Clarence Tilton, Stephen Sheehan, Oquoa, Mitch Gettman tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:42 pm December 23, 2019

Stephen Sheehan at The Waiting Room, Dec. 23, 2018. His band plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

‘Twas the night before the night before Christmas, and all through the town, three shows to choose from, because we know you’ll be around…

…and most of you/us don’t have to get up tomorrow morning for work. So…

Over at The Waiting Room it’s the Drive for the Heart Ministry. The annual event raises money for the Heart Ministry Center, an organization that assists people with life’s basic necessities. Headlining tonight’s benefit is Omaha alt-country band extraordinaire Clarence Tilton. Joining them are Stephen Sheehan (ex-Digital Sex, The World) and his band, Andrew Bailie and Dan Olsen from Sack of Lions. Tickets are $10 or a minimum 3-item donation (stuff like toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo and deodorant). Music starts at 8 p.m.

Also tonight, Slowdown Jr. is hosting Oquoa (that’s right, Roger Lewis is back for the holidays). Joining them are Mesonjixx and Tonina. $10, 9 p.m.

Finally, Mitch Gettman is hosting something he’s calling “A Decade of Obscurity,” at Cedar, 8726 Countryside Plaza. It’s three hours of Mitch. No price listed, but it starts at 9 p.m.

And that’s going to do it until after Christmas. Most bars are going to be open Christmas Eve, but many will be closed Christmas Day. Your best bet is to call ahead (or get loaded at home).

Have a fabulous holiday…!

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ah, the holidays… Uh Oh, Bayside Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:10 pm December 20, 2019

Uh Oh at Take Cover Five at O’Leaver’s Jan. 30, 2016. The band plays Sunday night at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Ah, the pre-Christmas weekend…

If you’ve looked at the various and sundry venue calendars you already know there ain’t nothing happening over the weekend except DJs, cover bands and benefits shows. I suggest using this down-time to pay a visit to The Brothers Lounge for some delicious jukebox punk rock and beer (I would have said “for an ice cold Rolling Rock” but The Brothers no longer serves Rolling Rock because (I’m told) I was the only person who drank it, along with one other guy, who died).

OK, there are a couple shows on Sunday.

Sunday night Uh Oh opens for Orca Welles and The Beeves at Slowdown Jr. Uh Oh has the proud distinction of having a song on the Lazy-i Best of 2019 comp CD. More info about that later. This $8 show will cost ya $8.

Also Sunday night, The Waiting Room is hosting a night of emo/pop-punk bands headlined by NYC band Bayside (Hopeless Records) with Capstan (Fearless Records) and Moonlighting. $24, 7:30 p.m.

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

#TBT Now Where? 2009: The Year in Music

Category: Blog — @ 1:50 pm December 19, 2019

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

St. Vincent at Slowdown Jr., June 3, 2009 (it happened to be my birthday!).

Everyone says it’s the end of the decade, so why does it seem like the end of the world?

And thus began the 2009 Music Year in Review article for The Reader and Lazy-i from waaaay back in Dec. 2009. What were the best albums? How about the best gigs (Who remembers that Bear Country show at The Waiting Room June 14, 2009? or Yo La Tengo at The Slowdown Oct. 11, 2009?)?

Read all about it right here (But don’t bother entering the drawing for the 2009 comp CD. We’re all out.)

I’ll be posting the 2019 Year in Review sometime in the coming weeks…

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

DIIV + Tomberlin on Low cover; Unexplained Death skewers Lindsey Graham…

Category: Column — Tags: , , , , — @ 3:22 pm December 18, 2019

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, it’s not like I haven’t been doing anything.

Look for my annual Music Year in Review article and 2020 Predictions article in the coming days online here and in The Reader, where it’ll also be published in the January issue. It’s a ton of writing (about 3,500 words, if they don’t cut it).

This being an historic day, I thought I’d share with you my Over the Edge column in the current issue of The Reader, wherein I reflect on how I was lambasted by my co-workers during the last impeachment, and how folks a few floors above me came to the rescue. That one’s online right here.

And speaking of impeachment-related news, Matt Whipkey today released a new Unexplained Death song via Bandcamp called “Lindsey,” and you can guess what it’s about. When is Unexplained Death going to perform at one of these Iowa political rallies that are all the rage these days? I could definitely see these guys open for Bernie…

Saddle Creek Records’ act Tomberlin teamed up with DIIV for a cover of Low song “Words” off the 1994 Low album I Could Live in Hope. The fact that these two artists covered Low gives me hope that one of my all-time favorite bands’ music will live on for another generation.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Brother Ali, Garst tonight; Gerardo Meza, Sean Pratt & the Sweats Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 1:39 pm December 13, 2019

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Pretty thin weekend.

Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return of Brother Ali. The Minneapolis rapper is a member of the Rhymesayers consortium and has made Omaha a regular tour stop since back in the early 2000s. Check out the Ten Questions with Brother Ali from 2017. Joining him tonight are DJ Last Word and Nur-D. 8 p.m., $25.

Also tonight, newcomers Garst celebrates the release of a new EP, Deathly, at Reverb Lounge. Joining them are Death God and and Lincoln’s Death Cow. $7, 8 p.m.

And then there’s The Regulation opening tonight for Light Speed Highway at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Blandford kicks things off at 9 p.m. No price listed, but it’s usually $5.

For all you C&W fans, The Electroliners are playing tonight at the Barley Street Tavern with 24 Hour Card Lock an King of the Tramps. $5, 9 p.m.

And I typically don’t hype cover bands or tribute acts, but The Sydney has something unique tonight — She’s Crafty, an all-female Beastie Boys tribute act. CatBeret and DJ Kobrakyle open at 9 p.m. $10.

Saturday night has Lincoln’s Gerardo Meza and the Dead of Night headlining at The Sydney in Benson. Joining them are Mike Schlesinger and Sean Pratt and the Sweats. $5, 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, down at Slowdown Jr. Win/Win headlines Saturday night with Muscle Cousins, Bach Mai and Bailey Tamerius. 8 p.m., $7.

And Omaha emo band Names Without Numbers is having a CD release show at The Waiting Room Saturday night. Opening are Dear Neighbor, Wither Decay and Indian Caves. $10, 8 p.m.

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

#TBT: Forget 2009, here’s a look at 1999; Big Nope debuts tonight at OutrSpaces…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 2:13 pm December 12, 2019

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Everyone’s looking back on the ’10s decade as we close it out, and I will as well, but on this #TBT I thought it would be fun to look back at how we closed out the ’90s. And thus I give you…

1999: The Year in Music

Who remembers these guys?

Originally published in Lazy-i and The Reader, Jan. 6, 2000 — We can only hope that the current state of popular music in no way reflects what’s to come in the so-called “new millennium.” The 1900s were ushered out of our collective psyches under the rattle and hum of the worst possible soundtrack for the end of anything, let alone the ’90s.

If this year is remembered from a popular music standpoint, it will be for the rise of perhaps the two most vacant and uninteresting musical trends in recent memory: boy groups and Goon Rock.

It was impossible to ignore the rise of “boy groups,” such as Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, ‘N Sync (and the female equivalent — this year’s Debbie Gibson/Tiffany known as Britney Spears). Back in the heyday of New Kids on the Block, children (mostly young women) “ooohed” and “aaaahed” over those five post-pubescent, lip-synching wunderkids whose faces adorned such rough-hewed music publications as Tiger Beat and 16. Adults certainly didn’t take Menudo or the New Kids seriously. They smiled at the popularity of say, Vanilla Ice, and laughed warmly during the annual Christmas parties when little Jason or Caitlin would be dragged out to the living room in their footie pajamas to imitate the dance steps of their favorite Saturday morning cartoon boy groups. Soon, New Kids quietly disappeared into the “where are they now” category.

Things certainly have changed. Look at the year in review issue of Rolling Stone, regarded as one of the premium rock music journals of our day, and you’ll see large, full-page photos of Backstreet Boys lauded as one of the best groups of ’99. Throughout the year respected music publications have featured chin-rubbing analyses of the lyrical content of the latest ‘N Sync opus, along with embarrassing, sacrilegious comparisons of acts like 98 Degrees and Britney to the great musical artists of the ’50s. MTV, once (and very briefly) a bellwether for important pop musical trends, quickly found itself with its pants down, fondly stroking off the ‘N Sync boys during “serious interviews” in the TRL studios. It is painful to watch a once-respected rock journalist like Kurt Loder seriously interview five dancing puppets who haven’t written a single note of music, who in a time well-past would have been laughed off as the limp-syncing aerobic instructors that they are. A breathless following — not only of children but also mini-van-driving adults — has given boy groups credibility that before would have been reserved only for serious musicians.

Put simply, those sexy, soon-to-flameout boy groups ruled in ’99, but they weren’t alone.

Or these guys…

Rising from the ghettos of suburban Los Angeles and the posh, baggy-Gap-adorned mini-malls across the U.S. rose the dumbest of dumbed-down heavy-metal rawk. Call it “Goon Rock” for a lack of a better term. The playas: Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, the Kottonmouth Kings (note the bizarre use of the letter K in all these band names?) Insane Clown Posse and Eminem. The music: poorly played and conceptualized white-boy rap, where the constituents brag about being playas and “keeping it real” with such mundane lyrics as “I did it for the nookie/And you can take this cookie/And stick it up your Yeah.” Limp Bizkit is the fully realized commercialization of white-boy pseudo-urban music taken to new levels of oafishness. And the kids loved it.

It wasn’t all shit in ’99. There were a number of highlights, few of which were heard on your radio. Among the best CDs of the year:

1. Those Bastard Souls — Debt & Departure
2. Nine Inch Nails — The Fragile
3. Guster — Lost and Gone Forever
4. Burning Airlines — Mission Control
5. The Faint — Blank Wave Arcade
6. Pet Shop Boys — Nightlife
7. Pavement — Terror Twilight
8. Shannon Wright — Flight Safety
9. Built to Spill — Keep It Like a Secret
10. Reset — My Still Life
11. Folk Implosion — One Part Lullaby
12. Beck — Midnight Vultures

In addition to Reset and The Faint, other notable releases by local bands included Simon Joyner’s The Lousy Dance, (given a four-out-of-five rating in the latest issue of Alternative Press); Bright Eyes’ Every Day and Every Night EP (which, along with The Faint, continues to climb the CMJ charts), and Ravine’s soundtrack to the movie Killing Diva.

Saddle Creek Records’ bands continue to be the shining hope for relevance of the Omaha music scene. If 2000 sees any breakthroughs locally, it’ll come from Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), who will release a full-length CD this year that will push him to the next level of national exposure and acceptance. But before we get into predictions for 2000, let’s take a look at how I did last year. In my ’98 year-in-review column in The Reader, I predicted: the death of swing (hit!), a loud-then-soft reaction to a new Nine Inch Nails CD (hit again!), the rise of Oi! music (miss!), the continued rise in Internet music promotion (no duh!), another major Omaha signing a la Mulberry Lane (miss!), the opening of a new Omaha showcase lounge and the closing of a beloved one (The Music Box, although its yet to actually open its doors; the closing of the Stork Club, though I thought The Cog Factory would be the victim). Four for six, not too bad…

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God, I don’t miss the ’90s.

Meanwhile, back in 2019…

Tonight at OutrSpaces, 1258 So. 13th St., it’s the stage debut of Big Nope, the new project by See Through Dresses drummer (and now Criteria tour drummer) Nate Van Fleet. Nate’s taking the frontman position this time handling guitars and vocals, with Liv Baxter also on guitar, Aaron Lee on bass and Zachary Roland on drums.

The band has a two-song single on Bandcamp: “Never Going Outside” b/w “Grass is Greener,” recorded at Little Machine by Van Fleet and Matthew Carroll (also of See Through Dresses), mixed by studio wizard Ben Brodin at Hand Branch.

Bach Mai opens the show at 8 p.m. $10 suggested donation supports the artists.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Cursive to return to Winchester Bar & Grill in January…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:55 pm December 10, 2019

Cursive at Winchester Bar & Grill, May 25, 2019. The band is returning to Winchester Jan. 15.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I can’t remember it being this quiet show-wise or music news-wise. I mean nothing is going on. No shows this week. Omaha is a ghost town.

Except for this one bit of news: Cursive just announced that they’re returning to Winchester Bar & Grill Jan. 15. This is a new show listing, I believe. Playing alongside Kasher and crew are tour mates Cloud Nothings and “TBA.” No mention of Criteria, who will be joining Cursive and Cloud Nothings the next night in Denver at the Bluebird Theater, unless, of course, Criteria is the “TBA.”

Cursive first played at Winchester, a bar owned by Cursive’s Tim Kasher, Ted Stevens and Matt Maginn (among others), back on May 25. In the write-up for that show, I espoused dreams that maybe the bar could become a new venue for indie rock shows, but that never materialized. Instead, Winchester remains a prime choice for all your karaoke and cover band needs (As well as a great place to get a cheeseburger).

Anyway, mark your calendar.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Flight School (Ian Anthony Aeillo), #BFF tonight; Pro-Magnum, Pine Ridge Toy Drive Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:37 pm December 6, 2019

Ian Aeillo at Hear Nebraska’s Take Cover at The Waiting Room, Jan. 18, 2014. He’s the subject of a sound/art exhibition at The Sydney tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve talked about Ian Aeillo before on this blog, about his role in the Nebraska music scene both as a producer, creator, musician and influencer, employed (these days) at The Sydney in Benson. Aeillo’s music history goes back literally decades to a band called The Golden Age that, at the time, was hot-rumored to be thee next big band on the then-fledgling (though already successful) Saddle Creek Records label. I remember asking the label execs at the time about signing the Lincoln band and received the tertiary wayward nod/no response that greeted all such questions directed to the Nansel/Kulbel braintrust. They always held their cards close to the vest, though one couldn’t ignore the fact they were both in the audience at Sokol Underground one night when The Golden Age was playing a rare show in Omaha. Talent scouting?

Well, nothing ever came of any of it, and The Golden Age eventually faded away or disappeared or broke up. Tracks from the legendary unreleased Jealous Love album were deleted from YouTube a long time ago. Aeillo would go on to work with a number of bands, including Lincoln outfit Eagle*Seagull as well as countless others recordings at ARC Recording Studio where he once worked as a producer.

Poster for tonight’s Flight School exhibition.

He does his knob twirling these days at The Sydney, where you can find him most nights working as a sound engineer. But tonight Aeillo will be playing a different role as the featured artist for The Sydney’s Benson First Friday festivities. There’s a lengthy Facebook post where he describes what the event entails, but at the very least, those who drop in will experience either the playing over the PA or a live performance of his work as Flight School, a multi-media rock-punk-jazz recording odyssey all of which is available via Bandcamp. There will be other equipment set up as part of the “experience/installation” that’s been dubbed “An Evening w/Ian Anthony Aeillo (Flight School)” The experience runs from 5 p.m. til 2 a.m. at The Sydney, and admission is free.

It’s all a part of Benson First Friday.

Since you’ll be in Benson anyway, why not stop at The Little Gallery, 5901 Maple Street (the east bay of the Masonic Lodge Building), where tonight is the opening of the 5th Annual Little Show. Featured is the work of more than 20 local artists, all showing works 12 x 12 or smaller at a price point of $100 or less. Just in time for holiday shopping. The show runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Come on by.

That’s it for tonight.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Johnny Vredenburg and the rest of the boys from Pro-Magnum headline at The Brothers Lounge. Also on the bill are KC metal band 34. $5, 10 p.m.

Finally, the annual Toy Drive for Pine Ridge is happening at The Waiting Room Saturday night. Featured performers include Satchel Grande, Pony Creek, Garst and Vago. Admission is a new, unwrapped toy or $10. All proceeds will be used to deliver toys to the children of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Show starts at 8 p.m.

And believe it or not, that’s all I got, except to mention the fine folks who ran Almost Music as well as EZ Records are having a record show at Reverb Lounge at noon on Sunday. It’s free and always fun.

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

The second coming of Criteria: New album on 15 Passenger, Cursive tour, ping-pong…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:42 pm December 5, 2019

Criteria 2019. Photo by Django Greenblatt-Seay.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You already knew that Criteria was hitting the road with Cursive in January, and if you read this blog, you also already had a good idea that the band’s new album, Years, was coming out at some point on 15 Passenger. It’s been rumored for over a year. The fact that the recording is actually seeing the light of day is nothing short of a miracle.

Criteria announced the album and tour via Brooklyn Vegan yesterday before unleashing it on social media. Included in the BV story was both a track off the new album and an amusing/disturbing video of Criteria frontman Stephen Pedersen playing ping-pong with a diminutive Tim Kasher of Cursive. Hi-jinx indeed ensue.

Anyway, the new record is available for pre-order from 15Passenger.com. It comes out Jan. 17. The new tune, “Agitate Resuscitate,” is a real scorcher, and the first question that came to mind upon listening to it was how in the heck Pedersen is going to be able to sing it — along with all the other high-flying Criteria songs from yesteryear — night after night for two weeks without turning his vocal chords to bloody ribbons.

As the website says, this is the first new album by Criteria in nearly 15 years. In that time, the band has pulled itself together at least once or twice a year for a one-off show, after which Pedersen could retire back to his professional life and conceivable talk in a hoarse whisper at work the following Monday morning. Instead, he’ll have to get right back behind that microphone the next night. I don’t know how he did it 15 years ago let alone how he’ll do it for two weeks in January (The sched: six days in a row, break, four days in a row, break, four days in a row). No doubt he’s been in training for the past few months. He’ll pull it off…

Folks who follow Little Brazil on Facebook already know that Austin Elsberry has taken over behind the drum kit, replacing Nate Van Fleet. That’s good timing considering Van Fleet will be holding down the drum chores for Criteria on the upcoming tour in place of drummer Mike Sweeney. Those are rather massive shoes to fill, Mr. Van Fleet, but I can’t think of anyone better to try.

You’ll be able to see both Little Brazil and Criteria when the bands play at The Waiting Room Dec. 28 with Lodgings. Talk about your down home holiday extravaganzas…

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Kris Lager tonight, and some thoughts on The Jewell…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:46 pm December 4, 2019

Kris Lager plays solo tonight at The Jewell.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve been told by a couple music folks (and have read on Facebook) that The Jewell is hands-down the best live music venue in Omaha. I couldn’t tell you if I agree having never stepped foot in the joint.

The Jewell originally was marketed as a live dinner/music-venue with a jazz focus, and many acts initially booked were jazz-oriented. But there have been exceptions, such as tonight’s Kris Lager solo show at 6:30 (tix are $15). Lager has generated a large local following for his style of feel-good blues rock. His Spotify bio, for example, shows he has 1,161 monthly listeners, most of them located in Omaha and the Midwest, though Lager tours his ass off.

It’s a smart booking for Jewell, along with upcoming dates by Cubby Philips Trio, Hector Anchondo Band, The Confidentials, Blues Society of Omaha gigs and various holiday shows that appear to reach for a different audience than is typically attracted to jazz fare.

That said, I’m still waiting for The Jewell to book one of Omaha’s premier indie / punk bands (and if you’re wondering who I’m talking about, you never read this blog, but here’s the list for 2019). One assumes these bands have never been considered for the Jewell stage because, well, they’re indie/punk bands. And while blues ain’t jazz, you could argue that there’s an overlap in those two genres’ perceived audiences.

That said, considering that the club is booked kind of like a dinner-theater — with ticketed calendar events where you get in, order dinner, watch the act and leave — there’s no reason why they couldn’t book any genre of music or performer — i.e., it’s not a hang-out jazz club where patrons show up expecting jazz five nights a week. You go to see the band you bought tickets to see.

If they’re willing to book Anchondo and Kris Lager, they certainly could book David Nance Band, Thick Paint, See Through Dresses or any of the Saddle Creek Records stable. I guess the question is whether those bands’ followers would show up and order dinner instead of just soak themselves in PBR. In that way The Jewell seems designed for old(er) people, the kind you see leaning over a king-cut prime rib at Anthony’s.

And you could argue that indie bands already have plenty of quality venues to play at — The Slowdown, The Waiting Room, Reverb Lounge, not to mention smaller clubs like O’Leaver’s, The Sydney and The Brothers. (But for those of you wondering whether those bands would play at The Jewell in the first place, the answer is yes they would, if the money’s right).

I guess I’ll just have to keep on waiting for the right moment to finally experience The Jewell. In the meantime, tickets to Kamasi Washington — arguably one of the most influential new jazz voices and (one would assume) a perfect fit for The Jewell — go on sale Friday at The Slowdown…

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i