Live Review: Wolf Alice, Slaves (UK); Homer’s announces Record Store Day plans…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:42 pm April 13, 2016
Wolf Alice at The Waiting Room, April 12, 2016.

Wolf Alice at The Waiting Room, April 12, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

We see bands on their upward trajectory; we see them when they’ve reached their apex and we see them headed downward in a steep dive with the rocks coming up fast from below.

Last night Wolf Alice was a band headed skyward. They were high enough where you could still see the engines clearly without binoculars, before the second-stage rockets kick in and take them above the blue sky, a band on the rise. Maybe they’re the next Garbage or Cranberries or, if they’re lucky, the first Wolf Alice marking their own territory as they go.

The four-piece took The Waiting Room stage at around 10 p.m. and proceeded to rip through most (if not all) of the tracks off their 2015 breakthrough album My Love Is Cool (Dirty Hit/Sony) starting with “Your Loves Whore” with its sensuous, perfect breaks, and ending with a three-song encore kicked off with album opener “Turn to Dust.” In between, the band played 75 minutes of perfect, tuneful indie rock that sounded more than a little influenced by some of my favorite bands from the ’90s, updated with modern grit and a vintage snarl by way of bass player Theo Ellis, who was the life of the party.

In fact it was bleach-blond Ellis that kept things visually interesting on stage. While the rest of the band focused on their respective parts, Ellis played the Brit madman, leading the clapping, pointing out cell phone users, applauding spectators who danced/pogo-ed in the pit. Meanwhile. frontwoman Ellie Rowsell did her thing with reserved panache, eventually getting into it enough to toss her guitar to the stage and walk into the outreached hands of the crowd during the encore.

The band’s secret weapons were guitarist Joff Oddie, who forced your attention with quickfire fretboard gymnastics, and drummer Joel Amey, whose siren voice was the perfect harmony throughout and the perfect lead for dreamy setpiece ‘Swallowtail.”

If there’s a nit to be picked it’s that Wolf Alice could use a bit more stage theatrics, though it’s hard not to get sucked into their set once they get on a roll, which they did last night in front of a packed-though-not-sold-out crowd populated by a surprisingly older audience (I wasn’t the oldest one there, for a change).

The next time you see them live likely will be at a festival somewhere, or in a much larger venue. Wolf Alice is still headed skyward. To what heights they’ll climb, well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Slaves (UK) at The Waiting Room, April 12, 2016.

Slaves (UK) at The Waiting Room, April 12, 2016.

Opener Slaves (UK, I assume a necessity due to the fact that there’s a U.S. version of Slaves) kicked off the night with a very British sounding set of rough-hewn rock, like listening to a rage-filled Mike Skinner (The Streets) voxed against power chord riffs instead of hip-hop beats. Slaves is a duo featuring drummer/vocalist Isaac Holman yelling more than singing while guitarist Laurie Vincent wailed away on his ax. Sort of punk, but not quite.

Between songs Holman told stories and painted pictures of life in the UK, describing the dreadful riders on public transport who look upset about their dreary careers. “If you don’t like your job, mate, do something else,” he sneered before the duo ripped into “Cheer Up London.” By set’s end, Holman asked everyone to hug the person standing next to them, and then berated those who were too cool to follow his orders.

Sidenote: I appreciate the fact that One Percent Productions is limiting some of its shows to just two bands, especially during the week. Those of us who have regular day jobs enjoy getting home by midnight (11:30 last night), allowing us to function coherently the following morning.

* * *

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 12.37.27 PMRecord Store Day 2016 is this Saturday and the shops are getting ready for the annual onslaught. Yesterday Homer’s outlined their plans, which will include lots of exclusives. According to their press release:

“Among the limited edition music releases being unveiled for Record Store Day 2016 are titles by David Bowie, Deftones, Alt-J, Cheap Trick, The Doors, Johnny Cash, Joan Jett, The Talking Heads and Twenty-One Pilots.
 
“Nebraska native and current Omaha resident Matthew Sweet will be releasing Goodfriend, featuring alternate takes of his iconic 1991 album Girlfriend. Omaha native Adam DeVine will also release his comedy rap album by the Wizards, which features DeVine and the other two members of the Workaholics’ TV show cast.”

BTW, Metallica is 2016’s Record Store Day Ambassador, which seems odd when you consider only a few years ago the only bands still supporting vinyl were indies and not major-label monsters. Looks like the monsters won again.

While Homer’s doors open at 10 a.m., the line generally forms at around dawn. Homer’s will be serving coffee and donuts to line-sitters starting at 8 a.m. Psychobilly rock trio The Rev. Horton Heat will be on hand at 4 p.m. for a meet-and-greet and autograph-signing session to celebrate the band’s RSD single, “Hardscrabble Woman.”

It’s probably a good idea to go to http://www.recordstoreday.com/SpecialReleases to see what may be available at Homer’s as well as the other RSD participants including Almost Music and Drastic Plastic.

* * *

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Ten Questions with Wolf Alice; Live review: Foxtails Brigade, Ryley Walker; Bent Shapes tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:50 pm April 11, 2016
Wolf Alice plays Tuesday, April 12, at The Waiting Room.

Wolf Alice plays Tuesday, April 12, at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There’s a good reason why UK band Wolf Alice so quickly exploded on the global music scene. Though they officially formed as a duo between frontwoman Ellie Rowsell and guitarist Joff Oddie in 2010, the band in its current form has only been around for a few years, releasing their debut full length, My Love Is Cool (Dirty Hit Records/Sony) last year.

That album not only was critically lauded (nominated for a Mercury Music Prize) but the band also netted a Grammy nomination. Their sleek, blaring rock has been compared to everyone from Hole to Elastica to The xx. They remind me of early Garbage crossed with one of those dreamy 4AD bands, with brazen,  grungy hooks balanced by Rowsell’s beautiful, breathy coo.  It won’t take them long to jump from rock-club sized venues like The Waiting Room (where they play Tuesday night) to arenas and headliner status on the festival circuit. Catch then now when you can still get close enough to touch them.

The band took the Ten Questions challenge. Here’s how guitarist/vocalist Joff Oddie responded (to most of the questions, anyway).

1. What is your favorite album?

Wolf Alice’s Joff Oddie: The velvet underground and Nico – the velvet underground

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

Seeing people be brought together through our music is a really special thing. There are kids we know all over the world who are now friends and go to shows together through listening to Wolf Alice. That’s a special feeling when you see that.

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

Not being able to cook for myself whilst on long trips on the road. I really miss the kitchen. Sunday’s roasts..

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

Champagne. If you are coming to a show of ours then please bring champagne.

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

Wherever there’s a good crowd we’ll have a good show. We love the states. Been making trips here for about 18 months now and we always love it. You guys know how to treat a band!

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

We had a nightmare show in London once at a small venue called The Lexington. It’s a great venue but all our shit just broke and we were standing on stage for about 20 minutes telling jokes while people tried to fix our shit. That was horrible.

8. How do you pay your bills?

With money…. ??

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

I trained to be a teacher before Wolf Alice so I’d like to do that. Or maybe a butcher.

I don’t think I’d last long in the military.

Wolf Alice plays with Slaves (UK), Tuesday, April 12, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple Street.. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 Adv./$17 DOS. For more information, visit onepercentproductions.com

* * *

I would suggest if you’re planning to see Wolf Alice tomorrow night, it might be a good idea to get your tickets now. Yeah, I know advance tickets cost about a dollar more than DOS (which is upside-down, but you know how ticket fees work), cuz I’ve got a feeling this could sell out like Saturday night’s Kurt Vile show. Just sayin’…

Speaking of the weekend.

Foxtails Brigade at The Sydney, April 9, 2016.

Foxtails Brigade at The Sydney, April 9, 2016.

Saturday night I was down the street from that Vile show watching Foxtails Brigade at The Sydney. The four-piece, anchored by Laura Weinbach on vocals, played two styles of rock. I preferred the more  straight-forward style that was reminiscent of early Suzanne Vega, thanks to the folk-rock fueled melodies and Weinbach’s flute-like vocals, which I would have loved to hear more of.

Countering this were prog-rock style songs with bracing time changes and melody shifts that sounded like improv jazz fused with jangle-pop. There were moments that had a sort of renaissance fare quality circa ’70s Jethro Tull. I was waiting for Anton Patzner to pick up the violin I saw him tuning prior to the set, but we didn’t stick around long enough to hear it.

Sunday afternoon I swung by Almost Music’s new location in the Blackstone District for the Ryley Walker in-store and noticed that they painted the building yet again. The striking yellow had been painted black, except for one charming yellow heart. I’m sure there’s a story behind the change.

The new Almost Music — and new Solid Jackson Books, which shares the building — is impressive, roomy and well organized, with gorgeous old-style floor tile, high ceilings and even more product than the old Benson store. The bookstore also is a big improvement over the old location, with high book cases and even more volumes to look through.

Ryley Walker at Almost Music, April 10, 2016.

Ryley Walker at Almost Music, April 10, 2016.

I got there too late to see opener Ian O’Neil from Deer Tick, but just in time to catch Walker, who was set up with a small PA in the bookstore-side of the building. His gorgeous, intricate guitar style perfectly suited his beautiful modern-day folk songs that left the crowd of 20 or so lost in the performance.

Almost Music last week announced the line-up of its annual Record Store Day music festival, which takes place all day next Saturday. Here it is:

12:00 – Nathaniel Hoier
1:00 – John Klemmensen and the Party
2:00 – Brad Hoshaw Music
3:00 – Bien Fang
4:00 – Hand Painted Police Car
5:00 – See Through Dresses
6:00 – Sucettes
7:00 – The Shrinks
8:00 – Ramon Speed

I suspect we’ll be hearing tons more about RSD in the coming days…

* * *

Seems like Milk Run has a show every night. I don’t know how Chris Aponick and Sam Parker do it. Tonight it’s Slumberland Records artist Bent Shapes. Their new album, Wolves of Want, netted a 6.8 on the ol’ Pitchfork meter in a review that called their music “inherently likeable.” Like all Milk Run shows there are three more performers on tonight’s bill: Atlanta’s Hello Ocho, Bed Rest and Little Ripple. $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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Ten Questions with Robbie Fulks; All Dogs, Uh Oh tonight; Kurt Vile, Fulks, Bloodcow Saturday; Ryley Walker Sunday…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:42 pm April 8, 2016
Robbie Fulks plays Reverb Lounge Saturday, April 9.

Robbie Fulks plays Reverb Lounge Saturday, April 9.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Robbie Fulks is something of a modern-day folk music legend, whether he knows it or not (but he probably does). He’s released 12 albums over the course of 30 years and pretty much defined the alt-country style that Bloodshot Records has become known for, being one of their first acts way back in ’93. Those early recordings, made in Chicago, captured Fulks’ country-tinged singer-songwriter style even though they were engineered by punkmeister Steve Albini.

Albini is behind the knobs again for Fulks’ latest, Upland Stories (2016, Bloodshot), released just last week. The 12-track collection of down-home story songs are rife with clever detail, wry humor and stark observations that capture modern life in rural parts.

We asked Fulks to take our Ten Questions survey. Here’s how he responded in a way only Fulks can:

1. What is your favorite album?

Robbie Fulks: Upland Stories, the new release from Robbie Fulks.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Bacciagaloop (Makes Love On The Stoop) by Louis Prima

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

The confusion about whether to feel superior to people in straight jobs because I enjoy more freedom or inferior because they outearn me by multiples

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

Constant creation of bastard children

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

Carbon.

6. What city or town do you love performing at?

“At”? As though I’m standing on a hill outside the town and shaking my hips performatively in its direction? Shreveport.

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

Saint John N.B. because the check bounced.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Online.

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

I would like to try cucumber waxing because something tells me I already have the skills needed. I would hate to be the late-shift counter clerk at Payless Car Rental at LAX because then I would be a miserable incompetent who would be yelled and cursed at by me.

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

I hear Woodmen Insurance has a lovely and subtle presence in the downtown area, and that many residents are interested in getting out.

Robbie Fulks plays Saturday, April 9, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20 Adv/$25 DOS. For more information, visit onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

Quite a few shows this frigid, awful weekend.

Tonight’s big attraction is All Dogs at Milk Run. You read the Q&A yesterday here. If not, read it now (or read it again). Has Milk Run hosted a sold-out show yet? Maybe tonight. Also on the bill are Sean Pratt & the Sweats, Crypt Kid and Jade Lacy. Big show. $8. Starts at 9.

Also tonight, Uh Oh headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s. It’s a stacked bill with Brooklyn band Haybaby (Tiny Engines Records) and No Getter. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at the legendary Brothers Lounge, Nathan Ma & the Rosettes headlines with Noble Trash (Nance and Sterba at it again) and Minneapolis band Daisy Chains. $5, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) you’ve got the aforementioned Robbie Fulks show at Reverb Lounge. It’s an early one — 7:30 p.m. $20 today, $25 tomorrow. Save some cash and get tickets now.

Then it’s the big Kurt Vile & The Violators show at The Waiting Room. Purling Hiss (Solo) opens. $22, 9 p.m. I’ll be honest with you, I’m surprised this one hasn’t sold out yet.

Also Saturday night the mighty Bloodcow plays at Maloney’s Irish Pub (right there on No. 72nd St. next to Burger King, you know the place). Super Moon opens. No price listed for this one, but it starts at 8.

That’s not all. The good times keep on rollin’ at The Brothers Lounge when Thick Paint headlines Saturday night with Rogue Moon and Little Ripple. $5, 10 p.m.

Finally on Sunday, here’s a good opportunity to see the new Almost Music, now located in the Blackstone District. Ryley Walker (Dead Oceans Records) is playing a free instore. Joining him is guitarist Ian O’Neil from Deer Tick. The fun starts at 4 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your gig, put it in the comments section. Have a brutally cold weekend (for April)…

* * *

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Ten Questions with ALL DOGS; Har Mar Superstar, Digital Leather tonight…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , — @ 11:19 am April 7, 2016
All Dogs play Milk Run tomorrow night (Friday). Photo by Nick Fancher.

All Dogs play Milk Run tomorrow night (Friday). Photo by Nick Fancher.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If there was justice in this bitter ol’ world we live in, Columbus Ohio band All Dogs would be playing to a packed house at the 500+ capacity Waiting Room Friday night instead of the charming-though-cramped 50-something-capacity Milk Run.

The band’s latest release, Kicking Every Day (Salinas, 2015), is a bitingly beautiful collection is as good as (or better than) anything indie rock superstars Courtney Barnett or Speedy Ortiz has ever released. The four-piece, anchored by frontwoman Maryn Jones (who also played in Saintseneca), plays full-speed rock melodies that soar atop chiming guitar and gut-kick rhythms that recall daydreams of ’90s bands like Belly, Throwing Muses, Liz Phair and (appropriately) That Dog.

I asked All Dogs to try our Ten Questions interview. Here’s what frontwoman Jones had to say.

1. What is your favorite album?

All Dogs’ Maryn Jones: That is a really rough call. But if we’re talking lately, I’d say it’s a tie between Heaven or Las Vegas by the Cocteau Twins or For Everyman by Jackson Browne.

2. What is your least favorite song?

That song that’s like “Shut up and dance with me” (“Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon). I am angry right now just thinking about it and I’m sad I had to even acknowledge it exists. I hope they’re not All Dogs fans. Sorry guys.

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

When you’re having a good night and the set is really high energy and fun. That’s pretty unbeatable.

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

I don’t really hate anything about it, but super long tours can be rough. We just passed our month mark and we’re all really nice people but wow are we getting mean.

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

Tie between kombucha and buffalo sauce. Actually nah, buffalo sauce wins by far.

6. What city or town do you love performing at?

I know a lot of people probably say this but I truly love playing in New York City. I don’t care if it’s basic of me to say so, it’s just true.

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

One time we played at this house (the people who lived there were great and nice and it was a cool show overall) and this super punk dude was moshing really hard and like spitting on people. We stopped playing, which really wasn’t fair for the cool people who wanted to see us play. But an asshole’s an asshole and we don’t vibe with that.

8. How do you pay your bills?

I personally tour with this band and other bands so much that it’s dumb and I kind of manage to pay everything through that. Sort of. My bandmates have jobs like normal smart people.

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

I always wanted to work with horses! Probably still will someday I hope. I love them. I would hate being a truck driver. I am on the road so much already and imagining being alone and doing crazy long drives make me want to curl up in a ball and cry.

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

Well I’ve actually spent a surprising amount of time there because my other band (Saintseneca) recorded there so I have quite a few stories to share myself. One time I went to a party and put on a fur coat I found and chain smoked cigarettes (I don’t smoke) and took a bunch of pictures of myself. That’s not a very good story I’m sorry.

All Dogs plays with Sean Pratt & the Sweats, Crypt Kid and Jade Lacy, Friday, April 8, at Milk Run, 1907 Leavenworth. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $8. For more information, visit facebook.com/milkrunomaha

* * *

A big show kind of snuck up on me tonight.

Har Mar Superstar returns to The Waiting Room’s stage. Mr. Tillmann and Co. have a new album out called Bye Bye 17 on Cult Records. I assume we’ll be seeing the inimitable Denver Dalley tonight, Har Mar’s stellar guitarist, former male model and Omaha ex-pat. Opening this show is one of my all-time favorite Omaha bands, Digital Leather, which is worth the price of admission alone. Twin Cities band Bug Fix also is on the bill. $15, 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Decemberists, Nas headline 80/35; those busy Finks (Closeness, Cho-Cho & Dasheen)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:49 pm April 6, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 12.41.16 PM

80 / 35 Festival

The folks behind Des Moines’ 80/35 this morning released the lineup for their July 8-9 music festival.  The Friday night headliner is hip-hop legacy artist Nas; Saturday night’s headliner is Decemberists, who played in Omaha last year.

The 2016 festival also features electronic jam band Lotus, recently reunited Canadian indie rockers Wolf Parade and Atlanta punk rockers Black Lips. Eclectic San Francisco pop group Thao & The Get Down Stay Down; Minneapolis queen of pop and hip-hop Lizzo; Jeff Austin Band, featuring the former Yonder Mountain String Band leader; and the poetic storyteller of The Hold Steady, Craig Finn, round out top of the bill.”

*yawn*

Read the whole list here. More names to be added in May. One assumes this bodes well for the Maha Music Festival. Hopefully Team Maha got all the good bands first. We’ll find out soon.

* * *

The Finks — Orenda & Todd — recently announced a couple new projects which you may or may not be aware of.

Cho-Cho & Dasheen is a collaboration between The Finks, Jake Bellows, Morgan Nagler and a number of local musicians the band met while recording in Jamaica. The band’s first release is a 7” titled Cool Pool Reggae, due out on Record Store Day, April 16, limited to 500 copies. Is this a real project or a vacation project — i.e., will we ever see Cho-Cho & Dasheen perform live?

A project we’ll definitely see perform live is Closeness, described as “moody electronic songs written, performed and produced by Todd and Orenda Fink.” The duo’s first live performance is April 30 at O’Leaver’s with Thick Paint and Spaced_Bar.

Busy, busy, busy. I assume Todd also will be playing with Digital Leather tomorrow night when the band opens for Har Mar Superstar at The Waiting Room.

OK, so what’s going on with The Faint?

* * *

One show worth mentioning: Brad Hoshaw is doing three hours of acoustic music tonight at the Harney Street Tavern. The performance starts at 9 and is free. Will Brad be rolling out a cover of “The Fightin’ Side of Me” in honor of the legend?

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with PORCHES and YOUR FRIEND; San Fermin, Mugen Hoso tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:45 pm April 5, 2016
Your Friend plays tonight at The Slowdown. Photo by Crystal Lee Farris.

Your Friend plays tonight at The Slowdown. Photo by Crystal Lee Farris.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Today you get two sets of Q&As from two artists performing at The Slowdown tonight.

Your Friend is Taryn Miller who plays warm, ethereal music that sounds like ambient shoe-gaze. If you wanted to put a genre label on her style, you could maybe lump it in with chillwave (along with Porches) thanks to its downtempo pop nature, though Miller’s music has more depth than that.

Living in Lawrence, Kansas, Miller toured with Courtney Barnett before recording her debut album, Gumption, released this past January on Domino. The 8-track collection features Miller’s cooing voice crooning tonally over a dense bed of synths and thick beats, creating music that sounds both lost and gorgeous.

We asked Taryn to take our Ten Questions interview. Here’s what she had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Your Friend: I don’t necessarily feel like I can ever truly answer that. I will say that Odessey and Oracle (by The Zombies) would be on a list of favorites though.

2. What is your least favorite song?

I feel the same about this question but I can say that I don’t think I’ve ever been too excited about hearing that “What does the fox say,” song.

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

The act of playing the songs physically. In any fashion, show setting and rehearsal alike.

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

Feeling like I’m letting anyone down.

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

Coffee. Stimulants! Hahah.

6. What city or town do you love performing at?

I don’t have a favorite quite yet but I’m quite fond of our West Coast runs in general.

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

Pittsburgh on our last tour was pretty rough. It was a newer venue and I remember not getting a soundcheck. I pushed myself too hard vocally that night and lost my voice during some point in the set.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Day jobs. I’m comfortable with the idea of having one indefinitely. Haha!

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

I’ve had a rigid desire to get into woodworking at some point. I don’t think I could be content working in a cubicle or similar setting. It would depend on the line of work.

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

I’ve heard really good things about the art scene. I drove there solo once, on a whim once to see Daniel Johnston on one of his last tours. It’s a special memory in the archives.

Porches is Aaron Maine, a NYC musician who recorded his debut full-length, Pool (2016, Domino), mostly in his Manhattan apartment before sending it to LA to be mixed by Chris Coady (Beach House, Grizzly Bear). The production is crisp with bouncing rhythms and glowing synths that sit beneath Maine’s bright vocals. The overall tone is mostly winsome and flowing like walking along a beach on a sunny day holding a big red balloon, while pop songs like the galloping “Hour” might actually get some Nebraska butts moving tonight.

Maine also agreed to the Ten Questions inquisition. His thoughts below.

1. What is your favorite album?

Porches: On the Beach by Neil young is one of my faves

2. What is your least favorite song?

Don’t have one.

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

Playing music to people.

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

Nothing

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

Water

6. What city or town do you love performing at?

New York

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

In Detroit one band member was mugged and had passport stolen.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Cash

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

Painter; toll booth attendant

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

None

Porches plays with Your Friend and Alex G Tuesday, April 5, at The Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St. Showtime is 8 p.m. Admission is $$12. For more information, visit theslowdown.com.

* * *

A couple other shows happening on this busy Tuesday night:

Over at The Waiting Room, Brooklyn baroque pop band San Fermin (Downtown Records) headlines with Esmé Patterson. $14, 8:30 p.m.

Also tonight, Japanese punk rock duo Mugen Hoso plays at Milk Run with Crown Larks, Black Finger Cult and Heavy Lungs. $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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Maha announces it will announce line-up; Good Living Tour 2016 dates/cities; Foxtails Brigade tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:51 pm April 4, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tickets for this year's Maha Festival go on sale Friday.

Tickets for this year’s Maha Festival go on sale Friday.

The folks behind the Maha Music Festival announced that tickets go on sale for this year’s festival (to be held  Aug. 20 once again at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village) this Friday. Prices are $55 general admission $185 VIP — that’s mere $5 increase in GA tickets — talk about holding the line on prices, but at that price point, don’t expect a mega-band like Arcade Fire or Beck to be on this year’s  line-up.

Speaking of which, Maha will announce this year’s festival lineup April 21 at a big shindig at Reverb Lounge. The announcement party, which starts at 6 p.m., is free and open to the public. Of course if you can’t make it to the party, you’ll hear the line-up via all the usual social media channels (and I’ll make my comments about it on Lazy-i the next day).

Who do you think Maha will get this year? Wish I could give you a hint, but I’m completely out of the Maha loop these days. But if I were to venture a guess, I’d first look at who was hot in 2015: Father John Misty, Courtney Barnett, Grimes, Joanna Newsom, Kamasi Washington, Deerhunter, Alabama Shakes, Beach House, Chvches, and yeah, Wilco, are all on my “guess list,” along with at least one big name Saddle Creek or local artist, such as Conor Oberst (or one of his projects), Mynabirds, Matthew Sweet or Hop Along. God, I just hope it isn’t Black Keys…

* * *

Good Living Tour 2016

Good Living Tour 2016

Hear Nebraska today announces its 2016 Good Living Tour, which has been expanded to 12 cities throughout our great state. Each town will enjoy a free, all-ages concert featuring a diverse mix of all-original Nebraska bands. The 2016 tour stops are:

Thursday, July 21: Ord
Friday, July 22: Kearney
Saturday, July 23: Grand Island
Sunday, July 24: Red Cloud
Thursday, July 28: Hastings
Friday, July 29: Norfolk
Saturday, July 30: Lyons
Sunday, July 31: O’Neill
Thursday, Aug. 4: Grant
Friday, Aug. 5: Sidney
Saturday, Aug. 6: Imperial
Sunday, Aug. 7: McCook

That’s a grueling schedule. So which Nebraska bands are playing where? You’ll have to wait a couple weeks to find out…

* * *

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s San Francisco indie band Foxtails Brigade has the center slot. The band, fronted by Laura Weinbach, includes musicians who have played with Bright Eyes, Pinback and Van Dyke Parks. Omaha-based free improvisation/noise quartet Misers is the headliner.  Chemicals opens. $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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Quilt; MiWi La Lupa, Bomb Shelter Radio tonight, Josh Hoyer Saturday; Yuck, Big Thief Sunday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:38 pm April 1, 2016
Quilt at Reverb Lounge, March 31, 2016.

Quilt at Reverb Lounge, March 31, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Last night’s Quilt performance at Reverb Lounge was a gorgeous step back into another time and place: San Francisco circa 1967, or at least what I think it must have been like back then, sans drugs and war and technology and free love.

Audibly the band captured that fractured, beautiful era with its own pastoral rock rife with Byrd-ian harmonies, Jeffersonian Airplane guitar and sun-streaked flowers-in-your-hair melodies amped up to modern times with flourishes of pace and rhythm likely absent from the Nixon era.

That’s a colorful and long-winded way of saying that Quilt’s performance dripped with even more nostalgia than what’s heard on their sublime new album, Plaza. That record is, without a doubt, destined to become a modern indie rock classic, dense with strings and flute and keyboards along with the band’s sterling performance. But Plaza is more upbeat, modern-sounding and “rocking”  than what we got last night, which for the most part, felt a tad subdued and painted in sepia tones.

The four-piece recently became a five-piece with the addition of a keyboard player, who gave dimension to the traditional rock arrangements. It’s harmonies that take the sound to the next level. While front-woman/guitarist Anna Rochinski and guitarist/vocalist Shane Butler provided the bulk of the lead vocals, drummer John Andrews’ tight harmonies on almost every song  provided glowing nuance. Bass player Keven Lareau also threw in some extra woo-hoo vocals. Andrews got to sing lead on one number, which he dedicated to local hero Simon Joyner.

While most of the songs were laid-back, the band got the crowd moving on the night’s closer, “Own Ways,” which also is the album closer on Plaza and my favorite song on the album. Imagine Feelies’ rhythms with spy guitar and CSN&Y harmonies — the perfect highway driving song.

Afterward, it was a feeding frenzy for merch back inside the bar (and I think I accidentally screwed the band out of $5 when I bought a vinyl copy of the new album and a T-shirt. I’ll pay you back next time, Team Quilt).

Halfloves at Reverb Lounge, March 31, 2016.

Halfloves at Reverb Lounge, March 31, 2016.

Opening band, Iowa City’s Halfloves, played standard indie fare that too often felt muted and  withdrawn for what they were trying to pull off. That said (and this is the strangest thing), the band had a way with how it ended songs. I started noticing this toward the end of their set. The third-to-last song (no idea what it was called) had an amazing instrumental outro that played off a shimmering keyboard line and could stand on its own as a musical piece (and that got the best crowd reaction of their set). Wonder if these guys ever considered doing instrumental-only compositions…

* * *

What a week of shows. From an indie music standpoint, the weekend lets up on the gas pedal, at least until Sunday night.

Tonight’s big show takes place at fabulous O’Leaver’s, where native New Yorker now Omahan MiWi La Lupa celebrates the release of his new album on Team Love Records, Ended Up Making Love, produced by Mike Mogis and Conor Oberst. I would not be surprised if half of Bright Eyes doesn’t make a guest appearance during MiWi’s set. Opening is McCarthy Trenching and Mike Schlesinger. $8. Starts at 9:30. Expect a crowd.

Tonight also is the swan song for Bomb Shelter Radio at Milk Run. The art project / guerrilla radio station located in the art room next to Milk Run will be broadcasting tonight’s show live starting at 9 p.m. at 95.5 FM in downtown Omaha and online at http://mixlr.com/bomb-shelter-radio/.

Bands will be playing in both the Milk Run and in the Bomb Shelter room. The lineup: No Thanks, Sam Martin, Conchance, Dominique Morgan, Silversphere, Was (members of Gordon, Universe Contest), Rogue Moon, Graham Ulicny, The Shrinks. The show starts at 9 sharp and is $10.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal celebrates the release of their new album, Running from Love, at The Slowdown (no doubt in the big room). Opening is Satchel Grande and Rothsteen. The 8 p.m. show is $8 Adv/$10 DOS.

Also Saturday night, O’Leaver’s has Anthems, Low Long Signal and Super Ghost. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Finally Sunday night, Lookout Lounge does it again. Indie band Yuck (MAME Records) headlines a show that also includes Saddle Creek Records’ latest signing, Big Thief, making their Omaha debut. Opening is Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship. I suspect this will be a rather massive show. Better get your tickets now. $12 Adv / $15 DOS. Show starts at 9 p.m.

And 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Operators; Quilt vs. Teen, Oh, Rose tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:48 pm March 31, 2016
Operators at Reverb Lounge, March 30, 2016.

Operators at Reverb Lounge, March 30, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Operators at Reverb last night wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. Instead of a full-out synth dance explosion like what’s heard on the band’s new album, Blue Wave, Dan Boeckner and his band ratcheted up the guitars so it sounded more like Spoon than Depeche Mode. At least most of the time.

A few songs were butt-shake-inducing thanks to the dynamic rhythm section of drummer Sam Brown (who was celebrating a birthday last night and was serenaded with the usual song by the crowd) and bassist Dustin Hawthorne, who looked like a Russian accountant until he took off his blazer revealing sleeves of tattoos.

Two of the best songs of the set are both from 2014’s EP Vol. 1. “One True Love,” the set closer, had a brittle, corrosive (in a good way) rhythm line and intricate synth parts via synth player Devojka that recalled Eno and Jerry Harrison’s first solo album. Intense. It was followed by the first of a two-song encore — the song “Ancient,” performed as a trio sans bass — pure dance heaven.

The live arrangements had me rethinking their new record. I think this was only the second date on their tour supporting this new album, and they may still be adjusting things. For example, another song with a mind-bending deep-groove synth intro was started and stopped two times before the band threw up their hands and moved onto a slower guitar-rock song from the new album. I’ll take the synths — fractured or not — over the riffage every time.

Bogan Via at Reverb Lounge, March 30, 2016.

Bogan Via at Reverb Lounge, March 30, 2016.

I also caught three songs from opening duo Bogan Via, including their twee take on “Hallelujah.” Sweet voices behind two synths and pre-recorded beats. I should have gotten there earlier.

* * *

Two big shows are happening tonight. Which will you be at?

Over at fabulous O’Leaver’s TEEN headlines. Prepare by reading my Ten Questions interview with the band here. This is a pretty big name for the Club, and I expect it to be packed to the gills. It’s a fully loaded bill with Naytronix (member of tUnE-yArDs) and Icewater opening. $8, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile across town at Reverb Lounge (where I’ll be) Quilt headlines. Like I said yesterday, their new album, Plaza (Mexican Summer Records) is on top of my ’16 list. Read their 10 Questions here. Opening is Iowa City band Halfloves. 9 p.m., $12.

Also tonight, iOlympia Washington indie band Oh, Rose headlines at Milk Run. Thick Paint (Graham Patrick Ulicny of Reptar) and The Shrinks open. $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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Ten Questions with QUILT; Operators, Dereck Higgins tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:33 pm March 30, 2016
Quilt plays Reverb Lounge Thursday March 31. Photo by Daniel Dorsa.

Quilt plays Reverb Lounge Thursday March 31. Photo by Daniel Dorsa.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Quilt’s latest album, Plaza (Mexican Summer, 2016) has the distinction of being my favorite record from Q1 2016, hands down.

The 10-song opus is a throwback to a time when records were complete collections of great songs instead of the usual tossed-together block of ethereal “vibe” noodling. The four-piece that hails from Boston has a modern take on psych rock that gives nods to ’60s-’70s acts like The Byrds and Fleetwood Mac. They sound as if Quasi had sex with The Shins and gave birth to a smarter, more fit, more tuneful version of Of Montreal.

The above description is selling the record short. I know, I’m gushing now. So what! How they’ll reproduce the dense, intricate arrangements (that includes a string quartet, harps and, yes, flutes) on stage at Reverb Lounge this Thursday, March 31, is a mystery. But I’m sure they’ll figure it out.

We asked Quilt to take our Ten Questions survey, based on the Pivot Questionnaire that caps off each episode of Inside the Actors Studio, but with a musical (instead of an acting) focus. Here’s what drummer John Andrews (also of the band Woods) had to say:

What is your favorite album?

Quilt: That’s a hard question to answer but I always just say The White Album by The Beatles. I’ve been listening to it since I was an actual baby and I’m somehow still not tired of it. It has a little bit of everything.

2. What is your least favorite song?

I used to work in a Salvation Army in Lancaster, PA, and they only played the contemporary country station. I don’t know any songs in particular, but that stuff is so bad. That’s not country music.

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

I love those late night drives on tour through the middle of nowhere when everyone else in the van is asleep and you’re truckin’ down the highway listening to good tunes. Right now we are driving through New Mexico. It’s a beautiful landscape. “Wasn’t Born To Follow” by The Byrds is my current favorite driving song. I always just wanna be in that scene in Easy Rider.

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

Smelling my bandmates fart in the van.

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

Black raspberry ice cream

6. What city or town do you love performing at?

I’ve been lucky enough to play with my other band Woods at Woodsist Festival for several years in Big Sur California. There’s nothing better than playing outdoors under the redwood trees.

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

We’ve played a lot of bad shows it’s hard to remember the worst. A story that comes to mind is from Denver, Colorado, when some lady was freakin’ out on drugs or something and was messing with our equipment on stage. She was grabbing the mics on our amps and kept messing with things on our merch table. The show wasn’t all that bad but it’s just a good example of the crazy people you meet traveling. We call them punishers.

8. How do you pay your bills?

With a check

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

Dream jobs are: park ranger, camera man for the NHL, mailman, animator for The Simpsons.

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

I heard Simon Joyner has an antique store?

Quilt plays Thursday, March 31, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Opening is Iowa City band Halfloves. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $10 ADV / $12 DOS. For more information, visit onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

Two notable shows happening tonight.

First, there’s the Operators show at Reverb Lounge I told you about on Monday. Read the Ten Questions interview with Dan Boeckner if you haven’t already — it’s a hoot. Operators, btw, was the band that opened for Future Islands the last time they came through Omaha. Opening tonight’s show is Bogan Via. $12, 9 p.m. Two-band bills during the week are like gold to me.

Also tonight, there’s an early show at House of Loom featuring the legendary Dereck Higgins. It’s described as “a night with an in-depth and candid mix of talk & performances alongside some of Dereck’s favorite local talent.” The 7 p.m. program is free of charge.

* * *

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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