Thursday, June 06, 2024

Cloud Nothings and Idle Ray at Reverb, Omaha, NE 6/4/24 (PHOTOS)

Cleveland, Ohio punk rockers, Cloud Nothings, returned to Omaha on Tuesday, June 4 for a show at Reverb. This was the second or third time I have seen the band. The band's newest LP, Final Summer, was released in April.
Drummer Jason Gerycz rocked out with a minimal kit

Cloud Nothings

The opening band was Idle Ray. I really liked the band, especially the guitar playing from Fred Thomas.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Ranking the Albums: BUFFALO TOM (VIDEO)

Fans of Alternative Music from the 1990s no doubt have some fond memories of the band, Buffalo Tom. They were the quintessential "college rock" band; and the albums 'Let Me Come Over' and 'Big Red Letter Day' were a big part of the soundtrack of the "Alternative Nation" (R.I.P.) and the '120 Minutes' eras. 

Buffalo Tom emerged from the same Boston/Northeast US music scene that brought the world Dinosaur Jr., Pixies, The Lemonheads, Throwing Muses, The Lemonheads, and many others. While BT may not have had the mainstream success of some their peers, the band's 90s albums rank among the era's best. It's not possible to discuss the best 90s music without throwing in singles like "Soda Jerk," "Taillights Fade" or "Velvet Roof."

At the band's commercial peak, Buffalo Tom's music was on numerous TV and movie soundtracks, most notably in 'My So Called Life.' However, this band was much more than background music to television shows about angsty teens. 

Over the course of their nearly 40 year career, Buffalo Tom has made some of the most compelling, guitar rock of any era. Though the group's output has slowed down quite a bit, BT has just released their 10th album, Jump Rope, and will be touring this Summer ('24). 

Buffalo Tom's current line-up is the exactly the same as when they started back in 1986:
Bill Janovitz, guitar/vocals
Chris Colbourn, bass/vocals
Tom Maginnis, drums

Buffalo Tom will be appearing at the Outlandia Festival along with The Flaming Lips, Dinosaur Jr., The Head and the Heart, and many more.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

LIVE CONCERT REVIEWS May 2024: Ty Segall / Jason Isbell / Steel Panther / Sun June / Wild Pink 🤘🏻🤘🏻 (VIDEO)

It's been a minute since I had any concert reviews on the channel. Glad to report that I have not been slacking on that front, folks. I'm back with some footage and photos from four recent concerts.

First up is Ty Segall. This was my first time seeing him since 2016. While this wasn't the loudest concert I've ever seen (that would be Mercury Rev on the side stage of Lollapalooza in 1993), it was maybe the 2nd or 3rd loudest. The roadies warned us, but I didn't listen. Opening for Ty Segall was a band called Sharpie Smile. They remined me a bit of Sparks. The bassist looked familiar to me, and I realized it was because she toured with Kate Bollinger last year, and I saw her open for Liz Phair

Also caught Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit at The Astro. Due to weather, the show had to be moved indoors at the last minute. I was absolutely fine with that, as I was sitting in one of the boxes for the show. Incredible seats. Isbell's opener, Jobi Riccio, was also very good.

Hair metal parody act, Steel Panther, tested the limits of my tolerance for a return to the 1980s. Look, I'm glad I was a teenager back then, but I am also quite glad it's no longer the 80s. This was fun for about 20 minutes.

Austin, TX indie rockers Sun June played a fantastic show at Reverb along with a New York band called Wild Pink who were also quite impressive. It was really great to see Sun June in person, as their last two albums both made my Top 20 "Best of" list in their year of release. All of my faves were played at this show.

Thursday, May 09, 2024

Ty Segall / Sharpie Smile LIVE at Waiting Room, Omaha, 5/7/24 (PHOTOS)

 I caught Ty Segall the other night at The Waiting Room. My feeling the morning after is impossible to convey in words. But if I could, I WOULD BE SHOUTING! Shouting because I am practically deaf after seeing the show, and probably wouldn't be able to hear myself any other way.
We were warned by a roadie before the show just how loud it was going to be if you're standing in front. I appreciated - though quickly disregarded - the warning. This was one of the loudest shows I've ever been to, and that is no exaggeration. The band was amazing, however, and watching them up close was impressive.

After a few songs, I relocated to the back of the club to spare the remainder of my hearing. I loved the show. It was so much better than the last time I saw Segall - in 2016 - when the show was a drunken mess.
Opening the concert was Sharpie Smile. I had never heard of the band before, and missed the first 10-15 minutes of the set. They were an unusual indie band with an intriguing singer/drummer. I'd go see the band again if given the opportunity. Find out more about Sharpie Smile on their Instagram.

I'll have video of both bands on YouTube shortly.

R.I.P. Steve Albini (VIDEO)

Wow! Legendary record producer and punk rock luminary, Steve Albini, passed away today from an apparent heart attack. He was only 61 years old. Steve Albini is probably best known for producing albums for Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Pixies, Superchunk, The Jesus Lizard, and many more. He was also an influential artist who played in the bands Big Black, Rapeman, and Shellac. His impact on 80s and 90s music is immeasurable. He was a legend. 

R.I.P. Steve.

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Too Soon To Name Best Album of 2024?? Here Are Four Early Contenders! (VIDEO)

I know it's only Spring, folks, but 2024 has already been a pretty epic year for new music -- and there's still more than half the year to go! Fully understanding where we are on the calendar, I have already found what I consider to be four strong possibilities for Best Album of 2024.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

REVIEW: Taylor Swift "Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology" // New Music (VIDEO)

Hello, friends, and welcome back to the channel. In this week's video, I am doing something I have never done at The Dark Stuff...I'm reviewing a Taylor Swift album!

I pride myself on being open minded about music, and my "taste" is not so easily defined. Sure, you could generally say I lean toward "indie" music, but I grew up on hair metal! Taylor Swift is probably the most successful musical artist of the 21st century. She's something of a cultural phenomenon. That is how I have always viewed her -- as part of pop culture. But I've never really given an extended, serious listen to any of her albums. Until now...

No spoilers, of course, other than to say that the album was not what I was expecting. If, for some reason, I accidentally call the album 'Tortured Poets Society' it's because of the movie, 'Dead Poets Society.' In my brain, I keep merging the two titles.

Monday, April 22, 2024

REVIEW: Replacements @ Cabaret Metro '86 RSD Release + 'Mats Tribute Band (VIDEO)

As you've no doubt come to understand, this is the channel for your favorite Replacements related content. Naturally, I was all over the newest Replacements Live record, "Not Ready for Prime Time: LIVE at the Cabaret Metro, 1986."

Eagle-eyed fans will likely notice that this is the same concert featured - only on CD - in last year's Tim: Let It Bleed Edition box set. You are correct. However, this Record Store Day exclusive is the only way you can get the show on vinyl. The two LP set has a gatefold cover and features liner notes from Bob Mehr, author of 'Trouble Boys.'

In addition to my review of the new album, I have some clips and photos I took of a new Replacements tribute band called Left of the Dial. They played their first show the night before record store day.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

My Record Store Day 2024 Haul! #recordstoreday #vinylcommunity (VIDEO)

Though I have begun to sour on Record Store Day in general, I must admit that this year's "holiday" was pretty effin' exceptional! I tend to hit the stores after lunch. I'm not one to wait overnight or stand in long lines -- I'm too impatient. However, as I rolled up to both Homer's and Vinyl Cup, there were still lines extending far outside the confines of the store. It would seem that I was going to have to deal with a little inconvenience.

It was worth it! I got the two main items on my agenda, then picked up a bunch more. I definitely blew the budget. Maybe I'll cut back on food this month... 

Friday, April 19, 2024

Steel Panther LIVE at The Admiral, Omaha, NE 4/18/24 (PHOTO)

Caught the hair metal parody band, Steel Panther, last night at The Admiral. The show was okay. It was pretty funny at first, but the joke wore out pretty quickly. Besides, I actually lived through the era. It was better the first time around...

Steel Panther at The Admiral, Omaha, NE 4/18/24

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Raise Your Hands To Rock: Being a Kid in the 80s Metal Scene (Part One) (VIDEO)

Hello, friends, and welcome to the latest video. This week, I continue to mine the depths of my hair metal past with a series of collaborative videos with the Youtube channel, lostmixtapes ( If you're familiar with either of our channels, you probably associate them more with Alternative, indie, or singer/songwriter type of music. But did you know that we both share something of a heavy metal youth?

We were both teenagers in the 1980s, and we both became transfixed with metal before we left elementary school! We wanted to do this video to try and explain how we became so fascinated with this music, and why some of those artists continue to remain fascinating to this day.

Further into the video, we discuss things like drawing band logos on your school books, who actually "killed" hair metal, bands that used to frighten us as kids, and the dividing lines drawn between glam or "hair" metal and thrash metal. This is part one of a two part video. Part Two will be linked once it is posted.

Remembering Kurt Cobain: 30 Years Gone // NIRVANA (VIDEO)

Today (April 5, 2024) is the 30th anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. Nirvana was/is a hugely important band to me. I was living in Seattle when he died. The music of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana still resonates very strongly with me. I am truly shocked it has been 30 years.

Being an old guy, I was able to see Nirvana perform live. I also met Kurt very briefly at a record store when we were both buying the same album.

I just wanted to come on and share some quick thoughts on Kurt and Nirvana. Rest In Peace.

Please like this video and subscribe to the channel if you have not already done so. Thanks.

Monday, April 01, 2024

"Back in the Day" Concert Tales: RATT + POISON Feb 10, 1987 / Concert + In-Store (VIDEO)

Welcome back, friends. In today's video, I am taking you back to hair metal's glory days -- 1987. On February 10, 1987, I caught Ratt for the third time at the Omaha Civic Auditorium (R.I.P.). This was Ratt at its peak! Touring in support of its third platinum record in a row, Ratt had its biggest stage show ever. On this leg of the tour, young upstarts Poison were opening the shows. Poison's debut LP, Look What the Cat Dragged In, had been out for about eight or nine months at that point.

Since we met back in the 8th grade, my friend, Matt, and I shared an obsession with hard rock and heavy metal. We saw pretty much every metal show in Omaha together from, maybe, 1985 to 1989. At some point in '86, we got the bright idea to start our own magazine/fanzine. My Mom's side hustle at the time was a stationary business. So, we created a logo and had letterhead made. We were both 15 years old.

Before publishing a single page, we were able to parlay our new endeavor into a free pair of tickets to see Ratt...AND a photo pass! This was nuts. All we had was letterhead. Seriously.

Earlier in the day, we went to meet Poison who were doing an in-store signing at the Homer's location in Bellevue, Nebraska. It was weird seeing them without all the girly make-up from the album cover and the videos. I got my album signed by all the guys.

For those who weren't around in that time, you need to remember that people didn't just carry a camera around with them wherever they went. Photography was prohibited at concerts back then, and to take any pictures, I had to sneak a camera into the arena inside my pants. I feel lucky I was able to get any pictures of this stuff at all.

Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Sun June and Wild Pink LIVE at Reverb 3/22/24 (PHOTOS)

Laura Colwell (pictured) and Sun June played a great set last night (3/22/24) at Reverb. This was my first time seeing the Texas indie band, though Sun June's last two albums made my Top 20 of the Year lists. So, I was pretty excited they were finally playing in Omaha.
Opening the show was NYC band, Wild Pink. I didn't know anything about the band prior to the show. They were excellent. The set got better with each song. I picked up a Wild Pink t-shirt after they played.

Sun June

The crowd was small, but enthusiastic. There were a few fans who really wanted to hear the song, "Karen O." I'm actually not sure if it was on the set list, but the band happily obliged.
There will be video shortly on Youtube.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Jenny Lewis Concert Review + Catalog Discussion / Rilo Kiley, Jenny & Johnny, Postal Service (VIDEO)

Hello, friends. Welcome back. Today's video is one I have wanted to make for a while. Jenny Lewis is, in my opinion, the best songwriter of the 2000s. Over the course of her 20+ year career in music - whether as a solo artist or as a member of Rilo Kiley, Jenny & Johnny, or Postal Service - Jenny Lewis has shown an amazing ability to craft songs that can be simultaneously catchy, beautiful, emotional, powerful, heart wrenching, danceable, and very relatable lyrically. Her albums have featured guest spots from Elvis Costello, Ringo Starr, Beck, members of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and many more. She has many famous friends and collaborators. 

I caught Jenny Lewis in concert recently on her Joy'All Ball Tour at a stop in Omaha at The Admiral Theater. The concert was amazing, as Jenny's shows usually are. Rather than merely review the concert, I decided to devote a little time in the video to reviewing her "solo" albums. This is not a catalog ranking, merely a discussion of her music. 

In addition to video clips and photos from the concert,  I also made a short video inside the video about Jenny's early career as a child actor and her time in the band Rilo Kiley.

Cloud Nothings and Idle Ray at Reverb, Omaha, NE 6/4/24 (PHOTOS)

Cleveland, Ohio punk rockers, Cloud Nothings , returned to Omaha on Tuesday, June 4 for a show at Reverb . This was the second or third time...