Random notes: Slowdown, Domestica, The Who, Zune…

Category: Blog — @ 10:26 am October 3, 2006

Some random notes on a quiet Monday:

Every Monday look for an updated photo of the Slowdown construction site online here (click here to enlarge). It’s not that I’m obsessed with the project; the fact is that it’s just a few blocks away from my office so taking a snappy once a week is no problem. Will they get the building enclosed by the time the snow flies? Keep watching and see.

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I wound up not going to any shows this weekend, which means I missed Little Brazil on Saturday and Jenny Lewis on Sunday. Anyone who was at either show, feel free to chime in with a review on the webboard.

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Domestica, the new band featuring Heidi Ore and Jon Taylor of Mercy Rule and Boz Hicks of Her Flyaway Manner, will be making their Omaha debut next Saturday night at The Brothers.

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I bought my tickets to Dec. 7 Who concert, which I guess makes me a dick, or so it would seem from every local music guy I’ve mentioned the concert to. “Why in hell would you want to see The Who? It’s not even the original line-up! Those guys shouldn’t be allowed to perform — they’re too old! As an indie music fan, I’m surprised you’re going — The Who are sell outs…” And so on.

Look, I hate arena shows as much as the next guy that hates arena shows — you’re a mile away from the stage, the sound is always always always bad, and you’re surrounded by a crowd that consists of middle-aged bikers, soccer moms, Husker fans and generally, people who don’t like music and are trying to relive some unfortunate moment of their youth. I generally avoid arena shows, but The Who, well, that’s different. They were punk before punk, New Wave before New Wave. This band of snotty British outsiders somehow was allowed inside simply on the strength of their music, which, from album-to-album always seemed to stray off the beaten path. Sure, half the band is dead, but half the band is alive, too. And they’re coming to Omaha — something I never thought I’d see or hear. So I got my tickets — in advance, as a member of the fan club. I probably shouldn’t have hurried — glancing at their schedule, only their Nov. 24 Atlantic City show is sold out. I doubt the Qwest gig will sell out, either, even with The Pretenders opening (most people have told me they’re more excited about seeing Chrissie and Co.). And as ridiculous as it sounds, I’ll try to bag an interview with the band via The Reader — it’ll never happen. The Who doesn’t need alternative newspapers to get the word out. They never have. But can you imagine what a gas it would be to talk to Townshend or Daltrey?

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Finally, this rather humorous article on Yahoo! reports that Zune, the new soon-to-fail Microsoft competitor to the iPod is shipping with pre-loaded music so that consumers will have something to listen to when they take the player out of the box. Another mp3 player, SanDisk, will load more than 32 hours worth of music on their players — all done under the guise of giving the consumer something for free! So all of us who use mp3 players in our cars to avoid the schlock that gets played on the radio these days will now be forced to delete the schlock from the players before they begin playing them. It’s like freeware — for your ears! I can’t imagine a more annoying marketing ploy. A better idea may have been for giving away 30 free songs that users could download from the product-specific service (Rhapsody for SanDisck, for example). Ah, but then the labels would actually have to charge the hardware makers for something like that… Let’s hope iPod doesn’t follow their misguided lead…

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Look for a nice, long exclusive interview with Yo La Tengo here on Wednesday, and another take on Omaha’s new no smoking regs in this Thursday’s column…

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