Another bleak (music) weekend; Little Brazil premieres new video…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:32 pm May 20, 2022
Screen cap from the new video by Little Brazil for the title track off their forthcoming album, Just Leave.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

From an indie music perspective, there literally is nothing going this weekend.

The 1% calendar is loaded with grunty metal acts (even Slowdown has a chest-beater metal show). The Sydney has DJs all weekend. All this amidst rising cries that, despite the addition of so many new music venues (none of which have opened yet) and the retreat of COVID (for now), when it comes to national indie tours, we still live in NOmaha. Fact check: This is not new. It’s been this way for awhile. We’re just noticing it more because we’re getting back out there post-pandemic.

Look, I’m fine with it. The weather is going to be godawful cold, anyway. We have Built to Spill next Thursday, Belle & Sebastian next Saturday. But it really sucks that there aren’t even any local indie shows going on this weekend, either. And The Brothers is gone, so… WTF we supposed to do?

Anyway, it’ll give me more time to watch the new video by Little Brazil for the title track off their upcoming album, Just Leave. This one has a rogue’s gallery of talent involved including director Bill Sitzmann, videographer Django-Greenblatt-Seay, not to mention Tony Bonacci, Scott Drickey, Jon Tvrdik and Jon Ochsner. Heck, these guys should be working on a feature film project instead of a music video. When you’re Little Brazil and Max Track Records, you can attract the big guns, which is exactly what they’ve done here.

The Sydney has never looked better, but now you’ll see why I’ve never used their bathroom. Little Brazil’s album release show for Just Leave is June 4 at The Waiting Room with Uh Oh and Las Cruxes (Hey, that’s on a weekend!). Sucks that I’m going to be out of town, as this will be one of the biggest music scene events of the year…

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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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ADULT., Kontravoid, Spike Hellis, Southern Culture on the Skids, Dressy Bessy tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:59 pm May 17, 2022
ADULT. plays tonight at Reverb Lounge

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Busy Tuesday.

There’s a goth dance party going on tonight. Detroit electroclash / electro-punk band ADULT. brings their synth-style techno to the Reverb. The duo of Adam Miller and Nicola Kuperus have had their last few albums released by Dais Records, including the most recent, 2022’s Becoming Undone. Opening are two EDM up-and-comers — LA-based masked man Kontravoid and fellow Angelinos Spike Hellis. This is a show that should have been held in a converted Meatpacking District warehouse circa 1988. Bring your (leather) dancing shows. 8 p.m., $17.

Meanwhile, just a stone’s throw away at The Waiting Room, Southern Culture on the Skids returns. The Chapel Hill twangin’ trio has been at it for over 30 years. Their latest, At Home with Southern Culture on the Skids, was released last year on Kudzu Records. Opening is Denver’s Dressy Bessy a.k.a. Tammy Ealom, whose latest album, 2019’s Fast Faster Disaster was released by Yep Roc. You get both for $20. Starts at 8 p.m.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Belle & Sebastian moved to Slowdown; new Uh Oh; Little Brazil…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:26 pm May 16, 2022

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, looks like supply chain or labor shortage or who knows what else is continuing to hamper the work being done at The Admiral — the venue formerly known as Sokol Auditorium (read about the project here). The Admiral today posted on social media that the May 28 Belle & Sebastian concert, which I’d hoped would be my introduction to the new venue, has been moved to The Slowdown.

No doubt the only people more bummed by the move than me are One Percent and Mammoth Productions, who run the venue. It begs the question what other shows will be moved in the coming weeks/months? The next big “indie” show slated for the Admiral is CHVRCHES June 15, just a couple weeks beyond that B&S date, and then Neko Case June 23, and then Bright Eyes Weekend July 2-3.

But… just this morning it was announced that Sunny Day Real Estate and Appleseed Cast have been scheduled perform at The Admiral Sept. 14…

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Local indie band Uh Oh last week dropped a new video for the track “Copperhead” from their LP Good Morning. Check it:

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We’re getting closer to the release of the next Little Brazil masterpiece, Just Leave, out June 3 on Max Trax Records. Pre-order here. The band dropped the title track via Bandcamp. Check it:

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Chnnll Saturday; Nilüfer Yanya, Ada Lea Sunday at Slowdown…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:23 pm May 13, 2022
Nilüfer Yanya plays Sunday night at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well I was all set to tell you that “it looks like another O’Leaver’s weekend,” and then I get word that Saturday night’s Lightning Stills/Wagon Blasters show has been postponed! No word on the rescheduled date but hopefully it’ll be sometime in June, says Mr. Craig. Fingers crossed.

That really messed up my weekend, but whaddya gonna do? Here’s what we have left:

Saturday night, Chicago indie band Chnnll headlines at Reverb. Frontman Chris Davidson worked with producer Joey Waronker (R.E.M., Beck) on his 2020 debut full-length that included some help from Death Cab’s Zac Rae. Bach Mai and Bad Self Portraits open at 8 p.m. $12.

Sunday night night, London-based singer/songwriter Nilüfer Yanya headlines at Slowdown Jr. Her latest album, Painless (2022, ATO), received Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” designation (along with an 8.4 rating). Opening the show is a sort of recent addition to the Saddle Creek Records roster, Ada Lea, who’s on the road supporting her latest, One Hand on the Steering Wheel the Other Sewing a Garden. Also on the bill is Chicago’s Tasha. $25, 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Spirit of the Beehive, Healer…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 12:36 pm May 11, 2022
Spirit of the Beehive at Slowdown, May 10, 2022.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I went in with the worst expectations for last night’s Spirit of the Beehive show at Slowdown Jr. based on their critically acclaimed most recent album, released by Saddle Creek Records. Instead, I was knocked on my ass by a band that’s poised to take it to the next level.

Live, SofB’s sound is more conventional, more sleek and, frankly, more rocking. The guitar-fueled five-piece shared lead vocals among three members, but was mostly held down by “frontman” guitarist Zack Schwartz whose vocal style vacillates between Frank Black and David Gilmore. Just as vital to the sound is fellow lead vocalist Rivka Ravede, who owned on bass; and power-angry-psycho vocalist synth dude Corey Wichlin.

Without the clutter and droopy/weirdo effects heard on the recordings, the band is white-knuckle tight on rock songs that have the spirit and energy of early Pixies or Sonic Youth. Fans of the wonky samples and noise effects littered throughout the last album take heart — the band grouped the cluttered noise between songs, playing the prerecorded tracks while they busily tuned instruments or changed gear.

Driving home from the gig, I listened again to Entertainment, Death thinking I might have misjudged the record, but no. It’s just as acidic and distressingly ugly as I thought it was. Give me a live recording of this band over their records any day. The only time last night that they slipped into art-prog territory was late in the set, closing with fan favorite “I Suck the Devil’s Cock” followed by a fantastic version of “Fell Asleep with a Vision” from 2018’s Hypnic Jerks album (Tiny Engines).

Healer at Slowdown, May 10, 2022.

Opening was local super-group Healer fronted by sound engineer/musician Dan Brennan (Ladyfinger), who performed seated behind an iPad and notebook, making me wonder why more bands don’t play sitting down. Their heavy set was punctuated by a sweet tribute to recently passed-away local musician John Klemmensen.

John covered a Ladyfinger song at The Sydney. He actually did fucking better than us,” Brennan said. “God bless you, John. You’re up there somewhere,” he added before the band ripped into the cover of Ladyfinger’s “Dark Horse,” that was a set standout along with the song that followed it, a ripper in many parts.

Solid crowd of (guesstimate) around 75.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Spirit of the Beehive, Healer tonight at Slowdown…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 7:06 am May 10, 2022
Healer at The Slowdown, May 15, 2015. The band returns tonight opening for Spirit of the Beehive.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Spirit of the Beehive is one of Saddle Creek Records’ most lauded recent signings. The band’s last studio album, Entertainment, Death, released in April 2021, was a PitchforkBest New Music” selection. The review in Exclaim! sums it up better than I could after having gotten through it a couple times: “Spirit of the Beehive’s unsettling compositions are not for casual listening. On Entertainment, Death every fragmented idea is thoughtfully ripped apart and stitched back together with the gusto of a delirious genius.

This is complicated music that takes great effort to listen to (endure), and is designed as such. I would describe it with the same word I’d use to describe Black Midi’s music — challenging. BTW, it was announced yesterday that Black Midi will be playing Slowdown Oct. 8 in the big room. Quite a get. It’ll be interesting to see how well that show draws.

It’s the utter complexity of their compositions that makes the notion of these bands’ live performances intriguing. Beehive live could be either startling in its creativity, or irritating after long-term exposure. The fans say there is a method to their madness, whereas the uninitiated may only hear noodling and forced “art.” I suspect I fall somewhere in the middle. Regardless, it’s great to see Saddle Creek taking risks.

Opening is Healer, local supergroup helmed by former Slowdown sound engineer Dan Brennan with two members of Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship — Andrew Gustafson on guitar and John Svatos on bass — and two members of UUVVWWZ — David Ozinga on drums and Jim Schroeder on bass VI and Rhodes (or at least that was the line-up the last time I saw them). I would pay $18 just to hear Healer, which is the ticket price for tonight’s show. This is a small-room show and starts at 8 p.m.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Solid Goldberg, Living Conditions, Las Cruxes, BFF tonight; Bandcamp Friday…

Category: Blog — @ 1:17 pm May 6, 2022
Solid Goldberg at O’Leaver’s, Nov. 26, 2019. The man performs tonight at The Sydney in Benson.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Pro-tip: Force yourself to see those touring indie bands playing on weeknights, because those tours rarely come through Omaha on weekends. Our weekend stages are dominated by local acts, and this weekend is no exception

In fact, it’s all happening tonight, starting at The Sydney in Benson, where it’s BFF (that’s Benson First Friday for the uninitiated, which features art shows throughout the district). Headlining tonight is Solid Goldberg, the one man rock project of Omaha musician Dave Goldberg. SG has become one of those “see it to believe it” rock events, a multi-media spectacle. Also tonight at The Sydney, indie rock band Living Conditions, rockers Garst and DJ WaffLEZ. $10, 10 p.m.

Just down the street, Reverb Lounge is hosting a punk show headlined by Field Day (ex-Dag Nasty) with Cordial Spew, Hand Painted Police Car and Mere Shadows. $20, 9 p.m.

Over at the Down Under Lounge on Leavenworth, NYC’s Brook Pridemore headlines with Chicago’s Kelroy and Omaha punk band Las Cruxes. 9 p.m. $7.

There are no shows on my radar for the rest of the weekend.

Also, today is Bandcamp Friday, which means if you’ve been thinking about buying downloads of any of your favorite albums, today is the day to do it as Bandcamp waives all fees and passes its share onto the bands. Some record labels are following suit.

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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Mudhoney, Violenteer; A Deer A Horse, No Thanks, Las Cruxes tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm May 5, 2022
Mudhoney at The Slowdown, May 4, 2022.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

One of the good things about post-pandemic rock shows is that clubs seem to have adopted a weeknight, two-band, 8 p.m.-start-time policy, which translates to getting home by 10:30, a nice contrast to the old days when weeknight shows meant dragging your tired carcass home at 1 a.m. and then having to drag it to the office the following morning with four hours’ sleep.

Whether Mudhoney was rebelling against that policy or actually had technical problems last night at The Slowdown will forever be a mystery. One of the band’s grips fiddled with the stage microphones, tested guitars, tested drums, then tested the microphones again for nearly 20 minutes, so that the 9:15 set didn’t start until around 9:50. A classic rock ’n’ roll move? I have a feeling someone was getting high backstage.

In any event, the legendary Seattle four-piece ripped into a set of grunge-flavored psych rock that highlighted musicians whose skills have been honed to a microfine edge. Standouts were legendary drummer Dan Peters in fedora, who was showcased in an extended drum solo early in the set, and lead guitarist Steve Turner, whose tone and style were pure arena gold. Frontman Mark Arm, looking like a rock ’n’ roll version of Lucius Malfoy, cracked heavy his own guitar solos and was in prefect voice, no doubt just as he’s done for the past three decades.

Listening to this band was like staring at a musical moment captured in amber, their sound the epitome of ‘90s-era big-guitar alt rock. For better or worse, music has changed dramatically over the past 30 years, though the audience only slightly so. Among the gray-haired fans was sprinkled a new generation of rock fans that looked much more clean-cut than the grunge rockers I remember from the early ‘90s.

Violenteer at The Slowdown, May 4, 2022.

Opening (on time) was Omaha’s own Violenteer. Last night’s performance felt heavier and more sludgy then their set a couple weeks ago at O’Leaver’s. The band’s double-bass attack was roped in by Eric Ebers’ precise drumming, and vacillated between metal, math and prog in their mostly instrumental compositions that became trance-inducing at times, especially on the set’s closing song, that went from stoner to psych rock in a deliciously Floydian fashion.

Leader Randy Cotton mentioned from stage that the band will be entering the studio to record a new album in the near future. More to come…

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Two shows again to choose from on this Cinco de Mayo.

Over at The Sydney in Benson, Brooklyn noise rock band A Deer A Horse headlines. Joining them are Omaha punk masters No Thanks and Goofy Gooey. $10, 9 p.m. (What’d I say about weeknight shows with 2-band bills and 8 p.m. start times? Not at The Sydney).

Also tonight, Omaha punkers Las Cruxes headlines a bill at Pageturners Lounge in Dundee. Joining them are Chicago’s Kelroy and NYC’s Brook Prodemore. I’m told the first band will hit the stage at 9:30. No idea on price. BTW, this same line-up is playing tomorrow night at The Down Under.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Simon Joyner ‘Made to Order’; Mudhoney, Violenteer, Beach Bunny tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:39 pm May 4, 2022
Violenteer at O’Leaver’s April 15. The band opens for Mudhoney tonight at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Last week legendary Omaha singer/songwriter Joyner announced that in preparation for his upcoming East Coast tour in July, he’s offering a one-of-a-kind CD of home recordings of songs chosen by the purchaser. It’s like creating your personal Simon Joyner play list, then having Joyner perform and record new renditions of each song, at a starting price of $5 per song. The songs will be recorded next month and the CD will be shipped out before the July tour.

Says Joyner: “Each Made to Order CD will be packaged in a deluxe gatefold jacket, designed and screen printed by Sara Adkisson Joyner. I will inscribe, sign and hand-write your title selections. And each will of course be numbered 1/1 since they’ll all be unique. It promises to be a true labor of love but a sweet little suite of songs guaranteed to keep the customer satisfied and arriving in a sturdy, handsome package!

I can only guess how he’s going to pull this off, but figure a large percentage of buyers will choose the same songs — i.e., Simon’s greatest hits. The ones that come to mind: “Javelin,” “Joy Division,” “One for the Catholic Girls,” “The Only Living Boy in Omaha,” and of course, “Double Joe” from his Room Temperature album. But just as likely, folks will select one-off rarities like “Here Come the Balloons” from the 2003 limited edition 7-inch from Tongue Master Records.

Some very old songs may be difficult to remember but I will do my best to honor all requests!,” Joyner writes. “Here is your chance to hear a new recording of something I rarely play live, for instance, or something I wrote so long ago that I no longer remember the chords or words. I will have to go back and re-learn some, I’m sure.

Orders are being taken through the end of May. Check out his Bandcamp page for more info.

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It’s nice to see competing shows on a Wednesday night. It’s got to mean something about the return of normality, or maybe it doesn’t….

Tonight at The Slowdown, Seattle grunge-era punk legends Mudhoney headline. The band is said to have influenced such classic ‘90s acts as Nirvana and Alice in Chains, and is probably best known for their singles “Touch Me I’m Sick” and “Suck You Dry.” Their most recent release is 2019 self-release Pedazo De Pastel. Opening the show at 8 p.m. is our very own Violenteer, the double-bass-attack rock band fronted by Randy Cotton (Ravine, Ritual Device), reviewed here. Tickets are $25, and this is a No Vax No Entry show, so bring your evidence.

Also tonight, Chicago indie four-piece Beach Bunny headlines a sold-out show at The Waiting Room. The band has a new album slated for release in July on Mom+Pop Records, who also released their 2020 album Honeymoon. The bands Wednesday and Ky Voss open at 8 p.m. This also is a No Vax No Entry show.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Remembering singer/songwriter John Klemmensen…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 12:43 pm May 2, 2022
John Klemmensen and the Party at the album release show for Party All Night, Reverb Lounge, May 1, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I heard sometime Saturday that singer/songwriter John Klemmensen had died, but found almost nothing on FB about his passing or that he was even sick. It wasn’t until late last night that the tributes began pouring in, remembering John and his music and friendship.

He was a mountain of a man with a high, sweet voice that belied his size. I spoke to him at a show a month or so ago, where he said he was working on new music that he was excited about, and I was, too.

Candy Boys at O’Leaver’s July 13, 2018.

His 2015 album with his band The Party was a career benchmark for a guy who had been playing music for more than two decades, dating back to rock band Reset and up to and including his role in Landing on the Moon. The last time I saw him on stage was with the Candy Boys (Vern Fergesen on bass and Daniel Dean Leonard on drums) at O’Leaver’s in July 2018, a set of music that vacillated between Motown-flavored pop and Black Sheets of Rain-era Bob Mould rock. The content could be dark and often was, but John was always fun and funny and great to hang out with at shows.

I know he had a family and my thoughts are with them and his many friends who are missing him today. He made an indelible mark on the Omaha music scene that won’t be forgotten.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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