Bright Eyes cancels tour through mid-June; why aren’t artists backing NIVA efforts? Old Cactus Nerve Thang, new Beauty Pill, PUP…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:58 pm April 27, 2020

D.C. band Beauty Pill has a new single from a forthcoming album.

by Tim McMahan,

Last Friday Bright Eyes sent out a press release saying it is cancelling or rescheduling a number of U.S. dates beginning in May through mid June.

From the release: “Regretfully, yet predictably, we have had to re-think many of our upcoming tour dates. We hope to be in a better position to gather and celebrate at a later date.

No surprise here. Hey guys, when’s the album coming out?

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What I am surprised about is why artists haven’t jumped onto the NIVA efforts to drum up legislation to help venues, promoters and artists sidelined by the COVID pandemic. NIVA is the National Independent Venue Association, which I wrote about here last week (take a look).

I assumed this week we’d see a bunch of artists voicing support for NIVA’s lobbying effort, which will no doubt impact them and their careers greatly. And yet, I haven’t seen a word on social media or elsewhere from artists lending their support. Or maybe it’s too soon for them to act? Certainly amplifying NIVA’s current efforts can’t be a bad thing.

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A couple new songs came through my email this morning.

Beauty Pill is a D.C.-based indie rock act that’s been kicking around since 2002, born out of the ashes of another band I dug called Smart Went Crazy. The band has a new album coming out May 8 on Northern Spy Records called Please Advise. “The Damndest Thing” is the second single. Check it out out.

The last concert I saw before the lock down was PUP at The Waiting Room March 4. Fun show. The band today released its first new song of 2020 called “Anaphylaxis.” Check it:

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I almost forgot…

Once upon a time there was an Omaha band called Cactus Nerve Thang. It consisted of Lee Meyerpeter, guitar/vocals; Pat Dieteman, drums/vocals and Brian Poloncic, bass/vocals. Their sound was a sloppy mix of lo-fi noise, rock, grunge and punk. Their one and only album, Sloth, was recorded in ’93 at Junior’s Hotel in Otho, Iowa, and released on Grass Records, and featured what many believe to be one of the ugliest album covers in the history of recorded music (though I don’t think it was that bad).

Over the weekend someone posted an old Cactus Nerve Thang performance on YouTube: “Rose,” performed live at Davey’s Uptown in KCMO, 2/19/1993. Enjoy.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Bright Eyes drops another one; more depressing COVID music news…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:21 pm April 22, 2020

by Tim McMahan,

Yesterday Bright Eyes dropped the second song from their upcoming album on Dead Oceans. The track, “Forced Convalescence,” features a bevvy of guest players including Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jon Theodore from Queens of the Stone Age.

From the press release:

“’Forced Convalescence’ finds Conor Oberst at his world-weary best, picking apart the human condition and struggling to reconcile the past with whatever the future holds. All from the comfort of his bed. The slick, near-joyous sounding fever dream grows into a rich and languid swirl with help from a gospel choir. This may be as close to a Rat Pack-era lounge singer as Oberst has ever come. Albeit one with a head full of prose and existential angst.”

Check it out below:

No word on the album’s release date. I can’t imagine they’re in any hurry with touring on hold everywhere.

I’ve been mulling over how bars and venues are going to reopen and allow shows when things begin to ease up COVID-wise. There’s no doubt some states will be opening much sooner than others.

If you believe what it says at this COVID website, social easing wouldn’t begin in Nebraska (and Iowa) until July, whereas Missouri could start as early as June 7 and Minnesota would start May 30, all based on projected peaks, etc. Hot spots like California could begin in mid-May.

With such a random pattern — each state doing its own thing — how are bands supposed to book tours? I guess when you can’t even fathom how a venue will be able to even host a show, tour booking is probably not front of mind.

This NME article describes a show in Sweden where “a room that can hold 350, capacity is restricted to 40 punters – plus a sound engineer, two members of staff and the band, bringing the number up to the guidelines of 50 people in total.

Think about applying similar limitations at our clubs. How many could you allow in for a typical show at The Waiting Room and “be safe”? Fifty? Slowdown’s big room, maybe 75? How about tiny Reverb or fabulous O’Leaver’s?

That being the case, it seems more likely that we’ll see small local live shows before we see any big name touring acts. Or, imagine if you booked a band that would naturally sell out The Slowdown. Could you up the price for tickets knowing they would be limited to fewer than 100? It would be like an intimate performance, with people standing 6 to 8 feet apart… Still, very unlikely when you’re going to have a hard time just getting people to overcome their fear.

Arena shows and festivals now sound like they’ll be on hold until late 2021 or longer, if you read this Los Angeles Times article that pretty much guesses that you’re not going to see pre-COVID-style rock shows until about 70 percent of the population is vaccinated.

The margins in this business are going to be the 20% of fans who won’t go back to shows until there’s a vaccine. We’re at a point where fans can really lose a lot of confidence, and it’ll take more than a vaccine to re-engage them.”

Coachella apparently is still scheduled for sometime in October, but as the article states: Even if California does what it needs to prevent new infections locally, a 125,000-capacity music festival with fans traveling from all over would be an ideal scenario for new transmissions. Every expert interviewed said large concerts and festivals would be a terrible idea for the foreseeable future.


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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


New Bright Eyes song premieres; treat your live streams like live shows…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:12 pm March 24, 2020

Bright Eyes today premiered “Persona Non Grata,” the first new song by the band in nine years.

by Tim McMahan,

Just under 2,000 people listened in live to the world premiere of the new Bright Eyes song, “Persona Non Grata,” on YouTube this morning.

To me, what sets Bright Eyes songs apart from other Oberst-related music is the dense, fog-lit production by way of master craftsman Mike Mogis — keyboards, drums, bag pipes and Oberst at his quivering-voice best singing about heartbreak of one kind or another to a waltz-time beat. And is that Phoebe Bridgers I hear adding harmonies? Maybe, maybe…

The band said in a letter via the press release that they will be releasing a new album “this year no matter what,” though they are now reassessing touring plans. COVID-19 strikes again, eh?

All in all, it was a pretty successful song premiere. But they did have a captive audience, as we’re all trapped at home with nothing better to do. Dead Oceans (or whoever was behind the premiere) did it right by pre-announcing the exact time and sending out links via social media. There’s a lesson to be learned there.

A lot of artists are now live-streaming performances via Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, etc., but in a lot of cases (for me, anyway), people trip over them after the fact. It’s not a big deal if you’re someone like Bright Eyes, who has a fan base looking for the song, but for the rest of you, well, a little head’s up would be kind of nice.

And it’s as simple as treating your live streams like any other live show performance — i.e., create a Facebook event invitation. It’s how a lot of us keep track of upcoming performances, just like we used to for live shows (Anyone remember live shows?).

For example, the fine folks at The Sydney created a Facebook event invitation for this Friday night’s live stream featuring Mike Schlesinger and Rebecca Lowry. Now the gig will show up on my Facebook events list, just like any other live event. Take a look.

While it’s nice that folks are creating lists of live performances, like this one from NPR, who remembers to go back and look at those?

Yes, I know we’re all home anyway (as someone told me who was arguing against the idea), but the fact is even at home we’re bombarded with a million things to do. Make your live stream performances “appointment watching.”

AND, if I catch wind of your live stream – and you create a Facebook Event listing for it – it’s very likely I’ll also list it in the daily Lazy-i update. Just sayin’…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


How will COVID-19 impact rock ‘n’ roll?; Neva Dinova / Bright Eyes surprise; Las Cruxes live…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:50 pm March 11, 2020

No, it’s not the cover of the new Luna album…

by Tim McMahan,

My lack of updates has more to do with having little to write about than my general laziness. That said, with Cononavirus COVID-19 boiling on the horizon, I’m afraid I’ll have even less to write about in the very near future.

We all know SXSW has been deep-sixed and Coachella is being “postponed” until the fall. Forget about the festivals. The next obvious question is: When will COVID-19 result in cancellation of rock shows coming our way, and how squeamish will people be about being crushed hip-to-hip at any of our local venues?

There are still skeptics who say the whole thing is being overblown. COVID-19 will really hit home for skeptics 1) when someone they know gets it, 2) when they’ve been forced to work from home or are self-quarantined, or 3) when something they really like is taken away.

They’re talking about playing the NCAA basketball tournament in empty arenas. Isn’t it only a matter of time before more bands follow Pearl Jam’s lead and cancel their spring and summer tours? Even small indie acts?

In a time when artists — specifically indie artists — no longer make significant money from CD sales and depend on touring and merch sales for income, COVID-19 could be a real financial knee-capper. Or imagine being on tour only to have the venue reach out on the road to say it’s no longer hosting shows due to COVID-19. Now what?

Imagine you’re a brand new act like Disq, who just released a great record on Saddle Creek, with plans to tour the country and play festivals all summer. What happens if COVID-19 craters your tour? Touring by itself is a financially risky venture; even more so when three or four dates are cancelled.

On top of that, think about the medical risks bands take playing crushed venues in different towns every night? Forget about foregoing handshakes, what do you do about hugs at the merch table?

And how will music venues be financially impacted by COVID-19 from either a downturn in business, cancelled tours or cancelled shows? Will they be able to keep the lights on if they lose a few months’ worth of revenue?

So yeah, worst case scenario it could be a long, boring rock-show-free summer, and that would be a bummer, but also think about everyone in the rock ‘n’ roll food chain who will be impacted by COVID-19, and pray there are no serious long-term impacts.

Get out to the clubs while we’re still getting rock shows. Just make sure you wash your hands.

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Speaking of rock shows, our old friends in Neva Dinova have been added as the opening act to the sold out May 23 Bright Eyes concert at the Hollywood Palladium. Isn’t that a kick in the head. Maybe if we’re lucky, Jake Bellows and the boys will make a trip out to play at an Omaha Bright Eyes show (which, btw, is still non-existent).

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Omaha’s favorite Latin-language garage-punk rockers Las Cruxes did a live in-studio performance for Check it out.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.



Random Notes: New Twinsmith single; Pitchforkfest announced; labels’ new fast release schedules; new Bright Eyes tour dates (NOmaha…)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 7:58 am February 20, 2020

Twinsmith dropped a new single yesterday.

by Tim McMahan,

Some catching up on items old and new…

Omaha band Twinsmith has a new single out called “Dreamer,” released on Silver Street Records. As lead singer Jordan Smith describes it, “The song concept is about someone struggling with an addiction and realizing their struggle, but how hard it is to snap out of it. We all know someone going through that.” The track was produced by James Fleege at Silver Street studios in Ashland and mastered by the master, Doug van Sloun at Focus. This follows the release of the 2019 single “Feels,” the band’s Silver Street debut after apparently leaving Saddle Creek Records. Check it out below:

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Welp, they announced the line-up for this year’s Pitchfork Festival yesterday. The dates are July 17-19. Headliners are Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Run the Jewels and The National. Also on board are former Saddle Creek act Big Thief, current Saddle Creek act Hop Along, Phoebe Bridgers, Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten and the return of Fiery Furnaces. Three-day Pitchforkfest passes are $185, which is kinda/sorta a bargain in the festival game.

Why do I have a feeling one of the above-mentioned bands will also be at Maha this year?

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Saddle Creek Records A&R Director Amber Carew is among those interviewed in a Billboard article that dropped yesterday that talks about why indie artists are releasing music at a much faster pace these days.

She said in the old days when she was at ANTI- Records non-LP projects was frowned upon. From the article: “‘So let’s just keep writing until you have a full LP,’” she remembers hearing. “That was always a sentiment that was given to the artists, and that doesn’t come out of my mouth anymore.” It’s all about streaming. Read the epic-ly long article here.

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And Bright Eyes announced an expanded run of tour dates yesterday, but nothing announced in Omaha yet. I suspect there will be a Bright Eyes date here at some point…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Bright Eyes signs to Dead Oceans, to tour in 2020; new Meth Head Steamroller…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:47 pm January 21, 2020

Bright Eyes in the recording studio.

by Tim McMahan,

The Bright Eyes eye chart clue from Instagram.

The clues were right in front of your eyes. Yesterday followers of the Bright Eyes Instagram site were treated to photos of cryptic concert posters that all but claimed a new record and tour.

Then this morning NME reported Bright Eyes will release a new album on Dead Oceans sometime in 2020. The End of the Road Festival in Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset, England, Sept. 3-6 will be just one stop on a world tour that likely will take Conor Oberst, Nate Walcott and Mike Mogis everywhere (but not to Omaha, not yet anyway).

A video of the trio in the studio with a chamber orchestra was posted on the Dead Oceans twitter feed. This from the Dead Oceans press release:

And while 2020 is a year of milestones for the band, it’s also the year Bright Eyes returns, newly signed to indie label Dead Oceans. Amidst the current overwhelming uncertainty and upheaval of global and personal worlds, Oberst, Mogis, and Walcott reunited under the moniker as both an escape from, and a confrontation of, trying times. Getting the band back together felt right, and necessary, and the friendship at the core of the band has been a longtime pillar of Bright Eyes’ output. For Bright Eyes, this long-awaited re-emergence feels like coming home.”

Kind of, but if they were coming home, they would be coming back to Saddle Creek Records.

No one really thought that Bright Eyes was a dead entity. The collective is just another Oberst incarnation; it just happens to be his best incarnation. There’s a story there somewhere about why two of the crown jewels — Bright Eyes and Cursive — parted ways with the label they helped build. It can’t be money issues — could they really make that much more going to a different label (or creating their own)? Not likely; not these days.

While Oberst’s other recording projects were released on other labels, Bright Eyes was — and will always be — considered a Saddle Creek entity, no matter what Dead Oceans says or does. Saddle Creek was where the magic happened. The fact that Bright Eyes didn’t return to that label is the only sad note in this good news story.

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Maybe just as important as that Bright Eyes news is that Meth Head Steamroller — a project by the mysterious Benny Leather and mad king renaissance producer Ian Aeillo — dropped a new EP in Bandcamp. Enjoy!

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Waiting for the other Bright Eyes shoe to drop; S. Raekwon gets the Document treatment (from Saddle Creek)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:43 pm January 14, 2020

S. Raekwon is the latest artist in Saddle Creek Records’ Document Series.

by Tim McMahan,

Been slow ’round these parts lately. Everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop regarding Bright Eyes. I’ve been told that part of what I posted last week was correct. Not the part about Fevers and Mirrors or back catalog reissue via Team Love. Go back and do the math. Now we just wait for the inevitable announcement from the winning record label and what have you. It’s going to be an interesting 2020.

It will be for Saddle Creek Records, too (but not because of Bright Eyes). Today the label announced that S. Raekwon will be the next artist to release a single as part of their Document singles series. Did you, like me, immediately think of Wu Tang? Well, it’s not that Raekwon. This one is Steven Raekwon Reynolds, who records meditative bedroom indie rock under the name S. Raekwon. “Parts Towards Whole” b/w “A Crow’s Smile” comes out Feb. 7. Check out the A-side below and pre-order here.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


What’s the deal with Bright Eyes? Relax, It’s Science Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:39 pm January 10, 2020

Bright Eyes new graphic added to its website and social media accounts.

by Tim McMahan,

Yesterday the folks behind Omaha indie band Bright Eyes changed the branding on their social media and band websites. What could it mean?

My sources tell me… actually, my sources don’t tell me anything. It could be a promotion for a 20th anniversary release of Fevers and Mirrors. Or it could be that Bright Eyes has retained the rights to its back catalog from Saddle Creek and will use its own label — in this case, Conor Oberst’s Team Love Records — to do a series of reissues, much the way Cursive did when it reissued its back catalog on its label, 15 Passenger Records.

If you sign up for the Bright Eyes mailing list from the rebranded website, you’re provided with this mailing address:

Bright Eyes
11 Church Street
New Paltz, New York 12561

That’s the address for the Team Love Records worldwide headquarters. (By the way, take a look at a Google street view of that address — New Paltz looks absolutely charming!).

Or maybe it could just mean the boys are getting the band back together. With Phoebe Bridgers releasing a new album and presumably touring throughout 2020 and Mogis and Walcott apparently wrapping up soundtracks and other projects, maybe the time is right to kick the tires on the ol’ Bright Eyes jalopy? No doubt a tour would be something special.

Anyway, we’ll find out soon enough. Probably.

There’s only one show of note this weekend: Libations, a KC band that calls itself  “a three piece mathy indie band,” headlines at fabulous O’Leavers Saturday night. Joining them are a couple new Omaha bands I’m not familiar with — Yoga with Cats and Goosehound. In the middle is the double-bass-attack madness we know as Relax, It’s Science. All four bands for just $5. 9 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section have a great, snowy weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


#TBT Bright Eyes on Late Late Show, Lazy-i Feb. 15, 2005…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:08 pm February 15, 2018

Conor Oberst slouches next to Craig Ferguson from the Late Late Show circa 2005.

by Tim McMahan,

This being Conor Oberst’s birthday (he’s 38 today, whoda thought?), and with nothing else going on, here’s a TBT item from Lazy-i from way back on Feb. 15, 2005. Back then, Bright Eyes national TV appearances were still very much a novelty, and YouTube didn’t exist to post the shows online the following day. If you wanted to watch them after-the-fact, you had to have a TiVo, which I just happened to own back in the day…

Anywhere, here’s the Lazy-i write-up the day after, written 13 years ago….

Bright Eyes on the Late Late Show…Lazy-i, Feb. 15, 2005

I TiVo’d Bright Eyes on the Late Late Show last night. What happened to Craig Kilborn? He turned into an unfunny, geeky Irish guy in a bad suit. To be honest with you, I hated Kilborn’s snarky approach and was happy to see him go. But who is this guy? What the hell? I guess he’s kind of charming with his I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing schtick. Especially when he’s talking about Bright Eyes:

“I’m a big fan of the Bright Eyes. The American kids look to me for their musical tastes, and I have to say, ‘Bright Eyes, that’s my tip for the tour.'” A lot of what Craig Ferguson says doesn’t make sense. He could be Scottish. His next comment confirmed it. He said Bright Eyes is really just Conor Oberst, and compared BE to Scottish band Aztec Camera, saying that band was basically just Roddy Frame. “There was no Aztecs or cameras or anything. So when he gets out here I’m going to ask ‘Are you Conor or Bright Eyes?'”

Before that, though, was Jane Seymour and the bastard responsible for writing that over-glorified piece of shit called Million Dollar Baby – not exactly A-list guests. If you don’t have TiVo, really, consider picking one up. Then: “Please welcome Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes!” They played “Road to Joy,” a good choice, though I’m sure it frightened a lot of people in the Heartland. Conor smashed a guitar, Nate Walcott smashed his trumpet (I’m not kidding). It was very noisy. The mix was pretty bad.

And then, lo and behold, Conor did his first sit-down interview after a performance. So are you Bright Eyes or Conor Oberst? “Mike Mogis is the other person in the band.” Was anyone hurt during the destruction? “Everyone’s fine, I think.” Are you okay for cash? “That was an extremely expensive guitar I smashed.” You rock. I love your work. I’m reading you’re the new Bob Dylan. Do you like that? “There’s worse things to be called. I don’t see it myself, personally.” Who else is an influence? (I think that’s what he asked. Ferguson mumbles a lot.) “Townes Van Zandt, Leonard Cohen, Simon Joyner.”

Conor was funny with his shy-guy stutter, but he looked like he couldn’t wait to get out of that leather chair. Next up is Leno on May 3. I doubt that Oberst will be doing any chatting afterward on that one. Oberst is playing three sold-out nights at The Orpheum while he’s in L.A.– Lazy-i, Feb. 15, 2005


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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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.



Ten Questions with Goo Goo Dolls; Bright Eyes Ludwig-mastered box set; Closeness, Navy Gangs again tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:37 pm July 20, 2016
Closeness at O'Leaver's April 30, 2016.

Closeness at O’Leaver’s April 30, 2016. The duo plays tonight at Pageturners Lounge.

by Tim McMahan,

If the first three paragraphs of the below story look familiar it’s because I lifted them from my 1999 interview with Goo Goo Dolls, which you can read online here. GGD’s Robby Takac was a very good interview way back then. He laid it all out when I asked why the band switched from being basically a pop-punk band to mainstream AOR alt rockers. The answer has something to do with selling millions of albums.

I’m told that their show Friday night at Stir Cove is getting close to selling out. Here’s Ten Questions:


Goo Goo Dolls play Friday night at Stir Cove.

Ten Questions with Goo Goo Dolls

The first time I heard the Goo Goo Dolls was way back in ’92, after staying up late on a Sunday night to watch 120 Minutes on MTV. When the video for “There You Are” came on, featuring Goo Goo vocalist John Rzeznick doing his best Paul Westerberg-style crooning over a punchy, punky power chord, I was intrigued.

It was the band’s first video, and pretty much summed up their indie punk-rock sound and style — three average Joes running around an empty Buffalo, New York, baseball stadium, smiling for the camera without a care in the world.

But six years later, Goo Goo Dolls were a different band. Riding the success of their million-selling 1995 album, A Boy Named Goo, which featured the smash ballad, “Name,” Goo Goo Dolls went on to record the most played song on radio in 1998, “Iris,” the theme from the Nick Cage/Meg Ryan chick flick, City of Angels. It netted them three Grammy nominations and a first-class ticket out of the smoky punk bars and into sold-out arenas.

With the release of their latest album, Boxes (2016, Warner Bros), the Goo Goos are trying to change course once again. Rzeznik and co-founder/bassist Robby Takac hired a stable of writers in an effort to push themselves past their comfort zone. The product is a collection of king-sized alt-rock anthems that are a perfect fit for Stir’s Cove’s outdoor concert space, where the band performs Friday night.

We threw the Ten Questions gauntlet down on the Goo Goo Dolls, and Robby Tatac breached it with the following answers:

1. What is your favorite album?

Robby Takac: Todd Rundgren, A Wizard / A True Star

2. What is your least favorite song?

“The Weight,” by The Band

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

The completion of the song cycle you experience at live performances.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Being away from my wife and daughter.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Green Tea

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Buffalo, NY

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

They’ve all been perfect …. of course.

8. How did you pay your bills back when the band was just getting started?

Worked at a flower shop, was a DJ, spent lots of time recording punk rock bands, was a barback & bartender, spent some time as a stage hand ….

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I would like to own a Pez museum. I wouldn’t want to be a cop.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I was there once and it was so hot cows were exploding ….. no lie.

Goo Goo Dolls play with Collective Soul Friday, July 22, at Stir Cove, 1 Harrahs Blvd., Council Bluffs. Tickets are $43, showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to

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Saddle Creek is squeezing every last penny out of its back catalog with the release of a new six-record Bright Eyes box set. Remastered by legendary sound engineer Bob Ludwig, the box includes Fevers and Mirrors (2000), LIFTED or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (2002), I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (2005), Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (2005), Cassadaga (2007) and The People’s Key (2011).

That’s six albums on 10 LPs housed in tip-on jackets, including digital downloads of each album. The vinyl box set exclusives include colored vinyl, twelve 8×10 photo prints by Butch Hogan, and an essay by Nathaniel Krenkel. The vinyl box set is limited to 5,000 copies and includes all 10 LPs housed in a foil stamped linen-wrapped box. Price, a cool $150. You can pre-order now, release date is Sept. 16. Look for black vinyl individual copies of each remastered album available in November.

Saddle Creek is also offering a CD box of the same albums limited to 1,000 copies, also out Sept. 16. It costs a mere $60 a box.

Hey Saddle Creek, we’re still waiting for that exclusive Ladyfinger box set…

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The new Todd and Orenda Fink ambient rock project Closeness performs tonight at Pageturners Lounge. Here’s a review of their O’Leaver’s debut.  It’s definitely worth your while to see and hear them. Ridgelines opens the evening at 10 p.m. and the ‘nice price’ is absolutely free.

Also this evening, if you missed Navy Gangs last night at Milk Run, the band plays again this evening at Almost Music in the Blackstone District. Joining them are Staffers and Sean Pratt & The Sweats. This early 7 p.m. show will cost you $5. Also, Coneflower Creamery will be on site serving their home-made ice cream. Yum!

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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.