Live Review: VietNam, Dumb Beach; Hawkins goes to Bar/None; Thermals, Pleasure Adapter, the return of Jiha Lee tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:34 pm May 13, 2013
Dumb Beach at O'Leaver's, May 11, 2013

Dumb Beach at O’Leaver’s, May 11, 2013

by Tim McMahan,

I’m oh-for-two for being on the list for national shows. The first oh came at that Polica show a couple weeks ago. The publicist for opener Night Moves was supposed to handle it. Nothing. And then this past Friday the publicist for Black Pus left me high in dry. Mortifying. In both instances, I got in out of the goodness of the club.

VietNam at Slowdown Jr., May 10, 2013.

VietNam at Slowdown Jr., May 10, 2013.

So needless to say, I don’t feel bad about missing Black Pus’ set, though I was told it sounded like Lightning Bolt, the band that BP’s Brian Chippendale drums in, and that would have been something to see and hear. Instead, I got to Slowdown just in time for VietNam. Described as singer/songwriter Michael Gerner’s project, the essence of their sound is a culmination of all seven band members. That’s right, seven — two guitars, fiddle, bass, Moog and two drummers.

Whenever I hear a band has two drummers, I prepare for either World Music or psychedelic. Friday night it was the latter, in spades. In fact VietNam is the purest form of drug music music I’ve heard in a long time. That fiddle provided a layer of scratchy, droning feedback that cast the proceedings in sonic tones, like a red handkerchief thrown over a lampshade. But this wasn’t some sort of slow-drone Floyd-ish psycho head game. More like the kind of music you imagine playing in the background while on the run after a deal gone bad just outside of Bakersfield on a summer day in 1972, a day that never ends viewed through the filter of over saturated 70 mm film stock. Chugging, hot, on-the-run rock music with no place to hide. This band would be fun to see on a big outdoor stage (just outside of Bethel, NY) sitting in a field surrounded by 100,000 people. Can Gerner bring this energy to VietNam’s upcoming recordings? Wait and see.

Laughing Falcon at O'Leaver's May 11, 2013.

Laughing Falcon at O’Leaver’s May 11, 2013.

Saturday night was another O’Leaver’s night. Lots of folks there to see the reincarnation of Peace of Shit in the form of new band Dumb Beach. I got there just in time to hear the last five minutes of unbridled roar from Dim Light, a band that has reemerged with obvious new energy. I didn’t know much about the next band, Lincoln’s Laughing Falcon, and expected even less. Instead I was pleasantly surprised.

As one guy told me Saturday night, metal is metal, and Laughing Eagle is indeed metal, but of a more palatable strain than the dumbed-down goon rock heard at Rock Fest this past weekend. Laughing Falcon heralds back to the days of Judas Priest, Sabbath, all the way back to Deep Purple and as current as Early Man. But despite referential riffs, the four-piece brought something modern to this rather tattered fight club. It’s not so much angry as energetic, though afterward, you’ll feel like kicking someone’s head in.

The main event, of course, was Dumb Beach, the latest brainchild of frontman Austin Ulmer, and by far his best. Ulmer has surrounded himself with some of the best up-and-coming talent in town, including drummer Jeff Lambelet (Digital Leather), guitarist Ethan Jones (Baby Tears, ex-Ladyfinger), a second guitarist who I’ve seen in a couple other bands whose name I do not know, and secret weapon smiling Dave Hansen (Worried Mothers) on bass. The resulting roar is more straight-forward and “poppy” than Peace of Shit, with songs reminiscent of Digital Leather during that band’s three-piece punk years. They were at their best when playing the fast, heavy stuff vs. the slower songs (though you’ve got to have that contrast to give the highs their highs). Ulmer is at the center of it all with guitar and howl, bare boned, raw, he’s a working man’s frontman, a no-nonsense Midwestern garage punk with an obvious knack for riff and melody and violent noise.

* * *

Everyone thought that Adam Hawkins’ last project, It’s True, was going to break through and get signed, but it was not to be. Hawkins got married, had a kid and now lives somewhere other than Omaha, though he’s far from forgotten by the Benson crowd who once called him their own.

Now comes word that Hawkins’ new project with his wife, Katy Sleeveless, called Eros and Eschaton, has been signed by Bar/None Records. Bar/None has been around since way back in 1986. Among the bands that got their first break from Bar/None are Yo La Tengo, Freedy Johnston, They Might Be Giants, Poi Dog Pondering and even our very own Lullaby for the Working Class.

* * *

Believe it or not, tonight’s Thermals’ show at Slowdown Jr. has yet to sell out — surprising considering the band’s past history and the hype behind their Saddle Creek Records’ debut Desperate Ground. Opening is another hot band, Pleasure Adapter, who I’m told will have a new cassette available at tonight’s show. $12, 9 p.m.

By the way, I’m supposed to be on the list for this one. Let’s see what happens.

Also tonight… Jiha Lee was a member of Bright Eyes and at the center of Saddle Creek music scene when it was just emerging in the early 2000s . And then, she just seemed to disappear. Well, she’s back tonight at Pageturners, performing with another ’00s veteran Fizzle Like a Flood a.k.a. Doug Kabourek. Show starts at 9 and is absolutely free.

* * *

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.



Live Review: It’s True; Sharon Van Etten, Little Scream, Joyner, Black Joe Lewis tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 12:36 pm April 4, 2011
It's True at The Waiting Room, April 1, 2011.

It's True (full sequence) at The Waiting Room, April 1, 2011.

by Tim McMahan,

There are two reasons why there was a lot of chatter in the audience during Friday night’s It’s True “reunion” / “CD release” show at The Waiting Room. Reason 1: The show was “sold out.” I put that phrase in quotation marks for a reason, which you may understand by looking at the crowd in the above photo, perhaps the largest crowd I’ve ever seen in TWR. And Reason 2: Said crowd was made up of a lot of friends and fellow countrymen who spent the past couple years becoming fans of It’s True, and conversely, became a sort of extended family. And since that family hasn’t been together since last summer, they had a lot of catching up to do.

That explanation isn’t going to help those who just discovered the band, however, one of which complained to me that he couldn’t find a place to hear them without having to also hear yelled conversations between two, three, four other people. He had a right to be pissed, but who expects to really “hear” the band when they go to something akin to a wedding reception?

That said, I had no problem hearing them — no crowd can drown out TWR’s mighty sound system. And what I heard was at times angelic, explosive, violent, angry, loving, lost, lonely, funny, happy and familiar. Yes, there were 12 people on stage at the beginning of the set — the breakdown included back-up singers, two percussionists, and lots of guitars — but everyone seemed to have a reason for being there, which is more than I can say for some of the ridiculous everyone-and-their-best-friend ensembles I’ve seen/heard over the years. The first half of the show focused on reproducing the depth of sound and substance heard on the band’s EP, Another Afterlife, for sale for the first time that evening. And for the most part it was spot on. Hawkins ran through the album with little spacing between songs, intent (it seemed) on getting through the set list as efficiently as possible. I assume playing with 11 musicians is a trick not unlike juggling cats — everyone thinks it’s fun to look at except for the guy tossing the kitties, who would just soon get it over with before one of them plunges to its death or sinks its claws into your wrist.

It's True at The Waiting Room, April 1, 2011.

It's True (first sequence) at The Waiting Room, April 1, 2011.

Hawkins seemed more comfortable when the band switched to the stripped-down version heard on the previous album. The crowd seemed more responsive as well, as the band dipped into the more familiar material that they’d been waiting to hear again. Certainly the old stuff — with its lengthy, bombastic feedback jams — lends itself to stage heroics, while the newer, more compact (i.e., shorter) material is in many ways more direct and more effective in a pure songwriting vein. I like the new stuff better, and maybe the crowd did as well, as it thinned oh so slightly during the encore.

A final note: Hawkins kept his glasses on for the full 12 rounds. In the past, the specs were either violently whipped off or set on the stage three or four songs into the set, but Friday night they stayed firmly affixed to the bridge of his nose all evening long. Read into that observation whatever you will.

The only opener I caught was Cowboy Indian Bear, who did a pretty good job capturing an audience that wasn’t there to see them.

* * *

Quite a singer/songwriter showcase going on tonight at Slowdown Jr. Brooklyn’s Sharon Van Etten’s latest album, Epic, was released on Ba Da Bing in ’10 and received a whopping 7.8 on the Pitchfork meter. You might know her for her guest-spot work on The Anters’ last album Hospice. In the middle slot is Little Scream. Her new album, The Golden Record (Secretly Canadian), reminds me more than a little bit of St. Vincent. Opening the festivities is Simon Joyner. This is a pretty “epic” line up for $8. Starts at 9.

Also tonight…. Seems like there were as many people excited about tonight’s Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears show when it was announced a month or so ago as there were when the upcoming Sharon Jones / Dap Kings concert was announced . Well here we are, a month or so later, and BJL still hasn’t sold out. Not yet, anyway. Opening is Tennessee’s Those Darlins. $12, 9 p.m.

* * *

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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


It’s True CD release / “reunion” show tonight; Toro Y Moi Saturday; Wye Oak Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:44 pm April 1, 2011

by Tim McMahan,

Adam Hawkins of It’s True said that tonight’s CD release show for Another Afterlife at The Waiting Room will feature as many as 12 musicians on stage at the same time. “It’s not going to be like a rotating cast,” he said. “We’re arranging songs for about 12 people. And hopefully we’ll remember the songs. We’ll have had maybe six practices with the big band by the time it happens.”

I suspect that the evening will have a “reunion” feel to it despite the fact that it’s an album launch. Hawkins said he doesn’t intend to ramp up a touring band, at least not anytime soon (see why here), so tonight’s show and tomorrow night’s show at The Bourbon Theater may be the last times you get to see It’s True perform in the foreseeable future. Expect a crowd, and maybe lines as no advanced tickets were offered to this show — it’s walk-up traffic only. Opening is The Haunted Windchimes, Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship, and Lawrence band Cowboy Indian Bear. $8, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night’s big show is “chillwave” artist Toro Y Moi at Slowdown Jr. TYM is South Carolina native Chaz Bundick and a plethora of electronic devices. His new album, Underneath the Pine (Carpark) is synth-y and beat-heavy, the shimmer is dreamy, the vocals breathy and echoing, the melodies intentionally loungy (a la Stereolab). Pitchfork gave the album an 8.4. Opening is Adventure. $10, 9 p.m.

Last but not least, Wye Oak (who you read about yesterday) plays at Slowdown Jr. with Callers Sunday night. I realize it’s a school night, but you won’t want to miss this amazing band that’s signed to Merge Records. And it’s only $8. Starts at 9.

That’s what I got. Let me know what I’m missing.

* * *

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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Column 315: The Return of It’s True; Saturn Moth, Dim Light, Lincoln Exposed starts tonight…

Category: Blog,Column,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:29 pm March 24, 2011

It's True's Adam Hawkins

Column 315: Adam Hawkins’ Encore

It’s True emerges from the ashes with an important EP.

by Tim McMahan,

When local indie band It’s True’s announced that it was breaking up at a performance last June, I was more than a bit surprised.

After playing South by Southwest the March prior, the band had released its debut full length to much local adoration. They went on to play a number of shows in California that were, by all indication, a big success. Rumors abound that the band had caught the eye of a few big-name star makers. The world was about to take notice of what many of us thought was Omaha’s next big thing.

And then during a show that was more like a drunken Irish wake, It’s True frontman Adam Hawkins announced with a bourbon drawl, “This is our third-to-last show,” and that the band was hanging it up after its performance at the MAHA Music Festival that July.

The reasons for the break-up are hinted throughout the band’s fantastic, soon-to-be-released EP, Another Afterlife. There’s the opener “Don’t You Know You’re Never Alone,” with the line  “Looking at all these people looking back at me it seems they’re seeing more than I would want them to see.” Or the opening phrase to “Stand Still,” which goes “He breaks another vow and sells his guitar / He says ‘I’m never gonna be a star.’” Or maybe the most definitive line of all, from track three: “I don’t want to be the one who let’s you down.”

“I got tired of all day, every day, all anyone would talk about was the band,” Hawkins explained from his home in Grimes, Iowa, a small town just outside of Des Moines. “The strategizing and worrying about decisions about where we should play next, those were the only conversations we had; and it was all that anyone would want to talk about whenever I ran into anyone outside the band. It felt mentally limiting. Everything that I was doing at that point was not feeling right or natural. It wasn’t anything personal, it wasn’t any big dramatic event, I just needed a little space to breath.”

Hawkins said the breakup didn’t catch the band by surprise. “I think that maybe they didn’t think it would actually happen,” he said, “but I don’t think they were surprised at all. Everyone knew I wasn’t happy.”

But if the band knew it was coming, the fans didn’t. “I had a couple people tell me that they were really pissed at me,” Hawkins said. “People thought I was really throwing something away and making a big mistake, not understanding the situation. A number of people cried at the last few shows, they came up to me teary eyed. It was strange to hear how much it meant to people.”

But despite those reactions, Hawkins said nothing was going to sway his decision. “(Their reactions) felt good, like we were really doing something,” he said, “but I knew I needed time to air out.”

If fact, he’d already made his decision by the time of that brief California tour. “We all knew that was our last hurrah,” Hawkins said, adding that he had nothing to come home to after the tour. “I’d been slacking off at my job, and they fired me, rightfully so,” he said. “And so I came back with no job and no money and decided I was going to get out of there.”

Hawkins’ parents own a combination art gallery, frame shop and flower shop located in an old stone church in Des Moines. “I knew mom was looking for some help in the kitchen and asked if she’d be interested in me coming back and staying a month or two,” he said.

The plan was for Hawkins and his girlfriend, Katey Sleeveless, to save some money before going back on the road, but things didn’t work out that way. His kitchen replacement fell through, and his mother “made strong hints that it would be helpful if we hung around, so we signed a six-month lease on an apartment.”

And then Hawkins and Katey found out that they were going to be parents.

“It hit me in a lot of different ways,” he said. “Everything is totally different now. It’s definitely the No. 1 important thing for me — finding ways to provide happiness for my family.”

It's True, Another Afterlife (2011, Slo-Fi)

It's True, Another Afterlife (2011, Slo-Fi)

But while all that was happening, Hawkins never stopped writing songs. “Music was always there,” he said. “I wrote songs no matter what, and had a little collection that I wanted to record and not worry if they were good.” His first call was to It’s True bass player Kyle Harvey. By October Hawkins was recording most of the parts at the home studio of Jeremy Garrett, The Waiting Room’s sound engineer. The rest of It’s True filled in the holes, except for drummer Matt Arbeiter, who had moved to New York.

The 8-song EP is an evolution for Hawkins. It’s more straight-forward and tuneful, and in many ways more personal than the band’s debut full length. “It’s all about the last year or so,” Hawkins said of the album. “It’s kind of all about starting over, different things beginning and different things ending.”

But the EP and its release shows at The Waiting Room April 1 and the Bourbon Theater in Lincoln April 2 aren’t so much a new beginning for It’s True as a reunion (even Arbeiter is coming back from NYC for the shows). Hawkins has his sights set on only one thing after the final encore.

“First of all, I’m going to have a baby,” he said about his future. “That will take precedent for awhile. After that, I don’t know. Katey and I are both musicians. We’ll find a way to do that, and not in a background sort of way. We’ll find ways to make it an integral part of our lives.”

* * *

Want a sneak peak of Another Afterlife? Check out the interview with Adam Hawkins at Worlds of Wayne (it’s right here), which includes a sampling of the songs off the EP.

* * *

Saturn Moth, a new-ish four piece fronted by Collin Matz, headlines a show tonight at The Waiting Room that also includes the amazing Dim Light, Cymbal Rush and Knife, Fight, Justice. $5, 9 p.m.

Tonight also is the start of the three-day Lincoln Exposed festival. You’re looking at three nights of Lincoln bands playing at The Zoo Bar, The Bourbon Theater and Duffy’s. Tix are $7 a night or $15 for all three nights. The best place to see the line-up and schedules is at Omahype, at these three links:

Lincoln Exposed Day 1 – Thursday, March 24

Lincoln Exposed Day 2 – Friday, March 25

Lincoln Exposed Day 3 – Saturday, March 26

* * *

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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


It’s True takes an evolutionary leap with new EP, Another Afterlife…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:17 pm March 23, 2011

by Tim McMahan,

It's True, Another Afterlife (2011, Slo-Fi Records)

It's True, Another Afterlife (2011, Slo-Fi Records)

Tomorrow I’m posting an interview with It’s True’s Adam Hawkins as my weekly column. If you’re out and about, you can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader, which drops today. The interview attempts to answer questions about It’s True’s breakup after last year’s MAHA Music Festival, as well as talk about the band’s rebirth and new EP, Another Afterlife.

It’s rare that I gush about an album that’s yet to be released (the CD release show is April 1 at The Waiting Room), but I simply can’t help myself with this one. Another Afterlife is hands down one of the best collections of songs I’ve heard from a local band in a long time, and sits among the best nationally released CDs I’ve heard this year.

Consider it an evolution in songwriting and style. When It’s True’s debut CD was released back in ’09 — there there, now… / i think it’s best… (if i leave) — I thought it was a nice little 4-track bedroom recording of solo acoustic folk songs, sweet and unpretentious. Then came last year’s more formal self-titled release that was basically a re-imagining of the songs on the debut with a full band. Hawkins and Co. took simple ideas and made them sonically huge, at times a little too huge and ponderous for my taste, yet it was unquestionably an impressive step forward that a lot of us thought would be a launching pad to bigger things. We all know what happened next.

Now on this slight, 29-minute EP, Hawkins takes the best ideas from his first two efforts and hones them to perfection. At times I’m reminded of intimate, early Simon & Garfunkel. Other times (especially on the more instrumental tracks) I think of the best of Badly Drawn Boy. But overall, Another Afterlife is a refinement of Hawkins’ own songwriting voice, and what a voice it is. Both lyrically and musically, he’s cleared away the clutter and brought his songs down to core ideas that are consistently moving and entertaining. I love this record.

Kyle Harvey, who owns and operates Slo-Fi Records (which is releasing the EP), could have his hands full with this one if he and the band can get it heard by the right people. But something tells me that’s not going to happen, especially with the monumental task that’s about to confront Mr. Hawkins in the very near future, but more on that tomorrow…

* * *

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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Lazy-i Interview: Son of 76 and the Watchmen; Say it ain’t true: It’s True calling it quits?

Son of 76 and the Watchmen

Son of 76 and the Watchmen

by Tim McMahan,

Bicentennial Man: Son of 76 and the Watchmen

Son of 76 and the Watchmen celebrates Shangri-La.

Lincoln’s Son of 76 and The Watchmen is not a blues band, not that there’s anything wrong with playing the blues.

The Son of 76 himself, Josh Hoyer, sees some advantages to being aligned with the genre. “If you’re called a blues band, blues fans will come out to see you even if you don’t play the blues,” he said.

Conversely, there are those who go out of their way to avoid blues bands, having been burned too many times by the army of Blues Hammer (i.e., “blues rock”) acts that have eroded the genre to something that just barely crosses the line from being a cover band.  Hoyer quoted a friend who summed it up this way: “What went wrong with the blues world is that a bunch of old white guys with day jobs put on bowling shirts and began playing the same Stevie Ray Vaughn covers,” he said. “Blues is a pretty vast genre, but the majority of guys around here are stuck in that world.”

It was my own close-minded take on blues that almost kept me from discovering Hoyer’s band at last year’s Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEAA) summer showcase. Someone had told me they were a straight-up blues act, and I nearly left before they hit the stage. Luckily, I didn’t.

While there are blues overtones to some of their music — thanks in part to Hoyer’s throaty, deep vocal delivery — Son of 76 has more in common with classic American rock acts like Warren Zevon and Springsteen. On their new album, Letters from Shangri-La, the band sways through a plethora of genres, from the piano-driven rock of “She’s the Kind of Woman,” to the Celtic-flavored ballad “Annie’s Heart,” to the NOLA style of the title track, to the doo-wap of “The Moon,” to, yeah, the blues grind of “‘Til She’s Lovin’ Someone Else.” It’s Hoyer’s voice — which lies somewhere between Tom Waits, Dr. John and Elvis — that ties the styles together into something uniquely cinematic, original and thoroughly authentic.

Born in 1976 in Lincoln, Hoyer is a veteran of a number of bands including The Magnificent Seven and Electric Soul Method.  While he lived most of his life in the Star City, the music on Shangri-La was inspired by travels throughout the South. “I took a trip down Highway 61 and went to Clarksdale, Mississippi, and a lot of small towns in Louisiana,” he said. “Instead of taking pictures, I remembered what I’d seen and put it into the songs and lyrics.”

But not all of his songs are based on his travels. With the lines, “Well that coward was never a man / Just a scared little boy, with a gun in his hand,” the elegiac “Starkweather Son” has obvious local origins.

“Everyone in Lincoln has a Starkweather story,” Hoyer said. “I thought no one could write about it better than Springsteen.”

But then one night at a party during another round of Starkweather tales, Hoyer heard one that was hard to top. “This kid said, ‘My great uncle was Starkweather. I’m a Starkweather.’ He shared what it was like to grow up with the name,” Hoyer said. “He’d said that many of his relatives had been driven away and how hard it was to grow up in Lincoln, but that he wasn’t going leaving. He hadn’t done anything wrong. I knew it was a story that would make a great song.”

One of the best tracks off the new album, the song burns with a grim intensity, thanks to Hoyer’s band of local pros that includes Brian Morrow, bass; Nick Semrad, piano; Luke Sticka, rhythm guitar; Justin Jones on drums, and guitarist Werner Althaus, who also co-produced and recorded the album in his basement studio.

Hoyer said he met Althaus at an open jam and realized he was “the missing piece of the puzzle,” but was too shy to ask him to play in his band. “I finally got the nerve up,” Hoyer said. “For me, he perfectly finishes the songs I write by how he approaches music. He seems locked in on my ideas.”

Althaus, who sounds like a Midwestern Arnold Schwarzenegger thanks to a slight German accent, said that while Hoyer writes most of the music, everyone in the band gets involved putting the songs together and offering ideas. “Josh used to be much more controlling,” Althaus said. “In his previous bands, he told people exactly what to play. So this was a new thing for him.”

He said he doesn’t understand where the band’s blues tag came from. “I can hear the influence, but I don’t hear the blues,” Althaus said. “When people say I’m a blues player, I tell them that I’m not. I play what I want to play. I don’t listen to it or study the old masters, but if a blues vocal line fits into a song, why not?”

He added that the band’s musicians have a broad background in a variety of musical styles. “If someone takes it somewhere, we draw on what we know,” Althaus said. “We all have the basic vocabulary.”

“They’re all stellar players, and they’ve trusted me,” Hoyer said. “There have been times when I’ve written something that they’ve said is weird, but they’ll try it anyway.”

With a band that consists mostly of seasoned veteran musicians, Hoyer said touring may not be a realistic option. “We’re all adults,” he said. “Everyone except for Nick (Semrad) has a mortgage. Whenever I think about touring, it seems like a pipe dream. Maybe I’m killing the dream before it happens.”

For now, Hoyer is content booking local shows. “We sold a thousand copies of last album playing Lincoln and Omaha,” he said. “We’re building a crowd just playing at home. That’s pretty cool.”

Son of 76 and The Watchmen plays with The Kris Lager Band and Matt Cox, Thursday, July 1, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $6. For more information, visit band also is playing at Harrah’s Stir Lounge July 3 at 9 p.m. Admission is $5.

* * *

It's True at Slowdown Jr., June 30, 2010

It's True at Slowdown Jr., June 30, 2010

Just two months after releasing their debut album, It’s True announced that the band is calling it quits. The announcement came from stage at last night’s show at Slowdown Jr. “This is our third to last show,” said inebriated frontman Adam Hawkins without giving an explanation. “We have this show, and two others, and that’s it.” During the set, someone jokingly suggested to me that it was a publicity stunt. But something tells me the MAHA guys aren’t that brutally savvy — that’s right, the MAHA Festival July 24 would be the band’s last performance (not counting a rumored MAHA after-party), Hawkins said. Their second-to-last show will be in Lincoln tonight at The Bourbon Theater — that is if they are, indeed, breaking up. But something tells me it’s true, which is a shame.

Last night’s performance had all the charm of a drunken wake, with Hawkins taking double shots between songs. Despite proclaiming that he was “wasted,” he still put on one helluva show, calling his pals from Poison Control Center (the opening band) up on stage to join him for a couple songs. The set ended with a 15-minute guitar-noise-odyssey, with Hawkins kneeling with his back to the audience next to Kyle Harvey who was busy creating his own curtain of feedback on electric guitar surrounded by a couple girls on stage along with the PCC folks. The sonic melee didn’t end until after 1 a.m. when the house lights came up — a rare late-night at Slowdown. God only knows what the band has in store for tonight’s show in Lincoln.

* * *

In addition to tonight’s Son of 76 CD release show at The Waiting Room and It’s True at The Bourbon, Dim Light is opening a four-band bill tonight at Slowdown Jr. with The Vingins, and Colorado bands Woodsman and Candy Claw, who have been described as ambient/minimalist/psychedelic rock. $7, 9 p.m.

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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.