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news 7

‘Eliminating the Safety Net’

dish 16

Coffee That Cares

art 21

Accent the Negative

music 27 Too Live Krewe

The Maestro Omaha Symphony’s Thomas Wilkins and his ever-seeking musical journey cover story by Leo Adam Biga ~ Page 13


Weird 38

MOjo 40




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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

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Jan. 13 - 19 , 2011


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| THE READER | Jan. 13 - 19 , 2011

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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


Creative Director: Eric Stoakes, Production/Graphics Assistant: Derrick Schott,


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Promotions Director: Rita Staley, Creative Director: Eric Stoakes, Style Events Coordinator: Jessica Hill

new etc.

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

heartland healing

11 Top 10 Avoidable Helath Risks ———————————————

j a n . 1 3 - 1 9 , 2 0 11 V O L . 1 7 n o . 4 7

cover story The Maestro:


30 Music Predictions, Part 2 ————————————————

Omaha Symphony’s Thomas Wilkins and his ever-seeking musical journey ~ Page 13 by Leo Adam Biga



43 Let’s Get It ————————————————

eight days

35 I Beg to ... Mostly Agree 35 Cutting Room: Film News 36 Report Card: Film Grades ————————————————


16 Coffee That Cares 16 Crumbs: Food News ———————————————— 16-17 This Week’s Top Events ————————————————



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

this week

21 Accent the Negative 21 Booked: Literary News 22 Cooperative Spirit 22 Mixed Media: Art News ————————————————


24 Of Age 24 Cold Cream: Theater News ————————————————

news of the weird

38 Vet Technicality ————————————————


40 Planet Power Horoscopes ————————————————


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


27 Timing It Right 27 Backbeat: Music News 28 Too Live Krewe ————————————————


Jessica Stensrud The Reader is published every Thursday by Pioneer Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 7360, Omaha, NE 68107, 402.341.READ, Fax 402.341.6967. The Reader is free in the Omaha, Lincoln, Council Bluffs area. Domestic subscriptions area available for $35 a year. Opinions expressed herein are those of the writer(s) and may not reflect the opinion of The Reader, its management and employees or its advertisers. The Reader accepts unsolicited manuscripts. For more advertising rates contact sales@ To send comments to the editor, contact

PARTNERS Heartland Healing: Michael Braunstein,

Today’s Omaha Woman: Carrie Kentch,


El Perico: Directorio Latino:



jan. 13 - 19, 2011


Two Tickets to Don Giovanni For Just



Friday, February 25, 2011 • 7:30 pm Sunday, February 27, 2011 • 2:00 pm


JAN. 13 - 19 , 2011


Friday, April 15, 2011 • 7:30 pm Sunday, April 17, 2011 • 2:00 pm 402.345.0606 | TICKETOMAHA.COM


Q Victims Against Police Brutality meeting: Saturday, Jan. 15, 12 p.m., Washington Branch Library, 2868 Ames Ave. Meeting for victims and their friends and family who have experienced law enforcement abuse. 453.0776 Q MLK Day Celebration: TMonday, Jan. 17, 4 p.m., Hixson-Lied Center, 602 N. 20th St. Creighton University presents the President’s Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy awards for 2011. Q Unity Rally for the Good Life:: Wednesday, Jan. 19, 12 p.m., State Capitol, 1445 K St., Lincoln. Rally opposing Arizona-style immigration laws in Nebraska.

topnews e d i t e d

B y

a n d r e w

n o r m a n


Eliminating the Safety Net

Punishing the punditry, reaping the whirlwind

Omaha Symphony’s Thomas Wilkins and his ever-seeking musical journey

Tom White received threats. Most politicians do. But the former Nebraska State Senator and 2010 Congressional candidate declined to elaborate on the nature of those threats because he says he never took them seriously. “Nebraskans are civilized people,” White says. The citizens of Arizona likely felt the same before 22-year-old Jared Loughner opened fire at a political rally Jan. 8 in Tucson, killing six and wounding 13, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She remained in serious condition on Jan. 11. President Barack Obama was careful to avoid political finger-pointing in his first public statement following the shooting, saying now was a time for “pulling together as a country.” But White sees at least one clear cause — the climate of political punditry that promotes fierce partisanship. “You cannot spew the volumes of venom that have been dished out by the pundits chasing ratings and profits without the overall environment becoming more shrill and extreme,” White says. “You sow the wind and you reap the whirlwind.” In the whirlwind following the Arizona shooting, one local politician toned down his message. Nebraska Republican Party Chairman Mark Fahleson removed an image of Sen. Ben Nelson’s head superimposed over a target from his blog. He told Politico on Jan. 10 he had received pressure from Nelson supporters. But he said the image posted Nov. 2 “simply illustrated that Ben Nelson is our primary political target — nothing more, and only a fool would say otherwise.” GOP leader Sarah Palin removed similar crosshairs images targeting 20 House Democrats — including Giffords — that had been posted on her political action committee website since March. Eliminating potentially offensive images is one thing, but White says removing the danger of a public office is nearly impossible. He hopes the Arizona shooting will force people to closely examine the types of political messages they see and hear, and whom is delivering them. “One of the things that needs to happen is people need to grow disgusted with those who are shrill and offer only virulent attacks without solutions,” he says. “Do that and the political climate will improve and we’ll become more effective at governing.” — Brandon Vogel

by Hilary Stohs-Krause


of child welfare reform released in November. They called for pilot programs to test the viability of any further changes, weighing both financial and emotional costs. Sarah Helvey, staff attorney and director of Nebraska Appleseed’s child welfare program, said at a November press conference that there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest the case management transfer would be successful. She had urged DHHS to study the matter before “eliminating the safety net of the state caseworkers.” The governor-appointed Foster Care Review Board was critical of reform in its December report: “Service coordinators do not have sufficient training or background to keep children safe and obtain needed documentation/evidence.” The report found service coordinators’ workloads al-

hen the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced in October that it would transfer another element of child welfare — case management — from the state to private contractors, activists and child welfare organizations loudly protested. They demanded the state slow an already troubled reform process that has seen five private contractors hired to handle day-to-day duties of child sandrA Gasca-Gonzalez welfare shrink to just two because of financial problems. But like it or not, the two remaining contractors — KVC Behavioral Healthcare Nebraska and the Nebraska Families Cooperative — began handling case management in January. State employees are working this month to train and transition private workers into their new responsibilities. These duties include working directly with families to complete safety assessments, case planning, monthly visits with children and parents and monthly team meetings. At stake are 6,250 child wards of the state. All parties agree reform was necessary — Nebraska had one of the worst child welfare records in the country. But they can’t agree on how to improve the situation. Voices for Children in Nebraska “is deeply troubled by this sudden move by DHHS, made without significant stakeholder input,” according to a summary

ready “preclude their ability to be proactive for children and families.” State Sens. Amanda McGill, Gwen Howard and Sen. Mark Christensen announced last Thursday that they plan to introduce bills to change the reform process, ranging from trimming DHHS Child and Family Services administrator salaries to requiring lead agencies be nationally accredited. Switching from state workers to private agencies will eliminate overlapping duties and create more definitive roles for KVC and Collaborative employees, says Nebraska DHHS CEO Kerry Winterer. The state agency will continue providing case management services for the service areas it re-assumed control of after Boys and Girls Home dropped out. This includes Nebraska’s northern, central and western service areas, and one-third of Omaha-area cases. All told, DHHS remains directly responsible for case management in about 80 percent the state’s landmass. KVC CEO Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez says the lead agencies had talked about taking on case management duties for some time. “I think that families need to know who’s helping them make changes in their lives, and when you have a decision maker, and then a quasi-decision maker, it gets really confusing for families,” she says. Before, families complained to KVC that they didn’t know whom to call when they needed help or answers — their state worker, or their KVC worker. “This way, it’s one person,” GascaGonzalez says. The changes come while the independent Foster Care Review Board continued on page 10 y

numberscruncher Number of U.S. cities, including Omaha, serving as polling places for Southern Sudanese refugees to vote on secession from the North: 8 Registered Sudanese voters in the United States: 8,800 Registered Sudanese voters in Omaha: 3,200 Estimated number of Sudanese people who died in the civil war from 1983 to 2005: 2 million Source: Sudan National Election Commission/U.S. Committee for Refugees

theysaidit they “When you prohibit guns from schools, and everybody knows there can’t be a gun there, then all the criminals know they’re the only ones there with it.”— State Senator Mark Christensen of Imperial to the Nebraska Radio Network one day after two principals were shot at Millard South High School. Christensen believes teachers and administrators should carry firearms.



jan. 13 - 19, 2011




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Fremont Sen. Charlie Janssen announced to state lawmakers on Jan. 6 that he would introduce a bill extending the power of local law enforcement to identify undocumented immigrants. The Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act (LB 48) would require police officers to check a suspect’s resident status during stops or arrests if there is reason to believe the person could be in the country illegally. State Attorney General Jon Bruning helped draft the bill. After passing a similar law last April, Arizona has faced numerous legal challenges, including a suit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice saying immigration enforcement is the right of federal rather than state government. That case still awaits a ruling. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates more than 40,000 undocumented immigrants live in Nebraska.

ficials say Butler’s father, Robert Butler Sr., could face disciplinary action, pending an investigation. The shooting was the first at a Nebraska school since 1995, when Shane Goffena, 13, shot and wounded a middle school teacher in Chadron.

Groups unite as early voting gets underway Three groups supporting the recall of Mayor Jim Suttle announced Jan. 5 they will work together with the Mayor Suttle Recall Committee in an effort to encourage more people to vote in the Jan. 25 election. Representatives from the Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, the Conservative Coalition of Nebraska and Citizens for Omaha’s Future say they will combine resources in hopes of removing the mayor from office. On Jan. 10 – the day early voting opened for the special election – anti-recall group Forward Omaha launched its own get-out-the-vote campaign, called “16 Days to Move Omaha Forward.”

Detective’s gun used in Millard shooting

Bruning proposes new drug regulations

Investigators say the gun Robert Butler Jr. used to shoot two principals at Millard South High School last week belonged to his father, a detective with the Omaha Police Department. Butler, 17, shot Principal Curtis Case and Assistant Principal Vicki Kaspar shortly before 1 p.m. on Jan. 5. He had been suspended from school earlier that day for destroying school property. He was found dead in a nearby parking lot from a selfinflicted gunshot wound a short time later. Kaspar, 57, died at the Creighton University Medical Center later that evening. Case, 45, was upgraded from serious to fair condition on Jan. 6. Omaha police standard operating procedure prohibits officers from storing firearms within easy access to unauthorized individuals. Police of-

State Attorney General Jon Bruning announced two bills to restrict drugs in Nebraska on the first day of the state’s new legislative session Jan. 5. One bill proposes a ban on chemical compounds found in K2, a synthetic, marijuana-like drug. Certain versions of the drug were banned at the federal level, but it is still available in Nebraska as drug makers have found recipes that skirt the regulation. Bruning also proposed an online tracking system for the purchase of drugs used to make methamphetamine. Current state law limits the amount of pseudoephedrine an individual can purchase from one supplier, but does not prevent them from making numerous purchases from different suppliers.

murderink they new shootings: Milton Jackson, 54, was shot and killed Jan. 6 inside the Shell Rapid Lube near 114th and Center. Police have made no arrests. 2011 HOMICIDES: 3 (THERE WERE 0 HOMICIDES AT THIS TIME LAST YEAR)

Court orders raises for firefighters The state labor court ruled Jan. 4 that the city owes its firefighters as much as $2 million in pay raises for 2009 because the two sides have yet to agree on a new contract. Earlier this year, the firefighters’ union agreed to wage freezes for 2009 and 2010 if a new agreement could be reached. The decision could have a large impact on the city’s 2011 budget, as the firefighters are now expected to win a similar suit over 2010 pay raises, which could cost the city an additional $2 to $3 million.

Nelson crossed party line most often in 2010 No Senator voted against his party more often in 2010 than Ben Nelson, according to the annual year-end voting report released Jan. 3 by Congressional Quarterly. Nebraska senior senator voted against the Democrats on 46 percent of “party issues” in 2010, well ahead of the next highest bi-partisan voter — Sen. Evan Byah of Indiana, who opposed 32 percent of Democratic votes.

City set to sell Rosenblatt for $12 million The Omaha Planning Board approved a city proposal on Jan. 5 designating Rosenblatt Stadium as a surplus property, paving the way for the purchase of the stadium later this spring by the Henry Doorly Zoo. The stadium and 35-acre plot will be sold for $12 million. Zoo officials have yet to finalize a plan for the property, but say an additional $3 million must be raised to cover the cost of demolition.

Omaha man pinned by train in Council Bluffs Michael McGillen Jr., 28, was airlifted to the Creighton University Medical Center Jan. 6 after

he was found pinned between a guardrail and a rail car at a power plant near Council Bluffs. He is expected to survive. McGillen works for the Iowa Interstate Railroad.

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Shooting Rounds Jerrell Haynie, 28, survived after being shot in the knee Jan. 9. He told police he was the victim of a drive-by shooting near 30th and Ames, but responding officers called his story “highly suspect” and have yet to locate a crime scene, suspect or any witnesses. Kevin Jordan, 20, survived after being shot Jan. 9, but was unable to tell investigators where the shooting occurred. Police have made no arrests and have not located a crime scene. Marcus Hardin, 39, survived after being shot Jan. 5 during a dispute at his ex-girlfriend’s house at 4915 N. 60th St. Police have made no arrests. James Williams, 61, died Jan. 11 after his gun discharged while he was cleaning it at his home at 4527 Decatur St. Police do not suspect foul play. — Brandon Vogel

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Restructured Black History Museum adds board members The Great Plains Black History Museum transition that began in late 2010 with Jim Calloway’s resignation from the board and James R. Beatty’s election as chairman has continued in early 2011 with two additions to the board. Frank Hayes is president of Hayes & Associates LLC, a firm providing accounting, tax preparation-planning, audits and CFO consulting services. And Ken Lyons, a former First National Bank vice president, is president and CEO continued on page 10 y



jan. 13 - 19, 2011


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is short three members out of 11 total slots, including its chairperson. Voices for Children in Nebraska Executive Director Kathy Bigsby Moore says Gov. Dave Heineman’s recent decision not to renew terms for former chairman Alfredo Ramirez and member Ron Albin removes k n ow l e d g e a b l e people at a critical time. “You know, there are times for fresh, new approaches, and then there are other times where you Kathy campbell need people who already have that ground knowledge. And this strikes me as a time where continuity would outweigh change,� she says. Lincoln Sen. Kathy Campbell, the new chairwoman of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, says it’s not unusual for the board to operate with empty seats. And she doesn’t believe it will impact the case management process. Gasca-Gonzalez wants people to focus on reform’s positive effects, as well as its problems. KVC says the number of children receiving in-home care increased from 48 percent before the reform to 60 percent in December in the Southeast Service Area. It jumped from 12 percent to 38 percent in the Eastern Service Area. Overall, Nebraska had an out-of-home care rate of 70 percent before the reform — one of the highest in the country. It’s one of the main reasons privatization was initiated. “We’re not ignoring the improvements we have to make,� says Gasca-Gonzalez, “but we’re also looking at what is working and how we build upon that.� ,

y continued from page 9

of NeighborWorks, a provider of economic and community development services. “The election of these two proven business and community leaders adds significantly to the managerial and leadership capacity of the Great Plains Black History Museum. These gentlemen will provide invaluable assistance and insight needed to improve the museum,� Beatty says. — Leo A. Biga n I had this beautiful idea that the Timex line of Ironman watches were created long ago in partnership with one of the world’s best triathletes who, having broken timepieces from many supposedly fine watchmakers, went to the company and said, “I need a watch that’s not afraid to work to the point of collapse. Also, it should be water-resistant to 100 meters.� Not the case. It’s just a nice bit of cobranding but I’ve still never felt comfortable wearing an Ironman watch because I’ve never completed, or even entertained the idea of, a triathlon. But if you are considering going the run, bike, swim route TotalWellness Multisport is Omaha’s first triathlon coaching center. In collaboration with The Bike Way and the Olson Center for Women, Multisport has three- and six-month plans starting at $125 as well as a la carte options for those of you training for your first triathlon. It will probably make things easier for you, you’ll feel good and you’ll totally have earned the right to buy a new watch. Visit for more information. n Congrats to UNO gridders — that’s right, throwback sports writing term — Mike Higgins and Harrison Lingenfelter for playing in last week’s Cactus Bowl, the Division II football all-star game in Kingsville, Texas. It’s sort of a throwback itself considering that it’s not named something like the Whattaburger Cactus Bowl. It’s just regionally specific Thing followed by Bowl, the way they all were back when basketball players were cagers and track stars were harriers. My hometown paper still quaintly refers to them that way. Anyway, lists Higgins as its 38th ranked tight end and Lingenfelter as its 141st ranked tackle in the 2011 NFL Draft. n If you haven’t made it to an Omaha Lancers game lately there are plenty of opportunities this month as the team plays six of its next eight games at the Civic, starting with their game against the Fargo Force on Jan. 13. It’s one of two games on the home ice against Fargo who, as of Jan. 7, sat in second place in the USHL West Conference, one point ahead of Omaha. The Lancers will also face Sioux City twice over the same stretch. The Musketeers trailed the Lancers by one point in the West Conference at the start of the home stand. — Brandon Vogel The Jump takes you behind the local headlines. Email jump@thereader. com and look for daily updates at


jan. 13 - 19, 2011








Top 10 Health Risks You Can Avoid Right Now


ometimes it’s the simple things. Baby steps. At a time when many feel overwhelmed by New Year resolutions requiring us to do something, here is a list of very simple (relatively) changes that could reap major health benefits. Rather than adding things to do, avoid things on the list and 2011 will be a better year. Things to avoid, Number 10: The Sofa Wii game consoles notwithstanding, the sofa (and all things you plant your backside on) makes the list of things to avoid in 2011. Inactivity kills mind and body. A small increase in movement will reward you with health benefits. Something as mundane as fidgeting can burn calories and mean the difference between fit or fat, according to a study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic. So stay off the sofa for just one 30-minute TV show a day and do something active; you’ll do a body good. 9. Personal care products One of the most unregulated industries in civilization, mystery chemicals comprise these unguents of society. Deodorants, shaving creams, makeup, shampoos, skin creams and the like deliver untold ingredients into your body. Remember, skin absorbs nearly everything you put on it. As one doctor said to me, “Don’t put anything on your body you wouldn’t eat, because it will end up on the inside anyway.” 8. Avoid trusting “them” You know who “they” are: the USDA, the FDA, the CDC, the “research;” any and all institutions that appear to be protecting the public interest and health. They aren’t. They are protecting investments. Quote Ronald Reagan: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” 7. Eating Out Some of my best friends are restaurateurs. One told me, “If you are dining out, you’re not eating healthy.” True. A commercial venture chooses ingredients for commercial reasons, read: profit. Who knows the quality or healthfulness of everything from cooking oils to spices? Any idea the grams of salt in that exquisite blackened trout? 6. Cell Phones Remember the 2005 movie Thank You for Smoking, about a lobbyist for the tobacco industry? He battled the reality that smoking is bad for you by doing his best media spin. By the end of the film, the tobacco industry collapses under the weight of truth and he is forced to find other work. The final scene shows him in an office pitching his skills to executives in the cell phone industry. It’s coming. There is no way that the massive doses of electromagnetic radiation from all our communication devices is completely benign. And like tobacco, we’re addicted to them. Avoid the radiation. Avoid your cell phone. Avoid electro-pollution in 2011. 5. Water You can’t avoid water and stay alive. But you can avoid much of the poison in water by getting a simple reverse osmosis filter system for drinking water

Heartland Healing




(cheap as $18/month.) Just last week, the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged we are being poisoned by what was supposed to be a health benefit: fluoride. If you want it out of your water (along with scads of other poisons,) avoid plain water. Bottled is not the solution. Get a tap and shower filter and avoid polluted water. 4. Processed food Especially avoid processed meat (nearly all the kind in the store). The World Cancer Research Fund says there is no safe level of human consumption of processed meat containing sodium nitrate. All processed food is dead, concocted and simply an assemblage of industrial ingredients. Good chance if we saw how industrial potato chips, bread, cereals, and so on were made, we’d never buy them. Pretty good rule of thumb is that if it’s not sold or packaged in its own skin, (e.g. veggies, fruit,) use with caution. Cardboard or cellophane? Move to the back, please. 3. Hospitals Even Obama acknowledges being in hospital is hazardous to your health. Data confirms over 100,000 people a year die needlessly in hospitals. Going to hospital should be avoided like, well, the plague. Many doctor visits are good to avoid, too. Studies estimate up to 80 percent of doctor visits are unnecessary and are for mild, self-limiting, non-urgent conditions that require no medical intervention. Seems that avoiding hospitals and doctors for non-emergencies can lower the risk of infection and death. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1.7 million contract infections in hospital. Organizations familiar with the problem (like claim the number is far greater, perhaps three or four times that. 2. Drugs Drugs kill, but not so much the illegal ones. Prescription drugs are the most abused category of drugs causing death. A Florida study found that prescription drugs kill 300 percent more people than heroin, methamphetamine or cocaine combined. Competent doctors suggest drugs should be a stopgap measure. But when you read about 8-year-olds on blood pressure meds, you gotta ask a few questions. Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith, Michael Jackson, Brittany Murphy and other hundreds of thousands who aren’t as famous died from prescription drugs. When it comes to drugs and avoiding them, if you’re on drugs already, rely on the person who got you hooked on them to get you off them. That means the doc. Don’t rely on anyone else for that. Drugs are serious business. The answer would seem to be to avoid them and their unhealthful consequences for 2011. 1. Chemicals There are over 83,000 chemicals on the EPA’s master list and an estimated 60,000 more that are unaccounted for. Up to 100,000 new chemicals have been introduced since 1950. Few are tested for safety before use in everything from incense, candles, room deodorizers, plastics, clothing, food, furniture and nearly everything you can imagine. Even a natural product like wood is treated with chemicals. Learn to avoid these powerful agents in every way possible. 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. 13 - 19, 2011



Jan. 13 - 19 , 2011



the maestro

Omaha Symphony’s Thomas Wilkins and his ever-seeking musical journey


by Leo Adam Biga

maha Symphony Orchestra music director Thomas Wilkins was first inspired to be a conductor at age 8 during a Virginia Symphony Orchestra pops performance in his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia. From the opening rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” he was mesmerized by how the conductor shaped the music. “I came home that day and I don’t know who I said it to, maybe to my mother, but certainly to myself, and certainly during the concert: ‘That’s what I want to do when I grow up.’ It’s interesting that that was before I had really started an instrument.” Raised by a single mom on welfare in the projects of the Jim Crow South, the concert marked Wilkins’ introduction to something outside the gospel, blues and jazz he was steeped in. His mother played organ at storefront black Baptist churches. Music filled the air. Classical music spoke to him at some inner level, but he jammed with musicians, black and white, from different musical genres. Some, like the Wooten brothers, made their marks in the business just as he did. “We all grew up together and hung out together. Many of my friends were not involved in classical music but they were still serious musicians. I was blessed with a little bit of talent as a young kid and so those players tend to gravitate towards each other,” he says. “We would share music on the weekends with each other. I would play for them Tchaikovsky and they would play me Miles Davis, so all of our worlds were being expanded together.” For Wilkins, classical music became a gateway to a new life, opening unimagined vistas, such as completing graduate studies at the prestigious New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston, Mass. Today, he’s one of perhaps 10 African-American conductors of major orchestras in the country. In addition to his Omaha post, he’s principal guest conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. High in demand as a guest conductor, he’s led the Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony (D.C.) and the Atlanta Symphony. Among his mentors is the renowned James DePreist, director of conducting and orchestral studies at the Juilliard School and laureate music director of the Oregon Symphony. Wilkins attended a conducting seminar that

DePriest, the preeminent African-American conductor, taught in Oregon. “It was great to be able to see him because he looked like me,” says Wilkins. “But then when I got to meet him and I really got the chance to see him and his life with the orchestra, his relationship with the orchestra, it really sort of informed a lot of my own music directorship — how to treat musicians, how to be involved in the community. I mean, we walked into a restaurant one day and the patrons applauded him. Here was a guy totally involved in the life of his community, and I thought, ‘Man, that’s a big thing.’” Richard Pittman is another influential figure. Then teacher of orchestra conducting at NEC, Pittman challenged the budding maestro to get by on thomas wilkins more than a winning personality and conducting flair, qualities the artist has always possessed. A crossroads for Wilkins occurred when he auditioned for graduate school. “I came to my graduate school audition with a lot of arm waving experience and being a leader of people. I had the great fortune of being a student conductor of every ensemble I was in since junior high school. What I hadn’t worked on were really important ear training skills. When I went to take my conducting portion of the audition the orchestra applauded. I was pleasant, I could wave my arms, I was very coordinated, very clear. But when it came to the musical skills test on piano, et cetera — my mother couldn’t afford piano lessons — all of that stuff was just horrible.” Wilkins found his chance at earning a coveted appointment in jeopardy. In the interview portion with Pittman, Wilkins says, “He told me, ‘You’re very charming. I believe you could get any orchestra to do anything you wanted them to do.’ But then he held up my skills test and just shook his head and said, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to take you or not. If I were to judge you based on your conducting alone, I know I would save one of these three spots for you without even seeing the others. But I’m going to have to think about it.’”

Wilkins then recalls hearing “the words that changed my life” when told: “‘If I do take you, you’re going to have to work your butt off because if you don’t I will not hesitate to kick you out. I don’t want you to be a charlatan, I want you to be a person of musical and intellectual integrity.’” In short, Wilkins says, Pittman “demanded I be more than charming.” It was a rude awakening for a charismatic young man who wanted nothing but to conduct since childhood. Here he was, he says, “standing on the doorstep of one of the world’s great music conservatories only to be told, ‘You have not worked hard enough.’” Pittman did accept Wilkins into the program and by his second year the protégé was Pittman’s graduate assistant. “Every morning I was at the front door of New England Conservatory at 7 o’clock, two hours of piano, ear training, solfege.” He credits Pittman with pushing him at that crucial time in his life. “He basically shaped my musical integrity, my hunger to learn, really in a sense my moral integrity, how I treat human beings, how I treat orchestra players. So much of that was crafted by him.” The experience confirmed for Wilkins that he would not be deterred or discouraged. He would not give in to what colleague Wynton Marsalis calls the “inner competitor” — that doubting voice within. Wilkins made a conscious decision to quell it. “And you know what, you have to make that decision every day,” he says. The poised, restrained presence Wilkins strikes at the lectern today is one he’s arrived at after years deconstructing his conducting technique. Less is more. After stints with the Richmond Symphony and Florida (Tampa Bay) Orchestra, he joined the Detroit Symphony in 2000 and the Omaha Symphony in 2005. The fact he’s come so far in a realm removed from the cultural norm of a poor Southern black is never lost on him. It’s why he states unequivocally, “Music saved my life as a young boy.” He says part of the blessed mystery of

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music is that it’s “both life changing and life affirming.” He offers himself as exhibit A: “It’s that mystery of why it can affect a young boy born to a single mother on welfare in a housing project in Norfolk, Virginia. It’s the mystery of why that could completely alter the course of my life.” Too often, he feels, categories segment people along racial-cultural lines, making some music unavailable to certain populations. It’s why he’s taken an active role as a music mentor and educator. Whether advising young black conductors and composers, or leading concerts for minority children or seniors, he enjoys expanding the classical stream. “Fortunately I had the power of music as a driving force in my life,” he says, “but it’s still important I think to see people who look like you. And it doesn’t mean we have to create any sort of artificial vehicle or route to get there, it just means there has to be access.” Wilkins, who taught music at North Park University in Chicago, where he met his wife, Sheri-Lee, says it’s important that students learn the classical canon extends beyond Western Europe. “One of the great things about music education is that it really gives kids of all races a broader perspective of what the world looks like because the music that we’re involved with comes from so many different places and so many different cultures,” he says. Wilkins adores American music. He champions the work of, among others, William Grant Still, a pioneering African-American composer and conductor. Pieces by Still and fellow American composers Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein and Andre Previn will be featured in Omaha Symphony masterworks concerts, American Beauty, Wilkins conducts Jan. 21-22 at the Holland Center. “I have long held the belief in this country that in classical music we (America) operate sort of with some weird unfounded second-class citizenship. So the minute we start to bring Americanism into the classical scene we get all weird about it, like it’s cute or it’s catchy or it’s just something for now, when in reality Western European composers always brought their culture into their classical music because they wanted their music to have mass appeal. “There’s a whole school of nationalism in classical music, with composers writing music of their soil and their people, so they brought folk music and folk dances into their classical music. Yet in this country we considered that high art, and people like Bernstein and Gershwin and Copland as not.” He’s unapologetic about embracing American classical works. “You know if jazz or rock ‘n’ roll find its way into classical compositions we have to come up with some fancy word to say, ‘Oh, it’s just a synthesis of American jazz.’ Well, okay, fine. It’s still great music. I am as excited about the classical music of Duke Ellington as I am about the classical music of Beethoven.” continued on page 14 y


Jan. 13 - 19, 2011



y continued from page 13 Wilkins notes that Still, whose “Symphony No. 1 (Afro-American)” will be performed in American Beauty, is an “easy go-to” for conductors looking to feature black composers since the number of black classical composers is comparatively small. He says Still deserves more than obligatory emblem status. What Wilkins most admires about Still is that he wrote about the American experience. “He’s writing music about his culture, both black culture and American culture, and doing it early. At a time when others were writing essentially European music, Still’s writing contemporary American music, and so I come to Still with great respect because I am a huge proponent of American orchestras being American orchestras. Certainly we have this great Western European tradition we want to uphold and keep, but there’s also this very American music by American composers.” Wilkins designed the American Beauty program to reflect this rich indigenous stew, ranging from Still’s symphony with its homage to blues, spirituals and gospel to Bernstein’s gritty “On the Waterfront Symphonic Suite.” “That’s one of my favorite programs of the season,” Wilkins says, “because of its Americanism and because it covers the gamut of both the European tradition and the American tradition.” He calls Previn’s “Honey and Rue” “stunning.” He’s particularly struck by a gospel-like a cappella movement with text by Toni Morrison. Barber’s Knoxville, “Summer 1915” is evocative of Americana. The soaring music accompanies prose by James Agee that has a woman recounting a summer idyll. The great soprano Leontyne Price once said about the piece: “As a Southerner it expresses everything I know about my roots and about my mama and father and my hometown. You can smell the South.” As a native Southerner himself, Wilkins concurs, yet he sees more universal truths in it as well, saying the pictures the music and words paint run through “the text of experiences we all have.” He says the setting doesn’t have to be the South, but that the work does take him back to lazy

summer nights laying on a blanket in the backyard, won- to make you stronger, so I think I never really considered dering about the grown up world just beyond his reach. obstacles to be obstacles to success, only opportunities Guest soprano Kisma Jordan will interpret this for me to grow more.’” sweet remembrance of things past. A key to his makeup, he says, is that “I have always Wilkins says, “There’s this one line at the end about been interested in what I don’t know. I am a natural all these grownups who’ve been in her life nurturing her, born learner. My wife makes fun of me because I am but she says they did not probably the only perthomas wilkins and family nor will not ever tell me son in the world who who I am.” Wilkins says keeps a highlighter in the work took on new the bathroom. I just meaning for him after he love learning — that’s became a father. He and kind of been my thing Sheri-Lee are parents of the whole time.” twin, musically gifted All of which leads back to music’s enigdaughters, Nicole and Erica. matic nature. “I thought about “I think part of my the significance and the journey is, I get the how poignancy of us growing about music and its our children up so we impact, but I don’t uncan launch them,” says derstand the why, and Wilkins, “but allowing I think I am constantly them to be both an extentrying to figure out the sion of us and who they discover they are. But they have why. I understand the whole notion of the Harmony of to discover who they are themselves, themselves. One of the Spheres. The soothing tones or various harmonies our rites of passage in life is getting to a stage of finally we learn in our culture mean a certain thing. A major figuring out who we are. harmony as opposed to a minor harmony evokes a cer“I think about myself growing up a BOW (born-out- tain emotion in us. I get all of that, but I don’t know why. of-wedlock) kid and not knowing the whole family,” he I mean, other than the fact I think it’s a gift from God. says, “and how even to this day I’m envious of sons who’ve “Someone asked James Taylor where his inspirahad great relationships with their fathers because I never tion comes from and he said, ‘I don’t think I ever make really had that. I don’t even know who taught me how to up songs, I think I’m just the first guy that gets to hear tie a tie, and that saddens me, and yet in my life I want to them.’ So I think all of it is a gift.” give my children all the things I didn’t have. Every parent Wilkins is reminded of a quote attributed to says that, but the thing I want to give them foremost is a Beethoven whose meaning roughly translates to: “Music father who loves their mother. That sort of explains why knows us, though we know it not.” that text in the Barber for me personally is so poignant.” Success has not made Wilkins any less eager to learn Wilkins insists that despite always being an oddity or any less appreciative of his gift. He’s wise enough now as a black classical conductor “it’s never ever dishearten- to realize what he doesn’t know. Staying humble and ing.” He adds, “Someone asked me once about obstacles vulnerable helps keep him grounded. and I said, ‘You know when you join the army the first “About once every six weeks I still feel like I’m a failthing you do is go through the obstacle course. The pur- ure and I’m confronted with the amount of stuff I don’t pose of the obstacle course is not to make you weaker, it’s know. The response can be, ‘OK, I am 54, I’ll just coast

for another 15 years.’ Or the response can be, ‘This is a golden opportunity to get stronger in an area where you’re possibly weak.’” His yearning and hunger continue driving him. “Thankfully it doesn’t go away,” he says, “and I think that’s called the essence of life — always doing battle with your inner competitor.” He says his role as music director is “first and foremost about the music,” and adds, “But I also want to walk away having left the orchestra and audience as better human beings.” Yes, he wants his orchestra to reach greater musical heights, but he also wants his players to conduct themselves as “artists and servants to the music” and to “appreciate the greatness of this music and how fortunate we are to be a part of this music.” Part of the process is connecting with the community. “I also want us to never lose contact with the lives of every day people. I want us to come alongside that single mother raising a kid and grab the kid by the other hand and say, ‘We’re going to help you walk through this.’ All we’ve got is music but it’s music that inspires. That’ll end up translating into many other things. “When I do a children’s concert I’m not trying to grow future musicians, I’m trying to grow people that want to change the world, so my education concerts are less about music and more about life.” His next family concert is Wild About Nature Jan. 16. Wilkins will lead the symphony in “kid-friendly classics” as images by nature photographer Thomas Mangelsen are projected on a big screen. Pre-concert lobby activities include an instrument petting zoo and a homemade instrument workshop. Children can also create instruments at a Jan. 15 Omaha Children’s Museum event. At the conclusion of Sunday’s concert, Wilkins will invite children to bring their creations on stage and he will then conduct this homemade-instrument band. , For tickets to Wild About Nature and “American Beauty,” call 342.3560 or visit

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Jan. 13 - 19, 2011


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Jan. 13 - 19, 2011


Coffee That Cares

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 Dundee Dell Omaha’s Finest Neighborhood Restaurant & Pub 5007 Underwood Ave. • 553.9501 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 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. 13 - 19, 2011

Beansmith takes customers on a caffeinated journey


by Darian Stout

s long as it is chocked full of caffeine and practically lukewarm, for many the best part of waking up tastes, well, something like Folgers. Bitter, earthy to the point of dirt, and a mix of bland and burnt comprise the flavor notes for most morning, grocery-aisle blends. On the other hand, the brews from many java drivethrus call themselves good because they wallow in sweets. For a drink consumed so regularly, it can be strange to think of how far our coffee comes from its original plant. It’s easy to forget a bean coming before the grounds and easier yet to forget a cherry coming before the bean. Chris Smith of Beansmith, Omaha’s latest (and one of the few) artisan coffee roaster, makes it apparent that his excitement for coffee necessitates a bean that is “as fresh as possible.” In a business that requires the product to travel thousands of miles to the consumers’ mouth, freshness may not be as easy as just a sealed package. Smith and roastmaster Jason Burkum begin the process by selecting single origin coffees that are nurtured from locations that span from Kona to the Congo. Sixteen of these single-origin varieties and a few more flavored options are available in one of three formats: online order, pick-up or from the shelf of a few local shops. Five of the single-origins are fair trade organic coffees. Ethics are an important part of the business model for Beansmith. Beyond the “fair” compen-



sation of their labeled fair trade growers, Smith and Burkum are looking into buying directly from particular farms. This type of exchange would allow for a more complete circle of commerce than even fair trade suggests. There have already been a few stories of ethical success in the roaster’s short history. The Beansmith’s purchase of coffee from the Jinotega region of Nicaragua has been going “to make improvements to the local school, install a small health clinic, and renovate workers’ housing.” In another, portions of the proceeds from a Columbian coffee have been spent on the conservation of the endangered Spectacled Bear. Because the selections are made to highlight the natural flavors of each growing region, Burkum roasts in a light-handed way that differs greatly from the modern tendency for dark roasts. His style gets away from the popular dark roasts, proclaimed as bold, that create flavors that are consistent but boring. Where burnt has become an overarching taste in coffee, Burkum prefers to “react to each roast individually.” Instead of pushing the flavor out, as well as the caffeine (the more you roast coffee the less caffeine it retains), he allows taste buds to witness the nuances of the coffee cherry’s seed. It takes merely one sip of Beansmith’s Nicaraguan Jinotega to appreciate the round freshness that is possible from a light-handed roast. This is an exceptional single origin coffee (a coffee that comes from only one specific location, preferably from one farm) that is delightfully balanced from its bright start to sweet finish. Roastmaster Jason and his brother Graham Burkum, designer of the thought provoking labels, call it their favorite

n Soup is on for this chilly time of year. Soup Revolution’s truck is serving it indoors and Blue Planet Grill is serving it all-you-can-eat. The green restaurant at Aksarben Village is serving bottomless soup each Wednesday through April for $7.29. It rotates its offerings weekly but always serving something for the vegetarians. Visit or call 218.4555 for more information. n January is a rough month in the restaurant biz, and 2011 has clocked in its first official restaurant closing. Husker-themed bar/restaurant 94/95 (named to commemorate National Championship years for the football team) closed the first week of the year and its equipment and furniture was auctioned off. The restaurant was about two years old and was co-owned by former Husker player Clester Johnson. — Lainey Seyler



n You’ve probably heard that it’s better to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp one. The reason for that is that when you’re using a dull knife, you usually have to press down with greater force to make your cuts. Therefore, if you cut yourself with a dull knife, the wound is usually much worse. It’s not that hard to keep your knives sharp, and you don’t have to have top-of-the-line knives or sharpening equipment. If you’re the DIY type, there are many sharpening tools on the market. If you’re not, many grocery stores will offer knife sharpening once or twice a month. If you’re not good with calendars, you can always take your knives to a retailer, such as Sur La Table, to get them sharpened. Prices will vary, but they’re rarely more than $5 per knife. And that’s cheaper than replacing a finger.  — Kyle Tonniges Comments? Questions? Want more? Check out our Booked blog online at Or email us at

and a selection that typifies what Beansmith is trying to provide for its customers. Remembering the deep aromas of chocolate and pleasant smoke that wafted from the rear of the Beansmith’s La Vista spot, it was easy to understand Chris Smith’s mantra of freshness. A coffee should not taste as if it had traveled around the world, but as if we were brought to it. As I brewed a French press of their Yemen Mocha Sanaani, one of the first places coffee was grown as a crop, I knew I was in for a brief transport to a far off place. , Beansmith Artisan Roasted Coffee, 12012 Roberts Rd. Suite C, is open Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 680.1125 or visit

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Jan. 13 - 19, 2011


8 days Jan. 15-March 30

With Malice Toward None: Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition

Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. $7, $6 seniors, $5 children 3-12 444.5071,

The Transcontinental Railroad won the support of President Abraham Lincoln, whose executive order designated Council Bluffs as the eastern terminus. Yet amid much public wrangling and back room maneuvering Union Pacific chose Omaha over its neighbor. That controversial move made Omaha a major transportation hub and player in the developing west. UP is still headquartered here. Now a Library of Congress exhibition ties together the Lincoln-UP-Omaha legacy and sheds light on a presidency that converged with historic events to build and scar a nation. The apt venue for the exhibit is UP’s former Union Station, now the Durham Museum, which is extending its hours and offering rides to the UP Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs. Special Lincoln programs and lectures are scheduled during the show’s run. — Leo Adam Biga


Jan. 13 - 19 , 2011

t h e r e a d e r ’ s entertainment picks J an . 1 3 - 1 9 , 2 0 1 1


Naturally 7

Jan. 14

Naturally 7

Holland Center, 1200 Douglas St. 8 p.m., $19-$50, 345.0606 The voice as instrument is a concept used by all vocalists. But the way Naturally 7 uses vocals to replicate actual instruments is astounding. The a capella crew of seven came together in 1999 when brothers Roger and Warren Thomas joined with five other master singers. Using the “vocal play” technique the ensemble mimics the sounds of drums, guitars, flutes, horns and other instruments, but every sound uttered comes from the septet’s voices. This unique approach results in gorgeous harmonies and an overall feel that somehow merges to appeal to fans of both Rahzel and Boyz II Men. Naturally 7 appears as part of Omaha Performing Arts’ Popular Series. — Sarah Wengert

Jan. 14-23

Shopping and F***ing

Lilyhorn/Martin Productions Bancroft Street Market, 2702 S. 10th St. Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 6 p.m., $5-$15 208.0150, Enough about the title identified in the daily as Shopping and (Expletive), except to wonder how many theatergoers are attracted if it was only about shopping. The Mark Ravenhill play deals with a gangster obsessed with The Lion King, a junkie stockbroker trying to kick the habit and a teenage male pros-



titute with a death wish, among others. Director Randall T. Stevens didn’t want to quit on the project when the producing company dropped out, so in stepped Patricia Lilyhorn and the show goes on not far from Rosenblatt Stadium, a site not known for much s-ing and f-ing. — Warren Francke

SATURDAY15 Jan. 15

Bad Luck Charm’s Final Show w/ the Killigans and Cordial Spew Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. 9 p.m., $7,

It hasn’t been determined why it’s the band’s final show, but let’s hope this is just a brief hiatus for punk villains Bad Luck Charm. I’m not going to declare it an official departure yet since BLC is like the Jay-Z of the Omaha punk world — playing its possible “last show” every show since autumn. Still, if it sadly is, you can guarantee nothing less from these guys especially with the Killigans and Cordial Spew

alongside them. If that alone doesn’t shut Benson down, this event also doubles up as the Sailor Jerry Pinup Contest where you can vote amongst 30 girls for the sexiest Betty. Hmmm, hot punk and hot girls … what else do you need to warm up your cold winter night? — Chalis Bristol

Jan. 15

Fortnight EP Release Show w/ So So Sailors, Landing on the Moon and Down With the Ship Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St 9 p.m., $7,

Fortnight has been bouncing around the stages of Omaha for a few years … but now they’re finally committed to record. Playing a hearton-the-sleeves indie rock that calls to mind at once the last few years of Omaha and the young old soul of Paul Westerberg, the band of school teachers forged on, sharing the same stage and stomping grounds as higher profile bands like Cursive and Little Brazil. And now it’s their time to grab the stage and show everyone what they’re made of, which I personally hope is not velociraptors in people disguise. — John Wenz

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r e a d e r ’ s

e n t e rta i n m e n t

Jan. 15

Feelin’ Groovy: The Music of Simon & Garfunkel Holland Center, 1200 Douglas St. 8 p.m., $25-$70, 342.3560

The sounds of the ’60s will forever live on in America’s consciousness as a time when music was made for the sake of music and rock ‘n’ roll was still pure. This Sunday treat yourself to taste of those golden years, or relive your glory days when the Omaha Symphony brings back the groovy feelings and songs of Simon and Garfunkel. Presented by series sponsors First National Bank and artist sponsor Midlands Choice, this night of free love will warm the hearts of all old souls who attend amidst the fresh layer of winter we recently received. Feelin’ Groovy is the second program of the successful Symphony Rock Series and will be conducted by Maestro Ernest Richardson with vocals provided Canadian sensation Jim Witter who has 10 top 10 radio hits and multiple award nominations in his homeland. The folk duo’s original music will be enhanced with live orchestral accompaniment covering their biggest hits like “Homeward Bound”, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and, my favorite, “Mrs. Robinson.” — James Derrick Schott

p i c k s

J a n . 1 3


Jewish Community Center Art Gallery, 333 S. 132nd St. Gallery hours: Mon.-Thurs. 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., FREE, 335.6564,

Cursive Performs Domestica

Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. 9 p.m., $12,

how it keeps going, but through some miracle of science, it does. His career has had more lives than Robert Downey, Jr., and has taken more twists and turns than the Autobahn. From Black Sabbath to his reality television career and forming the ubiquitous mega-tour Ozzfest, he’s still going strong at 62, dropping the double-album, Scream last fall — which includes the new sports arena staple, “Let Me Hear You Scream.” Opening is former Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist (and top hat aficionado) Slash, who will hopefully coat the stage in

2 011

Through Feb. 25

Jan. 18


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gooey 1980s rock anthems … mullet and Trans Am optional. — Adam Froemming

For those of you who remember seeing Cursive back in the Cog Factory days or watching them play Sokol Underground to an audience of 20 people, the evolution of the group since then has been astounding. Six studio albums, 6 EPs and 11 music videos later, Cursive is cemented in indie rock history. In honor of Domestica’s 10th anniversary, Tim Kasher and the boys will play the album in its entirety as well as a set comprised of all the classics. “That’s mostly the reason we wanted to do it. Also, we just played it in Chicago and have gotten offers to play it in other cities,” Kasher says. “We felt it appropriate to do it in our hometown.” Lucky us. Cursive’s live shows swell with infectious energy unparalleled to most. Showing no signs of slowing down, Cursive is still the godfather of Omaha indie rock. — Kyle Eustice

Scream the Truth at the World: Emanuel Ringelblum and the Hidden Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto

“What we were unable to cry and scream out to the world we buried in the ground … I would love to see the moment in which the great treasure will be dug up and scream the truth at the world. So the world may know all … “ These words from the will of David Graber, age 19, of Nazi-occupied Poland circa 1939, define the exhibition of emotional documents gathered and concealed during that time by Warsaw historian Emanuel Ringelblum. Ringelblum recognized the need for preservation of the culture and gathered writers, historians, rabbis, teachers and welfare workers, to report the deportation and murder of Jews, to gather ghetto artifacts, photographs, children’s school essays and ghetto art, burying it in several caches. “Without Ringelblum’s insight to document the activities within the ghetto walls, we would not have knowledge of the incredible resilience and resistance that took place,” says Institute for Holocaust Education Director Beth Seldin Dotan, “The personal accounts are astonishing and the artwork recovered touches the heart.”

— Sally Deskins

SUNDAY16 Jan. 16

Ozzy Osbourne w/ Slash

Qwest Center, 455 N. 10th St. 7:30 p.m., 21+, $29.50-$75, 422.1212 If you happen to come across a strange spectacle on the northern edge of downtown next Sunday, fret not … it’s merely the Crazy Train, and it came to rock out. British head-banger, and self-described “Prince of Darkness” Ozzy Osbourne is like your favorite slinky tumbling down an endless staircase … you have no idea

Cursive Performs Domestica



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Positive Space at New BLK Gallery a study in contradiction by Michael J. Krainak


the most part, a shared interest in negative space as well. There are exceptions. For instance, the first floor gallery space, the reception area, is dominated by Beller’s large polyurethane and raw pigment on panel paintings “SS,” “Valve” and “2030.” The titles give away little of their abstract expressionism, but all three effectively resemble stone surfaces in a pleasing if somewhat too polished palette. The work is quite elemental and fetching, especially the metallic, blue-copper tone and texture of “2030” and the more subtle, luminescent blue-green of “Valve.” Yet, while these two pieces capture the eye of the viewer, “SS” and the odd-man out here, “Antlers,” appeal more to the imagination. The

hat occupies Positive Space in the New BLK Gallery’s show may get all the attention, but its negative space is what largely gives the artwork its significance. While some of the paintings and sculpture of Justin Beller and digital prints of Daniel Muller strain a bit toward beauty and flirt with the decorative, many more excel because of their use of positive, negative space. The tactful use of negative space in art can alter one’s perception and even create a desired emo- art by daniel muller tion or illusion, making that work even more interesting beyond its pleasing aesthetic. It can even complete the work or take the viewer into another dimension. Think of it as “the road not taken” or “things left unsaid” that often define one as much as their opposite. In art as in film, for example, it is tempting for an artist to complete or finish a work for the viewer raised to believe art must be pleasing to the eye only, or make sense before it be valued. Many area artists know that an enlightened audience can demand and handle more, but only some are willing to risk a possible “problem” with “2030” and “Valve” is that they commission or sale in the bargain. Most satisfy- are finished works, perhaps too so. The former is ing of all is that work of art whose use of negative so like aged copper it might as well be that. This space lends an appreciation and understanding is admirable in technique and process, but it borders on decoration. Likewise, the aquatic “Valve” beyond the moment or outside the frame. Beller and Muller share the former’s gallery reinforces its packaged “reality” with a marblespace, Studio B in Benson and have often col- like frame that diminishes its asymmetrical loulaborated on art and other cultural projects and vers that entice on their own. “SS” shares Beller’s love of elemental glazed events. A bit of a vagabond and bon vivant, as well as a self-taught artist, judging by his work texture, but it stretches across its diptych and on display in Positive Space, Beller approaches art more than hints at a molten negative space above first as a sensual experience and second as a con- its flow, thus more engaging. But not nearly as ceptual one, playing one against the other, espe- engaging, or intriguing as the nicely illustrated, composed and conceptual “Antlers.” The attencially as to first impressions and perception. Muller, conversely, is more traditionally tion to detail is impressive. Because the antlers educated and his more figurative and representa- sit at the bottom of an otherwise blank canvas, tional work, given his commissions in commer- the mind is able to wonder as to their source even cial and contemporary culture, have that certain as the eye wanders off the page. If the work were pop and snap that sells in those markets. In Posi- traditionally framed, this would not be so, a nice tive Space he and Beller again collaborated to cre- positive use of negative space. This visual motif continues downstairs in the ate a mostly satisfying exhibit that emphasizes main gallery with several of Beller’s more paintsophisticated urban design and taste — and for

erly works, but none more obviously so than “Vapor.” In this piece, a black, menacing liquid bubbles up to its ochre colored namesake. Had the vapor been less pronounced, plopped as it were at the top of the panel, and more gradual in its gradation, smog-like, the use of negative effect would have been subtle and challenging as in the similar “Pacific Bed.” Still “Vapor” does effectively “talk” to Muller’s imposing digital print on wood triptych, “Hair,” on the opposite wall which flows across three panels from right to left. “Hair” is a nice sympathetic segue to his own use of negative space in a series of affecting smaller digital prints, #6-13. Some are simply framed in wood, a few not. Again, except for one, “Building,” the frames seem superfluous, inhibiting the expansive nature of each. The objects in “Trees, Field, Flowers, Hands” and “Pink Trees” extend into the frame from below, partially out of view. Consequently, they look and feel less like part of a whole and more like an intrusion. The imagination doesn’t soar. Perhaps that’s what Muller intended. A better use of his frame occurs with “Building,” a personal favorite that depicts its namesake in all its run-down, ragged beauty. This “Building” is anchored to the ground and not off the page, allowing the frame and negative space above to provide an almost elegiac tone to an edifice that isn’t going anywhere and whose best days are behind it. A more traditional use of positive negative space can be found in the frameless “Escalator” and “Road” which are virtual freefalls and mind-trips into oblivion. In each our point of view extends beyond the vaporous background into the white gallery walls. Less object oriented, each is a study in perspective and design. The biggest surprises in this show are Beller’s intriguing wall and stand-alone painted sculptures that also experiment with spatial perspective and perception. Though several panels fade nicely in and out of their wall settings, the most effective feature side surfaces of colorful geometric patterns that when viewed alter one’s appreciation dramatically. But none more so than Beller’s twin “Towers I & II,” identical in size and form, but whose


n Saturday, Jan. 8, was a busy day at the Bookworm. The Sherlock Holmes Book Club kicked things off at 10 a.m. discussing the short story “The Copper Beeches,” from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as celebrating the famous sleuth’s birthday. Omaha World-Herald writer Mike Kelly took center stage later, signing copies of his new book, Big Red Rivals: Farewell to a Conference. In it, Kelly offers a history of Nebraska football dating to the 1890s. Included are highlights such as the Huskers’ play in the Missouri Valley beginning in 1907, the Big Six in 1928, and the Big Eight in 1960. Complete with photos and essays on famous Huskers like Johnny Rodgers, Mike Rozier and Tommie Frazier, as well as fearsome opponents like Billy Sims, Barry Sanders and Vince Young, this will likely be a must-have book for Husker fans. Also, author Steve Caplin was at the store at 1 p.m. to sign copies of his new book, Matter Over Mind, a medical thriller. n Though author Kurt Vonnegut is no longer with us, publishers are still releasing new essays and stories. The war and peace collection Armageddon in Retrospect was published in 2008, followed by 2009’s Look at the Birdie, a collection of early short stories. Later this month Delacorte will treat readers to 16 more short stories in While Mortals Sleep, due out Jan. 25.  n Another book to look forward to this month is Charles Baxter’s Gryphon, which should be on shelves by the time you read this. A master of short stories, this collection of 23 writings by the author of four novels and two other short story collections promises to be just as rewarding, and has already received accolades from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist. If you’ve not familiar with Baxter’s work, here’s your chance. — Kyle Tonniges


Accent the Negative


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

geometric color schemes misshape the first and reinforce the second. It’s a clever illusion beautifully rendered especially in the latter as this tower proudly wears a shimmering complimentary and contrasting color coat which changes its palette from every angle. Because of their ability to alter and enhance perception, Beller’s sculptural designs may be the ultimate contradiction in this show’s positive use of negative space. , Positive Space continues through Jan. 28, at the New BLK Gallery in the Old Market at 1213 Jones St. Visit


jan. 13 -19, 2011



by Sarah Baker Hansen


hat started in a small, second-floor space in the Old Market has become, over the past 35 years, one of the city’s standby art spaces. The Artists Cooperative Gallery celebrates its anniversary during the month of January with a show featuring more than 40 past members. The show takes up the entirety of the gallery’s space and features artists who joined the gallery from the very beginning and some who joined just this year. The diverse lineup makes for an intriguing peek into the artists who were essential in creating the space, and those who continue to maintain it. A bit of history: In 1984, the gallery moved from a second-story space on 11th Street, above where M’s Pub is now, to its current location in a freestanding building that increased exhibition space by more than three times, from 1,200 square feet to 4,000 square feet. “The first time I stepped foot in the building, I think it was raining harder inside than outside,” says ceramicist Thomas Hamilton, who has been with the Co-op since it began. Inside the building sat an old car and part of an old bowling alley, along with all kinds of other junk, he says. The building didn’t have a toilet or working heat. Members of the original cooperative worked with the Mercers, who owned the building, to fix it up, donating more than 3,000 hours of volunteer labor. Today, the space is wide open and white, and is home to a substantial variety of work in all mediums. The anniversary exhibition includes work by familiar artists who joined the cooperative early in their careers. Larry Ferguson displays a set of three black and white photographs. Other


jan. 13 - 19, 2011

familiar exhibitors include Linda Meigs, Leslie Bruning, Jean Mason and Tom Bartek, among many others. Lots of reunions between former cooperative members took place during the Red Carpet show opening; hugs and delighted conversations between former colleagues echoed through the space. Live music and an eclectic crowd — trademarks of a cooperative opening — gave the evening a vibrant feel. The Cooperative always puts a sign outside reading “free art opening” and it works to draw many in. Regulars abound, but first-time art show goers and the newly initiated

“In the early days, members would support other members by buying their work,” she says. “That cooperative spirit still exists here today, and it’s why so many people become members and stay members.” Ferguson, who joined in 1976 and stayed a member for six years, says that in the early days, the artists had an entrepreneurial spirit. The more experienced artists helped the younger artists get established, and everyone shared the responsibility of operating the space. Elliott-Bartle says the gallery plans to continue working out of its space in the Old Market.

are always there, too. For those familiar with the art scene, seeing the work of established artists among the work of younger artists was a treat. Current member Katrina Methot-Swanson showed an engaging series of painted portraits of the Old Market and Dundee. Marcia Joffe-Bouska shows work and also lent two pieces from her personal collection, that she purchased during her early Co-op days, to the show; both date from the early 1970s. Lori Elliott-Bartle says that cooperative spirit is one of the gallery’s best holdovers.

It recently joined 10 new members and is actively working to become a part of the burgeoning Omaha First Friday events. “When the Cooperative first opened, it was basically the only game in the Old Market,” she says. “Now there’s a whole network of galleries downtown and we’re lucky enough to be right in the center of things.” , The Red Carpet Show continues at the Artists Cooperative Gallery, 405 S. 11th St. through Jan. 30. Visit

alan r. smith

Artists Co-op Gallery celebrates 35th anniversary in style



n Bemis Curator Hesse McGraw will play guest host at Pecha Kucha Night Omaha #10, Thursday, Jan. 20 at Slowdown at 8 p.m. Presenters include Sean Ward, Callyann Casteel, Holly McAdams, Bryan Day, Jody Boyer, Colin C. Smith, Andy Colley, Jeff Day and Stuart Chittenden. The free event lets artistic types present 20 images of their work, each for 20 seconds, and talk during the presentation. n Rob Gilmer and Susan White are working to redefine the line at the RNG Gallery’s latest show, Line by Line by Line, opening Saturday, Jan. 15, 7-10 p.m. Both have been creating new work for more than a year, and decided the show was a must after discovering one had a birthday on 1.1.11 and the other on 1.11.11. “The line, be it curved or straight, creates the world around us,” Gilmer wrote about the show. “The shortest line is the dot, the longest is the horizon.” The show continues through Feb. 6. n Omaha’s main library is currently displaying work in honor of the late Omaha musician Luigi Waites. For more than 60 years, Waites played vibraphones and drums to Omaha audiences. He toured Europe twice and in 2007 won the first Lifetime Achievement Award at the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards. Omaha artist Eddith Buis organized the show, which features work from 26 artists who created work that honors Waites and celebrates jazz music. A piece by artist Jeremiah Neal depicts the many faces of Waites and his music, and other paintings and sculptures use music as inspiration. The show continues at the library, 215 S. 15th St., through January, then moves to Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha Campus North Building Feb. 2–March 30, then again to Mr. Toads in the Old Market in April, closing with a special musical reception April 3. Once the show closes, Neal’s painting will be permanently displayed at the Dundee Dell, 5007 Underwood Ave. A June 17 reception at the Dell will celebrate the artwork. n Finally this week, a note from Lincoln. The Sheldon Museum of Art (Full disclosure: I work at Sheldon) is hosting an event that explores blindness. The Art Beyond Sight Round Chair Discussion takes place in the museum’s ORLAN: The Harlequin Coat installation. A group of panelists, both blind and sighted, will sit in the chairs that are part of the installation and discuss blindness and its relationship to the visual arts. Visitors are encouraged to participate in the discussion, slated for Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. and also submit questions online at Sheldon’s Facebook page, For more information on art education for the blind, visit  — Sarah Baker Hansen


Cooperative Spirit

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JAN. 13 - 19, 2011


theater Playhouse’s ‘21 & Over’ showcases fun and talent


by Warren Francke

the best of the night, another topped it. Some innocent stepped up, a blank slate to many of us, and jaws dropped. Someone more familiar as actor than vocalist stepped up to the mic and we said, “Who knew?” It was a little puzzling that Beth Thompson dragged Noah Diaz out to help her with “When you’re good to mama, mama’s good to you,” the prison matron’s song from Chicago. My guess: Beth, a University of Nebraska at Omaha student and directing intern with Amy Lane, Playhouse director in residence who runs “21 and Over,” was probably persuaded to step up early when it looked like they might be short on singers.

s Emily Litella always said on SNL, “Nev-er mind.” Forget my recent claim that Billy McGuigan offers the most fun to be had at the Omaha Community Playhouse. That was before three dozen of us survived Live Karaoke Broadway Night. Never mind “survived” either. For others, the fun didn’t pose much imminent danger. But when you’re used to reviewing performances at the Playhouse, and jim boggess and brenda allacher you’re sitting in the lobby facing a starry sculpture flanked by two golden staircases climbing to the balcony, and you’re attending your first “21 & Over” evening (“21st Century Plays for a 21st Century Audience”) in those hallowed halls, here’s the problem: Music director Jim Boggess, playing the cheery host and piano man, urged us to “be as supportive as possible” of the vocalists because “they’re taking a risk.” Earlier, somebody — maybe one of the Playhouse talents assembled — asked if I was reviewing. “No,” but what if some sang so badly that one wanted to go screaming into the Cass Street night? And what’s the risk if we’re all so supportive? Never mind. First brave risk-taker was Lindsey Ketteler Never mind. Don’t worry. You can’t be short who works at a place most of us can’t afford, Fleming’s Steakhouse. Boggess applauded her on talent when theater types get a chance to willingness to start things off, but then upped shine. Not when the likes of Carlson, Sindelar, the risk factor by announcing that she’d sing Bill Grennan, Cathy Hirsch, Amanda Miller and “Crazy,” a song long stamped on our hearts by Tim Abou-Nasr are in the house. And, as good as they were, others seemed Patsy Cline. As the song says, “Worry, why do I let my- even better, thanks to the unexpected. Boggess self worry?” Lindsey did Patsy proud. Boggess was enthusing for the rest of us when he’d simply exclaimed, “Oh, my God!” and asked her for a say, “Wow!” as we cheered and applauded. Maybe the biggest surprise came when Sam second song. And so it went for the most part. Every Swerczek, looking plain enough in denim, contime you heard a number that seemed to be fessed to Boggess that he was an education major


jan. 13 -19, 2011



at UNL and promised to sing “I’ll Be There” from The Pirate Queen. Jim joked about being called that himself, especially wearing his black jacket covered with skulls. Then he heard Sam sing and we all joined him in wow and double-wow. I was pretty sure earlier that Amanda Miller was going to be my favorite with one of her own creations that spoofs the clichés of selling a song — “I show my vocal moves,” withholding the show-stopper, “now here it comes, I’m gonna belt a high C.” And for a time it seemed you couldn’t do better than Bill Grennan and David Ebke on the R-rated “Pretty Sweet Day” from Edges, which is far better than you’d think from learning that it rhymes “words” with “rainbow-colored turds.” I’m not sure what it is about this setting, but Theresa Sindelar singing, “It’s a Privilege to Pee,” from Urinetown seemed funnier than it originally did in context. But don’t complain that Live Karaoke got down and dirty when it far more often soared to the lobby ceiling. It wasn’t just such professional warbling as Bailey Carlson repeating her “Fool’s Fall in Love” from All Shook Up last season. It was Joey Galda, a young talent I’d seen act but not heard sing, doing a touching treatment of “If I Told You Now.” Or tall, bald Tom Simons, by day the education director for the Children’s Museum, delivering a powerful version of “A New Life” from Jekyll and Hyde. And I’ve still failed to mention other highlights because they came as no surprise from proven performers. , Video of this show is at Visit for the “21 & Over” schedule.


Of Age

n Ralston Community Theater brings back one of its own from Las Vegas to raise funds for next summer’s musical The King and I. Kara von Aschwege will leave the Grand Canal Singers at the Venetian long enough to star in The Last Five Years. She’ll play Cathy, looking back at the beginning of a relationship, opposite David Andino, as Jamie who is looking forward as a relationship ends. He performed the same role in the contemporary musical at Milwaukee Opera Theatre. The creation of Tony award winner Jason Robert Brown, the show opened in Chicago and played in New York City. It runs Jan. 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 30 at 2 p.m., at Ralston Performing Arts Center, 8969 Park Dr. Call 898.3545 to reserve the $25 tickets. Kara, whose mother, Kelly Aschwege, is RCT vice president, added “von” which grandpa dropped from their name. She played Rusty in Footloose at Millard South, where she won an acting award, but first performed at age 11 as one of Tevye’s daughters in the Ralston summer production of Fiddler on the Roof. She was working as a singing gondolier at the Venetian when word came of the tragic shooting at the school she graduated from in 2003. n I wanted but failed to mention everyone who made the Live Karaoke Broadway Night such a pleasure at the Omaha Community Playhouse, right up to its strong finish with Jim Boggess singing the title song from Cabaret. But one omission can be rectified here: Up steps Brenda Allacher in a saucy black hat and a black top decorated with a glitzy gold guitar. “Help me out,” the 70-year-old asks, then sails into “Jambalaya,” promising “big fun on the bayou.” We join in and she tells a bit of her story about being discovered by Johnny Cash. Like Mae West, she says, “When I’m bad, I’m better.”

boxcar willie

As Allacher tells it, she once was a backup singer for Boxcar Willie, and she headlined at the Golden Nugget from 1969-74. Oh … and she’s an honorary colonel in the Green Berets. All that plus crawfish pie in that “21 and Over” show. — Warren Francke Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to

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JAN. 13 - 19, 2011




BEMIS CENTER, 724 S. 12th St., 341.7130, STILL LIFES: New work by Vera Mercer, opens Jan. 14-Apr.9, reception Jan. 14, 6 p.m. ANOTHER NEBRASKA: Group show by the Nebraska Arts Council individual artist fellows, opens Jan. 14-Apr. 9, reception Jan. 14, 6 p.m. BEMIS UNDERGROUND, 724 S. 12th St., 341.7130, GROUP SHOW: New work by Kenneth Adkins, Dan Crane and Victoria Hoyt, opens Jan. 14-Feb. 26, reception Jan. 14, 7 p.m. DURHAM WESTERN HERITAGE MUSEUM, 801 S. 10th St., 444.5071, WITH MALICE TOWARD NONE: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition, opens Jan. 15-Mar. 20. HAYDON CENTER, 335 N. 8th St., Lincoln, 475.5421, THERE IS NO PLAN B: New work by Lenore Thomas, opens Jan. 13-Feb. 5. HILLMER ART GALLERY, College of St. Mary, 7000 Mercy Rd., 399.2400, RECENT PAINTINGS: Jeffrey Spencer, opens Jan. 17-Mar. 4, reception Feb. 17, 5 p.m. IMAGES OF NATURE, 1115 Harney St., 341.8460. WILD ABOUT NATURE: Limited edition images reflecting the intimate beauty of our natural world, opens Jan. 16, 2 p.m. JOSLYN ART MUSEUM, 2200 Dodge St., 342.3300, REALISM. REAL LIFE. REFLECTIONS.: In-gallery discussion of Kent Bellows followed by live music and a reception, opens Jan. 13, 6:30 p.m. KIMMEL HARDING NELSON CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 801 3rd Corso, Nebraska City, 874.9600, NEW WORK: Eric Nels Peterson, Dan Terpstra, through Mar. 3, reception Jan. 13, 4:30 p.m. LAURITZEN GARDENS, 100 Bancroft St., 346.4002, A TROPICAL PARADISE: Amazing tropical plants, opens Jan. 15-Apr. THE LICHEN, 2810 N. 48th St., Lincoln, NEW WORK: UNL Graduate sculpture student group show, through Jan. LUX CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 48th and Baldwin, Lincoln, 434.2787, PULP: Group show. SELECTIVE MEMORY: New work by Arjan Zazuety. Both shows through Feb. 26. THE NEW BLK, 1213 Jones St., 403.5619, DRINK N DRAW II: Live figure models, opens Jan. 19, 8 p.m., $10. NORFOLK ARTS CENTER, 305 N. 5th St., Norfolk, 371.7199, THROUGH THE EYS OF A FRIEND: Nita Erickson, Gale Jones, through Feb. 25, reception Jan. 13, 6 p.m. INTO THE ASHES: J. Marlene Mueller, through Feb. 25, reception Jan. 13, 6 p.m. RETRO, 1125 Jackson St., 934.7443. UNFINISHED THOUGHTS: New work by Meganne Horrocks, through Jan. RNG GALLERY, 1915 Leavenworth St., 214.3061. LINE BY LINE BY LINE: New work by Susan Night and Rob Gilmer, opens Jan. 15-Feb. 6, reception Jan. 15, 7 p.m. UNL HILLESTAD TEXTILES GALLERY, 35th & Holdrege, 2nd Floor, Home Econims Bldg., Lincoln, PERSPECTIVES AND POTENTIAL: Indian textiles and costumes, opens Jan. 18-Feb. 11, reception Jan. 19, 6 p.m. UNO ART GALLERY, Weber Fine Arts Bldg., 6001 Dodge St., 554.2796. UNO ART FACULTY EXHIBITION: Group show, opens Jan. 14-Feb. 10, reception Jan. 14, 5 p.m. W. DALE CLARK LIBRARY, 215 S. 15th St., 444.4800. HOMAGE TO LUIGI: Group show, honoring jazz musician Luigi Waites, through Jan.


THE 815, 815 O. St., Suite 1, Lincoln, 261.4905, ARTISTS ON THE EDGE: Group show, through Jan. 9 MUSES STUDIO, 2713 N 48th St., Lincoln. NEW WORK: Pam Hardimon, through Jan. ANDERSON O’BRIEN FINE ART OLD MARKET, 1108 Jackson St., 884.0911, EMERGENCE: Thomas Prinz, through Jan. 23. ANKENY ART CENTER, 1520 SW Road, Ankeny, IA, 515.965.0940, MEMBERS ART EXHIBITION: Group show, through Jan. ARTISTS’ COOPERATIVE GALLERY, 405 S. 11th St., 35TH ANNIVERSARY RED CARPET CELEBRATION: Group show, through Jan. 30.


Jan. 13 - 19, 2011

BENSON GRIND, 6107 Maple St., NEW WORK: Ashley DeVrieze, through Jan. BURKHOLDER PROJECT, 719 P St., Lincoln, 477.3305, 23RD ARTISTS CHOOSING ARTISTS SHOW: Group show, through Jan. 29. NEW WORK: Johanna Sawyer, through Jan. 29. THE SANTA FE COLLECTION: Ongoing. CATHEDRAL CULTURAL CENTER, 3900 Webster St., 551.4888, NEW WORK: Regional Latino artists, through Feb. 4. CHADRON STATE COLLEGE, 1000 Main St., Chadron, NE, 800.242.3766, NEW WORK: Marilyn Nelson, through Jan. 28. 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. GALLERY 9, 124 S 9th St., Lincoln, 477.2822, CLEANING HOUSE SILENT AUCTION: Group show. FRESH PERSPECTIVE: Student work. Both shows through Jan. 30. GOVERNOR’S RESIDENCE EXHIBITION, 1425 H St., Lincoln, NEW WORK: Jason Jilg, through Feb. 4. GRAND MANSE GALLERY, 129 N. 10th St., Lincoln, BLUE CAT: David Christiansen, through Jan. 21. 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, 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. 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 and Dan Terpstra, through Mar. 3. KRUGER COLLECTION, UNL Architecture Hall, 10th and R, Lincoln, 472.3560, THINK GREEN: Interior/green design and miniatures, through Mar. 18, 2011. THE LICHEN, 2810 N. 48th St., Lincoln, NEW WORK: UNL Graduate sculpture student group show, through Jan. LUX CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 48th and Baldwin, Lincoln, 434.2787, VIS-A-VIS: Group show, through Mar. 1. PULP: Group show. SELECTIVE MEMORY: New work by Arjan Zazuety. Both shows through Feb. 26. MODERN ARTS MIDWEST, 800 P St., Lincoln, 477.2828, SMALL WORKS: Larry Roots, through Jan. 29. MORRILL HALL, 307 Morrill Hall, Lincoln 472.3779, museum. AMPHIBIANS VIBRANT AND VANISHING: Photographs by Joel Sartore, through Nov. 30. MUSEUM OF NEBRASKA ART (MONA), 2401 Central Ave., Kearney, 308.865.8559, THE ANIMAL KINGDOM: Through Jun. 5, 2011. A GREATER SPECTRUM: African American artists of Nebraska, 1912-2010, through Apr. 3. OF PEN, PAPER, PENCIL: Group show, through Feb. 27. THE NEW BLK, 1213 Jones St., 403.5619, POSITIVE SPACE: Daniel Muller and Justin Beller, through Jan.


art/theater listings

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.

poetry/comedy thursday 13

check event listings online! NOMAD LOUNGE GALLERY, 1013 Jones St., 884.1231, SCRATCHING THE SURFACE: New work by Nicholas Pella, through Jan. NOYES GALLERY, 119 S. 9th St., Lincoln, 486.3866, FOCUS GALLERY: Group show through Jan. 31. OLD MARKET ARTISTS, 1034 Howard St., Lower Level of Old Market Passageway, SOUP AND NUTS: Group show, through Jan. 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. OMAHA’S CHILDREN’S MUSEUM, 500 S. 20th St., 342.6163. BIG BACKYARD: Through Apr. 10. PARALLAX SPACE, 1745 N St., Lincoln, TWEEN: Anne and Michael Burton, through Jan. 31. PIZZA SHOPPE COLLECTIVE, 6056 Maple St., 556.9090, NEW WORK: Steve Schutz, through Jan. PROJECT ROOM, 1410 and 1416 O St., Suite #8, Lincoln, 617.8365, NEW WORK: Matt Hilker, Ying Zhu, Maggie Tobin, through Feb., reception Feb. 4, 7 p.m. 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. STUDIO 906, Studio 906, 906 N. 16th St., 690.6234, Pivate appts. only. TUGBOAT GALLERY, 14th and O, 2nd floor, Lincoln, F TO THE YES!: Group show with Alex Borovski, Alison Van Volkenburgh, Meghan Sullivan, through Jan. 29. 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. WORKSPACE GALLERY, Sawmill Building, 440 N. 8th St., Lincoln, NEW WORK: Priya Kambli, through Feb.

theater oPENING

APPETIZERS READERS THEATRE: THE WHY, Beatrice Community Players, 412 Ella St., Beatrice, 228.1801, Opens Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m., $5. LITTLE WOMEN, Chanticleer Theatre, 830 Franklin Ave, Council Bluffs, Opens Jan. 14-30, Fri.-Sat., 7:30 p.m., Sun., 2 p.m., $17, $14/ seniors, $9/students. SHOPPING AND F***ING, Bancroft Street Market, 2702 S. 10th St., 680.6737, Opens Jan. 14-23, Fri.-Sat., 7:30 p.m., Sun., 6 p.m., $15, $5/ military & students. The sexual violence of this play explores what is possible if consumerism supersedes all other moral codes. To this effect everything, including sex, violence and drugs, is reduced to a mere transaction in an age where shopping centres are the new cathedrals of Western consumerism.


FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF, John Beasley Theater at the LaFern Williams Center, 30th and Q, Through Jan. 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 a series of 20 poems, collectively called a “choreopoem.” Shange’s poetry expresses the many struggles and obstacles that African-American women face throughout their lives. It is performed by a cast of seven women characters, each of whom is known only by a color.

AARDBAARK, The Bookworm, 87th and Pacific, 6 p.m., 392.2877, Amiable adult readers discussing books almost always read by kids. (2nd Thursday.) GREG WARREN, Funny Bone, Village Pointe, 17305 Davenport St.,, 493.8036, 7:30 p.m.


PROMOTING PEACE THROUGH EDUCATION, KANEKO, 1111 Jones St., 341.3800,, 7:30 p.m., $25, $18/seniors, $10/students. Greg Mortenson, the best-selling author of Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools comes to Omaha for an inspiring evening. GREG WARREN, Funny Bone, Village Pointe, 17305 Davenport St.,, 493.8036, 7:30 p.m., 9:45 p.m.


AARON ESKE, The Bookworm, 87th and Pacific, 1 p.m., 392.2877, Author will sign My Family, My Symphony: A Memoir of Global Adoption. MELISSA SAUNDERS, Cupcake Island, 119th & Pacific, 1 p.m. Author will sign children’s book Lessons from a Rubber Duck. GREG WARREN, Funny Bone, Village Pointe, 17305 Davenport St.,, 493.8036, 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.

Sunday 16

JOHN H. AMES READING SERIES, Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors, Bennett Martin Public Library, 136 South 14th St., Lincoln, 2 p.m. Poet Sarah Fairchild. GREG WARREN, Funny Bone, Village Pointe, 17305 Davenport St.,, 493.8036, 7 p.m.

monday 17

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 18

88 IMPROV, PS Collective, 6056 Maple St., 556.9090,, 8 p.m., $5. Passionate improv troupe. THE INTERNATIONAL BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP. The Bookworm, 87th and Pacific, 6:30 p.m., 392.2877, Will discuss The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo. SHOOT YOUR MOUTH OFF, The Hideout, 320 S. 72nd St., 9 p.m. sign-up, 9:30 start, 504.4434,, spoken word, music and chaos (every Tues.)

Wednesday 19

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, Side Door Lounge, 3530 Leavenworth St., Omaha, 8 p.m., $5. FANCY PARTY COMEDY, The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St., 884.5353,, 9 p.m., FREE. 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.) NEBRASKA WRITERS WORKSHOP, Ralston Library, 5555 S. 77th St., 331.7636, Poetry/scripting/fiction. (every Wed.) OLSON SEMINARS IN GREAT PLAINS STUDIES: MARY BOMBERGER BROWN, Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q St., Lincoln,, 3:30 p.m. Brown will discuss conservation and sustainability. PEOPLE’S FILM FESTIVAL: DIGITAL NATION, McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe, 38th and Farnam, 7 p.m., FREE. Over a single generation, the Web and digital media have remade nearly every aspect of modern culture. This film examines the effect these changes are making. (every Wed.) POET SHOW IT, 1122 D St., Lincoln, 8 p.m. Local writers come and read. (every other Wed.)

Anberlin carefully chooses path to latest album


by Chris Aponick

t kind of makes sense for a band from a city called Winter Haven to be on tour in the ice and snow, except for the fact that Anberlin’s Winter Haven is in Florida. But the alternative rock band refuses to be stopped by winter weather, so they will end a month-long vacation by trekking across the Midwest for a January tour. “We’re pretty excited for the year,” guitarist Christian McAlhaney says. He says the band has done this sort of cold weather journey before, having played in the northern U.S. and across all of Canada a year or so ago. Common logic dictates that bands usually stay off the road during this time of year. “Everybody knows you don’t tour in January,” McAlhaney says. “You don’t go into the frozen tundra.” But people still go out in coldweather cities even when snowflakes and temperatures drop all around. The result for the alternative rock band Anberlin on their trip to the Anberlin great white north ended up being success, he says. “I thought we were really making a killing,” McAlhaney says. He and his band mates are optimistic about similar success this time around, he says. McAlhaney is the last member to have joined Anberlin. He started playing rhythm guitar in the band about four years ago, replacing Nathan Strayer. He says he settled into the band’s line-up easily, having toured with Anberlin when he was in a band called Acceptance. Anberlin drummer Nathan Young had even filled in on an Acceptance tour. There was already a lot of history when McAlhaney joined Anberlin permanently. “It was honestly pretty seamless,” McAlhaney says. “It just kind of clicked.”

Around the time McAlhaney joined, Anberlin was in the process of signing with Universal. At first, it brought up memories of McAlhaney and Acceptance’s turbulent time with Columbia. “I was highly against signing to a major label when I joined Anberlin,” he says. But McAlhaney says his experience with Anberlin and Universal has been polar opposite of what it was like when his old band was on Columbia. Anberlin signed to Columbia shortly after Tooth & Nail, their first label, had released Anberlin’s Cities. Since Tooth & Nail controlled the

While the band did bide its time for the right material, McAlhaney says the band pretty much didn’t stop writing once they finished New Surrender. In fact, the band is constantly writing new material. As the band has increased its profile and settled into its relationship with Universal, its old association with Tooth & Nail has shed much of Anberlin being pigeonholed as a Christian band. McAlhaney says the band’s songwriters are Christian, so that perspective does come through, but it’s not the band’s core identity. In

n Omaha’s public radio station KIOS 91.5 FM has scheduled a sneak peak at Gregg Allman’s latest album, Low Country Blues, Monday, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. The special program will feature an interview with the rock and blues artist from the Allman Brothers Band, as well as selected cuts from the new T-Bone Burnett, according to KIOS’ Mike Jacobs. Rounder releases the disc the following day.


Timing It Right

music n Anniversaire lured a sizable Friday night crowd to the Waiting Room to celebrate the release of its new album Nightingale. The band confidently played through its new disc, adding an extra percussive oomph to many of the album’s lush, chamber pop songs. The rattling rhythm gave an Eastern tilt to the band’s music, aided by guest musicians that included album engineer Luke Mabie. Anniversaire has a bright future by writing artistic pop music, colored by disparate pieces including orchestral music, Death Cab For Cutie-style hushed indie pop and moody early 2000’s Brit-pop. n Local singer-songwriter Brad Hoshaw has assumed booking responsibilities at the Barley Street Tavern, 2735 N. 62nd St. The Benson club has become one of the city’s busiest small rooms and an incubator to a sizable portion of the city’s songwriters. Shows this weekend include a memorial show Friday for Scout, a Benson bar cat who died earlier this month, and Western Electric on Saturday. Bands looking to play the club can contact Hoshaw at for more information.

rights to that record, Anberlin rushed into making a follow-up for release on Universal. That album, 2008’s New Surrender, came out just over a year after Cities. “That experience had such an impact on us,” McAlhaney says. So, for the band’s latest record, Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place, the band decided to take it slowly and not place bookends on the writing process. “We waited until it felt like the right time and we had the right songs,” McAlhaney says. Dark came out on Universal in September 2009 and was produced by Brendan O’Brien, who has produced albums by Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Matthew Sweet and Train, as well as recent releases by Bruce Springsteen.

his view, the band doesn’t preach or write worship songs, he says. “Whatever people want to call us is fine,” he says. “People like to put things in their place.” McAlhaney says he thinks people should judge Anberlin’s music on just that — the music. Other bands aren’t labeled according to the beliefs of their members, and at the end of the day Anberlin is trying to write good songs, without alienating people who might not share their religion. “The ultimate goal is to have your music in front of as many people,” McAlhaney says. , Anberlin w/ Circa Survive and Foxy Shazam play Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St., Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Visit


n Mark Feb. 25 on your calendar. That night, Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship, probably the most promising band in Omaha, will celebrate the release of its latest album Hanga-Fang with a show at the Waiting Room. Mark McGowan recorded the disc, which was mixed by AJ Mogis at ARC Studios. The Slumber Party Records’ release is a follow-up to the band’s 2009 EP, My Name Is What Is Your Name. n Fat Possum will release albums by two Omahabound acts Jan. 18. Smith Westerns’ Dye It Blonde and Tennis’ Cape Dory are due out on the Oxford, Miss. imprint. Tennis is a two-piece indie-pop duo that revels in a stripped-down ’60s style that comes off like She & Him’s messier cousin. Tennis plays Slowdown Feb. 18. Chicago’s Smith Westerns brand of rock ‘n’ roll revival echoes glam rock and psychedelic rock, with a sense of power-pop smarts that seem ingrained in several Chicago garage poppers. Smith Westerns plays the Waiting Room Feb. 23. — Chris Aponick Backbeat takes you behind the scenes of the local music scene. Send tips, comments and questions to


Jan. 13 - 19, 2011


music Too Live Krewe Toubab Krewe mixes it up at Waiting Room


by Jesse D. Stanek

aving sharpened its teeth performing at festivals the world over, including Tennesse’s Bonnaroo, California’s High Sierra and Africa’s Festival au Desert, Toubab Krewe has captivated a devoted and growing fan-base through intriguing melodies, eclectic instrumentation and inspired improvisation. Having formed in 2005 in Asheville, N.C., most of the band’s members have since toubab krewE traveled throughout Mali, Guinea and Ivory Coast studying and playing music. And while the sound is heavy on African influences, it’s what Toubab adds to that sonic stew that makes the whole darn thing so delicious. With a nod to western sounds like classic rock, bluegrass and jazz, Toubab has managed to become one of today’s hottest touring fusion acts. And much like their hybrid sound, the band’s name is a fusion of cultures: “Toubab” means “foreigner” in Mali’s Bambara language and “Krewe” is a nod to New Orleans. “I naturally became interested in hand drums because we had drums in the house when I was growing up,” drummer Teal Brown says. “Then I joined a drum club when I was at Warren Wilson in college and became interested in studying African drums. I first went to Guniea in 1999 and from there on my interest really stemmed from drumming music. After that initial interest in the drumming part of it we all kind of became more interested in the melodic parts of West African music. Once we started soaking all of that in we were able to apply it to


jan. 13 - 19, 2011



more of a traditional western rock band set up. You know, at first we stuck to the tradition pretty closely but as we started improvising more and more we were able to add our own breaks and melodies.” The band’s latest studio effort, TK2 , out last year on Nat Geo Music, is a shimmering amalgamation of Toubab’s obvious love of African melodies and drums with a touch of pyschedelic exploration, classic rock build and release, and the jammy jazz of The Big Easy. And while West Africa’s kora and kamel ngoni, both stringed instruments, often provide the lead as far as melody goes, the sometimes-surf-like electric

ideas, like a break or a melody and let them evolve. Everyone added their own little part to it and that’s how we wanted to do this record.” As Brown is quick to admit, the band’s lack of vocals and focus on tight, musically difficult arrangements may very well keep it from achieving any sort of “mainstream” success, but the band has already been fully embraced by the jam band scene and summer festival circuit. The improvisational nature of Toubab’s live shows, along with the original and funky rhythms and grooves the band plays should keep them trucking well in the foreseeable future. “Festivals, that’s our favorite time of the

guitar and 12-string acoustic guitar offer both a familiar anchor and a gritty edge. And while this kind of vision may be too broad for most bands to perform without derivative and extraneous clutter, Toubab manages to perform with a confidence and swagger which makes this new sound feel like an old hat in the hand’s of seasoned masters. “The new record TK2 was mostly written in the studio which was something kind of new for us,” Brown says. “After you play songs live hundreds of times they kind of take on a life of their own. But this time around we just took single

year,” Brown says. “You get to play outside and everyone is away from their worldly attachments and has made time to be there. It’s awesome. And the jam band crowd [is] some of the most dedicated fans out there. Our music obviously takes a lot on the listeners part and most of the jam band scene are really into listening deeply and taking an active part in the show.” , Toubab Krewe w/ Blue Martian Tribe plays The Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St., Thursday, Jan. 13, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12. Visit

Desc.: (1/13) Omaha Reader 10” x

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Rev: 2




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JAN. 13 - 19, 2011 1/7/11


10:21 AM

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Music predictions for 2011, Pt. 2

I gibson ~ emg ~ dimarzio ~ zildian crate ~ epiphone red bear ~ hamer

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’m not saying that all of the following visions

will happen in 2011, but the ball will start rolling next year that will cause the walls of the music industry to finally come tumbling down. It may take years, but it’ll happen sooner than anyone (except me, of course) expects. n As you read this, everyone will be talking about the new Verizon iPhone; and the talk of 2010 was the iPad. But the big news in 2011 will be when Apple announces that iTunes now lives “in the cloud.” What that means is that all of your music in iTunes on your PC or Mac, as well as all of everyone else’s music, will be available on any PC or iPhone/iPod with 3G/4G or Wi-Fi connectivity. And that includes in your car (with a new 3G/4G-accessible car stereo). Apple’s purchase of helped make “music in the cloud” possible, along with Apple’s enormous capital investments in massive server farms. Add to that a technological breakthrough that results in a quantum improvement in file compression that will make near-CD-quality music files available via streaming, and you’re seeing the beginning of the end of the Compact Disc. It also could signal the demise of the traditional album format as we know it, since music no longer will be sold in units, but in a subscription format — all the music in the world on your speakers or earbuds for just $10 a month. n iTunes “in the cloud” and this new subscription format also will mark the end of illegal downloading — what would be the point? n Picking up on the Pandora model, artists will no longer be paid based on album or singles’ sales, but on how often their music gets played in iTunes. Record labels will turn into full-time promotion companies, whose goal is to get their artists’ music listened to via iTunes as much as possible. n Pandora, Grooveshark, Rhapsody and all the other streaming services will see the writing on the wall and will file anti-trust suits against Apple, who will argue that competition exists in the form of other media, such as radio and television, and other streamtech companies such as Google and Microsoft. The glacial speed of the legal system will cause the case to drag on for years, long enough to put Apple’s streaming competitors out of business. n The old standby revenue stream known as “publishing rights” — artists getting paid to have their music used in TV commercials or movies and TV — will dry up. Suddenly artists will be willing to pay whatever is necessary to get their music used in commercials and movies. “Selling out” becomes known as “buying out.” n iTunes “in the cloud” will become the boot on the throat of the radio industry. But without radio, how will

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t i m

m c m a h a n

new bands capture the attention of an audience outside of their hometowns (as if they could depend on radio before)? We will welcome a rebirth in the importance of music videos, but this time making a video will have nothing to do with art or music. A three-minute clip of your band performing its song on YouTube just ain’t gonna cut it. Instead, it’s all about “going viral,” and that means filming something that no one has seen before. Expect to see videos that push the envelope not only of good taste, but of human experience. For the first time, we’ll see a band member get killed while making a video. And it’ll be a monster hit. n Another way to get your music noticed — get the stars to talk about it. Having your band namechecked on Kanye’s playlist already is an effective tool for young bands. Soon all the big-league commercial artists will post their playlists online or in Rolling Stone, effectively putting a spotlight on unknown artists. But be wary, it’ll only be a matter of time before those greedy bastards start taking money to include bands on their playlists (if they don’t already). n With this quantum change in how we listen to music just around the corner, old-school record industry execs will make one last-gasp attempt at keeping as much market as possible by finally dropping CD prices below $10 a unit for all content (not just “sale items”). Some CDs will be as cheap as $5.99. This price drop will result in a brief resurgence of record stores — Homer’s might even consider expanding its worldwide chain of stores to three. But it’s too little too late. The audience for cheap CDs is dying off, literally. And the last kick in the crotch will be when automakers quit offering pre-installed CD players in their cars. n The scariest part about all of these visions — the same thing will happen to the movie and bookpublishing industries. Keeping with tradition, I can’t leave out these predictions: n Artists we’ll be talking about this time next year: Bright Eyes, Deathcab for Cutie, Justin Timberlake, U2, Cat Power, Beastie Boys, Madonna, Tilly and the Wall, Decemberists, Commander Venus, Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship, Dismemberment Plan, Beck, Radiohead, Animal Collective, Conduits and Grasshopper Takeover. n Artists we won’t be talking about next year: Lady Gaga, Kanye, Eminem, Ke$ha, Susan Boyle, Arcade Fire, The Beatles, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, M.I.A., Wavves, Best Coast, The National, Sleigh Bells, Vampire Weekend, Sufjan Stevens and The Faint. n And finally, all of Courtney Love’s problems will be solved once and for all. So what will happen in the local music scene in 2011? Find out next week in the third and final chapter of the 2011 Predictions! ,

Lazy-i is a weekly column by long-time Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on the Omaha music scene. Check out Tim’s daily music news updates at his website,, or email him at


jan. 13 - 19, 2011



B L U E S ,

R O O T S ,



New Lift Sold Playing With Fire Finale




B . J .

Thursday Blues Series on the Move

So Long Scout

Property: Harrah's Council Bluffs Project: Rave On Show: 1/6/11 Vendor: Omaha Reader dMax: Trim: 4.9" x 7.47" Live: 4.625" x 7.22 VO: ~ x ~ Final Mats: PDF File Desc.: (1/13) Omaha Reader 4.9” x

Meanwhile, The New Lift Lounge is officially sold. Lift owner Terry O’Halloran announced the sale on Facebook last week. O’Halloran wrote, “After 28plus years, it appears the sale of my last bar is going to happen within two weeks. Very, very mixed emotions. Planning a last show on Sunday, Jan.16 … and last night reunion party on Tuesday, Jan. 18.” The final Thursday blues show at The New Lift will likely be The Insomniacs show Thursday, Jan. 13. The Insomniacs are an award-winning jump-blues band from the Pacific Northwest. Via subsequent emails, O’Halloran, who is also the Blues Society of Omaha president, says he is in discussions with several venues and is committed to finding a new club to take over the Thursday early blues series. O’Halloran founded the 5:30 p.m. blues shows in the late 1990s at the 18th Amendment and has hosted the shows most recently at Murphy’s, now The New Lift. “New owners [of The Lift] are John Anderson and Chad Kelderman,” O’Halloran says, “They do not want to continue the weekly blues series, but are open to doing shows on occasion. Terry O’s Last

Job#: 48697.3 2:56 PM Ship: 1/7/11 Insert: 1/13/11 Bleed: none Artist: Lawrence Rev: 2

The Playing With Fire series has been a great, free event for the metro, bringing in a combination of high profile national touring acts and new talent Davis discovered at festivals in Canada and Europe. The Reader has been the print sponsor for the Playing With Fire concert series for the past few years. Davis gave the Hoodoo column the exclusive on this announcement of his 2011 plans.


The Benson neighborhood lost beloved cat Scout of local feline sibling duo Shooter and Scout, owned by a Benson resident. Scout was found dead on January 2 after being missing for several days. The cats were favorites at the Barley Street Tavern. Brad Hoshaw and Kyle Harvey have organized a memorial concert for Scout Friday, Jan. 14, at the Barley. Proceeds will be used for “Scout’s name to be engraved on a brick and installed on Nebraska Humane Society grounds.” All Young Girls Are Machine Guns, Platte River Rain and Alex Diimig perform.

Hot Notes



Show is Sunday, Jan. 16, 5-10 p.m., acts TBA. Terry O’s last night will be a reunion of past employees and customers on Tuesday, Jan. 18. The location of the Hamilton Loomis show on Thursday, Jan. 20, and all future Blues Matinees, is TBA.” Wherever the shows land, O’Halloran will be turning them over to the new club. The new venue will certainly need the active, enthusiastic support of local blues fans to ensure these concerts continue. Translation: show up and bring some friends if you value these shows and want them to continue. The Thursday blues matinees have provided fans with weekly happy hour blues shows by some of the best artists on the national blues circuit. The series also provides those touring bands a muchneeded, welcoming stop on national tours. Through those “28-plus” years as a venue owner, O’Halloran has been dedicated to treating the artists well and bringing audiences great music. Recognition of his efforts brought O’Halloran the 2007 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Promoter of the Year from the national Blues Foundation. That same year he was recognized by the OEAAs as Music Ambassador of the Year for his work with all genres. Upcoming shows O’Halloran has scheduled include The Lil’ Slim Blues Band opening for Washington state’s Randy Oxford Band Jan. 27 and the horn-driven swing of Davina & The Vagabonds Feb. 3. Keep an eye on for the final announcement about the location of the Hamilton Loomis show and the future of the blues series.

laying With Fire concert series founder Jeff Davis phoned this past week to update me on the series’ future for 2011. With the loss of a major sponsor, Davis has been wrestling with his decision on what to do for 2011. At one point he seemed ready to say the series was done, but he phoned with renewed energy in his voice. He is at work on plans to present one final show in 2011. Davis said he’s also holding out hope that he may be able to find some additional funding to make the finale a Friday and Saturday night event. If you’re someone with financial resources and an interest in the blues, now is the time to step up to the plate and see how you can help support this final show. Find contact info at

consider these

The OK Sisters duo plays Havana Garage Friday, Jan 14, and the Heartland Cafe in Elkhorn Saturday, Jan 15, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, after 8 p.m. at Louis Bar in Benson there’s a great free show when The Traveling Mercies rev up their “roadhouse funk” opening for self-proclaimed “goo grass” performer George Burl. The award-winning Insomniacs also hit Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Wednesday, Jan. 19, 6-9 p.m. ,

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.

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February 3 & 4

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1/7/11 JAN. 13 - 19, 2011


10:46 AM

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 13

FUNKTROPOLIS, (DJ) 9 p.m., 415, FREE. GLOWORM, THE GOLDEN HOUR, MEANER PENCIL, THE BETTIES, (rock) 8 p.m., Bourbon, $5, $7/under 21. DIGITALLOVE, (DJ) 9 p.m., Bricktop, FREE. NEW MOON SONGWRITER’S NIGHT, (singer-songwriter) 7 p.m., Crescent Moon, FREE. OPEN JAM, 9 p.m., Chrome. SHITHOOK, (live karaoke) 9 p.m., Duffy’s, FREE. BIG SCOTT, (rock) 9 p.m., Firewater Grille, FREE. NASHVILLE REJECT, (cover) 7:30 p.m., The Grove, FREE. E NUTT, UNDERDAWGZ, MR. F.U., GHETTO JUICE, GO HARD, E.N.T., TILLBOYZ, TRAXX, BABY ASSASSYN, D.J. JAY FEEL, (hip-hop) 9 p.m., Knickerbockers. SPIKE NELSON TRIO, (jazz) 6 p.m., Jazz Louisiana Kitchen. CHRIS SAUB, (acoustic) 8:30 p.m., LIV Lounge, FREE. MATT WHIPKEY, (acoustic) 9 p.m., Myth, FREE. THE INSOMNIACS, (blues) 5:30 p.m., New Lift Lounge, $8.

READER RECOMMENDS CON DIOS, BEAR COUNTRY, (rock) 9 p.m., O’Leaver’s, $5. IN THE GRUV, (jazz) 6:30 p.m., Ozone, FREE. SWAMPJAM, (blues) 8 p.m., Perry’s Place, FREE. JR HOSS, (acoustic) 9 p.m., Two Fine Irishmen, FREE. JAZZ AT VENUE, (jazz) 7 p.m., Venue, FREE.

READER RECOMMENDS TOUBAB KREWE, BLUE MARTIAN TRIBE, (rock/world/jam) 9 p.m., Waiting Room, $12/adv, $14/dos. DR. BOMBAY, (rock) 9 p.m., Whiskey Roadhouse, FREE. PIANO HAPPY HOUR, 5 p.m., Zoo Bar, FREE. FIERCE BAD RABBIT, THE VINGINS, PROFESSOR PLUM, (rock) 9 p.m., Zoo Bar, $5.


CITIZENS, (DJ) 9 p.m., 415, $5. TAXI DRIVER, (cover) 9 p.m., Arena, FREE.

READER RECOMMENDS SCOUT MEMORIAL SHOW, (singer-songwriter/folk) 9 p.m., Barley St. Tavern, $5. MUZIK AMBIENCE BY JACQUES, (piano) 4-7 p.m., Big Mama’s Kitchen. SANDY CREEK PICKERS, (bluegrass) 8 p.m., Bourbon, $5, $7/under 21. ACOUSTIC GROOVE, (rock) 9 p.m., Brazen Head. THE LABELS, (cover) 9:30 p.m., Brewsky’s Park Drive, FREE. STEVEN FOX, SOFTWARE, MAYA DUIS, ARTILLERY FUNK, KAJE RYMEES, WHITE WOLF T-SHIRT, (singer songwriter/rock) 7 p.m., Castle Barrettt, $10. DR. BOMBAY, (rock) 9 p.m., Chrome. JAZZ AT THE MOON, (jazz) 7 p.m., Crescent Moon, FREE. DB REDUCTION, (acoustic/cover) 9:30 p.m., Cruiser’s, FREE. JR HOSS, (acoustic) 5 p.m., Cunninghams, FREE. JITTERBUGS’ NIGHT OUT, (jazz/dixieland) 9 p.m., Eagles Lodge, $10. HADLEY HEAVIN, (flamenco) 6:30 p.m., Espana, FREE. UNCUT, (rock) 9 p.m., Firewater Grille, FREE. DEREK VENTURA, (cover) 6:30 p.m., Gorat’s, FREE. DECKER, (cover) 9 p.m., The Grove. OK SISTERS DUO, KATE & KAREN, (singer-songwriter) 9 p.m., Havana Garage. NATURALLY 7, (acapella) 8 p.m., Holland Center, $25. DJ SHOW BIZ, (DJ) 6 p.m., Irie, FREE. WHO’S BAD: THE ULTIMATE MICHAEL JACKSON TRIBUTE, (pop) 8 p.m., IWCC Art Center, $25. NOVAK & HARR TRIO, (jazz) 7 p.m., Jazz Louisiana Kitchen. HAPPY HAZARD, JOSEPPHINE COLLECTIVE, LEARNING TO FALL, (rock) 6 p.m., Knickerbockers.


jan. 13 - 19, 2011


music listings

BREAKPOINT METHOD, GRENADES AND HAM, UNDER SHALLOW GROUND, (rock) 9 p.m., Knickerbockers. PFLAMES, (rock) 9 p.m., Louis. PEACE OF SHIT, WATCHING THE TRAIN WRECK, MOSQUITO BANDITO, (rock) 10 p.m., O’Leaver’s, $5. HI-FI HANGOVER, (cover) 9 p.m., Ozone, FREE. THE JAZZ EXPLOSION, (jazz) 9 p.m., Pizza Shoppe Collective. ALMOST 7, (rock) 10 p.m., red9. LEMON FRESH DAY, (cover) 9:30 p.m., Redeye Tavern, $5. AVARICIOUS, (cover) 8 p.m., The Reef, FREE. SOUNDBITE, (rock) 9:30 p.m., Shamrock’s Pub, $5.

READER RECOMMENDS BAZOOKA SHOOTOUT, DIM LIGHT, GRANDMOTHER’S MILK, (rock) 9 p.m., Slowdown, $5. STANDBYE & JARBEE, MC GRINGO, MIKE FANTASTICK, TNT CLICK, LAC, LAKE SULC, GALVANIZED TRON, DEADBEAT & CMB, ILLUMINATI, (hip-hop) 10 p.m., Sokol Underground, $7. CURBSTONE, (rock) 9 p.m., Stir Live, $5. ON THE FRITZ, (cover) 9:30 p.m., Two Fine Irishmen, FREE. PAULINE REESE, BREAKAWAY, (country) 9 p.m., Uncle Ron’s, $8/adv, $12/dos. CURSED BY MOONLIGHT, DIRTFEDD, ILLUSION OF GAIA, AGAINST THE ARTIFICIAL, (metal) 9 p.m., Waiting Room, $7. SWITCHBACK, (rock) 9 p.m., Whiskey Roadhouse, FREE. THE TIJUANA GIGOLOS, (blues) 5 p.m., Zoo Bar, $4. THE MIDLAND BAND W/ MITCH GETTMAN, (jam/rock) 9 p.m., Zoo Bar, $6.


NERDTRON & KIDDYNAMITE, (DJ) 9 p.m., 415, $5. TAXI DRIVER, (cover) 9 p.m., Arena, FREE. WESTERN ELECTRIC, FINO, (rock) 9 p.m., Barley St. Tavern, $5. TEMPO, CLIMATES, ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DINOSAURS, THE SWEET DIRTIES, (rock) 9 p.m., Bourbon, $5, $7/ under 21. ACOUSTIC GROOVE, (rock) 9 p.m., Brazen Head. ACOUSTIC CONCERT SERIES, (acoustic) 8 p.m., Crescent Moon, FREE. HADLEY HEAVIN, (flamenco) 6:30 p.m., Espana, FREE. OK SISTERS DUO, KATE & KAREN, (singer-songwriter) 6:30 p.m., Heartland Cafe.

READER RECOMMENDS FEELIN’ GROOVY: THE MUSIC OF SIMON AND GARFUNKEL, (symphony) 8 p.m., Holland Center, $25. DJ SHOW BIZ, (DJ) 6 p.m., Irie, FREE. R&B ZONE, (R&B) 7 p.m., Jazz Louisiana Kitchen. FAST FOOD JUNKIES, (rock) 9 p.m., Knickerbockers. DJ SUIT JONES, (DJ) 9 p.m., Lit Lounge, FREE. LEMON FRESH DAY, (cover) 9:30 p.m., Loose Moose, FREE. GEORGE BURL, THE TRAVELING MERCIES, (rock/blues) 8 p.m., Louis, FREE. HECTOR MORALEZ, (DJ) 9 p.m., Nomad Lounge, FREE. THE CONFIDENTIALS, (cover) 9 p.m., Ozone, FREE. CACTUS HILL, (rock) 10 p.m., red9. AVARICIOUS, (cover) 8 p.m., The Reef, FREE. COLIN HOTZ, MIKE SAKLAR, PAPER CRICKETS, DIANA ARP, (singer-songwriter) 8 p.m., Side Door, FREE.


COLD STEEL, (rock) 9 p.m., Stir Live, $5. GROOVE PUPPET, (cover) 9:30 p.m., Two Fine Irishmen, FREE. BREAKAWAY, (country) 9 p.m., Uncle Ron’s, FREE. BAD LUCK CHARM, THE KILLIGANS, CORDIAL SPEW, (rock) 9 p.m., Waiting Room, $7. DIRTY SECRET, (rock) 9 p.m., Whiskey Roadhouse, FREE. LLOYD MCCARTER AND THE HONKY-TONK REVIVAL, THE HANGING COWBOYS, (country) 9 p.m., Zoo Bar, $6.


SUNDAY GOLD W/ GREG K, (DJ) 9 p.m., 415, FREE. HEYOKA, SPANKALICIOUS, (electronic) 9 p.m., Bourbon. GEORGE WALKER, (blues/jazz) 6 p.m., Del Mare, FREE. THE LEPERS, MERCY RULE, SAT IN WHAT, (rock) 9 p.m., Duffy’s. LIVE GUITAR, 6 p.m., Espana, FREE. THE OMAHA SYMPHONY PRESENTS: WILD ABOUT NATURE, (family/symphony) 2 p.m., Holland Center, $10, $7/kids. UNIVERSITY CHOIR CONCERT, (choral) 7:30 p.m., O’Donnell Auditorium, FREE.

READER RECOMMENDS OZZY OSBOURNE, SLASH, (rock) 8 p.m., Qwest Center, $29.50-$75. MIDWEST POSSE, (R&B) 6:30 p.m., Side Door, FREE. AUDITION NIGHT, (rock) 7 p.m., Whiskey Roadhouse, FREE. MACHETE ARCHIVE, GREEN TREES, M’LADY HORSEFACE, ACID MOUTH, (rock) 9 p.m., Zoo Bar, FREE.


SOUP AND SONG W/ KYLE & ANDY, (variety singer-song writer) 8 p.m., Barley St. Tavern, FREE. CHRISTIAN PINCOCK, MIGHTY VITAMINS, ANGELES COSSIO, JEFF THOMPSON, (singer-songwriter/rock) 8 p.m., Clawfoot House, $5. NICK THE QUICK, (DJ) 10 p.m., Duffy’s. MONDAY MOVIE NIGHT: SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, 8 p.m., Waiting Room, FREE. PIANO HAPPY HOUR, 5 p.m., Zoo Bar, FREE. Z-JAM OPEN STAGE, 9 p.m., Zoo Bar, FREE.


VIC NASTY, (DJ) 9 p.m., 415, FREE. MARC RIZZO, EMCEE KAIN, (rock) 9 p.m., Knickerbockers. TIM KOEHN ACOUSTIC JAM, (acoustic/blues) 7 p.m., Louis, FREE. ACOUSTIC TUESDAYS W/ JESS WINTERS, (acoustic) 5 p.m., Ozone, FREE. CHRIS SAUB, (acoustic) 8 p.m., The Phoenix, FREE.


Wednesday 19

DUKE DJ, (DJ) 9 p.m., 415, FREE. DUB LOUNGE W/ BASSTHOVEN, (DJ) 9 p.m., Bourbon, FREE. THE DICEY RILEYS, (celtic) 7 p.m., Brazen Head. SOUTH OF LINCOLN, BETSY WELLS, SKYPIPER, ORION WALSH, (acoustic) 9 p.m., Duffy’s. THE ZEBRA JAM, (rock) 9 p.m., Gator O’Malley’s, FREE. JED AND JOY, NICK JESTER, (rock/singer-songwriter) 9 p.m., Knickerbockers. JORGE NILA JAZZ JAM, 7:30 p.m., Indulgence Lounge, FREE. PINK KADILLAC, (oldies) 6:30 p.m., Ozone, FREE. OPEN MIC, 9 p.m., Sean O’Casey’s, FREE. CIRCA SURVIVE, ANBERLIN, FOXY SHAZAM, (rock) 8 p.m., Slowdown, $20. THE INSOMNIACS, (blues) 6 p.m., Zoo Bar, $10.

READER RECOMMENDS KID B, KAYCEE AND THE CAPTAIN, (cover/experimental) 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,

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


Cursive will be performing Cursive’s Domestica as well as a set of new and old hits in honor of Domestica’s 10 year, 8 month and 18 day anniversary. After deciding to perform Domestica for a special sold out show in Chicago on New Years Eve they realized they would like to do a similar show in their hometown of Omaha.

Tuesday, 1/18/11 9:00PM @ The WaiTing RooM


ThuRsday, 1/13/11 9:00PM @ The WaiTing RooM


FRiday, 1/14/11 9:00PM @ The WaiTing RooM

TOUBAB KREWE w/ Blue Martian Tribe

saTuRday, 1/15/11 9:00PM @ The WaiTing RooM



Wednesday, 1/19/11 9:00PM @ The WaiTing RooM

Wednesday, 1/19/11 8:00PM @ sloWdoWn


w/ Circa Survive & Foxy Shazam

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

w/ Bad Luck Charm, Cordial Spew, & The Killigans 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

Christmas Music Episode With Special Guests:

Rock Paper Dynamite

Monday, 1/17/11 8:00PM @ The WaiTing RooM




Janurary VereNdus Music Episode w/ laBel Me red, a With Special Guests: chokiNG Melody, FRiday, 1/21/11 9:00PM saTuRday, 1/22/11 7:00PM ThuRsday, 1/20/11 9:00PM Landing on @ The WaiTing RooM @ The WaiTing RooM @ The WaiTing RooM aNd others tBa SCREAMING FOR SILENCE HABITAT FOR VOODOO METHOD w/ After The Fall, Calous, w/ The Whipkey Three HUMANITY BENEFIT doors @ 6:30 & Vulsafire & The Allendales the Moon show @ 7:00 1.75_bwAD_A_2010.indd 1 1/23/11 AARON MANSFIELD 2/05/11 M.O.cAIAuS/JIMMY HOOLIGAN 8/30/2010 11:30:53 AM MOVIE NIGHT: RESpEcT YOuRSELF 1/24/11 2/09/11 INTERpOL $7 at the door 1/27/11 GuNk 2/10/11 BIG GIGANTIc

artillery FuNk w/ Mc GriNGo, hot FroM Far, rJJ & Faded


2/11/11 LEARNING TO FLOYD 2/11/11 AuRASING 2/12/11 BEST cOAST / WAVVES 2/13/11 GORILLA pRODucTIONS 2/13/11 uMpHREY’S McGEE 2/14/11 THE TOASTERS 2/15/11 AS I LAY DYING

More Information and Tickets Available at


music listings


jan. 13 - 19, 2011



Jan. 13 - 19, 2011



My top 10 films (and 5 worst) of 2010


by Ryan Syrek

ike the stereotypical Transylvanian numerologist on “Sesame Street,” I am transfixed by counting. Specifically, I am “Call Dr. Drew” addicted to top 10 lists. The best part is getting worked up; like “How dare that critic leave out the brilliant German relationship film Freudenschnitzel?” Sadly, this year most critics agree. Although I find deviations in my personal annual decalogue delightful, there aren’t many. Blame it on a humdrum, mostly vanilla year punctuated with obvious gems, or blame it on the rain, yeah, yeah. Either way, don’t blame me.

My Top 10 Movies of 2010

10. True Grit — Jeff Bridges has been bad and badly hungover before but never this badass. His take on Rooster Cogburn proved you don’t need both eyes for a double-barrel dose of wicked cool. A remake of a John Wayne classic from fraternal directors (the Coen brothers) whose last effort featured a Moe-haired dude offing suckers with an airpowered cattle gun seemed, you know, bad. Yet this ain’t some weird, modern spin on a genre; it’s just a Western. Well, not just a Western: It’s the best Western in almost two decades. 9. The Social Network — Aaron Sorkin had been accused of falling off his game. Consider this script his middle finger to the haters. With dialogue sharp enough to shave with, the film pulsates an urgency that shouldn’t be possible given the subject matter

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

(the creation of an online home for acquaintance stalking). Those who have this at the top of their list buy it as a definitive statement about our era, a fist clenched around the modern zeitgeist. Had it featured more women and been skewed less biographical, I’d agree. As it is, let’s just say I find it appropriate Facebook lets you “like” things and not “love” them. 8. Toy Story 3 — Just like the last film, I feel almost defensive about my low rank … but I’m the decider here! Maybe if there were no Toy Story 2, maybe if Pixar didn’t perpetually poop quality … maybe it would be the best film of the year. Emotionally impacting and philosophically stimulating, time spent with these friends always feels too fleeting. Arguably the best third installment of a franchise ever made, Buzz and Woody don’t need my attaboys as they’re almost a lock to be in the first animated film nominated for the outright Best Picture Oscar in myriad fortnights. 7. The Town — I love me a heist movie, especially one in which everyone is just a giant, festering, open sore of emotion. Ben Affleck’s sophomore directorial effort should shut the slack jaws of some naysayers who dismissed his Gone Baby Gone as a one-anddone. A director’s most vital task is snake-charming performances from the cast. I liked Blake Lively in this movie. Think about that. Between Jeremy Renner’s vibrant thug and Rebecca Hall’s willowy pouter, this flick officially marks a path that I swear will end with Affleck entering Eastwood territory. 6. Waiting for Superman — The biggest tearjerker of the year was a documentary about our public school system. It’s one thing to endure America’s statistical slide via news bits about our declining global educational position, it’s another to watch as children have their futures stolen. Complete with

a captivating villain (a belligerent teachers’ union), heroes (like Geoffrey Canada) and victims (beautiful, exceptional children), director Davis Guggenheim managed to piss me off and break my heart, and I didn’t even have to buy him dinner. 5. Easy A — Yeah, you read that right, I put a teen sex comedy from a first-time writer and second-time director in my top 5. Why? Because it was easily the funniest movie I saw this year. Because Emma Stone is a straight-up, old-school, movie star fox. Because the supporting cast got the biggest laughs without upstaging the lead. Because it had an emotional soliloquy about gay identity that made me weep. So go ahead and make fun all you want; I’ll comfort myself with being right. 4. Restrepo — War documentaries have overpopulated like Tribbles this past decade … I wonder why. Most focus on Iraq, skew either heavily political or embarrassingly nonpolitical and try to shock-andawe viewers into compassion. Restrepo just shows you how deadly, awful and real the Afghanistan War is. Without exploiting its baby-faced central figures, directors Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger found my hurt locker and opened it right up. 3. Kick-Ass — What better way to show that we’ve taken the solemn “reality” of cinematic superheroism too far than by having fun showing what would “really” happen to a costumed vigilante. The first half is violent deconstruction and guffaw-worthy satire; the second half is a demonstration of the glee a comic book adaptation can provide when not restrained by half-baked notions of “what’s possible.” Oh, and it features a preteen female ninja. Top 3 for that alone. continued on page 36 y




■ What better way for Eminem to prove he should be taken seriously as an actor than to star in Random Acts of Violence, a film originally written as a take on the video game “Grand Theft Auto”? While Em wasn’t going to completely win over critics who dismiss him as verbally malevolent, I’m guessing any chance he had of separating his acting from his music is about to get shot in the face. ■ How do you replace Jim Carrey, Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro? With Johnny Knoxville, Andy Samberg and a relatively obscure Australian comedian named Shane Jacobson. Duh. The Farrelly brothers’ Three Stooges has lingered long enough to lose the very cast that made it interesting in the first place, and the current shortlist for Moe, Larry and Curly sure does scream “You weren’t our first choice,” doesn’t it? ■ In case you were wondering, NASA has officially ruled that 2012, the John Cusack movie in which the earth gets fiery diarrhea, is scientifically absurd. In a move to get some press, they released a list of most plausible and least plausible sci-fi movies. Thanks, NASA … this will really help us defend your funding. ■ Straight out of Kick-Ass, a real-life “superhero” named “Phoenix Jones” stopped a car-jacking in Seattle. The dude is part of the “Rain City Superhero Movement,” which is like the Justice League of America for people who want to die while looking ridiculous. Police say the vigilantes are lucky they haven’t been hurt yet, suggesting they should “act as good witnesses” rather than put themselves in danger. Don’t worry, Jones explains everyone on the team “either has a military background or a mixed martial arts background.” Rest easy, Seattle.


I Beg to ... Mostly Agree


— Ryan Syrek 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 (

This Week Last Train Home First-Run Directed by Lixin Fan Friday, January 14 - Thursday, January 20 “A beautifully shot, haunting portrait about an astonishing migration involving 130 million Chinese workers who each year travel by train, boat and foot to return home for New Year’s.” —Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

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) “Outlandishly entertaining.” —The New York Times

“A documentary masterpiece.” —Brian Brooks,

Forever Young Family & Children’s Series

The Marx Brothers: Duck Soup 1933

Jan 8-20 (Saturdays, Sundays, Thursdays)

Coming Soon

I Love You Phillip Morris First-Run

Directed by Glenn Ficarra & John Requa Starts Friday, January 21



JAN. 13 - 19, 2011


film Beyond Realism m o v i e

The Works of Kent Bellows 1970–2005



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Through Jan. 16

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2. Black Swan — Sucks to be Darren Aronofsky. Somehow he directs his masterwork, blending Kafka, David Lynch and Tchaikovsky, and can’t reach my top spot even with Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman gettin’ their experimentation on. Lyrical, sensual, frightening as hell and jam-packed with more social metaphor and commentary than can be consumed and purged in multiple sittings, this is film as high art. 1. Inception — It’s rare that my favorite film of the year is also the best. Writer/director Christopher Nolan basically blackmailed Warner Brothers into giving him an obscene budget for what was a twistyturny brain bender dressed up in crowd-pleasing clothes. Look quickly and you’ll see a satisfying, visually evocative thriller. Look again and you’ll see a labyrinthian narrative wedged between the best work of Leonardo DiCaprio and Marion Cotillard. Each viewing spills new treasures, and I couldn’t love it more. But it seems wrong to end on such a happy note given the blah year, so here are the five movies that I’d “Old Yeller” if given a shotgun and some privacy. 5. The American — Ebert loves it. I hate it. Clooney shouldn’t have done it. 4. The Last Airbender — Even when it’s someone else’s idea, M. Night needs to Shyama-stop. 3. The Tourist — I expect this from you, Jolie … but Johnny? Say it isn’t so. 2. Alice in Wonderland — Alice was in Wonderland. I was in hell. 1. Secretariat — The racehorse wins again! The prize? My hatred. I’m lucky enough to work with two fellas whose opinions I greatly respect. Just read their lists to see why!

Ben Coffman’s Top 5 of 2010

5. Carlos — Okay, it’s long. Like, really long (550 minutes in its miniseries incarnation). But it’s also an incredibly detailed and surprisingly fast-paced look at the godfather of Marxist terrorism. 4. The White Ribbon — Like a pre-industrialization Problem Child, this unique and largely forgotten film redefines “Hitler youth.” At times maddening, always stark, Michael Haneke’s black and white mo-




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rality tale set in imperialist Germany resonates as one of a kind. 3. 127 Hours — Danny Boyle’s excruciating follow-up to Slumdog Millionaire may be most attractive to cinemagoers who have a hard time throwing out Outdoor magazine back issues, but it’s another stylish, grandiose exploration of the human condition by a director who has already established himself as a modern master. 2. I Am Love — The cinematic equivalent of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” this triumphant fairytale of a love story will leave you feeling good about life and Tilda Swinton’s acting chops — not to mention her ability to speak Italian. 1. Babies — It’s a fact: babies are irresistible. A deceptively simple premise executed to brilliant effect, this fun documentary detailing the swaddling-to-toddling lives of four infants from around the world is the best movie of the year purely because of human nature.

Justin Senkbile’s Top 5 of 2010

5. Exit Through the Gift Shop — Leave it to street-art god Banksy to make a brilliant, hilarious, reality bending, potential hoax of a documentary. As funny and profound as any of his work with the spray can. 4. Antichrist — Yes, Lars Von Trier’s latest controversy was the fourth best film of 2010. And no, I don’t think I could stomach seeing it a second time. It’s a little heavy-handed and occasionally disgusting, but it’s really a much-needed, visionary bit of screen anarchy. 3. The Social Network — This Facebook origin story is so quick, smart and engaging that it would be a great film even without the astonishing performances by Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake. 2. 35 Shots of Rum — Released on a few screens in 2009, Claire Denis’ tale of life in and around a suburban Paris apartment building didn’t make it to Nebraska until this past spring. It’s warm, hypnotic, beautiful and so, so simple. I have yet to get it out of my head. 1. I Am Love — This severely under-seen Italian melodrama is a whirlwind of sound, color and movement, not to mention plenty of emotional fireworks. It’s absolutely intoxicating. Plus: Tilda Swinton! , C-

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. 13 - 19, 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.


m o r e


CREIGHTON Welcome to Our House!

FRIDAY 1/21 vs. USA ’94 World Cup Team 7:05pm SUNDAY 1/23 vs. KANSAS CITY COMETS 3:05PM



u Wednesday, Jan. 19 @ 7:05 p.m. Creighton vs. Bradley

u Thursday, Jan. 13 @ 7:05 p.m. Creighton vs. Northern Iowa u Saturday, Jan. 15 @ 2:05 p.m. Creighton vs. Bradley

*NOTE: Mexican Nat’l Indoor Team game on 12/12 rescheduled for FEB. ALL HOME GAMES PLAYED AT THE OMAHA CIVIC AUDITORIUM 20TH & CAPITOL

Men’s basketball home games played at Qwest Center Omaha (10th & Cass St.) Women’s basketball home games played at the Ryan Athletic Center/D.J. Sokol Arena (19th & Webster St.)

Tickets: 280-JAYS



JAN. 13 - 19, 2011




Vet Technicality


atch-22 Catches Disabled Veteran: David Henderson, a Korean War veteran long suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, applied 15 days past the deadline for enhanced care under a 2001 veterans-benefits law and thus was, as required by the statute, disqualified from the additional benefits. Henderson’s doctor pointed out that major disorders such as Henderson’s often leave victims unable to understand concepts like “deadlines.” As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer asked, during argument on the case in December, did Congress (which wrote the statute) really intend to deprive Henderson of care because of the very disability for which he sought help? A decision is expected in the spring.

The Continuing Crisis ■ Swinging bachelors often try to im-

press potential mates with their fancy cars, houses and jewelry, and it appears that male bowerbirds of Papua New Guinea employ a similar mating strategy by building elaborate tree homes. National Geographic magazine noted in July that the birds can “build a hut that looks like a doll’s house” or “arrange flowers, leaves and mushrooms in such an artistic manner” that researchers liken them to the craftsmanship of humans. Biologists observed females gravitating to males who had such structures as a three-foot tower of twigs, nuts and beetles, decorated with “garlands of caterpillar feces glistening with dew.” ■ Best Not to Ask Why: Fredrik Hjelmqvist, 45, owner of an audio shop in Stockholm, demonstrated in November his system of broadcasting music from his stomach. He swallowed a plastic

capsule containing a battery-operated audio setup, then connected an amplifier to a stethoscope and held it against his belly, and began playing recorded music, including the Village People’s “YMCA,” until the battery died three hours later. Hjelmqvist admitted that the audio quality was poor but still hopes to sell the system for the equivalent of about $17,000. ■ Do They Know? (1) An October Houston Chronicle review of “authorities” on animal “consciousness” suggested that perhaps dogs are embarrassed when their owners dress them in tacky Halloween costumes. “Pet Psychic” maven Sonya Fitzpatrick said she was certain that some feel shame at their owners’ poor fashion sense, but another practitioner said dogs’ reactions were probably only to their physical discomfort with the clothing itself. (2) A conservation organization in China’s Sichuan province routinely dresses caregivers in panda suits to socialize baby pandas that have lost their mothers so that the babies do not become accustomed to humans. However, as London’s Daily Telegraph reported in a December dispatch, experts acknowledge that they have no idea whether the babies are fooled.

Yikes! ■ The American Veterinary Chiropractic Asso-

ciation announced recently that it is seeking 400 dachshunds for experiments in which a chiropractic vet will “crack the backs” of dogs for an unspecified research project. Test subjects are preferred that have “uneven leg length that is influenced with neck flexion” but which have not been under the care of a chiropractor within the previous 60 days.


Mon thru Fri 2-7 try our WorLD FAMouS Bloody Marys 4556 Leavenworth st. • 402-551-4850 38

JAN. 13 - 19, 2011


weird news

COPYRIGHT 2010 CHUCK SHEPHERD. Visit Chuck Shepherd daily at or Send Weird News to or P.O. Box 18737, Tampa, FL 33679. Illustrations by Tom Briscoe (

n Gloria Clark, 62, was charged in the death of her 98-year-old mother in St. George, S.C., in December after the mother’s body was found among squalid conditions at her home. Though Clark denied she had been neglectful, the mother’s pet parrot might have disagreed. According to the police report, the parrot, in the mother’s bedroom, continually squawked — mimicking “Help me! Help me!” followed by the sound of laughter.

News That Sounds Like a Joke

Life Imitates a Monty Python Sketch: An unnamed Danish man traveled to Vienna, Austria, in July for a trial on his lawsuit against the man who had sold him a defective cockatoo for the equivalent of about $15,000. In a demonstration for the judge in the courtroom’s hallway, the bird flew “lopsided,” with the probable cause (according to the purchaser) chronic gout. The judge’s decision was not reported.

Suspicions Confirmed

(1) An official release of San Francisco’s Department of the Environment in July apparently cleared up a matter of controversy (according to a report in SF Weekly): Human semen is one organic waste product not required to be disposed of in special “compost” bags under the city’s mandatory composting law. However, “snot” must be properly bagged. (2) The Green Party is occasionally criticized for its overrepresentation of whites and upper-income people, who are less likely to flinch at the added costs of environmental protections. In October, the Green Party

The MET Opera Returns Dec. 18

Chicago Symphony Orchestra • Mondays 8 PM Live at the Concertgebouw • Tuesdays 8 PM Modern Classics • Fridays 6pm Midnight Special • Fridays Midnight Metropolitan Opera • Saturdays Noon Classical Guitar Alive • Sundays 10 AM Composer Spotlight • Sundays 11 AM Going Beyond Words • Sundays Noon From The Top • Sundays 5 PM New York Philharmonic • Sundays 6 PM

candidate for governor of Illinois, Rich Whitney, was shocked to see that the sample ballot for the November election mistakenly displayed his name as “Rich Whitey.” (Corrections were made in time for election day.)

First Things First

Darren Suchon, 42 and unemployed (and usually home all day), was charged in October with reckless driving and assault, among other things, for allegedly running his girlfriend off the road in his zeal to catch her after she drove away with his Sony PlayStation console. She had just left for work, and Suchon weaved through traffic in Palmerton, Pa., then bumped her car when he caught up with her at a traffic light, forcing her off the road. According to witnesses, Suchon rushed the car, “clawing” at it, screaming that he would “break the (expletive) window” if he didn’t get his game back.


Clichés Come to Life

(1) In December, Mr. Alkis Gerd’son moved out of student housing at Canada’s University of Victoria, which had been his home since 1991 (even though he long ago obtained his degree and had not taken a class in 13 years). Gerd’son claims various stress disorders (over, perhaps, finding a job?) and had until now stymied efforts to evict him by filing claims before human rights tribunals. (2) Ricardo West, a professional Michael Jackson impersonator (who staged “Michael Lives! The Michael Jackson Tribute Concert”) was charged in August in Allen Park, Mich., with 12 counts of child molestation. ,

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weird news


jan. 13 - 19, 2011


planetpower w ee k l y

h oroscopes

Last week of Capricorn … stasis will be the matrix for the unexpected, unusual and bizarre — ruled by the planet Uranus, the esoteric ruler of our next sign in line, Aquarius. The Full Moon will be in the last degree of Cancer, next Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 3:21 p.m., on the last day of Capricorn. To 90 percent (base 10s) Winter is just one looong booooring Capricoooorn. After this week let’s transcend onto base 11 (Aquarius) to get to Heaven. Heavy Spiritual changes ahead. See you next week when once again we speak. Until then, check out your year ahead at j CAPRICORN (12.22-1.20) You’ve got two weeks to get it together to handle any weather, whether or not it’s cold or hot. I see you living in the paradise of the wise. I see you lying in the Sun toasting your honey-bun, a feast at least in the Hawaii of your mind. Feeling fine, your ruler Saturn resides exaltedly in mid-Libra, checking out the harmony — whether you’re there or shovelin’ snow here. Thanks for this week’s modeling, Alicia. Aloha alohi nui, my dear! Pan loves you! k AQUARIUS (1.21-2.19) It’s BIG! It’s (royal) blue. It’s all over you. Your esoteric ruler (the planet Uranus) is conjuncting the planet of beneficence, optimism and luck, Jupiter — that BIG, blue, most beautiful “star” in the night sky view. Get lucky! Bet your favorite numbers. Your luckiest day is Jan. 19, in the afternoon, the Full Moon in the last degrees of Cancer. If you (can) fast until then, luck will be $earching for your an$wer. Time for you to bet! l PISCES (2.20-3.20) Neptune is taking its sweet time to get through these last little degrees in Aquarius until Feb. 4, 2012. Last degrees of a transit are accentuating. Therefore study electricity, altruism, astrology, the occult, psychotherapy, UFOs, magique and anything that’s electric, eccentric, unusual or bizarre to thee. Search for THE TRUTH, it’ll be found scattered amongst the debris. Great time to get your chart done! Don’t you know any good astrologers? a ARIES (3.21-4.20) You’re easy this week. No, I didn’t mean that — I meant astrologically, silly! You’re coming off a roll (there’s that word again). Saturday at sunset, your ruler Mars enters Aquarius after its Capricornian $tay, where it had it$ exalted way. Now, you’ve got to give it all away. Altruism will be the key to unlock a future that’ll suit cha. As humans, we have to work together to accomplish, and thus create, any worthwhile social deed. Do a good job, and maybe we’ll let you lead. b TAURUS (4.21-5.20) Freedom. That’s what you’re seeking. That and your philosophical stand. That’s your foundation, the psychological basis for your personality; the root of your philosophy that guides/outlines your ego, your sense of self. Your adaptability will make you


jan. 13 - 19, 2011



b y

mo j opo

money if you ju$t $mile and remain optimi$tic. Dare it — then $hare it. c GEMINI (5.21-6.21) If you got the holy word last week (Mercury conjunct the Hunab Ku), then channel it to us. Write a book so we can take a look. Mercury just entered serious, pragmatic, pedantic Capricorn until the New Moon in Aquarius Feb. 2-3. Meanwhile, back to business. “How we gonna pay for all this?” Ring a bell? Ding-dong! Money’s gone! How does the MOJO know? d CANCER (6.22-7.22) Your highs are other’s lows, and vice versa. You’re at the low of your year; yet the Full Moon next Wednesday, Jan. 19, is in the last degree of your sign on the last day of Capricorn into the sign of the unexpected, Aquarius. Celebrate with a seafood dinner and keep an eye out for the unexpected in the realms of departed souls, insurance, sex (thought I’d slip that little tip in!), taxes and other people’s money (8th House). e LEO (7.23-8.22) Uhoh … Time for the people … One more week of the business as usual (Capricorn) and then some loud mouth, bible thumping, social humping, bar bumping, humpty dumptying Rebel from Hell (an Aquarian) is due to champion his or her cause amidst thunderous applause. The peoples’ applause ain’t gonna help your cause. Pay off time, Tony? f VIRGO (8.23-9.22) Please read Gemini. It’s true for you too. There’s a Full Moon party next week (Wednesday, Jan. 19) and it’s got your name on it. Your 11th House is lit up by the Full Moon. You’ll be feelin’ it! Let’s party! Start now! g LIBRA (9.23-10.22) Are you getting used to the new order of things? This last astrological month has set the standard, this next new two-year criterion. It all starts at home. If you are to be a musician in this lifetime, a seeker of the lessons of harmony, you’ll need a proper instrument to portray your emotional expression. After next week it’s time to try them all and find your favorite. h SCORPIO (10.23-11.22) Communicate with your brothers and sisters, and find out (secretly) how you can be of real service to them. Don’t expect them to come up with what you expect they expect of what they can expect to expect from you? Yes, we are a week away from the unexpected. You can expect the unexpected. Charity unexpectedly begins at home. i SAGITTARIUS (11.23-12.21) The Full Moon next Wednesday, Jan. 19, looks good for thee. Let’s see … Jupiter, your ruler, is exalted in Cancer’s last degree. Your money House (8th) is lit up! And at 3:26 p.m. the Full Moon trines Jupiter. Good luck (Jupiter) from a female, your mom or a Cancer? Or is it you that helps them? You colors are white and blue, and your lucky number’s two. ,

GOOD FELLAS NIGHT CLUB • January 13, 2011 • A scandal will break out in the 2012 when the online encyclopedia Wikipedia redefines the United States of America from being listed as a “federal presidential constitutional republic” to being a “plutocracy.” The site will make the case that the country’s claims to being a democracy is undermined by the fact that those who rule the country are almost all millionaires, and that there is a complex system of patronage and lobbying

that guarantees the wealthy access to the process of politics that the poor are effectively denied. As Wikipedia is collectively edited, the “United States of America” will become a battleground for those who believe the U.S. is still a representative democracy and those who think it ceased to be that a long time ago. This will be seen as the moment that Wikipedia became less an encyclopedia and more a thermometer of political opinion.

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