Local acts prepare to ‘KahBattle’
The buzz is building for the second annual KahBang Music and Art Festival, set for Aug. 6-14 in downtown Bangor. Twelve days of music, film, art and good vibes in the Queen City. An all-access pass is just 45 bucks. Can’t beat that.
What’s extra neat about this year’s festival is the fact that United Way of Eastern Maine has brought together seven of the most excellent Maine bands to duke it out for KahBang supremacy. The KahBattle of the Bands is set for 7 p.m. Friday, July 16, at Peakes Auditorium at Bangor High School.
The winners of the competition get to perform on the first day of the music festival portion of KahBang, on Aug. 13 on the Bangor Waterfront. They also get a professional recording session with Maine Street Music, and album photography by James Daigle. Not a bad deal, huh?
It’s definitely a diverse lineup — bands range in genre from electronic pop to alternative rock — and it’s a great chance to hear some music that doesn’t always get a stage to play on in eastern Maine. And, your $5 admission will help some of the many amazing things United Way does for the community, such as ensuring children have access to all the educational opportunities they need, making sure families have access to quality health care and seniors can remain active and independent.
Who will win? Only your vote can help decide. Here’s a little information on your seven KahBattlers, to help you make your final call.
Autopirate! (www.myspace.com/autopirateme) This band is the brainchild of Chris Alden and Stu Bost, who met while attending Brewer High School. Both graduated in 2009, and recently released a new full-length album, “Tomorrow Will Be Different,” a 10-song collection of the pair’s trademark high-octane electronic power pop. Bost attends college in Virginia, while Alden studies at the New England School of Communications right here in Bangor — but that hasn’t stopped them from writing and recording. It’s fun, precise and incredibly catchy pop, and yes, they use Auto-tune.
Connery (www.myspace.com/conneryrock) Fryeburg-based Connery first came together in 2007, with a mission to make heavy, melodic rock. They’ve been doing just that ever since, playing a variety of shows all over New England. A debut self-titled EP is due later this summer. Fans of solid screamo will enjoy their set at KahBattle, combining the soaring metal riffage of Too Late the Hero with some heavily hardcore roots.
The most unique of the bands on the KahBattle lineup, GhostSafari is comprised of four University of Maine graduate students who make fuzzy electro-rock in the vein of Animal Collective or Wolf Parade. As far as we know, it’s their first show in Bangor, though they’ve apparently played in Orono for a few months. The band maintains a Facebook page with some songs on it. Could they be the surprise hit of the show? We’ll find out!
The Impartial Crowd (www.myspace.com/impartialcrowd) Four butt-kicking Ellsworth High School students got together to rock in late 2009. They played their first show this past January, and are now poised to potentially take the stage at KahBang. How’s that for trajectory? They won the Battle of the Bands at the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth recently, wowing the crowd with big rock riffs inspired by the White Stripes and the Who.
Most Of Us Can Stand (www.myspace.com/mostofuscanstand) Playing everything from laid-back piano ballads to hard-hitting rock songs, the Bangor area alt-rock four piece Most Of Us Can Stand has been on the scene since last fall. A few key shows in Orono and Bangor brought them the attention of rock fans in the area. You’ll like them if you like bands like John Mayer and Coldplay.
Mudseason (www.myspace.com/mudseason09) Fresh off a well-received set at the Nateva Festival last weekend in Oxford, the Bangor groove masters Mudseason have amassed a number of fans in the area, who love their laid back take on funky rock. Think Led Zeppelin or Neil Young, with an ear for the smooth electric chords of Stevie Wonder.
Restless Groove (www.restlessgroove.com) Funk is the question, and the answer. Restless Groove, comprised of four University of Maine students, have been entertaining parties in Orono for the past year, and recently released “The Forest of Dance,” an album distilling their crowd-friendly jams into ten tracks of non-stop fun.
For more information about KahBattle of the Bands, check out the event’s Twitter feed at twitter.com/kahbattle.