The Year in Music 2018: news recap, favorite albums and live shows for the year gone by…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 9:21 am December 31, 2018

The Year in Review

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If asked what was the most significant thing to happen to the pop music world circa 2018, I’d have to point (once again) to the continued emergence of women artists in what has traditionally been a sausage party of an industry.

For better or worse, rock ‘n’ roll historically has been a boys’ club, with “girl groups” too often treated as offshoots or novelty acts by ignorant fans who can’t get their minds around the fact that what women say in music is as relevant — or more so — than anything men say. Still, if you polled the gazillion acts currently playing, recording and touring the world, you’d find most are populated by people identifying with the male gender.

That said, click on the top page of the Album of the Year website — a site that aggregates reviews from all over the internet — and you’ll find women slotted in eight of the top 10 spots of the highest rated albums of the year — Janelle Monae at No. 1, followed by Mitski, Kacey Musgraves, Low (a trio that features Mimi Parker), Cardi B, Robyn, Christine and the Queens and that heartbreaker Ariana Grande (Pusha T came in at No. 6 while English punk act Idles was at No. 8).

The same holds true for indie as it does for pop. Over the past couple years, important women artists have dominated the world of college music. Add to the above list Snail Mail, Noname, Sophie, U.S. Girls, Julia Holter, Soccer Mommy, Waxahatchee, Natalie Prass, Neko Case, Courtney Barnett, Cat Power and supergroup boygenius, which brought together a trio of indie-rock royalty: Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus.

Our very own Saddle Creek Records has been riding this much-welcomed trend. The label, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, currently is enjoying a well-deserved resurgence, thanks in part to a fresh new roster of artists signed over the past couple years that includes the wildly popular Hop Along (fronted by Frances Quinlan), Stef Chura, Black Belt Eagle Scout (the project of singer/songwriter Katherine Paul), (Sarah Beth) Tomberlin and most successful of all, Big Thief, an act who counts among its primary songwriters Adrianne Lenker, who has seen the rerelease of her solo debut and new album Abysskiss, both on Saddle Creek.

Ask Saddle Creek if gender played a roll in their signing decisions, and they’d likely tell you no. In an era when gender fluidity is becoming more recognized, you may ask why it matters. Maybe it doesn’t; it certainly doesn’t to me. Good music is good music. But you’d have to have lived under a stone for the past 50 years to not recognize how overlooked and poorly treated women have been, not only by the music industry but the arts in general. To see women emerge as the dominant voice in music is a long time coming and hopefully will inspire a similar movement in other fields, not least of which is politics.

OK, so what about local indie music happenings in 2018? It was, for the most part, a year of expansion:

— The annual Maha Music Festival celebrated its 10-year anniversary by expanding to two days — adding an evening rock show headlined by classic indie act TV on the Radio. The expansion resulted in smashing the festival’s attendance numbers by pulling in a two-day audience of just over 14,000 — good enough to repeat the two-day format in 2019.

— One Percent Productions, the city’s most important concert promotion company, announced last January that it’s partnering with Kansas City’s Mammoth Productions to build a new indoor/outdoor music venue on South 84th Street. The La Vista City Council approved the measure, which, in addition to a 5,000-capacity outdoor amphitheater, will include a 2,400-capacity music hall. The multi-million dollar complex is slated to open in 2020. It joins both the Ralston and Baxter arenas, which have struggled to make a profit. Can the city support yet another massive venue?

— On a smaller scale but no less important (to me, anyway), One Percent purchased The Sydney in Benson, taking over the small club’s operations in August. The Sydney already has hosted indie phenoms Middle Kids, though most of its bookings likely will not be handled by One Percent Productions.

— Not to be outdone, the fine folks behind O’Leaver’s (which includes three members of legendary Saddle Creek Records band Cursive) announced in May they’re taking over operations at Winchester Bar & Grill at 7002 Q St. One assumes the acquisition had more to do with the volleyball courts than music, as there hasn’t been any indication they’ll book the kind of quality indie shows historically booked at O’Leaver’s.

— In October, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts received a $500,000 grant to establish a new sound art and experimental music residency program and named Omaha legacy singer/songwriter Simon Joyner to lead the program that will be housed in the old Bemis Underground space. But a week or so later, The Bemis changed its mind and said Joyner would not be leading the project. The decision came after a wave of concern was raised about Joyner, stemming from his use of “the N-word” in a song he wrote that targeted racists and racism in America, released in 2017. A replacement for Joyner has yet to be named.

Finally, for the first time this millennium, music revenue is growing again, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. And while streaming and digital downloads have had the lion’s share of that revenue, vinyl sales hit a 25-year high.

Despite this, what in just a few short years had become one of my favorite records stores — Almost Music in the Blackstone District — announced in mid-November that it’s closing its doors in early 2019. In many ways, the closing marks the end of an era that began in the ’90s with The Antiquarium Record Store, a gathering place that spawned the Omaha indie music scene. After Almost Music closes, where will the punks buy their records?

With that in mind, here are my 10 favorite albums of 2018, in no particular order:

David Nance Band, Peaced and Slightly Pulverized (2018, Trouble in Mind)

David Nance Group, Peaced and Slightly Pulverized (Trouble in Mind)
Natalie Prass, The Future and the Past (ATO)
Cursive, Vitriola (Saddle Creek)
Caroline Rose, Loner (New West)
J Mascis, Elastic Days (Sub Pop)
Parquet Courts, Wide Awake! (Rough Trade)
Courtney Barnett, Tell Me How You Really Feel (Matador)
Little Brazil, Send the Wolves (Max Trax)
Preoccupations, New Material (Jagjaguwar)
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Sparkle Hard (Matador)

This year I went to fewer rock shows than any year in the past 20. It seems despite having more venues than ever, there have been fewer national touring indie bands passing through Omaha than in recent memory. Another factor for my absence at the clubs is my increasing age, which has made it easier to remain sitting on the couch rather than going to the shows. That said, I still made it to around 50 concerts this year. Here are my favorites:

Destroyer at The Waiting Room, Feb. 3 — Frontman Dan Bejar was spot on vocally but looked tired and 10 years older than me rather than seven years younger, which he is.

Digital Leather at The Sydney, April 6, 2018. They play Sunday at O’Leaver’s.

Digital Leather at The Sydney, April 6 — Configured as a trio with Shawn Foree in front playing synth and bass, Greg Elsasser on synths and long-time Digital Leather drummer Jeff Lambelet, if the plan was to get the crowd dancing, it worked; maybe the most danceable version of DL yet.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at The Slowdown, May 18 — They ripped through new stuff and old, including a tasty version of “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo” that had the crowd doing some overhead clapping.

La Luz at O’Leaver’s, May 28 —I watched from the sidelines as a band member crowd surfed to the bar, took a shot and disappeared back over the crowd to the stage — been a long time since anyone crowd-surfed at O’Leaver’s.

Little Brazil at The Waiting Room, June 1, 2018.

Little Brazil at The Waiting Room, June 1 — Featuring songs off their latest album, Send the Wolves, Little Brazil never sounded better, blasting out material that is as good as anything Desparecidos put out in its waning years.

Caroline Rose at Reverb, June 7— Rose performed with a goofy energy, backed by keyboardist/guitarist and a tight rhythm section that looked like they were having as much fun as the audience.

Closeness at Slowdown Jr., Aug. 10, 2018.

Closeness at Slowdown Jr., Aug. 10 — The duo of Todd and Orenda Fink had a better flow, enhanced by two new songs that were dramatic and danceable, breaking up the monotony of their usual mid-tempo onslaught.

Maha Music Festival, Aug. 17-18 — Day 1 was dominated by headliner TV on the Radio, who performed as if they released Dear Science last year. Day 2 was a Weezer concert, but it was Tune Yards, Father John Misty and David Nance who stole the show.

Black Belt Eagle Scout at Reverb Lounge, Sept. 26 — Singer/songwriter/guitarist Katherine Paul turned up the guitar, stabbed the pedals and roared on songs that would have made Neil Young proud.

Gary Numan at The Slowdown, Sept. 27, 2018.

Gary Numan at The Slowdown, Sept. 27 — There were questions as to whether Numan was singing at all. The tale of the tape came 10 songs in when the band performed “Cars,” a faithful arrangement where Numan couldn’t have been lip-synching (could he?).

Young Jesus at O’Leavers, Oct. 28 — The high point was the 20-minute set closer, “Gulf,” whose center section consisted of a free jazz improvisational noise collage that bent back into the opening chords.

David Nance Group at The Waiting Room, Nov. 13 — Omaha’s most promising band seamlessly transitioned from one song to the next from their new album, Peaced and Slightly Pulverized, with Nance pulling off one feedback wave and blending in a riff that crossed over into whatever was next. Transcendent.

Protomartyr at The Waiting Room, Dec. 7, 2018.

Protomartyr/Preoccupations at The Waiting Room, Dec. 7 — Protomartyr frontman Joe Casey did his usual awesome shtick, but Preoccupations was next level. The band came out with guitars blazing before working in synths three songs in, transporting the club into a New Wave arena.

Middle Kids at The Sydney, Dec. 8 —Frontwoman Hannah Joy channeled Natalie Merchant while the sold-out audience crowded the stage and sang along to the hits, proving that The Sydney could become Omaha’s next important concert venue.

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Lazy-i Best of 2018

Relive the year gone by with the  Lazy-i Best of 2018 Comp CD!

The collection includes my favorite indie tunes I’ve come across throughout last year as part of my tireless work as a music critic for Lazy-i. Among those represented: David Nance Group, Courtney Barnett, Sextile, boygenius, Natalie Prass, Azure Ray, J Mascis, Caroline Rose, Parquet Courts, Little Brazil, Cursive and lots more. The full track listing is here, or listen on Spotify.

Or enter to win a copy of the CD. Enter to win one in the annual drawing! To enter, either: 1) Send an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com, or 2) Let me know you want one via Facebook comments, or 3) Retweet a Lazy-i tweet (If you use social media and win, I’ll reach out later for your mailing address). Hurry, contest deadline is Monday, Jan. 7 at midnight.

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

See Through Dresses, David Nance Band, Sucettes tonight; Criteria, Little Brazil, Sean Pratt/Sweats Saturday; Jake Bellows Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:15 pm December 28, 2018

Criteria at The Waiting Room, Dec. 30, 2017. The band returns to The Waiting Room this Saturday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Another long weekend… of shows! All of them local acts, but great local acts. Here we go:

Tonight at Reverb Lounge it’s the return of See Through Dresses. It’s going on two years since Horse of the Other World came out on Tiny Engines. The band plans to unveil new material tonight. Come see what they’ve been up to. No Thanks opens at 9 p.m. $10.

Meanwhile across town tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s y’all get another chance to see David Nance Group. Like I said a couple days ago, no two Nance sets are the same — expect some surprises. Joining them are Sucettes (Dave Goldberg and Co.) and CMB. $5, 10 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Criteria returns to The Waiting Room. The band has been working on new material destined for a 2019 release (the scuttlebutt is it’ll be on 15 Passenger). Joining them is Little Brazil, whose 2018 release Send the Wolves (Max Trax Records) made it onto my list of favorite 2018 releases (which you’ll see in the January issue of The Reader or online here Monday). Bokr Tov opens at 9 p.m. $8.

Meanwhile, back over at O’Leaver’s Saturday night, Sean Pratt & the Sweats plays with And How and Stathi. $5, 10 p.m.

The marquee show Sunday night is Jake Bellows at Slowdown Jr. One assumes the Californian is back in town visiting family and figured ‘why not do a show while I’m here?‘ Why not indeed. Joining him is McCarthy Trenching. $8, 8 p.m.

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

I’ll be posting the annual Music Year in Review article on New Year’s Eve, which includes the usual list of favorite releases, favorite live shows, etc. Then on New Year’s Day look for my annual Predictions story. Both of these also will be in the January issue of The Reader (but who knows when that’ll hit the racks?…).

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

The Lazy-i Best of 2018 compilation CD; Garst CD release show tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 7:44 pm December 26, 2018

Lazy-i Best of 2018. Winnie and Gilda say Happy New Year!

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

One of the questions I try to answer in the liner notes of this year’s “best of” compilation CD: Why do I bother putting this together and sending it out? After all, no one has a CD player anymore, right?

I still do it for a number of reasons. The first: This annual collection of the best of the best stuff I’ve listened to and/or written about over the past year in Lazy-i and/or The Reader acts as sort of a holiday card for my friends, family and music compadres, most of whom have received one since I first began recording these comps on cassette tapes back in 1994.

But another, more personal reason is that these collections are soundtracks to the year gone by. I listen to, say, the 2002 disc and I can instantly remember what was going on in the Omaha music scene at the time, the shows I went to, the artists I interviewed, and how good the music was. And the artwork reminds me of friends still with us and those who have gone.

So here you go, here’s the 2018 Best of Lazy-i CD. This year half the songs are by artists who have some sort of connection to Omaha. See if you can figure out which ones.

  1. “Poison” – David Nance Group, from Peaced and Slightly Pulverized (Trouble In Mind)
  2. “See You at the Movies” – J Mascis, from Elastic Days (Sub Pop)
  3. “Symbol” – Adrianne Lenker, from abysskiss (Saddle Creek)
  4. “Need a Little Time” – Courtney Barnett, from Tell Me How You Really Feel (Matador)
  5. “Mr. Tillman” – Father John Misty, from God’s Favorite Customer (Sub Pop)
  6. “Disco” – Sextile, from the EP 3 (Felte)
  7. “Always Elsewhere” – Ron Gallo, from Stardust Birthday Party (New West)
  8. “Wide Awake” – Parquet Courts, from Wide Awake! (Rough Trade
  9. “Bikini” – Caroline Rose, from Loner (New Wet)
  10. “Short Court Style” – Natalie Prass, from The Future and the Past (ATO)
  11. “Remorse” – Cursive, from Vitriola (15 Passenger)
  12. “Souvenir” – Campdogzz, from In Rounds (15 Passenger)
  13. “Colors Change” – Those Far Out Arrows, from Part Time Lizards (High Dive)
  14. “Me & My Dog” – Boygenius, from the EP boygenius (Matador)
  15. “Motorbike” – Little Brazil, from Send the Wolves (Max Trax)
  16. “Child Asleep” – The Faint, from Egowerk (Saddle Creek)
  17. “Debbie (Absofacto Remix)” – Your Smith, single (Neon Gold)
  18. “Middle America” – Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, from Sparkle Hard (Matador)
  19. “What a Mess” – Nik Freitas, from Day & Dark (Poppy Peak)
  20. “Last Summer in Omaha” – Azure Ray from the EP Waves (Flower Moon)

You want a copy of the CD? Enter to win one in the annual drawing! To enter, either: 1) Send an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com, or 2) Let me know you want one via Facebook comments, or 3) Retweet a Lazy-i tweet (If you use social media and win, I’ll reach out later for your mailing address). Hurry, contest deadline is Monday, Jan. 7 at midnight.

If you just want to listen to the collection, the CD’s playlist is now available in Spotify. Simply click the link or search “Lazy-i” in Spotify and you’ll find it along with a few from past years, too. Thanks as always to design genius Donovan Beery (eleven19.com), who’s been putting together these CD sleeves since 2000.

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Look for the annual Music Year in Review article in the January issue of The Reader. The article will be online on New Year’s Eve and likely will be published right here as well. The annual Predictions for the Coming Year article will be online on New Year’s Day if all goes well (and published here, too). It’ll give you something to read before and after your alcohol-soaked celebrations.

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Tonight at Reverb Lounge local rockers Garst celebrate the release of their debut CD Temet Nosce. Lincoln singer/songwriter Bailey Tamerius opens at 8 p.m. $5.

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Lupines, Lodgings, Montee Men, Filter Kings tonight; SERIAL, Matt Whipkey, Brad Hoshaw Saturday; David Nance, Clarence Tilton Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:15 pm December 21, 2018

Lodgings at O’Leaver’s, Dec. 2, 2017. The band returns tonight to O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It feels like the holiday weekend, but Christmas isn’t until Tuesday. That said, this might be the best local weekend show line-up in recent memory.

It starts tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s where the legendary Lupines are headlining. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard these dudes. Will they play “Maria” tonight? Even better, will they finally play “Hasn’t Failed Me Yet?”? As President Dumb-ass says, “Let’s see what happens…” Another of my faves, Lodgings, is in the second slot. The band has been in the studio. Will we hear some of their new stuff? Opening is Sean Pratt. All this for $5. Starts at 10.

Meanwhile, over at The Sydney in Benson it’s an outlaw country battle between headliners The Filter Kings and Sioux Falls act Mat D and the Profane Saints. $5, 10 p.m.

If you’re looking for the heavy shit, head on over to The Brothers tonight where they have Montee Men, Living Conditions and Leafblower (MaxTrax Records). $5, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to The Brothers Lounge for the 4th annual performance of SERIAL. SERIAL is Tim Moss, John Wolf, Lee Meyerpeter and Jerry Hug — four royalty from Omaha’s golden age of punk rock, having performed in such stellar ’90s acts as Ritual Device, Cellophane Ceiling, Bad Luck Charm, Cactus Nerve Thang and Men or Porn. Rusty Lord opens at 9. $5.

Also Saturday night Matt Whipkey headlines at O’Leaver’s with Brad Hoshaw and Joshua Mason. $7, 9 p.m.

Then comes Sunday and the Coat Drive for Heart Ministry Center at The Waiting Room. I wrote about this a couple days ago. The line-up is stacked: David Nance Group, Clarence Tilton, Stephen Sheehan and Garst. Tickets are $10 or a gently used coat. Bands start at 7 p.m.

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

No doubt there’s nothing happening on Monday and Tuesday of next week, so let me take this opportunity to wish you a happy holiday from everyone at Lazy-i.com!

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

Lazy-i

Coat Drive Dec. 23 to feature David Nance Group, Clarence Tilton, Stephen Sheehan, Garst…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:39 pm December 19, 2018

The Coat Drive for Heart Ministry Center is Dec. 23.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With not a whole helluva lot going on today (or this week, for that matter) I thought I’d give you a little head’s up about a rock show happening this Sunday at The Waiting Room.

It’s the Coat Drive for the Heart Ministry Center. The non-profit, located at 2222 Binney St., has been around for 40 years providing food, clothing and health care to people affected by poverty. They help around 7,000 a month. You can read more about the center here.

Dave Nance Group at The Waiting Room, Nov. 13, 2018.

The line-up for this coat drive is pretty stellar. At the top of the bill is David Nance Group. The band has been on tour supporting their latest album, Peaced and Slightly Pulverized (2018, Trouble in Mind), which made my list of 10 favorite releases of 2018 (which you’ll be reading about in short order). Nance always puts on a great show. If you ever thought “Man, I wish I would have seen Neil Young in his Rust Never Sleeps prime,” here’s your chance to see the next best thing. Don’t blow it.

Clarence Tilton performs at the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 17, 2018.

Clarence Tilton is simply the best alt-country band in this area, though their music transcends that genre in an indie sort of way. I’ve compared them to The Rave-Ups, The Reivers, The Windbreakers and, of course, Uncle Tupelo. Their latest release is a 6-song EP called World Rolled In, but they also released a split 12-inch with Monday Mourners earlier this year.

Stephen Sheehan and his band at Reverb Lounge, Aug. 18, 2017.

Then there’s Stephen Sheehan. The former frontman of ’80s-’90s post-ambient rock bands Digital Sex and The World re-emerged a year ago performing songs from both those bands with a new ensemble that includes Dan Crowell, Mike Saklar, Randy Cotton and Donovan Johnson. These guys rip. Plans call for the band to enter the studio next year to record new material. Stay tuned.

Finally, opening act Garst is not a band I’m familiar with but they’ve been playing around a lot this past year. The four-piece is celebrating the release of its debut CD four days after this show (Dec. 27) at Reverb Lounge.

You get all four bands for one low price of $10 or a new or lightly used coat. Note the above poster says $8. I suggest you split the difference and give $18. All proceeds go to Heart Ministry Center. Show starts at 7 p.m.

Look, most of us have the next day off seeing as it’s the eve or Christmas Eve. Consider this the first of the annual onslaught of holiday rock shows, with See Through Dresses on Dec. 28 and Criterial on Dec. 29.

Get in the spirit, why don’t ya.

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Is GoFundMe the new Kickstarter? Ask Brad Hoshaw and Kerry Eddy…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:57 pm December 17, 2018

A picture of Brad Hoshaw taken from his Go Fund Me campaign page.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Is GoFundMe the newly accepted way for bands to generate money for their recording projects? I ask because over the past week, two new GFM projects have scrolled past my Twitter feed from two local musicians.

Omaha singer/songwriter Brad Hoshaw is trying to raise $5,000 via a GoFundMe campaign to support his upcoming recording project.

“On January 9th I will begin recording my new album and I need help covering the initial costs,” he wrote on his GFM campaign page. “I’ll be working with producer Nicholas Frampton (Field Division, The River Monks) as well as four world-class musicians who have recorded with the singers from Band of Horses, Travis, Franz Ferdinand, Grandaddy and Midlake. We’ll be spending five days at Redwood Studio (Denton, TX), recording this new batch of songs.”

Hoshaw says funds raised will partially cover costs associated with paying musicians and the producer as well as studio, mixing and mastering fees. “Everyone who donates will be invited to a private concert and listening party, where you can hear the new recordings before anyone else,” he said.

Lincoln band EddyMink — the project of singer/songwriter Kerry Eddy — launched a GoFundMe campaign for its debut album, Open Container Heart Surgery — a collaborative effort between Eddy, guitarist Patrick Hargon, bassist Darryl Rivers and drummer Ben Armstrong.

We are very proud of this album and can’t wait to get production completed,” Eddy said on her campaign page. “We just have to finish mixing, mastering, pressing some records, and producing promotional materials. We’d like to wrap up production and get this record out to you by March, so we need to have funds together by the end of December.”

They’re seeking $3,000, and though GFM campaigns don’t typically offer premiums to donors, Eddy is, including “a hard copy of the record, cool stickers and a sweet t-shirt” for a $30 donation.

I’ve always associated GoFundMe with money-raising efforts to help people cover ungodly medical bills or for a memorial fund for a dead family member. It never dawned on me you could use it to raise funds for recording projects, but I guess it really isn’t much different from Kickstarter. The diff may be in the premiums situation, or the fact that GFM campaigns don’t have to meet goals — i.e, there are no “all or nothing” requirements.

I’ll likely give to both. I’ve followed Brad for years and would love to see what he does working with a new band. I’ve never met Kerry Eddy, but I dig the track included on her GFM page.

So is GFM the new Kickstarter? Regardless of the crowdfunding channel, how bands can afford to put our records barring landing a record deal, saving up cash from gigs for years to come or taking on huge debt?

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

DROSS, Cloud Feeder tonight; Ocean Black, Pro Magnum at The Brothers Lounge…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:49 pm December 14, 2018

Pro Magnum at O’Leaver’s, March 9, 2013. They’re playing Saturday night at Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s beginning to look a lot like another Brothers Lounge pre-Christmas weekend…

I’m at a bit of a loss about tonight’s show at Brothers. I couldn’t scrimp together any info on the headliner, DROSS. Is it the Lancaster, California, trio with the five-song punk EP that came out in 2017? Is it the Phoenix grindcore metal act? UPDATE: I’m told DROSS is a couple dudes from Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship. Who knows. I’m hoping it’s the former rather than the latter. Joining them are Omaha rockers Cloud Feeder, which has a 2-song 2017 EP recorded, mixed and mastered by Bryce Hotz at Archetype Recordings. Finally, there’s opening act Chase the Ghost, another band that’s a real head-scratcher of which I could find virtually nothing about.

So, it’s a bit of a wild card, but then again, isn’t every night at The Brothers a bit of a wild card? $5, 10 p.m.

This track may by one of ISN’T one of the bands playing tonight at The Brothers…

Tomorrow night’s show at The Brothers is a lot easier to explain — Omaha sludge-metal stoner-rock masters Ocean Black headlines a show with punk-metal phenoms Pro Magnum (Max Trax Records). This will be frickin’ dark and loud, leave your Santa hat at home. $5, 10 p.m.

And that’s about all I’m seeing for this weekend. This being the holidays, the clubs are rife with cover bands and DJs. The exception are Matt Cox out at Growler USA and Kris Lager at The Waiting Room Saturday night with Ally Peeler. The Slowdown has two cover/tribute acts this weekend. O’Leaver’s is showing no events on their calendar at all this weekend, which is odd.

Anyway, if I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend!

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

2019 Maha Music Festival Aug. 16-17 at Stinson; new Faint track, album in March; the return of Serial (ex-Ritual Device/Cellophane Ceiling) Dec. 22…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:11 pm December 11, 2018

A screen cap from The Faint’s latest video, “Child Asleep,” directed by Nik Fackler.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Some news nuggets that have been sitting in the in-box…

Today the fine folks at the Maha Music Festival announced that the 11th annual festival will be held Aug. 16-17, again at Aksarben’s Stinson Park (Why mess with a good thing?).

No word on who will be performing, but it’s pretty early for that sort of an announcement. Last year the headliner was Weezer, which marked a shift to a more, shall we say, Stir Cove-style concert. Here’s hoping they return to their indie roots. There are plenty of big-name indie bands that could fill the park, not the least of which are Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett, Arcade Fire, Wilco and The National, to name a few off the top of my head.

In addition, Maha announced the continued support/production of Big Omaha as part of Maha week. The Big Omaha portion kicks off Aug. 14.

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Last Friday The Faint not only dropped a tasty new track, “Child Asleep,” but also announced their new 11-track LP, Egowerk, will be released March 15 by Saddle Creek Records (pre-order here).

The album takes on the dark side of social media, a theme frontman Todd Fink is quite familiar with. Says Todd in the press release: “Egowerk’s focus is on the current social state of the Internet: an amazing world of free knowledge, communication, and opportunity is proving to be a toxic battleground. One where the people most sure of their opinion are quick to take a stand and destroy anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

Egowerk marks the first studio album by The Faint in four years and only one completely self-produced by the band. Omaha filmmaker Nik Fackler created the head-spinning video for “Child Asleep,” below. If the rest of the album is this good, look out world, The Faint are back…

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What’s become a diabolical holiday tradition, Omaha heritage-punk supergroup Serial announced it’s fourth annual holiday appearance at Brothers Lounge Dec. 22 with Rusty Lord opening.

Serial is Tim Moss, John Wolf, Lee Meyerpeter and Jerry Hug — four royalty from Omaha’s golden age of punk rock, having performed in such stellar ’90s acts as Ritual Device, Cellophane Ceiling, Bad Luck Charm, Cactus Nerve Thang and Men or Porn.

Expect a night of heavy rock favorites performed by four guys who helped define the Omaha indie rock/punk scene. More info here. Plan accordingly.

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Protomartyr, Preoccupations, #BFF tonight; Middle Kids, Pine Ridge benefit Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:06 pm December 7, 2018

Protomartyr at 2014’s South by Southwest Festival. The band plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

After a rather dead week for shows, we got back-to-back hummers tonight and Saturday.

Tonight at The Waiting Room is a double-bill featuring Protomartyr and Preoccupations. Protomartyr has been through Omaha a few times, including a couple gigs at The Slowdown. The Detroit-based punk band is fronted by Joe Casey, a guy who looks like an insurance salesman complete with a sensible haircut and full-on business attire but who has a singing style akin to Husker-era Mould or The Fall’s Mark E. Smith. Deadpan anger, straight-faced disgust, like an upset father with anger-management issues and a back-up band that is pure Gang of Four post punk. Alone worth the price of admission.

Preoccupations — the artist formerly known as Viet Cong — is another post-punk rock act. Their latest is New Material (2018, Jagjaguwar), whose opener “Espionage,” 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 re-imagined New Order. You’re gonna love it.

Opening act, Rattle, is a U.K. double-drum duo. The fun starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $17.

While you’re in Benson, take in some visual art because it’s Benson First Friday (#BFF), which includes (as always) a reception at The Little Gallery.  Tonight’s opening is the 4th annual “Little Show,” wherein artists show works 12″ x 12″ or smaller priced under $100. Artists include: Kitty Brougham, Rhonda Bruggerman, Amanda Caillau, Vivian Caniglia, Debbie Cunningham, Rachel Cunningham, Rachel Droppers, Emily Jordan, Linda Hatfield, Keri Hedrick, Robert Kenny, Courtney Kenny Porto, Shawnequa Linder, Debbie Martin, Christina Nelson, Sophie Newell, Ricky Powell Jr., Cindy Rae, Jean Regan, Erik Rincon, Fredy Rincon, Jill Rizzo, Torrey Smith, Jen Solberg, Susan Stevens, Trudy Swanson, Tyler Swain, Kate Swinarski, Brian Tait, Katie Temple, Melvin Usher, Holly Vander, Lynda Vik, Brian Wetjen, and Haley Whitesel.

Come on buy and have a beer on me. Reception runs from 6 to 9 p.m. The Little Gallery is at 5901 Maple Street, in the east bay of the Masonic Lodge building. See you there.

Also part of #BFF is tonight’s show at The Sydney headlined by Lincoln’s Laughing Falcon with The Natural States, and Bogusman. 10 p.m., $5.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to The Sydney for Middle Kids. You read their Ten Questions interview right here (and if you didn’t, get to it!). Joining them is NYC duo The Shacks (Big Crown Records). 9 p.m. Tickets are $13 today, $15 DOS. This one could be a crush mob!

Also Saturday night is the annual Toy Drive for Pine Ridge concert at The Waiting Room and Reverb Lounge. The lineup is particularly good this year, with your host Lash LaRue & Hired Guns, Matt Whipkey, A Late Fall, 24 Hour Cardlock, Wagon Blasters, BandRanch Outlaws and Scott Severin. Admission is $10 per venue or a new toy ($15 for both venues or two toys). All benefit the Toy Drive for Pine Ridge’s toy delivery and heating fund for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. 8 p.m.

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

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Bokr Tov, Thick Paint, Smoking Popes, Those Far Out Arrows tonight; the return of Bloodcow Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:34 pm November 30, 2018

Bloodcow at Reverb Lounge, March 7, 2015. The band returns to Lookout Lounge Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Pretty hot Friday night line-up and one show on Saturday. Let’s get to it.

Tonight at Reverb Lounge Omaha act Bokr Tov celebrates the release of their new album Nothing Is Immune. The five-piece plays a laid-back style of indie folk that kind of reminds me of acts like Susto and Whitney. The album was produced by Nate Van Fleet and engineered by Matt Carroll, both of See Through Dresses. Opening is red hot local act Thick Paint and Bed Rest. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Lookout Lounge is hosting ’90s punk rockers Smoking Popes. The band blew up in ’95 with their debut, Born to Quit. Their new album, Into the Agony, was released in October on Asian Man Records. Opening is KC band Company Retreat, Omaha’s Wrong Pets and A Summer Better Than Yours. $15, 8:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, tonight over at fabulous O’Leaver’s, High Dive recording artist Those Far Out Arrows opens for KC garage/psych-rock act Momma’s Boy. Omaha’s Magu headlines. $5, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to Lookout Lounge for the return of Bloodcow. I thought these guys hung it up, but it turns out they’re only on hiatus and have dusted off their instruments for one night as a tip o’ the hat to headliner Super Moon who is calling it quits after this show. Trench and Night Push open at 8 p.m. $5.

Finally, if you miss tonight’s Bokr Tov show at Reverb, the band is opening Sunday night for Minneapolis singer/songwriter Nick Costa at Reverb. Minne Lusa opens this one at 8 p.m. $8.

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

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i