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Athens, Ga. - Inside/Out (1987)

Unrated | | Documentary, Music | February 1987 (USA)
Led by the success of the B-52's and R.E.M., Athens, Georgia was the most happening music scene in the country by the mid 80's/ Following several different bands from different genres, this... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
Herbert Abrahams ...
Himself
Jeremy Ayers ...
Himself
Bar-B-Q Killers ...
Themselves
Bill Berry ...
Himself
Randy Bewley ...
Himself
Vanessa Briscoe ...
Herself
Peter Buck ...
Himself
William Orten Carlton ...
Himself
Laura Carter ...
Herself - Bar-B-Q Killers
Kilkenny Cats ...
Themselves
Danny Cottar ...
Himself
Curtis Crowe ...
Himself
Dreams So Real ...
Themselves
Howard Finster ...
Himself (as Rev. Howard Finster)
The Flat Duo Jets ...
Themselves
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Led by the success of the B-52's and R.E.M., Athens, Georgia was the most happening music scene in the country by the mid 80's/ Following several different bands from different genres, this film paints Athens as a magical artistic environment where bands are not in competition, but co-exist in harmony. Live performances of R.E.M.'s "Swan Swan H" and "Dream (All I Have To Do)" at the Lucy Cobb Institute chapel are included. Also featured are performances and interviews frm the B-52's, Pylon, B-B-Que Killers, Time Toy, Jim Herbert, Flat Duo Jets, Love Tractor, Kilkenny Cats, Squalls, and more. Written by Anonymous

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Documentary | Music

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February 1987 (USA)  »

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Connections

References Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Work That Skirt
Written by The B-52's
Performed by The B-52's
Published by Boo-Fant Tunes
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
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Excellent showcase of a grass-roots creative community
16 December 2003 | by (Chapel Hill, NC, USA) – See all my reviews

I first saw ATHENS GA: INSIDE OUT when it was released, and it has remained a favorite of mine - a very skillfully made (creative use of a limited budget) presentation of a grass-roots local creative community, with roots, atmosphere, and a very quirky home-grown originality on full display. If New York, LA, San Francisco and Nashville represent institutional American entertainment meccas, Athens was among the first eruptions of something else - a small town, well off-the-beaten track suddenly rising to a position of creative prominence and influence nationally or internationally. This colorful heritage is very well documented here (music icons like R.E.M., The B-52's, Pylon, Squalls, Bar-B-Q Killers and others are well represented, along with local gospel musicians, and artists like the late Howard Finster).

The lone flaw of here is a cautiousness in digging deep into the personalities illuminating the scene - a bit more discussion of regionalism (or the Southern identification surrounding the scene, and influencing even the most avant-garde of the Athens artists) would've added tremendous complexity; ditto for the very heavily gay milieu (surrounding the pre-fame B-52s as they rose through the house party scene that preceded the emergence of a club scene in Athens) the scene initially sprang from. And - as a huge fan of The Bar-B-Q Killers and Pylon (one of the greatest American post-punk bands without a doubt), I would've love to seen more footage of them.

Still, this set the standard for independent documentaries of the type, and unlike many that followed in its' wake (the Chapel Hill-oriented YOUNG ROCK springs to mind) this hasn't dated much at all. Great to see this getting a very belated DVD release, which includes commentary from some newer Athens luminaries (members of Widespread Panic) as well.


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