Weekend Show Preview: Digital Leather

Vintage synthesizer manipulator and noisemaker Digital Leather (a.k.a. Shawn Foree) hasn’t left his Omaha home for a fall tour yet, but he’s already made the citizens of Lafayette, Indiana, nervous.

“We’re already getting all this shit from the promoter there,” he says. “The last time we played there, we did some shit onstage that frightened everybody there, and the whole town is frightened. We had to promise we wouldn’t bring any dildos onstage this time around.”

While studying American literature at the University of Arizona, Foree started making music in his basement on a four-track and then took some performance-art classes. Before he knew it, he was hanging out with garage punk Jay Reatard and playing music inspired by the Joy Division and Kraftwerk records he listened to growing up.

By 2004, Foree had christened himself Digital Leather and started issuing a series of singles and albums. Over time, his music’s progressed to the more accessible harmonies that can be found on Warm Brother, his Fat Possum debut. “Instead of doing a straight up pop album, I wanted do something weird,” he says. “The album is poppy, but it’s also weird. It’s got to be weird.”

The band has gone through various mutations (“I performed for a while with my girlfriend on a drum machine — it was horrible”), but the new lineup, which finds Foree backed by what he calls “Midwestern party animals who listen to cassette tapes of Ted Nugent” is faster and more furious.

“I wouldn’t want to watch some dork with an acoustic guitar sit there and talk about his feelings,” he says. “I want to see something exciting.” Digital Leather performs with Beardo Bandini and Guerilla Soup at 9 p.m. Sunday at Now That’s Class. —Jeff Niesel

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