Like a lot of musicians who tour for a living, Tim Nordwind says he doesn’t get to do much sightseeing when he comes to a state to do a show.

But Nordwind — bassist for the power-pop band OK Go — makes it a point to seek out good local food wherever he goes. And he says he’ll continue that this weekend, when OK Go is one of the headliners at the KahBang Music Festival on Bangor’s waterfront.

“We’re definitely foodies. We always try to seek out the best local food,” Nordwind said. “So we’ll be looking for lobster. In Alabama and Texas, we’ve had some great barbecued ribs. We always give somebody the mission of researching the best local places for us to eat.”

OK Go will be performing Saturday night, just before up-and-coming rapper B.o.B. (Bobby Ray Simmons) closes the festival. On the first night of the festival, Friday, hip-hop legend Biz Markie will be the headliner with a 10 p.m. show.

In all, some 30 local, regional and national acts will grace three stages in a field setting along Bangor’s riverfront, just off Main Street. The music festival is part of the larger KahBang Festival, which began Aug. 6 and includes art events and film screenings at various venues around Bangor.

The second annual event was conceived by a group of arts-minded Bangor residents, all in their 20s. The goal, said KahBang communication director Chris Michaud, is to “throw an amazing national-caliber entertainment event in our hometown.”

“It is our goal to evolve KahBang into the South by Southwest of the Northeast,” said Michaud, referring to the nationally-known arts and music festival held annually in Austin, Texas. “A destination festival for artists, industry insiders, filmmakers, musicians and fans alike set against the backdrop of a beautiful Maine summer in Bangor’s intimate and accessible environment.”

The festival’s line-up is eclectic, to say the least. Biz Markie is an old-school hip-hop legend who was helping to steer the genre into the mainstream in the mid-1980s. B.o.B is a hip-hop artist on the rise, and OK Go is all about power-pop and rock.

The guys in OK Go were heavily influenced by punk rock and Brit pop, as well as classic rock. And although there is no audible hint of hip-hop in their music, Nordwind calls Markie “a childhood hero of mine.”

“My musical tastes were all over the map as a kid, and I always liked him. In fact, we just saw him DJ in New York,” said Nordwind, 34, who grew up in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Nordwind and his bandmates appreciate the skills of a DJ, being technically adept themselves. They’ve won critical raves and awards for their videos, which they make themselves, and they sell a lot of their music to video game companies.

The latter is more about finding ways to get their music to more ears than about a love of video games.

“MTV doesn’t play music and radio is dying, so this is an alternative way to get our music out there,” said Nordwind. “A lot more kids play video games than watch MTV or listen to the radio.”

On both days of the festival, music will begin around 2 p.m. and last until around 11 p.m. But after the outdoor music stops, there will be more live music at a half-dozen Bangor venues under the heading “[email protected]

Those venues include Paddy Murphy’s, Ipanema Bar & Grill, Luna, Sea Dog Brewing Co. and Thai Lounge. Some require tickets, others are free.

“Everything we do is for the betterment of the show, and by proxy, the betterment of the Bangor cultural, creative and traditional economies,” said Michaud.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]


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