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Athens, Georgia

So we roll into Athens for the first time late as hell. We have a radio gig at 4pm. Not until we’re almost to Athens do we realize we’ve lost an hour thanks to our old friend the Eastern Time Zone. Shit, we’re going to be late. We listen to the station we’re scheduled to be on. Weirdly, it’s a classical music show. 4pm rolls around, we’re still not there, and WUGA is still playing classical music. The DJ comes on, says the four o’clock concert guests are running late. Then puts on a classical guitar quartet. So we’re stressed. We’re missing our radio gig, and we guessing they’ve misidentified us as a classical group. Could this really be? We bust ass across the campus of the University of Georgia and arrive at the station at 4:22pm. The DJ throws up a mic and hits the button. He’s a pro. We’ve got 8 minutes. We play the Fern song, talk a little bit, and it’s over. The DJ puts on a Bach symphony and says goodbye as if this is all very normal. Maybe it is. We’re a bit spooked as other than the DJ and a few plain dressed civilians, the campus is largely deserted. It’s summer. It’s hot. The students have headed for the beach or mom and dad’s air conditioned house. The only signs of life are around the club next door to the one we’re playing. Beck is there tonight and his big silver bus is parked out front like a big silver bomb. We suspect this is trouble for us as any surviving music lover in Athens is more likely going to see the Beck show tonight instead of coming to see us.

Our fears are confirmed as show time nears and the club, Flicker Bar, remains quiet. We flee the club for a high concept restaurant next door called Farm 255. All the food they serve is raised on their farm just outside of town. We eat beets and bread dipped in olive oil and Vidalia onion rings. There’s organic beef and shrimp and grits. It’s a great concept this farm to table thing. Can’t believe we ever got away from it. If Athens has taught us anything it’s to eat farm fresh foods. Well the good news is, Flicker Bar is a great little room for acoustic music. A cool red curtained cave, with great sound. Tony and Kip do their acoustic duo, sound magnificent. Coles listeners, you missed a good one tonight. The Hawks do a very nice set as well.

Bad news: Pretty low turnout.Are Americans staying home with their mega entertainment centers? Watching Beck and old Merle Haggard clips on YouTube, while today’s country rock heroes toil in obscurity on $3 gas? Americans: abandon your Hi Def TVs, get in the car, accelerate slowly and brake infrequently, and come down and see the band!