I’m sure if you read this and you’re from Omaha that you probably also get the 1 Percent Productions “Upcoming Concerts” e-mail, just like I did yesterday. Despite this downturn in the economy, Jim and Marc have managed to book one of the busiest winters in recent memory — a time when there’s usually a downturn in touring. The standouts from the list:
— Kevin Costner & Modern West Jan. 29 — Yes, that Kevin Costner, the guy that starred in Dances with Wolves, Waterworld and Fandango (my favorite Costner film that no one’s ever seen but features a killer soundtrack by Pat Metheny). His band is another in a series of movie-star vanity projects that include everyone from Billy Bob Thornton to Keanu Reeves — all of them sucking. I’m sure Costner’s will suck just as bad, but that won’t stop it from selling out, especially considering Costner visits Omaha whenever his Cal State Fullerton team is in the CWS. It’s a smart booking, and further underscores Slowdown’s willingness to allow anything on their big stage as long as it sells (especially at $30 a ticket).
— The Faint, Dec. 19 with Brimstone Howl and The Show Is the Rainbow; Dec. 20 with Capgun Coup and Son Ambulance — both $18 at Sokol Auditorium. Just like you, I like going to Faint concerts. Apparently unlike you, I hate going to Faint concerts at Sokol Auditorium. Unfortunately, that’s what we’re stuck with since it’s the only venue with a sweet-spot capacity of 1,400 that’s also big enough to handle their AV requirements. I’d love to see the Faint at Slowdown, and would be willing to pay as much as people are willing to pay to see Kevin Costner. Three nights at Slowdown for $30 a ticket would likely sell out. But I’m sure there are other things that were considered when deciding to use Sokol, things we’ll never know about.
— Neva Dinova, Ladyfinger, McCarthy Trenching and The 1989 Chicago Cubs, Dec. 27 at Slowdown. The big surprise here is The Cubs, who as far as I know, haven’t played together in years. Is this just a one-off reunion? Probably. Call it a late Christmas present. $7.
— Criteria with The Beat Seekers and The Envy Corps, Dec. 13 at The Waiting Room. Will Criteria be rolling out new material? Wait and see. $7.
— Rock Movie Night featuring Joy Division (Documentary), Dec. 1 at The Waiting Room. I was at TWR last night for Under a Blood Red Sky — along with seven other people (It sounded awesome, btw). In an effort to ratchet up the draw to these Monday night movie-watching parties, TWR will begin offering free chili and drink specials starting Dec. 1. A colorful aside: When I was going to school at UNO I literally had no money for food. My roommate and I used to scour the newspaper looking for free food offers at local bars — taco nights, chili nights, whatever. This would have been on our radar screen. You cannot beat free food, especially if you’ve been living on a steady diet of baked potatoes.
So what’s missing from the schedule? The bigger touring indie bands. Some examples off the top of my head: Of Montreal, TV on the Radio, M83, Titus Andronicus, Deerhunter, Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon/Red House Painters), Rosebuds, Fucked Up, Belle and Sebastian, Ratatat, Black Kids, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, LCD Soundsystem. And where are the old stalwarts like Ryan Adams, Beck, Death Cab, Mogwai, Spoon, Yo La Tengo, Low and Interpol? Yeah, I know. A lot of them aren’t on the road right now, but they have been and they’ve missed us. Still, considering everything we got this past year, we don’t have room to complain.
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Speaking of shows, there are a couple doozies tonight:
At The Slowdown Jr., it’s the debut of one of Saddle Creek Records’ most recent recruits, Sebastien Grainger, former drummer from Death From Above 1979. Don’t go expecting a DFA show, Grainger’s style is straight-forward indie rock. With Josh Reichmann and Ladyfinger. $10, 9 p.m.
Also tonight at The Waiting Room, it’s Low Vs. Diamond, and no, this band has nothing to do with the Minnesota drone-band Low (someone asked me that very question last night). LVD is riding a wave having recently been featured in Filter. Their sound is run-o-the-mill indie, but with more of a pop edge. Not bad. With Barcelona and Akita Ken. $10.
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