Live Review: Flowers Forever; Ten Questions with Jackie Greene; Weathered, Super Ghost tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 11:42 am September 26, 2016
Flowers Forever at O'Leaversfest, Sept. 23, 2016.

Flowers Forever at O’Leaversfest, Sept. 23, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Another O’Leaversfest has come and gone. Alas, I was only able to take part in Day 1, last Friday night, and only for the closing band. If the rest of the weekend was as well attended as Day 1, organizers may want to consider adding a camping option for the festival — let all those out-of-towners pitch their tents in the volleyball courts.

On warm evenings like Friday, it’s become more and more common for the majority of the crowd to be out in the new beer garden, and that was certainly the case, all basking in the glow of Tyrone Storm’s deft DJ skills. So crowded and hectic was it that I escaped to the old front beer garden, where only a few people sat around and smoked and waited for the band to play. Old-school O’Leaver’s… for the beautiful people…

Flowers Forever drew everyone back inside. In the old days, Flowers Forever was Derek Pressnall and whoever joined him on stage (but with a couple regulars). Friday was the same thing, with original member Craig Dee on drums. Third original member. Chris Senseney, was not in the house (or at least I didn’t see him). The other five slots were filled with a few familiar faces, including Annie Dilocker on keyboards and Sarah Bohling of Icky Blossoms on bass.

The set kicked off with an rousing version of “American Dream” off the 2008 debut (and as far as I know, the only Flowers Forever album released) and barrelled through a number of other songs off the album including “Black Pope” and “Strange Fruit.” I’d forgotten how much I liked the record when it came out. To me it always felt like an outsider coming into the cloistered Nebraska scene and creating his own, new thing from the bits and pieces that resonated with him. The outsider being Pressnall, the bits and pieces being the more upbeat moments from Bright Eyes’ early 2000s offerings.

Of the unknown players on stage, a standout was the lead guitarist, a young guy who absolutely shredded throughout the set. The next day Craig Dee told me the guy was Cubby Phillips, who, upon further research, I discovered is a jazz dude who won the Outstanding Soloist Award at the 2013 Great Planes Jazz Festival. Head-spinning skills, he has. (Update: Dereck Higgins just pointed out that he’s the guitarist in Chemicals).

I never found out what inspired this Flowers Forever “reunion,” though I must say the music has aged well. I’m told this wasn’t just a one-shot, and I’d certainly pay to see them again, though reunion bands have a way of fading if they don’t augment their past with something new. Pressnall now has Icky Blossoms as a creative outlet these days, and for him, maybe that’s enough…

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Jackie Greene plays at Slowdown Jr. Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Jackie Greene plays at Slowdown Jr. Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Roots / American singer-songwriter Jackie Greene is known as a musician’s musician, having played with a ton of people over the years, including as a member of the last iteration of Black Crowes and with Joan Osborne in Trigger Hippy. His latest album, Back to Birth (2015, Yep Roc), was produced by Los Lobos member Steve Berlin, and will appeal to Black Crowes fans or anyone who enjoys dense, guitar-infused American Trad rock.

I sent Greene the ol’ Ten Questions and this is what he had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Exile On Main Street

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Lovin Cup”

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

Spooning the merch girl.

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

Spooning the bass player.

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

Chipotle-flavored anything.

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

Osaka, Japan.  A distant second would be Perth.

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

Somewhere in rural South Dakota.  It was winter and the gear froze.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Online, generally.

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

Someday, I’d like to open my own typewriter repair shop.  We’d only service post-war American-made machines. We’d have limited hours. I probably wouldn’t like to do anything involving a nail salon.

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

I have a friend from Omaha.  I’ve heard lots of stories.  Most of them good.

Jackie Greene plays with The Cordovas Tuesday, Sept. 27, at Slowdown Jr.,  729 No. 14th St. Tickets are $18 Adv./$20 DOS. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com

* * *

It’s a night of emo rock at Milk Run this evening. Headlining is Omaha’s own Super Ghost, whereas the traveling band is Minnesota act Weathered. Altura and Medlock open. 9 p.m. $5.

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

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Ten Questions with Mild High Club (9/21 at Reverb); Show Me the Body, Conny Franko tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:41 pm September 20, 2016
Mild High Club plays Reverb Lounge tomorrow night (9/21). Photo by Jamie Wdziekonski.

Mild High Club plays Reverb Lounge tomorrow night (9/21). Photo by Jamie Wdziekonski.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Talk about your bands whose name perfectly suits their sound, Mild High Club takes the cake. We’re talking smooth, jazzy, indie-fied Yacht Rock from a band with roots in both Chicago and Los Angeles. Skiptracing, their new album on Stones Throw Records, would fit in heavy rotation with any run-of-the-mill ’70s AM rock radio.

The band says the album’s story arc is that of a “private investigator attempting to trace the steps of the sound and the spirit of American music.” One assumes it’s a story that takes place in LA, dressed in polyester, behind the wheel of a tan Chevy Nova, and airing right after The Rockford Files.

I sent Mild High Club the Ten Questions survey. The band’s founder, Alexander Brettin, took the bait:

1. What is your favorite album?

Alexander Brettin: I can’t narrow it down to one currently it’s The Nightfly by Don Fagen.

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Happy” by Farrell.

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

Kicking out the jams, learning, seeing the world, freedom.

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

Witting in the passenger seat of the van gives me anxiety.

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

Jazz harmonies

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

Omaha, baby

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

Pasadena – didn’t have the full band, struggled through a living room set.

8. How do you pay your bills?

With cash

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

Would attempt working as a budtender; would hate to be a garbage man.

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

Actually, I’ve never heard a story about Omaha!

Mild High Club plays with Fullbloods and Ojai Wednesday, Sept. 21 at Reverb Lounge, Tickets are $10 Adv/$12 DOS. Show starts at 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

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Speaking of Reverb Lounge, the club is hosting a rock show tonight with post-punk/hip-hop band Show Me The Body (Universal). Opening is our own post-core hip-hop artist, Conny Franko (M34N STR33T), and Jocko. $8, 9 p.m.

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

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Ten Questions with Gringo Star (at O’Leaver’s tonight); Maha review online (finally); Better Friend at Femme Fest…

Category: Blog,Interviews,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:08 pm September 6, 2016
Gringo Star plays at O'Leaver's tonight...

Gringo Star plays at O’Leaver’s tonight…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Atlanta 4-piece Gringo Star is keeping alive the sound their grand-parents adored — ’50s and ’60 rock ‘n’ roll.

“Our grandad started out in radio in the ’40s and ’50s in Columbus, GA.,” said Nick Furgiueles, who started Gringo Star with his brother, Peter, in 2007. “He was a huge promoter of R&B back when it was still super segregated, and he was playing black music and putting on shows with Little Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Sam Cooke & the Soul Stirrers, a lot of Gospel shows. So we grew up hearing all these stories, listening to all this music. Our grandfather was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame posthumously. And my grandma — all her photo albums are like Jackie Wilson shirtless backstage, hanging out.”

The sounds of those AM gems reverberate in Gringo Star’s modern take on classic rock infused in surf, garage, doo-wap and psychedelic. The band’s been playing around with indie brethren like The Black Angels, Wavves and Best Coast for years, then at SXSW they caught the attention of Nevado Music execs who put out their new album, The Sides and In Between, just last week. Hear the band play it live tonight at O’Leaver’s.

I sent the Gringos the ol’ Ten Questions survey and Nick was kind enough to fill it out.

1. What is your favorite album?

Nick Furgiueles: David Bowie- Ziggy Stardust

2. What is your least favorite song?

Everything by Fleetwood Mac

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

Doing interviews

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

Doing interviews

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

The jalapeño.

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

Bacup, England

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

Savannah, GA, we recently played a daytime show that was outside and it was no cooler than 108.  And the stage was in the sun.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Usually I write a check.

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

I always wanted to be a professional baseball player, but I’d hate to be a police man, having to constantly ticket and leech off the public to maintain the war machine.

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

In 1879 the trial of Standing Bear v. Crook was held at Fort Omaha. During the trial General Crook testified on behalf of Standing Bear, leading the court to recognize American Indians as persons. This was the first time this occurred in a U.S. Federal Court.

Gringo Star joins Hussies and Eklectica tonight at O’Leaver’s, 1322 So. Saddle Creek Rd. Entry is $8, show starts at 9 p.m. For more information, go to liveatoleavers.com.

* * *

Hey, remember that festival that took place a few weeks ago called Maha? Well, I went to it and wrote this long-ish review for everyone’s favorite arts and music alternative monthly, The Reader. And now that review is finally online. No, this isn’t Throwback Thursday, and yet here I am, asking you to step into the Wayback Machine and read my thoughts and ruminations about Nebraska’s premiere one-day indie music festival. Of course if you prefer the analog version, you can pick up the latest issue of The Reader, which is on news racks ’round town.

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Better Friend at The Sydney during Benson First Friday Femme Fest, Sept. 2, 2015.

Better Friend at The Sydney during Benson First Friday Femme Fest, Sept. 2, 2015.

Speaking of festivals, I swung by Benson First Friday Femme Fest last week for a drop in on Lincoln band Better Friend at The Sydney (seein’ as they came highly recommended by a certain executive at Hear Nebraska). Fronted by vocalist Meghan Munyon the band cranked out a rough but lively set of dark rock they describe as punk on their Facebook page, though I think leans more toward mid ’90s-era emo (as opposed to, say, ’80s-era emo — there is a distinction (at least in my book)). Munyon is a howler in a sort of Thalia Zedek vein, and when one of her guitarists adds a layer of scream/screech vocals, the emo turns to screamo. The crowd of around 30 seemed into it, and there’s  a lot of buzz about these folks, though I think we’re just seeing where they’re starting off. Where they go next, well, now that could be very intriguing…

As for Femme Fest, there’s little doubt that the annual event (in its second year) has surely become “a thing” that will continue for years to come.

* * *

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 PLEASURES (@ O’Leaver’s Saturday); Conny Franko, Ocean Black tonight; Lupines, Narco States Saturday…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:13 pm August 5, 2016
PLEASURES plays at O'Leaver's Saturday night...

PLEASURES plays at O’Leaver’s Saturday night…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A lot of weird stuff happens in Florida. There was that time a Florida strip club offered free flu shots. Or the time the guy sprinkled his fiancee’s ashes at a LensCrafters causing the Sarasota Police to evacuate the mall. Or the time the guy tried to pay for a beer with an alligator. Or the time the guy died after getting stuck in his girlfriend’s cat door. All true (I found them on Buzzfeed).

But one of the stranger things out of Florida “in a good way” is PLEASURES. The Sarasota four-piece describes their sound as “sex music for robots” and “psychedelic/synthwave fagcore.” Cool blog Creative Loafing called them “demented surgeons on a quest to create some kind of new sonic Frankenstein” when they awarded them “Best Sci-Fi Psychedelia” in the annual Best of the Bay awards.

I’d describe them as “psych-fueled late-night dream-rock” and “the perfect soundtrack for any John Carpenter hero-epic,” especially songs off their new album Fucked Up Dreams Come True, like “Man Is a God in Ruins,” which just sounds cool and weird. But there’s a lot of weird stuff that happens in Florida.

We gave PLEASURES singer/guitarist Katherine Kelly the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s her answers.

1. What is your favorite album?

Katherine Kelly: 13 Songs by Fugazi

2. What is your least favorite song?

Pachebel’s Canon

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

Touring.

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

Dealing with people’s perceptions of people who are in bands.

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

My girlfriend’s hair.

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

Raleigh/Charlotte NC; great scene!

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

Toss up between NY and Los Angeles. Because ehh who cares?

8. How do you pay your bills?

Serving tables, painting and contracting work, and the band.

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 be a novelist or an elder care companion. I’d hate to manage a restaurant.

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

1, Conor Oberst is a hologram. 2, They like their breakfast burritos “Omaha style” – cream cheese on the tortilla.

PLEASURES plays with Universe Contest and ben Eisenberger Saturday, Aug. 6, at O’Leaver’s, 1322 So. Saddle Creek Rd. Showtime is 9:30 p.m., entry fee is $5. For more information, go to liveatoleavers.com.

* * *

I guess it’s about time to say it: Looks like it’s going to be another O’Leaver’s weekend.

I’ve mentioned PLEASURES at fabulous O’Leaver’s tomorrow night. Tonight (Friday), O’Leaver’s brings the sludge when Ocean Black opens for Elkhorn’s doom rock duo Black Velvet. Hand Painted Police Car kicks things off at 9:30. This one’s just $5.

Also tonight at Slowdown, Conny Franko (a.k.a. Conchance of M34n Str33t a.k.a. Brenton Gomez) celebrates the release of his debut album La Maga, a recording inspired by the heroine in Julio Cortazar’s novel Hopscotch. Also on the bill are Stylo Tha Don, Ichiban Hashface, Cool Drug Music and Dojorok. $10, 9 p.m.

Saturday night, The Brothers is hosting Minneapolis psych/garage rock band Narco States. Opening is Lupines and Huge Fucking Waves. $5, 9 p.m. (but they never start that early at The Brothers).

Other than that PLEASURES show at O’Leaver’s Saturday, that’s it for the balance of the weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section.

Have a great 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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Ten Questions with Deerhoof; Conor Oberst’s ‘Ruminations’ out Oct. 14; Sam Evian Creek debut Sept. 30…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:40 pm August 3, 2016
Deerhoof returns to The Waiting Room Aug. 4.

Deerhoof returns to The Waiting Room Aug. 4.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

San Francisco experimental rock band Deerhoof are known as much for their live shows as their quirky, jittery, inventive music. On stage the four-piece is an explosion of music that fuses rock, jazz, prog and noise into one throbbing, powerful sound. Frontwoman/basist Satomi Matsuzaki is a wound-up rock ‘n’ roll cheerleader, jumping and kicking and chirping in a language that sounds like a fusion of Japanese and English. It is, indeed, a sight to behold.

While the band’s idiosyncratic art-tortured albums can be a challenge to navigate, their latest, The Magic (2016, Polyvinyl) comes as close as they’ve ever dared to something resembling traditional rock. Nestled among the Eno-esque rhythms are some of the best holy-shit power-chord riffs I’ve heard from a rock band since Superchunk. Over the course of 15 tracks, the band can go from high-energy Sonic Youth grind (“Dispossessor”) to throbbing, blue-light art lounge (a cover of “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire”). The Magic is a career high-water mark.

With the band returns to The Waiting Room Thursday, Aug. 4, I caught up with Satomi Matsuzaki with a Ten Questions survey. Here you go:

1. What is your favorite album?

Satomi Matsuzaki: The Magic by Deerhoof

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Hotel California” by Eagles

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

Making music with Deerhoof.

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

Long flights when we go on tour.

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

Barley tea and dried squid.

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

Everywhere we go.

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

If there was any, I already erased that memory from my brain. I wanna stay positive and keep going forward. I learn from mistakes and just move on.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Usually bank wire through my phone bill payment app.

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

My profession is music and I prefer not to do other work. I won’t hate any job though if I decide to do whatever to live.

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

I have been there before. It’s located in the middle of USA and The Waiting Room is a great venue! They have a laundromat in backstage and that helps me a lot on tour!

Deerhoof plays with Blank Spell and Thick Paint Thursday, Aug. 4, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Showtime is 9 p.m., tickets are $15. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

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How did you spend last winter? If you’re like me, you wasted those cold January days watching TV and wishing for spring to return.

Conor Oberst, Ruminations (2016, Nonesuch)

Conor Oberst, Ruminations (2016, Nonesuch)

Conor Oberst spent his winter writing a new album called Ruminations, which drops Oct. 14 on Nonesuch Records.

Said Oberst about his winter in Omaha last year: “I wasn’t expecting to write a record. I honestly wasn’t expecting to do much of anything. Winter in Omaha can have a paralyzing effect on a person but in this case it worked in my favor. I was just staying up late every night playing piano and watching the snow pile up outside the window. Next thing I knew I had burned through all the firewood in the garage and had more than enough songs for a record. I recorded them quick to get them down but then it just felt right to leave them alone.

Over the span of 48 hours, Oberst recorded Runinations at ARC Studios with engineer Ben Brodin. According to Oberst’s publicist, the tracks don’t have the multi-layered instrumentation of the most recent Bright Eyes and solo albums: This is Oberst alone with his guitar, piano and harmonica; a sort of throw-back to his earliest recordings, but with modern lyrics.

Pre-orders are under way at the Nonesuch website. The tour kicks off in Grand Island Aug. 18. and some locals are opening some dates, such as MiWi La Lupa, Anna McClellan, and on Nov. 23 Simon Joyner will open when Oberst plays solo at Carnagie Hall in NYC. That should be a show for the ages.

* * *

Sam Evian, Premium (2016, Saddle Creek)

Sam Evian, Premium (2016, Saddle Creek)

Saddle Creek Records also announced today that the debut release by newest roster addition Sam Evian, entitled Premium, will drop Sept 30. Sam Evian is Brooklyn’s Sam Owens of band Celestial Shore. You read about his signing in Lazy-i here.

According to the publicist, the album’s nine songs “reflect the casual, relaxed atmosphere Sam created for himself at Brooklyn’s Figure 8 Studio.” Among the players on Premium are Austin Vaughn on drums (Here We Go Magic, Luke Temple), Brian Betancourt on bass (Hospitality, Here We Go Magic, Luke Temple), Michael Coleman on keys (Figure 8’s studio manager), Dan Iead on pedal steel (Cass McCombs), vocalists Cassandra Jenkins and Hannah Cohen, Shahzad Ismaily, Eddie Barbash (the saxophonist on the Colbert show) and Steve Marion (aka Delicate Steve).

Pre-orders are, of course, under way at Saddle Creek’s online store.

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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 Question with The Jayhawks (at Slowdown Sunday); M83, Pro-Magnum tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:09 pm July 27, 2016
The Jayhawks play at The Slowdown Sunday night.

The Jayhawks play at The Slowdown Sunday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Minneapolis indie folk-rock band The Jayhawks have a history of sorts with Omaha. They’ve been touring through our fair city literally for decades, culminating in a spot on the Maha Music Festival last year — a victory lap of sorts for local fans who remember the band playing to small crowds during the early days.

The band is the product of the mid-80s Twin Cities music scene, releasing their first album in 1986 followed by their Twin/Tone Records debut, Blue Earth, in 1989. They broke in a big way in ’92 with Hollywood Town Hall (American Recordings). Viewed by many as their masterpiece,  the album would have sounded right at home on a ’70s rock radio station, thanks to its laid-back, afternoon melodies.

Often described as an “alt country” band, their sound, especially on their latest album, Paging Mr. Proust (2016, Thirty Tigers), has more in common with acts like Big Star, Pete Yorn, Crosby Stills & Nash and local alt rocker Matthew Sweet. Produced by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, the new record finds Gary Louris reuniting with the band’s late-’90s line-up.

We tossed our Ten Questions survey to the Jayhawks and bass player Marc Perlman took up the reins.

1. What is your favorite album?


Marc Perlman: Big Star, #1 Record

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Kokomo,” Beach Boys

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

The music (when it’s working).

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

Washing Gary’s socks.

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

Chocolate covered raisins

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

Utrecht

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

Utrecht (but it wasn’t my fault)

8. How do you pay your bills?

By the grace of G-d

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

Professional hand model; the guy who has to clean the dressing rooms after a Jayhawks show.

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

In 1986 the Jayhawks played in front of 6 people at Howard Street Tavern… Matthew Sweet and Conor Oberst sponsor and play in a sand volleyball league at O’Leavers (their team is called the “The Power Poppers”)… the dressing room at Sokol Auditorium is haunted… it’s easy to get lost driving from Omaha to Lincoln…

The Jayhawks play with Fernando Viciconte Sunday, July 31, at The Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St. Tickets are $25 Adv., $40 for balcony seating. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

* * *

Tonight at Stir Cove it’s the return of indie rock band M83. The band is on the road supporting their new album, Junk (2016, Mute), which was a shift in direction to a more dance-oriented sound than heard on their earlier albums. Opening is NYC-based duo Sofi Tukker. $35, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, the might Pro Magnum headlines at Pageturners Lounge. How will such a loud band translate to such a delicate setting? Find out. Leafblower opens. The free show starts at 9:30.

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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 Annalibera (at Milk Run tonight); more For Against reissues in the works…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:49 pm July 25, 2016
Annalibera plays at Milk Run tonight...

A screen-cap from the film “Loveil” by Annalibera.The band plays at Milk Run tonight…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Annalibera is a project fronted by Nebraska ex-pat now Des Moines resident Anna Gebhardt. She’s been performing since 2012, but made her first indelible mark on the music world with 2015’s Nevermind I Love You, a dense, soaring 8-song collection of chiming, beautiful indie rock songs you absolutely must seek out (It’s on Spotify, btw).

In a change of direction, Gebhardt followed the album with ambient/noise/experimental cassette called Loveil (Warm Gospel Records) that included a 26-minute companion film shot at her family farm in Nebraska. Available on YouTube or at annaliberamusic.com the art film is haunting in a Warhol-ian sort of way. Gebhardt will be joined by drummer David Hurlin for the July 25 Milk Run show performing songs from Loveil, along with new material.

I caught up with Gebhardt and gave her the Ten Questions treatment:

1. What is your favorite album? 

Anna Gebhardt: To answer this question I go by what album I’ve listened to the most times so it’s between Loveless or Heaven or Las Vegas.

2. What is your least favorite song? 

Kid Rock “Picture,” that song makes me want to crawl out of my skin, always has.

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

The usual stuff, making music, touring, it’s fun.

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

Juggling everyone’s schedules, all the marketing and emailing.

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

Water. So versatile.

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

Not sure I’ve toured enough for this question. Always great shows in Nashville and Chicago. Recently been thinking about a great one in Gorzow Wielkepolski (Poland), but so far I’ve only played there once. A lot of times those smaller towns make for a magical show (if you go on a weekend).

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

That’s a toss up between Columbus, OH, or Paris. Long story.

8. How do you pay your bills?

With money, unfortunately. (Freelance writing and teaching piano/voice lessons. Occasionally I am employed to be a backup singer! Can’t pay the bills singing in Des Moines, IA, though).

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

I would like to study visual art. I would hate to be in business, law or politics – those are not me. I would feel like an actress every day in my suit.

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

Omaha Nebraska wasn’t good enough for me / always thought i was the roaming kind / with a pocket full of dreams and my one shirt on my back / I left there lookin’ for something to find/ Omaha you’ve been weighing heavy on my mind/ Guess I never really left at all/ I’m turning all those roads I walked around the other way / And coming back for you Omaha (When it’s late and people are passing the guitar around I sometimes play this song, one of my favorites!).

Annalibera performs with Devin Frank Vanishing Blues Band, Sean Pratt & the Sweats and Mike Schlesinger Monday, July 25, at Milk Run, 1907 Leavenworth. Tickets are $7, showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to facebook.com/widmestproductionsllc

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Some of the For Against relics at Friday night's This is Jeff Runnings program. Photo by Stephen Sheehan.

Some of the For Against relics at Friday night’s This is Jeff Runnings program at Hi-Fi House. Photo by Stephen Sheehan.

Friday night Hi Fi House hosted an appreciation of the music of Jeff Runnings — former frontman of the seminal ’80s-’90s band For Against — as part of HFH’s new “This is…” series. I was asked the day prior to the event to conduct the interview with Jeff alongside Stephen Sheehan, former frontman of ’80s Omaha ambient-rock band Digital Sex. It turned out to be a quite a night.

Runnings brought a rather sizable archive of For Against recordings, posters and other relics that spanned the band’s career. The interview traced the history of the band, with Runnings filling in a lot of blanks along the way. Sheehan provided insightful questions taken from the vantage point of someone who lived in the rock ‘n’ roll trenches alongside them.

The entire interview was videotaped with professional-looking gear (and technicians). I have no idea when or where this video will be made available. The interview was followed by a “listening” of Running’s new solo album, Primitives and Smalls, released earlier this year by Saint Marie Records.

A bit of news that surfaced during the interview — Saint Marie is planning on reissuing four more For Against albums: Aperture (1993) and Mason’s California Lunch Room (1995), both originally released on Rainbow Quartz Records; Shelf Life (1997) released on World Domination, and 2002’s Coalesced, released by Minneapolis label Words on Music. No word on the exact timing of these releases, but they’ll likely drop sometime early next year. There’s even whispers of a possible For Against reunion (but only for Europe).

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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 Goo Goo Dolls; Bright Eyes Ludwig-mastered box set; Closeness, Navy Gangs again tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:37 pm July 20, 2016
Closeness at O'Leaver's April 30, 2016.

Closeness at O’Leaver’s April 30, 2016. The duo plays tonight at Pageturners Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If the first three paragraphs of the below story look familiar it’s because I lifted them from my 1999 interview with Goo Goo Dolls, which you can read online here. GGD’s Robby Takac was a very good interview way back then. He laid it all out when I asked why the band switched from being basically a pop-punk band to mainstream AOR alt rockers. The answer has something to do with selling millions of albums.

I’m told that their show Friday night at Stir Cove is getting close to selling out. Here’s Ten Questions:

goo-goo-dolls-bob-mussel

Goo Goo Dolls play Friday night at Stir Cove.

Ten Questions with Goo Goo Dolls

The first time I heard the Goo Goo Dolls was way back in ’92, after staying up late on a Sunday night to watch 120 Minutes on MTV. When the video for “There You Are” came on, featuring Goo Goo vocalist John Rzeznick doing his best Paul Westerberg-style crooning over a punchy, punky power chord, I was intrigued.

It was the band’s first video, and pretty much summed up their indie punk-rock sound and style — three average Joes running around an empty Buffalo, New York, baseball stadium, smiling for the camera without a care in the world.

But six years later, Goo Goo Dolls were a different band. Riding the success of their million-selling 1995 album, A Boy Named Goo, which featured the smash ballad, “Name,” Goo Goo Dolls went on to record the most played song on radio in 1998, “Iris,” the theme from the Nick Cage/Meg Ryan chick flick, City of Angels. It netted them three Grammy nominations and a first-class ticket out of the smoky punk bars and into sold-out arenas.

With the release of their latest album, Boxes (2016, Warner Bros), the Goo Goos are trying to change course once again. Rzeznik and co-founder/bassist Robby Takac hired a stable of writers in an effort to push themselves past their comfort zone. The product is a collection of king-sized alt-rock anthems that are a perfect fit for Stir’s Cove’s outdoor concert space, where the band performs Friday night.

We threw the Ten Questions gauntlet down on the Goo Goo Dolls, and Robby Tatac breached it with the following answers:

1. What is your favorite album?

Robby Takac: Todd Rundgren, A Wizard / A True Star

2. What is your least favorite song?

“The Weight,” by The Band

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

The completion of the song cycle you experience at live performances.

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

Being away from my wife and daughter.

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

Green Tea

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

Buffalo, NY

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

They’ve all been perfect …. of course.

8. How did you pay your bills back when the band was just getting started?

Worked at a flower shop, was a DJ, spent lots of time recording punk rock bands, was a barback & bartender, spent some time as a stage hand ….

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

I would like to own a Pez museum. I wouldn’t want to be a cop.

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

I was there once and it was so hot cows were exploding ….. no lie.

Goo Goo Dolls play with Collective Soul Friday, July 22, at Stir Cove, 1 Harrahs Blvd., Council Bluffs. Tickets are $43, showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to facebook.com/StirCove.

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Saddle Creek is squeezing every last penny out of its back catalog with the release of a new six-record Bright Eyes box set. Remastered by legendary sound engineer Bob Ludwig, the box includes Fevers and Mirrors (2000), LIFTED or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (2002), I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (2005), Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (2005), Cassadaga (2007) and The People’s Key (2011).

That’s six albums on 10 LPs housed in tip-on jackets, including digital downloads of each album. The vinyl box set exclusives include colored vinyl, twelve 8×10 photo prints by Butch Hogan, and an essay by Nathaniel Krenkel. The vinyl box set is limited to 5,000 copies and includes all 10 LPs housed in a foil stamped linen-wrapped box. Price, a cool $150. You can pre-order now, release date is Sept. 16. Look for black vinyl individual copies of each remastered album available in November.

Saddle Creek is also offering a CD box of the same albums limited to 1,000 copies, also out Sept. 16. It costs a mere $60 a box.

Hey Saddle Creek, we’re still waiting for that exclusive Ladyfinger box set…

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The new Todd and Orenda Fink ambient rock project Closeness performs tonight at Pageturners Lounge. Here’s a review of their O’Leaver’s debut.  It’s definitely worth your while to see and hear them. Ridgelines opens the evening at 10 p.m. and the ‘nice price’ is absolutely free.

Also this evening, if you missed Navy Gangs last night at Milk Run, the band plays again this evening at Almost Music in the Blackstone District. Joining them are Staffers and Sean Pratt & The Sweats. This early 7 p.m. show will cost you $5. Also, Coneflower Creamery will be on site serving their home-made ice cream. Yum!

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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 Frigs; Real Estate, Twin Peaks, Ceremony among Lincoln Calling acts; Pageturners summer series, Thick Paint, Black Lips tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:21 pm July 11, 2016
Frigs take the Ten Questions survey. They play at Brothers Lounge tomorrow night. Photo by Caitlin McLafferty.

Frigs take the Ten Questions survey. They play at Brothers Lounge tomorrow night. Photo by Caitlin McLafferty.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Toronto 4-piece noise punkers Frigs (formerly Dirty Frigs) play a dark, growling, acidic style of indie rock that either chugs angry and hot, or drags lethargically like a Robitussin-fueled nightmare.  On the band’s debut EP, Slush (2016, Arts & Crafts) the fast ones showcase front woman Bri Salmena sounding like a young Shirley Manson or Polly Jean Harvey as the band cranks like the reincarnation of Elastica. On the slower tracks, it’s all guitar chimes under water, backed by hypnotic, throbbing drums and Salmena spitting out the vitriol.

We asked Frigs to take our Ten Questions survey, Salmena and band member Edan Scime Stokell took the test:

What is your favorite album?

Bri Salmena: I hate this question because it changes, right all I want to listen to is Post Plague by Odonis Odonis.

Edan Scime Stokell: Rumors by Fleetwood Mac

2. What is your least favorite song?

Bri: Anything by Elvis Costello

Edan:  Anything by Janet Jackson

Bri: Edan you are insane.

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

Bri: I think if the answer isn’t playing music something is wrong.

Edan: Feeling cool and getting attention.

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

Bri: I don’t really hate anything about being in a band…

Edan: Road poops

Bri:  Oh ya, maybe that.

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

Bri: Ummmm Pepto Bismol. It helps me tolerate all my favorite “other” substances.

Edan: beer

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

Bri: Hometown shows are always fun, but it’s also nice to perform in front of a bunch of strangers. There is a certain amount of freedom for me to be as weird as I want. But i don’t really have an answer to your question.

Edan: New York City baby!

Bri: lol

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

Bri: Hmm, not sure. I feel like our first show in London, England, was pretty brutal. We had a lot of technical difficulties that made it really hard to play, but everyone was really nice.

Edan: Definitely London, yeah it was bad.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Bri: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Edan: I make pizza.

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

Bri: I studied Art History and want to go into art restoration if music is a bust. I would hate to do my job now as a real “profession” (sorry Mom, it’s just not for me!).

Edan: I’ve always dreamed of being an architect. I would hate to work in a hospital. I cant stand blood or guts or cuts or veins or stuff, ew.

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

Bri: I really like that song “Omaha” by Waylon Jennings, and I’ve heard really great things about Nathan Ma, the guy who booked us smile

Edan: Only the ones told by Bruce Springsteen on the album named after your glorious state.

Frigs play with Anna McClellan and Collin Duckworth & the Transcendental Lovers at Brothers Lounge, 3812 Farnam St. Tickets are $5, showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to facebook.com/brothersloungeomaha

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Over the weekend Hear Nebraska released a handful of performers who will be playing the three-day Lincoln Calling festival Oct. 6-8. I told you there were some big names:

Real Estate
Twin Peaks
Ceremony
Icky Blossoms
Esme Patterson
David Dondero
See Through Dresses
Plack Blague

There’s a shit-ton more (and bigger names) that will be announced Wednesday. Their plan to release names incrementally is working, apparently. Passes at the “early-bird” rate have sold out. Three day general admission passes are now $39 and will likely follow suit. Get them while you can at lincolncalling.com.

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Pageturners continues its summer music series tonight with Thick Paint, Graham Ulicny of Reptar’s one-man project. The 10 p.m. show is free.

While we’re at it, here’s the full calendar for Pageturner’s summer series. Impressive!

7/11 — Thick Paint
7/13 — Sam Martin / Pat Mainelli
7/18 — Digital Leather
7/20 — Closeness
7/22 — Phil Schaffart / Dan McCarthy
7/27 — Pro Magnum
8/1 — Noah Sterba / Ruby Block
8/3 — MiWi La Lupa / Justin Ready and Echo Prairie
8/6 — Tyrone Storm
8/8 — Chemicals
8/10 — Michael Favara / Mike Schlesinger
8/17 — Linemans Rodeo / The Shrinks
8/22 — Nathan Ma and the Rosettes

All shows are 10 p.m. start times and are free.

Also tonight, Atlanta garage band The Black Lips return to Omaha, this time to The Waiting Room. Not sure why they’re touring, as their last album came out a couple years ago. Trying out new material? Sounds like it could be a messy show, if this review of their gig last month at the 40 Watt Club is any indication. Chain and The Gang are opening. $15, 9 p.m

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

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Kristin Kontrol; What is NEDIY? Lincoln Calling broadens all-ages scope…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:51 pm July 7, 2016
Kristin Kontrol plays SumTur tomorrow night.

Kristin Kontrol plays SumTur tomorrow night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Kristen Kontrol is the new project by Kristin Welchez, formerly known as Dee Dee, leader of indie rock band Dum Dum Girls, who you may have caught when they played a rainy Maha Music Festival in 2012. Garbage headlined that festival, just like they’ll be headlining Friday night’s show at SumTur Amphitheatre, which Kristen Kontrol opens. Some might argue after hearing each band’s new album that the promoters accidentally reversed the order.

X-Communicate (2016, Sub Pop) sounds nothing like Welchez’s last band. Rather than indie punk, Kristen Kontrol’s songs — rife with synths, huge beats and fist-pumping, anthemic melodies — recalls such ’80s acts as Blondie, ‘Til Tuesday and The Motels, with Welchez in the Debrorah Harry/Martha Davis role. These are songs that would be right at home heard on ’80s MTV as they are on today’s Sirius XMU.

I caught up with Welchez and asked her to take my Ten Questions survey. Here’s what she had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Kristin Welchez: Right now I’m listening to The Durutti Column’s Chronicle on repeat. I can work over it without being distracted, but it moves and motivates me.

2. What is your least favorite song?

The worst thing I’ve heard lately is the jingle from a White Castle commercial. Fuck all of that.

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

I make music because I can’t not. I play in a band because it’s the only way to transcend the creative process into something more visceral.

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

Bad A/C in hotels and lack of leafy greens. Not much else.

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

Coffee-and-hash

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

So many places surprise you, good or bad. Boston has somehow moved to top of the list.

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

Too many to name for essentially esoteric reasons.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Via cheque.

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

Customer service for elitists is my nightmare. Social work is probably where I’ll end up.

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

I haven’t heard any, but I’ve definitely contributed to some while in town.

Kristin Kontrol opens for Garbage Friday, July 8, at SumTur Amphitheater, 11691 So. 108th St., Papillion, Nebraska. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., tickets are $45 reserved; $35 general admission. For more information, go to ticketmaster.com.

* * *

Today Milk Run posted a graphic on its timeline under the heading NEDIY. According to Sam Parker, who runs Milk Run, NEDIY is a collective that includes Milk Run, Reverb, The Brothers and O’Leaver’s in Omaha, and The Commons in Lincoln.

“We’re all in this together, so why not act like it?” Parker said. “We want to start really supporting each other’s shows. Not just our own.” Sounds like a grand idea to me. Check out the NEDIY July ’16 schedule below.

NEDIYJuly16

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Tickets to Lincoln Calling went on sale today at lincolncalling.com. You’ll notice LC dropped separate all-ages tickets, and for good reason: The Bourbon and Vega have been added to the list of all-ages venues that already includes The Bay and Tower Square — that’s a big coup for LC. So, all three-day general admission LC festival passes are available at one price, which right now is a mere $29 — a price that will steadily rise over the coming weeks to $49. Better get your tickets while they’re at the “Nice Price.”

* * *

Clarification is in order regarding yesterday’s Under the Radar post. I said that Nik Fackler’s new film will premiere this Saturday as part of the Kaneko event. In fact Nik’s film premiers next Saturday, July 23, at Kaneko, a program entitled Meaning in Movement. That event will include a performance by the .tbd dance collective scored with live original music performed by Graham Ulicny of Reptar. Again, that’s July 23. This Saturday .tbd dance collective performs at The Slowdown as part of Under the Radar. So look at my screw up this way: You’ll get a double dose of .tbd this Saturday and next Saturday.

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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