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.



Live Review: Future Islands, Operators; Bob Log III, Millions of Boys tonight, Saturn Moth Saturday; Digital Leather, Little Brazil Sunday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:55 pm August 29, 2014
The many faces of Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands, The Waiting Room, Aug. 28, 2014.

The many faces of Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands, The Waiting Room, Aug. 28, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Samuel T. Herring paced the stage like a sweaty caged bear. By now, thanks to David Letterman, any fan of Future Islands is familiar with his groovy dance routine, but they probably weren’t so familiar with his other rather unique performance gestures displayed on stage last night, such as:

— Picking the imaginary berry and eating it (along with his hand)
— Pounding his chest, hard, like a gorilla
— Reaching into his chest and pulling out his heart, and eating it (along with his hand)
— Swinging his fist round-house style, hard and wide, just like Elvis
— And “Hello God, it’s me, Samuel” (softly, Waterfront Bando-style, while looking up at the moon).

These gestures and many more were woven into his usual battery of low-dips, twists, high kicks and vogue-like head turns during last night’s Future Islands’ set at The Waiting Room.

The first time I saw him — back in 2011, cold-called, never even having seen a picture of the band before — I was startled and enamored. Last night, having seen the shtick a few times since, I was merely amused and entertained. So was the sold-out audience, who jerked and dived right along with Herring throughout an hour-plus-long set that left him looking as if he’d just undergone the ice bucket challenge, his red collared dress shirt sweat-soaked and clinging to his ape-like physique.

Now you know. Herring doesn’t hold back. He leaves it allllll on stage, every performance, presumably every night. And that kind of kinetic self-brutality has to take a toll on something. Last night it was his voice.

You did not hear Samuel T. at his best. His vocals were ragged from the very start, often breaking down to choked whispers. As one guy put it, “He started his growl pretty early in the set tonight.” He sure did. At past performances, that monster growl had been tossed out sparingly, for effect. Last night his guttural Cookie Monster roar appeared early and often, most likely to compensate for a lack of high end.

The limitation was most noticeable on their most known song, “Seasons (Waiting on You),” made famous on Letterman. The song’s soaring moments were cut off, growled or strangled. Strangely, as the night wore on, Herring’s voice got better. In fact, he sang best during the three-song encore.

Not that it mattered. People who didn’t know better surely thought it was all part of the show, a show that hasn’t changed much since the last time I saw it on TWR stage; and it’s still just as entertaining.

Operators at The Waiting Room, Aug. 28, 2014.

Operators at The Waiting Room, Aug. 28, 2014.

The real surprise last night (for me, anyway) was opening band Operators. The band consists of frontman Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) and drummer Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks), who worked together with Britt Daniel in the one-off Devine Fits project. Rounding out the trio is fetching keyboard player Dvojka. Their sound was a fine combination of ’80s synthrock and post-wave Eno-era Talking Heads sung with indie-rock gusto by Boeckner, who resembled a young (though shirted) Iggy Pop.

Operators new EP, EP 1, captures their synth-rock-dance energy (check out “Ancient”), but doesn’t capture their live dynamic, which was more free-form and fun, a good opening match for Future Islands…

* * *

So what’s going on this long, three-day weekend? Plenty.

Tonight creepy helmeted slide-guitar freakshow Bob Log III graces the stage at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Log III has mainly performed in larger clubs around town, like The Waiting Room. I can only imagine what’ll happen in The Club’s intimate confines. Will Mach be stirring up a Boob Scotch?  Find out at tonight’s massive showbill, which also includes Dumb Beach, Sean Pratt and the Sweats and DJ Dave Goldberg. Note this is a $7 show, starts at 9.

Also tonight, Millions of Boys plays at The Sydney with Kansas-based indie rockers Schwervon! and The Love Technicians. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, down at The Slowdown, Satchel Grande returns with Funk Trek. $8, 9 p.m.

Saturday night local indie rockers Saturn Moth celebrate their CD release at The Waiting Room with The Sub-Vectors, Manic Pixie Dream Girls and Lot Walks. $5, 9 p.m.

Then it’s back to O’Leaver’s on Sunday for a very special O’Leaver’s Sunday Social featuring three things none of us can live without: Digital Leather, Little Brazil and food. The music starts at 5 p.m. and it costs the usual $5. Look, we all have Monday off anyway. Might as well spend Sunday afternoon getting wasted at The House That Mello Built.

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

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Paying to play… at the Superbowl (in the column); Future Islands (SOLD OUT), David Kenneth Nance tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , — @ 12:49 pm August 28, 2014
Future Islands at The Waiting Room, Nov. 2, 2011.

http://lazy-i.com/wp-admin/post-new.php Future Islands at The Waiting Room, Nov. 2, 2011. The band returns to The Waiting Room tonight for a sold-out show.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

In this week’s column, the NFL’s plan to charge bands to perform at the next Superbowl half-time, and what it means to the ongoing erosion of the value of music. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here.

People are underestimating how much Spotify and similar streaming services are undermining the market for music sales. We’re quickly heading to a future of 1) music superstars — i.e., the folks that performed on the VMAs — and 2) no one else, at least when it comes to making a living from music. Indie performers are going to be left in the dust, with income only from touring and tour merch sales to scrape by on. Maybe we’re already there.

* * *

Tonight’s big show is Future Islands at The Waiting Room, a show that sold out earlier this week. Here’s how their show went the last time they came through town in 2011. It was among my top-3 favorite shows that year. I expect more of the same tonight. Opening is Operators (Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Divine Fits). This one starts at 8 p.m.

Also tonight, David Kenneth Nance, whose album Actor’s Diary (on Simon Joyner’s Grapefruit Records label) blew me away last year, headlines a show at the Almost Music record store in Benson with Staffers and Sean Pratt and the Sweats. 8 p.m., $5.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Darren Keen gets remixed; Desa on Epitaph cassette; See Through Dresses goes Duitsland; HN Live is cancelled; See Through Dresses, songwriters showcase tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 12:40 pm August 27, 2014
Minnesota's Kitten Forever plays at O'Leaver's tonight...

Minnesota’s Kitten Forever plays at O’Leaver’s tonight…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Nebraska’s hardest working musician / DJ, Darren Keen,  was honored with a remix of his track “Higher” by Teklife’s DJ Earl. The details are at Fact Magazine.

Who exactly is DJ Earl?

The music I am making now is heavily influenced by a Chicago style of dance music called Footwork,” Darren said. “The biggest, most famous crew is called Teklife. The two biggest DJ / producers they have are DJ Rashad and DJ Earl. DJ Rashad died this year. So DJ Earl is literally the biggest name in the genre of music I’m doing now. He’s gonna be hella famous in a year.

Darren described “Footwork” as fast, triplet-based dance music. “Vice (the news website) described my sound as ‘B-boy footwork being played out of a 3rd world boom box.’ Sounds accurate.”

Hear for yourself by checking out the track, here. BTW, Vice debuted a Darren Keen song just a few weeks ago, right here.

* * *

Catching up on some news from yesterday….

Desaparecidos let the cat out of the bag via social media when they posted a photo of an upcoming Epitaph comp cassette that features the band along with a handful of label mates. As stated, it was apparently made for last weekend’s FYF Fest.  The track, “Anonymous,” was released as a single by Desa last year.

desacassette
Conor gave a non-denial affirmation when asked about the band’s relationship with Epitaph in our recent interview, published in June in The Reader:

The Reader: What’s happening with Desaparecidos? I heard a new LP has been recorded and is coming out on Epitaph. With the demands of supporting your new solo album and tour, is that project now on hold?

Conor Oberst: We’ve been working towards a new full length. We hope to put it out next year at some point. It has been a blast playing with them again. I have to promote my new record and that takes time, but we are going to continue working on the Desa stuff as well.

Read the rest of the interview here.

* * *

Tomorrow’s Future Islands show at The Waiting Room is now sold out. See you there.

* * *

Tonight’s Hear Nebraska Live at Turner Park concert featuring Snake Island and Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship has been cancelled… again. Tonight’s show was a reschedule from a date a few weeks ago that also got rained out. HN’s Andy Norman is seeing if he can get yet another date for this bill.

* * *

See Through Dresses announced via Facebook they’ve been signed by the Germans at This Charming Man Records. “We’re looking forward to working with them and they are releasing our full-length in Europe. Expect us over the pond next year!

Just for fun, I plugged the TCM’s announcement into Google Translate, which switched it up from German to English, in the usual clumsy fashion:

I am very pleased, See Through Dresses from Omaha, Nebraska to be able to welcome in the ranks of TCM. Hannes, his character drummer of Lost Girls and touring riders of Tim Kasher, contacted me a few months ago and sent me euphoric the current LP of four. Kaspers Tim raved well during his last tour in Germany neatly from the See Through Dresses -plate (as for me later turned out, the guitarist and singer of See Through Dresses to Kasher’s “adult movie” album has appeared and participated in the complete tour ) and Hannes thought it was a nice idea if this quite excellent album would also appear in Europe. After the first run I was already hooked, excited after repeated listening.

I felt immediately added to the year 1995 – a Best Of the nineties Indies Sebadoh about Sonic Youth (eg “Pink Noise”) and My Bloody Valentine … The sound is of course no new nuclear physics, ignites at me but mega hard – super hooks, sugar-sweet melodies, sadness and pathos something … these are the ingredients for the perfect Emo WetDreaM. And alongside the influences of the old world but you will also find traces of current bands, for example, Shout Out Louds – the singing of “Get Sick Again”, Pains At Being Pure At Heart – “Glass” and the male / female vocals in General.

The self-titled and self-recorded debut album was released in an edition of 550 LPs out in the States and in the spring of 2015 with This Charming Man re-released. The band is touring Europe to match the album release in spring / summer 2015 For booking requests but please contact Hannes or write me a mail fix.

* * *

Speaking of See Through Dresses, they headline a show tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Minneapolis band Kitten Forever and Lincoln punk masters Once A Pawn. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, Part V in John Klemmensen’s ongoing Songwriter Death Battle series takes place at The Waiting Room. John hands his acoustic guitar off to a string of local singer/songwriters for one tune apiece. The action begins at 9. $7.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Saturday night at the OEAAs; Burkum Boys tonight; Future Islands is this Thursday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 12:43 pm August 25, 2014
24 Hour Cardlock at Burke's Pub, OEAA Showcase, Aug. 23, 2014.

24 Hour Cardlock at Burke’s Pub, OEAA Showcase, Aug. 23, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Checked out the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEAA) showcase Saturday night in Benson. This year’s selection of bands were mostly unknown to me, especially Friday night’s lineup. Saturday was more of the same, though there were a few notables on the list, including Matt Cox, The Big Deep (who played their farewell set before they go on hiatus), Brad Hoshaw, John Klemmensen, Travelling Mercies, etc.

One problem with these kinds of multi-venue showcases/festivals involves sobriety. The schedule demands you move from bar to bar to see various bands, and at every bar, one feels beholden to order a beer. By three bands you’ve had three beers (in my case, more, having had a couple at 1912 prior to the first band). I had to cut myself off or else I wouldn’t be able to ride my bike home (Needless to say, I was sobered up by the time I hit the streets).

I think it’s high time that Benson be declared its own drinking district, with its own set of rules that allows for people to carry beers from bar to bar, just like in New Orleans. Problem solved.

These kinds of festivals are a lot of fun even if you don’t know or like the bands playing. In this case, there was plenty to like. Hoshaw with sideman Matt Whipkey at The Barley Street was the usual stellar performance. Adding even more depth to the set was pianist Vern Ferguson on the bar’s old upright. Teresa kept asking why Hoshaw hasn’t blown up beyond Nebraska. It’s a riddle wrapped in an enigma whose answer also (probably) applies to hundreds of other talented artists that never get discovered outside their burgs.

The Big Deep’s last waltz was admirable. Here’s to the band members’ futures, wherever they may be.

But the big surprise of the evening was 24 Hour Cardlock. Don’t be dissuaded by the band’s lousy name (as I have been). The four-piece plays a style of “trucker” music that’s a combination Silver Jews, Charlie Daniels (sans fiddle) and Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen (Hot Rod Lincoln). Their songs are road stories sung by a guy who’s seen it all. In fact, the band apparently has been around for more than 20 years, with both an American and Canadian line-up.

Among the American line-up that played at Burke’s Pub Saturday night was bassist Marc Phillips, formerly of Carsinogents (among others). The rest of the band also was in the band that played before them, The Ronny’s, wherein 24′s frontman played bass. It’s all quite confusing. That said, they’re worth checking out the next time they play at one of the usual Benson haunts.

As for that name, well, no one could tell me what 24 Hour Cardlock means, though a quick Google search unearthed connections to 24-hour filling stations frequented by truckers. The name ranks right up there with 3 Day Meat Sale. At least you won’t forget it.

A suggestion for future OEAA showcases: On the last night, past year’s winners should be featured on one of the stages. It was odd to see Matt Whipkey’s only performance was as the guitarist for Brad Hoshaw when he currently holds the “Artist of the Year” title belt. John Klemmensen and the Party did get the big-stage treatment at The Waiting Room, but I’d already left for the night by the time he hit the stage. Other than John and Matt, I don’t know who else won awards last year. Having the primary winners on stage would place a nice bow on the honor.

* * *

Pageturners have The Burkum Boys tonight with Minneapolis C&W band The Cactus Blossoms. Good way to start off your week. Starts at 9 and it’s free.

And this Thursday is that Future Islands show at The Waiting Room. The date just seems to have snuck up on me. I bought my tickets way back when they went on sale, figuring this one would sell out. Well, it hasn’t. Tix are available for $15 here. Here’s hoping more people show up this time than the last time they came through The Waiting Room.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

OEAA showcases (Big Deep’s last gig), Life Is Cool tonight; Yes You Are (Kianna from Tilly…), Dundee Day, Mannequin Pussy Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:52 pm August 22, 2014
Mannequin Pussy plays at MIddle Haüs Saturday night.

Mannequin Pussy plays at Middle Haüs Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It should be another busy foot-traffic weekend in Benson as the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEAA) showcases are happening throughout Maple St. tonight and Saturday night. Wristbands, which are $10 for one night or $15 for the whole weekend, get you into all participating venues: The Waiting Room, The Sydney, Barley Street Tavern, Burke’s Pub, PS Collective and 402 Collective.

I’m not familiar with most of the bands involved this year. One notable exception is The Big Deep, who plays at 10:45 Saturday night at The Waiting Room in what will be their last waltz before an “extended hiatus.”

Basically, we’re calling a break and don’t have any plans right now to play again,” said Big Deep bassist Jared Bakewell. “There’s some burn out from creating our last album and a few people want to focus on other projects, both personal and musical, for a while.

“Other projects” include drummer Trenton Albers work with The Sub-Vectors and a new unnamed project from Bakewell that includes Cody Rathman and Nate Fowler. Better catch them Saturday night because you may never get another chance.

The full OEAA showcase schedule is available at http://oea-awards.com/.

Also tonight, Lincoln dance-rock outfit Life Is Cool headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s with The Doneofits (EP release show), The Baberaham and Bird Shuus. $5, 9 p.m.

Saturday night a band out of Kansas City called Yes You Are plays at Slowdown Jr. Among the mysterious band’s members is Tilly and the Wall vocalist Kianna Alarid. Also on the bill are Lawrence band Oils and Omaha’s own Derby Birds. $5, 9 p.m.

Saturday is Dundee Days in, well, Dundee.  Bands performing are a middle-of-the-road bunch except for something described on event posters at “Noahs Arch Was a Spaceship.” Assume they mean Noah’s Ark…?  Music starts at 5 p.m. and costs $5 to get in. More info here.

No word as to whether there will be a Dario’s Day this year (which is usually run in conjunction with Dundee Day). If anyone has any data, please post it in the comments section.

Finally, NYC/Philly punks Mannequin Pussy play at good ol’ Middle Haüs (you know, that duplex right across the street from The Brothers) Saturday night along with Manic Pixie Dream Girls and the infamous TBA. $5, 9 p.m.

If I missed anything, put it in the comments section. Have a red hot weekend…

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

‘Bent Over Neal’ soundtrack (Eli Mardock, Bloodcow, Strange Attractors) gets Oct. 24 launch date; Rikk Agnew Band, R.A.F. tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:05 pm August 21, 2014
Rikk Agnew Band plays tonight at The Hideout.

Rikk Agnew Band plays tonight at The Hideout.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Director Aaron Gum, who also happens to be a member of InDreama, emailed to say that his upcoming feature film, “Bent Over Neal,” is loaded with local star talent of the musical variety.

(It) features an eclectic blend of Nebraska actors, bands and musicians, including onscreen performances by Bloodcow & Eli Mardock and tons of local music from Civic Minded, InDreama, Rock Paper Dynamite, Adam Weaver and the Ghosts, Scott Severin, The Big Deep, Jeremy Starkel, Edge Of Arbor, and Strange Attractors…

The film’s soundtrack will be debuted at a concert at The Waiting Room Oct. 24 featuring eight of the bands represented on the album. That’s fine, but what about the movie itself?

Our first two Omaha film screenings sold out in advance, but we have added another Omaha date October 30 at Akasarben,” Gum said. “Our Lincoln film premiere and soundtrack concert will be October 26 at Vega.

Check out the film’s trailer below:

* * *

Orange County hardcore legend Rikk Agnew and his band will be tearing up the stage tonight at the infamous Hideout Lounge, 320 So. 72nd Street. Guitarist Agnew’s list of acts he’s played with include The Adolescants, D.I., The Detours, Social Distortion, Voodoo Church and perhaps most notably, Christian Death.

Agnew promises to play songs from all four decades of his illustrious career. Also on tonight’s bill is Omaha’s own seminal punkers R.A.F., along with Sioux City’s The Pentagon, and Hand Painted Police Car. $10, 9 p.m.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Post-script Maha comments, and the live review (in the column); Dereck Higgins Indiegogo campaign, Travelling Mercies, Feel Tight tonight…

Category: Blog,Column,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 1:01 pm August 20, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

More comments and review of this year’s Maha Music Festival are in this week’s column. You can read it in the new issue of The Reader, out tomorrow, or online right here.

Some final thoughts/post scripts to Maha 2014:

Domestica's Jon Taylor at the microphone.

Domestica’s Jon Taylor at the microphone.

– Jon Taylor sung leads on at least two Domestica songs during their Maha set — a departure as Heidi Ore has handled lead vocals with Domestica and Mercy Rule for about 20 years. Jon did a stellar job. It’ll be interesting to hear how it translates on future Domestica recordings.

– As mentioned in the review, Icky Blossoms’ new material is harder and more acidic than stuff off their debut album, but that doesn’t make it any less danceable. Expect their new album on Saddle Creek probably early next year.

The intense crowd in front of the stage during Icky Blossoms' set.

The intense crowd in front of the stage during Icky Blossoms’ set.

– Speaking of Icky Blossoms, the band got a nice shout-out from The Head and the Heart during their set, gushing that Icky was their favorite band so far at the festival. Maybe the Ickys should try to get an opening slot on THATH’s next tour?

– I was skeptical about the Maha Ferris wheel until I saw it. It actually was pretty cool and when I went past it early in the evening there was quite a line of people waiting to get on.

–  Maha outdid themselves with this year’s Global Village. Lots of cool shit for kids to do while mom or pop is rocking. This is one of the central things that make Maha a festival rather than just a day-long concert.

– Ain’t none of my business but it was disturbing to see — while leaning through the crowd near the stage during Local Natives’ set — some guy carrying a baby with no hearing protection standing right next to me. Even with ear plugs I thought their set was loud from that vantage-point. Can that level of decibels be healthy for a baby?

– The Boulevard seasonal ale being served in the beer tents (something sweet blended with ginger) was indeed tasty. I’m developing a taste for sissy beers.

– It wasn’t all roses for Maha. The food selection was…lacking. I’m not sure what they can do about this. I swear I saw people walking around with cheeseburgers but I couldn’t find where they were coming from. That said, would it kill them to find a vendor that offered a pleasant, refreshing salad? Or ribs?

– For every person I talked to who loved the line-up there was someone who whined about the line-up. Maha will never be all things to all people, nor should it be. I like their basic two-stage recipe, though I think they’re going to begin struggling to find new, decent locals to fill that local stage who haven’t already played in the past two years.

– BTW, I’ve gotten plenty of shit about missing Radkey’s and Doomtree’s sets. Sorry fans. I’m quite familiar with their catalogs, and it just ain’t for me. Knowing that I was going to miss about two hours of the festival, I had to choose judiciously. I’m sure they were fan-fucking-tastic…

– The biggest disappointment was The Both’s set. The idea was good on paper, but I don’t think it translated to a festival. Aimee Mann’s music is probably better suited for a sit-down concert in, say, the Holland or the Orpheum rather than an outdoor stage. Conversely, someone needs to book Ted Leo at The Waiting Room.

– Oddest moments at Maha: The times between sets when there was no music. I mean nothing. You’d think they’d at least have some house music going over the PA. Even the annoying generic reggae beats that I’ve heard at so many other large concerts between sets would have helped fill the void. The simple answer is for Maha to hire one (or a few) of the area’s many DJs to fill in the gaps between sets. It would be a nice tip o’ the hat to the local DJ culture.

After six festivals, Maha is finally reaching its capacity. No, it hasn’t outgrown Stinson Park. Even at (what I think was) its maximum attendance level (toward the end of The Head and the Heart or at the very beginning of Death Cab’s set) it was still possible to comfortably walk through the crowd (By contrast, try navigating through the crowd during the last band at the annual Memorial Park freedom rock July 4 hog-calling concert).  The attendance number being reported is 7,000. Maha could squeeze a couple more thousand into Stinson, and maybe even reach that golden 10,000 number if they find the right headliner. Does Maha need to get bigger than that? It will have to if it’s going to attract the Beck / Wilco-level headliners.  How else can Maha grow? How about a second day-long festival — one held in the spring, the other in the late summer? Or add an amazing Friday night warm-up set in the park…

BTW, if you went to Maha, fill out the Maha survey so they can capture your thoughts and make it even better next year.

More Maha review here.

* * *

You know that Dereck Higgins release I mentioned the other day that I wondered would ever make it onto vinyl? Well it is, probably. Dereck launched an indiegogo campaign to help fund the pressing. You can contribute (and pre-order the LP) here.

* * *

Hear Nebraska’ second-to-last Live at Turner Park concert for the season is tonight. The line-up is Lincoln bluegrass outfit The Bottle Tops and roots rockers The Travelling Mercies.The show starts at 6 p.m. Bring a blanket and some booze and enjoy. More info here.

Also tonight at Slowdown Jr. it’s the debut of Feel Tight, a new project featuring members of Talking Mountain, The Seen and Weird Howl. Opening up is Huge Fucking Waves and Stephen Nichols. $5, 9 p.m.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Maha Music Festival 2014 in photos; The Everymen return tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: — @ 12:58 pm August 18, 2014
The Maha Music Festival crowd late in the evening, looking from stage left.

The 2014 Maha Music Festival crowd late in the evening, looking from stage left.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A more-detailed review of the Maha Music Festival will appear in my column in The Reader on Thursday. The micro-summary: It was a good, though rather exhausting, day thanks to humid weather and a loaded line-up that made it hard to sneak away to re-energize. I ended up skipping the Radkey and Doomtree sets to go home and change my clothes and cool off.

All the performances were good. Domestica, Whipkey and Twinsmith were as expected. It was good to see Heidi and Jon on a festival stage. The surprises were M34n Str33t, who I’d never seen before and thoroughly enjoyed, and Envy Corp, a band I’d all but written off as just not being my thing, that is until this gig. I was talking to a musician and another music journalist during their set and all three of us were like, “Who the f___ is this? These guys are pretty awesome.

The Both were good, if not a bit sleepy in their mid-tempo way. I’d rather see them in a regular venue than on an outside stage. Local Natives ramped up the crowd for the coming evening, but what really got the crowd pumped was Icky Blossoms.  The old favorites from their debut album were as good as ever, but the new stuff points toward a different, more punk-fueled sound. Edgier, despite the dresses.

Head and the Heart and Death Cab did their things, and I’ll go in a little more detail about them in the column, though it’s safe to say Maha has broken its curse of having dull headliners.

Anyway, here’s a collection of photos taken throughout the day.

Domestica

Domestica kicked off Maha to an adoring crowd.

Early crowd

Actually, the crowd for Domestica was bigger than it looked.

Matt Whipkey and his band launched the local stage.

Matt Whipkey and his band launched the local stage in style.

And then there was Snot, representing this year's class of Omaha Girls Rock!

And then there was Snot, representing this year’s class of talent from Omaha Girls Rock!

Twinsmith on the main stage.

Twinsmith looked right at home on the main stage.

M34n Str33t brought a lot of signs with them.

M34n Str33t was the only band to bring props for the crowd, which hung around at least until they got all but destroyed during Icky Blossoms’ set.

Aimee Man and Ted Leo do their thing as The Both.

Aimee Man and Ted Leo do their thing as The Both. And yes, there was even a rendition of “Voices Carry” (though it paled compared to Leo’s awesome “Bottled in Cork”).

Local Natives got the evening rolling in style.

Local Natives got the evening rolling in style.

Icky Blossoms dressed for success.

Icky Blossoms dressed for success.

The view from the side of the stage of The Head and the Heart.

The view from the side of the stage of The Head and the Heart.

Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard kicking off their headlining set.

Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard kicking off their headlining set.

A view of Death Cab from in front of the stage.

A view of Death Cab from in front of the stage.

The huge crowd on hand at the end of The Head and the Heart's set.

The huge crowd on hand at the end of The Head and the Heart’s set.

* * *

Tonight at O’Leaver’s, The Everymen return. Remember them from a few weeks ago and from this column? Check them out again tonight. The Ridgways and Sidewalkers also are on the bill. $5, 9:30 p.m.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Post Verse, John Klemmensen tonight; Maha Music Festival, rain or shine Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 2:54 pm August 15, 2014
Death Cab for Cutie is the headliner at Saturday's Maha Music Festival.

Death Cab for Cutie is the headliner at this Saturday’s Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

So, the Maha Music Festival tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed that the storms route around Omaha. I’d hate to see this one get water-logged. All the details, the band sched, everything is at mahamusicfestival.com. If you’re going and you don’t have tix, you should get them today to avoid a $10 DOS upcharge. I’ll see you there.

As for the rest of the weekend, there are a couple shows going on tonight:

Post Verse headlines tonight at Slowdown Jr. They describe themselves as “a band that doesn’t just seem inspired by the fuzzed out altars of Cobain, Corgan and Shields, but actually share the same DNA.” Nuit Vah and The Sun-less Trio — two bands I’ve never heard of — open. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, John Klemmensen and the Party take their show to The Barley Street Tavern. Joining them are the Baberaham Lincolns, Superghosts and Thoughts — three bands I’ve never heard of. $5, 9 p.m.

O’Leaver’s is promising some “very special guests” at their Maha Music Festival after-party Saturday night. Who could they be? Find out. It’s free and starts at 9.

That’s what I got. If I missed your gig, put it in the comments section.

Stay dry, Omaha…

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Lazy-i Interview: The Both (Aimee Mann & Ted Leo); Maha: The Head Vs. The Heart (in the column)…

Category: Blog,Column,Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:57 pm August 14, 2014
The Both = Aimee Mann + Ted Leo. They're playing at Saturday's Maha Music Festival.

The Both = Aimee Mann + Ted Leo. They’re playing at Saturday’s Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Maha Music Festival pre-coverage is hitting the streets today, including the stuff I worked on for The Reader.

Every year I do one Q&A with one of the traveling Maha artist, and this year it was with Aimee Mann and Ted Leo of The Both. Among the questions asked:

  • - Is playing together everything you dreamed it would be?
  • - Are you creating something with a new fan base or building on your solo fan bases?
  • - During the songwriting phase, Aimee, did you ask Ted to throttle back / Ted, did you ask Aimee to ramp it up?
  • - Aimee, did you foresee the decline of the music industry when you created your own record label in ’99?
  • - What do you think of Kickstarter?

And the question I was most interested in asking:

  • - Aimee, I have to ask a two-part Magnolia question: 1) What did you think when PT Anderson had the characters sing the lines to “Wise Up,” and 2) What did you think the first time you saw it in the finished film?

And so on. You can read the answers to those questions and more in this week’s issue of The Reader, or online right here.

Aimee and Ted were a lot of fun to interview, especially Ted, who reminisced about past shows he’s played in Omaha and how lousy they were. Leo came through with Dismemberment Plan in 2001, as a headliner at Sokol Underground in 2003, and opened for Against Me at Slowdown in 2008. He always puts on a great show, whether he thinks he does or not.

I have not had the best shows of my life in Omaha, and that’s not inflective of Omaha per se,” he said. “There’s so many factors that come together like a perfect crap storm to make a show crappy, there are so many moving parts and every day you’re on tour, you can’t blame it on one thing. I’m happy to be back in this context with Aimee at the Maha festival.”

This is the first time Aimee Mann’s been to Omaha, and she had no preconceptions about our fair city.  “I’ve heard nothing (about Omaha), so it’s a lovely clean slate,” Mann said. “The reason any musician doesn’t or does go to a town or area has nothing to do with personal preference, it’s all about the promoter or booking agent. If there’s not a promoter that thinks that people will come to see you, you don’t show up at that town.

Go read the interview. It’s long.

* * *

In other Maha news, my column this week focuses on the future of summer music festivals and how Maha fits into the equation. For perspective, I interviewed Tre Brashear, one of Maha’s founders, about the challenges he and his team face putting the festival together every year, and where he thinks Maha is headed. You can also read that in The Reader or online right here.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i