Live Review: Broken Spindles, Techlepathy…

Category: Blog — @ 6:24 pm September 14, 2009

Very. Little. Time.

Only time to tell you about last Saturday night’s shows. It felt sort of like one of those Benson festival nights, as I was walking back-and-forth between The Waiting Room and The Sydney all night. Couldn’t be helped. Both shows were going on simultaneously, and the ticket prices were so low, $7 and $5, it was worth it to pay for both and do the hiking. It also helped that The Sydney started so late (and went so late).

The evening opened with Boy Noises at The Waiting Room with new drummer Corey Broman proving once again that he’s one of the best drummers in town, though I don’t know if there was really a night-and-day difference between what he was doing and the former drummer. No matter. The band was in their usual high-flying form despite something being wrong with the mix — at times Karl Houfak’s keyboard parts blared over the rest of the band. Odd. It did bring up the question of how they’re ever going to replace Karl (or do without him) once he leaves the band, as his keyboard parts are integral to their music. (See blurry photo).

Next it was down the road to The Sydney for what I thought was Mother Pile but ended up being Life of a Scarecrow playing tight, intricate metal that also was very LOUD. Easily the loudest show I’ve heard at The Sydney, and probably by design considering the style of music on the night’s bill. Halfway through their set I found people huddled outside in the Sydney’s tiny new beer garden, seeking shelter from the sound storm. (See incorrectly titled photo).

After that, it was back to TWR for Broken Spindles, though I did catch the last couple songs by Pharmacy Spirits (Always a good time. If you haven’t already, check out their new CDR, available at all their shows). Broken Spindles is The Faint’s Joel Petersen’s side project. It used to be a full-on A/V experience with Joel’s hand-made videos projected behind him while he played. Not anymore. Now it’s just Joel on guitar/keyboards/vocals, along with a bassist/keyboardist and a drummer. The secret weapon was that bass player, who was phenomenal, playing an aggressive style that reminded me of Tony Levin-’80s-era King Crimson. While there were a few typical Broken Spindles tone poems, most of the set featured thick-beat rock that was almost “danceable.” Petersen makes the most out of his deep, monotone vocals (sort of like listening to The Edge sing “Numb”), wisely knowing his limits. I did not miss the ol’ video at all, which I used to find distracting and unnecessary (like most performance-projected videos, including The Faint’s). (See photo)

Finally, it was back down the street to The Sydney for Techlepathy who was celebrating the release of their debut CD. I’ve heard Lincoln Dickison and Co. play at least a half-dozen times, and always get lost in their brutal, syncopated noise rock, though this time it was noisier (and louder) than ever.

The crowds at both shows were somewhat lackluster — by best guess, maybe 60 at TWR and 40 at The Sydney. I blame football season, and if I’m right, it could be a long winter for Omaha music venues, especially on Husker Saturdays.

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