Live Review: Simon Joyner & The Ghosts; Jack White, Harry and the Potters tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 1:00 pm August 6, 2012
Simon Joyner & The Ghosts at The Sydney, Aug. 3, 2012.

Simon Joyner & The Ghosts at The Sydney, Aug. 3, 2012.

by Tim McMahan,

You wouldn’t know by attending Friday night’s show at The Sydney that Simon Joyner’s new album, Ghosts, consists mainly of down-tempo numbers. That’s because Joyner wisely only played the most uptempo stuff off the double LP during his set. Tunes like rousing drunk ballad “When the Worst Doesn’t Happen,” playful death nod “If I Left Tomorrow” and acid shot album opener “Vertigo.”

The seven-member drone-folk orchestra kept the vibe in a noisy haze throughout the night, filling every inch of dense space with waves of feedback, pedal steel, violin and cello, with two percussionists keeping beat for the tribe. Joyner did slip in one of the album’s most distorted, dissonant and disturbing tunes, the 6-plus minute noise ballet called “Answering Machine Blues” a dark, foreboding nightmare reminiscent of hours spent playing records backwards listening for hidden messages in the grooves. He closed the set with a rarity — “Tums” off the ’93 album Iffy, a tune that’s screaming to be rerecorded with this full band. As a whole, it was a very satisfying night spent listening to a dark orchestra play dark balladry in the dark. What more do you want?

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Tonight Jack White of the White Stripes plays at The Music Hall. I’m one of only a handful of people in the entire world who never “got” Jack White, always found his guitar work derivative and never much cared for his voice. But I can’t fault those who are into the guy, who by everything I’ve read, has done a lot for the garage scene. This one has been sold out for a long time.

Also tonight, nerd-core messiahs Harry and the Potters play at Slowdown Jr. with Potter Puppet Pals. Early 8 p.m. show, $10.

Finally, Trampled by Turtles is playing at The Waiting Room. I have never heard a single song by this band, whose music is described as “bluegrass.” Opening is Joe Pug. $18, 9 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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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