FortyTwenty, Filter Kings tonight; McCarthy Trenching, Dirt House Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:00 pm December 15, 2017

McCarthy Trenching at Reverb Lounge, Jan. 17, 2015. The band plays The Slowdown annual Shake Your Trunk sale Sunday afternoon.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Slim pickins show-wise this weekend and this time of year. There’s not too many bands on the road this close to the holidays let alone routing through Omaha, and even the locals are setting down for a long winter’s nap (or at least prepping for the few “holiday” shows happening around or after Christmas).

That said, there’s a hoot ‘n’ holler of a show tonight at The Waiting Room. Lincoln hay-rack-ride rock band FortyTwenty headlines a bill that also includes Omaha’s favorite outlaw country band, Filter Kings, and honky-tonk swingers The Willards. So dust off your cowboy boots (or leather jacket); this one starts at 9 p.m. and will run you $10.

Sunday night The Slowdown is hosting its annual local artist trunk sale — we’re talking tons of made-local Christmas gift ideas along with performances by McCarthy Trenching, Dirt House and CJ Mills. The shop is open from 1 to 7 p.m. I’m not sure when the show starts, but it’s free. For more information and vendor list, go to the Slowdown listing.

Can you believe those are the only shows featuring original music this weekend? Neither can I, so if I missed your gig put it in the comments section. Have a great 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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McCarthy Trenching, BFF tonight; Milk Run debut (American Cream), Dilly Dally, Simon Joyner Saturday; Laura Stevenson Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:15 pm November 6, 2015
McCarthy Trenching at Reverb Lounge, Jan. 17, 2015. The band celebrates the release of their latest album tonight at O'Leaver's.

McCarthy Trenching at Reverb Lounge, Jan. 17, 2015. The band celebrates the release of their latest album tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Crazy frickin’ weekend for shows and stuff.

Let’s get the big one out of the way first: McCarthy Trenching celebrates the release of their new album, More Like It (Sower, 2015) tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s. You’ve already read about the record here, now check out the band. I’m told a few folks may join Dan and his partner in crime James Maakestad on stage. Find out who. I can tell you for sure that Sower labelmates Bud Heavy and the High Lifes will be opening the extravaganza. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, it’s another Benson First Friday. Of note is the first annual “little show @the little gallery,” the gallery Teresa and I run at 5917 Maple Street, right across the street from The Sydney. All works, created by local artists, are 6” x 6” or smaller and retail for $100 or less. Think about giving the gift of locally produced art this holiday season! If you get there early, you might even be able to buy a piece by yours truly — one of my old-time-style classic cassette covers, which comes with a recorded cassette of my faves from 2015 (featuring lots of local and national acts). The reception runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Booze provided.

Tomorrow night is the grand opening of Milk Run, 1907 Leavenworth, the new all-ages music venue run by the guys behind Perpetual Nerves Productions, Chris Aponick and Sam Martin. You read about the club here (and if you haven’t, go read now). The bands honored with opening what is bound to be a legendary venue are American Cream (featuring STNNNG’s Nathan Nelson), David Nance Band, Robust Worlds and Church of Gravitron. Show starts at 9. Entrance in the back of the building, where there’s also some parking. $5, BYOB.

Also tomorrow night, a show that seems to be flying under the radar (or at least I haven’t seen a word about it yet) — Toronto punks Dilly Dally headline at Reverb Lounge. Their new album, Sore (Partisan, 2015) got a massive 8.0 rating from Pitchfork. Frontwoman Katie Monks sounds like the second coming of Courtney Love on songs that Hole would have killed to have written.

Dilly Dally, Sore (Partisan, 2015)

Dilly Dally, Sore (Partisan, 2015)

The album’s artwork is kind of gross, so much so that I asked Monks to explain it to me. Here’s what she said, via email:

“The album cover relates to our music in many different ways, but I would rather not spell it out. That would spoil the fun. Listen to the record and if you still don’t get it, feel free to enjoy the image based on the fact that’s pretty badass lol.”

It’s badass alright. No Thanks opens. $10 9 p.m.

Also tomorrow night (Saturday), Londoners Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs (Transdreamer Records) headline at O’Leaver’s. Opening is Simon Joyner and the Ghosts and Those Far Out Arrows. $7, 9:30 p.m.

Then along comes Sunday…

Folk rocker Laura Stevenson and her band headline at Slowdown Jr. She’s on the road supporting her just-released album Cocksure (Don Giovanni, 2015). Opening is a slew of acts: The Ridgways, No Getter and Crypt Kid. 8 p.m., $10 Adv./$12 DOS.

Also Sunday night, O’Leaver’s is rolling out another night of the hard stuff with Tallahassee band Ex-Breathers, Gnarwhal Peace of Shit and FLAK. $7, 9 p.m.

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 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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Interview: Dan McCarthy talks McCarthy Trenching (at The Reader); I guess you like Milk Run; Live @ O’Leaver’s gets some press love…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:59 pm November 3, 2015
McCarthy Trenching celebrates the release of the latest album this Saturday at O'Leaver's.

McCarthy Trenching celebrates the release of the latest album this Friday at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Just posted at thereader.com this morning, an interview/feature on Dan McCarthy of McCarthy Trenching. Dan talks about his new album, More Like It (Sower, 2015), which is being celebrated with an album release show this Friday, Nov. 6, at fabulous O’Leaver’s. The record is gorgeous, but what did you expect? You can read the story in the November issue of The Reader, which should be on newsstands any day now, or online right now right here.

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If readership of yesterday’s Lazy-i interview about Milk Run is any indication, the new music venue operated by Chris Aponick and Sam Parker is headed for big-time success. The blog entry was the most read item in Lazy-i this year.

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Speaking of One Percent (or at least Reverb), Looks like they’ve got a brand-spanking new website design over at onepercentproductions.com. Check it out.

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And finally, websites Stereogum and Diffuser have both published items about the Live at O’Leaver’s website.

Said Stereogum, “Back in 2012, Tim Kasher, Matt Maginn, and Ted Stevens of Nebraskan indie rockers Cursive and Chris Machmuller of Ladyfinger purchased O’Leavers Pub in Omaha. They’ve been using the space to host small DIY shows, and they had the excellent idea to start recording performances professionally and releasing them.”

Something tells me they saw my story on O’Leaver’s that went online last month…  Can’t blame them for wanting to spread the good news…

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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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Live Review: Ted Stevens Unknown Project, Miniature Horse, McCarthy Trenching…

Ted Stevens Unknown Project at Reverb Lounge, Jan. 15, 2015.

Ted Stevens Unknown Project at Reverb Lounge, Jan. 15, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Big draw Saturday night for Ted Stevens Unknown Project at Reverb Lounge in Benson, though almost no one was there when I dropped in at 9 p.m. As much as I like Ted and his crew, I wanted to see Miniature Horse a.k.a. Rachel Tomlinson Dick, who I’d seen a few months ago at an afternoon concert at Almost Music and couldn’t believe my ears.

Miniature Horse at Reverb Lounge, Jan. 17, 2015.

Miniature Horse at Reverb Lounge, Jan. 17, 2015.

Namewise, why Miniature Horse instead of RTD? Who knows. She didn’t say from stage what the name meant. Miniature horses are cute little creatures that have been known to take a chunk out of the back of a child’s head or crush a passerby’s kneecap whether provoked or not. No one knows what goes through the creatures’ minds other than somber bitterness and/or barely contained rage over being born a diminutive reflection of their more regal brethren. It’s only a matter of time before that rage boils over into a reflex motion that requires surgery and long-term rehabilitation to an unfortunate passerby.

I don’t think that’s what RTD had in mind when she came up with the name, though there is a “beauty and the beast” style to her one-woman show, brought to you by her amazing voice (one of the best singers in town) and her effects pedals that alter her guitar’s tone from quiet reflection to Neil Young feedback blaze with a tap of her toe. Consider her our own version of Polly Jean Harvey circa her 4-Track Demos phase. An intricate finger-picking style had a couple of the guys next to me (there were only guys in the crowd early in the evening) staring in awe. One of them wondered what her songs would sound like with a full band, and I wondered, too, but would be afraid the added instruments could clutter up the solitary majesty. Maybe a simple trio, though RTD is doing fine by her lonesome, standing like her namesake on an empty stage.

McCarthy Trenching at Reverb Lounge, Jan. 17, 2015.

McCarthy Trenching at Reverb Lounge, Jan. 17, 2015.

Next up was the string-band version of McCarthy Trenching. Dan McCarthy is known as a piano man by a lot of people who have only seen his early-evening weekly gigs at Pageturners, but he’s just as comfortable with a guitar hanging ’round his neck, backed by talented upright bass player James Maakestad. McCarthy rolled through a set that included familiar chestnuts (the one about kicking a ball through the Cathedral uprights; another about being a self-employed, self-hating lout) as well as new songs (including one that perfectly captures my seething road rage).

McCarthy balances a forlorn loneliness with humor and a knack for capturing every-day details lyrically I haven’t heard since John Darnielle, though musically Trenching songs in no way resemble Mountain Goats songs. When played on piano, they more closely resemble Randy Newman tunes, and I would recommend McCarthy Trenching albums to anyone who loves Newman’s solo piano songs.

McCarthy said he wants to enter the studio again. We’re all waiting, Dan.

By the time Ted Stevens and his all-star band rolled onto the Reverb stage the lounge was a jam-packed calamity of fans and fellow musicians come to pay homage to the guy behind Lullaby for the Working Class and Mayday, and who, by the way, also plays and writes for Cursive. Backing Stevens as the Unknown Project is Lincoln Dickison (Putrescine, Monroes) on electric guitar, Ian Aeillo (Eli Mardock, Eagle*Seagull) on bass and David Ozinga (UUVVWWWZ) on drums.

Stevens’ songwriting is like no one else’s around here. It’s linear, without the usual chorus and verse structure, more like a stream of conscious telling of his life backed by an indie version of Crazy Horse. The closest resemblance to Stevens’ music (to me) is American Music Club/Mark Eitzel, which has a similar foreboding sense of chaotic ennui. There is a darkness to his music, a sense of stark anxiety like we’re getting a look inside what drives Stevens’ life, a sense of uneasiness accented by a voice that sounds like a hand outstretched to something just out of reach. Gorgeous stuff

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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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The secret show that never happened; Conor Oberst’s new bar; Live Review: Cowboy Junkies, McCarthy Trenching; Back When tonight; Icky Blossoms tomorrow…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:01 pm April 20, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I feel an obligation to explain the cryptic message at the end of yesterday’s blog. The message: “One more thing: Omaha peeps keep a close eye on the various and sundry social media sites late today and into the early evening. More than that, I cannot say…

A few days ago I received an email notifying me of a secret show that was to take place at O’Leaver’s last night. The catch: If too many people find out before-hand, the band will cancel the gig, so don’t tell anyone until the night of the performance. Then yesterday at around 6, I got a text that said the show was off. Too many people had heard about it, so the band canceled.

I can’t tell you who the band is because doing so could jeopardize other future shows by this unsaid band. Of course, most people who live in Omaha and read this blog regularly know exactly who I’m talking about, and understand why this band lives under a paranoid veil of secrecy. Or maybe they don’t. I certainly don’t. What is the point of telling people that you’re doing a secret show, and then canceling the show because too many people know about it? And how many, exactly, is “too many people”? And how do you figure out that people are talking? Was a secret poll conducted of people huddled around Smoke Genies throughout the Dundee/Benson bar district?

“The numbers are in, boss. Thirty people confirmed knowledge of the show, with a high concentration located around Jake’s.”

“Fuck it, the show’s off. They knew the rules. I will not be defied.”

The whole sitch was the cause of much mirth at O’Leaver’s last night, where we came up with a new name for the band which combines the first eight letters of the band’s name followed by the word “pussies.” You do the math. I suggested that all this secrecy could hamper the band’s upcoming tour of national secret shows.

“Guys, I just cancelled Chicago. Way too much chitter-chat. And Minneapolis is in jeopardy. When I say ‘No talking,’ I mean no talking. They better learn: I WILL CANCEL EVERY SECRET SHOW ON THIS TOUR IF THEY KEEP IT UP. Now someone go text that…”

It sounds like I was one of the few people that got the 6 p.m. text saying that the show was canceled. I talked to a number of people in the large crowd at O’Leaver’s last night that didn’t find out until after they arrived. Well, at least they were treated to a fine set by McCarthy Trenching.

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Speaking of secrets. A couple weeks ago someone tipped me off that Conor Oberst and Phil Schaffart were planning on opening a bar at 5004 Dodge Street in the old Pageturners storefront. Like the dutiful journalist I am, I emailed Phil and asked if it was true.

His response. “Yes, Conor and I are opening a lounge in the old Pageturners bookstore on Dodge st. We’re still in the planning stage but we hope to be open by mid summer. I appreciate your interest but was hoping you could please refrain from mentioning this in print for the time being? We have yet to be granted our Liquor License and we’d rather not draw any extra attention. Once all the dust has settled, I’d be happy to give you the details on the space and and what we’re planning for it.

So what do you do? I could easily have ran with my information without contacting Phil. I already verified it via public filings. But I thought it would be better to get it from the horse’s mouth. And once I got Phil’s email, I felt obligated to sit on it until Phil said it was OK to run. I didn’t want to fuck up their plans.

Well, last night city councilman Pete Festerson tweeted about the bar, including its location. Moments later I got an email from Phil saying that The Omaha World-Herald was about to publish a story confirming the information. “I apologize if the OWH is able to print this info before you as you were indeed the first to inquire.”

Oh well.

So here’s what I know. The place will be called Pageturners Lounge and will open in late summer. And that’s about it. I haven’t been able to talk to Phil, who is on tour right now with M. Ward. But when I get details, I’ll pass them along.

Again, this wasn’t exactly a well-kept secret. Someone else had told me about it earlier yesterday evening, and I just nodded my head, knowingly. That person asked if Conor and Phil plan on doing live music at their new bar. I said I did not know. Having looked at the space myself, I could tell him that it’s a long, narrow room with a full basement.  Coffee-shop style performances might work; but I couldn’t imagine seeing a band there, but who knows (other than Phil and Conor, who presumably is sequestered inside a bunker deep within his Fairacres mansion)? I said I had a feeling that they may follow the Krug Park model, which so far seems to have been wildly successful at drawing a crowd by simply serving fantastic beer. Time will tell.

This morning’s OWH article seems to confirm my assumptions. I think you can tell by its tone that Phil wasn’t too eager to talk about the project.

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Cowboy Junkies at The Slowdown, April 19, 2012.

Cowboy Junkies at The Slowdown, April 19, 2012.

There were around 200 on hand for last night’s Cowboy Junkies show at The Slowdown, which turned out to be a “sit-down” affair. Rows of folding chairs were placed in the area in front of the stage, apparently to appease an older crowd. And I do mean older; I practically felt like a spring chicken. But in their defense, old people know what’s good and definitely know what they like, and there was a lot to like about last night’s performance.

Margo Timmons and the band came on at 8 and preceded to play two one-hour sets and an encore. The stage felt intimate in the dim light, with Margo seated out front next to a vase filled with red roses. If you’re a fan of this band and were there, you very likely were entranced. At times their set had that same hushed, haunted feel heard on their early records; at other times, they pulled back the lid and rocked. Timmons has a fantastic, even, ethereal voice on haunted songs about haunted lives. To their credit, their new album contains some of the best material of their career.

Chatting with a couple who drove in from Lincoln for the show, I guessed that the band wait until the encore to play their famous cover of Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane.” Instead, they launched into it as the first song of their second set, as gorgeous as ever.

I didn’t stay for the whole show, since I wanted to see McCarthy Trenching at O’Leaver’s. Opening was James Maakestad of Gus & Call, who played a set of rustic acoustic jams that highlighted his amazing voice. How would these sound with a full band? Do they even need to be fleshed out with anything beyond his voice and guitar? Maakestad stayed on stage to back Dan McCarthy on stand-up bass. McCarthy is Omaha’s Randy Newman — a musical genius who has a unique, funny and touching way with words. He sang a number of songs from his new album, along with “The Ballad of Dorothy Lynch,” which is bound to be an instant classic.

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Briefly (because this is running long) here’s a recap of some of the better shows this weekend:

Back at O’Leaver’s tonight it’s Back When with Ketchup and Mustard Gas and New Lungs. Bring your earplugs, it gonna be loud. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow at Elmwood Park it’s Earth Day. The full schedule of events is right here, but the highlight from a performance standpoint is Icky Blossoms, who play from 3:40 to 4:25. Should be a blast, and it’s free. More info here.

If you’re in Lincoln tomorrow, Duffy’s is hosting a benefit show for KRNU. The lineup: Great American Desert, AZP, Manny Coon, Shipbuilding Co., Good Show Great Show, Pharmacy Spirits, Sun Settings and Machete Archive. Show starts at 5 p.m. and suggested donation is $5. More info here. I only wish we had a KRNU here in Omaha…

And don’t forget that tomorrow is Record Store Day. Get out to The Antiquarium (check out all their cool-ass promotions), Homer’s and the Shop at Saddle Creek and buy some vinyl.

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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Live Review: McCarthy Trenching; MAHA showcase lineups announced; Big Harp signs to Saddle Creek (probably)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 11:48 am May 30, 2011

by TIm McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I swung by The Barley Street Tavern last night for Orenda Fink/McCarthy Trenching, and it was (as expected) a packed house, which means there were more than 50 people in the bar’s “music room,” where folk stood along the wall in the back and women sat on their boyfriends’ laps. Another 20 or so people were pushed into the main bar area, content with watching the performance on the security monitor-style camera above the bar.

Yeah, it was crowded, but had you wanted to see the show, you could have. I caught the last few songs by Whispertown’s Morgan Nagler, one of which was accompanied by Fink and another two accompanied by Omaha ex-pat Jake Bellows. Nagler had an innocent, some might say childlike, flair to her simple acoustic ballads. Bellows took over right after her set and played five or six solo acoustic tunes, sounding better than ever. He remains one of Omaha’s best lonely-heart crooners, like an Elvis lost on a desert island.

Dan McCarthy came on at around 11, taking advantage of the Barley’s house piano, which he said was made in 1917 and last tuned in 1918. Despite that, the rustic keyboard sounded perfect for his style of Randy Newman-meets-Chuck Brodsky-meets Tom Waits folk balladry, which included a few Scott Joplin rags. A couple members of hot new band Gus & Call joined him in the middle of the set (playing stand-up bass and that piano) when McCarthy picked up an acoustic guitar. He eventually made his way back to the piano and was still at it when I left at midnight, too tired to wait for Orenda (unless, of course, she played before Whispertown, which I do not know). The crowd had a hipster wedding reception feel to it, consisting of members of the Saddle Creek Records family and their friends and colleagues, all out to “welcome back” Orenda and Todd Fink to Omaha.

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The folks at the MAHA Music Festival took a decidedly smart turn in how they picked the bands for their local stage this year — three of the five bands were chosen by folks involved with hearnebraska.org (including myself as an HN board member, though only one of the three bands chosen were on my list). As a requirement for accepting the local-stage gig, each band was tasked with curating one pre-festival showcase, where they would play along with two or three other bands of their choosing. Last Friday MAHA announced the line-up for these showcase events.

Strongest of the three is the showcase curated by So-So Sailors at Slowdown July 28. Playing along with SSS will be power-punk band Millions of Boys, the more traditional indie stylings of Fortnight, and one of the area’s best punk/garage/new wave rock bands, Digital Leather, who (one could argue) should have been in consideration for one of those three MAHA local stage spots.

The other Omaha showcase will be held June 22 at The Waiting Room, curated by Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship. Joining them will be New Lungs, a new trio featuring Danny Maxwell of Little Brazil on guitar and vocals, drummer Corey Broman and bassist Craig Fort. Think Polvo meets Dinosaur Jr. meets Mission of Burma meets classic ’90s Linoma punk. Also on the bill are noise rockers Ketchup and Mustard Gas.

And finally, there’s the Lincoln showcase curated by The Machete Archive to be held at Duffy’s Tavern July 1. Joining Machete will be Her Flyaway Manner, Irkutsk and Powerful Science. Brendan McGinn’s HFN has been around for years playing brutal, Fugazi-inspired punk. I can’t say as I know a thing about the other two bands.

All three showcases are all-ages events and absolutely free, so you best mark them down on your calendar.

There’s still one more MAHA local stage spot up for grabs, which will be determined by a public-vote talent competition as part of the OEA Summer Showcase July 8-9 in Benson.

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One final bit of news: Judging by their Facebook fan page, it looks like Big Harp, the husband-and-wife duo of Chris Senseney (Baby Walrus) and Stefanie Drootin-Senseney (The Good Life, Consafos) are the latest “signing” by Saddle Creek Records. They’re still not listed on the Creek site, but I’m sure that’ll come any day now. It’s good to see Creek continuing to sign new talent in this era of music industry decline…

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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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