Live Review: Tears of Silver; Leggy, Those Far Out Arrows tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:48 pm October 3, 2017

Tears of Silver at Hi-Fi House, Oct. 2, 2017.

by Tim McMahan,

Going to Hi-Fi House is like going to a music church, a place where people seem to worship music as much as enjoy it. Everyone speaks in whispers for fear of annoying someone who is listening to whatever’s being played on the “big stereo.” In the case of the music being played before last night’s Tears of Silver show, the music was a grating art jazz album that sounded like 30 minutes of noodling. But the folks at Hi-Fi want to build an appreciation for jazz among the rock ’n’ roll masses. Instead, the bonk-bleep noise likely irritated an already frayed audience that had spent the day getting updates on the Las Vegas massacre and the dead/not dead status of Tom Petty.

So we all sat and politely listened to whatever awful jazz record someone had selected, quietly seated in the house’s long couches and ’70s-era padded chairs, no one talking above a hush. Finally, at about a quarter past 8, Tears of Silver came into room, which was set up perfectly for this sort of concert. The band is a four piece — three guitars and keyboards — and no drums. I don’t know how it would have worked with a drum set considering the room’s nearly silent acoustics.

Fronted by Posies’ Ken Stringfellow and Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue, the band played a set that included covers of songs by Neil Young, Flaming Lips and Al Kooper, as well as songs by the members’ respective bands: Posies, Mercury Rev and Midlake, closing the night with a Big Star cover. In fact, everything they sang sounded like a Big Star version of whatever they were covering — slow, soothing, very dreamy. Stringfellow and Donahue  continue to sport strong, gorgeous voices. Local vocalist Molly Welsh joined the band for a few songs, including two Stringfellow tunes from an “opera” he’s penned.

My personal highlight was hearing their cover of Pavement’s “Here,” which took on a mournful, melancholy air, certainly different than the slacker anthem Pavement fans are familiar with.

The room was at full capacity as in every seat was taken and a few members of the mostly older crowd sat on the floor. Hi-Fi House it’s a good venue for this kind of sit-down, focused performance; it was almost like being at a recital… or in a church.

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I’m gonna miss Tom Petty. He’s one of those guys whose music felt like is always existed, and who I thought would always be around. It’ll be strange not having him in this world. Everyone’s talking about their favorite Petty album, mine is the overlooked Southern Accents album, certainly it’s the one I listened to most, having bought it on cassette the day it came out way back in 1985…

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Cincinnati power trio Leggy plays tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s. They’re a self-described “feminist trio who speak openly about consent, self-worth, sexuality and female empowerment.” They also rock like Hole meets L7 meets X.  Opening is dreamy Chicago clap-snap-pop band Varsity (think upbeat early Liz Phair). Our very own No Thanks starts it off at 9 p.m. $5.

Also tonight, Those Far Out Arrows returns to The Sydney in Benson. They’re headlining a show with a couple Kansas City garage bands bands — Arc Flash (actually, they’re from Lawrence but they’re on High Dive Records) and Drugs & Attics (Creep It Real Records). $5, 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


New Digital Leather; NOMaha Alert: Arcade Fire; park concert tonight; A Giant Dog, HIDE, Leggy, David Nance on (docked) boat Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:42 pm June 30, 2017

by Tim McMahan,

Digital Leather, Pink Thunder (2017, self-release)

Out of the blue, Digital Leather today dropped a new LP titled Pink Thunder in Bandcamp. It’s a strong return to form from a band that I thought had hung it up last year. Since then, they’ve played a handful of shows when the gig money was right. Still, when the pre-announcement came out about Pink Thunder I had no idea DL mastermind Shawn Foree was working on new material.

The LP is stripped down, very electronic but with nice guitar touches. I assume it’s a one-man show, with Foree on all the parts but I don’t know for sure as I haven’t received a one-sheet (I found out just like you, on Twitter). Listening through the tracks a few times this morning, it reminded me of Blow Machine, though it’s not as racy lyrically. My favorite track so far is an instrumental called “One to One” — a real digital grinder.

Foree mentioned this would be coming out as an LP in the fall. Don’t wait to download the digital tracks right now, though…

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Just got a press release from Nasty Little Man:

“Arcade Fire has released a third track from its forthcoming fifth album, Everything Now, due out July 28 on CD, cassette, digital download and heavyweight black vinyl LP through an exclusive 360-degree partnership with global media and e-commerce platform Everything Now in synergy with the Sony corporation.”

Included was their North American tour dates, of which there are many. Their closest pass to Omaha, however:

10/25/17 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
10/27/17- Kansas City, MO – Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
10/29/17 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center

Anyone surprised? Their tour starts Aug. 6 in Chicago at Lollapalooza. Meanwhile, I swivel my chair and look out my window and see a 25,000 seat baseball stadium that will sit vacant until next June…

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Onto the weekends…

Kansas at Memorial Park, July 3, 2010.

Kansas at Memorial Park, July 3, 2010. Tonight it’s Kool & the Gang. Blurg.

Tonight is the dreaded Memorial Park Concert. Imagine if we had gotten last night’s hail storm tonight? Devastation. Well, Kool and the Gang will be handing out the devastation tonight. The city really blew it with this booking, as they just played down by the river last year. Someday someone with some knowledge of music will help the city book this concert (Who am I kidding? No one goes to this for the music)…

Cover bands and such start at 6. K&tG probably won’t be on stage until 8:30 or 9. Fireworks usually around 10 or 10: 30, which is worth the hassle, I suppose. If you go, park at UNO and stay the hell off my lawn.

Other than that, there ain’t shit happening tonight, though Lincoln singer/songwriter Scott Severin is taking the plunge and playing a free gig at the new, and rather controversial Hotel RL on south 72nd Street. This place has been lambasted in social media for booking bands and not paying them. No doubt Scott negotiated something sweeter. Starts at 7.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) is the big Shipwrecked! fest.

What’s Shipwrecked? It’s a concert on the River City Star river boat, but instead of rolling up and down the Missouri, the boat will be docked all night. We’re talking two floors (or two decks) of music with bars on each deck, with fireworks (courtesy of TD Ameritrade Park’s home run derby).

The line-up is impressive:

A Giant Dog (Austin, TX) — One of Merge Records’ hottest new bands returns to Omaha.
HIDE (Chicago, IL) — Gritty, big-beat punk from Chicago, on Joyful Noise Records.
Leggy (Cincinnati, OH) — Self-proclaimed “bubble-gum punk” on Manic Static Records.
Plack Blague (Lincoln, NE) — Starcity electro-geek leather fetish noise band.
David Nance Band (Omaha, NE) — Low-fi garage punk dynamo about to blow up.
Cult Play (Omaha, NE) – Dark, electronic dance rock.
Winstons (Brooklyn, NY) — No-frills garage soul.

Music starts at 7 p.m. Runs ’til midnight (but since it’s docked, leave / come whenever you wanna). Tickets are $15, sorry kids, 21+ only. I’m told plenty of parking near the landing. Should be a blast.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


New Thermals drops; new Dolores Diaz date; Almost Music sale, show; Noah’s Ark…, Making Movies tonight; Those Far Out Arrows, Lucy Dacus Saturday…

Noah's Ark Was a Spaceship at The Waiting Room, April 20, 2013. The band celebrates the release of their new EP tonight at O'Leaver's.

Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship at The Waiting Room, April 20, 2013. The band celebrates the release of their new EP tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan,

The Thermals see the release of their new album, We Disappear, today on Saddle Creek Records. The album was produced by Chris Walla (ex-Death Cab for Cutie). You can check it out on Spotify, and in the usual digital outlets. I’m listening to it for the first time now. Sounds a lot more…embraceable than their older stuff. What can I say, I didn’t like their last album. This one I’m digging. They’re starting to remind me of Ted Leo (though not nearly as quirky). Thermals are headed to Omaha May 6 at The Slowdown (of course).

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Omaha super group Dolores Diaz & the Standby Club, who debuted at O’Leaver’s Jan. 3, announced another date, this time at The Waiting Room May 21. The country & western cover band includes half of Bright Eyes (Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis) along with Ben Brodin, Miwi La Lupa, Roger Lewis, Dan McCarthy Phil Schaffart, Matt Maginn, and Oberst’s wife, Corina. The best tunes from that O’Leaver’s set were placed online at Live @ O’Leaver’s (here). Will the band do the same covers or attempt new material? You’ll have to wait until May 21 to find out.

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Almost Music is getting ready for its big move to the Blackstone District with a massive SALE today and tomorrow. The deals: 50% off books, 20% off used vinyl, 10% off new vinyl, and tons of stuff for 99 cents.

In addition, Almost Music is “warming up” its new space by throwing and art and variety show tonight featuring readings and performances by Megan Siebe, Jim Schroeder, Sarah Gleason, Simon Joyner and Louise Requin, Dan Crane and Dave Goldberg. The new place is at 3925 Farnam St. and the free show starts at 8 p.m.

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What else is happening? Well it looks like another O’Leaver’s weekend (or as Ian would call it, “another lost weekend”).

It starts tonight with Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship celebrating the release of their new self-released EP, Three, recorded by Ben Brodin at ARC Studios. Opening the show are Mint Wad Willy, Eric in Outerspace and DJ Joe Benson. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, Afro-Latino rock band Making Movies from Kansas City headlines at The Lookout Lounge. Their second album, A La Deriva, was produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin. Who doesn’t want to rock in Spanish? The Regulation and Anthems opens. $8, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to fabulous O’Leaver’s for Those Far Out Arrows’ album release show. If the record, From the Sun, sounds distinctly like Benson it could be because the album was recorded in brothers Ben and Evan Keelan-White’s Benson digs. The trio is rounded out by Jon Ochsner on bass. Their music has an authentic ’60s psych-garage sound influenced by VU, the Troggs and 13th Floor Elevator, as well as early Brian Jonestown Massacre. Opening the show are Dead Flower Preservation Band and Heavy Lungs. $5, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, rock ‘n’ rollers Big Wheel headline at The Brothers Lounge with The Electroliners. No price listed for this one. Starts at 9 p.m. (though Brothers’ shows always start late).

Over at Milk Run, Lucy Dacus headlines Saturday night. Dacus hails from beautiful Richmond, VA and plays thick-rhythm rock with massive hooks. Check out the tracks below. Infectious. Opening are Sowers, Badland Girls and Crypt Kid. Why Milk Run bills insists on four-band shows, I do not know, but it means some late nights. $5, 9 p.m.

Milk Run has another 4-band bill Sunday night, headlined by Cincinnati “lush-punk” band Leggy. Opening are The Ridgways, Bien Fang (Rachel Tomlinson Dick’s latest band), and Lawrence feedback/delay punkers Arc Flash. $5, 9 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments. Have a great weekend!

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.