* Saddle Creek Records’ first release for 2013 will be Big Harp’s second album, Chain Letters. The album comes out Tuesday, January 22nd. It is the follow-up to the band’s 2011 debut White Hat. Big Harp is the married duo of duo Chris Senseney and Stefanie Drootin-Senseney. While the two now reside in California, both lived in Omaha for several years, where Senseney fronted Baby Walrus and Drootin-Senseney played as a member of the Good Life.

* The Faint returned to the Sokol Auditorium, 2234 South 13th St. Friday, December 14th, with a familiar energy and swagger, as the four-piece Omaha dance-rock veterans played a set where new songs and old hits bookended the band’s front-to-back airing of its third album, 2001’s Danse Macabre. The band’s closely sonic kin in Omaha is the psych-pop/dance pop hybrid offered up by Icky Blossoms, who opened the show. The core trio of Sarah Bohling, Nik Fackler and Derek Pressnall have hit their stride on stage, though the ever-changing rhythm section finally seemed a stepped behind the energetic verve of those three mainstays. Meanwhile, the Faint made a wise selection in bringing Canadian synth-pop act Trust along as the main support on this tour. The band, led by the captivatingly unsettled presence of singer/songwriter Robert Alfons, hit on darkwave and post-punk influences while unravelling his lush, yet cathartic brand of electronic indie-pop. Girded by two synth players and a pulse of a programmed beat, Alfons played a barely controlled exorcism through song. It’s a performance that gave added emotional dimension to the songs found on Trust’s debut album, TRST, which already had become a 2012 favorite for me.

* The Millions recently`-released rarities CD Poison Fish is now available in Omaha at Homer’s Music, 1210 Howard St. The Lincoln act released the collection earlier this December. The collection gathers material from the years before the band recorded for Smash Records, a subsidiary of major label Polygram. Randy’s Alternative Music, a Pennsylvania based label, released the new CD in conjunction with the band.

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