Bobcat Goldthwait headlines Crom Comedy Festival; The Good Life submerges in “Diving Bell” music video; See Through Dresses’ Bertuldo appears on Coffee & Riffs; Chelsea Wolfe tonight at Slowdown

Bobcat Goldthwait headlines Crom Comedy Festival

Omaha’s annual alt-comedy festival is back, and looks to have Slowdown audiences in fits.

The Crom Comedy Festival returns to Omaha for its fourth year Friday, May 27, and for the first time at the downtown venue, 729 N 14th St. Founded by Omaha native comic Ian Douglas Terry, the alternative stand-up comedy event features an exciting lineup of indie and alternative comedians, headlined this year by actor/comedian/filmmaker Bobcat Goldthwait.

Crom emerged from the growth of Omaha’s DIY comedy scene (led by OK Party Comedy) and Terry’s yearly attendance at Gainesville, Fla.’s punk festival The Fest, as comedy lineup booker and emcee. The festival — for which Hear Nebraska is a media partner — has grown steadily since its first year, expanding to four dates in Denver (of which Terry is now a resident) and, last weekend, enjoyed its first year in Atlanta.

In addition to Goldthwait, this year’s Omaha run features headliners, Andy Sandford, April Richardson, Rhea Butcher, Ryan Singer, and the Denver Comedy/Wrestling powerhouse show Lucha LIbre & Laughs. Comedians will perform on both front room and main stages Friday through Sunday as well as in a no-cover pop-up venue outside. O’Leaver’s is also in the mix, hosting early afternoon programming Saturday and “late late breakfast” Sunday at 3 p.m.

 

One person who will be missing out on the Omaha festival is a comedian who has performed there the previous three years, Adam Cayton-Holland.  Adam is currently writing the second season of his TruTv show “Those Who Can’t”, and will be busy filming during Crom season (thus only appearing at the Denver festival).  We asked Adam to give us his opinion of Omaha and the Crom Comedy Festival. Read the love letter below:

“My favorite part about being a comic has always been the network of fellow travelers. There’s this image of comics as lonely, solitary, brooding types, and yes, there are many strange, sad hours alone out on the road.

But truthfully, when you’re dropped into a new town as a comedian, you’re immediately surrounded by all the comedians in that scene. And what a bizarre treasure that is. Comics as a whole constitute a wide cross-section of society, you never know what you’re going to get. But what they all have in common is this fucked-up world view that compelled them to hop on stage and yell jokes into a microphone in the first place, this skewed, unique perspective.  

And I’ve found that unique perspective translates to the way they view their cities as well. Get a comedian as a tour-guide and inevitably you’ll get an expedition explicitly banned by the chamber of commerce. Who wouldn’t want to take that tour? It’s always fun hanging out with people who see the world sideways.

I’ve now taken that tour of Omaha many times over and I keep coming back, eager for more. I’ve fallen in love with Omaha. Whenever I need a break from my life, or to get my head right, or to just howl at the moon for a weekend, I go to Omaha and do a show. I jokingly call it my spiritual refuge but the more I say it the less it becomes a joke. And the reason I love Omaha is because of the countless weird tours my comedy friends have taken me on. From California Tacos to Warren Buffet’s house just out there in the open like that, to the plaque where the Japanese balloon bomb exploded, to banana shots at O’Leaver’s, arguably the best bar in the United States, I’ve delighted in taking in all that Omaha, and the comics of Omaha, have to offer. Even if sometimes that just means sitting in Ryan Garza’s living room on a rainy afternoon, drinking absinthe and watching wrestling documentaries with Ian Douglas Terry.

What the OK Party boys, and Crom specifically, have done, is create a haven for fellow-travelers, for comics. Crom is an annual chance to party and get weird and drunkenly talk about Bob Gibson and Saddle Creek and feel the wind blow in off the prairie. It’s perfectly off-center, perfectly sideways and skewed. And goddamn it’s fun. This will be the first year that I have to miss Crom and that makes me sad, but I’ll be back to Omaha soon for spiritual fulfillment. In the mean-time I encourage everyone to go to Crom for me. I’ll be somewhere out there on the road in solidarity, offering up a heartfelt “Hell yeah” to anyone who will listen for one of my favorite comedy festivals and cities in the country.”

View a complete schedule below and RSVP here:

Friday, May 27

Pop-Up Venue

7 p.m. – Mike Lebovitz & Friends – Free
9 p.m. – Timmy Williams & Friends – Free

Slowdown

8 p.m. – OK Party Comedy Presents: Ryan Singer (Front Room) – $20 adv, $25 day of show
10 p.m. – Slowdown Presents: Rhea Butcher & April Richardson (Main Room)

Saturday, May 28

O’Leaver’s

3 p.m. – The Vamosi Showmosi – Free
4:30 p.m. – Dungeon – Free

Pop-Up Venue

7 p.m. – April Richardson & Friends – Free
9 p.m. – Rhea Butcher & Friends – Free

Slowdown

8 p.m. – Crom Fest Presents: Andy Sandford (Front Room) – $20 adv, $25 day of show
10 p.m. – Slowdown Presents: Bobcat Goldthwait (Main Room)

Sunday, May 29

O’Leaver’s

3 p.m. – Late Late Breakfast hosted by Tyler Jackson & Danny Maupin – Free

Slowdown Main Room

6 p.m. – Lucha Libre & Laughs $10 adv, $15 day of show

Pop-Up Venue

7 p.m. – You Had To Be There – Free
9 p.m. – Cromaganda Omaha – Free

Slowdown Front Room

9 p.m. – Roast Yourself – Free

* * *

The Good Life submerges in “Diving Bell” music video

On the eve of its tour kick-off, The Good Life has shared the trippy, aqueous new video for “Diving Bell,” which appears on Aug. 2015 release Everybody’s Coming Down. Directed by bassist Stefanie Drootin-Senseney, it explores an above-ground submergence into her fascination with car washes.

There’s something soothing and otherworldly about them,” Drootin-Senseney told Substream Magazine, which premiered the video yesterday. “It’s so anxiety-inducing, lining up the tires with the tracking system, but as soon as I put the car into neutral and the conveyor takes over I’m at ease in the weird aquatic landscape. ‘Diving Bell’ touches on the same kind of solitary, submerged escape-from-anxiety theme, so it seemed like the perfect marriage.”

The Good Life embarks on a 18-date tour with fellow Maha Music Festival alumnus Speedy Ortiz, heading through the south and up the West Coast. It starts tonight in the band’s hometown, as Oquoa joins the two at The Waiting Room (RSVP here).

Watch “Diving Bell” below:

May 24 – Omaha, NE, Waiting Room
May 25 – Denver, CO, Marquis Theatre
May 26 – Salt Lake City, UT, Kilby Court
May 28 – Spokane, WA, The Bartlett
May 29 – Seattle, WA, Barboza (no Speedy Ortiz)
May 31 – Portland, OR, Doug Fir
June 02 – San Francisco, CA, Rickshaw Stop
June 03 – Fresno, CA, Strummers
June 04 -Ventura, CA, Large Marge
June 05 – Los Angeles, Echoplex
June 06 – Phoenix, Crescent Ballroom
June 07 – Albuqueque, NM, Launchpad
June 08 – El Paso, TX, Bowie Feathers
June 10 – Austin, TX, Barracuda
June 11 – McAllen, TX, Yerberia Cultura
June 12 – Houston, TX, Walters Downtown
June 13 – Dallas, TX, Club Dada
June 14 – Norman, OK, The Opolis

* * *

See Through Dresses’ Bertuldo appears on Coffee & Riffs

While rolling through Oklahoma City on its most recent tour, Omaha indie rock band See Through Dresses made a highly caffeinated and electrically charged pitstop.

Live guitar effects series Coffee & Riffs features guitarist/vocalist Sara Bertuldo in its latest episode. Bertuldo utilizes a playground of effects to give a glimpse into the raw material that composes See Through Dresses’ heavy, often-chaotic sound. Afterwards, she walks us through the series of delay pedals she used for the video and her live set-up — all while wrangling series host Brady Smith’s son.

Founded roughly two years ago in a dusty Oklahoma City barn by Smith and Seth McCarroll, Coffee & Riffs began as a way for the two guitar effects enthusiasts to experiment on the weekends. It has since featured The Mars Volta/Deltron 3030 bassist Juan Alderete, Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith, Pete Jonas and a host of pedal demos.

Watch Bertuldo’s video below:

* * *

Concert Round-Up

Tonight, Los Angeles singer/songwriter Chelsea Wolfe plays Slowdown, 729 N 14th St. Wolfe’s style is marked by a mix of gothic, folk, electronic and metal elements. She released her fifth studio album, Abyss (Sargent House) last August on to generally positive reviews. Pitchfork gave it an 8.1 out of 10, calling it “her heaviest (and best) collection to date … expansive and teeming, adding an anthemic dimension that you won’t find in her other work.”

Auckland, New Zealand duo and labelmates A Dead Forest Index currently tours with Wolfe, and will join her on the bill. Closeness, the Omaha duo of Todd and Orenda Fink, round out the bill. Tickets are $18, show starts at 8 p.m. RSVP here.

Head to our statewide calendar here to plan your concert-going week. If you do not see your show or one you plan to attend, add it yourself here or email us at news@hearnebraska.org. Use that same email to send news tips, story ideas and song submissions.

Andrew Stellmon is Hear Nebraska's managing editor. Reach him with news tips and story ideas at news@hearnebraska.org.