by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
You couldn’t ask for more from Quasi last night. The duo of Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss played a set that combined their best oldies with their best newies, the whole thing capped off with a long encore that included a keyboard-driven cover of “War Pigs.”
The 40 or so on hand at Slowdown Jr. last night were treated to no less then four songs off Featuring “Birds,” including “I Never Want to See You Again” “The Happy Prole” and “It’s Hard to Turn Me On.” In between they played new stuff off Mole City including, “You Can Stay But You Gotta Go” and “The Goat.”
The set was split in two by Coomes, who played the first half behind a distorted keyboard and the second behind a distorted Gibson. Weiss was a marvel on drums and filled out the sound with harmonies.
The set had me reconsidering Mole City, an album that I initially thought was just weird. The best way to listen to it is to cut out all the wonky minute-or-less filler noise tracks and focus on songs over 3 minutes in length. It would have been a solid 10-song album instead of a so-so 24-track double.
Last night’s set blew away the last time I saw them, at SXSW a couple years ago in support of the lackluster American Gong album where they didn’t play anything off their past catalog. The best moments last night were the hits, which Coomes supplied with a weathered panache that made them sound as fresh as they did when first performed 15 years ago.
Jeffrey Lewis backed by a bass player and a drummer played a set of funny, insightful, wordy folk-punk tunes that was as steeped as much in history as politics. Twice during the set Lewis played “storytime,” paging through a couple large hand-drawn comic books, one telling the story of the French Revolution, the other a brief history of comic book pioneer Alan Moore.
Set highlight was “WWPRD” — which stands for What Would Pussy Riot Do — which was both an ode to our Soviet punk rock heroes and a lessen for up-and-coming bands to ask themselves, “What piece of your soul are you willing to sell to be a success?” Not a bad lesson.
I did catch the last two songs by See Through Dresses and they were divine, though the vocals were lost in the mix. Great band, great music.
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Let’s get right to the weekend.
Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return of everyone’s favorite funky, funny man, Har Mar Superstar. Opening is Lizzo (Totally Gross National Product) and Snake Island. $12, 9 p.m.
Also tonight, at the Barley Street, It’s True returns, but only as a solo outing by Adam Hawkins and as an opener for his band Eros and Eschaton. $5, 9 p.m.
Down at Slowdown Jr., Seattle’s Hey Marseilles headlines with The Apache Relay and The Big Deep. $12, 9 p.m.
BTW, it’s Benson First Friday tonight…
Saturday’s headline show is, of course, Tim Kasher at The Waiting Room. With Laura Stevenson and our very on Brigadiers. $11, 9 p.m.
Also Saturday night, it’s the return of Langhorn Slim, this time to Slowdown Jr. with his band The Law. Opening is Jonny Fritz. $10, 9 p.m.
The sleeper show of the evening is Goon Saloon at O’Leaver’s with Routine Escorts and the debut of Gramps, a band who calls among its players Love Drunk video producer Django G-S. This might require that I do some bar-hopping Saturday. $5, 9:30 p.m.
Also worthy of attention, instrumental surf band The Sub-Vectors plays tonight at The Barley Street and sitting in one song is none other than John Tingle, former guitarist of legendary ’80s-’90s post-ambient band Digital Sex. Also on the bill, Winnebago Woman and Superbytes. $5, 9 p.m.
Finally Sunday, Blind Snake plays at O’Leaver’s with Flesh Eating Skin Disease. $5, 9:30 p.m.
And the Supersuckers play at The Waiting Room with Hellbound Glory. $15, 9 p.m.
Did I forget something? Put it in the comments. Have a good 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.
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