The Cog Factory documentary gets YouTube release…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:19 pm April 3, 2020

A screencap from The Cog Doc.

by Tim McMahan,

Ah, the Cog Factory documentary. Filmmaker Kyle Benecke has created a 41-minute ode to an Omaha music scene landmark, and it’s a scorcher — extremely entertaining and engrossing.

The film traces the all-ages music club’s origins, highs, lows and the bathrooms, and includes a fine selection of live footage taken at dozens of shows interspersed with interviews from founder Robb Rathe and club mainstays, fans, volunteers and musicians who performed on its stage, including Todd Fink (The Faint), Gary Dean Davis (Frontier Trust), Matt Baum (Desaparecidos), Jason Ludwick (Bombardment Society) and a ton more.

As a film, the documentary is well-shot, well-edited, as good as (or better than) what I’ve seen at Film Streams or on Netflix, which makes me wonder why it couldn’t have gotten a more elaborate World Premiere than a post on Facebook, but times being what they are… I’m hoping when the COVID lock-down is lifted that the folks at Film Streams figure out a way to do another premiere, preferably at the Dundee Theater (and somehow get Rathe there for a Q&A).

Until then, enjoy it in whatever bunker you’re hunkered down in:

There’s a documentary website at that includes more performance video, flyers, photos and whatnot as well as a “tip jar” that connects to a gofundme page. I don’t know what Kyle will do with the money, but it would be cool to see this get more exposure and entry into film festivals, etc., and that costs money.

Seems like I remember back in the day there always was a benefit show going on to help pay for the Cog Factory’s bathrooms. I can’t remember if it was a city code thing to what.

I only went to the Cog a couple times over the years, including once to interview Frontier Trust for a publication out of Lawrence called The Note. When it was going full blast I was in my late 20s and spent most of my time at clubs like The Capitol, The Howard Street Tavern and, of course, Sokol Underground.

If you want more info about the Cog Factory, read my ’98 interview with Robb Rathe, written about his leaving Omaha and the Cog Factory. Also, an interview with Chris Harding, who took over the reins for a time.

Wish I had some show announcements to pass on for the weekend. Hang tight, folks. We’ll all be back in the clubs before you know it.

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