‘Music Venue’ vote held over; Speed! in the OWH; Nora Jones in Team Love; Help Wanted Nights to be produced; Neva Dinova tomorrow night…

Category: Blog — @ 5:52 pm April 7, 2008

Lot’s of news over the weekend. Let’s get to it:

The Omaha World-Herald reported Saturday that the vote for a “music venue” ordinance originally slated for tomorrow’s Omaha City Council meeting is being held-over for a week. The ordinance would let bars designated as “music venues” allow minors in during live music shows.

According to the OWH article, councilman Franklin Thompson “is concerned with how the city can keep businesses that aren’t serious about music from qualifying under the new ordinance as a way to get minors in the door.” In other words he’s “worried that unscrupulous bar owners will attempt to turn their businesses into music venues as a way to skirt the existing law,” according to the article, here. This could make things rather complicated. How would you classify a bar like Glacier or Chrome, clubs that host cover bands on weekends and are known more as pick-up joints than music venues? Suddenly parents won’t be as concerned about their daughters getting drunk as much as their daughters getting hit on by some 21-year-old horn-dog.

Fact is, I can’t imagine a place like Chrome wanting to let anyone in under 21. So who exactly is Thompson worried about? He seems to want the City Council to grant “music venue” designation on a case-by-case basis. Actually, that’s the only way it could possibly work considering how many bars host live music on weekends. Very complicated indeed.

I figured if a compromise was being sought, it would be concerning the age limit — a 16+ or 18+ limit vs. all-ages. Even with that change, however, someone like Chuck Sigerson isn’t going to change his position.

The venue with the most to lose (in my opinion) is Slowdown. Although the Waiting Room does host all-ages shows, I rarely see anyone who looks like a minor wandering around in there. Slowdown, on the other hand, always seems to have minors at shows. Should the ordinance fail to pass, promoters like One Percent Productions would have no choice but to again look at the Sokol properties (or other halls) for all-ages shows, which could impact how councilman Garry Gernandt — who represents Sokol’s district — votes on the ordinance. Think about that a minute: If the ordinance doesn’t pass, it would mean that minors would have to go a couple miles down the street to Sokol Aud or Sokol Underground instead of Slowdown to see all-ages shows. Does that make sense to you?

The vote’s delay means you’ve got another week to write your city councilman and voice your support for the ordinance. Go here, click on your district listed on the left-hand side of the page, and e-mail your dude. Don’t wait a week. Do it need now.

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The OWH has been all about music coverage lately. The front of this Sunday’s ETA section was dedicated to a huge feature on Gary Dean Davis, one of the operators of Speed! Nebraska Records and frontman to punk band The Monroes. Super-nice story by Niz. Take a sec and check it out.

* * *

I number of you e-mailed me a link to last week’s Pitchfork story (here) about El Madmo, the new Norah Jones rock band that signed to Team Love. Look for their self-titled debut May 20. So when are they coming to Omaha?

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The L.A. Times is reporting that Tim Kasher’s screenplay “Help Wanted Nights” has found money for filming. “We’re working with Lars Knudsen, who owns the indie production company Parts & Labor; Mira Shin, who’s an assistant to Scott Rudin, though this is an independent project for her; and Nicholas Shumaker of White Buffalo Entertainment. It’s coming along well enough. All the financing is arranged,” Kasher said in the LA Times Music Blog entry (here). Casting already is being kicked around. “We have interested parties, but I can’t talk about it quite yet,” he said in the item. “You always have a wish list, though. For the female lead, I imagine a Mary-Louise Parker or Jennifer Jason Leigh, someone like that.” Read the whole interview here, and while you’re at it, read my interview with Kasher from last October, where he talks about the script and The Good Life album of the same name.

* * *

Roger Lewis, drummer for Neva Dinova, e-mailed to say that Neva is putting on a special last-minute show tomorrow night at Slowdown with Outlaw Con Bandana. To make it even more special, the band is performing their new album, You May Already Be Dreaming, in its entirety in track order as a celebration of its official Saddle Creek release. Should be quite a bash. $5. 9 p.m.

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