Las Cruxes (LA/Omaha supergroup), Radkey, Dross tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:40 pm September 27, 2019

Relax, It’s Science at Lookout Lounge, April 30, 2016. The band plays tonight at Dr. Jack’s Drinkery.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, the Husker / Buckeyes game is taking its toll on the weekend. There are no rock shows Saturday night, at least of an indie-rock nature.

Instead, everything is happening tonight.

Top of the list is The Brothers Lounge where Las Cruxes opens the evening at 10 p.m. Read here about this hybrid of a Spanish-language punk bands with LA origins combined with three Omaha superstars — Little Brazil’s Landon Hedges, Digital Leather’s Jeff Lambelet and See Through Dresses’ Nate Van Fleet (that’s right, two drummers). As they say in the movies, it might get loud. New York singer/songwriter Brook Pridemore also is on the bill and local punk duo The Natural States headlines. $5, 10 p.m.

Also tonight, St. Joseph punk trio and Maha Music Festival veterans Radkey headlines at Reverb Lounge. Opening is our very own DROSS (members of Noah’s Ark was a Spaceship). $12, 9 p.m.

There’s an all-locals show at O’Leaver’s tonight with The Wake-Up, Fat Nap and Southpaw. $5, 10 p.m.

Two-basses-and-a-drummer punk trio Relax, It’s Science opens for metal bands Druids and Hollowed Oath at Dr. Jack’s Drinkery. $8, 9 p.m.

As I said, the Husker game pretty much obliterated all Saturday night action, though O’Leaver’s has another all-locals show with State Disco, Lonely Estates and Win/Win. $5, 9 p.m. (but I’d expect this to start late if the game’s still rolling (and it’s close)).

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Oquoa’s new video and album and (not) losing Roger Lewis; Thick Paint, Preening, Pagan Athletes, FACS, The Nadas tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:49 pm September 26, 2019

Oquoa at Farnam Festival, Sept. 12, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Today Omaha indie act Oquoa dropped the new video “Sunshine” off their just-released album, Timesquares. The band celebrated the album’s release during O’Leaversfest last Sunday.

In some ways, the show was a farewell party for Oquoa drummer Roger Lewis, who is moving in the coming days/weeks to Seattle. This is more than just another example of the Great Migration of local musicians from Omaha (mostly to the West Coast). Roger has been one of Omaha music’s cornerstones for as long as I’ve been covering music in this city. His loss is a pretty deep wound to the music scene.

Some of my earliest interactions with Roger were back in the ’90s when he was a fixture at shows down at Sokol Underground as well other venues that hosted indie rock shows. As a drummer, Roger’s played in a number of great Omaha bands, not the least of which include The Good Life, Neva Dinova, Conduits, Artsy Golfer and a ton more including Oquoa (not to mention his stellar work as DJ alias Tyrone Storm).

Oquoa frontman Max Holmquist agrees that it’s sad that Roger’s moving, but says we’ll still be seeing him ’round here. “We’re going to keep working with this current line-up (with) Roger on the drums,” Holmquist said. “He plans to come back to Omaha semi-regularly to do DJ gigs, and do short Midwest runs of dates and local shows with us for as long as it works for us all. It will force us to be more thoughtful and strategic about our shows, which is never a bad thing.

“We will miss him being nearby, but it’s a shrinking world and it’s worth it to us to keep working with him from a distance.”

No doubt.

What the hell is happening to the Omaha music scene and all the migration? Holmquist chocks it up to the standard ebb and flow of creatives in and out of Nebraska. If that’s the case, we are indeed at low tide.

But we still have Oquoa. Holmquist said the new album is now available at bandcamp for your downloading pleasure. Roger, what are we going to do without you?

* * *

Three hot shows happening tonight:

Over at Midtown Art, 2578 Harney St., Thick Paint is rolling out some new music for what they’re saying is their second to last show of the year. Also on the bill is Oakland band Preening as well as the dynamic duo known as Pagan Athletes. $5, 8 p.m. sharp.

Meanwhile, over at Reverb Lounge, Chicago experimental rock band FACS headlines. The band’s lable is Trouble in Mind Records (home of David Nance Group). Fellow Chicago-ites Dendrons also are on the bill. $10, 8 p.m.

Right around the corner at The Waiting Room it’s the return of alt-country rockers The Nadas. An acoustic version of Pony Creek opens at 8 p.m. $20.

* * *

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Las Cruxes features local star power (and two drummers); The Mynabirds, Now Now tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:44 pm September 25, 2019

Las Cruxes circa 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There’s a new version of an old band debuting at The Brothers Lounge Friday night that features some serious local star power.

Las Cruxes is an established rock band from Los Angeles who’s put out a full length and a number of singles. Did I mention they’re a Spanish-language punk band? Here’s their bio via Spotify, translated via Google Translate:

“Las Cruxes is a collective band of Post-Sunflower-Punk-Psychedelic pop led by Eduardo ‘Yayo’ Trujillo, who has been on the American / Mexican scene for several years after having played in bands like Pastilla (Sony / BMG) and Howler (Rough Trade). He began his independent career as a soloist in September 2016 along with Xavier Martinez (and) decided to form a band with a noisy raw sound without rules.

“In March 2017, the independent label of Miami AFONICO signed them and (released their) first EP ‘Casa’ distributed by Sony US Latin. At the same time the Monterrey label CINTAS releases the EP in cassette format. In November 2017 the two singles of the new album came out, ‘Far’ and “Bleach” by AFONICO / SONY US LATIN and the LP in cassette format  ‘ILUSIONES, DEPRESSIONS.'”

Trujillo recently moved to Omaha to be closer to his son, according to Little Brazil’s Landon Hedges. Trujillo wanted to keep his music moving forward, so he asked Hedges to help him “build a band.” So for Las Cruxes’ show Friday night, Hedges will be playing bass, and rounding out the rhythm section will be two of the best drummers in Omaha — Jeff Lambelet from Digital Leather and Nate Van Fleet from See Through Dresses — both playing at the same time. Trujillo’s guitarist also is flying in from Chicago just for Friday night’s show.

The band’s 2018 LP Ilusiones, Depressions is available via Spotify and is somewhat awesome, though I have no idea what they’re singing about. Hedges described the band’s sound as post-punk Pixies, which is accurate. Though singing in Spanish, Trujillo has the same phrasing and style as Black Francis, but Las Cruxes songs are more melodic and less experimental than typical Pixies stuff.

What will happen with this configuration of the band after this show will likely depend on its success. See you at The Brothers Friday night.

* * *

Tonight Laura Burhenn reunites with the version of The Mynabirds that played on her 2012 album Generals (Saddle Creek), when the “We Are Family” tour rolls into Reverb Lounge. I suspect we’ll be hearing most of Generals as well as other nuggets from the past, and maybe even the band’s new cover of Portishead’s “Glory Box,” which was released Monday on Spotify. Jones Family Retro Show and Patric Demphier open at 8 p.m. $15.

Also tonight, Minnesota indie band Now, Now plays at The Waiting Room. Their latest album, 2018’s Saved, was released on Trans- Records. No opener listed. $17, 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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Stephen Sheehan (ex-Digital Sex, The World) releases new track…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:47 pm September 24, 2019

Stephen Sheehan at The Waiting Room, Dec. 23, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Stephen Sheehan’s 2017 return to the performance stage at Reverb Lounge was mostly a retrospective affair. Sheehan and a band that included Donovan Johnson on keyboards played songs from Sheehan’s former bands, including Digital Sex and The World. He followed up with another live performance in December 2018.

The standout during both those sets was a new song called “Less and Less” that took his musical history and put it in one pop moment. Now nearly a year later, Sheehan is releasing three versions of the song, recorded at Ware House Productions. The first version to be released, called “the (Single Mix)” features Johnson on keyboards and Bob Boyce (ex-Grasshopper Takeover) on guitar and keyboards.

Lyrically, it’s some dark shit, no doubt a reflection on some past relationship gone bad. Donovan’s keyboards in the introduction lift a sonic phrase from Carol King’s “It’s Too Late,” a clever clue as to what lies ahead.

Two more versions of the song — a remix and “the original version” — are still on deck. For now, here’s the single mix, which you can purchase at Sheehan’s Bandcamp page:

Sheehan’s live ensemble was impressive and included some of the area’s best musicians. Unfortunately, there are no plans for another live performance anytime soon, though Sheehan says he’s fielding offers.

* * *

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Cursive at O’Leaversfest 2019…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , — @ 1:19 pm September 23, 2019

Cursive at O’Leaver’s, September 21, 2019.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Combine a sellout crowd with summer downpour and O’Leaver’s turns into a sauna. Saturday night — the second night of O’Leaversfest — was no exception. The room felt like a steam bath, and there was no escaping unless you wanted to get soaked.

O’Leaver’s was never designed to be a live music venue, let alone one that hosts 100+ sized sellout crowds. That said, if you were quick and clever, you could squeeze through the press of bodies to the club’s upper area near the band and get a much better view than, say, from the floor near the bar, where the only thing visible was people’s butts.

Despite the heat and the crush-mob crowd, it was a helluva show. The sound was remarkably good, and Kasher’s voice never sounded better. Credit the club’s small size, as every instrument could be heard including Megan Siebe’s cello, which in the past has gotten lost in the mix. Not Saturday night, though to be truthful, I was only 20 feet from where she sat. The only audio flaw was a few minutes of squealing feedback during the second song, which sounded like it was coming through the monitors more so the mains. The sound guy figured it out quick enough.

Those who have been to packed O’Leaver’s shows know that the line between where the band plays and where the crowd starts is essentially nonexistent. With no stage, they’re playing standing (or sitting) right in front of you.

The trouble with this started shortly after Cursive began playing. The crowd quickly lost its shit and began mosh-style shoving and pushing. Frontman Tim Kasher, who’s starting to look like a young Charlie Manson with his long hair, wasn’t having it. Between songs he warned the crowd that if someone ran into Megan, who was seated playing cello next to him, he and the rest of the band were going to kick their asses. I have absolutely no doubt this would happen. A couple songs later, Kasher got into an argument between songs with some dude standing in front of the band — I’m not sure what it was about, but the guy took off and Kasher called him back. The arguing went on for a few minutes more off microphone. It was a weird deal. Finally, guitarist Ted Stevens asked everyone to calm down and the band ripped into the next song.

The night’s song selection was played chronologically, starting with a song off with something from The Storms of Early Summer and going into Domestica, The Ugly Organ and so on up through a couple songs off Vitriola, their latest album. It was a greatest hits set list that featured probably the best version of “From the Hips” I’ve ever heard, with Kasher walking right out into the middle of the crowd and singing surrounded by the throngs who sang along throughout most of the set.

Four new songs capped the performance, including two I’ve never heard before — “I Am Goddamn” and “Stranded,” — as well the two tracks released as singles the past couple weeks — “Black Hole Town” and “Barricades.” The new material at times featured the entire band playing a handful of notes together, pounding like a stumbling monster, thick and foreboding. It would give way to a vocal hook or gorgeous keyboard line, with Siebe and keyboardist Patrick Newbery used to full effect. (The only players I’ve yet to mention are at the core — bassist Matt Maginn and drummer Pat Oakes — who were spot-on solid all night).

Cursive always has been a somewhat dark band, but this new music, some of it pointedly political, represents a shift from anxiety to fear, perhaps a reflection of our times where the monster is running amok before our very eyes and there’s nothing anyone can (or will) do about it.

* * *

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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O’Leaversfest weekend (Meat Wave, Pro-Magnum, Cursive, No Thanks, TFOA, Oquoa); WHY? tonight; Lincoln Calling continues…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:34 pm September 20, 2019

Cursive at O’Leaver’s, Dec. 20, 2013. The band returns for O’Leaversfest Saturday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s the festival we’ve all been waiting for — O’Leaversfest! Three nights of headline-grabbing talent on O’Leaver’s pseudo-stage. Let’s run through all three days.

Day 1 – Tonight (Friday) – Chicago-based indie act Meat Wave headlines. The band has spent many a night opening for Cursive on that band’s recent tour. Opening tonight is our very own Pro-Magnum and Eric in Outerspace. There’s also a street/skate clothing pop-up store happening somewhere in the O’Leaver’s compound. $8. 10 p.m.

Day 2 – Saturday – The bosses will be in the house as Cursive headlines a show that, by the time you read this, is likely to be sold out (find out here). Every O’Leaver’s Cursive show is strangely unique, and no doubt this one will follow suit. Hot up-and-comers No Thanks open along with The Natural States. $10, 10 p.m.

Day 3 – Sunday – It’s a BBQ at The Club with an early 4 p.m. start time. Headlining is everyone’s favorite Omaha garage act Those Far Out Arrows. STATHI and Oquoa open (and is this a goodbye performance by a certain special drummer?). BBQ by Thunderbird Wines (no kidding). $7.

Now, let’s hope the weather cooperates!

Of course there’s another festival happening this weekend… in Lincoln.

The standout acts at tonight’s Lincoln Calling include See Through Dresses, Her Flyaway Manner, Bright Calm Blue, Universe Contest, Histrionic, The Mezcal Brothers and Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal. It’s a bounty of local talent.

The standouts Saturday at LC include Miwi La Lupa, Diplomats of Solid Sound, Meat Wave, Bogusman, Charly Bliss, Pleasures, Charlie Burton & Or What, The Millions, and Dereck Higgins.

Check out the full schedule and ticket info at lincolncalling.com.

A non-festival show of note is happening tonight at The Waiting Room where Cincinnati indie act WHY? headlines. Their latest, AOKOHIO, was released on Joyful Noise Recordings. Brooklyn’s Barrie opens at 8 p.m. $18.

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Lincoln Calling starts tonight (Soccer Mommy, Samia, Fanclub); another new Cursive single…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:39 pm September 19, 2019

Lincoln Calling starts tonight…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s frickin’ year 16 for Lincoln Calling, can you believe it?

The annual festival officially kicked off yesterday, but the main spate of shows begins tonight. The festival boasts 80+ bands in eight venues over four days. You can see the entire schedule at lincolncalling.com. This year’s line-up is heavy on the hip-hop/pop/DJ culture, with only a smattering of indie rock compared to last year’s stellar line-up.

From an indie perspective, all the fun tonight is at The Bourbon Theater, where headliner Soccer Mommy plays at 11:30. Fronted by Nashville native Sophie Allison, the crew released its debut, Clean, last year, which placed it front and center among a cloud of indie singer-songwriters like Saddle Creek’s Hop Along, Stef Chura, Big Thief, etc.

Interestingly, today Allison released a new song and 7-inch single, “Lucy,” via Loma Vista Recordings. Check it below, and expect to hear it tonight at the Bourbon. After this gig, she’ll be out on tour opening dates for Vampire Weekend and Wilco. Not bad.

The Bourbon gig kicks off at 7 p.m. with Fanclub, a kickly little indie-pop trio from Austin. They’re followed by Boston singer/songwriter Squirrel Flower, who sounds like the second coming of Mitski on her 2018 album Contact Sports (2000 Pigs Records). That’s followed by Samia, a New York singer/songwriter who’s been compared to Phoebe Bridgers (though she sounds more upbeat, imho). Samia is signed to Grand Jury Music. It all leads up to Soccer Mommy at 11:30.

Of course there also are bands at Duffy’s, Zoo Bar, Bodega’s and 1867 Bar, but I’d be hanging at the Bourbon if I was headed to Lincoln tonight.

So how much does it cost? Single day passes are $25. Three-day all-access passes are $50. VIP packages are $125. Full info at Lincolncalling.com.

* * *

Today Cursive dropped yet another new single in YouTube, “Black Hole Town.” According to the page, the song will be released tomorrow on 15 Passenger Records. One assumes, digitally. This comes on the heels of the single “Barricades,” which was released Sept. 13. I’m not sure if these songs are part of a 7-inch release, maybe an EP or other upcoming record? Time will tell. Or I guess I can just ask them when they play O’Leaversfest Saturday night.

* * *

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Unexplained Death on cassette; new Love Drunk: Bogusman…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:22 pm September 18, 2019

The Unexplained Death cassette…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The debut recording of Matt Whipkey’s new poli-punk project, Unexplained Death, dropped last Friday in cassette and digital formats. I’m seeing more and more artists opt for cassette releases, I assume because it’s a physical format (other than CD) that artists can create themselves. The cassette is a run of 100, each with unique, hand-made cassette sleeves comprised of altered versions of classic ’80s album art. Just look what Matt did to Robert Plant.

The songs represent a sort of new direction for Whipkey. Though he’s known mostly as an Americana folk-rock guy, Matt always punctuated his albums with a few heavier rock songs. This collection is his take on punk — fast and hard and purposely distorted/low-fi — with lyrics about the current state of local and national politics. Whipkey said it was because of the songs’ timliness that he didn’t shop the recording to labels — he wants to get his message to the masses now.

The full album is being streamed here at Bandcamp, where you can order a copy of the cassette for $10 (comes with download key). And look for the band’s stage debut sometime next month…

* * *

Love Drunk, the live one-take video project helmed by Django Greenblatt-Seay, is back and better than ever. Django dropped video #141 last Saturday. It features Lincoln punk band Bogusman performing “Magic Hands” at the VS. Arcade Bar in Lincoln. I’d heard of neither Bogusman nor VS. prior to this video and now I want to check ’em both out. Now maybe someone can get Bogusman to play in Omaha? Check it 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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Remembering The Cars; Pinegrove tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:42 pm September 17, 2019

Ric Ocasek at the office.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You never think that these people will one day be gone: Tom Petty, Eddie Money, Ric Ocasek. Just like you can’t remember a time when their music wasn’t around. But there was a time before The Cars. I know. I was alive then. The first record came out in 1978. Its music was plunked onto FM radio and was something totally different but at the same time very similar to the sounds that came before it.

To me, the primary ingredient was the band’s persona. They were cool and a little weird, part of the punk rock scene, but accessible to the masses. Their songs were insidiously dark, the opposite of cock rock, and they were songs sung by a bunch of nerds who were as strange and ugly as the rest of us who didn’t identify with the hair metal of the day. The Cars were cool because they looked and sounded different, and you just assumed that’s how they were, that they weren’t trying to be different.

I loved the band. Their music played a big role in my high school and college years. We all know how great their first two albums were, but Heartbeat City was just as cool and notable and probably spent more time in my cassette player than any of the others. There were rumors the album was as much about drugs as it was about love. I loved that mystery. I was lucky enough to have seen them live when they came to the Civic Auditorium on tour supporting that album in 1984. Wang Chung opened.

Anyway, The Cars always were there, even when they weren’t. And when they had a sort of comeback a few years ago (in 2011) with Move Like This, it made me wonder if they could repeat their success in the digital age without Ben Orr, who had passed away the year prior, but it ended up being a one-and-done event.

And now Ocasek’s gone and it’s hard to think of a world without The Cars. But here we are.

* * *

Is there a band more opposite of The Cars than Pinegrove? I can’t think of one. The New Jersey indie band, which plays often somber indie folk music, headlines tonight at The Waiting Room. Their latest album, Marigold, was released this past March on Rough Trade. Stephen Steinbrink and Common Holly open at 8 p.m. $25.

* * *

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Matt Wilson and his Orchestra, STRFKR Saturday; Interpol at The Holland Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:45 pm September 13, 2019

Matt Wilson and his Orchestra play at The Sydney in Benson Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s usually Saturday nights during Husker season that the clubs are one big wasteland when it comes to rock shows, but this weekend, tonight is the wasteland. 

I can’t find any shows worth a shit going on tonight. I suggest heading over to The Brothers and having a cold one while listening to the best jukebox in town (if for no other reason than because they’ll be closed 9/14 through 9/19). 

Tomorrow night’s big show, Matt Wilson of Trip Shakespeare and The Twilight Hours fame is bringing his harp and banjo orchestra to The Sydney in Benson. Bokr Tov opens at 9 p.m. $15.

Also Saturday night, Portland indie band STRFKR (Polyvinyl Records) plays at The Waiting Room with Das Kope. 9 p.m. start, $23 tix.

Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s Saturday night, Denver’s In the Whale headlines with The Natural States and Hussies. $5, 9 p.m. 

And then Sunday night it’s the big Interpol show at The Holland Performing Arts Center. I’ve seen Interpol a couple times and they never fail to satisfy, however I have to wonder how well they’ll “rock” playing in front of a seated audience in Omaha’s second most prestigious music hall. Opening is our very own See Through Dresses. Tickets are still available at ticketomaha.com ranging between $35 and $47. Start time is 7:30 p.m. Tux optional.

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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