clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Musical Mid-American Conference

Jonathan Daniel

With football season fast approaching, many of us are also looking forward to the pageantry of the MAC's marching bands. But there's a lot more to the music of the MAC than just marching bands. Some very well-known acts have walked the halls of our campuses. Here's a few examples. If you can think of any more, let us know in the comments!

Akron: The Black Keys

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney both grew up in Akron, attending Firestone High School together and then matriculating at the University of Akron. They dropped out to pursue music full-time. This was probably the correct decision, because total devotion to their craft has resulted in one of the better rock bands to emerge in recent memory. Here, from their latest album, is "Fever."

Bowling Green: The Cars

Ric Ocasek was born in Maryland, but he grew up in the Cleveland suburbs after his father, a NASA engineer, was transferred from Goddard Space Flight Center to what's now known as Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. In high school, Ocasek met future bandmate Benjamin Orr. While Orr went on to play in various bands after graduation, Ocasek enrolled at Bowling Green. He dropped out, formed The Cars with Orr, and went on to make some of the most influential music of the 1970s and 80s. Here's their groundbreaking video for "You Might Think," the first music video to make widespread use of computer graphics.

Central Michigan: Fun

Fun may hail from New Jersey, but keyboardist Andrew Dost grew up in the Tri-Cities before attending Central Michigan. While there, he co-founded Anthallo with other area musicians. Anthallo gained notice in the Chicago music scene and released a few albums to niche acclaim before breaking up. As a member of Anthallo, Dost had played shows with The Format, led by Nate Ruess. When The Format broke up, Ruess approached Dost about forming the band that became Fun. Here's their first hit, "We Are Young":

Kent State: The Pretenders

Kent State has a few acts that could make the list here. Devo was another possibility, but their videos have embedding disabled, so the heck with Devo. At any rate, Chrissie Hynde grew up in Akron and attended Kent State for a while, where she shared art classes with Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh. Hynde dropped out and moved to London, where she worked for the venerable NME and in a clothing store owned by famed music manager Malcolm McLaren before forming The Pretenders. Here's a live performance of their first hit, "Brass In Pocket":

Miami: 98 Degrees

Including Nick Lachey on this list was difficult. You might say it's one of the harder things I've ever had to do. Lachey, whose mother may still work for Miami in some capacity (she worked in health services when I was a student), spent his freshman year at Miami before dropping out to pursue music. He joined a fraternity (his picture is still on the wall in the SAE house), probably did quite well with the ladies, and then never looked back. Here is the band's magnum opus, "The Hardest Thing":

UMass - The Pixies

We close with Black Francis and Joey Santiago of The Pixies, who were roommates at UMass. I'd say more, but hey, they wrote a song about it: