Crush The Clown
Crush the Clown Box Set
Extra Sensitive: super thin for more feeling
Disc 1 Potato Pop EP/BMG Demo
Disc 2 Self Titled
Disc 3 So We’re Going to Hell
Disc 4 Sick Love- Songs of Heartache and Despair
November 27th, 2006
Misconceptual Art Rock
As this blog descends upon a quiet Midwest town in the heart of America, the clouds part barley revealing the stop lights changing colors on the streets of 14th and O, green, yellow, red and then red to green. Around the corner an establishment of some repute, both blessed and otherwise, collects $3 as cover charge for the musicians about to take stage. Tall-boys of Old Style are cracked and foam slides down pint glasses griped by the hippest of bar flies. This bar, or tavern as it is called, is home to a banquette of barely known bands. Featured this night is a musical troop quite twisted and psychedelic. This band has played this stage since its infancy. An orgiastic love child of The Beatles, The Who, The Sex Pistols, Pavement, and David Bowie circa 1971, Crush the Clown knows how to write a good pop tune. Songs whose accessibility shuttles somewhere between Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or Eleanor Rigby and Cracked Actor or The Bewlay Brothers. More than simply a stylistic revival, Crush The Clown has made psychedelia relevant again.
The band, comprised of Nick Westra, Jerick Olivetti, and Greg Joyce, has been a local favorite of the Lincoln music scene for nearly a decade. Their production is the very definition of independent, most of the music having been recorded and mixed by the band themselves. Live performances reveal Crush The Clown at their purest and best. Here in Brooklyn, I often tell myself, if only these people could hear Crush The Clown. Tracks such as Neverbuzz, Her Lovely Brainwaves, and Sunshine define for me their incredible talent. They rock their audiences while singing melodious ballads about forest creatures and the emotional ineptitude of blood suckers. If there has ever been a band that needed a right time or a right place, it is Crush The Clown. For those of you who’d like to take a listen, visit their Myspace page. I believe they only have a single song posted, which I hope will someday change. They have a wealth of recorded material to offer up. Given in a purple Durex 24 pack, these records are a true testament to what talent, creativity, and patience can accumulate.
Nick Westra, Crush The Clown’s singer and guitarist, is very active in the Midwest music scene. Not only has he recorded bands in his basement laboratory, he has produced his own records. One such record is titled Misconceptual Art Rock under the name The Renfields, for which he played nearly all the primary instruments. The songs are brilliant orchestrations and stand apart from Crush The Clown in style and aesthetics. This record was very ambitious. I can’t say enough about the creative force invested in Misconceptual Art Rock. With The Renfields, it seems as if instead of band members, Westra’s different manic and depressed personalities feed off one another. I hope that this creative interplay continues to be productive. It is with an exercised relationship with the imaginary and a deep sense of romanticism that both projects succeed.
As a final note, Nick Westra is also the bassist for the well known Chicago rock outfit Head of Femur who are set to release an EP in October followed by a full length next year.