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.

Shawn Foree (Digital Leather) interview (in The Reader), second DL single drops…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:58 pm August 13, 2020
A still from the “King of Idiots,” the new single/video by Digital Leather.

I picked up the August issue of The Reader while I was also picking up a pizza last night at La Casa. This month’s Over the Edge column is an interview / story with Shawn Foree of Digital Leather, where he talks about his new album, New Wave Gold (out next month on No Coast Records) and life during the pandemic (and testing positive for COVID-19), among other things.

Foree’s new album is my favorite since 2009’s Warm Brother (Fat Possum Records) and has a similar detailed feel to the recording, which you can get a gander at by listening to the second single, whose video dropped yesterday — that is if it’s still online. The first video was yanked by YouTube copy write police a few days after it went online, presumably due to the stolen footage used (and there appears to be plenty in this new video as well).

Anyway, read the story in the printed version of The Reader (People do still read printed stuff, don’t they?) or go to the online version right here.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Another Bandcamp Friday (new stuff from The World, Uh Oh); Benson First Friday (#BFF) tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:00 pm August 7, 2020
The World, circa 1990. Four long lost unreleased tracks from the band became available today at Bandcamp.

Hey y’all, it’s Bandcamp Friday again. That means if you buy your downloads from Bandcamp today, Bandcamp will waive its fees and give all it’s money to the artists. An added bonus: Some labels, like Saddle Creek Records, also are waiving their cut, which means even more money for the artists. (Speaking of which, you might want to check out the new Land of Talk album, Indistinct Conversations, which just came out on Saddle Creek and got a whopping 7.7 from Pitchfork, who said about the album, “Low-key emotional intensity abounds in these stark, sketch-like reveries.” Indeed it does.

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Some other stuff to consider on this Bandcamp Friday:

Stephen Sheehan, who we all remember from the band Digital Sex and his solo work, also once was in a band called The World, which formed way back in 1989 and featured the rhythm section of golden age punk icons Mousetrap — bass player Craig Crawford and drummer Scott Miller — along with Digital Sex guitarist John Tingle and keyboardist Maureen Evans-Hansen. The band recorded a number of songs in 1990 that were never released and now have resurfaced 30 years later as The World (unreleased tracks – 1990). The four-song EP was restored, mixed and mastered by Tom Ware at Ware House and is being released today via Bandcamp. Check it out and read about the history of the band and buy the download.

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Uh Oh’s Joe Champion and Mari Crisler have a new 6-song EP called Joe & Mari Sing The Hits. The collection has two originals and four covers, including covers of songs by Alex G, Waxahatchee, Better Oblivion Community Center and Joe Frusciante. “Our music is always free but any cent that is donated via Bandcamp will go directly to The Union For Contemporary Art, a North Omaha nonprofit ‘founded on the belief that the arts can be a vehicle for social justice and greater civic engagement.'” Get it here. Kind of reminds me of one of my all-time favorites, Timbuk 3.

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What else have I been listening to that you can buy today at Bandcamp?

Fontaines D.C., A Hero’s Death

Perfume Genius, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately

Waxahatchee, St. Cloud

D É S I R, Solar – (Ambient electronic, from Omaha!)

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Well, it’s another rather reserved Benson First Friday. If you’re in Benson tonight, drop on by the Little Gallery, 5901 Maple St. (the east bay of the Masonic Lodge building) where there’s actually two shows happening:

Outside there’s the Tiny Art Show, a benefit for women who run Nebraska, which is “women-power miniature art, made by amazing female artists of Omaha. We will also have a merch pop-up of all of our fan-favorite tees, totes, tank tops and more.” Inside it’s the New American Arts Festival: Oria Simonini and student work. The opening runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Strict face mask policy and limited access to the facility.

And that’s all I got. Have a great, masked weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Maha announces 2021 festival dates; Reverb to reopen Aug. 29…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:52 pm August 3, 2020
The Maha Music Festival is back July 28-Aug. 1, 2021.

The folks behind the Maha Music Festival today announced the show will go on, July 28 through Aug. 1, 2021.

No location was mentioned in the press release except for “at multiple venues throughout the Omaha area.”

With social distancing and other safety measures in mind, holding the festival over five days will support our vision of offering an array of flexible programming so you really can ‘build your own adventure,’” said Maha Executive Director Lauren Martin. “It’s a whole year from now, but we’re so excited to share what we’ve been creating and hope it can be a highlight for the community to look forward to.” Locations, safety protocol, ticket prices, lineups, and all other details will be rolled out as the event gets closer, the press release concludes.

One would hope – hope – that COVID will be in our rear-view mirror by July 28, 2021, but who would have thought back in March that we’d be where we are now?

The multiple venue concept sounds intriguing, though I have to believe if they’re going to host a Lizzo-sized performer, they’re still going to need one large venue for that evening. It would be cool to see the festival become a hybrid of large-event concerts and small-venue SXSW-style gigs. But to do it effectively would require close proximity of venues, unless they intend to move the party all over the city from night to night. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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An Aug. 29 electronic/DJ show will mark the reopening of the newly remodeled Reverb Lounge, according to the gig’s Facebook invitation.

Reverb Lounge opens its newly renovated venue with an intriguing look, offering a freshly created airy, open space, with DOUBLE the sound and DOUBLE the lighting,” says the post, adding that capacity for the event is 60 people, which I assume is due to COVID restrictions. Artists listed for this $5 show are Grim Ether, String Theory, DJ Super Paul and Loveland.

The first national touring indie act slated for Reverb is Minnesota’s Night Moves Sept. 19, whose album, Can You Really Find Me, was produced by Spoon’s Jim Eno and released on Domino Records last year. Let’s hope this one doesn’t get rescheduled.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


#SaveOurStages legislation gets heavy push this week (and now it’s your turn to help)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:07 pm July 27, 2020
A screencap from the WOWT-TV report that shows how The Slowdown could be configured once it reopens.

You will begin noticing (if you haven’t already) a heavy push to write your congressmen and ask them to co-sponsor or support pending legislation designed to help save the live entertainment industry through the COVID-19 pandemic.

As I mentioned last week, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) along with a ton of musicians and promoters are pushing for a couple pieces of critical legislation, and need to get something passed before The Hill’s the August recess, which begins Aug. 7.

First thing’s first: Go to and voice your support for the Save Our Stages Act (S. 4258, introduced by Sens. Cornyn and Klobuchar) and the RESTART Act ( S. 3814/H.R. 7481, introduced by Sens. Young and Bennet in the Senate and U.S. Reps. Golden and Kelly ). Adding your voice involves filling out a simple form (or writing your own heartfelt text in the space provided) that automatically goes to your respective senator/representative based on your zip code.

Gotta do it TODAY, as in RIGHT NOW, as in it will only take a minute. If you’ve already done it, do it again.

Slowdown’s Jason Kulbel talks about it in this WOWT report from last week.

And here’s a bunch of venue owners talking about being on the verge of going out of business.

As The Slowdown says in a grim Facebook post: “There is no way we want Slowdown to end. It is too soon. It is also not too late.”

People are making this sound like end-of-the-world stuff, because quite frankly, it is. You are going to be shocked at the number of venues that will shutter as a result of the pandemic, and then you’ll wish you’d have done something about it. Here’s your chance.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Reverb Lounge remodels before reopening; RESTART venue support legislation gets final push before August recess…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:00 pm July 22, 2020
Reverb Lounge: Under Construction

The above picture was posted on the Reverb Lounge Facebook page last week and shows that there no longer is a wall separating the venue’s music performance space from the bar. The remodel is one of the reasons why Reverb hasn’t reopened yet.

Marc Leibowitz, who runs Reverb along with business partner Jim Johnson, said the wall coming down is the biggest part of the venue’s remodel. “We are doubling the PA that covers the whole space, but not many other changes really,” he said. “Reverb will now be a full-time venue. It will only be open when there is an event.”

While Reverb’s separate performance room was unique, it was also strangely antiseptic, almost clinical in nature, as if you were entering an examination room, whereas the rest of Reverb felt like a (clean) lived-in corner bar. Making the venue one large room will be as dramatic a change as when The Waiting Room “opened up” its stage area a few years back — a huge improvement. With the wall down, Reverb’s performance-space capacity will increase, which could mean larger, more popular bands playing its stage.

Leibowitz said Reverb will reopen sometime in August. Now what about The Slowdown?

Jason Kulbel, who runs The Slowdown, said the reopening date for the downtown venue is still up in the air, as the club is in the process of moving all its scheduled August shows. “The two touring shows we had postponed late last week, so that forced the hand,” he said.

Touring appears to be dead. Just glancing at band promo materials in my in-box, there are no national tours going on this year; in fact, I’m not seeing anything for 2021, either.

And beginning late last week I finally began seeing a few impassioned pleas by artists for people to write Congress to get on board with the RESTART Act (S. 3814), legislation being pushed by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). I was going to write a column about it for next month’s issue of The Reader, until I found out from NIVA that would probably be too late.

“We need to have legislation passed by the August recess or we can expect hundreds of independent venues across the country to fold,” said Audrey Fix Schaefer, NIVA’s communications director. The Senate’s August recess begins Aug. 7, and the weasels aren’t scheduled to return until Sept. 8. Never mind that the country is suffering from a 100-year pandemic.

Schaefer said the list of co-sponsors “grows every day,” which is another reason for an all-out push to send a letter to our congressmen. Unfortunately, we live in Nebraska, where our red politicians could give a shit about art, culture and the future of live music.

But that shouldn’t stop you from going to the NIVA “Take Action page” and adding your name to the list of those who sent a letter urging Fischer, Sasse and Bacon to support and cosponsor S. 3814/H.R. 7481, the RESTART Act. If you’re gonna do it, do it now. It takes less than a minute to fill out the form.

You may get back the same form letter I got from Deb Fischer, which boasts about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

But PPP loans are only fully forgivable if companies keep all of their employees on the payroll or rehire them within eight weeks of receiving the loan, which most venues can’t do.

Fischer, Sasse and Bacon know this, but do they care?

Every year, more and more talented people, musicians, artists and young professionals are moving out of Nebraska to places like LA, Portland, Seattle and New York, and politicians are left scratching their heads wondering why-why-why?

You have efforts like Blueprint Nebraska, whose “vision” is: “Our people, land, and location will propel Nebraska to be the most welcoming Midwest state for youth, talent, investment, and commerce and a national model for continuous growth and prosperity.

What a joke. The number one reason young people are leaving this state is its political and social environment. They’re tired of living in a red state that doesn’t care about anything but its perceived “family values,” and which views the arts as some sort of frivolous, childish novelty that has no intrinsic value. The lack of support by our representatives for the RESTART Act is proof of this. Once the young artists, musicians and professionals begin to realize that things will never change, they start looking for a better place to live, a place that values what they can offer. And who can blame them?

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Random Notes: Saddle Creek keeps busy (new Land of Talk, Young Jesus, Document 12); new Uh Oh video…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:24 pm July 20, 2020
Young Jesus at O’Leaver’s, Oct. 28, 2018. The band has a new album coming out on Saddle Creek Aug. 14.

The COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t seem to be slowing down Saddle Creek Records. My inbox is filling with news of new releases from our hometown record label despite the inability for bands to tour.

Top of the list is the new one by Canadian rockers Land of Talk, Indistinct Conversations, which drops July 31 (It was originally slated for release in May). This is the fourth album for the trio fronted by Elizabeth Powell, coming 12 years after their 2008 Saddle Creek debut, Some Are Lakes.

Last week the band released the fifth single from the album, a video for the song, “Now You Want to Live in the Light.” Check it, and preorder the album here.

Perhaps the label’s most way-out-there project, Young Jesus, announced Welcome to Conceptual Beach will drop Aug. 14 on Saddle Creek.

From the hype sheet: “This is Conceptual Beach, a place John Rossiter, vocalist/guitarist of Los Angeles-based Young Jesus, describes as his long-time mental refuge, where he imagines himself living—like a medieval, stigmata-wrought hermit—all his needs for okay-ness finally met. But for the first time, he’s opening up and inviting others to join him there.”

The first single, “Root and Crown,” is a gorgeous track that hopefully points toward where the band is headed on this album. Check it and order pre-order the album here.

Finally, the next installment in Saddle Creek’s Document singles series is the label’s first foray into drone metal.

The band, Divide And Dissolve, is “a heavy two-piece utilizing drums, guitar, saxophone & live efx music designed to decolonize & dismantle white supremacy,” according to their Facebook page. The duo from Kulin Nation (Melbourne) is “Takiaya Reed (Black & Tsalagi [Cherokee]) and Sylvie Nehill (Māori),” according to the one-sheet.

“RVR” b/w “8VA” drops Aug. 7. Check out the A-side below and pre-order here.

What else does Saddle Creek have up its sleeve for 2020?

And who else has been keeping busy?

Well, today local indie band Uh Oh released yet another video off their 2019 album Stay Close, this one for the song “True Blue.” Check it out below and download the album from their bandcamp page.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Lots o’ Leather: Benny Leather, Digital Leather announce fall releases…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:02 pm July 17, 2020
Digital Leather’s Shawn Foree enjoys a cold beverage in what looks like either a market in Bangkok or a taco stand in Tekamah, NE.

The last time we heard from Benny Leather was last fall when the mysterious digital-fueled punk act with links to Omaha and Antwerp released a couple singles destined for a full-length release later that year that never materialized. Well, the wait is over.

Temporary Insanity, an 8-song LP, is slated for release Oct. 1 on Philly label FDH Records, though you can pre-order it now right here (the full digital release drops Oct. 1 while the vinyl release won’t ship until last December).

Recorded in bedrooms and basements in Portland, Omaha, Bentonville, OR, Raleigh/Durham, NC, and Phuket and Krabi Southern Thailand between 2018 and 2020, the album was mixed by Omaha’s Benny Leather and Antwerp’s Modus Ponens, and features guest vocals from Modern Love’s Chandra Moskowitz (yes, the world famous chef!), and Thick Paint’s Sarah Bohling.

The album was mastered by sound engineer/genius Ian Aeillo at ADSR (A Dark Sun Room) studios.

Says Mr. Leather: All non vocal instrumentation created from scratch on the following analog synthesizers:
Moog Spectravox Vocoder hand built by Benny Leather at MoogFest 2019 (Raleigh/Durham, NC)
— Moog Sub Phatty (a personal gift from Digital Leather’s Shawn Foree and Todd Fink back in 2014)
— ARP Odyssey
— Sequential (fka DSI) Prophet Rev 2
— DSI Tempest analog drum machine (all drums/percussion made from scratch from raw white, pink and green noise signals processed through various analog filters, VCAs, envelopes and augmented by pitched analog oscillators).
— Reverb/delays: Earthquaker Devices Avalanche Run

Got all that?

Check out the first two singles below and order it post haste.

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Also announced this week: Digital Leather’s new 18-track LP, New Wave Gold, will drop Sept. 15 on No Coast Records. Digital Leather is Shawn Foree, who’s been creating some of the country’s most intriguing modern rock under the Digital Leather moniker for 20 years.

From the press release:

Recorded in Foree’s apartment in Nebraska over the last couple of years, during which time Shawn also travelled the country doing environmental work, New Wave Gold is its own genre; something uniquely wonderful. Lyrically, each song is crafted of deceivingly simple lines, but the words soon reveal their true identities: culprits to a dazzlingly moody manifesto. It’s a mid-life crisis and a global crisis smashed together and thrown onto tape. Scattered with analog synths, acoustic guitars and a fully operational DIY approach, New Wave Gold is also reminiscent of work from groups like Sebadoh and Psychic TV.”

Check out the video for first single, “A Cut Above,” directed by Mat Badura. You can pre-order the vinyl or CD right here from the No Coast Bandcamp page.

Looks like the video got pulled by YouTube! Methinks someone didn’t get permission to use those vintage film clips. Well, here’s the track at bandcamp:

That’s all for now. Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


The lack of live music is killing my new music mojo…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:51 pm July 9, 2020
Public Access T.V. at Reverb Lounge, June 25, 2018.

Bear with me while I get this off my chest:

The last live concert I saw before COVID-19 struck with all its dreadful glory was PUP at The Waiting Room way back on March 5. I didn’t know at the time it would be the last live show I’d attend for the foreseeable future. I anticipated a big spring and summer of live shows with lots of new music on the horizon.

But as we all know, by the end of March one-by-one the clubs began to close and show cancellations piled up like cord wood, and by the end of April about everything was cancelled. Now we’re in July and Slowdown and Reverb are still closed, O’Leaver’s and Brothers have reopened but aren’t scheduling live music, and while The Waiting Room is hosting shows, they’re few and far between and mostly cover bands. Almost all national touring bands aren’t on the road right now.

Despite this, new music has continued to be released, including some pretty amazing recordings by Fiona Apple, Perfume Genius, Run the Jewels, Phoebe Bridgers, HAIM, Waxahatchee, Porridge Radio, Yves Tumor, Lanterns on the Lake, Destroyer, Christian Lee Hutson, Nation of Language, Car Seat Headrest and Stephen Malkmus. While some artists are holding their releases until they can tour again, others, like Bright Eyes and Sufjan Stevens, are planning releases in the coming months without any idea of whether they’ll be able to support them on the road.

Most of the above-mentioned acts are easy to keep up with, and if you’re tuned into Sirius XMU or college radio, you’ll have a hard time missing them. It’s the smaller, new bands — the yet-to-be discovered acts — that are getting especially crushed by COVID.

The No. 1 way I discovered new music — or for that matter, checked out new music — was by researching upcoming (and attending) live shows. And with no one out touring, it’s suddenly become harder to discover the new talent. Or a better way of putting it: It’s becoming harder to get motivated to listen to unknown acts.

Like anyone who writes about music, every day I get dozens of pitch emails from labels, promoters and artists telling me about upcoming releases. In the pre-COVID days, I’d zip down to the bottom of the emails and see if the band was headed to Omaha or Lincoln, and if so, would check out their music. No question, this was how I discovered most of the cool new stuff I’ve heard in the past.

The same process held for club calendars — I’d go through calendars scanning upcoming shows and making a point to research indie bands scheduled to appear, check out their music, etc.

But now that no one is touring, I rarely even open those emails or check calendars. What’s the point? As a result, a lot of music being releases is flying under my radar. For the first time since I started writing about music, I’m starting to feel disconnected to what’s going on with regard to new music.

So yeah, I really miss going to rock shows, I miss seeing people I know at the various clubs, but most of all I miss discovering new music the way I used to. The way things are going, it may not be until this time next year before we get anywhere close to where we used to be.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Bandcamp Friday again and here’s where you should spend your money; masked #BFF tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:07 pm July 3, 2020
The brand-spankin’ new SPEED! Nebraska T-shirt available at their Bandcamp page.

Once again, Bandcamp is waiving its fees today on all sales to help artists trying to get through the COVID-19 pandemic. So today your purchases at Bandcamp mean even more to your favorite bands. Saddle Creek Records and a lot of other labels are also passing along digital revenue to their artists.

Here some other great Bandcamp pages to check out and buy-buy-buy stuff:

SPEED! Nebraska — Home to recordings by the likes of Wagon Blasters, Mercy Rule, Frontier Trust and The Mezcal Brothers, among others, as well as a ton of super-cool merch like the brand new SPEED Nebraska T-shirt shown above.

Max Trax Records — Home to Little Brazil, Leafblower, Pro-Magnum and a ton more, as well as more sweet, sweet merch. Omaha’s third biggest label? Probably not, but pretty cool.

15 Passenger — Home to Cursive, Criteria and campdogzz as well as the wee lad Tim Kasher. Lots o’ digital and vinyl and cool merch, because you need something cool to wear to O’Leaver’s.

Simon Joyner — Simon always has special deals on Bandcamp Fridays. This time it’s a CD of Hotel Lives Demos from 1999-2000, limited to 100 copies, and a CD of an unreleased 6-song EP collaboration with The Bruces called A Pleasure Then, from 2003, limited to 75 copies. Tons more.

Dereck Higgins — The Omaha legend has a mountain of music available, including his just-released 4-song EP STRENGTH.

Digital Leather — Shawn Foree is nothing less than a diabolical genius if not a musical one, and you can’t go wrong by buying any of his releases.

Flight School — Did I use the word “genius”? It’s a word I reserve only for the truly gifted, like Einstein, Picasso and Flight School. Don’t get lost down this rabbit hole of a website without spending some money.

Matt Whipkey — I think it’s safe to say Matt not only is talented but also prolific, based on this page. Tons of music reaching back to his days with The Movies and Anonymous American all the way to his latest project, the incendiary Unexplained Death.

David Nance — Including David Nance Group, a ton here from his ground-breaking Peaced and Slightly Pulverized to his take on Beatles for Sale. Weird fun!

I’m sure I missed someone/something. If I missed your Bandcamp page, put it in the comments section…

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Tonight is what I’m guessing to be the first Benson First Friday during these Days of COVID. A number of Benson galleries are giving it a try using capacity limits, mask requirements and basically no food and drink inside the galleries.

Among those participating is The Little Gallery, 5901 Maple Street (the east bay below the Masonic Lodge building), which tonight is hosting the opening of Silent Spring, a group show featuring new work created under quarantine by Joe Addison, Alex Jochim, Caitlin Little and Trudy Swanson. The opening runs from 6 to 9 p.m. If you go, you might find this masked man sitting outside somewhere.

That’s it for the weekend. Hard to believe it’s July and we still don’t have live rock music, but that’s just the way it goes. Keep wearing a mask when you go in public and we may get live music back on our stages sooner!

Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


1% Productions issues an apology; Disq covers Tweedy; Xiu Xiu tomorrow; Essential Festival Thursday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:45 pm June 30, 2020
Xiu Xiu performs via live stream from Low End at The Bemis tomorrow night.

This morning 1% Productions published an apology via Facebook for statements reported in the Omaha World-Herald after the Aug. 8, 2019, shooting death of Michael Rowell, Jr., outside The Waiting Room Lounge, a club owned and operated by Marc Leibowitz and Jim Johnson, the duo behind 1%. Rowell reportedly had come to watch a performance at the club the night of the shooting.

Arguably Omaha’s most important concert promotion company, 1% books The Waiting Room, Reverb Lounge and other venues around town, and has lined up the acts for the the annual Maha Music Festival for the past decade. In the Aug. 20, 2019, OWH article, Leibowitz said 1% no longer would book local rap artists at The Waiting Room or Reverb Lounge.

In the wake of last year’s tragic murder of Michael Rowell Jr., we made statements to the Omaha World Herald that were hurtful to the local hip-hop community. We want to publicly apologize for the impact of our statements,” the statement reads. “Music, and specifically hip-hop music, has long been a platform for expressing the inequities in society. Now, more than ever, we need to take time to listen to what those voices are saying. As we strive to create a better future, we wanted to officially clarify that we do plan on booking more hip-hop in Omaha. Whether it’s national or local artists, we want to continue our support for the community by trying to provide a safe environment for this critical genre to perform and to be celebrated.”

The Waiting Room, which had been closed since March due to COVID-19, reopened a couple weeks ago after Gov. Ricketts relaxed COVID-related restrictions to music venues. Reverb Lounge likely will reopen in August, Leibowitz said, as the venue is undergoing some upgrades.

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Saddle Creek Records artist Disq today released a cover of Jeff Tweedy’s “I Know What It’s Like” via Bandcamp.

Said Disq’s Isaac duBroux-Slone: “I sped up the original recording a decent amount so I’d have something to play along to and off I went. We decided it’d be fun to present the finished product as an interim release; post-Collector and pre-whatever’s next.” Check it out below…

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Even though these are just “virtual” concerts, I get the feeling things are starting to pick up performance-wise around here.

Tomorrow night (Wednesday) Low End at The Bemis is having yet another virtual concert, this time featuring San Jose experimental act Xiu Xiu (Polyvinyl, Kill Rock Stars). I would have loved to see them play live at Low End; this is the next best thing. The stream, free via The Bemis’ Twitch account, starts at 8 p.m.

And then Thursday night is Essential Festival, a live-streamed concert from the stage at The Slowdown featuring a plethora of local acts, including:

And How
Clarence Tilton
DVH Recordings (Dereck Higgins)
Keith Rodger (Kethro)
Matt Whipkey
McCarthy Trenching
Nathan Ma

It’s a “pick your ticket price” event that benefits Catholic Charities of Omaha, and kicks off at 6 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.