Maha locks in line-up (Mynabirds, Conduits, Frontier Ruckus added); Xiu Xiu tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 12:53 pm May 21, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With the news reported last night via social media, the Maha Music Festival has locked in all but one of its acts for the 2012 event, to be held Aug. 11 at Stinson Park/Aksarben.

Main stage performers are: Desaparecidos, Garbage, Josh Rouse, Delta Spirit, Dum Dum Girls, Frontier Ruckus, Conduits

Local stage performers: Icky Blossoms, The Mynabirds, UUVVWWZ, Universe Contest, Eli Mardock

The only band missing is the Local stage opener, who presumably will be the winner of an OEA Battle of the Bands-style public vote competition.

Hear Nebraska, who is one of Maha’s media sponsors, played a role in selecting the local stage performers, which partially explains the deep Lincoln representation — both UUVVWWZ and Universe Contest are Lincoln bands, and Eli Mardock used to front Lincoln band Eagle Seagull. The HN connection also could help explain how a relatively unknown band like Frontier Ruckus got named to the Maha main stage. HN’s Andy Norman is a fan of the Michigan band, whose claim to fame appears to be a 2010 Bonnaroo appearance. FR records for Quite Scientific Records, a label who released a Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. EP before the band joined Warners.

Other than Frontier Ruckus, the other surprise from last night’s announcement was the addition of Universe Contest, a band that’s only played in Omaha once, and only to about 40 people (review here). Needless to say, they’re not going to sell many tickets, but that isn’t the point. In addition to drawing national indie bands to Omaha, Maha wants to help break local acts to a larger audience — that is if there’s anyone there to see them early in the day.

Glancing at the Maha website, it looks like all the big attractions will again be back-loaded to play late in the day, which I suppose is standard operating procedure but seems counter to the idea of getting people to come to your concert all day and not just for the evening performances. It’s a problem that Maha and Red Sky face every year — getting people to come out early, or in RS’s case to come out at all for the day stage events (which may not be returning this year).

The solution is simple but risky — put one of your big names on stage early and hope that people hang out afterward. Josh Rouse, for example, was chosen for Maha because he has a following (right?). Why not put him on at 12:45 and see if his fans show up? Your vendors would love you for it. The risk, of course, is that no one would show up, and you would have wasted your booking money on a band that’s playing to an empty grassy knoll.

How about this for a crazy idea: Put Garbage on at 1, Desaparecidos at 3:30, Dum Dum Girls at 6,  Josh Rouse at 8 and Icky Blossoms at 10. Imagine the crowd for Conduits if they were following Garbage, or for Universe Contest following Desa. Yeah, it’s crazy, and it could never happen, though you’d get a lot of people out there early for Garbage who might hang around all day instead of everyone crowding in at 8 or 9 p.m.  We’ll never know.

More perspective from OWH‘s Kevin Coffey, who points out that this year’s line-up is very Nebraska-heavy.

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s Xiu Xiu with Dirty Beaches and Father Murphy. Not familiar with Xiu Xiu (which some people pronounce Shoo-Shoo)? The San Jose band has been around since 2002 and have recorded for such labels as Polyvinyl and Kill Rock Stars. Their influences include The Cure and Joy Division, but on their new album, Always (Polyvinyl, 2012) there’s a fantastic experimental Peter Gabriel vibe going on (at least to me). Fantastic, weird electronic rock. $12, 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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Share | Email | Bookmark

8 Comments »

  • Again with the Mynabirds? There are so many great local bands and MAHA puts Robb Nansel’s girlfriend on stage for the 2nd time in only three festivals>? What a god damned embarrassment…

    Comment by Really? — May 21, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

  • ATTENTION ATTENTION!!!!
    OMAHA HAS RUN OUT OF LOCAL BANDS!!!! ACCORDING TO MAHA!
    MAHA FAIL!!!! AGAIN WITH THE MYNABIRDS???
    SO MANY BANDS HAVE PLAYED THESE OEAA SHOWCASE’S FOR FREE JUST TO MAYBE GET ON THE LOCAL STAGE BUT NOT IF YOU’RE A CREEKER I GUESS!!! I’VE NEVER SEEN ANY OF THESE BANDS PLAYING THE SHOWCASES! IT’S REALLY SAD TO SEE THEM REPETE A BAND ON THIS FESTIVAL PREIOD AND TO SEE SO MANY SADDLE CREEK ACTS IS JUST A POOR CHOICE. NOT SAYING THEY’RE BAD BANDS BUT WE CAN SEE ALL THESE ACTS PLAY TOGETHER AT SLOWDOWN ALMOST ONCE A MONTH. ONCE AGAIN MAHA HAS PICKED THEIR FRIENDS TO PLAY ALONG WITH GARBAGE (YUCK BY THE WAY) AND LEFT OUT ALL THE BANDS WHO HAVE PLAYED THEIR FUNDRAISERS AND SUPPORTED THEM THINKING MAYBE THIS YEAR OR THE NEXT. AGAIN MAHA HAS TURNED A DEAF YEAR TO THE OMAHA LOCAL SCENE AND WENT WITH WHAT IT KNOWS, HELPING THEIR FRIENDS! SO! IF YOU WANT TO PLAY MAHA @ 12:00 PM TO 5 PEOPLE COME PLAY ONE OF 4 SHOWS (FOR FREE BY THE WAY) AND ENJOY WHAT NONE OF THE OTHER LOCAL BANDS PLAYING MAHA HAD TO DO. WIN A POPULARITY CONTEST! BY FILLING OUT A BALLOT AND SAYING WHICH BAND YOU LIKED THE BEST YOU CAN POSSIBLY HELP YOUR WEST O’ BUDDIES, BUDDIES BAND PLAY ALONG WITH THE MAHA FOLKS BUDDIES BANDS. YAY!!! GLAD MAHA IS AROUND BUT GET YER EAR TO THE GROUND AND OUT OF YER YOU KNOW WHERE! J.

    Comment by JAKE — May 22, 2012 @ 9:43 am

  • Instead of ranting, why don’t either of you suggest bands that they should have had instead?

    Comment by Jason — May 22, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

  • I could name 10 bands that have played the MAHA showcases in the past that deserve a place on the local stage unlike the friends maha chose.

    Comment by jake — May 22, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

  • And they are…?

    Who are these 10 bands?

    Comment by Boris — May 22, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

  • New Lungs,Ketchup and Mustard Gas, Dim Light, The Leapers, Her Flyaway Mannor, Digital Leather, Milions of boys,Powerful Science, Gus and Call,and fortnight…

    Just to name a few bands that have played the MAHA showcase’s in the past but have yet to be picked to play..

    Comment by JAKE — May 23, 2012 @ 11:20 am

  • I would have liked to see any of the above mentioned at Maha this year…

    Comment by tim-mcmahan — May 23, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

  • Safe, generic indie rock…that’s what Omaha wants.

    Comment by John — May 29, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Lazy-i