Penicillin Baby in Athens

Though Nashville native Penicillin Baby doesn’t fit the usual expectations coming from the Country capital of the world, they’ve got a unique flavor that sits well in the ears for any quirky psych-pop fan. With heady guitar riffs mixed with a deep drum and bass combo, their new single, Stick It Out, feels reminiscent of an upbeat, male counterpart to The Donnas. What’s great about their sound though is its consistency – every song feels like an authentic representation of the band’s talents and musical prowess. And with an all-encompassing genre like “psychedelic-pop,” that’s no easy feat.
On top of that, the rest of their album kills it if you’re in the market for an updated 90’s throwback to let out your inner fun-punk. It’s got just enough crunch and versatility to make you dance late into the night at your favorite bar and still be jamming out as you drive down to the beach for Spring Break this year. Check them out when they come into Athens on March 5th at the Caledonia Lounge.

Missing them in Athens? Good thing they’re on the road…
3/05 – The Caledonia Lounge – Athens, GA
3/06 – Savannah, GA – Ampersand (Savannah Stopover Music Festival)
3/08 – Asheville, NC – Stage Age Records
3/11 – Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge (w/ Gunther Doug & Chrome Pony)
3/23 – Nashville, TN – Queen Ave. Art Collective (w/ Ava Luna, Body of Light & Lala Lala)

~Rabekah Hansen

Ruby the RabbitFoot

Ruby the RabbitFoot

I’ve been listening to Ruby the RabbitFoot on repeat for the past week or so and it’s starting to become an addiction. Seriously, I think I’ve been annoying the hell out of my roommates as I blare her entire “New As Dew” album at all hours of the day.

Ruby the rabbitfootBut I just can’t help it. I’m absolutely hooked on Ruby Kendrick’s eclectic charm. Her music incorporates a beautiful collision of smooth beats and acoustic guitar, tied together with an entrancing voice that pulls you deep into her lyrics. “Ways,” her most popular hit, is absolutely colored by quirkiness. I also haven’t come across many artists that are able to capture the perfect balance of sweet and edgy like she does in “Misery.” And then there are her lesser known songs, like “Obsession” and “The Shelf,” which really deserve more recognition for their whimsical lyrics and fun vibes.

Plus, Ruby just seems like a totally cool person. I did enough creeping on her band’s Facebook page to find out that when she’s not playing music, she’s modeling in Japanese magazines and holding hands with Macklemore in a Fences’ music video. I mean, how freakin awesome is that?

If you haven’t checked out Ruby the RabbitFoot yet, you desperately need to. She’s on tour right now so be sure to go to her show at the 40 Watt on Thursday, March 5th, before she leaves Athens in a trail of glimmering dust. Of Montreal and Yonatan Gat will open up for her at 9:00 and tickets are $13.

~Morgan Hughley

Brews & Tunes

You know that moment when the atmosphere and brew fit so well together with the music that Heaven feels a little more tangible? Here’s our list of perfect brews and tunes for your own piece of nirvana.

Sweetwater – Blue
Album: Kansas Bible Company – Dad’s Day
Favorite Song: Élysées
I don’t know why, but some days I wish I could lay back on the hood of a ‘67 Shelby Mustang in some bellbottoms and platforms with the Beatles playing softly in the background. But if I’m being honest, I would never actually go back to the 60’s, because I’d miss my Sweetwater too much. Their brew, Blue, is one of those beers that invokes nostalgia, dreams of summertime, and the desire to lay in a hammock all day. And the perfect album to go with that? Kansas Bible Company’s Dad’s Day. When I sat in my living room drinking Blue this past (mind-numbingly cold) week while listening to Dad’s Day, I could almost feel the Summer sun warming my winter bones.

Creature Comforts – Athena
Album: Family and Friends - Love You, Mean It
Favorite Song: Love, and Other Drugs
I know, I know…another connection to Family and Friends? But with Creature Comforts’ Athena being one of my favorite locals brews, and Family and Friends being one of my favorite local bands, it only seemed fitting to pair them together. When you get that initial taste of Athena, it seems like that beer has been your drink of choice for years. Same goes for the first listen of Love You, Mean It. There’s something about the poetic lyrics, melancholy tunes, and harmonic blends that feels as those this has been playing in your car since before you had Bluetooth installed. And when you combine that with another new Athens favorite like Athena, drinking harmony occurs.

Lazy Magnolia – Southern Pecan
Album: Jason Isbell – Southeastern
Favorite Song: Stockholm
While most of the beers and albums on this list are known and well-loved by me, both Southern Pecan and Southeastern are new favorites. Despite being borned and raised in the South, I’m relatively vocal about my distaste for both pecans and country music. Yet both this beer and this album have a subtle southern-ness about them that says, “We like pick-up trucks, but don’t have to write a song about it.” The beer has a familiar sweetness about it, just as Isbell’s voice hints at this same feeling, but isn’t sweet enough to feel as to be fake or overdone. Both the beer and the music contain that wistful feeling of eating dinner at my Nana’s house and catching lightning bugs until midnight with my sister in the summer.

Terrapin – Recreation Ale
Album: Houndmouth – From the Hills Below the City
Favorite Song: Casino (Bad Things)
Rarely when I’m going to pick out a beer at the grocery store do I reach for a can. I like my beer in bottles and my music in a record. But Terrapin’s Rec Ale only seems to make sense in a can, while going on an adventure – just like Houndmouth’s From the Hills Below the City. There’s something about their alternative country rock sound that makes you feel like you’re in an REI commercial with a can of Rec Ale in your backpack. Both the music and the beer are uncomplicated and easy to enjoy with a group of friends crowded around a campfire.

Creature Comforts – Tropicalia
EP: Flume and Chet Faker – Lockjaw
Favorite Song: Drop the Game
This is one of those EP’s and beers that I have to be in the right mood for, but as soon as I am, I can’t get enough of it. You could probably put a 6-pack in front of me right now with this EP on repeat and I couldn’t stop myself. The beer is unique enough that you might have to drink a couple to decide whether or not it’s your new special occasion brew, and Flume and Chet Faker’s Lockjaw collaboration has this same flavor. Both the beer and the EP take some getting used to, but eventually they’ll be your go to when you’re trying to impress a date with your cultured taste in music and craft beer.

Red Brick – Laughing Skull
EP: The Bread Brothers – The Bread Brothers
Favorite Song: Milk and Honey
I stumbled across both this EP and this brew shortly after my 21st, and both have quickly become go-to’s for me. There’s something about this beer that makes me think highly of myself that I can finally name a craft beer as a trusted brew. With a caramel mixed with bitter flavor that doesn’t overpower your senses, it’s the perfect drink to have at a hip, restaurant going for that hole-in-the-wall look. And The Bread Brothers gives me this same feel – like I can finally name a modern rock-in-roll band that doesn’t make my dad scoff because “It’s a cheap imitation.” Both up my badass reputation and don’t make others cringe when I mention them in casual conversation with the hipper class, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

~Rabekah Hansen

The Chilly Playlist

In honor of this cold weather, here are a few songs that’ll make you want to huddle up next to the fire with a blanket and some hot chocolate.

Sleeping In- The Postal Service

Someday- Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors

Still- Daughter

Winter- Joshua Radin

Alone- Trampled By Turtles

March- Justin Vernon

February Seven- Avett Brothers

Nine- La Dispute

Your Head and Your Heart- The Saint Johns

Blood Bank- Bon Iver

Living Proof- Gregory Alan Isakov

Two Sides of Lonely- The Lone Bellow

~Morgan Hughley

Show in Review: The Howling Tongues

There’s no better way to spend a chilly Thursday night than dancing the cold away, and where better to do that than the 40 Watt?

la foto 2The Howling Tongues warmed our bodies and our hearts Thursday headlining a packed bill. Although the crowd had dwindled significantly by the time the Atlanta band took the stage, they got everyone who stuck around into the performance, clapping and singing along to every song. We were treated to their unique blend of rock ‘n’ roll, made by adding a dash each of over-driven organ, soulful harmonica, and raspy vocals to a base of classic rock, seasoned with just enough twang. Their lead single “Gotta Be A Man” and a rousing southern rock-influenced cover of the Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” earned spots as the show’s highlights.

The Howling Tongue’s local support shined on stage, too. JUNA took to the stage first, every bit as self-aware sad and weird as expected. Next up came Waitress, who were, if anything, hard, aggressive, and hilarious. Let’s be real, though. Even lead singer Brian McGhee knew we were all there for Ryan Houchen’s (also of Family and Friends) propulsive drumming. Third up was female-fronted punk pop rock trio Monsoon. They hit the ground running with their latest single “Ride A Rolla” and kept the energy going. Midway through the set, a mosh pit spontaneously erupted, leaving us all to wonder ‘What took so long?’ They even played a few surf-inspired numbers, fitting given the band’s name.

All in all, the show was worth the trek into the cold, dark night. Don’t miss these acts the next time they play around town!

~Jenna Hegarty

Ice Black Sand’s on Fire

reptar1Beloved Athens quartet Reptar will release their second album Lurid Glow this March 31st with Joyful Noise. Our first taste of the the follow-up to 2012’s Body Faucet is the experimental new single “Ice Black Sand”. Blending new wave with brassy hooks and pulsing percussion, this hypnotizing track manages to be both more pop and more serious than their previous releases. The foursome deftly channeled their high energy into a more targeted sound backed by lush instrumentation to create one dance-y track.

Get your party on here.

Reptar hits the road this spring. Don’t miss them at Athen’s Slingshot this March!

~Jenna Hegarty

Howling Tongues Live at the 40Watt

What’s a better way to procrastinate your midterms than to immerse yourself in the music of a totally killer band? Well, you better shut the textbook and call off the study session now because The Howling Tongues are making their way to Athens.

Now, I gotta admit that if you asked me a week ago, I wouldn’t of known who or what a howling tongue was. But, after hearing their self-titled album for the first time today, let me tell you that this Atlanta band is not only a group I want to continue listening to, but also a group of people I want to get to know.

howling tonguesThe Howling Tongues create dynamic rock ‘n’ roll music, laced with a bit of twang (though it’s nowhere close to southern rock). If Cheap Trick had a love child with the early 2000s band Jet, and that love child grew up to be just a little southern, we’d get a combination of both upbeat vibes and catchy lyrics that would perfectly capture the spirit of The Howling Tongues. I mean, this is a band that definitely knows how to make their music fun. With crowd-pleasing songs like “Gotta Be A Man” or “I’m In Love” you’re guaranteed to be singing at the top of your lungs and dancing like nobody’s watching.

Seriously, you gotta check these guys out while they’re here. They’ll be at the 40 Watt on Feb.19th at 8 p.m. And if the prospect of basking in The Howling Tongues’ glory all night isn’t enough to get ya there, keep in mind that they’ll also be joined on stage by JUNA, Waitress and Monsoon- three pretty cool local bands. Tickets are only $5.00.

~Morgan Hughley