Goodbye Kite Pilot; Joe Knapp’s new project tonight; Saddle Creek signs Art in Manila…

Category: Blog — @ 5:43 pm May 18, 2007

Earlier this week I received an e-mail from Todd Hanton, half of the husband-wife team — along with Erica — that make up Kite Pilot (and also along with drummer Jeremy Stanoschek). Todd wrote to say that KP will be opening for The Protoculture’s CD release show at The Waiting Room May 24. What I didn’t know was that KP also would be releasing a new CD — an 8-song EP — that same evening. Two tracks include former KP guitarist/vocalist Austin Britton, who moved to the West Coast a few months ago. But that wasn’t even the big news.

“The reason for the rush on the EP is that Erica and I are moving to Portland, Oregon, early this summer,” Hanton wrote. “We leave on a trip up there June12-20 to find housing, then come back, pack and move ASAP. We wanted to have closure on these songs before KP goes on an indefinite hiatus. May 24 may be our last show, but we may pick up a show on May 31 at the PS Collective with Protoculture and Outlaw Con Bandana (per the request of both those bands, who say they are fans of ours).”

My first response: Why Portland?

“We fell in love with Oregon on our honeymoon — ocean, mountains, forests, desert, volcanoes. We love the outdoors,” Todd replied. “I had been there on vacation as a child, and it always has kind of stuck in my mind as a magical place. Erica started talking about moving up there over a year ago and we just got serious about it this spring. We decided on Portland because it has the most opportunities and many more like-minded people. Pretty liberal out there. I have been in Nebraska for 20 years and Erica has been here her whole life. We don’t want to have any regrets, so we are going to try it out for a year and see if it suits us. If not, there is always Nebraska and we get to have a year-long adventure.”

So Omaha loses two more talented youths to “the outside world.” Add them to the recent list that includes Tim Kasher, Matt Maginn, Jeff Heater and so on. KP had just reinvented its sound after the loss of Austin. Their new direction is/was punkier, more stripped-down and straight-forward, and more dance-oriented. Quite a departure from the almost prog-rock approach on their last full-length.

Though the move could mark an end for Kite Pilot, you probably haven’t heard the last of The Hantons. “I would not doubt that Erica and I will start a new project/band in the near future to tide us over until we can start up Kite Pilot again,” Todd said.

I bring all this up now because Kite Pilot just got added to a show this Saturday night at The Saddle Creek bar with Spring Gun and Lincoln’s Sit in Wait. It’s part of another crowded weekend of shows. Here’s the usual rundown.

  • Expect a nose-bleeding, ear-ringing chaotic eruption of noise at The Waiting Room tonight with headliners Back When along with Paria, Truth in Ruin and the always mind-blowing Fathr^. Collaborating as part of Fathr^ this evening will be Jamie Montes (Flamboyant Gods). No idea if they’ll be running any of their freaky A/V. $7, 9 p.m.
  • Meanwhile, just down the street at PS Collective it’s Derek Presnall’s Flowers Forever with Capgun Coup and Cherry Papers, which is described as “Joe Knapp’s new hot ass motherf***ing project” on the Flowers Forever myspace page. Seeing as I’m the unofficial president of the Joe Knapp/Son, Ambulance Music Appreciation Fan Club, I find this to be very exciting news. Last time I talked to Joe — probably a year ago? — he told me he was hanging it up for awhile to focus on being a father. Looks like he’s come to some sort of a balance, and we’re all the benefactors of it. 9 p.m. FREE.
  • I assume everyone who was at last night’s Brimstone show will be down at Sokol Underground tonight for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. With The Cobbs & Eastern Conference Champions, $15, 9 p.m.
  • Also tonight, in Benson at Mick’s, five acoustic singer-songwriters: Midwest Dilemma, Inaiah Lujan, Kyle Harvey, Brad Hoshaw, It’s True. $5, 9 p.m.
  • Tomorrow night (Saturday), the aforementioned Kite Pilot / Spring Gun / Sit in Wait show at Saddle Creek Bar. $5, 9 p.m.
  • Down at Sokol it’s Animal Collective with Sir Richard Bishop. AC is considered one of leaders of the current “Freak Folk” movement. Freak Folk, in this case, means acoustic indie jams that sound like they were influenced by early Yoko Ono albums. In other words, it’s experimental. $12 ADV/$14 DOS, 9 p.m.
  • And then, Sunday, the long-awaited return of The Hold Steady at Sokol Underground. The last time these guys came through Omaha — years and years ago — no one showed up. This time it’ll be a sell out (or a near sell-out). In fact, I’m surprised tickets are still available. People ’round these parts love these guys. I’ve received more e-mail and comments from readers to check them out than probably any other national band. I’ve been listening to Boys and Girls in America since it was released a few months ago. Not bad. Kind of like an indie version of Springsteen and Thin Lizzy with some Smart Went Crazy thrown in. It’s all about Craig Finn’s snarky life-as-a-fallen-Catholic lyrics and his nasal nearly-spoken/yelled vocals. He’s no crooner, in fact he doesn’t even try to be one. With The Heartless Bastards & Love As Laughter. $12, 9 p.m.

Finally (and yes, I know this entry is running long), label executive Jason Kulbel confirmed to me today that Art in Manila’s debut, Set the Woods on Fire, will be released on Saddle Creek Records Aug. 7. The Omaha City Weekly had the news first in this Elle Lien story in this week’s issue, which just went online. I haven’t heard their recording, but if it’s anything like the live shows, their addition to the Creek roster is a no-brainer.

And speaking of Creek, the great American smoking debate continues at The Slowdown website. As I said Monday (here), the problem with polls is that those conducting them kinda/sorta have to do something as a result of the feedback. People are overwhelmingly voting to make Slowdown a no-smoking establishment. Will Jason and Robb listen or simply say ‘Thanks for the feedback’ and allow smoking in the club anyway? Now that they’ve got The Omaha World-Herald involved in the discussion (here), they may not have a choice. FYI… yet another show has been booked at Slowdown: Silversun Pickups Aug. 1.

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