Minneapolis indie folk-rock band The Jayhawks have a history of sorts with Omaha. They’ve been touring through our fair city literally for decades, culminating in a spot on the Maha Music Festival last year — a victory lap of sorts for local fans who remember the band playing to small crowds during the early days.
The band is the product of the mid-80s Twin Cities music scene, releasing their first album in 1986 followed by their Twin/Tone Records debut, Blue Earth, in 1989. They broke in a big way in ’92 with Hollywood Town Hall (American Recordings). Viewed by many as their masterpiece, the album would have sounded right at home on a ’70s rock radio station, thanks to its laid-back, afternoon melodies.
Often described as an “alt country” band, their sound, especially on their latest album, Paging Mr. Proust (2016, Thirty Tigers), has more in common with acts like Big Star, Pete Yorn, Crosby Stills & Nash and local alt rocker Matthew Sweet. Produced by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, the new record finds Gary Louris reuniting with the band’s late-’90s line-up.
We tossed our Ten Questions survey to the Jayhawks and bass player Marc Perlman took up the reins.
1. What is your favorite album?
Marc Perlman: Big Star, #1 Record
2. What is your least favorite song?
“Kokomo,” Beach Boys
3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
The music (when it’s working).
4. What do you hate about being in a band?
Washing Gary’s socks.
5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?
Chocolate covered raisins
6. In what city or town do you love to perform?
7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?
Utrecht (but it wasn’t my fault)
8. How do you pay your bills?
By the grace of G-d
9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?
Professional hand model; the guy who has to clean the dressing rooms after a Jayhawks show.
10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?
In 1986 the Jayhawks played in front of 6 people at Howard Street Tavern… Matthew Sweet and Conor Oberst sponsor and play in a sand volleyball league at O’Leavers (their team is called the “The Power Poppers”)… the dressing room at Sokol Auditorium is haunted… it’s easy to get lost driving from Omaha to Lincoln…
The Jayhawks play with Fernando Viciconte Sunday, July 31, at The Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St. Tickets are $25 Adv., $40 for balcony seating. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.