St. Vincent tonight at Sokol Auditorium; Stir Concert Series = music for gamblers?

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:57 pm April 1, 2014
St. Vincent at The Slowdown back in May 2012. She plays tonight at Sokol Auditorium.

St. Vincent at The Slowdown back in May 2012. She plays tonight at Sokol Auditorium.

by Tim McMahan,

Tonight’s St. Vincent Show at Sokol Auditorium will be the fifth time I’ve seen Annie Clark and her band perform in Omaha. She’s gone from doing small, sparsely attended shows at The Waiting Room (in 2007) to sold-out Slowdown big room gigs (in 2012) to now the famous cow barn on 13th St.

I’ve always said she had the potential to be “the next PJ Harvey.” With this show — and her latest album — you could argue she’s exceeded PJ. I say that knowing that tonight’s show has yet to sell out; I have no idea if PJ could sell out Sokol Aud (though I’m skeptical).

I like the new self-titled record. Its brittle, sometimes sterile beats and compositions sound modern without losing (too many) elements that make the songs swing. Sure, at times it sounds like plastic robot music and can become somewhat static, but Clark pulls in earthy elements that help ground the songs, including horns and her own gossamer vocals.

What you wouldn’t know if you’ve only heard her records is that Clark is a guitar virtuoso, a real ax grinder that can shred with the best of them. That’s lost amidst all the electronics and effects on the album that make her guitar sound like a buzzing synth. Wait ’til you see her play guitar on stage.

Opening is Noveller a.k.a. Sarah Lipstate. Her instrumental music (mostly guitar) has been called “mind-wrecking noise.”

Like I said, this one is still not sold out, and is a steal at $20. Show starts at 8 p.m.

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Speaking of shows, Harrah’s has announced the Stir Concert Cove line-up for this summer and it’s right in line with shlock slated for this year’s Memorial Park concert (Sugar Ray, Uncle Kracker, etc.).

In Harrah’s defense, the casino doesn’t program its concert series with indie music fans in mind, obviously. But with their facilities and the size of their budget, they could get some real hum-dinger acts instead of Pat Benetar (who played at Memorial Park for free last year), Stain’d, Collective Soul, Alice in friggin’ Chains, etc. Willie Nelson is the biggest name on the sheet *yawn*. The full line-up is here. Is this the kind of music gamblers like to listen to when they’re counting their chips? I guess so. The only show on the slate that holds a modicum of interest is Fitz and the Tantrums, but even that’s a stretch for >$20 ticket price.

Stir’s announcement would appear to leave the field wide open for Maha to book an impressive concert this summer. Expect an announcement in the near future…

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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