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Bandcamping: The Top 5 Underground High School Band Camps

Bandcamping: The Top 5 Underground High School Band Camps

We recently had a stunning realization about the nature of this column: It’s completely disingenuous.

How can music on Bandcamp really be underground if it’s so easily accessible? Bandcamping may be based on an incorrect assumption: that we really were digging as deep as we possibly could to bring you sounds that are truly different than what you already hear everyday. The only trouble is that re-branding this column would have taken a ton of effort, so we’re going to make the name work by transforming this space into a weekly breakdown of our favorite videos of actual band camp performances.

What’s more underground than a high school marching band playing its fight song, or The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army?” High school bands are some of the hardest working and least appreciated musical endeavors in the business, and band camps are where they go to hone their razor-sharp craft. Here’s what we found this week, and if it’s not enough, you can look forward to more marching magnificence every seven days for the rest of our lives!

Southern University High School Band Camp

This is a band that gets it. Under the direction of Nathan Haymer, the group is tight as they expertly work their way through “It’s all good.” Never has the old adage “team work makes the dream work” been more appropriate.

BCU (Drum Majors) HS Summer Band Camp 2015

You want drums? BCU has drums, and impeccable footwork to go with it. This gorgeous choreography is what sets this squad apart from their crosstown rivals.

Jackson State High School Band Camp (2015)

This level of precision can only be attained by listening to your band camp instructors, being in your bunk by curfew, and really making sure you have a clean reed.

Southern University High School Band Camp

A band so nice we used ’em twice! Haymer keeps his kids in line, but how about a shout-out to the rest of his staff? We see you, Assistant Director of Bands Brian Simmons, Assistant Director of Bands Kedric Taylor, and Percussion Instructor Lorenzo Hart.

2011-12 Milllion Dollar Drumline

Now this is how you wrap up a band camp. They’re talented and disciplined, sure, but most importantly, you can just tell they’re having a good ol’ time.

Yes, that was a thinly veiled April Fools’ Day joke. There will be no videos of high school bands in subsequent editions of Bandcamping (unless one of them drops a killer album on Bandcamp). Regardless, we didn’t use the holiday as an excuse to not explore Bandcamp and come up with a few things you should check out, so here is a brief rundown of the best albums we came across this week.

5. We Disappear by The Thermals
Genre:
alternative rock
If you like: Parquet Courts, ’90s college rock

4. Soft Dreams by Marquice Turner
Genre:
bedroom pop, lo-fi, instrumental hip-hop
If you like: Hot Chip, taking chances

3. ebb & flow by transient
Genre:
electronic, downtempo
If you like:
chilling out

2. Creatures by Ari Mason
Genre:
alternative pop, electronic
If you like: Fever Ray, darkwave

1: Night Songs by Benedict Benjamin
Genre: indie rock, 60s folk
If you like: My Morning Jacket, The Coral

Thanks for bearing with us and our nonsense this week. That’s all for today, so tell us which of these albums (or band camps) were your favorites, what we missed, and what we should look forward to. If you missed out on last week’s list, you can find it here (and the complete Bandcamping archives are here).

IMAGE: H. Michael Miley

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