11:00 a.m. Natalie & Brian Smith/Yoga
12:00 p.m. Nuclear Tourism
1:00 p.m. Cosmo Jr
2:00 p.m. Juan de Fuca
3:00 p.m. Five-Eight
4:00 p.m. Linqua Franqa
5:00 p.m Elf Power
Elf Power formed in 1994 and over the last 19 years have released twelve albums, two eps, and a handful of singles, while touring North America, Europe, and Japan many times. Albums such as 1998’s Dave Fridmann-produced “A Dream In Sound” and 2008’s collaboration with the late Vic Chesnutt, “Dark Developments” have cemented the bands’ reputation as the finest purveyors of modern melodic pychedelic folk rock around. They are one of the most popular bands on the current Athens’ music scene, with international recognition.
Rock bands, perhaps often for good reasons, are rarely associated with sainthood. Yet on Songs for St. Jude, the first double-album from Athens, Georgia’s Five Eight is fitting — even if it is read as a punchline to a career marred by music business implosions, recoveries from substance abuse, and nervous breakdowns. Frontman
Mike Mantione’s songwriting swings between somber swoons a la Vic Chesnutt (illustrated by the album-opener “Smoke” and the dynamism of “Palace Estates”) to pop rock pomp (found on “Kids” and the mesmerizing “Werner Herzog”). Despite the wide range of sonic territory explored therein, the common thread throughout these seventeen songs is the notion that salvation is just ahead, that holiness is at once out of one’s control and, nevertheless, perfectly attainable.
While the band may have somehow evaded broad commercial success despite timeless songs and relentless touring, their critical acclaim is in no short supply. During the band’s 2017 appearance at South by Southwest in Austin, Robin Hilton of NPR wrote that the band “still thrash harder than most twentysomethings could ever hope to,” a statement that minces no words on the band’s indomitable spirit. Though personnel shifts have occurred since the band’s inception in the late 1980s, nothing short of communion is experienced between Mantione (vocals, guitar), Dan Horowitz (bass), Sean Dunn (guitar), and Patrick Ferguson (drums) when the band performs their extensive catalog and selection from Songs for St. Jude live. The band’s classic lineup sounds as refined and focused as ever, having shared the stage with Drivin’ N Cryin’ and Drive By Truckers as well as other seraphic songwriters of the American South.
Juan de Fuca
Cosmo Jr Cosmo Jr is a 4 piece fronted by Dana Downs, vocalist/bass guitarist, who has played in many bands over the years including the Tone-tones, Go Van Go, and Vietnam. Deborah Wall, drummer /percussionist, was in one of Athens’ first all-female groups; the Super Vixens. Ben Hesse is the guitarist and producer, played in NoSeeums and Adams Family Country Band with Dana, as well as other local bands. Guitarist Kevin Dunn was a member of Atlanta’s first punk band, the Fans, and is known for his work with the Regiment of Women. The band’s sound is Americana punk psychedlia with a dash of Broadway. The band has done special performances for the Piccolo Spoleto and Moja Festivals in Charleston and is working on their full length pirate opera “Sisters in Arms.”
Nuclear Tourism is a surf punk guitar band that brings fresh life to alternative rock. They are an up and coming group of high schoolers from Athens Georgia who got together at a Nuçi’s Space Camp Amped a few years ago and have since played dates all around the state. Nuclear Tourism combines elements of California punk bands FIDLAR, The Frights, and other influences like The White Stripes and The Ramones to create a raw and punchy sound.
The Smiths. Natalie & Brian Smith. The Musicsmiths is a flute and guitar duo made up of wife Natalie and husband Brian Smith. Originally, the duo formed to play music for weddings and other special events. They play a variety of styles of music, including classical, jazz and popular music and have enjoyed their most recent venture of collaborating with yoga instructors to provide live music for asana classes.