Live Review: SCB and The Matt Whipkey Three; crowded Saturday night…

Category: Blog — @ 6:14 pm November 10, 2007

Another lonely night at The Saddle Creek bar. Like O’Leaver’s, SCB isn’t getting out of the live music business altogether, they’re just going to become extremely choosy as to who they let perform on their stage, a stage that unfortunately never lived up to its potential. I was hugely excited when I heard more than a year ago that someone was taking over the venue and turning it into a club that would cater to all types of music, including indie. The size and location are made to order. You can come up with your own list as to why so few people ever came to shows there. I point to the booking, the ever-changing sound system and the fact that the club was launched by a guy who came from outside the current music scene. Mike Coldewey is a musician who’s played in rock bands for years, but none of them were part of Omaha indie collective. As a result, most of the bands that I talked to about SCB always looked at the club as an oddity among all the other clubs doing shows these days. So, as I said, Coldewey says he’ll still do music, but only shows that he thinks are positively going to draw well. He can’t afford nights like last night, where by the end of the evening, the headlining band was essentially only playing to the other bands on the bill and a couple stragglers like myself. The irony of it all is that the PA never sounded better. Part of the reason has to do with the bands themselves, who know how to make the best out of any PA.

I only caught the last three Scott Severin and the Milton Burlesque songs, which included a cover of Ian Hunter’s “Once Bitten Twice Shy” (you probably remember the version covered by Great White). I need to see an entire Severin set, but from what I could glean from last night, he’s trying to create something in the purest essence of rock ‘n’ roll (and he has the history and chops to pull it off). I’m redundant with this comment: The Matt Whipkey Three is the best band that Whipkey’s ever been involved in, and after last night, that includes The Movies. I’m an enormous fan of perfectly balanced trios. It doesn’t get more balanced than this. If you like alt-Americana rock, you’ll be hardpressed to find a better band. Last might was more proof that they should have been in The Reader top-20. Something tells me that if they get this new album recorded and get out on the road (all three work at Dietz, so there’s nothing stopping them other than booking the tour), I have no doubt they’ll be on that list next year.

As for the Saddle Creek Bar, well, they’ve got another show going on tonight — Midwest Dilemma and the Southpaw Blues Band, and according to the Saddle Creek website, St. Louis band Grace Basement, which was chosen as the Best New Band of 2007 by The Riverfront Times. The band’s new album, New Sense, recalls Wilco, Kinks, and laidback indie rockers like The Reivers. Grace Basement frontman Kevin Buckley’s work includes contributions to the new New Pornographers album. Check out their myspace. $5, 9 p.m. It would be a shame if they played to 10 people, but with everything else going on tonight, that’s what will probably happen. The only things left on the SCB calendar is Sarah Benck next Saturday and a benefit show Dec. 15.

So your choices again tonight:
— the SCB show just mentioned,
— Reagan and the Rayguns opening for Sleep Said the Monster and Birthday Amy at O’Leaver’s
— the Nirvana tribute showcase at Slowdown
— and Trail of Dead with Virgasound at The Waiting Room.

Something tells me I’ll be doing some bar-hopping…

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