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Joyce Endee

Final three garage bands compete for play time on The Hawk

Nicole Trottier, lead singer and bassist for Two Hour Parking, sang her heart out during the Battle of the Garage Band finals at Gunstock. Lauren Tiner. (click for larger version)
March 24, 2010
The three final bands competing for the top spot on 104.9 The Hawk's first annual Battle of the Garage Bands played and sang their hearts out Friday night at Gunstock.

Local bands Mind Set X, Kelley Morris and the Fallen Free, and Two Hour Parking competed for a chance to have their song heard on the Hawk, to snag a spot on the local music channel, (which will air in April) and to be featured on The Hawk's up and coming local music CD.

Fronk, WLKZ program director and Hawk on-air personality, said his classic rock station has been looking for ways to reach out to local bands in New Hampshire and give them a chance to shine.

"This is the first year the radio station is doing this. This started because we wanted to get involved with the local music scene," said Fronk. "Over three weeks we asked bands to submit two original songs. We had one winner each week, and got down to the final nine."

Fronk said the Hawk keeps close ties with Gunstock, since they have an ideal venue for events such as the garage band competition. He said he often talks with Marketing Director Bill Quigley on the weekends, after taking a few runs on the slopes, to conjure up some great ideas.

Fronk said that 20 submissions in all were submitted by local bands over the course of three weeks, and that the Battle of the Garage Bands had a great response, and over 100 votes each week.

"More or less, tonight is for bragging rights," said Fronk. "The fans are judging. They can vote live at Gunstock, and then we have voting online until midnight."

He said that he has considered inviting local bands to come into the radio station to play live or acoustic songs, to balance out The Hawk's array of classic rock. Although The Hawk will stay true to the classics, Fronk said he would like to feature local bands more often on the show. He is also attempting to put together a show for Bike Week this year, which would feature the three final bands from the garage band battle.

Although bands had to submit two original songs to compete in the battle, during the battle itself, bands got to pick a cover of their choice to play as well.

Fronk said each band has its own versatile style, since each round of semi-finals focused on a certain type of music.

The local alternative band Mind Set X started playing together in 2004 and has opened for several bands, including Korn in 2009. This trio includes Adam Cote on drums, Jerry Houle and Steven Scott on guitar and vocals. Mind Set has come out with four CDs and produces hard rock, mixed with experimental guitar, metal, and punk rock. Their influences include Metallica, Frank Zappa, and The Who.

The local band Kelley Morris and the Fallen Free has opened for well-known bands including Sum 41 and the Offspring. The lead singer and guitarist, Morris writes lyric-oriented music, which she describes as "bluesy-folk" music with a rock edge. Their influences include Joni Mitchell, Richie Havens and Jimi Hendrix. The band consists of Kelly Morris, Jennifer Morris on harmony vocals, Erik Benoit on percussion, and Dave Coulter on stand-up base. The band also featured on Community Auditions and played second-stage for Melissa Etheridge, Pat Benatar, Blondie, and the Donnas at Meadowbrook.

The third band to make it to the final round, Two Hour Parking, originated from Derry and Laconia, with Nicole Trottier on vocals and bass, Jeff Bartlett on vocals and drums, Jake Allen on vocals and guitar, and Derek Rudzinski on guitar.

Two Hour Parking has played together for nine years and won the Seventeen Magazine's rock star search, which resulted in a development with Arista Records. The group is often compared to Sugarcult, Blondie, and Heart.

After showing off their musical talent for the last time during the final round of the Battle of the Garage Bands at Gunstock, fans voted on their favorite performance, and results were to be announced Tuesday night at 5 p.m. on 104.9 The Hawk's "Drive and Five" program.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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