Radio station: Listen to music by Ghosty
No scheduled events.
Current Status: Putting finishing touches on debut full-length, recorded with Trent Bell (Flaming Lips, Starlight Mints).
Sound description: Cerebral pop music
Influences: Big Star, Trip Shakespeare, Red House Painters, Todd Rungren, Sea and Cake
Similar to: Elliott Smith, Beulah, Wilco
|Five Short Minutes||2001||Murderama|
|Three Pop Songs||2002||Self-Released|
|July 2003 demos||2003|
|Grow Up or Sleep In||2005||Future Farmer Records|
|Me, me, me.||2006|
|Live on lawrence.com||2007|
|A Mystic's Robe EP||2009||More Famouser Records|
|O Foolish Pride EP||2009||More Famouser Records|
|Team Up Again EP||2010|
|Jake Blanton||Backing vocals, Guitar|
|Mike Nolte||Bass guitar|
|Jacob Baum||Bass guitar|
Part One- Grow Up
Wide-eyed 18 year-old South Dakotan Andrew Connor arrives in Lawrence, KS to attend KU. Armed with a toothbrush, a couple guitars and lots of vague ambition, Connor begins his Ghosty career. Loaded down with 101 requirements, he miraculously finds time to dream up a rock band with drummer Richard Gintowt in the moldy basement practice rooms at Hashinger residence Hall. The two play at Hash events, eventually making it downtown to open mic night at the Bottleneck. Connor, daring to waste time on rock, is a rarity among music majors at KU, while Gintowt is a master of changing majors, from Design to American Studies, and finally settling on Journalism. The two agree on the Flaming Lips, Wilco, Pavement, and Dylan.
Connor, the budding troubador, writes songs reflecting a natural tendency toward introspection. His debut solo EP "Nineteen Now, Always," released in 2001, hints at a young man in crisis. The strength of this folk-tinged EP, drawing inevitable comparisons to Red House Painters, leads to Ghosty's appearance in the annual KJHK Farmer's Ball competition. After a heated battle, Ghosty wins the "critical" vote, while party metal band Preferred Villian wins the "popular" vote. The well-meaning crowd members obviously don't know what's best for them, and Ghosty comes in second overall in the event. The prize is a bundle of gift certificates to Yello Sub, a delicious Lawrence sandwich joint. Like many a struggling rock band before them, Ghost are afforded priceless exposure thanks to the Farmer's Ball. This is crucial to a young band struggling to be heard in the thriving, if somewhat overcrowded Lawrence music scene.
After this formal introduction to Ghosty, Lawrence anxiously awaits the band's next move: or so the band hopes. The Five Short Minutes EP is their first official release. Bassist Jacob Baum helms the studio in his basement apartment, "The Haunted House." Songs like "Stopping Short of Getting There" and "Five Short Minutes," and Gintowt's "Faith" show an increasingly disciplined band with a a perfectionist streak. Well into their college careers, the Ghosty boys are all active at KJHK radio. Slowly and unwittingly they become bona-fide snobs.
Soon after the release of Five Short Minutes, a decision is made to leave the "womb" of Lawrence. During Ghosty's weekend jaunts, friendships with other bands are solidified. Notably, Joe Knapp's band Son, Ambulance (Saddle Creek) became pals of Ghosty after a show at Omaha dive bar Newell's.
Part 2- Sleep In
The seeds of "Grow Up or Sleep In" are sown when Ghosty books three days at Presto! In Lincoln, NE with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Cursive) at the suggestion of their new Omaha friends. The sessions are scheduled to take place in August 2002, as the perfect ending to the 17-date tour with Son, Ambulance that brings both bands to Nashville, Athens, Bloomington, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Omaha, and a host of other towns along the way. The songs are road-tested, and the recording comes off without a hitch. Three of Ghosty's biggest numbers, Big Surrender, Henry Greene and Hey! Somebody make up the Three Pop Songs EP. The Presto! sessions are characterized by long hours, cameos from Son, Ambulance, and experimentation with Mogis' collection of instruments (old Fenders and Gibsons, a Hammond B-2, Tubular Bells, Timpani)- overall, a big success, cramming an unbelievable amount of work into three days.
The Fall of 2002 is a proves to exciting time for Ghosty. The Three Pop Songs EP, by far the most fleshed-out Ghosty recording yet, garners considerable interest for the band. The EP even moves Norway tunesmith Sondre Lerche to describe Ghosty as a "U.S., nineties, guitar-based alt-rock Prefab Sprout."
In September 2003, after another year of college, Ghosty begins work with Trent Bell (Flaming Lips, Starlight Mints) in his Norman, OK studio Bell Labs to finish the album they began with Mogis at Presto! the previous August. The Norman sessions explore some of Connor's more subtle songs to round out the album. "Rooms In the Dark," "Jacqueline," and "World Travelers," all burn slowly, yet still possess a degree of pop "paydirt." The Norman sessions are characterized by the tireless and dedicated Trent, a constant stream of technical difficulties, Andrew's severe ear infection (the sessions were almost cancelled), fat drum sounds, and a surprise visitor:
Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips drops by Bell Labs to finish vocal tracks on the holiday anthem "A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn't So)" which is to appear on the Lips' "Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell" EP slated for release in November 2003. Coyne "barges in" during the hectic Ghosty sessions, but this is absolutely fine with Ghosty, who all happen to be gigantic Flaming Lips' fans. Coyne asks Ghosty to help him fill out the Lips track with backing vocals, sleighbells, acoustic guitar, bass, and keyboards. In return, Coyne agrees to sing on an alternate mix of Ghosty's "Clouds Solve It."
Part 3- Sweet Release
Cut to 2005-
Ghosty's current lineup consists of Andrew Connor (guitar, vocals), Mike Nolte (bass, guitar, vocals), Jeff Ferrell, (guitar, bass, vocals), David Wetzel (keyboard, vocals) and Josh Adams (drumset). The five men have prepared "Grow Up or Sleep In" for its long-awaited official release and are thrilled to be working with Future Farmer Records. The band continues to play live and work tirelessly on new material, such as the self-produced, self-released 'Me Me Me' EP released in the spring of 2005. They look forward to a second full-length in the near future, which will hopefully (cross your fingers) take less time to complete than Grow Up's three years.
As Ghosty branches out, the band's presence is certainly felt beyond their home turf. Seth Sherwood of the New York Times noted in a February 2005 article that "It may only be rock 'n' roll, but Ghosty, the Appleseed Cast, the New Amsterdams and other young bands are playing it with such virtuosity that Lawrence is now perhaps the most vital music scene between Chicago and Denver."