name stuck. Tomich said people still think the name is somehow related to Kurt Vonnegut,
author of Slaughterhouse Five, a novel that takes place in World War II Dresden.
"The closest thing I've come to Vonnegut was once hanging out in Troy, N.Y., where he
lives," Tomich joked.
The other misnomer about the band is that it plays music commonly classified as
"emo." Seems no one's really able to define what emo is. Tomich was just as
perplexed when asked for a definition.
"I wouldn't classify us as emo," he said. "Emo to me is a hardcore band
that's decided to start singing about girls. Both bands I'm in (he's also in an outfit
called The Scaries) have been called emo and neither sounds alike, which shows how
difficult the term is to hammer down.
"Up until 1996, people called this kind of college music 'indie rock.' Then those
people graduated from college, and the incoming freshmen that year started calling their
earnest music 'emo,' short for emotional. It's become a catchall phrase, like New Wave,
which is more of a fashion than a music genre. In emo's case, the fashion is all about
knapsacks, striped sweaters and Canadian-government -ssue glasses."
Mention emo to just about any indie-style band and they'll want to tear your head off,
then beg you not to hang the label on their band. Tomich said the backlash is the result
of so many people using the term in an exclusive and non-inclusive manner. "It's
rather pretentious," he said "That's not what music is suppose to be
Whether Sorry About Dresden is emo or not, the young band already has attracted a
sizable audience on the East Coast, thanks to the success of a 7" single, Me and
Kim Il Sung b/w Crusades. Released in February 1998, the single rocketed up
the Ivy League radio stations' play lists, clocking in at No. 5 at Harvard, No. 7 at Duke,
and No. 12 at Princeton, Tomich said.
"It's really weird when you hear your own song on the radio," he said.
"The first thing I said was, 'Damn, this sounds familiar.' Then you feel like a moron
because you don't know where you heard the song before. It's actually really hard for me
to listen to; it's like watching yourself in a home movie."
He credits heavy East Coast touring, college airplay and good distribution for the
single's success, a recipe that the band hopes to apply to The Mayor Will Abdicate.
Although he wouldn't explain the CD's title ("It's a convoluted story with an Omaha
reference in a roundabout way"), he said Omaha is "written all over Oberst's
"He never really left," Tomich said. For example, one song's title,
"2540 N. 55th St.," is an Omaha address with personal significance. Oberst also
is a fanatical Nebraska Cornhusker football fan. "When our cable company was screwing
up his Husker game, he called them and said, 'You better get someone out here and fix this
or this cable box will be in the yard.'"
The band also has played alongside a number of Omaha bands, including The Faint, Bright
Eyes and Commander Venus, outfits that have at one time or another, included Conor Oberst
in the line-up. Tomich said Saddle Creek Records, the label that all three bands record
on, has garnered quite a following outside of Omaha.