Violets Highlights Picked for New Compilation

The Violets were an Athens rock band that played all over the place for a few years from the late ‘80s through early ‘90s but I don’t recall them releasing anything other than a 45 for their snarky anti-hippie tirade “I Hate the Grateful Dead,” which got some college radio airplay at the time (and I somehow ended up with like seven or eight copies of, for some reason, none of which I paid for). They must’ve had a cassette or demo out at some point, also, because the Alexandra, Virginia indie label Crooked Beat Records has compiled a nifty collection of the band’s recordings, including “Grateful Dead” and its B-side, “Big Wheel,” along with eight other songs I personally don’t remember a thing about. Someone obviously does, however, because 500 individually numbered, purple vinyl copies of Athens, GA 1988-1992 are being pressed and released as one of the “regional focus” titles for the third Record Store Day “drop” of this weird year, happening this Saturday, Oct. 24. It’s probably a good bet Wuxtry and Low Yo-Yo Stuff in Athens will have a few copies, and maybe some of the Atlanta indie stores, too – but you may want to check around to see which ones ordered it ahead of time, if you’re dead-set on getting a copy. Of further interest, the insert for the record includes observations from David Barbe, who produced some of the tracks, and Andrew Rieger of Elf Power, and I’m sure they have plenty of wise and profound things to say, as always.

It may not come as a surprise to learn that The Violets were bigger Clash fans than Dead fans. What is surprising is that The Violets actually got back together in 2017 to make their first recording in 25 years, a version of The Clash song “Cool Under Heat” for a Cut the Crap tribute album released by Crooked Beat called Recutting the Crap – and then did a cover of “Movers and Shakers” for a second volume of Recutting the Crap in 2018. You’ve truly gotta be the most dedicated Clash fans on the planet to reform your long-dormant band specifically in order to participate in two different Cut the Crap tribute albums, but it happened and nobody’s denying it.