Maybe it’s because all the streets in downtown Omaha are torn up these days or the fact that I haven’t been there in over a year, but Sokol Underground seems like a million miles away anymore. I guess I’m spoiled by the proximity of the Benson clubs and Slowdown (which is really just a straight shot down Cuming St. for me). Going to Sokol last night for the Joe “Madder” Kenny benefit seemed like a trek — a trek that I’m not sorry that I rarely make anymore. Sokol Underground hasn’t changed a bit, except for the quality of the show posters next to the staircase. Gone are the artistic screen-print posters used for One Percent shows, replaced with cheap Xerox fliers in a rainbow of colors.
There was probably 60 people at the show when I arrived at around 10:30. The Filthy Few were on stage ripping through a set of shirtless tattoo punk. The Filter Kings were up after that, but for some reason, I just wasn’t in the mood for any of it, maybe because of the reason we were there. I barely knew Joe Kenny. We’d corresponded a few times via e-mail. We’d only talked face-to-face twice, but I remember often seeing him at shows at O’Leaver’s. When you go to shows by yourself (as I almost always do) the first thing you do when you walk through the door is to look for a familiar face. Joe was one of those faces, and I still subconsciously find myself looking for Madder when I go to O’Leaver’s, before realizing that I’m never going to see him there again.
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So what’s going on this weekend?
Well, tonight two bands on Kansas City’s Anodyne label are playing at Slowdown, Jr. — The Bellrays and The Architects. $8, 9 p.m.
Tomorrow night’s main attraction is Midwest Dilemma on Slowdown’s big stage. The band is celebrating the release of their long-player Timelines & Tragedies. I’m still trying to get my mind wrapped around the disc. Its folk orchestra approach featuring more than a dozen musicians is unquestionably impressive. Opening is McCarthy Trenching, Thunder Power!!! and Black Squirrels. 9 p.m., $8.
But before you head down there, head to Benson for Dariofest, part of this weekend’s Dundee Spring Fling celebration. That little area right next to Blue Line will be roped off and turned into a beer garden/performance space with performances by Box Elders, Shiver Shiver and Outlaw Con Bandana. I’m told that Brent Crampton will be DJing starting at 3. The bands will start at 5:30. I went to this last year and got blotto on Dario’s fancy-schmancy beers (that’s what I get for drinking Rolling Rock all the time).
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