It was a weekend of contrasts at O’Leaver’s. Friday night the bar hosted Sarah Benck and the Robbers and Landing on the Moon featuring new guitarist Matt Carroll, who replaced Shawn Cox last month. Cox, who was at Friday’s show, said musical and personal commitments were piling up and something had to give, adding that Carroll’s guitar skills were going to blow people away. Carroll, who looks like he just turned 21, was impressive, though for whatever reason, his guitar sounded secondary (volume-wise) in the mix. Maybe it was because the band was playing louder — and looser — than usual. Because of their songs’ arrangements and style, LotM can sound somewhat tight on stage — that wasn’t the case Friday night at the jam-packed show. They seemed determined to let it all hang out — and did, to grand effect. The band currently is recording new material with Carroll. More to come…
Call it The O’Leaver’s Effect, but Sarah Benck and her posse also sounded more relaxed than I’ve ever heard them, ripping through a set of their bluesy tunes with laid-back panache. O’Leaver’s usual crowd of drunk, unshaven neighborhood regulars, musicians and vagrants was replaced by a covey of well-dressed female Benck followers including a few choice cougars with their cubs in tow. Purrrrrr….
By Saturday night, the usual O’Leaver’s crowd was back for a night of heavy-hard noise rock/punk. Much to my chagrin I missed the World Premiere of Techlepathy, who I thought was playing later in the evening. Instead, they were first. The buzz afterward: Techlepathy plays epic Midwestern punk rock and are “awesome.” Guess I’ll have to wait to see for myself. I caught the last couple death-hammer songs by Sirhan Sirhan — way too loud for little ol’ O’Leaver’s. Prize Country, on the other hand, was just right — aggressive punk rock by way of Helmet or Bad Religion or Fugazi — super clean, super good, probably the best touring band I’ve heard at O’Leaver’s so far this year. Last up was Omaha’s own Fromanhole, playing injured. Bassist Doug Kiser had accidentally drilled a hole in his index finger prior to the gig. He filled the divot with Krazy Glue to numb the pain, and had to stop halfway through the set to apply a second coating. Despite the disability, it was the usual mathy/angular/chaotic set from the trio, who had spent the day recording new material for an upcoming release.
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Val Nelson from Slowdown e-mailed to say that the new “music venue” ordinance that allows those under 21 to be admitted to shows at Slowdown (and other licensed music venues) goes into effect April 30. The biggest change is that those under 18 must have a notarized permission slip from their parent or legal guardian. Slowdown doesn’t have a notary on staff, but will have an open house with a notary present this Saturday, May 3, from 2 to 5 p.m. They’re encouraging parents with children 17 and under to come down, check out the club and get that permission slip filed.
The consent form can be downloaded online here.
All right, so where the hell else are you supposed to find a notary (and what the hell makes one qualified to be a notary in the first place?)? Well, most First National Bank branch offices have a notary on staff, and if you’ve got an account there, it’s free (or at least it used to be). Check with your bank before you head out.
The new protocol for entry at Slowdown calls for those 18-20 years old to present a valid driver’s license, state ID or passport to get in. For anyone under 21, admission will no be granted until one hour before show time, and they must leave immediately after the performance (and buying some merch). Find out more details at The Slowdown website.
Marc Leibowitz at The Waiting Room said the same permission requirements will apply to his club starting April 30.
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Speaking of Slowdown, there’s an interesting show in the front room tonight featuring Little Rock five-piece American Princes. Their new album, Other People (on Yep Roc), is a quantum step forward from their last album. At times (like on opening track “Auditorium”) the band sounds Paul McCartney fronting Spoon. Local acts Manna and Icares open. 9 p.m., $7.
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