Thursday, April 17, 2008

Blackout Fest XIII (Ex Eye Eye Eye)

From the Athens Post:

As much as I'm hoping Athens sees a kind of rebirth of great bands, I want to shine a light on an upcoming festival. A year ago I did an interview with Blackout Fest organizer Scott Winland about his show. I think the link is to the right in the "Best of PWAH."
But it's back again. Read on, little reader:

While some consider 13 an unlucky number, to Scott Winland, organizer of Blackoutfest XIII, it’s a testament to the prosperity of a lasting underground music festival.
“(Blackoutfest) is always a success. It started as a one night, local show and then it evolved into a two-day event and then a three-day event,” said Winland, who runs Blackout Booking.
Blackoutfest kicks off at 6 tonight at The Union, 18 W. Union St., and features more than 30 bands, from local bands like The Makebelieves to the premiere of RIBS, a “supergroup” of underground musicians, during its three-day run.
The fest has become so synonymous with its venue that Mishka Shubaly, who will open the fest tonight with a solo set and later play in the New York-based band RIBS, said he contemplated getting a tattoo of The Union’s address last year.
“The only reason I didn’t get it was because I partied so hard that I didn’t make it out of bed until five — maybe this year though. People don’t always appreciate what a cool scene The Union is,” said the four-year festival veteran.
The Union is currently undergoing renovations to its downstairs bar, but did not close completely and is keeping its place in the local music scene, Winland said.
It’s incredible that a venue in a small town like Athens will continue to be known nationally as a place for underground touring acts to play, he said.
“I’ve toured in 40 states, and The Union’s my favorite club to play. In New York, people stand at club shows with their arms folded, texting or chatting at the bar,” Shubaly said. “But here, if it’s good music, people get into it and dance.”Blackoutfest has gained a reputation not just for its Athens atmosphere, but also the quality of acts that are broughtin to play.
“It’s the premier music festival in terms of underground music, and The Union is one of the best conclaves for underground bands in the Midwest,” said Chris Corbin, an Athens native and a member of the Dropdead Sons.
Some of the bigger names at this fest are Greg Cartwright, Kurt Vile and the Terrible Twos, Winland said. The Terrible Twos will close Blackoutfest late Saturday.
“(Blackoutfest) is about getting sweaty and touching people — that’s rock’n’roll,” Shubaly said.
Tickets are $10 for each night, or $25 for a three-day pass.

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