During its March 27 CD-release party at Czar Bar, Little Brazil played two songs that don't appear on Son, the band's new record: "Easier" and "Happy Birthday."
The latter honored the owner of the band's new label, Anodyne Records. He was celebrating over vodka and cupcakes near the entrance of his bar.
John Hulston has a lot to celebrate. This year marks Anodyne's 10th anniversary. His Czar Bar is enjoying a very successsful first year as a popular downtown drinking hole. And his wife is expecting their first child in June. "I never sleep," he told me.
The veteran Omaha quartet Little Brazil and teenage Los Angeles rockers the Vox Jaguars are Anodyne's latest additions.
The roster is shorter, however, by two this year. Meat Puppets, who did a one-off with Anodyne in 2007, is now with Megaforce Records. And Anodyne label manager Brandon Phillips' band, the Architects, is releasing a new album this June on Skeleton Crew.
Hulston is happy for everyone. "They're where they need to be," he said. As the music industry continues to move online, Hulston is trying to determine what direction to take his label. It took years to nail down the distribution process, "and then people stopped buying CDs," he explained. Hulston is confident, however, that he has ordered the right amount of Son CDs, which were on sale for $10 at the merch table.
A good portion of Friday's crowd came from Omaha. Camera-toting young women in the front row apparently had followed the band to SXSW and back. "We were there!" one of them slurred loudly when singer Landon Hedges playfully denied the earlier claim (by opening act Roman Numerals) that Little Brazil fell down drunk at a showcase in Austin.
If anything, the band's collective buzz only enhances the Son songs, which rock way harder live. As the bearded Hedges belted his heart out, the bass player beat his own head with his fist. And at one point, a splintered drumstick sailed through the air.
I can't imagine a better way to spend a birthday.