Tag Archives: Matt Whipkey

Ways to Warm up your Weekend

February 22, 2018 by

PICK OF THE WEEK—Saturday, Feb. 24: Yeah, baby. Feeling nostalgic for 1960s London? OK, probably not, but you should still experience Perfect Pour: A Craft Cocktail Competition at Slowdown, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Your favorite bartenders will be showing off their significant skills, competing to make the best gin cocktails you’ve ever had. We’re not talking about your momma’s G&Ts here, this is quality stuff. You’ll also get the chance to bid on local art and listen to music from the Beatles tribute musicians, the Come Together Band. All this fun isn’t just so you get to use the word “shag” again. It’s to raise money for the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. Ticket sales were extended, so get yours here.

Thursday, Feb. 22: Need a little pop of happiness in your life? Then catch The Shineys at the Harney Street Tavern Thursday night at 9 p.m. These women are known for powerhouse harmonizing and catchy ukulele beats. They come fierce with both original songs and unique takes on several covers. Forged from the fires of their respective troubled times, their music is a surefire pick-me-up to get you over the dreariness of the work week and ready for the weekend. But don’t take our word for it. Head downtown, grab a Manhattan, and listen to them tell you all about it. Find out more about the duo here.

Friday, Feb. 23: Lent is all about the fish. But it doesn’t have to be. Save a Fish, Eat Pasta! Lenten dinners at St. Stanislaus Church start this Friday and last through March. If fish just isn’t your thing but you still want the camaraderie of eating Friday night dinner with a group of like-minded fun seekers, get to St. Stans tomorrow. Enjoy pasta, Orsi’s pizza, and/or handmade pierogis. And of course, beer. Get there by 5:30 and skip the dinner planning. Learn all about it here.

Friday, Feb. 23 and Sunday, Feb. 25: More music, because music heals and with all the sickness going around, who doesn’t need a little healing? Matt Whipkey is just the kind of soul-healing, unabashed rock and roll to get you back on your feet. Literally. You can see his always-energetic performance at Reverb Lounge, starting at 9 p.m. on Friday (with Stephen Sheehan) and 6 p.m. on Sunday (with Charlie Ames), just in case you miss it the first time around. Or if you just want to see an encore performance. Get more info here.

Saturday, Feb 24: Music fans, you heard right. Country music singer and songwriter Dylan Schneider is going to be at the Bourbon Saloon this Saturday. This rising star is on tour and he’ll be right here in Omaha this weekend. This fan fanatic is breaking out on his own and you can be there to see him live. Get more information and your tickets here now, because they’re going fast!

Photo contributed by: Omaha Public Library

Sunday, Feb. 25: Is there a more relaxing way to end the weekend than by reading to a dog? Well, sorry adults! The Read to a Dog at the Omaha Public Library event is really more for the children. Take the kids to the Milton R. Abrahams branch and let them learn to read by entertaining the incredible registered therapy dogs graciously brought in by their owners. Plus, who’s to say you can’t read along? To find out more about this puptastic experience, bound on over here.

The Essential 
Brad Hoshaw

March 3, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

The legend of Brad Hoshaw and The Seven Deadlies began in 2008 with a one-off show that has since tumbleweeded into two acclaimed full-length albums and five Omaha Entertainment
and Arts Awards.

Hoshaw—who was raised on healthy doses of Johnny Cash and murder ballads—started releasing his virtuous blend of Americana, folk, and pop in 1998 against a chicer Omaha indie sound that would render him somewhat anonymous for most of the naughts. After joining forces with Matt Whipkey, Vern Fergesen, and J. Scott Gaeta, or The Seven Deadlies band, the 35-year-old eventually achieved name recognition as a regional songwriting powerhouse. He’s been committing songs against humanity ever since.

Gluttony: This isn’t your older brother or sister’s Brad Hoshaw. The raucous first chords of “Powdernose”—the leading track from 2009’s Brad Hoshaw and The Seven Deadlies self-titled album—assure the listener of just that, kicking in like a renegade cowboy ready to shoot up the place. Tragically, the lyrical patrons of Hoshaw’s fictitious saloon are too sick with vice to fight back.

Envy: If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Hoshaw’s cover of Kyle Harvey’s “It Falls Apart” sincerely takes the former local singer-songwriter to task. For as much as the woeful coda to 2014’s Funeral Guns espouses the same message as Harvey’s experimental effort, it’s clearly not the same song. Of course, Hoshaw’s more palpable rendition isn’t a conscious critique of the original but rather a byproduct of his master craftsmanship.

Sloth: One of the premiere tracks from Funeral Guns, “8 Ball” is the coming-of-age tale of heartbreak and a once popular fortune-telling toy. Throughout the idling experience, Hoshaw looks to a Magic 8 Ball for a clue as to why his former sweetheart of five years got hitched, thus axing their fated reunion. He’s left without an answer, forgetting to pose his inquiry in the form of a yes-or-no question.

Lust: The narrator of Hoshaw’s “Face of Man” could’ve limped off the pages of a Cormac McCarthy novel. He’s a murder ballad in the making, “Hey Joe” before the crime. But whether the brooding antihero is a lecherous madman or just a run-of-the-mill misogynist remains to be heard in The Seven Deadlies redux that first appeared on Hoshaw’s 2003 album Sketches from the Dream State. Either way, any hope that he’ll one day become a well-adjusted person is eventually shattered by a piercing Matt Whipkey guitar solo in the song’s eleventh hour.

Greed: Originally written for the local roots act The Black Squirrels, Hoshaw’s sonic act of charity, “Delta King,” later became the ninth track on Funeral Guns after the band broke up in 2011. While the cautionary folk tale betrays the album’s tough cowboy exterior, its commentary on excessive pursuit defends Hoshaw’s cynical theme: humankind is depraved.

Wrath: Judging from Hoshaw’s complete body of work, it’s tempting to think there isn’t a mean bone in it. Enter “Gone in a Minute,” the slightly spiteful track that admits, “You were wrong to think I was kind.” Ever the nice guy, Hoshaw instantly returns to his sympathetic ways, threatening to leave in a minute’s time…for two and a half minutes. If it’s any consolation, it’s still his shortest Seven Deadlies song.

Pride: Born from the deepest stirrings of Hoshaw’s ego, “Funeral Guns” came to the crooner in a dream, or so the story goes. The track, from the album with the same title, is a pseudo eulogy to Hoshaw’s deceased father, whose ascending ghost seems haunted by how he’ll be remembered by those he loved most. In the end, the proud son forgives and his song never forgets.

Visit bradhoshaw.wordpress.com to learn more.



November 4, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Time is a curious thing. It’s there and then it isn’t. One minute we’re giving time away in reckless fits of youth, and then another, well, we’re clinging to that minute too tightly to do anything with it. It’s the age-old story of life and death. And it’s the present-day story of Matt Whipkey’s forthcoming album, Underwater.

“I think I probably took for granted the idea that maybe I’d always be young,” Whipkey says cautiously, as if listening for a hint of Death’s wiretap on his phone line. “It seemed like there was always next year. One day you’re 33.”

Born from the emotional asphyxiation he experienced during and after the production of last year’s Penny Park: Omaha, NE: Summer 1989 album, Whipkey says Underwater is an audio-biographical account of the darker moments of his early 30s.

“A lot of things happened personally that I had not dealt with for a while,” he confesses. “Then all of a sudden they hit me in kind of a rush.”

That cascade of melancholy, which eventually broke open Whipkey’s floodgates of repression, he says, inspired a 10-song odyssey through the bitter winds of last winter. Whipkey says his introspective journey brought him to the studio almost immediately, which strays from his decade-long formula of grueling preproduction rehearsals.

Though, that’s not the only honesty he says he’s salvaged during the recording process. Underwater, which is slated to come out this February, will attempt to mirror reality though Whipkey’s use of organic instrumentation. And its lyrical content will voice real names, as opposed to the eponymous hero, Penny Park, who pervaded the veteran songwriter’s last effort.

“The songs are a lot more personal,” Whipkey says. “I like the idea now. I hope down the road I’m not like, ‘I shouldn’t have used those people’s real names.’ But for the moment, I’m okay with that.”

Whipkey won Artist of the Year and Album of the Year at the 2013 Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards for what he calls his “double-vinyl ode to a former amusement park,” or “Penny Park,” a pun on the now-extinct Peony Park. But he’s no stranger to the award. The musician also achieved honors in 2008 and 2009 as part of Brad Hoshaw & The Seven Deadlies.

“It’s more fun being the main guy winning them,” he says while laughing.

Because accolades don’t necessarily equate to monetary gains, Whipkey admits he relies on guitar lessons and musician residencies to supplement his income. In terms of his band, the unsigned artist says he funds all of his own studio sessions, but relies on crowd funding to distribute his albums.

Whipkey says he encourages fans to donate to his Kickstarter through Nov. 18 to preorder a tangible copy of  Underwater.

“I want to make it really stick. I guess at 33 the idea of international celebrity and fortune is pretty silly and unrealistic,” he says, exhaling a deep breathe. “I want to make this work just as a good, solid career, and there’re ways to do that.”