Review: Metropolitan Farms (a.k.a. what Joe Kobjerowski has been up to); Porches tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:52 pm September 27, 2016
Metropolitan Farms, featuring Joe Kobjerowski on drums.

Metropolitan Farms, featuring Joe Kobjerowski on drums.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve been burning a hole in my iPhone listening to the new album by Portland rock band Metropolitan Farms. Wha? Never heard of them?

Metropolitan Farms is the latest project by legendary former Nebraska drummer Joe Kobjerowski. Joe was the drummer in seminal ’90s Omaha tractor punk bands Frontier Trust and Pioneer Disaster as well as Darktown House Band, among others. He moved to Portland a long time ago (more than a decade ago?).

Metropolitan Farms, Oafish Twist (2016)

Metropolitan Farms, Oafish Twist (2016)

Out of the blue last week I saw that Metropolitan Farms is having a CD release show at Portland’s The Foggy Notion this weekend for their latest album, Oafish Twist, which is available on Bandcamp. It’s the best $7 I’ve spent this year. The album  is loaded with well-crafted jangle-pop rock songs reminiscent of acts like The dBs, Tommy Keene and The Smithereens.

I asked Joe how he met the guys in Metropolitan Farms.

“I was playing in a band out here called The Lodge Club (with Dave Sullivan and Nancy Wieblehaus…both Nebraska folks also…Dave played in the legendary Lincoln band, Trout Mystery, and Nancy played with Dave Cosgrove in a couple different bands) and one night we played with a band called Metropolitan,” Kobjerowski said. “They were a weird and quirky pop band with great songs.  But, more importantly, they were _super_ awesome people.”

He said they all quickly became friends. “A year or so later, Metropolitan was in the middle of a recording project when they asked if I wanted to come by, learn two or three songs, and record with them.  After that, I just sort of kept forcing myself on them until I was in the band permanently.  Eventually, Metropolitan dissolved and Josh (Mayer, guitar), Linc (McGrath, bass) and I became Metropolitan Farms.”

Kobjerowski said the band has been working on this new album for three years. Will we ever get a chance to see and hear them play on an Omaha stage? Highly doubtful, Joe said. The band’s never toured before, and isn’t likely to. So you’ll just have to enjoy them on your stereo system. Go to their Bandcamp page and download a copy. You’ll thank me later.

* * *

Milk Run is on a roll. Tonight their hosting Porches, who I described back in April as: “Porches is Aaron Maine, a NYC musician who recorded his debut full-length, Pool (2016, Domino), mostly in his Manhattan apartment before sending it to LA to be mixed by Chris Coady (Beach House, Grizzly Bear). The production is crisp with bouncing rhythms and glowing synths that sit beneath Maine’s bright vocals.”  Also on the bill are Japanese Breakfast (Michelle of Little Big League) and Rivergazer. $10, 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.

 

Share | Email | Bookmark

Lazy-i

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.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Eros and the Eschaton; Oberst talks Omaha in NY Mag; Dog Party, Swingin’ Utters tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:47 pm September 19, 2016
Eros and the Eschaton at Reverb Lounge, Sept. 16, 2016.

Eros and the Eschaton at Reverb Lounge, Sept. 16, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It must be a pleasure for local musicians and bands who have moved away to return to their homes on tour and see all their comrades again. No doubt that was the case Friday night at Reverb for Adam Hawkins when his band, Eros and the Eschaton, played a sort of homecoming show.

With old friends scattered in the audience, Hawkins and his crew rifled through a deep selection from the band’s new album, Weight of Matter (2016, Bar None), closing with my two favorites from the recording: The spacey, floating “Center of the World” (wherein I could have sworn Hawkins changed the lyric on the main line of the song) and the brazen, post-punk burner “Rxx” that highlights co-frontperson Kate Perdoni barking out the staccato lines in all her feral glory.

Here’s a band that changes your perception of them when they perform live. Like, for example, Hawkins sang a lot more of the leads than I thought he did on the album. You could argue he has a higher voice than Perdoni. I also was impressed at the amount of guitar work Perdoni performed, spending a lot of time kneeling down, bending her strings alongside a bank of foot pedals.

I also learned (I think) how bands create that underwater, shimmy guitar sound so prominent on My Bloody Valentine albums. Hawkins grasped his whammy bar the entire time he stroked that guitar, which I assume constantly loosens and tightens the strings, causing that uneasy, drunken shimmy effect. Or maybe not. I’ll let the guitarists chime in to clarify. A final surprise was how little Hawkins and Perdoni harmonized — a lot of the harmonies were provided by the keyboard player.

Now a full band (including a dynamic drummer) Eros and the Eschaton have evolved beyond the duo-centric performance I saw a few years back. The band wraps up this tour tomorrow night in Chicago before heading out East again in a few weeks, closing out the tour with a gig at Cake Shop in Manhattan. Here’s hoping a solid album and all this touring helps them break through the waves.

* * *

Culture site vulture.com this morning posted a lengthy feature on Conor Oberst that also appeared in the September issue of New York magazine. In it, Oberst recaps the last year or so of his life in Omaha, as well as the years leading up to it, including his health scare and rape allegation bullshit that turned his world upside down. You get a snapshot of what it’s like in La Casa Oberst as well as a sense that Omaha represented a necessary healing environment amidst a time of chaos. It’s an interesting read.

The article precedes the Oct. 14 release of his next solo album, Ruminations, which comes out on Nonesuch, as well as the release of the massive Bright Eyes box set, which was slated for release by Saddle Creek Records last Friday but has apparently been pushed back (due to manufacturing delays) until Oct. 21.

* * *

There’s a couple hot shows happening tonight…

At fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s the return of Baltimore duo Dog Party (Asian Man, Burger Records).  Joining them are fellow Baltimore-ites Wing Dam, Every Goddess Wanted and Muscle Cousins (the Matz brood of Andy, Mari and Collin). $7, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, classic Bay Area punk band Swingin’ Utters (Fat Wreck Chords) plays at Lookout Lounge with Lincoln’s The Killigans and our very own Hand Painted Police Car. $12, 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

Album Review Sam Evian, Premium (2016, Saddle Creek); Off With Their Heads, Bad Cop / Bad Cop tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:59 pm September 14, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

From the label’s earliest days, there have been those who have sworn there’s a “Saddle Creek sound” that iconically identifies every act on the roster. And, of course, they’ve always been wrong. There is no sonic common denominator that linked Bright Eyes with Cursive with The Faint, nor with late-comers like Ladyfinger, Rilo Kiley or Son Ambulance, and certainly not with latter-day acts starting as far back as Tokyo Police Club through the list of artists you may already have forgotten, like Rural Alberta Advantage and Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson.

If there was a common thread among Creek artists, one could point toward solid song-writing and an uncompromising approach to the music that seemed genuine and unselfish. No one can accuse a Saddle Creek act of trying to write a hit song to benefit themselves or the label. Just didn’t happen (as far as I know). Instead, acts were — and are — free to make their own decisions based on the music they want to make, for better or worse, and commerce be damned.

Maybe that same philosophy drives the label’s roster decisions. After all, how does an act like Sam Evian fit into Saddle Creek’s history of signings? What qualities did the staff hear that made them decide, “We need to sign this guy; he belongs on Saddle Creek Records”? It certainly wasn’t a commerce-driven decision. I can’t imagine anyone thought, “Sam Evian’s gonna make this label a fortune.” It’s a head-scratcher.

Sam Evian, Premium (2016, Saddle Creek)

Sam Evian, Premium (2016, Saddle Creek)

So no, after listening to Premium for the past few weeks, the new album by Sam Evian, I can’t figure out why the label signed them. But then again, who would have thought that recent roster additions Big Thief and Hop Along were natural Saddle Creek bands? None have ties with Nebraska or sound like anyone else on the label.

Sam Evian’s music has a casual pop sound, an easy-going, loping meter augmented by glowing guitar tones, lilting synths and Sam Owens’ (the real Sam Evian) cooing voice that add up to the perfect soundtrack for walking barefoot along a West Coast beach at sunset. Call it Indie Yacht Rock; these tracks would sound right at home next to ’70s FM soft rock heroes Boz Scaggs, Player, Stephen Bishop, 10 cc and Bertie Higgins.

There are modern touch-stones as well. I was reminded of laid-back Kurt Vile and Foxygen. Highlights include the screaming sax solo on “Dark Love,” the 10 cc-sh “I Need a Man” and opening track and natural first single “Sleep Easy.” The whole album is warm and pretty and easy to take in, but unlike some of the more substantial Saddle Creek releases over the years, that good feeling is rather fleeting. Like a walk on the beach, the golden moment is lost after the sun goes down. This isn’t life-changing music, but it’s fun.

How does the album fit into the Creek catalogue? For those who’ve come to expect a quality product from the Saddle Creek imprint release-after-release, they won’t be disappointed. And maybe that’s the only requirement that matters. Premium comes out Sept. 30.

* * *

I felt as if I had to write something about Saddle Creek after a post on Facebook a few days ago about tonight’s Off With Their Heads show at Lookout Lounge suggested I only write about O’Leaver’s and Saddle Creek bands. Pshaw… (though, yeah, I do write a lot about Saddle Creek and O’Leaver’s…).

Minneapolis punk band Off With Their Heads records for Epitaph. They’ve toured with Bad Religion and Dropkick Murphys, among others. Openers include West Coast act Bad Cop / Bad Cop (Fat Wreck Chords), Omaha hardcore act Stronghold and The Ridgways. $15, 8 p.m.

* * *

Quick Note: That big (but actually quite small) show I mentioned last week that I didn’t get to announce will be announced tomorrow at noon… probably.

* * *

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: Clarence Tilton at a block party; Terror Pigeon, Iska Dhaaf tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:42 pm September 12, 2016
Clarence Tilton at the Parkwood Lane Bluegrass Festival, Sept. 10, 2016.

Clarence Tilton at the Parkwood Lane Bluegrass Festival, Sept. 10, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

From the porch of my house on Sunset Trail I could see the lights glowing from the stage through the trees. This was no ordinary block party, it was the Parkwood Lane Bluegrass Festival, an event that’s been held since 2014 along the said neighborhood street between Western and Underwood. It’s gotten bigger every year; this year’s featured performer was Clarence Tilton. Next year I expect Wilco to headline.

Despite the stage and professional sound (Hiddleston is first class), it really is just an annual block party. The street was blocked off on either end and long tables were set up leading to the stage, which was a riser surrounded by white Christmas lights strung from poles. It was like a small-town concert, with kids tooling around on push-scooters screaming and laughing, people in groups drinking beers and wine, a portable fire pit and kiosk loaded with flat-panels that showed night college football games for those who couldn’t bear missing a snap.

What I found interesting was how everyone knew everyone; whereas I didn’t know anyone on the street. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised — I don’t live on Parkwood Lane. But then I got to thinking about how many people I really know on my street; know by name. Or who know me. The number is maybe five or six? That’s what happens when you don’t have kids. If you have kids, well, you’re going to know everyone in a four-block radius…who has kids. That’s how it’s always been and should be.

Anyway, we sat on a hay bale and listened as the Clarence Tilton gang ripped though a set of alt-country songs that deserve attention from the rest of the world. At the core is the Weber Brothers on electric guitars and vocals, surrounded by some of the tightest-playing musicians in Omaha. Though alt-country in style, the music reminded me of bands like The Rave-Ups, The Reivers, The Windbreakers and Uncle Tupelo. It’s music that will appeal both to country fans and fans of good, upbeat, tuneful indie music. In fact, I don’t know why they haven’t been discovered by a label. Their debut album, which came out last year, is among the best things produced out of Nebraska.

Though I didn’t see anyone doing a two-step (which got me thinking, these guys really should try playing a few sets at Bushwackers in Ralston) the neighborhood looked like it was having a good time. And the sound was immaculate. We left after about an hour, and of course, was able to continue listening from our house, and didn’t mind at all…

* * *

Tonight there’s a pretty cool electronic/dance show at Lookout Lounge. I haven’t been able to find a shit-ton of info about the headliner, Terror Pigeon, on the interwebs. The best info was from this 2014 Stereogum article:

…formed as Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, it’s a collective that was created in 2008 by then-SUNY Purchase student Neil Fridd. They signed to David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label and put out one full-length in 2010, the charmingly-titled ‘I love you! I love you! I love you and I’m in love with you! Have an awesome day! Have the best day of your life!’ They were written up in The New York Times and played shows at SXSW, CMJ, and around DIY venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Their emoji-heavy website shows that they’ve been touring consistently for the past four years since the release of their debut. With “Girl!,” they’ve officially started the rollout for their sophomore album, called Live It Up Before You Die It Up!, which will be released through Nashville-based label Stay Magical.

Their music reminds me of Matt & Kim, sorta, though I like TP’s music a lot more.  Also on the bill is Real Dom, a lap-top dance dude. Locals Thick Paint (Graham Ulicny of Reptar) and Big Slur (Dan Scheuerman of Deleted Scenes) open. $5, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, Iska Dhaaf,  is playing a sneaky show at Milk Run. Sneaky because it came out of nowhere. They played at O’Leaver’s this past April (BTW, here’s Ten Questions with Iska Dhaaf written in support of that show.)Opening are Idle Fox and King Pegion.  $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.

Lazy-i

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.

 

 

Lazy-i

Live Review: Eric in Outerspace, Triathalon; Dowsing, Diners at Milk Run…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 11:10 am September 1, 2016
Eric in Outerspace at O'Leaver's, Aug. 31, 2016.

Eric in Outerspace at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 31, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

How is it, you ask, that I’m able to go out to a rock show during the busy work week? Well, instead of my annual trip to NYC, this year I’m enjoying a “stay-cation” right here in beautiful Omaha. So naturally I don’t have to get up at 5 a.m., which allows for late-night rock ‘n’ roll fun. Like last night’s show at O’Leaver’s.

Triathalon was on deck when I rolled in at around 10:30 to a very sparsely attended show. I’m talking fewer than 20 people were sitting around watching the Savannah four-piece play laid-back R&B-infused rock masquerading as baby-making music for nerdy indie types, all (or mostly sung) in a Beckian falsetto.

Triathalon at O'Leaver's Aug. 31, 2016.

Triathalon at O’Leaver’s Aug. 31, 2016.

For the last tune, frontman Adam Intrator put down the guitar and provided some gnarly shoulder-rollin’ dance moves that got everyone smiling. Also smile-inducing was how he ended every song in the set with a spoken “Thank you.” Nothing wrong with good manners.

Local heroes Eric in Outerspace closed out the show after a lengthy set up as no one could figure out what was wrong with the stage monitors. After a lot of fiddling around, I don’t think it got figured. It didn’t matter to the audience, however, because we could hear the band loud and clear.

Despite apparently being under the weather (you couldn’t tell) frontman Sean Paul and company crushed a set of indie rock songs that stylistically recalled Pavement, Nirvana and assorted ’90s-era indie bands like Vitreous Humor and (I’m not sure why) a slowed down version of New Sweet Breath. There were times when Paul’s voice sounded a bit gravelly but that only added a weathered world-weary nuance.

Favorite songs included one about how much he hates summer and another that featured a grand-build all-hands-on-deck guitar-attack ending. I’m listening to the band’s Soundcloud tracks now and there ain’t a one that I don’t like (especially this one playing right now called “Trailing Away,” which I think was that grand-build song I just mentioned). Check them out when they play O’Leaversfest Sept 23 with Bien Fang and Flowers Forever (reunion?).

* * *

Milk Run has another of its 4-band specials tonight. The headliner is Chicago act Dowsing (Asian Man Records). They call their sound “Chicago emo.” Yeek. Joining them is Diners, which calls their sound “Arizona desert bedroom pop,” and which seems to be an apt description. Laid-back groovy. Opening are locals Timecat and Bed Rest. $7, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Brothers Lounge is hosting a deathmetal show with Horrendous, Flak and Manslaughterer. $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

Album review: Live at DBA; Eric in Outerspace, Triathalon, SA Martin tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 11:32 am August 31, 2016
Sam Martin at O'Leaver's Jan. 29, 2016. He opens for Triathalon tonight at O'Leaver's.

Sam Martin at O’Leaver’s Jan. 29, 2016. He opens for Triathalon tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

We all talk about influential records we owned growing up or when we were gaining our critical footing, figuring out what we like and don’t like (that is, if you were able to form your own opinions without being brainwashed by radio or television, which very few people are). One of those records for me was the original motion picture soundtrack to the film Athens, GA – Inside Out. I bought the record from a cut-out bin having never heard of the movie but recognizing a few of the bands listed on the album sleeve, specifically R.E.M. and Pylon.

It was through that record, which was released in 1987, that I was introduced to The Squalls, Flat Duo Jets, Love Tractor, Time Toy, Bar-B-Que Killers and The Kilkenny Cats. But what I enjoyed most about the record was that it was recorded live at venues throughout Athens. You got a snap-shot of what the scene must have been like during its short-lived hey-day.

Live at DBA, Start Your Own Fucking Show Space (2016, Famous Class)

Live at DBA, Start Your Own Fucking Show Space (2016, Famous Class)

Nearly 30 years later, along comes the three-record set called Start Your Own Fucking Show Space, Live at DBA — or as it was more affectionately known, Death By Audio, a warehouse space in Williamsburg founded in 2007 by Oliver Ackermann of the band A Place to Bury Strangers. DBA hosted more than 1,800 shows before it was evicted by Vice Media in November 2014, effectively ending an era. But before it ended, DBA hosted a month of shows whose recordings make up this album.

Omaha music fans will recognize a lot of the included artists because they’ve also played at places around town like O’Leaver’s, 1% Productions spaces, Sweatshop, house shows or DIY spaces. Among the bands are Parquet Courts, Deerhoof, Pujol, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Screaming Females, Don Deacon, Ty Segall, Future Islands, Metz, Nots, Protomartyr, Jeff: The Brotherhood, Lightning Bolt, as well as some bands I didn’t recognize like Pampers, Shellshag, the Numerators, Downtown Boys, Coasting w/ Patty Conway, Natural Child, Sleepies and Grooms.

The album’s 26 tracks not only document DBA but also an underground indie-garage-noise scene that flourished in small venues throughout the past decade. Every song is a keeper and the massive vinyl set, released by Famous Class Records, is bound to be this generation’s Inside Out. Rating: Yes.

* *

BTW, I could see Live at O’Leaver’s releasing a similar album as Live at DBA. Get on it, Ian.

* *

Speaking of O’Leaver’s, tonight they have an epic show headlined by Eric in Outspace, with Sam Adam Martin and road band Triathalon — a wicked little indie R&B/surf-pop-flavored five piece from Savannah, GA., whose new EP, Cold Shower, comes out Sept. 16 on Broken Circles Records. $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

Another year, another Maha; the day in photos; Hockey Dad tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:59 pm August 22, 2016
The crowd with hands in the air, as directed by Vince Staples during Saturday's Maha Music Festival.

The crowd with hands in the air, as directed by Vince Staples during Saturday’s Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve written a lengthy review of Saturday’s Maha Music Festival, but it won’t appear until the September issue of The Reader comes out in a couple weeks. Boo!

That said, here’s the CliffsNotes version: The weather was great, the park was wet, and the music for the most part was pretty good. Favorite bands of the day were (no surprise) Car Seat Headrest, Diet Cig (actually a huge surprise considering how poor their Slowdown set was a few months back) and Grimes. Diarrhea Planet also was a surprise, as I’ve never been a fan of their records.

All the locals I saw were good, but especially See Through Dresses. Matthew Sweet sounded shit-loads better than he did at 1200 Club a year or so ago (but how could he not considering how poor the sound was that night?). That said, he played too long. Someone should have told him he wasn’t the headliner.

Jay Farrar Trio was fine. Kind of boring, actually. Vince Staples did not resonate with me, but I don’t like that style of tuneless hyper-rap (but the crowd sure did). The Joy Formidable were technically on point playing forgettable songs.

Who am I missing? Oh yeah, the headliner. I made it through three Passion Pit songs before heading out. They weren’t awful, they just weren’t that interesting. But as I say in the review, I’ve never stuck around for the full set of Maha’s closing band.

Anyway, read the whole review when it comes out long after you’ve forgotten this year’s festival. It’ll be like Groundhog Day for those of you who went (Yes, I miss the days when The Reader was a weekly…). In the meantime, here are some photos taken at Saturday’s show…

Diet Cig drew a surprisingly large crowd for playing so early in the day.

Diet Cig drew a surprisingly large crowd for playing so early in the day.

 

See Through Dresses are always solid.

See Through Dresses are always solid.

 

Jay Farrar Trio were the first ones on the big Weitz Stage Saturday.

Jay Farrar Trio were the first ones on the big Weitz Stage Saturday.

 

Diarrhea Planet and their four guitarists. Loud. Fun.

Diarrhea Planet and their four guitarists. Loud. Fun.

 

Warren Buffett sings an a capella version of "Feelings" during Maha. It was... touching.

Warren Buffett sings an a capella version of “Feelings” during Maha. It was… touching. (Just kidding, don’t sue me, Warren).

 

Car Seat Headrest gave my favorite performance of the festival.

Car Seat Headrest gave my favorite performance of the festival.

Matthew Sweet on the Javlin Stage.

Matthew Sweet on the Javlin Stage.

 

Grimes and one of her crazy dancers.

Grimes and one of her crazy dancers.

 

Passion Pit peering through the smoky haze.

Passion Pit peering through the smoky haze.

* * *

Tonight Kanine Records act Hockey Dad headlines at Slowdown Jr. with Muuy Biien and Fun Runner. $12, 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

Live Review: Protomartyr; Maha Festival ED explains how the line-up was chosen (in the column)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 11:52 am August 15, 2016
Protomartyr at Slowdown Jr., Aug. 12, 2016.

Protomartyr at Slowdown Jr., Aug. 12, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Protomartyr brought the big noise with them Friday night at Slowdown, Jr.  The four-piece, fronted by nattily dressed Joe Casey, who looked like a young, slim version of John Goodman (get ready, Joe, you’re going to look just like him when you’re in your 60s), belted out at least 45 minutes of pure indie punk, gliding on Greg Ahee’s amazing guitar tone (and skill) and Casey’s barking vocal delivery.

Those vocals: Call them atonal, call them simply yelling, the closest we’ve got is Gary Dean Davis’ enthusiastic bark. Or maybe Craig Finn’s talk vocals, but that’s not quite right. Finn always sounds like a college guy snottily reading slam poetry when he fronts The Hold Steady, whereas Casey’s bark vocals seem more like someone scolding you about what’ll happen if you don’t start paying attention. And whereas Hold Steady songs play like ironic pictures of hipster America, Casey’s vision is darker, psychologically dystopian, not so much lacking in hope as providing a warning. But fun nonetheless.

Casey sold it all with his visual cues — a sort of sarcastic glare or look of indifference — as if none of it matters because you’re not listening, anyway. You’re just trying to dance. Which they did. Friday night’s crowd (of around 75?) was one of the youngest I’ve seen at an indie punk show, with mainly of young women crowding the stage. Mark Kozelek would have been envious.

* * *

You’re going to be hearing a shit-ton about the Maha Music Festival this week, seeing as it happens this coming Saturday. I’m adding to the din with this month’s Over the Edge column in The Reader wherein Maha Executive Director Lauren Schomburg explains how they came up with this year’s line-up, which features electro-dance headliner Passion Pit. Read the column here.

Apparently Ryan Adams was in the running. So were a lot of other acts, but in the end, this line-up made the most sense both fiscally and for their target audience (a younger crowd than in year’s past).

I asked Schomburg what her “dream line-up” would be. Her answer: “Probably some combination of Florence and the Machine, Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem.” Yes, that would be impressive. It also would cost a bazillion dollars and would have to be held somewhere much larger than Aksarben Village.

At the time of the interview, Schomburg said Maha’s ticket sales had been slower than last year’s festival. She pointed out that festivals have taken a hit this year across the board nationally. Bonnaroo 2016 was the least attended year in that festival’s history, with attendance down 45 percent since its 2011 peak. Attendance at the 80/35 Festival was down as well versus the previous year.

Schomburg said the election year could be playing into the attendance decline as well as the fact that we seem to be saturated with festivals these days. That said, Maha’s line-up appeals to a younger audience, an audience that waits longer to purchase tickets. Expect a solid run-up in sales this week and the day of event. “The community is always supportive,” she said, adding that sponsorships “have been phenomenal.”

* * *

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