by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
Nice turnout for the Sidney Buchanan art show at The Little Gallery Friday night. You can check out the show anytime this week before 5 p.m., just swing by the gallery. It’s located right across the street from The Sydney in Benson. Sidney’s work is amazing, and affordable. Maybe too affordable.
I spent Friday night hanging out with Sidney’s son, Patrick, who you may remember from the classic ’90s punk band Mousetrap. Patrick lives in Miami these days. We talked about music, what’s been going on in Omaha over the past few years and how Benson and the rest of the city’s changed.
As the art show came to a close at 9, I mentioned that I was headed to The Sydney later that night to see Gordon, a band I thought he’d like, and to my surprise, Patrick said he’d meet there at midnight. After I left the art show I began to feel anxious about Gordon. Did I oversell the band? Just that sort of thing has happened to me in the past — I talk too highly of a band or compare them to another band and inevitably, the person I’m talking to sees them and they either 1) suck, or 2) sound nothing like what I compared them to.
I got to The Sydney just before midnight, as A Ferocious Jungle Cat was still doing their set. Patrick had already arrived. It’s safe to say The Sydney has the worst PA I’ve heard since, well, I saw bands play at the old Down Under last November. The Sydney’s PA is on par with what you’d find at a typical house show. Overblown, flat, noisy. Pretty awful, and much worse than I remembered the last time I saw a band play there. My anxiety grew.
Friday night’s event at The Sydney was a fundraiser for Benson First Friday, which recently attained a 501(c)3 non-profit status. A pair of super-tall drag queens strolled around in wigs and high heels, having performed earlier in the evening. After Jungle Cat finished a table was set up for the Finals of the evening-long arm wrestling content. Fun. After that, the hosts announced a number of raffle ticket winners of lovely gift baskets.
And then Gordon came on. I’ve seen the four-piece a few times, most recently playing outside behind The Sweatshop Gallery as part of Sweatfest this past summer. Despite the PA, Gordon did not disappoint, though their set did start off rather tenuous, sounding different than I remembered them, with two guitars playing laid-back indie stuff.
Things really got rolling when frontman Aaron Parker put down his guitar and walked off the front of the Sydney’s small platform stage with microphone in hand and did his best Ian Curtis impression on songs that sounded clearly influenced by Joy Division. Buchanan asked me if I thought Gordon knew who they were, and I said I didn’t know, but that the music’s resemblance couldn’t have been a coincidence. But then again, another of their songs reminded me of a Mousetrap tune, a band that likely played its first show before Parker was born.
Leaning over, yelling into the mic while patrons strolled past to and from the bathroom, Parker pushed as hard as he could, making the most out of that crappy PA, looking up and following people with a bug-eyed stare as they walked back to their tables while has band continued to shred from the stage. I glanced over at Buchanan and could tell he liked what he heard. These guys were making Nebraska proud, having no clue that they were performing in front of one of the city’s Golden Age legends.
Buchanan gave the ultimate compliment after the set: “I’d definitely see them again.” No band can ask for anything more.
Your next chance to see Gordon is this Sunday when they open for Cheap Girls at Slowdown Jr. along with Eric in Outspace and The Lupines. Do not miss it.
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Speaking of things not to miss, there’s a no-miss show at The Brothers Lounge this very night. Chicago punk bands The Funs headline. Formed in 2009, the duo released their first LP, S/T, in 2013, and have opened West Coast dates for The Breeders. Opening is Nathan Ma & The Rosettes and Dumb Beach. $5, 10 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
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