Benson First Friday, Sweatshop and who is Eyeball Promotions? Frontier Ruckus tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:38 pm July 8, 2013

by Tim McMahan,

Didn’t do much music-wise over the weekend. I spent Friday night at Benson First Friday, where I caught part of a set by John Klemmensen and AYGAMG at “Brad’s Corner” at Military Ave. and Maple Street. Nothing quite like some outdoor acoustic to give the event some “festival flair.”

We did the usual walking tour of Maple Street (Walking all the way past the construction to the new rock garden on 68th street). Lots of music, lots of noise (the DJ outside of Beercade was way too loud). Not a lot of art, though Star Deli had a particularly nice collection of art.

We walked past the new Benson Brewery and even stepped inside only to find out it would take a half hour for a table. Good for them, but not for me as I didn’t want to wait. Unfortunately, there still isn’t a lot of food options in Benson beyond Baxter’s (another crush mob), Lot 2 (um, no) and the tapas place (expensive). I hoped we’d see food trucks parked along Military, but no luck. Are the food trucks avoiding Benson or are Benson restaurants keeping them away? I was told a couple trucks/vendors showed up much later in the evening, well past the dinner hour. Benson needs food trucks. Anyway, we ended up at ol’ reliable Pizza Shoppe, where I preceded to get lit on Blue Moon ale (and no, I wasn’t driving).

Beyond that, I took a tour of The Sweatshop Gallery, the hot (literally) new art / music space right next door to The Barley Street Tavern. The performance space is in the back, a small room that opens to the back alley via overhead doors. When I say “small” I mean really small. Capacity of, what, 50? If that. Seems a tad cramped for a live show of any magnitude. In fact, I was told that Parquet Courts was a crush scene, and that the “Sweatshop” moniker should have been changed to “Sweatlodge” that night. Even empty the room is oddly stuffy, including last Friday night when only three of us were in there with the doors wide open, I can’t imagine it sandwiched with 100 people…

I bring it up because Titus Andronicus, who drew at least 100 people the last time they played at Sokol Underground, is booked to play at Sweatshop Sept. 19. I heard the venue was chosen because TA wants to do DIY rooms on this tour.

Eyeball Promotions

Eyeball Promotions

The Titus show is an Eyeball Promotion. Eyeball is run by none other than Craig D. and Derek Pressnall of Tilly and the Wall. The last Eyeball show was last week’s Pleasure Adapter/Toys that Kill show at O’Leaver’s, and Eyeball has another big one this Thursday: Icky Blossoms at O’Leaver’s.

With Slowburn Productions now defunct (or at least on an extended hiatus), Omaha needs another promoter to attract small and medium-sized indie shows to our market, and Eyeball may be just what the doctor ordered. Check out the Eyeball Facebook page and “like” them to keep up with their schedule.

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Speaking of shows, tonight at O’Leaver’s Hear Nebraska Presents Frontier Ruckus with Skypiper and Gerardo Meza of the Mezcal Brothers. $5, 9:30 p.m. Yeah, I know it’s Monday night, but go anyway…

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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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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