by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
You may or may not know this, but Lazy-i has a comment feature. It’s located right at the end of each day’s post. You simply click on the “Comment” link and voila, you’ve got a space to espouse your own opinions about whatever it is I’ve been talking about.
Some of you made good use of that comment feature on yesterday’s blog entry, specifically commenting on the news that local band The Big Deep won the “popular vote” at last weekend’s OEAA Summer Showcase, and as a result, was named to open the MAHA Music Festival on Aug. 13. Some were not pleased; one person, OEAA Board Member MarQ Manner, rushed to defend MAHA’s process. You can read all the comments right here.
I’ve avoided the fray on all this, except for Friday’s blog entry where I once again kicked a dead horse over the lack of signed local bands participating in the OEA showcase. Chatting this weekend with three bands that turned down offers to play the showcase, it came down to this: 1) It wasn’t a paying gig. They all said they’ve played benefits before, but didn’t consider the OEAA’s award banquet to be a “charity”; 2) A couple bands said they didn’t “fit in” with the rest of the OEAA bands — interpret that any way you want, and 3) All understood that by playing the OEAA showcase they could win a slot to play at the MAHA Music Festival (which they’d all love to do), but knew that they had absolutely no chance of winning the “contest” (and they were absolutely right). There was also considerable loathing of the idea of bands “battling” each other. Actually, I don’t know anyone who likes the battle of the bands concept, other than Manner and the bars who put on such events and probably The Big Deep and, of course, the MAHA organizers, and MECA and the Red Sky people.
OEAA organizers could solve the problem of not being able to attract “signed” local bands to their showcase. They could name one “headliner” per night per venue, and pay them. An unrealistic suggestion I suppose, but all three bands said they would have played the showcase for a few hundred bucks — a small fee to pay for credibility. So would all the other bands who agreed to play for free cry foul? Maybe. Maybe not. Without such a system, however, OEAA leaves out a huge segment of the Omaha music community, and defines itself as a purely amateur event.
As for the comments about MAHA’s selection of The Big Deep, well, you can’t hate on the band for winning. That said, the commenter named “Mike” made an excellent point. “I doubt that the fans that came out to (the OEA Showcase) to see The Big Deep are going to shell out $30 to see them at Maha, and Indreama fans wouldn’t have shelled out $30 just for Indreama (or whoever… just wanted a name of a band for an example), but the Indreama fan is more likely to have a ticket and might show up earlier, buying more food, more beer and being seen by show sponsors…” So true.
Don’t agree? Add a comment…
* * *
Tonight at The Waiting Room one of Omaha’s most beloved (and talented) singer/songwriters, Brad Hoshaw, and his band The Seven Deadlies opens for Portland folk duo Blind Pilot. $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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.