Darren Keen is back with Problems; new album on Knightwerk; live stream release tomorrow…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:54 pm December 3, 2020
Darren Keen is Problems.

First time I met Darren Keen was almost 20 years ago when he and his band at the time, Musico, dropped off a CD of their latest recordings to a house my then-girlfriend now-wife and I were renting on Izard St. Darren would go on to form The Show Is the Rainbow — a one-man psych-rock hip-hop project that was as much about Keen’s live performances as his trippy merging of rock, rap and good humor.

Since then, Darren has reimagined his sound a number of times, been involved in other bands (Beep Beep comes to mind), moved to New York City and moved back to Lincoln. And now he’s back with a new synth-powered project – Problems.

“A lessen I learned from Joel (Petersen) in the Faint. He said, ‘Your guitar stuff and bass sounds good, but you do not understand how to make a synth sound expressive.’ That quote changed my whole perspective on what a synthesizer can do.” Keen said. “Why do some synths sound so much more visceral? I’ve been trying to figure that out for 12 years.”

I think he’s cracked the code.

Those comments came after I asked why some local synth-based recordings (to me) sound like remixing of pre-packaged, canned synth sounds, while others take it to the next level. Keen’s work on his debut Problems LP, Ought Not Be Overthought, which drops tomorrow on club music label Knightwerk Records, takes it to the next level, and the proof was my wife asking from the next room, “What is this? I love it.”

Keen calls the sound on Problems recordings “subversive house” but “I know it will get lumped in with other genres,” he said. “Some people are comparing it to electro artists like Mr. Oizo, Justice and Daft Punk. It’s not techno; it’s dance music. I start with a four-on-the-floor kick drum on every track. Putting limitations on it allows me to explore creatively in a way that’s deeper than I could before.”

His process on Problems material involves spending a couple weeks setting up what he calls “good templates” — the fundamental kick drum, cymbals and synths. “It’s sort of like the gear a band would acquire and bring into the studio,” he said.

Once the templates were in place, Keen said he recorded and mastered the album tracks in three days. “When it came time to write, I started on a Monday and by Friday was putting out a record.”

He’s celebrating the release of the new album with a free live stream performance tomorrow night, Dec. 4, hosted by Lincoln’s BLACK MAGIK and DJ KevyCav. The stream will be on twitch, here: http://twitch.tv/blackmagikpresents . More info on the stream here.

Keen’s already working on more Problems, with another single and full-length slated for release on a different label next spring. “That one will have a limited physical release,” he said. “As will the one after that.”

“As some form of gigging comes back (post-COVID), it will make more sense to make stuff again,” he said. “People are still at home looking for things to do and want to buy records and cassettes to support artists. I’ve spent more money on music post-COVID than before I moved back to Nebraska.”

Pre-order the new album at the Problems Bandcamp page.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Who is Lightning Stills? New EP on the way; Stephen Malkmus says wait ’til 2022…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 6:05 pm December 2, 2020
Lightning Stills

You know him from the heavy stuff, like Leafblower, New Lungs and Peace of Shit. Well, he’s taken off the black T-shirt and strapped on a fake Nudie suit. And somewhere along the way picked up a twang. Maybe it came with the name change.

I’m talking about Craig Fort and his new project (and persona) that he revealed yesterday. It goes by the name of Lightning Stills.

Over the last couple months I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and started a new character project,” Fort explained. The product is Lightning Stills Sings His Songs, a 5-song EP that should be out shortly. The first single, “It’s All a Warsh,” dropped on Bandcamp yesterday and features guitarist Mike Friedman, maybe the best journeyman guitarist in the city. Friedman has worked with Simon Joyner, Little Brazil and Lupines, to name just three.

Also in on the project are Chris Kelly (Back When/Bovinae) on bass and Darren Broderick on drums. All the tracks were recorded remotely, then mixed and mastered by studio engineer/genius Ian Aeillo. The music is pure Outlaw C&W with a shot and a beer.

Waylon has been a hero of mine since my dad and grandpa introduced me to him at a young age,” Fort said.

Expect a full immersion into Lightning Stills on stage once this friggin’ pandemic is behind us. Fort has all the props to make any venue feel like Nashville. And he says he’s already halfway through recording his next single to be released after the EP, which will be a duet with Junkyard Dan (Danny Maxwell). Look, if you don’t already own a cowboy hat, might be time to get you one….

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Here’s a dire message to end on…

Stephen Malkmus cancelled his tour yesterday, including the April 10, 2021 show at The Waiting Room. One Percent Productions posted the following message from Malkmus’ management:

While things seem to be moving in the right direction with vaccines, etc., it appears unlikely that tours will be able to resume safely by next Spring. Unfortunately, the shows scheduled for March and April are cancelled. Refunds will be available point of purchase. Rest assured that Stephen will be back on the road in 2022, hopefully with even newer music!

Who knows for sure when other tours will be scheduled, but I was hoping some artists would be on the road toward the summer of 2021, and I’m still hopeful. God help us (and the live music industry) if we have to wait until 2022…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


New STATHI EP, new Dolores Diaz and the Standby Club (Oberst and Co.), Anna McClellan LP; and it’s ‘Giving Tuesday’ y’all..

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:42 pm December 1, 2020
Dolores Diaz & The Standby Club at The Waiting Room, May 21, 2016.

Last week (Thanksgiving week) was pretty uneventful music-wise. This week’s starting off with a bang.

Today STATHI — a.k.a. Stathi Spiros Patseas — dropped a new EP titled Post-Truth. The 6-song digital release was produced by Miwi La Lupa and includes contributions from a plethora of Omaha talent including James Maakestad, Meg Siebe, Patrick Newbery, Tyler Chickinelli, Colin Duckworth, Drew Tvrdy, Kevin Donahue, Sean Paul, Mary Fernandez and, of course, lots of Miwi.

The music falls in the folk rock category alongside bands like Nap Eyes, Susto, and ’70s SoCal acts, with Stathi providing vocals reminiscent of Jackson Browne. The EP’s centerpiece is “Questions & Answers,” a mid-tempo 6/8-time sunset rocker that brings it all together.

It’s out now on all the usual digital platforms including good ol’ Bandcamp.

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Also announced today, Cursive’s label 15 Passenger Records is releasing the debut album by Dolores Diaz & The Standby Club, affectionately called Live at O’Leaver’s.

The project, as you all know by now, is a covers band that includes a ton of Omaha superstars including Conor Oberst, Miwi La Lupa, Corina Figueroa Escamilla (as Dolores), Roger Lewis, Matt Maginn, Dan McCarthy, Ben Brodin, Phil Schaffart and Jim Schroeder. Now that’s a crowded stage (and it certainly was those nights at fabulous O’Leaver’s).

Oberst talked about the project in here Lazy-i waaay back in May 2016.

Live at O’Leaver’s will be released digitally Dec. 11, with a vinyl version expected April 9. You can pre-order your copy right here at the 15 Passenger website. Check out a track below:

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And though I mentioned it before a few weeks ago, the new Anna McClellan LP, I Saw First Light, dropped a week ago Friday on Father / Daughter Records. This is the follow-up to her 2018 debut, Yes and No, and was produced by Anna, Ryan McKeever, Sean Pratt, Megan Siebe and Hootie Erickson. It’s on Bandcamp, and here’s my favorite song from it:

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Finally, it’s Giving Tuesday, which moving forward is replacing Give Omaha as thee primary day to open your wallets and help local non-profits. They never needed it more than they do right now.

The local list to consider sharing your sheckles with includes Rabble Mill (formerly Hear Nebraska), Omaha Girls Rock!, Maha Festival, and Film Streams, to name a few. And then there’s the National Independent Venue Association Emergency Relief Fund. Give them some money. You’ll feel good about it.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


#TBT: Sunshine, The Carsinogents, Sound of Rails The Sokol Underground, Omaha Nov. 19, 2000…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 11:00 am November 19, 2020
The Carsinogents at Sokol Underground, Nov. 19, 2000.

A little bit of #TBT action, 20 years ago today the Carsinogents played Sokol Underground with Sound of Rails and Czech punk band Sunshine, who I interviewed for this tour (read it here). Interestingly, Sunshine would go on to sign with Universal and Epic, who released their last LP in 2011, according to Discogs. The band still has an Facebook page, though they haven’t posted anything since March 2018.

And what of Speed! Nebraska bands Sound of Rails and The Carsinogents? Members of Sound of Rails — guitarist John Kestner, bassist Chris Palmquist, and drummer Eric Ernst — are still kicking around town in bands like Mere Shadows, Nanahara and Lodgings. As for The Carsinogents, well, we’re all still desperately waiting for the inevitable reunion (Come on, Dave…).

Sunshine, The Carsinogents, Sound of Rails 
The Sokol Underground, Omaha
Nov. 19, 2000

With a sound that was a blend of Sonic Temple-era Cult, Flock of Seagulls, U2 and PiL, Czech band Sunshine played the loudest set my bleeding ears have endured in recent memory at the Sokol Underground Nov. 19.

Maybe it was the 30 mph Arctic-blast winds or the fact that it was a school night, but fewer than 100 were on hand to take in the night of high-energy rock ‘n’ roll.

Sound of Rails started things off with a set of tight, rhythmic, almost mathy indie-style songs that featured a surprisingly dense sound for a three-piece. The combo takes an intense but tuneful tact, with spare vocals and constantly building dynamics that emphasize the instrumental side of their music that creates a dramatic vibe.

Their stage presence consisted of the bassist and guitarist basically standing to either side of the drum kit — not much of a show, but maybe my opinion was tainted because what followed them is arguably the best live performing band in Omaha. The Carsinogents know how to make the most of any stage. Missing from their normal set-up Sunday was their film/video that features a mix of Spanish masked wrestlers, bodybuilders and ’60s-era strippers. The projector apparently got busted at a 49’r show earlier in the week, but it didn’t matter, it just made for a cleaner stage.

I’ve seen the band four times now and this was probably their best sounding set — big, chunky guitars, horror-movie keyboards and a tight-as-a-tick rhythm section playing blazing, electrified punk with a tinge of vintage surf rock underlying all of it. Intense.

No Carsinogents set is complete without pyro effects. Sunday’s show included a blazing, rotating trashcan and drummer Eldon Vampola blowing alcohol into a flaming skull (a privilege usually handled by lead vocalist Dave Electro). The Sokol’s elevated stage kept the band far removed (maybe too far) from the audience, making it safer for onlookers as Electro swung the microphone stand over his head. Electro, a.k.a. Dave Goldberg, is the first frontman from an Omaha band since Ritual Device’s Tim Moss to bring a show’s energy all the way to the brink of the stage, and then into the crowd. The band is always better when nothing separates them from the audience.

Then came Sunshine. Only about 50 people remained to see the headliner tear through an ear-splitting set of classic-tinged ’80s-style head-bobbing New Wave-meets-punk anthems. Lead singer Kay was a tall, lanky, black-maned thyroid case swinging a guitar around like an electric necklace. The sound was rife with delay and feedback, chiming guitars and either a thick rolling bass or keyboards. The guitar effects were sheer ’80s echo-chamber stuff that brought back memories of a kinder, gentler, post-big-hair time when U2 still hadn’t played Red Rocks and MTV still played rock videos. Kay’s shrill, atonal, Johnny Rotten-esque vocals, however, took away from the effect and was an acquired taste. By the end of the set, you could hardly tell he was from a former Soviet Block country.

At one point in their set, chunks of something were falling from the Underground ceiling. Before the final song, I decided take out my earplugs (a must at all Sokol shows) at the back of the room to see just how loud it was and almost passed out from the sheer volume. Tinnitus, here we come.

Published in The Omaha Weekly November 22, 2000. Copyright 2000 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


New music from Ethan Jones (ex-Ladyfinger, Dumb Beach), James Schroeder (UUVVWWZ, David Nance Band), Problems (Darren Keen)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:02 pm November 18, 2020
Ethan Jones, McMcCarthy (2020, self-release)

Three new releases to tell you about…

Yesterday Ethan Jones, whose past bands have included Putrescine, Ladyfinger and Dumb Beach, released a new EP via Bandcamp called McMcCartney.

All of these songs started as home recordings/demos and very slowly morphed into real songs and were finally finished several months into the pandemic,” says the liner notes. “All instruments were performed and recorded by Ethan Jones using mostly cheap gear, a very slow, out-dated iMac, and one single microphone… a trusty Shure SM57.”

The recording was mixed by Drew Rudenbusch and mastered by Darren Keen. This one is something of a surprise and in the grand tradition of Jones’ former bands — i.e., heavy, groovy shit. Would love to hear this performed live (Damn you, COVID!) You can buy the download at a name-your-price price from Jones’ Bandcamp page.

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Seeing Darren Keen’s name reminded me of an oversight which I want fix now. Back in September James Schroeder (UUVVWWZ, David Nance Band) released a solo album called Mesa Buoy, which I somehow totally overlooked. As you can imagine, the 8-song recording is a showcase for Schroeder’s amazing guitar work.

This recorded material is one end of a stubborn vision that infected my writing process for the better part of a decade,” Schroeder says in the liner notes. “Pieces floating in one sketched form or another, hauled from basement to basement like a cinder block matryoshka doll. Toiled slowly and steadily between tours and recording with other groups.”

The project features some of Nebraska’s finest talent: Kevin Donahue on drums, Colin Duckworth on pedal steel, Patrick Newbery on Rhodes, Michael Overfield on bass and Megan Siebe on cello, with special guest appearances by Jay Kreimer and David Nance.

Ben Brodin engineered and mixed the recording at ARC; Darren Keen did the mastering. It’s quite a feast of styles and substance, underscored by Schroeder’s remarkable guitar work. Download the album for $7 at Schroeder’s Bandcamp page.

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Speaking of Darren Keen, the mastermind behind The Show Is the Rainbow has a new electronic project called Problems that will see the release of its debut, Ought Not Be Overthought, Dec. 4 on LA label Knightwerk Records. The first single, “Single,” was released a couple weeks ago. Get into it:

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Azure Ray rereleases debut on Flower Moon; new Las Cruxes…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 3:19 pm November 17, 2020

A couple quick news items from the email box:

Azure Ray, self-titled (2020, Flower Moon)

— Azure Ray’s 2001 self-titled debut, released originally on Warm Electronic Recordings, is being released for the first time on vinyl Jan. 16 in recognition of its 20th anniversary. The label is Maria Taylor’s own Flower Moon Records. Maria, as you know is one half of Azure Ray alongside Orenda Fink.

I remember when this album came out and what a splash it made, eventually gaining the attention of Conor Oberst and the folks at Saddle Creek Records, who would go on to release three LPs by the duo. Preorders are being taken now at Flower Moon’s online store.

— Omaha’s only Latin-language punk band, Las Cruxes, released a new single, “NW,” via Spotify last Friday. No idea if it’s available on any other platform (I can’t find it on Bandcamp)…

— That Nov. 27 Those Far Out Arrows concert with Cat Piss at Reverb Lounge has been CANCELLED. Not sure why, but maybe COVID-19 had something to do with it…

— Currently listening to: Katy J Pearson, Return (2020, Heavenly Recording)

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Have we taken live music for granted (in the column); it’s time to write your representative (again)…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:14 pm November 16, 2020
Skeleton Crew: Conor Oberst joined Phoebe Bridgers on stage at The Troubadour in West Hollywood during the live-streamed Save Our Stages Festival Oct. 21, 2020.

The National Independent Venues Association (NIVA) is making another push for you and me to write our representatives in Washington to get the Save Our Stages Act included in the next COVID-19 relief package, which is apparently being negotiated now.

All you have to do is go to this web page and fill out the form. You can use their sample letter or write one of your own. Once you hit the submit button, it’ll go to the right offices of your Congressional representatives. It really does only take 30 seconds and it could make all the difference.

Click this, go there, and do it now.

Along those lines, the November issue of The Reader is out now with my column that focuses on the Save Our Stages efforts while asking if we’ve taken live music for granted. It’s online at The Reader website, here and I’ve also included it below. Please to enjoy:

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Have We Taken Live Music for Granted?

#SaveOurStages is a lifeline for the live music industry

As I type this I’m watching the Save Our Stages Fest (#SOSFest) on Oct. 21, a few weeks before the election. Indie phenom Phoebe Bridgers and her band are dressed in skeleton costumes played alone in the West Hollywood bar where Elton John, Joni Mitchell and Linda Ronstadt paid their dues.

Singer/songwriter pals Conor Oberst and Christian Lee Hutson joined in the streamed event. A little over halfway through the set between songs about death and loneliness Phoebe turned to the camera and said, “Click the donate button because….” After a long pause Conor chimed in: “Because we need a place to play.

That was the reason for SOS Fest. The three-day virtual festival featured 35 artists performing at 25 venues beamed directly to your computer or phone screen, with proceeds benefiting independent music venues impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you read this, the election is (hopefully) over. No matter who won, there’s still a shit-ton of problems to solve thanks to COVID-19. Somewhere on that long list after “figure out a way to keep people from dying (or at the very least from catching the disease)” is “figure out a way to reopen the rest of the country for business.”

While 90 percent of U.S. businesses have reopened, the first businesses to shut down — the bars and music venues — are still closed. And many could stay that way for a very long time.

Beginning in April, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) — a group of more than 2,900 independent music venues and promoters — has lobbied Congress to pass legislation that provides recovery funds and tax credits to help venues survive during the pandemic. First it was the Save Our Stages Act, which passed in the House; and now the HEROES Small Business Lifeline Act is being considered in the Senate as part of the CARES Act.

NIVA asked music fans to write their lawmakers urging them to support the bills, and they have to the tune of nearly 2 million emails. (And more letters are needed. You can write your representative from this handy page on the NIVA website. It only takes 30 seconds!).

But here we are on Oct. 21 and Congress has yet to pass anything, while the future of the live music industry grows bleaker and bleaker. According to a survey of NIVA members, 90 percent of independent venues will close permanently without federal aid in the coming months.

We’re already seeing it here. The Lookout Lounge on 72nd Street closed permanently earlier this summer, and The Barley Street Tavern in Benson gave up the ghost in September. What role COVID-19 played in those closings is uncertain, though it no doubt helped rush some decisions. Now I’m told a third well known club is on the verge of shutting down.

And while two of the best stages in Omaha — The Waiting Room and Reverb Lounge — have reopened, they’re only booking comedy acts and cover bands at very limited capacity shows. Downtown showcase The Slowdown held an outdoor festival in its parking lot featuring local acts just to remind people it was still there, though its doors remain locked.

With stages dark, musicians also toil in darkness. According to Business Insider, with the decline in album sales, live events provide 75 percent of all artists’ income. Strangely, thankfully, a ton of new music has been released during the lock down (including albums by Bright Eyes and Phoebe Bridgers) despite the fact that no one is touring.

Three things:

One: Legislation will pass. It has to. It may not be ’til after a new Congress is in place (or heck, it may happen before this column sees print), but it will happen. Too many people have been without for too long. The assistance needed for bars and venues to survive that’s outlined in SOS and HEROES acts will be among the law’s provisions. But it won’t be near enough.

Two: We will climb this mountain of a pandemic and come out on the other side. But it’ll take more than a vaccine. It’ll take a concerted effort by everyone, regardless of political leaning, to do what scientists say we need to do.

And three: Venues will reopen at full capacity, and bands will begin playing and touring again. But, god help us, it may not be until this time next year, or even later. And when the smoke clears, the venue landscape will look very different.

Once people feel safe again, fans will flock to clubs like they never have before thanks to a hunger for live entertainment. But you’ll be surprised how quickly people forget what they’ve been through.

The sad fact is we’ve always taken live music for granted. While ticket prices for arena shows have gone up around 30 percent over the past five years, according to Fast Company those increases haven’t kept up with prices for other forms of entertainment.

It’s the same story for small touring bands that, prior to the pandemic, were lucky to get home from tours with anything in their pockets. Ticket prices for touring indie shows have risen only gradually over the past five years, always being outpaced by the costs required to tour.

And then there are local shows.

I’ve covered live music for more than 30 years. When I started, the cover charge to see live, original bands was $5. Thirty years later, the cover at small clubs is still $5 for local shows, while some larger venues have pumped it up to a whopping $7 or $8. Try splitting that between three bands and a sound guy.

Why are we willing to spend up to $15 to see a movie, but won’t spend $15 to see a live local band, to hear music performed in front of our eyes by living, breathing musicians who put themselves out there for our amusement and/or enlightenment? At the end of a typical night at a rock club, too many local bands go home with nothing except an empty wallet and a hangover.

And yet, I’ve never talked to a band that didn’t want to keep doing it. For them, it’s all about the music. It’s certainly not about the money. Why can’t they have both?

Over The Edge is a monthly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts. Email Tim at tim.mcmahan@gmail.com.

Originally published in The Reader, November 2020. Copyright © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: Glow in the Dark; Fizzle/Laces rereleased; Update: Conor drops out of Carhenge show…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 1:46 pm November 13, 2020
Conor Oberst plays a concert tomorrow at Carhenge in Alliance, NE.

After watching about a dozen live streams early in the pandemic I pretty much quit tuning into them other than a couple well-crafted special-feature concerts produced at The Slowdown. The reason: Most are just godawful boring acoustic performances that do a poor job both at showcasing the performers and their songs. And I’m alone in this opinion. The number of live streams has dropped like a rock after the first few months of the pandemic as artists became frustrated with the limitations of the productions and the low number of people watching them.

Now after saying that, let me point you to last night’s Virtual @ Low End concert featuring Glow in the Dark. This was one of the most entertaining live streams I’ve seen on both a local and a national level. Reason being Aaron Gum and Lawrence Deal — the duo behind Glow in the Dark — know how to put on a great virtual show, along with the fine folks at The Bemis. The program was a collage of quick-cut performance footage along with interlaced video (most of it vintage) and very good stage lighting and sound. So much was going on, you never had a chance to get bored. The only thing missing was a runway and a troupe of high-heeled models in futuristic day-glow cone bras.

Topping it off was Glow in the Dark’s synth-powered music whose style and sound owe a lot to ‘80s and ‘90s acts like Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, Nine Inch Nails and Ultravox as well as local synth-masters like Digital Leather and The Faint. Gum guides the sound behind a panels of keyboards while a Deal growls out the melodies like a mountain man version of Trent Reznor. It’s so well produced you’ll wonder how much was live and how much was Memorex, especially considering how tight they performed.

Glow in the Dark performing at Low End at the Bemis Nov. 12, 2020.

This is the first time I’ve seen these guys play a full set, so I’m unsure how much was old music or songs off their forthcoming LP, due out next April. Here’s the link to the replay. Play this tonight. Turn out the lights, turn up the sound and enjoy.

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One of the most overlooked local singer/songwriters of the late ‘90s/early ‘00s is Doug Kabourek whose landmark album Golden Sand and the Grandstand, released under the name Fizzle Like a Flood, is one of the great lost treasure bedroom-pop recordings of all time. Doug had a different project before Fizzle named The Laces that encapsulated the same bedroom-pop singer/songwriter approach that would have been perfect released by a label like K Records.

Instead, The Laces recordings were released by under-the-radar label Mighty Feeble Records, who just just rereleased the entire Laces discography on their Bandcamp page. Now you can relive the CDR-etched dream that was Forever for Now, released way back in 1999 (reviewed here), as well as other Laces nuggets. Or if you’re in a hurry, check out Wooden Change, a professionally mastered (by Doug Van Sloun) “best of” collection available here for the first time ever.

Doug Kabourek action figures…

If that wasn’t enough, anyone who buys the entire Laces discography will get a handmade Doug Kabourek action figure (I’m not kidding). As an added bonus, all proceeds will be donated to the Tony Hawk’s Skatepark Project to help under-served communities create safe and inclusive public skateparks for youth. Check it all out at the Mighty Feeble Laces Bandcamp page.

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Finally, there is an indie rock show happening this weekend, but it’s happening way out in the Nebraska panhandle.

Atlas Obscura and Nissan present Rogue Routes: Auto Mode, a concert tomorrow evening at Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska. Headlining the event is Conor Oberst, who will be joined by Chicano Batman and street artist Swoon.

UPDATE: Via @AtlasObscura: Due to an unexpected shift in our line-up Conor Oberst will be unable to join us for tomorrow’s Rogue Routes performance.

This is a drive-in style event — event audio will be done via FM transmission to your car stereo (There will be no amplification). Your $55 $20 ticket gets your vehicle into the performance along with four human beings. As of this writing, only 15 tickets were still available. The program runs from 4:30 p.m. MST until 7:30 p.m. at Carhenge, 2151 Co. Rd. 59, Alliance. More information including tickets here.

Don’t feel like driving to Alliance? Well you can watch the performance live for free via at atlasobscura.com/rogue.

That’s all I got. Have a great weekend!

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Glow in the Dark goes virtual at Low End tonight; new Phoebe Bridgers (sort of)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 3:12 pm November 12, 2020
Glow in the Dark go back in time…

Electro-rock kingpins Glow in the Dark were originally scheduled to play at Low End at The Bemis last summer but, lo and behold, vocalist Lawrence Deal tested positive for COVID-19, which took them out of the running. Well, everyone’s healthy once again and Glow in the Dark are performance live tonight at Low End via Facebook Live and Twitch.

We will be debuting a new song and I’m dragging out a few synthesizers that would normally stay in the studio,” said the other half of Glow in the Dark, Aaron Gum, who added that they’re slowly getting back to work finishing their album. We’re all waiting, people…

The virtual performance begins at 8 and is free. Go to http://www.twitch.tv/bemiscenter or the Bemis Facebook page to have your mind blown.

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The other day Phoebe Bridgers announced that she’s releasing a 4-song EP Nov. 20 called Copycat Killer on Dead Oceans wherein she’s taken four songs off her last album — “Kyoto,” “Savior Complex,” “Chinese Satellite” and “Punisher” — and rerecorded them with arranger/string player Rob Moose, who’s worked in the past with the likes of Bon Over, Paul Simon, Alabama Shakes, John Legend, Tayler Swift, Haim and more.

It’s almost as if Bridgers was sitting around (conceivably with Conor) and wondered, “How can I make these already depressing songs even more depressing?” The answer, sing them only accompanied by sad strings. They are, indeed, pretty and sad, but I still prefer the original recordings. No doubt the the fans will be eager to buy this (on vinyl via Rough Trade).

Check out the new version of “Kyoto”…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Those Far Out Arrows ‘Fill Yer Cup’ on new digital LP, new Teenage Fanclub on the way…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 2:58 pm November 11, 2020
Those Far Out Arrows at Petfest 2020 this past summer. They released a new album last week.

Trying to work my way through a backlog of email and other assorted news items….

Coming out of the blue, Those Far Out Arrows dropped a new LP last Friday called Fill Yer Cup.

This album was recorded in December 2019 at ‘The Library’ with Adam Roberts in Omaha, Nebraska,” says the liner notes. “These songs were born in a pre-pandemic world but continue to resonate in life today, as we know it. We love and appreciate all who support us and take time to listen to these recordings.

Anyone who caught the band’s performances at Petfest this past summer caught a few of these new songs (“Snake in My Basement” was a standout). Buy your digital copy at their Bandcamp page for just $5.

Unafraid of any stinking pandemic, TFOA’s is slated to play at Reverb Lounge Nov. 27 with Cat Piss — that’s the day after Thanksgiving.


Not local news, but legendary Scottish indie rockers Teenage Fanclub announced their new album, Endless Arcade, will drop March 5 on Merge. Check out the opening song, “Home,” below…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.