The return of Stephen Sheehan (ex-Digital Sex); Big Thief, Thick Paint tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:42 pm July 13, 2017

Stephen Sheehan (ex-Digital Sex) returns to the stage Aug. 18 at Reverb.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

One band that is part of Omaha’s music folklore is Digital Sex. The band, who at its core was Stephen Sheehan, Dereck Higgins and John Tingle, released material in the late ’80s and last reunited in ’94. You can read about their history and that ’94 reunion right here.

Digital Sex split up shortly after that reunion and hasn’t played since, despite almost constant calls for another reunion. Well now, fans of Digital Sex will finally get to hear some of those songs again when when Stephen Sheehan performs at Reverb Lounge Aug. 18, the night before the Maha Music Festival.

Called “Stephen Sheehan: A Reunion of Songs 1982-2017,” the show will feature Sheehan performing songs from his bands Digital Sex, The World and Between the Leaves backed by a band that includes Donovan Johnson on keyboards, Randy Cotton on bass, Ben Sieff on guitar (all from Bennie and the Gents) and Dan Crowell on drums, who played in the final version of Digital Sex in 1994.

Sheehan says it was his work with Bennie and the Gents as part of a David Bowie tribute concert in January 2016 that sparked the idea of returning to the stage to perform his own material.

“This has been a thought of mine for several years, to do a retrospective show with musicians who could test the elasticity in the songs,” Sheehan said. “I’ve always been interested in hearing artists revisit their songs and ‘develop’ them years after they were written, even if it means only a slight flourish. I’ve never really done that with my material. It’s always been about performing them as close to the recording as possible.”

Sheehan said he approached the guys in Bennie and the Gents specifically for this project as they are “master interpreters.”

“With many of the songs, we are straddling the line between note-for-note reproduction and 2017 interpretation,” he said. “I don’t want to be bored doing these songs as I always have and I don’t want the band to feel they are a human jukebox.”

In addition to the greatest hits selection, Sheehan and company also will perform a new song. That said, he says the Aug. 18 performance is a one-and-done sort of thing… as of now.

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As of this writing, that Big Thief show tonight at O’Leaver’s is still not sold out. Surprised? I know I am. I still anticipate a crushed room tonight at the club. Thick Paint opens. $10, 9 p.m.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Thick Paint added to Big Thief show; NOmaha alerts (but Beck plays CB); Esme Patterson tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:47 pm July 12, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Thick Paint has been named as the opener to tomorrow night’s Big Thief show at fabulous O’Leaver’s. If you remember, Big Thief was slated to open for Conor Oberst outdoors in Benson (on Military Ave.) but the show got nixed by the City who said no more outdoor shows during the week.

Conor cancelled but Big Thief was rescheduled at The Club. I understand there was some competition for this opening slot. Congrats to Thick Paint for nabbing it. I’m also told that this show will sell out, so you may want to get your tickets today.

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This week in NOmaha Alerts; tours have been announced by Gillian Welch, Protomartyr and Matt Pond PA. None are headed to Omaha.

Gillian Welch has some local connections and no doubt would do well here. On the other hand Protomartyr and Matt Pond PA both played here recently. Still, I’d love to see both again. Protomartyr, who got their start on Hardly Art Records, just signed with Domino for their next album, A Private Understanding, which comes out Sept 29.

BTW, this morning Oh Sees shared a new track off their upcoming Castle Face release, Orc. Still no Omaha date on the tour list. Come on, promoters!

Outweighing that dreary news is the fact that Beck has been scheduled to play Stir Cove Sept. 9. Beck is sort of a bucket-list band for me, and it looks like I might finally have a reason to check out Stir Cove, which I’ve managed to avoid all these years. Pre-sale for Beck started today with the promo code DREAMS; it continues tomorrow at 10 a.m. with code WOW2017; general ticket sales start 10 a.m. Friday. Pre-sale GA tickets are priced at $60 and some change, including fees, via Ticketmaster.

It should be interesting to see how well this one does. Sell out? BTW, Beck is opening for U2 on their fall stadium tour.

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Tonight Esme Patterson returns to The Waiting Room. She was just there in March with Lucero.  The Hottman Sisters open tonight’s show, which starts at 9 and costs $14.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

New Big Thief (on Saddle Creek); Dolores Diaz returns; 80/35 (ho-hum); Beach Slang, Minus the Bear, Doyle of the Misfits tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:32 pm April 5, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This morning Saddle Creek announced it’ll be releasing the sophomore effort by Big Thief, Capacity, on June 9. Big Thief is one the more successful recent signings by the label, both critically and otherwise. I don’t know the sales numbers for the debut album, Masterpiece, but can tell you that the single “Paul” has more than 2 million spins on Spotify.

More good news: Big Thief will be returning to Omaha for a gig July 13, opening for Conor Oberst when he performs outside The Waiting Room on Military Ave., where Jake’s block parties are usually held. The last Big Thief show was at Lookout Lounge, opening for Yuck a year ago.

Check out the first video from the upcoming Big Thief album:

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Speaking of Oberst, his C&W cover band, Dolores Diaz and the Standby Club, is playing this Sunday night at The Slowdown. It’s a benefit for Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska and The Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Joining them is Icky Blossoms, High Up and a number of local speakers. The 7 p.m. show is $15, plus there will be a raffle for some sweet prizes. More info here.

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Des Moines’ 80/35 Festival posted its line-up yesterday and for me it was a bit of a blah. Headliners are Shins and MGMT. Have these acts risen to festival headliner status? I can’t imagine either selling out Sokol Auditorium.

There are a couple interesting support acts, however — A Giant Dog, Diarrhea Planet and ’70s-era Minneapolis new wave band The Suburbs, but other than that, a lot of head scratchers.

Meanwhile, the Maha Music Festival people have posted that tickets sales are stronger than years’ past, with VIP tix in short supply.

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There’s a big show tonight at The Slowdown. Omaha favorites Minus the Bear returns and they’re bringing Beach Slang with them along with Bayonne. $25, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, Doyle from The Misfits is playing at Lookout Lounge. Also on the bill are Element a440, The Beat Seekers, Before I Burn & DeadEchoes. $14, 7 p.m.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Saddle Creek signs Big Thief; Tim Kasher to debut film in Omaha; Athens band Mother tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:42 pm February 16, 2016
Presumably one of the people in this photo is Tim Kasher filming a scene from his new film No Resolution, which will have its premiere right here in Omaha.

Presumably one of the people in this photo is Tim Kasher filming a scene from his new film No Resolution, which will have its premiere right here in Omaha.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Watched the Grammy’s last night. Somewhere, David Bowie is spinning in his grave. That, and Courtney Barnett got robbed. But who (other than Kanye) gives a shit about awards, anyway?

Some news:

Saddle Creek Records yesterday announced they’ve signed a new act to the label: Brooklyn band Big Thief. The project is helmed by singer/songwriter Adrianne Lenker, whose last known musical product was a solo album that came out in 2014 (embedded below). Pretty stuff.

No doubt Big Thief will be a departure from her more winsome acoustic material. The first song off the debut, “Masterpiece” (also embedded below) is a full-out four-on-the-floor indie rocker that reminded me of Centro-Matic and whose video features the band’s adorable dog. I do believe the Creek might have another hit on their hands. When combined with Hop Along, they make a matching set of salt-and-pepper hit makers.

The band is out with Eleanor Friedberger right now and will be swinging through Omaha April 3, opening for Yuck at (wait for it) Lookout Lounge. Big Thief also will be at SXSW this year, but alas, I won’t be there to see them (after last year’s nightly riot-squad 6th St. beat-downs I declared myself “too old for this shit”).

Check out Ms Lenker’s new and old stuff below. Welcome to the big leagues, kid…

Saddle Creek has been keeping themselves pretty busy this year. In addition to that Big Thief release, they’re reissuing Hop Along’s debut, Get Disowned, March 4, and they’ve got a new Thermals album, We Disappear, coming out March 25.

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Over the weekend the Omaha Film festival announced that Tim Kasher’s feature film debut, No Resolution, will be screened at this year’s festival (specifically March 11 at 6 p.m. at Village Point Theater).

From the press release:

The debut feature film by songwriter Tim Kasher (Cursive, The Good Life), No Resolution explores the relationship of never-was musician Cary and his newly pregnant fiancé Jean as they struggle with concepts of family and settling down. New Year’s Eve becomes a fitting backdrop for the disparity of their combined future; Jean longs for a nice night staying in, but the temptations of a decadent evening are too much for Cary to avoid. The engaged couple reaches a boiling point of anger and resentment as their upstairs neighbors stoke the flames with a raging New Year’s party.

The film stars Maura Kidwell of the USA network TV series Sirens, who also appeared in a couple episodes of Chicago Fire. And Erin O’Shea, who in addition to acting in two episodes of The Dreamers TV series is listed in IMDB as having appeared in an episode of Iron Chef America as the sous chef for challenger chef Michael Solomonov!

Mr. Kasher also wrote a soundtrack for the film (He’s a regular John Carpenter!) that he says he’ll be releasing toward the end of the year.

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Big show tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Athens band Mothers headlines. The band was rumored to have been courted by some high-falutin’ labels, including one that’s near and dear to all our hearts. I asked the band via their publicist if that rumor was true, but didn’t hear back (probably because I didn’t ask until last Friday). BTW, Grand Jury Records will have the honor of putting out Mothers’ debut, When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired, Feb. 26. Opening tonight is Thick Paint and Eklectica. $7, 9 p.m.

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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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