Got Live (If You Want It)
Just the Music
What defines a “scene” is not an abundance of bands, venues, producers, flyers on the street or what have you. You can have all of these things — visit your nearest Large City — and be stuck with nothing but an overwhelming quantity of tired choices. Events such as Athens’ long-running scene depend on a sense of community and cooperation that is difficult to come by in a field easily dominated by egos and competition. The nature of this disc clearly demonstrates the strength of a good scene. The “Local Noise” feature, which airs on Athens radio station 103.7, has attracted a fair share of talented bands over the years, many of which have gone on to bigger things. Many haven’t yet, but there’s no sense of filler to their presence here. Guadalcanal Diary, 5/8, Shawn Mullins and REM are given equal billing to up and comers like Dayroom and Josh Joplin Band and others whose number is being called as we speak. Throughout all, you get the feeling that everyone who resides or frequently plays in Athens is viewed as an equal, whether you have platinum records or thrift-store art on the walls. High points here include Kevn Kinney’s “Chico and Maria,” half song/half story, and 5/8’s “Orlando,” which makes its first appearance here.
Got Live transcends any pretensions of “scene document” and instead becomes a solid collection of songs. Sure, they share the Athens sensibility you’ve come to expect — mostly guitars, emotional lyrics, even a genteel southern Gothic charm if you want to go that far — but the bottom line is that these are all good songs, performed live in an intimate setting and captured nearly intact. Very good.
Just The Music, 510 Edgewood Ave. SE, Suite One, Atlanta, GA 30312; http://www.justthemusic.com/