A brief summary of the weekend’s activities:
Friday night at O’Leaver’s, I showed up just in time to catch the last three or four songs by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, and was impressed. The buzz around the room was that the band had a song featured on The OC last week, which, of course, means instant status/love/future. What’s the value of a catchy band name? Maybe everything. They may be on their own label now, but they’ll be on someone else’s before the end of summer. One of those change-up bands, they switched positions throughout the set, but no matter the configuration, they came off Weezer-esque (back when Weezer was good, and interesting, and no, I’m not talking about Pinkerton). Next time, probably Sokol Underground. Who knows after that.
The Third men took the opportunity to roll out a shitload of new songs, 5 or 6 of them, along with a Richard and Linda Thompson cover (“Wall of Death” off Shoot Out the Lights) that featured keyboardist/tambourine player Dana Rouch on vocals. The next night I told bass player Mike Tulis that I felt a distinct James Gang vibe coming off the first few songs, and he said everyone in the band has a few of those records in their collection. Joe Walsh would be proud. Everything about them — their music, their stage approach — says they’re doing it because they love doing it, and if you want to come along for the ride, hop aboard. I’m there.
Finally, the Pomonas came on at around midnight. With about half the crowd gone (I guess you could say they got Omaha’d) they ripped right into it. This was the third time I’ve seen them, and they just keep getting better. Friday night’s set emphasized the rhythm section, specifically the bass, whose chores were shared between a couple of guys. The sharp, bouncing bass lines had me asking the lead guy after the set if they’re trying to become the next Rapture (especially on a tune they coined “their disco song”). I like the shared vocals (almost harmonies, almost cheerleading), the consistently great counter guitar lines, and the overall hubris of the whole durn deal. Afterward they gave out copies of their latest CDR to anyone willing to take them. Someone needs to find room for them on their label.
Which brings us to Saturday night and Maria Taylor after having watched The Golden Gloves finals down at the Qwest (the Omaha guy got robbed, by the way). Maria came on at around 11:15 or so, performing in a stripped-down ensemble because of problems with the band’s keyboard. They got it figured out about halfway through the set, which drew heavily from her 11:11 album. Yes, she was in the usual good voice, and the band sounded great, building louder and more intense as the set rolled on, peaking with a “come on stage” version of “Song Beneath the Song” that included accompaniment by none other than Conor Oberst (guess he’s in town now) and members of 13 Ghosts. The 200-plus on hand ate it up.
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