Monday, August 19, 2013


I was there for the Flaming Lips, naturally.  Some impressions I gleaned from them and others:

Sons of Fathers:

After a night of some carrying on I made my way from 8060 Chicago to the Aksarben section of Omaha by way of the Keystone Trail, practically a freeway by foot it was so direct, at about 2:30 PM.  'Sons of Fathers' were who was playing when I got there and my feelings on them are somewhat torn.  I'm very weary of any "authentic Americana" White minstrel act shtick but then again the pure musicality of these guys was quite good:  particularly the harmonies of Dave Beck and Paul Cauthen and especially the guitar work of Tony Brown. 

In the end they won me over.  They music was crackling good and even though they're Texan and "we are so fucking Texan" in that Texan way they have they hung a flag of Wyoming up on stage while they played, which was a boss thing to do as Wyoming has the most stylish and appropriate flag in the whole Union. 

B+ to these talented bastards.

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

Not much to say here.  Thao is quite good at guitar as well and a good rock songwriter to boot. She's also beautiful and most all of her songs are about sex. :-}()  I could of watched them play for the full ten hours I was there and been very happy.  A-

The late afternoon and early evening brought a stream of bullrush ahead hard power pop sort of stuff; Bob Mould, the Thermals and local fixtures Criteria.  They're all quite good at what they do, especially genre godfather Mould, and I do confess to personal prejudice in being sort of cool towards them.  But I am simply not a three cords and the truth man at heart.  I long for the grand and baroque in music; give me solos, give me thematic and sonic ambition with a heavy hit of eye candy. 

During the Thermals set I did see a blue suede jacket walk across the rear stage with a bunch of workers holding silver balls and knew immediately that it was Wayne Coyne even before I looked up to see his face.  It made me happy. 

Thermals: C+
Criteria: C+
Bob Mould: B-

Matt & Kim: 

Holy fucking shit these guys were great!  I don't think I'd appreciate their music much while sitting alone and blogging.  I adore funky beats for so long as they're good and heavy and part of me will always see dance pop as innately inferior.  But never mind.  The show man.  The. Fucking Show; A+


The way they tore down Matt & Kims set and replaced it with that of a "Big Show" from a "Big Band" was impressive in itself.  Stephen Drozd is generally regarded as the true heart of the band's sound while (Wayne is the showman) and it was great to see Steve out there leading the tuneup like a real proletarian.  I wormed my way to near center front.  Joints were passing around and I finangled my hands on a couple hits.  The night and the feel were beautiful beyond perfect.  And as for the show itself:  my god it was wonderful.  I love the more heady and less crowd-participation gimicky (which was wonderful itself by the way; RIP crowd ball) direction of this particular tour.  I love how one of the great living jewels of American culture has hit a new creative peak with "The Terror" and how their current show keeps it new instead of flirting with a county fair/self cover band act as they've been recently, covering "Dark Side of The Moon" and such for entire tours.  I love how they got the flash of a light show perfectly in sync with their new sound:  Enthralling, enveloping, intoxicating and in the true classical sense of the term fucking Awesome.  I love how they have gone new-school but of course saved "Do You Realize" for a sing-along encore anyhow.  (They've never been Radiohead-style dicks; holding their own meal tickets in scorn for being so gauche as to like some of their songs more than others.)   Of course they did.  Though they only played one other song from "Yoshimi" and went no further back then "Soft Bulletin."  RIP "She Don't Use Jelly"   My beautiful, beautiful, brothers in shadily wondering their deserted Great Plains home towns at 3 in the morning.  Beautiful. Lose the baby though Wayne.  A+++

Treat yourself to a Sunday Bloody Mary at the Omaha Jake's too.  You will not be disappointed. 

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