Live Review: Digital Leather, So-So Sailors; Envy Corps, Conduits tonight; Cold Cave Sunday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 6:33 pm July 29, 2011
So-So Sailors at the MAHA / Hear Nebraska Showcase at The Slowdown, July 28, 2011.

So-So Sailors at the MAHA / Hear Nebraska Showcase at The Slowdown, July 28, 2011.

by Tim McMahan,

I don’t know what more to say about Digital Leather that I haven’t already said. The band continues to be one of my favorites, not only in Omaha, but anywhere. Last night at the MAHA/Hear Nebraska Showcase at The Slowdown, DL sported the same three-piece configuration they had at O’Leaver’s in May: John Vredenburg on bass, Jeff Lambelet on drums, and guitarist/vocalist Shawn Foree in the lead — a lean, mean trio burning brightly through their set as if they had nothing to lose.

Digital Leather at the MAHA / Hear Nebraska Showcase at The Slowdown, July 28, 2011.

Digital Leather at the MAHA / Hear Nebraska Showcase at The Slowdown, July 28, 2011.

Yeah, I loved the old synth-driven version of Digital Leather (One person asked me last night, “Where’s the digital part?”), but I dig the raw energy of this stripped down version almost as much. Foree is an electric, muscular frontman, Vredenburg is a chaotic, spitting punk madman, and Lambelet is out of control, driving his kick drum to the edge of the stage with every song, knocking cymbals off the tee for audience members to run on stage and fix (touching moments indeed). Imagine how these guys would have sounded sandwiched between J. Mascis and Guided By Voices at the MAHA Music Festival. Oh well, maybe next year, that is if they’re available. By then they’ll have a new record out on Absolutely Kosher and will likely be on an unending national/international tour, well on their way to becoming great big rock stars.

So-So Sailors had no problem following DL. The line-up included Ben Brodin on keys, replacing (for the evening) a busy Dan McCarthy, and doing a fine job. I’m so used to hearing S-SS’s set that each song is like an old friend, familiar and comfortable, as if their record came out a year ago when in fact it hasn’t been released yet. Imagine how “familiar” we’re going to be with these songs a year from now when they’re still playing them, supporting their debut release… Something tells me I won’t mind, although I’m already dying to hear some new material.

Speaking of comfortable bands, Fortnight continues to refine its Midwestern indie-rock sound, reaching out the furthest on their last song. I’d like to see these folks push their sound even further.

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Tonight, more MAHA star power as The Envy Corps play at The Waiting Room with Conduits and Tangent Arc. $8, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at O’Leaver’s tonight it’s Cloven Path, Blyeth and Flesh Eat Skin Disease. The usual 9:30 start, the usual $5.

At Barley St. tonight, Lonely Estates plays with Blue Rosa. 9 p.m. $5.

Talking Mountain continues to bombard Omaha with its spazz-aholic, smoke-choking, laser-blinded pop goodness at O’Leavers Saturday night, along with Mammoth Life. 9:30, $5.

Sunday is the biggest show of the weekend: Cold Cave with Astra and Touch People (the indescribable Darren Keen) at The Waiting Room. $10 now, $12 DOS. 9 p.m.

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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.

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