Cage the Elephant is considered one of the best young indie rock acts today, but the band got its start in the burgeoning music scene in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Sometime Millions contributor Craig Fehrman wrote a Kindle Single on Cage the Elephant and its influential hometown, Home Grown: Cage the Elephant and the Making of a Modern Music Scene. You can read his past Millions essays on the history of literary Time covers, Lewis Hyde’s understanding of intellectual property, and an ethnography of readers at Borders.
“Friday Night Lights owed part of that popularity to its local flavor, which included a careful examination of Odessa’s racism. ([Buzz] Bissinger had to cancel his reading at the town’s B. Dalton after locals called and threatened ‘bodily harm.’) More than anything, though, the book told a story that seemed powerfully symbolic. Odessa mattered, as Bissinger put it in his preface, ‘not because it was a Texas town, but an American one.’
Today, that story - troubled town, precarious season, political resonance - has congealed into a narrative that sports books must follow. The latest is Keith O’Brien’s Outside Shot: Big Dreams, Hard Times, and One County’s Quest for Basketball Greatness. It’s a solid book, but also one that falters under the legacy of Friday Night Lights.”