The Brothers swan song (SERIAL tonight, No Thanks Saturday); live review: Tokyo Police Club; Xiu Xiu at Low End tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 9:36 am October 29, 2021
Say goodbye to The Brothers Lounge this weekend…

by Tim McMahan,

This weekend is the end of the line for The Brothers Lounge. Omaha’s legendary punk bar closes its doors for good at the end of the month and is going out with a bang with two sold-out shows.

Tonight (Friday) is a big one — SERIAL headlines — a supergroup that includes Tim Moss (Porn music, Ritual Device), John Wolf (Cellophane Ceiling, Bad Luck Charm, Porn music), Lee Meyerpeter (Cactus Never Thang, Bad Luck Charm, Filter Kings) and Jerry Hug (Ritual Device, Porn music). Their annual holiday shows at The Brothers are a thing of legend. Joining them are Pagan Athletes (new album out Nov. 5!) and Those Far Out Arrows. Doors at 8; music at 9:30. This one has been sold out for weeks. Something tells me it’ll be a madhouse.

Then tomorrow night (Saturday) Omaha punk newcomers No Thanks headlines with 138 (a Misfits tribute band) and Nowhere. Just like tonight, this one’s been sold out for awhile. Doors at 8, music at 9:30 p.m.

I would not want to be the doorman at The Brothers this weekend. As a member of the press who covers the Omaha music scene, I’ll attempt to document these final days… I’m sure I won’t be the only one.

. ) ) ) .

Before I get to the rest of the weekend, it looked close to capacity last night at Slowdown Jr. for Tokyo Police Club.

And How at Slowdown Jr., Oct. 28, 2021.

I only caught the last song from opening band And How, which had the crowd in the palm of their hands. With eight members, it was a crowded stage. The band is becoming Omaha’s version of late-era Talking Heads, and people are noticing.

The best thing you can say about a tour like the one Tokyo Police Club is currently on in support of the 10 year anniversary of the release of their sophomore album, Champ, is that it made you reconsider the release. Fact is, I never really gave Champ much of a listen when it came out. The band had left Saddle Creek after their debut album, Elephant Shell, for label Mom + Pop Music. And thus, when I heard the album upon its release I thought it was more of the same — i.e., a sort of Vampire Weekend-meets-Strokes indie-rock band.

Tokyo Police Club at Slowdown Jr., Oct. 28, 2021.

Last night, the songs from that album took on a different life, as I suppose any album would performed live 10 years after its release. The music was more dynamic and I caught myself raising an eyebrow throughout the set, especially with the neat, clean guitar lines guitarist Josh Hooks was laying down. Frontman/bassist Dave Monks, wearing a T-shirt that said, “I May Grow Older but I Refuse to Grow Up,” was in ageless form and perfect voice.

Leaning against the stage-right door I watched members in the front row sang along to every tune, including the Monks’ acoustic encore and the band follow-up. It was great to see a show in Slowdown Jr. again after a couple years – the space continues to be one of the best small rooms in Omaha.

. ) ) ) .

So, it’s a Brothers weekend for the lucky few who can get in, but what about everyone else?

Well, tonight art-house indie band Xiu Xiu plays at Low End in the basement of the Bemis. This is a sort of after-party show for those who attend the annual Bemis art auction, but a number of free tickets also were available… for awhile. This one is also “sold out.” If you’re going, this is a No Vax / No Entry show, and face masks are encouraged when not eating /drinking. Music starts at 9:30.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show put it in the comments section. If you can’t go to The Brothers this weekend, go to your record player, slap on your favorite punk record and slam a beer for Trey and Lallaya, Omaha legends whose contribution to our music scene cannot be underestimated. You and your bar will be missed.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


1% Productions issues an apology; Disq covers Tweedy; Xiu Xiu tomorrow; Essential Festival Thursday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:45 pm June 30, 2020
Xiu Xiu performs via live stream from Low End at The Bemis tomorrow night.

This morning 1% Productions published an apology via Facebook for statements reported in the Omaha World-Herald after the Aug. 8, 2019, shooting death of Michael Rowell, Jr., outside The Waiting Room Lounge, a club owned and operated by Marc Leibowitz and Jim Johnson, the duo behind 1%. Rowell reportedly had come to watch a performance at the club the night of the shooting.

Arguably Omaha’s most important concert promotion company, 1% books The Waiting Room, Reverb Lounge and other venues around town, and has lined up the acts for the the annual Maha Music Festival for the past decade. In the Aug. 20, 2019, OWH article, Leibowitz said 1% no longer would book local rap artists at The Waiting Room or Reverb Lounge.

In the wake of last year’s tragic murder of Michael Rowell Jr., we made statements to the Omaha World Herald that were hurtful to the local hip-hop community. We want to publicly apologize for the impact of our statements,” the statement reads. “Music, and specifically hip-hop music, has long been a platform for expressing the inequities in society. Now, more than ever, we need to take time to listen to what those voices are saying. As we strive to create a better future, we wanted to officially clarify that we do plan on booking more hip-hop in Omaha. Whether it’s national or local artists, we want to continue our support for the community by trying to provide a safe environment for this critical genre to perform and to be celebrated.”

The Waiting Room, which had been closed since March due to COVID-19, reopened a couple weeks ago after Gov. Ricketts relaxed COVID-related restrictions to music venues. Reverb Lounge likely will reopen in August, Leibowitz said, as the venue is undergoing some upgrades.

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Saddle Creek Records artist Disq today released a cover of Jeff Tweedy’s “I Know What It’s Like” via Bandcamp.

Said Disq’s Isaac duBroux-Slone: “I sped up the original recording a decent amount so I’d have something to play along to and off I went. We decided it’d be fun to present the finished product as an interim release; post-Collector and pre-whatever’s next.” Check it out below…

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Even though these are just “virtual” concerts, I get the feeling things are starting to pick up performance-wise around here.

Tomorrow night (Wednesday) Low End at The Bemis is having yet another virtual concert, this time featuring San Jose experimental act Xiu Xiu (Polyvinyl, Kill Rock Stars). I would have loved to see them play live at Low End; this is the next best thing. The stream, free via The Bemis’ Twitch account, starts at 8 p.m.

And then Thursday night is Essential Festival, a live-streamed concert from the stage at The Slowdown featuring a plethora of local acts, including:

And How
Clarence Tilton
DVH Recordings (Dereck Higgins)
Keith Rodger (Kethro)
Matt Whipkey
McCarthy Trenching
Nathan Ma

It’s a “pick your ticket price” event that benefits Catholic Charities of Omaha, and kicks off at 6 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.