When people talk about the beginnings of the music scene in Athens, GA the discussion usually begins “The B-52’s, R.E.M., ….” Those who know will continue the list, “Pylon.” They were every Athens band’s favorite Athens band. Their musical naïveté, southern upbringing, art school smarts, and house-party roots exploded together to create something quite improbably amazing, hitting the listener on mental, physical, and spiritual levels simultaneously. On the surface, their angular guitar parts and propulsive rhythm section had something in common with UK post-punk bands like Gang of Four and PiL. But Pylon was more fun and less studied. And they had a secret weapon in Vanessa Briscoe Hay, whose inimitable vocal textures and phrasing defined the band’s sound for most listeners.
Pylon’s celebrated history came to a sudden end with the death of iconic guitarist Randy Bewley in 2009. Pylon was and always will be Vanessa, Randy, Michael, and Curtis. It is a certainty that the band will not reform with a new guitarist.
But hey, kids. Everything is still cool! Vanessa has gathered members of Athens bands Casper & the Cookies, The Glands, and world renowned pianist Damon Denton to create Pylon Reenactment Society. Is it a cover band if Vanessa is singing? Technically, it’s the next best thing. PRS are here to have fun and perform in the spirit of Pylon. Don’t be discouraged! Let’s dance!
In the sweltering heat of July 2018 our team (featuring yours truly, Petridisch (proud owner of Fish Prints) and Cryostasium) decided to take a trip from Boston to New York in order to see Pylon Reenactment Society. Ridiculous temperatures aside, we enjoyed both our stay in NYC and the performance by PRS that featured both classics (“Cool”, “Volume”, “Driving School”) and new material!
Prior to the trip Petridisch did an interview with Vanessa Briscoe Hay which we highly recommend everyone to read. Also – don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel if you liked the PRS footage!
Last, but not least – we also gathered tweets that document the band’s 2018 mini-tour that took, in addition to NYC, took them through North Carolina, Virginia and even featured them playing Washington’s infamous Comet Ping Pong pizzeria!
— Soundblab (@soundblab) July 4, 2018
Do yourselves a favor – Go see Pylon Reenactment Society – they are on tour now (DC tonite!)@Pylongirl is a damn Goddess, of course. Such great energy! So needed it…
— B.A. (@crummcake) July 1, 2018
Pylon Reenactment Society @ Mercury Lounge. pic.twitter.com/cYxlXZdP74
— Carl Zimring (@CarlZimring) July 2, 2018
#GoodShowAlert Tonight: legendary ’80s Athens, Ga. band Pylon is resurrected as #PylonReenactmentSociety @MercuryLoungeNY. @RichardBarone (of @BongosOfficial) opens at 9 pm. (It may be under 90 degrees by then!) #music #livemusic
— Dave B. (@BuckyKatt) July 1, 2018
— Rachel Pratt (@rachelprattruns) July 1, 2018
At once a tribute to and a spinoff of Athens, Georgia’s seminal art-rock band Pylon, the Reenactment Society unites its former singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay with a crew of hard-driving Athens scenesters. https://t.co/0SAohQilt6
— Goings On About Town (@goingson) June 30, 2018
Pylon Reenactment Society, Strange Matter. @ Strange Matter https://t.co/Gy4E3VKmUb
— Doug Dobey (@DougDobey) June 30, 2018
— peth (@peth) June 29, 2018
Great photo coverage here by @HissingLawns of Pylon Reenactment Society’s headlining performance at Savannah Stopover Music Festival @PylonGirl ~ https://t.co/BDAWmQSnhA … @SavStopover Photos by Tom Cartmel pic.twitter.com/In6jbsMMce
— Shameless Promotion (@ShamelessPR_) March 17, 2018