Former child actor turned musician Corey Feldman is descending upon Omaha later this month and the only thing that might be more unusual than his EDMish bro-goth act, Corey's Angels, is the location he'll be blessing with his presence.
But if you'd never heard of Maloney's Irish Pub before Feldman's January show announcement, owner Wendy Bettin, 35, gets it: Hers is a neighborhood Everybar, not a rock venue. It doesn't pander to the craft beer and cocktail crowds that light up Instagram screens, and its location — near the SW corner of N. 72nd and Blondo — is too far outside the reaches of Benson to profit from its ironic touch.
So how did Bettin land the controversial Goonie, Feldman, who also starred in'80s favorites The Lost Boys and Stand by Me? Simple. She asked.
The Iowa native, who opened Maloney's in 2008, said she was considering a road trip to Tremont, Ill to watch Feldman's band when she realized she'd already have her St. Patrick's Day tent — which is heated and can shelter a couple hundred patrons — set up and available March 18, if she could just somehow convince the recent Celebrity Wife Swap star to stop by on his way east. Before negotiations were settled, she said, Feldman listed the show on his website. Opening is Digital Leather, Thick Paint and Glow in the Dark.
"I guess we're doing this now," Bettin (formerly Maloney) said she remembered thinking, "there's no going back."
Feldman describes Corey's Angels as a "management, development and production entity," which is intended to help down-and-out aspiring Hollywood entertainers. The "360-degree interactive experience" has been criticized for being modeled after Hugh Hefner's Playboy Bunnies, and it's been accused of being a sex cult that preys on vulnerable women. But Feldman maintains his intentions are pure.
The band itself comes off mostly as performance art, reminding one of Joaquin Phoenix's mock rap career. Only, in Corey's Angels, Feldman seems to be channeling his inner (and outer) Michael Jackson, who he dedicated his double album Angelic 2 the Core to last June. Still, there's enough David Icke and his lizard people permeating throughout the whole ordeal to keep Bettin guessing as to how Feldman's Maloney's show will eventually turn out:
"It's going to be weird," she said with a slight hesitation. "I can guarantee that."
Omaha Zine Fest
Omaha Zine Fest is pasting together another DIY festival for a second go at the pamphlet-trading expo. Only, this year's March 11 gathering of artists, musicians and thinkers will not be an exact Xerox of the inaugural event.
For starters, co-founders Andrea Kszystyniak, 27, Daphne Calhoun, 22, and Kaitlan McDermott, 25, are bringing their festival to the brand new Union for Contemporary Art space in North O. The event will also focus its workshops almost strictly on social justice:
"We want everyone to feel welcome and enjoy their time at our event, no matter what their identity of background," Kszystyniak said last month. "Our biggest priority is making sure our events are comfortable, safe and accessible for everyone."
Zines — short for magazines or fanzines — have been the preferred supplemental literature to countercultures and fringe movements since individuals have had the ability to mass-produce pamphlets in a DIY fashion. In recent decades, the zine has belonged to the photocopying punk, with its fast and loud aesthetic, but it has since become an eclectic canvas for just about anything.
Kszystyniak said she's hoping to use zines to show off Omaha to the rest of the country.
"We had such a positive response last year," she said. "It's funny because we had so many people come from out of state who were surprised by what Omaha had to offer. We want to keep sharing our amazing city and its awesome artists with others."