Digital Leather’s ‘Whack Jam’ to be released on cassette; TBT: How to go it alone (from 2006); Foxing, ADJY tonight…
by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
Last year Digital Leather released a digital-only collection called Whack Jam. Now a cassette version of the album is for sale via Bobby Hussy’s Kind Turkey Records. It’s all the same great tunes direct from Shawn Foree’s attic studio but now you can enjoy it with added benefit of tape hiss!
The cassette costs $5 and is available for pre-order at the Kind Turkey bandcamp page, here, where you can also hear Whack Jam streamed in its entirety. Get yourselves one before they’re all gone!
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This being Throwback Thursday, enjoy this column printed one decade ago in Lazy-i and The Reader about how to go to movies, restaurants and rock shows alone without feeling like a loser. Bonus: It includes some sweet 49’r memories…
Column 66: Being Alone Together
The art of flying solo.
Lazy-i, March 1, 2006
I was trying to put my finger on why I don’t like going to shows at The 49’r and finally figured it out last weekend.
I swung by at around 11 p.m. Saturday night to catch Past Punchy and the Present — the band I wrote about here last week — but they started early and I was too late and I only caught the last couple songs of their set (which I dug, by the way. Seek out this band whenever it pops its head out of its rabbit hole). A few minutes after they finished their set, I turned around and left. Total time at the Niner (after paying $5 cover and $5 for beer (with tip)) — 15 minutes. No, there’s nothing wrong with The Niner per se — in fact, I’m quite fond of the bar. The staff is first-rate, their PA has never sounded better, the vibe is laidback and fun. No, it’s something else, something ridiculous.
Look, I knew when I started listening to indie music 20 years ago that going to shows was going to be a problem. The genre is underground by its very nature. Friends who I grew up with listening to Zeppelin and Floyd aren’t interested in seeing bands they’ve never heard on the radio. And though my girlfriend likes indie music (almost) as much as I do, she’s physically incapable of staying awake past 11 o’clock (especially on school nights), effectively taking her out of the equation since most indie rock shows don’t start until 10. Add it all together and it meant that I had to get used to going to shows alone. It wasn’t easy.
There are three activities (not including those defined in the bible as “sins”) that just seem strange doing by yourself: Attending movies, eating at fine restaurants, and going to rock shows. Call it the “Loser Syndrome,” most people have deep-seated insecurities about being seen at social events without companionship. No one wants to be thought of as being friendless. But chances are, if you love indie music, indie films or adventurous dining, you’re gonna have to get over it or suffer a future of cheesy cover bands, knife-kill horror flicks and flavorless chain-restaurant dining.
Let’s start with the movies. You want to see “Transamerica” or “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” or Film Streams’ indie movie of the week at The Joslyn. Your friends want to see “Date Movie” or “Saw VII” or whatever piece of shit Julia Roberts is starring in this week. It’s a dilemma; because you’re never going to talk them into seeing “your movie.” You either go alone or wait for it to come out on NetFlix. You’re better off just showing up at the theater about five minutes after the start time and taking a seat in the back. If you’ve never gone to the movies by yourself, it’s pretty weird the first time. But once the film starts, you quickly realize that it doesn’t matter if you’re with someone or not — you’re inside the film’s world now. And when the lights come up afterward, you’ll wonder why you ever cared about going alone in the first place.
Movies are easy. Dining alone, well, that’s another story. The Food Channel is creating a culture of “foodies” who want something more than the usual prefabricated pound o’ flesh served at the neighborhood Chili’s or Appleby’s or The Outback (where, for whatever reason, everything must be smothered in cheese). Good luck, however, getting your crew to eat at, say, an Indian restaurant or — god forbid — Thai. Everyone remembers the “Table for One” scene from Steve Martin’s “The Lonely Guy” where, once seated alone, the restaurant falls silent and a spotlight blares on Martin as a team of waiters clears the other three settings off the four-topper. His solution: Pretend to be a food critic on assignment. My solution: Forget about dinner and go to your restaurant-of-choice at lunchtime, when you’ll be surrounded by a sea of one-toppers. An added bonus: Entrées will cost about a third less.
OK, so what about rock shows.
Is there a comfortable way to go see a band by yourself without feeling like a dork? The task is daunting, but it can be done. Sokol Underground is so dark that once you get in and get your beer no one will see you. Most people at O’Leaver’s are so drunk that they can’t see anything at all. And just like at the movies, no one notices anything after the band starts. There’s really nothing to be afraid of.
It’s between sets that can be weird. At Sokol you can hang out in the back; at O’Leaver’s, just turn your attention to whatever game’s on the television sets. But the Niner, well, there’s simply no place to hide. Just like the guy at the party who doesn’t know anyone, no matter what you do you’re gonna feel like a freak as you stand in everyone’s way waiting for the next band to start.
That leaves you with two options: You can do what I did and just turn around and leave like a wuss, or you can just stand there and wait uncomfortably until the next band starts.
Actually, there’s a third choice. You could — god forbid — actually talk to someone — preferably someone else who looks as uncomfortable as you. Suddenly, you know someone else at the show. And then another, and another. And before you know it, you’re a full-fledged scenester!
On second thought, maybe you should just go home.
— Lazy-i and The Omaha Reader, March 1, 2006
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Speaking of going to shows alone, I’ll be flying solo when Foxing plays at Slowdown Jr. tonight. The St. Louis post-emo band who records for Triple Crown Records (home of Weatherbox) dropped a new album last October called Dealer. Very earnest-sounding stuff. Opening is recent Triple Crown roster addition ADJY, who has a 4-song EP coming out called Prelude (.3333) that is anthemic to the core. This special 7:30 show also includes Lymbyc Systym and Tancred. $13.
Seems like there have been a lot of emo bands coming through towns or in the news lately. Then yesterday Rolling Stone publishes the “40 greatest emo records of all time” (Cursive’s Domestica came in at No. 25). It all begs the question: Is emo making a comeback?
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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.