Live Review: Perfect Form, Colfax Speed Queen at O’Leaver’s…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:38 pm February 3, 2020

Perfect Form at O’Leaver’s, Jan. 31, 2020.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I had every intention of seeing InDreama Friday night at Reverb and then racing cross-town to O’Leaver’s, but the evening got the better of me and I didn’t get rolling until around 11. Figuring I’d probably already missed part of InDreama’s set, I instead headed out to the club, where the second band was still doing their pre-set soundcheck.

Colfax Speed Queen is a Denver five-piece who’ve opened for the likes of The Sonics, Thee Oh Sees, King Khan & BBQ and Prettiest Eyes, among others. Though they have that minor-key, organ-driven thing going, their style is too straight-forward and riffy to fall into the psychobilly category. Instead, they have refined garage-rock power more in common with Oh Sees or Ty Segall.

Colfax Speed Queen at O’Leaver’s, Jan. 31, 2020.

Frontman Matthew Loui on guitar and vocals, with keen serial killer looks, was a true showman, and this band was tight as a tic. Lead guitarist Jacob Bond killed on the solos and the rhythm section was right on. It was definitely another one of those classic O’Leaver’s sets that I wasn’t expecting and was a pleasant surprise. Check out their latest, 2019’s Dirty Mirror, on Bandcamp. You won’t be disappointed.

Too bad so few people were there to see them. The crowd of 20 or so consisted mostly of music people, no doubt on hand to see Perfect Form, a new incarnation of Pharmacy Spirits with the added dimension of golden-age vet Oli Blaha on bass sounding as golden as ever.

Without a doubt, Perfect Form is influenced by bands like Joy Division, Gang of Four, very early Cure, Wire, all the usual post-punk suspects. They do it very well, driven by a super-talented rhythm section of Blaha and drummer Courtney Nore, who remains one of my all-time faves behind a drum kit.

The band is rounded out by frontman singer/guitarist Jim Reilly and guitarist/vocalist Eric Maly. Reilly handles most all the vocals but Maly jumps in now and again with some added angst. The guitar work is as you’d expect from this style of band — jangly and precise, lean and simple. It’s the bass that’s driving the songs, with Blaha playing most of the set pushed into a corner with has back to the audience.

Late in the set they played a song called “Terminal Beach” that had all of the above and something I can’t quite put my finger on that reminded me of Omaha/Lincoln in the mid-’90s, something about the way Reilly and Maly were singing the chorus “If I could just fall asleep / I’d make you promise that you’d never let me wake,” that sounded like every local punk band at the time. Reckless fun.

This was their first show ever. Why they chose Omaha to play it when they’re from Lincoln is something of a mystery. I’m happy they did.

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Not much happening this week show-wise until Friday night’s Little Brazil gig at The Sydney. I’ll try filling the gap by posting about stuff I’ve been listening to lately. Check back.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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InDreama, Glow in the Dark, Perfect Form, Unexplained Death tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:21 pm January 31, 2020

InDreama at O’Leaver’s May 18, 2018. The band plays tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

We have a stacked Friday night and nothing on Saturday. I’m fine with that since I’ll probably be three sheets to the wind after tonight.

The problem here is that we have so many shows going on at the same time.

On top of my list: InDreama tonight at Reverb Lounge. I wrote about the band a couple days ago (see here), and have yet to catch them with this new line-up. It’s a strong bill that also includes those French-singing rockers in Minne Lussa and the electronic stylings of Glow in the Dark (featuring InDreama’s Aaron Gum). $8, 9 p.m.

This aerobic video works for every song, why not one of ours?

Glow in the Dark is back! Friday Jan 31st opening for InDreama & Minne Lussa at Reverb Lounge#glowshow#doomsdayclock

Posted by Glow in the Dark on Saturday, January 25, 2020

 

Also tonight just around the corner, Matt Whipkey’s poli-punk project Unexplained Death opens for tribute band Bennie and the Gents (Who tonight are doing a Bowie tribute). Will Matt tap into some deep inner anger after Trump gets acquitted today? Find out 9 p.m. $12.

Meanwhile, Perfect Form debuts tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Perfect Form is a Lincoln band that includes Jim Reilly and Courtney Nore of Pharmacy Spirits, with Oli Blaha and Eric Maly (Polecat/Slow, Pioneers). There’s lots of buzz going on about this set. It’s a loaded show with Silversphere and Denver’s Colfax Speed Queen. $7. 10 p.m. start time.

Something tells me I’ll be driving around Omaha a lot tonight, just like the old days.

That’s it for the weekend. 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Maha announces Aug. 7-8 music festival at Aksarben; will Leafblower be there (new video drops)?; The Anniversary tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:46 pm January 29, 2020

The Anniversary plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This morning the folks at the Maha Festival announced its 2020 concert will be held Friday and Saturday, Aug. 7-8 at Aksarben Village — i.e, the same place they’ve been holding the festival for years. They used to say “Stinson Park” but the Maha footprint has continued to grow to the point where it practically encompasses the entire Aksbarben Village business district.

From the press release: “The 2020 festival will take place one week earlier than it has in past years. This eliminates any potential conflict with back-to-school dates, so that more attendees from near and far can experience this wide array of Omaha-centric programming.

Rachel Grace, who’s handling media for Maha, said while event times won’t be released for a bit, for what’s happening at Stinson Park expect times similar to last year, which would be Friday night only and Saturday afternoon/night.

Maha also will have programming on Wednesday, Aug. 5, in Little Bohemia and Thursday, Aug. 6, in the Blackstone District at “multiple venues.” What that entails we’ll have to wait and see, though I’m guessing they’re going to feature local acts on small stages on those days and (hopefully) will have at least one national indie act play somewhere Thursday night like they did last year with Pinback at The Waiting Room.

Moving the festival up a week will place it in the height of the summer festival season, which could make bookings more difficult. Will one week make a difference in terms of the heat index? Unlikely, though the first week of August can be a mother-f___er for humidity.

Maha has a big challenge in that last year’s sold-out Lizzo-fueled Saturday helped generate a record-breaking 14,500 attendance. How will they top it, or can they? Booking Lizzo was a stroke of luck. Can they capture lightening in a bottle two years in a row?

More importantly, will they move away from their indie-directed programming to something more pop-flavored (such as a likely out-of-reach Billie Eilish or any other Grammy performer) in an effort to sell more tickets? You can read my thoughts on that here.

So who’s on your Maha wish list? No doubt they’ve already signed their headliner (or are about to). My wish list includes DIIV, Sharon Van Etten, Orville Peck, Strand of Oaks, Big Thief, Caroline Rose, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks and/or Pavement, Pet Shop Boys, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala, King Krule, Algiers, Pinegrove, Frances Quinlan, Haim, Jarvis Cocker and Phoebe Bridgers.

A few of those seem financially out of reach (Tame Impala, for example). With last week’s announcement, Bright Eyes also would seem like a shoe-in for Maha, though I’ve been told that isn’t in the cards. Would Bright Eyes be big enough to headline anyway?

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Here’s another one to add to the Maha list: Yesterday Omaha garage-rock vets Leafblower released a new video produced by the fine folks at Love Drunk. It’s a one-take live performance of the band’s single “Still Lazy After All These Beers.” Imagine DMax, Fort and the rest on the big Maha stage belting that one out dressed as their aged mascot, complete with fog-machine leafblower!

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Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return of The Anniversary. The Lawrence, Kansas, indie band enjoyed a heyday in the early aughts, and includes singer Adrianne Verhoeven, a former member of Flowers Forever and Orenda Fink’s Art in Manila. Twinsmith kicks things off at 8:30. $25.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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InDreama returns with ‘Poison House;’ new album in the works; Friday night at Reverb…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , — @ 1:42 pm January 28, 2020

InDreama plays Friday night at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The InDreama show at Reverb isn’t until Friday night but Nik Fackler let me know the band just dropped its first single in forever, called “Poison House.” Check it out. It’s four minutes of bouncy psych-rock candy with a drop of madness in the middle.

The band features Fackler on guitar and vocals, Aaron Gum, Dereck Higgins and new members Ryan Menchaca and super-guitarist Jacob Cubby Phillips.

“We (Aaron Gum and Higgins) enjoyed doing the one-show-a-year thing over the last five years,” Fackler said, “but over the last few year we really started to accumulate a lot of new songs. Then with the recent addition of Ryan Menchaca and Cubby, things really felt solid as a live band.”

For Fackler, whose known as much as a filmmaker as a musician, InDreama has become a creative escape. “It is nice to have a project that can be any genre and just be there for you when you want to just sit down one night and write a weird song without any mold it’s trying to fit in,” he said.

The itch to make new music began to build over the last few years of writing screenplays and preparing to shoot a new feature film. “I currently have three film projects in development (one finished, one in rewrites, and one still writing),” Fackler said. “The process of writing is so incredibly time consuming and you never really feel complete until the film is released, which could take years and years.”

He said he started getting depressed, feeling he hadn’t completed anything in a long time. His last finished project was a video for The Faint’s single “Child Asleep.”

“I needed to create something that I could finish and put out quickly to fill that hole,” Fackler said. “Then InDreama played our annual show and I thought., ‘This is it, it’s time to record an album.’ Music will always have that immediate quality about it.”

So the band spent a day at ARC Studio and is in the process of mixing tracks. “We are shooting for a full-length album,” Fackler said. “We are gonna record a few more tracks next week.  Some late blooms. The idea is to finish the album and release it, while slowly putting out a few singles here and there as we progress.”

All the while, the band will continue to do live shows.

“We are playing more shows to experiment with new ideas as we record and mix,” Fackler said.  “It’s also just great to be on the stage again and embracing the abandonment of reality.”

While I had Fackler’s attention, I asked about the future of his other band, Icky Blossoms. Their last album was 2015’s Mask, released on Saddle Creek Records. Vocalist/instrumentalist Sarah Bohling recently moved to Atlanta. So is the band on permanent hiatus?

“Icky, like Indreama, is hard to ever see ending,” Fackler said. “Derek (Pressnall), Sarah and I are so close that it is hard not to imagine us always working together.”

I asked Nik if Friday’s show is going to be a multi-media experience. “We plan to just rock out on Friday,” he said. “There is a good chance that I will bring in some LED lights. But, in all honesty, if you are on enough mind altering substances – when you see us, the likelihood of seeing things goes way up.”

Ah, Nik, some of us are just high on life.

InDreama plays with Minne Lussa and Glow in the Dark Friday, Jan. 31, at Reverb Lounge. $8, 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Garst tonight; Aussie benefit w/And How Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 8:00 am January 24, 2020

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’m getting tired of writing “slim pickings this weekend” every weekend, but, well, just ain’t shit going on. I know it’s the dead of winter, but we used to have at least one decent indie show to point people towards per weekend in “the old days.” Here’s what we have:

— Brothers has no live stuff this weekend.

— O’Leaver’s has a DJ tonight and a metal cover band tomorrow night.

— The Sydney has a DJ tomorrow.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) there’s an Australia bush fire benefit at Pet Shop Gallery in Benson featuring band And How and friends. The show starts at 7:30 and all donations go to Australian Red Cross.

Lookout Lounge has an EP release show for Omaha pop-punkers Dsm5. Joining them are Cordial Spew, Hosting Monsters and Bombs Blast. $5, 9 p.m.

Young rockers Garst are playing at Reverb tonight with Barstal Boys. $5, 8 p.m. That does it for the One Percent  properties.

Slowdown Jr. tonight has a local funk/blues show with Black Swan Theory, Josh Hoyer and the Soul Colossal and Funk Trek tonight. $15, 9 p.m.  And that does it for The Slowdown for the weekend.

And that, my friends, is it. 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Bright Eyes signs to Dead Oceans, to tour in 2020; new Meth Head Steamroller…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:47 pm January 21, 2020

Bright Eyes in the recording studio.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Bright Eyes eye chart clue from Instagram.

The clues were right in front of your eyes. Yesterday followers of the Bright Eyes Instagram site were treated to photos of cryptic concert posters that all but claimed a new record and tour.

Then this morning NME reported Bright Eyes will release a new album on Dead Oceans sometime in 2020. The End of the Road Festival in Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset, England, Sept. 3-6 will be just one stop on a world tour that likely will take Conor Oberst, Nate Walcott and Mike Mogis everywhere (but not to Omaha, not yet anyway).

A video of the trio in the studio with a chamber orchestra was posted on the Dead Oceans twitter feed. This from the Dead Oceans press release:

And while 2020 is a year of milestones for the band, it’s also the year Bright Eyes returns, newly signed to indie label Dead Oceans. Amidst the current overwhelming uncertainty and upheaval of global and personal worlds, Oberst, Mogis, and Walcott reunited under the moniker as both an escape from, and a confrontation of, trying times. Getting the band back together felt right, and necessary, and the friendship at the core of the band has been a longtime pillar of Bright Eyes’ output. For Bright Eyes, this long-awaited re-emergence feels like coming home.”

Kind of, but if they were coming home, they would be coming back to Saddle Creek Records.

No one really thought that Bright Eyes was a dead entity. The collective is just another Oberst incarnation; it just happens to be his best incarnation. There’s a story there somewhere about why two of the crown jewels — Bright Eyes and Cursive — parted ways with the label they helped build. It can’t be money issues — could they really make that much more going to a different label (or creating their own)? Not likely; not these days.

While Oberst’s other recording projects were released on other labels, Bright Eyes was — and will always be — considered a Saddle Creek entity, no matter what Dead Oceans says or does. Saddle Creek was where the magic happened. The fact that Bright Eyes didn’t return to that label is the only sad note in this good news story.

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Maybe just as important as that Bright Eyes news is that Meth Head Steamroller — a project by the mysterious Benny Leather and mad king renaissance producer Ian Aeillo — dropped a new EP in Bandcamp. Enjoy!

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Criteria’s ‘Years’ drops (last week); new Digital Leather, Dereck Higgins…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:40 pm January 20, 2020

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Criteria, Years (2020, 15 Passenger)

Last Friday Criteria’s new album Years dropped via 15 Passenger Records. It’s a banger. BrooklynVegan was the first outlet to sort of review the album, saying: “The more polished sound suits them well, and helps elevate their chunky post-hardcore/alt-rock to a level where Criteria sound like even more of a force than they did during their initial run. The songwriting is inspired, the songs rip, and it just feels great to have this band back.”

Indeed. Get your copy and have a listen here. Tonight Criteria opens for Cursive at Neumos in Seattle.

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Digital Leather last week shared yet another song off its forthcoming album, Because You’re a Winner, called “V.” Check it below:

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And the always prolific Dereck Higgins dropped a new track in Soundcloud called “Scoobs.” He says he’s “causally working” toward a new album. And pssst…. InDreama also is in the studio.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Buggy Lewis and the Rabbit Grenades tonight; Your Smith Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:48 pm January 17, 2020

Photo I took a few years ago of someplace that was a lot warmer than here.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A bleak weather weekend and a bleak music weekend — what did you expect in mid-January?

If you want to brave the weather tonight, The Brothers has hardcore punkers Bunny Lewis and The Rabbit Grenades. Joining them are D.N.D. and The Lawsons. And it’s always warm in The Brothers Lounge. $5, 10 p.m.

If the weather takes a turn for the worst, you may want to double-check that this is still happening. They’re talking end-times ice-related weather events as a possibility. I don’t think it’ll get that bad, but what do I know?

I’ve got nothing on my radar Saturday night.

And then Sunday Your Smith plays at Slowdown Jr. Her real name is Caroline Smith. From Minneapolis, she’s been playing around for years but has a way of changing her style and musical identity. Soundwise, I liken her to an indie version of Sheryl Crow, a great voice, a way with a hook, she’s sneaky good. LA’s Chelsea Jade opens at 8 p.m. $12.

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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Cursive, Criteria, Cloud Nothings tonight at Winchester…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:19 pm January 15, 2020

A bronzer-infused Cursive in their official tour photo featuring tour drummer Pat Oakes (far right, Western shirt). Photo by Ariel Panowicz.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Cursive, Criteria and Cloud Nothings kick off a 2-week winter tour tonight with a massive concert at Winchester Bar and Grill, the sister club to O’Leaver’s that’s owned and operated by a team that includes Cursive’s Tim Kasher, Ted Stevens and Matt Maginn.

Despite Cursive and Criteria both playing ’round these parts in recent months (in Cursive’s case, this past September) the show should draw a sizable, raucous crowd. My first foray at attending a rock show at Winchester was a less than stellar experience thanks to surprising sight-line problems — i.e., you couldn’t see the band through the crowd. We’ll see tonight if they’ve remedied that problem by raising the stage.

The Boise Weekly has a new interview with Kasher that could act as a nice preview to tonight’s show. The funniest line of the article is the closer:

“I can assure you,” Kasher said, “that we will probably be going back into hiding for a little while after this.”

Ah, but there’s no place to hide when you own and operate a record label.

The wild card on this tour will be Criteria. Cloud Nothings has a similar if not more hyperactive style of angst-ular indie as Cursive, whose latest album, Get Fixed, is another angry downer of a collection of very densely packed, mathy indie rock songs, the highlight (for me anyway) being the chopped-riff-powered “Black Hole Town,” that begs everyone to sing along to the chorus “This town’s a black hole / This town’s an asshole!”  By contrast to those two bands, Criteria’s music is a sparkling flying rainbow unicorn of bright shiny indie rock — certainly a palette-cleanser between two rather acidic flavors, though I have a feeling Criteria will likely have the opening slot on this tour.

$20, 8 p.m. You may want to get there early and grab one of Winchester’s famous cheeseburger baskets. You’ll thank me later.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Waiting for the other Bright Eyes shoe to drop; S. Raekwon gets the Document treatment (from Saddle Creek)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:43 pm January 14, 2020

S. Raekwon is the latest artist in Saddle Creek Records’ Document Series.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Been slow ’round these parts lately. Everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop regarding Bright Eyes. I’ve been told that part of what I posted last week was correct. Not the part about Fevers and Mirrors or back catalog reissue via Team Love. Go back and do the math. Now we just wait for the inevitable announcement from the winning record label and what have you. It’s going to be an interesting 2020.

It will be for Saddle Creek Records, too (but not because of Bright Eyes). Today the label announced that S. Raekwon will be the next artist to release a single as part of their Document singles series. Did you, like me, immediately think of Wu Tang? Well, it’s not that Raekwon. This one is Steven Raekwon Reynolds, who records meditative bedroom indie rock under the name S. Raekwon. “Parts Towards Whole” b/w “A Crow’s Smile” comes out Feb. 7. Check out the A-side below and pre-order here.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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