The Mountain Goats, Noah Sterba, Middle Folk, David Nance tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:49 pm July 5, 2017

Mountain Goats at The Waiting Room, Sept. 30, 2016. They open for Jason Isbell tonight at Sumtur Amphitheater.

by Tim McMahan,

Three interesting shows going on tonight. Let’s start with the most expensive one…

The Mountain Goats have a great new album out on Merge Records called Goths. It’s said to have been inspired by The Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Joy Division. Maybe so, but the music still sounds like the usual Mountain Goats’ fare, with John Darnielle writing and performing in his signature talk-sing storyteller style. Still, a deeper production and solid rhythm section make this a better-than-average Mountain Goats album. In fact, the record got a staggering 8.0 from Pitchfork. 

Add to that the fact that the band always puts on a great show, you have to ask yourself are they, alone, worth $40 to see tonight at Sumtur Amphitheater? I’ll leave that up to you. The headliner is former Drive-By Truckers’ dude Jason Isbell, whose southern-fried Americana sound has never done much for me. This one starts at 7:30.

If you leave Sumtur after The Mountain Goats, you’ll be able to catch one of the following shows…

Noah Sterba, formerly of Yuppies, has been playing around for a long, long time, but for whatever reason I’ve never caught his set. The other day I fell across his 12 Bar Blues tracks (originally released on cassette on legendary Unread Records) and was duly impressed. Great stuff.

Anyway, he headlines a show tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s with the always-entertaining David Nance (the hardest working man in Omaha rock?) and Andrew Graham and Swarming Branch. Whoever posted the Facebook invitation said of Swarming Branch “You could say they aspire to become the modern Midwestern Steely Dan, even if they’ve only demonstrated a portion of the elder group’s range thus far.” What can I say, I love Steely Dan. $5, 9 p.m.

Finally, I got a cold-call email from the band Middle Folk last week about their show tonight at Reverb Lounge. I’d never heard of the band, but checked out their music, which is hook-filled folkie-Americana certainly worth the $8 cover. Check it out below. Opening is Grandpa Grew Trees, who also is a mystery to me. Show starts at 9 p.m.

That’s a lot of stuff for a Wednesday night…

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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