Live Review: Land of Talk, Suuns; Little Brazil tonight; Serena-Maneesh Sunday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 3:16 pm September 24, 2010
Land of Talk at Slowdown Jr., Sept. 23, 2010.

Land of Talk at Slowdown Jr., Sept. 23, 2010.

by Tim McMahan,

There was a modest, loving and patient crowd at Slowdown Jr. last night for Land of Talk. Modest, as in fewer than 100 people. Loving, as in the response to every one of their songs. Patient, as in putting up with long delays. Actually, not everyone was patient…

I showed up in time to catch the very tail-end of Conduits, just long enough to snap a picture and hear Jenna Morrison stretch out one final heart-breaking note over a closing crescendo. Along with So-So Sailors, this is the newest local band to keep an eye on.

Suuns were amazing. The Montreal combo killed on a set of very modern, very well-crafted rock songs that cleverly used electronic noises along with the usual guitar/bass/drums set-up to create a sound with an entirely new sense of urgency. Both edgy and trippy, the highlight was closer “Sweet Nothing,” an odyssey that grew from synth noise, sirens and a simple drum beat to a shredding conclusion before receding to nothing.

Suuns would eventually come back as the backing band for Land of Talk. I say “eventually,” because the set was delayed for more than a half-hour while frontwoman Lizzie Powell searched for a missing bag (or so she said from stage). And while the wait was worth it, this was my third night in a row of shows, each of which was followed the next morning by a 6 a.m. wake-up call. In other words, I was running out of gas, and no amount of Powell sweetness was going to keep me awake much longer.

Once she got the ball rolling, Powell cranked out a set of the best from her latest album. On recordings, Land of Talk is a great pop band with catchy songs reminiscent of bands like The Sundays, Cranberries, even Fleetwood Mac. But with Suuns added, everything got a little darker, a little grittier, a little more on edge. It’s territory that I’d love to hear Powell and Co. continue to explore. Unfortunately, about a half-hour into their set, Powell began fiddling with her Gibson SG between songs, tuning and retuning, then snapping on a capo than retuning again. This went on for about five minutes, and then she asked the audience if someone would give her a new guitar. Silence. “I take that as a ‘no,'” she said, while she continued fiddling with the tuning knobs. Finally she gave up, and grabbed another SG from a rack of guitars, strapped it on, and began the whole process again. I looked at my watch, noticed it was past 12:30, and headed to the door with my eyes half closed…

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It’s been a helluva week for shows, and I have to tell ya, I’m exhausted. But the fun ain’t over yet. Tonight at Slowdown Jr. it’s the return of Little Brazil. A re-energized, recently relocated (back to Omaha from San D.) and just-married Landon Hedges is back tonight with the rest of the miscreants and a slew of new songs. Opening is the red-hot So-So Sailors and Honey & Darling. $6, 9 p.m. It could be a madhouse.

Tomorrow night, David Dondero returns to The Waiting Room with Darren Hanlon. $8 adv./$10 DOS. Show starts at 9.

And, of course, Sunday is Wovenhand (ex-16 Horsepower) with amazing opening band  Serena-Maneesh.  $12, 9 p.m.

When am I going to get some  sleep?

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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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.