Live Review: Son, Ambulance, Lodgings, Dirt House at O’Leavers…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:46 pm December 4, 2017

Son, Ambulance at O’Leaver’s, Dec. 2, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Oh. My. God. I finally made it to a show.

Saturday night’s show at O’Leaver’s is the first rock show I’ve gone to since Zola Jesus way back on Oct. 11 — easily the longest stretch I’ve had between shows since sometime in the ’90s probably.

I actually intended to go to two shows this past weekend. I walked down to The Waiting Room Friday night to see Whitney/NE-HI after our art show ended at The Little Gallery (and after checking out the new B-Side, which is very nice indeed) only to find that it was sold out. I was disappointed yet happy for the the sell out — people really do still love going to indie rock shows.

Saturday night was the return of Son, Ambulance to O’Leaver’s. The band seems to re-emerge on a stage somewhere every six months or so with a slightly different line-up. Backing frontman singer/songwriter Joe Knapp this time were a couple horns, pedal steel, drums, Dereck Higgins on bass and instead of a second guitar someone playing sitar.

I was stationed at my usual spot, peeking through the glassless window panes by the bathrooms, which placed me right next to the aforementioned sitar. It sounded not so much like the traditional instrument we all know from Ravi Shankar, but more like a plucked-out high-end bass line. At times, distracting, but didn’t cover up the rest of the band, which was, for the most part, pretty solid.

Son, Ambulance played three old ones (including set staple “Paper Snowflakes”) and three new ones, the best of which was set-closer “Fuck Trump,” a rocker that wasn’t so much a call-and-response anthem as much as a song about living in the here and now, punctuated by the title lyrics.

Knapp says expect to hear a lot more from Son, Ambulance in 2018. With such a huge back catalog of songs, they’re among the few local bands I’d go see once a month.

Lodgings at O’Leaver’s, Dec. 2, 2017.

Lodgings is an act I’ve somehow managed to miss over the years, which turns out to be a huge bummer because they play a style of music I love — a laid-back, slacker rock that’s part Pavement part Pixies part Grifters, essential ’90s indie, often slow, sometimes quiet but also bold and loud.

So packed was O’Leaver’s that I ended up standing behind the amps so I couldn’t hear frontman Bryce Hotz terribly well, though the rest of the band came in loud and clear, including cellist/keyboardist Megan Siebe and guitarist Jim Schroeder (bassist Michael Laughlin and drummer Eric Ernst round out the combo).

The set drove me to seek out the band’s recordings on Spotify; and as a result, I spent a good part of the balance of the weekend listening to last year’s eponymous release and their more recent 6-song EP Daisies, which, had I found it earlier, would have been included in my local faves for 2017.

Dirt House at O’Leaver’s Dec. 2, 2017.

Last up was Dirt House, the new band from Annie Dilocker, who has surrounded herself with some of the best musicians in Omaha. Joining Amy Carey on violin is a rhythm section consisting of drummer Roger Lewis and bass player Miwi La Lupa. It doesn’t get more solid than that.

Dilocker is a long-time music scene veteran who’s been involved in a number of projects including Sweet Pea, Hubble, and for a brief time, Digital Leather. Her piano-driven songs are reminiscent of Regina Spektor or Sarah Bareilles though her melodies aren’t as varied. Dilocker’s vocals at times got lost in the mix. I wanted her to really belt it out — a necessity when backed by such a strong band. Considering her piano skills and her melodies, I wonder how her songs would fare without a backing band.

No doubt Dirt House is beginning to capture a fan base (the audience for Dirt House looked different than the one for Son, Ambulance) and the band’s Facebook page says they’ll be recording by the end of the year. 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Whitney, NE-HI, SIRES, #BFF tonight; Son, Ambulance, Lodgings Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:45 pm December 1, 2017

Ne-Hi at The Waiting Room, June 29, 2016. The band returns tonight with Whitney.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Is this the last “warm” weekend of the year? Maybe, probably. I’m getting my crappy winter beater car out this weekend — a sure sign winter’s here.

Anyway, take advantage of the last warm weekend of the year and see some shows…

The best of the bunch this weekend is tonight at The Waiting Room where indie hot stuff Whitney headlines with NE-HI. From Chicago, Whitney consists of members of the late, great Smith Westerns. The band’s break-out album, Light Upon the Lake, came out in 2016 on Secretly Canadian. One presumes they’re working on new material, though recent shows merely featured the old stuff along with a handful of covers (including Neil Young’s “On the Way Home,” Dolly Parton’s “Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can),” Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You,” NRBQ’s “Magnet,” etc.). Opener NE-HI just played Reverb this past March (read their Ten Questions interview here). $15, 9 p.m., expect a packed room.

Also tonight, Ryan Menchaca & The Invisible Horses headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Opening is Carl Miller of The Thrillers’ fame and Des Moines act SIRES. 10 p.m., $5.

And its the first Friday in December which means it’s Benson First Friday. As part of the fun The Little Gallery, 5901 Maple St., is hosting its annual “little show” where all works in the main gallery are 12” x 12” or smaller and $100 or less — perfect for holiday gift giving! Among the more than 20 artists showing works are Jason Steady, Jadon Ulrich, Mike Loftus, Brad Thiel and Nebraska Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Plus there will be beer, wine and some food. Drop by and say hello. The gallery is the east storefront of the Masonic Lodge Building on south side of Maple Street at 5901. See you there.

Tomorrow night is the return of Son, Ambulance at O’Leaver’s. Who will be in this incarnation of the band, fronted by singer/songwriter Joe Knapp? Opening is Lodgings while Annie Dilocker’s latest project, Dirt House, headlines. $7, 9 p.m.

Finally Mark Olson of The Jayhawks plays at The Waiting Sunday night. $15, 7 p.m.  And Matisyahu plays at The Slowdown with Common Kings and Orphans. 7:30 p.m. start time; tix are $25 Adv./$28 DOS.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Cursive to return in 2018; Mogwai tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:50 pm November 30, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There’s a nice Q&A with Tim Kasher at Surviving the Golden Age. Tim talks about the early days of Cursive, the differences between guitarists Stephen Pedersen and Ted Stevens, and that Cursive will be “somewhat active in 2018.Read it here.

While we’re on the subject of Cursive, Noisey asked Kasher to list/rank his favorite Cursive albums. Tim and I agree on No. 1 (though we disagree on where Domestica ended up). Check it out here.

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Tonight’s that Mogwai show at The Waiting Room I wrote about yesterday. It’s an early show with an 8 p.m. start time, with one opener – “dark synth” Texas artist Xander Harris. If you’re going, bring ear plugs. The last time I saw Mogwai they were incredibly loud. Don’t say I didn’t warn you… $26.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Ten Questions with Mogwai (at The Waiting Room Nov. 30)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:43 pm November 29, 2017

Mogwai plays The Waiting Room Thursday, Nov. 30.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Mogwai is a Glaswegian ensemble that creates intricate, throbbing headphone-friendly instrumentals. Their debut album, Mogwai Young Team, released in 1997 on Chemikal Underground and Jetset in the U.S., is considered a post-rock masterpiece that helped open the door to other instrumental-heavy art-rock projects. It was followed in ’99 by Come On Die Young, their first release on indie stalwart Matador Records that led up to their commercial breakthrough, 2001’s Rock Action.

The band’s latest, Every Country’s Sun (Temporary Residence, 2017), holds tight to the formula that has made them indie-rock icons — songs that start with a quiet guitar melody, keyboard or soothing percussion line that slowly build-build-builds as if climbing a mountain until they reach some sort of breathless peak — usually at ear-bleeding wake-the-neighbors decibels — to slowly come back down in wait for the next mountain to conquer.

It’s a formula that’s worked for 20 years, along with a live show augmented with intense stage lighting, blinding strobes and unmatched sonic drama. Find out for yourself Thursday night at The Waiting Room. I caught up with Mogwai multi-instrumentalist Barry Burns and asked him to take the dreaded Ten Questions survey.

1. What is your favorite album? 

Barry Burns: Eek. It’s always changing and very often, too, so I’d be lying to name one.

2. What is your least favorite song? 

This is much, much easier. That Maroon 5 song “This Love.”

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

The concerts and hanging out with some of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

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

Traveling on planes and being away from my wife and daughter.

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

Probably scotch whisky. It’s rarely a disappointment

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

Glasgow, Tokyo, Osama, Barcelona.

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

Oslo. All the gear, like, ALL of it stopped working and I remember trying to hide behind the piano (which was also broken)

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Yes, we’ve been lucky in some ways but also worked constantly the entire time we’ve been together.

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

I’d like a go at proper cooking. Having a lot of time at home for long spells gives me time to practice that so I’m getting better. I’d probably hate being a taxi driver.

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

Only that a guy who used to tour manage and do our live sound used to live in Omaha and he stole 10,000 dollars from us.

Mogwai plays with Xander Harris Nov. 30 at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St.. Tickets are $23 Adv./$26 DOS. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Hear Nebraska to join forces with The Bay; Smart Went Crazy reissue; Uranium Club heads to Omaha…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:59 pm November 28, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Hear Nebraska and The Bay will now be part of Rabble Mill.

I guess it’s official, Hear Nebraska is joining forces with Lincoln non-profit The Bay as part of a new umbrella organization called Rabble Mill.

From rabblemill.org: “That’s right: After collaborating since both organizations’ founding in 2010, we officially merge on Jan. 1, 2018, as programs under a new 501(c)(3) umbrella, called Rabble Mill. (A nod to our underdog communities.)

Rabble Mill’s vision statement: “We end generational poverty, one young person at a time, by enabling kids to discover their passion and build valuable life and professional skills. We make communities talent magnets by connecting and strengthening creative industries.

Among Rabble Mills’ offerings will be:

  • — Job Training for as-risk youth in the areas of music, tech, journalism and coffee;
  • — A print magazine produced by kids aimed at exposing Nebraska high schoolers to compelling statewide arts and culture;
  • — Professional development aimed to help musicians reach their next level;
  • — The Find Your Grind collective, a digital art and design space focused on closing our community’s technology gap through skills creation.

I’m told the boards of both organizations will be combined and that Hear Nebraska will continue to have a presence in Omaha (The Bay is located in Lincoln).

What exactly is The Bay? It’s a non-profit “creative space,” skate park and coffee shop founded by startup entrepreneur and motivational speaker Mike Smith.

So how will this merger will impact HN’s mission, which is basically to support, nurture and promote Nebraska music and musicians? Time will tell, though no doubt there will be some changes. Stay tuned…

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Smart Went Crazy, Con Art (2017, Ernest Jenning)

One of the snarkiest bands of the ‘90s, Smart Went Crazy, is getting the reissue treatment for its 1997 double LP Con Art, via Ernest Jenning.

Says Chad Clark, now with Beauty Pill, “‘Con Art’ was SWC’s second and final album, released in 1997. It was rapturously received by the press (Pitchfork included it in their Best Albums Of The 90s list) and its stature increased with time. It is now regarded as an underground classic. Unfortunately, the band did not survive to enjoy this esteem. SWC broke up shortly after its release.

Preorder your copy here.

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I just noticed that Minneapolis Uranium Club has been booked to play Pet Shop Gallery (the old Sweatshop) Dec. 9. This band’s album, All of Them Naturals (2017, Static Shock/Fashionable Idiots), made my list of faves in 2017 (which will be published in the December issue of The Reader). Added bonus, Sucettes and Dilute are opening.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The English Beat, Matt Whipkey tonight; Satchel Grande Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:00 pm November 24, 2017

Tommy Keene at O’Leaver’s, July 30, 2014. Keene passed away last night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Listening to Tommy Keene this morning, specifically his 1989 release Based on Happy Times, which you can find on Spotify. Keene passed away yesterday, reportedly in his sleep, which may be the best way to go. He opened for Matthew Sweet at O’Leaver’s back in 2014, and opened for him again on a recent tour. Keene might be one of the most overlooked singer/songwriters of the ’80s, ’90s, today. He was a power-pop master and a great guitarist.

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Another light weekend for shows. Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return of The English Beat, a band that’s made Omaha a second home (or so it seems, considering the number of times they’ve played here over the years). Opening is local ska band The Bishops. $25, 9 p.m.

Also tonight Matt Whipkey and his band are playing around the corner at Reverb Lounge. Tonight’s show will be a sort of sneak preview of Whipkey’s latest release, the double LP Driver, out Feb. 23. Whipkey just released a single from the album, which you can check out below. Opening is Travelling Mercies. $10, 8 p.m.

Saturday night Satchel Grande returns to The Waiting Room with Funk Trek. $8, 9 p.m.

And that’s all I got for this weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section.

For those of you doing the Black Friday treasure hunt, good luck. I’ll likely be hitting the racks this afternoon, so don’t take all the good stuf.

Have a great weekend!

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Leafblower, Conny Franko, Sucettes, R.A.F, Ojai, The Sunks tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:55 pm November 22, 2017

Leafblower at O’Leaver’s, July 30, 2017. They’re playing tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday means a few shows are happening tonight because no one has to get up tomorrow morning. Well, almost no one.

Tonight O’Leaver’s invades Slowdown Jr. for a show headlined by the mighty Leafblower. Consisting of members of Danny Maxwell’s New Lungs, with Craig Fort, Tab Tworek and DMax himself. Stage antics include Tim the Leafblower guy and his leaf-blowing fog machine. Local hip-hop royalty Conny Franko opens along with BareBear. $5, 9 p.m.

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Also tonight Sucettes return to Brothers Lounge for a pre-holiday extravaganza. Joining them are Omaha hardcore punk legends R.A.F. and The Wolfman. $5, 9 p.m.

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Meanwhile, back at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Ojai headlines with The Sunks and Tutti Frutti. $5, 10 p.m

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

 

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RIP Ryan Kuper (Redemption Records, NE Vs. NC)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:55 pm November 21, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A name from Omaha’s early days of indie rock greatness passed away. Ryan Kuper was a Council Bluffs native turned Californian who founded ’90s-era label Redemption Records. He also was instrumental in putting out the NE Vs. NC Compilation in 2002, which was when I last interviewed him.

From the article:

The Versus Series was just another ambitious idea from the Lewis Central graduate whose record industry career began by releasing an EP by Austin hardcore act Intent. Over a decade, Redemption would go on to release music by hardcore bands like 4 Walls Falling, Encounter and Resurrection, before releasing CDs by Omaha gutter-groove punkers Ritual Device and pop-rockers Grasshopper Takeover, among others.

Through the years, Kuper has moved back and forth between the Midwest to Los Angeles. On his last move to the West Coast 18 months ago, he started a management company called Boundless Entertainment with former Omahan John Biondolillo, a.k.a. John Stewart, known for his work at Omaha’s KDGE-FM The Edge as well for managing local rock band Blue Moon Ghetto — a local favorite (now disbanded) in the Creed/Hootie and the Blowfish vein. Boundless counts among their clients Victory Records’ artist The Reunion Show, hip-hop act Trew Dat, Chicago alt rockers Zen Darlings, SubPop and Milan recording artist Gardener, and last but not least, Andy Dick and the Bitches of the Century.

Dick, famous for his work on TV shows News Radio and MTV’s The Andy Dick Show (not to mention his various drug-related exploits) is a long-time associate and one-time roommate of Kuper’s. Managing Dick’s music affairs involves everything from brokering his record deal with Milan Records to locking down a producer for his CD to handling band bookings and press. The day of this interview, Dick’s band performed on the Craig Kilborne show. “Part of my job is to make sure he gets to the studio on time,” Kuper said.

Kuper’s most recent job was working as an executive benefits specialist at Unum. You can donate to Kuper’s Fundly page, here.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Orgone, Fire Heads, Rusty Lord tonight; Lizzo, Chris Twist, Nathan Ma Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:36 pm November 17, 2017

Fire Retarded at O’Leaver’s Feb. 21, 2015. The band has since changed its name to Fire Heads, who play at O’Leaver’s Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A few interesting shows happening this weekend…

Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return of Orgone. The LA-based funk/soul band has become a local favorite. Bring your dancing shoes. Kris Lager Band opens at 9 p.m. $15.

Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s Madison band Fire Heads. You may know them by their former, less-PC name Fire Retarded (happy I got a T-shirt before they changed their name). It’s noisy, chunky garage rock, just like the openers, local boys Rusty Lord (actually, more rock metal than garage) and Wrong Pets. No price listed on this one, but it’s probably the usual $5, and the usual 9:30 start time.

I generally gloss over mainstream, major-label acts, but I’ll make an exception for Lizzo a.k.a. Melissa Jefferson, who’s playing at The Slowdown tomorrow night (Saturday). Good luck not moving your ass when you hear her rip through “Good As Hell” or “‘Scuse Me.” Dojo Cat opens at 9 p.m. In the main room. $18 Adv/$20 DOS.

 

Also Saturday night, garage rocker Chris Twist of The Lemons branches out with his own solo set at Brothers Lounge. Also on the bill are Nathan Ma and DJ Dave Goldberg. $5, 9 p.m.

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

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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And the Kids, Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship, David Nance tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:49 pm November 16, 2017

And the Kids plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Northampton, MA, indie band And the Kids headlines a stacked bill tonight at Slowdown Jr. The young four-piece lists Modest Mouse, Rilo Kiley, The Doors and The Police as influences. Their sound has a similar dreamy quality as, say, Alvvays, especially on their new album, Friends Share Lovers (Signature Sounds Recordings). Opening tonight’s show is Omaha garage-rock god David Nance and the legendary Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship. This big show has an early start time: 8 p.m. $10.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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