Sucettes120917
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.



Unexplained Death on cassette; new Love Drunk: Bogusman…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:22 pm September 18, 2019

The Unexplained Death cassette…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The debut recording of Matt Whipkey’s new poli-punk project, Unexplained Death, dropped last Friday in cassette and digital formats. I’m seeing more and more artists opt for cassette releases, I assume because it’s a physical format (other than CD) that artists can create themselves. The cassette is a run of 100, each with unique, hand-made cassette sleeves comprised of altered versions of classic ’80s album art. Just look what Matt did to Robert Plant.

The songs represent a sort of new direction for Whipkey. Though he’s known mostly as an Americana folk-rock guy, Matt always punctuated his albums with a few heavier rock songs. This collection is his take on punk — fast and hard and purposely distorted/low-fi — with lyrics about the current state of local and national politics. Whipkey said it was because of the songs’ timliness that he didn’t shop the recording to labels — he wants to get his message to the masses now.

The full album is being streamed here at Bandcamp, where you can order a copy of the cassette for $10 (comes with download key). And look for the band’s stage debut sometime next month…

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Love Drunk, the live one-take video project helmed by Django Greenblatt-Seay, is back and better than ever. Django dropped video #141 last Saturday. It features Lincoln punk band Bogusman performing “Magic Hands” at the VS. Arcade Bar in Lincoln. I’d heard of neither Bogusman nor VS. prior to this video and now I want to check ’em both out. Now maybe someone can get Bogusman to play in Omaha? Check it below.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Remembering The Cars; Pinegrove tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:42 pm September 17, 2019

Ric Ocasek at the office.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You never think that these people will one day be gone: Tom Petty, Eddie Money, Ric Ocasek. Just like you can’t remember a time when their music wasn’t around. But there was a time before The Cars. I know. I was alive then. The first record came out in 1978. Its music was plunked onto FM radio and was something totally different but at the same time very similar to the sounds that came before it.

To me, the primary ingredient was the band’s persona. They were cool and a little weird, part of the punk rock scene, but accessible to the masses. Their songs were insidiously dark, the opposite of cock rock, and they were songs sung by a bunch of nerds who were as strange and ugly as the rest of us who didn’t identify with the hair metal of the day. The Cars were cool because they looked and sounded different, and you just assumed that’s how they were, that they weren’t trying to be different.

I loved the band. Their music played a big role in my high school and college years. We all know how great their first two albums were, but Heartbeat City was just as cool and notable and probably spent more time in my cassette player than any of the others. There were rumors the album was as much about drugs as it was about love. I loved that mystery. I was lucky enough to have seen them live when they came to the Civic Auditorium on tour supporting that album in 1984. Wang Chung opened.

Anyway, The Cars always were there, even when they weren’t. And when they had a sort of comeback a few years ago (in 2011) with Move Like This, it made me wonder if they could repeat their success in the digital age without Ben Orr, who had passed away the year prior, but it ended up being a one-and-done event.

And now Ocasek’s gone and it’s hard to think of a world without The Cars. But here we are.

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Is there a band more opposite of The Cars than Pinegrove? I can’t think of one. The New Jersey indie band, which plays often somber indie folk music, headlines tonight at The Waiting Room. Their latest album, Marigold, was released this past March on Rough Trade. Stephen Steinbrink and Common Holly open at 8 p.m. $25.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Matt Wilson and his Orchestra, STRFKR Saturday; Interpol at The Holland Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:45 pm September 13, 2019

Matt Wilson and his Orchestra play at The Sydney in Benson Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s usually Saturday nights during Husker season that the clubs are one big wasteland when it comes to rock shows, but this weekend, tonight is the wasteland. 

I can’t find any shows worth a shit going on tonight. I suggest heading over to The Brothers and having a cold one while listening to the best jukebox in town (if for no other reason than because they’ll be closed 9/14 through 9/19). 

Tomorrow night’s big show, Matt Wilson of Trip Shakespeare and The Twilight Hours fame is bringing his harp and banjo orchestra to The Sydney in Benson. Bokr Tov opens at 9 p.m. $15.

Also Saturday night, Portland indie band STRFKR (Polyvinyl Records) plays at The Waiting Room with Das Kope. 9 p.m. start, $23 tix.

Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s Saturday night, Denver’s In the Whale headlines with The Natural States and Hussies. $5, 9 p.m. 

And then Sunday night it’s the big Interpol show at The Holland Performing Arts Center. I’ve seen Interpol a couple times and they never fail to satisfy, however I have to wonder how well they’ll “rock” playing in front of a seated audience in Omaha’s second most prestigious music hall. Opening is our very own See Through Dresses. Tickets are still available at ticketomaha.com ranging between $35 and $47. Start time is 7:30 p.m. Tux optional.

And that’s all I got. If I missed  your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend. 

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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New Cursive single; new Saddle Creek hip-hop single, Album of the Month features Mynabirds; Kristin Hersh Electric Trio tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:50 pm September 12, 2019

Kristin Hersh Electric Trio plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Some tidbits that have been hanging out in my in-box:

Cursive released a new single today, the song “Barricades.” This isn’t on their most recent album, Vitriola. Rather, it apparently is just a straight-up single released just in time for their late summer/fall tour (that brings them to O’Leaver’s a week from Saturday, Sept. 21 (O’Leaversfest)). Check it below.

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Saddle Creek not only announced the next single in their Document series, but the label is now launching an Album of the Month.

First, the single — it’s by Richmond, Virginia, artist McKinley Dixon, entitled “Anansi, Anansi” b/w “Wit These.” I think this is the first hip-hop release by Saddle Creek (that I can remember). Check out the track below and order the single here.

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Also new from Saddle Creek is the launch of an Album of the Month feature, which “will spotlight one album each month from the SC catalog, extend exclusive offers on these albums, and hopefully help you find a favorite album you just might not have discovered yet.”

The kick-off album is The Mynabirds’s 2012 LP Generals. Saddle Creek is offering an exclusive Generals bundle as well as sale prices on the standard vinyl, CD and digital formats.

To celebrate, the original touring band for the album is getting back together for a small tour that includes a night at Reverb Lounge Sept. 25.

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Rest in Peace Daniel Johnston, who passed away yesterday after suffering a fatal heart attack. He was 58. Way back in 2008 Johnston played with Reagan and the Ray Guns as his backing band at The Slowdown, a band included Reagan Roeder, Kyle Harvey, Mike Friedman and drummer Scott “Zip” Zimmerman. It was a rather unique performance that ended with the audience serenading an absent Johnston with a sing-along rendition of “Devil Town.” Here’s hoping he’s singing it up in Angel Town…

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Tonight at Slowdown Jr., Kristin Hersh Electric Trio headlines. Hersh’s latest album is 2018’s Possible Dust Clouds (Fire Records). Joining the band is opener Fred Abong (Throwing Muses, Belly). $18, 8 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Sheer Mag, Tweens, Dross, Bib tonight at The Slowdown; Night Moves (Domino Records) at Reverb Lounge…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:41 pm September 10, 2019

Sheer Mag plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Only got time to tell you about a couple shows tonight…

Over at Slowdown Jr. it’s Sheer Mag, one of the funner new bands out there, with a sound that combines indie with ’70s-style rock ‘n’ roll, fueled by firecracker lead singer Tina Halladay. Cincinnati trash-pop trio Tweens (Frenchkiss Records) opens along with our very one DROSS and one of Omaha’s hardest, Bib. That’s a lot of rock ‘n’ roll for $15. Starts at 8.

Also tonight… Domino Records act Night Moves’ new album, Can You Really Find Me, is a dreamy indie folk-rock album with some Big Star influence. The Minneapolis duo of Micky Alfano and John Pelant count Todd Rundgren and Neil Young among their influences. The music has a modern indie yacht-rock vibe a la Tame Impala, soothing, warm melodies shot through fog-covered lenses. Catch them tonight at Reverb Lounge. Steady Wells opens at 8. $14.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Digital Leather at The Sydney; Clarence Tilton on the street; Mannequin Pussy tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:48 pm September 9, 2019

Digital Leather at The Sydney, Sept. 6, 2019.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s been so long since Digital Leather played locally I thought frontman Shawn Foree moved back to Arizona. The project came out with a limited edition vinyl compilation on the Stencil Trash insignia in January called Feeet, as well as a limited 8-track tape (you read that right) version of 2007’s Blow Machine (FDH Records). But still no local appearances.

Then last Friday night Foree and his current Digital Leather line-up took the stage at The Sydney for a half-hour set. DL has had numerous iterations over the years, swinging between ‘80s electronic synth-driven No Wave to full-on guitar punk, with Foree either behind a keyboard rack or slinging an electric guitar. This time he stood out front with an electric bass backed by two synth players — a pal from Arizona named Jason and Omahan Blake Kostszewa of FiFI NoNo — while veteran stickman Jeff Lambelet took his usual place behind the drum kit.

Bringing the bass out front proved to be a bold move as the band ran through a set that included standout track “Puff” off the new record (but originally released on 2018’s Headache Heaven) and a re-imagined version of “B12” (originally released as part of Foree’s Mere Mortals project and later covered (with lyrics rewritten) by The Faint as “Damage Control”).

Foree put down his bass and returned behind the synths for the set closer, singing lyrics read from a sheet of notebook paper. I figured it was maybe an obscure cover, but he said afterward it was a new song called “Compass” — red hot and the evening’s highlight. Here’s hoping the song gets a proper release, along with whatever else the prolific Mr. Foree has been working on.

Clarence Tilton at the Parkwood Lane Bluegrass Festival, Sept. 7, 2019.

Saturday night I walked around the block to the Parkwood Lane Bluegrass Festival to catch a performance by Clarence Tilton. This is actually the annual block party held on Parkwood Lane just west of Memorial Park — picture lots of neighbors standing in the street eating covered-dish gourmet while kids speed around on mini BMX bikes, big-screen TVs showing whatever game is on ESPN. And at the end of the street, a small stage under a tent where the bands played.

I keep comparing Clarence Tilton to ’90s-era indie power-pop acts and I’ve got to admit, it’s kind of a stretch, especially when you see them perform live. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they could be a fantastic power-pop act, especially with their backgrounds, but the fact is these guys are playing countrified Americana music, and the twang is unmistakable on stage, where they resemble The Statler Brothers more than The dBs, and that’s not a bad thing.

Overheard from the neighborhood crowd: “These guys are the real deal.” And they are. I don’t know why they haven’t been discovered on a national level, they’re certainly as good or better than anything I’ve heard on the country Sirius stations. The Weber Brothers are among the best axe men around, and then you’ve got three different (very good) vocalists. I guess maybe their lack of national notoriety has to do with the fact that the band members have other careers — and lives — that prevent them from touring outside our little burg. That means Clarence Tilton will likely remain Omaha’s — and Parkwood Lane’s — best kept secret.

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Tonight at Slowdown Jr. it’s Philly band Mannequin Pussy. Though they’re on Epitaph Records, they don’t sound like a run-of-the-mill Epitaph band. With their shoe-gaze shimmer, I’d more likely mistake them for someone on 4AD. Their latest, Patience, is shoe-gaze leaning on heavy metal. Opening is Sacramento band Destroy Boys (Uncool Records) and UK producer/musician Ellis. $15, 8 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Shadow Ridge Music Fest (Violent Femmes, Soul Asylum, Matthew Sweet), Digital Leather, Universe Contest, BFF tonight; Wagon Blasters Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:38 pm September 6, 2019

Digital Leather at The Sydney, April 6, 2018. The band returns to The Sydney tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yet another music fest is happening tonight — the second annual Shadow Ridge Music Festival at Shadow Ridge Country Club, located way out on 189th and Pacific St. The headliner is ’80s indie fossils Violent Femmes, with Soul Asylum, Omaha’s own Matthew Sweet and Lincoln legacy act The Millions, all for just $55. Ticket proceeds will benefit Elkhorn Athletic Association’s Future Outdoor Youth Sports Complex. Free parking at Elkhorn South High School with shuttle service. The Millions kick it off at 4 p.m. More info here.

Glancing at the calendar, it’s the first Friday of the month, which means Benson First Friday. If you’re in the neighborhood tonight, drop by The Little Gallery, 5901 Maple St. (the east bay in the bottom of the Masonic Lodge Building), and check out the opening for the late Robert Klein Engler. All artist proceeds will benefit the stained glass windows at St. Mary Magdalene Church in downtown Omaha. We’re there from 6 to 9 p.m.

Afterward, head over to The Sydney in Benson for the return of Digital Leather. The project, headed by Shawn Foree, released a full-length earlier this year on Stencil Trash Records, called Feeet, which is a comp of mainly tape-only released songs written and recorded between 2008 and 2018. Great stuff (as per usual). Joining them tonight is Tucson electronic act Mute Swan. $5, 10 p.m.

Also tonight, Lincoln indie prog act Universe Contest headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Fellow Lincolnites Sweats and Iowa City’s Zuul also are on the card. $5, 10 p.m.

Tomorrow night it’s back to The Sydney for a rip-roarin’ set by Wagon Blasters (Speed! Nebraska Records). Gary Dean and the band will own the center slot, Vago is the headliner and Bull Nettles kicks it off at 9 p.m. $6.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Album Reviews: Crooked Colours, Alaskalaska, Prettiest Eyes, Ada Lea…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:30 pm September 5, 2019

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I sometimes wonder if I’ve lost the ability to review recorded music. Reviewing live shows is easy, it’s like reporting a crime scene. Reviewing recordings is like studying pictures or paintings or trying to interpret poetry, which I never did very well in college. When it came my turn to explain a poem in class, I’d take the imagery too literally, describing the scene in my mind or the people or animals, and then the professor would say, “No, what the writer was doing here was expressing grief for his/her loss of innocence, not describing a hunting accident.” And so on. 

So as I was flying back from New York, I thought I’d tackle a handful of albums sent to me for review, albums I’ve been listening to for the past two or three months. No notes, no one-sheets, just nuanced opinions. Here we go. 

Crooked Colours, Langata (2019, Sweat It Out!)

Crooked Colours, Langata (Sweat It Out!) – Very clean, very crisp electronic dance music sung by a guy whose flat, atonal voice is cross between Robbie Robertson and Tricky. Immensely clean trip-hop beats, electronic handclaps lie beneath mainly talk/singing, rhyming whatever sounds best with the beat. “Just breath…” Easy to listen to; but somewhat forgettable. The kind of music you’d hear while shopping in an H&M.

Alaskalaska, The Dots (2019, Marathon Artists)

Alaskalaska, The Dots (Marathon Artists) – There was a band I used to love in the ‘90s called Hooverphonic. They played great big-beat electronic rock songs that quickly found a hook. I thought they sounded amazingly modern at the time, and wondered why they never blew up. Over the years, however, Hooverphonic songs would sneak up in commercials and soundtracks, whenever a director wanted to set a modern tone or give whatever was on screen a sense of motion.

Alaskalaska has that same quality both in sound and lyrics, a deceptively simple melody swaddled in layers of synths, beats and the occasional saxophone (When did the sax come back in vogue? or has it?). The woman on leads, Lucinda Duarte-Holman, reminiscent of Sarah Cracknell of Saint Etienne, is cynical, sassy, sometimes snotty, often too honest for her own good. Quick and quippy, she sounds like she knows more than you or me. And she probably does. 

Highlights: “Moon,” with its fantastic horn part; “Sweat,” sinister sexy, slow; and the bracing “Happyface” with its questions you don’t want to answer. 

This is my favorite of the bunch. Totally obscure. Find it. 

Prettiest Eyes, Volume 3 (2019, Castle Face)

Prettiest Eyes, Volume 3 (Castle Face) – Brad Smith at the late, great Almost Music pointed me toward these guys and their last album, Pools. I bought it on vinyl, of course. Funny thing about Brad, he’s always right. Pools was post-punk crunch; and while Volume 3 continues along that same path, it’s not as dirty. Songs like “It Costs to be Austere” are like a carnival ride gone out of control, big wonky organs and fuzz bass and drummer/vocalist Pachy García singing like a maniacal clown. By contrast, “I Don’t Know” sounds like a midnight lounge massacre and “Mr. Presidentis Gang of Four post-punk blare: “Mr. President / Say my name / It don’t matter / Where I’m from.” It’s loud, buzzing, in-yer-face synth rock that never lets up. Exhausting fun. 

Ada Lea, What We Say in Private (2019, Saddle Creek)

Ada Lea, What We Say in Private (Saddle Creek) – Of the recent Saddle Creek signings, this one seems to be flying the deepest below the radar (Well, maybe not as deep as Young Jesus), because it’s the most different of the recent bunch. Not straight-up singer/songwriter fare, Lea writes complicated, proggy art rock songs that aren’t afraid of odd time-changes or awkward key shifts. It’s the most experimental act Creek has signed since the old days. That said, Lea knows her way around a melody, and her voice is warm, breathy, velvet butter. Songs like the moonlit “The Party;” the evocative, shifting “The Dancer,” and standout “Wild Heart” often start simply, quietly before going everywhere at once, while Lea lets you in on one of her little secrets. Mesmerizing.

More reviews to come…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Success Hasn’t Spoiled Maha (Yet?)- The Reader; The Appleseed Cast, Squeeze tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:55 pm September 4, 2019

The obligatory crowd shot from Saturday night at Maha 2019.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, I’m back from Gotham City. Among the highlights was seeing “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Shubert Theatre. Aaron Sorkin and Jeff Daniels together again. Seeing Federer and Serena at the U.S. Open wasn’t bad, either…

Anyway, the September issue of The Reader should be on the racks around town by now (though I haven’t seen it). Because of the timeliness of this month’s column — a look at the 2019 Maha Music Festival — I’ve already posted it at The Reader website. Read the column here or pick up a hard copy at your favorite bar, coffee shop of Hy-Vee…

I have to believe the Maha mind-trust already is putting together Maha 2020. If so, I’ve got my wish list ready for ’em…

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Two shows tonight. Over at Reverb Lounge, The Appleseed Cast headlines. The band is smack dab in the middle of a tour that began July 12 in support of their latest, The Fleeting Light of Impermanence (2019, Graveface). Says Ian Cohen in Pitchfork: “On their first new album in six years, the long-running emo outfit take ownership of their sound. Even the quietest moments sit with jagged nerves and lingering tension.” With Muscle Worship and Oquoa. $15, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, ‘70s legacy act Squeeze plays at The Holland Center. The “Difford And Tilbrook Songbook 2019” tour sees the UK legends play their extensive list of hits as well as rare, lesser-known gems from their back catalog and solo careers. Tickets are still available for prices ranging from $107 to $121. 7:30 start time.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Big Apple bound and what I’m missing while I’m gone…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:35 pm August 29, 2019

Return to New York… and Central Park.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, it’s time for my annual trip to NYC — U.S. Open, Broadway, Yankees, you get the drift. So Lazy-i will be on a short hiatus until sometime next week.

What will I miss whilst I’m away?

— Well, tonight (Thursday, Aug. 29), Hovvdy plays at Reverb Lounge. I’m hurtin’ a little to be missing this one. This is as close as it gets in this day and age to the slow-core bands I grew up loving like Bedhead and Red House Painters. This is a “do not miss” production. The amazing Anna McClellan opens along with Lomelda. $14, 8 p.m.

— Friday night, Wovenhand (Sargent House Records), led by former 16 Horsepower frontman David Eugene Edwards, plays at Reverb with Lucy & Charlie. $18, 8 p.m.

— Satchel Grande brings the party to The Waiting Room Saturday night. Juke Butter featuring Allison Nash opens at 9. $8.

— Finally, Tuesday night (Sept. 3) Columbus, Ohio low-fi punkers Kneeling in Piss plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Hussies open at 9 p.m. $5.

If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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