Happy birthday, Waiting Room.
For a decade, Marc Leibowitz and Jim Johnson booked hundreds of shows at local venues such as Sokol Underground. Finally, in 2007, the 1% Productions partners realized their dream: Opening their own music club.
The Waiting Room Lounge opened March 9, 2007, with The Black Squirrels taking the stage.
At the time, Johnson was grateful for support of the music community as well as the Benson neighborhood.
"There's definitely support from music fans," Johnson said. "Everyone is happy we're here."
Since then, hundreds of bands have taken the stage and the entire club has undergone a renovation. Across the street, Leibowitz and Johnson have also opened Krug Park with other partners.
Kudos to the pair — and everyone else at the club — for doing so well. Here's to another five years.
Celebrate the anniversary with a show Friday at the club, 6212 Maple St. Saddle Creek Records band Criteria is back together and headlining the show with Little Brazil, The Photo Atlas, Great American Desert and DJ Kobrakyle. $5 at the door.
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Another celebration is taking place on Saturday at Slowdown. Back from Los Angeles to record their debut album for Saddle Creek, Icky Blossoms is performing a send-off show before they head down to South by Southwest music festival.
They recorded the album with Dave Sitek from TV On The Radio. No word yet on release dates, title or tracklist.
Icky Blossoms includes Tilly And The Wall's Derek Pressnall, filmmaker/musician Nik Fackler and vocalist Sarah Bohling. The band formed out of Presnall's former group Flowers Forever, which had one release on Team Love and performed at Conor Oberst's Concert For Equality.
Saturday's show also features Midtown Marauders and Pony wars. $7 tickets at the venue, www.etix.com or Homer's Music.
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Speaking of SXSW, I'll be going again this year.
The action starts on Wednesday and several Omaha bands will be there.
While I'm there, follow my coverage in the paper, on Omaha.com, in my blog (rockcandy.omaha.com) and on Twitter (@owhmusicguy). I'll be filing daily columns, photos, blog posts and tweets the whole time.
Before I go, I'll be writing a preview of the festival. Read it on Sunday.