This will be a short entry as almost nothing happening musicwise this weekend, which sucks because some of us have Monday off. But before we get to that…
Lupines guitarist extraordinaire Mike Friedman emailed earlier this week to let me know the band dropped its latest collection, Eternal Wax, on Bandcamp. “We did this one by ourselves at home a couple years ago,” Mike wrote. “We wanted to get it out before we release the one we recorded at ARC last year. That one will have a physical release hopefully in the not too distant future.”
I’m listening to Eternal Wax now and it’s exactly the kind of grinding, noisy garage-rock goodness we’ve come to expect from Lupines. Check it out below and download your copy.
Wish the Lupines were playing somewhere this weekend. As it stands, there’s only one show on my radar, and it’s tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s — a heavy rock show featuring Laughing Falcon, Ocean Black and Hyborian. Ocean Black is the newish name for Nightbird, a stoner rock band that features Lee Meyerpeter, Jeff Harder and Scott Zimmerman. They’re the real deal. $5, 9:30 p.m.
Milk Run remains a mystery. I’d heard last weekend’s shows were the last, then I heard they still will have shows at the venue. Tonight Sioux City post-hardcore band Grobe is slated to play according to the Milk Run Facebook page. Jettison and The New Rosenbergs also are on the bill. 8:30 p.m., $5.
And that’s it. Talk about a sleepy weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend and get out and enjoy the fine weather…
It’s the weekend before the blizzard? Not likely, but it’s bound to snow sometime; we might as well get it over with.
Enjoy the last tropical weekend of the year tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s with performances by Solid Goldberg (a.k.a. the legendary Dave Goldberg), the mighty Lupines and Des Moines punks Broken Ones. $5, 9:30 p.m.
Also tonight at Milk Run there’s a big double record release/benefit show. It’s a four-band bill headlined by Bed Rest and No Getter with The Way Out and Minnesota’s The Crash Bandits. Bed Rest will be releasing their second EP, Gloom, alongside No Getter, who will be releasing their debut EP/cassette, Fitting. A portion of the door will go to RAINN (rape, abuse and incest national network). $5 is the door charge, but go ahead, be generous. Show starts at 9.
Also tonight, it’s Benson First Friday. Among the art openings tonight is the second annual Little Show at The Little Gallery. Each piece of art is 12″ x 12″ or smaller and sells for $100 or less. Give the gift of local art! The reception runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Address: 5901 Maple St., in the ground-floor storefront of the Benson Masonic Lodge (across the street from the Sydney). Beer and treats. Come by and say hello.
On Saturday night, The Waiting Room and Reverb lounge are both in play for the annual toy drive for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The event raises toys and money for the 501(c)(3) organization, started in 2003 by Omaha musician Larry Dunn a.k.a. Lash LaRue.
It’s a country-rocking event, with bands including Township & Range, Pancho & the Contraband, The Willards, Matt Cox, Korey Anderson, 24 Hour Cardlock, Vago, Kait Berreckman and Ryan Osbahr, as well as Lash LaRue and the Hired Guns. Admission is $10 or a new unwrapped toy per venue or $15, and two unwrapped toys for entry to both venues. The shows start at 8.
Also Saturday night it’s back to O’Leaver’s for Relax, It’s Science with Brazen Throats and Stronghold. $5, 9:30 p.m.
And here’s one that’s under the radar: Indie punk rock band Uh Oh, who hasn’t done a show in ages, plays at Lucy’s Pub way out on 89th and Blondo. Turns out this is actually a house show at 8932 Blondo St. Joining Uh Oh are The Way Out and MAGU. Uh Oh will be filming a music video that night, so look out. This one’s free and starts at 9.
That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.
…starting tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s where Lupines headline. Also on the bill are Lincoln bands Laughing Falcon and Falling Distance. $5, 9 p.m.
Saturday night’s main event is London indie folk band Daughters (4AD Records). The band’s most recent album, Not to Disappear, came out in January, which Pitchfork said “… spans that gap between the very real drudgery of everyday life, and the more potent stories we tell ourselves when times are bleak.” Rating: 6.7. I try not to miss 4AD bands when they come through town. Opening is Vancouver Sleep Clinic (Sony), described as a “rising Australian singer, songwriter and producer.” Where’s the Canada connection? $16 Adv/$18 DOS. 9 p.m.
Also Saturday night, Jason Meyer’s new band Wolf Dealer plays O’Leaver’s. Says Jason: “Wolf Dealer is a rock music band made up of old guys that have been in a bunch of local bands. Talking Mountain, Sun-Less Trio, Carsinogents, Virgasound, Skull Fight, Fonzarellies, Thuggs, the Cuterthans.” What more do you want? Also on the bill are The Vahnevants (Des Moines), Haunted Gauntlet (M34N STR33T/ex-Oh Possum), and the Afghan Hounds (Lineman’s Rodeo).. $5, 9:30.
Sunday night post rock duo El Ten Eleven headlines at Slowdown Jr., with Bayonne and Fontenelle. $12 Adv/ $15 DOS. Early 8 p.m. start time.
Also Sunday night La Bouvette in the Old Market is hosting a show — yes, that La Buvette. The lineup is Dunwoody & Son, David Ozinga, The Lazy Wranglers and Sean Pratt & The Sweats. The free show starts at 8 p.m.
And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.
I dropped the ball. The immensely talented Andrew Spellmon reached out earlier in the week and asked if I would contribute my thoughts to a story he was working on for Hear Nebraska. His one and only question:
What is Speed! Nebraska’s legacy/impact on the local/national scene?
I immediately responded to Andrew saying I’d be happy to comment. The deadline was Wednesday night. And things being what they are in my life these days, I completely forgot to send him anything. It didn’t slow ol’ Spellmon down, however, and yesterday Hear Nebraska published a very lengthy, detailed story called “Racing at 45 RPM: SPEED! Nebraska reaches 20 year milestone.” You can read it right here.
The feature includes “stories and memories” from the artist and collaborators who have taken part in the Speed! Nebraska history, including Jon Taylor (Domestica, Mercy Rule), Dan Jenkins (Ideal Cleaners), Lee Meyerpeter (Filter Kings), George Peek (Solid Jackson), Mike Tulis (co-creator of Speed! and member of The Monroes), as well as people like Dan Schlissel, who created competing label -ismist and now runs Stand Up! Records, and Trey and Lallaya Lalley, who ran the Capitol Bar & Grill and now run The Brothers Lounge.
Ten years ago, when Speed! Nebraska was celebrating its 10-year anniversary, I penned this story for The Reader that highlighted the label’s origins. At the time, Speed! was enjoying its high-water mark. Or as Jesse Render, the label’s “special project coordinator,” put it: “We’re like a family. You do whatever job needs to be done. This is kind of the Golden Age of Speed! Nebraska.”
So to answer Stellmon’s original question, I’d have to say Speed! Nebraska’s legacy is not only the 37 vinyl and CD releases that it put out over the course of 20 years, it’s also the people who made the music heard on that stellar catalog of rock ‘n’ roll. Most of them are still doing it, and doing it well. Certainly Speed! Nebraska record executive Gary Dean Davis is going strong, as is the rest of the executive team mentioned in that 2006 article.
In fact, you can see for yourself Saturday night at The Brothers Lounge when Gary’s band, Wagon Blasters, is joined by Mike Tulis’ band, Lupines, for a 20 year anniversary celebration that should be epic in its awesomeness.
What else is happening this weekend?
Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s another group is celebrating a 20th anniversary — Lincoln band Her Flyaway Manner. Watch as these fossils sling their guitars over their walkers and wheel chairs for a set that should go down in geriatric history. Joining them are Jump the Tiger and Wrong Pets (members of Little Brazil). $5, 9:30 p.m.
Also tonight, See Through Dresses headlines at Milk Run. Joining them are New York band Haybaby (Tiny Engines Records) and The Way Out. No price listed, show starts at 9 p.m.
And lest we forget, tonight is the annual OEAA nominee showcase in Benson featuring more than 40 bands playing at six venues. Your $10 wristband gets you in to all shows all night. More info here.
Tomorrow night (Saturday) is the aforementioned Speed! Nebraska 20th anniversary bash at The Brothers Lounge. Wagon Blasters vs. Lupines. $5, starts at 9 p.m.
Also Saturday night, The Felice brothers headline at The Waiting Room. They’re out supporting their latest, Life in the Dark (2016, Yep Rock). Shelby Earl opens. $15, 9 p.m.
Finally Sunday afternoon is the Benefit for Standing Rock at O’Leaver’s. The line-up includes Dark Diamond, DJ Machmuller, Noah Sterba and Pro Magnum. The benefit kicks off at 3:30 p.m. $5. Find out more about the benefit right here.
And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.
It’s another holiday weekend. Shows, shows, shows, but nothing on Sunday night. Come on, bookers! Don’t you know we all have Monday off? The one time you could have booked a great show on a Sunday night and you drop the ball… again.
Enough of that. Here’s what’s happening.
Tonight’s marquee show is at Milk Run and features indie act The Hotelier. I’m listening to their just-released album Goodness (Tiny Engines, 2016) as I type this. Pitchfork just gave it an 8.0. Retro-’90s emo never sounded so good. In an effort to outdo itself, Milk Run has made this a five-band bill that starts at 8 p.m. with a set by No Getter. Filling out the bill are Loone (which Milk Run describes as “currently an all trans and genderqueer four-piece,” New York “bedroom punk” artist Told Slant and Omaha’s own (and Hotelier label-mates) See Through Dresses. $12.
That’s it for Friday. There’s more variety on Saturday night.
At Reverb Lounge Saturday night Omaha super-group Sucettes celebrate the release of their new record. Joining them are DWNR and Those Far Out Arrows. $6, 9 p.m.
Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Lupines will be playing new material from their forthcoming LP, which they just wrapped up at ARC Studio. Opening are Sean Pratt & The Sweats. $5, 9:30 p.m.
Also Saturday night, Milk Run just keeps booking the best touring indie shows. This time it’s Sub Pop artist Arbor Labor Union, who just released I Hear You, an album that I would describe as classic late ’90s Sub Pop fodder. They may be from Georgia but they sound like they’re from Seattle. We’re talking a big-sounding band playing in a tiny little room. Opening is brand new band Was, featuring Aaron Parker of Gordon fame, Jeremy Stanosheck of Relax, It’s Science fame and Ali-Jo Meyerhoff of Was fame. Also on the bill are Justin Ready & the Echo Prairie and She/Her. $7, 9:30 p.m.
Actually, there is one show happening Sunday. The Cuterthans are playing at Lookout Lounge with Koo Koo Kanga Roo. The $10 Adv./$12 DOS show starts early at 5:30 p.m.
That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.
“If you’re a praying person, send your prayers to the Thornton family.” Solemn words from Lupines frontman John Ziegler, and a reminder why the bands were playing last night at The Waiting Room.
As outlined yesterday, Robert (Bob) Thornton is going through serious medical issues that have kept him from working and created mountains of medical bills. Find out more about the situation at his GoFundMe page and lend a hand.
Last night’s show was a benefit for Bob, and despite the tragic circumstances surrounding the evening, the bands brought their A games, performing rousing sets performed in front of about 100 fans. Ziegler’s message came smack-dab in the middle of the Lupine’s usual break-neck/ball-buster set we’ve come to expect from the Omaha garage-rock giants.
Wagon Blasters at The Waiting Room, Oct. 7, 2015.
Lupines followed a set by tractor-punk heroes Wagon Blasters, a band that features Robert’s brother Bill Thornton on guitar. Gary Dean Davis and the crew were in rare form, with the Waiting Room’s stage finally giving GDD the space he needs for maximum bounce height/trajection.
The Sun-less Trio at The Waiting Room, Oct. 7, 2015.
The evening was rounded out by a gorgeous set from The Sun-less Trio, a band that features Mike Saklar on guitar and vocals, galvanized by the rhythm section of drummer Marc Phillips and bass player Cricket Kirk. The music’s style was earthy, laid-back and (dare I say it?) soulful, powered by Saklar’s masterful guitar work. The band has a new record coming out Oct. 18. Their set was the perfect way to end a night of music dedicated to a good cause.
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Word to the Totally indeed.
The hits keep on coming from The Reader. As part of The Reader‘s annual Music Issue, this morning my big-ass feature on O’Leaver’s went online. Matt Maginn, Ted Stevens, Craig Dee and Ian Aeillo give the skinny on what’s happening these days at The Club as it enters its next renaissance. The story covers everything from the new sound system to Live at O’Leaver’s to the booking policy to the new, massive beer garden. The story is on newsstands now and online right here.
This O’Leaver’s feature story is the central part of the issue’s look at Omaha music venues. I also wrote about The Waiting Room and Slowdown, and Wayne Brekke and BJ Huchtemann wrote about their favorite clubs, including the styles of music, booking etc. Those stories will be online soon but why wait? Grab your copy of the paper right now.
Whoa, what a night. Thanks to everyone for coming out to the Big 50 concert at Reverb last night. It was a great way to welcome in the next half-century — great friends, great bands, great times. Now what am I going to do for 51?
The Lupines at The Reverb June 3, 2015 — the Big 50 benefit for Hear Nebraska.
Wagon Blasters at The Reverb June 3, 2015 — the Big 50 benefit for Hear Nebraska.
And there was some news at the show. All three bands either have recorded or are recording new music. When they will release it, none could say, but based on what we heard last night, we’ll all be adding lots of new music to our record collections very soon. Thanks again to the bands for playing the gig. It was a blast!
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There’s another rather huge show tonight, this time at Slowdown Jr., where Saddle Creek’s latest and greatest signing, Hop Along, makes its Omaha stage debut. The band’s just-released album, Painted Shut (Saddle Creek, 2015) sits at No. 16 on the College Music Journal Radio 200 chart and No. 18 on the KEXP Variety Music Chart. Not to mention the record is getting air time on Sirius XMU, which is becoming sort of an ad hoc national indie radio station. This could be Saddle Creek’s biggest non-Omaha signing since Rilo Kiley. Here’s your chance to see them on a small stage. Opening are fellow Philly bands Lithuania and Field Mouse. $10, 9 p.m.
Also tonight Dallas alt-country band Old 97’s play at The Waiting Room with Oil Boom. $25, 9 p.m.
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And this just in over the lunch hour, Matt Whipkey and his band kicked off this season’s Hear Omaha concert series in the Old Market (right underneath the atrocious sculpture of the Husker kid in a baseball cap). The series, brought to you by Hear Nebraska and various sponsors including First National Bank, features a different local band performing over the lunch hour every Thursday.
Whipkey rocked a crowd of around 100 consisting of dudes and women in business suits, local hipsters who live in the surrounding lofts and other tourists/curiosity seekers wondering what all the good-time noise was about. Next week Orenda Fink plays the Hear Omaha stage. Check out the full schedule here.
Matt Whipkey at Hear Omaha in the Old Market, June 4, 2015.
I found the buzz and howl of Calm Fur to be rather sublime — a psychedelic cascade of noise and color and sound that blended every ’60s arena rock acid trip with the post-modern noise of, say, Sonic Youth to create a wholly new and cumbersome thing.
It didn’t come easy; it took awhile for the band to get into a groove. Wearing a white-fur jacket (epitomizing the band’s name) frontman Jason Meyer has emerged as Omaha’s version of Wayne Coyne, a colorful, arty dude who isn’t happy with just playing shows. Instead, his gigs are audio-visual-powered “happenings.” Think back to one of those notable Talking Mountain shows (one of Meyre’s other bands) where smoke broiled out the club’s doors and audience members wore sun glasses to protect their eyes from blazing LED light rigs.
Meyer shows always involve special effects panache, even if it’s just a couple guys wearing furry Muppet-style masks. For Calm Fur, the enhanced experience involved two overhead projectors set up on either side of the Barley Street stage, along with an assortment of markers, glitter and confetti. Audience members were invited to come up during the set and let their creative spirit run wild, but no one did, at least not until about halfway through their set when a young women began scribbling with a marker which washed out over the band. Psychedelic, man.
Give credit to Meyer. Nothing is more boring than watching a bunch of guys slumped over their instrument, hardly moving. Meyer doesn’t want to fall into that sanguine trap, though no special effects were necessary to make Friday night’s set interesting… or at least different.
Like I said, it took awhile for the band to get things going. When they started out, I wondered why Meyer wanted that keyboard to fuss up the sound. By the third song I was thinking ‘That keyboard really makes this work.” I don’t know who keyboardist “Jesy” is, but her simple tones and style (and voice) were the perfect complements to Garrett Schmelzel from Snake Island’s acidic 12-string electric guitar and Meyer’s ever-droning bass. By the fourth or fifth song, the band hit its stride and even had me buzzing. They followed it with a couple shaky covers that featured the next performer, Slushy.
Slushy is former Omahan (and Talking Mountains guy) Chris Kramer doing his rendition of Nuggets-era pop songs sung alone over pre-recorded tracks, karaoke style. Kramer’s choice of music and his aerobic-styles performance made for a fun set, at least for the first 15 minutes. I’m told that Kramer has a working band he plays with in Chicago. Someone needs to get those folks out here.
Lupines at The Barley Street Tavern Dec. 5, 2014.
Finally sometime after midnight The Lupines took the stage, basking in the full intensity of Barley Street’s fancy new digital lighting system, which cast them in eerie electric blue. What more to say about Lupines that I haven’t already said, other than you need to check them out if your thing is blistering garage rock. It was a great way to cap off what turned out to be a looong night.
The fact that it’s 8 degrees outside kind of puts a damper on going to shows, at least for me. But it doesn’t stop shows from happening, and there’s plenty this weekend.
Let’s face it, they keep the heat up pretty high at fabulous O’Leaver’s, where tonight The Lupines return for a headlining engagement. Joining them will be Des Moines rockers North of Grand and Nanahara (a Lincoln/Omaha conglomerate consisting of Eric Ernst, drums; Chris Palmquist, bass, and Rich Higgins, guitar). That’s a lot of rock for $5. Starts at 9:30.
Also tonight, Omaha C&W band The Electroliners plays at The Sydney in Benson. Opening is The Janousek Bros. and Backwater Spawn. No price listed (Why do people forget to put the price down on these things?). Starts at 9.
And as mentioned yesterday, The Down Under is hosting a punk show tonight featuring Texas band Dead Words, our very own Cordial Spew and Blowing Chunks, This Is Whispering and Addiction 13. $5, 8 p.m.
Here’s a fun activity for Saturday afternoon: The Brothers Lounge is hosting the Bar Stool Record Swap from 4 to 7 p.m. According to the invite:
Several of Omaha’s record stores and record collectors will be taking over Brother’s Lounge to offer you a chance to pair vices — boozing and record buying! We’ll be bringing in primo stuff to sell and swap and encourage you to do the same! PLEASE don’t bring in large collections though. Vendors include:
Almost Music Homer’s Music & Gifts Hipstop record shop Drastic Plastic
…and several of our favorite record show sellers too! Bring in your good stuff to sell or trade!
This is free and it’s a 21+ event (it’s a bar, stupid).
Saturday night it’s back to O’Leaver’s for Empty Moon, the solo project by Brendan Hangauer, formerly of Lawrence band Fourth of July. Headlining is Manic Pixie Dream Girls. Opening is Those Far Out Arrows. $5, 9:30 p.m.
Finally, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter James McMurtry plays the Sunday Roadhouse series at The Waiting Room Sunday afternoon. Opening is Jonny Burke. The 5 p.m. show is $20 today, $25 on Sunday.
That’s what I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a good weekend.