by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
Yesterday the fine folks who organize the MAHA Music Festival added their final band to the line-up, Ames, Iowa act The Envy Corps. The band recorded their new album, It Culls You, with venerable local knob twirler A.J. Mogis, and the result is something that sounds like a Midwestern version of Radiohead. Corps frontman Luke Pettipoole couldn’t sound more like Thom Yorke if he tried. When I commented as such, Pettipoole responded with, “Yeah, we were going for kind of a latter-day Radiohead meets HUM via Talk Talk kinda sound, nice to hear it kinda came through.” It did, Luke, it did. I like Radiohead, and I like this record, though I don’t know if it’s actually been released yet.
On a certain level, The Envy Corps is a natural fit for MAHA, though they have (nearly) zero ability to attract any new bodies to the festival who haven’t already been attracted by Guided By Voices or the rest of the line-up. Most people haven’t heard of them, though they briefly were on Mercury imprint Vertigo Records a few years ago. You could argue that, considering their following and the number of times they’ve played in Omaha, they actually belong on the local stage rather than on the headliners’ stage. On another level, the announcement is sort of a white flag that MAHA gave up on landing a true emerging artist that’s had a modicum of CMJ/national attention. Maybe they ran out of money; more likely they ran out of time.
With the final addition of Envy Corps, MAHA becomes an all-male revue. There will be no women on stage Aug. 13. What this says about either MAHA or the state of the indie music industry is anyone’s guess. I know that MAHA reached out to a number of female-led performers, but had no luck landing them for this festival. However, I do find it hard to believe that they couldn’t find one single female performer for either the national or local stage. Red Sky isn’t immune to this subtle form of sexism. It’s also going to be a sausage party, without a one woman scheduled to cross the main stage during the six-day festival (though it does have women represented in two side-stage bands, the unknown Kids These Days and the Natalie Merchant-less 10,000 Maniacs).
The above problem underscores the importance of organizations like Omaha Girls Rock. If you haven’t been following OGR, here’s a quick overview of what they do and why they’re doing it. And now you can help. OGR has an immediate need for equipment and instruments for use at their July camp. That means you can finally find a use for that drum set that’s sitting down in your basement with all those clothes stacked on top of it. Or that big amp in your office that’s always in the way. ORG needs all of it, along with guitars, mics, cables, PA, keyboards, anything you’re willing to loan or donate. If you can help out, shoot a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll work with you to get that stuff off your hands.
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The fine feathered friends at Slo-Fi Records (i.e., the illustrious Kyle Harvey) is keeping busy with more summer releases. This time it’s singer/songwriter South of Lincoln a.k.a. Maxwell Beardsley Holmquist, whose new Slo-Fi release is being celebrated tonight at The Barley Street Tavern with Down With The Ship, Seattle act Archeology and the man himself, Mr. Kyle Harvey. Show starts at 9, and will run you $5. Definitely go and pick up a copy of the CD.
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So where’s that review of last weekend’s Shanks shows? You’re just gonna have to sit on your hands until tomorrow (or Thursday)…
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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.