Live Review: Well Aimed Arrows, The Dad; Loverboy, Pat Benatar, Camera Obscura, Chromafrost tonight; Bullet Proof Hearts, Travelling Mercies Saturday…
by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
Describing what Well Aimed Arrows sounds like — not an easy task. Most definitely post-punk. Precise. The epitome of the ill-used term “angular.” But the simplest comparison (to me) is that listening to WAA reminds me of a documentary that came out in 1987 called “Athens GA Inside Out.” The film records the city’s music scene at its height, and includes interviews and performances by Pylon, Flat Duo Jets, Love Tractor and, of course, R.E.M. WAA’s music bears a resemblance if not to those Athens’ bands’ music than certainly to their spirit.
The above preamble is a long-winded way of saying if you haven’t checked out Well Aimed Arrows before — and you’re even remotely interested in post-punk — do yourself a favor. Last night’s set at The Waiting Room was the most enjoyable I’ve ever seen/heard from this remarkable four-piece that mixes chopping guitar, tight-as-a-tick rhythms and dueling, harmonized punk vocals. The sound is both narrow and uplifting, full yet stark, and always mesmerizing.
So here’s an idea: We’ve got all these people around town shooting videos for bands. What we need is someone to create a documentary (kind of like Inside Out) that mixes live performances with current Omaha rock bands along with interviews where they talk about living in the aftermath of when Omaha was the “new Seattle.” The current generation of bands — bands like The Dad (who opened for WAA last night) — are so young that they weren’t around (or aware) when Saddle Creek was at its apex circa the early- mid-2000s. Call the documentary: “Omaha: Hear and Now.”
Most certainly The Dad would be among the bands featured. A smart opener for WAA as the four-piece also has a modern post-punk sound that’s been welded to a current-day garage band style. Their music is on one level intentionally sloppy, on another level purely orchestrated — each member (guitar, bass, keyboard, drums) bringing something original to the table. One highlight was the guy on bass, who looked like a super-young version of David Byrne slapping/striking the strings as if he was doling out a spanking. I picked up a copy of their Unread Records 7-inch “7 A.M.,” “Second Best Friends” b/w “Getting Worse ,” which captures their chaos in a low-fi glory that isn’t necessarily reflected in their more pro stage renditions. Sublime nonetheless.
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Well, my plan was to go to Camera Obscura at The Slowdown tonight after the Memorial Park wankfest featuring Loverboy and Pat Benatar. Seeing as I live a few blocks from the park, I feel obligated to be there if only to protect my home from potential looters.
Unfortunately, I just discovered that the Camera Obscura show has an early 8 p.m. start time, and only one opener — Talking Mountain — which means by the time I got downtown post-Memorial Park chaos the show would (could) be over. For those of you who won’t be reliving their ’80s cock-rock memories in the park, Camera Obscura is a must see, especially for a mere $15. Go and tell me how it was.
Also tonight Chromofrost plays at fabulous O’Leavers with the M Saklar Sun-Less Trio and Seer States, the duo of Eric Baughman and Greg Rohde. $5, 9:30 p.m.
Tomorrow night (Saturday) rock band Bullet Proof Hearts celebrates the release of their “American Custom” 7-inch at The Brothers Lounge with Lincoln band SkullSkowSki. $5, 9 p.m. Check out the single below:
Also Saturday night, Travelling Mercies plays at The Sydney with The Betties and Moses Prey. $5, 9 p.m.
Enjoy the weekend…
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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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.