Live Review: The Blind Shake, White Mystery; Sweatshop winds down; Homeshake, Sheer Agony tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 11:48 am September 1, 2015
The Blind Shake at O'Leaver's, Aug. 31.2015.

The Blind Shake at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 31.2015.

by Tim McMahan,

Another night spent at O’Leaver’s. It’s becoming a habit, thanks to their bookings, which lately have been outshining just about everyone else in town. If you’re looking for rock music, O’Leaver’s is (once again) becoming your go-to choice.

Certainly the rock was a-rollin’ last night, and the turn-out of 30 or so was impressive for a Monday. Things started off with a film by White Mystery shown on the plasma TV that hangs behind O’Leaver’s “stage” (Just when I was about to suggest to grandmaster sound-guy Ian Aeillo that they should take down that flat panel or move it to a different wall — there’s nothing quite as tacky as having a blank plasma TV in every photo taken of bands at O’Leaver’s). The video was like a found-footage collection of road-trip video mashed with a pseudo-psycho-sexual horror film that concluded with a pick-up basketball game where-in some guy won with a granny shot. Coming to a theater near you?

DJ Dave Goldberg spun old-time wax between bands, the next up being Minneapolis power-punk trio The Blind Shake. Riveting straight-forward guitar chops and pounding rhythms backed bark vocals from the dueling guitarists of Jim and Mike Blaha. Brittle and brutal stuff in sort of Thee Oh Sees-meet-The Night Marchers vein. Great stuff.

The blurring red heads of White Mystery at O'Leaver's, Aug. 31, 2015.

The blurring red heads of White Mystery at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 31, 2015.

Then along came the brother and sister team of Miss Alex White and Francis Scott Key White a.k.a. White Mystery. The Chicago duo is becoming old-timers in Omaha. They just played here a few months ago at Reverb, and decided to pass through again after playing Riot Fest in Denver. Their stripped-down guitar-and-drums attack defines a style of garage that is uniquely their own. Now one shreds and screams quite like Miss Alex.

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There was some chit-chat on the patio last night about the demise of The Sweatshop Gallery as a music venue. The art garage in the heart of Benson’s last show is Sept. 12, headlined by Speedy Ortiz-connected band Palehound. Casey Logan at the Omaha World-Herald got the scoop last week, here. I’m told the folks taking over the space aren’t interested in hosting rock shows. A pity, as Sweatshop was gaining momentum after this year’s Sweatfest, becoming recognized as an alternative venue for cutting-edge bands that are flying just under the radar, as well as a few clearly on the grid, like Ceremony, Speedy Ortiz and Parquet Courts, all of whom have played shows there.

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Speaking of The Sweatshop, the ol’ garage is hosting a show tonight headlined by Canadian acts Homeshake and Sheer Agony, with Lineman’s Rodeo and Little Ripple. $7, 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


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