Roman Warmke joins Adam and Dan for this week’s column. Enjoy…..
Former Athens Music Scene columnist Roman Warmke enters the illustrious A.M.S. institute, cigarette dangling from his unwashed mouth, wielding some kind of weapon that, from a distance, looks like a banana with chocolate pudding smeared on the end.
"Alright! Nobody move! I’m hijacking this here column and I don’t want to hear any crap about it….. got it?! You new breed of music writers with your hip hop slang and your "thunderbrooms", scoot over now, and let me show you how we did it in the old days. Dan, you stick around though , I may need your help on this here computer, Adam, I guess you can stay too considering you are a bass player, but Matt, baby, you gotta’ go (Matt’s sick.).
Greetings Athenians, and welcome to another fast paced edition of the Athens Music Scene, dollar for dollar the finest tour guide to the weeks musical events. This week marks one of the last good music weekends before Spring Break, with a mass exodus of college students to Florida, the same state that brought us such wonders as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the handgun. Enjoy!
Tonight the Union busts out the extra-large britches for a melodic and heavy four-band bill. All of tonight’s acts are in the emo-core vein. (Read: emotional hardcore, e.g. Fugazi) Headliners Local Arm and newcomers Soon as Possible are both local. Soon as Possible highlights an Athens-rare female lead singer. The first half of the night features Athens/Columbus compu-hybrids Artificial Intelligence and a short set by a guy named Eric from Elixir.
If you’re into random rhythms and concise methodical cadence tonight, the Smiling Skull invites you (and your drum!) to come on down to their wacky night of drumming experimentation.
Also tonight, at the Swindlefish Saloon, Peach Melba performs their last Athens show of the quarter. Brad from Melba describes their sound as "free form, jam…I guess…." Their influences range from Blues to Jazz - essentially anything improvised. Melba has been playing around Ohio and the Tri State area all quarter long in preparation for their self-produced LP, "From the Frozen Rosebud Emporium", due out in May. Opening up the show will be Cassius Clay.
The band Freebass will be appearing at Mama Einstein’s on Friday, with Bloomington natives turned Cincinnati boys, Homunculus. Now in our humble opinion, Homunculus is the best band who’s come through these parts since Zeppelin played the Convo in ‘72. Seriously folks, original music that instantly hits the ears with a familiar, comfortable, yet challenging ring. A lot of folks refer to Phish when hearing them, but that just sells them short. Their musical creativity is bar none, and their haunting vocal harmonies never fail to wake Roman up in the middle of the night screaming…"Homunculus is Sulucnumoh spelled backwards!" Freebass is weird, with the physical appearance that belongs in a 1980’s loverboy video, (you know, leather pants and all), but Freebass, (also the name of the bassist from Shag, who fronts this band), wails on the bass and formulates strong funk lines and a groove alliance with his drummer, that helps distract from the guitarist licking his guitar neck during his solo’s.
Night Court will try to top last week's unbelievably entertaining Book of Three show as they invite The Uptown Funk All - Stars out this Friday night. The All Stars will be playing for the second week in a row and in general, have been all over this town the last few months. We heard a few of the guys joined TV Yellow last week for a surprise guest appearance. Check them out this week by themselves.
Stella returns to O’Hooley’s Pub Friday for a night of twangy covers and inspired originals. This band is tight and features the Wingnut’s drummer, Mark Hellenberg, who helps to create a really good feel, and Miss Laura Nadeau, who’s voice always gives Roman shivers. Or maybe that was the acid, he’s not sure.
Two doors down at the Union, former members of Braniac and Skeleton Key unite for a night of Enon (none backwards?!?) Enon is a three-piece fresh out of NYC on the road for their first tour. They sneak at least a few samples to keep you on your hoofs… er… toes. Former Athenian sensations Orchestraville play first with The Cranium sandwiched in-between for good measure. Orchestraville’s creative songwriting and quirky riffs suck from an otherworldly acoustic palette. Drool drool drool. Bring your towel for this one.
Saturday’s lineup at the Union Bar and Grille calls both venerable and new-sprung bands to the stage. ADR is still hitting hard even after several lineup changes. The Indoorsmen feature the songs, voice, and guitar of former ADRer Pat Brown. Word from the dark alley is that they’re L O U D ! First up is The Giddy-up Jesus, a band we music police have yet to catch in the act. (We know where you live!) The Jesus invokes a slew of fun instruments and promises a jolly if not idiosyncratic show.
Bodacious brings bold and brazen bluegrass inspired vibrations to the Smiling Skull Saloon Saturday night. Adam and Dan saw their acoustic set a few weeks ago but missed their edgier electric cuts. Don’t fall victim to the same fate! (or do!)
Red Wanting Blue, one of the hardest working bands in showbiz, will play again at the Swindlefish this Saturday. Their last show a few weeks ago with Homunculus got rave reviews - we don't expect anything less from these local veterans. Warming it up for RWB crew will be Fallout Shelter.
Mama Einstein's will host a benefit show for Habitat for Humanity. This show's line up is more exciting than the opening of Al Copone’s vault (or that whole clear beverage craze back in the early 90’s)! The showcase will feature stellar acts such as jammy prog rock gods Guest, young funky and soulful new comers Left Coast Beverage, groovy Walk About Groove, and alternative rock cover wonders Short Tail Dog. This is the second Habitat for Humanity benefit of the year and the last one was a really good time. So everyone go out and support Jimmy Carter's favorite charity program and Ronald Reagan's favorite local bands!
The Flatlanders, formerly known as the Jughuffers, (or more specifically, the Athens County Cornlicker Jughuffers), the local band known for hogging all the cool band names, will perform at Mama Einstiens on Sunday. "Rabble rousing debocherously dangerous bluegrass country tongue in cheek hillbilly assault music" is Roman’s pot shot. Fiddles and banjo’s and such form to create a drumless band of wonderment.
Sunday, The Front Room opens a new can of OpenMic brand airfreshener (and/or whup-ass.) This time, this new monthly event showcases the likes of Patti Waltz, Paul Tescher, Jerry Rockwell, The Flatlanders, and Jeff Henry.
Rest of the Week
This Wednesday is St. Patricks Day! Of course you need to run up to O'hooleys where the liquor is strong and the micro is green. O'hooleys will have live traditional Irish music as played by local musicians from Athens and Columbus. We have heard marvelous stories about the fun this event has produced in the past so make sure you stop by - if even for a bit.
And that should wrap things up for yet another week at the A.M.S. Institute. I must admit it was educational to see the technological advances you’ve acquired in the short time I’ve been gone. Internet relays, conference headsets that act as telephones, interns that don’t look like Monica,…….. you know, back in my day, why, I wrote this column on a broken down typewriter, in the back of a pick up truck, then I had to walk ten miles up hill in the snow just to………………………………………….. oh forget it.
Submitted crawling out from the journalistic grave.