Live Review: Jenny & Johnny, Love as Laughter; Kyle Harvey, Bear Country tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 3:27 pm September 14, 2010
Jenny and Johnny at The Waiting Room, Sept. 11, 2010.

Jenny and Johnny at The Waiting Room, Sept. 11, 2010.

by Tim McMahan,

I’ve got some interesting good news, but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s column. For now, here’s a belated review of last Saturday night’s show at The Waiting Room.

Opener, Sub Pop band Love as Laughter, was a trio of Brooklyn guys who spent the first 15 minutes of their set playing the same flat, mid-tempo song over and over (well, at least it sounded like it). But about four songs in, they shifted gears to more conventional indie rock (one song even had an uptempo, boogie vibe). Overall, the songs were consistently too long, but at least it became a little less boring by the end. A couple little girls (little girls made up most of the sold-out audience) even danced a grind to the last couple songs.

Now more than 10 years after the first Rilo Kiley EP was released, Jenny Lewis continues to be one of the cutest indie rock performers on stage. She’s got a sweet voice and a killer smile, and that combination can take you far in this business. It’s apparently taken her to the “tour bus” level, or at least I assume that giant bus parked right outside TWR was hers. I thought those monsters were reserved for arena/casino-sized artists, but apparently Warner Bros. has high hopes for this new album. And while the songs on I’m Having Fun Now (the Jenny and Johnny WB debut) are kinda catchy, none of them hold a candle to the songs on either of her first two solo albums. But what do I know about music marketing?

So who got the better deal out of this merger? Hands down it was Johnathan Rice, whose singer/songwriter fare I’ve always found to be somewhat droll. With Lewis and this band behind him, he ratchets up the rock to new levels (for him, anyway); while Lewis comes away relatively unscathed, but no better off than where she started.

The band’s secret weapons are their lead guitarist (who looked like he was 17 years old), and drummer Jason Boesel, who Lewis fans remember from Rilo Kiley. As a whole, it was worth it so see Lewis in a smaller setting (rather than the Slowdown’s big stage or Scottish Rite). If she ever starts earning that tour bus, you won’t get another chance to see her in such an intimate setting again.

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Tonight at The Barley St., Kyle Harvey shows off his fine art skills, along with his musical skills. Joining him will be Nicole Le Clerc, Lincoln Dickinson, and Michael Trenhaile. 9 p.m. (no idea on the price).

Also tonight at The Sydney, Bear Country plays a show with Sam Martin (Capgun Coup) and Toronto band Wooden Sky. $5, 9 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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


The Hole is deep-sixed (for now); no public CVS hearing; Hoshaw, Blue Rosa tonight; Jenny/Johnny, Jakes-fest Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:38 pm September 10, 2010

by Tim McMahan,

Tonight’s Laura Stevenson and the Cans show at The Hole will be the venue’s last…  at least at its existing location.

Lucas Wright, who books shows at The Hole under the moniker Black Heart Booking, e-mailed saying that if you drive by the venue, located at 712 So. 16th St. (the old Diamond Bar), you’ll find lots of construction equipment and city workers replacing sewer pipe.

“Last Tuesday a pipe burst and flooded the basement of the Hole, and the owners basically kicked out Anna and Donny (Diederich) so they could remodel and clean up the damages,” Wright said, adding that it was easy to do since the Diederichs never signed a lease.

The building owner also recently finished renovating the apartments above The Hole, and plans on renting them out, Wright said. “I guess he tried telling Donny he could only do shows on Fridays and Saturdays to accommodate the potential new tenants, which Donny didn’t like at all. So I think he was basically looking for an excuse to oust them.”

Wright said the Diederichs are now looking at a spot in Benson in the 60th and Maple area (next to the Subway sandwich shop). “(It’s) quite a bit bigger (3,700 sq ft), so maybe this will all work out for the best in the end,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wright is busting ass trying to find other venues for the shows he had scheduled at The Hole, “which is proving somewhat difficult as two of them are coming up right away.”

So tonight’s show at The Hole is the venue’s last hurrah. It was only last February that it opened at the Diamond Bar location (read about its origins here). Help it go out in style. Also on the bill are Lincoln punkers Thunderbolts, Fargo metal/punk act Animal Lover and Omaha acoustic punk band Ogdenville. $6, 8 p.m.

* * *

A brief update on yesterday’s 49’r/CVS item: KETV had reported that if the resolution to reconsider the proposal to build a CVS pharmacy at 49th and Dodge passes (which goes in front of the Omaha City Council on Tuesday), there would be a public hearing the following Tuesday. Now WOWT and are reporting that there won’t be another public hearing, merely another vote on the CVS project at the Sept. 21 City Council meeting. Councilman Ben Gray, who wants the Council to reconsider the deal, said on WOWT last night that he hasn’t changed his mind (he voted against it) and that he just wants new information to be considered. I don’t buy it, and I’d say things aren’t looking good for the Niner…

* * *

The weekend is upon us. Here’s a rundown of shows on my radar screen:

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies are playing tonight at The Stir Lounge in Council Bluffs (at Harrah’s). I have a feeling Hoshaw will be rolling out new material. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, down at Slowdown Jr tonight, it’s the Blue Rosa CD release party with Honey and Darling and Dim Light. $6, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Satchel Grande and Conchance play at The Waiting Room. $7, 9 p.m.

Benson will be hopping Saturday night. Jenny and Johnny (as in Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley fame and Johnathan Rice) are playing at The Waiting Room Saturday with Love As Laughter. $15, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, just around the corner (literally) is the fall “just because we can” block party hosted by Jake’s Cigars & Spirits on Military Ave. The line-up for the show:

  • Flowers Forever
  • Noah’s Ark was a Spaceship
  • Her Flyaway Manor
  • Dim Light
  • Brad Hoshaw
  • Conduits
  • Gooses
  • Awkwords
  • Butler & the Gentlemen
  • Landing on the Moon

No price is listed for Jakes-fest on Jake’s website, but I’m hearing it’ll run $10 and starts at 5 p.m..

Also Saturday night, Saudi Arabia (Shanks) is playing at O’Leaver’s with Brimstone Howl and La Casa Bombas. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And then Sunday at O’Leaver’s it’s The Answer team with Big Science and Ketchup & Mustard Gas. $5, 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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.