Tim Kasher’s Resolutions (in The Reader); Meat Puppets, Mike Watt, David Nance (is Brothers becoming a bonafide rock club?) tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:39 pm May 3, 2017

Tim Kasher and his band plays The Waiting Room May 12.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The May issue of The Reader, which I’m not certain has hit the racks yet, includes a feature/column focused on Tim Kasher, his new album No Resolution, and more specifically, his new record label, 15 Passenger, which he operates with Cursive bro’s Matt Maginn and Ted Stevens.

The story answers questions I posed about the label back in January, specifically why create a new label, how did you acquire the Cursive masters from Saddle Creek, will The Good Life be involved in the new label, and more. Kasher also talks his film No Resolution and how he hopes to screen it in the future.

Don’t want to scrounge around looking for a printed copy of The Reader? You can read the whole article online right here.

Kasher did the interview via phone while he was in Omaha rehearsing for the tour that brings him to The Waiting Room May 12. You should get tickets to this one while you can.

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The Meat Puppets with Mike Watt are headlining tonight at The Waiting Room. According to TWR website, the band could “revisit the folk and singer-song writer nuggets Curt put out in 2005 on his solo masterpiece, Snow, as well as similarly veined tracks from Rat Farm (‘Sometimes Blue’).” The Jom + Terry Show opens. According to Wiki, Jom + Terry “was the backup band led by American punk legend Mike Watt (formerly of The Minutemen and Firehose) for tours of the USA and Canada in 2001 and 2002. The band, in addition to Watt on vocals and bass, included Tom Watson (Slovenly, Red Krayola) on guitar and vocals and Jerry Trebotic on drums.” $20, 8 p.m.

Also tonight….

Is it me or is The Brothers Lounge turning into a regular go-to spot for live music? In the past, Omaha’s most famous bar (with the best jukebox) hosted a live rock show maybe once a month, if that. These days they’re doing shows almost weekly. And anyone who knows the bar’s owners knows they know how to put on a rock show.

You would be wise to follow The Brothers Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/brothersloungeomaha/) to keep up on their many events, like the one tonight.

Tonight The Brothers hosts Omaha’s hardest working noise/garage rock band, David Nance Group. Also on the bill are a couple Los Angeles bands, psych-rock act Olga and dirge band Dimples. $5, 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Brother Ali (at The Waiting Room May 2)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:35 pm April 26, 2017

Brother Ali plays at The Waiting Room May 2.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve been doing these Ten Questions surveys for a year. Few responses have been as well-thought-out as Brother Ali’s, and no one can beat his worst-gig story….

Ten Questions with Brother Ali

When it comes to performing, Brother Ali practically has a second home in Omaha. The Minneapolis native who is part of the world-famous Rhymesayers collective has been touring through Omaha for almost 15 years, bringing his unique brand of social justice-themed hip-hop to an always-eager fan base.

Ali’s new album, All the Beauty in this Whole Life (out May 5 on Rhymesayers) is said to capture “an American Muslim rapper digging deep on themes of compassion and virtue.” He wrote much of it during last year’s presidential campaign, before the election. I can only imagine how he feels 100 days into a Trump presidency.

I caught up with Brother Ali and asked him to take the Ten Questions survey. Here’s what he had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Brother Ali: There are hundreds of albums I could mention, but I listen to A Love Supreme by John Coltrane almost every day. No matter what space or state my heart is in, no matter who I’m with, that album improves everything. It heals when things are bad and illuminates when things are beautiful.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Okay this isn’t a bad song by any means, but “Royals” by Lorde is still stuck in my head from 3 years ago and I never sought it out. I watched the video once and popular culture kinda took it from there. Didn’t feel like I had a choice in the matter.

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

Traveling and pursuing dreams alongside other people gives you a real window into each other’s hearts. I feel like I really know the people I’ve toured with in an intimate way. Hours and months of conversation, and witnessing each other is really beautiful.

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

Hours and months stuck with other people!!!

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

I love a really specific scent called Oud. It comes from a tree in southeast Asia, it’s very rare and expensive, but it smells like heaven to burn in a room or wearing the oil on my body. I’m legally blind, so smell has incredible impact on my state.

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

Okay, this is gonna sound like I’m pandering because I’m talking about your town, but I’ve always had a dear relationship with Omaha. It was the first city outside of my home in Minneapolis to overwhelm me with love on stage. I’ve worked with the same independent promoter for almost 15 years. There are people in the crowd I’ve grown up with.

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

I was asked to do a benefit concert out of state for a friend of mine and the promoter was a homie who’d never thrown a big show before. Instead of a hotel, she figured I could “crash” at one of their friend’s houses. The friend we were raising money for didn’t show up. She wasn’t in the business of promoting concerts, so the fans didn’t get the message, and the show was almost empty. I found out afterward that she’d made the decision to print expensive commemorative posters for the show — a LOT of them, and as a result we hadn’t raised one dollar for the friend we were benefiting. Everyone was too drunk to drive me back to the crash pad and this small town didn’t have cabs or Uber. I ended up spending the night outside the locked airport waiting for them to open the next morning so I could catch my flight home.

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

I’ve been supporting a family of 4 (including a wife in private grad school) since 2002. I’ve been focused on music since I was 7 years old, and had honestly pursued it since grade school. I’m fortunate enough to have a small, but respectable following across the country and around the world. I put an album out every few years and spend the next year touring and selling merch. I usually spend the next year doing colleges, festivals and spot dates while making the next album. I’m also able to pursue my cultural and spiritual interests traveling the world on my time off.

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

I’ve always been a teacher and preacher. If music wasn’t so prevalent, I’d do those full time.

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

I know Malcolm X lived there. My favorite story is one of my own. In 2009 we played a show where there was one fan who was clearly waiting to be the last one to talk to me. I have a habit of standing in the crowd for hours talking to everyone. He kept drinking while waiting and got hammered by the time we got to speak. Even though he stumbled through it, I was happy to see him. He’d been to every show in Omaha for several years. When we were done talking he left, about 5 minutes later we hear a loud crash outside. We run out to find our drunken fan had gotten in his car, tried to drive home and smashed into the trailer attached to my tour van. Wrinkled it up like a soda can. A cop came and I couldn’t believe it, but they let him drive home. When I came back to town a year later, I told the story from stage and asked if he was there that night. It got quiet in the room and someone yelled “he’s in jail!”. Not sure whether or not it’s true, but it was hilarious. I hope the guy is well.

Brother Ali plays with Sa-Roc, Last Word and Sol Messiah Tuesday, May 2, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $15 Adv./$18 DOS. 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Local Natives (Saturday @ Slowdown SOLD OUT)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:45 pm April 6, 2017

Local Natives plays The Slowdown April 8. The show is SOLD OUT.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

When California band Local Natives played a sold out show at The Waiting Room in 2010, the buzz in the crowd that evening was that we were seeing the next Arcade Fire. In the end, they turned out to be something entirely different. The band would return to an even bigger Omaha stage when they played the 2014 edition of the Maha Music Festival. And now they’re playing a sold out Slowdown this Saturday, April 8. That’s an impressive trajectory, though seven years into their career, Arcade Fire was playing stadiums.

Still, Local Natives has nothing to complain about. Their latest album, Sunlit Youth (2016, Loma Vista), anchored by singles like the infectious “Past Lives,” carries their indie-rock sound forward in the same rhythmic, dance-inspired direction as their 2010 debut.

We caught up with the band and gave them the Ten Questions treatment. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Kelcey Ayer provided the answers:

What is your favorite album?

Local Natives’s  Kelcey Ayer: One of my all-time favorite albums (can’t pick just one, that’s crazy) is Portishead’s Third.  I had always loved more somber, melancholy music, but I never had connected to a record that was so fully immersed in that sentiment before.  It was unapologetically and intensely sad.  And the tones of the instruments seemed laboriously fucked with in a way that sounded the perfect amount of “off.”  I felt like it gave me permission to be the kind of artist I wanted to be, like it was ok to go so deep into a feeling.

2. What is your least favorite song?

I worked at a pizza chain called California Pizza Kitchen in southern California, and they only played top 40, which is not totally terrible, unless you’re forced to listen to it for many many hours a week.  Whenever I’m out and about and a song comes on from that time, it always brings me back to the mid 2000s and I start immediately trying to remember an order, throw up a little in my mouth, and then realize I’m being weird in a grocery store and stop it.  There is tie for the most egregious offender of those days, and it’s between Blondie’s cover of “The Tide Is High” and KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and The Cherry Tree.”  I don’t think any song is inherently bad, it takes a lot of effort to make anything, but circumstantially for me, I really, really hate those songs.  I just hate them so much.

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

Creating something that you couldn’t create yourself, whether it’s making a song or playing that song live in a room, having people to rely on to bring a vision to reality is my favorite part of being in a band.  Second-place is touring around the world, which if you’re lucky you get to do, and fortunately we are.  I’m very grateful for that.

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

Having to compromise on a vision you believe in for the greater good.  We’re always coming up with ideas for songs, or music videos, or ways to promote the band, and nine times out of 10 they get shot down by the group, which makes it hard to stay motivated.  But that’s the way it goes in a group of creative people.

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

I love beer.  The US has been a great place for beer over the last 10 years, so to be a beer fan is very exciting right now.  There are breweries, brew-pubs, bottle shops; all sorts of beer outlets popping up everywhere right now, so it’s pretty easy to find a good beer anywhere you go these days.  I was at a bar in the middle of nowhere Kansas and they still had Lagunitas IPA on tap, it was great!

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

Los Angeles is home and will always be our favorite place to play.  We’ve spent the most time there and played almost every club when we were coming up, and it will always be the first city to have embraced us.  Austin is a close second, SXSW was a big help for us.

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

Those files are sealed because we wanna play there again and have a better show.  All I’ll say is it was somewhere in England.

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?

This is our only job, yes.  I remember back in 2009 arguing with Taylor in Santa Barbara about upping our per-diems from $5 a day to $10, but he’s a financial stickler and was right to deny me.  We just didn’t have the money.  I would buy Subway foot-long subs and eat one half for lunch and the other for dinner.  We barely scraped by.  So when we did a publishing deal at the end of 2009 and got our first bit of money, I bought a Chipotle burrito and ate the whole thing!  Since then it’s been a thrilling roller coaster ride of getting fat and skinny now that I can afford to.

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

I’d love to act in something, or make a movie.  I’ve always been really into film and love getting taken away from reality and into a new world.  I feel like I’m a dreamer, and watching movies is like being in a dream while you’re awake.  When it’s really hitting you hard it feels like a drug.  As far as a profession I’d hate, I guess anywhere I’d have to be quiet.  I’m a loud guy.

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

I never heard of Omaha until I fell in love with my first favorite band: 311.  Super random for sure, but your first music loves always are, and I’ll always have a soft spot for them.  I felt like I was in the twilight zone the other day when Dark Days was pitted against a new 311 single for a radio station voting contest in Kansas City.  My brain almost broke to read Local Natives and 311 in the same sentence.  I wholeheartedly believe in voting, but in that case, I chose not to.

Local Natives plays with Little Scream Saturday, April 8, at The Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This show is SOLD OUT. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Dinosaur Jr. (at The Waiting Room March 18); Jabid, Big Slur tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 7:41 am March 16, 2017

Dinosaur Jr., form left, J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph. The band plays The Waiting Room Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

What is the soundtrack to your youth? For some very hip folks in their 30s, 40s and 50s, that soundtrack would have to include Dinosaur Jr. The band has been at it in one form or another since 1984, releasing their debut — a mish-mash of punk, heavy-metal and C&W — under the name Dinosaur in 1985.

Back then it was J Mascis on guitar, Lou Barlow on bass and Murph on drums. Just like the rest us, that line-up would go through some changes over the years, but would circle back to its original line-up in 2006 and pretty much stay that way right up to the band’s latest, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not (2016, Jagjaguwar). In between, the band released seminal albums like 1987’s You’re Living All Over Me, 1991’s Green Mind, 1993’s Where You Been and 2007’s Beyond, keeping that soundtrack going for the next generation (and the generation after that).

We caught up with Dinosaur Jr. drummer Murph and asked him to take our Ten Questions survey.

1. What is your favorite album?

Murph: Jimi Hendrix’s Axis Bold as Love

2. What is your least favorite song?

Wham’s, “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”

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

Performing live on stage is the best thing about being in a band.

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

Constant compromise, hardest thing about being in a band.

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

Coffee

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

New York

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

Worst  gig was in Pawtucket RI, sketchy vibe, and horrible sound.

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 haven’t always been able to support myself through my music and it has taken a long time. I’ve supplemented my income with drum lessons and odd jobs.

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

Profession I’d like to try is teacher or therapist, and worst profession would be being a cop.

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

Omaha Nebraska, “where’s the Beef”!  My mother always used to order Omaha steaks at Christmas time.

Dinosaur Jr. plays with Easy Action Saturday, March 18 at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $22 Adv./$25 DOS. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

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Get your pre-St. Patrick’s Day partying in before us idiots take over.

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s Jabid (Javid’s project), False Brother and Stephen Nichols. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at experimental art/noise space Project Project, 1818 Vinton St., Big Slur (Dan Scheuerman’s project) opens for Amulets along with Teetah and Erinome. Let’s face it, I’ve never heard any of these acts, but Dan says it’ll be good. $6, 7 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Tonight) and Chuck Prophet (Tuesday at The Waiting Room)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:45 pm March 13, 2017

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Two, count ’em two Ten Questions interviews! Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is tonight, while Chuck Prophet is tomorrow night. Both are at The Waiting Room.

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Ten Questions with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

I’m not sure how this will sound to the creative force behind Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, frontman Alec Ounsworth, but maybe the band’s slow disintegration was the best thing to happen to him? After all, the new CYHSY album, The Tourist, is my favorite recording by the band.

The Tourist sounds like a cross between Radiohead and anthemic Arcade Fire. Ounsworth has that yearning Thom Yorke vocal styling going on, while the chiming synths and electric guitars, and snap-crack percussion on “Better Off” recall DIIV’s atmospheric essence.

I’ve never heard the back story behind the band’s erosion, only that the four-piece that broke big with its self-released 2005 debut had dwindled to just Ounsworth after 2014’s Only Run. He described the new record as “a type of purge.”

“I am a relatively solitary person and seem to work best alone,” he said. “I do count on others to help the project as the process of making and releasing an album moves forward, but if it doesn’t match what I have in mind, it’s hard for me to really be there for it. I guess this is one reason why the project has been independent all this time. Trust me, I understand that thinking this way is both an asset and a liability.”

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

1. What is your favorite album?

Alec Ounsworth: I have been listening to a lot of Randy Newman lately . . .

2. What is your least favorite song?

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

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

I guess the travel.

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

The travel.

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

Coffee

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

New York is usually nice.  Tokyo is great.  Omaha is fantastic.

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

We had a rough one in Birmingham, Alabama, some years ago.  Usually there are technical difficulties involved. I imagine this was the case.

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

I am lucky enough to be able to support myself through music.  It took years to get there.

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 play professional basketball. I would not like to play semi-professional basketball.

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

I have heard that it is bigger than I thought it was.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah plays with Vita and the Woolf Monday, March 13, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $16. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com
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Chuck Prophet plays at The Waiting Room March 14.

Ten Questions with Chuck Prophet

California rocker Chuck Prophet has taken a long road to stardom, starting in the ’80s with psychrock/Americana band Green on Red. Prophet went onto work with a number of music luminaries including Alejandro Escovedo, Kelly Willis and Lucinda Williams while nurturing his own solo career.

Prophet’s latest, Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins (2017, Yep Rock), is classic barroom rock with Prophet sounding like the second coming of Ray Davies. He said the album was inspired partly by the mysterious death of rocker Bobby Fuller in LA in 1966. “California has always represented the Golden Dream, and it’s the tension between romance and reality that lurks underneath the surface in all noir films and paperbacks, and that connects these songs,” Prophet said.

We caught up with Chuck and asked him to take our Ten Questions survey:

1. What is your favorite album?

London Calling by The Clash

2. What is your least favorite song?

Pavarotti once said he hated the sound of his own voice. Only one voice he liked less. Add that was Placido Domingo. I’m sure my least fave song it out there. I just haven’t heard it yet.

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

When it’s all clicking, it’s just a great joyride playing with a band as great as The Mission Express.

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

Hate is a strong word. But there are people out there don’t know that The Old Man in the Sea is not about fishing. Being in a band. It’s a shared experience. And that’s the best and worst part of it. There’s no way to share a pulled muscle with somebody else. Pain. We do that on our own.

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

I appreciate a good bowl of cereal. That’s hard question. But if you ask me, “Who’s your favorite drummer?” There’s no one answer to that. That’s like saying, “What do you like best for lunch. Do you like tuna fish sandwiches?”

9. How much do you tip?

I always tip 20% and I always round up.

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

Austin, TX

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

Albany, NY. I’d have to start taking medication if I revisited that night.

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?

Too long. I’ve been playing in bands since I was 12 years old. There have been times where I washed dishes, parked cars, or even gathered signatures. But mostly, I haven’t had a job other than playing music and writing songs. I don’t know if I’ve been making a living. But, I suppose not having a real job is a start.

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

I doubt it’s much fun being a corrections officer.  And I’m sure it’s pretty stressful and altogether unpleasant. Madness. Short leashes. But people who can do that? With dignity. I have to give them my respect.

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

Seems like a good and livable place. Been there a long time. They must be doing something right. I once drove across the country by myself. Sat in a Borders in Omaha from the time it opened until it closed. People came and went. Kids were doing homework. I got to know the staff. It was a good time. I made up my own stories about them.

Chuck Prophet plays Tuesday, March 14, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $17 Adv./$20 DOS. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

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

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with NE-HI (tomorrow night at Reverb Lounge)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:41 pm March 1, 2017

NE-HI plays at Reverb Lounge March 2.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Jangle-buzz garage rock band NE-HI is the product the Chicago house show scene, emerging from a Logan Square DIY space called Animal Kingdom in 2013. The four-piece, fronted by guitarist/vocalist Mikey Wells, slowly crawled onto bigger stages on the strength of its live shows and the band’s self-titled 2014 debut.

The next thing you know, NE-HI was touring with Black Lips, Car Seat Headrest and Chicago bros Twin Peaks, including a swing through Omaha last June for a set that reminded me of Stone Roses circa 1990. Most of the tracks on the band’s follow-up, Offers (2017, Grand Jury), were recorded live in studio to capture their trademark house-show energy.

We caught up with frontman Mickey Wells and gave him the Ten Questions treatment:

1. What is your favorite album?

Mickey Wells: My favorite album right now is the first Ramones album. I hadn’t listened to it in a long time and i forgot how cool and funny the lyrics are.

2. What is your least favorite song?

My least favorite song of all time is “The Long and Winding Road” by the Beatles. It’s both long and winding and is sentimental crap.

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

I really enjoy playing the shows and going to different towns and meeting new people and making friends. It’s a cool way to see the country.

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

Smelling bad on tour.

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

Either coffee or the weed honey I put in my coffee. The lines are blurred!

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

I like Atlanta a lot. Good food, nice people and it’s usually a fun crowd.

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

In NYC our first time we played there we drove a super long time and then played in a coat closet and the sound person kept telling us to turn down the whole time. That was a bummer.

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?

Kind of half and half. We make some money playing music but we also all have jobs at home when we’re not touring.

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

Maybe some sort of writer or painter. But a successful one haha.

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

I’ve heard about the legend of infamous Omaha omega swamp monster. It supposedly roams the night in search of touring musicians and rats to eat!

NE-HI plays with Nathan Ma & the Rosettes and Wrong Pets Thursday, March 2, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Tickets are $10; showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

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

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Mike Doughty (at The Waiting Room Feb. 15)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:48 pm February 14, 2017

Mike Doughty plays The Waiting Room Feb. 15.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Mike Doughty’s music is deceptively simple but is, in fact, a sophisticated take on modern pop that reaches beyond simple rock and folk genre designations to something smarter, broader and ultimately, genuine.

A brief history: Doughty was the frontman to ’90s alternative band Soul Coughing, a bratty NYC four-piece that combined post-grunge, funk and indie into infectious rock centered around Doughty’s deep, brassy voice and whip-smart lyrics. Contemporaries included acts like Cake, Morphine, Eels and Fun Lovin’ Criminals. After releasing three successful albums on Warners, the band split up in 2000.

Doughty struck out on his own. The story goes that he sold more than 20,000 copies of his self-released EP Skittish out of the trunk of his car. It was none other than Dave Matthews that rediscovered Doughty in 2004 and rereleased his early solo EPs on his own ATO Records. Fourteen years and as many albums later, Doughty released the sublime The Heart Watches While the Brain Burns last year via PledgeMusic.

While his music recalls acts like Mountain Goats, Matt Pond PA, Rogue Wave and Spoon, Doughty’s style is more varied, inventive but no less catchy. We caught up with Doughty and asked him to answer our Ten Questions survey. Here’s what he said:

1. What is your favorite album?

Mike Doughty: What a question! I think the album that changed my life that I’ve been listening to most often of late has been Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs.

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother’s House We Go.” I mean, to hell with that song.

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

Surprises — when the other musicians on stage do something fascinating and new during the show.

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

When you go back to the hotel and there’s no Law and Order of any variety on any channel.

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

Cheese.

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

Omaha!

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

I had a terrible show in Amherst, Ohio, in a yoga studio. I don’t know why I was playing a yoga studio. But there were drunks that couldn’t stop babbling in the middle of this very intimate quiet show, and the yoga queen who ran the joint was a total control hippie.

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. I started being able to not have a job in about 1994.

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 write long-form fiction one day. I worked in a McDonald’s when I was 16 and it was incredibly dehumanizing.

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

I don’t know if I have stories. My best memory is walking from a hotel room to the tour bus on a cold, clear night, and seeing the Woodmen building looming majestically in the distance.

Mike Doughty performs with Wheatus Wednesday, Feb. 15, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $17. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

One update on yesterday’s item regarding the move of Milk Run from its Leavenworth location. I mentioned that last weekend’s shows were the venue’s last. Apparently that’s not the case. Lucas Wright of Black Heart Booking pointed out that he still has a show booked at Milk Run this Thursday featuring an acoustic set from Off With Their Heads plus Rackatees, Dummy Head Torpedo and Jeff Miller. I’d hate for people not to go to this show because they read yesterday’s item.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Dereck Higgins Experience, Wagon Blasters, Big Al Band; Ten Questions with Dawes; Bandcamp results…

Category: Blog,Interviews,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:42 pm February 6, 2017

Dereck Higgins Experience at O’Leaver’s, Feb. 4, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Dereck Higgins, one of Omaha’s most prolific musicians, unveiled yet another new project Saturday night at fabulous O’Leaver’s. This new four-piece combo, called The Dereck Higgins Experience (or DHX, as he referred to it from stage), continued in a similar jazz fusion direction heard on Higgins’ recent solo album, Flyover Country. In fact, the combo created a live version of  at least one song from the movie soundtrack.

On bass and synths and acting the role of Emcee, Higgins was joined by James Cuato Ballarin on synths/wind instruments, Aaron Gum on synths, and stellar guitarist Jacob Cubby Phillips. All but Gum also are in progressive jazz band Chemicals, a more experimental, free-form combo than DHX, whose set felt split between smoother fusion numbers a la Spyro Gyra, and funky, digital-fueled jazz concepts. Less intricate and less challenging than Chemicals, DHX’s music likely is more accessible to a larger audience.

I’m told this offshoot of Chemicals isn’t a replacement for that band, who according to Higgins has a scheduled gig at the Harney Street Tavern Friday night, while DHX will play the following evening at The Down Under.

Next up was Wagon Blasters who were in particularly fine form, maybe because it was Guitarist William Thornton’s birthday. Gary Dean Davis yelled through a rowdy set of trademark tractor-punk rock songs, doing his darndest to break through O’Leaver’s floor and onto the birthday/karaoke party going on in the basement.

As a lark, I tried streaming Wagon Blasters’ set via Facebook Live through the faux window sills off stage left. You can still view a recording of the performance in Facebook (or below). Scroll to the 23:38 mark in the video to see Gary’s epic punk-rock stage fall!

Finally, Big Al Band closed out the night with his flying V and Holly Pop on the drum kit. Favorite moment of the set — the final song wherein Al swapped out the V for a bass for a go at song called “Jolly Roger.” Nice.

As mentioned, O’Leaver’s now has a basement party room. I snuck (sneaked?) down there Saturday night and was pleasantly surprised at the set-up, which includes a full bar and karaoke stage, all of which is available for rental at a bargain price. Let’s see, sand volleyball, live music, tiki bar, two outdoor beer gardens and now a karaoke party room? What more can O’Leaver’s squeeze into their entertainment complex?

* * *

As you see below, I’m continuing the Ten Questions series both here and in The Reader. I recently got some push back from a publicist, asking if I would be able to do an actual interview with the band he represents rather than the survey. Fact is, I simply don’t have time to interview and write band features for every interesting act coming through town (and considering the pay for these features ($0.00), can’t afford it.). The Ten Questions format allows me to hype a touring indie band’s upcoming show in a way that’s not too time taxing. Let me know what you think of these surveys…

 

Dawes, photo by Matt Jacoby.

LA folk-rock band Dawes epitomizes a style of music I grew up listening to — tequila sunrise ’70s soft rock. You know what I’m talking about — those laid-back groovy bands they used to play on the FM (and AM) stations and still do if you have a classic rock channel in your town (and who doesn’t?).

But somewhere/somehow over the past few years it’s become accepted for snotty, tone-deaf hipsters and hipster wannabes to denigrate (via Facebook) music infused with a peaceful, easy feeling. And that’s a shame, because the new folk rock that they often laud — from the likes of Wilco, Ben Kweller, Jenny Lewis and even our very own Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band — owe much of their sound to those FM giants.

Certainly Dawes does. That classic ’70s El-Lay studio sound is evident on their latest album, We’re All Gonna Die (2016, HUB Records), which, at times, reminds me of One of These Nights-era Eagles (there, I said it). On songs like the title track, the slow burnin’ “Roll with the Punches,” the wah-wah funk of “When the Tequila Runs Out,” heck, just about every track, Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith unapologetically puts a modern spin on AOR gold, sounding like the second coming of Don Henley or Glenn Frey, complete with warm-cushion vocal harmonies. And that’s about as cool as it gets.

We caught up with Taylor Goldsmith and asked him to take our Ten Questions survey. Here’s what he had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Taylor Goldsmith: Always changing but I often go back to Warren Zevon self-titled.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Even though she’s one of my heroes and maybe the greatest songwriter that ever lived, there’s a song called “Not To Blame” by Joni Mitchell that I really hate.

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

The shows. The songs get to change shape every night and we get to pull out old ones we haven’t played in years sometimes.

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

Being gone from home so much of the year. While I love touring, it’s hard to keep a semblance of a normal life in order by being gone over half the year sometimes.

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

Coffee. I always want more coffee. About to make some.

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

We love playing at home for our friends and family and also love playing places like Nashville or NYC for the amazing venues and sold out shows, but there is also something special about coming into cities we’ve never been to or rarely play and having those more intimate experiences. It’s fun to still be building audiences in cities. It feels like we’re going into the past and future of the band from night to night depending where we are.

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

An LA show in 2012. I had really lost my voice. I got a steroid shot and it made it a lot worse. By the time we got onstage I could barely whisper. But we couldn’t cancel because everyone was there already and I didn’t want to let the band down. It was rough.

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?

Yeah, music pays the bills. We quit our jobs and moved out of our homes the day before our first tour for North Hills. It meant we couldn’t afford places for a while, but we’ve never had jobs since.

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

It’d be fun to be a novelist. I really idolize those guys. My brain just doesn’t work that way though. I’d hate to do just about anything that meant I couldn’t go outside during the day.

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

Well our good buddy Conor Oberst lives there so any stories we know are somehow indirectly connected to him and the community he’s introduced us to. After spending some serious time there (more time than we typically can in a city during tour) we’ve really fallen in love with Omaha and have been looking forward to this show for a while.

An Evening with Dawes is Tuesday, February 7, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $23 Adv./$25 DOS. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

* * *
Bandcamp says it sold nearly a million dollars worth of music on Friday: “With several hours remaining, we estimate that fans will have bought just over $1,000,000 worth of music today, which is 550% more than a normal Friday (already our biggest sales day of the week). All of our share of that (12%) goes directly to the ACLU. The other 88% (less transaction fees) goes directly to the labels and artists…

A lot of those labels and artists also donated their share to ACLU or other charities. If you bought something, good for you. We’re going to see a lot more of these kinds of efforts over the next four years as the current administration continues to do all it can to dismantle the nation’s arts, take away women’s rights and bar immigrants from our borders. Do what you can; it makes a difference.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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 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