Dave Hartley, front man for Nightlands, has a couple of big projects going on right now.
First, Nightlands' new album, "Oak Island," was released Tuesday on Secretly Canadian. The album is a labor of love for Hartley, also the bass player in Philadelphia band The War on Drugs.
Hartley cites influences such as the Beach Boys, E.L.O. and Cormac McCarthy in his musical upbringing. But he has another passion: basketball.
Which leads to his other pet project: Lobbying for San Antonio Spurs sharpshooter Matt Bonner to get a spot in the 3-point contest on Feb. 16 during NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston.
Bonner is a huge indie rock fan, even interviewing Win Butler from Arcade Fire for the Spurs' website, and playing against Butler in a charity game in Toronto. To complete the circle, Hartley interviewed Bonner for Paste Magazine.
Hartley's campaign, using the #LetBonnerShoot hashtag, has drawn support from some of Bonner's favorite bands, such as the aforementioned Arcade Fire and Okkervil River, along with Eva Longoria and former Florida teammate Joakim Noah.
Playbook asked Hartley (who has grown a protest beard to support the cause) why Bonner deserves the honor. Hartley lays it out in his own words below:
Who is Matt Bonner?
Matt is a 9th-year veteran power forward for the San Antonio Spurs. He grew up in New Hampshire and played for the University of Florida.
Matt is a family man. He has a wife who lives in Toronto and two beautiful kids. His brother Luke played pro ball in Lithuania and for various D-League squads.
Matt likes sandwiches. He has a blog about that.
Matt is a man of the people. His nickname "The Red Rocket" comes from his ginger hair and his proclivity for public transportation (in Toronto the subway is called "The Rocket"). He is unpretentious and wears low-top New Balance sneakers. After the game last night, he was the first player out of the locker room greeting the fans.
Matt likes rock and roll music. He hates the top 40 pop played at most arenas. He listens to bands like Okkervil River and The Arcade Fire. He goes to SXSW every year and hosts charity events constantly -- one of which is called "Pop vs. Jock" and features professional ballers and musicians going head to head. When Matt retires from basketball he might even get into concert promotion.
Why should the National Basketball Association #LetBonnerShoot?
Matt is currently leading the NBA in three point field goal percentage at 48 percent. He is 12th all-time in three point field goal percentage.
Matt achieves this astounding efficiency in very limited minutes (between 10 and 20 minutes a game for his career), meaning he must be prepared to come into the game ice cold and be ready to knock down three-pointers on a moment's notice. A true specialist, he does a job few on Earth can do.
Matt has a quick release and low elevation shot that will allow him to excel at a competition which favors speed and stamina. A player who elevates two feet in the air and has a high-motion release will tire having to launch twenty consecutive shots in a short period.
There are only a handful of true three-point specialists in the league: Steve Novak, James Jones, Mike Miller, Kyle Korver, among a couple others. Matt is as good as any of them and should be allowed to prove himself.
Matt is 32 years old. It would be a crime and an injustice if he never got a chance to compete against the best shooters in the league at the premier shooting event.
His name is Matt Bonner. He is a man of the people. He likes sandwiches and rock and roll music. Let Bonner Shoot.
Let Bonner Shoot.
Like it on Facebook .
Sign the petition.
Let Bonner Shoot.
Check out the video for "I Fell in Love With A Feeling" by Nightlands, off "Oak Island," here.