Live Review: The Protoculture, Kite Pilot; These Are Powers, Femur tonight; the rest of the weekend…

Category: Blog — @ 5:50 pm May 25, 2007

The good news is that it was the best Protoculture set I’ve ever seen. The bad news is it’s the last one I’ll likely ever see.

Having seen them play mostly at places like O’Leaver’s, it was nice to see The Protoculture sent off on The Waiting Room’s superior sound system. For the first time drummer Koly Walters didn’t sound like he was struggling to get his vocals heard, and as a result, he actually sounded like he was singing instead of screaming. Everything else was flawless, so much so that it was a shame they didn’t get a board recording of the set for posterity’s sake. That’s gotta be the only reason they’re releasing their new 8-song CD, which winged its way to my door via U.S. Postal yesterday. Impressive packaging (slim-pack, with nice art and black media). You can pick up your own copy via their Myspace page for $12 using PayPal. Look for copies at The Antiquarium, Homer’s and Drastic, eventually. You’ll be hearing songs (as we did last night) that were first played a decade ago, and still bear a style and structure that epitomize a golden era in Omaha’s punk history but still stand on their own today thanks to their unique, arching sound. No one is doing anything as edgy as this anymore, and the 60 or so on hand last night knew it. They will be missed, but Clayton Petersen says he and Koly intend to somehow carry on without Erica. Stay tuned.

Anyway, if you missed them last night you can always catch them at their all-ages show at PS Collective next Thursday (May 31) with Outlaw Con Bandana. Kite Pilot will not be playing that show, so last night was really it for them. Again, not a bad way to go out — on the best-sounding stage in Omaha. As one guy told me prior to their set, “It’s a shame they’re breaking up. I really started to like them after they became a three-piece.” I think the best incarnation was the version heard on their debut EP, though their proto-punk dance routine last night was pretty catchy, especially when Erica switched from bass to electric guitar and began shredding, at one point blowing up the song altogether, forcing the band to start over at the second verse. A perfect sonic meltdown. Goodbye, Kite Pilot, and good luck.

* * *

Tonight it’s back to The Waiting Room for These Are Powers, Head of Femur and Domestica. These Are Powers is former Lincolnite Pat Noecker’s new band. Noecker was a member of seminal ’90s band Opium Taylor. He went on to form Liars with Ron Albertson (ex-Mercy Rule), which released the critically hailed They Threw Us in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top on Gern Blandsten in 2001 before he and Ron left the band (why and how they left still remains told only in whispers). Pat and Ron went on to form N0 Things, who played at O’Leaver’s in April 2006 (review here). Now comes These Are Powers, which, along with Noecker, features Anna Barie (ex-Knife Skills) and Ted McGrath. Their self-released 3-song 7-inch is in a similar vein as Noeker’s last two bands — dissonant, rhythmically throbbing, guttural, very much like that early Liars disc. Imagine air raid sirens blaring chaotically to a tribal beat. Interestingly, These Are Powers is headlining this show, with the much more locally known Head of Femur taking the second slot. According to The Reader, Femur has a new CD, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing it tonight. Opening is Domestica, who have been playing quite a bit lately, more than I remember Mercy Rule ever playing. Word has it that Heidi broke her bass in a moment of rock theatrics during one recent show. Get there early. $8, 9 p.m.

What else is going on this weekend?

Well, tomorrow it’s The Cripple Lilies at The Saddle Creek Bar. I’m certain that despite writing a column about this show that no one will be there, which means it’ll be that much easier to get your drinks at the bar. $5, 9 p.m., w/Audrey and Barn Burning.

Also Saturday Night, Young Galaxy plays at The Waiting Room with Landing on the Moon. I’m listening to a copy of their self-titled Arts & Crafts release as I type this — big, spacie, indie rock bordering on shoe-gazer. Guitar, bass, organ, drums, vocals, gorgeous stuff, lush and moody. $8, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night at 7 p.m. is that free B-52s concert way out at Shadow Lake Towne Center, Nebraska Highway 370 and 72nd Street in Papillion. I just want to hear “Rock Lobster” once before I step into the new Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Finally, Little Brazil plays at Shag Sunday night with house band The Jazzwholes. Talk about your clash of styles. Wonder what those classy suburbanites who love the Jazzwholes will think of Landon and Co.’s white T-shirt-and-jeans punk? $5, 9:30 p.m. Hey you got Monday off. Why not?

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