Random Notes: New Rig 1 record 5/13; Protomartyr does The Stooges; Whipkey/Hoshaw, Desert Noises tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:52 pm April 23, 2014
Rig 1, a.k.a. Ian McElroy, has a new album coming out in May.

Rig 1, a.k.a. Ian McElroy, has a new album coming out in May.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A few bits from the in-box.

Rig 1, a.k.a. Ian McElroy of Desaparecidos fame, has a new record coming out May 13 on Team Love. Titled North of Maple, the album includes contributions by Clark Baechle, Jacob Thiele and Dapose from The Faint, Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes) and Orenda Fink; and is produced by Andy LeMaster (Now It’s Overhead). The album release show is May 14 at Bowery Electric in NYC, so get your plane tickets now. The first single, “Duality,” is below:

* * *

Protomartyr is a band I (luckily) fell across a couple times this year at SXSW, and it turns out, was one of my favorites. Much to my surprise (and pleasure) I notice they’ve been booked to play Slowdown Jr. May 15 (It’s an Eyeball Production). If you have even a passing interest in post-punk, you need to attend this show.

Anyway, yesterday Protomartyr was featured in AV Club‘s “Pioneering” series where they were interviewed about The Stooges and performed a cover of “Down on the Street” at the Michigan Union Ballroom (why that location is significant requires watching the video). Check it out below:

* * *

I considered Matt Whipkey’s and Brad Hoshaw’s split 7-inch release party to be Record Store Day, specifically their performance for hundreds of line-waiters outside of Homer’s before the shop opened last Saturday.

Instead, they’ll both be performing tonight at Whipkey’s weekly Wednesday night performance at the Harney Street Tavern (Whipkey Wednesday), and are calling it their record release show for “I Miss You” b/w “Sorry,” which will be available for purchase at the show. 9 p.m., free.

Also tonight downtown, Provo band Desert Noises (SQE Music – yep, that’s The Faint’s label) plays with John Klemmensen and the Party at The Hive, 1207 Harney St. $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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


New Simon Joyner digital-only release; For Against in Pitchfork (7.8); Sleigh Bells tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:47 pm April 22, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here’s another way to generate gas money for your next tour…

Simon Joyner and the Ghosts are releasing what they’re calling their Gas Fund Tour Exclusive Recordings to generate quick cash for their upcoming tour.

Joyner writes (via his Facebook page) that the band (as a trio) has “been recording our rehearsals to Tascam 4-track in preparation for this West Coast/Mountain West tour with Wooden Wand and we’re assembling a collection of 10 songs for those interested in supporting the tour who unfortunately cannot see any of the shows.”

The American West is vast and costs a fortune in gas to conquer, says Joyner, “so consider pitching $10 or more into our gas fund via Paypal (simon@simonjoyner.net) and receive a link via email to 10 selected songs.

Links to the tracks will go out to donors before the band leaves April 30, and also will be available (via donation) throughout the tour.

* * *

For Against Box Set (2014, Captured Tracks)

For Against Box Set (2014, Captured Tracks)

Last week the arbiters of all things hipster at Pitchfork reviewed the For Against Box Set (2014, Captured Tracks), giving it a whopping 7.8. Impressive.

The review (read it here) concludes with: “They deserve recognition for their early-adapter approach to post-punk, as well as for sticking with it until and after everyone finally came around. Most importantly, though, these albums just sound great, as this box set represents a band hearing something from somewhere else and doing something specific and unique with it.

The box collects the band’s first two full-lengths, 1987′s Echelons, 1988′s December, and the 1990 10″ In the Marshes, originally out via Independent Project Records. The vinyl, which has been out of print for over two decades, is accompanied by a booklet and early For Against ephemera. The package is available for just $65 from the Captured Tracks website, here. I got to get me one of those…

* * *

Sleigh Bells returns to The Slowdown tonight. The band released its latest album, Bitter Rivals, last October on Mom + Pop Records (that label is becoming a thing). The band just played Coachella last weekend so it’ll be just like being there without being there. Opening is Florida electronic/dance act Sumsun. $20, 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Record Store Day recap; Ralph Remmert Benefit (Orenda Fink, Simon Joyner, Dan McCarthy) tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:43 pm April 21, 2014
The Lupines playing at Almost Music's  Record Store Day show April 19, 2014.

The Lupines play at Almost Music’s Record Store Day show April 19, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, I didn’t have much of a Record Store Day. In fact, I only bought two recordings — one record and one CD — and neither was an RSD offerings. That’s what happens when you get started late.

While I tip my hat to Homer’s for catering to the early morning line waiters with free food and entertainment, there’s no way I was going to wait in line for hours to be allowed to feed at the vinyl trough. I salute the hard-core vinyl collector. I wish I could be one, but I just don’t have the cash or the patience. As such, there was no way I was going to be able to snag a copy of that Devo Live at Max’s KC album that I so coveted. I looked on eBay later that night and found them starting at around $60 (or at least that was the latest bid).

Instead, I rode my bike to Almost Music at around 1 to catch The Lupines performing outside on the sidewalk. The shop only had three RSD products left in stock (including a PUJOL single). Judging by the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd intensely digging through the bins, I don’t think anyone cared. Almost Music proprietor Brad Smith went online later that day to say it was the best day the store has had since it opened.

The set-up for the live music was quaint, with people standing around the sidewalk, a few seated up front and by the grill. The small PA sounded surprisingly good belting out Lupines raw, hook-filled garage rock. It was fun watching cars drive by on Maple Street jolted awake by the noise and then staring at the small crowd of around 40.

If their neighbors don’t mind, maybe Almost Music could host live bands on the sidewalk more often, maybe even once a month in the summer. It’s a good way to get people to come in and check out their always rotating stock of used vinyl.

I didn’t get down to Homer’s until well past 5 p.m. The place was still packed and there was still plenty of RSD vinyl in stock — bins-ful — but nothing left that I was looking for. Instead, Homer’s clerk Chris Aponick pushed a copy of Courtney Barnett’s new CD The Double EP: A Sea to Split Pea into my hand and said I wasn’t leaving without it. I also found a very clean copy of The Doors’ Strange Days album in the used bin, which I assumed was a reissue. No one knew for sure. It’s probably my favorite Doors album (which isn’t saying much), and I didn’t have it so, what the heck?

Chris was right about the Barnett CD. This young Aussie is sort of a cross between Liz Phair and Foxygen, an intrepid slacker/stoner 20-something loaded with clever lines, something tells me she’s about to explode. Get in on it before everyone else does. You won’t regret it.

While downtown, I ran into Homer’s General Manager Mike Fratt who was pleased with how the day went down, but said he still had a lot of RSD stock to sell. He said among the hottest releases this year was a glow-in-the-dark 30th Anniversary reissue of Ray Parker Jr.’s Ghostbusters theme (which is now starting at $50 on eBay).

As with anything popular, there’s been a bunch of online articles critical of what RSD has become, saying it’s hurt small labels, that it’s become a scavenger hunt for professional eBay vendors who will turn around and sell whatever they waited in line for to the highest online bidder. Maybe so. I don’t buy the small label whining about how the majors are pushing them out of line with the limited number of vinyl manufacturers, pushing back their release dates. Too bad. Do a better job managing your business. The person who’s buying vinyl from Warners or Sony is a potential customer for your artist’s vinyl. You’ve chosen the vinyl model for your business. Make it work.

As for those greedy eBay bastards, yeah, they’re no different than ticket scalpers, but there’s nothing you can do about them, other than what the record shops have already done — limit sales quantities to individuals and make sure their own clerks aren’t in on the hustle. This kind of problem comes with anything that is collectable and in scarce number. If you’re a collector, you’re used to it. For the rest of us lazy a-holes, there’s eBay.

I personally love RSD. It’s a holiday that celebrates art and commerce and (for the most part) the little guy record shop who’s just trying to get by. I know that having it more than once a year (and on Black Friday) might water down the “specialness” of the event, but I could see this working on a monthly or at least quarterly basis. It’s a lot of work for everyone involved, but the payback is worth it.

* * *

There’s a special benefit show going on tonight at The Waiting Room that demands your attention.

I don’t know who Ralph Remmert is but I do know he has a lot of talented friends. They’re coming to his aid as he continues his fight against cystic fibrosis — a fight that includes an upcoming double-lung transplant. To help cover costs not covered by health insurance, Ralph’s friends are hosting tonight’s concert at TWR.

The line-up is star-studded and includes Orenda Fink, Dan McCarthy, Simon Joyner, Phil Schaffart, Greg Elsasser and Matt Whipkey. They’re calling it an “intimate songwriters’ circle.”

You can read more about Ralph here, check out his website here and read event details here. $15, 8 p.m. Go!

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Death Cab, Aimee Mann headline Maha Music Festival; Record Store Day, Tokyo Police Club, Kweller Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 11:19 am April 18, 2014

maha2014by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Ah, Maha…

The line-up for this year’s Maha Music Festival (for those of you who were out of town or away from their computers over the past 18 hours) was announced last night at O’Leaver’s. I told you there was going to be some surprises.

The headliner is Death Cab for Cutie. They’ve been touring through Omaha for more than a decade, since they were a little band on Barsuk Records playing to small crowds at Sokol Underground. Now they’re a festival act. One could argue they peaked with 2003’s Transatlanticism record. Their last album, 2011’s Codes and Keys, was nominated for a Grammy, but I’m only listening to it for the first time this morning (It’s pretty good, btw). Their last time through Omaha was in, what April 2009 for a gig at The Holland Center?

No, Death Cab would not have been my choice for a headliner. Their stand-and-play live shows are in direct contrast to last year’s Maha headliner in every way imaginable. Whereas Flaming Lips are known for their amazing stage shows (and last year’s was indeed spectacular), I’ve never cared for their music (Yes, that includes Yoshimi and Soft Bulletin, which I recently pulled out and still can’t get into). To me, Wayne Coyne has effectively compensated for boring music with eye-popping staging. On the other hand, Death Cab’s live performances can be mind-numbingly boring, but their music is sublime (to me anyway).

Summarized: I’d rather see a Lips show but listen to Death Cab music. Who knows, maybe Death Cab will come up with something interesting for Maha’s stage.

The Head and the Heart is a good genre match for Deathcab. The band sold out The Waiting Room back in October 2011. The review is here, wherein I described the performance this way: “The six-piece band was joined by a chorus of a few hundred who sang along to almost every song, sounding like a warm ocean lapping gently on the shores of the band’s acoustic folk. I haven’t heard so much singing since Dashboard Confessional circa 2003, only these songs weren’t cheesy heartbreak anthems sung by children. Instead the crowd was mostly in their mid-20s, with more women mixed in than I’m used to seeing at typical indie rock shows. Credit the nature of their music, which is more soothing than rousing, though it had its moments of exultation.”

H&tH’s latest record, 2013’s Let’s Be Still, is indeed quiet and…soothing.

Last time I saw Local Natives was at a sold out Waiting Room show in September 2010 (that review here). Like Head and the Heart, they’re a “vibe band” that plays vibe music rather than songs — perfect for a pretty summer night under the stars. Their latest, 2013’s Hummingbird, sounds a lot like the last Head and the Heart record.

Then comes what — for me — is Maha’s headliner. The Both.

The Both is Aimee Mann and Ted Leo. Mann is one of my all-time favorite artists. My love of her music began with the soundtrack to 1999’s Magnolia, a movie that had a profound effect on me as much for her music as the story on the screen. After seeing that film I ran out and bought the soundtrack (though 2000’s Bachelor No. 2 contains the best songs from that record), and Mann’s earlier albums, ’95’s I’m with Stupid and her debut, ’93’s Whatever.

It’s hard to separate Mann from the producer of those albums, the genius that is Jon Brion. She went on to release a number of consistently good records with a different producer, but only occasionally reached the heights of her earlier work (but they’re still worth seeking out).

Mann is a perfect match for Ted Leo (of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists), a performer I’ve wanted to see booked here for many years. Leo’s 2010 album The Brutalist Bricks (Matador) was one of my favorites from that year. Seems like the last time I saw Leo was back in November 2003 at Sokol Underground, though he’s been through Omaha since then (including (I think) in 2008 with Against Me?). Talk about your high-energy performers.

I haven’t heard anything from The Both except their Tiny Desktop concert. Their debut album came out Tuesday on Mann’s SuperEgo Records. Check out the first single, “Milwaukee” via this soundcloud link.

While the other three acts alone will make for a successful Maha this year, The Both is the act that will make it special, for me anyway.

The rest of the line up is a mixed bag of bands that includes a few I’d never heard of or listened to before, like indie hip-hop act Doomtree and St. Joe punk band Radkey. The Envy Corps has played in Omaha a number of times. Twinsmith is the latest signing by Saddle Creek Records and Matt Whipkey is a local legend. M34N STR33T is another up-and-coming hip-hop act that’s played around a lot, but who I haven’t caught on stage.

I’m told there could be more bands named to this year’s Maha Music Festival, but by itself this an impressive line-up. Tickets to the Aug. 16 show (once again at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village) are on sale now for $50. VIP tix are still available. More info at the Maha website.

Maha 2014 Lineup from Maha Music Festival on Vimeo.

* * *

It was interesting watching the reaction to the Maha announcement on Social Media last night. For every three people on Facebook or Twitter that applauded the line-up, there was one that went out of his/her way to complain.

Not surprisingly, the people who bitch most about the Maha lineup have never been to a Maha Festival and will never go to a Maha Festival. Their idea of a perfect festival line-up either: 1) involves bands that no longer exist/have been dead and/or retired for decades; or 2) involves bands that would take Lollapalooza money ($500k+) to book, or 3) involves bands so small and obscure they wouldn’t sell out Slowdown Jr. let alone The Waiting Room, or 4) are “genre” bands that don’t fit into the Maha theme, such as Country acts, goth-metal-goon bands, or straight-up pop acts. These folks also seem to require that every band on the line-up be one of their favorites.

Maha’s focus has always been indie/CMJ-style rock, the kind of music Omaha and Nebraska used to be nationally known for. The people bitching the most about Maha are people who hate that kind of music. Why waste time/energy bitching when you knew this was the kind of line-up Maha has booked in the past and always will book? If you prefer goon rock, go to one of the many goon rock outdoor concert/festivals that 89.7 The River hosts every year. If you like black-leather garage rock, go to Gonerfest — the Mecca of garage rock festivals (It’s on my punch list). If you like C&W headliners, check out the CenturyLink or Pinnacle arena schedules. If you can’t get over the fact that “your music” from your era is “so much better than today’s music,” then save up your money and travel to wherever “your bands” are playing reunion shows.

One guy online, who recently moved to Los Angeles and now regularly bashes Omaha whenever he can, commented that he sees “better bands in LA on a given weeknight that you’re getting at Maha.” My response: I have no doubt that’s true. The mistake you made was not moving to LA years ago. While we’re sad that you moved away and miss you, it pains me more to know that you wasted so many years of your life in Omaha instead of being where you CLEARLY belong. And btw, we already knew you weren’t going to Maha to begin with.

I hate when people move away. But more than that, I hate hearing them continue to bitch about Omaha after they’ve left. We get it. You hate Omaha. That’s why you moved away. All you’re doing when you bitch about Nebraska from your new homes in Denver or Portland or Austin or NYC or California is making yourself look like an asshole.

* *

Holy shit this is a long blog post. Let’s get to the weekend.

Tonight at The Waiting Room Satchel Grande is having a CD release show. I didn’t even know they were working on a new album. Opening is Buck Bowen (with Jazz Trio). $7, 9 p.m. This will be a big show.

Down at Slowdown Jr. Barsuk Records artist Say Hi headlines with Melbourne duo Big Scary. $12, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, at fabulous O’Leaver’s, The Brigadiers headline with The Sons of O’Leaver’s and the return of New Lungs (DMax and Co., welcome back). $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow is, of course, Record Store Day. I covered it in detail Wednesday (here). The highlight will be the Almost Music Day Party, which starts at 11:30 and runs ’til 7:30. The line-up is here (and it says there will be food and drink). It’s free. Go. And don’t forget to go to Homer’s, Saddle Creek Shop and Drastic Plastic and buy plenty of vinyl.

Saturday night former Saddle Creek band Tokyo Police Club headlines at The Slowdown with Geographer and Said the Whale. $15, 9 p.m.

Finally, 2010 Maha Festival performer Ben Kweller headlines at The Waiting Room Saturday night with See Through Dresses. $15, 9 p.m.

Did I miss anything? 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.



Maha Music Festival announcement, Dan McCarthy, Brad Hoshaw tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:52 pm April 17, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tonight at — of all places — fabulous O’Leaver’s the folks behind the Maha Music Festival will unveil their 2014 concert line-up. I, along with other members of the music press, are already privy to this information, but have taken an unwritten blood oath not to publish the names until after the official word is made tonight at Nebraska’s Favorite Neighborhood Drunktank™.

I can tell you that you’ll be surprised by at least a few of the bands chosen. That the line-up blows away the 80/35 Festival and Stir Concert Cove line-ups. That Maha has managed to land one performer who has never been to Omaha and who I’ve always wanted to see. That the variety of music spans indie, punk and hip-hop. That the local stage selections are impressive without being redundant (They’ve yet to repeat themselves with any band; that trend cannot continue forever).

I’ll write more about the line-up tomorrow. I suggest you either head down to O’Leaver’s tonight or watch the various Social Media channels at 8 p.m. when the information is released.

Afterward, head on over to The Barley Street Tavern where Dan McCarthy, Brad Hoshaw and Michael Todd will be performing “in the round.” $5, 10 p.m.

* * *

In this week’s column, Pt. 1 of The MINI Cooper saga (including plenty of Porsche commentary). You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Getting ready for Record Store Day; The Faint chart at No. 146; Mates of State, the Entrance Band tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:47 pm April 16, 2014

rsd2014by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s never too early to begin talking about Record Store Day (RSD), coming up this Saturday.

Homer’s Music is catering to the hard-core collector who will be waiting in line to snatch up what arguably will be the largest selection of RSD inventory in the area. Homer’s goes all out, as the line that will be forming in front of their Old Market store in the wee hours of the morning will attest.

To help keep the early morning line-sitters comfortable, Homer’s is handing out donuts along with entertainment in the form of live performances by Brad Hoshaw and Matt Whipkey, who will be selling their own limited-edition RSD 7-inch split single (I’ve got it; it’s good). In addition, Michael’s in the Market will be selling breakfast burritos. Heck, Homer’s has even rented a porta-potty so you won’t have to cross your legs. Promos include free RSD T-shirts for those spending more than $150, and Micheal’s gift certificates for those spending over $50 (while supplies last).

Homer’s will open at 10 a.m. Saturday. So will Saddle Creek Shop, Drastic Plastic and Almost Music.

You’ve probably heard this before: The best thing about South By Southwest is the day parties. You show up at a location — maybe it’s a park, maybe it’s a record store — and you spend the whole day there just listening to bands. It’s usually very chill. Best of all, it’s free — you don’t even need a badge to get in.

You’ll get a taste of what SXSW day parties are like when Almost Music hosts its own day party this Saturday for Record Store Day. The free event, which runs 11:30 to 7:30, will feature one of the best line-ups of local talent I’ve seen at any event. Check it out:

Nathan Ma (Places We Slept) 11:30-12:00
Anna McClellan (Howard) 12:15-12:45
The Lupines 1:00-1:30
The Subtropics (Noah Sterba, Megan Siebe, Zach LaGrou) 1:45-2:15
Uriah (formerly Ben Love) 2:30-3:00
L. Eugene Methe (Rake Kash) 3:15-3:45
Simon Joyner & the Ghosts 4:00-4:30
Orenda Fink (Azure Ray) 4:45-5:15
Luke Polipnik Trio 5:30-6:00
The Churls (feat Joe Knapp of Son, Ambulance) 6:15-6:45
Mike Schlesinger (Gus and Call) 7:00-7:30

The only thing missing is a beer tent, but you can always walk up the street to Krug Park or Infusion to get your brew on — both open at noon.

The irony is that Almost Music will be hosting the best special event for RSD, but likely will have the thinnest selection of RSD merch. My suggestion: Get to Homer’s and the other shops at 10, then head over to Almost Music for an afternoon of fantastic music… and bargains.

* * *

Homer’s General Manager Mike Fratt tells me that first week CD sales of The Faint’s new album, Doom Abuse (SQE Records), cracked the Billboard Top 200 at No. 146, with sales of 2,226 units. The album’s deluxe limited edition vinyl, released two weeks earlier, racked up 293 units, for a grand total of 2,519 units to date. Impressive…

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return (to Omaha) of Mates of State. Whenever I mention this show, someone says “They’re still around?” MoS have been coming through Omaha for more than a decade, and they’re still going strong. They toured last summer with The Postal Service, even though they haven’t released a new record since Mountaintops (2011, Barsuk).

Tonight’s show is being promoted as part of their “Acoustic Piano / Drums / Voices / Strings / Horns Tour.” Opening is Blue Bird. $16, 8 p.m.

Tonight also is the latest installment of Record Club at the Shop @ Saddle Creek. The featured record: The Entrance Band’s 2013 release, Face The Sun (Beyond Beyond Is Beyond). Record Club is a chance for folks to get together and listen to an album in its entirety, then discuss it afterward. Fun! The needle drops at 7 p.m. More info 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Conor to Headline 80/35 Festival; Circle Takes the Square, Nathaniel Rateliff tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:51 pm April 15, 2014
Conor playing Gigstock in NYC last week. He's been named as the headliner of the 80/35 Festival.

Conor Oberst playing Gigstock in NYC last week. He’s been named as headliner of the 80/35 Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

As we await the Maha Music Festival line-up announcement, which is coming this Thursday night at an event being hosted at fabulous O’Leaver’s, our friends to the east in Des Moines this morning announced the line-up to their 80/35 Festival July 4-5.

On top of the bill is our very own Conor Oberst, who is listed as the Friday night headliner. Conor will be on the road supporting his new solo record, Upside Down Mountain, out May 19 on Nonesuch. Other than Conor, not much else stands out in their line-up. In fact, Best Coast, Dawes, Envy Corp, Dr. Dog  and Ziggy Marley are the only other acts I recognize.

The 80/35 people say this is only the first announcement with more to come. After all, they have to fill 50 slots on three stages. Advance two-day tickets are on sale now for $49; one-day tickets for $29. VIP tickets are sold out. Day of tickets will run $80 for a two-day and $45 for a one-day. Is it worth it? Check out the rest of the line-up and decide for yourself.

Conor Oberst (headliner)
Ziggy Marley
Best Coast
Chicago Farmer
Max Jury
Bum Rap
Brother Trucker
Bonne Finken
Quick Piss

Dr. Dog
Xavier Rudd
Raz Simone
The Envy Corps
Caroline Smith
Shy Boys
Holy White Hounds
Aquamarine Dream Machine
Kris Adams

* * *

Speaking of Conor, his label just released videos of seven new songs performed at Gigstock in NYC last week, right here. Check out “Lonely at the Top,” below…

* * *

Celebrate tax day with Savannah progressive noise band Circle Takes the Square tonight at Slowdown Jr. Local folks Lightning Bug and Relentless Approach open. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Rounder Records artist Nathaniel Rateliff plays at The Waiting Room with Caroline Rose. $12, 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: The Lupines; Arctic Monkeys headed to Stir; Sleeper Agent tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:57 pm April 14, 2014
Lupines at The Barley Street Tavern, April 14, 2014.

The Lupines at The Barley Street Tavern, April 14, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I guess you could say The Lupines got Omaha’d Saturday night at The Barley Street Tavern.

Early in the evening, the place was as packed as I’ve ever seen it, there for singer/songwriter Danny Sabra. What was the draw? I’m not sure, though I think it might have had something to do with the fact that Sabra musically interprets Psalms from the Bible (along with Glen Hansard songs). The crowd was made up of a lot of kind-looking older people in Hawaiian shirts and khakis — not your typical Lupines crowd.

Sure enough, right after they finished their set, the Hawaiian shirts vanished, reducing the Barley to its more familiar-sized audience of around 12 people for the next band, Scruffy and the Janitors.

Scruffy/Janitors was a power trio hailing from St. Joseph, MO. Not knowing a thing about them, I wasn’t expecting much but was pleasantly surprised by a style of rock that sort of merges The Strokes with standard garage fare. Nice stuff. They say they’ll be back, and they’re worth checking out.

Lupines' new T-shirt design.

Lupines’ new T-shirt design.

By the time Lupines made it to the stage, there were six of us left in the crowd, not counting the Janitors. What canI  say other than the rest of you missed a great set of music highlighted by guitarist Mike Friedman, who was on fire not only from his blazing guitar solos but also by the Barley’s stage lighting, which he said was like roasting under a heat lamp. If you missed them (and most of you did) you’ll get another chance to see The Lupines this Saturday at Almost Music’s Record Store Day show. More info on that later this week — it’s gonna be a doozy.

BTW, also unveiled Saturday night was The Lupines new T-shirts, which are among the coolest I’ve seen from a local band. Buy them while you can.

* * *

Stir announced a handful of additional shows for their summer concert line-up. The most interesting of the bunch: Foster the People  Aug. 5 and Arctic Monkeys July 30. That AM show is quite a surprise…

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Tonight at The Waiting Room, it’s Bowling Green band Sleeper Agent (Mom + Pop Records) with Holy Child and Pagiins. $15, 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Pitchfork rates The Faint/Doom Abuse 6.1, others weigh in; Lupines Saturday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:49 pm April 11, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 12.39.36 PMWell, the Pitchfork review of The Faint’s new album, Doom Abuse, just came out. Those arbiters of all things hipster gave the record a mediocre 6.1. To his credit, critic Ian Cohen spent a lot of time in his review trying to dissect the album’s lyrics, which is good and all, except no one listens to Faint records expecting some sort of lyrical revelation. They listen for the beat, the color, the energy. I mean, how many times have you contemplated the meaning behind “Going to the Hospital” or “Erection”?

The review’s closing line: “Doom Abuse isn’t so much an argument for the Faint’s continued relevancy as it is for the potency of their real-time nostalgia.” Huh? I’ve read that three times and I’m still not sure what it means. Read the whole review here.

A few other big hitters have weighed in on Doom Abuse:

Consequences of Sound gave the record a B-, saying, “The hiatus did them good, and in the Lorazepam paranoid dreams of The Faint’s world, that’s a glimmer of needed hope.Read it here.

Popmatters gave the record a 6: “Does it measure up to their greatest moments or delve into new terrain? Not at all. But if the Faint’s goal was to have fun and make a good Faint-sounding record, then mission accomplished.More here.

NME also gave the record a 6: “A good seven years out of date, ‘Doom Abuse’ is pure synth-pop mania, frequently teetering between unadulterated Trent Reznor pop brilliance (‘Unseen Hand’, ‘Lesson From The Darkness’) and impressions of Skrillex driving a monster truck through a Savages gig in a video arcade (‘Animal Needs’, ‘Dress Code’). Does it abuse you? Oh yeah…More here.

AV Club on the other hand, gave Doom Abuse a B+: “Whether agitated or brooding, Doom Abuse is a pointed reminder that The Faint is most comfortable when things are slightly askew.Review here.

And ol’ reliable All Music gave Doom Abuse 3.5 stars: “Equal parts whimsical and despondent, it’s Disintegration-era Cure wearing an Imagine Dragons hoodie that’s trying to have an LCD Soundsystem, ‘All My Friends’ moment, and while the Faint don’t quite pull it off, they’re all the better for trying.

Disintegration-era Cure? Uh, no. Read more here.

If you missed it, I weighed in on the record in the 1st Quarter reviews roundup, saying the record “not only is good, it’s Blank Wave Arcade good. As a whole, the record is more immediate than any previous Faint record, and by that I’m talking about their no-nonsense, straight-forward approach to each track. I read that unlike previous studio marathons, the band got in and got out quickly on this one — no fucking around, no over-thinking — and it shows. The arrangements at times can be acidic and brash, but the album still has classic Faint dance moments (“Evil Voices,” “Loss of Head”) that will get the crowd jumping every time. Welcome back, boys.”

I give a B+ and 4 stars (out of 5) and think history will be kind to it.

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It’s a lousy weekend for shows — there’s a lot of cover and tribute bands playing around town tonight and very little original music.

With that in mind, we skip to Saturday and The Barley Street Tavern where the mighty Lupines are headlining a show with a couple bands I’ve never heard of: St. Joseph Missouri band Scruffy & the Janitors (This Tall Records) and Danny Sabra. $5, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, William Elliott Whitmore (Anti Records) plays at The Waiting Room with Austin Lucas. $12, 9 p.m.

That’s it. Have a good 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


1% to Open New Benson Micro-Venue (and what’s it mean to the competition?); Crushed Out, HFW tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 5:05 pm April 10, 2014
The Micek space soon to be Reverb, photo stolen from Omahype.com who stole it from Google Maps.

The former Micek space soon to be Reverb, photo stolen from Omahype.com who stole it from Google Maps.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Omaha World-Herald‘s Kevin Coffey got the scoop yesterday on the new club being constructed by Jim Johnson and Marc Leibowitz in Benson. You can read the article here.

Called Reverb, the new club will have a 100-capacity performance space, and is located in the old Micek bay north of Jake’s.

I had been told it would be a bar first and performance venue second. The fact that they’re planning music “three or more nights a week,” was quite a surprise as it sounded like they would only have music — at most — twice a week. Hey, the more the merrier, I always say.

Will this new club impact O’Leaver’s and/or The Barley Street Tavern? Maybe. Probably not. O’Leaver’s caters to such a… unique audience and books such a specific style of garage/punk that I can’t see that changing, especially with the Cursive boys at the helm. O’Leaver’s, after all, is an American institution.

The Barley Street Tavern books mostly Americana / folk acts and local singer/songwriters. There are plenty of those to go round.

Where Reverb could have the biggest impact is on those national indie shows that have been booked at places like Sweatshop and Farnam House. Titus Andronicus, Parquet Courts and Speedy Ortiz are three examples of recent shows that would have worked well at a place like Reverb… that is if 1% could have booked them. I was told by those bands’ publicists that they purposely chose to book their tours in small spaces like houses and art galleries rather than bars. If attracting an all-ages audience was what lured them to Farnam/Sweatshop, then Reverb would probably be out of the picture, as the club is a “21-and-over” bar, according to Kevin’s article.

And what about Slowdown Jr.? Conventional wisdom would tell you that Reverb and The Jr. are similar size and target the same audience. The fact that 1% books both clubs would appear to be the tie-breaker — I can’t imagine Leibs booking a show at Jr. when he could have it at his own club and soak in all the booze money.

I must admit my bias here. I live just a 5-minute bike ride to Benson (which equates to a 10-minute drunken bike ride back home after shows). I’ll take that every time over the commitment needed to drive all the way downtown for Slowdown shows.

The most intriguing thing about Kevin’s article, though, is this line: “Popular bands also have the potential to play limited-access, intimate shows at Reverb, which could charge $100 a ticket to see a band that would normally play for 500 people.”

Think about it this way: Would you pay $100 to see, say, Rocket from the Crypt at a state-of-the-art 100-capacity club like Reverb? I would. In fact, I think it would sell out rather quickly, whereas a $25 RFTC show at The Waiting Room could struggle to break even. With more and more top-line indie acts going after smaller rooms and putting together “living room tours,” the time may be ripe for Reverb. Sounds like we’ll have to wait until this fall to find out.

By the way, with Reverb’s addition, that will bring the number of places serving booze in Benson to just under 100. Kidding. I think the number is closer to 12 or 13 (or 14?). How can that many bars strung together in such as small stretch of town survive?

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Speaking of small, under-the-radar clubs, tonight Brooklyn guitar-and-drum garage rock duo Crushed Out plays at the legendary Brothers Lounge with local surf punkers Huge Fucking Waves. $5, 9 p.m.

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In this week’s column, on the occasion of 100 years of its existence, I reflect on how UNO student newspaper The Gateway has (literally) impacted my life. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.