by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
I hate to start this review with a downer, but the draw at last night’s Eli Mardock EP release show at The Waiting Room was disappointing — maybe 30 people? I guess everyone either was completely bushed after their 4th of July festivities or were down the street at The Barley Street Tavern for Outlaw Con Bandana, Sam Martin and Jake Bellows, who turned out to be John Bellows and further evidence that I need to start wearing reading glasses. Apologies to those who went there expecting Jake, but at least I’m told you still got to see a helluva show.
Eli Mardock was pretty good, too. The former frontman of Lincoln band Eagle*Seagull played a number of songs off his new EP, NE Sorrow is Born as well as a tune or two off an upcoming LP that he said will be released later this year. How to describe Mardock these days: How about: ‘What you’d get if Neil Diamond fronted Pink Floyd.’ We’re talking mid-tempo drone-groove songs that border on shoe-gaze, with the stellar Carrie Butler adding the necessary “ahh’s” and cool keyboard lines. “Cut Me Open,” my favorite from the new EP, sounds like classic Neil if Neil had spent the bulk of the ’60s strung out on smack — a pretty, dreamy, slow-skate of a song.
Most of Mardock’s rather short set was locked in mid-tempo — semi-slow and done in shades of dark blue. I wondered what a couple of his songs would sound like at twice the BPM. And just as I was thinking that, the band closed with a cute tune with a sweet Flock o’ Seagulls synth line and dueling vocals between Eli and Carrie that came off like a New Wave version of Neil and Babs. Next stop: The Maha Music Festival.
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There’s a wealth of shows going on tonight and virtually nothing slated for Saturday. What’s up with that?
Most of the shows are in Benson tonight, which is also celebrating its second First Friday event, so good luck parking. Oh, it ain’t that bad. Surely you can walk a few extra blocks to the venue of your choice.
Among the events is the return of Lincoln punk band Domestica to The Sydney. Heidi, Jon and Todd will be playing songs off their latest self-released EP, simply called Domestica 2, which you can check out in its entirety at their Bandcamp page. Classic. Also on the bill is Chromafrost. No idea on cost, but it’s probably around $5, and starts at around 10.
Meanwhile, the King of Surf Rock, Dick Dale, is playing down the street at The Waiting Room. Don’t know who Dale is? Check out my vintage 1998 interview with the man himself. Opening is The Blacktop Ramblers. $20, 9 p.m.
If that weren’t enough, there’s a solid lineup tonight at The Barley Street headlined by John Klemmensen and The Party with Under Water Dream Machine, Family Picnic and Knife Fight Justice. $5. According to the Barley Street website, it starts at 6 p.m., but the Facebook invite says 9. Do as you will.
The sleeper show of the night (and maybe the best) is Fat Possum band Youth Lagoon down at Slowdown. If you haven’t heard Boise singer/songwriter Trevor Powers’ stuff, it’s catchy but kind of downcast, tuneful but depressing. Kind of reminds me of Perfume Genius but a tad more upbeat. Curious? Check out “Cannons” below:
Opening is Father John Misty. $14, 9 p.m.
I’m having a hard time finding anything to recommend for Saturday night. If you know something that’s good that I’m missing, put it in the comments section.
I’ve been notified that our friends in Well Aimed Arrows will have their television debut Sunday morning on KETV, performing as part of a package that’s promoting the upcoming Nebraska Pop Festival. Tune in at around 8:40 a.m.
Sunday night, Eisley plays at The Waiting Room with Merriment and Skypiper. $13, 8 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.