Oberst talks about the good ol’ days (in LSQ Podcast); Decemberists, Sunbathe, Pleasures, Jason Steady, Buttertones tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:47 pm October 1, 2018
The Decemberists at The Holland Performing Arts Center, April 17, 2011.

The Decemberists at The Holland Performing Arts Center, April 17, 2011. The band returns to The Holland tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Jenny Eliscu, one of the primary hosts at Sirius XMU and a Rolling Stone contributing editor, has a podcast in iTune, and the latest episode/entry (not sure what you call it in podcast speak?) is an interview with Conor Oberst conducted back in March. Conor takes Eliscu for a stroll down memory lane, recapping his very early days, including his first recordings, his work with Commander Venus and the origins of Bright Eyes and (presumably) Lumberjack/Saddle Creek Records.

It’s interesting stuff, especially the talk about early Grass Records artists, that label, and Conor’s relationship with Grass Records’ owner Alan Meltzer. Toward the end of the interview Oberst describes how Meltzer let him out of a multi-record contract with Grass when Commander Venus broke up, apparently because Conor reminded Meltzer of his son, who had recently passed away. Imagine if Meltzer hadn’t let Oberst out of that deal and Bright Eyes wound up on Wind Up, alongside Creed. Would there have even been a Saddle Creek Records?

Anyway, check out the podcast, which is part 1 of a two-part interview with Oberst, at the LSQ podcast space in iTunes (located right here).

* * *

Goddamn, it’s busy for shows for a Monday night…

Decemberists are returning to The Holland Center tonight. I saw them on the Holland stage back in 2011 and it was a good time, or as good a time as you can have in the rather sterile confines of The Holland. Canadians Kacy and Clayton (New West Records) open at 7:30. Tix are still available for $50-$60.

Meanwhile, over at Reverb Lounge Portland act Sunbathe headlines. The band is headed by Maggie Morris, formerly of Genders and Youth, and includes members of Typhoon. I’m sure those bands are all well known… in Portland. Just like openers Bokr Tov and Sean Pratt and the Sweats are well known in our little burg. $10, 8 p.m.

Sarasota band Pleasures plays tonight at The Sydney in Benson. In a review of their 2016 O’Leaver’s show I said, “The music dripped in a haze of buzzing distortion cut through by a top-notch rhythm section that kept things grounded and rocking.” Tonight’s show is supposedly in 3-D and glasses will be provided (unless it’s some sort of cruel joke). Opening is Universe Contest and red-hot Omaha band Jason Steady and the Soft Ponies. $5, 10 p.m.

Finally, The Buttertones, who came through a year ago with Ron Gallo, return to Slowdown Jr. tonight. Wild Wing opens at 8 p.m. $14.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

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

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

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

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

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

Onward…

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

Friday: 6,500
Saturday: 7,800

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

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

I’ve asked Rachel for more data.

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

* * *

New music Tuesday…

Mitch Gettman, Some Purgatory (2018, bandcamp)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

#TBT Aug. 13, 2008: Oberst debut solo, Faint’s Fasciinatiion storm Billboard charts; Witch Mountain, Ocean Black tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:57 pm August 9, 2018

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

On this Throwback Thursday (#TBT), from the blog 10 years ago:

Conor Oberst charts at No. 15, The Faint at No. 45… – Aug. 13, 2008 –

So how did Conor Oberst and The Faint do in their first week’s sales of their new albums? Here’s the skinny by way of Homer’s General Manager Mike Fratt:

Conor Oberst’s self-titled album sold 28,546 copies last week, plus 354 copies prior to street date for a total of 28,918 copies. That’s good enough for the album to chart at No. 15 on Billboard. Conor Oberst also was the No. 3 best-selling download on iTunes, moving 9,941 digital units.

The Faint’s Fasciinatiion sold 11,333 last week, plus 222 copies before street date for a total of 11,584 copies — good enough to claim the No. 45 position on the Billboard charts. Fasciinatiion also was the No. 15 best-selling download on iTunes, moving 3,250 digital units.

FYI, digital downloads are included in the overall total sales number. Thanks again to Mr. Fratt for the data. Overall, an impressive first week by both artists. I think you could see both albums continue to climb the charts, but especially Fasciinatiion, which has had less pre-release media attention, and is only now getting the notice it deserves.

And the original reviews from the Lazy-i posted a week later:

Conor Oberst, self-titled (2008, Merge)

Conor Oberst, Conor Oberst (2008, Merge) — It differs from Bright Eyes in its more minimal production, though it’s far from stripped down (just Mogis-less). Song wise, it’s not a stretch at all, though Oberst does seem more relaxed, even resolved to his stricken condition of being ordained the rambling “voice of his generation.” Call him that if you want to; he’s not listening. Unlike Lifted or Wide Awake, there’s no need to block off your afternoon or give it your undivided attention to enjoy it. Like he says on album opener “Cape Canaveral”: “There’s no worries, who’s got time?” No one, Conor, no one. And while there’s nothing as striking as, say, “Lua” or “Waste of Paint” or “I Must Belong Somewhere,” it has its moments of absolute clarity, including country stomper “I Don’t Want to Die (in the Hospital)” and rock anthem “Souled Out!!!” Oberst is too smart to do either. Rating: 4 stars.

The Faint, Fasciinatiion (2008, blank.wav)

The Faint, Faciinatiion (2008, blank .wav) — It’s no wonder that the album’s best song, “The Geeks Were Right,” also is the most straightforward and least dependent on technology to “make it sound different.” You see, I like frontman Todd Fink’s voice just the way it is. And with all of the electronic bleep-blooping going on elsewhere, Dapose’s opening guitar riff feels downright organic. But a straight-up rock band is not what the throngs of stylish, sweaty youth are looking for. Give them the robot-voiced dance machine with its dense bass and thump-thump-thump rhythms. They want to bounce, not think. What are they singing about? Who cares as long as there’s a thick-ass beat and plenty of strobes. Which makes me wonder what would happen if these guys stepped away from the synths, vocoders and effects pedals and picked up traditional instruments once again. They could be that great rock band we’ve all been waiting for, if they wanted to be. But they never will, not now, not when they don’t have to. With a slew of classics already in their quiver, it makes you wonder why they even bother making new CDs in the first place. Rating: 3 stars.

* * *

Tonight at Lookout Lounge Portland doom-metal band Witch Mountain headlines. When it comes to the grind, they’ll have stiff competition from opener Ocean Black, Omaha’s stoner-rock satans. Super Moon is also on the bill. $12, 7 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

#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, Lazy-i.com

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 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

New Erie Choir (ex-Sorry About Dresden); new Phoebe Bridgers video features Oberst (she’s coming to O’Leaver’s in April)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:16 pm December 21, 2017

Conor does a soft shoe in Phoebe Bridgers’ new video.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Catching up on some news, fans of Saddle Creek Records band Sorry About Dresden take note that Eric Roehrig’s follow-up band, Erie Choir, has a new album out.

Some background: After a pair of self-released EP’s and a few lineup changes, Sit-n-Spin Records released Slighter Awake in 2006; 11 years later the follow up, Old Rigs, was released on Potluck Records last month.

The album is a solid collection of folk-rock reminiscent of classic Big Star. The lyrics are a reflection of the trials and tribulations of band life. According to the one-sheet: “In 2016, Roehrig and drummer James Hepler’s long-time Sorry About Dresden bandmate Matt Oberst passed away. While all the songs on Old Rigs were written prior to his death, the album’s meditation on friendship and loss serve in some small way as a tribute to their friend.

Check it out at Bandcamp, where you can also buy your copy.

* * *

LA singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers released a new video for the single “Would You Rather,” a duet with Conor Oberst that appears on her latest album, Stranger in the Alps (2017, Dead Oceans). Conor shows up in the video dressed in cowboy gear and does a weird hoe-down dance that’s oddly inappropriate considering the songs’ somewhat dark lyrics. Fun!

Bridgers was just featured last week in a glowing LA Times profile and is headed out on a massive world tour in February that brings her to fabulous O’Leaver’s April 7.

* * *

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

Inside Conor’s bag; Last Giant (Ex-System and Station), Ocean Black, Bruiser Queen, Fea tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:30 pm October 18, 2017

Last Giant (ex-System and Station) plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Have you been watching these “What’s in My Bag?” series by Amoeba Music in LA? It’s a deal where they interview current touring musicians who visit their record store, pick out a bunch of albums and talk about them. Past videos have featured White Lung, Andrew Bird, Okkervil River, Lars Ulrich among others.

The Conor Oberst edition of What’s in My Bag? dropped the other day, wherein Conor talks about a handful of records and artists including Felice Bros, Tim Kasher, Rage Against the Machine, The Replacements and more. Good stuff, and whoever thought Conor could be so funny? Check it out:

Rock band Last Giant headlines tonight at The Waiting Room. Fans of the band System and Station, who toured through Omaha regularly back in the day, should take note that this is S&S’s frontman RFK Heise’s new band.

They’re touring their latest album, Memory of the World, which was engineered and co-produced by Larry Crane (Tape Op, Elliott Smith), mixed by Paul Malinowski (Shiner, The Life and Times) and mastered by Mike Nolte (Of Montreal).

Also on the bill are Omaha stoner rock masters Ocean Black and the big rock sound of Big Wheel. $8, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Bruiser Queen plays way out at Growler USA. The St. Louis-based garage rock duo has been compared to Shannon and the Clams and Peach Kelli Pop, among others. Opening is Fea (ex-Girl in a Coma). An opening band is something of a departure for Growler USA. $6, 9 p.m.

And, Brothers Lounge has a show tonight with Machine Girl, CBN, DFM and the only name I recognize on the bill, Omaha’s own Conny Franko. 9 p.m. start time, no price included, but it’ll probably be $5.

* * *

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

Jocelyn on Undercover Boss Friday, Conor on the Late Late Show tonight; Those Manic Seas, Sam Adam Martin, BIB tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:24 pm May 10, 2017

Sam Martin at O’Leaver’s Jan. 29, 2016. He plays tonight at Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

On the heels of Josh Hoyer’s performances on tee-vee show The Voice, Omaha singer/songwriter Jocelyn will be featured this Friday night on CBS’s Undercover Boss. The show takes CEOs, disguises them and then films them as they try to blend in with the grunts who do the actual work at their companies. The results are usually “heartbreaking” but more likely disturbing, as the CEO comes to some ground-breaking realization about his business’s sweatshop conditions before hosing off and returning to the C Suite.

Friday’s show is a “special celebrity edition” of Undercover Boss featuring one-time Hootie & The Blowfish frontman now “country music superstar” (and Dan Patrick Show regular) Darius Rucker, who apparently goes in disguise as a talent agent in Austin. His disguise is pretty spot on, though I couldn’t identify Rucker in or out of costume.

I’ve seen the clip (since yanked from YouTube) of Jocelyn nailing the audition. So what happens next? You’ll just have to wait until Friday, May 12, 7 p.m. CT on CBS to find out. Here’s hoping something comes of this much-needed exposure. Jocelyn is a talented singer who has been performing on Omaha stages (primarily at the Sidedoor Lounge stage) for a few years and deserves a break.

* *

Speaking of television, Conor Oberst is slated to perform tonight on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Maybe he’ll do a surprise duet with fellow guest Betty White. Better yet, maybe he’ll do a sequel to “When the President Talks to God”…

* *

Nashville indie-pop band Those Manic Seas, whose new album Telegenic came out last month, plays at Brothers Lounge tonight with Sam Adam Martin and Razors. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, Chicago punk band FUFS plays at Milk Run tonight with the mighty BIB, No Thanks and Roach. $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

Back from Florida; Oberst hates playing in Omaha; Portugal. The Man. Tonight.

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:39 pm March 21, 2017

Wilder Sons at Fenway South Stadium, Fort Myers, FL, March 19, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I just got back in town from sunny Florida. What did I miss? Sounds like a bunch of you had a big ol’ time at the Corey Feldman Show.

I contemplated going to that one myself (had I not been in Florida) simply to see the return of Digital Leather, but even then, the $30 ticket price was too rich for my blood. Not so, it seems, for the hundreds who showed up last Saturday at Maloney’s on 72nd St., and while I’ve heard Feldman was a shit show, no one’s said boo about Digital Leather. Come on, people…

Sanibel Island Florida is exactly as it sounds — a sleepy beach community located south of Fort Myers populated mostly by rich retirees looking for a place to die. We picked it for that very reason — to get some beach time without the Spring Break idiocy, and that’s exactly what we got. Though we also enjoyed some spring baseball courtesy of the Minneapolis Twins and Boston Red Sox.

The above photo was taken outside of JetBlue Fenway South stadium and goes to prove that indie bands exist even in remote locations like South Florida. Wilder Sons played a mainstream version of indie pop reminiscent of Vampire Weekend and our very own Twinsmith. Hear for yourself. Unfortunately, spring MLB baseball is the wrong place for indie-style music, as the band played mostly to people walking by in garish Red Sox gear eating polish dogs and drinking aluminum bottles filled with Bud Light. At least the Twins won.

Anyway…

Last week Interview Magazine ran an interview with Conor Oberst where he confirmed what many said he mumbled during his last show at The Waiting Room — that he hates playing in Omaha.

From the interview:

INTERVIEW: I know you’re spending more time in your hometown Omaha these days. Do you like to play there?

OBERST: No. I hate playing in Omaha. Worst crowds, all your friends and family are there. It’s a fucking disaster. I hate it. My least favorite place to play is Omaha.

INTERVIEW: You grew up playing there. I would have thought you were inoculated to that.

OBERST: No, it’s the worst. They’re over me … they’re not listening. They’re just there because they sort of feel like they have to be there. It’s fun to get drunk and hang out, and whatever—it’s just a different thing. It’s like if I were to play at a backyard barbecue or something. Sounds great in theory, but it turns out your friends don’t really want to listen to you.

Some might take the above as a negative thing. I find it bracingly refreshing. He’s not saying he hates Omaha, he’s saying he hates playing here, and he’s right: Oberst shows aren’t like any other national traveling indie show — they’re more like family reunions or wedding receptions. A huge portion of the crowd grew up with Conor and has seen him perform dozens of times. Such a crowd is easily distracted.

Though I will say in Omaha’s defense, the last time he played here also was the 10 year anniversary of the venue he was playing at, and most of the crowd had been partying at Reverb Lounge for hours leading up to the concert — i.e., they were lit.

There have been respectful Oberst/Bright Eyes crowds in the past… I remember one at Sokol Underground where everyone sat on the floor in silence during the performance, as if watching a cult leader. I don’t think that’s the kind of audience Conor’s hoping for…

* * *

Former indie act Portugal. The Man plays tonight at The Slowdown. Last time I saw them was back in 2009 at The Waiting Room wherein I said they belonged on a major label, and now they are, and as a result, they’ve lost their proggy edge somewhat. Well, what did you expect? HDBeenDope opens this 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $27.

* * *

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

Maha rising; Conor Oberst gets Pitchforked (6.6); Digital Leather returns; Chuck Prophet tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:05 pm March 14, 2017

Screen capture from the video for “Digital Lust” by Glow in the Dark.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Lots of little stories today….

The fine folks at the Maha Music Festival will start selling tickets Friday for this year’s fest, which takes place Aug. 19 at Stinson Park/Aksarben Village. Tix are GA $55 and VIP $185, though the actual line-up won’t be known until March 30.

Will it be worth the price of admission? IMHO, the answer is yes. From what I’m hearing about the line-up, this one could very well sell out, despite the fact that it’s the same day as Lady Gaga at CenturyLink Center. That little fact has Maha sweating, but let’s face it, we’re talking about two very separate, very different audiences…

* * *

Pitchfork today reviewed the new Conor Oberst album, Salutations, and despite Ian Cohen spending most of the review lambasting the record as a sort of easy-path sell-out of Ruminations, still gave the record a 6.6 rating.

Says Cohen: “Oberst re-recorded all 10 songs (of Ruminations) with a full band and a host of guests, added seven new ones and hit shuffle—a decision that drags Salutations down and bring its predecessor along with it.” Cohen goes on to say Salutations effectively turns Ruminations into a collection of demos. Maybe so, though that stunt worked just fine for PJ Harvey.

Read the review here. I’m still waiting for that Tim Kasher review, Pitchfork.

* * *

If you haven’t already guessed, I won’t be going to SXSW this year. The festival in Austin gets rolling tomorrow, though there’s showcases going on today. Those of you stuck in Omaha will at least be treated to a couple Digital Leather shows in the coming days.

Here I thought the band had broken up, but now I’m told DL will come out of hibernation if the prices is right (Why not?). This morning the band announced a free show at Blackstone Meatball on St. Patrick’s Day with opener Chalant.

This is presumably a warm-up for their opening slot for Corey and the Angels March 18 outside at Maloney’s Irish Pub on 72nd St. — maybe the strangest show of the year. Joining Corey Feldman and Digital Leather will be Thick Paint and Glow in the Dark (new project featuring Aaron Gum). It’s a $30 ticket, but who can put a price on memories that could last a lifetime?

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the rock ‘n’ roll stylings of Chuck Prophet and his band The Mission Express. You read about Chuck here yesterday. This 8 p.m. show is $20.

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