Hustle Belt is, of course, a blog devoted to Mid-American Conference sports. But there's more to the MAC than just sports: there are 12 (+1) universities turning out thousands of students a year. And some of those students go on to careers of (at least mild) renown. So to shine a spotlight on some MAC success in the world of entertainment, we're running a weekly series, "Music of the MAC." So, without further ado, this week's act, from Eastern Michigan:
HIS NAME IS ALIVE. Warren Defever grew up in Livonia, Michigan, where he was an outcast at school thanks to medical problems that required him to spend much of his formative years in the hospital. But when he wasn't in the hospital, he was making music, playing in several Detroit-area bands and making four-track recordings in his basement. After high school, he enrolled at EMU, where he met Karin Oliver, a fellow student who would join him to form His Name Is Alive. After just a year in Ypsilanti, they dropped out to focus on music, eventually getting a contract with 4AD and releasing several critically acclaimed, if not terribly popular, albums in the 1990s, backed by an ever-changing, and pretty big, set of musicians. Defever's music -- he wrote all the songs -- varies wildly in style, showing influences from ambient music, sugary pop, classical, country, and even Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys. Defever soon developed a reputation as a top-notch producer (he's done albums for Iggy Pop, Yoko Ono, Lisa Loeb, and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, among others), and His Name Is Alive took a back seat to production for a while, with Oliver leaving the band. Eventually, Defever, the only constant member of HNIA, resurrected the band, which is still active today. From their 1993 album Mouth by Mouth, here is "Can't Go Wrong Without You," directed by experimental filmmakers The Brothers Quay.
HIS NAME IS ALIVE "CAN'T GO WRONG WITHOUT YOU" BROTHERS QUAY 1993 (via silvermountainmedia)That does it for this week's installment of Music of the MAC. Next week: Kent State.