Little Brazil’s new lineup; Tilly and the Wall Vs. Titus Andronicus tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 2:49 pm November 21, 2012
Little Brazil, circa now.

Little Brazil, circa now.

by Tim McMahan.

You might have wondered the same thing I did when you saw the sexy new band photo for Little Brazil (above) posted yesterday: Where’s the rest of the band?

Guitarist Greg Edds (the guy on the left) confirmed that drummer Oliver Morgan and wife Megan have left the band to focus on their other band, Landing on the Moon.

Edds characterized the line-up change this way: “Obviously, we all are still close friends and you’ll most likely find us in Benson shooting Rumplemintz and tossing Busch Light cans at each other. It’s all good.”

So who’s playing drums now? None other than Desaparecidos drummer Matt Baum. Edds said Baum is filling in for the band’s next show — Dec. 27 at The Waiting Room with The Sons of The Waiting Room, John Klemmensen and the Party, and The Brigadiers (more about them in a sec).

Oliver’s technical, intricate drumming style with lots o’ cymbals has always been a core element of the band’s sound. “Bombastic” might be the best way to describe Baum’s style (Edds referred to Baum’s “Hulk Smash” skills — quite appropriate). The only thing more signature than Baum’s booming style is his habit of getting up from behind the kit between songs and yelling at the crowd.

One of the few other local drummers that hits the toms as hard as Baum is former Cursive drummer Clint Schnase, who put away the sticks back in 2007, returning for a one-shot performance at the August 2011 Maha Festival. Well, Schnase’s back, this time as drummer of The Brigadiers, a band that includes Shane Lamson, guitar, vocals; Mark Weber (ex-Box), lead guitar, vocals; and Vic Padios (ex-Calico, ex-Gymnastics), bass, vocals. This Dec. 27 show is looking pretty hot…

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In this week’s column, random notes written a week ago (due to pushed-up holiday deadlines) about Lance Armstrong, Bob Kerrey and the new Ralston Arena. You can read it in the current issue of The Reader (which I’m told is already on news stands) or online right here.

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We all have the day off tomorrow, so there’s no excuse for not going to a show (unless the show sells out), and there are some doozies to choose from.

Tonight at The Slowdown it’s the return of Tilly and the Wall. The band has been on the road for a few weeks supporting their most recent Team Love release, Heavy Mood. For me, Tilly’s always been a sweet little tap-dancing-fueled combo tailor made for the little girl in all of us — cute and fun, with rarely noticed sinister lyrics lying just beneath the covers.

That changed with Heavy Mood, which, after you get past the B-52’s-flavored opening tracks, is as good of an indie rock album as I’ve heard this year. For me, the best part is that the band has finally learned to harmonize. In the old days, everyone sang the same note at the same time, which while sounding “youthful” also sounded very amateurish. Harmony rich tracks like “Hey Rainbow” and “I Believe in You” give Azure Ray a fun for their money. “Echo My Love” is flat-out one of the best tracks I’ve heard this year. Opening tonight’s show is Saddle Creek Records act UUVVWWZ and Sun Settings. $13, 9 p.m. In her weekly email, Val kinda/sorta warned that this one could sell out, so if you’re into it, get your tickets online now.

Also tonight, down where Omaha indie rock was born — Sokol Underground — it’s the return of Titus Andronicus. Their new album, Local Business (XL Records) takes a few steps back from their last two epic-strewn releases to more stripped-down territory. Heck, there are even a few songs in the 3- to 5-minute-long category. But ol’ Pat Stickles just can’t help himself and thus, right in the middle is the 8-plus-minute “My Eating Disorder” while the nearly 10-minute “Tried to Quit Smoking” closes out the record.

Those long songs just seem to meander, especially when played live. I’ve seen these guys a number of  times and their best sets have been at SXSW, where they were forced to keep it simple and keep it quick. As a headliner, expect another epic (and long) performance. Opening this four-band bill are local boys Gordon, Iowa City’s Slut River, and Matador Records band Ceremony, who by themselves would be a decent draw. $15, 9 p.m. Slowburn Productions kinda/sorta warned that this one might sell out, too. You might want to get your tickets right now right here.

Also tonight, the 3rd Annual Benson Canned Food Drive is happening at the Barley Street Tavern. Performers include Brad Hoshaw, Kyle Harvey (I guess he’s in town for the holidays), Matt Cox, John Klemmenson, Nick Carl, Bret Vovk, Rebecca Lowry and Matt Whipkey. Admission is two cans of food. Show starts at 9.

And The Waiting Room is hosting a slew of “tribute” (more like cover) bands including REModeled doing their version of Reckoning, Surfer Rosa and Rock and Roll Suicide doing Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense. $7, 9 p.m.

Better get it in tonight, folks, because there ain’t shit going on tomorrow or Friday night.

Happy Turkey Day…

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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.