David Nance Band, Closeness tonight; Brad Hoshaw, Bed Rest Saturday; Minus the Bear, Your Smith Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:47 pm October 12, 2018

Minus the Bear’s farewell tour rolls through The Waiting Room Sunday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

First out of the gate is tonight’s show at Reverb Lounge featuring David Nance Band and Closeness. You read about David yesterday (here). Pitchfork gave his new album a 7.7 this morning. Come out and see what the fuss is all about. Closeness, the post-wave duo of Todd and Orenda Fink, open the show at 9 p.m. And it’s only $8.

Plus, looking at all my calendars, emails, etc. the Nance/Closeness show is the only thing happening tonight.

Tomorrow night Brad Hoshaw is playing an in-store at Homer’s in the Old Market (remember when in-stores were a regular thing?). The gig celebrates the 20th anniversary and cassette reissue of Brad’s first album Invisible Man. The fun starts at 11 a.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Reverb is hosting a local indie singer/songwriter show with Bed Rest, Lincoln’s House Vacations and Jacob James Wilton. $5, 8 p.m.

Then comes Sunday and two hot shows.

First on the list is Minus the Bear at The Waiting Room. This is being marketed as their “farewell tour.” From their website: “These final shows are a celebration for the community of fans who gave us so much through years of dedication. We’ll be digging deep in the MTB catalogue and we are honored for the opportunity to play our hearts out for you one last time.”

MTB has counted Omaha as a regular tour stop for as long as I can remember. I think the first time I saw them was when they played with These Arms Are Snakes, The Velvet Teen and Race for Titles at Sokol Underground back in 2003.

Anyway, Saturday night Caspian opens for MTB at 8 p.m. $25 Adv/$30 DOS.

Also Saturday night, newcomer Your Smith plays at Reverb Lounge. Your Smith used to be Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps. She used to sound like jangly indie, now she sounds like Sheryl Crow. That said, I can’t help but dig her single “Bad Habit.” LA act BAUM opens at 8 p.m. $10 Adv/$12 DOS.

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

* * *

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

Live Review: Closeness, Net; Those Far Out Arrows at Petfest…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:43 pm August 13, 2018

Closeness at Slowdown Jr., Aug. 10, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve seen Closeness a few times at O’Leaver’s and have always been moved/impressed with their music, but last Friday night’s show at Slowdown Jr. was next-level in its drive and intensity and overall sound; best set I’ve seen/heard from this duo.

Todd and Orenda Fink set up in their usual face-to-face format aglow in floor floods and LEDs, looking like a couple Amish goth hipsters in their Recapitate headgear (I need to get one of those, sans big-round brim). There’s always a deep density to their sound but Friday’s set felt, well, denser, and had a better flow, enhanced by two new songs (or at least a couple numbers that aren’t on their EP) that were dramatic and dancible, breaking up the monotony of their usual mid-tempo onslaught.

I may be imagining this, but it seems as if Todd is taking more of a lead on the vocals these days, and if there’s a quibble it’s in the overuse of vocoder/digital effects (It was funny hearing him ask for less drums in the monitors in robot voice). Todd has a damn fine voice when it’s unincumbered by techology. But maybe Orenda is supposed to be the “human” to his “robot” on these futuristic duets?

With two new songs, you have to wonder if there’s a new release on the horizon for Closesness. But at the pace in which Todd writes, it could be awhile until we get something in hand, especially if The Faint are also back at it again (They’re slated to play at Cloak & Dagger Fest in LA Nov. 10).

Net at Slowdown Jr., Aug. 10, 2018.

Opening act Oklahoma City’s NET played a strong set of post-rock songs that reminded me of early Devo without their quirk. Fast, spazzy, stacatto rock augmented with synths, they fancy themselves an electronic act, but the guitars dominated from where I was standing. Too often the synths sounded like they were filling in gaps, adding to the clutter rather than enhancing the sound. Because of that, they felt stuck between being an electronic act and a prog-punk band.

Good crowd, though disappointing in size (around 60?).

Those Far Out Arrows at Petfest, Aug. 11, 2018.

Saturday’s Petfest crowd was small but mighty as well, at least when I was there around 7 p.m. to see Those Far Out Arrows play a bad-ass set behind the Petshop in the parking lot.

Bed Rest at Petfest, Aug. 11, 2018.

This is a fun to see a small fest, with a vibe that’s a cross between a SXSW day show and 1968 minus the LSD — laid-back people hanging out with beers behind an orange cyclone fence while some guy sprayed graffiti across the way. Bands played alternating sets inside the Petshop garage, including a roaring Bed Rest, who impressed me with their post-punk bordering on emo rock.

TFOA’s set consisted almost entirely of new songs from their soon-to-be-released High Dive Records debut that is bound to make your best-of-2018 list. I can’t wait to see what happens after these guys hit the road…

* * *

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

Closeness, Digital Leather, Net tonight; Petfest (Those Far Out Arrows, Sam Martin, Hussies) Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:33 pm August 10, 2018

Closeness at O’Leaver’s, May 18, 2018. The duo plays tonight at Slowdown, Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Another red hot weekend (at least weather-wise), and the last one before the Maha Music festival. Here’s what’s on my radar:

Tonight at Slowdown Jr. Closeness — the post-rock project by Todd and Orenda Fink — headlines. Joining them is Digital Leather (with a new album on the horizon?) and Oklahoma City electronic act Net.

It’s four people playing music that was written on a computer and making it more human,” Net’s Tommy McKenzie told The Oklahoman. “(We) become syncopated like a machine. Everyone adds to an idea and expands it.”

Kraftwerk is thrown around as an influencer; I’m reminded of early Devo. $7, 9 p.m. See you there.

Also tonight, Bokr Tov plays at the Benson B-Side (next door to the Benson Theatre). Dylan Goodman opens at 10 p.m. $5.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s Petfest at the Pet Shop Gallery. The music runs from 2 p.m. to midnight. Performances by:

-Universe Contest
-Mike Schlesinger
-Those Far Out Arrows
-Hussies
-Sam Martin
-Black Johnny Quest w/Kethro
-Effluvium
-Ben Eisenberger
-Sean Pratt and the Sweats
-Bed Rest
-Artichoke Hearts
-Fifi NoNo (final performance?)
-3gypt
-Harvey Pekar (Cleveland, OH)
-The Meaninglessnesses (Magnetic Fields tribute band)

Late night Performances by:
-Kethro
-Cult Play

There’s no price listed but I doubt it’s free.

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

* * *

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

Live Review: Closeness, InDreama, Tbd. dance collective…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:40 pm May 21, 2018

InDreama at O’Leaver’s May 18, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Friday night felt like a “happening” at O’Leaver’s — a live show on stage and DJs on the patio. It was a wild, fun night.

The music kicked off with a set from InDreama, Nik Fackler’s psych-rock project which hasn’t played live in a couple years. Something indeed has changed over that time as the band never sounded so ferocious. So intense was the set that the music from the band’s debut album felt re-imagined, with Fackler slaying on lead guitar and vocals. Why they’ve been hiding all this time is a mystery.

A big part of the groovy vibe was supplied by the crowd, which was hyped and eager and very responsive. This would prove out next when .tbd dance collective took the stage.

.Tbd Dance Collective at O’Leaver’s May 18, 2018.

I wasn’t expecting much, considering the rather small and grungy confines of O’Leaver’s. The collective would have to come up with something creative to make this space come alive, and they did.

A trio of dancers, which included Fackler’s wife, Kat, walked out in formation dressed in shiny silver skin-tight jumpsuits and grabbed the audience with an interpretation of David Bowie’s “Girl Loves Me” off Blackstar that concluded with them ripping off their suits.

They were joined by the rest of the collective for a couple more routines that fell together seamlessly from song to song, concluding with a frenetic interpretation of Todrick Hall’s track “Dem Beats” where the crowd was invited to join in a communal dance that became a celebration. It was a high point of the evening.

Closeness at O’Leaver’s, May 18, 2018.

Finally Closeness — Todd and Orenda Fink — closed out the night with a set of their usual driving electronic rock. The music was as dense and ponderous as the heavy clouds of smoke that billowed from the floor between songs. I was thinking while listening that Closeness is a natural extension to what Todd did in The Faint married with Orenda’s unique style. Friday night’s show seemed to rely more on Todd than Orenda at least vocally, though both were in fine voice.

Now that summer is on its way O’Leaver’s is reaching some sort of party-scene apex, and I’m told there are more improvements to the club on the horizon…

* * *

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

Live Review: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club; Closeness, InDreama, Leafblower tonight; Velveteers, Ocean Black, U2 Saturday; Wye Oak Sunday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , — @ 12:23 pm May 18, 2018

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at The Slowdown, May 17, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’m told they did not roll in on motorcycles, but they looked like they could have. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club took the stage in Slowdown’s main room last night to a large, older, darkly clad crowd come to see these ’90s alt rock giants.

Starting out as a trio, they ripped through new stuff and old, including a tasty version of “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo” that had the crowd doing some overhead clapping. Listening to the band what came to mind was how many other acts (including a lot of grungy outlaw-country bands) have stolen their twangy blues-rock style. I could see how people initially compared them to early Led Zeppelin (in their blues-rock song structure) but also heard a Skynyrd and swamp-rock influence.

Guitarist Peter Hayes (who also played a small drum set) and bassist Robert Levon Been (who also played acoustic guitar) shared the mumbled vocals from song to song. A keyboardist joined them about 20 minutes into the set, filling out the sound especially on newer songs. Drummer Leah Shapiro kept the throaty, mid-tempo beat going all night. Fun set, and what little variety came from Hayes and Been switching off instruments or Hayes’ strange vocal microphone used for a few numbers I guess to give him an even grittier growl.

* * *

Lots o’ shows happening this weekend…

Tonight Closeness — Todd and Orenda Fink’s dreamy electronic rock project — headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s for what could be a spectacle as the Tbd. Dance Collective will perform in the center slot. What that entails within the basement-like confines of The Club is anyone’s guess. Opening is Nik Fackler’s prog-psych-rock project InDreama, who hasn’t gigged in many a moon. $7, 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Brothers Lounge, Max Trax Recording artist Leafblower headlines. Universe Contest opens at 10 p.m. This one’s $5.

Tomorrow night it’s back to O’Leaver’s for Velveteers — Demi and John Demitro out of Boulder playing a style that would have fit right in opening for BRMC. This is a loaded bill with the local stoner-rockers Ocean Black and Bad Bad Men (Hug, Wolf, Siebkin, say no more) . $8, 9 p.m.

What else… oh yeah, there’s a little band called U2 playing at CenturyLink Center tomorrow night (Saturday). I’m seeing tickets as low as $9 for this (behind the stage in nosebleed-land). Still, it’s U2. 8 p.m. start time.

Finally, Wye Oak plays at The Waiting Room Sunday night. Their new album, The Faster I Call, the Faster It Runs (2018, Merge) is a departure from their past stuff in that it actually kind of rocks in an electronic sort of way. Their best record yet? You be the judge. Palm (Carpark Records) opens a 8 p.m. $15.

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

* * *

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

The Broke Loose, Wagon Blasters, Closeness, Twinsmith, Clarence Tilton tonight; TFOA, Lupines, Bad Bad Men (John Wolf) Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 1:06 pm February 16, 2018

Twinsmith on the Maha Music Festival main stage back in 2014. The band plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s a packed weekend for local shows, not much from a national-touring-indie perspective, but what else is new? It’s February, after all. Who wants to tour through Omaha in February? Apparently no one.

Anyway…

The Brothers Lounge is really stepping up its game, hosting two shows this weekend. Tonight’s headliner is The Broke Loose. The band released a single this past January called “Flatlands,” and another in February called “Cold As Hell.” Both were recorded with Rick Carson at Make Believe Studios. Frontman Glenn Antonucci said they’re the first in a series of nine singles, all recorded at Make Believe, that they plan to release one by one over the course of 2018.

Why release a single at a time versus a full album?

“Well, a couple reasons,” Antonucci said. “For one, we thought many of the individual tracks that came out of this session had a distinctive feel, and could stand on their own. And of course, it also gives us the ability to offer up something new each month (or thereabouts), rather than drop an album on people all at once and then retreat into silence for a year or more.”

I like it. It’s like the old days or rock ‘n’ roll when bands released 45s then compiled them into albums. Too bad Broke Loose songs aren’t being released as 45s, but imagine how much that’d cost…

Opening for The Broke Loose tonight is legendary tractor-punk band Wagon Blasters (Gary Dean Davis and crew) and Ottumwa Iowa basement rockers X-Ray Mary. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight Closeness headlines at The Sydney in Benson. Seems like we haven’t heard from the dynamic duo of Todd and Orenda Fink for quite a while. Will we be getting a glimpse of new Closeness music tonight? Opening is Lincoln’s Universe Contest and garage-punkers FiFI NoNo. $5, 9 p.m.

That’s not all. Tonight Saddle Creek Records band Twinsmith headlines at Slowdown Jr. The Sunks open at 9 p.m. $10.

And also tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s another shit-kicker of a bill headlined by Omaha’s finest alt-country band Clarence Tilton, who just released a split LP with Monday Mourners. Opening for Tilton is fellow boot-scooters The Eletroliners and 24-Hour Cardlock. $5, 10 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to The Brothers for a special night of rock headlined by Those Far Out Arrows. The always awesome Lupines hold the second spot while a new band called Bad Bad Men, featuring John Wolf (Cellophane Ceiling, Bad Luck Charm), Chris Siebken (Lude Boys) and Jerry Hug (Ritual Device), has the opening slot. Lots o’ curiosity about these bad hombres. $5, 9 p.m.

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

* * *

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

Brad Hoshaw hits house circuit; Noah Sterba love; Nomaha Alerts: Luna, Beach Slang; Closeness tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:47 pm July 26, 2017

Closeness at O’Leaver’s April 30, 2016. The band plays at The Slowdown tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

What’s becoming a common occurrence (even with more established artists — Eric Bachmann just played a show at a house a couple blocks from me), Omaha singer/songwriter Brad Hoshaw announced he’s put together a “Summer House Tour.”

Although I’ve performed many house concerts over the years, this is my first time trying a full tour of house concerts,” Hoshaw said. “I will be performing 10 shows in living rooms and backyards across six states (NE, IA, WI, MN, SD, KS). The hosts are fans who have invited their friends and family to come enjoy a concert in their home. I’m not charging the hosts any money for the concert, but will rely on audience donations to fund my travels. My goal is to create a more authentic personal experience that will connect and strengthen the community that has formed around my music.”

Hoshaw will be selling an exclusive 4-song EP on the tour, which runs Aug. 3-20 starting in Overland Park, KS, and finishing in Lincoln, NE. The full schedule (including the Omaha date) is at bradhoshawmusic.com/shows.

* * *

Noisey did a nice write-up on Noah Sterba’s new album, 13-Bar Blues. You can read it here.

People are taking notice of the cadre of talent talent surrounding Sterba, consisting of David Nance, Simon Joyner, and the team of musicians who appear on their records. Someone should come up with a name for them — how ’bout the Almost Music Collective, since they all have been known to hang out there…

* * *

I’ve been told that my NOmaha Alerts are little more than whining and are a negative especially in the face of all the other talent local promoters are bringing to town. Maybe so, but more than anything, they point out who’s passing over Omaha on their tour, and maybe one of those promoters can work a miracle and get them to add a local date, who knows?

Top of my NOmaha list is Luna, who just announced a North American tour. The closest pass to our fair city is Nov. 1-4, when they play Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis. The tour is in support of an album of covers (including songs by The Cure, Mink DeVille and Fleetwood Mac) called A Sentimental Education, and an instrumental EP called A Place fo Greater Safety — the band’s first  output since Luna’s last studio album Rendezvous, released 13 years ago. Someone get them here.

I think I already mentioned the Afghan Whigs NOmaha alert. Today the band released a new single called “You Want One,” which is available as a free download here. Anyway, they’re still not coming here.

And Beach Slang yesterday announced their fall headlining tour. The closest pass to Omaha is KC Sept. 9, Chicago Sept. 17, Denver Nov. 7. NOmaha, though notably See Through Dresses will be joining them on five dates in mid-November.

* * *

Back to what IS happening in Omaha… tonight Closeness, the project featuring Todd and Orenda Fink, opens for Nicolas Jaar at The Slowdown in the big room. Jaar is a Chilean music producer, mixing engineer and DJ based in NYC. Having listened to some of his stuff this morning on Spotify, dancing not only is advised, it’s recommended. $20, 8 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

A comment, a couple reviews (CLOSENESS, jtvrdik) and DJ Dave (Goldberg) at Scriptown tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:48 pm May 25, 2017
Solid Goldberg at The Barley Street May 13. See him tonight at O'Leaver's.

Solid Goldberg at The Barley Street May 13, 2011. DJ Dave a.k.a. Dave Goldberg spins tonight at Scriptown Brewery.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I was going to post this yesterday but decided against it because I thought the Facebook scrap was dying down. These things have a way of exploding and disappearing in a matter of days. Then it flared up again yesterday afternoon.

I have no point of view on all of it. For whatever reason, I never saw Harouki Zombi when it was staged five or six years ago.

So instead of tracking on the back-and-forth in Facebook, I’ve been busy listening to recordings by O+S, High Up and CLOSENESS. Orenda Fink is one of the most talented people who has ever graced an Omaha stage, and I would be saddened if this controversy did anything to sway her from taking a stage here again, though I wouldn’t blame her if she didn’t. We may quickly forget about all this; I doubt she will…

* * *

Speaking of CLOSENESS, here are a couple of those Q1 2017 album reviews that never got published in The Reader:

CLOSENESS, Personality Therapy (Graveface) — Whereas Faint songs (especially the early ones) have a sinister, pleatherish quality, Orenda’s sound always has been ethereal (by nature of her sterling voice). This electronic hybrid doesn’t so much combine the best of both worlds as create something new and glisteningly futuristic. The final product is more computeristic than organic. Todd is never satisfied with letting his voice stand on its own without a Mr. Roboto filter. Fine. Orenda, on the other hand, is merely enhanced by shoe-gazy delay. Whether you believe either effect is necessary is a matter of taste, though too often the tech gets in the way of the words. But do words matter when you’re reaching for such sonic drama? The lasting impression is that of the duo climbing a chrome mountain, surrounded by lasers and kliegs, never out-stepping their songs’ monolithic, mid-tempo beats. And while I like the vibe, I’d like it more if I knew what they were singing about.

jtvrdik, IRONS — Though the one-sheet suggests you’ll be reminded of the glory days of Factory Records, I more often recalled early Interpol or The Faint (thanks to Clark Baechle’s touch on these recordings) though this is synthier and even more blank wave than those. It’s also dancier in a dirty, strobe-lit, Meatpacking District sort of way. The times Tvrdik lets his voice stand in contrast to the tech (like on centerpiece “A Funeral in Moscow”), the human irony shines through the shimmer and the dense, layered  beats. Black-lit, stylish, oddly gothic, oddly futuristic, ultimately cinematic.

* * *

I typically don’t post about DJ sets, but when it comes to Dave Goldberg…

Dave is spinning tracks tonight at Scriptown in the Blackstone. If you haven’t been there, here’s a great time to check out their outstanding beers and catch a local legend’s vinyl interpretations. 8 to 10 p.m. and free.

One other DJ note… Teresa and I had a blast Friday night at Benson Soul Society at Reverb Lounge watching/listening to DJ Tyrone Storm do his thing. We left shortly after his set (around 10), and I’m told these things don’t really heat up until midnight. We will return…

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Closeness’ formation a matter of the heart; review: Posse 7-inch; STRFKR, Matt Harnish (Bunnygrunt), Wagon Blasters, Bloom tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:01 pm March 15, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Today a story from Orenda Fink about the formation of Closeness, the new project she shares with her husband Todd, was published at talkhouse.com. I’m not sure this was reported before, it probably has been, but this is the first time I’ve run across it, and never so eloquently.

Orenda writes about her long-term heart ailment, something that’s plagued her since her days in Little Red Rocket, and how matters only worsened over the years, leading to Todd insisting she get it checked out. Good thing he did and she did, because the docs quickly put her under the knife. I’ll let Orenda describe what happened next, but the outcome not only is a healthy Orenda, it was impetus for her finally forming a band with her husband, something she’d thought about for years.

Read the story here, then go out and buy a copy of the the new Closeness album, Personality Therapy (2017, Graveface). And if you’re in Austin this week, check them out live.

* * *

I’m listening to the first release of Saddle Creek Records’ new “Document” series, featuring Seattle band Posse — the single “Kismet” b/w “Keep Me Awake.” The A-side is slow, dark and atmospheric, and includes a sweet Gilmour-esque guitar solo toward the end. I prefer the B-side, which has its own ripping guitar solo in the middle and which you’re going to have to pay to hear. With vocals handled by Paul Wittman-Todd and Sacha Maxim it strikes near to Painful-era Yo La Tengo territory, except that whoever’s playing that guitar blows Ira away.

The black vinyl single comes with a folded one-sheet that includes a history of Posse Seattle practice spaces that have seen the wrecking ball (or flood waters). The package is definitely worth $8. When’s the next one, Saddle Creek?

* * *

Some noteworthy shows for a Wednesday night…

Tonight trippy Portland indie pop band STRFKR (Polyvinyl, Badman) headlines at The Waiting Room with labelmates Psychic Twin. $20, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Matt Harnish from well-known (by some of us, anyway) ’90s indie band Bunnygrunt does a solo show at Brothers Lounge. Joining him are opening acts Wagon Blasters, Noah Sterba and Googolplexia. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, down at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Harrisburg post-hardcore band Bloom headlines a show with Bishops (the Bob-Mouldish garage rock band, not the ska band), Gogfermour and Medlock. $5, 9 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Conor Oberst; Closeness, High Up tonight; Sam Locke Ward, Simon Joyner, Growlers Saturday; Cold War Kids Sunday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:50 pm March 10, 2017

Conor Oberst at The Waiting Room, March 9, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Conor Oberst was the main event of last night’s Waiting Room 10th Anniversary bash.

Oberst, with his wacky wild man, just-rolled-out-of-bed hairdo, took the stage at 9:30 and kicked through about 75 minutes of folk rock backed by The Felice Brothers. The set consisted mostly of songs off his new album Salutations, which to me, sounds like a soft-rock combination of Blood on the Tracks-era Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Conor’s lyrics have never been sharper, though his melodies have lost their edge, especially when laid beside older material like “Poison Oak” and “Cape Canaveral.”

That said, Salutations takes the stripped-down material from Ruminations and thoughtfully beefs it up to create his best album since his 2008 eponymous release. Last night’s set was heavily weighted with the new stuff — this definitely will not be a greatest hits tour.

From my vantage point, Oberst approached the performance with workmanlike precision, fueled by a well-oiled Felice machine. It left me wistfully dreaming about Bright Eyes shows gone by, where Oberst was a lit fuse ready to either explode or fizzle out on stage. Kevin Coffey of the Omaha World-Herald reported (second hand) that he did blow up on stage. I guess I missed it.

In fact, I was expecting (hoping for) some political diatribe between songs, but no. Maybe Conor let off on the anti-Trump rhetoric because it was the Waiting Room’s birthday, which he referenced numerous times throughout the night.

Oberst closed with a three-song encore that included a angst-fueled solo piano tune I didn’t recognize that was among the best songs of the night, and a scorching version of “Napalm” with the brothers Felice from the new album, a real Live Rust moment.

It was one of the most packed nights I can remember at The Waiting Room, a real crush mob, with more than a few lit patrons, one assumes from enjoying the pre-party over at Reverb before the show (which, sadly, I missed).

* * *

After the past few weekends with little to do, this weekend is chock full o’ shows.

It starts off tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s where Closeness celebrates the release of their new EP, Personality Therapy, out today on Graveface. This is sort of a warm-up show as the duo of Orenda and Todd Fink get ready head to Austin for SXSW. Joining them tonight is the mighty High Up (Orenda’s pulling double duty!) and the provocatively named new act BareBear.  $10, 7 p.m.

Also tonight, dark wave leather-fetish dance sensation Plack Blague headlines at Reverb Lounge with Cult Play and Solid Goldberg. $6, 9 p.m.

Satchel Grande and Carson City Heat also take The Waiting Room stage tonight. 9 p.m., $8.

Saturday night Almost Music is hosting Sam Locke Ward with Simon Joyner and the return of L. Eugene (Methe) Group. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at O’Leaver’s, Sean Pratt headlines with Landon Hedges (of Little Brazil, Desaparecidos, Wrong Pets and Fine, Fine Automobiles). $5, 9:30 p.m.  This show has been CANCELLED.

Also Saturday night, The Growlers return to The Waiting Room. $15, 9 p.m.

El Ten Eleven returns to The Slowdown Saturday night with Mylets and Fontenelle. $12, 8 p.m.

Then Sunday night Long Beach indie rockers Cold War Kids headline at Sokol Auditorium. Middle Kids open the 8 p.m. show. $26.

Also Sunday night, Vancouver art rock band Bad Pop headlines at Reverb Lounge. Relax, It’s Science and Low Long Signal open. $7, 8 p.m.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it on 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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