ANOTHER NIGHT IN ATHENS

Hey all, Madeline Modeliste giving ya’ll greetings from a place that many call The Classic City- Athens, Ga. I felt like chiming in to all of ya’ll music readers 'bout an interesting Thursday night I witnessed here in town. First off it should be known that I looked damn good this night. Some of you might be wondering of what importance does this have on the review? Well it just does. All right? I was wearing my faded-in-the-front jeans, lil' t-shirt, sneaks, and my purse (a big shiny purse). My contacts were an after thought, for I had my big black-rimmed glasses for seeing purposes (even though tonight was all about hearing, and only a little about seeing.)

The plans were to go head down to the Georgia Theater, where Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons were playing. And the plan was working, for I found a decent parking spot, right on Broad- near Lumpkin. Got my walking shoes walking, and skirmished into a modestly empty Georgia Theater. Jerry Joseph and his Jackmormons hadn’t quite taken the stage yet, but what had taken the stage, was taking me back. There was music that sounded familiar and odd at that same time, comfortable and bizarre, Old School and brand new learning center. It was the music of Cody Chestnutt.

The young soul singer and his band inspired the lovely and stylistic Ms. Madeline Modeliste to bust out my writing pad inside my purse. What I wrote was illegible and would not make the review for it went something like this, “stragfdel, ins the deliegrad.” And it also went like this “musig witsv lerin.” What will go in the review, however, is this, “His music had flare, as if a fire ball was chilled by spirit, a flame put out by a soul drop.” Cody Chestnutt, dressed in funky soul driven psychedelic attire, played music. Cody Chestnutt, dressed in clothes, played funky soul driven psychedelia. Funky soul driven psychedelic musical clothes played Cody Chestnutt. Now, I know that might be a bit much to swallow, but that is what it feels like to try to describe his music. He sang with passion. At times sounding like he fell out of a 1970’s R&B Album cover. At other times ripping some rock 'n roll riffs. While his onstage antics certainly kept my eyes focused (through my thick rimmed glasses) his music at times had me drifting and looking around to see if there was anyone there that I knew? And of course there was. I saw Louie, and Jethro, and my friend Debo. Debo was taking pictures; Jethro was getting his groove on. But it was Louie that filled me in on a secret. You see there was a buzz about the winds. Down at the 40 Watt Club, a bunch of bands were playing, and one of them that was playing was supposed to consist of all the members of a certain band that’s name has the letters M. E. R. in it (with the exception of a member whose name rhymes with Jeter Huck). So a little after Cody Chestnutt finished, I grabbed my make shift cameraman (debo) and headed down the street to the Forty Watt club.

The show at Forty Watt was a fundraiser for a politician running for office under the political party of probably either Republican or Democrat, or Green party. But everyone knows that my political party preference is Violet. Well actually no one knew that, because I have never told anyone. But now, everyone knows that my political party preference is that of the violet party. Well, not everyone knows, because 5 billion people do not read this website. But everyone that is reading now knows that my political party preference is that of the violet party.

Upon entering, my ears heard rock 'n roll, and it was the good kind of rock 'n roll. Some good ole fashioned Athens rock 'n roll. It was performed by the Athens band-The Possibilities. Mike Mills was on stage singing with the band. The Possibilities don’t lead anyone on to thinking they are something that they are indeed not. It is nothing but straight up rock and roll-yo. I was digging it. The very next band that came on stage, however, was the reason I came running on down here. It was Curtis Crowe switching with Bill Berry on drums and percussions, Mike Mills on Guitar, joined by William Tonks on other guitar, and Paul Crumpy Edwards on other other guitar (the bass kind). They were on from the moment they started. Smiles were swimming through the crowd. Especially by the folks near were I was standing, when other R.E.M. member, Michael Stipe, could be spotted bouncing his head to the music just to the left of the stage. When the four on stage busted into “I am superman” Stipe could be seen signing along. But would the man they call Stipe-man ever get up on stage. Yes he did. And it sort of became a mini R.E.M. reunion. I say mini, because Peter Buck was not there and Stipe’s visit to the stage was not long. But it was sweet. It ended a great night of music for all in the crowd. But not Ms. Madeline Modeliste, uh uh, no it did not. For I was on my way back to the theatre before you could say hop scotch a scratch forth.

Jerry Joseph had taken the stage and was already ripping it up by the time me and my shiny black and white purse came a tregging, came a skipping, came a tripping trekking back into the sticky floored theatre on the corner of Lumpkin and Clayton. Jerry Joseph always plays well in Athens. He brings his 4.0 grade point average game when he plays here in town. The Athens Jerry Joseph steps up to the plate cleat by cleat, he drives his soul deeper to the core of his true inner feelings and has 'em sprinkle through the speakers so that each in the crowd feels touched with his tunes. He doesn’t hold back. Leaves it all right out there on the stage. And for that I respect him. Sometimes his pure intensity is a bit much for me to handle large amounts of at one time. But tonight, I was into it for the long haul. And boy was it worth it, for not more than two shakes and a liter later, out onto the stage bolted with pounding step after pounding step-the big bad wolf- I mean Big Dave Schools. Yes that Dave Schools. The bass bomb dropping, eloquently note dispensing, always on time checking, rhythm man from up above and down below- Dave Schools.

He added much energy to the theatre. It wasn’t that long ago that his band used to play this very venue many times a year. You could tell by how comfortable he immediately became. This could have also been because his obvious relationship with Jerry. Positive vibrations from their instruments and from their whole selves were being tossed back and forth on the stage like a friendly game of vibe badminton. But the friendly game turned nasty as the music took a spill to the darker side. Right where everyone wanted it to go. And the nastiness continued till there was none left for one to be nasty with. Show over. Till next time.

The whole night was a very Musically Athens induced night.
On an Athens Scale of 5:

Cody Chestnutt and his band got 3. Three hot pockets from Jamaica mi crazy.

The Possibilities and Mike Mills band both got 5. You can’t get much more Athens than R.E.M. and the rest of those guys. Five Original “Sammie’s” from the Daily Co-Op on Prince.

And Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons got 4 and a half. An extremely High score for a band not from the area. But like I said before there is a lot of Athens in him. 4 orders of chips and cheese dip from the taco stand and the half smoked cigarette that Schools left on stage and I saw some Spreadhead chick pick up after the show and put in her purse.

Madeline Modeliste
JamBase | Athens
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[Published on: 10/24/02]

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