New Nik Freitas track (w/Maria Taylor); Navy Gangs vs. Caroline Rose (vs. Foster the People) tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:54 pm June 7, 2018

Navy Gangs plays tonight at Petshop.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Nik Freitas dropped another single from his upcoming album Day and Dark this morning. The track “Listen” features Maria Taylor of Azure Ray (and solo) fame.

I mention this for two reasons: 1) Day and Dark is easily one of my favorite albums of 2018; and 2) Freitas plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s Saturday night.

So what was that tough choice hinted at yesterday?

Over a Petshop Gallery (the old Sweatshop space) Brooklyn band (with local ties) Navy Gangs headlines tonight. These guys are somewhat awesome and rarely come through town, but to top it off, it’s a stacked show with Falter, David Nance and BiB. It starts at 9:15 and costs $10.

Check out the just-posted Navy Gang Daytrotter Facebook Live session (make sure you un-mute it first):

Meanwhile, right up the street at Reverb Lounge, Caroline Rose headlines. You read my review of her latest album, wherein I said “Imagine Alvvays or La Roux but with a darkly wicked sense of humor and a bracingly accurate view of this modern world.” I know a couple people who bought advance tickets fearing it will sell out (which is the only reason to buy advance tickets since they’re about a buck more per when you add in the fees). They may be right. Cardioid opens at 8 p.m. $12.

To top it off, Foster the People is playing at Stir Cove tonight. I’m not sure that show will eat into either of these (though it would be more apt to affect the Caroline Rose gig, imho).

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Kissing Is a Crime, Natural States, Shidiots, Not a Part of It, McCarthy Trenching, Noah Sterba tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 1:15 pm June 6, 2018

Noah Sterba at Reverb Lounge, July 14, 2017. He plays tonight at Pageturners.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Three shows tonight.

At O’Leaver’s Brooklyn four-piece indie rock band Kissing Is a Crime (Don Giovanni Records) headlines with Natural States and Empty Bag of Ears. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, The Shidiots headline at Brothers Lounge with Eugene Oregon’s Not A Part Of It and The Shabby Ghouls. $5, 9 p.m.

And finally McCarthy Trenching plays at Pageturners tonight with Noah Sterba and Ben Eisenberg. This one’s free and starts at 10.

That’s a lot of shows to choose from, but there’s an even tougher choice tomorrow…

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Azure Ray heads East; Saddle Creek signs Tomberlin…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:46 pm June 5, 2018
Azure Ray at The Slowdown, Nov. 3, 2010.

Azure Ray at The Slowdown, Nov. 3, 2010. The duo is headed to China in a couple weeks.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Some news…

If like me you’ve been wondering what Azure Ray has been up to, well, the duo of Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor are headed east, as in the Far East for a tour of China.

The dates for this mini tour, announced on Facebook and elsewhere:

June 17 / Shenzen, A8 Live House
June 19 / Ghungzhou, Mao Live House
June 21 / Shanghai, Modern Sky Lab
June 23 / Beijing, Tango Live House

If you’re in the area, drop by one of the shows! Seriously, I didn’t even know the duo had been playing together. The last release I’m aware of was EP As Above So Below, released on Saddle Creek Records in 2012. Their last live show was a reunion gig at Lodge Room Highland Park this past Jan. 20.

BTW, this is not the first Asian tour for Azure Ray. The duo played China and Taiwan back in 2013.

* * *

Speaking of Saddle Creek Records, the label today announced that it’s signed Tomberlin a.k.a. Sarah Beth Tomberlin. Her debut album, At Weddings, was released as part of Joyful Noise Records’ “White Label Series” last October. Saddle Creek is re-releasing it Aug. 10 with three new songs added (pre-order here).

Born in Jacksonville, Florida, and now based in Louisville, Kentucky, Tomberlin wrote most of At Weddings while living with her family in southern Illinois during her late teens and early twenties,” according to Saddle Creek. “At Weddings is laden with reverence for music itself, for the power it has to heal others and help people navigate their lives.”

It’s turning out to be a big year for Saddle Creek, and I’m sure there are more announcements 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Little Brazil, Pro-Magnum; Little Dragon tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:03 pm June 4, 2018

Little Brazil at The Waiting Room, June 1, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

What’s the old saying — the biggest crowds come for album releases and farewell shows… and reunions, of course. Because Little Brazil plays so scarcely these days, Friday night’s show at The Waiting Room notched two of those three. It felt sort of like a reunion while at the same time they were celebrating the release of their new record, Send the Wolves (2018, Max Trax). As a result, the crowd was more than respectable: my guestimate 150+.

I got there in time to see the tail end of Pro-Magnum’s arena rock set. At least it felt like an arena rock show. I’ve seen these guys a ton of times at O’Leaver’s, but to really feel the power and majesty of these metal animals you need a stage as big at TWR’s, and a sound system to match.

Pro-Magnum at The Waiting Room, June 1, 2018.

Fronted by bassist Johnny Vredenburg with guitarists John Laughlin and Alex Kinner and legendary drummer Pat Oakes (congrats, Pat, you made “legendary” status) the band played what we used to call in the business “heavy metal,” with Vredenburg screaming/croaking out the lead vocals in Midwest-satanic fashion. The guitar interplay was most impressive, and Oakes’ throaty drumming,  a keynote back in his days with Ladyfinger, is always a wonder to behold.

This really is a different band on a large stage, visually and sonically. I assume this crew was influenced by the great arena metal acts of yesteryear (Scorpions, Slayer, Iron Maiden, etc.) who never played anything but arenas. If Pro-Magnum sounds like this at TWR, how would they sound playing Baxter Arena?

Little Brazil hit the stage at around 11 with a massive storm about to bear down on the city. I watched the radar tentatively from my phone as Landon, DMax and crew tore into a set that included all my favorites from Send the Wolves — “You,” “Making a Mess” and “Motorbike,” which featured a guest vocal by Ladyfinger’s Chris Machmuller, who also sang on the album track.

It was the usual great performance — these guys never fail to deliver. After the first few songs they played two yet-to-be-recorded songs, presumably off the next album, which will give the crowd something to look forward to, though there’s a lot of meat to Send the Wolves, even a track that features Conor Oberst on vocals (DMax stood in for Conor on Friday night). It’s Little Brazil’s best effort to date and as good as anything Desparecidos put out in its waning years (though in no way political).

In their current roles as family-men, it’s hard to imagine the band hitting the road touring the record, and as far as I know, there’s no plans to do so. So the goal I guess is to sell out the short run of vinyl, move some digital downloads and get spins on Spotify (where it’s also available). And then get back in the studio and do it all again. It’s just like the old days when it was every band’s goal to make enough money to write and record the next album. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

* * *

Tonight, Swedish electronic band Little Dragon plays at The Slowdown. The quartet has collaborated with the likes of Gorillaz, TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek and SBTRKT. Kethro opens at 8 p.m. GA tix are $28.

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Little Brazil record release, #BFF, Muscle Cousins tonight; M34N STR33T, Lupines Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:49 pm June 1, 2018

Little Brazil at The Waiting Room Dec. 30, 2017. The band celebrates the release of its new album, Send the Wolves, tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tonight’s the big Little Brazil album release show for Send the Wolves. You read the backstory behind the making of the album right here in The Reader. Kevin also did a story in this week’s Go! section of the OWH, which you can check out here. Pro-Magnum and Eric in Outerspace open at 9 p.m. $8. See you there.

BTW, it’s also #BFF — Benson First Friday. If you’re going to the Little Brazil show, drop by The Little Gallery beforehand and check out the opening reception for Home Sweet Home by Katie B. Temple? Temple, an Omaha artist and educator, is the studio coordinator for the Kent Bellows Mentoring Program at Joslyn Art Museum. Home Sweet Home was inspired by homes in Omaha that aren’t currently occupied.

It’s also the gallery’s third birthday, so you’ll be able to enjoy a slice of cake with your beer or wine. The opening is from 6 to 9 p.m. The Little Gallery is located in the bottom of the Benson Masonic Lodge, just up the street from The Sydney.

Speaking of The Sydney, as part of #BFF the club is hosting a show with Hussies, Gerardo Meza & The Dead and Muscle Cousins, who are celebrating the release of their debut EP, Flex. 10 p.m. and free.

Saturday night M34N STR33T celebrates the release of their new album, Don Quixote’s Lance, at Brothers Lounge. Jaw Knee Vee opens at 9 p.m. $5.

Anonymous Henchmen headline at fabulous O’Leaver’s Saturday night. The Lupines and Satellite Junction open at 10 p.m. $5.

The B Side in Benson, 6058 Maple (right next to Virtuoso Pizza) kicks off its B Side Story Sessions Saturday night with Andrew Bailie. Each session features a solo artist in a “Storytellers” style two-hour performance. Bailie has played with Jazzwholes and It’s True, among others. Tickets are $10 advance, $15 DOS. Show starts at 9 p.m.

Satchel Grande headlines at The Waiting Room Saturday night with Omaha Beat Brigade. $8, 9 p.m.

Doom Lagoon headlines at Reverb Lounge Saturday with Cvlt Play, Silversphere and Supper. $5, 9 p.m.

That’s all 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

Lazy-i

Live Review: Stef Chura; 15 Passenger signs Campdogzz…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:35 pm May 31, 2018

Stef Chura at O’Leaver’s, May 30, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It was a small but lively crowd for last night’s Stef Chura concert at O’Leaver’s. Chura wisely played third among the four slated performers, possibly to prevent getting Omaha’d. Her act was a trio with bass and drums and Chura handling electric guitar and vocals.

I assume the first couple songs were new ones off the upcoming record produced by Will Toledo as they were heavier than stuff on her debut album and featured “trick endings” or at least they tricked the audience, who weren’t sure if the song was over or… oh, I guess there’s another verse. Super cool and catchy.

She brought it down in the middle of the set for a few songs off Messes, including a stirring version of personal favorite “Human Being,” where she sounded like a nerdy Stevie Nicks. Chura has a sweet croon that easily slips into a high, country-esque warble that could become her trademark if she’s not careful. On the whole, her vocals were under-powered last night and hard to hear except for those quiet moments.

Other highlights included the new singles, which also were produced by Toledo and are  catchy. Who knows how much influence Toledo will have on her sound. I guess we’ll have to wait unto the new album. Regardless, I think she’s going to be another strong addition to the “New Era” stable of Saddle Creek artists forging the label’s future.

* * *

I’m a few days behind in mentioning that the Cursive guys’ new record label, 15 Passenger, just signed its first act – Chicago band Campdogzz.

According to their bio, the band has been kicking around for years, self-releasing their debut, Riders in the Hills of Dying Heaven, back in 2015. The new one, In Rounds, which comes out Aug. 3 on 15 Passenger, was written over a couple years and recorded in 2017 in Chicago. They’ve played around a lot, opening for Saddle Creek acts Big Thief and Sam Evian, among others.

The new record is solid and sounds like something that would fit into Saddle Creek recent catalog. Check out the first single below and pre-order here.

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Stef Chura (Saddle Creek Records) headlines tonight at O’Leaver’s…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:49 pm May 30, 2018

Stef Chura plays tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I had a chance last week to talk to Stef Chura about a number of things, but mostly about recently signing to Saddle Creek Records. Chura, who’s played DIY shows in the Detroit area for 10 years, talked about how she was re-introduced to the label by Creek’s new A&R person Amber Carew and why ultimately the signing made sense. “I like what they’re doing now with Big Thief, Hop Along and Land of Talk,” she said. “I relate to them; sonically it’s a good fit.”

There’s more to the interview, but you’ll have to wait until the big Saddle Creek at 25 story comes out in next month’s issue of The Reader (the annual music issue!).

Saddle Creek already has re-released Chura’s debut album, Messes, and will be releasing the follow-up, which was produced by Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest. The first products of her pairing with Toledo were released April 20 in the form of the single “Degrees” b/w “Sour Honey,” which you can check out via Bandcamp below. Something tells me Saddle Creek has another hit on their hands.

Come hear what the hubbub is all about tonight when Chura plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s. It’s a stacked show with Jordan Smith, House Vacations and Joe Knapp of Son, Ambulance opening. $7, 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: La Luz, The Whiffs; American Aquarium, The New Trust tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:45 pm May 29, 2018

The Whiffs at O’Leaver’s, May 28, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

As much as I love O’Leaver’s, it does have its limits. Last night’s super-packed La Luz show is one example. When you have that many people crammed up by the band, with people literally sitting on top of the railing, anyone behind that mass of humanity isn’t going to see anything except people’s backs because O’Leaver’s doesn’t have a raised stage (or a stage of any kind).

I made the mistake of hanging outside in the beer garden too long between sets, so when I came back inside, my favorite “spot” (which is along the side, peeking through the “windows”) was already taken, leaving me to hang out by the sound board for most of the La Luz set. They sounded great, playing a modernized version of mid-tempo doo-wop/surf rock.

La Luz from in back of the room at O’Leaver’s, May 28, 2018.

What can I say? The show would have been a blast held outside or in a larger venue (like The Winchester, but I’m told live shows there is a year away). It was still fun. I ended up listening to the last half of the set outside on the old front patio, where I watched one of the band members crowd surf to the bar, take a shot and disappear back over the crowd to the stage — been a long time since I’ve seen crowd surfing at O’Leaver’s.

Luckily there were fewer people in the club when The Whiffs were on stage. The KC four-piece plays power-pop rock reminiscent of bands on the old Titan Records label of the ’70s — acts like The Boys and Gems — bands that would go on to influence national acts like The Knack. Check out the collection: Titan, It’s All Pop on Numero (and on Spotify).

The Whiffs have that same energy, though their sound is slightly harder, rougher but no less fun, rife with three-part harmonies and some killer guitar solos. Check out their album on Bandcamp for some summer fun.

* * *

It’s a busy week for shows…

Tonight New West band American Aquarium plays at The Waiting Room. The North Carolina act’s sound is a twangy Americana which has been compared to Lucero, Jason Isbell and Jeff Tweedy. Cory Branan opens at 8 p.m. $20.

Meanwhile, back at O’Leaver’s it’s The New Trust (ex-The Velvet Teen) with The Long Awaited and Cuddlebone. No price listed, but probably $5. 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Simon Joyner & The Ghosts, Lupines, Little Brazil listening party tonight; Domestica, House Vacations Saturday; La Luz Monday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:43 pm May 25, 2018

Simon Joyner at O’Leaver’s, July 1, 2016. Joyner and his band, The Ghosts, kick off an East Coast tour tonight at Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

No national touring shows this weekend, except one:

Simon Joyner & The Ghosts kick off their East Coast tour tonight at Brothers Lounge. Simon will be out supporting his latest, Step Into the Earthquake (2017, Shrimper / Ba Da Bing!). It’s been forever since Joyner/Ghosts have played in Omaha and the first time they’ve ever played at Brothers. This one’s stacked, with Lupines and The Wagon Blasters opening. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Lash LaRue & Hired Guns play at The Barley Street with Ragged Company. $5, 9 p.m.

Scott Severin plays tonight at The Down Under Lounge with The Show Is the Rainbow and Wendy Jane Bantam. 9:30 p.m., no cover listed.

And tonight Little Brazil is hosting a listening party at Hi-Fi House for their new album Send the Wolves, which drops June 1. You can read all about the new record here. Wonder if they’ll have any extra copies of the vinyl for sale tonight? I’m told merch will definitely be on hand. The listening party is from 8 to 11 p.m. and is free.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Cami Cavanaugh Rawlings celebrates her 50th birthday at The Down Under with a rock show featuring Domestica, The Ronnys and her band, Bathtub Maria. This one’s free (though Cami’s asking for canned food for charity Completely Kids). Starts at 8 p.m. More info here.

Over at fabulous O’Leaver’s Lincoln act Red Cities headlines with The Ramparts and Dead on Dust. $5, 10 p.m.

House Vacations are having an EP release party for their new one, Pictures of Friends, at Petshop Saturday night. Orca Welles, Mago and Threesome Egos open at 8 p.m. No idea what this will cost you to get in.

Strangely, there’s no shows slated for Sunday, which sucks because we all have Monday off for Memorial Day. Come on, people!

It being a 3-day weekend, I might as well mention what’s happening Monday night. LA surf/psych-rock band La Luz plays at O’Leaver’s. They’ve got a handful of albums out on labels like Hardly Art and Burger Records. Kansas City power pop band The Whiffs open along with Omaha’s Dirt House. This one starts early at 6 p.m. $8.

That’s all 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

It’s Omaha Gives day; new Poster Children slays; Golden Pelicans, Rusty Lord, David Nance tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:43 pm May 23, 2018

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Unless you’re living completely off the grid (which means you’re not reading this, either) you already know today is Omaha Gives day. So if you have the jack to spare, spare a little to your favorite local 501(c)(3) charity.

In year’s past I’ve hyped Hear Nebraska as a charity that gives back big to the local music scene. And while HN still exists, if you want to support it you need to give your money to its umbrella organization, Rabble Mill (click here to do so). HN has a number of upcoming events, not the least of which is Beer Nebraska Aug. 4.

Other charities to consider:

Omaha Girls Rock
Maha Music Festival
Film Streams
Benson Theatre
Benson First Friday

* * *

Poster Children is a punk band out of Champaign, Illinois, that’s been around since the late ’80s. They really hit their stride in the mid-’90s with records released on Sire and Warner Bros., around the same time as Nebraska’s golden age bands began to venture out into the world, bands like Mercy Rule, Frontier Trust, Mousetrap, etc.

PC sort of went away after 2004’s No More Songs About Sleep and Fire, but if you were on their mailing list, you got updates here and there. Poster Children never died.

Now they’re back with Grand Bargain!, released last Friday on Lotuspool Records. What does 14 years do between releases? I guess it only makes you stronger, as this record absolutely rocks with an intensity reminiscent of those mid-’90s golden years but with a message solidly grounded in today’s politics. As evidence, check out the first single which is also the title track.

As I was listening to the new album on the way to work this morning I got this idea of somehow getting the band to come to Omaha for the “Better Than Ever Festival.” The line-up would be Poster Children with Domestica (ex-Mercy Rule), Wagon Blasters (ex-Frontier Trust), Bad Bad Men (ex-Cellophane Ceiling/Ritual Device), Simon Joyner and the Ghosts and anyone else from the ’90s who is still kicking, such as Bunnygrunt, Fugazi, Superchunk, GBV, Belly, etc… Maha could host this one day before their annual Festival, wouldn’t that be a kick in the head?

* * *

Let’s put wishful thinking aside for a moment and tune into what’s really happening tonight, which is The Golden Pelicans at fabulous O’Leaver’s.

The Orlando punk band is known for their hard punk stance, as proven by Disciples of Blood, their last album released in 2017 by Goner Records. This is a stacked show with David Nance Band and Rusty Lord opening. $6, 9 p.m. Should be a sweaty good 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i