Live Review: Ideal Cleaners, Race for Titles; The Lazy-i Comp giveaway winds down…

Category: Blog — @ 6:35 pm January 15, 2007

I’m writing a column based on Joe Vavak’s last show under the moniker of Someday Never — it was Saturday night at O’Leaver’s — which is why I didn’t post a live review of it yesterday. I realized after I started writing the column, though, that I wasn’t going to get too much into the performances because I was too busy lauding Joe as this great, flawed humanitarian who’s lost his vision only to find another…

So, how were the bands? I missed Rent Money Big because I was busy watching the Philadelphia Eagles blow it. I got there just in time for Ideal Cleaners. It was jam-packed. Yes, a lot of people there were Joe’s friends on hand to wish him well, but the bands were the major draw (sorry Joe). Ideal Cleaners is quickly gathering a substantial fan base in Omaha for their rugged brand of post-punk. For whatever reason, they remind me of Bad Religion, Jesu and Fugazi these days, though their music only barely resembles those bands. I think it’s time for a new record (or a rediscovery of their old ones). Along with Ladyfinger and The Stay Awake, they’re my favorite local hard-rock heroes.

Race for Titles was the perfect band to headline a show that honors one of the scene’s originators. They’ve been around about as long as Vavak has been putting on shows. And just like Joe, style and soundwise they haven’t changed much, though drummer Matt Baum (wearing a pair of red headphones) sure beats that old drum machine they used to have. If there’s an evolution in their sound, it’s in the layering. When I saw these guys last April at Sokol, they seemed more stripped down and raw. Last night they sounded like a well-lacquered machine, glistening under layers of guitars. Their weakness (to me) has always been their lack of sonic diversity, especially in the vocal lines, which act more as an additional layer of sound than as a communication tool — who knows what their songs are about. I doubt they care if anyone knows. They lock into a trance-like groove and hope the crowd hangs on for the ride. What is the future of this band? Are they recording again? Do they plan on touring? No idea. I do know that they have a serious fan base — clearly they were the central draw of the evening (sorry Joe).

Look for the Someday Never column online Thursday. Wednesday I’ll be posting an interview with Asobi Seksu, who are opening for Appleseed Cast Jan. 22.

Finally — I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — you’ll never have a better chance of winning a copy of the Lazy-i Best of… Compilation CD than you have this year. Despite the fact that readership has never been higher, the fewest number of people have entered the annual drawing. That means the odds are in your favor. This year’s disc includes tracks by Yo La Tengo, Simon Joyner and the Fallen Men, Scissor Sisters, Junior Boys, Cursive, Cat Power, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, Royskopp, Ladyfinger, The Terminals and more (see the track listing here). All you have to do is e-mail me (tim@lazy-i.com) with your name and mailing address and you’ll be entered into the drawing. You can’t win if you don’t enter! Deadline is Wednesday, Jan. 17.

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