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By Julia Phillips   Lead singer and pianist of Breakside, Tyler Markarian, got a full house at the Underground Coffeehouse on their feet as he jumped off the stage, helped some crowd members stand up and grabbed a tambourine to get the crowd moving. Winners of the first round of Sounds of the Underground, Breakside, won the votes of the audience and are moving on to the next round. On April 12, three bands, Virgo Virgo, Breakside and Mike Hindert and the Wolf competed in the third annual Sounds of the Underground for a spot to play at Western’s annual music festival, Lawnstock.

Virgo Virgo opens up Sounds of the Underground with their song 'Hear Me' // Photo by Julia Phillips
Sean Murdock, the Associated Students Productions underground coffeehouse coordinator, oversees booking bands and facilitating events at the Underground Coffeehouse and is coordinating this year’s event. “It’s a battle of the bands between 12 local Western student bands,” Murdock sad. “There’s four preliminary rounds. After that the [winning] bands will play in the MPR and earn a spot to play at Lawnstock.” The bands that get chosen to play the preliminary rounds are chosen by a panel of judges based on the criteria of the diversity, professionality and sound of the groups, Murdock said. Sophomore Caroline Haywood saw a poster for Sounds of the Underground on campus the day of the event and decided to go with her friend Cristine Hernann. “I liked that there was a lot of diversity with genres and music. Each band was very different,” Hernann said. Haywood said she could still appreciate each band even though some of their songs weren’t her kind of music.
Breakside invites the audience to their feet after Tyler Markarian entered the crowd // Photo by Julia Phillips
Three bands perform each night. Two of the events are at the Underground Coffeehouse and two are at the Make.Shift, which is a venue dedicated to innovative, alternative and unusual music and art, according to Make.Shift’s facebook page. Then at 8 p.m. on April 15, Fluencie, Girlo and Chef, and the Dawn Bombs played at the Make.Shift. At 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 19, DRFTRS, Good Sleep and Sweaty Already will perform at the Underground Coffeehouse. Then at 8 p.m., Friday, April 21, Step Dads, We Won’t Leave and Maddy Smith will conclude the preliminary rounds at the Make.Shift.

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