PREMIERE: Centerpiece searches for light in poppy new track “Shadow and Shade”; Umm, See Through Dresses release new singles; Matt Cox tours east coast; Maha adds Downtown Boys

PREMIERE: Centerpiece searches for light in poppy new track “Shadow and Shade”

photo by Mary Beinor

In the midst of a personal slump, there’s a directionless feeling. The next steps are shrouded in darkness. Words don’t come out right or don’t come at all. For Centerpiece’s Will Conner, there’s still a chance for light.

The five-piece Omaha indie rock band explores this in new track “Shadow and Shade,” which premieres today via HN. It is the second single from the band’s forthcoming self-titled EP, out May 5.

With his new project, Conner (formerly of No Tide) brings the same poppy vigor with a new cast of players. Paul Knapp’s (Bed Rest) guitar work sparkles and is complemented by keyboard player Jay Nesmith. Drummer David McInnis (Timecat, Idlefox) and bassist Jon Ochsner (All Young Girls Are Machine Guns, Those Far Out Arrows) round out the crew, which will play a pair of release shows in Illinois and at Omaha’s Reverb Lounge June 2 & 3.

Listen to “Shadow and Shade” below and pre-order Centerpiece here.

EP release shows:
June 2 — Moline, Illinois at The Island
June 3rd — Omaha, Nebraska at Reverb Lounge (RSVP here)

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Umm, See Through Dresses release new singles

In new music, a pair of Nebraska bands have seen national single premieres over the last couple days.

First up, Umm, the new project by Nebraska natives Stefani Drootin and Chris Senseney, debut “Black Summer” via Interview magazine. The song carries over the fuzzy guitars and enchanting harmonies prevalent in their other band, Big Harp. Its dark subject matter, echoed in the eerie keys that build toward the song’s end, focuses on mortality and “death as a destination” of life, as Senseney put it to Interview.

We heard this track and B-side “Oh Yes No” when the duo returned to Omaha last week, playing a set at Reverb Lounge with BareBear and Oquoa. See photos and read the review here. Listen to both new Umm tracks below.

And just today, See Through Dresses shared the first single, “Violet,” from its forthcoming album Horse of the Other World, with Stereogum. Shimmering and jagged, the track signals a sonic change for the band toward a bigger, more orchestrated sound. Synths are prominent, played here by Sara Bertuldo, and even Matthew Carroll’s voice, set back in the mix, is dripping with reverb.

Listen here. Horse of the Other World is out June 30 on Tiny Engines. Catch See Through Dresses on tour with Charly Bliss (and a handful of other spare dates; see them below).

Apr 28 — Lawrence, Kan at Replay Lounge (w/ Dressy Bessy)
Apr 29 — Kansas City, Mo at Tank Room
Apr 30 — St. Louis at Off Broadway *
May 01 — Omaha at Reverb Lounge * (RSVP here)
May 02 — Denver at Hi-Dive *
May 03 — Lincoln at Duffy’s Tavern (w/ Sweats, Death Cow; RSVP here)
May 12 — Minneapolis at 7th Street Entry * (w/ Strange Relations)
May 13 — Chicago at Schubas *
May 14 — Lansing, Mich at Mac’s *
May 15 — Cleveland at Beachland Tavern *
May 16 — Kalamazoo, Mich at Shakespeare’s Pub *

*with Charly Bliss

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Matt Cox tours east coast

Speaking of touring, Omaha Americana singer/songwriter Matt Cox will head out on an east coast/midwest trip next week, starting April 23 at Des Moines Social Club. He’ll head through eight states before returning for in-state shows May 13 and 19. See full dates below.

Cox released his fifth studio album The Cost of Everything And The Value of Nothing last summer, when we spoke with him about navigating a turbulent time in his life and finding creativity in serenity. Read the interview here.

4/23 – Des Moines Social Club, Des Moines, IA
4/24 – Uncommon Ground, Chicago, IL
4/25 – Square Cat Vinyl, Indianapolis, IN
4/26 – Heritage on Main, Waynesboro, VA
4/28 – Low Tide Brewing, Johns Island, SC
4/29 – Seanachai, Johns Island, SC
4/30 – The Peculiar Rabbit, Charlotte, NC
5/1 – Bunganut Pig, Nashville, TN
5/2 – Evangeline’s, St Louis, MO
5/3 – Magoon’s, Saint Joseph, MO
5/13 – Growler USA, Omaha, NE
5/19 – Corner Bar, Fremont, NE
5/20 – Waubonsie Station, Tabor, IA

Nebraska musicians: heading out on tour? We’d love to share. Email us at news@hearnebraska.org.

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Maha Music Festival adds Downtown Boys

Maha Music Festival has announced a change in its 2017 lineup, adding Providence, R.I. punk band Downtown Boys. The five-piece band recently signed to Sub Pop after releasing 2015’s politically-charged romp Full Communism on Don Giovanni.

Downtown Boys takes the place of Surfer Blood, which Maha announced was forced to drop due to a conflict.

The ninth-annual festival happens Saturday, Aug 19 at its Stinson Park home. Headliners include Run The Jewels, The Faint and Belle & Sebastian. Check the full lineup and buy tickets here.

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Photo coverage: Eko Nova’s Tumble Rag Freylakh at Kaneko

HN contributor Ben Semisch stopped by Kaneko Monday night to catch Tumble, Rag, Freylakh, the latest in the Omaha gallery’s new music series EKO NOVA. Kansas City based musicians John Klinghammer, Noah Geller, Mari Yoshinaga and Sean Chen performed works that combined the idea of inversion, gymnastic feats of motion, Hasidic celebratory influences and jazz.

See photos below:

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Photo coverage: Flatfoot 56, The Flasks, The Bricks, Tiananmen Squares at Lookout Lounge

HN contributor Dean Birkheimer went to Lookout Lounge last night for Chicago-native Celtic punks Flatfoot 56. The band has been at it for nearly two decades now, propelled to national notoriety with its first to LPs Knuckles Up and Jungle of the Midwest Sea in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Lincoln celtic punk band The Flasks joined Omaha street punks The Bricks and punk rock band Tiananmen Squares to open the show.

See Birkheimer’s photos below:

Flatfoot 56

The Flasks

The Bricks

Tiananmen Squares

Photos by Dean Birkheimer

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Concert Round-Up

Here are a few picks for the next couple of days. Find a fuller listing on our statewide calendar here and email what we missed to news@hearnebraska.org. Let’s get to it.

Wednesday

Tribute to Mike Kronschnabel at The Waiting Room – The Nebraska music community lost one of its foremost historians this past January when Mike “Kronch” Kronschnabel passed away. Kronch founded Trout Tunes, a weekly television show that featured interviews and live performances with Nebraska bands and ones who toured through. A few of his friends were kind enough to share memories in a feature we published Jan 24; read them here. Performers include Anonymous American, Brad Hoshaw, Janglepop, Wakanda One, Bill Arab and Michael Campbell (doing the songs of Kronch), Pat Gehrman, Jason Birnstihl and Korey Anderson. 7:30 p.m. show, $8, RSVP here.

Sundara Karma, Twinsmith at Slowdown – UK indie rock band Sundara Karma comes to Omaha on the heels of its debut album Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect, out January 6. Their magnetic live performance and lush sound have drawn praise; DIY named them “Breakthrough Band of the Year” of 2016, NME declared them a “Best New Band of 2017,” and they are currently on the cover of Dork MagazineOmaha’s Twinsmith opens the show, the first of its impending tour. 8 p.m., $12, RSVP here.

Thursday

Stormfest 2017 at Lookout Lounge – Three nights of hard rocking music starts tomorrow night. It promises to get progressively harder thoughtout the weekend: Thursday night features a punk and rock ‘n’ roll style lineup; Friday will consist of more death and heavier metal bands; Saturday’s lineup is full of a mix of everything from sludge to hardcore to metal. 6 p.m. shows, all-ages, RSVP here.

Chikadibia presents Purple Abstract at Milk Run – Omaha rapper Chikadibia hosts a concert in celebration of his third self-produced mixtape Purple Abstract. Musical guests include Loud Minority, R0ACH, Absolut-P, Vrooly and more. 9:30 p.m. show, $5, RSVP here.

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