Chronologically, this is actually No. 249, but timewise, it’s the end of five years (Column No. 1, which was a piece on Willy Mason (who had just signed with Team Love Records) was published Dec. 2, 2004. You can find it here (but you’ll have to do some scrolling)). Thanks to everyone — and The Reader — for sticking around for five years. Now onto the next five years…
Column 250: The Big 250
Five years down…
This week’s column marks the five-year anniversary of Lazy-i — 250 columns, which equates to around 250,000 words, which, if you linked them end-to-end, would reach to the moon and back. Who would have thunk that someone could write essays about the Omaha music scene — and indie music in general — for five frickin’ years? I sure didn’t. Anyway, it’s time to glance over our shoulders at the past year’s worth of columns and provide any needed updates before we slog forward into year six. As I do every year, I beg/grovel/beseech you to send your column ideas to email@example.com. It’s your input that keeps this thing going. Now, onward!
Dec. 3 — Column 201: Darkness on the Edge of Town — A recap of crime troubles that struck Dundee in late 2008 and the great Benson blackout. The Infinite gas station on Leavenworth where Tari Glinsmann was murdered is now long abandoned. And though there haven’t been any murders around here lately, crime remains a problem, especially in Benson where both Burke’s and The Barley St. Tavern were held up at gunpoint, and where a friend of mine was mugged only a few months ago — a signal that it’s time for local merchants to pull together and hire a security guard to walk the streets at night.
Dec. 24 — Column 204: Mick’s Deep Sixed — Count me among the many who thought the closing of Mick’s signaled the beginning of the end of Benson’s emergence as an Omaha live music hub. When The Sydney opened in its place, the owners had no intention of making it a music venue, despite having kept Mick’s old PA in tact. But only a few months after opening, that PA was back in action above the Sydney’s tiny stage, and the club has emerged as yet another option for live music in Benson.
Feb. 12 — Column 209: A Simple Truth — An interview with Adam Hawkins, the singer/songwriter behind the band It’s True, where he talks about his past demons and his future dreams. Since then, Hawkins has become one of the stars of Omaha’s next wave of singer/songwriters, thanks to solid local shows and regional touring. Hawkins and his band entered ARC Studios last fall with producer A.J. Mogis to record the follow-up to there there, now… / i think it’s best. Look for it next spring. In the meantime, something tells me there’s an OEA Award in Hawkins’ (near) future.
March 4 — Column 212: The Entrepreneurs — The column title refers to Ladyfinger band members Jamie Massey, who runs The Sydney, and Chris Machmuller, who runs Worker’s Take-Out on So. 50th (next to O’Leaver’s). They opened their respective businesses during the depths of the worst national economic crisis since the Great Depression, and both continue to thrive. In fact, Worker’s has added a new dining room. Can a citywide (nationwide) chain of Worker’s franchises be far behind?
May 28 — Column 223: Save Box Awesome — Despite efforts to keep it open, Lincoln indie music venue Box Awesome was shuttered at the end of June. At the time, the club’s booker, Jeremy Buckley said he and owner Jeremiah Moore were actively looking for a new location. Instead, they turned their focus to Moore’s new Bourbon Theater — a massive live music venue built in a converted movie house located right on Lincoln’s ‘O’ St. Buckley said the venue’s front room is being used for smaller shows. So no new Box Awesome? “Not until we are comfortable with the Bourbon as a fully functional venue,” Buckley said.
June 17 — Column 226: The Lincoln Invasion — Speaking of Buckley, he also was the impresario behind two of the most successful festivals of ’09 — Lincoln Invasion and Lincoln Calling. Look for the return of Lincoln Invasion in June ’10, and another Lincoln Calling next fall. And this coming April, look for Omaha Invasion — where Omaha’s best and brightest bands will invade Lincoln venues. Now all’s Buckley needs to do is figure out a way for Nebraska to Invade Kansas (and vice versa).
July 15 — Column 230: Seeing Red — The column recapped the making of Little Brazil’s music video for the song “Separated,” shot on location at The Sydney. Plans called for the video to debut in late August. No one foresaw the untimely, tragic death of the video’s producer Drew Billings of H-Minus Productions. Billings died in his sleep Sept. 11. “His death was a shock to all of us,” said Little Brazil’s Greg Edds, who added that afterward, the video’s production took a back seat to mourning the loss. The final edits have just been completed, and the “Separated” video will have its invitation-only premiere Monday, Dec. 14, at Filmstreams. Shortly afterward, look for the video online at the Little Brazil Myspace page (myspace.com/littlebrazil).
Oct. 14 — Column 242: 2001: A Grubb Odyssey — Where we caught up with Grasshopper Takeover frontman and now studio producer Curtis Grubb. His rock rescoring of the last 35 minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey (think Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon synced with The Wizard of Oz) will soon be heard by none other than Mrs. Christianne Kubrick — wife of the late Stanley Kubrick, who requested a copy of the CD/DVD. The rest of us will be able to get a copy of the soundtrack online on 1/1/2010. Look for the physical release sometime in February, as well as a screening of the project in early spring. It might be the last we hear of Grubb for awhile, as he began an odyssey of a different kind Nov. 11 when he and partner Marcie Webber welcomed twins Elliott Logan Grubb and Everly Kai Grubb into the world.
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