Live Review: Disq, Diane Coffee, Fizzle Like a Flood, Frederick Julius; Thick Paint tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:38 pm June 3, 2019

Disq at Slowdown Jr., June 2, 2019.

by Tim McMahan,

Weekend recap:

Friday night Doug Kabourek, a.k.a. Fizzle Like a Flood, re-emerged from a long performance hiatus to play a six-song solo-acoustic set at B-Side in Benson opening for Frederick Julius, a.k.a., Matt Geiler, who was celebrating the release of a new album. 

Fizzle Like a Flood at Benson B-Side May May 31, 2019.

Kabourek’s six songs spanned his career, from new to old, capping it with “Believe in Being Barefooot” off his masterpiece, Golden Sand and the Grandstand. I bet Doug see from stage all the people in the audience who were singing along. 

He’s one of those people (and I know lots of them in Omaha) who doesn’t realize how talented he his. It’s almost like a sickness around here — running into musicians and artists who create works of art and then move on to something else, leaving us wondering why they’re not doing it anymore (I assume the need to pay bills has something to do with it). Kabourek’s voice sounded the same as the first time I heard him perform nearly 20 years ago. So if he just wants to play opening slots, I’m all for it, as long as he keeps playing. 

Frederick Julius at Benson B-Side May 31, 2019.

Geiler has put together a cracker-jack band that embodied the vision he’s created on his new album, Fixers and Elixers. The music is pure ’60s Beach Boys fun-in-the-sun pop, and what gave it wings was the harmony vocals provided by a couple guys (one being his brother?) who augmented Geiler’s embraceable voice with authenticity, and by that I mean they sounded like Beach Boys harmonies.

The songs ranged from those beachy numbers to more indie-fied pop melodies, many augmented by a doo-wap counter. Fun stuff and Geiler clearly was having a blast on stage — a natural performer whose quick wit was as abundant as his melodies, interspersing small bits and stories between every song. Often funny, there were times when I wish he’d just play a few songs in a row before doing the next schtick. That said, the crowd ate it up. 

This was the first rock show I’ve seen at B-side, and the sound was very bright — lots of high end bouncing around the room, powered by a light-duty PA that left out the bottom of the mix. It’s a good stage that could be even better with a little investment in the sound system. 

I felt lucky to be among the 20 or so people at Slowdown Jr. last night for the Omaha debut of Madison band Disq, one of the best live indie acts I’ve seen in a long time. The 5-piece powered by Isaac deBroux-Slone and Raina Bock released their first 7-inch as part of the Saddle Creek Document series and has since become one of indie’s “buzziest” bands, for good reason. 

With three guitars, bass and drums, and everyone but the drummer providing vocals, they sounded like a modern-day combination of all your favorites from the ’90s — from Teenage Fanclub to Weezer to Pavement to No Knife. But one glance at this motley crew, most of whom look like they’re too young to be in a bar, and you realize they likely have never heard of any of those acts. 

The highlight was a burning version of “Communication,” the A-side of that Saddle Creek single, though the B-side sounded just as good live. After looking on Spotify, I see their debut was released in 2016. They’ve come a long way in three short years. 

Disq is putting finishing touches on a new full-length. After the show I asked one of the guitarists what label is putting it out, but he wouldn’t say. Whoever it is, they better be ready for the onslaught. At a time when electronic music seems to be powering everything, Disq could be rock ‘n’ roll’s last great hope. 

Diane Coffee at Slowdown Jr. June 2, 2019.

You could see how headliner Diane Coffee got his reputation for being an over-the-top performer. He came on stage in a green bodysuit costume surrounded by a costumed band, all wearing white masks (which they quickly threw to the side), and ripped into the title track off his latest album, Internet Arms (Polyvinyl, 2019). 

That album is more synth-driven then guitar-driven, but on stage last night the guitars had the upper hand, turning it into a rock show rather than dance show (which it could never be, anyway, with most of the patrons sitting down). The person next to me said, “He sounds like Steve Perry,” and afterward I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. Not Journey, mind you, Steve Perry solo, especially on the more straight-forward pop numbers.

There were moments when Coffee strayed into manic, quick-verse territory that matched his million-mile-an-hour between-song stage patter. I have to hand it to him, despite the small, rather dead audience, he put it all out there. And his band was absolutely killer in all positions (incredible rhythm section, soaring lead guitars, and keyboards that would make Elton proud). There was even a drum solo… and a keytar solo. 

The whole time I was thinking this guy belongs on Broadway. He’s got the glam Hedwig stance down to a science. Imagine how he’d come off in a packed room, which is what he deserves.

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Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s Thick Paint returns with Olympia band Oh, Rose and Oakland’s Painting with Statue. $5, 8 p.m.

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And thanks, everyone, for the birthday wishes!

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Fizzle Like a Flood, Matt Geiler, Sleep, Big Business tonight; Jollys, No Thanks Saturday; Diane Coffee, Disq Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:44 pm May 31, 2019
Fizzle Like a Flood at The Barley Street Tavern, 10/8/11.

Fizzle Like a Flood at The Barley Street Tavern, 10/8/11. The band plays tonight at B-Side in Benson.

by Tim McMahan,

Looks like we might get some great weather this weekend, so go out and see some music.

Starting tonight at the B-Side in Benson (right next to Virtuoso Pizza). Omaha funnyman Matt Geiler (he’s the dancing pumpkin man we’ve all seen on various Halloween-related memes) is having a CD release party for his band Frederick Julius, whose new album Fixers & Elixirs, drops today. His sound has been compared to Beach Boys and Gin Blossoms, which is pretty straight on.

Opening the show at 7 p.m. is the return of Fizzle Like a Flood. Frontman Doug Kabourek, whose 2000 album Golden Sand and the Grand Stand is among the finest albums released by an Omaha artist during the previous decade, is pulling himself out of a self-imposed stage exile for one night only, apparently to return a favor for Geiler, who opened for Kabourek at one of his CD release shows. Tickets are $10 and as mentioned this is an early show with a 7 p.m. start time.

On the complete opposite end of the sonic spectrum, San Jose doom metal act Sleep headlines at The Slowdown tonight. I’m more excited about the opener, Big Business, whose latest, The Beast You Are (2019, Joyful Noise) rips. $30, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s off to fabulous O’Leaver’s for Chicago punkers Jollys with our very own No Thanks and The Regulation. $5, 10 p.m.

Then comes Sunday and Diane Coffee at Slowdown Jr. You read the Ten Questions interview yesterday (right here). Opening is Disq, a couple Wisconsin folks, Isaac deBroux-Slone and Raina Bock, who count Todd Rundgren, Weezer, Big Star and The Beatles among the musicians whose records helped inform their own creative process. Their last single, “Communication” b/w “Parallel,” was released this past January as part of Saddle Creek Records’ Document Series. Can the Creek get this red-hot outfit signed for a full-length? Disq kicks things off at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Ten Questions with Diane Coffee (at Slowdown Jr., June 2)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:00 pm May 30, 2019

Diane Coffee plays at Slowdown Jr. Sunday, June 2.

by Tim McMahan,

Diane Coffee is Shaun Fleming. As an actor, he’s voiced a slew of animated characters including Jim & Tom Possible in Kim Possible and Leonard Amadeus in Teacher’s Pet. As a musician, he’s played drums in Foxygen. But as Diane Coffee he’s released three albums of retro electro-pop, singing in a voice that would make George Michael or Boy George proud.

On his latest release, Internet Arms (2019, Polyvinyl), Coffee croons about love in a tech age, desperately pushing emotion into a digital space that’s often too cold and isolated to allow for anything as bold as a human touch. He surrounds his smooth vox with lush synths and electronic beats that sound alien and futuristic in an ’80s sort of way. Standout track “Stuck in Your Saturday Night” sounds like it could have been sandwiched in heavy rotation on VH1 between Huey Lewis and Cory Hart.

We caught up with Diane / Shaun and asked him to take the 10 Questions Survey. Here’s what he said:

1. What is your favorite album?

Shaun Fleming/Diane Coffee: Not sure I can pick an all time favorite. My first favorite album, and one I just recently fell in love with all over again, was the self-titled Third Eye Blind record!

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”

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


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


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

Throatcoat Tea

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

That’s hard, don’t know if I have a favorite. Any show can end up being an incredibly memorable experience if the energy is right. I do love playing in LA because it allows me to see my childhood friends and family

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

At a festival in Dayton, Ohio, we had a front-of-house engineer show up late to our set completely wasted and unprepared. Forgot most of his gear at home. It was one of the most unprofessional things I’ve ever experienced. That said, the audience was so unbelievably supportive and energized, it turned into one of my most favorite shows I have ever played.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

For the most part. I will usually drive for Lyft or work odd jobs to supplement my income if need be.

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

Marine Biologist; Politician

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

I heard it’s the birthplace of the Reuben sandwich!

Diane Coffee plays with Disq Sunday, June 2, at The Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 Adv/$15 DOS. For more information, go to

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.