Road Trip to Athens: Athens PopFest 2010, Aug. 10-14


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With Pitchfork now in our rear-view mirrors and Lollapalooza shambling towards Chicago at an increasingly rapid pace, summer festival season 2010 is starting to come to a close. But while your opportunities to spend $200 to sweat in a field in hopes of seeing Pavement play those songs from Space Ghost are dwindling, there’s one more bargain fest within driving distance worth mentioning.

The annual Athens PopFest kicks off in Athens, Ga., on Aug. 10, with more than 50 indie-pop, rock and punk bands playing in three clubs over five days. Though, honestly, the party doesn’t really start hopping until the 11th, when Quintron and Miss Pussycat headline a 14-band marathon at Little Kings Shuffle Club. If you’re into indie pop, this is the place you want to be for a long weekend: Defiance Ohio! Elekibass! Joe Jack Talcum from The Dead Milkmen! Cars Can Be Blue! Circulatory System! Go Sailor reunion show! The Apples in Stereo! Mission of Burma! The Wedding Present!

I know that Mission of Burma is clearly the headline event of the weekend, but The Wedding Present are celebrating 25 years as Britpop icons. Last time they came to the States, they were playing their, dare I say seminal, 1989 breakout record Bizarro in its entirety. There's no word on whether or not they'll be playing the same set for PopFest, but it's a hope worth holding onto if you didn't catch them in April at a slew of places that weren't Nashville.

Individual tickets are available, but the smart festival goer is going to buy a wristband for $45. I’d pay that just to see The Wedding Present alone, but indie pop is kinda my wheelhouse, and I’m bad with money.


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