Begin (at) The Begin(ning)

I was chatting with a friend of mine who just got accepted into UGA’s Music Business program today when he mentioned that he’s been a bit of a homebody and never really done much exploring around Athens. He was worried that the MBUS program would place him in an externship (which are required btw) in a place that he didn’t know very well.

Said friend had also heard a lot about WUOG but had no idea where it was. So the local music director and I gave him a tour. After we had all headed back home, it struck me that a lot of the new people didn’t really know much about the local music landmarks and venues. So I decided that, instead of facebook, I would type up a list of things you should do/see in Athens to get a better sense of the place. As always, comments, additions, and corrections are welcome.


So you’ve decided you want to get into the Athens music scene but you don’t know where to start huh? Don’t worry. There are people who helped create this musical monster that don’t know everything about it. But here’s some things that you should do to ease yourself into Athens music and eventually find your own way.

1.Athens History 1101

Some years ago, the ACC decided that the music history of Athens was a huge draw for tourists and set up this really nifty walking tour.

It covers a LOT of ground in Athens and is a really good way to get oriented with the historical markers of the place. Plus, it’s a great way to exercise!

You should also see what Athens was like in the mid-80s near the end of the first wave of bands. The film: ATHENS,GA: INSIDE OUT. Many of the bands dispute the accuracy of the film at some points but if this is your first foray into the time period, there’s no better resource for the casual curious onlooker. Try to find a copy of the dvd and watch the whole thing. If you can’t, here’s an excerpt. Gotta love the pjs.

You should also read the awesome book “Party Out of Bounds: The B-52’s, R.E.M., and the Kids Who Rocked Athens, GA” by Roger Lyle Brown. It’s at the library. Please tell me you know what a public library looks like….

2. Know What’s Happening

We can’t live in the past. So make sure you know what’s going on in the future around Athens so that you can attend a show that will eventually be in the past. Two great ways to stay up on current bands:

Pick up a FLAGPOLE

3. Find Your Passion

Find a band/artist that you like. There’s more music per square inch here than in most places around the U.S. of A. So if you like R.E.M.or the Modern Skirts or whoever, for god’s sake, buy an album or two at Wuxtry or Schoolkids downtown.

If you’re not the browsing and carousing type, there’s one awesome place to go online.

Also check out WUOG 90.5fm for some awesome tunes.

4. Get Into It

Who says you can’t join in on the fun? WUOG’s always training UGA students as deejays, Flagpole keeps an eye out for fresh writer/reviewers, and bands form every single day. There’s something for everyone.

Volunteer at Nuci’s Space or during Athfest. Or even apply for UGA’s Music Business program and get into the behind the scenes stuff. With guest professors from John Keane and Bertis Downs to DARC Studios and the GA Theater Staff, you’ll be up to your eyeballs in music stuff.

SO! There you have it. Plenty of links and videos to get you started. Hopefully, this will give you the leg-up you need to go out there and become part of Athens music history yourself.


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