Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 22, 1997)
_ Photo courtesy of Bar None Records
LUIJLABY FOR THE WORUHG cuss, which has made a name for Itself worldwide, will perform at Kuickeriiockert, 901 0 St., on Thursday and
at the Whyon Me Prelect, 512 S. Seventh St., on Saturday.
Lincoln band popular on West Coast
By Ann Stack
Pigeonholing the sound of Lincoln band
Lullaby for the Working Class is like trying to
zip up button-fly jeans — it doesn’t work.
And while the band’s rare blend of instru
ments and musical styles may prove difficult
for the music press to categorize, it certainly
hasn’t hurt Lullaby’s press standing.
The soft-spoken young men played a string
of dates on the West Coast over the semester
break and, in the process, were able to return
home superstars—well, sort of.
“We just went to LA. to play some shows
someplace warm,” said UNL senior business
management major Mike Mogis, who plays the
guitar, banjo and mandolin, among other in
struments in Lullaby For The Worlung Class.
The band will be featured on CNN's “Show
biz Weekly” program as part of a piece on Mid
“The L.A. limes did a preview and a re
view of the show, and CNN picked up on it,”
Mogis said. “There was a buzz on us; the press
was extremely flattering. So they came to a
show and interviewed us.”
Lullaby For The Working Class’s debut al
bum, “Blanket Warm,” has been reviewed in
several trade magazines, including the German
edition of Rolling Stone, which gave it four
stars, and the British music journal, Q, which
gave it three stars.
“Blanket Warm” came out in September
1996, and the European press was the first to
pick up on the buzz.
“I don’t think that anyone who starts a band
thinks that 11 months later they’re going to
have an album come out in Taiwan,” he said.
“The most we were hoping for was trying to
put it out ourselves and try to make some money
“We got treated really well out there; every
town we played had advance press on us,” he
said. “It’s all pretty surprising.”
Most of the press generated drew compari
sons to groups like The Rolling Stones, the Scud
Mountain Boys, the Tindersticks and “Ano
dyne”-era Uncle Tupelo. Close, Mogis says, but
Mogis calls Lullaby a “quiet rock band,”
comparing them to bands that are less country
oriented and more folk-oriented than some of
the bands they have drawn comparisons to.
The next album, due out sometime later this
year, willbe more upbeat than “Blanket Warm,”
“We’re in better moods now,” he said.
The band plans on touring Europe this sum
mer and fall, which means taking a semester
off from school. Along with Mogis, Lullaby is
composed of his brother A.J., a senior electri
cal engineering major, on upright bass; singer/
songwriter Ted Stevens, a senior English and
philosophy major at the University of Nebraska
at Omaha; Todd Baechle, a senior music major
at Creighton University; and new drummer
Lullaby For The Working Class is playing
Thursday night at Knickerbocker’s, 901 O St,
with the Drovers opening. There’s a $3 cover
They also will be at the Wagon Train Project,
512 S. Seventh St., Saturday with other Lin
coln bands Cursive, Cobalt Caliber and
Blandine Cosima at 7 p.m. This is an all-ages
show with a $4 cover charge.
By Bret Schulte
The Drovers, despite much critical acclaim
from college radio stations, music magazines
and even Hollywood, have managed to keep a
relatively low profile.
Hailed as Chicago’s best unsigned band in
the early ’90s, the Drovers created their own
label, Tantrum Records, on which they have
released an EP and two full-length albums.
Never taking a breath, the Drovers have been
touring extensively since their conception, and
pushed the tours still harder with their Irish
folk pop debut, 1992’s “World of Monsters.”
Word rapidly spread of the Drovers’ distinct
marriage of Celtic strings and semi-acoustic
rock, even reaching Hollywood. In 1993, the
Drovers were asked to accept a feature role in
the Madeleine Stowe picture “Blink.”
But the Drovers preferred to stay on the
road, and have spent most of their musical ca
reer doing just that.
Sean Cleland, master of most of the stringed
instruments in the band (i.e. violins, viola,
mandolins), said the creation of music belongs
in front of the audience.
“Great things happen at shows, people can
experience joy, triumph, even hypnotism,”
Both in the studio and on the stage, the
Drovers’ ability to weave a strikingly melodic
and powerful song has increased their popu
larity across a range of listeners.
But their Irish sound, while distinct, often
leads to an unwanted and limiting label of the
Drovers, Cleland said.
“(Irish) is just an influence. Granted it gives
us a distinction, but we really only absorb the
style and make it our own,” he said. “It’s defi
nitely an ingredient but not the whole. It’s like
saying The Black Crowes are primarily a blues
Irish blood still flows strong through both
David Callahan and Cleland who are only sec
ond-generation Americans. Callahan said the
heritage of the other band members is hazy.
“Scotch-Irish, maybe some English... basi
cally American.” he said.
The genuinely ambiguous nature of Ameri
cans’ ethnicity is reflected in the Drovers’ mu
sic, and how they hope to continually evolve.
“We don’t want to become a rock band —
we get further and further away from that,”
The Drovers will perform Thursday night
at Knickerbockers, 901 O St., with Lullaby for
the Working Class.
' Photo coubtesyof Duffy’s Tavern
From Staff Reports
Perennial Lincoln favorite Mercy Rule (above) will be back in ac
tion tonight at Duffy’s Thvem, 1412 O St.
Tonight’s show will be the band’s first Duffy's gig since the comple
tion of two projects: the recording of its new album and the birth of the
first child of bassist/vocalist Heidi Ore and guitarist Jon Thylor, who
also happen to be married.
Sah Francisco-based band Big Shirtless Rob, whose members are
all Lincoln natives, is in town this week, too, and will open the 21 -and
The music will begin at 10 pjn., and the cover charge will be $5.
“Little High Sky Show”
White several brads have had lim
ited success under the subtitle “Irish
rock,” it is not as versatile rad finan
cially rewarding as the terribly worn
out and insanely meaningless monster
music genre known as “alternative.”
U2 eventually abandoned their
original Irish tinted and politically
oriented sound, forsaking it fra greater
musical experimentation and loads of
cash. The Cranberries briefly assumed
the role. But their Irish identity didn’t
extend much past the accent rad their
message faded with exploitation and
However, there are still a few
groups who remain faithful to their kin
and their sound. Among them, The
Drovers. Although they crane from
the Windy City rather than the expan
sive green canvas of Ireland, The
Drovers embody a near-symphonic
and distinctly Celtic sound.
Their first release, “World of Mon
sters” is a bouncing, dark and beauti
fully orchestrated assembly of strings
and wind. Offering an inspired and
eclectic blend of traditional Irish dance
music, this album was one of the best
Their follow-up EP, “Kill Mice
Elf,” departs from this formula but
intertwines brilliance with broodings
as their sound darkens. Its Celtic fla
vor is sharply subdued, and the release
revels in a sense of loss. Stylistically,
the album muses in a British rock at
titude, but ultimately lacks the zest and
appeal of the first release.
In the wake of these two rather
oppositional yet equally capable al
bums is The Drovers' latest release,
“Little High Sky Show.” Always em
bracing a large variety of instruments
to enhance their ever-expanding
sound, The Drovers use mandolas,
violins, whistles and even the occa
sional pump organ. But vocals are
relatively sparse on this echoing, ca
The title track is weighted with a
heavy bass line and the lyrics arc little
more than faint whispers and
mumbled words, adding a slight chill
to the track. “Too Long Ghost” sounds
like R.E.M. on lithium, while “Toy”
is spiced with snare and cymbal. Al
most all the songs on the album are
conceptions of warbled high-string
strumming and caressing medleys of
violins and whistles.
A common complaint about The
Drovers’ last release was its shortness,
even for an EP. This is the first full
length album since “World of Mon
sters,” while only boasting eight
tracks, the last cut on the album, “'Hie
Bag” actually contains a medley of
jigs, reels, slow airs and the occasional
graceful polka (yes, I said graceful).
This release is artfully and beauti
fully conceived, but aside from “The
Bag,” which is literally a catch-all of
modernized traditional Irish folk mu
sic, it rarely varies in substance. How
ever, the sound of The Drovers is
hauntingly beautiful and nearly hyp
notic. “Little High Sky Show” is a
dark, pained album flickering specks
of light with every trill of the mandola
or cry of the violin.
— Bret Schulte
Powered by Open ONI