Athenaeum (band)

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Athenaeum, 1998
Background information
Origin Greensboro, North Carolina
Genres Pop rock, Post-grunge[1]
Years active 1990 - 2004
Labels Atlantic Records
Past members Grey Brewster
Nic Brown
Mike Garrigan
Mark Kano
Alex McKinney
Mike Mitschele
Cullen Strawn
Jeremy Vogt

Athenaeum was an alternative pop rock[2] four-piece band from Greensboro, North Carolina, USA formed in 1990 at an eighth grade dance by Nic Brown and Mark Kano.


After several personnel changes, Mark Kano and Nic Brown recorded an eight song EP in 1995 with bassist Alex McKinney and lead guitarist Grey Brewster.[3] The "Green Album," as it is widely known, sold about 10,000 copies.[2] The album was self-released and also distributed by Redeye Distribution.

In 1996 the band was signed by Atlantic Records. They released their major label debut, Radiance, in 1998. The first single, "What I Didn't Know," was a minor hit in the United States. The song "Flat Tire" from Radiance was a hit and had wide radio airplay in the Philippines, particularly the radio station NU 107. Though it didn't appear on the film's soundtrack, the song "Un-noticed" was also briefly featured in the MTV Films feature Varsity Blues (1999). During the recording phase for their next album, Brown left the band to attend Columbia University. He was replaced by Jeremy Vogt, who performed with the likes of Tonic and The Connells.[2] Brewster also dissolved his membership with the group and was replaced by Mike Garrigan, the lead singer and songwriter of Collapsis.

This new line up played their first show on March 31, 2001, at Ziggy's in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.[4] The new set included Garrigan's Collapsis anthem, "October".[4] Athenaeum's second major label album Athenaeum (originally titled "Plurabelle" until weeks before its release) was released on September 18, 2001. However, it received little promotion in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Athenaeum was eventually dropped by Atlantic Records. They toured for an additional three years and released their final record, Hourglass, a collection of rare outtakes and demos, before performing their last show at Ziggy's in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on December 28, 2004.

Mark Kano and Mike Garrigan subsequently formed the band mg4 (with Alex McKinney, the original bassist for Athenaeum and Jeremy Vogt), who released an EP in the summer of 2004 titled Gravity Affects Me. Mike Garrigan has since stepped back into his solo career and production work, including production and engineering on the first Mark Kano solo disc.

Brown went on to record and perform with bands such as Ben Lee, Longwave, Skeleton Key, Eszter Balint, and Claire Holley. He has also published three novels, In Every Way (2015), Floodmarkers (2009), and Doubles (2010), and is now an English professor at Clemson University.

Grey Brewster went on to form a local Greensboro, NC cover band who played for several years before he finally settled in Charlotte, NC to begin work as a singer-songwriter/session musician.

In August 2008, Second Motion Records announced that both the "Green CD" and "Hourglass" were available for digital download on iTunes for the first time ever.

Mark Kano released a solo album, Walking on Broadway, in February 2009. Gavin MacKillop, who also produced Athenaeum's releases on Atlantic, did the mixing for the album.


  • Athenaeum (1995) (widely known as The Green Album and The Green CD)
  • Radiance (April 7, 1998) Billboard Heatseekers peak #46
  • Athenaeum (September 18, 2001) (often referred to as "The Blue Album")
  • Hourglass (July 30, 2002)
  • "What I Didn't Know" (1998) from Radiance. Billboard Hot 100 peak #58
  • "Flat Tire" from Radiance.
  • "Unnoticed" from Radiance.
  • "Comfort" from Athenaeum.
Guest contributions


  • Nic Brown (drummer) 1990-2001
  • Mark Kano (vocals, guitar, songwriting) 1990-2010
  • Grey Brewster (lead guitarist) 1996 - 2001
  • Mike Garrigan (lead guitarist) 2001-2004
  • Alex McKinney (bassist) 1990-December 28, 2002
  • Jeremy Vogt (drummer) 2001 - 2004
  • Mike Mitschele (bassist) 2001 - 2004
  • Cullen Strawn (lead guitarist) 1994-1996


External links[edit]