THE UNION OPENING WEEKEND!!!

WEDNESDAY MAY 25TH 5PM (FREE SHOW)

Water Witches -12:30
Hex Net – 11:30
Blond – 10:30
Summoners – 9:30
Dj Barticus – 8:30

THURSDAY MAY 26TH 5PM (FREE SHOW)
Hellnaw -12:30
Weird Science -11:30
Slackluster -10:30
Dysfunktional Family -9:30
Dune – 8:30
Unmonumental – 7:30

FRIDAY MAY 27TH 8PM ($5 cover)
Watch Them Rot – 12:30
Rogues – 11:30
Bless The Child – 10:30
Under The Combine – 9:30

SATURDAY MAY 28TH 8PM ($5 cover)
The D-Rays – 12:30
The Snails – 11:30
Blam Blams – 10:30
S.W. Hedrick – 9:30

Downstairs doors open at 5PM (Wed.-Sat.)
The Union will be closed Sunday May 29th.

Shilpa Ray at Smiling Skull This Saturday: An Aquabear Interview

Shilpa Ray
Shilpa Ray plays The Smiling Skull this Saturday, March 21 with Blam Blams and Dana

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.

Tickets are on sale in advance by clicking here! Blam Blams (athens) and Dana (columbus) will open the show.

AQUABEAR: 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: 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: 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. It’s pretty raw and heavy.

AB: 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: 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: 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: What are you listening to right now?
SR: This very second? Chris Bell – I Am The Cosmos (editors note: hell yeah)

Make Up is available via Northern Spy Records!

Tour Dates:
3/17-3/19 Austin, TX —SXSW
3/20 Hot Springs, AK — VOV Festival
3/21 Athens, OH — Smiling Skull Saloon

A Sad Day in Athens, Ohio

photo from The Union's Facebook page
photo from The Union’s Facebook page

Today was a sad day in Athens, Ohio. In the early morning hours of Sunday, November 16th a fire broke out 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.  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.

Legendary Peter Walker At The Union on Wednesday, October 1

PeterWalker2014This 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, Andrew & Peacock present Peter Walker with Dead Winds of Summer and more at The Union in Athens on Wednesday, October 1st at 8:00pm. Tickets are $8 in advance and will be $10 at the door. You can soon purchase tickets at Haffa’s Records or you can purchase tickets online by clicking here (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. Walker’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 one….. We might even bring out some chairs so you can enjoy this show in comfort.

8th Annual Aquabear County Fair is September 5-6: 15 Ohio Bands, 2 Days, ALL FREE

8th annual Aquabear County Fair is this weekend: September 5-6 in Athens, Ohio and is FREE
8th annual Aquabear County Fair is this weekend: September 5-6 in Athens, Ohio and is FREE

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) – FREE!
9:15pm Summoners
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) – 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) – FREE!
8:00pm Weedghost
8:15pm Unmonumental
9:00pm Supernobody
10:00pm Dead Hand of Man
11:00pm The 1984 Draft
12:00am Connections
1:15am Hex Net

Aquabear Hosts William Hooker Trio at The Union on August 15

William Hooker Trio will play The Union on August 15th, tickets on sale now.
William Hooker Trio will play The Union on August 15th, tickets on sale now.

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. 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. 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 God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension). Also notable, he produced Washington, DC’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 “DC Jazz Loft”, presenting talented jazz artists in and around the DC area. He has also presented other jazz performances in his “Red Door Loft” 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 DC’s historic venues including Bohemian Caverns, Twins Jazz, and HR-57.

Athens Community Music Festival: 32 acts on 6 stages THIS WEEKEND!

The 16th annual Athens Community Music Festival is this Saturday, August 9th. 32 Athens bands will perform at 6 stages around town.
The 16th annual Athens Community Music Festival is this Saturday, August 9th. 32 Athens bands will perform at 6 stages around town.

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. 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.

2014 ACMF SCHEDULE
(schedule subject to change)

DONKEY COFFEE

7pm- Alayna Locke

7:45- Valerie Mash

8:30- Ragamuffin

9:15- Intermittent Animals
____________________

THE UNION

7pm- JJ Reed

8pm- JD Hutchison

9pm- Super Nobody

10pm- Speaking Suns

11pm- Blam Blams

12am- Sportfishing USA

1am- Blond
_____________________

JACKIE O’s (Public House)

8pm: Corbin Marsh

9pm- Paranormals

10pm- Night Sweats

11pm- Whole Hearted Half-Wits

12am- Zapple Pie

1am- Bright at Night
______________________

JACKIE O’s (Brewery side)

8pm- The Curd Jergihns Vocal Group

9pm- Steve Zarate

10pm- Fever Dream

11pm- Watch Them Rot

12am- Unmonnumental

1am- County Pharaohs
_______________________

CASA CANTINA

9pm- Laura Nadeau

10pm- Summoners

11pm- Coal Cave Hallow Boys

12am- Fathers of The Revolution

1am- Dox City
_________________________

SMILING SKULL SALOON

9pm- Dead Hand of Man

10pm- Pegasister

11pm- Red Feathers

12am- Weird Science

1am- Slut Castle

More Bands Added to 8th Annual Aquabear County Fair

Joe Anderl and his band The 1984 Draft join the County Fair lineup from Dayton, Ohio
Joe Anderl and his band The 1984 Draft join the County Fair lineup from Dayton, Ohio

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 The 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.

Connections, WV White, + More TBA for Aquabear County Fair #8 on September 5-6!

Connections
Connections will headline the 8th annual Aquabear County Fair on September 6 at The Union

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.

Water Liars + More at Union in Athens on Tuesday, March 4

Water Liars, Supernobody, Adam Remnant, and Dead Winds of Summer at The Union on Tuesday, Mach 4
Water Liars, Supernobody, Adam Remnant, and Dead Winds of Summer at The Union on Tuesday, Mach 4

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. 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.

Here are the Water Liars performing “Backbone”

Help Dogs + Honor Kimberly at The Union on Saturday with Athens’ Finest Rock & Roll

Friends of the Shelter Dogs benefit show at The Union on Saturday, December 7! Good cause, 6 bands, 5 bucks.
Friends of the Shelter Dogs benefit show at The Union on Saturday, December 7! Good cause, 6 bands, 5 bucks.

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.”

9:00 Supernobody
9:50 Dead Hand of Man
10:40 DUNE
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! Six bands for $5! 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. All of the proceeds of the show will go to FOSD in her name.

 

Aquabear County Fair is September 5-7: 14 Ohio Bands, All Free!

ABCF13Poster-webThe 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),  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

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7th Annual Aquabear County Fair (9/5-9/7) Full Lineup: Palaces, Dead Hand of Man, Night Stalker Added

CountyFair090webThe 7th annual Aquabear County Fair is September 5-7 in Athens, Ohio! The weekend features 14 Ohio bands playing three nights for FREE and here’s the final lineup (times TBA):

Thursday, September 5 at The Union, 10pm
Weird Science (athens)
Palaces (cleveland)
Princess (athens)
Night Stalker (athens)

Friday, September 6 at Casa, 10pm
The D-Rays (athens)
Hyrrokkin (yellow springs)
Supernobody (athens)
Dead Hand of Man (athens)

Saturday, September 7 at The Union, 9pm
Wussy (cincinnati)
We March (athens)
County Pharaohs (athens)
Hex Net (athens)
Unmonumental (athens)
Weedghost (fairborn/athens)

All shows are FREE. We still pay the bands so if you’d like to help by making a donation let us know: contact@aquabearlegion.com

15th Annual Athens Community Music Festival is THIS SATURDAY!

acmf2013
The 15th annual Athens Community Music Festival is this Saturday in Uptown Athens! 36 bands at 6 venues for $8!

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! $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). All proceeds from A.C.M.F. benefit Arts/WEST, The Gathering Place, and The Bryan Winland Memorial Arts & Music Scholarship. Please come out and show your support for LOCAL live music in Athens Ohio!

DONKEY COFFEE
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

THE UNION
1- Fathers of the Revolution
12- Unmonumental
11- County Pharaohs
10- Hex Net
9P- Rattletrap
8P- Adam Remnant
7P- The Dead Hand of Man

JACKIE O’S PUBLIC HOUSE
1- The Porters
12- Burning River Ramblers
11- Lennon Orchestra
10- Shamantis
9- Paranormals
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

CASA
1- Weird Science
12- Princess
11- Wrongzai
10- Corbin Marsh Band
9- Dad Arm
8- Laura Nadeau

SMILING SKULL
1- Method Air
12- Little Blind “Lightnin” Millie Jinkins & Her Litterbox Wranglers
11- Night Stalker
10- Slut Castle

We March and More Added to Aquabear County Fair: September 5-7

Athens' own We March join the Aquabear County Fair lineup and will close out The Union on Saturday, September 7
Athens’ own We March join the Aquabear County Fair lineup and will close out The Union on Saturday, September 7

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 are 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 contact@aquabearlegion.com if you’d like to help.

7th Annual Aquabear County Fair
Athens, Ohio –  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

Wussy to Headline 7th Annual Aquabear County Fair: September 5-7

PracticeSpace
Cincinnati’s Wussy will headline the 7th annual Aquabear County Fair!

The 7th annual Aquabear County Fair will take place September 5-7, 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 contact@aquabearlegion.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

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
MOP
Fat Elvis
Sportfishing USA
Shower Beers
Melk

Friday – AQUABEAR BLACKOUT!! 6PM //$8
Natural Child
Birthday Suits
EYE
Grafton
The D-Rays
Hex Net
Unholy Two
Homemade Drugs
Hook & Eye
Unmonumental

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

Mike Watt and the Missingmen at The Union on Monday with Makebelieves!

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:  “hyphenated-man” is the name of my third opera, “contemplating the engine room” (1997) being the first one and “the secondman’s middle stand” (2004) being the second. I expressly put together the missingmen (on guitar: tom watson and on drums: raul morales) for this proj a couple of years ago and now w/the mastering by john golden (august 19, 2010), I am so glad to say it has now been realized. it’s first release was october 6, 2010 in japan on parabolica records and then released everywhere else on my own clenchedwrench 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 let keith scheiron and tim irwin make the “we jam econo” 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 old hieronymus bosch 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 that “the wizard of oz” 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 into studio g in brooklyn, ny w/one of my bass heroes tony maimone 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.

 

Rocket From The Tombs at Union Saturday Night!

Rocket From the Tombs, Obnox, and County Pharoahs at The Union on Saturday night. Poster by Jason Frederick

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.”

OBNOX and COUNTY PHARAOHS are opening the show!!

buy your tickets at HAFFA’S RECORDS TODAY!!

 

Stolen Gear Benefit at The Union This Saturday

Help raise some money to replace stolen gear with some awesome music this Saturday at The Union!

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  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 blackoutbooking@gmail.com 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.

Athens Community Music Festival is THIS SATURDAY: Full Schedule

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.  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…

Donkey Coffee
5pm- Liz Pahl
530 – Aggie and Tommy
6pm- JJ Reed/Corbin Marsh
6:30- Leah and Adam
7pm- Laura Nadeau

The Union 
6pm- Aaron Michael Butler
7pm- Goodbye Goats
8pm- Wrong Hands
9pm- County Pharaohs (Chickenpussy)
10pm- The D Rays
11pm- Dropdead Sons
12am- Hellnaw
1am- Hex Net

Jackie Os Brewery
6pm- The Paranormals
7pm- Johnny Wayne Knievel & The Better Days Band
8pm- Melk
9pm- Hippie Grinder
10pm- The Revulvas
11pm- Whip and Tickle
12am- Dysfunktional family
1am- Black Spyral Dancer

Casa Cantina
9pm- M.O.P.
10pm- Corbin Marsh Band
11pm- Scubadog
12am- Wheels on Fire
1am- Weird Science

Jackie Os Public House
10pm- Broken Ring
11pm- Lennon Orchestra
12am- Stella
1am- The Porters

Smiling Skull
10pm- Sothoros
11pm- Watch Them rot
12am- Controlled Folly
1am- Acer Negundo

Due to the nature of nature and the inevitable hiccups in fest planning/band scheduling, this line-up is subject to change.

$5 for any one venue / or $8 for an all venue pass

Here’s the event on Facebook, attend and then share.

14th Annual Athens Community Music Festival is August 11

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:  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

And.. Jason Frederick (native Athenian musician/artist now living in Chicago) designed and printed this year’s poster! This summer Jason’s work was featured on the cover of the Chicago Reader for their Pitchfork Music Festival edition, and the ACMF poster is awesome as well.

Check out the Facebook event and spread the word!

We March Return to Ohio

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

13th Annual Athens Community Music Festival is August 20, Schedule Announced

The 13th annual Athens Community Music Festival is Saturday, August 20th and features over 30 bands at 6 venues!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.  Big thanks goes out to Scott Winland for making this thing happen every year. Full lineup and schedule after the jump!

Continue reading “13th Annual Athens Community Music Festival is August 20, Schedule Announced”

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.

FULL COMPILATION TRACK LIST AFTER THE BREAK…
Continue reading “Aquabear Legion Volume 4 is (almost) OUT! Release Party at Union This Saturday!”

ACRN’s Lobsterfest Takes Over Athens

This weekend, June 2nd through 4th, the All Campus Radio Network (ACRN) presents its annual Lobsterfest. This year’s fest features many local and regional bands to create a full and diverse lineup. This event is sponsored by ACRN and in part by the Student Activities Commission and local businesses.

Lobsterfest kicks off Thursday at 10 p.m. at Casa Cantina. Headliners include Columbus band Tin Armor and Athens act Scubadog, while The Kyle Sowashes and Stomp the Condor, both of Columbus, are opening.

Lobsterfest continues Friday at 10 p.m. at The Union. Headliners include Detroit art rockers Child Bite and Columbus post-punk band Narrow and the Brights. The night will begin with Cincinnati act Evolve, and Athens band Nurser.

Finally, on Saturday at noon, Lobsterfest takes over South Green’s lawn for an all-day extravaganza. New York City dream pop band Asobi Seksu and Detroit indie-rockers Prussia will be headlining. Athens favorites Brothertiger and She Bears will also be playing on Saturday. Expect to see many other acts from Athens and Columbus for a full line up check out the Lobsterfest Facebook event or ACRN.com.

To finish the evening on Saturday, Dave Rave, Busted BASS and the ACRN.com DJ Crew will be presenting a Lobsterfest themed Dave Rave at 10 p.m. at The Union.

FULL LINEUP + SCHEDULE AFTER THE BREAK
Continue reading “ACRN’s Lobsterfest Takes Over Athens”

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.

Aquabear County Fair Preview: NIGHT ONE Thursday, March 3 at The Union

Athens' own Wheels On Fire kickoff the Aquabear County Fair on Thursday night with Zoobombs, Valleyboys, and The Pleasure Domes

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.

THURSDAY, MARCH 3rd the  County Fair kicks off at The Union with Zoobombs (Japan), Wheels On Fire (Athens), Valleyboys (Athens), and The Pleasure Domes (Athens). 10pm, cover. The whole night is curated by Blackout!

Zoobombs join the Aquabear County Fair as the only non-Ohio act this year and The Aquabear’s first international collaboration. THE ZOOBOMBS were formed by DON Matsuo (vocals/guitar), Matta (keyboards), and Moostop (bass) in Tokyo in September 1994 and — together with various drummers — have been amazing rock audiences in Japan, North America and Australia ever since. Expect punk, funk, and really anything else you can think of.

Wheels On Fire are a rock and roll band from Athens described as “Elvis Costello meets The Stooges”, and they’ve put out records on Big Legal Mess and Trouble In Mind. This four piece has played clubs all over the USA and Europe, and their new LP Liar Liar is really, really good.

Valleyboys are self-described as “essentially- fast garage rock with repetitive heavy riffs drowned in fuzz.” Sounds perfect to us.

The Pleasure Domes feature Nathan Moore who has also spent some time around town recently with his Sportfishing USA project. We’re excited to welcome them in for what we hope is the first of many Union shows.

See you all on Thursday! And remember…

Friday, March 4 at Casa with She Bears, Whale Zombie, Narrow & The Brights

Saturday, March 5 at Union with Chickenpussy, Megachurch, Hex Net, Scubadog, Left Hand Shake, Weeghost

Sunday, March 6 at ARTS/West with Super Desserts, Brian Harnetty, Adam Remnant

, a four-piece band from Ohio (USA), has been described as Elvis Costello meets the Stooges.

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.

Continue reading “Bacon, Boobies & Bands: The First Annual Bacon Fest in Review”

Phantods on the Rise

In the mere months since the release of their sophomore effort Creature, Phantods have solidified themselves as a Columbus-based band to watch. From their record’s inclusion on local year-end lists to an upcoming opening spot with Fitz and the Tantrums, Phantods momentous rise shows no signs of stopping. Fronted by the powerful vocals of Gretchen King, the group’s new-found anthemic pop-rock sound has found an immense local following.

In anticipation of their show at the Union on Friday, January 14 with Athens’ favorites She Bears and Blithe Field, Aquabear recently chatted with Phantods guitarist Dan Hagquist about the group’s latest release.

Continue reading “Phantods on the Rise”

Aquabear and Blackout: Self Destruct Button, Hex Net, The Visitations, Valley Boys at The Union on 9/18/10

Aquabear Legion and Athens-based Blackout Booking are throwing quite a show TONIGHT (Saturday, September 18) at The Union in Athens. The show features old Aquabear pals and Cleveland natives Self Destruct Button, The Vistiations (who hail from the OTHER Athens in Georgia), and local boys Hex Net (members of Dragline Bros.) and Valley Boys (members of Whale Zombie).

Doors open at 9pm and music starts round 10. See you all there…

Orchestraville Reunites for Athens and Columbus Shows, Releases New Vinyl

Orchestraville's new LP Poison Berries

Athens and Columbus legends Orchestraville will be playing THIS WEEKEND: Friday, September 17th at The Union in Athens and Saturday, September 18th at the Rumba in Columbus. They are releasing a new LP titled “Poison Berries” which you should buy.

Full story on shows and album after the break….
Continue reading “Orchestraville Reunites for Athens and Columbus Shows, Releases New Vinyl”

Athens Community Music Festival is THIS SATURDAY, August 21!

From the fine folks at Athens Community Music Festival:

The 12th annual Athens Community Music Festival will take place Saturday, August 21st, featuring over thirty-five local acts at seven uptown venues. All proceeds go to grant opportunities for local musicians and music education. Admission is $10 for an all-venue wristband or $5 per location. Tickets will be available the day of the event at the Smiling Skull Saloon, Donkey Coffee, The Union, Jackie O’s, Salaam and the Casa Cantina. Visit myspace.com/athensmusicfest for a complete schedule. Please come out and celebrate the local music of Athens Ohio!!!

Full schedule for all venues after the break!

Continue reading “Athens Community Music Festival is THIS SATURDAY, August 21!”

COUNTY FAIR PREVIEW: This Moment In Black History

Aquabear is extremely honored to welcome Cleveland punk-rockers This Moment in Black History to the Union tonight to close out the Fourth Annual Aquabear County Fair. Since forming in 2001, the band have toured the nation extensively and become a staple of Athens own Blackoutfest. The group will likely be premiering some songs from Public Square, their new release on the Chicago underground label Smog Veil Records. If you’re a fan of rock n’ roll that is noisy and abrasive in all the right ways, there’s no better place to be than the Union tonight.

Here’s some video of This Moment in Black History at Donewaiting‘s 5th anniversary back in 2008.

COUNTY FAIR PREVIEW: Sun God

Cleveland’s Sun God have in the past  described themselves as “arena punk… in a good way” and I completely agree. These guys contain members of Insurrect and countless other Cleveland bands of years past and they will definitely test your hearing threshold. They joined us at the 2nd annual Aquabear County Fair a few years back and still remain one of the loudest things to ever happen at ARTS/West.

Plus they have a brand new split 12″ with This Moment In Black History that comes out on March 5 and will most certainly be available at the show. Don’t miss these guys, they don’t come down to Athens nearly enough. Come see Sun God and a whole host of others at the final night of the 2010 Aquabear County Fair at The Union on Saturday, March 6th at 8pm. It’s all about those riffs, dude.

Check out Sun God (with Kevin filling in on bass instead of guitar, they are back to a four piece now though) playing at the 2009 Compound Fest in Cleveland.

COUNTY FAIR PREVIEW: Megachurch

Aquabear is pretty excited about Cleveland, Ohio’s Megachurch making its first visit down to Athens… These guys are damn good, they even opened up for Mission of Burma at last year’s Studio-Rama. A drummer and two basses, these guys have spent a good deal of time over the years in many other projects both past and current including Machine Go Boom, The Buried Wires, Washout Corporation, and a lot more. These guys play sweet math rock driven by pounding drums and twice the bass.

Megachurch is playing the Aquabear County Fair at The Union on Saturday, March 6th.

Check out this video of them playing at last year’s Compund Fest in Cleveland!

COUNTY FAIR PREVIEW: We March

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:

COUNTY FAIR PREVIEW: Men of Gentle Birth

So. Aquabear has decided to preview one band EVERY DAY in the weeks leading up to the Aquabear County Fair on March 4-6, 2010.  In all, 15 bands will be playing this year over the course of three nights and three venues. Today marks our first entry: Columbus, Ohio’s Men of Gentle Birth. They will be joining the Fair on Saturday, March 6th at The Union.

First off. Holy crap! These guys haven’t played in several years (I believe one of their last shows was the 2nd annual Aquabear County Fair at Casa Cantina in 2008), and have remained a favorite of mine and many others too. Aquabear considers it an honor that MOGB has decided to get back together at our little County Fair, and we couldn’t be more excited.

If you haven’t seen Men of Gentle Birth before you really need to be at The Union on Saturday, March 6th. Seriously.

And instead of trying to describe how much I love their music, watching the video below of a badass show downstairs at The Union about four years ago…

4th Annual Aquabear County Fair is THIS WEEKEND: March 4-6, 2010!

The 4th annual Aquabear County Fair takes place March 4-6, 2010 in Athens, Ohio and we are thrilled to announce the lineups for that weekend! And this one is shaping up to be one of the best we’ve had…

Saturday, March 6th at The Union, 8pm
This Moment in Black History (Cleveland)
Makebelieves (Athens)
Men of Gentle Birth (Columbus)
Megachurch (Cleveland)
We March (Athens)
Sun God (Cleveland)
Weedghost (Athens/Dayton)

Friday, March 5th at Casa Cantina, 10:30pm
FREE SHOW!
Dragline Bros (Athens)
She Bears (Athens)
Manor Animals (Athens)
Chris Biester (Athens)

Thursday, March 4th at The (bruce) Manor, 7pm
Seascapes (Athens)
In Silent Movies (Athens)
Thx. Tiger (Columbus/Athens)
Dead Winds of Summer (Athens)

– And look for one more event on Saturday afternoon to celebrate County Fair weekend, more details soon!
– Holy crap this is going to be awesome

And don’t forget to become a “fan” of the new Aquabear County Fair Facebook Page

Aquabear Live @ ARTS/West on Friday 9/19, Union show on 9/25

abl-at-arts-west-septemberAquabear continues our monthly concert series at ARTS/West in Athens on Friday, September 19th at 8pm! This month we will feature:

Casual Future – www.myspace.com/casualfuture
Flotation Walls
www.myspace.com/flotationwalls
Weedghost
www.myspace.com/weedghost

Come on out and support local music and still make it out to see some great shows in uptown Athens afterward…

AND…

Next week we are having an Aquabear Legion Noise Showcase at The Union in Athens on Thursday, September 25th at 10pm (sharp).

There will be a whole bunch of Athens noise makers doing drone, freeform stuff, improv, and probably just banging on things to some sounds come out. Look for an update this weekend with a full lineup and poster…

And don’t forget:
Saturday, Sept. 27th: RECLAIM MUSIC FESTIVAL (www.reclaimmusicfestival.com)

Sunday, Sept. 28th: Monthly Noise Night @ ARTS/West, 6pm