Local musician Lonnie Fisher’s new release disappoints

Released in October of 2005, “Ghost of the Ballerina” is singer/songwriter Lonnie Fisher’s first solo project. The former Sturgeon Mill vocalist is a well-known name on the Lawrence circuit, playing several shows a year. This disc was recorded at both Black Lodge Recording, in Eudora, Kan., and Alibi 6, in Lawrence, and Fisher will be returning to Alibi 6 in the very near future to begin work on a second album. For more information on where to nab a copy of “Ghost of the Ballerina,” contact Fisher at (785) 766-5411.

–Melissa Treolo

Lonnie Fisher, like the sound of forks scratching plates, makes me wish I were deaf.

This Kansas musician has a voice that I would notice in the midst of drunken karaoke. Otherwise, it isn’t notable. He employs a disconcerting country twang only in the refrains. This twang, or anything else remotely country, does not occur anyplace else in his songs. Fisher might feel like this little trick gives his voice the depth of emotion, but for the most part, his voice is annoyingly melodramatic.

As far as the actual music goes, I suspect that the instruments are synthetic. This is never a crime. The melodies, however, sound like they were lifted from Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the resolutions are predictable at best.

At least the lyrics aren’t predictable, but this is because they are absolutely absurd. In “Unseen,” the opening track, Fisher sets the lyrical standard: “You say you want to change/ unclog the filters in your life/ no one else will love you if you’re crippled.” I think “unclog the filters” takes the cake for the most unmusical grouping of words, ever.

Am I allowed to say this? I didn’t get past track four.

I know that by attacking a local artist, I am tempting a bloody fate in a dark alleyway. I wouldn’t blame him. However, I would just like to point out to Lonnie Fisher that most of us have left the ’80s behind and also that my uncle breaks kneecaps for a living.

Melissa Sewell is a senior English major from Chicago. She can be reached at

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If there’s one thing I truly despise, it’s the infamous first date. We’ve all had bad first dates: the uncertainty, the confusion, that barren sentiment of desiring something extraordinary. Well take all of your apprehensions and qualms about “the big one ,” add a little vocal synth and a flagrant echo of ’80s new wave, press all of this to a CD and -bam- I present you with “Ghost of the Ballerina.”

Not horrible (by today’s standards, at least), but it defiantly lacks the fluid elasticity crucial for a functional album. The first three tracks go down with a relatively palatable sound, but the fourth track comes in sounding like the illegitimate love-child of Broken Social Scene and the artist formally know as Prince. The rest of the album is a graceless whirlwind trying to combine the quasi-ethereal sounds popular in indie rock today.

The majority of the album just screams “A postmodern attempt at The Cure’s “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me” yet it, tragically, falls short of that mark. With all of the great musical influences so blatantly permeating throughout this “creative endeavor,” it really is a shame that the album is riddled with banalities. Lonnie Fisher’s phantasmagoric sound has the potential to create a unique and engrossing listening ambiance, but emphasis should be focused more on refining the sound and less on trying to retain an overzealous, melodramatic appeal.

Josh Nicolay is a sophomore English major from Wichita. He can be reached at [email protected]