This Week From the Radio Free Athens Crew: August 22, 2020

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From R@T: 

This week your friendly Radio Free Athens crew has overwhelmingly agreed to take a break from creating new playlists.  We are urging you, our faithful listeners, to support one of the favorite events of the RFA family, The Nelsonville Music Festival. Friday and Saturday night Stuart’s Opera House will be presenting a virtual NMF on their YouTube channel starting at 8 p.m. (Watch it here!)

Like most everything else NMF had to be cancelled because of the pandemic, but the organizers have put together a great lineup of artists that you can see for free. However, we would also urge you, if you can, to support the Opera House and The Nelsonville Music Festival with a donation which they will be accepting. Gather a small group of friends together, safely distance yourselves, grab some of your favorite beverages and check out the tremendous lineup. We believe that this will be the best playlist you will be able to hear all weekend.  If you need something to listen to and/or watch while you are waiting for the event to happen we are re-posting our playlists from June 6th which are some of the favorite acts that the RFA crew has seen over the years at NMF.  We will be back next week with new playlists. Enjoy the show!


From Michael T. 

It is impossible to summarize every fantastic band, artist, performance and experience provided every year at the  NMF.   This list of artists I witnessed live over the last 15 years of the festival; some you know, the rest you should.  Selections include everyone from Randy Newman to St. Vincent, Shilpa Ray to Jonathan Richman and all points in-between. Thanks as always for listening.

From DJ Grumpy Grandma

Just like everyone else, I feel my connection to the Nelsonville Music Festival is special — and I don’t think that I am fooling myself to believe that it is.

The first time I attended the festival was in 2012 as a sophomore in college, volunteering as a music journalist for WOUB Public Media and my former boss, Bryan Gibson. When I first met Bryan in person after writing for him a bit early in the spring semester, he looked me square in the eyes from the office that would someday be mine and asked “so, do you really listen to the music you mention in your writing?” He was referring to my fondness for bands like Throbbing Gristle and the fact that I am a very small, and (back then) especially quiet person in a female avatar dressed in floral print who was also pretty young to know about Genesis P-Orridge.

Although it may seem “cool” that two of my favorite records in high school (CDs, actually, I didn’t start buying vinyl until post college,) were II by Meat Puppets and 145 by Wire, I can promise that these interests did not win me friends in high school. In fact, my best friends were a pair of typically duct-taped-together cheapo headphones battered from going everywhere with me and a steady selection of the cheapest Walkman knockoffs I could find and although this would serve me later, like when I would eventually become the arts and culture reporter at WOUB or when I interned at Billboard magazine, believe me, it hurt me more than helped me back then.

In many ways, that weekend covering the Nelsonville Music Festival for the first time would mark the first time that my obsessive musical knowledge would actually serve me. In 2016 I would be hired by WOUB to fill Bryan’s old position, and I have been grateful for the exhausting experience of covering the festival yearly ever since. I am the producer for the WOUB Culture videos you see here, and I am the associate producer of the Gladden House Sessions, and I have been both of those things since 2016, which my 20-year-old self would have never believed, but I’m starting to.