Live Review: Black Belt Eagle Scout, Guerilla Toss; Gary Numan tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:53 pm September 27, 2018

Black Belt Eagle Scout at Reverb Lounge Sept. 26, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’m more convinced after last night’s Black Belt Eagle Scout show at Reverb Lounge that the best way to get introduced to a new album is live on stage.

Prior to this show the only BBES tune off their new album Mother of My Children I’ve heard was “Soft Stud,” which has gotten some spins on Sirius XMU. It was the first time for the rest of it, presented in a confined space like Reverb without distraction. I walked away wanting to hear most of it again.

I say “most of” because the set started rather flat and low-tempo, highlighting the quieter moments on the album. Very pretty, reminiscent to some degree of early Azure Ray or a K Records act. It wasn’t until halfway through the gig that the trio, fronted by singer/songwriter/guitarist Katherine Paul, began to take off. Paul turned up the guitar, stabbed the pedals and roared on a number of songs that would have made Neil Young proud.

Pushing everything forward was whomever was playing bass, an amazingly deft and creative bassist who augmented Paul’s work with her own intricate counter melodies.

Great stuff, enjoyed by a smallish crowd. I figured it would be packed what with the Saddle Creek connection, but there probably was only around 35 people in the room, which made for an intimate set.

Guerilla Toss at Reverb Lounge Sept. 26, 2018.

Things didn’t get rolling ’til almost 9:30, which limited my time spent with Guerilla Toss, a six-piece ensemble that sounded like a cross between Tom Tom Club and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Very arty, very progressive, very fun bouncy rock rife with twists and turns and big moments. Frontwoman Kassie Carlson has a soaring voice that cuts through everything going on around her. The only thing missing was a dancing crowd.

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The big show tonight is Gary Numan at The Slowdown. There’s been a simmering level of excitement since this one was announced months ago, but surprisingly it’s not sold out. For those pondering whether to go, here’s the setlist from Numan’s Cleveland show Sept. 23, which indicates that he didn’t roll out mega-hit “Cars” until about halfway though the show. If you’re like me, that’s the only Numan tune you know. Still, this one could be a lot of fun. LA art rock trio Nightmare Air opens at 8 p.m. $28.

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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New Azure Ray EP (on Flower Moon Records); new Cursive track; Black Belt Eagle Scout, Guerilla Toss tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm September 26, 2018

Azure Ray are back with a new EP on Flower Moon Records.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Azure Ray, the ground-breaking duo of Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor, are back with a new EP.

Titled Waves, the album comes out Oct. 26 on Taylor’s Flower Moon label. The first new album by the duo in six years, it will be the first recording since 2002’s November EP not released on Saddle Creek Records. Earlier this year Flower Moon re-released Azure Ray’s self-titled debut and follow-up, Burn and Shiver.

This EP was about revisiting what Azure Ray has meant to us – and felt like to the listener – over the last 18 years,” says the Waves press release. “So for the last few months we’ve been demoing songs back and forth over email and Facetime between Omaha and Los Angeles, until this August when we packed up a car and drove out to a house in Joshua Tree to record. These songs are both a yearning and nostalgia for the Azure Ray of the past, and new perspectives on how and why we make music – with 18 years of love, life, and loss in between.”

The first track, “Palindrome,” dropped today. Check it out below and preorder the double A-side limited edition flexi 7-inch here.

No word of a tour yet, but Azure Ray is slated to play an Oct. 26 fund-raiser at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts with Destroyer (solo).

The new Cursive album, Vitriola, is somewhat epic, maybe the best thing they’ve done since The Ugly Organ. If you don’t believe me, check out the third track dropped from the album, “It’s Gonna Hurt.” And pre-order the mutha from 15 Passenger. The album comes out Oct. 5.

Tonight one of Saddle Creek Records’ latest roster additions, Black Belt Eagle Scout, plays at Reverb Lounge. Creek just re-released the band’s debut album, Mother of My Children. They’re opening for headliner Guerilla Toss, a red-hot Boston band that’s been kicking around since 2010, releasing albums on DFA Records, including LP Twisted Crystal, which came out earlier this month. Expect a crowd. $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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Maha official attendance numbers; new music Tuesday (Black Belt Eagle Scout, Mitch Gettman, Oberst); Pedro the Lion, H.C. McEntire tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:55 pm August 21, 2018

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A few more notes on last weekend’s Maha Music Festival, but first…

I apologize for yesterday’s review, which was rife with tacos — whoops, I meant TYPOS. No excuse except that the 2,700 words were written in one long jag Sunday night, and I don’t have an editor. I fixed what I found. Reread at your leisure. Also check out The Reader‘s coverage of the big show…

Onward…

Rachel Grace, who is handling Maha’s publicity, reported the following attendance numbers:

Friday: 6,500
Saturday: 7,800

“That makes Saturday among the most well-attended single days to date,” she said. But is it biggest one-day in Maha history? Apparently, no.

Last year’s one-day event came in at just over 8,500 in attendance. I don’t have the numbers, but 2016 (Passion Pit) was a down year. On the other hand 2015 (Modest Was) was officially a “sell out” year, but that only means 6,000 tickets were sold; which doesn’t equate to overall attendance.

I’ve asked Rachel for more data.

That said, 2018 will go down as the most attended Maha Festival ever with 14,300 total attendees over both days. Did their Friday night experiment work? Will it be repeated? We’ll have to wait and see.

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New music Tuesday…

Mitch Gettman, Some Purgatory (2018, bandcamp)

Mitch Gettman has a new album coming out Sept. 15 titled Some Purgatory. The LP is available for pre-order now via Bandcamp and iTunes. The first single, “No One on Your Side,” dropped last week.

I have to assume the album artwork (a shot looking toward downtown Omaha along Dodge St.), combined with the album title, is a comment on our fair city?

BTW, Gettman tells me he moved to Denver a couple months ago with his girlfriend, but he’ll be back for Farnam Fest Sept. 15.

The new track by Conor Oberst, written (or released) in conjunction with the new movie Juliet, Naked, already is in the top-10 of Sirius XMU’s Download 15.

The song, an unreleased demo called “LAX,” is covered by Ethan Hawke in the film (btw, the book, by Nick Hornby, is pretty good; the film looks iffy…).

Of the two version, the Oberst demo blows away Hawke’s rock version, which actually, just blows. You be the judge.

Finally, Black Belt Eagle Scout, the latest signing to Saddle Creek Records, is dropping singles from their upcoming Creek debut, Mother of My Children (which is actually a re-release from tiny Good Cheer Records). The album drops Sept. 14. Black Belt Eagle Scout is the moniker of Portland-based songwriter Katherine Paul.

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Seminal ’00s indie band Pedro the Lion plays tonight at The Waiting Room. It’s been years since the band, headed by singer/songwriter David Bazan, has played together. Expect a more ferocious sound than what you usually get from a Bazan solo set. To get an idea what they’ll be playing, here’s the setlist from Pedro’s Aug. 18 show in Newport, KY. And before you go, read the July 2000 Lazy-i interview with Bazan, just for fun. Merge Records artist H.C. McEntire (front woman of band Mount Moriah) opens at 8 p.m. $20

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Saddle Creek signs Black Belt Eagle Scout; Fable of the Reconstruction (in the column); Quintron & Miss Pussycat tonight…

Rusty Lord at O’Leaver’s, June 23, 2017. They play tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The New Era at Saddle Creek Records continues with yesterday’s announcement that the label signed Portland’s Black Belt Eagle Scout.

The project is headed by singer/songwriter Katherine Paul, who “grew up in a small Indian reservation, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, surrounded by family focused on native drumming, singing, and arts,” according to the Creek press release.

Her Saddle Creek debut, Mother of My Children, is actually a re-release of an album that came out a year ago. Maybe you caught BBES when they opened for Built to Spill earlier this year? That was around the time when Saddle Creek was considering the band (or so they said. Maybe they’d already made a decision). At the time Mother of My Children was already in Spotify, and I can attest that it’s pretty tasty (It has since been pulled from Spotify, durn).

Anyway, the re-release comes out Sept. 14 and you can pre-order it here.

So let’s see, last month Saddle Creek signed Tomberline; then there’s Young Jesus and Stef Chura signed late last year, not to mention a new Sam Evian album that came out June 1. Holy smokes, what’s next? Saddle Creek is really making year 25 count.

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I may have gotten too clever for my own good with the title of this month’s Over the Edge column: Fable of the Reconstruction. While those of you who followed indie music back in the day will immediately recognize it as a reference to the 1985 album Fables of the Reconstruction, it has nothing to do with R.E.M. Rather, it’s a look at a post-Trump America. It’s never too soon to dream (All it’ll take is for you to get off your ass and vote). You can read online right here or in its printed July issue, on newsstands now.

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Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s the return of Quintron & Miss Pussycat. From the Prospect New Orleans website:

Quintron has been making genre-defying noise, soundscape, and house rocking dance music in New Orleans for over 20 years. The majority of his fifteen full-length albums, many created with artist / puppeteer Panacea Theriac (aka Miss Pussycat), have the psychedelic soul of New Orleans party jams as filtered through tough distorted organs and a junk heap of self-made electronic instruments.

Rusty Lord opens (replacing Sucettes). $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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i