Live Review: Spring Gun; Minus the Bear/Chin Up Chin Up tonight…

Category: Blog — @ 12:08 pm May 21, 2007

Only one show attended this weekend — Kite Pilot, Sit in Wait and Spring Gun Saturday night at The Saddle Creek Bar. There was almost no one there — maybe 20 people — probably because of the shows at O’Leaver’s, Sokol and the irresistible draw of the Dundee Spring Fling street concert by a handful of anonymous cover bands. (Who am I kidding, the people sucking up beer along Underwood would never step foot in any venue that plays original music, would they?) I showed up at around 11 and caught the last five minutes of Sit in Wait. Then Spring Gun brought their chiming wall-of-sound set to life. Their music grinds and grinds, constantly building one chord change upon another. There are vocals, of course, but they seem almost like an afterthought in their song-writing process. You get the feeling that Spring Gun comes up with a series of riffs and rhythms, refines them, then says “OK, now we need a vocal,” and the singer puts it together on the spot, surfing above the waves of dual-guitar chords. Afterward, you don’t so much remember individual songs as much as the overall sound of their set, a Midwestern version of My Bloody Valentine (sort of).

I could see the Kite Pilot folks sitting across the room all night, and figured they were going to play last, but I was wrong. They must have opened the show, because after Spring Gun, everyone packed their gear and left. I spent the balance of the evening discussing the nature of indie music and the current state of Omaha venues with the bar’s owner, members of his staff and a couple other people.

It wasn’t my only music experience of the weekend. I swung by The Dundee Theater Friday night to catch Air Guitar Nation, a documentary about the international air guitar competition. After about the first five minutes, I was ready to leave — it looked like it was going to be supremely cheesy. But sure enough, as the filmmakers started to delve into the backgrounds of individual contestants, I was hooked. The movie was a lot of fun and will leave you with a whole new perspective on Extreme’s “Play with Me.” Catch it while it’s here this week, because it’ll probably be gone by Friday.

Tonight at Sokol Underground, Minus the Bear and Chin Up Chin Up. MtB took it to a whole nuther level with Menos El Oso, going from a band renowned for the kooky song titles (“Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco® Twister,” “I Lost All My Money at the Cock Fights”) to a serious, jangular indie band with catchy songs. Keyboarist Matt Bayles no longer is in the band. He quit after Menos came out to devote his time to producing bands like Mastodon and Omaha’s own Ladyfinger. Expect a sneak peek of the band’s new album, Planet of Ice, slated for release on Suicide Squeeze in August. But for me, the real draw tonight is Chin Up Chin Up, one of the better unsung indie bands on the circuit these days. $15. 9 p.m.

Anyone go to The Hold Steady? I considered it, until I realized that I had to be up at 5 a.m. this morning.

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