14 Artists to Watch at AthFest 2014: June 20th – 22nd
I love AthFest, plain and simple. Since attending for the first time in 2011, I’ve spent the first part of each Spring counting the days until the festival and then as soon as it’s over, wondering why the weekend never seems long enough.
AthFest has, in more recent years, consisted of a variety of events around town that culminate with three days of live music from 100+ acts. Between the incredible lineups on the two FREE outdoor stages to the sweaty, boozy action that late night in Athens always seems to be, the festival offers something for everyone.
I won’t waste time in giving you a full background of what AthFest is (or is not) and get right to the point of this article; showcasing a handful of bands on the 2014 lineup that I personally hope you’ll spend some time with. Aside from these fourteen, there are dozens and dozens of the best up-and-coming acts around Georgia playing over the weekend so you’re sure to find some new favorites.
If you care to learn the full story on AthFest, check out our post from 2013 that gives a play-by-play recap of each year.
Dana Swimmer – Friday @ Hull Street Stage – 6:00pm
These folks have been sweethearts of TheBlueIndian.com for some time now. Between the shows they’ve played in Macon to their set at Sounds of the South last year, every show I’ve seen has been impressive. Getting to spend some time watching them on their home turf should be a real treat. Enjoy this one, it’s an oldie but a goodie..[youtube id=hVF9T4FnEos]
Family and Friends – Friday @ Pulaski Street Stage @ 7:45pm
Truth be told, I haven’t had the chance to see Family and Friends yet but the immense amount of love and support that they’ve received is a clear testament to their music and live show. I’ve heard amazing stories about their GATH show with Saintseneca last year, amazing stories from their shows in Milledgeville, and I’m looking forward to having a few of my own to take home.[youtube id=S_DzZoRsbXA]
Roadkill Ghost Choir – Friday @ Georgia Theatre – 9:45pm
You may remember these guys from our “Band of the Month” feature from early 2013. Or from their appearance on Letterman. Or from any of the other amazing sessions, shows, and festivals the band has been a part of over the last few years. I’m ready for Georgia Theatre to get soaked in reverb![youtube id=K8WnbiBSV1A]
Party Dolls – Saturday @ Hull Street Stage – 4:15pm
Featuring members of Tedo Stone, The District Attorneys, Crooked Fingers, and other fine Athens/Atlanta acts, Party Dolls have dubbed themselves a “semi-obscure supergroup”… If you’ve had the chance to see any of the aforementioned bands, you know they have an appetite for rock and roll and I’d expect the same (if not 4x more) out of Party Dolls. You can listen to their debut here.[youtube id=4INPhqskSFg]
Kishi Bashi – Saturday @ Pulaski Street Stage – 9:00pm
Kishi Bashi made his claim in the Athens music scene for his involvement with of Montreal but his recent solo work has taken him to stages around the world! From SXSW and Austin City Limits to tours with Sondre Lerche and The Last Bison, fans have fallen in love with his unique blend of violin work and programming. Kishi Bashi closes down the Pulaski Street Stage on Saturday[youtube id=0ZutRhiFmHM]
Programs – Saturday @ Georgia Theatre – 9:45pm
Athens-based synth-pop that have received praise from The Red & Black, Team Clermont, Flagpole Magazine, and a rapidly growing mess of fans around the town. Most recently, they opened for The Whigs’ album release show at the 40 Watt.[youtube id=CtBln-oP8yg]
David Wax Museum – Saturday @ The Melting Point – 10:00pm
I can’t really describe these guys better than they already have. Expect bright harmonies and thought-provoking songwriting. With tour aside The Avett Brothers, Caroline Chocolate Drops, and The Old 97’s (too only name a few), Saturday night at The Melting Point should be a treat.[youtube id=-ANWdAn1Who]
Powerkompany – Saturday @ The World Famous – 11:00pm
Debuting PowerKompany‘s video for “Last Winter” back in August was a wonderful honor for all of us at TheBlueIndian.com. The duo of Marie Devon & Andrew Heaton have grown well beyond being identified only as members of other bands (Packway Handle, Venice is Sinking) and I’m eager to see what they pull out for AthFest this year.
Wired Music Festival – Saturday @ NewEarth Music Hall
Though not exactly part of AthFest, the Wired Music Festival has taken place on the Saturday of the festival for the past few years. Featuring heavy-hitting bass fanatics on multiple stages, Wired requires an additional pass to enter but is well worth the money if you’re more prone to flashing lights and bass drops.
Woodfangs – Saturday @ 40 Watt – 11:15pm
“Hailing from outer space and beyond and transplanted to the musical hot bed of Athens, GA, Woodfangs makes corn-fed, southern psychedelic space rock.” No shit. These guys just released a new record called Future Vistas that you can listen to here.[youtube id=VyVTFxZ1AO4]
Kishi Bashi (DJ set) – Saturday @ The World Famous – 12:00am
See above, but more dancing. Be there!
Turquoise Jeep – Saturday @ Georgia Theatre – 12:45am
Oddly enough, the first time anyone ever showed me Turquoise Jeep was one hungover morning after a long weekend in Athens. Famous for their viral hits, “Lemme Smang It”, “Did I Mention I Like To Dance”, “Fried or Fertilized” and many, many more, the TJ crew will bring their sensual vibes to the Georgia Theatre to close out the Theatre’s AthFest run.[youtube id=h1zGqRXZlnY]
Cinemechanica – Saturday @ Caledonia Lounge – 1:00am
Hard-hitting, technical tunes straight of Athens backed by the jaw-dropping drum work of Mike Albanese. If you’re expecting Caledonia to be at capacity, you’re probably right.[youtube id=nayRwDLTKwQ]
Ed Roland & the Sweet Tea Project – Sunday @ Pulaski Street Stage – 3:15pm
Don’t think Collective Soul when you think of Ed Roland & the Sweet Tea Project. The newest project from the frontman of your favorite 90’s group started as a group of friends playing in on songs Roland had written and eventually evolved into the touring unit that it is today. The band released their debut album last Fall and will make for an excellent way to lead into the final evening of AthFest 2014.[youtube id=7gY4DF3mUOE]