Digital Leather at The Sydney, Dec. 3, 2011.

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 weekly alternative newspaper.



Benson Days and waiting for Wednesday…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 7:19 am July 28, 2014
A moment from the Benson Days parade Saturday morning...

A moment from the Benson Days parade Saturday morning…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Sleepy week of music, at least until Wednesday when everything explodes. But until then, not much happening.

My only music outing this past weekend was at Benson Days, which has grown to impressive proportions. The street was loaded with vendors and food options Saturday. It could still get bigger, but how much bigger? Do you really want it to be like, say, Ralston Days with its carnival, rides and an audience that looks like a Juggalo convention? No.

Benson Days featured a stage on 61st St. Unlike last year, the roster was mainly acoustic singer/songwriters, at least early in the afternoon. Things got spicier later on, but I was gone by then.

And… that’s all I got. I’m posting this early because I’m headed to Austin on biz this morning and won’t be back until Wednesday (which means no update tomorrow, unless I snap some pictures of 6th St. (look for them on my Instagram – instagram.com/timmymac29)). And that’s okay because there really is nothing going on over the next day or so except pub quizzes.

But then on Wednesday… hoboy…

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Digital Leather, Skeleton Man, Nightmare tonight; Benson Day(s) rock party (Gettman, Hoshaw, Klemmenson, etc.) Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 12:48 pm July 25, 2014

bensondaysby Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Looking over this weekend’s shows I’m going to be spending a lot of time in Benson…

It starts tonight at the Sweatshop Gallery with a stellar garage-rock lineup. Top of bill is Digital Leather, currently riding a wave of adulation courtesy of their split LP with The Hussy. Joining them is Skeleton Man for what is said to be their final show ever (They said the same thing about the Stones in 1971, 1981, 2012…). Rounding out the five-band (!) bill is Coaxed, Fletch and Stomach. $8, 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, up the street at The Waiting Room, it’s a metal reunion headlined by Nightmare featuring Benn Sieff, Barry Engle, Rick Halverson and Randy Cotton — yes, that Randy Cotton. I thought that was him at Little Brazil the other night. He looks exactly like he did the last time I saw Ravine perform. Randy’s other band, Members of the Press, also are on the bill along with Black on High. $7, 9 p.m.

Also in Benson tonight, the Barley Street has a tasty show with Love Technicians (CD release show), Life is Cool and John Klemmensen and the Party. $5, 9 p.m.

Leaving Benson, Miniature Tigers plays at The Slowdown tonight with The Griswolds, Finish Ticket and Young Rising Sons. $14, 9 p.m.

Yelp users are invited to a free show tonight at House of Loom featuring Matt Whipey and Manic Pixie Dream Girls. 8 p.m. and free with your Yelp account. More info here.

And finally at fabulous O’Leaver’s All Young Girls Are Machine Guns opens for Freakabout. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Oh yeah, and ’90s grungers Filter are playing at Sokol Aud tonight with Helmet and Local H. Just $10. 8 p.m.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is Benson Days, though it’s more like Benson Day (singular). We’re talking parades, beer garden and vendors all along Maple St. but at the center of it all is an all-day concert with a pretty decent local line-up.

12 p.m. – Mitch Gettman
1 p.m. -  All Young Girls are Machine Guns
2 p.m. – Brad Hoshaw
3 p.m. – Andrew Janousek
4 p.m. – DJ Set
5 p.m. – The Love Technicians
6 p.m. – Saturn Moth
7 p.m. – Her Flyaway Manner
8 p.m. – Super Ghost
9 p.m. – John Klemmensen and the Party

Since you’ll be right there, might as well check out new bar 1912 (which you read about here), which will be hosting an open house. Their taps are turned off until next Thursday, but you can still get a tour and see its swinging rooftop deck.

Saturday night at The Waiting Room it’s a benefit for the Child Saving Institute they’re calling “Love Notes: Women Making a Difference for Women and Children Through Music.” Featured artists include Virginia Tanous, Belles and Whistles, Sarah Benck, All Young Girls are Machine Guns and Edge of Arbor. $7, 8 p.m.

World famous Brothers Lounge is hosting a rare gig with Powerslop, Astral Menace, Garoted and St. Paul’s Jaw Knee Vee. $5, 9 p.m.

Finally, down at Slowdown Jr. it’s “sugar-fried bop-pop duo” Slushy from Chicago. Opening is garage rockers Lunch. And something they’re calling the “Slowdown Sock Hop.” $5, 9:30 p.m.

That what I got. If I’m missing anything, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

Pssst… did you get your tickets to Sebadoh at Reverb Sept. 28?

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Five years leading up to 1912 (in the column)…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 12:17 pm July 24, 2014
A view from the deck of 1912. The new bar/restaurant opens July 31.

A view from the deck of 1912. The new bar/restaurant in the heart of Benson opens July 31.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

1912-2Some additional background on new Benson bar/restaurant 1912, the subject of this week’s column in The Reader (read the column here)…

Joe Carmichael, who built the bar along with brother, Bill, says the building’s rooftop super-deck has been wired for sound, as in live music. Though there’s no immediate plans to start hosting music on the roof, he’d like to see something like “MTV Unplugged” hosted on the deck.

“I’d love to get involved with the OEAA showcases,” he added, referring to the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards’ summer and fall concert series held at bars throughout Benson (The next one is Aug. 22-23).

No question 1912′s rooftop deck will be a jewel in the heart of Benson. The views are remarkable. Carmichael said the rooftop also will be available to rent for special events. How they’ll balance special events with the needs of his regular clientele will be tricky. We recently had dinner at Benson Brewery and were seated in its new outdoor eating deck located behind the main dining area — stunning. Unfortunately, we were shooed back inside because an invite-only special event was about to start. Fail.

Anyway, read the story (you can also read it in the printed edition of The Reader, on news stands now) and check out 1912 this Saturday during its Benson Days open house. The beer starts flowing July 31.

* * *

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s Lars & Mal along with Ohio folk/blues/American act Redleg Husky. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, The Waiting Room has Red Wanting Blue with The Alternate Routes & The Talbott Brothers. $15, 8 p.m.

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Reverb books Sebadoh for September show; Lloyd Cole on the future of ‘niche’ music; Bloodcow tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:45 pm July 23, 2014

reverblogoby Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A few weeks ago, the Omaha World-Herald reported that Reverb’s debut concert would be Noah Gundersen Oct. 21, but a few of us knew that wasn’t the real debut for the game-changing music venue being opened by the guys behind One Percent Productions and The Waiting Room in the old Micek building right behind TWR at 6121 Military Ave. (Wow, so that’s what a run-on sentence looks like).

Yesterday One Percent announced Sebadoh will play at Reverb Sept. 28. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. While there may be some test shows or locals before this one, Sebadoh would appear to be the venue’s launch from a notable national act standpoint.

Kevin Coffey of OWH had the scoop on Reverb (here) three months ago. Reverb will be a 100-capacity music venue that not only will focus on naturally smaller-drawing shows (from local bands, for example) but also “intimate” shows by notable national acts. Reverb could charge fans “$100 a ticket to see a band that would normally play for 500 people,” said the article.

That’s the exciting part of Reverb (along with the fact that the venue also will be a first-class bar that serves a variety of beers on tap). Imagine, for example, a band like Rocket From the Crypt, which may be hard-pressed to sell out The Waiting Room, instead playing a $50 show at Reverb. Sweet. But it’s not just those high-dollar shows. Consider Pitchfork-loved bands like Parquet Courts, Perfect Pussy and Titus Andronicus who all played at Sweatshop Gallery — all of those (I think) were all-ages gigs (Sweatshop doesn’t have a liquor license). In the future, these bands could play an all-ages show at Sweatshop and then do a second show at Reverb for us poor drinking sots.

Of course, there’s a chance that those bands may overlook Sweatshop altogether to play at Reverb. Time will tell how Reverb impacts other similar-sized venues such as O’Leaver’s and The Barley Street Tavern, but according to the OWH article, “(Reverb’s) sound system will be top-notch and even nicer than what’s in The Waiting Room” — that’s a feature that may be hard for touring bands to turn down.

Needless to say, if you’re interested in that Sebadoh show, you better get your $20 tickets Friday morning (watch here). This one will sell out. Keep up with Reverb’s construction progress (including some revealing photos of the club’s interior) by following their Facebook page.

* * *

After yesterday’s Matthew Sweet-related mention, here’s more from Lloyd Cole, this time in the form of an hour-long Australian program where Cole and a Hawke Research Institute moderator recap his career in “Inside the Actors Studio” fashion. It’s interesting stuff for Lloyd Cole fans, all four of us here in Nebraska.

But beyond his career, Cole, whose career spans more than 20 years, talks about the age of Spotify and what it means to mid-level under-the-radar “niche” acts.

“...a lot of media have been confusing the record industry with the music industry. It’s not the same thing,” Cole said. “The record industry is part of the music industry and it used to have the lion’s share of income, but live performance now has the lion’s share of income. And if you’re a band starting out and you’re not stupid and you get yourself a following, there’s money to be made, even if you decide you want Spotify to be one of the ways to distribute your music. If that becomes the sole way, than bands just have to tour more. If you don’t want to tour, you’ll have to find alternatives.

Cole said he’s scheming to figure out his “alternatives” that will allow him to make a living playing music. Making traditional records may not be in the cards, even though his latest album, the sublime Standards, is doing fairly well in Europe and still has yet to be released in the U.S.

If (Standards) does well world-wide, it won’t reach 100,000 records,” he said. “Back in the days of Mainstream (his 1987 album released on Polydor) that was abject failure. But if it did reach 100,000 it would be a profitable enterprise. If it sells less than 50,000 world-wide, it’s a loss, and basically me having records in the shop next to Nick Cave and David Bowie is a vanity project and I should look into direct distribution myself.

Cole said since he has a relatively large niche following, he has the option to move to a direct distribution model — i.e., sell his records at lloydcole.com — where he’ll no doubt sell fewer copies but make more money per album sale. New bands may not have that option “If you’re a band just starting out, it looks a little grim.”

If Cole’s comments about performance income becoming the be-all-end-all for musicians, it puts organizations like One Percent Productions, with its tie to an array of quality venues, in a similar position that record labels used to be in a decade or so ago, before the Internet and Spotify began eating their lunch.

The Spotify discussion starts at the 45:35 mark.

* * *

A couple shows on this Wednesday night:

At the Hideout on 72nd St. Bloodcow returns. The band is finishing up a new album, of which you’ll likely get a taste. Opening is Wicked Imposition, Megaton and Adam Peterson. 8 p.m., $5 ($7 for minors with permission note).

Also tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s Relax, It’s Science with Brooklyn duo Jerkagram and Nanahara. $5, 9:30 p.m.

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Matthew Sweet Kickstarter winds down; The Brigadiers tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:53 pm July 22, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With the Matthew Sweet concert at O’Leaver’s just around the corner  (It’s July 30 and long sold out) I thought I’d point out Sweet’s Kickstarter campaign, which only has four days left.

Actually, I discovered the campaign via the Lloyd Cole Facebook feed — Cole prompted his followers to help Sweet out, and even offered to fly out and “play modular synth” on Sweet’s new album. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the head?

Anyway, Sweet, who is now an Omaha resident, is panhandling for cash to make a new solo album, and already has met his $32,000 goal — he currently stands at $43,185, including the $40 I chipped in to get a copy of his vinyl when it’s ready next April.

Check out his Kickstarter pitch below, which mentions his move to Omaha and his hope to “get all my friends out in Nebraska” to help make the record.

BTW, The Lupines will open for Sweet at the O’Leaver’s show.

* * *

Tonight at The Sydney The Brigadiers open for Zeeland, Michigan band The Fever Haze. $5, 9 p.m.

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Little Brazil, Ladyfinger, See Through Dresses, Nightbird; Planes Mistaken for Stars tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:43 pm July 21, 2014
Little Brazil at The Waiting Room, July 19, 2014.

Little Brazil at The Waiting Room, July 19, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

What a birthday bash for Sara Bertuldo. Something like 150 people (guess-timate) were there to celebrate Sara’s successful journey around the sun and to hear one of the strongest local line-ups in a long time.

See Through Dresses at The Waiting Room, July 19, 2014.

See Through Dresses at The Waiting Room, July 19, 2014.

Sara kicked it off with her band, See Through Dresses. All this talk about a shoegaze revival with bands like Slowdive once again touring. Forget all that and check out this band, which combines the best droning shoe-gaze elements with the tunefulness of Dinosaur Jr. and Pixies. Bertuldo has grown not only in age but in voice, sharing the vocal chores with Matt Carroll, who’s no push-over himself. Post mammoth June tour, they were razor sharp.

As reported, Little Brazil swapped out half its personnel, and the difference was indeed noticeable. Matt Bowen brings a throatier style to the kit, somehow managing to work his way through Oliver Morgan’s intricate lines while adding his own unique voice to the proceedings. Mike Friedman’s lead guitar lines were altogether different not only from what Greg Edds used to contribute to the band, but from what Friedman does as a member of The Lupines. His Lupes’ style is sheer shredding, whereas his ornate touch on LB tunes recalls Layla-era Clapton (Yeah, I said it, I compared him to God). You had to pay attention, though, as Friedman is more musician than showman — playing (at times) with his back toward the audience.

It all came together on the third song of LB’s set, a new tune unlike anything I’ve heard them try before, a hook-laden rocker that separates itself from LB’s standard indie fare thanks to a unique vocal melody and amazing harmony guitars between Landon Hedges and Friedman that recalled the best of Thin Lizzy. This one has “hit” written all over it (too bad there ain’t no such thing as a hit these days). Hedges, btw, was in top vocal form, and bassist Danny Maxwell’s bass continued to be the bedrock it’s all built upon. Where can these guys take this next?

Ladyfinger rounding out the July 19 show at The Waiting Room.

Ladyfinger rounding out the July 19 show at The Waiting Room.

Finally, Ladyfinger framed the evening with its usual bombast. It was a greatest hits set, with no new material (that I recognized, anyway). Here’s yet another band of local legends that has me scratching my head, wondering where they’re headed next.

* * *

Nightbird at The Sydney, July 18, 2014.

Nightbird at The Sydney, July 18, 2014.

Friday night I slipped into The Sydney to catch Nightbird’s debut performance, and it was pretty much as I expected — a set of sludgy, mid-tempo long-form rock songs inspired by your favorite stoner bands. Gerald Lee Meyerpeter howled over his guitar’s feedback as drummer Scott Zimmerman and bassist Jeff Harder provided the foundation. We used to call this “drug music” when I was a kid, and though I don’t do drugs, I can imagine (or maybe I can’t) what it would be like to trip out to this stuff in a smoke-filled bedroom surrounded by black-light posters and halter-tops. Nightbird is all about style rather than songs — if you’re into their kind of dirty sludge, a heavy heaven awaits. PS: Rumor has it they may be adding another guitar, someone from Omaha rock’s not-so-distant past…

* * *

Big show tonight at fabulous O’Leavers — the return of Planes Mistaken for Stars. These guys have been coming through since the late ’90s playing an angular style of post-hardcore punk. Not to be missed. Opening is New Lungs (Little Brazil’s Danny Maxwell in the lead position) and Chicago post-hardcore band All Eyes West. $5, 9 p.m.

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Maha sales, schedule; Nightbird debut, Man or Astro-Man tonight; Little Brazil, Ladyfinger, Derby Birds, Omaha Girls Rock! Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:52 pm July 18, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With their Aug. 16 concert less than a month away, the Maha Music Festival social channels began gearing up the hype machine yesterday. Maha Board member Tre Brashear tweeted that Maha tickets sales are running “50% ahead of last year, so a sellout is possible.”

A sell-out of $50 general admission tickets indeed would be a real coup. Maha tweeted VIP tickets sold out July 1. One assumes this year’s headliner, Death Cab for Cutie, is driving those sales. That said, last year’s headliner, Flaming Lips, wasn’t exactly a pushover (though Maha seems to have gotten the Lips during an era when they are producing their most depressing, uninspired music).

Maha also posted their official schedule yesterday. The Both at 4:30? I would have pushed that back to 8:50 (I know people who are coming only to Aimee Mann and Ted Leo together), but who knows what drives these decisions?

On the other hand, if they really wanted to be ballsy and get people in the park all day, have one of the nationals go on at 1. I know, I know, that just isn’t done, but it sure would raise the crowd level for the locals who have the early slots. It’ll be a shame if Domestica is playing to an empty field.

Here’s the schedule:

mahasched2014

* * *

Lots of shows going on this weekend.

Tonight at The Sydney in Benson it’s the debut of Nightbird, a new trio fronted by Filter Kings’ Gerald Lee Meyerpeter. Joining him is Scott Zimmerman on drums and Jeff Harder on bass. Lee said expect heavy, hard rock bordering on ’70s sludge with a distinct stoner vibe. Bring your earplugs. Also on the card is Old Bones (Rymo lives) and headliner Civicminded. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight right down the street at The Waiting Room, it’s ’90s indie-rock instrumentalists Man or Astro-Man? with Portland rockabilly act Sallie Ford. $15, 9 p.m.

The Barley Street is hosting a Bob Dylan tribute tonight with a handful of locals playing their favorite Dylan tunes. $5, 9 p.m.

And lest we forget fabulous O’Leaver’s, where tonight they’ve got Two Shakes, The Broke Loose and Naked Sunday. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) the marquee event is, of course, Sara Bertuldo’s birthday party at The Waiting Room. The celebration includes a performance by Sara’s band, See Through Dresses; the debut of the reformatted Little Brazil (read the deets on the new line-up here) and headliners Ladyfinger. Huge. $8, 9 p.m.

Also tomorrow night, The Derby Birds play at O’Leaver’s with difficult-to-pronounce bands Illium and Ojai. $5, 9 p.m.

Aaaand… Start your Saturday off early at The Slowdown, where it’s time once again for the Omaha Girls Rock! showcase. This is the fourth year for the event, with proceeds going to support the Omaha Girls Rock! project (find out more). One of the funnest shows of the year and a chance to see tomorrow’s stars today! Show starts at 5:30, $5 (but you can add more if you want).

That’s what I got. If I left anything out, put it in the comments section. Have a good weekend.

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The Return of Little Brazil, V 2.0 (in the column); Oberst on songwriting; M34n Str33t, Worried Mothers, Tie These Hands tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , — @ 12:44 pm July 17, 2014
Little Brazil circa now, from left, are Landon Hedges, Danny Maxwell, Mike Friedman and Matt Bowen. Photo by Zach Hollowell.

Little Brazil circa now, from left, are Landon Hedges, Danny Maxwell, Mike Friedman and Matt Bowen. Photo by Zach Hollowell.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s heating up for Saturday night’s big local slow at The Waiting Room. When was the last time you saw Ladyfinger? You’ve got See Through Dresses, who are blowing up (and it’s Sara’s birthday party). And then there’s Little Brazil…

In this week’s column, Landon Hedges and Danny Maxwell introduce us to the newest players in one of Omaha’s better-known indie bands. You can read it in the pages of the just-dropped issue of The Reader or online right here. The new line-up will debut a handful of new Little Brazil songs at Saturday night’s show. Clear your calendar.

* * *

One of the longer and more detailed interviews with Conor Oberst went online yesterday at American Songwriter. Oberst talks about his writing process, his influences and life in the fish bowl. It’s an interesting read. Take a look.

* * *

I’m still trying to figure out the relevance of the “Fair Digital Deals Declaration” that was signed by 700 indie labels, and reported throughout the internet yesterday, including this concise Rolling Stone article.

The declaration (online in its entirety here) basically states that the signing labels aren’t going to screw their artists or make under-the-counter deals with streaming services that cut artists out of whatever payout the labels receive. It’s all about “transparency.” Saddle Creek is among those signing the manifesto. While this is all nice and good, hasn’t this sort of transparency been standard operating practice for most indie labels to begin with? What is the expected outcome of this declaration? And do the major labels, Spotify and YouTube (who one could argue are all in cahoots) give a shit?

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room, one of he more talked-about local indie outfits is headlining at The Waiting Room: M34n Str33t. If you haven’t heard their latest, Mutants of Omaha, you can check it out below and download the mofo. Opening is the punk chaos of Worried Mothers, who I haven’t seen perform outside of O’Leaver’s. Could be very weird indeed. Also on the bill is Articulate/Deejay CMB & Coaxed. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Lincoln post-punkers Tie These Hands opens for Prawn at Slowdown Jr. Lot Walks also is on the bill. $10, 9 p.m.

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Andrew Jackson Jihad a celebration of joyful despair; Bad Suns tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 1:01 pm July 16, 2014
Andrew Jackson Jihad at The Waiting Room, July 15, 2014.

Andrew Jackson Jihad at The Waiting Room, July 15, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I was converted at the Church of Andrew Jackson Jihad last night. I came in not knowing much about the band other than what I briefly heard off the interweb. My initial comparisons were pretty straight on, though I missed the band’s biggest resemblance (or influence): The Mountain Goats.

Frontman Sean Bonnette is a desperate, anxious, scared version of John Darnielle singing not about some mythic, drunken aging couple but (presumably) about a loser/loner celebrating a loneliness that the 150+ crowd at The Waiting Room last night could identify with and revel in. It was, indeed, a party atmosphere that (based on the band’s comments from stage) almost got out of hand.

On recordings, AJJ is a lyrically driven acoustic-powered dynamo. They ramp up their sound live with plenty (too much) low end, plus electric guitar and keyboard, turning into something that more closely resembles Decemberists. Unlike Mountain Goats’ galloping 3/4 time shanties, AJJ’s ballads are straight-four rattlers that earn them their folk-punk designation. The wooden-sounding cello gave a handful of songs an earthy flair.

Frontman Bonnette is a friendly muppet confessing to every vice and ill life has thrown at him with a smile and perfect enunciation. This would just be another run-of-the-mill indie folk band if you couldn’t understand every word of his clever, joyful confessions. And it was fun watching a guy standing alone well back from the stage mouth every word to every song.

No doubt these celebrations of despair meant something wholly different to a newer generation. The young-ish crowd on hand last night (I recognized no one except the TWR staff) responded to the dark elegies with an unbridled YOLO-ish spirit. Despair, I spit in your face!  Isolated slam-dancing, crowd-surfing and synchronized crowd sway were the norm.

My reaction as someone old enough to be their father was slightly different. Pained lyrics like, “Love what you can ’til it dies / Then let it lie, let it fly away” hit a little too close to home, and I found myself more bummed and introspective than when I listen to the usual punk-rock fist-pumpers. All I could think of while I was watching the happy spectacle during songs like “Heartilation,” with lines like “Sometimes I get so lonesome I can’t breathe / Sometimes I get so scared I can’t speak,” was Go ahead and laugh, for as HST used to say, it’s later than you think.

Great show, great band.

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room LA band Bad Suns (Vagrant) with Colony House (Descendant Records). $10, 9 p.m.

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Late report: Andrew Jackson Jihad, Amen Dunes, Axxa/Abraxas tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 6:34 pm July 15, 2014
Andrew Jackson Jihad plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

Andrew Jackson Jihad plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

What can I say, this is a late one because I couldn’t write over my lunch hour. Look, you haven’t made your evening plans yet anyway, unless you’re headed to Lincoln for the plethora of shows happening there.

Let’s focus on what’s happening right here in O-town tonight. First on my list is Andrew Jackson Jihad at The Waiting Room. The Phoenix acoustic folk-punk band has been around for a decade and just released its fifth album (on SideOneDummy) Christmas Island. Their nefarious sound is a cross between Violent Femmes, They Might Be Giants and Titus Andronicus. Check them out below. Opening is Hard Girls & Dogbreth. $15, early 8 p.m. start time.

Meanwhile, over at the Sweatshop Gallery, golden slacker rockers Amen Dunes headlines. The band has a new record out on Sacred Bones, Love, that sounds like it was cut from the same cloth as records by Kurt Vile. Great stuff. Joining them is the groovy psych-rock of Axxa/Abraxas (Captured Tracks). Opening is Caravat featuring David Ozinga and Teal Gardner of UUVVWWZ and Andrew of Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship. Huge. $7, 9 p.m.

Figure out a way to hit up both shows. I’m not sure what that “way” would be, but seriously…

Also tonight in Benson, Viva La Vinyl is happening at The Barley Street Tavern. Stop in, it’s free.

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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