Gloom Balloon, Kasher’s ‘No Resolution’ film premier tonight; Femme Fest BFFriday and Saturday; Looming, No Getter Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:00 pm August 31, 2017

See Through Dresses at Maha Music Festival in 2016. The band kicks off Femme Fest Friday night at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan,

I’m getting a jump on the weekend because I’ll be out of town when all this is going down. Needless to say, reception may be spotty at ol’ Lazy-i Central for the next few days. Bear with me, folks.

Tonight (Thursday) at The Slowdown Gloom Balloon celebrates the release of their new LP Drying the Eyes of the Goddess of Gloom, Underneath the Stars and the Moon. If’n you don’t know, the band is fronted by Patrick Tape Fleming from Poison Control Center. Says Patrick: “This album is an audacious attempt to mount a fully orchestrated, classically minded conceptual work within the context of contemporary indie rock. Both forward-thinking and backward-minded, a collision of bygone musical styles and one of the most ambitious records you are likely to hear this year.” Christopher the Conquered and Middle Folk open the show. $10, 8 p.m.

I’m told there’s also a free listening party at Hi-Fi House from 3 to 5 p.m.

Also tonight at Film Streams it’s the Omaha premiere of the debut feature film from Tim Kasher, No Resolution. Kasher talked briefly about the film in this interview / profile I wrote for The Reader last May.

About the film, Kasher said: “I’m also going to put it out on places you expect, like iTunes and Amazon, but it’s all kind of just me doing it, you know? I’m kind of making up the rules as I go.” And, he’d prefer that people see his movie in a group setting rather than a living room. “I’m still old school in the sense that I really love the idea of a captive audience at a theater or gallery. It really can affect and shape how you experience the movie.”

For this screening, Kasher will introduce the film and do a brief musical performance, followed by the film and a post-show Q&A. Tix are $16 gen; $14 for students, and $12 for Film Streams members like me. I’m sorry I’m gonna miss this! You shouldn’t. Starts at 7 p.m. Tickets available right here.

The only thing on the radar for this weekend is the third annual Femme Fest in Benson. The rules: You have to have at least one female member in your band to participate. It’s a celebration of women in music. Cost is $10 per night, which gets you into all the venues.

Here’s the schedule:


The Waiting Room Lounge
7 – 7:45 Edem Soul Music
8 – 8:45 Dominique Morgan & the Experience
10 – 10:45 Enjoli
11 – 11:45 Briner
12 – 12:45 The Boner Killerz

Reverb Lounge
7:15 – 8 Electricradbolt
8:15 – 9 Clark & Company
9:15 – 10 Audrey Edris
10:15 – 11 Virginia Kathryn
11:15 – 12 Molly & the Dustbunnies
12:15 – 1 Yoniverse

The Barley Street Tavern
7 – 7:45 Soul Tree
8 – 8:45 Edge of Arbor
9 – 9:45 Tragic Martha
10 – 10:45 Daisy Distraction
11 – 11:45 Verse and the Vices
12 – 12:45 Schwervon! (KS)

9 – 9:45 Hasco Duo
10 – 10:45 Alexa Dexa
11 – 11:45 Stacy Barelos
12 – 12:45 Screaming Plastic

Burke’s Pub
7:15 – 8 Pony Creek
8:15 – 9 The Midnight Wanderers
9:15 – 10 Megan Siebe & Sean Pratt
10:15 – 11 Kat Ludwick & Kate Williams
11:15 – 12 Artichoke Hearts
12:15 – 1 The Wildwoods

The Sydney
8:15 – 9 Plastic Garbage
9:15 – 10 The Way Out
11:15 – 12 Death Cow
12:15 – 1 Muscle Cousins


The Waiting Room Lounge
5 – 5:45 Omaha Girls Rock Panel Discussion
6 – 6:45 All Young Girls Are Machine Guns // Petals & Thorns
7 – 7:45 Embi
8 – 8:45 Badland Girls
9 – 9:45 The Electroliners
10 – 10:45 Belles & Whistles
11 – 11:45 Kait Berreckman
12 – 12:45 Dirt House

Reverb Lounge
7:15 – 8 Mary Ruth
8:15 – 9 Falt Lines
9:15 – 10 Ashley Buck
10:15 – 11 Emily Ward
11:15 – 12 Kristen Taylor

Barley Street Tavern
7 – 7:45 Joya
8 – 8:45 Naive Filter
9 – 9:45 Elizabeth Ghandour (MN)
10 – 10:45 Hartford/Focht
11 – 11:45 Bell Mine
12 – 12:45 Aviatrix

8 – 8:45 Aly Peeler
9 – 9:45 Keiria Marshae
10 – 10:45 The Hottman Sisters
11 – 11:45 Ria Gold
12 – 12:45 DJ P2K

Burke’s Pub
7:15 – 8 The Shineys
8:15 – 9 Beauty School (IL)
9:15 – 10 Bathtub Maria
10:15 – 11 Blue Bird
11:15 – 12 Powerful Science
12:15 – 1 The SuperBytes

The Sydney
8:15 – 9 Domestica
9:15 – 10 The Morbs
10:15 – 11 Shit Flowers
11:15 – 12 The Clocks
12:15 – 1 Universe Contest

Finally Sunday night Milk Run is hosting an indie show with Prince Daddy & The Hyena (NYC) , Looming (Springfield, No Sleep Records), Runaway Brother (Ohio, Tiny Engines Records) and the last-ever performance by No Getter. $7, 9 p.m.

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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: Gloom Balloon, Christopher the Conquered; punk rock toy drive (Cordial Spew, Bent Life, Time Cat) tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 2:42 pm December 17, 2015
Christopher the Conquered at Slowdown, Jr., Dec. 16, 2015.

Christopher the Conquered at Slowdown, Jr., Dec. 16, 2015.

by Tim McMahan,

To put this in perspective, before I drove down to The Slowdown last night I watched about five minutes of Magnolia, which HBO is now showing on demand. I caught the sequence where Julianne Moore is trying to buy high-powered drugs — liquid morphine — for her dying husband played by a really-dying-in-real-life Jason Robards in a heart-breaking performance. The young pharmacist sees her prescription and freaks out to his older pharmacist partner, who spies Moore over the counter with fear and contempt, making phone calls to her doctor’s office, not knowing what she’ll do with these dangerous pain killers. Finally, the young pharmacist returns to the counter with the prescriptions and says something like, “These are strong drugs, do you know what they could do?” and Moore explodes in a tear-filled gut-wrenching tirade of F-bombs and how-dare you’s. Because her father is dying, and she’s falling apart.

That’s what set my mood right before entering The Slowdown for Christopher the Conquered. Somehow I got the band order wrong or they changed it along the way and Christopher (Ford, his real name) was slotted second instead of the headline-third spot on a show that started at 8 p.m., which meant I only got to see the last song of his set, a heart-felt rendition of his recent digital single “I’m Giving Up on Rock & Roll.” Ford belted it out behind the keyboard, before standing up and belting it out some more. I wish I would have gotten there earlier. Next time, Christopher.

Afterward, a local music dude who goes to a shit-ton of shows — and who’s seen Christopher the Conquered numerous times — said “I think he’s the next big thing to break out from around here.” Maybe. Probably. I need to see his full set before I make up my mind, but from what I’ve seen and heard online from this Des Moines dude who has made Omaha a second home (thanks to this Wednesday-night residency at Slowdown and a handful of shows at O’Leaver’s) my music friend could very well be right.

Next up was Gloom Balloon, which one could describe as a “party band.” The duo of Christopher Ford and former Poison Control Center member Patrick Tape Fleming is a re-imagining of the rap-along-with-a-prerecorded-track performance style that The Show Is the Rainbow honed to a sharp edge years ago. There are a lot of similarities between Gloom Balloon and Darren Keen’s old act (which Keen retired long ago).

Like Keen used to do, Ford and Fleming spent the entire set in the crowd with microphones egging on a circle of fans as they punched out lyrics to their unique style of yacht-rock infused hip hop. Meanwhile (also like TSITR) a video was projected on stage that included snippets from movies (Harold & Maude, for example), old camp-reel footage and new video of Ford and Fleming doing funny, weird things. I found myself paying more attention to the video than the performance.

The party circle watches Gloom Balloon perform on the floor at Slowdown Jr., Dec. 16, 2015.

The party circle watches Gloom Balloon perform on the floor at Slowdown Jr., Dec. 16, 2015.

Punk shows have mosh pits; Gloom Balloon has a party circle — the area near the stage on the floor where the duo interacts with the willing, in torrid, in-yer-face one-on-ones (that is, when the duo isn’t rolling around the floor on their backs or on each other). Playful, yes. Lots of yelling. I don’t like crowd interaction where the performers actually touch you, so I stayed back by the merch table and soaked in the performance art from a distance. You have to be in the mood for this sort of thing; but even if I was, I’d never get near the spectacle.

I take that back. I’ve seen this sort of in-your-face performance done quite effectively on a different level. A Deleted Scenes performance comes to mind, where frontman Dan Scheuerman came into the crowd and sang directly at/in fans’ faces, even grabbing hold of one poor sot’s head. Then there’s Les Savy Fav, a post-punk band where lead singer Tim Harrington was known to bound from stage and angrily push his act directly into his audience (when he wasn’t climbing a nearby stack of speakers).

The above are “serious” examples. Gloom Balloon isn’t serious at all. Neither, really, was The Show Is the Rainbow. The intent was to entertain in a way that can only be described as mad-cap, and to fill the time between songs with funny banter, something Ford and Fleming do as well as Keen ever did (though it wasn’t uncommon for Darren to end up naked by the end of the night).

The set highlight was near the end, when the duo pulled out a real, full-sized multi-colored parachute, which the crowd-circle held like a makeshift tent over the performers who crawled around under it. Fun to watch. But that’s nothing new for Fleming. I enjoyed his somersault-fueled theatrics for years in Poison Control Center, along with that band’s music. If there’s a minus with Gloom Balloon it’s that their music gets lost or forgotten among the videos and yelling and crowd-hassling and jokes and rolling around the floor. Does it matter as long as everyone had a good time? Only if you’re selling records.

* * *

The season of giving continues tonight at Lookout Lounge with what’s being called the See Nebraska Give Toy Drive. Maybe they should have called it the Punk Rock Toy Drive because the bands playing this charity event are some of the area’s punkiest — Bent Life, Pergatory, Cordial Spew, The Ridgways, Third Eye Merchants, Kovacs and Time Cat.

Entrance to the show is either 1) a new or lightly used toy, or 2) $5 (or more, depending on how generous you feel). All proceeds go to Omaha’s Open Door Mission. Show starts early at 6 p.m. and runs ’til 11.

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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live at O’Leaver’s: Son, Ambulance, Deleted Scenes, more; Gloom Balloon, Christopher the Conquered tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:18 pm August 20, 2015
Deleted Scenes are among the artists newly featured at Live at O'Leaver's.

Deleted Scenes are among the artists newly featured at Live at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan,

Live at O’Leaver’s released its next wave of recordings of bands performing live on the grand stage at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Check them out below or at the website. I know the tapes were rolling when Speedy Ortiz played Saturday and when Criteria headlined the site’s launch party. Will we be seeing / hearing those files soon? I can’t wait.

* * *

Tonight at Slowdown Jr. it’s Gloom Balloon and Christopher the Conquered. Gloom Balloon, as you may know, is the solo project from Patrick Tape Fleming of The Poison Control Center. Christopher the Conquered just got “boosted” by Ryan Adams (as reported in Billboard). If that wasn’t enough, M34N STR33T opens the show. $10, 8 p.m.

Also tonight Max Holmquist headlines at O’Leaver’s with Extravision and Justin Ready & The Echo Prairie. $5, 9:30 p.m.

If that wasn’t enough, Timecat plays at Lookout Lounge with Kitsch, Rational Anthem and The Ridgways. $7, 9:30 p.m.

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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Omaha Gives to Hear Nebraska; Digital Leather, Gloom Balloon, Orenda Fink tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:03 pm May 20, 2015

by Tim McMahan,

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 12.56.32 PMOn this, the high holy holiday of local fundraising — Omaha Gives Day — I’m not going to get all “guilt trippy” except to say that if you’re a musician or you run a business that involves music or you’re a music fan, you really should take a second and make a donation to Hear Nebraska.

I’m not saying this just because (full disclosure) I’m a Hear Nebraska Board Member; I’m saying it because there isn’t any other organization in this state that does what HN does for local music — from first-rate promotion of local shows to music journalism to the org’s emerging role as an important resource for putting on local shows. And now with the Good Living Tour, HN is getting bands heard in the outer reaches of the state.

As Hear Nebraska continues to grow, I see it becoming an even more crucial resource for local bands and musicians, which are at the heart of what HN is trying to accomplish.

You can be a part of it. Just go to this page on the Omaha Gives website and make a donation of any size. You’ll feel good all over.

* * *

There’s a boatload of shows happening tonight.

Top of my list (of course) is Digital Leather at The Brothers Lounge. The band has a new record, All Faded (FDH Rcords) coming out June 23 that is arguably the best thing they’ve ever done, and is destined to be in my top-10 “favorites” list of 2015. This morning CMJ premiered the first track off the album, “Cold Inside,” which you can hear below.

See them perform it live tonight. Also on the bill is Indianapolis self-proclaimed “swampydeathrock” band We Are Hex. No cover listed, but probably $5. 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Iowa invades The Sydney with Des Moines bands Christopher the Conquered and Gloom Balloon. Gloom Balloon is the debut solo project by Patrick Tape Fleming, founder of semi-legendary indie rock band The Poison Control Center. Also on the bill is Omaha’s Bazile Mills. $8, 9 p.m.

Finally, there’s a big, free Omaha Gives showcase happening at The Slowdown tonight. On the bill: Orenda Fink, Louder than a Bomb, Opera Omaha, McCarthy Trenching and Super Ghost. The fun starts at 8 p.m.

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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.