Ten Questions with American Wrestlers (at Slowdown Thursday); Jim James tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 2:32 pm November 30, 2016
American Wrestler plays Friday night at The Slowdown.

American Wrestlers plays at The Slowdown Thursday, Dec. 1.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

American Wrestlers is the brainchild of St. Louis-by-way-of Scotland songwriter Gary McClure, who broke through the surface with a homemade low-fi debut that wowed critics and fans. On his follow-up, the just released Goodbye Terrible Youth (2016, Fat Possum), McClure left the bedroom and entered the studio with three of his mates for a collection of crisp indie rock songs destined to be the soundtrack to this generations’ next-summer shenanigans.

“I’m always surprised by how each record brings me closer to writing simpler, heavier, catchier songs like those bands who gave me my musical epiphany: Nirvana, the Smashing Pumpkins, Hole and that first Foo Fighters record,” McClure said. “I first learned how to write by copying them and got lost for a decade in intricacy and experimentation. Now, it feels like I’m heading back.”

I asked McClure to take the Ten Questions challenge. Here’s his responses:

1. What is your favorite album?

Gary McClure: The Red House Painters record with the rollercoaster on the cover. Mark Kozelek has written better songs than those that are present here, but the unquantifiable essences and circumstances that combined for this album still somehow manage to always break my heart

2. What is your least favorite song?

That’s such an insanely huge question that I have no idea where to begin. I can really do without listening to 99% of popular music

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

Writing, recording and playing live are the only good bits. Everything else you can think of related to being in a band is a pathetic waste of empty time.

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

Pretty much everything else

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

Caffeine is the greatest for sure.

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

Chicago has always been good to me. My old band Working for a Nuclear Free City had the best show of their USA Tour there. Bridgette and I met there. I bought my favorite guitar there. It looks beautiful from afar and it’s and wonderful place to walk day or night. Good people, good food.

I’ve likely cursed it now and our next Chicago show will be some humiliating disaster. I was a Bears fan when I was a kid after watching the late night football with my dad. They really need to get that dark-ages, regressive, small handed prick’s name off that tower.

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

I don’t remember. It would have been with my old band The Nukes, and it was probably bad because we were high.

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?

It’s currently half and half. I work whatever minimal mental effort jobs I can get in between tours. Tell me where to stack the boxes, give me the money and leave me the fuck alone so I can keep thinking about art and death.

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

I’d hate to be the guy handing out sixes and sevens in music publications. I couldn’t imagine a more useless waste of time

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

Being an ignorant prick, all I know about Nebraska is from that Bruce Dern flick. Made it look more depressing than Missouri, though i find that hard to believe. Seriously though, Omaha looks like a cool city responsible for great and interesting art and music. Very much looking forward to checking it out.

American Wrestlers play with Varsity and Eric in Outerspace Thursday, Dec. 1, at The Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St.. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 Adv./$10 DOS. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

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One of the biggest indie shows of the year takes place tonight at The Slowdown. It’s Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Monsters of Folk fame. Somehow this one just sort of sneaked up on all of us. James is on the road supporting his just released album, Eternally Even (2016, Capitol/ATO). Based on this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel review of a show a couple days ago, don’t expect to hear any MMJ songs tonight; instead, you’ll get a very hot take on the new album, with some in-your-face political overtones. Accordion-heavy Louisville shoe-gaze trio Twin Limb opens. 8 p.m. $32.

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

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Ten Questions with Sad13 (Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz), at Milk Run Nov. 25…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:39 pm November 22, 2016
Sad13 a.k.a. Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz plays Milk Run Friday night, Nov. 25.

Sad13 a.k.a. Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz plays Milk Run Friday night, Nov. 25.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Sad13 is Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz out on her own doing the solo thing; and when I say “solo” I’m talking solo-solo: Dupuis wrote, sang, played guitar, recorded and produced her recently released solo debut, Slugger (2016, Carpark), all by her lonesome.

I don’t know who Lindy West is other than being a good writer. She had this to say about Dupuis’ new record:

It’s very strange (“Or not strange at all! Hi!” says feminism) that most of the music we funnel into little girls’ ears — even music written by former little girls — is about how women are petty, pretty garbage whose only valuable function is to hold perfectly still in men’s boudoirs and wait for intercourse. “I wanted to make songs that were the opposite of ‘Genie in A Bottle’ or ‘The Boy Is Mine,’” Sadie Dupuis says of Slugger, her new solo album under the name Sad13. “Songs that put affirmative consent at the heart of the subject matter and emphasize friendship among women and try to deescalate the toxic jealousy and ownership that are often centered in romantic pop songs.” What!? Songs for women that actually champion women’s autonomy, reflect women’s desires, listen to women when they talk, and let women be funny and normal and cool, like women actually are?

Indeed. Lindy references Tacocat, Waxahatchee, Mitski and Bully in the comparisons. I’ll add early Liz Phair and Eleanor Friedberger to the list. And, of course, Speedy Ortiz, who Dupuis doesn’t stray too far from musically.

I asked Dupuis to take my 10 Questions Survey. Here’s what she had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Sadie Dupuis: I am very skeptical of musicians who can definitively name *one favorite album* but Helado Negro’s Private Energy and Solange’s A Seat At the Table are probably my favorite albums released this season.

2. What is your least favorite song? 



R. Kelly “Ignition (Remix)” because I fucking despise R. Kelly but the beat is good and I always accidentally wind up dancing to that before I realize what it is.

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



All the free water bottles and hummus backstage.

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

How it’s changed my perceptions on hummus.

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

Yerba mate!

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

Omaha! And Mexico City.

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



On our first tour Speedy Ortiz played in Missoula and 0 people showed up aside from the promoter. So we just had a noise jam by ourselves in a VFW.

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? 



Music’s the day job and covers my basic living expenses but I’m not really raking it in and have to spend almost all of the year on tour or recording music in order to make it at that level. And I definitely take on lots of odd gigs here and there. I quit my day job in 2013; I was 25 years old. And I’ve been playing in bands since I was 13 or 14, which is around the same time I got my first job.

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



I taught at UMass Amherst prior to touring full time. Would do it again! Worst job for me would be anything that supported the prison industrial complex.

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



I’ve been quite a few times. Y’all have some really great bloody marys.

Sad13 plays with Vagabon and Mannequin Pussy Friday, Nov. 25, at Milk Run, 1907 Leavenworth St. Tickets are $10. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to facebook.com/milkrunomaha.

Lazy-i

(More than) Ten Questions with Jeffrey Lewis (at Reverb on Tuesday w/David Nance)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:43 pm November 14, 2016
Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts play Reverb Lounge Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts play Reverb Lounge Tuesday, Nov. 15.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

(Note: Pt. 1 of this interview actually appeared last Wednesday as a comment to the disasterous 2016 Presidential election. Take a look).

I first discovered Manhattan folk/punk singer/songwriter Jeffrey Lewis’ music back in 2013 when Lewis opened for Quasi at Slowdown Jr. I knew virtually nothing about him then, and a half-hour later, upon completing his set, I became a fan.

At the time, Lewis was out supporting the vinyl re-release of his Rough Trade debut LP, The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane, a set that captures his earliest urban folk storytelling in all its glory. A few years after that came out, Lewis caught a broader audience’s attention with 12 Crass Songs (2007, Rough Trade), wherein our hero covered 12 songs by ’70s English punk band Crass.

Lewis’ latest, Manhattan (2015, Rough Trade), collects 11 clever, tuneful story songs, this time backed by his band Los Bolts. His style has been described as anti-folk, maybe because any of these songs could be reimagined by a hyper-kinetic straight-four hardcore band. In fact, Lewis’ style has more in common with the latter-day Lou Reed (album opener “Scowling Crackhead Ian” would sound right at home alongside anything on Reed’s New York album). while “Avenue A, Shanghai, Hollywood” sung by Mim Pahl and indie band life lesson “Support Tours” would make Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle smile. Other songwriters that come to mind include Wall of Voodoo’s Stan Ridgway and fellow story-teller Mark Kozelek, though Lewis’ music is never as dour.

For me, Lewis and his music epitomize the same raw, matter-of-fact narrative style and humor of some of my favorite underground comic book writers/artists, like R. Crumb, Daniel Clowes and Harvey Pekar. Not surprising, Lewis augments his music career with his own comic book series, Fuff, a copy of which you’ll likely have a chance to examine (and buy) when Lewis and Los Bolts play Reverb Lounge Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Usually I give touring musicians the Ten Questions treatment, but I couldn’t pass up an offer to do a phoner a couple weeks ago with Lewis from his Manhattan home.

Are you still touring your latest album, Manhattan, which came out a year ago?

Jeffrey Lewis, Manhattan (2015, Rough Trade)

Jeffrey Lewis, Manhattan (2015, Rough Trade)

Jeffrey Lewis: Part of the reason for that is because I do everything myself. I’m the one who has to book all the gigs. Right now I’m sort of deeply embroiled in mailing out all of the posters for the different shows. I just mailed a bunch of posters out to Olympia, Washington, today and I’ve got to mail out posters to Denver tomorrow. The constant checklist of things that need to be done kind of means that I can’t really do these tours back to back because it’s just too much work to do all at once by myself. I kind of need things to be spaced out just because there’s only so many hours in a day.

Do you get any help at all from the label? I ask because I don’t know what a label provides anymore. I guess they put out your record. In the old days, a label could help with tour support, they could help you book the tour, they could help you with promotion. It seems like labels don’t have the resources for anymore.

It certainly seems to be the case. I don’t know. I feel like in some ways I entered the music business at the right time, although some people might think it was the exact wrong time. My first album on Rough Trade came out in 2001. My entire experience touring and dealing with record labels has been in the internet age. I’ve been on Rough Trade 15 years and I’ve been touring and doing all this stuff and making my living at this for that whole time period, I never existed in the music industry during a time when there was a thought that it could be a different way.

I never existed in the music industry during the time when independent bands and alternative music was riding a certain financial wave through the late ’80s and through the ’90s; there was so much more money in it in terms of album sales, in terms of what you would expect even a small-level independent album to sell and the amount of support that was available, tour support and promotion and everything else.

I feel like a lot of artists went through a real crashing of expectations or a real readjustment of what they were expecting to do or what they were expecting to make. I never had that. For me from the get-go it was like, if I was going to do anything I basically learned pretty quickly that I was going to have to do it for myself and figure out ways to make it work.

Of course I do credit Rough Trade tremendously with really helping me out by being interested in me in the first place and continuing to be interested in me all these years later. I can’t imagine there’s very many artists on the label that could possibly make less money for the label than me. They put out the Strokes, they put out Belle and Sebastian, they put out some pretty major players in the Indie music realm.

It’s almost crazy to me that they’re still interested in putting out a Jeffrey Lewis album every couple of years. To me that’s just really cool. I’m happy about that element of the relationship. I’m happy to be associated with them and I’m glad that they’re so far still happy to be associated with me.

Tell me about your backing band, Los Bolts. Who’s in it?

It’s definitely been a challenge to keep one band together for a long period of time. Since I have been doing this about 15 years, I’ve probably had maybe six different drummers and maybe four different bass players or something like that.

Jeffrey Lewis and Los Bolts on this tour is the same band that I’ve been with for about a year now, which is Brent Cole on drums. He was in the Moldy Peaches and Dufus, which are two New York bands that I did a lot of touring with over the years. I’ve known Brent for a long time and I’ve toured with him before though not as a member of my own band.

On bass is Mem Pahl, and she’s very young. She just turned 22. It’s kind of an interesting contrast where Brent and I are both 40 and we’ve been doing this essentially since the late ‘90s, although only doing it professionally since 2001 or so. Mem is really just like of a younger generation and brings the music that she wants to play in the car, and the perspective that she has on the music scene is really interesting and it’s made a really cool dynamic.

We’ve done a lot of touring together in this particular trio format of the past year. Mem was actually playing bass with me for almost a year prior to that, too. I’m sort of almost going into two years with Mem on bass. She was only 20 when she started with me.

It’s kind of interesting to have these different dynamics over the years and how the different combinations of people that I’m with kind of create different chemistries. It’s like any relationship, when you start dating somebody and over time it just gets deeper and the layers of experience kind of make it richer. It’s sad if some musician ends up not being able to continue touring because maybe somebody got married or had a kid or they move away from New York City. There’s a million reasons why somebody wouldn’t be able to stay in my band forever. Every time that chemistry breaks up and I have to sort of start trying to develop a new relationship it’s a bit sad to have to start from scratch.

My favorite song on the record is “Have a Baby.” I assume it’s about people who lose interest in things that they love after they have a family. Is that kind of what you were going for and were you experiencing that with your friends when you wrote that song?

Yeah. I like that a song a lot. It was really a fun song to put together because I feel like it’s structurally different than other stuff that I’ve done. The sentiment of it in some ways cancels itself out because it can be seen from two different perspectives I guess depending on which side of the argument somebody is looking at it from. I didn’t really realize that when I wrote it I guess.

I feel like if you were the person who was having a baby you could look at that song as a sort of unpleasant sarcastic comment on how maybe now that you’re having a baby you’re not going to be able to do anything interesting anymore. The other side of it which was sort of more of the side that I started writing the song with in mind, I was just thinking of all of the frivolous things that life is filled with, all of the details that we pay attention to, that occupy our time. Some event can come along that makes them seem very petty — things that you sort of put aside when something more important arrives. Proliferation of details that seem important when you’re engaged in it, but some life changing event can happen that can make them actually look sort of insane, in their detailed specificity, or the necessity that they seem to have when you’re absorbed in them.

I did realize while making the song that it kind of, it had to be two different perspectives that it could be seen by, each of which is kind of unpleasant for, it could kind of sort of be insulting for both sides of the equation I guess.

Well when I first heard it I thought of your original intention until I read a review of the record where the reviewer said the opposite. I hadn’t thought about it and I said ‘Oh, that must be what he was going for.’ Obviously that wasn’t what you were going for.

Yeah, and of course it’s always a mistake for the artist to say, ‘Well it’s supposed to be taken like this.’ A lot of times people hear something and if they like it then it’s really not a good thing for me to explain ‘Oh no, you’re wrong, you like it but you’re not thinking of it the right way.’ Whatever way people want to think of it is their own business and I think me putting my two cents in to say that you’re supposed to think of it one way or the other is really only to the detriment of the art. It should just be out there for people to make of it what they will.

Speaking of art, I love your artwork. First of all why don’t you sell your artwork online anywhere and how important is making your comics in your life?

The comics are an important component of my financial existence, but are very tied in with the music. Most of the freelance art jobs that I get are through people knowing me through music. The Mountain Goats comic book press kit thing that I drew a few years back or the artwork that I’ve done for the band the Cribs or other projects like that where somebody knew me through music or a band that I toured with or played gigs with.

Fuff No. 2 by Jeffrey Lewis.

Fuff No. 2 by Jeffrey Lewis.

These ended up being really good freelance art jobs for me but I wouldn’t have gotten them if it wasn’t for the fact that they knew me first through music and then when they needed an artist or they needed a comic book artist or an illustrator. I just happened to be there or I was somebody that they had already met. It’s not like I’m going around to magazines and dropping off a portfolio.

In addition to that, a lot of people who buy my comic books are buying them through my website, which is kind of like my music. People might come to my website because they’ve heard an album and then they’re like ‘Oh, these comic books are here also, maybe I’ll buy some of those.’ Then I have the comic books at the merchandise table at my concerts. I perform, there’s like illustrated songs that I perform at the gigs, too. The comics and the music are sort of very much tied together in a way that isn’t really two different careers, they sort of rely on each other and I can’t really totally separate them out as two different careers even though they’re sort of two very different disciplines.

As far as selling original art, I don’t know. I don’t know how much to price it. I’ve never thought of my art as something to sell. I just draw stuff so that I can turn it into comic books really. I’ve just never really entered that realm of like somebody who sells original art. It’s just kind of alien to me.

That’s another like just sort of hassle in trying to do all the stuff myself. Right now I’m trying to calculate well how many comics do I need for this tour, how many boxes should I mail to the west coast. How many can I fit in my car actually, how many CDs, how many records. How much room is the drum case going to take up so how many t-shirts can we take with us. You don’t want to run out of merchandise when you’re out on the road because it’s a major part of the financing of a tour. But it is hard to know how much to take.

I think you need to hire an intern.

I did actually, I did hire an intern a couple of years ago. I had a couple of people that would come over like once a week and I was paying them an hourly wage to help me do the website stuff. The people that order stuff from my website, we sort of had one day where we’d all work together packing up orders and bring them to the Post Office and dealing with that. I don’t know, somehow everybody just always ended up being too busy.

I was sort of up to paying people 15 bucks an hour which seems like a pretty good rate to just sit around with me and listen to records and pack comic books into envelopes. Even at that rate, it was like I had all these different people that just kept not being available and I kept ending up doing it myself. Now as of the past six months I’ve pretty much just been back to doing it all myself.

I do think I do need more help in general. But everybody does. If you were Donald Trump somebody would do your laundry for you and scrub your floor. For the rest of us there’s work to be done and someone’s got to do it and that’s us.

You could literally draw things when you’re not driving (on tour) and sell them at shows.

Well I mean it’s also I guess for me it’s a problem because I’m not, what’s his name David Shrigley, and I’m not Daniel Johnston in the sense that the art that I make is very time consuming. I feel like for something to actually be a Jeffrey Lewis drawing it might take me like a day to do. I could of course do some kind of quick doodle but then I would kind of feel bad charging money for that and somebody, you know, I don’t know, that’s part of the problem with me selling the original art is I’m like it’s just too valuable to me. I put too much time into it to think of like, well I can’t just sell this for 20 bucks.

It took me two days to do. That means I’ve got to charge 500 bucks for it. But then it’s like well who the hell’s going to pay 500 bucks for it. So it just stays here in my closet.

Those sketches you did for your box sets are just fantastic.

That was a very fun insane project that was a huge amount of work. Those are basically are like how fast can I crank out 500 drawings without thinking about it at all. I don’t know if I would do that again but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Are you working on new material now? Are we going to hear any new stuff on this when you play in Omaha?

Yeah, I’m always trying to work out some new stuff. I actually just played a show in New York City last night that was 100% all new songs. I was just reading all the lyrics off of lyric sheets for the entire night. I feel like I usually have to write a lot of songs before I end up with any that I feel strong enough to really hold on to. Part of that process is trying out some new material after just letting it having a chance to take shape over the course of different performances and just sort of feeling what it feels like to play stuff in front of people. That’s part of the writing process for me.

I’ll definitely be trying some new stuff. I’m one of those people that feels like just because I wrote a song doesn’t mean that it’s really worth people hearing. Right now I have a pile of maybe about 25 new songs but of those there’s maybe might be four or five that I actually consider contenders that I might start doing something with.

I do want to ask you one last question which is, which I ask everybody as part of that is what stories have you heard about Omaha, Nebraska.

What stories have I heard about it? In some ways in song writing circles it’s kind of legendary for being the home of Simon Joyner. Simon Joyner was an important influence on me in the ‘90s when I was just starting to get into Indie music and songs and songwriting. Of course Bright Eyes is a pretty major figure in the alternative music and Indie songwriting. For like an Indie songwriter or an Indie rock band that concentrates on songwriting, I think Omaha has a sort of legend or a sort of a atmosphere to it.

It’s also an interesting part of the country for me to play. I don’t get to play there that often. I mean considering how many times I’ve played Chicago or San Francisco or something I’ve probably played Omaha only like maybe three times or something like that. It’s kind of cool to have a chance to get back there.

Jeffrey Lewis and Los Bolts play with David Nance Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Tickets are $8, showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

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

Lazy-i

There’s got to be a morning after…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 8:22 am November 9, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

On this day of shock and awe, my only comment on this election is: We’ve got to pick ourselves up and move on. It is what it is, and you can’t change it, but you can make it better.

The worst possible outcome of yesterday’s election was definitely on my mind last week when I interviewed singer/songwriter and New Yorker Jeffrey Lewis, who plays at Reverb next Tuesday night. Last week, Lewis posted a video in support of Hillary Clinton, which you can view here,  which prompted this back-and-forth about last night’s worst possible outcome…

Me: I just watched your Low Budget Public Service Announcement 2016. This interview is going to come out after the election. What do you think about waking up November 9th to a President Donald Trump?

Jeffrey Lewis: Well, it’s definitely an unpleasant thought. In some ways not just politically but because he’s like a New York City real estate guy, he’s like already the enemy to me aside from his view on politics. It’s kind of ironic that he was already one of the people that makes me feel awful regardless of his political stances.

I feel like throughout our lives we go through these period where there’s some candidates in power that we would prefer not be in power and vice versa. What can you do? You can’t always have it your way. I wouldn’t commit suicide, but to me it’s a frightening thought. It’s also kind of scary to think that there are a lot of people in America — a lot of Trump supporters — who feel that way about Clinton. They just recoil in horror. The people in the right wing recoil in horror at the thought of Clinton being elected and the left wing recoils in horror at the thought of Trump being elected. No matter what happens there’s going to be a lot of upset people.

Me: Yeah. It’s what I try to think about, which is as much as I hate Trump, the Trump people hate Obama and Clinton in a way that I can’t understand. It’s weird.

Right, and up until this moment I didn’t know if you were a Trump supporter or an anti-Trump or what. Actually it’s always very interesting touring across America because of course we plan in blue states we play in red states we play all over the place and some places that are extremely left wing to middle ground to right wing, you really sort of get… You take the pulse of the country in a certain way as a touring band.

A lot of times in the past we’ve been on touring during presidential election campaigns. I think October and November are often good months to be on tour in the states, and I’ve done a number of tours that happen to be prior to presidential elections. It is really interesting to kind of see the different parts of the country at these very heated times.

Me: Did you think maybe I was a Trump guy because I’m in Nebraska?

Well you know as a journalist it’s, you could have just be getting answers from me and not necessarily showing me your cards. I think that happens sometimes where people are just sort of asking me questions without necessarily revealing anything about their own take on it.

Of course I imagine as a band we’re probably playing in clubs where the majority of people are probably maybe more artistic types or they’re more of a liberal college student type atmosphere in some places so that we’re seeing a somewhat biased perspective on America. I feel as though there’s been so much opposition to Clinton from the left wing. I feel like I encounter that in my life more because there’s not as many right wing people in my life as there are left wing people, and I feel like the discussions and debates that I have generally tend to be with people that are further left than me rather than further right than me. That’s kind of been a factor.

Making this Hillary Clinton video, my immediate thought was of all of the friends of mine on the left that we’re going to be upset with me because I just don’t have as many friends on the right.

Me: I saw at the very beginning (of the video) you kind of throw a bone to them, too. Saying you like Bernie.

Right. It certainly doesn’t stop the endless, the harangue of internet trolls that immediately pile on the assault any time you set your foot into the ring politically you’re just inviting a whole lot of internet trouble. It’s hard to emotionally distance yourself and not want to get into debates with all these people or not let it make you upset or sad. You have to just… I try not to get too caught up in reading all the nasty comments that come up any time you sort of make a statement about anything.

Me: Yeah. That explains the last statement in your video which is this is not a time for those negative comments.

That doesn’t stop them, though.

Trump is as much a product of the left as the right. Anyway, I’ll post the rest of my interview with Jeffrey tomorrow. Get some sleep.

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

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Murder by Death (at Waiting Room Nov. 9)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 2:17 pm November 7, 2016
Murder By Death plays The Waiting Room Nov. 9. Photo by Greg Whitaker.

Murder By Death plays The Waiting Room Nov. 9. Photo by Greg Whitaker.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Research for this article was my first introduction to Murder by Death, though the band has been kicking around since 2000. My wife and I listened to Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon (2012, Bloodshot) all yesterday afternoon, enraptured by the album’s gorgeous cinematic style — consider it spaghetti western outlaw folk. I was reminded of Decemberists and Johnny Cash as well as Silver Jews, Morphine and Elvis Perkins, though the Louisville-based 5-piece has a unique sound all its own.

Their latest album, Big Dark Love, came out in 2014 on Bloodshot, which tells me they’ve got to be due to release something new. Maybe we’ll get a peek at the new stuff when they play at The Waiting Room Wednesday night.

I asked Murder by Death to take our Ten Questions survey. Guitarist/vocalist Adam Turla took the plunge.

1. What is your favorite album?

Adam Turla: Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust

2. What is your least favorite song?

Pretty much anything Top 40.

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

Writing, being creative.

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

The “hurry up and wait” aspect of touring. Never getting enough sleep, then hurrying to the venue, where you sit around waiting to play.

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

Bourbon or Gin. But really, probably, good crusty bread.

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

Anywhere where folks care!

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

Hmmmm. We had a crazy one outside of Charleston, SC, where the club was falling apart and the cops came. It got pretty bananas.

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, have done so for 13 years (some better than others!). Took a couple years, but we didn’t make much, and lived modestly. We also stayed on the road constantly during that time to keep down expenses and stay busy.

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

I love food, I want to open a restaurant — it involves a lot of creativity beyond the food, from building renovation to decoration, spatial creativity and an awareness of people. I would hate to be a politician.

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

We have probably played in Omaha over a dozen times, maybe more. My best personal story was when we were driving from Omaha to Denver, and a snowstorm shut down all the highways. We had to stop in Kearney, NE, but all the hotels were booked up, so we had to stay at the National Guard Center, where we helped set up cots and hand out pizza. Then we watched Total Recall in our van, had a few beers, and went to sleep. Next morning our trailer hit some black ice, smashed into the guardrail and the walls of the trailer ripped right off. Managed to find a trailer shop a few miles down the road, bought a new one, and still made the show in Denver.

Murder by Death plays with Laura Stevenson Wednesday, Nov. 9, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 Adv./$17 DOS. 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.

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Ten Questions with Bleached (Reverb Oct. 30); Oberst on Kimmel; new Burhenn; Crushed Out tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:30 pm October 27, 2016
Bleached open for Beach Slang this Sunday, Oct. 30, at The Waiting Room.

Bleached open for Beach Slang this Sunday, Oct. 30, at Reverb.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Life can be rough in LA, just ask the members of Bleached. Around the time guitarist/bassist Jessie Clavin was evicted from her house, her sister and bandmate, singer/guitarist Jennifer Clavin ended a torrid, unhealthy romance. The frontwoman struggled and escaped the pressures with drinking and partying, sometimes to excess, feeling like she was losing herself altogether.

The product of that tailspin was Welcome the Worms (2016, Dead Oceans), a 10-song LP created with drummer Micayla Grace (ex-Leopold & His Fiction) and producer Joe Chiccarelli (Morrissey, The Strokes). It’s a snarly, raw pop rock that sounds like Weezer meets Dog Party backed by a California sunrise.

We caught up to Bleached’s Jennifer Clavin and gave her the Ten Questions treatment:

1. What is your favorite album?

Jennifer Clavin: That’s an insanely difficult question… Three Imaginary Boys by The Cure.

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson. The thought of a clown crying is so disturbing and depressing.

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

Playing a different show to new fans every night. I kinda get like a high off of it.  At first I get nervous and then it all goes away and I feel really excited and empowered playing our songs and seeing people dance and sing along. It’s really cool.

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

Not getting enough sleep. We just flew over 24 hours to get to Australia and I’m just sleeping when I can.

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

It used to be alcohol but I’m sober now so my new drug of choice is Chai Tea with steamed soy milk and also La Croix soda water flavor orange.

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

Los Angeles! It’s our home town and the shows are always so crazy. Also I can’t forget our last show in Gothenburg Sweden because it was next level wild. The whole room was singing along to our song “Wednesday Night Melody.”

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

That’s hard to answer because even when there is a malfunction like someone’s guitar strap breaks or an amp stops working it’s all part of the show. But my least favorite would be this show we played in a town outside of Detroit and mainly because it was a really awkward room  with fake trees everywhere and I couldn’t hear my vocals at all. Not enough vocals in my monitors always majorly stresses me out.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Playing music. I keep my bills to a minimum but all the touring helps pay them.

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

Fashion design. I always thought that was going to be my lifetime career. I still plan on it.
As for the profession I would hate, being a security guard in a prison.

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

I haven’t heard many stories. However, I have one of my own. The first time I ever went there with my old band Mika Miko we found a random lake to go swimming in. The second I jumped in I broke my toe and had a broken toe on the rest of that tour. :/

Bleached play with Beach Slang and Hunny Sunday, Oct. 30, at Reverb Lounge. Tickets are $16. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

Looking fashionably disheveled, Conor Oberst was on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night doing a couple numbers from his new album, Ruminations. Joining him on stage for the appropriately stripped-down performance was Miwi La Lupa. Someone said the new record is Oberst’s Blood on the Tracks, but in this performance I was reminded more of Randy Newman than anyone else. See for yourself.

* * *

Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds yesterday debuted a new song on NPR’s All Songs Considered. From the NPR website:

The Mynabirds singer wrote this song as a reaction to what she described as her confronting the ‘yawning black void’ of her future. But rather than fearing the darkness, she took comfort in it. She says ‘Apples & Oranges’ is about not knowing anything and being OK with it. Mike Mogis, known for his work with Conor Oberst, helped produce Burhenn’s new single.” Pretty stuff. Check it out below.

* * *

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Crushed Out — the husband-and-wife team of Frankie Sunswept on guitar and Moselle Spiller on drums — headlines a show that also includes The Sub-Vectors, Bruiser Queen and Huge Fucking Waves. $5, 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.

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Ten Questions with Dan Andriano (Alk Trio); Lung (Foxy Shazam), Interrupters tonight…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:52 pm October 18, 2016
Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room plays O'Leaver's tomorrow night, Oct. 19.

Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room plays O’Leaver’s tomorrow night, Oct. 19.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Dan Andriano is probably best known for his role as vocalist/bassist for seminal ’90s pop-punk band Alkaline Trio, for which he’s still very much a member. The official name of his solo project is Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room, a moniker in which he released his most recent album, Party Adjacent (2015, Asian Man).

Produced by Jeff Rosenstock and influence by the likes of Elvis Costello and Paul Westerberg, Party Adjacent is more more mainstream and radio-friendly than the harder stuff heard on Alk Trio releases, and that’s just the way Dan wants it.

I caught up with Dan to get his take on the ol’ Ten Questions survey. Here ya go:

1. What is your favorite album?

Dan Andriano: The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths

2. What is your least favorite song?

“She’ll Be Comin Round The Mountain”

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

Traveling, making up and playing songs, winding up in bizarre situations.

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

I don’t really hate anything about it… but it’s a little disappointing when you book a tour, get all excited to see some far off part of the world. And then, once you get there, not having enough time to actually see it.

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

Hard to say… what was the bad terminator in T2 made out of?

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

Pretty much anywhere that’ll have me! Chicago is home so that’s really nice…

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

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 feel very fortunate to say yes… For now, anyway. I got a head start on touring with a band when I was still in high school, and I think I was quitting my last job when I was 22.

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

I think I’d like to be a chef… but I’m not sure I could handle the stress.  And, I could never be one of those guys that has to put on a HazMat suit and go in a clean up a house after a super hoarder has died…

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

I can’t say I’ve heard any! But I’ve been to Omaha and it rules… people are always super nice, and really appreciative of bands coming through. There’s been such a great underground music scene there for decades, it’s really great to roll through and try and channel some of that energy… See you there!

Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room plays with Dan P (of MU330), Derek Grant (of Alkaline Trio) and Ted Stevens (of Cursive) Wednesday, Oct. 19, at O’Leaver’s, 1322 So. Saddle Creek Rd. Tickets are $10 Adv/$12 DOS. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to liveatoleavers.com

* * *

That one above is tomorrow night. Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s Lung headlines. The duo consists of Daisy Caplan of Foxy Shazam and electric cellist/vocalist Kate Wakefield. Bonghammer and Trench open. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, LA ska/punk band The Interrupters headlines at Lookout Lounge with Bad Cop / Bad Cop and Mad Dog & the 20/20s. $14, 8 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.

 

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Oberst drop day; Chemicals tonight; Ex-Cult, Mitch Gettmann Saturday; Ten Questions with Of Montreal (Waiting Room Sunday)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:47 pm October 14, 2016
Of Montreal at The Waiting Room, Nov. 2, 2013. The band plays at The Waiting Room Sunday night.

Of Montreal at The Waiting Room, Nov. 2, 2013. The band plays at The Waiting Room Sunday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s drop day for Conor Oberst’s solo album, Ruminations. In the old days, drop day meant when you could go out and buy a copy of the record. These days drop day means you can now listen to the new album on Spotify and the other streaming services.

Reviews of Oberst’s new album also have been dropping all week. The one everyone cares about — Pitchfork — went online Wednesday. Saddle Creek beat critic Ian Cohen gave the record a respectable 7.5 rating, saying it is “stunning for how utterly alone he sounds.

Rolling Stone gave the album 3.5 stars. AV Club, B+. NME: 4 out of 5. All Music: 3 stars. Drowned in Sound: 9 out of 10. The Album of the Year composite score is 69. As a whole, the reviews have been positive, pointing out that it’s a stripped-down, personal record, which it is. I do like the record, but it’s not likely to be something I’ll be reaching for very often. These are very sing-songy efforts, which I guess means they sound like the chords came first and he merely sang lyrics over them in the most comfortable, obvious way. You will not be surprised by the musical direction of any song.

But that said, some of these songs will resonate more over time, especially combined with his overall songbook.  He now has the acoustic solo album out of his system. What will he do next?

* * *

Let’s look at the weekend. The only major show is Sunday. We’ll get to that.

Tonight Chemicals opens for CJ Mills at Reverb Lounge. If you haven’t caught a Chemicals set, you’re missing out. $7, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Blue Bird headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s with St. Paul band Communist Daughter and Satellite Junction. $7, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) California garage rock veterans Ex-Cult (Goner, In the Red, Lollipop Records) headlines at Milk Run. Joining them are No Thanks and one one other TBA superstar. $10, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, at O’Leaver’s, Lodgings headlines Saturday night with Sean Pratt and Brazen Throat. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also Saturday night, singer/songwriter Mitch Gettmann headlines at the Down Under Lounge, 3530 Leavenworth. Mike Saklar’s Sunless Trio also is on the bill, along with Disquieting Muses. No price listed, 9 p.m.

And Satchel Grande celebrates its 10 year anniversary at The Slowdown Saturday night. Rothsteen opens. $8, 9 p.m.

Then comes Sunday and this show at The Waiting Room:

Of Montreal plays at The Waiting Room Oct. 16.

Of Montreal plays at The Waiting Room Oct. 16.

Of Montreal has made Omaha a regular tour stop for well over a decade. If you’ve kept track of the band you know their early-days home-made theatrics have evolved into grandiose, eye-popping extravaganzas that can compete with Flaming Lips for over-the-top stage dominance. We’re talking lights, costumes, props and numerous stage extras (actors?) living out the songs in weird, wonderful ways. It’s a spectacular spectacle that David Bowie surely would have approved of.

The band returns supporting its latest album, Innocence Reaches (2016, Polyvinyl), that finds Kevin Barnes and Co. mining EDM territory but with quaint electronics and beats reminiscent of Pet Shop Boys. The thread that runs through it and all Of Montreal records is Barnes’ quirky melodies and trademark vocal croon that sounds like an alien computer singing lullabies to its robot children.

We caught up with Barnes and asked him to take our Ten Questions survey.

1. What is your favorite album?

Kevin Barnes: Lamentations by Moses Sumney

2. What is your least favorite song?
 


The National Anthem

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



Being wild and free.

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



Practicing

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



Glass

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



Santa Fe

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



Eureka, California, It was Cinco de Mayo many years ago at a sports bar, no one knew who we were and everyone seemed  intensely stupid and openly hostile. One person spent most of our show standing in front of our bass player and giving her the middle finger.


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’d like to become a sports writer and cover boxing matches for a newspaper. I’d hate to be the judge at any kind of food eating competition.

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



I’ve heard that it smells of manure and that it’s rich in precious jewels.

Of Montreal performs with Teen Sunday, Oct. 16, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Showtime is 9 p.m.; tickets are $20. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

That’s all I got for this weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a good one.

* * *

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

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Lincoln Calling weekend; BFF; Farnam Fest Saturday (Head of Femur); 10 Qs with Cymbals Eat Guitars (@ Reverb Sunday)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 11:26 am October 7, 2016
Ceremony at The Sweatshop Gallery, July 11, 2015. The band plays Lincoln Calling Saturday night.

Ceremony at The Sweatshop Gallery, July 11, 2015. The band plays Lincoln Calling Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s a Lincoln Calling weekend. You know the drill. Schedule and ticket info is at lincolncalling.com. If you’re planning on hitting the fest tonight and Saturday, you still save money with a $49 Festival Pass vs. the $29 day pass option. Just sayin’….

The hot bands to see tonight at LC: Everything at the Bourbon Theater (Eric in Outerspace, A Giant Dog, Twin Peaks and Real Estate); Eros & the Eschaton, Oquoa, White Mystery and Cloud Nothings at Duffy’s backlot; Bib at The Bay.

Saturday night Duffy’s Backlot is the place to be — the whole line-up is red hot: No Thanks, Once a Pawn, Better Friend, Bien Fang, See Through Dresses, Screaming Females and, in my humble opinion, the best band of the festival, Ceremony. That said, you also have High Up and The Mynabirds at Bourbon; and Domestica, White Mystery and Anna McClellan at The Bay.

If you’re staying in Omaha this weekend, you’ve got options as well.

Flock opens at the Little Gallery tonight.

FLOCK opens at the Little Gallery tonight.

In Benson, it’s Benson First Friday, the 1st Annual Omaha Food Truck Rodeo and the Grand Opening of the new Little Gallery, which just happens to be the gallery operated by my wife, Teresa. The debut show is FLOCK by the folks at Min Day (the people who designed the new Blue Barn Theater, among other things). Read about it here. We’ll have free beer and wine and Halloween candy while the gallery is open from 6 to 9 p.m. The new Little Gallery is located in the ground floor of the Benson Masonic Lodge building right off Maple St. at 5901 Maple St. See you there.

Saturday night Omaha has a festival of its own — Farnam Fest. Located in the heart of the Blackstone District, the block party will include food (including Blackstone Meatball!), booze (Scriptown, bitches, along with Farnam House and Infusion) and music by Head of Femur, Those Far Out Arrows, Twinsmith, Conny Franko (M34N STR33T), AF Jungle Cat and The Diplomats of Solid Sound featuring the Diplomettes. Music starts at 4 p.m. and runs until 10:15, followed by Benson Soul Society Vs. Obvious Funk. Oh yeah, and it’s free.

The weekend closes out Sunday at Reverb…

Cymbals Eat Guitars plays Reverb Sunday night.

Cymbals Eat Guitars plays Reverb Sunday night.

Staten Island band Cymbals Eat Guitars got its name from a Lou Reed quote about Velvet Underground’s sound, which is kinda ironic considering their new album, the sublime Pretty Years (2016, Barsuk), sounds nothing like VU.

Instead, the record, one of the best of the year so far, is like Jane’s Addiction mixed with Archers of Loaf and your favorite modern post-punk band. The Jane’s comparisons comes by way of frontman Joseph D’Agostino’s throaty growl that sounds like a possessed, angry Perry Farrell. The record was produced by indie wunderkind John Congleton (Suuns, Swans, Tim Kasher), who gives it a raw power not heard on their previous albums.

I sent the Ten Questions survey to the band, and bassist Matt Whipple took the bait.

What is your favorite album?

Cymbals Eat Guitars: Bowie’s Low or Springsteen Born in the USA

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Nobody’s Gonna Break My Stride” or whatever it’s called.

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

The four of us in a room playing.

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

Making more money than I know what to do with.

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

Advil

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

NYC

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

Paris is kind of a nightmare to drive a huge van around for gig logistics. Let’s go with Paris.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Day jobs.

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

Interior design; stand-up comedy.

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

Probably something about Saddle Creek or Warren Buffett? Not much to be honest, despite having toured extensively with Cursive and See Through Dresses.

Cymbals Eat Guitars plays with Field Mouse and Wildhoney Sunday, Oct. 9, at Reverb Lounge. Tickets are $12; showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

Also Sunday night — or Sunday afternoon to be more precise — Anna McClellan headlines the weekly Sunday Social at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Also on the bill are Little Ripple and Chris Engles. This one starts at 5 p.m. and runs until 8, and will cost you $5 (and includes a taco bar!).

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Mountain Goats, Oh Pep!; Ten Questions with Larkin Poe; Mark Kozelek solo tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:34 pm October 3, 2016
Mountain Goats at The Waiting Room, Sept. 30, 2016.

Mountain Goats at The Waiting Room, Sept. 30, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Another crushed, table-clearing night at The Waiting Room last Friday for The Mountain Goats — especially impressive when you consider it was a $25 ticket.

John Darnielle and company have been coming through Omaha literally for decades. Darnielle pointed that out from stage, reminiscing about first hearing a young, bombastic folkie named Simon Joyner when Joyner passed through Darnielle’s town. They exchanged information and eventually would record and release music together. In fact, I’m holding a copy of the Why You All So Thief 7-inch, a split between Joyner and The Mountain Goats that came out on Sing, Eunuchs! way back in 1994 (and which is still available from Simon’s grapefruitrecordclub.com website).

Darnielle played a couple songs which were either inspired by or recorded at the time of those Joyner sessions, recorded “with Simon just around the corner from the Antiquarium.” One of those songs was “Baboon,” played during the solo acoustic interlude in the center of his set. The rest of the night, Darnielle was accompanied by his band, including a dude on a jazzy tenor saxophone, playing songs from their latest album, an ode to professional wrestling called Beat the Champ (2015, Merge). Most were preceded by a funny story explaining the lore of the world of wresting and the characters that inhabit it.

I’ve been watching and listening to Darnielle for years and other than a few recent loungy additions, his story-telling song-writing style hasn’t changed. Every song is an introduction to a new character who is trying to do his or her damnedest just to get by. Simple, honest songs that no doubt have influenced a variety of bands from The Hold Steady to Decemberists.

While the crowd was definitely into the set — a few even moved to the beat on the floor — Mountain Goats isn’t exactly a dance band, and is now reaching a level of popularity where a sit-down concert at a formal theater might make sense. Imagine them at The Orpheum…

Oh Pep! at The Waiting Room, Sept. 30, 2016.

Oh Pep! at The Waiting Room, Sept. 30, 2016.

Opening act Oh Pep! drew upon gorgeous melodies and frontwoman Olivia Hally’s remarkable voice for a memorable set of music from their debut album, Stadium Cake, which they said took seven years to make. While Hally handled the acoustic guitar parts, the “Pep” part of Oh Pep! —  Pepita Emmerichs — switched between mandolin and violin while adding gorgeous harmonies. This is a band to keep an eye on.

Oh Pep! closed out the set with help from Mountain Goats, who joined them on stage for a rousing version of the band’s first single, “Doctor Doctor.”

* * *

Larkin Poe opens for Elvis Costello tomorrow night at The Holland.

Larkin Poe opens for Elvis Costello tomorrow night at The Holland.

Talk about your sweet opening gigs, Atlanta sister act Larkin Poe will have a hard time finding a better tour mate than the legendary Elvis Costello, who they open for Oct. 4 at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

The band, fronted by Rebecca and Megan Lovell, started out as the Lovell Sisters with their sister, Jessica, an act that ran its course in 2009. In their new iteration, the sisters have definitely gone electric, playing a southern-fried style of rock that sounds like heavy Alison Krauss meets Iris Dement.

Here’s how the sisters tackled the Ten Questions gauntlet:

What is your favorite album?

Megan: Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd.

Rebecca: Living with the Law, Chris Whitley.

What is your least favorite song?

“This Is The Song That Never Ends”

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Megan: Playing music for a living! The opportunity to get up onstage and share a connection with people of all shapes and sizes. It’s amazing to see so many different parts of the world.

Rebecca: Creative freedom. The art of singing and songwriting has been around since the dawn of enlightened man; to be able to carry on that tradition and walk the righteous way of rock’n’roll is an incredibly satisfying way to live.

What do you hate about being in a band?

Megan: You have to say goodbye to your home and loved ones far too often.

Rebecca: The temptation to be highly critical of yourself as an artist. All the time.

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Megan: Cheddar flavored popcorn. It should be illegal.

Rebecca: Patchouli oil.

In what city or town do you love to perform?

We played a sold out show in London at the Borderline a few months ago – having ticket scalpers working the sidewalks out front of the club, for our show, was a rush. We appreciate the support our British fans have shown us.

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

The worst gigs we’ve ever played are the gigs that we didn’t get to play. We’ve only had to cancel a few shows due to illness, but canceling a show is the worst thing of all.

How do you pay your bills?

We’re proud to be full-time musicians. We pay our bills by being ’21st century artists’… In short: we do just about anything and everything to bring in the dough – touring, recording, writing, you name it.

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

Megan: I’d be a professional stunt double. I’d hate to work in a slaughterhouse.

Rebecca: I’d be a crystal-gazing clairvoyant. I’d hate to be a competitive eater.

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

We’ve made our own stories in Omaha with native son, Conor Oberst. We’ve spent a couple pleasant nights at his place, Pageturners Lounge, listening to friends perform or playing songs of our own!

Larkin Poe opens for Elvis Costello Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Holland Performing Arts Center, 13th & Douglas Streets. Tickets range from $46.25 to $126.25. Showtime is 7 p.m. For more information, go to ticketomaha.com

* * *

Tonight, Mark Kozelek makes his first appearance ever at Slowdown Jr., and if I’m not mistaken, first time ever in Omaha. He’s played the last two Sun Kil Moon shows at Vega in Lincoln. Tonight’s show is listed as “An Evening with Mark Kozelek,” with no opener. I’m curious how this will deviate from a SKM show and the set he performed Sept. 26 as Sun Kil Moon in Denmark, which you can read here. I can tell you it’ll be a heavy experience for those who attend. I saw Kozelek as SKM perform in a church at SXSW a few years ago, and it was a long, dark evening that I’ll never forget. $23, 9 p.m. See you there…

* * *

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

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