Live Review: Brad Hoshaw & the Seven Deadlies; Kyle Harvey (and his poetry tonight)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 2:05 pm February 24, 2014
Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlines at The Waiting Room, Feb. 21, 2014.

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlines at The Waiting Room, Feb. 21, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Friday night’s Brad Hoshaw & the Seven Deadlies concert at The Waiting Room was more of a victory lap than a CD release show. Hoshaw’s new record, Funeral Guns, was produced partially through a Kickstarter campaign, so 100+ people already have been in possession of the CD for a few weeks.

The evening began with a solo set by Kyle Harvey, the former musician and Benson resident now poet from Fuita, Colorado (who just so happens to have a poetry reading tonight at Pet Shop Gallery in Benson, see below). The last time I saw Harvey perform was on the same stage a few years ago surrounded by no fewer than a dozen people, none of whom were standing on the floor in front of the stage. Last Friday night that same floor was almost filled. It was the largest crowd I’ve ever seen at a Harvey performance, and that fact didn’t escape Kyle, who said, “I guess you waited until I moved away to finally show up,” or something like that.

Kyle Harvey at The Waiting Room, Feb. 21, 2014.

Kyle Harvey at The Waiting Room, Feb. 21, 2014.

Harvey preceded to play a short set of the introspective acoustic folk he was known for back when he lived in Benson — dark, sad, confessional ballads with a double-helping of lonesomeness for good measure. The irony, of course, is that Harvey is one of the more upbeat guys I’ve known from the scene; his between-song patter was warm and funny and anything but depressing. Harvey says he’s giving up music, but that would be a shame, especially since one of the best songs on the new Hoshaw album was written by him.

Though they’re called the Seven Deadlies, there were only three “deadlies” joining Hoshaw — Vern Ferguson on bass, Scott Gaeta on drums, and guitarist Matt Whipkey, your 2013 “Artist of the Year.” When it comes to this band, Whipkey and Hoshaw have a sort of symbiotic relationship. Yes, Hoshaw’s songwriting and voice are at the center of everything, but it’s Whipkey’s guitar fireworks that add the Technicolor, the panache, the drama.

While I like the new record, there are few things that, uh, left me scratching my head. The production is at times a bit heavy handed. There’s too much organ on too many tracks; and the layered harmonies on a few numbers are reminiscent of dusty Dan Fogelberg albums. There are moments on this record that sound like a product of an El Lay recording studio circa 1975 (to some people, that’s a plus).

All the over-the-top “smoothness” of the record was gone when the music was performed as a four-piece. Hoshaw and Co. stripped the songs down to bare essentials, raw and unvarnished the songs’ natural elements shined so much brighter. It came down to Hoshaw, his acoustic guitar, his songs, his voice, and Whipkey tossing grenades into the audience in the form of his blazing electric guitar work. Whipkey’s solos — while solid on the record — exploded throughout the live set — gorgeous tone combined with glowing drama that (at times) veered close to being out of control, especially on songs like the title track, the grim, gutteral “New Tattoo” and Harvey cover “It Falls Apart.” Riveting stuff.

The night closed with a sing-along encore that included a surreal re-imagining of John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” and a quiet, un-mic-ed edge-of-the-stage version of “Blue Bicycle” that left the 200 or so on hand in a trance.

So I get back to what I asked in last week’s column — what’s this guy have to do to break out of Nebraska and be heard on a national stage? That was a common question being bandied about before and after his set. The consensus: It all comes down to getting out on the road — not as a solo acoustic guy, but with this band or at the very least, with Whipkey, the only consistent member of The Seven Deadlies and the most critical.

Something tells me if you asked Hoshaw, he’d say hitting the road is the plan. But it was the plan the last time, and other than one small tour he never got out of town with the band. He has to this time. He has no excuses, and if he ever wants to be heard outside of Benson, he has no choice.

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As mentioned above, Kyle Harvey reads from his new book of poetry, Hyacinth, tonight at the Petshop Gallery, 2727 No. 62nd St. in Benson. Joining him will be Greg Kosmicki (the 2000 and 2006 recipient of the Nebraska Arts Council’s Merit Award), Paul Hanson Clark (co-founder and operator of the poetry studio SP CE in Lincoln), and Omaha musician and novelist Michael Trenhaile. It starts at 7:30 and as far as I know it’s free. More info here.

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Brad Hoshaw CD release show, Cleeman tonight; The Lupines, Brimstone Howl album release show (sort of) Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:04 pm February 21, 2014
Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies at The Waiting Room way back on Nov. 12, 2011.

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies at The Waiting Room way back on Nov. 12, 2011.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Brad Hoshaw certainly has done his homework. Tonight’s Seven Deadlies CD release show couldn’t have received more coverage in “the local media” (including yesterday’s post). Expect a crowd at The Waiting Room, and arrive early for poet Kyle Harvey as he slings on his guitar once again to serenade the crowd. $7, 9 p.m. See you there.

Also tonight, Copenhagen/Chicago-based one-man-project Cleeman plays at Slowdown Jr. Opening is the incomparable Dereck Higgins (who also will back Cleeman during his set) and Lonnie Eugene Methe (backed by Megan Siebe on cello). $8, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night, The Lupines play at The Sydney with Noah Sterba & the No Way. This from John Ziegler of The Lupines:

“Since Calvin and I are playing together, and since we have the last two recording sessions from Brimstone Howl’s final days recently pressed on vinyl, we will be selling them for seven bucks a copy, one night only!!! There is Magic Hour, recorded by Jim Diamond in Detroit, with the smooth sweet sounds of AM radio magic issuing forth from the grooves, etc. — our last as a band, released by Certified PR Records in Florida. And then our penultimate: Blowhard Deluxe, our final session with local master Mark Wolberg, as groovily dirty as anything we ever did in Brooks Hitt’s studio. Cathartic and off the cuff, released by Deadbeat in Ohio.”

Face it, you need those records. Show starts around 9:30, no idea on the cover, but it’s probably $5.

Also Saturday night, Thunder Power plays at The Side Door Lounge with The Sub-Vectors and Pyrate. 9 p.m. and FREE.

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BTW, did you get your Morrissey tickets for May 19 at Rococo in Lincoln? They went on sale today (presale yesterday). Get them while you can

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The Return of Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies (in the column); Snake Island, McCarthy cinema tonight…

Category: Blog,Column,Interviews — Tags: , — @ 1:47 pm February 20, 2014
Brad Hoshaw towers over the crowd...

Brad Hoshaw towers over the crowd…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

In this week’s column, an interview with Brad Hoshaw on what went wrong with the last album and what he hopes will go right with the new one. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online at thereader.com website right here, or since this is a music-related installment, you can read it below:

Over the Edge 95: The Second Coming of Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies

When Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies released their debut album five years ago, I thought for sure it was going to be a breakthrough.

That record was pure bliss. If you haven’t heard it (and apparently not many of you have), it’s worth seeking out. It’s as good — if not better than — most records that came out in 2009, loaded with heart-wrenching hook-laden folk-rock songs that once heard are impossible to get out of your head.

Despite my growing pessimism about the ever-decomposing music industry, I still believe the only thing that matters is good songwriting — no matter how much music gets thrown into the giant milk barrel we call the internet, the cream will always rise to the top to be discovered by some enterprising record label exec looking to break the Next Big Thing.

And yet, that Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies’ debut album went nowhere. What happened?

Hoshaw said the record’s failure to gain traction outside of Omaha wasn’t for lack of trying. “I did as much as I could to capitalize on that last record, but trying to do the job of a record label by myself was probably unreasonable,” he said over a decaf Americano at a Benson coffee shop.

Hoshaw’s formula to break that first record involved a home-grown college radio campaign, where he personally sat down and called more than 300 radio stations from a promotion list he gleaned off a fellow musician.

“I sent out 120 copies of the CD to radio stations, but when it came time to do follow-up calls, I was burned out,” Hoshaw said. “I hit a threshold with what I could do by myself without going crazy.”

What about touring? Hoshaw said his band went on a two-week East Coast tour, but afterward band members said they couldn’t afford to do more. “They have families and jobs, and it didn’t make sense to lose money on the road,” Hoshaw said. Eventually the “Seven Deadlies” evaporated to just one — guitarist Matt Whipkey.

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies, Funeral Guns (self-released, 2014)

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies, Funeral Guns (self-released, 2014)

Now Hoshaw has a chance to try again. He’s celebrating the release of his new Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies album, Funeral Guns, this Friday night at The Waiting Room. The 10-song opus continues along the same path as the debut, with songs destined to be radio-station fodder (if they ever catch a programmer’s ear). Tunes like sinister opening ballad “New Tattoo,” sleek West Coast-rocker “Company” and album-closing magnum opus “It Falls Apart” continue to define Hoshaw as one of the best songwriters to come out of Nebraska.

So what’s he going to do differently this time ‘round? “I want to widen my fan base,” Hoshaw said. In collaboration with Whipkey, Hoshaw has picked Minneapolis, Des Moines/Ames and Kansas City/Lawrence as target markets where he’ll play gigs at least once a month.

Funeral Guns got made thanks to the support of 130 people who funded a Kickstarter online crowd-funding campaign. Hoshaw said he wants to keep that fan base happy and grow it as much as possible because he’ll need to call on them again when it comes time to fund his next record. Call it a grassroots effort rather than the traditional music career path that involves attracting the attention of a record label with hopes of signing a contract.

“Record companies are difficult; the odds are always against you,” Hoshaw said. “On the other hand, every time you go on stage you have a chance to make connections with new fans. It’s not a comfortable living, not like having a record deal where you can say, ‘We’ve made it.’ It’s hard work and constant stress.”

That said, Hoshaw still wouldn’t mind landing a record deal or a booking agent or a promotion company that could take some of the load off his shoulders so he could focus on what he says is his biggest priority: songwriting. He’s already talking about recording his next album this year, and has reached out to producers, including Saddle Creek Records’ veteran Andy LeMaster, whose credits include albums by Bright Eyes, Azure Ray and Now It’s Overhead.

And then there’s Nashville. “I have some friends who are songwriters down there,” Hoshaw said. “I’ve considered moving to Nashville. It would be more as a songwriter than a performer. I would pursue writing songs with other songwriters for other artists. For me, all the business stuff begins with the song — it’s the most important thing to develop, and writing with different people will make that stronger.”

Imagine Hoshaw selling a song like “Funeral Guns” to a hotshot like Blake Shelton. “I would consider it,” he said with a smile. “I would have to look at the contract and decide if it made sense.”

But what would make even more sense is writing songs for other Nebraska musicians. Hoshaw originally wrote the track “Delta King” off the new record for local band The Black Squirrels, while “New Tattoo” was written in collaboration with three other songwriters and album closer “It Falls Apart” was written by former Nebraska songwriter now poet Kyle Harvey.

Hoshaw’s contemplated recording an entire album of covers of songs by local songwriters, and would love for a fellow Omaha songwriter like John Klemmensen to record one of his songs.

“I would love more of that to happen locally the same way Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson played each other’s songs,” Hoshaw said. “I would love to see less fear about sharing art and letting other people interpret it, because in the end, it’s really about performing the best songs.”

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Over The Edge is a weekly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts. Email Tim at tim.mcmahan@gmail.com.

First published in The Reader, Feb. 20, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Tonight at The Waiting Room Snake Island headlines with Swamp Walk and Time Cat. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, it’s the first in Film Streams’ Hitchcock 9 Silents in Concert Repertory Series featuring the silent films of Alfred Hitchcock brought to life sonically by live musicians. Tonight it’s the 1929 film The Farmer’s Wife featuring live music by Dan McCarthy and James Maakestad. Tickets are $12 general; $10 students and $8 for Film Streams members. The curtain rises at 7 p.m. Find out more here.

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Random Notes (Lupines, Waiting Room, Brad Hoshaw); Whipkey goes trackside tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:45 pm January 29, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A few people asked where they can pick up copies of the new Lupines EP Over the Moon, especially when the title isn’t available on the the Speed! Nebraska website (yet). The answer: The EP is available at Almost Music in Benson and Homer’s downtown, and of course, at Lupines shows, though I’m not aware of any currently scheduled. Pick up your copy today.

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The new Waiting Room website on an iPhone.

The new Waiting Room website on an iPhone.

The Waiting Room launched a new website yesterday (at waitingroomlounge.com). To me the most notable quality is that it looks as awesome on your smartphone or tablet as it does on your desktop. Now you can easily check the club’s schedule on the run with your iPhone or Android without having to squint.

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Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies have a new video on YouTube for an old song. This new take on “Carpenter” off the band’s debut CD was produced by Union Pacific (where I just happen to work for a living). Look for more “Listen UP” sessions in the future produced throughout the Union Pacific system with bands from the regions where they’re filmed.

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Speaking of Hoshaw, he’s the featured artist tonight for Whipkey Wednesday at Tracks Lounge, 1506 So. 60th St., home of the former Trackside Lounge. Matt Whipkey will host and perform at this new weekly series. Music starts at 8 and admission is free.

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Brad Hoshaw to release sophomore CD; Rev. Horton Heat tonight; May-yam-uh Tim-oh-tay (Duolingo, in the column)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:33 pm January 15, 2014
A screen grab from "Let Me Teach You How To Heat," the latest from The Rev. Horton Heat.

A screen grab from “Let Me Teach You How To Heat,” the latest from The Rev. Horton Heat.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Brad Hoshaw issued a press release Monday announcing he’s releasing a new record with his band, The Seven Deadlies. The album, Funeral Guns, is a collection of new material recorded at The Music Factory Productions in Omaha and mixed by Ben Brodin at ARC Studios. ” Funeral Guns touches on the subjects of Love, Loss and Revenge as well as the death of Brad’s father in 2009,” says the press release.

Hoshaw is self-releasing the recording on CD (though I’m sure digital files will be available). No vinyl. Seems like vinyl is becoming the medium of choice for a lot of other local musicians, though for the life of me, I don’t know how they afford it without label support or a lengthy Kickstarter campaign. Hoshaw, in fact, already hosted a Kickstarter for this release. Ironically, his music is tailor-made for a vinyl LP.

The CD is set to drop Feb. 21 at a release show at The Waiting Room. Opening is Nebraska ex-pat Kyle Harvey, who I’m told will be walking barefoot from his home in Fruita, Colorado. Better get started, Kyle.

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Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the big-daddy rockabilly stylings of The Rev. Horton Heat. The Reverend, a.k.a. Jim Heath, has a new record coming out on Victory Records next Tuesday called “The Rev.” Check out the first video from the album below. You can bet he’ll be playing it tonight. Opening is Nekromantics & Deke Dickerson. $25, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, Vic Padios of The Brigadiers is doing a solo set along with Vern Fergesen of The Travelling Mercies at MarQ Manner’s Songwriter’s Night at The Library Pub, 5142 No. 90th St. Show starts at 8 and is absolutely free.

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In this week’s column, language-skills smartphone app Duolingo: Will my quest to learn Spanish finally be realized? It’s in this week’s issue of The Reader and online right here at thereader.com.

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies; Deerhoof, Mount Eerie, UUVVWWZ tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 12:52 pm September 24, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies took the stage for only the third time this year Friday night at O’Leaver’s and uncorked a slew of new material that one assumes is destined for an upcoming Long Player.

Hoshaw has shifted up his core band quite a bit since the last time I saw them, with a new drummer (Wayne Brekke), new bass player (one of the Fergesen clan) and the addition of a mandolin. That left only one remaining Deadly — Matt Whipkey on electric guitar, the one piece of the puzzle that cannot be replaced without irreparably marring Hoshaw’s music. Whipkey’s role as sideman is absolutely core to this band. His fills and leads give Hoshaw’s tunes an added dimension that frankly would not be there without him.

Matt Whipkey is one of the longest running singer/songwriter veterans in the Omaha music scene. I remember seeing him way back in the early ’00s doing a solo acoustic gig with Landon Hedges and Joe Knapp. Since then, Whipkey has gone on to front a number of bands, from The Movies to Anonymous American to The Whipkey Three, but his guitar his never sounded better than when it’s backing Hoshaw. Maybe it’s a question of focus, or maybe the two are the perfect compliment to each other.

Hoshaw’s new songs continued in the same gritty folk vein as heard on his amazing debut full length from a couple years back. Opening number “New Tattoo” is the best Bob Seger song that Bob Seger never wrote or sang, sort of an updated version of “Turn the Page” (but boiling with broken-hearted venom) that underscores every ’70s folk-rock reference that permeates Hoshaw’s lean, melody-driven song-writing style, perfect for playing in the back of Sammy Johns’ 1973 Chevy van.

While adding the mandolin seems like a good idea, we’ll have to wait until Hoshaw & Co. play a different stage to know for sure, as it was almost completely buried in the mix. But what wasn’t unheard was Whipkey’s guitar, which was pushed to full throttle on the second-to-last song of the evening, featuring Whipkey in full rock-star freakout mode. If Hoshaw can capture that energy in the recording studio, we’re in for another fine Hoshaw/Deadlies album.

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There’s a decent show going on every night this week. Maybe we all should take a week off from work? Why not?

It begins tonight with the return of Deerhoof to The Waiting Room. The band is touring in support of its latest Polyvinyl release, Breakup Song, which came out just a couple weeks ago and earned a 7.2 on the Pitchfork meter. Quirky? You bet. They certainly were the last time I saw them back in June 2010. Opening is Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief, & Rahypnol Rangers. $13, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Mount Eerie plays at Daniel Muller Studios, 6066 Maple Street in the heart of Benson, with UUVVWWZ. $10, 8 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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Another O’Leaver’s/Brothers weekend; Brad Hoshaw/7 Deadlies tonight, Dim Light release show Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:48 pm September 21, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here we go:

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies. Hoshaw, who used to be renowned for playing three or four times per week, has cut back on his local live performances. In fact, this is only his third performance of 2012. Hopefully he’s been filling that time writing new songs (which we’ll  hear tonight). Joining Brad and the boys are The Daredevil Christopher Wright and The Matt Cox Band. $5, 9;30 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) at The Brothers Lounge Dim Light will be celebrating the release of their debut full-length CD. Recorded by Tom Barrett at Sleepy House Audio and mastered  in Seattle by Slow Skate’s Robb Davidson, the album features 14 tracks by Dim Light’s Cooper Moon (vocals/guitars), Barrett (bass) and drummer Boz Hicks. Opening is The Filter Kings. No word on cover, but it’s probably $5 and the show will probably start around 10.

Meanwhile, O’Leaver’s is hosting a four-band bill Saturday night headlined by Well Aimed Arrows, with Places We Slept, Lush Bruises, and The Tanks. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Am I missing anything? Add it in the comments area. Have a good 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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Brad Hoshaw/7 Deadlies, Lonely Estates; Future Islands video; Cursive is ready for some football; Crooked Fingers tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:32 pm November 14, 2011
Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies at The Waiting Room, Nov. 12, 2011.

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies at The Waiting Room, Nov. 12, 2011.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A couple weeks ago, Brad Hoshaw “released” a new collection of songs titled Spirit of the Lake via his Bandcamp page (You can find it here). The recordings are homemade demos that capture the bare essence of Hoshaw’s latest songwriting output. Last Friday night we got to hear a number of those songs “fleshed out” with his band, the Seven Deadlies, and it’s safe to say Hoshaw could have another hit on his hands if he’s ever able to scratch together enough money to get his band into a studio to make a “proper” recording.

Case in point: “New Tattoo,” a desperate, downright creepy song about the aftermath of love gone wrong that Mr. Cash would have been proud to perform during his darker days. On the home recording, Hoshaw comes off lonely and broken as he sings the lines, “So tell me how you think you’ll feel / When I carve your name beneath my heel.” But on stage with his posse at The Waiting Room Saturday night, the song turned into a blistering, angry threat, a pointed finger of redemption made bold and bloody by a band lost in the same homicidal red-mist as Hoshaw. It was, indeed, a perfect moment.

As satisfying as his ’09 debut album was, I was afraid Hoshaw might be a one-and-done flash in the pan whose flash was never seen much beyond our city limits. The fact that that album never reached the audience it deserved is one of the great tragedies of our local music scene, though in all honesty, I don’t know who else to blame other than Hoshaw and an industry that, despite technology that makes almost any music available to a global audience, is unable to find and expose the greater talent to the greater masses.

The way his debut was left to languish in obscurity, one couldn’t blame Hoshaw if he decided to hang it up and walk away from his dreams. Instead, he’s created another stellar collection of songs, which are almost hidden in those home recordings but are completely realized when performed on stage by his full band. Maybe instead of wasting thousands of dollars in a studio, he and his cohorts should simply polish these chestnuts to a fine sheen and record them live from The Waiting Room stage. Or maybe it’s time for Hoshaw to head to Nashville with these songs in his pocket and see if any of the current C&W elite will bite. He and his songs certainly deserve better than they’ve been getting hanging around here.

Hoshaw was followed by the show’s headliner, Lonely Estates, who was celebrating the release of their new CD by giving away copies to anyone who came through the door (a business plan that seems rather… flawed, though I’m sure they’re happy just to get the music in people’s hands).

Frontman Braden Rapp was an inspiration — how he stands up there and does what he does is amazing to me. First, the vocal lines are as vein-poppingly high-reaching as anything Stephen Pedersen sang in Criteria. He’s going to have to stay young if he’s going to hit those notes in 10 years. Then there’s his stage presence. Alone with only a microphone to lean on instead of a guitar, Rapp seemed completely exposed, forced to fill the space with dance steps and hand gestures, and yet he pulled it off. He is, indeed, a portrait in courage.

Lonely Estates’ music is well-crafted indie pop performed with almost formulaic perfection, every corner perfectly rounded, every direction well charted. Like all good radio music, you know exactly where each song is headed, almost as if you’ve heard them all before. I compared them to Little Brazil in my writeup last week, but their influences likely are more commercial. About halfway though the set, the band did a spot-on cover of Cutting Crews’ “(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight” that tipped their hand and made me think they’d make a great cover band (I was later told that some of the musicians are part of the city’s premiere cover band, Secret Weapon). The standout was guitarist Phil Reno, who put on a clinic with his solos and riffs that placed him on the summit with the area’s most talented musicians.

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Speaking of frontmen, remember how I gushed about Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands when his band played at The Waiting Room a couple weeks ago (here)? Now you can see for yourself what I was talking about in this HearNebraska Live video shot by Andrew Norman and Daniel Muller the night of the show. Check it out.

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Who else heard the snippet of Cursive’s “The Radiator Hums” last night during NBC’s Sunday Night Football? The song came on as Al Michaels was going to commercial; I had to rewind it a few times on my DVR before I figured out what I was hearing. Something like that probably means nothing if it were to happen to a Bieber, Gaga or American Idol winner (loser), but for a band like Cursive and its fans, the five-second snippet is a very big deal indeed.

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Tonight at The Waiting Room, it’s the return of Merge recording artist Crooked Fingers with Strand of Oaks. $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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Solid Goldberg, Jake’s ice-cold Block Party; MAHA announcement, TSOL, Lucinda Williams tonight…

Solid Goldberg at The Barley Street Tavern, May 13, 2011.

Solid Goldberg at The Barley Street Tavern, May 13, 2011.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The hype was true.

Solid Goldberg is a spectacle of most-groovy proportions. A musical head trip featuring one of the area’s — nay, one of the country’s — most ingenious musical talents. The set-up is deceptively simple: Two keyboards, a battery of effects pedals and amplifiers, a digital projector and colored lights, and Dave Goldberg. You may remember him from Full Blown or the Carsinogents or The Terminals or most recently, Box Elders. Now all by his lonesome (and loving it that way) Goldberg is free to make the music he’s always wanted to, and there’s no one to blame (or praise) but him.

Not surprisingly, he pulls it off. The core sound is a simple electronic beat layered with dense Goldberg-style psychobilly/garage/punk keyboards and his distorted, twisted, howling vocals that are part caged animal, part Elvis, part Jon Spencer. It’s groovy; as groovy as the psychedelic lighting effects that include floating dollar signs and the letter ‘g’ blasted right into Goldberg’s face. Ask Dave and he’ll tell you it’s all about the performance, but it’s the music that makes it work, driven mostly by a left hand that provides all the bottom end he needs, and more than enough to get all the other bottoms in the room shaking. Imagine Solid Goldberg leading a dance party from on top of a huge festival stage. Too bad none of the local fests have the cojones to give it a try.

Goldberg set up his rock ‘n’ roll space station not on the Barley Street Tavern’s stage, but in the back of the room, across from the soundboard. With the tables and chairs stacked up against the wall, the room felt like a rock club. Sure, the table/chair set-up is fine for acoustic gigs, but cleared out like it was Friday night, I get the feeling that they could host some sizable shows if they wanted to. The cleared-out set-up also worked well for twisted electronic metal-heads Cloven Path, who took the opportunity to shred right in the middle of the crowd.

* * *

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies at Jake's Block Party, May 14, 2011.

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies at Jake's Block Party, May 14, 2011.

Could the weather Saturday have been worse? Sure, it could have been raining or drizzling or snowing. Instead it was just overcast, windy and bone-chilling cold, made all the more painful by the prior weekend’s 90+ degree heat. The cold was almost too much to bear as I stood along with about 40 others, bent forward into a north wind that blew through Military Ave., at Jake’s “just because we can” Block Party.

By 6 p.m., Brad Hoshaw and the 7 Deadlies were rifling through a set that included some new tasty material, and closed with Hoshaw’s solo-acoustic rendition of Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic,” which he made thoroughly his own.

Matt Cox performed as a trio without a drummer, which he didn’t miss at all. I’ve been told he’s a blues guy, but he didn’t play any blues Saturday afternoon, more like C&W-inflected Americana, Hank Williams Sr./Jr. meets John Prine and a double-shot of bourbon. Word is he has a new album coming out. Looks like I’m late to the party (again).

Despite wearing an insulated wool peacoat I only had enough left to make it through one more band — Gus & Call — who continue to define their unique brand of alt-country that mixes twang with drone and feedback, or “Bootgaze” as I like to call it. I left right after their set at around 8 p.m., just as the crowd was beginning to show up. Here’s hoping the weather is better for this Saturday’s Dundee Spring Fling…

* * *

Watch your MAHA Music Festival Feed (facebook.com/MahaMusicFestival) tonight at around 9 as they announce two more main stage acts and three local bands who will be performing on the side stage, as well as all the details regarding their local showcase events. If you’re a Guided By Voices fan, chances are you’ll dig one of these main stage acts, a definite classic.

* * *

Speaking of classics, TSOL is playing tonight at The Waiting Room w/ Shot Baker, Bullet Proof Hearts, RAF and Cordial Spew — maybe the best full-out punk show of the year. $14, 8 p.m. (early start). Bring your earplugs!

Just as classic is Lucinda Williams tonight at The Slowdown. This also is an early start — 8 p.m. — with no opening act, so you better get down there on time. $30.

* * *

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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The Hole is deep-sixed (for now); no public CVS hearing; Hoshaw, Blue Rosa tonight; Jenny/Johnny, Jakes-fest Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:38 pm September 10, 2010

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tonight’s Laura Stevenson and the Cans show at The Hole will be the venue’s last…  at least at its existing location.

Lucas Wright, who books shows at The Hole under the moniker Black Heart Booking, e-mailed saying that if you drive by the venue, located at 712 So. 16th St. (the old Diamond Bar), you’ll find lots of construction equipment and city workers replacing sewer pipe.

“Last Tuesday a pipe burst and flooded the basement of the Hole, and the owners basically kicked out Anna and Donny (Diederich) so they could remodel and clean up the damages,” Wright said, adding that it was easy to do since the Diederichs never signed a lease.

The building owner also recently finished renovating the apartments above The Hole, and plans on renting them out, Wright said. “I guess he tried telling Donny he could only do shows on Fridays and Saturdays to accommodate the potential new tenants, which Donny didn’t like at all. So I think he was basically looking for an excuse to oust them.”

Wright said the Diederichs are now looking at a spot in Benson in the 60th and Maple area (next to the Subway sandwich shop). “(It’s) quite a bit bigger (3,700 sq ft), so maybe this will all work out for the best in the end,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wright is busting ass trying to find other venues for the shows he had scheduled at The Hole, “which is proving somewhat difficult as two of them are coming up right away.”

So tonight’s show at The Hole is the venue’s last hurrah. It was only last February that it opened at the Diamond Bar location (read about its origins here). Help it go out in style. Also on the bill are Lincoln punkers Thunderbolts, Fargo metal/punk act Animal Lover and Omaha acoustic punk band Ogdenville. $6, 8 p.m.

* * *

A brief update on yesterday’s 49’r/CVS item: KETV had reported that if the resolution to reconsider the proposal to build a CVS pharmacy at 49th and Dodge passes (which goes in front of the Omaha City Council on Tuesday), there would be a public hearing the following Tuesday. Now WOWT and Omaha.com are reporting that there won’t be another public hearing, merely another vote on the CVS project at the Sept. 21 City Council meeting. Councilman Ben Gray, who wants the Council to reconsider the deal, said on WOWT last night that he hasn’t changed his mind (he voted against it) and that he just wants new information to be considered. I don’t buy it, and I’d say things aren’t looking good for the Niner…

* * *

The weekend is upon us. Here’s a rundown of shows on my radar screen:

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies are playing tonight at The Stir Lounge in Council Bluffs (at Harrah’s). I have a feeling Hoshaw will be rolling out new material. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, down at Slowdown Jr tonight, it’s the Blue Rosa CD release party with Honey and Darling and Dim Light. $6, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Satchel Grande and Conchance play at The Waiting Room. $7, 9 p.m.

Benson will be hopping Saturday night. Jenny and Johnny (as in Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley fame and Johnathan Rice) are playing at The Waiting Room Saturday with Love As Laughter. $15, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, just around the corner (literally) is the fall “just because we can” block party hosted by Jake’s Cigars & Spirits on Military Ave. The line-up for the show:

  • Flowers Forever
  • Noah’s Ark was a Spaceship
  • Her Flyaway Manor
  • Dim Light
  • Brad Hoshaw
  • Conduits
  • Gooses
  • Awkwords
  • Butler & the Gentlemen
  • Landing on the Moon

No price is listed for Jakes-fest on Jake’s website, but I’m hearing it’ll run $10 and starts at 5 p.m..

Also Saturday night, Saudi Arabia (Shanks) is playing at O’Leaver’s with Brimstone Howl and La Casa Bombas. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And then Sunday at O’Leaver’s it’s The Answer team with Big Science and Ketchup & Mustard Gas. $5, 9:30 p.m.

* * *

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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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