The National is a band that, like our nation itself, embrace diversity alongside a wicked rebelliousness streak. But wait, diversity? We mean of sound, silly. Yeah, OK, it’s seven white dudes jamming together on an indie rock label, but don’t let what’s on top fool you: The National’s cred actually stretches well beyond the length of the Mississippi.
While soaking up the beats and rhymes of Quincy Matthew Hanley – better known as ScHoolboy Q – it’s not hard to draw the conclusion that Hanley may have been born a decade too late. With rapid West Coast-rapper sensibilities and a maximum dose of dynamite delivery, the Q man (he can’t be a boy forever, can he?) could have fit quite snuggly among West Side elites like Snoop, Tupac and Dre.
It’s entirely possible that Howie Day is an egotistical jerk (further reading: Day, Howie, history of arrests), but it’s hard to deny the role he’s played in putting power pop back on the musical culture map. A frequent presence on the early 2000s indie rock scene, Day has recorded and released three full-length studio albums and nearly a dozen EPs.
OK, we already know exactly what you’re thinking: “Wow. A whole festival devoted to keyboards!” That’s it, right? Only thing about the heading that gripped you? Or was it the fact that BEN FREAKIN’ FOLDS is going to be in KALA-MA-FREAKIN-ZOO, and oh hey, that’s kind of right next door, no matter where you are in West Michigan.
One of the ways to really get to know a city’s vibe is to find the arts district and spend a little time hanging out. Art tells stories of time and place, even while being timeless and universal. Artists reveal truths about humankind within the context of their cultural and historical setting.
Top picks this month include two Earth Day events, an evening egg hunt and a funny first grader. If you’re into making this world a better place, the Kalamazoo Nature Center has loads in this direction. Just want to gather eggs? An egg hunt under the lights switches things up a bit. If your final choice is the first grader, there are no worries—she’s a firecracker.
Genre-defining changes don’t happen very often. You don’t wake up every day to find something new that’s going to change the world in a hugely significant way. That’s why, when these things do happen, it’s a pretty big deal, and so are the people who bring them about.
Free music in its many facets can be difficult to fully appreciate nowadays, but breaks norms for musical outreach. Michigan’s Chiodos will adhere to the free model for hometown fans after recently creating its own label imprint on Razor & Tie: drk/lgt.
It’s all about the groove for The Mainstays as their emergence as a modern day funk-soul band aims to revive a style of music from a bygone era, playing such classic sounds that legendary soul masters would have loved to recreate.
The growing musical affection Stepdad has received through its steady growth as a rising band may be just enough to soon push them over the edge into the indie pop mainstream. Don’t think it’s as easy as it sounds, as reaching this level of popularity doesn’t just happen overnight.
© 2020 Serendipity Media, LLC