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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

From conception to resurrection: the life of a band

Hey man, we should totally start a band. Basements and garages are the breeding grounds for virgin wannabe band members. The lights are low, the music is inaudible and one thing leads to another. A local band has been conceived. In Bowling Green the local music scene appears to have a definite life span – maybe that of a house fly that lives for a really long time or those goldfish in a bag from the fair. Certainly not beta fish, which live forever. But a timeline is still tangible, no matter how unpredictable the performance. THE PREGNANCY Cozy in the womb, this is the stage where most of the development happens. Creating a style, a look, a sound and a gimmick. Ideas are constantly shaping as is the band name, while still nestled in the confines of a practice space. Maybe the band decides here that although it would attract audience members, they are not going to be on the marquee as ‘Free Beer.’ BIRTH Promoter Alex Kish with Shakin’ Promotions works in the delivery room at the hospital where new bands are born. He stands outside Howard’s Club H on Main Street most nights or watches inside as they burst onto the stage. ‘In a college town, bands usually form in the sophomore year of their college career,’ he said. After a MySpace conversation over the Internet or e-mail, the gig is set. Ready or not. LIFE AND NOTORIETY Veteran band member Jeff Loose has ridden the highs and lows of bands in Bowling Green and Toledo and tasted the tang of local stardom as the drummer for Stylex, a Howard’s regular a few years ago. ‘A lot of it is just weird chance and luck. It’s odd, but it can be good because you can get some people to rally around you, but then you can have everyone in BG love you and that’s about it,’ he said. Or drive to Toledo. Just 20-ish miles away, Toledo at least has more venues to play in. Eric Nedrow ‘bossed’ his way into Joey and the Traitors and makes no apologies. ‘We’re booking like a gig or two a week and MySpace has made it a level playing ground for everyone,’ he said. As sights are set higher and shows are easier to book, the option to tour seems to be the next logical step, but it’s not always a safe bet. ‘Playing music is a volatile thing. If you’re in a van with someone for like three weeks, they tend to get on your nerves,’ he said. This can lead to an all-too-common solution for tension. Someone in the line-up has to go. ‘If I had to pin it down to two things, it would be drinking and girls that break up bands,’ Nedrow said. R.I.P. Seemingly, the feeling of routine and the ominous shroud of normalcy is a place where good local bands go to die. For Stylex, girls and booze weren’t the biggest problem. According to Loose, the momentum just wasn’t there. ‘None of us were champing at the bit to write new songs. The one show you play and you feel like the show is a rerun, then there’s no reason to keep going,’ he said. Also, inexperience leads to stagnation. A small town has zero willing managers or publicists. The musicians can fall behind on the business end and not know where to turn. ‘There are no managers to do it for you, and I don’t know how to do it,’ Nedrow said. THE RESURRECTION The groupies do not waste time mourning at the funerals for bands like Stylex, Bullet Teeth or even Canada’s Electric Tiger Machine. They have faith in their favorites who rise phoenix-like from the cigarette ashes on the sidewalk outside. In a different life, these bands will be back, just in a new form. Kish has seen this all too often. ‘Once a band breaks up, give it four to six months. Usually another band springs out of the rubble of the previous band,’ he said. And even if they don’t make it big, that’s not always important. ‘In this age of hyper-pop sensations, success and good music are different things,’ Loose said. Tell that to the Jonas Brothers.

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