love for FM seeps through tracks on Places, Georgie James'
recently released full-length debut on Saddle Creek Records. From
the bouncy Squeeze-style opener "Look Me Up" to the Seals
& Crofts-flavored "Need Your Needs" to the jaunty,
piano-driven harmonies of "Henry and Hanzy" to the earthy,
rocking ballad "You Can Have It" that recalls Gerry Rafferty's
finer moments, Georgie James' music would fit nicely on your favorite
E-Z Listening station. And Davis couldn't be more proud.
He said he and
the other half of Georgie James -- singer/songwriter Laura Burhenn
-- count The Zombies, The Beach Boys, Richard and Linda Thompson,
The Flaming Groovies, The Jam and Elvis Costello among their favorites.
and I certainly share a love for a lot of those bands," Davis
said. "That era is an influence, whether it's The Kinks or
Bread or Andy Williams, not just rock-canon bands. It's music that
I love that makes its way into what we do. Afterward, it might remind
you of something you've heard before, but we never try to emulate
Williams? Davis' career certainly didn't start that way. His last
band, the buzzing, angular punk outfit Q and Not U was known for
its jet-fueled indie rock. That band became a staple on the indie
circuit in the first half of the decade, releasing a handful of
albums on Dischord Records including the seminal No Kill No Beep
Beep that re-invented the D.C. punk that Davis thrived on after
he left dad's studio behind. "I started going to shows in '91
or '92 when I was 14 or 15," he said. "The music scene
at the time was Fugazi, Jawbox, Nations of Ulysses, those bands
are hard to beat."
Q and Not U
thrived until a need to change direction caused the band to split
in September 2005. "Most bands break up because they hate each
other," Davis said. "It wasn't like that at all. We did
it for seven years, which felt like a long time. We all wanted to
do things apart from each other and not have to compromise. We could
have just taken a break, but we wanted to move on. I'm still friends
with those guys and intend to make music with them again, just not
as Q and Not U."
After the breakup,
Davis began working with fellow FM music-lover Berhenn, and together
they self-released Demo at Dance Place in 2006, produced
by Beauty Pill's Chad Clark, who also co-produced Places.
When it came time to shop the full-length, Saddle Creek Records
was on top of the list.
Davis had discovered
Saddle Creek's music years earlier while putting together a fanzine.
He eventually worked as a press agent for a number of Saddle Creek
bands -- a relationship that would eventually help get Q and Not
U on the road with The Faint.
of knew the guys at the label and respected them," Davis said.
"When we sent out the Georgie James record, (Saddle Creek executive)
Robb (Nansel) got back to us and said he liked it. I figured we
would be a good fit, and they agreed. I like the way they do business,
balancing good taste with getting music to people. I like how they've
looked beyond Omaha to broaden their roster, which has worked well
So what's Davis'
dad think of Georgie James? "He likes it more than any band
I've been in, which makes sense since it's the most accessible,"
Davis said. "He definitely thinks we have potential."
Published in The Omaha Reader Nov. 7, 2007.
Copyright 2007 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
definitely have a thing for soft rock, I guess. I don't know
too many people who would admit that."