kind of have some fondness for Omaha. It has that same atmosphere
of isolation as Hamilton. It reminds me of home," Greenspan said
while shopping at a Macy's deep in the bowels of a Seattle mall after
spending three days on an Interstate driving from Kansas City.
Hamilton is Canada's version of Pittsburgh. "It's a steel town
that's undergone a shift to hard times in the past 20 or 30 years,"
he said. "It's not a very trendy place. You certainly don't
worry about trying to fit in. You're sort of left to your own devices,
which is good for someone like me."
It's quite a
distance from the neon glow of the East Coast club scene, where
you'd expect the duo to reside. "I don't think it makes much
difference where I live anymore," Greenspan said. "Some
people get energy from being in a real happening city. I don't need
that. In a way, a lot of my records are about Hamilton. Thematically,
they deal with living where I live and are inspired by its geography,
its atmosphere and culture."
That said, Junior
Boys' music was borne out of a scene inhabited by ultra-hip headphone-wearing
DJs. "That's a world we came from, what I grew up listening
to and got my cues from," Greenspan said. "But the reason
we don't mix straight-ahead dance music is that that world also
is uninspiring and insular. We don't want to be pigeonholed. Some
people think of us as indie rock -- something I don't know anything
about at all. Some say we're a dance band, and I know that world
a little better, but I don't think we're part of the dance music
scene. I think we make pop music. It's as easy a way to describe
us as anything, and much more faithful to the intention."
does indeed describe So This Is Goodbye, a natural evolution
from their critically acclaimed 2004 debut, Last Exit. "That
one was made hovering around a computer," Greenspan said. "The
second album used more instruments and outboard equipment. Anytime
you can avoid hunching over a computer, you get more of a sense
away from the technology also drives their live show, where Junior
Boys becomes a trio with the addition of a living, breathing drummer.
"(On stage) I play guitar and bass more than on the record,"
Greenspan said. "Matt fiddles around with knobs and pieces
of equipment, but more than anything it's the live drums that add
a kind of forcefulness and a degree of excitement that's not there
when we were just two people sitting on stage, which at times can
feel like karaoke. With live drums, it's more compulsive."
live, their intention is the same -- to get asses shaking on the
dance floor -- a tall order in Omaha, a city known for its deer-in-the-headlights
audiences. "I'm not going to get too worked up if people enjoy
themselves and don't move around," Greenspan said. "When
you play a show, you want people to get into it as much as possible.
The more the crowd is into it, the better the show will be. The
last time we were in Omaha, it was a good show. It was fun."
Published in The Omaha Reader April 26, 2007.
Copyright © 2007 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
you can avoid hunching over a computer, you get more of a
sense of experimentation."