by Michael Todd | photos by Ben Semisch
Nicole and her trailer park. Little Caesars on a birthday night. Jacqueline's organ bench, warped and wrenched. These are Matthew Milia's memories, kept safely in an ever-changing chord progression.
Frontier Ruckus' songwriter remembers the dead-winter cold night in Michigan when the first few lines of his past — left here in the song "Black Holes" — first populated a page in his thick and growing songbook. He talks of neighbors and family members as he navigates the space between the sweetness of childhood and the tragedies of adulthood.
Listen as Milia examines the lyrics and music of "Black Holes," one of three songs Love Drunk has shot for Frontier Ruckus, and hear it live on Sunday night at The Waiting Room after Brad Hoshaw opens. Also click your way to an inside look at touring with the band's disposable photos, and learn the song for yourself with chords and lyrics.
"Black Holes" will be released on Frontier Ruckus' forthcoming album, Eternity of Dimming, out Jan. 28, 2013.
Hear Nebraska: As this song is written with extreme specificity listing detail after detail, how do you think that style of storytelling compares with one that tries to describe a larger scope, something more general?
HN: When I emailed to set up this interview, you sent the chords and lyrics for "Black Holes," so I'm guessing they were already transcribed. Do you do that for all of your songs and why?
HN: For guitar players or other musicians who see a chord chart and play along with it, how do you think that compares to listening to the song?
HN: Do you write your songs in one sitting?
HN: You said you've lived in the same house your whole life. Do you write most of your songs there?
HN: That's all I have for questions on "Black Holes." Is there anything else you'd like to say about it?
HN: And one more question about something entirely different. Is your song "Ogallala" about the town in Nebraska?
When they last came through Omaha, we sent a disposable camera with Frontier Ruckus to take with them on tour. Here's what they captured:
photos by Frontier Ruckus
audio recorded/mixed by Matt Hovanec
video directed/edited by Django G-S
* performed Monday, May 7, 2012
Chord progression video from SOUNDSLICE
Michael Todd is Hear Nebraska's managing editor. They don't know it yet, but Frontier Ruckus is going down if they wish to wage war on the ping-pong table at the HN Hostel. Reach Michael at email@example.com.