A Back to School Concert featuring Young Benjamin, Power Kompany & Xavii
August 23, 2012
Young Benjamin‘s creator and songwriter is Athens musician Matt Whitaker (Emergent Heart, The Premonitions, Electrophoria). Matt started rotations as a Music Therapist at a local rehabilitation hospital in spring of 2011, where he worked with many patients in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. His interactions with these individuals, many of whom had little or no recollection of the life they had experienced, inspired Whitaker to explore writing about the nature of memory, illness, and death.
In June of 2011 Young Benjamin was born. Matt took the summer off to immerse himself fully in the project, focusing on the music he wrote and staying inspired by his experiences at the hospital. He bestowed upon the project a name given to him 10 years earlier by his great-grandfather while suffering in the hazy grips of dementia. Matt began playing shows using looping pedals to orchestrate dense, layered accompaniments, blurring the lines between chillwave and electro-acoustic music.
The marvelously enticing debut EP by Young Benjamin that emerged from Matt’s efforts is a surprisingly sagacious set, particularly for a 21-year-old songwriter. The songs were recorded at Popheart Productions in Athens, Georgia by Suny Lyons (Hope For Agoldensummer, pacificUV, Electrophoria) and chronicle a man’s diagnosis, escapism and eventual death due to Alzheimer’s.
Powerkompany began as a love story — a love between a brother and a sister. Remember AIM, AOL instant messenger? The sister, Marie used the name powerkompany to talk every day to her brother, Paul. For years sister and brother kept in touch through the instant messenger. Then one day, Paul didn’t show up online. Instead, Marie received a phone call from their father telling her that Paul had committed suicide. Her online name was tucked away deep in her mind for weeks, then months, then years. Slowly she began to compose music as a way of healing and dedicated the first Venice is Sinking album Sorry about the Flowers to her brother. The album was an underground hit and continues to be played and sold 5 years after its release. While Marie continued on with Venice is Sinking, her next love story was just beginning.
In this love story, Marie met Andrew in a clean, modern, almost-sterile university science building. As scientists, the pair had crossed paths and met eyes many times before they came together with ferocious passion. They quickly realized they were two missing puzzle pieces that happened to fit together perfectly. Though they did not realize it, powerkompany was born.
They were married, continued touring with their respective bands (Venice is Sinking and Packway Handle Band), started businesses together, but then realized that it was impossible not to make music together. Soon afterwards they realized that they must be called powerkompany and shortly thereafter recorded their first set of songs they call Comfort. With too many influences to list, powerkompany aims for a sound that is difficult to categorize.
Xavii is a young and growing band who is interested in progressive sound. From their home town in Macon GA, they work hard to produce music that is unique and have firmly established its reputation as the foremost purveyor of rhythmically sophisticated rock music in Macon. Influences range widely through bands like Sigur Ros, Toe, Dignan, Mono, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Don Caballero, and beyond.
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