Pageturners Lounge made headlines at first because it was opened by Conor Oberst and his friend and fellow musician Phil Schaffart.
The bar was opened as a cozy space where one can enjoy a Tecate and time with friends.
Though the bar hosts music only occasionally, the musical events have become some of its most popular nights. Members of Oberst's Mystic Valley Band performed as did She & Him's backing band. I heard the place was packed.
“We're going to try to keep bringing in interesting out-of-town acts from time to time,” Schaffart told me.
Some really cool forthcoming shows come from Jonathan Rice, who plays with girlfriend Jenny Lewis in Jenny and Johnny and has a pretty healthy solo career, and Mike Coykendall, who plays in M. Ward's band as well as She & Him.
Rice will release his new album, “Good Graces,” on Sept. 17, which is two days before his show at Pageturners on the 19th. Laura Burhenn opens the show.
Coykendall's 2012 album, “Chasing Away the Dots,” let the sideman turn into a frontman. His tour takes him through Omaha on Sept. 26.
Pageturners' shows are free and begin at 9 p.m.
Those gigs are in addition to the bar's regular events, which include Dan McCarthy's weekly ragtime piano on Thursdays and jazz from Luke Polipnick's organ trio. Polipnick's group takes over the regular Tuesday gig from the Matt Amandus Trio.
“We neatly blew the roof off that joint,” Polipnick told me last week.
Speaking of Polipnick, he's a busy guy. We spoke last week, and he detailed an incredibly complicated and sort of hilarious schedule of all of his projects, which includes four coming releases from six different projects.
His output is prolific.
“I'm hoping this ... will put me on the map in the modern jazz and improv world,” he told me.
Polipnick's debut jazz album is being pressed right now and will be released at the same time as a cassette EP of solo guitar songs. He also has an improv duo called Type Type that will release an album in October.
A new band, Hotlines, features Polipnick, Dereck Higgins, Amanda DeBoer Bartlett and Javid Dabistani. They debut at O'Leaver's on Sept. 21.
Most interesting to me is a project with Anthony Cox about H.P. Lovecraft's “Call of Cthulhu.” The recording project will kick off with a Kickstarter fundraiser soon, and the music will be a sort of soundtrack to Lovecraft's monstrous short story.
In addition to the music, Omaha artist Joshua Norton will be making woodcut prints of Cthulhu mythos characters that will accompany the release in an elaborate record packaging.