The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Macalester-based band The Muskies to play Fallfest

By Tatiana Craine

Once upon a fall night in 2008, The Muskies were born in a song circle. Friends gathered in one of the infamous Macalester-owned cottages and participated in an event rooted in folk music traditions. Everyone brought a song to sing for the group despite any misgivings about their own musical talent. And there, in that little cottage nestled on Macalester Street, Max Kulicke ’11 found someone that shared his passion and raw talent for music-Evans Brown ’10. Before long, Kulicke and Brown decided to form a party band well equipped to jam in dark, steamy basements. They ran through a mental list of musicians with whom they were mutually acquainted and created a lineup destined for Macalester party history. Andrew Rich ’12 (bass), Adam Rule ’09 (drums) and Alex Leibman ’11 (sax) joined the duo as the first members of The Muskies. When deciding upon a frontman, Brown suggested Phil Lee 08′, and the band never looked back. About Lee’s vocal prowess, Kulicke remarked, “Phil sang like a force of nature, a power to be reckoned with.” Jacque Kutvirt ’11, also made a few vocal appearances with The Muskies throughout the year before pursuing other opportunities.

The band started playing basement parties in December 2008, becoming an instant success on the party circuit. They played a vast range of cover songs, able to rouse the crowds. Beneath the cigarette haze and the beer foam-partygoers ranging the spectrum from hipsters to jocks could bump and grind to the catchy, well-played hits The Muskies pumped out.

Eventually, Brown decided it was time to start building a library of original songs. He came to a band practice with a song called “Debate,” and within a few weeks, The Muskies had the song in working condition. Before they knew it, The Muskies had a few more originals under their musical belts in addition to other cover favorites.

The Muskies finally scored their big break in the sunlight for Springfest 2009 as an opening band. They played their hearts out to a large crowd of enthusiastic students and festival goers on Shaw Field. Since Springfest, the band has metamorphosed and changed, but The Muskies are rolling with the punches to come out on top. Rule graduated and relocated to France and Leibman took a year off to live in California. However, Michael Spetner ’13 took a temporary position as the drummer and will be playing for The Muskies’ upcoming Fallfest performance before moving on from the band. After the event, Charlie Rudoy ’12 will permanently fill the drumming spot in the band.

The Muskies now have ten original songs ready to perform. With cross-country influence from each of the band members, The Muskies transcend just one musical genre. Blues and soul heavily influence the band’s alternative rock-feel. Their newest songwriting endeavors also weave hints of indie rock into the lyrics.

Live performances show The Muskies in their element. A partygoer described their live shows as “orgiastic rituals of listening and dancing fueled by heavy injections of alcohol, weed and soulful music.” Their power, intensity and musical expertise shine whether they’re in a sweaty basement or at home on a spotlighted stage.

The band recently booked their first gig in Minneapolis at Lee’s Liquor Lounge. The show was a triumph, and The Muskies hope to replicate that success at Macalester College’s Fallfest on Oct. 17.

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