Oberst/Bridgers, The Faint/Closeness Omaha dates, plus a big Saturday show announced…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:36 pm January 29, 2019

The Faint at the 2017 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 19, 2017. The band is playing at The Waiting Room May 24 and 25.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here yesterday I said indie music is on the wane in Omaha (and it is) and today we have three big concerts announced.

The first is Better Oblivion Community Center — the new project featuring Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers — announced they’re playing at The Slowdown March 21 with Lala Lala and Christian Lee Hutson. Tickets, which are $25, go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. This will sell out.

Check out the new BOCC video that dropped today, directed by Japanese Breakfast:

The other big announcement is that The Faint and Closeness are playing at The Waiting Room May 24 and 25. Choirboy also is on the bill. Tickets for this one also go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. These will sell out as well.

And maybe the biggest announcement of all…

This Saturday Almost Music and Solid Jackson in the Blackstone District are hosting a concert from 4 p.m. until whenever in honor of them closing their doors. They’re going out of business, folks. If you’re looking for bargains, better get there now. When I stepped into the shop last Saturday all vinyl was 50 percent off.

The line-up for Saturday’s going-out-of-business concert:

Bad Actors (first show): 4:15-5:00
Eric in Outerspace: 5:15-6:00
Kyle Jessen: 6:00-6:45
Putter & Co.: 6:45-7:30
Little Ripple: 7:30-8:15
Pagan Athletes: 8:15-9:00
Wagon Blasters: 9:00-9:45
Houma: 9:45-10:30
Conny Franko: 10:30-11:15
BIB: 11:15-midnight

Donations are welcomed; it’s BYOB; and Nite Owl is preparing “special punch” for the occasion. It’s free so this one won’t sell out but it’ll definitely be SRO. Come say goodbye to a local hero.

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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.

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Oberst/Bridgers’ BOCC plays Colbert show, drops debut on Dead Oceans; Noname tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:15 pm January 24, 2019

Better Oblivion Community Center is Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst, plus a host of indie rock veterans.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

In addition to rolling out Better Oblivion Community Center — the new band fronted by Conor Obert and Phoebe Bridgers — on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night, the band also dropped the entire debut album, released on Dead Oceans. Hey, who needs to wait ’til Friday to release an album?

Out front in the TV performance, which is embedded below, was a grizzled Oberst in Converse sneakers and the angelic Bridgers, who provided the prominent voice on song “Dylan Thomas.” Is Bridgers “Ally” to Oberst’s “Jack Maine”? We all know how that one ended. 

No, not quite; and the band also isn’t a return to the Laurel Canyon sound, as Rolling Stone seemed to imply in its 4-star review of the record. Instead, Oberst and Bridgers are building on top the current singer/songwriter movement associated with the artists like those in boygenius (Bridgers, Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus), Mitski, Big Thief, Soccer Mommy, and so on. Or maybe I’m just listening for Bridgers more than Oberst on these songs. Certainly you can’t miss Conor, who’s growly croon is an abrasive counter to Bridgers’ sweet coo. 

It’s easy to pick out who wrote what if you’ve been following along the last couple of years. The pretty, sad stuff is Bridgers; the folky slice of life stuff is Oberst. The sound isn’t so much a true duet as much as one guesting on the other’s songs. 

The only other person I recognized in the video last night was Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who’s as genius as ever on guitar.

Other BOCC participants according to the Q&A at the Secretly Store website are Carla Azar from Autolux; Wylie Gelber and Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes; songwriter Christian Lee Hutson on guitar and Anna Butterss on bass. The album was produced by Oberst and Bridgers with help from Andy LeMaster, who you might remember from Now It’s Overhead. 

Quite a splashy way to launch a project. I wonder when they’re going to drop the cheesy phone number/fake self-help program facade, which, because it wasn’t explained, came off clumsy last night on the Colbert show. My wife asked, “What’s with the graphics and the phone number on the screen?” It takes a long time to explain the joke. Hopefully they’ll leave it off when they play this weekend on CBS This Morning Saturday.

BOCC tour stops apparently will be announced next week sometime. Here’s hoping for an Omaha date. 

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Noname (a.k.a. Fatimah Warner) is a Chicago indie hip-hop artist. Her self-released debut Room 25 chronicles the two years since the release of her debut mixtape Telefone, “most notably her move from Chicago to Los Angeles and an intense, short-lived relationship that resulted in the loss of her virginity at age 25,” says the Wiki. She headlines tonight at The Waiting Room. Opener Elton kicks things off at 8 p.m $25. 

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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.

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Secret Oberst/Bridgers project to play Colbert show tonight; The Werks tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 2:04 pm January 23, 2019

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Is this the album cover of the new Better Oblivion Community Center album?

That “secret” Conor Oberst/Phoebe Bridgers project — mysteriously named Better Oblivion Community Center — is the musical guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight and will also appear on CBS This Morning Saturday on Jan. 26 as part of the show’s “Saturday Sessions.”

This according to Brooklyn Vegan, which added that CBS This Morning anchor Anthony Mason tweeted what appears to be the album cover last week. And a YouTube video tweeted by Oberst today indicates the new project will be announcing tour dates next week.

Tune in tonight to see who else is in the project.

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Dayton self-proclaimed jam band The Werks plays tonight at The Waiting Room. The band plays a throwback style of ‘70s prog rock mixed with funk elements and (at times) reggae beats — translated: They’re a jam band, right down to encouraging taping of shows a la The Grateful Dead. Omaha jam band Slow Stoics opens at 8 p.m.; $15.

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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.

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Show promoter Widmest Productions calls it quits; new Oberst/Bridgers project on the way?

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:50 pm January 16, 2019

What is Better Living Oblivion Center? Enquiring minds want to know…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Last week Tim Kiefer, the man behind Widmest Productions production company, which booked shows throughout Benson, at O’Leaver’s and at other venues, announced Widmest was ending after three years of operations.

We loved doing this, but all good things must come to an end and as professionals in our late 40s with young kids, we just couldn’t give Widmest the attention it needed – and the bands and venues we work with deserve nothing but our utmost attention,” Kiefer said.

Among the acts Widmest booked are Christopher the Conquered, Clarence Tilton, Bud Bronson & The Good Timers and Cracker.

We were able to work with one of our favorite artists for our first show, Grant Hart (in May 2015),” Kiefer said. “We had a great weekend getting to know him and the events were great. Grant was everything he was cracked up to be: generous, a bit odd, curmudgeonly, funny and genuine. It was awesome.”

Another highlight was releasing Bazile Mills’ 2015 EP Where We Are. “We’re proud of the record and being a part of the entire process was a great experience,” he said. “We didn’t really think through distribution, which was a pretty big miss, but we’re whole in the end and we have the record as proof of our efforts.

It is cliche, but the best part truly was meeting a ton of really great people,” he added. “We learned a lot about how difficult it is to make a living in this industry (We weren’t trying to make our living through Widmest, thank God!) and how hard the artists work to try and make it. Thankfully, there are so many great musicians willing to throw their hats in the ring. In the end, we remain huge fans of a wide range of artists and we look forward to going back to just enjoying the fruits of others’ labors!

Are there any local promoters left outside of One Percent Productions that book indie shows in Omaha?

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One bit of mysterious music news… from Brooklyn Vegan.

Within the past month, Conor Oberst and Team Love have been connected to a viral promotion for Better Oblivion Community Center, which may or may not be the name of a new music project. Brooklyn Vegan reported that BOCC may be connected to a collaborative project involving Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers, who already have a history of working together.

I guess we’ll have to wait until next Wednesday, Jan. 23, to find out. That’s the date of BOCC’s “launch party” according to the message that plays when you call the number on the brochure…

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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.

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