Guitars 101; OEA Showcase tonight, No Blood Orphan tomorrow…

Category: Blog — @ 6:46 pm November 21, 2008

I wanted to take a moment and point out a writing project that isn’t going to be posted here in Lazy-i. As part of The Reader‘s annual “Music Issue” I wrote a cover story that’s sort of designed to be an “Electric Guitars for Dummies” article. As I say in the lead:

The idea came while watching The Third Men play a set at The Waiting Room. I was standing there, drinking my Rolling Rock, minding my own business, when a couple guitar gearheads came up beside me and started talking about what was happening on stage.

“Man, look at that classic Les Paul Goldtop replica,” one gearhead said to the other. “Nothing quite like it.”

And then it dawned on me that I’d been writing about bands for years but never paid attention to the guitars that they were playing. They all looked the same to me — colorful, bitchy, macho axes, a signature of rock — and I couldn’t tell one from another.

So here’s the goal of this special Music Issue focused on guitars: By the time you finish reading it and study the pictures, you too will be able to identify the guitar being played by the sweaty guitarist grunting away on stage at one of our local venues or on TV.

But here’s the catch: There are literally hundreds of different types of electric guitars produced by dozens of different guitar makers. There’s no way we could cover them all. So for this exercise, we whittled it down to just four, with a few wildcards thrown in to cover our asses.

The four guitars: Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Gibson Les Paul and Gibson SG. We talked to two local guitarists who also work at guitar stores — Matt Whipkey, frontman of The Whipkey Three who works at Dietze Music, and Mike Saklar, frontman of No Blood Orphan who works at D Rocks in Papillion. Both agreed that these four seminal guitars helped define rock ‘n’ roll as we know it today. They are arguable the four most popular guitars you’ll find on any stage or collecting dust in family rooms across the country.

Also discussed are three “wildcard guitars” — the Flying V, ES-335 and Jazzmaster. The article is rife with photos of electric guitars, but also includes nine local guitarists’ stories about their favorite guitars, how they got them and why it’s their favorites, along with some rockin’ action photos. Those guitarists are Lash LaRue, Ted Stevens, Jon Taylor, Jamie Massey, Mike Saklar, Matt Whipkey, Matt Rutledge, Corey Weber and Sarah Benck. An online version of the story may or may not appear at (it’s not there now), so your best bet is to pick up a copy!

* * *

Tonight throughout Benson it’s the annual Omaha Entertainment Awards showcase. For a $10 wristband, patrons can stroll from one venue to the next and check out performers nominated for this year’s OEA awards. Here’s the schedule:

The Waiting Room

Kris Lager Band
The 9’s
Prairie Cats


Sarah Benck & the Robbers
John Worsham
Brad Hoshaw
Matt Amandus

Barley Street Tavern

Whipkey Three
Song Remains the Same
Flight Metaphor

P.S. Collective

Shiver Shiver
Black Squirrels
Mass Quantities
Midwest Dilemma
Lucas Kellison
Son of ’76 & the Watchmen

All showcases begin at 8 p.m.

Also tonight at Slowdown Jr. it’s The Republic Tigers with Malpais and Roman Numerals. $8, 9 p.m.

Saturday night’s marquee event is the No Blood Orphan album release show at The Waiting Room with Jake Bellows, Brad Hoshaw, Ben Brodin, Steve Bartolomei, Landing on the Moon & special guests. Just $2. 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, at O’Leaver’s it’s Fromanhole, Self-Evident, Traindodge and Techlepathy. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Finally, on Sunday, it’s Calexico with Simon Joyner and Mal Madrigal. 9 p.m., $15.

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