Black Box Cabaret booms back into action at CSUMB with I the Mighty.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
The month of September means many things: the end of summer, shorter days, the beginning of another NFL season and back to school. Though CSUMB’s fall semester just got underway, students are already itching for extracurricular activities and I the Mighty – playing the Black Box Cabaret on Saturday with Indian Lakes and K Será – makes for a welcome on-campus fix that’s also open to non-students.
The band’s recent popularity surge can be partly attributed to the way it released its debut EP, Hearts and Spades. Taking a cue from bands like Radiohead, I the Mighty made its 5-track album available for free. Over the past couple of months, Walsh says it has been downloaded a few thousand times. In the same time period, I the Mighty finished in the final five bands of a nationwide, 3,000-group “Unsigned Hero” contest sponsored by Airwalk Shoes and Alternative Press. He and the other band members never expected such a boom.
“The online buzz has been crazy,” he says. “We definitely quadrupled our fan base. In this day and age, people just download stuff illegally; there’s no better way to kick-start a fan base than just give the music away.”
The quartet’s music comes from all directions: Sometimes it’s reminiscent of Say Anything, while other times the songs resonate with more of a Conor Oberst intellectuality.
On “Modern Medicine,” through a poppy Death Cab For Cutie dribble, Walsh expresses his frustration with the pharmaceutical industry pushing dangerous drugs while marijuana remains illegal: “Slightly stoned with morphine injections and vicodin drops/ causing hearts attacks, heart attacks.”
The band already has a collection of about 17 tunes ready to record on a full-length album and hopes to hit the studio sometime in the near future, but for now, Walsh and his bandmates will be putting most of their focus into building its increasing fan base. And for I the Mighty, college is more than a chance to educate students on top up-and-coming music: It’s home to several thousand potential new fans.