#SaveOurStages legislation gets heavy push this week (and now it’s your turn to help)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:07 pm July 27, 2020
A screencap from the WOWT-TV report that shows how The Slowdown could be configured once it reopens.

You will begin noticing (if you haven’t already) a heavy push to write your congressmen and ask them to co-sponsor or support pending legislation designed to help save the live entertainment industry through the COVID-19 pandemic.

As I mentioned last week, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) along with a ton of musicians and promoters are pushing for a couple pieces of critical legislation, and need to get something passed before The Hill’s the August recess, which begins Aug. 7.

First thing’s first: Go to https://www.saveourstages.com/ and voice your support for the Save Our Stages Act (S. 4258, introduced by Sens. Cornyn and Klobuchar) and the RESTART Act ( S. 3814/H.R. 7481, introduced by Sens. Young and Bennet in the Senate and U.S. Reps. Golden and Kelly ). Adding your voice involves filling out a simple form (or writing your own heartfelt text in the space provided) that automatically goes to your respective senator/representative based on your zip code.

Gotta do it TODAY, as in RIGHT NOW, as in it will only take a minute. If you’ve already done it, do it again.

Slowdown’s Jason Kulbel talks about it in this WOWT report from last week.

And here’s a bunch of venue owners talking about being on the verge of going out of business.

As The Slowdown says in a grim Facebook post: “There is no way we want Slowdown to end. It is too soon. It is also not too late.”

People are making this sound like end-of-the-world stuff, because quite frankly, it is. You are going to be shocked at the number of venues that will shutter as a result of the pandemic, and then you’ll wish you’d have done something about it. Here’s your chance.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The lack of live music is killing my new music mojo…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:51 pm July 9, 2020
Public Access T.V. at Reverb Lounge, June 25, 2018.

Bear with me while I get this off my chest:

The last live concert I saw before COVID-19 struck with all its dreadful glory was PUP at The Waiting Room way back on March 5. I didn’t know at the time it would be the last live show I’d attend for the foreseeable future. I anticipated a big spring and summer of live shows with lots of new music on the horizon.

But as we all know, by the end of March one-by-one the clubs began to close and show cancellations piled up like cord wood, and by the end of April about everything was cancelled. Now we’re in July and Slowdown and Reverb are still closed, O’Leaver’s and Brothers have reopened but aren’t scheduling live music, and while The Waiting Room is hosting shows, they’re few and far between and mostly cover bands. Almost all national touring bands aren’t on the road right now.

Despite this, new music has continued to be released, including some pretty amazing recordings by Fiona Apple, Perfume Genius, Run the Jewels, Phoebe Bridgers, HAIM, Waxahatchee, Porridge Radio, Yves Tumor, Lanterns on the Lake, Destroyer, Christian Lee Hutson, Nation of Language, Car Seat Headrest and Stephen Malkmus. While some artists are holding their releases until they can tour again, others, like Bright Eyes and Sufjan Stevens, are planning releases in the coming months without any idea of whether they’ll be able to support them on the road.

Most of the above-mentioned acts are easy to keep up with, and if you’re tuned into Sirius XMU or college radio, you’ll have a hard time missing them. It’s the smaller, new bands — the yet-to-be discovered acts — that are getting especially crushed by COVID.

The No. 1 way I discovered new music — or for that matter, checked out new music — was by researching upcoming (and attending) live shows. And with no one out touring, it’s suddenly become harder to discover the new talent. Or a better way of putting it: It’s becoming harder to get motivated to listen to unknown acts.

Like anyone who writes about music, every day I get dozens of pitch emails from labels, promoters and artists telling me about upcoming releases. In the pre-COVID days, I’d zip down to the bottom of the emails and see if the band was headed to Omaha or Lincoln, and if so, would check out their music. No question, this was how I discovered most of the cool new stuff I’ve heard in the past.

The same process held for club calendars — I’d go through calendars scanning upcoming shows and making a point to research indie bands scheduled to appear, check out their music, etc.

But now that no one is touring, I rarely even open those emails or check calendars. What’s the point? As a result, a lot of music being releases is flying under my radar. For the first time since I started writing about music, I’m starting to feel disconnected to what’s going on with regard to new music.

So yeah, I really miss going to rock shows, I miss seeing people I know at the various clubs, but most of all I miss discovering new music the way I used to. The way things are going, it may not be until this time next year before we get anywhere close to where we used to be.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Some bars and venues prepare to reopen (O’Leaver’s, The Waiting Room); it’s Bandcamp Day (again)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:26 pm June 5, 2020
O’Leaver’s is back open for business, but no shows yet…

Oh, what a week it’s been. And the last thing that’s probably been on your minds is music and the lack thereof. But here we are with the weekend upon us and still no live music in which to partake.

Though to be honest, even if shows were booked they’d likely be cancelled due to curfews tonight and tomorrow night that will see the city of Omaha close its doors at 10 p.m. I like to think they’re being done in support of Black Lives Matter events rather than out of fear of them.

That said, things are loosening up with regard to bars and venues reopening. Bars, as you know, got the go-ahead to reopen on Monday, June 1.

The first venue to reopen: Fabulous O’Leaver’s. I got word about the reopening Tuesday from Craig Dee, who said both O’Leaver’s and Winchester are now open. They’re obviously following Douglas County Health Department guidelines, which means they have tables set up six feet apart, four to a table. And yes, the outside patio is open.

O’Leaver’s is open today from 3:30 to 9 and tomorrow from 12 to 9. Expect an announcement very soon about the launch of their new grill.

While there’s no drink minimums or charges to enter O’Leaver’s, there’s also no live music. The first show listed on their schedule isn’t until July 18 (but that could always change).

On the other hand, The Waiting Room’s first show is slated for June 19 — Shoot to Thrill, an AC/DC tribute act. Tickets are $15, but you have to buy a minimum of four tickets — which will get you a table. If you want to go alone, you can, but you still have to buy a table. The reason being, regulations require people to be seated at tables, not standing around. Hey, you’ve got three friends to share the freight, right?

Marc Leibowitz, who owns/operates The Waiting Room with Jim Johnson, said if tickets are still available at the door the day of the show (meaning it’s not sold out in advance), then they’ll sell some singles/doubles if possible.

He said the new rules brings The Waiting Room’s capacity down to just 84 people — that’s 21 tables of four.

Reverb Lounge, btw, has no shows scheduled until August, and no plans to reopen this month.

As for The Slowdown, Jason Kulbel could only tell me that the venue will not be reopening this month. And still no word from The Brothers (it’s closed, too).


Today until midnight Bandcamp is once again waiving its share of sales to support artists impacted by COVID-19. Most labels (including Saddle Creek Records) also are sharing 100% of digital revenue with artists.

But artists also are donating to BLM causes.

— SAVAK (Mike Jaworski’s joint) is donating proceeds from sales of a new 7-inch to the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.

— Simon Joyner is splitting profits among four national and local organizations (including the Union for Contemporary Art and Culxr House).

See the full list here.

That’s all I got for now. 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Waiting Room/Reverb possible mid-June reopening; Live (stream) Review: Little Brazil, NAWAS…

Landon Hedges belts out a high note during Little Brazil’s live streamed concerted from The Slowdown last Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yet another great live streaming event from The Slowdown Saturday night with Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship and Little Brazil.

As with last Thursday’s Slowdown show, everything looked and sounded like a network television concert production. Both bands were on point. The COVID shutdown apparently hasn’t dulling these musicians’ chops, as they sounded as good as ever.

Anecdotally — i.e., based on what I saw from the view counter on the screen — just under 100 people were concurrently watching Saturday night’s NAWAS/Little Brazil stream concert vs. around 60 for Thursday’s No Thanks/Marcey Yates stream show. Will we ever get to see these two concerts uploaded to the internet for replay? Who knows.

It’s unlikely that The Slowdown will host any more live stream concerts in the foreseeable future, especially when they’re trying to get the place ready for a (hopefully) late-June reopening.

If you didn’t read the comments from Slowdown’s Jason Kulbel last Saturday about what’s involved in reopening his club, go take a look.

One Percent Productions major domo Marc Leibowitz says Reverb and The Waiting Room also won’t be reopening on June 1, but rather sometime mid-June. He said keep your eyes peeled for a new show announcement that will mark The Waiting Room’s reopening, with Reverb possibly reopening at the same time or soon after.

Obviously all the capacity rules outlined Saturday also will apply to Waiting Room/Reverb unless Ricketts changes rules before they reopen. Again, we’re talking bars at a 50 percent capacity, venues at 25 percent capacity, all with 6-foot spacing between groups, limited numbers allowed in bathrooms, all kinds of fun rules that will be a pain in everyone’s ass but necessary until the pandemic is under control or there’s a vaccine.

I’m still waiting to hear O’Leaver’s plans (maybe we’ll find out later this week?) and also when The Brothers will reopen. You’ll know when I know.

No doubt masks will be part of the dress code anywhere you go. I like to think folks around here are smarter than, say, the idiots in that swimming pool in Branson, MO. Yes, wearing a mask is a drag, but it’s what’s going to get us through this pandemic while a vaccine is developed.


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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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On bar and venue capacity and the potential ‘challenges’ involved in reopening June 1…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:03 pm May 23, 2020
The Slowdown won’t reopen until later in the month of June at the earliest.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, as one reader quickly pointed out, I got Ricketts’ rules on bar and venue capacities backwards yesterday. My one defense: I wrote it as he said it and had maximum safety in mind.

I reached out to Jason Kulbel who owns/operates The Slowdown and asked for his interpretation. NOTE/DISCLAIMER: Jason is not a lawyer, and this is only his initial interpretation. No doubt things will be further clarified in the coming weeks.

Jason says bars can open just like restaurants with a 50 percent capacity, though all must be seated at tables and can only move around when going to the restroom or ordering food/drinks.

The Slowdown would fall under the “Venues” category — that means 25 percent capacity, with 6-foot spacing between groups. “Groups” and “tables” are interchangeable terms for argument’s sake. So for a 600-capacity rock show at The Slowdown, the current capacity allowed by COVID rules is 150. Again, groups have to be separated by six feet, which will have to be defined somehow by the venue with tape on the floors or something.

Where it gets real tricky: bathroom capacity is three at a time. Expect 6-foot distancing while waiting in line for your booze. And when the show is over, there has to be staggered exiting, which will be just plain weird.

And remember, everyone is wearing masks the entire time. How is the venue going to enforce all these rules?

All of the above equals 300% of the staff with a max potential of 25% of the business, for us AND the band,” Jason said.

Of course maybe the biggest challenge is just getting people comfortable going to shows amidst all the above regulations and general fear of COVID. Like I said yesterday, I would definitely go to a show under these conditions (especially if I could sit at a table and get table service). But based on comments I’ve heard online and elsewhere, I’m the minority.

He said Slowdown isn’t planning to reopen June 1. Look for an opening later in the month of June at the earliest.


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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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What is NIVA and why (and how) is it trying to save the live music industry?

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 11:45 am April 24, 2020

The National Independent Venue Association is trying to save the future of live music as we know it.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Jason Kulbel who runs The Slowdown yesterday forwarded me a copy of the letter written by NIVA that was sent to Washington outlining how the live music industry and its participants will quickly go the way of the dinosaur unless Congress does something now to help support them during and after the COVID pandemic.

NIVA is the National Independent Venue Association, a just-formed organization that currently has more than 900 charter members in 50 states, including all the legendary clubs we know and love like 9:30 Club in D.C., First Avenue, Bowery Ballroom, Mohawk in Austin and of course our very own Slowdown, The Waiting Room/Reverb/Sydney and fabulous O’Leaver’s.

The first half of the letter, which you can read in its entirety right here, explains the role music venues, promoters and artists play in our economy, our culture, the very fabric of our country. Next it outlines the problem — how venues were the first to close and likely will be the last to reopen, and how everyone involved is being impacted, and how historic, iconic institutions could be forced into permanent closure.

Finally, the letter outlines solutions, including flexible and abundant federal loan programs, tax relief, unemployment insurance, mortgage and rent forbearance, debt deferral and recovery funds.

Those recovery funds and tax credits will help venues comply with new health guidelines when they’re allowed to reopen.

Another key provision: “Establishing national guidelines for resuming and continuing large gatherings in a safe manner to ensure uniformity throughout the industry.” This is critical because without it, there’s no way artists and promoters could schedule tours without knowing which states’ venues are able to book shows; without national guidelines each state would do its own thing and that would be a mish-mash, patchwork approach.

Unfortunately, Trump doesn’t appear to support those kinds of national guidelines, leaving it up to the states to decide. Oh what a mess he’s made.

I was skeptical when I saw this letter, figuring most members of Congress don’t know a thing about the entertainment industry. But Kulbel wisely pointed out that Congressional staffers know what’s going on; they frequent venues and understand what role they play in communities. He’s optimistic.

Kulbel continues to book shows at Slowdown despite the constant wave of cancellations so the club will have something in place when allowed to reopen, hopefully sometime this summer. Keep your fingers crossed.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for legislation that includes the above provisions. No doubt some smart congressman or senator will include them in a bill or create a bill that adopts these provisions, and when he/she/they do, it’ll be your job to reach out to your representatives and lobby for their support.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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

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

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

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.

Ugh.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Maha Music Festival CANCELED due to COVID-19…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:13 pm April 7, 2020

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The folks behind the Maha Music Festival today announced that they’re canceling the 2020 festival, scheduled for Aug. 7-8, because of COVID-19 concerns. Is anyone surprised by this?

No doubt we’ll be well out of quarantine by August, but everything else surrounding the festival depends on planning and faith in the unknown, from whether booked acts would continue to be available to organizing volunteers to sponsorships.

Lacking confirmation that a festival of this scale will be considered safe by public health officials in August, cancellation arose as the most viable option to preserve the annual event and organization as a whole,” said the Maha press release.

Executive Director Lauren Martin said if Maha had been forced to cancel after ticket sales started they might be in a position where they’d have to refund tickets after having spent the money. “Canceling now helps ensure that Maha can return in 2021, and for years to come,” Martin said in the press release.

No word on if Maha already had booked the festival’s acts, though you’d have to believe everything was all in place by now. The 2020 line-up will remain one of those great mysteries. Was this the year that Maha finally got Wilco or LCD Soundsystem or Arcade Fire or Bright Eyes? We’ll never know…

The news is just one more bummer in a list of COVID-related bummers knee-capping the Omaha music scene. Yes, it sucks that Maha isn’t happening, but it’ll be back next year. Maha is an established brand with a track record that any sponsor would be proud to support.

At this point I’m more concerned about the financial well-being of our local musicians, venues, recording studios and the rest of the creative ecosystem. What will be left when we emerge from our houses and apartments in late May/early June?

One thing we know for certain is that the nation will be in a fairly deep recession. For a lot of people, money will be tight. Not everyone is going to get their jobs back right away. And let’s face it, more than one of your favorite businesses and/or restaurants / bars won’t reopen.

The good news is there will be a new appreciation for live music, for bars and restaurants, for having fun as part of a community. The year 2020 is going to remembered as a dark, soundless void, but 2021 could emerge like spring after a long winter.

One last Maha-related thing: Omaha Lit Fest is still slated for the Blackstone District Aug. 5 & 6, and Maha has not ruled out the possibility to launch alternate programming later in 2020, as COVID will allow. I foresee a large fundraiser in the organization’s future…

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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When will I see you at a rock show again (the COVID hangover)? New Sunks track…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:58 pm April 1, 2020

Chapel Hill band Mipso has been booked at The Slowdown June 5.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I received notification via Facebook today that Chapel Hill band Mipso has been booked to play at The Slowdown for June 5, and it got me wondering whether things will even be back up in running by June 5.

That Mipso gig is not the first show back for Slowdown. The club currently has Against Me! booked to play May 7 with Baroness. The Waiting Room is even more optimistic, booking Jeremy McComb for May 1 (though Domino recording artist Night Moves is the first booking of interest for me, and that one’s currently slated for May 22). O’Leaver’s earliest current booking also is May 1.

Gov. Ricketts said yesterday that despite current state orders, there could still be restrictions on bars after April 30, though he doesn’t know what they’ll be. No one really knows for sure when COVID will peak in Nebraska and begin to recede, which will determine when the gov is going to allow us back into the bars.

But even when they give an all clear, it’ll be interesting to see who shows up that first week after the pseudo quarantine is lifted. Would I go to a rock show right after the all clear? Yeah, probably, if I liked the band. But you better believe I’ll be super careful about how close I stand next to total strangers (and to known dirt-bags at places like fabulous O’Leaver’s).

After the reopenings, getting past the stigma that comes with COVID will be the next big hurdle for clubs that are already feeling extreme pain. Every time they book a touring act it’ll be a gamble knowing some folks will still be too afraid to show up. That COVID hangover could last deep into the summer months, and a pessimist might say well beyond.

I, on the other hand, am the eternal optimist. I think we’ll all be invited back to the clubs by mid-May, though band tours are going to be all screwed for the rest of the year.

Imagine trying to book a tour for this summer or fall not knowing which state will be allowing people into clubs and which will still be dealing with COVID. And then not knowing how many people will be willing to stand in a crowd after thousands of people have died.

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I’ve been been sitting on this new single by The Sunks for about a week and now is as good a time as any to share it with you. Look for the full record this spring (Hey, it’s spring right now!).

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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What’s (not) happening this weekend? Catch a live stream; FDH halts production; it’s Bandcamp Day (with recommendations)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 3:27 pm March 20, 2020

The reissue of Silkworm’s In the West are among the recordings available from Bandcamp.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This is usually the spot where I tell you who’s playing where this weekend and which shows you absolutely, positively shouldn’t miss. It may be a long time until I get to do that again.

Last night I watched Kurt Vile on the Luck Reunion ‘Til Further Notice live Twitch stream. Live streamed performances are about all we’re going to get for the time being. A lot of local musicians already are getting into the swing of live streaming, judging by the number of people on Facebook sitting in their basements or bedrooms with guitars in their laps.

There are a couple of sources for lists of these live music performance streams. Kevin Coffey at the Omaha World-Herald has compiled a list, which you can find right here on the OWH website. And L. Kent Wolgamott of the Lincoln Journal-Star also has compiled a list, available somewhere on the Journal-Star website (though I can’t find it) and also here on Facebook. Check them out and put money in the digital money boot/hat to help keep these musicians going until COVID-19 goes away.

What else…

I got an email from FDH Records (the label put out a number of Digital Leather recordings, among other things) that said both FDH and Suicide Bong tapes are halting production of physical copies of new releases.

We hope that once the dust settles we will be able to pick operations back up and get back to our main love of physical copies of music on vinyl and tapes. In the meantime we still plan on working with artists to keep new music coming digitally in these uncertain times.

Just how bad are labels getting smacked in these Days of COVID? If their bands can’t be on the road selling albums, does it make sense to keep pressing? And how are record stores doing when entire states (California, for example) are now on lock down?

* * *

Which makes this a good time to remind you that today (March 20) Bandcamp is waving its revenue share on sales. And a ton of labels are also giving 100 percent of revenue to the artists. “For many artists, a single day of boosted sales can mean the difference between being able to pay rent or not,” says Bandcamp. Check out the list of Artist and labels offering donations, special merch and more for this COVID-19 Fundraiser. (BTW, it appears to be a popular promotion – the Bandcamp servers are slooooow and keep locking up, Keep trying).

Among the recordings:

Mal Blum, Pity Boy (Don Giovanni) – They were slated to play at Reverb in the coming weeks. It was while doing research for that show that I first discovered them, and they’ve become one of my recent favorites. Here’s hoping they can reschedule their Omaha gig.

Porridge Radio, Every Bad (Secretly Canadian) – Some folks classify it as shoegaze but it’s poppier and in a lot of ways reminds me of Garbage. This record is going to be a classic.

Lantern on the Lake, Spook the Herd (Bella Union) – Newcastle band’s latest is sweet and haunting and pretty.

Silkworm, In the West (Comedy Minus One) — This is the definitive reissue of the beloved Chicago band’s second album, remixed from the original 2″ tape by Steve Albini, who engineered the original recording.

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And that’s all I got. Stay in this weekend and listen to some music. Before you know it, this will all be over…

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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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