Battle of the Bands

Music lovers packed together to listen and dance as five local bands faced off at the second annual Battle of the Bands.
Hosted by KSLU 90.9 FM, musicians and attendees gathered in Augustine’s Bar on Thursday, May 1.
The Telegraph Salesmen took home the prize after KSLU former disc jockeys selected them as the winners. Their prize included $500, airtime on KSLU’s Local Static along with an interview, a headlining gig at Augustine’s, a show at Columbia Theatre’s Ghost Light venue and a three-track demo with Firestorm Studios.
“All of us are really excited to play, and we weren’t expecting it,” said Miles Lyons, trombonist for the Telegraph Salesmen, and sophomore music major. “We knew a lot of the bands were going to be top notch.”
Other competing bands included Yo, Picasso; Bad Moon Lander; First Fracture and Better By Design.
“We do it to highlight local music,” said Monique Gregoire, underwriting and development manager for KSLU. “Hammond has a great local music scene.  So we just want to make sure that we’re showcasing local music as well as our show, Local Static.”  
Battle of the Bands promotes local musicians and helps them get their name out. It also gives bands an opportunity to connect with other bands.
Lyons is looking forward to the three-song demo The Telegraph Salesmen will receive. He hopes a professional recording will help the band to receive other gigs and go to new heights.  
The Telegraph Salesmen has a unique sound with diverse influences ranging from ragtime to Ethiopian jazz. Singer Carter MacFarland added to the sound of the band by singing through a megaphone for a few songs.
The band consists of nine musicians from across the world from North Carolina to the Ukraine.  Lyons works with MacFarland, who writes the lyrics, and other members to compose the songs.  
“We started collaborating, and it started turning into a writing process,” said Lyons. “We were trying new things with the same songs we have been using before, but we decided to add different flavors, different sounds.  Then we wrote it all down and orchestrated everything.  We then did a big show at a recital and have kept it going ever since.”
Tune into KSLU’s 90.9 FM radio show Local Static for more on the Telegraph Salesmen.