Editing everyone else’s Athfest coverage made me want to write about my own experience, especially since there are a lot of bands we haven’t covered yet. So here you are, stories from the Athfest trenches as told by Music Director, Brett Bennett.(more…)
We sent field reporter/wuog staffer/all around Athens cool kid, Zac Turner out to report on THREE days of Athfest. He is very tired now and never wants to listen to music again. Honor his hard work and listen to what he thought about Dead Confederate, The Rodney Kings, Never and MORE….. (more…)
I never went to summer camp. There are no camp songs or ghost stories from my memory that I can look back on. There are certainly no memories of warmth or togetherness around the campfire like I used to see on TV. I did watch “Ernest Goes To Camp” once, but I much preferred “Ernest Scared Stupid”. In the summertime when I was a kid I watched a lot of TV, I played the drums, and I was bored. I was so unimaginably bored! But from boredom comes great innovation, and that is one strategy that I can share with you.
Having grown up in Athens, GA I come from a long tradition of bored local kids making up their own fun, embracing their inner weirdness, and generally not worrying about what people might think. It was this spirit that I believe inspired the early days of WUOG, and that continues today. So if you are staying in Athens this summer, you live here full time, or you just think of Athens as your groovy adopted home, then this playlist is for you. I may not know anything about summer camp, but I sure as hell know a lot about being fabulous, putting on a pair of gold hot pants and gearing up for an unbearably hot and humid summer. You’re going to need two things: confidence and glitter.
1. Divine – I’m so Beautiful
When Divine sings, “There ain’t nobody better than me, Can’t you see, LOOK at ME!” she is so right. This song fills me with a happiness that is so infectious it has never failed to lift me up from my lowest low. The true brilliance of this song is that while it starts out as very Divine-centric (I’m so beautiful), as the song goes on it slowly adds the lines, “we’re all beautiful, you’ve gotta believe that we are beautiful,” which is so powerful—transitioning from the love and acceptance of the self to a more universal love for all of humankind. It is at times pleading (You’ve gotta believe that I am beautiful!) and at other times completely confident (everyone is welcome to this point of view). Divine, otherworldly in her cosmic magnificence, never to be stopped—not even by death, she’s got a synthesizer that won’t quit and she does it better than New Order. There is no one better. She brings the gift of freedom, and now it belongs to you.
The typical, popular Athens music narrative tends to start with B-52s, Pylon, bands mentioned in Party Out of Bounds, and continues to R.E.M. and Athens Inside Out Bands. Then, the narrative jarringly jumps to Elephant Six. Often less mentioned are bands such as Mercyland, Porn Orchard, Bliss, Magneto, and Roosevelt, who formed part of a local Athens hardcore/post-hardcore scene. Besides Mercyland and Porn Orchard, these bands are largely undocumented, their existence betrayed by a couple of tracks on a compilation, FUEL: Seven Bands From Athens, Ga. , put out by Self Rising Records. The compilation is indicative of an active, fervent scene, albeit one without many outside resources or media attention. I sat down with Joe Rowe, the drummer of Bliss, to talk about Athens in the 90s. Rowe currently leads a bands called The Goons and has played with bands such as The Glands.