The Top 20 / Next 15; Live Review: Color Me Obsessed / Replacements performances; Gus & Call CD release, The Queers tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:58 pm December 1, 2011
Anonymous American perform The Replacements at Slowdown Jr., Nov. 30, 2011.

Anonymous American perform The Replacements at Slowdown Jr., Nov. 30, 2011.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

We’ll get to the above photo in a sec, but first…

A tradition at The Reader, the writing staff has put its collective head(s) together and developed the annual “Top 20” bands list, followed by the “Next 15,” a designation that can be interpreted any way you wish. Some might say that these are the writers’ favorite bands; others might say these are the bands that made the biggest impact in 2011. I would say the list is a combination of both. No one said anything about these being the “best” local bands in 2011.

So if you pick up a fresh copy of The Reader, you’ll see the Top 20 list along with brief descriptions of each band, a limited discography and personnel. What you won’t see is the Next 15 because for reasons unbeknownst to everyone involved The Reader didn’t print them. But fear not faithful reader, because I have both lists below. Before I get to them, the usual caveat: This list is purely for fun and, of course, means nothing. It should mean nothing to those who are on or not on the list. That said, I know being excluded can sting (last year or the year before, Dan McCarthy did a playful riff on not being on the list that ran throughout an entire set at The Waiting Room. Needless to say, I’ve always included Dan on my list…).

So without further ado, below is The Reader‘s Top 20 and Next 15:

Top 20
Tim Kasher
Bright Eyes
All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
Darren Keen/The Show Is the Rainbow/etc.
Simon Joyner
Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship
Digital Leather
Magic Slim
Emphatic
Skypiper
Conduits
Brad Cordle Band
Matt Cox
Kris Lager Band
Mynabirds
Brent Crampton
Somasphere
Yuppies
Depressed Buttons
McCarthy Trenching

Next 15
Travelling’ Mercies
Rock Paper Dynamite
Mitch Gettman
Millions of Boys
Lil Slim
Eli Mardock
Answer Team
Icky Blossoms
So-So Sailors
Voodoo Method
Back When
Machete Archive
Funk Trek
Baby Tears
Conchance
DJ Kobrakyle

And now, in the name of full disclosure, here is the Lazy-i Top 20 / Next 15 (i.e., my initial list submitted The Reader):

Top 20

Bright Eyes
Conduits
So-So Sailors
Icky Blossoms
Darren Keen
McCarthy Trenching
Simon Joyner
Tim Kasher
Digital Leather
Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship
Skypiper
It’s True
Brent Crampton
Yuppies
Mynabirds
Eli Mardock
Gus & Call
Matt Cox Band
Ideal Cleaners
Little Brazil

Next 15

Con Dios
Fizzle Like a Flood
InDreama
Watching the Train Wreck
Peace of Shit
AYGAMG
Tilly and the Wall
Honeybee & Hers
Thunder Power
Baby Tears
Depressed Buttons
Millions of Boys
Satchel Grande
The Answer Team
Capgun Coup

*  * *

So who won last night’s Replacement challenge at Slowdown? I’m happy to say that it was a tie. As expected, Anonymous American came out of the gate with guns a-blazing, ending their set with a sweet cover of “Left of the Dial” Then on came Witness Tree. I’ve never seen these guys before, and dug what I heard (though I have no idea what their actual music sounds like). Travelling Mercies’ two songs were muddled and off-kilter. A post on Facebook this morning indicated last night’s performance may have been their last show ever. Opener Aaron Parker gets the Guts of Steel Award for his two solo acoustic numbers. It takes cajones the size of melons to go on stage first after a 123-minute tribute to The Replacements and play covers alone in front of a room filled with die-hard Replacements fans. Unfortunately, Peace of Shit and Well Aimed Arrows were no shows.

As for the film: I was sort of dreading having to sit through more than two hours of talking-head interviews by people I (mostly) didn’t know (The movie contains no music or footage of The Replacements). I was afraid I wasn’t going make it to the end. But director Gorman Borchard’s editing style kept things moving right along. The film hit its sweet spot about 60 minutes in when we started getting more detailed info about the band’s history from those who were there. Unfortunately, a series of “fan” interviews brought the film to a crawl toward the end, including an in-depth interview with some guy who grew up isolated on a farm who developed an almost cult-like love for the band’s music. So much time was spent on this guy that it took away from the film’s real focus — the band. If I were Borchard I’d cut all the fan interviews and trim the film to around 90 minutes. If he wants to land a distributor, he’s going to have to make about 30 minutes of cuts anyway.

By the way, nice crowd, at least 100.

* * *

There’s one band on my Top 20 list that you won’t find among The Readers‘ 35 — Gus & Call. Those other editors at the newspaper who mocked my inclusion will shrivel at their oversight this time next year, when Gus & Call are the “special musical guest” on Saturday Night Live. Or tonight, when Gus & Call celebrates the release of their debut album, Wait ‘Til the Weather Breaks, at The Slowdown.

The event also marks the first week of Gus & Call’s month-long residency at Slowdown. Joining them tonight are InDreama and Honeybee & Hers. Tickets are $5, but tonight if you pay $20 you get admission to all five G&C residency shows in December and a copy of the new CD.

Also tonight, ’80s punk legends The Queers are playing at The Waiting Room with Knockout, North of Grand, Cordial Spew and DSM5. 8:30 p.m., $13.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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11 Comments »

  • No Dim Light in yer top 20???

    Comment by T — December 1, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

  • No: The Fucking Party? Dim Light? Solid Goldberg?

    No wonder the Reader is disliked by the music scene in town….

    Comment by Omaha Music Man — December 1, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

  • My one complaint would be the farm kid-I think some of the other fans (especially the groupie-ish ones) tell part of the story. That guy though was just dull and awkward.

    Comment by marq — December 1, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

  • Seems we need to get the Reader Folks out to some shows soon… A lot of great bands got left off this list.

    Comment by Tom — December 1, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  • Gus & Call being absent is mind-boggling. If I remember correctly, Bear Country (a more-or-less previous incarnation of G&C) were absent last year as well. Eh.

    Comment by will — December 1, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

  • My leaving off Dim Light was definitely an oversight. I would say upon reflection that I would have left Mynabirds off both lists, as Laura spent most of this year touring with Bright Eyes. I’m sure we’ll see a lot from the ‘birds in 2012. As for Solid Goldberg — one of my favorite live performers — Dave has yet to record anything that I’m aware of, something that was considered when making these lists.

    Comment by tim-mcmahan — December 1, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  • Real tough to argue those lists… and c’mon folks… they’re just for fun and discussion. Dim Light is amazing. One of my favs. Would have liked to see Snake Island! but whaddayagonnado.

    Thanks for the kind words about Witness Tree, Tim… hope you can catch another show soon. Too be honest, our set of Mats songs were not a huge departure from our other stuff!

    MarQ… agreed on the farm kid. Had more than my fill of him during the film. I got what the director was going for, but I struggled thru that part.

    Comment by Alan — December 1, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  • I’m so pissed you didn’t pick Thunder Power.

    Comment by Will — December 2, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  • Think you’re missing the point with the farmboy in the movie. He IS the “every” fan. I think he just makes you nervous because you realize that was you at 14. It was every nerdy rock fan. Personally, he’s my favorite part.

    And talked to the director after. The film has a distribution deal. And also like crazy good reviews from places like Rolling Stone and Village Voice. Pretty sure he’s not changing one frame.

    Comment by Amanda — December 4, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

  • The more I think about it the more obnoxious I feel that comment is, that the director is going to have to cut 30 minutes if he want to get a distributor. A film is a piece of art. Like a song, a painting, a play. You don’t go telling a band, that’s a great song but you got to cut the bridge. Or, cool painting, but I don’t like that shade of blue. Like really. If you don’t get the farmboy, you don’t get him. But who are you to say you got to cut him from the film or you won’t get distributed. Who says things like this? Ugh!

    This film is as much about fans and how a band becomes important to them as it is about the Replacements. Did you not understand that?

    Comment by Amanda — December 4, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

  • Great List! Are the previous lists archived anywhere? I’d love to be able to compare all the years, especially the “next” band lists.

    Comment by bard coleslaw — December 5, 2011 @ 11:41 pm

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