Live Review: Conor on Letterman; Iron & Wine whine pays off; Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:43 pm February 25, 2011

by Tim McMahan,

Yesterday afternoon, Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds and now also of Bright Eyes, posted a photo on her Facebook page of her with Norman the Dog taken shortly after yesterday’s taping of BE’s performance on The Late Show with David Letterman. Laura called Norman “the show’s biggest talent,” and other than her band, she was right. Norman, a big shaggy lovable hound, stood on a scooter and pushed it across the studio floor — two paws on handlebars, one paw on scooter, and No. 4 pushing him along. It was part of a Stupid Pet Tricks package that included a border collie that could cook breakfast (an Eggo waffle). The only other part of the show I didn’t fast-forward through was Letterman berating comments from Sen. Rand Paul after coming off of a commercial break, saying how he didn’t understand how anyone could take away collective bargaining while giving tax breaks to “fat cats.” Amen, brother Letterman.

As for the BE performance, these things have become old hat for Conor and Co. A little bird told me Wednesday night that, due to time constraints, they’d be performing “Jejune Stars” off the new album (which Letterman held up in its vinyl format, the sleeve looking irredescent in the studio light), and sure enough that’s what they tore up on stage. Everyone did fine, and the sound was good (as you’ll see on the YouTube version). Laura mostly provided backing vocals as it appeared that Nate Walcott handled most of the keyboard chores. The star of the performance was Clark Baechle, looking like a cross between Anthony Jr. of the Sopranos and Matthew Sweet. Percussion drives this song, and the camara knew it, often focusing on Clark during the frenetic chorus breaks. Very nice, indeed. Next stop for Bright Eyes is kicking off the North American tour next Tuesday night in Miami with Cursive.

The website has compiled a nice online retrospective of Bright Eyes TV performances over the years. Check it out.

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Looks like my whining has paid off. One Percent Productions announced yesterday that Iron & Wine is now slated to perform at Slowdown June 5. Tickets go on sale next Friday.  Yes, yes, you can thank me for the booking (Just kidding, Marc). Iron & Wine was on my list of “why don’t they ever come to Omaha?” bands that I posted Wednesday, here. That post got a bit of feedback, including a “get-your-shit-together” comment from people informing me that Tyvek has played in Omaha the past two years at drug-laden house parties. As I pointed out, I ain’t going to any house parties where I can get my ass thrown in jail because some under-age patrons decided to take a nip of the hooch (or fire up some chronic) when the cops show up to bust the joint. Also the fact that most kids at a house party would think I was a cop and/or an angry father keeping an eye on his daughter is enough to keep me out of Hotel Frank or The Jerk Store or whatever it’s called these days. Someone needs to book Tyvek at a larger space, say O’Leaver’s or The Barley Street or The 49’r…oops, I mean CVS (btw, have you seen the mass destruction of the neighborhood behind The Niner? ’tis a pity.). Someone also pointed out that Ted Leo opened for Against Me… three years ago. Go to the thread and add your “most wanted” bands to the list, or just comment below this blog entry. People are watching…

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And so we made it to the weekend and tonight’s mammoth album release party for Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship’s new LP, Hanga-Fang, at The Waiting Room. This should be a gala event, with opening bands  Yuppies, Ideal Cleaners and The Answer Team, all for a mere $7, so you’ll have plenty of jack left over to pick up a slab of that luscious orange vinyl. Seriously, buy this album, which I believe also comes with a download key that’ll let you add the digital version to your iPhone/listening device. It looks cool (at least in pictures) and is a pretty fantastic collection of songs. Find out for yourself tonight. Show starts at 9. See you there.

What else tonight? Well, Snake Island is playing a set at The Barley Street Tavern with Lincoln band Climates and Watching the Train Wreck. $5, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) there’s a colorful show slated for The Barley Street Tavern — New York band The Forms along with Kansas City band Soft Reeds, the illustrious Kyle Harvey and Dorkas. The Forms have a new song online with vocals by Matt Berninger of The National and another song featuring Andrew Thiboldeaux of Pattern Is Movement. This could be a hot show. $5, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, noise rock masters Back When play at Slowdown Jr. with Bazooka Shootout, Dapose (from the Faint) and Feral Hands. $7, 9 p.m.

Then Sunday Heartless Bastards open for Drive-By Truckers at The Slowdown. Seems like HB is always opening for someone instead of headlining on their own. Tix are $20/$23 DOS. Show starts at 9

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


  • in regards to the first portion of this article, it was senator rand paul, not ron paul. i believe rand is ron paul’s son. whoa

    Comment by rage — February 27, 2011 @ 10:47 am

  • Yep. Changed. Thanks.

    Comment by tim-mcmahan — February 27, 2011 @ 11:03 am

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