Matthew Sweet: New album could arrive this summer; new music from Damien Jurado, HÆLOS, The Thermals…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:59 pm January 12, 2016
Matthew Sweet center stage at the 1200 Club March 28, 2015. Sweet gave an update on his upcoming album.

Matthew Sweet center stage at the 1200 Club March 28, 2015. Sweet gave an update on his upcoming album.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Did you participate in Matthew Sweet’s Kickstarter campaign back in the summer of 2014? Wondering where the new album is that had an estimated delivery date of April 2015?

Well, Sweet chimed in with an update yesterday to campaign contributors saying that recording has been completed, mostly.

“All the songs I recorded with Ric in October are sung and essentially finished,” he wrote. “Over the next few days, I’ll be writing the very last songs of the project. That’s right, there will be a final batch!…Looks like the final tally will be around 33 songs. Everyone should know I am working, listening and scheming all the time to make this extra special.”

Sweet said later this month The Bangles’ Debbi Peterson will be coming to Omaha to record the very last batch of drums. Other guest musicians for the record have included Greg Leisz, and Val McCallum (who have worked with Lucinda Williams, Eric Clapton and Jackson Browne), Darian Sahanaja (Brian Wilson, Zombies, the Wondermints) and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys. There are a ton more.

“This last batch (of recordings) should be done by April, and detail and guest work for the first 24 songs will also continue til then,” Sweet said. “Then I will be mixing the album in earnest into May. From experience I would say it is very likely the record and rewards will be delivered sometime this summer.”

Gotta love Kickstarter.

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New music is starting to take form for 2016.

Damien Jurado has a new album, Visions of Us on the Land, coming out March 18 on Secretly Canadian. Here’s the first single:

Matador announced that their recent signing, HÆLOS, will see their label debut, Full Circle, released March 18. Here’s the first single, “Oracle.” Very trippy.

And Saddle Creek act The Thermals announced their new album, We Disappear, comes out March 25. Here’s the first single, “Hey You”:

Much 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Sleater-Kinney; Damien Jurado tonight (and take your chatter outside)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:17 pm February 16, 2015
Sleater-Kinney at The Slowdown, Feb. 13, 2015.

Sleater-Kinney at The Slowdown, Feb. 13, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Sleater-Kinney have never been on top of my “must-listen-to” list. There’s just something harsh and forced about their music, an abrasiveness that utterly lacks melody. It’s tough to sing along to an S-K song unless it’s something mellow like “Modern Girl” off The Woods, which is not characteristic of the band’s usual sound.

Their new album, No Cities to Love, fits right in with the rest of their catalog — a bracing punk rock record loaded with shrill vocals, singing about what I do not know. The title track says it’s not the cities but the weather they love. The rest of the song, the verses, are cryptic: “Atomic tourist / A life in search of power / I found my test sight / I made a ritual of emptiness.” And so on. It’s not so much the words that matter as the energy, and S-K exuded it Friday night at The Slowdown in front of a sold out crowd who loved every minute of it.

The trio, joined by an extra guitarist, rolled right into their set with gusto, with guitarist/vocalist Corin Tucker taking the lead as she would throughout the night, spitting out vocals over the din. There is little doubt that she is the leader of this band, though Carrie Brownstein is the crowd favorite thanks to a brighter, less jagged voice and her notoriety as an actress in Portlandia. Brownstein is a real star among indie stars.

I spent a good part of their set trying to figure out where the bass was coming from, as no one was playing bass guitar. It turned out (I think) that Brownstein and Tucker were trading turns playing their bass strings, though I swear at times neither was playing bass.

Despite taking a few years off the road, the band played as if they’d never left after The Woods came out almost a decade ago. If there was any ring rust, it came early in the set when Tucker sounded like she was trying a bit too hard on vocals (as she does at times on the record). As the set rolled on the band loosened up and got into a groove, injecting more soul into the music.

Holding it all down was drummer Janet Weiss, mesmerizing behind the kit and further enforcing the old punk adage that you’re only as good as your drummer. That being the case, Sleater-Kinney remains one of the finer punk rock bands that emerged out of the ’90s. And while I still don’t care much for their records, after last Friday’s show I’ve grown a new appreciation for their live stuff, which sounds less stiff and more…human than what they’ve put down in the studio.

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While Sleater-Kinney was slaying it at The Slowdown, fellow Seattle-ite Damien Jurado was having less of a good time in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The acoustic folk artist berated the audience at Kalamazoo State Theater after they just wouldn’t shut up. According to this MLive report, during his opening set for Jason Isbell, Jurado was pushed over the edge.

“The best way for me to do my job is to not be distracted by your talking,” Jurado scolded. “If you want to talk there’s lots of room and people out there talking, but this is not the place to do it, okay?”

It goes on from there, peaking with “Laugh all you want man, seriously, but this is not funny. This is my job.”  And, of course, the entire exchange was captured on video, which you can watch here. We’ve all been at shows where the crowd isn’t paying attention to what’s going on up on stage. I, for one, have to hand it to Jurado for telling them to shut up.

No doubt Omaha audiences are much more respectful than Kalamazoo’s, right? So if you’re headed to The Waiting Room tonight to see Jurado headline, take your chatter out to the sidewalk. No one wants to hear it, least of all Jurado, who is on the road supporting last year’s Secretly Canadian release Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Sun. Opening is Oquoa’s Max Holmquist. $15, 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