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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.



Bob Nastanovich (Pavement), Minne Lussa tonight; Unexplained Death, Safari Room Saturday; Young Guv, David Nance Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:25 pm February 28, 2020

Young Guv plays Sunday night at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Busy weekend, especially Saturday night, with a fantastic show Sunday. Here we go:

Tonight at The Sydney in Benson, Bob Nastanovich of Pavement fame is doing a DJ set. Joining him are Mike Schlesinger and Minne Lussa. Good times for just $5. Starts at 10 p.m.

Also tonight (Friday) Satchel Grande headlines at The Waiting Room with The Kevin Lloyd Experience. $9, 9 p.m.

Saturday night Matt Whipkey’s poli-punk project Unexplained Death headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Also on the bill are Farewell Transmission and Soul Ghost. $7, 9:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at Reverb Lounge, Safari Room headlines. The Nashville band’s frontman, Alex Koukal, is a Bellevue West grad. Joining them are Omaha up-and-comers Garst. $10, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Chicago R&B/blues singer/songwriter Neal Francis headlines at The Waiting Room. Joining him is Omaha’s Virginia Kathryn. $15, 9 p.m.

And then comes Sunday and the main event.

Toronto’s Young Guv is a project of Fucked Up guitarist Ben Cook, who plays power-pop summer-of-love psych rock, gorgeous and catchy. His albums, Guv I and Guv II are summertime staples. The band is playing Slowdown Jr. Sunday night on a loaded bill that includes Jocko and our very own David Nance, all for a mere $10. 8 p.m. start time.

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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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New Land of Talk LP to drop on Saddle Creek; Conor’s acting chops; Trevor Sensor tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:40 pm February 27, 2020
Land of Talk at Slowdown Jr., Sept. 23, 2010.

Land of Talk at Slowdown Jr., Sept. 23, 2010. Saddle Creek Records will be releasing their next album in May.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Hometown label Saddle Creek Records yesterday announced it’s releasing the new album by Montreal band Land of Talk, Indistinct Conversations, on May 15. This is the fourth Creek release by the band, which is led by singer/songwriter Elizabeth Powell. Check out the first single and order online via Bandcamp below.

By now you’ve seen Conor Oberst’s and Phoebe Bridger’s acting debut as production assistants on the Meet the Conan Staff. If you haven’t, the clip’s below. A lot of people are wondering if that’s Conor’s real hair or a wig. I think it’s real, based on the Bright Eyes marketing footage Dead Oceans has been posting for the new BE album.

Meet the Conan Staff is the first scripted original series from Team Coco. The episodes launch weekly on YouTube; it premiered on Feb. 18.

Also yesterday, Bridgers released a dope-fueled video for her first single in three years, “Garden Song.”

Tonight at Reverb Lounge, Jagjaguwar artist Trevor Sensor headlines. According to Paste Magazine, Sensor was discovered by Killers’ guitarist Dave Keuning while playing a gig in Pella, Iowa. His last album, Andy Warhol’s Dream, was produced by Jonathon Rado of Foxygen and the late, great Richard Swift, and includes contributions from members of Whitney. Halfloves open at 8 p.m. $10.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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New Joan App (as in Joe Knapp) track; Win/Win drops new EP…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:36 pm February 26, 2020

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Joe Knapp is the mastermind behind Saddle Creek Records act Son, Ambulance. And while Son, Ambulance has continued to play a show or two every year, the band hasn’t produced any new recorded music for quite some time.

Well, out of nowhere last week, a new track dropped by an outfit calling itself Joan App, a very tasty track called “Beautiful Machines.” The song was written by Joe Knapp and sung by Sarah Bohling of Thick Paint and Icky Blossoms, and you can listen to it below via Soundcloud (though it’s also up on Spotify).

Says Joe: “I wrote the song and produced it with drummer Adam (Hootie) Erickson. The idea of it started as a song for a car commercial/tech ad.” Dylan Strimple also appears on the track on guitar along with Colin Duckworth on pedal steel, Olga Smola on violin and Blake DeForest on trumpet. The track was produced by Joan App with Adam Erickson, with sound engineering and mixing by Adam Roberts at the mighty ARC Studio in Omaha.

I love this track. I hope there’s more coming.

Also, Omaha indie band Win/Win has a new four-song EP out called Home. Check it out below via Bandcamp.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: SUSTO, Molly Parden at Slowdown Jr…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 2:04 pm February 25, 2020

SUSTO at Slowdown Jr., Feb. 24, 2020.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

All the chairs will filled last night down at Slowdown Jr., literally. The crowd of around 60 stayed seated throughout both Molly Parden and SUSTO’s set last night, leaving a wide open floor in front of the stage with only one guy (me) standing near it. I’m guessing both artists were wondering who that weirdo was.

Molly Parden kicked things off at 8. She’s a Nashville singer/songwriter who played a solo acoustic set of broken-hearted love songs that ached with every note. I had a feeling that each song had someone’s name attached to it, and Parden inasmuch said so, saying she took seven years off from writing music, and that it took a break-up to inspire her to write again.

Molly Parden at Slowdown Jr., Feb. 24, 2020.

While her songs would fit well alongside early Joni Mitchell, her voice comes from a different direction and is incomparable. Just gorgeous. She said she only recently has been able to support herself through her music thanks to one of her songs being included on a couple Spotify playlists, which has generated enough cash to live on. The song in question, “Weather,” is a rocker on Spotify, but came off as another somber heart breaker performed live. In fact, what I heard last night on stage blows away the recorded versions of the same songs, or maybe it was just the mood of the evening and the performance itself. Too bad no one recorded it.

I was sort of expecting SUSTO’s Justin Osborne to sound a little less like Jackson Browne vocalwise when he took the stage last night, and in fact he did, though there was still that classic Late for the Sky nasal lilt to his voice. Playing as a 4-piece, the band launched the set with “Far Out Feeling,” the lead-off track (and my favorite) from their 2017 album & I’m Fine Today. They went on to play a selection of the best songs off the last two albums, reaching back to “Acid Boys” from his 2014 debut.

Osborne switched between guitar and keyboards from song to song, sounding just as comfortable on either, backed by a solid band that included an amazing soloist and a snap-tight rhythm section. I love Osborne’s voice, and few people in recent years are as good at writing gorgeous melodies. In a way he reminds me of the late great Jim Croce, who had a similar simple, urban story-telling songwriting style.

Late in the set as a special treat, the band played their cover of Elton John’s “Daniel,” which sounded as if it was written for them to perform. A great way to spend a Monday night.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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SUSTO, Molly Parden at Slowdown; Ceremony, Jocko, No Thanks at Reverb tonight …

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:36 pm February 24, 2020

Ceremony at The Sweatshop Gallery, July 11, 2015. The band plays at Reverb Lounge tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You’ve got a decision to make this evening between two very good shows.

Down at Slowdown Jr., Charleston, S.C. singer/songwriter SUSTO performs. The band, fronted by Justin Osborne who sings like the second coming of Jackson Browne, cancelled when last scheduled to play at Slowdown Jr. back in February 2017. Back then he was supporting his killer full-length & I’m Fine Today. His new album, Ever Since I Lost My Mind (2019, Rounder), is just as sweet. Check out the tracks below. Opening at 8 p.m. is singer/songwriter Molly Parden. $18.

Meanwhile, over at Reverb Lounge it’s the return of Ceremony. The band’s 2015 performance at Sweatshop Gallery is one of my all-time favorites. It was probably 100 degrees outside on that July evening and 120 degrees inside the packed garage performance space where Ross Farrar and company turned it up another 20 degrees with their dark, heavy post punk.

No doubt it’ll be much more chill (temperature and otherwise) inside Reverb Lounge for tonight’s Ceremony show, but likely no less entertaining. The under card is a humdinger: punk bands Jocko and No Thanks. This is a veritable rock festival! for a mere $15. Starts at 8 p.m.

You can’t go wrong with either show. Having seen Ceremony and No Thanks twice already, I’ll see you down at Slowdown…

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Anna McClellan, Staffers, MiWi La Lupa, Blanky tonight; We Were Promised Jetpacks, Motherfolk Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:51 pm February 21, 2020

Anna McClellan at O’Leaver’s, Dec. 3, 2015. She plays tonight at The Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Busy weekend.

Tonight at The Brothers Lounge it’s the tour kick off for Anna McClellan and Staffers. They’ll be selling a new split cassette, which is only available on tour. Also on the bill is the debut of Curtain, a new band featuring members from Dave Nance Band, Lazy Wranglers and Subtropics, among others. Rogue Moon opens at 10 p.m. $5. If I go out, this is where I’ll be.

Also tonight, Miwi La Lupa is playing at The Sydney in Benson. MiWi’s latest LP is Tips, which came out last year. Joining him tonight are Sean Pratt and Annie Dee. 10 p.m., $5.

Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Lawrence duo Blanky headlines. They call their style of music “folkgaze.” Also on the bill are Bokr Tov and Sgt. Leisure. $6, 10 p.m.

Tomorrow night’s big show is We Were Promised Jetpacks down at The Slowdown. This one originally was a front room show but has been moved to the big room by popular demand. Opening is Slaughter Beach, Dog. 8 p.m. start time, $20.

Meanwhile, over at Reverb Lounge Saturday night, Cincinnati indie band Motherfolk headlines with Bach Mai and Rascal Martinez. $10, 9 p.m.

Also, I never mention stand-up comedy shows because I don’t go to stand-up comedy shows, but CJ Olson from Saddle Creek Records reached out to let me know that the label’s latest signing, funnyman Adam Cayton-Holland, is having an album release show Saturday night at O’Leaver’s for the vinyl version of Adam Cayton-Holland Performs His Signature Bits. $15, 8 p.m.

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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Random Notes: New Twinsmith single; Pitchforkfest announced; labels’ new fast release schedules; new Bright Eyes tour dates (NOmaha…)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 7:58 am February 20, 2020

Twinsmith dropped a new single yesterday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Some catching up on items old and new…

Omaha band Twinsmith has a new single out called “Dreamer,” released on Silver Street Records. As lead singer Jordan Smith describes it, “The song concept is about someone struggling with an addiction and realizing their struggle, but how hard it is to snap out of it. We all know someone going through that.” The track was produced by James Fleege at Silver Street studios in Ashland and mastered by the master, Doug van Sloun at Focus. This follows the release of the 2019 single “Feels,” the band’s Silver Street debut after apparently leaving Saddle Creek Records. Check it out below:

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Welp, they announced the line-up for this year’s Pitchfork Festival yesterday. The dates are July 17-19. Headliners are Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Run the Jewels and The National. Also on board are former Saddle Creek act Big Thief, current Saddle Creek act Hop Along, Phoebe Bridgers, Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten and the return of Fiery Furnaces. Three-day Pitchforkfest passes are $185, which is kinda/sorta a bargain in the festival game.

Why do I have a feeling one of the above-mentioned bands will also be at Maha this year?

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Saddle Creek Records A&R Director Amber Carew is among those interviewed in a Billboard article that dropped yesterday that talks about why indie artists are releasing music at a much faster pace these days.

She said in the old days when she was at ANTI- Records non-LP projects was frowned upon. From the article: “‘So let’s just keep writing until you have a full LP,’” she remembers hearing. “That was always a sentiment that was given to the artists, and that doesn’t come out of my mouth anymore.” It’s all about streaming. Read the epic-ly long article here.

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And Bright Eyes announced an expanded run of tour dates yesterday, but nothing announced in Omaha yet. I suspect there will be a Bright Eyes date here at some point…

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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David Nance Group, Thick Paint, No Thanks among 2020 OEAA winners…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:30 pm February 17, 2020

Dave Nance Group at The Waiting Room, Nov. 13, 2018. The band was named Artist of the Year at the 2020 Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEAA).

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The 14th annual Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEAAs) ceremony was last night at The Slowdown, and there were some familiar names among the winners.

Chief among them was David Nance Group. The band took home crystal-like trophies in the Outstanding Rock and Artist of the Year categories. The band had a strong 2019 on the strength of its breakthrough album, Peaced and Slightly Pulverized (2018, Trouble in Mind Records).

Thick Paint, the project fronted by former Omahan Graham Ulicny, won for Outstanding Alternative/Indie. The band released A Perennial Approach to Free Time last year on Joyful Noise Records.

No Thanks took home the award for Outstanding Punk. The band self-released The Trial in 2018, but has gained a following for its live performances.

Other notable awards handed out last night include Clarence Tilton for Outstanding Country, Curly Martin for Outstanding Jazz, Glow in the Dark for Outstanding Progressive Rock/Experimental/EDM, Make Believe Studios for Outstanding Recording Studio and Dan Brennan for Outstanding Live Music Sound Engineer.

Check out the full list of award recipients at www.oea-awards.com.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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R.I.P. Jacob Thiele; Las Cruxes, Unexplained Death, Garst Jocko tonight; Lincoln Exposed all weekend; Normandy Invasion Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:36 pm February 14, 2020

The Faint, circa 2011 with Jacob Thiele sitting.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Jacob Thiele died yesterday. I only knew him through his music with The Faint, and seeing him perform. Jacob was the guy behind the keyboard who danced so well, or more accurately, moved so well. He looked like a rock star on stage and off.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jacob a number of times over the years. I only talked to him once outside of an interview setting. It was one of those O’Leaver’s nights. I don’t remember who was playing, but it was probably Icky Blossoms. I’d gotten there a little early and sat alone at the corner of the bar right when you come into the club. Despite years of going to shows alone, I still can feel like a loser alone in a bar, and was trying to look like I didn’t care, watching whatever was on the TV above the bar.

Jacob plopped down in the stool right next to me and we started having a conversation as if we’d known each other for years, which in a strange way, we had. We talked about music, people we both knew. As others came in they said hello to both of us. Man, he knew a lot of people. When the first band started playing, he slipped away and I didn’t see him the rest of the night. I think that was the last time I saw him at a show.

Thiele would end up being replaced in The Faint in the summer of 2015 for reasons that were never discussed but were whispered about. He was a talented guy. The quality of his work with The Faint and other bands cannot be overstated. He will be missed by friends and family, but also by a music community he helped build.

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There are a few shows happening this weekend.

There’s a nice rock show tonight at Dr. Jack’s Drinkery, 3012 No. 102nd St. (the old Brass Knocker) featuring Omaha-by-way-of-LA Spanish-language punk rockers Las Cruxes, Matt Whipkey’s poli-punk project Unexplained Death and Low Long Signal. $7, 9 p.m.

Also tonight you’ll get a chance to hear that Death Cow music I wrote about yesterday as the Lincoln band is playing at Midtown Art Supply, 2578 Harney St., with Garst and Jocko. 8 p.m., $5.

I don’t see any Omaha shows on Saturday. So I guess it’s off to Lincoln for the 15th anniversary of Lincoln Exposed — 115 bands over four days across four Lincoln venues for just $25 for a full-festival-access pass. It’s all weekend long. See the best talent Lincoln has to offer. The full line-up is online right here.

Finally, funny little show going on at Reverb Lounge Sunday night. One of Omaha’s earliest indie bands, The Normandy Invasion, is having a reunion show. The band formed in ’75 and recorded their first single/EP in 1981, “Ain’t no Rock ‘n’ Roll in Russia,” eventually renamed “Ain’t no Rock ‘n’ Roll in Baghdad.” They always only played originals, and that’s still their game. Early 6 p.m. show, $5.

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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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New releases: Magū, Death Cow, Relax It’s Science; New Pornographers, Diane Coffee tonight at The Slowdown…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:31 pm February 13, 2020

New Pornographers at 2017 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 19, 2017. The band plays tonight at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here’s a handful of recent local Bandcamp releases that may trip your trigger.

I stumbled across Magū via Facebook, the band’s drummer / vocalist David McInnis sent a friend request and, once connected, said, “This is something you’re interested in.” Oh really?

The newish Omaha collective includes Sam Lipsett on bass, John Staples on guitars and vocals, Di Ren Chen on keyboards, Cameron Thelander on saxophone and McInnis. I haven’t seen these folks live yet so I don’t know who handles the majority of vocals.

The band dropped a new EP Renovate last Friday via Bandcamp. The 4-songs collection, recorded by McInnis at his Magroover Studios, is a refined psych-rock experience that borders on prog rock. Certainly more arty than indie. And at times, very spacey, though I wouldn’t confuse it with shoe-gaze (Thelander’s warm, echoing tenor sax takes care of that).

I can’t put my finger on any one thing they remind me of, though It’s True and Adam Hawkins’ past efforts came to mind (Whatever happened to Mr. Hawkins? Plenty I’m sure). Flaming Lips also popped up. Opening track, “Never Want” is a fave of the bunch, along with “Glad I’m Not in Love.” Or maybe I’m just a sucker for that sax? I’ll be checking them out live… eventually.

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The name Death Cow reminds me so much of Bloodcow that I figured the folks at Bloodcow might be pissed about the name grab, but after corresponding with one of the BC dudes, they couldn’t be more gracious about the name similarity, tipping the hat to the next generation and all that. Plus, it’s unlikely we’ll be hearing from Bloodcow in the near future.

No doubt Death Cow glommed more from Bloodcow than just the naming configuration. The band’s new seven-song EP Pioneer, released Jan. 31, has similar — if not so abrasive — love for heavy riffs. But whereas I’d classify Bloodcow as metal, Death Cow falls more into the high-flying rock ‘n’ roll category. The songs’ harmony vocals, overlaying the riffs on almost every track, well that’s ’90s FM rock territory. It’s also what makes these guys stand out over the other locals trying their hand at straight-up rock.

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Relax, It’s Science has been playing live around Omaha for at least the past four or five years. Their formula is two basses — Pat Mclivain and Craig Hoffman — and veteran drummer Jeremy Stanosheck, playing rough, loud instrumentals that border on metal. It’s as bludgeoning as you think it is.

Recorded at Archetype by Bryce Hotz and mastered by the inimitable Doug Van Sloun, this debut, titled Now It’s Your Problem, is a long time coming. Somewhat relentless, just like their live shows.

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Tonight at The Slowdown it’s the return of New Pornographers. The Canucks are on the road supporting their 2019 release, In the Morse Code of Brake Lights (Concord Records). No doubt you’ll get A.C., Calder and Neko but no Dan Bejar (You’ll have to wait until he returns with Destroyer to The Waiting Room in March). The theatrical gyrations of Diane Coffee opens at 8 p.m. $30.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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