Sucettes120917
Sucettes at Pet Shop Gallery Dec. 9, 2017.

Welcome to Lazy-i, an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news.

The focus is on the indie music scene. Yes, there’s a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area, but Lazy-i also offers interviews, stories and reviews about national indie bands.

Most of the feature stories and columns in Lazy-i will have previously been published in The Reader, Omaha’s monthly alternative newspaper.



Live Review: Candy Boys, Not Funny at O’Leaver’s…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:02 pm July 16, 2018

Candy Boys at O’Leaver’s July 13, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Candy Boys is John Klemmensen exorcising his demons with an electric guitar and his candy voice. Glean what you will from the lyrics, which one assumes reflect what he’s been through for the past few years. The interpretation is made easier thanks to the fact that Klemmensen always has been one of the few local singers who actually a-nun-ci-ates — i.e., you can hear and understand every word of his world-worn lyrics.

And while Klemmensen was never one to hold back (remember all that stuff about doing cocaine all night from his debut album?), these new songs are even more confessional though no less personal, or at least that’s my take. One guy said to me after the show, “Classic Klemmesen, funny as ever,” though I didn’t hear much Friday night worth laughing at.

That’s not to say this is downer music. Half the songs have that same Motown-by-way-of-New Jersey quality; the other half felt like a re-imagining of Mould’s Black Sheets of Rain — a record Klemmesen had never heard of, btw. He implied that their style is almost intentionally sloppy. If so, I couldn’t tell. Klemmensen’s guitar work was on point, heavy, soulful; and his band — bassist Vern Fergesen and drummer Daniel Dean Leonard — were perfect complements.

So yeah, Klemmensen is back. But are people listening? I didn’t see many familiar faces in that crowd of about 40 (only one, to be exact). Has his lost years meant also losing an audience he worked so hard to develop?

Not Funny at O’Leaver’s, July 13, 2018.

Opener Not Funny was an acoustic-driven 3-piece whose frontman, Aaron David Wrigley, has a unique vocal style that zigs, zags, squeaks and pops. If I had to draw a comparison I’d say it sounds like a combination of John Darnielle (of the Mountain Goats) with Jim Carrey’s acting career – passionate, but all over the place.

Musically there’s a Mountain Goats / Decemberists/ Violent Femmes thing going on, but with more syncopated riffage (the bass really carries these songs). The drawback was that their set was twice as long as it should have been, and by the end, they cleared the room.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Wagon Blasters record release show, Candy Boys tonight; The Love-Birds, David Nance Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:23 pm July 13, 2018

Wagon Blasters at Lookout Lounge April 30, 2016. The band plays tonight at Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s been too long since the last Wagon Blasters 7-inch came out — like five years too long. Well, they’re back on vinyl with a new 7-inch, Pandamonium Paradise E.P. (2018, Speed! Nebraska), four geetar-powered tractor punk ditties that are sure to be the soundtrack to the hottest summer on earth.

You can pick up your copy tonight at The Brothers Lounge, where Gary Dean, Jesse, Will and Kate will be rifling through the new songs and a ton of old favorites. The sea-glass vinyl record is limited to 300, so you better get yours quick.

If you can’t make it to the show, you can order one online at the Wagon Blasters’ fancy new Bandcamp page that not only features their full discography by a boatload of Speed! Nebraska merch including new seed caps and super-fast-looking racing-stripe Tees (I need one of those in large, Gary, make it blue).

Joining Wagon Blasters tonight is fellow Omaha act The Broke Loose and Lincoln pals Domestica. $5, 9 p.m.

Also happening tonight is the debut of The Candy Boys — the new band fronted by John Klemmensen (which you read about yesterday) — at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Joining them is Not Funny and Not Ben Shin. $5, 10 p.m.

Saturday night Almost Music in the Blackstone District is hosting an in-store concert with San Francisco jangle-pop summer-of-love band The Love-Birds. Dayton noise act Stress Test opens along with Omaha’s favorite psych-rock troubadours David Nance Band. $5, 9 p.m.

Sunday night Bazile Mills plays at Reverb Lounge with The Ruralists. $7, 5 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The return of John Klemmensen; Son Ambulance, Oquoa, English Beat tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:15 pm July 12, 2018

John Klemmensen and the Party at Reverb, May 1, 2015. Klemmensen returns to the stage tomorrow night (Friday) at O’Leaver’s as a member of The Candy Boys.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Hard to believe it was more than three years ago — May 1, 2015, to be exact — that John Klemmensen & The Party hosted their album release show for the LP Party All Night at Reverb Lounge.

The album was a career benchmark for Klemmensen, who had been performing music for more than 20 years both solo, with The Party and in a slew of bands, the most recent having been Landing on the Moon.

But shortly after that album release show, Klemmensen’s world unraveled. Among the lows was when Klemmensen stole a King Kong poster from a King King fast-food restaurant wearing a panda hat — an act that got broadcast on Crimestoppers. It was just part of a downward spiral.

“The underlying story was depression, massive prolonged intake of HARD drugs, overall bad decision making. A lot of self-sabotage, basically,” Klemmensen said.

“I never planned on taking such a long hiatus, but getting myself out of the trouble I had caused myself took some time,” he said.  “I’m still working on being human.”

And among the best parts of his humanity is his music. Klemmensen will return to the stage tomorrow night (Friday) at fabulous O’Leaver’s fronting a new rock band called The Candy Boys. The band consists of Vern Fergesen on bass, Daniel Dean Leonard on drums, and Klemmensen on guitar and vocals.

Klemmensen said it’s “a little more sloppy and loud (on purpose) than ‘the Party.’ I think it’s closer to where I came from, like Reset or Revilo (although I wasn’t in Revilo).”

Tomorrow night’s set will focus on all new music, a reflection of Klemmensen’s new life. “I’m better now,” he said. “Weed, ice cream maybe an occasional shot of whiskey. I’m a good boy now.”

The Candy Boys play tomorrow night (Friday) at O’Leaver’s with Columbus/Omaha punk/folk act Not Funny.

* * *

OK, but what’s going on tonight at O’Leaver’s? Just another stacked bill. Headlining is Oquoa (Max Holmquist and the boys) with Saddle Creek Records band Son, Ambulance. Joining them is Denton, Texas act Claire Morales, whose new record All That’s Wanting, was released June 29. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, The English Beat, who probably plays more often in Omaha than in their origin city of Birmingham, England, returns to The Slowdown. The Bishops open at 8 p.m. $28.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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New stuff from Jason Steady, David Nance; Lupines, Noah Sterba, Rusty Lord, Dog Party tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:38 pm July 11, 2018

Dog Party at O’Leaver’s, July 30, 2017. The band returns to O’Leaver’s tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This past Monday Jason Steady (once of the band Talking Mountain, among others) dropped me a line about a new track he’s recorded — a cover of Gram Parsons’ “One Hundred Years From Now,” which, I must say, is sublime. It marks a new direction for Steady, a sound which I described as “psych-country,” but which Jason calls “outer space cosmic death nature sounds.”

Check it out below and/or download/buy it along with Steady’s cover of George Jones’ “Things Have Gone to Pieces” (and a demo  of the Parsons cover) at his Bandcamp page.

Speaking of new music, David Nance posted that his next record, titled Peace and Slightly Pulverized, will be released Oct. 5 by Trouble In Mind Records. The Chicago label’s roster includes Dick Diver, Paperhead and Ultimate Painting, among others. The seven-song vinyl features Nance backed by his band — Kevin Donahue, Jim Schroeder and Tom May. Nance blew a hole in the wall with last year’s Negative Boogie (Ba Da Bing Records). I can’t wait to hear this one…

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Two shows of note tonight…

Pageturners Lounge continues its summer concert series tonight with a triple-bill: Lupines, Noah Sterba and Rusty Lord. Is this the show that the real-life Rusty Lord finally makes an appearance? Find out. This one’s free and starts at 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Sacramento’s Dog Party — the garage rock duo of sisters Gwennie and Lucy Giles — returns to fabulous O’Leaver’s. Joining them are Mad Dog and the 20/20s and Muscle Cousins. $7, 9 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Mark Mallman, Electric Six tonight at Reverb Lounge…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 4:39 pm July 10, 2018
Mark Mallman at The Waiting Room, Nov. 29, 2010.

Mark Mallman at The Waiting Room, Nov. 29, 2010. He plays tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I almost skipped posting today and then I saw that Mark Mallman is playing tonight at Reverb Lounge and wanted to make sure you knew.

The Minnesota-based piano-man has put out a lot of great records including career highlight Mr. Serious (2004, Badman Recording Co.) that’s filled with infectious sing-along pop ditties.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mallman back in 2010 in support of a Waiting Room gig. You can still read the feature article online here, wherein I describe Mark trying to win over an audience at the old Sammy Sortino’s pizza place on south 72nd Street (now long gone). Fans of Christopher the Conquered and Har Mar Superstar will likely dig.

Mallman opens for Detroit garage-pop act Electric Six, probably best known for their 2003 single “Gay Bar,” which I just heard played the other day on Sirius XMU. Starts at 8. $15 (worth it for Mallman alone).

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Dereck Higgins’ ‘The World is Burning’ tracks stretch back to Digital Sex days…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:51 pm July 9, 2018

Dereck Higgins’ The World Is Burning includes tracks that date back to his Digital Sex days.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Dereck Higgins has played in dozens of bands over the past 30+ years, but most notably was a member of seminal ’80s band Digital Sex. Higgins is still in at least a half dozen bands, including Son, Ambulance, Skuddar and RAF, not to mention his  solo work.

Last week a new collection of songs and recordings written and performed by Higgins that date back to his Digital Sex days was released by Randy LeMasters, a Pittsburgh-based music entrepreneur who released the last Digital Sex compilation Essence and Rarities back in ’94 as well as a 2012 collection of rarities by The Millions called Poison Fish.

“Randy is a super fan of my music, starting with his discovery of Digital Sex,” Higgins said. “When he traveled to Omaha in 2000 to meet me and see DS play we visited at my house. I played some of the stuff I recorded at home for my own sanity and enjoyment. He begged me to have copies.”

Over the years Higgins sent LeMasters CDs of recordings, which he said were never intended for public consumption. “A few years ago Randy approached me with the idea of releasing some of his favorites of the hundreds of songs I had sent him,” Higgins said. “I was reluctant at first but agreed.”

Titled The World Is Burning, the CD is limited to 300, of which about 100 already have been sold via Higgins’ website, which is the only place you can buy them locally. “Put simply, if you actually like the music of Digital Sex you will like this,” Higgins said. “Some music is as old as 1984, (with the) most recent likely from the ’90s. I wrote the original music and played all of the instruments on the home recordings, the same recordings from which Digital Sex sprang from — drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals.”

Higgins said the title track reflects our current national state of affairs. “…Things have only gotten worse since I wrote the song,” he said. “It’s a totally topical song about the state of the world.”

You’ll get a chance to hear Higgins perform songs off the new album live at The Down Under Lounge July 19 as part of his residency at the club. The night also will include a performance by Todd Grant of the band Compost whose solo album, 1994’s Strangled Soul, is one of my faves.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

The Living Deads, #BFF, Beat Seekers tonight; Jeff Rosenstock Saturday; Digital Leather, Proud Parents Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:34 pm July 6, 2018

Digital Leather at The Sydney, April 6, 2018. They play Sunday at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Good thing there’s fantastic weather this weekend so you can go out and enjoy instead of going to the clubs because ain’t hardly nothing happening. I’m looking and looking and finding very little from an indie-rock perspective (There’s some punk, though…).

Since you’ll be scratching your head trying to figure out what to do tonight, consider Benson First Friday (yes, it happens every month). The venues will be overflowing with art, which you can find out about here.

I beseech you to drop by The Little Gallery, the place run by my wife located across and just down the street from The Sydney in the east bay of the Masonic Lodge. The show, a co-op with Frogman’s Print Workshop, is called Personal Geographies: “Diana Behl, Tiberiu Chelcea, Sage Dawson, and Mary Jones use mapping conventions to talk about the passage of time, and to examine the essence of places seen, overlooked or imagined.” Booze and snacks, from 6 to 9 p.m. See you there.

Show-wise, The Brothers Lounge has nomadic psychobilly rockers The Living Deads tonight with Big Red Rawkit Riot. 9 p.m., no cover listed (but probably $5).

Also tonight, Lookout Lounge has The Beat Seekers with Switchblade Saturdays and Tame Suns. $10, 8 p.m.

Saturday night The Natural States and Houma are opening for S.F. doom act Body Void at fabulous O’Leaver’s. $8, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Lookout Lounge is hosting its annual Punk Rock BBQ with Jeff Rosenstock, Remo Drive, Pseudo, Death Cow, Hand Painted Police Car, Dummy Head Torpedo, Liar Wire, Blandford, Midwest Depressed, and CatBeret. It all starts at 4 p.m. and just $15!

Which brings us to Sunday and a return to O’Leaver’s for the Sunday Social with Digital Leather and Proud Parents. DL you already know about. Proud Parents is a Madison, Wisconsin, punk trio whose debut LP was released on Dirtnap Records. The album was recorded and mixed by none other than Bobby Hussy (the Hussy, Cave Curse, Fire Heads, TIT) at his own Hex Empire. And yeah, that’s Heather Sawyer of The Hussy on drums and vocals. It’s good! This one starts early — 6 p.m. — and will cost you seven bones.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend!

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Rolling Stone goes monthly; Esme Patterson, Sean Pratt/Sweats tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:00 pm July 5, 2018

Rolling Stone changed its design and became monthly.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Last week I got a butt-slapper-sized issue of Rolling Stone in the mail and immediately knew something was up.

The previous issue, with Camila Cabello (???) on the cover felt more like a pamphlet than a magazine in all its 66 pages of content. RS has been declining for years in terms of page count and content.

Then along comes this new issue with Cardi B & Offset (???) on the cover (btw, the ??? signifies that I have no idea who these people are. And while I haven’t kept up with pop-chart music for years, at least in the old days I recognized the people on the cover of Rolling Stone. Apparently that’s no longer the case). The giant-sized, perfect-bound issue weighed in at a hefty 136 pages — twice the size of the previous issue. The reason: “A New Era for Rolling Stone” as Jann Wenner put it announcing the new format and the new monthly (instead of bi-weekly) publication.

It typically has taken about five minutes to flip through a Rolling Stone (with four minutes spent in the reviews section). I flipped though this new issue page for page and will likely go back and read the features about the cover people as well as a “booze and hash”-laced portrait of Johnny Depp.

The new format emphasized lots o’ photos (including a Sebastian Salgado feature — he’s been doing pictorials for Stone for decades), “lists” (“100 Greatest songs of the Century… So Far” which is (you guessed it) off the mark), and chart stories (a la Wired), along with its usual fare: Random Notes, National Affairs, and of course, Reviews, which have been expanded (though in the same format).

As a whole, I like what they’ve done with the magazine. The bi-weekly format has seemed somewhat slap-dash for a while now. No doubt this is a last gasp by a magazine that has managed to survive while so many others have been taken down by the internet plow. And while their focus on pop music / bad fashion can be rather gagging, I still enjoy getting it in the mail, as I have for decades….

* * *

Denver folk-pop singer/songwriter Esme Patterson (Grand Jury Records) plays tonight at The Sydney. Joining her are Sean Pratt and the Sweats, Mike Schlensenger and Annalibera. $10, 9 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Gobbinjr, Sam Martin, Jeremy Enigk (Sunny Day Real Estate), Rememberables tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:53 pm July 3, 2018

Sam Martin in the Sweatshop Gallery at Sweatfest, July 15, 2015. He’s playing tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Word came this morning that singer/songwriter/producer Richard Swift passed away at the young age of 41. As a producer, Swift worked with Foxygen, Guster, Sharon Van Etten, Damien Jurado, Pure Bathing Culture, and Saddle Creek Records act The Mynabirds, having produced their first two albums. He also put out some great stuff of his own, such as Dressed Up for the Letdown (2007, Secretly Canadian), which I’ve been listening to this morning. He was definitely too young to go. More on his life and work at Pitchfork.

* * *

For once someone booked some shows the night before a national holiday, which is sort of a no-duh kinda thing when you consider most of us have tomorrow off.

Gobbinjr a.k.a. Emma Witmer headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s tonight. Her latest, Ocala Wick, is out on Top Shelf Records (check it below) and is sugar-sweet singer/songwriter stuff in the K Records vein. Just as sugary sweet are openers Sam Martin and Megan Siebe. $5, 9 p.m

Meanwhile, down at Slowdown Jr. Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate and The Fire Thief fame is doing a solo set with a full band. His last album, Ghosts, was released in 2017 on Lewis Hollow, but this tour celebrates his solo debut Return of the Frog King (1996, Sub Pop). Chris Staples (Twothirtyeight) opens. 8 p.m., $18.

Finally, there’s a house show at 20th and Poppleton featuring D.C. indie rock act The Rememberables, who sound like they walked right out of the ’90s. Baltimore dark wave act Blacksage opens along with Haggis, CBN and Lifeguard. $10, 9 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Remembering Harlan Ellison; Post Animal, Hussies tonight; Sean Pratt/Sweats, Dave Nance, Dirt House, Centerpiece Saturday; Big Bite, BiB Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:42 pm June 29, 2018

A portion of my Harlan Ellison library… and my 45s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

First, a non-music note: Harlan Ellison passed away yesterday. The best requiem I could give him beyond the photo of my personal Ellison collection at the top of this entry is the following, written for The Reader back in 2013:

Known primarily as the guy who wrote the best episode of Star Trek (“City on the Edge of Forever”) and for penning the material that became the 1976 Don Johnson bomb A Boy and His Dog, I’d read Ellison’s short stories for years before picking up his collection of essays and criticism called Sleepless Nights in the Procrustean Bed in 1984. That was followed a year later by An Edge in My Voice (in fact, this column’s title is a play on that book’s title). It is impossible to read Ellison’s essays and not absorb his rhythm, syntax and style. His is a voice of measured anger bordered by reason, sarcasm, intelligence and wit. I spent a good chunk of my college years emulating Ellison’s writing style before figuring out one of my own.

A day does not go by where I don’t think about Ellison and his writing.

Onward (but with a heavy heart)…

* * *

Tonight’s the annual Memorial Park concert/fireworks display featuring Mickey Thomas’ Starship and Boston/Styx cover band Bostyx. I can’t imagine a worse combination, but the folks going to the concert aren’t there for the music, they’re there for the fireworks.

I assume organizers are aware no one cares about the music and thus book the most benign acts for this show. If they’re going to get 50,000 people in the park regardless of the entertainment, they should consider other options, but I’m sure I’m not the first person to suggest that.

Needless to say, I’ll once again be stationed on my front porch with my trusty over-and-under cradled on my lap telling the passing mob to “Get off my lawn!

Now for the real music news…

Why haven’t they cleared out the tents from CWS? Because they’ve got a home run derby at the park Saturday night. They shouldn’t get in the way of tonight’s show at Slowdown Jr., where Chicago psych-rock band Post Animal (Polyvinyl Records) headlines. Minneapolis “dream-punk” act Slow Pulp opens. $12, 9 p.m

Tonight Hussies headline at The Brothers Lounge. KC band Red Kate also is on the bill along with Tiananmen Squares. $5, 9 p.m.

Sean Pratt and the Sweats return to fabulous O’Leaver’s Saturday night. They’re bringing with them Brooklyn’s Becca Ryskalczyk (of Bethlehem Steel). Dave Nance opens the evening at 10 p.m. $5.

Dirt House celebrates the release of its debut EP Come Over at Slowdown Jr. Saturday night. Opening is Kait Berreckman and The Jim Schroeder Quintet (Schroeder plays guitar with Dave Nance, among others). $8 adv/$10 DOS, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Centerpiece, a band I just heard about yesterday, is celebrating the release if its debut EP Simple at Reverb Lounge Saturday night. North by North and I Forgot to Love My Father open. $7 adv/$10 DOS. 9 p.m.

Sunday night there’s a 5-band indie-punk show at Reverb headlined by Big Bite. Also on the bill is Supercrush, BiB, Death Cow and Ginger Ale. $8, 9 p.m.

Finally, The Waiting Room is hosting its annual Canada Day showcase — 10 bands playing Canadian covers including Mike Saklar, Korey Anderson and The Electroliners. This is a benefit for the Siena / Francis House with food available and everything. $8, 8 p.m. More info here.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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