Wednesday, January 31, 2007
The Athens Sound
Finding a way to describe the historical and current sound coming out of Athens (home of the Ohio University) is tricky. The reason is because what defines Athens so much is its attitude, even more so than the music. What permeates the city is a quasi laid back vibe, interspersed with a touch of violent stress caused by the roving crowds of fraternity folk.
For example, one night you might walk over to The Union, stop and listen to some old guy playing electric piano on the street, then say "Hi" to Junebug as he makes his way to O'Hooley's for a gig, and then have some beers with friends.
But the next night you may walk down the street to The Union and get pegged in the head with a bottle of beer, thrown by some drunken idiot from the top of a roof. I've seen both happen.
Back to my point: It all comes through in the music. You have a load of interesting 60s hippie folk bands, producing sincere sing-a-long vibe acoustical music based in tradition. But you also have some hard rock fans, via Dropdead Sons. I think overall the sense of "anything can happen" makes for a great environment for creativity.