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Woohoo AthFest

June 28, 2010

This is only tangentially related to this book (to the extent that it’s Athens), but I’m compelled to talk a bit about this weekend.

The past weekend was AthFest, which for my northern readership is like State College’s Arts Fest, only there’s actually stuff to do. There’s a lot of stuff to do.

For example, I went downtown Saturday in the late afternoon (probably around 4 or 5) and didn’t make it home until after 4 in the morning. But for separate breaks to eat pizza and a milkshake, pretty much the entire time was spent watching bands. I was luckily able to score a wristband from my tenuous ties to Flagpole, so I was able to roam wherever I wanted to (or, more accurately, wherever my friends wanted to, as I was sort of overwhelmed by the 150 or so bands playing over the course of the weekend).

I took in a ton of music in the past few days. I saw jazz, both Hawaiian and Afro-Cuban. I saw rappers, both black and white. I saw Americana, alt-country and southern rock, and I was able to tell the difference. I saw funk, chamber pop, shoegaze, and a metal band featuring a 10-year-old on lead guitar (who could shred). I saw a band with multiple keytar players.

Some of it sucked, but most of it was at least pretty good and a lot of it was genuinely great. I’ve got a lot of bands to catch again in the future and a weekend I won’t forget for quite some time.

And to cap off AthFest in style, I went to my very first fish fry last night, where I introduced some unsuspecting eaters to my world famous mashed chipotle sweet potatoes (which I’ve been looking for an excuse to make for a while now), ate a ton of fried mahi mahi, and simultaneously watched three TVs (showing episodes of Dr. Who on one, a 1950s sci-fi movie called The Monster Who Challenged the World on another, and some show about car wrecks and people getting hit in the groin on the third) while listening to two different albums (one a John Cage CD, the other a mix tape of Sebadoh side projects). Athens is wonderful.

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