Looks like all the press paid off. There were more than 100 people at last Friday night’s Fromanhole CD release show at Slowdown Jr., enough that every table and booth was filled, with a sizable crowd standing in front of the stage. Fromanhole picked the right time to bring it — they never sounded better, despite the fact that bassist/vocalist Doug Kiser sliced off a good chuck of his pointer finger on his left hand earlier in the day. This is the second time I’ve seen Doug play injured (the other was an O’Leaver’s show where he again had injured one of his fingers). Maybe he should mutilate himself more often if it’s going to result in this kind of bad-ass performance.
The evening’s pleasant surprise (for me, anyway) was The Life and Times, a KC band fronted by Shiner’s Allen Epley. Prior to the show I had heard nary a note of the LNT’s music, though right before they went on one of the local music scholars said, “You’re gonna love ’em. They’re heavily influenced by Swervedriver.” Did they sound like Swervedriver? I don’t know since I’ve never really followed Swervedriver. What we got was a gnashing set of trippy, melodic noise-core that reminded me of My Bloody Valentine — just grinding, heavy rock that had moments of soaring beauty. Epley’s voice is unique in a Cobain sort of way (though he sounds nothing like Cobain), one of those voices that makes you nod your head and think, “This guy is good.” For a trio, LNT had an enormous, dense sound. With some luck, they could be the next big thing. They should be.
Little Brazil unveiled a bunch of new material during their headlining set. I initially thought, “These guys really sound poppy these days,” but then I listened to Tighten the Noose again over the weekend and rethought it. Drummer Oliver Morgan said after the set, “More poppy? We though we sounded more punky.” I don’t think I’d use the term “punk” to describe their sound, however. To me, the new stuff is more melody-focused, with fewer tangents getting in the way. Landon Hedges’ voice is amazing, just an amazing range. He’s the Freddy Mercury of indie rock. I don’t know how he’s going to pull off those high notes after a few days on the road. Lots of warming up? Hot toddies? I thought Tighten the Noose was going to be the one to push them to that next level of national indie exposure. But it wasn’t to be. If their next album captures the sound I heard Friday night — and they tour as hard as they have in the past — there’s no reason for them not to emerge at the top of the CMJ charts.
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Well, in last Saturday’s edition, the Omaha World-Herald replied to my column from a couple weeks ago where I took them to task for taking The Good Life to task for voicing their support for the Democratic party (read my column here). My point was that the OWH should be encouraging freedom of speech and the First Amendment, not dreaming up ways (including financial penalties) to keep people from voicing a viewpoint that differs from theirs. In their 87-word response that appeared under the “Furthermore…” section of the Editorials page, the OWH said it “understood and contemplated the band’s right to say what it wanted. That is free speech.” It then went on to say that “critics” misunderstood the difference between free speech and speech free of consequences. “…The city and this newspaper have a right to criticize crudeness and contemplate incentives for better behavior.” Incentives? I always thought incentives were benefits beyond basic compensation (a bonus, for example). In the OWH‘s eyes, compensation for work performed isn’t part of an agreement or contract, it’s an incentive. Odd way of doing business. Ah well, I have no interest in getting in a pissing war with the OWH. It’s surprising that they even read the column in the first place. As is their policy, they didn’t reference the source of the criticism (The Reader) or name the band involved. At least they didn’t refer to me as a “local blogger ” this time.
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New Jersey punkers The Ergs play at O’Leaver’s tonight with Hunchback and No Action. $5, 9:30 p.m. Over at The Waiting Room it’s The A.K.A.’s with The Frantic. $8, 9 p.m. While over at Slowdown Jr. it’s Wild Sweet Orchard with Skypiper and It’s True. $8, 9 p.m.
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