Lots of aimless driving Saturday night; lots of lost opportunities. After seeing Elegy at The Dundee, I high-tailed it over to The Waiting Room hoping to catch Coffin Killers. No luck. For whatever reason, they were the first band up, and had left the stage by the time I arrived. I didn’t bother to go in. Instead, I drove down to The Saddle Creek Bar. Omaha’s punk authority and information hub (Mean Dean) had let me know via e-mail the day before that The Dinks canceled — something to do with their drummer being unavailable. Still, I wanted to see what was going on; if anyone even showed up. Damn few — maybe 18 — were there. I hung out in front while The Lepers and their soundman tried to figure things out. Having just caught their set last week, I drove to O’Leaver’s thinking I might get lucky and catch Techlepathy. And for once my timing was right.
Techlepathy is a trio that includes über-guitarist Lincoln Dickison and drummer Eric Ernst. I don’t know the bass player’s name, but he was good, too. Their style is post-punk noise rock in the same vein as Fromanhole and The Stay Awake. Dickison doesn’t so much play guitar as do weird things that look like he’s giving it a massage — strange upper fretboard fingertip hocus-pocus. Vocalwise, Lincoln screams more than sings — quite a contrast to his solo acoustic balladry, where he croons like an angel. Here he’s chasing out demons or other frustrations over intricate time changes, key changes, mood changes. Like all good bands that play this style of music, after the initial install it becomes strangely hypnotic. Techlepathy’s trick, however, is a willingness to blend the unexpected tonal melody amidst the din, coming in and out at the most fractious moments. The contrast will make you say out loud, “Wow, that’s pretty.” It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, it feels like a headache going away. That said, the overall Techlepathy experience is brutal and bruising. Find out for yourself Friday night when they open for Ladyfinger at Slowdown.
So Deerhoof’s tonight on The Slowdown main stage, and I’m tempted to go even though it means a painful Tuesday morning, and it looks like it’s going to rain all night (which means no hanging out on the patio between sets). Opening is Experimental Dental School & Au (They should have had UUVVWWZ open) and tickets are a mere $10. Maybe I’ll see you there? Also tonight at O’Leaver’s it’s The Lepers with Minneapolis AmRep band Heroine Sheiks. $5, 9:30 p.m.
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