During a career that stretches back to the mid-’80s, Matthew Sweet has never followed trends, though his landmark 1991 album Girlfriend was responsible for starting one—its bone-dry, caterwauling sonics opening up a wild and picturesque new terrain for restless singer/songwriters to inhabit and explore. Two decades later, Sweet has once again swung for the fences—and connected—with the boldly experimental yet still deeply personal Modern Art.
Defiantly unorthodox, but often playfully so, Modern Art is a stealth album, embedded with half- hidden hooks lurking in its recesses, just out of focus, waiting to be discovered. Nope, this is not a one-listen album, but a progressive deepening has always characterizes the most memorable longplayers, whose authors rarely put all their cards on the table right away.
Matthew Sweet, July 31, at Vega, 350 Canopy Street Suite 220 (Second Floor), Lincoln, 9 p.m. Tickets are $13-$15. Visit www.vegalincoln.com for more information.
Celebrate three years of House of Loom, Omaha’s home for dance, culture, community and craft cocktails. House of Loom is a space where expression, integration and inspiration are a regular occurrence. House of Loom is a community centered around creating dance, music, art & educational events to create community and promote social progress. House of Loom squeezes our own juices, create our own syrups in-house and offers a tailored selection of craft cocktails, premium beers, whiskeys and absinthe.
House of Loom Three-Year Anniversary Party, August 2, at House of Loom, 1012 S. 10th St., 8 p.m. Admission is free. Visit www.houseofloom.com for more information.
With the new school year in Nebraska right around the corner, the Storm Chasers celebrate the teachers of the Omaha Metro in association with First Nebraska Educators Credit Union. Teachers can receive $2 off a Box Seat Ticket with proof of their profession. The Thirsty Thursday with live music at the DownDraught Bar & Grill from Happy Together will also be the Principal Financial Group Dreams Tour stop at Werner Park, where fans can enter to win a Home Plate signed by the 2014 Storm Chasers, and can receive $2 off a Box Seat Ticket by wearing a football jersey.
Storm Chasers’ Teacher Appreciation Night, July 31, at Werner Park, 7:05 p.m. Ticket prices vary. Visit www.milb.com for more information.
Jenny Lewis is one of the most celebrated and well-respected performers of her generation. Beginning her career in 1998 as the frontwoman of Rilo Kiley, the band rose from the burgeoning independent music community in Los Angeles to become one of the most dynamic and influential bands of the early 2000’s.
In between recording and touring with Rilo Kiley, Jenny contributed vocals to The Postal Service’s debut album “Give Up” (2003) and toured as a multi-instrumentalist with the band. By 2006, Lewis began her solo career with the album “Rabbit Fur Coat” and soon followed it up with 2008’s “Acid Tongue”, establishing herself as a songwriter moving beyond the confines of indie-rock into more timeless territory once occupied by artists like Laura Nyro and Emmylou Harris. Joe Levy, editor of Rolling Stone remarked that “Jenny Lewis is the best songwriter working today.” She has collaborated with many other artists and bands, most notably with Elvis Costello, Ryan Adams, T. Bone Burnett and M. Ward. In the summer of 2010, Lewis formed the duo Jenny and Johnny with songwriter Johnathan Rice and released the album “I’m Having Fun Now.”
Jenny Lewis, August 4, at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St., 9 p.m. Tickets are $20. Visit www.theslowdown.com for more information.
Formed in Los Angeles in 2009 by multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Mark Foster, indie rock trio Foster the People made atmospheric, psychedelic, and dance-oriented pop. Foster initially began the project alone, before he added long-term friend Cubbie Fink on bass and drummer Mark Pontius to complete the lineup. The following year, single “Pumped Up Kicks” was posted on their website, picking up considerable buzz online and significant airplay on KROQ, alongside packed performances at Texas music showcase SXSW. This inevitably garnered the attention of the major labels, and eventually the band signed to Columbia imprint Startime International. Early in 2011 they released a self-titled EP that featured “Pumped Up Kicks” — and with the major-label support the song became a worldwide hit.
Foster the People, August 4, at Stir’s Concert Cove, Council Bluffs, 8 p.m. Tickets are $42. Visit www.harrahscouncilbluffs.com for more information.
Omaha Farmers Market celebrates 21 seasons of making locally-grown foods accessible to our community. Fresh produce, one-of-a-kind products and valued relationships have made the Market what it is today. Join growers, vendors and other Market-goers as we celebrate 21 seasons.
Omaha Farmers Market, August 2, Old Market, 8 a.m. Admission is free. Visit www.omahafarmersmarket.com for more information.
The Omaha Bacon and Beer Festival is back. Hosted at The Old Mattress Factory, the event features over 50 handcrafted beers, live music and lots of, you guessed it, bacon. In support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Omaha and the Omaha Jaycees, the event organizers expect over 2,000 beer and bacon lovers.
Omaha Bacon and Beer Festival, August 2, at The Old Mattress Factory, 501 N. 13th St., 3 p.m. Tickets are $30. Visit www.themattomaha.com for more information.
LIFE ITSELF film captures the spirit, wit, and toughness of the late critic and social commentator Roger Ebert. Filmed in the final months before Ebert’s death from cancer, LIFE ITSELF delves deep into the times of a complicated man. The movie features intimate interviews with Ebert, his wife Chaz, friends and colleagues, and directors Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, and Martin Scorsese (who helped produce the film). Just one of the fascinating components of the movie is the degree to which Ebert’s criticism influenced some of the great filmmakers whose work he reviewed. Also featured are interviews with fellow critics Jonathan Rosenbaum, Richard Corliss, and A.O. Scott, all of whom were informed in some way by Ebert’s critical work. Tapped by Ebert himself to direct a film about his life, James is widely lauded as one of most important documentarians. His 1994 epic HOOP DREAMS is often cited as one of the great accomplishments in nonfiction filmmaking. One of the earliest and most vocal champions of the film was Ebert, saying, “A film like HOOP DREAMS is what the movies are for. It takes us, shakes us, and make us think in new ways about the world around us. It gives us the impression of having touched life itself.”
LIFE ITSELF, July 31 (LAST DAY), at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St., 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tickets start at $4.50. Visit www.filmstreams.org for more information.