Ten Questions with the Maha bands (in The Reader); David Nance Group, Taiwan Housing Project tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:38 pm August 7, 2017

David Nance at The Sydney, July 7, 2017. He plays tonight at Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The August issue of The Reader is on newsstands now. In it is a 4,000-word preview of this year’s Maha Music Festival compiled by yours truly. I say “compiled” because I took the easy way out and sent all the bands my Ten Questions survey. Seven of the 10 replied (Boo to you Run the Jewels, Belle & Sebastian and Sleigh Bells).

Anyway, I have no idea if/when The Reader will place the tome online, though I intend to post all seven interviews here at Lazy-i over the course of the next couple weeks. Keep watching. And pick up the printed version if you’re near a drop-off kiosk. I got my copy at LaCasa on Grover St.

Aug. 19 is a packed day for shows, with Maha, Lady Gaga, Darius Rucker/Jocelyn and now Digital Leather at O’Leaver’s. BTW, where’s the Maha after party this year?

* * *

David Nance Group is back from the road and he’s playing tonight at Brothers Lounge. Joining him is Philly’s Taiwan Housing Project (Kill Rock Stars), a collaboration between Mark Feehan of Harry Pussy and Kilynn Lunsford of Little Claw. Alcools opens. $5, 9 p.m.

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



Bandcamp, labels give to Transgender Law Center; Cracker, Julien Baker, John Davis (ex-Folk Implosion), BFF tonight; TFOA Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:32 pm August 4, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Today, Bandcamp will donate 100 percent of its share of every sale made to the Transgender Law Center, a nonprofit dedicated to transgender equality. From midnight to midnight, money from every album or song you purchase on Bandcamp will go to helping noble endeavors like getting health care for trans veterans, preventing violence and abuse against incarcerated trans people, trans youth outreach and education, trans rights litigation, and more.

Some labels are getting into the swing as well. Saddle Creek is joining the more than 200 labels who also are donating their portion of Bandcamp sales to TLC. So is Simon Joyner. Buy music and help a good cause!

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This weekend is heavily front-loaded for tonight…. lots happening…

Seminal ’90s act Cracker plays tonight at Slowdown Jr. I’m sure you already read my Ten Questions interview with Cracker’s Johnny Hickman. What? You haven’t? Well go forth then, pilgrim. Opening the show is Omaha’s favorite alt-country superstars Clarence Tilton. $32, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, Matador Records’ latest signing, Julien Baker, plays at The Waiting Room. Baker plays somber acoustic ballads. Opening is Luray. $15, 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at Almost Music in the Blackstone, Folk Implosion’s John Davis and his band The Cicadas are playing with Simon Joyner and Nathan Ma. $5, 8 p.m.

And lest I forget, it’s Benson First Friday. We’ve got a new show opening at The Little Gallery tonight featuring the art of Carole Waterman and daughters Lisa Kalentjakos and Marie Adams. The show runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and we’ll have some sort of food and booze. The gallery is located in the bottom east bay of the Masonic Lodge building across the street from The Sydney and up east a block or two.

Speaking of The Sydney, they’re hosting a #BFF event with a slew of entertainment including DJ Tyrone Storm, Leafblower and Jump the Tiger. 10 p.m. and probably free.

Wait, there’s more. The Boner Killerz are headlining at fabulous O’Leaver’s with The Morbs and The Natural States tonight. $5, 10 p.m.

That’s a shitload of shows going on the same night. Especially considering there is virtually nothing happening Saturday night.

The only show on my radar Saturday is Those Far Out Arrows at O’Leaver’s. They’re opening for Ojai and Arizona band Kolezanka. $5, 9:30 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


New SAVAK, touring with Pinback; Laura Stevenson, Jeff Rosenstock, Meat Wave tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:59 pm August 3, 2017

SAVAK (featuring Mike Jaworski) has a new album out Oct. 27.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Friends of Omaha expatriate Mike Jaworski — a.k.a. “Jaws” — will be happy to hear that his latest band SAVAK has a new album coming out Oct. 28 on Earnest Jennings Records called Cut-Ups. The band premiered the first single, “Natural Light,” yesterday via hipster mouthpiece Brooklyn Vegan. Check out the track and pre-order the album here.

You might remember Mike from previous bands such as The Cops, Hong Gyn Corp and Hello From Waveland, among others. He also ran Mt. Fuji Records, which released a handful of Little Brazil albums.

SAVAK also is performing several dates in support of Pinback this fall, including two-night stands in Washington, D.C., Allston, MA, and Philadelphia as well as one-offs in Hamden, CT, and New York City. Unfortunately, it’s a NOmaha tour at this point, but with Jaws’ connections, I wouldn’t be surprised if SAVAK rolls through town eventually…

* * *

If the name Laura Stevenson sounds familiar it could be because she contributed to Tim Kasher’s 2013 album Adult Film, and has toured with Kasher in the past. She’s also played through Omaha before (last time, at Slowdown Jr. in November 2015). Anyway, Stevenson opens tonight for Jeff Rosenstock at Lookout Lounge. Uh Oh also is on the bill. $15, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, Chicago punk band Meat Wave (Side One Dummy Records) headlines at Reverb Lounge. Rad Payoff opens. $10, 9 p.m.

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


Ten Questions with Cracker (@ The Slowdown 8/4); Ester Drang (Jade Tree Records) tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:49 pm August 2, 2017

Cracker plays at The Slowdown Friday, Aug. 4. Photo by Bobby Conner.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If you listened to CMJ-style indie rock in the early ’90s (or watched MTV for that matter) you’re already familiar with Cracker. Their anthem “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now),” from their 1992 eponymously named debut on Virgin Records, was unavoidable, with the fist-shaking line: “Cause what the world needs now / Is another folk singer / Like I need a hole in the head.” Then there was their brooding rocker “Low” off the follow-up, ’93’s Kerosene Hat, where frontman David Lowery says being with his girl is like being stoned. Ah, now you remember.

Well, there was a lot more to Cracker than those two songs. Lots more. The band, who at its core is Lowery and guitarist Johnny Hickman, grew out of the ashes of seminal ’80s indie band Camper Van Beethoven. Since their debut, the West Coast act has released nine studio LPs whose sound ranged form alt rock to alt country to everything in between. No doubt Cracker fans at The Slowdown Friday night will get a smattering of favorites and deep cuts from the band’s 25-year recording history, including material from their most recent double-album, 2014’s Berkeley To Bakersfield.

We caught up with Cracker guitarist Johnny Hickman and gave him the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s what he had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Johnny Hickman: After 25+ years and nine albums I can honestly say that at any given time I can go back and revisit a Cracker album that becomes a favorite again for a while. When we write and record them, they are all the best thing we ever did… at the time. I think that’s a pretty common thing with recording artists. You’re always trying to top yourself, or why do it?

2. What is your least favorite song?

The answer to the first question likely applies here, too. We don’t have any songs that I can’t stand. It doesn’t make it onto an album unless David and I are both pretty proud of it. Sometimes they wear on us and we take them out of the live show for a bit, but then we often bring them back at some point. We always play our radio hits because those songs put us on the map. Bands that think that they are too cool to play their hits are shooting themselves in the foot. The rest of the set list changes as we go. It’s more fun that way.  I think the fans like that variety, too.

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

It really all comes down to playing the songs live for people. That’s why we do it year after year. The rest of it, the fame, the rave reviews and attention, in time you realize are largely a lot of tedious bullshit. In the end, the music and the fans are all that count.

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

The travel. The jet lag and constant exhaustion of it all is more than most people could even imagine. There are days when I wish I’d followed a more normal path and could have the luxury of a decent night’s sleep in my own bed every night, more time with loved ones. But then again, I was bored senseless when I did work regular jobs as a young guy. It’s a blessing and a curse as the saying goes.

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

As a teenager playing in bands with older musicians I witnessed the frightening end result of overindulgence. I was in or around bands with guys that overdosed and died by the time I was in my early twenties. I like a glass of wine or bourbon or the occasional hit off a joint, but I don’t let them wreck my career or my life. It’s more just recreational to wind down after the shows.

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

There are hundreds of towns that I love to work in. At the top of that list are the major cities of Spain like Madrid or Valencia, the Basque region, Bilbao. In the United States I especially like the towns that got us early on with our debut album “Cracker” in 1992 and stayed with us. There are plenty, but Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Toronto come to mind.

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

That’s hard to say. After 25 plus years at this we’ve had great and terrible experiences all over the place. I remember Houston being kind of awful for us in the early days, but it has since really redeemed itself and been fine the last several years. Some places take a while to get this band but once they do they tend to stay with us.

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, very fortunately. We’re not wealthy, but we get by. It took years of paying dues before that as the saying goes. Let’s just say that I worked a succession of awful jobs before this. With people less willing to pay for recorded music these days, a band has to stay on the road to survive, and so we do. Every member of Cracker is involved with side projects that involve music as well.

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

One of the things I did before music made me a decent living was work as a hair stylist. I actually worked at a mortuary styling the deceased for a while, too. It was peaceful and not a bad way to make a living. At one point I thought about going into law enforcement but I’m glad that I didn’t now. I prefer to be appreciated instead of vilified as people in that field are so often.

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

As a kid, my military dad was stationed at Lincoln Air Force Base and we lived there for four years so I know more about that area. Omaha was where we went to get things at the big department stores like Gold’s. The winters seemed harsh, but I have great memories of Nebraska. Corn, sledding and fishing. I look forward to being back there for the show!

Cracker plays with Clarence Tilton Friday, Aug. 4, at The Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St. Tickets are $29 Adv./$32 DOS. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

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One of my favorite records of 2006 was Ester Drang’s Rocinate, released on the mighty Jade Tree label. I described the album in an interview I conducted with the band (when they played at Sokol Underground with The Minus Story and Go! Motion in March 2006) this way:

Ester Drang’s just-released full-length, Rocinate, is, in a word, gorgeous.

Think Avalon-era Roxy Music with a touch of The Sea and Cake and Flaming Lips and you’re halfway to this Oklahoma band’s big-sky vibe. Tracks like “Hooker with a Heart of Gold” and “Great Expectations” sport a cushion of lush strings, brass and piano that would make Burt Bacharach blush with admiration. Jazzy and carefree, it’s hard to believe this was released on post-punk label Jade Tree, home to such angst brutes as Girls Against Boys, Onelinedrawing and Omaha’s own Statistics.

What a great label and what a great band; a band that I’d all but forgotten until I saw tonight’s show listed on The Slowdown’s website. Yes, Ester Drang is back, and (apparently) with new material and a forth-coming EP. I can’t wait to hear what they’ve been up to. The inimitable Sam Martin opens the show at 9 p.m. $8.

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


Conor Oberst and Trump (and Charlie Rose); Metal Rusty Lord tweets; Man Up; The Faint tear up FYF; Steve Earle, The Frights tonight…

Category: Blog — @ 12:53 pm August 1, 2017

Conor Oberst talking politics on The Charlie Rose Show last Thursday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If you missed it last Thursday, Conor Oberst appeared on the venerable Charlie Rose Show. Not only did Conor sing two songs backed by a couple Felice Brothers, he also sat down at that famous round table and did a Q&A with Mr. Rose.

I recently had an online discussion about the late, great Tom Snyder and how much we miss the Tomorrow Show and his acerbic question-and-answer sessions. No one has filled Snyder’s shoes, but the person who comes closest is probably Charlie Rose, though his direction is more politically focused than Snyder’s cultural grab-bag.

In the interview, Conor talks about his “complicated” relationship with his hometown, saying “at its heart it’s politically abysmal. For my tastes, they have their priorities all backwards” and then went on to say, “but I try to focus on the good things; I like my house, my friends, my dogs.”  Who can argue with that? How many people have been driven away by Nebraska’s politics?

Oberst talked about his politics, and his willingness to talk about his politics. His focus: The current  lack of agreement on reality and facts. “How can you disregard science and facts? Now, anything goes,” he said. It’s a point he’s bringing up in other interviews, including this one posted yesterday by CNN.

Meanwhile, on stage, he’s been more straight-forward regarding President Trump. He went off during the Xponential Fest in Camden, NJ, referring to Prez Cheeto (as reported here) as an “admitted sexually assaulting Russian oligarchy charlatan … f—king piece of sh-t.” Yeah, but how do you really feel about him, Conor?

While I love seeing him finally speak his mind on Trump, where was he before the election, when it could have mattered?

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In other news…

I don’t bother listening to weather forecasts any more now that I’m following Metal Rusty Lord on Twitter. Do yourself a favor and follow the metal masters @RustyLordsBand.




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Speaking of metal (though not necessary good metal), there’s a new radio station on the FM Dial called (and I shit you not): 94.9 MAN UP. That’s right. Now you’ve got a new place to find your Nickelback.

Remember when Omaha had great radio stations? I don’t, either.

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And here’s an interesting read from Stereogum: Who Knew The Faint Were Still So Popular? And Other Thoughts After FYF Fest 2017

Best lines of the story: “If anything, the Drums and the Faint are indicative of a couple of sounds that never go out of style, particularly in Los Angeles — that of jumpy, Smiths-meets-Spector mope and gothy emo. Judging from the way the audience lost their shit for songs from Doom Abuse and Abysmal Thoughts, you never had to doubt that people who were there to see the Faint and the Drums were really there to see them — and this kind of hardcore dedication for bands whose supposed relevance has waned can often go unacknowledged at a time when even the most hyped records feel like they fade from view even after a few weeks.

So true. This review generated some chit-chat at O’Leaver’s Sunday — top of mind: When will The Faint release a new album, and if so, what label will it be on? They released their CAPSULE comp last year on Saddle Creek, which would seem to indicate they’ve mended their ways with the label after straying on the past few releases. Wouldn’t it be a kick if The Faint put out their next one on Creek?

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A couple shows worth noting tonight…

Legendary rock/roots/Americana singer/songwriter Steve Earle & The Dukes play tonight at The Slowdown. The Mastersons open. 8 p.m., $35.

Also tonight, San Diego surf-punk band The Frights play at Lookout Lounge with King Shelter, On Drugs and Kill Vargas. $15. 6 p.m.

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


Live Review: The Lupines/Leafblower/Dog Party; Digital Leather, The Life and Times tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:47 pm July 31, 2017

Leafblower at O’Leaver’s, July 30, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The O’Leaver’s Sunday Social is as good an excuse as you’ll find to get blasted, eat good food and listen to some fine music on a lazy summer afternoon. That’s exactly what happened yesterday at The Club where a trio of bands played to a hot, packed room.

Dog Party at O’Leaver’s, July 30, 2017.

First up was Dog Party, a Sacramento two-piece consisting of sisters Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles that played some groovy up-tempo pop-punk as you’d expect from a band that opened for Green Day on their 2016 North American Tour and has four albums out on Burger and Asian Man Records. I typically don’t like guitar-drums two-piece acts (White Mystery is an exception) because they tend to sound hollow and/or flat, but these sisters had a well-rounded sound. Fun!

Leafblower was a necessary contrast to all that pop-punk. A power trio that combines fuzz metal with noise punk, they’ve never sounded better, with both Danny Maxwell and Craig Fort yelling at their primal best. Great guitar and bass interplay, I was reminded of mid-’90s noise punk outfits like Cactus Nerve Thang and Culture Fire combined with Sabbath.

With a flair for the theatrical, the trio came out in matching sleeveless jumpsuits with their band logo screen-printed on back, and cranked up their fourth member — a large, old-dude mannequin/dummy maned Tim holding a leaf blower that spewed plumes of stage smoke. Yard work was never this fun.

The Lupines at O’Leaver’s, July 30, 2017.

Finally The Lupines came on at around 8 p.m. playing their usual fine set of bone-breaking punk-Americana — the kind of rock you’d hear want to hear blaring from our Plymouth Charger’s AM on a road trip across Nebraska circa 1967. Frontman John Ziegler pointed out this was not their official CD release show, nonethelesss, the band’s tasty new album, Mountain of Love, was available for purchase (So when’s the real deal, gentlemen?).

If you listen to the album, you’ll notice plenty of real piano keyboards, which, alas, were not performed live for one obvious reason — Ziegler plays keyboards and guitar on the record. The band would have to bring on another member to allow Ziegler to get behind a piano. That said, I’d love to hear these songs with the full compliment of instruments performed live — dare to dream.

Sunday Socials at O’Leaver’s are all-afternoon events. They begin at 4 with free food (this week, fine smoked pork-butt sandwiches courtesy of Smoke Buds). The music was suppose to start at 5, but didn’t get rolling until 6, giving the crowd even more time to imbibe, which I did out in the beer garden where DJ Tyrone Storm spun the good stuff. Good times indeed.

* * *

Two shows on a Monday night? Why not.

Over at Pageturners Lounge (which I keep hearing referred to as PTL) Digital Leather performs tonight as a digital-only two-piece. Not sure who’s joining Shawn Foree behind the consoles, but will tell you it’s worth it just to hear songs off the new album, Pink Thunder. Something called 2:46 Club also is on the bill. These free shows start at 9.

Also tonight. KC band The Life and Times plays at Reverb Lounge. These guys have been touring through Omaha for more than a decade. This past spring the band released their fifth LP for digital download, titled The Life and Times, on Slimstyle Records. Opening is the double-bass attack of Relax, It’s Science. $12, 9 p.m.

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


Twinsmith, Ex-Cult tonight; Benson Days Saturday; Leafblower, Lupines album releases Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:55 pm July 28, 2017

Is this not the most bad-ass poster you’ve seen in a while? Lupines and Leafblower celebrate releases Sunday night at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

These are prolific times for local music.

Two weekends ago it was a celebration of David Nance and Noah Sterba’s album releases. This weekend we three more local bands celebrating the release of new material.

It starts tonight at The Slowdown main room where Saddle Creek Records band Twinsmith celebrates the release of their third long-player, Stay Cool. This one was something of a surprise for me. I’d pretty much written off the band as a low-octane version of Vampire Weekend, with the same light-bounce indie pop sound. Well, the pop is still there, but the sound has indeed evolved. Stay Cool is a fun listen, a synth-fueled dance-rock album ripe for pop radio that has more in common with Phoenix or Twin Shadow or current-day (dancy) M83  than their past releases. Did I say “synth-fueled?” We’re talking super-synthy. Infectious in a good way; a perfect companion for a run in the park. I Forgot to Love my Father and Thick Paint open. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Goner Records mainstay Ex-Cult rolls into fabulous O’Leaver’s. Their latest, Negative Growth, out on In the Red, is brutal, static noise-rock at its finest. This is a massive four-band bill with Wrong Pets, KC’s Kool 100s (Rainy Road Records) and NOWHERE. $7, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday is something of a blank music-wise. If you have the day free, stop by for Benson Days, which is happening in… Benson. Parade, food trucks, beer tents, face paint. What more do you want? I’ll be there manning the Little Gallery booth (buy some art). And later that night it’s Benson Soul Society at Reverb. Your day is planned.

Then comes Sunday and a duo album release bonanza at O’Leaver’s.

The Lupines just dropped the gorgeously recorded LP called Mountain of Love (Speed! Nebraska Records) that sees John Zielger and the boys crawling out of the “garage rock”cellar that, too often, is code-language for home-made and low-fi. This one sounds huge, majestic, like watching a’70s-era 70-millimeter western saga on the big screen. Recorded over two days at ARC Studios by Ben Brodin, Ziegler on vocals, guitar and piano, never sounded more ominous testifying on these 13 stompers backed by lead guitarist Mike Friedman, bassist Mike Tulis and drummer Calvin Retzlaff. Copies of the release will be available on that new-fangled Compact Disc format. Get it.

Meanwhile, the boys in Leafblower opted for the more traditional cassette tape format for the release of their new one, Live at O’Leaver’s 11-23-16. The four-piece consists of members of Danny Maxwell’s New Lungs, with Craig Fort, drummer Tab Tworek, guitarist John Svatos and DMax. It’s probably no coincidence that the song names are typed in ALL CAPS because this one is bigly loud; in fact, it’s one of those albums that sounds better the louder you play it. I guess that’s why they call it metal.

If that weren’t enough, Asian Man Records band Dog Party also is on the bill. This is part of O’Leaver’s Sunday Social program, which means the music starts at 5 p.m. AND there’s food, this time courtesy of your friends at Smoke Buds who will have pork butt and beans (and more) while it lasts. $5!

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

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


Brad Hoshaw hits house circuit; Noah Sterba love; Nomaha Alerts: Luna, Beach Slang; Closeness tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:47 pm July 26, 2017

Closeness at O’Leaver’s April 30, 2016. The band plays at The Slowdown tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

What’s becoming a common occurrence (even with more established artists — Eric Bachmann just played a show at a house a couple blocks from me), Omaha singer/songwriter Brad Hoshaw announced he’s put together a “Summer House Tour.”

Although I’ve performed many house concerts over the years, this is my first time trying a full tour of house concerts,” Hoshaw said. “I will be performing 10 shows in living rooms and backyards across six states (NE, IA, WI, MN, SD, KS). The hosts are fans who have invited their friends and family to come enjoy a concert in their home. I’m not charging the hosts any money for the concert, but will rely on audience donations to fund my travels. My goal is to create a more authentic personal experience that will connect and strengthen the community that has formed around my music.”

Hoshaw will be selling an exclusive 4-song EP on the tour, which runs Aug. 3-20 starting in Overland Park, KS, and finishing in Lincoln, NE. The full schedule (including the Omaha date) is at bradhoshawmusic.com/shows.

* * *

Noisey did a nice write-up on Noah Sterba’s new album, 13-Bar Blues. You can read it here.

People are taking notice of the cadre of talent talent surrounding Sterba, consisting of David Nance, Simon Joyner, and the team of musicians who appear on their records. Someone should come up with a name for them — how ’bout the Almost Music Collective, since they all have been known to hang out there…

* * *

I’ve been told that my NOmaha Alerts are little more than whining and are a negative especially in the face of all the other talent local promoters are bringing to town. Maybe so, but more than anything, they point out who’s passing over Omaha on their tour, and maybe one of those promoters can work a miracle and get them to add a local date, who knows?

Top of my NOmaha list is Luna, who just announced a North American tour. The closest pass to our fair city is Nov. 1-4, when they play Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis. The tour is in support of an album of covers (including songs by The Cure, Mink DeVille and Fleetwood Mac) called A Sentimental Education, and an instrumental EP called A Place fo Greater Safety — the band’s first  output since Luna’s last studio album Rendezvous, released 13 years ago. Someone get them here.

I think I already mentioned the Afghan Whigs NOmaha alert. Today the band released a new single called “You Want One,” which is available as a free download here. Anyway, they’re still not coming here.

And Beach Slang yesterday announced their fall headlining tour. The closest pass to Omaha is KC Sept. 9, Chicago Sept. 17, Denver Nov. 7. NOmaha, though notably See Through Dresses will be joining them on five dates in mid-November.

* * *

Back to what IS happening in Omaha… tonight Closeness, the project featuring Todd and Orenda Fink, opens for Nicolas Jaar at The Slowdown in the big room. Jaar is a Chilean music producer, mixing engineer and DJ based in NYC. Having listened to some of his stuff this morning on Spotify, dancing not only is advised, it’s recommended. $20, 8 p.m.

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


Live Review: Tobin Sprout, Elf Power; The Coathangers, Miwi La Lupa tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:59 pm July 24, 2017

Tobin Sprout at Reverb Lounge, July 21, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The turnout for Friday night’s Tobin Sprout show at Reverb was, in a word, disappointing. As a member of Guided by Voices, which has a huge following in our fair city, I anticipated a sell out.  In the end there were maybe 50 people on hand to listen to Sprout and his band rifle through a set of well over 20 songs from his solo catalog including “The Last Well Known to Kingpin,” “A Good Flying Bird,” “Dodging Invisible Rays” and “Sadder Than You.”

I admit to not being a huge GBV fan beyond their “greatest hits,” and know very little about Tobin Sprout. What I love about his songs and GBV songs beyond the riffs and bright, energetic melodies is their brevity. Sprout songs rarely last longer than three minutes. Get in, get out, move on.

And though the crowd was small, it was lively, comprising mostly of old-time fans who weren’t afraid to pump their fist in the air or pogo or cheer when one of their favorites began. Yelled out song names were met with a smile and Sprout giving it a try. What more could a fan ask for?

Elf Power at Reverb Lounge, July 21, 2017.

Elephant Six band Elf Power opened the show with a straight-forward set of indie rock songs. As little as I know about Tobin Sprout I know even less about the Athens band or their catalog, but enjoyed what I heard.

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Two shows of note tonight…

The Atlanta punk trio The Coathangers are at Milk Run tonight. What presumably started as a gag act in 2006 has now thrived for more than a decade, releasing five albums on Suicide Squeeze, including their latest, 2017’s Parasite EP. Residuels and Crease open. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Miwi La Lupa plays at Pageturners Lounge with Oquoa. 10 p.m. and absolutely 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.



Tobin Sprout, Elf Power, Lovejoy tonight; Typesetter, Ratboys Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:55 pm July 21, 2017

Plack Blague at The Slowdown, Dec. 30, 2016. The Blague plays The Waiting Room Sunday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Another horribly hot weekend. Ah, but you’ll be looking back on it with envy come late January. We all will. Anyway, here’s what’s shaking indie music-wise starting…

Tonight ex-Guided By Voices dude Tobin Sprout and his band play at Reverb Lounge. You read his 10Q on Wednesday (and if you didn’t, read it now). His new album, The Universe and Me, out on Burger Records, is pretty sweet. Iconic ’90s-era Elephant Six band Elf Power opens. Their latest, Twitching in Time, came out this past May on Orange Twin. Both bands for just $15. With all the GBV fans around here, I’m shocked this hasn’t sold out…yet. Starts at 8.

Also tonight, Stir Cove’s sweat-a-thon continues tonight with Goo Goo Dolls. Remember when those guys were a “punk” band?

Low Long Signal plays tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Leaves Brown and Lectrofy. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And Milk Run has Lincoln band Oketo with The Grand Poobahs and Chicago soul-psych-rock band Lovejoy. $5, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night Reverb hosts Chicago emo rockers Typesetter. with Camp Cope and Worriers. $7, 9 p.m.

Milk Run hosts another Chicago band Saturday: Ratboys. The band released their second studio album, GN, last month on Top Shelf Records. Jacob James Wilton and No Getter open. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, those fabulous teachers at Omaha Girls Rock! are having their annual teachers’ showcase at O’Leaver’s Saturday night. This follows an OGR! student showcase earlier in the evening at The Waiting Room at 5 p.m. The kids’ show at TWR is $8 donation. The O’Leaver’s show, which starts at 10 p.m., is $5.

Finally, end the weekend with a bang as everyone’s favorite leather-fetish electro-dance geek explosion Plack Blague opens for LA-based industrial band 3TEETH at The Waiting Room. Noise ensemble FiFi NoNo opens. 8:30. $15.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Stay cool!

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