Draw up a Nebraska music lineage or family tree, whatever, and Her Flyaway Manner always seems to appear as one of its fruited, more pliable branches — and at 20 years, why not? From even the earliest iteration, you can trace the kind of progressive punk rock prevalent throughout Lincoln’s history: changing time signatures, loud, dirty guitars, beefy rhythms and relentless energy.
There’s is a unique sound, however, one that often evades an unwary critic’s crosshairs. The trio of guitarist/vocalist Brendan McGinn, bassist Adam Anderson and drummer Boz Hicks have been working in that vein since its formation in 1996. I always circle back to the intelligence, agility and energy in their songs, both sonically and aesthetically rooted in classic punk but always pulled at the threads of its fabric like a cosmic tear. It’s that sound which spawned releases on famed Caulfield Records, built the basis for national touring in the early aughts and helps hold its low-key place as Lincoln elder statesmen.
Her Flyaway Manner celebrates its anniversary this Friday at O’Leaver’s with Jump The Tiger and Wrong Pets (RSVP here). Listen to Hear Nebraska FM’s interview with McGinn and Anderson live in the KZUM studio, and look back at the band’s history in photos below.
2:40: Her Flyaway Manner’s formation
4:30: First show
6:39: All-ages shows
10:08: Caulfield Records debut, touring and publicity
14:40: The Fugazi Show
18:23: The Lincoln scene then and now
22:12: “Trim The Fangs” by Her Flyaway Manner
26:33: An Ethology Of Me and the time between
29:30: Comparing HFM and Dirty Talker
32:31: The 20th Anniversary Show
36:29: “The Rotation of Thoughts and Themes”
* * *
Adam and Brendan, a few months before practicing with Boz | Spring 1996
Her Flyaway Manner, yet without a name, played its first show as Cobalt Caliber on Jan 25, 1997 at the Wagon Train Project with Cursive, Lullaby for the Working Class
Valentine’s Day 1999 | photo by Ian Whitmore
Three fliers from mid-2000 show | Brendan: “Vs Show: two bands set up at the same time and alternated playing two songs each. Boycaught and Rocket FM made inappropriate posters about each other’s band.”
Tour flier from Fall 2000
Van life: On the left, Boz at a house party after a show in Athens, Ga., June 2001; on the right, Adam sleeps on the road
Flier from Her Flyaway Manner’s famed Fugazi show in the Centennial Room of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Union
Publicity Photo | Summer 2002
Adam and Boz at Cannon Beach, Ore | Oct 2002
Left: a promoter misspells “Her Flyaway Manner” | Right: Stacked early 2000s lineup
Band selfie, Pittsburgh, 2002
Adam, farm in Pierre, S.D., Oct 2002 | Here’s Brendan: “We stayed with one or two other touring bands at a farmhouse outside of Pierre (S.D.). A girl at the show invited us all to stay at her house and her mother woke up really early in the morning to make us eggs, pancakes, peaches & cream and coffee cake for breakfast. It was the highlight of the tour.”
Late 2002 press clipping from interview with Brendan
Her Flyaway Manner’s seven-year-anniversary with Sideshow
Adam, Veterans Day 2002 in Washington D.C.
Boz at Duffy’s Tavern, Hear Nebraska/Maha Music Festival Showcase, June 30, 2011 | photo by Andrew Norman
Her Flyaway Manner at The Bourbon, Dec 23, 2014 | photo by Jon Augustine
Her Flyaway Manner opens Friday night at Duffy’s Back Lot for 2016 Lincoln Calling, its most recent performance | photo by Lauren Farris