Ten Questions with Zola Jesus; Ice Balloons (TV on the Radio, Samiam), Low Long Signal tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:43 pm October 9, 2017

Zola Jesus plays The Waiting Room Oct. 11. Photo by Tim Saccenti.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

After seeing Zola Jesus perform at SXSW in 2012 I walked away thinking frontwoman and creative force Rosa Danilova was an indie Gaga. I couldn’t take my eyes off her as she exploded into dance the moment the band broke into its dreamy, spiritual, post-ambient rock drenched in synths, guitar and drums.

Her music has been compared to Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance, though it bears an even darker tone on her latest album, Okovi, released last month on Sacred Bones Records.

While writing Okovi, I endured people very close to me trying to die, and others trying desperately not to,” Danilova said. “This album is a deeply personal snapshot of loss, reconciliation, and a sympathy for the chains that keep us all grounded to the unforgiving laws of nature.”

We caught up with Danilova and asked her to take the Ten Questions survey:

What is your favorite album?

Zola Jesus’ Rosa Danilova: It changes. Right now it’s the Stalker OST.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Hmm… I don’t know that I have one.

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

Being able to insidiously connect with people I’ve never met.

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

The pressure it makes me put on myself.

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

Sap, from trees.

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

I like to play cities that remind me of home…

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

Well, I once cried on stage at Silencio in Paris. Not my best moment.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Thankfully, I am, though it takes a lot of work and sacrifice. I tour a lot and live in the middle of Wisconsin, which is cheap. It helps make it possible to focus on doing what I love.

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

Sometimes I wish I would be an architect, but I would build very bad buildings. I’m sure they would collapse. I’ve worked many jobs in the past and was fired from most of them. I’m not a very good employee!

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

I’m not sure I’ve heard many stories, but I sort of glorify Omaha in my mind. Being a midwesterner from Wisconsin, I feel companionship with Nebraska. Which is why I’m excited to finally play there.

Zola Jesus plays with John Wiese and Ivan Zoloto Wednesday, Oct. 11, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $15. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

Tonight Brooklyn noise rock band Ice Balloons (Volar Records) plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s. The band includes Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio and members of Samiam, among others. Benny Leather (Ben VanHoolandt of Digital Leather) and Low Long Signal open. 9 p.m. $5.

* * *

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

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with The Church (@The Waiting Room Oct. 10)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:48 pm October 5, 2017

The Church plays The Waiting Room Oct. 10.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If you listened to college music in 1988 you owned a copy of The Church’s seminal album Starfish, with its breakthrough hit, the dreamy, atmospheric “Under the Milky Way,” a song that dominated CMJ and MTV. Afterward, the Aussie band released 14 more studio albums, leading up to 2014’s Further/Deeper (Unorthodox Records), which, in some ways, marked a re-emergence for a band that’s always been around.

Now comes the band’s 26th studio album, Man Woman Life Death Infinity, out Oct. 6. It’s the second album with the rejuvenated line-up consisting of frontman Steve Kilbey, co-founder Peter Koppes, Tim Powles and Ian Haug. The tour that brings them to The Waiting Room Oct. 10 is their first since 2015.

We caught up with frontman Kilbey and asked him to take the Ten Questions survey:

1. What is your favorite album?

The Church’s Steve Kilbey: Diamond Dogs by David Bowie… or do you mean by The Church? Then that is Priest = Aura.

2. What is your least favorite song?

By The Church? Maybe “These Boys” off Remote Luxury.

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

Playing onstage when we are having a great night.

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

Playing onstage when we are having a bad night.

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

Marijuana

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

Chicago, Melbourne, London, Atlanta to name a few.

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

I once had a terrible gig in Christchurch New Zealand. Everything was wrong. I wanted to disappear!

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

I am squeaking by on music, plus I paint and write articles, etc.

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

Love to have been an ancient greek scholar. Hate to be a mathematician.

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

I played there once. I dunno if they liked us much. Hope they do this time around.

The Church plays with The Helio Sequence Oct. 10 at The Waiting Room. Tickets are $25 Adv./$30 DOS/$99 VIP. Showtime is 8 p.m. 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Tuning into Hi-Fi House (in the column); Tears of Silver tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:42 pm October 2, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tonight Hi-Fi House hosts Tears of Silver, an indie super group that includes members of Posies and Mercury Rev. I’m told by HFH owner Kate Dussault that seating is limited, so if you want to go, you need to RSVP at this site ASAP.

Speaking of Hi-Fi House, Dussault granted me an interview late last month for The Reader to explain what HFH is trying to do, how it works and where it’s headed. You can read it in the October issue of The Reader, online at The Reader website, right here, or… you can read it below.

There was tons of additional info that didn’t make it into the story, which I’ll share with you over the next couple days. Until then…

One of the Hi-Fi House sound systems.

Over the Edge: Tuning into Hi-Fi House
The hush-hush private music club finally goes public.

On the surface, it seems difficult to explain the concept behind Hi-Fi House, a private club that charges members anywhere from $75 to $1,000 a year for the privilege of playing its record collection on its stereo systems.

You might naturally say to yourself, “I could buy a whole bunch of records for $1,000 that I could play whenever I want to in the privacy of my own home,” but you’d be missing the point.

The club, located at 3724 Farnam St. in the Blackstone District, has been operating privately for more than a year. I first stepped foot in Hi-Fi House last year during a Record Store Day event where the public was allowed a sneak peek.  The facility is first class all the way — a huge open, carpeted space with comfortable furniture arranged in circles throughout, centered around stereo equipment set-ups, including one I was told cost $80,000.

Behind the big room is a couple smaller rooms. Inside the first is Hi-Fi House’s massive album collection — more than 10,000 vinyl records. A glance at the titles indicates the music touches all genres, with issue dates ranging from the 1940s to present. Some of albums look unplayed and are still sealed. On display are a number of interesting music-related items, like a Patti Smith edition of a Pono Music Player — something I’d never seen in real life.

On the afternoon of that sneak peek, local bands performed in the space, including an early incarnation of the progressive jazz combo Chemicals. A small crowd watched the performance while enjoying beer and wine served at a bar near the club’s front door.

For reasons I never understood, Hi-Fi House was hush-hush back then. At the time, owner/operator Kate Dussault wouldn’t give me an interview on the record, though the club had been operating for months, including offering special music programming for children.

Well, the cloak of secrecy finally was lifted from Hi-Fi House last month when the organization launched a website — www.hifi.house — and began actively soliciting memberships. Dussault, now on the record, explained why the club operated in secrecy for so long.

“One reason was that we really wanted to experiment with all the programming,” she said, seated at one of the club’s large tables alongside Hi-Fi House General Manager (a title made up on the spot) Jon Ochsner while that $80,000 stereo system quietly played some funky jazz sides.

“The other reason was to really let the music community have the space pretty much to themselves for a period of time. We were able to have a lot of conversations with local artists and people who work in the industry to find out how we could best live in this community and serve it.”

In a nutshell, Dussault said, Hi-Fi House was built “so musicians could have their own private club. We’re offering a place where they can communicate with each other.”

She said musicians often don’t have time to chat when they’re at venues performing, “but when they come over here, they can really sit down, share music and listen to music together, and a lot of them really love that experience.”

Think of it like The Omaha Press Club, but instead of focusing on journalism and public relations, Hi-Fi House focuses on music. Fees start at $75 a year for a “lab membership” that allows access to Hi-Fi House during daytime hours. In the evenings, Hi-Fi House turns into a private club whose membership fees (which cover one person and a significant other) range from $300 a year for musicians to $600 a year for members of “the industry” — a broad category that includes any career that touches music, from journalists to studio employees to club owners to people involved with music-related nonprofits.

Finally, there’s the general public membership at a cost of $1,000 per year. Dussault doesn’t sound like she expects to sell many of those, but with the venue’s capacity rated at only 125, she doesn’t want to oversell memberships, anyway. She said she’s already sold a few hundred memberships, with all the money received channeled back into covering facility costs, which include constantly buying new records for the club’s ever-growing collection.

In addition to access to that collection, members are invited to attend special night-time programming that includes exclusive album listening parties, chats with artists and industry professionals, and intimate performances, such as a private concert last year by The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson.

With its heavy music education focus, you’d assume Hi-Fi House would consider becoming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity, but Dussault wants to steer clear from that for now. “The truth is most nonprofits have to scrap and re-raise their operating money every year,” she said. “It’s difficult, and they are at the whims of, in some cases, the same very few people who are supporting everything else. It doesn’t give you a chance to break out and invite new people to the party.”

So sure is she of the Hi-Fi House concept, she’s already planning to expand to other cities. After spending the next three months working alongside Ochsner, Dussault will move to New York City where she’ll spend three months with lawyers and other associates to review expansion plans.

“We’ll be solidifying New York, and then I’ll be traveling to Boston and other nearby cities,” she said, adding that there’s already “movement” for clubs in Denver, Des Moines and Chicago. “We’re talking to people in San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Portland and Seattle, as well as five different Los Angeles locations.”

Surely Dussault must be a wealthy woman to make all of this happen. She just laughs at the suggestion.

“This is a labor of love,” she said. “I work two full-time jobs while I do this. I have a medical house-call company in New York that I spend a good six hours on a day on and I do some work for a music supervision firm in New York. If I weren’t doing those things, we wouldn’t be alive.

“Everything doesn’t have to be a nonprofit,” she added. “Some people have to take their own money and get out there and gamble it on making changes. I’m willing to live or die based on what I can deliver these people, and whether they’re happy with the experience.”

First published in the October 2017 issue of The Reader. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved. Over The Edge is a monthly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts.

* * *

The doors open at Hi-Fi House at 7 p.m. for tonight’s Tears of Silver show. Showtime is 7:45 p.m. Admission is free with RSVP. And if you haven’t already, check out the Ten Questions Q&A with Tears of Silver’s Ken Stringfellow and Grasshopper right here.

Also tonight, singer/songwriter Todd Grant will be playing tonight at Barley Street Tavern with Michael Treinhail. Showtime is 10:30 p.m.

* * *

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

 

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Tears of Silver’s Ken Stringfellow and Grasshopper (@Hi-FI House Oct. 2); Lincoln Calling starts tonight…

Tears of Silver play at Hi-Fi House Monday, Oct. 2. Photo by Greg Dohler.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tears of Silver is an indie supergroup that truly lives up to that designation. It consists of Posies’ founding member Ken Stringfellow, who’s also played in Big Star and R.E.M., along with three members of Mercury Rev — Sean “Grasshopper,” Jonathan Donahue (Flaming Lips) and Jesse Chandler (Midlake).

The band is touring America playing “unconventional venues,” which are announced 48 hours prior to each gig. Think of it as a “secret show” tour. Omaha’s hidden venue is at the not-so-secret Hi Fi House Monday, Oct. 2.

According to the Tears of Silver website (where you can acquire access) “The evening will be a chance to enjoy the modern classics from each artist’s long history as well as some new music they have created for the occasion (and certainly cover songs beloved to them repurposed and retooled for this tour). This is the first time Mercury Rev’s music has been performed in many parts of America for nearly a decade.”

Below, my Ten Questions with Ken Stringfellow and Sean “Grasshopper”:

1. What is your favorite album?

Ken Stringfellow: I’m too curious to really return to a reliable favorite. I’m always hoping to hear something unexpected and refreshing. Also, at any one moment I have something I’ve recently worked on that I’m proud of and I definitely give a few victory lap listens. This week, it’s the Supercalifragile album by Game Theory I produced. How can I summarize… Game Theory was a wonderful, brainy, exuberant band from the 80s… one of the classic ‘college radio’ bands. I was a fan then, and over the years befriended the band’s mastermind, Scott Miller. He had contacted me about rebooting the band after nearly 20 years, but unfortunately took his own life before this album could be completed. It was up to me to see it through; some songs were partially completed that I was able to finish up and mix; other songs were just fragments of ideas on various hard drives/phones and needed to be finished from the composition to the final mix… to this end I gathered some of his close friends and colleagues that he’d already hoped would have been involved in the album — Aimee Mann, Will Sheff, etc… and we delivered what I think is a stunning album, very true to Scott’s intentions as best as we could know them. It’s out now: https://gametheory1.bandcamp.com/

2. What is your least favorite song?

I woke up today thinking about “Holding Out for A Hero.” It makes zero sense. It’s so typical that this song was written by men, and humiliating that a woman had to sing these preposterous words, that bear no resemblance to anything that I can see in the reality of human relationships.

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

Time away from them! If it’s my long time band. I mean, it’s also lovely what a band and its music can mean to people over time. Being that we are celebrating the Posies’ 30th anniversary next year… it’s lovely to have a community that shares the appreciation for the years of work and the results of the music.

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

I don’t think I hate anything about being in a band, temporary (like this assembly for this tour)  or long term (like the Posies). The Posies has been, for example a motivating factor in making me work out issues with my bandmates. If we didn’t have a legacy to uphold, I might have ended these friendships. So, in the short term, I hated being stuck with someone with whom I was having a conflict, but ultimately, it made me work to resolve it rather than abandon the relationship.

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

I basically have beatlemania for fresh figs. I’m quite passionate about wine, too, and have a pretty decent cellar in Seattle, and another one in Paris, another in… etc.

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

Well, Seattle is always special, it’s ‘home’ in many ways, still. I have to say, tho, that there are places that have adopted me, too … I feel very ‘home’ when I play in Helsinki, or Barcelona… my shows in and around Barcelona are pretty amazing, in terms of the audience’s openness and love. And then all the stuff around it — the sunshine, the wonderful food and wine, the Mediterranean… and these relationships just keep growing with the years… the more good experiences I have with an audience, the better the *next* show is likely to be… it’s about building trust and good experiences.

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

Hmmm. Have to  be careful here! I had a pretty weird show in Hamburg, years ago, before I really perfected the art of managing being onstage alone. The club was scuzzy, the audience small, and I was insecure, and let that take over. I couldn’t really complete the show, I started to think nobody there cared etc…  it was awful. No fault of Hamburg, had plenty of great shows there since. It was just where I was at at that point in my life and in my learning curve about being a solo artist.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

I like to say I have been unemployed since 1989. I am loathe to think of what I do as a ‘job.’ It’s really more a continuing flow of miracles, and there’s always enough money to get what I need in life. I basically took a leap of faith at that moment in 1989, when I was 20, to not have a job per se. I starved, until I didn’t. What was important was that I retooled my focus on making my music and my communication the best it could be. It’s still how I think.

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

Well, I was very interested in natural sciences; I could have been a biologist, perhaps. I am quite squeamish about human blood and tendons so pretty sure orthopedic surgeon would be hell on earth.

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

Well, there’s that whole menage-a-trois thing that Warren Buffet had going, right? it’s pretty fascinating, and I’m sure there are many more tales that all locals know, but… I had to hand it to them for being so open about it. I know, I know, billionaire, so people will say yes to whatever, but … it *sounds* like there was much respect and openness to let that situation be what it was. You tell me!

From Grasshopper:

What is your favorite album?

Grasshopper: Miles Davis – Sketches of Spain

2. What is your least favorite song?

“The Farmer In The Dell”

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

The smell of gasoline exhaust in the morning.

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

The smell of gasoline exhaust in the evening.

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

Emeralds.

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

Poughkeepsie

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

In Las Vegas, Nevada, because I’ve never played a gig there.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

I’ve generally been able to support myself through music for 20 years. When times are good I’ve fed the ponies, during tough times, they have given back…

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 jockey. I have the height, but I don’t think I could make the weight. I’d hate to be a proctologist.

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

Tom Waits – “A Christmas Card From A Hooker in Minneapolis.” The song’s protagonist mentions, in regard to Omaha:  “Everyone I used to know is either dead or in prison”

Tears of Silver are playing Monday, Oct. 2, at Hi-Fi House, 3724 Farnam St. To attend, go to https://tearsofsilveromaha.eventbrite.com. Show starts at 7 p.m. For more information, go to www.tearsofsilver.space.

* * *

It’s night one of Lincoln Calling. Day passes are $29 for Thursday and $34 for Friday and Saturday (per day). Three-day passes are $59 (plus $8 fees). Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Bourbon Theater
Best Coast
Cayetana
Twinsmith

Duffy’s Outdoor
Palehound
Wand
Post Animal
Acid Dad
Matt Stansberry & the Romance
Salt Creek

Zoo Bar
Mount Moriah
Ian Sweet
McCarthy Trenching
The Artichoke Hearts

Bodega’s Alley
Malcolm London
R.O.E.
M Shah
HAKIM
Maddog & the 20/20’s
Stathi

The Bay
Frankie Cosmos
Navy Gangs
Thick Paint
Sean Pratt

1867
Street Sects
Cult Play
Crease
Darren Keen
Low Long Signal
Verse and the Vices
Bomb Earth

Night Market
Jens Lehman
Karmen Delancey
Indigenous AK
Bach Mai
Orion Walsh

Also tonight, The Melvins return to The Waiting Room. Spotlights opens. $20, 9 p.m.

* * *

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

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Fleet Foxes (at Waiting Room Outdoors this Friday)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:00 pm September 27, 2017

Fleet Foxes plays Friday night, Sept. 28, at The Waiting Room Outdoors.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Led by singer/songwriter Robin Pecknold, Seattle’s Fleet Foxes has been heralded as one of the country’s best new bands since their self-titled Sub Pop debut topped all the “year’s best” lists in 2008. The band’s warm, ambient sound has been compared to Pet Sounds Beach Boys and modern acts like Grizzly Bear and Father John Misty (Josh Tillman used to be in the Foxes), but on their new album, Crack-Up (2017, Nonesuch), the rich harmonies and echoing production recall Bookends-era Simon and Garfunkel (to me, anyway). The record is a dense, sweeping, elegant piece of modern folk rock, a challenge on first listen that gets better with every spin.

I caught up with Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold and asked him to take my Ten Questions survey. Here’s what he had to say:

What is your favorite album?

Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold: Sibylle Baier, Colour Green

What is your least favorite song?

The National Anthem of Nazi Germany

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

The sense of being on a team, the mental stimulation of recording, and the rising to the occasion of the athletic-ish challenge of touring.

What do you hate about being in a band?

Sleeping in a moving vehicle

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Sand

In what city or town do you love to perform?

Nashville, Tennessee

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

Our set at a music festival in Europe was called off after a freak storm tore some stages down.

Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

I am lucky to be able to play music professionally for the time being, and I haven’t had another job since around the time our first album came out.  We all live pretty frugally, which helps.

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

Filmmaker, and in old age, teacher.  I wouldn’t want to be a hitman or an Influencer.

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

That you’re the jewel of the Midwest and there’s a statue of Conor Oberst on Main Street.

Fleet Foxes play with Nap Eyes Friday, Sept. 29, at Waiting Room Outdoors, located on Military Avenue between Maple St. & Binney St. Tickets are $36. Showtime is 7 p.m. 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Kevin Morby (@Reverb 8/28); Brad Hoshaw live at Ted & Wally’s…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:04 pm August 24, 2017

Kevin Morby plays at Reverb Monday, Aug. 28. Photo by Adarsha Benjamin

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before you read the answers to his Ten Questions survey, let me try to explain singer/songwriter Kevin Morby’s connection to Omahan Simon Joyner. Morby may be best known as the bassist for indie band Woods (though he also formed a band called The Babies), which has recorded seven albums on Woodsist Records, which has released albums by Kurt Vile, The Oh Sees, Real Estate aaaand... Simon Joyner. In fact, Joyner performed at the label’s “Woodsist Festival” a couple years ago.

So it’s a shame that Joyner won’t be at Morby’s show Aug. 28 at Reverb (because Simon’s currently on tour with David Nance). The good news is you’ll be able to hear Morby perform songs off City Music, his new LP on Dead Oceans Records. The album is an urban counter-point to his 2016 rural collection Singing Saw. That record pulled from Dylan and Cohen for influences, while City Music was influenced by Lou Reed and Patti Smith (and has similarities to Kurt Vile’s output).

1. What is your favorite album?

Kevin Morby: Skeleton Blues by Simon Joyner.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Any song not by Simon Joyner.

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

Having played with and met Simon Joyner.

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

That I’m not as good as Simon Joyner.

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

Simon Joyner

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

Omaha, Nebraska, because maybe Simon will come.

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

Last night and everywhere that Simon Joyner was not in the audience.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

I am a full time musician to cover the bills, and devout Simon Joyner fan as hobby.

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

Simon Joyner guitar tech is attempt. Something I’d hate to do is be a cop.

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

That Simon Joyner lives there.

Kevin Morby plays with Shannon Lay Aug. 28 at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Tickets are $12, showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com 

* * *

Last night Brad Hoshaw played an acoustic set as part of the Mode Shift Membership Kickoff outside of Ted and Wally’s in Benson (you can still sign-up for Mode Shift here). It was good weather, a good crowd and a good time.

Moments into his set, I thought of capturing Brad’s performance via Facebook Live (with Brad’s nod), which you can view below. It dawned on me that if an artist were to tap into the right Facebook channel, FB Live sessions could be an effective way to get their new music heard in a format unique from their recordings. Maybe after hearing a couple new songs from Brad’s just completed Four New Songs EP listeners will wander on over to bradhoshawmusic.com and buy the CD. The following live acoustic version couldn’t be more different than the well-produced studio recording (that features a full band, strings, piano, etc.).

It’s also cool to see fans tap into the feed during the broadcast, from around town and around the country. There was close to 100 views during the live session; the session now has about 300 views… Check it out below.

* * *

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

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with The New Pornographers; Stephen Sheehan tonight; Maha Festival, Digital Leather, Lupines Saturday; Blind Pilot Sunday…

The Maha Music Festival is tomorrow at Aksarben Village.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before we get to the full weekend preview…

This is the eighth and final installment in a series of Ten Questions interviews with bands performing at the Maha Music Festival tomorrow at Aksarben Village. For the printed version of all interviews, pick up the August issue of The Reader.

New Pornographers are among the artist playing at this year’s Maha Music Festival.

The New Pornographers

They’ve been called an indie rock supergroup thanks to the richness of talent. The band’s 7-member roster includes three lead vocalists: Dan Bejar of Destroyer, Neko Case, whose solo career stands on its own, and the band’s founder, Carl (A.C.) Newman.

Since their debut in 1997 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, the band has released seven studio albums starting with 2000’s Mass Romantic (Mint Records) before moving to indie powerhouse Matador Records for some of the most iconic releases of the 2000s, including 2003’s Electric Version and ’05’s Twin Cinema.

Their latest, Whiteout Conditions, released this past April by Concord Music Group, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Alternative Album charts.

1. What is your favorite album?

Carl Newman: Love, Forever Changes

2. What is your least favorite song?

I think it is still out there. I haven’t heard it yet. If I have to answer, probably something that is #1 at country radio right now.

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

I like all the people I have met. It is a good foot in the door for meeting people you admire. A great community.

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

Being away from my family. Feeling like you need to please people, like your best isn’t good enough. That sort of thing.

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

I like red wine. I often champion it.

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

D.C. has always been an amazing place for us. A lot of love for all of our projects.

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

I remember playing in a cafe in Chapel Hill in the ’90s. No one there, they were stacking the chairs on the tables as we played. I recall thinking, “Am I paying my dues right now?”

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Yes, so far so good. I played in bands for about 10 years before that happened. Not a tough, hard-working 10 years but still… 10 years. In this era when no one buys music, that might change soon.

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 writer of some kind. Comedy, TV, film, novelist. Always had a lot of respect for the profession. I know, I am sort of a writer, in my way. So many things I would hate to be, it’s hard to choose.

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

Best place on earth. It rules, other places drool. Things like that.

The Maha Music Festival is Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. The day-long concert runs from noon to midnight. Tickets are $55. For set times and more information, go to mahamusicfestival.com.

* * *

Here’s the weekend we’ve all been waiting for. Lots o’ shows, and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate.

It starts tonight at Reverb Lounge with Stephen Sheehan and his band performing songs from Sheehan’s past projects, notably Digital Sex, The World and his solo outings. Here’s the background on this special event. I have a feeling I’m going to see a lot of old, familiar faces tonight. Opening is Sun-Less Trio, who is celebrating an EP release of their own. $10, 9 p.m.

And then along comes the 2017 Maha Music Festival at Aksarben Village. The set times:

12:10: The Hottman Sisters
12:50: Downtown Boys
1:45: High Up and Omaha Girls Rock
2:55: Torres
3:50: Priests
4:45: The New Pornographers
5:55: Built to Spill
7:05: Belle & Sebastian
8:15: Sleight Bells
9:30: The Faint
11:00: Run the Jewels

Tickets today are $55. I’m not sure what the walk-up price will be (or if it’s different).

Downtown Boys is currently trending on the hipster meter, thanks to their hot new Cost of Living LP (Sub Pop) produced by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, which is enjoying a massive 79 rating on Album of the Year composite reviews. Torres also is getting a lot of attention thanks to an upcoming release. Add Priests and, of course, Run the Jewels, and this one of the more progressive Maha line-ups in the festival’s history. They’ve made it hard for me to sneak out and grab a nap tomorrow.

So where’s the after party?

In year’s past, one or two of the Maha acts played a second show somewhere after the festival. I don’t see it happening this year. So for me, the after party is at fabulous O’Leaver’s, where Digital Leather will be burning up the stage along with Sucettes. $5, 9 p.m.

If that doesn’t float your boat, you can’t miss with Lupines, Sun-Less Trio and Bled Notes at Brothers Lounge Saturday night. $5, 9 p.m.

And here’s a sneaky one: Dwight Twilley is playing at Growler USA in West O Saturday night. $15 Adv/$19 DOS, 9 p.m. How is that one not sold out yet?

And yeah, I’m aware there are a couple other big concerts going on Saturday night. But neither Lady Gaga nor the guy from Hootie in the Blowfish are exactly in my wheelhouse, though I’d be interested to see how Jocelyn does opening for Hootie at Stir Cove.

Finally, Sunday night Portland’s Blind Pilot (ATO Records) plays a sold-out show at The Slowdown. They’ve been touring through Omaha for years, growing every step of the way. Gregory Alan Isakov opens. 8 p.m.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. If you see me at Sheehan, Maha or Digital Leather, say hi with a Rolling Rock. Have a great weekend.

* * *

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

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with The Faint (@Maha Saturday); new Sun-Less Trio, Sam Evian; Graham Ulicny, Field Club tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:51 pm August 17, 2017

The Faint at The Slowdown, Dec. 30, 2016. The band is among the acts playing at this year’s Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This is the seventh in a series of Ten Questions interviews with bands performing at the Maha Music Festival Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. For the printed version of all interviews, pick up the August issue of The Reader.

The Faint

This isn’t the first time The Faint has graced the Maha Music Festival stage. The band was one of the headliners along with Spoon and Superchunk at the 2010 festival, held at Lewis & Clark Landing. Their top-bill status — then and now — is well deserved.

One of a trio of acts that put Saddle Creek Records (and Omaha) on the indie music map in the late ’90s and throughout the 2000s, The Faint exploded onto the national scene with 1999’s Blank-Wave Arcade, an album that defined their post-punk, electronic-fueled dance-rock style. Non-stop touring and a reputation for putting on electrifying, sweat-soaked live shows quickly made them concert favorites throughout the country.

Fronted by Todd Fink with guitarist Dapose, drummer Clark Baeckle and newest member, keyboardist Graham Ulicny, The Faint continues to put out new music including three new songs on 2016 “greatest hits” compilation CAPSULE:1999-2016 (Saddle Creek).

What is your favorite album?

Todd Fink: I would never do that to  myself.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Bare Naked Ladies, “Cherry Cola”

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

Free Cabernet

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

The music.

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

Egg nog.

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

Tokyo or Berlin.

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

A festival in Switzerland(?) I had a complete Billy Joel/Casey Kasem meltdown on stage.  I used to really hate it when the vocoder wasn’t hooked up right.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

We live in a castle for free.

8.5 What do you eat then?

Carrots.  With bunnies.

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

I’ll be a milliner soon.

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

That Omaha made the reuben.

The Maha Music Festival is Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. The day-long concert runs from noon to midnight. Tickets are $55. For set times and more information, go to mahamusicfestival.com.

* * *

With everything else happening this weekend, I didn’t want the fact that Mike Saklar’s band, Sun-Less Trio, is celebrating the release of a new album, When Rivers Rebirth Different Maps, at two shows. The first is tomorrow night, opening for Stephen Sheehan at Reverb Lounge (which you read about here). The second is Saturday night at Brothers Lounge with Lupines and Bled Notes.

From the album’s liner notes, Saklar describes the sessions as: “A fabulous disaster. Like a broken record that hops back a few grooves endlessly. The completion of this record is yet another audio miracle notch in the analog belt. The third recorded miracle.” Check it out below:


* * *

Speaking of new albums, Saddle Creek announced today it’s releasing a new EP by Sam Evian with drummer Chris Cohen called Need You, out Oct. 8. Evian also announced a fall U.S. Tour, but it’s a NOmaha affair at this point.

* * *

Former Omahan Maria Taylor is part of the band backing Daniel Johnston when he plays in Los Angeles Nov. 2, according to Pitchfork. Other band members include Ben Lee, Mike Watt and members of Silversun Pickups.

* * *

A couple shows tonight…

Graham Patrick Ulicny (the newest member of The Faint) is playing at Kaneko tonight as part of their Soundscapes Series. 7 p.m., $10. More info here.

Also tonight, local indie band Field Club plays at Reverb Lounge with The Senators and Bokr Tov. $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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Torres (@Maha Saturday); Hartford/Focht tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:00 pm August 16, 2017

Torres is among the acts playing at this year’s Maha Music Festival. Photo by Ashley Connor.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You may or may not have been aware of the fact that I’ve been out of town since last Thursday, enjoying some R&R in Cape Cod. But I’m back, just in time for Maha and some other happenings this weekend. Sneaky, I am…

Now this…

This is the sixth in a series of Ten Questions interviews with bands performing at the Maha Music Festival Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. For the printed version of all interviews, pick up the August issue of The Reader.

Torres

Torres is the creative alter-ego of Brooklyn’s Mackenzie Scott, who has been playing a unique brand of gritty, guitar-fueled indie rock since releasing her self-titled self-released debut in 2013. In its 8.1-rated review, Pitchfork compared her to Cat Power and Songs:Ohia. She followed with 2015’s critically acclaimed Sprinter (Partisan Records).

Leaked tracks from her upcoming 4AD release, Three Futures, due out Sept. 29, hint at a more electronic-driven approach, with blaring synths, crisp drop beats and glowing guitars, reminiscent of St. Vincent, but with lyrics that embrace ecstasy, desire and indulgence rather than self-denial.

1. What is your favorite album?

Torres a.k.a. Mackenzie Scott: Kate Bush, Hounds of Love

2. What is your least favorite song?

Napoleon XlV, “They’re Coming to Take Me Away”

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

Traveling and experiencing the world

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

Sitting all day, every day, when touring

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

Lord’s lettuce. I strongly prefer Sativa-dominant hybrids.

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

All of them. I always feel good when we play in Scottsdale, AZ, strangely.

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

I’ve had a lot of terrible performances. One that I remember as being especially humiliating was in December 2015 opening for Sleater-Kinney in Brooklyn. I broke a string before my penultimate song and didn’t have a backup guitar. I walked off the stage in the middle of the set and frantically ran around looking for a spare guitar, but there were none available. I walked back onstage empty-handed and sang “Honey” sans guitar, then skipped the last song of the set. The crowd was gracious and I know it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was, but I still agonize over it.

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

I’d love to act in any capacity, whether it be film, TV or theatre. I would hate to have any job where I have to answer to somebody else. I always knew I wanted to be my own boss.

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

Zilch! I’m looking forward to arriving with no preconceived ideas about Omaha.

The Maha Music Festival is Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. The day-long concert runs from noon to midnight. Tickets are $55. For set times and more information, go to mahamusicfestival.com.

* * *

Tonight at Pageturners Lounge Hartford/Focht (Matt Focht of Head of Femur fame, and wife Crystal Hartford) opens for Effluvium. This is a free show and it starts at 9 p.m.

Also tonight, City and Colour (Canadian singer/songwriter Dallas Green of Alexisonfire) headlines at The Slowdown with Marlin Williams (Dead Oceans). This 8 p.m. show is sold out…

* * *

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

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with The Hottman Sisters (@Maha this Saturday)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:00 pm August 15, 2017

The Hottman Sisters are among the bands performing at this year’s Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This is the fifth in a series of Ten Questions interviews with bands performing at the Maha Music Festival Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. For the printed version of all interviews, pick up the August issue of The Reader.

The Hottman Sisters

The Hottman Sisters are Jessica and Heather Hottman (plus Ed Getzlaff on drums). They’ve been gigging in the Omaha area for at least a couple years, playing a style of twangy indie-pop rife with harmonies that recall acts like Decemberists, Neko Case and First Aid Kit. The band self-released its debut album, This Two, in 2016, before heading out of town on tour.

What is your favorite album?

Jessica Hottman: Anything by Bing Crosby. My grandpa, who was a performing musician and who passed away before I was born, I am told had a voice like Bing. I like to imagine it’s my grandpa singing those songs. I am also a super nostalgic person, and he sings beautifully composed music that brings out “all the feels,” as they say. Also, anything by Elvis Presley.

2. What is your least favorite song?

I will call them “endless songs.” For example, the song that goes ‘99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer, take one down, pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall. Pause. 98 bottles of beer on the wall, 98 bottles of beer…‘ you get the picture.

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

That moment while performing, when my sister and I look at each other and want to smile and cry all at once because we love what we do.

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

I hate how fast things go sometimes. Like when I look forward to a show and then, BOOM, it’s over and done. It’s fleeting like anything else, so I try to stop and enjoy the little steps along the way.

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

Ice cream. Definitely ice cream.

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

Baton Rouge, LA, has been one of our favorite places so far. NYC is amazing as well.

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

We had a show that got rained out in Austin, TX.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

We are able to support ourselves. It has taken us about three years to get here. All of us do work gigs when we are back though, to boost our income. I have my teaching degree, so I sub elementary school (K-6) in the Westside District. I also do some local modeling. My sister, Heather, works to sort and digitize records at a medical office, and our drummer Ed, teaches private drum lessons through a nonprofit. He also plays jazz gigs when he is back and occasionally drives for Lyft.

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 an actress. I definitely would not want to be a surgeon. Lots of blood = passing out = not helping the patient = not good.

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

I live here so I hear stories everyday! When I am out of Omaha, many people have no idea where Omaha or even Nebraska is at. If they do, they usually talk about the corn, flat land, CWS, or that one time they drove through Omaha.

The Maha Music Festival is Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. The day-long concert runs from noon to midnight. Tickets are $55. For set times and more information, go to mahamusicfestival.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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i