As students brace themselves for the coming of finals week, Southern Miss Radio and Jackson-based entertainment company Ardenland are teaming up to prepare an opportunity for everyone to get their noses out of the books and cut loose to the sounds of The Weeks and The Apache Relay.
The show will be hosted at the Thirsty Hippo on Dec. 3 at 9 p.m.
“It should be a great night of rock music,” said Michael Ford Jr., leader and vocalist of The Apache Relay. The Nashville band is coming off of a six-week tour around the country and hitting the road again after the release of their latest, self-titled record with So Recordings, which Southern Living called “a stunning piece of work, guaranteed to put a spring in your step.”
The Apache Relay sports a retro-pop sound with elements of rock ’n’ roll, according to Ford Jr., and “echoes classic Gamble and Huff productions before folding out into a classic Spector-ish wall of sound,” according to Rolling Stone.
The music video for their song “Katie Queen of Tennessee” caught the public’s eye, including NPR Music’s Bob Boilen, who said it was “easily one of the catchiest tunes I’ve heard this year.”
The video showcased a group of 40 young dancers who “raise the fun to heights I hadn’t imagined with a blissfully, perfectly choreographed routine,” according to Boilen, “like ‘The Wizard of Oz’ meeting Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ for the first time.” Boilen called it a match that was meant to be.
Ford Jr. said the band offers a different experience live and on record.
“My main goal is for people to have a good time at our shows, enjoy themselves, kind of escape from reality for a minute and be in this fun atmosphere,” he said.
In these times of preparation for exams, an opportunity for escaping reality can only be welcomed at USM.
The musician also praised the work of The Weeks, the indie rock band from Jackson that is touring with The Apache Relay, calling them an “amazing rock ’n’ roll band.”
The Weeks earlier this year released their third recording on the Kings of Leon’s record label Serpents and Snakes entitled “Buttons.” They are returning to the Thirsty Hippo in Hattiesburg for the first time since March 2014, having traveled around the country and playing their music relentlessly since then.
The band’s online biography is written like a folk tale, full of imagery. “Like the dust filled hoof beats of a thousand wild horses, they layer sound like musket fire, their melodies bend and twist like train-tracks,” the Weeks’ website reads. “A music shaped from the calloused hands and wrinkled faces of their fathers. They have walked through the fire wide-eyed and crazy, and came out enlightened.”
Ardenland, the entertainment company founded and led by Arden Barnett, has been a long-time cooperator and friend of Southern Miss Radio, according to WUSM General Manager Justin Martin. With the help of Brad Newton, owner of the Thirsty Hippo, they are bringing around yet another night of indie rock to Hattiesburg.