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…

* * *

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.

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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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Night Three of Cursive w/Ted Stevens, Ladyfinger tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:44 pm December 19, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You could look at the last two Cursive “residency” shows at The Waiting Room (the past two Thursday) as Acts I and II of a 3-act play. If so, tonight’s show would be the pay-off act, where everything comes together.

Or, you could view tonight’s show as a 90-minute Cursive finale following two marathon sets.

Me, I see tonight as a chance for the band to navigate uncharted territory. Cursive is recording all three nights for a possible live album. Night 1 (Dec. 5) was a straight reading of the source material. Night 2 (Dec. 12) had the feel of an arena concert tucked into a nightclub. Needless to say, they got enough from the first two nights — well over 40 songs recorded — to fill a handsome double album.

But now comes Night 3. With the first two shows securely “in the can” they can do whatever they want whatever way they want to. But it’s hard to imagine them rolling out anything more obscure from the Cursive catalog than what they’ve already played. So what will they do? Only one way to find out.

Opening tonight’s show is Ted Stevens Unknown Project — that means Ted’s pulling double-duty. Also on the bill: Ladyfinger (which means Chris Machmuller also is pulling double duty as he’s playing sax with Cursive). Get there early. I bet tonight will be as packed as last week’s show (which was a crush mob). If you’re worried about a sell-out, do something about it. $12, 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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Cursive (Night 2), Criteria, Bazan; Pro-Magnum, Acid Test tonight; Omahype holiday rock shop Saturday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:54 pm December 13, 2013

Cursive at The Waiting Room, Dec. 12, 2013.by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The line to get into The Waiting Room last night stretched down the sidewalk at 9 p.m. I could hear David Bazan doing his usual sad-dog electric solo set while I waited. The lady behind me said she was worried the show would sell out, and phoned a friend further up in line to buy her ticket. She was right to be concerned. The place was packed, especially compared to last week’s show.

I’ll get to the openers in a minute. First, Cursive.

The set-up was the same as last Thursday, but the actual set was altogether different. Not entirely in song choices — there were a couple repeats, including “The Martyr” and “Sierra” (I suppose they have to play those at every show) — but in the performance. Cursive brought the heavy shit last night. The band was tuned to metal, even Kasher’s guitar was extra-gritty.

While last week’s set list was a mish-mash with a heavy dose of their more-popular tunes, last night was a deep dive into obscurata, light on melody, heavy on thunder. Or maybe it just seemed that way. Again, I didn’t recognize about a third of the songs. Among the rarities was “Sucker and Dry” off their second single (rereleased on The Difference Between Houses and Homes), “Retirement” from their first album Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes, and something off second album The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song. Kasher ended each chestnut with a wry laugh as if saying, “Remember that one? Of course you don’t.

The band played two sets. Set One highlights included “The Night I Lost the Will to Fight,” “Rise Up! Rise Up!” and “Sierra,” along with a song or two off I Am Gemini. Then they left the stage and comedian Ian Douglas Terry, maybe the bravest man in the word, came out and did 10 minutes as people screamed at him from the floor. As Dan Rather used to say: Courage.

By the time Cursive returned, the crowd had thinned slightly. They dove back in with “Sink to Swim,” “The Worst Is Over,” “Let Me Up,” “Holiday,” and a song or two off I Am Gemini, before closing with a rearranged, gospel-tinged version of “What Have I Done?” which cements Mama, I’m Swollen as my favorite Cursive record.

It was during the second set that they rolled out “The Martyr” again. I can’t put a finger on it, but this week’s version was looser, groovier, more brazen that last week’s, and was indicative of the entire set. While there was more head-scratchers on the set list this week, the overall performance was louder, meatier, more primal — i.e., it was pretty fantastic, maybe the best Cursive show I’ve seen since that secret “sneak” show at O’Leaver’s seven or eight years ago when they rolled out Happy Hollow songs for the first time.

As everyone knows, last night was one of three shows at The Waiting Room being recorded for a (proposed) live album. I think they pretty much got what they needed. God only knows what we’re in for next week. The conventional wisdom is that now that they have the necessary tracks in the can, next Thursday’s show will be a fuck-it free-for-all where anything goes. It could be a marvel or a bloody mess, and either will make for grand theater.

Speaking of grand theater, the near sold-out crowd was just as enthusiast about Criteria as they were the headliner.

Criteria at The Waiting Room, Dec. 12, 2013.

Criteria at The Waiting Room, Dec. 12, 2013.

When I was a kid I used to read Hulk comics (who am I kidding, I still read Hulk comics). The best part about ol’ greenskin is that no matter how much they throw at him, he just gets stronger. The same thing can be said about Criteria frontman Stephen Pedersen.

When the band came out and played their first song, I texted a buddy hidden somewhere in the crowd: “Steve’s losing his voice. Those high notes, just a tad out of reach.” I don’t remember what song it was, one of those early Criteria classics.

But it didn’t take long for Pedersen to get in range. Maybe he needs to warm up more before the show? I don’t know. Frankly, I don’t know how he’s even able to sing those songs, each one is a circus-act tight-rope walk of searing high notes akin to an indie-rock yodel thrust loudly into the crowd via that thick, bulging vein in his neck. Pedersen is a marvel of art and science. As is his band, whose rhythm section sits proudly alongside Cursive’s as among the finest in the land.

By the end of the set Pedersen was unstoppable. I expected his voice to be a worn-down burned-out nub, but it only got stronger. Don’t get him angry, you won’t like him when he’s angry…

The big news was the slew of new Criteria material — all solid. Though not a new direction by any means, each song held its own (and then some) alongside the band’s stellar back catalog. Pedersen’s announcement that the band is recording a new album in January was met with whoops of approval from the crowd. Is this the beginning of a second act by a band that’s sorely missed?

As for Bazan — good ol’ Bazan — his solo set was well received, though there was a lot of chatter in the back of the room. I’d be surprised if many of the youngsters in the crowd even heard of Pedro the Lion. As per usual, he paused a couple times between songs and asked if there were any questions. Someone asked him to play an older tune, and his response was something like, “Sorry man, I’m no longer the guy who wrote and played that song.”  So it goes.

* * *

All right, it’s Friday. The weekend’s looking… interesting.

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s noise-rock band Pro-Magnum headlines what they’re calling “Metal \m/ Night” featuring Old Bones (self-described hardcore band featuring ex members of Split Second, 8th Wave and Ryan McLaughlin (Rymo) of Race for Titles), Relentless Approach, and Borealis (self-described death metal). Sounds loud, doesn’t it? $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, it’s Snake Island, Worried Mothers and the incomparable Dereck Higgins at Venue 51, 1951 St. Mary’s Ave. They’re calling this show “Acid Test” and describing it as “a night of interactive light and group levitation. Projections, Psychedelia, and euphoria…” $5, 9 p.m. Fitting that it’s Friday the 13th?

Tomorrow night back at O’Leaver’s it’s The Doneofits (Michael Trenhaile), Under Water Dream Machine and The Love Technicians. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Meanwhile Saturday evening down at Slowdown it’s Omahype’s annual Holiday Rock and Shop featuring local designers and crafts-makers, as well as bands: All Young Girls Are Machine Guns, John Klemmensen & The Party, Manic Pixie Dream Girls, cellist April Faith-Slaker and Seer States. Between bands buy a hip-ass bag by Artifact, a foxy dress by Hello Holiday or a kick-ass poster by Doe-Eyed Design, among others. The fun starts at 6 and entry is $5. More info here.

Sunday there’s a “Whiskey Tasting” being held at O’Leaver’s at 4 p.m. That just seems like a bad idea to me…

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.

Lazy-i

Third Quarter Reviews, Twitter style (in the column); goodbye Jenna; Cursive (night 2), Bazan, Criteria tonight…

Category: Blog,Column,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 2:19 pm December 12, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

In this week’s column, third quarter CD reviews (a little late). I’ll be tweeting random selections throughout the day at @tim_mcmahan — what better reason to finally get a Twitter account? The entire list is in this week’s issue of The Reader, or online right here… Here’s a taste:

Hospital Ships, Destruction In Yr Soul (Graveface) — Death Cab meets Arcade Fire, too often tries for epic, too often falls flat.

Destruction Unit, Deep Trip (Sacred Bones)  — Just plain burn-your-face-off garage rock for the damned (damned good).

Lloyd Cole, Standards (Tapete) — Don’t call it a comeback, it’s the best thing he’s released since Music in a Foreign Language, and could be a hit if he ever tours the U.S.

Twinsmith, self titled — Blessed by the Creek, a sort of Vampire Weekend / Beach House mash-up, might be too cute for its own good.

Read all 32!

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Conduits at Dundee Spring Fling, May 21, 2011.

Conduits at Dundee Spring Fling, May 21, 2011.

Somewhere in the heart of the city there’s a going-away party being held for Jenna Morrison.

Jenna is/was the golden-voiced siren who fronted Omaha’s epic shoe-gaze odyssey called Conduits. What did Conduits sound like? From an April 2011 review of their performance on Slowdown’s big stage:

Conduits closed the night with grand aplomb — just an absolute wall of sound — thick slabs of droning feedback, subtle synth tones, and throbbing, tribal rhythms a la Slowdive, MBV and all the other shoe-gaze masters that obviously influenced their style and that we all know and love.

Conduits could have been huge. The conventional wisdom at the time was that they were the next Omaha break-out act, especially after word leaked that their debut LP would come out on Team Love Records (the label that Conor Oberst started). But time took its toll on Conduits. They spent a year playing the same songs, released their record then spent another year playing the same songs. But (I’m told) none of that had anything to do with their eventual demise…

Though there’s been no official announcement, the band has been broken up for more than a year. Everyone’s gone on to other projects, the most notable being Oquoa. Everyone, that is, but Jenna Morrison. Conduits fans have sat back waiting for her next move. Well here it is:

After going on a walk-about through the Southern Tier (documented on her Facebook page), Jenna decided to move to Los Angeles in the coming days/weeks. What she’s chasing out there, I cannot tell you. I can only wish her luck, godspeed and say thanks for the memories. And watch out LA, there’s a new kid in town…

* * *

Tonight is Night 2 of Cursive’s 3-night stand at The Waiting Room where the band is recording for a possible live album. Night one was a real doozy. And of the three shows, tonight’s might draw the largest crowd thanks to stellar openers Criteria (they’re baaack!) and David Bazan (Who we all remember from Pedro the Lion).

If the first night was any indication, this trio of shows attendance should be mandatory for any Cursive fan. The band is digging deep into the back catalog. Heck, they played a song off their Lumberjack debut 7-inch last week. You will hear songs performed that you may never hear performed live by this band again…

As of this posting, tickets were still available for $12. You may want to get yours online now to avoid disappointment. See you there.

Also tonight, Hear Nebraska is hosting a listening preview of its Vol. 2 album at The Omaha Bicycle Company in Benson.

The vinyl album is a snapshot of the best bands of 2013, with tracks from Universe Contest, Pleasure Adapter, Noah’s Ark, Millions of Boys, Tim Kasher, Skypiper, McCarthy Trenching, Conchance, Lloyd McCarter and Simon Joyner. HN is less than $700 away from its $4,000 Kickstarter, which is really just a pre-sale. A $20 pledge gets you the vinyl and the mp3. Pledge more for other fun stuff. Do it.

Not sure you’ll dig the record? Then head over to Omaha Bicycle Company tonight at 5:30 and hear for yourself. More detail about tonight’s event here.

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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.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Cursive; OEAA showcase, So-So Sailors tonight; Higgins/Polipnick Saturday; Midlake Sunday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:53 pm December 6, 2013
Cursive at The Waiting Room, Dec. 5, 2013.

Cursive at The Waiting Room, Dec. 5, 2013.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The set list of last night’s Cursive show at The Waiting Room was pretty much what you’d expect from a band recording a live record: A large selection from their entire catalog, going all the way back to their first 7-inch single The Disruption released in ’96 on Lumberjack Records (the embryonic precursor to Saddle Creek Records).

In all, the band played around 20 songs in a set that stretched over an hour and ended with an abbreviated version of “Staying Alive” (the closer off 2003’s The Ugly Organ). The gang came back and played a three-song encore that ended (ironically?) with “Big Bang” from 2006’s Happy Hollow. Mixed in there were the usual favorites like “The Martyr,” “From the Hips,” “Art Is Hard,” “The Casualty,” “Sierra” along with a handful that I simply wasn’t familiar with or didn’t remember.

Chris Machmuller of So-So Sailors (see them tonight at O’Leaver’s) helped fill out the horn parts on saxophone next to Cursive perennial Patrick Newbery, while Megan Siebe of Anniversaire played Gretta Cohn’s parts on cello. I forgot how much I missed hearing a cello with this band.

Cursive's Ted Stevens, right, takes the lead.

Cursive’s Ted Stevens, right, takes the lead.

Throughout the evening they played with workmanlike precision, which also was the set’s only drawback. More often than not, it felt like they were trying their hardest to hit the mark rather than let themselves get lost in the moment. It was sort of like watching a band play on television — you can feel their every effort to do it “just right.” If your chief criticism is that the band played every song flawlessly, you don’t have much to complain about.

But it does beg the question: What makes a good live album? Personal favorites that come to my mind are At Folsom Prison, The Band’s Last Waltz, Frampton Comes Alive, Stop Making Sense, Under a Blood Red Sky and, of course, Cheap Trick at Budokan. Not surprising, none of those are less than 30 years old. I can’t think of one good “indie” live album (I don’t count Nirvana Unplugged because it was recorded in a studio and came out on Geffen and it just doesn’t feel like a live album to me).

What makes those classic live records classic is the sense that you’re hearing something special being captured almost by luck. There’s a unique energy that embodies the performances, a momentum that carries through to the final crowd fade, and a one-of-a-kind quality to each song as if they’re being reinvented on the spot, effortlessly, by musicians caught up in the moment playing strictly by their gut.

And, of course, the off-the-cuff introductions and asides. Cheap Trick’s Budokan wouldn’t be as special without the intro: “I want you to want me!

Well there wasn’t much “off-the-cuff” going on last night as Cursive pounded through the set list one song after the other, intently focused on the finish line. Frontman Kasher provided little if any give-and-take with the audience — a quality that makes for memorable shows. Maybe the lack of snappy patter was first-night jitters and the fact that they know they have two more Thursday nights to try to capture that perfect moment. If you’re lucky you’ll be there when it happens.

* * *

Let’s get to the weekend, the frigid cold weekend…

Will the Arctic blast keep people away from tonight’s mammoth Omaha Entertainment & Arts Awards Nominees Showcase going on throughout Benson? We’re talking 50 bands playing at six venues. In years past it was fun to jaunt between clubs throughout the night, but will it be as fun when the windchill is five below? Let’s find out. The OEAA schedule is online right here. If I go to this tonight, it’s unlikely I’ll stray from The Waiting Room, which has the most solid line-up:

7:00-7:35 – The Electroliners
7:50-8:25 – All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
8:40-9:15 – Conchance
9:30-10:05 – Matt Cox Band
10:20-10:55 – Steve Raybine
11:10-11:45 – The Whipkey Three
12:00-12:35 – Josh Hoyer and The Shadowboxers
12:50-1:25 – John Klemmensen and the Party

As per usual $10 gets you into all six clubs. Plus, Benson First Friday also is happening tonight. Expect crowds and parking issues (don’t forget Larkin Parkin’ across the street from Jake’s).

If you want to avoid the Benson cluster, head over to fabulous O’Leaver’s for So-So Sailors with Des Moines band The River Monks and Brad Hoshaw. $5, 9:30 p.m. Check out some River Monks below:

Also tonight, Saturn Moth plays at Slowdown Jr. with Congruency, Andrew Baille and Diana Arp. Show starts at 9 and is absolutely free.

Saturday evening Almost Music Records in Benson hosts the first in its concert series, performed in the adjoining Solid Jackson Books space. Headlining is Omaha legend Dereck Higgins, with Luke Polipnick Esoteric Trio and Rake Kash (featuring Lonnie Methe). Start time is 7 p.m. and tix are $5.

And then Sunday prog rockers Midlake headlines at The Waiting Room. The Denton Texas band’s new album, Antiphon, was released on ATO Records. Opening is Sarah Jaffe. $13, 9 p.m.

Also Sunday night, The Pines play at Slowdown Jr. with Brad Hoshaw. 8 p.m., $8 Adv./$10 DOS.

Stay warm, people…

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

Night 1 of Cursive at The Waiting Room tonight; Bright Eyes X-mas gets the Pitchfork treatment (rating: 7.0)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 1:59 pm December 5, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Cursive’s three-night stand at The Waiting Room begins tonight. They’re calling it a “residency,” though it’s really just three dates booked at the club to record a possible live album. Let’s face it, there will have to be something releasable after three nights, right? I’m told Megan Siebe (Anniversiare) and Chris Machmuller (So-So Sailors, Ladyfinger) will be joining them on stage playing cello and saxophone respectively. I’m not sure exactly what we’ll hear tonight or how it will proceed, but it should be a lot of fun. Kevin Coffey has some detes here at OWH.com.

For those who can’t afford $30 for the three-day pass or separate cover for three shows, the prime question is which show to attend. Tonight’s ain’t a bad choice. InDreama is Nik Fackler’s (Icky Blossoms) psych rock project that includes renowned bass-slinger Dereck Higgins. Every InDreama show is a unique experience; tonight’s should be no exception, especially considering the band hasn’t played live in months.

The other opener, Lightning Bug, is a post-punk band in the Modest Mouse vein . Check a track out below.

Tickets to tonight’s show are still available for $12 (and you can still buy that 3-night pass for $30 and save!). Show start at 9. Bundle up and head out.

* * *

Pitchfork today reviewed Bright Eyes, A Christmas Album, giving it a respectable 7.0 rating. Read the review here. The nut sentence: “(The album) often sounds like a field recording from chilly church basements or the dark, flat expanses of the Midwestern plains, barren, frozen, howling winds in the distance and the occasional flicker of light coming from Christmas decorations.” Pretty much sums it up for me, too. I got a copy of this CD when it was first released in 2002. It’s a fun novelty, but not something I’d play at a company Christmas party. There’s something slightly depressing about indie rock Christmas records, and this one is no exception…

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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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Cursive to record live album at TWR in December, Cat Power scheduled; cryptic O’Leaver’s message……

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:02 pm November 5, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Weird Black Friday graphic attached to the cryptic message concerning O'Leaver's...

Weird Black Friday graphic attached to the cryptic message concerning O’Leaver’s…

Not much time for an update, just a couple things to pass along…

If you’re not already getting the One Percent Productions email blast you really should. This week’s “ramblings” included info on Cursive’s three week hometown residency at The Waiting Room in December as part of a new live recording project. The band will perform on the first three Thursdays of the month – December 5, 12 and 19 – with two special guests opening each night.  “Each Thursday’s setlist will be a mix of fan favorites and a number of deeper cuts from Cursive’s extensive back catalog of seven full-length albums,” said 1%. Tickets for each individual show are $12 and a pass for all three is $30.

In addition, One Percent announced that Cat Power is slated to play at The Slowdown Nov. 22 with Nico Taylor. Tickets go on sale Thursday and are $22.50 Adv/$25 DOS.

Sign up for the One Percent Productions email blast right from their homepage.

Finally, over lunch I received a cryptic e-mail from a sender who identifies him/herself as “Black Friday” with one sentence: “There will be a special performance on Black Friday (November 29) this year at O’Leavers Pub.” More to come?

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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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Kasher’s Adult Film out Oct. 8; Conchance drops video for ‘What’s Goode’; Bob Log III, Bullet Proof Hearts tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:18 pm July 24, 2013
Sticky album art for Tim Kasher's new album, Adult Film (2013, Saddle Creek).

Sticky album art for Tim Kasher’s new album, Adult Film (2013, Saddle Creek).

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Some email to go through…

Tim Kasher’s publicist Cobracamanda announced today that the Cursive frontman’s sophomore solo album, Adult Film, will be released Oct. 8 on Saddle Creek. Kasher recorded the album at Chicago’s Electrical Audio this past spring.

Sayeth the press release: “Whereas The Game Of Monogamy was an orchestral album filled with theatrical arrangements, Adult Film favors less ornate, equally impactful instrumentation across its 10 affecting tracks….Lyrically, Kasher is at his incisive best, thematically elastic and touching on aging (self-reflection and taking stock), mortality (one’s own and others’), and relationships of all kinds.”

Not exactly new lyrical ground for the ol’ boy, but I’ll take it.

Kasher is joined on Adult Film by Sara Bertuldo (bass, vocals), Patrick Newbery (organ, keys, synths, horns), and Dylan Ryan (drums) – who backed him while touring around The Game Of Monogamy – as well as additional artists including Nate Kinsella (drums; of Make Believe and Birthmark) and Laura Stevenson (vocals; of Laura Stevenson and the Cans), among others. The album was mixed by John Congleton (St. Vincent, Wye Oak, Explosions In The Sky) at Elmwood Recording in Dallas, TX.

Kasher’s having a CD release show Oct. 5 at The Waiting Room.

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One of the only local hip-hop artists from the area that has caught my attention, Conchance (Make Believe Recordings) dropped a new video for his track “What’s Goode?” According to the label, the video “pays homage to his old friend, Mark Goode, an Omaha-fled skate comrade who now lives in Los Angeles, who Conchance frequently visits on the West Coast.” The video was directed and shot by Omaha filmmakers Sam Martin (Capgun Coup) and Dan Thompson. Check it:

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Tonight at The Waiting Room, helmeted guitar virtuoso Bob Log III returns. Rockers Bullet Proof Hearts opens.  $10, 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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Cursive Buys, Takes Over O’Leaver’s Pub; Night Moves, Renfields tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:29 pm December 5, 2012
O'Leaver's is under new management, and they're a bunch of martyrs.

O’Leaver’s is under new management, and they’re a bunch of martyrs.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Remember way back in October when I said two bits of red hot news fell into my lap? One bit was that Red Sky Festival was dead (ho-hum); the other I said you’d have to wait for. Well now the news can be told (though just about everyone who follows local music already knows it).

The guys in Cursive bought — and are now the proprietors of  — O’Leaver’s, Omaha’s garage rock ground zero and home to the functionally inebriated. Last Saturday night, the George Washington of O’Leaver’s — Chris Mello — handed over the keys to Tim Kasher, Matt Maginn and Ted Stevens, along with the fourth partner in the venture, Chris Machmuller, who I think is actually a permanent fixture of the club like the album-sleeve-covered walls and the smell.

The full story about the handover is in my column in this week’s issue of The Reader and includes an interview with Cursive bass player and paint fetcher Matt Maginn. Matt talks about why they bought the club and what they plan to do with it. It’s online here. Go read it now and we’ll discuss. Go on, we’re waiting….

Done? OK. The central news from a music perspective is that O’Leaver’s will continue to book bands at the same pace it did before — just enough to keep music fans coming but not too much as to alienate the smelly drunks who JUST WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE.

A few musicians have snickered at the news, worried that the new management will ruin their playpen and will no longer allow their bands to play there. Poppycock. That’s the last thing they’d ever do, though Maginn said Stevens might try to help book a wider variety of bands, which has been sorely needed. For the past year there’s been a revolving door of about six bands that play O’Leaver’s regularly. At the very least, Maginn said they’d like to extend an invitation to bands they meet on the road to come and play at the club the next time their tour crosses the Nebraska landscape.

I doubt anything will change at O’Leaver’s except perhaps the smell. Here are a few other things that didn’t make it into the column: The new crew plans on putting a functional tiki bar in the back room where the Foosball table and punching bag machine (soon to leave) are now located. It’ll be a place where people can hang out if they want to escape the music. I’ve seen the new bar — its uber cool.

I also forgot to mention that the volleyball facilities were part of the deal. It’s a well-kept secret that all three Cursive guys are former collegiate sand volleyball stars with the tan lines to prove it. I suspect we’ll be seeing all three in Speedos and sunblock come next summer.

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Fantastic show tonight at Slowdown Jr. — Domino Records artist Night Moves headlines a show with Lincoln band The Renfields and Omaha surf rock kids Adult Films. $7, 9 p.m.

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Tomorrow: The Reader AND The Lazy-i Top 20 (and Next 10) of 2012. Don’t miss it.

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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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