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Show Reviews

Crush The Clown / Minutia Stew / The Takers - Knickerbockers - 12/26/03

the night started off kind of fuzzy because my head had just been used as a drum by nate our drummer. my head was hurting and there was only one way for me to get rid of it! rock and roll music (& a shot of redbull and something else from friend janelle and her sisters).

i had seen crush the clown before at scenefest and remember thinking about their great ability to sound like anything they want from song to song (kinda like ween in a way). they seem to use great song structures and dynamics to their advantage. it makes me want to watch scar face to a crush the clown cd and see if they match up in significant ways.

minutia stew always find ways to shine bright on stage. you can feel their great jam outs that jeff (drummer) and gorka (bassist) love to conduct in their own unique ways of stage presence. if these guys we're ninjas they would kick the shit out of you and you would hurt for many days, if they were ninjas.

sean moon takes a walk out from behind a drum set and on to the front part of a stage with a guitar where you can tell he feels a little more comfortable. when watching the takers rock out you can tell how they just aspire to rock. i've seen their drummer in other bands but this he totally brings his character to his beats. black sabbath, pantera, meets sean moon with just a hint of slayer. they rocked me till my head pounded the same beat the takers were grooving on. i wish i could of heard the vocals a little better but everyone in the joint could tell that sean had brought his magic wand! - Tim Scahill



Powerless II - The Thielgoods / Suzy Dreamer & Her Nightmares / Junior Mighty - Duffy's Tavern - 12/17/03

Since I had a week off with nothing to do but sob and wet myself, I was able to go to a good amount of shows in a relatively small period of time, including this one. I had never seen any of these bands before, so I was able to eye them inconspicuously with what I believe to be a fairly objective viewpoint, although I (of course) have my biases (I listen to speed metal while ever-so-gingerly inserting books into other books. It’s pretty awkward, at best). I got to Duffy’s, afraid that I had missed the beginning of the Theilgood’s set, but everything was coming up Kibler. I walked in, said “hello” to a few folks, grabbed a drink, and sat down to check out The Thielgood’s acoustic set.

Again, since I have never seen any of these bands in their usual format, it was a different treat altogether. The Thielgoods were a very tight band, and reminded me of bands like Nirvana, Hole, Belly, etc. I hate to draw comparisons like that, but if we can’t compare, I don’t know how the hell else to properly explain myself in situations like these. Either way, it’s not like they were emulating Nirvana or Hole; they were definitely doing their own thing up onstage, and it was a beautiful thing. The melodies were interesting, simple, and very original, much like their music. They used a lot of power- and open-chords, and utilized them wonderfully. I am always impressed with songwriters who can create an original, catchy song simply by using simplicity. It’s something I wish there was more of around; oftentimes, a nice idea can be ruined by superfluous, excessive musical layering. The vocals themselves had a pretty lo-fidelity sound to them (does that make any sense to anyone but me? I hope so), and it fit the music just the way Christmas fits with construction work.

Fast-forward some time and a few drinks: Suzy Dreamer and Her Nightmares were up next. I had a rough idea of what to expect, such as the stream-of-consciousness sort of lyrics about singer Kristen Bailey’s dreams. I guess I sort of expected the music to follow in the same vein, but the very organized and tight song-structure and vocal harmonies pleasantly surprised me. Needless to say, the lyrics were hilarious. There were songs about upside-down faces on people’s stomachs, JFK Junior hanging out on the steps of the capital, Bob Vila, etc. The dreams themselves are interesting, and in song-form, are very captivating. For the most part, the songs were on the cusp of upbeat, happy go lucky and eerily mellow, kind of like riding a unicycle through an abandoned Kmart. Everything musical was, again, very together and cohesive, and with Kristen playing the saw, no less! Not once during the night did it seem like the bands weren’t in top form. I look forward to seeing them in standard mode, but their acoustic set was very much complete and definitely original. I hope they do more shows “powerless” in the future, even if it is just for town drunks and engineers.

Last but not least, Junior Mighty closed out the night with their set. I’m ignorant to how they usually perform, but this time, it was just Lori Allison, her guitar, and Brian McCue, her partner in crime, on guitars and such. I know that Lori has been in such bands as The Millions and Floating Opera. They could be described as a sort of bittersweet sort of group. There were some awesome poppy melodies with some weird, weird instrumentation. My favorite song was one that incorporated two ukuleles and a sort of repeating vocal part. It was great, and the songwriting and performing experience was much apparent all throughout the set. They also performed without a hitch, incorporating a guest accordionist later in the set. At closing time, one of the coolest moments at a show happened; the lights were dim, and Lori from Junior Mighty played one last song by herself out on the floor, and Kristen Bailey from Suzy Dreamer busted out her saw and played the last bit of the song with her.
Amazing. - Cory Kibler



13 County - Bob's Tavern - 12/05/03

I had never seen 13 County before, but every time I heard a song on KRNU, they caught my ear. I guess someone from the band hails from 13 county in Nebraska. I had the opportunity to see their free show at Bob's Tavern in downtown Havelock. I missed Strawberry Burns, because I was playing 1943 and practicing for Punk Rock Christmas at a house nearby. 13 County was more than half-way done when I walked into Bob's Tavern. The music was simple and bittersweet with a classic, small-town depression feel, with a mixture of rural and city elements. It matched the tavern's surroundings pretty well.

13 County plays good, simple rock music that has the classic rock Americana of Petty and Seger, and the angsty suburban elements of Westerberg. I don't know the names of any of the players, but the guitar player/singer would strap on (huh huh... strap on) one of those harmonica harness things and blow (ha ha.. blow!) harp while he stroked his guitar (STROKED!), occasionaly banging out (BANGING!!!) a shloppy, Stonesy guitar solo. Friends in the bar would harrass the band, calling out requests like Free and Replacements, calling the singer a pussy. Flintstones played on the screen behind the band, and sometimes it looked like Fred was singing along, sometimes just dancing off tempo. In the end, it was a good match: Bob's Tavern and one of Lincoln's good crunch/twang bands. I dig that sound. - John Ziegler



The Fashion Coasters / That 1 Guy / Drums & Tuba - 12/02/03 - Knickerbockers

(Reviewer’s Note: After querying how to become more involved in jumpstarting interest in local music and music that comes to Lincoln it was suggested that I submit some reviews to help out. This is a show I saw in Lincoln recently, but I didn’t take any notes or anything during the show so if anyone wants to add their thoughts it would be much appreciated. Thanks- JB)

I wanted to arrive early because I figured I’d be leaving before the show was over. This meant showing up before the Fashion Coasters started their set adding my presence to an audience about 20 deep. Granted the show was listed for 9:00 p.m. and this was about 8:45. Made me wonder if the opening band always has to deal with such animosity. Is it for the resume? I mean when you tell people you opened for Drums and Tuba you tell people how many people were there at the end of the night, right?

The Fashion Coasters played a good set though and the crowd got bigger during their 45 minutes on stage. I was unfamiliar with their music style, but knew they were a local band. The guitarist could hold his own on stage, and for a band with a relatively new vocalist and bass player (or bassist?) they performed a pretty flawless set. And most importantly, especially with the size of the crowd at the time, the band and the crowd interacted with good sense for one another. The band truly looked like they were having fun and the crowd was at the least politely clapping if not outright genuinely enjoying the music. You’ll have to ask someone else for the set list.

The next band was only one guy, more precisely, That 1 Guy. In the press packet I received from the publicist for the show there were more articles about That 1 Guy than there were about Drums and Tuba, and all spoke of this “magic pipe,” a homemade contraption in which Mr. Silverman is able to obtain various sound effects that he turns into music. Sounded interesting enough. Before his set began, the crowd size had swelled noticeably and many a concertgoer was expressing the fact that they were there to see this guy perform.

That 1 Guy’s set was entertaining to the point that the Drums and Tuba set was something of a let down afterwards. I can only begin to think of the different bands whose sounds I thought I heard emanating from his speakers. Take a dash of the Chemical Brothers, a little bit of Frank Zappa, some Blue Man Group, Mike Doughty on psylocibin and Shel Silverstein and turn it all into a one man jam band that would well deserve an early evening slot at next years Bonnaroo.

That 1 Guy’s newest album is entitled “Songs in the Key of Biotch,” and on the album all of the songs max out at about 2 minutes long. But in concert he adds what can only be considered life to the lifeless melodies that occupy the CD. It was a great feeling to have seen this performance going in blind. That’s some of the best entertainment there is. He played one song from an upcoming album he said would be released in 2010 or somewhere way down the line. Besides the sounds he conjured from his pipe, he also dragged out a saw that he wiggled to make sounds that would have fit in on the soundtrack for “The Addams Family.”

The lyrics for his songs were nonsensical for the most part, but even that statistic increased the enjoyment factor.

And again the band, or guy, was enjoying himself during the set. He mentioned Drums and Tuba and himself several times, but failed to mention the Fashion Coasters which is a bummer but understandable. I was told he’s been through town before, it would be fun to see him headline a show.

After that I kind of got bored. When Drums and Tuba came out Knickerbockers was pretty full, maybe 150-200 people. And they were a talented band, but their music was just not a good follow up for That 1 Guy. Where his songs would go off, D&T’s would drift and become a parade of loops too mellow to rock out or dance to. It was interesting to see a band member belting out his parts with a tuba, but it wasn’t as dramatic as far as horns go with Galactic’s Ben Ellman much more enthusiastic on the sax. And perhaps because the show was on a Tuesday the crowd thinned noticeably before D&T’s set was over.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there were people at the show who knew to expect that and enjoyed it, for me, it just happened to be one of those random shows that I’ve attended with knowing anything about any of the bands. Overall, I would say the $8 ticket price was a good deal and would pay it again to see the three bands that were on the bill. - Jeremy Buckley



Shyaway - 12/03/03 - Knickerbockers

Shyaway was back tonight for the first show with their new lineup, and from their their opening song, "Tune Song" they showed they they were back on the scene, and in fine form. "Tune Song", which features some awesome three-part harmonies, by lead singer, Tim McCarty, Keyboardist, Brian Botsford, and Drummer, Zack Broshears, is a funny song about their love of sound checking.

They played several of the songs off their most recent CD, "Hard To Believe It", including Seven Out Of Nine, All Fall Down, and the title track, as well as songs from their first album, and some new ones.

The interplay of guitar work between lead singer Tim McCarty and new member, Lead Guitarist, Steve Smith was done really well, and it sounded as if they'd been playing together for a really long time instead of just a few months. Brian Botsford, added great harmoies throughout the set.

Their live sound had a little bit more of a alt-countryish tint to it than was evident on "Hard To Believe It", but when I say little I mean really little, there's way more pop/rock to them than alt-country, but during the show, one person I was talking with made a comparison to a cross between Let It Bleed era Rolling Stones and "Almost Blue" era Elvis Costello, and after the show, another person also made an Elvis Costello comparison as well, which is pretty funny, because I'm a big E.C. fan, and I didn't really hear too much of that in it myself. I think the really strong bass playing of Mark Liljehorn is probably where they're drawing that comparison from. Perhaps the reason I didn't hear these things and they did is becauase I was familiar with Shyaway's CD and they weren't. Check them out when you get the chance.
Their set consisted of:
TUNE SONG
I THINK IT WAS HER
BOX OF WATCHES
SLEEPYHEAD
HARD TO BELIEVE IT
THE GOOD LIFE
GET ALONG
RUNNIN’ ROUND
7 OUT OF 9
LET IT ROLL
ALL FALL DOWN
- Tery Daly



Shacker / High Violets - 11/11/03 - Knickerbockers

Shacker (Version 2.0) brought their newly arranged show to Knickerbockers for the first time last night and the difference was amazing. With their drummer out of the country for a while, they've re-tooled their lineup, sound, and song arrangements. They've added Annie Aspengren (also of ESP) on cello, and it adds a whole new dimension to their music. The new arrangements of the songs off their first CD add a whole new element of depth and drama to the songs that isn't there in their poppier incarnations. The different instrumentation seemed to take songwriter Cory Kibler into some different areas melodically than he'd ventured into with the guitar/bass/drums format, because there's a definite show of growth and maturity in the songriting on the new material. I don't know what Shacker's plans are for the direction of their music after their drummer returns, but they will be appearing again November 18th at Knickerbockers with this lineup, so catch them while you can.

The High Violets are on tour from Portland, OR, and they played very formulaic shoegaze stuff. They were a really good band, and the songs were good, but after about the 4th song they all started to sound the same. Their light/fog show was really cool though, and complimented their music. - Tery Daly



Marianas / The Holy Ghost - 11/7/03 - Knickerbockers

Marianas brought their atmospheric sounds to Knickerbockers last night in the first show of their Magical Mini Tour which continues in Omaha and Lawrence, KS). Their music is very densely layered, (even more so with the recent additions of Malcom Miles on bass, cornet, and percussion, and Tom Tollefsen on drums) but except for a few minor sound and frequency overlapping problems, the band can not only reproduce their sound from their first album, Onward+Upward, but with the new members they actually improve on it.

Seeing them live, I found the melodies and hooks of their music standing out a lot more than listening to the recordings, and I think that's because when listening to ambient, mostly instrumental music, it's natural for the mind to wander some, but actually seeing the band perform the music live, you're getting it in a different way. Aaron Grauer's guitar work particularly stood out during the set, as did Ryan Dee's vocal on My Body Is A Sail. They also included a cool cover of Velvet Underground's Sunday Morning, but it sounded more like later-period REM doing the velvets than trying to cover the Velvets directly.

The Holy Ghost rocked like hell, the way they always do. Although they indicated that with their new drummer, Angie Webster, only being in the band for a month or so, they didn't have their usual repertoire down. It seemed, however, that they played everything they were going to, and after the insistent crowd wouldn't let them off stage without a few more, cranked out a few other songs that they didn't seem ready to play, but they pulled them off flawlessly. You'd not have know Angie hasn't been with the band for years, because they were as tight as ever. Looking forward to their show at the end of the month. - Tery Daly



Shacker / Rocket Ride - 10/21/03 - Knickerbocker

I've been wanting to see Shacker for a while and for like their last 5 or 6 shows prior to this one, our schedules just didn't work out. I'm so glad I got to see this show, because with drummer
C. Howie Howard, leaving to go study in Africa next week, this was their last show in this format for a while. I really liked this show. They played a lot of the great songs off their first album, including: Autum, Placing Blame, Sophia, Talk Me Down (in which I really missed the double lead solo), and they played a few new songs, including one that I think is their best song yet, called "You Never Can Tell".

As is usually the case, the live set rocked more than the album did, the band is just as tight live as their recordings, and Cory Kibler's vocals seemed quite a bit stronger on stage (He mentioned he had just quit smoking when the album was being recorded, and the difference is notable)

These guys reminded me somewhat of Crush The Clown about 3-4 years ago, and that can only be a good thing. While Howie is out of the country, Cory and bassist Jaimie Tucci, will be working out some acoustic songs with strings and doing a few shows like that, until Howie comes back after the new year starts. It'll be interesting to see the acoustic sets, and I hope to have them in a "Powerless" show in the not too distant future, but be sure to catch them after their drummer gets back to get the full rock treatment.

I only watched a little bit on the openers, Rocket Ride, and I don't even know if they're from Lincoln or not, but from what I heard, they sounded like they've listened to nothing but Bad Company for their entire lives. - Tery Daly



Ideal Cleaners / Bright Calm Blue - 10/19/03 - Duffy's Tavern

Several months ago, Dan Jenkins broke the collective heart of Lincoln's music scene by dissolving Drive-by Honky. What he didn't tell anyone is that a year or so later he'd come back with new songs and a much better band. The Ideal Cleaners sound rolls, dives and glides in thick-toned, riff-heavy rock 'n' roll, whereas Honky's sound was defined by boxy (sp?) rhythyms and akward, affectionate lyrics. Watching the power trio (rounded out by former Honky bassist Mike Keeling and Ted Alesio on drums), at times it almost seemed like this was the music Jenkins had been trying to make from the get-go, he just had to take the time to do it. Granted, a song or two sounded like amped up metal versions of old Drive-by Honky tunes, the majority of what Ideal Cleaners brings to the stage is thick, well-toned rock songs that aren't afraid to do just that- rock.

"Hi, we're Bright Calm Blue," was the only warning the crowd got afterwards. Immediately after that almost shy sounding introduction, all four members of Bright Calm Blue decimated the room by charging full force into "Swallow Feathers Whole." The edgy, complicated, smart hardcore came out in sheer perfection as the quartet roared through their all-too-brief setlist. The most interesting dynamic is where the attention in centered on. The dueling vocals of bassist Austin Skyles and drummer Javid Debastani put the spotlight on the rhythym section as sparring frontmen from behind their instruments. It took time, but in the absence of ex-frontman Ian Whitmore, Bright Calm Blue has evolved into something much different than what it started as. Such was apparent when the group played "A Tongue to Taste," a song from the Whitmore days, (and the original breakout hit on KRNU) verses and choruses traded back and forth by Skyles and Debastani. All at once a nostalgia trip and, at the same time, evidence that the remaining members were creating something much different now. - Christian Long



The Gunshy / The Show Is The Rainbow / Strawberry Burns - 10/5/03 - Duffy's Tavern

In the future, there will be computer databanks used for dictionairy purposes. And inevitably, someone will enter the word "Rock Star" into the database. And that person will receive an image of The Show is the Rainbow.

But I'm getting ahead of myself ...

The night started with me dutifully spinning tunes on 90.3 KRNU. I was waiting to hear back from Troubled Hubble, as I'd planned on having them on the radio that evening. That's when Robbie told me the news: Troubled Hubble had cancelled.

So, alerting the masses, I let everyone know that the nights when bands cancel usually end up being really fun. So was the case.

Pennsylvania-based songwriter The Gunshy, who had been touring with Troubled Hubble gave a very captivating, Waitsian set to kick off the show.

Then, The Show is the Rainbow decimated the room with his one-man sound army. Darren treated the audience to a new (as yet untitled) song, his reponse to a rap that Bright Eye's, Conor Oberst, sang about Darren in a hidden track on the Criteria album. According to Darren, you have to rewind to the negative minutes before the first song to find it. The song includes lyrics from Conor's song, twisted back against him. The best part was at no point was he on the stage. He was running around, on tables, on laps baiting and luring the audience in the strangest form of crowd participation I'd ever seen. (He kissed me twice, and grabbed my crotch once) It was truly a rock 'n' roll experience.

Of course, the question on everyone's mind was "how do you follow that?"

Strawberry Burns answered that question by playing one of their strongest sounding sets yet. Full of new material that is much more rocking than the sugary songs on their album, the multi-frontman dynamic was in full effect. Burns has an ability to play standard pop rock, but make it sound fresh and unique.

Truly a great last-minute event. - Christian Long/Tery Daly



The Thielgoods / Caesar The Greaser - 10/1/03 - Knickerbockers

Great show tonight. The Thielgoods opened the show, and they are much tighter than the last time I saw them. When Liz Hitt joined in on some vocals for the first time, the harmonies were great, and they added a lot to the songs. Jillian Thiel has a gift for writing really nice pop melodies. Their two guitars, no bass approach lends itself to the songs very well. When Liz plays alternate melodies that I wouldn't really define as "leads" or bass lines, just complements to the rhythm guitar, the band, at times, sounds like early Guided by Voices. (I was told Liz wouldn't like that comparison, but In my opinon, it's a good thing.) I know they're a new band and all, but if I were to make one suggestion to The Thielgoods it would be...MACH SHAU!

When Caesar The Greaser hit the stage, it was like a real punk rock show. Audience members were spitting on the band, and the band was spitting on audience members. To be more specific, Jim Reilly from The Bad Sects was spitting on Slippery John, and Slippery John was spitting on Jim Reilly. John seemed to be spurred on everytime it happend. Liz from The Thielgoods joined in the fun and started pelting John with ice cubes. CTG kicked through some great versions of Poderhead, Whatcha Gonna Do?, Get Yer Ya Ya's Out, and a bunch of other great songs. A good show that was kind of like a basement show in spirit in that the audience and band were having more fun together than you usually find in a club. - Tery Daly



Sideshow! - 9/21/03 - Duffy's Tavern

Sideshow was the first Lincoln band I ever saw play thus initiating me into what has become a life-long love of local music. It was wonderful to catch them live again and see them playing to a full house. They sounded better than ever. Phatass said to me "this is just proof that the best bands don't get the credit they deserve." which I may not agree with entirely but the sentiment related to Sideshow is certainly true. a great band we should all treasure. - Malcom Miles - Marianas

Once again, tits were rocked. - Courtney Nore - The Bad Sects

Very impressive. It was cool to see Pawl play from the other side of the stage. People always told me he was insane, a bull in a china cabinet, a bobble head with sticks, a Monkey with a plan. I knew that, but when you are playing with someone you usually don't stare at them. People were not lying, he is insane. Everything about the show was very on. Bernie, and Rich sounded awesome. Rich has always been an inspiration for me as a guitar player. And the two 4/12 cabinets on either side of the stage was a nice touch. - Pat Bradley - Tangelo / The Amalgamators

It was definitely a Sideshow show. Of course, the songs were a little looser than 'back in the day' when they were touring consistently. Watching Rich sway and turn and bend as he sensed the music and listening to his subtle chordings wasinspiring all over again. That Nebraska song was absolutely stunning. Beautiful. Did they just write that? It sounds like a new Sideshow song - one that they might not have wanted to write or play in their earlier days. Good performances by all. The only thing missing was Paul getting up and out from behind his drum kit to either a) push the cinder block stopping his kick drum back, or b) pace back and forth while shaking his head side to side. - Mark Wolberg - White White Boy




Lincoln, Nebraska Police Department
LPD form 2-2 (Officer Report)

Type: Incident
Weather conditions: Cool, Dry
Incident Number: 20030904R
Route to: Intelligence
Code Violations: NRRS 32-187; Bodily Rock, NRRS 32-666; violations of common decency
Location of Offense: So-called "Ralphie" House
Date: September 4, 2003
Reporting Officer: Morgan Matthews (Undercover Narcotics Officer)
Names:

  • the hornrimjobs
  • Rent Money Big
  • The Show Is The Rainbow
    Victims taken to:
    Refused Emergency Medical Services
    Description of injuries: track marks, suicide scars, concussions, blown speakers, puffy hair, shirtlessness.

    Officer’s comments:
    Let me start this report by saying that I’ve always wanted to try drugs. The middle-aged, upper-class women I’ve run across in this line of work SWEAR by them.

    I got the inside line on a house party last night at Duffy’s. You know, the rest of the department thinks this work is easy, but I’ve gotta say, going out every night and partying like a rock star REALLY takes it out of me. I’ve adapted my liver to metabolize Old Style at twice the normal rate. Word on the street was that this party was going to be weird...like criminally weird. The Show is the Rainbow? Rent Money Big? the hornrimjobs? I think there are two violations of the municipal decency covenant right there.

    When I arrived at the so-called "Ralphie House" around 2100 hours, my suspicions were confirmed as soon as I walked into the living room. A chicken foot was hanging from the ceiling in what I can only guess is some bizarre warning for the faint of heart. There was enough cheap beer stashed in the various cooling apparatuses to float a canoe. I had enough to bust the renter of the house right there, but previous experience has taught me to wait...bigger violations were surely in store. Maybe a drug ring. Maybe a bizarre Zoroastrian cult. Maybe a secret meeting of the Lincoln chapter of NORML.

    The opening act, the hornrimjobs, were sitting quietly on the couch, knitting and reading from journals. I couldn’t get close enough to do a pupil check, but they looked to be heavily under the influence. Rent Money Big was scrambling around, trying to find enough tape to secure the cords. One of them confided in me..."Tim tends to fuck up anything that’s not taped down."

    The one-man act known as The Show is the Rainbow made his entrance around 2130 hours, like some sort of hyperactive hip-hop Liberace. I covertly searched his bag while he wasn’t looking. I was sure he HAD to be on something, but no. He’s just high on life, as they say.

    After some fussing and fumbling with cables, the show was on. The hornrimjobs managed to stagger from the couch to the impromptu "stage" area. They launched into some...poetry??? Yes. Poetry. Over some experimental beats, with even more experimental accompaniment. It was self-indulgent to the point that many audience members began to laugh, but I think those girls really felt it. Word circulated among the audience that the setlist had changed substantially since their first couple of shows. In her drugged stupor, the one known as sylvia managed to heft an accordion. alice went off on some sort of valium-fueled rant about the victimology of ABBA. They both began to recite freely about Vespas, and then, they collapsed into a tranquilized sleep. The audience, somewhat confused but apparently quite enthusiastic about the hornrimjobs’ statement, cheered.

    The Rent Money Big boys began setting up the rest of their equipment and courteously dragged the hornrimjobs out of the way, leaving a trail of shiny, candy-like pills. Looked like pharmaceuticals, but I had to try a few to make sure. Ah yes. Definite violation.

    Tim of Rent Money Big was swaggering around like a sailor, confessing his drunkeness to anyone within earshot. Surely disaster loomed. I looked at the cables. They were held down by a few measly strips of masking tape. Good thing I’ve got EMS on the speed dial. The crowd crushed forward as shockwave of the first few chords worked its way back. Tim hunched over the microphone like an animal, snarling and screaming an incantation to the Gods of Rock, and then exploded into a persona best described as the manlovechild of Iggy Pop and Mick Jagger.

    Maybe it was the Valium working, but I kept thinking to myself, "Those kids have some fucking rock chops." They know it, too, and that’s a good thing. If you don’t believe in your band, how do you expect the audience to? I’ve seen other acts in the same "M.C.-Stooges" vein, and after a few songs, they lose my interest because they construe the style so narrowly. Rent Money Big isn’t afraid to color outside the lines a little bit. Oh fuck it. Screw the academic vocabulary. To make a long story short, asses were shaking throughout the ENTIRE R$B set. the hornrimjobs even woke up long enough to do some freestyle-dancing.

    Like the psycho-sympathetic slime in Ghostbusters II, the rock affected everything around it. Cords came unplugged during nearly every song. Tim nearly cracked his skull on the PA system. Drew and Will started a wrestling match while still playing. Nate was relatively safe behind the drum set, though he seemed a bit worried by Tim’s high-wire act atop the kick drum. With one song left to go, the rock became too much for the machines - Will’s bass amp blew a speaker. Unhampered by the loss of equipment, they finished the set. I would provide a tally of the laws broken, but I lost count. The crowd still seemed a little leery of me, so I began drinking Old Style to maintain my cover.

    The sauna-like atmosphere of the room was a bit much for the crowd, who spilled out into the back yard. There were at LEAST a dozen people out there with open containers. I was so ready to round them all up, but I knew something bigger was in store. And when I heard the electrofunk bleeding from the windows, I knew that something more significant and shocking had indeed arrived. The Show is the Rainbow had taken stage, with his hyperactive, literally in-your-face persona. He moved in triple-time, pacing back and forth across the room, stopping every once in a while to frighten/enthuse audience members, taunting them with "Hahahaha so you thought you were gonna see a real band tonight."

    And oddly enough, he ended up being a D.A.R.E. advocate - one of his numbers ended a very rousing chorus of "Drug Free Is the Way To Be." As the Valium and Old Style coursed through my bloodstream, I began to re-think my training. What’s really so wrong with drugs? Rocking out with a controlled substance is certainly no more self-destructive than, say, bungee jumping.

    So far, The Show is the Rainbow’s set had stayed pretty clean, but things took an ugly turn when he threatened audience members with bodily harm if they made any Har Mar Superstar jokes. He then launched into a diatribe about murder for hire and south-of-the-border abortions, closing his set with the same enthusiasm with which it had begun. Yes, I though to myself, the show really is the rainbow.

    Contrary to my initial suspicions, there were no cult meetings, no human sacrifice, no philandering, and only the most healthy of debauchery. I was also very close to passing out, so I decided to stagger home. Some of my colleagues were reading the riot act to the house’s residents. I wanted to intervene, but was hesitant to (a) blow my cover and (b) have to explain the drug content of my bloodstream.

    As much as I disdain Hunter S. Thompson’s "gonzo" method of understanding a situation, I was glad to be under the influence. This whole scene wouldn’t have made any sense sober. I’ve struggled for years to understand what it takes to be a star for years, and now, the answer was staring me in the face. All of these acts had something in common - they’re total attention sluts. I mean that in a good way. They live to entertain. All you have to do is entrust them with a few minutes of your time, and they won’t betray you. You’ll be moved, confused, scandalized, intrigued, and most importantly, rocked.

    Signed and certified,
    Special Officer Morgan Matthews





    The Hornrimjobs / The Show Is The Rainbow / Wide - 9/3/03 - Duffy's

    I don't even know where to start with this show. It was one of those rare shows that you could describe as an experience from start to finish. Alice and Sylvia, The Hornrimjobs, did their "Librariancore" spoken word emo performance art. Their set is generally funny, but the new "Vespa" piece is an absolute scream. Alice circulated throughout the room passing out copies of the Dewey Decimal System and packets of tissues with disclaimers reading: "facial tissue courtesy of eyejail records...We take no responsibility for any ensuing depression, insomnia or suicidal thoughts...do not drive when blinded by tears".

    Up next was The Show Is The Rainbow, emphasis on the word "show". Darren Keen danced, flipped, jumped, and slid around the room on his back, while laying down his white-boy rap. Darren describes himself as a "One-man Dance & Roll Explosion". I'll leave it at that, because a set by The Show Is The Rainbow should not be described by words, it has to be experienced. Those who haven't seen The Show Is The Rainbow are doing themselves a great injustice. Darren leaves for the east coast portion of his tour in a few days, so it'll be a while before you can catch his show again, but when he does come back, run, don't walk to his next show. The Show Is The Rainbow will be one of our Featured Bands in our next issue.

    Wide doesn't get out much these days, and that's unfortunate, however for those of us who were there to see them tonight, it was a real treat. Jason Anderson & Heath Cole ran through some of their best songs, including "The Breakfast Song" and "Kuralture", which are in rotation on SCS Radio. (as are songs by the other two artists who played this show). - Tery Daly


    My Raging Mind / Caesar The Greaser - 9/2/03 - Knickerbockers

    I should start this review out by stating for the record that I generally don't like bands that sound like My Raging Mind. Maybe I'm just a cranky old man, but I'm fairly certain that everytime a Blink 182 song is played on the radio, or someone refers to Good Charlotte as a punk band, Joey Ramone spins in his grave like a rotisserie chicken on overdrive. This particular vein of music has been mined until the shaft ran dry, and that happend back in the early 90's when Green Day struck what was probably the last lode left to be found.

    With that being said, upon first listen, I might have been inclined to write off My Raging Mind as warmed-over, 10th generation mall punk, but after watching their whole set, I discovered there's a bit more to this band than that.

    There are several things that set them apart from the crowd. One is their lead singer, Lisa Lambelet. Most of the angsty skate-punk bands are fronted by guys, so, musically, the female lead vocal, in and of itself, gives them a unique sound, but it also presents a different perspective lyrically. Unlike a lot of the other bands in their genre, all of their lyrics aren't about farting, scoring, boners, and all the other superficial, sophmoric drivel that is endlessly recycled in this genre. That's a BIG plus for this band. Bassist, Kevin Colabello, took a few turns at the lead vocal, which lent some nice pacing and variety to their sound. The set consisted of mostly originals and a few covers, notably, their reworking of Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl.

    The bottom line is, MRM's melodies are just plain catchy, and their arrangements have a bit more depth to them than most of the other bands playing any of the various permutations of Orange County inspired skate punk, and I didn't find myself quickly tiring of their sound because there was enough variety to their songs and arrangements.

    Caesar The Greaser was up next, and tore the place up. Their regular drummer, Calvin VD, couldn't be there (he was in prison due to bizarre circumstances involving a nun, a blender, a midget, and a jar of marshmallow fluffanutter, but that's a story for another time) so sitting in on drums for this show was Pederast Elvis, as played by Rent Money Big drummer, Nate Bicak. CTG's set was not as tight as usual tonight, but I think it rocked a bit more than previous sets I've seen. Fortunately, both sloppy and rocking work exceptionally well with their brand of music.

    Caesar's set bordered on slop epiphany tonight, as if The Cramps & The Blasters had gone out drinking with The Rolling Stones & The Replacements. I actually can't wait to see CTG when they're all old enough to drink.

    Their setlist included both "Poderhead", and "Boogety Woogety Blues", so I was a very happy man. Crowd pleasers Whatcha Gonna Do? and Thumbs Up turned into sing-alongs, and I think those songs will just get better and better when there's 50, or 100, or more people singing along with them, instead of just 15 or 20.

    There are many bands I like that I didn't discover until later in their carreers, and wish I could have caught one of their live shows when they were first starting out. Casear The Greaser is definitely one of those bands, and I consider myself fortunate to be catching them at the start. You have the same opportunity also, and should not make the mistake of missing out on a band that is already really good, but is clearly only going to get better. - Tery Daly



    The Lepers / Suzy Dreamer & Her Nightmares / Flaming Fire - 8/29/03 - Duggans Pub
    As reprinted from the 8/2/03 Daily Nebraskan

    Flaming Fire channels ferocity, ancient power There was definitely electricity in the air. The sheer tension at Duggan's Pub on Friday night was undeniable. The show started calmly and quietly, with the six members of Flaming Fire walking about, dressed in red, passing out white sheets of paper containing passages from the King James Version of the Bible. Attendees were told to interpret the passage by drawing it. Eventually, they'll be compiled as an online publication to be titled "The Flaming Fire Illustrated Bible." "There are 36,665 passages in the King James Bible," said Lauren Weinstein earlier that day during the band's 90-minute KRNU interview. The whole group was present, save singer Kate Hambrecht, who opted to go and view the gravesite of mass murderer Charles Starkweather. "So far we've got about 1,100 illustrated," Weinstein said. Friday's event pushed the total up 45 or so.

    While the illustrating commenced, Patrick Hambrecht, the mastermind behind the group, introduced local acts The Lepers and Suzy Dreamer & Her Nightmares. Then, shortly before 11:30, all of the members exited Duggan's and proceeded to gather out front, save for Hambrecht. He donned a Greek theater mask, stood at center stage and repeatedly chimed a gong in sync with a preprogrammed drumbeat. Slowly, the other five members entered solemnly, all wearing masks and flowing red togas. Their ceremonial entrance and placement on stage caused the entire crowd to flock toward the stage, many in what seemed to be a mix of wide-eyed wonder and restrained curiosity. It would be a safe bet that what would commence would be unlike anything anyone was expecting.

    The show began with ferocity, the seven-foot gap between the crowd and the stage felt necessary, much like the distance one would keep from an actual fire. The trio of husband and wife Patrick and Kate Hambrecht and Lauren Weinstein stood in front, trading rhythmic vocal harmonies and lead cowlings, each commanding the group with their hypnotic stage presence. Patrick Hambrecht engaged in such an overwhelming frenzy of movement coupled with his guttural, primal growling that you couldn't help but wonder what long-forgotten ancient deities he was channeling through his rock star persona. At times, he would drop to his knees in such furious, cacophonic rage, he would seem to be speaking in tongues. Even the group's calmer numbers, often backed by trance-like electronic rhythms, remained all at once engaging, exciting and subduing.

    As Flaming Fire performed, the crowd stood fully engaged and unaware of anything else around them, except for the six figures performing before them. That was what made Flaming Fire so unforgettable. It was a deeply primal, cathartic, uplifting, frightening and wholly religious experience. - Christian Long


    Suzy Dreamer & Her Nightmares / Floating Opera - 8/27/03 - Duffy's Tavern

    Suzy Dreamer has come a long way since the acoustic moniker of Dreamsongs. On August 27th, Suzy Dreamer & Her Nightmares (Kristen Bailey, Tery Daly, Eric Aspengren and Sean Moon, respectively) took the stage with a confidence and authority not present since before the inception of their prior incarnation, The Honey Hush. The Nightmares effortlessly switch from psychedelic pop, Buck Owens-esque country ditties to straight forward rock n roll. The harmonizing duo of Bailey and Daly was seamless, perfectly accompanying Daly's lush, precise and often astounding 12-string guitar work. The Nightmares have fully come into their own, playing with such dynamic ease, it will inevitably beg the question "The Honey Who?"

    Anyone who gets the opportunity to see Floating Opera on the rare occasion of a public performance is fortunate. Anyone who considers themselves a fan of Floating Opera who failed to make August 27th's performance will be considered far beyond unfortunate. The rotating lineup, last night consisting of song writer/arranger Richard Rebarber on keyboards, guitarists Jon Taylor and Stoctt Stansfield, bassist David Boye, celloist Alyssa Storey, and the dual vocals of Chris Wilson and Lori Allison, both doing double duty on violin and drums, respectively together pulled off sweet, soothing, and outright beautiful performances throughout the entire set. Regularly I felt chills running up the back of my spine from the utterly gorgeous arrangements. For a band that rarely, if ever, are in the same room together, played as if they had been playing together since birth, if not before. Allison's signature voice was in its top form, as was her abilily to do so while drumming. In the end, their finesse-filled orchestral pop arrangments were a fantastic indication of what happens when grouping some of Lincoln's finest musicians all on one stage. Overhearing a naysayer's comment of "This isn't rock," all I could do was think, "No, this is so, so much more." See photos of this show in the SCS Photo Album - Christian Long

    Floating Opera 8/27 Setlist:
    Crushed Velvet
    Palookaville Moan
    Doorways
    Believer
    Shakespeare Machine
    Shapes I Brought Back With Me
    Merseyside
    Resignation Day
    I Can't Reach You
    Ocean
    Magician's Daughter
    Agnes in Furs
    Arbus





    Minutia Stew / The Epoxies - 8/20/03 - Duffy's Tavern

    I'm not sure if it's because students are back in town, or that The Epoxies drew a lot of people, probably a bit of both, but last night Duffy's was packed for a Wednesday night, and that was really nice. Minutia Stew was playing their set sans their keyboard player, but it didn't have that big an impact on their sound. Even though there's very little crossover between what MStew and The Epoxies do, Minutia Stew's Glam-influenced sound went over very well with this crowd, and someone in the crowd even yelled out for them to play some Sweet, so some of them knew their stuff! It's nice to see a big crowd out, but even nicer to see a big crowd really getting into the show.

    The Epoxies exploded on the stage as they always do. They brought their high energy new wave/punk back to Duffy's and the crowd, which mostly moved down front for the show was way into it. The Epoxies use the sounds & styling of the 80's, but they have more catchy tunes than seemingly everything that came out in the 80's combined. Their songs are all really short, making them the perfect band for the ADD generation. The band commented several times about how much they love playing in Lincoln and that it gets better every time they play here. They also commented that Minutia Stew is their new favorite band.

    I've seen lead vocalist Roxy Epoxy compared with Debbie Harry or Dale Bozio, but I find her more along the lines of Holly Vincent (from Holly & The Italians) or more accurately, the voice of Holly Vincent coming out of the body of Tomata Du Plenty of The Screamers, because she rarely stands still for more than a few seconds at a time. Hopefully we'll see The Epoxies back in Lincoln a bit more regularly, and if you haven't seen them yet, you're missing out on the fun! - Tery Daly




    Creagrutus / Face For Radio / Eyes Of Verotika / A Razor In My Left Hand, A Rose In My Right - 8/6/03 - P.O. Pears

    P.O. Pears is trying something new on Wednesday nights. Local acts are getting a shot at yet another Lincoln Venue. This place has a great atmosphere and a small stage so part of the band can be right next to the crowd if they want. Even underage kids can check out the action and there is tons of stuff all around the room to look at, and talk about, before the show starts. The only thing wrong with this place is the sound system. The drum sound flys over everyones heads (including the gutiar players), but that didn't stop any of the bands from rocking however.

    First up was A Razor In My Left Hand, A Rose In My Right (the boys from Agusta Wind). When I saw these guys a few months ago they were borrowing a bass player and I could tell it was hurting them a bit. Last night they were able to get their full flow on. The guitar riffs were pretty intence and the bass was actually working with how the songs were structured. These guys know what they want to do and they do it pretty well. None of the audience could hear the vocals at all during the evening because of how weak the P.A. is compared to the guitars (The guitar player for this band does the booking and will get to do more booking if P.O. Pears decides to keep their Wednesday night's local).

    Next up was Face For Radio, I always love watching these guys. They use the hardcore sound to their advantage, but my favorite part about this band is when the riffs go a bit outside the typical hardcore element. Last night was tough to keep it together because the it was really hard to hear what the drums where doing so it seemed tough for the gutar players to talk to each other. I heard a couple people behind me saying that the drumming was pretty typical but I've always thought it fit for what they were trying to do. I suppose the drummer could push the band forward if he pushed himself but that's up to him because there where a lot of people who enjoyed what was going on. I still always love watching these guys, especally Joe, the lead vocalist, rock out.

    Eyes Of Verotika was your typical hardcore band; heavy part here, slow part here, heavy part here, slow part here, top it off with intense ending, with, of course, dual vocalsist screaming one note over all of it. The bass player was pretty fun to watch, he about hit me 3 or 4 times swinging his bass around, so that was pretty cool. But the best part about this band was the drummer. He knew how to add intensity and it seemed his drumming was right on and pushing the rest of the band along. He told us after the show that he's actually a guitar player at heart, but I thought he had tha phat beats!

    Finnally, the actual hardcore event of the night, Creagrutus. I must first start off saying that the bass player probably has the best bass tone that I've heard in a long while. This mouthful of metal was an awesome night ender. Not only because the mosh pit, or the beer that was spilt in my hair, but because it seemed the other bands were trying to out- hardcore breakdown each other. Creagrutus was just brutal the whole damn time. The guitar player and the bass player traided off vocals. Some high, and a lot of low screaming made a cool mix of vocals (only if I could have heard them better). I would compare them to the likes of Slayer and Pantera, but they probably have their own way of describing their sound. In fact you should just go check them out yourself. Watching the drummer made me want to go out and break stuff. Yeah, these guys are awesome.

    Well after I washed the beer out of my hair and laid my little head down to sleep, I thought of what a fun night I had at P.O. Pears. My advise to anyone who reads this, and wants play shows or go to shows at P.O. Pears, is to go to P.O. Pears- give them money for food or music and say, "Hey, if you guys get a good P.A. system in here this would be one of the coolest venues in town." - Tim Scahill




    SCENEFEST 1 - 8/1, 8/2, 8/3/03 - Duffy's Tavern
    I found this review on somebody's blog, I don't know the persons name, so it's credited to how they sign their blog entries.

    I said something cool to GD about Scenefest, I thought it needed to be saved:

    it was like... the best night of music ever. it seriously rivals the big national shows i've been to, cuz it was such a wide variety of music and the bands for the most part, played so hard. c-bob 1:39 AM

    Scenefest Day 1, Lincoln NE (Scenefest is a three day event, with 18 bands, to make people more aware of local music in Lincoln)

    First up was punk band Mr. Miyagi. They've been together 6 months, and well, it kinda shows. They have some good songs, but there were some issues of everyone playing together tightly. With more playing that will probably come to them.

    Next up, Strawberry Burns. I guess these guys would be considering alternative or college rock. They have a big following, and are pretty good. They even look like they should be rockstars with their oily hair and skinny waif-like bodies. Okay, one of the guys does anyway. A band I will definitely go see again.

    Third was Rent Money Big, probably my favorite band of the night. They reminded me a tiny bit of Queens of the Stone Age, but I'm sure that's not an accurate comparision. They were intense and the singer danced like crazy. Plus, the bassist wore a Morbid Angel t-shirt! Definitely not a bad thing.

    The Republican'ts, who don't have a website (????) played as well. They are a three piece band, with an amazing drummer. The guy wailed. Their music is probably something like.. pop punk (you know, like The Ataris type stuff). Catching fun music, with good musicians playing it. A cool band to listen to.

    The Skinny played their last show tonight because bassist Randy Scott ("Rock star") is moving to D.C. They played a cover of Radiohead's "Creep" which was pretty good. The Skinny played music that was well-written alternative pop songs. They will have a new cd coming out in the near future...too bad they broke up.

    Last of the night was the intense, grind metal sounds of Wasteoid. These guys have toured some (they will be in Winnipeg next week) and have some records out. They do incredible explosive 20 and 30 second songs (yes, seconds) and the kids mosh like mad. It's incredible. In the car on the way home everything was said in a deep metal voice. The person on the radio said, "coming up is Offspring" so I had to repeat that in the metal voice. It was fun. Wasteoid's drummer Ross is probably among the best drummers in this area. Lightning fast speed and doesn't lose time.

    Night Two, on Saturday (highlights):

    Things got started late so DJ Robot: Modern played an abbreviated set. DJRM is a one-man show. Well, one man and a computer. DJRM-the man plays guitar or keyboard with pre-programmed music from his computer. It's kinda like, electronica meets surf rock. Really amazing stuff. Plus DJRM has amazing hair. And makes great cafe mochas too (he works at a coffee house here)!

    I know I really liked Her Flyaway Manner, but I can't remember what they looked like (and thus can't remember their sounds). I know they were rock and the music was good.

    Ideal Cleaners were really great. Awesome alterna-hardish?-rock stuff.

    Night 3 of Scenefest (Sunday):

    Sunday was my second favorite night of music (Friday being #1). Opening the show as Floating Opera. They have been around for years now, with rotating personel. They have a cellist, keyboards, acoustic and electric guitar, bass, and a violinist who also does lead vocals. Easy on the ears, the older crowds would like this. Amazing musicians.

    The Return. A 3 man band which plays great lyrical pop (I'm not sure what that genre is, but basically, poppy and listenable rock). These guys were great live.

    Minutia Stew. One of my favorite bands of the whole weekend. The singer got onstage in an incredible pink dress. He had an amazing voice, reminded me of 70's glam rock. The feel of this band is very retro, and their stage presence is great.

    Suzy Dreamer and her Nightmares. Suzy sings her dreams. Scary, creepy, vivid lyrics to beautiful folky rock music. Awesome stuff.

    Caesar the Greaser. rockabilly I think? A group of young guys who play some great tunes.

    Crush the Clown. Bubble machines. Need I say more? Okay, I will anyway... I saw these guys a year ago and wasn't too into them, but a year later, I really liked them. College/Alternative rock-type stuff... with bubble machines!!

    The weekend was among the best in my life. I heard so many great bands, and I will be making the effort to see most of them again in the future. - c-bob




    White White Boy / The Bad Sects - 7/31/03 - Knickerbockers

    Although bands like The Immortal Lee County Killers, Doo Rag, and after that band broke up, Bob Log III, have been carrying the torch of lo-fi white boy blues high for years, it's only since the sudden breakthrough of The White Stripes that the blues have become popular again among the rock and indie crowds. Mind you The White Stripes have been doing their thing for awhile too, it's only their popularity that's recent. Last night, Mark Wohlberg, formerly of The Black Dahilas, now playing under the name White White Boy, played an awesome set of lo-fi blues.

    Mark was using a vintage microphone through an old 1940's looking turntable amplifier, and running that to two vintage guitar amplifiers. The vocals were tinny and high, as lo-fi vocals should be. He was playing what looked like an early 60's Harmony electric guitar, which suited the songs perfectly. Playing both standard and open tunings and using a slide on some songs, Mark ran through a set of really good sounding blues songs with wailing vocals. He accompanied himself on one song by stomping his feet along to the song on what appeared to be an amplified platform.

    Few people are brave enough to get up and do a set like this, and I hope to see Mark doing it a bit more often.

    When Mark was done, The Bad Sects played their set, but it was a bit off at the beginning. A few times, they weren't all together, or lost their rhythm, but by the 3rd or 4th song, they started to kick in, and the rest of the set was really strong. Despite the rough start, the entire show was still fun. This was drummer, Courtney Nore's birthday show, so the emphasis was more on the fun part than the flawless performance part. There will be some photos from this show posted in the photo album in a few days. - Tery Daly




    Rent Money Big - 7/23/03 - Duffy’s Tavern

    Rent Money Big brought their high energy sound to Duffy’s for the first time last night, and it turned out that the room might not have been big enough to contain their explosive sound, because they about blew the roof off!

    Wriggling and flailing, singer Tim Scahill belts out every song with vehemence and passion. He seemed to find the stage a bit constraining because he chose to spend a good part of the set down on the floor in front of the stage, or standing on chairs & tables around the room. Clearly losing himself in the songs, and giving himself completely over to the performance, Scahill, and the rest of the band, always deliver an intense musical performance. Last night's set built from start to finish when it climaxed with a blistering version of "A Deep Space Voyage With Tony Bennett".

    There was a fairly good sized audience there, but they were mostly there to see Grasshopper Takeover, and only a handful of them seemed to really understand and enjoy what R$B were doing, but one and two at a time is the way to build a fan base.

    R$B will be appearing again this Friday 7/25 at Knickerbockers with Face For Radio and Rye Coalition. - Tery Daly




    The Amazing Disappearing / Jass Halos/ Black Forest Black Sea - 7/20/03 - Crescent Moon Coffee House (outside in the courtyard)

    Jass Halos started the gig with a 15 minute pure improv piece. (Full Disclosure: I am the cornet/ car muffler player for Jass Halos) Jass Halos had played a show as a duo a few nights earlier at The Coffeehouse (Thad Aerts on acoustic guitar and myself on the above plus random other sound making devices). The music seemed infinitely more complex this night with the bicycle added to the equation. For some reason, having the clicks and clacks and hums that Erik Putens summons from the bike gives me inspiration or at least a greater variety of sounds to play off of. The squeal of the trumpet pulled people in off the street and sight of the car muffler and the bike kept them watching.

    The Amazing Disappearing were next. Eric and Annie Aspengren form this guitar/cello duo. Their first song was a mini - Godspeed You Black Emperor type trance turning the P Street courtyard into a sonic temple for devotees of noise. They followed this with Annie playing a classical piece on cello while Eric calmly worked some quite guitar drone into the soundscape.

    Black Forest / Black Sea started their cello/guitar/electronics blessings as the looming clouds began to darken. We had talked to them earlier about how we were in a tornado watch and I think that made them a bit worried. Then while they were playing thewind began to pick up, rustling the leaves in the trees and splashing the water around in the courtyard fountain which played nicely into their music. They looked up at the sky nervously a couple times and finally when the sprinkles started coming down we all grabbed gear and moved quickly inside.

    The whole show lasted less than an hour and the groups played mainly for each other and some random passers-by who walked through the courtyard but it felt to me like one of those pure musical moments that we are all constantly chasing. - Malcom Miles




    The Republican’ts - 07/16/03 - Duffy’s Tavern

    I don’t know if it was because this is The Republican’ts second to last show before singer/guitarist Brent Igo moves to South Carolina, but last night we were treated to a trip down memory lane, as the majority of the songs played last night were written in the late 80’s or early 90’s. As Brent introduced each song, he told when it was from, and in some cases, a little something about it. The tight power pop trio ripped through about a 15 or so of their Replacements meets Redd Kross meets The Ramones style songs, which contain all four of the ingredients for great songs; short, fast, heavy, and poppy. In addition to those songs on the set list, such as "Land Of The Living", "Nothing", and "Mom, Where’s My Medicine?", Igo, or bassist Paul Johnson would toss out suggestions for other songs, not on the set list, and as soon as they determined that the 3 of them remembered the song, they'd launch into it. The combination of Brent’s buzz saw guitar, Paul’s melodic bass lines, (especially on the song "By Design") and Randy Krauss trying to pound the songs back to the Stone Age, made for a fantastic show. Their Scenefest appearance on Friday 8/1 will be their last show for a while, don't miss it! - Tery Daly




    The Bad Sects / The Sharp Ease / Caustic Resin - 07/13/03 - Duffy’s Tavern

    The Bad Sects played a really good set tonight for a very receptive crowd, but it seemed way too short. They opened up with Pallbearer, and ran through some old songs including Build My Gallows High, Find The Heart, and a few new ones. They had some technical difficulties during the set with the drums, so one song went for it’s final moments without drums, but the drummer from The Sharp Ease was kind enough to offer Courtney her bass drum pedal, so the set got back underway quickly. Noticeably absent from the set (at least for me) were songs like S.O.S, Lullaby, and Goodnight, Fuckface. The set was ended with a new song, a funny, very anthemic song "Sucking Sound". The Bad Sects are our feature band this month, read an interview with them and download some mp3’s.

    Next up was The Sharp Ease from L.A. I liked their music; they played short, fast poppy/punky songs. They didn’t really bring anything to mind musically, but visibly they were like early 80’s Go Go’s era Belinda Carlisle dropped from the sky onto a stage with Bikini Kill or L7 or something. The singer didn’t have a particularly powerful voice, so it was pretty hard to hear the vocals, so lyrics were lost, but their music was good.

    I couldn’t hang around to see Caustic Resin, but The Bad Sects’ drummer, Courtney Nore, says they "rocked her tits". That’s good enough for me! - Tery Daly




    Crush The Clown / Helicopter Helicopter - 07/12/03 - Knickerbockers

    Crush The Clown did a more subdued set Saturday night, or to be more accurate, I should say they played a group of their more subdued songs. They still rocked, but the songs weren’t among their more rocking songs, for example they did stuff like Vortex, and Simulation Stimulation to name a few that were on the more laid back side for what CTC does. They did introduce a brand new song, called "Barabus", which was great. Their playing was a bit more detailed during this set, During the song "Neverbuzz" (I think), Jarek was playing a lot of triplets on the bass he doesn’t usually do in that song, and Nick’s guitar solo on Vortex was slightly different, and more melodic, a nice addition to an already very pretty song. Another really strong set from Crush The Clown. I’m trying to get an interview with these guys for next issue, but getting the 3 of their schedules to coincide is like pulling teeth. I’ll get ‘em eventually.

    Boston’s Helicopter Helicopter (or H2 as the are known) are an awesome power pop/rock band, and although I’ve seen them twice before, they never grabbed me as much as they did at this show. Tonight they came off more like northern sounding Superchunk, and that’s a GOOD thing. They're really nice folks too!

    The 3rd band on the bill tonight, The Feds, did nothing for me. I watched ‘em for a while, but they definitely weren’t my cup o’ tea. - Tery Daly




    North of Grand / The Skinny - 07/06/03 - Duffy’s Tavern

    Despite the small turn out for Sunday night’s show, both bands put on excellent performances. North of Grand, a power-pop trio from Des Moines, IA, played first, and kicked out a really tight set of melodic, Weezer-ish pop with a definite punk edge to it. I hope these guys visit Lincoln regularly.

    The Skinny was up next, and played like there was no tomorrow, because, in a way, there isn’t. It’s been known for a while that this was The Skinny’s last full-length show with Randy Scott on bass. They’ll do one more appearance at the Scenefest show on Friday, Aug 1st, but that’ll be a shorter set. The band definitely looked like they were having a good time on stage, especially singer/guitarist, Dan Kaspari, who, during guitar solos, would just close his eyes and smile, clearly getting off on playing. Broken guitar strings and broken drumheads further attest to the level of enthusiasm the band was playing with. The set included a lot of great songs from their last album, including Cobwebs, Here We Go, Common Ties, and Perfect World, as well as several unreleased songs. After the band completed their set, the audience was treated to a brief solo set by Dan, which included a cover of The Who’s Pinball Wizard.

    Simply stated, those who exercised their constitutional right to stay home last night, made a serious error in judgment! - Tery Daly




    Tangelo / Pornado - 6/25/03- Duffy’s Tavern

    Let’s Draw Monsters: Tangelo

    I’ve seen lots of Tangelo shows, and I’ve never, ever seen a bad one. Pat, Eric, and Pawl have been playing in bands for a while, and likely spent numerous Saturdays of their collective youth playing along with their record collections. Year of Saturdays, which came out last year, is in heavy rotation in my collection; it’s one of those albums that you can listen to multiple times in a row. Between their record and their live shows, it’s surprising that Lincoln’s entertainment writers haven’t given them the literary dry humping (a 2-page spread in Ground Zero...hint, hint) they deserve.

    One thing became very clear at their show this last Wednesday - there are two very distinct sides to Tangelo. One side writes the mellow acoustic numbers with spacy, hypnotic vocals, like Judy and Saturnalia -- the soundtrack for happy summer Saturdays. These songs are the happy, fuzzy, brightly-colored monsters that hand out candy to children at public events. Everybody loves them; they get starring roles on Sesame Street, and in hard times, they make a great gimmick at car dealerships. They’d feel quite at home in a coffee house or a park, greeting the daylight with big, shiny eyes. One salient detail from the show; Tangelo did not play their "radio hit" sugarloaf, which would be in with the weirder end of the happy fuzzy monsters. It’s one helluva pop song, infecting nearly everybody who hears it-but the good news is, the show was just fine without it.

    As witnessed Wednesday night, there is a darker side to the band, some monsters that weren’t quite ready for life in the public eye yet. Maybe they were created by an intern who listened to lots of Black Sabbath and smoked a little dope in the workshop. They’re not exactly menacing, with dark fur in strange patterns and teeth and claws a little longer than they actually had to be. Some of them, the ones with pompadours, were created during the intern’s brief flirtation with Surf & Rockabilly. These monsters love a crowd just like the other ones, but people seem to be scared by them. The monsters became a little darker, a little misanthropic, a little heavier of thought. They began reading Neitzche, experimenting with percussion and playing guitars really loud. I’d love to name the songs that illustrate this side of the band, but most of them are new, and Tangelo doesn’t often bother with stage banter. That’s fine; the more songs people get to hear, the better. They work very well together as a team; Pawl keeps things from being too easily classified with his off the wall percussion, Pat throws everything he’s got into the vocals and guitar parts, and Eric Sebby’s bass line flirt with funk and jazz.

    Eric is the only one in the band who looks like he’s at peace with his instrument, Pat looks like he’s trying to exorcise demons from his guitar, and Paul appears to be forever disciplining a drum set that won’t behave itself. Sometimes weird things happen at shows where a crowd will have a weird vibe, and the band will feed off that, then the crowd further feeds off the band, and it either results in Altamont, or a totally transcendent set for the band. Tonight's was the latter. I can’t say if that’s how it felt for the band on stage, but that’s how it seemed out front. They played everything tonight as if their lives depended on it, and even if they weren’t trying to save their own souls, they certainly were trying to save yours. Pawl had a rack tom added to his drum set, so his usually frenetic drumming was even more over the top than usual, in fact, frenetic would be a fitting description of the entire set. Tonight’s version of Oh-Hi-Oh, a song based around a megaphone that plays the Ohio U. fight song was way more intense than usual, and they closed out their set with an awesome surf guitar instrumental, appropriately titled "Surf Song", (at least temporarily), that went directly into Waitin’ N School, a cover of a Ricky Nelson song done faster and harder than Ricky at his coked up best could have ever imagined it. Listeners are never quite sure what to expect with Tangelo, but they will always leave happy. Three cheers for a solid band! May they play again soon. - Tery Daly / Katie Harr

    Titanics of the Dreamboat Circuit: Pornado
    It is 4000 years in the post-apocalyptic future. The earth is a nuclear wasteland, devoid of all life except the giant crickets, which feed on the glowing bodies strewn about. An alien craft is drawn toward the planet; their screening programs indicate that it is a possible power source. The ships three passengers are disappointed to find a planet full of radioactive organic material, and no useful life forms to enslave. Dejected, they levitate back toward the ship, when suddenly, one of their field sensors goes off. The energy graph shows a white-hot concentration below the soil a few feet away. Excavation reveals a bomb shelter. Using their mind-rays, the aliens pry open the door and squeal with delight. Inside the bunker are two skeletons, and judging by their positions, they were up to something kinky when the end came. The aliens search the room and find several Depeche Mode records, some bondage porn from the UK, a guitar, and a bassoon. After attempting to get the guitar and the bassoon to couple with little success, they use their omni-player on board the craft to sample the records and BetaMax tapes. They are astounded at the great culture that has been laid to waste. Their search for a power source now seems futile. The aliens decide to stay on Earth, and to try to recreate the glory that once was. They named it Pornado, and used their time machine to take it into the pre-apocalyptic past to spread the love. Last night, they visited Duffy’s.

    I have made the mistake of not staying for the entirety of a Pornado show before. I will never make that mistake again. How could a band that features sequencers and a bassoon possibly disappoint? When they took the stage, I noticed that they had taken care of things down to the last little detail - Trout had smeared lipstick on his face in a perfect imitation of Sewing With Nancy’s grimace. They were ready to sprinkle their sequenced aphrodisiacs over all present. Wise audience members donned rain slickers. Those willing to experience the Pornado in their full glory remained uncovered, perhaps remembering Trout’s pleas to make sweet love right there. Mr. Earmeat’s guitar and Ms. Fish’s bassoon parts worked to layer eerie melodies around the pulsing sequencers and keyboards. Not a heckle went unanswered, nor a lyrical orifice unpenetrated. The Pornadic beings have some hooks in them, too. It’ll be fun explaining why I keep singing "Leave me alone/I’m a family man/My bark is much worse than my bite" to my boss today. If you were just reading the lyrics, you might find them a bit offensive, but the delivery dispatches with all notions of crudeness immediately. I couldn’t help but think of a mad British sexologist, welcoming research subjects into his sick but friendly world. Let us hope that these creatures decide to stay in this region on the space-time continuum and continue to woo us with their noises. - Katie Harr


    Face For Radio / Augusta Wind - 6/20/03 - House Party

    Face For Radio was great. I really enjoyed myself. The two guitar players could speak to each other with their parts, and oh my god where those parts moving... I'm not one for genres, but go hardcore! I've always heard of hardcore being dead, and that it's over rated, but with bands like Botch (before they broke up), and Face For Radio, there is still interesting stuff out there to make opinions about.

    But to take a step back from calling these guys hardcore; the riffs where a pure delight... I could tell the lead screamer just went where the riffs took him and I'm a huge fan of whenever that happens. They had a really fun energetic set to watch. The drummer really seemed to bring it too, they were a really tight (not that kind of tight) band that should be fun to check out again. I highly recommend Face For Radio.

    While cops where driving by flashing their flashlights towards the house Augusta Wind played. Their bass player was in Canada so they had to borrow a friend. I could tell he wasn't grooving as much as he would have liked to. By the last song I could tell the guitar player had his groove going. The lead singer didn't do much moving around as far as notes but he had a great hardcore scream. He hit me in the face by accident too (it's always more fun when someone gets hurt and doesn't care, seriously). Once these guys find their niche they'll be right as rain. I always love rocking out at Wendz house... even though the bands are always on rock and roll time (at least an hour or so behind schedule) it's all worth it in the end. - Tim Scahill




    Ideal Cleaners/Suzy Dreamer & Her Nightmares/Rent Money Big - 6/18/03 - Knickerbockers

    I Am Joe’s Rocked Ass.

    The culture of Lincoln music is in rare form these days; lots of folks are playing, and lots of them are rocking out, hard. The show at Knickerbocker’s Wednesday night was a shining demonstration of the creative explosion. First up, Ideal Cleaners. I like this band lots - they’ve got the same thoughtful, well-turned lyrics we’re used to from the members’ previous projects, and they’re not afraid of letting the Black Sabbath in them show. The songs are a little "angular" without being too studious about it, and when it’s time to lean into it and rock, the aforementioned lyrics keep things special. This night in particular, Mike Keeling was like a beast unleashed with sledgehammer bass lines falling measure after measure. As with the last show of theirs I saw, drummer Ted Alesio took a deadly serious approach to the rhythmic end of things, reinforcing the metal aspect of the songs. And I swear I saw Dan Jenkins turn around before they started playing and turn it up to eleven.

    Suzy Dreamer and Her Nightmares followed up with their unique brand of creepiness. The core of the music is still Kristen Bailey’s Dreamsongs, in all of their dada-ist horror movie splendor. Bailey’s lyrics steered the audience through her songscape, littered with dead celebrities, swimming pools full of blood, and little girls with faces on their bellies. If the audience wasn’t uneasy yet, the matching time signatures gave things a chant-like feel. Think it sounds good? I haven’t even gotten to the band yet! Tery Daly, Eric Aspengren, and Sean Moon provided the instrumental backdrop for Kristen’s vocal freakshow. Tery and Eric seem to work particularly well together, creating a pop-psych sensibility that matches the whimsical weirdness with which Bailey presents her dreams. Lori Allison’s unearthly (in a good way) harmonies are the icing on the cake - she manages to keep them fairly traditional with the occasional foray into Exene-like dissonance. Long story short, if you go see these guys, you’ll want to leave the nightlight on.

    The biggest surprise of the night, for me anyway, was Rent Money Big. How did I miss seeing this band for so long? They wear their influences (Stooges, Rolling Stones, et cetera, et cetera) on their sleeve, and in holding absolutely nothing back, do them justice. They’re the kind of band you want to see next month, and also next year, to find out where they’re going to take things. When they set up on stage, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they’ve got a dedicated vocalist, and Tim Scahill earns his keep as a mini-McJagger doing almost dance-punk vocals. Drew Rudebusch laid out the guitar licks as relentlessly as a lad in his early twenties should. The rhythm-mongers, drummer Nate Bicak and bassist Will Holmes were the steam engine on this freight train of rock, pounding away like the little engine that could. There was so much energy flying around on stage when Rent Money Big played, the City of Lincoln should post warning signs about the potential for spontaneous nuclear fission.
    See photos of this show in the SCS Photo Album - Katie Harr


    Marianas - 6/15/03 - Duffy's Tavern
    Lincoln's Marianas are Aaron Coleman (keyboards, laptop, vocals and sometimes accordion), Ryan Dee (keyboard, guitar and vocals) and Aaron Grauer (guitar).

    This was their fourth show ever and their first at Duffy's.

    Marianas started the set with a laptop sample and quickly moved into "Hunting and Pecking" the first track from their recent release "Onward + Upward." "Hunting and Pecking" is a perfect opener, starting minimally and then slowly pulling you in with its dream state groove. The keyboard and two guitars floating over the programmed beats creates a soothing sound environment that is quite rare for local live performances.

    Most of Marianas' music is instrumental but the band played both tracks with vocals from "Onward + Upward." Ryan's beautifully sleepy vocals are used as another of the diverse instruments that the three piece slips into their songs to keep your ear on the move. The set included a new non-album song called "Kazoondtight" which had Ryan humming on a kazoo while playing the guitar. A nice effect but the song seemed to still be a work in progress at moments.

    Marianas upped the ante for the use of visuals by musicians, a trend that I am happy to see growing. Each song they played had a visual effect of its own. It was worth the brief pauses between songs to get to the new image on the Duffy's screen. The images were swirling shapes and colors, mainly abstract, and all interacted well with the band's sounds. Spinning trees, food coloring drifting through a water-filled wine glass and a view inside a kaleidoscope were a few of the sights they shared.

    Marianas ended with "You Keep Me Up At Night, Late" which on the album is a droning bedtime song of sorts. The live version had a more intense wash of sound which left me wanting more. An excellent way to end the show.

    Marianas set list
    1. hunting and pecking
    2. the simple things
    3. bring flowers
    4. my body is a sail
    5. kazoondtight
    6. you keep me up at night, late
    - Malcom Miles


    The Hornrimjobs / The Stunning / Rise Or Writhe - 6/13/03 - Vegan BBQ show
    The Hornrimjobs are brilliant! The girls wore yellow dresses and yes of course... horn rim glasses. When I got to the house on 13th and Garfield Julee had some Vegan Kabobs (sp?) cooking but it was questionable whether they were really vegan or not because of the butter being used, but everybody got the joke and the kabobs where really awesome. The Hornrimjobs use a great stereotype to their advantage by using their musical talent and know how to talk about life and gay pig farming with the best "bad emo poetry" ever. They also had one or two melodic songs with lyrics like, "This songs about you. Is that song about me?" which is my favorite track on Vegan Brownies their e.p. There was a variety of instruments used including, A violin, guitar, pig cut outs, and a hammer and chisle. Brilliant ladies brilliant.

    After the Hornrimjobs was the Stunning... I'll start their description by saying, "Anar-chaos!" This kids from Minnesota know how to mess with your head, they have time changes and crazy hooks that Dillenger Escape Plan would give them high fives for. Even without a bass player the sound and energy of these guys was really impressive. When someone from the audience asked where their bass player was at the lead singer half jokingly said,"We don't have a bass player because bass players equipment in 2003 is to heavy to lug around." I figure that's a good enough reason considering how much their songs rocked. Like their bass player they where also missing a instrument cable which they borrowed from Rise or Writhe but by the end of the first song it was broken because the guitar player knocked over his amp after falling backwards into it. The P.A. wasn't powerful enough for the vocals to come through over the two apocolyptic guitar sounds and the drums but I could tell the lead singer had vocals that went great with tastefully out of control guitar parts. The lead singer also had some dance moves that can only be described as "Sexy as hell!" He was screaming so hard at times his hair was wiggling. Then the drummer brought it all home with crazy beats and an intense energy that held the hole group together. All I have to say about these guys is.... hot damn, the Stunning! I even spent my last three buck (for the month) on a cd!

    Rise Or Withe was next. A Lincoln hardcore band I had never seen before, they had obviously been drinking for quite awile. The guitar player had a bunch of cool riffs and the lead singer was really fun to watch. The bass player/keyboardist was really in tune with the songs and seemed to be trying things that were really interesting. Over all it was a great night ender and a fun band to watch. See photos of this show in the SCS Photo Album - Tim Scahill


    Ideal Cleaners / Strawberry Burns - 6/01/03 - Duffy’s Tavern
    I know it’s only May, but I can definitely say; for me, this was the most anticipated show so far this year. I was a big fan of Drive-by Honky, so I was REALLY looking forward to seeing this first Lincoln show by Dan Jenkins new band, Ideal Cleaners. Anyone who’d seen Dan and Mike Keeling play together previously knew what kind of musical rapport they have, but adding a drummer of Ted Alesio’s talent could only make an already tight musical bond better. I didn’t know anything about what musical direction Dan was going to be taking with Ideal Cleaners, only that it was going to be different. I specifically did not go into this with any pre-conceived notions of what it might be like, nor was I going into it holding Drive-by up as a measuring stick to compare Ideal Cleaners to.

    It wouldn’t have mattered if I had, because Dan’s new work with Ideal Cleaners easily stands up to his previous work. IC played a fairly short set, only 7 songs, but it was made obvious that Dan has decided to unleash the Heavy Metal Monster within him. (I think I’ve seen way too many commercials for The Hulk lately). Well, OK, they’re not exactly heavy metal, but IC is WAY heavier than Dan’s previous work. Drive-by definitely rocked, but Ideal Cleaners display less of the melodic pop element of Drive-by. IC’s music is generally denser and darker sounding. Dare I say it; you could actually bang your head to a few songs! There was really only one song during the set that sounded overtly like Drive-by, I’d venture a guess that it, and a few others, might have been leftovers from the end of the DbH days, but it still fit in very nicely with the set. Bravo, Dan and band, you’re off to a great start!

    This was Strawberry Burns CD Release party for their new self-titled album. Unlike their usual stage getup of adult diapers, animal suits, or full-body mustard plasters, tonight, Strawberry Burns was looking quite debonair, decked out in suits & ties for this show. This was, without a doubt, the tightest set I’d heard from Strawberry Burns; they’re really growing into their sound. Regrettably, an early morning at work the next day prevented me from staying for their whole set, but what I did get to see was really good. - Tery Daly


    Jared Bader / Minutia Stew - 5/22/03 - Duggans
    The show was opened by The Super-Special Jared Bader Electric One-Man Band Phenomenon. Jared is the guitar player for Minutia Stew, doing his solo guitar act. As I mentioned in my review of Minutia Stew's last show, Jared has one of those Roland Guitar Synths, so he can make his guitar sound like pretty much any instrument. Jared was playing along with some pre-recorded bass & drum tracks, and he did a really wide variety of stuff, some Steve Vai, then he turned his guitar into a saxophone and a trumpet, and played some jazz, and what was really interesting is that when he switches over to those instrument sounds, his riffs and phrasing are really like trumpet and sax, style playing rather than just playing it like a guitar solo with those sounds. He switched gears again and gave us some Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn covers. The whole set was really impressive, but it was Jared's closing song, a very true to the original cover of Hendrix's "Little Wing" that I liked best.

    Minutia Stew put on another great show. This was just the 2nd time I've seen them. Their set last night was a little less intense than their show at Knickerbockers, but it rocked a bit more. These guys have clearly been playing together for a long time, as with a simple look accross the stage they can communicate the desire to stretch out a jam, and when to jump back into the song. We got a couple of Bowie covers, including a nice "Ziggy Stardust", and a T. Rex cover. I found myself thinking that after they do a Bowie cover, then go into one of their own songs, I generally find myself liking their songs better than the Bowie songs, and their stuff is certainly better than anything Bowie has put out in, say, 25 years. Get on board with Minutia Stew. - Tery Daly



    Minutia Stew / Rent Money Big - 5/14/03 - Knickerbockers
    Have you ever played that game with your friends where someone asks: If you had a time machine and could go back in time to see any band, at any time, who would it be? Last night’s show at Knickerbockers was like getting to do just that.

    First up was Minutia Stew. This was their first show at Knickerbockers, and the first time I’ve ever seen them. This band puts on an excellent glam-influenced show that blew me away. Like getting to see David Bowie at his best, but in a small club. They wear their Bowie influence on their sleeve, but still maintain the originality of their own music. There were also traces of Wire coming through during some of the songs, most notably during solos and instrumental parts. Minutia Stew are a 5 piece band, 2 guitars, bass, keyboards & drums, and they were tight in a way you don’t hear many bands being in a live setting, their live performance at times sounded as polished as a recording. Their singer has a great voice that suits their style perfectly, as does the lovely prom dress he wears. Their guitar player uses one of those Roland guitar synths, and between that and the keyboard their sound palette is pretty diverse. Great songs, awesome guitar solos, and they rock like hell. Do not miss these guys!

    Rent Money Big was up next, and they came to rock with a capital R-O-C-K! These guys impress me more every time I see them. They cranked it out from the word go until their last song, when Tim jumped on the drum platform, up onto the bass drum, then proceeded to walk onto their drummers lap, and stayed there for a few seconds until singer, drummer and drums all came spilling off the front of the drum riser onto the stage, where guitarist Drew fell on top of the pile. I’ve seen bands do this a hundred times, and sometimes it’s just total cliché, and you can tell the band is doing it because they think it looks cool, but in fact, they just don’t, R$B make it look like they invented it. I like a show where band members walk off the stage with bleeding wounds because of the performance they put on.

    Those who opted to stay home or go to other shows last night missed out on a hell of a show, just ask anyone who was there. Last night was just another example of two great bands putting on two great shows in front of about 30 people. Maybe you can’t get in the time machine to go back and see Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust period, or see Iggy & The Stooges, or catch the New York Dolls at Max’s Kansas City, but you can see Minutia Stew or Rent Money Big at their next shows, and you should check ‘em out now, so later you won’t have to wish you had been there. See photos from this show at SCS Photo Album - Tery Daly


    The Republican'ts / Crush The Clown - 5/7/03 - Duffy’s Tavern
    I think this was The Repblican’ts first show, at least with this lineup. Randy Krause on drums, Brent Igo on guitar and vocals, and Paul Johnson on the X-rated bass. These guys played a really solid set of power pop with a punk edge. Brent is a great singer, and these guys were really tight. Paul mentioned after the set, this was his first live show in 14 years. Welcome back, dude!

    Crush the Clown hadn’t played in quite a while, so a lot of people were really looking forward to this show, and CTC did NOT disappoint! They opened their set with "Where God Can’t Find Me", and proceeded to do a mix of old and new material, including "San Fran-Fucking-Cisco", "Neverbuzz", "Brainwaves", "Sunshine", and a cover of "There’s A Light Over At The Frankenstein Place", from the Rocky Horror Picuture Show soundtrack, which very few people in the audience seemed to recognize. The emphasis tonight was on their older songs, which is cool, because more people get to sing along that way. I didn’t get the names of any of the new songs, but I liked them all. Johnny Elsener joined the band on vocals for a few songs and snare drum on one. - Tery Daly



    There has been some excellent rock this week.

    FRIDAY 4/25, Neidhardt, rent money big, roarbot!, mr. 1986, plus 2 bands i didn't catch the name: rent money big played a great set in the basement at neidhardt...it featured their new hit "viking funeral"...old hits like that song about Tony Bennett "i'm stepping out...i'm going to paint the town"...it made sense when i heard the title. and of course: wrestling after the show.

    Roarbot! played, and it was a gal and a guy with a banner and 8-bit artwork. they run a little windows 3.1 machine playing video game songs that the dude wrote. so sweet. they had everyone flapping on the floor like sizzling bacon at one point. mr. 1986 was super awesome too. crazy little syncopated guitar alterna-rawk with a little classic and metal competition stuff. but still drony-dreamy indie rawk segueways. did that make sense? not really. good drummer too. there were no vocals...it would be too much with the melodies zinging to take over from either side of the stage. maybe a little epic also. i really liked their second song. my jaw dropped open, and i putmy hand over my mouth. i took it away a few minutes later and there was a little drool on it.

    SATURDAY 4/26 , sokol, fizzle like a flood, cex, the postal service: fizzle like a flood was ok. i guess i'm used to the crazy production on the ep's. the lead singer needs to get out and play a little more i think and he'll have the confidence. they did keep asking the audience which patch they should use for different songs. that was fun...sometimes. cex: bad bad bad. the album is ok. the postal service:blend the movie grease with a screen saver and some great songs. ben gibbard from deathcab, jenny lewis from rilo kiley, and jimmy from DNTEL were all backlit by the projector that showed movies or fun (slightly modified and imaginative) screensaver stuff. felt like i was flying. sometimes jenny and ben had on-stage grease "you'd better shape up" but in a more contained and clipped indie rawk sorta way. super cute. the mix was great too. way dancable and poppy, but for the common man. one of the best shows i've seen all year.

    SUNDAY 4/27 , duffy's, the ghostrunners and the holy ghost: i could take a little bit more musical diversity from the ghost runners, but hell i was in mister baby, like i know what that is. just really enjoyed watching javid and aaron go nuts for the entire show. the jury is still out on wearing ties with piping. fun set. i think i may go watch them again tonight. the holy ghost put on another good show...but i gave away my cd's to people who don't live in lincoln so i wasn't as familiar with the new record. chris seems forced sometimes, and i didn't think that at all on sunday. kent heine plays like a space invader. i thought the floor infront of the stage was going to bottom out at one point.

    MONDAY 4/28 , zoo bar, suzy dreamer and the nightmares, 13 COUNTY, the holy ghost: i love you suzy dreamer! that JFK Jr. song has me laughing beer through my nose every time. kristen's always wanted super weird spooky noises around her. she finally got some weird enough to accompany those dream songs....plus she rawked out with a guitar? that was great. didn't know Tery had a Ric, and thought the warbly guitar made it even more dreamy, although, not any less jarring than the images of dead people swimming at jcpenny or something like that.

    Hadn't seen 13 county for a long time. it's good to hear the unreleased songs since there's no available copies of them anywhere. and then damn, top it all off with a cherry: sit-down acoustic set, complete with shuffled lyric sheets from the holy ghost. chris goeden played harmonica and they opened the set with district 57. courtney and i just sat and looked at eachother with our jaws open for a little bit. i thought maybe i was about ready to experience that uncontrolable drooling from the mr. 1986 show again. this was the holy ghost that i fell in love with. they played some slower songs off of the next two albums but none of the usual setlist stuff. i think they played 5? songs off of that first demo. goodnes freaking gracious. and you could hear the warmth of the audience singing along...especially on the holy ghost....and the thunder one...i was prettymuch fixated for the show, but during that song, i heard a chorus of everyone behind me start into "i'm going down to check the water..." oof. - Julee Dunekacke


    Thread - 4/23/03 - Knickerbockers I caught the show by Thread, a twosome made up of Jeff Gaskin on guitar and Tom Ficke on drums. Although Tom is a veteran of the Lincoln music scene, having played in The Tom Ficke Group, and another one before that (that no one I asked can remember the name of), he’s been kind of inactive of late. This is the first time I’ve seen him play.

    Their songs are really well written, and pretty mellow, along the lines of Crowded House with a bit of post-Bill Berry REM and a touch of later period Talk Talk.

    What really stands out about Thread, is their unbelievable harmonies, which recall Lennon/McCartney, Difford & Tilbrook, or the Finn brothers. It’s interesting that those 3 are British bands, but Thread doesn’t really have a British sound. Both Tom and Jeff are really excellent musicians, and excellent singers

    Two things I might change about this band would be to vary the guitar sound on some songs a bit. The chorused acoustic guitar sound starts to make the songs all sound sonically the same after a while. Secondly, I thought some of the songs ran a little long due to unnecessarily repeating some verses or choruses. Mind you, those are entirely personal issues, and probably wouldn’t make any difference to other people. They also don’t really detract from how good the songs and the show are. If Thread starts to play around town a bit more, be sure to check them out. - Tery Daly


    Clash Vs. Ramones X Vs.Y - 4/15/03 - Knickerbockers

    The Mundanes - This was The Mundanes first show. Mark Wohlberg, formerly of The Black Dahlias, put this band together with Steve Streit and two other guys. It was nice to see and hear Mark playing again, and I’m looking forward to hearing The Mundanes original stuff.

    Caesar The Greaser - Caesar played Jenny Jones and I’m Gonna Kill That Girl. Instead of kicking into high gear after the slow intro like on The Ramones’ original, they played it slowly all the way through the song.

    Starboy - Starboy covered pretty much straightforward versions of Clampdown and Swallow My Pride. This is my band, so I’ll withhold all the glowing praise. I will say Clampdown would have been better had I remembered the lyrics, but the version of Swallow My Pride was solid

    They Suck (from Omaha) - This was Jason Cornelius and Courtney Nore. They did strobe light washed, feedback drenched, spoken word versions of Swallow My Pride and Jimmy Jazz. Their version of Swallow My Pride was quite a contrast from the one immediately before it. Courtney played guitar, and Jason did the vocal, played trumpet and Dictaphone. They’re not from Omaha, They didn’t suck, but their point was made.

    The Thielgoods - This was Chris & Jillian Thiel along with Liz Hitt. Liz has paraded around town with her Rock Star attitude for years, but we finally got to see her in the rock star role, and she did just fine! In true punk rock fashion, The Thielgoods flagrantly disregarded the rules, doing two Ramones songs and no Clash song. They did "Chinese Rock", which Liz sang, and Jill sang "I Don’t Want You".

    Thomas Irvin - If you’ve ever seen Tom do his 12-string acoustic solo stuff, then you’ve got a good idea of what Tom’s covers were like. He did really beautiful versions of Oh, Oh, I Love Her So and Death Or Glory, giving a brief story behind what the songs meant to him.

    The Bad Sects - The Bad Sects closed the show with Lost In The Supermarket and We Want The Airwaves, in their own unique way. Their Clash cover was played almost dirge-like, compared to the way The Clash recorded it, and their version of Airwaves rocked harder than The Ramones ever did it!

    The way this X Vs. Y stuff works is: the audience votes for which band did the best Ramones cover and which band did the best Clash cover. The winner of best cover of The Clash was The Bad Sects and best cover or The Ramones was Starboy.

    The audience also votes on who the next X Vs. Y artists will be, and the winners were Joan Jett Vs. Pat Benatar. The show will be held on a yet to be selected Tuesday in May. - Tery Daly


    Tangelo / The Epoxies - 4/13/03 - Duffy's Tavern
    This was a really fun show. Tangelo was as tight as ever, and doing what Tangelo does best. Pat Bradley was playing a Strat tonight, so their sound was a little different, but I think it suited some of their songs a little better. The Epoxies were a blast from the past. I'm old enough to have been there for new wave the first time around, so they appealed to me in a really nostalgic way. Nobody's really doing this type of music, authentically, with the outfits, the haircuts, the energy, and everything else that went with being a great punk/new wave band from the late 70's/early 80's, it was a lot of fun to see them. While The Epoxies brought to mind a lot of great stuff, namely, Blondie, Lene Lovich, and about a hundred other local NY bands from that era that no one outside the area would know of, they still retained their own originality music-wise, and didn’t come off as just a retro/novelty-act, although some in the audience thought so. The No Coast crowd was representing down front at this show. - Tery Daly