Live Review: Little Brazil at Benson Days…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , — @ 12:25 pm July 29, 2019

Little Brazil at Benson Days, July 27, 2019.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Benson Days is over for another year. The highlights: The Indie (I improved my time by almost two minutes!), the parade, the street fair and, of course, the beer garden where Little Brazil performed Saturday night.

The band hasn’t played live in a quite a while, and used the opportunity to roll out a few new songs — seems like they’re always working on the next record. The set started off a bit wonky sound-wise as it took the sound guy a few songs to figure out the mix (Nate Van Fleet’s overwhelming kick drum actually drowned out the guitars! or at least was the only thing you noticed, initially).

It got balanced out a few songs in, with frontman Landon Hedges’ guitars perfectly melding with exquisite leads from Shawn Cox. Danny Maxwell on bass was rock solid as ever, singing the Conor part during Send the Wolves (Max Trax Records) stand-out track “Making a Mess.”

The new tunes sound like they’re headed in the same short, sweet rock direction heard on Send the Wolves, as if the band is trying to put together a string of singles. Just like the old days.

The biggest surprise was an uptempo (i.e., rocking) cover of Kyle Harvey’s “It Falls Apart,” which the band should record immediately and release as a single. Kyle’s song has been covered before (most notably, an epic version from Omaha now ex patriot Brad Hoshaw off his 2014 album with the Seven Deadlies, Funeral Guns), but never so ironically upbeat. The original is a heart-breaker, as I suppose all Harvey songs are.

I can’t imagine a more perfect night for an outdoor concert, the early evening sunset was blazing overhead while the 50 or so on hand got their brains blown out by some epic Omaha indie rock. Only in Benson.

If you missed the gig, Little Brazil is playing again this Wednesday, opening for Murder by Death down at The Slowdown.

* * *

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

Baroness, Torche, Hussies tonight; Tim Cappello, Universe Contest, Pro-Magnum, Bible of the Devil Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:32 pm July 26, 2019

Pro-Magnum at The Waiting Room, June 1, 2018. They’re playing Saturday at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Kind of a weird weekend ahead. Benson Days kicks off tomorrow with a parade down Maple St. at 10 a.m., and I’m running in the The Indie 5k/10k Sunday (starting line is at 1912 at 8 a.m.). Fun for the whole family? It’s Benson, so expect weird.

Music-wise, it’s a weird one, too.

Tonight at The Waiting Room Savannah proggy post-rock band Baroness headlines. They release everything on their own Abraxan Hymns label (truly indie!), including their most recent, 2019’s Gold and Grey. They’re listed as a metal band, but they’re more of a straight-up indie rock band. Pitchfork loves them, giving G&G a massive 8.0 rating. Opening is the much harder, much more metal act Torche. Their latest, Admission, was released on Relapse earlier this year. 8 p.m., $28.

Meanwhile, across town at Brothers Lounge, Hussies headline with opener Baby Sledge. 10 p.m., $5.

Tomorrow night The Sydney in Benson has Tim Cappello, who played sax with Tina Turner, Peter Gabriel and vampires in The Lost Boys. Musically, not sure what to expect, but something tells me — shirtless sax. Universe Contest and DJ Solid Goldberg open at 10 p.m. $10.

Meanwhile, at fabulous O’Leaver’s Saturday night, it’s the return of Pro-Magnum. They’re opening for Chicago heavy-metal throw-back act Bible of the Devil and Jump the Tiger. $7, 9 p.m.

Sunday’s wide open, people.

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

Lazy-i

Better Oblivion up for an AIM Award; Under the Radar under way…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:42 pm July 25, 2019

Better Oblivion Community Center at The Slowdown, March 21, 2019. The band’s album has been nominated for an AIM Independent Music Award.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Pretty quiet news-wise lately…

The UK’s Association of Independent Music (AIM) announced nominees for the 2019 AIM Independent Music Awards, and up for Best Album is Better Obliviion Community Center’s debut album, featuring Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers.

AIM has been around for 20 years and handing out prizes for the the past eight. The awards ceremony will be Sept. 3 at The Roundhouse in Camden. BOCC will be up against Christine and the Queens, Chris; Dave, Psychodrama; Fontaines D.C., Dogrel; Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, End of Suffering; Jade Bird, self-titled; Jordan Rakei, Origin; Little Simz, GREY Area; Snapped Ankles, Stunning Luxury and Swindle, No More Normal. 

I think maybe I’ve heard of three of the other nominees…

* * *

Omaha Under the Radar is currently in full effect.

A reminder of their mission: Omaha Under the Radar is an annual performance festival in the Midwest. We celebrate independent artists with performances and workshops throughout the city of Omaha. Since the first festival, held in 2014, Omaha Under the Radar has presented over 300 artists of divergent backgrounds and disciplines. We work to represent a multiplicity of genres, ideas, and identities through performances, talks, group discussions and educational opportunities. 

The festival’s schedule is here, and events are happening all over the city tonight at Kaneko, Joslyn, Bancroft Street Market, Petshop Gallery and Slowdown, and throughout the weekend at the above plus OutrSpaces, Project Project and The Holland Center. 

This is more of art / fine arts / experimental music festival, and other than Dereck Higgins, who’s performing at Saturday’s closing event at Holland Center, I’ve heard of nary any of the artists — guess that’s why they all it Under the Radar.

* * *

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

Mountain Movers (Trouble in Mind Records), David Nance Group tonight at Brothers…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:31 pm July 23, 2019

Mountain Movers plays tonight at Brothers Lounge with David Nance Group.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I just wrote a column about Colorado for next month’s issue of The Reader where I talk about pot laws and the fact that I’ve never smoked a joint in my life. It hits the newsstands in a couple weeks. The point of mentioning it is  there was a long aside (that didn’t make it into the column) about a musician who told me that if I wasn’t stoned when I listened to his music than I was missing the point. Maybe he’s right. I’ll never know.

What I do know is that if there was one band whose music (I’d guess) would go well with pot and/or hallucinogenic drugs it would be Mountain Movers.

The New Haven, Connecticut, four-piece, led by guitarist/vocalist Dan Greene with lead guitarist Kryssi Battalene, plays a modern take on ’60s/’70s-style psych rock with an extra helping of fuzz-tone guitar and wow-wow leads that will make your head spin. They’ve been compared to Neu! and Ash Ra Tempel by their label, Chicago’s Trouble in Mind Records, who released a number of the band’s records including their latest, 2018’s Pink Skies. That album includes a brazen 11-plus minute head trip called “The Other Side of Today” that has me worried about flunking a drug test after merely listening to it. Droning, at times experimental, Mountain Movers plays fogged-out journeys into sonic landscapes cast in hues of deep blues and purples.

And they’re playing tonight at Brothers Lounge.

Joining them is our own David Nance Group, who has been known to spin their own mammoth guitar-fueled audio odysseys, as well as more straight-forward rock songs. For reference check out “Amethyst” and “In Her Kingdom” from 2018’s Peaced and Slightly Pulverized (Trouble in Mind). The band just released a new 7-inch out on Jack White’s Third Man Records, described by the label as “bottom-heavy druggy attic bummer jamming.” Hopefully they’ll have copies on hand at tonight’s show. $5, 10 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.

Lazy-i

Brad Hoshaw says farewell, Midwest Dilemma tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:31 pm July 22, 2019

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlines at The Waiting Room, Feb. 21, 2014. The band plays its farewell show tonight at Slowdown, Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tonight we say goodbye to Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies as the band perform its farewell concert at Slowdown Jr. Brad’s moving to the West Coast in the coming weeks. The show is part of Brad’s “Farewell Tour.” 

But I think it won’t be the last we hear from Brad. Hoshaw just wrapped up a new album and (likely) will be on the road supporting it, and I’d be shocked if he didn’t roll through his old stompin’ grounds at some point. Hoshaw will always stand as one of my favorite singer/songwriters not only from Nebraska, but from anywhere. Here’s hoping he can break into the crowded California music scene.

Helping say goodbye are Brad’s old pals Midwest Dilemma and Matt Cox. This is an early show — starts at 7:30 p.m. $9. 

BTW, Brad’s also doing a solo farewell show July 28 at The Trap Room…

* * *

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

Ocean Black tonight; Peach Fuzz Saturday; Ben Kweller Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:51 pm July 19, 2019

Ben Kweller at the MAHA Music Festival, July 24, 2010. He plays Sunday night at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s looking like an O’Leaver’s weekend… at least most of it. I hope they have their AC on full blast.

Tonight, it’s the heavy stuff as Omaha gold-leafed stoner rock trio Ocean Black opens for Mere Shadows and Bad Actors. $5, 10 p.m.

Saturday night, Chicago garage rockers Peach Fuzz (Bernice Records) headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Bb Sledge and Little Violence. $5, 10 p.m.

And finally Sunday, Ben Kweller returns to The Waiting Room. Kweller’s supposed to have a new album out called Circuit Boredom, but I can’t find it anywhere online. The first single, released this past February, is below. Orca Welles opens at 8 p.m. $15.

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.

Lazy-i

The Living Deads, Buggy Lewis & the Rabbit Grenades tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 12:03 pm July 18, 2019

The Living Deads play tonight at Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Hot enough for ya?

The Living Deads is a nomadic duo that plays fun-loving rockabilly with a horror-billy sheen a la The Cramps. They’re playing tonight at The Brothers Lounge.

From their bio: “Randee McKnight on drums/vocals/acoustic guitar, and Symphony Tidwell on upright bass/vocals are fueled by late nights, risky behavior and truck stop snacks,” and “If The Ramones, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits and The Cramps all donated their DNA to a rock ‘n’ roll science experiment, The Living Deads would be formed.” That about sums it up. Buggy Lewis & the Rabbit Grenades opens at 10 p.m. $5.

* * *

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

Live Review: The Beths at The Slowdown…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , — @ 12:33 pm July 16, 2019

The Beths at Slowdown Jr., July 15, 2019.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Crowded it was last night at The Beths show at Slowdown Jr., not a sell-out but certainly a packed room consisting, strangely, of one of the older crowds I’ve seen at any recent indie show. I wasn’t the oldest one there, by a long shot. I’m not sure why so many older folks were drawn to the show except that The Beths have been getting a lot of airplay on Sirius XMU, and these people looked like the type who have satellite radio in their SUVs.

I pushed up to the front of the stage next to the front door and leaned on the ear-plug gumball machine (two ear plugs and a Jolly Ranchers for 50 cents) and flipped through my phone, waiting for the band to get started when up walked Elizabeth Stokes, looking slightly irritated that I was leaning on the machine. I moved aside and she bought a pair of ear plugs, which would vex her the rest of the night (taking them out, pulling them back in, finally tossing the little yellow foam bits).

The band climbed on stage right after the purchase and tore into “Great No One,” the lead track of their latest album, Future Me Hates Me. Stokes center stage with guitar and microphone has a voice that is slightly more withdrawn than what you hear on the record. The sound guy did his due diligence and brought her up in the mix. She wasn’t one to belt out the verses, her style melodically soft-spoken and just right for a set of songs charmingly self-referential and self-deprecating.

Powering through the set was lead guitarist Jonathan Pearce supplying focused solos that rocked without getting in the way. The band played like a family unit, maybe because they’re all New Zealanders stranded in this very strange land together. Stokes pointed out that Omaha may hold the record as the location they’ve played that’s furthest away from any ocean. Pearce said it was something he considered looking up after the show except that it would ruin the joke for the next town, so maybe not. Their between-song patter was like Flight of the Conchords with Pearce as Bret to bass player Benjamin Sinclair’s Jermaine, which I guess left Stokes in the role of Murray.

Anyway, the band played through most of Future Me… and also rolled out three or four new songs, which they said are destined to be on a new album they’re going to record when they return home in September. The best of the bunch was a tune with a repeated chorus of “Don’t go away,” which had a surfy Beach Boys vibe perfectly suited for a Brian Wilson-style “ew-wee-oooo”…

The band closed with Future Me raver “Uptown Girl” and encored with “Little Death” before unplugging their gear. Great night of music.

* * *

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

Dressy Bessy, Karen Meat, Those Far Out Arrows, Marcey Yates tonight; Lupines, Bad Bad Men, Washer, Clem Snide Saturday….

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:00 pm July 12, 2019

Karen Meat and the Computer at O’Leaver’s Jan. 30, 2016. Karen returns to O’Leaver’s tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’m out of town so I’m going to miss all this goodness happening this weekend. Starting tonight…

There’s a strong triple-bill at fabulous O’Leaver’s: Dressy Bessy, Karen Meat and Jason Steady. Des Moines’ Karen Meat plays indie pop and is a favorite among the folks in Cursive, who have toured with her in recent years. Her last album You’re An Ugly Person, came out in 2018.

Denver’s Dressy Bessy has been kicking it around since ’96. Her latest is 2016’s Kingsized on Yep Rock.

And of course we all know the genius that is Jason Steady. $10, 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Brothers Lounge tonight, Kansas City “drug rock” band Drugs & Attics has the center slot, with our boys Those Far Out Arrows kicking things off and hip-hop master Marcey Yates at the top slot. $5, 9 p.m.

And over at The Waiting Room tonight Matt Whipkey opens for former major label act Red Wanting Blue. $15, 8 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday), the legendary combo of Wolf, Siebken and Hug — i.e., Bad, Bad Men — unfurl their full force at The Brothers Lounge with one of my all-time favorite Omaha bands, The Lupines. $5, 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, NY duo Washer headlines at O’Leaver’s. Hussies and The Natural States also are on the bill $7, 10 p.m.

Finally, there’s a Clem Snide solo show in a living room located in the zip code 68106 Saturday night. Buy a ticket, receive the location, rock with 40 of your closest friends. For more information, go to https://undertowshows.com/collections/clem-snide/products/omaha-ne-july-13.

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.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with The Beths (at The Slowdown July 15)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 6:34 am July 11, 2019

The Beths play at The Slowdown July 15.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Beths’ bandleader/singer/songwriter Elizabeth Stokes is an indie-rock firecracker who, along with her bandmates, creates hook-filled self-deprecating gems reminiscent of acts like ’90s heartbreakers That Dog., current-day dream wonders Alvvays, and fellow down-under-er Courtney Barnett (though Courtney’s from Australia while Stokes and Co. are from the land of hobbits, New Zealand).

Unlike Barnett, The Beths are still flying under the radar, which makes this upcoming Slowdown Jr. show a chance to see them before they become the inevitable festival-circuit darlings. Their new album, Future Me Hates Me (2019, Carpark Records) is, in a word, sublime — one of my favorite albums so far this year.

We caught up with Stokes and gave her the Ten Questions survey, of which she only answered nine, because, well, if you can’t say something nice…

What is your favorite album? 

This is unfair, just one? My favourite one for a long, long time was The Postal Service Give Up. I was 14 when it became my favourite record, I think that’s the age at which music just gets absorbed straight into your bloodstream and becomes a part of you. I love it with my whole heart.

What is your least favorite song?

What do you enjoy most about being in a band? 

I enjoy physically playing music with other people, connecting and locking in together. It feels different every time and it’s sometimes the easiest thing in the world and sometimes really difficult.

What do you hate about being in a band? 

Hate is a strong word. I’m not crazy about the ‘in the van’ element of touring (I know I’m not alone in this). I get a bit carsick and I can kind of feel my brain and body atrophying after spending hours and hours every day sitting in a vehicle. Holding out for teleportation here.

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)? 

Chocolate. I wish it was something more original or interesting but that would be a lie. It is chocolate. It is easier to not eat chocolate in America because it tastes… strange? But in Europe and at home I purchase and consume chocolate almost every day, please someone help me; it’s not right.

In what city or town do you love to perform? 

This is so hard, so many amazing places I’d have to offend by not saying them. OK, I’m going to pick at random… Glasgow and Edinburgh (I know that’s two, but I don’t want to further divide them). Our shows there are just wild.

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

Auckland, New Zealand, a few years back. It was an opening party for the NZ Film Festival. We were playing as quiet as we could but were still way too loud for this party. People came down after watching this three-hour-long heavy film, and we just cranked into a 45-minute set. We were playing super self-consciously and people were trying to talk about this movie. This old guy yelled at us to stop, I thought maybe he was from the venue. Turns out he was just a super-rich patron of the festival who decided he’d had enough, so we finished the set and then I just cried in the equipment closet. I learned to never play apologetically and I know now we could play the same show and handle it a lot better.

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? 

Kind of. We have been touring basically non-stop for a year, and the touring kind of pays for itself now. And we’re just starting to earn a bit of money, I think by the time we get home in September we’ll have earned enough to hold us down for the period we’ll be back home writing and making the next record. When we’re home, Jon does studio work and live sound, Tristan is a freelance drummer. Ben and I are instrument teachers but might just fill the gap with whatever odd jobs we can find. NZ has some great funding bodies that have been very supportive and without whom we wouldn’t have been able to afford to tour at all. The NZ Music Commission helps with international touring, NZ On Air helps with recording and music videos.

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

I wish I was brave enough to have ever tried stand-up comedy. Or maybe writing would be something I wish I was good at. I think customer service or sales I’d find pretty rough. I grew up working in cafes and even in that job customers could make me cry pretty easily.

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

Nothing bad I promise! First thing that comes to mind is a line in ‘Rabbit Fur Coat’ by Jenny Lewis.

The Beths play with Girl Friday on Monday, July 15 at The Slowdown, . Tickets are $15. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

* * *

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