Nick Gordon and Travis Millard bid farewell to Lawrence with the heat of the Moments.

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Nick Gordon and Travis Millard bid farewell to Lawrence with the heat of the Moments.

The cold reality of trying to have a music career in the Midwest occasionally causes beloved mainstays of the area's music community to leave and set up shop in a thriving coastal metropolis. Artist Travis Millard, known for his contributions to the back page of Spin and his cover illustration for The Get Up Kids' breakthrough disc, Something to Write Home About, and Nick Gordon, his partner in the angular indie-rock band The Ugly Boyfriend, depart for New York in five weeks. However, Gordon, who is president of the newly established Braintree Foundation label, leaves local listeners with a stunning goodbye gift. The Soundtrack for Moments, Braintree's first release, compiles thirteen standout songs from Lawrence-based bands. A track-by-track briefing:

· Danny Pound, "The Grand Design": After a brief hiatus from recording, the former guitarist/vocalist for such formidable local crews as Vitreous Humor and The Regrets assembled a new band for "The Grand Design," a quirky low-fi jaunt appealingly peppered with piano.

· Mates of State, "A Control Group": Organist Kori Gardner and drummer Jason Hammel share vocal duties on this brilliant minimalist composition. Both now use the West Coast as their home base, but this track offers evidence of why Lawrence continues to proudly claim them as its own.

· Arthur Dodge and the Horsefeathers, "Diagram for Disaster": Another expatriate, Dodge now calls Nashville home. Despite offering more instrumentation than the Mates of State track, "Diagram" seems even more sparse, as Dodge's harmonies with guest Laurel Walsh float over a bleak skeletal structure.

· Panel Donor, "System B.A. 19": Reasonably perky on its own merits, Panel Donor's contribution sounds like a Mardi Gras backdrop compared to the pair of downbeat gems that precede it. Panel Donor has been dormant for some time, but its formula -- hazy vocals weaving between intertwined guitars -- remains potent.

· The Ugly Boyfriend, "14K Soul": Gordon provides the stuttering drumbeat, Ben Tuttle adds more rhythm with auxiliary percussion, Chris Kuhlman's slinky bass line holds the jittery tune together and Millard shines with his alternately jagged and twangy guitar riffs and his edgy vocals, which feature a memorable Beck-style possessed-by-soul outburst.

· Everest, "Whisper": Everest creates a behemoth ten-minute epic that's as imposing as its titular mountain. Starting from humble, hushed beginnings, this "Whisper" evolves into a feedback-laced shout.

· Redbones, "Crater Face": In an expert bit of sequencing, this brief percussion-free number follows Everest's titanic drone. Millard appears again, contributing background vocals that add a crucial extra layer to this likably simple tune.

· Shawnee, "The Real Dark Crystal": Shawnee is the latest project of Proudentall's Matt Dunehoo; this animated tune relies on piano and violin interaction to supply its atmosphere.

· Tijuana Crime Scene, "Bad Idea": This veritable supergroup stars former Reflector members Jake Cardwell and Harry Anderson on drums and bass respectively, Get Up Kid Robert Pope on piano, acclaimed producer Ed Rose on lead guitar, and engineer Alex Brahl, just off a stint doing sound for B.B. King, on vocals and guitar. Pope's farfisa work gives this track a gritty, trashy feeling that matches the group's name. Although it seems difficult to imagine that these busy musicians could find time for many live shows, Gordon says it might happen. "It's a side project of a side project, but all those kids love to play."

· Chebella!, "Men Will Moan": Perhaps the finest song on the album, "Men Will Moan," which features Gordon, Tuttle, Millard and Gardner, moves from a guitar-driven haunter with a fleshy bass-provided underbelly to a delicate showcase of Gardner's piano skills. "That was probably the coolest thing I've done in Lawrence," Gordon says of Chebella!, which broke up three years ago. ("Men Will Moan" sports a 1998 copyright date.)

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