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.



Nightbird joins Ritual Device/Cellophane Ceiling bill; Denver Dalley’s Broken Bats; Darren Keen mixes…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:00 pm December 16, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There was no update yesterday as I was buried writing a cover story for Thursday’s issue of The Reader about Cellophane Ceiling and Ritual Device, who are playing Dec. 26 at The Waiting Room. It’s a Main Vein Production (which is also discussed in the article). Huge show, huge reunion.

If you didn’t already know, Nightbird has been added to this line-up, and I’m told Lee Meyerpeter and his crew will be playing some Cactus Nerve Thang covers (Lee, as you know, was in Cactus) just to make this post-Christmas trip inside the Wayback Machine that much more authentic.

It’s great that we have all these reunion shows happening next week (Neva Dinova is next Tuesday at The Slowdown, for example) because there’s virtually nothing else happening around here (at least until Friday). I mean, holy shit, has there ever been a bigger drought in local news?

The hottest buzz is that Icky Blossoms has finished recording their new record, which is headed for a release on Saddle Creek next year. And Matt Whipkey informs me his new record is in the can, ready for a 2015 release.

And then yesterday Hear Nebraska reported (right here) that Denver Dalley of Desaparecidos, Statistics, Intramural and Two of Cups fame (as well as Har Mar Superstar’s sideman) has formed a new band with Pink Spiders frontman Matt Friction called Broken Bats. What that will sound like is anyone’s guess.

And finally, Darren Keen has chimed in from his new home in Brooklyn, New York, to say that he’s posted a couple new DJ mixes:

This is a worldy / tropical bass / club oriented type mix: https://soundcloud.com/darrenkeen/darren-keen-the-opposite-of-a-cold-snowy-city . This is a retro / synth / vocoder funk mix as my loose “DJ Tango Cash” pseudonym: https://soundcloud.com/darrenkeen/dj-tango-cash-waking-up-marcy

The DJ Tango Cash mix got me through my morning. I’m still trying to catch up with Darren to see what his plan is for conquering The Big Apple…

In case you were wondering, there are no shows going on tonight. Head over to The Barley Street Tavern for the Viva La Vinyl Christmas Party and buy DJ Brad Hoshaw a tall boy…

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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McCarthy Trenching, Brad Hoshaw, M34n Str33t tonight; Bloodcow, John Klemmensen and the Party Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 2:15 pm December 12, 2014
Hip hop graphic design pioneer Cey Adams opens a one-month show at The New BLK tonight. M34N STR33T will perform.

Hip hop graphic design pioneer Cey Adams opens a one-month show at The New BLK tonight. M34N STR33T will perform.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Not a lot of indie rock happening this weekend. OK, no indie rock happening. Still, there are some shows worth checking out as we slog our way through these holiday doldrums.

Over at fabulous O’Leaver’s McCarthy Trenching headlines tonight with the Burkum Boys. $5, 9:30 p.m. There are few better places to get your weekend drunk on than The Club on Saddle Creek.

The annual Toy Drive for Pine Ridge is happening tonight at The Barley Street Tavern. Toy Drive for Pine Ridge is a non-profit organization that collects and delivers toys for children of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and raises donations for heating, clothing, food, and educational resources for residents of the reservation. The toy drive started in 2003 with Larry Dunn, a.k.a. Lash LaRue. On the bill are Brad Hoshaw, Prairie Gators and Vago. Show starts at 9 p.m., and your donations are welcome.

Cey Adams, a renowned hip hop graphic design pioneer, old school NYC graffiti writer, and former Def Jam creative director, is having a one-man show that opens tonight at The New BLK Gallery, 1213 Jones St. Adams co-founded the Drawing Board, the label’s in-house visual design firm, where he created visual identities, album covers, logos, and advertising campaigns for Run DMC, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Notorious B.I.G., and Jay-Z. Impressive. Providing the jams is Omaha’s own M34n Str33t. Music starts at 10 p.m. Swing on down and pick up an original Adams print.

No one loves Christmas more than the guys in Bloodcow, and they’re going to prove it Saturday night when the host their annual Bloodcow Holiday Show at T’z Sports Pub, 128 W. Broadway in Council Bluffs. Joining them to celebrate are When Towers Fall and Coupedevillian. $5, 9 p.m. Ugly Christmas sweater optional.

Also Saturday night, John Klemmensen and the Party play at the Reverb Lounge with DANA T and Wild Kingdom. $7, 9 p.m.

And back at O’Leaver’s Saturday night it’s Matt Cox Band with The Willards Band and 24 Hour Cardlock. $5, 9:30 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a good 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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‘Conor Oberst and Friends’ rock at NYC benefit; Outlaw Con Bandana tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:49 pm December 11, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Conor Oberst collected a bevy of NYC’s best singer/ songwriters at the Beacon Theater Monday night for a benefit concert.

Among the talent was Jonathan Wilson, Felice Brothers, Laura Marling, Natalie Merchant and one of my all-time faves, Suzanne Vega. ‘Conor Oberst and Friends’ was part of the 10th Annual ‘Holiday Cheer for FUV,’ a benefit concert for NPR radio station WFUV. According to Diffuser: “Calling this concert ‘magical’ is a severe understatement, but we are simply at a loss for words for how special the evening was for all involved.”

Conor’s keeping himself pretty busy these days. In addition to finishing up that Desaparecidos record, he’s also taking part in a tribute concert for Emmylou Harris Jan. 10 in Washington, D.C. alongside such music luminaries as Mavis Staples, Kris Kristofferson, Joan Baez, Sheryl Crow and Lucinda Williams.

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Speaking of great singer/songwriters, there’s a special show at fabulous O’Leaver’s tonight. Outlaw Con Bandana returns. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Brendan Hagberg and Co. Joining them is Charity. $5, 9:30 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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TIT drops debut on FDH; new Semicircle (Reptar members) LP out today…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:56 pm December 9, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 12.52.07 PMShawn Foree of Digital Leather is at it again. After releasing a split LP with The Hussy earlier this year on FDH Records, Foree and Bobby Hussy spent a week together to write and record a side project called TIT, whose debut dropped today, again on FDH.

This collaboration is a perfect mesh of pop sensibility, dark gloomy undertones, and experimentation that you would expect from this team,” says the press release. “The 4-song EP features Bobby on lead vocals for two tracks, Shawn on lead vocals on one song, and a nearly 9-minute instrumental.

The LP is limited to 666 copies — 166 on Yellow vinyl / 500 Black vinyl. I ordered my copy from the label months ago and still haven’t received it, though I’m sure it’ll show up in my mail box any day now (*looks at watch, stares longingly at wall calendar*). Until then, I’ll just have to listen to it streamed version below from the TIT Bandcamp page, where you can buy a download or order the vinyl.  So when is TIT going to make its Omaha debut?

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I’m out of the loop when it comes to these Reptar guys, but I’m sure someone told me that one of them moved to Omaha. Well it probably wasn’t the one who’s in Semicircle, who today dropped their new LP, Blown Breeze, Grown Grass, and We are Part of the Earth (self release). The Reptar members in Semicircle are Andrew McFarland and Ryan Engelberger. Either name ring a bell? Not with me, either. Anyway, Noisy is streaming the whole album here. And you can check out one of the tracks below:

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: The psychedelic buzz and howl of Calm Fur, Slushy, the electric blue Lupines…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:49 pm December 8, 2014
Calm Fur at the Barley Street Tavern, Dec. 5, 2014.

Calm Fur at the Barley Street Tavern, Dec. 5, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I found the buzz and howl of Calm Fur to be rather sublime — a psychedelic cascade of noise and color and sound that blended every ’60s arena rock acid trip with the post-modern noise of, say, Sonic Youth to create a wholly new and cumbersome thing.

It didn’t come easy; it took awhile for the band to get into a groove.  Wearing a white-fur jacket (epitomizing the band’s name) frontman Jason Meyer has emerged as Omaha’s version of Wayne Coyne, a colorful, arty dude who isn’t happy with just playing shows. Instead, his gigs are audio-visual-powered “happenings.” Think back to one of those notable Talking Mountain shows (one of Meyre’s other bands) where smoke broiled out the club’s doors and audience members wore sun glasses to protect their eyes from blazing LED light rigs.

Meyer shows always involve special effects panache, even if it’s just a couple guys wearing furry Muppet-style masks. For Calm Fur, the enhanced experience involved two overhead projectors set up on either side of the Barley Street stage, along with an assortment of markers, glitter and confetti. Audience members were invited to come up during the set and let their creative spirit run wild, but no one did, at least not until about halfway through their set when a young women began scribbling with a marker which washed out over the band. Psychedelic, man.

Give credit to Meyer. Nothing is more boring than watching a bunch of guys slumped over their instrument, hardly moving. Meyer doesn’t want to fall into that sanguine trap, though no special effects were necessary to make Friday night’s set interesting… or at least different.

Like I said, it took awhile for the band to get things going. When they started out, I wondered why Meyer wanted that keyboard to fuss up the sound. By the third song I was thinking ‘That keyboard really makes this work.” I don’t know who keyboardist “Jesy” is, but her simple tones and style (and voice) were the perfect complements to Garrett Schmelzel from Snake Island’s acidic 12-string electric guitar and Meyer’s ever-droning bass. By the fourth or fifth song, the band hit its stride and even had me buzzing. They followed it with a couple shaky covers that featured the next performer, Slushy.

Slushy is former Omahan (and Talking Mountains guy) Chris Kramer doing his rendition of Nuggets-era pop songs sung alone over pre-recorded tracks, karaoke style. Kramer’s choice of music and his aerobic-styles performance made for a fun set, at least for the first 15 minutes. I’m told that Kramer has a working band he plays with in Chicago. Someone needs to get those folks out here.

Lupines at The Barley Street Tavern Dec. 5, 2014.

Lupines at The Barley Street Tavern Dec. 5, 2014.

Finally sometime after midnight The Lupines took the stage, basking in the full intensity of Barley Street’s fancy new digital lighting system, which cast them in eerie electric blue. What more to say about Lupines that I haven’t already said, other than you need to check them out if your thing is blistering garage rock. It was a great way to cap off what turned out to be a looong night.

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The Lupines, Calm Fur, Plack Blague, Superstar, Blue Bird, BFF tonight; Sons of O’Leaver’s, Her Flyaway Manner Saturday…

Category: Blog — @ 2:18 pm December 5, 2014
Lupines at The Barley Street Tavern, April 14, 2014.

The Lupines return to the Barley Street Tavern tonight. It’s all a part of Benson First Friday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Wondering where the big touring indie bands are playing this weekend? Well, there ain’t any, and you better get used to it because there are no national touring indie shows scheduled for the remainder of December.

Instead, this weekend is a smorgasbord of local bands.

Tonight it’s the irrepressible Lupines at The Barley Street Tavern. This is garage rock at its finest, fronted by former Brimstone Howl frontman John Ziegler. Also on the bill is Calm Fur, featuring members of Talking Mountain and Snake Island. Also listed is “special guest Slushy.” $5, 9 p.m.

It’s all part of Benson First Friday, which should be boiling over Maple Street all night long.

No doubt a lot of things will be reaching the boiling point at Sweatshop Gallery tonight when pervo-devo-freako-bondage-noise-riot act Plack Blague headlines a show with the infamous Superstar & Star. $5, 10 p.m.

Up the street at the birdcage known as Reverb Lounge Blue Bird headlines with The Derby Birds opening. $7, 9 p.m.

Finally, blocks and blocks away from Benson at fabulous O’Leaver’s A Wasted Effort headlines with The Decatures and PYRATE. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow is the Big Chili Cookoff at O’Leaver’s. For just $5 you can eat all the chili you can get down your pie hole. Service starts at 1 p.m.

Then later that night after the smoke (or gas) clears, Sons of O’Leaver’s (featuring Mike Tulis) takes the stage. Opening is 3D Jupiter (fronted by Bob Crawford). $5, 9:30 p.m.

Back in Benson at the Reverb Lounge, nanaHara headlines Saturday night. The band consists of member of Lincoln bands Sideshow and Sound of Rails. Opening is Lincoln post-punk legends Her Flyaway Manner. $5, 9 p.m.

There’s a four-band bill at The Sydney Saturday night: Grumble, Low Long Signal, Super Moon and The Decatures. All for $5. Starts at 9.

That’s what I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a good 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Cyclones vs. Huskers (in the column); John Klemmensen’s Death Battle tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: — @ 1:53 pm December 4, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I posted this week’s column online at 7 a.m., giving it all of three or four hours of relevancy before the new head coach of Nebraska was named. The column is really about team devotion, and how Iowa State fans get it right. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here.

This has been a dead week for music news and shows. Dead.

Tonight is Songwriter Death Battle pt. 6 at The Waiting Room. John Klemmensen hosts and provides the guitar, which is passed around from songwriter to songwriter (all mostly from the Benson area) throughout the evening. $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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Centro-matic calls it quits…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 2:01 pm December 3, 2014
Centro-matic

Centro-matic

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With nothing to report here in Omaha…

Tomorrow Centro-matic begins a tour in Nashville that ends Dec. 20 in Denton, TX. The tour will be their last. The band is hanging it up after nearly 20 years and a ton of great albums, not the least of which is 2000’s All the Falsest Hearts Can Try, a personal favorite and where I first discovered this band.

Centro-matic frontman Will Johnson announced the break-up here way back in September:

“I can write with no hint of drama that our December tour will be the last Centro-matic tour for the indefinite and foreseeable future. For a handful of reasons, the time finally feels right to celebrate the existence of this thing, then let it rest. I do think that the four of us will embark on some musical endeavor together again, but can’t say that it will be within the realm or tone of what Centro-matic has done.”

Johnson and Co. talk more about the break-up in this IndyWeek feature. Some of you may recognized Johnson as the guy that played drums with Monsters of Folk on one of the tours that came through Omaha. Others might remember Johnson’s solo set at The Ranch Bowl in 2004 (though not many of you, as I remember feeling rather lonely in the club that night). I don’t remember Centro-matic ever coming through Omaha. Maybe they did and I missed it.

Here’s some classic Centro-matic to take your mind off your Wednesday:

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Whatever happened to Owen? Oh, here’s what happened…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:55 pm December 2, 2014
Owen hold up a wall...

Owen hold up a wall…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

For last week’s Throw Back Thursday I posted an ancient review of an Owen gig at The 49’r and kind of wondered whatever happened to him. Someone posted a comment on the post saying he just reformed American Football. Then I got a press release in my email with the headline “Owen Streams New Covers Album in Full.” It said:

Owen‘s covers album Other People’s Songs is out next Tuesday, Dec.  2, via Polyvinyl Records. … Other People’s Songs features selections from artists including Against Me!, Depeche Mode, The Promise Ring, Lungfish, and more, all recorded this spring in Chicago with trusted producer Neil Strauch. With the help of female vocalist Sarah Mitchell, as well as occasional touches of violin and cello, Owen (Mike Kinsella) transforms each selection in unique and surprising ways.

Funny how these things happen. Check out tracks from his new album below (the Blake Babies cover is particularly good)…

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The post-Thanksgiving blues; Elvis Costello headed to Lincoln; new Sam Martin Dec. 9, RSC finds…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:51 pm December 1, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It looks to be monumentally quiet gig-wise this week. In fact, there’s virtually nothing on my radar the entire week. Post-holiday doldrums? I guess.

The only notable gig news came in a press release stating that Elvis Costello is booked for the Rococo in Lincoln March 3. Tix on sale Thursday at noon starting at $47.

Speaking of Lincoln gigs, Cursive announced it’s added a show at Vega in Lincoln March 22, the day after their gig at The Waiting Room.

Going through the ol’ in-box…

Capgun Coup frontman Sam Martin, last seen doped out in Nik Fackler’s film Sick Birds Die Easy, has a new album out a week from Tuesday, Dec. 9, on Omaha’s own Make Believe Recordings called A Notion in an Ocean. The record features a slew of guests, including Greg Elsasser, Sean Pratt, Noah Kohl, Dereck Higgins, Jesse Mckelvey and Todd Fink. Check out the video for the first single, “Bye Bye,” below.

How’d you do at Record Store Day Friday? I was surprised to find a lot of inventory still available at Homer’s and Drastic Plastic when I dropped in on both stores that afternoon. My only official RSD purchase was the American Hustle soundtrack. Other than that, I bought a copy of Joy Division’s Preston 28 February 1980 live album, out on Drastic Plastic Records (massive 200 gram vinyl), and scored used copies of Peter Gabriel’s debut album and Harry Nilsson’s The Point at Almost Music. Not bad…

BTW, those Guardians of the Galaxy cassettes are now going for more than $50 on ebay. More evidence that cassettes are back?

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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