Live Review: Howard, Gus & Call, OGR; MAHA discount tix sellout; Caveman tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:01 pm April 16, 2012
Howard at The Slowdown, April 13, 2012.

Howard at The Slowdown, April 13, 2012.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There was a respectable crowd of nearly 200 on hand for last Friday night’s Omaha Girls Rock (OGR) benefit at Slowdown, performed on the club’s “big stage.” When I arrived, most of the stage floor was filled for Howard. The most notable thing about the trio is frontwoman Anna McClellan, a little pixie with an ’80s bowl cut, oval glasses last seen in the movie “Tootsie,” and a big voice that’s a cross between Ethel Merman and Morrissey. With keyboards, guitar and drums, you could argue the arrangements were a bit spare, but McClellan filled the void with that booming voice of hers. Howard is getting people’s attention. From what I was told, the crowd was at its zenith during their set.

Gus & Call at The Slowdown, April 13, 2012.

Gus & Call at The Slowdown, April 13, 2012.

The numbers waned slightly before Gus & Call went on stage, a pity since the band sounded like it was playing mostly new material — I didn’t recognize any of the songs. The set reflects a change in course for a band that used to be characterized by its slow, droning, electric-prairie style (call it boot-gaze). Friday night the songs were all upbeat and roaring and steps away from the the rural/roots style they’d been known for. The extended jams bordered on psychedelic, even prog, though G&C doesn’t play around with awkward time or key changes (thank god). G&C is one of the most promising acts from the area and deserves national attention. So how do they get it?

BTW, as noted, Friday’s OGR event also was a contest among all four performing bands (Sun Settings and The Betties played first). Each act had a week to write an original song based on the theme “superstition.” The crowd was polled for the best, and the winning band was Sun Settings. Their prize — they get to send one lucky girl to OGR camp. Congrats, SS. Too bad I wasn’t there in time to catch your set…

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The MAHA Music Festival folks began selling $20 discount tickets to the Aug. 11 event this morning, and though they haven’t even announced a line-up, they sold out by noon. $35 ticket/t-shirt/poster combos are still available. Go to mahamusicfestival.com or their Facebook page for more info and check out their sweet new logo via Oxide Design. Look for a MAHA lineup announcement Sunday.

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s NYC band Caveman, whose new record, CoCo Beware, was released this year on Fat Possum. With Betsy Wells. $10, 9 p.m.

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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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