Profile I did on Bowling Green band Buffalo Rodeo.
Morning Teleportation is one of my favorite bands to come out of Bowling Green. They released a new track “People on My Floor” about a month or so ago. Sonically and lyrically Morning Teleportation delivers once again on this track. The band is currently on tour. Check out the song and tour dates on the link listed below.
I’ve been crushing on the Alabama Shakes for a while now. I’ve been a fan since I listened to their 1970′s southern rock revival ”Hold On”. Lead singer Brittany Howard has a remarkable voice, reminiscent of a soulful blend of Janis Joplin and Otis Redding. Their sound is much different than many other alternative acts, and I respect their adoration of classic rock and soul influences from decades past.
The band was apart of Nashville’s annual Live on the Green series September 27. Nashville’s Public Square Park was packed for the band from Athens, Alabama. Howard’s strong stage presence was felt immediately, as fans in the audience swayed back and forth, intoxicated by the band’s exuberant southern charm and overall good vibe.
Tents, cars, trailers and hundreds of people covered the normally desolate farmland at Ballance Farms in Oakland, Ky. For one early fall weekend in late September the field had a different feel and purpose-Good music and good vibes.
After taking a hiatus in 2011 to regroup and extend the festival to a two-day event, the Starry Nights Music Festival returned in 2012 bigger than ever. The lineup included more than 20 bands, from local favorites Cage the Elephant and Sleeper Agent, to respected alternative acts such as Portugal, The Man and Manchester Orchestra.
Tony Smith, lead singer and guitarist of Sleeper Agent, said Starry Nights has turned into an event that rivals many popular music festivals.
“It’s become a festival I’d like to attend whether I were playing or not,” Tony Smith said. “It’s very surreal. It reminds me of the excitement I had looking forward to Lollapalooza in the mid 2000s.”
It’s been a whirlwind two years since Sleeper Agent last played Starry Nights in 2010. The band has since been named a band to watch by Rolling Stone, performed at huge festivals like Coachella, and even participated in the 2012 Weezer Cruise, a four day music festival that took place on a cruise ship.
“It’s mostly been a blur,” Smith said. “But I’m glad to be apart of it regardless.”
The Kentucky rockers have generated a buzz and garnered a large legion of fans for their spontaneous, energetic brand of garage pop. Starry Nights was a chance for the band to reconnect with their hometown fans and play some new music.
“We spent the whole summer holed up writing our second album with only a couple of shows,” Smith said. “We played eight new songs during our set, so I was more focused on hitting my marks than going wild on stage. I regret not loosening up a bit, but I think the everyone had a great time regardless.”
Smith has seen Starry Nights expand over the past four years and gain more attention nationally, much like the Bowling Green music scene.
“Hopefully it means the rest of the Bowling Green and the rest of the country will start taking notice of our little-community-that-could,” Smith said.
Cage the Elephant who since releasing their debut album in 2008, has helped pave the way for other Bowling Green artists to succeed in the music industry, curated the festival.
For local fledgling artists trying to make a name for themselves, Starry Nights served as a platform to gain exposure and some new fans.
“The Starry Nights set was definitely the biggest crowd our band has ever played in front of,” Jordan Reynolds, background vocalist and keyboardist for Buffalo Rodeo, said. “Since we’re not with any professional labels or producers, all we can do right now is play as many shows as possible and get the word out about our band. Playing at Starry Nights is perfect for that because people who would not otherwise know of us got a little taste of what Buffalo Rodeo is all about.”
For music fans, Starry Nights was an opportunity to escape reality and enjoy some good music.
“I feel everyone was there for the surreal moments of relaxation,” Bowling Green senior Kayla Ashby said. “Everyone was one with nature and musicality. The whole point of going to a festival is withdrawal from reality, make new friends, enjoy your favorite bands, and watch bands one has never seen.”
Sisters Kayla and Sarah Ashby have grown up with many of the artists in the Bowling Green area, namely Cage the Elephant and Sleeper Agent, and were thrilled to see them play for a large, energetic crowd.
“My favorite part of the festival was seeing my friends play on a big stage in front a huge crowd of fans,” Sarah, 20, said. “It was really exciting and cool to see how many people came out and how the bands are moving forward becoming more popular.”
Starry Nights is a unique due to its intimate setting and ability to draw well-respected artists. K. Ashby said the small-town feel of the Bowling Green music scene makes the festival unlike any other music festival.
“Starry Nights allows people to come to a small town where musicality flourishes,” Kayla said. “There are so many amazing local bands that everyone are astounded to see and continue to follow. The atmosphere is different from any other festival I have ever been to. I was overwhelmed by the variations in colors and shadows of trees, the rolling hills, and the overall natural scenery that laid behind each stage.”
A new local band, The Pewbs, played at the Perk Hill Cafe April 26.
I was very impressed by the band’s sound, which incorporates a trumpet along with guitar, bass and drums.
The band could easily be likened to Beirut, which also utilizes the trumpet and a variety of other instruments.
Check out Beirut’s song “Nantes” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCkT4K-hppE
The Pewbs have yet to garner much attention, but they had the crowd of 50 or more people at Perk Hill Cafe on their feet and grooving.
Check out my video below to see what the Pewb’s sound like.
As the spring semester reaches its final stretch, there are several upcoming shows students should consider checking out before heading home for the summer.
The Perk Hill Cafe, located right off campus on 111 Old Morgantown Rd., will be hosting a free show this Thursday, April 26.
Locals bands The Pewbs, Hudson Trail, Mahtulu, and Rainbow Kitty Kitty will be playing starting at 6:00 p.m.
Check out their band pages here to get an idea of what to expect.
For student 21 and older, local heavy metal favorite Opposum Holler will be playing at Tidball’s on Thursday April 26.
Check out their band page to hear some of their music: http://www.reverbnation.com/opossumholler
May 5, local bands Thee Japanese Schools Girls and Heavy Chase will be playing a special acoustic show at SKyPAC.
For students overwhelmed with studying for finals, or for those just looking to wind down their Cinco de Mayo, this show is definitely something to check out.
Doors open at 9 p.m. Cover is $7 for those 18-20 and $5 dollars for those 21 and up.
Sleeper Agent played arguably one of their biggest shows of their young careers this past weekend at the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California.
Coachella, one of the world’s biggest music festivals, was host to some of the biggest names in music this weekend. Among the many performers were Radiohead, At The Drive In and Snoop Dogg.
Sleeper Agent played the outdoor theatre stage at noon Saturday. The LA Times music blog Pop & Hiss gave the Bowling Green rockers a very favorable review. The blog praised Sleeper Agent’s style, saying “Sleeper Agent struck with Ramones-like efficiency, but when the band pulled back from a more finessed bass line, it was clear that Sleeper Agent has the potential for a raucous, rhythm & blues shamble in its future”
Earlier in the week, Sleeper Agent announced that their debut album “Celebrasion” is now available on vinyl. You can buy the vinyl edition of the album here: http://www.myplaydirect.com/sleeper-agent/features/26738807
Check out Sleeper Agent’s Coachella interview with San Diego Indie radio station 91x here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBlc7XsOKro
Check out Sleeper Agent perform “Love Blood” for 91x here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBlc7XsOKro
2011 was a banner year for the Bowling Green music scene.
Cage The Elephant and Morning Teleportation made waves nationally with their albums “Thank You Happy Birthday” and “Expanding Anyway”. Meanwhile, Sleeper Agent burst onto the national scene with their debut “Celebrasion”.
Check out my podcast below where I countdown the top 5 songs of 2011 by Bowling Green bands.
Don’t have time to check the podcast out? Here are the Top 5.
5. “All the Same”-Buffalo Rodeo
With a sound reminiscent of Kings of Leon, this band fronted by WKU freshman Zach Preston is well on their way to make a splash nationally.
4. “Eyes The Same”-Morning Teleportation
These psychedelic rockers take listeners on a ride with beautiful lyrics and a dream-like sound that’s hard to resist.
3. “Love Blood”-Sleeper Agent
The band’s infectious, energetic sound is at display here. The chemistry between Tony Smith and Alex Kandel is pure music bliss as they quip back and forth about love.
2. “Cystalline”-Morning Teleportation
With heartfelt vocals and a roller-coaster sounds, this tune will be stuck in your head for days.
1. “Shake Me Down”-Cage The Elephant
Matt Shultz and Co. have helped pave the way for the Bowling Green music scene. The reason for their buzz is evident in this nostalgic punk song about life’s many depressing aspects. However, as Shultz sings in the chorus, he “keeps his eyes fixed on the sun”.
The Black Belles, a garage goth rock band discovered by Jack White and later signed to his label Third Man Records, made a stop in Bowling Green this past Saturday for a show at the Warehouse.
The band consists of four girls clad in all black. The band is front by lead singer Olivia Jean and have a sound rooted in soul and garage rock of the 1960s.
Prior to their show in Bowling Green, the Black Belles had appeared at SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. The band is slated for a tour in the UK starting in May.
New to the Black Belles? Check their dark, vintage inspired vibe for yourself here on their band website: http://theblackbelles.com/
Check out the their music video to their song “What Can I Do” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXNTQ-GmMkM
The video has already garnered nearly half a million hits on YouTube.
Their self-titled album is out now. Stream it for free here: http://store.thirdmanrecords.com/theblackbelles-self-titled12vinylandcd.aspx
Local acts The Black Shades, Patson and Televermin also played at the show.