Live Review: Destroyer, Mega Bog at The Waiting Room…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:38 pm February 5, 2018

Destroyer at The Waiting Room, Feb. 3, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Trumpeter JP Carter stole the show at Saturday night’s Destroyer concert at The Waiting Room. Oh sure, Dan Bejar was in great voice doing his usual vampy singing, but it was Carter and his glowing midnight trumpet that powered the arrangements and left people swooning.

Bejar spent the night looking dour, leaning on his mic stand at half mast or kneeling while his marvelous six-piece band (two guitars, keys, bass, drums and that trumpet) crushed each song as tight as any band you’ll ever see on the Waiting Room’s stage (or anywhere).

Bejar was spot on vocally, but looked tired and 10 years older than me rather than seven years younger, which he is. No one says a performer has to look happy up there, most of the ultra-serious ones rarely do, but Bejar looked half-awake or stoned, occasionally grabbing a tambourine and tapping along with his back to the half-full crowd (150?).

The set list included a lot of songs off their latest as well as Kaputt and ended with a two-song encore capped with a strong version of “Dream Lover” from Poison Years.

Two days after the show, it’s Carter’s dreamy trumpet that still echoes in my mind, pouring out like sonic lacquer, making every song shimmer. I’d pay just to hear that band led by Carter.

Mega Bog at The Waiting Room, Feb. 3, 2018.

Mega Bog already had started when I arrived a little after 9. Sweet Erin Birgy and a trio of musicians swayed to a jazzy set of pop songs that reminded me of latter-day Joni Mitchell. Birgy’s voice was quiet and quick and matter-of-fact, as if carrying on a private conversation with an invisible friend over coffee.

Unlike Bejar, she looked like she was having a good time, telling the crowd to listen closely to Bejar’s song lyrics, and hers as well, though I struggled to make out what she was singing with her low-key, lovely and quiet voice.

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Sean Pratt, Mike Schlesinger, TFOW, #BFF, Curly Martin, Hussies tonight; Destroyer, Mega Bog, FiFi NoNo Saturday…

Category: Blog — @ 1:09 pm February 2, 2018

Those Far Out Arrows at Slowdown Jr., Aug. 8, 2017. The band plays tonight at The Sydney as part of #BFF.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s the first Friday of the month and we all know what that means… #BFF (or Benson First Friday)…

Supporting #BFF this month is Sean Pratt & The Sweats performing at The Sydney with Mike Schlesinger and Those Far Our Arrows, who I’m told might be rolling out some new songs tonight. Cover is $5, starts at 9 p.m.

And before you head over to The Sydney, cross the street to The Little Gallery (located in the east storefront of the Masonic Lodge Building), where we’re featuring the work of Sophie Newell. You can read about Sophie’s work right here. Stop in, have a beer, check out the art and say hello from 6 to 9 p.m.

Also tonight is the big Curly Martin & Friends concert down at the 1200 Club in the Holland Center. The show is being held in collaboration with Hi-Fi House. This one is SOLD OUT; music starts at 8 p.m. If you haven’t been to 1200 Club, it’s a treat, and Curly Martin is a legend. More info here.

Meanwhile, at fabulous O’Leaver’s, it’s Hussies (Tom Bartolomei, Ben Eisenberger, Jacob Duncan and Brandon Bakkewith), along with Libations and the double-bass attack of Relax, It’s Science. $5, 10 p.m.

Tomorrow night is the big Destroyer / Mega Bog show at The Waiting Room. I told you about Destroyer yesterday here, and Mega Bog the day before here. Tickets are $20, showtime is 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, FiFi NoNo celebrates the release of a new two-song EP at O’Leaver’s. Joining them are Crease and Silversphere. $5, 10 p.m.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Ten Questions with Destroyer (at The Waiting Room Saturday)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:40 pm February 1, 2018

Destroyer plays at The Waiting Room this Saturday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Sometimes I wish I had an eleventh question. If I did, I’d ask Dan Bejar why he called his project Destroyer when there’s nothing destructive about it.

Destroyer songs, like the ones heard on the band’s latest album, Ken (Dead Oceans, 2017), swing and sway and feel like riding a bike with no hands. In fact, Destroyer has more in common with sweater-wearing acts like Belle & Sebastian than a faux-metal monster like KISS.

Bejar, a Vancouver-born Canuck and part-time member of The New Pornographers, formed Destroyer in 1995. And while he’s had a number of breakthrough records, the one that first stood out (for me, anyway) was 2011’s Kaputt (Merge/Dead Oceans), a dazzling collection of infectious indie pop songs. Ken carries on in the same way, at times dreamy and introspective, at other times dancey and introspective.

I caught up with Bejar and asked him to take my Ten Questions survey. Take it away, Mr. Destroyer:

1. What is your favorite album?

Dan Bejar: Strangeways Here We Come, Hejira, There’s A Riot Goin On, Veedon Fleece, stuff like that…

2. What is your least favorite song?

There’s so many terrible ones it makes me think I’m maybe just not that into songs.

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

The nights when the stage sound is killer.

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

There are people at home that I miss very much.

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

Peace of mind.

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

Bologna.  Outside.  For free.

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

I have played a couple fairly gnarly college shows.  Won’t name names in case I decide to enroll.

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.  It took five years.  And then another five years of mostly hovering just beneath the poverty line.  It also helped to write songs for the New Pornographers in those lean Destroyer years.

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

Acting coach.  Actor.

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

Debauched… And possibly frozen.

Destroyer plays with Mega Bog Saturday, Feb. 3, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Showtime is 9 p.m.; tickets are $20. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Ten Questions with Mega Bog (opening for Destroyer Saturday); Son Ambulance tonight…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:38 pm January 31, 2018

Mega Bog opens for Destroyer this Saturday at The Waiting Room. Photo by Vanessa Haddad.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Mega Bog is the project of Seattle native now Brookynite Erin Birgy, who has been making her unique potion of jazz-infused art rock for eight years. Her latest album, Happy Together (2017, Nicey), runs and wobbles between free-form loveliness and dizzy indie rock, giddily capturing an artist in motion with a breathy voice that evokes memories of Nico. Her band has included members of iji, Hand Habits and Big Thief’s James Krivchenia (who also mixed and mastered her new record).

We caught up with Birgy and asked her to take the Ten Questions plunge. Here’s her answers:

1. What is your favorite album?

Mega Bog’s Erin Birgy: Definitely don’t have a favorite, but Diamond Dogs is almost always on standby. It’s what I use to practice vocals. Deeply inspiring.

2. What is your least favorite song?

(Bandmate) Zach (Burba) and I are trying to pick a least favorite song, but it’s hard! We thought of a time our friend, Joel, who helps with all the album art, was playing something by a Magnetic Zero band.

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

I enjoy the responsibility of learning how to take care of others, my family, and act as an ambassador for this weird music world.

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

Peanut butter in the car. Having to compromise with other peoples cleanliness standards, or lack of.

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

Water and cedar oil.

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

“Every place is home” by Vollmar

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

A show at Bard College eight years ago. It was a terrible tour, with an abusive guy in the band we were touring with, and I was at the end of my rope dealing with their creepiness and anger. It was freezing, everyone in the band was fighting, and I cut my hand on a borrowed guitar after mine broke, and just laid my head down on the concrete floor and started crying. I took it all out on Zach while we played, which made it doubly worse. He left the “stage” early and people were backed up against the garage door, just scared and annoyed.

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?

In some moments, it seems like it. I do a lot of strange gigs, but kind of a $200 an hour minimum, if it’s not music.

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

I don’t see myself as a professional. Or a musician. I do see myself as a citizen scientist. I could take that more seriously.

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

I’ve never heard a story about Omaha, Nebraska.

Mega Bog plays with Destroyer Saturday, Feb. 3, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Showtime is 9 p.m.; tickets are $20. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

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Tonight Son, Ambulance returns to the stage, this time as part of Pageturners’ Winter Concert Series. The band just played a few weeks ago at O’Leaver’s, but no two Son, Ambulance sets are ever alike nor is the line-up from show to show. Expect some surprises, and a large crowd. Sean Pratt & the Sweats open at 9 p.m. Admission is, as always, free.

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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High Up drops new single, announces tour; Josh Hoyer drops EP and hits the road…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:53 pm January 30, 2018

Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers at The Slowdown, Nov. 8, 2014.
Hoyer released a new EP last Friday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

High Up yesterday dropped a new single from their upcoming debut LP You Are Here, which comes out on Team Love Feb. 23. “Alabama to the Basement” is the album’s lead-off track. Check it below.

The band also announced a full U.S. that will kick off in Chicago March 1 and will include shows in Nashville, Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Omaha at The Slowdown March 31.

And then this morning I got an email from Silver Street Records announcing that Josh Hoyer released a new 3-song EP Jan. 26 called The End of the Night. The album is the result of a writing collaboration between Hoyer, veteran Nashville songwriter Jay Knowles (Harry Connick Jr, Blake Shelton), and producer Jon Coleman, Trace Adkins’ band leader and producer.

The new EP is a prelude to Hoyer’s next full-length studio album to be recorded this spring and released in Europe in August on Silver Street Records. The release will be followed by a fall European tour, and a U.S. release in early 2019. Hoyer currently is touring the U.S. with his band Soul Colossal with over 50 shows scheduled in 2018, and an additional thirty dates scheduled for the fall European tour.

Hey, here’s a novel idea: How about a joint High Up / Josh Hoyer tour? Despite coming from different parts of the music industry, the bands’ styles definitely complement each other.

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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A brief recap of last night’s Grammys; new Poster Children track…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:54 pm January 29, 2018

U2 at The Grammys back in 1988. They returned last night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I had the Grammys on while I was making dinner last night (chicken penne pasta soup, in case you were wondering). I’m of the tired opinion that awards are meaningless when it comes to the arts. I understand that they provide a chance to hype artists and their releases, and by god the music industry needs all the hyping it can get these days.

That said, the artists they hype on their broadcast need the least hyping. They already make their millions. But thus is the way of the world when it comes to awards….

None of the categories of interest to me were broadcast, and the collection of winners was, at times, awkward. For example, any opportunity to give credit to the late, great Leonard Cohen is welcome, but “Best Rock Performance” for You Want It Darker? Odd. That said, I’d never heard of a couple of the category’s other nominees: Kaleo and Nothing More, so…

War On Drugs’ A Deeper Understanding took home the Best Rock Album award (no doubt to Mark Kozelek’s disapproval).

LCD Soundsystem’s “Tonite” won for Best Dance Recording. I love this track. I can’t believe it beat out a host of R&B artists (such as Bruno Mars), which I guess the Recording Academy doesn’t consider “dance music”?

Kraftwerk’s 3-D The Catalogue won Best Dance/Electronic Album. A real surprise (I figured this was Sylvan Esso’s year). Love to see Kraftwerk get some love.

The National’s Sleep Well Beast was Best Alternative Music Album. I think the record’s a real snooze, but at least it’s an indie record.

Aimee Mann’s Mental Illness won for Best Folk Album — a great record, though not a folk record. Oh well…

I was going to say there was a time in the 1970s and ’80s when rock bands dominated the Grammys broadcast, but that’s just not true. Looking back at photos from The Grammys during that era, the talent on the show was as middle-of-the-road as anything we saw last night. Will rock ever make it’s way back to the Grammys? Does it matter?

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Speaking of rock music, Champagne, Illinois’ The Poster Children have a new album coming out this spring, their first in 14 years. The first single was released Jan. 19 to coincide with the year anniversary of the Trump presidency. Check out “Grand Bargain!” below… Now can someone please get to work on getting Poster Children to play here? Thanks in advance…

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Sean Pratt & the Sweats, Mike Schlesinger, No Thanks tonight; Jocelyn, Conny Franko/Kethro, Dilute Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:52 pm January 26, 2018

Dilute at Pet Shop Gallery Dec. 9, 2017. They return to Pet Shop Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

January is a cold, black hole. Thankfully this is the last weekend before we crawl out of it.

Shows…

Tonight a couple bands that usually play at places like O’Leaver’s and Brothers Lounge are taking the stage at Reverb: Sean Pratt & The Sweats and Mike Schlesinger. $7, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, local punkers No Thanks celebrate the release of their album, The Trial, tonight at OutrSpaces, 528 So. 24th St. Screaming Plastic and Death Cow kick it off at 9 p.m. $10 donation.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) there’s a big five-band bill at Pet Shop (old Sweastshop) with Jocelyn (who just signed to BMG Records), Conny Franko w/Kethro, Loud Minority, Dilute and ROA. $6, 9 p.m.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Kasher’s No Resolution headed to iTunes/Amazon; Royal Grove re-opens tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 2:00 pm January 25, 2018

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tim Kasher’s big-screen directorial debut, No Resolution, is headed for a premiere on iTunes and Amazon streaming services Feb. 13, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Those who pre-order the release can enter a drawing for a private screening with Tim. The promotion suggests maybe hosting the screening at a local bar or theater and inviting a ton of friends. If I won I’d prefer an uncomfortable one-on-one screening held in my living room, with Tim feverishly explaining every shot and edit decision while my dogs eye him suspiciously from a distance.

I was out of town when Tim screened the film downtown, and I’m dying to see his finished masterpiece.  Pre-order info (and find out more about the contest) here. Check out the crazy new trailer below.

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The Royal Grove logo

I got a press release telling me about Twin Peaks’ new collection of 7″ singles, Sweet ’17 Singles, which was released over the past six months via Grand Jury.

The press release says Twin Peaks are playing at Vega in Lincoln March 17, but we all know that’s wrong. That Twin Peaks show has been moved to the new Royal Grove, which is celebrating its grand opening tonight with an act named Darude, who I’ve never heard of.

Just glancing at their calendar, this Twin Peaks show will be the first national indie show at the new club. I’m tempted to go, except that it’s on St. Patrick’s Day (and I have a long-standing appointment at The Dubliner on that day). I might have to break it…

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Jon Cobb benefit (Plack Blague, Cult Play, Jocko, Effluvium, Nathan Ma & The Rosettes, Death Cow, Crease) tonight at The Waiting Room…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:56 pm January 24, 2018

The benefit for Jon Cobb is tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ll admit it right now: I don’t know Jon Cobb. So I reached out to my pal Brad Smith of Almost Music, who told me Mr. Cobb is a member of such notable local punk acts as Bib, Suzi-Q, Dilute and one-man act Ruby Block.

He’s also one of the kindest, sweetest people I know,” Brad said, and let’s face it, we all know Brad is one helluva judge of character.

According to the One Percent website, Cobb also works at Reverb and The Waiting Room, so, if like me you don’t know who he is, chances are you’ve still crossed paths with him if you’re a music fan.

The reason I’m telling you this is because tonight there’s a benefit for Jon Cobb at The Waiting Room. Cobb has been in and out of the hospital and unable to work. All proceeds from this show will go toward helping pay his personal and medical expenses.

The all-star line-up for tonight’s benefit: Crease, Death Cow, Nathan Ma & the Rosettes, Effluvium, Jocko, Cult Play and Plack Blague. The fun starts at 8 p.m., entry is $10.

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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New Digital Leather ‘Headache Heaven’ drops on Bandcamp; Hop Along announces new record…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:55 pm January 23, 2018

Digital Leather, Headache Heaven (2018, self-release)

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The marketing plan for your typical album release these days can be drawn out over weeks, months, even sometimes a full year before the album actually comes out. We’re talking pre-release rumors followed by track leaks via online publications like Noisy or Brooklyn Vegan or NPR or via YouTube.

It’s all coordinated between the artist, the record label and the artist’s publicist (and booking agent). Media and others get pre-release tidbits attached to one-sheets and promo photos all announcing the upcoming drop date. Sometimes there’s a “trailer” video that previews the albums, like a movie trailer.

Finally, with as much hoopla as possible, the album finally drops. Sometimes the release is celebrated with the launch of an entire tour; other times it might be something as simple as an album release show. Regardless, all of these efforts are designed to create the biggest buzz possible, to attract attention to the new material to generate sales, downloads, streams.

Then there’s the way Digital Leather does it.

Yesterday via Facebook Digital Leather announced the release of a new 21-track album, available via Bandcamp, called Headache Heaven. The release was something of a surprise, to me at least.

I asked Shawn Foree via Facebook for any details about the album, like who else appears on it with him. “It’s just me,” he replied. “I’ve been working on it for quite a while (It’s 75 minutes long). Not much more to say. There will be a tape version later; just digital now.

So there you have the summation of his entire marketing campaign for Headache Heaven, which I’m listening to now. In this internet age, what more do you need?

Like Shawn said, you can buy it online from his Bandcamp page, here. A cassette version is forthcoming. Check out some preview tracks below.

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Then there’s the other side of the music marketing coin.

Hop Along, Bark Your Head Off, Dog (2018, Saddle Creek)

Yesterday Saddle Creek Records (or someone) leaked a video of someone playing a floppy (at least that’s what I used to call them) of a track from the upcoming Hop Along album, Bark Your Head Off, Dog, which comes out April 6. One assumes production of that floppy postcard alone cost more than Foree spent on his entire album.

Anyway, Bark Your Head Off… is a follow-up to the wildly successful 2015 release Painted Shut. The band also announced a national tour that kicks off May 1 (It’s a NOmaha affair, unfortunately).

 

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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