Soapbox Riot (& Speed! Nebraska showcase) Saturday; OEAA showcase this weekend, It’s True video…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:15 pm July 16, 2010
Soapbox Riot 2009

Gary Dean Davis takes the plunge at last year's Soapbox Riot, July 18, 2009.

by Tim McMahan,

It’s a busy weekend for music and violence.

The highlight is Saturday’s second annual Soapbox Riot at Seymour Smith soapbox track, 72nd and Washington, brought to you by Speed! Nebraska Records and the fabulous O’Leaver’s Pub.

Like last year, a cadre of racing daredevils will risk it all in a series of suicide runs down the track riding on top of — and inside of — some of the most frightening pieces of rolling wreckage that you’ll ever see outside of a blazing downtown Baghdad street. I’m sure there’s some sort of trophy that goes to the winner, but the real prize is the right to brag that you’re the stupidest, craziest sumbitch in Nebraska. Last year, Mercy Rule’s Jon Taylor took that honor after donating a foot-long strip of his own skin directly to the burning asphalt. Who is bat-shit crazy enough to knock this idiot-king from atop of the blood-soaked soapbox mountain? Find out when racing begins sometime between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Beer garden and grilled food will be available (of course).

Later that evening, after the survivors are released from the UNMC Emergency Room, a post-race concert by some of Nebraska’s mangled finest is happening at O’Leaver’s. On the showbill will be the scab-covered Speed! Nebraska All-Stars: Mercy Rule, Ideal Cleaners, The Wagon Blasters, Mezcal Brothers, The Third Men and Techlepathy. The rock show starts at 9 p.m. and is the usual $5. Event of the summer? You decide!

Also going on this weekend…

Tonight and Saturday is the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEAA) showcase in Benson — two nights of bands and musicians showing their wares to OEAA academy members in consideration for this year’s awards, and also vying for a slot as an opening band at next Saturday’s MAHA Festival.

Wondering why no Saddle Creek, Slumber Party, Speed! Nebraska and other local touring bands aren’t on the schedule for an event that’s supposed to highlight the best and brightest talent in Omaha? In a response to a blog entry that criticized the lack of the above talent — and called the showcase a “Benson thing” — OEAA board member MarQ Manner said:

“As far at the Summer Showcase goes we only used submitted bands this year — no one from those labels submitted — there are a lot of acts from North O, Mid-Town, Benson, West Omaha, Lincoln, some from just outside of the metro small towns in Iowa-bands that rarely if ever play Benson venues-etc — I wanted bands that were excited about the event itself this year – so we didn’t do any invites.”

In other words, no one from those labels was invited because no one at all was invited. Instead, an open call went out for bands to participate (I wonder if anyone was turned down.)  And of course, none of the bands will be getting paid, presumably because the OEAA’s are doing them a favor by letting them take part in the showcase. Well, at least the bands aren’t being charged to play the showcase… yet.

Judging by a recent Facebook post that was hastily taken down after it got too much attention, there are a number of musicians who are irritated about an event that is basically a fund raiser for the Benson bar scene — see, while the bands aren’t making a penny (and in fact, Lincoln bands are out gas money and other expenses) all the bars involved will be raking in cash from booze sales thanks to the free entertainment on their stages.

Am I kicking a dead horse here? Yeah, probably. As I’ve said before, I don’t think you’re going to notice any guns sticking out of the ears of the bands that are taking part. If you’re irritated about not getting paid, then don’t play the event. And that’s exactly what’s happening — no serious label acts are participating, and only a couple notable touring musicians (mostly Benson regulars) are involved. As the overused saying goes: It is what it is. And it’s also $10 per night for a wristband that gets you into all the bars all night long — a good deal, and actually a pretty good time.

Here’s the schedule:

Friday, July 16

Louie’s Bar
10:30-11:05-Matt & Ben
11:20-11:55-Black On High

Burke’s Pub
8:50-9:25-Doug Kabourek
9:40-10:15-Western Electric
10:30-11:05-Matt Banta
11:20-12:05-Daniel Christian

The Sydney
8:10-8:45-The 9’s
9:00-9:35-Scott Severin & The Milton Burlesque
9:50-10:25-Brad Hoshaw (solo)
11:30-12:05-Civic Minded
12:20-12:55-Ground Tyrants

The Waiting Room
8:10-8:45-All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
9:00-9:35-Voodoo Method
9:50-10:25-Betsy Wells
10:40-11:15-Jes Winter Band
11:30-12:05-After The Fall

PS Collective
8:00-8:35-Rachel D.
8:50-9:25-Hello From Ghost Valley
9:40-10:15-Travelin’ Mercies
10:30-11:05- Ember Shrag
11:20-11:55-Lonely Estates
12:10-12:45-The End In Red

Barley Street Tavern
8:10-8:45-MC Gringo
9:50-10:25-Carli Alexandra
11:30-12:05-Ben Sieff & The Murder Of Crowes

Saturday, July 17

8:50-9:25-Dive Kings
9:40-10:15-The Minnahoonies
10:30-11:05- Army Of 2600
11:20-11:55-Emotional Baggage
12:10-12:45-Disposable Heroes

Burkes Pub
9:40-10:15-Sack Of Lions
10:30-11:05-Jill Marie
11:20-12:05-Broken Truth
12:20-12:55-DJ Oddible

The Sydney
9:50-10:25-High Art
10:40-11:15-Answer Team
11:30-12:05-Matt Whipkey Trio
12:20-12:55-Rock Paper Dynamite

The Waiting Room
8:10-8:45-Witness Tree
9:00-9:35-Lucas Kellison & The Assembled Soul
9:50-10:25-Mitch Gettman Band
10:40-11:15-Midwest Dilemma
11:30-12:05-Korey Anderson Band

PS Collective
8:00-8:35-24 Hour Cardlock
8:50-9:25-Matt Amandus
9:40-10:15-Shannon Marie
10:30-11:05- Citzens Band
11:20-11:55-Cass Fifty & The Family Gram
12:10-12:45-OK Hemingway

Barley Street Tavern
8:10-8:45-Gordan Shumway
9:00-9:35-Vern Fergesen
9:50-10:25-Edge Of Arbor
10:40-11:15-Chantilly Reign
11:30-12:05-Platte River Rain
12:20-12:55-Big Al Band

What else is going on?

Tonight at Slowdown Jr., Lawrence band Cowboy Indian Bear — one of the Midwest’s best indie pop acts — returns with local acts Anniversaire and Skypiper. Show starts at 9 p.m., and the price is right: FREE.

Sunday night, former Sub Pop band (now on Brushfire Records) Rogue Wave plays at The Waiting Room with Gamble House. $12, 9 p.m.

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Finally, despite having broken up, and with their last-ever live appearances taking place next Saturday as part of the MAHA Festival, It’s True has just released a new video for “Take This One From Me” — one of the highlight tracks of their recently released debut full-length. I’m not sure who directed it (presumably Zac Eubank), but he did an impressive job shooting the entire video in one well-choreographed take — Robert Altman would be proud. Take a look.

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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.