Athens, GA's population goes on a diet over the summer. Shredding calories as a chunk of the college kids go home. This brings out the musicians. Many times playing in intimate settings that just couldn't happen during the school year. It gives a chance for musicians to play last second shows with sometimes no announcements at all. Well we don't want that to happen to Athfest. That is why I, the lovely and petite Madeline Modeliste, am here to let you know about a festival of art and music in the Classic City.

With over 150 bands and tickets for the full weekend at just $12, Athfest - which takes place this weekend, June 19 - 22 - has to be the best deal going around. That comes out to less than 9 cents a band. There are also one-day passes for just $7. Ticket prices go up just a tad if you get them at the show. I am not one to hold back any truth, so I would like you to know that within this group of 155 bands, many of them are drenched with talent. Sure some of 'em might suck, some of 'em might smell like a freshly rinsed garbage dumpster (which still stinks), and some of them might stink like that same dumpster before it had been rinsed. But that is why I am here, your guide on this Athens adventure, your goddess - the lovely and single (cause I want to be) Madeline Modeliste. I am here to guide you in the right way.

Bands on Friday include: The Ben Mize Band, Cracker, Ceiling Fan, Dodd Ferelle, Elem N.O.P., and Viktor And Andrej.

Saturday the lineup includes but is not limited to: David Barbe, The Tom Collins, the Cindy Wilson Band (of my beloved B-52s), the Dictatortots, Boo Ray, Leslie Helpert, and a Hope for a Golden Summer.

Sunday's lineup has all the following freaks plus some more: Calliope Fair and Don Chambers.

For you JamBase freaks, here are my personal recommendations are:

On Friday Night, you might want to check out Hobex. They bring a lot of energy in their tightly spun band. Mixing organic roots music with electric spastic jamming, their show should keep your body shifting. And at Midnight at Tasty World, Park Bench Trio will bring their southern rock outfit and most likely work the crowd into a frenzy.

Head on down to the Georgia Theater on Saturday night: Basement will take the stage first with their slyly psychedelic, trance rock, pulse setting, quick time changing, free funk thumping, introspective thought provoking, music for the folks that don't want to hear 15 minute songs. Also, that night Aqualove will be letting out their smell of Zappa/Meatloaf-like rock operatic show with visuals that might remind you of P-Funk and smells that might remind you of the Healing art center. Also that night at the Jowja Thee-A-tore is about the hottest band going 'round these days in these parts and other parts like these parts: Dubconscious brings its heavy roots-rock reggae and delicately adds elements of psyschedellia, world music, and dub to make a unique brand of music that one can only describe as Dubconsciousy.

And on Sunday on the main stage: Bloodkin comes on at 4:20 (dude) with their hard rocking, southern charmed, Athens to the bone-kind of tunes. Just after that is what could be the highlight of the fest, a reunion of sorts, for a band called the Fuzzy Sprouts. The Sprouts, who have now morphed somewhat into Aqualove, are famous for always keeping their audience off balance. I will say it is rock and roll, with a lot of emotion, but I will not dare to try to predict it any further than that. Fuzzy Sprouts are completely different every single show! And as if that is not enough, just after the Sprouts comes the Kevn Kinney Band. Kevn has a matchless brand of folk-rock. His band will play the sweetest and softest melody ever written, and then take it to the hard feeling, fist in the air throwing, drink a beer down and then another one before the song is over, kind of tunes that make everyone smile.

Music is not the only reason to come to Athens. Art will be displayed and sold right in the heart of downtown. So there's plenty of reason to come down to Athfest 2003, the music, the art, and to see the city in which the beauty herself, Mad Mode, lives in. I can already here the questions coming via email, to answer them very briefly, "I do not know quite yet, what I will be wearing at Athfest," and "No you can not buy me a beer." But do indeed have fun.

Madeline Modeliste
JamBase | Athens, GA
Go See Live Music!

[Published on: 6/18/03]

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