Music writer Kevin Coffey leaves the OWH; Slowdown summer series continues (Kolby Cooper tonight; Andrea Von Kampen, Matt Cox Saturday)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:20 pm September 25, 2020
A view of the cattle-pen social distancing precautions used for The Slowdown’s summer music series, happening tonight and tomorrow.

This morning Kevin Coffey signed off as the music reporter at the Omaha World-Herald. Kevin’s been covering the scene for 15 years, interviewing national touring acts coming through town, reviewing their concerts and keeping up with what’s happening music-wise locally. He posted on Facebook that he’s starting a new gig at Creighton University, where I’m sure he’ll kick much ass. Kevin continued a long line of OWH music writers that included Niz Proskocil, Roger Catlin, Tony Moton, Christine Laue, Steve Millburg, Jim Healy and Jim Minge.

So who will be covering music at the OWH in Kevin’s wake? That remains to be seen. The Omaha World-Herald historically has played an important role covering the arts, but the way things have been going at the paper the past few years… It would be a shame if they cut back on coverage. Reminds of what musician/stock broker Matt Whipkey once told me: “Getting a story about the band in The Reader is great, but getting a story in The Omaha World-Herald… I mean, my parents read the Herald.” It’s true, oh so true.

At least Kevin says in Facebook he hopes to continue as a freelance contributor to the OWH. And he has other music-relate stuff up his sleeve that he’ll reveal when he’s good and ready. I have no doubt I’ll continue to bump into Kevin as shows, once we get past all this pandemic nonsense…

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The Slowdown continues its summer concert series its hosting in partnership with Maha Music Festival. The gigs are being held on the Slowdown’s parking lot with enforced social distancing in the form of cattle fencing! We’re talking 10’ by 10’ pods, each holding 10 people. There’s also some small pods for two or three people. Bring a lawn chair if you want to sit down on something other than pavement. And of course, wear a friggin’ mask!

All the rules are right here.

Tonight’s headliner outside at The Slowdown is country picker Kolby Cooper, with Pecos & the Rooftops opening at 6:30 p.m. $15

Tomorrow night (Saturday) indie-folk artist Andrea Von Kampen headlines Slowdown outside, with Matt Cox opening at 4 p.m. $15.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Clarence Tilton, Pony Creek outdoors tonight; Mere Shadows, Las Cruxes, Dead Letters (ex-Protoculture) at Reverb Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:00 pm September 18, 2020
Mere Shadows plays Saturday night at Reverb Lounge.

It’s been about six months since I wrote a weekend shows preview; it seems like six years. There are two actual live indie shows happening — one tonight and another tomorrow, each showcasing a venue that’s making its way through COVID-19.

Tonight is the premiere of The Slowdown’s outdoor concert series I mentioned in yesterday’s blog. It’s a joint effort with the folks from the Maha Festival and is being held in the parking lot behind the Slowdown. Indie country rock/alt-country band Clarence Tilton headlines. Pony Creek opens the hootenanny with an early start time of 6:30. $15. Don’t forget your mask. Read all the COVID rules for entry right here at the Slowdown website.

The Slowdown fall outdoor concert series continues Saturday afternoon with Rhythm Collective, Ro Hempel Band and Dereck Higgins. $15.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) I’m planning my return to Reverb Lounge for the first time since COVID to see the new, improved bar/venue. They’ve blown out the walls of the old music performance space to make Reverb one large open music venue/bar.

The remodeled club has been operating since the end of last month, but tonight is the first indie show they’ve booked since their return. Headlining is Mere Shadows, a post-punk 4-piece framed by the twin guitar attack of John Kestner and guitarist/vocalist Michael Johnson.

In the center slot tomorrow night at Reverb is Las Cruxes, the Spanish-language punk outfit that’s releasing a new full-length on cassette tape from CINTAS in Mexico and digitally from Afonico/Sony U.S. Latin in the states.

Get to Reverb early Saturday night (show starts at 9) for the stage debut of Dead Letters, a new project from Koly Walter (Well-Aimed Arrows, The Protoculture) with Brian Byrd (Well-Aimed Arrows) and Mark Johnson (Places We Slept). Koly is always entertaining and full of surprises.

You get all three bands for $7. Due to COVID, all shows at Reverb are seated and the club will only be at 25% normal capacity, which means you may want to get your ticket in advance. Of course masks are required everywhere except when seated at your table.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend!

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The Slowdown’s ‘pods’ explained (show Friday); #NIVA asks Congress #DoNotAbandonUs…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:42 pm September 17, 2020

When The Slowdown posted their announcement that they’ve teamed up with the Maha Festival folks for an outdoor concert series to be performed in the Slowdown parking lot, I tripped over the COVID stipulation that your $15 ticket gets you access to an outdoor “pod.”

WTF’s a pod?

“A pod is a 10-foot by 10-foot U-shaped space made with sections of 3-foot-tall fence (called ‘bike rack’ in the biz),” said Slowdown’s top banana Jason Kulbel. “These are spaced six feet apart. We’ll have about 40 of them in the lot.”

Ten people maximum per pod. So does that mean I could end up sharing a pod with very hip but total strangers? Could I get my own private pod for my $15 ticket?

“Maybe if you took one at the back,” Kulbel said. “We decided to do these GA instead of a ‘you need to spend $120 and buy the whole thing’ approach. We’ll have staff to help sort/seat (and note that if you like that seat, bring along a lawn chair).”

It sounds cozy. It sounds fun. Most of all, it sounds safe. And, of course, all the specifics about pods and other COVID-related regulations surrounding the live concerts are online right here on the Slowdown website.

The first in the concert series is tomorrow (Friday) at 6:30 p.m. with Clarence Tilton and Pony Creek. In addition to your lawn chair you may want to bring a cowboy hat.

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Yesterday the folks at National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), who have been lobbying you to send a plea to your Congress-person to get on board with the Save Our Stages Act, cc’d me on a letter sent to Congress with this dire message:

We write to express our dire need for assistance, and to urge you to move quickly to pass additional COVID relief. Absent a deal by the end of September, our businesses will disappear, millions of Americans will permanently lose their jobs, and entire industries will take decades to recover, if they do at all.

Some stats to back it up: According to Yelp, more than 163,000 businesses have already closed, 60% permanently. That number rises daily. More than 22 million jobs have been lost due to the pandemic and less than half have been recovered. The National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that 42% of recent layoffs will be permanent losses.

Along with NIVA, the letter, which was headed with this hashtag: #DoNotAbandonUs, was co-signed by organizations Arthouse Convergence, ExtendPUA.org, International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, League of Historic American Theaters Live Events Coalition, The Main Street Alliance, National Association of Theatre Owners and National Independent Talent Organization.

Things are getting scary. They already were scary for these guys, but now they’re getting very real and very permanent. If you want to do your part, go to the NIVA website and fill out the letter that will automatically be sent to your representative in Washington. Let your voice be heard before it’s too late.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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#SaveOurStages legislation gets heavy push this week (and now it’s your turn to help)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:07 pm July 27, 2020
A screencap from the WOWT-TV report that shows how The Slowdown could be configured once it reopens.

You will begin noticing (if you haven’t already) a heavy push to write your congressmen and ask them to co-sponsor or support pending legislation designed to help save the live entertainment industry through the COVID-19 pandemic.

As I mentioned last week, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) along with a ton of musicians and promoters are pushing for a couple pieces of critical legislation, and need to get something passed before The Hill’s the August recess, which begins Aug. 7.

First thing’s first: Go to https://www.saveourstages.com/ and voice your support for the Save Our Stages Act (S. 4258, introduced by Sens. Cornyn and Klobuchar) and the RESTART Act ( S. 3814/H.R. 7481, introduced by Sens. Young and Bennet in the Senate and U.S. Reps. Golden and Kelly ). Adding your voice involves filling out a simple form (or writing your own heartfelt text in the space provided) that automatically goes to your respective senator/representative based on your zip code.

Gotta do it TODAY, as in RIGHT NOW, as in it will only take a minute. If you’ve already done it, do it again.

Slowdown’s Jason Kulbel talks about it in this WOWT report from last week.

And here’s a bunch of venue owners talking about being on the verge of going out of business.

As The Slowdown says in a grim Facebook post: “There is no way we want Slowdown to end. It is too soon. It is also not too late.”

People are making this sound like end-of-the-world stuff, because quite frankly, it is. You are going to be shocked at the number of venues that will shutter as a result of the pandemic, and then you’ll wish you’d have done something about it. Here’s your chance.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Reverb Lounge remodels before reopening; RESTART venue support legislation gets final push before August recess…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:00 pm July 22, 2020
Reverb Lounge: Under Construction

The above picture was posted on the Reverb Lounge Facebook page last week and shows that there no longer is a wall separating the venue’s music performance space from the bar. The remodel is one of the reasons why Reverb hasn’t reopened yet.

Marc Leibowitz, who runs Reverb along with business partner Jim Johnson, said the wall coming down is the biggest part of the venue’s remodel. “We are doubling the PA that covers the whole space, but not many other changes really,” he said. “Reverb will now be a full-time venue. It will only be open when there is an event.”

While Reverb’s separate performance room was unique, it was also strangely antiseptic, almost clinical in nature, as if you were entering an examination room, whereas the rest of Reverb felt like a (clean) lived-in corner bar. Making the venue one large room will be as dramatic a change as when The Waiting Room “opened up” its stage area a few years back — a huge improvement. With the wall down, Reverb’s performance-space capacity will increase, which could mean larger, more popular bands playing its stage.

Leibowitz said Reverb will reopen sometime in August. Now what about The Slowdown?

Jason Kulbel, who runs The Slowdown, said the reopening date for the downtown venue is still up in the air, as the club is in the process of moving all its scheduled August shows. “The two touring shows we had postponed late last week, so that forced the hand,” he said.

Touring appears to be dead. Just glancing at band promo materials in my in-box, there are no national tours going on this year; in fact, I’m not seeing anything for 2021, either.

And beginning late last week I finally began seeing a few impassioned pleas by artists for people to write Congress to get on board with the RESTART Act (S. 3814), legislation being pushed by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). I was going to write a column about it for next month’s issue of The Reader, until I found out from NIVA that would probably be too late.

“We need to have legislation passed by the August recess or we can expect hundreds of independent venues across the country to fold,” said Audrey Fix Schaefer, NIVA’s communications director. The Senate’s August recess begins Aug. 7, and the weasels aren’t scheduled to return until Sept. 8. Never mind that the country is suffering from a 100-year pandemic.

Schaefer said the list of co-sponsors “grows every day,” which is another reason for an all-out push to send a letter to our congressmen. Unfortunately, we live in Nebraska, where our red politicians could give a shit about art, culture and the future of live music.

But that shouldn’t stop you from going to the NIVA “Take Action page” and adding your name to the list of those who sent a letter urging Fischer, Sasse and Bacon to support and cosponsor S. 3814/H.R. 7481, the RESTART Act. If you’re gonna do it, do it now. It takes less than a minute to fill out the form.

You may get back the same form letter I got from Deb Fischer, which boasts about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

But PPP loans are only fully forgivable if companies keep all of their employees on the payroll or rehire them within eight weeks of receiving the loan, which most venues can’t do.

Fischer, Sasse and Bacon know this, but do they care?

Every year, more and more talented people, musicians, artists and young professionals are moving out of Nebraska to places like LA, Portland, Seattle and New York, and politicians are left scratching their heads wondering why-why-why?

You have efforts like Blueprint Nebraska, whose “vision” is: “Our people, land, and location will propel Nebraska to be the most welcoming Midwest state for youth, talent, investment, and commerce and a national model for continuous growth and prosperity.

What a joke. The number one reason young people are leaving this state is its political and social environment. They’re tired of living in a red state that doesn’t care about anything but its perceived “family values,” and which views the arts as some sort of frivolous, childish novelty that has no intrinsic value. The lack of support by our representatives for the RESTART Act is proof of this. Once the young artists, musicians and professionals begin to realize that things will never change, they start looking for a better place to live, a place that values what they can offer. And who can blame them?

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Waiting Room/Reverb possible mid-June reopening; Live (stream) Review: Little Brazil, NAWAS…

Landon Hedges belts out a high note during Little Brazil’s live streamed concerted from The Slowdown last Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yet another great live streaming event from The Slowdown Saturday night with Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship and Little Brazil.

As with last Thursday’s Slowdown show, everything looked and sounded like a network television concert production. Both bands were on point. The COVID shutdown apparently hasn’t dulling these musicians’ chops, as they sounded as good as ever.

Anecdotally — i.e., based on what I saw from the view counter on the screen — just under 100 people were concurrently watching Saturday night’s NAWAS/Little Brazil stream concert vs. around 60 for Thursday’s No Thanks/Marcey Yates stream show. Will we ever get to see these two concerts uploaded to the internet for replay? Who knows.

It’s unlikely that The Slowdown will host any more live stream concerts in the foreseeable future, especially when they’re trying to get the place ready for a (hopefully) late-June reopening.

If you didn’t read the comments from Slowdown’s Jason Kulbel last Saturday about what’s involved in reopening his club, go take a look.

One Percent Productions major domo Marc Leibowitz says Reverb and The Waiting Room also won’t be reopening on June 1, but rather sometime mid-June. He said keep your eyes peeled for a new show announcement that will mark The Waiting Room’s reopening, with Reverb possibly reopening at the same time or soon after.

Obviously all the capacity rules outlined Saturday also will apply to Waiting Room/Reverb unless Ricketts changes rules before they reopen. Again, we’re talking bars at a 50 percent capacity, venues at 25 percent capacity, all with 6-foot spacing between groups, limited numbers allowed in bathrooms, all kinds of fun rules that will be a pain in everyone’s ass but necessary until the pandemic is under control or there’s a vaccine.

I’m still waiting to hear O’Leaver’s plans (maybe we’ll find out later this week?) and also when The Brothers will reopen. You’ll know when I know.

No doubt masks will be part of the dress code anywhere you go. I like to think folks around here are smarter than, say, the idiots in that swimming pool in Branson, MO. Yes, wearing a mask is a drag, but it’s what’s going to get us through this pandemic while a vaccine is developed.


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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

On bar and venue capacity and the potential ‘challenges’ involved in reopening June 1…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:03 pm May 23, 2020
The Slowdown won’t reopen until later in the month of June at the earliest.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, as one reader quickly pointed out, I got Ricketts’ rules on bar and venue capacities backwards yesterday. My one defense: I wrote it as he said it and had maximum safety in mind.

I reached out to Jason Kulbel who owns/operates The Slowdown and asked for his interpretation. NOTE/DISCLAIMER: Jason is not a lawyer, and this is only his initial interpretation. No doubt things will be further clarified in the coming weeks.

Jason says bars can open just like restaurants with a 50 percent capacity, though all must be seated at tables and can only move around when going to the restroom or ordering food/drinks.

The Slowdown would fall under the “Venues” category — that means 25 percent capacity, with 6-foot spacing between groups. “Groups” and “tables” are interchangeable terms for argument’s sake. So for a 600-capacity rock show at The Slowdown, the current capacity allowed by COVID rules is 150. Again, groups have to be separated by six feet, which will have to be defined somehow by the venue with tape on the floors or something.

Where it gets real tricky: bathroom capacity is three at a time. Expect 6-foot distancing while waiting in line for your booze. And when the show is over, there has to be staggered exiting, which will be just plain weird.

And remember, everyone is wearing masks the entire time. How is the venue going to enforce all these rules?

All of the above equals 300% of the staff with a max potential of 25% of the business, for us AND the band,” Jason said.

Of course maybe the biggest challenge is just getting people comfortable going to shows amidst all the above regulations and general fear of COVID. Like I said yesterday, I would definitely go to a show under these conditions (especially if I could sit at a table and get table service). But based on comments I’ve heard online and elsewhere, I’m the minority.

He said Slowdown isn’t planning to reopen June 1. Look for an opening later in the month of June at the earliest.


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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Dross (and Slowdown’s new sound system), The Natural States, Todd Snider tonight; Lissie Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:37 pm February 15, 2019

Singer/songwriter Todd Snider plays at Scottish Rite Hall Saturday tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Two reasons to go to Slowdown Jr. tonight.

The first is to hear The Slowdown’s new sound system. When the bar first opened 11 years ago it boasted the best sound system in the area and quickly earned national huzzahs as one of the finest music venues in the country. Now I’m told by OEA Award winning sound engineer Dan Brennan that both Slowdown’s big room and front room have brand new audio systems.

Which brings us to the second reason to head down to Slowdown tonight. Opening band Dross features members of Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship and Mint Wad Willy, and will be the perfect break-in band for the new audio experience. Also on the bill are Jump the Tiger and Two Shakes. Dross kicks it off at 9 p.m. $8.

What else is happening this weekend?

Well, over at The Sydney in Benson tonight local indie band The Natural States opens for Unmanned and Living Conditions. 10 p.m., $5.

Meanwhile, over at Scottish Rite Hall tonight singer/songwriter Todd Snider performs. Seems like Snider’s been coming through Omaha for decades. Kevin Gordon opens at 8 p.m. $40.

Saturday night is wide open, people. I suggest heading over to The Sydney for the return of the Benson Soul Society. It’s free and starts at 10 p.m.

Sunday night singer/songwriter Lissie headlines at The Waiting Room with Roscoe and Etta. $18 Adv/$20 DOS.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

#TBT Stars at Slowdown Nov. 2007; Crushed Out, Hussies, Idlefox tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:46 pm September 21, 2017

#TBT: Stars play The Slowdown Nov. 5, 2007.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I posted the above photo as a Throwback Thursday thing because I tripped into it while going through some old photos and was mesmerized by the sculpture that used to be wound among the rafters of The Slowdown. That sculpture was made out of buckets, if I remember correctly, and stayed up in the ceiling for a few months. They should have just kept it up there.

As for Stars, as I said in the review: “Nearly 400 diehard Stars fans got more than their money’s worth last night at Slowdown — a set that lasted nearly two hours. The whole time, you could tell that Torquil Campbell and the rest of the band were thrilled to be there. In fact, they told the crowd so, over and over throughout their set, saying such glowing things like Slowdown was a gem ‘built on music.’ All night, band members would make their way to the microphones and say how proud they were to be there. It was kind of sweet and charming.”

Whatever happened to Stars? They’re still going strong

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Tonight The Brothers Lounge, Brooklyn NY duo Crushed Out rolls into town. “The husband-wife duo of Moselle Spiller and Frankie Sunswept (born and raised in Los Angeles) draw deep from their shared love of ‘atomic’ 50’s rock ‘n’ roll, slide guitar blues, and SoCal surf creating a sound that delivers on all those things rock ‘n’ roll promised us so long ago.” Hussies are the actual headliners. Idlefox opens. $5, 9 p.m.

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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.

Lazy-i

The Best of The Waiting Room and The Slowdown; Jake Bellows, Sun-Less Trio, Mitch Gettman tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:33 pm June 9, 2017

Jake Bellows at the Hear Nebraska Vol. 3 album release show at The Waiting Room, April 18, 2015. Jake plays at The Sydney tonight…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The following also appears in the current issue of The Reader. It’s part 2 of coverage of the 10-year anniversary of The Waiting Room and The Slowdown. You can also read it online at The Reader website, here (but you won’t see the following pics)…

The Best of The Waiting Room and The Slowdown

The clubs’ owners list their favorite shows over the past 10 years.

by Tim McMahan

And now, the fun part.

What’s an article that celebrates a music venue’s 10-year anniversary without a list of the best shows performed at said venue? Considering that The Slowdown and The Waiting Room each host in the neighborhood of 150 shows per year, it’s hard to pick favorites.

In fact, when put on the spot, the clubs’ owners struggled to list their stand-outs, but with some gentle prodding, they came up with some zingers.

Jason Kulbel, who co-owns The Slowdown with Robb Nansel, pointed to the first Atmosphere concert hosted at his club. “He’s got this song, ‘Trying to Find a Balance,’ one of his bigger songs,” Kulbel recalled. “I was standing side stage during that song and have never seen the room freak out like that. Everyone in the room was moving as much as they possibly could.”

Kulbel also cited the last time Against Me! played Slowdown this past February. “It was the best Against Me! show I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I’ve probably seen 20 Against Me! shows. I love that they can kick that much ass this far into their lives.”

But maybe the biggest standout evening was a Stephen Malkmus show at Slowdown in 2008 held the same night Barack Obama won his first presidential election. “That’s definitely one of the better memories I have,” Kulbel said. “We had a plan to have the screen down so people could check the election results, and before (Malkmus) even went on it was clear that Obama had won. The band just got really drunk and everyone was having a great time. It was a very joyous night.”

Nansel also pointed to that Malkmus show as being on top of his list of favorites.

“Other milestones, of course, were opening night with Bright Eyes,” Nansel said, “and the Slowdown Virginia reunion show” from December 2010. Another classic Nebraska band, Polecat, opened that night.

Nansel listed a last-minute Broken Social Scene show hosted in Slowdown’s front room that came together when he bumped into the band on a day off from their tour and asked if they wanted to play his club. A last-minute show by The Notwist in the front room is another favorite, along with St. Vincent and The National “and of course all the Saddle Creek band shows, parking lot shows and GOO nights.”

Ah, those GOO nights, now there’s something I don’t regret missing.

When it comes to The Waiting Room, co-owner Marc Leibowitz pointed to early shows from Dr. Dog and Brother Ali as among his favorites. “Then we’ve had some legends play at The Waiting Room, like Steve Earle,” he said.

“Lee Ranaldo was just so f—-ing phenomenal the night he played The Waiting Room,” Leibowitz added. “Built to Spill was a very memorable night. Built to Spill had been playing Slowdown all the time. We got them to play The Waiting Room, and it was a big deal for us.”

Jim Johnson, co-owner of The Waiting Room, pointed to the first reunion of golden age Omaha punk band Mousetrap, who played his club in late December 2010.

“The Jonathan Richman / Vic Chesnutt show (from March 2008) was really important to me,” Johnson said. It was the last show Chesnutt would play in Omaha before his death in December 2009. Johnson also pointed to that time The Waiting Room hosted Steve Earle.

Leibowitz added that as One Percent Productions, he and Johnson are proud to put on shows anywhere “whether it’s at Slowdown, Sokol, The Holland Center or wherever, but putting on a show at The Waiting Room means more than putting shows on in someone else’s facility. It’s where our heart is.”

What were my favorite shows? At The Waiting Room, the first that jumps out is The Faint show held there just a couple days after the club opened on March 11, 2007. It was an invitation-only break-in of The Waiting Room’s sound system. The sub-woofers definitely got a workout that night.

Other Waiting Room favorites include St. Vincent, July 25, 2007 — Annie Clark on lead guitar fronting a punk band, she’s never sounded better. After finishing her set, she returned alone to do a cover of “These Days” Nico-style, sitting on the edge of the stage with an acoustic guitar, surrounded by fans bent close to hear her quiet voice.

Monotonix opening for Silver Jews Oct. 7, 2008 — The band took the show outside when drummer Ran Shimoni banged on a snare while frontman Ami Shalev climbed a traffic signal pole along Maple Street.

Future Islands at The Waiting Room, Nov. 2, 2011.

Then there’s the first Future Islands show at The Waiting Room November 2, 2011 — no one had heard of them yet, and only a handful of people were there, but frontman Sam Herring was at his flamboyant best.

Bob Nastanovich shakes a fan’s hand during his guest appearance at the Feb. 15 Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks show at The Waiting Room.

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks Feb. 16, 2014, at The Waiting Room was like a mini Pavement reunion for an over-the-top rendition of “Unfair” off Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain that featured special guest Bob Nastanovich contributing his classic yelling.

My favorite shows at The Slowdown include Daniel Johnston and the Rayguns, Feb. 9, 2008 – You never know what you’re going to get when crazed genius Johnston comes to town. The highlight: When the crowd serenaded an absent Johnston with “Devil Town.”

Mogwai at The Slowdown May 11, 2009.

Mogwai at The Slowdown May 11, 2009.

Mogwai, May 11, 2009 — During the encore, a woman nearby cringed and covered her eyes, cowering against the STROBES and the NOISE, waiting for it all to end. First she would have to endure 10 minutes of pain created by Mogwai’s arsenal of effects pedals “played” while the band kneeled on stage, covered in a shower of lightning. Epic.

St. Vincent at The Slowdown back in May 2012.

St. Vincent at Slowdown’s front room, June 3, 2009 — Backed by violin, bass, drums and a guy on woodwinds (flute, saxophone, clarinet), St. Vincent’s Annie Clark created dreamy, theatric, rocking sounds like the second coming of Kate Bush. That show was almost matched by a second St. Vincent show, this time on the big stage, May 14, 2012.

Finally, there was that very strange Cat Power show Nov. 22, 2013, and more recently Mark Kozelek on the front room stage Oct. 3, 2016.

No doubt our lists of favorite shows will only grow over the next 10 years.

Over The Edge is a monthly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts. Email Tim at tim.mcmahan@gmail.com

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Expect a crowd at The Sydney in Benson tonight. Everyone’s favorite musician raconteur Jake Bellows returns for a set as only he can. Joining Jake is Sam Martin and The Yonicks, and The Sun-Less Trio (Mike Saklar’s latest and greatest). The free show starts at 9 p.m.

Mitch Gettman and AllSortsOfGood play at fabulous O’Leaver’s. $5, 10 p.m.

Also tonight, Township & Range celebrates a CD release at Reverb Lounge. Joining them are Clarence Tilton and Matt Cox. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile over at The Waiting Room it’s Alejandro Escovedo Band with Nicholas Tremulis. $20, 8 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) DSM-5 plays at Brothers Lounge with Gongfermour and Tienanmen Squares. This one’s free and starts at 9 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I left out your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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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.

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