Tag Archives: Little Brazil

Are You Ready for Some…

August 30, 2018 by

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Pick of the Week—Saturday, September 1: We know you can choose to watch the Husker game at any number of locations around Omaha, but where else can you celebrate Oktoberfest at the same time? Head to Jerry’s Bar in Benson to enjoy their beer garden, bratwurst, and drink specials all day. Of course, Jerry’s can’t fit you all. If you’re out west, Oscar’s has several essentials for football viewing—booze, wings, and pizza. If you’re looking for something extra, the Caddy Shack Sports Bar and Grill is a longtime favorite among those in the service industry. Lastly, with several locations, DJ’s Dugout is always a safe bet. Regardless of where your favorite place is, be sure to enjoy the kickoff game responsibly. And if you think you’re a superfan, check out our story on actor and comedian Adam Devine here. He drank alllll the Big Red Kool-Aid.

Thursday, August 30: What better way to start the long, Labor Day weekend than with a (free) night of local music at the tavern? Catch The Shineys with Jessica Errett at Harney Street Tavern tonight, starting at 9 p.m. Both acts are former OEAA nominees, so don’t miss the chance to see them play for free. The Shineys’ music showcases their big voices, poignant lyrics, and unique personalities. Errett performs with several local bands and the seasoned singer/songwriter always puts on a good show. Don’t miss your chance to see these lovelies play tonight. Click here for more info.

Friday, August 31:  We know what you’re thinkingenough with the Benson already! But why not block party while you still can?! Get to Jake’s Just Because We Can Block Party for some good music, good food, and of course, booze and cigars. You’ll get to hear music from Lincoln and Omaha bands, including long-time favorites Little Brazil. You get all this fun for a mere $5, so there’s no excuse not to go. It all starts at 5 p.m., so maybe you should leave work a little early so you don’t experience FOMO. Plus, you can get a jump on this whole long weekend thing. Learn more here.

Friday, August 31: In case you’ve been too busy chanting to hear, Midnight Movies at the Dundee Theater are back, thanks to Film Streams. The movies will play the last Friday of each month at the Dundee, beginning at 11:55 p.m. This round they’re showing ‘90s cult classic, The Craft. Now is the time. This is the hour. Don’t worry about looking out for weirdos, though. Just embrace them as one of your own. Relax…it’s only magic. Get your tickets for this MTV-era flick here. You’ll be sorry if you don’t!

Sunday, September 2: Neighborfest presents Black Votes Matter Concert for Change this Sunday at The Study. The music will be provided by local acts Dolores Diaz and the Standby Club, Mesonjixx, BXTH, Dana Murray, The Dilla Kids, and more. Workshops, pop-up demos, and vendors will be on hand. There will also be Get Out the Vote speakers on site to raise awareness about election dates and to register voters. Make a pitch for your idea for a community-based project and become eligible to apply for a mini-grant through One Omaha, or just come out and hear what others have to offer. Learn more about this collaborative event here.

Smashing Stereotypes

May 3, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Thriving Omaha artist Tyler Chickinelli wants to smash a couple of stereotypes—one, not all artists are pretentious and, two, they aren’t noninclusive. The idea that artists are elitist snobs who only welcome the upper echelon of creatives into their circles isn’t what Chickinelli has experienced in the local community. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

“I can’t say it’s true everywhere, but in Omaha there are people doing things on every level—from do-it-yourself to professional grade shows,” Chickinelli says. “We have a very inclusive art scene here. I’m not even very good at being involved here, but you can definitely do it if you want.”

Chickinelli, who started taking art “slightly seriously” while a student at Millard West High School, grew up surrounded by it. His uncle, Mark Chickinelli, is an oil painter and illustrator, while his grandfather ran Omaha Antique and Job Plating, an antique refinishing and plating shop on 24th and Mason streets, which was founded by his great-grandfather.

Currently, the 28-year-old Chickinelli is preparing for an art show in Hanover, Germany, where he will show off his penchant for geometric shapes before flying back for a local show.

“What captivates me about geometric shapes is the virtually endless possibility of combinations—in color, shape, size, what you can turn them into, what canvas or surface to use,” he explains. “They are found all around us, all the time. I think they just resonated with me at some point and I’ve been twisting them every way I can since. It’s definitely not all I want to do, though. I have some very different things stylistically for myself on the horizon.”

One of those things is an art show he is working on in collaboration with Drew Newlin of Skate for Change.

“We are curating a show together with Skate For Change consisting of 12 skateboards, which will be designed by 12 different artists,” he says. “We are then going to distribute the boards to 12 skaters. I will just wait until it happens so people can see it, but I am stoked about it.”

While Chickinelli has only painted a few skateboards, he’s still fascinated by the concept of them—not just as a mode of transportation or something you can do tricks on but also the disposable graphics that come along with them.

“I love the idea of art on skateboards,” he says. “It’s always so fascinating and super stylized, perfectly smooth. It also gets destroyed. I really like the idea of making something that just gets scratched into oblivion because someone else enjoys it so much.”

At this stage in Chickinelli’s burgeoning career, he’s clearly grateful to be part of such a supportive and endlessly creative community. Chickinelli embraces an all-inclusive attitude towards his fellow creatives, again, bashing the stereotype that artists are self-righteous and self-absorbed. 

“There are so many people doing different kinds of creative things here,” he says. “Whether it’s traditional, craftsmen, culinary, or musically, there is no shortage of creativity in town in a lot of different areas. Sometimes I joke that almost everyone I know is an artist or a musician, and it’s not too far off really. They are playing shows in basements and in traditional venues, touring big and small, displaying in galleries, and opening up businesses. It’s a really cool thing to see everyone just doing their own thing, but maintaining a community as well.”


Chickinelli’s artwork will be featured on Little Brazil’s upcoming album. Check out more of this artist’s work at tylerchickinelli.daportfolio.com.

This article appears in the May/June 2018 edition of Encounter.

Horse Play

May 1, 2017 by
Photography by Scott Drickey

It’s unusual for a band to provide its live audiences with a complimentary Filipino buffet during a show, but on a Sunday in late February at O’Leaver’s Bar, Omaha natives See Through Dresses enlisted the aid of friends and family to do just that for the band’s “Sunday Social,” just before heading to Austin, Texas, for the South by Southwest Music Festival.

The four-piece ensemble, comprised of (vocalist and guitarist) Matt Carroll, (guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist) Sara Bertuldo, (drummer) Nate Van Fleet, and (bassist) Alex Kirts, evolved from Carroll and Bertuldo’s previous band Honey and Darling in 2012. Carroll and Bertuldo share principal songwriting duties, but the dynamic between all four members fits the true definition of a band. “Alex and I kind of act like arrangers,” Van Fleet says. “Sara might come to us with a song that’s 70 percent complete, and we’re there to hash it out and turn it into something our band could play.”

Van Fleet, who is also the drummer for Omaha locals Little Brazil, elaborated further on what makes playing with See Through Dresses fruitful for him: “I played with a lot of bands before. In fact, Matt and Sara found me in a bar the night my last band was breaking up, and it was like finding these people who were just as obsessed with doing the same things I wanted to. There are lots of bands out there where somebody’s character flaws or poor priorities keep them from reaching their potential. There’s never been that ‘intervention’ moment with this band.” They pride themselves on their work ethic, Van Fleet says. Since forming, they’ve played more than 200 shows.

Despite this commitment to craft, they are hardly pretentious. “I applied for band sponsorship from Taco Bell,” Bertuldo says, laughing. The revelation devolves into jokes: “What if somebody wrote See Through Dresses/Taco Bell fan-fiction?” Bertuldo asks. “I’m not saying I want to see it,” Van Fleet chimes in, “but I’m also not saying I don’t want to see it!”

In fact, catching Bertuldo’s banter with the audience when she’s on stage is a major reason to see the band live.  At their “Sunday Social,” for example, she sported a new short hairdo, along with some vocal regrets. “That last song was called ‘Haircut,’ but it’s not about my hair. It’s actually about Macaulay Culkin,” she cryptically explains to the audience. Bertuldo is the chief conduit for the band’s energy during shows—shredding and kicking her way through the heaviest songs, and even jumping off equipment and nearby furniture.

This spring, See Through Dresses finally releases their second full-length album, after a self-titled debut in 2013 and 2015’s End of Days EP. The band describes the new release, The Horse of the Other World (written mostly while touring their previous EP), as their “synth” album, a love letter to the ’80s. “There’s always been a little ’80s influence in our music—that new wave, post-punk stuff we all love,” Carroll says, repeatedly citing The Cure, New Order, and Depeche Mode as primary influences. “Our EP was a little more rock-flavored, but this album sounds like a natural progression from our self-titled record.”

“It’s a very indulgent record,” Van Fleet quips. “It satisfies a lot of the urges we had while we were touring the EP. The sound is a little harsher and more dissonant here, too.” The band describes this evolution as something akin to “dream punk,” combining the energy of classic punk rock with a polychromatic sound recalling sunny afternoon daydreams.

Yet lurking deeper on The Horse of the Other World are more thoughtful ruminations on mental health and keeping control of one’s mind. Carroll, who is also a manager at Ted and Wally’s Ice Cream, explains the title comes from a surreal experience with an unknown vagrant last year. “It was this strange and beautiful moment of connecting with someone on their own terms,” Carroll says. He sat with the man in the store and listened to his story, and his allegations that the “Great Mother and Father” would soon visit us riding on “the horse of the other world.” The man grabbed a box of markers from his bag, and wrote down the phrase on a napkin for him in bright red.

The event had a big influence on Carroll during the songwriting process, which was already circling around themes of addiction and hitting bottom. “A lot of these things converged that hit me hard. Both my own experiences and those of friends,” he explains. “The lyrics on our opening track speak to this and mean a lot to me: Sometimes you’re trying to reach out at people, but they can’t open up. I wanted to address that barrier and feeling of helplessness.”

Carroll adds he doesn’t like to “dance around the subject and speak in hushed tones when we talk about mental health.” Together the band shared anecdotes about loved ones and friends losing their grip on reality, either through drugs, depression, or diseases like Alzheimer’s. Bertuldo’s contributions to the album face these issues, as well, using touch points like loneliness and bad relationships to explore them. “I think this is a big deal about what’s inspiring us: The great fear of your mind or your body turning on you,” Carroll says. “We’re not OK with people walking the streets dying of cancer. But when we encounter someone in public with serious mental health needs, it’s our impulse to flee. That’s upsetting.”

As for the namesake’s creator, Carroll laments: “I wish I could track him down again.”

Visit seethroughdresses.bandcamp.com for more information about The Horse of the Other World and the band’s previous releases.

This article is in the May/June 2017 edition of Omaha Magazine.