This story will get the usual feature treatment (photos, etc.) later. Since I’m press for time, I figured I’d just drop it in the blog for now. I saw Danny Pound when he played at O’Leaver’s last September and was surprised at the number of people in the crowd who remembered Vitreous Humor. Pound was surprised to hear that as well, and couldn’t really figure out why that old band had so many fans up north. I bought the aforementioned single down at The Antiquarium back then, and perhaps that’s how the band got such good circulation. I know that Dave Sink was a big fan of Zoom, another Lawrence band that was around during that same era. Zoom was, indeed, amazing. I still vividly remember when they played at The Capitol Bar downtown (did Mousetrap open?), it was like watching an intense math-rock orchestra, each guitarist (I think there were three?) side by side by side tensely concentrating, watching each other, watching for the breaks, focused, the epitome of intricate post-punk. Zoom put out a couple albums, but the one that got around was Helium Octipede, released on the Tim Kerr label in 1994, produced by Greg Sage of The Wipers. Though the recording seemed excessively muddy to me, the songs were all there. Zoom was short-lived. I don’t think they ever came back to Omaha, and as Pound says, I don’t think Vitreous Humor ever made it here once, though The Regrets played here a couple times. Anyway, The Danny Pound Band plays with 4th of July (Adrianne Verhoeven of Art Bell), this Saturday at The Saddle Creek Bar. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $5.
Less Humor Per Pound
Danny Pound’s brief glance at Vitreous Humor.You can’t blame Danny Pound for not being eager to talk about his old band, Vitreous Humor.After all, they haven’t been around for over a decade, and his new band, aptly called The Danny Pound Band, sounds nothing like them. Still, there’s more than a few followers of Omaha’s mid-’90s punk-rock golden age that remembers Vitreous Humor and their grungy, post-punk sound heard on the classic 1993 7-inch, Harbor. The three-song single featured a teen-aged Pound warbling the words to “Bu-Dah,” the single’s catchy B-side that went “In the shithole where we live / Something’s living in the cellar / Keeps us all awake at night / Smells like cooking blood.” Remember it now? Probably not. Still, the song managed to make it onto a lot of mix tapes from that era.Pound appreciates the memory, but said few people recall his former band around his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas. “Some younger kids look up to Vitreous Humor as one of the old-timey, classic Lawrence rock bands,” he said, “but no one ever comes up and asks about it.”The story of Vitreous Humor is a rather short one. The Harbor single was followed two years later by a 7-song self-titled EP. Posthumous, a collection of unreleased tracks, outtakes and live cuts, was released on Crank! Records in ’98, well after the band already had called it quits and moved onto Pound’s next project, The Regrets.A decade later and Pound has left Vitreous Humor’s jangle-grunge behind in favor of a more grown-up, sophisticated sound born out of his fondness for mid-20th century folk and blues.“After The Regrets broke up, I discovered Harry Smith’s Smithsonian Folkways recordings, began listening a lot of blues and pulled out The Basement Tapes,” Pound said.The result was The Danny Pound Band’s 2005 debut on Lawrence label Remedy Records, Surer Days, a collection of tuneful alt-country rockers that sounded like a cross between Centro-Matic and The Silos.But even that style was short-lived. Since its release, Pound and his band — bassist Jeremy Sidener (ex-Zoom — another classic ’90s Lawrence band), guitarist David Swenson, and drummer Ken Pingleton (who replaced former drummer Dan Benson, who also was in Vitreous Humor) — have moved in a whole different direction, creating music that recalls ’70s-era So Cal groove rock. The band’s as-yet-unnamed follow-up to Surer Days was recorded at Black Lodge Studios in Eudora, Kansas, and is slated for release on Remedy Records sometime in the near future.“You couldn’t call our new record rootsy. It’s more of an electric rock record,” Pound said. “I get bored quickly. I’m always trying to find new things to do.”As for Vitreous Humor, Pound said he doesn’t understand why the memory of that band continues to live on in places like Omaha and Milwaukee — another city with more than its share of that band’s fans. “It must be a Midwest thing,” he said. “We never toured very much. I don’t think we even played in Omaha as Vitreous Humor.”While he acknowledges that the band could have influenced someone, Pound is hardly proud of those early recordings. “I’m not offended by that era, but it doesn’t give me great pleasure to listen to that music,” he said before immediately correcting himself. “I take that back. Some of it was interesting, if a bit too earnest. I know there are those who liked it, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”