KC’s Black Site Records to release new No Thanks album; more new Digital Leather…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:01 pm September 3, 2020
No Thanks’s new album, Submerger, comes out on Halloween on Black Site Records.

Self-proclaimed Omaha “goth punk” band No Thanks yesterday announced the Oct. 31 release of their sophomore album, Submerger, on Kansas City label Black Site Records.

The album was recorded by See Through Dresses’ Matt Carrol in his Little Machine Studios. From the press release: “The band’s first release on vinyl is a ten-song blast of stripped down, honest rock and roll that combines proletarian ethics with blood, bats and ripped black mesh to create a fearsome sound with a looming menace that aptly captures the stark reality of our hellscape era.

Fierce! The band consists of bassist Cam Stout, drummer Gabe Cohen, guitarist Michael Huber and one of the most entertaining — if not flamboyant — frontmen in Omaha, Castro Turf. The band throws around the “goth” term a lot these days no doubt in part because of Mr. Turf’s stage craft, which looks influenced by Cramps’ legend The Cramps’ Lux Interior. This is one of my favorite local bands to see live, preferably smashed into a crowd at O’Leaver’s or The Brothers Lounge.

So who is Black Site? According to the release, it’s “a record label cooperative created by Kansas City musicians interested in supporting regional punk and rock bands (releasing) their recordings on a physical medium.” The label’s roster includes Red Kate, Stiff Middle Fingers, Truck Stop Love (who remembers the ’90s?) and Libations, among others.

Check out the the track below and pre-order here via Bandcamp.


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Also yesterday, Digital Leather released the third track from the project’s upcoming full-length release, New Wave Gold, out Sept. 15 on No Coast Recordings. Frontman / project mastermind Shawn Foree said the track, “Sinking Ship,” is “about how fucked the world is, and how we are all going to die in the worst way possible soon. There is nothing we can do. It’s far too late. Plus, it’s got a beat and you can dance to it.” 

Very nice. You can order the record from bandcamp, here: https://nocoastrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/new-wave-gold

For those of you who missed the article/interview with Mr. Foree in the August issue of The Reader, here’s the story in its entirety. I like to post these on Lazy-i just so’s I have a digital copy if/when The Reader goes belly up…

Digital Leather in the Days of COVID
The Omaha electro-punk act celebrates 20 years with its 24th album.

Prior to the interview for this column, the last time I spoke with Shawn Foree, the mastermind behind the musical project Digital Leather, was a couple years ago. It was late in the evening standing outside the patio door at mid-town punk club O’Leaver’s, no doubt killing time between live sets from a couple local garage bands we both knew.

Foree, who looked like an unholy cross between Jim Morrison and Deliverance-era Burt Reynolds, told me he was about to hang it up as far as Digital Leather was concerned. He’d just turned 40 and was tired of banging his head against the music industry wall, trying to get someone to notice what he was doing. And it sure didn’t look like things would ever change.
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The conversation bummed me out, because Foree / Digital Leather was and is my favorite Omaha-based music project. The only person more frustrated by his music never receiving the attention it deserved was me. Digital Leather music is the perfect amalgamation of modern songwriting, instrumentation and vintage digital sounds. The product is highly addictive, darkly worded 21st Century synth-punk that can stand alongside music by acts like Gary Numan, Psychic TV and The Faint.

As it turned out, Foree was just in a bad mood that night at O’Leaver’s. “Don’t believe me when I say I’ve given up,” he said over the phone July 21. “I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again.”

In fact, only a few months after that announced retirement, Digital Leather recorded and released a new album, followed by another and another.

And now comes New Wave Gold, out Sept. 15 on Madison, Wisconsin, label No Coast Records (Thee Oh Sees, Red Mass, The Hussy). The 16-track collection is the 24th full-length album (in addition to 13 EPs and singles) released by Digital Leather over the 20 years Foree has made music under that moniker.

Digital Leather fans will be happy to know New Wave Gold is the most cohesive, pop-fueled collection Foree has released since 2009’s Warm Brother (Fat Possum Records). He recorded and mixed the album in his apartment studio with contributions by drummer Jeff Lambelet and mastering by sound engineer Ian Aeillo.

The album opens with the first COVID-19 quarantine-inspired song I’ve heard, “Dark Ages,” which closes with the lines: “Don’t you go and worry about me, baby / You got better things to think about, I’m sure / Honey, don’t you know these are the Dark Ages / Disease is in the air, and it’s pure.”

Foree is the only person I’ve talked to who’s tested positive for COVID-19. “I tested positive a month and a half ago,” he said. “I was asymptomatic. It was a little freaky. I wasn’t sure if I was going to become sick, but fortunately, I was OK, maybe a little tired. I tested again a couple weeks after, and it came back negative.”

His day job doing environmental testing, which he’s kept throughout the pandemic, takes him all over the country. “I was floating around South Dakota, Missouri, all around red states, so it could have come from anywhere,” he said. “It was a positive test, but none of my friends had it, just me. So I don’t know if I really had it.”

With COVID-19 shutting down music venues and making touring impossible, it’s a strange time to release a new album. Foree, who has released more than an album a year on average, didn’t want to wait around for the world to reopen. “The record was done,” he said. “I showed it to Bobby (Hussy), who runs the record label, and we just said fuck it and put it out so I can move on to new material.”

To help market the release, Foree is working with national publicist Grandstand Media, whose massive client roster includes acts like Tame Impala, Waxahatchee, Soccer Mommy, Bright Eyes and Kim Gordon, to name a few. “It’s totally new ground for me, selling records without playing live,” Foree said. “If we can make our money back, that would be fine. Making a profit is not on my or the label’s to do list.”

Foree also is the first musician I’ve interviewed since COVID-19 began. The pandemic has had a huge impact on his music world. “All my friends want to play shows and are depressed, because it’s not only their livelihood, it’s part of their sanity. It’s part of who they are,” he said. “I have friends who were about to release records, go on tour, go to Europe, and now it’s all TBD. I think everyone is pretty fucking depressed about it.”

Even after the pandemic is under control, he said things won’t be the same. “There will be all kinds of new regulations; it’ll be weird,” Foree said. “A lot of people won’t want to go out to shows. Venues might close. How are they going to support themselves if they can’t do business? The same goes for musicians who live off their music.”

Foree isn’t one of those, not anymore. He’s managed to find a balance between making a living and making music, and has accepted the fact that, despite having toured the country and releasing albums on a dozen different record labels, he may never make it to “the next level.”

“Part of me is frustrated that I don’t have a larger audience, but I’m also kind of glad things are the way they are,” he said. “I see the silver lining. I have freedom to do what I want. You’re supposed to give it up at 30 and get a real job once you realize there’s no money in it. Well, I have a real job and can still do it, so fuck them all.”

First published in The Reader, September 2020. Copyright © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Conor talks COVID-19’s impact on the live music biz; Omaha venues go to #RedAlertRESTART tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:50 pm September 1, 2020
Bright Eyes at Westfair Amphitheater, June 4, 2011.

Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst knows how COVID-19 is killing the live music industry.

In an outtake from an interview last month, which will appear in the September issue of The Reader (on newsstands any day now), Oberst talked about how the pandemic is impacting independent agencies like Ground Control Touring, who has been his booking agent for more than 20 years.

He said Eric Dimenstein at Ground Control Touring asked him to get involved with efforts like the National Independent Talent Organization‘s (NITO’s) push to get legislation passed that will help venues and the entire independent live music ecosystem survive. Oberst said it’s vital that they get federal support with the Save Our Stages and RESTART acts to insure there is a live music ecosystem on the other side.

The problem is very real, and with Congress sitting on its hands last month getting nothing passed, you’re going to start seeing real impacts in the form of venues closing (Lookout Lounge, for example), and support industries like booking agencies trying to figure out how to survive until the pandemic gets stomped down.

That’s one of the reasons why there’s a Red Alert tonight (Sept. 1), where #WeMakeEvents, a coalition of trade bodies, businesses, unions and live events workers, will light up their venues, homes and cities red in more than 1,500 locations across the country to raise public awareness and media awareness in support of the live events sector.

Among the Omaha organizations participating tonight are:

Bob Kerrey Bridge
Event Staging Systems
Audio Visions
FadeUp Design Group
TMS
IATSE Local 42
Theater Arts Guild Omaha
Anastasis Theatre
Baxter Arena
Benson B Side
BLUEBARN Theatre
Film Streams
Omaha Community Playhouse
Omaha Performing Arts
Radio Theatre Omaha
Reverb Lounge
The Backline
The Rose
The Slowdown
The Trap Room
The Waiting Room
University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Theatre Department

You can participate, too. Again, you need to contact your representatives using the form on this web page: https://wemakeevents.org/#action

You can also show support by posting a red-tinted photo of your favorite live event to your social media with the following caption:

RedAlertRESTART: the live events we love may never recover from the pandemic, we need to take action! Take 2 minutes to contact your representatives here, and post a red photo of you at your favorite event, too: https://wemakeevents.org #WeMakeEvents #ExtendPUA

You can turn your photo red here: https://www11.lunapic.com/editor/?action=tint.

Let me leave you with some stats from the WeMakeEvents website to gnaw on:

  • Live events employ over 12 million people.
  • Live events contributes over $1 trillion annually to the US economy.
  • 95% of live events have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
  • 96% of companies have cut staff and/or wages.
  • 77% of people in the live events industry have lost 100% of their income, including 97% of 1099 workers.

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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Lincoln Calling to go virtual Oct. 1-3; Mesonjixx, Higgins on the bricks tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:02 pm August 27, 2020
Lincoln Calling 2020 will be streamed Oct. 1-3.

COVID-19 is making this year’s Lincoln Calling festival a virtual affair. The organization today announced the 2020 full line-up, performing on “three virtual stages” over three days, Oct. 1-3.

Even though we can’t hang out and celebrate in person this year, we are dedicated to bring you the concerts, education panels, and art installations you have become accustomed to each and every year at Lincoln Calling,” said the press release. “Join us across three digital stages, as we broadcast live on YouTube, Facebook, and LincolnCalling.com.”

The line-up includes Oshun, Mykki Blanco, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Adult., Madame Gandhi and Kississippi, as well as locals Domestica, And How, Bach Mai and more. The full line-up is at lincolncalling.com.

While the event is technically free over streaming platforms, the organization is accepting “pay what you can” tickets with all proceeds going to support “Nebraska’s arts and culture, with a percentage of the proceeds being donated directly to our Lincoln Calling music venues, who are facing difficult times due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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Remember how I said there should be more outdoor live events with proper social distancing? Well the Bemis Center is doing just that tonight outside at Low End, which I guess means outside the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.

The line-up for the show, titled Low End on the Bricks, is Omaha R&B artist Mesonjixx, electronic instrumentalist / local legend Dereck Higgins, and synth performer teetah. While the good news is the show is free; the bad news is the limited-attendance event has been been SOLD OUT for weeks.

Still, you can watch the performances virtually from home via twitch.tv/bemiscenter or the Bemis Facebook page from 6 to 10 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

New Las Cruxes; Lookout Lounge closes; Deb Fischer responds again to RESTART; Schumer supports Save Our Stages…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:03 pm August 26, 2020
Wagon Blasters at Lookout Lounge April 30, 2016. The punk venue/bar reportedly has closed down for good.

Omaha Spanish-language punk band Las Cruxes has dropped a couple new singles in Spotify — “Solo Tu” and “Para Mi.” Both are part of a new full-length coming out next month on cassette tape from CINTAS in Mexico and digitally from Afonico/Sony U.S. Latin right here in the the states. Check the single below via Spotify.

The band is having a release show Sept. 12 outside at Dr. Jacks Drinkery with The Hussies, Mere Shadow and Killer Moon from Chicago. Why aren’t more clubs doing socially-distanced outdoor gigs on weekends?

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Well, as you may or may not know, efforts by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) to get legislation passed that would help the live music industry have so far failed. They wanted something done prior to Congress leaving on its summer break, but weren’t successful; and now the Senate is gone for the balance of the month.

I did get another response to the email I sent through the Save Our Stages / NIVA website. This time Sen. Deb Fischer did acknowledge the RESTART Act, but said it, “has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee, of which I am not a member.” She then went on to laud the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which doesn’t help most venues.

Please know I am committed to supporting Nebraska’s businesses during this stressful time and targeting aid to areas where it is needed most, and I will keep your thoughts in mind regarding the RESTART Act and the live entertainment industry,” the form letter concluded.

I haven’t heard from anyone else in Washington regarding NIVA efforts. Is Ben Sasse getting my letters? I’d love to hear his swinging repartee on why he doesn’t support this legislation.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles “Chuck” Schumer last week announced he’s co-sponsoring the Save Our Stages Act. The legislation provides support for independent live music venues that have lost nearly 100 percent of their revenue since the pandemic began in March.  The companion bill in the House is H.R. 7806.

Said Schumer: “I’m proud to co-sponsor the Save Our Stages Act, and I’ll fight to include federal funding for independent venues in any coronavirus relief legislation.”  

Too bad he’s the minority leader in the senate, because it really comes down to what Moscow Mitch wants to do, and he ain’t doing nothing.

But like I always say, that shouldn’t stop you from going to the NIVA website and sending and email in support of both RESTART and Save Our Stages legislation. It takes less than a minute, and you may even get your own fancy (canned) response from Deb Fischer. Click this link and do your thing.

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If you’re a music fan and you think the above isn’t important, you’re going to be in for a shock over the coming months when venues begin shutting down for good. It’s already happening.

Though nothing has been officially announced, word on the street is Lookout Lounge on north 72nd Street has shut down forever. The club prided itself on booking some of the heaviest punk and metal shows in the area, and was probably one of the more active rooms in Omaha. The few times I went there was like stepping back into the ’90s (in a good way).

I don’t know what happened, but I can speculate that no shows and not being open meant no income which meant no money to pay the landlord and other costs. So many clubs were riding on a razor’s edge financially before the pandemic struck.

Anyway, that’s exactly what RESTART and Save Our Stages legislation is designed to prevent, if they could ever get one or both of them passed…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog (mostly) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Petfest (And How, Those Far Out Arrows)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:12 pm August 17, 2020
And How at Petfest, Aug. 15, 2020.

Like being stranded in the desert and drinking an ice-cold ladel of water — that’s what it was like to finally see live rock music again.

The opportunity came at Petfest last Saturday — the first live music I’ve experienced since COVID-19 began kicking our collective asses this past March. I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed rock shows. Watching a live band really underscores why live-streamed performances are a poor — but necessary — substitute for the real thing.

And while I know our COVID numbers around here are pretty bad, with the right precautions in place I don’t understand why there isn’t at least a few live outdoor indie shows happening somewhere. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

Just prior to organizers pulling the online ticket sales yesterday morning, there were only four of the 50 available tickets left for purchase, so if it wasn’t a sell-out it was close to it. After I posted my Lazy-i update Friday, organizers decided to nix the inside stage and host the entire event with two outdoor stages. Genius sound engineer Ian Aeillo cleverly pulled the in-door “stage” to the edge of the Petshop overhead doors, adding to the overall safety of the festival.

Before entering the snow-fence-bordered compound behind Petshop in Benson you had to be masked and have a temperature check. Once inside, there was plenty of room to roam, with a bar set up on one side next to the ProBlac tent and a merch tent.

I arrived at around 6 p.m., just in time to see And How’s entire set. A seven-piece ensemble that includes a two-piece brass section (trumpet and trombone) along with the usual keys, guitars, drums, I’d been told by a number of music folks how great they were, and they weren’t kidding. Fronted by vocalist/guitarist Ryan Menchaca, their sound is textured and melodic, floating and soaring like a plastic bag doing a ballet in an updraft between two skyscrapers. Some might say it borders on yacht rock, but these days, that’s a compliment, especially in an indie scene that’s infatuated with it.

Menchaca’s vocals, a perfect mid-range coo, wasn’t the least bit hampered by the mask he wore — in fact, the entire band wore masks throughout the performance, except of course for the brass players who dropped their shields when jams required. If there was a flaw it was in the enunciation — I’m not sure what these songs are about, but if their floating psych-rock sound is any indication, the topics are peace, love and understanding.

Mechaca said the band has only recorded one song, which is linked below. Methinks now would be a good time for them to get into a studio (perhaps Aeillo’s studio?) and get the rest of their set recorded for a debut album.


Those Far Out Arrows at Petfest, Aug. 15, 2020.

And How was followed by Those Far Out Arrows playing in the garage stage (appropriately). The time off due to COVID has only strengthened the four-piece psych-rock outfit, who never sounded more lean and mean. While playing what you could consider traditional garage/psych rock, it feels like they’re headed toward different places these days. I would get caught up in a song’s warm vibe and hope it would go on for another five minutes instead of capping at the three-minute mark, like any good rock song — not jamming as much as a trance-like rhythm and tone.

The masked crowd was having fun hanging with friends, probably for the first time in a long time. Groups of two or three stayed distanced from others (for the most part). I never felt like the space was crowded or dangerous. I guess we’ll find out in a couple weeks should anyone get sick.

The Petshop folks did everything right as far as I could see, and the fact that they essentially sold out this small show at $30+fees per ticket tells me there’s an appetite for more small, safe, socially distanced, outdoor rock shows. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more like this one, but no doubt it takes a lot of organizing. That said, with summer winding down, the opportunities to do more of this before fall and winter comes — and we’re all stuck back indoors — is only going to become more limited. Let’s get it while we can.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Petfest is happening Saturday (And How, Universe Contest, TFOA), but is it safe?…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:13 pm August 14, 2020
Petfest2020 is tomorrow (Saturday) at Petshop in Benson.

Tomorrow is likely the only local music festival for the calendar year 2020 — Petfest.

Held at Petshop Gallery, 2729 No. 62nd St. in Benson — both outside in the back lot and inside the garage performance spade — the line-up is impressive:

Outside Stage:
3:15- Bach Mai
4:35- Drag Performances
5:50- And How
7:10- Drag Performances
8:30- Queerniverse
9:00- Marcey Yates

Inside Stage:
3:50- BB Sledge
5:10- Muscle Cousins
6:30- Those Far Out Arrows
7:50- Ghost Foot
10:00- FLT RTH
10:15- Universe Contest
11:00- Kobrakyle

To keep with COVID restrictions, only 50 tickets will be sold at a cost of $30 (and there’s only about a dozen tickets left for purchase).

There’s also a ton of COVID-related safety restrictions, including mandatory mask wearing (duh!), hand-washing stations, 6-foot social distancing, temperature checks and an enforcement by the “BFF Sani Crew.”

People are dying to hear live music, but they’re not “dying” to hear it, and the BFF folks (that’s Benson First Friday) seem to have everything well covered for a safe experience. Of course you won’t know for sure until you get there. I would have loved if the whole thing were held outside, but organizers wanted two stages to keep things rolling and couldn’t fit both outside. If you’re squeamish about being inside, I’m told you’ll be able to hear the bands just fine from outside the garage space as the overhead doors will be wide open.

The only thing that gives me pause is you can’t bring in outside booze or food, and have to buy everything from them – that’s a potential touch point. I’d rather bring my own 6-pack, but there must be a reason why they’re not allowing it (like maybe it’s not legal?). This is a 21 and over show, btw. The other area of concern involves people who could congregate outside the festival compound, unrestricted and unsupervised. What do you do about them?

Ah, but safety is at the forefront of the organizers’ minds. No one wants to be identified as the non-profit that put on a super-spreader activity. This might be your only chance this year to see a line-up like this (but let’s hope it’s not).

Tickets are available right here. More info here.

That’s all I got. Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Shawn Foree (Digital Leather) interview (in The Reader), second DL single drops…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:58 pm August 13, 2020
A still from the “King of Idiots,” the new single/video by Digital Leather.

I picked up the August issue of The Reader while I was also picking up a pizza last night at La Casa. This month’s Over the Edge column is an interview / story with Shawn Foree of Digital Leather, where he talks about his new album, New Wave Gold (out next month on No Coast Records) and life during the pandemic (and testing positive for COVID-19), among other things.

Foree’s new album is my favorite since 2009’s Warm Brother (Fat Possum Records) and has a similar detailed feel to the recording, which you can get a gander at by listening to the second single, whose video dropped yesterday — that is if it’s still online. The first video was yanked by YouTube copy write police a few days after it went online, presumably due to the stolen footage used (and there appears to be plenty in this new video as well).

Anyway, read the story in the printed version of The Reader (People do still read printed stuff, don’t they?) or go to the online version 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Another Bandcamp Friday (new stuff from The World, Uh Oh); Benson First Friday (#BFF) tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:00 pm August 7, 2020
The World, circa 1990. Four long lost unreleased tracks from the band became available today at Bandcamp.

Hey y’all, it’s Bandcamp Friday again. That means if you buy your downloads from Bandcamp today, Bandcamp will waive its fees and give all it’s money to the artists. An added bonus: Some labels, like Saddle Creek Records, also are waiving their cut, which means even more money for the artists. (Speaking of which, you might want to check out the new Land of Talk album, Indistinct Conversations, which just came out on Saddle Creek and got a whopping 7.7 from Pitchfork, who said about the album, “Low-key emotional intensity abounds in these stark, sketch-like reveries.” Indeed it does.

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Some other stuff to consider on this Bandcamp Friday:

Stephen Sheehan, who we all remember from the band Digital Sex and his solo work, also once was in a band called The World, which formed way back in 1989 and featured the rhythm section of golden age punk icons Mousetrap — bass player Craig Crawford and drummer Scott Miller — along with Digital Sex guitarist John Tingle and keyboardist Maureen Evans-Hansen. The band recorded a number of songs in 1990 that were never released and now have resurfaced 30 years later as The World (unreleased tracks – 1990). The four-song EP was restored, mixed and mastered by Tom Ware at Ware House and is being released today via Bandcamp. Check it out and read about the history of the band and buy the download.

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Uh Oh’s Joe Champion and Mari Crisler have a new 6-song EP called Joe & Mari Sing The Hits. The collection has two originals and four covers, including covers of songs by Alex G, Waxahatchee, Better Oblivion Community Center and Joe Frusciante. “Our music is always free but any cent that is donated via Bandcamp will go directly to The Union For Contemporary Art, a North Omaha nonprofit ‘founded on the belief that the arts can be a vehicle for social justice and greater civic engagement.'” Get it here. Kind of reminds me of one of my all-time favorites, Timbuk 3.

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What else have I been listening to that you can buy today at Bandcamp?

Fontaines D.C., A Hero’s Death
https://fontainesdc.bandcamp.com/album/a-heros-death

Perfume Genius, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
https://perfumegenius.bandcamp.com/

Waxahatchee, St. Cloud
https://waxahatchee.bandcamp.com/album/saint-cloud-2

D É S I R, Solar – (Ambient electronic, from Omaha!)
https://queenofwands.bandcamp.com/album/solar

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Well, it’s another rather reserved Benson First Friday. If you’re in Benson tonight, drop on by the Little Gallery, 5901 Maple St. (the east bay of the Masonic Lodge building) where there’s actually two shows happening:

Outside there’s the Tiny Art Show, a benefit for women who run Nebraska, which is “women-power miniature art, made by amazing female artists of Omaha. We will also have a merch pop-up of all of our fan-favorite tees, totes, tank tops and more.” Inside it’s the New American Arts Festival: Oria Simonini and student work. The opening runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Strict face mask policy and limited access to the facility.

And that’s all I got. Have a great, masked 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Maha announces 2021 festival dates; Reverb to reopen Aug. 29…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:52 pm August 3, 2020
The Maha Music Festival is back July 28-Aug. 1, 2021.

The folks behind the Maha Music Festival today announced the show will go on, July 28 through Aug. 1, 2021.

No location was mentioned in the press release except for “at multiple venues throughout the Omaha area.”

With social distancing and other safety measures in mind, holding the festival over five days will support our vision of offering an array of flexible programming so you really can ‘build your own adventure,’” said Maha Executive Director Lauren Martin. “It’s a whole year from now, but we’re so excited to share what we’ve been creating and hope it can be a highlight for the community to look forward to.” Locations, safety protocol, ticket prices, lineups, and all other details will be rolled out as the event gets closer, the press release concludes.

One would hope – hope – that COVID will be in our rear-view mirror by July 28, 2021, but who would have thought back in March that we’d be where we are now?

The multiple venue concept sounds intriguing, though I have to believe if they’re going to host a Lizzo-sized performer, they’re still going to need one large venue for that evening. It would be cool to see the festival become a hybrid of large-event concerts and small-venue SXSW-style gigs. But to do it effectively would require close proximity of venues, unless they intend to move the party all over the city from night to night. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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An Aug. 29 electronic/DJ show will mark the reopening of the newly remodeled Reverb Lounge, according to the gig’s Facebook invitation.

Reverb Lounge opens its newly renovated venue with an intriguing look, offering a freshly created airy, open space, with DOUBLE the sound and DOUBLE the lighting,” says the post, adding that capacity for the event is 60 people, which I assume is due to COVID restrictions. Artists listed for this $5 show are Grim Ether, String Theory, DJ Super Paul and Loveland.

The first national touring indie act slated for Reverb is Minnesota’s Night Moves Sept. 19, whose album, Can You Really Find Me, was produced by Spoon’s Jim Eno and released on Domino Records last year. Let’s hope this one doesn’t get rescheduled.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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#SaveOurStages legislation gets heavy push this week (and now it’s your turn to help)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:07 pm July 27, 2020
A screencap from the WOWT-TV report that shows how The Slowdown could be configured once it reopens.

You will begin noticing (if you haven’t already) a heavy push to write your congressmen and ask them to co-sponsor or support pending legislation designed to help save the live entertainment industry through the COVID-19 pandemic.

As I mentioned last week, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) along with a ton of musicians and promoters are pushing for a couple pieces of critical legislation, and need to get something passed before The Hill’s the August recess, which begins Aug. 7.

First thing’s first: Go to https://www.saveourstages.com/ and voice your support for the Save Our Stages Act (S. 4258, introduced by Sens. Cornyn and Klobuchar) and the RESTART Act ( S. 3814/H.R. 7481, introduced by Sens. Young and Bennet in the Senate and U.S. Reps. Golden and Kelly ). Adding your voice involves filling out a simple form (or writing your own heartfelt text in the space provided) that automatically goes to your respective senator/representative based on your zip code.

Gotta do it TODAY, as in RIGHT NOW, as in it will only take a minute. If you’ve already done it, do it again.

Slowdown’s Jason Kulbel talks about it in this WOWT report from last week.

And here’s a bunch of venue owners talking about being on the verge of going out of business.

As The Slowdown says in a grim Facebook post: “There is no way we want Slowdown to end. It is too soon. It is also not too late.”

People are making this sound like end-of-the-world stuff, because quite frankly, it is. You are going to be shocked at the number of venues that will shutter as a result of the pandemic, and then you’ll wish you’d have done something about it. Here’s your chance.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i