There’s got to be a morning after…

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

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That doesn’t stop them, though.

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

* * *

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

Lazy-i

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

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

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

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

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

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

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

1. What is your favorite album?

Adam Turla: Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust

2. What is your least favorite song?

Pretty much anything Top 40.

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

Writing, being creative.

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

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

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

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

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

Anywhere where folks care!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

Lazy-i

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

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

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

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

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

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

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

1. What is your favorite album?

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

2. What is your least favorite song?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. How do you pay your bills?

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

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

* * *

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Crushed Out — the husband-and-wife team of Frankie Sunswept on guitar and Moselle Spiller on drums — headlines a show that also includes The Sub-Vectors, Bruiser Queen and Huge Fucking Waves. $5, 9 p.m.

* * *

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

Lazy-i

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

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

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

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

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

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

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

1. What is your favorite album?

Dan Andriano: The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths

2. What is your least favorite song?

“She’ll Be Comin Round The Mountain”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

* * *

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

 

Lazy-i

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

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

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

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then comes Sunday and this show at The Waiting Room:

Of Montreal plays at The Waiting Room Oct. 16.

Of Montreal plays at The Waiting Room Oct. 16.

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

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

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

1. What is your favorite album?

Kevin Barnes: Lamentations by Moses Sumney

2. What is your least favorite song?
 


The National Anthem

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



Being wild and free.

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



Practicing

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



Glass

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



Santa Fe

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



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


8. How do you pay your bills? 



With money

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



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

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



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

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

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

* * *

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

Lazy-i

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

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

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

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

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

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

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

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

Flock opens at the Little Gallery tonight.

FLOCK opens at the Little Gallery tonight.

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

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

The weekend closes out Sunday at Reverb…

Cymbals Eat Guitars plays Reverb Sunday night.

Cymbals Eat Guitars plays Reverb Sunday night.

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

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

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

What is your favorite album?

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

2. What is your least favorite song?

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

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

The four of us in a room playing.

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

Making more money than I know what to do with.

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

Advil

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

NYC

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

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

8. How do you pay your bills?

Day jobs.

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

Interior design; stand-up comedy.

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

Lazy-i

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

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

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

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

What is your favorite album?

Megan: Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd.

Rebecca: Living with the Law, Chris Whitley.

What is your least favorite song?

“This Is The Song That Never Ends”

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

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

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

What do you hate about being in a band?

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

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

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Megan: Cheddar flavored popcorn. It should be illegal.

Rebecca: Patchouli oil.

In what city or town do you love to perform?

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

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

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

How do you pay your bills?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

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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…

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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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