Cave Singers, Landing on the Moon tonight; Whipkey Peony Park album release show Saturday; Cursive, Digital Leather Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 4:28 pm June 21, 2013
One of Peony Park's lousy rides.

One of Peony Park’s lousy rides.

by Tim McMahan,

If the weather holds out, I think I’ll be riding my bike to Benson a lot this weekend. I’m a little nervous about this, not because I’m afraid that I’m going to be run over by a drunk, but because I don’t want my bike to get stolen when it’s locked up outside wherever I’m at. I’ve got one of those big, thick, hooped bike locks, but you never know. It’s not like my bike is some sort of high-dollar valuable asset that everyone’s dying to steal, I’m just paranoid and wonder if I’ll be able to enjoy the show without checking every five minutes to see if it’s gone.

I need to do what Spaulding Gray used to do when swimming in Cambodia — just leave your wallet on the beach and get lost in the waves.

Anyway, most of the high-end shows are in Benson this weekend, which is a change of pace. It starts tonight when Seattle indie band Cave Singers plays at The Waiting Room. The band’s first two albums came out on Matador before they switched to the more appropriate Jagjaguwar label — more appropriate in that I identify this sort of weedy folk rock music more with Jag than Matador. Opening band, Durham’s Mount Mariah (Merge Records) is another up-and-coming folk rock trio with a frontwoman in the Jenny Lewis vein. Jesse Sykes is listed as solo rather than with her band the Sweet Hereafter. It’s a lineup that’s definitely worth your $13 if you’re into the folk rock thing. Starts at 9.

Also tonight, Landing on the Moon headlines at The Barley Street with New York artists Sons of an Illustrious Father and Lexie Roth. $5, 9 p.m.

Longtime jangle-pop act Turtle Moon bids adieu tonight with a final show at Shamrock’s, 5338 No. 103rd St. 9 p.m..

Saturday night is dedicated to The Whipkey Three album release show at The Waiting Room. Strike that: The record is actually credited simply to Whipkey, which, when you consider that Matt Whipkey wrote all the music (as he usually does) makes a lot of sense, especially for a double-vinyl album that is a rumination of the days of his youth spent at Peony Park.

From the outset, I’ve been a little tepid about the record’s concept because I have very few fond memories of Peony Park. I remember it as a dirty, noisy, half-ass neighborhood carny with shitty rides and overpriced crap food. Whipkey remembers it as a place to pick up tail, an idea that never entered my mind when I was stuck there. I just remember gliding around on that monorail looking at all the shitty rides down below (and the accident when someone was killed falling out of The Hurricane). As I got older, I went to the park’s giant pool / beach, which was the best part of Peony Park. I skipped the Royal Grove and Sprite Nite. My “coming of age” years instead were spent sneaking into Council Bluffs bars like The Warehouse, The Depot and Fat Jacks, but that’s another story.

Anyway, Matt has recorded all of his golden memories of Peony Park and pressed them onto two slabs of pink vinyl. Did he succeed in musically transforming a seedy park into a glorious sex-fueled wonderland? Pick up a copy of the album Saturday night and find out. Expect a genuine rock and roll experience. Opening acts are Moses Prey, Jessica Errett and Tara Vaughan, and  Fizzle Like a Flood. $7, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Saturn Moth plays at The Barley Street Tavern with Talking Mountain and “chiptune” band Superbytes, who counts among its main instruments an old-school Game Boy. $5, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s Pony Wars with The Howl and the debut of  a new project by Jeremy Stanosheck (Thunder Power, Kite Pilot) called Phantom Scout. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Finally, Sunday night Cursive returns to The Waiting Room for reasons I do not know — they don’t have a new album out and aren’t working on one (though Tim Kasher is finishing a solo recording). Does it matter? It’s friggin’ Cursive, dude. Opening is the amazing Digital Leather and See Through Dresses (Sara from Millions of Boys). $13 adv/$15 DOS. 9 p.m.

Did I miss anything? Add it to the comments section, below. 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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


…and here’s the Matt Whipkey ‘Penny Park’ Kickstarter; KMFDM tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:58 pm March 26, 2013

by Tim McMahan,

An update on yesterday’s post about Matt Whipkey’s Penny Park Omaha NE: Summer of 1989 project: This morning Whipkey launched a Kickstarter program to help fund production of the double-vinyl album. His goal is to raise $4,000 in 30 days. As of this writing, he’s already almost a quarter of the way there.

My initial skepticism for crowd funding has recently turned into pure enthusiasm,” Whipkey says on the site. “This is an exciting time for independent music, like a live performance there is now no barrier between artist and listener. Through Kickstarter, we remove the proverbial middleman who always holds things up. You and I are working together on this one, in concert. Quite frankly the idea of a double-gatefold, 150-gram vinyl double concept album about a long gone Midwestern amusement park in 1989 would make many labels immediately stop communicating.”

I’m sure it would. Check out the Kickstarter site and make a pledge.

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Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return of Chicago-by-way-of-German industrial band KMFDM. Opening are Legion With and Chant. $25, 8 p.m.

By the way, I discovered from this review of KMFDM’s show in Milwaukee that the acronym stands for “Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid,” a grammatically incorrect German phrase meaning roughly “No Pity for the Majority,” and not, as the band has jokingly claimed on occasion, “Kill Motherfucking Depeche Mode.”

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Tomorrow: Some very special news for fans of ’90s-era Omaha-based punk…

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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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Whipkey launches Penny Park music/memories project; Kickstarter update: Outlaw Con Bandana, Travelling Mercies…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:55 pm March 25, 2013

Penny Park graphicby Tim McMahan,

Bad weather (or the threat of if) kept me away from the bars all weekend. What month is it, anyway? March? March used to be “kite-flying month.” Not anymore. Thank you global climate change.

Over the weekend, Matt Whipkey launched his Penny Park Omaha, NE Summer 1989 project. For those too young to remember, there was this urban amusement park located where the Hy-Vee currently stands at 79th and Cass St. I always thought the park itself was kind of shitty, but the lagoon, well, that was special.

Anyway, it was called Peony Park, not Penny Park. But there were some legal questions tied around using the Peony Park name. Whipkey points out that the record isn’t specifically about the park but about a girl named Penny Park.

Penny Park is a person. Peony was an amusement park. The former spent a great deal of time at the later. This is a record about a girl,” says the website.

As part of the recording project, Whipkey is asking people to send in their memories and photos of Peony Park. Those photos may be used in the album’s gatefold. We’re talking about a 21-song double vinyl album, folks. In fact, tomorrow, Whipkey will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to help fund its production.

For now, here are a couple recordings that will give you a flavor of the project:


Speaking of Kickstarter projects…

Outlaw Con Bandana is currently running a Kickstarter to help produce a new double-vinyl LP and writing collection.

White Pariah is a micro publishing company started by four friends from Omaha, NE. The Ticks and Trips vinyl and writing collection will mark our first release. We’ve worked really hard to make sure this thing rules. The writing collection has a bunch of great prose, and poetry from Brendan as well as some old photos we had him dig up from the depths. The booklet also features lyrics to all 27 songs featured on the album, which we had fun making Brendan type up. We hope everyone loves sitting down and going through this thing.

OCB is only trying to raise $1,000 and currently is at the $865 mark with four days to go. Go to his Kickstarter page and give him a hand.

About a month ago I told you about the Kickstarter campaign for Travelling Mercies’ Motel album. Well, according to that Kickstarter site, the band has met it’s $4,000 goal (though the pledges listed don’t add up to $4,000 — I’m not sure how that works. Regardless, congratulations are in order).

Kickstarter is quickly becoming a accepted way for artists to “pre-sale” their albums, effectively funding their production and taking away a lot of the risk involved. For better or worse, it’s become a primary business model for independent musicians.

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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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.