Bear Country

Do you want to dance?  Do you want to jump up and down and scream?  Do you want to turn around and sway back and forth while listening to sweet harmonies, melodies and pretty voices?  Then you should checkout Bear Country.

Bear Country is a five member group that includes:

Susan Sanchez – Vocals
Mike Schlesinger – Vocals, Guitar
James Maakestad – Vocals, Slide Guitar
Aaron Markley – Keys
Cody Peterson – Drums

Bear Country is on Slumber Party Records and has released one record called “Our Roots Need Rain”.  Their next record will be released sometime in the next few months and is entitled “Frozen Lake”.  If you are interested in checking out Slumber Party Records you can find out when their new CD will be released and can order it off of their site when it becomes available.

If you are interested in hearing Bear Country’s new songs then checkout their MySpace Page.

Bear County does not have any upcoming shows, but you should always checkout the 1% Productions Page for updated lineups and show schedules.

Sometimes Bear Country also plays house shows at Hotel Frank.  Check them out, see if you like them.

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Adam Robert Haug

You’ve probably never heard of Adam Robert Haug, but that won’t be the case for long.  Haug is an up-and-coming solo artist that has recently moved to Omaha and exploded onto the music scene.  By combining electric loop pedals and folk guitar, his unique voice just carries you away to another world.  I honestly can’t say I’ve ever heard a voice like his, it’s magical.  While you’re listening to him you can just close your eyes and drift off to your own little happy place, something that not many bands, or solo artists for that matter, can do.

I really love how Haug uses loop pedals.  A loop pedal enables the artist to record something while he/she is playing the song live and then have immediate feedback. This pedal can record any sound the artist has created and can then have it keep playing while the artist continues to play something else over the previously recorded sound.  Depending on what type of loop pedal the artist uses, he/she can get multiple layers of sounds, and can therefore have a multitude of sounds being made at the same time, creating a full-band sound or more than one voice at the same time.

I also love how his lyrics are so real.  You can tell that he’s singing about things that have happened in his life, the lessons he’s learned and the love that he’s had, because there is actual feeling in his voice.  He also writes about the “legendary” Hotel Frank and other things that you might know about in Omaha.

If you’re looking for some places to see this unsigned artist then check out his MySpace for upcoming shows. You can also listen to many of his songs on his MySpace.

I wish there were some more music videos, but definitely checkout his MySpace and listen to the recordings.  I recommend “Are You Coming Down Adam” and “I Break My Own Heart”, but my favorite is probably “A Goh Ghost”.

The Goodlife

My favorite band of all time is The Goodlife, and  since life isn’t that awesome right now, I’ve been listening to way too much of them.  They are awesome, purely, insanely, and beautifully talented musical geniuses.  If I’m ever feeling down, pissed off, or over-joyously happy, this is the band that I listen to.  However, I can only listen to The Goodlife when I’m emotionally distraught or ecstatic.  I think that this is because the lyrics are so heart-wrenching, displaying mixed emotions with vicious, heart-battering detail.  I guess I can relate to the lyrics when I’m upset and get some kind of twisted joy while listening to them when I’m happy, but who knows.

The Goodlife consists of: Tim Kasher (vocals, guitar), Stefanie Drootin (bass), Roger Lewis (drums, and Ryan Fox (guitar, keys) and are of course signed to the infamous Indie label of Omaha, Saddle Creek.  If you’re a music buff, then you probably know the name Tim Kasher.  After all, he’s the third greatest human being to ever exist (next to Zeus, Stephen Hawking or myself of course) and the lead singer of Cursive.

I really like the idea behind most of The Goodlife’s music.  Tim Kasher has a passion to write, which you can hear in his lyrics, and his music often is written to screen plays that he writes.  The Goodlife’s last album: Help Wanted Nights, is the sound track to Kasher’s most recent screen play, that he happened to just finish in the later part of 2008.

The Goodlife’s music videos are also very entertaining.  I really love how most of them are shot in Omaha, and if you’re from here, you can definitely recognize where they were shooting the music videos.  If you’re also a fellow Creighton student, then checkout Heartbroke because you can see some Creighton “hot spots” such as Ted and Wally’s and Pettit’s Pastry.  I wish I would have seen them filming this music video, because I would have had to of tried to talk myself into a cameo role.

The Goodlife do not often play local shows, but when they do, they are very secretive.  Shows are announced just days, if not hours before stage time and tickets sell quickly.  So seeing them live is a really special treat.

If you can’t or haven’t been able to checkout The Goodlife live, then checkout these live performances of them:
Lovers Need Lawyers (Music Video)
Empty Bed (Music Video)
Poisoned (Skit)
A Little Bit More (Live)
On the Picket Fence (Live)

Flowers Forever

Most people describe my musical taste as odd or unique, and I can’t really argue with that statement.  However, this band is odd, even within my musical realm of wonders.  Flowers Forever is very easy to listen to, but if you see them live you are in for a culture shock, life shock, new understanding of the world?  Something crazy like that.  You might find yourself standing in the audience completely in awe, wondering what you are watching and trying to decide if that Kool-Aid you drank had something else in it.

The first time that I saw Flowers Forever was about two years ago in the cavernous, grimy depths of the Sokol, also known as the Sokol Underground.  I really had no idea what I was going to be watching and had never heard the band before.  Then all of a sudden, running from all directions of the audience in an uproar, a few strange characters dashed to the stage in dresses, even though they were men.  Each had body paint covering all of their skin that was exposed, and wigs that coincided with thoughts of Cher and Bob Mackie.  Then rips of the guitars shrieked and the synth wobbled my brain, as firecrackers exploded and the audience went absolutely crazy.  I have to say that I was in shock, and I can’t really say that about any show I’ve ever seen live before.  I was just mind-blown.  There was no other way to describe what I was thinking

Flowers Forever has a revolving lineup, but always features Derek Pressnall.  As many of you music buffs know, Pressnall is the guitarist and vocalist for Tilly and the Wall.  Derek picks who is in the band, and that is what keeps the band so fresh, fun, and oddly strange.  The music is always different, the costumes get crazier, and the experience is always very unique.  You will never see the same show twice, and who knows, you may not even remember seeing the show because it seems as if it is a dream.

Flowers Forever is signed to Team Love, just like Capgun Coup and Tilly and the Wall.  I feel that this is noteworthy because these bands often setup concerts together in local basements and concert venues all around town.  So if you ever have the chance to see Flowers Forever you might catch Tilly and the Wall or Capgun Coup.

To checkout more information about Flowers Forever, including their touring schedule, you can go to their Team Love site.  You can also become a friend of theirs on Facebook or MySpace.

To checkout some crazy stuff that Derek Pressnall does checkout these pages:
Mission Statement Video
Face Movement Video
Odd Music Video
Black Moon Music Video

Capgun Coup

Capgun Coup first broke out into the Omaha music scene in late 2006 when they signed with Conor Oberst’s label: Team Love.  Immediately the band decided to take their material to the recording studio and lay some tracks down.  So, in late 2007 the band released their first full-length record entitled Nebraskafish and made indie rockers toes tap and bodies shake with their high intensity pop-rock beats.

What’s really awesome about this band is that fact that the members of Capgun Coup: Sam Martin, Greg Elsasser, Eric Ohlsson and Andy Matz have all lived in Omaha for a majority of their lives and all attended Millard West High School.  Once they graduated, they all decided to live the lifestyle of a want-to-be rock star, by moving into the legendary Hotel Frank (which is a shabby house on the corner of 38th and Farnam where The Faint, Conor Oberst, and other epic bands started off). It is at Hotel Frank where the band initially grabbed the attention of the underground Omaha scene.

From the Slowdown, to Hotel Frank, and any basement in-between, you can catch a Capgun Coup show in a venue near you since they just started touring again on September 2nd!  To checkout a lineup of their shows you can look-up their schedule on their MySpace page.

The Faint

If you’re not from Omaha, then you may not know about The Faint.  The Faint is quite possibly one of the best, if not the best, Indie-Techno band to ever have come out of Omaha.  While they are gaining fame and popularity world-wide, they keep their roots true to Omaha and never forget where they hailed from.  Last Saturday night, the Faint opened up their practice space on 24th and Leavenworth and held an underground concert called Ratfest.  At Ratfest many bands joined forces and reunited to form a time machine that took all audience members back to the late 90’s.  It was awesome!

The Faint has music that is original, intellectual and danceable, all at the same time.  Their newest album dropped last August, and I’m still addicted to it.  All the songs on Faciination are really solid.  This is a CD that you can listen to in its entirety.

I think it’s really unique that The Faint also throw dance parties in Omaha called GOO.  GOO is amazing because The Faint actually DJ the dance party, along with members of Tilly and the Wall and other guest DJs that randomly stop by. You can checkout the event lineup on their GOO Facebook.  There’s always a theme to each party, so I highly encourage checking out the theme before you go, so you can plan your costume!

Not only does The Faint have amazing music, but they also have incredibly unique music videos.  I love their oldest music video for the song  “I Disappear”.  I feel that you really get a feeling of what their live shows are like.  The way in which it is filmed is really unique because they are always white, I feel that it’s a really cool metaphor for disappearing.  I also love how the synthesizer player moves with the beats in a nonchalant manner.  Take a look at the video, you’ll experience a little bit of The Faint.

And everyone in Omaha knows that The Faint always play a show in November or December, rumor has it that the date of their show will be released in the next week.  A great place to stake the lookout would have to be 1% Productions.  So keep on checking out 1% Productions and go buy tickets to their show if you’ve never seen them.  Their live shows are a mind-warp, and there’s no way that you can leave without being covered in sweat that isn’t your own and a smile on your face.