The smoking Quonset hut has been dismantled, freshly graded beach sand has been added to the volleyball courts, spring is in definitely in the air at O’Leaver’s. After catching a little bit of The Ten Commandments (Nile turns to blood, green death sequences) it was off to everyone’s favorite booze dispenser, where I arrived just in time for Shiny Around the Edges. I’m told they change their line-up frequently. For Saturday night, the band featured frontman Mike Seman, his wife on drum (not drums) and a guy on bass for a set that can only be described as “experimental tribal noise.” The first 15 or 20 minutes was drum and bass and feedback and ethereal vocal/chants. The last 10 minutes, when Seman switched to drum and his wife strapped on a second bass, was more interesting in a throbbing-post-rock sort of way. The set was more “out there” then I remember the last time they came through; you got to hand it to them for changing things around.
The Dinks got off to a rough start thanks to a broken bass string, but their follow-through was golden. Most of the guys in this band were in the now-defunct Shanks — a violent, free-for-all punk experience that had a way of driving itself off of a cliff every time they performed. Shanks shows were dirty train wrecks that consisted of thrown beer bottles and man-on-man make-out sessions. The Dinks are a different thing altogether. There is an obvious, focused attempt to make this into a rock band rather than a performance-art experience. The result is better music that ranges from punk to metal to straight-up rock. I credit the double-guitar attack, which is getting there but isn’t quite there yet. And while I enjoy Shanks’ recordings purely for their noisy decadence, this band’s songs could be acceptably added to anyone’s playlist. This is rock music — not garage rock — just rock, and if they keep their eyes on melodies (yes, melodies) they could turn into a winner. Check out the action photo from Saturday night (and get a peek at O’Leaver’s state-of-the-art stage).
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Tonight at The Holland Center, it’s Death Cab for Cutie with Cold War Kids and Ra Ra Riot. This is promising to be a memorable show for those lucky enough to have tickets. I don’t. The 1 Percent website says that it’s sold out, but omahaperformingarts.org was still offering second-tier tickets at $35 apiece, but they won’t last long. Show starts at 8.
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