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…

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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.

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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 © 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.

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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…

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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.

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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 © 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…

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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 © 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.”

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Eklectica, Brilliant Beast; Cursive, The Oh Hellos, Agronomo tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:22 pm October 19, 2015
Eklectica at O'Leaver's, Oct. 17, 2015.

Eklectica at O’Leaver’s, Oct. 17, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Eklectica is an Omaha four-piece that features Ryan Menchaca on lead vocals and guitar. If you never heard of them, you’re not alone. They were a complete mystery to me prior to Saturday night’s show at O’Leaver’s, where they followed touring headliner Brilliant Beast. Turns out they’ve only been a group for a couple months. You may recognize Menchaca from his support role in the live version of Icky Blossoms.

Seems like in some circles, frontmen are almost penalized for having a good voice. Menchaca has a high, sweet delivery that’s as good as it gets for a rock band. After the set, a few people were sort of criticizing him for it, saying he sounded “too commercial,” whatever that means. Other folks compared his voice to a couple popular indie acts and mainstream artists. Needless to say, clear, sweet vocals are not the norm at O’Leaver’s, where patrons are used to hearing growling screams or indecipherable mewing.

Ekletica’s music rolled with a ’60s psych vibe, sounding like something headed to Woodstock, but combined with modern touches and progressive nuance. All well played and interesting, though the songs tended to draw out, bordering dangerously close to jam band territory (And we can’t have that). Menchaca announced from stage that Ecklectica has a record coming out in the coming months. At this point in their evolution the band could go just about any direction — toward gritty psych-garage or to more refined Jack Johnson / Dave Matthews noodling. Here’s hoping for the former rather than the latter.

Brilliant Beast, Oct. 17, 2015.

Brilliant Beast at O’Leaver’s, Oct. 17, 2015.

Just before Eklectica, Brilliant Beast played a set of dreamy, underwater shoegaze that’s about as close as I’ve heard anyone at O’Leaver’s come to emulating the essence of that ’90s subgenre. They definitely had the whole Ride/My Bloody Valentine warm-tone style, complete with shimmering, slightly-off-kilter guitar effects that rocked as much as left you feeling uneasy. I honored Cassette Store Day by buying their yet-to-be-released collection on cassette, Dissolve, which is definitely worth finding on Bandcamp.

* * *

There currently are 239 people in Facebook who say they’re going to O’Leaver’s tonight for the Cursive show. That could make for a rather packed room. Maybe they should take the show out to the sand volleyball pit?  Seriously, if you haven’t seen Cursive in the intimate confines of O’Leaver’s, do yourself a favor. It’s an entirely different concert experience than seeing them at a large venue like TWR. No doubt 239 people are not going to show up tonight (Are Facebook invitations ever accurate?), but expect a heated crowd. Get there early and see Chicago band Bellum Bocca and Buffalo, New York band Miwi La Lupa (Team Love Records). $5, 9 p.m.

It’s a busy Monday.

Down at The Slowdown massive folk ensemble The Oh Hellos are headlining an entire night of folk. The San Marcos, Texas, band is a brother-sister act surrounded by about a dozen friends playing music reminiscent of Okkervile River and Sufjan Stevens, among others. Opening are equally large bands Family and Friends, and Cereus Bright. $15, 9 p.m.

And over at Reverb Lounge Caleb Hawley headlines. He’s described as an American soul singer influenced by Stevie Wonder. What caught my attention were the openers. Tara Vaughan and Agronomo, a band that features uber-talented James Cuato Ballarin, Luke Polipnick, John Evans and local legend Dereck Higgins. Their style has been described as fusion combined with some improvisation. Check it out.  $8, 9 p.m.

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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Cursive streams remastered Ugly Organ; Higgins’ Murphy; The Gotobeds, New Lungs tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 2:12 pm November 18, 2014

uglyorganby Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Cursive is streaming its upcoming remastered, deluxe edition of the reissue of 2003’s The Ugly Organ here at AV Club. The 2xCD or 2xLP 180-gram vinyl hits store shelves Nov. 24, just in time for that down-home family Thanksgiving Day gathering. The release includes eight additional tracks written during the Ugly Organ sessions previously released as B-sides, in comps or as part of the ’02 split with Eastern Youth 8 Teeth to Eat You. The band hits the road in February and March supporting the release, including a March 21 gig at The Waiting Room (looks like they’re avoiding SXSW).

Speaking of new releases, Dereck Higgins’s latest vinyl project, Murphy, is now in stock at Almost Music, Drastic Plastic and Hopstop. Or you can buy it directly from Dereck right here. The limited edition release is $20.  Check out some tracks below:


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There’s a fantastic show happening tonight: Pittsburgh garage-punk band The Gotobeds plays at The Down Under Lounge, 3802 Leavenworth, with the amazing New Lungs (DMax from Little Brazil) and Little Ripple. Only $5, starts at 9.

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Cursive reissue, Oberst 7-inch, Whipkey Kickstarter, Rural Alberta Advantage tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:53 pm October 16, 2014
RRA042111

The Rural Alberta Advantage at Slowdown Jr., 4/21/11. The band returns to Slowdown tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I go away for a couple days and look what happens. Let me run though these real quick-like…

Cursive's Art Is Hard gets the vinyl-deluxe treatment...

Cursive’s Art Is Hard gets the vinyl-deluxe treatment…

Cursive and Saddle Creek Records yesterday announced it’s giving seminal 2003 album The Ugly Organ the reissue treatment. The Ugly Organ (Deluxe Edition) [Remastered] will be available on 2xCD and 2xLP 180-gram vinyl, with eight additional tracks on the accompanying disc. These tracks – written during the same sessions as and originally intended for The Ugly Organ – were released on 8 Teeth To Eat You split with Eastern Youth, and their ‘Art Is Hard’ and ‘The Recluse’ singles, and the Saddle Creek 50 comp.

The $23 vinyl and $13 CD drops Nov. 24, just in time for Thanksgiving, though pre-orders are being taken now at the Saddle Creek online store for earlier distro. I don’t own a good copy of this record. Back when it was released, Creek sent out promo CDs with limited artwork, etc. I have a lot of those black promos lying around. I’d prefer to own a nice slab of vinyl for this classic piece of Nebraskana rock, and now I’ll have my chance.

* * *

Speaking of new vinyl, Conor Oberst yesterday announced he’s releasing a limited edition 7-inch (What other kind is there?) for Records Store / Black Friday Nov. 28. The single is two songs not included on Upside Down Mountain: “Standing On The Outside Looking In” b/w “Sugar Street.” Better get in line now.

* * *

In other vinyl news, Matt Whipkey Monday announced a new Kickstarter campaign for a new 10-song LP, Underwater. With the album already recorded, Whip’s trying to raise $5,250 to cover production costs.

Kickstarter has evolved into a straight-forward way for musicians to pre-sale their albums, providing both a product for their audience while cutting down on risks associated with producing and selling very expensive vinyl recordings. Once they meet their goal, they’ve essentially covered their risk, and anything beyond that is gravy, or so the plan goes.

I still meet people who have an attitude about Kickstarter, Indiegogo and the other campaign tools. I don’t get the gripe, especially when it’s merely a pre-sale mechanism. On the other hand, I get the cynicism toward Kickstarter when it comes to bands creating campaigns designed to “fund our tour.”

Anyway, check out Matt’s Kickstarter campaign here.

* * *

Lots to do tonight…

Tonight is opening night of the Local Filmmakers Showcase at Film Streams. Among the short films are music videos for The Faint, Orenda Fink and UUVVWWZ. The showcase only has a one-week run, so make plans to check it out. More info here.

Afterward, stay downtown for The Rural Alberta Advantage at The Slowdown. The band’s new Saddle Creek Records release, Mended With Gold, is the best of their career. Opening is July Talk. $12, 9 p.m.

At The Waiting Room, Little Brazil frontman Landon Hedges does a solo set openign for touring band The Apache Relay. $10, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Barley Street, Scott Severin and CJ Mills open for Kevin Sandbloom. $5, 9 p.m.

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

The Faint’s new album Doom Abuse out April 8 on SQE; Cursive plays an old oldie (but a goodie)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:48 pm February 25, 2014
The Faint, circa now.

The Faint, circa now.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I read it early this morning on Faintbook: The Faint have a new album coming out. Titled Doom Abuse, the new record hits the streets April 8 on SQE Music, home to CSS, Johnathan Rice, Desert Noises, among others.

According to the SQE website: “In the spring of 2013, The Faint existed again. Anxious to make new music the band recorded a 4-song white label 12” they referred to as ‘Preversions.’ That music, primal and punk rock in its approach, became the unplanned blueprint for Doom Abuse.  The band booked time with longtime collaborator Mike Mogis to mix the album before even really having songs written.

The entire album took three months to make, according to SQE. “Since much of Fasciinatiion was made sitting behind computers, the musicians wanted to embrace a live sensibility and collective rawness. A lot of the record was created live in the room, with first takes and first ideas taking precedent.”

Read the whole SQE write-up here.  Fans can pre-order the record right now on iTunes for $7.99 and can immediately buy and download the first single, “Help in the Head.” Needless to say, a tour will follow.

I guess we kind of knew this was coming all the way back in 2011 when this article came out (followed by this article). Everything seemed to be in place for the band to continue on without Joel Peteresen, and thankfully it has. So can The Faint pick up where they left off six years ago? And what about Digital Leather, Todd Fink’s other band, which is scheduled to perform at SXSW in a few weeks (at at O’Leaver’s this Friday night)? And finally, is there a place in The Faint’s future for Saddle Creek Records, the band’s original label? It seems unlikely, but you never know…

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Speaking of old-time Saddle Creek acts, Cursive just released a new live performance video of Ugly Organ staple “A Gentleman Caller,” via LoveDrunk. The video was shot around the same time as the December trio of live shows at The Waiting Room. Take a look:

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Cursive, night three (with two more to go?), Ladyfinger; The Seen, Hotlines, Daft Punk tonight; Brigadiers, Envy Corp Saturday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:24 pm December 20, 2013
Cursive, Night Three at The Waiting Room, Dec. 19, 2013.

Cursive, Night Three at The Waiting Room, Dec. 19, 2013.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Night Three — the final night — of Cursive at The Waiting Room was just as packed as Night Two. Well, maybe not just as packed, but impressively crowded nonetheless.

The set-up was the same as the past two shows, but the set list was firmly in “extra angst” mode. The band came on around 11 and launched into “A Gentleman Caller,” which would have its usual reprise during the encore, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The first half of the set felt dominated by odd, angular, proggy obscurities off the early releases, mixed with Gemini songs. Here’s a little secret: Though I have the records, I’m not intimately familiar with the band’s early material. Without access to a set list, my process for figuring out song names is to tap-in a specific lyric into my iPhone notepad, figuring I could look it up on the InteWeb the next morning.

Hence, this morning I typed “I once had pride, I once had guts…” into the Google machine and out popped the lyrics to “A Little Song and Dance,” from the band’s second album, The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song.

You lying naked next to me…” was from “Excerpts From Various Notes Strewn Around The Bedroom of April Connolly, Feb. 24, 1997” off 8 Teeth to Eat You.

“What are you missing…” was “Dedication to Desertion” off the band’s first album, Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes.

You’re a major leaguer now…” — “A Career in Transcendence” from Storms

And so on.

Crib notes weren’t needed for the hits, such as “Rise Up! Rise Up!” “Dorothy at 40” and “I Couldn’t Love You.”

The band played with the usual panache, but seemed a bit reserved through the first half. For added effect, pre-recorded noises and sound clips played between songs — something I didn’t notice the first two nights — maybe a device to help hold the set together?

While the old stuff was well received, the audience didn’t explode until the last 30 minutes of the night. The set was definitely back-loaded with gold. “The Casualty” went directly into “The Martyr,” and the crowd went nuts. The back-to-back performance was the “arena moment” I’d been waiting for, though frontman Tim Kasher’s voice began to give out on the high-octane screams.

Lovely cellist Megan Siebe (of Anniversaire) was particularly mesmerizing last night. The band needs to recruit her for the next album (if she’s willing, and who wouldn’t be?).

They closed out with “Big Bang” (Chris Machmuller again joining on sax alongside trumpeter / keyboardist / Kasher wingman Patrick Newbery) and one of my all-time faves, “From the Hip” before exiting and returning for a two-song encore of “Mothership, Mothership, Do You Read Me?” (off the Burst and Bloom EP) and perennial closer “Staying Alive” sounding more bombastic than ever.

Any one of the three nights of shows that comprised Cursive’s Waiting Room “residency” would make anyone’s “best shows of the year” list. All three taken as a whole is something of a landmark for local music, which (hopefully) will be documented for the ages with a live album next year.

And so it ends. Or does it?

Word leaked out last night that we might get two more nights of Cursive — tonight and Saturday — at O’Leaver’s, both nights also to be recorded. Scuttlebutt was that the band would announce the shows from stage last night, but they never did, which makes this a “secret show”… if it happens at all. Take your chances.

Ladyfinger at The Waiting Room, Dec. 19, 2013.

Ladyfinger at The Waiting Room, Dec. 19, 2013.

Hey, what about last night’s openers? I missed Ted Stevens Unknown Project (sorry Ted), but caught all of Ladyfinger. Someone pointed out a grievous error on my part — Ladyfinger’s last album, Errant Forms, actually came out in 2013. I forgot all about it while putting together my year-end “favorites” list. Had I remembered, I likely would have included it (“The list” comes out next week, btw).

Last night’s set drew heavily from that album. While the rest of the band couldn’t have been more on point — break-back rhythm section, screaming guitars — when it came time for frontman Chris Machmuller to sing the inspirational lines from “Galactic” he went into complete mumble mode. WTF! Just an off night for Mach? No. He followed it with a vocal performance on “Dark Horse” that would make Springsteen blush. So who knows. Needless to say, at the end of their short set I wanted more.

* * *

I would tell you that my weekend plans are skewed by rumor of “secret” Cursive shows except that I was planning on going to O’Leaver’s this weekend anyway, starting tonight for The Seen and McCallen, Texas, band Crystal Wolf. Will Cursive also perform? Find out. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight is Barley Street Tavern’s Xmaspalooza Showcase, featuring Jeremy Mercy, Darren Keen, John Klemmensen, All Young Girls Are Machine Guns and a handful more. 9 p.m., $5.

Meanwhile, down the street at The Sydney it’s Hotlines (Dereck Higgins, Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, Javid Dabistani and Luke Polipnick), with American Cream. No details, but probably $5, 9 p.m.

And for an extra-special dance treat, Darren Keen and Crew are covering Daft Punk tonight down at House of Loom. $5, 10 p.m.

Tomorrow night it’s The Brigadiers with Bear Antlers at O’Leaver’s (and maybe/probably Cursive?). $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also Saturday night, The Envy Corps headlines at The Waiting Room with Oquoa and Millions of Boys. $8, 9 p.m.

Lastly, Sunday night The Mezcal Brothers headline at The Waiting Room with Matt Cox. $7, 6 p.m.

Have a good 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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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