The English Beat, Matt Whipkey tonight; Satchel Grande Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:00 pm November 24, 2017

Tommy Keene at O’Leaver’s, July 30, 2014. Keene passed away last night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Listening to Tommy Keene this morning, specifically his 1989 release Based on Happy Times, which you can find on Spotify. Keene passed away yesterday, reportedly in his sleep, which may be the best way to go. He opened for Matthew Sweet at O’Leaver’s back in 2014, and opened for him again on a recent tour. Keene might be one of the most overlooked singer/songwriters of the ’80s, ’90s, today. He was a power-pop master and a great guitarist.

* * *

Another light weekend for shows. Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return of The English Beat, a band that’s made Omaha a second home (or so it seems, considering the number of times they’ve played here over the years). Opening is local ska band The Bishops. $25, 9 p.m.

Also tonight Matt Whipkey and his band are playing around the corner at Reverb Lounge. Tonight’s show will be a sort of sneak preview of Whipkey’s latest release, the double LP Driver, out Feb. 23. Whipkey just released a single from the album, which you can check out below. Opening is Travelling Mercies. $10, 8 p.m.

Saturday night Satchel Grande returns to The Waiting Room with Funk Trek. $8, 9 p.m.

And that’s all I got for this weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section.

For those of you doing the Black Friday treasure hunt, good luck. I’ll likely be hitting the racks this afternoon, so don’t take all the good stuf.

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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Leafblower, Conny Franko, Sucettes, R.A.F, Ojai, The Sunks tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:55 pm November 22, 2017

Leafblower at O’Leaver’s, July 30, 2017. They’re playing tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday means a few shows are happening tonight because no one has to get up tomorrow morning. Well, almost no one.

Tonight O’Leaver’s invades Slowdown Jr. for a show headlined by the mighty Leafblower. Consisting of members of Danny Maxwell’s New Lungs, with Craig Fort, Tab Tworek and DMax himself. Stage antics include Tim the Leafblower guy and his leaf-blowing fog machine. Local hip-hop royalty Conny Franko opens along with BareBear. $5, 9 p.m.

* * *

Also tonight Sucettes return to Brothers Lounge for a pre-holiday extravaganza. Joining them are Omaha hardcore punk legends R.A.F. and The Wolfman. $5, 9 p.m.

* * *

Meanwhile, back at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Ojai headlines with The Sunks and Tutti Frutti. $5, 10 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

 

Lazy-i

RIP Ryan Kuper (Redemption Records, NE Vs. NC)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:55 pm November 21, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A name from Omaha’s early days of indie rock greatness passed away. Ryan Kuper was a Council Bluffs native turned Californian who founded ’90s-era label Redemption Records. He also was instrumental in putting out the NE Vs. NC Compilation in 2002, which was when I last interviewed him.

From the article:

The Versus Series was just another ambitious idea from the Lewis Central graduate whose record industry career began by releasing an EP by Austin hardcore act Intent. Over a decade, Redemption would go on to release music by hardcore bands like 4 Walls Falling, Encounter and Resurrection, before releasing CDs by Omaha gutter-groove punkers Ritual Device and pop-rockers Grasshopper Takeover, among others.

Through the years, Kuper has moved back and forth between the Midwest to Los Angeles. On his last move to the West Coast 18 months ago, he started a management company called Boundless Entertainment with former Omahan John Biondolillo, a.k.a. John Stewart, known for his work at Omaha’s KDGE-FM The Edge as well for managing local rock band Blue Moon Ghetto — a local favorite (now disbanded) in the Creed/Hootie and the Blowfish vein. Boundless counts among their clients Victory Records’ artist The Reunion Show, hip-hop act Trew Dat, Chicago alt rockers Zen Darlings, SubPop and Milan recording artist Gardener, and last but not least, Andy Dick and the Bitches of the Century.

Dick, famous for his work on TV shows News Radio and MTV’s The Andy Dick Show (not to mention his various drug-related exploits) is a long-time associate and one-time roommate of Kuper’s. Managing Dick’s music affairs involves everything from brokering his record deal with Milan Records to locking down a producer for his CD to handling band bookings and press. The day of this interview, Dick’s band performed on the Craig Kilborne show. “Part of my job is to make sure he gets to the studio on time,” Kuper said.

Kuper’s most recent job was working as an executive benefits specialist at Unum. You can donate to Kuper’s Fundly page, here.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

 

Lazy-i

Orgone, Fire Heads, Rusty Lord tonight; Lizzo, Chris Twist, Nathan Ma Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:36 pm November 17, 2017

Fire Retarded at O’Leaver’s Feb. 21, 2015. The band has since changed its name to Fire Heads, who play at O’Leaver’s Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A few interesting shows happening this weekend…

Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return of Orgone. The LA-based funk/soul band has become a local favorite. Bring your dancing shoes. Kris Lager Band opens at 9 p.m. $15.

Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s Madison band Fire Heads. You may know them by their former, less-PC name Fire Retarded (happy I got a T-shirt before they changed their name). It’s noisy, chunky garage rock, just like the openers, local boys Rusty Lord (actually, more rock metal than garage) and Wrong Pets. No price listed on this one, but it’s probably the usual $5, and the usual 9:30 start time.

I generally gloss over mainstream, major-label acts, but I’ll make an exception for Lizzo a.k.a. Melissa Jefferson, who’s playing at The Slowdown tomorrow night (Saturday). Good luck not moving your ass when you hear her rip through “Good As Hell” or “‘Scuse Me.” Dojo Cat opens at 9 p.m. In the main room. $18 Adv/$20 DOS.

 

Also Saturday night, garage rocker Chris Twist of The Lemons branches out with his own solo set at Brothers Lounge. Also on the bill are Nathan Ma and DJ Dave Goldberg. $5, 9 p.m.

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

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

And the Kids, Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship, David Nance tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:49 pm November 16, 2017

And the Kids plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Northampton, MA, indie band And the Kids headlines a stacked bill tonight at Slowdown Jr. The young four-piece lists Modest Mouse, Rilo Kiley, The Doors and The Police as influences. Their sound has a similar dreamy quality as, say, Alvvays, especially on their new album, Friends Share Lovers (Signature Sounds Recordings). Opening tonight’s show is Omaha garage-rock god David Nance and the legendary Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship. This big show has an early start time: 8 p.m. $10.

* * *

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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

Lazy-i

Young Jesus signs to Saddle Creek; Mynabirds Tiny Desk Concert; James McMurtry, Bethlehem Steel, Sean Pratt tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:52 pm November 15, 2017

Young Jesus is the latest to sign to Saddle Creek Records.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The ever-expanding Saddle Creek Records roster continues to grow with the signing of Chicago band Young Jesus. The label will release the band’s new album, S/T, Feb. 23.

From the press release: “Young Jesus, an indie rock quartet formed in Chicago and reformed in Los Angeles, looks to communicate the tensions between proximity and distance, chaos and order. On their upcoming record S/T, to be released by Saddle Creek, the band focuses on seemingly small moments in everyday life: phone calls with Mom, landscapes along the highway, crows in a tree. Yet with time these strange intimacies add up to a life. A life full of anxiety, confusion, sadness, joy, boredom, and ultimately wonder.

“Young Jesus mixes the emotional intensity of bands like Slint, Pile, and Built To Spill with the quiet contemplation of Yo La Tengo, Mogwai, and Laughing Stock-era Talk Talk. They give themselves to moments of aggression and volume, balanced alongside near-silence.

Young Jesus is something of a departure for Saddle Creek. S/T, which was originally released on Gigantic Noise this past fall, includes lengthy tracks that range from 6 minutes to more than 12 minutes long. I can’t remember a Creek band recording anything in that range.

While there are jangly slacker indie pop songs you’d expect, like lead-off track “Green,” it’s songs like the 6-plus minute “Desert” that recall long-play droner acts like The New Year/Bedhead and Red House Painters, while frontman John Rossiter’s drowsy vocals are at times reminiscent of Damian Jurado and Isaac Brock.

The 9-plus minute “Feeling” starts off as your typical acoustic indie song for the first two minutes, glides into tone layers, percussion and found sounds before exploding into raw guitar chords and guttural vocals that transition again later to cicadas, tones, etc.

The same format holds for the 12-plus minute album closer, “Storm.” This one starts as a rock song, but after two minutes shifts to quiet noises, tones, then a jangly noise collage returning to a jam at the six-minute mark and so on, ending with a bang and a whimper. Saddle Creek describes this as “experimental,” whereas I see it more as compositional gymnastics, an attempt at pulling melody from dissonance, like seeing sun break through the fog. Check out album below.

Saddle Creek this morning also announced the 4th in their Document series — Palehound, “YMCA Pool” b/w “Sea of Blood.” Pre-order the Jan. 28 release today at Creek’s online store.

In other Saddle Creek news, The Mynabirds were featured in a coveted NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Check it out below.

Two shows tonight…

Singer/songwriter James McMurtry, son of author Larry McMurtry, plays tonight at The Waiting Room. Max Gomez opens. $20, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, New York indie band Bethlehem Steel (Exploding in Sound Records) plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Sean Pratt. The Razors are the headliners. $5, 9 p.m.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

With the Best of Intentions: Harouki Zombi, Noah Sterba, Simon Joyner and a divided music scene (In the column)…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , — @ 1:41 pm November 13, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before you read my column in this month’s issue of The Reader that briefly outlines the recent controversy surrounding Orenda Fink, Noah Sterba and Simon Joyner, this note: I was reticent about writing on this topic for fear that it would only stir the pot all over again.

In fact, I told Orenda Fink when the controversy surrounding Harouki Zombi flared up this past summer to keep a low profile and wait for it to pass. Now here I am writing about it. The reason I moved forward was because of  Joyner’s own lengthy defense of Sterba and Orenda (It’s linked within the column).

So without further ado, here’s the column, which you also can read in the November issue of The Reader, on newsstands now. More tomorrow, including comments from Joyner about his song “As Long As We’re in Danger,” the language he used, and its timing…

* * *

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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Those Far Out Arrows, Megan Siebe/Sean Pratt tonight; Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, OEAA Nominee Showcase Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:15 pm November 10, 2017

Those Far Out Arrows at Slowdown Jr., Aug. 8, 2017. The band plays tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here comes the weekend.

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s a benefit for DREAMers in the state of Nebraska through Nebraska Appleseed. Your donation ($5 minimum please) not only helps a good cause but gets you in to see four solid bands: Those Far Out Arrows, The Sunks, Megan Siebe & Sean Pratt and Practices. 10 p.m. start time. Do it for the kids.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to O’Leaver’s for Denver’s Bud Bronson and the Good Timers. Joining them are The Beat Seekers and Mint Wad Wally. $8, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Benson bars are once again hosting the Omaha Entertainment and Awards Awards Showcase. Participating venues are The Waiting Room, Reverb Lounge, Barley Street Tavern, Burke’s Pub, The Sydney and 402 Collective. You get 40+ bands for $10. Starts at 7. For full band listing, go to the Facebook event listing here.

Is that it? Yeah, that’s it. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Listening to lately; Iron Chic, Hand Painted Police Car tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:49 pm November 9, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Not much happening ’round here. What else is new?

So what have I been listening to lately?

King Krule, The Ooz (2017, Matador)

The new one by Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice (Matador Records); The Yawpers’ Boy in a Well (Bloodshot), Cults’ Offering, Angel Olsen, Big Thief, the new Beck, Buzzcocks, King Krule’s The OOZ (True Panther), that weird Ben Gibbard cover of Bandwagonesque, Matt Whipkey’s Driver and this one from Sunflower Bean. Look for 3Q reviews in the near future.

Tonight at Lookout Lounge it’s Long Island punk band Iron Chic (SideOneDummy Records) with KC’s Company Retreat, Omaha’s Hand Painted Police Car and Heatwaves. $12, 8 p.m.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

How Saddle Creek signed Stef Chura (and more); Night Shapes, Box of Stars, The Drums, Methyl Ethel, TOP Nachos tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 1:44 pm November 7, 2017
The Drums at The Waiting Room, May 1, 2012.

The Drums at The Waiting Room, May 1, 2012.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

About that recent signing by Saddle Creek Records…

Saddle Creek executive Robb Nansel said the label’s signing of singer-songwriter Stef Chura was the handiwork of the label’s new A&R rep Amber Carew.

Carew said she discovered Chura via a friend of hers from Houston who sent her Chura’s Bandcamp link.

“At that time, I was working for Anti Records and was considering pursuing her for them,” Carew said. “After a few missed connections between me and Stef over the following year, we finally connected during my transition to Saddle Creek.”

Chura’s debut LP, Messes, already had been on store shelves for some time, and Chura expressed interest in reissuing it. “We really clicked and I trusted her passion and plans for the future,” Carew said. “I felt more confident in her as a fit for Saddle Creek than I did Anti, so I felt compelled to explore that.”

Carew said that beyond Chura’s songwriting and tenacity as a musician, she understands and promotes community-based ethics “much akin to the Saddle Creek spirit — authentic and compassionate. Some artists on the label, like Big Thief, were already fans as well. It just felt right. I thought that Messes was great and deserved another push, so we made it happen.” Saddle Creek will reissue Messes on CD, cassette and LP Feb. 2.

Carew said the follow-up to Messes already has been recorded, produced by one of the hottest new names in the indie world. You’ll just have to wait to find out who that is. Here’s a clue: The producer has performed in Omaha a few times in the past couple years.

Chura and Carew represents one aspect of the continuing expansion of the Saddle Creek empire. Nansel said Saddle Creek also is opening a formal office in Eagle Rock, a section of Los Angeles between Burbank and Pasedena. He and Carew will eventually be joined by a marketing director, which the label currently is seeking, and “we’ll likely be inviting some other music industry friends in to the space to share it with us.”

Now we all have somewhere else to visit the next time we’re in La La Land.

* * *

There’s a good rock show going on tonight at The Brothers Lounge. Oakland’s Night Shapes headlines. They’re described as what would happen if “Yuppies and Nick Cave joined forces.” Opening is Vermont band Box of Stars, New Englander Jake McKelvie and our very own FiFi NoNo. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, Brooklyn band The Drums (Anti Records) plays at The Waiting Room with Aussie act Methyl Ethel (4AD). $15, 8 p.m.

That’s not all. There’s an indie punk show tonight at OutrSpaces, 528 So. 24th St. The headliner is TOP Nachos from New Paltz, NY. Also on the bill are NYC’s Dolly Spartans (Noble Media) and Omaha faves Hussies and Magu. $10 donation, 7 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i