Origivation magazine www.origivation.com contacted me to write a column about the Lincoln, NE music scene for their nationally distributed magazine, to introduce the world (or at least as many people as their magazine reaches) to the Lincoln scene, and bands on Lincoln. The first article appeared in their March 2005 issue, unfortunately, they cut a nearly 900 word article down to about 150 words. That's the way things go in the publishing business, but I'll be including the full length articles here so people can read what was submitted.
Note: Dec 05 - After several e-mails from Origivation sayig to hold off on future articles while they work out some production problems, then not hearing from them for several months, I started e-mailing them, and they said they were still "working things out", then no replies at all. I think their big dreams of being a nationally distributed print pub have gone by the wayside after a single issue.
Welcome to Lincoln, Nebraska. Population: 225,581, of which approximately .5% are in a band. I run Starcityscene.com, the local scene website that covers and promotes the Lincoln music scene. The site contains band info, CD & show reviews, interviews with bands, an encyclopedia of Lincoln bands going back almost 50 years, and tons of other cool stuff, but most importantly for you, who don’t live here, it features a streaming radio station playing the music of Lincoln bands, which I strongly recommend you check out. I can write about bands until I’m blue in the face, but I’m of the opinion that hearing their music is the only thing that does them justice. Tune in!
Being the capital city, and being a university town, we’ve got a very diverse and thriving music scene here. Our larger, slightly retarded cousin to the north, Omaha, might be getting a bit more music coverage nationally then we do, but that works both ways. Once Omaha started getting attention as the “emo capital of the world”, everyone and their uncle in Omaha started emo bands. The only thing worse than “good emo” is “bad emo”. There’s plenty of that in Omaha, and that’s not the best recipe for a good scene. Lincoln is still flying under the radar, which allows bands to develop their own styles, and we’ve got some very unique bands here.
I don’t want to get into classifying bands by genre, because it’s so limiting, but suffice it to say that you could go out to any one of our venues any night of the week, and the menu of music you could choose from is vast indeed.
Over the next weeks, months, years and decades that Origivation will be in existence, hopefully growing to be the preeminent music publication around the world, I’ll use this space to introduce to you the incredible bands hitting the stages of Lincoln, and putting you wise to bands that you should know about, but probably don’t. Let’s face it; there are just too many bands out there in America to know them all, right? Most towns throughout the country have a wide variety of bands that deserve a wider audience, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to figure out what’s hot and what’s not. Speaking for Lincoln, I’ll separate the wheat from the chaff, and serve up the best Lincoln has to offer.
With hundreds of bands to choose from to start with, it’s a difficult task knowing where to start, so I guess I’ll start out by introducing you to Ideal Cleaners, (www.idealcleaners.com) a band that many consider to be one of the best bands in Lincoln, certainly, one of my favorites, and is fronted by one of the best songwriters in the city, Dan Jenkins. Ideal Cleaners was started in February 2003 by brothers-in-law Jenkins (guitar, lead vocals) and Mike Keeling (bass, backing vocals) who’d previously played together in Drive-by Honky (another Lincoln favorite). With the addition of yet another brother-in-law to the lineup, Ted Alesio (drums, backing vocals), they formed one of the best rhythm sections in Lincoln music history, and one of its current best bands.
With Ideal Cleaners, it’s hard to make a comparison to a band you’d know, and I suppose that’s a good thing. I can say this: they’re heavy without being metal. They’re very melodic without being poppy, They rock like hell, but Mike and Ted can get a bit funky when called on to do so.
To date, Ideal Cleaners only has 4 songs available to the public. The band works at a notoriously slow pace. As Jenkins puts it, “Nothing in this band happens without at least 15 e-mails, 10 phone calls and 5 face-to-face meetings, and even then we usually just decide to go to the bar and talk about it later”, but everything they do is worth the wait. Two of the songs, “Ideal Cleaners Vs. Old Swiss” and “Sweets To The Sweet” are on a compilation of Lincoln bands called “A Situation Presents Itself…” which was put out by the A Situation connective, a group of Lincoln bands working to raise the profile of the Lincoln music scene, and an excellent sampler to introduce you to several great Lincoln bands, and 2 songs on their “Make Your Time” 7” (on Speed! Nebraska records), one of which is their standout track “To The Moon”. In a just world this song would be the biggest hit single on radio since “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
Without being biased or resorting to overblown hyperbole, the band does NOT have a bad song in their set list, and their live shows are always excellent and fun. Its unlikely most of you will get to Lincoln anytime soon to see the band (although you’re always welcome to), but I can’t suggest strongly enough picking up some of their recordings, & downloading whatever tracks they have on their website www.idealcleaners.com. Ideal Cleaners should definitely be on your radar.
www.starcityscene.com – your ultimate guide to the Lincoln, Nebraska music scene!
BTW, the photo is by Amos Joseph, who is a member of several Lincoln bands, and photographer extraordinaire. He has chronicled a good deal of Lincoln’s current bands, and the photos can be viewed on his website at