Empty Bottle owner/Longman & Eagle partner Bruce Finkleman has opened a new three-level commercial space in a historic Pilsen building called Thalia Hall at 1227 W. 18th St. On the second story is a renovated theatre from the 1890s that was originally designed after the old Prague Opera House and eventually will house live concerts and art shows. In the meantime, first floor restaurant Dusek’s and downstairs cocktail bar Punch House are open for business. Dusek’s specializes in beer-inspired cuisine paired with brews selected from a master cicerone, while Punch House serves a selection of house-made daily punch bowls including the tequila-based concoction known as Space Juice. Concerts are expected to begin in Thalia Hall in early 2014.
BY RYAN BRAY
For a guy who once served as the indie cool poster child of The Modern Lovers, it’s interesting that Jonathan Richman’s persona today is defined by something all together different. Dispelling any semblance of danger or edginess, Richman has instead built an iconic legacy off of boyish naivete and disarming, childlike songwriting. He may be well into middle age, but the singer (accompanied by drummer Tommy Larkin) is as touched with wide-eyed innocence today as the day he emerged from the womb with acoustic guitar in hand. In today’s day and age where sincerity too often takes a backseat to ironic detachment, Richman’s happy-go-lucky energy is a breath of fresh air on a cool autumn night.
BY IAN YOUNG
Those harboring an affinity for early Modest Mouse can thank Built To Spill and bandleader Doug Martsch, whose thoughtful and dynamic pop songs paved the way for what is now that famous Northwest indie rock sound. Throughout their trailblazing two-decade career, the band has proven its mastery over the indie rock domain by producing some of the genre’s most influential classics including There’s Nothing Wrong With Love, Perfect From Now On, and Keep It Like A Secret (all of which found their way onto many “Top Albums of the ‘90s” lists). The group’s most recent release, 2009’s excellent There Is No Enemy, confirms that Built To Spill remains as vital as ever. Just ask any indie band from the Pacific Northwest. Or your older brother.
BY IAN YOUNG
PHOTO BY JESS EWALD
Saddle Creek mainstay Tim Kasher is best known for exploring the art-rock end of emo as the mastermind behind Omaha indie darlings Cursive. This fall, a solo Kasher will be touring without his group of ugly organists in support of his forthcoming album Adult Film. While his debut record The Monogamy Game took a satirical look at married life, his death-obsessed new single “Truly Freaking Out” suggests that Adult Film will be more of an existential affair. Since it’s always better to contemplate mortality surrounded by a group of friends, come to his show and let Kasher know he isn’t the only one freaking out.