HN announces full Good Living Tour lineups; Once songwriting contest (and I’m on the panel); Matt Pond PA tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:01 pm May 7, 2015
Matt Pond PA

Matt Pond PA at Slowdown Jr., May 11, 2010

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

First, if you haven’t already, check out this week’s podcast. Reviews of albums from Courtney Barnett, Waxahatchee, John Klemmensen and the Party and Simon Joyner, with special guest Chris Aponick, plus a HUGE concert announcement (that we made online here yesterday and that you’re going to get sick of hearing about). Check it out.

* * *

Over the course of what seems like a month (But was only a week or so) Hear Nebraska has  announced the line-ups of its Good Living Tour — a series of concerts the org is putting together in towns west of Omaha and Lincoln. It’s kind of like musical missionary work.

Actually, that’s a very pretentious way of putting it. It’s not as if the people in small towns don’t have access to the internet, where music lives these days. You can’t point to their lack of a terrestrial radio station that plays local music on rotation because, well, Omaha doesn’t have one of those, either.

That said, it’s safe to say that someone in West Point or Valentine is out of touch with indie rock bands in Omaha and Lincoln because the vast majority of people in Omaha and Lincoln also are out of touch with these same bands. Brad Hoshaw and John Klemmensen may draw a few hundred people to their album release shows; but that leaves about 800,000 people in Omaha who still don’t know who they are.

And as I’ve said before (broken record) the next time you’re in line at Hy-Vee tap the shoulder of the person in front of you and ask if they know who Cursive or Conor Oberst is, or for that matter, what Hear Nebraska is. Let’s not kid ourselves. The organization still has a lot of work to do to get the word out in its own back yard, let alone in rural Nebraska.

Still, this is a cool project that sits at the heart of what Hear Nebraska is all about. It’s rare for the folks in these towns to see these bands perform. Check out these dates and line-ups, gas up and take a road trip:

July 17 — Imperial
The Talbott Brothers
See Through Dresses
The Bottle Tops

July 18 — Ogallala
Twinsmith
Freakabout
Lloyd McCarter

July 19 — Gering/Scottsbluff
McCarthy Trenching
Both
blét

July 20 — Valentine
Kris Lager Band
All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
Oketo

July 21 — North Platte
M34n Str33t
Brad Hoshaw
A Ferocious Jungle Cat

July 22 — Kearney
Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers
The Seen
Mike Adams and Friends

July 23 — West Point
Rock Paper Dynamite
John Klemmensen and the Party
Dustin Prinz

July 24 — Nebraska City
A Summer Better Than Yours
Kill County
The So-So Sailors

July 25 — Grand Island
AZP
Simon Joyner & The Ghosts
Icky Blossoms

More info, including times and venue locations, are available right here at hearnebraska.com.

* * *

When I agreed to be the moderator of next Monday’s “pro panel” discussion sponsored by Omaha Performing Arts that’s being held at The Waiting Room (Mike Mogis, CJ Olson, Orenda Fink, Matt Whipkey, 6 p.m, free!) I didn’t know I also was volunteering to be a judge in a songwriting contest. I, uh, don’t usually like music contests, of any kind. Songwriters competing against each other, what’s the point? Is one song really better than another? In this case, yes.

The contestants were told to use the Broadway musical Once as an inspiration (the touring company version is currently performing the musical at the Orpheum). I listened to 50 entries, all posted on YouTube, along with a panel of judges. The obvious choices floated to the surface, and the top 20 songwriters who entered will be performing on stage after the panel discussion. The top two won something coveted by a lot of musicians (local and otherwise): Recording time with Mike Mogis at ARC Studio. Impressive.

So the winners were: Luke Heffron, 17, of Omaha won for “Forget Myself” in the 13-18 Age Division, and Drew Nenemen, 29, of Omaha won for “Another Love Song” in the 19-29 Age Division.

My general observations after going though this process: There are a lot of Jack Johnson / Dave Matthews / Taylor Swift fans out there (especially Jack Johnson fans). I was more impressed with the 13-18 age category entries as well as those who performed with a full band rather than sitting in their bathroom with a guitar on their lap. There’s a lot o’ young talent in this town, and you’ll get to see some of the best on Monday. It should be fun night.

* * *

Tonight, it’s the return of Matt Pond PA. Seems like ol’ Mr. Pond has been coming through Omaha every few years for the past couple decades. This time the show is part of the band’s 10 Year Anniversary tour in support of one of their most beloved albums, Several Arrows Later. Each night, not only will Pond and crew play the album in full, but also a sampling of songs from their upcoming album The State of Gold, which will be released later this year. Opening is Young Buffalo and our very own See Through Dresses. $12, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, listen to Matt Whipkey’s Underwater album on a $250,000 sound system that includes a $100,000 turntable. The free event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Sound Environment, 11021 Elm St. Whipkey says beer and wine will be provided. Bring your checkbook; you’ll want to go home with one of those turntables…

* * *

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

The Big Concert Announcement: June 3 at Reverb; Lazy-i Podcast for May 6 (Barnett, Waxahatchee, Klemmensen, Joyner)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:27 pm May 6, 2015
The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

So here’s the big secret concert I mentioned last week: My 50th Birthday Concert, organized by Polecat Communications (i.e., my wife, Teresa), June 3, 2015, at Reverb Lounge. The bands: Son, Ambulance, The Wagon Blasters and The Lupines. It’s a fantastic line-up for a celebration, with proceeds going to a good cause: Hear Nebraska, an organization that I’ve served as a board member for a few years now. Please join me for an evening of fun, music and booze!

The announcement was first made during this week’s Lazy-i Podcast (linked below). This week’s episode features Chris Aponick and myself bantering back and forth Siskel & Ebert style (you can decide which of us is which) over four first quarter 2015 releases by Courtney Barnett, Waxahatchee, John Klemmensen and the Party and Simon Joyner. Also a live soundbite from Digital Leather to kick things off. Check it out below.

 

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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Tiny Engines signs See Through Dresses; riding the Desa wave (Rig 1, Broken Bats); Vetiver tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:47 pm May 5, 2015
See Through Dresses at The Waiting Room, July 19, 2014. The band just signed to Tiny Engines.

See Through Dresses at The Waiting Room, July 19, 2014. The band just signed to Tiny Engines.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Indie label Tiny Engines announced today that it signed Omaha band See Through Dresses. The Carolinas-based label has been around since 2008 , according to their website. Their roster includes Beach Slang, which recently toured with Cursive, Adult Mom, Everyone Everywhere and a shitload of bands I’ve never heard of (but who are probably awesome).

Look for a new See Through Dresses EP this fall on Tiny Engines. The band just finished touring with Cursive and are headed out on a rather massive European tour starting right after they open for Matt Pond PA at Reverb this Thursday night. No doubt Sara Bertuldo, Matt Carroll and the rest of the band will be fluent in German when they return in June.

* * *

Speaking of touring, Desaparecidos just added a few more dates to their summer tour, according to Brooklyn Vegan. The band will play support shows with Gaslight Anthem and Brand New, and will be hosting their CD release shows for Payola (out June 23 on Epitaph Records) in NYC at Shea Stadium and Rough Trade.

Meanwhile, the various members of Desa are busy trying to ride the wave of publicity with their own projects.

Rig 1 a.k.a. Ian McElroy, just announced a handful of East Coast and Midwest tour dates in support of his last record, 2014’s North of Maple (Team Love Records).

One of Denver Dalley’s other projects, Broken Bats, yesterday premiered a track off their upcoming EP called “Leather” (listen to the track here). In addition to Denver, Broken Bats consists of  former Pink Spiders frontman Matt “Friction” Bell, Future Unlimited drummer Gabe Pigg, and Tony Smith from Bowling Green rockers Sleeper Agent. The full EP apparently drops digitally today. The band is playing at Mercury Lounge in NYC May 14 with Fidlar and Metz.

I mentioned Matt Baum’s latest project, Montee Men, recently released a new tune on Bandcamp. And, of course, Landon Hedges’ project Little Brazil is in the process of writing and recording a new album.

Then there’s Conor Oberst, who’s got solo dates throughout the month of June, including a sold out show at The Waiting Room June 18.

* * *

Tonight at Slowdown Jr. it’s the return of San Francisco band Vetiver (Sub Pop, Easy Sound). Opening is EDJ (Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats). $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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: John Klemmensen and the Party, Little Brazil; Hop Along in Pitchfork (7.9 rating); Lady Lamb tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:38 pm May 4, 2015
John Klemmensen and the Party at Reverb, May 1, 2015.

John Klemmensen and the Party at Reverb, May 1, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

What is the musical future of John Klemmensen? Who knows. It’s impossible to base anything on an album release party. Case in point: How many times have you seen bands pull off well-attended album release shows only to fall back to wherever they were before, never building on the momentum they’ve gained leading up to the show? It’s laughably commonplace.

On the other hand, what are these artists supposed to do next? The simple answer is hit the road. Go on a self-booked tour that gets them to as many nearby cities and towns as possible; a tour that presumably was arranged months in advance of the album release show. But that rarely happens because, well, these artists have to survive. They have to feed themselves and their family. They have to pay their rent. Which means the following Monday it’s back to whatever day-job they suffer through to pay the bills.

Booking a tour on your own is difficult. Going out on tour — especially with a band the size of The Party — is expensive. It’s a massive money-loser for everyone involved, an expensive vacation that doesn’t include good meals and hotels. Because of these reasons, local bands talk about touring, but rarely do.

And time passes. Eventually the band plays another local show, and another. And slowly, in their spare time, they begin to write more songs and, before you know it, a Kickstarter campaign pops up and they begin gearing up for the next album release show. It’s an endless cycle. The only way to break out of it is for a miracle to happen, such as someone important (such as a record label) discovering your album who is willing to do what it takes to get you to the next level — rerelease, distribution, publicity, booking agent, financial backing necessary to hit the road. It’s like winning the lottery, and it never happens.

That doesn’t stop people from dreaming. Part of that dream has happened for Klemmensen. Someone put up the money to press 500 copies of Party All Night, his new album. What that person is able to do next to get the record heard only Klemmensen knows, but to that person I say: You have made a good bet based on how the audience responded to his music Friday night — full-on sing-alongs and fist pumps. It helps that Klemmensen has been performing this music for months, but there also is that tangible quality — memorable, yell-worthy lyrics.

I think Klemmensen could break through as a pop act. His music is suited for it. It’s certainly not indie, and when it comes to making a living playing music, that’s probably a good thing these days. But it all depends on what he does next. If he never gets a chance to go on the road, if he goes back to life-as-usual, the only thing that’ll come out of Friday night’s show is a sweet memory.

Little Brazil at Reverb Lounge, May 1, 2015.

Little Brazil at Reverb Lounge, May 1, 2015.

Opener Little Brazil put on the best show they’ve played in a long time. The set was all (or almost all) new material, and it was all somewhat awesome. I’m told they’ve recorded some demoes of these songs; can a full-length can’t be far off? Well, frontman Landon Hedges has his hands full over the coming months with the release of the new album by his other band, Desaparecidos, and the ongoing support tour.

Dan McCarthy at Brad's Corner during Benson First Friday, May 1, 2015.

Dan McCarthy at Brad’s Corner during Benson First Friday, May 1, 2015.

One other act I caught Friday — Dan McCarthy doing a solo acoustic set on Brad’s Corner. McCarthy is always entertaining. If Brad Hoshaw had been ambitious he would have dragged a full-sized upright piano out to the corner. Next time. Benson First Friday is getting crazier and crazier. This time Military Ave. was blocked off for some sort of art fair craft show thing…

* * *
When did record labels start releasing albums on Mondays? Today Saddle Creek released the new Hop Along and Twinsmith records. Isn’t Tuesday release day (which is eventually shifting to Fridays at some point)?

No matter. If you haven’t heard the new Hop Along album, titled Painted Shut, you need to. As I’ve said before, it’s the best non-Omaha-based Saddle Creek release in years. And apparently Pitchfork agrees. The indie “tastemakers” gave the album a respectable 7.9 rating in this review, where they call out Saddle Creek:

Painted Shut is being released on Saddle Creek, a label built on the kind of romantic, middle-American indie that made Hop Along possible in the first place—music more indebted to the 1970s than the 1980s, more to the earnest mythologizing of folk than the grandstanding of rock, more to the fantasias of Edward Gorey and e.e. cummings than to the flash of the city; music for rickety houses in college towns and the lonelyhearts who collect in their corners like dust and give each other stick-and-pokes. I’d say it all seems old-fashioned but it has been this way for about 25 years and seems part of a longer continuum all the time, so who knows.

Uh, 25 years?

Now, Pitchfork, where’s that Twinsmith review? Not to be outdone, punknews.org reviewed Alligator Years and gave it four stars (out of five, here), launching the review with the statement: “Omaha’s Twinsmith are the next Vampire Weekend.” Oh boy…

* * *

Just got word that the big concert announcement I mentioned online here last week is coming Wednesday morning. Huge. Watch Lazy-i or (I guess) the local media for the announcement. It’ll  be hard to miss.

* * *

Great Monday night show tonight: Lady Lamb, whose new album After was just released in March on Mom & Pop Music (Courtney Barnett’s new label) are playing at Slowdown Jr. with Rathborne and Jordan Smith. $12, 9 p.m.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

John Klemmensen & the Party album release, Little Brazil, Grant Hart, M34n Str33t tonight; Satchel Grande Saturday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:54 pm May 1, 2015
John Klemmensen at The Waiting Room, Feb. 21, 2015.

John Klemmensen at The Waiting Room, Feb. 21, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve been enjoying the tracks from John Klemmensen & The Party’s new new album, Party All Night, for more than a month. The actual record — and I’m talking vinyl record — will finally be available tonight at a special release show at Reverb Lounge. The album is a career benchmark for Klemmensen, who has been performing music for more than 20 years both solo, with The Party and in a slew of bands, the most recent being Landing on the Moon.

In fact, the tunes off Party All Night most closely resemble LotM songs, but with a more focused, more stripped down (but no less rocking) approach. Klemmesen’s one of the better singer/songwriters in town, creating rock songs with a mainstream appeal sung in a high, sweet voice that belies his stature. My favorite part of his music is how he channels his personal stories into his lyrics — there’s no question he’s singing about his life, his experiences, in a candid, matter-of-fact way that holds nothing back. Klemmensen lets it all hang out, singing with a brazen honesty rarely heard in modern pop songs. And it can be some disturbing, heart-breaking shit.

For example, take the new album’s title track, with the lines, “If I had real love / I wouldn’t drink ’til the morning comes / She would be waking up / I would want to be with her / I’d probably quit cocaine / Unless it was her thing / Then we’d do it all night / Until the sun comes up.

Or, from “Death and Destruction,” the lines “I’m feeling bored, bored with myself / Death and destruction are all that I have left / I want to f*** the world on a dirty motel bed / I don’t love her no more so I treat her like shit.

I don’t think any of us want to know what inspired those lines. Needless to say, the words are bracing and unexpected, especially if you’ve met Klemmensen — one of the nicest, quietest guys in the Omaha scene, he holds in his rage until he gets on stage, or in the studio.

For every dark ode there’s a good-time song in its shadow. Klemmensen indeed loves to party, and this record was designed to be the perfect soundtrack to every regretful decision you make at your life’s party.

Opening tonight’s show at Reverb are those everlovin’ geniuses from Little Brazil and Bonzo Madrid, featuring CJ Calhoun from Lawrence band Cowboy Indian Bear. $8, 9 p.m.

The Klemmensen show is the top attraction of a busy night of shows.

This afternoon at 5 p.m. the legendary Grant Hart of Husker Du will be at The Sydney in Benson, where his artwork will be on display all weekend. Yes, Hart is a fine artist as well as a musician. You can check it out for free (and buy a piece of art) until 8 p.m. when The Sydney hosts a screening of the documentary Every Everything: The Music, Life and Times of Grant Hart followed by a discussion with Hart and a performance. Talk about being up close and personal. Admission is $12.

BTW, Hart also is doing a special Sunday afternoon all-ages matinee performance at The Sydney at 3 p.m. Tickets: Adults and children ages 13+ are $12; children younger than 13 are free. And adults who attend tonight’s show also will be admitted free if accompanied by a child.

Also tonight, M34n Str33t is headlining at The Slowdown with Calm Fur, Timecat and INFNTLP. $8, 9 p.m.

And All Young Girls Are Machine Guns are playing at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Xion/ Mesonjixx and Lars & Mal. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And and in case you forgot, it’s Benson First Friday. Tonight’s special guests at “Brad’s Corner” (hosted by Brad Hoshaw) are the incomparable Dan McCarthy and David Mainelli.  Brad’s Corner takes place from 8 to 11 p.m. in front of the Edward Jones building right where Military Ave. meets Maple Street in downtown Benson.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) is less crowded show-wise.

Satchel Grande is hosting an album release show down at The Slowdown. Joining them is Lucas Kellson. $8, 9 p.m.

The Strange Attractors headlines at O’Leaver’s Saturday night with The Last Draft and a solo set by Attractors’ member (and local legend) Dereck Higgins. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday night McCarthy Trenching is playing at Pageturners with Little Marais. 8 p.m.  And Seattle band My Goodness is playing at Reverb Lounge with Low Long Signal. $10, 9 p.m.

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

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

#TBT: We hardly knew ye: local clubs, restaurants and music stores circa March 23, 2004; Oquoa, Miniature Horse tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:02 pm April 30, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With nothing in particular going on news-wise today, let’s step into the Wayback Machine and pull up this Lazy-i blog post from 11 years ago, March 23, 2004 to be exact. How many of these clubs and restaurants did you frequent and how many are gone now?

From Lazy-i, March 23, 2004: Because I’m often asked this question… 

The 49'r

The iconic sign for The 49’r…

For whatever reason, I’m constantly getting e-mails from national promotions/labels/media marketing companies, etc., asking me to point out local clubs, restaurants and music stores. Who knows why. Maybe it’s a backlash to all the national attention we’ve been getting as part of the “booming Omaha scene.” Anyway, I got another request from a largish music promotions company yesterday. After I wrote the reply, I figured I might as well post the info on the blog for others who may be after this sort of info. Most of you will disagree with my picks, but, hey, I don’t care.

Here’s what I wrote:

Live bars
Sokol Underground, 13th & Martha — You’re probably already aware of these guys, who go by 1 Percent productions. They book the place. www.onepercentproductions.com. Indie ground zero.
O’Leaver’s, 1322 So. Saddle Creek Rd. They take most of the Sokol Underground overflow — one of the places that bands play that can’t draw 300 people. It’s capacity is around 100. Aveo is there tonight. Tilly and the Wall played there a month or so ago. My new favorite hangout. Check out their horrible website: www.oleavers.com
The 49’r, 49th and Dodge St. Another smallish club for indie music, w/capacity at around 150. A good live music vibe, maybe the best in town for interested crowds (not so for singer/songwriters — Owen (of Joan of Arc fame) played there once and was drowned out by chit-chat). www.the49r.com
The Ranch Bowl, 1600 S. 72nd St. Omaha’s oldest still-operating venue, they book mostly hardcore and goon-rock acts, but also do the occasional indie show, for example, the Starlight Mints play there tonight. 1 Percent’s arch rival. www.ranchbowl.com/
Sullivan’s Bar, 40th & Farnam. Small bar that occasionally hosts unannounced shows by Creek-related acts. Consafos and Son, Ambulance recently played there.
Mick’s, 59th & Maple, a folkie singer/songwriter hangout that also does jazz. www.micksomaha.com/
— The brand new Goofy Foot Lounge at 10th & Pacific. It hosted the Simon Joyner CD release show last week — he’s a local singer/songwriter icon that influenced the Saddle Creek crew.

Non-live bars

— The Brothers Lounge, 3812 Farnam. It’s become famous as thee indie drinking hangout, thanks to having the best jukebox in town that plays a lot of local indie/punk along with ’90s punk classics. Where everyone goes when there isn’t a show. Owners are local legends.
The Homy Inn, 1510 No. Saddle Creek. A neighborhood hole-in-the-wall that attracts scenesters. Tiny. Cold Duck on tap. Peanuts in dog bowls. You get the picture.

Record stores

–The Antiquarium, 1215 Howard St. Arguably the home of indie/punk records and CDs. Home of Dave Sink, local music impresario often credited for nurturing the scene in the ’90s.
Drastic Plastic, 1209 Howard St. Great punk/indie music store on the Old Market’s main strip.
Homer’s, three Omaha locations, including one in the Old Market. Independently owned/operated local music store chain with the largest selection of music in Omaha.

Restaurants

I don’t eat out much, but when I do, I go to:
Trini’s in the Old Market, 1020 Howard St. — best Mexican in town
The Indian Oven in the Old Market, 1010 Howard St. — best Indian in town
LaCasa, 4432 Leavenworth St. — best pizza in town
The Rice Bowl, 505 N. Saddle Creek. — best Chinese in town
Trovato’s, 5013 Underwood — Italian/pizza all-around hang-out in the neighborhood

Coffee:
MJ Java, 1299 Farnam
13th St. Coffee Shop, 509 So. 13th St.
Mojo’s, 4826 Dodge St.
Blue Line, 4924 Underwood
Caffeine Dreams, 4524 Farnam

Popular restaurants I don’t eat at because I don’t dig the cuisine:
The Greek Isles, 3821 Center. Greek, but I’m told it’s still good.
McFoster’s, 302 So. 38th St. A popular veg place.

The scene certainly has changed a lot in a decade.

* * *

It’s the final night of Oquoa’s residency at fabulous O’Leaver’s. The band has been playing there all weekend, and now their time is up. Joining them tonight will be the amazing Miniature Horse and James Maakestad. $5, 9:30 p.m. Really, you should go.

Also tonight is a fundraiser at The Barley Street Tavern called Songwriters for Autism Awareness. Your $5 cover will go t  the Golden Hat Foundation (http://www.goldenhatfoundation.org/). Among those taking the stage:

Ash Trenhaile
Brad Hoshaw Music
Dan Quinn
Daniel Burns
Dominique Morgan
Jacob Radley Duncan
Jason Norman Wellsandt-Musician/Artist
Jeff Dworkin
Jeremy Mercy
Joe Watson Music
Kait Berreckman Music
Mace Hathaway Music Page
Michael J. Fillmore
Sam Burt – Music
Scott Evans
Scott Severin
Stephen Monroe

Show starts at 8 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Catching the Hop Along buzz wave…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:57 pm April 29, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Crazy busy lately, which is why no update yesterday. There’s also been a deficit show-wise. That should reside this weekend (hopefully).

Coming Lazy-i events include feature stories on The Rentals (including a podcast interview with Matt Sharp)(BTW, no podcast this week) and Dereck Higgins, both written for the May issue of The Reader, which should be out next week.

* * *

Other than that, there’s a lot of buzz about Hop Along, Saddle Creek Records’ latest signing, and for good reason. The band’s Creek debut, Painted Shut, is one of the best records I’ve heard this year and among the best things that Creek has ever released. You have to go back to the Jenny Lewis/Rilo Kiley days to find a non-Nebraska based Creek artist that has had this kind of national push going into a release.

Among the hype is this Village Voice blog item that just came out and includes an interview with front woman Frances Quinlan. Says the writer, “Painted Shut is less a vast departure from what Hop Along have created previously than a confident leap forward, in terms of musicianship, storytelling, and studio mastery…. And on the verge of Painted Shut’s release, those aren’t stars in the members of Hop Along’s eyes — though they’ve produced a knockout record. They’re not gunning to quit their day jobs. In fact, Frances says, ‘I’d just like to see what the album does over time.’

This follows a Q&A in Vice’s Noisey blog (here) “… they don’t look like they plan on hitting the wall softly, but exploding through it...” and an “A”  review at AV Club, which concluded with “Unfortunately for some, Painted Shut signals the end of Hop Along’s tenure as a little-known buzz band. For everyone else, it’s the sound of being welcomed to the party.”

I suspect more hype to come, plenty more. It’s deserved. The album drops May 4.

* * *

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

HN kicks off tour in Imperial, selection criteria outlined; Montee Men release new track…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:47 pm April 27, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

No music for me this past weekend. That’s a first in a long while, but the situation was out of my hands. And as a result, there probably won’t be a Lazy-i Podcast this week (unless I can connect with Chris A before Wednesday).

Newswise, Hear Nebraska made the first in a series of line-up announcements for its Good Living Tour. The tour kicks off July 17 in the bustling metropolis of Imperial, Nebraska, home to HN founder and ED Andrew Norman. The lineup: Imperial natives The Talbott Brothers, Omaha’s See Through Dresses and Lincoln bluegrass/rockabilly band The Bottle Tops. The free gig is being held at The Imperial Country Club — sounds ritzy!

So how did HN come up with these line-ups? The organization published its selection criteria yesterday, which included “artistic and live-performance quality; history of successful touring (i.e., road-readiness); recent or upcoming album releases (i.e., new music); ability to play an all-original (i.e., no covers), family friendly set; proven ability to draw crowds and to self-promote; in some cases, local community ties; and innovative artistic elements…”

“We don’t expect everyone to like every band, but we aim for each audience member to connect with at least one of them.”

What more could you wish for?

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In other news, brand new local act Montee Men released a new tune on Bandcamp, which you can listen to below. Montee Men is John Laughlin (Pro-Mangum), guitar/vocals; Chris Kelley (Back When), bass/vocals; and Matt Baum (Desaparecidos), drums/vocals. Talk about your power trios…

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Finally, I just got confirmation of a rather massive upcoming concert, but have been I’ve been asked to “embargo” the information until given the green light. Needless to say, this is one show you’re not going to want to miss… More to come.

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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Digital Leather, Plack Blague, Esme Patterson, Simon Joyner tonight; Big Al continues; Derby Birds Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm April 24, 2015
A frightening still from Plack Blague's 2014 video for "Boyz Club." The Blague plays tonight at O'Leaver's with Digital Leather.

A frightening still from Plack Blague’s 2014 video for “Boyz Club.” The Blague plays tonight at O’Leaver’s with Digital Leather.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

They’re calling it “The Leather Invasion.” Tonight Digital Leather returns to fabulous O’Leaver’s. On the heels of this week’s album announcement (and a brief tour that brought them to Austin), you can probably expect these guys to be playing new material from the forthcoming FDH release All Faded, out June 23. DL is opening (or so it seems) for the infamous Plack Blague, who must be seen and heard to be believed. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also Friday night Simon Joyner opens for Denver singer/songwriter Esme Patterson at the Reverb Lounge. Patterson, who also is a member of Denver band Paper Bird, is touring in support of her new album, Woman to Woman (Greater Than), of which The New York Times said: “Her voice is wiry and candid, backed by arrangements that roll along the folk-country borderline.”  Also on the bill is Sean Pratt and the Sweats. $10, 9 p.m.

And don’t forget that Big Al’s Free Music Festival continues tonight and tomorrow night at The Hideout, 320 So. 72nd St. Admission is a can of food (it’s a food drive) and it starts at 8 p.m. Details and Friday and Saturday’s schedule are here.

Saturday night it’s back to O’Leaver’s for Derby Birds with Roxi Copland. $5, 9:30 p.m.

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

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If you haven’t already, check out this week’s Lazy-i Podcast. The 20-minute program features music by Wagon Blasters, Soft Moon, Blue Bird, Ladyfinger and music and an interview with Super Ghost, along with my picks for the best shows this weekend. Check it out below:

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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Hear Nebraska heads West; Matthew Sweet records demos, album delayed; Oquoa, Sam Martin, Big Al Fest tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:00 pm April 23, 2015
The Good Living Tour

The Good Living Tour

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Hear Nebraska yesterday announced its first (annual?) Good Living Tour, which brings Omaha and Lincoln bands to small-town Nebraska throughout the summer.

The concert series features “27 of Nebraska’s top, all-original bands playing free, all-ages concerts across nine Greater Nebraska communities. An associated storytelling project will include Hear Nebraska’s production of a total of over 27 music/arts-related feature stories and videos highlighting the elements that make the communities great to live, work and play, especially for young people,” according to the HN press release.

Here’s the sched (for your summer vacation planning needs):

July 17 – Imperial
July 18 – Ogallala
July 19 – Scottsbluff/Gering
July 20 – Valentine
July 21 – North Platte
July 22 – Kearney
July 23 – West Point
July 24 – Nebraska City
July 25 – Grand Island

Hear Nebraska isn’t releasing the names of the bands involved in the series yet, but as a Hear Nebraska Board Member (full disclosure!) I can tell you the line-up is indeed impressive. HN will start announcing the bands April 27.

I think the biggest challenge to pulling large audiences to these shows will be underscoring the quality of the bands, many (most) of which are completely unknown in places like North Platte and Ogallala, where no doubt national mega-pop/American Idol acts, C&W and Freedom Rock is their daily music diet (You could argue that’s the same basic diet to most Omaha and Lincoln residents, as well as the rest of ‘merica). So, it’s a challenge, but no one said it was going to be easy.

Good Living Tour strikes at the core mission of Hear Nebraska, which is to “cultivate Nebraska’s vibrant, fertile music and arts community by providing resources and a voice for bands, artists and members of Nebraska’s creative class and the people and businesses that support them.” Find out more about Hear Nebraska at hearnebraska.org.

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Omahan Matthew Sweet said he’s recorded “at least an album’s worth of demos” for his upcoming album (with the working title of Tomorrow Forever), which he said probably won’t be completed until this fall, according to a Kickstarter update he posted yesterday.

“At this point, anything new I write will go straight to recording stage, as obviously I am running late,” Sweet said. “I am expecting to record one more batch of fifteen songs, at which point I can start putting together an order and getting a feel for what the album is. Most likely we will do this final recording in late May or Early June. We will do a few dates in July but otherwise I now hope to finish singing and overdubbing by Sept realistically.”

Sweet original said in his Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than $55,000, that the album would be completed in early spring 2015. “I know it is quite typical for Kickstarter projects to run late,” he said. “When you run a campaign, you have to pick a date to shoot for, and I’d really hoped to make it. But it has to be better that I make the best album I can and take a little longer than to rush something out.”

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Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s Oquoa continues its month-long residency. Joining them are Thinking Machines and Sam Martin, whose latest album, A Notion in An Ocean (Make Believe Recordings) is one of my favorite local releases so far this year. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tonight also is the kick-off of the Big Al Free Music Festival at The Hideout Lounge, 320 So. 72nd St. In addition to performing, bands will have free recordings available for swapping. The fest (which runs through Saturday) is also a food drive. Bring a can of food with you — donations will go to the Food Bank for the Heartland.

Here’s tonight’s sched:

8:00 – 8:30 Adam Peterson
8:35 – 9:05 Pflames
9:15 – 9:45 ARMY of 2600
10:00 – 10:30 The Sun-Less Trio
10:40 – 11:10 Low Long Signal
11:20 Digga DJ +1 with Big AL

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And if you haven’t already, check out this week’s Lazy-i Podcast. The 20-minute program features music by Wagon Blasters, Soft Moon, Blue Bird, Ladyfinger and music and an interview with Super Ghost, along with my picks for the best shows this weekend. Check it out below:

* * *

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i