A traveling we will go…; Voting is Cool (Orenda Fink, Simon Joyner, more) Wednesday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 11:01 am October 13, 2014
Voting Is Cool, featuring Orenda Fink and Simon Joyner, is Wednesday night at The Slowdown.

Voting Is Cool, featuring Orenda Fink and Simon Joyner, is Wednesday night at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’m off to Chicago for a few days of bizness, but there’s not much going on around here show-wise anyway.

I’ll be back in time for the big Voting Is Cool concert at The Slowdown Wednesday night, a free gig brought to you by ballothero.com. Performers include Orenda Fink, Simon Joyner, Sean Pratt, Anna McClellan and Edem. Show starts at 8 p.m.

This is turning out to be a very strange voting season. The more you know, the better off you’ll be before you enter the voting booth (and you will enter the voting booth, right?).

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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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Junkstock, Lincoln Calling weekend, Junior Prom tonight; The Hussy, Digital Leather, Manatees, Matt Whipkey Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:50 pm October 10, 2014
Digital Leather at The Waiting Room, 4/2/14.

Digital Leather at The Waiting Room back in April. They’re playing at The Sydney Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Weird weekend for music. Or maybe it just seems that way… Still, there’s a lot to choose from.

Junkstock is going on way out in West Yahoo Omaha. Lots of folksters playing, including good ol’ Brad Hoshaw. Get the details here. Runs today through Sunday.

Reverb is hosting an electro-dance party tonight with Elektra artist Junior Prom. JP is the New York electro-dance duo of Mark Solomich and Erik Ratensperger. Very poppy, very mainstream. I could see this one boiling over into the main bar (Jim, better just swing those doors open). Opening is local EDM duo Linear Symmetry. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight The Barley Street is hosting a Neil Young tribute. $5, 9 p.m.

And yes, Lincoln Calling continues all weekend. Details, sched at lincolncalling.com

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s an evening of “Punkwave” at The Sydney featuring some of your favorite punkwave artists including Digital Leather, The Hussy and Dumb Beach. And joining them, all the way from Memphis, is Manatees. $7. 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night Matt Whipkey and his band take their turn on the new Reverb stage. Joining them are The Brigadiers. $7, 9 p.m.

Down at Slowdown Jr. shimmering indie rockers King Washington headline. Joining them are Oketo , Lot Walks and Pretty Healthy. $6, 8:30 p.m.

That’s what I got. If I missed your gig, put it in 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.

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UNO hosts free concert w/Icky Blossoms, M34n Str33t, Lincoln Calling continues, blue light memories (in the column)…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , — @ 12:51 pm October 9, 2014
Icky Blossoms is the featured performer at tonight's free concert at UNO's Caniglia Stadium.

Icky Blossoms is the featured performer at tonight’s free concert at UNO’s Caniglia Stadium.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve got to hand it to my ol’ alma mater. They could have gotten anyone to play tonight’s Maverick Mayhem homecoming pep rally / block party at Al Caniglia Field — former home of Maverick Football, now home to Maverick Soccer. They wisely chose Icky Blossoms.

So here’s your chance to not only see the Icky’s for free and (probably) hear some of the new material off their forthcoming sophomore effort on Saddle Creek Records, but to also check out the remodeled stadium and even grab some dinner (according to the invite, local food trucks will be on the scene).

Also on the bill is hip-hop royalty M34n Str33t and DJ Kethro. Like I said, it’s all free and starts at 6 p.m.

I don’t remember the university doing this sort of thing when I went to UNO. Sure, there was a homecoming pep rally somewhere, but cool bands never played. All we ever got was those lame UNO “parties” at the ol’ Warehouse in Council Bluffs, now long burned down…

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Lincoln Calling continues tonight in… Lincoln. Check out the full lineup at lincolncalling.com (And hey, White Mystery plays at Duffy’s!).

I guess ol’ Pearl Jam is playing in Lincoln tonight. You think ol’ Eddie and the crew will hang around after the show and check out some LC action? Wouldn’t that be a kick in the head…

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In this week’s column, memories of life working at Kmart as yet another local discounter goes down victim of the Walmart-ization of America. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right 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.

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J Mascis, Luluc at The Waiting Room tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:35 pm October 8, 2014
J Mascis headlines tonight at The Waiting Room.

J Mascis headlines tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Big show tonight at The Waiting Room where Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis takes the stage.

To give you a taste of what you might be in store for, Mascis’ set list from his Oct. 4 show in Louisville, KY, included five Dinosaur Jr. songs (including “Get Me” off ’93’s Where you Been, and “Ocean in the Way” off ’09’s Farm), a Mazzy Star cover (“Fade Into You”) and a Cure tune (“Just Like Heaven”), as well as solo number “Every Morning,” which is the first video off his new Sub Pop release, Tied to a Star (and the reason he’s on the road). Sub Pop labelmates Luluc open. $17, 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Sun Kil Moon’s lullaby to War on Drugs; The Paul Collins Beat, Sons of The Slowdown tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:36 pm October 7, 2014

Trying to decide what I think about the whole Mark Kozelek / Sun Kil Moon / War on Drugs thing, and realized that I don’t really care. That it’s all fun and games for Kozelek, who doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks of him. I like both artists. SKM’s Benji album is one of my all-time favorites. War on Drugs most recent album — and concert — will both be on my year-end favorites list. The rest is just white noise.

That said, here’s the link to the infamous “War on Drugs: Suck my Cock” track, which you can also download as an mp3 file from Pitchfork (don’t click on the player on the page, click on the link for the download).

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Tonight at Slowdown Jr. Paul Collins of the band The Beat (and The Nerves) headlines, and opening is none other than The Sons of The Slowdown (alone worth the price of admission). 8:30 p.m., $8.

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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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Lincoln Calling starts this week; Colony House tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:02 pm October 6, 2014
Lincoln Calling 2014 starts tomorrow.

Lincoln Calling 2014 starts tomorrow.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

All the action is happening in Lincoln this week as the 11th annual Lincoln Calling kicks off Tuesday. Actually, the live music portion of LC doesn’t begin until Wednesday. Tomorrow is dedicated to two film festivals happening at The Bourbon Theater.

All the details are at lincolncalling.com. I think it’s safe to say that Lincoln Calling is Nebraska’s largest indie music festival — or for that matter, the closest we get to having a real festival. Eight venues over five nights and god knows how many bands, mostly local but with a sprinkling of regional acts thrown in. My only complaint is that it takes place in Lincoln.

Could Omaha — or more specifically, Benson — host a similar multi-day festival where the participating bands actually get paid something? It would take someone with the same level of dedication as LC mastermind Jeremy Buckley to get it off the ground.  So the answer is probably no, though an organization like Hear Nebraska would be a natural for such a festival. So would Maha in conjunction with its annual concert. Lord knows Benson has the facilities to handle a multi-day local/regional blowout…

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Tennessee indie pop band Colony House headlines tonight at Reverb Lounge. I never heard of these guys but they’ve got nearly 35,000 Facebook likes (whatever that’s worth). With Little Rock’s Knox Hamilton and Philly band Cheerleader. $10, 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Domestica, Drakes Hotel, Little Brazil, Brad Hoshaw, BFF tonight; Millions of Boys Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:50 pm October 3, 2014
Little Brazil at The Waiting Room, July 19, 2014. The band is playing for free tonight at The Sydney.

Little Brazil at The Waiting Room, July 19, 2014. The band is playing for free tonight at The Sydney.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Lots of (cheap) local shows this weekend, especially tonight.

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s Lincoln punk legends Domestica are on a showbill headlined by (ex-Filter King) Gerald Lee’s sludge/stoner band Nightbird. Opening is Lincoln’s Once a Pawn. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Back in Benson at The Sydney Little Brazil headlines a free show with The Brigadiers and Well Aimed Arrows (who, I’m told, has wrapped up recording a new album). The fun starts at 9.

Over at The Barley Street, local post-punk band Drakes Hotel is on a bill that includes The Bishops, The Toppings and Brief Candles. If the website listing is correct, Drakes plays first. $5, 9 p.m.

Finally, Brad Hoshaw and Low Long Signal open for the debut of Foreign Body at Benson’s newest lounge/concert space Reverb (read all about the bar here). $5, 9 p.m.

And remember, tonight is Benson First Friday. Get your parking where you can.

Let’s not forget that Relax, It’s Science headlines at Slowdown Jr. tonight with Nanahara and Timecat. $5, 9 p.m.

I keep forgetting that it’s football season and Husker games pretty much drive rock shows off the calendar on Saturdays. That said, there’s at least one show going on tomorrow night, and it’s at Reverb. Millions of Boys headlines with Dan Mariska and the Boys Choir and The Crash Bandits. $7, 9 p.m.

That’s what I got. If I missed your show, put it in 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.

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Reverb: Omaha’s Mid-Century live music lounge (in the column); and how many bars are in Benson, anyway?

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:01 pm October 2, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A look inside the new Reverb Lounge as well as some Q&A with one of its owners, Jim Johnson, is the subject of my column this week. Jim talks about his vision for the club and why One Percent decided to open another bar literally feet away from two other bars they own. It’s in this week’s issue of The Reader and online right here.

As I say in the column, I foresee that I’ll be spending a lot of time at Reverb. As Omaha continues to get bigger and bigger, I’m spending more and more time in a smaller geographical location — i.e., Benson. Back in the old days, going to shows would mean driving to way south to Sokol, to downtown Omaha, out to The Asylum on West Center, and so on. These days most of my time is spent on Maple Street, with the occasional trek to O’Leaver’s. I haven’t been to The Slowdown in a few months (due to a combination of factors including 1) going to fewer mid-week shows, 2) Slowdown booking more private functions on weekends, along with 3) Slowdown booking fewer indie shows).

My coverage is definitely becoming too Benson focused, both in this blog and in my column. There is a world west of 72nd Street, though these days, I rarely step foot in it. And with clubs like Reverb opening, I’m less apt to.

So what’s the current bar count in Benson? Let’s see (not counting restaurants that serve booze): Jerry’s, Full House, Beercade, Krug Park, The Waiting Room, Burke’s, 1912, The Sydney, The Musette, St. Andrews, Benson Brewery, Infusion, Jake’s, The Barley Street and now Reverb. That’s 15 (and I’m probably missing something). That’s a lot of bars in about a half-mile stretch of road.

You have to ask yourself if there’s enough people to keep them all afloat.

BTW, news to me (though probably news to no one else), Jim told me that The Waiting Room is only open when an event or show is booked. Did not know that.

Some other comments that didn’t make it into the column:

— There will be tables and chairs added to Reverb’s concert space when appropriate. Jim is even considering adding row seating for some performances.

— There are no TVs in Reverb, nor video games or pinball.

— Jim said they’ll be adding some “sound treatment” to the concert room in the near future.

Again, you really need to check it out, whether there’s a show scheduled (check out their website to see) or not. And man, they make a potent mai tai.

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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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New Lungs, Little Gold, Saintseneca, Beach Fossils (in Lincoln) tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:48 pm October 1, 2014
New Lungs play at O'Leaver's tonight...

New Lungs play at O’Leaver’s tonight…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Trying to think of some news to pass along… The new Prince records? Not feeling it. The new Thom Yorke? Nope. If you’re looking for something noisy and weird, you could do worse than checking out Useless Eaters LP Bleeding Moon (Castle Face). Modern, spiked garage rock. Or maybe not.

Busy Wednesday show-wise…

It’s a night of fine, fine rock at fabulous O’Leaver’s this evening. Been awhile since I’ve seen the crew from New Lungs. I believe D-Max and Co. have been working on some new stuff.  Opener Athens band Little Gold plays gritty, harmonica-infused indie rock. They kind of remind me of Centro-matic crossed with D. Jr., but only because of lead guy Christian DeRoeck’s gravel voice. Check out the tracks below. Swamp Walk kicks it off at 9:30. $5.

Tonight at Slowdown Jr. Columbus Ohio band Saintseneca headlines. The band recorded their latest album, Dark Arc (ANTI-) with Mike Mogis at ARC Studios, just up the street from the new Panda Express. It’s straight-up acoustic indie rock. Pretty. Bloomington’s Busman’s Holiday and our very own McCarthy Trenching open. $10, 9 p.m.

I typically don’t write about Lincoln shows because, well, they’re in Lincoln. And I’m in Omaha. And the chances of me driving to Lincoln during the week (or even on the weekend) are pretty slim. If I had chutzpah, I would make the drive tonight for Beach Fossils at Vega. This show is really a Captured Tracks showcase featuring label mates Heavenly Beat and Axxa/Abraxas. Captured Tracks has it going on. You should check it out. $17, 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Sebadoh and the debut of Reverb’s concert space…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:54 pm September 29, 2014
Sebadoh at Reverb Lounge, Sept. 28, 2014.

Sebadoh at Reverb Lounge, Sept. 28, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

First off, there will be a full write-up about Reverb in this week’s column, a detailed look at the place and what it means in the larger picture of the Omaha music scene. That’s out Thursday. This is a review of last night’s kick-off show, and man, it was a bumpy ride.

The problems with the vocal PA seemed obvious during See Through Dresses’ opening set. Instrumentally, the band sounded great, you just couldn’t hear the vocals, they were dead or gone from the first note. Who to blame — was it something the band was doing wrong on stage or was it the sound guy? The vocals were simply buried in the mix and stayed that way.

Then came Sebadoh. Let’s not make more out of the incident than it was. By the second song, Lou Barlow was clearly irritated. “Can you hear me?” About a dozen hands went up with thumbs pointed at the ceiling, indicating more vocals. Barlow apologized, saying it was the first show for the club, that it “sounded like shit,” and mentioned something about giving the crowd its money back.

Then he left took off his guitar and left the stage. Jason Loewenstein, sporting a bass at this point in the set, looked up and said, “What did you guys say?” A few moments later, Barlow returned to a smattering of applause before kicking into their next song, which had virtually non-existent vocals. Then they went right into “On Fire” and things got noticeably better as two sound guys poured over the digital sound board trying to figure out what was wrong.

Next, Barlow’s amp broke. “I guess this room doesn’t like guitars.” Loewenstein came to the rescue with a spare guitar pedal and the show went on, and by the next song or two, the vocals gradually got better. By the end of the first Barlow-sung portion of the set, Lou could be heard fairly clearly, but the PA never had the necessary heft to really cut through the rest of the band’s equipment.

After Loewenstein’s set, Barlow apologized again. “Sorry I was so pouty earlier. I ran off stage to drink some wine and when I got back the sound was better.

I assume the band did a sound check earlier in the afternoon. If they had, they would have noticed the problem (It wasn’t one of those deals where “the crowd muffled the mix” — Reverb is way too small for that). Did something happen between sound check and the first set? Who knows.

A look at the crowd from the edge of the stage during See Through Dresses' set.

A look at the crowd from the edge of the stage during See Through Dresses’ set.

It was an inauspicious start for a new club with lots of promise. Located through the main lounge, entering the performance room is like walking into a sound stage, albeit a tiny sound stage. I couldn’t believe how small the room looked. It is, in essence, a gray box with a stage raised about four feet off the ground built into the wall. Maybe it was the high ceilings or the lack of tables and chairs, but the room seemed downright microscopic. The performance space is definitely bigger than The Barley Street’s or Sweatshop’s, but is it bigger than O’Leaver’s? I don’t know.

With its poured concrete floors, gray paint, no windows and exposed ceiling, the room is austere. The only decoration is a series of black-and-white concert photos that line the room at eye level, further accentuating the high ceiling. Then there’s the stage itself. Small, back-curtained with LED spotlight racks mounted on the ceiling in front of and behind the band. The only outcrop in the room is the sound board in the back directly facing the stage.

With all that concrete, featureless walls and high ceiling, I expected the sound to be brash and bouncy and was pleasantly surprised at how well directed it sounded. No doubt it was loud — bands aren’t going to need much to fill the space, which will help keep the sound down in the main lounge (where, no surprise, you could clearly hear the band during the set).

I’m no audio engineer, but the flaw seems to be the vocal PA. (From what I could see) the system has two smallish overhead arrays and a couple subs built under the stage. I didn’t have a chance to check out the stage monitors. As Barlow said himself a couple times from stage, hey, this is the first show. Give it time and this is going to be a great room.

The performance itself was solid. Barlow’s getting shaggy in his old age, with a big head of hair and a massive beard. His voice was as good as ever (when I could hear it). Loewenstein also was in fine form (especial on his personal anthem, “My Drugs”), despite suffering from a tooth ache (They’ll be looking for an oral surgeon today). Ouch.

One Percent said they sold 115 tickets and purposely kept the number at that level to make for a comfortable show, and comfortable it was. Moving around the room was easy, with plenty of space against the back wall and good sight lines throughout. I guess the room is bigger than I thought.

Having a second exit along the opposite side of the soundboard makes exiting easy. I’d like to see the room “warmed up” a bit aesthetically – it’s rather sterile and barren now. That said, it is indeed an intimate experience. It definitely felt like a private show. Someone said “I’d pay $200 to see Sonic Youth in this room.” Now wouldn’t that be killer?

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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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