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Nostalgia for the Athens music scene
Twenty-five years ago, there was nowhere cooler in the college-rock scene than Athens, Georgia. The Classic City famously spawned R.E.M. and the B-52s as well as a massive roster of indie acts, including Love Tractor, Pylon, Flat Duo Jets, Kilkenny Cats, and Bar-B-Q Killers. All that angsty creativity was celebrated in the 1987 documentary Athens, Ga.–Inside/Out, a valentine to the city as much as its music scene. The film features concert footage intercut with a cameo by folk artist and R.E.M. collaborator Howard Finster, gospel performances, and lingering shots of downtown dives and the University of Georgia campus. It screened in limited release, and the accompanying LP soundtrack is long out of print. Omnivore Recordings is reissuing the movie on DVD this month, along with a CD soundtrack with bonuses, the highlight of which is Love Tractor and Peter Buck covering “Shattered.”