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A Shanks Eulogy

Pretty much from the start, I was disqualified from ever interviewing the Shanks for The Reader.

When the Shanks released their first single, 2007's Cut Me, Boom Chick Records asked me to write up a little blurb to be sent out with the record. Thankfully, the internet has saved that short paragraph. Here it is courtesy of ptrashrecords.com:

"Remember all that supposedly angry punk music you listened to when you were...


Darker Days: The Return of The Shanks

Here's one way to sum up the rise and fall of The Shanks, Omaha's original shock-rock punk band:

Throughout our interview a couple weeks ago on the screened-in porch of guitarist Todd VonStup's midtown house, band members got up and relieved themselves into spent beer cans and liquor bottles that lined the window ledge.

Moments after relieving himself, drummer/vocalist Jeff Ankenbauer walked back to his chair with a...


Feel the Burn

The concept album, when done well (The Who’s “Tommy,” for example), can raise a band’s artistry to a new level, attracting new listeners and garnering the respect of critics. When done poorly (KISS’ “The Elder”), it can serve as a permanent source of embarrassment for not only the band, but fans as well.

After two well-received albums, Age of Winters and Gods of the Earth, Austin’s The Sword opted for the concept...


Playing With Fire moves, Stir Cove continues on

* The Playing with Fire concert series is moving its Saturday, July 16 show, headlined by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, to higher ground. The new location is at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village. Organizers decided to move to the public park, which sits on the southwest corner of the development near West Center Road and South 65th Avenue, after rising flood concerns along the downtown riverfront forced the event...


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