Live Review: Beer Nebraska (Conny Franko, Icky Blossoms); Portugal, The Man, Sam Vicari tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 12:48 pm August 6, 2018

Conny Franko plays the crowd as DJ Kethro looks on last Saturday at Beer Nebraska at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan,

Pretty durn good turnout at Beer Nebraska Saturday night at The Slowdown considering that Chvrches was going on at the same time up in Benson.

I’m not a beer connoisseur but I know what I like, and for me, Zip Line’s Sticky Blossoms and First Street Brewery’s Freakastout got the gold medals in the Lazy-i Taste Test. Drinking five samples of local microbrews made for a different kind of listening experience than my usual Rolling Rock tallboys.

But what about the music? I caught sets by Mesonjixx, Freakabout, Conny Franko and Icky Blossoms.

Franko and DJ Kethro (who was terrific, playing tracks by Thundercat, Kids See Ghosts, Mayer Hawthorne, J Cole and Sade, among others) were the evening’s highlight. That said, as much as I like The Slowdown’s sound system, I couldn’t make out a word Franko rhymed, which is problematic when you’re talking about an art form that emphasizes words as much as beats. Still, you caught the vibe, and his a cappella reading that closed his short set was impactful.

Icky Blossoms at Beer Nebraska at The Slowdown, Aug. 4, 2018.

Icky Blossoms had their usual strong performance (with a few technical glitches early in the set). They play so infrequently that every time I see them I hear something different, though I’m still waiting anxiously for their next album (if one is even in the works).

Mesonjixx rhythm section is what floored me about their set, along with some tasty guitar solos. Their drummer slayed. As did the drummer for Freakabout.

Fun night and a fun crowd there to support Rabble Mill.

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Tonight Chicago singer/songwriter Sam Vicari headlines at Reverb Lounge. Magu and Win/Win open. $7, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, former indie starts Portugal, The Man headline at Stir Concert Cove. 8 p.m. show, tix are in the $40 range…

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Ten Questions with PLEASURES (@ O’Leaver’s Saturday); Conny Franko, Ocean Black tonight; Lupines, Narco States Saturday…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:13 pm August 5, 2016
PLEASURES plays at O'Leaver's Saturday night...

PLEASURES plays at O’Leaver’s Saturday night…

by Tim McMahan,

A lot of weird stuff happens in Florida. There was that time a Florida strip club offered free flu shots. Or the time the guy sprinkled his fiancee’s ashes at a LensCrafters causing the Sarasota Police to evacuate the mall. Or the time the guy tried to pay for a beer with an alligator. Or the time the guy died after getting stuck in his girlfriend’s cat door. All true (I found them on Buzzfeed).

But one of the stranger things out of Florida “in a good way” is PLEASURES. The Sarasota four-piece describes their sound as “sex music for robots” and “psychedelic/synthwave fagcore.” Cool blog Creative Loafing called them “demented surgeons on a quest to create some kind of new sonic Frankenstein” when they awarded them “Best Sci-Fi Psychedelia” in the annual Best of the Bay awards.

I’d describe them as “psych-fueled late-night dream-rock” and “the perfect soundtrack for any John Carpenter hero-epic,” especially songs off their new album Fucked Up Dreams Come True, like “Man Is a God in Ruins,” which just sounds cool and weird. But there’s a lot of weird stuff that happens in Florida.

We gave PLEASURES singer/guitarist Katherine Kelly the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s her answers.

1. What is your favorite album?

Katherine Kelly: 13 Songs by Fugazi

2. What is your least favorite song?

Pachebel’s Canon

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?


4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Dealing with people’s perceptions of people who are in bands.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

My girlfriend’s hair.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Raleigh/Charlotte NC; great scene!

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Toss up between NY and Los Angeles. Because ehh who cares?

8. How do you pay your bills?

Serving tables, painting and contracting work, and the band.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I’d like to be a novelist or an elder care companion. I’d hate to manage a restaurant.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

1, Conor Oberst is a hologram. 2, They like their breakfast burritos “Omaha style” – cream cheese on the tortilla.

PLEASURES plays with Universe Contest and ben Eisenberger Saturday, Aug. 6, at O’Leaver’s, 1322 So. Saddle Creek Rd. Showtime is 9:30 p.m., entry fee is $5. For more information, go to

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I guess it’s about time to say it: Looks like it’s going to be another O’Leaver’s weekend.

I’ve mentioned PLEASURES at fabulous O’Leaver’s tomorrow night. Tonight (Friday), O’Leaver’s brings the sludge when Ocean Black opens for Elkhorn’s doom rock duo Black Velvet. Hand Painted Police Car kicks things off at 9:30. This one’s just $5.

Also tonight at Slowdown, Conny Franko (a.k.a. Conchance of M34n Str33t a.k.a. Brenton Gomez) celebrates the release of his debut album La Maga, a recording inspired by the heroine in Julio Cortazar’s novel Hopscotch. Also on the bill are Stylo Tha Don, Ichiban Hashface, Cool Drug Music and Dojorok. $10, 9 p.m.

Saturday night, The Brothers is hosting Minneapolis psych/garage rock band Narco States. Opening is Lupines and Huge Fucking Waves. $5, 9 p.m. (but they never start that early at The Brothers).

Other than that PLEASURES show at O’Leaver’s Saturday, that’s it for the balance of the weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section.

Have a great one…

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.