The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 01, 2001, Page 5, Image 5

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Daily Nebraskan Thursday, February 1,2001 Page 5
Music Commentary
CMJ turns
indie rockers
into slaves
Inside, everyone wants the underdog to win.
Excluding bullies, of course (except masochistic
bullies, who would, in their self-defeating way,
also tend to root for the underdog).
In the music industry, you have your major
label giants, the ones who buy each other out, lose
track of who owns whom and cause PJ Harvey CDs
to come in Def Jam packages.
And then you have the independent labels, the
little guys, who live in this idealistic world where
they are free to produce their sincere creative artis
tic vision free of the meddling input of those
major-label fiends who just want a quick buck.
The tiny little problem is it's not so ideal, and
the tiny little indie rockers wouldn’t mind making
a buck or two either (it stops at $2, though).
Indie rockers don’t have the major labels work
ing promotion, so they bring in third-party groups
like Fanatic, Team Clermont, S.P.E.C.T.R.E., the
Syndicate and many, many more.
Of course, if you’re paying people to promote
your stuff, you’d like some way of monitoring their
Enter CMJ, the College Media Journal. They
were nice enough to start soliciting reports from
college radio stations (traditional independent
music outlets) and compiling a weekly chart of
what was getting played most.
And before you know it, the independents
became slaves to a master.
CMJ (directly or indirectly) dictates how things
are done in the indie world. For example, major
label releases come at you like mad in the month
and a half leading up to Christmas because it’s a
perfect time to sell lots of CDs, Bingo!
Not in the indie world. Late November and
December are dead. Nobody releases anything
worthwhile then, and there’s one simple reason
behind it
CMJ doesn’t take reports or compile charts for
the month of Christmas break. Why release and
promote an album if there will be no CMJ Top 200
to dictate its success?
Instead, the middle of January is a musical
floodgate that gets blown open with new indie
releases. The Causey Way, Low, Frank Black,
Stephen Malkmus - they’re all prominent releases
that were done months ago but were held off for
the early weeks of CMJ 2001.
The irony here is that, in their quest for chart
positions, which would presumably correlate with
higher sales, independent record labels are follow
ing scheduling patterns that are actually counter
productive in terms of human buying patterns.
This doesn’t even touch on the tactics used to
gain chart positions.
Classic example - this summer, Interscope
released “Quality Control” by the Jurassic 5. Their
quest was to reach No. 1 in the CMJ 200, and they
Please see RADIO on 6
■The unique night spot caters to an
international crowd with its mix of
techno music and local art.
Editor’s Note: This is another in a con
tinuing series of stories on the dance club
scene in Lincoln and its corresponding
competition in Omaha.
The place looks'like a scene from the
movie “The Cell” -a mixture of brick walls,
scarlet curtains and artwork you just can’t
put your finger on.
It’s dark, but kind of a cozy dark, and the
decorum is a cross between futuristic and a
l^-Century doctor’s office. The Texas
Chainsaw Massacre plays on the big screen
television as people dance to songs that
seemingly never end.
Club 1427,1427 O St., is the cigar bar
turned legitimate dance club before the
dance club scene ever raged. It has indeed
set the standard high in Lincoln.
Bartender and disc jockey John
McMillen said the reason people came to
1427 was because it was unique to Lincoln.
“Its the only true dance club in town,” he
said. "We have the best DJs in town, hands
McMillan said the large foreign popula
tion at the club gave it a different feel.
“On any given night,” McMillan said,
“you are going to see people from Bosnia to
Germany to Albania to Greece and every
where else.”
Lincoln resident George Kazas comes to
1427 two or three times a week because
“nobody serves a drink like they do here.”
"It's like family in here," Kazas said.
“They know you by name, and they know
your drink. It’s nice.”
Unlike the atmosphere, the music isn’t
as familiar as the typical top-40 lineup.
Jake Balcom, manager of 1427, said that
it was not a big deal fpr bars to have DJ s any
more and that his chib set itself apart from
the others with its music.
"Almost all of the other places play songs
that you can sing to,” he said. “All the songs
that the DJs play here come mostly from
Europe, London, Chicago and New York.
The music is all straight house trance, pro
gressive trance and progressive house.
“All the other places play songs that are
precariously dose to pop.”
Stephany Kinsey, a University of
Nebraska-Lincoln senior English major,
said that what went into techno was more of
a real performance.
“The people that are spinning are spin
ning for the audience, and they are not
doing it because it's cool but because the
audience feeds off of it,” she said.
Amy Schultz of Lincoln said she liked
the local art that hangs on the walls because
they did it for free.
“It’s a great way to see new art, and they
feature anything and everything, even if it's
crap,” she said.
Shultz also said 1427 had an element of
class pther dance clubs did not possess,
which was something Karl Richstitter, a
UNL senior secondary education major,
agreed with.
“Every one dances and has a good time,
and I have never seen a fight break out here,”
he said. "It just has a flare that no other place
Zak Church, aXa.
DJZakC, spins
regularly at 1427,
which is home to
2 residentdisc
jockeys (6-Spot
and Gabriel Stair)
and 10 guest DJs.
Information on
who will be play
ing and other
information per
dub can be found
BELOW: dub
patron Luke
and grooves with
glow sticks in
hand-oneof the
iew items mat
can be found on
the dance floor of
14270 Stand
open Wednesday
Saturday 9 pan.
visited by ravers
uyl ft ihiiftir
Theatrix starts on drama
■The all-student group takes stage in Ingmar
Bergman's'Scenes From A Marriage,'featuring a
cast of two.
The UNL student directed and acted program
Theatrix is taking on three very different plays this
semester, supplying comedy, serious drama and
musicals to their viewers.
Serious comes first as Theatrix is opening with
Ingmar Bergman’s “Scenes From A Marriage.” It
will be performed in the Studio Theater at the
Temple Building from Feb. 1-3.
The swedish-born Bergman, 88, is best known
for his directing talents and playwright abilities,
having adapted his six-episode television series
into a film in 1973, then a play.
The film won many National Society of Film
Critics awards. He is also noted for his films “The
Seventh Seal” and “Persona.” Just recently, a
screenplay of his was adapted in the movie
“Faithless,” which is playing in major cities.
The play consists of two characters, Johan and
Marianne, and the trials of their marriage. They are
hiding secrets from each other that are eventually
let free as the play progresses, and their marriage
“I’ve always loved this script,” first-time direc
tor and senior theater major John Elsener said. “It’s
really challenging.”
Elsener, who has been heavily involved in the
Theatrix program and plans to go to graduate
school for directing, is using those experiences to
aid him in his directing debut
“Since I am an actor, I am really directing it
from an actor’s standpoint,” he said.
The cast of two, Jamie Dorn who plays
Marianee, and Layne Manzer, who plays Johan,
have been practicing since early January.
Dorn, a junior film studies major, has always
been interested in theater and was more attracted
to the play after learning it was by Bergman. She is
experiencing a difference in her direction from
“He is really an actor’s director, and he gives us
a lot of leeway,” she said.
When asked if it was difficult to perform with
Steven Bender/DN
Johan lectures his wife, Marianne, in "Scenes from a
Marriage." The student-produced play brings to the stage
domestic issues such as abortion, spousal abuse, infidelity and
only one other actor through the play, she said it
was a lot of responsibility to take on.
“There are a lot better opportunities to really
connect and interact with the other person," Dorn
Through the course of the play and practice,
Elsener and the cast were trying to find the “origi
nal rhythm” of the script.
“‘Scenes From A Marriage’ is really straightfor
ward, and I think this is going to be a good season,”
Elsener said.
Brave Combo tackles Zoo Bar
The polka community is a rigid one. Just ask
Brave Combo founder Carl Finch.
On the outside, it’s still considered a novelty as
visions ofVFW halls, lederhosen and brats come to
mind. But within the community, there lies a scru
tinizing, purist mentality that rivals jazz and hip
hop. And for a band that has incorporated dozens
of genres of music in their style (salsa, rock and
jazz are a few), Brave Combo have been cast as
exiles in polkaville.
However, the band forced the purists to take
notice last year when they won the Grammy for
Best Polka Album with “Poikasonic.”
With the increased recognition, Finch said
2000 was Brave Combo’s best year yet.
"(The Grammy) raised our profile a million
percent in the polka community,” he said.
As the band enters its third decade of perform
ing and extending polka’s boundaries, it has slowly
amassed a loyal legion of fans.
They marched under Woody Woodpecker in
the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and recorded
a lounge-like, sinister cover of Foreigner’s “Double
Vision.” They produced a children’s album as well.
Brave Combo will perform some of the song!
off that album, “All Wound Up: A Family Music
Party,” at the Zoo Bar, 136 N. 14th St., tonight. "All
Wound Up” was recorded With' the help of award
winning children’s songwriters, Cathy Fink and
Marcy Marxer, who approached Brave Combo at a
festival in California.
In the studio, Brave Combo had to combine
their complex sonic hodgepodge with Fink and
Marxer’s songwriting approach.
“Collaborating is always tricky," Finch said.
"I’m kind of a control freak myself.”
Finch said he was looking forward to playing in
Lincoln because he felt at home playing the Zoo
Bar. In the town of Denton, the band was recog
nized for their musical achievements in August of
1999 when mayor Jack Miller proclaimed August
15-21 to be Brave Combo Week. There were no
parades, Finch laughed.
“That would have been cool, though, from a
kitsch perspective,” he said.
It is not known whether they will include the
luuuoy niuiu
cover of Foreigner’s ode to chemical excess,
“Double Vision,” in their set.
“It was the epitome of what the band stood for
- this kind of sleazy, underbelly toxic feel,” Finch
Brave Combo plans to return to the studio later
this year and record the follow-up to last year’s
album, “The Process." They also plan to release a
live album from the band’s Halloween gig last year
at the Croatian Hall in Cleveland.
The music genres Brave Combo incorporate in
their music may change, but the message of peace
and unity will continue to be consistent, Finch
said. Like reggae, personal philosophy will be as
important as the music, he said. To the band, that
is more important than attracting a mainstream
“At our age and situation, there’s no reason not
to put the music first,” Finch said.
Brave Combo will perform two shows tonight
at the Zoo Bar. The first show starts at 9 p.m., and
the second starts at 11 p.m. Tickets are $10 in
advance and $12 at the door.