Live Review: Destroyer, Mega Bog at The Waiting Room…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:38 pm February 5, 2018

Destroyer at The Waiting Room, Feb. 3, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Trumpeter JP Carter stole the show at Saturday night’s Destroyer concert at The Waiting Room. Oh sure, Dan Bejar was in great voice doing his usual vampy singing, but it was Carter and his glowing midnight trumpet that powered the arrangements and left people swooning.

Bejar spent the night looking dour, leaning on his mic stand at half mast or kneeling while his marvelous six-piece band (two guitars, keys, bass, drums and that trumpet) crushed each song as tight as any band you’ll ever see on the Waiting Room’s stage (or anywhere).

Bejar was spot on vocally, but looked tired and 10 years older than me rather than seven years younger, which he is. No one says a performer has to look happy up there, most of the ultra-serious ones rarely do, but Bejar looked half-awake or stoned, occasionally grabbing a tambourine and tapping along with his back to the half-full crowd (150?).

The set list included a lot of songs off their latest as well as Kaputt and ended with a two-song encore capped with a strong version of “Dream Lover” from Poison Years.

Two days after the show, it’s Carter’s dreamy trumpet that still echoes in my mind, pouring out like sonic lacquer, making every song shimmer. I’d pay just to hear that band led by Carter.

Mega Bog at The Waiting Room, Feb. 3, 2018.

Mega Bog already had started when I arrived a little after 9. Sweet Erin Birgy and a trio of musicians swayed to a jazzy set of pop songs that reminded me of latter-day Joni Mitchell. Birgy’s voice was quiet and quick and matter-of-fact, as if carrying on a private conversation with an invisible friend over coffee.

Unlike Bejar, she looked like she was having a good time, telling the crowd to listen closely to Bejar’s song lyrics, and hers as well, though I struggled to make out what she was singing with her low-key, lovely and quiet voice.

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Ten Questions with Destroyer (at The Waiting Room Saturday)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:40 pm February 1, 2018

Destroyer plays at The Waiting Room this Saturday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Sometimes I wish I had an eleventh question. If I did, I’d ask Dan Bejar why he called his project Destroyer when there’s nothing destructive about it.

Destroyer songs, like the ones heard on the band’s latest album, Ken (Dead Oceans, 2017), swing and sway and feel like riding a bike with no hands. In fact, Destroyer has more in common with sweater-wearing acts like Belle & Sebastian than a faux-metal monster like KISS.

Bejar, a Vancouver-born Canuck and part-time member of The New Pornographers, formed Destroyer in 1995. And while he’s had a number of breakthrough records, the one that first stood out (for me, anyway) was 2011’s Kaputt (Merge/Dead Oceans), a dazzling collection of infectious indie pop songs. Ken carries on in the same way, at times dreamy and introspective, at other times dancey and introspective.

I caught up with Bejar and asked him to take my Ten Questions survey. Take it away, Mr. Destroyer:

1. What is your favorite album?

Dan Bejar: Strangeways Here We Come, Hejira, There’s A Riot Goin On, Veedon Fleece, stuff like that…

2. What is your least favorite song?

There’s so many terrible ones it makes me think I’m maybe just not that into songs.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

The nights when the stage sound is killer.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

There are people at home that I miss very much.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Peace of mind.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Bologna.  Outside.  For free.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

I have played a couple fairly gnarly college shows.  Won’t name names in case I decide to enroll.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Yes.  It took five years.  And then another five years of mostly hovering just beneath the poverty line.  It also helped to write songs for the New Pornographers in those lean Destroyer years.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

Acting coach.  Actor.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Debauched… And possibly frozen.

Destroyer plays with Mega Bog Saturday, Feb. 3, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Showtime is 9 p.m.; tickets are $20. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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