Hello. My name is Andrew. Andrew Spaulding. But most people just call me Spaulding.
I moved to Omaha about five years ago when I started my college days at Creighton. I'm originally from Sheboygan, Wisconsin - which is pretty well known for a few things, actually...
1. Johnsonville Brats
2. Wigwam Mills, Inc. - Makers of the World's Finest Wool-Knit Socks
3. Whistling Straits - Home of the 2003 and 2008 PGA Championships
4. "Mention My Name in Sheboygan," by The Everly Brothers
But, moreover, you may remember Sheboygan as the "city-with-a-name-so-silly-it-must-be-fictional" that John Candy's character Gus Polinski mentions in Home Alone when his polka band gives Kevin's mom a lift in their van.
Suffice to say, Sheboygan's never had much of a local art or entertainment scene. But I've always loved music. I've always loved film. I was an award-winning entertainment editor for my high school newspaper. Music, movies, literature, pop culture, and (to a limited extent) the fine arts were my life. But as much as I kept up with all the latest blockbusters and chart-toppers I tried my damnedest to truly culture myself in the arts of film and music. I had a few older friends that were the same way, and helped me sort of find my personal tastes and preferences. But pretty much everyone else worshiped mainstream radio, chick-flicks and MAXIM. I thought myself better than that.
I wanted to be a part of something bigger, something cooler, something more significant. I wanted to find myself in the middle and a part of a cultural explosion. A place where exciting new music originated, thrived, and continually fueled a progressive and welcoming community. A place where I had access to independent films, a place where movies were actually made. A place where the people were more social, more educated and more cultured. A place where I could learn and grow as someone who knew his shit, and whose shit was the good shit. Where the people buried themselves in music, movies and art too... A place where the people were a lot like me, but different enough to make life interesting.
It was in the middle of exploring this daydream that I first heard The Faint. Almost immediately, I knew this was the kind of band and the kind of music that I wanted to follow. So I followed The Faint to Lumberjack/Saddle Creek Records and then, naturally, to Omaha. I "discovered" all the other local favorites like Bright Eyes and Cursive. I read about the seemingly legendary Sokol Auditorium and The Ranch Bowl. I read about Alexander Payne and some of the other bigger names to come out of Omaha, like 311 and Mannheim Steamroller.
It was all so exciting. This was it. Finally, I had found a place that had everything I was looking for. I was going to come to Omaha, catch up on the last 10 years of art and entertainment. And then, sure enough, I would be in the middle and a part of... THE SCENE.
It was the perfect plan...
(TO BE CONTINUED)