Civic, Bad Bad Men, Bad Religion tonight; Rosali, Fran, David Nance, Mike Schlesinger, Lightning Stills Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , , — @ 7:43 am October 13, 2023

Civic plays tonight at Slowdown, Jr.

by Tim McMahan,

Another busy weekend for shows. Here’s where you need to be if you’re ready to rock…

Tonight at Slowdown Jr. Melbourne proto-punk band Civic headlines. Their latest, Taken by Force, was release this past February by ATO Records. Big riffs, precise guitar interplay, snarling Stooges vibe, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a new touring act just straight-out rock, and these guys bring the fire. Also on the bill is our own power-rock trio, Bad Bad Men, which (in my humble opinion) is a perfect fit for this gig. Bliss opens the show at 8 p.m. $20, front room so get tix if you can.

Competing directly with this Civic show is Bad Religion at The Admiral. Greg Graffin, and the boys have been doing it since the early ‘80s, defining the Epitaph sound and paving the way for acts like Green Day and Offspring, who “acquired” their sound and ran with it. No doubt this show will steal much of Civic’s ticket-buying thunder (Imagine if both bands were on the same bill…). Adding to the show’s fire power at The Admiral is Dwarves, who bring their own unique punk energy. Speed of Light opens at 7:30. $45.

Your Saturday activities start early with Farnam Fest in the Blackstone District, or should I say pre-Farnam Fest activities as Ground Floor Guitar is hosting its first in-store performance ramping up to Farnam Fest. Omaha singer/songwriter/sensation Mike Schlesinger performs in the shop followed by the C&W stomping of Lightning Stills (Craig Fort and his band of punk cowboys). This gig begins at 2 p.m. and is free, though you may want to buy a guitar while you’re in the shop, which is located at 4009 Farnam Street, just west of Noli’s. 

Then comes Farnam Fest ’23 kicking off at 4 p.m. I’m not sure where they’re going to have the stage set up this year, though it’s probably somewhere along 40th and Farnam. The line-up is pretty solid with some of Omaha’s best:

  • – Bad Self Portraits
  • – David Nance Band
  • – M34N STR33T
  • – The Real Zebos
  • – BIB

$10 at the door.

David Nance is one busy dude, because he’s also playing at Pageturners Saturday night with DJ Trolli and The Mighty Vitamins. 8 p.m., no cover but $10 donation is suggested. I’m now told this show has been cancelled (see comments).

Nance and friends will also be backing Rosali at Grapefruit Records Saturday night. The singer/songwriter (who just played at Pageturners herself a couple weeks ago) is playing in the Old Market record store with Chicago indie singer/songwriter Fran, a.k.a. Maria Jacobson, whose latest, Leaving (2023, Fire Talk) is a real beaut.  7 p.m., $10.

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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


The Good Life, Slow Pulp, Immaterial Possession, BFF tonight; Rosali Saturday; Lewsberg Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 10:13 am October 6, 2023

Slow Pulp play tonight at The Slowdown

by Tim McMahan,

It’s a three-car pileup of shows tonight (we have another one come Monday). Add a 7 p.m. Husker game and BFF and things could get interesting.  I’m not sure if “the Husker effect” is still a thing since the football program hasn’t been successful for more than 20 years. We’ll see tonight.

Top of the list is, of course, the homecoming of The Good Life. The band led by singer/songwriter Tim Kasher, with Roger Lewis, Ryan Fox and Stef Drootin, has been touring in support of the double-LP version of Album of the Year, rereleased by Saddle Creek Records.  I thoroughly expected this show to sell out little ol’ Reverb Lounge but tickets are still available. Opening the show at 8 p.m. is Chicago band Doom Flower, who has been compared to Mazzy Star, The Breeders, Cat Power and Portishead. $25.

Meanwhile, down at The Slowdown, Chicago by way of Madison, Wisconsin, band Slow Pulp headlines. Fronted by Emily Massey, the band has toured with Alex G, which is a good combination considering the similarity in styles. The band is on the road touring their just released album, Yard (2023, ANTI-), which Pitchfork gave a 7.5 rating and said its “clear-eyed sincerity, bubblegum hooks and mellow arrangements feel like a warm embrace.” Classic indie rock, they’re selling out shows around the country (but not here). Opening the show at 8 p.m. is New York duo Babehoven (Double Double Whammy Records). This is a main room show; tickets are $20. 

Yesterday when I was buying my Lewsberg tickets I discovered that Grapefruit Records, 1125 Jackson Street in the Old Market, has another show happening tonight. Athens band Immaterial Possession is a four-piece led by Cooper Holmes and Madeline Polites whose music is “inspired by musical scales of the Greeks and Spanish,” according to their bio at the Fire Records website. It just sounds like groovy indie rock with some psychedelia to me. Opening this show is Heavy Clippings at 8 p.m. sharp! $10. 

Pro-tip regarding Grapefruit Records shows – they only post on Instagram, so give them a follow for their latest show and release info.

If that weren’t enough, tonight is Benson First Friday. That means art shows up and down Maple Street, not the least of which is the show at our place, Ming Toy Gallery at 6066 Maple. Tonight’s reception is for Josh & Shelby Audiss: Le Femme Fantastique. The opening runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Drop by, say hi, have beer or wine and buy some art! See you there.

Also as part of BFF, The Sydney in Benson is hosting Austin Texas 6-piece noise-rock band Neckbolt. The music sounds like their name. $10, 9 p.m.

Saturday’s big show is at Pageturners where singer/songwriter Rosali returns. She opened for Destroyer back in April 2022 backed by David Nance, Jim Schroeder and Kevin Donahue. I’m told they’ll be on board for Saturday’s show as well. Her 2021 album, No Medium was one of my favorites from that year; her new music is being released on Merge Records. See her on a small stage while you can. Singer/songwriter Sean Pratt opens at 8 p.m. There’s no cover but $10 donation is the least you can do. 

Then it’s onto Sunday for Lewsberg at Grapefruit Records. If you haven’t discovered this amazing Rotterdam-based four-piece you’re missing out. It’s like listening to a dry European translation of The Feelies mixed with Lou Reed and Yo La Tengo and nothing could be more perfect. 

I wrote Wednesday about how Grapefruit has upped its game in terms of being a venue. Find out for yourself. Also on the bill is a reunion of The Prairies – a band that consists of Dave Nance, Noah Sterba, Myke Marasco and Kevin Donahue – who will be playing songs off their first cassette tape. New band Western Haikus open at 7:15 p.m. This is a $12 show and advance tickets are available at Grapefruit Records, 1125 Jackson Street in the Old Market. 

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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: Destroyer, Rosali; Mild High Club Sunday at Slowdown…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:13 pm April 29, 2022
Destroyer at The Waiting Room, April 28, 2022.

by Tim McMahan,

I found out late yesterday afternoon that members of the David Nance Group would be backing last night’s opener for Destroyer at The Waiting Room — a performer who goes by the name Rosali. And sure enough, on stage playing to a crowd of less than 50 was Rosali (a.k.a. Rosali Middleman of the band Long Hots) with local heroes David Nance on bass, Jim Schroeder on lead guitar and Kevin Donahue on drums. Colin Duckworth joined them later in the set on pedal steel and banjo.

Turns out that Rosali’s 2021 album, No Medium, was recorded by Schroeder sometime during the pandemic with these guys backing her in the studio (along with contributions by Daniel Knapp, Simon Joyner and Conor Oberst). I’m listening to the album as I write this via Spotify (I wanted to buy a vinyl copy last night, but no one was manning her table and the Destroyer merch person wouldn’t sell it to me, so what are you gonna do? I’m betting I can pick up a copy at Grapefruit).

Rosali at The Waiting Room, April 28, 2022.

Her singing reminded me of just about every female vocalist on my list starting with Aimee Mann, followed by Joni Mitchell, Mary Timony, Natalie Merchant and Linda Thompson. Her at-times thin but tender voice was held in the finest contrast by this band, which still managed to blaze even when holding back in the quietest moments. The set really showcased Schroeder’s guitar work — beautiful, soaring solos that hissed and moaned at every turn. Gorgeous stuff, and just as gorgeous on the album that’s bound to be on my favorites’ list (though it came out last year).

By the time Destroyer came on stage at 9:15 sharp, the room was filled but nowhere near capacity, maybe 150 like the last time the band came through in 2018. Unlike that night, when Dan Bejar looked bored and listless, last night he was in top form (though never looking as if he was having fun, but maybe he never looks that way).

Bejar fronted one of the finest collections of musicians I’ve heard perform at The Waiting Room, at every position. The standouts were (again) that trumpet player, who continuously mixed his sound with effects pedals that turned his trumpet into an echoing dream corridor. That trumpet is so central to Destroyer’s sound that I can’t imagine these songs without it.

Just as remarkable was the band’s rhythm section – rarely does a bass player grab my attention, but this guy was just fire, as was the drummer. Add to that two fantastic guitarists and a rollicking keyboard player and you’ve got an amazing collective whose dreamy sound was like listening to a midnight stroll down an empty city street.

The set opened with a couple songs off side one of the new album, Labyrinthitis, before dipping into the Destroyer’s catalog. Set highlight for me was a killer version of “Times Square” from 2015’s Poison Season, as well as set closer “Kaputt,” which is becoming something of a greatest hit for Bejar. Great night!

Destroyer’s partial set list from the April 28, 2022 show at The Waiting Room.

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I’m happy I went out on a school night for Destroyer/Rosali because there ain’t squat going on this weekend show-wise.

The only thing of interest is goofy pop act Mile High Club, a band that (to me) sounds like modern yacht rock for a new generation (and in some ways, would fit right in next to Destroyer). The band rolls into The Slowdown Sunday night supporting their latest, Going Going Gone (2021, Stones Throw). Also on the bill is quirky JW Francis (Sunday Best Recordings). Omaha rockers Garst open at 8 p.m. $25.

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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.