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Landing on the Moon: One Small Step for Man...

story by tim mcmahan



Lazy-i: January 25, 2006

Landing on the Moon
w/ Clair de Lune, Ghosty, Eagle*Seagull
Jan. 28, 9 p.m.
Sokol Underground
13th & Martha

It's like All in the Family for the folks in Landing on the Moon. Drummer/vocalist Oliver Morgan is married to keyboardist/vocalist Megan Morgan, while bass player Eric Harris is Megan's brother. Though not related, guitarist Shawn Cox played with the couple in their old band, The Quiet Type, while guitarist/vocalist John Klemmensen was in the band Reset with Oliver a long, long time ago.

They certainly looked like a family while sitting together drinking coffee at The Blue Line Sunday morning. And they definitely acted related, stepping on each other's sentences and finishing each other's thoughts. It was in that same collaborative environment that the band's name was born.

"We thought the music reminded us of the '60s," Oliver said, "and then asked ourselves, 'What happened in the '60s?' That's when Megan said, 'Well, we landed on the moon.'"





Without a doubt the music on their just-completed 5-song self-recorded EP befits a band that's both looking back and looking to the future. In an era when indie rock is beginning to percolate into the mainstream, Landing on the Moon is moving away from mopey jangle-pop instead embracing a traditional rock ballad style that no one in the band is old enough to remember.

Songs like the Megan-fronted "She's Moving Out," and the Klemmensen-sung chestnut "She Wants" are pure rock theater reminiscent of "Love Hurts"-era Nazareth or John Steinman-penned Meat Loaf -- the kind of songs kids used to slow dance to at their high school proms.

"We didn't go in that direction intentionally," said Megan, the band's primary songwriter whose day job as choral director at Bryan Middle School had to have an influence on her style. "I try to write music with classical roots that also rocks. Deep down people want to listen to fun music, and everyone relates to a good rock song."

"We're all tired of whiny cry-yourself-to-sleep indie rock," said Oliver. "Megan and I knew after The Quiet Type broke up in 2003 that we had to move away from the mathy/indie sound and focus on something that featured more emotion in the music and lyrics."

Morgan's other band, Little Brazil, also is a departure from run-of-the-mill indie rock, influenced instead by late-'90s college bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Superchunk.

While members of Landing on the Moon perform in other bands -- Klemmensen is in Microphone Jones and Cox plays in Life After Laserdisque and No Blood Orphan -- Little Brazil easily is the most time-consuming and successful, having already completed a number of national tours, including one with critics' darlings Tegan and Sarah.

With Landing on the Moon currently shopping their new EP to labels and Little Brazil about to enter the studio to record the follow-up to 2005's You and Me, how will Morgan keep one band from distracting the other?

"I want to do what Tim Kasher does with The Good Life and Cursive," he said. "Cursive is a machine that lives and breathes on its own. Little Brazil runs itself as well. I think the two bands can co-exist."

Scheduling tours shouldn't be a problem, he said, since Landing on the Moon will focus its touring on the summer months when Megan is on school break. While all have day jobs, hers is the most career-intensive, and would be the toughest to leave should a label pick up the band. It's a move, however, that she says she's willing to make.

"It'll be a big deal when I leave my job, because I love it," Megan said. "It'll be hard, but if I could play music 24 hours a day, it would be worth it."

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Published in The Omaha Reader Jan. 25, 2006. Copyright 2006 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.













"We're all tired of whiny cry-yourself-to-sleep indie rock. Megan and I knew after The Quiet Type broke up in 2003 that we had to move away from the mathy/indie sound and focus on something that featured more emotion in the music and lyrics."