[Editor's note: This album premiere previews Dirty Talker's album release show on Friday at O'Leaver's with Noah's Ark Was a Spaceship and Buildings. The show starts at 9:30 p.m., and the cover is $5.]
by Michael Todd
Justin Kohmetscher remembers the exact moment. He was alone in his parents’ basement. They were away in Cuba as his father was working at Guantanamo Bay, and Justin, he recalls, was sitting on the toilet.
“I’m reading Lewis and Clark’s letters,” he says, “and there’s this line in one of the letters where he mentions an herb or a bark. Whatever it was, it was medicine. And I thought, ‘I’m going to actually write a song.’ I’m not going to write lyrics to music, but sit down with an acoustic guitar and write everything.”
With this new set of songs taking the form of letters — and with the seventh track below including a bit about medicine — he’d be free to speak in the voices of fictional characters writing to other fictional characters. And although there are autobiographical elements, “This is the band where I’m able to let go about that shit.” The band is Dirty Talker, so it’s fitting that shit is let out.
As it developed, Letters the album became eight songs of varying time signatures, vocals with matching melodic parts on guitar by Adam Anderson, aka Adam 2000, and Kohmetscher’s bass, all supported by Brendan McGinn’s 40-year-old drum set. The band is proud of their no nonsense approach with only three guitar pedals, one being a tuner, and the comfort of longtime bandmates and friends.
After a decade and change of playing in bands around Lincoln, McGinn says he's fortunate for a family that's supportive of his music. When asked how long he foresees playing with Kohmetscher and Anderson, he equates his bandmates to family. "Hopefully, for a long time, but life still needs to happen. ... It's a family type of thing. You don’t want to see your brother move away, but you’re still brothers."
If life does happen, and one of the three has to move away, at least they'll have Letters to keep in touch with each other. Listen to the album premiered below, and grab a copy of the record at Dirty Talker's album release show, this Friday at O'Leaver's starting at 9:30 p.m.
Michael Todd is Hear Nebraska's managing editor. He wrote this article before Deconunisms and during Midwest Dilemma, both in Lincoln on Wednesday night. This city always amazes him. Reach Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.