Joseph, Plack Blague Saturday; Neva Dinova, Squirrel Flower Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 9:34 am January 19, 2024
Squirrel Flower at Reverb Lounge March 20, 2022. The band returns to Reverb Sunday night.

by Tim McMahan,

It’s a right damn shame this Arctic cold has dropped on us like an anvil this weekend considering all the shows, but, heck, it is January boys and girls…

There’s nothing on the indie-show radar for Friday night, but Saturday’s looking busy…

Portland trio Joseph consists of three women who know their way around harmonies. The band’s local connection – ARC’s Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes fame produced their second album, I’m Alone, No You’re Not (2016, ATO). Their latest full length, The Sun, was released last April by ATO and is reminiscent of First Aid Kit thanks to those multi-layered harmonies, but with more mainstream-pop melodies.  They’ve performed on all the usual late-night haunts (Fallon, Conan, even Jools Holland). Opening is LA-based singer/songwriter Sister, whose claim to fame is having her single, “Love Me Right,” used in Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground podcast. $32, 8 p.m. 

Meanwhile, Lincoln electronic leather fetish performer (I think he got upset when I said Pulp Fiction-style gimp, so no more of that) Plack Blague headlines at The Waiting Room Saturday night. Joining him is a cadre of local electronic artists including Ex Lover, Specter Poetics and DJ Lady Muerte. $15, 8 p.m. 

Also Saturday night, local folks Bad Actors headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s with The Broke Loose and Sioux City’s Sexy Ca$h. This is a free show that starts at 9 p.m. 

It’s back to O’Leaver’s Sunday afternoon/evening for a sort of goodbye show for Neva Dinova, as the band has wrapped up some recording and frontman/guru Jake Bellows is headed back to Los Angeles the following day. I caught the trio (Jake is joined by Megan Siebe on bass and legendary drummer Roger Lewis) when they played at Reverb last month (read the review) when they played a wide selection of old and new Neva material. Joining them again Sunday is Jess Price of Doom Flower and Campdogzz doing a solo set, and our very own Sean Pratt, who I’m told also has been in the studio. This is an early show with a 5 p.m. start time and will cost you $15. The weather guy says by Sunday this abysmal cold will have lifted, too, and let’s face it, it’s always red hot inside The Club. 

Later Sunday night, Chicago’s Squirrel Flower a.k.a. Ella O’Connor Williams, returns to Reverb Lounge. She’s on the road supporting her latest LP, Tomorrow’s Fire (2023, Polyvinyl), which is a step up in sound and shoegaze intensity vs. her more laidback Planet (i) LP. When she was here in 2022 she used a repeater pedal liberally throughout her set to provide a layered sound even though she was backed by a full band. She’s on the road with Los Angeles band Goon, who’s last studio release, Hour of Green Evening (2022, Demonde), received a solid 7.1 rating on the ol’ Pitchfork meter who said the band blends “plaintive psychedelic rock with sweet folk melodies,” — accurate. Get there early and catch The Dirts, who opens the show at 8 p.m. $20. 

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Bundle up and 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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: Squirrel Flower, SafeSpace (Ione); Child of Night, Profit Prison tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 11:37 am March 20, 2022
Squirrel Flower at Reverb Lounge, March 19, 2022.

by Tim McMahan,

Turns out the “SafeSpace” that I thought was playing at Reverb last night (see here) was not the SafeSpace that played at Reverb last night. Again, a suggestion: You want people to hear your music or find out about you? Create an online presence about your band (Facebook, Bandcamp, Twitter). Apparently “Ione,” who performed last night as SafeSpace, doesn’t care about such things, though she does have an Instagram presence, which is probably the last place I’d look for show information. Like I said, maybe she wants to remain anonymous?

SafeSpace at Reverb Lounge, March 19, 2022.

OK, so I was initially disappointed that it wasn’t the Chicago SafeSpace I was hoping for. That said, this one was pretty good. Performing as a two-piece — Ione backed by a guitarist — (she said she used to have a full band but is apparently between bands), she played through about 20 minutes of singer/songwriter fare that had a similar feel as Seward’s Andrea von Kampen, though Ione’s songs were more mature (and she has a better voice). Of note was the second tune on the set list, where said guitarist played a counter-melody before and after the main verses, that really sent me. Good stuff. I’m told she’s either from Omaha (She’s played Pageturners before, as evidenced by her Instagram) or Sioux City.

Squirrel Flower came on at 9 with a full band and sounded great, playing songs off her last full length. Frontwoman Ella Williams’ creatively used one of those recorder/repeater pedals throughout the set to either augment her guitar or provide layered harmonies. It’s always a cool effect, always interesting to watch the artist build the “backing track” live.

Last night was a reasonable draw for a Reverb show. Maybe 60? I love these 8 p.m. 2-band bills. You can get your music in and still enjoy more of the evening afterward. And Reverb is quickly becoming thee go-to venue for small touring indie acts.

The Sydney could be the next best thing (both clubs are connected to 1% Productions). I’d love to hit tonight’s show at The Sydney, but it doesn’t start until 9 and is a three-band bill. Headliner Child of Night is from Brooklyn by way of Columbus. Profit Prison is from Italy and Cult Play is from right here. $10, 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Vacations, Kid Computer tonight; Squirrel Flower, Summer Salt Saturday; Child of Night Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 3:38 pm March 18, 2022

by Tim McMahan,

It’s a loaded weekend full of under-the-radar bands. Not only haven’t I heard of most of these folks, finding information online about them is super-challenging. You’d think if you were going to head out on tour, that you’d have either a well-established website or Facebook page to explain who/what your band is all about…


Tonight, Newcastle, Australia indie-pop band Vacations plays at Reverb Lounge. Forever in Bloom came out in 2020 on Human Sounds Records, which has a roster of acts none of whom I’ve heard of. Very punchy jump-jangle rock in a Jetpacks vein (or what I remember WWPJ to sound like). KC band Kid Computer opens at 8 p.m. $15. This is a No Vax No Entry show so bring yer stuff.

Tomorrow night it’s the Squirrel Flower show at Reverb I mentioned earlier this week (Is Reverb becoming thee destination for small indie rock shows?). Opening is fellow Chicago band SafeSpace, or at least I think it is. There’s about a dozen “Safe Space” pages in FB and online. The band that owns this one, below, hasn’t released an album since 2018, but I hope it is these guys because this song is pretty awesome. $15, 8 p.m. This one also is a No Vax No Entry show, so bring your stuff to get in.

Meanwhile, down at Slowdown Jr., Saturday night, Austin-based laid-back indie band Summer Salt headlines a show with Brooklyn’s Renata Zeiguer and Chicago’s Kate Stephenson. 8 p.m., $25.

Sunday night, Columbus electronic/post-punk band Child of Night (Play Alone Records) headlines at The Sydney. Their latest, The Walls at Dawn, is a deep-beat blacklist dance-fueled gothy collection that’s sneaky good. Profit Prison from Bolognia, Italy (on Avant! Records) and Omaha’s Cult Play also are on the bill. 9 p.m., $10. It’s a shame this is a late show on a Sunday night…

Also Sunday night, Pagan Athletes opens for Garst at Slowdown Jr.. Social Cinema also is on the bill. $10. 8 p.m.

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.


Ten Questions with Squirrel Flower (at Reverb Saturday); new And How music, tonight with Thick Paint…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:05 pm March 16, 2022
Squirrel Flower plays at Reverb Lounge Saturday, March 19.

by Tim McMahan,

Chicago by way of Boston’s Squirrel Flower a.k.a. Ella Williams has been writing and recording indie folk music since 2015, but broke through the waves with 2020’s I Was Born Swimming (Polyvinyl) that Paste Magazine called a record “you’ll want to sink into, like a warm bath or maybe a 4 p.m. ocean that’s been baking in the hot sun all day.”

She followed it up with Planet (i) (Polyvinyl, 2021), of which Allmusic said, “Themes of personal, meteorological, and environmental disaster scud like silver clouds over the album’s panoramic arrangements in a tenuous, but pleasingly textural way.” In fact, the record’s one-sheet called it “a love letter to disaster in every form imaginable. Tornadoes, flooding, gaslighting assholes, cars on fire—these songs fully embrace a planet in ruin.”

Sound depressing? Yeah, it can be. But most of Planet (i) is acoustic-riff indie rock that fits alongside acts like Cassandra Jenkins or Tomberlin at their quieter moments. It’s a pretty record that feels like a long, contemplative road trip, dusty and afternoon-sun lit, lost along an empty Highway 30.

Expect to hear tracks off this one when she rolls into Reverb Saturday night, as well as songs off her just release follow-up EP, Planet (Polyvinyl), which consists of outtakes from the Planet (i) sessions and a cover of Bjork’s “Unravel.”

We caught up with Williams and asked her the Ten Questions. Here’s her rather minimal responses:

What is your favorite album?

Squirrel Flower’s Ella Williams: Nebraska by Springsteen 😉

What is your least favorite song?

Happy Birthday

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Playing music with them 

What do you hate about being in a band?

Literally nothing !

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Bagel with cream cheese

In what city or town do you love to perform?

Chicago! Where I live right now. 

What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

I’ve never had a bad gig but one time I played in Sioux City, Iowa, and we got caught in the craziest rain storm ever. Full rivers flowing on the street while we were loading out.

Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

I have very low living costs and teach and work catering/restaurant gigs from time to time. It took a long time to get to the point of only needing a bit of side work here and there.

What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I worked as a carpenter’s assistant for a bit, which I really loved. Would like to go into carpentry maybe. I would hate to be in finance or be a coder. 

What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Mainly just nice tales from my friend Paige, who grew up on a goat farm outside of Omaha! Can’t wait to play in Omaha. 

Squirrel Flower plays with Tenci Saturday, March 19, at Reverb Lounge. Tickets are $15, showtime is 8 p.m. This is a No Vax No Entry show, so bring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

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Omaha band And How released a new track off a forthcoming album with no set release date (that I know of). Produced/recorded by Ian Aeillo, who gave me the tip, the song was recorded at the old Enamel Studios (and I’m sure there’s a good story behind that). When we’ll hear more tracks from these sessions is a mystery, as I’m told frontman Ryan Menchaca has his hands full with this project and touring with Thick Paint. Fingers crossed that both bands play at this year’s Petfest…

Speaking of which, tonight And How plays with Thick Paint and Masonjixx (headliner) at Reverb Lounge. $15, 8 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.