Priests (not Priest) tonight at TWR; #TBT: 10-year-old album reviews (which held up?)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:40 pm May 3, 2018

Priests play tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan,

About a month ago I received a promo EP from an artist called Priest. For whatever reason (Maybe because the tracks got indexed on my iPhone with the wrong name) I assumed this was a new EP by Priests, with an “ess” on the end. And I was thinking, “Holy shit, they’ve really changed their sound.” The EP is called Lost Lions and was released on Nordic Records last month.

So when I saw that Priests was heading to Omaha I thought, “Man, that’s awesome that they’re touring a 4-song EP, but I guess when you change your sound like this, why not?” Then I went looking for the EP in Spotify. Nothing.

Turns out I had the wrong priest. Priest is actually Camille Priest. She’s from Orlando. She creates electronic dance music that is crazy catchy in the Charlie XCX vein — actually it kind of reminds me of early Ladytron — about as far away from Priests’ X-inflected post-punk as you’re likely to find. You’ve never heard of her, until now.

Anyway, that’s a long way of saying Priests — the band that played at Maha last year and did this groovy Ten Questions interview — is playing tonight at Reverb Lounge, not Priest (who isn’t playing anywhere tonight). Mellow Diamond and Boner Killerz open. $12, 8 p.m.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for some fun electronic indie-dance pop, check out Priest.

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For Throwback Thursday, a look back at the 2008 Q1 Report, which came out in Lazy-i this week way back then.

It’s interesting to see which of these albums held up a decade later. The releases from Aimee Mann, She & Him and Teenagers still resonate. That Breeders album was a dud (they have a new one out); that Whipkey album was on top of the list until Driver this year; Neil Diamond couldn’t pull off a Johnny Cash; Brian Poloncic is focused on his amazing art these days; and the rest are in the “where are they now” category…

Lazy-i May 8, 2008: Column 172: First Quarter Report
A glance at some recent releases from 2008

Whenever people start asking me what I’m listening to, I figure it’s time for another CD reviews round-up. These are not full, detailed reviews, rather they’re impressions after listening to these albums on and off on my stereo and iPhone over the past few weeks/months. All get the Lazy-i seal of approval.

Aimee Mann, @#&*! Smilers (SuperEgo) — Faithful Aimee Mann fans stood beside this So Cal (by way of Boston) girl back in her ‘Til Tuesday days, did an I-told-you-so when her genius was revealed on the Magnolia soundtrack, and held her hand during all the follow-ups when no one else was around. Here’s their reward: Her best album since Bachelor No. 2.

Black Kids, Wizard of Ahhhs (self released) — Available for free (the trend continues) from their website late last year, the sound is pure ’80s new romantic, and at its finest moments emulates The Cure’s Kiss Me album right down to the Robert Smith groan vocals. Columbia figured it out and gobbled them up for a formal debut slated for July. Black Kids are on the precipice, staring over the edge where bands like Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse stood a few years ago.

The Breeders, Mountain Battles (4AD) — Remember when Kim and Kelley were considered edgy and subversive (and The Pixies were still debonair)? The band never recovered after the burnout suffered at the hands of “Cannonball” way back in ’93, back when MTV still played videos, especially that one, over and over again. There are no Cannonballs hidden here, nor anything as shocking (and grand) as their cover of “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” (from Pod). Still, serviceable; but just barely.

Joan of Arc, Boo! Human (Polyvinyl) — Too often, Tim Kinsella tries to sound weird and unapproachable, so imagine my surprise at the simple acoustic pop of opening track “Shown and Told,” as well as the tumbling “A Tell-Tale Penis” and the back-beat rocker (yes, rocker) “The Surrender #2.” There are still plenty of atonal nightmares, like screamer “9/11 2” and startle-noised “Everywhere I Go.” Download discriminately.

The Long Blondes, Couples (Rough Trade) — Their thump-thump-thump New Wave dance rave-ups, like disco opener “Century” and porn-guitar fueled “Guilt,” remind me of another band named after its frontwoman’s hair color. All right, you youngsters, I’m talking about Blondie. And though vocalist Kate Jackson is no Debra Harry, her music and her band have the same upbeat, heart-of-glass style.

Neil Diamond, Home Before Dark (Columbia) — Note to Rick Rubin: Neil Diamond is famous for his bombastic, over-the-top arrangements that boast enough orchestration to launch a space shuttle. The stripped-down arrangements that worked so well for Johnny Cash may be the wrong approach here. I mean, do his fans really want an evening of intimate, acoustic folk songs? No, they want to stand up and punch the sky along with everyone else during “Sweet Caroline.” That said, there’s more to these tracks than 2005’s 12 Songs. Still, I yearn for the day when Rubin and Diamond finally break down and do an album with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

She & Him, Volume One (Merge) — One of the best moments from the 2003 Will Ferrell break-out film “Elf” was the impromptu duet between Ferrell and a showering Zooey Deschanel. I remember thinking, “Jeeze, she sings as great as she looks.” M Ward (the Him) must have thought the same thing. Deschanel is at her best when she croons her own twangy rocking material, sounding like a cuter version of Jenny Lewis. The charm wears thin in the latter half of the album, thanks to Patsy-styled torch ballads (“Take It Back), cheesy doo-wop (“I Was Made for You”) and too many uninspired covers (Smokey’s “You Really Got Me,” a flawed take on The Beatles’ “I Should Have Known Better”). Now if we can only coax her back into that shower.

The Teenagers, Reality Check (XL) — Sorta funny French synthpop is funnier because of the odd, spoken-word vocal approach, which combines Pepé Le Pew with a Valley Girl. It’s so well-recorded, however, that you can’t help but get into the clean Weezer-meets-The Cars synthpop. Irony was never so catchy.

Tokyo Police Club, Elephant Shell (Saddle Creek) — I’ve been told that a local music mogul predicted this will be the biggest selling Creek release ever, bigger even than Bright Eyes. Early criticism, however, complained that it pales compared to the band’s noisy debut EP. I say it’s far more listenable, like an upbeat Death Cab (a band terminally lost in ennui). They’re young and hip and will look good on TV. Maybe that mogul is right.

A Tomato a Day (helps keep the tornado away), The Moon Is Green (Public Eyesore) — There’s something lost and lonely about Brian Poloncic’s acoustic folk confessions, which plow the same stark territory as, say, Husker Du’s Candy Apple Grey or sad Replacements or Todd Grant’s yearning solo album. Three years in the making, it’s time that they’re finally heard. Check them out at the CD release show Friday night at Benson Grind.

The Whipkey Three, 26 (self release) — It’s the best recording Matt Whipkey ever produced with any band. As one person put it who hasn’t cared for any of Whipkey’s past projects: “I guess persistence pays off. I actually like this.” I like it, too. And it’s about as DIY as you’re going to get — Whipkey burned the CDRs and hand rubber-stamped the discs and sleeves. Pick one up at the CD-release show Saturday night at Mick’s. — First published in Lazy-i, May 8, 2008

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Thick Paint, Nest Egg, David Nance, Druids tonight; Preoccupations’ New Material review…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:54 pm May 2, 2018

by Tim McMahan,

A couple of shows tonight…

Over at The Brothers Lounge Thick Paint headlines a show with David Nance. In the center spot is Asheville, NC band Nest Egg. Via the trio’s Facebook page: “Nest Egg has already made a name for themselves with their amazing fog-heavy, zoned and honed live show. Warping minds and winning fans with their heady, atmospheric take on progressive, ethereal vibed-out rock music.” Their sound is kinetic and fun. Check out the track below. $5, 9 p.m.

There’s also a heavy rock show at fabulous O’Leaver’s tonight with Des Moines psych-metal trio Druids. Locals Bonghammer and The Long Awaited open. $5, 9 p.m.

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Q1 2018 record reviews continue. Read them all here at The Reader website.

Preoccupations, New Material (2018, Jagjaguwar)

Preoccupations, New Material (Jagjaguwar) — From the guys who used to be called Viet Cong. I listen to a lot of SiriusXM First Wave, which plays post-punk/New Wave music from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and some of these tracks could be dropped into rotation and no one would notice. Opener “Espionage,” for example, sounds like ‘80s Gary Numan synth rock crossed with Interpol. On the other hand, “Antidote” is Eno-esque modern and dissonant while “Solace” sounds like reimagined New Order. A favorite.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Bowie was there; Karl Marks, Bokr Tov, Matt Cox Friday; Lavender Country, The Twilight Hours (ex-Trip Shakespeare) Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:36 pm April 27, 2018

The stairway at the Broadway and Lafayette St. subway station in Manhattan.

by Tim McMahan,

One of the things I had a chance to do in my free time while in Manhattan this week was visit the David Bowie Is Here display at the Broadway & Lafayette Metro station. The display was inspired by the David Bowie Is exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. For years Bowie lived in the neighborhood near the Lafayette St. train station.

Throughout the subway station were photos of Bowie, writings and other images from throughout his career slapped onto the subway-tile walls. The most stunning is the one above, which forms a different photo of Bowie when viewed from the other side of the stairway.

As part of the exhibit, which was presented by Spotify, special David Bowie Metro cards were printed and sold. I picked up four of the series of five (the fifth was sold out). Very cool.

Anyway, I’m back in time for the weekend. And here’s what’s happening.

Tonight at The Brothers Lounge Boston noise rock band Karl Marks headlines. The band’s latest, Universal Care (2018, Exploding in Sound), has received nods from the likes of Paste and NPR. Don’t be fooled. This is heavy stuff. Hussies and Chalant open at 10 p.m. $5.

Also tonight (Friday) Bokr Tov plays at The Barley Street Tavern with Odd Harmona, Ojai and Scott Severin. $5, 9 p.m.

Over at The Waiting Room Matt Cox celebrates the release of his new album, High Places. Opening are Dustin Arbuckle & The Damnations and Rex Granite Band featuring Sarah Benck. $10, 8 p.m.

Tomorrow night it’s back to The Brothers for a very special performance by Lavender Country, the first openly gay country band whose self-titled collection released in 1973 has lived on in rerelease. Frontman Patrick Haggerty has been featured on NPR and in the following documentary, which will take only 15 minutes to watch but will make you want to swing by The Brother Saturday night and see Haggerty live. $7, 10 p.m.


Also Saturday night, The Twilight Hours, which includes Matt Wilson and John Munson of Trip Shakespeare, are headlining at Reverb Lounge. Daniel Christian opens at 9 p.m. $12 Adv/$15 DOS.

Last but not least, Matt Whipkey Band is playing a free set of music out at Growler USA. 9 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 — 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


RSD Weekend!; Lupines, Wagon Blasters, Sucettes, Stelth Ulvang, McCarthy Trenching tonight; Bill Hoover, Mynabirds, Whipkey, State Disco Saturday; Anna McClellan Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:35 pm April 20, 2018

by Tim McMahan,

There’s a shit-ton going on this weekend so let’s get to it:

First off, it’s Record Store Day weekend, which means that as I type this there could be vinyl nerds standing in line downtown in front of Homer’s. There certainly will be tomorrow morning. Here’s how it breaks down:

Homer’s opens at 10 a.m. and is offering free coffee, breakfast and donuts for line-waiters. Country-blues artist Matt Cox will be performing outside at 9:30 a.m. in support of the release of his vinyl release High Places. Homer’s gets the biggest shipment of RSD merch because they’re the biggest record store in Omaha. If you’re looking for that rare hard-to-find limited RSD release, get in line.

Almost Music, which also will be selling RSD merch, is hosting performances all afternoon and into the evening. Blackstone Meatball will be slinging meatballs in the shop. The schedule for the Almost RSD-fest:

12:15 — Bill Hoover
1 p.m. — Pagan Athletes
1:45 —Megan Siebe
2:30 — Kyle Jessen
3:15 — Those Far Out Arrows
4 — Tom Bartolomei
5 — Putter & Co.
5:45 — Rusty Lord
6:30 — Death Cow
7:15 — Houma
8 — Conny Blanco w/ Dojorok

Both Drastic Plastic locations in the Old Market are taking part in RSD. They’re handing out coffee and pastries and a full selection of RSD bootie. Stores open at 10 p.m.

Don’t forget Ear Wax Records and Collectibles, 5054 So. 135th St., which opens at noon; and Recycled Sounds, 322 No. 76th St. , which also opens at noon. Both are taking part in RSD merch-stock promotions.

And when you’re all done, chill out at the Hi-Fi House open house, where you can brag up your lucky finds with fellow vinyl fanatics.

When it comes to my luck getting the good stuff, I’m still trying to find a Red House Painters box set from RSD a few years back, something I’d actually play on my record player. I know there’s got to be one out there (for less than $400)…

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Onto the rest of the weekend.

As the weather improves, so do nights at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Tonight the club has Lupines in the headline position with Wagon Blasters opening and a new act called Sidewalkers sandwiched in the middle. 10 p.m., $5.

Meanwhile, over at The Sydney in Benson, Sucettes play with headliner Lincoln’s Laughing Falcon. Green Alter opens at 10 p.m. $5.

Also in Benson over at The Barley Street Tavern McCarthy Trenching is on a bill that includes Smith’s Cloud and The Wildwoods. $5, 9 p.m.

And let’s not forget Stelth Ulvang of Lumineers (whose Ten Questions you read yesterday) opening for Wild Child at The Slowdown’s big room Friday. $17, 9 p.m.

Saturday kicks off with Earth Day in Elmwood Park. The big-name performer is Saddle Creek Records act The Mynabirds playing at 4 p.m. The aforementioned Matt Cox has the stage at 2:20. Of course it’s all free. Full schedule is right here.

It’s back to O’Leaver’s Saturday night where Matt Whipkey has the center slot with stoner-rock heavies Ocean Black opening and headliner Bokr Tov, who have new self-titled EP. $7, 10 p.m.

Also Saturday night, State Disco, which calls their sound “indietronic dance rock,” celebrates the release of their new album Going to Sleep Is Giving Up at The Waiting Room. The album was produced by Graham Ulicny (Thick Paint, Reptar) and recorded at The Faint’s Enamel Studios. Opening is Saddle Creek Records band Twinsmith and Chicago’s The Kickback (Julian Records). $10 Adv/$13 DOS. 9 p.m.

Finally on Sunday night hometown hero Anna McClellan returns, this time to OutrSpaces, 1258 So. 13th St.. Joining her is Staffers, LA’s Syko Friend and Jim Schroeder Band. Starts at 8 p.m. Suggested donation: $10-$20.

Gaddamn, what am I missing? Put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend!

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Hot or Not? Maha Music Festival 2018 headliners Weezer, TV On the Radio, Father John Misty…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:49 pm April 18, 2018

Weezer is one of the headliners at the 2018 Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan,

So here’s the deal: The folks who put on the Maha Music Festival raised the bar insurmountably high with last year’s line-up, which exceeded my expectations. It was so good, I was left scratching my head as to how they could possibly beat it for their big 10th anniversary fest.

I mean, they’d have to pull out all the stops with massive names like Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Beck, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett, Kendrick Lamar, The Breeders, Superchunk — the biggest and best of indie that are still making important new music today.

If they could snag just a couple of the above names they could at least match 2017’s stellar line-up.

Well, yesterday the folks at Maha announced the 2018 line-up. But before they did, they made a “big announcement” a few weeks earlier concerning their 10th Anniversary — that the fest is expanding to two days. Ambitious, no doubt. Their other big news — their merger with Big Omaha — was a big dud, and sounded more like an albatross had been hung around their necks.

In the face of all that, this year’s line-up sounds sort of like an afterthought. The hot band on the ticket is TV on the Radio, a beloved legacy act that hasn’t released in album in four years. A lot of people are pumped and I’m hearing the band will be the Friday night headliner. Personally, TVOTR has never been my cup of tea, but I get the excitement from the fans — a lot of folks point to 2008’s Dear Science as one of their all-time favorite records.

The Saturday night headliner is Weezer, a band that headlined a night of the 80/35 Festival a couple years ago. Weezer has a huge fan base, thanks to their debut album, which came out 24 years ago, a solid follow-up with Pinkerton in ’96, followed by their green album in ’01. After that, most people lost track of the band, but it doesn’t matter as long as they keep playing “Undone – The Sweater Song” on tour. Fun fact: Weezer released an album last year called Pacific Daydream.

The third headliner is Father John Misty, a big name in indie with a big fanbase. His droll, low-key songs and stand-up comic stage patter are just right for a theater crowd, but maybe not so much for a festival. I’ve watched his Pitchfork Live set where he basically stood there and sang for two hours. Who knows, maybe he’ll bring along some special effects.

Moving on to the second tier bands, three names stand out for me. Tune-Yards (originally spelled tUnE-yArDs) are a fun, quirky band (but again, pretty dull live, or at least they were dull when I saw them at SXSW a few years ago). Hop Along has Saddle Creek Records pedigree and their new album is getting a lot buzz (because it’s good). And U.S. Girls, who was lauded as a standout at this year’s SXSW.

I’m only vaguely familiar with The Kills and not familiar at all with ZZ Ward, Benjamin Booker, Hurray for the Riff Raff and Ravyn Lenae.

On a positive note, Maha wisely expanded its selection of local bands to five this year, including a couple of my faves: David Nance and Clarence Tilton. State Disco, Mesonjixx and The Dilla Kids (none of which I’ve seen play live) round out the line-up.

So, disappointed? Not really. I’ve been bracing for disappointment since I left last year’s earth-shattering show knowing the odds of getting one of those massive names I listed at the beginning of this was slim and none.

From a business perspective, the festival should sell well (Don’t underestimate the power of Weezer). The pricing is kind of interesting.

2-day Early Bird general admission passes are $90 — a bargain. The Saturday-only GA advance tickets at $70 cost twice as much as the Friday-only GA advance tickets ($35), which would seem to indicate either a shorter day or less-inviting line-up on Friday? I guess we’ll see when the schedules are released. Maybe they’re just trying to cash in on those Weezer fans.

It also brings up the question as to what day/night Father John Misty will play. He seems perfect to open for TVOTR, but as a co-headliner, they might move Misty to Saturday to help justify the ticket price. If so, they could lose some Misty fans who won’t pay the Weezer tariff.

VIP tickets — which are really the way to go if you’re into these bands — are only being sold in 2-Day increments for $290, which is a shame because some folks may only be able to go to one day of the fest. Oddly, you’re paying twice as much for two days of fun but they didn’t double the “Maha bucks” allocation. Rip!

Even if only a couple bands trip your trigger, at this price point Maha remains a bargain because, let’s face it, half the fun is just going to the festival, hanging out on the lawn, drinking beer and enjoying the music. No one locally puts on a better event (thanks in part to their army of volunteers).

See you there…?

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Parquet Courts headlines Lincoln Calling; Maha line-up tonight; Cigarettes After Sex, Headroom, David Nance tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:49 pm April 17, 2018

by Tim McMahan,

I’m sure you’ve already seen the initial line-up for Lincoln Calling 2018. I’m not going to list all the bands. You can see the full line-up at, but the highlights (for me, anyway):

Parquet Courts — Break-out indie band from Brooklyn on Rough Trade. They’ve been through here a few times, including a gig at Sweatshop Gallery.

Waxahatchee — Very cool indie singer-songwriter. Gorgeous stuff.

Japanese Breakfast — On rotation at Sirius XMU, another indie singer-songwriter.

Ron Gallo — Blew it up at Slowdown Jr. last year.

The Nude Party — North Carolina indie band will be touring with Sunflower Bean in June.

Ought — On Merge Records, Pitchfork darlings.

That’s some quality shit. Alone, none could sell out The Slowdown, taken together and we’re talking the stuff of an epic SXSW day party.

Add a ton more nationals and a strong collection of locals and you’ve got a nice little festival on your hands. Remember, this is only the “initial announcement” — there’s more to come.

The event takes place Sept. 17-22. The venues are the usual LC suspects: Duffy’s (inside and out), The Zoo, Bodega’s and 1867, plus 14th St. for a night market. Missing is The Bourbon Theater, which I’m told currently is on hold. Bourbon hosted major acts at LC in years’ past.

Tickets start at $35 and go up to $75 for VIP. One price gets you into the shows all week. Cheap! The performance schedules aren’t online yet. If you’re like me, you’re not driving to Lincoln more than once, so that schedule will be crucial…

* * *

Speaking of schedules, the Maha Music Festival line-up is scheduled to be announced tonight. The embargoed press release says hold until 7 p.m., but I’m guessing Maha will leak the names prior to that time.

Yes, I’ve seen the line-up. My only hint: I haven’t seen any of the three primary headliners perform live before. Considering the thousands of bands I’ve seen live, take that for what it’s worth. The main headliner will likely cast a wide net. Stay tuned…

* * *

Two good shows are happening tonight:

At The Waiting Room tonight it’s an evening with Cigarettes After Sex. The El Paso dream-pop act has been getting some serious Sirius airplay with their self-titled debut, out last year on Partisan. No opener listed. $20, 8 p.m.

Also tonight New Haven psych-rock band Headroom headlines at The Brothers Lounge. Joining them are David Nance Band, Alcools and Systematic Development Band (a four-band bill on a Tuesday night?). $5, 10 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Traveling Mercies Kickstarts new album; Hookworms review…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:00 pm April 16, 2018

Travelling Mercies launched a Kickstarter for their new one, Cheap Labor.

by Tim McMahan,

The bad weather kept me out of the venues this weekend. Such is life. Will spring ever really arrive?

One bit of news as we wait for the Maha Music Festival announcement, which arrives tomorrow…

Travelling Mercies launched a Kickstarter campaign last month for their third full-length, Cheap Labor, which drops sometime next month. “This is NOT a request for a handout. This is a pre-order of our amazing new album, Cheap Labor. You’re investing in our artistic vision, and you’re getting something for it. The more you give, the more you get. Invest at any level and you will own the album.”

Hit up the Kicstarter here.

* * *

Q1 2018 CD reviews continue. Read them all here at The Reader website.

Hookworms, Microshift (Domino, 2018)

Hookworms, Microshift (Domino) — British neo-psych band has a bit in common with Tame Impala but lacks that band’s quirky melodies and willingness to go over the edge and look back at you. The result is a straight-forward electronic album big on chiming rhythms but small on memorable melodies.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.



Chastity Belt, Lala Lala, Those Far Out Arrows, Sam Locke Ward tonight; The Pack A.D., Mitch Gettman, Laserbulb Saturday; Caitlin Rose Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:23 pm April 13, 2018

Mitch Gettman at The Waiting Room, May 2, 2014. He plays Saturday night at The Barley Street Tavern.

by TIm McMahan,

The wacky mix of show this weekend is a good way to say goodbye to the last gasps of winter. Put on your insulated hoodie and get out and see some shows.

Tonight at Reverb Lounge Chastity Belt headlines. The Seattle four-piece has had a couple records released on Hardly Art, including their last one, 2017’s I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone. Their music has those classic chiming indie guitars and dreamy, echoing vocals. Gorgeous stuff. Opener, Chicago’s Lala Lala, brings a ‘90s indie/grunge sound. $12, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, Those Far Out Arrows return to The Brothers Lounge tonight with Sam Locke Ward and Sean Pratt and the Sweats. The Arrows have some new material that you need to hear. Watch for an upcoming album release announcement from these lads. $5, 9 p.m.

And since you’ll be in the neighborhood, the M34N ST33T album release “listening party” for Don Quixote’s Lance is tonight at The Hi-Fi House. You first read about the project here. The listening begins at 9:30 and is free.

Tomorrow night it’s back to The Brothers for Canadian garage rock duo The Pack A.D. Their music has been released on a variety of labels including Mint, Nettwerk and Cadence. Their latest, Dollhouse, came out last fall. Check it below. New Yorker Brook Pridemore and Natural States open at 9 p.m.  $5.

Back in Benson at The Barley Street Saturday night Mitch Gettman headlines a bill that includes Seth Doud, Rachel Ziegler and Not Funny. $5, 9 p.m.

Saturday night also sees the local debut of Laserbulb at The Sydney, the new project by Clark Baechle of The Faint. It’s electronic and it’s fun. Joining Clark is Kethro and Teetah. $5, 10 p.m.

Finally Sunday night alt country crooner Caitlin Rose (ATO Records) plays at Reverb Lounge. The Kernal opens at 8 p.m $10 adv/$12 DOS.

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 — 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


#TBT: Lazy-i April 15, 2008: No Poles, No Pasties; MGMT’s Little Dark Age…

Category: Blog — @ 12:51 pm April 12, 2018

by Tim McMahan,

I haven’t been back to an Omaha City Council Meeting since the one described in this April 2008 column about the establishment of an ordinance to allow minors to attend rock shows in Omaha bars. Something tells me if I went to next Tuesday night’s City Council meeting nothing would have changed except the players (of course). As far as I know, the ordinance is still in place, though I couldn’t tell you if anyone other than The Waiting Room, Reverb and The Slowdown takes advantage of it.

Anyway, step back in time with this Throwback Thursday edition of Lazy-i. Hard to believe this happened a decade ago…

* * *

Column 169: No Poles, No Pasties
 – Lazy-i, April 16, 2008
All ages shows become more legal.

It’s been about 20 years since I’ve been to an Omaha City Council meeting, and in that time nothing has changed about the council chambers — the paneled décor, the dirty upholstered chairs, the institutional florescent lighting. The place even smells the same, a mixture of dust, mildewed paper, Brylcreem, toilet bowl deodorant and bureaucracy.

Only the players have changed, but really, is Frank Brown that much different then say, Fred Conley? Is Garry Gernandt a big leap from Bernie Simon? No, not really. It certainly didn’t seem that way at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, which felt like stepping into a time machine, complete with all the usual inane discussions, dumb questions and stripper references that I remember from my days at J school.

At stake was the future of all-ages shows in Omaha bars. The council was voting on the so-called “music venue” ordinance introduced by Councilman Jim Suttle that would let bars allow minors onto their premises during live music events as long they were properly ID’d and identified as minors. The first reading of the ordinance was two weeks ago, and afterward no one thought it would pass. Certainly I didn’t.

But over those two weeks, the folks at Slowdown and The Waiting Room tried to find a way to make the ordinance more palatable to a council that’s stuck somewhere in the year 1972.
Among the compromises was an amendment that would call for those under the age of 18 to have a notarized parental consent form on file at the bar. I figured that could be a deal breaker — who wants to bother with looking up forms and checking signatures when there’s a line of people waiting to get into your venue?

But the Slowdown guys seemed fine with the amendment, especially considering that the alternative would mean only being able to allow access to those over 18, or worse, only those over 21. All-ages shows are a major staple to Slowdown’s business plan and philosophy. In the face of losing that option, digging through a database for a consent form was no big deal.

Neither, apparently, was the inability to sell pitchers of beer — not allowed under the ordinance. Neither could a patron buy more than two drinks at a time. Other new amendments included a more thorough definition of a live music venue — it must have a permanent raised stage, fixed lighting and a house PA. That definition leaves O’Leaver’s out of consideration, since it doesn’t have a real stage.

But the amendments didn’t stop there, and that’s where the inane discussions began. Councilman Gernandt suggested that the $250 “music venue permit fee” just wasn’t enough. How about $375? More “investment” would make the license owners more watchful, right?

And what about this part here that says there will be only one security person for up to 100 attendees, and another for each 100 additional attendees? Come on, how is one person supposed to watch 100 people? How about one security guy for every 50 attendees? Slowdown’s Jason Kulbel argued that such an amendment could result in overstaffing. Do the math. It would mean 10 designated security personnel for a 500-capacity show. That’s a lot of burly guys in “security” T-shirts. Between those two amendments, only the increase in the permit fees was adopted.

Then it was Councilman Brown’s turn, and that’s when things started to get out of hand.

Among Brown’s concerns: What’s to stop someone from dropping off their kids at Slowdown at 8 p.m. and using the bar as a trendy babysitting service? Nothing, of course, though as Kulbel said, it might be a lot cheaper and easier to drop your kids off at Denny’s.

What about karaoke? According to the ordinance, a live music venue would be defined as a place where a “live instrumental and/or vocal musical performance is occurring.” Well, isn’t karaoke a live music performance? What’s to stop a crappy karaoke bar from letting minors in?

And for God’s sakes, what about exotic dancing? What’s to stop a strip club that also has live music from allowing kids in the door? Hey, what about pole dancing? A shiver ran through the crowd. An amendment must be made that disqualified establishments that allow exotic dancing and pole dancing. It didn’t matter that the city prosecutor said such an amendment would be meaningless, as he wasn’t aware of any definitions for exotic or pole dancing in the city laws. “Without a specific definition, it’s impossible to enforce,” he said.

Still, the strip club amendment passed, bundled with the karaoke amendment.

But wait, what if someone stood on stage without an instrument and sang wearing nothing but pasties and didn’t dance? Would that be allowed? I’m not kidding, that scenario was actually considered and discussed. Kudos to the crowd of more than 100 kids, musicians and other interested parties for not laughing their asses off during this discussion.

In the end, the City Council adopted the ordinance to amend section 15-41 of the Omaha Municipal Code by a vote of 5 to 2. Chuck Sigerson, who remained silent throughout the ordeal, and Frank Brown voted against the ordinance. Brown said he felt that that all of the discussion was proof that the ordinance needed more fine tuning. He was wrong, or at least his cohorts thought so.

Afterward, everyone seemed pleased that all-ages shows would again be permitted in Omaha, just like, well, they always were. Except from now on, you’ll have to leave the pasties at home.– Lazy-i, April 16, 2008

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Q1 2018 CD reviews continue. Read them all here at The Reader website.

MGMT, Little Dark Age (Columbia) — I always thought MGMT was signed to an indie label. They’ve always been on Columbia, all the way back to their 2007 debut, Oracular Spectacular, but somehow they get grouped in with the indie kids, which was where they belonged when they released their last few disturbing “experimental” albums. They’re back to their original radio-rock sound, which has that clubby pop bounce that got them signed to a major in the first place.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Why not have a local open the park show?; Caroline Rose review; Pleasures tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:43 pm April 11, 2018

Pleasures at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 6, 2016. The band plays tonight at The Sydney in Benson.

by Tim McMahan,

Yesterday someone (the city? Metro Credit Union?) announced that rock ‘n’ roll fossils Starship and Survivor will be playing this year’s Memorial Park concert June 29.

And while we all know that no one goes to the park for the music (They go for the fireworks), wouldn’t it be nice if Metro Credit Union set aside 30 minutes on the June 29 program and a grand or two of what has to be a multi-thousand-dollar budget and book an actual local act to open this show? Who knows, maybe they are and they just haven’t announced it yet.

Just a thought…

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Q1 2018 CD reviews continue. Read them all here at The Reader website.

Caroline Rose, Loner (New West, 2018)

Caroline Rose, Loner (New West) — This sassy New Yorker calls her style “schizodrift,” which I guess means it tries to capture her ever-shifting moods that range from anger to sarcasm to irony to humor. Actually, three of those are attitudes more than moods. Imagine Alvvays or La Roux but with a darkly wicked sense of humor and a bracingly accurate view of this modern world. It could become my summer album for 2018.

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Tonight at The Sydney in Benson psych-rock noise band Pleasures headlines. Hussies open at 10. $5.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.