Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Craig Fehrman's "Home Grown: Cage The Elephant and The Making Of A Modern Music Scene" Is A Smash!

      Last Summer, while talking to my wife, Patty, and Tony and Alex over dinner, (Tony Smith and Alex Kandel who are from the alternative indie rock band, Sleeper Agent. Tony is my son and Alex is our future daughter in-law), Tony informed us that a writer from New York had been in Bowling Green interviewing the guys from Cage The Elephant and other local musicians and key people in town about the Bowling Green Music Scene.
    Tony also said that the writer who had written for the New York Times and had interviewed him and Alex too. Of course, I thought that was really cool but Tony did not know a whole lot about it other than he just said that the writer was probably going to write an article of some sort about Cage and the booming music scene in Bowling Green. Tony said that he didn't know where it or when it was going to be published. After that conversation, I basically forgot all about it until over a year later when somebody posted it on Facebook last week, that Craig Fehrman's Kindle single, "Home Grown: Cage The Elephant and the Making of a Modern Music Scene" was now available on the internet. Of course, I bought it for $1.99 and then gobbled it up within an hour or so on my iPhone. It's a quick read and about a 20,000 word article or 58 pages. It has 13 chapters such as "Too Hot For Skinny Jeans," "It's Like Its Own Little Babylon in the Middle of the South. But With a Lot of Churches," and "Tidball's." I have to admit that I was totally fascinated how this very talented writer had captured the essence and the current mood our of fair city of 60,000 and its happening downtown and music scene.

"But Cage seemed different. A little Googling revealed that all five members still lived in or near Bowling Green. It also revealed that they were right about the quality of their tiny local scene. In the last few years, Bowling Green had birthed Sleeper Agent, a snappy retro rock group that had signed with the iconic Mom + Pop label, played on Fallon, toured with Weezer and fun. The city could also claim Morning Teleportation, a spacey jam band that packed their six-minutes song with 20 minutes's worth of hooks."

    Fehrman describes Cage in great detail and writes about Cage drummer Jared Champion's dad, (Bill Champion, who happens to be a friend of mine.). He also writes about local DJ, Tommy Starr from Bowling Green's legendary rock station, D93, who helped build the local music scene to what it is today through the years by his radio program, "Home Cookin'" showcasing local musicians and bands. Also featured in the book, is Bryan Graves, a Bowling Green resident and co-founder of the Starry Nights Music and Arts Festival along with Matt and Brad Shultz from Cage, that has gained a lot of widespread media attention these last few years as far as outdoor music festivals goes. He also interviews local Blues musician Kenny Smith and Jeremi Simon-Kinnaman from the indie rock band, "Schools" and writes about another up and coming band, "Buffalo Rodeo." Fehrman digs in deep and really gives the reader sharp insight of what's happening in the Bowling Green Music Scene and how it involved to where it is today. Fehrman even conducts a phone interview with John Carperter, the famous horror film movie director who lives in Hollywood who is originally from Bowling Green. Fehrman reveals that Carpenter is also a musician of many sorts.
    Here's the author's bio from is web-site: "Fehrman is a Ph.D. student in Yale’s English department and a freelance writer. He’s written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and Slate, among others, and been interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. (You can find a full archive of his work here.) He’s also working on a book about presidents and their books — and, more broadly, about how, when, and why we started expecting politicians to write books.
    Fehrman grew up in Dillsboro, Indiana, and graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in 2007, majoring in English literature and psychology. Both Yale and Connecticut represent new experiences for him, but, so far, they’ve been good ones. According to Fehrman, he's married to a beautiful and understanding woman named Candice, who works as a book editor in Fairfield, Connecticut."
    I give Fehrman's Kindle single, five stars.  It's an awesome read and spot on regarding the ins and outs about Cage The Elephant and the Bowling Green Music Scene. To download his book, go to Amazon.com here at http://www.amazon.com/Home-Grown-Elephant-Making-Modern-ebook/dp/B00G2N4JCE/ Also, to view Fehrman's web-site, go to http://craigfehrman.com/

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bowling Green, Ky's., Mariah's Restaurant And Legends Sports Bar Has A Touch Of Hollywood

     One of our favorite restaurants and sports bars in Southcentral Kentucky is "Mariah's Restaurant and Legends Sports Bar" located in downtown Bowling Green.  Mariah's claims to be the oldest brick house in Bowling Green built in 1818 and it's
located at 801 State St. in the downtown area.  Their motto is "Creative cuisine in a casual atmosphere." You can usually find my wife, Patty, and I sitting at a table in Legends Sports Bar on a Friday night enjoying the Happy Hours specials and delicious menu items such at the BBQ Grilled chicken sandwich along with a side item of fruit.  Also, you usually find our favorite head bartender, Bryan Graves, who just so happens to be co-founder of the Starry Nights Music and Arts Festival along with brothers, Matt and Brad Shultz of the internationally known alternative rock band and RCA recording artists, "Cage The Elephant."  Bryan is also involved in other aspects of the Bowling Green Music Scene by managing a local, up and coming  alternative rock band called "Buffalo Rodeo."
     While sitting at the bar several months back, I was admiring the beautiful, antique wood structure with the adorning columns and large mirrors.  I started asking questions about it and Bryan told me that the bar was removed from a restaurant in Chicago and brought to Bowling Green after Mariah's almost burned down back sometime in the 90's.  After they remodeled the restaurant and installed the antique bar in Legends, it has been a talking piece among patrons and bartenders ever since.  Bryan pulled out his cell phone and showed me a picture where the bar is in the background of a scene of a movie that came out in 1990 called, "Mr. Destiny" starring James Belushi and Michael Cain.  In the picture that Bryan showed me, Belushi is sitting at the bar talking to Cain who is acting as a bartender. Needless to say, I was intrigued by the photo.  So now we have another Hollywood connection besides horror film director and producer, John Carpenter, who is from Bowling Green.  If you ever make it down to Mariah's, check out the beautiful antique wood structure in Legends Sports Bar.  You won't be disappointed and you'll also love the painted murals of Western Kentucky University sports scenes on the wall.