Live Review: The Sons of O’Leaver’s; unnamed Bellows/Fox/Brodin/Fink/Koontz band debuts Wednesday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:43 pm June 4, 2012
The Sons of O'Leaver's, June 2, 2012.

The Sons of O'Leaver's, June 2, 2012.

by Tim McMahan,

Before we get started, thanks to everyone who imparted birthday wishes upon me over the weekend, whether in person or via Facebook. The ability to get and receive birthday greetings from legions of people you haven’t seen or talked to, sometimes in years, is an unforeseen benefit to Facebook that we never saw when we joined the online service. The cynics will say it’s just more proof of the ongoing de-personalization caused by the internet — but I say it’s just the opposite.

I got a few “happy birthdays” Saturday night when I dropped in at Omaha’s home of booze debauchery, O’Leaver’s, to catch a set by The Sons of O’Leaver’s and Ideal Cleaners. As is their style, the quartet of Tulis, Maxwell, Loftus and Rutledge (a more fearsome law firm name I cannot imagine) were dressed to the nines for this special event, which also happened to be someone else’s birthday party, judging by the cupcakes stacked on the table along the far wall.

This being their first show in about a year and a half, the band took the occasion to roll out some new material as well as a shift in style. Whatever inherent twang they used to have has been drastically diminished. Maxwell still has that slightly muted, raspy croon on music that now sounds influenced by early Spoon and Blue Sky Blue-era Wilco. Rutledge glowed on lead guitar. He can get lost in the mix in some of his other bands. Not so here, revealing some of the best lead solos from him (or anyone in town), just gorgeous stuff that accents every song. As a whole, this was one of the most satisfying sets of music I’ve seen so far this year. So what’s the future hold for the Sons of…? One hopes we’ll be seeing a Sons of The Brothers or Sons of The Slowdown gig in the near future, along with recording of that new material…?

Ideal Cleaners continues to provide the usual pummeling that only the Lincoln trio can provide. The Bad Religion/Fugazi comparisons still seem to fit but are blurred by how Dan Jenkins and the boys put their own stamp on their abrasive, muscular sound.

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It’s a quiet week for shows, though there is one highlight worth mentioning. Ben Brodin from Mal Madrigal and Our Fox, wrote to say that this coming Wednesday a new Jake Bellows band will be performing at O’Leavers with Simon Joyner.

“The band doesn’t have a name yet, so we’ve been unsure about how to announce this show, but it is a special one in that it will be the first time we’ve performed these songs in public,” Brodin said. The band consists of Bellows, Todd Fink, Ryan Fox, Heath Koontz and Brodin, who said the music they’ll be playing was actually recorded last winter/spring.

“Also, since we live in different cities, this will be the only show in the foreseeable future,” Brodin said. “We’d be stoked for people to hear it while everyone is in town. Swing down if you haven’t got anything going on Wednesday.” Bellows apparently did an interview with Hear Nebraska that outlines what the band is and how it took shape, but the story isn’t online yet. Keep an eye on their website.

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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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