New ‘Athena Headache’ podcast brings attention to fringes of Ohio music

October 3, 2018

New ‘Athena Headache’ podcast brings attention to fringes of Ohio music

ATHENS, Ohio – Ohio-made experimental music isn’t the type of stuff you’ll often hear on the radio or music podcasts. But now, it’s in the spotlight in Brian Koscho’s new podcast “Athena Headache.” The show is hosted on Ohio music promotion website Aquabear Legion, which Koscho formed 14 years ago.

“Athena Headache” features everything from noise, to freeform jazz, to ambient music. Songs can be two minutes long, or 30 minutes long. Live, or studio recorded.

“It’s niche stuff,” said Koscho. “This is something someone could listen to at the gym or put on while they’re cooking dinner. It’s really well-suited to be background music. But I also think someone could sit with a pair of headphones and really focus on it if they wanted.”

Episode One of “Athena Headache” was posted on Sept. 1 and it features songs by Athens, Ohio bands and musicians Dead Winds of Summer, Casiotone Orchestra, Leslie Keffer and more. The podcast clocks in at an hour and 17 minutes long, and features only seven unique songs.

Koscho has lived in Athens since he went to school there in 2001. He formed Aquabear Legion to promote music coming from all corners of the state of Ohio.

Through Aquabear Legion, Koscho has produced multiple compilation records, hosted local-focused concerts and produced two other podcasts: the long-running Cleveland Browns-focused “Six Bs and a P,” and another Ohio music podcast titled “The Western Reserve.” He performs in a local rock band called Unmonumental, which is working on putting out its second album.

Koscho said all of that work is just for fun. His main job is being the Marketing Director of Nelsonville Music Festival and Stuart’s Opera House.

He was inspired to kick off “Athena Headache” by listening to NPR music programs focusing on classical and experimental music. He wanted to fulfill that niche, but with Ohio and Midwest music.

“You sort of know if someone is hitting play or subscribing, they are intrigued and curious enough to listen,” said Koscho. “You don’t need to worry about long songs or weird music ... because of the format, you eliminate the need to worry about that stuff.”

He said the podcast has given him a chance to give attention to a music scene that he’s enjoyed for over a decade.

“It’s giving us an excuse to dig through a giant box of CDs and old recordings -- old, one mic recordings of performances,” he said. ” It’s also really cool because we’re starting to engage that community of musicians a little more.”

Though Koscho hosted and curated “Athena Headache’s” first episode, he plans to have a rotating host for each subsequent episode. The next episode will be released in October on Aquabear Legion’s website.

Listen to Episode One of “Athena Headache” here.

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