Last Thursday (October 9th) I was driving home after a long day and as I passed by the Green Room, I saw that Cosby Sweater was playing with local DJ Andy Bruh, and duly noted my night was far from over.
Andy Bruh is an animal – a real bass head who spins those low, juicy beats that rock you to your core and make you whomp around on the dance floor. I first caught him at the Umphrey’s McGee After Party at New Earth Music Hall back in September after emerging from the back room where the Kinky Aphrodisiacs were playing. I posted up in front and got down… way down.
Bruh works hard to deliver notable original content with some great covers and remixes of hard rolling standards. Still developing, some of his transitions aren’t quite there yet, but the quality of what he’s giving his audiences is so good that any (unintended) glitches are immediately excusable. He definitely holds roots in dub step – particularly from industry giant, Bassnectar – but Bruh clearly brings his own unique spin to the music he produces. I fucking love the grumbly lion growl he throws in throughout his sets! I’m looking forward to catching a lot more of him in the future!
I first saw Cosby Sweater in Burlington, VT at Higher Ground‘s Showcase Lounge back in June of 2013 and I must have got hooked on a loose thread, because man did I unravel that night. They throw down a pretty awesome show with a distinctive sound that has only been developing since then. At the Showcase Lounge show, they were still very DJ oriented, with their general feel leaning towards heavy, pounding beats embellished by some gritty sax and live drums. Because they’ve split the roles over three musicians, they are able to take on little more distinctive interaction between the instruments elements and keep more of the music mixing without looping or using prerecorded tracks.
I caught them again at Camp Bisco X (RIP?) and enjoyed a similar sound, but at the Green Room, I noticed a different, somewhat more mature dynamic in the group. These days Cosby Sweater seems to have found a greater balance between its members, giving them much more of a livetronica/jamtronica than they used to have, and it sounds fantastic! The drums (Jeff Peterson) really shine through as an aggressive participant now and the sax (Nicholas Gerlach) takes on lengthy, raging solos on the tenor and the EWI that are an absolute blast. David Embry keeps the energy high with his mixing, production and vocals, and knows just when to bring the energy up and down.
It’s been a hot minute since the last post about Myriad Interactive Arts & Music Exhibition, and now it’s time to give the rundown on what’s gone one, going on, and where it’s all going.
On September 29th, Under Water Radio was the featured artist of the night – an Athens-based trio comprised of Robert Martinez (Vocals, Drums & Productions) Nick Maestro (Guitar, Vocals), and Will Angel (Bass, Synth, Samples, Vocals). Simple in appearance, these guys put on quite an impressive show. Their musical style ranges from hard, anthemic metal, to slow and spacey reggae-rock, demonstrating great control in an ability to pair hard-driving aggression with a liquid and laid-back sensibility. In this sense, they seem channel Umphrey’s McGee in their playing.
The complexity of their sound doesn’t stop there, though. Under Water Radio describes themselves as “experimental/dance”, which comes through in some of their more up-tempo and hard-driving moments, but they are excellent songwriters. Some pop elements shine through, but are kept in check by the conscious nature of the lyrics and the interesting blend of sounds and rhythms employed. The bass is so slow an enunciated, almost teased out and rubbery at times, letting it shine through in seriously heavy way and hinting at some influence from shoe-gaze. The guitarist solos with the robust, free-wheelin nature of J. Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr.). The overall feel of their music really begs a comparison to Built To Spill. With the combination of just bizarre enough lyrics, easy tempo, and maintenance of high energy throughout, it almost feels certain Under Water Radio would draw influence from them, but oddly enough, none of the band members are particularly familiar the band.
The following week featured up and coming local jam band, Satsuma, which features musicians from another Athens-based group, The Freshtones, and other local acts. Members include: Jimmy Hadaway (Guitar/Vox), DJ Rees (Guitar/Vox), Evan Williamson (Bass/Vox), and Bob Constable (Drums). Their set included a mix of originals and covers, including some fantastic renditions of Grateful Dead songs, such as “China Cat Sunflower,” “I Know You Rider,” and “Deep Elem Blues”.
Satsuma takes on more of the gritty, hard-edged americana side of jam music, but has no problem keeping things a little funky for some serious grooving. In their jams, they have an excellent breakdown of style, keeping smooth and unpredictable transitions. Williamson on bass and vocals is similar to Ethan McBrien of Dublin/Peterborough, NH based band, The Youngest Sun. The band sounds tight! They hope work their way further up in the Athens circuit, and it’s likely that they’ll do just that. They give a lot to their audience through their music and they love to see the energy go to good use, so get out to a show of theirs and dance yourself silly!
No matter how you carve it, The Night Is still Young for our countdown to the big day, but rest assured, It’s Going Down. If you’re feeling Blue, don’t worry – it’s just a Dream. We’ll all be Wide Awake and on to the High Life before you know it!
Sometimes when you’re grooving, you fall out of the groove. It’s okay though, because you can always find your way back in and keep on sharing in the groove! It’s been tough keeping everyone up to date with some of my most recent adventures, but things are about to get back on track.
There’s quite a lot to talk about now, seeing as about 3 weeks have gone by without a single write up… I’ve been to two Myriads, a folk art festival, Cosby Sweater with Andy Bruh, and most recently, Flying Lotus with Thundercat. Not everything is going to get a story though. Just like grooving, sometimes things get lost in the moment.
In the next day or so, look forward to:
- A review of 2 Myriads, and what’s changing about the event
- Some talk about Cosby Sweater and some promo for Andy Bruh
- Another update on Big Gigantic‘s Touch the Sky Tour
Sorry, Flying Lotus was just for me. The man is beyond words, plus I was too busy dancing and getting my mind melted by his new visual setup.
Tomorrow is the first day of October – my favorite month of the year! The reasons to love October are innumerable. My birthday is coming up, the best weather is about to hit, pumpkin everything will be in full swing, and the best holiday ever awaits us at the end!
This year will be an extra special October, not only because I get to run a half marathon on my birthday, but because my favorite electronic music act, BIG GIGANTIC, will be coming to Atlanta on the 31st to blow the roof of The Tabernacle! Two favorites in one day – how bout it!? This is gonna be a dank and freaky spooktacular for all who make it.
I’ve started a countdown here on Sharing in a Groove, and I invite you all to join in with me as I await A Big Gigantic Halloween. Hope to see you there!
While you’re here, check out this interview Dominic Lalli did with Thump:
Painful as it may be to let something go, sometimes there is no way around it. This week I find myself departing for a week-long adventure to New York and then to Boston for the English Institute at Harvard. While I can’t say I feel I’m making any compromises here, I will be unable to attend some great shows coming to Athens this weekend.
Thus, Sharing in a Groove celebrates the rise of a new segment, which we will call for now “I Can’t Go… But You Should.” In these posts – of which I’m sure there will be many more of as I continue to fill in my schedule – I will bring attention to the events in town I think should be checked out, but that I cannot make. It would be awesome for anyone who takes me up on these suggestions to leave comments about their experience at the show, share pictures, or tell about any other interesting music and arts events they attended that I failed to mention.
First up, on Wednesday, September 18th, The Heavy Pets are playing at New Earth Music Hall with The Fresshtones and the Halem Albright Band. The Heavy Pets have been on my list for a while now, but I recently saw the Halem Albright Band at the Green Room and they were a great time! You can read a review I did on them here. The show is only $5, so it’s a great deal too!
Speaking of the Green Room, another new favorite local band of mine, The Kinky Aphrodisiacs, are playing there on Saturday, September 20th with Andy Bruh and and Robbie Dude. I saw the KA’s and Andy Bruh at the Umphrey’s McGee after party at New Earth a few weeks ago and had a blast! This is not one I would miss if you’re in town. It’s sure to be a raucous and dance-happy time, and it’s fo free! Thank me later, thank the musicians first.
I’ll be sure to update this post if I find more going on, but those are my current highlights. Get out there and share in a groove!