What’s up, Athens!

 

We are finally done hibernating! Now that the nasty winter is over it is time to take to the streets and have some fun. Here are some things you are not going to want to miss this spring.

Music:

3/12 ACRN presents: Pinegrove, Palm, Warehouse and Wished Bone. Doors open at 7 p.m. at Galbreath Church. The chapel is going to radiate the sounds of “Post-country indie rock jams you know & love,” “Rock that makes you feel like yr floating in water,” “Artsy-ass rock,” and “local magic folk,” according the event’s Facebook page.

Flyer by Sara Krivicich
Flyer by Sara Krivicich

 

3/12 The Crooked Spines, a local folk, pop-rock Athens band, is playing with Chicago band MAKS the Fox at Casa Nueva this Saturday at 9 p.m. “This will be our celebration after successfully achieving our fundraising goal, and completing our new EP, which will be out later in March,” according to the Facebook page.

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Crooked Spines EP cover

3/14 When the Monday blues get you down and all you want to do is go to a grimy place and listen to some harsh music, you are covered. Neutral Fixation II, a punk band from Massachusetts, is playing at the Smiling Skull. Locals Weird Science who are coming off of a tour and newly released album and Stardaddy Dixie are also on the bill. Note: bring your earbuds.

Upcoming Sports Events:

Basketball:

3/10  Ohio men’s basketball defeated Northern Illinois, 79-62, Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena. The second-seeded Bobcats now advance to the MAC Tournament semifinals to play the third-seeded Buffalo Bulls on Friday, March 11 at 9:00 p.m.

PHOTOS: Ohio vs. Northern Illinois

3/11 –  Four things to know ahead of Ohio (21-10) vs. Buffalo (18-14) MAC Tournament semifinals matchup.

Follow Ohio Men’s Basketball: @OhioMBasketball

Baseball:

3/11 – The Bobcats play its 2016 home opener today at 4:00 p.m. against IPFW. In their last game on Wed., March 9, Ohio won, 4-1, against Marshall to improve its record to 5-7 on the season.

Follow Ohio Baseball: @Ohio_Baseball

Softball:

3/12 – Ohio softball travels to Bloomington, Ind. this weekend to participate in the Indiana Classic. The Bobcats (8-6) will kick-off competition with a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 12:15 p.m. against Drake University (7-7) then playing Indiana (11-8) at 2:30 p.m. Check out a preview of the Indiana Classic here from ohiobobcats.com

Follow Ohio Softball: @OhioBobcatSB

Wrestling:

3/17 – The Ohio wrestling team will play in the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championship, which takes place Thursday, March 17, to Sunday, March 20, at Madison Square Garden (NY). Three Ohio Bobcats drew overall seeds for the tournament (ohiobobcats.com).

Click here to purchase tickets for the event.

Follow Ohio Wrestling: @OhioU_Wrestling

Campus Events:

Pride Week at Ohio University

3/7 through 3/12 – Pride Week is hosted by the OU LGBT Center from now until Saturday. Check out the Pride Week event calendar and stay connected by following @OULGBTcenter on Twitter and using the hashtag #bobcatpriderainbowstyle

Egg Shells for Shelter Dogs

3/20 – Help raise money for Bobcats of the Shelter Dogs at this family-friendly event hosted at 1 p.m. in TailGreat Park by Her Campus Ohio U and Tau Beta Sigma. There will be a door prize, 50/50 raffle, and some furry friends, too!

Mom’s Weekend

4/1 through 4/3 – While you’re out there shaking what your mama gave ya for fest season, you should give Ma a good time during Mom’s Weekend. Yeah, bar-hopping is a popular choice, but check out the calendar of events for all the other cool activities going on, including concerts, comedy, food and more.

Strictly Social:

Photo by Andrew Spear https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwivkKrEybnLAhWGRiYKHZ1KDVYQjB0IBg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fandrewbspear.blogspot.com%2F2009%2F05%2Fpalmerfest-few-more.html&psig=AFQjCNGNA847gDaB729A84xPttis-Ikz-Q&ust=1457818030326243
Photo by Andrew Spear

 

3/12: It’s the second half of spring semester, Bobcats, and everyone knows what that means: fest season. Saturday, March 12th marks the official start of the season with Mill Fest. If you’re jonesing for a fest fix, check out last year’s video from the party.

 

If you’re one of the thousands of partygoers who will be hitting the streets this fest season, consider taking a look at these tips from the Athens News on how to stay safe.

 

And while you’re at it, here’s the lineup for the rest of fest season!

 

3/18: If you’re a Bobcat looking for big hair, bold colors and bomb bands, Casa is the place to be on March 18th. 80’s Night will be in full swing with DJ Barticus. Stop by for a good time with good people.

 

Official flyer for 80's Night at Casa on March 18th.
Official flyer for 80’s Night at Casa on March 18th.

 

If you’re like most of us and are counting down the minutes until Fetty Wap, The Chainsmokers, Niykee Heaton and more arrive in Athens, this video from a previous #Fest will get you pumped.

 

 

 

 

 

4/16: The official site for The Number Fest even has a real-time countdown for the big day. Until then, keep calm and party on.

 

‘For all you hipsters in Athens: ain’t nothin hipper than this, ya dig?’

Imagine this: a room is alive and it smells of memories. Smiles rise and eyes avert with a flirtatious intent. Drums start to beat. The saxophonist blows his horn. There is a light tap on the microphone. Let the night begin.

Jazz night at Tony’s is an Athens staple. Word of Mouth plays from 8:30 to 11 p.m. every Tuesday at Tony’s Tavern, located 7 W State. The event is 21 and up.

Man, do people jive to the music. When I first walked in, the band was setting up and people were already giddy with excitement, but mostly alcohol. This Tuesday was Mardi Gras, so the band played that good ol’ Louisiana swamp. The air was filled with improvisational, classic jams. Tony’s smelled of stale beer and carried an older crowd.

Word of Mouth is a band of veterans. Their jazz isn’t sleepy, it keeps a person moving. “For all you hipsters in Athens: ain’t nothin hipper than this, ya dig?” according to the band’s website. Word of Mouth has a mixed bag of musicians that play different jazz nights. This Tuesday it was Kay Carter on trumpet and vocals, Kyle Slemmer on the sax and Mark Hellenberg on the drums.

“The good clarinet player isn’t here tonight,” said Chris Dixon, a 25-year-old-kitchen manager at Sol. Dixon is a lover of jazz.

“It’s soul with pizzazz. It’s raw, but it’s polished. It reaches out to the deepest parts of what it is like to be human.”

Dixon’s passion for the music inspired me to ask more people about what jazz means to them. The night picked up and people were dancing like no one was watching. Flailing arms and twisting hips.

I walked around looking for more answers. I saw a young man drinking a PBR, sporting a Tenacious D tattoo on his right forearm and bobbing his head.

“It’s about sticking it to the man really,” said Jed Hynes, an Athens resident. Sticking it to the man, I thought, that is something I can get down with. 

Jazz night is an event anyone can get down with. It is the kind of environment that supports moving and shaking till the saints go marching in or striking up a conversation with new people. Not to mention, Word of Mouth brings the heat.

This place makes me feel both wildly uncomfortable and insanely at home

Thriving moments. Tired hazes. Existential crises. Tears of … laughter. Athens is the geographical center of a mental whirlwind. Athens acts as the setting to my life as I grow older and pretend to be wiser. There are so many places here in the backdrop as I lose my youth that I treasure.

Sometimes it feels like my life is just an episode of Seinfeld and my friends and I don’t exist outside of our stomping grounds: Donkey Coffee, the Stacks of Alden and the Skull. Then there are those moments of pure solitudinal bliss when I take my trips to the Athena Cinema every Friday at five.

Yeah, I could talk about those moments when stresspectations are threatening any semblance of stability in my life and I open the cinema doors, order my five dollar ticket, get the star-shaped stamp on my customer card and sit down in silence, escaping into the world of independent film. The heat blares during the opening trailers, offering an air draft that shifts back and forth between hot and cold.  The breeze forms goosebumps on my skin even when the movie isn’t strong enough to send chills down my spine.

I could talk about how after every movie I walk down to the intersection of Court St. and W. Washington up to Donkey. Looking across the street, always seeing a character in my sitcom smoking a cigarette on the stoop in front of a sign that reads “No Loafing. No Loitering.” I remember the pun we always say that we are nothing but a bunch of rye, wheat, or white loafers. It’s always been an old joke, but I still smile because it reminds me of Dad’s corny one-liners. Those stoops our are stomping grounds and we own that public property.

Those steps are the resting stop for philosophical debates, calls from stressed mothers and the obligatory complaints about how the educational system is just gettin’ us down, man.

But when asked to answer the question What’s your favorite Athens spot? I have to secede from the world I’ve created for myself and walk up the road a little to 7 N. Congress, a different universe. It exists within the Ohio University walls yet it is a clear anomaly. The Gathering Place.

The walkway that leads to the main entrance of The Gathering Place
The walkway that leads to the main entrance of The Gathering Place

The “G.P.” is a drop-in health center for adults struggling with mental illness. It’s an escape for me, for it’s members and for the staff. It’s a porch full of people smoking and joking and telling tall tales. It’s walking into a kitchen that always has a pot of coffee brewing and food on the table. It’s a dining room that always has a game of Blokus or Scrabble going on. I go there to volunteer, to talk, to make art, to laugh and to listen. Sometimes there are fights and people bicker, but just like any other home the argument is resolved and tomorrow is just another day devoid of a grudge.

I didn’t make my way up the wooden entrance by way of my own good will. Community service requirements brought me there and that innate sense of home kept me going back. As a student confined by my selfishness and narrow view of the world, this place offers a perspective that is more than humbling. I’ve seen these people before, walking through the streets, but I paid no mind. I may have never noticed them while I walked with tunnel vision because my mind was tangled and preoccupied.

As I write this, I know I need to speak more about what this place means to me as an individual. It’s hard to find the words to describe a place that feels so intuitively good. The Gathering Place lacks judgment because it’s full of outsiders.

Judgment casts a negative tint on my worldview, acting as my blindside. I judge, hold assumptions, feel judged, worry I give off the wrong image, etc., etc.

The “G.P.” offers an unreal sense of empathy because the members share the same struggles. Understanding and support is interlaced into the air that we breathe.

My favorite place is somewhere that both takes me out of my comfort zone and makes me feel at home. I usually enter with a mind full of assignments, arguments and anxiety and leave with a smirk and an unusual sense of calm. The hardwood floors remind me of the ones I grew up with and the hardships of the members are ones I’ve felt too.  The Gathering Place is an oasis of abnormality and it’s as refreshing as a hot cup of coffee with cream after a good night of sleep.