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  • Posted in News on 10-16-2015

By Maxime Tamsett

International News Chair

The U.S have decided to use airstrikes, both from drones and manned airplanes alike, to combat terrorist organizations throughout the Middle-East. This approach has allowed the U.S to damage enemy installments while not having to commit boots on the ground. However, collateral damage is, arguably, the most significant drawback to such strikes, and has recently brought up questions about government responsibility of such strikes, and how NGO’s interact with governments.

One of the newest developments of such collateral damage comes from a recent U.S strike on a Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz, Iraq at the beginning of October, with 22 people dead and 37 injured.

Doctors without Borders, know as well as Medecins Sans Frontiers, is a French based NGO that that helps civilians that require medical assistance throughout the world, especially in poverty and war stricken countries. Having such a global presence, MSF shares its hospital locations or temporary installments to government officials in the host country.

Such a hospital was installed in Kunduz, a city found in northern Iraq. As of Monday, September 28th 2015, the Taliban attacked the city, one of the main attacks by the terrorist group throughout country that day. The Taliban claimed they had control of the city, and had been fighting the Iraqi military to hold the location. After a week passed, both sides were claiming control of the city, but fighting was still apparent. The hospital acted as a place of refuge and healing for the wounded. Then, on October 3rd, 2015, the U.S bombarded the MSF hospital.

As of recent, Obama has apologized for what happened, saying it was a “tragic accident”, and that they would conduct an object probe into the incident to find the truth of why such an accident occurred. U.S intelligence has claimed that they believed Taliban fighters were in the building, and bombarded it with fire from an AC-130 gunship. The barrage lasted for 30 minutes until the site remained in ruins. In response, the MSF have demanded an independent investigation into what they call “a war crime against humanity.”

I believe, perhaps naively, that this investigation will develop and we will find out what happened in the near future. However, the main reason I bring up this particular story is because of the questions it raises about both the relations between governments and NGOs, as well as the consequences of the bombardment/drone strike as an approach to counter-terrorism. In recent times, we’ve realized nongovernmental, as well as multinational corporations of all kinds, have tried to fill in the gaps where governments fall short. Yet in the case of Kunduz, we see what happens when an NGO is caught in crossfire. We have also become aware of the collateral damage of said strikes. Therefore, here are some questions I wish to bring to the table:

  • Consequences of Bombardment: Are bombardment and drone strikes the most efficient way of counter-terrorism? Will big governments have to answer to the their mistakes, even when it is not attacking another country? Who will mediate such investigations or make the verdict, let alone the punishment of states that try to feign responsibility?
  • NGO influence in the future: To what extent will NGOs take on where governments can’t? Will their extent of participation differ between more and less economically developed countries? Finally, how much will governments rely on NGOs, and will governments see NGOs as a threat to sovereignty?

Although I may not have the answers to these questions, I hope these questions make you consider the growing importance of NGOs and their interactions with governments. I also believe it should be considered how the U.S, and much of the western world, implements counter terrorism and the extent of the human cost of such endeavors. These events may be happening halfway across the globe, but it’s important to realize their significance, as well as their far-reaching effects.


Some information from this article was drawn from the following articles:

“The night the hospital in Kunduz became a U.S. military target” by Shashank Bengali and Ali M. Latifi



“Obama apologizes to MSF and Afghans for Kunduz strike”



Jeffrey Lewis returns with his famous narrative, monotone vocal inflection that meanders through soft instrumentals with wordy, vivid passages that play out like a diary of sorts. Lewis details the routine of life from the mundane, like watching skateboarders in his hometown Manhattan, to the intense, like his battle with his past in “Screaming Old Man”, where he wrestles with the fear of growing up unaccomplished and unhappy, or otherwise not realizing his full potential. This theme of self-deprecating introspection runs parallel to his classic storytelling, giving the album a brilliant sense of being immersed in Lewis’s mind as he undergoes such events. Jeffrey busts out with his storytelling talent primarily on the opener “Scowling Crackhead Ian”, offering us a character profile for his schoolmate Ian in painstaking detail, so much so that the listener becomes empathetic with Ian despite his criminal misdoings. It’s a gripping, speculative point of view that questions what makes someone “bad”, and how much of it is actually their fault, from a very human, subjective perspective that engages the listener with its ambiguity and challenges the schema for morality. “Manhattan” takes a more narrative, objective approach to the stories, reminiscing on a walk to Brooklyn with his girlfriend, who he’s seemingly on the rocks with, that places you in its shoes with a lengthy duration and meticulous detail of graffiti, people, and the sun. The track is mostly descriptive, until Lewis’s perspective creeps in with incremental details of his relationship status(“But now you’re mostly quiet, so I guess I’m done talking”, followed by “here come some joggers”), wedged in between this collage of scenery, making for an immersive listening experience that takes multiple listens to lay out and pull apart, but well-rewarded with an emotional, relatable sense of awkwardness.

Though not every track is so dense and substantial that they become exceedingly weighty; Lewis is conscious enough to flavor these with a relatable deadpan humor, like on the track “Support Tours” that marvels at the trials of being an underground musician, groaning that he’d “hate to leave his home for a tour with crummy pay, but if you get asked what are you really gonna say?” This is just one highlight of Jeffrey’s poker-faced malaise, and even at times the sense that he laughs carelessly at his misfortunes. Instrumentally this album is a much more rock-oriented direction than past Lewis records, and while generally denser still remains a folk-inspired steady backing to emphasize the lyricism. There are a lot of low-mixed keyboard melodies, simple drum patterns, and guitar strings that waver erratically with a twee-inspired melisma in a more indie rock tonality. Though these guitars aren’t unadventurous, showcasing concise, comfortable licks and nicely bent notes that any Mac Demarco fan could get into. And on the closer “The Pigeon” they even grow into a distorted solo that sounds like something Lou Reed would’ve strung out with Velvet Underground in the 60’s, and it makes for a great finish.

Manhattan is a tastefully self-aware collection of indie rock-borrowed anti-folk tracks that cultivate a vivid description of Lewis himself in a portrayal that everyone can see at least a little of themselves in. He paints pictures in an obscured black-and-white to which he fills in the colors of his choosing, and through it offers his own perspective while simultaneously allowing for the listener’s own to be interpreted. If you are a fan of wordy, introspective folk music with a comfortable instrumental timbre and affinity for malaise-laden realism, Manhattan is an album you will enjoy digesting.

-Brian Pope

Bassnectar talks to WUOG’s Marshall Moore about a variety of topics, including his New Year’s Eve show in Birmingham, his favorite snack, and which Always Sunny in Philadelphia character he would elect for president.

Joanna Newsom – Divers


Divers is the fourth studio album from singer/songwriter and harpist Joanna Newsom. Newsom’s previous album Have One on Me was a 2 hour-long feast and, comparatively, Divers is a much more easily digestible batch of songs. The instrumentation is a lush exhibit of baroque and folk sounds and the arrangements are exceedingly complex. Newsom’s voice remains a polarizing force, and she seems to rarely take a breath as she chirps lyrics of tremendous imagery and power. One highlight on this album is “Sapokanikan,” which references a former Native American settlement in the location of current Greenwich Village. The song seems to rarely repeat a melody, but many of them are infectious enough to burrow their way into your brain nonetheless. Another standout track is the title track, which starts off with an incredibly moving harp section that seems to spiral downwards and soon builds into a piano driven orchestra of a song. Divers is sure to be one of the best albums of the year.

-Alexander Kimball

Neon Indian – Vega Intl.Night School

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Chillwave connoisseur Neon Indian moves into groovier territory with his third album, Fly International Night School, drawing on the synthesizer patterns and song structures of synthpop and the bass-heavy grooves of p-funk and nu-disco music to create an addictive collection of danceable songs regulated by interludes of synthesizer arrays of almost ambient quality that keep the record unpredictable and vibrant . Alan Polomo flavors his vocals with a watered-down murkiness similar to Unknown Mortal Orchestra that make the tone of these tracks almost psychedelic at times, while maintaining that catchy groove that could have anyone in the building on their feet. “Glitz Hive” is a highlight of this,  which dives straight in with a Funkadelic-inspired bass line and an 80’s vocal pattern that hops in and out, detailing a meeting with a girl in a club, which perfectly complements the jaunty tone of the track, and is cut with a clever ambient outro that cuts the sugariness of the chorus-based song form. This is a recurring theme that Polomo utilizes all over the record, giving us enough chorus to rave to while also offering meticulously crafted measures of dense synth melodies and distorted electric guitar phrases that bring a tasteful palette conducive to active listening. Fly International Night School uses this to appeal at all levels, and culminates into a boundary-pushing, cohesive listen that invigorates as much as it sedates. If you enjoy the density and vibrancy of Washed Out or the danceable choruses and sparkling keys of Passion Pit, this record will fit nicely in your library.

-Brian Pope

Computer Magic – Davos


If I was ever stuck in a space sci-fi film, I would want my scene to be set to Computer Magic. With dreamy vocals, danceable synths, and clean machine drums, Danz (aka Danielle Johnson), creates spacey synth-pop that sounds whimsical and airy. Computer Magic is wildly popular in Japan, and Davos, Danz’s first full length album after many EPs, keeps the unique and recognizable sounds of classic Computer Magic. Each track is masterfully layered, and her hypnotic coos over simple electronic beats create a noteworthy mix of songs. The opening track “Fuzz” is upbeat and danceable, “Be Fair” is full of catchy oos and ahhs, and “Chances” really features her bright vocals.

-Camilla Grayson

  • Posted in News on 11-6-2015

By Charlotte Fox Norsworthy

Monday News Show

What is money? Most would say currency or a means of purchasing something. It obviously holds value, right?

Not necessarily. Money alone is worthless. We instill the value it possesses. In our economy, we control its value. However, the definition of money is changing as decentralization of trust in traditional banks decreases.  The greatest contributors to a newly defined currency are brands like Starbucks and Nike.

Nike has set up vending machines that can only be used by those who wear their Nike Fuelband, a wearable fitness tracker. You rack up points and you can redeem them at the Nike FuelBox for stuff like hats, shirts and socks.

Starbucks has a similar deal set up –if you download their loyalty app, you can collect Stars that lead to discounts and straight up free coffee.

We, as millennials, are also in control. Generally speaking, there has been a major shift in perception of monetary value. Corporations beginning to use their brand to build currency is a concept that has already been widely accepted by this age bracket. A study conducted by Contagious last year found that 45% of 24 to 35-year-olds in the United States say that they would approve of the idea of traditional currencies being replaced altogether. Corporations see this huge proportion and use it to their advantage.

Maybe in the future we will be asked if we want whipped cream instead of cash-back.

More info on Contagioushttp://www.contagious.com

  • Posted in News on 11-4-2015

By Jason Kim

Wednesday News Show

This conflict is like a Chinese puzzle; it’s easy to learn about but impossible to solve. Simply, Israel wants to exist as a Jewish state, and the Palestinians want Israel not to exist as a Jewish state.

In 1947 when United Nations voted to divide Palestine in to Jewish and Arab states, the problem emerged as Israel became a Jewish state but all the Arab and Muslim countries did not and still do not accept the right of the Jewish state to exist. In 1948 and 1967, all the Arab states surrounding Israel attacked to destroy the Jewish state but Israel survived, took control of some of the Arabs’ land, and eventually held onto what is now called the West Band. Then the Famous Arabs Three NOs: No recognition No peace No negotiations with Israel.

In 1978, Israel gave back the Sinai Peninsula, which landmass is bigger than that of Israel itself, to Egypt for promise of peace. Israel offered the same deal to Palestinians. In 2000, Israel offered 95% of West Bank and all of Gaza in return for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and promise to live in peace, but Palestinian leadership rejected the offer and terrorist activities continued.

It is pretty apparent that one side wants death of the other side and one side wants peace but with recognition. I cannot justify for the actions of both sides. Both sides have implemented fear, torture, murder, and pain to many innocent people emotionally and physically. This somewhat religious conflict for land caused too much sorrow to people around the world. The conflict is not difficult to understand, but too complicated to solve. How can you help to bring the end to this?

For many years, many people has probably read or watched something about Israeli and Palestinian conflict, but only few might know why they are fighting. Because I felt as that WUOG’s Athens Journal or any other news reports will be covering this conflict for many more years to come, I thought it would be appropriate to have a short and simple summary. I just wanted to say that I am not in favor of any side. I hope for peace and safety for all children and people.


Some Information for this article was drawn from:

“Netanyahu: Hitler Didn’t Want to Destroy the Jews”


“Joseph’s Tomb site set ablaze amid wave of Palestinian-Israeli violence”


  • Posted in Music on 11-2-2015


Young the Giant took the stage for their Halloween show and second night in at Georgia Theatre on Saturday night. Earlier in the week, the band announced a contest for fans to submit costumes in order to go on stage for the last song. Due to this, the band was no exception to the Athens’s Halloween hype; they ran on stage dressed in “Tune Squad” uniforms, only after each band member was introduced with a Space Jam persona. The exhilaration felt throughout Georgia Theatre from that moment stayed with the fans until the final song.


Following their grand entrances, Young the Giant opened the show with “Day Dreamer,” a track off their second album “Mind Over Matter.” It seemed as if everyone in Georgia Theatre had come alive to the music, with fans’ voices almost covering lead singer Sameer Gadhia’s vocals. It was obvious that all of the fans packed in the sold out venue had been waiting for the show ever since it was rescheduled from its original date last winter. Young the Giant continued on through their set playing an equal amount of songs from their two albums, bringing out old fan favorites like “I Got” and “Guns Out.” After a speech about the bands roots, they played “Cough Syrup,” the song that took them to the big leagues in music. Looking around the theatre, anyone could see the electric energy of all of the fans and how they all felt a connection to the lyrics that Young the Giant preached. Later, Young the Giant covered R. Kelly’s “Ignition.” Before the show, fans had been speculating whether they would cover it, as it has come to be one of their most popular covers amongst fans. Several songs later, Young the Giant played one of their most recent singles, “Mind Over Matter” with the vocal accompaniment of every person in the venue. The band left the stage and for a solid five minutes, Georgia Theatre chanting and cheers rung throughout at full volume. Clad in more strange costume accessories, Young the Giant played four more songs. Of the four, one of them was R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly,” which they followed with a story of playing alongside R. Kelly at a festival in the UK as a young band. They closed out the show with three songs of their first album, finishing with one of their most popular songs, “My Body.”


While Young the Giant was on stage for one and a half hours, there was not a dull moment. From fake interviewing a member of the opener dressed as Ziggy Stardust to all of the members’ strange dance moves, Young the Giant constantly kept the crowd thrilled and reciprocated the fans’ excitement. If anything, I’m more excited than ever for their third album and I can’t wait to see Young the Giant again.


-Tori Benes

  • Posted in News on 10-19-2015

By Alex Vanden Heuvel

Campus News Chair

In the United States we have an outrageously low voter turnout compared to other Western democracies; which bothers me for some weird reason because I feel like it’s a sign that our government does not have the mandate of the people and is fundamentally flawed as a result. I certainly would not advocate a complete overturning of our system because that would be unrealistic, but I have 3 realistic potential remedies here in order of ease of implementation that I think you should support. In a perfect world, I have a lot more complex reforms I would like to see but these 3 are the ones that are simple, non-partisan, and have a significant chance of happening.

  1. Make Election Day a paid holiday.


Part of the turnout problem is rooted in the fact that a lot of people can’t afford to not work on a weekday or don’t have enough time between the end of work and when polls close because everyone goes to the voting station after work. It can’t be on a Saturday or Sunday either because of various religious obligations. A lot of states have a law mandating that employers to give time off to vote but often it is not enough time or unpaid. So the only solution is to finally catch up with a lot of other countries throughout the world and make Election Day a holiday so people can afford to vote.

  1.     Make voter registration automatic with citizenship.

Another barrier that people have when it comes to voting is keeping up to date with voter registration laws and deadlines. People who move around a lot, senior citizens, and youth often struggle to keep registered as well. It would solve a lot of the conflict regarding the identification required to vote and who can vote if every citizen is kept on a national roll.

  1. Give the power of redistricting to a non-partisan and 3rd part organization.

Both parties would resist this because it takes away a base of their power, but we could end gerrymandering in America but doing this. The unbiased organization would draw congressional districts in basic, proportional shapes that meet the population criteria instead of the current system where the party in control of a state create oddly shaped districts to serve political purposes. This would increase voter turnout in state and congressional election because localo government and representative seats would actually be competitive instead of dominated by a single party as often.


  • Posted in Music on 10-15-2015


Tuesday night, Smallpools took the stage at 40 Watt and put on a performance filled with energy and passion, making it one of the best concerts I’ve seen in Athens so far.

As soon as they took the stage to “The Four Seasons”, 40 Watt was filled with an electric energy as the lead singer, Sean Scanlon, conducted the crowd while the rest of the band gradually added instrumentals to turn Vivaldi’s classic into a jamming tune. The exhilaration created by their intro continued throughout the show with the band’s banter with the crowd, explanations of songs, usage of fun props, and just rocking vibes.

Smallpools started out with the track “Over and Over,” a song from the band’s first release and self-titled EP. Definitely a crowd favorite, “Over and Over” got the entire crowd singing along and dancing. The excitement continued when they brought out a xylophone and glowing mallets for the instrumental introduction of “Mason Jar.” Several songs later, after a rad drum solo functioning as a break for the other band members, Smallpools sang their song “Karaoke” to the instrumentals of The Killers’ “Human.” Smallpools did another live mashup of “Lean On” with “Lean on Me,” complete with an iPad campfire and all acoustic instruments, including an acoustic bass. Later on, Scanlon disappeared from the stage, only to appear at the back of the crowd to walk through and dance with all of the fans in 40 Watt to “Lovetap!” Returning for their encore, Smallpools threw blow-up whales into the crowd to perform one of their singles “Killer Whales.” Of course for their last song of the night, they played their hit “Dreaming.”

Overall, Sean Scanlon, Mike Kamerman, Joe Intile, and Beau Kuther of Smallpools put on a show of wonderful music with an incredible stage presence. They even came out into the venue afterwards to meet their more enthusiastic fans. Everyone in the venue was smiling and dancing the entire show, really showing the positive power of music. Based off last night’s performance, it’s safe to say that Smallpools will be welcomed back as “A Real Hero” the next time they play a show in Athens.

By Tori Benes


  • Posted in Music on 10-12-2015

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Friday night, WAVVES sauntered on stage of the 40 Watt Club for a performance that left me conflicted. The good, the bad and the ugly came in wavves (get it?).

For starters, the crowd was bouncing off the walls before WAVVES was even close to hitting the stage. Mosh pits ensued when a sound tech was checking the microphones, and I knew it was going to be a wild set. However, the most exciting part about the performance was the crowd’s constant energy. It vibrated across the whole club and was able to ignite even the bartenders on their most popular songs. While I was able to enjoy their most famous tracks, “Way Too Much“, “Heavy Metal Detox“, and thier closer,  “Green Eyes“, the members of WAVVES never seemed excited to be in Athens. They rarely ever interacted- let alone connected – with the audience. There was a weird disconnect between the raving, crowd surfing, song chanting audience and the band (see low quality picture above).

Overall, the performance felt more like the crew was following a set list than truly enjoying the rock club atmosphere and rad music scene that Athens is never short on.

I know that if I had a crowd screaming my songs in full and overpowering my amps, I would be reciprocating that loyalty. However, the bassist, Stevie Pope, managed to snap a bass string after a hardcore performance of “Heavy Metal Detox”, claiming that it was his “first broken string in the six years he has been playing withWAVVES”. So maybe, chilled performances are just the band’s vibe, and in fact, this performance was the most hyped the band has gotten. Nonetheless, we came for a concert and left with busted ear drums. Check and mate.

If you enjoy a slightly mellowed version of Blink 182 and Weezer, I would definitely check out their new album,V, featuring “Way Too Much” and “Heavy Metal Detox“.


Rock on.

-Charlotte Norsworthy

  • Posted in Music on 10-7-2015

I made a last minute decision to go the Mountain Goats concert this Monday with a group of friends and a twin brother who were way bigger fans of the Mountain Goats, were all members of WUOG, and could talk endlessly about how great the Mountain Goats are. Some of them even have John Darnielle’s words inked on their skin.  I still love the Mountain Goats; they’re one of my favorite bands, but the music of John Darnielle inspires a rabid fandom that few groups can match or even dream of. This show proves why. The audience was incredible, one of the liveliest I’ve ever witnessed and Darnielle fed off the crowd’s exuberance; and he was maybe a little drunk which may explain why he was exceptionally personable. Between each track he went at great lengths to tell the story behind his songs, most of them anecdotes about pro-wrestlers and pro-wrestling terms—the main thematic content from his newest album, Beat the Champ—and encouraged us to follow pro-wrestling if only for the sake of understanding the band’s past and future catalogue.

The Mountain Goats were thrilled at the crowd’s enthusiasm for their new record and some other tracks ranging from Coroners Gambit to All Hail West Texas, Tallahassee, Sunset Tree, All Eternals Deck, and Transcendental Youth. The band played both Spent Gladiator 1 & 2, which like many Mountain Goats songs temper life-affirming optimism with the dark and desperate feelings that invades us.  John Darnielle has always written music for people on the fringes, forgotten heroes, and those who deviate in any remote way from the accepted normal standards of American life, but in doing so he reminds how universal it is to feel weird, and lonely American life can be.  By the end of the night everyone proudly yelled “Hail Satan” alongside John and Jeff and Cyrus and reminded us that the characters in “Best Death Metal Band in Denton” will always receive the warmest welcome in Athens.


By Tom Jurgens

  • Posted in Music on 10-7-2015



On a rather rainy and gross evening in Atlanta, I sought shelter at the historic Tabernacle. The venue alone is worth it. Dingy, stuffy, and chandelier- dazzling. “Standing Room Only” is the only way to do a concert if you ask me, and this one was no different. Ed Roland, lead singer of Collective Soul enters the stage strumming away at his acoustic as the rest of his equally talented crew joins him for a nostalgic yet vibrant performance.

The Atlanta based  band played the classics such as “December“, “Shine” , “The World I Know“, and “Run” while also debuting insta-hits from their newest album that just dropped on the 2nd, “See What You Started by Continuing“. Some of my favorites were “Hurricane” and “AYTA (Are You The Answer)”. The band incorporates their classic rock instrumentals into their new tunes while also implementing a new flare. Where some bands attempting to make a come-back decide to completely alter their sound, Collective Soul remains true to who they are both in their sound and their roots.

Even years later, Roland, 52,  is still owning the stage with his scissor kicks and microphone stand tricks. Brother and guitarist Dean supported lead guitarist Jesse Triplett’s flawless solos. Original bassist  Will Turpin took the platform next to drummer Johnny Rabb as they all exchanged inside jokes with their eyes. The band had several instances that demonstrated their brotherly love, which will be needed for this long U.S. tour they have ahead of them. Collective Soul electrified and touched the audience with a not-so-subtle reminder of how rock and roll should be.

If you dig classic rock, I strongly recommend you check out their new album, “See What You Started by Continuing“, out NOW!

Rock on.


By Charlotte Norsworthy

  • Posted in News on 10-5-2015

by Thomas Long

National News / Economic Correspondent

Stock markets all over the world have not been doing well over the past few months. The DOW is down 12% from its highs, and many economies around the world are suffering. Can this, like the 2008 financial crisis, be attributed to “Capitalism” or the “free market” or laissez-faire economics? Many may say that yes, but this is an irrational viewpoint. No country, not even the US, has a free market that is devoid of extreme regulation and interventionism. This financial meltdown is caused by central banking and by Keynesianism. Keynes believed that government taxation and intervention into the economy was beneficial for the country as a whole. This idea is used by every government in almost every country across the world. The US now has the largest government the world has ever seen, and it intervenes in the economy more than ever before.

The Federal Reserve has created a stock market and demand bubble. The Federal Reserve prints money and artificially stimulates demand in the economy. This is like snorting cocaine. It is great for a very short period of time, but it is horrible for the long-term health and growth of the economy. The Federal Reserve has also kept interest rates at basically 0%, which, again, causes artificially high levels of demand and investing. These two things create a bubble in the economy itself. The State and the Federal Reserve have also done a lot to herd money into the stock market. If money is not put into the stock market, through a 401K or another retirement program, it is taxed by the State. This, of course, triggers people to herd their money into the markets for a higher return without doing any research. The Federal Reserve itself buys futures contracts that push the markets up, and this is all done through debt.

The US government has a monopoly over the money supply, gives corporate bailouts and subsidies, sets wages, regulates heavily, and redistributes wealth by force. The 2008 financial crisis and the present bubble in the economy were not caused by freedom. This was caused by Keynesianism and by the irrational idea that government is competent and that this entity should control and economy.

What’s new on WUOG? An ambient angel, slacker storyteller and a buncha folk-punk fellas…

Julia Holter – Have You in My Wilderness


Listening to Julia Holter’s fourth album, Have You In My Wilderness, was one of the most pleasurable experiences I’ve ever known. From the very first song I was captured by the beauty of Julia Holter’s voice and the symphony that accompanied her singing.  Have You In My Wilderness can be defined by how intimate it makes you feel. Holter is telling a story through her music, and there is something that feels extremely personal and touching as a result. This is an album that you play at the end of the night when you’re reflecting on how great the party was and how glad you were that all your friends came. Julia Holter has created a chamber orchestra pop album that is slightly more accessible then her splendid past works. The production on the album is extraordinary, and the intricacies of the music, due to great production, continue to complement Holter’s voice. Some tracks that really stood out to me are “Feel You”, “Sea Calls Me Home”, and “Everytime Boots”. 

–Will Jurgens

Kurt Vile – b’lieve i’m goin down…


Kurt Vile opens b’lieve i’m goin down with a ballad of desolation, and how his self-awareness from past albums crumbles when he merely looks at his own reflection. Vile’s bleak thoughts are delivered through humorous lyrics, meant to be listened to at night after everyone else has gone to bed. His deadpan vocals and guitar picking allow the listener to drift along to his conversational musings. Vile’s growth comes in the instrumentation as he incorporates more piano and banjo into his songs. Recorded at Joshua Tree and even in Athens, Vile uses less reverb, making it a lot lighter, but his emotional intensity is still as strong as ever. Vile claims “Wheelhouse” is the best song he has ever written, but “Lost My Head There” and “Pretty Pimpin’” are close rivals.

-Camilla Grayson

Front Bottoms – Back on Top


Back on Top is the fifth album from the indie-punk band, The Front Bottoms. Although the Front Bottoms are no strangers to the music business, this album is their first after signing to Fueled By Ramen after years with the small, independent label, Bar/None Records. With this label change, has come a change in sound. While staying true to their history of raw and revealing lyrics on most tracks, The Front Bottom’s newest album has a cleaner, and at times, more generic sound than that of the past. The newest album features slower tempos and more electric guitar than on previous releases. While The Front Bottoms have definitely not been lost, the album at times shows a side of The Front Bottoms that is a little too saccharine. One of these saccharine instances is “HELP,” which turned out sounding too common and not personal enough to be a quality Front Bottoms track. “Laugh Till I Cry” and “West Virginia” are the golden connections that link Back On Top to the group’s past, saving the band from losing their distinct sound in the void of the competitive indie-rock world. They both feature instrumental diversity and The Front Bottoms’ signature chaotically eccentric sound. Furthering the transitions from one album to another, “Ginger” almost sounds like a B-side off of Talon of the Hawk, with extremely quirky lyrics and even some trumpet on the track. “Cough It Out” is slower and sweeter than most that the band releases. It features a snare beat and a little keyboard to push it forward, but lead singer Brian Sella’s profound lyrics are really what drives the song to a new, yet somewhat nostalgic mark of success. “Historic Cemetery,” buried deep in the middle of the track list, is another standout. “Historic Cemetery” is more somber than the rest of the tracks, with haunting lyrics, acoustic, guitar, and even some recorded conversation. These songs add complexity to The Front Bottoms, proving they are more than one-trick pony. While there are some glaring faults on Back On Top, that’s what The Front Bottoms are all about; making music for the sake of making music, not with the goal of perfection in mind. While The Front Bottoms may not be recording out of warehouses or friend’s basements at 2A.M. anymore, the passion and creativity from those days are still apparent.

–Tori Benes

Athens was taken over this past weekend with artists from near and far. Here are WUOG’s top picks from AthFest 2015.


Warehouse performs at the 40 Watt Saturday, June 27. Photo by Jonny Williams

Cult of Riggonia was pretty far out; all of the band members wearing robes and other sorts of costume. One of the vocalists had some sort of puppet around the microphone that he was speaking into. The instruments and electronics were used in a pretty experimental way, but the songs still had definite structure. I can’t say exactly what was happening because I’m not in the Cult of Riggonia myself, but it was pretty wild.

-Turner McCreight

Mothers continued to delight and evolve with their Friday night show at the Caledonia Lounge. With their new four-piece setup and Leschper’s ever-charming vocals, the bustling Friday night crowd was captivated both by an entertaining contrast of soft emotional moments and a Devo cover. It seems as the band grows, so does the depth of their performance.

-Trevor Adams

Muuy Biien performs at the Caledonia Lounge Friday, June 26. Photo by Andy Tabeling

Muuy Biien performs at the Caledonia Lounge Friday, June 26. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

Muuy Biien began their late Friday night set with a new song that was surprisingly slow and swampy compared to the group’s normal, lightning-fast post-punk, but they didn’t sound any less menacing. What followed was a roaring set that demonstrated the band’s power and command of an audience. Vocalist Joshua Evans remains one of the most powerful and energetic frontmen in the Athens scene, rarely standing still for more than a moment as the band flew through their set with minimal stops and maximum volume. The large crowd at the Caledonia on Friday night saw one the most impressive displays of musicianship of the weekend, as Muuy Biien now how to get energy and volume out of their instruments with a force that’s unrivaled in the Classic City.

-Andy Tabeling

Grand Vapids are a group I’m embarrassed to say I had never seen before Saturday. They got put on the backburner of my concert selection, and now that I’m kicking myself after seeing them perform at Dirty Athens, the Caledonia Lounge’s yearly day party, I can’t think of what that reason is. I had listened to a number of cuts from their album, Guarantees, and enjoyed what I heard, but the multi-dimensionality of Grand Vapids’ sound live was more enticing than their record could have suggested. On one hand, there’s the grittier, 90’s-esque rock sound that permeated the majority of the set, but it’s when the group decides to delve into it’s dreamier instrumentation that they really caught my ear. The latter isn’t quite shoegaze, but it flirts with the genre’s border in a way that makes the frequent transition between it and the more rugged tones work impressively. If you are unintentionally ignorant to this group’s live show like I once was, stop wasting your time and make sure you see these guys when you can.

-Jonny Williams

It has been a long time since anyone has seen a live show from Brothers, so Flicker was buzzing while waiting for the Of Montreal show right outside to end. It has been almost exactly a year since I last saw the group play, so I was curious to see what they had to offer. The sound was rocky at the beginning of the show, with a loose snare in particular killing the mood for the softer vibes of the newer tunes. There was also a confusing keyboard transition, which while backed by interesting cymbal work, made the whole segment seem disorganized. Switching back to a three-piece outfit to close out the show seemed to be more of a crowd-pleaser.

-Trevor Adams

I’m not going to pretend that I intended on seeing Savagist, a sentiment that seemed to be exclusive to me considering the nearly packed Caledonia Lounge was full of undoubtedly eager fans. It just so happened that there wasn’t another show happening at the time of their set. I liked many other bands on the venue’s ticket that evening, so I figured I would give these guys a shot. If you’re unfamiliar with them (as I was), you probably have an inclination of what Savagist sounds like based on their name — and you’re probably right. Savagist is intense, relentless and, most importantly, LOUD. (Seriously, earplugs are a must at their shows.) Don’t let the name fool you, however — this trio is musically solid in all of its members. When I wasn’t focused on surviving the kick drum’s attack on my heart rate, I was focused on trying to comprehend the technicality simultaneously displayed in the guitar, bass and drums. I blindly went into this show and almost left it deaf. It was awesome.

-Jonny Williams

Each member of LAZER/WULF (guitar, bass, drums) is amazingly skilled in their respective instrument. Just watching them actually play was hypnotic, and even though the sound structures are very complex (the group labels themselves as an experimental metal act), they were able to play with a stylish flashiness that really engaged the crowd. At one point the guitarist asked everyone to hold up their phone flashlights to light the stage while the lights in the Caledonia lounge were turned off. Everyone did it too- it was brighter than the stage lights were.

-Turner McCreight

The Powder Room isn’t a group I haven’t seen before, but it seems like every time I have seen them was at 1 in the morning and with a sparse crowd. This isn’t a diss, but I’m not usually the type to stay out too late for shows and the few Powder Room crowds I have been in weren’t representative of their local reach. So when I was able to them at 10pm with a healthy audience size, I took the opportunity. The performance was what you’ve come to expect from The Powder Room’s dark sound — sinister instrumentation with coarse vocals that you thought only a demon could produce. (This mental visual more than likely came about when the vocalist specifically requested the Caledonia Lounge’s red lights.) The songs’ tension had me scared for my life and my pulse aligned with the music. With music alone, The Powder Room had me terrified.

-Jonny Williams

Mind Brains seems to do a good job of combining a classic sort-of folk sound with synthesizers, electronic drum triggers, and some experimentation in song structure to create an enjoyable listen. The crowd wasn’t exactly high energy for this show, but everyone seemed pretty interested in watching the performance. My personal favorite part of these shows is watching the drummer playing the kit and the drummer playing the electronic trigger ads play together to get a pretty full percussive sound.

-Turner McCreight

When the 40 Watt’s on-stage sound man took away the microphone stand from Warehouse frontwoman Elaine Edenfield, I was confused. For every one of the group’s many performances that I’ve seen, Edenfield has planted herself behind the stand with hands locked behind her back and plainly delivered her dynamic vocals. It was a juxtaposition that was confusing, but not necessarily detracting from the show. At least, that’s what I thought at the time. While Edenfield was initially awkward and clunkily moved about the stage, her gradual progression into comfort significantly added life to the music produced by the group’s impressive instrumentalists. Edenfield wasn’t exactly parading around, but even just having her casually walk to and fro with mic in hand was a welcomed change in presentation. Musically, Warehouse delivered an invigorating set composed almost exclusively of new material. While I didn’t recognize a majority of the songs, they were a natural progression further into the bright post-punk sound that put Warehouse on the map in the first place. When combined with the Edenfield’s budding confidence in performing, it was probably the best Warehouse show I’ve ever seen. I realize I say that nearly every time I see them, but that’s just a testament to the trajectory of a group I still consider to be Georgia’s most promising up-and-coming band.

-Jonny Williams

Seeing DIP as the headliner on the 40 Watt marquee was a funny sight. Going into the late performance (they didn’t actually start until around 1:50am), I expected to be one of five or six people too exhausted to dance to the duo’s fervent boom diddy. Fortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong. While it wasn’t exactly a full 40 Watt, a sizeable audience giddily jumped around together to DIP’s signature sound. They played a well received collection of hits, including “Computer Chip Dip,” “Knock Knock Joke” and, of course, “Skinny Dip” to a collection of dipsters and enthusiastic first-time dippers. While it lacked the exuberant props normally a part of DIP’s live show, the group’s contagious energy and inclusion of Reptar member William Kennedy on vocal sound effects made this the perfect way to close out AthFest’s Saturday night.

-Jonny Williams

The Baseball Project performs on the Pulaski Street stage Sunday, June 28. Photo by Andy Tabeling

The Baseball Project performs on the Pulaski Street stage Sunday, June 28. Photo by Andy Tabeling

The Baseball Project is admittedly a pretty niche idea, but the rare opportunity to see R.E.M. members perform in Athens brought out even those who don’t enjoy America’s pastime to the Pulaski Stage on Sunday night. R.E.M. junkies were treated to a Bill Berry appearance and a performance of the classic “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville”, but baseball fans also enjoyed a lovely night of tunes about heroes like Jackie Robinson and villains like Alex Rodriguez. Even if you don’t know what sabermetrics is or can’t list the pitchers who’ve thrown perfect games, you could find fun in The Baseball Project’s great pop sound

-Andy Tabeling


Athens’ largest music and arts festival (and probably largest outdoor event besides football gamedays), AthFest, occurs this weekend. The beginning of this month saw the release of the first AthFest compilation album, containing a slew of new singles by favorite local artists. Much like the compilation, AthFest lays host to an assortment of musical acts with varying styles, popularity, degrees of commercial success and experience playing live. Outdoor shows from longtime local favorites such as Of Montreal, The Whigs, New Madrid and others are sure to draw in large crowds, along with a variety of shows from touring artists and up-and-coming big names such as Wrenn.

At the heart of AthFest, however, is the “club crawl.” About a dozen local venues play host to over 100+ bands. Personal highlights include Mind Brains, an electronic group that released their debut album earlier this year and have already made large strides in staking out a place in local music. Lazer/Wulf is another group that has its origins in Athens with a fairly large following all around the state. Additionally, I’m excited to check out other “experimental” acts such as Cult of Riggonia, Half-Acid, and Richard Gumby. The great part about AthFest however, is that there are so many different bands playing. You never know what might grab your attention. – Turner McCreight

Here are some of the artists we’re excited to see:

Muuy Biien

After a tour that took them as far away from home as Toronto, Muuy Biien are returning to the Classic City to play yet another AthFest at the Caledonia Lounge on Friday night. The band has sounded even more tight and intense since last spring’s D.Y.I., and considering the band is getting more and more exposure outside of Athens, it would be wise to take the opportunity to see Muuy Biien as chances are going to become rarer and rarer. – Andy Tabeling


With an upcoming east coast tour with psych-pop powerhouses Of Montreal and a new three-piece setup, it seems that Mothers may be on the verge of being a big deal. I remember first hearing Kristine Leschper’s minimal, sad-folk solo set during a WUOG Live in the Lobby back in 2013, and have been delighted to see it develop into a fuller sound with songs such as the demo for “Get Around”. I can’t think of a better place to be on Friday at 10pm than the Caledonia Lounge. There’s also going to be some cool coffee mugs on sale if you want to get your merch on. – Trevor Adams


If you don’t know who Warehouse is, it’s only a matter of time before you and all of your friends do. It seems like overnight they went from being another one of Atlanta’s many artsy musical projects to a band known by listeners even outside of Georgia. The factors in this include Bradford Cox’s blessing in a Pitchfork “Best of 2013” guest list, a recent signing to Bayonet Records, an imprint started by Beach Fossils frontman Dustin Payseur, and most importantly the music. The name dropping gets people to the show, but it’s the music that has crowds leaving in disbelief that Warehouse isn’t already as big as they inevitably will be. Their art-punk sound is most often compared to local darlings Pylon – an organized cataclysm of bright, restless instrumentation and Elaine Edenfield’s signature vocals, which shift between a deep bellow and a gravelly screech. If you can only go to one performance this weekend, this would easily be my pick. – Jonny Williams

We Love Tractor

Love Tractor isn’t touring and recording anymore, but the classic Athens group will be reborn on Sunday as We Love Tractor featuring original members (such as R.E.M.’s Bill Berry) along with current local favorites like Elf Power’s Bryan Poole and Drive-By Truckers multi-instrumentalist Jay Gonzalez. This is a chance for younger Athenians to experience a classic Athens band in a very rare and unique way. – Andy Tabeling


The last time I saw Brothers (and it was too long ago) was during a show at a yard sale during last year’s AthFest. It was a beautiful day on a quiet block, and the setup was modest, which made for a charming experience. The band has always reminded me of Yellow House­-era Grizzly Bear with the slightly fuzzy vocals and delightfully clangy percussion that makes it almost melodic. – Trevor Adams


If you’ve never seen them before, I’m afraid that my word count is not nearly large enough to fully encapsulate what exactly Dip is. In fact, even if I did have enough space to attempt an explanation, it wouldn’t do any good. Dip is just the kind of act you have to see live (a couple of times, really) to fully grasp what’s happening on the stage. The only advice I can give to the newbies is to get as engaged as possible in what will more than likely be one of the most active crowds of AthFest. As for my fellow Dipsters, you already know what’s coming. Scotty Dippin’ and Johnny Dip are going to bring the boom-diddy, the stage props and most importantly the hype. We’re all going to be exhausted by the 40 Watt’s stacked lineup by the time Dip hits the stage at roughly 1:30am, but nothing is going to stop this act from bringing the positive energy of boom-diddy to the people. – Jonny Williams

The Baseball Project

The Baseball Project is admittedly a pretty niche idea. The group, which includes members of The Dream Syndicate and R.E.M. among them, performs songs entirely about America’s pastime. However, the band’s power-pop energy is addictive even if you can’t tell the difference between Tim Lincecum and Ted Williams (even though you absolute should). R.E.M. fans should pay particular attention to this show, as both Peter Buck and Mike Mills have spent time with the Baseball Project, so odds are the closest thing to an R.E.M. reunion you’ll get at AthFest will probably be this show. – Andy Tabeling


Photo courtesy of Mason Jar Media.

Photo courtesy of Mason Jar Media.

WUOG sent two writers to Bonnaroo this past weekend. After braving the heat, driving to Athens for summer classes and coming back onto the grid, they have given us a wrap-up of the weekend. 



I am ashamed to say that before Bonnaroo, I have never heard of Jungle. Thankfully, I was able to stumble upon these stars, and I would highly recommend that you do too. This band of modern soul captivated a crowd of about 10,000 people. With upbeat, natural flowing vocals and subtle rhythmic choreography to accompany the singers, it became impossible to look away from the stage. It was difficult for me to tell who was the lead, because each and every one of the singers and musicians delivered constant intensity into the music. If you are looking into their work now, I would suggest starting with their song “Busy Earnin,”and according to the roar of the crowd at Bonnaroo during this  piece, I believe they would agree with me on this one as well.

-Faisal Gedi @faisalgedi


Dej Loaf was able to move the crowd at That Tent, continuing the positive vibes that radiated through the festival. With hits such as “Try Me” and Kid Ink’s “Be Real,” she caused an eruption from the crowd. With her additions of ad lib over her tracks and her DJ exuberating restless energy, her performance was hype to say the least.

-Kim An Ta


gabrielGabriel Garzon Montano was able to show us his versatile roots and inspirations as he performed songs from his album Binshoune: Alma del Huila. His voice was beyond capable of resonating an intimate feeling through the audience. His diverse talents were seen as he played his own music on the keyboard, accompanied by his drummer David. During the show, he performed “Sour Mango,” which cannot be found anywhere else unless one sees him live. And of course, Gabriel sang his soothing song “68,” which was featured on the famous rapper Drake’s song “Jungle.” With such a celestial voice that can reach seemingly impossible notes, and authentic music that created rhythmic pulses through the audience, I would say seeing him live was without a doubt an experience I could not forget.

After his show, Gabriel showed his audience his pure love for his listeners by coming off of the stage and talking to each and every one of us. When talking to him, he answered my questions on what his vision for music is and if he had any advice for up and coming artist. Gabriel replied saying that his goal is to create feel-good music for his listeners, and his advice to the up and coming artist would be to imitate all of the great artists who causes a yearning fire to start inside of you whenever you listen to their music and to work on your craft as much as possible. It is clear that he is well onto reaching his goal.

-Kim An Ta


Photo courtesy by Jasmine Zaman

On Friday night, it seemed that everyone at Bonnaroo was at the DeadMau5 show. And without delay, DeadMau5 did not disappoint the thousands of Bonnaroovians in the crowd. The producer was able to cause simultaneous dancing with his wide selection of progressive-house music.

-Kim An Ta

Photo by Faisal Gedi

Photo by Faisal Gedi

As one of the most anticipated performances of the night, the audience spanned from the What Stage all the way to the entrance of Bonnaroo for Kendrick Lamar. He performed songs from his previous album Good kid m.A.A.d city and his newly released album, To Pimp a Butterfly. Kendrick settled any uncertainties of his talent as he tirelessly rapped some of his hit singles with the help of hisdie-hard fans who shouted the lyrics to “King Kunta” even louder than him. The enormous stage featured clips of scenes from a city that seemed to be Compton, the hometown of the rapper and the theme of many of his songs. His albums, particularly To Pimp a Butterfly, is a progression of stories and lessons from his life, and so the effects added on greatly to the narration seen in his raps. After performing “m.A.A.d city” and causing a wave of excitement through the audience, Kendrick vowed to come back to Bonnaroo next year.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi


Earth Wind and Fire created a feel-good environment Friday night, playing their countless hits such as “September” and “Let’s Groove,” causing any lingering souls of the festival to flock to the Which Stage where the music was vibrating from. Not only were they performing their old-school hits, but they then brought the new school artists, Kendrick Lamar, who was performing not too long before Earth Wind and Fire, and Chance the Rapper, onto the stage as they shared the night with these icons of funk.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi


The Do, an indie pop band from France and Finland, created a feeling of dancing on clouds. The singer’s, Olivia Merilahti, voice carried over the instruments ever so softly, yet with enough punch to where it was still as electrifying as the music.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi



We heard a compilation of amazing artists at Super Jam such as SZA, Chance the Rapper, Metallica’s Rob Trujillo, DMC, Jack Antonoff, Reggie Watts, Eric Krasno, and Pretty Lights perform 80’s hits, allowing the audience to groove and sing along to each and every performer’s cover after being introduced by the hilarious Zach Galifianakis, whose first concern when entering the stage was what the Wi-Fi password was. With so many artist performing back to back on one stage, it soon became difficult to focus on the talents, especially when many of the songs being performed were not their own. Nevertheless, it was clear that SZA and Jack Antonoff definitely stole the show with their duet of Queen’s classic “Under Pressure.”

-Kim An Ta

Photo by Faisal Gedi

Photo by Faisal Gedi


Childish Gambino whose music cannot be pinned to just one genre, graces the Which Stage Satuday night with his singing, rapping, and dancing that emulated what I would describe as a modern day, ruffled up, Michael Jackson. As the crowd waits for Gambino minutes before the show, they began chanting “worldstar, worldstar” from his popular song ‘Worldstar’ from his album Because of the Internet, which he soon performed. The persona of Childish Gambino was like no other. There seemed to be moments when he was possessed by the music and his body was simply the vessel for the beat. Even though Childish Gambino said he would not perform another song from his previous album Camp after his 2014 concert in Atlanta, the artist couldn’t help but perform ‘Bonfire’ from that album, which he did with just as much energy as his newer songs.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi



Photo by Faisal Gedi


I was amazed by Jack Balfour Scott’s quivering and yearning voice. As he leads the Mispers as they performed songs that had a rushing tempo, back to ones that were slow and melodic. The impressive Hannah van den Brul beautifully accompanied the band with her violin, and played an important role in their song “Brother.”

-Faisal Gedi @Faisal Gedi

gary clarke

Photo by Faisal Gedi

Gary Clark Jr., as a veteran of Bonnaroo, knew exactly what he was doing when he performed countless, riveting guitar solos on the Which Stage. His soulful music captivated a large audience, as he has done in the year of 2011 and 2012 at Bonnaroo. My favorite song from the Texan was “Bright Lights,” with its unforgettable chorus.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi


Photo by Jasmine Saman

Photo by Jasmine Zaman


Not surprisingly, Mumford & Sons were seen at the largest stage of Bonnaroo, the What Stage. The band captivated the audience with songs both old and new. Songs such as “Believe” from their album Wilder Mind and ‘” Will Wait,” created a ginormous sing-along through the audience as everyone banded together as one big Bonnaroo family that night.

-Kim An Ta

Photo by Faisal Gedi

Photo by Faisal Gedi


Bonnaroo had its fair share of international music, seen in the performance from Songhoy Blue, the band that originated from Mali. Their upbeat songs, catchy hooks, and use of Western sounding guitar riffs, creates a great combination for one to groove to. Though their songs are not in English, they give more than enough reason with their drumming and guitar solos for listeners to drop by.

-Faisal Gedi @faisalgedi

Photo by Faisal Gedi

Photo by Faisal Gedi


Along with Songhoy Blue, another international band would be Kaleo from Iceland. This indie band has a good bit of pop, rock, and folk to their sound. The lead singer’s lightweight voice can sing you to sleep. But of course, with over a 100 degrees of heat, it was impossible to be sung to sleep with “All the Pretty Girls.”

-Kim An Ta




Photo courtesy of Zachary Chatham


Florence & The Machine continues to surpass all expectations. Her voice is clearly one of the most unique voices of our time, with a band that can keep up with her fluidity. Her resonating notes had Bonnaroo captivated, as she took us out of this world.

-Kim An Ta

Photo by Zachary Chatam

Photo by Zachary Chatham


Twenty One Pilots  the entire audience bumping to songs such as “Stressed Out.” With catchy rhythms, one can easily pick up the beat and sing along too. This group’s ability to not be categorized into just one genre has given this generation a fresh new sound.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi



Photo courtesy of Shawn Mariani of shawnmariani.com

Photo courtesy of Shawn Mariani of shawnmariani.com

WUOG is sending two writers out to Bonnaroo tomorrow to bring you the best college radio acts at the music festival. Here’s who they are most excited about seeing, and what other aspects they’re looking forward to as first time attendees. 

On June 11th, 2015, for the first time in my life, I will be a Bonnaroovian. And according to the official website, a Bonnaroovian is “A person that has had their mind blown by the full Bonnaroo whammy and has a great passion for finding and celebrating good stuff.”

And as I prepare for my trip to The Farm, I have spent a generous amount of time narrowing down exactly what good stuff I wanted to celebrate for those four days. This year’s lineup has been impressive to say the least. With big names ranging from Billy Joel, Kendrick Lamar, DeadMau5, and Hozier, whose concert tickets would normally already be costly, one would definitely get their money’s worth. Not only am I excited to see these well known artists take us away with their pristine work, I am also excited about the little guys who are gracing the stages — or the tents — with just as much passion for music.

This list includes Raury, the young man who has been causing a wave with his Indo Child movement from East Atlanta. After seeing him perform before, I can only expect him to deliver with more punch and soul than ever.

American Hotel is also on my list. Seeing as they are a band from Tennessee, I was shocked to see that not many have listed these guys, especially when their music creates such a genuinely nostalgic vibe that can take you back into the 1970s and back again. If you’re going, give them a listen!

I also want to see Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters. Yes, one of the reasons why I am excited for them is because the lead singer was the lead for Led Zeppelin. But after listening to their album “Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar,” I thought their sound was interesting, and had even more reason to go see them.

I was more than ecstatic when I found out that Fruition, Kevin Garrett, and Manatee Commune would be there. These talented artists have blown me away, and I can only hope that seeing them live would do the same, if not more. And of course, I can’t wait to see who is going to perform at the Super Jam.

Is there any ‘good stuff’ that you would suggest for me to watch?

- Kim An Ta


The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is a Valhalla for music lovers. Bonnaroo encompasses everything a music connesuir could imagine with live music from a variety of genres and a good time. I cannot imagine anything more awesome than thousands of people on a farm in the middle of nowhere enjoying the vibrations of quality music.

Choosing which acts to see during Bonnaroo seems to be tougher than deciding how to pack for living on a farm for four days. I am most excited to see artists such as Raury, Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Flying Lotus, Run The Jewels, Earth Wind & Fire. Most importantly, I’m eager to stumble on artists I don’t know.

What I am looking forward to at Bonnaroo besides the music are all of the extra festivities being held such as the Silent Disco. DJs will play live in a tent, but the music will be broadcast directly into attendees’ ears through wireless headphones Another aspect I cannot wait to experience is the social interactions and bonds I will surely create with other attendees.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi

Matthew E. White played on the Piedmont Stage Sunday May 10. Photo by Trevor Adams.

Matthew E. White played on the Piedmont Stage Sunday May 10. Photo by Trevor Adams.

Matthew E. White, The founder of Spacebomb Records was a pleasant opener for the last day of Shaky Knees. While his studio albums tend to layer many strings, backup vocals, and piano parts, this performance was more stripped-down as he opted for a more traditional four-piece setup. While the instrumentation was wonderful, I have to say that I wasn’t overly thrilled with White’s vocals themselves. On his studio albums, they always seemed overly soft, and I was dismayed that this problem was only exacerbated in his live performance. All in all, though, it was a solid performance, and makes me excited for collaborations with other artists, like his work with Natalie Prass.
Trevor Adams

Old 97’s used their early start time to effective set the early crowd into overdrive as they moved through their expansive discography. The alt-country legends were all grins and seemed very excited to be playing Shaky Knees, bringing 45 minutes of absolute joy and energy. 2014’s Most Messed Up got lots of love from the band who played single “Let’s Get Drunk and Get It On”, but what sent the older crowd into a frenzy were the older tunes Old 97’s broke out especially from 1997’s Too Far to Care. That album’s classic “Timebomb” is the perennial closer of an Old 97’s set and it’s clear to see why: the crowd was overjoyed to hear the country rock classic.

– Andy Tabeling

Best Coast played the Piedmont Stage on Sunday May 10. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel

Best Coast played the Piedmont Stage on Sunday May 10. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel

Best Coast performed at 3:45 at the Piedmont stage. The Californian duo, comprised of Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno, started their set off with “The Only Place” off of their second album of the same name. They played a few tracks from each of their albums. Their most recent album, California Nights, came out on May 5th, so the band played several songs from it, including “So Unaware” and “Fine Without You.” Cosentino announced that it was Bruno’s birthday. Throughout the performance, Cosentino advised the crowd to drink plenty of water, noting the heat. They finished their set off with the song “Boyfriend” from their first album, Crazy For You.

– Valerie Voswinkel


The rock band Dr. Dog performed on the Peachtree Stage for a large crowd. Throughout their set, the band was enthusiastic and entertaining. Many fans sand along and bobbed to the tunes. A few songs heard during their show were “Heavy Light,” Be the Void,” and “Lonesome.” The group ended their performance with their popular cover of the Architecture in Helsinki song “Heart It Races.”

– Valerie Voswinkel

Panda Bear played on the Buford Highway Stage Sunday May 10. Photo by Trevor Adams.

Panda Bear played on the Buford Highway Stage Sunday May 10. Photo by Trevor Adams.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Panda Bear, the member of the popular experimental pop group Animal Collective. What I got was truly a solo act with a killer light/projection show. While we couldn’t exactly see what was going on with all of the knobs and buttons, the seamless transitions between songs made it apparent that there was more going on than just hitting play. Many tracks were off of his new record Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper, although there were some others from previous work. There were also a truly absurd amount of beach balls; usually there are one or two at a show, but as soon as the first song started, no less than 15 beach balls began flying about the crowd. I personally thought that it crossed the line from being annoying to being humorous, but I don’t think many others thought the same.
Trevor Adams

Backed by a band that included two backup gospel-inspired singers, Jason Pierce and Spiritualized dazzled the sweaty late-afternoon crowd. Mostly refusing to play well-known songs, the band spent their hour-long set in a fairly introspective mood. Pierce is a quiet vocalist and his guitar work was mostly delicate to compliment the softer vibe of most of the set. However, Pierce broke out old Spacemen 3 classic “Walking With Jesus” for the occasion, which heavily featured the two backing vocalists. Ending with Ladies and Gentlen We Are Floating in Space’s “Come Together”, Spiritualized proved they could make their gospel-space-rock sound work in a scorching summer festival daytime slot. It made me eager to see the band in a more intimate setting, as well as want to hear some new material from the band.

– Andy Tabeling


Ryan Adams kicked off his triumphant early-evening set with his single “Gimmie Somehting Good” off his recently-released self-titled record, but it was of course his classic Heartbreaker that won the most sing-alongs and cheers among the hardcore fans. Heartbreaker opener “To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is to BeHigh)” was the first moment were the crowd displayed their sheer elation to see the North Carolina singer-songwriter perform. Several other tracks from that album were featured, with Adams ending the set with signature ballad “Come Pick Me Up”, but even the Tame Impala fans that had been waiting for that band to start long before Adams even took the stage enjoyed Adams’ clever banter and his Mothers’ Day tribute in the form of covering Glen Danzig’s “Mother”.

– Andy Tabeling

Ride played on the Piedmont Stage on Sunday May 10. Photo by Trevor Adams.

Ride played on the Piedmont Stage on Sunday May 10. Photo by Trevor Adams.

The recently reunited shoegazers Ride may not be young anymore, but they can still put on a great show. The timing was perfect as the sun set over the penultimate act of Shaky Knees. The first two songs (“Polar Bear” and “Seagull”) were off of the legendary album Nowhere, but a wide range of tracks followed that gave a good representation of the English band’s catalog. “Seagull” in particular stood out to me, with the unforgettable bassline blaring out from the Piedmont stage. “Drive Blind” was another highlight, with a noisy breakdown that reminded me a little of the Swans show I saw at Terminal West a few months ago. It would be very difficult to point out any issues during the show (besides Mark Gardener’s fashion), and it was personally my favorite act of the day. If you have a chance to see this storied band before they disappear again, do it. You’ll be in for one crazy ride.
Trevor Adams
Tame Impala played the Peachtree Stage on Sunday  May 10. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel.

Tame Impala played the Peachtree Stage on Sunday May 10. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel.

Tame Impala just might become one of the biggest bands in the world very soon. Similar to last year’s Albama Shakes, Shaky Knees once again gave a young artist with a smaller discography a chance to prove they could own a headlining slot. With their elaborate lights and awe-inspiring jamming, Tame Impala proved they were up to the task. Opening with brand new single “Let It Happen” off the forthcoming Currents, Tame Impala used the hour-and-a-half set to play a great deal from their 2nd record, 2012’s Lonerism as well as showcase some of their new material. Voalist Kevin Parker was in high spirits, praising the beautiful Atlanta evening and rattling off some of his favorite Georgia musicians (OutKast, Deerhunter and Migos) in between the band’s jam-packed (in more ways than one) set. Returning to the stage to play Lonerism’s “Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control”, it felt like it wouldn’t be the last time I see Tame Impala own a high-profile festival time slot.

– Andy Tabeling


After three long days of concerts, Shaky Knees came to a close with headliner Tame Impala. The Australian psychedelic band made for a great ending to a great festival. The group played their new single “Let it Happen.” They also played some popular songs like “Elephant” and “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards.” Behind the band, colorful images and shapes lit up the stage and provided a good visual element to the music. After the band played their final song, the fans begged for an encore and the group reemerged. They revealed that they hadn’t planned an encore when planning the set, but decided to because of the willingness of the crowd. The group played a song they normally reserve for their own concerts: “Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control.” The show was scheduled to end 30 minutes earlier than the prior two days, finishing at 10:30.

– Valerie Voswinkel



Speedy Ortiz played on the Boulevard Stage Saturday May 9. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

Speedy Ortiz played on the Boulevard Stage Saturday May 9. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

Despite their early set time, Massachusets garage-rock outfit Speedy Ortiz put on one of the most entertaining sets of the weekend so far. Still riding the wave of critical acclaim for 2013’s Major Arcana and this years’ Foil Deer, the jagged dual guitars and Sadie Dupuis’ entertaining lyrics provided the jolt that festivalgoers needed to survive the afternoon sun. Highlights of Speedy’s set included Foil Deer standout “Raising the Skate” and Arcana’s “Plough”. The great reception the band got from the crowd seems to indicate that Speedy Ortiz might be headed for an even larger festival stages soon.

-Andy Tabeling, @andytabelz

Viet Cong performed on the Buford Highway stage Saturday May 9. Photo by Trevor Adams

Viet Cong performed on the Buford Highway stage Saturday May 9. Photo by Trevor Adams

The Canadian post-punk band Viet Cong felt a little out of place with a 2:00 PM timeslot, but with a surprisingly good-humored stage presence, they owned it. Bassist/vocalist Matt Flegel gave a talk about each band member’s nickname between songs, and introduced the song “Continental Shelf” as “Continental Breakfast.” “March of Progress” was as just as impressive as I hoped it would be in a live setting, and the band closed on a powerful rendition of “Death” in which guitarist Daniel Christiansen was so intense that his guitar began flying about him like he was spinning a rifle. For a band that is so much about death and darkness, they were certainly a bright spot in Saturday’s lineup.

There seemed to be some Canadian band-mance happening on Saturday, as guitarist/vocalist Alex Edkins shouted out Viet Cong before METZ began their mid-afternoon set. The noise rock band was loud and hard-hitting, and the drums were able to cut through any post-lunch daze that their listeners might have had. Viet Cong seemed to agree, as their members could be spotted among the general admission crowd.

-Trevor Adams, @RevorTadams

From 2:45 to 3:45, Real Estate performed on the Peachtree stage. The band played several songs from their most recent album, Atlas, including “Had to Hear,” “Talking Backwards” and “Crime.” From the older albums, they played “Municipality,” “Green Aisles,” and more. The band drew a decent sized crowd, with many sitting in the grass to enjoy the tunes. The laid-back music allowed the audience to relax and take in the moment.

-Valerie Voswinkel, @valvoswinkel

Black Lips performed on the Ponce de Leon stage Saturday May 9. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel.

Black Lips performed on the Ponce de Leon stage Saturday May 9. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel.

Black Lips’ performance was high-energy and fun. The band originated in Atlanta, so this homecoming performance had a warmth and friendliness to it. A few songs they played were “Drugs” and “Funny.” The group ended with arguably their most well-known song “Bad Kids,” with many fans singing and dancing along. Compared to their sound in recordings, the Black Lips sounded just as spontaneous and energetic live. Their stage presence was great, helping the audience to connect with the band as people. The show definitely was successful in entertaining the fans and providing them with an exciting concert experience.

-Valerie Voswinkel

Built to Spill performed on the Boulevard stage Saturday May 9. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

Built to Spill performed on the Boulevard stage Saturday May 9. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

Built to Spill sounded as vibrant as ever during their late afternoon slot at the Boulevard set. The band’s hour-long performance spanned tracks from across Built to Spill’s 8 album discography and included some of the band’s most well-known songs like “Carry the Zero” and “The Plan,” along with tracks from their just-released Untethered Moon. Doug Martsch led the band’s fierce three-guitar attack that gave the set a heavy dose of energy and raw noise that the sizable crowd ate up. After realizing they had ended their set a little early, the band came back out for a 2-song encore that concluded with a cover of “Don’t Fear the Reaper”. While the band has now been together for 20+ years, they still are one of the most consistently enjoyable bands in indie rock and a fine choice for any festival.

-Andy Tabeling

Neutral Milk Hotel, one of the most anticipated bands of the weekend, had a large crowd waiting long before their scheduled playtime. When Jeff Mangum appeared, fans began screaming, and I could tell that the everyone around me was much more passionate than a typical festival crowd. Opening with “I Will Bury You In Time” off of the Ferris Wheel on Fire compilation, the indie rock legends instantly had the crowd entranced. While the band only has two real albums, they were not in short supply of songs that fans demanded to hear. Songs from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea had the crowd overpowering Mangum with vocal sincerity. Honestly, I actually cried during “Two Headed Boy Pt. 2″. Although the audience was asked to put away all recording equipment, I have no doubt that those who attended will have memories that will last a lifetime.

-Trevor Adams

Wilco performed on the Ponce de Leon stage Saturday May 9. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

Wilco performed on the Ponce de Leon stage Saturday May 9. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

In their (mostly imaginary) battle with the Flaming Lips to play every single rock festival in America, Wilco rolled through Shaky Knees and ripped through an excellent tour of their discography over an all-too-brief hour and fifteen minutes. Opening with “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”, Jeff Tweedy and the gang played four more tracks from their classic Yankee Hotel Foxtrot along with other old favorites and deeper cuts. The band’s expansive sound provided the perfect backdrop to the setting sun, especially as the darkness came over Central Park right as Nels Cline began his famous “Impossible Germany” solo. Stopping only briefly to thank the enormous crowd, Wilco fit a remarkable number of songs into their time slot and once again proved that they are a reliable festival workhorse who won’t disappoint.

-Andy Tabeling

ZZ Ward performed on the Buford Highway Stage Saturday May 9. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel.

ZZ Ward performed on the Buford Highway Stage Saturday May 9. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel.

Later in the evening, ZZ Ward performed at the Buford Hwy Stage. Her performance was mesmerizing, with funky beats and strong vocals. She is an incredible performer and brought energy into the crowd. She performed some of her popular songs, such as “365 Days,” “Charlie Ain’t Home,” and “Blue Eyes Blind.” In addition to her normal set, she debuted a new song for the Shaky Knees crowd. Her music had everyone dancing and singing along to her upbeat music. Her performance was very interactive as she often asked the crowd to repeat a part for her or clap along to the beat.

-Valerie Voswinkel


Mitski performed on the Boulevard Stage of Shaky Knees Friday, May 8. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel

The first day of Shaky Knees was strong. While the heat was a bit much at times, the quality of the music made it relatively easy to ignore.

Mitski Miyawaki‘s set at the Boulevard Stage was an early highlight of the festival. Heavily favoring her most recent album Bury Me at Makeout Creek, Miyawaki performed an emotionally intimate, yet powerful 45 minute set. Between powerful ballads, Mitski quietly praised the sizable crowd who was enduring the Atlanta heat. She also repped her home, New York, but told the ATL audience “You don’t have to go there though.” Miyawaki displayed gratitude to be performing for the crowd that ate up every moment of Miyawaki’s gorgeous garage-pop. 

-Andy Tabeling @andytabelz 

As a huge Kooks fan since the ninth grade, I was very excited to see the band perform live. The group made sure to showcase songs from each of their four albums in their allotted hour. From its newest album, Listen, we heard “Forgive & Forget,” “Down,” and “Bad Habit,” among others. From their first album, Inside In/Inside Out, they played “Ooh La,” “She Moves in Her Own Way,” and finished the entire set off with “Naïve.” Other songs they performed include “Junk of the Heart (Happy),” “Always Where I Need to Be,” and “Is it Me?” The Kooks definitely lived up to my expectations, however I wish that they had performed more from their first album, just for nostalgia’s sake. Overall, their performance was engaging and drew a large crowd.

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Alaina Moore of Tennis performed on the Buford Highway stage at Shaky Knees Festival May 8. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel.


From 2:30 to 3:15 today, I experienced the group that is Tennis on the Buford Highway stage. A decent sized crowd crammed under the tent to watch them. The group was upbeat and adorable, and the crowd remained calm. Fans sang along to some favorites, such as “Marathon,” the first song the group wrote, and Origins. Although they played for less than an hour, the band definitely brought a full concert experience and singer Alaina Moore provided beautiful vocals. I definitely would love to see a full performance from this group in the future.

-Valerie Voswinkel, @valvoswinkel

Mac DeMarco, with his lackadaisical and laid-back style, was a highlight of the afternoon. The whole show seemed to be set up as a way to celebrate the birthday of bandmate Andy White. The indie star wasn’t just confined to fan favorites like “Blue Boy” and “Freaking Out the Neighborhood” and instead included a lot of crowd interaction such as a last-minute stage dive and dividing the crowd into the VIP section and the general admission “peasants”. His bassist even sang a cover of Coldplay’s “Yellow, ” however the band pulled it off flawlessly. It didn’t matter how wild things got, Mac never got too cheesy.

-Trevor Adams, @RevorTadams

The Mountain Goats performed on the Buford Highway Stage Friday May 8. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

The Mountain Goats performed on the Buford Highway Stage Friday May 8. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

A live performance of the Mountain Goats is seemingly intimidating for the casual listener. Their discography is massive and the audience interaction relies heavily on fans’ incredible memory of their favorite Darnielle lyricisms. However, the live band John Darnielle put together (including legendary Superchunk drummer/funny-guy Jon Wurster) brings life and joy to the Mountain Goats’ live show. The band’s most recent record, the wrestling themed Beat Them Champ, fits right in among Darnielle’s other sing-along-ready tunes. After spending a brief acoustic set touring through some of the project’s older songs (Darnielle memorably broke out “Cubs In Five”, which he claims to rarely play anymore), the whole band ripped into some of the most popular Mountain Goats songs including “Up the Wolves” and “This Year”, ending with a sparkling rendition of “No Children”. The band’s hour long-set satisfied both the casual fans in the group along with the already converted.

-Andy Tabeling

American Football performed on the Boulevard Stage Friday May 8. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

American Football performed on the Boulevard Stage Friday May 8. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

I want to thank whoever was responsible for American Football‘s timeslot, despite it conflicting with Mastodon. I had been at the festival for over 6 hours, and my feet were starting to tire out. I opted to sit on a hill to the side of the stage to see the Midwest emo legends, and by chance it was the the best decision I made all day. Seeing the sun set behind the skyline of Atlanta while listening to the gorgeous guitar layering and powerful trumpet solos of American Football was magical. While the band may not be young as they used to be, and it shows some in the vocals, they still have no problems delivering the atmosphere of nostalgia and emotional memories, which is reason for their loyal fan base.

-Trevor Adams

Brand New performed on the Ponce de Leon stage Friday May 8. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

Brand New performed on the Ponce de Leon stage Friday May 8. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

Hot off the release of their recent single “Mene”, Brand New delivered an incredible performance that no doubt pleased the legions of devoted fans that swarmed the Ponce De Leon Stage Friday night. Opening with the previously mentioned new song, Brand New preceded to take a tour through their previous albums, leaving ample room for moments of intimacy along with the bands stunning crescendos. Jesse Lacey and co. felt loose, energetic and truly grateful for what was one of the best festival crowds I’ve been a part of. It seemed like thousands of people shouted “Yeah!” during The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me’s “Sowing Season” and the audience became hushed during “Luca” which was one of the set’s quietest moments. When Brand New chose to be loud, such as during Daisy highlight “Gasoline”, they sounded world-conquering.

-Andy Tabeling

Before the James Blake show even started, I could tell that the crowd around me was more enthusiastic than usual. Once the overhead lights cut out and blue spotlights replaced them, a cheer erupted that was louder than what I expected from a tired crowd so late in the day. Blake didn’t disappoint his fans, playing heavily from his renowned self-titled debut. He played with drummer Ben Assisted and guitarist Rob McAndrews, who also employed the use of a sampler. He himself at the keys and vocals, Blake succeeded in creating an entrancing atmosphere that evoked all the best sonics of his studio albums. There were also several tracks I did not recognize, usually tending to he more dance-oriented. The light show that accompanied the music was phenomenal, and is a big portion on why the show was so enjoyably hypnotizing. The show has greatly raised my hopes that future music by the English producer will be able hold up to his past.

-Trevor Adams

The Strokes closed out Friday night of Shaky Knees. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

The Strokes closed out Friday night of Shaky Knees. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

As Friday’s shows came to an end, all of the festival-goers gathered at the Peachtree Stage to watch the final performance: The Strokes. The band started the set off with “Reptilia” and followed with “Welcome to Japan.” They played a medley of songs from different albums, many of them fan favorites. Towards the end of their performance, Julian Casablancas called Mac DeMarco onto the stage. The two acts then performed the Strokes’ song “Last Nite” together. The Strokes stayed on stage until a little past 11 o’clock, performing four encores. Their show was high energy and brought the day to a happy close.

-Valerie Voswinkel





Shaky Knees is almost upon us! As the city of Atlanta begins to gear up for the acclaimed festival, fans prepare to hear acts both old and new. Some of the most anticipated acts of the festival include English artist James Blake, the legendary Wilco, and the slacker Mac Demarco.


James Blake

The popular English electronic artist is gracing Atlanta with his presence with on Friday night. He has some stiff competition, though; sharing a timeslot with Pixies and Brand New isn’t easy, especially when the festival caters to the indie and alternative rock crowds. However, I’m personally excited for the show. We might even hear some hints of a new record, which Blake has been quiet about for the past two years.


As someone who doesn’t have nearly enough money to even see Tweedy, getting to see Wilco live is going to be a treat. I’m personally hoping for some serious Yankee Hotel Foxtrot throwbacks, but as long as the band puts out a solid performance, they can only play their self-titled for all I care.

Viet Cong

What? Sold post-punk in 2015? Who would have thought! Viet Cong’s self-titled LP debut certainly delivered after a promising cassette EP, and songs like “March of Progress” will surely be transcendental in a live setting.

Matthew E. White

2015 has been a big year for Matthew E. White. After founding Spacebomb Records in 2012 and releasing his acclaimed debut Big Inner, we didn’t hear much from the Virginia artist. However, not only did he release his second album, Fresh Blood in March, but his signee Natalie Prass had a debut that got a lot of attention, mine included. The combination of Natalie Prass and Fresh Blood have given Spacebomb a strong one-two punch to start off 2015. I’m excited to see how they can translate that success into a festival atmosphere.

Mac DeMarco

Yep, Mac is coming back to Atlanta! The Canadian Slacker King is famous for the laid-back atmosphere in both his studio work and concerts, making him a perfect fit for a springtime festival spot. I last saw DeMarco play at The Goat Farm while he was touring his successful sophomore LP Salad Days. The show was delightful with a lot of crowd interaction and snide remarks that really helped Mac’s personality shine. The 4:15 p..m. to 5:15 p.m. timeslot on Friday should fit him nicely, and hopefully we’ll be able to hear some new material off of his upcoming LP Another One.

- Trevor Adams



For University of Georgia students, and probably others, finals ended yesterday. Luckily, Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta is only a few days away. The festival this year has an impressive lineup of up-and-coming artists and well-established bands. Here are a few of the performances I am excited to see.

First up is Mitski. I really enjoyed her most recent album, Bury Me at Makeout Creek. I would love to hear a live rendition of the angsty “Townie,” my personal favorite from her album. After her performance on Friday, I hope to catch Tennis, a sweet husband-and-wife duo from Colorado. Their 2014 album Ritual In Repeat is fun indie-pop and showcases the couple’s musical talent. Alaina Moore, the female vocalist, has a beautiful voice that sounds amazing live. I can definitely see this being one of the most enjoyable performances of the afternoon.

Many people will probably debate whether to see The Kooks or Wavves on Friday, but it’s The Kooks all the way for me. As a fan since high school, the chance to see them live is too good to pass up. Their music has always made me feel edgy and soulful at the same time. Their energy is fun and the music is carefree, making for a great concert experience. A variety of genres are incorporated into each song, making their music so enjoyable. You can hear rock, pop, ska, funk, and much more mixed each track.

Neutral Milk Hotel performs Saturday and is a highly anticipated show for many. The band plays obscure, but very popular music among the indie music scene, particularly in Athens. Most exciting about this performance is that the band disbanded in 1999 and reunited for live touring in 2013. They’ve announced that this Spring/Summer tour will be their last, which means this show will be sentimental for many of their Georgia fans. If that’s not reason enough to see them, I don’t know what is.

Best Coast performs on Sunday and is the only group attending Shaky Knees that I have already seen live. When I saw them in 2013, the California duo was playing their newest album, The Only Place. Their music is heavily influenced by a variety of groups and artists, such as The Beach Boys, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Drake, and Weezer. These musical influences combine with their love of California to create their fun, carefree music style. Their third album, California Nights, is set to release on May 5th, just days before the festival, so we may be some of the first audiences to hear tracks from this new album live.

With Shaky Knees fast approaching, I recommend that you look up some of the artists’ live performances on YouTube and create a playlist to get familiar with their songs. The festival is May 8th to May 10th, so if you haven’t gotten tickets already, do so soon. See you all there!

-Valerie Voswinkel


Photo from The Dell New England on Flickr



We’ve  partnered with Counterpoint to give away a grand prize package to the mid-May festival, which includes a pair of 3-day passes along with three nights of camping. Tune in and check out our Facebook and Twitter pages throughout this week for chances to enter our drawing for the passes. We will announce the winner Friday afternoon!

For more about Counterpoint and the full lineup, check out http://bit.ly/1K2OQAp

  • Posted in Music on 5-1-2015

American Football


One of the biggest trends in major music festivals over the past few years has been the return of artists who’ve been in the shadows for many years. Artists like OutKast, Pavement and the Stone Roses have used the American festival circuit to begin touring again to huge audiences. Shaky Knees has been no exception to this trend. Last year, The Replacements announced Shaky Knees as one of their few initial dates for their high-profile reunion. This year, the Atlanta festival has brought in several acts that fans have been waiting to see in the Southeast for a long time, including some making their Atlanta debut.


The Strokes


It’s difficult to believe but it’s been around four years since The Strokes reconvened after their extended hiatus, which began after 2006’s First Impressions of Earth tour ended. During that break, the band focused on solo projects, but eventually reunited for 2011’s Angles followed by 2013’s Comedown Machine. Throughout The Strokes’ second stint together, touring has often been sporadic while the band took breaks to work on other material. Singer Julian Casablancas recently released a record with his band, Julian Casablancas + The Voidz and spent some time working with Daft Punk on Random Access Memories. Shaky Knees marks The Strokes’ first appearance in Atlanta in almost 10 years. Despite the breadth of more recent material that the band has at their disposal– and rumors of even more songs forthcoming–fans can expect plenty of old favorites from the band’s Friday night headlining set from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Peachtree Stage, including “Hard to Explain” and the band’s iconic hit “Reptilia.”



One of the biggest lineup additions to the already packed Shaky Knees lineup was the return of British shoegaze legend Ride. The band announced their full reunion in late 2014 and made a high-profile appearance this year at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to great reception. Shaky Knees marks the only opportunity to see Ride in the Southeast. Their set at Coachella, and at surrounding venues in California, heavily favored the band’s first two albums, Nowhere and Going Blank Again,  both widely regarded as classics within the shoegaze genre. Ride plays the penultimate time slot of the festival on Sunday from 7:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Piedmont Stage. They will also play a separately ticketed show on Friday May 8th at Terminal West.


American Football


One of the most pleasantly surprising reunions of the past few years has been the return of the Champaign-Urbana, Ill. group American Football. Their self-titled album, and still their only LP, is now 15 years old. The band reunited last year for a small number of shows so fans who discovered their album long after the group disbanded could have the chance to hear “Never Meant” live. While American Football sold little when it was initially released on the beloved Champaign-Urbana based label Polyvinyl, the record has since gained a devoted and rabid following as a classic of emo and math rock. Fans can hear the group’s only currently scheduled Southeastern appearance on Friday from 7:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. at the Boulevard stage.


Panda Bear


Despite having released 4 acclaimed solo records in the past 11 years, Noah Lennox has yet to appear as Panda Bear in Georgia. Shaky Knees brings Lennox’s psychedelic pop music to Atlanta as he continues to tour in promotion of this year’s Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. That album features lots of pop gems, as it is perhaps Lennox’s most accessible solo album thanks to its soaring melodies, groovy rhythmic backbone and gorgeous production from Sonic Boom. The Baltimore native and current Lisbon resident will perform on Sunday from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the Buford Highway stage, likely backed by a projection of psychedelic video.


– Andy Tabeling


Toro y Moi – What For


Chaz Bundick of Toro y Moi trades in his electronic dance-pop for indie-rock  guitar and softer lyrics on his newest album What For?. More closely resembling June 2009 than his recent releases, the album is full of indecisiveness and quiet probing. Hazy electronic guitars, bass, and soft drums create psych melodies that compliment the ambiguity of his lyricism. He asks repeatedly,  “Does anyone know where we go from here?” on the track “What You Want” and “Do you understand what must be done?” on “Spell It Out”. “Buffalo,” said by Bundick to have set the precedent for the entire album, is full of 70s funk and gauzy melodies. Whether it’s lack of direction or a purposeful push towards a more laid back sound, What For?  shows Bundick’s range and thirst for musical growth.

-Camilla Grayson

The Mountain Goats – Beat the Champ


Beat The Champ is the newest album from the Mountain Goats. The album is all about lead singer John Darnielles’ experiences with Lucha Libre wrestling growing up. With this fact in mind you might think that the album will be fun and lighthearted unlike many previous Mountain Goats’ album, but you would be wrong. The album encompasses the same confessional and heartbreaking lyrics that fans have grown to love. Darnielle escapes his horrible childhood through wrestling, and this album conveys that escapism. While the lyrics are sad, dark, and beautiful, the music itself is catchy and prompts you to sing along making Darnielle’s message easier to swallow. The album is quintessential Mountain Goats with a quirky topic.

-Will Jurgens

Shlohmo “Dark Red”


Darker than his previous work, Dark Red is an abysmal and distorted melody. After a long period of personal loss, electronic producer Shlohmo’s second full length album ventures into a mournful place with its detachment from pop and admission into a realm of sluggish, monotonous expression of unhappiness. This sense comes out most in the middle of the album, the first five tracks being more dynamic and the last two more reminiscent of his earlier, more energetic work. The album reflects the discomfort he felt when he wrote it and with that energy in mind, the succession of variation and repetition throughout the album is telling of his attitude. In this iteration of his work, Shlohmo has stripped his sound of any collaboration or vocals, which creates an even more eerie, ominous, and almost tragic tone. Without a doubt this album explores the many dimensions of loss and the equally complex systems for coping with that.

Kira Hynes​

Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Think


Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit glorifies the day-to-day mundane through deadpan, yet charming vocals. Barnett’s long rambling lyrics reflect intelligence and wit that compliment her slacker-rock aesthetic. “Elevator Operator” sings of a made-up man named Oliver, and “Depreston” tells of Barnett’s adventures apartment hunting. “Small Poppies”, set to the bluesy guitar, is about the harrowing task of mowing the lawn. Barnett’s clean strummed chords and her conversational lyrics give her music a laid back and relaxed feel, but her upbeat songs like “Pedestrian At Best” have the electric guitar and self-deprecating lyrics of 90s garage rock. With sharp melodies and storyteller lyrics, Courtney Barnett’s album has a unique sound that launches the listener into her complex mind.

-Camilla Grayson

Alex G – Trick


Alex G is the sentimental songwriter best known for his minimally produced, bedroom recorded Bandcamp projects, where he has released numerous hard-to-get recordings. Trick was released via Bandcamp before his most recent album “DSU”; now it’s being re-released through Lucky Number. Trick is Alex G to a point: mundane stories looped into bedroom-pop lo-fi melodies, comfortably shrouded in an unobtrusive relatability. His songs range from everyday thoughts about his favorite animal (“Whale”) to an uneasy melody about infatuation/murder  (“Kute”). Placed in among the mix of simple acoustic songs is the instrumental namesake of the album, “Trick”. The rerelease comes with three bonus tracks that stay true to the atmosphere of Alex G’s previous recordings.

-Cassidy Reeser

Laura Marling – Short Movie


Laura Marling’s 5th studio album, Short Movie has taken a turn towards a rock/alternative folk as opposed to the traditional folk, but she still retains her folk roots throughout the album.  Short Movie starts off stern and serious, but transitions to a more upbeat and lighthearted tone with the electric guitar. Most of Short Movie deals with Laura’s conflicting feelings about love and independence.  She jumps back and forth from needing to love someone to leaving for her freedom.  Laura’s new sound isn’t too far off from her previous works, but has a distinctness that makes it stand out from the crowd.

-Albert Moon

Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear


I Love You, Honeybear, the sophomore release by Father John Misty, weaves conflicting emotions of disillusionment and passion into a conceptual folk rock mix of airy vocals, guitars, horns, and strings. While Fear Fun consists of lighthearted skepticism, I Love You, Honeybear deals with heavier issues like his relationship with his wife and his own self-faults. “C Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” features horns that compliment his somber and wispy voice, and “True Affection” is a synth pop commentary on closeness. “Bored in The USA” confronts the alienation of consumer society to a piano and a purposely out-of-place laugh track. Featuring strings and horns on many songs, the album contrasts the large sound of an orchestra with the intimacy of Tillman’s lyrics. I Love You, Honeybear is full of musical and lyrical contradictions that perfectly describe the perplexity of love itself.

-Camilla Grayson

Purity Ring – Another Eternity


Purity Ring opens their second album with all the pulsing synth present on their debut.  Megan James’s gentle vocals yield a happy contrast to the powerful beats, mixing dance anthems with spacey ballads throughout “Another Eternity”.  “Stillness in woe” and “repetition” are slower tracks that demonstrate Roddick’s ability to blend instrumentals perfectly to the tones of James’s voice.  In conclusion, this sophomore release receives all the right attention with its varied electro-pop songs, but it fails to provide anything new from their first album.

-Ben Phillips

Will Butler – Policy


Recorded in one week in Jimi Hendrix’s old Living Room, Policy marks Will Butler’s (probably most known as Win Butler’s younger brother) first solo album to date. Though this is his premier album, the Arcade Fire musician did compose the original score to 2014’s award-winning motion picture “Her.” Since then, he’s employed his menagerie of musical skills to compose a sonically diverse debut. Because he’s a part of Arcade Fire, the urge to expect a style and fluency throughout the album close to that of AF is natural, but that’s not what Butler delivered. The album as one single entity doesn’t have the most natural transitions, but with that in mind, each song has a distinct feel much like each Arcade Fire album has a distinct feel, and each song is reminiscent of a different AF phase. Granted, it still isn’t Arcade Fire. Butler adds a flair of punk in “Take My Side (1), “What I Want” (6), an 80’s background vibe in “Anna” (2), some thick experimental funk and accidentals in “Something’s Coming” (5), and altogether more experimental takes on melody in each track. We hear the familiar rhythm and piano of Neon Bible in tracks “Finish What I started” (3) and “Sing to Me” (7), with a splash of that choral background ohhing and ahhing that’s so Funeral and so loveable in tracks “Finish What I started” (3) and “Witness” (8). The most accessible and most consistent tracks are “Witness” (8) and “What I Want” (6), bringing in the most energy and the most danceability. His lyrics are zany (“I’ll give you a pony/ if you cook it for dinner I know a great recipe/ for pony macaroni” – ‘What I Want’), he’s got a little extra angst, and he’s proving his musical worth as an individual. All he’s missing is the cohesion throughout the album, but I wouldn’t write him off so soon.

-Kira Hynes

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper – After


Lady Lamb’s sophomore album, After, starts off with typical pop-rock sound with “Vena Cava” and “Billions of Eyes”,  with a hint of 60’s beach music in the mix.  But in the next track, “Violet Clementine”, she adds in some eerie, Modest Mouse-y, banjo, as well as a chorus of singers and horns.  Shifts like this happen often through the album; “Sunday Shoes” is a stripped down acoustic track, “Milk Duds”, “Ten”, and “Atlas” are all sort of alt-country.  But she never changes so much as to lose her unique sound.

-Justin Johnson

The American Spirit – Season of Violence or Mourning, Protest, And the Birth of Bishop Killborne


American Spirit plays an assortment of ambient folk on their newest album that combines the woozy vocals of Father John Misty with the southern twang of My Morning Jacket. Their debut album features hazy songs led by acoustic guitars. Some songs are supplemented with light drums on songs like “All Night”, while others feature harmonicas and banjos like in “Going on My Own Way”. There is a musical depth through the background vocals but also a lyrical depth in their lyrics about  longing and discovering something more. Season Of Violence or Mourning, Protest, And The Birth of Bishop Killborne is a creative album full of talent.

-Camilla Grayson

Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Three


Based out of New York, Matana RobertsCoin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee is the third album of a slated 12 that will compile her Coin Coin project. Having grown up in Chicago in the late 70s and early 80s, her childhood was filled with musical influences, specifically of jazz and its component instruments. Roberts is known as a sound experimentalist. This album is full mechanical, repetitive hums, crackles and reverberations, masked by eerie oohs and experimental saxophone melodies, Roberts’ main instrument. Fading in and out of the noise is Robert’s voice, sometimes melodic, but often it is just raspy and chant-like, or just plain talking, being that Roberts also works with spoken word poetry. Her album is full of the sounds of life, not its melodies, which weave together in sincere incongruity and culminate into a whole of transfixing uncertainty.

-Kyra Hines

With the recent popularity of Ishmael Butler’s group Shabazz Palaces, album club thought it would be a good idea to go back in time about 21 years to see where the legendary jazz rapper’s career began. Released in 1994, Blowout Comb is the second and final studio album of the jazz rap trio Digable Planets. The three members of the trio are Mecca (aka Ladybug), C-Know (aka Doodlebug), and Ish (aka Butterfly/Ishmael Butler/Palaceer Lazaro of Shabazz Palaces).
blowout comb

Blowout Comb, which followed Reachin‘ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), opens with a blast from some dissonant horns the immediately inform the audience that they are listening a jazz-rap album. “Black Ego” then moves into anti-establishment brag raps, but it’s important to note how loud the beat is in comparison to vocals. The beat doesn’t act as just a backdrop to flow against; it acts as its own entity, as it seems that there was a 4th member of Digable Planets. The 4th member is Dave Darlington, who was the engineer of the album and was largely responsible for unifying the various live instruments and samples into a singular sound.

“Dog It” serves as an example as to how to perfectly execute a horn sample while bringing in 5 percenter imagery and more abstract lyrics. “Jettin'” is a major highlight of the album, with the music rhythmically panning to bounce off the left and right channels. This effect makes an already great track a surreal and memorable listen. Identity continues to play a big role in the lyrics of this track, with a memorable lines from Ish and Mecca: “Before I pop I’d rather die in baggy Guess and Timbs” and “No blue eyes to emulate”.

The album continues to impress as “Borough Check” references live freestyle competitions and “Agent 7 Creamy Spy Theme” sounds like a Brooklyn spy film. “For Corners” brings Blowout Comb to a natural close, giving the listener a wonderfully smooth 7-minute cooldown. An interesting aspect of this album is how cool the trio sounds throughout the whole thing without sacrificing the message they were putting out. The album art itself seems innocuous, but a closer look reveals that it is stylized after the official Black Panther newspaper. I feel that the artwork for Blowout Comb perfectly encapsulates the legacy of Digable Planets: stylish and uncompromising.
- Trevor Adams