TBT: June 24, 2005, Slowdown officially announced; Ten Questions with Peter Bjorn and John…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:49 pm June 23, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

On this #TBT, a brief memory from the Lazy-i blog, circa 2005…

Briefly noted, Slowdown… If you turned on your TV or picked up a Lincoln Journal Star than you know that the Saddle Creek folks held a press conference yesterday officially announcing the Slowdown project in downtown Omaha between 13th and 14th and Webster and Cuming, which means I’ll be able to watch its progress daily from the vantage point of my office at UP. No real earth-shaking news, though I figured the club would be larger than the 400-capacity space described in the Associated Press story. Time frame has the venue opening in a about a year. I know just as many people psyched about the facility’s two-screen indie/arthouse cinema as the club. I’m sure we’re gonna hear a lot more about the project as time goes by, like the club’s booking philosophy and how it could impact Sokol Underground. And what’s going on with that venture slated for the old Club Joy space? — Lazy-i, June 24, 2005

What did ever happen to that Club Joy space? Slowdown, btw, ended up opening the first week of June 2007, a year later than announced (and its capacity also is much larger than 400). Jason Kulbel and Co. should begin planning for the 10 year celebration concert right now…

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Peter Bjorn and John play The Waiting Room Sunday night.

Peter Bjorn and John play The Waiting Room Sunday night.

Ten Questions with Peter Bjorn and John

You might know Swedish indie pop musicians Peter Moren, Bjorn Yttling and John Eriksson — Peter Bjorn and John —  from their 2006 whistle-hook classic “Young Folks.” The song has more than 66 million spins in Spotify alone and was a hit in Europe and the U.S. before Spotify existed. Believe me, you’d recognize the song if you heard it. After a five-year recording hiatus, the band is back with self-released LP Breakin’ Point (2016, INGRID), a collection of bouncing pop songs that sounds like what you’d get if Belle and Sebastian cross-pollinated with ABBA.

I asked the band to take our Ten Questions survey, and here’s how the trio collectively responded, presumably in unison:

1. What is your favorite album?

Peter Bjorn and John: Tropical Moonlight. A reader’s digest vinyl compilation album with tropical easy listening highlights.

2. What is your least favorite song?

More bubbles with Peter Bjorn and John.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Good question.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Loud noises.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Coriander.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Mexico City.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

In Stockholm, Sweden 2002. We were booked as the opening act on an outdoor festival and when we got there they told us we had to build the stage ourselves. When we, after two hours, played the first song it was totally out of tune since Peter had forgotten the tuning pedal in our rehearsal studio. Then it started to rain.

8. How do you pay your bills?

With a twisted smile.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I would like to try to be the writer of a very short book.

I would not like to be a bee keeper.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I have heard that Bruce Springsteen was there at some point. Don’t know what he did though.

Peter Bjorn and John play with All Young Girls Are Machine Guns Sunday, June 26, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $20, showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Lazy-i

Live Review: Hottman Sisters in the park; Ten Questions with Laura Gibson; The Garden tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:07 pm June 20, 2016
The Hottman Sisters at Aksarben Village, June 18, 2016.

The Hottman Sisters at Aksarben Village, June 18, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

While people are loudly muttering about a local festival that dropped the ball over the weekend (I’m looking at you River City Music Festival), another pseudo festival was carried off nicely. I’m talking about the Proseeds show at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village, which happened Saturday night.

About 500 people were lazing on the green when I was there just after 7:30 to see Hottman Sisters’ set. There were food and other vendors and along with about a dozen cops — I saw more cops at this tiny one-day local show than I’ve ever seen at a Maha Festival, they were everywhere, smiling, talking to people, looking as if they were enjoying the show as much as the audience.

As for the Hottman Sisters, the duo (supported by a drummer and bassist) kicked through a set of mostly uptempo pop songs. They’re marketed as an indie rock band, but their sound lies closer to alt country, thanks to an overhanging rural lilt to their harmonies and guitar style. I think they’re going for a sort of Decemberists thing with a touch of Lilith — a predictable description, I suppose.

* * *

Laura Gibson opens for David Bazan at Reverb Lounge Tuesday, June 21. Photo by Shervin Lainez.

Laura Gibson opens for David Bazan at Reverb Lounge Tuesday, June 21. Photo by Shervin Lainez.

Ten Questions with Laura Gibson…

Singer/songwriter Laura Gibson’s life is at a crossroads. Originally from Portland, Gibson has been releasing albums since her 2006 debut If You Come to Meet Me (Hush Records). These days she’s on Barsuk/City Slang and lives in NYC where she studied to be a fiction writer. In fact, her new album, Empire Builder, which came out in April, was inspired by the name of the Amtrak route she took while crossing the country to her new home (and bears a resemblance to a certain Simon and Garfunkel song about a couple lost in America). But shortly after she arrived, her East Village apartment burned to the ground, an experience that “will continue to be, something that shapes me for the rest of my life. I cannot separate that experience from these songs,” she said.

There is a haunting poise to Empire Builder, a solemn intimacy that’s warm and pleasant and heartfelt. Contributors on the album include members of Death Cab for Cutie, Decemberists and Neko Case’s band, an artist whose style her music most resembles.

I asked Gibson to take our Ten Questions survey, and she obliged:

What is your favorite album?

Laura Gibson: Songs of Leonard Cohen by Leonard Cohen

2. What is your least favorite song?

There’s a song that keeps playing at my gym that says something like, “Girl you’re beautiful because you don’t know you’re beautiful.” I don’t know its name, but I hate it.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Getting to meet and connect with people all over the world.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Being away from home so often.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Tie between coffee and wine.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

New York; Spring Green, Wisconsin; tiny German towns.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

I had a few rough SXSW shows in Austin, but they’ve became pleasant/comedic in memory. Bad shows always make for good stories.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Music: a combination of tour income, royalties and licensing for film and commercials.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do? 

I would like to write novels and I would like to do some sort of social justice advocacy work. I would be terrible at law enforcement.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

There is such an incredible music community in Omaha, so I feel like I’ve gotten to know it through song. I’ve heard stories of tornado alerts (but no actual tornado stories).

Laura Gibson opens for David Bazan Tuesday, July 2,1 at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Tickets are $15. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

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Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s Orange County punk duo The Garden (Burger, Epitaph), along with local boys Shrinks and Guts. $7, 9 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Cultural Attraction (Mike Tulis birthday), Little Brazil Saturday; Chris Cohen, Son Ambulance Sunday; Ten Questions with Nothing…

O'Leaver's for Mike Tulis' celebration of silver & gold...

O’Leaver’s for Mike Tulis’ celebration of silver & gold…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Busy weekend for shows. Very busy. But the big stuff doesn’t start until tomorrow.

First, a mention of the OEAA showcases going on in Benson this weekend. I admit to knowing almost none of the bands performing this year. The few stand-out bands I recognize include John Klemmensen, Mitch Gettman, Latin Threat and Ragged Company. The full schedule is online right here. Cost is $10 one night, $15 for both nights. This is the only OEAA event that I participate in; it’s always fun to walk around Benson and check out new bands.

Onto Saturday night…

The marquee show is, of course, the Silver & Gold Celebration for Mike Tulis at fabulous O’Leaver’s. For his 50th, Tulis is getting the band back together — in this case, Cultural Attraction. Read all about the band’s history right here. Opening is Little Brazil and The Sons of O’Leaver’s. This can’t-miss show starts at 9:30. See you there.

Also celebrating a birthday Saturday night is The Brothers Lounge — opened apparently in conjunction with Tulis’ birth (both are 50 years old). Playing the party are Minnesota band Jaw Knee Vee, Lincoln madman Plack Blague and surprise guests You’ll Love These Rockets. $5, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday, Jerry’s Bar in Benson is hosting a festival all afternoon and evening. Among the performers are Matt Whipkey and Clarence Tilton. More info and the day’s schedule here.

Sunday it’s back to fabulous O’Leaver’s for their Sunday Social and one of the best line-ups of the weekend: Chris Cohen (Ex Deerhoof, Ariel Pink’s Huanted Graffiti), Son, Ambulance, Kansas City’s Shy Boys and Thick Paint. All for $8 plus FREE FOOD (no idea what kind of food, but it’s free). This starts early — 4 p.m.

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Nothing plays Slowdown Jr. Sunday night.

Nothing plays Slowdown Jr. Sunday night.

Sunday night Nothing plays with Culture Abuse, Wrong and Bib at Slowdown Jr. Here’s Ten Questions with Nothing…

Ten Questions with Nothing

Philly band Nothing may be known as much for its frontman’s brutal history as its music. As the story goes, Domenic Palermo spent a couple years in the slammer after stabbing someone in a fight back in 2002 when he was a member of hardcore punk act Horror Show, according to NPR. As you would expect, the experience changed him and his musical direction. With Nothing, Palermo returned to his first love: shoegaze. The music on the band’s latest album, Tired of Tomorrow (2016, Relapse) sounds like a reinvention of (or at least heavily influenced by) bands like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive combined with early Smashing Pumpkins. The product is dense, bleak and oftentimes brooding.

We asked Nothing to take our 10 Questions survey. Palermo took the plunge:

1. What is your favorite album?

Nothing: Sun City Girls, You’re Never Alone with a Cigarette

2. What is your least favorite song?

Theme song to “Frasier”

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Not having to be at home.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Having to be on the road.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Semen

6. In what city or town do you love top perform?

Chicago

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Chicago. I fell asleep standing up, while we were playing.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Relapse Records allowance money.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

Writing questions for newspaper; prostitution

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

One about these two brothers. One’s a cop and one’s a bad ass. The bad ass brother gets in a fight and kills a man in a bar fight. The cop brother chases him down through the back roads all the way to Canada, but decides to let him go, because a man that turns his back on his family, just ain’t no good.

Nothing plays with Culture Abuse, Wrong and Bib Sunday, June 12, at Slowdown Jr., 729 No. 14th St. Tickets are $13 Adv./$15 DOS. Showtime is 7 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great (red hot) 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

The Reader gets new blood; remembering Tom Rudloff; Ten Questions with We Were Promised Jetpacks…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Reader has a new managing editor. It’s David Williams, the former editor at Omaha Magazine and their family of publications. This new addition is a big deal for Omaha’s favorite arts and entertainment monthly, and long overdue. John Heaston and Eric Stoakes have been handling all the editorial decisions at the pub for a long, long time.

Also joining The Reader staff is another Omaha Magazine refugee: Super talented music write James Walmsley. James has been writing music profiles for Omaha and Encounter for some time, including this rather well-written profile of little ol’ me that appeared in Encounter. Walmsley’s title at The Reader will be something like Music Contributing Editor.

These additions represent surprising growth for a print publication in a time when word of magazines and papers shutting their doors comes on a daily basis. In fact, the June issue of The Reader looks to be the fattest in recent memory. It’s the annual “Music Issue,” and highlights a run-down of all the best places in town to buy vinyl. Also included is my annual list of favorite bands, as well my column that recaps the history of Cultural Attraction and local music legend Mike Tulis on the occasion of his 50th birthday. I’ll be posting a link to that column in the coming days, but you can read it right now in the printed edition of The Reader, available wherever fine journalism is sold.

* * *

I would be remiss to not mention the passing of Antiquarium proprietor and all-around good-guy Tom Rudloff. I first met Tom when I was a nerdy young lad, probably around 12 or 13. My mother drove me to the bookstore where Tom was selling a large collection of comic books. Among the one or two I bought that day was a copy of Avengers No. 4, the first appearance of Captain America in the Silver Age, a comic book I still own.

Over the years I got to know Tom through my writings about Bill Farmer, a local artist who I profiled in a couple cover stories for The Reader (You can read one of those profiles online here). Tom and Bill always were very patient with my questions about art and the lives of those who make it and, in Tom’s case, support it through running an art gallery.

Tom was known for holding court inside the bookstore, offering coffee and conversation to anyone who wanted to drop in. The kids and record hounds headed to Dave Sink’s record store in the basement probably wondered who that tribe of intellectuals was gathered just inside the entryway. They could be intimidating, though Tom never was.

Tom was funny and smart and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. He will be missed.

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We Were Promises Jetpacks at Mohawk Patio, SXSW, March 19, 2010.

We Were Promises Jetpacks at Mohawk Patio, SXSW, March 19, 2010.

We Were Promised Jetpacks has become something of an indie staple. Seems like every year I journeyed to Austin for South By Southwest since 2009 the Scottish 4-piece was playing the festival, drawing large crowds for a sound that takes a guitar-fueled indie dance vibe (see Phoenix, Tokyo Police Club) and injects it with an emo sensibility that Cursive would approve of. The band continues to tour its 2014 release, the exquisite Unraveling (FatCat Records), making one assume that they must be working on new material. Find out if that’s the case when they play The Slowdown Monday, June 6.

I asked WWPJ to take the Ten Questions survey. Guitarist Michael Palmer stepped up to the challenge.

1. What is your favorite album?

We Were Promised Jetpacks: Right now, it’s The Wilderness by Explosions In The Sky. We’re just off a support tour with those guys and they’re the nicest people and the best band. Love them. All time favourite (yup, that’s a ‘u’ in there – don’t take it out) is probably Kid A or something.

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Happy Birthday.” We once all started singing it to a friend of a friend on a night out, it was going great, then we all got to the “dear…” bit and, at the same time, realized that none of us knew her name. So we all just sort of stopped…

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

The part when you start writing a new song, and play it together the first few times. Before you have to talk about changing things. That part.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Not getting to see certain people for long stretches of time.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Pepsi.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Glasgow, because afterwards I don’t have to get into a van. It’s not that getting into a van afterwards isn’t sometimes amazing, it’s the not having to that makes it special.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Glasgow. Early on. There was a show where there were only like 10 people there and none of them cared at all. So we thought it would be funny to all kick our shoes off at the same time. It was. It was hilarious actually. Never mind.

8. How do you pay your bills?

I’d like to point out here that I used “where there were” in a sentence above and it was awesome. We pay our bills the usual way, I guess.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do? 

One where you get to leave at 5 p.m. and go to your own home EVERY SINGLE DAY! That’s the answer to both halves of the question, by the way.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I hear that there’s a $200 million development plan for land off the I-80. But that’s just because I went to omaha.com and read one of the headlines. I love that there’s an omaha.com, great work guys!

We Were Promised Jetpacks plays with Tokyo Police Club Monday, June 6 at The Slowdown. Tickets are $16 Adv./$18 DOS. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Peach Kelli Pop; The Good Life, Speedy Ortiz tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:55 pm May 24, 2016
Speedy Ortiz at O'Leaver's, 8/15/15. The band plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

Speedy Ortiz at O’Leaver’s, 8/15/15. The band plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Peach Kelli Pop is Canadian Allie Hanlon and four other women playing jangling, abrasive, driving straight-four beach-flavored punk rock that sounds like go-carts and too much coffee. On the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it LP, Peach Kelli Pop III (2015, Burger Records), Hanlon and her band race through 10 songs in just over 20 minutes — simple math tells you that averages about two minutes per song, just long enough for punk rock. Popular themes are video games, Chinese food and conspiracy theorists as well as the usual songs of love.

We caught up with Hanlon and asked her to take our Ten Questions survey. Here’s what she had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Allie Hanlon: Red Cross’ s/t EP, released 1980

2. What is your least favorite song?

“(You’re) Having my Baby” by Paul Anka

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Free stuff! Just kidding, I like going on adventures, traveling and playing music with 4 really cool girls.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Having your work and time constantly devalued. Also rude sound people

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Ice-cream & fancy cheese

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Tokyo, Japan will always be #1.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Our shows in Nashville have sucked the last few years, so we stopped playing there. On tour in Europe last fall, we played a show in France where we were playing on the floor, with some drunk, confrontational people inches from my face during our entire set. They spilled beer all over my pedals. I don’t condone violence, but I was ready throw down.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Usually via credit card over the phone.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

Canine massage therapist or a psychic. I think I’d be a great aerobics instructor as well. I would hate being a meter maid or having any profession involving sales.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Growing up in Ottawa, Canada, I didn’t know anything about Omaha, NE. I learned about Saddle Creek Records and its bands, which were really influential when I was a little teen, and became more familiar. The rich music history makes Omaha stand out. I also heard that 311 is from Omaha which is pretty cool.

Peach Kelli Pop plays with The Way Out Wednesday, May 25, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Tickets are $8, showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

One of the biggest shows of the month is happening tonight at The Waiting Room where The Good Life kicks off its latest tour in support of their 2015 Saddle Creek release, Everybody’s Coming Down. That alone is worth the price of admission, but then you add indie superstars Speedy Ortiz and you’ve got yourself a monster of a show. But wait, there’s more. Local indie rockers Oquoa are opening the show. All this entertainment for a mere $15. The show starts at 9 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Conor Oberst talks Dolores Diaz and the Standby Club (Saturday at The Waiting Room)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:47 pm May 19, 2016
Dolores Diaz & the Standby Club, from left, are Ben Brodin, Miwi La Lupa, Dan McCarthy, Roger Lewis, Corina Figueroa, Mike Mogis, Matt Maginn and Conor Oberst. Not pictures is Phil Schaffart.

Dolores Diaz & the Standby Club, from left, are Ben Brodin, Miwi La Lupa, Dan McCarthy, Roger Lewis, Corina Figueroa, Mike Mogis, Matt Maginn and Conor Oberst. Not pictured is Phil Schaffart.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
What do you do for fun when musically you can do anything you want? You put together a country cover band.

That’s what Conor Oberst did with his wife, Corina Figueroa, and their two roommates, Roger Lewis and Miwi La Lupa.

The project began last November strictly as a lark. Among the belongings La Lupa brought with him when he moved to Omaha from Brooklyn was a copy of Them Old Country Songs, a 1972 “various artists” classic that includes songs by the likes of Skeeter Davis, Connie Smith, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton.

“We love this record,” Oberst said last week over drinks at his Dundee bar, Pageturners Lounge, while fellow Standby Club member Dan McCarthy pounded out ragtime tunes on the bar’s upright piano. “I’ve not been a person to cover a lot of songs. It was nice to learn new ones. I’ve never played songs with this many key changes before.”

Oberst said Figueroa has a great voice and loves to sing, so it made sense to give the band a try. “She’s sang with me a few times before,” he said. “She was super excited at practice, but for that first show, she was extremely nervous. We all were.”

The rest of band is made up of people Oberst said are part of his extended household: Phil Schaffart, Oberst’s partner on the road and in running Pageturners; Mike Mogis and Ben Brodin, whose studio, ARC, is practically an extension of Oberst’s home, and Cursive’s Matt Maginn, who at one time also lived with Oberst.

“No one in the band is a country player in any way, shape or form,” Oberst said. “Even Mike (Mogis) doesn’t consider himself a country player. He doesn’t know all the Nashville things. The guy who’s most dialed in is Ben. He can play anything.”

The band’s first gig, at O’leaver’s Jan. 3 of this year, included covers of songs by the aforementioned country legends along with Charlie Pride, Sammi Smith, Bob Dylan and Randy Newman and more. The evening’s music was recorded and is online at liveatoleavers.com. Expect to hear a lot of those numbers when the band plays at The Waiting Room Saturday, May 21, along with a few new covers, possibly including “Honey Won’t You Open the Door” by Ricky Skaggs and “Good Girl Gone Bad” by Tammy Wynette.

Oberst said unlike playing in one of his other bands, this band has access to an unlimited musical catalog. “I never realized all the virtues of being in a cover band,” he said. “We’re never going to run out of good songs.”

It’s unlikely this band will ever enter a recording studio. “It sounds like a joke, but I feel like we’re a good band for parties and weddings and funerals and all that kind of stuff,” Oberst said. “It would seem weird to record covers, and I don’t know if we’d ever have originals, definitely not for this show.”

La Lupa, who sat next to Oberst during the interview, said the band may be “just for fun,” but that it takes the music seriously. “Someone wrote a review after our first show and said it sounds like we didn’t practice or something, and we were all kind of bummed,” La Lupa said. “We practice more for this band than any other band we play with. We’ll be practicing a lot over the next week.”

The band’s name, The Standby Club, grew out of a phrase used by a friend of Oberst’s who does film editing of live sporting events. “He always says ‘standby,’ and began using the phrase in everyday life,” Oberst said. “The Standby Club — I thought it would sound dope.”

As for Figueroa’s musical nom de plume, Oberst said she was afraid about going on stage. “I suggested putting on a persona, like a Superman cape,” he said. “Dolores Diaz is a Spanglish version of Doris Day and has an old Hollywood sound to it.”

“And it works out because the name ‘Dolores’ signifies heartbreak,” La Lupa said, adding that the name means “sorrow” in English, a fact that surprised Oberst, who quickly added, “We’re going to have some nice T-shirts made.”

Dolores Diaz & the Standby Club plays with Carl Miller & The Thrillers Saturday, May 21, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $10; showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Shannon & the Clams on the river, Halfwit; Ten Questions with A Giant Dog (at Milk Run tonight)…

Shannon & The Clams performing aboard The River City Star, May 15, 2016.

Shannon & The Clams performing aboard The River City Star, May 15, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’m growing tired of this cold weather. I imagined how much more pleasant last night’s “Sailin’ and Wailin’ Boat Cruise on the River City Star” would have been had the temps been 20 degrees warmer. Instead, it was cold and windy and I’m happy I wore my insulated hoodie.

Weather issues aside, Perpetual Nerves has a hit on its hands if it decides to do more of these River City Star concerts, because last night’s was a blast. The cruise couldn’t have gone smoother. If you weren’t on board by 6:55 you were left standing on the shore. In fact, I know one party of people, only seconds late, who had to practically fight their way to the deck (heroically saved by booker Sam Parker).

The River City Star is a small two-story river boat that launches from Freedom Park near the Gallup campus. The festive bottom deck was where the free keg and cash bar were located. Those standing in line were serenaded by the finest party music (from Prince to  Tom Tom Club) via a DJ. With drink in hand it was up to the top deck where Nathan Ma and The Rosettes were already performing as the boat drifted away from the dock. I recognized among the band mates Sarah Bohling of Icky Blossoms adding vocals. Their music was a mix of garage and indie, including a cover of The La’s “There She Goes” that got the loudest applause.

They were followed at 8 p.m. sharp by Shannon and the Clams, an Oakland-based four piece that played early ’60s-style garage rock with doo-wap and surf elements. It felt very much like a very hip sock hop played on a drifting dance floor, all the while floating past either Deliverance-style river-bottoms foliage or urban industrial decay. For every bit of picturesque wildlife (geese, flying fish) there was a reminder that you were adrift on a river of dark brown sewage.  Floating up and down the Missouri River, we were met time and time again by a large white half-submerged floating upright refrigerator. Was there someone inside it, traveling to the Gulf of Mexico? We’ll never know.

The sound, by the way, was amazing. No doubt the river people, who were either fishing or dumping garbage along the shore, could easily hear the bands, and wondered who those lucky bastards having the time of their lives?

The obvious question on everyone’s minds: Why doesn’t Perpetual Nerves book these cruises all the time, or at least once a month during the warm months? Especially considering it sold out the same day it was announced (within hours of the announcement).

Halfwit at O'Leaver's, May 13, 2016.

Halfwit at O’Leaver’s, May 13, 2016.

Friday night I caught Halfwit at O’Leaver’s. The Lincoln band fronted by Dan Jenkins of Ideal Cleaners and including bass-playing madman Saber Blazek crushed the crowd with heavy rock that bordered on proggy metal. The guitar interplay between Jenkins and guitarist Kevin Waltemath was next level amazing. Unfortunately the usually high-flying Blazek was seated for the performance, a victim of some sort of foot injury judging by the massive isolation boot he was wearing. I tried to imagine him at full thrash. Probably would have take out a wall or two. I’m told the performance was recorded for a possible future Live at O’Leaver’s set. Keep your fingers crossed.

Well Aimed Arrows at O'Leaver's May 13, 2016.

Well Aimed Arrows at O’Leaver’s May 13, 2016.

Last up was Well Aimed Arrows playing their usual brand of stripped down, minimalistic post New Wave music that combines almost atonal vocals with intricate rhythms. People who “get them” love them, and those who don’t are left scratching their heads. Their loss. If you grew up with very early REM or Wire — of if you’re old enough to remember groundbreaking ’90s Omaha band The Protoculture — seek them out immediately.

* * *

A Giant Dog plays at Milk Run tonight.

A Giant Dog plays at Milk Run tonight.

Tonight at Milk Run Austin indie band A Giant Dogs perform. Just this second, I received back a Ten Questions response from the band. Here it is:

1. What is your favorite album? 

A Giant Dog: Sparks,  Angst In My Pants. This is one of our favorite albums and we have been doing a cover of “Angst In My Pants” at our shows recently. Sparks had a big influence on us when recording the new record, PILE, and this album is on repeat while driving on tour.

2. What is your least favorite song?

It’s a never ending list. Nothing in particular comes to mind.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

We started our band as a way to have fun, make music and hangout with other bands in Austin and around the country. We’ve also been close friends since high school and played in different bands together. So it’s great being able to play music and travel with your long time buds. Aside from that aspect, we’re generally unsettled with how repetitive, boring and predictable rock music can be. One of the best things about being in a band is considering the bleakness out there and then finding ways to make a song more creative, interesting and against the grain. I’m not sure how well we do that, but it’s something we enjoy trying to do.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

The music biz is tough right now and that is a constant frustration we and other bands have to work around. Music has always been tough, but I think it’s okay to say there is a lot less money now than in the early 2000’s pre-Napster. There is a bad gap between good music and getting it to people who will appreciate it. I hope streaming can get its shit together, and this is a problem they need to solve. I know that journalism and film are in the same boat.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Mostly weed and more legal substances these days to keep our voices in tact and be able to keep up with the fast pace lifestyle we live. It’s been most interesting buying weed across the U.S. in the last two years. It’s funny buying it in Colorado and then sneaking it through Utah like you’re still at your parents house and sneaking in past curfew.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Minneapolis, Chicago, New York and any town with a passionate promoter who knows how to put together a cool show. The funny thing about live music is that any town can be killer for shows. You just need one guy or gal who loves putting on shows and knows what bands are good.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)

Pittsburgh. We showed up to a DIY space that was had the right elements for a good show – big empty house with a good turnout and decent bands booked. But the place was run by kids in pajamas eating ramen. There was a thunderstorm that day and they were afraid of the thunder thinking the show should be canceled. We bought them a six pack and passed on the show.

8. How do you pay your bills?

We work part time or remote jobs in addition to making music. Andrew (guitar/vocals) is a door guy, Graham (bass) makes pizza, Danny (drums is a waiter, Sabrina (singer) works at a Ramen place and has an Airbnb and Andy (guitar) is a software consultant. Multiple incomes is the main way we get by and it’s well worth the time and effort to be able to tour and keep making records.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do

Sabrina was talking about becoming an acupuncturist the other day. Eastern medicine in general is interesting and it seems that could be a rewarding job.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska

Nothing yet. Friends have said the Milk Run is cool and a good place to play. Let’s see what stories come from the show tonight.

A Giant Dog performs with Kitten Forever, No Thanks and Worried Mothers tonight at Milk Run, 1907 Leavenworth St. Tickets are $8, show starts at 9 p.m. 

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Diet Cig, The Front Bottoms; Ten Questions with Cross Record; Day Wave tonight…

Diet Cig at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016.

Diet Cig at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Slowdown, god bless ’em, runs a show on time. Last night was no exception. I’d raced downtown to catch Diet Cig, who was scheduled to begin their set at 7:30 p.m. — an early start time for any show. A quick dinner and I was tooling down Cuming Street. I arrived at 7:30 to be met by a line that snaked along the sidewalk past the Saddle Creek Store toward Film Streams. As I waited in line I heard Diet Cig playing inside Slowdown. Nobody’s fault but mine.

It took a good 10 to 15 minutes to get inside, but once there, I got to hear at least half of Diet Cig’s set. They’re a new band with a very small selection of songs — they haven’t even released a debut full length as far as I can tell. Only singles and EPs.

Not only are they a new band, they’re a young band, or more precisely, a young duo consisting of frontwoman/guitarist Alex Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman. Their brand of indie is post punk bordering on garage rock, big riffs, big drums and a little voice. The product is cute… no it’s adorable, especially as Luciano in Daisy Dukes does her half-ass chorus-line-style step kicks while bouncing around stage.

What the songs lacked in clarity (I couldn’t understand a word she sang, and blame it partially on the sound mix, which was muddy all night) the duo made up for with brazen energy, managing to get the early-evening crowd to pump their fists. I’m ready to see how they top it when they play the Maha Music Festival this August.

They were followed by Brick + Mortar, a three-piece indie band that wasn’t really a band at all. It was a frontman singing over prerecorded tracks and live drums while a gimp in tight green satin shorts pranced around stage in nipple tassels spraying water into the audience. Meanwhile a gruesome blood-spray video was projected on the big screen behind them.

While their music was not my cup of tea, I salute them for their indie ethic — the band says they’ve done everything on their own, including releasing all their music on their own label (though AllMusic lists their 2013 Bangs EP as having been released by Universal Music). The crowd loved them.

The Front Bottoms at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016.

The Front Bottoms at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016.

Finally at around 9:25 (10 minutes late!) The Front Bottoms took the stage to the screams of their adoring fans who packed the bowl (though this was not a sell out — the balcony was even closed).

I won’t repeat how I described them the last time I saw them because their sound hasn’t changed a lick. Actually, nothing about the band was different than when they played at The Waiting Room three years ago. They even had the same spray-painted backdrop. Why would they change anything? Their fans don’t want them to change. They don’t need elaborate staging, just the band playing the songs they love.

And play they did, with the crowd singing along to every word. I haven’t seen this sort of sing-along since Dashboard Confessional. The quality that Dashboard and Front Bottoms share (other than being unabashedly emo) is a front man who writes songs that any sad sack can relate to, who then sings them with the clearest enunciation. You only have to hear a Front Bottoms song once and you’ll know all the words the next time ’round.

To be fair, about halfway through the set, the band did break out some lighting effects that looked like icicle Christmas lights. And there was a bubble machine and the those floppy “windsock dancers” that are so popular with used car lots.

To me, their set was less enthralling and sloppier than when I saw them last. They rolled out my favorite of their songs, “Au Revoir (Adios)” fairly early in the set and rushed it as if they just wanted to get it out of the way. Still, the crowd was enraptured by the performance, bouncing and singing and waving along to every note.

So far, every time they’ve come to town they’ve played bigger stages, despite having virtually no local airplay. A glance at their wiki entry implies their popularity has been fueled mostly by YouTube videos, which I guess makes them “YouTube phenoms.” You have to assume they’re just going to get bigger, if they don’t burn out first from constant touring along the way. Here’s hoping they sell out Slowdown next time through.

* * *

Cross Record plays at fabulous O'Leaver's Thursday, May 5.

Cross Record plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s Thursday, May 5.

Ten Questions with Cross Record

Cross Record is vocalist Emily Cross and her husband, Dan Duszynski. The couple live a seemingly idyllic life in dusty Dripping Springs, Texas. Reading their bio, you’d believe Cross and Dyszynski fled to the tiny town of 1,788 to escape the hustle-bustle of their former home in Chicago, having “grown fed up with the violence and lack of warmth.” Good story, until you realize the Dripping Springs is located just 24 miles west of Austin, and includes among its residents (according to Wikipedia) Sam Bean of Iron & Wine, Johnny Gimble of the Texas Playboys and Kurt Neumann of BoDeans, and so on.

The contrast is important. Because despite being a half-hour away from one of the largest music cities on the planet, Dripping Springs is also known as the Gateway to the Hill Country. It is, indeed, isolated, especially if you live on an 18-acre rented ranch, which they do. That remoteness permeates Cross Record’s new album, Wabi-Sabi (2016, Ba Da Bing), a wispy collection of big-horizon music often broken mid-song by lightning-crash distortion and/or percussion, as if saying no matter how you try to escape, the din of life will keep on finding you.

We asked Cross Record to take our Ten Questions survey. Emily answered most of them, with help from Dan. Here’s what they had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?



Emily Cross: It changes, depending on my mood. Right now it’s ANTI by Rihanna.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Dan Dyszynski: “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.. “It’s the whitest, most generic, singer-songwriter-reggae-ripoff-piece-of-shit in the world”

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Sharing, communicating, connecting, smiling, making friends.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Nothing, really.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

It’d have to be water. I’m made out of mostly water.

6. What city or town do you love to perform?

Glasgow.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Honestly, I don’t like to think about or dwell on my “worst gigs.” Even the worst of shows provide me with some sort of valuable experience. I often feel pretty terrible about my performances, so no single one really stands out in my mind.

8. How do you pay your bills?

I’m a nanny, and I’ve had about a million little odd-jobs.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

Full-time animal activist or animal sanctuary owner. Certified Public Accountant.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I haven’t heard any stories about Omaha, Nebraska. I’ll have some, soon.

Cross Record plays with Simon Joyner & the Ghosts and Those Far Out Arrows Thursday, May 5, at O’Leaver’s, 1322 So. Saddle Creek Rd. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $6. For more information, go to liveatoleavers.com

* * *

Bonus! Late yesterday afternoon Diet Cig finally supplied the answers to the Ten Questions survey, which went online at The Reader website a few hours prior to last night’s show. Here it is:

1. What is your favorite album?

Diet Cig: Space Jam Soundtrack

2. What is your least favorite song?

Anything by the Talking Heads

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Getting to tour and meet other people’s pets.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Nothing comes to mind… it pretty much all rawwwks.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Pixie Sticks (Ed note: Pixy Stix)

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Philadelphia!

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

First time in Denver, CO, our car had gotten broken into and we were so bummed out all day, we just wanted the show to be over.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Cash $$$$

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

Dog walker!!! I’d hate to work at a deli ever again… I still get nightmares about processed meats.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Conor Oberst walks around with a super soaker full of Nair on Halloween and terrorizes local kids.

* *

Tonight it’s back to Slowdown Jr. for Day Wave, who you met yesterday. Also on the bill are Lot Walks and Bokr Tov. 8 p.m. showtime, $12.

* * *

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Ten Questions with Day Wave; The Front Bottoms, Diet Cig tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:39 pm May 3, 2016
Day Wave plays tomorrow night at Slowdown Jr.

Day Wave plays tomorrow night at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

On the new EP Hard to Read (2016, Grand Jury/Fat Possum) Oakland band Day Wave is all Jackson Phillips, who did the Prince thing by performing and recording the album all by his lonesome.

Phillips’ music falls into the same indie dream pop realm as Wild Nothing, Diiv, Black Marble, Violens, Dignan Porch, that slew of bands that have taken the Joy Division/New Order aesthetic and combined it with modern-day gloom.

That said, don’t expect to see only one guy standing behind a keyboard when Day Wave plays Slowdown May 4 (tomorrow night). Phillips will have a touring band in tow to fill out the sound on stage. And it’s a good thing, too, because Day Wave has been added to a slew of festivals this summer, including Lollapalooza, Governor’s Ball and Shaky Knees.

We asked Phillips to take our Ten Questions survey. A man of few words, here’s what he had to say.

1. What is your favorite album?

Day Wave: Hmmm that’s a tough one, I’ll say Brian Eno – Here Come The Warm Jets.

 2. What is your least favorite song?

That song that says “I’ve seen better days” over and over.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

My favorite part is writing and recording songs, I can do it all day long.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

I don’t enjoy the lack of sleep that comes with touring.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

I’m a big fan of almond butter.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

I just got back from Australia, that was pretty much one of the best places.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

I haven’t played any bad shows with Day Wave!

 8. How do you pay your bills?

By check.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I always wanted to be a photo journalist for National Geographic. I never wanted to do anything involving math.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I’ve heard it’s haunted.

Day Wave plays with Lot Walks and Bokr Tov Wednesday, May 4, at Slowdown Jr., 729 No. 14th St. Showtime is 8 p.m. Admission is $10 Adv. / $12 DOS. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

* * *

The Front Bottoms at The Waiting Room, Jan. 12, 2014.

The Front Bottoms at The Waiting Room, Jan. 12, 2014.

I wasn’t expecting much of anything the first time I saw the Front Bottoms back in January 2014, mainly because I’d never heard of them. But I have to tell you, I was blown away. From the review of that show: “Their sound was reminiscent of some of my favorite humor-inflected bands of the ‘90s and ’00s — Atom and his Package, Fountains of Wayne, Too Much Joy, Mountain Goats, Dismemberment Plan, The Hold Steady, The Decemberists — bands that write smart, funny, self-referential lyrics that anyone can relate to.”

And now they’re back tonight at The Slowdown. Joining them is Maha 2016 band Diet Cig. Get a preview of what you’re going to see at Stinson Park this August. Also on the bill is Jersey band Brick + Mortar. This is a 7:30 show; tickets are $21.

Also tonight Minnesota band Cult of Lip plays at Milk Run with Hussies and Super Moon. $7, 9 p.m.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Closeness, Thick Paint, BAMF, Relax It’s Science; 10 Questions with The Besnard Lakes…

Closeness at O'Leaver's April 30, 2016.

Closeness at O’Leaver’s April 30, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Closeness is a new project by Orenda and Todd Fink. We all know who they are, and if you don’t, how’s life been in that cave the past 20 years? A better question: Why have they waited so long before collaborating on music? Maybe they’ve always been collaborating and we just didn’t know it. Regardless, now we get to hear the product of these two musical masterminds, and it’s been worth the wait.

Their kit is an assembly of synths, keyboards and other sound robots placed on tables surrounded by lights, cables and other gizmos. Their equipment looked like an operating theater where the couple was about to perform surgery, but with Orenda donning an electric guitar over her scrubs.

They performed face-to-face, though from my vantage point, Todd mainly looked down or over or into his microphone. Orenda, her microphone echoing with delay, provided most of the vocals, with Todd adding his distorted, vocoder-like harmonies deep or high or robotic. Musically, Closeness goes way beyond what you’d expect. Sure, there were the familiar hypnotic beats, of which Todd always has been a master, but it was the melodies and the counter melodies and the layers upon layers of textured sound that set it apart.

Most songs were thick, mid-tempo grooves reminiscent of Orenda’s O+S material, but there were moments of lilting Caribbean-style tempos and traditional electro-rock you’d expect from The Faint. Their short set was only five songs long. Among my faves was a mid-set corker that featured the couple harmonizing on a slow melody that recalled Low’s Sparhawk and Parker.

No surprise that the crazy-packed crowd loved it and wanted more, but there wasn’t any. So has any of this music been recorded, and who will have the honor of releasing it? Or maybe they’ll release it themselves and then hit the road. Ah, what a life.

Thick Paint at O'Leaver's, April 30, 2016.

Thick Paint at O’Leaver’s, April 30, 2016.

Garnering just as much enthusiasm from the crush mob was Thick Paint, the one-man show featuring Reptar’s Graham Patrick Ulicny. With just a small synth, his voice and his guitar he enraptured the audience with his beautiful songs that, at times, reminded me of early Cat Stevens played to a beat box. Really gorgeous stuff.

I realize I’m going backward through my Saturday night, which actually ended at O’Leaver’s. It began at The Lookout Lounge and the Big Al Music Festival (BAMF) First, a word about The Lookout. No other club in town has managed to capture the glorious, run-down ambiance of ’90s-era Omaha rock venues quite like this place. It was like walking into the past, right down to the smell.

Wagon Blasters at Lookout Lounge April 30, 2016.

Wagon Blasters at Lookout Lounge April 30, 2016.

Like the old Knickerbockers or Capitol Bar, the venue is split in two, with a bar in one room and a decent sized music room adjacent with an impressive elevated stage. Imagine the old Sokol Underground shrunk down to half its size and you get the gist. The walls and ceiling tiles were painted black, and air vents over the stage were appropriately covered in fuzzy grime, no doubt a reminder of decades of cigarette smoke, now long gone. Lookout isn’t fancy, but the best rock clubs rarely are.

Big Al, who has been doing his free festival for nine years. kept things on schedule. I walked in at 8:45 and Wagon Blasters were just getting started — right on time. Gary Dean Davis and  crew looked right at home bouncing on the Lookout stage, belting out their usual high-quality tractor punk. Someone in the crowd of around 30 yelled out “Fishin’ Hole”! Hey, you can’t blame anyone for mistaking these folks for that classic ’90s punk band.

Mike Saklar at Lookout Lounge, April 30, 2016.

Mike Saklar at Lookout Lounge, April 30, 2016.

Mike Saklar took the stage next playing solo electric renditions of songs from his former band, Ravine. Ravine (who you can read about here) was Saklar’s post-Ritual Device band that played very heavy-bordering-on-metal rock music way back in the ’90s. Deconstructed as solo material, the songs sounded more tuneful than I remember them, though Saklar is no less a master on guitar. What are the odds that he could resurrect a few of these songs with a full band?

Relax, It's Science at Lookout Lounge, April 30, 2016.

Relax, It’s Science at Lookout Lounge, April 30, 2016.

Then came Relax, It’s Science, the latest project from drummer Jeremy Stanosheck (ex-Kite Pilot, among others). The trio consisted of Stanosheck and two bass players cranking out huge, anthemic, proggy instrumentals with intricate, powerful rhythms. Each bass took turns providing a semblance of a melody countered by the other’s pounding rhythm lines. It was appropriate that the only spot highlighted on Lookout’s stage was where Stanosheck had his drum kit, because he was center of the attention putting on a clinic with his throaty stick work. It’s time Stanosheck got the respect he deserves.

Hat’s off to Big Al for such a strong line-up. This was the first time I’ve attended one of his festivals, and I was impressed by how it was run. On a table in the back of the room was a large pile of canned and packaged foods destined for the food bank. As Gary Dean Davis said at the end of this set, “Keep feeding the world, Big Al.” Here’s to Year 10.

* * *

Tonight Canada’s Besnard Lakes returns to Omaha, this time at Reverb Lounge. You really should go to this one. Look, it’s a 9 p.m. show but with only one opener (Sub Pop and Burger Records band Jaill, which could be a headliner by themselves).

The Besnard Lakes play tonight at Reverb Lounge.

The Besnard Lakes play tonight at Reverb Lounge.

Ten Questions with The Besnark Lakes.

The Besnard Lakes’ music is so massive, so mammoth, it’s the sound you hear while teetering on the edge of a cliff with the gorge spread out in front of you, the river below a mere silver sliver among the rocks.  The Montreal-based six-piece is centered on the husband-wife core of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, who released their first studio album, Volume 1, in 2003 (but which was rereleased by their label, Jagjagwar, in 2007).

While the band is undoubtedly indie — Lasek’s and Goreas’ harmonies are reminiscent of Low — their gorgeously dense music has touch points in ’70s arena rock recalling bands like Yes and Boston, acts that knew how to make their anthems sound majestic. And most of Besnard Lakes’ new album, A Coliseum Complex Museum (2016, Jagjaguwar) is, indeed, majestic — a swirling miasma of beautiful multi-tracked sounds cut to the core by Robbie MacArthur’s sparkling guitar solos. It’s a sound so large one can only wonder how it’ll fit inside tiny Reverb Lounge Monday night.

We asked The Besnard Lakes to take our Ten Questions survey. Here’s what Olga had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

The Besnard Lakes’ Olga Goreas: Side two of The Beatles’ Abbey Road.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Anything that doesn’t come from a sincere heart.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Playing bass. I love that thing so much!

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

I really can’t complain about any aspect of being in a band. It’s pretty much the best job in the world. I don’t know, long rides in the van can get tedious I suppose.  I’ve got restless legs too, but I don’t think I can blame it on being in a band! Just gotta get up and stretch once in a while.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

I do enjoy a well-made double espresso.  Caffeine is the one drug I could never give up.

6. What city or town do you love performing at?

Chicago has been a special city for us.  The audience is always super appreciative, and the city too is quite lovely.  The old architecture melds with the new really well.  I almost get a Canadian vibe from it too, more than any other American city except maybe Minneapolis. Also love playing Glasgow, London and just the UK in general.  Audiences seem to understand us best in the UK.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

That honor belongs to Victoria, BC.  It had actually started quite well – we took a ferry from Tsawassen to Victoria and two of our bandmates at the time ran into the drummer from Def Leppard, who happened to be playing the same night in the big arena.  We actually went to see them and then went to play our show.  I don’t know if it was something weird in the air but it was a very strange crowd and we tried to be loud enough to be heard over the rowdies.  Jace was trying to sing a song and just got fed up and told someone in the audience who was basically yelling the whole time to shut the fuck up.  This person replies “get over yourself” to which another person in the audience gets into some altercation and the night basically ended with bar fights and the cops being called. The end!

8. How do you pay your bills?

Online baby!

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I went to university and studied Psychology.  I’d like to be a researcher or a clinical psychologist.  The mind is a fascinating creature to me.

I wouldn’t be able to work at a collection agency or anything that involves taking money from people who don’t have it.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

We played once in Omaha many years ago. There was a college football game and nobody came to our show.  It’s totally fine, that sort of thing happens here for hockey so I get it. I also remember going to a laundromat and seeing bullet holes in the window. I started calling Omaha “Omaharsh” after that.

The Besnard Lakes plays with Jaill Monday, May 2, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $12. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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