Nik’s Music Almanac

Totally Irrelevant and Off-Topic

Black Christmas

Gotta say, that one time, at The Replay, when they played their entire set in the patio out back while a video feed of some old movie was projected onto the building next door. That was pretty awesome man!

Anyways, you've probably never heard of these guys. Not in a hipster kind of way, but simply because they stay pretty local, only come out occasionally, and hardly ever release anything. But they're pretty great to listen to. None of that weird guy with a keyboard doing stupid nonsense off in a corner. This is a four piece band with a loud sound, that just pours over you. Or at least it was the last time I heard them, a few years back.

Sounds like: Rush, only without vocals, and with more electric guitar. Like electric guitar up to 11.

Rating: ☃☃☃☃

Status: At The Replay, having a PBR.

Links: Facebook, Bandcamp

Video: Nothing live I can find, but someone posted these Obscure B-sides

Cayetana

An all girl trio from Philly with a strong rock sound, some good vocals, and really good lyrics.

Best songs: Hot Dad Calendar, Black Hills, Dirty Laundry, Madame B, Scott Get the Van, I’m Moving.

Sounds like: A really good alternative rock band.

Lyrics:

She took my hand, and walked me home and said: “Girl you’re better on your own!”

Hardest part of moving out is how we never move in! How we never move in!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Status: Active Baby!

Links: Band Page, Bandcamp.

Video:


Conduits

So this band kind of just came and went quickly. Think they had one tour of Europe and a few festivals and then stopped.

They were a shoegazer band. With all the usual faults (like mystic/meaningless lyrics, extra long instrumentals, flirtations with electronica, etc.), but they were a good shoegazer band.

If you're looking for something you can just tune in and out of while enjoying the sound, this is for you. Also, Sara Bertuldo () is a beast of a musician. And she's got two other bands that are even better than this was. I mean, they're still making music for one thing…

Sounds like: My Bloody Valentine, only from Omaha instead.

Lyrics:

Your loyalty lies with your appetite. A pang of hunger, and you're gone.

Rating: ♥♥♥

Status: Inactive, as far as I know.

Links: Band Page, iTunes

Video:


Conner

A really good rock band that changed lineups at least once but still managed to be a fixture in LFK for years (2003-2007 or so).

From what I can tell, their lead guitar/singer James Duft is still around LFK. I went to college with his wife and she's really cool too. Of course, now they're making “environmentally friendly houses” instead of rock albums, but that's still rock and roll, sorta...

I have no idea where you could get their albums anymore. Bought mine at their shows!

Sounds like: The Strokes, The Killers.

Lyrics:

But don't you tell me that it’s easy to break my heart.

’Cause I'm not listening, I’m not listening anymore.

Rating: ★★★★

Status: Retired. But that last show was awesome! And the New Year’s before that!

Links: Band Page, YouTube channel, What Happened After

Video:


Millions of Boys

So it's obvious these guys are just having alot of fun making music. They've got some silly songs and make it all look easy. But they're still really good. Also, Sara Bertuldo () is a beast of a musician.

Sounds like: Your favorite band from college. Or maybe Hep Alien.

Lyrics:

Who's that girl, I wanna know her name.
They say she's cursed, embedded by a flame.
We can't get too close,
But what hurts me the most,
Is we can't touch or kiss or do whatever

One time, Doug Flynn made me a cake, and it was all frosting!

I'll have what she's having, she's having a baby!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Status: Active!

Links: Band Page, Bandcamp

Videos:



See Through Dresses

Another shoe gazer, but they're best-of-show calibre. Their lyrics kind of make sense, but not really. And it doesn't matter as they still mean something.

They've got this great sound that isn’t indulgent, but is still intricate enough that you don't get tired of even if you accidentally listen to their album on repeat a couple of times. Great for listening to at work when you need to get into a rhythm without being distracted.

They've got a second newish album which is very good as well.

Sounds like: My Bloody Valentine, The Cure.

Lyrics:

I’m boring by myself, in any other form
All my plans derail, they dissolve then I am borne
Of a bittersweet disease to never know if she
If she's really happy
Am I really happy

You make disasters sigh, you're overrun
I don't know why, I never knew
How much you cared, I never cared
How much you knew

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Status: Active. Touring.

Links: Band Page, Bandcamp.

Video:


Cowboy Indian Bear

These guys and gal were hardworking and much loved around Lawrence. But with the level of talent they had, they were always set to either take off, or break apart and do their own thing.

Anyways, great sound, great lyrics, really nice harmonies. Not something you can dance to, but great to listen to anytime.

Sounds like: Modest Mouse, kind of, but with better lyrics. Mostly just like Cowboy Indian Bear.

Lyrics:

Heart it beats us senseless
Stay here for awhile
But you never have time

I’m an Atlas for you all
A pillar of vigor
But it's so hard to stand out alone
Keep my thoughts unwavered
Now my shoulder’s just broken bones,
Torn muscle and tendons

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Status: Retired. And I wish I could have heard more from them.

Links: Bandcamp

Video:


La Guerre / Katlyn Conroy

One of my favorites to come out of Lawrence. She's got a great, unique voice, and some good lyrics, but her music choices can range from catchy pop to dreamy electronic. And you can't always tell what her next piece of work will be like.

Sapphires and I Think I'll Stay Inside are her best albums. Also check out her work in Cowboy Indian Bear.

Sounds like: Herself.

Lyrics:

But my keys stuck in the deadbolt
and my rings still in that Motel 8 in Omaha

and I hope that maids enjoying it
my fingers finally used to it
that weightlessness that makes my hand raise way too fast
when I gesture, Goodbye...

Tomorrow I'll find me some work
I think it's dumb
but I'm young, and I'm broke

And I know, no one can tell me
what I'll be, it's up to me.
I'm not smart, but I'm wise and you'll see
I'll be, happy as I am today

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Status: Active.

Links: Facebook, Bandcamp her first album is here.

Video:


Babes in Toyland

They're harsh and I have trouble listening to some of their songs, but when they're good, they'll rock your face off.

Sweet '69 is their best. Bruise Violet and Handsome & Gretel are also good.

Sounds like: Bikini Kill, only more grunge and more noise.

Lyrics:

I live it high cost of livin tell me why give it all
Inside you gotta head high one size fits all

Rating: ♥♥♥

Status: Reunion Tour, baby!

Links: Facebook, Wikipedia

Video:


Dar Williams

So I've been listening to her music for 15+ years, and she's been going for over 25 years. And lots of people probably have never heard of her, which is a shame.

She's got a great voice, a gift for tunes, and very insightful lyrics. May not be to everyone's taste, but I love her music.

Sounds like: Dar Williams. She's an original.

Lyrics:

I can find a small apartment
where a struggling artist died
and pretend because I paid the rent
I know that pain inside

Yeah let's watch the tour bus
Stop and tell us
“Here’s the scene of a spring green life dream”
Take the best part, write it in your
Caffeine diary

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Status: Active!

Links: Band Page, Wikipedia

Video: