Musicians band together to say bye to 2020


Lincoln musicians band together to say good riddance to 2020 in song

About three weeks ago, Mikey Elfers got an idea to get a bunch of Lincoln musicians together, virtually, to record “Happy New Year’s Eve” and put the video on YouTube in time to ring out 2020 with a blast of punk rock.

The video, seen above, was posted Elfers’ YouTube channel early Thursday.

Lincoln’s Mikey Elfers brought together some local musicians for a mashup of a holiday tune that debuted on YouTube on New Year’s Eve.

Elfers, who fronts Thirst Things First and is the drummer in The Killigans, was doing the final edit on the video Wednesday afternoon, completing another of his coronavirus “micro projects” that began in early December.

“The song kind of popped into my head in the shower,” he said. “During quarantine, I’ve been revisiting everything I’ve done over the last 20 years and looking at long and forgotten bands.”

He recalled that Omaha had a band called The Sharks that in 2009 played a song called “Happy New Year’s Eve.’”

That pop punk number is simple. In fact, one of Elfers’ old bands learned it in about 30 minutes, which made it perfect for the video.

“I thought, I can get anybody to learn this song very fast, and New Year’s Eve is coming up. We can do this funny video and put a donation button on it for #SaveOurStages,” Elfers said.

Elfers then sent out a message to a number of Lincoln musicians, asking if they’d like to take part in the project.

“The good thing about this one is I got to pass the buck to 13 other people,” Elfers said. “Fortunately for me, the people who responded to my inquiry were great about doing their video, getting it to me fast and not making me haggle.”

The “Happy New Year’s Eve” collaborators, who will be simultaneously seen playing and singing in little boxes on the screen, a la a Zoom meeting are:

* Jordan Elfers (Universe Contest, Thirst Things First, Sweats).

* Heidi Ore (Domestica).

* Mike Semrad (The Bottletops).

* Benjamin Kushner (Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, The Mezcal Brothers).

* Jill Primak (Battlecop).

* Scot Adams (Battlecop).

* Justin Firestone (Sputnik Kaputnik).

* Aramara Quintos Tapia (Histrionic, Thirst Things First).

* Brendan McGinn (Sweats, Her Flyaway Manner).

* Justin Kohmetscher (Sweats, Dirty Talker).

* Brad Hoffman (The Killigans).

* Ryan Thomas (Machete Archive).

* Eric Mellow (The JV Allstars).

* Tim Carr (Universe Contest).

That lineup represents a cross section of Lincoln bands that’s appropriately heavy with punk rockers — who, Elfers said, were itching to make some noise after nine months with no shows, recordings or even practice.

“We want to be loud right now,” Elfers said. “We want to crank our amps. This gave us a reason to do that.”

The group-recorded song is musically faithful to the original. Elfers did, however, make a few changes to lyrics. Actually, those would be additions to the original lyric of “Happy New Year’s Eve” over and over and over.

“I took some liberties with the bridge to appropriately tell 2020 good riddance,” he said.

Any money received through the donation button will be channeled by YouTube to the Lincoln venues involved in the Save Our Stages effort aimed at supporting live music venues that have been shut down since March and are struggling to survive.


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On Twitter @psangimino