Monday, January 31, 2011

Listen to Bright Eyes' "The People's Key" in full

You won't have a hard copy in your hands until Feb. 15, but today, there are two ways to listen to the new Bright Eyes album, "The People's Key."

NPR has the whole thing streaming over here. "This is the best record Bright Eyes has ever made," the article reads.

Um, not my assessment. Personally, that title goes to "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning," but "The People's Key" is still pretty darn good. Different than I expected (lots of keyboards and they actually plugged in the guitars this time around), but enjoyable.

You can also listen to it as one full track with the YouTube video embedded below.

Best part of this video is that Conor Oberst and other folks (and a dog) are just hanging out while it plays.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Video: Making of "The People's Key"

Ever see how a record is actually made? It's kind of a neat process, at least a whole lot cooler than stamping out CDs.

Saddle Creek Records posted a quick, 1-minute video on the making of Bright Eyes' "The People's Key."

I didn't realize this until now, but I like the shiny packaging that will (probably) make those flames look like they're moving around. Neat stuff.

Check it out:

Rock Candy on Facebook

Some of you are probably already aware of this, but Rock Candy has its own page on Facebook.

All of the posts here (and other OWH stories by me) are linked from that Facebook page, so basically you'll get all the latest music news from me there. Of course, you'll also get it on Twitter.

Anyway, "like" Rock Candy's Facebook page, if you dare.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Download new Bright Eyes track, "Haile Selassie"

Photo by Alyssa Schukar/The World-Herald

As promised awhile back, Bright Eyes has dropped another track for you to download from its awaited album, "The People's Key."

This time, it's track five, "Haile Selassie." It's one of my favorite tracks on the record, actually. It's kind of atmospheric with all of the instruments overlapping in the background, but stays grounded with a rhythmic guitar riff.

Due Feb. 15, "The People's Key" isn't really a brother to "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" or full of acoustic folk. Nope, they plugged in the guitars and turned on the synthesizers for this one.

The real Haile Selassie was the emperor of Ethiopia for more than 40 years and is thought of as the returned Messiah by Rastafarians.

Download the track below and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Radio Replay: Wherein I talk about Red Sky, Maha, SXSW and stuff

Once again, I was a guest on Q 98.5 FM here in Omaha.

Pat & JT had me on the show to talk music, and we covered the Red Sky Music Festival, Maha Music Festival, Ozzy Osbourne, Rascal Flatts, South by Southwest and a bunch of other stuff.

Check out a replay of the segment here:

I'm going to be on the show with some regularity, at least once a month and as news and other fun stuff comes up.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Habitat benefit; Rural Alberta Advantage video; Tim Kasher contest and more

Holy crap, there's a lot going on today. Bear with me while I sort through all of it...

First off, may I direct you to a great concert and a damn good cause: Saturday's Habitat for Humanity benefit at the Waiting Room.

Funk-masters Satchel Grande play with Brad Hoshaw & the Seven Deadlies, Midwest Dilemma, The 9's and the Half Hearts.

Read about it. Then get yourself there.

As for Slowdown, it's closed tonight and tomorrow for "private events."

* * *

Rural Alberta Advantage, one of my favorite Saddle Creek groups, had some fun with subtitles on its new video for "Stamp," which you can see over at Rolling Stone. (You can also watch it below.)

 The song is good and the video is pretty damn funny.

The band's new album, "Departing," comes out March 1. It's available for pre-order.

* * *

Saddle Creeker Sebastien Grainger is back with his old group, Death From Above 1979 (the dance-punk duo we all knew and loved) for a performance at Coachella.

It's sort of mysterious because apparently Grainger and Jesse Keeler (MSTRKRFT) did not part on the greatest of terms.

Grainger's only reaction so far? A tweet: "DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979! There, I said it."

* * *

Bright Eyes will also be at Coachella. That should be big for them.

* * *

Enter to win a signed Polaroid of Tim Kasher from his Daytrotter session over here.

Or, just carry around a picture of Kasher until you bump into him at Blue Line or Jake's.

Kidding... Please don't harass/stalk your indie rock heroes. A "Hey, loved the show the other night" is plenty.

* * *

And now for some shameless self-promotion: I had some articles lately that you might enjoy. Check these out:

• I reviewed Cursive's performance of "Domestica" and we have some kickass photos by the OWH's Chris Machian over at

• I interviewed rock legend Slash last week about guitars, Velvet Revolver and his Ozzy show. Read it.

• After I watched Cursive rock it, I wrote my column this week about albums I'd like to see performed start-to-finish.

• I also dropped a spring music preview, showing off the big shows in town and albums I'm looking forward to this spring. What are you looking forward to? Read my list.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Maha Music Festival announces 2011 date!

Maha Music Festival will take place on Aug. 13 on the Lewis & Clark Landing on Omaha’s riverfront.

Last year’s concert — which featured Spoon, Superchunk, The Fain, Ben Kweller and the Mynabirds, among others — was both a great concert and a success from the standpoint of the planners.

It was definitely an improvement over the previous year and I expect this year to be just as good, if not better.

Maha had planned on another July date for its third fest in 2011, but MECA’s planned Red Sky Music Festival bumped it. Still, the Maha board is going strong and with the date and venue locked down, they’re now working hard on booking a headliner and sponsors.

Stay tuned for info on who will be playing the festival in August.

* * *

Here's my question to you, dear readers: Who would you like to see play the Maha Music Festival?

Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bright Eyes announces more tour dates, but none in Nebraska

The boys in Bright Eyes are going on tour, as I'm sure you know. Well, they announced more tour dates and they still aren't coming to Nebraska.

Honestly, it does seem like they're just extending the tour off of SXSW, so I'm not too surprised.

Plus, from what I heard at O'Leaver's last Thursday, it seems like the band will be on tour for a year or so. So, there should be ample opportunities to see Bright Eyes.

Here are the dates:

3/2 Miami, FL Fillmore Miami Beach At Jackie Gleason Theater
3/3 Lake Buena Vista, FL House of Blues
3/4 Atlanta, GA The Tabernacle
3/5 Asheville, NC Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
3/6 Richmond, VA The National
3/8 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
3/9 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall SOLD OUT
3/10 Boston, MA House Of Blues SOLD OUT
3/11 Portland, ME State Theatre
3/13 Toronto, ON Sound Academy
3/14 Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music Theatre
3/15 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre SOLD OUT
3/16 Champaign, IL Foellinger Auditorium
3/17 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
3/19 Austin, TX SXSW Showcase @ Auditorium Shores**
4/3 Milwaukee, WI The Riverside Theater
4/3 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
4/5 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
4/8 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
4/9 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
4/12 Oakland, CA Fox Theater
4/13 Pomona, CA Fox Theater

Monday, January 10, 2011

Watch: Monsters of Folk on Austin City Limits

Did you catch Monsters of Folk when they were in town?

I saw them in Omaha in late 2009.

I'll give you the short version in case you didn't read my review from two years ago: It was about three hours of constant music played fantastically. The band did the whole MoF album, plus a selection of songs from each artist (Bright Eyes, My Morning Jacket and M. Ward). All are great musicians, so it was a treat.

It was definitely one of the top concerts I saw that year.

Anyway, PBS posted an episode of Austin City Limits with the band. It's an hour long, so not quite the full experience, but it's still pretty damn good.

Watch below and enjoy!

Watch the full episode. See more Austin City Limits.

* * *

Read my full review of the 2009 show.

Read my 2009 interview with Mike Mogis about Monsters of Folk.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hear Nebraska date change

If you were planning on heading to the launch party in Omaha that I detailed recently, note that the date has been changed from Saturday, Feb. 5, to Friday, Feb. 4.

From's Andy Norman:

"We realized after booking it that there was a similar show at Slowdown that night, featuring (Ladyfinger), The Stay Awake and Techlepathy. None of the bands on either bill, nor we promoters, wanted to compete with each other. So we're really happy that people can now watch both shows."

So, now you know.

Andy also makes a good point: They're both worthy shows, so it would be pretty sweet to make to both.

Notes: Con Dios residency at O'Leaver's, New Day Rising on 89.7 and a new GO page

Matt Maginn from Cursive and Team Love Records e-mailed me the other day to tell me about his other project: Con Dios.

It's something of a local supergroup that includes Ladyfinger's Pat Oakes, McCarthy Trenching/Mynabirds' Dan McCarthy and Phil Schaffart, a guy you probably recognize as a tech and tour manager for Bright Eyes.

Anyway, Maginn informed me that Con Dios will be in-residence at O'Leaver's for three consecutive Thursdays.

Here's the schedule:

Jan. 6 - Con Dios with McCarthy Trenching
Jan. 13 - Con Dios with Bear Country
Jan. 20 - Con Dios with So So Sailors

Great opening acts. I plan on hitting up at least one of these.

Check out some of Con Dios' music at the band's Facebook page.

* * *

If you're curious where to listen to some good music on local radio, I have to recommend New Day Rising. It's a indie/college rock show hosted by David Leibowitz and has been going strong for the last six years and sometimes features local artists.

The show is now changing time slots and expanding. Starting Sunday, Jan. 9, listen to the show from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays over at 89.7 the River.

I also recommend you listen to NPR's All Songs Considered, which airs on the same station at 2 p.m. Sundays.

I think it's a better time slot and the expansion is also great for the show. I hope New Day Rising keeps kicking butt.

* * *

I've been slightly absent from the blog for a tiny bit, mostly because of the new GO page on

Find it at

All of our entertainment content can be found there from dining and movie reviews to music previews.

We also have a curated calendar. (Be sure to click the dropdown that says "today" to see future events.)

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Eve at Slowdown: It was damn cold

What did you do to ring in the New Year? I skipped quite a few parties on Friday night (New Year's Eve) to head over to Slowdown. They were (once again) hosting the Happy GOO Year dance party.

It was a fun time with good music, flowing drinks and a lot of good people.

Once I arrived at the club, I waited outside for just under 20 minutes, like a ton of others trying to get inside.

To be clear, the line was moving. It was just taking a long time.

Now, most nights that wouldn't be a big deal. But on Friday night into Saturday, temperatures with the wind were in the "minus 10 to minus 20 degree range," according to an OWH article.

In plain terms, it was brutal cold. And people had to stand outside while wind blew the icy cold air really hard, and it was not like people were wearing heavy winter gear. Lots of women were in skirts and short dresses. Some people weren't wearing coats.

The following was posted on Slowdown's Facebook page in response to one irate customer:

"Sorry, but we were getting people in as fast as we could. Unfortunately everyone likes to show up to a new years party at the same time, and even more unfortunately it was very cold out. No one with a ticket was denied admission, so sorry if you were given that impression by anyone in line."

I'm also told that it was a big problem between 10:30 and 11:15 p.m., when everyone showed up at the same time and created a line at the door.

I feel like there has to be a way to get things moving faster than that. That it took 20 minutes for people who had already purchased tickets when it was that cold out was pretty bad. I understand that it's up to us clubgoers to wear heavy clothing (and rest assured that I certainly will do so next time), but I feel like it's also up to the club to get us inside in a timely fashion, especially when the weather's really bad.

A lot of people who had bought tickets told me they left after waiting in line as long as 20 minutes without being let inside. Some left because it was just too damn cold.

That said, once inside, I thought it was a great time. Lots of people dancing, having a good time.

The GOO crew of DJs included Jacob Thiele and Todd Fink of the Faint, Brent Crampton and Derek Presnall of Tilly & the Wall/Flowers Forever. They did an admirable job cranking techno-ish beats as well as remixed '80s and '90s songs (mostly).

My favorite GOO DJ of the night was Fink. In a black suit, he was also decked out in a gray and black masquerade mask and spun a lot of old '80s-ish stuff, mostly remixed with an electronica beat.

Free champagne at midnight was also treat (I snagged a couple glasses).

I thought it was kind of weird that and most people filtered out of the club shortly after the midnight countdown. The place was packed at 11:45, but by 12:30, it seemed sort of empty.

Other than the cold wait, it was a blast. I'd love to do it again next year. From stories I heard, we seemed to have a much better time than some friends who had house parties or spent NYE at other bars.

Myself and some friends were already talking about buying tickets to the club next year, even though that's some time away.