began The Mariannes as a solo project three years ago, putting the
current, permanent line-up in place a little over a year and a half
ago. Micek previously played with Real Time Optimists and has done
a tour of duty with Bright Eyes, while Little has played in Son,
Ambulance. The musicians on the recording also included guitarist
Dave Hawkins, who has since left the band.
"We met each other
playing some eclectic shows at The Book Station, that old, lesbian-run
bookstore and coffee shop on Leavenworth," Stamp said. "Since
then, we've been playing small, hole-in-the-wall places like Shock,
Ted and Wally's and Newells."
The band was unable or
unwilling to describe their sound. "We don't play any specific
type of music," Stamp said. "It would be easier to say
what we don't play. Steve won't play blues songs."
Micek, who was busy during
the interview packing gear in preparation of working as the soundman
at Sokol Underground that evening, didn't look up. "I won't
play blues," he said. "It's so boring. What's a drummer
from a blues band got to do? Play back beat for five minutes?"
"When I played by
myself, I had a few blues songs," Stamp said. "Those were
the first to go."
With the single's
release, the band hopes to hit the road on a tour of house shows,
with a couple club dates thrown in for good measure. "House
shows are a tawdry affair," Stamp said. "It's usually
a lot of drunkards who may or may not pay attention to what you're
Little, who used to live
in a house that hosted shows, said the vibe is much better than
in a club. "On average only about 15 or 20 people show up,"
he said. "Some of the shows are amazing. It's fun to play in
a house because you're closer to everyone."
"House shows are
disarming because there's no stage," Stamp added. "You're
in a basement and ultimately, no one cares what happens. Still,
it's the best way to go."
Little said the house-show
network is a tightly knit community made up of thousands of people
who share a love for eclectic music. "House shows are an investment,"
he said. "You catch the attention of a few people who are really
into music, and they tell more people and it builds from there.
If we ever generate a big following, I want it built on our music."
Stamp said the band plans
on following up the single with a full-length later this year.
Published in The Omaha Weekly-Reader Feb. 19,
2003. Copyright © 2003 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.