Ladyfinger, Clarence Tilton, Gymshorts tonight; Amanda Deboer, Relax It’s Science, Big Al Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm August 26, 2016
Ladyfinger at O'Leaver's Aug. 1, 2015. The band plays O'Leaver's again tonight...

Ladyfinger at O’Leaver’s Aug. 1, 2015. The band plays O’Leaver’s again tonight…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The answer to yesterday’s #TBT photo was Death Cab for Cutie at Sokol Underground in May 2000. Lots of people got it right. More #TBT trivia coming soon…

There are quite a few local shows this weekend. Here’s the highlights:

A birthday celebration tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s (for Francis) features a performance by the one and only Ladyfinger. How long has it been since we’ve seen these guys on stage? (Uh, judging from the above photo, about a year?). Not sure exactly at what time tonight Ladyfinger will be playing, but it’ll be after 9:30. $5 gets you in.

Over at Reverb Lounge Omaha’s top southern-friend C&W band Clarence Tilton headlines. Bucka Ruse opens. Put on your cowboy hat and mosey on down. $7, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Brooklyn garage-punk band Gymshorts (Burger Records) plays at Milk Run with The Ridgways. $7, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile over at the Down Under Lounge (with the Sidedoor Stage), Lincoln band Commander Kilroy plays with Faded. No idea if there’s a cover. Show starts at 9.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Omaha Under the Radar founder Amanda Deboer has an in-store at Almost Music in the Blackstone District. Joining Amanda is Kyle Jessen, Ridgelines and Big Slur (Dan Scheuerman of Deleted Scenes). $5, 7 p.m.

Also tomorrow night O’Leaver’s welcomes Relax, It’s Science along with the Big Al Band (headliner) and Army of 2600. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday is also Dundee Day, which means bands will be playing on a stage set up on Underwood sometime after 4 p.m. I have no idea what the line-up is, though it rarely features indie bands. Man, do I miss Dario Day, which used to be held in conjunction with Dundee Day, and featured cool bands and great beer. Come on, Dario, bring it back…

That’s it for the weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great one…

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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#TBT: Guess the band, venue and date…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:50 pm August 25, 2016


by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

For this week’s Throwback Thursday special, guess the band in the above photo, along with the venue and approximate date. Here’s a hint: These out-of-towners have played here about a dozen times since, including at a rather majestic downtown venue… Put your guesses in the comments section.

The only show worth mentioning tonight is local surf-rock band The Sub-Vectors are playing down at Slowdown Jr. Joining them are The Regulation and The Fat Timmys. $7, 9 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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New Faint video; Car Seat Headrest returns in November; Kevin Seconds (7 Seconds), Kait Berreckman tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:55 pm August 24, 2016
At Brad's Corner during last week's Benson First Friday festivities, from left, are Matt Whipkey, Kait Berreckman and Brad Hoshaw. Berreckman celebrates the release of her debut album tonight at O'Leaver's.

Kait Berreckman, center, during a recent First Friday performance at Brad’s Corner in Benson. Berreckman celebrates the release of her debut album tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Let me be the last to the party to tell you about the new Faint video for “Skylab 1979.” I’m just now watching it for the first time over my lunch hour. Pretty cool. Directed by band members Todd Fink and Graham Ulicny. The song, taken from the upcoming CAPSULE: 1999-2016 collection (via Saddle Creek) sounds like classic Faint, which means it’ll blend right into the compilation. Check it out below:

* * *

Wouldn’t you know it, on the Monday after Maha One Percent Productions announces that festival standout Car Seat Headrest will be playing The Waiting Room Nov. 2. For $15, I’ll be there. Wonder what other Maha festival performers will be coming through town again soon…

* * *

Kinda busy night tonight show-wise…

Tonight at The Brothers lounge Kevin Seconds of the hardcore band 7 Seconds headlines with Steve Soto of The Adolescents and The Broke Loose. $10, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Waiting Room Ace Frehley (formerly of KISS, though does anyone ever really leave that band?) headlines with SIMO. $40, 8 p.m.

And down at fabulous O’Leaver’s (where I’m sure there was a river just outside their door last night) Kait Berreckman celebrates the release of her debut album Battle Scenes. Joining her are Soul Tree and Tara Vaughan. $5, 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Another year, another Maha; the day in photos; Hockey Dad tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:59 pm August 22, 2016
The crowd with hands in the air, as directed by Vince Staples during Saturday's Maha Music Festival.

The crowd with hands in the air, as directed by Vince Staples during Saturday’s Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve written a lengthy review of Saturday’s Maha Music Festival, but it won’t appear until the September issue of The Reader comes out in a couple weeks. Boo!

That said, here’s the CliffsNotes version: The weather was great, the park was wet, and the music for the most part was pretty good. Favorite bands of the day were (no surprise) Car Seat Headrest, Diet Cig (actually a huge surprise considering how poor their Slowdown set was a few months back) and Grimes. Diarrhea Planet also was a surprise, as I’ve never been a fan of their records.

All the locals I saw were good, but especially See Through Dresses. Matthew Sweet sounded shit-loads better than he did at 1200 Club a year or so ago (but how could he not considering how poor the sound was that night?). That said, he played too long. Someone should have told him he wasn’t the headliner.

Jay Farrar Trio was fine. Kind of boring, actually. Vince Staples did not resonate with me, but I don’t like that style of tuneless hyper-rap (but the crowd sure did). The Joy Formidable were technically on point playing forgettable songs.

Who am I missing? Oh yeah, the headliner. I made it through three Passion Pit songs before heading out. They weren’t awful, they just weren’t that interesting. But as I say in the review, I’ve never stuck around for the full set of Maha’s closing band.

Anyway, read the whole review when it comes out long after you’ve forgotten this year’s festival. It’ll be like Groundhog Day for those of you who went (Yes, I miss the days when The Reader was a weekly…). In the meantime, here are some photos taken at Saturday’s show…

Diet Cig drew a surprisingly large crowd for playing so early in the day.

Diet Cig drew a surprisingly large crowd for playing so early in the day.

 

See Through Dresses are always solid.

See Through Dresses are always solid.

 

Jay Farrar Trio were the first ones on the big Weitz Stage Saturday.

Jay Farrar Trio were the first ones on the big Weitz Stage Saturday.

 

Diarrhea Planet and their four guitarists. Loud. Fun.

Diarrhea Planet and their four guitarists. Loud. Fun.

 

Warren Buffett sings an a capella version of "Feelings" during Maha. It was... touching.

Warren Buffett sings an a capella version of “Feelings” during Maha. It was… touching. (Just kidding, don’t sue me, Warren).

 

Car Seat Headrest gave my favorite performance of the festival.

Car Seat Headrest gave my favorite performance of the festival.

Matthew Sweet on the Javlin Stage.

Matthew Sweet on the Javlin Stage.

 

Grimes and one of her crazy dancers.

Grimes and one of her crazy dancers.

 

Passion Pit peering through the smoky haze.

Passion Pit peering through the smoky haze.

* * *

Tonight Kanine Records act Hockey Dad headlines at Slowdown Jr. with Muuy Biien and Fun Runner. $12, 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Maha Music Festival weekend (and Car Seat Headrest preview); Wagonblasters, Chemicals, Your Friend tonight; Diet Cig after Maha…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:29 pm August 19, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The crowd gets into Atmosphere at The Maha Music Festival, 8/15/15. This year's festival happens tomorrow.

The crowd gets into Atmosphere at The Maha Music Festival, 8/15/15. This year’s festival happens tomorrow.

In my Reader write-up I mentioned Car Seat Headrest as the band I’m most excited to see play at this year’s Maha Music Festival, which (of course) is tomorrow at Aksarben Village. The band’s new album, Teens of Denial (2016, Matador), is far and away my favorite record so far this year. A double-album, every one of the 12 tracks is a keeper, which makes it a throw-back  to an era when albums (not just songs) mattered, and so did the words.

Considering the over-riding theme — a young man’s struggle with depression, paranoia, anger, lonesomeness, and a world filled with ennui — I guess you could call it a concept album. Car Seat Headrest (one of the worst band names anyone could dream up) is mostly singer/songwriter Will Toledo, a 24-year-old dude from Leesburg, Virginia, now residing in Seattle. Chris Lombardi at Matador Records signed him in 2015 conceivably after hearing the best bits of the 12 albums he released on Bandcamp. It’s a story that kind of reminds me of how Matador signed Liz Phair after hearing her Girly Songs demos.

Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial (2016, Matador)

Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial (2016, Matador)

The band’s debut, Teens of Style, came out in 2015; but its Teens of Denial that represents the first solid, cohesive release by Toledo. Sonically, the album is an amalgamation of 90’s-era indie, but most beholden to Pavement and Stephen Malkmus. A song like, say, “Destroyed By Hippie Powers,” sounds like a tuneful out-take from Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain sung by a doped up Ray Davies of The Kinks. If you’re a fan of any of those classic ’90s releases on Matador or Homestead or Grass you’ll be right at home here.

Thematically, Toledo paints a grey portrait of a nerdy white dude trying to fit into a hipster world filled with drugs and assholes where he doesn’t (think he) belong(s). It’s personal confessions taken from a movie John Hughes would have directed had he survived until the 2010s, with lyrical clarity matched only by Westerberg (or our very own Conor Oberst). Each song has at least one deviously clever line (and more). Some of my faves:

“Fill in the Blank” — You have no right to be depressed / You haven’t tried hard enough to like it.

“Vincent” — If I’m being honest with myself / I haven’t been honest with myself.

“Destroyed by Hippies” — It’s more than you bargained for / But it’s less than what you paid for.

“(Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Using) Drugs with Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem” — Drugs are better, drugs are better with / Friends are better, friends are better with drugs.

“Not What I Needed” — I’ve been waiting all my life for some real good porn / Something with meaning, something fulfilling / I’d like to make my shame count for something.

“Drunk Drivers / Killer Whales” — We are not a proud race / It’s not a race at all / We’re just trying, I’m just trying to get home.

“1937 State Park” — I didn’t want you to hear / That shame in my voice / My pain is my own.

“Cosmic Hero” — And of course I’m alright with death / But do why you talk about it so goddamn much?

“The Ballad of the Costa Concordia” — How was I supposed to remember to grab my backpack after I set it down to play basketball?

“Connect the Dots (The Saga of Frank Sinatra)” — Little boy says I’ll touch the heart of the nation / Little boy says I’ll punch the heart of everyone.

“Joe Goes to School” — I’m a tourist attraction / Biking down Dog Street.

There’s more lines and better ones and they all sound better in context and surrounded by power chords and blister-fast drums (at least during the upbeat ones). If you listen to the album with the lyric sheet, as I did, you’ll walk away a bit befuddled, a bit depressed and sorry for young Toledo who (probably) doesn’t have anything in his life that deserves your pity. There is a semblance of hope that underlines the overall experience, a realization that this character, this kid is smart enough to figure it all out on his own.

It’s a great album with a message about depression that fits well with Maha’s overarching mental health theme this year. Who knows if it’ll translate live on the Maha stage. I’ve seen a lot of bands who know how to write great songs and record terrific albums that wind up being dead-boring live.  We’ll see tomorrow.

Those going to tomorrow’s festival, everything you’d want to know about Maha is available right here at the Hear Nebraska website. You can, of course, also go to the Maha website for details. GA tickets are $55 today. I think they go up DOS. And Maha still has VIP tickets available for $185, which is a steal if you like most of the bands.

* * *

Diet Cig at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016. The band plays the Maha afterparty at Reverb tomorrow night.

Diet Cig at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016. The band plays the Maha Festival afterparty at Reverb Lounge tomorrow night.

Maha isn’t the only thing going on this weekend.

Tonight at Reverb Lounge Relax, It’s Science headlines a show that includes Wagonblasters (Gary Dean Davis’ latest and greatest) and Pyrate. $5, 9 p.m.

Around the corner at The Waiting Room, Chemicals (amazing prog-jazz-rock band featuring some of Omaha’s best talent) opens for Funk Trek. Chemicals on this big stage could be something else. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Your Friend headlines a big show also featuring Chicago’s The Dan Ryan, Briner and Sam Adam Martin. $7, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night is usually dedicated to Maha after parties, but this year there’s only one, at Reverb with See Through Dresses, Bien Fang, Anna McClellan and (just announced this morning) “special guest” Diet Cig. There had been rumors or rumblings that Car Seat Headrest was the special guest, but apparently not. The free afterparty show starts at 10 p.m. Last year’s O’Leaver’s afterparty featured a set by Speedy Ortiz that eclipsed their set at Maha (and which you can hear right here).

That’s all I got. See you at Aksarben tomorrow, and have a great weekend.

* * *

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Nomaha: Where did all the good arena shows go?; Pro-Magnum 7-inch release, Druids tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:36 pm August 18, 2016
Pro-Magnum at O'Leaver's, March 9, 2013. The band celebrates the release of a new 7-inch tonight at O'Leaver's.

Pro-Magnum at O’Leaver’s, March 9, 2013. The band celebrates the release of a new 7-inch tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Following up on yesterday’s blog entry about the demolition of the Omaha Civic Auditorium, it brings up the question: Why doesn’t Omaha get arena shows like it used to, or at least any good arena shows?

In fact, the term “Nomaha” has become a thing lately — the word signifies another fantastic tour that has been announced with no Omaha date, i.e., Nomaha. In the old days, back in the ’70s and ’80s, Omaha was known as a rock town and was a recognized tour stop for most arena-rock tours. Styx, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Yes, Boston all those classic rock bands they now play on Z-92 played at the Civic Auditorium. There’s a reason why Grand Funk name-checked Omaha in “We’re an American Band.”

When was the last time you saw a good concert at CenturyLink? The most recent arena rock show that comes to mind was that Ozzy Osborne tour kick-off. No one plays CenturyLink except shiny, crappy children’s acts like Bieber and Taylor Swift, pick-up truck country stars or has-been legacy acts. If you want to see a “larger-drawing” quality modern rock band, you’re very likely going to have to drive to Kansas City, Denver or Minneapolis because they rarely stop in Omaha any more.

Part of it is a change in rock music styles — music just ain’t the same as it was 30 years ago and probably never will be again. That said, there are plenty of arena acts still out there I’d like to see. Off the top of my head: LCD Sound System, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Beck, Tame Impala, add your favorite to the list. A quick check shows that through the balance of the year CenturyLink has two concerts scheduled: Jimmy Buffett and Def Leppard. That’s it.

So why, when it comes to arena shows, has Omaha become fly-over (or drive-by) country? I haven’t a clue. Could it be that MECA doesn’t know what its doing? Could it be the cost and/or hassle associated with CenturyLink? Could it be the prominence of the festival circuit cuts down on available dates? Could it be that Omaha simply can’t draw a crowd large enough to justify booking these high-dollar ticket acts?

Look, we’re lucky we get the small- and mid-sized indie shows we do get, thanks to 1% Productions and Perpetual Nerves. And some larger shows do make it to Stir Cove and Sumter. I guess I’m just nostalgic about the old Civic Auditorium days…

* * *

Speaking of arena-quality rock bands, tonight an act that would have been right at home at the Civic Auditorium is taking the stage at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Of course I’m talking about Pro-Magnum, who tonight celebrates the release of their new single, “Desinfectar” b/w “Black Iron Tongue” (which you can hear and buy digitally right here). Also on the bill is Des Moines psych-metal band Druids (described as being influenced by metal behemoths such as Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Mastodon). Local doom rockers Super Moon opens. $5, 9:30 p.m. Pick up  the vinyl while you can.

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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They started tearing down a little piece of my childhood yesterday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:56 pm August 17, 2016
Demolition has begun on the Civic Auditorium...

Demolition has begun on the Civic Auditorium…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

That headline may sound a bit over-dramatic, but the first place I saw a rock concert was the Omaha Civic Auditorium.

It was 1977 or ’78, the band was Kansas, who was on the road supporting their LP, Point of Know Return, which came out in ’77. I was 13 and had just moved with my family from Omaha to Ft. Calhoun. My new pal Scott Humphrey had gotten his hands on comp tickets from his dad. I have no idea how we got down there or how we got home, but I remember how cool it was going to a rock show.

Kansas wouldn’t have been my first choice — I didn’t have any of their records — but, come on, who didn’t like “Carry On Wayward Son” at the time? Bad-ass. Like all shows at the Civic back then, all seats were General Admission. We got there early, waited in line, and chanted “Open the Fucking Door!” just like everyone else. We pushed through the gates and got seats on the first tier along stage left. Down below on the floor hippies sat in circles and passed around doobies or threw Frisbees in the foggy smoke.

I don’t remember an opener, just the lights dropping and Kansas taking the stage, surrounded by curtains of green laser lights — the first time I’d seen real live lasers! I was surprised at the sound level — ear-splitting but awesome. And the band was on point. This was an era when arena prog-rock bands like Kansas, Yes and Genesis ruled FM radio. Afterward, I ended up buying a couple Kansas albums (and still listen to their 1978 live album, Two For the Show, which sort of documents that tour that came through Omaha).

Over the next few years I went to a lot of shows at the Civic — Journey, Styx, The Cars, Van Halen among them — and always had a great time. The first time I drank beer was before a Pink Floyd laser-light show at the Civic (It was Old Style, btw, and it sucked). The last concert I attended at the Civic was Prince, sometime in the ’90s. I never saw a bad show at the Civic, and by far preferred seeing bands play there rather than at CenturyLink, which has been nothing but a disappointment from day one.

And now come the bulldozers. I suppose it was time. If the city or MECA wasn’t going to book the place (and they certainly could have — a 9,000-seat arena has its advantages) then they might as well tear it down.  We’ve got The Baxter now, and the one in Ralston. And arena rock has sort of died away, for me anyway. I’d much rather see a band at O’Leaver’s or a 1% club than at an arena. Still, like any part of your past, it hurts to see it go…

* * *

We’re in a mini-drought show-wise, which I guess is fine considering the Maha Festival is this Saturday…

* * *

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Live Review: Protomartyr; Maha Festival ED explains how the line-up was chosen (in the column)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 11:52 am August 15, 2016
Protomartyr at Slowdown Jr., Aug. 12, 2016.

Protomartyr at Slowdown Jr., Aug. 12, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Protomartyr brought the big noise with them Friday night at Slowdown, Jr.  The four-piece, fronted by nattily dressed Joe Casey, who looked like a young, slim version of John Goodman (get ready, Joe, you’re going to look just like him when you’re in your 60s), belted out at least 45 minutes of pure indie punk, gliding on Greg Ahee’s amazing guitar tone (and skill) and Casey’s barking vocal delivery.

Those vocals: Call them atonal, call them simply yelling, the closest we’ve got is Gary Dean Davis’ enthusiastic bark. Or maybe Craig Finn’s talk vocals, but that’s not quite right. Finn always sounds like a college guy snottily reading slam poetry when he fronts The Hold Steady, whereas Casey’s bark vocals seem more like someone scolding you about what’ll happen if you don’t start paying attention. And whereas Hold Steady songs play like ironic pictures of hipster America, Casey’s vision is darker, psychologically dystopian, not so much lacking in hope as providing a warning. But fun nonetheless.

Casey sold it all with his visual cues — a sort of sarcastic glare or look of indifference — as if none of it matters because you’re not listening, anyway. You’re just trying to dance. Which they did. Friday night’s crowd (of around 75?) was one of the youngest I’ve seen at an indie punk show, with mainly of young women crowding the stage. Mark Kozelek would have been envious.

* * *

You’re going to be hearing a shit-ton about the Maha Music Festival this week, seeing as it happens this coming Saturday. I’m adding to the din with this month’s Over the Edge column in The Reader wherein Maha Executive Director Lauren Schomburg explains how they came up with this year’s line-up, which features electro-dance headliner Passion Pit. Read the column here.

Apparently Ryan Adams was in the running. So were a lot of other acts, but in the end, this line-up made the most sense both fiscally and for their target audience (a younger crowd than in year’s past).

I asked Schomburg what her “dream line-up” would be. Her answer: “Probably some combination of Florence and the Machine, Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem.” Yes, that would be impressive. It also would cost a bazillion dollars and would have to be held somewhere much larger than Aksarben Village.

At the time of the interview, Schomburg said Maha’s ticket sales had been slower than last year’s festival. She pointed out that festivals have taken a hit this year across the board nationally. Bonnaroo 2016 was the least attended year in that festival’s history, with attendance down 45 percent since its 2011 peak. Attendance at the 80/35 Festival was down as well versus the previous year.

Schomburg said the election year could be playing into the attendance decline as well as the fact that we seem to be saturated with festivals these days. That said, Maha’s line-up appeals to a younger audience, an audience that waits longer to purchase tickets. Expect a solid run-up in sales this week and the day of event. “The community is always supportive,” she said, adding that sponsorships “have been phenomenal.”

* * *

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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About that Tommy Stinson event; Protomartyr, Channel Pressure tonight; Bummers Eve Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 11:01 am August 12, 2016
Protomartyr at 2014's South by Southwest Festival. The band plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

Protomartyr at 2014’s South by Southwest Festival. The band plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A brief comment about last night’s Tommy Stinson (of The Replacements) interview/performance at Hi-Fi House. Someone asked why I didn’t write about the event in Lazy-i yesterday. The reason: To my knowledge, the event wasn’t a “public event.” You had to be “invited” to attend. So writing about it would have been like presenting you with a shiny coin and then snatching it away at the last minute.

How does one get invited to Hi-Fi House events? I’m not sure. You can become a member of Hi-Fi House for an annual fee, which is applied on a sliding scale depending on if you’re a musician, a member of the local music industry, or a civilian. One assumes members are automatically invited to these kinds of events. I received an invitation, but was unable to attend due to a prior engagement.

I’m told that one of these days in the very near future I or some other member of the media will be granted an interview with the folks who run Hi-Fi House and explain their services and fees. Until then, the music clubhouse on Farnam remains a mystery, though you can always drop in and ask someone about how to get involved.

* * *

My above-mentioned “prior event” that kept me from Stinson was supposed to keep me in Chicago all weekend, but my plans changed overnight, which means I’ll be able to go to tonight’s Protomartyr show at Slowdown Jr. This is one of the highlight concerts of the summer, in my opinion. Here’s how I described their performance at South By Southwest a couple years ago:

“The Detroit-based punk band is fronted by a guy who looks like an insurance salesman, complete with a sensible haircut and full-on business attire, but who has a singing style akin to Husker-era Mould or The Fall’s Mark E. Smith. Deadpan anger, straight-faced disgust, like an upset father with a controlled rage and a back-up band that is pure Gang of Four post punk.” 

Their last album, The Agent Intellect (2015, Hardly Art) topped a lot of year-end best-of lists last year, and received a whopping 8.2 on the Pitchfork meter. Yeah, these guys are still pretty red hot. No Thanks and Shrinks opens. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets are $12. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one sells out.

If it does, you can always go see Channel Pressure, a project featuring Todd Fink of The Faint and Graham Ulicny of Reptar (and The Faint), perform at House of Loom tonight. It’s part of a party they’re calling Flesh Danse, which also features DJ sets by members of The Faint. $5, 8 p.m.

Saturday night over at fabulous O’Leaver’s its Bummers Eve, described by writer Art Fin as “Simple, fun surf punk trio from Cincinnati with lots of reverb and distorted vocals that reminds me of Wavves, early Crocodiles, maybe Terry Malts and going back to one-chord wonders like the Ramones.” Check out “I Want Your Drugs” below. Also on the bill are The Sunks and Ridgeways. $5, 9:30 p.m.

That’s all I have. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

* * *

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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New Pro-Magnum 7-inch (out Aug. 18); Clarence Tilton’s Craig Meier joins Hear Nebraska; Those Far Out Arrows christen the (new) Scriptown stage…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:56 pm August 11, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Pro-Magnum, Desinfectar b/w Black Iron Tongue

Pro-Magnum, Desinfectar b/w Black Iron Tongue

Music kingpin Johnny Vredenburg, frontman of indie metal act Pro-Magnum, says his band will be releasing a new 7-inch, “Desinfectar” b/w “Black Iron Tongue” at their August 18 O’Leaver’s show. “It was recorded in the fall of 2015 by Ben Brodin at ARC studios,” Vredenburg said. “We’ve been sitting on these for a little longer than anticipated. We sent them off to the pressing plant right around Record Store Day, so, of course, the big dogs slow-up the pressing of smaller runs like ours.”

The tracks also became available today on Bandcamp (but they’re going to sound a whole lot better when you hear them on vinyl). Both songs are very much bad-ass. If you like classic devil-horn metal bolted down by a massive rhythm section you’re going to dig these tracks.

In addition to Vredenburg on bass and vocals, Pro-Magnum includes guitarist John Laughlin (Montee Men), guitarist Alex Kinner (Bib, Borealis) and legendary drummer Pat Oakes (Ladyfinger). That Aug. 18 show will also feature Des Moines band Druids and locals Super Moon.

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Ever notice some local non-profit Board of Directors are a mystery? Who runs these organizations? There’s no mystery with Hear Nebraska. Talk about your transparency, they have their entire Board of Directors listed right there in black and white on their website, so you always know who to love (or who to blame).

I mention this because the HN Board just welcomed a new member — Craig Meier, who you may recognize from the alt-country band Clarence Tilton. Meier also just happens to be the CEO of Medical Solutions. Craig isn’t the only new face on the board. Within the past year, Hear Nebraska welcomed new board members Kristine Hull (who’s also the CFO at Heartland Family Services) and Nic Swiercek (a director at Nebraska Appleseed).

With these additions, HN Board is now a massive 9-member rock ‘n’ roll monstrosity (of which I’ve been a member since its birth, what seems like 40 years ago). Find out more about what HN is and does (things like The Good Living Tour and the upcoming Lincoln Calling Festival) right here.

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One show on the roster tonight: Those Far Out Arrows play at Scriptown Brewing Company in the Blackstone District. If my memory serves, this will be the first show hosted at the brew pub. And in addition to great music, the pub is taking $1 off pints from 8 to 11 p.m. Music starts at 8 and it’s free.

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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