News rewind (new Tim Kasher, Desaparecidos remastered, Mesa Buoy, 80/35 announced) Thelma & the Sleaze, Universe Contest, Solid Goldberg tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 6:06 pm February 25, 2022
Tim Kasher relaxes in a median somewhere in Southern California.

by Tim McMahan,

It’s been a crazy week and I’m just now catching up on the news and announcements that hit my mailbox over the past few days.

Tim Kasher of Cursive and The Good Life fame announced his next solo album, Middling Age, is coming out April 15 via his 15 Passenger Records label. This is number four for Kasher, which I guess makes it his “senior release,” and includes some help from Against Me’s Laura Jane Grace, Cloud Nothing’s Jayson Gerycz, Jeff Rosenstock, and Cursive compadres Patrick Newberry and Megan Siebe, and Macey Taylor from Conor’s Mystic Valley Band, engineered by Jason Cupp (American Football, Ratboys).

From the one-sheet: “Middling Age is an existentialist screed on mortality and loss that has inadvertently arrived as the world struggles in kind. Known for his ability to thoughtfully explore complex subject matter with empathy, humanity, and wit, Kasher is now contemplating some of life’s thorniest, yet most universal topics. The fear of losing loved ones, feelings of personal stagnancy and uncertainty, sweeping self-evaluations, and a sense of unrelenting disquietude all unfold across these 11 tracks.

Sounds lovely. The first single, titled “I Don’t Think About You,” dropped this past Monday a features harmonies by Ms. Siebe. Check it out below and preorder the digital album.

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Speaking of old school Omaha, Saddle Creek Records is releasing a 20th Anniversary Edition of Desaparecidos’ Read Music/Speak Spanish on vinyl May 6. It includes two bonus tracks via digital of “What’s New for Fall” and “Give Me the Pen” (which was also available as a limited 7-inch that has quickly sold out).

No word on a reunion, though the time is definitely ripe.

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Speaking of former members of Desa, Landon Hedges’ project, Little Brazil, is poised to release a new album any day now. I have no details, other than having seen a photo of the test pressing on Facebook. Where’s the love, guys?

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Mesa Buoy, the project from Nebraska legendary guitarist Jim Schroeder, will see the formal release of his 2020 debut album on vinyl March 25. Schroeder has surrounded himself with a supergroup of sorts for this release, including Kevin Donahue, Colin Duckworth, Patrick Newberry, Michael Overfield, Megan Siebe, Jay Kreimer and David Nance. I’m told a release show is in the making… stay tuned.

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This morning tickets went on sale for this year’s 80/35 Festival in downtown Des Moines. The line-up includes a lot of folks who have played Omaha over the years, including Maha festival alumnus Father John Misty, Japanese Breakfast and Guided by Voices (all three on the festival’s first night, July 8) and Charli XCX and Future Islands on Saturday, July 9. There’s a lot of new acts on the undercards, which you can check out at More bands to be announced later, I guess. $95 for a two-day GA ticket. This isn’t a bad line-up, but it’s not enough to get me to Des Moines.

We’re all waiting with baited breath to hear who’s playing at Maha this year…

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All right, what’s going on this weekend…

Well tonight at The Sydney in Benson it’s a three-band bill headlined by Nashville act Thelma and the Sleaze. The band is “an all-female, queer, southern-rock and roll band” according to Spotify. Their last album, Fuck Marry Kill, was released in 2019 on The Way of Whom Records, and is a grinder. Joining them are veritable Sydney house band Universe Contest, and the one and only Solid Goldberg. $12, 9 p.m. This is a No Vax No Entry gig, so bring your evidence.

Also tonight, Crash Test Dummies are headlining at The Waiting Room with Mo Kenney. Ugh. $35. 8 p.m.

Tomorrow night Stronghold brings the heavy to Reverb Lounge with Mere Shadows and Hand Painted Police Car. $8, 9 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 — 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Decemberists, Nas headline 80/35; those busy Finks (Closeness, Cho-Cho & Dasheen)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:49 pm April 6, 2016

by Tim McMahan,

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 12.41.16 PM

80 / 35 Festival

The folks behind Des Moines’ 80/35 this morning released the lineup for their July 8-9 music festival.  The Friday night headliner is hip-hop legacy artist Nas; Saturday night’s headliner is Decemberists, who played in Omaha last year.

The 2016 festival also features electronic jam band Lotus, recently reunited Canadian indie rockers Wolf Parade and Atlanta punk rockers Black Lips. Eclectic San Francisco pop group Thao & The Get Down Stay Down; Minneapolis queen of pop and hip-hop Lizzo; Jeff Austin Band, featuring the former Yonder Mountain String Band leader; and the poetic storyteller of The Hold Steady, Craig Finn, round out top of the bill.”


Read the whole list here. More names to be added in May. One assumes this bodes well for the Maha Music Festival. Hopefully Team Maha got all the good bands first. We’ll find out soon.

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The Finks — Orenda & Todd — recently announced a couple new projects which you may or may not be aware of.

Cho-Cho & Dasheen is a collaboration between The Finks, Jake Bellows, Morgan Nagler and a number of local musicians the band met while recording in Jamaica. The band’s first release is a 7” titled Cool Pool Reggae, due out on Record Store Day, April 16, limited to 500 copies. Is this a real project or a vacation project — i.e., will we ever see Cho-Cho & Dasheen perform live?

A project we’ll definitely see perform live is Closeness, described as “moody electronic songs written, performed and produced by Todd and Orenda Fink.” The duo’s first live performance is April 30 at O’Leaver’s with Thick Paint and Spaced_Bar.

Busy, busy, busy. I assume Todd also will be playing with Digital Leather tomorrow night when the band opens for Har Mar Superstar at The Waiting Room.

OK, so what’s going on with The Faint?

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One show worth mentioning: Brad Hoshaw is doing three hours of acoustic music tonight at the Harney Street Tavern. The performance starts at 9 and is free. Will Brad be rolling out a cover of “The Fightin’ Side of Me” in honor of the legend?

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


SXSW 2015 Post Script (in The Reader); 80/35 announces lineup (Wilco, Weezer); mewithoutYou tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:33 pm April 7, 2015

Looking down on Sixth Street from Maggie Mays at South By Southwest 2015.

The belly of the beast: South By Southwest 2015.

by Tim McMahan,

Currently stranded at the airport, waiting out another of United’s inept screw-ups (What else is new?). Thought I’d point out that this month’s Over the Edge column in The Reader is online here. It focuses on this year’s South By Southwest Festival and why it will likely be the last one I attend (at least from a music festival standpoint; the movie festival is another matter).

The 10,000-foot summary: SXSW has shifted from being a music festival to being a spring break party scene, with less focus on music and more emphasis on getting loaded. It’s always been a Mardi Gras atmosphere on 6th Street, but never like this past year, when I felt like I was sandwiched between an all-out riot and a Ferguson-style police action. Read about it here.

Who knows. I’ll probably change my mind and go back next year anyway…

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This morning Des Moines’ 80/35 Festival announced its slate of acts for the concert that runs July 10-11 at Westgate Park. The headliners: Wilco on Friday, Weezer on Saturday. Other highlights: Jenny Lewis, Run the Jewels and Cloud Nothings. It gets pretty spotty after that. Check it for yourself at their website.

I’m betting the Maha folks are plenty jealous of 80/35, as Wilco has been on their list from day one. Wilco is one of the more boring bands I’ve ever seen live. Weezer is always fun, even though they haven’t done anything significant since ’96.

As a whole, this is a pretty lame line-up, but I can see where it’ll appeal to a broad audience of ticket-buyers, who will be paying $59 for the two-day ticket, which isn’t a bad price when you consider that Maha’s one afternoon ticket price is $50. That said, I’d still rather to go to Maha this year than 80/35. You’ll see why on Sunday.

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Tonight at The Waiting Room Philly band mewithoutYou headlines a show that includes Native Lights and Lightning Bug. Is MWY emo? Listen below and decide for yourself. $17, 8:30 p.m.

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


80/35’s (weak) lineup announced: Avett Bros, DCFC, F-ed Up; Capgun Coup, Springsteen tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:45 pm April 3, 2012

by Tim McMahan,

80-35The folks at Des Moines’ 80/35 Festival today announced their initial line-up for the July 6 and 7 event:

Friday, July 6 – The Avett Brothers, Dinosaur Jr., Freddie Gibbs, Fucked Up

Saturday, July 7 – Death Cab for Cutie, Leftover Salmon, Dan Deacon, Greensky Bluegrass, Leslie and the Ly’s, The Sundogs, Maxilla Blue, Mumford’s (and no, that’s not Mumford & Sons).

Avett Bros. and DCFC already are coming to our area. And we got J Mascis at MAHA last year. The rest of this rather blah lineup falls into the jam band/alt country/pop category, except for the highlight of their festival, Matador band Fucked Up, who I’d love to see come to Omaha, though I don’t think Red Sky/MAHA quite know how they’d explain the band’s name to their sponsors (Apparently U.S. Cellular, 80/35’s financiers, has no qualms about it, nor should they).

The press release says they’ve already sold out of “Early Bird and VIP” tickets. As for the rest:

Advance: $49 Two-Day, $29 One-Day
Regular: $65 Two-Day, $39 One-Day
Day of: $45 per day

80/35 says “many more exciting national, regional and local acts will be announced in early May.” Let’s hope so. Is this rather weak lineup more evidence of how difficult it is to book a festival these days, what with all the other bigger festivals going on in larger markets? Maybe. It also might be a reflection of a paradigm shift for bands, who used to make decent money off album sales. Now they depend more on performance income, and are getting it — higher demand means higher prices. More info at the 80/35 website.

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They’re calling tonight’s show at The Waiting Room “The Antiquarium Subversive Showcase Vol. 1.” The line-up is huge — we’re talking five musical acts, a comedy group and a DJ. Headlining the subversion is Capgun Coup, who’s new album, Contextual Doom, is about to be released. Get a sneak preview tonight. Also on the bill: Noah Sterba and The Cocktails, Dads, Zach La Grou and The Romantic Poets, Comedy by DO IT WITH US, & Records by DJ Oddible. All for just $5. Show starts at 9.

Also tonight, another installment of The Record Club at the Shop at Saddle Creek. Tonight’s listening party features Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. The needle drops at 7 p.m., with discussion to follow. More info here.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


80/35 Finalizes Line-up; Fizzle returns; MAHA Showcase (Noah’s, Lungs) tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 10:57 am June 22, 2011

by Tim McMahan,

80-35 logo

Des Moines 80/35 Music Festival announced its final line-up for its July 2-3 event. Overall, it’s a pretty strong collection, however some of the best main stage acts have come through Omaha within the last six months. Among them Titus Andronicus, Okkervil River, Of Montreal, and Girl Talk. Other than Handsome Furs, I didn’t recognize most of their “second stage” acts. And two Omaha regulars — Poison Control Center and The Envy Corp — are closing out their local stage. Tix are $60 for a two-day, $35 for a one-day, $40 DOS. More info at

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Fizzle Like a Flood is back. Doug Kabourek’s signature project made a splash a decade ago with the amazing landmark concept album Golden Sand and the Grandstand (You can still read about that project online here). After a few more albums, Fizzle disappeared. Kabourek has played some solo shows since and has a new rock band called At Land. And now The Fizzle is back, opening for Grant Hart June 30 at The Waiting Room. Will he unveil new material? Will he play songs from Golden Sands? We’ll just have to wait and see. Fizzle Like a Flood also is playing July 9 at The Sydney as part of the OEAA Summer Showcase.

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The MAHA / Hear Nebraska Showcase is tonight at The Waiting Room. This is first of three such showcases where a local band selected to play on the MAHA local stage during the festival Aug. 13 (location still unknown) has been charged with curating — i.e., selecting the opening bands. MAHA Selection Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship picked noise-punk act Ketchup and Mustard Gas and hot new indie rockers New Lungs, led by Little Brazil’s Danny Maxwell.

BTW, you can read an interview with D-Max here, wherein the author compares me with Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars, a strange comparison as Palpatine is first and foremost the source of all evil in the universe. Actually, some bands might say that’s pretty close to the mark. I replied to the author saying that I narcissistically preferred to be compared to Khal Drogo, which fell flat because he obviously doesn’t watch (or hasn’t read) Game of Thrones. Anyway, read the Q&A with Danny here and go to the show tonight at the Waiting Room. There’s no cover, the show starts early, at 8 p.m.

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Tomorrow: The Story of The Shanks.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.