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.



Summer Like the Season tonight; R.A.F., The Browncoats Saturday; X Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 5:20 pm June 21, 2019

Legendary Los Angeles punk band X plays at The Waiting Room Sunday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Summer colds are the worst.

Here’s what I’d be doing this weekend if I wasn’t sick as a dog:

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s Detroit indie/electronic/art rock project Summer Like the Season headlines. High-tone digital pop. Joining them are And How, Magu, and Ben Eisenberger. $5, 10 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Omaha legacy punk band R.A.F. headlines at The Brothers Lounge. In the traveling band position is St. Louis band The Browncoats, who are probably most well-known for singing the theme song to Science Fiction TV show Firefly (“To the Black”). I have a feeling no at the Brothers will know this, however. Relax, It’s Science opens at 9 p.m. $5.

Finally, Sunday night is X at The Waiting Room. I’m told this might be the last chance you get to see this line-up with Billy Zoom. Legends, they are. Folk Uke opens at 8 p.m. $30.

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

The Reader/Lazy-i Top 20 Bands…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:41 pm June 18, 2019

Four of the Top 20, clockwise from top left, Clarence Tilton, David Nance Group, Thick Paint and Jason Steady.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The annual “music issue” of The Reader is out now and includes my annual Top 20 favorite bands list. A few people have found it in print on the newsstands, screen-capped the article and posted it in Facebook, and among the feedback are comments on the woeful number of female musicians/bands on the list. That lack of female representation crossed my mind, especially after I wrote in last year’s Year in Review article how women dominate the indie and pop music charts.

When it comes to Omaha female musicians, many of my favorites have moved away or are no longer performing (among them, Orenda Fink, Laura Burhenn, Rachel Tomlinson Dick, Anna McClellan and Stefanie Drootin-Senseney come to mind). As someone said in Facebook, the list underscores the importance of projects like Omaha Girls Rock!, which is developing the next generation of Omaha women indie rockers. If you haven’t checked it out, you should.

Anyway, the list is online at The Reader here, and, of course, is below:

The Lazy-i / Reader Top 20

By Tim McMahan

This is about as unscientific as it gets. For this year’s Top 20 list we’re submitting our teams, ur … bands, and letting you sort it out. The criteria? For me, the band has to be either: 1) actively recording music, 2) actively touring, and/or 3) actively playing gigs in the Omaha/Lincoln area. If asked at gunpoint, I’d guestimate there are somewhere north of 100 bands in the Omaha/Lincoln area that fit the above criteria, and I’ve seen and/or heard from only half. And that half plays indie and/or garage rock, because that’s the genre I most closely cover in my blog at lazy-i.com. So, no pop-punk bands, no metal/death metal, no hip-hop, no country and western.

That’s a long-winded way of saying this ain’t a “best bands in Omaha” list. It’s a list of my favorite bands in Omaha. Your mileage may vary.

So, in no particular order:

Lodgings — The five-piece indie rock act just released Water Works, an eight-song LP recorded and mixed by the legendary Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago. Gritty indie punk.

David Nance Group — Playing a unique blend of psychedelic, garage and heavy rock, the band released Peaced and Slightly Pulverized last fall on Chicago label Trouble in Mind Records and has been on the road off and on since.

Thick Paint — Fronted by Graham Patrick Ulicny (of Reptar fame), their trippy, proggy sound hinges on his eccentrically high voice and inventive song structures. Their first formal album, A Perennial Approach to Free Time, was released in April.

Cursive — One of the original Saddle Creek Records’ crown jewels, the band (centered on Tim Kasher, Matt Maginn and Ted Stevens) released its latest album, Vitriola, on its own 15 Passenger label.

Conor Oberst — The former frontman of Bright Eyes, which is another of the Saddle Creek crown jewels, joined forces with indie wunderkind Phoebe Bridgers to form Better Oblivion Community Center, whose self-titled debut was released on Dead Oceans Records this year.

The Faint — Last of the three Saddle Creek crown jewels, the No Wave New Wave electro-rock act returned to the Creek fold this year with the release of Egowerk and then hit the road (in Todd Fink’s case, permanently).

Those Far Out Arrows — The Nuggets-flavored psych-garage act broke out last year with Part Time Lizards, its full-length debut on Kansas City’s High Dive Records.

See Through Dresses — Omaha’s shoe-gaze darlings recently re-emerged after a brief performance hiatus that begun after touring nationally in support of their 2017 release Horse of the Other World (Tiny Engines Records).

Matt Whipkey — One of the area’s most prolific singer/songwriters self-released his Driver LP last year and then switched genres, forming punk-protest act Unexplained Death, whose debut LP is slated for later this year.

Domestica — The trio of former Mercy Rule members Heidi & Jon Ore and Sideshow drummer Pawl Tisdale continues to blaze new paths of anthemic punk rock on Lincoln and Omaha stages.

Wagon Blasters — Fronted by former Frontier Trust and Monroes band leader Gary Dean Davis, with William Thornton, Jesse Render and Kate Williams, the Omaha tractor punk powerhouse released the four-song Pandemonium Paradise EP last year on Speed! Nebraska Records.

The Lupines — This soaring garage-rock four-piece is working on a follow-up to 2017’s Mountain of Love LP, which you can hear portions of as they burn down one Omaha stage after another with their incendiary live show.

Twinsmith — One of the only Omaha-based Saddle Creek Records bands in recent years, the indie-pop act released a new single, “Feels,” in April.

Brad Hoshaw — The singer/songwriter headed to Redwood Studio in Denton, Texas, to record the formal follow-up to 2014’s Funeral Guns, and it should see a release later this year.

Matthew Sweet — The nationally recognized indie rocker followed his 2017 return, Tomorrow Forever, last year with Tomorrow’s Daughter, released on his own Honeycomb Hideout Records.

Josh Hoyer — After the 2017 season of The Voice, Hoyer and his band, Soul Colossal, recorded the 10-song LP Do It Now, released this year on Silver Street Records.

Jason Steady — Omaha’s most lovable singer/songwriter rejoined forces with former colleague in The Cuterthans and Talking Mountain — Chris Twist of Nobunny — to record and release The Return of the Paisley Angels, and then they hit the road on tour.

Simon Joyner — One of Omaha’s longest-running singer/songwriters continued touring last year in support of his 2017 album Step into the Earthquake, released on Shrimper Records.

Clarence Tilton — The Americana/alt-country act released the six-song EP World Rolled In last year and continued to be a staple on Omaha stages.

Little Brazil — The long-running and hardest-rocking indie act last year saw the release of Send The Wolves on Max Trax Records — its first new LP in nine years.

This originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of The Reader. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Double Grave, The Cult of Lip…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , — @ 12:33 pm June 17, 2019

The Cult of Lip at O’Leaver’s, June 15, 2019.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Walking up to O’Leaver’s Saturday I noticed they painted the building black, and then upon walking in… new carpeting! When’d this all happen? I asked the kindly young lady taking my $5. Oh, about a month ago. What? Has it been that long since I’ve been to O’Leaver’s? I guess so… 

Double Grave at O’Leaver’s June 15, 2019.

Anyway, the place never looked better, but it’s still the same ol’ Club we all know and love. Double Grave took the stage moments after arrival / Rolling Rock’d. The Minneapolis three-piece sounded closer to ’90s slacker rock / Pavement than I remember on their latest recordings. Frontman/guitarist Jeremy Warden has a loopy vocal style but knows how to punch out cool guitar lines atop a solid rhythm section. 

Fellow Minneapolis trio The Cult of Lip was next-level good. I’d love to tell you who’s in this band but there’s no info about them anywhere (that I could find). A young dude in a Greek sailor’s cap surrounded by two panels of floor pedals absolutely destroyed on guitar, playing an array of effects, many sounding like Loveless-era My Bloody Valentine (his Loveless T-shirt was the first clue). His vocals were deep and thick with reverb, real voice-of-god stuff. He shared vocals with a bass player, whose voice was as distorted and, as a result, lyrics were undistinguishable, more tones than words. 

Two songs into the set they shifted to Sonic Youth territory, and again, blew the place away, before heading back to that distorted MBV style. The drummer also played in Double Grave — and kept it solid in both. One of the coolest bands I’ve seen this year…

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ratboys, Uh Oh, Clarence Tilton tonight; Double Grave, Cult of Lip Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:39 pm June 14, 2019

Minneapolis band Double Grave plays O’Leaver’s Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Unless you’re submerged in an isolation tank you already know that the College World Series kicks off this weekend. As a result, downtown has become a dead zone for the next two weeks. The Slowdown will be hosting cover/party bands for the duration, playing (I assume) either on stage or under a big white tent in the parking lot. Meanwhile, a number of conference rooms in the Slowdown Compound have been secured and converted into high-tech “counting rooms” used to sort the overstuffed trashbags filled with money that will drop like manna from the heavens for all businesses surrounding TD Ameritrade park… at least for these two weeks. 

For the rest of us, there’s always fabulous O’Leaver’s… which is hosting a couple hot shows tonight and tomorrow. 

Tonight’s show at The Club is headlined by Ratboys, which you read about Wednesday (right here). Omaha rock band (indie band?) Uh Oh and Bedrest kick it off at 10 p.m. $10.

Also tonight, Omaha’s favorite alt-country band Clarence Tilton opens for Grammy Award winning C&W artist Marty Stuart at the Scottish Rite Hall downtown at 202 So. 20th St. 8 p.m., $45. Watch out for scooters.

Meanwhile, The Sydney in Benson tonight is hosting “Queer Night” with Cult Play, Pittsburgh’s Hot Pink Satan and Richmond VA band Gothic Lizard. $5, 10 p.m. 

It’s a Minneapolis invasion Saturday night at O’Leaver’s. tion 

Double Grave is a Minneapolis trio that calls their sound “prairie grunge.” They just released a 6-song EP on Forged Artifacts called Ego Death Forever that concludes with an 8-minute track called “Sunlight” that’s reminds me of early Luna. You can find it on their Bandcamp page (below).  The Cult of Lip is another Minneapolis band, this one with a serious My Bloody Valentine vibe, at least based on their 2018 release Sleep Receiver (Records DK). There are moments on the EP that sound like they were recorded under water (literally). This four-band bill kicks off at 9 p.m. with Jacob James Wilton (ex Super Ghost) and is headlined by Hussies. That’s a lot of bands for just $5.

Also Saturday night, Lawrence act JC and the Nuns plays at Brothers Lounge. The band just released a 5-song EP called God Did Weed. And as you can imagine, it’s pretty trippy. Cat Beret headlines; Tame Suns opens at 10 p.m. $5. 

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Ratboys (at O’Leaver’s Friday night)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:05 pm June 12, 2019

Ratboys plays at O’Leaver’s Friday, June 14.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Ratboys’ publicist described the duo as a “‘post-country’ meets indie rock group from Chicago.” After listening (many times) to their last full-length, GN (2017, Topshelf), and the follow-up EP, GL (2018, Topshelf) — the titles stand for Good Night and Good Luck — I can’t find much “post-country” about them. But then again, I’ve never considered Wilco, who frontwoman Julia Steiner references as among her influences, to be countrified, post or otherwise.

Instead, Ratboys reminds me ’90s college acts like Belly, Throwing Muses, That Dog, The Breeders and upbeat stuff from Azure Ray and Hop Along. That said, you get plenty of pedal steel on standout EP song “You’ve Changed,” though I prefer the rattle-rock of the EP’s title track and closer, “After School.” Steiner’s warm, soft coo makes it all work no matter what genre label you hang on her music.

Guitarist David Sagan is listed as the duo’s other half, though the band performs live as a four-piece, which we’re likely to see Friday night at O’Leaver’s. We caught up with Steiner and gave her the Ten Questions survey. Here’s what she had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Julia Steiner: A Ghost is Born by Wilco.

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” by The Offspring.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Playing music with my friends all the time!

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Trying to tell people what our music sounds like.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Bread

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Boston, MA

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Fort Collins, CO, in 2015, we hadn’t slept and we were all really grouchy

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Not yet, all of us have a variety of side jobs to supplement our income from the band. Dave and I deliver groceries, Sean is a freelance journalist, etc.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

My dream job would be some sort of radio sports analyst. I wouldn’t like to work construction.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Not many to be honest! I have a couple friends who grew up in Omaha, but they’ve been pretty tight-lipped about any craziness.

Ratboys plays with Uh Oh and Bed Rest Friday, June 14, at O’Leaver’s, 1322 So. Saddle Creek Rd. Showtime is 10 pm., tickets are $10. For more information go to liveatoleaver’s.com.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Simon Joyner drops new album: Low Fidelities & Infidelities (Demos/Covers/Collaborations); Slingshot Dakota tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:42 pm June 11, 2019

Simon Joyner & Friends, Low Fidelities & Infidelities (Demos/Covers/Collaborations) (2019, Grapefruit Record Club)

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Out of the blue yesterday Simon Joyner released a new album, Low Fidelities & Infidelities (Demos/Covers/Collaborations) via Grapefruit Record Club and Bandcamp. The 21-song collection includes Simon Joyner demos from his upcoming album Pocket Moon, due on Grapefruit in October, as well as covers of songs from some of his songwriter heroes including Lee Hazelwood, Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan, Vic Chesnutt, Randy Newman, Richard Thompson, Phil Ochs and more.

The album is actually by “Simon Joyner & Friends” because the music was created in collaboration with his musician pals The Bruces, Pearl Lovejoy Boyd, The Bingo Trappers, Noah Sterba, Fred Lonberg Holm, Dennis Callaci, Sean Pratt & Megan Siebe, Roy Montgomery, Michael Krassner, Meg Baird, L. Eugene Methe, The Renderers and Irma Vep.

I had all these covers in my (phone’s) voice memos from times when I felt like playing guitar but was unable to write anything myself,” Joyner said. “When I was heading out on this tour I just completed, I thought about putting together a CD of demos so I’d have something new to sell, and while digging through the phone, I found all the covers and had the idea to take my live recordings of the covers and send them to musician friends for them to add their own tracks to, as a kind of through-the-mail collaboration.”

Joyner and his guitar are at the center of all the songs, but his friends add subtle touches of cello, keyboards, pedal steel, drums, harmony vocals and other instruments to make for a surprisingly rich yet personal recording.

Joyner is donating all the digital download proceeds through Bandcamp to abortion access organizations in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri. People can pay what they want beyond the $7 suggested price, and all will be donated.

You can order either the digital album or the CD from Joyner’s Bandcamp page.

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Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s Bethlehem, Pennsylvania’s Slingshot Dakota headlines. The duo has a new album, Heavy Banding, out on Community Records (after years of being on Topshelf). Joining them is Muscle Cousins. 9 p.m. $12.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Glow in the Dark, #BFF tonight; Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship, Eric in Outerspace Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:38 pm June 7, 2019

Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship at The Waiting Room, April 20, 2013. The band plays Saturday night at The Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s a shame there are so few shows this weekend, since the weather will be knock-out. Only one music-related gig tonight — Glow in the Dark plays at the Summer Arts Festival, 13th and Mike Fahey Street. Joining them is Dereck Higgins (DHX). This free event begins at 9 p.m.

Also free tonight is Benson First Friday (#BFF). We’re hosting an opening at The Little Gallery from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring the art of Trudy Swanson. The show, called aMErIca, repurposed items easily recognizable in American culture — i.e., pop art. The Little Gallery is at 5901 Maple Street, the east bay below the Masonic Lodge building. Stop by and say hi.

Saturday night quintessential Omaha punk band Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship returns to Brothers Lounge. Indie rockers Eric in Outerspace and TFOA open at 9 p.m. $5.

And that’s it for a quiet little Omaha weekend. 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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

L7 returns with Scatter the Rats (at Slowdown tonight w/Le Butcherettes)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:23 pm June 6, 2019

L7 play tonight at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

L7’s latest, Scatter the Rats (2019, Blackheart Records), is pure ’90s grunge, but in my mind L7 always has been tied to grunge despite hailing from LA instead of the PNW and having been around since ’85.

This new album is about as embraceable as L7 gets, though I can’t imagine there’ll be anyone in the crowd at The Slowdown tonight under the age of 30. All the oldsters will have their fists in the air singing along to “Shitlist” or “Pretend We’re Dead” or anything else off ’92’s Bricks Are Heavy, probably their biggest selling album, which was everywhere at the time.

The band was trailblazing back in their day — an all-female grunge band following in the footsteps of acts like Joan Jett and the Runaways. In my book, they’re more bad-ass than any sausage party act from the same era; certainly tougher than Hole. Frontwoman Donita Sparks is 56 and still looks and sounds like she’d kick your ass (mine, yours, anyone’s).

BTW, their latest single, “Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago,” is about as good as it gets. Co-written by Sparks and guitarist Suzi Gardner, the track imagines Trump tweeting with the barbarians at the White House gates. The song’s second verse:

S.O.S. from a golden throne
Mogul’s in deep shit, he’s all alone
It’s not good, a riot in fact
The whole friggin’ country club is under attack

Let’s hope they play this one tonight… “Stormin’ the gates!

Opening act LA garage act Le Butcherettes has only been around since 2007, and should satisfy L7 fans with their fuzz-powered rock, fronted by Teri Gender Bender. Show starts at 8 p.m., $25.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Maha 2019 sched announced (again); new Stef Chura…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:50 pm June 5, 2019

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I find it strange that I get more (considerably more) traffic to my website on days when I don’t post an update. Why is that?

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A few days ago the team at Maha Music Festival posted the schedules for this year’s two-day rock show Aug. 16 and 17 at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village. Each night’s performers were already announced back in April. Nothing has changed, but now you have set times as well.

Friday night, Aug. 16

10:30 p.m. Jenny Lewis
8:30 p.m. Courtney Barnett
7:15 p.m. Snail Mail
6:15 p.m. Esencia Latina Band
5 p.m. Sharkweek

Saturday, Aug. 17

10:30 p.m. Lizzo
9 p.m. Matt and Kim
7:45 p.m. Oh Sees
6:30 p.m Duckwrth
5:15 p.m. Matt Maeson
4 p.m. Beach Bunny
3:15 p.m. Omaha Girls Rock
2:45 p.m. Muscle Cousins
2 p.m. Domestic Blend
1 p.m. Sharkweek

As I said back then, I’m surprised Courtney Barnett is playing Friday night instead of Saturday, but I assume it’s more about her schedule than theirs. There’s only two acts on Saturday that are pulling me in: Thee Oh Sees and Lizzo.

Which brings me to ticket prices. They’re about the same as last year:

Looks like no discount if you buy a 2-day music pass, not sure why.  Lost in the discussion has been the so-called “middle show” featuring Pinback at The Waiting Room Aug. 15 — a $15 ticket if you buy it before July 15, and worth every penny.

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The new Stef Chura LP Midnight comes out this Friday on Saddle Creek Records. Leading up to the release is yet another single/video, “Scream.” The new issue of Rolling Stone called out Chura, making “They’ll Never,” No. 1 on their “Play List.” Remember when being mentioned in Rolling Stone was significant?

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Disq, Diane Coffee, Fizzle Like a Flood, Frederick Julius; Thick Paint tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:38 pm June 3, 2019

Disq at Slowdown Jr., June 2, 2019.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Weekend recap:

Friday night Doug Kabourek, a.k.a. Fizzle Like a Flood, re-emerged from a long performance hiatus to play a six-song solo-acoustic set at B-Side in Benson opening for Frederick Julius, a.k.a., Matt Geiler, who was celebrating the release of a new album. 

Fizzle Like a Flood at Benson B-Side May May 31, 2019.

Kabourek’s six songs spanned his career, from new to old, capping it with “Believe in Being Barefooot” off his masterpiece, Golden Sand and the Grandstand. I bet Doug see from stage all the people in the audience who were singing along. 

He’s one of those people (and I know lots of them in Omaha) who doesn’t realize how talented he his. It’s almost like a sickness around here — running into musicians and artists who create works of art and then move on to something else, leaving us wondering why they’re not doing it anymore (I assume the need to pay bills has something to do with it). Kabourek’s voice sounded the same as the first time I heard him perform nearly 20 years ago. So if he just wants to play opening slots, I’m all for it, as long as he keeps playing. 

Frederick Julius at Benson B-Side May 31, 2019.

Geiler has put together a cracker-jack band that embodied the vision he’s created on his new album, Fixers and Elixers. The music is pure ’60s Beach Boys fun-in-the-sun pop, and what gave it wings was the harmony vocals provided by a couple guys (one being his brother?) who augmented Geiler’s embraceable voice with authenticity, and by that I mean they sounded like Beach Boys harmonies.

The songs ranged from those beachy numbers to more indie-fied pop melodies, many augmented by a doo-wap counter. Fun stuff and Geiler clearly was having a blast on stage — a natural performer whose quick wit was as abundant as his melodies, interspersing small bits and stories between every song. Often funny, there were times when I wish he’d just play a few songs in a row before doing the next schtick. That said, the crowd ate it up. 

This was the first rock show I’ve seen at B-side, and the sound was very bright — lots of high end bouncing around the room, powered by a light-duty PA that left out the bottom of the mix. It’s a good stage that could be even better with a little investment in the sound system. 

I felt lucky to be among the 20 or so people at Slowdown Jr. last night for the Omaha debut of Madison band Disq, one of the best live indie acts I’ve seen in a long time. The 5-piece powered by Isaac deBroux-Slone and Raina Bock released their first 7-inch as part of the Saddle Creek Document series and has since become one of indie’s “buzziest” bands, for good reason. 

With three guitars, bass and drums, and everyone but the drummer providing vocals, they sounded like a modern-day combination of all your favorites from the ’90s — from Teenage Fanclub to Weezer to Pavement to No Knife. But one glance at this motley crew, most of whom look like they’re too young to be in a bar, and you realize they likely have never heard of any of those acts. 

The highlight was a burning version of “Communication,” the A-side of that Saddle Creek single, though the B-side sounded just as good live. After looking on Spotify, I see their debut was released in 2016. They’ve come a long way in three short years. 

Disq is putting finishing touches on a new full-length. After the show I asked one of the guitarists what label is putting it out, but he wouldn’t say. Whoever it is, they better be ready for the onslaught. At a time when electronic music seems to be powering everything, Disq could be rock ‘n’ roll’s last great hope. 

Diane Coffee at Slowdown Jr. June 2, 2019.

You could see how headliner Diane Coffee got his reputation for being an over-the-top performer. He came on stage in a green bodysuit costume surrounded by a costumed band, all wearing white masks (which they quickly threw to the side), and ripped into the title track off his latest album, Internet Arms (Polyvinyl, 2019). 

That album is more synth-driven then guitar-driven, but on stage last night the guitars had the upper hand, turning it into a rock show rather than dance show (which it could never be, anyway, with most of the patrons sitting down). The person next to me said, “He sounds like Steve Perry,” and afterward I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. Not Journey, mind you, Steve Perry solo, especially on the more straight-forward pop numbers.

There were moments when Coffee strayed into manic, quick-verse territory that matched his million-mile-an-hour between-song stage patter. I have to hand it to him, despite the small, rather dead audience, he put it all out there. And his band was absolutely killer in all positions (incredible rhythm section, soaring lead guitars, and keyboards that would make Elton proud). There was even a drum solo… and a keytar solo. 

The whole time I was thinking this guy belongs on Broadway. He’s got the glam Hedwig stance down to a science. Imagine how he’d come off in a packed room, which is what he deserves.

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Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s Thick Paint returns with Olympia band Oh, Rose and Oakland’s Painting with Statue. $5, 8 p.m.

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And thanks, everyone, for the birthday wishes!

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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