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in the PRIMARY!

M AY 2 0 1 8 | volUME 2 5 | ISSU E 05

Featuring articles by guest contributors:

Bobby Brumfield, Kara Schweiss, and Ashlei Spivey

 M ay 1 5 PR







Woman (asked to be anonymous) wearing the dress she was assaulted in. Photography by Mike Machian


COVER: the #metoo Movement EAT: Safe Spaces Film: “All Things Being Equal” Sucks Heartland Healing: We’re Toast — Literally HooDoo: Get Out! Theater: Great Plains Theatre Conference Over the Edge: Don’t Call it a Comeback Politics: Omaha Voter Election

at can we do? We must liveVanya. outshall our lives. Yes, live,shall Uncle Vanya. We shall live all through procession of days aheadWe of and must live our lives. Yes, we live, Uncle Vanya. We live all through the endless procession of days aheadthe ofWe us, and through theus, long ve, s. Yes, Uncle weout Vanya. shall live, We Uncle shall live all through We shall the livewe endless allshall through procession the endless of days procession ahead of of us, days and ahead through ofthe us, theendless and long through evenings. long shall evenings. shall ar patiently the burdens that imposes onwithout us. We we shall work without forand others, both now andshall when we it are old. And when ourwe final hour dens fate imposes us.fate We shall rest for others, now when we are old. And when our final hour comes, shall m ll eswork onthat us.without We shall rest work foron others, without both rest now forwork others, and when both now are and old. when And both when we rest are our old. final And hour when comes, our final we hour meet comes, humbly, we shall and meet it humbly, and beyond grave, shall say we have known and tears, thatus. our life was bitter. And God pity us. Ah, dear, dear Un ave, we shall say that wewe have known suffering and tears, that our life was And God will pity us.enter Ah, then, dear Uncle, we shall enter there suffering we have known andthe tears, suffering that our and life tears, wasthat that bitter. our And life God was bitter. willsuffering pity And us.God Ah, then, will bitter. pity dear, dear Ah, Uncle, then, dear, we shall dear Uncle, onwill we a dear, bright shall enter and onthen, a bright and life. We shall rejoice and back upon our grief here. A tender smile -- and -- we shall rest. Ifervent, have faith, Uncle, fervent, passionate faith. rejoice look back our grief here. AI-tender smile -- Iand -- faith, we shall rest. I have faith, Uncle, passionate faith. We shallWe rest. We ck futiful here. upon Aand our tender grief smile here. --upon Aand tender -- look we smile shall --rest. and have we shall faith, rest. Uncle, have fervent, passionate Uncle, fervent, faith. passionate We shall rest. faith. WeWe shall shall rest. rest. WeWe shall shall rest. shall the angels. We shall see heaven shining like a jewel. We shall see evil and all our pain disappear in the great pity that shall enfold the world. Our see aheaven jewel. see evil and allin our disappear the enfold great pity shall enfold thebe world. Our lifeand willgentle be as and peac glllike jewel. shining We shalllike seeaevil andWe all shall our pain disappear thepain great pity thatin shall the that world. Our life will as peaceful

Great Plains Theatre Conference

The City in the City in the City by Matthew Capodicasa Produced by BLUEBARN Theatre in partnership with GPTC Tuesday, May 29, 7:30 p.m. BLUEBARN Theatre 1106 S. 10th St.

More than Neighbors by Denise Chapman

Thursday, May 31, 7:30 p.m. The Venue at Highlander 2112 N. 30th St.

You Want to Love Strangers: An Evening in Letters, Lullabies, Essays and Clear Soup With Playwright Sarah Ruhl Friday,June 1, 7:30 p.m. 40th St. Theatre 4006 1/2 Hamilton St.






May 29 - June 1


MAY 2018


22 19























publisher/editor........John Heaston graphic designer........... Ken Guthrie, Sebastian Molina assistant editor.....JoAnna LeFlore rock star intern......................................Cheyenne Alexis



COVER: We Too: The Local Aftermath of #MeToo and #TimesUp


COVER: #MeToo, Ashlei Spivey / For many Men in the #MeToo Movement


POLITICS: Omaha Voter Election

healing.........Michael Braunstein arts/visual..........Mike Krainak eat....................................Sara Locke film...........................Ryan Syrek hoodoo.............. B.J. Huchtemann music...................James Walmsley over the edge........Tim McMahan theater............................................


................................................ Kati Falk


......................................... Clay Seaman


...................................... Salvador Robles


Eat: Safe Spaces


HEARTLAND HEALING: We’re Toast — Literally


PICKS: Cool Things to do in May


................................. Debra S. Kaplan



ART: Irregular Art Beat


Theater: North Omaha Rupture at Center of PlayFest Drama


HooDoo: Get Out!


34 2

BACKBEAT: It’s Music Festival Season MAY 2018


FILM: “All Things Being Equal” Sucks CONTENTS


OVER THE EDGE: Don’t Call it a Comeback


Parade & Exhibitors PARADE HEALTH FAIR PAGEANT MUSIC EXHIBITORS CONCERT MARIACHI MASS Come enjoy one of Omaha’s largest festivals! | THE READER |

MAY 2018


Omaha Jobs: Employment Laws You Should Know

Protection from polygraph tests

As an employee, you might sometimes feel you have no rights and the system is rigged against you. But you do have valuable and hard-fought rights to assure you are not taken advantage of or mistreated by your employer. Employers caught breaking these laws are subject to fines and penalties that can soil their reputations and cripple their companies. It’s important you understand the laws that protect you as an employee so you’ll know if you’re mistreated and what you can do about it. Depending on the situation, it could involve legal assistance and might go as high as an official complaint to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Employers aren’t allowed to require or request employees to take lie detector tests – either as existing employees or usually as applicants. There are some circumstances when polygraph tests are permitted, but strict protocol must be followed.

Employment laws protecting minors Nebraska has laws that protect minors from unsafe work environments and whether they’re expected to work too many hours. Those 16 and younger cannot work in a place where there’s a risk to life or limb, or the possibility their “morals will be depraved,” according to the state Department of Labor. There are also strict laws about how many hours a minor can work. Those often address whether or not the minor has school the following day. Minimum wage in Nebraska The minimum hourly wage varies from one state to another. Although the federal minimum hourly wage remains $7.25, the minimum wage in Nebraska is $9 an hour. This applies only to regular, non-tip-earning employees, not to independent contractors. Small businesses that earn less than $500,000 a year are not required to pay minimum wage to their employees.

Migrant and seasonal agricultural worker protections A variety of legislation protects migrant and seasonal agricultural workers. These also require minimum standards for workplace safety and protections. Special, additional regulations are in place for minors who work in this field. Garnishment protection If an employee’s wages are garnished for debt repayment, the employer is not allowed to fire the employee because of it. The Consumer Credit Protection Act also restricts the amounts that can be garnished from your paycheck. The U.S. Department of Labor oversees a wide variety of employment laws, all designed to protect employees from unfair practices by employers. The goal is for employees to work in safe conditions, be fairly compensated and not be fired on a whim. Without these laws and regulations in place, you and other employees would be at the mercy of employers who could decide whatever they want regardless of its impact.

A safe place to work OSHA law requires employers to provide a safe workplace, with all required safety equipment supplied by the employer. Employees have the right under OSHA law to request a safety inspection without fear of retaliation from their employers. Anyone fired for exposing a company’s unsafe practices has additional rights under this law as well.

All Saint’s Episcopal Church Rummage Sale,

Time off when necessary The Family Leave and Medical Act (commonly referred to as FMLA) requires unpaid leave for employees under certain conditions. It’s designed to protect employees from getting fired for needing time off for a medical event, military service or adoption. Before this was enacted, employers could threaten termination to employees who took time off. Note that FMLA is unpaid leave.


MAY 2018



9302 Blondo Street, one day only, Friday. April 20 th , 9am to 3pm. $100 dollar bills not accepted.

Thursday March 15, 2018 April 12, 2018 May 31, 2018 1pm-4pm

7300 Q Street Ralston, NE 68127

ProKarma Jobs

Vice President Enterprise Solutions #VP0418 ProKarma, Inc. seeks a Vice President Enterprise Solutions based out of its U.S. headquarters in Omaha, NE, may also work at various unanticipated locations. Roving position-employee’s worksite & residence may change based on business demands. No travel requirement. S/he defines and implements quality assurance business practices and procedures and conducts test planning and development, test execution, defect management, and all other testing activities. S/he manages a group of quality assurance analysts who test, evaluate, and validate initiatives and identify software issues. S/he will be responsible for supporting presales of ProKarma Services, selling ProKarma Service to new and existing client. S/he will be responsible for providing technical leadership, execution oversight and governance in planning, solution engineering, executing and managing the software engineering team supporting clients. The position of Vice President Enterprise Solutions requires a master's degree, or its foreign equivalent, in Business Administration, Management, Computer Information Systems, IT, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Engineering (any), or in a technical/analytical field that is closely related to the speciality, plus five years of experience in the job offered or in an IT/Computer-related position. Alternatively, the employer will accept a bachelor's degree, or its foreign equivalent, in Business Administration, Management, Computer Information Systems, IT, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Engineering (any), or in a technical/analytical field that is closely related to the speciality, plus 7 years of progressively-responsible, post-baccalaureate experience in the job offered or in an IT/Computer-related position. Additionally, the applicant must have 5 years of professional experience with each of the following: directing technical services/solutions; overseeing IT services Delivery programs; managing application development activities involving Java, Microsoft, Mobility, SAP, Big Data, Analytics, and QA; defining and implementing quality assurance business practices; and directing IT services Presales activities. Suitable combination of edu/training/exp accptble.

EXPECT UP TO 15 EMPLOYERS For Complete Details go to

For more info or booth rates cotact:

ProKarma Jobs

Software Engineer #SEJAVA0418 ProKarma, Inc. has multiple openings for Software Engineer in Omaha, NE; may also work at various unanticipated locations. Roving position -employee’s worksite and residence may change based on business demands. No travel requirement. Write/update/maintain computer programs; modify SW to correct errors/improve performance and develop/direct SW system testing/validation procedures/programming/documentation. Requires Bachelors or foreign equivalent, or equivalent based upon combo of education/experience/training, in CIS, IT, Tech Mgmt., CS, Engineering (any), or in related tech/analytical field plus 2years experience in job offered or IT/Computerrelated position. Requires 2year professional experience with: Java, J2EE, JMS, SOA, Web Services, Weblogic/WebSphere/App server/JBoss, Oracle/SQL Server, Maven, HTML. Suitable combination of education /training /experience acceptable.

To apply, send resumes to: ProKarma, Attn: Jobs, 222 S 15th St., Ste 505N, Omaha, NE 68102 Or email:  w/Job Ref# in subject line

To apply, send resumes to: ProKarma, Attn: Jobs, 222 S 15th St., Ste 505N, Omaha, NE 68102 Or email:  w/Job Ref# in subject line

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MAY 2018


Local Aftermath of #MeToo and TimesUp

Woman (asked to be anonymous) wearing the dress she was assaulted in. She dyed the words MeToo for this photo.




t’s been only a little over six months since the Me Too (#MeToo) movement first gained national prominence, and the Time’s Up movement was just founded by Hollywood celebrities at the beginning of the year, but these movements have generated an incredible amount of attention to the subject of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace. It’s a hot topic at the moment, but the problem itself has existed for years; all the stories that have been shared in recent months are a testament to that.

So what happens next? Beverly Kracher, CEO of the nonprofit Business Ethics Alliance and the Robert B. Daugherty Endowed Chair in Business Ethics and Society at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business, said increased awareness serves as a catalyst for change.

by guest contributor

Kara Schweiss

May 2018



photography by

Mike Machian

“Everyone I know, it’s been on the tip of their tongue. It’s one of most significant social issues we’ve been addressing in the last couple of years,” she said. “If we can get it right, we’re going to grow as a society. If we don’t get it right, shame on us.”

Elizabeth Power, the director of marketing and public relations for the Women’s Center for Advancement (WCA), said the recent focus on workplace harassment and violence had resulted in increased numbers of women seeking services from WCA (, which assists anyone experiencing sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking or human trafficking. That was expected. But what has come as a surprise is the number of people getting involved in the cause, Power said. “What we’ve seen a big increase in is volunteers and social activism… which is not what we were expecting but we love that,” she said. Power speculated that at least some of the supporters are women who have either experienced or witnessed workplace sexual harassment or assault in the past. “They may have coped and moved on and don’t feel like they need services and support now, but through their past experiences they still identify with women who are going through this,” she said. There’s no question that victims of workplace sexual harassment or assault experience trauma, said Jessica Kroeker, a training specialist and mental health therapist with Project Harmony, which primarily serves children who are victims of abuse and neglect. Project Harmony is also collaborating with other organizations to serve adults and victims of other trauma through Trauma Matters Omaha. Kroeker said sexual harassment and assault are a problem beyond the workplace because one individual’s trauma can have widespread consequences. “Nothing happens in a vacuum or tunnel,” she said. “We want

people to be able to recognize that trauma and adversity really do have an impact on people, and that affects everybody.”

Echoing the sentiment that no one is alone from a different perspective, Power emphasized that help is available at any time.

An individual who has experienced trauma is affected psychologically even if she or he wasn’t harmed physically, Kroeker explained. And that stress can take a toll on physical health or trigger negative or even destructive behaviors like substance abuse.

“Our hotline, 402-345-7273, is staffed 24/7,” she said. In acute situations, a safety plan is the first step. “It’s different for every client, and it can be lifesaving.”

“Research has shown that trauma has a huge impact on people. We have the knowledge that it impacts us from a mental health standpoint, but research is clearly saying that it also has an impact on us physically… and with higher trauma a n d adversit y we have g r e a t e r behavioral and physical risk,” she said. A person’s w o r k ; relationships with children, spouses, coworkers, family and friends; and interaction with the community can suffer. “It affects everything when you are carrying that (trauma) around with you,” Kroeker said. “The symptoms for trauma and the symptoms for vicarious trauma are the same. Because you have that empathy; you’re essentially living through it with them.”

Workplace victims in particular m a y hesitate to reach out because they are uncertain how to respond or what their choices are, Power said. “When something that happens that’s wrong in your workplace, it may be hard to report it in your workplace.” Other workplace vi c t i ms believe they may be blamed or fired if they report harassment or assault to company leaders or human resources, she said. “You never know if you’re going to be believed, especially if it’s somebody higher up. If it’s your boss who’s assaulting you, who do you go to? If you depend on that job or you’re the breadwinner, or if you’re an ambitious person who is following your career dreams, reporting an assault could derail that. It could mean job loss or that you would have to change your career goals, and there’s a lot of fear with that,” she said. “So you may say ‘I’m going to be fine’ and ‘I’ll


get through it’ and pretend it never happened.” Sometimes victims regret not resisting more vigorously or that they had responded to the perpetrator in a friendly way before an incident, Power said. “If they were assaulted or if they are not sure, the most important thing they need to know is they didn’t do anything wrong, Power said. “As a human being you just want to rationalize it; you don’t want to believe that someone can be so evil.” WCA provides a safe and confidential source of support, Power said, and its services are provided at no cost to the client. The center at 3801 Harney St. is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and appointments are not required to see an advocate. Advocates explain options, which can mean getting law enforcement involved and pursuing criminal charges for crimes like rape and stalking, consulting with attorneys about initiating civil litigation in cases of sexual harassment that don’t involve physical contact, or accessing mental health and wellbeing services like counseling and support groups. “That allows the victim in that situation to really understand their choices and the path they want to take and what those paths might look like,” Power said, adding that it’s important for victims to know that the direct care staff doesn’t push them toward any particular action. “The very foundation of our work is to empower our clients. That’s because sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking—all those crimes—are not from lust and desire. They’re coming from power and control. So when we can give that


May 2018


power and control back to our clients by empowering them to make the choices that are right for them, then that’s a big win.” Even long after an incident of workplace harassment or assault has taken place, women can still find support, or as Power puts it: “There is no statute of limitations.” The perpetrator may be deceased or the incident long in the past, but counseling and support groups can be helpful to people who are remembering or reliving experiences amid the recent conversations around #MeToo and Time’s Up. “Resiliency beats trauma,” Kroeker said. To foster healing, people who have experienced trauma can address their psychological health through not only counseling but personal activities such as connecting with loved ones, becoming involved with the community and exploring their spirituality. “All those ways you build your resilience help overcome the symptoms that come with trauma. Trauma and the symptoms of trauma are not set in stone. There absolutely is hope.” “It’s important for victims to know where to find help, but the topic of workplace sexual harassment and assault needs to be addressed where it starts—in the workplace. Business leaders need to not only make sure everyone understands what is and isn’t appropriate behavior, but also what the consequences are and who to go to within the organization to report an incident or take action,” Kracher said. “For people to work well in the workplace you need people with


May 2018

strong character and good attitudes, and you need organizations to have great structures to reinforce that. Those are the two levels,” she said. Awareness has improved over the past few decades, she added, but more work still needs to be done. “We need to continue that attitudinal change through education, et cetera, so we’re seeing each other as equals. And then we need the structural changes as organizations to keep up with the attitudinal changes. Those are harder, because especially if you’re a large organization, you’re a behemoth and have policies and practices that have been set and it’s hard to change t h o s e . Structural changes need to h a p p e n, t o o...hiring, p r o m o t i o n, those formal processes.” A healthy corporate culture means people should not only understand what’s appropriate and respectful as far as interaction with others, but they should also feel empowered to speak up when they witness wrongdoing or are themselves a target. Formal ethical communication training or refresher training (“We used to call it assertiveness training and awareness training.”) is a good first step, Kracher said. Training helps provide workers with the tools they need to speak



up, from understanding resources like anonymous hotlines and human resources liaisons within an organization to “pre-scripting,” a rehearsal on what to say to diffuse or address an uncomfortable situation. Supervisors and leaders should also know how to respond to reports from their subordinates and when to bring in human resources, legal consultation or even law enforcement. In milder situations, sometimes calling a person out in a non-confrontational manner lets him or her know a behavior or comment isn’t welcome and can serve as a lasting d e t e r r e n t. Not all responses need to i n v o l v e e s c a l a t i o n, K r a c h e r emphasized. “You have to ask yourself what you want the end result to be,” she said. “You want to live in a workplace where you’re getting stuff done.” And a positive workplace culture starts from the top down. “It’s having leaders who are willing to talk about these things,” she said, “to show that leaders care. That’s wonderful leadership.” “Organizations can work to create a workplace that is physically safe and psychologically safe,” Kroeker said, “and that goes beyond

doing background checks and publishing anti-harassment policies in the employee handbook. “The Trauma Informed Omaha website (TraumaMattersOmaha. org) can help organizations find self-assessment tools and identify resources for creating a traumainformed workplace.” “From a lot of the needs assessments and evaluations that we’ve done, (we’ve found that) people want to be asked if they’re okay and they want their supervisors to ask how they’re doing and show an interest in who they are,” she said. “Just asking can do a lot for someone’s psychological safety, noticing that someone is caring about them.” #MeToo and Time’s Up will likely give way to another hot button issue eventually, but the conversation needs to be sustained locally. “Sexual assault in the workplace is something that needs to be talked about. Otherwise it’s going to continue to happen,” said Power. “I get to have so many candid conversations in my role at the WCA and it’s so interesting to see how people are people are talking about this; it’s a very different conversation now than it was even three years ago, and I’ve only been with the WCA four and a half years.” What WCA advocates say to their clients, Power said, applies to us all: “You can’t change the past but you’re here and you‘re learning and you’re going to make the future better. That’s what’s really important.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. confronts destiny, legacy and mortality in this fictitious play.

May 4 – 27, 2018 Tickets on sale now! An Olivier Award-winning play of historical fiction, The Mountaintop imagines the final night in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After giving his speech, “The Mountaintop,” Dr. King returns to his room at the Lorraine Motel. When a mysterious woman with a secret agenda pays a visit to Dr. King, the resulting confrontation imaginatively explores destiny, legacy and mortality.

By Katori Hall Directed by Denise Chapman

6915 CASS ST. | (402) 553-0800 | OMAHAPLAYHOUSE.COM show sponsor:

Friend of the Playhouse

media sponsor:

Disclaimer: Contains dialogue related to racial tension and adult language. COVER


May 2018




by guest contributor Bobby

Al Viola Photography

by guest contributor Ashlei

For many Men the #MeToo Movement turned to WhatNow?


hen I take a pause to reflect on what this phrase, now a viral hash tag movement means, I feel a range of emotions, probably most present is that of rage. Sexual assault, consent, violence, etc. are all complex social issues that intersect with other social complex social issues and structures. There are lived experiences behind any social movement and it is enraging that it took someone with the right visual aesthetics, power and influence to bring this specific issue, to the forefront. I had the honor of speaking at the 2018 Women’s March about my experience as a Black Woman. A Black Woman, that based on complex social issues and their indicators, should not be standing speaking to a sea of 8K people, let alone alive. #MeToo is more than just an awareness campaign. It was a movement started by a Black Woman who wanted to be heard, and knew she was not alone in the fight against violence on women.


May 2018

For me, this movement is not just about gender issues. This movement is about the dominant narrative in our society that oppresses the “other” group. Pause, close your eyes, and think about what this other group could be. Women, people of color, people with different abilities, gender identities…the list can go on and on. So when thinking about the #MeToo movement, your advocacy and engagement with this issue cannot stop at gender issues. It must be multidimensional and intersectional. You, we, cannot afford your silence or inaction. Ashlei’s has a purpose and passion for empowering Black people and spaces. Professionally, she facilitates conversations and action planning for groups around inclusion and equity frameworks. You are encouraged to visit her website at to learn more.



#MeToo shook quite a few Men awake. It rightfully placed Violence Against Women at the forefront of our discussions and helped expose the prevalence and tactics of Power & Control in a way that we could no longer deny it exists. The movement is successful in adding to the number of Men, like those of us in the Men Against Domestic Violence Action Coalition (MADVAC), who understand that our workplaces and communities must be free of Gender-Based Violence however, there is a significant gap in knowing the problem exists and what Men can do to combat it. We know that we should better support Women, but what does that look like. What steps can we take? Here are 3 easy to do suggestions:

1. Educate Ourselves and Our Peers There are numerous local organizations that are focused on ending Violence Against Women and many of these organizations offer free training to help you understand Power & Control. Take the time to speak with Advocates, invite them to your workplace, and then share that knowledge with your Peers.

2. Teach Our Boys Our Young Men will be future boyfriends, husbands, coworkers, etc. It is our responsibility to ensure they have a healthy view of Girls and Women. We have to make sure they understand the


dangers of objectifying Women. We have to have conversations to help them navigate Healthy vs. Unhealthy Masculinity; teach what consent is and isn’t; and how to intervene when they recognize signs of abusive behaviors. We have to have these conversations early to embed them long before Boys are in positions to engage in negative behavior.

3. Support Victims and Survivors The majority of the “push back” that I’ve gotten since I started working to end the violence has been “Some Women lie” and “Men are Victims, too”. Both of these statements are true and we have to address them with the understandings that for every woman who may lie, hundreds, if not thousands are true Victims/Survivors who need your support. The majority of deaths involving Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence are Women and the killers are Men. No longer can we comfort ourselves with we are “Good Men” and not abusive, therefore assuming that the Violence doesn’t affect us. #MeToo has shown us that it does. We have to get actively involved. We have to be “Better Men.” Bobby Brumfield is Co-Founder of Men Against Domestic Violence Action Coalition (MADVAC) and works in Crisis Management as a SMB Security Advisor. His personal mission is to build Positive Peace by supporting SDG’s 5 and 16.





Let’s go on a surfin’ safari! The one and only Beach Boys return with the world’s favorite soundtrack to summer.

“Good Vibrations” “California Girls” “I Get Around” “Surfin’ USA” “Fun, Fun, Fun”




MAY 2018


SAFE SPACES: When Socializing Becomes an Extreme Sport, Technology Provides the Helmet BY SARA LOCKE



t shouldn’t be your responsibility to make sure nobody slips drugs into your drink, overpowers you, or intentionally injures you. Sexual assault is not and will never be the fault of the victim. Regardless of what they were wearing, drinking, or how long they knew the perpetrator.Police aren’t “asking for it” when they walk into a dark alley at night, but they recognize the threat and arm themselves. They shouldn’t have to anticipate someone shooting at them, but they know that as long as gun crimes exist, they will need to wear Kevlar. As long as sex crimes exist, you will need to be protected, alert, and armed. Let’s open your tool box.

SARA LOCKE is the Contributing Editor for The Reader’s Food section. She is fluent in both sarcasm and pig Latin, and is definitely going to eat the contents of her to-go box in her car on her way home. Follow her restaurant reviews and weekly what-todos online at http://thereader. com/dining/crumbs . Follow @ TheReaderOmahaDish on Instagram to find out what else she’s sinking her teeth into.


MAY 2018

The Human Touch You’re having a few drinks, maybe out dancing with your friends, and suddenly feel uneasy about the person who has been offering to buy you drinks all night. Maybe it’s a date gone wrong, or maybe it’s someone who just can’t get the hint that you aren’t interested in engaging with them. You order a Halo from the bartender, and the next thing you know you’re being escorted safely into your Uber and you’re on your way home. Many clubs and bars will now have a “code word” on flyers in their restrooms, offering you a safe escape if you feel you are in a compromising situation. The Mother of Invention You know better than to accept a drink from a stranger, right? But what if that stranger is someone you want to get to know? Accepting a drink is an excellent ice breaker, and maybe one day you’ll tell your grandchildren how you met. But if something happens to you, the hospital staff, the police, and your lifetime movie audience will all shake their heads and yell “Why did you accept a drink from a stranger???” Even more harrowing is the fact that far more common than drugging by a stranger, drug and alcohol facilitated assaults are predominantly committed by dates or acquaintances. You should be able to accept this social olive branch, but what if doing so becomes life changing for all the wrong reasons? Controversial social safeguards that aim to detect Rohypnol in your drink are regarded with disdain by anti-rape activists. The fear that the blame will shift from the person who roofied the drink to the victim of the attack for not employing such safe guards is not at all unfounded. You should not have to test your drink for drugs, but aren’t you glad you have that option? Drink Safe Technologies has organized an online shop of vendors and inventors offering a slew of products to test your drink for memory altering substances without alerting your drinking companion to your suspicion. From napkins to nail polish, coasters to cups, you can drink smarter with DrinkSafe. DrinkSavvy has developed a line of drinking glasses which activate a specific design when they come into contact with memory-altering drugs. The company crowdfunded a line of straws, hoping they would be more practical for use in social settings.



Undercover Colors aims to put the power to prevent victimization into your hands. With tech developed by 4 college students, Undercover Colors uses color changing technology in the form of nail polish. Nobody will know your fresh fill is really secret spy-wear, designed to detect memory altering drugs. Be aware, however, that while these products alert you to the presence of several compounds in your drink, it doesn’t prevent over-consumption of alcohol, which can have the same effects as many of the substances the products are designed to detect. Tech Support You’ve matched with someone new on Tinder, chatted for a while, and you’re actually really excited to meet them… but there’s that lingering dread about actually encountering them in the flesh. Your mom sends you a link about a girl being kept in a box under her Tinder date’s bed. Your best friend does their best sleuthing but can only tell you where they went to school, that their ex isn’t nearly as hot as you are, and that they have pictures of their dog all over social media. There have been no red flags, but you still have that looming sense of doom. At what point is it ever safe to meet someone/go home with someone/be alone with someone? You think of the many I Love Lucy scenarios in which you are able to take your friend on the date with you without them being detected. Well, technology is catching up! Stay Safe Available for IOS and Android, StaySafe is a timer-based service, which allows you to schedule an activity such as grabbing drinks in an unfamiliar neighborhood, meeting someone to exchange Craigslist items, or Tinder dates. Before your time runs out, you will punch in your “all clear” pin and the app closes. If you do not enter your pin, your app sends an alert to your designated contacts, informing them of your GPS location and the fact that

you have not given an all clear signal. The app comes with a second pin, which is to be used in duress. If you are in a situation where someone is threatening you and forcing you to shut down your app, your duress pin makes the app appear to close, but instantly alerts your contacts that you are in danger. An auto-alert gives you the option to inform your designated contacts that you have manually activated the app, alerting them that you are entering a situation you feel may become unsafe. Watch Over Me Available for IOS or Android, Watch Over Me works similarly to StaySafe, and opens with a message to your contacts. You design the fill in the blank sms message, which reads: Watch over me while I ________ (Meet someone, go for a jog, investigate strange noise in the dark woods behind my house) for _________ (Amount of time). Watch Over Me allows your contacts to locate you if you are unable to deactivate the app, and for an added subscription, will also send video and audio recordings to your contacts, which could become important in identifying whether you’re in danger, and where the threat is coming from. Nothing takes the place of your vigilance, but isn’t it nice to know that legislature, bar owners, and technology are starting to look out for you? Socialize safely.



MAY 2018




Awash in a sea of radiation

HEARTLAND HEALING is a metaphysically-based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet by MICHAEL BRAUNSTEIN. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit and like us on Facebook. .


MAY 2018



had a first generation cell phone. It was about the size of a brick and about as heavy. The reception was worse than a brick. I got it so I could be on call when my mom was seriously ill back in the early 1990s. I didn’t like using it but it was handy when needed. Of course, it didn’t have a screen, couldn’t get weather radar or play Raul Midon’s latest, let alone stream a movie. The technology that it worked on was a system of towers located around the area, each covering its own area or “cell”. That’s where we got the name “cell” phone. The radio waves and strength it used were primitive. It wasn’t long before the industry came up with a new radio protocol for the second generation of phones that were smaller and better. That became the Second Generation of cell phone technology or “2G.” Of course, we never called the original a “1G” because there was no need until there was a “2G”, right? Well, things advanced. We needed more and more bandwidth, faster and faster downloading schemes for the tons of data we were using by 2010. So we burned through new technologies, “3G” and now are at the terminal use of “4G”. And, as you might guess, 5G is next. Since that first cell phone in the 1980s, we’ve seen the evolution of technology that uses the electromagnetic spectrum of radio waves for everything from garage doors to refrigerators, alarm clocks to gas meters to coffee makers. Devices are communicating all around us, with themselves, the “cloud” and with us. It’s called “the internet of things.” And it’s darn depressing to realize our world has turned into a web of invisible radiation coursing through everything and every body. The scariest part of it all is that no one has bothered to really test and find out what that radiation is doing to us. We are part of a global experiment. Maybe we should ask Madame? Yeah, well, Madame Curie discovered the phenomenon of radiation back around 1900. She experimented with it, too. And she paid with her life. The radiation killed her. Admittedly, radiation comes in a lot of different flavors — ranges of frequency and wavelength — and dangers. Some we know right off will kill us right off. Some will kill eventually. And some we just don’t know for sure how or when they might. In reality, no one really knows how badly the radiation we’re swimming in right now will affect us sooner or later. What we do know is that the radiation we’re about to receive from the new 5G setup coming in 2019 will be totally different and far more ubiquitous. “More Doctors Smoke Camels…” Yes, the tobacco industry had us fooled. It’s a fact that Big Tobacco undertook a calculated campaign to convince the public that cigarettes were safe. Their strategy was simple: find one or two “scientists” who were willing to find “inconclusive” proof that maybe, just maybe tobacco didn’t cause cancer and the industry could claim, “the jury is still out.” If they kept open the slim possibility, that was enough. And paying for their own research, they were able pull that off. The magazine “The Nation” recently published an article showing that the cell phone industry is doing the same thing that Big Tobacco did. As long as they plant the seed of doubt that not all research finds a



connection between cell phone radiation and health problems, including cancer, then the public will seize upon that slim chance in order to be able to play “Exploding Kittens” or “Words with Friends” on their cell phone. Just like those who claim a late April cold snap is indication that anthropogenic climate change is an illusion, the cell phone industry claims the jury is still out. Now the industry is rolling out a 5G technology that plans to put a cell phone antenna on every block, on lampposts and buildings. As if we’re not bathed in enough electromagnetic radiation yet. Not just the phone. Look, everything that has electricity attached to it puts out some kind of electromagnetic pollution. But some is definitely worse than others. There’s a reason that dental tech puts a heavy lead apron on when she shoots an X-ray of your teeth. Fluorescent lights are worse than incandescent. Electric cars are worse than conventional. Microwave ovens are worse than conventional. But consider this: cell phone radiation is designed to penetrate things. That’s why our cell phones work indoors, for crying out loud. And FYI, the new 5G will be a totally new flavor of radiation that many scientists suggest could be an even greater health risk that the current version, which has, BTW, absolutely been found to have a link to cancers by tons of research. Cell phones are only one of the many sources of electromagnetic radiation that we haven’t fully studied. It may be too late. But at least know what you’re getting into and then learn how you can minimize your risk. Be well. Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit and like us on Facebook.

if you come for

Old World Charm - Delicious Dining - Unique Shopping

you won’t goaway hungry

and end up having a


11th & Howard • 8416 Park Drive

you’re welcome.


Old Market




MAY 2018


Presented By


Learn more and register at: More than 500 volunteers helped the 2017 Pinnacle Bank Championship win “Rookie of the Year” on the Tour. Volunteers are a key component of the tournament’s ability to maximize our contributions to the TeamMates Mentoring Program. This year promises to be bigger and better. Whether you’re a golf lover or want to give back to charity, volunteer and put your mark on the event that makes a difference in the community! A wide variety of opportunities are available. Be a part of Golf’s Gold Standard. Sign up to volunteer today!

July 16-22, 2018 • The Club at Indian Creek 16

MAY 2018


the Old Market Passageway, is open Tues-Sat from noon-8pm and on Sun from noon-6pm. ~ Janet L. Farber

May 3 - 24 @ 7:30pm

The Shakespeare Revue

Joslyn Castle (3902 Davenport Street)

May 3 - July 1

‘Circles on the Move’

Garden of the Zodiac Christian Rothmann exhibit a burst of Spring energy, color and form Count on Berlin artist Christian Rothmann to help usher in the warmth and vibrancy of springtime. His latest show, Circles on the Move at the Garden of the Zodiac, provides a welcome shot of color and energy, guaranteed to shake off the last of the winter doldrums.

What is the Sha ke s p ea re Review? It’s a little song, a little dance, a lot of delightful silliness and satire, with a splash of elegance. Divised for the Royal Shakespeare C o m p a n y, tion of Wilthis is a celebraliam Shakespeare, spring, and ducing the Bard. the vicissitudes of proA variety of songs by familiar composers (Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter) with slightly altered lyrics, and a variety of familiar scenes (Monty Python, Fry & Laurie) will make for a deliciously comic evening at the Joslyn Castle. ~Amy Schweid

May 4


Justin Beller at Anderson O’Brien Fine Art

The Moving Gallery’s Christian Rothmann: Circles on the Move is on view at the Garden of the Zodiac beginning Thursday, May 3 from 7-9pm and runs through July 1. The gallery, located at 1042 Howard Street in

“Omaha-based artist Justin Beller is known for creating paintings, wall installations, plinths and towers that enhance and define spaces through his rigorous combinations of geometric forms and bold colors. “His most recent body of work represents an expansion and evolution of his artistic practice to include softer lines and a brighter palette. Both abstract and figurative, these new paintings and sculptures showcase Beller’s artistic ingenuity, gestural imagination and mastery of materials.” Justin Beller’s Trajectories opens Friday, May 4 from 5-8 p.m. and continues until May 27 at Anderson O’Brien Fine Art in the Old Market at 1108 Jackson St. For more info and gallery hours, got to ~Mike Krainak

Rothmann is known for his bright and expressionistic paintings and watercolors, often landscapes or botanical subjects conceived in degrees of abstraction. His varied yet recognizable lexicon of marks and forms will be exhibited in a number of recent works on paper, canvas and wood supports. Marking important new territory for the artist is his reimagination of the 5-foot solidcolored metal discs he had used previously in outdoor installations, where these visual markers served as disrupters in urban or rural landscapes. Rothmann moved the discs back into the studio to revive a decades-old investigation of the circle, with its perfect, infinite edge, as a format for his lively compositions.

zontal lines, blocks of colors and repeating circles to distill the essence of earth, sky and water and to open closed interior surroundings. But if you are only familiar with Beller’s past 2D and 3D work, the exhibit’s title and show statement hints at his new direction.

May 4 & 5 @ 7:00 pm


800 Davis Avenue, Corning, IA 50841 A musical composed by Stephen Schwartz (The Prince of Egypt, Wicked). Based primarily on the Gospel of Matthew, the show uses a mixture of modern music, and traditional hymns to tell the story of Jesus, with a twist that’s sure to get your Anderson O’Brien Fine Art in Omaha’s Old Market, presents Justin Beller’s Trajectories with an artist reception Friday, May 4th from 5-8 p.m. Mixed-media artist Beller is known for work that represents both the physicality of space and the metaphysics of dreamlike states. In his paintings, wall installations and plinth-like towers, he uses vertical and hori-

May 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

No Accidental Tourist Modern Arts Midtown

New textiles by artist Michael James in MAM exhibit features ‘India Through Beginner’s Eyes.’ Lincoln textile artist Michael James may have been a newbie traveler to India in 2016, but new work created from that experience shows that he is no ordinary tourist armed with a smartphone. India Through Beginner’s Eyes, which opens Friday, May 4, 6-8 p.m. at Modern Arts Midtown, demonstrates not only his professional touch for mixed media tactile art, but a career-long vision freshly renewed by this journey.

feet tapping. This one weekend only engagement takes place in the beautifully historic Corning Opera House in Corning, Iowa. ~Amy Schweid



MAY 2018


and figures, textures and scales…(in order)…to synthesize dissonant visual, aural and tactile stimuli and make sense of their often unlikely and uncoordinated juxtaposition.”

May 4 - June 23

Salon Time

Union for Contemporary Art

You can see the results for yourself as you discover India through the “beginner eyes” of an artist who shares more than snapshots on Flickr, Facebook or Photobucket.

“First time travelers in an unfamiliar country see with fresh eyes, with ‘beginner’s eyes’,” James said in his show statement. “They may not always see beyond the surface or with real penetration, but they tend to notice the unusual in the ordinary, the remarkable in the overlooked, the beautiful in those things taken for granted by others who possess longtime or daily familiarity.” True perhaps, but not all first-timers see beyond their selfies. Along with other regional artists such as Steve Joy and Barbara Simcoe, James interprets his travels through his aesthetic making the experience all that more rewarding for artist and viewer. They accomplish this possibly because their “mind” is as open as their eyes to their surroundings. “So it was for me during my first trip to India in late 2016,” he said. “In each of the cities and towns in which I found myself, what most attracted me was the vernacular architecture of those places and the detailing, often eccentric and improbable, sometimes accidental, that distinguished one building or alley or interior courtyard from another.” No surprise really as James has had a history of connecting elements in his textiles that at first glance may seem contradictory, especially when influenced by his observation of the built and natural environment. Observer James doesn’t miss much. Artist James makes a tapestry of it all. “I’m interested in that which is essential and immaterial. I associate dissociated forms


MAY 2018

Michael James lives and maintains his studio in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he is Professor and Department Chair in Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design, College of Education and Human Sciences, at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. India Through Beginner’s Eyes: New Textiles by Michael James opens May 4, from 6-8 p.m. at Modern Arts Midtown, 3615 Dodge St. For more info and gallery hours, go to or call 402.502.8737. ~Mike Krainak

May 4 – May 27

The Mountaintop

Howard Drew Theatre, Omaha Community Playhouse

An Olivier Award-winning play of historical fiction, The Mountaintop imagines the final night in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After giving his speech, “The Mountaintop,” Dr. King returns to his room at the Lorraine Motel. When a mysterious woman with a secret agenda pays a visit to Dr. King, the resulting confrontation imaginatively explores destiny, legacy and mortality. Showtimes are Thursday – Saturday 7:30 pm, Sunday 2:00 pm. Directed by Denise Chapman.


~Amy Schweid


Our historical connections survive through art, our stories and the trademarks of our identity. Three artists—Sonya Clark, Althea Murphy-Price and Nontsikelelo Mutiti— emphasize this generational connection with Salon Time, an exhibition that examines and celebrates the ritual time and material culture surrounding Black women’s hair care and its place in historical narrative at the Union for Contemporary Art. By highlighting repetitive and ritualized processes in their photography, printmaking and performance, Clark and Murphy-Price link Black female identity with the rituals and expectations of hair care and its impact on them personally and politically. Mutiti’s graphic design examines a history of braiding as a communication tool that has crossed borders and generations, offering an evolving code that links to present digital language. Salon Time opens Friday, May 4 with a reception from 6-9pm and runs through June 30 at the Union for Contemporary Art, 2423 North 24th Street. Included in the run are a gallery talk on Saturday, May 5 at 2pm and a performance of Sonya Clark’s “Translations” on Saturday, June 23 from 1-4pm. ~Melinda Kozel

May 4 -June 28

‘Beachcombers’ Michael Phipps Gallery (215 S 15th St)

The Omaha Public Library’s Michael Phipps Gallery and the gallery’s new curator,

Victoria Hoyt, present a two-person exhibit by artists Erin Blayney and Kimberly Glass. Both artists use a spontaneous and intuitive process, applying shape and line instinctually, resulting in mostly abstract, gestural works of colorful playfulness and expressive emotion. Figurative allusions hint at forms, occasionally subtle and sometimes bolder. “The shared spontaneity of these artists has led to a light-filled, energetic collection of people, objects and narratives that seem to slip into new forms as they’re gazed upon,” Curator Hoyt said. Beachcombers opens with a reception May 4th, from 4-6 p.m. with a brief talk with the artists at 5 p.m. Always free and open to the public, the show continues through June 28th. The Michael Phipps Gallery is located in the South East corner of first floor of the W. Dale Clark Library at 215 S. 15th Street. ~Kent Behrens

May 5

Cinco De Mayo Festival South Omaha

Parade starts at 10 a.m. traveling South 24th between D Street and L Street. Also enjoy vendors, rides, music and food all day long!

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The 2018 Featured Illustrator is Omaha-native Grace Gaard. Gaard is a naturalist at Fontenelle Forest where she educates people of all ages about the great outdoors. She works with a variety of graphite, oil pastel, watercolor and acrylics, often painting landscapes,

WORLD MUSIC PAVILION SCHEDULE OSAF presents 15 free concerts on the Luigi Waites Main Stage with performances from local, regional and national musicians. Those of age can also enjoy an ice-cold beverage from a large selection of beer, wine,


12 pm Omaha Musicians’ Association Jazz All-Stars – Featuring Steve Thornburg and Mary O’Keefe – Bassist Mark Luebbe and Dan Cerveny on the keyboard join couple Thornburg and O’Keefe for a special performance. 3:30 pm Jocelyn – Omaha-native, singer-songwriter and Omaha Entertainment Awards Best Pop Artist performs unique modern pop music. 5 pm The Bishops - Two-time winner as best Ethnic/World band in the Omaha Entertainment Awards, this seven-piece-band of ska/ rocksteady/reggae veterans performs rump-shaking Islandinfluenced jams. 7 pm Elektric Voodoo - Blending afrobeat, Latin, psych, jazz, blues and other influences into its own unique genre of, “World Beat Rock & Roll.” 9 pm OSAF After Dark – Featuring DJ Kethro and Linear Symmetry – Omaha’s own Kethro brings his original sounds in a collaboration with Linear Symmetry in a sonic journey by fusing elements of trap, funk, punching bass and whirling melodies.


11 am

Ro Hempel – Singer-songwriter hailing from the heart of the Midwest, Hempel is sure to keep you entertained with his positive, good-vibe music of original songs. 12:30 pm Domestic Blend – Genre-bending six-person group that produces feel-good Soul Pop, dripping with elements of Hip-Hop and Blues to create a unique musical experience. 2 pm Luigi Inc. – Five-piece jazz combo located in Omaha and founded by the late jazz legend Luigi Waites, Luigi Inc. keeps Waites’ sound alive with saxophonist Curt McKean, guitarist Jeff Scheffler, bassist Steve Gomez, drummer Steve Knight and trumpeter Doyle Tipler. 3:30 pm Elle Casazza – Diversifying the pop scene with her own refreshing and authentic blend of jazz, soul, funk and pop rhythms that are seamlessly crafted into her songs accompanied by commanding vocals and defying songwriting. 5 pm Jessica Meuse – Wowing audiences since the age of 10, Meuse is a country-rock singer-songwriter whose talents placed her as a Top 4 Finalist on American Idol Season 13. 7 pm The Wesley Pruitt Band - Dynamic force that enjoys and thrives on performing original songs, mixed with cover songs and honky-tonk songs with a twist. 9 pm The Eric Hughes Band - Delighting listeners with original Memphis music, witty lyrics and tough grooves that are both entertaining and authentic, Hughes and company have been belting out their fun and rowdy blues since 2001.


11 am

Flamenco Omaha – With dancers ranging from four to 40, Flamenco Omaha is the only dance group in Omaha that studies and performs Flamenco- a Spanish art form made up of guitar playing, song and dance. 12:30 pm Esencia Latina Band – With contagious Salsa music, the group is comprised of 13 professional Nebraska musicians 44T H A N N UA L O MA H A S U M M E R A R T S F E S T I VA L

CENTURYLINK ARTISTS’ MARKET Browse and buy original artwork created by 135 juried artists from across the country. Whether you need the perfect painting for over your couch, want to treat yourself to a unique pair of earrings or maybe even commission a picture of your beloved pet, you will find just what you are looking for (or didn’t know you needed!) in the CenturyLink Artists’ Market. Browse before you buy! Visit the OSAF website to preview all artists and learn more about their craft.


One of the top jugglers in the world, Malcolm combines his skills as an extremely funny stand-up with his awe-inspiring juggling to create an awardwinning show that’s fun for everyone.



Omaha Summer Arts Festival is proud to announce its first-ever OSAF After Dark. Featuring an energetic musical experience with DJ Kethro and Linear Symmetry, After Dark brings an electrifying local set to the stage. Join us under the big-top tent Friday at

JUNE 8-10


Entertaining audiences around the world with his awardwinning, off-beat comedy magic show, Magic Brian incorporates the old with the new adding his own unique, humorous and outrageous twist to street theater.






Friday: 11 am – 8 pm Saturday: 10 am – 8 pm NEW Sunday: 10 am – 4 pm


Friday: 12 – 11 pm Saturday: 11 am – 11 pm Sunday: 11 am – 4 pm


Friday: 11 am – 9 pm Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm Sunday: 10 am – 4 pm


Friday: 11 am – 6 pm Saturday: 11 am – 6 pm Sunday: 1 – 3:30 pm


Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm Sunday: 10 am – 4 pm

DIY CRAFTS Be an artist for a day and walk away with your own handmade art! Join folks from The Makery for quick, fail-proof crafts that take less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Visit the OSAF website for a


Open Saturday and Sunday of the Festival, the T-Mobile Children’s Fair is the creative headquarters for kids of all ages. Complete with an exclusive kids-only art gallery with handmade professional art priced at just $3-5, crafts and activities from local non-profit organizations and businesses, a stage with back-to-back family entertainment and, new this year, Kids Karaoke! Catch a special show by national performer Bill Robison, a physical comedian who uses his rubber-like face, elastic body and limitless energy to transport


• Balloon Soirée • City Sprouts (Saturday only) • The Durham Museum • El Museo Latino • First National Bank • Mangelsen’s • Nebraska Mineral and Gem Club (Saturday only) • Omaha Community Playhouse • Omaha Symphony (Saturday only) • Pea-Pod Face-Painting • Target

We couldn’t put on Omaha’s favorite festival without the help of our volunteers! If you are looking for a fun way to get involved and support the arts in downtown Omaha, we are always looking for energetic, dedicated people to act as local ambassadors. Volunteers receive a t-shirt, free meal and a lifetime of memories. Go to

Gallery One, presented by First National Bank, returns to support four new and budding local artists who have had limited or


Saturday, June 9 10:00 am Vertigo (presented by Blues Ed) 11:00 am Comedian Bill Robison 12:00 pm Omaha Street Percussion 1:00 pm OSAF Kids Karaoke 2:00 pm School of Rock 3:00 pm Comedian Bill Robison 4:00 pm OSAF Kids Karaoke 5:00 pm Musical Kids Sunday, June 10 10:00 am Kids on the Block Puppet Show 11:00 am Comedian Bill Robison 12:00 pm OSAF Kids Karaoke 1:00 pm School of Rock 2:00 pm OSAF Kids Karaoke 3:00 pm Comedian Bill Robison


Open to artist co-operatives, galleries and organizations, ArtSeen showcases local talent to compliment the regional and national visual artists found in the CenturyLink Artists’ Market. Featuring two new participants this year, the following organizations will be on-site all weekend with artist members’ art for sale, live demonstrations and a variety of hands-on activities: • Benson First Fridays • Blacksmith Shop Omaha • Gotta Have Arts – Gotta Be Me and Why Arts • Old Market Artists Co-op • Passageway Gallery

Featuring more than 300 pieces of artwork created by metro area students in grades six through 12, this Exhibition provides a showcase for emerging artists to express themselves. Hosted by the W. Dale Clark Library, this exhibit is one of the Festival’s lesser known gems - don’t miss it! New this year, come watch on Saturday as teams of high school students work on mini-murals on 14th Street. The finished murals will be on display so you can vote for your

PARKING The Festival takes place in a busy downtown area and reserved parking is not available; however, there are many parking areas nearby, including a limited number of spaces on the street and now, with the Park Omaha App, paying for a metered spot is easier than ever. Visit our website for an exclusive promo code to save on your parking session! Find the Omaha Metro bus details at Accessible parking spots are available near the Union Pacific Building (1400 Dodge Street), on 15th Street between Farnam and Douglas and in most area parking garages. SUMMERARTS.ORG

JUNE 8-10

TASTEFEST TasteFest offers a wide variety of mouth-watering entrees, sides, beverages and sweets! From hot & spicy gyros to gelato, chicken curry to street tacos and even delicious homemade potato chips- there’s something to satisfy all cravings! • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

B & B Classic Dogs Boki Gelato and Grill Curry Hut Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade Hawaiian Shaved Ice Julio’s Tex-Mex Kettlecorn Confections Mediterranean Corner Grill Old World Almonds Pacific Rim Noodles The Parthenon Greek Grill RoRo’s Funnel Cakes Shucks Fish House







SUPPORTED BY Mammel Foundation


JUNE 8-10


May 5

Please join AIGA NE for a 4-part professional development lunch series focused on recognizing unconscious bias and providing tools to make conscious changes. Explore how biases are created and reinforced by environments and experiences, and can affect perceptions, decisions, and interactions.


EP Release

Reverb Lounge

Bada$$’s Pro Era collective, Flatbush Zombies have always aligned themselves more with that hard-hitting Brooklyn scene than Harlem’s trap-influenced ASAP Mob and their cohorts. And even with other Brooklyn acts to identify with, the Zombies have carved a lane all their own, blending trunk-shaking bass and atmospheric accents with lyrical reflections on superficiality and spirituality. Perhaps it’s the trio’s extensive experimentation with psychedelic drugs that has put them on this path, but the Zombies’ output is still accessible and energetic enough for any type of hip-hop head to appreciate.

It doesn’t seem like that long ago when Magu, aka Dave McInnis, was playing solo sets with just his keyboard in his Omaha house venue’s basement. The bones of fully fledged indie pop songs were present in those basement shows, but now with a full band, McInnis is dropping his debut EP Change of Heart this month at Reverb Lounge. The EP’s lead single and opening track, “Julianne,” builds from an opening ragtime piano rhythm to chorus-laden guitar chords and a rollicking drum rhythm. But it’s the song’s lyrics — telling the story of a relationship’s consensual ending as the narrator grows to regret his decision more and more — that promise an emotional rollercoaster in the rest of the EP. Change of Heart comes out May 5 at Reverb Lounge with openers Bound, Ivory James and the return of The Way Out. Tickets are $5. ~Sam Crisler

Flatbush Zombies’ latest LP Vacation in Hell is ambitious, stretching 19 tracks and nearly 80 minutes, but with an array of features — like Jadakiss, Denzel Curry and a surprisingly tasteful Portugal. The Man appearance — and countless grooves and vocal deliveries, not once does the album grow tiresome. The band hits Omaha this month with Brooklyn rappers and Pro Era members Nyck Caution (also featured on Vacation in Hell) and Kirk Knight. Tickets are $24, and more info is available at ~Sam Crisler

May 8

Busting Bias Lunch and Learn Big Mama’s Kitchen 3223 N 45th St

This series is for all creatives, managers, owners, teachers, basically anyone who works with others. It is open to the public with tickets available via their Facebook event page. For more info or special requests contact ~JoAnna LeFlore

May 10th @ 7:30pm

Jessica Lang Dance

Orpheum Theater 409 S 16th St

Sokol Auditorium Coming out of Brooklyn along with New York rap acts like The Underachievers and Joey

The Society was founded in 2011 comprised of active artists ranging from successful professionals to those just beginning their disciplined pursuit into the realm of painting and drawing. Over forty-five artists were chosen representing nine states. From their Mission Statement: “The Society allows those who work in Impressionism to paint and exhibit together and is one of the few organizations in the Midwest that embraces the method of painting en plein air, a method the Impressionists are able to call their own.” The MVIS 7th Annual Juried Art Show opens with a reception Friday, May 11th, from 7- 9:30PM. Free and one to the public, the show continues through June 30th. Gallery 1516 is located at 1516 Leavenworth Street, in downtown Omaha. Further information is at, and


~Kent Behrens Witness the spellbinding beauty of New York City’s Jessica Lang Dance – one of the most exciting companies in today’s dance scene. Hailed as a “master of visual composition,” choreographer Jessica Lang blends modern design elements and classical ballet to create emotionally moving performances.

May 15

Her work, which includes elements of ballet and modern dance, has been called “sophisticated and intelligent” (Los Angeles Times) and “moving and masterful” (Chicago Sun-Times), and she is praised for her inventiveness, artistry and emotionally spellbinding choreography. ~Amy Schweid

May 7

Flatbush Zombies

The Missouri Valley Impressionist Society will exhibit its 7th Annual Juried Art Show at Omaha’s Gallery 1516, opening May 11, from 7-9:30 p.m. This year’s juror is Omaha artist Stephen Cornelius Roberts.

May 11

‘En Plein Air’

Visit to find out where your local polling place is!


Gallery 1516


Primary Elections


MAY 2018


May 15

A Perfect Circle Baxter Arena

As Tool fans stand by for a longawaited album announcement, frontman Maynard James Keenan is hitting the road with his supergroup side-project A Perfect Circle. After a hiatus from 2004-2010, the band’s first album since reuniting, Eat the Elephant, dropped in April. True to A Perfect Circle’s form, the album leans on Keenan’s transformative vocals, erupting from fragile crooning to authoritative growls on tracks like “The Doomed,” as he scornfully laments a society in which sinners are celebrated (a likely jab at the Trump Administration). As always, the instrumentals are dense, with xylophones and floating synths dancing through the tracklist and roaring guitars coming in for the climaxes. The band stops in Omaha this month, and tickets range from $39-$79.

cord label execs as a potential “next Nirvana.” In retrospect, that was a pipe dream formed from the music industry’s rush to sign whatever grunge-leaning alt rock band they could find. Helmet certainly fit the grunge mold, but there was not an ounce of commercial viability in the band. Despite never reaching Nirvana-level mainstream success, Helmet made a niche for themselves in underground hard rock, with albums like Meantime and Betty charting on the Billboard 200 while still earning the band punk cred for those albums’ raw guitar mixes and gruff vocals. The band went on hiatus in 1998, but they’ve released four albums since reuniting in 2004, the most recent being 2016’s Dead to the World. The drop-tuned guitars are heavy as ever and the groove metal rhythms are still there, and with frontman Page Hamilton opting for clean vocals throughout, Dead to the World may actually be the most commercial Helmet’s ever sounded. The band stops at The Waiting Room this month with fellow ‘90s-rooted groove metal band Prong, and tickets for the show are $20. ~Sam Crisler

May 17 - June 17

The City in the City in the City Bluebarn Theatre

(past recipient of the Woodward/Newman Drama Award), is a poetically written piece in the vein of dark comedy and drama with a small dose of mystery. Capodicasa’s creative storytelling of two women’s adventure in the city is mischievously engaging while dealing with heavier themes of loss and abandonment, he manages to make it simultaneously funny and sad. As the story goes, Tess’s mother dies just before they are supposed to leave for the ancient city-state of Mastavia to retrieve a package. Unwilling to give up the mission, Tess posts an ad for a substitute traveling companion with the same name as her mother, and meets a mysterious woman eager to escape her life. This unlikely duo sets off on an adventure to a strange city of doubles, checkpoints, mystifying bureaucracy, ancient graves, and a hidden world neither of them expected to encounter. Two actors play dozens of roles in this Great Plains Theatre Conference Pick. Tickets are available from Performances are 7:30pm on Thursdays to Saturdays, while earlier performances are available Sundays. ~Reader Staff

May 19


nament. But U2 is still the same band that penned “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “With Or Without You” in the ‘80s and transitioned into forward-thinking modern rockers in the 2000s. Whether you’re a U2 die-hard or a fan of just the old stuff, the band’s live sets traverse their entire catalogue, and the band rocks Omaha for the first time since 2005 this month. General admission tickets range from $41-$106, and check for more information. ~Sam Crislera

May 25 - 28

Loessfest 2018

River’s Edge Park, Council Bluffs

Find out about the music lineup at

May 26

Migos Stir Cove

CenturyLink Center

~Sam Crisler

May 15

Helmet and Prong The Waiting Room

In the early ’90s, New York post-hardcore/ alt-metal band Helmet was heralded by re-


MAY 2018

The Bluebarn Theatre is showcasing a new play for the last run of their 29th season. The recursively named play, The City in the City in the City, by playwright Matthew Capodicasa



It’s easy to write off U2 these days as that band that forced every iTunes user to listen to their 2014 record Songs of Innocence (which was mostly panned by critics aside from a generous five-star Rolling Stone review) and for their constant promotional appearances during the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tour-

It’s not really an exaggeration to say Atlanta hip-hop trio Migos have taken over the rap game since their track “Bad and Boujee” topped the Billboard Hot 100 and became a near-cultural phenomenon in 2016. Their heavy-hitting style, aided by Metro Boomin’s bass-heavy instrumentals, has become the standard in trap-rap, earning them a pair of Grammy nominations and effectively knocking Future off his throne at the top of the Atlanta rap scene. Their second LP, Culture, debuted at the top of the Billboard 200, but The Migos’ rise hasn’t been without contro-

versy, as member Offset came under scrutiny earlier this year after he spit seemingly homophobic lyrics (“I do not vibe with queers”) on a track with Atlanta rapper YFN. The group has also faced its fair share of legal problems in the past few years. Either way, such issues haven’t slowed the trio down, as their latest full-length, Culture II, sold even more records in its first week than its predecessor. They play Harrah’s Stir Cove in Council Bluffs this month, and tickets are $49.


~Sam Crisler

May 24 -27

Omaha Improv Fest


Kim Carnes

The Backline, The Bourbon Saloon, Kaneko


Improvisers from around the world gathering for a huge weekend of outstanding shows, workshops and community activities. Various well known improvisers will be performing, and offering workshops, such as Kevin McDonald (Kids in the Hall), Mary Holland (Veep, Comedy Bang Bang), 3Peat (iO Chicago), Seth Morris (The League, The Good Place), and Omaha Locals The Weisenheimers. Each show is only $5 and packed full of amazing comedians. ~Amy Schweid

May 29, May 31, June 1


Multiple Locations: Bluebarn Theatre, The Venue at Highlander, 40th St Theater The 13th Annual Great Plains Theater Conference will take place at the end of May. The PlayFest is a community performance festival held on selected evenings during the conference in various locations across Omaha. PlayFest examines how theatre is produced, its connection to society, and what new designs are possible. The goal is to paint a diverse and vibrant portrait of the city, create a chance for friends and neighbors to interact, and be a catalyst for a dialogue within the community about the stories that affect our lives.








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MAY 2018


IRREGULAR ART BEAT ‘beginning.break.rapid’ exhibit at Bemis measures its own historical murmurs B Y J A N E T L . FA R B E R





MAY 2018


hen looking at an artist’s work for the first time, it’s only natural to try to place it in the context of something familiar in order to connect with it. “It’s Rembrandtesque.” “How positively Picasso.” “It riffs on Warhol.” You get the idea. The study of art history is in many ways built on such links. It has generally described a narrative of art by understanding how the artist mixed together varied temporal, discursive, cultural and personal ingredients into the recipe of individual expression. Naturally, we prefer our narrative to be clean and linear, moving neatly from point A to point B. Though history is seldom that orderly. Looking at the formalist works of established artists Kenji Fujita and Barbara Takenaga, on view in their exhibit beginning.break.rapid through June 2 at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, there are several artistic legacies to trace. Sculptor Fujita displays a distinctly Modernist inheritance from Cubism and Constructivism through to Assemblage, Neo-Geo and Conceptual art. Painter Takenaga’s lineage speaks through a mélange of decorative abstraction, Op Art and psychedelia.



This list may feel notably Western, conforming to the story of European influences on American art. And why not? Fujita is a native New Yorker, who studied at Bennington College and Queens College, and teaches in Manhattan at Bard and the School of Visual Arts. Takenaga is a Cornhusker, born in North Platte, who studied in Colorado but quickly migrated east; she divides her time between teaching at Williams College and her NYC studio. Yet it doesn’t take a detective to unearth the fact that each might have Japanese heritage. In fact, Fujita is second generation American; Takenaga, third. The question posed by exhibition curator Sheila Pepe is where does this genomic thread of inheritance fit in the narrative, in the aesthetic, in the mark-making of artists who themselves may not be conscious of its influence? And, how might the viewer discern this? To provoke this consideration, Pepe introduces the concept of Jo-hakyu, a centuries old Japanese aesthetic that may be loosely translated as beginning-break-rapid. Originally applied to forms of motion, it has applications in music, martial arts and poetry.

Rather than a beginning-middle-end structure, play of pattern—most often dots—takes you into Pepe suggests that perhaps these artists’ works worlds at both cellular and cosmic levels. are embedded with the subconscious rhythms of Take, for instance, her home state homage, Jo-ha-kyu: gradual start, rapid acceleration to a “Nebraska II”. Composed of mostly white dotted peak, pause, followed by another acceleration orthogonals against a deep blue background, cycle, and so on until they consider their pieces the lines merge along a low, glowing horizon completed. line. After this long Nebraska winter, it conjures Fujita’s built-out sculptural reliefs seem night driving in a plains snowstorm. With its most likely to embody this creative approach, blinding shower of light, it also seems witness to constructed through rhythms of creation and a celestial event; it contains the dramatic tension response in the studio. On view at Bemis are of an event horizon or pulsing energy force field. two series of works—wall-mounted wooden Similarly, “Overhead” evokes a hypnotic, assemblages of cut and painted geometric psychedelic red sky at night, with white dots shapes and colorful pillow-like forms that rest on shimmering in a scarlet canopy; cloudlike fractal the floor. forms are made by concentric rings of bright Here is an artist who embraces both high colors. Takenaga’s composition is all about the and low. His materials are not precious: rough surface, yet forms float in an indeterminate space. wood, plywood, cardboard, latex paint, calcium “C-Chan” contains an eddy of beaded chains carbonate, bubble wrap, etc.: what the artist of yellow and orange radiating from a spiral core. has essentially called more Michael’s than Dick Contrasted against a black background, they offer Blick. The sculptures he crafts from these ordinary no clue as to their macro or micro inspirations, materials are nonetheless airy, delicate and but could just as easily be evoking something balanced. infinitesimally small or galactically huge. Consider Fujita’s “Accumulation #6”. It is a Takenaga often surrounds her dots with a ring wall-hung sculpture that is almost cubic (24 x of translucent color, giving them an aura and the 27 x 23 inches) composed of an irregular lattice subtle suggestion that they represent orbs rather fashioned from casually cut and assembled than simple flat circular patterns. Combined with wooden geometric shapes. Some elements are the whorling motion of the strands in “C-Chan”, painted, either red, pink or chalky white; others she creates a transfixing effect of a floating mat. are left bare. Do her works reflect or embody Jo-ha-kyu? Some wood edges are rough while others are Takenaga describes her process as one beginning smooth. Holes punctuate the shapes; some filled with freely rendered marks, then moving toward with screws while others are left open. Shadow a deliberate and controlled exposition. Her play beneath the work creates a marvelously acknowledged inspirations are quite diverse: she sinuous drawing on the wall and its sculptural has studied Japanese woodblock prints, Tantric framework plays differently from every angle. mandalas, diagrammatic Eastern art, patterning It is a solid representative of the entire and design in Western art. “Accumulation” series in the gallery. Clearly, She is fascinated by images from the Hubble Fujita revels in formal play of color, shape, plane Space Telescope and electron microscopy. One and space, an inheritance recalling a century of might also see Peter Max, Yayoi Kusama and geometric abstraction from Wassily Kandinsky to Aboriginal Dreamings somewhere in the helix of Al Held. her aesthetic DNA. It has a kinship with the mechanicallybeginning.break.rapid. then, is a considerable applied abstraction of Constructivism, the stretch conceptually; even Pepe admits this. It’s a baroque movement of a Frank Stella relief, the point well taken, as we continue to understand extravagance of 1980s shaped paintings. that the slippery fabric of “heritage” is much Also on view are a trio of “Terrain” sculptures, richer and denser than we might have imagined. in which Fujita has repurposed the cutaway bits But perhaps it’s asking too much to ascribe and pieces from his constructions. Like overfilled intuitive process in the studio to a particular garbage bags, they are lumpy and irregular, and cultural aesthetic. Or decode the entire artistic with their colorful array of circles at the top, appear genome. In the end, whether there are answers to to be filled with the aftermath of a great party. this curatorial proposition does not compromise In Fujita’s placement of elements, one choice the beauty of the exhibition, whose works by builds on another. Is this his subconscious Jo-ha- Fujita and Takenaga delight with formal play. kyu at work, or perhaps simply the rhythm of beginning.break.rapid: Kenji Fujita & Barbara artistic process? Is the choice of humble materials, Takenaga runs through June 2 at the Bemis Center the combined order/disorder, and irregularity of for Contemporary Arts at 724 S. 12th Street in forms more Zen or Richard Tuttle? the Old Market. Public hours are WednesdayWhere Fujita works hard to make his art feel Saturday from 11am-5pm; on Thursdays, the casually determined, Takenaga creates acrylic galleries are open until 9pm. Admission is free. paintings that are decidedly precise, elegant For more information, call 402/341-7130 or and stylized. They are optically vibrant, and the visit



MAY 2018


NORTH OMAHA RUPTURE At center of PlayFest drama





MAY 2018



n her original one-act More Than Neighbors, playwright Denise Chapman examines a four-decades old rupture to Omaha’s AfricanAmerican community still felt today. North Freeway construction gouged Omaha’s Near North Side in the 1970s-1980s. Residents got displaced, homes and businesses razed, tight-knit neighborhoods separated. The concrete swath further depopulated and drained the life of a district already reeling from riots and the loss of meatpacking-railroading jobs. The disruptive freeway has remained both a tangible and figurative barrier to community continuity ever since. Chapman’s socially-tinged piece about the changed nature of community makes its world premiere Thursday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Great Plains Theatre Conference’s PlayFest. The site of the performance, The Venue at The Highlander, 2112 North 30th Street, carries symbolic weight. The organization behind the purpose-built Highlander Village is 75 North. The nonprofit is named for U.S. Highway 75, whose North Freeway portion severed the area. The nonprofit’s mixed-use development overlooks it and is meant to restore the sense of community lost when the freeway went in. The North Freeway and other Urban Renewal projects forced upon American inner cities only further isolated already marginalized communities. “Historically, in city after city, you see the trend of civil unrest, red lining, white flight, ghettoizing of areas and freeway projects cutting right through the heart of these communities,” Chapman said. Such transportation projects, she said, rammed through “disenfranchised neighborhoods lacking the political power and dollars” to halt or reroute roads in the face of federal-state power land grabs that effectively said, “We’re just going to move you out of the way.” By designating the target areas “blighted” and promoting public good and economic development, eminent domain was used to clear the way.



“You had to get out,” said Chapman, adding, “I talked to some people who weren’t given adequate time to pack all their belongings. They had to leave behind a lot of things.” In at least one case, she was told an excavation crew ripped out an interior staircase of a home still occupied to force removal-compliance. With each succeeding hit taken by North O, things were never the same again “There was a shift of how we understand community as each of those things happened,” she said. “With the North Freeway, there was a physical separation. What happens when someone literally tears down your house and puts a freeway in the middle of a neighborhood and people who once had a physical connection no longer do? What does that do to the definition of community? It feels like it tears it apart. “That’s really what the play explores.” Dramatizing this where it all went down only adds to the intense feelings around it. “As I learned about what 75 North was doing at the Highlander it just made perfect sense to do the play there. To share a story in a place working to revitalize and redefine community is really special. It’s the only way this work really works.” Neighbors features an Omaha cast of veterans and newcomers directed by Chicagoan Carla Stillwell. The African-American diaspora drama resonates with Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and August Wilson’s Jitney with its themes of family and community assailed by outside forces but resiliently holding on. Three generations of family are at the heart of Chapman’s play, whose characters’ experiences are informed by stories she heard from individuals personally impacted by the freeway’s violent imposition. continued on page 30 y


MAY 2018




y continued on page 28 Faithful Miss Essie keeps family and community together with love and food. Her bitter middleclass daughter Thelma, who left The Hood, now opposes her own daughter Alexandra, who’s eager to assert her blackness, moving there. David, raised by Essie as “claimed family,” and his buddy Teddy are conflicted about toiling on the freeway. David’s aspirational wife, Mae, is expecting. Through it all – love, loss, hope, opportunity, despair, dislocation and reunion – family and home endure. “I think it really goes back to black people in America coming out of slavery, which should have destroyed them, but it didn’t,” Chapman said. “Through our taking care of each other and understanding of community and coming together we continue to survive. We just keep on living. There are ups and downs in our community but at the end of the day we keep redefining community hopefully in positive ways.” “What makes Denise’s story so warm and beautiful is that it does end with hope,” director Carla Stillwell said. Past and present commingle in the nonlinear narrative. “One of the brilliant things about her piece is that memory works in the play in the way it works


MAY 2018

in life by triggering emotions. To get the audience to experience those feelings with the characters is my goal.” Feelings run deep at PlayFest’s Neighborhood Tapestries series, which alternates productions about North and South Omaha. “The response from the audience is unlike any response you see at just kind of a standard theater production,” GPTC producing artistic director Kevin Lawler said, “because people are seeing their lives or their community’s lives up on stage. It’s very powerful and I don’t expect anything different this time.” Neighbors is Chapman’s latest North O work after 2016’s Northside Carnation about the late community matriarch, Omaha Star publisher Mildred Brown. That earlier play is set in the hours before the 1969 riot that undid North 24th Street. Just as Northside found a home close to Brown and her community at the Elk’s Lodge, Neighbors unfolds where bittersweet events are still fresh in people’s minds. “The placement of the performance at the Highlander becomes so important,” said Chapman, “because it helps to strengthen that message that we as a community are more and greater than the sum of the travesties and the tragedies. “Within the middle of all the chaos there are still flowers growing and a whole new community



blossoming right there on 30th street in a place by your presence or curated for your tourist that used to not be a great place – partly because experience,” he said. they put a freeway in the middle of it.” In the City gets its world premiere at the Blue Chapman sees clear resonance between what Barn Theatre on Tuesday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m. the characters in her play do and what 75 North Producing artistic director Susan Clement-Toberer is doing “to develop the concept of community said the piece is “a perfect engine” for the holistically.” theater’s season-long theme of “connect” because “It’s housing, food, education and work of its own exploration of human connections.” opportunities and community spaces for people She also appreciates the open-ended nature of to come together block by block. It’s really the script. “It’s evocative and compelling without exciting to be a part of that.” being overly prescriptive. The play can be done ChapMan is sure that Neighbors will evoke in as many ways as there are cities and we are memories the same way Northside did. thrilled to bring it to life for the first time.” “For some folks it was like coming home and You Want to Love Strangers: An Evening sharing their stories.” in Letters, Lullabies, Essays and Clear Soup Additional PlayFest shows feature a full-stage celebrates what its director Amy Lane calls Ruhl’s production of previous GPTC Playlab favorite In “poetic, magical, lush” playwriting. “Her plays the City in the City in the City by guest playwright are often like stepping into a fairytale where the Matthew Capodicasa and a “homage collage” unexpected can and does happen. Her work to the work of this year’s honored playwright, is filled with theatre magic, a childlike sense of Sarah Ruhl, a MacArthur Fellowship recipient. wonder, playfulness, mystery. We’ve put together Two of Ruhl’s plays have been finalists for the a short collage that includes monologues, scenes Pulitzer Prize. and songs from some of her best known works.” Capodicasa uses a couple’s visit to the mythical The Ruhl tribute will be staged at the 40th city-state of Mastavia as the prism for exploring Street Theatre on Friday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m. what we take from a place. All PlayFest performances are free. For details “It’s about how when you’re traveling, you and other festival info, visit inevitably experience the place through the lens of the people you’re with and how that place is Read more of Leo Adam Biga’s work at actually this other version of itself – one altered

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MAY 2018



MAY 2018



The summer music scene is shaping up to be a great one with old and new favorites, club shows and the start of a hot outdoor concert season.



Jimmie’s band Tilt-A-Whirl will perform at Chrome Lounge. Vaughan is a stellar live performer with a top-flight band. This will be a great show. Hoodoo favorite Dave Alvin is releasing a new CD that is a collaborative project with Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Titled Downey to Lubbock (Yep Roc) the disc will drop June 1. See The two will hit the road this summer for tour dates that include a Sunday Roadhouse show at Waiting Room Sunday, Sept. 2, 5 p.m. Advance tickets are available now at

HOODOO focuses on blues, roots, Americana and occasional other music styles with an emphasis on live music performances. Hoodoo columnist B.J. Huchtemann is a senior contributing writer and veteran music journalist who received the Blues Foundation’s 2015 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Journalism. Follow her blog at and on



he BSO Presents 6 p.m. Thursday shows at Chrome Lounge continue with the versatile and highly entertaining guitar-driven sounds of Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch Thursday, May 3. Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers raise the roof Thursday, May 10. The New Orleans-based artist is following in the family tradition as a Zydeco player. He’s a 2018 Grammy nominee and has received multiple “Best” awards from NOLA’s Off Beat Magazine. The phenomenal Seth Walker Band is back Thursday, May 17, with a show that mixes stellar musicianship with dance-floor filling rhythms embracing jump-blues, Americana and New Orleans styles. Dynamic east Coast blues-rock guitarist Dennis Jones is up Thursday, May, 24. Thursday shows are 6-9 p.m. Chrome Lounge is located at 8552 Park Dr. in Ralston. Sunday, May 27, the Blues Society of Omaha hosts legendary soulrock band The Cate Brothers for a party under the big tent at the River City Star. Also on the bill are rockin’ Memphis-based harmonica player and singer-songwriter Brandon Santini and his great band at 5 p.m. BluesEd bands will kick the day off starting at 3:30. Admission is See for details, admission cost for the Cate Brothers show and information on all these shows plus a curated list of blues events in the metro. Davina Shines Fans of jump, swing and New Orleans style music have two chances to catch critically acclaimed audience favorites Davina &The Vagabonds. This band swings and sizzles with plenty of soul and sass as their keyboard and horn-driven show delivers a “new spin on an old sound.” They play two back-to-back shows at The 1200 Club at Holland Performing Arts Center Thursday, May 10, 7:30 p.m. and Friday, May 11, 8 p.m. See for advance tickets. Early Warnings A couple of big shows are on the horizon you might want to start planning for now. This is the 20th Anniversary year for the Blues Society of Omaha. The local non-profit has some activities planned throughout the year to celebrate including the Thursday, July 19, show just announced with Austin blues legend Jimmie Vaughan. Stevie’s big brother and

Kris Lager Band Kris Lager Band’s annual May Hullabacruises on the River City Star are Friday and Saturday, May 11 and 12. May 12 is already sold out, check out to purchase tickets for Friday, May 11, while they last. KLB will also perform a special acoustic show at Reverb Lounge Sunday, May 20, 7:30 p.m. The Reverb show is the official Omaha celebration for the band’s latest disc, Love Songs & Life Lines. The disc had its release April 24. Waiting Room & Reverb The unclassifiable coolness that is Southern Culture on the Skids (SCOTS) takes over Reverb Lounge Tuesday, May 22. The band mixes southern-fried rock, rockabilly and roots music with some highhaired retro antics. I once got hit by a piece of fried chicken being thrown from the stage at a SCOTS show. Wagon Blasters open. The Travelling Mercies drop a new recording Friday, May 4, 9 p.m. with a release party at Waiting Room. The Mercies deliver fine original songs performed by a great ensemble of local roots musicians. Jack Hotel also performs. Minnesota-based, excellent acoustic folkblues guitarist Charlie Parr plays Reverb Lounge Tuesday, May 8, 8 p.m. Brad Hoshaw opens. See Justin Townes Earle has a solo show at Waiting Room Friday, May 11, 9 p.m. Hot Notes Sebastian Lane’s First Friday Blues Jam continues at Barley Street Tavern, starting at 9 p.m. May 4. Mitch Towne’s Jazz Organ Trio has a standing gig at Jambo Cat in Dundee, Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. Blue House & The Rent To Own Horns play a free show in Stinson Park at Aksarben Village as part of the park’s summer concert series Saturday, May 19, 7-10 p.m. Hector Anchondo is getting back to work after an emergency gallbladder surgery in April. Catch the Hector Anchondo Band with guests BluesEd band Far & Wide Saturday, May 19, 6 p.m. at Chrome Lounge. Catch Zoo Bar shows including Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys Tuesday, May 8, 6-9 p.m. and Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal with Sidewalk Chalk Saturday, May 12, 9 p.m. Check out all the latest shows on the Zoo calendar at Remarkable singer-songwriter-guitarist and writer Eric Taylor has been covered by friends including Lyle Lovett. Taylor is a mesmerizing storyteller and performer. He brings his talents to the FolkHouse concert series Saturday, May 19, 7:30 p.m. See and visit for details.



MAY 2018


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MAY 2018



he weather still feels like winter at this column’s deadline, but the calendar says it’s festival lineup announcement season. Nebraska’s two largest music fests came through with contenders for their most ambitious slates yet, both revealing full details within a twoday stretch in mid-April. In its 10th year, Maha Music Festival is bigger than ever. With the move to a two-day fest on Aug. 17-18, Maha had some extra real estate to book its most well-rounded lineup yet, and the April 17 announcement capitalized with possibly the festival’s most diverse roster to date and 16 acts total. Power pop titans Weezer, whose 12th LP The Black Album is set for a May release, will headline and close the festival. New York art rock band TV on the Radio headline on Friday night, and, perhaps the trendiest pick on the lineup, Father John Misty, rounds out the top of the bill. Moving down through the undercard, longtime U.K. garage rock two-piece The Kills, art pop duo Tune-Yards, buzzy blues rockers ZZ Ward and Benjamin Booker and folk singersongwriter Hurray for the Riff Raff will stop in Omaha for the festival. The last of the touring bands include R&B songwriter Ravyn Lenae, noise pop project U.S. Girls and Saddle Creek indie rockers Hop Along (a personal favorite). This year’s locals lineup is expanded as well, with five acts total from Omaha and Lincoln on the bill including The Dilla Kids, Mesonjixx, David Nance Band, State Disco and Clarence Tilton. General Admission passes for both days are $90 at print time, but that price will jump to $95 before the festival rolls around. Friday only passes are $35, and Saturday passes run $70. The Big Omaha entrepreneurship conference kicks the newly co-oped events off

on Aug. 16. An hour down the interstate, Lincoln Calling announced its first-round of acts for its 15th edition and first in two years without Hear Nebraska coordinating the festival. Lincoln Calling isn’t missing a step this year, though, booking a lineup filled with big-name indie acts. New York art rock band Parquet Courts, whose sixth LP Wide Awake! drops this month, headlines the festival, marking the first time the band has come to Nebraska. R&B duo Lion Babe, Pennsylvania indie folk project Waxahatchee, Oregon noise pop band Japanese Breakfast and New York rapper Leikeli47 fill out the top of the lineup. Undercard highlights include Montreal post-punk band Ought, El Paso indie pop duo Reyna, Wisconsin pop group Seasaw and locals FREAKABOUT, Universe Contest and former Digital Sex frontman Stephen Sheehan. Supplementing the lineup, Lincoln Calling announced it would host four curated showcases during the festival, produced by Omaha Under the Radar, indie pop band



(402) 341-4000 18+

Twinsmith, Lincoln roots and folk label Sower explodes with more thunderous bass as Conny Records and experimental electronic showman implores of his partner to remember his Plack Blague. sacrifices for her when he’s gone. There’s no Lincoln Calling takes place in downtown distilling the album into a few sentences though Lincoln from Sept. 17-22. Tickets are $35, but that — Don Quixote’s Lance carves an untrodden price will jump to $40. Find full lineup and ticket path in Omaha hip-hop and effectively sets details at a standard for Nebraska rappers for the next As music festival season ramps up, so does year. the number of spring and summer local album Also on the hip-hop spectrum, rapper HAKIM releases, and we’re just getting started. continued his hot streak this month, capitalizing Maha Music Festival artist and Saddle Creek on the success of his January mixtape Young indie rock band Hop Along released the long- Drifter II with the sequel EP Young Drifter II awaited follow-up to their 2015 LP Painted Reloaded, which sports six cloud-rap-influenced Shut, which boasted strong, folk-influenced bangers. That production style borrows from the rock songwriting held together by frontwoman overall zoned-out attitude of the EP’s predecessor, Frances Quinlan’s vivid storytelling and uniquely but the tracks still flaunt some of the densest raspy vocals. The new album, Bark Your Head instrumentals HAKIM has rapped over yet. On Off, Dog, at nine tacks and 42 minutes, sees the a cut like “Chips,” haunting synths panning from band shedding the strictly rock instrumentals ear to ear provide the backbone for the choppedand song structures of past releases for more and-screwed bassline and 808s entering and sonic experimentation, adding in baroque exiting has HAKIM spits. It’s almost hypnotizing and orchestral influences to the band’s new how many samples are intricately mixed in melting pot sound. And despite nods back to each track. And HAKIM’s flows are only getting the band’s freak-folk roots on tracks like “Not stronger. On album opener “Horsepower,” he Abel,” Dog is easily Hop Along’s most polished, raps nearly half a verse without taking a breath, pop-oriented record yet, with dance-pop drum forcing his voice into an ultra-aggressive delivery beats littered throughout and Quinlan rarely he rarely reaches. The track features some accessing her trademark rasp. But the album is legitimately funny bars, too: “I handle beef with the catchiest set of Hop Along tracks yet, while prestige, I could never be vegan.” Each release still sounding forward-thinking. If Hop Along from HAKIM is a step forward in the rapper’s has anything to say about the future of indie constant push for national recognition, so look pop, the dominating fluttering synths and male for future material to place even more emphasis falsetto vocals will be shown the door and rock on experimentation, leading to something truly instrumentation will return to make indie pop unique. “indie” once again. Omaha hip-hop duo M34N STR33T, Want more Nebraska music news? Keep up with composed of beatmaker Haunted Gauntlet local music happenings at and and rapper Conny Franko, dropped its first full- make sure to check out next month’s Backbeat length last month since 2014’s MUTANTS OF Column. OMAHA. Neither artist has been dormant in those four years, though. Franko’s 2016 LP La This column is part of an ongoing collaboration Maga was one of the year’s best regional rap between The Reader and Hear Nebraska, a music albums, and Haunted Gauntlet released a two- journalism and production nonprofit seeking to hour visual album on VHS earlier this year. But engage and cultivate Nebraska’s music scene together, the two are an inventive force who — (and now, a program of new nonprofit umbrella on the new LP, Don Quixote’s Lance — take the Rabble Mill). Want more Nebraska music typical cloud-rap formula of heavy bass and news? Keep up with local music happenings at hi-hats and turn it into abrasive but lyrical hip- and make sure to check out hop tracks. Album opener “Yellow Butterflies” next month’s Backbeat Column. launches as a cloudy stoner-rap track with background oohs and aahs cascading down a wall of boom-bap drums. But the distortion and aggression on Franko’s vocals only hint at the song’s monstrous climax, when an earthshattering bass invades and Franko repeats the refrain: “Still f*** your face and don’t dig the scam. Crab apples suck to eat, so why pick or jam?” Nearly every track is an auditory assault, but it’s never unwarranted. “Mutant Mountain” begins with a sullen guitar line that pervades through the whole song, even when the chorus










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MAY 20184/24/18


11:28 AM

“ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL” Sucks In Defense of Politicizing Film Criticism B Y R YA N S Y R E K


material. Agreeing to a critic’s gig is willingly sitting on the dunk tank swing, smiling while passersby chuck rotten tomatoes at a bullseye hoping to depress you. If you don’t like it, quit, as literally everyone you’ve ever met thinks they can do it better. However, because this issue is centered on politics, it does seem like a good time to at least respond to one of the major refrains repeatedly hummed by people who think I suck.


MAY 2018


ocial media was seemingly invented because writing “eat shit” on a rock you throw at someone’s head has a limited range. Billed as an “online water cooler” and treated like a sketchy freeway underpass, film critics in particular almost never hear from the people who actually agree with their reviews on the Facebooks and the Twitters. Dreams of discourse may dance in our heads, but reality is not an internet-based dialogue unpacking cinematic nuance. Instead, it is criticism of criticism, almost exclusively centered on a takedown or dislike of the person writing the content. To be clear, this is totally fair and comes with the privilege of getting to professionally review



Objectively, I Object to Objectivity Although this is a teensy bit tangential, it should be noted that a full therapist’s notebook worth of people seem to think I’m an arrogant dingus. Dingus? Certainly. Arrogant? I can only promise that nobody questions my critical credibility and ability any harder than I do. I just pray that the perception of aloof egocentrism is only a byproduct of my “reviewer’s paradigm,” which just like “Gangsta’s Paradise” starts in the valley of the shadow of death… Weaned on the wit of Roger Ebert, I grew up feeling like the best of film criticism not only widened a dialogue and helped define art by engaging it but was also, you know, entertaining. Even the ultra-mostest sincerest of reviewers is sheltered under an umbrella of some kind of persona. Nobody is truly themselves operating under a word count. That said, the best of us at least try to deliver educated opinions in a way that’s ideally as fun as possible, filtered through our own genuine, unique lens. I believe that a genuine, unique lens has to include politics. Our politics are our opinions. Our reviews are our opinions. Therefore our reviews are our politics. I SAT on that one. Hilariously, some of the same people who violently argue that well-proved, cold, hard scientific facts are debatable subjects urge critics to quest for some kind of mythical objectivity when reviewing. Those of us tasked with grading and evaluating art have a responsibility to provide an educated, informational assessment, but anyone who says they’re doing so divorced of

personal bias is a duck in a human suit lying to try and get bread. Location, Location, Location Part of the reason angry online dudes—and yes, they’re always dudes—demand objectivity in reviewing is because film criticism frequently appears in newspapers and magazines. It makes sense then why some people mistakenly think the same standards of journalism should apply. Not all parts of a journalistic outlet are the same, and I’m not just talking about whoever The Atlantic hired and fired this week. Of course the publication makes a difference. You can’t get away with the preposterous bullshit I am given the latitude to engage in here at nonalternative news outlets. I once made a joke about Viggo Mortensen having sex with a horse in a film review’s headline. I believe that the World Herald frowns on bestiality puns. However, if you show me enough work by any critic who is being thoughtful, genuine and engaging, I can tell you their view of the world and, thus, their politics. What working for an outlet like this beautiful bastard allows me is the freedom to be more explicit, both in a literal cursing sense and in a tangible political sense. What I’m saying is that not every critic has the ability to nakedly extrapolate their cinematic critiques into meaningful real-world applications. But I do believe that the best reviewers in every medium refuse to shy away from honest ownership of their overall perspective on life itself. To preemptively address the “Arrogant Dingus” contingent: This doesn’t mean that I consider myself among the best reviewers. I just aspire to be like them. I’m a wannabe. This is all a very long way of saying that, to me, engaging art in a meaningful way means not divorcing it from the world in which it is created. I’m not “politicizing my reviews,” I’m just trying to contextualize them as best as I can. Journalism has a responsibility to be objective. As a critic, I have the opposite directive. I’m confident this will all be well-received on social media.

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12:53 PM

Bruce Crawford presents 40 years of…









Friday, May 25th 7:00 p.m. Joslyn Art Museum Witherspoon Hall On the stage-wide screen! Doors open at 6 p.m. 2200 Dodge St. Omaha, NE 68102 Tickets $24.00

On sale NOW at Omaha Hy-Vee grocery stores Limited tickets also available at the door A Benefit for the Nebraska Kidney Association



For more information call 402-932-7200

MAY 2018



MAY 2018



A Quiet Place and the Horror of Parenthood



im from The Office (John Krasinski) would have you believe that his directorial debut, A Quiet Place, is a thrill-laden creature feature that celebrates the limitless love of family, even in the face of impossible terror. A likely story, Jim, if that is your real name (and we know it’s not). In reality, A Quiet Place is a 90-minute demonstration of why children are foul hellbeasts that bring only noise and death, in that order. “Do you like your life?” asks Jim. “Then don’t breed. If you breed, nightmarish monsters who are always there listening to everything will deconstruct literally every aspect of your life.” This beloved theme is embedded in a mostly silent film with a threadbare plot description that somehow still took three writers. Set in the near future, alien-demons with hella teeth, no eyes and go-go-Gadget ears have brought forth extinction. Lee (Krasinksi) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt) try to survive on a farm by bein’ real, real quiet. Except, as mentioned above, they’re filthy infested with kids. The whole film is just one family’s quest to shut the hell up, which is really the timeless tale of all humanity. Aside from the vile, gruesome images of, you know, parenting, the film isn’t “scary” so much as it is tense. It’s basically the same sensation as realizing in the middle of a traffic jam that you very clearly made the wrong gamble in not using the bathroom before you left. Every 2-3 minutes you clench everything clenchable, bracing for something unspeakable to happen. But, like, in a fun way. Less fun is the unclever cleverness that occurs

whenever A Quiet Place thinks bigger. The amply betoothed murder locusts have a wicked cool design, but the logic as to how they wrought the apocalypse is shaky. Looking the other way at endless acres of corn in perfect rows that would have had to be planted quietly by hand is one thing. However, newspaper headlines that show humanity understood the gist of the monsters’ schtick well before civilization went “boink” is combined with a third act reveal that ruins all dystopian plausibility. Disbelief not suspended. But all that really matters is whether the creatures are spooky enough to “demo our gorgons” and whether the thrills are sphincter puckery enough. Check and check. Thematically, it’s only a halfjoke to suggest the film is a cautionary tale about how raising a family is a terrifying, mortalityinducing prospect. In the same way that The Babadook is a meditation on grief, A Quiet Place is a dissertation on how having kids means living in nonstop fear of mortality while begging for a silence that never lasts. That’s definitely not the message that wannabe alpha-male dads who loved Krasinski when he starred in Michael Bay’s Benghazi bedlam movie are gonna take home. They’re going to salivate over the “must defend the family at all costs” and “fathers are not to be questioned, only trusted” tropes that play out like a very special episode of the blissfully canceled Last Man Standing. To be clear, A Quiet Place isn’t necessarily an explicit, purposeful promotion of regressive family dynamics because it can also be (playfully but legitimately) read as a warning against reproduction. In the end, it’s just a slightly overhyped but perfectly taut “haunted house” to visit in the middle of spring.


Total Recall Dundee Theater— Friday, May 25, 2018



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Three stars Synopsis: Monsters that hunt by sound brought about the apocalypse, as one family tries to survive by being very very quiet. It has all the tension of realizing in a traffic jam that you gambled wrong in not using the bathroom before you left. For 90 minutes.



MAY 2018



is a monthly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts. Tim has been writing about Omaha and the local indie music scene for more than two decades. Catch his daily music reporting at, the city’s longest-running blog. Email Tim at


MAY 2018

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK Little Brazil returns with a new album, line-up and record label BY TIM MCMAHAN


ittle Brazil is back with a new album that, in my humble opinion, is their best ever. I write the above without any explanation assuming you and everyone else knows who Little Brazil was, is and will be. Because if you live in Omaha, listen to indie rock and know even a scintilla about the local music scene it’s virtually impossible to not know about the band and its history over the past 14 years. With frontman Landon Hedges and bassist Danny Maxwell at its core, Little Brazil was always in the conversation as the “next big thing” during the mid-2000s when Saddle Creek Records bands were international commodities and Omaha was being heralded as the “New Seattle” by the likes of the New York Times, Rolling Stone and every publication that followed college music. The band hit the ground running in 2004 with its debut LP, You and Me, released by former Omahan Mike Jaworski’s Mt. Fuji Records. It was followed by Tighten the Noose in ‘07, also on Mt. Fuji, and Son in 2009 on Kansas City’s Anodyne Records. The line-up for those last two featured drummer Oliver Morgan and guitarist Greg Edds. In addition to becoming a staple on Omaha stages, Little Brazil toured the country both as an opening act and headliner. What kept people coming back was Little Brazil’s sound — part indie, part emo, part punk and unmistakably Nebraskan. Or as I wrote in my first feature on the band way back in 2004: “What gives Little Brazil a leg up on the plethora of indie competition is Hedges’ love for basic melodies, great guitar lines and his strange, childish warble.” No one sings quite like Landon Hedges, his high croon/wail cuts through the deafening wall of guitar, bass and drums like a 10 million lumen beacon through the densest fog. Little Brazil was always on the edge of breaking through to the next level, but after a year of touring Son, the band hit a wall in 2010 in the form of another band — Desaparecidos. Hedges held a central role in Conor Oberst’s punk-rock side project that re-emerged from a long hiatus with the Concert for Equality. But Desa wasn’t the only reason for Little Brazil’s slowdown. “I moved to San Diego in 2010 to be with my wife,” Hedges said over slices of pizza and beer at Virtuoso Pizzeria in downtown Benson alongside Maxwell and new guitarist Shawn Cox. “I got married and DMax got married the same year. There was a member switch and, yeah, Desa got back together.” At the time, Little Brazil was in the middle of writing its next record with new drummer Matt Bowen and new guitarist Mike Friedman, but when Conor calls, you pick up the phone. Desaparecidos recorded and toured off and on for the next five years. “Little Brazil went from doing five shows a year to two and then one,” Maxwell said. Then in 2015 after Oberst suffered a number of health-related issues, Desaparecidos came to an end. The following January Little Brazil entered ARC Studios with producer Ben Brodin and laid down the tracks for what became Send the Wolves, the new album that comes out June 1 on Max Trax Records (more on that in a minute). The end of the last Desaparecidos tour is the subject of the first single off, “Making a Mess,” that features Oberst once again singing alongside Hedges. “We were sitting in the studio and I texted Conor, ‘You’re missing out on the dubious honor of singing on a Little Brazil



song.’ He knew exactly what song I was talking about because Brodin had told him.” Oberst walked over to the studio (He lives next door) and laid down his vocals. “It was the last song we wrote for the album, it was very special and it was nice that he sang on it,” Hedges said. The two-anda-half-minute song carries the same energy as a Desparecidos song, with opening lines: “It feels like you’re making a mess / It seems that you’re walking away from something / That you don’t want to say or admit to.” It’s not the only song on the album reminiscent of Desaparecidos’ style and energy, but instead of politics, Hedges writes about his life, from meeting his wife (“Wait for You”) to growing up in Benson (the infectious “Motorbike”) to his friendship with Maxwell. “This record is as honest as I’ve been on an album,” Hedges says, “and it makes me nervous to have the lyrics printed on the sleeve.” The lyric sheet is a first for Little Brazil. Another first is releasing the album on vinyl. The label, Max Trax Records ( was the idea of Marty and Frank Maxwell, Danny Maxwell’s brothers. When Frank passed away unexpectedly in the summer of 2016, Marty and Danny launched the label as a tribute to their brother. Today, Max Trax is home to five bands including Little Brazil, with more on the way. With the new record and new label also comes new personnel for Little Brazil. The aforementioned Shawn Cox has replaced Mike Friedman on lead guitar, while See Through Dresses’ drummer Nate Van Fleet has taken over behind the kit for Matt Bowen. The new lineup already is working on the followup to Send the Wolves, with plans to enter the studio soon. Hedges and Maxwell will tell you they never had any allusions of making a living just playing music, and now in their mid-30s, they still don’t. “The motivation is just writing and creating new music with the guys,” Hedges said. “I’ll play music ’til the day I die.” Little Brazil plays with Pro-Magnum and Eric in Outerspace June 1 at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $8, showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to Over The Edge is a monthly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts. Email Tim at




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