Live Review: Orenda Fink, Domestica; Kasher track part of Polyvinyl singles club; Cully joins Beach Slang…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 1:50 pm December 13, 2016
Orenda Fink at The Waiting Room, Dec. 9, 2016.

Orenda Fink at The Waiting Room, Dec. 9, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Nice crowd at last Friday night’s Mobilize Omaha event at The Waiting Room. Booths were set up throughout the club where local non-profit agencies told their stories and asked for volunteers. These are strange times we live in; uncertain times. No doubt non-profits will play a more important role if (or, more likely, when) the government turns its back on those in need.

Orenda Fink, who was the night’s final scheduled performer, talked about how important Planned Parenthood is not only for reproductive health services, but also as a provider of basic women’s health services. The agency is constantly under attack; and those attacks will only increase as our country turns a darker shade of red in the coming weeks. If you have the cash, by all means, give what you can to Planned Parenthood, who will likely see its funding cut-off as the new administration takes over the White House. Strange, sad times indeed.

It’s easy to forget that Orenda, who’s involved in a number of projects (High Up (who you can see Thursday night at Slowdown Jr.) and Closeness (with Todd Fink) immediately come to mind) is a one of the city’s hallmark solo performers. She proved that again Friday. Standing alone on stage with her electric guitar Orenda belted out a set of that included early solo material, Azure Ray songs, and a few covers including tunes by Harry Nilsson (“Everybody’s Talkin'”) and David Bowie (an aching version of “Lazarus”).

Domestica at The Waiting Room, Dec. 9, 2016.

Domestica at The Waiting Room, Dec. 9, 2016.

Like I said, Orenda was the last scheduled performer, to be followed by a “special guest.” Turns out that special guest was Lincoln power-punk trio Domestica. Heidi, Jon and Pawl took their places and proceeded to blow the crowd away.

Unfortunately, unaware that they would cap off an evening of mostly somber indie/folk music, my other half didn’t bring earplugs (whereas I never leave home without them). She pulled the hood of her winter coat over her head in a vain effort to block the thunderous power of Doemstica in full flight, but to avail, and we ended up leaving after their first anthem. Next time, Heidi and Co…

* * *

These updates at Lazy-i may be a bit unpredictable for the next few weeks as I slog through a busy holiday season, which also happens to be a frantic year-end time at work. I’ll post whenever there’s a crack of light in my schedule.

A couple news bits:

Polyvinyl Records is launching another “Singles” series, wherein subscribers can receive a year’s worth of 7-inches mailed directly to their doors by the likes of Beach Slang, Japanese Breakfast, Modern Baseball, Twin Peaks, Joyce Manor, Jay Som, Diet Cig, Mothers, Owen, Ra Ra Riot, Sonny & The Sunsets and Saddle Creek Records artist Tim Kasher of Cursive and The Good Life fame.

All the singles were recorded on a 4-track Tascam cassette recorder to capture that classic, made-in-the-bedroom feeling. Subscribe here at the Polyvinyl site for a mere $120. You get some nice chochkes with your purchase.

BTW, I’ve been asking Saddle Creek to try doing one of these “singles-of-the-month” deals for years. I’d be the first in line. Come on, guys.

Speaking of Kasher and Cursive, Cully Symington, former Cursive drummer, has joined Beach Slang, according to SPIN. Cully has pulled drumming duties for a variety of bands including Afghan Whigs and Okkervil River.

Sounds like Beach Slang has been through the ringer this year, according to the SPIN article.

So who’s playing drums with Cursive when they inevitably get back together for another album? My vote is for Clint Schnase…

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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.

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Lazy-i

The Broke Loose EP release show, PWR BTTM, Twilight Hours tonight; Laura Burhenn, No Thanks Saturday; Beach Slang, Bleached, Screaming Females Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:38 pm October 28, 2016
The Broke Loose celebrate the release of their new EP tonight at Reverb Lounge.

The Broke Loose celebrate the release of their new EP tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Omaha band The Broke Loose’s new EP, Who Are You Wearing? (2016, self release), is a collection of ’90s-flavored indie rock powered by the dual-guitar attack of Matt Evans (Kris Lager Band) and Glenn Antonucci (Dego Red). Frontman Antonucci’s nasal vocals, along with the album’s ever-present pop riffs, remind me of ’90s jewels Too Much Joy, or upbeat Soul Asylum and Goo Goo Dolls.

And while the record was produced by Grammy nominated producer Ken Coomer (ex-Uncle Tupelo/Wilco) there’s nary a twang to be heard on the EP’s five tracks. That said, the band references Son Volt and Wilco on its one sheet along with Replacements and Husker Du and Tom Petty and Springsteen — a broad spectrum. The four-piece is rounded out by the white-knuckled rhythm section of bassist Corey Randone (Jimmy Skaffa) and legendary Omaha punk drummer Tim Cox (RAF). It’s always good to have at least one legend in the band, right?

It’s good stuff, though they’re not exactly blazing a new trail in the rock wilderness, but who is these days? If you’re looking for solid, straight-up, guitar-fueled power-pop, you’d be hard-pressed to find better in these parts. Find out for yourself tonight when The Broke Loose celebrates its EP release at Reverb Lounge with Anthems and Edison & the Elephant. $5, 9 p.m.

According to Broke Loose’s one-sheet, these guys have been playing since 2012, and somehow I’ve managed to miss them the entire time. It’s impressive that they traveled to Nashville to record this EP and are releasing it themselves on vinyl and CD — that a pricey commitment. On top of that, they’ve already laid down a second batch of songs at Make Believe Studios for release next year. Here’s hoping it all pays off for them…

 

What else is happening this pre-Halloween weekend?

Well, PWR BTTM, a self-described queer punk duo originally from upstate New York, now in Brooklyn, are headlining at Milk Run. They released their debut, Ugly Cherries, on Father/Daughter, but they’re headed to Polyvinyl for the follow-up, which should be out early next year. Joining them tonight are Bellows (Double Double Whammy) and Lisa Prank (Father/Daughter), as well as Jade Lacy. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, the Hi-Fi House, 3724 Farnam St., is hosting an invitation-only performance by The Twilight Hours, a band that includes Matt Wilson (Trip Shakespeare and The Flops) and John Munson (Trip Shakespeare, Semisonic). While the 8 p.m. show is free, it’s not open to the general public. You must RSVP via a member of the secured Hi-Fi House Facebook group. I asked Kate Dussault how people can get involved with Hi-Fi House. Her response: “Membership is invitation only, interested parties can reach out to us via our website once it launches. In the interim they can contact me via email at kate@hifi.house.”

Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s, there’s a Halloween-themed show featuring Des Moines heavy metal act Druids, instrumental synth-horror act Night Stories, our very own Haunted Gauntlet doing “art synced visuals to original and horror soundtrack beats ranging from hip hop to full on punk surf,” and Stephen Nichols doing “video game dungeon horror bass guitar visuals.” They’re calling the event Spew II. $5, 9:30 p.m.

It’s back to O’Leaver’s tomorrow night (Saturday) for the return of Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds. Burhenn just released a couple solo tracks from what I assume (hope) is an upcoming album. Joining her is Anna McClellan and Annie Dilocker. $7, 9:30 p.m.

Also Saturday night, The Brothers Lounge is hosting its annual Halloween Bash. Lude Boys (Social Distortion tribute) and No Thanks perform. $5, 10 p.m.

Finally Sunday night Beach Slang returns to Omaha, this time to Reverb Lounge. Their latest album has been compared to The Replacements, but I think it’s much harder than that — definitely a next-level recording. Opening is Bleached, who I wrote about yesterday, and HUNNY. $16, 8 p.m.

ADDENDUM: Someone pointed out that I missed that Screaming Females show at Milk Run Sunday night — a yuge show. With Moor Mother and Bien Fag. $15, 9 p.m.

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

#TBT: Twilight Singers from Nov. 7, 2003; more McCarthy; Beach Slang at O’Leaver’s tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:49 pm November 5, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Celebrating Throwback Thursday…

Hard to believe this was 12 years ago. Dulli is still at it. He recently announced an “intimate solo tour,” which will see him make stops in 11 different countries for a total of 32 shows beginning on February 6, 2016, in Galway, Ireland and wrapping with a two-show engagement on April 1-2 at the Preservation Hall in New Orleans.

BTW, The Afghan Whigs are currently in the studio working on a new album for Sub Pop Records, which will be released later in 2016.

#TBT: Live review: The Twilight Singers, Marianas at Sokol Underground – Nov. 7, 2003

It will go down as arguably the best live show of 2003, and even more precious for the true Dulli/Whigs fans in the crowd (and there were plenty among the 165 on hand, judging by the age and the patter, the constant ongoing arguments over which was his best album, Black Love or Gentlemen or ’65). A handful of people had been there an hour earlier to hear the soundcheck, Dulli apparently was rife with comments about buying cocaine and playing pick-up cover songs. Afterward, Dulli and his band wheeled off to Gorat’s to get themselves a few platters of steak, prepping for a gut-wrenching night (I know those big fat steaks took their toll when, halfway through his set, Dulli said, “I need a nap.”).

While they were gone, Marianas played their set. The Lincoln 5-piece that prides itself on meticulously arranged ambient songs seemed a strange match for a white-knuckle gutter bluesman like Dulli and Co. It ended up being an interesting contrast. Marianas’ music is multi-layered, with two keyboardists, a guitarist, drummer and bassist/trumpeter. If they sounded like Tristeza on their debut CD, they sounded even more so live, like a blend with The Album Leaf and The Mercury Program. There were some obvious problems with their gear that the band must not have noticed from the stage — the guitar was either out of tune or (as one person told me) had a problem with its pedal. The low-end was overpowering, either from the bass or from the keyboard/synth/drum machine, occasionally drowning out the rest of the band. While the drummer did a good job keeping in the middle of everything, I so wanted him to let go and really punish his set. Their best songs featured the bassist on trumpet, and a unique cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning.” I like this band, and would love to see them open for someone like Low or Her Space Holiday.

TBT: Greg Dulli of Twilight Singers at Sokol Underground, Nov. 7, 2003.

TBT: Greg Dulli of Twilight Singers at Sokol Underground, Nov. 7, 2003.

Five minutes after their set ended, Dulli and his band walked in and within minutes The Twilight Singers lifted off.

Dulli looked like a lean, sweet, young Jake LaMotta, decked out black-on-black, his gleaming jet-black hair framing a face that is pure Italy by way of Greece, like a thin, fit John Belushi standing short beneath a microphone that was too high on purpose, forcing Dulli to squeeze upward with every note, while at the same time pulling down on his electric guitar.

There’s not much to say about the set other than it was as pure an hour and forty-five minutes as you’re going to hear from any performance. Dulli was in perfect voice; as if time had stood still since the day Gentleman was released 10 years ago. He was obviously having a good time, grinning at the crowd, at his band, at his guitar-tech who stood off to the side of the stage and poured him a plastic cup of Maker’s Mark, constantly feeding him cigarettes between songs. The whole band was tight as a tic, the drummer was especially flamboyant and acted as a perfect foil to Dulli’s wide-open front-man pose.

TBT: Greg Dulli of Twilight Singers at Sokol Underground, Nov. 7, 2003.

TBT: Greg Dulli of Twilight Singers at Sokol Underground, Nov. 7, 2003.

I’ve always liked the Afghan Whigs, and own Gentleman and Black Love, but I couldn’t tell you the name of one of his songs. I recognized a few old Whigs tunes, and the tunes off the most recent Twilight Singers CD, which blended seamlessly together, along with a barrage of covers inset within the songs themselves, covering everything from Prince to Derek and the Dominos to Skip Spence (Moby Grape) to The Zombies. Regardless, I knew the purist would be disappointed without a set list, so I swiped one from the stage after the band finished its encores. Here it is, copied letter-for-letter:

Esta Noche
Teenage Wristband
Twilite Kid
That Bird Sings
Cloud Busting
Decatur Street
Love
Annie Mae
Papillon
Dixie Peach / Ying for Yang
Martin Eden
King Only
Jail
Black is the Color/Time of The Season
The Killer/Rhiannon/Layla
________________________
Uptown
66
Faded

Throughout the set, Dulli referenced Council Bluffs at least a half-dozen times, asking the crowd to join him there for a drink after the gig. He deserved it. We all did after that set. I left thinking that Dulli has one of the most distinct and awesome voices in the history of rock, the perfect instrument that can make you cower or cry or stand up straight right alongside him, wanting to testify to love both good and bad and every which way, a dark love that Dulli has seen and wants you to see with him. — Lazy-i, Nov. 7, 2003

* * *

Back to the present…

Kevin Coffey of the Omaha World-Herald just posted another interview with Dan McCarthy in support of tomorrow night’s album release show at O’Leaver’s. You can read it here, and if you haven’t yet, you can read my interview with Dan in The Reader, online here.

* * *

Speaking of fabulous O’Leaver’s, there’s a great show happening there tonight. Cursive’s favorite (recent) tour mates, Beach Slang returns to the club for what should be a rowdy night of rock. Also on the bill is Philly band Lithuania featuring Dominic Angelella and Eric Slick of Dr. Dog. Brooklyn punk band Worriers, whose debut full-length was produced by Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!, kicks things off at 9. This one’s $7.

* * *

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

New Live @ O’Leaver’s recordings (The Hussy, Speedy Ortiz, Beach Slang); The Vibrators tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:45 pm September 23, 2015
The Vibrators play at The Brothers Lounge tonight.

The Vibrators play at The Brothers Lounge tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Seems like I’ve been writing a ton about O’Leaver’s lately. It’s not by design (and I’m certainly not getting paid for it!). It’s merely the fact that the bulk of local indie music news is emanating from O’Leaver’s these days, whether it’s their programming, or in this case, Live at O’Leaver’s, which yesterday released three more live-session recordings from three of the hottest national touring indie bands.

All three sessions are remarkable in their own way. The Speedy Ortiz songs capture the band better then what they’ve laid down in the studio. We hear why Cursive is so ga-ga over Beach Slang. And we get a look inside the madness that is The Hussy on a recording that captures that evening’s madness.

I was at two out of the three shows that were captured below, missing only the Beach Slang gig, which it looks like I’ll get a chance to make up for as Beach Slang is headed back to O’Leaver’s Nov. 5 (with Tim Kasher, Lithuania (members of Dr. Dog) and Worried Mothers).

Check out the new Live at O’Leaver’s sessions below:

* * *

Tonight legendary ’70s British punk band The Vibrators are playing at legendary Omaha club The Brothers Lounge. Opening is Tiananmen Squares and Heavy Lungs. $8, 9 p.m. Slap on your Doc Martins and go.

* * *

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Little Brazil Hears Omaha; Download Nebraska (and its older sibling); Lincoln Calling line-up; Beach Slang, See Through Dresses tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:12 pm August 27, 2015
Little Brazil playing in the Old Market during the Hear Omaha finale for 2015.

Little Brazil playing in the Old Market today (Aug. 27) during Hear Omaha’s finale performance for 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Sorry for no updates the past two days. Reader deadlines. Look for a looong feature on Desaparecidos and a review of the new Mynabirds album in the September issue of The Reader. I’ll let you know when the stories are online.

* * *

Little Brazil blew a hole in the ozone layer above the O! Chamber Courtyard in the Old Market today during the last of this season’s Hear Omaha lunchtime concerts. I’m told their performance was the loudest of the series, and can attest that Mike Friedman’s ringing guitar licks could be heard as I walked out of the Union Pacific HQ building at 14th and Dodge, about a half-mile away. Good crowd, great music, great series. Hopefully it’ll be back for 2016.

* * *

Some catch-up:

By now you’ve seen the new online partnership between Hear Nebraska and The Omaha Public Library called Download Nebraska, right? You haven’t? Well, here’s the link and the skinny: The website hosts full albums from Nebraska artists, curated by the Hear Nebraska staff. You can stream them from the website for free, or download the tracks if you have an OPL Library Card (and who doesn’t?).

Among the artists available on the website are Eli Mardock, Both, Digital Leather, Little Brazil, Matt Whipkey, Millions of Boys, Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship, Pleasure Adapter, Yuppies and on and on.

Hear Nebraska major domo Andrew Norman says more albums will become available on the site in the future, and that all bands with music at downloadnebraska.org got paid — a rarity in the streaming era.

Here’s an another “Did You Know?”: There’s been a website online for years and years called The Band Broke Up that also offers downloads of albums from Nebraska bands for free. We’re talking old-school Omaha and Lincoln acts like Rent Money Big, 13 Nightmares, Thunderstandable, Mister Baby, The Monroes, Opium Taylor, Fullblown, Marianas, The Bombardment Society, the list goes on and on. Check it out, too. These two sites should cross-link or (better yet) merge!

* * *

The 12th Annual Lincoln Calling Festival has been announced for Sept. 29-Oct. 3 to be held at nine venues in Lincoln. The bands confirmed so far:

A Ferocious Jungle Cat
All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
American Pinup
Andy Butler
AZP
Bandit Sound
Better Friend
Bloodhound
BOTH
The Bottle Tops
Bud Heavy & the High Lifes
Buffalo Rodeo
Bummer
Clementine
Communist Daughter
Cupcake
Desir Decir
DJ Relic
Dylan Bloom Band
Ebony Tusks
Elsinore
Emily Bass
FREAKABOUT
Gerardo Meza Band
Ghost Foot
Gordon
The Government
Halfwit
Head of Femur
Homegrown Film Festival Volume 8
Hyborian
The Inner Party
Jack Hotel
Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal
Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery
Lazerwolfe
Little Brazil
Matt Cox Band
McCarthy Trenching
The Mezcal Brothers
The Midland Band
Mike Semrad
Motion Trap
Oquoa
The Palmer Squares
Ponyboy
Powers
Psalm One
Pure Brown
Red Elvises
The Renfields
Rock Paper Dynamite
See Through Dresses
Shark Week
Thirst Things First
Tijuana Gigolos
Twinsmith
VAMOS
Universe Contest
What the Fuss
Zoolarious

Lincoln Calling organizer Jeremy Buckley said there’s even more band announcements to come. The full schedule should be finalized in a couple weeks.

Lincoln Calling has the distinction of being the largest Nebraska music festival involving the most bands, all of which are paid for participating, which makes it somewhat amazing.

* * *

Tonight at O’Leaver’s Philly band Beach Slang headlines. The band opened 40+ shows for Cursive last year. Opening tonight’s show is the always amazing See Through Dresses and Eric in Outerspace. $5, 9:30 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

On Grammy’s and indie music; Beach Slang, Taboo tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:50 pm February 9, 2015
Beach Slang plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

Beach Slang plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Thoughts on the Grammy’s… Morning Phase to me was merely a sequel to Beck’s far superior (and out of the blue) Sea Change album from 2002, so the fact that it won Album of the Year is really a testament to his earlier, better release. At least that’s how I see it. The whole deal with Kanye rushing the stage — a publicity stunt. In fact, most of Kanye’s career is a publicity stunt. At least that’s how I see it.

As for the rest of the Grammy’s, well, as I said last night on Facebook, the Grammy’s have always sucked. Look back to the history of the awards and you’ll see they’ve been consistent in honoring the most commercial, flavorless pablum released in the prior year, because that’s what the public wants. Even Beck’s victory is nothing more than a rehash of something he did before.

Needless to say, none of my favorite records from 2014 received accolades last night. Imagine if they had. Imagine if, say, Mark Kozelek had been nominated — or had won — a televised Grammy. It would have been surreal, since virtually no one in the audience has ever heard of Sun Kil Moon or Kozelek. Would I/we really want to see that? Do I/we really need our tastes validated by Grammy voters? The only thing I’d want to see is Kozelek giving Kanye a beat-down if/when he tried to grab his mic.

An aside: I recently heard on the Dan Patrick Radio Show a conversation about pop music, where Patrick lauded the qualities of Taylor Swift because she “writes her own music.” In fact, Swift does have writing credits on all the tracks on 1989, along with a stable of co-writers. You can’t blame Patrick for not knowing how modern pop music is created, with all the producers involved.

But Patrick went onto compliment Swift by saying no one writes their own music anymore. “They used to call them singer/songwriters.” Today’s pop stars are performers, not songwriters. Patrick points to people like Bieber, who is a media star as much as a pop star. That hasn’t changed much over the years, but if you look at the history of the Grammy’s pre-2000 a lot of the top-tier nominees wrote their own music — for better or worse. And certainly Beck wrote Morning Phase.

Patrick ignores (as most people do) the entire sub genre of indie music, where the material is almost always written by the performers rather than created in a production lab. Those folks who really enjoy The Grammy’s have never heard of indie music and never will and that’s the way it’ll always be. The Grammy’s and the music they recognize are a business, whereas indie music is a way of life, an often thankless one that involves holding down a couple jobs and walking away when it comes time to raise a family. So be it.

* * *

We have a few things going on this week. Orenda Fink is Wednesday night at Reverb. Will she sell out? Maybe, maybe… Sleater-Kinney, which is Friday at Slowdown, sold out weeks ago.

Tonight, Cursive tour mates Beach Slang plays a headline show at Slowdown Jr. The Philly punk trio, which released an EP last September on Tiny Engines, joins Cursive on tour Feb. 10 in Denver and hangs with them until March 16. Telepathy Problems and Timecat open tonight’s 8 p.m. show. Tix are $8.

Also tonight, Maine goth/noise band Taboo (they’ve been compared to Throbbing Gristle and Royal Trux) plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Ruby Block and Hag. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Lots to do for a Monday…

* * *

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i