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,

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.


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…

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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.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


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,

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?

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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 — 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.