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College Level (E14)


Remember your college level music? Of course you do. Music, dating, parties, dancing, hanging out, doing things for the first time, making new friends… that’s college.

For me college music means The Smiths (The Queen is Dead). Squeeze (Singles). Van Halen (5150), Donald Fagen (The Nightly! – ding ding ding!), The Ocean Blue (Cerulean). Madonna (True Blue). And – as I write this – I realize that I need to build a show on that topic. For sure. In this show we turn to College Level music.

The Ocean Blue -Cerulean

A Short Recap – Lester the Nightly 2021

We are fourteen shows in and we have been all over the place. And… that will certainly continue. As one example – this show is our second artist interview (see Malka Russell). Amidst a sea of investigative work on different albums, artists and songs we get to hear from the artists themselves. In this case…

An Interview with Taylor Howard of College Level

College Level Band, Boise Idaho

First things first – a link to the band site: COLLEGE LEVEL BAND. To follow them on social media: @collegelevelband. Facebook. And to support the band buy a T-shirt. Really. Not kidding. Their gear is fantastic and you will pique the interest of anyone who sees you in COLLEGE LEVEL.

Visit the College Level Store.

From the band website: Boise based band, College Level, introduced themselves to the Boise indie scene with the 2018 release of their self-produced single, “Headspace.” They quickly developed a local reputation by playing over 20 shows in the first 6 months of 2019 and releasing their first EP, “gosh.” in August of 2019. With a wide range of musical influences, College Level’s fusion of power pop melodies and high energy rock make them a unique sound within the Boise area.

The band includes Boise natives Taylor Howard (rhythm guitar/lead vocals), Joel Hroma (drums/vocals) and Jared Smith (bass/vocals) and Las Vegas born Alex Smith (lead guitar). The group was formed by Taylor and Alex during the 2017 holiday season under reject names Nottagarage and Dog Uncle. After the addition of Joel and Jared, the band got right to work creating a community of music lovers and local artists of all kinds. College Level looks to continue their growth in 2020 with plans of tours across the west coast.

Taylor Howard College Level
Taylor Howard

The band is working on a debut full length LP featuring a variety of sounds focused heavily on catchy hooks and introspective stories of early adulthood.

There’s really not a feeling quite like being in a room where the audience is singing your lyrics back to you. It’s something that I’ll never forget. It kind of knocks you over. I almost had an emotional moment… I almost cried.

We’re just a small band in Boise, Idaho. When you have those moments it inflates your confidence for 45 minutes or so… I wish more people could feel that kind of thing.

Taylor Howard – COLLEGE LEVEL

CREDITS: Taylor Howard, College Level, Wallows, Dada, PJDJ.

Listen Here

College Level (E14)
PJDJCollege Level (E14)

The Playlist

Tracks included in order of appearance.

SongArtist/ GuestAlbumYear
Problem ChildCollege LevelGood for You EP2020
Good for YouCollege LevelGood for You EP2020
Valley QualityCollege Levelgosh.2019
DesiCollege LevelGood for You2020
Dizz Knee Land*DadaPuzzle1992
HeadspaceCollege Levelgosh.2019
Telephone WireCollege Levelgosh.2019
Playlist: Taylor Howard, *PJDJ
From the College Level Store

Taylor is a delightful guy and was really fun to interview. He (and the rest of the band) truly love what they are doing together. This is not a venture “for profit” although that would be nice… of course. Rather this is the pursuit of what they really love, making music, entertaining music fans… and keeping that college vibe going way after college.

Given the listening I have done of the band I can say with confidence that they have a very engaging sound that I expect to be broadly appealing. The fun comes through in their electric sound and imaginative videos. You see and hear the power of friendship in their work. Specifically I love the track “Problem Child.” I expect you will too given a few listens.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

I want to share my appreciation for you. For listening with an open mind. For comments and thoughts. For advice and suggestions. I am very pleased to go on these musical journeys each week knowing you are there to appreciate great music from inspired musicians.

College Level

To share more thoughts visit our Facebook Page. Send an email. Drop us a line at 929-314-4480.

Post Script: This is for Taylor – and my 10 million fellow Michiganders:


DJ and radio personality PJ Ewing is the host of Lester the Nightfly.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Mary

    Loved this show!! Thank you, PJ!! It was great to get to know Taylor as I listened to his music for the first time. Love how authentic you are Taylor!! Stay centered!! Your music brings me back to my younger days! Love it!! I wish you all much success!

    1. pjdj

      Mary – on behalf of everyone in Michigan thank you. We love COLLEGE LEVEL!!!

  2. Foxy (Adelaide)

    Sounds soooooooo good my god!!!

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