Live Review: Tennis, Pure Bathing Culture; 3Q’14 Reviews (in the column); Oquoa, Dylan Ryan/Sand tonight…

Category: Column,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:54 pm November 6, 2014
Tennis at The Waiting Room, Nov. 5, 2014.

Tennis at The Waiting Room, Nov. 5, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tennis continues to grow. Every time the Denver band comes to Omaha the crowd gets bigger. No doubt the crowds will continue to grow as more people discover their new album, Ritual in Repeat (Communion), which hits a sweet spot between their usual airy indie songs and new rhythm-centered tracks.

In fact, the best songs of the night came from that new album. Three songs in, tiny frontwoman Alaina Moore coaxed the crowd to come closer to the stage before introducing the new material, highlighted by jump-beat track “Never Work for Free.” Moore’s voice is a cross between Harriet Wheeler of The Sundays and Olivia Newton John. Tennis’ lighter moments resemble The Sundays mellow rapture or Camera Obscura, while the upbeat numbers, like the disco-thump “I’m Callin'” are pure Xanadu, thanks in part to the subtle guitar funk of bandmate Patrick Riley, who if he wore a white V-neck T-shirt, could pass as Denver Dalley’s older brother.

These days it’s rare for bands to evolve past their first album, but Tennis has only improved with age. Their music certainly has gotten more interesting, and if Moore and Co. ever commit to a full-out dance party who knows how far they’d go. They’ve already come pretty far.

Pure Bathing Culture sans drummer at The Waiting Room Nov. 5, 2014.

Pure Bathing Culture sans drummer at The Waiting Room Nov. 5, 2014.

I’m not sure what was going on during Pure Bathing Culture’s set. The Portland band was without their drummer for reasons unknown. When the band acknowledged his absence, someone in the smallish crowd asked if he got fired. “No, but if he misses more shows…”

The trio sounded off-kilter, as if something was wrong with their tuning, and the whole performance listed under water, leaving me a tad bit seasick. The fill-in pre-programmed beats didn’t help matters, nor did the mud-quality mix which masked frontwoman Sarah Versprille’s vocals, making them undecipherable. Or maybe it was just me. I talked to one guy afterward who said he loved their short 20-minute set.

* * *

In this week’s column, the 3rd Quarter 2014 Album Reviews Round-up, with reviews of new ones by The Gotobeds, The Heart Wants, Ty Segall, Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers, Twin Peaks and more. You can read it in the new issue of The Reader or online right here.

* * *

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s the return of local indie super-group Oquoa, along with LA instrumental band Dylan Ryan / Sand and Hotlines. $5, 9:30 p.m.

* * *

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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A brief political observation; Tennis, Pure Bathing Culture tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:51 pm November 5, 2014
Tennis at Slowdown Jr., Feb. 22, 2012.

Tennis at Slowdown Jr., Feb. 22, 2012. The band plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

My one comment on last night’s election results (seeing as this is a music blog and not a political blog):

I won’t pretend I know anything about politics, but I thought I knew history. As a country, we’ve watched unemployment drop consistently over the past four years. The stock market is at record highs. Gasoline prices are below $3 a gallon for the first time in I don’t know how long. Historically, these issues have benefited the party in office, but President Obama’s approval ratings are at historic lows for any period during his presidency, and Republicans, as of last night, control both houses of Congress. My only observation is the same observation I made in this blog on Oct. 23.

But let me add one more comment to the mix, one that has implications that involve the Nebraska music scene: I believe one of the reasons quality musicians (who also are quality people) move away from Nebraska to places like Los Angeles and New York and Chicago and the Pacific Northwest is the political climate here. Nebraska politics are a natural repellant to anyone who values creativity over greed. If Nebraska faces a challenge in nurturing and keeping its talented “creative class,” it faces an even bigger challenge attracting those who look at our state from a distance, see who represents it, and wonder, “Why in the world would I want to live there?

Actually, after last night, you could say the same thing about the United States (except for the presidency, of course). Hilary is going to have her hands full when she takes over the office in 2016.

Anyway…

Tonight Tennis returns to Omaha, this time to The Waiting Room. The band’s new album, Ritual in Repeat (Communion), is a departure of sorts for a duo whose music has always been a bit too simplistic and run-of-the-mill for my tastes. Their new record is more eclectic, more upbeat, more interesting then their previous releases. So will their live show, which historically has been pretty dull, be more interesting as well? Find out tonight.

Opening is Pure Bathing Culture, who had a ton of buzz at this year’s South By Southwest music festival. I had to go to the Wayback Machine to see what I thought about their performance in Austin. From The Reader‘s website…

We emerged on 6th Street later than expected to catch PURE BATHING CULTURE, one of the most talked-about acts at this year’s SXSW. Seems everyone had caught their set and loved it. We found them at Hype Hotel, a makeshift club with an alley entrance that gave away sponsored drinks (Miller Fortune for me) and Taco Bell.

The Portland band’s music has been compared to Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins, two bands they don’t resemble. Instead, PBC strives for a Lilith stage with its feature-less music. They were amazingly boring, still people were nodding their heads to the streamlined, lite beats.

Ugh, now I remember. Maybe that was just a bad show? Get there early and see. $12, 9 p.m.

* * *

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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Ritual Device, Cellophane Ceiling reunion show slated for Dec. 26…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:43 pm November 3, 2014
Ritual Device circa 1994. The band will reunited Dec. 26 at The Waiting Room along with Cellophane Ceiling. Photo by Mike Malone.

Ritual Device circa 1994. The band will reunite Dec. 26 at The Waiting Room along with Cellophane Ceiling. Photo by Mike Malone.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The secret can now be told, though many of you guessed it already:

Legendary Omaha ’90s punk bands Ritual Device and Cellophane Ceiling are both reuniting for a one-time-only show Dec, 26 at The Lifticket Lounge, er, I mean The Waiting Room. The event is a Main Vein Production. Main Vein was a promotion company run by Ritual Device frontman Tim Moss and Cellophane Ceiling frontman John Wolf back in the ’80s and ’90s. MV brought some classic bands to Omaha, including that famous Nirvana show at the Liftiicket Lounge in 1989.

“I always said if John Wolf put Cellophane back together, I would do it.” Moss said about a Ritual Device reunion.

The line-up for Ritual Device will be Tim Moss on vocals, Jerry Hug on bass, Mike Saklar on guitar and Eric Ebers on drums. The line-up for Cellophane is John Wolf on guitar and vocals and Chris Sterba on bass. Moss says original CC drummer Steve Coleman is unavailable, so I’m not sure who will be handling the sticks.

Is this a big deal? Yeah, for a lot of us, it is. Ritual Device was part of the golden era of Nebraska rock music that influenced the bands that would eventually form Saddle Creek Records. RD was among the first area bands that did extensive touring outside of Nebraska in the early ’90s, along with acts like Frontier Trust, Mercy Rule, Mousetrap and Sideshow.

Here’s how I described Ritual Device way back in ’97:

Ritual Device was a tortured, monolithic punk rock band whose sound had been aptly described as “gutter groove.” Ritual Device made perfect background music for your typical serial killing or perhaps high-speed chase through a bombed-out Beirut neighborhood. The closest comparison? Maybe the Jesus Lizard meets Ministry with a little Nine Inch Nails thrown in (without the synths, of course). It was violent music, scary.

Cellophane Ceiling was a precursor RD. “Cellophane was a bit older,” Moss said. “They bridged the gap between the band generations. They were my influence.”

Cellophane was just as brutal as Ritual Device, but their music was more rooted in traditional heavy rock. Some may remember John Wolf’s follow-up band, Bad Luck Charm. Moss and Wolf would also reunite in 2000 as The Men of Porn.

Check out this Cellophane Ceiling video from 1987 directed by Dickson Lebron.

And below is a video of Ritual Device from 1994, shot at the legendary Capitol Bar and Grill a few days after Tim Moss broke his collar bone. Moss is a bit restrained here, but you get the gist.

Moss said Main Vein has yet to determine who will open the Dec. 26 show, but there will indeed be a third band on the bill. More information to come.

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room Conchance headlines with Black Jonny Quest, Kethro and Dojorok. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Homer’s Music takes over House of Loom. DJ Chris Aponick will spin three new albums in their entirety prior to their release tomorrow — The self-titled album by Clark (Warp Records); Deerhoof’s La Isla Bonita (Polyvinyl) and Arca’s Xen (Mute) — and he’ll be giving away a couple of the records. It’s free and starts at 9:30.

* * *

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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Saddle Creek signs Philly band Hop Along, Twinsmith; Halloween w/ Noah’s Ark, See Through Dresses; Orenda Fink Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:15 pm October 31, 2014
Hop Along joins the Saddle Creek Records stable...

Hop Along joins the Saddle Creek Records stable…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I was out of touch all day yesterday at meetings and stuff, but I did see the message from Saddle Creek that went out announcing the label signed Philly band Hop Along. I’m listening to the band now on Spotify (or at least I think I am). And I like what I’m hearing. Very indie-sounding. Almost post punk. Breathy female vocals. Kind of reminds me of Helium, Mary Timony’s old band, though it’s more upbeat. Not a hint of mandolin or pedal steel or anything that could be mistaken for alt-folk or alt-country. Like I said, me likee.

Let’s be honest, that alt-country/alt-folk label is more of a Nebraska thing than a Saddle Creek thing. Icky Blossoms, PUJOL, Twinsmith have nothing to do with alt country. Sure, Rural Alberta Advantage gets lumped in with the alt-country-folk thing but even they are far from country. (And I don’t want this to come off as me hating on alt-folk/alt-country/Americana, we just have a lot of it around here and most of it is pretty boring).

Data from Creek: “Hop Along will enter the studio this week to begin work on their Saddle Creek debut, which will be produced by John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., etc) and released in the Spring of 2015.”

The band’s last album, 2012’s Get Disowned, was released in the U.S. on Hot Green Records (It was apparently the label’s fourth release?) and overseas via East London label Big Scary Monsters Records, who counts among their roster Cursive.

More trivia: The band’s singer, Frances Quinlan joined Weezer on stage in Philadelphia at The Trocadero last weekend to sing “Go Away” with Rivers Cuomo and company.

It’s a pretty exciting signing for Saddle Creek and the first non-Omaha band that they’ve signed in years that I’m looking forward to hearing live. Hopefully they’ll come to Omaha some day.

Also announced yesterday was probably the local scene’s worst kept secret: That Twinsmith has been signed by Saddle Creek. Everyone knew this was a done deal for awhile.

Sayeth Creek: “This fall the band hit the studio with Brandon Darner and Luke Pettipoole of The Envy Corps to record their sophomore effort and first full-length on Saddle Creek. You’ll be able to hear the results in Spring of 2015.” Will rock stardom ensue? Time will tell…

Check out some Hop Along below:

I talk to people all the time who hate St. Patrick’s Day. They call it “amateur night” and so on, and that’s fine. I love St. Patrick’s Day, but what did you expect? Just look at my name.

Well the kind of venom people spew for St. Patty’s is what I feel for the adult-version of Halloween. I get how folks like to dress up and put on make-up, but costumes just ain’t my bag, and if you have to wear one to see the show, well, I guess I’m staying home.

But you shouldn’t. Especially considering who’s playing tonight.

Reverb’s got a first-clash bash happening tonight headlined by Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship with See Through Dresses and the always entertaining Darren Keen. I’m hearing STDs are doing an all-cover set. No idea if this is a costume-optional gig (but it probably is). Who knows, I might drop in dressed as Painfully Awkward Robb Lowe. $8, 9 p.m.

Tonight’s gig at The Brothers, on the other hand, is a straight-up costume bash. On the bill is Omaha’s newest stoner rock sensations Nightbird along with Blowing Chunks and Lincoln’s Ron Wax (Ron Albertson ex-Mercy Rule, ex-Liars). $5, 9 p.m.

And of course the masquerade will be happening at fabulous O’Leaver’s tonight, hosted by Members of the Press, who go on at 11. $5.

November starts tomorrow. Celebrate with Orenda Fink as she headlines at The Slowdown. Joining her are New York band Matteah Baim And The LCs (Kobalt / Dream Drive) and our very own Anna McClellan. $8, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, 24 Hour Cardlock headlines at O’Leaver’s with The Pink Flamingos and Dirty River Ramblers (yee-haw!). $5, 9:30 p.m.

And Edge of Arbor (Jessica Errett’s band) is celebrating a CD release at Reverb Saturday night. Joining them are The Derby Birds and Tara Vaughan Band. $7, 9 p.m.

Have a happy Halloween…

* * *

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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Ruby Fray, Sean Pratt and the Sweats tonight; searching for latte in North O (in the column)…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , — @ 7:47 am October 30, 2014
Ruby Fray plays tonight at O'Leaver's....

Ruby Fray plays tonight at O’Leaver’s….

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Ah, K Records. Here’s a label that goes back, way back. Among the stereotypes for K was that it was a twee-pop label, that its bands focused on soft, sweet melodies. Bands like, well, The Softies and Lois and Kimya Dawson. But over the years, K has released stuff from a ton of acts that don’t fall into any category, such as Built to Spill, Beck, Bikini Kill, The Go Team, Calvin Johnson (the label’s owner), Adrian Orange, Pansy Division, Love as Laughter, Mecca Normal and so on. I guess if there’s a thread that runs through it all it’s a Pacific Northwest connection. After all, K Records is run out of Olympia, Washington.

I say all this because tonight K Records band Ruby Fray plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Frontwoman Emily Beanblossom is from Olympia and has recorded at Dub Narcotic Studio with Calvin Johnson, though these days she’s living in Austin. She’s got a new album called Grackle on K. She’s opening tonight for local boys Sean Pratt and the Sweats. 9:30 p.m. $5.

* * *

In this week’s column, a drive through North Omaha, a neighborhood characterized by a politico as “one of the worst,” and the endless search for a cup of coffee. It’s in this week’s issue of The Reader or you can read it online right here.

* * *

That is all… for now.

* * *

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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Junkfest #20 announced for Nov. 7-8; new Pro-Magnum, new New Lungs; Avi Buffalo tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:54 pm October 29, 2014
Junkfest #20 is Nov. 7-8.

Junkfest #20 is Nov. 7-8.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Eclectic tape/record label Unread Records, owned and operated by Nebraska ex-pat Chris Fischer, yesterday announced its “annual festival of grand musics and art,” Junkfest #20.

The epic two-day festival takes place at Sweatshop Gallery Nov. 7 and 8 and includes performances by Simon Joyner, Church of Gravitron, Lonnie Methe, Ramon Speed and lots more. In addition there will be art by Dennis Callaci, Charlie McAlister and others along with “large amounts of pickled eggs and BBQ and hot dogs and shit like that just cause,” Fischer announced. More info as it’s provided. This cotillion has become the must-not-miss social event of the fall…

* * *

Everyone’s favorite audio chaos vendors Pro-Magnum just dropped a new self-titled LP on Bandcamp.  The album was recorded by Ben Brodin at ARC Studio. Says P-M frontman John Vredenburg, “We’re currently in the process of shopping labels and getting ready to press our records.” But you don’t have to wait for some label exec, simply download the LP now right here from Bandcamp.

* * *

New Lungs also dropped a new single yesterday via Bandcamp. The release includes two versions of new song “You Look Lost” — a studio version recorded at Matt Carroll’s Little Machine Studio (and tape mastered by Mike Saklar), and a live version recorded at O’Leaver’s by engineer Ian Aeillo.

In other New Lungs news, the band recently welcomed new drummer Tab Tworek, as Corey Broman now is shifting to keyboards. Of course the band is fronted by Danny Maxwell and rounded out by bassist Craig Fort.

* * *

Tonight at Reverb Sub Pop band Avi Buffalo takes center stage. The band’s recent album, At Best Cuckold (2014, Sub Pop) got a big ol’ 7.2 on the Pitchfork meter. Something about the band’s upbeat indie sound and Avi Zahner-Isenberg’s voice reminds me of super-early Built to Spill or some other PNW band from that era. Staffers opens. $12, 9 p.m.

* * *

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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Live Review: Iceage; Rocco DeLuca tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:56 pm October 27, 2014
Iceage at Slowdown Jr., Oct. 24, 2014.

Iceage at Slowdown Jr., Oct. 24, 2014.

By Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Iceage came onto Slowdown Jr.’s stage Friday night with angry/pouty frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt looking pissed off, but purely in a theatrical sense. As the band corked into their first song, Rønnenfelt hopped off the stage and snatched a poor young lady’s cellphone right out of her hand. She stood startled, her mouth open as wide as her eyes, as he tossed the phone next to the bass drum, where it would sit for the duration of the set. Needless to say, folks kept their phones in their pockets… at least until halfway though the set.

By then, Rønnenfelt was so engaged with the audience, leaning atop a monitor and traipsing into the crowd, that he didn’t notice phoners, or didn’t care. Iceage music is rough, a dry-heave style of punk with shadows of early monsters like Gang of Four and The Fall lying hidden beneath the waves. The rhythm section always is front and center providing a solid bedrock for Rønnenfelt’s low, breathy brays and yells. Always the center of attention, his demeanor swayed between flirty come-hither stares and lean-forward spit-in-your-face attacks, both delivered with the intensity of a petulant school girl.

By song three moshing did ensue, as a crowd of a dozen ground against each other and the stage with Rønnenfelt looking onward from his perch atop the stage monitor. The set lasted only 30 minutes. The crowd of less than 100 waited for an encore until the house music and lights came up. That was it. A glance at their tour on setlist.fm shows they always keep it at nine songs or less, and never play an encore. And to be honest, that was all I wanted. Any more would have been overkill. What’s that they say, “Leave them wanting more…”?

The performance seemed like a captured moment in time, and I felt lucky to be there. Iceage is a band burning brightly. But like all bright flames, how long will it last?

BTW, that young lady got her cellphone back, and I saw her chatting with Rønnenfelt outside afterward, smiling.

* * *

Fans of Daniel Lanois may want to check out tonight’s Rocco DeLuca show at Slowdown Jr. Lanois played on and is executive producer of DeLuca’s new self-titled album, and also produced his 2009 record, Mercy. No doubt you’ll spot the influence. LA band Old Man opens. $8, 9 p.m.

* * *

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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Live Review: Lars & Mal; Iceage, Oquoa, Eli Mardock, Bloodcow tonight; Nightbird, Plack Blague Saturday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:26 pm October 24, 2014
Lars & Mal at Reverb, Oct. 23, 2014.

Lars & Mal at Reverb, Oct. 23, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Lars and Mal are vocalist Mallory Finch and vocalist/guitarist Laura Weiss along with three other members, keyboardist/vocalist Chelsea Taxman, mandolin player/guitarist/banjo player Adam Sherrerd and Ricky Green on cajon, which I learned last night is a wooden box used for percussion, sort of like bongos.

But the core is those two front women/vocalists whose nicknames comprise the band’s name. It’s their intertwining harmonies that define their sound, along with their easy-going, Autumn-colored love songs. They reminded me of early ’90s Lilith-style women-fronted folk duos, such as The Story and Indigo Girls, and songwriters like Lucinda Williams, Shawn Colvin and Rebecca Jenkins, but that’s too easy. Someone last night compared them to Neko Case, which I didn’t catch.

Their voices are amazing. Finch is among the best women vocalists in the area, hands down, with Weiss right next to her, and when they harmonize it’s something special. The songs, on the other hand, are by-the-numbers folk stuff, pretty but predictable. The exceptions were the sublime “Weaker Now” and bluesy “Shoulda Known” that coaxed hand claps from the big crowd of (what looked like) around 100. The combo is worth keeping an eye on, especially when they begin to reach beyond their songwriting comfort zone.

Lars & Mal was the perfect combo to show off Reverb’s music room, which sounded stellar during their set. The club added acoustical tile to the walls in an effort to cut down on the bounce, and it appears to be working, though there was plenty of “boom” during last night’s opening set by The Derby Birds, a four piece rock band fronted by Tony Bonacci. Their debut album, released on Bandcamp this past May, was a pleasant surprise. Live the band brought the mid-tempo indie swing to life, though the mix was muddy. Bonacci is a talented guy whose music at times reminded me of former local crooner Jake Bellows (of Neva Dinova). Someone should get Derby Birds to open for that Neva show Dec. 23 at Slowdown (though that ticket already is filled with three openers).

* * *

Let’s get to the show line-ups.

The “Big Show” of the weekend is tonight at Slowdown Jr. where Matador band Iceage takes center stage. The band’s new album, Plowing into the Field of Love, is blowing up thanks to a “Best New Album” recommendation by Pitchfork, which gave it a massive 8.5 rating. This is slurred, gritty indie rock sung by a troupe of angry slacker Danes. Opening is Aussie band Helm, whose music (released on Sumerland) sounds like indie grunge, and local dudes Telepathy Problems. $12, 9 p.m. Expect a crowd.

Also tonight, local dreamrock supergroup Oquoa plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s with hip-hop duo BOTH. $5, 9:30 p.m.

The Waiting Room is hosting the soundtrack release show for the film Bent Over Neal tonight. Among the performers are Eli Mardock, Bloodcow and The Strange Attractors. $8, 8 p.m.

Saturday night Travelling Mercies open for White Buffalo at Reverb. $15, 9 p.m.

Creepy electronic leather fetish freakout Plack Blague and electronic noise landslide Lvrk Late are among the performers at Industrial Night Omaha hosted at Sweatshop Gallery Saturday night. $6, 9 p.m.

Over at the Barley Street Omaha’s newest stoner/sludge rock band Nightbird (featuring Gerald Lee of Filter Kings), Bad Aqple and Western Electric open for Vago. $5, 9 p.m.

Be warned that Saturday is Zombie Walk day in Benson. I think the madness starts at 4. I hope to be watching it from the safe confines of the deck at 1912.

That’s what I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

* * *

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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Simon, Brad and Matt play for Ashford; Lars & Mal, Derby Birds tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:52 pm October 23, 2014
Lars and Mal play tonight at Reverb Lounge...

Lars and Mal play tonight at Reverb Lounge…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Could this political season be any uglier?

Always the fatalist, I believe my worst fears from an election standpoint will be realized come November, further strengthening my belief that people are, basically, stupid.

Anyway, one thing that’s neither ugly nor stupid is happening this evening at Almost Music in Benson — a meet-and-greet with Brad Ashford, who’s running for Congress against Lee Terry. On hand with their guitars will be Simon Joyner, Brad Hoshaw and Matt Whipkey. Will this trio of some of my favorite local singer/songwriters be able to coax Ashford into joining them for a rousing version of the classic protest song “This Land Is Your Land”? Stop in at Almost Music tonight at 6 and find out. It’s free.

Afterward, head over to Reverb for a set by Lars & Mal. I’ve been hearing a ton of good stuff about this duo (from Hear Nebraska). Opening is The Derby Birds. $5, 9 p.m. See you there.

Tonight also is the world premier of locally produced film Bent Over Neal. The film’s soundtrack features a number of local bands, including Bloodcow, Eli Mardock, The Strange Attactors and more. The film screens at 7 p.m. Oct 23, 24 and 30 at Aksarben Cinema. And the soundtrack is having a “release party” tomorrow night at The Waiting Room.

* * *

Finally, last night I received news about what will likely be one of the most memorable reunion rock shows ever, slated for this holiday season. More to come…

* * *

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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Strange Attractors drops debut; new Swearing at Motorists; Big Harp timewarps ’72; Steel Cranes, Luke Polipnick Trio tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:56 pm October 22, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yesterday Matt Kucera of the band The Strange Attractors sent me a link to his band’s new album, O.NE, currently available for streaming here via SoundCloud. According to the stream notes:

“Drawing on the talents of songwriter Matt Kucera (Fornever/Lead) and producer Aaron Gum (Jimmy Hooligan/InDreama) and some Omaha’s finest songwriters and musicians such as Dereck Higgins (InDreama/Son Ambulance), Wes Graffius (Through the Stone/ Break Maiden), Brandon Voorhees (Marauder/Fornever), Scott Armstrong (Lead/Black on High) we have recorded the album O.NE, which stands for Omaha, Nebraska as well as being album number one.”

One of O.NE‘s songs apparently will be included on the soundtrack to the locally produced film Bent Over Neal. “We are doing the digital release today and will hopefully have the CD’s in for this weekend’s Bent Over Neal concerts,” Kucera wrote.

* * *

Speaking of albums currently streaming, the new one by Swearing at Motorists, While Laughing, The Joker Tells the Truth, is being streamed in its entirety right here. It’s the first new Swearing at Motorists album since 2006.

* * *

Big Harp has a new video for their upcoming album debuting over at Impose. The video for “Numbers,” (below) was recorded live on German television in 1972. Look how young Steph looks! And who would have thought Big Harp would ever go so electronic (or so pop)?

* * *

Two shows happening tonight.

Over at Reverb, it’s Oakland garage rock duo Steel Cranes. Opening are local folks Stephen Nichols and Feel Tight. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, jazz group The Luke Polipnick Trio plays a free show at Slowdown Jr. This one is listed with an 8 p.m. start time.

* * *

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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