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.

Share | Email | Bookmark

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.

* * *

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 Iska Dhaaf (playing O’Leaver’s (with its new beer garden) Sunday)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:30 pm April 28, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

First, thanks to those who noticed that the site was down last night. Seems to have been some sort of data-limit issue. We’re back and better than ever.

There’s actually two reasons to see Iska Dhaaf this Sunday at fabulous O’Leaver’s. The first reason is highlighted below — great band. The second reason is that Sunday is the grand opening of O’Leaver’s massive, out-of-this-world beer garden. Yes, I know the new patio was open to the public last fall, but The Club is celebrating its “official” opening Sunday starting at 11.  You can read the whole story behind O’Leaver’s new beer garden in this rather large story that appeared in The Reader last October.

Onward to Iska Dhaaf…

Iska Dhaaf plays O'Leaver's Sunday, May 1.

Iska Dhaaf plays O’Leaver’s Sunday, May 1.

Ten Questions with Iska Dhaaf

New York City-based duo Iska Dhaaf’s beautiful, tonal, layered, electronic songs pulse with pop-click-bang rhythms that race like a jackrabbit’s heartbeat. On their new album, The Wanting Creature (2016, Brick Lane Records) Nathan Quiroga’s and Benjamin Verdoes’ voices intertwine in an elegant, ghostly ballet that perfectly complements their songs’ haunting stories of modern life with all its complications.

I asked Nate and Benjamin to take our Ten Questions survey. Here’s what they had to say (seemingly in unison):

1. What is your favorite album?

Iska Dhaaf: Kid A by Radiohead

2. What is your least favorite song?

The “Chicken Song” that they play at roller skating rinks. Also, that song by Edwin McCain, “I’ll Be,” or whatever it’s called, is a close second. I hate these songs with a deep unbridled passion. I resent the question, because now they’re stuck in my head.

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

Writing songs and traveling around the world with my best friend to perform them.

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

Business/promotion is probably the worst aspect.

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

Orange juice, or most variations of fruit.

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

Paris is really amazing.

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

In general, even in the worst venues and towns we find a way to enjoy ourselves and connect with people. There have been plenty of strange and sparsely attended shows, but they’re all valuable.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Strategically and usually with a sense of unease.

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

Writing novels, short stories, or films. I would hate to be a mortician.

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

I haven’t heard that many. Most of them are in songs that came from Saddle Creek bands. Nate saw his first Fire-Fly there, though. That’s a nice story.

Iska Dhaaf plays with Annalibera, Haunted Gauntlet and Mike Schlesinger & Sean Pratt Sunday, May 1, at O’Leaver’s, 1322 Saddle Creek Rd. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $5. For more information, go to liveatoleavers.com.

* * *

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 Melvins (playing tonight with Napalm Death, Melt Banana); more evidence of my existence…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:35 pm April 25, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Pssst… word on the street is that tonight’s Napalm Death / Melvins concert with Melt Banana at The Waiting Room is nearly sold out. Best get your tickets while you can.

Quick note: The Ten Questions articles (like the one below), launched a month or so ago, are also published online in The Reader. I posted this one Saturday, and somehow it got picked up somewhere because the story has more than 400 likes on The Reader website, which is some kind of record for one of their articles.

Please to enjoy…

Buzz Osborne of Melvins. The band plays The Waiting Room tonight. Photo by Mackie Osborne.

Buzz Osborne of Melvins. The band plays The Waiting Room tonight. Photo by Mackie Osborne.

What can I say about Melvins? The band whose sound influenced all things heavy — from grunge to stoner to alternative metal — has been playing their brand of grindingly hard rock for more than 30 years.

The list of bands influenced by Melvins is a Who’s Who of modern metal, from Mastodon to Sun O))) to Queens of the Stone Age, and, of course, Nirvana. In fact, the story goes that Melvins’ guitarist/vocalist/madman Buzz Osborne (a.k.a. King Buzzo) introduced Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic to Dave Grohl. It was Nirvana’s unexpected success that helped get Melvins signed to Atlantic Records, who released their masterpiece Houdini in 1993.

Now 23 years later, Melvins will release Basses Loaded June 3 on Ipecac. The record features six bass players including Steve McDonald of Redd Kross and OFF!, who will be playing alongside Buzzo and Dale Crover when Melvins play The Waiting Room Monday, April 25.

I asked Buzz Osborne to take our Ten Questions survey. Here’s his answers. Enjoy.

1. What is your favorite album?

Buzz Osborme: Bitches Brew by Miles Davis

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Happy Birthday”

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

I’m in it for the chicks.

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

Not enough chicks.

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

Asbestos

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

Omaha, of course.

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

Maynardville, Tenn.

8. How do you pay your bills?

I sell drugs.

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

Paid philosopher; testing drugs

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

I hear they have really good steakhouses and excellent topless bars.

Melvins plays with Napalm Death and Melt Banana Monday, April 25, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. For more information, visit onepercentproductions.com

* * *

Well, that Encounter Magazine profile of yours truly finally made it online, right here. Give it a read. Writer James Walmsley did a fantastic job summarizing my life in music journalism/criticism.

Also note, the photo that appears with the story is (probably) the only time my image has appeared on the internet, at least where I’m identified, though I’ve had people tell me they still can’t tell what I look like based on this photo. Kudos to Bill Sitzmann for not revealing too much. BTW, yes, I’m wearing a vintage Mercy Rule T-shirt in the shot.

* * *

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

10 questions with Walker Lukens; The Good Life to headline three Good Living tour stops; Buckethead tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:40 pm April 19, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.29.25 PM
by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yesterday, Hear Nebraska announced that The Good Life will be the headliner on the first three dates of this year’s Good Living Tour. Finally the fine folks in Kearney, Grand Island and — yes, frickin’ Ord, Nebraska — will get to experience Tim Kasher’s dangerous hip-sways up-close-and-personal.

Sayeth The Kasher: “Hear Nebraska has charmed us with the reminder that Nebraska is far greater than just Omaha and Lincoln; I’m ecstatic to cruise along those highways less taken to revisit towns and cities I haven’t been to in awhile.” Or ever, Tim. Let’s be honest. Well, maybe Ord.

Other big names on this year’s Good Living Tour include See Through Dresses, Twinsmith, Clarence Tilton, Mezcal Brothers, Conchance and perennial Dwight Yoakam opening act Matt Whipkey, who will give Grant, Nebraska, population 1,137, an experience it’ll never forget.

Full lineup and schedule is at goodlivingtour.com. The whole thing kicks off July 21 in Ord. Gas up and go.

The Good Living Tour has become Hear Nebraska’s marquee event, a true outreach program that brings the music we take for granted to locations that rarely get a chance to see and hear live ORIGINAL music. There’s a lot of good reasons behind the Good Living Tour; maybe the best is that these concerts could inspire folks to pick up an instrument and make some music of their own…

* * *

Walker Lukens plays The Slowdown April 20.

Walker Lukens plays The Slowdown April 20.

Austin’s Walker Lukens sings rock songs with a swagger, a swoon, a velvet edge that cuts through a retro-fueled funk like Frankie Valli with a shiv. His music struts, it sneers as Walker sings his stories about life and love in the big city.

On his one-sheet, they say he’s been compared to Nilsson (slightly off the mark), to Tom Waits (not sure why) and Pavement (a real head scratcher there). A closer comparison would be to Britt Daniel, which makes sense because lately Lukens has been working with Spoon’s Jim Eno, who (were told) is producing an upcoming Lukens album called Tell It to the Judge. No doubt you’ll be hearing song off that anticipated record when Lukens plays at The Slowdown Wednesday, April 20.

I threw down the Ten Questions gauntlet for Walker, and he crashed through it with great panache. Here’s what he had to say:

1.   What is your favorite album?

Walker Lukens: If Tusk and Bone Machine were mashed up that would be my favorite record.

2.   What is your least favorite song?

“Piano Man” rivaled closely by “American Pie.” Even when I’m in my car or at home, the opening notes of either song have me asking for the check.

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

Performing alone is like playing tennis against a wall. Who wants to watch someone play with themselves? Who can blame a singer for, after a while, letting the ball hit him in the head just to feel something different?

Playing with a group is like being on a rowing team. The song is the boat. The audience, the water. The band, the oarsmen. At best, I’m Washington standing at the bow in Scott Stapp pose, one foot on the monitor. Triumphant only by the grace of ye oarsmen. At worst, at least I don’t have to pretend to like tennis.

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

I hate letting down my band. I hate group texting.

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

I’m not gonna tell you how much I like molly unless you ensure that my mom can’t read this.

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

Frankly, I like any town where more than 30 people come to the venue where I’m playing and stay through the set. City I like to play where the audiences are nonexistent? Memphis. City I like to play where the audiences are great but the city is subpar? Dallas. Awesome small town? Hot Springs, Ark.

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

I’ve played so many awful shows, you wouldn’t believe. Once, I brought a full band to play a coffee shop in Boone, New Hampshire, that in addition to not disclosing before arriving that they didn’t have a PA, didn’t want any music that required a PA. Once, I played at a venue in Mississippi so poorly grounded that I got shocked every time I sang. The only remedy in the given timeframe was putting the sound guy’s dirty sock onto the microphone.

8. How do you pay your bills?

I don’t walk out of gigs like the ones above. I teach. I fill excel spreadsheets full of data for hourly pay. I hang posters. I accept all free lunch offers.

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

I would love to be a travel writer. I would hate to own a music venue.

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

All of my favorite bands from high school were from Omaha, so in a weird way I feel like I know lots of stories about Omaha. (Is Omaha on a Wednesday night going to feel like Wet From Birth?)

Walker Lukens plays with Enemy Plans (headliner) and Fontenelle, Wednesday, April 20, at Slowdown Jr., 729 No. 14th St. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 Adv/$10 DOS. For more information, visit theslowdown.com

* * *

If you’re like me you’ve probably been sitting around wondering to yourself, “Whatever happened to Buckethead?” Well, you can find out tonight when the guy with the bucket on his head returns to The Waiting Room. No opening act listed, just Buckethead all. night. long. Show starts at 8 p.m., $25.

* * *

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 Wolf Alice; Live review: Foxtails Brigade, Ryley Walker; Bent Shapes tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:50 pm April 11, 2016
Wolf Alice plays Tuesday, April 12, at The Waiting Room.

Wolf Alice plays Tuesday, April 12, at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There’s a good reason why UK band Wolf Alice so quickly exploded on the global music scene. Though they officially formed as a duo between frontwoman Ellie Rowsell and guitarist Joff Oddie in 2010, the band in its current form has only been around for a few years, releasing their debut full length, My Love Is Cool (Dirty Hit Records/Sony) last year.

That album not only was critically lauded (nominated for a Mercury Music Prize) but the band also netted a Grammy nomination. Their sleek, blaring rock has been compared to everyone from Hole to Elastica to The xx. They remind me of early Garbage crossed with one of those dreamy 4AD bands, with brazen,  grungy hooks balanced by Rowsell’s beautiful, breathy coo.  It won’t take them long to jump from rock-club sized venues like The Waiting Room (where they play Tuesday night) to arenas and headliner status on the festival circuit. Catch then now when you can still get close enough to touch them.

The band took the Ten Questions challenge. Here’s how guitarist/vocalist Joff Oddie responded (to most of the questions, anyway).

1. What is your favorite album?

Wolf Alice’s Joff Oddie: The velvet underground and Nico – the velvet underground

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

Seeing people be brought together through our music is a really special thing. There are kids we know all over the world who are now friends and go to shows together through listening to Wolf Alice. That’s a special feeling when you see that.

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

Not being able to cook for myself whilst on long trips on the road. I really miss the kitchen. Sunday’s roasts..

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

Champagne. If you are coming to a show of ours then please bring champagne.

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

Wherever there’s a good crowd we’ll have a good show. We love the states. Been making trips here for about 18 months now and we always love it. You guys know how to treat a band!

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

We had a nightmare show in London once at a small venue called The Lexington. It’s a great venue but all our shit just broke and we were standing on stage for about 20 minutes telling jokes while people tried to fix our shit. That was horrible.

8. How do you pay your bills?

With money…. ??

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

I trained to be a teacher before Wolf Alice so I’d like to do that. Or maybe a butcher.

I don’t think I’d last long in the military.

Wolf Alice plays with Slaves (UK), Tuesday, April 12, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple Street.. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 Adv./$17 DOS. For more information, visit onepercentproductions.com

* * *

I would suggest if you’re planning to see Wolf Alice tomorrow night, it might be a good idea to get your tickets now. Yeah, I know advance tickets cost about a dollar more than DOS (which is upside-down, but you know how ticket fees work), cuz I’ve got a feeling this could sell out like Saturday night’s Kurt Vile show. Just sayin’…

Speaking of the weekend.

Foxtails Brigade at The Sydney, April 9, 2016.

Foxtails Brigade at The Sydney, April 9, 2016.

Saturday night I was down the street from that Vile show watching Foxtails Brigade at The Sydney. The four-piece, anchored by Laura Weinbach on vocals, played two styles of rock. I preferred the more  straight-forward style that was reminiscent of early Suzanne Vega, thanks to the folk-rock fueled melodies and Weinbach’s flute-like vocals, which I would have loved to hear more of.

Countering this were prog-rock style songs with bracing time changes and melody shifts that sounded like improv jazz fused with jangle-pop. There were moments that had a sort of renaissance fare quality circa ’70s Jethro Tull. I was waiting for Anton Patzner to pick up the violin I saw him tuning prior to the set, but we didn’t stick around long enough to hear it.

Sunday afternoon I swung by Almost Music’s new location in the Blackstone District for the Ryley Walker in-store and noticed that they painted the building yet again. The striking yellow had been painted black, except for one charming yellow heart. I’m sure there’s a story behind the change.

The new Almost Music — and new Solid Jackson Books, which shares the building — is impressive, roomy and well organized, with gorgeous old-style floor tile, high ceilings and even more product than the old Benson store. The bookstore also is a big improvement over the old location, with high book cases and even more volumes to look through.

Ryley Walker at Almost Music, April 10, 2016.

Ryley Walker at Almost Music, April 10, 2016.

I got there too late to see opener Ian O’Neil from Deer Tick, but just in time to catch Walker, who was set up with a small PA in the bookstore-side of the building. His gorgeous, intricate guitar style perfectly suited his beautiful modern-day folk songs that left the crowd of 20 or so lost in the performance.

Almost Music last week announced the line-up of its annual Record Store Day music festival, which takes place all day next Saturday. Here it is:

12:00 – Nathaniel Hoier
1:00 – John Klemmensen and the Party
2:00 – Brad Hoshaw Music
3:00 – Bien Fang
4:00 – Hand Painted Police Car
5:00 – See Through Dresses
6:00 – Sucettes
7:00 – The Shrinks
8:00 – Ramon Speed

I suspect we’ll be hearing tons more about RSD in the coming days…

* * *

Seems like Milk Run has a show every night. I don’t know how Chris Aponick and Sam Parker do it. Tonight it’s Slumberland Records artist Bent Shapes. Their new album, Wolves of Want, netted a 6.8 on the ol’ Pitchfork meter in a review that called their music “inherently likeable.” Like all Milk Run shows there are three more performers on tonight’s bill: Atlanta’s Hello Ocho, Bed Rest and Little Ripple. $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

Ten Questions with Robbie Fulks; All Dogs, Uh Oh tonight; Kurt Vile, Fulks, Bloodcow Saturday; Ryley Walker Sunday…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:42 pm April 8, 2016
Robbie Fulks plays Reverb Lounge Saturday, April 9.

Robbie Fulks plays Reverb Lounge Saturday, April 9.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Robbie Fulks is something of a modern-day folk music legend, whether he knows it or not (but he probably does). He’s released 12 albums over the course of 30 years and pretty much defined the alt-country style that Bloodshot Records has become known for, being one of their first acts way back in ’93. Those early recordings, made in Chicago, captured Fulks’ country-tinged singer-songwriter style even though they were engineered by punkmeister Steve Albini.

Albini is behind the knobs again for Fulks’ latest, Upland Stories (2016, Bloodshot), released just last week. The 12-track collection of down-home story songs are rife with clever detail, wry humor and stark observations that capture modern life in rural parts.

We asked Fulks to take our Ten Questions survey. Here’s how he responded in a way only Fulks can:

1. What is your favorite album?

Robbie Fulks: Upland Stories, the new release from Robbie Fulks.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Bacciagaloop (Makes Love On The Stoop) by Louis Prima

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

The confusion about whether to feel superior to people in straight jobs because I enjoy more freedom or inferior because they outearn me by multiples

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

Constant creation of bastard children

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

Carbon.

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

“At”? As though I’m standing on a hill outside the town and shaking my hips performatively in its direction? Shreveport.

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

Saint John N.B. because the check bounced.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Online.

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 cucumber waxing because something tells me I already have the skills needed. I would hate to be the late-shift counter clerk at Payless Car Rental at LAX because then I would be a miserable incompetent who would be yelled and cursed at by me.

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

I hear Woodmen Insurance has a lovely and subtle presence in the downtown area, and that many residents are interested in getting out.

Robbie Fulks plays Saturday, April 9, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20 Adv/$25 DOS. For more information, visit onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

Quite a few shows this frigid, awful weekend.

Tonight’s big attraction is All Dogs at Milk Run. You read the Q&A yesterday here. If not, read it now (or read it again). Has Milk Run hosted a sold-out show yet? Maybe tonight. Also on the bill are Sean Pratt & the Sweats, Crypt Kid and Jade Lacy. Big show. $8. Starts at 9.

Also tonight, Uh Oh headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s. It’s a stacked bill with Brooklyn band Haybaby (Tiny Engines Records) and No Getter. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at the legendary Brothers Lounge, Nathan Ma & the Rosettes headlines with Noble Trash (Nance and Sterba at it again) and Minneapolis band Daisy Chains. $5, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) you’ve got the aforementioned Robbie Fulks show at Reverb Lounge. It’s an early one — 7:30 p.m. $20 today, $25 tomorrow. Save some cash and get tickets now.

Then it’s the big Kurt Vile & The Violators show at The Waiting Room. Purling Hiss (Solo) opens. $22, 9 p.m. I’ll be honest with you, I’m surprised this one hasn’t sold out yet.

Also Saturday night the mighty Bloodcow plays at Maloney’s Irish Pub (right there on No. 72nd St. next to Burger King, you know the place). Super Moon opens. No price listed for this one, but it starts at 8.

That’s not all. The good times keep on rollin’ at The Brothers Lounge when Thick Paint headlines Saturday night with Rogue Moon and Little Ripple. $5, 10 p.m.

Finally on Sunday, here’s a good opportunity to see the new Almost Music, now located in the Blackstone District. Ryley Walker (Dead Oceans Records) is playing a free instore. Joining him is guitarist Ian O’Neil from Deer Tick. The fun starts at 4 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your gig, put it in the comments section. Have a brutally cold weekend (for April)…

* * *

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 ALL DOGS; Har Mar Superstar, Digital Leather tonight…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , — @ 11:19 am April 7, 2016
All Dogs play Milk Run tomorrow night (Friday). Photo by Nick Fancher.

All Dogs play Milk Run tomorrow night (Friday). Photo by Nick Fancher.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If there was justice in this bitter ol’ world we live in, Columbus Ohio band All Dogs would be playing to a packed house at the 500+ capacity Waiting Room Friday night instead of the charming-though-cramped 50-something-capacity Milk Run.

The band’s latest release, Kicking Every Day (Salinas, 2015), is a bitingly beautiful collection is as good as (or better than) anything indie rock superstars Courtney Barnett or Speedy Ortiz has ever released. The four-piece, anchored by frontwoman Maryn Jones (who also played in Saintseneca), plays full-speed rock melodies that soar atop chiming guitar and gut-kick rhythms that recall daydreams of ’90s bands like Belly, Throwing Muses, Liz Phair and (appropriately) That Dog.

I asked All Dogs to try our Ten Questions interview. Here’s what frontwoman Jones had to say.

1. What is your favorite album?

All Dogs’ Maryn Jones: That is a really rough call. But if we’re talking lately, I’d say it’s a tie between Heaven or Las Vegas by the Cocteau Twins or For Everyman by Jackson Browne.

2. What is your least favorite song?

That song that’s like “Shut up and dance with me” (“Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon). I am angry right now just thinking about it and I’m sad I had to even acknowledge it exists. I hope they’re not All Dogs fans. Sorry guys.

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

When you’re having a good night and the set is really high energy and fun. That’s pretty unbeatable.

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

I don’t really hate anything about it, but super long tours can be rough. We just passed our month mark and we’re all really nice people but wow are we getting mean.

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

Tie between kombucha and buffalo sauce. Actually nah, buffalo sauce wins by far.

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

I know a lot of people probably say this but I truly love playing in New York City. I don’t care if it’s basic of me to say so, it’s just true.

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

One time we played at this house (the people who lived there were great and nice and it was a cool show overall) and this super punk dude was moshing really hard and like spitting on people. We stopped playing, which really wasn’t fair for the cool people who wanted to see us play. But an asshole’s an asshole and we don’t vibe with that.

8. How do you pay your bills?

I personally tour with this band and other bands so much that it’s dumb and I kind of manage to pay everything through that. Sort of. My bandmates have jobs like normal smart people.

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 work with horses! Probably still will someday I hope. I love them. I would hate being a truck driver. I am on the road so much already and imagining being alone and doing crazy long drives make me want to curl up in a ball and cry.

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

Well I’ve actually spent a surprising amount of time there because my other band (Saintseneca) recorded there so I have quite a few stories to share myself. One time I went to a party and put on a fur coat I found and chain smoked cigarettes (I don’t smoke) and took a bunch of pictures of myself. That’s not a very good story I’m sorry.

All Dogs plays with Sean Pratt & the Sweats, Crypt Kid and Jade Lacy, Friday, April 8, at Milk Run, 1907 Leavenworth. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $8. For more information, visit facebook.com/milkrunomaha

* * *

A big show kind of snuck up on me tonight.

Har Mar Superstar returns to The Waiting Room’s stage. Mr. Tillmann and Co. have a new album out called Bye Bye 17 on Cult Records. I assume we’ll be seeing the inimitable Denver Dalley tonight, Har Mar’s stellar guitarist, former male model and Omaha ex-pat. Opening this show is one of my all-time favorite Omaha bands, Digital Leather, which is worth the price of admission alone. Twin Cities band Bug Fix also is on the bill. $15, 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

Ten Questions with PORCHES and YOUR FRIEND; San Fermin, Mugen Hoso tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:45 pm April 5, 2016
Your Friend plays tonight at The Slowdown. Photo by Crystal Lee Farris.

Your Friend plays tonight at The Slowdown. Photo by Crystal Lee Farris.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Today you get two sets of Q&As from two artists performing at The Slowdown tonight.

Your Friend is Taryn Miller who plays warm, ethereal music that sounds like ambient shoe-gaze. If you wanted to put a genre label on her style, you could maybe lump it in with chillwave (along with Porches) thanks to its downtempo pop nature, though Miller’s music has more depth than that.

Living in Lawrence, Kansas, Miller toured with Courtney Barnett before recording her debut album, Gumption, released this past January on Domino. The 8-track collection features Miller’s cooing voice crooning tonally over a dense bed of synths and thick beats, creating music that sounds both lost and gorgeous.

We asked Taryn to take our Ten Questions interview. Here’s what she had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Your Friend: I don’t necessarily feel like I can ever truly answer that. I will say that Odessey and Oracle (by The Zombies) would be on a list of favorites though.

2. What is your least favorite song?

I feel the same about this question but I can say that I don’t think I’ve ever been too excited about hearing that “What does the fox say,” song.

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

The act of playing the songs physically. In any fashion, show setting and rehearsal alike.

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

Feeling like I’m letting anyone down.

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

Coffee. Stimulants! Hahah.

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

I don’t have a favorite quite yet but I’m quite fond of our West Coast runs in general.

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

Pittsburgh on our last tour was pretty rough. It was a newer venue and I remember not getting a soundcheck. I pushed myself too hard vocally that night and lost my voice during some point in the set.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Day jobs. I’m comfortable with the idea of having one indefinitely. Haha!

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

I’ve had a rigid desire to get into woodworking at some point. I don’t think I could be content working in a cubicle or similar setting. It would depend on the line of work.

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

I’ve heard really good things about the art scene. I drove there solo once, on a whim once to see Daniel Johnston on one of his last tours. It’s a special memory in the archives.

Porches is Aaron Maine, a NYC musician who recorded his debut full-length, Pool (2016, Domino), mostly in his Manhattan apartment before sending it to LA to be mixed by Chris Coady (Beach House, Grizzly Bear). The production is crisp with bouncing rhythms and glowing synths that sit beneath Maine’s bright vocals. The overall tone is mostly winsome and flowing like walking along a beach on a sunny day holding a big red balloon, while pop songs like the galloping “Hour” might actually get some Nebraska butts moving tonight.

Maine also agreed to the Ten Questions inquisition. His thoughts below.

1. What is your favorite album?

Porches: On the Beach by Neil young is one of my faves

2. What is your least favorite song?

Don’t have one.

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

Playing music to people.

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

Nothing

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

Water

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

New York

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

In Detroit one band member was mugged and had passport stolen.

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?

Painter; toll booth attendant

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

None

Porches plays with Your Friend and Alex G Tuesday, April 5, at The Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St. Showtime is 8 p.m. Admission is $$12. For more information, visit theslowdown.com.

* * *

A couple other shows happening on this busy Tuesday night:

Over at The Waiting Room, Brooklyn baroque pop band San Fermin (Downtown Records) headlines with Esmé Patterson. $14, 8:30 p.m.

Also tonight, Japanese punk rock duo Mugen Hoso plays at Milk Run with Crown Larks, Black Finger Cult and Heavy Lungs. $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

Ten Questions with QUILT; Operators, Dereck Higgins tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:33 pm March 30, 2016
Quilt plays Reverb Lounge Thursday March 31. Photo by Daniel Dorsa.

Quilt plays Reverb Lounge Thursday March 31. Photo by Daniel Dorsa.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Quilt’s latest album, Plaza (Mexican Summer, 2016) has the distinction of being my favorite record from Q1 2016, hands down.

The 10-song opus is a throwback to a time when records were complete collections of great songs instead of the usual tossed-together block of ethereal “vibe” noodling. The four-piece that hails from Boston has a modern take on psych rock that gives nods to ’60s-’70s acts like The Byrds and Fleetwood Mac. They sound as if Quasi had sex with The Shins and gave birth to a smarter, more fit, more tuneful version of Of Montreal.

The above description is selling the record short. I know, I’m gushing now. So what! How they’ll reproduce the dense, intricate arrangements (that includes a string quartet, harps and, yes, flutes) on stage at Reverb Lounge this Thursday, March 31, is a mystery. But I’m sure they’ll figure it out.

We asked Quilt to take our Ten Questions survey, based on the Pivot Questionnaire that caps off each episode of Inside the Actors Studio, but with a musical (instead of an acting) focus. Here’s what drummer John Andrews (also of the band Woods) had to say:

What is your favorite album?

Quilt: That’s a hard question to answer but I always just say The White Album by The Beatles. I’ve been listening to it since I was an actual baby and I’m somehow still not tired of it. It has a little bit of everything.

2. What is your least favorite song?

I used to work in a Salvation Army in Lancaster, PA, and they only played the contemporary country station. I don’t know any songs in particular, but that stuff is so bad. That’s not country music.

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

I love those late night drives on tour through the middle of nowhere when everyone else in the van is asleep and you’re truckin’ down the highway listening to good tunes. Right now we are driving through New Mexico. It’s a beautiful landscape. “Wasn’t Born To Follow” by The Byrds is my current favorite driving song. I always just wanna be in that scene in Easy Rider.

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

Smelling my bandmates fart in the van.

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

Black raspberry ice cream

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

I’ve been lucky enough to play with my other band Woods at Woodsist Festival for several years in Big Sur California. There’s nothing better than playing outdoors under the redwood trees.

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

We’ve played a lot of bad shows it’s hard to remember the worst. A story that comes to mind is from Denver, Colorado, when some lady was freakin’ out on drugs or something and was messing with our equipment on stage. She was grabbing the mics on our amps and kept messing with things on our merch table. The show wasn’t all that bad but it’s just a good example of the crazy people you meet traveling. We call them punishers.

8. How do you pay your bills?

With a check

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

Dream jobs are: park ranger, camera man for the NHL, mailman, animator for The Simpsons.

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

I heard Simon Joyner has an antique store?

Quilt plays Thursday, March 31, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Opening is Iowa City band Halfloves. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $10 ADV / $12 DOS. For more information, visit onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

Two notable shows happening tonight.

First, there’s the Operators show at Reverb Lounge I told you about on Monday. Read the Ten Questions interview with Dan Boeckner if you haven’t already — it’s a hoot. Operators, btw, was the band that opened for Future Islands the last time they came through Omaha. Opening tonight’s show is Bogan Via. $12, 9 p.m. Two-band bills during the week are like gold to me.

Also tonight, there’s an early show at House of Loom featuring the legendary Dereck Higgins. It’s described as “a night with an in-depth and candid mix of talk & performances alongside some of Dereck’s favorite local talent.” The 7 p.m. program is free of charge.

* * *

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