Whatever happened to Owen? Oh, here’s what happened…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:55 pm December 2, 2014
Owen hold up a wall...

Owen hold up a wall…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

For last week’s Throw Back Thursday I posted an ancient review of an Owen gig at The 49’r and kind of wondered whatever happened to him. Someone posted a comment on the post saying he just reformed American Football. Then I got a press release in my email with the headline “Owen Streams New Covers Album in Full.” It said:

Owen‘s covers album Other People’s Songs is out next Tuesday, Dec.  2, via Polyvinyl Records. … Other People’s Songs features selections from artists including Against Me!, Depeche Mode, The Promise Ring, Lungfish, and more, all recorded this spring in Chicago with trusted producer Neil Strauch. With the help of female vocalist Sarah Mitchell, as well as occasional touches of violin and cello, Owen (Mike Kinsella) transforms each selection in unique and surprising ways.

Funny how these things happen. Check out tracks from his new album below (the Blake Babies cover is particularly good)…

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

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The post-Thanksgiving blues; Elvis Costello headed to Lincoln; new Sam Martin Dec. 9, RSC finds…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:51 pm December 1, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It looks to be monumentally quiet gig-wise this week. In fact, there’s virtually nothing on my radar the entire week. Post-holiday doldrums? I guess.

The only notable gig news came in a press release stating that Elvis Costello is booked for the Rococo in Lincoln March 3. Tix on sale Thursday at noon starting at $47.

Speaking of Lincoln gigs, Cursive announced it’s added a show at Vega in Lincoln March 22, the day after their gig at The Waiting Room.

Going through the ol’ in-box…

Capgun Coup frontman Sam Martin, last seen doped out in Nik Fackler’s film Sick Birds Die Easy, has a new album out a week from Tuesday, Dec. 9, on Omaha’s own Make Believe Recordings called A Notion in an Ocean. The record features a slew of guests, including Greg Elsasser, Sean Pratt, Noah Kohl, Dereck Higgins, Jesse Mckelvey and Todd Fink. Check out the video for the first single, “Bye Bye,” below.

How’d you do at Record Store Day Friday? I was surprised to find a lot of inventory still available at Homer’s and Drastic Plastic when I dropped in on both stores that afternoon. My only official RSD purchase was the American Hustle soundtrack. Other than that, I bought a copy of Joy Division’s Preston 28 February 1980 live album, out on Drastic Plastic Records (massive 200 gram vinyl), and scored used copies of Peter Gabriel’s debut album and Harry Nilsson’s The Point at Almost Music. Not bad…

BTW, those Guardians of the Galaxy cassettes are now going for more than $50 on ebay. More evidence that cassettes are 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

When Black Friday comes, I’m gonna dig myself a hole…; Har Mar Superstar, Matt Whipkey, New Lungs tonight; See Through Dresses Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:42 pm November 28, 2014
Macauly Caulkin and Axel Rose separated at birth? One of them plays at The Waiting Room tonight...

Macaulay Culkin and Axel Rose separated at birth? One of them plays at The Waiting Room tonight…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If Hunter S. Thompson were still alive here’s how he would describe Black Friday: A long, plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs; a profoundly degenerate world, a living web of foulness, greed and treachery. Actually, that’s how he described the TV industry, but it seems oddly appropriate. Especially the greed part.

But Black Friday is in all our American blood now. I will only partake in the records/vinyl/albums part of the event, seeking out whatever decent limited edition vinyl I can find, though I suspect I’ll be buying most of my albums used from Almost Music or Homer’s used bins. Looking over the official RST list, there’s not much that interests me, except for maybe that American Hustle soundtrack. But by the time I get to the stores, no doubt they’ll all be gone. Oh well.

Busy night tonight.

There’ve been a lot of people excited about the Macaulay Culkin cover band, Pizza Underground, who play tonight at The Waiting Room. I’m told the shtick involves Velvet Underground covers and a few others (maybe Nirvana) done up in an acoustic style reminiscent of early Tilly and the Wall. This from someone who’s seen it before (I will not divulge his identity, but you can figure it out). Is it me or is Culkin starting to look like Axel Rose? Co-headlining tonight’s Waiting Room bill is good ol’ Har Mar Superstar (featuring our very own Denver Dalley). Opening is Rig 1, the hip-hop project of Desaparecidos keyboardist Ian McElroy. Also on the bill is Candy Boys. Is it the same Candy Boys in the video below? Anyway. $15, 9 p.m. Expect a crowd.

Also tonight, Matt Whipkey and his band play at Reverb Lounge with Edge of Arbor. Hear Matt and the boys play some new material from Matt’s forthcoming album (due in 2015). $7, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s a last-minute free show featuring New Lungs. No other band is listed on the bill, so we’re talking three solid hours of D-Max and Company (just kidding)(but wouldn’t that be awesome?). Starts at 10 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) See Through Dresses returns to The Reverb Lounge with local indie supergroup Oquoa and Thinkin Machines. $8, 9 p.m.

Over at O’Leaver’s Saturday night McCarthy Trenching headlines a bill that includes Anna McClellan, Annie Dee and Michael Todd. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Over at The Side Door Lounge, The Derby Birds play with The Woodwork. This one’s free and starts at 9.

And Satchel Grande headlines at The Waiting Room Saturday night with John Klemmensen and the Party and All Young Girls Are Machine Guns. $7, 9 p.m.

If I missed your show, add it to the comments section. Have a good weekend!

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

Lazy-i

The Reader goes monthly in January; Happy Thanksgiving (see you at the bar)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 3:08 pm November 27, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 1.58.16 PMThe Reader announced via its website yesterday that the newspaper is changing from a weekly to a monthly print schedule. The reasons for the change were outlined in editor John Heaston’s essay, which was shared via social media. I also posted a link to my Over the Edge column that talked about the publication schedule shift, which you can read here (or in the printed paper).

As I say in my column, basic content that makes up The Reader — the columns, the music and arts reporting, etc. — will continue, but on a monthly basis. The hope (or at least my hope) is that with the new format, writers will be able to do more in-depth reporting and descriptive storytelling. Back in the early days of The Reader, Heaston or whoever was your section editor insisted that band features be a minimum of 1,600 words, enough to cover two two-page spreads, along with the prerequisite band photos and pull-quotes. And if you went longer than 1,600, well the more the merrier.

As the years went by and advertising began to evaporate, the news holes began to shrink until it got to the point were band features/interviews couldn’t exceed 600 words. Begging would get you as much as 800, but no more. I insisted that no in-depth interview could be written for less than 1,200 words and found myself escaping to my own column space — 1,000 words — for enough real estate for depth and background. Of course, there was no room left for photos.

Even cover stories began to shrink over the years. Some of those early Bright Eyes and Faint cover stories in The Reader ran over 3,000 words. Today I’d be lucky to get half that space.

Now with a monthly format that (hopefully) promises at least 64 pages per issue we’ll be able to get back to real reporting and storytelling — that is, if people still want to read those kinds of detailed stories. Facebook and Twitter have eroded readers’ attention spans, especially young readers who would rather swipe through a series of photos on Instagram than read what those photos were about. Is Social Media bringing to an end the age of long-form literary journalism? Time will tell.

Anyway, the new format doesn’t launch until January, so you’ll get at least five more issues of The Reader in the weekly format — and five more Over the Edge columns — until the monthly format comes into play. As part of the change, The Reader promises to update its website daily, and many of the weekly — or more timely — items (reviews, previews, schedules) will be updated as necessary. As I mention in the column, I’m still weighing whether Over the Edge makes sense anywhere but in print (where it will appear monthly). John and I are tossing around ideas for some sort of weekly online content — maybe even video, who knows?

My primary online presence will continue to be right here, at Lazy-i.com, which I’ll continue to write until they pry this Mac keyboard from my cold, dead hands, even if I’m down to two measly readers per day. A music critic has to write…

* * *

Nothing happening show-wise tonight, but holidays have always been a good bar night. Look around and see what’s open. And have a good Thanksgiving. See you tomorrow, when Black Friday comes…

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

Lazy-i

Live Review: Twin Peaks and Midtown Art Supply; Twinsmith, Darren Keen goodbye party tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:57 pm November 26, 2014
Twin Peaks at Midtown Art Supply, Nov. 25, 2014.

Twin Peaks at Midtown Art Supply, Nov. 25, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Midtown Art Supply doesn’t look like much from the street. In fact, it’s hard as hell to find. I drove past the storefront three times in the dark looking for it, trying to find some sort of indication that a show was going on. I should have just looked for the smokers, who huddled on the sidewalk outside the concrete building on Farnam Street, just a stone’s throw from what we used to refer to as the “loony bin.”

The interior is urban rustic bordering on squatters’ flat, or so it seemed. Playing hidden behind the crowd of about 100 was Twin Peaks crashing through a set of stripped down pop that was too well-written to be mistaken for garage. Since the band was playing at floor level, you could only see the tops of their shaggy heads in the near dark of the barren, cold art space.

A Lazy-i reader spotted me and pointed to a hole-walkway covered by a stapled-to-the-wall vinyl shower curtain that flapped in the cold darkness. “Go through there to get to the back stage and the bathroom,” he yelled.

We crossed into a blackness, a room with echoing high ceilings strewn with guitar cases and pieces of drum kit presumably from one of the opening bands, and walked to another hole in the wall where a half dozen people crowded to watch the band from behind. I leaned through and grabbed some photos of the mop-tops serenading a sea of bobbing heads while people pushed pass me to get to the bathroom.

Twin Peaks’ music is rowdy up-beat rock that borders on garage surf, but as I said before, there is a precision to it that puts it on another level. If you haven’t checked out Wild Onion, you should. Clearly the record has a lot of young fans, in fact judging by the number of eager, shining faces I got a feeling Twin Peaks’ might be drawing a younger crowd than the mob that was currently watching Desaparecidos over at TWR.

Standing toward the back drinking a beer out of a red cup, I suggested to the promoter that in the future he add a riser or something so the band could be seen above the crowd, and he told me there was an elevated stage hidden behind the large projector screen hanging behind the band, but for whatever reason it wasn’t being used for this show. He said with the stage in play, the room could comfortably hold a few hundred people, and has for past shows.

When the lights came up, I saw just how amazing — and monolithic — the space is. While the performance space isn’t much to look at, the interior of this building is cavernous and covered with eye-popping graffiti — huge spray-painted murals, which might explain the headache-inducing acrylic smell that hung over the back rooms. The building continues down into a basement where a skateboard ramp leaned against a wall. Down it went to another huge space broken up by support poles where I was told massive thousand-person raves had been held in years past. Another opening led to a blackened room filled with hundreds of doors leaning in stacks against each other. I was told there were more passages somewhere through the darkness that led who knows where. Anyway, an inspiring space which is now home to a talented local artist…

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Night two of holiday week takes place tonight. Saddle Creek Records band Twinsmith headlines a show at Slowdown Jr. Opening is Lincoln band Oketo and Stephen Nichols. With turkey day tomorrow, this could be a big show. $7, 9 p.m.

Also tonight is the going-away party for local legend Darren Keen at House of Loom. Keen is high-tailing it to Brooklyn in the coming days, and we’re all going to miss him dearly (just wait and see). Tonight’s performance will feature Darren covering Daft Punk live. According to the invite: “He’s rebuilt & restructured some the songs from the ground up. Along with Mark Hinrichs on a trap drum set, Keen has sampled the source material and built up a wall of electronics that really nail the things that are special & amazing about the music of Daft Punk.” Show starts at 9, and the price: “$5 until we fill up / $8 after.” More info 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Desaparecidos, Digital Leather, Twin Peaks tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:50 pm November 25, 2014
Desaparecidos circa 2002. The band plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

Desaparecidos circa 2002. The band plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Let holiday week begin. And begin it does in a big way tonight with dueling shows.

Top of the list is Desaparecidos at The Waiting Room. I guess the band figured since they were all in town working on the new record anyway, might as well do a show. Don’t be surprised if you get a sneak peek at their upcoming Epitaph release tonight. Opening is the always entertaining Digital Leather and hip-hop act BOTH. $20, 9 p.m. Get your tickets here.

Also tonight Chicago band Twin Peaks headlines a show at Midtown Art Supply, 2578 Harney Street. No, the venue isn’t a Dick Blick, it’s a warehouse where Eyeball Productions hosted a Trash Talk show a while back. What does Twin Peaks sound like? Here’s how I described their latest record in The Reader:

Twin PeaksWild Onion (Grand Jury) — Is electric-guitar-fueled power-pop back again? The throw-back style of this Chicago band’s good-time songs will have you thinking so. It’s like The Kinks combined with every band on the Titan! label. The 16-song collection is only 40 minutes long, which means most songs clock in under the 3-minute mark — a bitter-sweet thing.

Opening the gig is Telephathy Problems and Eric in Outerspace. $8, all ages, 9 p.m.

So which show to go to? Maybe both?

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

Lazy-i

Live Review: Sucettes, Simon Joyner & the Ghosts, Skeleton Man; let the holiday week begin…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:49 pm November 24, 2014
The Sucettes at Reverb Lounge Nov. 22, 2014.

The Sucettes at Reverb Lounge Nov. 22, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Someone asked me if Saturday night’s Simon Joyner and the Ghosts show at Reverb was a “top-5 Joyner set.” I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean. Every Joyner set is different and interesting in its own way. How you compare them, I don’t know.

Over the years I’ve gotten as much out of Joyner’s various solo acoustic sets as I have his wonky-bordering-on-experimental band sets performed at Sokol Underground and O’Leaver’s as I did his more “polished” sets, like when he opened for Bright Eyes at The Rose Theater way back when. The beauty and wonder of Joyner performances is that you never know what you’re going to get, though over the past few years, Simon and the Ghosts have become more predictable, more musically confident and (perhaps) less experimental. His music also feels more upbeat, more rocking, especially the handful of new songs from his forthcoming record, Grass, Branch, and Bone, out on Woodsist next year. I’m looking forward that album as much or more than any of his past efforts.

Ghosts bassist Alec Erickson was AWOL Saturday night. Megan Siebe, who usually handles organ and violin, filled in, though pedal-steel/keyboardist Mike Friedman also handled bass chores on a few numbers.  I won’t say it was a top-5 show, but it was in the upper third of the 50 or so Joyner shows I’ve witnessed over the years.

Simon Joyner and the Ghosts at Reverb, Nov. 22, 2014.

Simon Joyner and the Ghosts at Reverb, Nov. 22, 2014.

The Sucettes, who opened Saturday night, is the most “realized” Dave Goldberg-fueled band since his Carsinogents days. The lineup is Goldberg switching between keyboards and drums, Jeremiah McIntyre on bass and vocals, Genie Molkentine on vocals, drums and keyboards, Todd VonStup on guitar and CJ Olson on guitar. The band’s music sounds like an extension of what Goldberg and McIntyre were doing in Box Elders, though the arrangements are more filled out. This is a fun band to watch, centered on Goldberg, who is the preeminent stage performer — you can’t keep your eyes off him. Joyner joined Sucettes for their set closer, a scorching cover of the Minutemen’s “Jesus and Tequila.”

In the center slot was Skeleton Man, a droning psychedelic band fronted by Kevin Donahue (Ghosts drummer) on guitar/vocals that also featured fellow Ghost Megan Siebe, who might be the hardest working musician in Omaha these days. Now when someone asks me what “drug music” sounds like, I can point to this band, whose trippy drone felt like Pink Floyd on acid (Is there any other kind of Pink Floyd?). They only played four songs, but their set closer rolled on for 20 minutes of rhythmic noise, capped by Donahue’s undecipherable vocals/wailing.

This was the largest crowd I’ve seen at Reverb, and with the collection of local musicians in the audience, it felt like a coming out party for the club. The room’s sound gets better with every visit. It’s only been open for a few months and it already is getting a rep for being one of the city’s best music venues.

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No shows tonight, but it’s going to be a busy week. It always is during the holidays. You may want to get tickets to tomorrow night’s Desa show in advance…

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

Lazy-i

OEAA Fall Showcase tonight; Simon Joyner and the Ghosts, Sucettes Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:58 pm November 21, 2014
The OEAA Showcase is tonight in Benson.

The OEAA Showcase is tonight in Benson.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Despite my opinion of the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEA) process, I generally dig their bi-annual showcases. It’s a good chance to see a lot of Benson bands at a lot of Benson venues and drink a lot of Benson booze at a reasonable price. And it serves as kind of an “open house” for the Benson district, which is an ever-changing organism of bars and music venues.

Tonight is the fall OEA showcase — seven Benson bars, one admission price of $10.  Here’s the current sched (which could change), and the bands I’m going to try to see in bold:

The Waiting Room
9:00-9:35 Bazile Mills
9:50-10:25 Arson City
10:40-11:15 Jason Earl Band
11:30-12:05 The Decatures
12:20-12:55 M34N STR33T
1:10-1:45 One Eye White

The Sydney
9:00-9:35 When Towers Fall
9:50-10:25 Pancho & The Contraband
10:40-11:15 Matt Cox Band 
11:30-12:05 DJ Shor-T and E Babbs
12:20-12:55 Stonebelly
1:10-1:45 Break Maiden

The Pizza Shoppe Collective
8:00-8:35 Jocelyn
8:50-9:25 Omaha Guitar Trio
9:40-10:15 R Style
10:30-11:05 Marcey Yates 
11:20-11:55 Latin Threat 
12:10-12:45 Shuless

Burke’s Pub
9:00-9:35 Southpaw Bluegrass Band
9:50-10:25 Prairie Gators Band
10:40-11:15 Mitch Gettman
11:30-12:05 Nathan Wade
12:20-12:55 Hector Anchondo
1:10-1:45 The Willards Band

Reverb Lounge
8:00-8:35 Kait Berreckman 
8:50-9:25 Edem
9:40-10:15 All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
10:30-11:05 The Bishops
11:20-11:55 Dereck Higgins 
12:10-12:45 Dallas Hendrix
1:05-1:35 DJ Mista Soul

The Barley Street Tavern
8:00-8:35 Aly Peeler
9:00-9:35 Polka Police
9:50-10:25 Clear The Day
10:40-11:15 Dirty River Ramblers
11:30-12:05 Dylan Bloom Band
12:20-12:55 Low Long Signal
1:10-1:45 Uh Oh

The 402 Arts Collective
8:00-8:35 Dilemma
8:50-9:25 Clark & Company
9:40-10:15 Esencia Latina Band
10:30-11:05 Belles & Whistles
11:20-11:55 Punching Puppets

Saturday night Simon Joyner and the Ghosts take the stage at the Reverb Lounge. According to the invite: “Simon Joyner and the Ghosts have just finished their new album, ‘Grass, Branch, and Bone,’ coming out on Woodsist in the new year. Come hear some of these new songs for the first time.” Opening is Sucettes, the new combo featuring Dave Goldberg and Jeremiah McIntyre (formerly of The Box Elders). Also on the playbill is Skeleton Man (members of Coaxed, Yuppies). $7, 9 p.m.

That’s all I got for the 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

#TBT: Lazy-i Review: Owen at The 49’r, Nov. 25, 2002…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:56 pm November 20, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With nothing going on newswise and nothing going on tonight, and this being Throwback Thursday, I figured might as well dig into the ol’ Lazy-i vault and pull out something from around this time in 2002. I found this interview with Owen (a.k.a. Mike Kinsella) that was posted Nov. 19, 2002, but more entertaining was the review of the Owen show the article was written to support. I remember the night as if it were yesterday…

So lean back and enjoy this disturbing stroll down memory lane. Who knows, maybe you were there that night…

Owen / Sound of Rails
Nov. 25, 2002
The 49’r

Owen at The 49'r, Nov. 25, 2002.

Owen at The 49’r, Nov. 25, 2002.

Last night’s Owen show at The 49’r has to be a new low in terms of rude Omaha crowds. I’ve heard about how loud the chatter was at the recent Cowboy Junkies show at The Music Box. That couldn’t have come anywhere close to what happened last night.

The evening’s festivities began with an ear-piercingly loud set by Omaha’s Sound of Rails, a three-piece indie-art instrumental outfit in the Pele / Euphone / Sea and Cake / Tortoise style. They were so loud that you couldn’t really talk to the person standing next to you, which is to be expected from their style of post-punk rock. Not exactly a complimentary opening act for what was about to follow.

After their set ended, Owen, a.k.a. Mike Kinsella, took a seat and began strumming his acoustic guitar. Though the sound guy did as good a job as anyone could in those conditions, Kinsella’s quiet set was blanketed under the ocean of crowd noise — not chatter, not idle talking — out and out yelling, laughing, that sort of thing.

There was Kinsella, head down, looking at his shoes, playing some amazing guitar and singing his broken-hearted songs amidst a sea of noise akin to a college football crowd (it was no coincidence that the 49’rs/Eagles game was playing on a TV over the bar). I had a feeling this might happen (note the question about handling crowd noise in my Owen interview), especially having heard how inattentive the crowd is at the Niner’s acoustic nights.

It took about six songs before Kinsella began to crack. “Would you please be quiet?” he asked. Nothing. Someone yelled “No.”

“Who’s talking?” he asked while idly strumming his guitar. Someone in the crowd yelled “Me!”

“I’ll give you a dollar if you stop talking,” he said as he noodled absentmindedly. The crowd, however, continued to rumble. “If you be quiet I’ll sing you a song about my ex-girlfriend.” No response, no acknowledgment that he even said anything. No matter. Kinsella started playing “The Ghost of What Should Have Been,” but it was hopeless.

That was probably the breaking point. Kinsella gave up and began a night of covers that eventually turned into a karaoke free for all. He asked the crowd if they liked Bon Jovi. Whoops all around, clapping. He fiddled around until he found the chords to “Wanted Dead or Alive” and everyone went nuts, eventually singing along with him during the chorus. Kinsella had raised the white flag. What choice did he have?

I don’t know if that broke the tension or not. I can vouch that he was smiling and laughing at times from the stage, though I don’t know if he was laughing with or at the crowd. Regardless, the noise didn’t dissipate at all. “You guys like Oasis?” More whoops. Kinsella asked for someone from the crowd to come up and sing, and sure enough, up came Race for Titles’ drummer Matt Bowen along with a couple other people. Kinsella took one look at Bowen and began playing “Disarm” by Smashing Pumpkins. Someone else handled the vocal chores.

For the next 20 minutes or so, Kinsella accompanied 1) Bowen and company singing Oasis’ “Wonderwall,”, 2) Bowen doing an admirable Thom Yorke impression on “Fake Plastic Trees,” 3) Matt Whipkey singing Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” (which, by the way, he dedicated to Timmymac). The medley ended with someone singing Jane’s Addiction’s “Jane Said.” And that was it, Kinsella put his guitar away.

Was it a disaster? Probably for any Owen fans who might have come to hear Kinsella play a quiet, introspective set of his own music. That wasn’t going to happen last night.

* * *

Back to the present. I don’t know if Kinsella has played in Omaha since, though he’s still very active. According to Wikipedia: “In 2013, Kinsella released two EPs with his latest project, Their / They’re / There, featuring Evan Weiss of Into it. Over it. and Matthew Frank of Loose Lips Sink Ships.” Wiki goes on to say that Mike Kinsella continues to play with Joan of Arc, though I don’t think he was playing with them when the band played at O’Leaver’s Sept. 18, 2013…

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

Lazy-i

Live Review: Down Under with The Gotobeds, New Lungs…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:48 pm November 19, 2014
The Gotobeds at The Down Under Lounge, Nov. 18, 2014.

The Gotobeds at The Down Under Lounge, Nov. 18, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Sometimes bars start booking live music as a way to get people in the door to check out the place. That’s what I have to believe is happening at The Down Under Lounge. The bar, located off 38th and Leavenworth, is not in any way designed for live music. You could say the same thing about O’Leaver’s, but through persistence, technology, investment, know-how and years of booking shows, O’Leaver’s has become recognized not only as a viable alternative for touring bands, but as one of the better sounding rooms in Omaha.

The Down Under has a long way to go before it gets to that level, if it every does. But if the goal was to get people to discover the place, job well done. With its nautical theme, low ceilings and round windows, the bar (which I’ve driven by for decades without stopping in) felt like being down in the hull of a boat… almost. Actually, it felt more like being in someone’s basement that’s been made to feel like being in the hull of a boat. The room is cozy, even though it has its share of neon signs, flat panel TV and Husker shit nailed to the wall.

What it doesn’t have is any sort of stage. The Gotobeds set up in a corner opposite the door and did their thing surrounded by a few dozen guys holding tallboys. The band’s music clearly was influenced by early Pavement but has an additional layer of abrasion supplied by duel guitars that trade riffs and other distorted noises. No idea where the bar got that PA, but it was as rustic as I’ve heard in any public gathering. The vocals sounded like they were being blown from a bullhorn, which in the case of this music, was oddly appropriate.

I got to the bar at the top of Gotobeds’ short set, apparently after some unintentional pyrotechnics involving that PA (I was told the speaker only smoked, no actual flames were emitted). The band played about a half-dozen songs including highlight “NY’s Alright.” The set ended with both guitarists on their backs, feet slid up one of the room’s support poles. Very rock and roll.

So as not to be “Omaha’d,” Gotobeds played second, making New Lungs the headliner. DMax and company riffed though a fun, heavy set. Moving Cory Broman over to a Korg keyboard was a good idea — the sounds he was making added a cool element, especially on a couple new songs (or at least ones I hadn’t heard before). Again, vocals were fuzz/mud/squelch quality.

Like I said, this isn’t the best place to see a show, at least not the way it was set up last night. But the Down Under definitely feels like a cool place to have a beer or three.

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

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