Live Review: Refrigerator, Simon Joyner; Lincoln Calling tix on sale Thursday; Electric Six tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:29 pm July 5, 2016
Refrigerator at O'Leaver's, July 1, 2016.

Refrigerator at O’Leaver’s, July 1, 2016.

by Tim McMahan,

Refrigerator is a literate indie rock band that puts its guts out there for everyone to see, but still doesn’t take itself that seriously. Case in point: Halfway through their set Friday night at O’Leaver’s, guitarist Dennis Callaci decided it was a good time to form a congo line and bounce on out to the beer garden with his brother, frontman Allen Callaci, while the bassist and drummer kept the beat in the club. And out they went doing the usual bunny hop with grins on their faces (along with the dozen or so people who joined in, hands on hips).

The show had been promoted as a special occasion based on the fact that Refrigerator has never played in Nebraska before, despite having close ties with some prominent Nebraska musicians — Simon Joyner chief among them. To me, the band is identified with The Antiquarium, which was where you’d find their albums and cassettes, along with other releases on Callaci’s label, Shrimper. Their music has the same pleasantly abrasive style of a few of my favorite ’90s indie bands like Silkworm, Grifters, a more refined Guided by Voices — smart, earnest rock with a crashing beat that gets you moving. It was a great set.

The band had a big spread of their releases available at the show — lots of cassettes and some vinyl. But with only $20 to spare, I bought a copy of Allen Callaci’s book, Heart Like a Starfish, a handsome tome and a challenging read that I began tackling this weekend. The story recaps Allen’s medical struggles involving his heart. I’m just 40 or so pages into it and it’s getting rather grim, but I know the book has a happy ending because I saw it being lived out on O’Leaver’s stage.

Simon Joyner at O'Leaver's, July 1, 2016.

Simon Joyner at O’Leaver’s, July 1, 2016.

During the opening set, Simon Joyner on electric guitar, accompanied by a drummer, ripped through a number of new songs as well as some chestnuts like “Joy Division” (or at least part of that song) and “Javelin.” Always a good time.

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Lincoln Calling Oct. 6-8

Lincoln Calling Oct. 6-8

As you may or may not know, Lincoln Calling is getting a rather massive facelift this year. The primary change: Hear Nebraska is now putting on the three-day festival, which is being held Oct. 6-8 in venues throughout downtown Lincoln. Believe me, you will be impressed by the line-up, which HN will begin to announce July 13 (they’re doing incremental lineup announcements).

That said, tickets go on sale this Thursday, July 7. Early bird, three-day general admission festival passes will be available at a discount price of $29. Once those sell out, 3-day passes will increase in price to $39 for a limited time, and will eventually sell for $49.

Sales of all-ages 3-day passes that allow entrance only into two venues — The Bay and Tower Square — also go on sale Thursday for $25. Comedy-only passes will be sold for $25.

And then there are the two specialty passes:

Trustee passes at a cost of $250 includes a three-day festival pass, access to a lounge area with comfortable seating and tables, food and drink tickets, and additional perks to be announced.

SPEED! passes at $150 (only 10 available) gets the bearers to the front of the line at every concert, and allows access even when shows are at capacity.

One-day passes may be available day of show — subject to availability. In other words, at these price points, they’re expecting to sell out those 3-day passes.

No doubt Hear Nebraska is going for a South By Southwest-type event. The difference is they’re combining national touring acts of various genres with some of Nebraska’s finest bands, all playing in multiple venues for multiple days.

BTW, I have seen the initial line-up, and yes, it rivals this year’s Maha Festival. Get your tickets Thursday morning at

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Tonight Detroit disco-punk-new wave-garage-metal band Electric Six makes its annual pilgrimage to The Waiting Room. Joining them are In the Whale. $15, 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Ten Questions with Twin Peaks; David Nance, Refrigerator (acoustic) tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:54 pm June 28, 2016
Twin Peaks gets the Ten Questions treatment. The band plays tomorrow night at The Waiting Room.

Twin Peaks gets the Ten Questions treatment. The band plays tomorrow night at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan,

Chicago band Twin Peaks has been consistently described as a “garage band,” but on their latest album, Down in Heaven (2016, Grand Jury) the five-piece smooths out its sound for a collection of relaxed, casual rockers that are more mainstream than garage. It’s smooth vibe is quite a contrast to their breakthrough album, Wild Onion, (2014, Grand Jury), which felt like The Kinks combined with every band on the Titan! label. Maybe it’s a sign of maturity. The band, led by Cadien Lake James, was formed only six years ago, when all the members were still in high school. They’ve since gone from playing house shows to massive festivals like Bonnaroo and now Omaha’s The Waiting Room June 29.

I asked Twin Peaks to take the Ten Questions survey. Colin Croom (keys, vocals, guitar) took the plunge:

1. What is your favorite album? 

Twin Peaks: The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Piano Man” – Billy Joel

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Best part is traveling all over the damn place and playing music every night.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

The Canadian border (much love for Canada but that border patrol can be a real pain in the ass).

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Tie between cheeseburgers and marijuana.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Chicago is home, so that’s my number one right there.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Can’t think of a worst. We played a ski lodge once in Canada and that was pretty weird, though.

8. How do you pay your bills?

I used to work at a bar called Parsons whenever we were home from tour, but this is my first time riding it out with music and I feel blessed to do so. I’ve worked in the service industry since I was 15 pretty heavy, so I’m grateful.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do? 

I’ll probably go back to working in bars once the well runs dry with music, hah. I used to work the window at a McDonald’s when I was 17, I would prefer not to do that again.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I’ve heard y’all got one hell of a zoo there, I’d definitely be down to kick it with some animals.

Twin Peaks plays with NE-HI and Eric in Outerspace Wednesday, June 29, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $12; showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to

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There’s another in-store tonight at Almost Music in the Blackstone District. Performing are David Nance and So. Cal. indie rock band Refrigerator doing an acoustic set. Refer’s Allen and Dennis Callaci have never performed in Midwest before, so this is a rarity (though the full band will be doing a set Friday night at O’Leaver’s). Also tonight Allen Callaci will be reading from his new memoir Heart Like a Starfish. The reading begins at 7:30, followed by music. And the whole thing is FREE.

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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.