Athens, GA is a town that I’ve had conflicted feelings about for a long time. I’ve never spent too much time there but I do make the 90-ish minute drive over for shows for the right band, most recently to see Alabama Shakes at the Classic Center. I’ve been to shows at 40 Watts and record shopped at Wuxtry and had deep fried delicacies at Clocked, but I’ve not done or seen much more of the city. Given the musical history of Athens I set out on a musical road trip to key landmarks in town, specifically for the B-52s.
Hartwell Hwy, Elberton, GA 30635
N 34° 10′ 45.429” W 82° 53′ 6.899”
One thing I learned on my trip to Mississippi is that I really like an excuse to drive around back roads with a good soundtrack. I had a random day off on Monday since I working a show tonight, so I decided to run away for a day and went to the Georgia Guidestones over in Elbert County.
1154 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
N 33° 45′ 54.57” W 84° 20′ 59.189”
Sometimes I take myself out just so I don’t feel like a shut in as much as anything else. It’s easy for me to fall into a rut so I have to actively work to not be there. Yesterday I took myself to Criminal Records, my favorite record store anywhere, for the listening party they were having for the new Monkees album, Good Times. I’m not too thrilled with the new record (It feels disjointed.), but they were doing a raffle for a prize pack that included the picture disc that I wanted on Record Store Day and I like an excuse to flip through old records. I was on a little bit of a mission, though. I wanted that prize pack.
Our Grandma’s House of Pancakes
115 /117 3rd St
Clarksdale, MS 38614
N 34° 12′ 5.449”
W 90° 34′ 27.324”
I went to the Mississippi Delta more than a month ago but I still can’t stop thinking about it. I’m so smitten with the place. I find little reminders everywhere, like this morning at breakfast. Rosie (my roommate/BFF/frequent travel companion) and I went to breakfast and sat at the counter to watch the cook while we ate out chicken and waffles. She was flipping some glorious looking pancakes and my first through was, “I want to go back to Our Grandma’s House of Pancakes” in Clarksdale.
695 North Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
N 40° 42′ 46.021”
W 74° 0′ 21.388”
Saturday night I ventured out to The Masquerade to see The Struts play a late show. It was the first show I’d been to in more than a month, and definitely the latest I’ve gone to in a good long while since it started at 11:30. I spent the day stressing and thinking “why did I think it was a good idea to buy tickets to an 11:30 show? Especially one I knew would sell out?”
I can’t run away on an adventure every weekend, no matter how much I would like to. Instead I’ve developed a weekend routine that satisfies the itch in my brain to run away, temporarily at least, because it involves doing some of my favorite things to do while traveling: sitting in coffee shops and shopping, just in my own city.
New Hope Missionary Baptist Church
7564 Norfolk Rd, Walls, MS 38680
N 34° 57′ 45.606”
W 90° 11′ 4.432′
It’s easy to fall into the trap of expecting or wanting the Mississippi Delta to be frozen in time so that you can have a very specific experience. Just look at almost any depiction of it in popular culture. As Anthony Bourdain pointed out in his episode of Parts Unknown there, it’s reductive, insulting, and damaging to the area.