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.



Refrigerator, Simon Joyner, Chemicals, BFF tonight; The Queers Sunday; Pinkwash Monday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 10:05 am July 1, 2016
Classic underground indie band Refrigerator plays tonight at O'Leaver's.

Classic underground indie band Refrigerator plays tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The holiday weekend. Rarely a good thing music-wise. That said, there’s a grip of shows happening through Monday. Let’s go…

The weekend kicks off at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Refrigerator, one of the more storied and least-known underground indie bands which, if you were a former frequenter of The Antiquarium, is not unknown to you.

There is a detailed description and history of Refrigerator at the Facebook invitation. Here’s a summary: Allen and Dennis Callaci formed the band in 1990. Shortly afterward, Dennis created Shrimper records. The band and label are truly underground — no internet presence for either of them. You want the records? You’ll have to frequent your friendly neighborhood independent record store (or “know someone”).

Refrigerator’s last record, Temple City, came out in 2014. The band hasn’t toured in nearly 20 years and has never performed in Omaha. They’re apparently in Omaha to record a new album with the help of Simon Joyner, who, incidentally, will be opening tonight’s show with his band, The Ghosts, and the L. Eugene Methe band.

Yes, this is a special occasion. The show starts at 9:30. $7. See you there.

Also tonight, progressive jazz rock band Chemicals headlines at the Barley Street Tavern. Joining them are All Young Girls Are Machine Guns and Kethro. 9 p.m., $5.

Tonight also is Benson First Friday. They’re trying something different this month with a summer street concert on Military Ave. (in front of Jake’s). It’s free and starts at 7 p.m. More info here.

If you’re in Benson tonight, stop in at the Little Gallery (right across the street from The Sydney) where we’re featuring the work of printmakers from Frogman’s Print Workshops, all of which celebrate multi-modal transportation. A portion of proceeds from print sales will go to Mode Shift Omaha. The opening reception is 6 to 9 p.m. and is absolutely free.

Also tonight, Tara Vaughan plays at Slowdown Jr. with Tiny Monsters and Tony Bonnaci. $7, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night Lincoln band Universe Contest headlines at Reverb Lounge. KC band The Philistines opens, along with Heavy Lungs. $7, 9 p.m.

Sunday night, Lookout Lounge is hosting a Punk Rock BBQ. Among the rock being served is legendary band The Queers, along with a slew of local punkers, all listed here. The music starts at 4 p.m.. Tickets are $8 Adv.$10 DOS.

Then comes the Fourth of July.

The only bar crazy enough to hold an event on a national holiday is, of course, O’Leaver’s. The Club is hosting an ice cream social and early evening concert featuring Philly band punk band Pinkwash (Don Giovanni Records), whose music has been described as “hypnotic mathy metal riffs and tight punishing drumming.” Sounds about right for fireworks day. Also on the bill are Hussies and Big Slur (ex-Deleted Scenes) The free show starts at 5 p.m.

That’s what I got for the weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great 4th….

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Twin Peaks, Ne-Hi; Sinkane (DFA Records), Lunch Duchess tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:52 pm June 30, 2016
Twin Peaks at The Waiting Room, June 29, 2016.

Twin Peaks at The Waiting Room, June 29, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The kids, they love their Twin Peaks. Last night’s show at The Waiting Room had all the charm of a modern day American Bandstand production.

The Chicago five-piece has evolved from the garage band that played at Midtown Art Supply a couple years ago to a full-blown stage act with four dudes sharing lead vocals. My favorite was probably the guitarist who looked like Greg Brady and sounded like Mick Jaggar or maybe the bass player who looked like Bobby Brady belting out rockers in his deep basso voice, or the guitarist in the overalls with the shag cut that fell over his eyes or the keyboardist/left-handed-guitarist in the white T-shirt who really leaned into the microphone. No wonder there were so many young girls in the audience pressed against the stage. Twin Peaks is the veritable Tiger Beat of rock bands.

They meld a ’60s rock vibe to a ’90s indie-rock esthetic. The acts that came to mind: Pavement, The Stooges, Velvet Underground, maybe the most central was mid-’60s era Rolling Stones circa “Get Off of My Cloud.” While I dig their new album, Down in Heaven, the recording seems  subdued compared to the live versions, which added manic energy. Or maybe it was the young crowd, who danced/slammed/jumped, even tried a bit of awkward crowd-surfing atop the estimated 150 or so on hand. Maybe rock ‘n’ roll is back?

Ne-Hi at The Waiting Room, June 29, 2016.

Ne-Hi at The Waiting Room, June 29, 2016.

Opener Ne-Hi reminded me of a different kind of stones — The Stone Roses — thanks to the band’s awesome rhythm section — a rolling bass that owned the melody while the drummer pounded away on those heavy toms. Add post-wave guitar lines and you’ve got a band that would sound at home in Manchester as well as its hometown of Chicago. Keep an eye on them. They’re label-mates with Twin Peaks on Grand Jury Music. When is their next LP going to arrive?

* * *

There’s a very interesting under-the-radar show tonight at Reverb Lounge. London artist Sinkane is described as “a musician who blends krautrock, free jazz and funk rock with Sudanese pop.” His last full-length, 2014’s Mean Love, was released on NYC-based independent dance-punk label DFA, who you might recognize as the label of such acts as The Rapture, Hot Chip, Holy Ghost! and most prominent of all, LCD Soundsystem, whose mastermind, James Murphy, co-founded the label. When was the last time we had a DFA-type artist in our town? Carl Miller & The Thrillers opens. $12, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Minneapolis, MN grunge-pop band Lunch Duchess headlines at Milk Run with Apes of the State, Anna McClellan and The Way Out. $7, 9 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Twin Peaks, Ne-Hi, Eric in Outerspace tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:49 pm June 29, 2016
Twin Peaks at Midtown Art Supply, Nov. 25, 2014. The band plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

Twin Peaks at Midtown Art Supply, Nov. 25, 2014. The band plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The only update today is a reminder of tonight’s Twin Peaks show at The Waiting Room. The last time they came through back in November 2014 they played at Midtown Art Supply to a crowd of fewer than 100, but it was a good show. You can read the review of that one here.  No doubt the band’s exposure has grown since then, or else they wouldn’t be playing a big space like The Waiting Room. BTW, here’s that link to my Ten Questions with Twin Peaks if you haven’t already read it. Funny stuff.

I’m as interested (and maybe a bit more interested) in the opener, a Chicago four-piece called Ne-Hi, whose 2014 debut on Manic Static has been on constant rotation on my iPhone for the past couple days — refined psych garage rock. Extraordinary. These days they’re on Grand Jury, and I have a feeling they’re going to blow up.

Also on the bill are Omaha’s own Eric in Outerspace. $12, 9 p.m. See you there.

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Twin Peaks; David Nance, Refrigerator (acoustic) tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:54 pm June 28, 2016
Twin Peaks gets the Ten Questions treatment. The band plays tomorrow night at The Waiting Room.

Twin Peaks gets the Ten Questions treatment. The band plays tomorrow night at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Chicago band Twin Peaks has been consistently described as a “garage band,” but on their latest album, Down in Heaven (2016, Grand Jury) the five-piece smooths out its sound for a collection of relaxed, casual rockers that are more mainstream than garage. It’s smooth vibe is quite a contrast to their breakthrough album, Wild Onion, (2014, Grand Jury), which felt like The Kinks combined with every band on the Titan! label. Maybe it’s a sign of maturity. The band, led by Cadien Lake James, was formed only six years ago, when all the members were still in high school. They’ve since gone from playing house shows to massive festivals like Bonnaroo and now Omaha’s The Waiting Room June 29.

I asked Twin Peaks to take the Ten Questions survey. Colin Croom (keys, vocals, guitar) took the plunge:

1. What is your favorite album? 

Twin Peaks: The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Piano Man” – Billy Joel

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

Best part is traveling all over the damn place and playing music every night.

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

The Canadian border (much love for Canada but that border patrol can be a real pain in the ass).

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

Tie between cheeseburgers and marijuana.

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

Chicago is home, so that’s my number one right there.

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

Can’t think of a worst. We played a ski lodge once in Canada and that was pretty weird, though.

8. How do you pay your bills?

I used to work at a bar called Parsons whenever we were home from tour, but this is my first time riding it out with music and I feel blessed to do so. I’ve worked in the service industry since I was 15 pretty heavy, so I’m grateful.

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

I’ll probably go back to working in bars once the well runs dry with music, hah. I used to work the window at a McDonald’s when I was 17, I would prefer not to do that again.

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

I’ve heard y’all got one hell of a zoo there, I’d definitely be down to kick it with some animals.

Twin Peaks plays with NE-HI and Eric in Outerspace Wednesday, June 29, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $12; showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

There’s another in-store tonight at Almost Music in the Blackstone District. Performing are David Nance and So. Cal. indie rock band Refrigerator doing an acoustic set. Refer’s Allen and Dennis Callaci have never performed in Midwest before, so this is a rarity (though the full band will be doing a set Friday night at O’Leaver’s). Also tonight Allen Callaci will be reading from his new memoir Heart Like a Starfish. The reading begins at 7:30, followed by music. And the whole thing is FREE.

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Sam Parker’s running Milk Run (with a little help from his friends); live review: Outer Spaces; Blitzen Trapper tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:48 pm June 27, 2016
Outer Spaces at Milk Run, June 24, 2016.

Outer Spaces at Milk Run, June 24, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

First, let’s put a capstone on last week’s question about who’s running Milk Run. Sam Parker, who was at Friday night’s Milk Run show, made it clear he’s still very much involved with the venue. He’s enlisted members from a few local punk bands (No Thanks and See Through Dresses among them) to help run shows. And that Facebook post asking for people to help book the room was merely a way to give others an opportunity to try their hand at the show promotion game.

Parker will continue to book Milk Run, along with his promo company Perpetual Nerves. In fact, Parker mentioned a couple interesting upcoming shows at Milk Run that have yet to be announced, so stay tuned. Missing from the equation is Chris Aponick, who Parker said has stepped away from both Milk Run and Perpetual Nerves for personal reasons.

If that wasn’t enough, Parker, who also works at the mysterious Hi-Fi House, has been über busy working on yet another exciting live music project, which you will hear about shortly.

Friday night’s Milk Run show was held not in the micro-sized music room, but the adjacent, larger art gallery. They made the move because the AC in the small room was on the fritz. One reason shows haven’t been held in the gallery was fear of the acoustics — it’s a bigger room with a tin ceiling — but bouncing sound wasn’t a problem for this show. Even with their smallish PA, the room sounded pretty good.

So did Outer Spaces. The Baltimore four-piece (looks like they added a new bassist) played a short, sweet set of songs from their just released album, A Shedding Snake (2016, Don Giovanni). On that record, frontwoman/guitarist Cara Beth Satalino has a voice that at times is the spitting image of Edie Brickell’s, at other times she reminds me of Maria Taylor, whereas my wife think she sounds like Anna Waronker (That Dog). Performing live, Satalino has a simple, quiet quality all her own on songs that are classic ’90s-style indie. The live set was more laid-back than what you get on the record, which is one of my favorites from the first half of the year.

I told Parker he should use that gallery space for shows more often. In addition to sounding good, it was more comfortable, with plenty of room to move around. No doubt the room’s capacity is twice as much as the small room, and concerns that the gallery would feel empty during small shows was unfounded. Friday night’s show felt well-attended even though only 15 or 20 people were in the audience.

Find out for yourself tonight when Austin band Pale Dīan plays at Milk Run, a band whose music has been described as “dreamy swirling melodic sounds inspired by classic 4AD artists like Cocteau Twins and Lush.” Shrinks and Hiraeth open. Price ranges from $5 to $7 (you pick). Show starts at 9

The Pale Dian show has been cancelled.

 

Also tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return of Portland-based indie folk group Blitzen Trapper (Vagrant, Sub Pop). Opening is Frontier Ruckus. $18, 8 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Who’s booking Milk Run? Outer Spaces tonight; Love Cop Saturday; Peter Bjorn and John Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:25 pm June 24, 2016
Outer Spaces play Milk Run tonight...

Outer Spaces play Milk Run tonight…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This is the first time I’ve ever said this, but: It looks like it’s going to be another Milk Run weekend.

The tiny venue on Leavenworth is hosting touring indie rock shows Friday and Saturday night. And the weird thing about it: Milk Run is kinda/sorta rudderless these days. I’m not sure who’s running the show, based on the following message posted on their Facebook page:

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could start booking local shows? Bringing your favorite touring bands to your favorite local venue? Milk Run is going to give you the opportunity to do just that. We are looking for 3-5 people to curate 3-5 shows a month. Your bands, your show, your night. If you are interested in learning more email milkrunomaha@gmail.com

Is this in addition to the folks currently booking Milk Run? I’ve been told by a number of sources that management of Milk Run changed a few weeks ago. I’m not sure who is running it these days. I have a message out to Sam Parker, who, as far as I know, is still associated with the all-ages venue. Well, whoever it is, they have a couple red-hot shows going on this weekend.

Tonight, Baltimore band Outer Spaces headlines. The trio released a few EPs and a single on mighty Matador Records prior to their debut LP, A Shedding Snake, on Don Giovanni Records. The opening line-up is stacked with Thick Paint, Anna McClellan and Fullbloods. $8, 9 p.m.

Saturday night at Milk Run Portland psych rockers Love Cop headlines. They’ve got releases on Burger and Lollipop Records. It’s another stacked line-up with Well Aimed Arrows, Funeral Gold and AllSortsOfGood. $7, 9 p.m.

Last I heard, Milk Run’s AC was on the fritz. If that’s still the case, it could be a couple hot, stinky nights.

There are other shows going on this weekend.

Tonight Wichita band The Travel Guide plays at fabulous O’Leavers with Timecat and Fake Plants. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday night, Brothers is hosting experimentalist Bill Nace (half of the duo Body/Head with Kim Gordon ) & Jake Meginsky, Screaming Plastic and Big Slur. 9 p.m. start. I don’t see a price on this, but it’s probably at least $5.

Also Saturday night Uh Oh opens for White Wolf T-shirt and Des Moines band Pets with Human Names at O’Leaver’s. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Of course Sunday night is the Peter Bjorn and John concert at The Waiting Room (which I already wrote about here). All Young Girls Are Machine Guns opens at 8 p.m. $20.

Also Sunday night, Paul McCartney’s son, James McCartney, plays at Reverb Lounge with Tara Vaughan. 8 p.m., $15.

That’s all I have. 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

TBT: June 24, 2005, Slowdown officially announced; Ten Questions with Peter Bjorn and John…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:49 pm June 23, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

On this #TBT, a brief memory from the Lazy-i blog, circa 2005…

Briefly noted, Slowdown… If you turned on your TV or picked up a Lincoln Journal Star than you know that the Saddle Creek folks held a press conference yesterday officially announcing the Slowdown project in downtown Omaha between 13th and 14th and Webster and Cuming, which means I’ll be able to watch its progress daily from the vantage point of my office at UP. No real earth-shaking news, though I figured the club would be larger than the 400-capacity space described in the Associated Press story. Time frame has the venue opening in a about a year. I know just as many people psyched about the facility’s two-screen indie/arthouse cinema as the club. I’m sure we’re gonna hear a lot more about the project as time goes by, like the club’s booking philosophy and how it could impact Sokol Underground. And what’s going on with that venture slated for the old Club Joy space? — Lazy-i, June 24, 2005

What did ever happen to that Club Joy space? Slowdown, btw, ended up opening the first week of June 2007, a year later than announced (and its capacity also is much larger than 400). Jason Kulbel and Co. should begin planning for the 10 year celebration concert right now…

* * *

Peter Bjorn and John play The Waiting Room Sunday night.

Peter Bjorn and John play The Waiting Room Sunday night.

Ten Questions with Peter Bjorn and John

You might know Swedish indie pop musicians Peter Moren, Bjorn Yttling and John Eriksson — Peter Bjorn and John —  from their 2006 whistle-hook classic “Young Folks.” The song has more than 66 million spins in Spotify alone and was a hit in Europe and the U.S. before Spotify existed. Believe me, you’d recognize the song if you heard it. After a five-year recording hiatus, the band is back with self-released LP Breakin’ Point (2016, INGRID), a collection of bouncing pop songs that sounds like what you’d get if Belle and Sebastian cross-pollinated with ABBA.

I asked the band to take our Ten Questions survey, and here’s how the trio collectively responded, presumably in unison:

1. What is your favorite album?

Peter Bjorn and John: Tropical Moonlight. A reader’s digest vinyl compilation album with tropical easy listening highlights.

2. What is your least favorite song?

More bubbles with Peter Bjorn and John.

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

Good question.

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

Loud noises.

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

Coriander.

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

Mexico City.

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

In Stockholm, Sweden 2002. We were booked as the opening act on an outdoor festival and when we got there they told us we had to build the stage ourselves. When we, after two hours, played the first song it was totally out of tune since Peter had forgotten the tuning pedal in our rehearsal studio. Then it started to rain.

8. How do you pay your bills?

With a twisted smile.

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

I would like to try to be the writer of a very short book.

I would not like to be a bee keeper.

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

I have heard that Bruce Springsteen was there at some point. Don’t know what he did though.

Peter Bjorn and John play with All Young Girls Are Machine Guns Sunday, June 26, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $20, showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

Lazy-i

A bit of advice when it comes to local music festivals; David Bazan, Laura Gibson tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:52 pm June 21, 2016
David Bazan as Pedro the Lion, performing at Sokol Underground July 6, 2000. Bazan plays tonight at Reverb Lounge.

David Bazan as Pedro the Lion, performing at Sokol Underground July 6, 2000. Bazan plays tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There continues to be rumblings about the River City Music Festival fiasco, confusion about who did what, and what these thieves did in the past, etc. Someone asked me why I haven’t delved into it. And the reason is the same reason why I didn’t get into last year’s Grassroots Festival debacle, and it’s this: The large concerts that feature bands I want to see are booked and promoted by One Percent Productions.

One Percent knows what they’re doing, which is more than I can say for the amateurs who put on those other fly-by-night festivals. Next time you’re about to buy a ticket to a local festival, take a moment and look at who’s promoting it before you drop your cash. If it’s One Percent — or 1% — you’re in good hands. Anyone else? Do your research. Buyer beware.

This PSA is brought to you by the kind folks at Lazy-i.com.

Moving on…

Tonight at Reverb Lounge it’s the return of David Bazan. Bazan, who some of you might remember as the guy behind Pedro the Lion, is out touring his latest release, Blanco (Barsuk, 2016). Blanco is made up of songs previously available in a very limited edition 7” vinyl series called Bazan Monthly, Volume 1 and Volume 2. Bazan picked 10 of those songs to update, remix and flesh out into a cohesive album. These sound much more electronic than I remember Bazan’s earlier releases but no less heartfelt. Opening is Laura Gibson, who I wrote about yesterday right here. Tickets are $15. Show starts at 9.

* * *

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Hottman Sisters in the park; Ten Questions with Laura Gibson; The Garden tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:07 pm June 20, 2016
The Hottman Sisters at Aksarben Village, June 18, 2016.

The Hottman Sisters at Aksarben Village, June 18, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

While people are loudly muttering about a local festival that dropped the ball over the weekend (I’m looking at you River City Music Festival), another pseudo festival was carried off nicely. I’m talking about the Proseeds show at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village, which happened Saturday night.

About 500 people were lazing on the green when I was there just after 7:30 to see Hottman Sisters’ set. There were food and other vendors and along with about a dozen cops — I saw more cops at this tiny one-day local show than I’ve ever seen at a Maha Festival, they were everywhere, smiling, talking to people, looking as if they were enjoying the show as much as the audience.

As for the Hottman Sisters, the duo (supported by a drummer and bassist) kicked through a set of mostly uptempo pop songs. They’re marketed as an indie rock band, but their sound lies closer to alt country, thanks to an overhanging rural lilt to their harmonies and guitar style. I think they’re going for a sort of Decemberists thing with a touch of Lilith — a predictable description, I suppose.

* * *

Laura Gibson opens for David Bazan at Reverb Lounge Tuesday, June 21. Photo by Shervin Lainez.

Laura Gibson opens for David Bazan at Reverb Lounge Tuesday, June 21. Photo by Shervin Lainez.

Ten Questions with Laura Gibson…

Singer/songwriter Laura Gibson’s life is at a crossroads. Originally from Portland, Gibson has been releasing albums since her 2006 debut If You Come to Meet Me (Hush Records). These days she’s on Barsuk/City Slang and lives in NYC where she studied to be a fiction writer. In fact, her new album, Empire Builder, which came out in April, was inspired by the name of the Amtrak route she took while crossing the country to her new home (and bears a resemblance to a certain Simon and Garfunkel song about a couple lost in America). But shortly after she arrived, her East Village apartment burned to the ground, an experience that “will continue to be, something that shapes me for the rest of my life. I cannot separate that experience from these songs,” she said.

There is a haunting poise to Empire Builder, a solemn intimacy that’s warm and pleasant and heartfelt. Contributors on the album include members of Death Cab for Cutie, Decemberists and Neko Case’s band, an artist whose style her music most resembles.

I asked Gibson to take our Ten Questions survey, and she obliged:

What is your favorite album?

Laura Gibson: Songs of Leonard Cohen by Leonard Cohen

2. What is your least favorite song?

There’s a song that keeps playing at my gym that says something like, “Girl you’re beautiful because you don’t know you’re beautiful.” I don’t know its name, but I hate it.

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

Getting to meet and connect with people all over the world.

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

Being away from home so often.

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

Tie between coffee and wine.

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

New York; Spring Green, Wisconsin; tiny German towns.

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

I had a few rough SXSW shows in Austin, but they’ve became pleasant/comedic in memory. Bad shows always make for good stories.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Music: a combination of tour income, royalties and licensing for film and commercials.

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

I would like to write novels and I would like to do some sort of social justice advocacy work. I would be terrible at law enforcement.

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

There is such an incredible music community in Omaha, so I feel like I’ve gotten to know it through song. I’ve heard stories of tornado alerts (but no actual tornado stories).

Laura Gibson opens for David Bazan Tuesday, July 2,1 at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Tickets are $15. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s Orange County punk duo The Garden (Burger, Epitaph), along with local boys Shrinks and Guts. $7, 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Charly Bliss, Lightning Bug; Silversphere, Worried Mothers tonight; Proseeds Festival, Those Far Out Arrows Saturday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:35 pm June 17, 2016
Charly Bliss at Reverb Lounge, June 16, 2016.

Charly Bliss at Reverb Lounge, June 16, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before we get to the weekend…

I was pretty spot-on with my original comparisons to Charly Bliss: Weezer meets The Breeders with Cyndi Lauper-esque vocals thrown in for good measure. What I missed (and what became more apparent from the Reverb stage last night) was the touchstones to ’90s band That Dog, who I assume frontwoman Eva Hendricks and Co. never heard of so it probably doesn’t count. Though if they listened to, say, 1995’s Totally Crushed Out, they may recognize similar melodic and harmonic tendencies, tendencies which I’ve always loved.

When you consider the wave of female-fronted heavy/’90s-sounding bands currently stomping across American Indie — Diet Cig and Dilly Dally among them — Charly Bliss has one-upped them if only by having a better ear for melody, a broader variety of song styles and Hendricks’ unmistakable vocal style. When heard on the band’s earlier recordings, you got a sense she was always about to spin out of control in a glowing ball of uber-cuteness (Imagine Jennifer Tilly singing rock songs). But last night (and on the band’s recent single, “Ruby”) Hendricks keeps it under control, and it’s for the better, though she can’t help to let out a yelping scream-squeak every once in a while.

We all knew we were in for something weird on the set’s last song when Hendricks unstrapped her guitar and put her pedal board away to give her more room to move. And move she did, like a girl possessed, hopping and thrashing her arms as if having a seizure while the rest of the band practiced their feedback-fueled riffage for what seemed like five minutes. She ended the number by pounding her belly with both hands much in the same way Charlie Babbitt pounded his head in Rain Man. Crazy fun from a band you’ll be hearing more from.

Lightning Bug at Reverb Lounge, June 16, 2016.

Lightning Bug at Reverb Lounge, June 16, 2016.

As for opener Lightning Bug, I think I’ll need to update that list I published yesterday. I’ve never caught these guys before last night, and now I’m sorry for all the previous nights I missed. In fact, I only caught the last three songs of their set and I’m a little pissed about that.

An indie-rock four-piece, there’s a preciseness about their sound that elevates above garage and recalls Three of a Perfect Pair-era King Crimson, thanks to frontman David Moore’s at times intricate guitarwork, which swapped between old-fashioned tapping technique and all-out riffage. Add Moore’s tuneful howl — one of the more unique voices I’ve heard from an Omaha band — and they’re onto something. I ran home and listened to their Soundcloud recordings since they weren’t selling anything at the show (that I could see). When’s the next show, boys?

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So, looks like it’s gonna be another O’Leaver’s weekend…

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s electronic post-punk band Silversphere headlines. The band features Owen Cleasby and Ken Brock, who you may remember from the previous incarnation as The Lepers. Opening the show is gritty garage rock goodness of Worried Mothers and new trio, Was. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, local punk band No Thanks has a tape release show at Milk Run. Opening is Bien Fang and Super Moon. Show starts at 9:30 p.m.

Proseeds, a local firm that helps generate money for non-profits, is hosting a free local music festival at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village Saturday evening. Among the performers are All Young Girls Are Machine Guns, Routine Escorts and State Disco. See the full line-up here.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to O’Leaver’s for Those Far Out Arrows. Opening is Heavy Lungs and KC band Psychic Heat (High Dive Records). $5, 9:30 p.m.

Start your evening off early Saturday with an in-store show at Almost Music in the Blackstone District. On the card are Topeka experimental act Aaron Martin with Erinome (Aaron Hansen) and Sopor (Zach Schiermann). $5, 7 p.m.

And that’s the sum of it. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great Father’s Day 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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