Ten Questions with Local Natives (Saturday @ Slowdown SOLD OUT)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:45 pm April 6, 2017

Local Natives plays The Slowdown April 8. The show is SOLD OUT.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

When California band Local Natives played a sold out show at The Waiting Room in 2010, the buzz in the crowd that evening was that we were seeing the next Arcade Fire. In the end, they turned out to be something entirely different. The band would return to an even bigger Omaha stage when they played the 2014 edition of the Maha Music Festival. And now they’re playing a sold out Slowdown this Saturday, April 8. That’s an impressive trajectory, though seven years into their career, Arcade Fire was playing stadiums.

Still, Local Natives has nothing to complain about. Their latest album, Sunlit Youth (2016, Loma Vista), anchored by singles like the infectious “Past Lives,” carries their indie-rock sound forward in the same rhythmic, dance-inspired direction as their 2010 debut.

We caught up with the band and gave them the Ten Questions treatment. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Kelcey Ayer provided the answers:

What is your favorite album?

Local Natives’s  Kelcey Ayer: One of my all-time favorite albums (can’t pick just one, that’s crazy) is Portishead’s Third.  I had always loved more somber, melancholy music, but I never had connected to a record that was so fully immersed in that sentiment before.  It was unapologetically and intensely sad.  And the tones of the instruments seemed laboriously fucked with in a way that sounded the perfect amount of “off.”  I felt like it gave me permission to be the kind of artist I wanted to be, like it was ok to go so deep into a feeling.

2. What is your least favorite song?

I worked at a pizza chain called California Pizza Kitchen in southern California, and they only played top 40, which is not totally terrible, unless you’re forced to listen to it for many many hours a week.  Whenever I’m out and about and a song comes on from that time, it always brings me back to the mid 2000s and I start immediately trying to remember an order, throw up a little in my mouth, and then realize I’m being weird in a grocery store and stop it.  There is tie for the most egregious offender of those days, and it’s between Blondie’s cover of “The Tide Is High” and KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and The Cherry Tree.”  I don’t think any song is inherently bad, it takes a lot of effort to make anything, but circumstantially for me, I really, really hate those songs.  I just hate them so much.

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

Creating something that you couldn’t create yourself, whether it’s making a song or playing that song live in a room, having people to rely on to bring a vision to reality is my favorite part of being in a band.  Second-place is touring around the world, which if you’re lucky you get to do, and fortunately we are.  I’m very grateful for that.

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

Having to compromise on a vision you believe in for the greater good.  We’re always coming up with ideas for songs, or music videos, or ways to promote the band, and nine times out of 10 they get shot down by the group, which makes it hard to stay motivated.  But that’s the way it goes in a group of creative people.

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

I love beer.  The US has been a great place for beer over the last 10 years, so to be a beer fan is very exciting right now.  There are breweries, brew-pubs, bottle shops; all sorts of beer outlets popping up everywhere right now, so it’s pretty easy to find a good beer anywhere you go these days.  I was at a bar in the middle of nowhere Kansas and they still had Lagunitas IPA on tap, it was great!

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

Los Angeles is home and will always be our favorite place to play.  We’ve spent the most time there and played almost every club when we were coming up, and it will always be the first city to have embraced us.  Austin is a close second, SXSW was a big help for us.

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

Those files are sealed because we wanna play there again and have a better show.  All I’ll say is it was somewhere in England.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

This is our only job, yes.  I remember back in 2009 arguing with Taylor in Santa Barbara about upping our per-diems from $5 a day to $10, but he’s a financial stickler and was right to deny me.  We just didn’t have the money.  I would buy Subway foot-long subs and eat one half for lunch and the other for dinner.  We barely scraped by.  So when we did a publishing deal at the end of 2009 and got our first bit of money, I bought a Chipotle burrito and ate the whole thing!  Since then it’s been a thrilling roller coaster ride of getting fat and skinny now that I can afford to.

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

I’d love to act in something, or make a movie.  I’ve always been really into film and love getting taken away from reality and into a new world.  I feel like I’m a dreamer, and watching movies is like being in a dream while you’re awake.  When it’s really hitting you hard it feels like a drug.  As far as a profession I’d hate, I guess anywhere I’d have to be quiet.  I’m a loud guy.

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

I never heard of Omaha until I fell in love with my first favorite band: 311.  Super random for sure, but your first music loves always are, and I’ll always have a soft spot for them.  I felt like I was in the twilight zone the other day when Dark Days was pitted against a new 311 single for a radio station voting contest in Kansas City.  My brain almost broke to read Local Natives and 311 in the same sentence.  I wholeheartedly believe in voting, but in that case, I chose not to.

Local Natives plays with Little Scream Saturday, April 8, at The Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This show is SOLD OUT. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com

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


New Big Thief (on Saddle Creek); Dolores Diaz returns; 80/35 (ho-hum); Beach Slang, Minus the Bear, Doyle of the Misfits tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:32 pm April 5, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This morning Saddle Creek announced it’ll be releasing the sophomore effort by Big Thief, Capacity, on June 9. Big Thief is one the more successful recent signings by the label, both critically and otherwise. I don’t know the sales numbers for the debut album, Masterpiece, but can tell you that the single “Paul” has more than 2 million spins on Spotify.

More good news: Big Thief will be returning to Omaha for a gig July 13, opening for Conor Oberst when he performs outside The Waiting Room on Military Ave., where Jake’s block parties are usually held. The last Big Thief show was at Lookout Lounge, opening for Yuck a year ago.

Check out the first video from the upcoming Big Thief album:

* * *

Speaking of Oberst, his C&W cover band, Dolores Diaz and the Standby Club, is playing this Sunday night at The Slowdown. It’s a benefit for Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska and The Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Joining them is Icky Blossoms, High Up and a number of local speakers. The 7 p.m. show is $15, plus there will be a raffle for some sweet prizes. More info here.

* * *

Des Moines’ 80/35 Festival posted its line-up yesterday and for me it was a bit of a blah. Headliners are Shins and MGMT. Have these acts risen to festival headliner status? I can’t imagine either selling out Sokol Auditorium.

There are a couple interesting support acts, however — A Giant Dog, Diarrhea Planet and ’70s-era Minneapolis new wave band The Suburbs, but other than that, a lot of head scratchers.

Meanwhile, the Maha Music Festival people have posted that tickets sales are stronger than years’ past, with VIP tix in short supply.

* * *

There’s a big show tonight at The Slowdown. Omaha favorites Minus the Bear returns and they’re bringing Beach Slang with them along with Bayonne. $25, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, Doyle from The Misfits is playing at Lookout Lounge. Also on the bill are Element a440, The Beat Seekers, Before I Burn & DeadEchoes. $14, 7 p.m.

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


Go Vote; The Courtneys, Dave Nance, Vegetable Deluxe, Nathan Ma at Milk Run tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 12:47 pm April 4, 2017


by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

No update today because I’m voting over the lunch hour. If you live in Omaha, get yourself to the polls.

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Tonight at the new Milk Run at Midtown Art Supply, 2578 Harney St., Vancouver band The Courtneys headlines. That arbiter of indie rock taste makers Pitchfork gave the band’s new album, II (2017, Flying Nun) a massive 8.0 rating. Joining them tonight are Dave Nance Band, Vegetable Deluxe and Nathan Ma & The Rosettes. Big show. 9 p.m., $10, enter through the back door, y’all…

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


Live Review: Whipkey at Growler USA; Dude York, Paws, Uh Oh tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:49 pm April 3, 2017

Matt Whipkey and his band at Growler USA, April 1, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

First and foremost Growler USA (the joint I wrote about that’s introducing original local music to the great unwashed masses in way West Omaha) is more bar than restaurant than music venue.

Beyond the name, just take a look at the back wall and the enormous line of beer taps and it’s pretty obvious you’ve stepped into a place designed for drinking. Behind that wall is a kitchen, which serves run-of-the-mill bar food. Finally, tucked in the front corner of the room is triangle-shaped stage surrounded by curtains with a couple over-head PA speakers and digital lighting.

For some reason I thought the place would be bigger, with a real stage, but Growler USA is actually quite small, right in line with the 120 capacity reported last week, and designed like any other new-construction West Omaha building — single level open room with windows on one side, nuthin’ fancy.

The wall o’ taps at Growler USA.

One could argue the novelty of having 100 beers on tap would be enough to keep the place filled. In fact, when I arrived at 8:30, there was nary a table to be had. Owner Brent Malnack found us a spot about 10 minutes later while I enjoyed a delicious Millstream Peach Fuzz (no Rolling Rock for me). Burgers and sliders (and tots) were quickly ordered and served. The Matt Whipkey band took the corner stage right around 9 p.m. Matt told me they weren’t going to hold back, and the room held up well to their rock ‘n’ roll onslaught, though the PA sounded overblown toward the end of the set.

That said, I can now see why Malnack was discouraging metal acts last week. The room looks better suited for quieter acoustic combos. So did the crowd, which consisted mostly of gray-templed middle-aged couples out having a beer, many of whom were as focused on the North Carolina v. Oregon game as Whipkey and Co. in the corner.

I have no doubt that Growler USA will be a smashing success with or without live music. That Malnack wants to provide a stage for original bands when clearly he doesn’t need to is a credit to someone who’s been involved in local music since the ’80s with his band Modern Day Scenics. That said, West Omaha still needs a real music venue.

Back to Whipkey… I haven’t seen him and his band in a year or so. They’re still cranking out the Americana, but two songs played Saturday night were as heavy as anything heard ’round town. The rhythm section of Travis Sing on bass and Scott “Zip” Zimmerman on drums is first class (Travis was particularly tight, while Zip seemed restrained, especially compared to his Ocean Black onslaught). I could barely hear second guitarist Korey Anderson over Whipkey’s own guitar, which was guttural, especially on his grinding solos. Give me the heavy stuff, Matt.

* * *

Tonight Seattle band Dude York (Hardly Art Records) headlines a show at Slowdown Jr. that includes Glasgow indie band Paws (FatCat) and our very own Uh Oh. $10, 8 p.m.

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


Maha Lineup (Run the Jewels, Belle & Sebastion, The Faint…); Milk Run launch, Sam Martin, Whipkey tonight; Bien Fang, Voodoo Glow Skulls Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:23 pm March 31, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If you’re in Omaha or the surrounding area and have even an inkling of interest in the Maha Music Festival you’ve already heard the line-up. There’s no way you could miss it. Still, for Lazy-i readers in far-off lands (or living off the social media grid) here is the list of who will be playing at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village Aug. 19:

Run the Jewels
Belle & Sebastian
The Faint
Sleigh Bells
The New Pornographers
Built to Spill
Surfer Blood
High Up
The Hottman Sisters

First time in Maha history where I’ve been familiar with every act (though I’ve never heard music from Priests before).

Run the Jewels is a massive “get,” though I’m probably the only one in America who didn’t like their last couple of albums (I’m more of a Tribe Called Quest kinda guy). However, I dig their new single, “Ticketron.” And hip-hop does very well at Maha.

Belle & Sebastian is a bucket list band for me, and by themselves would be worth $55 or more.

Anyone who’s been to a Faint concert knows they bring it every night, though I have a feeling they’re going to amp things up just a little more for this show.

Sleigh Bells… meh. They’ve always been a one-note act to me, but they should be fun to watch.

The question I have about The New Pornographers — will Neko Case and Dan Bejar a.k.a. Destroyer be part of this show’s line-up? — a central question.

Built to Spill is practically a local band considering how many times they’ve played in Omaha. If they can keep Doug Martsch from turning it into a 30-minute jam session it could be a great addition.

I’ve followed singer/songwriter Torres for a few years. She’s a quiet addition that will break up a rather noisy day of music.

Surfer Blood is sort of outside of my wheel house. They have their fans.

Like I said, Priests I’d only heard of. I listened to their latest album, Nothing Feels Natural (Sister Polygon Records), on my way to work this morning. Sort of alternative post-punk that’s light on melody. We’ll see. Part of the fun of any festival is checking out new acts. Maybe they’ll stick, maybe not. Check out the song “Pink White House” and tell me it doesn’t remind you of Mercy Rule.

Which brings us to the last two acts on the bill — both locals. High Up is a no-brainer — probably the most talked about indie band from Omaha (along with Closeness) in the past couple of years. Christine Fink has a stage presence that never fails to capture an audience.

The Hottman Sisters have the unfortunate chore of kicking off the day, a slot that historically is played to an empty field, which brings up one of the criticisms of Maha. When Maha first began all those years ago, local acts played a big role in the festival, playing throughout the day. In years’ past locals alternated with nationals throughout the day up until the early evening. These days local acts are relegated to the first two slots of the day and The Faint (who, while a local band, has a national following).

I can’t say I can necessarily blame Maha pulling back on locals. They don’t sell tickets and most can be seen any given weekend in Benson or some other midtown venue. The loser, of course, is local bands, who are denied a platform for expanding their audience.

Some also might criticize Maha because it no longer features under-the-radar indie acts as in years past. Let’s face it, other than Priests and Torres, this line-up is packed with well-established names. You won’t hear any complaints from me, though there is something to be said when a festival can look back and say something like “We had Dum-Dum Girls back in the day….

So,  the big question: Will it sell out. Or more specifically, is this line-up strong enough to compete with Lady Gaga? The answers are yes and no. Yes, I think it will sell out eventually (probably day of show), but no, it can’t compete with Gaga.

To me, there is a sweet irony to Lady Gaga playing the same day as Maha. I’ve always viewed her as a novelty act, a kids’ pop act… until this latest album, which goes beyond the usual kitsch and could, at times, appeal to an indie-music listening audience. Maybe that’s why her latest record seems to be lagging behind the previous ones, at least in terms of notoriety. The new, less popular Lady Gaga would have fit right in on a Maha bill…

By the way, I’ve heard from two or three people who are NOT associated with Maha that Gaga could make a surprise appearance at the festival. After all, she used to have a Nebraska connection, and her show has been sold out for a long time. I think it’s highly unlikely, and even if she did, how does that help Maha sales when they can’t market around it?

* * *

The new Milk Run launches tonight at Midtown Art Supply, 2578 Harney St.. The featured bands: Altas, DHX (Derick Higgins), Mint Wad Willy and Jack McLaughlin. $7, 9 p.m. Could be weird.

Meanwhile, tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s, it’s Sam Adam Martin, Thick Paint, and the premier of Thor Dickey. 9:30pm. $5.

Also tonight, it’s night one of two nights of Matt Whipkey Band at Growler USA, 16274 Evans St., which I wrote about here yesterday. The gig is free and starts at 9 p.m.

And The Nadas return to The Waiting Room tonight with Dan Tedesco. $15, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night it’s back to O’Leaver’s for Bien Fang, Siamese and Idlefox. $5, 9:30 p.m

The legendary Voodoo Glow Skulls are headlining at Lookout Lounge Saturday night. Joining them are The Shidiots, Graveyard Smash, Heat@aves and Noizewave. $10, 8 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend. This rain has to end sometime…

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



Growler USA targets original music in West Omaha; Maha announcement, Those Far Out Arrows, Arc Flash, Jonathan Richman tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:56 pm March 30, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Brent Malnack, owner of new brew pub/restaurant/music venue Growler USA IM’d me yesterday to say Matt Whipkey Band will be playing free shows at his place from 9 to 10:30 p.m. this Friday and Saturday.

Growler USA, part of a national chain, is located way out in what I’ve heard referred to as Wonder Bread Land —  16268 Evans Plaza (right off 162nd and Maple). Malnack, who books the club, said he’s focusing on original music, not cover bands — which is something new for West O.

“All original music with the exception of the Rat Pack Jazz guys and other jazz acts,” he said. “Singer-songwriter types like Mace Hathaway and Sarah Brandt. We have Gaudio, Matt Cox Band, Charlie Burton and others coming up.”

Malnack says he and his co-owner wife have put much coin into the 120-capacity room’s sound system. “We’ve got over 1,000 pounds of custom sound panels hanging in the room. It is more studio than club,” he said. “Tom Ware did all of the sound treatments.” Ware is a legendary soundman who runs Ware House Productions.

“Our thought is that with no cover charge people will drop in with nothing to lose,” he said. “If they hate it, they’ll leave. We’re trying to keep some of the younger folks from making the trip to Benson, or at least stopping by our place on the way down.”

Still, I assumed based on the bands he mentioned that he was interested in mostly Americana and blues acts and might stay clear of indie, garage and punk rock. “Only one rule so far,” Malnack said, “no pointy guitars (metal, hair metal). Everything else is welcome.”

Over the years I’ve gotten into lengthy arguments with members of the Omaha music community over whether original music like the stuff booked in midtown would go over in West Omaha. I believe there is an enormous, exponentially huge audience of kids, young adults and music fans west of 72nd St. who are untapped in this music scene. It would be interesting to see how a traditional O’Leaver’s/Brothers/One Percent-type band — i.e., indie/garage band — would translate out west.

Something tells me the pay scale blows away midtown clubs. Just sayin’. Here’s an opportunity for bands to grow a fan base and make good money.

I plan on checking out Growler USA this weekend. If I do, I’ll have a full report next week.

In the meantime, Kevin Coffey has a detailed article about Growler USA in today’s Go section. Check it out.

* * *

Tonight the Maha Music Festival folks have their big reveal at Reverb Lounge starting at 7 p.m. No doubt they will be tapping into their social media streams to spread the news as bands are announced. Maha’s “line-up video” premiers at 8 p.m. Reaction here tomorrow. As I mentioned before, it’s an impressive line-up and a bit of a change in direction from last year’s festival. And yes, I think it could very well sell out again this year…

* * *

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s Lawrence band Arc Flash headlines. Joining them is our very own Those Far Out Arrows and Condor & Jaybird. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Modern Lovers founder Jonathan Richman (featuring Tommy Larkins (Giant Sand) on drums) plays The Waiting Room. 8 p.m., $15.

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


Milk Run headed to Midtown Art Supply basement; Pleasures, Wolf Dealer, Andy Shauf, David Nance tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:44 pm March 29, 2017

A photo of the Midtown Art Supply basement taken in November 2014. Milk Run is slated to move to this space starting Friday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The mystery has been solved. Milk Run, which left its old Leavenworth St. location last month, has moved to Midtown Art Supply, 2578 Harney St. This according to a post on Facebook:

Starting March 31st, Milk Run will operate in the basement of Midtown Art Supply. After looking at several different spaces, MAS’s modified skatepark basement was the best choice for us. We are excited to continue as an independent entity, but this time alongside the gracious MAS crew. Our first show is this Friday, March 31st, with Atlas, Dereck Higgins Experience, Mint Wad Willy, and Jack McLaughlin!

Former Milk Run operator Sam Parker confirmed the move. The cavernous basement has been used in the past for secret raves and other sordid events. Here’s a description of that space from a Nov. 26, 2014 Lazy-i entry:

“…While the (upstairs) 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…”

If my memory servers, access to the space could provide some interesting challenges. I guess we’ll  find out Friday night…

* * *

Pleasures at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 6, 2016. The band plays tonight at Pet Shop Gallery in Benson.

Here’s one that’s been flying under the radar happening tonight: Florida psych-rock band Pleasures headlines at Pet Shop Gallery (the old Sweatshop performance space at 2725 No. 62nd St. in Benson). The band played O’Leaver’s last August. At that show, “The four-piece drenched everything in technology, from the guitar, which was run though an onslaught of pedals, to the the stack of synths to Katherine Kelly’s vocals that were twisted and stretched and strangled by synths and vocoders and pedals all night. The music dripped in a haze of buzzing distortion cut through by a top-notch rhythm section that kept things grounded and rocking.”

Just like at that August show, Universe Contest will be opening tonight. Joining them is Wolf Dealer, which I’m warned could be their last show for awhile. There’s no price listed for this show, still, you better bring at least $3 to get in (could be more). No time listed, either. I’d get there around 9.

Also tonight, singer/songwriter Canadian Andy Shauf (Anti-, Arts & Crafts) headlines at Reverb Lounge. David Nance opens. $12, 9 p.m.

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


Congrats Josh, now get back to work; Hear Nebraska’s Music Man; Creepoid, Ecstatic Vision, David Nance tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:48 pm March 28, 2017

Angie and Andrew Norman from last night’s Nebraska Stories broadcast.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I couldn’t pull myself away from the new Slowdive video this morning long enough to watch Josh Hoyer’s losing performance on The Voice last night.

I see no reason to go on a lengthy diatribe about how much I dislike performance competition teevee shows like The Voice. If you’re reading this, you’re (probably) someone who already values art over performance, creativity over mimicry, genuine-ness over shtick. The Voice is what the huddled masses mistake for art; pretty faces and their pretty bleetings mired in the muck desperately reaching for fame.

Why did Hoyer bother going on The Voice? As he implied in his audition video, he had nothing else to lose. He’s tired of scraping for tips to support his family while he struggles to get his music career on a sustainable trajectory. A show like The Voice puts him in front of millions of people who otherwise never would have heard him. If even a fraction of a fraction of that audience decided to go to the internet and find out more about Josh, well then, it was worth the effort (right?).

I’ve heard various stories about what the producers of these kinds of talent shows make participants sign away prior to letting them go on stage (and even more the further they go). If those stories are true, then losing last night may have been the best thing to happen to Hoyer. His talent lies as a bandleader, a songwriter, a musician, and yes, as a vocalist, but it’s the combination that sets him apart.

Regardless, now is the time to fan the ember lit by last night’s national exposure, and maybe, just maybe, a flame will arise. So, congratulations on the effort, Josh, now back to work, which won’t be too hard considering he’s playing tonight in Kufstein, Austria, on a European tour that winds down in Brussels April 1 (a tour he presumably booked well before The Voice aired).

* * *

Can you imagine how an undiscovered Bob Dylan or Chrissie Hynde or Neil Young or Conor Oberst would fare on The Voice?

* * *

Speaking of quality television, last night NET public television broadcast a report about Hear Nebraska on “Nebraska Stories” (right after Antique Roadshow). Titled “Hear Nebraska’s Music Man” the 8-minute clip captures a day in the life of last year’s Good Living Tour along with our intrepid hero, Andy Norman (i.e., the Music Man) and Hear Nebraska co-founder Angie Norman while they hustle (along with a sizable crew) to make everything work in remote locales like Imperial and Lyons.

It’s a great piece. Check out the clip below.

* * *

Maha is getting ready for the big reveal Thursday night. The media already has been informed (and told to embargo until the official announcement). It’s an impressive line-up and a bit of a change in direction from last year’s festival…

* * *

Tonight Philly rock band Creepoid (Graveface Records), whose sound has been described as “somewhere between Blonde Redhead, Sonic Youth and Asobi Seksu,” headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Psych-rock band Ecstatic Vision (Relapse Records) opens along with our very own David Nance. $7, 9 p.m.

* * *

Here’s that Slowdive video I mentioned… 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Clarence Tilton tonight; Flowers Forever, David Nance Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:44 pm March 24, 2017

Flowers Forever at O’Leaversfest, Sept. 23, 2016. The band plays tomorrow night at The Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yet another quiet weekend for indie rock shows (it’s beginning to sound like a broken record)…

Tonight’s highlight is Americana band Clarence Tilton at Slowdown Jr. The band is hands-down my favorite country-tinged local combo — this is what Uncle Tupelo would sound like if they were still around. CT opens for headliner Carson City Heat. Sack of Lions also is on the bill. $7, 9 p.m.

Also tonight fabulous O’Leaver’s is hosting a local punk show with Stronghold, A Different Breed and The Natural States. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night it’s off to The Brothers Lounge for massive four-band bill headlined by Flowers Forever and featuring David Nance Band, Lazy Wranglers and Athens noise/power duo Crunchy. $5, 9 p.m.

And… that’s it for the weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great one…

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


#TBT March 23, 2007: Little Brazil release show for Tighten the Noose; The English Beat tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:46 pm March 23, 2017

Little Brazil circa 2007. The band hosted the album release show for sophomore album Tighten the Noose 10 years ago today.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Another highlight of ’07 along with the opening of The Slowdown and The Waiting Room was the release of Little Brazil’s sophomore album Tighten the Noose.

The album’s official release date according to AllMusic.com was Feb. 6, 2007. That website gave the recording a 3-1/2 star rating, but was less than complimentary in its review, saying, “…while these are perfectly admirable sonic references, they point up Tighten the Noose’s primary flaw: Hedges’ songs are solid, and he’s a perfectly decent singer and guitarist, but there’s a faintly anonymous quality to Tighten the Noose that keeps the album from sounding like more than the sum of (Landon) Hedges’ influences…

I remember when I first read that review thinking it was pretty lazy, especially considering the comparisons the writer threw out (Dream Syndicate? Apples in Stereo? Huh?). To me, Tighten the Noose would become Little Brazil’s “rock album,” comprised of the catchiest tracks they’ve recorded in their career. Tunes like “Last Night,” “Shades” and “Never Leave You” became staples of their set over the years and epitomized their sound. These are the tunes the band will be remembered for, along with the more epic, story-telling songs on the follow-up, 2009’s Son.

At this point in the band’s career, Little Brazil was still trying to pull itself away from Landon’s association with a couple of his former bands — Desaparecidos and The Good Life.

From Lazy-i March 21, 2007:

(Bass player Danny) Maxwell is skeptical that Hedges’ history has had an impact on drawing people to Little Brazil shows. “They don’t say, ‘Holy shit, it’s the guy from Desa.'”

Still, Maxwell said fans are aware of the band’s history and its connection to the Omaha music scene. “They ask us what Conor is doing right now,” Maxwell said. “I usually respond with, ‘I don’t know. We’re here with you tonight.'”

“There are fans out there that love that style of music and ask us what it’s like to be part of it,” (guitarist Greg) Edds explained. “I don’t mind when they’re being sincere. On the other hand, there are the ones who hand us gifts to bring back to Conor and Tim (Kasher).'”

“It’s annoying at this point in our careers,” Hedges said.

“But it’s getting to be less and less of a problem,” (drummer Oliver) Morgan added. “We’re starting to make our own mark.” — Lazy-i March 21, 2007

Read the whole story here.

According to my review in Lazy-i the next day, about 250 people showed up for the album release show at Sokol Underground March 23, 2007. The Photo Atlas was the opener. There was even a balloon drop halfway through Little Brazil’s first song, and Landon almost passed out from the heat/humidity.

From the 2007 review:

“Landon… is a pure crooner, an Omaha-style indie singer cut from the same bolt of cloth as Tim Kasher (a la The Good Life, not Cursive). Every time I see him with his just-woke-up hair and cheap wireframe glasses I think of Corey Haim as Lucas or a bespeckled Bobby Brady, age 13. His voice kinda/sorta matches his appearance — an unpretentious caterwaul that has no problem reaching for the high notes at the peak of a heart-wailing phrase. Little Brazil’s music isn’t exactly a bold, new direction in the world of indie rock. You got your cool guitar riffs, your lean bass lines, your thunderous drums (Oliver Morgan is always at his best every time I see him on stage — he has no second gear), coming together to form a verse-verse-verse song (why are there never any choruses these days?) that typically builds to a predictable — if satisfying — “big ending.” The differentiator — Landon’s Bobby-at-13 voice, that is both honest and simple and, well, good enough to cut through the din. It’s kind if quirky, but perfectly on pitch. And it follows a melody that rises and falls…” — Lazy-i, March 24, 2007

The next day the band drove to Denver to open for The Photo Atlas at their album release show…

Anyway, if you haven’t already, check out Tighten the Noose at Bandcamp. I listened to it again this morning on my way into work and it holds up exceptionally well. Wouldn’t it be a kick in the head if Landon and Co. got together for a 10-year anniversary performance of Tighten the Noose? Think about it, Maha…

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One of those bands that never seems to forget Omaha when it tours, Dave Wakeling and The English Beat, return to The Waiting Room tonight. Local ska band The Bishops opens. 8 p.m., $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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.