New Digital Leather music (sort of); Car Seat Headrest, Mystery Lights tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:54 pm November 2, 2016
Car Seat Headrest gave my favorite performance of the festival. The band plays at The Waiting Room tonight.

Car Seat Headrest gave my favorite performance of the festival. The band plays at The Waiting Room tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

File this under “Get it while you can”… Ian Aeillo (under the moniker Flight School) just posted his interpretation of seven classic Digital Leather songs, of course without the band’s permission. We’re talking soothing, Autumnal renditions of brutal synth-punk songs like “Studs in Love,” “Styrofoam” and my all-time favorite Digital Leather song, “Modern Castles.” Aeillo played all the instruments (mostly synths). Check it out while you can, below…

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Maha 2016 performer Car Seat Headrest returns to Omaha tonight, this time at The Waiting Room. Based on the set list from Monday night’s show in Boulder (online here) expect to hear a lot of songs off their latest, Teens of Denial (2016, Matador), an album that is on my short list of favorites this year. Opening is Seattle trio Naked Giants (Miscreant Records). $15, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, New York City band The Mystery Lights (Wick/Daptone) headlines at Reverb Lounge with Sean Pratt & The Sweats & David Nance. $8, 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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New Faint video; Car Seat Headrest returns in November; Kevin Seconds (7 Seconds), Kait Berreckman tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:55 pm August 24, 2016
At Brad's Corner during last week's Benson First Friday festivities, from left, are Matt Whipkey, Kait Berreckman and Brad Hoshaw. Berreckman celebrates the release of her debut album tonight at O'Leaver's.

Kait Berreckman, center, during a recent First Friday performance at Brad’s Corner in Benson. Berreckman celebrates the release of her debut album tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Let me be the last to the party to tell you about the new Faint video for “Skylab 1979.” I’m just now watching it for the first time over my lunch hour. Pretty cool. Directed by band members Todd Fink and Graham Ulicny. The song, taken from the upcoming CAPSULE: 1999-2016 collection (via Saddle Creek) sounds like classic Faint, which means it’ll blend right into the compilation. Check it out below:

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Wouldn’t you know it, on the Monday after Maha One Percent Productions announces that festival standout Car Seat Headrest will be playing The Waiting Room Nov. 2. For $15, I’ll be there. Wonder what other Maha festival performers will be coming through town again soon…

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Kinda busy night tonight show-wise…

Tonight at The Brothers lounge Kevin Seconds of the hardcore band 7 Seconds headlines with Steve Soto of The Adolescents and The Broke Loose. $10, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Waiting Room Ace Frehley (formerly of KISS, though does anyone ever really leave that band?) headlines with SIMO. $40, 8 p.m.

And down at fabulous O’Leaver’s (where I’m sure there was a river just outside their door last night) Kait Berreckman celebrates the release of her debut album Battle Scenes. Joining her are Soul Tree and Tara Vaughan. $5, 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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Maha Music Festival weekend (and Car Seat Headrest preview); Wagonblasters, Chemicals, Your Friend tonight; Diet Cig after Maha…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:29 pm August 19, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The crowd gets into Atmosphere at The Maha Music Festival, 8/15/15. This year's festival happens tomorrow.

The crowd gets into Atmosphere at The Maha Music Festival, 8/15/15. This year’s festival happens tomorrow.

In my Reader write-up I mentioned Car Seat Headrest as the band I’m most excited to see play at this year’s Maha Music Festival, which (of course) is tomorrow at Aksarben Village. The band’s new album, Teens of Denial (2016, Matador), is far and away my favorite record so far this year. A double-album, every one of the 12 tracks is a keeper, which makes it a throw-back  to an era when albums (not just songs) mattered, and so did the words.

Considering the over-riding theme — a young man’s struggle with depression, paranoia, anger, lonesomeness, and a world filled with ennui — I guess you could call it a concept album. Car Seat Headrest (one of the worst band names anyone could dream up) is mostly singer/songwriter Will Toledo, a 24-year-old dude from Leesburg, Virginia, now residing in Seattle. Chris Lombardi at Matador Records signed him in 2015 conceivably after hearing the best bits of the 12 albums he released on Bandcamp. It’s a story that kind of reminds me of how Matador signed Liz Phair after hearing her Girly Songs demos.

Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial (2016, Matador)

Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial (2016, Matador)

The band’s debut, Teens of Style, came out in 2015; but its Teens of Denial that represents the first solid, cohesive release by Toledo. Sonically, the album is an amalgamation of 90’s-era indie, but most beholden to Pavement and Stephen Malkmus. A song like, say, “Destroyed By Hippie Powers,” sounds like a tuneful out-take from Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain sung by a doped up Ray Davies of The Kinks. If you’re a fan of any of those classic ’90s releases on Matador or Homestead or Grass you’ll be right at home here.

Thematically, Toledo paints a grey portrait of a nerdy white dude trying to fit into a hipster world filled with drugs and assholes where he doesn’t (think he) belong(s). It’s personal confessions taken from a movie John Hughes would have directed had he survived until the 2010s, with lyrical clarity matched only by Westerberg (or our very own Conor Oberst). Each song has at least one deviously clever line (and more). Some of my faves:

“Fill in the Blank” — You have no right to be depressed / You haven’t tried hard enough to like it.

“Vincent” — If I’m being honest with myself / I haven’t been honest with myself.

“Destroyed by Hippies” — It’s more than you bargained for / But it’s less than what you paid for.

“(Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Using) Drugs with Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem” — Drugs are better, drugs are better with / Friends are better, friends are better with drugs.

“Not What I Needed” — I’ve been waiting all my life for some real good porn / Something with meaning, something fulfilling / I’d like to make my shame count for something.

“Drunk Drivers / Killer Whales” — We are not a proud race / It’s not a race at all / We’re just trying, I’m just trying to get home.

“1937 State Park” — I didn’t want you to hear / That shame in my voice / My pain is my own.

“Cosmic Hero” — And of course I’m alright with death / But do why you talk about it so goddamn much?

“The Ballad of the Costa Concordia” — How was I supposed to remember to grab my backpack after I set it down to play basketball?

“Connect the Dots (The Saga of Frank Sinatra)” — Little boy says I’ll touch the heart of the nation / Little boy says I’ll punch the heart of everyone.

“Joe Goes to School” — I’m a tourist attraction / Biking down Dog Street.

There’s more lines and better ones and they all sound better in context and surrounded by power chords and blister-fast drums (at least during the upbeat ones). If you listen to the album with the lyric sheet, as I did, you’ll walk away a bit befuddled, a bit depressed and sorry for young Toledo who (probably) doesn’t have anything in his life that deserves your pity. There is a semblance of hope that underlines the overall experience, a realization that this character, this kid is smart enough to figure it all out on his own.

It’s a great album with a message about depression that fits well with Maha’s overarching mental health theme this year. Who knows if it’ll translate live on the Maha stage. I’ve seen a lot of bands who know how to write great songs and record terrific albums that wind up being dead-boring live.  We’ll see tomorrow.

Those going to tomorrow’s festival, everything you’d want to know about Maha is available right here at the Hear Nebraska website. You can, of course, also go to the Maha website for details. GA tickets are $55 today. I think they go up DOS. And Maha still has VIP tickets available for $185, which is a steal if you like most of the bands.

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Diet Cig at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016. The band plays the Maha afterparty at Reverb tomorrow night.

Diet Cig at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016. The band plays the Maha Festival afterparty at Reverb Lounge tomorrow night.

Maha isn’t the only thing going on this weekend.

Tonight at Reverb Lounge Relax, It’s Science headlines a show that includes Wagonblasters (Gary Dean Davis’ latest and greatest) and Pyrate. $5, 9 p.m.

Around the corner at The Waiting Room, Chemicals (amazing prog-jazz-rock band featuring some of Omaha’s best talent) opens for Funk Trek. Chemicals on this big stage could be something else. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Your Friend headlines a big show also featuring Chicago’s The Dan Ryan, Briner and Sam Adam Martin. $7, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night is usually dedicated to Maha after parties, but this year there’s only one, at Reverb with See Through Dresses, Bien Fang, Anna McClellan and (just announced this morning) “special guest” Diet Cig. There had been rumors or rumblings that Car Seat Headrest was the special guest, but apparently not. The free afterparty show starts at 10 p.m. Last year’s O’Leaver’s afterparty featured a set by Speedy Ortiz that eclipsed their set at Maha (and which you can hear right here).

That’s all I got. See you at Aksarben tomorrow, and have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Gramps, Millions of Boys tonight; Channel Pressure Saturday, toy drive weekend; Car Seat Headrest Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 11:02 am December 11, 2015
Gramps at Barley Street Tavern, July 11, 2015. The band celebrates its EP release tonight at O'Leaver's.

Gramps at Barley Street Tavern, July 11, 2015. The band celebrates its EP release tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here’s the weekend rundown…

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s Gramps celebrates the release of its debut EP. You can check out the entire 4-song collection on Soundcloud below. Crunchy, sassy, slacker indie rock from the guy behind Love Drunk Studio. Opening is Millions of Boys and Uh Oh. $5, 9:30 p.m. Get there early.

Also tonight new all-ages venue Milk Run, 1907 Leavenworth, has a night of emo headlined by Omaha’s Super Ghost with Lincoln’s blét, KC band Pamona and Justin Ready & the Echo Prairie. $5, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to O’Leaver’s for a night of electronic music featuring Channel Pressure, a project featuring Todd Fink (The Faint, Digital Leather) and Graham Ulicny (Reptar). Also on the bill are Rogue Moon and Monotrench. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also happening all weekend is the annual Toy Drive for Pine Ridge. The toy drive started in 2003 with Larry Dunn — an Omaha musician also known as Lash LaRue — a friend and a small pick-up truck. Dunn became aware of the extreme need of the residents of Pine Ridge after spending time on the South Dakota reservation.

Performing the benefit Friday night at Reverb Lounge is Lash LaRue and the Hired Guns along with Matt Cox and The Prairie Gators. Saturday night Satchel Grande headlines the toy drive at The Waiting Room with Vago and Bazile Mills. Get into either show with $10 or a new unwrapped toy. Both shows start at 9 p.m.

Finally Sunday night Matador Records artist Car Seat Headrest headlines at Lookout Lounge, 320 So. 72nd Street. The band’s recent album, Teens of Style (2015, Matador) received a whopping 8.1 rating from Pitchfork. This is what you call a buzz band. Opening the show is Vegetable Deluxe and Relax, It’s Science. $8, 8 p.m.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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