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January 4, 2009

Tonight went a bit better than today.

First, we went to dinner at one of the Varsity, one of the local favorites.

It was the first time in my entire life that I’ve been unable to finish a meal because it was too greasy, but I still felt pretty great after the fact. After only two meals, I’m amazed at how cheap food is down here. For barely six bucks, I got a chili cheeseburger, an order of onion rings and some kind of an orange creamsicle smoothie.

After dinner, we wandered around downtown a bit more before heading over to the Flicker Bar, where I saw more people than I had seen all day prior. Tom and I sat down to watch the first band (one so new that the singer had to read his lyrics off a legal pad), and a few songs in, I got a call from John Fernandes, the E6er I mentioned in a previous post with whom I had planned to meet at some point on the trip. He was calling to invite me out to the Flicker Bar where he would be playing later. Naturally, I went and found him quickly. We talked for a bit, and I’ll be hanging out with him at some point tomorrow.

Eventually, the band he was playing with for tonight took the stage, a project calling itself Moth Vamana, fronted by Ham1’s Jacob Morris and featuring Fernandes alternately on violin and clarinet. For a band playing its first show ever after only one practice ever, they were pretty tight.

The bar itself wasn’t wholly unlike twenty or thirty other places I’ve seen smaller shows, but everyone seemed a little bit more relaxed and a little bit more pleasant than I’m used to. Part of this trip was ostensibly a pilgrimage for me to figure out just how well the “real” Athens stands up against the romanticized one I’ve heard so much about. Obviously, coming here while most of the student population is away isn’t necessarily the best indicator, but I like what I’ve seen so far.

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