Column 72 — A glance at the calendar; Vanderslice tonight w/Crystal Skulls, Ghosty….

Category: Blog — @ 12:25 pm April 13, 2006

I received a “bwa ha ha ha” e-mail from one of the editors at The Reader correcting me about the Neva Dinova item mentioned below, telling me that the band is on Side Cho Records, not Saddle Creek. And I had to explain what I explained back on Valentine’s Day, that the band’s next CD will, in fact, be released by Omaha’s fastest growing indie label (Just more evidence that no one reads this blog). You have to wonder why Creek hasn’t announced the Neva news on their site yet. Or for that matter, that Neva hasn’t mentioned it on their website. Maybe because they don’t have a release date set in stone?

Column 72: Early Warning System
A glance at the rock calendar
Rock shows have a funny way of sneaking up on you if you’re not paying attention. And though we at The Reader go out of our way to point you in the right direction week in and week out, we rarely give you a heads-up more than eight days in advance. With that in mind, here are some early warnings of worth-while indie shows on the horizon, with details on who these folks are and why you should care. A caveat — two performances in the past two weeks were cancelled the night of the show due to “van troubles.” Rock stars’ lives are complicated, and schedules can (and do) change, sometimes at the last minute. Check the usual websites (,,, for the latest info.

The Elected w/Jake Bellows, The Family Radio April 14 @ Sokol Underground — You already know The Elected (Blake Sennett of Rilo Kiley) and Jake Bellows (of Saddle Creek band Neva Dinova). The hidden treasure is The Family Radio, a new ensemble fronted by local film maker Nik Fackler that includes legendary bassist Dereck Higgins (Digital Sex, One Mummy Case), Aaron Gum, Ian O’Donnell and Tara Konradi making a noise like Simon and Garfunkel having dinner with Bright Eyes. Could Fackler turn his back on Hollywood to become a rock star? Get there early and find out.

The Autumn Project w/Father, Noah’s Ark Was A Spaceship, Ila April 22 @ Sokol Underground. Father is guitarist D. Bushon with help from Dapose and Clark Baechle of The Faint, and visuals from Seth Johnson. Get ready to grind.

The Pomonas w/The Third Men, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin April 28 @ O’Leaver’s — Lawrence 4-piece The Pomonas look and sound like a bunch of slackers from your local record store gigging in their basement, which is why they’re so damn charming. The Third Men is a retro/summer/feel good band featuring Mike Tulis, Matt Rutledge, Mike Loftus and Pat White.

Maria Taylor w/13Ghosts April 29 @ Sokol Auditorium — Maria Taylor we all know as half of the currently defunct Azure Ray. Birmingham’s 13Ghosts are as haunting as their name implies.

Pretty Girls Make Graves w/Giant Drag, The Joggers May 2 @ Sokol Underground — PGMG’s new one, Élan Vital on Matador Records, is a strange, slurred, funky bite of bittersweet post-punk. LA’s Giant Drag is another guitar-and-drums girl-and-guy duo a la The White Stripes but with a distinct My Bloody Valentine vibe.

Kite Pilot CD release show May 6 @ Sokol Underground — A copy of KP’s Mercy Will Close Its Doors fell into my lap last August with the hope and promise of finding a label to release it. Nine months later and the CD will be born as a self-released joint, but still as precious. The Protoculture are rumored to open.
Atmosphere w/Brother Ali and Los Nativos May 10 @ Sokol Underground — If you haven’t experienced one of Sokol’s underground hip-hop shows, there is no better time to start. Atmosphere is Slug a.k.a. Sean Daley, the genius behind Minnesota’s Rhymesayers Collective, that includes such acts as MF Doom, P.O.S. and Brother Ali, the albino who called me out from stage for calling him a white guy. Things could get ugly.

Gomez w/David Ford May 13 @ Sokol Underground — There was a time only a few years ago when you’d expect Gomez to be playing the big room above Sokol Underground. Those days, apparently, are long gone. That said, the band’s new CD, How We Operate, rocks harder than anything they’ve ever done.
Minus the Bear w/Criteria, Russian Circles May 23 @ Sokol Underground — Minus the Bear’s last CD, Menos el Oso, renewed my faith in a band that before could only be described as “quirky.” They’re still quirky, but now there’s something significant under the jangle. After months of touring, Criteria should be plenty road-hardened.

Two Gallants acoustic May 25 @ Mick’s — One of Saddle Creek Records’ latest bands, the duo usually do their thing White Stripes style, all electric. How will their sea-shanty ballads sound unplugged?

I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness w/The Rogers Sisters May 31 @ Sokol Underground. The Austin band on Secretly Canadian (Antony & The Johnsons, Swell Maps) is making waves with a stark, electronic sound that heralds back to the old Factory Records days (Yeah, that means they’re influenced by Joy Division).

Simon Joyner w/Coolzey, Miracles of God June 27 @ O’Leaver’s — Few shows these days are as thoroughly satisfying and memorable as Joyner and his band, The Wind-Up Birds, at O’Leaver’s. It’ll be packed, it’ll be sweaty and it’ll be pure spectacle.

Tonight at Sokol Underground, John Vanderslice with Crystal Skulls and Ghosty. I’m listening to the new Crystal Skulls disc on Suicide Squeeze Records, Outgoing Behavior, as I type this. Don’t let the daunting name fool you — the Seattle band’s music is breezy, laid-back piano/guitar pop a la The Sea and Cake or the lighter side of Spoon, a perfect compliment to Vanderslice’s own pop musings. Lawrence’s Ghosty plays Pavement-meets-Dismemberment Plan-style indie rock. $8, 9 p.m.

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