What’s the Good Speakers Festival? Zepparella tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:06 pm July 8, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Not a lot of time to write today, but a couple things worth mentioning:

– The Good Speakers Fest is happening Sept. 19 & 20. The headliners (so far) are Andrew WK and Icky Blossoms, but that wasn’t what people were talking about. It’s the festival’s location that has people curious — The Carlisle Hotel, way out on 109th and M St. I haven’t been out there in years, having once hosted a conference in their meeting rooms. Back then, it was your run-of-the-mill conference center/hotel, and I have no doubt it hasn’t changed in the past decade.

According to the Facebook invitation:

“The Bar, Beer Garden, Marketplace, Pool, and all the rooms are OURS!  Shows will take place mostly in the Bar, Marketplace, and Beer Garden, with a few exciting surprise locations popping up here and there during the weekend too… This is a 21+ event, and we are looking for fun, adult oriented sponsors and vendors.”

Sponsors being sought include: “Head Shops / Record Stores / Vintage Clothes / Niche Boutique Retail / Collectors / SWAG / Homebrewers / Promoters / Venues / Adult Novelties.”

Things could get pretty weird. Tix are $28 per day or $44 for a 2-day pass. And there are hotel room options. Oh my. I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about this one in the coming weeks. Check out the invite.

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s Zepparella, which has been described as “an all-female tribute to Led Zeppelen.” I’ve been told this must be seen to be believed. I plan on seeing it tonight. The mighty Filter Kings open. $15, 9 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: The Everymen; SIRENS tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:11 pm July 7, 2014
The Everymen at O'Leaver's, July 6, 2014.

The Everymen at O’Leaver’s, July 6, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

O’Leaver’s on a hot Sunday afternoon in July is a surreal experience, like stepping onto the set of Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H. All the usual characters strolled around outside in the “beer garden” with cocktails sweating in the blazing heat while an O’Leaver manned a barbecue grill frying up large greasy kielbasa. Across the parking lot in the sand pit half-naked volleyball players slathered in sunblock slammed PBRs to the sounds of Van Halen’s “Panama.”

Meanwhile, inside the dark cool confines of The Club, The Everymen set up for the afternoon gig. The band featured none other than Catherine Herrick, the former PR wonk at Beggars Group (Matador, XL, etc.) familiar to anyone who’s had to interview, say, Cat Power or a member of Interpol over the past 10 years. I chatted with Catherine after the show, and that interview will be the basis for this week’s Over the Edge column in The Reader. You’ll have to wait for it..

In addition to Herrick, The Everymen consisted of five more members — two guitarists, bassist, drummer and saxophone player. That sax — along with the band leader’s love of all things New Jersey (and The Sopranos) — might give you some ideas what this band sounded, but you’d be wrong.

The Everymen combined elements of garage and indie with doo-wap, metal, even theater rock. Their style was all over the board. One minute you’d think you were listening to something penned by John Steinman (albeit, without keyboards), the next it sounded like an homage to The Scorpions, but with sax thrown on top of the riffs.

That sax player (who switched between bari and alto when he wasn’t adding vocals) defined (or at least shadowed) everything about The Everymen, along with Herrick, who has an intensity that reminded me of Heidi Ore of Mercy Rule/Domestica fame, and frontman/guitarist Mike V, who would have you believe this band is just a group of goombahs in town from the Jersey shore. And while they did have sonic similarities to a certain Jersey dude who also has a sax player in his band, no one would mistake this guttural rock with anything released by The Boss.

Highlight moments came toward the end of the 45+ minute set in the form of a growler I think was called “Motorbike,” and a fist-pumping anthem (again) I think was called “I Held On.” They could be campy (synchronized group arm gestures, finger-snapping), they could be heavy, but most of all they were fun. And labels like Matador or XL could use a little fun in their rosters.

* * *
Tonight at The Sydney it’s a four-artist bill headlined with New Orleans band SIRENS (Community Records). Opening is Mike Schlesinger, Anne McClellan and adamroberthauG. $5, 9 p.m. Not a bad way to kick off the week…

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


An O’Leaver’s 4th of July: Lupines, Dumb Beach, New Lungs; The Indie (Hoshaw/Big Deep), Sweatfest 2014 Saturday; Everymen Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:04 pm July 3, 2014
The lineup on the evening of the 4th at O'Leaver's. God Bless America.

The lineup on the evening of the 4th at O’Leaver’s. God Bless America.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You’d think with tomorrow being a holiday someone would have put together one helluvan indie rock show tonight, but no, nothing’s happening.

That’s okay because that’ll give you a chance to rest up for tomorrow night’s holiday extravaganza at fabulous O’Leaver’s. After you’ve finished wrapping up whatever’s left of your fingers post-cherrybomb, head on down to The Club for what promises to be one of the most drunkenly violent rock shows of the year.

The line-up: Jewel Beast (a band I know nothing about but whose name is awesome); Dumb Beach (the only band on this line-up whose name eclipses Jewel Beast); New Lungs (Danny Maxwell and company return with an audio-inflected knee in the groin) and headliner Lupines (supergroup extraordinaire, indie-rock Americans). I suspect everyone will be drunk and someone will light one of those scary Chinese lanterns/house-fire-starters in the parking lot (along with some snakes). I can’t wait. $5, 9:30 p.m.

We might as well talk about the rest of the weekend since it’s unlikely I’ll be updating this tomorrow, what with all the parades and stuff.

Saturday is, of course, The Indie 5k/10k foot race that starts at 8 a.m. in the heart of Benson (60th Ave. and Maple) and runs all the way to Ames Ave. and back (or at least the 10k does). This event is also a pseudo “Taste of Benson” event as runners will get a ton of free food and drinks (lots of drinks) courtesy of race sponsors. Because, you know the first thing I want after I finish a 10k race is an apple dumpling shot.

Anyway, during the race, Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies will be performing along with The Big Deep. The stage will be set up right there by the starting line from 8 a.m. to sometime around 11. Don’t be a pussy. Sign up for the race. Your $30 entrance fee goes to help improve Benson and Fontenelle parks.

That’s not the only thing happening in Benson on the 5th of July. Sweatfest will be going on at the Sweatshop Gallery. We’re talking 14 bands on two stages. I guess the whole thing is a fundraiser to acquire a new PA for the gallery’s performance space. The bill includes M34n Str33t, Coaxed, Worried Mothers, Skeleton Man and a host of other local punks. Show starts at 6 and is a mere $8. More info here.

That’s what I got. If I missed anything, put it in the comments section. Have a good 4th and don’t blow your hands off.

ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention that The Everymen (Earnest Jennings Records), featuring former Beggars Group (Matador, XL Records) Media rep Catherine Herrick, is playing at O’Leaver’s Sunday night as part of The Club’s Sunday Social program. Joining The Everymen is Lot Walks and No Thanks. This is an early 6 p.m. show, and the usual $5. See you there…

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.



Scott Severin talks New York rock stars (in the column); The Hussy’s ‘Studs…’ gets an NSFW video;Simon Joyner, The Bruces, The Renderers tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:01 pm July 2, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

In this week’s column, I touch base with Omaha singer/songwriter Scott Severin about Time Out New York’s list of New York City’s Top 10 All Time Greatest Rock Stars. Never one to mince words, Severin provides insight and Technicolor from the perspective of someone who lived there when it was all going down punk-wise. KISS and Richard Hell fans beware.

You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here. Many thanks to Scott for sharing his unique, relevant viewpoint.

* * *

Huffington Post premiered what it says is a NSFW (though I’m not sure why) video by The Hussy for their cover of Digital Leather’s “Studs in Love.”

Director Shane O’Neill said in the HuffPost article, “It’s hard for me to get excited about something unless there’s at least a trace element of something funny, and hearing Bobby whine that he likes hairy asses still makes me giggle. I wanted the video to reflect the song’s spirit of hyper-masculinity crossed with absurdity. And I wanted to make a pun on the word ‘stud.’

Check it out at here at HuffPost.

* * *

There’s a special night of music happening this evening at Almost Music in Benson. New Zealand legends The Renderers are topping a stellar bill that includes The Bruces (this is the farewell show for Alex McManus as he and his family head north) and Simon Joyner and The Ghosts, who will be playing material from the band’s upcoming album.

And if that wasn’t enough, Brad at Almost Music is offering 20 percent off all used vinyl tonight. $5 minimum donation, 7 p.m. start time.

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Running with the Devil: The Indie/HN Playlist; Canada Day, vinyl night tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:55 pm July 1, 2014

HN_Indieby Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If you don’t know what The Indie is, well then shame on you. That means you haven’t read my column in The Reader. So take a moment, go here, and read all about the event, which takes place this Saturday morning in the heart of Benson.

As I say in the column, based on the route it’s one of the most challenging urban 10K foot races in America, a course so hard it makes the Corporate Cup look like a leisurely stroll in the park. And the 5K run looks almost as challenging…almost. Details about signing up are here at theindieomaha.org. Proceeds go to support Benson and Fontenelle Parks.

In commemoration of the event, Hear Nebraska has put together a little ol’ playlist. “It’s an eclectic collection featuring about 43 minutes of Nebraska music — all bands who play in Benson frequently. Genres range from hip-hop to Americana to indie rock to punk to garage to electronic. It’s a free download for ‘The Indie’ racers (and anyone else who needs some sonic inspiration).

Check it out below or go here to download the whole dang thing. Artists include  Yuppies, The Lupines, Digital Leather, The Big Deep, Derby Birds, M34n Str33t, John Klemmensen & the Party, Eli Mardock and more. Makes me want to go running right now.

* * *

The Waiting Room is hosting its annual Canada Day concert tonight featuring local bands doing short sets of Canadian songs (Expect some Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and, of course, BTO). Performers include Vago, Matt Whipkey + Band, All Young Girls are Machine Guns, Southpaw Bluegrass Band, The Filter Kings, Tara Vaughan, Michael Campbell, The Electro-Rangers, Castor Impetus and Virginia Tanous. The show is a benefit for Heartland Family Services. $8, 7 p.m.

Also tonight is the bi-weekly Viva La Vinyl night at The Barley Street Tavern hosted by Brad Hoshaw. Bring down one of your own records and put your name on the list to spin a side of an LP on the Barley’s house turntable. Sign-up begins at 7.

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Lincoln’s Box Awesome remembered tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 1:04 pm June 30, 2014
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance. I'm getting used to it now...

The sound of gunfire, off in the distance. I’m getting used to it now…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Memorial Park concert screwed me for catching the Oquoa set at The Waiting Room Friday night.

I’m not sure what was going on in the park, but the music didn’t wrap up until well past 10:30. I didn’t have to be there to know that — it was so loud at my house a mile away that I could make out every word of Smashmouth barking “Hey now / you’re an all star / get your game on / go play.” My enjoinder:  “Hey now / you’re all assholes / I’m watching Silverado / Shut up!

Anyway, in years’ past, the fireworks usually started at 10. They didn’t start until well past 10:30, which meant the zombie parade of trailer-park shlubs marching back to their SUVs would go on well past 11, more like 11:30. And the Memorial Park concert truly is a shit magnet. Considering the history of unfortunate events that have occurred in surrounding neighborhoods after the concert, any homeowner is well advised to stay put until the zombie parade ends. In this case, it ended well past what I thought was Oquoa’s set time.  Next time, guys…

* * *

It’s an anniversary of sorts for Lincoln’s late, great Box Awesome. It was five years ago today that the indie music venue closed its doors.

To celebrate, Duffy’s Tavern and Bourbon Theater are hosting shows in the old club’s honor. Duffy’s has Gerardo Meza and AZP starting at 8; Bourbon Theater’s front room has Universe Contest at 10, followed by The Renfields and Powers.

This info comes courtesy of Jeremy Buckley, who was an integral part of venue. There was a mischievous quality to Box Awesome that I can’t put my finger on but that doesn’t exist in Lincoln or Omaha anymore. As I told Jeremy, Box Awesome was like a troublesome neighbor kid creating little pipe bombs in his basement. But instead of destruction, the bombs were like bouquets. You were lucky if you got to see them. To me it was like an underground music experience that did its thing right out in the open. Everyone was invited along for the ride. While the spirit of Box Awesome continues, nothing has quite taken its place. Lincoln needs a new Box Awesome…

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Oquoa, Son Ambulance tonight; Felice Brothers Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:49 pm June 27, 2014
Cheap Trick at the Bank of the West concert in 2011. Now that's a band I wouldn't mind seeing again in Memorial Park...

Cheap Trick at the Bank of the West concert in 2011. Now that’s a band I wouldn’t mind seeing again in Memorial Park…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Though one of the most tepid line-ups ever for a Memorial Park concert, tonight’s Bank of the West concert may draw one of largest crowds. Blues Traveler, Sugar Ray, Uncle Kracker, Smash Mouth — not a single act here of interest, but these four bands have sold millions of records and define modern rock to the army of soccer moms and not-so-hip dads that populate greater Omaha. If it’s not rained out, expect the usual 50k+ mob.

When I lived on J.E. George Blvd., the annual slobfest was something to dread as that street was a main northern thoroughfare to the park. A constant parade of cooler-toting yahoos walked past our house beginning just after lunchtime. Snarled traffic made coming and going difficult. We were held hostage in our own home. We now live about three blocks west of J.E. George, and while fewer people junk up the streets, traffic is still a hassle. It’s all just part of the fun that goes with living near the park.

As for the music, I’ve always thought Blues Traveler was an abomination. The gargantuan John Popper was  lauded for his harmonica prowess, whereas I was amazed he could make an awful song that much worse with his grating atonal bleeps. I assume Mark McGrath is still in Sugar Ray. I think more people know him from Celebrity Apprentice or Wife Swap than his music. I get Smash Mouth and Spin Doctors mixed up.  And I admit I’ve never heard an Uncle Kracker song before, though according to Wiki its evolved from rap-rock to country-rock.

As I type this at home, they’re doing sound check in the park, and it sounds like Popper (Pooper?) and Co. are playing their shitty music in my basement.

So what’s really going on musicwise this weekend?

Well tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the reintroduction of Oquoa. The band has gone through a few line-up changes, and according to this Hear Nebraska story, tonight’s show will be the last for JJ Idt, who’s moving to Portland, whereas the band has added Patrick Newberry (Cursive) and Jim Schroeder (UUVVWWZ). They’ll be playing songs off their new 8-song album, check out a track below via Soundcloud. Opening is Son, Ambulance and the Luke Polipnick Trio. $7, 9 p.m.

Also tonight in Benson, the Sweatshop Gallery is hosting a six-band bill that includes Lincoln’s Life Is Cool and The Decatures. $5, 8 p.m. More info here.

Over at The Barley Street Tavern tonight, The Brigadiers and Goon Saloon are among the bands on a 5-band bill. $5, 8:30 p.m. More info here.

What’s with all these multi-band shows in Benson tonight? I don’t know but I refuse to acknowledge Benson Fourth Friday.

Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Shreveport band Ghost Foot headlines with instrumental act A Great Disturbance. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) we’re all headed down to The Slowdown for The Felice Brothers. Opening is Nashville singer/songwriter Robert Ellis. $15, 9 p.m.

That’s what I got. If I missed anything, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Throwback Thursday: Lazy-i from June 28, 2004: Who wants to be a rock star?; Skypiper, Mitch Gettman tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:04 pm June 26, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With virtually nothing happening news-wise, I thought I might tag along with the whole “Throwback Thursday” craze and bring you a Lazy-i blog post from 10 years ago that focused on The River’s New Music Summit. Funny how little has changed since this was written, despite the onslaught of the internet (which was just starting to have an impact), though you’ll note not a single mention of streaming or Spotify as they didn’t exist yet. These days, 10,000 unit sales by any band — indie or otherwise — is notable, especially when you consider selling 20,000 copies of an album during first week of release will put you in the Billboard top-10.

Who wants to be a rock star? The River Music Summit rehash – Lazy-i — June 28, 2004

Let me preface this to say I was probably the wrong person to be on Saturday’s panel at The River Music Summit. Just a glance at the audience pretty much indicated that the vast majority of the 300+ people in the audience were metal fans, loyal listeners of 89.7 The River and support how they operate their station. I don’t listen to The River and don’t agree with their decision to play mainstream commercial metal on what’s supposed to be a college radio station. Regardless, the audience was made up mostly of musicians whose idea of success is moving a million units and being on MTV (or a Clear Channel radio station). Successful indie bands are lucky to sell 10,000 copies of their CDs. Really successful indie bands could sell 100,000. Almost none of them sell a million.

So anyway, here I was on this panel. To my left (according to the program) was Andrew Linde from Tinderstick promotions, a company that handles a lot of indie bands. To my right, three or so current or former radio executives, none from traditional college radio stations. At the far end of the table, Mike Fratt representing Homer’s Records and MarQ Manner representing Delmar Productions. Linde and I were clearly outnumbered, but then again, I doubt the majority of this audience cared two shits about the indie music scene.

The core message — how to promote your music to radio and press — was more of a seminar on how to get your music on commercial radio — i.e., how your band could be the next Korn. Sophia John, the program manager at 89.7 The River, did most of the talking. Appropriately, I said very little. At one point I had a chance to ask the crowd, “How many of you would be satisfied selling 10,000 copies of your CD?” A few dozen hands went up. Then, “How many of you would be happy selling 100,000 copies?” About half the audience raised their hands. Finally, “How many of you won’t be happy until you sell a million copies.” Here, more than half the hands went up.

Later I asked, “How many of you are in this business to make a million dollars?” One hand. Good. “All right then, how many of you are doing it for the money?” Some hands, not many. Then, “How many are in it for the music?” Most hands went up. I told them that if they could be satisfied selling 10,000 copies, they could make music the way they wanted to make music. But if they want to be on a major label, they’re going to have to compromise to the suits, and will lose control of their music — talk about stating the obvious, eh?

Still, I doubt this was what the organizers wanted communicated at the summit. The radio guy next to me made the point that the music business is all about greed — he was a real Gordon Gecko type. Sophia’s message was that The River was going to save the Omaha music scene and that it’s the only radio outlet for local music.

There was some verbal jousting between Sophia and the panelists (me included). Her and Linde argued over debt and major label record deals. Linde said that most musicians don’t realize that as soon as they sign with a major label, they’re immediately in debt. Why? Because the advance money and promotional costs are really loans to the bands, that the label is acting like a bank, loaning money that they expect to recoup through CD sales. Sophia took exception to this, asking Linde to name one band that had to pay back an advance to a label after they were dropped. Linde said he knew bands that were in that exact situation, but couldn’t name names. Sophia said she’d never ever heard of a failed band forced to repay a label. An apparent VH1 Behind the Music watcher in the crowd yelled, “What about the Goo Goo dolls?” Sophia yelled back, “What about the Goo Goo dolls? They’re making millions of dollars for themselves and their label.” Yeah, the guy said, but what if they hadn’t gotten signed by Warners after they were dropped by Metal Blade?

Sophia was right, of course. It seems doubtful that a major label would call out the dogs to get advance money from a failed band, probably for the simple fact that 1) It would cost more in lawyers fees and bad PR to pursue it and 2) Because the band simply doesn’t have the cash and probably never will. But wasn’t Linde’s point the fact that the bands are, in fact, in debt from the second they sign a deal? Sure, they may never have to pay back the money, but they know they’re still responsible for it, that they ethically should do what they can to pay it back. Instead, one of the panelists pointed out how it’s important for bands and musicians to set up a separate incorporated business so that the labels can’t sue them for their personal money.

Sophia didn’t like my admiration for Saddle Creek Records (It should be pointed out here that I asked the crowd to raise their hands if they had even heard of Saddle Creek Records. I counted maybe seven or eight hands). I mentioned Saddle Creek early in the panel as an example of a label that would be doing pretty well if a new artist sold 10,000 copies of a CD. That, despite the fact that Creek’s total sales since it was formed wouldn’t equal a tenth of what Eminem sold of his last CD, the label is still held in the highest esteem as a leading national indie label.

So, when someone asked about press kits, I said I threw one-sheets away — put your info on the internet along with your press photo and include the URL on the CD case. I then made the mistake of mentioning how Saddle Creek printed a brief bio on the back of their artists’ promo jewel cases. Sophia had had enough. “Saddle Creek! Is that the only label you can talk about? What about Suckapunch Records?” I replied that I didn’t think Suckapunch printed their bios on the back of their discs, then went on to talk more about Creek, which was met with Sophia’s shaking head… Oh well.

I’m guilty. I like Saddle Creek Records, their artists and what they’ve accomplished. I also think it makes sense to use them as an example as they’re the second most successful local record label (Mannheim Steamroller being the most successful overall, Creek being the most successful rock label). Historically, The River hasn’t been the biggest supporter of Saddle Creek. But according to their website, they now play Cursive and Azure Ray in rotation. Still, it’s embarrassing that you can’t hear Creek’s most successful band, Bright Eyes, on the radio in the band’s own hometown.

Sophia’s last argument (with me, anyway) came when a couple of the execs were talking about how artists get their music played on the radio. Their point appeared to be that the name of the game these days is “pay for play.” I kind of got lost here, when out of the blue, Sophia said she didn’t know how reviews get published and asked if bands or labels pay to have reviews placed in the paper. No, I said, newspapers don’t receive payments for running reviews. But Sophia disagreed, saying that it might not have happened in my experience, but she was certain that it happens all the time, which she said would explain a lot of the bad CD reviews that she’d read.

Sophia may be right. I can’t speak for Rolling Stone or Magnet or Alternative Press. I don’t know anyone who works at those pubs. They may very well be rolling in payola from CD reviews. But somehow, I doubt it.

At the end of the panel, I think the audience got what they wanted to hear. At one point, one of the radio guys said something like “I know these guys are telling you to be satisfied with selling 10,000 CDs, but I’m telling you the guys from Korn were sitting right where you are now, and they did it. You can too!”

* * *

Back to the present, here’s what’s going’s on tonight:

At The Waiting Room, Skypiper headlines a show with KC band We Are Voices and Omaha’s Let Alone. $7, 9 p.m.

Over at The Barley Street, Riverside California band The Naked Time headlines a gig with Mitch Gettman and Congruency. $5, 9 p.m.

And fabulous O’Leavers has a free show with Iska Dhaaf (Seattle, WA – Brick Lane Records). Starts at 10:30.

* * *

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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Shawn Foree’s new TIT; Tawny Peaks, Pinegrove tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:29 pm June 25, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

One big long yawn this week musicwise.

In the news, Shawn Foree of Digital Leather is teaming up once again with Bobby Hussy of The Hussy to form a new project called TIT. The duo’s debut 12-inch is coming soon on Volar and FDH Records. Here’s hoping it’s not a flop (Get it?). You can follow TIT’s latest news on their Facebook page.

Like I said, this isn’t Foree’s and Hussy’s first team effort. They just released a split 12-inch (as DL / The Hussy) on Southpaw that is must-hear for any discerning synth-pop fan. The DL side is downright… romantic, a kind of/sort of collection of twisted love songs that shines a light on Foree the Balladeer. This is the most serene DL recording I’ve heard (I haven’t heard them all), and it still rocks. I wonder if Foree will ever perform this material live?

The Hussy side is a riot, and includes a cover of Digital Leather song “Studs in Love” that’s playful compared to DL’s original, quirky version (that appears on Blow Machine) and the gritty, brutal, desperate recent live DL performances of the song that could have been used in the soundtrack to an uncut version of Al Pacino’s “Cruising.” When Foree sings it these days, you believe him.

* * *

The Sydney tonight is hosting New Jersey indie band Tawny Peaks along with Jersey roots/garage rockers Pinegrove. MushMouth and The Boy and His Wolves also are on the bill $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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: Criteria rocks the CWS; Hear Nebraska launches new website and HN Radio…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:51 pm June 23, 2014
Criteria at The Slowdown, June 21, 2014.

Criteria at The Slowdown, June 21, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, Jason Kulbel was right. I had no problem finding on-street parking when I drove downtown Saturday night to catch Criteria at Slowdown. I spent the evening closely monitoring the College World Series game on TV (which went into extra innings), worrying it might push into the Criteria set time. I didn’t want to get caught in a post-game traffic quagmire. With the last out I headed downtown, avoiding Cuming Street, taking Dodge, and eventually running into crowds and cops navigating 14th St. I found a spot about three blocks away near the UP daycare center. So much for all the whining.

If the chaos that was taking place in Slowdown’s tented parking lot is any indication, we’ll soon be seeing Mr. Kulbel and Mr. Nansel driving ’round in brand new Bentleys. It looked like spring break in Bro-land, a sea of backwards baseball caps carrying Silver Bullets looking for someone to high five. Needless to say, I didn’t spend much time outside.

Inside the climate-controlled trappings of The Slowdown it felt like any other show except for the TV screens showing highlights from the game that just ended and the Slowdown staff decked out in matching “staff” baseball shirts. CWS refugees mixed with the regular crowd, I doubt they knew what they were in for when Criteria rolled on stage launching into a set of indie-rock anthems with their usual panache. Those looking for dance beats and/or “hot action” exited through the back door.

“Sounds like there’s some fat beats going on out there,” said dashing frontman Stephen Pedersen between songs, as you could hear the dull thump through Slowdown’s cinderblock. “We’re more of a treble band.”  Those who hung around — my guestimate: 100-150 — got exactly what they came for.

I’ve been watching Criteria perform live for well over a decade. I’ve never seen a crowd respond to them the way last Saturday night’s crowd did. The floor in front of the stage became an ad hoc mosh pit with rabid fans pounding each other and/or doing some sort of improvised hoe-down dance. Fans leapt onto the stage, but finding the crowd too sparse to jump on top of instead jumped back down to the floor and were carried overhead in a weird ritual that looked more like piggyback riding than crowd-surfing. Needless to say, these fans knew the words to all the hits, which they screamed back at the stage. No doubt Criteria still has a rabid base dying for their return.

And return they shall, with a new album Pedersen said was “almost done” and ready for shopping to a label willing to back an act that hasn’t put out new material in nine years and/or doesn’t do extensive touring. Something tells me they’ll find a taker right here in Omaha (if they want it).

Criteria played at least four songs from that yet-to-be-released album, including a couple they’ve never performed live. One, played toward the very end of the set, was classic Criteria, as good as anything they’ve done in the past. The band continues to age well. Pedersen can still strike hot with his vocal contortions, glancing off the high notes as if he were still in his 20s (though he had to be grateful he doesn’t have to do it every night).

With the last song, the fans began chanting for an encore. They got two more songs for their efforts, including a transcendent version of “Prevent the World” that left them satisfied.

This show plus The Faint last week are evidence that Slowdown is proud of the music that helped put Omaha on the indie music map and wants to share it with the great unwashed masses that attend the CWS. Here’s hoping they continue the tradition at next year’s CWS.

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Drumroll please….

The redesigned hearnebraska.org website finally went live this morning. Go take a look. The cleaner, easier-to-navigate design is fully responsive — that means it looks and behaves as well on your smart phone or tablet as it does on your desktop browser.

But maybe the most important new feature of hearnebraska.org is the launch of HN Radio — that’s the music player located at the top of the homepage. The goal is to provide an online channel that makes available music from local bands. The current playlist includes songs by Once a Pawn, Digital Leather, Dumb Beach and Anna McClellan.

HN Radio also ia premiering Live at O’Leaver’s. For the past few months (year?) O’Leaver’s has been recording live performances at the club, the quality of which is amazing. The current HN Radio playlist includes tracks by Deleted Scenes and Eli Mardock recorded as part of the O’Leaver’s series. My only gripe about HN radio is that the playlist is too short, but methinks this is merely V 1.0. Expect a lot more music — and content — at HN Radio in the very near future.

Congratulations to Andy Norman and the entire Hear Nebraska staff for getting the new design and HN Radio afloat. Check out the site and give them your feedback.

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.