Live Review: Speed! Nebraska showcase; Make Believe to launch (local) record store…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:53 pm July 15, 2013
Domestica at O'Leaver's, July 13, 2013.

Domestica at O’Leaver’s, July 13, 2013.

by Tim McMahan,

If you’re even passibly interested in post-punk, especially bands with a ’90s Homestead-style flair, you’ve got to check out Domestica. The band’s history is legend. Born out of the ashes of classic Nebraska band Mercy Rule, Domestica is a power-punk trio whose forte is guitar-driven buzz-saw rock songs about living and loving in the great, dusty Midwest. At the trio’s core is Capital-city-based husband/wife combo of bassist/vocalist Heidi Ore and guitarist Jon Taylor — the First Family of Nebraska punk.

Domestica has been around for a while, taking a brief hiatus when Mercy Rule returned for a short time a few years ago. The band’s last recording was the digital-only Domestica 2, released last year. Based on what I heard Saturday night at O’Leaver’s, it’s time for them to get back into the studio. Now with former Sideshow drummer P. Tisdale (I don’t know if he spells it Paul or Pawl, I’ve seen it both ways) they’re playing on a whole new level.

I’ve heard Heidi sing at least a couple dozen times over the decade, and she’s never sounded better than Saturday night. Part of the reason is, believe it or not, O’Leaver’s new PA, which does a good job with separation. I usually can’t hear Heidi because she’s buried beneath Jon’s guitar. This time she gave Jon a run for his money. In fact, I would have preferred Jon turn it up a bit more. He tweaked it about halfway through the set (but I could have used even more).

The set’s final song was (I believe) a new one. The band rarely leans back on riffs, preferring to keep with a short-shock chorus/verse format. On this one they repeated the guitar/bass lines in a way I can’t quite remember hearing before. I’d love to see them take off on a riff and repeat it over and over and over. Domestica as a jam band? Not quite…

Before they left the stage, they gave out one final treat. Earlier in the set a woman ran up to Heidi and told her it was her birthday, and (I think) made a request — Mercy Rule classic “Summer.” Heidi rolled into a verse of the song by herself as the rest of the band joined and transformed it into something slutty and psychedelic. Happy Birthday indeed.

Before Domestica I caught Sons of O’Leaver’s set, which was as cock-sure as always. They’re like Omaha’s unique version of The Replacements minus the booze and drugs (well, minus the drugs anyway). Don’t get lost in the fog of rhythms — both guitarists have some of the most clever guitar licks you’ll likely hear at The Club. Pay Attention!

This was the annual Speed! Nebraska showcase featuring all S!N bands. Missing from the festivities, however, was label co-founder Gary Dean Davis, who it was announced from stage, was at UNMC recovering from surgery. More details I cannot say, other than it sounds like Gary’s going to be all right.

On the other hand, I never heard why this year’s Soapbox Derby was cancelled, though I did hear rumors of a fill-in event in the near future involving other juvenile modes of racing transportation…

* * *

What’s this, a new local-focused record store?

The news of this new venture came via Facebook yesterday, headlined “Make Believe Music Shop Grand Opening (and free 2nd St. Creamery Ice Cream)“.

“Make Believe Music Shop and 2nd St. Creamery are coming together to celebrate the latest venture from the people who brought you Make Believe Studios in Little Italy. Just as the studio serves Omaha-area bands, so too will the record store, aiming to line our shelves with primarily Nebraska artists. Opening day is set for Friday, July 19.”

The shop is asking for help getting area musicians – as many of the 1,000 local artists as possible – into the store the first few days to bring in their records to sell.

“In addition, there will be free ice cream, BBQ and cold drinks. Join us in celebrating a new addition to the Omaha music scene.”

* * *

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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