Discovering Nebraska’s Musical Past

Rediscovering a vital part of Nebraska’s musical history.

Casey Welsch discovered a stack of 7-inches from long-gone Nebraska bands and with it, a vital part of Nebraska’s musical history.

Like most people of my generation, I’m spoiled and apprised of an undue sense of worth and entitlement. I have long assumed that the been-and-gone local greats that I’ve seen were the best that ever were. I assumed that the current wave of creativity in Nebraska was a brand new thing, unique to our time.

Hidden in the back of the bottom shelf of a knee-level cupboard blocked by an empty filing cabinet with a television and a boombox on top, I found a stack of records buried at 90.3 KRNU that proved me dead wrong.


Lullaby for the Working Class
is a name I’ve heard, but whose music I haven’t. I expected working class punk, but what I got was gorgeously crafted indie-folk tunes from the mid-’90s, long before the current national craze. This band featured Ted Stevens (Cursive), Shane Aspegren (The Berg Sans Nipple) and both of the infalible Mogis brothers. That’s where I’ve seen the name, mentioned in passing on one of these band’s profile sites. That’s all the attention I’ve ever given the band, and all I’ve ever seen given to it, yet it’s good enough to deserve its own exhibit in a museum. This is Nebraska’s musical history. It never got across to me until this point.

Eric the Red (no idea) and Sideshow (possibly the reason this Caulfield label existed?) continue the trend of fantastic rock. Nothing in this pile is bad. Absolutely nothing. It keeps coming with Plastik Trumpet (no info), Cellophane Ceiling and Opium Taylor (I know one of these guys helped found Liars). It would be a moot point to describe them all in detail, but believe me when I say it’s all just as good as anything Nebraska is pumping out today.

Reading this article brought on an instant nostalgia trip. I remember catching Plastik Trumpet, Sideshow, Opium Taylor, Mercy Rule, et al. at places like the Silk Cafe, outside the UNL Student Union, in an old warehouse (that I think used to be at the top of the Apothecary building), and probably even in somebody’s basement. So many great bands and shows, so many great memories.

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