There was maybe 50 people on hand at Slowdown Jr. for Beep Beep Tuesday night — a bit disappointing, but not entirely surprising. Beep Beep’s arty noise is definitely an acquired taste that hasn’t exactly caught on in the Omaha metro area. For those who “get it,” these last few shows of their immediate existence (including Dec. 6 and Dec. 23 at The Waiting Room) are a rare, valuable treat. This was the first time I’ve seen their new bass player who replaced Darren Keen, and I was impressed. He doesn’t have Keen’s stage presence (and who does?) but he knows his way around the fretboard. Tuesday’s show was the most varied set I’ve heard them play, but I’ve still yet to hear them perform “Baby Shoes” live (and I suspect I never will). Opening was the Sacramento/Austin all-girl trio of Agent Ribbons, who play that kind of whimsical, waltz-driven, gypsy-flavored indie rock where you’re not at all surprised when one of them pulls out a kazoo and goes to town. Cute and fun.
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Here’s a Black Friday music special for you: Last week Portland-based music publicity firm XO Publicity put online their second volume of Christmas music recorded by some of their clients, including The Winter Sounds, Piney Gir, Caravan of Thieves, The BAcksliders and Blue Skies for Black Hearts, who contributed what is destined to become a holiday staple in the McMahan household, “Wishing You a Merry Xmas.” The best part (well, one of the best parts) is that XO For the Holidays Volume II is absolutely free to download right here. If you dig it, Vol. I is still online here.
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Here are some headlines that have been clogging up my inbox:
— There has been a recent wave of Cursive news hitting the net. Among the more amusing articles is this one from Onion AV Club Austin titled “Recluses and martyrs: Five Cursive characters you wouldn’t want to invite to Thanksgiving dinner.” My favorite: The Great (failed) artist from “What Have I Done” (the closing track off Mama, I’m Swollen). What’d he bring for dinner? “Leftover kung pao chicken, and—what’s this? An unfinished manuscript that you should totally read after the game is over? He’d love to hear your thoughts on it.” Funny.
— On a more serious note, there’s this recent interview with Cursive’s Ted Stevens in the Louisiana Advocate, where Ted talks about the impact of their recent performance on Late Night with David Letterman, as well as their recent tours of Asia and his origins with the group. Interesting stuff. On Letterman: “It’s like everything is different,” he said in the article. “Suddenly my family, and my extended family, they’re all aware of what my band looks like and what we sound like. We came home and were validated for all these years that we’d ‘wasted’ in this futile pursuit.”
— A brief follow-up on that interview with Chris Crisci of Old Canes from a few weeks ago. At the time, Crisci had said he wasn’t quite sure what was next for Appleseed Cast, his other band. Well here’s what’s next. Appleseed Cast will be hitting the road for a month beginning Feb. 24 in Norman OK, performing what are considered their landmark albums — Low Level Owl 1 and 2 — in their entirety. The band also announced that it signed with Chicago independent label Graveface Records, home to Black Moth Super Rainbow and Monster Movie, among others. Their first release on Graveface will be a live album that will be available on tour, and then look for a new Appleseed full-length in late 2010.
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Here’s what we got for the weekend, which starts tonight:
Down at Slowdown Jr. it’s the return of A.A. Bondy (ex-Verbena) with Lissie and Phil Schaffart. $10, 9 p.m.
Satchel Grande is playing a full set at The Waiting Room tonight. $7, 9 p.m.
The Dark Lord is celebrating his birthday by playing a set at The Saddle Creek Bar with his Sexy Minions. I feel strangely responsible for this, having indirectly named the band/performer. Too bad I have to miss it as I’ll be wandering around central Iowa tonight (sorry Mike). No cover, starts at 9.
The highlight tomorrow night — Saturday — is Brian Poloncic (Tomato a Day, Cactus Nerve Thang) opening for Golden Mean and Black Lillies at The Barley St. $5, 9 p.m.
Last but not least, this Sunday at The Waiting Room is the 20-year reunion of Kansas City noise-rock legends Season to Risk. Who remembers their 1995 buzzsaw classic In a Perfect World, released by Sony/Columbia? Or maybe you remember them as the band playing in the warehouse party scene in the sci-fi thriller Strange Days? The band is only playing five gigs on this anniversary tour, including ours, thanks to Little Brazil’s Oliver Morgan — LB now records for Anodyne Records, which also is the home to Roman Numerals, the current project by S2R’s Steve Tulipana and Billy Smith. Opening is Techlepathy and Comme Reel (members of No Blood Orphan). $8, 9 p.m. Do not miss this one.
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