Pagan Athletes, Universe Contest, BFF tonight; Soccer Mommy Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 2:43 pm November 5, 2021
Pagan Athletes celebrate the release of their debut album tonight at OutrSpaces.

by Tim McMahan,

Sam Crisler at The Reader wrote a massive story on Pagan Athletes, who celebrate the release of their debut LP tonight at OutrSpaces. The drum/keyboard duo of Nathan and Griffin Wolf are the sons of Cellophane Ceiling frontman and Main Vein impresario John Wolf. Sam’s story goes deep in the history, and into the making of the album and the band’s sound, which I would describe as psychedelic-punk-prog-sonic-rollercoaster. Read it here.

OutrSpaces is located at 1258 So. 13th Street. Playing with PA are Verb the Noun, Ben Eisenberger w/chamber group, and Kyle Jessen. No price listed, but it starts at 8 p.m. 

Also tonight, The Sydney in Benson celebrates Benson First Friday with a show headlined by Universe Contest. Also on the bill are Better Friends and All Young Girls Are Machine Guns. $10, 10 p.m. 

Tomorrow night it’s back to Benson for Soccer Mommy at The Waiting Room. Nashville native Sophie Allison is the Mommy and she’s on the road supporting her sophomore release, Color Theory (2020, Loma Vista). Opening is Polyvinyl artist Alexalone. $20, 8 p.m. 

Also Saturday night, I Don’t Know How But They Found Me (Fearless) headlines at The Slowdown with San Diego’s Ignant Benches. $30, 8 p.m.

That’s all I got other than to say that it’s a Bandcamp Friday again, so if you’re going to buy some digital downloads, today’s the day to do it as Bandcamp (and most labels) will be passing along its fees to the artists. 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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


When will Omaha bars reopen? New music: Eddy Mink; Pagan Athletes; No Thanks, Marcey Yates tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:40 pm May 21, 2020

No Thanks at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 2, 2019. The band plays a live streamed showcase tonight at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan,

We’re all still sitting around twiddling our thumbs waiting to hear when bars are going to be allowed to reopen, especially after Iowa announced a 50 percent capacity reopening starting next Thursday (May 28).

If you’re like me and you’re watching the various and sundry COVID-19 reports/charts/graphs, the numbers seem to be flattening or headed downwards in Nebraska. Meanwhile, flip through Facebook and you’ll quickly find numbers that say Douglas County is still red hot — cases continue to rise, but so do tests. And yet, I’ve still (luckily) yet to know anyone who has tested positive (or know anyone who knows anyone who has).

With the Nebraska DHM (Directed Heath Measures) proclamation expiring June 1, I foresee we’ll be getting an announcement regarding bars reopening sometime in the next week. If they follow Iowa’s lead and allow for a 50 percent capacity reopening, will you be willing to return that first week of June?

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New music continues to be released even during the shutdown.

The long-awaited new album by Eddy Mink (a.k.a. Kerry Eddy), Open Container Heart Surgery, dropped last week on Spotify and other streaming services.

Recorded at ARC with Ben Brodin in March 2018 with Ben Armstrong on drums/keys, Patrick Hargon on guitar, baritone guitar and pedal steel and Eddy on guitar and vocals, it’s one of my favorite local releases so far for 2020. Eddy has a bright, aggressive voice that’s like hearing one of the Wilson sisters (Heart) fronting a modern indie rock band. The songs gallop on a rhythm section whose bass lines lead the way (see standout tracks “Eaten Alive,” opener “Alarms”).

I’m including a Spotify link below because the band doesn’t have a Bandcamp page (though you can find the entire album here on YouTube).

The Wolf Brothers of Griffin and Nathan are sons of local rock royalty — John Wolf — but that’s not why you should check out their new four-song EP Live at the DN. The drums/synth combo’s recordings are jittery sonic acid trips of rhythm and noise. Call it electro-punk annihilation, or the soundtrack to your personal COVID nightmare.

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The doors are closed tonight at The Slowdown but there’s still a rock show happening on the big stage, and you’re invited to tune in via the internet.

Punk rock show-stoppers No Thanks and hip-hop master Marcey Yates (a.k.a. Op2mus) are the first to be featured in a new live stream experiment at Slowdown. With house sound guy Dan Brennan and renowned videographer Django Greenblatt-Seay behind the controls, this is sure to be a next-level streaming experience.

And it ain’t free. Tickets are $5 (though you can donate more) with the cash going to the talent involved. Ticket holders will receive a link to the event both 48 hours and 10 minutes prior to the event. Performances begin at 8:15 sharp. More info and tickets available here.

It’s the next best thing to going to a rock show. See you there…

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Weekend in Review: Almost Music (Pagan Athletes, Wagon Blasters), Matt Whipkey; No Thanks, Hussies tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:51 pm February 4, 2019

Matt Whipkey and his band at Reverb Lounge Feb. 2, 2019.

by Tim McMahan,

It was a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd at Almost Music Saturday night around 8 p.m., the store filled with revelers celebrating the unfortunate demise of an Omaha music store. Some of the book shelves had been moved out of the Solid Jackson side to make room for the crowds watching the bands. In back they were doling out what can only be described as “doses” of the Nite Owl “punch” that indeed packed one. It was a happy though solemn affair as we were all happy to see the bands and each other, and sad that it was the last day for Almost Music and Solid Jackson, a store that will never be equaled (Unless Brad decides to open one again some day).

So crowded was the store that we couldn’t see Pagan Athletes, who were performing on the other side of the room. The synth/drummer duo was knocking out crazy futuristic jams, hyper-kinetic instrumentals that held the crowd in a trance with its jittery swing. The fine young man standing next to me drinking the blood-colored punch from a coffee cup said the band consists of John Wolf’s sons! Wolf is nothing less than an Omaha music legend behind such great bands as Cellophane Ceiling and Bad Luck Charm (among others). No doubt talent runs in the family. Check out some Pagan Athletes demos below.


Wagon Blasters at Almost Music’s farewell show, Feb. 2, 2019.

Speaking of legends, Pagan Athletes was followed by Wagon Blasters, the next evolutionary step in the ever mutating genre of Nebraska Tractor Punk. Gary Dean Davis was in his usual fine form, as was the rest of the band, who I could barely see while standing  atop a three-foot step ladder, where I took the above photo (I never got a clear shot of Pagan Athletes).

We only hung around for a couple Blasters songs, overcome by ennui generated by the knowledge that we wouldn’t be able to stop into Almost Music again on Saturdays after lunch at Noli’s. Brad, we salute you (and by the way, you hit the nail squarely on the head with that Rat Columns album — primo!).

We headed cross town to catch Matt Whipkey’s set at Reverb Lounge. Whipkey has been performing in a variety of bands and projects for almost two decades, and while rock has always been the staple, his style has varied from Americana to heavy metal (or close to it). That variety makes for a fine selection of songs and styles, which we got a heathy sample of Saturday night.

It’s become known in some circles that Whipkey has been working on a secret project, and sure enough he rolled out one of those songs last night — a punk version of “Fred, You’re Dead” (of which there’s a slower version on his last album, Driver). When will Whipkey reveal this full punk project? Only time will tell…

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Tonight Cam Stout celebrates her birthday at The Brothers Lounge. I don’t know who Cam is, but I like her taste in music, as the bands No Thanks and Hussies are both performing in her honor. $5, 10 p.m. Happy Birthday, Cam…

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.