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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 19, 2001)
Page 8 Daily Nebraskan Monday, March 19,2001
their sound and
adding a horn
section to the
Planet Butter approaches music
with unique style, improvisation
BY CASEY JOHNSON
Planet Butter, the unique seven
piece funk/jazz band, will have a release
party for their first full-length effort titled
“Less Crash More Burn” on Friday at
Knickerbockers Bar & Grill, 9010 Sl
The ensemble, composed of Brian
Marrow, bass and vocals; Matt
Richardson, guitar; Kirsten Frosheiser,
lead vocals; Scott Zimmerman, drums
and vocals; Todd French, bass trombone;
Mike Cain, tenor sax and Jim Dodson,
trumpet and fugle horn, is made up of
almost all current or former UNL stu
The band was originally known as
Jungle Butter until about a year ago
when a horn section was added, giving
the band a new sound and direction.
One of the main aspects of that new
direction is that with such a large group
of people, the influences are many.
Cain, a senior music education
major, said that making a CD with such a
large group of people with diverse back
grounds was challenging and fun and
that the diversity really showed on the
"If you listen to the 12 songs on the
CD, it varies from pop to funk to blues to
Latin,” he said.
That diversity is something that
appeals to many different audiences, but
at the same time, Planet Butter is looking
to find a sound that the group can hang
its hat on, Cain said.
“We are starting to get our own
sound that is becoming more consis
tent,” he said.
Marrow, who writes all of the music
for the band, said the sound derived
from a group of artists.
" We re not necessarily shooting to be
eclectic, but it just happens,” he said.
Although making an album was a big
step for the group, Gain maintained that
the group’s main strength lies in its live
performance with improvisation having
a big influence on stage.
Cain said that one of the biggest chal
lenges to making the album was tning to
capture the mojo of their live perform
ance and put it on the CD.
"It’s very creative and very sponta
neous onstage, and that is a little more
exciting for the audience,” Cain said.
Most often when the audience is
excited about music it comes from the
excitement of the musicians, he said.
French, a sophomore music per
formance major, said he liked being in
Planet Butter because he was involved in
creating original music, something that
he rarely gets to do in his major because
he is constantly performing others’
“In the ’70s, you heard a
lot of these bands, but
now, especially in the
Lincoln and Omaha area,
you don’t see too many
horn bands anymore."
bass and trombone player
French also said that he liked being
with the group because it was something
“You don’t see too many bands out
there with horns anymore,” he said. "In
the 70s, you heard a lot of these bands,
but now, especially in the Lincoln and
Omaha area, you don't see too many
hom bands anymore."
Dodson, a UNL graduate, said that
he was looking forward to the release of
the album, as it would give people a new
perspective on Lincoln's music scene.
“It's really exciting," he said. “It's a
sound that a lot of other bands don't
have; it’s very' unique, and I think that the
song unting is especially strong."
Planet Butter tries to catch
live performance on CD
BY CASEY JOHNSON
The eternal struggle for a live-per
formance-oriented band to record an
album without it actually being live is a
testament to the idea of improvisation.
Thus is the case with Planet Butter’s
debut album,“More Crash Less Burn," in
which most of the music is lost on the
This is unfortunate because the
music on this album is worthwhile and
The musicians are all but flawless on
the tracks, but that in itself is evident in
the canned sound of the album. One
finds oneself wishing for the sometimes
sloppy improvisation that would surely
happen if the song were being played
This problem is easy to forget though
with effort. Tracks such as "Pretty Lady”
and ‘‘Misery” are catchy with melodies
of lead vocalist Kirsten Frosheiser
wrapped with layers of interesting har
monica and razor-sharp guitar licks.
Although the vocals seem contrived
and played-out sometimes, songs such
as “Sugar Moma” and “Two Pennies”
reveal the soulful and vintage sound of
Frosheiser's ample voice.
In keeping with tradition, most of the
lyrics on the album are light and trivial
as per the mediums of jazz/funk with
more of a concentration on style vs. sub
With a seven-piece group, Planet
Butter has definitely taken advantage of
its numbers in creating a full yet never
overwhelming sound on “More Crash
Songs like “Can’t Get Any Butter"
show us the potential of a band that has
to incorporate solos and fills into the
bigger picture of a track.
The album lacks the edge of a con
temporary funk/pop band, though, as it
is too polished for the mainstream lis
tener of rock‘n’ roll.
The sound is more suited to connois
seurs of jazz and a contemporary adult
crowd like one would see at Jazz in June
or in a performance at a high-school
The recording of the album itself is
very good; one need not crank the vol
ume up to hear it. and the delicate parts,
like the sound of the snare drum or tex
ture of the bass, are not compromised as
thev usually are on a locally produced
Overall. “More Crash Less Burn”
accomplishes what it was designed to do
which is garner interest in a band that is
good enough to wow its live audiences. It
is a preview into a world of music that is
the exact opposite of a two-bit garage
'Mexican'has actors running circles, moviegoers checking watches
BY SARAH SUMNER
Love and violence prove to be a couple's key to
Most couples would not be able to last a night
in the shoes of Jerry (Brad Pitt) and Sam (Julia
Roberts), but with gangsters, guns and conflicting
situations, it sure would be one of the more excit
ing nights of their lives.
Jerry and Sam are on the verge of marriage
and on the verge of breaking up.
They go to
they each feel
the other is too selfish, but they care intimately
for each other. They have a conflicting, confusing
relationship, but the movie isn’t really about their
relationship; it is about the times apart from each
other and the object that is causing a lot of trouble
down in Mexico.
Some have called it a cursed gun, and Jerry 's
sole purpose is to get it, bring it back and give it to
a lead gangster. The problem is that many people
want the precious gun, and they are willing to
frame Jerry, kidnap Sam and kill whomever to get
Obstacle after obstacle get in Jerry’s way. He
and Sam break up and go their separate ways. She
moves to Las Vegas and he visits Mexico. His
cohort is killed, his car is stolen, he is turned on by
confidants and the gun is gone. He spends the
remainder of the movie finding the gun, losing
the gun, losing the girl, finding the girl and the
gun, losing them once more and ... well, I'll let
you figure out what happens after that.
"The Mexican" is high energy with humorous
scenes and decent acting from big-time actors,
but the plot is stretched. Though the suspense is
commanding, when the same idea is over-played
in different scenes, it gets tiring. The romantic
legend of the gun is told through black and white
footage, which makes a unique turn in the story
and actually makes it richer.
There are many different loops, twists and
loose ends that have to be tied at the end, but it is
rushed and does not come off as tight as it would
have been if the director would have left a few last
goose chases out.
Pitt fits well into his character of non-commit
tal, clumsy, unfocused lerry. He has a mind to do
something but does not function well. Most of the
movie you will see Pitt falling, freaking out or
goofing off. The character is slightly off his rocker,
but he is the comic relief.
The romance and heart is in the character of
Sam. She loves with intensity and almost has a
conniption fit w'hen she is upset. Roberts’ upbeat
and overly animated personality shows through
and is a bit too much. If she would tone down her
hand gestures and calm down a little, the charac
ter could have been more lovable.
The characters are interesting, but they are
not well-developed, which leaves two of
Hollywood’s favorite actors in a position of not
giving their best. "The Mexican” is a good date
movie, funny and interesting, but you may find
yourself looking at your watch wondering if this is
Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts play a couple entangled in a web of love and violence in "The Mexican."
going to be the last time Jerry runs back to the Gandolflni. Directed by Gore Verbinski. Rated R
pueblo to get the gun. for violence and language. Showing at Edgewood
Starring Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and James and the Plaza 4.
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