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Music of the MAC, Vol. IV: Buffalo

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 acts, from Buffalo:

WILLIE NILE. Willie Nile grew up in Buffalo, the son of a musical family. He stayed in Buffalo (well, Amherst) for college, getting a degree in philosophy and spending summers at folk clubs in Greenwich Village. He moved to the Village after college, and soon became a fixture in the folk-rock scene. In 1978, New York Times rock critic Robert Palmer wrote of Nile, "Every once in awhile the times seems to produce an artist who is at once an iconoclast and near-perfect expression of contemporary currents. He is one of the best singer-songwriters to emerge from the New York scene in a long time." His wild popularity on Bleecker Street led to a record deal, but after two critically acclaimed albums in the early 1980s, he fell off the map, re-emerging in 1991 to record his third album, Places I Have Never Been. Since that time, Nile has established himself as a favorite among his peers, recording with (among others) Elvis Costello, Tori Amos, Ian Hunter, the Barenaked Ladies, and Lucinda Williams while putting out his own recordings and maintaining a devoted live following. Below, Nile plays the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, where he's joined by his friend Bruce Springsteen for a performance of "Heaven Help the Lonely," the lead single from Places I Have Never Been.


Willie Nile (featuring Bruce Springsteen) - Heaven Help the Lonely (via Flatb2)

After the jump, an act you're sure to love or hate, and nothing in between.

EVERY TIME I DIE. Once upon a time, there was a Buffalo native named Keith Buckley. Keith got a degree in English from Buffalo, and became a high school English teacher. But Keith got bored with teaching English, and decided he wanted to front a metalcore group instead. So Keith and his brother, Jordan, teamed up with some friends to form Every Time I Die, which Wikipedia describes as being "rooted in technical hardcore with strong southern metal and mathcore elements." Here are some other choice tidbits from Wikipedia:

  • Keith describes the band as "a Buffalo Bills tailgate and a high school kegger."
  • During tours, they enjoy setting their hair on fire and drinking.
  • One of Keith's writing tactics is to get incoherently drunk and see what comes out.

Every Time I Die first made noise outside metalcore circles in 2006, when their song "The New Black" was included as a bonus track on Guitar Hero 2. If all this has you dying to hear some music, here's "After One Quarter of a Revolution," from their latest release, New Junk Aesthetic, featuring (weirdly enough) the former Mr. Ashlee Simpson.

Every Time I Die - After One Quarter Of A Revolution (via EpitaphRecords)

That does it for the fourth installment of Music of the MAC. Next week: Central Michigan.