Sure, Austin may be at the center of the music world for at least a week in March, but does that necessitate the city’s monopolization of all concurrent music discussion?? Of course not! In fact, I’m making it a point to deliberately highlight a town hundreds of miles away, whose history surpasses in national significance even the Texas capital, and whose music scene has been and remains just as distinct: Athens. Thanks be to Apollo for endowing the great city of Athens with a preeminent music scene that at least partially mitigates the possibly justifiable raging evident at all those protests! Plus, can you imagine the awesomeness of the Parthenon as a music venue? A symbol of democracy being honored to this day through the equal participation in, and support of, crowd-surfing.
That’s the other Athens! The Athens in the American state of Georgia also deserves some highlighting, if not for spawning R.E.M. and a host of other memorable rock bands, then for being the eventual headquarters of the familial Elephant 6, who’ve released music from (and were in some sense founded by) The Apples in Stereo, The Olivia Tremor Control, Neutral Milk Hotel, and of Montreal, among plenty others. Perhaps bolstered by the excitement over NMH’s recent reunion, a number of Athens venues and organizations are taking August through December of this year to “celebrate the impact [of Elephant 6] in a season-long series of exhibitions, screenings and events.” This is all according to former TMTer Gabe Vodicka over at Flagpole.
Actual music by-way-of performances are so far missing from the scheduled celebration, but among what’s currently planned: an exhibit at the Georgia Museum of Art displaying original cover art by Will Hart, Chris Bilheimer, Jill Carnes, David Barnes, Will Westbrook, and more (October 4 - January 4, 2015), and a collection of props from Music Tapes performances, collages by Laura Carter, and photographs by Jason Thrasher at the Lyndon House Arts Center (August 14 - October 4).
I’m sure once we get closer to August, everything will be more clearly summarized… somewhere. Stay tuned for more event announcements.
• Elephant 6: http://www.elephant6.com
[Photo: John Kendelhardt]