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.

* * *

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!).

* * *

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.

 

Lazy-i

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.

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

COVID-19 musician / fan resources; new Simon Joyner live album; Bandcamp, Saddle Creek deals; OWH on venues…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:09 pm March 19, 2020

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve got a few musician / fan resources to pass along, but first…

Simon Joyner released a new album today. Some Only Let the Jukebox Hear Them Weep (Live in Phoenix 2014) is an 11-song collection recorded in a living room with professional equipment. On this recording Simon’s band, The Ghosts Trio, consists of Kevin Donahue, Megan Siebe and Michael Krassner. You can buy a limited edition CDR of the set, in a screenprinted sleeve, right here via Bandcamp.

* * *

BTW, Bandcamp is waiving its share of revenues on purchases made at the site tomorrow, March 20, so you may want to wait to order your copy or anything else via Bandcamp.

* * *

From Saddle Creek Records: “We have gotten a lot of questions about how you can support artists who are being directly impacted by the current pandemic. One way to support artists is purchasing physical releases.”

To help, through the end of March Saddle Creek is offering a 15 percent discount on all orders (except preorders) with the code SUPPORT. Check it out here. That info came in an email that included links to organizations that help musicians in need. Here’s the list. Donate if you can.

Musicares – https://www.grammy.com/musicares/get-help
Sweet Relief – https://www.sweetrelief.org/covid-19-fund.html
American Federation of Musicians – https://www.afm.org/covid-19/

* * *

Seattle radio station KEXP has a handy Guide for Artists and Fans to Support Music During the COVID-19 Outbreak. Lots of good resources, lots of tips for what you can do to help. Check it out.

* * *

Kevin Coffey has a story in today’s Omaha World-Herald on COVID 19’s impact on local venues that includes some words from Slowdown’s Jason Kulbel and 1%’s Marc Leibowitz, check it out here.  Says Jason Kulbel in the story: “It’s just thing after thing after thing. We can’t wrap our heads around it. We’re just scrambling.

* * *

Stay home, order take-out, help out if you can. We’ll get through it.

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

When the party’s over… O’Leaver’s, Sydney among those closed for COVID-19…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:49 pm March 17, 2020

Sign o’ the times?

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You know shit’s getting real when they close down O’Leaver’s. That’s exactly what the club announced on its Facebook page today, and what choice did they have if they’re limiting gatherings to 10 people?

Slowdown already cancelled shows through the month of March, though all indications are the venue is still open (for now). One Percent Productions’ clubs still appear to be open as well, though their next scheduled event isn’t until March 24. No doubt you’ll continue to see show cancellations as bands cancel tours.

The Brothers also appears to still to be open. Their next scheduled event is the big March 28 Bad Bad Men gig. But The Sydney has closed its doors for the time being.

And that about does it for live music, at least for awhile. How long it’ll really last, who can say? It’ll definitely be longer than the end of this month and probably well into next month and maybe the month after that.

Next up is enforced curfews. Social distancing is kind of like what happens when the power goes out. The first night it’s fun; it’s like camping out! You discover new and interesting things to do in the dark. The second night without power, it becomes somewhat annoying. By the third night you’re ready to kill someone.

It’s going to be tough to expect folks in their 20s to be good little girls and boys, especially as the weekend rolls around. If the bars are closed (or limiting occupancy), that just means someone else is going to have to host the party. And that’s when the cops get involved.

Not being able to go out on St. Patrick’s Day — my favorite holiday — definitely hurts. But I have plenty of Guinness at home and my favorite Waterboys album to keep me in the Irish spirit.

We’ve got enough doom and gloom online to go into any more other than to say this too shall pass. And the rock shows that happen on the other side are bound to be epic.

Meanwhile, I just heard this on The Current. Next level?

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

How will COVID-19 impact rock ‘n’ roll?; Neva Dinova / Bright Eyes surprise; Las Cruxes live…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:50 pm March 11, 2020

No, it’s not the cover of the new Luna album…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

My lack of updates has more to do with having little to write about than my general laziness. That said, with Cononavirus COVID-19 boiling on the horizon, I’m afraid I’ll have even less to write about in the very near future.

We all know SXSW has been deep-sixed and Coachella is being “postponed” until the fall. Forget about the festivals. The next obvious question is: When will COVID-19 result in cancellation of rock shows coming our way, and how squeamish will people be about being crushed hip-to-hip at any of our local venues?

There are still skeptics who say the whole thing is being overblown. COVID-19 will really hit home for skeptics 1) when someone they know gets it, 2) when they’ve been forced to work from home or are self-quarantined, or 3) when something they really like is taken away.

They’re talking about playing the NCAA basketball tournament in empty arenas. Isn’t it only a matter of time before more bands follow Pearl Jam’s lead and cancel their spring and summer tours? Even small indie acts?

In a time when artists — specifically indie artists — no longer make significant money from CD sales and depend on touring and merch sales for income, COVID-19 could be a real financial knee-capper. Or imagine being on tour only to have the venue reach out on the road to say it’s no longer hosting shows due to COVID-19. Now what?

Imagine you’re a brand new act like Disq, who just released a great record on Saddle Creek, with plans to tour the country and play festivals all summer. What happens if COVID-19 craters your tour? Touring by itself is a financially risky venture; even more so when three or four dates are cancelled.

On top of that, think about the medical risks bands take playing crushed venues in different towns every night? Forget about foregoing handshakes, what do you do about hugs at the merch table?

And how will music venues be financially impacted by COVID-19 from either a downturn in business, cancelled tours or cancelled shows? Will they be able to keep the lights on if they lose a few months’ worth of revenue?

So yeah, worst case scenario it could be a long, boring rock-show-free summer, and that would be a bummer, but also think about everyone in the rock ‘n’ roll food chain who will be impacted by COVID-19, and pray there are no serious long-term impacts.

Get out to the clubs while we’re still getting rock shows. Just make sure you wash your hands.

* * *

Speaking of rock shows, our old friends in Neva Dinova have been added as the opening act to the sold out May 23 Bright Eyes concert at the Hollywood Palladium. Isn’t that a kick in the head. Maybe if we’re lucky, Jake Bellows and the boys will make a trip out to play at an Omaha Bright Eyes show (which, btw, is still non-existent).

* * *

Omaha’s favorite Latin-language garage-punk rockers Las Cruxes did a live in-studio performance for latinalt.org. Check it out.

* * *

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.

 

Lazy-i