Another Record Store Day in the books. I only had time to visit one store, Almost Music in Blackstone, where I caught a few minutes of Montee Men playing in the bookstore — brutality among the children’s titles, big crowd, lots of smiling faces (RSD brings out the kid in all of us).
Montee Men at Almost Music, RSD2017, April 22, 2017.
I only picked up three things, though: The new O+S, a promo pressing of U2’s War and a T-shirt. That Spoon vinyl had already sold. Oh well. RSD is one of the smartest retail promotions — designating one day as a tribute to consumerism, collecting and music. Well, two days if you count RSD Black Friday, and I’m sure the independent record stores do.
After Almost Music I headed to Elmwood Park for Earth Day festivities. The good weather brought out every stoner, hippie and yuppie parent in Omaha. It was a day shot in Technicolor and sunshine.
Icky Blossoms had the legendary Dereck Higgins playing bass for this show (temporary or permanent member?), which was performed with its usual dance-vibe bombast but suffered from poor PA/audio. Everything sounded a but fuzzy and blown out, but what are ya gonna do? It’s an Earth Day concert. And the lousy sound didn’t stop the the gaggle of freaks from dancing in front of the stage. Gotta love it.
Last I heard Icky Blossoms was working on new material, though I didn’t hear any Saturday afternoon. Where will they go next? We’re all waiting for the next record…
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Umm, the duo of Stef Drootin and Chris Senseney (a.k.a. Big Harp), released their first new music online last week. Check out the Majestic Litter Soundcloud files below…
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Finally, the folks at the Holland Performing Arts Center announced last week another show at their 1200 Club. This time it’s High Up and McCarthy Trenching as the featured acts May 6 (tornado day). Tix are $15 Adv./$20 DOS.
It’s another frickin’ Record Store Day tomorrow. The key players are Homer’s, Almost Music and Drastic Plastic, though I’m sure there are others out there under my radar.
Mike Fratt at Homer’s in the Old Market said folks standing in line prior to the 10 a.m. opening will be showered with donuts, coffee and breakfast burritos.
“Again this year, we are raising money for Project Harmony,” Fratt said. “Last year we had a couple dozen test pressings and the profits from those went to PH. This year we have a couple dozen items, autographed stuff, special edition items, some test pressings, etc. Again, the profits go to PH. We are one of 50 stores in the U.S. to get one of the Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross/Mogwai autographed Before the Flood soundtracks. That is included in the PH promotion.”
Homer’s will give free T-shirts with $100 purchase. “Also, the first couple hundred will get a bag of some goodies, coupons, samplers, stickers, etc.,” Fratt said.
Down the street at Drastic Plastic Records, 1209 Howard St., Jeff Runnings and his crew have coffee and pastries for earlier risers. “(We have) discounts on past years RSD titleds and I’ve priced almost the entire 2017 RSD haul below MSRP,” Runnings said.
Finally, Almost Music, 3925 Farnam St. in the Blackstone District is hosting an all-day music festival. The doors open at 10 a.m. Music begins at 11. Here’s the line-up:
Erin Mitchell, 11 a.m.
Mark Patrick, noon
Loud Minority, 1 p.m.
Church of Gravitron, 2 p.m.
Montee Men, 3 p.m.
Ridgelines, 4 p.m.
Lodgings, 5 p.m.
Screaming Plastic, 6 p.m.
Dilute, 7 p.m.
The Lazy Wranglers, 8 p.m.
Almost Music always serves coffee (a nod toward Dave, Tom and the Antiquarium days?) but also will be selling B&G Tasty Foods starting at noon.
What about the RSD offerings? The list is available online right here. Each store gets a different allocation, so you don’t know what you’ll find. Choose your startling point wisely, though it’s unlikely anyone will have a bigger selection than Homer’s. I don’t need to tell you to get in line before 10 if you want first dibs on the rare stuff. What’s on my list? I wouldn’t mind picking up that Spoon Hot Thoughts RSD exclusive or the new O+S album…
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RSD is the highlight of the weekend, along with the Earth Day concert in Elmwood Park.
First, tonight, UK band Zeta plays at Milk Run (I’ve decided to drop the whole “New Milk Run” thing. It’s been a couple weeks. If you don’t know by now that they moved to Midtown Art Supply than you’re probably not interested in this show anyway). Zeta “fuses the retro, synth heavy decade of the ’80s with futuristic imagery, bringing past and future together in a Cyberpunk-esque package.” Hmm… Bokr Tov and No Getter open. $5, 9 p.m.
Saturday is Omaha’s Earth Day celebration in Elmwood Park. It’ll be the usual collection of hippie-meets-sustainability culture. Expect to see someone belly dancing next to a guy talking about the joys of worm composting.
There’s also a live music stage, and this year’s offering is pretty impressive. Closeness (the new project by Todd and Orenda Fink) plays at 2 p.m.; Clarence Tilton’s at 3 p.m. and Icky Blossoms is at 4 p.m. The full schedule is here.
Tomorrow nigh (Saturday) The Brothers Lounge hosts skatepunk band The Z.G.’s along with Lockjaw, The Frumps and Omaha’s The New Rosenbergs. $5, 9 p.m.
And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.
Did anyone notice that the line-up for this year’s Maha Music Festival had a slight change?
Downtown Boys, who describes themselves in Wiki as a “bi bilingual political dance sax punk party from Providence,” has joined the line-up, replacing Surfer Blood. Downtown Boys has released material on Don Giovanni Records; they signed to Sub Pop this past February.
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See Through Dresses yesterday dropped the first single off their upcoming sophomore album Horse Of The Other World, titled “Violet.” Very dreamy! Check it.
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I don’t know who this Robert Hinrichs is other than he lives in Lincoln and he’s trying to give James Murphy a run for his money. His video for “Can U DigIt,” dropped today. The track is off Hinrichs’ latest album on Interrobang (2017, Tremulant).
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Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s long awaited return of Denver band Dressy Bessy (Kindercord Records). Opening is Arc Flash, Uh Oh and Nathan Ma and The Rosettes (whew! that’s a big line-up). $7, 9 p.m.
Hear Nebraska this week announced it’s headed out west again this year for the Good Living Tour. The third-annual event is headed to Hebron, Auburn, Imperial, Red Cloud, McCook, Norfolk, Lyons and Hastings. Dates are throughout the summer (full schedule here). Bands have yet to be named, but typically each gig includes three Nebraska bands, many of them from the Omaha/Lincoln area. This music outreach program is among HN’s most successful ventures.
In other Hear Nebraska news, last week Lincoln Calling announced pre-sales for their Sept. 28-30 festival begin this Friday. The line-up announcement is slated for May 4. Expect even bigger and better things this year as Lincoln organization The Bay Skatepark joins Hear Nebraska as the festival organizers, with Allo as a sponsor. That kind of money means big-name acts. And if the names I’ve heard kicked around are true, Lincoln Calling will be giving Maha a run for its money.
It’s an impressive start to the year for Hear Nebraska. Now they just need to schedule similar programming in Omaha (where a lot of their donations comes from).
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Shows aplenty for a Wednesday…
Tonight Omaha remembers Mike “Kronch” Kronschnabel at The Waiting Room. The tribute night includes performances by Anonymous American, Brad Hoshaw, Janglepop, Wakanda One, Bill Arab and Michael Campbell. $8 suggested donation goes to a music scholarship in Mike’s name. Come and raise a toast glass to an Omaha original who contributed greatly to the local music scene.
Also tonight, Miwi La Lupa plays songs off his recent release Beginner’s Guide at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Opening is Omaha indie music legend Ted Stevens (Lullaby for the Working Class, Mayday, Cursive) and Annie Dilocker. $7, 9 p.m.
Finally at the new Milk Run located in the basement of Midtown Art Supply, it’s Seattle punk Lisa Prank with Dogbreath and Taylor Sankey. $7, 9 p.m.
The last time I saw Those Far Out Arrows they were a trio, with the brothers switching off on drums. The new four-piece version that played last Friday night at Reverb Lounge, with full-time drummer, was a different band — over-the-top energy crushing psychedelic garage rock that was dense, brutal and trippy. I heard someone in the crowd compare them to the Flaming Groovies, a more colorful comparison than the usual Brian Jonestown Massacre nod.
Though there’s a retro tinge to their music, TFOA are thoroughly modern, like the best of today’s Goner-style garage acts, though cleaner and more prof. In fact, less raw. It’s that rawness that defines Goner/In the Red, etc., brittle low-fi garage noise. This is not that. TFOA’s is more refined, which could be seen as a minus in the eyes of some purists.
For me, a lot of those low-fi garage/noise acts have substituted rawness for creativity; booming bridled fuzz for a lack of an original sound (or song). By contrast, you can enjoy the Arrows’ music without wondering if you’re missing the gimmick.
Like I said, this version sounds nothing like what you might have heard in the past or on their previous recordings, which could be rather droney/dour sailing. All the more reason why they need to get their new 7-inch pressed and out for the world to hear.
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Speaking of new garage rock, The Lupines yesterday dropped their latest track on Bandcamp, and its ferocious as ever. Check it out below. One assumes (hopes) there’s more to come…
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Classic ’90s indie band Redd Kross (who remembers the single “Annie’s Gone”?) is back and playing tonight at Slowdown Jr.. The band disappeared for a long time, then reemerged in 2006 and put out LP Researching the Blues in 2012 on Merge Records. Vegetable Deluxe opens this 8 p.m. show. $15.
So now I get the name change. Umm, the new project by Stef Drootin and Chris Sensensey, sounds nothing like their other band, Big Harp. There was nary a twang to be had when the duo rolled out a set of new material last night at Reverb Lounge.
In fact, everything was different — the rock style, the blistering pace, the guitar/bass tones, even Senseney’s voice — now cool and easy — was a big contrast to the grave-pit vocals heard on Big Harp albums.
Whenever I listen to female/male husband/wife duos, I subconsciously compare them to other duos where the vocals are shared or harmonized between a male and female. Top of list is usually Yo La Tengo, Low, Sonic Youth, White Stripes and, of course, Fleetwood Mac, Sonny & Cher… okay, maybe I’m going too far back into the archives. The act that came to mind last night was someone no one likes but me — a vintage husband-wife duo that recorded on I.R.S. called Timbuk3, a one-hit wonder whose fantastic catalog was virtually ignored because of that hit song — which should be a warning to any band dying for a break-through single. Sometimes a the hit can ruin your career.
Anyway, the Timbuk3 comparison is purely on the periphery of what Umm is doing, and based solely on how Stef and Chris harmonize. Stef said those harmonies are the result of an Everly Bros. fetish. Whatever the inspiration, the end result was gorgeous, and provided the perfect counter-point to the duo’s fast, heavy but tuneful indie rock.
Played over laptop beats, each instrument shared the leads throughout the set. Whereas Senseney is one of the best guitarists I’ve ever heard shred a solo, Drootin’s bass work was just as prominent and oftentimes more brutal, providing a fuzz tone that peeled paint off Reverb’s rafters. There was one tune in the middle of the set where the duo shared an intricately played musical phrase as if performing a high-stakes trapeze act without a net. It was laugh-out-loud holy-shit good.
Underscoring the entire performance was the songwriting. These are some of the best pop songs I’ve heard in awhile, songs you immediately want to listen to again. I’m told the duo already recorded an album’s worth of music at ARC. This was only their fifth live performance, and it was red hot. Do I like this better than Big Harp? Yes, because in general I’m tired of twangy, rootsy, indie folk music, something Big Harp did as well as anyone. And while you could listen to Big Harp and respect it for what it was, Umm’s music and songs are something I’d reach for again and again.
Oquoa at Reverb Lounge, April 13, 2017.
BareBear, the new Rob Walters project, opened the night, but I missed it. Oquoa followed with one of their better sets. Keyboardist Patrick Newbery now dominates the solos even more so than frontman Max Holmquist’s guitar. Newbery’s synthwork is multi-layered and varies throughout like nothing heard before. Holmquist’s vocals are at times nearly operatic in tone… and enunciation — i.e., I sometimes wondered in what language he was singing.
Oquoa’s style has morphed into a psychedelic, shoe-gaze sound reminiscent of drummer Roger Lewis’ old band, Conduits. The four-piece isn’t afraid to take their music to space, pulling off repeated riffs and soundscapes that are nothing less than trippy.
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It’s a moderately busy weekend of shows coming up…
Omaha/Lincoln legend Charlie Burton is playing tonight and tomorrow night at Growler USA, 16274 Evans Plaza in West O. Burton’s latest combo is called Charlie Burton and Or What! The last time I interviewed Charlie was way back in 1998 when he called his act The Texas Twelve Steppers (read the article here). I suspect old fans will be flocking to this show. It starts at 9 p.m. and is free both nights. I recommend getting there early if you want a seat. The venue draws a crowd even without music, thanks to its massive beer selection.
Also tonight Muscle Cousins headlines at Reverb Lounge. It’s a new project founded by siblings Andy, Mari and Collin Matz. The Matz kids have been playing music in Omaha for years in bands like Capgun Coup, Manic Pixie Dream Girls and Saturn Moth. Opening is the epic-ly named Boner Killerz and psych-folk-rockers Those Far Out Arrows. $7, 9 p.m.
Tomorrow night’s big gig is the Leafblower EP release show at The Brothers Lounge (which I told you about here). Check it out at Bandcamp. Opening is JAZID and folk-psych-superstar David Nance. $5, 9 p.m.
Also tomorrow night, there’s a special dance performance by the tbd. dance collective at Kaneko downtown. “As a part of KANEKO’S ‘Passion & Obsession: From the Collection’ exhibition, tbd. dance collective will create an original performance exploring the idea of movement as an intangible collection, able to be viewed, but only truly stored in the mind.” Closeness, the new project by Orenda and Todd Fink, also perform. Tickets are $10, show starts at 8 p.m.
It’s a night of hardcore at the new Milk Run, 2578 Harney St. Headlining is KC band Blindside USA. Joining them is red-hot noise rock act BIB, Jocko, Jade Lacy and Daphne Calhoun. No price listed but you know it’s got to be at least $7, right? Show starts at 9. Remember, enter through the back door.
Finally, indie band Low Long Signal is playing Saturday night at fabulous O’Leaver’s. They’re opening for headliner The Ramparts. Human Teeth Parade also is on the bill. $5, 9:30 p.m.
And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.
A couple weeks ago Zack Visconti at Hear Nebraska contacted me asking a series of questions about The Waiting Room for a news feature he was writing for the website. Questions like ‘What’s your favorite show there?” and “Fondest TWR memory?” and so on. The story ran March 31 at Hear Nebraska, and you can read it here.
What was your favorite show there?
Very hard to say since I’ve seen so many. The first one that jumps out is The Faint show held there just a couple days after they opened, March 11, 2007. Other favorites that stood out off the top of my head include St. Vincent, July 25, 2007 — Annie Clark on lead guitar fronting a punk band, she’s never sounded better; Monotonix Oct. 7, 2008 — the band took the show outside when drummer Ran Shimoni banged on a snare while frontman Ami Shalev climbed a traffic signal pole along Maple Street; the first Future Islands show in November 2011 — no one had heard of them and only a handful of people were there, but frontman Sam Herring was at his flamboyant best; and Stephen Malmus & the Jicks Feb. 16, 2014 — where there was a special guest appearance by Bob Nastanovich, making it a mini Pavement reunion.
God, who remembers that Monotonix show? What ever happened to those guys?
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A couple big shows tonight as we begin the holiday weekend…
As mentioned yesterday, Umm headlines tonight at Reverb Lounge. The band consists of Stef Drootin and Chris Senseney of Big Harp. They describe Umm’s sound as “vintage harmonies and shards of fuzz over grounded, primitive rhythms and simple, aching pop melodies.” Nice. Opening are BareBear and Oquoa. $7, 9 p.m.
The other big show tonight is hard rock act Nashville Pussy (SPV, Amphetamine Reptile) at Lookout Lounge. Somebody dubbed their music “sleaze rock” — it’s hard, fast and just right to kick off your Easter weekend. Opening are some of Omaha’s heaviest hitters Bloodcow, Ocean Black and Gallivant. $18, 8 p.m.
Tomorrow night (April 13) Umm plays at Reverb lounge. Umm is the duo of Stefanie Drootin and Chris Senseney, who also are the core duo behind Big Harp. So Umm is Big Harp, right?
No, says Drootin.
“This is the first time we’ve made a record that’s truly just the two of us,” she said in an email back-and-forth earlier this week. “We’ve always had drummers and this time I played drums along with old drum machines and loops. Also, Chris and I were listening to The Everly Brother a lot and were inspired to make a record where we sing harmony vocals basically all the time, which is a change from Big Harp.
“Really we’ve been moving away from the rootsier vibe since the first record and it felt like time to formalize the break. This probably could, and maybe should, have happened on our last album.”
OK, so the duo-only project is called Umm while Big Harp is the name of the trio (or larger)?
“Not exactly. Umm doesn’t have to be a duo,” Stef said. “Partly we just wanted to start a new project and not have to worry about playing old songs or upsetting people by NOT playing old songs. To us, the music sounds different, but I guess people will have to formulate their own opinions on that.”
Ah, OK. Sort of like Cursive vs. Good Life — two projects fronted by Tim Kasher (one of which (The Good Life) Drootin also plays in)?
“Not exactly ’cause those are two bands that are 75% different members. Both of these are Chris and I. :)”
So… Umm is just a way to avoid playing older material?
“No, not really. That’s one part of it, but it’s really just a different project,” Drootin said. “We co-sing constantly. We play with drum loops. The songs are looser and longer. It’s different music. But yes, it’s still Chris and I.”
And that’s where I left it — no more clear about the name change than I was before, other than Chris and Stef see Umm as a completely different project than Big Harp, and don’t want to play Big Harp songs Thursday night. They are, in essence, turning band branding on its ear. Imagine every time a band puts out a new record it renames itself.
If so, not a bad strategy, especially when you consider the number of bands that launch with big success only to fall flat on their second release, the fans of the debut apparently uninterested in hearing what comes next. In the old days (*he says from his rocking chair*) a band put out multiple albums trying to build up an audience and catalog of music. Sure, it was a drag when the crowd zoned out during the “new stuff,” but that’s a pain point every band went through.
Now, simply rename your band and start over with every album. How many iterations of Ty Segall are out there. Fuzz? Muggers? Ty Segall Band? Conor Oberst has Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos, Monsters of Folk, Mystic Valley Band and his solo output, though he played a “Poison Oak” (a Bright Eyes song) at his last solo show. Does it really matter what he calls himself since he writes all the songs?
Anyway… Joining Umm tomorrow night is Oquoa and BareBear. $7, 9 p.m. Hey, we all have Good Friday off the next day anyway, right?
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Speaking of upcoming shows (I’m getting a head start to the weekend) Leafblower has a cassette release show Saturday night at The Brothers Lounge with David Nance and one other band. They dropped the first song off the album Monday,
“We recorded with Mike Friedman, and Mike Saklar mastered it,” saidl Leafblower’s Danny Maxwell. “The inserts were designed and screen printed by Ben Allen, and we hand-scored them and numbered them. The tapes are green and hand stamped by none other than Mr. Craig Fort.” How can you go wrong? Check out the new track, titled “RX,” below.
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Random non-music item: I write about my 1966 VW Beetle, my 2017 VW Beetle and how it might be the last car I ever own (because of the advent of self-driving vehicles and Uber) in this month’s Over the Edge column in The Reader. Check it out right here.
Busy weekend for shows; and it could be the first spring-feeling weekend of the year (as long as we don’t get smoked out by Kansas field burns)…
Let’s start in Benson. Tonight sees the return of Delicate Steve, this time to Reverb Lounge. The instrumental indie act has a new record out, This is Steve (2017, Anti-) and it’s pretty sweet. The dude competing to be the “hardest working rocker in Omaha” (seems like he plays every night somewhere) — David Nance — opens the show. $12, 9 p.m.
Meanwhile, there’s a very special show at The Brothers Lounge tonight when both Hand Painted Police Car and Ocean Black bid adieu to primary member Jeff Harder, who is moving away forever. Opening is the double-bass explosion of Relax, It’s Science. I suspect this could be a drunken riot of an evening. $5, 9 p.m.
Also tonight The Morbs headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s, with House Vacations, Steve Nichols and Jacob James Wilton. $5, 9:30 p.m.
Tonight at the new Milk Run, 2578 Harney St. (inside Midtown Art Supply, enter in the back!) it’s Minneapolis shoegaze act Brilliant Beast with Lord Byron, Little Ripple and Tom Bartolomei. $5, 9 p.m.
And Benson First Friday is happening tonight. It behooves me to tell you about the opening we have at our art gallery — The Little Gallery, 5901 Maple St. (in the east bay of the Masonic Temple building) — where artist Sean Jackson has created an installation wherein he’s developed weapons from common house-hold items. Yow! There’s a backstory to all of it, which you can read here. Drop in and have a beer. We’ll be there from 6 to 9 p.m.
Also Saturday night, ’80s Omaha hardcore act RAF takes the stage once again, this time at O’Leaver’s. Joining them is Black Death Jet Set (Sioux City) and The Siouxer Rats. Punk it up! $5, 10 p.m.
The Blackstone Meatball is continuing its Saturday night concert series with Uh Oh and Sean Paul. 10 p.m., and FREE.
Finally, Sunday night is that big benefit for Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska and The Nebraska Cultural Endowment headlined by Dolores Diaz and the Standby Club, with High Up and Icky Blossoms. The 7 p.m. show is $15, plus there will be a raffle for some sweet prizes. More info here.
That’s not all. Over at the all new Milk Run North Carolina band Sinai Vessel (Tiny Engines) headlines with Household and No•Getter. $7, 9 p.m.
That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.
When California band Local Natives played a sold out show at The Waiting Room in 2010, the buzz in the crowd that evening was that we were seeing the next Arcade Fire. In the end, they turned out to be something entirely different. The band would return to an even bigger Omaha stage when they played the 2014 edition of the Maha Music Festival. And now they’re playing a sold out Slowdown this Saturday, April 8. That’s an impressive trajectory, though seven years into their career, Arcade Fire was playing stadiums.
Still, Local Natives has nothing to complain about. Their latest album, Sunlit Youth (2016, Loma Vista), anchored by singles like the infectious “Past Lives,” carries their indie-rock sound forward in the same rhythmic, dance-inspired direction as their 2010 debut.
We caught up with the band and gave them the Ten Questions treatment. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Kelcey Ayer provided the answers:
What is your favorite album?
Local Natives’s Kelcey Ayer: One of my all-time favorite albums (can’t pick just one, that’s crazy) is Portishead’s Third. I had always loved more somber, melancholy music, but I never had connected to a record that was so fully immersed in that sentiment before. It was unapologetically and intensely sad. And the tones of the instruments seemed laboriously fucked with in a way that sounded the perfect amount of “off.” I felt like it gave me permission to be the kind of artist I wanted to be, like it was ok to go so deep into a feeling.
2. What is your least favorite song?
I worked at a pizza chain called California Pizza Kitchen in southern California, and they only played top 40, which is not totally terrible, unless you’re forced to listen to it for many many hours a week. Whenever I’m out and about and a song comes on from that time, it always brings me back to the mid 2000s and I start immediately trying to remember an order, throw up a little in my mouth, and then realize I’m being weird in a grocery store and stop it. There is tie for the most egregious offender of those days, and it’s between Blondie’s cover of “The Tide Is High” and KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and The Cherry Tree.” I don’t think any song is inherently bad, it takes a lot of effort to make anything, but circumstantially for me, I really, really hate those songs. I just hate them so much.
3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
Creating something that you couldn’t create yourself, whether it’s making a song or playing that song live in a room, having people to rely on to bring a vision to reality is my favorite part of being in a band. Second-place is touring around the world, which if you’re lucky you get to do, and fortunately we are. I’m very grateful for that.
4. What do you hate about being in a band?
Having to compromise on a vision you believe in for the greater good. We’re always coming up with ideas for songs, or music videos, or ways to promote the band, and nine times out of 10 they get shot down by the group, which makes it hard to stay motivated. But that’s the way it goes in a group of creative people.
5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?
I love beer. The US has been a great place for beer over the last 10 years, so to be a beer fan is very exciting right now. There are breweries, brew-pubs, bottle shops; all sorts of beer outlets popping up everywhere right now, so it’s pretty easy to find a good beer anywhere you go these days. I was at a bar in the middle of nowhere Kansas and they still had Lagunitas IPA on tap, it was great!
6. In what city or town do you love to perform?
Los Angeles is home and will always be our favorite place to play. We’ve spent the most time there and played almost every club when we were coming up, and it will always be the first city to have embraced us. Austin is a close second, SXSW was a big help for us.
7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?
Those files are sealed because we wanna play there again and have a better show. All I’ll say is it was somewhere in England.
8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?
This is our only job, yes. I remember back in 2009 arguing with Taylor in Santa Barbara about upping our per-diems from $5 a day to $10, but he’s a financial stickler and was right to deny me. We just didn’t have the money. I would buy Subway foot-long subs and eat one half for lunch and the other for dinner. We barely scraped by. So when we did a publishing deal at the end of 2009 and got our first bit of money, I bought a Chipotle burrito and ate the whole thing! Since then it’s been a thrilling roller coaster ride of getting fat and skinny now that I can afford to.
9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?
I’d love to act in something, or make a movie. I’ve always been really into film and love getting taken away from reality and into a new world. I feel like I’m a dreamer, and watching movies is like being in a dream while you’re awake. When it’s really hitting you hard it feels like a drug. As far as a profession I’d hate, I guess anywhere I’d have to be quiet. I’m a loud guy.
10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?
I never heard of Omaha until I fell in love with my first favorite band: 311. Super random for sure, but your first music loves always are, and I’ll always have a soft spot for them. I felt like I was in the twilight zone the other day when Dark Days was pitted against a new 311 single for a radio station voting contest in Kansas City. My brain almost broke to read Local Natives and 311 in the same sentence. I wholeheartedly believe in voting, but in that case, I chose not to.
Local Natives plays with Little Scream Saturday, April 8, at The Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This show is SOLD OUT. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com