Love Drunk showcase tonight; Bloodcow, The Queers, Sean Pratt & The Sweats Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:48 pm March 6, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Time for the weekend.

Tonight (Friday) there’s a special Love Drunk Music Video Showcase at an Airbnb Pop-up Shop at 12th and Jackson (I have no idea what building it’s actually in. Look for signs!). Love Drunk, in case you didn’t know, is a one-take video project helmed by Django Greenblatt-Seay. Django’s shot 128 of these one shot videos (which you can see here) including for two folks who will be performing at tonight’s showcase — singer/songwriter Patrick Mainelli and James Maakestad, who you might remember from Bear country and Gus & Call. This one starts at 6. Free entry. Free booze.

By the way, it’s Benson First Friday.

Saturday night Bloodcow headlines at The Reverb Lounge in Benson. No, this is not the band’s album release party for Crystals & Lasers — that’s not until next month. This is just another reason to blow off some metal steam. Also on the bill are All Young Girls Are Machine Guns and Lincoln art rockers Universe Contest. $7, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night 1980s-era punk band The Queers play at The Hideout on South 72nd. I’m told The Hideout is now under new management! Also on the bill are Masked Intruder, Direct Hit and The Ridgeways. Tickets are $12 in Adv., $15 DOS. The show starts at 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at Fabulous O’Leaver’s its a full bill headlined by Sean Pratt and the Sweats with Annalibera, Mike Schlesinger, and Manic Pixie Dream Girls. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Did I forget 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

TBT: Lazy-i March 5, 2003: Carsinogents douse their flames; Gramps, Midwest Dilemma tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:38 pm March 5, 2015
The cover photo of the Omaha Weekly-Reader from March 5, 20114. Photo by Bill Sitzmann

The cover photo of the Omaha Weekly-Reader from March 5, 20114. Photo by Bill Sitzmann

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before we go back in time, here’s this week’s Lazy-i Podcast: Matthew Sweet speaks; Simon Joyner, Icky Blossoms, Shy Boys, J Fernandez and Bloodcow and what’s happening this weekend. Fun!

This being Throw Back Thursday, a blast from the past… or maybe a doused blast.

This cover story for The Omaha Weekly-Reader about The Carsinogents came out March 5, 2003, and highlighted the band’s then just-released full-length on Speed Nebraska, Ole! This was just a few weeks after the notorious Feb. 20, 2003, tragedy where pyrotechnics used during a Great White concert sparked a fire at a club in West Warwick, Rhode Island, killing 100 and injuring 230.

Of course back then, one highlight of Carsinogents’ shows was their novel use of fire, with a member of the band often blowing flames from his mouth. Rhode Island changed all that. As guitarist Vig Brooks said in the article: “Locally, I don’t care that it’s over. On the road, I wish we could still do it. One of the worst bands of the ’80s f***ed us.”

Sure enough, the flames were doused at their March 8, 2003, CD release party at Sokol Underground. Here’s the review of that show, which would end up being a warm-up before the band went on tour with Cursive .

Live Review: The Carsinogents at Sokol Underground
From Lazy-i, March 9, 2003

Sokol Underground, March 8, 2003.

Sokol Underground, March 8, 2003.

In the end, they didn’t need the flames.

I guess you could look at this almost as an epilogue to my current feature on the Carsinogents. What would the band do after being forced by Great White to give up the key theatrical element of their live show — the flame-blowing routine?

At the risk of sounding cliché, the band brought a different kind of fireworks to the Sokol Underground last night (yikes, I can’t believe I wrote that). I’ve seen these guys at least a half-dozen times — all of the past shows included the usual fire-breathing hi-jinx. Last night’s non-flame show was easily their best all-out performance. And no one seemed to miss the fire.

The set started with the video projector and pre-show music (Remember the day when all bands played about five minutes of music before their set, just to get people in the mood? The preshow music was a signal to finish your conversation, get a beer and get up to the stage. I miss those days). The recorded music was of the mariachi variety — Mexican trumpets and orchestra — while on a large sheet draped over a pole with duct tape a video was projected of a bull fight, interspersed with a shot of the band’s old flaming-skull tiki.

The flames were replaced with plenty of smoke from a fog machine. There was so much smoke, I turned to the guy next to me and asked if it was part of the act… shades of Rhode Island still fresh in my mind. I glanced up sheepishly at the exit signs. In addition to the smoke, the stage was set with red floor lights and side spot lights, as well as a lighted keyboard placard with the band’s logo blaring white.

Then on stage came the band. Anyone who’s seen the Carsinogents knows that lead singer, Dave Electro, is a natural showman, a true tripped-out troubadour with footwork that would make Elvis blush. When Dave wasn’t behind the keyboard, he was in front of the stage swinging his vintage microphone, belting a riff on guitar, doing some sort of weird shuffle that reminded me of gospel minister lost in the jubilation at a revival meeting.

The set list was a blend of old stuff, songs off the new CD and a couple I hadn’t heard before. The band’s sound indeed has evolved from ‘horror-billy’ to straight-out hard rock. I don’t know what kind of a match they’ll be with Cursive, whose songs are angular punk with introspective vocals. What will the emo kids think when they see Electro standing atop his organ while the rest of the band crashes along with knuckle-busting powerchords? Regardless, last night’s crowd of around 300 ate it up. I noticed those who were standing in front of or near the speaker stack were pushed to center stage by night’s end. It was indeed loud. I felt sorry for anyone stupid enough to not have earplugs. There’s nothing tough or cool about tinnitus.

No, the flames weren’t missed. As a matter of fact, the boys can now also confidently leave the film projector at home — in the end it didn’t add much to the staging. The lights and smoke and rock and roll moves are enough to entertain. But the real moment of truth came during the encore, when the band rolled out their signature finale that traditionally includes the flame-stunt. Like always, during the last part of the song, Dave seamlessly switched places with drummer Eldon Vampola. But instead of Eldon grabbing a torch and spitting Bacardi all over the place, he strapped on Dave’s guitar and punched out guitar riffs while the rest of the band bashed around stage. After Eldon switched back to his drum set, Dave stretched out his arms across the duct-taped sheet, strolled up to the keyboard, climbed atop and stood there playing the song’s final chords.

When he climbed down, that was it — the end of an era for the band and a beginning of a new one. The final word about The Carsinogents: I don’t know if they’ll ever break out of this one-horse town. Sure, they’ve got four Texas dates with Cursive including a gig at Emo’s in Austin. But the end of the story won’t be written until we find out if they ever get a full-blown tour of their own, up either coast or for three or four weeks throughout the Midwest. And then follow-up with a return tour, because everyone knows the first time out is small and, if you’ve made an impression, the second time is huge. This band — both in terms of its music and stage show — would impress any crowd. The only thing holding them back is them.

We’re all still waiting for that Carsinogents reunion. Something tells me we’re going to be waiting for a long, long time…

* * *

Tonight at 6 at Urban Outfitters in the Slowdown complex it’s free beer, free pizza and free music featuring Gramps, the hot new combo fronted by Love Drunk impresario Django Greenblatt-Seay. Also performing is DJ Kethro. More info here.

Than later tonight at PS Collective, Jackson Mississippi band Young Valley headlines a bill that includes super talented singer-songwriters Nick Carl, Tarvis Sing (Township and Range) and Omaha’s original folk-explosion, Midwest Dilemma. This one’s early, too. 7 p.m. and $5. More info here.

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

Saddle Creek to reissue Good Life, Maria Taylor; Big Harp to Fat Possum?; Lazy-i Podcast Ep. 3; new Two Gallants; Doomtree tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:52 pm March 4, 2015
Check out the Good Life reissues...

Check out the Good Life reissues…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Saddle Creek is dipping into its rather enormous back catalog again, this time to dish out reissues of early Good Life and Maria Taylor albums. From the press release:

We are excited to announce that The Good Life’s first three LPs and two accompanying albums of demos will be issued on vinyl April 7. Novena on a Nocturn is available for the first time ever on vinyl, Black Out is back in print for the first time in over a decade, and Album of the Year has been expanded to 2xLP in gatefold packaging. Also available is the never-before released Novena on a Nocturn demos and the never before released on vinyl Album of the Year demos, both Saddle Creek Online Store exclusives.

Then there’s the Maria Taylor stuff:

On April 18 (a.k.a. Record Store Day) Maria Taylor’s first two solo records will be available for the first time ever on vinyl — 11:11 on opaque light blue vinyl, and Lynn Teeter Flower on transparent gold vinyl.

In addition, Cursive’s The Ugly Organ (Deluxe Edition) [Remastered] vinyl is back in stock. To order any or all of the above, go to the Saddle Creek online store.

* * *

Did Big Harp jump the Saddle Creek Records ship? This today in Spin: “After two very good albums with Omaha-based Saddle Creek, (Big Harp has) moved to Fat Possum to release their newest single ‘It’s A Shame.” Check out the track below.

* * *

Speaking of Saddle Creek ex-patriots, Two Gallants shared a new video for the track “Incidental” from the band’s fifth studio album We Are Undone, out now on ATO Records. Two Gallants is playing at Reverb April 22.

* * *

Episode 3 of the Lazy-i Podcast went online this morning. The weekly recap includes a brief interview with Matthew Sweet, new music by Icky Blossoms, Simon Joyner and Bloodcow, info on the No Coast Music Festival and live reviews and recordings from last weekend’s Shy Boys and J Fernandez performances at Almost Music. Plus: The best shows happening this coming weekend. Check it out here.

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room Doomtree returns to Omaha for the first time since their Maha Music Festival performance last summer. The band is touring behind their latest full-length, All Hands, out now on Doomtree Records. Opening is Busdriver & Transit. $15, 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

New Twinsmith track in the wild; Saddle Creek Records at SXSW 2015; New Madrid tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:55 pm March 3, 2015
The latest promo shot of Twinsmith. The band is headed to SXSW again this year...

The latest promo shot of Twinsmith. The band is headed to SXSW again this year…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Saddle Creek band Twinsmith today leaked the title track off their forthcoming album, Alligator Years. It’s jaunty! Listen below. The band returns to Austin for SXSW this year, playing the Saddle Creek/Nicodemous SXSW Day Party April 19 at Stay Gold and the Saddle Creek SXSW Showcase April 21 at Red Eye Fly.

In fact, heck why not, here’s the full schedule for Saddle Creek bands at this year’s SXSW Fest in Austin:

Orenda Fink

Thu-Mar-19 Stay Gold – Saddle Creek/ Nicodemous Day Party 1:35
Fri-Mar-20 The Liberty – Breakthru Radio Day Party 12PM
Sat-Mar-21 Wonderland – BirdDog Promo / Paper Garden Party 12PM
Sat-Mar-21 Red Eye Fly – Saddle Creek Showcase 11PM

Icky Blossoms
Thu-Mar-19 Stay Gold – Saddle Creek/ Nicodemous Day Party 5:40PM
Fri-Mar-20 The Liberty – Breakthru Radio Day Party 4PM
Sat-Mar-21 Red Eye Fly – Saddle Creek Showcase 1AM

The Mynabirds
Thu-Mar-19 Stay Gold – Saddle Creek/ Nicodemous Day Party 4:50PM
Thu-Mar-19 Mohawk (inside) – Domino Party 12:30AM
Sat-Mar-21 Red Eye Fly – Saddle Creek Showcase 10PM

PUJOL
Mon-Mar-16 Hotel Vegas 7pm with Jacuzzi Boys, Twin Peaks
Tue-Mar-17 Maggie Mae’s – KLBJ Showcase 11pm with Turbo Fruits. Free (no wristband required)
Thu-Mar-19 Container Bar – Culture Collide 1:45pm
Thu-Mar-19 StayGold – Saddle Creek / Nicodemous Day Party 4pm
Thu-Mar-19 Swan Dive – Infinity Cat Showcase10:05pm
Sat-Mar-21 Red Eyed Fly – Saddle Creek Showcase12am

Twinsmith
Thu-Mar-19 Stay Gold – Saddle Creek/ Nicodemous Day Party 2:20PM
Sat-Mar-21 Red Eye Fly – Saddle Creek Showcase 9PM

Unfortunately, the label’s latest and greatest signing, Hop Along, won’t be at SXSW this year. Looks like we’ll just have to keep waiting before we can see them in the flesh.

Who you can see in the flesh tonight is Athens indie band New Madrid, who headlines at Slowdown Jr.  Opening is local trio Fake Plants. $8, 8 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: J Fernandez, Shy Boys; No Coast Music Festival announced (vs. Maha?); Retox tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:51 pm March 2, 2015
Shy Boys at Almost Music, March 1, 2015.

Shy Boys at Almost Music, March 1, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

My only show this weekend wasn’t a show at all. It was a pre-show. Yesterday afternoon, J Fernandez and Shy Boys did an in-store at Almost Music in Benson prior to their gig last night at O’Leaver’s.

Set up in the Solid Jackson Bookstore area, each band played a half-hour set to a handful of people. I didn’t know about the in-store until yesterday morning via an IM on Facebook. Needless to say, it could have been better promoted, but it was a last-minute thing.

Both bands played low-key sets. Since I didn’t go to O’Leaver’s last night, I don’t know if these were typical, but I can say they were rather awesome. Fernandez style is a mix of garage and art rock, think early Talking Heads soaked in swirls of reverb guitar with a less-severe vocal that was warmer and more inviting than Byrne’s bark. They were jazzier more than they were arty.

Kansas City’s Shy Boys’s garage rock was sweet, sweet, sweet; with sweet, sad-eyed vocals atop great kick-back rhythms. Gorgeous stuff. Listen for snippets of both performances in this week’s podcast Wednesday (if I can get it done).

* * *

Speaking of Almost Music, the store took part in Saturday afternoon’s Bar Stool Record Swap at The Brother’s lounge along with four or five other vendors including Homer’s and Drastic Plastic. Music fans flipped through boxes of vinyl with one hand while drinking booze with the other — the perfect combination. I scored a sealed copy of Ritual Device’s Henge album on orange vinyl — something I thought I’d never see.

* * *

The River, 89.7 FM, and One Percent Productions this morning announced the No Coast Festival, June 2 at Westfare Amphitheater. The line-up includes major-label pop bands Cage The Elephant, Bleachers, Joywave, Saint Motel, In The Valley Below along with Saddle Creek band Icky Blossoms, and more.

Though a “festival,” No Coast can’t be compared to the other big local rock “festival” — the Maha Music Festival. No Coast is a full two months before Maha (which takes place Aug. 15) and targets a younger alt-radio audience vs. Maha’s college-age-plus indie crowd.

But when talking about these two festivals, there is a a subtle irony that can’t be ignored. Indie bands by their very nature appeal to a smaller audience. That’s the way it’s always been. Major label acts like Cage the Elephant, Bleachers (both on RCA) and Saint Motel (Elektra), which enjoy more radio support, draw a much larger audience. As a result, you’d naturally assume No Coast — with its more popular bands — would have the higher ticket price, but in fact No Coast’s $10 ticket (which is what you’d typically pay for a mid-level show at The Waiting Room) will likely be about a quarter of the price of Maha Festival tickets.

Factor in that non-profit public radio station The River may be underwriting a lot of the No Coast Festival’s costs (which they can “write off” as a promotional expense) and that No Coast could draw substantially more people than Maha (high volume brings down prices), and you begin to understand the $10 ticket versus a $40+ ticket.

No doubt if No Coast draws an exponentially larger crowd than Maha there will be those who argue the reason is either better bands or a lower ticket price or both. But one can’t ignore the sheeple factor. There is only one radio station in the Omaha/Council Bluffs market that plays modern music, albeit shitty modern music. A lot of people grudgingly listen to The River because it’s the only alternative to the oldies/freedom rock stations that litter the FM dial. Those River listeners can expect to hear a constant barrage of advertising for No Coast Festival between now and June 2. Strike that. Public radio stations aren’t allowed to air advertising, right? So if they’re not ads, I guess you’d have to call them, what, “targeted announcements”?

Poor Maha. A true non-profit organization, can it afford the level of radio advertising that No Coast undoubtedly will get? Add to that the fact that most of Maha’s bands historically don’t get airplay in the Omaha market and it’s an uphill climb. This is what happens when you don’t have a radio station that plays College Music Journal (CMJ)-style indie music in a market the size of Omaha.

One Percent also announced this morning the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover, a 2-day festival in Waverly, Iowa, June 19 and 20 headlined by the dreadful Mumford and Sons but that also includes Jenny Lewis, My Morning Jacket, Flaming Lips and Jeff the Brotherhood among others. Still, Waverly is about 260 miles (more than 4 hours) from Omaha…

One other 1% show — Built to Spill returns to The Slowdown May 23. (I thought this one was going to be the big 10 a.m. announcement).

* * *

Tonight at Slowdown Jr., it’s a punk featuring San Diego hardcore act Retox (Epitaph Records). The four-piece was founded by Justin Pearson and Gabe Serbian,whose tour of duties include stints in The Locust, Head Wound City, and Holy Molar. Joining them is Atlanta noise rock band Whores and Lincoln black noise band Vickers. $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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Clips (Azure Ray, Machete Archive, Oberst); Icky Blossoms’ presale; Nightbird tonight; Kevin Devine Saturday; Shy Boys Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:58 pm February 27, 2015
Ah, Leonard, we hardly knew ye...

Ah, Leonard, we hardly knew ye…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A few news clips to share that you may not have stumbled across on Facebook.

— Azure Ray’s Maria Taylor talks about Omaha and compares it to Athens in this Red & Black article that implies Maria still lives in Omaha. Does she? I thought she moved a few years ago.

— Both Beep Beep and Machete Archive get a shout out in this Fayetteville Flyer article about a band called The Inner Party. It just so happens that Ian Francis, who played in both Nebraska bands, played drums on Inner Party’s new album, The Inner Party Makes a Mess.

— The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle joined Conor Oberst on stage for a cover of Tom Petty’s “Walls” during a concert in Sydney, as reported in this Sydney Morning Herald review. When isn’t Oberst out performing. Is he the hardest working singer-songwriter in the business?

* * *

Earlier this week Icky Blossoms announced the presale of their new Saddle Creek Records release Mask and the label already has sold out of the limited edition deluxe vinyl version (only 200 to be pressed). However, you can still order the white vinyl for $17, which comes with a digital download. There are two different release dates for this album — May 12 (CD/Digital) and May 26 (Vinyl).

According to the press release:

The band experimented with making electronics sound organic and organic instruments feel electronic. Song skeletons were embellished with tuned 808’s, hyper-effected mouth noises, screams as instruments, and guitars run through synthesizers. Their influences range from Fad Gadget to Beyonce and the subject matter varies from wrestling with the isolation of existence to the emotional spectrum of love.

Produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes) at ARC Studios, contributors include assistant engineer Ben Brodin (Conor Oberst band), bassist Graham Ulicny (Reptar), drummer Daniel Ocanto (Big Harp) and Todd Fink (The Faint).

If this first track off the record is any indication, this could be a big one for the band and the label. Blondie ain’t got nothing on Sarah Bohling…

* * *

So what’s happening this weekend?

Tonight (Friday) sludge/stoner rock band Nightbird is playing at Omaha’s most beloved punk rock bar, The Brothers Lounge. Also on the bill are Members of the Press (featuring Randy Cotton) and Night Push. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, back in Benson, the country stylings of The Electroliners headline at the Barley Street Tavern tonight with 24 Hour Cardlock, The Willards Band and Michael Hinckley. $5, 9 p.m.

Speaking of The Brothers Lounge, the bar is hosting another Bar Stool Record Swap Saturday afternoon starting at 4 p.m. Local records stores such as Almost Music and Homer’s along with other traders will be on hand to sell and trade vinyl. More info here.

Saturday night Satchel Grande returns to The Waiting Room. Joining them is jazz-rock band Old Money. $7, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, Low Long Signal headlines at Reverb Lounge with Anonymous Henchmen and Virgin Mary Pistol Grip. $5, 9 p.m.

Down in Slowdown’s big room Saturday night is Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band. Opening is New Jersey act Dads and Brooklyn’s Field Mouse. $13, 9 p.m.

Finally Sunday night Shy Boys headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Opening is our very own Miniature Horse a.k.a. Rachel Tomlinson Dick, and Chicago baroque pop experimentalist J Fernandez. $5, 9:30 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a good weekend and as my favorite Vulcan used to say: Live long and prosper.

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

New Joyner track; Scott Weiland, Michael Trenhaile benefit (Furgesens, Bret Vovk) tonight…

Category: Blog — @ 1:41 pm February 26, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The latest Lazy-i Podcast is below. Give it a listen. I sound less womanly this time (but no less stupid). By the way, someone asked who the band is playing at the end of the podcast while I’m reading the list of upcoming weekend shows — that’s Underwater Dream Machine a.k.a. Bret Vovk from his overlooked (but not by me) 2012 album A Very Lonely Dream About Space, which is still available for download at this Bandcamp page. Check it out, and see Vovk play at tonight’s fundraiser at the Barley Street (more info below).

Speaking of SoundCloud, Simon Joyner debuted another new song off his upcoming album, Grass, Branch & Bone, headed for release on Woodsist Records. Simon’s publicist just sent me an email three days ago saying the album comes out March 9, but this SoundCloud page says it doesn’t come out until March 31. If I find out which is right, I’ll pass the info along. In the meantime, check out the track. Is it me or has Joyner become a fantastic singer vs. those early, wonky years?

 

The weekend starts tonight as former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland headlines with his backing band The Wildabouts at The Waiting Room. Opening are The Last Internationale & Stocklyn. $25 today, $27 Thursday.

Also tonight is a fundraiser for Ashley and Michael Trenhaile at The Barley Street Tavern. Michael, a member of the Donefits, suffered a debilitating brain hemorrhage and money raised at the show will help with medical and family expenses. Among the bands performing are Loose Cannon, Backwater Spawn, The Fergesens, Bret Vovk and more. The show starts at 9 and donations will be taken at the door.

And over at Slowdown Jr., Omaha hip-hop act BOTH plays with Dream House, ROTHSTEEN, Zay Gaines, PG. $7, 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Lazy-i Podcast Ep. 2 (Fratt on Vinyl, Dumb Beach, Whipkey, Klemmensen, Criteria, more…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 1:49 pm February 25, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The new episode of the Lazy-i Weekly Podcast is online right here. In this week’s episode:

– Is vinyl just a fad? Homer’s General Manager Mike Fratt chimes in about how vinyl is a big part of today’s music business.
— New music from Criteria — the first in eight years.
— Reviews of Matt Whipkey, John Klemmensen, Fire Retarded and Dumb Beach, including a live music samples from the performances.
— News from Father John Misty, and the Hear Nebraska Vol. 3 Kickstarter
— A list of the hottest shows happening this coming weekend.

It’s 28 wasted minutes of your life you’ll never get back, but who cares, it’s free. Check it out.

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

Benefit compilation includes first new Criteria track in eight years…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 2:00 pm February 24, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Clinch Mob Compilation

The Clinch Mob Compilation

Criteria has contributed a song to an album benefiting longtime Lincoln musician Pat Clinch, who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Money generated from the sale of the compilation, titled The Clinch Mob Compilation, will go to Pat and his family to help with medical expenses.

The Criteria track, titled “Cold Paralyzed,” is the first release of a new song by Criteria in eight years. It’s just one of 23 tracks, which includes b-sides, unreleased tracks and yet-to-be released from bands such as Ideal Cleaners, Head of Femur, Pablos Triangle, Crush the Clown, Strawberry Burns, Ghost Runners, as well as Jack Hotel, Mezcal Brothers, Panda Face, The Renfields and The Bottle Tops.

You can buy a digital download of the album for $10 (or more) by going to clinchmob.bandcamp.com/releases.

Check out the Criteria track below, then go buy your copy.

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Matt Whipkey, John Klemmensen, Fire Retarded, Dumb Beach; Hear Nebraska Kickstarts Vol. 3…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:47 pm February 23, 2015
Fire Retarded at O'Leaver's Feb. 21, 2015.

Fire Retarded at O’Leaver’s Feb. 21, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It was a long weekend of shows, a good weekend.

Friday night was the big Matt Whipkey album release party at The Waiting Room. Matt can be a rather polarizing figure in the Omaha music scene, but there’s one fact no one can refute — when it comes to the press, Whipkey works his ass off. This show was mentioned or featured in every print publication in town, not to mention a slew of local morning radio programs, a few of which Whipkey even performed on. Seems like everywhere you turned, whether on air, in print or online, there was Matt Whipkey hawking his new record and imploring people to come to his show.

Well, all that hard work paid off as The Waiting Room was indeed crowded last Friday night. No, it wasn’t a sell out, but it was tough to make it across the dance floor when Whipkey and his band started their set.

Whipkey’s style has been consistent over the past decade — he’s a showman, always demanding the crowd’s attention when he’s center stage with an electric guitar slung over his shoulder, maniacally flipping that Omaha-famous head of hair. In a city known for its indie rock, Whipkey remains content playing traditional American-style rock ‘n’ roll that boils down to big riffs, big hooks, plenty of guitar solos and lyrics about life in these United States.

The new album, Underwater, is a step forward for Whipkey to a more mature song craft than heard on his coming-of-age concept album Penny Park, a record that, if you ever wondered what the songs were about, all you had to do was look at the photo on the album sleeve. The new record sounds more personal and introspective but no less pop-focused. Whipkey may idolize Springsteen, but his style has more in common with John Fogerty on the album’s up-jump tracks. When he slows it down, picks up an acoustic guitar or straps a harmonica ’round his neck, he channels old school, MOR open-chord crooners that were the staple of ’70s-era FM radio. He is un-apologetically not indie, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Matt Whipkey and his band at The Waiting Room, Feb. 20, 2015.

Matt Whipkey and his band at The Waiting Room, Feb. 20, 2015.

Neither would his crowd, who grooved to the rock and never failed to recognize another golden Whipkey guitar solo. I saw plenty of people walking around with copies of Underwater tucked beneath their arm, its back cover sporting a stoic photo of Whipkey, his hair, and his Raybans, staring stoically out into the crowd.

The obvious question after the media build-up that comes with a release show: Now what? The answer is touring, and Whipkey has said that’s exactly what he intends to do, focusing his road-work on central Nebraska. Can he become a regional success story? There’s no question he has a style that could resonate throughout the rural Heartland.

John Klemmensen closed out Whipkey's album release show at The Waiting Room, Feb. 21, 2015.

John Klemmensen closed out Whipkey’s album release show at The Waiting Room, Feb. 20, 2015.

The new trend for headliners these days is to place their set in the second slot of the evening. That was the case Friday night when John Klemmensen and the Party followed Whipkey with a set of bluesy rockers. I haven’t seen John and his band play in more than a year. While his voice and lyrics haven’t changed much (He still boasts Nebraska’s biggest broken heart) his music has. Instead of the usual laid-back mellow crooning, Klemmensen is now uncorking harder, louder arrangements that aren’t afraid to lean away from blues pop to a more indie-fied power rock, a natural reflection of Klemmensen’s love of golden age Omaha indie-punk and post-punk.

There is a theatrical element to his rock songs that reminds me of — dare I say it — Meatloaf and John Steinman, but without the keyboards. I credit the first-person honesty of his lyrics, brazenly unashamed of letting his emotional baggage hang out for everyone to see. Klemmensen has nothing to hide, and that’s what makes his music so good.

A quick note about the recent upgrades to The Waiting Room. The club now sports a shiny new tile floor, raised booths and a brand new bar. This is the third or fourth time that The Waiting Room has made enhancements to their club since it opened in 2007, which shows the owners’ ongoing commitment to being the best music venue in Omaha.

Dumb Beach at O'Leaver's, Feb. 21, 2015.

Dumb Beach at O’Leaver’s, Feb. 21, 2015.

Saturday night was a bracing change of pace as O’Leaver’s hosted a punk show with two of the better-named bands to grace their rec-room-styled stage: Madison Wisconsin’s Fire Retarded and Omaha’s own Dumb Beach.

Saturday’s gig was the last on Fire Retarded’s tour and the dudes sounded happy to end it in Omaha. Call it garage punk, I guess. Hard charging. Break-neck. Gritty. Rat-tailed and not so angry as much as just trying to have a good time. Their set started almost acidicly punk before infusing a bit of swing about halfway through, at times becoming downright tuneful.

Next was Dumb Beach. One of the things I forgot to mention last week in the podcast is that the band sports two — count them two — drummers. I’ve seen the two-drummer thing a few times in the past. With other bands, it’s an easy way to add theatrical flair to their rather drab stage presences. But that’s never been a problem with these guys, who resemble a team of buzzed-out Dr. Drew rehabbers out on a punk-rock work release program.

No, this duo-drum set up is an aggressive stab at bringing even more power to Dumb Beach’s already bludgeoning sound. Someone told me it was like watching a pair of synchronized swimmers, perfectly timed, perfectly choreographed, as they bashed the shit out of their drum kits. Do they really need two drummers? Does any band? I say screw it, why not? If you haven’t seen these guys, you need to.

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Hear Nebraska, Vol. 3

Hear Nebraska, Vol. 3

This morning Hear Nebraska launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the vinyl pressing of its third compilation, deftly titled Hear Nebraska Vol. 3.  The record features 10 songs from Nebraska bands on 12-inch, mixed-color (purple-pink-black) vinyl. Hear Nebraska calls it “a masterfully crafted, sonically stellar collectible that will serve as an integral Nebraska historical document.

Bands on this year’s HN comp are John Klemmensen and the Party, Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers, The Bottle Tops, Jake Bellows, M34N STR33T, BOTH (featuring Rothsteen), Halfwit, Ladyfinger and Cursive.

The release is limited to 500 copies and comes with a digital download. A $20 pledge gets you a copy of the vinyl, but you’ll want to check out the other premiums. Hear Nebraska is shooting to raise $4,000 over the next 28 days. They’re already more than a quarter of the way there. Check it out.

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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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