Blue Box Records


Millikin’s Blue Box Records label venture offers real-lifebusiness skills to students

DECATUR – For the leader of a student band, such as Millikin junior Chad Bell, successfully releasing an independent album can be a huge undertaking.

Studio time, editing work, CD printing and art, distribution and advertising are expenses groups such as Bell’s dari simply can’t scrape together the funding to pull off effectively.

In the music industry, record labels pay these expenses to allow groups to produce the best album possible, but most labels wouldn’t work with small groups such as dari, who have been together for less than a year.

Until now. With a brand-new program, Millikin University has asked, “Why can’t your college be your record label?”

Not only will Millikin’s Blue Box Records function as the record label for student bands such as dari and The Great Waltz, the label itself is a class for Millikin students to gain real, firsthand experience about the music business and how a label functions. This includes every step, from scouting and signing bands to coordinating production and promotion of their records.

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That’s No Moon


“Blue Box Records expanding scope with That’s No Moon”

Since its formation in 2010, Millikin University’s Blue Box Records class has served as a real-life music label to several local student bands.

Tonight, however, the combination learning laboratory/record label will make good on its stated intent to expand by debuting a new band that is decidedly off-campus. In fact, Blue Box Records’ new acquisition, That’s No Moon, isn’t even situated in Decatur.

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Review: That’s No Moon’s S/T

Most bands pick one thing and try to do it well. When I spoke with That’s No Moon bassist Paul Little this past spring, he specifically mentioned that the band try to incorporate multiple styles into their music. Appropriately, their debut, self-titled full length packs multiple styles and influences into a brisk 40 minutes, and lets the musical tension come out of the clashes.

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“Greenwood, Dari set farewell show”

DECATUR — In the lifetime of a local band, all things must eventually run their course. Even if a group stays together following a radical change of members or location, the ripple effect of a well-known group’s exit from the Decatur music scene can be felt by all the other bands that remain, and can even spur new groups to form.

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The Great Waltz


The Great Waltz benefits from Millikin program

DECATUR – Not many schools would pay to produce rock albums for student garage bands. Even fewer would operate a record label run entirely by students, including those in the bands.

Yet this is the opportunity open to students like Matt Skinner, lead singer for Millikin band The Great Waltz.

In addition to being The Great Waltz front man, Skinner is a student in First Step Records, a class that until recently functioned as a record-label learning laboratory and produced albums for university ensembles, such as the symphonies and choruses.

Recently, however, a new program within First Step Records, Blue Box Records, has been founded with the goal of producing and promoting the work of area rock bands. Millikin students like Skinner can now be represented in the music industry by their own university.

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Micah Walk Band


Living the fantasy

One consistent truth in the music business: In spite of the heartfelt aspiration and keen ambition felt by the people who trudge it, the path to making music for a living is littered with lost dreams, dashed hopes, and unfulfilled desires. Micah Walk, a singer/songwriter and leader of the Micah Walk Band, is quite aware of this, so much so that his latest record is titled Bright Side Fantasy in recognition of the desire to bridge the gap between hope and reality.

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