by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
The secret can now be told, though many of you guessed it already:
Legendary Omaha ’90s punk bands Ritual Device and Cellophane Ceiling are both reuniting for a one-time-only show Dec, 26 at The Lifticket Lounge, er, I mean The Waiting Room. The event is a Main Vein Production. Main Vein was a promotion company run by Ritual Device frontman Tim Moss and Cellophane Ceiling frontman John Wolf back in the ’80s and ’90s. MV brought some classic bands to Omaha, including that famous Nirvana show at the Liftiicket Lounge in 1989.
“I always said if John Wolf put Cellophane back together, I would do it.” Moss said about a Ritual Device reunion.
The line-up for Ritual Device will be Tim Moss on vocals, Jerry Hug on bass, Mike Saklar on guitar and Eric Ebers on drums. The line-up for Cellophane is John Wolf on guitar and vocals and Chris Sterba on bass. Moss says original CC drummer Steve Coleman is unavailable, so I’m not sure who will be handling the sticks.
Is this a big deal? Yeah, for a lot of us, it is. Ritual Device was part of the golden era of Nebraska rock music that influenced the bands that would eventually form Saddle Creek Records. RD was among the first area bands that did extensive touring outside of Nebraska in the early ’90s, along with acts like Frontier Trust, Mercy Rule, Mousetrap and Sideshow.
Here’s how I described Ritual Device way back in ’97:
Ritual Device was a tortured, monolithic punk rock band whose sound had been aptly described as “gutter groove.” Ritual Device made perfect background music for your typical serial killing or perhaps high-speed chase through a bombed-out Beirut neighborhood. The closest comparison? Maybe the Jesus Lizard meets Ministry with a little Nine Inch Nails thrown in (without the synths, of course). It was violent music, scary.
Cellophane Ceiling was a precursor RD. “Cellophane was a bit older,” Moss said. “They bridged the gap between the band generations. They were my influence.”
Cellophane was just as brutal as Ritual Device, but their music was more rooted in traditional heavy rock. Some may remember John Wolf’s follow-up band, Bad Luck Charm. Moss and Wolf would also reunite in 2000 as The Men of Porn.
Check out this Cellophane Ceiling video from 1987 directed by Dickson Lebron.
And below is a video of Ritual Device from 1994, shot at the legendary Capitol Bar and Grill a few days after Tim Moss broke his collar bone. Moss is a bit restrained here, but you get the gist.
Moss said Main Vein has yet to determine who will open the Dec. 26 show, but there will indeed be a third band on the bill. More information to come.
* * *
Tonight at The Waiting Room Conchance headlines with Black Jonny Quest, Kethro and Dojorok. $5, 9 p.m.
Also tonight, Homer’s Music takes over House of Loom. DJ Chris Aponick will spin three new albums in their entirety prior to their release tomorrow — The self-titled album by Clark (Warp Records); Deerhoof’s La Isla Bonita (Polyvinyl) and Arca’s Xen (Mute) — and he’ll be giving away a couple of the records. It’s free and starts at 9:30.
* * *
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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.