Clarence Tilton, BFF (Jason Steady) tonight; Big Al Music Fest Saturday; Numero Group Pop Up Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:23 pm October 6, 2017

Wagon Blasters at Lookout Lounge April 30, 2016. The band is playing the Big Al Free Music Festival at O’Leaver’s Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before we get to the weekend rundown, notice anything different about the Lazy-i homepage? Come on, LOOK.  I want to thank Digital Leather for holding that position on the homepage for six years. I’m sure at some point we’ll rotate a more recent photo of Shawn and the guys the next time I go to a DL show (which can’t be too soon).

Anyway, soggy weekend ahead, at least part of it. Don’t let the rain keep you inside. Here’s what’s happening…

Omaha’s premiere alt-country band, Clarence Tilton, is playing a set out at Growler USA, way out on 162nd and Maple. St. If you haven’t been out there, now’s your chance. It’s free and the place has something like 100 beers on tap. No opener. Starts at 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, tonight O’Leaver’s has a bill of unknown acts (unknown by me, anyway) that include House Vacations, Condor & Jaybird and Harakiri. Where is Craig D. finding these bands? Check out HV’s track below. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And, in case you forgot, it’s the first Friday of October, which means it’s Benson First Friday.

We’ve got a special art show tonight at The Little Gallery, located across the street from The Sydney in the east bay of the Masonic Lodge building. You may know him from Talking Mountain or Wolf Dealer or his latest musical project, Number One Hit Kids, or you also may know him as an exciting graphic artist on his way to blowing up the Omaha art scene. The renaissance man I speak of is none other than Jason Steady. And tonight, The Little Gallery presents: Jason Steady: Objects.

Swing by between 6 and 9 p.m. and enjoy some chips and salsa while you peruse the art, along with some strange coke+red wine concoction (and probably beer). See you there.

That brings us to Saturday night and the 10th Annual Big Al’s Free Music Festival at O’Leaver’s. Yes, it’s free, but you’re encouraged to bring a can of food for the food drive. This year, Al’s added a “comedy stage.” Local funnymen will do standup between music sets, which are listed below:

5:00 – 5:25 The Shineys
5:45 – 6:10 Jales Hupke
6:30 – 6:55 ARMY of 2600
7:15 – 7:40 Bathtub Maria
8:00 – 8:25 Sam Martin
8:45 – 9:10 Relax, It’s Science
9:30 – 9:55 Dereck Higgins Experience
10:15 – 10:40 Mike Saklar Trio
11:00 – 11:25 Wagon Blasters
11:45 – 12:10 Big AL band

Also Saturday night, Nebraska legend Charlie Burton continues his return tour, this time playing with his band, Or What, at The Barley Street Tavern. $5, 9 p.m.

Finally, Hi-Fi House is hosing an open-to-the-public event Sunday afternoon featuring record label Numero Group. According to Wiki, Numero Group is “an archival record label that creates compilations of previously released music, reissues original albums, and creates album reconstructions from a variety of musical genres.”

Hang out and hear stories from label co-founders Rob Sevier and Ken Shipley, and hear selections from the works from the one-of-a-kind Numero catalog. They’ll also be selling tons of Numero Group merch from their pop-up shop. Noon to 6 p.m. Hi-Fi House is located at, 3724 Farnam St.

And 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Bandcamp, labels give to Transgender Law Center; Cracker, Julien Baker, John Davis (ex-Folk Implosion), BFF tonight; TFOA Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:32 pm August 4, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Today, Bandcamp will donate 100 percent of its share of every sale made to the Transgender Law Center, a nonprofit dedicated to transgender equality. From midnight to midnight, money from every album or song you purchase on Bandcamp will go to helping noble endeavors like getting health care for trans veterans, preventing violence and abuse against incarcerated trans people, trans youth outreach and education, trans rights litigation, and more.

Some labels are getting into the swing as well. Saddle Creek is joining the more than 200 labels who also are donating their portion of Bandcamp sales to TLC. So is Simon Joyner. Buy music and help a good cause!

* * *

This weekend is heavily front-loaded for tonight…. lots happening…

Seminal ’90s act Cracker plays tonight at Slowdown Jr. I’m sure you already read my Ten Questions interview with Cracker’s Johnny Hickman. What? You haven’t? Well go forth then, pilgrim. Opening the show is Omaha’s favorite alt-country superstars Clarence Tilton. $32, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, Matador Records’ latest signing, Julien Baker, plays at The Waiting Room. Baker plays somber acoustic ballads. Opening is Luray. $15, 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at Almost Music in the Blackstone, Folk Implosion’s John Davis and his band The Cicadas are playing with Simon Joyner and Nathan Ma. $5, 8 p.m.

And lest I forget, it’s Benson First Friday. We’ve got a new show opening at The Little Gallery tonight featuring the art of Carole Waterman and daughters Lisa Kalentjakos and Marie Adams. The show runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and we’ll have some sort of food and booze. The gallery is located in the bottom east bay of the Masonic Lodge building across the street from The Sydney and up east a block or two.

Speaking of The Sydney, they’re hosting a #BFF event with a slew of entertainment including DJ Tyrone Storm, Leafblower and Jump the Tiger. 10 p.m. and probably free.

Wait, there’s more. The Boner Killerz are headlining at fabulous O’Leaver’s with The Morbs and The Natural States tonight. $5, 10 p.m.

That’s a shitload of shows going on the same night. Especially considering there is virtually nothing happening Saturday night.

The only show on my radar Saturday is Those Far Out Arrows at O’Leaver’s. They’re opening for Ojai and Arizona band Kolezanka. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Oquoa, David Nance, BFF, Lodgings, Digital Leather tonight; Matthew Sweet weekend; Rips, Thick Paint Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:52 pm July 7, 2017

Matthew Sweet at fabulous O’Leaver’s, July 30, 2014. Sweet and his plan plays at The Waiting Room Saturday and Sunday nights.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Who’s going to the horse races this weekend? Anybody? Anybody? Ah well, what else is going on? Glad you asked…

Tonight is Benson First Friday, and part of BFF is a show at The Sydney featuring Oquoa, Dave Nance Band and FiFi NoNo, who just dropped a new single (below). 10 p.m. and free, according to Facebook (though the last free show I went to at The Sydney cost me $5).

If you’re going to the Sydney, you might as well drop by The Little Gallery, 5901 Maple, at the bottom of the Masonic Lodge building. We’ll be opening a new show featuring prints by Myles Dunigan. The show runs 6 to 10 p.m. And as always, the beer is free. Come on over… More info here.

Also tonight, Lodgings is playing at fabulous O’Leaver’s. I’m told their recently released EP, Daisies, is about to come out on colored vinyl. Jump the Tiger headlines this show and St. Bernard opens. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And The New BLK is having a moving out party tonight at what will soon be their old digs at 12th and Howard. The new The New BLK will be located at 2626 Harney, about a block west of Midtown Art Supply. Anyway, the party starts at 4 and runs until 2 p.m. Performers include Digital Leather and Conny Franko. Find out more.

Tomorrow and Sunday night Matthew Sweet is playing at The Waiting Room. The two-night engagement is in support of his new double album, Tomorrow, Forever, which I reviewed here yesterday. Tommy Keene, who was releasing music on Matador back when Sweet was on Zoo, is opening both nights. Keene opened for Sweet when he played at O’Leaver’s a few years ago, and is something of a legend in his own right. Tickets for either night are $20; these are early shows with 8 p.m. start times.

Finally Sunday NYC band Rips plays at Milk Run. Their debut album was produced by Austin Brown of Parquet Courts. Thick Paint and Razors also are on the bill. No price given for this 8:30 p.m. show, so you’re on your own.

And that’s all I got for this 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.

Lazy-i

Those Far Out Arrows, Thick Paint, BFF tonight; Sean Pratt/Sweats, Universe Contest, Uh Oh Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:04 pm June 2, 2017

Thick Paint at O’Leaver’s, April 30, 2016. They play tonight at The Sydney as part of BFF.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Another first Friday of the month means another Benson First Friday.

But not just any BFF. Tonight marks the five-year anniversary for BFF. To celebrate, the BFF crew is hosting a giant group photo at the corner of Military and Maple streets at 6:15 p.m.. All businesses, community members, artists, bands and patrons are invited to get in the photo. Don’t forget to say “cheese.”

Musicwise, The Sydney is the place to be for BFF. Tonight Those Far Out Arrows headlines with Thick Paint and The Sam’s Martin (uh, is Sam Martin in this band?). The free show starts at 10 p.m.

Also tonight, if you’re in the neighborhood, stop into The Little Gallery, just across the street and down a little ways from The Sydney in the Masonic Lodge Building. Tonight’s show is “Switch It Up,” by Courtney Kenny Porto. Light Switch Covers = art. Read about the show here.  We’re open 6 to 9 p.m. Beer provided, and food and stuff. Stop in!

Tomorrow night (Saturday), Minnesota one-man trash rocker Jaw Knee Ver is at Brothers Lounge. Joining him are Sean Pratt & The Sweats and Iowa City’s Hot Tang. No price listed on this one but I’m guessing it’s around $5 and starts at 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Lincoln band The Ambulanters headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s Joining them are fellow Lincolnites Universe Contest and our very own indie punkers Uh Oh. $5, 9:30 p.m.

What am I missing? Put it in the comments section. It’s gonna be a hot one. 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.

Lazy-i

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.

Lazy-i

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.

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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.

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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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