‘Bad Guitarist’ David Nance in HN: TBT: Feb. 2, 2007 — Them House Show Blues and old Commander Venus reunion rumors…
by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
No shows again tonight and not much else happening, though I want to point you to a feature that just went online at Hear Nebraska — a mammoth profile of David Nance by Andrew Stellmon that’s worth your time, with a classic line: “After once seeing The Ghosts, Conor Oberst told (Simon) Joyner that Nance was ‘the best bad guitarist’ he had ever seen.'” Joyner goes on to explain the quote, but I don’t want give away any spoilers, go read it yourself and get to know Nance, who is bubbling up in a national sort of way.
This week’s #TBT dip into the Lazy-i archives is a mixed bag, but I figured it might be fun just to see what we were all up to in a kinder, gentler time before our government was taken over by a monarchy, and so on… take a look.
Them house party blues, Ed Grey, Oxford Collapse tonight; Slowdown Virginia reunion? – Lazy-i, Feb. 2, 2007
One of the biggest shows of the weekend is, in fact, a house party being held tonight at “Frank’s Hotel” across the street from The Brother’s Lounge and starring Capgun Coup, Coyote Bones, The Family Radio and Flowers Forever.
House parties continue to be a staple of indie music, they’re the most convenient outlet for bands and their underage fans to get together without the added cost of a hall rental. It also turns the tables on the whole age issue. Just like those under 21 can’t get into bars, those over 21 can become somewhat suspect at house shows. Those over 30 become oddities. And those over 40 who don’t know anyone there become the elephant in the room: “Look, someone’s dad is here.” “Sir, please, take my chair, I’m fine standing up.” “How’s it going… cop.” Or, simply, “Who’s the freak in the corner?” I joke, of course.
But I have to admit I remember a time when I was in high school and went to house parties (ones where the centers of attention were a keg and a Hal Holbrook party hat (Editor’s Note: That’s slang for beer bong.). Whenever you saw an old guy there (say, in his mid-20s) you thought, “Jeeze, I hope I don’t end up like that old guy.” Music transcends age issues (especially indie music), but that doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable for those of us with graying temples. It is, as I’ve said before, my problem and no one else’s. I know I wouldn’t be the subject of ridicule (at least not in earshot), but still…
Look, if you’re wise and mature enough to not have my hang-ups, don’t miss this show. Coyote Bones is one of those bands that obviously has “it,” and will get signed by a savvy indie label in the very near future. The Family Radio is Nik Fackler’s posse and features arguably the best bass player in Omaha in Dereck Higgins (a guy who has no qualms about his age, nor should he). Capgun Coup epitomize the Archers of Loaf/Pavement slacker esthetic with an extra scoop of Omaha tuneful(less)ness thrown in for good measure. And Flowers Forever will be celebrating their debut.
So what will I be doing this weekend (in 2007)?
There are two other good shows tonight. Sokol Underground gets back into the indie swing of things with Sub Pop recording artist Oxford Collapse, Thunderbirds Are Now! and Latitude, Longitude. 9 p.m., $8.
Meanwhile, down at O’Leaver’s it’s a folk explosion with Iowa City’s Ed Gray. Ed’s worked with John Crawford (Head of Femur, Grey Ghost), violinist Tiffany Kowalski (Lullaby for the Working Class, Mayday, Shelley Short), and producer Alex McManus (The Bruces, Bright Eyes) as well as a ton of other Omaha musicians creatively linked to Simon Joyner. Also on the bill, the rocking Miracles of God, Petit Mal and The Front. $5, 9:30 p.m.
Finally, in an interview with Conor Oberst posted on MTV.com, the boy wonder talks about a possible Slowdown Virginia or Commander Venus reunion in honor of the grand opening of the Slowdown entertainment facility this summer.
Says the article: The opening could feature a performance by erstwhile indie rockers Slowdown Virginia. And Oberst said that while nothing’s been discussed yet, he thinks reuniting his former band, Commander Venus – which disbanded in 1997 after just two years – would make the night even more interesting.
“It would be very funny if that happened,” he said. “I wouldn’t imagine there’s much of a demand for that reunion, but it’s possible. We’re all still around, but I doubt [guitarist] Robb [Nansel] would ever get onstage again.” But Oberst says that reuniting with his other former outfit, Desaparecidos, is “certainly a possibility. I could see that happening at some point down the line.” (Read the whole interview, (still online) here.)
Conor’s talked about a Desa reunion since before Wide Awake came out, and others close to the project all the way back in March 2005 told me that new Desa music had been recorded and only awaited Oberst to add the vocals — which apparently never happened. As welcome as a reunion would be, I’m not holding my breath on this one. A Commander Venus reunion would be fun, but a Slowdown Virginia reunion would be stellar, and appropriate. Why the original Slowdown CD — Dead Space — hasn’t been reissued by Creek (or someone else) is a mystery to me, since it stands up today (I just listened to “Whipping Stick” again this morning). —Lazy-i, Feb. 2, 2007
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Well, that Commander Venus reunion never happened and likely never will. But the Desaparecidos reunion did happen, and we all know how that ended. And Slowdown Virginia reunited three years later in 2010 to a sold out Slowdown crowd (Here’s the review).
Frank’s Hotel (I think) is West Wing these days, but the under-21 set also has Milk Run for shows, and now we’ve got an under-age ordinance thing that allows minors into music venues with parental permission slips, which wasn’t around 10 years ago.
And though I’m 10 years older, I’m still not intimidated about going to shows at Milk Run where I’m clearly old enough to be most of the crowd’s grand-pappy. That’s one of the reasons I like indie rock — most of us who listen to it are outsiders (and misfits) and there’s always room for another misfit at an indie rock show, no matter how old he is…
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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.