Your teller at the bank, the receptionist at your doctor’s office and even your lawyer could be rocking the stage at the 40Watt, come Friday 23 Feb.
Athens Business Rocks, a fundraising project for Nuci’s Space, brings together professionals from around Athens to let their inner rockstar out.
Nuci’s Space is a non-profit health and music resource center. Its aim is to prevent suicide by providing obstacle free treatment for musicians suffering from depression and other such disorders.
The fact that most of the musicians performing at Athens Business Rocks have careers unrelated to music speaks volumes for their belief in the importance of what Nuci’s Space does for Athens’ musicians.
Typically, TSAV is an audio-visual consulting, staffing, and systems integration company. At Athens Business Rocks though, they are Punch List, made up of project managers, salers persons, engineers and graphic designers.
“We really like what they [at Nuci’s Space] are doing and try to support them whenever we can,” drummer Steve Gore says.
“Nuci’s is probably one of the most important charities in our town,” Chris Bartenfeld, guitarist and vocalist for 40Cent says. “They’ve changed so many people’s lives in a positive way.”
40Cent from 40Watt are finalists at Athens Business Rocks, alongside Punch List. Hip-hop is not in the repertoire of any of the eight sound-engineer/doorman/electrician members, but they’re taking up the challenge for Nuci’s.
“It feels like we’re doing something for them, actually, more than just going out and playing a show. It’s like we’re able to give back,” Bartenfeld says.
Not only does it provide Nuci’s Space supporters a chance to “give back” in this way, Athens Business rocks also says something distinct about Athens itself.
“What I wanted to show through this event was how big music is in Athens, and how integrated it is into all of our lives,” Executive Director at Nuci’s Space, Bob Sleppy says. “The Athens music scene is much more than the guy with the green hair that plays at the 40Watt.”
“My dream would be to see the Athen-Clarke County or UGA police officers get together and form a band and do Police covers. I think that’d be cool. I would love that. See the VP of banking at one of the banks downtown get up on stage and play guitar, that’s what I wanna see happen.”
Sleppy might not, in fact, be too far from his dream.
“We [in Athens] end up with far more musicians than not,” Gore agrees. “Whether you’re talking technicians or engineers, most of them moved to Athens when they were young for the music, and then grew up and got a real job.”
Take Scott Towe and his wife Mindy who have been playing music together for about 25 years. “The music scene in Athens is part of what brought us here,” he says. “We’ve always been involved in some kind of musical project in town or with friends.”
But the Towe’s are not musicians by profession, they are businesspeople, running the Red Zone, the apparel store in down-town Athens which they own.
Their business has participated in Athens Business Rocks since it began in 2011. The band, Double Oh Zone, is made up of Scott and Mindy Towe, their two children and four employees. None of them are musicians by profession, but all are committed and skilled enough to put together a good performance for the show.
“You get people from different musical backgrounds, different musical ability levels,” as Bartenfeld puts it. “The important thing is to bring people together, as a band, and as a community.”