‘Creature’s Surfin’ Shindig’ in Flagpole

My review of Missing Fink RecordsCreature’s Surfin Shindig compilation LP is in this week’s Flagpole Magazine. It’s the culmination of the landlocked Augusta, GA label’s dedication to probing the outer limits of where rockabilly, punk and surf sounds collide with sci-fi cinema and monster movies from the 1950s.

There’s a ton of great stuff on this comp. Didi Wray, Fred Schneider and the Superions, Messer Chups, and more. Check it out at Flagpole!

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.

Larry Ochs-Aram Shelton Quartet’s ‘Continental Drift’ to benefit Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight


Friday, August 7—Tenor and sopranino saxophone composer and improviser Larry Ochs and Aram Shelton have joined forces to release a new collaborative offering, titled Continental Drift (Clean Feed). For this release, Ochs, a Bay Area artist who’s been breaking new musical ground since the 1970s with Rova Saxophone Quartet, and Chicago-based composer and alto saxophonist Shelton go track for track leading drummer Kjell Nordeson and bass players Mark Dresser and Scott Walton—Nordeson plays on tracks 1-3 and 5-7, and Dresser hits on 4 and 8—through an undulating terrain of sax solos and drawn-out of rhythmic bouts, channeling tension, anxiety, and elation into a swirl of worldly skronk and nuanced free jazz.

Over the next 24 hours, Bandcamp is waiving fees, giving 100% of the day’s proceeds to the artists. Until midnight Pacific Time Ochs is donating all proceeds from Continental Drift’s Bandcamp sales to Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight campaign to combat voter suppression.

As Ochs says in an email, “Everyone has the right to vote. And this time around everyone should be encouraged to do just that. The protests will be for naught if Moscow Mitch is still running the Senate in 2021.”

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: 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.

‘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.