The Brothers swan song (SERIAL tonight, No Thanks Saturday); live review: Tokyo Police Club; Xiu Xiu at Low End tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 9:36 am October 29, 2021
Say goodbye to The Brothers Lounge this weekend…

by Tim McMahan,

This weekend is the end of the line for The Brothers Lounge. Omaha’s legendary punk bar closes its doors for good at the end of the month and is going out with a bang with two sold-out shows.

Tonight (Friday) is a big one — SERIAL headlines — a supergroup that includes Tim Moss (Porn music, Ritual Device), John Wolf (Cellophane Ceiling, Bad Luck Charm, Porn music), Lee Meyerpeter (Cactus Never Thang, Bad Luck Charm, Filter Kings) and Jerry Hug (Ritual Device, Porn music). Their annual holiday shows at The Brothers are a thing of legend. Joining them are Pagan Athletes (new album out Nov. 5!) and Those Far Out Arrows. Doors at 8; music at 9:30. This one has been sold out for weeks. Something tells me it’ll be a madhouse.

Then tomorrow night (Saturday) Omaha punk newcomers No Thanks headlines with 138 (a Misfits tribute band) and Nowhere. Just like tonight, this one’s been sold out for awhile. Doors at 8, music at 9:30 p.m.

I would not want to be the doorman at The Brothers this weekend. As a member of the press who covers the Omaha music scene, I’ll attempt to document these final days… I’m sure I won’t be the only one.

. ) ) ) .

Before I get to the rest of the weekend, it looked close to capacity last night at Slowdown Jr. for Tokyo Police Club.

And How at Slowdown Jr., Oct. 28, 2021.

I only caught the last song from opening band And How, which had the crowd in the palm of their hands. With eight members, it was a crowded stage. The band is becoming Omaha’s version of late-era Talking Heads, and people are noticing.

The best thing you can say about a tour like the one Tokyo Police Club is currently on in support of the 10 year anniversary of the release of their sophomore album, Champ, is that it made you reconsider the release. Fact is, I never really gave Champ much of a listen when it came out. The band had left Saddle Creek after their debut album, Elephant Shell, for label Mom + Pop Music. And thus, when I heard the album upon its release I thought it was more of the same — i.e., a sort of Vampire Weekend-meets-Strokes indie-rock band.

Tokyo Police Club at Slowdown Jr., Oct. 28, 2021.

Last night, the songs from that album took on a different life, as I suppose any album would performed live 10 years after its release. The music was more dynamic and I caught myself raising an eyebrow throughout the set, especially with the neat, clean guitar lines guitarist Josh Hooks was laying down. Frontman/bassist Dave Monks, wearing a T-shirt that said, “I May Grow Older but I Refuse to Grow Up,” was in ageless form and perfect voice.

Leaning against the stage-right door I watched members in the front row sang along to every tune, including the Monks’ acoustic encore and the band follow-up. It was great to see a show in Slowdown Jr. again after a couple years – the space continues to be one of the best small rooms in Omaha.

. ) ) ) .

So, it’s a Brothers weekend for the lucky few who can get in, but what about everyone else?

Well, tonight art-house indie band Xiu Xiu plays at Low End in the basement of the Bemis. This is a sort of after-party show for those who attend the annual Bemis art auction, but a number of free tickets also were available… for awhile. This one is also “sold out.” If you’re going, this is a No Vax / No Entry show, and face masks are encouraged when not eating /drinking. Music starts at 9:30.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show put it in the comments section. If you can’t go to The Brothers this weekend, go to your record player, slap on your favorite punk record and slam a beer for Trey and Lallaya, Omaha legends whose contribution to our music scene cannot be underestimated. You and your bar will be missed.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Ten Questions with Tokyo Police Club (at The Slowdown Oct. 28)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , — @ 1:02 pm October 25, 2021
Tokyo Police Club circa now. The band plays at The Slowdown Thursday, Oct. 28, with And How.

by Tim McMahan,

Seems like only yesterday when in fact it was 13 or 14 years ago that Saddle Creek Records announced that it signed one of its first non-Omaha acts — Tokyo Police Club. Elephant Shell came out on Saddle Creek in April 2008 to much fanfare, but the record would prove to be a one-and-done for the label, as TPC would go onto Mom + Pop Music for the follow-up, 2010’s Champ.

And now a decade later, TPC is celebrating that record with a tour that comes through The Slowdown this Thursday, Oct. 28. TPC is issuing a vinyl version of the album in honor of the 10th anniversary. In addition, TPC frontman Dave Monks has a new album coming out Oct. 15 and guitarist / keyboardist Graham Wright dropped a solo album last month. 

That leaves drummer Greg Alsop to do our Ten Questions survey. We caught up with him and here’s what he had to say: 

What is your favorite album?

Greg Alsop: Siamese Dream – Smashing Pumpkins

What is your least favorite song?

“More than a Feeling” – Boston. It’s like 3 terrible songs strung together. 

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

The travel. 

What do you hate about being in a band?

The travel. 

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

5:1 CBD to THC. (Thankfully – legal where I live). 

In what city or town do you love to perform?

Omaha. No – for real. The Slowdown is one of the best venues in the country and we’re always so happy to be back there. It’s a club that actually goes out of its way to make touring bands feel welcomed and taken care of. Laundry? Check. Load-in ramps? Check. Love the Slowdown and can’t wait to be back.  

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

Austin TX, SXSW 2007. At that gig we learned what a “texas mickey” was and why one should never be on our rider…

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?

We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do this full-time for a while now, which we’re all still extremely grateful for. This will be our first tour since 2019 and we’re all pumped to have the opportunity to be doing this again. 

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

I think there’s a real opportunity to go city to city solving unsolved mysteries. However, everything would have to get wrapped up pretty neatly by “van call” the next morning…

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

Nothing comes to mind, but if there’s some inscrutable case out there please let us know and we’ll get our best sleuths on the job. 

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Tokyo Police club plays with And How Thursday, Oct. 28, at The Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St. Tickets are $20, showtime is 8 p.m. This is a No Vax / No Entry show, so bring proof of vaccination and a photo ID to get in the club. For more information, go to

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.