Music News

Beep Beep

Omaha's Saddle Creek Records is getting loads of attention thanks to Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, who's lately inspired the sort of gushing capable of making Old Faithful jealous. Too bad the label's roster is filled with baby bands in danger of being lost in the flood. A prime example is Beep Beep, a Nebraska quartet whose erratic yet intriguing 2004 debut, Business Casual, may be too angular and abrasive for many indie virgins to swallow. Guitarist/vocalists Chris Hughes and Eric Bemberger once performed with Oberst in the Magentas, a group that also featured the Faint's Todd Baechle, but the music they're making with fellow Beepers Mike Sweeney and Joel Petersen (themselves veterans of other Saddle Creek combos) bears little resemblance to Oberst's current work. Instead, tunes such as "I Am the Secretary" and "Misuse Their Bodies" kick up a righteous racket that recalls the first post-punk wave, when vocalists squawked as often as they sang and the riffs weren't buffed to a pop-friendly sheen. For that reason, Beep Beep, which is slated to appear alongside Hot House and Bright Channel at the Larimer Lounge, may be a tough sell, especially if Saddle Creek is too distracted by its hot property to nurture some of its cooler ones. Hughes and company had better hope the imprint still has bright eyes for them, too.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts