* The folks behind Record Store Day have put together exclusive releases for indie shops such as Homer’s for Black Friday, Nov. 26. Artists include The Black Keys, Iron & Wine, Dr. Dog, MGMT, U2, Drive By Truckers, Gaslight Anthem, Tom Petty, and several more. Most have pressings under 3,000 and, according to Homer’s GM/Buyer, Mike Fratt, they expect one-to-five copies of each exclusive title per location, dependent upon allocation. There are no holds, no pre-orders on any of the elite merchandise. Visit recordstoreday.com or your nearest Homer’s for more information. * UNO’s computer and electronic music outfit, Ensemble A.M.I. (Artificial Music Initiative) will perform Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon in it’s entirety Thursday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. at the Strauss Center on UNO’s campus. The group specializes in “live, interactive computer music as well as any musical art that is mediated by technology.” Bassist Luke Sawtelle will conduct with technical direction from keyboardist Paul Morrison. The show will include full rock band instrumentation with background vocals, multiple guitar and keyboard parts, saxophone, drums and several “laptop players.” A pre-show lecture on the music of Pink Floyd by Tomm Roland begins at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call 554.3947 for more details. * Also Nov. 18 is Omaha Rocks: A Benefit for the Homeless at Slowdown at 7 p.m., featuring Platte River Rain, The Siena Francis House Singers, The Todd Campbell Project, The Bishops and The Jacuzzi Brothers. Plus, there will be artwork by Jerry Neil and Chris Leet. The $10 donation/cover will go towards move-in kits for area service providers to help the homeless throughout the long, cold, fast-approaching winter months. Visit theslowdown.com. * If the pre-holiday vibe has you feeling charitable, another good cause is giving teenagers a place to see live music by helping Lincoln’s burgeoning all-ages venue, Mad Ave, get up and running. The club’s October opening was postponed after some confusion over necessary building maintenance, and its proprietors are scrambling for funds to upgrade parts of the building (one example: an extra bathroom is needed for them to legally operate). According to Brock Stephens the group is planning two benefit shows (one in Omaha, one in Lincoln) for mid-December and accepting donations via a PayPal account at matt.vicars@hotmail.com. “We are also looking for any contractors, plumbers and electricians willing to help us with this matter. Our goal is to be open by January 2011,” says Stephens. Stay tuned for more on the benefits and overall progress. Backbeat takes you behind the scenes of the local music scene. Send tips, comments and questions to backbeat@thereader.com.

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