Cursive expands, new LP Vitriola Oct. 5 on 15 Passenger; Campdogzz In Rounds reviewed; Melvins tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:58 pm August 8, 2018

Cursive’s next album, Vitriola, comes out Oct. 5 on 15 Passenger.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The last line of the press release announcing Cursive’s first new album in six years reads:

Cursive is: Tim Kasher (vocals/guitar), Ted Stevens (guitar/vocals), Matt Maginn (bass), Clint Schnase (drums), and Patrick Newbery (keys), with Megan Siebe on cello.

The two surprises here are Schnase and Siebe. Schnase, as all old-time Cursive fans know, is the band’s original drummer and an absolute beast on a kit. It’s good to have him back. But apparently he’ll only be heard on the record, as Ladyfinger drummer (and exceptional print maker) Pat Oakes will be the band’s touring drummer when they hit the road for a month starting Oct. 18. That tour ends with a show at The Waiting Room Nov. 18 with label mates Campdogzz.

(I wonder if Cursive could be the “secret” of the just-announced “secret show” at O’Leaver’s Aug. 19?)

Megan Siebe is a fixture of the Omaha music scene having performed with a number of acts including Simon Joyner’s Ghosts, Anniversaire and live with Cursive (Seems to me someone suggested back in 2013 that Siebe would be a great addition on their next album…)

Enough about personnel. The new album, Vitriola, was recorded at ARC with studio wizard Mike Mogis and drops Oct. 5. According to the press release:

(The album) finds the band struggling with existentialism veering towards nihilism and despair; the ways in which society, much like a writer, creates and destroys; and an oncoming dystopia that feels eerily near at hand.

Holy shit that sounds depressing. But no Cursive (or Good Life) album is ever a joyous walk through the daisies.

Check out the first single, “Life Savings,” below and pre-order at the 15 Passenger website.

While we’re talking about 15 Passenger, some thoughts on the new Campdogzz record, In Rounds. The 15P debut dropped last Friday..

The has a creamy, twangy sound mixed with throaty-beat indie rock; it can be quiet, it can be hard, and falls in the same mood-circle as Angel Olson or Big Thief or Mitski. Let’s face it, women-fronted acts are making the most interesting music in indie rock these days, they’re dominating the genre.

Campdogzz and frontwoman Jess Price can add their names to that rather long list. Price, a Tulsa native, has a weary, prairie-worn voice that sounds like a mix between Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt and a bourbon hangover. There is a desolate nature to this collection of songs that reflect a strange longing and loneliness, with arrangements that in a heartbeat can veer from bending-in-the-wind lullaby to storm-bracing rock — quiet, ferocious, quiet.

Highlights include the torrid, pumping “On My Own,” crunchy rocker “Southern,” which sounds like classic Stevie Nicks, and smoldering hammer-beat track “Souvenir” with the lines “Did you want to get me gone / Did you want to get me / Well that train is going by.” Yikes.

Price’s lyrics are simpler and somewhat more obtuse than, say, Adrianne Lenker’s lyrics (of Big Thief), which are more intimate, personal, straight forward — you always know what Lenker’s singing about, whereas Price, not so much. On the other hand Campdogzz’s music is consistently more compelling and hook-filled than Big Thief’s static confessions (Exceptions, such as “Paul” and “Shark Smile,” are the exception rather than the rule). Regardless, the bands have more similarities than differences.

The Chicago act, which started as a duo with Price and Mike Russell and is now a five-piece, has been kicking around since before 2014. The fact that 15 Passenger lucked into them says a lot about the future of a label that’s built on a bedrock of Kasher-infused quality. How could it go wrong? * * *

They’re practically The Waiting Room’s house band — The Melvins — return to the bar tonight. WE Are the Asteroid 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

The Thermals quit; Cursive rumblings; Flower Moon comp; Anna McClellan review; Erika Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards) tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:42 pm April 10, 2018

The Thermals at Slowdown Jr., May 6, 2016. The band announced its break-up yesterday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Thermals yesterday announced that they’re breaking up. I first read about it here at Brooklyn Vegan though it was announced via their Facebook page. The reason given: “we feel our band has reached far beyond our initial expectations and goals, and are stepping away from it while we still cherish it.”

It got me wondering why bands make these sorts of announcements; especially if they’re not contractually obligated to do anything like record another album or tour. The Thermals are on Saddle Creek Records, which historically has worked with bands on an album-by-album basis — i.e., I’m not aware of any three-record deals with Saddle Creek (then again, I’m not privy to their contracts).

I guess with some bands there would be concern over owning the name. What if Hutch Harris decided to record a solo album and call it a Thermals album? Is that really possible, would he do such a thing? I can’t imagine it. It would be like Tim Kasher releasing a solo record and calling it a Cursive album. No way. I can see that being an issue with arena acts maybe, but not indie bands at this level.

So why announce that you’re breaking up? Just go off and do your thing, be it a solo album or some other project, and if/when the mood strikes and the timing’s right, get together with your comrades and do shows or write another record.

Bright Eyes, which is really a loose-knit collection surrounding Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott, never really announced a break-up. The Faint went for years between records. Cursive has been known to “go on hiatus” while members do other things like The Good Life or Mayday.

I’m rambling now. The Thermals are gone, but I wouldn’t count them out. Or heck, maybe they’ll never play together again…

* * *

Speaking of Cursive, the band has been named among those performing at Fest 17 in Gainesville, Florida Oct. 26-28. I’ve heard Cursive has been busy recording a new album slated for release on their new label, 15 Passenger Records. With this fest date now in the books, can a full tour announcement be far off?

* * *

High Up, Orenda Fink, Jake Bellows and Maria Taylor are among the artists on the upcoming 2-LP comp album Friends and Family Volume 1 , out May 11 on Taylor’s Flower Moon Records.

These are all musicians I greatly respect and have been fans of for years – but what makes the compilation unique is that they are also part of a collaborative community of friends and family members who have been working together and supporting one another for years. I wanted this compilation, and Flower Moon Records, to be a vehicle to continue to support, promote, and celebrate their work.” The quote is unattributed, but I assume it’s Maria Taylor saying that.

There’s a lot of other familiar names on the 16-track list, including Whispertown, Nik Freitas, Umm and Taylor Hollingsworth. Full track listing and preorder info here.

* * *

Q1 2018 CD reviews continue. Read them all here at The Reader website.

Anna McClellan, Yes and No (2018, Father/Daughter)

Anna McClellan, Yes and No (Father/Daughter) — More than any other female indie singer-songwriter doing piano-driven confessionals, my heart hurts when I hear her slightly off-kilter voice warble through a set of yearning love notes. McClellan unashamedly holds nothing back when she belts out her stories unpolished and beautiful. She’s a broken-hearted nerd who deserves to win, just like the rest of us.

* * *

Tonight The Waiting Room hosts Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards fame. her new album rocks. Jessica Errett opens at 8 p.m. $17.

* * *

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

Cursive to return in 2018; Mogwai tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:50 pm November 30, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There’s a nice Q&A with Tim Kasher at Surviving the Golden Age. Tim talks about the early days of Cursive, the differences between guitarists Stephen Pedersen and Ted Stevens, and that Cursive will be “somewhat active in 2018.Read it here.

While we’re on the subject of Cursive, Noisey asked Kasher to list/rank his favorite Cursive albums. Tim and I agree on No. 1 (though we disagree on where Domestica ended up). Check it out here.

* * *

Tonight’s that Mogwai show at The Waiting Room I wrote about yesterday. It’s an early show with an 8 p.m. start time, with one opener – “dark synth” Texas artist Xander Harris. If you’re going, bring ear plugs. The last time I saw Mogwai they were incredibly loud. Don’t say I didn’t warn you… $26.

* * *

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

Cursive announces early reissues (Dec. 1); The Yawpers, Clarence Tilton tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:37 pm November 2, 2017

Cursive is reissuing two of their earliest releases.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yesterday Cursive announced via social media that its label, 15 Passenger Records, is reissuing remastered versions of Cursive’s first two albums, 1997’s debut Such Blinding Stars For Starving Eyes and 1998’s The Storms Of Early Summer: Semantics Of Song in celebration of the 20th anniversary of both albums.

Both releases will arrive in stores Dec. 1, 2017. The vinyl editions will be limited to 2,000 copies and printed on 180-gram, two-color records:

Stars will be blue with a white starburst pattern;
Storms will be clear vinyl with a white swirl/smoke pattern

Both were remastered by Ed Brooks (Pearl Jam, Fleet Foxes, Mastodon; The Ugly Organ remasters) from the original tapes. The Stars reissue features a foreword written by Tom Mullen of Washed Up Emo, while Storms features forewords by Ted Stevens and the band’s longtime friend and European tour manager, Oliver Wyczisk.

Pre-orders are being taken here. Like a lot of people, I didn’t get into Cursive until Domestica came out in 2000, and then never bothered to look back at these recordings. The original mastered versions of both are in Spotify. Check ’em out and place your order.

I wonder if the band will perform these live on a special Such Blinding Stars of Early Summer Tour…

* * *

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s The Yawpers, with The Velveteers and Clarence Tilton. You read Yawpers’ Ten Questions interview, now see them perform live. $10, 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

The Show is The Rainbow returns; Cursive tops divorce list; Truck Stop Love reunion; Agent Orange tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm October 17, 2017
Darren Keen as The Show Is the Rainbow holds court in Dundee, Aug. 27, 2011.

Darren Keen as The Show Is the Rainbow holds court in Dundee, Aug. 27, 2011. Now the one-man band is back.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Show Is the Rainbow is back.

The one-man band fronted by former Nebraskan now New Yorker Darren Keen is putting out a new record and hitting the road. In fact, there’s even a Kickstarter campaign under way to help underwrite some of these return activities.

The first time I interviewed Darren was way back in 2003 (right here). TSITR continued on up until a few years ago when Keen moved to New York and began focusing on DJ and production work. So why bring back TSITR?

I am bringing back TSITR because for the past few years all of my music has focused almost exclusively on sound design, and i miss iwriting songs,‘” Keen said. “Part of the reason I quit TSITR is because I was scared to sing and write lyrics since I have a way of offending and upsetting people both accidentally and intentionally. I am no longer worried about that, and am looking forward to being the lead singer of a one-man band again.”

There you have it. Keen says his new album is slated for release in November or December. You can help fund the project at his Kickstarter page. Find out more below:

* * *

Congrats to Cursive for making Stereogum’s 25 Notable Divorce Albums list for 2000’s Domestica. From the article: “Using some embellishments and stand-in characters, the band drew on Kasher’s experience to craft a concept record built around the arc of a relationship in near-collapse, their angular emo-leaning rock an appropriate vessel for that particular brand of anguish.” They join the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac and Richard & Linda Thompson (my personal favorite).

* * *

Speaking of the ‘90s, early ‘90s Manhattan, Kansas, band Truck Stop Love is reuniting for the release of Can’t Hear It: 1991-1994. The band released three albums on Scotti Bros. between ’93 and ’95.

From the press release: “Twenty-five years ago Truck Stop Love released their first recording; a cassette recorded by the band in the back room of Vital Vinyl, a local record store in Manhattan, Kansas. This November, the band will release three of those songs, plus 8 more previously unreleased demo tracks and never-before-heard recordings, on vinyl LP through Kansas City coop record label Black Site.”

More info and pre-order info here, including info on a handful of reunion shows in the Lawrence area…

* * *

Finally, tonight at Lookout Lounge is another night of punk with Agent Orange, Flatfoot 56 and Get Dead. $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

What’s 15 Passenger (and what’s it mean for Saddle Creek)? New Kasher music; Dave Dondero, The Morbs, Red Cities tonight; Worried Mothers Saturday; Cold Cave CANCELLED…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:49 pm January 13, 2017

Tim Kasher presumably celebrating both a new album and a new label, 15 Passenger Records.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The internet exploded yesterday afternoon with news that Cursive has launched its own record label called 15 Passenger Records, which I assume is a romantic nod to the Ford Transit Wagon passenger van. Actually, that only hauls 12 passengers. The only 15-passenger vehicle I know if is a short bus.

Anyway, according to the website, 15 Passenger is “the new INgrooves-distributed label founded and run by the members of Cursive: Tim Kasher, bassist Matt Maginn, and guitarist/vocalist Ted Stevens. In addition to ‘No Resolution’ this winter, the label plans to reissue Cursive’s entire catalog beginning with their 1997 debut LP ‘Such Blinding Stars For Starving Eyes’ and their 1998 LP ‘The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song’ in fall of 2017.

Let’s start with INgrooves. It’s a multinational conglomerate that offers “a full suite of distribution, marketing and technology services to help independent labels and content owners manage their music with delivery to more than 600 destinations in over 200 territories worldwide.” It’s also “artist and label services” and “rights management.” INgrooves releases include the latest from Jimmy Buffett, Joe Bonamassa, Home Sandoval, Esme Patterson, Violet Sands, and more.

No Resolution is the name of Tim Kasher’s third solo album, slated for release March 3 on 15 Passenger, which you can pre-order right now from the 15 Passenger Bandcamp store in splatter blue vinyl and CD format. The first track off the album, “An Answer for Everything,” is below:

With this news, a few questions come to mind: Will 15 Passenger also be releasing The Good Life’s back catalog as well as recordings from past Ted Stevens’ projects? How about new music from other bands, just like a regular label? Do Saddle Creek Records bands control the rights to their back catalog for these kinds of releases or did Cursive purchase those rights from Saddle Creek? And what happens to those Cursive back catalog listings on the Saddle Creek Records website?

And the biggest question of all: What does this mean for Saddle Creek Records in general? One assumes a label like Saddle Creek floats its boat on revenue generated from back catalogue sales. Cursive has to be one of the label’s biggest sellers. Given Saddle Creek’s history of one-record deals, does this mean the next Cursive record will be coming out on 15 Passenger? Stay tuned…

* * *

It’s another relatively big weekend of mainly local shows.

One of the bigger offerings is happening tonight at Almost Music in the Blackstone District. Sunbrain frontman Dave Dondero headlines a show that includes Simon Joyner and David Nance. $7, 8 p.m. I suggest buying a growler of beer over at Scriptown and bring it over, then drink it hillbilly-style. Brad won’t mind.

Just a stone’s throw away, The Brothers Lounge is hosting Lincoln band The Morbs tonight. Opening is new Omaha riot grrrl act Boner Killerz (the winner of the “best new band name” award) and Those Far Out Arrows. $5, 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, Lincoln garage rock band Red Cities headlines tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Also on the bill are The Broke Loose and Half Wit. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday), Worried Mothers returns to O’Leaver’s with Total Voltage and Chalant. $5, 9:30 p.m.

CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHERAnd then Sunday night, LA dark wave band Cold Cave plays at The Waiting Room with Drab Majesty and Lincoln leather geek dance sensation Plack Blague. $12 Adv/$15 DOS. Starts at 9.

That’s all I got. If I forgot your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend, and don’t get caught in the ice.

* * *

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

O’Leaversfest weekend: Flowers Forever tonight; High Up, Junior Boys Saturday; Cursive, Destroyer (solo) Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:21 pm September 23, 2016
Cursive at The Waiting Room back in Dec. 2013. The band plays O'Leaversfest Sunday.

Cursive at The Waiting Room back in Dec. 2013. The band plays O’Leaversfest Sunday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Our summer of music festivals continues this weekend with O’Leaversfest, held at fabulous O’Leaver’s, natch… It’s not so much a festival as three nights (and days) of music with some strong headliners every night.

The fest kicks off tonight with a four-band lineup headlined by the return of Flowers Forever — a band Derek Pressnall formed in the wake of Tilly and the Wall and preceding Icky Blossoms. At its height, FF released its debut album on Team Love Records in 2008 and I believe did some brief touring. Primary personnel in addition to Pressnall included Craig Dee and Chris Senseney. Who will make up the band tonight is uncertain. And why Pressnall decided to dust off this project now also remains a mystery.

Also on tonight’s bill are Bien Fang (Rachel Tomlinson Dick); Eric in Outerspace and Fun Runner, with the mighty Tyrone Storm spinning in the beer garden. $7, 8 p.m.

O’Leaversfest Day 2 tomorrow night (Saturday) starts in the afternoon with a beer garden show featuring James Maakestad, Mike Schlesinger and CJ Mills. That starts at 4 p.m.

Then, of course, the fest makes room for the Husker Game *sad trombone*.

The evening show is headlined by red-hot indie soul band High Up. Also on the bill are All Young Girls Are Machine Guns and experimental jazz act Chemicals, which demands that you get there at 10 p.m. sharp. Dramatron DJs in the garden. Your $7 entrance fee gets you in all day.

O’Leaversfest closes out Sunday afternoon with a Sunday Social program starting at 4 p.m. with Silversphere (new electronic project by the folks in The Lepers), Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship and headliner Cursive — yes, that Cursive. Your $7 cover will include food (and fun).

O’Leaversfest isn’t the only thing happening this weekend.

Tonight Milk Run is hosting a Noise and Electronic Fest with Ruby Block, Satanic Abortion and Plack Blague (and more). $10, 7 p.m.

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers headline at The Waiting Room tonight with Enormodome. $20, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) indie electronic dance giants Junior Boys are playing at Slowdown Jr. The band is on the road supporting its latest, Big Black Coat (2016, City Slang), a record that Pitchfork gave a massive 8.0, saying “Big Black Coat leaves behind introverted electronica of previous Junior Boys records. There’s some mid-era Kraftwerk in its place, as well as a big debt to Detroit techno, that sweet spot in the mid-’70s when krautrock met disco, several of Arthur Russell’s many house aliases, and even Prince circa Controversy.” Sounds tasty. Egyptrixx and Borys opens the show at 8 p.m. $16 Adv./$18 DOS.

If you want a preview of Sunday’s Cursive set, the band will be playing down in Lincoln Saturday as part of Hear Nebraska’s Beer Nebraska event. Five bands, five breweries, one price of $30. Also on the bill are Criteria, Universe Contest, Columbia Vs. Challenger reunion and Better Friend. The event runs from 2 to 9 p.m. at Zipline Brewing Company in Lincoln. No address listed, so get out your Google maps. More info here.

Finally Sunday night Destroyer (solo) plays at Reverb Lounge. I assume this is a Dan Bejar solo show. Mac McCaughan opens. $15, 9 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend and I’ll probably see you at O’Leaver’s!

* * *

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Matthew Sweet wraps ‘Tomorrow Forever’; #TBT photo: Cursive from June 3, 2000; Atlas Genius, New Generation showcase tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:28 pm July 21, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s been two years since Matthew Sweet launched a Kickstarter project to fund his next album, which generated more than $55k. Today Sweet reports that he’s finally wrapped up recording. “Last Friday morning I completed recording for the album. I now have final rough mixes done for all 38 songs I started,” he told Kickstarter backers.

Sweet said once he’s settled on a sequence, he’ll start final mixing, prioritizing by what goes on the album time-wise. “I’m guessing mixing will start in two or three weeks,” he said.

Sweet also reported that the album will be called Tomorrow Forever, but didn’t mention a release date. “I know It’s been painful to wait so long, but the wisdom of recording multiple batches in order to get the best stuff possible has paid off big time,” he said. “I really can’t see how it could have been as good as it is any other way.”

Perhaps we’ll get a taste of those 38 songs when he plays the Maha Music Festival in August.

* * *

Some #TBT goodness on a very sweaty Thursday, this previously unpublished photo of Cursive was taken June 3, 2000 (which just happens to have been my 35th birthday). The venue is, of course, Sokol Underground. It was quite a show...

Some #TBT goodness on a very sweaty Thursday, this previously unpublished photo of Cursive was taken June 3, 2000 (which just happens to have been my 35th birthday). The venue was, of course, Sokol Underground. It was quite a show…

* * *

Couple shows tonight…

Down at Slowdown Aussie alt band Atlas Genius headlines. The Jeffrey brothers started as an indie before signing to Warners in 2012 for their debut. Warners released their last album, Inanimate Objects, in 2015. Bear Hands and The Moth and the Flame open. $20, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, The Waiting Room hosts the New Generation Music Festival Showcase, featuring a slew of acts (Ragged Company and Low Long Signal among them) that will be playing the festival slated for Stinson Park August 5. The free show starts at 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

#TBT May 11, 2000: Saddle Creek announces two major releases (Bright Eyes, Cursive)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:48 pm May 12, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

On this Throwback Thursday we’re turning the Wayback Machine all the way back to May 11, 2000, a simpler time before 9-11, before the first iPod and before Nebraska had defined itself as an indie music Mecca. The two releases mentioned in this old Lazy-i blog entry (that also was published in the old Omaha Weekly) would impact the scene for years to come…

Lazy-i May 11, 2000: Saddle Creek Records announced two major CD releases for late spring and early June.

Bright Eyes, Fevers and Mirrors (2000, Saddle Creek Records)

Bright Eyes, Fevers and Mirrors (2000, Saddle Creek Records)

Bright Eyes’ Fevers and Mirrors, the full-length follow-up to last year’s Every Day and Every Night EP is slated to hit the streets May 29. Pre-release hype is huge and already the CD has debuted at No. 42 on the College Music Journal (CMJ) charts, says Saddle Creek’s Robb Nansel. Unlike sales charts, CMJ compiles college and non-commercial radio airplay reports, as well as other key industry indicators,

Fans of Bright Eyes singer/songwriter Conor Oberst’s moody, confessional style won’t be disappointed by what arguably is his most thought-out and well produced effort to date. Oberst has developed a rep for writing rather dreary songs that depress more than uplift. From that standpoint, Fevers and Mirrors is quite a departure, featuring some pretty heavy numbers as well as fully realized accompaniments that move things along quite nicely (look for a full review in an upcoming issue of Omaha Weekly).

Recorded over a month at Lincoln’s Dead Space Studios, the CD features a stable of Saddle Creek special guests, including Lullaby for the Working Class’s Mike and A.J. Mogis, The Faint’s Todd Baechle, and Cursive’s Matt Maginn and Clint Schnase.

Cursive, Domestica (2000, Saddle Creek Records)

Cursive, Domestica (2000, Saddle Creek Records)

Speaking of Cursive, Domestica, that band’s full-length follow-up to 1998’s The Storms of Early Summer, has been pressed and is ready to hit the store shelves June 19. Those who are expecting a quiet return to form from a band that has gone through a break-up and a reunion over the past year, guess again. This one is brutal.

We’re to believe that Cursive singer/songwriter Tim Kasher’s recent marriage and subsequent divorce had nothing to do with these stark rockers that make Trent Reznor’s darkest moments sound like the theme from The Newlywed Game. Song titles like “The Casualty,” “The Martyr” and “The Night I Lost the Will to Fight” paint a not-so-pretty picture of domestic despair.

Despite the mid-June street date, fans can pick up copies of the CD at Cursive’s CD-release party May 27 at Sokol Underground.

With their stable of releases ever growing, Saddle Creek just signed an exclusive distribution deal with Southern Records in the United States, Nansel said. Southern also has exclusive distribution deals with Dischord, DeSoto, Teen Beat, Simple Machines, Tree and Thick as Thieves records. “We think they’re much more representative of our style of music,” Nansel said. “We’ll still be able to consign material and sell CDs at venues.”

The exclusive deal with Southern means the distributor will get a bigger cut of the revenue, but Nansel said that would be offset by better promotions as well as placement in regional chains. — Lazy-i, May 11, 2000.

Pitchfork would place Fevers and Mirrors at number 170 on their list of top 200 albums of the 2000s; while Domestica is listed as No. 25 on Rolling Stone’s “40 Greatest Emo Albums of All Time.” Many point to these two releases as the start of what would become a hitting streak for Saddle Creek and its artists, though The Faint’s Blank-Wave Arcade was actually released the previous November. It would be followed by Dance Macabre in 2001. And the hits just kept on coming…

* * *

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

#TBT Feb. 4, 2004: Cursive, Criteria and Tilly and the Wall…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:44 pm February 4, 2016
A screen capture from  Cursive's 2004 video for "The Recluse," featuring Todd Fink back when he was going by Todd Baechle.

A screen capture from Cursive’s 2004 video for “The Recluse,” starring The Faint’s Todd Fink back when he was going by the name Todd Baechle.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

As we do on Thursdays when there ain’t a damn thing going on, I take you by the hand and tip-toe into the Lazy-i Wayback Machine to see what was shaking back in those fun-filled days during the peak of the Omaha indie scene…

From Lazy-i, Feb. 4, 2004: Cursive in front of the camera; Criteria at SXSW; Tilly in the Times…

Saddle Creek Records confirms that Cursive will be busy this week filming a video for “The Recluse,” a song from their last album, The Ugly Organ. It’s probably being done in support of a soon-to-be-released European single of the song. The fine folks at Malone & Co. are producing/directing/shooting the video. Mike Malone goes way back in the Omaha music scene, having photographed a number of local bands from the mid-’90s golden age, including Mercy Rule, Sideshow, Digital Sex, Mousetrap, Secret Skin and Ritual Device, to name a few. The video shoot will be taking place over the next few days at The Dubliner, Joy Club and Joslyn Castle.

Stephen Pedersen of Criteria wrote to confirm that his band has been formally asked to perform at this year’s South by Southwest Festival. No word on the venue yet. Pedersen was one of four bands recommended by The Reader for the festival.

Tilly and the Wall‘s rendition of OutKast’s “Hey Ya!” caught the attention of Kelefa Sanneh, the New York Times biggest Omaha booster. In the article Sanneh says: “But the definitive indie-rock ‘Hey Ya!’ has to be the clap-along version by Tilly and the Wall, an emerging band from Omaha that has a tap-dancer instead of a drummer; it’s the only one that might make André 3000 jealous.” Just another small step in Tilly’s plan for world domination. —Lazy-i Feb. 4, 2004

Whatever happened to Kaefa? According to Wiki: “In 2008, he left The New York Times to join The New Yorker as a staff writer. Sanneh now lives in Brooklyn.”

* * *

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i