Athenaeum enjoyed minor success in the late '90s, when the alternative rock group cracked the Billboard Hot 100 with "What I Didn't Know." Formed in Greensboro, NC, the band was primarily the brainchild of singer/guitarist Mark Kano and drummer Nic Brown, although Kano proved to be the only constant member throughout the group's career. Guitarist Gary Brewster and bassist Alex McKinney eventually climbed aboard, and Athenaeum self-released an eponymous LP in 1995. Shortly thereafter, the quartet signed with Atlantic Records and issued 1998's Radiance, which expanded the band's audience and allowed Athenaeum to tour for several years.
With newcomer Jeremy Vogt replacing Nic Brown (who left the band in 2000 to attend college), Athenaeum released a self-titled sophomore album in September 2001. The record failed to ignite much interest, and by the end of the year, Atlantic had dropped the band from its roster. Still a fairly popular draw in North Carolina, Athenaeum continued touring and released a rarities compilation, Hourglass, before officially calling it quits in 2004. ~ Andrew Leahey