Little Brazil, with Radiant. Thursday, March 22, at the Record Bar.
Review by Crystal K. Wiebe
My best friend lives in Omaha and has a history of dating indie rock boys even though she thinks indie rock boys can't sing (or try to sound bad on purpose). I guess she hasn't been hanging out at Little Brazil shows over the years. That Omaha-based band's singer, Landon Hedges, has a sweet voice.
Little Brazil played way too late at the Record Bar last night. I stuck it out, though, in spite of my inflamed sinuses. I've been meaning to see Little Brazil since about 2003, when we became MySpace friends. But I guess like 99 percent of Nebraska hipsters, I was too focused on seeing Saddle Creek bands.
Radiant, an outfit from Dallas, Texas, opened the show around 11 p.m. Besides the precise moment the set ended, the most enjoyable part of Radiant was a cover of "Love Will Tear Us Apart." OK, I'm being too harsh. The band just tried to hard to be...radiant, sounding instead like a cheesy, bastard cousin of Coldplay or U2. Fortunately, Radiant's mediocrity made the Little Brazil experience all the more enjoyable.
I'm sorry, but because of the Omaha connection, I can't help but describe Little Brazil in the context of other bands with ties to that city. (Hedges is linked to two fairly prominent ones — the Good Life and Desaparecidos.) My boyfriend said it best when he decided Little Brazil sounds like (former Saddle Creek band from California) Rilo Kiley with a male singer. It's kinda true. Hedges serves up his share of personal torments (like relationship trouble and a dead best friend) in a strong, higher voice over guitar rock that's not too experimental. Ultimately, I found Little Brazil to be much more accessible than a lot of other Saddle Creek bands, although there were also twinges of Cursive and Conor Oberst throughout. Which isn't to say Little Brazil's ripping anybody off. These guys have been listening to each other — in some cases jamming together — and influencing each other for years. It's cool.