New Simon Joyner (and others) for sale for a good cause; BFF, Mitch Gettman tonight; Wagon Blasters Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 2:05 pm February 3, 2017

Mitch Gettman at The Waiting Room, May 2, 2014. He plays tonight at The Barley Street Tavern.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before we get to what’s happening (or what’s not happening) this weekend, let me point you to a special deal from singer/songwriter Simon Joyner. Here’s Simon, via Facebook:

Friends, I’m putting up “The Phoenix Demos: Songs for Upcoming 2017 Album” for exclusive purchase during the Bandcamp fundraiser tomorrow. Nine out of 12 songs I recorded live a couple of weeks ago in Phoenix with just guitar, vocal and Michael Krassner on piano to prepare for the new album we are about to record with the band in Omaha. Get the stripped down sneak peak at songs being considered for a new album.

“I’m only making these demos available for one day at a premium to hopefully raise some money for the ACLU Nationwide, Planned Parenthood, and the Refugee Empowerment Center. You are encouraged to pay more than the asking price if you can, it will all go to these organizations. I’m also making available “Salt Lake City House Show 10-20-16 (with David Nance).” It’s a particularly well-recorded show from the Diss Riptide living room tour we did a few months ago and the only show that David Nance joined me for the entire set!”

The sale is part of #NoBanNoWall, a Bandcamp effort with more than 200 artists and labels donating their Bandcamp profits to the ACLU and other organizations in support of immigrants and refugees. Check out the index and buy some stuff.

Also, Saddle Creek Records is donating the proceeds from its Bandcamp sales today to the Refugee Empowerment Center in Omaha.

* * *

Well, this is about as sparse a weekend for shows as I can remember.

Tonight, of course, is Benson First Friday, and I would be remiss in not mentioning the art show being held at the gallery operated by my wife — The Little Gallery in downtown Benson across the street from The Sydney on the storefront level of the Masonic Lodge. Titled Oscillating Bodies, the show features the work of Torrey Smith and Nadia Shinkunas. Opening hours are 6 to 9 p.m., free and snacks and beer/wine will be available. Swing by and say hello and buy some art. More info here.

The BFF showcase at The Barley Street Tavern features FINO, Lowercase Tres, Ben Jones and singer/songwriter Mitch Gettman. 9 p.m. $5.

That brings us to Saturday night, when you’ve got one of the most eclectic mixes to appear in one night at fabulous O’Leaver’s. It kicks off at 9:30 with Dereck Higgins Experience — the debut of Higgins’ new band project. Dereck is one of Omaha’s most well-known and talented bass players, whose history dates back to ’80s first wave act Digital Sex. Next up is the always entertaining Wagon Blasters featuring tractor-punk legend Gary Dean Davis behind the microphone. The night ends with the two-person heavy-metal grind of Big Al Band. All this for a mere $5.

Aaand, that’s it for the weekend. 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Fruit Bats, Briner tonight; Swamp Walk Saturday; Lodgings Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:48 pm November 4, 2016
Eric in Outerspace at O'Leaver's, Aug. 31, 2016. The band plays O'Leaver's Sunday Social this weekend.

Eric in Outerspace at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 31, 2016. The band plays O’Leaver’s Sunday Social this weekend.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve never been a big Wilco fan, though they do have a few songs I love, like “Either Way” off 2007’s Sky Blue Sky. But for the most part, Wilco’s music unravels into noodling jam-band territory too often for my liking. Whenever I listen to one of their records I always wonder how it would sound had they remained focused on the songs rather than trying so hard to sound different — i.e,, why can’t they be more like Fruit Bats.

The new Fruit Bats album, Absolute Loser (2016, Easy Sound) sounds like the Wilco album Wilco never made — a 10-song collect that leans closer to indie rock than alt country, though there’s a hint of twang throughout. The Chicago band has been putting out indie folk-rock albums since the early ’00s, mostly on Sub Pop. Frontman Eric D. Johnson cites ’70s AM radio as an influence, and if you try real hard, you might hear it, though I think the only transistor residue comes in the form of solid song-writing with strong melodies — something that all too often is missing from modern indie music.

Anyway, Fruit Bats headline tonight at Reverb Lounge. Opening is Lincoln band Walk By Sea. $17, 9 p.m.

For me, the above show caps off a strong week’s worth of indie shows in Omaha, but highlights a pretty sparse weekend of music. Benson has Benson First Friday tonight (swing by The Little Gallery,  5901 Maple Street, tonight to check out Flock; we’re open ’til 9).

Fabulous O’Leaver’s has Briner tonight with The Clocks and The Cosmic Smiths. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) The Brothers Lounge is hosting Swamp Walk with Leafblower and High Ruler. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tomorrow night, Milk Run has Cedar Rapids band Hunter Dumped Us Here, Switchblade Saturdays, Gallivant and Liar Wire. $7, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, back at O’Leaver’s Saturday night it’s Philly indie punk band Mumbler, Tulsa’s Lizard Police and No Getter. $7, 9 p.m.

The weekend concludes with the Sunday Social at O’Leaver’s, this week featuring Lodgings, Eric in Outerspace and Green Trees. Early 4 p.m. start time. $5.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments area. 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

Live Review: Cross Record; The Thermals, Pro-Magnum, BFF tonight; Schwervon! Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:42 pm May 6, 2016
Cross Record at O'Leaver's, May 5, 2016.

Cross Record at O’Leaver’s, May 5, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The odd thing about O’Leaver’s new beer garden – you don’t really know how many people are at the club to see a band until they start playing. When I arrived last night right before Cross Record started, there was maybe a dozen people in the bar — meanwhile, there was a large crowd hanging out in beer garden.

Needless to say, when the music started, a good portion of that crowd came back inside. Cross Record is a two-piece act from a small town a half-hour outside of Austin whose music embodies the West Texas open prairies, but without even a hint of twang. In fact, the duo has a lot in common sonic-wise with Duluth heroes Low, with Emily Cross playing the Alan Sparhawk role on electric guitar and vocals and Dan Dyszynski as Mimi Parker seated behind a kick drum adding harmonies and additional guitar.

There’s even a “slow-core” sentiment to much of the music, which featured plodding, lonely beats and far-away vocals interrupted by feedback and noise. Haunting and beautiful. But even better were the more upbeat (but no less sinister) rockers where Cross and Dyszynski traded riffs. Good stuff. Wonder if we’ll see the show pop up at Live @ O’Leaver’s…?

* * *

A couple shows worth mentioning this weekend:

Tonight’s highlight is Saddle Creek Records act The Thermals playing at Slowdown Jr. The band is out supporting their latest release, the sublime We Disappear (2016, Saddle Creek). I’m a bit surprised that this is a small-room show, considering how many people enjoyed the band at Maha in 2013. Opening is Summer Cannibals — not the Patti Smith song, the Portland Trio on New Moss Records.  $12, 9 p.m.

Fire Retarded at O'Leaver's Feb. 21, 2015.

Fire Retarded at O’Leaver’s Feb. 21, 2015.

Also happening tonight, the mighty Pro-Magnum headlines at fabulous OLeaver’s. Joining them are the amazing-though-offensively-named Madison Wisconsin band Fire Retarded and DWNR. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also, Mint Wad Willy is playing a late show at The Barley Street Tavern. And lest you forget, it’s Benson First Friday. If you’re out and about Maple Street, drop into the Little Gallery from 6 to 9 p.m. where we’re celebrating the opening of “Pyre: A Celebration of the Beauty in Time Passing and Time Awaiting” by artist Jamie Hardy. More here info here.

Saturday night Milk Run is hosting Schwervon!, a Shawnee, KS, two-piece indie band that’s toured with Jeffrey Lewis and Kimya Dawson. Lot Walks and Super Ghost open. $8, 9:30 p.m.

That’s it. 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

Almost Music to exit Benson for Blackstone; BFF, Guster tonight (SOLD OUT)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:41 pm February 5, 2016
The Iwen Photography building at 3925 Farnam St., will become the new home of Almost Music.

The Iwen Photography building at 3925 Farnam St. will become the new home of Almost Music.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The big news (and it is big news) is that used record store Almost Music, which opened at a storefront on the west end of Benson (65th and Maple) in October 2013, announced yesterday via Facebook that it is moving operations to the Blackstone District.

The new store, which will also include Solid Jackson Bookstore, will be located at  3925 Farnam St., in the building that used to house Iwen Photography. The targeted opening date of the new location is April 1 or 2, according to Brad Smith, who runs Almost Music.

In addition to having the best curated selection of quality used vinyl (and some new vinyl, too), Almost Music hosted a number of in-store performances that included some tasty sidewalk barbecue. “We will still be doing in-stores, there’s room (in the new location),” Smith said. “As far as the grilling out goes…not quite sure yet. Maybe we’ll take over Archetype (Coffee)’s patio!”

Smith knows the move is risky, but says it’s a step he needed to take to continue growing the business. No doubt there will be more foot traffic along Farnam Street. Blackstone has quickly established itself as one of the most exciting new food and booze districts in Omaha in recent years. That addition of more retail outlets will only strengthen the area.

Smith said it’ll be business as usual at the old Almost Music/Solid Jackson location until the last week of March. So will there be a big “moving sale” leading up to the move? “There probably will at some point,” Smith said.

Read more about Brad’s vision for Almost Music and how it carries on a tradition that began with The Antiquarium Record Store in this 2013 Lazy-i interview.

* * *

Guster at Slowdown, Oct. 12, 2010.

Guster at Slowdown, Oct. 12, 2010. Guster returns tonight to Slowdown for a sold out show.

Is it time to start booking Guster in larger venues than The Slowdown? The laid-back good-time indie band (now on Network) sold out tonight’s show in the big room a few days ago.

They’ve been touring through Omaha since way back in 1999 when they first played at The Ranch Bowl. Even back then, the band traveled in style in a tour bus, as described in this vintage ’99 Lazy-i interview. I’ve interviewed the Guster dudes a number of times since, but not for this show, and guess what? I didn’t get tickets. Boo! Vetiver opens. Show starts at 9.

Also tonight, Super Ghost and Timecat open for Fight Metaphor at Reverb. The 8 p.m. show costs $7.

Also, it’s another Benson First Friday. Check out the Brian Tait installation at The Little Gallery (across the street from The Sydney) titled 355. Runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Find out more. See you there.

That’s all I got for this weekend (slim pickin’s indeed). 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

Live Review: Mates of State/Hey Marseilles/Good Graeff; Icky Blossoms, The Weirdos, BFF tonight; Pro-Magnum, Dumb Beach, New Lungs salute the 4th…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:21 pm July 3, 2015
Mates of State at Reverb Lounge, July 2, 2015.

Mates of State at Reverb Lounge, July 2, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I had no intention of staying at Reverb last night, certainly not long enough to see Mates of State. But the opening bands pulled me through almost to the end.

How to describe the twin sisters that make up opening band Good Graeff — guitarist vocalist Brooke and cellist Brit Graeff?

Bubbly? Playful? Fun-loving? Giddy? How about precocious? Or fetching? Let’s just settle for “darling,” and “talented.” The duo, along with a bass player and drummer who were mainly in the background, played a set of up-tempo love songs (introduced by Brooke as love songs, though she said she’s never been in love. Pshaw!) that were catchy and cute and hard not to like.

Good Graeff at Reverb Lounge, July 2, 2015.

Good Graeff at Reverb Lounge, July 2, 2015.

They count The Pixies and Tegan and Sara among their influences and are at their best when channeling those bands’ more percussive/less linear moments. When they try their hand at modern, streamlined pop they sound like watered-down Sheryl Crow. Fortunately, those moments were few and far between.

As entertaining as their music was their between-song patter. Led mostly by Brooke who, if this music thing doesn’t work out, she could pursue a career in topical stand-up comedy. When Brit joined in the pair sounded like the Sweeney Sisters. Or maybe the Pigeon Sisters. Now I’m reaching. Watch for their new EP, Good Job Go, out July 10.

Hey Marseilles at Reverb Lounge, July 2, 2015.

Hey Marseilles at Reverb Lounge, July 2, 2015.

They were followed by Hey Marseilles, who, for whatever reason, I keep confusing with Hey Mercedes though the bands have nothing in common except the Hey. The six-piece, who I’d never heard before, sounded like a chamber-pop version of Guster, Death Cab or Jeremy Messersmith, featuring pure indie rock songs augmented with viola and cello.

HM frontman Matt Bishop has a crisp, non-affected vocal style that doesn’t outshine the rest of the band. You get the sense he’s just part of the band instead of an irreplaceable centerpiece. Great stuff worth checking out if you’re into indie pop that relies on strong, complex melodies (and who isn’t?). They also have a new album coming out in the near future.

I was planning on leaving halfway through HM and skipping Mates of State altogether since I had to work this morning, but HM kept my attention with the strength of their last three songs, which blended nicely and finished with a crescendo. I figured what the heck, might as well hang ’til 11.

I haven’t seen Mates of State in years. Their early songwriting relied heavily on Kori Gardner’s brash, almost calliope-style keyboards that had a way of grating. Well, that style of keyboards is gone, replaced by more traditional electric keyboard arrangements that emphasize their current straight-forward indie-pop songwriting. It’s pretty stuff that sits well with Gardner’s and husband, drummer Jason Hammel’s, intertwining vocals.

Pitchfork crushed their new Barsuk-release EP, You’re Going to Make It, with a 3.9 rating saying it “makes life sound like one big bouncy castle of fun, and that unquestioned contentment renders Mates of State musically anonymous.” Maybe so, but I doubt the duo were targeting the Pitchfork reader when they wrote the album. Instead, they were targeting people like 100 or so who crowded Reverb, 80 percent of them women. The first three rows of people standing hear the stage were mainly 20-something women pseudo-dancing (i.e., shaking their shoulders) and singing every word. These were happy people, having a happy time, which doesn’t describe the typical glum, too-serious Pitchfork reader.

* * *

The Fourth of July can really be a bust for shows, but it definitely kicks off with a bang tonight.

Have you checked out the College Music Journal “Most Added Radio 200 Top 20” chart lately? Well if you had, you’d have noticed that Icky Blossoms’ new album, Mask, currently sits at No. 18, one position higher than the new one by Hop Along, Painted Shut, at No. 19.

Tonight Icky Blossoms belatedly celebrates the release of Mask in The Slowdown’s big room. I’ve been told to expect a “new light show, stage props, and some other fun stuff happening.” What do the Icky’s have up their sleeves? Opening is Eric In Outerspace, BOTH and Thick Paint. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight LA first-wave punk band The Weirdos headlines at The Lookout Lounge. The band has been blowing shit up since ’75. Opening is Bullet Proof Hearts, Hand Painted Police Car and Omaha punk legends R.A.F. $13, 9 p.m.

And it’s Benson First Friday. If you’re walking around Maple Street tonight, drop into The Little Gallery at Polecat HQ, located right across the street from The Sydney, where we’re featuring the works of Brian Tait — artist, musician, poet, madman.

Tomorrow night is the 4th of July and what better place to toast Ol’ Glory than fabulous O’Leaver’s? The Independence Day Weenie Roast features three All-America bands: the patriots of Pro-Magnum, the warriors of Dumb Beach and the heroes of New Lungs. Will there be fireworks? Oh yes, but only of the rock ‘n’ roll variety. (But yeah, some a-hole probably will shoot roman candles at people in the parking lot. You know how it goes.). Hot dogs and chips are served at 8 p.m.; the rock starts at 9. $5.

Finally on Sunday, Canadian singer/songwriter Calvin Love headlines at Slowdown Jr. Love’s sophomore album, Super Future, was released this year by Arts & Crafts and is rather sublime. Lineman’s Rodeo opens this 8 p.m. show. $8.

And that’s all I got. If I forgot your show, post it in the comments section. Have a fantastic Fourth of July.

* * *

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

John Klemmensen & the Party album release, Little Brazil, Grant Hart, M34n Str33t tonight; Satchel Grande Saturday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:54 pm May 1, 2015
John Klemmensen at The Waiting Room, Feb. 21, 2015.

John Klemmensen at The Waiting Room, Feb. 21, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve been enjoying the tracks from John Klemmensen & The Party’s new new album, Party All Night, for more than a month. The actual record — and I’m talking vinyl record — will finally be available tonight at a special release show at Reverb Lounge. The album is a career benchmark for Klemmensen, who has been performing music for more than 20 years both solo, with The Party and in a slew of bands, the most recent being Landing on the Moon.

In fact, the tunes off Party All Night most closely resemble LotM songs, but with a more focused, more stripped down (but no less rocking) approach. Klemmesen’s one of the better singer/songwriters in town, creating rock songs with a mainstream appeal sung in a high, sweet voice that belies his stature. My favorite part of his music is how he channels his personal stories into his lyrics — there’s no question he’s singing about his life, his experiences, in a candid, matter-of-fact way that holds nothing back. Klemmensen lets it all hang out, singing with a brazen honesty rarely heard in modern pop songs. And it can be some disturbing, heart-breaking shit.

For example, take the new album’s title track, with the lines, “If I had real love / I wouldn’t drink ’til the morning comes / She would be waking up / I would want to be with her / I’d probably quit cocaine / Unless it was her thing / Then we’d do it all night / Until the sun comes up.

Or, from “Death and Destruction,” the lines “I’m feeling bored, bored with myself / Death and destruction are all that I have left / I want to f*** the world on a dirty motel bed / I don’t love her no more so I treat her like shit.

I don’t think any of us want to know what inspired those lines. Needless to say, the words are bracing and unexpected, especially if you’ve met Klemmensen — one of the nicest, quietest guys in the Omaha scene, he holds in his rage until he gets on stage, or in the studio.

For every dark ode there’s a good-time song in its shadow. Klemmensen indeed loves to party, and this record was designed to be the perfect soundtrack to every regretful decision you make at your life’s party.

Opening tonight’s show at Reverb are those everlovin’ geniuses from Little Brazil and Bonzo Madrid, featuring CJ Calhoun from Lawrence band Cowboy Indian Bear. $8, 9 p.m.

The Klemmensen show is the top attraction of a busy night of shows.

This afternoon at 5 p.m. the legendary Grant Hart of Husker Du will be at The Sydney in Benson, where his artwork will be on display all weekend. Yes, Hart is a fine artist as well as a musician. You can check it out for free (and buy a piece of art) until 8 p.m. when The Sydney hosts a screening of the documentary Every Everything: The Music, Life and Times of Grant Hart followed by a discussion with Hart and a performance. Talk about being up close and personal. Admission is $12.

BTW, Hart also is doing a special Sunday afternoon all-ages matinee performance at The Sydney at 3 p.m. Tickets: Adults and children ages 13+ are $12; children younger than 13 are free. And adults who attend tonight’s show also will be admitted free if accompanied by a child.

Also tonight, M34n Str33t is headlining at The Slowdown with Calm Fur, Timecat and INFNTLP. $8, 9 p.m.

And All Young Girls Are Machine Guns are playing at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Xion/ Mesonjixx and Lars & Mal. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And and in case you forgot, it’s Benson First Friday. Tonight’s special guests at “Brad’s Corner” (hosted by Brad Hoshaw) are the incomparable Dan McCarthy and David Mainelli.  Brad’s Corner takes place from 8 to 11 p.m. in front of the Edward Jones building right where Military Ave. meets Maple Street in downtown Benson.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) is less crowded show-wise.

Satchel Grande is hosting an album release show down at The Slowdown. Joining them is Lucas Kellson. $8, 9 p.m.

The Strange Attractors headlines at O’Leaver’s Saturday night with The Last Draft and a solo set by Attractors’ member (and local legend) Dereck Higgins. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday night McCarthy Trenching is playing at Pageturners with Little Marais. 8 p.m.  And Seattle band My Goodness is playing at Reverb Lounge with Low Long Signal. $10, 9 p.m.

That’s what 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Domestica, Drakes Hotel, Little Brazil, Brad Hoshaw, BFF tonight; Millions of Boys Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:50 pm October 3, 2014
Little Brazil at The Waiting Room, July 19, 2014. The band is playing for free tonight at The Sydney.

Little Brazil at The Waiting Room, July 19, 2014. The band is playing for free tonight at The Sydney.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Lots of (cheap) local shows this weekend, especially tonight.

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s Lincoln punk legends Domestica are on a showbill headlined by (ex-Filter King) Gerald Lee’s sludge/stoner band Nightbird. Opening is Lincoln’s Once a Pawn. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Back in Benson at The Sydney Little Brazil headlines a free show with The Brigadiers and Well Aimed Arrows (who, I’m told, has wrapped up recording a new album). The fun starts at 9.

Over at The Barley Street, local post-punk band Drakes Hotel is on a bill that includes The Bishops, The Toppings and Brief Candles. If the website listing is correct, Drakes plays first. $5, 9 p.m.

Finally, Brad Hoshaw and Low Long Signal open for the debut of Foreign Body at Benson’s newest lounge/concert space Reverb (read all about the bar here). $5, 9 p.m.

And remember, tonight is Benson First Friday. Get your parking where you can.

Let’s not forget that Relax, It’s Science headlines at Slowdown Jr. tonight with Nanahara and Timecat. $5, 9 p.m.

I keep forgetting that it’s football season and Husker games pretty much drive rock shows off the calendar on Saturdays. That said, there’s at least one show going on tomorrow night, and it’s at Reverb. Millions of Boys headlines with Dan Mariska and the Boys Choir and The Crash Bandits. $7, 9 p.m.

That’s what I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a good 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Benson First Friday, Sweatshop and who is Eyeball Promotions? Frontier Ruckus tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:38 pm July 8, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Didn’t do much music-wise over the weekend. I spent Friday night at Benson First Friday, where I caught part of a set by John Klemmensen and AYGAMG at “Brad’s Corner” at Military Ave. and Maple Street. Nothing quite like some outdoor acoustic to give the event some “festival flair.”

We did the usual walking tour of Maple Street (Walking all the way past the construction to the new rock garden on 68th street). Lots of music, lots of noise (the DJ outside of Beercade was way too loud). Not a lot of art, though Star Deli had a particularly nice collection of art.

We walked past the new Benson Brewery and even stepped inside only to find out it would take a half hour for a table. Good for them, but not for me as I didn’t want to wait. Unfortunately, there still isn’t a lot of food options in Benson beyond Baxter’s (another crush mob), Lot 2 (um, no) and the tapas place (expensive). I hoped we’d see food trucks parked along Military, but no luck. Are the food trucks avoiding Benson or are Benson restaurants keeping them away? I was told a couple trucks/vendors showed up much later in the evening, well past the dinner hour. Benson needs food trucks. Anyway, we ended up at ol’ reliable Pizza Shoppe, where I preceded to get lit on Blue Moon ale (and no, I wasn’t driving).

Beyond that, I took a tour of The Sweatshop Gallery, the hot (literally) new art / music space right next door to The Barley Street Tavern. The performance space is in the back, a small room that opens to the back alley via overhead doors. When I say “small” I mean really small. Capacity of, what, 50? If that. Seems a tad cramped for a live show of any magnitude. In fact, I was told that Parquet Courts was a crush scene, and that the “Sweatshop” moniker should have been changed to “Sweatlodge” that night. Even empty the room is oddly stuffy, including last Friday night when only three of us were in there with the doors wide open, I can’t imagine it sandwiched with 100 people…

I bring it up because Titus Andronicus, who drew at least 100 people the last time they played at Sokol Underground, is booked to play at Sweatshop Sept. 19. I heard the venue was chosen because TA wants to do DIY rooms on this tour.

Eyeball Promotions

Eyeball Promotions

The Titus show is an Eyeball Promotion. Eyeball is run by none other than Craig D. and Derek Pressnall of Tilly and the Wall. The last Eyeball show was last week’s Pleasure Adapter/Toys that Kill show at O’Leaver’s, and Eyeball has another big one this Thursday: Icky Blossoms at O’Leaver’s.

With Slowburn Productions now defunct (or at least on an extended hiatus), Omaha needs another promoter to attract small and medium-sized indie shows to our market, and Eyeball may be just what the doctor ordered. Check out the Eyeball Facebook page and “like” them to keep up with their schedule.

* * *

Speaking of shows, tonight at O’Leaver’s Hear Nebraska Presents Frontier Ruckus with Skypiper and Gerardo Meza of the Mezcal Brothers. $5, 9:30 p.m. Yeah, I know it’s Monday night, but go anyway…

* * *

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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Missing Pleasure Adapter and the Nebraska churn; a quiet post-holiday weekend…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 9:53 am July 5, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

chimesO’Leaver’s needs those chimes they use at large theatrical stage productions, the tri-tone bells that indicate intermission is almost over, stub out your cigarette, finish your drink and get back to your seat because the next act is about to begin.

Wednesday night I was outside talking shit with a couple friends, just enjoying the night after a nice set of embraceable punk from touring band Toys That Kill. We got carried away arguing about R.E.M. when I figured out the next band had begun their set. It can be hard to discern between live music and the club’s super-loud house music that plays between sets. “Well, have to catch Pleasure Adapter,” I said, cutting it short. He concurred and we made our way into the club only to discover a couple people rolling on the “stage” floor fiddling with something technical.

That’s when frontman Jeff Ankenbauer announced he’d had it, the set was over. He had a baby waiting for him at home and didn’t have time to deal with what appeared to be a blown amp. It couldn’t have been 10 minutes into their set, but that was it, I’d missed it. I’ve seen Pleasure Adapter before so it wasn’t a huge loss, but there had been a lot of people there to see them Wednesday night who hadn’t. As I was leaving, I ran into one of those people, a local veteran from a number of touring bands, and asked what he thought. “Kind of punk to end the set that way,” he said. “Then again, maybe not.”

O’Leaver’s is turning into thee place for bands to debut. Two new bands will be debuting there in August consisting of members who crawled from the wreckage of fallen bands (including The Stay Awake and Conduits). As my musician friend suggested, bands need to be able to “sell out” or at least “pack” O’Leaver’s before heading to The Waiting Room or Slowdown. The nice thing about O’Leaver’s is that it doesn’t matter if anyone shows up, he said, the guys that run the club don’t care. Maybe that’s true.

There seems to be a lot of “churn” going on musicwise in Omaha, a changing of the guard. Bands like Pleasure Adapter, Coaxed, Gordon, The Dad, Worried Mothers, See Through Dresses, Twinsmith are establishing a new beach head alongside first-tier next wavers like Universe Contest, Digital Leather, So-So Sailors, Solid Goldberg and Eli Mardock and current flavors from Saddle Creek like Icky Blossoms, Big Harp and Mynabirds. These bands, along with a few that I haven’t mentioned either because I haven’t seen them or simply forgot to, are redefining Nebraska music while the old ghosts — Oberst/Desa, Kasher/Cursive, The Faint — carry on a tradition they started, like a pack of tenured professors with the hard part behind them.  Meanwhile, we wait for the next break-out indie band to catch fire outside of Nebraska. And we wait, and we wait, and it may never happen…

* *

It’s another quiet weekend show-wise, especially from a touring band perspective.

If the weather holds out, I might ride up to The Waiting Room tonight to see John Klemmensen and the Party open for Tara Vaughan. Also on the bill are Tenderness Wilderness and Michael Wunder. $7, 9 p.m.

It’s Benson First Friday, by the way.

Over at The Barley Street, Underwater Dream Machine  (Who I’m told has an amazing set of new music) plays with Island Alumni. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Saturn Moth plays with Small Houses. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday night at Barley Street Blue Bird plays with The Ground Tyrants and Sam Vicari. Ten O’Clock Scholars headlines. $5, 9 p.m.

And that’s about it. Let me know if I missed anything in the comments section…

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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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Universe Contest, MarQfest, BFF tonight; new Lloyd Cole…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:49 pm May 3, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Looks like all the fun this weekend is happening tonight.

Over at fabulous O’Leaver’s Lincoln’s next great hope, Universe Contest, headlines a show with fellow Lincolnites Her Flyaway Manner and Twinsmith, the reimagined Betsy Wells with former Little Brazil drummer Oliver Morgan behind the kit. Check out a Twinsmith tune below. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Waiting Room, Omaha celebrates everyone’s favorite man-about-Benson MarQ Manner’s 50th 40th birthday. On stage, a gathering of all MarQ’s favorite local bands past and present: Matt Banta, Pat Gherman, and Michael Campbell (Songwriter Showcase), Witness Tree, The 9’s, Whipkey Three, The Seen and Bennie & the Gents. Think of it as a preview to the upcoming OEAA showcase! Your $10 cover goes to support Angels Among Us. Show starts at 7.

MarQfest is sort of part of the Benson First Friday festivities. Find out what else is happening at BFF right here.

And that about wraps it up for the weekend, other than the Kentucky Derby Saturday (which is really just a warm-up for next weekend’s Horsemen’s Park live track meet).

But before we go, here’s the first song off the upcoming Lloyd Cole album, Standards. The album drops June 24 on Tapete Records.

Happy weekend…

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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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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