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jan. 6 - 12, 2011 VOL.17


news 7 Good Buy

dish 14

Chocre Blue!

books 20 American Hate

music 39 Driven to Success

heaven sent mojo po’s seven steps to heaven in 2011


cover story Page 12

Weird 50

MOjo 52



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Depending on your experience and qualifications, The Reader is seeking a lead editor to take the position of Culture Editor or Managing Editor. Responsibilities include managing one of the most experienced and sharpest freelance writing teams in the area to create relevant, credible, compelling daily online content, culminating in weekly print editions and longer features, driving reader engagement and building audience. The ability to recruit and challenge writers and contributors is the top priority, but beating deadlines, streamlining production, media collaborations, tackling technology -- including video -- and building community contributions are also very important. Pioneer Publishing is the most dynamic and fastest-growing media company in Omaha, with a total of ten channels -- half in print, half online -- targeting the area’s fastest-growing demographic and consumer segments. An agile culture, we embrace the digital convergence, and responsive journalism ethic help us define local, alternative media. Start in January. Compensation to match role, health insurance available. Please send resume to


jan. 6 - 12, 2011


omaha jobs

Insurance/Inspector Millennium Information Services is looking for independent contractors to perform exterior residential property insurance inspections in a local territory. Earnings based on number of inspections you complete. Must be currently in business performing like work. You will need the following items to begin: Dependable vehicle, digital camera, measuring wheel &. P C with high-speed Internet access. To learn more about Millennium and to register online, please visit us at and register under property inspector on our employment page.

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jan. 6 - 12, 2011


Letters to the Editor:


Publisher/Editor: John Heaston Content Director: Eric Stoakes, Managing Editor: Sarah Wengert, Contributing News Editor: Andrew Norman, Listings Editor: Paul Clark, Copy Editor: Ed Howard Contributing Editors: Ryan Syrek, Lainey Seyler Senior Editorial Contributors: Leo Biga, Michael Braunstein, Warren Francke, B.J. Huchtemann, Michael Pryor, Jesse D. Stanek, Kyle Tonniges Editorial Contributors: Brian S. Allen, Chris Aponick, Avishay Artsy, Mike Babcock, Sarah Baker Hansen, Nicole Blauw, Wayne Brekke, Steve Brewer, Chalis Bristol, Jill Bruckner, Jeremy Buckley, Jesse Claeys, Paul Clark, Ben Coffman, Brent Crampton, Sally Deskins, Kyle Eustice, Jarrett Fontaine, Adam Froemming, Layne Gabriel, Phil Jarrett, Tessa Jeffers, Camille Kelly, Michael J. Krainak, Jason Krivanek, Casey Logan, Sarah Lorsung Tvrdik, Jasmine Maharisi, Sean McCarthy, Rob McLean, Neal Obermeyer, Adam Payson, Hal Senal, Justin Senkbile, Patricia Sindelar, Darian Stout, Carson Vaughan, Brandon Vogel, Brady Vredenburg, John Wenz, David Williams Photography Contributors: Neal Duffy, Bryce Bridges, Adam Brubaker, Justin Barnes, Fletch, Eric Francis, Dale Heise, Bill Sitzmann, Paparazzi by Appointment, Sean Welch, Marlon A. Wright


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new etc.

7 Top News 8-9 News Hound —=———————————————

heartland healing

11 2011: The Event Horizon ———————————————

j a n . 6 - 1 2 , 2 0 11 V O L . 1 7 n o . 4 6

cover story Heaven Sent:


42 Vision of 2011, Pt. 1 ————————————————

Mojo Po’s Seven Steps to Heaven in 2011 Cover Story ~ Page 12



43 Let’s Get It ————————————————

eight days

47 Fact and Diction 47 Cutting Room: Film News 48 Down on the Farm 48 Report Card: Film Grades ————————————————


14 Chocre Blue! 14 Crumbs: Food News ————————————————


P.O. Box 7360 Omaha, NE 68107 Phone 402.341.7323 Fax 402.341.6967 OUR STAFF

this week

16-17 This Week’s Top Events ————————————————


19 Long Live the Dude 19 Mixed Media: Art News ————————————————


20 American Hate 20 Bookes: Literary News ————————————————


37 Grown Woman 37 Cold Cream: Theater News ————————————————

news of the weird

50 Sneezy Monkey ————————————————


52 Planet Power Horoscopes ————————————————


53 Modern World, Red Meat, Dr. Mysterian ————————————————


39 Driven to Success 39 Backbeat: Music News 40 Quickly Orchestrated ————————————————


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PARTNERS Heartland Healing: Michael Braunstein,

Today’s Omaha Woman: Carrie Kentch,


El Perico: Directorio Latino:



jan. 6 - 12, 2011



dec. 6 - 12, 2011



Q Peace Vigil: Saturday, Jan. 8, 72nd and Dodge. Nebraskans for Peace sponsored vigil supporting peace in the Middle East. 426.9068 Q MoValley Political Committee Meeting:: Thursday, Jan. 6, Whole Foods Community Room, 10020 Regency Circle. Meeting of local Sierra Club chapter to discuss retaining Mayor Jim Suttle. Q Unity Rally for Nebraska Civil & Human Rights: F Tuesday, Jan. 11, 12 p.m., Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln, 1445 K St. Rally for immigration reform, equal justice and economic opportunity for all.

Party politics and the big money that bought a recall


by Brandon Vogel

shot at removing Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle from office was worth $50,000 to Michael Simmonds. The retired restaurant entrepreneur who brought Burger King to Nebraska contributed more than 16 percent of the $307,227 raised by the Mayor Suttle Recall Committee between Aug. 25 and Dec. 21. Together, Simmonds and five other Omaha businessmen put up $209,000 — nearly 70 percent of the $305,595 spent by the recall group. On Jan. 25, the six primary contributors and others will get the special election they paid for — at an estimated cost to taxpayers of up to $900,000, according to the Douglas County Election Commission. The recall group cited unfair taxes, broken promises and a lack of leadership as general reasons to force the Democrat from office. But the money behind the effort reveals another clear motivator — party politics. “Some people feel strongly about politics and don’t care who knows it,” says Paul Landow, political science professor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and former chief of staff under Democratic Mayor Mike Fahey. “When they make a contribution they know it’s going to become public.”

In addition to Simmonds, Pinnacle Bank CEO Sid Dinsdale contributed $40,000 to the recall effort. Pete Ricketts contributed $36,000. The son of TD Ameritrade’s founder and a majority owner of the Chicago Cubs, Ricketts spent $12 million of his own money — the most of any candidate in state history — in a failed bid to defeat Democrat Ben Nelson in the 2006 Senate race. Nelson won the election by a 51 to 49 percent margin. Real estate developer George Venteicher gave $33,000 to the recall group. Venteicher serves as vice president of Omaha Alliance for the Private

Sector, a vocal critic of the mayor’s recent police and fire contract negotiations. Ashley Lynn beauty salon owner Barton Bonn and Mike Cassling, CEO of medical supply company Cassling, each contributed $25,000, according to the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. The same six individuals tried hard to help defeat Suttle in the first place. They contributed a total $87,500 of Republican Hal Daub’s $1.14 million spent. Voters chose Suttle over the for-

e d i t e d

mer mayor by just 2 percent. Suttle spent approximately $700,000 on the election. Noelle Obermeyer, co-treasurer for anti-recall group Forward Omaha, says it was apparent early on to her organization that the many of the wealthiest Daub backers were also supporting the recall. “When you really get to know the players [behind the recall], it appears to be six wealthy individuals trying to stage a coup,” she says. Barton, Dinsdale, Ricketts, Venteicher and Simmonds contributed a total of $46,900 to Republican candidates and committees in 2010, and more than $70,000 in 2008, according to the Federal Elections Commission. Cassling didn’t contribute in federal elections in 2010. But in 2008, he gave $5,000 to the Nebraska Republican Party and $10,000 each to Sens. John McCain and Mike Johanns. In 2009, Cassling donated $15,000 to support Daub and — six days after Suttle defeated Daub on May 12 — $15,000 to the new mayor-elect. It was a donation to Suttle that likely went to fight the recall effort Cassling supported in 2010. Forward Omaha and fellow anti-recall group Committee to Keep Omaha Moving Forward raised $281,583 to support the mayor. About $171,000 of that — more than 60 percent — came from Suttle’s campaign coffers. continued on page 10 y


B y

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Lawyers, lawmakers and church leaders gather to discuss immigration


Good Buy

topnews Rev. Chuck Bentjen of Beatrice knows faith and immigration law are weighty issues that are often difficult to tackle on their own — much less in tandem. So he’ll work hard tp do just that at the First United Methodist Church’s annual Peacemaking Conference on Jan. 16. The church has tackled social issues from an ecumenical perspective for 30 years. And perhaps no news story is bigger in Nebraska than this year’s conference topic — immigration. The City of Fremont is still battling in court over its voter-approved ordinance penalizing employers and landlords from hiring or housing undocumented immigrants. State Sens. Charlie Janssen, of Fremont, and Tony Fulton, of Lincoln, have promised to introduce new Arizona-style immigration laws as Nebraska’s 2011 legislative session begins this week. Over the past year, the state has become a frontline in the national debate. Bentjen, pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church and director of the Manna and Mercy Center for Faith in the Public Life, says this isn’t the Nebraska he knew growing up on a farm near Pender. “I’ve always known it as a place that’s been very caring and helpful to its neighbors,” he says. “What I hear Nebraskans saying now is ‘We don’t want you. You’re bad. And we don’t care what you’re situation is.’ That bothers me a great deal.” Bentjen is one of four featured speakers at the daylong conference, which includes Rev. Frederick McCullough of Omaha’s St. John’s African Methodist Episcopal Church, civil rights attorney Mora James and State Sen. Brenda Council of Omaha. The conference concludes with a screening of 9500 Liberty, a documentary detailing the economic toll and social unrest behind a 2007 immigration law battle in Prince William County, Va. The goal, Bentjen says, is to help educate the public and encourage them to enter the new year with an open mind. “My hope is that people will look at immigration from a new perspective,” he says. “If they were in a desperate situation with their family, what would they do? “We hope that after the conference people will call on their legislators to say ‘This isn’t reflective of our values,’ and urge our congressional delegation to represent comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level.” The 2011 Peacemakers Conference starts at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16 at Lincoln’s First United Methodist Church, 2723 N. 50th St. The event is FREE and open to the public.

theysaidit they


Nebraska’s population density in 1910: 15.5 people per square mile California’s population density in 1910: 15.3 Nebraska’s population density in 2010: 23.8 California’s population density in 2010: 239.1

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

“Washington has to move away from the extreme division and the political practice of the past year, which has been: It’s better to be against everything than to be for anything.”— Sen. Ben Nelson on partisan politics in his weekly column, “A Nebraskan’s View,” from Jan. 3.



jan. 6 - 12, 2011




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10 a.m. GLASSBLOWING with Ed Fennell at Hot Shops (Sold Out!)


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10 a.m. FUSED GLASS FOR THE FAMILY with Barb Greene at Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture


10 a.m. LAMPWORK BEADMAKING with Margie Shanahan at Hot Shops, Studio #304

BEGINNING CARTOONING with Tom Kerr at Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture

A leader of the National Republican Senatorial Committee told CNN on Dec. 29 that Sen. Ben Nelson’s reelection bid could be one of five key races that could lead to a Republican majority in the Senate in 2012. NRSC executive director Ron Jesmer said Nelson is “in serious trouble and kind of in a league of his own.” Nelson has toed the line between political parties, taking fire in Nebraska for his key vote in support of the Democrat-supported health care reform, but leaning Republican with his recent vote in opposition to the DREAM act and his early support of the bi-partisan tax deal. Jesmer named races in Montana, Virginia, Florida and North Dakota as key targets for the GOP in 2012 when Democrats hold 23 of the 33 Senate seats that are up for grabs. Two Republican-commissioned polls released in the past two months show Nelson trailing potential Republican challengers in the 2012 race for his Senate seat.

State senators preparing Arizona-style immigration laws Two state senators announced Dec. 28 that they are separately drafting new Arizona-style immigration laws to give local police more power to identify and deport illegal immigrants in advance of Nebraska’s 2011 legislative session, which began Jan. 5. Charlie Janssen, of Fremont, and Tony Fulton, of Lincoln, told the Associated Press they couldn’t elaborate on their proposals as the bills were still being drafted and could be affected by current legal challenges to the Arizona law and Fremont’s city ordinance. State Senator Brad Ashford, of Omaha, told Fox News Latino that he would oppose any such legislation, saying, “To approve a law like Arizona would be unjust for the legal immigrants.”

Congressmen write in support of Keystone XL Nearly three weeks after 28 congressmen wrote to urge Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to carefully consider

the environmental impact of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, 39 members of the House have signed a letter touting the project’s economic benefits. The U.S. State Department is currently debating approval of a building permit for the TransCanda-owned pipeline, with a decision expected early next year. “The importance of the Keystone XL pipeline for American energy security and the economy are undeniable,” the representatives wrote in the Dec. 23 letter. “It is noteworthy that the opposition to the pipeline focuses on questionable environmental concerns while failing to recognize the significant overall benefit to Americans.” TransCanada says the nearly 2,000-mile-long project could add 13,000 jobs for Americans and $20 billion in new spending for the U.S. economy. More than half of the signatures were from representatives from states along the proposed Keystone XL route with 4 of 5 representatives in Oklahoma, 2 of 4 in Kansas, and 9 of 32 in Texas signing the letter. None of Nebraska’s congressional delegation signed this letter or the Dec. 3 missive asking for further evaluation.

Wheel tax faces legal challenge A group of concerned commuters is going to court to fight Omaha’s new $50 wheel tax on employees who work in the city but live elsewhere. The tax is set to take effect Jan. 1. The Omaha Wheel Tax Coalition, led by Bellevue City Council president Carol Blood, says the new tax violates a state statute because it would be deducted from employees’ paychecks. The group is also examining constitutional challenges to the tax and expects to file suit in district or federal court next week. The city maintains it has investigated the legality of the tax and is confident it would withstand a legal challenge. The tax would generate an estimated $2.8 million next year for maintenance of Omaha’s streets, according to the city.

February Workshops  2.05

10 a.m. PAINTING & VALENTINE’S CARDS with Paula Wallace at Hot Shops


10 a.m. PAINTING & VALENTINE’S CARDS II with Paula Wallace at Hot Shops


2 p.m.


10 a.m. FUSED GLASS AND KILN CARVING with Barb Greene at Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture

POP-UP CARDS with Ying Zhu at Min l Day Architecture

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March Workshops  3.05

2 p.m.


10 a.m. GLASSBLOWING with Ed Fennell at Hot Shops


2 p.m.

BEGINNING UKULELE with Mark Gutierrez at Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture


2 p.m.


BEGINNING CARICATURE with Tom Kerr at Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture



JAN. 6 - 12, 2011



Crimin Stayinalg ouJtusofticte he penalty box

murderink they New year, new shootings: A Police say Mitchel Hadan, 47, shot and killed his girlfriend, Rita Eckhout, 35, and then shot himself while the pair was stopped inside a car near 72nd and L on Jan. 1. Hadan is expected to survive. 2011 HOMICIDES: 1 Creighton report suggests economic growth in 2011 Creighton University’s latest Business Conditions Index predicts healthy economic growth for the ninestate Mid-America region in 2011. The monthly index — which considers leading economic factors like wholesale prices, trade imports and exports, and inventory and employment rates — rose to 57.5 (on a scale of 100) in December. It was the 13th-consecutive month the BCI has remained above the neutral growth mark of 50 percent. “The regional economy ended the year on a high note as the weaker U.S. dollar and an expanding global economy stimulated business activity for firms with close ties to agriculture and energy commodities,” says Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss. The Mid-America region covers Nebraska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

2010 traffic deaths second lowest on record in Nebraska Traffic accidents claimed 186 lives in Nebraska in 2010, the second-lowest total since the state began keeping records in 1937. The low number marked the first time Nebraska fell below the rate of 1 fatality per 100 million miles driven, a goal set by safety officials in 2007’s Nebraska Strategic Highway Safety Plan. In 2009, 223 people died in motor vehicle accidents in the state.

Russia halts shipments from Nebraska pork plant Russia placed a Crete, Neb. pork plant on its list of banned meatpackers Dec. 27 after the U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service said salmonella was found in meat exported to the country.

The Farmland plant, a division of the world’s largest pork producer, Smithfiled Foods, will be prohibited from shipping meat to Russia starting Jan. 5. John Harrington, a livestock consultant, told the Lincoln Journal-Star that the ban could be as much a political move as a quality concern as Russia works to become self-sustaining in meat production.

Young Professionals Summit March 3

8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. If you’re interested in contributing to business and the community, join us and get inspired. Featuring

Cory Booker

Mayor of Newark, New Jersey

Day care closed, owner arrested An Omaha day care provider is facing felony child abuse charges after she allegedly broke the arm of an 11-month-old boy on Dec. 26. Sandra Johnson, 53, was arrested Dec. 29, and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services issued an emergency order suspending her child care license effective Dec. 28. Johnson operated a day care business out of her home near 19th and Sprague. Her bail was set at $50,000.

Omaha tribe asks court to restore sovereign immunity

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The Omaha Tribe has asked the Nebraska Supreme Court to restore its protection from lawsuits after two tribal leaders signed a waiver of immunity with an Omaha-based contractor. StoreVisions, Inc. sued the tribe in October of 2009 saying it has not been paid for construction work on the tribe’s casinos and racetrack facilities. Federal law grants sovereign immunity to American Indian tribes, but a Thurston County district judge ruled earlier this year that the Omaha Tribe waived that right. The Nebraska Supreme Court will hear the appeal on Jan. 7. The tribe, headquartered in Macy, Neb., reopened its Casino Omaha in Onawa, Iowa on Dec. 15 after closing 18 months earlier due to declining business and regulatory violations. —Brandon Vogel



jan. 6 - 12, 2011


topnews y continued from page 7

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“You need a support system. You cannot do it Ç‡Ĺ˝ĆľĆŒĆ?ÄžĹŻÄ¨Í˜dŚĞztĆŒÄžÄ‚ĹŻĹŻÇ‡ŚĂĆ?žĂĚĞÄ‚ÄšĹ?ÄŤÄžĆŒÄžĹśÄ?ÄžĹ?Ĺś my life.â€?

Only two individuals gave more than $5,000 to Suttle’s anti-recall campaign. Former Chairman and CEO of TD Ameritrade Joe Moglia contributed $10,000 to Forward Omaha, according to the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. And well known Omaha businessman and philanthropist Richard Holland donated $15,000 to the Committee to Keep Omaha Moving Forward, which he founded. Holland donated more than $90,000 to Democrats in both the 2010 and 2008 election cycles, according to the FEC. The disparity between Democrat and Republican money in Nebraska is nothing new. Republican gubernatorial and congressional candidates raised about $3.25 million more than their Democratic challengers in 2010. In 2009, Daub had nearly $400,000 more to spend than Suttle. “Nebraska is a conservative, Republican state,� Landow says. “It’s always easier for Republican candidates to raise money and attract support.� Sometimes, money makes enough of a difference to matter, he says. “Having a lot of money doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll win,� he says. “Not

having enough money frequently guarantees you’ll lose.� Obermeyer says Suttle has begun reaching out to donors as the group moves from fighting a recall to actively campaigning to win the election. And while money no doubt was significant in forcing a recall, she says the most important voice has yet to speak. “We’re not trying to change the hearts and minds of voters — we just want them to vote,� Obermeyer says. “The majority hasn’t spoken, but we think they will on Jan. 25.� , ■How do you win 10 games in a college football season and finish unranked? With their embarrassing 19-7 loss to a previously .500 Washington team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers might be about to find out. Heading into the Holiday Bowl the Huskers were ranked 16th and 17th respectively in the Coaches’ and AP polls; but as losers of three of their last four they could be on the outside looking in when the final polls are released. Since Bob Devaney arrived in 1962 the Huskers have never won 10 games and finished unranked, a span that includes the era where only 10 teams were ranked by the AP and UPI. Ranked or not, this season was still a success when compared to the Bill Callahan era but that’s ultimately the point: Most Husker fans thought they were beyond the Callahan comparisons. For Bo Pelini it represents the first step backward in his short tenure in Lincoln. At the start of the season the Huskers were a hot team, a dark horse national title contender. They’ll start 2011 in a new conference with their toughest schedule in decades and — in what may be the biggest loss of all — no discernible buzz whatsoever. The quarterback situation is up in the air again. The greatest kicker in school history is gone and his potential replacement — as much as there can be one — just reneged on his commitment. The offense is still the albatross around Pelini’s neck. This is supposed to be the time of the year for unbridled optimism. Most of us haven’t even had time to break our New Year’s resolutions. Ironically, resolve might be the only thing the Huskers have to build on as they prepare for the Big 10. Who saw that coming? ■ Creighton, on the other hand, is heading into 2011 on a wave of momentum after winning the last six games going into their Jan. 4 game with Missouri State. Following a tough non-conference schedule that saw the Jays suffer bitter losses to Iowa State, Northwestern and BYU, first-year Coach Greg McDermott has the team coming together as they enter Missouri Valley Conference play. That’s always been the Jays ticket to success and they’ll get a good test this week with three conference games in six days. The conference season is long, but this is statement time for Creighton.

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JAN. 6 - 12, 2011


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2011: The Event Horizon


redicting the future is pointless. There is no future. In fact, there is no past. Neither exists. There is only the infinite now. So-called predictions are in reality observations of current events and conditions. A common phrase demonstrates the past and the future are not real. Computer technology gave us the term “real time.” It refers to something that is happening in the “now,” such as “real time” information: real time stock quotes or real time graphics or real time simulation, and so on. The inference is clear. If “now” is real time then anything not “now” must be unreal. Simple as that. De-stress now. The very fact that the future does not at any time exist is a good reason why we should never be stressed about anything. Stress (for the most part) is generally the result of worrying about something not real, either something that may happen in the future or something that has already happened. Neither exists at this moment and events in the future are always unpredictable. With that in mind, the present reality presents interesting potential for 2011. Food: The Final Frontier. The passage last year of the 2010 Food Safety Act will do for food freedom what the Patriot Act did for personal rights. A friend scoffed the other day when I hinted that. He said, “I’m really not worried that the Food Police will be coming to my back yard to confiscate my tomatoes.” Well, just a handful of years ago, did anyone think such a nicely named law as the Patriot Act would lead to airport guards sticking their hands in your crotch or blasting radiation through your entire body? Did you ever think an agency you never heard of before 2002, the TSA, would have so much power and make something as potentially enjoyable as a vacation flight so interminably unbearable? With the 2010 Food Safety Act, the demise of natural food continues. Take this as an example: If you are walking through a forest and you spot an almond tree, it would be natural to gather some of the nuts and munch on them for a snack. They wouldn’t be roasted or salted or artificially flavored with smoke-tasting chemicals but they would be raw and whole as Nature provides them. (Almonds are a safe food that doesn’t require any cooking and can be eaten raw.) Raw almonds contain natural nutrients unadulterated by cooking. But because of the industrialized way big corporations handle food in the United States, usually in deplorable conditions, industrially produced commercial almonds can sometimes come in contact with salmonella and possibly sicken someone. That’s what happened in 2004. Seven people in the United States were suspected of contracting food poisoning from raw almonds. Seven. All recovered. Contaminated almonds came from a huge California almond producer. But the FDA dictated that now all almonds must be heated, irradiated, cooked or blasted with a toxic poison (propylene oxide) to (hopefully)

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kill salmonella. It is now impossible to buy natural, raw almonds in the United States. The FDA response was harsh and over-reactive. In addition, it totally misses the cause of the problem: poor handling and processing techniques endemic in large-scale, corporate industrialization of our food supply. The continued mishandling and sloppy processing of food — including meats and eggs — is the true cause of food-borne illness. That means the living and slaughtering conditions of the billions of livestock animals we raise have to change, too. That part of the food chain needs to be addressed. Clean up the industry at the point before contamination happens and we won’t be forced to sterilize and deplete the nutrition of our food after it’s already messed up. Did you realize that nearly all the hamburger you eat is zapped with radiation or blended with ammonia to kill bacteria that shouldn’t be allowed to be in the meat in the first place? The 2010 Food Safety Bill extends the power of the FDA to enforce regulations that won’t really make industrial food safe (or more nutritious!) but will certainly make the Food Oligopoly stronger. The bill creates rules that will increase production costs for small farmers, will dictate exactly how food can be grown, (“You put manure on that crop to fertilize it? That will never do. You must use sterile, chemical fertilizers!”) and will handcuff those wanting to use non-GMO seeds. Monsanto benefits, real farmers don’t. Read a critical estimation at It’s Mayan, all Mayan! By summer 2011, news will trend toward the 2012 Mayan prediction of massive change. While nearly everyone agrees that the cyclic Mayan calendar identifies 2012 as a major nexus of cosmology, no one knows what that means. Some will predict doom; others a rebirthing of the planet. What is certain is that media attention will swarm to everything Mayan by autumn. It will make the Y2K freakout seem mild by comparison. Y2K fear was grounded in real science but was groundless, nonetheless. 2012 has scientific realities, too. A geomagnetic reversal will occur in 2012, with Earth’s poles shifting 180 degrees. Sun storms will reach a solar maximum, too. It all could result in a radical shift for the planet and civilization’s power grid. The final months of 2011 will be filled with 2012 prophecies, both scientific and specious. Quick hits for 2011: Americans will grow personally more self-sufficient as governments provide less quality of life. Gas prices soar. Food prices follow. More people grow their own food. More pharmaceutical drugs will be found to be deadly and withdrawn from market. After initially seeming to improve, the economy will be stressed by the fact the planet is running out of stuff: water, oil, land, rare metals (for precious iPhones) etc. Solar energy industry will take off with individual power points becoming commonplace. The McDonald’s Happy Meal Hamburger still won’t decompose. Be well. ,

by Michael Braunstein examines various alternative forms of healing. It is provided as a source of information, not as medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Access past columns at

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Jan. 6 - 11, 2011


heaven sent



’ve got a few bon mots to jumpstart your entrée into 2011. Hope you enjoy …   There are seven steps to Heaven, and they’re probably the Seven Deadly Sins transcended. Here’s the list, along with suggestions for their resolution. PRIDE: Give up foolish pride. LUST: Doesn’t it depend on what you lust for? GLUTTONY: Look at yourself naked in a mirror. ENVY: Be happy with what you’ve got. COVETOUSNESS: You don’t even own your own body, so there is no real owning when everything is on loan, right? SLOTH: Quit being so lazy … WRATH: … Or I’ll kill ya! In an ecological world, the only sin is waste — waste of an opportunity or a resource. Happy Chinese New Year on Groundhog’s Day, the New Moon in Aquarius Feb. 2. Kung Hei Fat Choi! The BIGGEST astrological event in 2011 has to be the Sun and New Moon in Aries, along with Mars conjunct the planet Uranus, plus Jupiter followed by a retrograding Mercury. This stellium of planets occupies Aries, in opposition to an exalted Saturn in Libra, April 3. Time to restart our economy, our philosophy and our lives. Have a happy and worthwhile new year, each and every one of you. Due to limited publishing space, you can check out the expanded version of your year ahead forecast at a ARIES (3.21-4.20) Batter up! Jupiter, the planet of luck, beneficence and expansion, is in Aries until June. Use it before you lose it. You start 2011 at the top of your game. Your ruler Mars is halfway through the sign of its exaltation, Capricorn, until the afternoon of Jan. 15 (Mars enters Aquarius), when you’ll need to give it all away somehow, some way or the other, to a sister or a brother — your everyday world that you’re giving a twirl. Try it. We’ll buy it. After that, Mars enters Pisces at sunset Feb. 22. The planet Uranus, the planet of electricity, modern astrology, the unusual, eccentric and bizarre, enters Aries March 11 for its next seven-year transit. Look up “altruism” in the dictionary and become at one with it. It always takes help from others to make your dreams come true in this physical 3D world we share. Personally, I’ve always been a dreamer and anticipator. Your turn’s coming sooner than later. It’ll be your turn to pursue your dreams as Mars moves through Pisces to sprout 2011’s seeds from Feb. 22 until it enters your own sign the first week in April. This prognosticates an early personal spring for you to do your early personal thing. As usual, you’re ahead of your class — if anyone has to ask. Does “Me first!” ring your school bell? We know you so well. April 3rd you get the holy word! It starts with the New Moon in Aries. Then the Moon moves opposite Saturn in its sign of exaltation (Libra) while the Sun conjuncts Jupiter in Aries and Mars conjuncts the planet Uranus, both in Aries. Finally, at sunset, the Sun moves in opposition to Saturn — all on the day of the Sun. Mark April 3 on your calendar with a red star. You might as well sleep until then and find


Jan. 6 - 12, 2011

out who’s your friend. You can believe me now, ’cause you’re gonna believe me in the end … Is every ending a new beginning — or just an extra inning? Batter up, Buttercup. But wait until spring to take a swing! b TAURUS (4.21-5.20) Thank GOD that’s over! Your ruler Venus has been in your opposite sign of Scorpio since Sept. 2010, and resides there until Jan. 7. Four months of not being yourself, of not being for yourself and of learning about yourself from others; your sisters, brothers and lovers. A new economic philosophy is being born now until the Chinese New Year/Groundhog Day, Feb. 2-3. You’ll have until then to find the money (theoretical 8th House); but is it money you seek? Freedom will be a key. Do you wish to love or be adored? If both were available to you, which would you choose? Are you the lover or the “lovee”? Which is more important to thee? We’ll see, won’t we? In February (Venus in Capricorn), you return to school to learn economy’s Golden Rule: “The One with the Gold Rules.” Uh-oh! I see old love and old lovers surprisin’ on the horizon! March finds Venus in Aquarius, working together with the people you know are your sisters and brothers, your tribe, those who know your limits as you know theirs. It’s time to care and share. Venus is exalted in Pisces March 27-April 21. Dream on the little birds of spring, for love and loving is your thing. Don’t go all macho/ macha on me. Wait until April 2, when Venus moves into Aries ahead of the multi-Aries New Moon April 3. Careful that you’re not premature … (It’s almost a guarantee.) Isn’t incorrect impulse often (always!) your downfall, Toro y Torita? Even with your own Taurus New Moon May 3, I’d have to suggest that you keep it in your own pasture/pants until Moonday, May 16, when Venus comes back home into Taurus. If you’re not really in or can’t find true love by June 9 go for the money. c GEMINI (5.21-6.21) YANG: Now, I know this won’t be for everyone, but let me lay out some information which may correspond with your spiritual and mystical growth. Jan. 10-11, your ruler Mercury (planet of mentality, wit and communication) is conjunct the galactic center, the God of the Maya, the “Hunab Ku,” at 26 degrees Sagittarius — where the Earth will be Dec. 23, 2012. Ring a Mayan bell? It will. It will relate to what was affecting you last Hal-


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loween and was recapitulated Dec. 21. Do you have a part in a coming drama — or is it all Maya? We’ll see … YIN: Meanwhile, back on planet Earth … What a confusing end to 2010 (Mercury retrograde in opposition), wasn’t it? What did you learn, and how can you use it best to stand the test of time? Start by realizing what you’ve been potentializing since December, when Mercury moved retrograde. This January 15-16, Mercury kisses the Dragon’s Head (the North Node of this lifetime’s karma) and what you’ll feel, you need to be real. Since it’s in Capricorn, it could concern your economy, a financially related division (Capricorn’s ruler Saturn in Libra) or a grave decision. You can create your own shadow February 2-3 (the Chinese New Year and New Moon in Aquarius on Groundhog’s Day), as Mercury joins the party and enters Aquarius, the sign of its exaltation. Intelligence (Mercury) finds its highest expression in Aquarius, the sign of inventive genius. The vocabulary of transcendence lasts until Mercury and the Sun enter Pisces Feb. 20, when it shifts to a more spiritual “transcend-dance” — an example of a multi-dimensional pun, which you’ll be used to by then — or when it’s done, my friend. Your dreamtime will be over and you’ll be rolling in the clover as of Mardi Gras/Ash Wednesday. An unusual, eccentric project should initiate around then. Mercury and the planet Uranus enter the sign of new starts (Aries) in your theoretical 11th House. It’ll happen at a party or a gathering of some kind. Any “new starts” will be tested March 30-April 23, as Mercury retrogrades. Your ruler Mercury retrogrades three times a year, creating a three-week phase for reflection. The other retrogrades this year are Aug. 3-25 and from ThanksgivingDec. 13. Keep track of these dates. I’ll try to remind you, but Mercury’s retrograde as I’m writing this … so who knows? At the end of the second retrograde, April 22, an old debt is due to show up for you to help evaluate your past. Mercury retrograde isn’t always necessarily a bad thing; it’s a potentializing thing, forcing us to rethink, review and renew. Your next New Honey Moon is the first of June; with the New Moon partial Solar Eclipse in Gemini, which Mercury enters June 2. That’s when you’ll be born dale heise

Mojo Po’s Seven Steps to Heaven in 2011

again. You’re here to communicate. You won’t be happy until you’re understood. Mid-June has you overly concerned with money matters and economic insecurity. Work on your homestead, house, landscape and the garden that is your life. Make a dynamic move around July 4, and keep the ball rolling until August — a month of review for you. Then finish what you started end of July and concentrate on details during September. Remember, concentrate on your home center. The lessons of music are your keys to the harmonies you seek mid-Sept.-Oct. 13. Harmony’s more powerful than unison. Find what keys you sing in. What’s your favorite song? If you have to wonder if it’s music or not, it’s not. Is music magique? You’ll find out, as Mercury moves from Libra (the sign of harmony) into Scorpio, the occult sign of mysteries and enchantment and all things occult, Oct. 13. Happy Halloween! I’ll be “see-ancing” you by the Full Moon total Eclipse in Gemini (in opposition to a retrograding Mercury in Sagittarius), Dec. 10. We’ve got a year to work on that, for a happy half-birthday gift. Enjoy 2011 until then, from one of your many friends. Thanks for reminding us (the other 11 signs) to keep our sense of humor. d CANCER (6.22-7.22) With you, it’s always a matter of following your ruler, the Moon. It’s the astrological “planet” that represents and develops our personality — or the basis of how we relate to one another on this planet Earth experience. The Moon is the giver of form. The entire zodiac offers an analogy to the development and subsequent release of the personality; starting in Aries and leading to its surrender in the cosmic universality that is Pisces. The raw material of the personality is gathered in your sign of Cancer. The developing “ego” emerges into its usage in Leo and its perfection in Virgo, when the continually evolving ego realizes that “to serve is to rule.” The foundation that bases the evolving personality is an accumulation of the first three signs of spring: the “I AM” of Aries, the “I HAVE” of Taurus and the “I THINK” of Gemini. That’s what the “claws” of Cancer the Crab hold on to. Those first three cosmic experiences become the basis for the raw material of personality held together by the Cancer incarnation. The first six signs develop our personal growth, perfected in Virgo and continuing into Libra, where the social realms of interaction symbolized by the last six signs continue to develop the growth of the ego until it reaches its ultimate dissolution in the sign of Pisces. It doesn’t do any good, or mean anything, to surrender a nonexistent ego, does it? This relates as an analogy with the living/dying experience. Cancer is the sign where we gather the raw material we use to create our personality. Use it to “surf ” the tides of the zodiac. Follow the Moon. Surf ’s up! Your rebirth, or half-birthday, comes with the Full Moon on the Cancer/Leo cusp Jan. 19. Two weeks later, it’s the Full Moon in Aquarius (the sign of the unexpected), the Chinese New Year and Groundhog’s Day. Here comes some unexpected money (8th House). The next Full Moon is Feb. 18, in Leo. More money (2nd House)? The New Moon (conjunct Mars) March 4 is in Pisces. Wear red to get ahead. The Full Moon in Virgo is March 19. Details, details,

details. Never fails. The next New Moon starts the astrological new year in Aries, April 3. It’ll be a mother! Give form (the Moon) to something energetic (Mars), BIG (Jupiter), unexpected (the planet Uranus) and brilliant (the Sun)! Balance it all out by the Full Moon in Libra, Palm Sunday, April 17. The New Moon in its sign of exaltation is May 3, in Taurus, of “chorus.” Taurus rules the throat, so it’s time for you to sing a new song — one that you wrote. The Full Moon in fellow water sign Scorpio is May 17, you sexy dogs! How does the MOJO know? (Maybe he’s a Scorpio?) The next New Moon Solar Eclipse is in Gemini, in your theoretical 12th House of self-undoing. Do I hear some clichés to keep your boat afloat? (“A slip of the lip can sink your ship.” “Silence is golden.” Etc., etc.) Travel (at least in your mind) and see if you find clues (the Full Moon conjunct the North Node of this lifetime’s karma) for this incarnation’s dues and blues. You are reborn on the New Moon Solar Eclipse July 1. That’s your rebirth-day, a short half-a-year from now. Start by following the Moon and learn to surf the Zuvuya. Surf ’s up! Let’s hang 11 (surfers) or 12 (bunnies)! e LEO (7.23-8.22) What can I offer someone who knows everything better than anyone else, figures to win every bet, assumes we are all here to serve them and is somehow related to Divinity? Please, your majesty, if you would be so kind as to give relevance to my tortured, plebian life and read the first part of Cancer to better gauge the mystery of your astrological life’s mission. We all love you. I know it’s lonely at the top. (You complain about it all the time, that’s how I know!) It’s also warmer, more comfortable and usually implies an atmosphere of security. But what price must you pay for such imperial treatment? Let’s look through 2011’s clues, dues and don’ts to set up your wills and won’ts. Just like the rest of us, you win or you lose depending on how you choose, your majesty. Let’s center … Pluto is within the first 7 degrees of Capricorn all year, activating economic regeneration through your theoretical 6th House of health and work. Details, details, details! It’s there for a long time, but eventually it makes you money — once you feel compelled (the key word), then you let it. A Scorpio will be/have the key. Neptune’s been in your opposite sign of Aquarius these last 13 years and remains for one more, affecting late Leos with a vague, ephemeral opposition. Watch out for Pisces. It’s almost over. A clue for you: Neptune rules the indefinable. The unusual, eccentric planet Uranus moves into Aries, your theoretical 9th House of travel, foreign lands, formal education, gambling, luck, philosophy, generosity and philanthropy. You’ll have seven years to develop those groovy aspects of your human personality, you intriguing rogue, you. Saturn’s exalted in Libra these next two years. You must dress royally to be taken for royalty, right? (Let’s face it, a large part of your gig is lookin’ cool. How does the MOJO know?) Jupiter starts blasting through your 9th House for a year Jan. 22. Traveling, schooling, publishing, teaching a class and having a blast (9th House), that’s how you expand (Jupiter). Mars represents your helpers; the soldiers you send to do your bidding and fulfill your quests. Mars starts 2011 in heaven (in Capricorn, where it’s exalted) until Jan. 15. From then until the end of February, Mars is in opposition to your Leo planets. Watch your “helpers” closely, especially Feb. 21, when there’s a Mars/Neptune conjunction at 28 degrees Aquarius. Mars is in Pisces (time to dream about how to get other people’s money) until April 3rd, when

you get the word. That’s when you make it happen, Cap’n. That’s when you create the scene, my queen. From May 11June 21, Mars is in your 10th House of fame and fortune. Your reputation will make or break you. I guess it depends on what you’re famous for, doesn’t it? Watch your temper until the 20th of September, when your real friends show up and prove themselves. If you help them handle the little details, they’ll make you money after Oct. 10. In January, you love your freedom. In February, you love money, materiali$m, $tatu$ quo and tradition. In March, you love humanity, electricity, invention and quick wit. Stay the dreamer until April 21. Then create art and start something from something you heard April 3rd. That’s the word. I’ll keep you updated on when and where Mercury offers difficulties. Pick your path carefully. f VIRGO (8.23-9.22) Mother Nature, Isis, Sophia, Erzulie, the celibate goddess of fertility(?), the blessed Virgo Mary, the power within the Earth to grow things, the simple magique that turns a seed into the sprout, and the root of all manifested life here on Earth. That’s you. That’s why you’re here, to turn your life into a fertile garden. That’s why you’re so picky and detail-oriented, for when Mother Nature makes a mistake myriad life forms can suffer and die. Let’s see if we can sprout some deeds from 2011’s seeds … What a mess! When your ruler Mercury left off in December, it had just finished a three-week retrograde beginning in Sagittarius, in a square aspect to the later degrees of Virgo, bringing confusion to your 4th House, your home center. I’d suggest you start your New Year’s with a thorough after-party cleanup to get back on track. Remember, your house is your body and your room is your mind. A big moneymaking idea comes in from your oldest child, your father or a Scorpio by the Full Moon at 29 degrees Cancer Jan. 19. Who’s gonna pay for all this? That’s the economic question of the year so far. Mercury moves into Capricorn Jan. 13- Feb. 2-3, Groundhog’s Day and the Chinese New Year. Begin the Year of the Rabbit with a move toward altruism. With Mercury exalted in Aquarius Feb. 3, following the New Moon, it would be a good time to meditate on your role in society, study electricity, look up “altruism” in the dictionary and offer up a “favor” of some sort to someone, without any concern for your own remuneration (better look that one up, too). Aquarius rules dreams that you can manifest in some way. Feb. 21(President’s Day)- March 9(Ash Wednesday), Mercury enters Pisces, hand-in-hand with the Sun. These be the times for dreams beyond the mortal; unicorns, Pegasus, fairies, elves, trolls, gnomes, mystical adventures and adventurers far from home — perhaps leading to some sort of mystical/spiritual thoughts, meditations and actions? Always meditate before a new beginning, and April 2-3 (the New Moon in Aries) is the actual new beginning of the astrological new year. The Sun (exalted in Aries), the Moon, Mercury (just turning retrograde until April 23), Mars (conjunct the planet Uranus) and Jupiter are all in the sign of new beginnings, Aries. Something’s gotta happen, something’s gotta break and since all those planets are in opposition to Saturn in Libra, somewhere there’s gonna be a war. This Arian stellium affects your Virgo-ruled 6th House of work and health. It’s a perfect time for you to spring (cleaning?) into a new health regime or job. Remember, people don’t get rich working for other people. If you’re tired of playing everybody’s second ba-

nana, April proves time for a move to initiate your new groove. Put your head down (like Aries the Ram), and charge LARGE! Wait a minute! What about Mercury retrograde? Well, since this retrograde Mercury is opposite Saturn in Libra, we’ll have to eventually (Saturn rules time) balance (Libra) out the impetuosity of Aries. Mercury moves direct April 23. Everything, including your new plan, should work out by mid-May, around the Full Moon in Scorpio May 17, which will be opposite the Sun and a conjunct Mercury, Venus and Mars, in early Taurus. Hope that sprouts some seeds to help nourish your 2011 deeds. Let’s keep up and I’ll talk with you soon, by the next Full Moon. g LIBRA (9.23-10.22) “Grace” is the cash of the spiritual economy. The planet Saturn is exalted in Libra before it moves into Scorpio, conjunct Mercury, as your birthday gift from the cosmos in 2012, if you’ve been good little boys and girls. Balance is the key through the door to mystery. I figure this is about a journey within and without (your wins versus your doubts), for you to better understand the yin/yang and the enchantment of life and death’s mysteries as of Oct. 6, 2012. Let’s seek the highest usage. Your relationship with Capricorn (and Capricorns) will be highlighted these next two years. Due to Saturn’s rulership of Capricorn, Jan. 4th’s New Moon Solar Eclipse conjunct Mars, which is exalted in Capricorn, affected your home center; your 4th house. This was the start of YOUR New Year’s. Time to fire it up. Let’s follow Saturn for this coming year, since Saturn rules karma and Libra rules balance. Are you scared? It’s responsibility and commitment (also ruled by Saturn) creeping up on you. Saturn moves retrograde at 17 degrees Libra Jan. 26, and continues to move “backward” until June 13. When it reaches 10 degrees Libra, it will recapitulate where you were Halloween 2010. Start giving form to spiritual/ esoteric magique. There’s both BIG money and “grace” in it. Which means more to thee? Your ruler Venus moved into Sagittarius until Feb. 4. Your sisters and brothers and mothers and lovers have the uplifting word for you (and perhaps $ome cake). Their optimism lasts until Feb. 4, then it’s time for you to get a job or get out (“It’s for your own good!”). After March 3, when Venus moves into Aquarius, get out and about. Study the occult, astrology or computers, join a group and get social. Electrify yourself. At the end of March, Venus moves into its exaltation in Pisces. Don’t be fooled; the April fool has its name all over you. Hide the first week of April, as a veritable military barrage of planets is heading right toward you. Your only prayer is to put everything into your partnerships, then turn around and become your own biggest enemy. That’s why I said hide. The New Moon April 3 has the Sun, Moon, Jupiter and Mars (which is conjunct the planet Uranus in the 1st degree) all in Aries in opposition to your Saturn (the planet of your status quo) in Libra, followed the next day by a retrograde Mercury. You won’t have a chance. Magicians don’t leave, they disappear. Only magique can help you in April. (Study martial arts.) That’s an example of the type of comeback I’m talking about. You’re famous for. Now prove it. Resurface in May? Take your time. Maybe June. You could try for the May 3 Taurus New Moon, but it may be too soon. There will still be five planets in Aries directly opposite retrograding Saturn in Libra. Better to wait until mid-June. Saturn moves direct soon, on a sunny Whitsunday (Pentecost) right before the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse

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June 15, conjunct the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, the Hunab Ku, the god of the Maya. This is when the magique grace shall enter you. Spit it out your throat; sing us a song you wrote. You are once again the harmony you seek, and all you had to do was speak. That’s grace/cash in this nebulous world. Study (do) yoga. h SCORPIO (10.23-11.22) Plutonians: The Sun is still barely conjunct your esoteric ruler Pluto at 5 degrees Capricorn, and conjunct the North Node (this lifetime’s karma) by 2 degrees. Big things are coming from the past. Tradition intrigues you. You feel that, somehow or another, if you had enough money it could all work out. There is money in mistakes. Someone will be willing to pay for something another is throwing away. If you have the worst, sell the best. If you have the best, sell the worst. Become a cashier, not a salesperson. Nobody becomes a millionaire working for someone else. Oh, yeah?! Then, prove it. I’m talking to you, not through you. Regenerate (Pluto) through yoga (which means union) and the traditions you hold to be true from the past (Capricorn). There’s no hurry. You’ve got all the time in the world. Why are you here? In a karmic universe, you wouldn’t just accidentally be born here. You “asked” to be born here. You promised? Ring a bell? Let’s check your chronology. Get ready to lower your evolutionary standards … Martians: You’re happy. You’re strong. But now, it takes too long. From Jan. 15 on, things move quick, quick, quick to keep it slick, as Mars moves into nefarious Aquarius. You’re thinking at an electrifying pace from outer space, as science fiction infects your diction. You’re a stranger in a strange land, where a stranger leaves something strange in your hand. Happy Valentine’s Day! (Who can you trust? How do you know when an actor is acting or not?) Feb. 23, Mars moves into Pisces. Fiery Mars generally isn’t too happy in watery Pisces. It’ll have a cleansing effect. So, unless you have a mystical bent that helps pay your rent (you don’t, so you won’t), it’s rain and snow from MOJOPO until April 3rd, when you get the holy word. The action focuses on your theoretical 6th House of work and health. Start something. Start a fire! This is your true new year. Be the leader or follow someone who can lead. Learn from them and eventually take over and retire them to Florida or Arizona. It will seem like your world, the start of your year, your season, and your month — for a week. Then, you’ll have to learn to follow up. You are a catalyst. Here come Venus, Mercury and Mars, running hand in hand through the meadows of the stars and the flowers of spring, in opposition to the Full Moon in Scorpio at dawn May 17. Beauty has its chance with you. Find someone to make romance with you, even if it’s only for the magical effect. What the heck? It’s your magical half-birthday present from the stars. Study (Mercury) love (Venus), and see what you can build. Now, back to Mars, which moves into Gemini just in time for the Solstice, June 21. This puts you in the background in the realm of other people’s money. Write a book about it (communication is key), and start to publish by Aug. 3. With Mars now in Cancer, taking care of the homestead is the answer. You’ll have a September to remember, as Mars moves into Leo, your 10th House of fame and fortune, until your birthday. Have a big party. Your friends are the reason why you’ll be where you will be. Happy birthday, from Michael P.


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JAN. 6 - 12, 2011


Chocre Blue!

84th Street Café Serving delicious cost-conscious food. 8013 S. 83rd Ave. • 597-5003 Anthony’s Steakhouse/The Ozone Club For more than 38 years, Anthony’s has been known for its steaks, using premium black angus beef aged on premises. Anthony’s is dedicated to bringing customers a truly special dining event every visit. 7220 F St. • 331.7575 Bailey’s Best breakfast in town. “King of Eggs Benedict.” 1 block south of 120th & Pacific • 932-5577 Attic Bar & Grill Great food and great drinks with live music. 3231 Harney St. • 932.5387 Blue Planet Natural Grill Healthy People. Healthy Planet. 6307 Center St. • 218.4555 Cascio’s Steakhouse Established 1946, 63 years of selling great steaks. 1620 S. 10th St. • 345-8313

Blue Brothers bring fine chocolates to Lincoln


by Lainey Seyler

hen Chris Blue decided to pursue a career in the culinary field, his mother told him to focus on what he liked most to eat. We should all be thankful that it’s chocolate. After graduating from the French Pastry School in Chicago and working at the Windy City’s Charlie Trotter’s as chocolatier for several years, and as a pastry chef in Florida, Blue opened his first Chocolatier Blue in Utah. Soon after, he and his wife relocated to the Bay area and have opened two shops in Berkeley, Calif., with two more California locations on the way in 2011. In

Dundee Dell Omaha’s Finest Neighborhood Restaurant & Pub 5007 Underwood Ave. • 553.9501

La Casa Pizzeria Fine Italian Dining Since 1953. Located on historic Leavenworth street in midtown Omaha, La Casa has the freshest pizza in town. 4432 Leavenworth St. • 556.6464 La Mesa An authentic Mexican experience, from mouthwatering enchiladas to fabulous fajitas. Top it off with one of La Mesa’s famous margaritas. Voted # 1 Mexican Restaurant seven years in a row. Locations: 156th and Q • 763.2555 110th & Maple • 496-1101 Ft. Crook Rd. and 370 (Bellevue) • 733.8754 84th and Tara Plaza (Papillion) • 593.0983 Lake Manawa Exit (Council Bluffs) • 712.256.2762 Matsu Sushi Downtown’s Original Sushi Restaurant 1009 Farnam St. • 346-3988

Shucks Fish House & Oyster Bar Great Seafood. Great Prices. Southwest corner of 168th & Center 1218 S 119 St. • 827.4376 Ted & Wally’s Premium Ice Cream Voted best ice cream in Omaha! 1120 Jackson St. • 341.5827


jan. 6 - 12, 2011

chocolatier blue

August 2010, Blue’s brother, Sean Blue, opened a Chocolatier Blue location in their hometown of Lincoln, at 41st and Pioneer Woods Drive. Chris also says he and his brother are looking to open a store in Omaha sometime in 2011, although he doesn’t have details yet on where or when. The Lincoln store sells fine chocolates that Chris makes at his kitchen in Berkeley and ships overnight to Lincoln, all of them looking like edible pieces of art. Chocolatier Blue keeps 10-12 popular chocolates, such as caramel, espresso and hazelnut always in stock but rotates offerings seasonally. He sells up to 150 flavor combinations every year including such concoctions such as grapefruit with rosemary, pear bay leaf and eggnog or holiday spice for the Christmas season.


“He (Chris) plays around with different flavors,” says Sean. “One time he had ants on a log. It did not sell for anything. He said he wouldn’t do that again. It’s hard to get people to try new stuff,” continues Sean. “People think ‘bay leaf, I put that in my soup.’” One of Sean’s favorite flavors is summer’s banana split, but caramel and other more traditional flavors such as pistachio and hazelnut are the biggest sellers. Sean Blue opened Chocolatier Blue after he was laid off from his job at an organic food certification company in Lincoln. He says, “I got laid off and put all my retirement in (opening Chocolatier Blue). I put it all on the table.” Business was good over the holidays. Chris reports that Sean would call him begging for more chocolate. With a newly expanded kitchen, Chris can turn out 5,000 chocolates in two days, just enough to keep the shelves at his three current stores stocked during the holidays. My sister and I trekked to Lincoln to seek out the chocolate morsels, which sell for $1 each with discounts for bulk orders. Blue uses Amedei Chocolate from Tuscany as a base for his sweets, a fine (and expensive) chocolate. The butter comes from Five Star Butter Co., which makes arguably the best butter in the world. Many fruits are sourced locally, an easier feat when you live in California. “A lot of my focus is on getting great ingredients. The pistachios are from Sicily, the hazelnuts are from Washington state. I’m not concerned with where it comes from, just that it’s the best,” says Chris Blue. “We pay an extraordinary amount for butter and chocolate.” In the south Lincoln strip mall, Chocolatier Blue occupies a clean space next to The Oven. The store’s walls are light blue with charming photos by Chris Blue’s wife Jess Steeve. My sister and I went a bit gaga over the beautiful display of chocolates laid out on the marble countertop. Little squares, spheres and rounded hearts of multi-colored chocolates tempted shoppers. We eventually decided on six chocolates (chili, pasadam brubaker

Hector’s Boasting the only Baja-style Mexican cuisine in the city, Hector’s serves fresh food with panache from Baja California and northwest Mexico. Two Locations: 1201 S. 157th St. • 884.2272 3007 S. 83rd Plz. • 391.2923

Top five food predictions for 2011:




Tipplers will be able to order a proper cocktail. Instead of reaching for a jug of neon green liquid when making a daiquiri, bartenders will instead opt for fresh lime juice, rum and simple syrup. We’ll see more from-scratch cocktails and less reliance on mixes and pre-made drinks. Keep it close. We’ll continue to see locally sourced ingredients on menus, from meat and vegetables to beers, spirits and cocktails. I have a coupon for that … Sites like Groupon and enable diners to try restaurants outside their comfort zone at a discount, giving them a reason to try a new place or dish they’ve been curious about. More and more eaters will be stretching their palates without emptying their wallets to try new things. Mmmm … donuts. Here’s hoping donut lovers will have more to look forward to in 2011 than premixed, generic donuts indistinguishable from their counterparts. It seems as if just about everyone’s using the same recipe. There’s plenty of room to be different without resorting to gimmicks. Keep on truckin’. Though food trucks aren’t a new idea, we’ll see more restaurateurs going mobile in 2011, giving diners more choices in more locations. A truck offers a lower cost of entry and an (hopefully) easier time of getting the city’s blessing to get rolling.  — Kyle Tonniges Comments? Questions? Want more? Check out our Booked blog online at Or email us at

sion fruit caramel, pear bay leaf, sunflower butter with orange marmalade, espresso and grapefruit with rosemary) and nibbled at them slowly. Sunflower butter with orange marmalade was our favorite. It was nicely nutty and faintly salty with a tangy layer of marmalade for a finish. The dark chocolate crunched under the bite. Sage honey, creamy and not too sweet, came encased in a heart-shaped cocoon of chocolate carefully painted yellow and white. Grapefruit with rosemary was clean and reminiscent of the forest. Espresso, another favorite, was rich with bitter low notes. We left the store with a box of 10 for our grandma, who is probably the world’s biggest lover of chocolate treats of any sort. , Chocolatier Blue, 4101 Pioneer Woods Dr., is open daily from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Visit chocolatierblue. com or call 402.488.0048. Omaha residents can place orders online.


jan. 6 - 12, 2011


8 days Jan. 6-9

Sesame Street Live: Elmo’s Healthy Heroes!

Qwest Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St. Jan. 6, 7 p.m.; Jan. 7, 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Jan. 8, 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Jan. 9, 1 and 4:30 p.m.; $10 Jan. 6, $12-50 Jan. 7-9, 800.745.3000,

What ever happened to Super Grover? Remember the blue monster that clumsily tried to help cats stuck in trees, and restaurateurs without forks on Sesame Street? Well, in Elmo’s Healthy Heroes you and your family can help bring back his “superness” along with your favorite Sesame Street friends like Abby Cadabby, Oscar the Grouch and Count Von Count, all while exploring nutrition, sleep, energy and hygiene through song and dance. Wear your comfy clothes; this comical quest is sure to get your kids’ and your own blood pumping and feet tapping. — Sally Deskins


jan. 6 - 12, 2011

t h e r e ad e r ’ s entertainment picks J an . 6 - 1 2 , 2 0 1 0


Monster Jam

Jan. 7-9

Monster Jam

Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m.; $30-45, $5 and up for kids 800.745.3000, If watching super-sized trucks do Transformer-like demolition derby feats is a turn on, then Monster Jam may be your hard-bodied wet dream come true. We’re talking powerful, custom-built models 12-feet high and 12-feet wide and weighing five or six tons each. These quarter-of-a-million dollar monsters rampage over everything in their path, soaring over, knifing through, or plain crushing an assemblage of cars, vans, buses, motor homes, and airplanes. It all makes for a super-charged, methanol-injected experience for the what-have-you-got-under-your-hood? grease monkey crowd. In addition to the freelance mayhem, there’s side-by-side racing. It’s like car action scenes from the movies come to life. A pit party preceding the Saturday matinee will let fans walk the track, meet the drivers and photograph the trucks. — Leo Adam Biga

Jan. 7

Jan. 7-28

The 9s

Stir Live and Loud, Harrah’s Casino, Council Bluffs 9 p.m., $5, 712.329.6000, There’s this … thing going around. A sort of neosoul/funk. It’s apparently all the would-be rage. Just look at the last thing Ariel Pink did. Unlike the golden days, the performers are predominately white. Filtered through the lens of latter-day irony. The 9s, one of Omaha’s answers to this trend, promotes itself as “a hybrid of 70s jazz rock, 80s funk, soaring stadium rock with a healthy dose of winkand-a-nod thrown in,” and has the requisite cockiness to go along. It may be a bizarre new musical world — that sort of “ironic or not?” mentality of all things musical — but at least with Omaha having


its own practitioners, it’s not altogether unfamiliar. Having opened for P-Funk certainly doesn’t hurt. Incidentally the next night, Jan. 8, local funk-soul outfit Satchel Grande takes the Stir stage. — John Wenz


Positive Space: Daniel Muller/ Justin Beller Duo Show The New BLK Gallery, 1213 Jones St. Reception Jan. 7, 6-10 p.m., FREE Gallery hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun. by appt., 871.1333,

Though artist Daniel Muller is known for finding inspiration in decay and emptiness, his current show with Justin Beller is quite the contrary, according to New BLK Director Shane Bainbridge. “The space they define is anything but negative,” says Bainbridge of the show. “It celebrates an opportunity for growth, imagination and freedom.” Beller and Muller, friends, co-workers and neighbors, collaborate for their first time, exploring the role of negative space in their process creating art for view-

ers, each via their own medium. Beller works with raw pigment, polyurethane, plaster and paint on his custom designed panels creating richly colored, curious abstract work. Muller tackles the space with photography printed to canvas featuring limitless subjects from nature and figures to architecture and waste. — Sally Deskins


Broken Crown w/ Cold Steel, Coincide and Illuminati Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. 9 p.m., $7,

So much music’s emerged from Omaha that it’s hard to keep up. While The Faint, Cursive and Bright Eyes have garnered a large chunk of the attention, there are other local bands itching to get in the limelight. Broken Crown is one. Comprised of guitarist Nick Aldieri, guitarist Kyle Buffington, bassist Jeff Dennis, vocalist Nathan Foutch and drummer Ryan Matcha, the

t h e

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five-piece rock group has been at it since 2007. Taking most of their inspiration from conceptdriven bands like Pink Floyd and Soundgarden, Broken Crown’s stadium-sized sound tends to hock the crowd with their surprisingly wellpolished musicianship. Their progressive hard rock catalog has plenty of room in Omaha’s local scene to grow and an ample audience waiting to discover them. 2009’s Element6 EP is an adequate place to start. — Kyle Eustice

Jan. 8

Hear Nebraska Benefit w/ The Answer Team, Irkustk, All Young Girls Are Machine Guns and Djangis Khan O’Leaver’s, 1322 S. Saddle Creek Rd. 9:30 p.m., $5, 21+,

Great things are in store on the web for the local music scene in 2011. Hear Nebraska takes it statewide, Jan. 24, with the launch of hearn e b ra s k a . o r g . (Before then you can find the group on Facebook.) The site will take on an ambitious schedule, covering a wide range of music topics and networking bands and fans statewide. This is one of a cluster of upcoming events for the site including a show Feb. 5 at The Sydney with Little Brazil, Mercy Rule and Ideal Cleaners, and another Feb. 6 at Duffy’s in Lincoln with Conduits, Kill Country, Down With Ship and Manny Coon. Headed by Reader colleague Andrew Norman, the site just solidified its non-profit status, differentiating it from those sustained by advertising. Tonight at O’Leaver’s The Answer Team, Irkustk, All Young Girls Are Machine Guns and Djangis Khan come together to support the new initiative, with a portion of proceeds going to Hear Nebraska. — Brent Crampton

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p i c k s



Jan. 10

Jan. 11

Monday Movie Night w/ Heavy Metal Parking Lot

Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. 8 p.m., FREE, Say it’s 1986, you’re a Maryland metalhead and Dokken is opening for Judas Priest at the Capital Centre in Landover — what are your plans before the show, dude? Naturally your spandexanimal-print-wearing, feathered-hair-having ass is tailgating hard outside the venue, blaring the Priest, crushing cans of Bud Heavy and talking shit about Madonna. That’s just what Jeff Krulik and John Heyn found when they rolled cameras in the parking lot, capturing metalheads in their natural habitat and resulting in this telling and hilarious documentary. Twenty-plus years later it feels like a glimpse into a time capsule. Clocking in at a scant 17 minutes, you’ll want more. But take heart that this cult classic short, now on DVD, allows a subculture at its peak to thrash on forever. — Sarah Wengert

J a n . 6 - 1 2 ,

2 010

Jan. 12

Soft Rock Café

Koo Koo Kanga Roo w/ Bad Speler Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. 9 p.m., $8,

This Tuesday Waiting Room imports the fourth-best dance duo in the Twin Cities. Neil and Bryan’s foray into the world of music and dance has been described by others as a combination of The Beastie Boys and Sesame Street reinforced by their pseudo-ADD hyperactive onstage personalities. They get the crowd bumpin’ to original hot licks like “Dinosaur Stomp” and “No Crust” (for the PB & J lovers out there). Perhaps their most crowd interactive song is “What’s that you say?” that teaches the audience, step by step as the song progresses, the latest dance craze to hit the scene since the mashed potato. Known for the crazy circus-like performances, Koo Koo is also a force on YouTube, where you can check out my favorite video “Rollin’ in the Minivan” at watch?v=66UWn5eP8HU. Look closely at the scenes inside the minivan. We might have a Justin Bieber sighting, and whatever the Bieb likes is OK by me. — James Derrick Schott

Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. 9 p.m., FREE, Do you love the John Tesh radio show? Do you live for Delilah? Get all giddy at IHOP music? Soft Rock Café was practically made for you. If you have a Pandora station for “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie, this’ll be like watching dueling DJs vie for the wimp music supremacy. It’s a little bit prom, a little bit quiet storm and probably a few more bits fun. M Bowen and Tyrone Storm face off in a battle of wits and wusses, where in the end, like Highlander, there can be only one. But unlike Highlander, nobody is losing a head here. — John Wenz

Jan. 12

Comedy Night

Side Door Lounge, 3530 Leavenworth St. 8 p.m., $5, 504.3444 Local restaurateur Steve Jamrozy (of Flatiron Café fame) renovated a space on the northeast corner of 35th Ave. and Leavenworth called The Side Door Lounge — a place for artists of all kinds. Wednesday features one of Omaha’s up and coming art forms: comedy. Detroit native Stephanie Hillier moved to Omaha and found the stand-up/improv scene lacking. She started working open mic nights and eventually met up with the Workhouse Improv Troupe. Hillier is now the director of the WIT, and brought a mob of stand-up comedians to perform. Austin Anderson, Scott Muilenburg, Don Bowen and Max Lesley will be cutting it up, along with some short form improv from the WIT. — Patricia Sindelar

Koo Koo Kanga Roo



jan. 6 - 12, 2011


So Much To See And Do...


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12th & Jackson Old Market 341-5827

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JAN. 6 - 12, 2011

Best Ice Cream Shop


Fashions • Jewelry • Accessories 1125 Jackson St • 932-3229 •

Omaha native Gail Levin chronicles Jeff Bridges for ‘American Masters’


by Leo Adam Biga

maha native and Emmy Award-winning documentarian Gail Levin profiles actor Jeff Bridges in a new film kicking off the 25th season of “American Masters,” a series produced for PBS by New York Public Media THIRTEEN in association with WNET. Levin, an Omaha Central High graduate long based in Manhattan, says the project has been on quick turnaround to parlay the heat surrounding Bridges. A year ago he won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance as country musician Bad Blake in Crazy Heart. Oddsmakers predict a nomination for his rendition of lawman Rooster Cogburn in the Coen brothers’ True Grit. “We’re really trying to take advantage of all the energy and buzz of everything that’s going on with him,” says Levin (Making the Misfits, James Dean: Sense Memories). Her film reveals Bridges’ multi-faceted creative ability. In addition to acting he’s a musician. He performs with his band The Abiders. He’s also a photographer, painter, potter and vintner. Performing his own music in Crazy Heart surprised many, but it was simply an extension of what he’s always done. “His great love is music, and it has been all throughout his life,” she says. “He’s now really playing a lot of music, doing gigs. We’ve got a lot of footage of him. We shot at this funny little place he played in Niagara Falls.” She also captured him at a Zen symposium. “I don’t know that he would call himself a Buddhist, but he’s certainly in that ether at the moment. He’s very involved with a group called Zen Peacemakers.”

Levin was struck by a passage Bridges wrote in the intro to his book Pictures, a sampling of images the actor captured on movie sets, then put in photo albums and gave them as gifts to cast and crew. In describing why he prefers the panoramic Widelux still camera, he offers a key to his creative method: “ … it has an arbitrariness to it, a capricious quality. I like that. It’s something I aspire to in all my work — a lack of preciousness that makes things more human and honest, a willingness to receive what’s there in the moment, and to let go of the result. Getting out of the way seems to be one of the main tasks for me as an artist.” For Levin, the insight helps explain what makes Bridges a durable star 40 years since his feature breakthrough in The Last Picture Show. In her interviews with him, his family and colleagues, Levin found he’s more complex than his public Everyman-Next-Door, laid-back Dude persona.

“The interesting truth about him is that he’s rather tortured all the time. He says in the film he’s rather reluctant to all of this (film career). I think he came to it obviously through the legacy of his father (the late actor Lloyd Bridges) and his older brother Beau, But he even says he’s a little bit lazy, he’s got a little of the Dude in him, and it’s always kind of hard for him to kind of gear himself up again.” This “drag me to the party” resistance and ambivalence is how he moves through life. She says some Bridges collaborators, such as Terry Gilliam and John Goodman, speak to his cautious approach. “He’s not a spontaneous, improvisational actor,” says Levin. “He really needs to know what and where. He has guides who school him in being a junkie or a drunk. He takes that all very seriously and seems to form close relationships with these people who sort of become his models for how to play various parts. “I think he’s very particular about the kinds of things he chooses. I think he picks films that have some intrigue for him and not necessarily what are going to be the biggest blockbusters. He’s a very individual star. I think he’s really on his own path.” While Levin enjoyed “amazing access” to Bridges and Co., she found his well-protected veneer hard to penetrate: “You’ll see in this film there’s a much darker side to Jeff than people realize, and this kind of push-me, pull-you about the acting is really a great revelation. People think he’s easy going about it, and he’s really not. But he doesn’t divulge dark disappointments and things like that. Others say it.” She says if there are secrets to pry loose, “you gotta be long and deep with him,” adding she didn’t establish a rapport that might have led to such intimacies. As for Bridges being an American Master, she says, “He’s worked with remarkable directors, he has an extraordinary body of work. He’s an amazing amalgam. He’s an artist on many, many levels.” , Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides premieres Jan. 12, showing locally on NET at 9 p.m.


n Several exhibitions open this month at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. Another Nebraska is an exhibition of work by the 2010 recipients of the Nebraska Arts Council’s Individual Artist Fellowships. Artists include Jamie Burmeister, Mary Day, Anthony Hawley, Michael Morgan, Francisco Souto, Therman Statom, Peter Walkley, Liz Vercruysse and Mary Zicafoose. The work is wide-ranging and viewers can anticipate kinetic sculpture, installation works, paintings, drawings, clay and glass. The show opens Friday, Jan. 14, 6-9 p.m., with a gallery talk slated for Saturday, Jan. 29, at noon. All events are free and open to the public. The Bemis Underground begins 2011 with solo shows from Kenneth Adkins, Dan Crane and Victoria Hoyt. Adkins will show new work on paper; Crane will present work in a show called Dadz House and Hoyt, in The Problems of Getting Together, will explore the mythological and factual narratives of the human experience. The shows open Jan. 14, 6-9 p.m., with a gallery talk Thursday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. Both events are free. The Nebraska Arts Council is changing its EGrant System and is updating users with a few information sessions in January and February. Even those who have applied for Nebraska Arts Council grants in the past are encouraged to attend as the changes are major. All artists, art organizations, teachers and non-profits are encouraged to attend the free sessions, which are also being offered as Webinars. Omaha sessions are slated for Jan. 25, at 5:30 p.m., and Feb. 8, at 1 p.m., at the Nebraska Arts Council offices at 1004 Farnam St. A Lincoln session will be Feb. 1, at 1 p.m., at the International Quilt Study Center, 1523 N. 33rd St. and a Kearney session takes place Jan. 20, at 4:30 p.m., at the Kearney Public Library, 2020 1st Ave. Webinars take place Jan. 26, at 5:30 p.m., and Feb. 2, at 1 p.m. For more information or to register for a session, contact Nicole Van Zante at 595.2122 or n Nebraskans for the Arts is looking for arts education success stories. Adults are encouraged to share a story about how an arts education shaped their life or career regardless of whether they work in the arts. The organization also features student success stories each month and is looking for student nominations from a teacher, coach, director or educator of any kind. Nebraskans for the Arts is looking for middle school, high school or college students who are involved in the visual and/or performing arts. The stories are due by Jan. 15 and will be used in promotional campaigns and on  — Sarah Baker Hansen


Long Live the Dude


Mixed Media is a column about art. Get local art updates at Send ideas to


jan. 6 - 12, 2011


books Professor dives into gritty core of America’s White Power Movement in award-winning book


by Jasmine Maharisi

or seven years while UNO criminology professor Pete Simi lived with and researched neo-Nazis, death threats against him and his family were common. “[It was] one of the things I had to get used to, in terms of doing interviews and hanging out,” Simi says. “‘If we ever find out you’re a cop, we’ll hunt you down and kill you. We’ll hunt down and kill your family.’” Simi’s brazen research was done in the name of his book, American Swastika, 176-pages of firsthand experiences compiled from 13 years of fieldwork involving American White Power groups. The book was recently named CHOICE magazine’s 2010 Outstanding Academic Title of the Year. Simi began studying the White Power Movement in 1997, while pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He studied under sociology professor Robert Furtrell, who later co-authored the book, providing an academic background to Simi’s firsthand data. “It’s a fascination with something so exotic, so extreme, and I wanted to see if I could get a better understanding of it,” Simi says. As a white male, Simi didn’t have much trouble accessing the world of white supremacists. “When I was starting my research, it was during the early days of the Internet and at that time, a lot of the groups had P.O. Boxes,” he says. “I wrote them a letter and told them what I wanted to do and suggested I might be kind of sympathetic or at least willing to hear it from their perspective.” It wasn’t long before Simi found himself playing pool and having lunch with neo-Nazis. Although he was grateful for the access, Simi was uneasy knowing outsiders associated him with the group.


jan. 6 - 12, 2011

“To other people who didn’t know what was happening, I was just one of the group, I was one of the neo-Nazis,” he says. “That’s a disturbing feeling.” Despite Simi’s objectivity, the book involves some disturbing material. A large section centers on children, detailing how members raise offspring according to movement principles, sometimes isolating them from children of other ethnicities and exposing them to White Power media. Some parents in the movement will even screen Disney movies for “liberal propaganda.” One family Simi lived with was particularly hardcore in their beliefs and even nicknamed

their son “Little Hitler.” “He was a 5-year-old boy when I was living with them,” Simi says. “He’d been raised in that culture all his life and that’s what he knew.” An active member in the movement, the boy’s mother had given birth to him in prison. He was raised by his father, a neo-Nazi and a heavy drug user who later went to prison for at-



tempted murder when the boy was three. Custody was then given to his paternal grandparents until his mother was released. “By the time he was five, he was running around listening to white power music and seig heiling everyone,” Simi says. “He was an aggressive little guy and had a lot of mental health problems. After he left his biological father’s home, allegations arose of physical and sexual abuse. There was a photo of him being given Mickey’s malt liquor, so it was a really unhealthy environment to say the least.” For Simi, choosing between being an innocent bystander and the desire to protect human subjects would often conflict. Simi recalls a situation at a WPM festival when a young Skinhead joined Simi’s group of friends and bragged about his latest hate crime. “He began talking about some of his friends who beat to death a gay person and had raped him with a baseball bat,” Simi says. “The police questioned him about some supposed criminal activity he hadn’t committed. But he was laughing because they didn’t ask him questions about a crime did commit, and that crime, he claimed, was butchering an African-American person with a hatchet.” After hearing this, Simi contacted a friend with connections to law enforcement. Luckily, no recent crimes had been committed fitting the Skinhead’s description. “One of the things that’s certainly true about folks in these groups is they do like to boast,” he says. “They like to tell these ‘fantasy stories.’ For them, that’s enjoyable.” Going to authorities certainly put Simi in a precarious situation. As did the publication of American Swastika, although Simi believes he gave the groups fair treatment in the book and doesn’t feel at risk. Even if Simi did experience a backlash, he’s willing to take that risk to educate others about the prevalence of hate groups in our own backyard. “The groups we are referring to come from within,” he says. “We can’t blame this problem on some alien influence or ‘foreign’ invaders. One of the reasons we tend to ignore these groups is because we are very uncomfortable with the idea that they are part of us and, in some ways, we are responsible for creating them.” ,

n The publishing industry has undergone a major shift in the past few years, and is still reeling from the double whammy of a lousy economy coupled with the introduction and growing adoption of e-readers. The way we consume information is changing. And it’s these e-readers — Kindle, Nook and the iPad to name three — that will continue to morph and shape the way we interact with books. Though the printed, bound book we’ve all come to know and love will likely never go away, the portability and ease of e-books has made them an attractive alternative to hard and softcovers. Factor in the affordability and ease of purchasing titles online (no more waiting for the UPS guy to show up with your Amazon order), and it’s no wonder so many people are opting for the electronic version. So what can we expect in the coming year? More iPad, less Kindle. Like most of their products, Apple’s iPad was a real game changer. Not only is it larger than the Kindle and most e-readers, the iPad is a multi-tasker that merges an e-reader with an iPod and a notebook computer. This makes it easy for iPad owners to do more with less. More e-sales. The New York Times has been promising/threatening to create a list of bestselling electronic titles, and they’ll do it this year. This will lend greater legitimacy to e-books and raise their profile, officially recognizing them as a viable distribution channel. This will also highlight the rise of self-published titles, which some pundits are predicting could make up as much as 25 percent of online book sales next year. Getting your novel, essay or short stories in the hands of readers has never been easier. In a perfect world the AP Stylebook will make up 50 percent of online sales, and would-be Hemingways will edit their work before releasing it into the wild. Hey, a boy can hope. All this electronic reading will have an impact on the brick-and-mortar bookstores, but ironically it’s the little guys and gals in the book world that will benefit from all this. The main selling point of a Borders, Books a Million or Barnes and Noble is their massive inventory; the ability to browse through thousands of titles. These stores have been late to the online party and have lost much of that market share. As more and more readers go online, they’re more likely to buy from than from the store closest to them. Both Borders and Barnes and Noble have been teetering for the past few years — look for some store closures in 2011. But the independent bookstores will likely be fine. They’ve managed to cultivate lasting relationships with their readers, through in-store events, book clubs and other activities, doing a better job of integrating themselves with the community than have the corporate chains. So whether you do your reading in a comfy chair or at the coffee shop on your e-reader or iPad, you’ll still have plenty of options. — Kyle Tonniges


American Hate

Comments? Questions? Want more? Check out Booked online at Or email us at

bridal guide


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JAN. 6 - 12, 2011


bridal guide

You’re engaged! Now what?

The top five wedding planning questions to answer first (ARA) - Holiday season is engagement season. But after he pops the question and she says “yes,” the reality of wedding planning sets in - and that feeling of joyful romance can fade as quickly as Christmas lights on an overloaded circuit. Here are the top five questions you will need to answer to make your wedding planning journey a pleasant experience. “After Valentine’s Day, the holidays are the most popular time of year for couples to become engaged,” says wedding planning expert Raymond Miller of My Wedding Reception Ideas. com, a leading online resource for brides seeking unique wedding favors, decorations, and gifts. “Many brides-to-be who get engaged over the holidays will begin their planning efforts in the first months of the new year. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming.” Brides should begin their planning by answering five basic questions, Miller advises.

1. What is our budget? “Funding your wedding can be one of the most expensive undertakings you’ll tackle in your life together as a couple,” Miller says. “Many couples only spend more on buying a house or car, or funding their children’s college educations.” Setting - and sticking to - a budget for your wedding is an essential step toward starting your married life on a sound financial footing. Determine where your funding will come from - if your parents can help or if you’ll be paying on your own - and decide how much you can afford to spend without going into debt.

2. What season works? Virtually as soon as you announce you’re engaged, people start asking what the wedding date will be. To make answering that question as simple as possible, start by considering in what season you would like to be married. Would you prefer a spring ceremony? Or do you dream of a holiday wedding? By narrowing down the season, and selecting it well in advance, you’ll be able to secure a date that will work for everyone.

3. Where do we want to get married and have our reception? Will you have a destination wedding? Or do you want to keep it local? While wedding planning is usually most successful when done well in advance, if you’re interested in a destination wedding, planning far ahead is essential. Popular destinations book quickly in prime wedding seasons and you may find venues in the destination of your choice are booked a year or more in advance.

4. What kind of venue do you want? Do you dream of a big church wedding? Or saying your “I do’s” in a beautiful natural setting? Perhaps you want your reception to be in a grand hotel. Knowing the type of venue you desire will help you refine your options and choose a specific location down the road.

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5. Who do you want to officiate? Is it important to you to be married by your own church’s minister? Or are you OK with a justice of the peace? Do you fantasize about being joined in marriage by a ship’s captain? Or does your mother have her heart set on seeing you married by the rabbi who was there at your bat mitzvah? Just as popular venues book quickly, favorite officiants also have their dance cards fill fast for popular wedding seasons. As soon as you know who you would like to officiate at your wedding, it might pay to approach him or her and find out about future availability. “Of course there are many, many things to consider when planning a wedding,” Miller says. “But these five points are the basics you must address and everything else about your wedding will be planned around your answers to these questions. Once you’ve made these initial decisions, it will be easier to refine your options and decide exactly what will make your wedding wonderful, memorable and perfect for you.” For more wedding planning and wedding reception ideas visit ,

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(ARA) - Ho (ARA) - If you’re planning a bridal shower, you want to make it a relaxing, fun time for everyone - and right at the center of the fun is good food. If you’re feeling anxious about what to serve and how to get it prepared - especially with everyone nowadays paying so much attention to what they eat - relax. You can serve delicious and healthy food without hiring a professional chef or spending a week in the kitchen. Here are some time-saving tips and recipes from the Simply Organic test kitchen to help you get the food under control and host a simple but sensational shower for the bride. � Share the work. When guests ask if they can bring anything, say “yes.� And don’t be afraid to ask them to bring something if they don’t contact you first - most guests are eager to help. Get others to prepare dishes you either don’t really enjoy making yourself or you know they do especially well. You can even have each guest bring a dessert or appetizer and share the recipes with the new bride. Doing the food as a group is fun, and it helps build the joyful spirit of the occasion. � Keep it healthy. There’s a good chance a lot of your guests are trying to eat healthier. Why not go that route and make it delicious too? You can provide great-tasting, nutritious snacks that also go easy on artificial additives, salt, fat, sugar and other potentially unhealthy ingredients. For guests with special diet restrictions, gluten-free baking mixes are now readily available for easy, worry-free baked treats. � Take some shortcuts. For enticing, freshly made dips without fuss, use high quality organic dip mixes. Just add a creamy dill, French onion, guacamole or ranch dip mix to equal parts low-fat cottage cheese and non-fat plain yogurt and mix in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve with fresh veggies you can buy already cleaned and cut up at the store, and you get a lot of healthy snacking with very little prep time. Or use pre-blended mulling spice to create flavorful cider, punch or other beverages without a lot of work. � Remake everyday favorites. One way to combine simple and special is to take easy-to-prepare favorites and dress them up with special festive seasonings. Try distinctive seasoning blends like curry or Italian seasoning. A seasoned sugar combination like lemon sugar or cinnamon sugar will add a gourmet touch to your tea. Or add a

touch of a spice like tarragon or a chili powder seasoning blend to your usual deviled eggs, and you’ll instantly have something out of the ordinary. � Shop smart. Make your shopping list well in advance. That way you can pick up everything in one trip - and eliminate any last-minute sprints to the grocery store. You can even order some ingredients online. For example, Simply Organic offers a wide range of all-organic products online to enhance your shower food - everything from spices, seasoning blends and baking extracts to easy-to-make mixes for dips, dressings and other snacks and they’ll ship them to your house within a few days. Here are two of the many easy-to-prepare, healthy bridal shower dishes from the recipe collection at www.

Spicy Chicken Dip Ingredients: 3 cups cooked and finely diced chicken 1/4 cup low fat yogurt 4 finely diced Roma tomatoes (approximately 2 cups) 1 package Guacamole Dip Mix 1/2 cup shredded cheese 2 tablespoons finely diced jalapenos Directions: In a large mixing bowl, stir chicken and yogurt together. Add tomatoes and Guacamole Dip Mix; stir. Blend in shredded cheese and jalapenos. Refrigerate. Chef Suggestions Serve chilled with chips or crackers. For a less spicy version, substitute green olives for jalapenos.

Turkey & Cheese Meatballs Ingredients: 1 pound ground turkey 1 package Roasted Turkey Gravy Seasoning Mix 1/4 cup SPancake & Waffle Mix 2 tablespoons milk 1/2 cup shredded cheese Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, combine all ingredients until evenly distributed. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place in a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Chef Suggestions: Serve with a side of barbecue sauce or Ranch Dressing. ,

From an intimate ceremony to a grand reception, The Durham Museum is an extraordinary setting for your special occasion. Omaha’s “Union Station” offers a magnicent atmosphere featuring 65-foot ceiling and the beautiful Art Deco architecture. The elegance of the Swanson Gallery captures the mood for smaller gatherings and the majestic features of the Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall are a perfect backdrop for large events and receptions. Create an event with your own special air by selecting your preferred event planner, caterer, photographer, and orist. This allows you the freedom to negotiate your own pricing and menus. The Durham Museum is the perfect place for your picture-perfect event. Call (402) 444-5071 to make an appointment or visit for additional information.

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JAN. 6 - 12, 2011


bridal guide

The gift of aromatherapy

A few scent-sational ideas for wedding favors (ARA) - ) - Hunting down the perfect wedding ensemble, negotiating seating arrangements with squabbling relatives, honeymoon flight reservations that change on a dime - how did something that should be so joyful become so stressful? Planning a wedding can be a high-pressure time, even for couples with a clear vision of what they want and the budget to accomplish it. One aspect of your wedding that doesn’t have to cause stress is choosing wedding favors. Go with something simple, elegant and timeless that will fit the lifestyle of virtually every guest - aromatherapy. Scent is a mood-setting gift that can help establish the tone for your reception, and remind guests afterward how much they enjoyed sharing your big day. You don’t have to give every guest a pricey personal essence or resort to costly scented candles to achieve the perfect aromatherapy wedding favor. Making your own favors not only saves you money, it puts your personal stamp on the mementoes your guests will keep long after the wedding day has passed. What’s more, says Tom Havran, an aromatherapy expert with the personal products company Aura Cacia, “making aromatherapy favors together can help a harried couple slow down, refocus and remember what’s really important - that they’re about to begin a wonderful life together and that the special guests they’ve assembled will bear witness to it all.” Havran offers some tips for using aromatherapy to combat wedding-planning jitters and create memorable favors: Surround yourself with scents that soothe. A potpourri that features real lavender flowers is a wonderful way to bring comforting, peaceful aroma into your home. Sprinkle the flowers with lavender essential oil and tuck a sachet of the mixture in with your bed linens. Place a bowl on the dining room table. Store some in a mesh bag inside the luggage you’ll be using for your honeymoon. Make the same lavender-based scent the centerpiece of your aromatherapy favors by placing it in small, handmade sachets that guests can carry home. Planning a holiday wedding? Create a “wise men’s favor” by recycling an empty tea tin. Paint it with your wedding colors or cover it with festive gold paper. Fill the tin with coarse salt and

sprinkle with 16 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, 16 drops of lemon essential oil, 16 drops of frankincense and/or myrrh essential oils, and replace the lid. Include instructions to release this ancient sacred scent by removing the lid and placing the tin in a warm location. Another idea that’s good year-round is a soulwarming spa kit. Create a home spa kit with a mineral bath and a body and massage oil. These gifts have a green, lemony-balsamic aroma that revitalizes the body and chases away the blues. Wrap these items in a small basket, adding a loofah or other bath items. Or present them in a personalized mini-tote that features the wedding couple’s name and marriage date. Here’s the essential oil blend you’ll create to add to the mineral bath and massage products: 16 drops peppermint essential oil 16 drops sweet orange essential oil 16 drops lavender essential oil To make the mineral bath, combine the essential oils with these ingredients (readily available at a drugstore or pharmacy): 1 cup sea salt 1 cup Epsom salt 1 cup sodium bicarbonate To create the spa kit body and massage oil, combine the essential oil drops with: 2 cups sweet almond oil 1 cup grape seed oil For a fizzy foot soak, mix the essential oils with the ingredients below (available at a drugstore or pharmacy): 1 1/2 cups sea salt 1 cup Epsom salt 1/4 cup sodium bicarbonate 1/4 cup citric acid granules Use 1 to 2 tablespoons in a basin of warm water for a revitalizing foot soak. For an exfoliating foot scrub, mix the essential oils with: 2 cups granulated sugar 1 cup sweet almond oil Gently massage 1 tablespoon of mixture into feet and toes, then rinse away granules. For more aromatherapy wedding favor ideas, visit the aromatherapy experts at ,

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New year, new you:

10 great tips for healthy skin, hair and nails (ARA) - The new year is a great time to make some resolutions to keep your skin, hair and nails healthy. Your dermatologist can help you with these resolutions. Dermatologists are medical doctors who have extensive training, experience and passion for keeping skin, hair, and nails healthy throughout a person’s lifetime. Here are 10 tips to keep you healthy looking from head to toe. Protect yourself from the sun. Help prevent signs of aging, such as age spots and fine lines, as well as significantly decrease your risk of developing skin cancer by using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing (a longsleeved shirt, pants, wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses) and seeking shade when appropriate. Choose a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 and broad-spectrum protection (protects against ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays). Do not use tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product (such as a lotion, foam or spray), but continue to use sunscreen with it. Perform a skin self-exam. Examining your skin for suspicious moles and other lesions could save your life. Use the American Academy of Dermatology’s body mole map, located at www., to record your moles and learn how to perform a proper skin exam. If you find a suspicious lesion, make an appointment to see a dermatologist. Don’t skip the hair conditioner. Dermatologists recommend using a conditioner after every shampoo. While a conditioner cannot repair hair, it can increase shine, decrease static electricity, improve strength, and offer some protection from harmful UV rays. Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and other healthy foods can lead to healthier skin. Be sure to in-

clude some lean protein in your diet. Our skin is made of protein, so some protein is necessary for healthy skin. If your skin feels dry, moisturize. After bathing is the best time to moisturize so that you can trap water in the skin. If your skin still feels dry with regular moisturizing after bathing, apply moisturizer a few times throughout the day. Stop smoking. People who smoke expose their skin to toxins that accelerate the aging of their skin. And, the repeat puckering to inhale can cause deep lines around the lips. Frequent squinting to avoid getting smoke in one’s eyes

can cause noticeable crow’s feet. Manage stress. To keep your skin looking its best, it is important to effectively manage stress. Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your skin, hair and nails. It can worsen many skin conditions, including psoriasis, acne and rosacea, cause brittle nails and ridging of the nails, and lead to hair loss. Don’t bite your fingernails. You can transfer infectious organisms between your fingers and mouth. Also, nail biting can damage the skin around your fingers, allowing infections to enter. If you have acne, do not pick, pop or squeeze the blemishes. People mistakenly believe that picking and popping pimples will get rid of them quickly. The truth is doing any of these can irritate the skin, make acne worse, and increase the risk of scarring. For more healthy skin, hair and nail tips, visit the American Academy of Dermatology’s website at ,

How to choose a wedding dress Factors to consider when selecting the right gown ( - Congratulations on your engagement! One of the first things you probably picture when envisioning your wedding is the dress. But before you start shopping for a wedding dress, it’s a good idea to know what you’re looking for. ■ Do your research. Before you even begin to look around, research gowns. You should always have a bit of knowledge about dresses (and know some of the lingo) before you even set foot into a bridal shop. There are also many bridal magazines that will provide a ton of information, including Brides, Modern Bride, Bridal Guide, WeddingBells, etc. All of these magazines have websites, where you can find quick information without paying for the magazine. ■ Decide on a silhouette. Wedding dresses are made in several different silhouettes. Before considering anything else, know which type of gown will flatter your figure the best. Look at photos of each type. You can browse wedding website message boards and member profiles for photos of real women wearing gowns, rather than relying on professional photos of models wearing them. Ball gowns have very full skirts and generally will look beautiful on any body type, unless the bride is very short and small. In this case, it may be overwhelming to her small frame. Ball gowns generally either have crinolines built in or a slip you must wear to support the shape of the gown. Be advised that this extra fabric can be heavy and bulky and will require extra care to wear. A-lines usually have a fitted bodice with a skirt that flares gently from the waist to form an “A” shape. They generally work for everyone as well, and are a terrific choice for someone who would like to hide lower body flaws, but does not want a ball gown. A-lines are not as full as ball gowns.

Sheaths flatter women with slim, balanced figures. They shouldn’t be worn by brides who dislike their figures. This gown will not hide any flaws. If you think your thighs or butt are too big, you’ll be miserable in this type of dress. Don’t try to pull it off because you found a gown you love in this style. You don’t want to risk being uncomfortable or self conscious on your wedding day, or regretting your choice every time you look at wedding photos. Empire waist gowns have a skirt that falls from just below the breasts. Although usually listed with various waistline types and not always considered a type of silhouette, they are a wonderful choice for a casual, non-formal wedding, or weddings in a tropical climate. They’re usually made of light, flowing fabric. They’re also excellent for pregnant brides, because they provide extra room in the waist, making them a comfortable choice. They also won’t draw as much attention to the belly as a dress with a lower waistline would. ■ Envision your wedding. Picture yourself on your wedding day. What are you wearing? What silhouette is your gown? What fabric? Is it embroidered or beaded? What color is it? With so many choices for the dress, it can be overwhelming to look through hundreds or thousands of them. Some brides have said that after looking through racks and racks of dresses, they all begin to look the same. So before you even set out to try them on, envision your wedding day and how your dress looks, and jot down a list of things that describe the dress of your daydreams. You don’t have to know all the wedding dress terms. Just write down a description of the gown you’re envisioning. Example list: “princessy, satin, some shade of white but not pure white, spaghetti straps.”,


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theater Ariel Ibsen directs Chanticleer’s Little Women


by Warren Francke

hen Ariel Ibsen was a very little woman, a newborn babe, some assumed she was named for Disney’s then popular “Little Mermaid.” Now she’s 19 and directing Little Women, the play based on Louisa May Alcott’s novel, for Chanticleer Community Theater. Yes, she under-

tume shop. He’ll return for the first technical runthrough, and meanwhile promises his daughter, “Just ask lots of questions and I’ll help you.” Though she starred in the Chanticleer musical, Cinderella, and first appeared on stage in the theater’s Annie at age 7, she’s expected to guide a cast of nine, including such seasoned performers as Denise Putnam, who plays Marmee, mother of the March sisters. “I’m really impressed with her,” Putnam says. “She’s already picking up little nuances that most directors don’t pick up until later.” In an important scene for Jo, the leading “little

little women

stands, “I’m young to do this.” But she brings more to the job than being named Ariel for that “airy spirit” in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and sharing Ibsen with a Norwegian playwright. She also shares it with her mother Robin and father, Dwayne, who has been involved in theater all her life and now joins her in directing the play. A former North High drama teacher, he did the early blocking, then stepped back to allow Ariel to direct rehearsals while he runs his cos-

woman,” Ms. Ibsen urged Jessie St. Clair, playing the tomboy Jo, to argue with Laurie (Brian Williams) “more like a guy would,” Putnam explains. Although dad Dwayne did the early blocking, Ariel “has changed a few things that work better,” she adds. “She sees things from a female perspective,” which Putnam compares to accomplished women directors she’s worked with — Lorie Obradovich, M. Michele Phillips and Roxanne Wach. “Ariel may be finding where she belongs in theater.”

At least three plays, plus the musical version performed here recently, were inspired by the classic Alcott novel. The Chanticleer playreading committee looked at several and left the choice to the Ibsens. Bob Putnam, theater manager and scenic designer for the play, said one script was too much of a comedy and two didn’t advance the story to a climactic event in the novel, the death of sister Beth. “One stopped at the Christmas party,” Dwayne recalls. He chose one by Peter Clapham, first staged in 1960, that he believes best “tells the whole story” including the marriage of Jo. The action takes place in the 1860s with the father played by Glenn Prettyman off to the Civil War. Some of the language seems a bit archaic to the Ibsens. It’s puzzling to hear Marmee tell Jo, after she sells her hair for money, “You cut your hair. Your only beauty.” Given the title, and the need for four young women, auditions drew 30 girls, including one who left when she learned it wasn’t the musical. Jessie St. Clair, as Jo, is an Abraham Lincoln High School junior who came highly recommended by music teacher Lynn Boyd. Morgan Herbener, who played the title role in Annie, is Amy, with Rolena Hatfield and Ashli Pohl as Beth and Meg. Garrett Higginbotham, a veteran of Chanticleer and Omaha Press Club shows, plays the German professor Bhaer, and Terry Benedictis, often cast in character roles, is Aunt March. For Ariel, a part-time student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, one of the more appealing scenes comes when Laurie tells Jo how much he loves her. But she says she’s “excited about all of it. It’s cool that I get to start this young.” She’s glad the Putnams and others have placed their trust in her. And it’s nice to have her dad, as usual, in charge of the costumes, and always nearby to answer questions. , Little Women runs Jan. 14-30, Fri.-Sat. at 7:30 p.m. and Sun. 2 p.m., at the Chanticleer Theater, 830 Franklin Ave., in Council Bluffs. Tickets are $17, $14 seniors, $9 children/students. Call 712.323.9955 or visit



Grown Woman

A few relatively safe predictions for 2011: n Two shows certain to have me dabbing at my eyes are Steel Magnolias at the Omaha Community Playhouse and Les Miserables, returning to the Orpheum in the Broadway Across America series. n I’ll hang around after Mary Poppins later this month to see if anyone suffers from the problem mentioned in its television commercials, namely feet that won’t stop tapping for an hour and a-half. I’d also cry for joy at its opening if retired World-Herald photographer Rudy Smith jumped up in his seat and shouted, “That’s my baby girl,” when daughter Q appeared on stage. n Expect the musical Spiderman to arrive in Omaha shortly after Kirsten Kluver freezes over (an obscure reference only if you didn’t see her in The World Goes Round or Hot n’ Throbbin). mary poppins

n Early favorites for acting awards are Kathy Wheeldon for her portrayal of Ann Landers at the Playhouse, Audrey Fisher for Bellevue’s The Philadelphia Story, Nils Haaland for his Jacob Marley at the Blue Barn and Paul Boesing for SkullDuggery’s The Vertical Hour. n A few comments on the look back at the best of drama in 2010 by Bob Fischbach in the Dec. 26 World-Herald. My only argument with his top 10 and his “more to crow about” also-rans is my regret that we agree as often as we do. I’d rather offer a more contrarian alternative view, but so it goes. He cited Jitney at the John Beasley Theater, which I’d rank as my favorite if forced to pick just one. He picked three from the Playhouse, two from the Barn and added three later from Brigit Saint Brigit. But the most remarkable individual accomplishment of the calendar year, as implied by his appraisal, was the work of Andrew McGreevy at SkullDuggery. Fischbach picked two of his shows, Brick: an A Cappella Musical, which McGreevy both wrote and produced, and The Vertical Hour, in the top 10 and crowed about both Defiance and This How It Goes. In other words, the under-financed guy who lost his lease got more shows singled out for praise in the daily’s roundup than any other theater. — Warren Francke Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to


jan. 6 - 12, 2011




THE 815, 815 O. St., Suite 1, Lincoln, 261.4905, ARTISTS ON THE EDGE: Group show, opens Jan. 7. 9 MUSES STUDIO, 2713 N 48th St., Lincoln. NEW WORK: Pam Hardimon, opens Jan. 7, 6 p.m. ANKENY ART CENTER, 1520 SW Road, Ankeny, IA, 515.965.0940, MEMBERS ART EXHIBITION: Group show, through Jan. ANDERSON O’BRIEN FINE ART OLD MARKET, 1108 Jackson St., 884.0911, EMERGENCE: Thomas Prince, opens Jan. 7-23. ARTISTS’ COOPERATIVE GALLERY, 405 S. 11th St., 3TH ANNIVERSARY RED CARPET CELEBRATION: Group show, through Jan. 30, reception Jan. 8, 5 p.m. BENSON GRIND, 6107 Maple St., NEW WORK: Ashley DeVrieze, opens Jan. 7, 7 p.m. BURKHOLDER PROJECT, 719 P St., Lincoln, 477.3305, 23RD ARTISTS CHOOSING ARTISTS SHOW: Group show, through Jan. 29, reception Jan. 7, 7 p.m. NEW WORK: Johanna Sawyer, through Jan. 29. THE SANTA FE COLLECTION: Ongoing. CHADRON STATE COLLEGE, 1000 Main St., Chadron, NE, 800.242.3766, NEW WORK: Marilyn Nelson, through Jan. 28. DUFFY’S, 1412 O St., Lincoln, 474.3543, DOE EYED DESIGN: New work by Eric Nyffeler, opens Jan. 7, 7 p.m. GALLERY 9, 124 S 9th St., Lincoln, 477.2822, CLEANING HOUSE SILENT AUCTION: Group show. FRESH PERSPECTIVE: Student work. Both shows through Jan. 30, reception Jan. 7, 6:30 p.m. GOVERNOR’S RESIDENCE EXHIBITION, 1425 H St., Lincoln, NEW WORK: Jason Jilg, opens Jan. 5-Feb. 4. GRAND MANSE GALLERY, 129 N. 10th St., Lincoln, BLUE CAT: David Christiansen, through Jan. 21, reception Jan. 7, 6 p.m. GREAT PLAINS ART MUSEUM, 1155 Q St., Hewit Plc., Lincoln, 472.0599, DOUBLE VISION: New work by Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie, through Mar. 27. HOT SHOPS ARTS CENTER, 1301 Nicholas St., 342.6452, POTLUCK: Group show, through Jan. 30. INTERNATIONAL QUILT STUDY CENTER AND MUSEUM, 1523 N. 33rd St., Lincoln, 472.7232, TROUPE SICORAE: Performance begins at 7 p.m., Jan. 7. KIECHEL FINE ART, 5733 S. 34th St., Lincoln, 420.9553, THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE (PART TWO): New work by Neil Christensen, through Feb. 5. KIMMEL HARDING NELSON CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 801 3rd Corso, Nebraska City, 874.9600, NEW WORK: Eric Nels Peterson, Dan Terpstra, opens Jan. 10-Mar. 3, reception Jan. 13, 4:30 p.m. THE LICHEN, 2810 N. 48th St., Lincoln, NEW WORK: UNL Graduate sculpture student group show, opens Jan. 7, 6 p.m. LUX CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 48th and Baldwin, Lincoln, 434.2787, PULP: Group show, opens Jan. 7, 5 p.m. SELECTIVE MEMORY: New work by Arjan Zazuety, opens Jan. 7, 5 p.m. THE NEW BLK, 1213 Jones St., 403.5619, POSITIVE SPACE: Daniel Muller and Justin Beller, opens Jan. 7, 6 p.m. NORFOLK ARTS CENTER, 305 N. 5th St., Norfolk, 371.7199, THROUGH THE EYS OF A FRIEND: Nita Erickson, Gale Jones, opens Jan. 11-Feb. 25, reception Jan. 13, 6 p.m. INTO THE ASHES: J. Marlene Mueller, opens Jan. 11-Feb. 25, reception Jan. 13, 6 p.m. NOYES GALLERY, 119 S. 9th St., Lincoln, 486.3866, FOCUS GALLERY: Group show through Jan. 31, reception Jan. 7, 6:30 p.m. OLD MARKET ARTISTS, 1034 Howard St., Lower Level of Old Market Passageway, SOUP AND NUTS: Group show, opens Jan. 7, 6 p.m. OMAHA CLAY WORKS, 1114 Jones St.,, 346.0560. OPEN HOUSE: Opens Jan. 7, 6 p.m. PASSAGEWAY GALLERY, 417 South 11th St, HOW IT IS CREATED: Group demonstration show, opens Jan. 7, 6 p.m.


jan. 6 - 12, 2011

PIZZA SHOPPE COLLECTIVE, 6056 Maple St., 556.9090, NEW WORK: Steve Schutz, through Jan. reception Jan. 8, 3 p.m. PROJECT ROOM, 1410 and 1416 O St., Suite #8, Lincoln, 617.8365, NEW WORK: Matt Hilker, Ying Zhu, Maggie Tobin, through Feb., reception Jan. 7 & Feb. 4, 7 p.m. THE PUBLIC, 1033 O. St., Lincoln, 742.4000, thepublicshoes. com. NEW WORK: Michael Thurber with music from Irkutsk. TUGBOAT GALLERY, 14th and O, 2nd floor, Lincoln, F TO THE YES!: Group show with Alex Borovski, Alison Van Volkenburgh, Meghan Sullivan, opens Jan. 7-29, reception Jan. 7, 7 p.m. WSI HALL, 1430 N. 10th St. THE EMBODIMENT OF THE LINCOLN UMBRELLA: Group show with music by Lark Markel, Climates, SFS, Darren Keen, DJ Blac, opens Jan. 8, 7 p.m. WORKSPACE GALLERY, Sawmill Building, 440 N. 8th St., Lincoln, NEW WORK: Priya Kambli, through Feb.


BELLEVUE UNIVERSITY GALLERY, Hitchcock Humanities Center, 1000 Galvin Road. S., 293.2048, BOXES AND RELIEF: Marc Manriquez. HOLLYWOOD TIMES: Mervi Pakaste. Both shows through Jan. 11. CATHEDRAL CULTURAL CENTER, 3900 Webster St., 551.4888, NEW WORK: Regional Latino artists, through Feb. 4. DURHAM WESTERN HERITAGE MUSEUM, 801 S. 10th St., 444.5071, SCHOOL HOUSE TO WHITE HOUSE: THE EDUCATION OF THE PRESIDENTS: Through Mar. 27. FRED SIMON GALLERY, Burlington Building, 1004 Farnam St., NAC IAF VISUAL ARTS SHOW: Group show, through Feb. 25. GRAND MANSE GALLERY, 129 N. 10th St., Lincoln, BLUE CAT: David Christiansen, through Jan. 21. INTERNATIONAL QUILT STUDY CENTER AND MUSEUM, 1523 N. 33rd St., Lincoln, 472.7232, MARSEILLE: WHITE CORDED QUILTING: Through May 8. REVISITING THE ART QUILT: Through Apr. 3, gallery talk Apr. 3, 3 p.m. JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER, 333 S. 132nd St., 572.8486, SCREAM TRUTH AT THE WORLD: Emanuel Ringelblum and the Hidden Archive of the Warsaw Gutter, through Feb. 25. JOSLYN ART MUSEUM, 2200 Dodge St., 342.3300, BEYOND REALISM: THE WORKS OF KENT BELLOWS 19702005: Through Jan. 16. SEASONS OF JOY: Currier and Ives Holiday Prints from the ConAgra Collection, through Jan. 23. GOLDEN KITE, GOLDEN DREAMS: The SCBWI Awards, through Jan. 16. KANEKO, 1111 Jones St., 341.3800, FREE. FOLDED SQUARE ALPHABETS & NUMERICALS: Sculpture exhibit by Fletcher Benton, through Feb. KRUGER COLLECTION, UNL Architecture Hall, 10th and R, Lincoln, 472.3560, THINK GREEN: Interior/green design and miniatures, through Mar. 18. LAURITZEN GARDENS, 100 Bancroft St., 346.4002, HOLIDAY POINSETTIA SHOW: Through Jan. 9. LUX CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 48th and Baldwin, Lincoln, 434.2787, VIS-A-VIS: Group show, through Mar. 1. MODERN ARTS MIDWEST, 800 P St., Lincoln, 477.2828, RED DOT: 8th Anniversary celebration, through Dec. 31. MORRILL HALL, 307 Morrill Hall, Lincoln 472.3779, museum. AMPHIBIANS: VIBRANT AND VANISHING: Joel Sartore, through Nov. 30. MUSEUM OF NEBRASKA ART (MONA), 2401 Central Ave., Kearney, 308.865.8559, POSTMASTER INTERACTIVE GALLERY: Group show, through Jan. 10, 2011. THE ANIMAL KINGDOM: Through Jun. 5, 2011. SATURDAY EVENING POST: Holiday images, through Jan. 10. A GREATER SPECTRUM: African American artists of Nebraska, 1912-2010, through Apr. 3. OF PEN, PAPER, PENCIL: Group show, through Feb. 27. OLSON-LARSEN GALLERY, 203 5th St., Des Moines, IA, 515.277.6734, SMALL WORKS SHOW: Group show, through Jan. 15. NEW WORK: Group show, through Jan. 15. PARALLAX SPACE, 1745 N St., Lincoln, TWEEN: Anne and Michael Burton, through Jan. 31.


art/theater listings

check event listings online! SHELDON ART GALLERY, 12th and R, UNL, Lincoln, BETTER HALF, BETTER TWELFTH: Women artists in the collection, through Apr. 1, 2011. ORLAN & MIND OVER MATTER: Through Jan. 30. WESTERN HISTORIC TRAILS CENTER, 3434 Richard Downing Ave., Council Bluffs, 515.281.3858, OVER HERE, OVER THERE: Iowa and WWI, through Fall 2010. ART IN DAILY LIFE: The art of Native Americans, through Jan. 2011.

theater oPENING

FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF, John Beasley Theater at the LaFern Williams Center, 30th and Q, Jan. 6-16, Thurs.-Sat. 7:30 p.m. and Sun. 3 p.m. Tickets are $27, $22 students and seniors, $16 Thurs. Call 502.5767 or visit G.I. CHRISTMAS, Millard Plaza Ballroom, 5339 S 139th Plz, 891.0779, Opens Jan 7-8, 14, 21-22, 28-29, 7 p.m., $40. OMAHA DANCE PROJECT, Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St., 553.0800, Opens Jan. 8, 7:30 p.m., Jan. 9, 2 p.m., $15, $10/students & seniors. SESAME STREET LIVE: ELMO’S HEALTHY HEROES, Qwest Center, 455 N. 10th St., Opens Jan. 6-9, $17-$40.

poetry/comedy thursday 6

PROVOKE, Benson Grind, 6107 Maple St., 7-9 p.m. Hosted by Jack Hubbell, this open mic weighs a perfect balance of truth versus BS. Should you choose to swear in or only bear witness, poetry will be served. (1st Thurs.) COLLIN MOULTON, Funny Bone, Village Pointe, 17305 Davenport St.,, 493.8036, 7:30 p.m.


COLLIN MOULTON, Funny Bone, Village Pointe, 17305 Davenport St.,, 493.8036, 7:30 p.m., 9:45 p.m.


MIKE KELLY, The Bookworm, 87th and Pacific, 11 a.m., 392.2877, Author will sign Big Red Rivals: Farewell to a Conference.

POETRY SLAM & OPEN MIC, Omaha Healing Arts Center, 1216 Howard St., 7:30 p.m., 345.5078,, $7 suggested donation. The longest-running slam in Omaha, featuring some of the best performance poets in the nation. Open mic followed by the slam. Tonight features Jovan Mays. (2nd Sat. each month) SHERLOCK HOLMES BOOK CLUB, The Bookworm, 87th and Pacific, 10 a.m., 392.2877, Discuss the tales of Sherlock Holmes. (2nd Saturday.) STEVE CAPLIN, The Bookworm, 87th and Pacific, 1 p.m., 392.2877, Author will sign Matter Over Mind. COLLIN MOULTON, Funny Bone, Village Pointe, 17305 Davenport St.,, 493.8036, 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.

Sunday 9

BOOKS AND BAGELS, The Bookworm, 87th and Pacific, 11 a.m., 392.2877, Discussion of Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life by Queen Noor. RABBI JONATHAN GROSS, The Bookworm, 87th and Pacific, 1 p.m., 392.2877, Author will sign The Jewish Case for the One State Solution. COLLIN MOULTON, Funny Bone, Village Pointe, 17305 Davenport St.,, 493.8036, 7 p.m.

monday 10

DUFFY’S COMEDY WORKSHOP, 1412 O St., Lincoln, 474.3543,, 9 p.m. Free comedy workshop (every Mon.) POETRY AT THE MOON, Crescent Moon Coffee, 816 P St., Lincoln, 435.2828,, 7 p.m. Open mic and featured readers. (every Mon.)

tuesday 11

SHOOT YOUR MOUTH OFF, The Hideout, 320 S. 72nd St., 9 p.m. sign-up, 9:30 start, 504.4434,, spoken word, comedy, music and chaos (every Tues.)

Wednesday 12

ACOUSTIC OPEN MIC FOR MUSICIANS & POETS, Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso, 1624 S. St., Lincoln, 8 p.m., 477.2007. Hosted by Spencer. (every Wed.) COMEDY NIGHT AT THE SIDE DOOR, 3530 Leavenworth St., 8 p.m., $5. Every Wed. MIDWEST POETRY VIBE, Irie, 302 S. 11th St., 9 p.m., poetry, R&B, Neosoul music, live performances, concert DVD and food and drink. (Every Wed.) WEDNESDAY WORDS, Nebraska Arts Council, Historic Burlington Place Bldg, 1004 Farnam St., Lower Level, Omaha, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., Featuring Lisa Sandlin. (2nd Wed.) PEOPLE’S FILM FESTIVAL: THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe, 38th and Farnam, 7 p.m., FREE. Follows several amish teens during a rite of passage. (every Wed.)

AM Taxi finds its way to Virgin Records


by Chris Aponick

ig into AM Taxi’s history and it might be easy to assume how the Chicago band quickly made it to the Virgin Records roster with their first album We Don’t Stand a Chance. But don’t think you can figure out the whole story, singer Adam Krier says.

Krier says it would be different if he had been the singer of Lucky Boys Confusion, but he and Schultejann were just two guys on the side of the stage. It’s never been necessary to use that connection to propel AM Taxi, he says. AM Taxi started as Lucky Boys Confusion’s members began settling down and touring more or less stopped. The band still plays occasional dates in Chicago and a few other Midwestern cities. So Krier put together a new band and recorded an EP without even having a band

am taxi

Krier and bassist Jason Schultejann logged time in ska pop-punk act Lucky Boys Confusion, where Krier also contributed to the songwriting, but not the vocals. Krier says AM Taxi’s quick success hasn’t come from drifting on the success of Lucky Boys Confusion, who scored an alternative rock hit in 2003 with “Hey Driver.” The connection between the two acts hasn’t been played up by AM Taxi, Krier says. “I don’t think a lot of people are even aware of it to be honest with you,” he says. “Virgin Records even didn’t know anything about it.”

name. The songs were an extension of where Krier’s songs were already headed with Lucky Boys Confusion, tapping into a sound somewhere between the Warped Tour and the punkminded bar rock of Gaslight Anthem, the Hold Steady or Against Me! Some people are able to pick up on the melodic similarities of those last Lucky Boys’ songs and AM Taxi’s material, Krier says. “To me, it’s completely different,” he says. Still Krier says he draws inspiration from stuff he’s always loved, including the Clash, the Replacements and mid-’70s Bruce Springsteen

when he’s writing. There’s no real set method to writing, however. The first 75 percent of a song just pretty much comes out unfiltered, he says. “The hardest part is the last 25,” Krier says. Krier says while recording that EP and playing the first round of club dates in Chicago, he became glad he launched the new band. “We knew it was time to start something new,” he says. The record deal with Virgin came about a year into the band playing gigs; and soon after, they went to Austin, Tex. to record their album with Spoon collaborator Mike McCarthy as producer. The band had talked with bigger names, guys with gold records, but they came back to McCarthy because they respected how he made albums and wanted to use his methods to make their album. McCarthy records bands live onto tape, using primarily vintage equipment. “All of our favorite records for years had been recorded that way, live and on reel-to-reel,” Krier says. After finishing the album, the band had to wait nearly a year for Virgin to release it. Subsequently, the band has done Warped Tour and several other touring treks behind the 2010 release. Up next is a wintry Midwestern tour with friends, the Architects from Kansas City. There’s a little apprehension about just how cold it’ll be, but Krier says the bands had the opportunity to go on the tour, so they took it. “Leave it to us to book our Midwest run in January.” , AM Taxi w/ Architects and Beat Seekers play the Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St., Sunday, Jan. 9, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8. Visit


n First of all, greetings are in order. I’m Chris Aponick and I’m your new Backbeat columnist. Think of me as your guide to what’s newsworthy in Omaha each week. I’ve written for The Reader frequently during the last three years, so I hope my voice is one you’re used to hearing. But here’s the thing, I need to hear your voices, too. A man only has one set of ears and sometimes that can make hearing all the happenings in a busy Omaha music scene quite the task. So if you ever have a tidbit to share, an event to promote or just something to get off your chest, jet me an email at Can’t wait to hear from all of you. n, the website of the comprehensive All Music Guide, featured legendary Omaha jazz man Preston Love in its Album of the Day slot Dec. 30. Preston Love’s Omaha Bar-BQ, reissued in 2001, originally came out in 1969 and featured Shuggie and his father, Johnny Otis. Led by saxophonist Love, the LP covers smooth and gritty funkjazz numbers. The review highlights “Cream Dream,” stating “the sounds take on a slightly psychedelic hue, with the combination of underwater bubbling noises and way-in-the-background flute by Love.” n Locally owned Drastic Plastic Records continues to march out rare and highly-desirable vinyl reissues. The Clash’s second album, Give ’Em Enough Rope, is due out Feb. 1, following the mid-December release of the Wake’s 1982 Factory Records album, Harmony, says Drastic Plastic Records general manager Neil Azevedo. Harmony was the debut release of the Wake, a post-punk act that started in Glasgow. It is the third Factory release to be re-issued by the vinyl-only Drastic Plastic Records label. Rope is the second Clash re-issue put out by Drastic Plastic Records, an offshoot of Impact Merchandising. Azevedo says the label has been working with Sony to get licenses to the Clash catalog. Up next in that effort is a 10-inch release of Black Market Clash. Azevedo says the label’s mission has been to bring back important, interesting records that they love. n There’s a local dog in the fight in the indabamusic. com’s Sleigh Bells remix contest. Derrick Calloway, who DJs as Dorion C, is staying near the top of the heap in a contest remixing “Run the Heart” by Sleigh Bells, according to fellow DJ and Reader contributor Brent Crampton. Listen and vote online at indabamusic. com/submissions/show/38174#!/opportunities/sleighbells-run-the-heart. Voting ends Jan. 12. n Be sure to check out the Answer Team Jan. 8 at O’Leaver’s Pub, 1322 S. Saddle Creek Rd. It’s a fundraiser for, a forthcoming music website by The Reader’s Andrew Norman. (Full disclosure: I’m a contributor for this non-profit start-up website.) — Chris Aponick


Driven to Success


Backbeat takes you behind the scenes of the local music scene. Send tips, comments and questions to


jan. 6 - 12, 2011


music Quickly Orchestrated Anniversaire takes off in studio


by Chris Aponick

nniversaire’s album Nightingale may sound like the product of a meticulous, involved studio session, but singer Aaron Jordan says the orchestral pop band knocked out the recording of their debut disc in three days. The Omaha four-piece consisting of Jordan, bassist Travis Ahrenholtz, cellist Megan Siebe and drummer Ben Eberly recorded their album at ARC, the studio owned by the Mogis brothers. The band’s friend Luke Mabie engineered the self-produced album, after having worked on a live DVD they had recorded. During that process, Mabie says he quickly became interested in working with the band again. “I fell in love with their band,” he says. anniversaire Mabie and the band were going to set up and jam at a house Mabie lived in around 30th and Pacific streets. But the band began talking to ARC about recording rates. The initial thought was that the band would record all the drum tracks there and then finish the album elsewhere. Anniversaire spent the bulk of their recording time in ARC’s B room while Sea Wolf was working in the main studio. The band basically got full reign of ARC’s equipment inventory and even got input from A.J. Mogis, who would suggest pieces he liked using. During the sessions Anniversaire was able to play around with an upright acoustic piano they disassembled and surrounded with microphones, just to see what sound would come out.


jan. 6 - 12, 2011



At first, Anniversaire booked only two days in the studio, but eventually booked two additional half-days to finish the album. “We walked out of there having done the whole record, going in only to do the drums,” Jordan says. The band took the ARC sessions and mixed them with Mabie, using borrowed time and equipment, before finally turning to Jason Burkum to finish the process. Burkum told the band just how massive their heavily layered record was, by informing them he had to borrow computer equipment and space to store the plus-sized music files. The band had its origins at another recording session about two and a-half years ago, after Jordan, Ahrenholtz and Eberly’s previous band, O Lovelle, dissolved. The band had just recorded a three-song demo with Matt Tobias, who offered to re-track the demo to reflect the changing line-up. So Jordan, bassist Travis Ahrenholtz and drummer Ben Eberly began working on mate-

rial in the studio, without a name or any idea what was going to happen. Jordan says it was an experiment more than anything. “It wasn’t a start date as much as a growing period,” Ahrenholtz says. “We kind of formed in the studio,” Jordan says of the trio. “It was kind of a weird transition.” Jordan says the band’s roots go back a few years. Having always played music together has tied them together. “I think it’s been an important dynamic,” Jordan says. “The common ground that we have is the music and not our shared history.” Anniversaire’s adaption from O Lovelle’s two-guitar indie rock sound to a more layered, austere pop band spurred Jordan to move permanently to keys. After that switch the band went to Minnesota on the Fourth of July, where they bought a Fender Rhodes piano that had previously been owned by Dweezil Zappa. After those demo sessions, the band expanded to include cellist Megan Siebe. Jordan says there’s a trust in each other’s musical ability and it helps members bring different takes to what they are doing. Jordan, the band’s songwriter and lyricist, says he draws on a love for film scores and incorporating that concert orchestra vibe into the band’s pop songs. Jordan and cellist Siebe have studied music in college, with Jordan having a degree from Grace University. Ahrenholtz says the band members respect each other’s differences in taste, and it helped strengthen their work together. “We started turning out music that we all loved,” he says. , Anniversaire’s CD release w/ Bear Stories is Friday, Jan. 7, at 9 p.m. at the Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $5. Visit

CODY CANADA & THE DEPARTED Cody Canada, the lead singer of Southern rock ‘n’ roll band Cross Canadian Ragweed, tours behind his debut solo album.


Tickets available at or by phone at 1.888.512.SHOW.

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2011 American

Motorcycles” Featuring MTV’s Farrah Abraham

A 16 month calendar that takes an artistic look at American Motorcycles in Nebraska. Featuring the areas “hottest” models signing autographs and calendars.

jan. 6 - 11, 2011


b y

t i m

m c m a h a n

n Adding to the annual “Youth Concert” and the July 4th weekend county-fair freedom-rock concert, look for a third free major concert event featuring a genuine outsidethe-box performer.  Slowdown’s free “block party” featured Built to Spill.  n Like other big cities, we’ll see DJs spinning at more and more clubs and restaurants in Omaha.  DJs are becoming so ubiquitous; there’s even one (Reader contributor Brent Crampton) spinning at the new Republic of Couture clothing store in Midtown Crossing.  n A new all-ages performance space will take hold, becoming this generation’s Cog Factory.  We watched the rise and fall of The Hole, the all-ages venue that started downtown and moved to Benson, and whose future remains uncertain.  n Who we’ll be talking about this time next year: Arcade Fire, Rolling Stones, Radiohead, Liz Phair, Tim Kasher, Of Montreal, Okkervil River, Bright Eyes, It’s True, Soundgarden, Prince, Pavement, Ritual Device, Beck, MGMT, Bear Country, Modest Mouse, The Wrens and Sufjan Stevens.  Most were hot topics, though we’re still waiting for Radiohead, Ritual Device and The Wrens’ return.  n Who we won’t be talking about: Animal Collective, Susan Boyle, Monsters of Folk, Wilco, Cursive, The Faint, Emphatic, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Phoenix, Green Day and Vampire Weekend.  There’s no avoiding Lady Gaga.  n UK musician/dope fiend Peter Doherty will finally see his problems resolved once and for all.  He’s still kicking.  n Conor Oberst will break the hearts of thousands of his female (and a few male) fans.  Well, he didn’t get married anyway.  n Sick of life on the West Coast and seeing no discernable advantages to living near L.A., a member of a national band we all know will move back to Omaha.  Cursive’s Tim Kasher returned home from the wild last summer.  n A major musician will record his/her new album at The Faint’s Enamel Studio.  Didn’t happen, as far as I know.  n Watch out SLAM Omaha, a new local online resource will launch in ’10 that will act as the definitive arts, entertainment and music information hub.  We welcomed last month, and is at the starting gate.  n Like Michael Jackson another 6-year-old raises the eyebrows of an America still mourning the passing of the King of Pop.  Willow Smith, Will Smith’s daughter, had a mega hit with “Whip My Hair,” but she’s downright elderly at 9 years old.  n Look for a new live original music venue to open in Midtown Crossing among all those restaurants.  Nyet.  n The next national breakthrough for a local band will come when one of its songs is included on the soundtrack of a major motion picture.  Well, there was Lovely Still. Next week: Visions of 2011. ,

Lazy-i is a weekly column by long-time Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused

Where: The Attic, 3231 Harney St When: Thursday, January 6, 2010 from 4-7pm


efore we can look forward, we must look back. Last year’s predictions for 2010 started with nine hunches that can be summed up this way: There will be fewer bands all trying to get paid more to play in fewer clubs that will be booking fewer shows but with better national bands playing at a higher ticket price. To gauge my accuracy, we went to the expert. Marc Leibowitz, whose One Percent Productions books most of the indie rock shows in Omaha (at The Waiting Room and The Slowdown), says last year the number of shows booked was about the same, though “some were just smaller.” Ticket prices went up “a little bit, but not much. We fight to keep shows cheap.” And there weren’t fewer quality bands, just “fewer bands that have big followings.” All of which neither validated nor disproved my predictions. What we do know: A number of notable local bands did break up or went into hiding last year, their official whereabouts unknown, including It’s True, UUVVWWZ, Box Elders, Beep Beep, Son Ambulance and The Faint. Both It’s True and UU are returning with new line-ups. And filling the gaps was the arrival of The Mynabirds, Conduits and So-So Sailors — all potential breakout national acts. As for the number of clubs, the choices have dwindled to just The Waiting Room and Slowdown for touring indie bands. O’Leaver’s is booking fewer shows, and The 49’r was deep-sixed. Last year I also predicted that we’d see fewer record labels with fewer bands recording fewer albums. But recording studios have hung in there despite the availability of high-quality home-studio options. And we’ve actually seen the rise of Grotto and Grapefruit Records, which join local entities Saddle Creek, Speed! Nebraska and Slumber Party.  So, I’m batting less than .500. Let’s see how I did in the Lightning Round. n 2010 Prediction: Another well-known mainstream band will give away the digital download of its next album.  Gorillaz, The Fall; Girl Talk, All Day; Prince, 20Ten and Phoenix, Live in Sydney were among last year’s free downloads. R.E.M would be wise to follow suit.    n A new kind of record store will open that specializes in just that: Vinyl records. Not here, not yet.  n We’ll see an increase in “alternative venues” like in the ’90s, when social halls and practice spaces became options for one-off shows.  The Faint’s old Orifice practice space on Leavenworth has become a funky option for smaller shows.  n A new social media tool will be optimized for easy, instant (and legal) distribution of online music, revolutionizing how musicians and fans access “music content” on portable devices.  We welcomed Apple’s Ping, but Ping ponged.  n The MAHA Music Festival will become the event organizers dreamed it could be, if they get the right line-up.  Direct hit.

s c e n e

on the Omaha music scene. Check out Tim’s daily music news updates at his website,, or email him at


hoodoo Reasons to experience Reasons to experience

LIVE THEATRE b l u e s ,

r o o t s ,

a m e r i c a n a

a n d

‘If This Is It, Let’s Get it While it’s There’

m o r e

B y

B . J .

h u c h t e m a n n

Graham was a member of The True Believers with another seminal roots musician, Alejandro Escovedo. Go to to check out this disc and Graham’s other music. You’ll also find Graham’s newly released live recording Chupacabra available for digital download only. It’s a full band effort recorded live at Austin’s Saxon Pub including Graham’s righthand-man Michael Hardwick on electric guitar, John Chipman on drums and Harmoni Kelly on bass. Chupacabra is a pay-what-you-want download, in the spirit of Graham’s JonDeeCo Music Co-Op, a vehicle for fan donations that helped fund the mixing and mastering of It’s Not as Bad as It Looks. Visit

#74 No commercials. H ere we go, stepping boldly into 2011. Or typing forward, one character at a time. I’m not one for resolutions. If you’re living your best life, doing the best you can, even if it’s moving forward at your own pace, that’s what matters. Jon Dee Graham wrote in “Robot Moving” on 2004’s CD The Great Battle, “Everybody says put one foot in front of the other/Course the irony is that’s the only way feet work/What luck!” The song ends with Graham reassuring, “Now don’t be scared,” seemingly as much for himself as for the listener. Graham’s music is full of similar revelatory moments. His music and his luminous hope in the face of adversity have become my life preserver. “False hope is still hope” is one of his mottos. His 2010 disc It’s Not As Bad As It Looks was carved from Graham’s true survival tale of crawling from the mangled wreckage of his vehicle after a late-night Interstate crash. He was driving home to Austin from a solo gig in Dallas. It’s Not As Bad As It Looks hit the Number One spot on national music journalist Geoffrey Himes’ Himes Hundred: Best Albums of 2010 for Himes writes for Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Nashville publications covering various genres. Graham’s CD beat out Bruce Springsteen’s The Promise, which landed at Number Two on Himes’ list and the reissue of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew: 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition at Number Three. Himes wrote that Graham “swears that when the Texas state trooper pulled him from the wreckage, he wisecracked, ‘It’s not as bad as it looks.’ It’s that ability to stand unbowed and unsobered in the face of heartbreak and mortality, to convert a death’s-door joke into an album title … [and] the small glimmers of hope that Graham latches onto on It’s Not as Bad as It Looks [that] register as major triumphs. Having survived not only a brush with death, but also a hundred lesser stumbles, he’s willing to acknowledge life’s shortcomings. But on ‘My Lucky Day,’ if Graham can find three [shiny] dimes or hear Neil Young and the Clash back-to-back on the radio, he’s ready to set his and Mike Hardwick’s guitars ringing from the steeple in victory. All the more poignant for their rarity, such moments of joy underscore what may well be the album’s core message: ‘If this is it, let’s get it while it’s there.’” That’s a fine philosophy to keep in mind as we move into 2011. Graham calls It’s Not as Bad as It Looks the best recording of his solo career. Before going solo

! l a e R t e G

New Lift Blues

Job#: 48698.5 9:07 AM Ship: 1/3/11 Insert: 1/6/11 Bleed: none Artist: Jeremy Rev: 1

Thursday, Jan. 6, The New Lift Lounge presents the Levi William band at 5 p.m. followed by Wildfire at 7 p.m. Wildfire is a blues-country-classic rock band featuring Sue Murray, Joe McCarthy (of Little Joe & Big Trouble), Carlos Figueroa, Clark Ewalt, Jimmy Ray Pearce, Mike White and John Rodelander. Thursday, Jan. 13, catch award-winning, Pacific Northwest jump-blues band The Insomniacs.

Reasons to experience


#151 No two shows are alike!

The Zoo Bar features the Lil’ Slim Blues Band Friday, Jan. 7, at 9 p.m. after The Heartmurmurs trio plays 5-7 p.m. The legendary Magic Slim plugs in Wednesday, Jan. 12, 6-9 p.m. and Son of 76 & The Watchmen and Omaha’s funky Voodoo Method gig after 9 p.m. Son of 76 is led by occasional Reader contributor Josh Hoyer. The Insomniacs hit the Zoo Wednesday, Jan. 19, 6-9 p.m.

Property: Harrah's Council Bluffs Project: .38 Special Show: 1/3/11 Vendor: Omaha Reader dMax: Trim: 4.9" x 7.47" Live: 4.625" x 7.22 VO: ~ x ~ Desc.: Omaha Reader 4.9” x 7.47” Ad Final Mats: PDF File

! l a e R t Ge

Zoo Bar Music Hot Notes

Saturday, Jan. 8, 7 p.m., see Sarah Benck at Pizza Shoppe Collective along with the Weisenheimers Comedy Troupe in a benefit for the Autism Society of Nebraska. Also Saturday, Jan. 8, Reader colleague Andrew Norman hosts a benefit for his website at O’Leaver’s. Performing are The Answer Team, Irkutsk and All Young Girls Are Machine Guns. The non-profit site is designed to promote the Nebraska music scene and launches Jan. 24. Find out more at The Kris Lager Band rocks the Barley Street Tavern Friday, Jan. 7. The Stir bar at Harrah’s gets funky with The 9s Friday, Jan. 7, and Satchel Grande Saturday, Jan. 8. Cody Canada from Cross Canadian Ragweed is at the Horseshoe Casino’s Whiskey Roadhouse with his band Cody Canada & The Departed Wednesday, Jan. 12. ,

Reasons to experience


Julia Roberts doesn’t need another million dollars.

Hoodoo is a weekly column focusing on blues, roots, Americana and occasional other music styles with an emphasis on live music performances. Hoodoo columnist B.J. Huchtemann is a Reader senior contributing writer and veteran music journalist who has covered the local music scene for nearly 20 years.


#14 It’s totally legal. ! l a e R t e G

Reasons to experience .38 SPECIAL


No airbrushed nudity.

! l a e R t Ge

Reasons to experience January 30 8pm

LIVE THEATRE Tickets on sale online at, or by phone at 888-512-SHOW.



Lots of Omaha actors are McDreamy!

Must be 21 or older to gamble. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETSOFF (In Iowa) or 1-800-522-4700. ©2011, Caesars License Company, LLC.


V2_48698.5_4.9x7.47_4c_Ad.indd 1


jan. 6 - 12, 2011 1/3/11


10:03 AM

2234 South 13th Street Omaha, NE 68108 346 - 9802

livemusiccalendar SEND CALENDAR INFORMATION — including addresses, dates, times, costs and phone numbers — to The Reader’s calendar editor. Mail to or drop off information at P.O. Box 7360 Omaha, NE 68107; email to; fax to (402) 341.6967. Deadline is 5 p.m. the Thursday prior to issue date.

thursday 6

fri 1/7/2011

Thu 1/14/2011

fri 1/21/2011

Nicholas ordeaN w/ special Guests adelaide aNd Bryce caiN BrouGht to you By N squared MaNaGeMeNt VereNdus w/ laBel Me red, a chokiNG Melody, aNd others tBa doors @ 6:30 show @ 7:00 $7 at the door artillery FuNk w/ Mc GriNGo, hot FroM Far, rJJ & Faded

DOWNTOWN SOUND, (DJ) 9 p.m., 415, FREE. THIRD FATE, EDGE OF ARBOR, (rock) 9 p.m., Barley St. Tavern, $5. REELFOOT, BLUE MARTIAN TRIBE, SOLID GOLD, (jam/ rock) 8 p.m., Bourbon, $5, $7/under 21. DIGITALLOVE, (DJ) 9 p.m., Bricktop, FREE. OPEN JAM, 9 p.m., Chrome. NEW MOON SONGWRITERS NIGHT, (singer-songwriter) 7 p.m., Crescent Moon, FREE. SHITHOOK, (karaoke) 9 p.m., Duffy’s, FREE. LOOM WEAVES MLK TRIBUTE, (DJ) 9 p.m., Espana, $5. SPANKY JAMES, (rock) 8 p.m., Firewater Grille, FREE. KNUCKLE DEEP, (cover) 9 p.m., The Grove, FREE. NOVAK & HARR, (jazz) 6 p.m., Jazz Louisiana Kitchen, FREE. CHRIS SAUB, (acoustic) 9 p.m., Myth, FREE. LEVI WILLIAM, WILDFIRE, (blues) 5 p.m., New Lift Lounge, $7.

READER RECOMMENDS CON DIOS, MCCARTHY TRENCHING, (rock) 9:30 p.m., O’Leaver’s, $5. PETER BOUFFARD, (guitar) 6 p.m., The Oven, FREE. THE LAST FEW, (jazz) 6:30 p.m., Ozone, FREE. JAZZ EXPLOSION, 8 p.m., Pizza Shoppe Collective, FREE. SWAMPJAM, (blues) 8 p.m., Pour House, FREE. HI-FI HANGOVER, (cover) 9:30 p.m., red9.

READER RECOMMENDS ROCK PAPER DYNAMITE, MOSES PREY, THE BENNINGTONS, (rock) 9 p.m., Slowdown, $7. JR HOSS, (acoustic) 9 p.m., Two Fine Irishmen, FREE. JAZZ AT VENUE, 7 p.m., Venue, FREE. GUNK’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE W/ KOBRAKYLE, $PENCELOVE, VJ DINAN, (DJ) 9 p.m., Waiting Room, $5. ROCK MAFIA, (cover) 9 p.m., Whiskey Roadhouse, FREE. PIANO HAPPY HOUR, 5 p.m., Zoo Bar, FREE. CORNERSTONE DUB, STONEBELLY, (reggae/rock) 9 p.m., Zoo Bar, $5.


GARRICK, ROB BEATZ, (DJ) 9 p.m., 415, $5. MOON JUICE, (cover) 9 p.m., Arena, FREE.


Christmas Music Episode With Special Guests:

Rock Paper Dynamite 44

KRIS LAGER BAND, EDGE OF ARBOR, (rock/blues) 9 p.m., Barley St. Tavern, $5. MUZIK AMBIENCE BY JACQUES, (piano) 4-7 p.m., Big Mama’s Kitchen. THE PAT O SHOW, (cover) 9 p.m., Brazen Head. JOHN DOE, (cover) 9 p.m., Chrome. JAZZ AT THE MOON, 7 p.m., Crescent Moon, FREE. JR HOSS, (acoustic) 5 p.m., Cunninghams, FREE. BLUES ORCHESTRA, HONEYBOY TURNER, (blues) 5 p.m., Duggan’s. JITTERBUGS’ NIGHT OUT, (jazz/dixieland) 9 p.m., Eagles Lodge, $10. 2 PAIR, (rock) 8 p.m., Firewater Grille, FREE. DEREK VENTURA, (cover) 6:30 p.m., Gorat’s, FREE. HEGG BROTHERS, (blues) 9 p.m., Havanna Garage. NIGHT SHAKERS TRIO, (jazz) 7 p.m., Jazz Louisiana Kitchen, FREE. SILEN HAVOK, DUSK BLED DOWN, (rock/metal) 6 p.m., Knickerbockers. THE CONFIDENTIALS, (cover) 9:30 p.m., Loose Moose, FREE. CHASING THE SUN, EVENTIDE, SUPPRESS THE AFFLICTION, CALLING CORNERS, (rock/metal) 9 p.m., Louis.

Janurary | THE READER | Music Episode jan. 6 - 12, 2011

music listings

LUTHER JAMES BAND, MOJO BANG, (blues) 9 p.m., McKenna’s, FREE.

READER RECOMMENDS THE DIPLOMATS OF SOLID SOUND W/ THE DIPLOMETTES, (rock) 9:30 p.m., O’Leaver’s, $5. FINEST HOUR, (cover) 6 p.m., Ozone, FREE. THE PERSONICS, (cover) 9 p.m., Ozone, FREE. SPIKE NELSON’S RHYTHM & BLUES ZONE, (blues) Rick’s Cafe Boatyard. KARMA VISION, BEAR COUNTRY, THE WAYWARD LITTLE SATAN DAUGHTERS, (indie/rock) 9 p.m., Slowdown, $7. NICHOLAS ORDEAN, ADELAIDE, BRYCE CAIN, (rock) 7 p.m., Sokol Underground, $7. THE 9’S, (cover) 9 p.m., Stir Live, $5. COMMUNITY DRUM CIRCLE, 8 p.m., Ten Thousand Villages, FREE. BLIND DOG FULTON, (blues) 9 p.m., Tropics. COVER ME BADD, (cover) 8 p.m., Two Fine Irishmen, FREE. FULL CHOKE, (country) 9 p.m., Uncle Ron’s.

READER RECOMMENDS ANNIVERSAIRE, BEAR STORIES, (indie/rock) 9 p.m., Waiting Room, $5. EASY STREET BAND, (cover) 9 p.m., Whiskey Roadhouse, FREE. THE HEARTMURMURS TRIO, (blues) 5 p.m., Zoo Bar, $4. THE LIL SLIM BLUES BAND, (blues) 9 p.m., Zoo Bar, $6.


UDM, (DJ) 9 p.m., 415, $5. MOON JUICE, (cover) 9 p.m., Arena, FREE.

READER RECOMMENDS ONCE A PAWN, DAYMOTHS, MILLIONS OF BOYS, (rock) 9 p.m., Barley St. Tavern, $5. BOBBIE BOOB, BAD SPELER, TWO BLACK CATS, (experimental/rock) 7 p.m., Clawfoot House, $5. CONSPIRACY THEORY, (cover) 9 p.m., Chrome. BRAD CORDLE BLUES BAND, (blues) 9 p.m., Downtown Blues. DEREK VENTURA, (cover) 6:30 p.m., Gorat’s, FREE. HEGG BROTHERS, (blues) 9 p.m., Havanna Garage. NIGHT SHAKERS TRIO, (jazz) 7 p.m., Jazz Louisiana Kitchen, FREE. FLOATING OPERA, (rock) 9 p.m., Knickerbockers. THE CONFIDENTIALS, (cover) 9:30 p.m., Loose Moose, FREE.

READER RECOMMENDS HEARNEBRASKA.ORG BENEFIT W/ THE ANSWER TEAM, IRKUSTK, ALL YOUNG GIRLS ARE MACHINE GUNS, DJANGIS KHAN, (rock) 9:30 p.m., O’Leaver’s, $5. THE LABELS, (cover) 9 p.m., Ozone, FREE. AUTISM SOCIETY OF NEBRASKA FUNDRAISER W/ SARA BANKS, THE WEISENHEIMERS, (singer-songwriter/ comedy) 7 p.m., Pizza Shoppe Collective. D*FUNK, (cover) 9:30 p.m., red9. CHRIS SAUB BAND, (cover) 6 p.m., The Reef, FREE.

READER RECOMMENDS EMBER SCHRAG, L. EUGENE METHE, BLUEBIRD, (singer- songwriter/folk) 9 p.m., Slowdown, $7. SATCHEL GRANDE, (funk) 9 p.m., Stir Live, $5. STRINGS SHOWCASE W/ TITO MUNOZ, (classical) 7 p.m., Strauss Performing Arts Center, $30. HI-FI HANGOVER, (cover) 8 p.m., Two Fine Irishmen, FREE. FULL CHOKE, (country) 9 p.m., Uncle Ron’s. BROKEN CROWN, COLD STEEL, COINCIDE, ILLUMINATI, (rock) 9 p.m., Waiting Room, $7. UNDERCOVER, (cover) 7 p.m., Whiskey Roadhouse, FREE. JERRY PRANKSTERS, (cover) 9 p.m., Zoo Bar, $6.


SUNDAY GOLD W/ GREG K, (DJ) 9 p.m., 415, FREE. MOBILE DEATHCAMP, BLOOD OF THE PROPHETS, DEAD ECHOES, (rock/metal) 5:30 p.m., Bourbon, $8. MASSES, TWIN KILLERS, DIM LIGHT, (rock) 9 p.m., Bourbon, $5, $7/under 21. ’80S NIGHT W/ OL’ MOANIN’ CORPSE, (DJ) 8 p.m., Bricktop, FREE. ONCE A PAWN, DAYMOTHS, WINNERS OF THE BEST BAND NAME CONTEST, (rock) 9 p.m., Duffy’s.



SOUP AND SONG W/ KYLE & ANDY, (variety singer songwriter) 8 p.m., Barley St. Tavern, FREE.



VIC NASTY, (DJ) 9 p.m., 415, FREE. BASS TUESDAY W/ DJ BLAC, 9 p.m., Bricktop. DJ SPENCE, (DJ) 10 p.m., Duffy’s. G.P.M., (rock) 9 p.m., Knickerbockers. TIM KOEHN ACOUSTIC JAM, (acoustic/blues) 7 p.m., Louis, FREE. GAFAN, THE SWEET RESPONSE, (rock) 9 p.m., Louis. UN-CUT, (acoustic) 6:30 p.m., Ozone, FREE. CHRIS SAUB, (acoustic) 8 p.m., The Phoenix, FREE. MARK “SHARKY” SANFORD, (piano) 6:30 p.m., The Reef, FREE.

READER RECOMMENDS KOO KOO KANGA ROO W/ BAD SPELER, (dance/ experimental) 9 p.m., Waiting Room, $6. JAZZOCRACY, (jazz) 6 p.m., Zoo Bar, FREE. TROUBADOUR TUESDAY W/ DANIEL MARTINEZ, LUKE STICKA, JIM MOORE, HEATHER STICKA, (acoustic) 9 p.m., Zoo Bar, $4.

Wednesday 12

TALI-BANG, GLENN LEWIS, (DJ) 9 p.m., 415, FREE. I AM THE NAVIGATOR, ONCE A PAWN, SILVER RABBIT, (rock) 8 p.m., Bourbon, $5, $7/under 21. THE DICEY RILEYS, (celtic) 7 p.m., Brazen Head. DB REDUCTION, (acoustic/cover) 9 p.m., Cruiser’s, FREE. CLIMATES, SFS, THE VINGINS, WATCHING THE TRAINWRECK, (rock) 9 p.m., Duffy’s. THE ZEBRA JAM, (rock) 9 p.m., Gator O’Malley’s, FREE. JORGE NILA JAZZ JAM, (jazz) 7:30 p.m., Indulgence Lounge. JR HOSS, (acoustic) 7 p.m., Loose Moose, FREE. BILL CHRASTIL, (oldies) 6:30 p.m., Ozone, FREE. JOHN RITCHIE DJ EXTRAVAGANZA, (DJ) 8 p.m., Pizza Shoppe Collective. OPEN MIC, 9 p.m., Sean O’Casey’s, FREE. SOFT ROCK CAFE, (DJ) 9 p.m., Waiting Room, FREE.

READER RECOMMENDS CODY CANADA & THE DEPARTED, (rock/country) 9 p.m., Whiskey Roadhouse, $15. MAGIC SLIM, (blues) 6 p.m., Zoo Bar, $6. SON OF 76 AND THE WATCHMEN, VOODOO METHOD, (soul/rock/funk) 9 p.m., Zoo Bar, $5.


Ameristar Casino, 2200 River Rd., Council Bluffs, Arena Bar & Grill, 3809 N. 90th St., 571.2310, BarFly, 707 N. 114th St., 504.4811 Barley Street Tavern, 2735 N. 62nd St., 554.5834, Bourbon Theatre, 1415 O St., Lincoln, 730.5695 Downtown Blues, 1512 Howard St., 345.0180 Duffy’s Tavern, 1412 O St., Lincoln, 474.3453, The Hideout, 302 S. 72nd St. Knickerbocker’s, 901 O St., Lincoln, 476.6865, LIV Lounge, 2279 S. 67th St., 884.5410, livlounge. com Louis Bar and Grill, 5702 NW Radial Hwy., 551.5993 McKenna’s Blues, Booze & BBQ, 7425 Pacific St., 393.7427, New Lift Lounge, 4737 S. 96th St., 339.7170

0 O’Leaver’s Pub, 1322 S. Saddle Creek Rd., 556.1238, Ozone Lounge at Anthony’s Steakhouse, 72nd and F, 331.7575, Pizza Shoppe Collective, 6056 Maple St., 556.9090, Qwest, 455 N. 10th St., Side Door, 3530 Leavenworth St., 504.3444. Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St., 345.7569, Sokol Hall, 2234 S. 13th St., 346.9802, The Sydney, 5918 Maple St., 932.9262, Stir, 1 Harrahs Blvd., Council Bluffs, Venue 162, 162 W. Broadway, Council Bluffs, 712.256.7768, Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St., 884.5353, Whiskey Roadhouse, Horseshoe Casino, 2701 32nd Ave., Council Bluffs, Zoo Bar, 136 N.14th St., Lincoln,


Koo Koo Kanga Roo is a live show unlike anything you have ever experienced. With the carefree simplicity of your kindergarden days, a Koo Koo Kanga Roo party is a family fun dance extravaganza for kids and adults of all ages! The undeniable urge to move your body will lead you to the dance floor as you hear their catchy pop melodies.

tueSday, 1/11/11 9:00PM @ the Waiting rooM



w/ Bad Speller

thurSday, 1/06/11 9:00PM @ the Waiting rooM

Friday, 1/07/11 9:00PM @ the Waiting rooM

Saturday, 1/08/11 9:00PM @ the Waiting rooM




w/ Cold Steel, Coincide & Illuminati

Sunday, 1/09/11 9:00PM @ the Waiting rooM

Monday, 1/10/11 8:00PM @ the Waiting rooM

WedneSday, 1/12/11 9:00PM @ the Waiting rooM

Heavy Metal Parking Lot


w/ Kobrakyle, $pencelove, & VJ Dinan

w/ Bear Stories



thurSday, 1/13/11 9:00PM @ the Waiting rooM

Friday, 1/14/11 9:00PM @ the Waiting rooM

w/ The Architects & The Beat Seekers

TOUBAB KREWE w/ Blue Martian Tribe


w/ Dirtfedd, Illusion of Gaia, & Against the Artificial

1/17/10 MOVIE NIGHT: syMpaTHy fOr THE dEVIl 1/18/10 cursIVE 1/19/10 faNcy parTy cOMEdy 1/19/10 aNbErlIN/cIrca surVIVE 1/20/10 VOOdOO METHOd 1/21/10 scrEaMING fOr sIlENcE 1/22/10 HabITaT fOr HuMaNITy cONcErT 1/23/10 aarON MaNsfIEld 1/24/10 MOVIE NIGHT: rEspEcT yOursElf 1/27/10 GuNk


Saturday, 1/15/11 9:00PM @ the Waiting rooM

SAILOR JERRY’S PINUP PAGEANT PARTY! w/ Bad Luck Charm, Cordial Spew, & The Killigans

1/28/10 THE sHOW Is THE raINbOW 1/29/10 plaIN WHITE T’s 1/29/10 rEbEluTION 1/30/10 GOrIlla prOducTIONs 1/31/10 MOVIE NIGHT: THE lasT WalTz 2/04/10 krIs laGEr baNd 2/05/10 M.O.caIaus/JIMMy HOOlIGaN 2/09/10 INTErpOl 2/10/10 bIG GIGaNTIc 2/11/10 lEarNING TO flOyd

More Information and Tickets Available at


music listings


jan. 6 - 12, 2011


Forever Young Family & Children’s Series

January 8 – March 31, 2011 (Saturdays, Sundays, Thursdays) Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater January 8-9, 13, 15-16, 20 Marx Brothers: Duck Soup 1933 January 22-23, 27, 29-30, February 3 Marx Brothers: A Night at the Opera 1935 February 5-6, 10, 12-13, 17 Marx Brothers: Horse Feathers 1932 February 19-20, 24, 26-27, March 3 Marx Brothers: A Day at the Races 1937 March 5-6, 10, 12-13, 17 Three Stooges Shorts: An Ache in Every Stake, Micro-Phonies & In the Sweet Pie and Pie 1941-1945 March 19-20, 24, 26-27, 31 Looney Tunes Duck Soup 1933

More info & showtimes at



Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater 14th & Mike Fahey Street (formerly Webster Street) More info & showtimes 402.933.0259 · Facebook & Twitter: /filmstreams


jan. 6 - 12, 2011

This Week White Material first-Run

Directed by Claire Denis Friday, January 7 - Thursday, January 13

“There is no better filmmaker working in the world right now.” —Nick James, Sight & Sound

Tiny Furniture first-Run

Directed by Lena Dunham Held over! Now through Thursday, January 13


Black Swan first-Run (R) Directed by Darren Aronofsky Now Showing Golden Globe Nominee: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Natalie Portman), Best Supporting Actress (Mila Kunis) “Visceral and real even while it’s one delirious, phantasmagoric freakout.” —manohla Dargis, The New York Times

forever Young

Duck Soup 1933 January 8-9, 13, 15-16, 20 (Saturdays, Sundays, Thursdays) The met: live in HD

La Fanciulla del West Puccini Live: Saturday, January 8, 12pm* Encore: Wednesday, January 12, 6pm

*An Opera Omaha Prelude Talk with Stage Director Jim de Blasis will begin at 11am on the day of the live broadcast (Saturday, January 8).

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The King’s Speech shows Oscar fluency


by Ryan Syrek

one more man to potentially provide Prince Albert’s tune up. Lionel Logue (Rush) is a speech therapist and failed actor who comes from the “Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society” school of inspiration. Combining unconventional methods that really don’t seem that unconventional and wacky exchanges that really aren’t that wacky, Logue and the prince become friends just in time for the prince to become king. But they’d better hurry with that speech therapy, because Hitler’s on the move, and only the new king’s radio address can rally England now!

emarkably unremarkable and tonally mundane, director Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech was seemingly genetically engineered by a mad scientist named Juan Tan-Oscar. Quasi-historical and wholly predictable, the film would have been dismissible as icky chum for suit-wearing Academy sharks were it not for Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth. Their tête á têtes are more frosty diction than Frost/Nixon, but the genuine skill of both restrained performers thaws the frigid pace enough to feel … something. Firth plays Prince Albert, who is second in line behind his elder brother, Edward (Guy Pearce), for the English crown. Albert is smart, capable and married to a supportive lass named Elizabeth, played by Helena Bonham Carter, who somehow still manages to look like a deranged homeless witch even in royal costuming. Albert’s daddy, King George V (Michael Gambon), knows his days of throne sitting are nearing an end, so he starts tweaking out. Why? Well, because Eddy is obsessed with schtupping a married woman, a kingly no-no, and Albert has a speech impediment of Porky Pig proportions. Having tried every recourse to help her tongue-tied spouse, Elizabeth finds the king’s speech

Wouldn’t it be great if just once a movie like this ended with the big moment, ahem, royally sucking? You know, the dude trains for a big fight and gets clobbered; the girl gives the brilliant closing argument and loses the case; the king prepares to deliver a speech after months of practice and unleashes nothing but mouth farts and awkward pausing. Sadly, screenwriter David Seidler didn’t have this stroke of inspiration. Instead, things are so paint-by-numbers that improvisation was likely punishable by guillotine. On the positive, Firth does a great stammer and stutter. What’s more impressive is that he makes the prince-turned-king into a real person so jam-packed with psychological issues he’s like Sigmund Freud’s piñata. Rush irritatingly isn’t afforded the same opportunity, as the early promise of an investigation into Logue, such as his obsession with acting and family dynamic, fade like sun-bleached wallpaper. There’s nothing super wrong with The King’s Speech. It’s just one of those movies destined to be moderately acceptable to everyone and overly beloved by an easily impressed few. It has an undeniable date with multiple award nominations, as do Firth and Rush, and that’s really all Dr. Juan Tan-Oscar was shooting for anyway. Unfortunately, the gleeful cackling will be coming only from a secret mad scientist laboratory and not from theaters screening this shouldn’t-really-be-a-contender. ,


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I was appalled (and oddly intrigued) at the instruction I received from my editor this week, until I realized she told me to grab my crystal ball for this week’s column. Let’s just say the first draft of this installment was a little saucier until I realized she wanted predictions. So here’s the best brief supposition and speculation I can suppose to speculate: n 3D will D-cline: Studios aren’t seeing the kind of massive returns they fantasized about in their liquid-asset dreams. Although they are adding a little to the bottom line (like Tron: Legacy getting 25 percent of its gross from IMAX/3D add-ons), there are an increasing number of duds and thuds (we’re looking at you, Yogi), continued critical backlash and a dramatically lower audience turnout. The trend ain’t dead, but I predict 2011 will see an ebb and not a flow in third dimensionality. n We’ll feel the Payne: Although no date has been announced, I predict 2011 will include the first finished full-length project from Omaha’s favorite directorial son since 2004. The Descendants stars George Clooney alongside some great character actors and Matthew Lillard, who will no longer have to keep proving he’s still alive on his IMDB page. Even if Payne weren’t a Nebraska fella, I’d pray that this prediction would come true. n Quick hits: Here are some rapid tidbits for you: I think next year’s Harry Potter finale will be the top grosser. I think our humble Cutting Room blog will change and grow by leaps and bounds (with your help). I think all of our local theaters will survive and thrive (no contractions here). I think the Omaha Film Festival will set another record for attendance. I think I’m thinking too much. So here’s hoping that our years don’t follow the Star Trek movie curse, and an odd digit means even better things! — Ryan Syrek


Fact and Diction


Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to Check out Ryan on the radio on CD 105.9 (Fridays at around 7:30 a.m.), on his blog at and on Twitter (


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rench-born director Claire Denis grew up in Africa, and her latest film, White Material, is her first set on that continent since her 1988 debut Chocolat. Since ’88, Denis has become probably the greatest French filmmaker currently working, and White Material is an example of her observational, often dreamlike style at its peak. Somewhere in Africa, a conflict between military forces and cutthroat rebel insurgents white material has reached its boiling point. We know little about the politics, but one goal of this attempted revolution seems to be the removal of “white material,” the white, European culture that breeds corruption and keeps workers in perpetual poverty. Although we can’t say for sure, it seems that Maria Vial (Isabelle Huppert), French immigrant and manager of her family’s coffee plantation, sympathizes with the rebels. Being white, in a position of power and relatively well-off, the Vials are themselves the enemy, but Maria just doesn’t see her family that way. Life back in France, the French soldiers who are now pulling out — they’re the enemy. The way Maria sees it, she’s simply put too much sweat into that plantation to be considered just another bit of white material. From the small radios present in nearly every room, we vaguely follow the progress of the conflict. But what we mostly see is Maria, as she pleads with her staff to stay despite the increasing violence, and pays the rebels to let her cross the road so she can go hire some more.




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A lone rebel soldier, known only as The Boxer (Isaach de Bankole), arrives at the plantation with a gunshot wound. Maria doesn’t really invite him to stay; she just gives him some water and turns a blind eye. Is this her indication of sympathy to his cause? A way to avoid the complications that would ensue as a result of turning him in? Simple human compassion? Like Denis’ 35 Shots of Rum, White Material wanders unobtrusively among its various characters, locations and atmospheres. And like her Friday Night, it all feels like a hazy, half-remembered dream. But this latest picture is different, in that it’s so tough to get a full of grasp on all the nerves it’s able to touch. As portrayed by the stoic-yet-graceful Huppert, Maria is a pretty tough nut to crack. Always

preoccupied and at a distance, even the few times we do get inside her head (a brief internal monologue and a snippet of a restless dream) offer little conclusive information. Nearly every other character seems to see her as being simply stubborn, but Denis and cinematographer Yves Cape present Maria to us with such care that we have to accept that her actions aren’t that simple. But it isn’t really about solving or even puzzling over the complicated Maria, it’s about embracing the mystery and atmosphere of the film. And White Material, for all its sparse landscapes and even less crowded conversations, is a very expansive, mysterious and haunting movie. ,


The Fighter If you can be punch-drunk on crack, Bale nails it.


Black Swan A It’s like Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” … only with more sexytime.

The Tourist As much fun as sifting through the vacation photos of a couple you loathe.


Dinner for Schmucks (ON DVD) A familiar, but tasty, comedic feast.

True Grit AYippee ty yi yay! The best Western since The Unforgiven.



jan. 6 - 12, 2011

e d i t e d

Machete (ON DVD) Exactly what you’d expect from Lohan, Alba and Seagal.

127 Hours Boyle’s film is so good, it deserves more than the sound of one hand clapping.


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weird news

iologists Studying Rare Species Have to Be Quick: Researchers learned from reports in early 2010 of a new monkey species in Myanmar, with a nose so recessed that it habitually collects rainfall and constantly sneezes. However, according to an October National Geographic dispatch, by the time scientists arrived to investigate, natives had eaten the monkey. (The sneezing makes them easy for hunters to detect.) Researchers studying a rare species of Vietnamese lizard had an easier time in November. After learning of the species and rushing to Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, a two-man team from La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif., found the lizards being routinely served in several restaurants’ lunch buffets.

Can’t Possibly Be True Parents of the 450 pupils (ages 3-11) at Applecroft primary school in Welwyn Garden City, England, were given individualized yearbooks recently with all the children’s faces obscured by black bars over the eyes (except for photos of the recipient’s own children, which had no obstructions). The precautions (described by one parent as “creepy,” like kids were “prisoners”) were ordered by headmistress Vicky Parsley, who feared that clear photos of children would inevitably wind up in child pornography. Last year, Parsley famously prohibited parents from taking photographs during school plays — of their kids or any others — for the same fear. — Joy of Democracy! (1) The women’s group Femen is growing in popularity in Ukraine (ac-

cording to a November Reuters dispatch), helped in large part by its members’ willingness, during the group’s ubiquitous street protests, to remove their tops. (2) The Socialist Party in Spain’s Catalonia region offered an election video in November on the joy of voting, in which an attractive, increasingly excited woman simulates an orgasm as she fills out her ballot, climaxing at the moment she drops it into the slot. (3) The nativist Danish People’s Party called in November for an anti-immigration film that featured bare-breasted women sunbathing, as one way to convince religious fundamentalists abroad not to immigrate to Denmark.

Inexplicable Nicholas Hodge, 31, was arrested in Winona County, Minn., in November after he entered the home of an acquaintance at 2:40 a.m. and refused to leave, complaining that a person who lived there owed him something. According to the deputy’s report, Hodge was cuffed while sitting on a toilet “in the kitchen.” The deputy added, “I’m not sure why they had a toilet in the kitchen.” — “Sex strikes” (the withholding of favors) are employed from time to time, especially in underdeveloped countries, to influence political leaders’ decisions. However, these almost always appear in patriarchies in which females have little influence beyond the power of sexual denial. In December, Stanley Kalembaye of Uganda’s National Resistance Movement, battling to unseat the ruling party, publicly called for the nation’s men to withhold sex from their wives unless the wives promise to vote for the Resistance.


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Unclear on the Concept In November, outgoing Florida Gov. Charlie Crist initiated pardon proceedings (granted in December) excusing now-deceased singer Jim Morrison of The Doors for his 1969 indecentexposure conviction in Miami Beach. However, Crist has ignored petitions from still-living, stillincarcerated convicts who almost certainly suffered unfair prosecutions. Orlando Sentinel crusader Scott Maxwell reported on several dozen people convicted in part by trainer Bill Preston’s dogs, who supposedly tracked crime-scene scents through water and other obstacles, sometimes months later and despite much site contamination, directly to the defendant on trial. Judge after judge permitted Preston’s “expert” testimony until one demanded a live courtroom test, which Preston’s dog utterly failed. In 2009 two convicts were released after DNA tests proved the dog’s sniffs were erroneous, but as many as 60 similar convictions still stand. — Glenn Crawley, 55, who describes himself as a “man of the water,” flipped his catamaran off the coast of Newquay, England, in September for the 13th time and had to be rescued, running the costs of attending to his miscues to the equivalent of nearly $50,000. Although officials have pleaded with him to give up sailing (terming him “Captain Calamity”), Crawley says: “I do what no one else is doing. So I’d appreciate it if people would get off my case and give me some support.”

Least Competent Criminals

Not Ready for Prime Time: (1) Bonnie Usher, 43, was arrested in Manchester, N.H., in November and charged with robbing a Rite Aid pharmacy

after being spotted in her car fleeing the store’s parking lot. The robber’s easy-to-remember license plate: “B-USHER.” (2) Walter Allen Jr. was arrested in Houston in November after attempting to purchase two Bentley cars at the Post Oak Motor Cars company. Allen, using his own driver’s license, presented a check for $500,000 from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (which was, of course, bogus since the Federal Reserve does not bank with checks).

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Alan Patton, 59, of Dublin, Ohio, was arrested again in November — this time under the state’s newly passed “Alan Patton” law (inspired by his earlier arrest) for hanging around men’s rooms to collect (and then consume) fresh urine from young boys. Earlier laws afforded insufficient punishment, legislators had said, leading to the new law. Explained one detective, after Patton’s 2006 arrest, “Listening to him describe (his fetish), it’s like listening to a crack or cocaine addict. He’s addicted to children’s urine.”

A News of the Weird Classic (September 2002)

September (2002) reports in the New York Post and the Toronto Star, quoting parents’ website “reviews” of the Mattel $19.99 Nimbus 2000 plastic-replica riding broomstick from the (then)latest Harry Potter movie, highlighted its battery-powered special effect — vibration. Wrote a Texas mother: “I was surprised at how long (my daughter and her friends) can just sit in her room and play with this magic broomstick.” Another says her daughter fights her son for it but complains “the batteries drain too fast.” Still another mother, age 32, said she enjoyed it as much as her daughter. ,

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weird news


jan. 6 - 12, 2011


y continued from page 13

i SAGITTARIUS (11.23-12.21) When it comes to horsing around, any cutie wants some Sagittarius booty. Sagittarius correlates with the thighs on the human body. You like to get there first, physically, mentally, and eventually, philosophically. What do they see, these harbingers of prophecy? Tell us what you see. Wild and crazy, you are never lazy; but the dream is over. Time to start an unexpected new you, as your ruler Jupiter leaves Pisces Jan. 22. Yours is the sign of the prophet. One of the best precursors in your astrological arsenal of karmic information is the North Node, the Dragon’s Head, symbolizing the direction you’ll take during this lifetime. It begins moving “backward” through your sign March 4. March 20-April 3 (Aries New Moon), the North Node is conjunct the Hunab Ku (God of the Maya and the center of our Milky Way Galaxy) at 26/27 degrees Sagittarius. You are the prophet, and this is the food if they don’t have the power. You do. Their opposition falls to the side and you continue surfing the New Moon. It’s good to have friends in high places. It’s your turn to hit a homerun and touch all the bases. Looks like a grand slam. Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma’am! Be careful; with Mercury retrograde in Aries until we enter Taurus April 20 at dawn, you’ll jump ahead prematurely. Hold off on giving your jewel a final faceting until then. Succinct communication is always essential for social success. May Day, Mars is conjunct Jupiter at 22 degrees in Aries. It’s time to low profile for a while. Watch out for weapons, machinery, metal objects and belligerent bar patrons. Jupiter is in Aries until June; rush to get ahead soon. The first half of 2011 focuses on opportunities and chances for leadership. If you’re not a leader by June try to ally yourself with someone who is, does, or can. June 1’s New Moon Solar Eclipse in Gemini provides pause for thought regarding partnerships. Wake up Saturday morning, June 4, and choose money or love as Jupiter enters Taurus. It retrogrades in September, returns and goes direct at 0 degrees Taurus to help you retune what you had on the Gemini New Moon during the first week of June. Merry Christmas! Whatcha want? Your money or your love? j CAPRICORN (12.22-1.20) Happy birthday! Happy New Moon in Capricorn Jan. 4, your personal New Year’s. Your ruler Saturn starts in Libra, its sign of exaltation, and moves retrograde from Jan. 26-June 13. Study the magique of musique and partake of this most spiritual of arts until Libra 2012. Elusive as the wind, unsubstantial as sunlight, magique as a rising Moon, and as exciting as a new romance, music has an undeniable, yet imperceptible, affect upon humans. You can’t see it, but you can feel it. Play for yourself first and stay real. Remember, you can’t please everyone. Allow for different tastes and speak another’s [musical] language to communicate. The power of music can help the sad to discover their happiness, while unexpectedly moving someone who is happy to tears. If you’re going to play the blues, start low and slow. Wait for the emotional intensity to pull you up. And, if I may share my favorite musical lesson: If you wonder if it’s music or not, it’s not. The lessons of music and harmony often relate metaphorically to the lessons of love and relationships. Need I say more? Pick up the beat and play it sweet. Timing is your forte. Time to play? Wait until June 13, when Saturn moves direct, to show us what you mean and what has meaning for you. Make music out of your life.


JAN. 6 - 12, 2010


cover story

You’ll feel the gigantic wave of opposition during the first week of April, affecting your reputation and social standing. Let it flow through you. It’s too BIG, too powerful. You must acquiesce in order to survive for a time. The world returns you to power by the Full Moon in Aries Oct. 11, with the Sun conjunct Saturn in Libra marking your big turnaround. If you’ve taken lessons of harmony to heart, you may start to define the music of your mind. Make it beautiful. Live within the beauty and become it. k AQUARIUS (1.21-2.19) Use January and February to finish up the dream of these last seven years. March 11, the planet Uranus (your esoteric ruler) shifts major gears, from laidback, dreamy Pisces, where you were primarily motivated to seek liberation from the mental and emotional influences of your past, into balls-to-the-walls, impulsive, let’s-go-for-it Aries, the sign of new starts, trailblazing, initiative, freedom, pioneering and resourcefulness. It’s time to start your next seven-year project, with you in the driver’s seat this time. It’s going to be a spring of unusual seeds and deeds. On April 3’s New Moon in Aries, the planet Uranus conjuncts Mars. The disruptive duo is joined in explosive Aries by Jupiter (the planet of expansion) and the Sun (which is conjunct the New Moon), followed by a retrograding Mercury, to ensure that no one has the ability to handle, channel or understand this heavy, impulsive, explosive stellium of Aries planets. I’d invite you to sit back and watch it with me but you’re right in the middle of it! You’ll be back on your own, taking a break and seeking your individuality, as your ruler Uranus moves retrograde July 9 and recedes back to 0 degrees Aries, before going direct on the Full Moon Total Eclipse in Gemini Dec. 10. You might as well read Capricorn, as the planet Saturn (currently in Libra) is your esoteric ruler, and you too can learn from the lessons of music and harmony until Oct. 2012. Hey, speaking of 2012, what do you think about the transformation of consciousness coming in December 2012? Get ready. Read Carl Johan Calleman and see that there’s no reason to fear. Until then have a good 2011. l PISCES (2.20-3.20) You’ve got Neptune ending its 13-year transit of Aquarius with the Aries New Moon April 3, which marks the most significant aspect of 2011. Neptune then slips into its home port of Pisces, but only for about one degree and four months, after which it retrogrades all the way back into late Aquarius during the first week in August, to finish any unresolved issues before moving direct on the Full Moon in Taurus Nov. 10, and finalizing its reentry into Pisces for a 14-year transit, commencing in 2012. Maybe the Maya have something (to teach) for you? Jupiter, your other ruler, joins the melee April 3, as part of the stellium of planets in Aries. The Sun, the New Moon, Mars (conjunct the planet Uranus) and Jupiter, followed by a retrograding Mercury, are all lighting up your theoretical 2nd House of money, possessions and values. Turn your birthday present from the universe into your daily bread ($) and start working to get ahead (Aries rules the head and face). Jupiter moves into Taurus for a year, starting June 4, then retrogrades in September, returning to 0 degrees Taurus and finally moving direct on Christmas Day. Get your individuality together by June. Find out what YOU really want, and then turn it/yourself into a business. Get through the preliminaries in 2011, and by Christmas Day you’ll be on your way… ,





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