ten years ago, in a town very, very similar to every town in the united states, we started a band. it was 1994 and joel, clark and i (todd), and our friend conor (oberst) were sitting around on the cement outside of a slowdown virginia show. still glowing from the experience, we decided to start our own group. a couple of days later conor told us that we had a show in two weeks at kilgore's (the folky songwriter coffee shop where he usually played). of course at this time, we had still never played any music together. but by show time we had accumulated the 9 songs we thought we needed in order to perform. with those songs we continued to play coffee shops and basements, punk clubs and bars while we tried to figure out what we wanted our band to sound like. we loved slowdown virginia and a couple of other local omaha bands, but we wanted to find a sound that was our own. a lot of what we listened to in those days was quite aggressive, so, in a heavy handed attempt at being different, we chose "lite rock" (not the cool kind). we wanted to put ourselves in a genre that we thought was ehrrr. . .whack. i guess we were hoping that something interesting might happen. a couple of years went by, and conor quit/got kicked out of the band. lots of other people also joined and left over the following few years.
our first studio album, MEDIA, was a collection of songs from 1996-1998 (the post "lite rock" era). it was a mix of a bunch of different styles of indie rock. that was when we started playing out of town and being matched up with similar bands each night. well, not really that similar, but close enough to where we recognized that the audience saw us the same way we were seeing these bands. you know - four or five dudes with guitars standing still for 45 minutes. we would watch the show and think "i don't like the guitar style that guy's playing" and then think, "you know, i don't like MY guitar style much either." that's when we decided that keyboards had to be the answer.
clark baechle todd fink dapose joel petersen jacob thiele