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.



2021 Music Year in Review, or The Year of Resiliency (favorite albums, live shows, etc.)…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , — @ 1:55 pm December 7, 2021

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Ah, the annual Year in Review article. Well, The Reader now limits this to a mere 800 words, so that forced me to write tight and leave out some things that I’d normally include. You can read The Reader version of the article right here. It features a big photo of No Thanks playing one of the last shows at The Brothers Lounge (though it wasn’t “the last show”… I didn’t make it to that one). Or you can read the year in review article below:

2021 Music Year in Review

…or, The Year of Resiliency

I know, I know… it’s only December, and anything can happen before the year is actually over, but I ain’t got that luxury, deadlines being what they are. Rather than wait until January after you’ve (hopefully) long forgotten and moved on from 2021, I thought I’d do the recap now while it’s fresh in your memory (because we’re still living it).

This time last year, things looked rather bleak.

Venues were closed, tours were cancelled, we were hunkered down in our bunkers, wiping down our groceries and wondering if we’d ever see live music again. The worst of COVID-19 was still ahead of us. And if you were lucky, missing your favorite bands was all you were worried about, as the death toll continued to rise. There were whispers of a vaccine, but that was still a long way away. The only glimmer of hope was that the Commander in Boob had just been defeated, though he promised not to go quietly, and, by God, he kept his word.

By February a vaccine was in hand, but the club owners and promoters still predicted it wouldn’t be until the fall of 2021 or the following winter before bookings would look anything like “normal.” And so, the clubs stayed dark, and the closest we got to live music was streamed to our computer screens.

Finally, toward the end of May, live music slowly began to return. I attended my first live show at Dr. Jack’s Drinkery May 29, a farewell gig by indie band Bull Nettles. But it wasn’t until July that venues really started booking on a regular basis, and national touring bands began to hit the road again. The Maha Festival and Farnam Fest were announced and pulled off without becoming a “super spreader” event. Maha even sold out its limited-capacity one-day event.

Despite a readily available vaccine, people still wore masks at shows — and still do to this day. Every face at the near-capacity Nov. 6 Soccer Mommy concert at The Waiting Room was masked throughout the evening. We were back, sort of.

A few positive things stood out during this Year of Resiliency:

The music never stopped. Artists continued to record and release new albums, most of them created in isolation during the height of the pandemic and some among the best of their careers.

New venues were announced. You’d think coming out of a pandemic, investors would be gun-shy about pouring money into new music venues, but three of the largest new developments were announced or broke ground this year: refurbishment of Sokol Auditorium, renamed The Admiral, the Steelhouse Omaha standing-room live music hall by Omaha Performing Arts, and the massive Astro amphitheater project, which — when completed in January 2023 — will host 2,500 people indoors and 5,000 outdoors. Each project is a gamble that the worst is behind us.

Record stores resurged. With so much forced alone time, people continued to fall in love with their vinyl. The Old Market now has as many record stores as it had during vinyl’s heyday, with Grapefruit Records at 1125 Jackson Street joining Vinyl Cup Records and the old favorite, Homer’s.

But as COVID-19’s bloody tide recedes, it leaves behind business casualties. While large clubs like Slowdown and the 1% venues are coming back better than ever, the smaller venues haven’t been so lucky. The Barley Street Tavern in Benson was the first to close its doors for good, though the room reopened under another name and new management. O’Leaver’s, arguably the best place in Omaha to see small live rock shows, still hasn’t reopened its stage. There’s hope it could soon return.

But the biggest loss of all was the permanent closing of The Brothers Lounge at the end of October. More punk bar than music venue, The Brothers was a way station for the misfits, oddballs and troubled geniuses of Omaha who preferred their music garbed in black leather and blood. The Brothers was where everyone ended up at last call. Now it’s had its last call, and the auction hammer falls Dec. 12.

Winners and sinners, that’s what we’re left with after a pandemic. Goodbye and good riddance, 2021. At least you were better than 2020. And 2022 will see us thanking our lucky stars.

Before we go, what would a Music Year in Review be without my list of favorite albums of 2021 (in no particular order):

Flyte, This Is Really Going to Hurt (Island)

Indigo De Souza, Any Shape You Take (Saddle Creek)

The Weather Station, Ignorance (Fat Possum)

Turnstile, Glow On (Roadrunner)

Low, Hey What (Sub Pop)

Cassandra Jenkins, An Overview On Phenomenal Nature (Ba Da Bing!)

Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine, A Beginner’s Mind (Asthmatic Kitty)

Parquet Courts, Sympathy for Life (Rough Trade)

Hand Habits, Fun House (Saddle Creek)

Mdou Moctar, Afrique Victime (Matador)

Strand of Oaks, In Heaven (Galacticana)

Wet Leg, “Wet Dream” b/w “Chaise Longe” (Domino)

Over The Edge is a monthly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts. Email Tim at tim.mcmahan@gmail.com.

So what’s missing from the article? The list of best shows of the year. After 2020, last year was a veritable bonanza of shows, but that said, they were still few and far between. My favorites are almost all the shows I ended up attending:

Bull Nettles at Dr. Jack’s Drinkery, May 29 — This was my first show after COVID, and the last show forever for Bull Nettles, as the band’s frontman, Travis Linn a.k.a. Travis Sing, has moved out of Omaha.

A Tomato A Day at The Little Gallery in Blackstone, June 12 — The first performance by Brion Poloncic (formerly of Cactus Nerve Thang) in years, was in support of an art opening of his latest work. Is there a Cactus reunion somewhere in the future?

Digital Leather at The Sydney, June 26 — The line-up: Frontman Shawn Foree, was backed by long-time DL drummer Jeff Lambelet; Blake Kostszewa, synths; newcomer Bobby Hussy on guitar, Erica Van Engen on synths, and MiWi La Lupa on bass, playing songs off COVID-era release New Wave Gold.

Idaho at Reverb Lounge, July 8 — First touring act post-COVID for me, and my return to Reverb Lounge. And one of my favorite shows from an act who made its mark almost 30 years ago.

Maha Music Festival, Stinson Park, July 31 — Omaha’s favorite festival was back after the COVID hiatus, sold-out (though tickets were limited to 8k), with perfect weather and great sets by Japanese Breakfast and Thundercat, among others.

Petfest, behind Pet Shop, Aug. 14 — And then along came the Delta variant, but that didn’t stop folks from showing up to this small outdoor festival that featured the best collection of local bands assembled in the past couple years.

Grocer at Reverb Lounge, Aug. 17 — The Philly band’s style was in the early Pixies tradition, angular and cool riding high on the bass line and backbeat drums, while guitarist Emily Daly shredded feedback-drenched leads run through a muffled effects pedal.

Elvis Costello at Memorial Park, Aug. 28 — A surprisingly light crowd took in a greatest hits set by a legend. For once the park concert had more going for it than the fireworks.

No Thanks at Brothers Lounge Sept. 17 — Little did we know this would be one of the last shows at The Brothers Lounge, as the club closed its doors for good at the end of October.

Indigo De Souza at The Slowdown Oct. 2 — The Saddle Creek Records band played the big stage for my return to Slowdown post-pandemic. Great set, highlighted guitarist, Dexter Webb, who reminded me of Mr. Lindsey Buckingham.

Tokyo Police Club at Slowdown Jr., Oct. 28 — First Slowdown Jr. show for me since the pandemic was a corker from a former Saddle Creek act, though some I talked to thought opener And How stole the show.

Soccer Mommy at The Waiting Room, Nov. 6 — Finally, a return to The Waiting Room for a near sold-out show, evidence that indie rock was alive and well and touring through Omaha.

Matt Whipkey and his band at The Jewell, Nov. 12 — Celebrating the release of his new LP, Hard, Whipkey was backed by what arguably was one of the best bands he’s ever assembled, in an effort to blow the lid off the downtown jazz club.

Criteria at The Waiting Room, Nov. 27 — Last but not least (and likely, not last of 2021) was the annual “holiday show” by the ever-young ’00’s band, sounding as good as ever. Long live rock and roll.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Pine Ridge toy drive, #BFF tonight; Bandcamp Friday (Uh Oh, The Millions, allie)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:47 pm December 3, 2021
The Millions at The Bourbon Theatre, 12/1/12.
The Millions at The Bourbon Theatre, 12/1/12. The band has released a remastered version of their ’93 album, Raquel, today.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

From an indie music perspective, there’s literally nothing happening this weekend.

That said, tonight is the annual toy drive for Pine Ridge, which has been held every year for as long as I can remember. Artists performing tonight are The Mercurys, Vago and Todd Partridge. As in years’ past, admission is $10 or a new, unwrapped toy. The toys will be delivered to the children of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and money raised goes to a heating fund. You can’t find a better charity. 8 p.m. at The Waiting Room.

Also, tonight is Benson First Friday (#BFF)! The artists will be out and about throughout Benson, so get out there and take home some nice fine art. Celebrating music-wise is The Sydney (as always), with a show featuring GLOW, Nowhere and Lincoln metal band Drug Salad. Doom and gloom. No info listed for the Sydney show, but it’s probably $10 and probably starts around 10 p.m.

And, it’s a Bandcamp Friday again. You know the drill — Bandcamp waives fees for this monthly event on all download purchases. Some labels also follow suit (including Saddle Creek), so it’s the best time to support the musicians who are actually making the music.

Among them are Uh Oh, who today released their new 11-song LP, Good Morning. You can check it out and buy it here.

Nebraska Golden Age indie band The Millions today released a remastered version of their 1993 release Raquel. Listen and buy here.

Lastly, Saddle Creek Records announced the release of the next 7-inch from its Document series, featuring allie. “Cast Iron” b/w “Infinite Jesters” is available for pre-order here. Check it.

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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live music is returning to O’Leaver’s (finally)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 7:49 am December 1, 2021
O'Leaver's is under new management, and they're a bunch of martyrs.
O’Leaver’s announced its first two shows since the Before Times.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve always said, we’ll know we’re on the back side of this pandemic when O’Leaver’s starts hosting shows again. Well, guess what…

O’Leaver’s first show back will be Dec. 11 featuring an Omaha supergroup comprised of Jerry Hug (Ritual Device, Porn Music), Dan McCarthy (McCarthy Trenching) and three members of Ladyfinger — Chris Machmuller, Jamie Massey and Pat Oakes. For this one-off show, they’ll be playing (get this) covers of Bob Seger songs. The free show will start at 10 p.m.

The next show at O’Leaver’s will be New Year’s Eve and features Smutthole Burpers, a Butthole Surfers cover band with Dave Schildman (Natural States), Colby Jenkins (Bokr Tov), and Anna Schmidt (Boner Killerz). This one also is free, starts at 9 p.m. and also has karaoke thrown in.

Craig Dee, a part-owner who books shows at O’Leaver’s, said the reason the club waited so long to reopen was due to the August 7 flooding that submerged the venue’s basement as well as damaged the main floor. The entire basement had to be torn out and rebuilt. While it wasn’t the first time O’Leaver’s has been flooded (It’s located on flood-prone Saddle Creek) Craig said, “That was the worst we’ve seen.”

But that wasn’t the only reason they waited. “The other music venues in town rely on bands more than we do,” Craig said. “Reverb, Sydney, Slowdown, etc., need those live bands.”

The last show I saw at O’Leaver’s was Perfect Form on Jan. 31, 2020. O’Leaver’s closed due to COVID in March 2020, along with most other small live-music venues. The next time I stepped foot in the club was to get a cheeseburger from their newly opened kitchen. It’s also when I noticed they’d installed booths where the stage had been. Well, the booths have been removed and the stage is back, but the kitchen is still there and open til midnight on weekends and 11 p.m. weeknights.

Time will tell if O’Leaver’s returns to regular booking. “We most likely won’t be as band heavy as before,” Craig said. “Doesn’t seem like as many touring bands coming through.” Time will tell, but regardless, it’s great to see them hosting shows again.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Criteria; Mere Shadows, Stigmata Martyr; the week ahead…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 2:29 pm November 29, 2021
Criteria at The Waiting Room, Nov. 27, 2021.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It was a comfortable crowd at Saturday night’s Criteria “holiday” show. I was expecting a sell out crush when I arrived at 10 right in time for their set, but was surprised at the draw, which was probably around 200, maybe half-full. 

On stage, the ageless Stephen Pedersen and his crew belted through the usual set of favorites from the band’s Saddle Creek years and beyond, with the same vigor as when I saw them two years ago at the same club — or for that matter, 10 years ago at that same club. Pedersen, a consummate showman, continues to hit those epic high notes, but will only find them harder to climb as time marches on, unless he’s afflicted with the same age-defying genetics as world’s sexiest man Paul Rudd… a possibility, though I’m no scientist. 

It is these show that keep our scene alive, like a continuous thread that runs through the years. For the most part, the faces in the crowd remain the same, though they’re a bit more haggard. A few new, younger ones were also mixed in, no doubt the progeny of those who came before. I almost missed this show myself, having received a Moderna booster earlier in the day and only just beginning to feel its effects that night. I’m happy I made it.

Mere Shadows at Reverb Lounge, Nov. 24, 2021.

It was a long holiday weekend that began with seeing Mere Shadows and Stigmata Martyr at Reverb Lounge Wednesday night. Mere Shadows provided surprisingly awesome grinding punk rock played with a speed and intensity perfect for breakneck, angry late-night driving on Dodge Street. Big quick riffs and tight rhythms were the fuel. My only critique involves the lack of variety — either change it up or keep the sets short.

Stigmata Martyr was a four-piece Bauhaus tribute band anchored by Randy Cotton and Mike Saklar, former members of ’90s legendary Omaha punk bands Ravine and Ritual Device, and always a pleasure to see and hear live. In the Peter Murphy role was Benn Sieff of Bennie and the Gents fame sounding spot on — you could do no better. But in truth I was there to see the Cotton/Saklar combo, as I’ve never been a big Bauhaus fan. I stuck around for the obvious climax, which was, of course, their rendition of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” Very nice.

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So, if you didn’t get out this weekend to see some live stuff, you may be out of luck. A quick glance at the 1% and Slowdown calendars shows the weeks ahead are rather lacking. In fact, I don’t see anything of interest indie-wise until See Through Dresses returns to Reverb Dec. 19.

Ah, but little bird tells me December could see the return of something we’ve all been waiting for. Stay tuned…

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Will the new venues (Astro, Admiral, Steelhouse) reduce NOmaha Syndrome? Criteria, Little Brazil, Big Nope tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 10:52 am November 27, 2021
Criteria at The Waiting Room, Dec. 28, 2019. The band returns tonight with Little Brazil and Big Nope.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here’s a Saturday-morning random discussion: Will all the new live music venues — Astro, Admiral, Steelhouse — reduce NOmaha Syndrome? 

A friend brought up the question. He asked if those three larger venues currently being constructed will change Omaha’s reputation as a fly-over city for touring indie bands. We’re talking about:

— the remodeled Sokol Auditorium, renamed The Admiral, with its 1,400 capacity, slated to open in February.
— the Steelhouse Omaha project by Omaha Performing Arts, with a stand-up capacity of 1,500 to 3,000, scheduled for 2023, rumored to be booked by Live Nation.
— the Astro in La Vista, a massive new amphitheater with a capacity of 5,000 outside and 2,500 inside, slated to open in 2023.

That’s a lot of new stages. But will they make a difference to the bands that have been passing Omaha by? Depends on which bands you’re talking about.

Check out the acts that have announced tours in the past couple weeks, all of which won’t be coming through Omaha: Big Thief, Courtney Barnett, Waxahatchee, Strand of Oaks, Nation of Language, Mitski, Pavement, The War on Drugs, Perfume Genius, Hand Habits, The Oh Sees…

None on that list would sell out the smallest of those three new venues, though Barnett and War on Drugs might sell out Slowdown.

Big Thief, who haven’t come through Omaha since they played at The Lookout Lounge in April 2016, is asking $34-$39 for its closest show at the 2,500-capacity Riviera Theatre in Chicago. I doubt Big Thief could sell out 700-capacity Slowdown with a $40 ticket, but that’s what it might take to get them here again. I’m not sure there’s enough people in Omaha who know or like Big Thief. 

Hand Habits played at Slowdown Jr. before the lockdown in April 2019. That show was a $10 ticket that also included Tomberlin, and it drew around 60 people. The band’s closest approach to Omaha is the 550-capacity Fine Line in Minneapolis, with tickets priced at $30-$45.  No doubt when they were booking their tour, their finger slid right past Omaha as a possible tour stop. 

For fans of quality indie music, the problem is there just ain’t enough of us, and what few there are aren’t willing to pay what other cities are paying to see the same bands. Hard to believe in a metro of 800k, but this is what happens when you don’t have local radio or any media covering these bands. 

So who will be playing at these new venues? Time will tell, but bet on a lot of mainstream acts, metal bands, country acts, anything that will get butts in seats, and why not? You can’t blame the promoters for wanting to make back their investment in what will be three amazing venues.

And why dwell on the negative? We Just had Spoon and Mannequin Pussy, right? And in the coming months at Slowdown you have Black Angels, Sleigh Bells, Faye Webster, Lala Lala and Fuzz, while 1% is bringing in Diet Cig, Bonnie Prince Billy, Parquet Courts, Mdou Moctar, Azure Ray, Gary Numan, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Sasami, Mogwai, Destroyer, Beach Bunny, ADULT, Built to Spill, The Antlers, and Dinosaur Jr…. We’re actually doing pretty well…

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Speaking of shows… tonight at The Waiting Room it’s kinda/sorta the annual holiday show featuring Criteria. In years’ past this happened around Christmas, so we’re getting a jump on things (1% has yet to announce a big Christmas show this year….). Opening is Big Nope — Nate Van Fleet’s band (and we all know Nate’s high-tailing it to LA in the new year), and Little Brazil. Great show for just $10. Starts at 8 p.m. and this is a No Vax No Entry gig, so bring your evidence…

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

The week ahead (Stigmata Martyr, Goldberg Wednesday); new Lightning Stills, Uh Oh, Desaparecidos…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:36 pm November 22, 2021

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Welp, we’re headed into Thanksgiving week.

Two shows of note:

Bauhaus tribute band Stigmata Martyr is playing at Reverb Lounge Wednesday night with Mere Shadows. This is a No Vax No Entry show, so bring your stuff. $10, 9 p.m.

Also Wednesday night Dave Goldberg a.k.a. Solid Goldberg, is spinning his personal vintage vinyl collect at Scriptown Brewing in the Blackstone District. Scriptown, for the first time, will be open until 1 a.m. Better be careful what you’re trying out here, Scriptown, it could become a regular thing…

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A few new surprise releases were announced last week.

Lightning Stills released a new single, “Pack of Johnnys.” It features Tom May on leads, and the rest of the boys are all there, Dan, Mike and Darren.

Uh Oh also released a new single last week, called “In a Crowded Room (in D).” This one isn’t in Bandcamp yet, so you’ll have to swing over to Spotify to check out out.

And that new live album from Desaparecidos that Denver Dalley mentioned this summer (here) finally has a release date. Live at Shea Stadium is due April 1 via Freeman Street and Shea Stadium Records. The album was recorded back in 2015 at Brooklyn DIY space Shea Stadium. Check out the first track below, “MariKKKopa” and order the vinyl here.

That’s it for now. Big show coming this weekend. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Matt Wilson Orchestra, RAF tonight; Silversun Pickups Saturday (SOLD OUT); BoDeans Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:42 pm November 19, 2021
Matt Wilson and his Orchestra play tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Matt Wilson, who we all remember from the ‘90s band Trip Shakespeare, is headlining tonight at Reverb Lounge as “Matt Wilson and his Orchestra.” I think these guys played at the late, great Hi-Fi House a few years ago. If you’re a fan of Trip Shakespeare or even old enough to remember that band, you’re probably going to love this show. Captain’s Platter opens at 9. $15.

Also tonight, Slowdown Jr. is hosting a punk show with Mike Vallely & the Complete Disaster. Joining them are Omaha’s own RAF (RAF’s Dereck Higgins has posted on Facebook that this will “likely” be the last chance to see RAF play live), Tiananmen Squares and Acolyte. $17, 8 p.m.

Saturday night is the big Silversun Pickups show at The Slowdown. This one has been sold out for quite a while. I always thought of these guys as low-grade Smashing Pumpkins, but what do I know? Zella Day opens at 8 p.m. This is a No Vax No Entry show, so bring your evidence.

Finally Sunday is the return of BoDeans to The Waiting Room. I interviewed these guys when they were on a return-to-the-road tour way back in 2004. From that article:

(Sam Llanas, original half of BoDeans) said the aging of their core audience is one of biggest changes he’s seen over the past 20 years. “Everyone’s older now. They’re not kids anymore, they’re in their 40s and it’s not easy for them to come to shows,” he said. “It’s not the same as when we were younger and everyone wanted to party all night.” So, those fans are now in their late 50s and early 60s? Sounds about right. $30, 8 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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Todd Fink on Mars; Jason Steady in the hand of a giant…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 2:33 pm November 16, 2021
Ground control to Major Todd… Todd Fink stars as an astronaut on Mars in this clip from the Oh, Inverted World anniversary video.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I recently received greetings from the heart of a California desert wherein lives former Omahan and Talking Mountain frontman Jason Steady. He wrote to say “hi” and to pass along that he built the props for the video below, directed by Shins drummer Jon Sortland, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of The Shins album Oh, Inverted World. Jason even ended up in the video — he’s the guy buying the giant version of the album — as does The Faint’s Todd Fink, who is the astronaut on Mars (which was actually shot in their front yard). 

We got permission from The Station in Joshua Tree to build a giant Shins record and put it in the hands of Big Josh, their 20-foot tall fiberglass cowboy,” Steady said. Keep an eye out for a few Easter eggs throughout…

Dig it below. Ah, Omaha does indeed miss these dudes…

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Matt Whipkey at The Jewell; the week ahead…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 7:56 am November 15, 2021
Matt Whipkey and his band at The Jewell, Nov. 12, 2021.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You could tell Matt Whipkey was proud of the band he assembled for last Friday night’s album release show at The Jewell, and he should be.

Standing beside him on the crooked stage were two of the city’s best guitarists — Korey Anderson and Corey Weber — his longtime sideman/keyboardist Scott Gaeta, percussionist/vibrophone player Scott “Zip” Zimmerman, who for decades sat behind the kit but for Friday was replaced by whizkid drummer Nate Van Fleet (who’s on a personal farewell tour before he moves to Los Angeles early next year), and flying in all the way from Denver was none other than Bobby Carrig, who also played alongside Whipkey for decades.

Whipkey never had it so good, and I think he knew it, because also supplying sonic mojo was the room itself. The Jewell has a reputation for being one of the better sounding rooms in Omaha, designed for live jazz shows. And sound good it did. This was the first time I’ve seen Whipkey live where I didn’t have to wear earplugs, the sound was so balanced and clean.

Matt brought his A game, performing all the songs off his new album, Hard (2021, Unusual) to a seated crowd who gnawed on $28 plates of rubber chicken from their candle-lit tables. Sort of like seeing a band at a Holiday Inn lounge, but with perfect acoustics. Not exactly a rock club vibe, but Whipkey knew that going in.

Highlights for me were when he let the band lean back and do their thing, like at the end of Hard standout number “Big Noise” that saw Whipkey trading solos with the KCoreys. The other golden moments came during the “greatest hits” part of the set, where he rolled out tasty versions of 2008 Whipkey Three track “Separation” and the acoustic guitar-fueled title track from his 2015 album Underwater.

This was my first time at The Jewell, and for the most part, it was a positive experience, though I recommend eating at one of the many Capital District restaurants before arriving, as the overpriced food was pretty awful. But who eats at a jazz club, anyway? The room would be a great place to host small, intimate singer/songwriter shows as well as jazz. Rock shows aren’t out of the question, though you’re pretty much confined to your table, and that ain’t very rock ‘n’ roll, is it?

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Busy week for shows.

Tomorrow night ‘80s alternative band The Fixx plays at The Waiting Room. These guys have been touring for decades on the strength of two albums from the early ‘80s whose hits still get airplay on classic rock stations. They haven’t put out an album since a 2014 live album. Joining them is ‘90s alt rockers Fastball. $35, 8 p.m.

Tuesday night, Flaccid Mojo (consisting of two members of DFA Records artist Black Dice (the two that don’t sing)) swing by Reverb Lounge for a set of experimental beat-heavy distortion synth noise. Opening is Problems a.k.a. Darren Keen. $12, 8 p.m.

Tennis return to The Slowdown Wednesday night. Molly Burch opens. This is a main room show and it’s No Vax No Entry, so bring your stuff. $20, 8 p.m.

And then along comes the 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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Nate Van Fleet headed West; Matt Whipkey (and band) tonight; Lemonheads, See Through Dresses, Jeremy Mercy Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 8:26 am November 12, 2021
See Through Dresses with Nate Van Fleet behind the kit at The Waiting Room, way back on Nov. 30, 2013. The band plays Saturday at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Red hot news before we get to the calendar, and it’s news of an unfortunate nature (for Omaha, anyway)…

This weekend’s shows are among the last times you’ll be able to see one of the area’s best drummers perform live. Nate Van Fleet, best known as the drummer for indie rock band See Through Dresses, is moving to Los Angeles after the first of the year. Nate confirmed the news last week: “I’m looking forward to meeting some new faces and making some new musical experiences. Hoping to be back in Omaha as often as possible, though,” he said.

Nate’s filled his calendar with a number of shows before he leaves, including two big ones this weekend with Matt Whipkey and See Through Dresses. But on top of that, Nate’s other band, Big Nope, will open for Criteria and Little Brazil at The Waiting Room Nov. 27 in what may be a tri-fecta for Van Fleet fans. Finally, Nate will be playing as part of Bug Heaven Nov. 28 at The Sydney.

Since he first emerged as a member of STD, Van Fleet has been been recognized as one of the city’s most versatile drummers, becoming the go-to guy for the area’s best rock bands. In fact, that Nov. 27 show could be very special, as Van Fleet drummed for Criteria and Little Brazil. Will he be on stage for all three sets? I don’t know for sure because I haven’t confirmed the bands’ line-ups, but I would not be surprised.

No doubt Van Fleet will become a sensation in La La Land. It’s just a matter of connections and getting seen by the right people. With all the other Omahans who have fled to the West Coast in the past few years — and his unmistakable talent — he’ll have no problems.

Congratulations Nate, and whoa to all of us back in Omaha, as the city’s Great Talent Migration continues…

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So let’s start there. Tonight at The Jewell in the Capitol District Matt Whipkey is playing two shows with a massive band that includes Van Fleet, guitarists Korey Anderson and Corey Weber, keyboardist Scott Gaeta, bassist Glen Smith and percussionist Scott “Zip” Zimmerman. The event is the release of his new album, Hard (2021, Unusual), in vinyl format (which Whipkey will have on hand for sale). You read about the album here. Tickets to both the 6:30 and 8:30 shows are still available for $15.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) The Lemonheads return to The Waiting Room with Heyrocco. See Through Dresses opens this one at 8 p.m. Is the first STD show since the lock down (I think). Tickets are $30, show starts at 8 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Jeremy Mercy and the Rapture Orphans headline at The Sydney in Benson. Mercy has new music out, and what I heard of it is very good. Joining them is The Rare Candies. No price listed for this one but it’s probably around $10. Starts at 9.

Finally, BFF is hosting an event called Magic 8 Ball After Party (I don’t get the reference). That said, live performances include Cat Piss, Blood Cow and DJ Kobrakyle. The show is free if you’re a member of BFF (join!) and $10 for everyone else. Starts at 9.

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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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