Faye Webster: ‘Better Distractions’

Faye Webster is back with a new single, titled “Better Distractions.” The song was recorded at Chase Park Transduction in Athens, and produced by long-time cohort and engineer Drew Vandenberg. It’s also Webster’s first offering since her 2019 album, Atlanta Millionaires Club (Secretly Canadian), and the single, titled “In A Good Way.”

The “Better Distractions” video is courtesy of Matt Swinsky and Eat Humans.

Drifting through lyrics such as: “Got two friends that I could see, but they got two jobs and a baby. I just want to see you,” the song builds on Webster’s signature lush and melancholy indie rock delivery.

“I wrote this song kinda without knowing I was writing it,” Webster said in a press release. “It’s a kind of free association, just thoughts running straight from my head onto paper untouched. I also think it’s [the] best my band has ever sounded on record.”

On Tuesday, October 6, Webster and her band , featuring pedal steel player Matt ‘Pistol’ Stoessel, drummer Harold Brown, bass player Bryan Howard, and keyboard player Nick Rosen are playing together for the first time in 2020 at Chase Park Transduction. The show is streaming live via Noonchorus, and will be rebroadcast for the following 48 hours.. $12 (+fees). 9 p.m.  Buy tickets.

‘The Lost Boys’ actor Tim Cappello is the real Sexy Sax Man

Tim Cappello still believes …. Photo by Steve Dolinsky.

For decades, Tim Cappello served as a sideman and multi-instrumentalist sharing stages, recording, and acting with a laundry list of celebrities, including Tina Turner, Ringo Starr, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan, Billy Crystal, Carly Simon, Gregory Hines, and more. He studied at the New England Conservatory of Music with renowned improv jazz pianist and instructor Lennie Tristano. His early ’80s shock-rock band the Ken Dolls were banned from playing Manhattan’s famed CBGB punk dive due to the softcore porno flicks he created to accompany their live shows.

Cappello’s life and musical career are the stuff of legend, yet everything he’s accomplished pales in comparison to the notoriety he gained from the mere 12 seconds of screen time that he landed in director Joel Schumacher’s 1987 teen-angst vampire classic The Lost Boys. With his pro-wrestler physique, wailing saxophone and a pelvic thrust that registers on the Richter scale, Cappello is a pop culture icon known to most as the real Sexy Sax Man.

Since releasing his 2018 debut CD, Blood on the Reed, Cappello has been touring the country as a one-man act. At 64 years old, it’s his first real endeavor taking the stage as the star of the show. Along the way, he’s encountered an overwhelming response from audiences, surpassing anything he could have possibly anticipated.

“No one seemed to care about me when I was their age,” Cappello says. “Then, no one gave a shit about me when I was their father’s age. But now that I’m their grandfather’s age, I’m meeting all of these young people that have tattoos of me,” he laughs. “Since I’ve been out on the road, I must have met 150 people who have a tattoo of me on their bodies.” Continue reading at Flagpole.

Classic City Wax compilation captures a moment in Athens hip-hop

One of the more popular numbers from Athens rapper Squalle’s repertoire is a song called “Til We Fall.” For the artist born Torrance Wilcher, and raised in the Rolling Ridge and Pauldoe neighborhoods, the song is a hardcore statement of purpose.

“I’ve been on my mission from my birth,” Squalle rhymes. “My ambition I would like to give to the Earth/ And since you’re Mother Earth, you can share it with the world/ I wanna be the truth that our boys and our girls see/ I learned I was created from the dirt, so I gotta show these trees where they started from first.”

Squalle’s words are a community rallying cry—a decree to set an example by always remembering where you came from and never forgetting where you want to go. “Til We Fall” is one of 12 songs featured on a new compilation LP titled Classic City Wax, Vol. 1. The record is a survey of Athens’ brightest hip-hop artists, from Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Linqua Franqa to rising artists LG, Motorhead 2x, Son Zoo, LB, Kxng Blanco, DK, Cassie Chantel, The YOD, Caulfield and elder statesman Ishues. Continue reading at Flagpole Magazine.

Oh-OK, Love Tractor feature story in Flagpole Magazine

Oh-OK photo by Mike White

Love Tractor and Oh-OK are two bands inextricably linked by time and space—meaning, of course, that they both played hands-on roles in shaping Athens’ hallowed alternative rock scene at the dawn of the 1980s. Both groups shared practice spaces and stages and even brandished the mark of Atlanta’s DB Recs alongside the B-52s, Pylon and the Method Actors. But despite coming of age amid the same college town music scene, stylistically speaking, their sounds could not be more disparate.

Read the full feature story in this week’s edition of Flagpole Magazine.

‘Flagpole’ feature: Magnapop comes full circle with sixth LP

Magnapop photo courtesy Crashing Through Publicity.

Speaking over the phone, Magnapop’s Linda Hopper and Ruthie Morris sound remarkably crisp for our 9 a.m. interview. Oh yeah—they’re in South Holland, a full six hours ahead of Georgia time, waiting to soundcheck before the evening’s show at Bergen op Zoom’s famed music venue Popmonument.

Magnapop is in Europe playing shows and preparing for the arrival of the group’s sixth album, The Circle Is Round, out Sept. 27 via Athens’ HHBTM Records. Belgium, Holland and the rest of the Benelux region have been Magnapop’s home away from home since the early 1990s, when Hopper passed the group’s Michael Stipe-produced demo tape along to a pair of Dutch journalists at a New Music Seminar.

“None of us are good networkers,” Hopper says. “I had two tapes with me. I gave one to someone’s dad and the other to these two guys. After that, we started selling out shows over here, which is really kind of miraculous.” Read the full story at Flagpole.

‘Flagpole’ feature: First Tuesday connects homegrown Athens, Atlanta hip-hop

john.AVERAGE photo by Deseri Rice.

Tuesdays have always been hip-hop nights for Athens—at least where Montu Miller is concerned.

Miller is the COO leading the charge for local promotions company AthFactor Entertainment. Alongside DJ Chief Rocka, he hosts the First Tuesday hip-hop series at The World Famous. First Tuesday was built on a foundation Miller started circa 2005, when he launched Tasty Tuesdays at Tasty World. Over the years, the event has bounced around downtown venues such as Caledonia Lounge and Live Wire, until settling into its current digs at The World Famous. In September, organizers will celebrate the monthly gathering’s third anniversary there.

The aim for First Tuesday has always been to facilitate Athens’ hip-hop scene with an event that fosters creativity by strengthening the community through networking and friendly competition.

“For years, we’ve invited out artists from the Eastside, the Westside, the Stonehenge community—bringing everybody together, so we have a more cohesive scene,” Miller says. “There really is just one community with a few little satellites and branches, but it’s all moving together as one at this point.” Read the full story at Flagpole.

Tav Falco’s Panther Burns celebrate 40 years of howling at imperialism — Flagpole feature

Tav Falco photo by Peter Lee.

To the best of his recollection, it was sometime in the early 1980s when Tav Falco last tried to play a show in Athens. His band Panther Burns was a young, Memphis, TN-based rockabilly outfit, born in a cotton loft on the Mississippi River in 1979. In the beginning, Falco boasted little musical skill or experience, aside from chainsawing a guitar into pieces during an act of performance art. Yet he paired up with guitarist Alex Chilton of Big Star to create an “art-damaged” balance of their respective abilities.

Over the ensuing four decades, the Arkansas-born auteur’s career has flourished. On songs such as “Brazil” from 1981’s Behind the Magnolia Curtain LP, or his cover of “Strange Fruit” on 2018’s Cabaret of Daggers, Falco has mastered a singularly primitive motif. Blues rhythms carry his less-than-pitch-perfect singing, creating an off-center momentum in which songs feel as though they could fall apart at any moment. But he always keeps them together, creating a marvelous tension—at least when the group is allowed to play.

That fateful trip to Athens began when Falco and Chilton, along with original drummer Ross Johnson and bass player Rene Coman, piled into a ’64 Thunderbird and set out for a three-night run of shows in Nashville, Athens and Atlanta. The group hadn’t made it an hour outside of Memphis when Johnson “got scared” and turned the car around. When the rest of the band made it to Nashville, they recruited a “drunken hillbilly” named Alvin to play drums. Read the full story at Flagpole.

‘Flagpole’ feature: With New Album, Andrew Blooms finds balance in music and life

Andrew Blooms photo by Savannah Shaw.

Faith, spirituality and finding room for intellectual growth while parsing out a non-secular push-and-pull have long served as rich fodder for many an introspective songwriter. From country music’s enduring man in black, Johnny Cash, to indie rock stalwart David Bazan, the struggle has always been real—fertile ground for harvesting lyrical poetry that hangs in a balance of tension and resolve.

For Athens songwriter and producer Andrew Blooms, born Andrew Huang, this internal struggle remains steeped in quiet imagery and personal metaphors, ever present but never spelled out completely in songs such as “Humility,” “My Time Will Come” and the title track from Blooms’ debut full-length LP, Never a Waste, whose release he will celebrate with a show at the Georgia Theatre Dec. 3. Still, sweetness and innocence guide the billowing atmosphere and non-linear narratives that lie at the core of Blooms’ songs. Read the full story at Flagpole.