New Cursive single; new Saddle Creek hip-hop single, Album of the Month features Mynabirds; Kristin Hersh Electric Trio tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:50 pm September 12, 2019

Kristin Hersh Electric Trio plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan,

Some tidbits that have been hanging out in my in-box:

Cursive released a new single today, the song “Barricades.” This isn’t on their most recent album, Vitriola. Rather, it apparently is just a straight-up single released just in time for their late summer/fall tour (that brings them to O’Leaver’s a week from Saturday, Sept. 21 (O’Leaversfest)). Check it below.

* * *

Saddle Creek not only announced the next single in their Document series, but the label is now launching an Album of the Month.

First, the single — it’s by Richmond, Virginia, artist McKinley Dixon, entitled “Anansi, Anansi” b/w “Wit These.” I think this is the first hip-hop release by Saddle Creek (that I can remember). Check out the track below and order the single here.

* * *

Also new from Saddle Creek is the launch of an Album of the Month feature, which “will spotlight one album each month from the SC catalog, extend exclusive offers on these albums, and hopefully help you find a favorite album you just might not have discovered yet.”

The kick-off album is The Mynabirds’s 2012 LP Generals. Saddle Creek is offering an exclusive Generals bundle as well as sale prices on the standard vinyl, CD and digital formats.

To celebrate, the original touring band for the album is getting back together for a small tour that includes a night at Reverb Lounge Sept. 25.

* * *

Rest in Peace Daniel Johnston, who passed away yesterday after suffering a fatal heart attack. He was 58. Way back in 2008 Johnston played with Reagan and the Ray Guns as his backing band at The Slowdown, a band included Reagan Roeder, Kyle Harvey, Mike Friedman and drummer Scott “Zip” Zimmerman. It was a rather unique performance that ended with the audience serenading an absent Johnston with a sing-along rendition of “Devil Town.” Here’s hoping he’s singing it up in Angel Town…

* * *

Tonight at Slowdown Jr., Kristin Hersh Electric Trio headlines. Hersh’s latest album is 2018’s Possible Dust Clouds (Fire Records). Joining the band is opener Fred Abong (Throwing Muses, Belly). $18, 8 p.m.

* * *

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.


RSD Weekend!; Lupines, Wagon Blasters, Sucettes, Stelth Ulvang, McCarthy Trenching tonight; Bill Hoover, Mynabirds, Whipkey, State Disco Saturday; Anna McClellan Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:35 pm April 20, 2018

by Tim McMahan,

There’s a shit-ton going on this weekend so let’s get to it:

First off, it’s Record Store Day weekend, which means that as I type this there could be vinyl nerds standing in line downtown in front of Homer’s. There certainly will be tomorrow morning. Here’s how it breaks down:

Homer’s opens at 10 a.m. and is offering free coffee, breakfast and donuts for line-waiters. Country-blues artist Matt Cox will be performing outside at 9:30 a.m. in support of the release of his vinyl release High Places. Homer’s gets the biggest shipment of RSD merch because they’re the biggest record store in Omaha. If you’re looking for that rare hard-to-find limited RSD release, get in line.

Almost Music, which also will be selling RSD merch, is hosting performances all afternoon and into the evening. Blackstone Meatball will be slinging meatballs in the shop. The schedule for the Almost RSD-fest:

12:15 — Bill Hoover
1 p.m. — Pagan Athletes
1:45 —Megan Siebe
2:30 — Kyle Jessen
3:15 — Those Far Out Arrows
4 — Tom Bartolomei
5 — Putter & Co.
5:45 — Rusty Lord
6:30 — Death Cow
7:15 — Houma
8 — Conny Blanco w/ Dojorok

Both Drastic Plastic locations in the Old Market are taking part in RSD. They’re handing out coffee and pastries and a full selection of RSD bootie. Stores open at 10 p.m.

Don’t forget Ear Wax Records and Collectibles, 5054 So. 135th St., which opens at noon; and Recycled Sounds, 322 No. 76th St. , which also opens at noon. Both are taking part in RSD merch-stock promotions.

And when you’re all done, chill out at the Hi-Fi House open house, where you can brag up your lucky finds with fellow vinyl fanatics.

When it comes to my luck getting the good stuff, I’m still trying to find a Red House Painters box set from RSD a few years back, something I’d actually play on my record player. I know there’s got to be one out there (for less than $400)…

* * *

Onto the rest of the weekend.

As the weather improves, so do nights at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Tonight the club has Lupines in the headline position with Wagon Blasters opening and a new act called Sidewalkers sandwiched in the middle. 10 p.m., $5.

Meanwhile, over at The Sydney in Benson, Sucettes play with headliner Lincoln’s Laughing Falcon. Green Alter opens at 10 p.m. $5.

Also in Benson over at The Barley Street Tavern McCarthy Trenching is on a bill that includes Smith’s Cloud and The Wildwoods. $5, 9 p.m.

And let’s not forget Stelth Ulvang of Lumineers (whose Ten Questions you read yesterday) opening for Wild Child at The Slowdown’s big room Friday. $17, 9 p.m.

Saturday kicks off with Earth Day in Elmwood Park. The big-name performer is Saddle Creek Records act The Mynabirds playing at 4 p.m. The aforementioned Matt Cox has the stage at 2:20. Of course it’s all free. Full schedule is right here.

It’s back to O’Leaver’s Saturday night where Matt Whipkey has the center slot with stoner-rock heavies Ocean Black opening and headliner Bokr Tov, who have new self-titled EP. $7, 10 p.m.

Also Saturday night, State Disco, which calls their sound “indietronic dance rock,” celebrates the release of their new album Going to Sleep Is Giving Up at The Waiting Room. The album was produced by Graham Ulicny (Thick Paint, Reptar) and recorded at The Faint’s Enamel Studios. Opening is Saddle Creek Records band Twinsmith and Chicago’s The Kickback (Julian Records). $10 Adv/$13 DOS. 9 p.m.

Finally on Sunday night hometown hero Anna McClellan returns, this time to OutrSpaces, 1258 So. 13th St.. Joining her is Staffers, LA’s Syko Friend and Jim Schroeder Band. Starts at 8 p.m. Suggested donation: $10-$20.

Gaddamn, what am I missing? Put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend!

* * *

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.


Young Jesus signs to Saddle Creek; Mynabirds Tiny Desk Concert; James McMurtry, Bethlehem Steel, Sean Pratt tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:52 pm November 15, 2017

Young Jesus is the latest to sign to Saddle Creek Records.

by Tim McMahan,

The ever-expanding Saddle Creek Records roster continues to grow with the signing of Chicago band Young Jesus. The label will release the band’s new album, S/T, Feb. 23.

From the press release: “Young Jesus, an indie rock quartet formed in Chicago and reformed in Los Angeles, looks to communicate the tensions between proximity and distance, chaos and order. On their upcoming record S/T, to be released by Saddle Creek, the band focuses on seemingly small moments in everyday life: phone calls with Mom, landscapes along the highway, crows in a tree. Yet with time these strange intimacies add up to a life. A life full of anxiety, confusion, sadness, joy, boredom, and ultimately wonder.

“Young Jesus mixes the emotional intensity of bands like Slint, Pile, and Built To Spill with the quiet contemplation of Yo La Tengo, Mogwai, and Laughing Stock-era Talk Talk. They give themselves to moments of aggression and volume, balanced alongside near-silence.

Young Jesus is something of a departure for Saddle Creek. S/T, which was originally released on Gigantic Noise this past fall, includes lengthy tracks that range from 6 minutes to more than 12 minutes long. I can’t remember a Creek band recording anything in that range.

While there are jangly slacker indie pop songs you’d expect, like lead-off track “Green,” it’s songs like the 6-plus minute “Desert” that recall long-play droner acts like The New Year/Bedhead and Red House Painters, while frontman John Rossiter’s drowsy vocals are at times reminiscent of Damian Jurado and Isaac Brock.

The 9-plus minute “Feeling” starts off as your typical acoustic indie song for the first two minutes, glides into tone layers, percussion and found sounds before exploding into raw guitar chords and guttural vocals that transition again later to cicadas, tones, etc.

The same format holds for the 12-plus minute album closer, “Storm.” This one starts as a rock song, but after two minutes shifts to quiet noises, tones, then a jangly noise collage returning to a jam at the six-minute mark and so on, ending with a bang and a whimper. Saddle Creek describes this as “experimental,” whereas I see it more as compositional gymnastics, an attempt at pulling melody from dissonance, like seeing sun break through the fog. Check out album below.

Saddle Creek this morning also announced the 4th in their Document series — Palehound, “YMCA Pool” b/w “Sea of Blood.” Pre-order the Jan. 28 release today at Creek’s online store.

In other Saddle Creek news, The Mynabirds were featured in a coveted NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Check it out below.

Two shows tonight…

Singer/songwriter James McMurtry, son of author Larry McMurtry, plays tonight at The Waiting Room. Max Gomez opens. $20, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, New York indie band Bethlehem Steel (Exploding in Sound Records) plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Sean Pratt. The Razors are the headliners. $5, 9 p.m.

* * *

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.


Album Review: Mynabirds’ Lovers Know (in the column); FIDLAR, Mike Schlesinger, Lighthouse and the Whaler tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:44 pm September 15, 2015

by Tim McMahan,

The Mynabirds, Lovers Know (2015, Saddle Creek)

The Mynabirds, Lovers Know (2015, Saddle Creek)

In this month’s Over the Edge column in The Reader, an extended review of The Mynabirds’ new album, Lovers Know, which was released last month on Saddle Creek Records.

The record is a rather massive step forward for Laura Burhenn and her band, tackling subject matter that might have added meaning to folks familiar with the local music scene. Or as I said in the review:

“….the true meaning behind the record might have been too damn hard for Burhenn to talk about. It only takes one spin of Lovers Know to realize that it’s a devastating portrait of a broken heart — one of the best breakup records since Joni Mitchell’s Blue.”

Read the whole review here. Buy the record here. Stream it here. Then get tickets to tomorrow night’s show at The Slowdown. It’s only $10 and High Up opens.

* * *

It’s a super-busy night for a Tuesday.

LA skate/surf punk band FIDLAR headlines tonight at The Waiting Room. The band comes through after playing the main stages at both Reading and Leeds festivals this year. Their new record, Too, was released Sept. 4 via Mom+Pop Records. Dune Rats open. $15, 9 p.m.

Mike Schlesinger returns to tonight to fabulous O’Leaver’s. He has some of the most listened to tracks on the Live at O’Leaver’s website. Check them out below. Also on the bill are Sam Martin and CJ Mills. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And finally, Lighthouse and The Whaler headlines at Slowdown Jr. tonight. The band’s new album, Mont Royal (Roll Call Records) was produced by Marcus Paquin (Local Natives, Stars, Arcade Fire). Opening is Born Cages and State Disco. 8 p.m. $12.

* * *

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.


SXSW recap Pt. 2 (Icky Blossoms, Viet Cong, Natalie Prass, PUJOL, Mynabirds, Krill); Born Cages tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 12:42 pm March 25, 2015
Icky Blossoms devising their set list prior to their SXSW performance at Stay Gold March 19.

Icky Blossoms devising their set list moments before their SXSW 2015 performance at Stay Gold March 19.

by Tim McMahan,

More SXSW 2015 recap-ilation.

The weather was still pretty awesome on Day 2 of SXSW (last Thursday), so why not take a walk to the Saddle Creek / Nicodemus Showcase at Stay Gold? I mean, hey, it’s just on the other side of the freeway in east Austin, right?

Well, two miles by foot later we finally came upon Stay Gold, a new venue with a great outdoor beer garden and a sweet indoor stage where Josh Berwanger Band already was playing (Alas, we were too late for Twinsmith and Orenda Fink).

Berwanger, a former member of Lawrence band The Anniversary, is repped by Nicodemus Agency. No idea what label he’s on, but the band was pretty good in a straight-forward indie rock sort of way. Very clean, very tight and a good preview to PUJOL, who took the stage next.

I’ve never seen Daniel Pujol and his band play live. I think they’ve only played in Omaha once, despite being signed to Saddle Creek Records. I’ve had discussions with local garage-rock aficionados who say Pujol (who apparently counts Jack White among his fans) was Creek’s stab at releasing a garage rock band. I don’t believe that was their motivation at all. Pujol’s sound is too controlled, to pro to be mistaken for garage, reminding me more of Marshall Crenshaw or Graham Parker but with a bit more dirt behind the ears. My quibble: Too many of his songs sound the same, but you could make that same argument about Crenshaw and Parker’s music…

Laura Burhenn of the Mynabirds followed with a solo keyboard set that included a number of old favorites and a few from her upcoming Saddle Creek album, Lovers Know, played in a down-key style that accentuated her rather luscious voice. How will the new material sound with a full band?

Last up at Stay Gold (for me, anyway) was Icky Blossoms playing in front of a max crowd of maybe 50 people – no doubt a sharp contrast to their sold-out send-off show a few weeks earlier at Slowdown Jr. The band kicked right into some tunes off their last album before rolling out a couple new ones from Mask, including “In Folds,” which translated just OK in the live setting.

They could have beefed up the energy level, but what do you expect playing to a half-empty club on a Thursday afternoon? Icky is playing as a five-piece — didn’t recognize the drummer or bass player, but it was indeed a good rhythm section. This was easily the best vocal outing for Sarah Bohling, who continues to grow into her frontwoman role alongside Derek Pressnall, the consummate professional, while Nik Fackler is the band’s wild-card wild man.

They need to get more new songs polished and stage-ready before hitting the road. As much as I like the Creek debut, I’m crazy curious about this new record. Maybe we’ll hear more new stuff when Icky Blossoms returns to Slowdown (in the big room this time) April 14 with Reptar.

It was back to the Courtyard for evening festivities, specifically the controversially named Viet Cong. The place was even more packed than the night before — I could barely move. On stage Viet Cong’s drummer was playing hurt with a cast on his left hand. Somehow he managed to soldier through the set Rick Allen-style. The band’s sound is abrasively indie with some prog flourishes here and there. I’m not sure why they’re so hot these days, unless it’s all about the name.

Afterward I high-tailed back to Red River and the 720 Club, a tiny bar with a small indoor stage area all but vacant on this Thursday night. Under the lights warming up, Krill, a band that colleague Chris Aponick has suggested I check out. The Chicago trio also has caught the attention of such taste makers as Stereogum and Pitchfork, though you wouldn’t know it by the eight people standing in the club. I guess it was everyone else’s loss, as Krill brought their A-game to a post-punk set that recalled Protomartyr but with (much) better vocals. These are the kinds of sets I go to SXSW for — intimate, special, the feeling that you’re seeing something you’ll never see in Omaha.

Finally it was time to pluck one of the artists off my must-see list — Natalie Prass. I’ve been enjoying her debut self-titled album (on Spacebomb) for a few months — rich singer/songwriter stuff, like Jenny Lewis singing Joni Mitchell. The venue listed was Maggie Mae’s. I figured she’d probably be playing at the venue’s rather large rooftop stage.

My SXSW badge got me past the line and right up the stairs, but I didn’t recognize the band performing. Did I get the date wrong? I asked the door person, who had no idea who was playing that night. There actually are three performance spaces in Maggie Mae’s — the rooftop, the Gibson Room and the standard downstairs stage. Turned out Prass was slated downstairs.

Once again, there was no problem getting in and plenty of space right up next to the stage. By the time her set began, the floor was filled, but not uncomfortably so. There was Prass seated behind a piano, her face hidden behind her dark brown curls. Backed by a solid band, Prass performed a half-hour of the best songs from her album. It was the closest thing to a “perfect moment” I experienced at SXSW this year. Check out part of the performance (along with snippets from everyone else mentioned above) in the podcast below.

Vega just announced this morning that Prass will be playing there July 22. I might have to make a pilgrimage to Lincoln….

The final chapter of my SXSW 2015 journey tomorrow…

* * *

Tonight, alt-rock band Born Cages (Razor & Tie) plays at Slowdown Jr.. The band apparently opened for Guns & Roses a couple times, though they sound more like an indie version of Simple Minds. Opening for them tonight is fellow New York band Dreamers and Omaha favorite The Kickback (from Chicago) and Low Long Signal. $10, 8 p.m.

* * *

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.


New Mynabirds in the works; Deleted Scenes’ video stars Screech; The Kickback, Animal Eyes tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:51 pm March 4, 2014

by Tim McMahan,

The Saddle Creek Records Update hit the net this morning. Most notable (to me, anyway) was news that The Mynabirds are working on a followup to 2012’s Generals. Is the fact that the label is trumpeting this news an indication that the finished product will be released by Saddle Creek? Time will tell.

* * *

I wrote about Deleted Scenes in my column this week (online Thursday), and noticed that the band released a video from its upcoming album, Lithium Burn, that features Saved by the Bell actor Dustin Diamond a.k.a. Screech. The new album drops April 15 on Park the Van Records, and it’s pretty awesome. Interesting fact: Deleted Scenes’ frontman Dan Scheuerman lives right here in Omaha. More about that in the column…

* * *

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s the return of Chicago band The Kickback with Portland’s Animal Eyes (read about them here at Hear Nebraska). $5, 9:30 p.m.

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Random Notes (Slowdown, Pleasure Adapter, Mynabirds, SXSW 2014); Tyvek tomorrow…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:50 pm February 10, 2014

by Tim McMahan,

Catching up on old news…

I was informed last week that Val Nelson no longer is employed at The Slowdown. Val used to run hospitality and coordinate booking for the club. Jason Kulbel has taken over the duties for the time being. I’ll miss Val. She’s been at Slowdown since the club opened in 2007  It was always nice to see her smiling face in the crowd or behind the bar.

* * *

It was reported a few weeks ago, but you may have missed it: Pleasure Adapter broke up. No details as to the reason for the breakup, though I’ve been told that Jeff Ankenbauer is already working on his next project. Keep an eye out for that.

Pleasure Adapter had recently recruited Matt Maginn of Cursive to play bass and looked poised to move to “the next level.” There had even been talk of the band entering the studio. Funny how these things go down.

* * *

In other local band news, I’ve been told Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds has moved to Los Angeles, and her Facebook page confirms it. Laura moved from D.C. to Omaha sometime after 2009 after leaving her previous band, Georgie James, and forming Mynabirds. Another loss for the Omaha music scene…

* * *

Looks like yours truly will once again be traveling to Austin to cover the SXSW Music Festival. This year’s festival may have the smallest Omaha representation in recent memory. Saddle Creek will not be sponsoring a showcase, though Creek artist PUJOL will be performing and I’m told Twinsmith could make an appearance. Beyond that, I’m not aware of any other Omaha/Lincoln act taking part. If you know otherwise, drop me a line or leave a message in the comments area.

* * *

Looking at the ol’ blog it’s been two friggin’ weeks since I’ve posted a live review. That’s because it’s been two friggin’ weeks since I’ve been to a club. Blame it on a combination of the cold weather and lack of touring indie shows.

That said, Detroit band Tyvek (In the Red Records) is playing at Sweatshop Gallery tomorrow night for what’s practically a secret show as it’s not listed  on either the Sweatshop or Tyvek Facebook pages. Are they purposely keeping the show on the down low as to not detract from the fact that Tyvek will be opening for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks at The Waiting Room this coming Sunday? Maybe, maybe…

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Dntel remixes Mynabirds; Free Energy, Touch People tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:54 pm June 19, 2013
Generals Remixed, The Mynabirds (2013, Saddle Creek Records)

Generals: Remixed, The Mynabirds (2013, Saddle Creek Records)

by Tim McMahan,

One by-product of touring with The Postal Service is hanging out with Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel, and then seeing if he would remix one of your tracks. Such is the case with Laura Burhenn, who’s on the road playing keys with TPS and now has a Dntel remix of Mynabirds’ “Body of Work” to show for it. You can check it out here at

The track is part of an EP titled Generals: Remixed, which is being released on Saddle Creek July 30. Among the other remix contributors is Clark Baechle (The Faint), Field Days, Richard Swift, Kidsmoke and Dimitry Mak and Kapla. Full details at the Saddle Creek site here, including pre-order info. Get it.

* * *

The way my week’s been going, I could use a good ol’ fun-time rock show, and Free Energy tonight at The Waiting Room might be just what the doctor ordered. Sure, their last album (Love Sign) kind of sucked, but their 2010 debut, Stuck on Nothing (DFA Records) was chock full o’ hooks. Opening is the always entertaining, always unpredictable Touch People (featuring Darren Keen). $12, 9 p.m.

* * *

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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Sons of O’Leaver’s, Cowboy Indian Bear, Floating Opera tonight; Mynabirds, So-So Sailors, Make Believe showcase Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:07 pm November 16, 2012

by Tim McMahan,

Well it sounds like The Boss laid another big, fat, stinkin’ turd on the Century Link Arena stage last night…

Relax. I’m just kidding. I woke at around 3 a.m. last night after falling asleep on the couch and read a handful of reviews of last night’s Springsteen show, and it sounds like he uncorked a classic, with a set list that included a crapload of songs off Nebraska. Check out reviews by OWH and LJS. What, no “Jungleland?”No “Rosalita”? No “Blinded by the Light”?

This show obviously was special, but after three strikes at Century Link/Qwest, I’m over arena shows. What shows would I still lay out cash to attend at the CLink if they came through? It’s a short list: Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Neil Young, The Cure, U2, Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, Steely Dan, Simon & Garfunkel, Peter Gabriel, Prince, Beck, The Cars…

It starts getting hazy after that. Who else? Talking Heads? The Police? R.E.M.? David Bowie? They don’t tour anymore. Looking over the list, it’s amazing how almost all the bands are legacy acts. Today’s modern arena bands — bands on the Billboard charts — are almost all teeny-bopper acts (Beiber, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Pink), middle-of-the-road snoozers (Adele, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars) or country bumpkins (Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood). It’s kind of sad, but that’s the way it’s been since the ’90s, starting with the rise of the boy bands. Other than Radiohead (whose peak was a decade ago), have any artistically credible arena bands emerged?

* * *

Let’s get to the weekend.

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s the long-awaited return of Sons of O’Leaver’s! The Boss could only dream of playing the hits that these guys play. Headlining is Des Moines band North of Grand, who’s latest album, A Farewell to Rockets (Brolester Records), is pretty damn good, too. In the first slot, Chromafrost. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Barley Street Tavern, Lawrence band Cowboy Indian Bear returns with Cedar Falls band Har-Di-Har, and our very own John Klemmensen doing a solo set, while Blue Bird headlines. That’s four bands for $5. Show starts at 9. Check out this alternate version of CIB’s “The Hunter and the Hunted” (click below, then click again):

Cowboy Indian Bear, “The Hunter and the Hunted”

Just four bands? The Side Door Lounge beats that count with five tonight, headlined by Lincoln ensemble Floating Opera. I can’t says I’ve heard of the rest. See the lineup here.

Mynabirds, "Body of Work" 7-inch, (Saddle Creek, 2012)

Mynabirds, “Body of Work” 7-inch, (Saddle Creek, 2012)

Tomorrow night’s big show (Saturday) is The Mynabirds at The Slowdown. Laura and the band are playing their last local show of the year in support of the release of their new Saddle Creek 7-inch “Body of Work” b/w “In the Mouths of Wolves.” I’m told the artwork folds up origami-style into a horse. Judging by the video, below, it’s super easy. Opening is the always amazing So-So Sailors and D.C. band Deleted Scenes. $8, 9 p.m.

Also tomorrow night (Saturday) is the Make Believe Records Showcase at The Waiting Room. The lineup: Lightning Bug, Snake Island, Bear Stories, Conchance, Black Jonny Quest, Dirty Diamonds, Dojorok, Sam Martin & Kethro — all for a free. That’s right, no cover. Show starts at 9 p.m.

Finally, Sunday night Frontier Ruckus plays at The Waiting Room with Brad Hoshaw. $8, 9 p.m.

* * *

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.


Mynabirds CD release and Slowdown celebrates five years tonight; OEAA showcase tonight and tomorrow; Jewel Beast Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:11 pm June 8, 2012
Robb Nansel, left, and Jason Kulbel stand in front of Slowdown waaay back in June 2007.

Robb Nansel, left, and Jason Kulbel stand in front of Slowdown waaay back in June 2007.

by Tim McMahan,

The weekend’s hottest ticket is The Mynabirds CD release show tonight at The Slowdown. Joining Laura Burhenn and Co. are Jake Bellows and Honeybee & Hers. And it’s also Slowdown’s fifth birthday. Has it really been five years since Jason and Robb opened the doors to this esteemed club? I guess it has been.

It’s fun to reread this article and see how far the bar has come since opening day. But in all honesty, not much has changed. The club is still primarily a music-themed bar (Though its Science Cafe and Pub Quiz nights have become popular). It beat the rest of Omaha to the punch as a smoke-free facility (Can you even remember what it was like to smoke in a bar?). Dan Brennan and Val Nelson are still there (Well, Dan’s there when he isn’t on the road doing sound for Cursive or another big-name national act). There are still no TVs in the bar (Except, of course, for College World Series weeks and other major sporting events, such as Husker Saturdays). And it’s still all-ages (As long as you have a note from your parents). Slowdown is recognized as one of the best live music venues in the Midwest, hosting some of the best touring indie bands in the country. We’re lucky to have it here in Omaha.

Slowdown’s birthday celebration continues tomorrow night in Slowdown Jr. (i.e., the front room) with Howard, Lightning Bug and Family Picnic. Cover is $5 both nights, and both shows have the usual 9 p.m. start time. Drop down and help the Slowdown crew blow out the candles.

The Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEAA) Summer Showcase (oddly named, as summer doesn’t start for a couple more weeks) also is happening tonight and tomorrow. Showcases are being held throughout Benson at The Sydney, The Waiting Room, The Barley Street Tavern and the DP Muller Photography Studio, 6066 Maple St. (one of Saddle Creek Records’ former HQ locations). Tomorrow night PS Collective also is participating. The full band schedule is here. A one-day pass gets you into all the clubs for $10; a two-day pass is $15. As in years past, attendees will be able to vote for their favorite band, and the band with the most votes gets to open the local stage at this year’s Maha Music Festival. Always a good time.

Celebrating nothing but the ability to continue to pour alcohol down people’s throats is O’Leaver’s, who tonight is hosting Snake Island with Across Tundras and Dim Light. Snake Island has been showing off their boss new band T-shirts on Facebook. I might have to swing down there to buy one. $5, 9:30 p.m. This show has been CANCELLED.

Saturday night, Millions of Boys is playing at Studio Gallery, 50th and Dodge, with Jewel Beast, a new band comprised of members from InDreama, Human Pudding, New Lungs, Kathleen Turner Overdrive, and Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship. Also on the bill is Ian Douglas Terry. 9 p.m., $5, 21+, BYOB, more info here.

* * *

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.