The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 14, 1998, Page 12, Image 12

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works to put
his past
j\s nis iormer Dana males
regrouped to form Semisonic, Wilson
rethought his life, his art and his future.
“I see the jokier, goofier tone as
something very valid. It’s something
very seductive to me,” Wilson said. “I
just got to the point where it was time to
make a serious record.”
His recent album, “Burnt, White
mat ne does nave a soul - and it is
not carved in plastic.
His intensely personal songs K
transcend Trip Shakespeare’s
bar-roaming adventures and
late-night banter. And they
diverge from the sound of
Semisonic, with its goddess worship of
delicious ladies and relationship frus
Minneapolis to
Chicago to
His goal is \ /
to establish
V v
/ Midwesterners.
/ Ultimately,
' musical mas
behind him
By Chad Lorenz
Senior editor
Don’t come to a Matt Wilson show
looking for an extension of Trip
And don’t expect a sibling sound of
Semisonic. You won’t find it
Different man. Different band.
Matt Wilson will be traveling with
music of his own - not baggage of the
past - to Duffy’s Tavern, 1412 O St., on
Wednesday night.
Wilson was the singer and main
songwriter for Trip Shakespeare, a
Minneapolis band that inspired family
like fan loyalty.
Before the band’s 1994 breakup,
Wilson was known for crafting quirky
rock songs with jam-style guitar lines
and falsetto vocals. Songs were laden
with Wilson’s silly lyrics and stories:
bicycling ice cream venders, a magic
pair of dancing pants or the guitar mas
ter from the dairy plant up north.
“It took me about three years to hit
the brakes from Trip Shakespeare and
get going in the other direction,” he
said from his home in Minneapolis.
ana mue, taxes on mat somoer tone
through slower tempos and softer gui
tars, usually with a dominant acoustic
blend. The low-fi recording made
mostly in Wilson’s basement adds a
stillness to the album.
Its songs whisper more emotion
and introspection than Trip
Shakespeare yelps - a result of a
depressing time he faced after the
“Everything in my life had gone
perfect. Then I had a giant meltdown.”
Dissatisfied with his previous
work, he began thinking intensely
about the flippancy of his past endeav
ors. He felt he had wasted his musical
talent on his signature joking style. “I
didn’t want to go down like that.”
It’s sobering, he said, to listen to
fans’ deeply personal interpretation of
songs, though he may have thought lit
tle of them.
Wilson sought new inspiration,
much of which stems from enviro-cul
tural concerns. He reflected about the
emptiness that people in white, subur
ban America feel.
“I grew up in this plastic world of
McDonald’s and QTs. And I have this
fear that if you look inside me, you will
see that I have no soul.”
Now, he uses his music to prove
Although Semisonic musicians,
including Wilson’s brother Dan, play
rhythm on many of the “Burnt, White
and Blue” songs, it’s Wilson’s lyrics,
vocals and songwriting that put his
hand print on the work.
“It’s unique to me - something
deeply resonant in my mind.”
For instance, “Deep All the Way
Down” exposes Wilson’s sagging artis
tic heart: I should want to deliver my
sound, but I fear there is nothing in my
deep all the way down. Half the song I
stolefrom a stranger. Half I made in my
At the live shows, however, Wilson
cranks up the sound more than on the
record. The guitars get louder, the solos
get longer and pitches get higher.
Perhaps the band’s most unusual
feature is its electrically distorted
vibraphones, juiced-up xylophones
that replace the ominous synthesizers
from the record. Wilson feels the untra
ditional rock instrument layers thick- ,
ness to the band’s two guitars. /
Wilson said he is hoping for
a crowd like the one at Duffy’s /
when he played in July: enthu- J
siastic and somewhat sober.
Most of his touring covers . *
an L-shaped pattern from \
himselr as a
_ _ _ *9
ing the
s e 1 f •
album nationally.
He’d like to
release on a major
label, and part of
that strategy
means keeping it a
local secret. Then
when an interested
record company can
sell it nationwide, it i
will be fresh to Jj
1 reflects his
desire to make
J his music more
enriching and
moving to fans
of the past and
“What I believe is to
get in touch with people
who are true and reflect
true feelings.”
Tickets for the 10 p.m.
show will be around $5.
UNL dance club lets students step light, lively
By Sarah Baker
Senior staff writer
Finally, the perfect opportunity for students
who still do the electric slide to update their moves.
The UNL College Dance Club, which enters
its second year, gives students the chance to learn
such current favorites as swing, salsa and rumba.
Shelley Brackhan, director of the club, said an
organization like this is nothing new.
“There are tons of universities that have a ball
//- room dancing club as
an extracurricular
I don’t know activity,” Brackhan
said. “It’s just never
what is in the been offered here.”
j j Last semester was
heads OJ kids, the first semester for
7 7 the club, and Brackhan
Or Why they said about 120 students
l. 1 j . , . j attended, 65 of whom
like this kina eventually became
r j . ,, members.
OJ dancing... Students who
attend the classes
Shelley Brackhan receive the opportunity
dance club director to learn about six
dances. The frst lesson
is free, but subsequent
instruction runs for $ 12.50 a session.
Brackhan said the price is reasonable com
pared to professional studios.
“It ends up being about a dollar a class,” she said.
Brackhan is expecting the club to become even
more popular because of the recently renewed
swing craze.
“I don’t know what is in the heads of kids, or
why they like this kind of dancing, but it is obvious
they do, which
thrills me,” she said
J o h n n a
Hargens, a
University of
junior who is a
member of the club,
said she first joined
because she wanted
to learn more about
“I love to dance.
I always have,”
Hargens said. “I
was interested in
ballroom dancing
but I had no idea
how to do it, so I
decided to try it, and
I loved it. I’ve
stayed with it ever
Hargens was
one of a few mem
bers of the club
who took what
they learned to the
next level; that of
Sandy Summers/DN
SHELLEY BRACKHAN, owner of the Brackhan Dance Directive^ shows her Friday night singles dance club how to do the
mambo. Brackhan will be starting a UNL dance club that meets on Monday and Tuesday nights.
“I didn’t even
know I could compete,” Haigens said. “When we
saw the more experienced dancers at the competi
tion, it made us self-conscious, but it was also very
exciting. We wanted to work twice as hard to get
twice as better.”
Brackhan hopes to add a third night of dancing
to the club this semester, one specifically for more
advanced, competitive dancers.
Hargens says she hopes perspective new
dancers aren’t scared offby the competition aspect
of the club.
“This is a class for beginners,” she said. “It’s a
really fun social activity, and it also teaches social
graces and respect.”
And if you can’t find anyone else interested, a
partner is not a necessary prerequisite.
“You never know who is going to ask you to
dance,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun, and a great way
to meet people. I’m all for it”
The first meetings of the UNL College Dance
Club take place tonight and tomorrow night from
8:15 to 10 p.m.
The lessons take place in Mabel Lee Hal
Room 304,14* and Vine St
For more information, call Shelley Brackhan at