Live Review: Solid Goldberg, Jake’s ice-cold Block Party; MAHA announcement, TSOL, Lucinda Williams tonight…

Solid Goldberg at The Barley Street Tavern, May 13, 2011.

Solid Goldberg at The Barley Street Tavern, May 13, 2011.

by Tim McMahan,

The hype was true.

Solid Goldberg is a spectacle of most-groovy proportions. A musical head trip featuring one of the area’s — nay, one of the country’s — most ingenious musical talents. The set-up is deceptively simple: Two keyboards, a battery of effects pedals and amplifiers, a digital projector and colored lights, and Dave Goldberg. You may remember him from Full Blown or the Carsinogents or The Terminals or most recently, Box Elders. Now all by his lonesome (and loving it that way) Goldberg is free to make the music he’s always wanted to, and there’s no one to blame (or praise) but him.

Not surprisingly, he pulls it off. The core sound is a simple electronic beat layered with dense Goldberg-style psychobilly/garage/punk keyboards and his distorted, twisted, howling vocals that are part caged animal, part Elvis, part Jon Spencer. It’s groovy; as groovy as the psychedelic lighting effects that include floating dollar signs and the letter ‘g’ blasted right into Goldberg’s face. Ask Dave and he’ll tell you it’s all about the performance, but it’s the music that makes it work, driven mostly by a left hand that provides all the bottom end he needs, and more than enough to get all the other bottoms in the room shaking. Imagine Solid Goldberg leading a dance party from on top of a huge festival stage. Too bad none of the local fests have the cojones to give it a try.

Goldberg set up his rock ‘n’ roll space station not on the Barley Street Tavern’s stage, but in the back of the room, across from the soundboard. With the tables and chairs stacked up against the wall, the room felt like a rock club. Sure, the table/chair set-up is fine for acoustic gigs, but cleared out like it was Friday night, I get the feeling that they could host some sizable shows if they wanted to. The cleared-out set-up also worked well for twisted electronic metal-heads Cloven Path, who took the opportunity to shred right in the middle of the crowd.

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Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies at Jake's Block Party, May 14, 2011.

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies at Jake's Block Party, May 14, 2011.

Could the weather Saturday have been worse? Sure, it could have been raining or drizzling or snowing. Instead it was just overcast, windy and bone-chilling cold, made all the more painful by the prior weekend’s 90+ degree heat. The cold was almost too much to bear as I stood along with about 40 others, bent forward into a north wind that blew through Military Ave., at Jake’s “just because we can” Block Party.

By 6 p.m., Brad Hoshaw and the 7 Deadlies were rifling through a set that included some new tasty material, and closed with Hoshaw’s solo-acoustic rendition of Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic,” which he made thoroughly his own.

Matt Cox performed as a trio without a drummer, which he didn’t miss at all. I’ve been told he’s a blues guy, but he didn’t play any blues Saturday afternoon, more like C&W-inflected Americana, Hank Williams Sr./Jr. meets John Prine and a double-shot of bourbon. Word is he has a new album coming out. Looks like I’m late to the party (again).

Despite wearing an insulated wool peacoat I only had enough left to make it through one more band — Gus & Call — who continue to define their unique brand of alt-country that mixes twang with drone and feedback, or “Bootgaze” as I like to call it. I left right after their set at around 8 p.m., just as the crowd was beginning to show up. Here’s hoping the weather is better for this Saturday’s Dundee Spring Fling…

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Watch your MAHA Music Festival Feed ( tonight at around 9 as they announce two more main stage acts and three local bands who will be performing on the side stage, as well as all the details regarding their local showcase events. If you’re a Guided By Voices fan, chances are you’ll dig one of these main stage acts, a definite classic.

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Speaking of classics, TSOL is playing tonight at The Waiting Room w/ Shot Baker, Bullet Proof Hearts, RAF and Cordial Spew — maybe the best full-out punk show of the year. $14, 8 p.m. (early start). Bring your earplugs!

Just as classic is Lucinda Williams tonight at The Slowdown. This also is an early start — 8 p.m. — with no opening act, so you better get down there on time. $30.

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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.


  • I guess Dave Goldberg’s 6 years in The Street Urchins must not count as being a worthy band.

    Comment by Timmy Tinnitus — May 16, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

  • Actually, I was asking Dave about Street Urchins Friday night. One of my all-time fave Goldberg-connected bands.

    Comment by tim-mcmahan — May 16, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

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