best in DC by the Washington City Paper. The series blossomed into a vanguard record label, with an exemplary roster of rising stars and established legends. His work incorporates the processes of new music- including serialism, through-composition, and free improvisation, braced with the dissonant, polyrhythmic backbone of creative rock music
Luke Stewart is an emerging voice on the bass, whose efforts have a pronounced impact on the Washington DC community. As production manager at the storied WPFW radio station, Stewart has worked with Chuck Brown, Yusef Lateef, Randy Weston, Muhal Richard Abrams, Juma Sultan, and Amiri Baraka. He produced many successful programs including a month-long commemoration of Black Music Month. He also co-produced a month-long tribute to pianist Horace Tapscott Los Angeles based community organization UGMAA (Union of Godâ€™s Musicians and Artists Ascension). Also notable, he produced Washington, DCâ€™s first live radio appearance of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal on the program Jazz and Justice with Tom Porter.
Stewart has also helped establish CapitalBop.com, a DC-based jazz website, as its Avant Music Editor. Through the site, he helped launch a live jazz performance series dubbed the â€œDC Jazz Loftâ€, presenting talented jazz artists in and around the DC area. He has also presented other jazz performances in his â€œRed Door Loftâ€ series, showcasing artists such as David Ornette Cherry, Ken Vandermark, Rob Mazurek’s Starlicker, Acid Birds, Khan Jamal, Juini Booth, and Elliot Levin. Stewart has played with Trio 000 since 2010 and has performed at many of DCâ€™s historic venues including Bohemian Caverns, Twins Jazz, and HR-57.
I am a bit biased, but Athens Ohio has an incredible community of musicians. Folks who have spent decades and years writing and playing music in our little town, but also putting on shows, putting up posters, and making things happen. One of the countless examples of that is the annual Athens Community Music Festival, each August tons of Athens bands play all around town for one night. This year ACMF turns sweet 16 on Saturday, August 9th in uptown Athens! 32 local acts play at 6 stages including The Union, Casa Cantina, Donkey Coffee, Smiling Skull, and two stages at Jackie O’s in the Public House and the Brewery side.Â Pay only $5 per venue, or $8 for an all venue pass and see some of the best music around right up the street. Plus you can join us all for the Aquabear Legion Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, August 10th from 1pm-3pm at UCM at 18 N. College Street in Athens. Here’s the schedule!
(“all venue passes” available at each of the participating venues, night of show.)
Proceeds benefit The Gathering Place, Arts/WEST, Athens Rock Camp for Girls and The Bryan Winland Memorial Arts & Music Scholarship.
The 8th annual Aquabear County Fair is September 5-6, 2014 in Athens, Ohio with Connections and WVWhite heading down from Columbus for a FREE weekend of Ohio music. We are excited to announce another round of bands to join the two we have already announced! Dayton’s TheÂ 1984 Draft (Joe Anderl in new full band mode) joins Athens acts The D-Rays, The Heartlanders, Supernobody, and Ohio noise supergroup Weedghost. A few more acts still to come and the whole weekend is FREE. Shows will take place at The Union in Athens on Friday (The D-Rays, WVWhite, The Heartlanders, more TBA) and Saturday (Connections, The 1984 Draft, Supernobody, Weedghost, more TBA) and we will also host a special afternoon acoustic showcase at Haffa’s Records right across the street on Saturday afternoon! Joe Anderl (of 1984 NFL Draft) will be playing along with a few more still to be announced. More information on the Haffa’s show coming soon.
This whole weekend is FREE because we want everyone to come out and enjoy Ohio music and have one less excuse on why they are not watching awesome music. But, Aquabear still pays the bands because we think artists should get paid. We’re having our annual fundraiser (and an event I have dubbed “the best day of the year”) the Aquabear Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, August 10th from 1pm-3pm at UCM in Uptown Athens. All local food from such great partners as Snowville Creamery, Donkey Coffee, Casa Nueva, Shagbark Seed & Mill, Fluff Bakery & Catering, Pierogi Mountain, Fullbrooks Cafe, and many more. $5 in advance (look for tickets at Haffa’s soon, or buy them from us) or $6 at the door for all you can eat pancakes and coffee PLUS $1 upgrades will be available for an exclusive AquaBLUEbear Pierogi Mountain pierogi, local bacon, Casa soysage, and more. Come hang out and eat some killer pancakes.
The Aquabear County Fair will happen for the 8th time (whoa) on September 5-6, 2014 in Athens, Ohio. With this years event featuring two nights of ALL FREE Ohio music at The Union with another surprise or two to be announced. The Aquabear is excited to announce one band for each night already and both hail from up US 33 in Columbus, Ohio: Connections (on Saturday, September 6) and WV White (on Friday, September 5). Lots more bands to be announced as we get closer! And remember: this weekend is FREE cause we want you to come watch Ohio music but we do pay all the bands so donations are welcomed! We will be hosting our annual Aquabear Legion Pancake Breakfast in Athens this August, so be sure to check back for details on that delicious event. All proceeds from the Pancake Breakfast go to the Aquabear County Fair.
Aquabear Legion loves Ohio music, but sometimes we bend the rules on hosting shows when a band from another state is as mindblowingly awesome as Mississippi’s Water Liars. On Tuesday, March 4th, Aquabear teams up with Blackout Booking and Peacock Productions to welcome Water Liars to The Union along with Athens staples Supernobody, Adam Remnant, and Dead Winds of Summer.Â Water Liars are fresh off the release of their self-titled third LP on Fat Possum’s Big Legal Mess label. Joining Water Liars that night will be local Athens acts Supernobody, Adam Remnant, and Dead Winds of Summer. Tickets are $8 in advance and available at Haffa’s Records in Athens, Ohio and are $10 at the door. Music will begin around 9:00pm. Here’s the event on Facebook. Help us spread the word and come out to watch a fantastic night of live music in Athens, Ohio.
If you believe in a supporting a great cause (for an even better reason) all while listening to some of Athens, Ohio’s best rock and roll then Aquabear has a suggestion for your Saturday night. On Saturday, December 7th, The Union hosts a Friends of the Shelter Dogs benefit show with Weird Science, The D-Rays, County Pharaohs, DUNE, Dead Hand of Man, and Supernobody! The evening (and its charitable cause) are to honor the memory of Kimberly Fleming, a friend of many of the fine folks involved, Athens resident, and animal lover. Music starts at 9pm sharp (doors at 8:30) and $5 gets you 6 of Athens finest bands, with proceeds going to Friends of the Shelter Dogs in Athens County.
Missy Pence Coleman (bassist in Athens’ own surf rockers The D-Rays) put the show together as a tribute to her late friend Kimberly Fleming. Fleming called Athens home for years and passed away last August, and as Missy put it, “just seemed we needed to do something for her here and there was a lot of interest right off the bat. She was an animal lover, and we wanted to do something good in her memory.” Coleman told Aquabear that the lineup came together pretty quickly, “I sent out a message to her old friends in bands here, which got the original bill going– us, County Pharaohs, Dune and Weird Science. Then a few more bands, Supernobody and Dead Hand of Man volunteered to play too, so it just took off.”
9:50 Dead Hand of Man
11:30 County Pharaohs
12:20 The D-Rays
1:00 Weird Science
Help support a great organization, Friends of the Shelter Dogs, by seeing some great live music!Â Six bands for $5!Â Doors open at 8:30 and the show starts promptly at 9:00.
Friends of the Shelter Dogs is a group of Athens County, OH citizens dedicated to the welfare and rescue of dogs from the Athens County Dog Shelter.This show is also a local opportunity to remember our dear friend Kimberly Fleming.Â All of the proceeds of the show will go to FOSD in her name.
The 7th annual Aquabear County Fair is THIS COMING WEEKEND: September 5-7 in beautiful Uptown Athens, Ohio. Things kick off on Thursday, September 5 at The Union at 10:00pm with Weird Science (athens), Palaces (cleveland), Princess (athens), and Night Stalker (athens). Friday, September 6 we move a few block away to Casa Cantina with music from The D-Rays (athens), Hyrrokkin (yellow springs), Supernobody (athens), and The Dead Hand of Man (athens). And we finish off the weekend back at The Union on Saturday, September 7 at 9:00pm with Wussy (cincinnati), Â being joined by a slew of Athens bands including County Pharaohs, Hex Net, Unmonumental, Weedghost, and the night will close out with a performance from We March. ALL FREE. It’s on Facebook here, share this link, bring friends, support Ohio music
The 15th Annual Athens Community Music Festival is slated for THIS Saturday August 10th in Athens, Ohio at Casa Cantina, Donkey Coffee, Jackie O’s (Public House and Brewery side), The Smiling Skull Saloon and The Union. This year’s festival features 36 diverse local acts on 6 stages all over town. Don’t miss it!Â $5 will get you into any venue of your choice – OR – you may purchase an $8 all access pass at any of the participating venues (day of show).Â All proceeds from A.C.M.F. benefit Arts/WEST, The Gathering Place, and The Bryan Winland Memorial Arts & Music Scholarship.Â Please come out and show your support for LOCAL live music in Athens Ohio!
6:30 – Bingxin Huang
6:55 – Winter Wilson
7:20 – Austin McGrath
7:45 – Cory Love
8:10 – Aubree Riley
8:35 – The Geek Girls
1- Fathers of the Revolution
11- County Pharaohs
10- Hex Net
8P- Adam Remnant
7P- The Dead Hand of Man
JACKIE O’S PUBLIC HOUSE
1- The Porters
12- Burning River Ramblers
11- Lennon Orchestra
8- Joey Hebdo and his drum
7- Leah Nairn
JACKIE O’S BREWERY
1- Black Spyral Dancer
12- Dysfunktional Family
11- Controlled Folly
10- Appalachiam Hillside Revolution
9- JJ Reed
8- Bad Castle
1- Weird Science
10- Corbin Marsh Band
9- Dad Arm
8- Laura Nadeau
1- Method Air
12- Little Blind “Lightnin” Millie Jinkins & Her Litterbox Wranglers
11- Night Stalker
10- Slut Castle
The 7th annual Aquabear County Fair will take place in beautiful Athens, Ohio on the weekend of September 5-7, 2013! And the Aquabear has another round of bands to announce for this ALL FREE weekend of Ohio music featuring (after about a year off) the Athens legendary punk rockers We March who will close out The Union on Saturday night after Wussy’s set. Joining We March in this round of announcements as well areÂ Hyrrokkin (yellow springs), County Pharaohs (athens), Hex Net (athens), and Princess (athens). The new announcements join a lineup that features Wussy (cincinnati), The D-Rays (athens), Weird Science (athens), Supernobody (athens), Unmonumental (athens), and Weedghost (athens/fairborn). More bands are still to be announced and the entire weekend is FREE. We gladly take donations to help pay the bands, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to help.
7th Annual Aquabear County Fair
Athens, Ohio – Â ALL FREE
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
The Union, 10pm
with: Weird Science, Princess, and more
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
Casa Cantina, 10pm
with: Hyrokkin, The D-Rays, Supernobdy, and more
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
The Union, 9pm
with: Wussy, We March, County Pharaohs, Hex Net, Unmonumental, Weedghost
The 7th annual Aquabear County Fair will take place September 5-7,Â 2013 in beautiful uptown Athens, Ohio! This year’s Fair will feature tons of great Ohio bands playing all throughout the weekend in Athens FOR FREE and will be headlined by Cincinnati’s acclaimed rock and roll legends Wussy on Saturday, September 7th at The Union. Joining Wussy in this first round of announcements are some of Athens’ finest including The D-Rays, Weird Science, Supernobody, Unmonumental, and Weedghost (dates, venues, times to be announced), with a whole lot more to come. The weekend will kick off on Thursday, September 5th at The Union and continue on Friday, September 6 at Casa Cantina before closing out on Saturday, September 7th back at The Union. There will still be a few more shows and surprises to announce as we get closer. And again, this whole weekend is FREE. If you are an Ohio business interested in sponsoring the Aquabear County Fair to help pay some bands, send us an e-mail at email@example.com, and if you are a person who thinks this all sounds like a good time and want to support Aquabear you can make a donation here, even a few bucks is a big help.
Check out Wussy’s full KEXP performance from 2012’s SXSW show at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop
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!
Monday, October 22 at The Union Bar in Athens, Ohio | Mike Watt + The Missingmen and Makebelieves
I love Mike Watt (Minutemen, firehose, the new incarnation of The Stooges) and I don’t know what I would have done had I not heard the car engine start at the beginning of Double Nickels on the Dime. That changed my life. And now Mr. Watt is coming to my favorite rock and roll bar right here in Athens, Ohio and Athens’ own Makebelieves are getting back together for a rare appearance to open up the show! DO NOT MISS THIS ONE. Matt Presutti himself is flying in from South Dakota to play sweet riffs for all of you. See you there around 8pm (that’s what Facebook says). Tickets are available at Haffa’s Records in uptown Athens.
Here’s some info on Hyphenated-Man, the opera Watt is performing on his “2nd Heapin’ Helpin’ of 3rd Opera 2012 Tour” from his website: Â “hyphenated-man”Â is the name of my third opera,Â “contemplating the engine room”Â (1997) being the first one andÂ “the secondman’s middle stand”Â (2004) being the second. I expressly put togetherÂ the missingmenÂ (on guitar:Â tom watsonÂ and on drums:Â raul morales) for this proj a couple of years ago and now w/the mastering byÂ john goldenÂ (august 19, 2010), I am so glad to say it has now been realized. it’s first release was october 6, 2010 in japan onÂ parabolica recordsÂ and then released everywhere else on my ownÂ clenchedwrenchÂ label on march 1, 2011..
whereas “…engine room” dealt w/my pop’s life in the navy as a metaphor for the story of the minutemen and “…middle stand” was a parallel to dante’s “comedia” dealing w/an illness that almost killed me in 2000, this third opera is quite different in that it has no standard narrative (libretto!) meaning no regular beginning-middle-end and is as it were “simultaneous” in the way a mirror from just inside my head – right in this middle-age moment of mine – was then shattered into thirty pieces and then each piece stuffed in the head to show a piece of my state of mind (or out-of-mind) as of now. “thirty tunes?” yes, they’re little ones… actually they’re “thirty parts” of one big tune. back in 2005, too heavy to really hear minutemen stuff for many years, I had to face myself and get the nerve up to hear it again when I agreed to letÂ keith scheironÂ andÂ tim irwinÂ make theÂ “we jam econo”Â documentary (many thanks to them and all who helped out on that). I even did a few gigs w/george hurley w/us as a duet doing some of the old tunes and it was trippy for me, like I was digging on how “econo” those tiny tunes were – no filler, right to point and distilled down to the bare nada. also, a big influence was those little creatures in those oldÂ hieronymus boschÂ paintings – I read a theory about them maybe being visualizations of proverbs or aphorisms and me, not knowing much about sixteenth century dutch/flemish culture, made up my own meanings! the main parallel I saw w/the minutemen was how many little trips could roll up into one big one. the other thing that came into play was this idea of dorothy (from thatÂ “the wizard of oz”Â movie) kind of tripping on what men do to “be” men – me, taking that perspective on the story and not caring whether mr baum – or the people who adapted his work for that film – intended it or not (though no disrespect to him or the others). so I piled those trips into one pile and that’s where this third opera came from.
oh, it was kind of trippy how this piece was actually made. I wrote all thirty parts on one of d. boon’s telecaster – the black one he got in kent, ohio in 1984. now I’m not a very good guitarist but tom watson was quite the righteous man in his patience and determination to take the palsy demos I gave him and bring them to the piece. he’d join me a my prac pad w/his guitar and me w/d. boon’s and while clearing up uncertainties by actually showing him where my fingers were on the neck, we both would play along and I would have raul try out different drum things so I could piece his parts together. I wanted him to stretch from what he was used to but still have it be natural for him. the main thing I was trying to do was get what I considered an “interesting conversation” between them musically. then in the middle of the “prac’n the 3rd opera” missingmen tour (trippy cuz not once in that whole tour did we play and 3rd opera songs for anyone but I would relentlessly pound the piece into tom and raul’s head every day while we were driving in the boat!), we took three days off in the middle (may 3 – 5, 2009) and put intoÂ studio gÂ in brooklyn, ny w/one of my bass heroesÂ tony maimoneÂ to record just the gutar and drums – no bass or spiel at all. in fact, tom and raul never heard one word or bass note ’till I spent a week doing that stuff in at the g w/tony during june of 2010 and then still not yet ’til he had did the final mix a month and a half after that while I was out on tour w/the stooges. damn, what would this piece be w/out bass brother tony! big respect, same for tom and raul. it might’ve came out of my head but these dear cats helped me big time realize it. I am truly grateful to them, truly.
Big awesome show at The Union this Saturday, October 13. Cleveland legends Rocket From the Tombs will be joined by two of Ohio’s finest bands around: Obnox (featuring Lamont Thomas of This Moment in Black History,Bassholes) and The County Pharoahs (Chris Biester of Appalachian Death Ride, Scott Winland and Brandon Robinson of Dropdead Sons). Don’t miss this one. Tickets are available in advance at Haffa’s or at the door tomorrow night. Music starts at 10pm, don’t be late.
From the press release:
“The legendary Rocket From The Tombs, born in 1974, flamed out in 1975, have finally recorded a studio album, delivering “Barfly,” and closing the circle on an incredible journey.
The received wisdom (at least in America) goes that punk rock was invented in New York by the Ramones who reconfigured midwestern hard groove rock and 60s garage singles into a formula that defined punk: short, fast, catchy, and unstoppable. But in some weird parallel universe, punk might have traced its roots to Rocket From The Tombs, a Cleveland band that lasted less than eight months and never made a studio recording.
Three things went wrong for Rocket From The Tombs: a level of drug and alcohol abuse to worry even Keith Richard; a band volatility that rivaled that of The Troggs; and a turnover of drummers that would’ve flummoxed Spinal Tap.
One thing went right: in those eight months they wrote songs that would become punk anthems: “Ain’t It Fun,” “Sonic Reducer,” “Final Solution,” “So Cold,” “What Love Is,” “30 Seconds Over Tokyo,” “Amphetamine.” And they played them like there was no tomorrow. There *was* no tomorrow. They’d used up tomorrow. The band blew apart in July 1975 after an apocalyptic soundcheck that scared the bejeebers out of headliners Television. One faction went on to create the avant-garage rock group Pere Ubu, the other punk stalwarts The Dead Boys.
That might have been the end of the Rocket story except that over the next 25 years a frantic international trading of bootlegs bestowed on the band a legendary status. An album of live and rehearsal tapes, “The Day The Earth Met The Rocket From The Tombs” (2002), led to a nervous reunion in 2003. The core of the band – David Thomas, Cheetah Chrome and Craig Bell – remained from the old days. They were joined by Television’s Richard Lloyd who replaced Peter Laughner (died 1977). Pere Ubu’s drummer Steve Mehlman was drafted.
The fire still burned. For good and bad. Two tours produced extreme, brutal concerts, but also plenty of late night dust-ups in the parking lots of cheap roadside motels.
“We got that bad attitude thing in our blood,” singer David Thomas said. “Can’t shake it. But at least we’re not young, loud and snotty anymore. We’ve moved on. Now we’re *old*, loud and snotty.”
Taking that attitude in the studio produced “Barfly,” an unreconstructed, unapologetic re-affirmation of the power and glory of guitar rock: guitar solos traded between two masters of the craft, an inventive rhythm section devoted to midwestern groove mania, and a singer who learned all there is to learn from channeling Rob Tyner and Don Van Vliet. “I will amblify you,” Thomas growls in the middle of the album’s fierce opening track “I Sell Soul.” And whatever that might mean… he means it.
The bitter irony of “Romeo & Juliet,” the Cleveland / Detroit nexus of “Sister Love Train” / “Love Train Express,” the manic-obsessive drive of “Maelstrom,” the Robert Calvert sci fi dystopian romance of “Butcherhouse 4,” and the Bukowski grunge of “Pretty” reflect the 70s revisionism that is at the heart of the album’s production.
“Barfly’ delivers a sound that’s not dated or restricted to any passing fad or marketing infatuation. These men are ugly, old, and have not mellowed in any conceivable way. They’ve devoted their lives to raging against the boundaries, and they have been willing to pay the price. “Barfly” dismisses the last 37 years as a waste of time. Cuts it away without a second thought. That, in itself, makes “Barfly” worth the wait.”
Some jerks stole all of Dropdead Sons (Scott Winland, Chris Burget, Brandon Robinson, Chris Corbin) gear from their rehearsal space last week. Scott put together a really great show to help raise money to get that gear back. The Union in Athens, Ohio will host Â a reunited Whale Zombie, The County Pharoahs, Wheels On Fire, Scubadog, and more on Saturday, September 29 starting at around 8pm.
Besides going to the show, you can donate via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or even send a check to Scott Winland to The Union, ATTN: Scott, 18 W. Union Street, Athens, OH, 45701. You can attend and share on Facebook too.
The 14th annual Athens Community Music Festival is THIS SATURDAY, August 11th and features 35 local acts on 6 stages, one of the best nights of the year down here so don’t miss it. Â The participating venues include Donkey Coffee, Casa Cantina, Jackie O’s (both rooms), The Smiling Skull and The Union. Only $8 for a full pass to all venues or $5 a venue. Proceeds for this year’s festival will again benefit ARTS/West and The Bryan Winland Art & Music Scholarship Fund. Follow us over on Twitter for live updates, photos and more all night long, and tag your ACMF related stuff with #acmf12 and we will re-post. Full schedule for the night below…
5pm- Liz Pahl
530 – Aggie and Tommy
6pm- JJ Reed/Corbin Marsh
6:30- Leah and Adam
7pm- Laura Nadeau
6pm- Aaron Michael Butler
7pm- Goodbye Goats
8pm- Wrong Hands
9pm- County Pharaohs (Chickenpussy)
10pm- The D Rays
11pm- Dropdead Sons
1am- Hex Net
Jackie Os Brewery
6pm- The Paranormals
7pm- Johnny Wayne Knievel & The Better Days Band
9pm- Hippie Grinder
10pm- The Revulvas
11pm- Whip and Tickle
12am- Dysfunktional family
1am- Black Spyral Dancer
10pm- Corbin Marsh Band
12am- Wheels on Fire
1am- Weird Science
Jackie Os Public House
10pm- Broken Ring
11pm- Lennon Orchestra
1am- The Porters
Every year one of the best things about summer in Athens, Ohio (besides the quiet and numerous public parking options) is the annual multi-venue Athens Community Music Festival, which celebrates its 14th year on Saturday, August 11. The night is a sampling of Athens music of all varieties, so get a good nights rest and drink a lot of coffee because there is a lot of stuff to see.
This year’s ACMF will feature 35 acts on 6 stages, including Donkey Coffee, Casa Cantina, Jackie O’s (both rooms), The Smiling Skull and The Union. Proceeds for this year’s festival will again benefit ARTS/West and The Bryan Winland Art & Music Scholarship Fund.
The schedule is still be sorted out (and we will have it here when it is announced!) but the lineup so far features: Â Stella (original line-up!), Wheels on Fire, Hellnaw, Scubadog, The D-Rays, Hex Net, Weird Science, Goodbye Goats, Black Spyral Dancer, Dropdead Sons, Leah & Adam, Laura Nadeau, The County Pharaohs, Broken Ring, Dysfunktional Family, The Corbin Marsh Band, M.O.P., Acer Negundo, Hippie Grinder and tons more to be announced!
$5 for any one venue / or $8 for an all venue pass
Athens’ own punk rock favorites We March return for a limited two show run (three if you include a wedding, but you’re not invited to that anyway so let’s just call it two) in Ohio after several years of quiet. The shows include stops in Athens and Cleveland, with the latter being a Throw Back Night also featuring another of Aquabear’s most beloved Ohio bands, This Moment In Black History (who have a nice new 7″ out too..) and more.
Thursday, July 5th
The Union in Athens, Ohio
We March, Fumes, Fugue State, State Park (last show?)
Saturday, July 7th
The Black Eye in Cleveland, Ohio
We March, This Moment in Black History, Gallo Negro, Crave
For the past 13 years Athens has celebrated its diverse and talented music community with the annual Athens Community Music Festival and this year’s takes place this coming Saturday, August 20th. Over 30 bands (all Athens!) at 6 different venues all day and night. The festivities kick off at Donkey with a performance from one of my favorite songwriters Mr. Mike Elliott at 5pm, and things continue all night long at The Union, Casa Cantina, Jackie O’s Brewery, Jackie O’s Public House, The Smiling Skull Saloon, and Donkey Coffee.
This has always been one of my favorite nights of the year.Â Big thanks goes out to Scott Winland for making this thing happen every year. Full lineup and schedule after the jump!
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.