HN Internship applications due one week from today; McCarthy Trenching to open Conor Oberst’s free Grand Island concert; Remembering Fifth of May’s Frank Maxwell

HN Internship applications due one week from today

Aspiring writers, videographers and marketing whizzes, there’s just one week left to apply for Hear Nebraska’s fall internships session. Help us cover and promote Nebraska’s fertile music community.

We’re looking for enterprising, self-starting candidates for multimedia, editorial and marketing positions beginning August 29, 2016. The application deadline for HN’s fall internship has been extended to Wednesday, Aug. 17.

Working both remotely and at either of our Omaha or Lincoln offices, you will help us cover, promote and present the state’s music community for 15-20 hours/week. Journalism, marketing or English majors are preferred, though others are accepted if they possess the essential skills. Find a list of qualifications and the application here.

Apply for fall internships no later than Wednesday, August 17. Please email Hear Nebraska’s managing editor at andrews@hearnebraska.org with any questions.

* * *

McCarthy Trenching to open Conor Oberst’s free Grand Island concert

Omaha folk duo McCarthy Trenching will open for Conor Oberst next Thursday, Aug. 18, at a free show in downtown Grand Island. The concert is presented by Knife & Fork Productions in conjunction with Hear Nebraska.

The duo of Dan McCarthy and James Maakestad released More Like It last November, and in doing so, added a bold entry into its five-album catalogue. It’s relatively equal parts charming and clever, earnest and biting. And the chemistry between McCarthy and Maakestad as strong and playful as ever. (Listen to our podcast review here).

Though the show is free to attend, organizers look for a headcount to best prepare. Help out by RSVP-ing here.

* * *

Remembering Fifth of May’s Frank Maxwell

Foreword by Marq Manner

In Sioux Falls, South Dakota the memories of Frank Maxwell focused around his role as a father, co-worker and softball coach. Back here in Omaha stories of a musician, friend, and teenager began dotting the timelines on social media.

Maxwell, 49 of Sioux Falls, died unexpectedly Monday, July 11, 2016 at his residence. During his time growing up in Omaha, Frank played for the band Fifth of May, who were one of the premiere bands in the area during the late 80’s and early 90’s. They were one of the first local bands I would see as a teenager and Frank on guitar was truly a standout. I didn’t get to know Frank in person, but we became online friends later in life and talked music quite a bit and I appreciated his humor very much.  We have reached out to a few of his band mates family and friends for some remembrances of Frank.

John Boyce

Two of my favorite stories with Frank:

On the Fifth of May’s California tour I booked, 5 shows in 1990, they opened for some band at the Anti-Club in LA, which is long gone now, but at the time was happening. The lead singer of the headline act, was so blown away by Frank’s guitar playing, and the rest of the band, my brother Bob Boyce, Mike Jaworski and Bob Crawford, he pulled Frank aside and wanted to join Fifth of May because they were amazing, but needed a better lead singer, well…like himself. Frank was like…”you dumbfuck…the lead singer is my brother!”

I also got Fifth of May to open for the Gear Daddies at People’s in Ames, a big gig cause the Gear Daddies were on a major label and had a huge following in the Midwest. The promoter warned me Fifth of May would probably get booed off stage and things thrown at them because Gear Daddies fans only wanted to see them, no patience for unknown opening acts. All previous Gear Daddies gigs before had this problem. Well the Fifth of May guys said…”who gives a fuck, let’s blow the crowd away.”

Sure enough, they were super tight, on point and rocking. Frank and Bob took their t-shirts off, (skinny, lean guys) when they were really into it, the crowd went wild, no taunts, thrown beers, nothing. The crowd loved them and bought albums, etc. After the Gear Daddies finished, I went to the promoter to collect Fifth of May’s pay, figuring he would be excited the crowd liked Fifth of May so much, and said to him… “Well, not too bad huh? The crowd found a band they like enough to open for the Gear Daddies.” To my shock and amazement, he said they couldn’t play there again because Frank and Bob had taken their t-shirts off during their set. I thought he was joking and laughed. He said he was serious. I said “You did notice they are guys, right? Is this the Lawrence Welk club or a college music bar?” He slapped the money in my hand and stormed off. Really bizarre, Frank and Bob did that all over the country, even the HST (Howard Street Tavern). When I told the guys, they were in disbelief, stunned silence. Then Frank said he probably couldn’t handle all the sexy him and Bob were throwing off. Lmao.

Bob Boyce – Fifth of May

Not so much of a story, but something that has always stuck with me. Frank and I lived together for a while and we were always getting ready for work at the same time in the morning. Everyday when he would leave he would say “Have a great day Bob”. It was such a simple gesture, but you knew he really meant it. He cared for his friends and family immensely. He was indescribably cool in so many ways.

Marty Maxwell – Fifth of May

Frank was my best friend and little brother as well as my songwriting partner in 2 different bands, B-hangs and Fifth of May. We wrote a lot of great songs together that we were both really proud of. When I listen to our music today it blows me away at what a great guitar player he really was. His leads on our second recording are amazing. Everyone in the Omaha music scene knew Frankie. He was humble, happy and always nice to everyone. It eases my pain to know that I can listen to our recordings when I miss him. Here’s to you brother!

Landon Hedges – Little Brazil

I basically moved into Benson a block away from the Maxwell’s when I was six-years-old. I met Danny first when he was nine and he would say, “Come over and check out what my brothers are doing.” We would sit on the basement stairs and watch the Fifth of May practice. Completely blown away, we would always point and say “That’s what we want to do!” Danny and I kept playing and playing and I can’t remember who we were opening up for like 12 years ago but we were playing newer tunes and I think we played the Little Brazil tune “You and Me,” and I had this solo in it. I was never good at lead guitar. In fact all my solos started out as jokes in rehearsal. We got off stage and I noticed that Frank and Kelly Maxwell were there so I was super freaked out. I asked them what they thought. Kelly mentioned the solo and said they were laughing ‘does he think he’s George Harrison or something?’ And Frank said “damn dude you have unreal pop sensibility. Keep it up. Don’t ever stop what you’re doing”. Probably the most humbling complements of my life. I never stopped.

Craig Korth

I don’t know how interesting my story would be, but the many shows we played with Fifth of May were always near and dear to my heart. Frank was the kindest soul you can imagine, but when he got on that stage he just hammered that guitar furiously.

Kelly Maxwell – Sons of…, Shovelhead

I’d like to share a couple of examples of gracious acts by Frank as a musician. I began playing in bands as a bass player. After the last band for which I played bass in broke up, I decided that I’d try to become a guitar player. So I traded all of my bass gear in for a Marshall guitar amplifier (that’s what Frank played). Shortly thereafter some friends had asked me to join their band as a rhythm guitarist. I accepted. However, there was one issue … I did not have my own guitar.  When Frank became aware of this he told me to come over immediately and get his electric guitar. He said I could use it until I could get my own. I must have had his electric guitar for a year or so. He never once asked for it back, he only encouraged me to play it as often as I could. I ended up learning to play guitar on the guitar that he loaned to me.

After that band that I had played rhythm guitar in broke up, I decided that I’d begin to try to write songs. I had my own guitar by then but there was another tool that I did not own that is ideal for a songwriter. When I told Frank that I was going to begin to try to write songs he told me to come over, that he thought he might be able to help. When I arrived he had his four track cassette recorder out. He wanted to show me how to use it, that he thought it might help in my songwriting pursuits. He gave me a tutorial, the machine and its manual and said to take it and dive in, put down whatever comes out. I did as he suggested. On his four track I began to put down the pieces that would lead to some of the first songs I had ever written. He was selfless, and a true advocate for music making.  

Danny Maxwell – Little Brazil

I don’t know what else to talk about other than still having the first guitar he gave Kelly and myself — and the super-brief lesson because Kelly already knew the church chords. He was like, “here they are, here ya go.”

Six years later I asked him to teach me “theory” and he said, “Nope, keep playing those unorthodox jazz chords. Once you learn it, you’re stuck.”

I’ll never forget that.

I recently told Frank this story, and guess what … he smiled, laughed, and asked, “did I really?”

You did, Frank. I owe you.

David Mainelli – Bazille Mills

Frank was still influencing the Omaha scene as of just lately when he sent the band the Tenenbaum’s down to play with Christopher the Conquered and us at O’leaver’s. And they blew everyone out of the water. The place loved them. It was electric. He was thrilled, of course to hear about the night and how well they did.

Bob Crawford – Fifth of May, The People Bomb

I was in three bands with my cousin Frank. The Maxford 5 was our first collaboration. That was in 1970. A little young to take the show on the road, we settled for playing in front of Granny’s house to passing cars. The other two bands were Fifth of May and The People Bomb.

The People Bomb was formed two weeks before our first show at the 1992 New Music Festival at the Howard Street Tavern. We wrote four songs and came up with an idea to have a retro look (‘70’s rockers) and be self proclaimed rock stars. Both of us had played many shows. No problem with nerves, but for some reason when we got on stage and looked out to a packed house Frank and I made eye contact with a look of “oh fuck.”

We pulled ourselves together and the band was a hit. We were mentioned in the Fast Lane paper as one of the highlights of the festival. A number of months later Frank got married and started a family. Frank flawlessly made the transition from rock star to the best Dad ever. A few years ago I was seeking advice or an opinion. So I called Frank knowing that he would be “frank” about it. He said “Just do the next right thing and spread the love around.” Frank was a great guitar player, cousin and friend.

Michael Jaworski – Fifth of May

Frank Maxwell was one of my dearest friends and I had the pleasure of playing in the band Fifth of May with him for many years. Frank was a warm, intelligent, positive, hilarious and overall wonderful human being. He was an incredible musician and one of the coolest guys I’ve ever known. He was, and always will be, a huge influence on me as a person and a musician. I’ll miss sharing music with Frank, but most of all I’ll miss his friendship and his unwavering positivity. The passing of Frank leaves a huge hole in the lives of many, in particular his wife and children and the rest of his incredibly close family. I am heartbroken and devastated but Frankie’s influence, love and light will never die in those he left behind. Rest in peace, sweet Frankie.

* * *

Omaha comedian Winslow Dumaine releases debut album

The best way to get a glimpse into Winslow Dumaine’s grim, bizarre debut album is through the window of its bloody cover.

On the front of Whimper and Bang, which drops Friday, Aug. 12, Dumaine stands in an abandoned warehouse, a setting more fit for an underground black metal album than a stand-up LP. “HA HA” is carved into his chest, for real, with an X-Acto knife. Brutal, yes, but strikingly revealing, indicative of Dumaine’s three years honing bleak, dry humor, touching on mental illness, alienation, isolation, grief and dread.

Dumaine performs this Friday at Brothers Lounge in celebration of his debut. The show starts at 9 p.m., and is free to attend. Physical copies of Whimper and Bang will be available (and also online here).

* * *

Plan your week in shows with our statewide calendar here. If you do not see your show or one you plan to attend, email news@hearnebraska.org or add it yourself using the contribute feature here. Use the same email address for all 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.