by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
Simon Joyner never looked more relaxed, more within his element than on the Slowdown Jr. stage Saturday night playing his new music with that band. It was Joyner at his finest singing sad songs to a big crowd of fans and friends and people who have seen and heard him play (in some cases) for more than 20 years.
This version of the Ghosts (his backing band) was as solid as they come. They sounded road-hardened even though they haven’t been touring lately. Among the standouts was guitarist Jim Schroeder, whose muscular style added tension both in his chopping accompaniment and his brazen solos, countered only by Mike Friedman on pedal steel.
Joyner played mainly songs off his new album, Grass, Branch & Bone, all of which already sound like standards to these ears. People are saying it’s the best album he’s ever made, and maybe they’re right. This is the first time I’ve felt that songs from one of his albums could be used in a movie soundtrack or would fit into rotation on a radio station — very likely not something that Joyner was shooting for when he make the album, but wouldn’t it be a kick in the head?
Opening was Outlaw Con Bandana — Brendan Hagberg and Pearl Lovejoy Boyd — playing earthy folk songs with Hagberg either on banjo or acoustic guitar. He’s a throwback performer, a throwback songwriter to a folk style of an earlier time, updated lyrically with stories from his life. It’s the kind of music where you’ll find yourself listening and remembering stories from your own past.
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Desaparecidos finally announced that their next album, Payola, comes out June 23 on Epitaph. The band released a new track, “City on the Hill,” as part of the announcement. The song, below, feature’s Cursive’s Tim Kasher. Album pre-orders can be made here.
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Tonight at The Waiting Room is the band that Omaha World-Herald music writer Kevin Coffey declared as his favorite act from this year’s South By Southwest Festival — Dead Sara. (I never caught them when I was in Austin). Opening is Wans and Freakabout. $15, 8 p.m.
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Reception will be spotty this week at Lazy-i central as I’ll be on the road. There may or may not be updates (but there probably will be). your best bet is too keep checking back, over and over again…
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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
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