Sunday, June 29, 2014

Athfest 2014

Having recently graduated, I have found myself back in Athens.  Though I still consider Athens my home, a lot has changed while I was away falling in love with the small town life and history of Milledgeville.  I was able to keep in touch with Athens through weekend visits and recent publications claiming its status as one of the south’s best kept secrets.  As I return and begin my adult life where I spent all of my adolescence and childhood, I hope to share my findings here so others may see what a magical the Classic City is.  

I can’t think of a better place to start this journey than with the annual Athfest music festival.  Originally started in 1997 to promote music coming out of Athens, Athfest has always been an important weekend for the community, as well as myself personally.  The glorious Pulaski Street stage is where I saw Perpetual Groove and Reptar play for the first time.  It’s where I, along with many others, celebrated the music the Modern Skirts had given us as they played their final show.

The Pulaski Street Stage, seated where Washington meets Pulaski, is where I spent most of Friday night.  My friends and I set up camp at Ted’s Most Best to enjoy Reptar, Family and Friends, and Judah and the Lion.  Not being too interested in battling crowds, Ted’s proved to be a great spot.  We were able to hear and see the bands, while enjoying refreshments in the form of Ted’s phenomenal sangria, $2 PBRs and, of course, King of Pops.

I ended the night at the Georgia Theatre for Dead Confederate.  This was just my third or fourth time in the theatre since their reopening in 2011, and I am still amazed by what an incredible building this is.  If you haven’t visited the gallery, located behind the upstairs bar, you really must.  This is my favorite spot and an amazing reminder of all of the history the Theatre holds.

I spent most of Saturday hopping from place to place with friends visiting from out of town.  At Little Kings I got the pleasure of seeing Life is a Flower, Life is a Gun (as well as enjoying a pick-up game of cornhole).  These guys are not to be missed.  They’re eclectic mix of instruments make for an amazing sound.  If you, like me, are a sucker for string instruments, this is a must listen.

Much of Saturday was built up around seeing Kishi Bashi that evening.  The once member of Of Montreal, Kaoru Ishibashi, graced Athens with his presence and did not disappoint.  NPR recently had his new album, Lightght, streaming and it was constantly filling the walls of my small Milledgeville apartment.  This album is perfect for a Sunday Summer Drive.

Further Reading--For more on Athens and the music scene check out these posts:

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Why the world needs more female anti-heroes

With this weeks release of “Maleficent,” we see a rise in popularity of a female anti-hero, someone who is seen as a protagonist though they lack the noble and respectable qualities that make a person such.  Through shows like “Breaking Bad,” “Dexter,” “Mad Men,” and “Boardwalk Empire,” we have learned to embrace and root for the anti-hero, but only when said character is a man.  In our society, women are taught to be likable and the majority of female protagonists are portrayed this way.  When we see a woman doing the morally corrupt in order to get what she wants, we view her as selfish and entitled.  Though these women are ones we may not want to come across in our own lives, it is important that media portray all sides of women.

An argument could be made for each of the four protagonists (Hannah, Jessa, Marnie, and Shoshana) in HBO’s series “Girls.”  This is a show that resonates with me and many of my twenty-something peers because the characters find themselves in familiar situations--struggling with finding a job in the current economy, awkward dating scenarios, the ups and downs of female friendships--which are depicted more honestly than they usually are in media.  We are used to seeing women in more stylized situations and are often made uncomfortable by seeing these characters more realistic reactions.

Nancy Botwin is perhaps the closest we have, at least on this list, t0 a female Walter White.  The series “Weeds” picks up after the death of Nancy’s husband when she finds herself in a financial rut.  Through the first seasons audiences applauded Nancy for finding a solution to these problems, even if it meant growing and selling marijuana.  Unfortunately for Nancy, society sees mothers as a symbol of morality.  We have a much easier time letting it slide when a male character is depicted as being a bad dad, thus audiences shied away in later seasons when Nancy became more self-focused and was willing to put her family in dangerous situations to better herself.

Having been a high schooler hellbent on being the hippest girl in school (I strongly believed a love of “Garden State” was all there was to it) when “Juno” came out, I was ecstatic several years later to hear Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman would be teaming up once again.  What may be the worst quality of Young Adult’s Mavis Gary, is that she knows how terribly and immature she is acting, but has no plans of changing her ways anytime soon.

“Masters of Sex” was one of my favorite new shows this year and a lot of that had to do with Lizzy Caplan’s portrayal of Virginia Johnson, one half of the groundbreaking team of sexologists Masters and Johnson.  One quality of an anti-hero is that they violate societal norms while continuing to succeed in society.  Though this show is set in the 1950’s, Virginia must overcome many restrictions women in the workplace still battle today.