Another venue, better rock shows? The Mercurys tonight; Articles, Relax, It’s Science Saturday; The Regulation Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:29 pm November 15, 2019

Relax, It’s Science at Lookout Lounge, April 30, 2016. The band plays Saturday at The Brothers.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

More information yesterday on the proposed $109 million music venue by way of Omaha World-Herald’s Kevin Coffey. Kevin answers 8 questions about the venue. There is no new “news” in the piece; rather it’s Kevin conjecturing as to what it all means.

As this weekend rears its ugly head, let me do some conjecturing of my own:

We don’t need more venues; we need better booking — i.e., better shows featuring better touring bands. Yes, acts are passing Omaha by, but the size and number of venues probably is the least of their reasons.

Here’s some questions: Are bands passing Omaha because no promoter, venue, etc., is willing to gamble on covering the guarantee — the contracted minimum fee paid for performing? How many quality indie bands on tour right now have reached out to an Omaha promoter or venue with an offer only to be passed on? How will that change with the addition of more venues?

I guess you can’t blame the venues and promoters, who have been burned in the past paying top dollar for very cool acts to play in half empty rooms. So let’s build more rooms?

Anyway… there are no touring indie rock shows at any of the major local clubs this weekend. What else is new?

Tonight at The Waiting Room, local roots/rockabilly band The Mercurys headline with The Pink Flamingos. $10, 9 p.m.

That’s it for tonight.

Saturday night, local double-bass-attack rock band Relax, It’s Science plays at The Brothers Lounge with Sioux Falls sludge/psych/instrumental rock duo Articles. Omaha post-hardcore act Mere Shadows opens at 9 p.m. $5.

Local power-pop / American a band The Broke Lose plays at O’Leaver’s Saturday with Lincoln’s Red Cities and Virgin Mary Pistol Grip. 10 p.m., $5.

Finally on Sunday, Omaha indie act The Regulation plays at The B Bar at 4330 Leavenworth. Joining them is Omaha ex-pat Mitch Gettman. Jake Norstadt gets things rolling at 8 p.m. No idea if there’s a cover here…

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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GoFundMe campaign helps cover Joe Knapp’s (Son, Ambulance) medical bills…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 5:06 pm November 14, 2019

Omaha singer/songwriter Joe Knapp.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A quick note to make you aware of a GoFundMe campaign that’s been set up for Joe Knapp.

Joe recently was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, a chronic autoimmune condition in which the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells.

As the singer/songwriter behind seminal Saddle Creek Records act Son, Ambulance, Joe is one of Omaha indie music’s elder statesmen. Though the band hasn’t released an album since 2008’s Someone Else’s Déjà Vue (Saddle Creek), they’ve continued to perform sporadically over the years, always rolling out new material, which we can only hope will one day be recorded and properly released.

Needless to say, with this diagnosis, Joe is finding himself with medical bills his ACA insurance isn’t covering, which is where this campaign comes in.

On the brighter side, I quit smoking. I am eating healthier than ever and practicing regular exercise and yoga,” Joe said. “Type 1 is a ‘self-awareness disease’ and I am more aware of my body than ever before.

Joe’s nearly halfway to his $3,000 GFM goal. If you’d like to contribute, go to his GoFundMe page, located here.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Lupines, Unexplained Death, Hobbyist, Solid Goldberg Saturday; Clan of Xymox Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 2:04 pm November 8, 2019
Solid Goldberg at The Barley Street May 13. See him tonight at O'Leaver's.

Solid Goldberg at The Barley Street May 13, 2011. Mr. Goldberg returns to The Brothers Lounge Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

So… we have, what, a thousand venues with more coming every day and there’s nothing going on tonight — on a Friday night? Well, that’s the deal when it comes to indie music in a town that used to be known for its indie music.

Ah well…

Onward to Saturday night where there’s a couple hot shows.

Down at fabulous O’Leaver’s arguably the best garage rock band in Omaha, The Lupines, plays with Unexplained Death, the new punk-ish project by Matt Whipkey and his band. Minne Lussa (Matt Rutledge singing in French!) opens at 10 p.m. $7.

Meanwhile, over at The Brothers Lounge, Kansas City rock duo Hobbyist plays with the legendary Solid Goldberg. Effluvium opens at 9 p.m. $5.

Sunday night you’ve got a pretty big touring show — Clan of Xymox at The Waiting Room. This band, which recorded on the 4AD label back when it was impressive to be on the 4AD label, is still kicking with at least one original member, frontman Ronny Moorings. Chicago’s The Bellwether Syndicate opens at 8 p.m. $20.

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Look! A new $109 million music venue downtown. Wait, what?; David Nance Group, Long Hots tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:31 pm November 7, 2019

The new Omaha Performing Arts live music venue would cost a cool $109 million.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

By now you’ve probably seen the press release wherein Omaha Performing Arts announces plans to build a $109 million music venue located from Dodge Street to Capitol Avenue between 11th and 12th streets in downtown Omaha. If not, go here now. We’ll wait…

The facility, with a capacity of 1,500 to 3,000 and no fixed seats is slated to open in 2023. According to Kevin Coffey’s article in the Omaha World-Herald, the venue “could accommodate a standing-room crowd for a rock concert or a thrust stage and seating risers for an immersive opera performance.”

A few questions come to mind:

— Who exactly is the target audience for this facility? Is it classical music aficionados or rock fans? Is OPA going to book it? Do they know anything about booking rock shows?
— What hole does this fill that the current arenas as well as the already-announced 1% indoor-outdoor music venue in La Vista doesn’t fill? (Kevin does a great job at the end of his article listing all the existing / coming facilities).
— Why does it cost $109 million?

Seems a bit crazy, but I guess downtown developers are eager to figure out ways to get people to come downtown? And there are plenty of local millionaires (billionaires?) with money burning a hole in their pockets.

From the OPA press release: “We believe the Live Music Venue will significantly improve music opportunities available in Omaha, especially for the key audience demographic of 21 to 45 years old. This proposed O-pa campus expansion provides an excellent fit with the renovations underway along the Riverfront, and will further enhance Omaha’s downtown entryway.”

There’s an argument that this new venue will also somehow help keep young people in our fair city (or attract more young people). As someone aptly put it in one of the many Facebook threads about this topic: Maybe they should take $1 million of the $109 million and apply it to developing the talent that’s already here. Because, folks, we’ve lost a shitload of talented folks over the past couple years, more than than I can remember losing in the past decade. And I don’t think they left because they didn’t have a $109 million venue to perform at.

Anyway, read the OPA press release here.

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David Nance Group returns to The Brothers Lounge tonight and they’re bringing along some Third Man Records label-mates: Long Hots form Philly. You won’t want to miss it, and it’s just $5. Starts at 10 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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Betty Rubble debuts ‘Kittybear’ via YouTube; new Maria Taylor features Adam ‘Counting Crows’ Duritz…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:43 pm November 6, 2019

A screen-cap from the new video for “Kittybear” by Betty Rubble.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Local musician and filmmaker Aaron Gum (Glow in the Dark, InDreama) has a new project called Betty Rubble that features Chelsea Balzer (Vital Organs) on lead vocals and superstar rock veteran Craig Dee on drums.

Their first track, “Kittybear,” is a sassy, kick-drum-driven rocker with an ’80s New Wave sheen. “Drawing from elements of riot grrrl, synthpop, and punk movements, Kittybear is a feisty, danceable anthem which exemplifies the duo’s no-holds-barred, infectious sound,” says Gum.

The track was recorded at Gum’s home studio with drums recorded at Make Believe Studio. So when are we going to be able to catch them live?

Maria Taylor, who you might remember as half of Saddle Creek Records act Azure Ray, is recruiting some mighty big names for backing vocals on her recordings these days. On her latest track, “Waiting in Line,” Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz brings the harmonies (But never rips into “Round Hereeee!!!“).

Pretty song. Taylor’s new self-titled LP comes out Nov. 11 (Yes, that’s 11/11 for those paying attention) on her very own Flower Moon Records label.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The return of Jeffrey Lewis and The Voltage, Sean Pratt & the Sweats, Anna McClellan tonight at Brothers…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:47 pm November 4, 2019

Jeffrey Lewis and Los Bolts at Reverb Lounge, Nov. 15, 2016. Lewis and his band plays tonight at The Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The last time I spoke to Jeffrey Lewis was right before Trump was elected president. We did an extended Q&A in two parts, because he was willing and because I dig his music and his writing (and his comics). It’s interesting to look back on that interview. I think we were both were in denial. I certainly was.

Here’s part one, which focused exclusively on the 2016 election, posted the day after.

Here’s part two, where talks about his music, his comicbooks and art, all kinds of stuff.

Anyway, Jeffrey and his band are playing tonight at The Brothers Lounge and if you get a chance you should go see them. Lewis is an amazing performer and his new album, Bad Wiring (2019, Don Giovanni), is another keeper (Gad, is that the best you can say about an album? Well, these days, if you’re “keeping” a record, it must be pretty damn good).

I wish I would have looked back to these interviews when I found out Lewis was returning. I would have scheduled another interview to get his take on Trump four years later. I think both of our worst fears have been realized.

Sean Pratt and the Sweats and the always amazing Anna McClellan open. $10, 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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Twin Peaks, Uh Oh, Bill Hoover (art), Ocean Black, Devendra Banhart, Black Belt Eagle Scout tonight; The Menzingers, Jocko Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:40 pm November 1, 2019

Twin Peaks at The Waiting Room, June 29, 2016. The band returns to The Waiting Room tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Just like last weekend, it’s a loaded Friday night and a sorta thin rest of the weekend. Why can’t we get promoters to spread these shows over the entire weekend? I know, I know, it’s out of their hands. Anyway, choose wisely.

The biggest show of the night (Friday) is at The Waiting Room where Twin Peaks returns in support of their latest, Lookout Low. Yesterday the band shared the latest track from the album, the Beatle-esque “Our World.” Joining them tonight is a stacked line-up that includes Post Animal and OHMME. $20, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, just across the street and down a ways, indie pop band Uh Oh is among the five bands playing a #BFF/OEAA show at Burke’s Pub. In addition to Uh Oh you get Liz Gre, Diego Danger, Rey Styles, Chad Stoner, Mace Hathaway and Names Without Numbers. Uh Oh goes on at 8:40. It’s part of the OEAA Fall Nominee Showcase. Your $10 entry gets you into all the participating venues (What those are, I’m not certain).

Check out the just-dropped new Love Drunk video for Uh Oh’s “Time Zones,” shot at Joslyn Castle.

Did I mention it was Benson First Friday? If you’re wandering around Benson tonight taking in the art, drop on into the Little Gallery, 5901 Maple St. (the east bay of the Masonic Lodge Building), for the opening of Bill Hoover’s one man show, Lost and Found and Lost. Bill’s exploring the use of collage, paper sculpture and other materials. We’ll be there from 6 to 9 p.m. Come say hello!

What about outside of Benson tonight?

Well there’s a banger of a show at fabulous O’Leaver’s Friday night with Omaha’s favorite stoner-metal band Ocean Black and Omaha’s favorite alt-country band Clarence Tilton. That’s two favorites in one for $7. Starts at 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, downtown is a real sleeper of a show — freak folk singer/songwriter Devendra Banhart headlines in the main room at The Slowdown. Joining him is one of Saddle Creek Records’ brightest new acts, Black Belt Eagle Scout. Tickets range from $26 to $36, and showtime is 8 p.m.

Holy shit that’s a lot of stuff going on in one night. Tomorrow (Saturday) you’re down to two shows.

Back down at The Slowdown, punk band The Menzingers headlines in the main room with Tigers Jaw and Culture Abuse. Tickets are $20-$25; show starts at 8 p.m.

Also Saturday night O’Leaver’s has Conny Franko, Satanic Abortion and Jocko. $5, 10 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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Flight School reappears just in time for Halloween; Rose Thomas Bannister, Digital Leather looking for help…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:31 pm October 30, 2019

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

“Monster Mash” by Flight School.

No doubt if I had kids I would be aware of just how excited they are on Halloween’s Eve. After all, I was a kid once and I loved Halloween. But what do you do if your kids are getting a little out of hand before — or after — Halloween (because all that sugar, right?)?

Well, your favorite studio project, Flight School, has the remedy. Today Ian Aeillo (Nebraska’s answer to Alan Parsons) released a doozy of a cover of Bobby Pickett’s holiday classic, “Monster Mash.” The 7-plus minute Ambien-fueled anthem features Luke Pettipoole and Sarah Bohling on vocals, and is sure to draw down the energy level of anyone who experiences it. I promise you’ll never hear this song quite the same way again, and there’s no question I prefer Ian’s version over the original. Check it below:

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You might remember Rose Thomas Bannister by her old name, Ember Schrag, the moniker she used when she lived in Nebraska. These days she calls Brooklyn home, and now Bannister has a new album in the can called The Little Wren, which she hopes to release on vinyl. So… Kickstarter. Bannister already hit her $3,000 goal, but the campaign continues for a another day or so. I’ve always considered Kickstarter to be sort of presale event. Check it out here.

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On the other hand, Shawn Foree has a ways to go until he reaches his $2,000 Go Fund Me goal for his next record, which he thinks is “the strongest album I’ve done.” It’s the follow-up to Feeet, the limited-vinyl album released this past January by German label Stencil Trash Records and the 8-track tape re-release of 2007’s Blow Machine. What does Shawn have up his sleeve this time? The quicker you donate, the quicker we’ll find 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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Tim Kasher says ‘No Music for ICE’; new Algiers; Bethlehem Steel tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:08 pm October 29, 2019

Bethlehem Steel plays tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A couple quick news items…

Cursive’s Tim Kasher is among the more than 1,000 artists who have pledged to boycott Amazon festivals because of the company’s ties to ICE. Amazon Web Services is presenting the Intersect festival in Las Vegas.

We the undersigned artists are outraged that Amazon continues to provide the technical backbone for ICE’s human rights abuses,” said the statement on the Fight for the Future website. 

The artists are pledging to not participate in Amazon-sponsored events, or engage in exclusive partnerships with Amazon in the future, until Amazon publicly commits to terminating existing contracts with military, law enforcement and governement agencies that commit human rights abuses. ICE was among those agencies listed. 

“We will not allow Amazon to exploit our creativity to promote its brand while it enables attacks on immigrants, communities of color, workers, and local economies. We call on all artists who believe in basic rights and human dignity to join us.”

Along with Kasher, other artists who signed the pledge include Ted Leo, Sadie Dupuis, Control Top, Pujol, Stef Chura, Deerhoof, Of Montreal and Bethlehem Steel, who are playing tonight at O’Leaver’s. See the full list at the website.  

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New Algiers. The album, There Is No Year, comes out Jan. 17 on Matador. For the love of god, someone please book a show in Omaha. Currently their closest pass is Chicago April 3.

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Tonight at O’Leaver’s the aforementioned Bethlehem Steel returns. The band’s self-titled sophomore album came out Sept. 13 on Exploding in Sound Records. Their sound is indie with a proggy edge fronted by Becca Ryskalczyk. It’s a great slate of openers tonight including Sean Pratt, Megan Siebe and Nutrition Fun. $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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Deerhoof (sold out), Unexplained Death (debut), Those Far Out Arrows, No Thanks tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:48 pm October 25, 2019
Deerhoof at The Waiting Room, June 25, 2010.

Deerhoof at The Waiting Room, June 25, 2010. The band plays a sold out show tonight at the grand opening of Low End at the Bemis.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tonight is the debut of Low End, the new venue that is opening in the space that used to be Bemis Underground.

And the band chosen to kick things off is none other than Deerhoof. The concert is a joint production between Bemis and the Maha organization and has been sold out for quite some time, so unless you have tickets you’ll have to wait until one of the Low End’s future free concerts to check out the new digs. The concert starts at 9:30.

Also tonight, the long-awaited debut of Unexplained Death, the poli-punk rock project by Matt Whipkey. I’ve been told that Matt will be spending the afternoon ironing his mohawk for this special occasion. Or should I say “occasions” as Matt will first be hosting a listening party for the new Unexplained Death cassette release at Hi Fi House at 5:30, with music beginning at 6:30. That one’s free.

Then later, Whipkey will be giving his band the ultimate acid test by debuting at what is arguably Omaha’s punkiest punk bar, The Brothers Lounge.  The Broke Loose opens at 10 p.m. $5.

Also tonight, Omaha garage-rock originals Those Far Out Arrows are headlining at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Joining them are Anthony Worden & the Illiterati, and Sean Pratt. $5, 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, cross town at the infamous Midtown Art Supply space at 2578 Harney St. there’s a four-band show featuring maybe the hottest Omaha punk band currently running, No Thanks, along with Jocko, Death Cow and Histrionic. $5, 8 p.m.

One other show worth mentioning happening tonight is The Travelling Mercies playing at The Down Under Lounge. Joining them are Project Constellation and Michael Trenhaile. This one’s free and starts at 9:30.

Than we get to Saturday. The Husker game is at 2:30, so there’s no excuse for the lack of shows. The only thing I’m aware of is the Big Al free music fest at O’Leaver’s starting at 9 (a canned-food contribution is recommended for entry).

Am I missing something? 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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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