Live Review: David Nance Group, Clarence Tilton, Stephen Sheehan…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:27 pm December 26, 2018

David Nance Group at The Waiting Room, Dec. 23, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Quite a good turn-out for last Sunday’s coat drive concert at The Waiting Room… eventually. There were around 40 folks in the crowd when I arrived around 8 p.m. By the time Clarence Tilton’s set ended, there was probably four times that number crowded around the stage.

That audience ebbed slightly after the Tiltons ended and David Nance Group took the stage, which I think wasn’t so much a comment on Nance as much as how many friends the Tilton dudes have. Nance and his band were in their usual fine form. One of the things I love about this band is that, while they always manage to play songs off their latest album (Peaced and Slightly Pulverized), no two sets are the same.

They opened with a couple corkers that I didn’t recognize — one with the line “Ain’t no cure,” the other about Nance’s “credit line.” New songs? Hopefully. They absolutely cooked.

No Nance set is complete without a couple covers. This time Nance and the band covered “All My Life (I Love You)” by Skip Spence (co-founder of Moby Grape), and “Little Bit of Rain” by ’60s folk artist Fred Neil (He wrote “Everybody’s Talking'” which was famously covered by Harry Nilsson). It’s as if Nance is giving his audience a music history lesson. I had to run home and look up both of these guys, and have been listening to Neil on Spotify ever since.

Mixed in were two highlights from the new album, “Poison” and “Amethyst,” which soared in all their feedback-tinged glory. Nance is poised to break out on a national level. His new album was mentioned three times on this year’s Matador Records’ “best of” lists, including by label co-creator Gerard Cosloy, all of which means nothing other than people are discovering just how great this band is.

Clarence Tilton at The Waiting Room, Dec. 23, 2018.

As I said, the crowd peaked during Clarence Tilton’s set; there were even a few folks two-steppin’ to their twang-ified folk rock. There’s no doubt an alt-country theme that runs through their music, though if you took out that pedal-steel on some songs they’d more closely resemble traditional college/jangle rock. But you’d also have to straighten out that colorful Weber Bros’ twang.

Set highlight was a song sung by a non-Weber (Paul Novak?) with the line “Look out for the pretty thing,” which has my vote for best Clarence Tilton song I’ve never heard before. And not to be outdone in the covers category, the band ended with their own unique rendition of the Stones’ “Mother’s Little Helper” that sounded more psych-rock than C&W. You can’t pigeonhole these dudes…

Stephen Sheehan at The Waiting Room, Dec. 23, 2018.

Finally, Stephen Sheehan has assembled one of the best straight-out rock bands I’ve heard in a while, strong in every position. The rhythm section of Randy Cotton and Dan Crowell is sonic bedrock. Crowell absolutely crushes on drums, while Cotton’s bass lines at times compete with the lead guitar as the music’s centerpiece. Guitarist Mike Saklar is something of an Omaha legend and a recognized master of all things rock who was showcased throughout last Sunday’s set. Then there’s Donovan Johnson on keyboards whose style shifts with whatever is needed without losing any of his personal style — you just know he’s one of those folks who can play anything off the top of his head.

Taken together, the band truly is a sonic force that’s re-imagining Sheehan’s music, because while fans of Digital Sex or The World may recognize these songs, they live in their own space with these guys. The most notable diff is Saklar, whose sizzling tone couldn’t be more different than that of original Digital Sex guitarist John Tingle. Tingle, for me, had a much lighter, more buoyant sound than Saklar’s dark, bluesy, guttural grind.

No doubt fans of Sheehan’s former bands got what they came for with vital renditions of songs like “Theory of Games,” “In Her Smile” and “Whisper Words.” Sheehan was in good voice (and good melodica) as he breathed new life into songs that are more than 20 years old.

The exception was the night’s highlight, a new song called “Less and Less” that opened with a Donovan Johnson piano line that recalled Carol King on a mid-tempo bop, wherein Sheehan sings about falling out of love. This one was a perfect fit; and I’m told could be coming your way via a recording next year. Hopefully that’s a sign that this isn’t just a one-off performance and we’ll be hearing more new music from this band in the near future.

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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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Lupines, Lodgings, Montee Men, Filter Kings tonight; SERIAL, Matt Whipkey, Brad Hoshaw Saturday; David Nance, Clarence Tilton Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:15 pm December 21, 2018

Lodgings at O’Leaver’s, Dec. 2, 2017. The band returns tonight to O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It feels like the holiday weekend, but Christmas isn’t until Tuesday. That said, this might be the best local weekend show line-up in recent memory.

It starts tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s where the legendary Lupines are headlining. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard these dudes. Will they play “Maria” tonight? Even better, will they finally play “Hasn’t Failed Me Yet?”? As President Dumb-ass says, “Let’s see what happens…” Another of my faves, Lodgings, is in the second slot. The band has been in the studio. Will we hear some of their new stuff? Opening is Sean Pratt. All this for $5. Starts at 10.

Meanwhile, over at The Sydney in Benson it’s an outlaw country battle between headliners The Filter Kings and Sioux Falls act Mat D and the Profane Saints. $5, 10 p.m.

If you’re looking for the heavy shit, head on over to The Brothers tonight where they have Montee Men, Living Conditions and Leafblower (MaxTrax Records). $5, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to The Brothers Lounge for the 4th annual performance of SERIAL. SERIAL is Tim Moss, John Wolf, Lee Meyerpeter and Jerry Hug — four royalty from Omaha’s golden age of punk rock, having performed in such stellar ’90s acts as Ritual Device, Cellophane Ceiling, Bad Luck Charm, Cactus Nerve Thang and Men or Porn. Rusty Lord opens at 9. $5.

Also Saturday night Matt Whipkey headlines at O’Leaver’s with Brad Hoshaw and Joshua Mason. $7, 9 p.m.

Then comes Sunday and the Coat Drive for Heart Ministry Center at The Waiting Room. I wrote about this a couple days ago. The line-up is stacked: David Nance Group, Clarence Tilton, Stephen Sheehan and Garst. Tickets are $10 or a gently used coat. Bands start at 7 p.m.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show put it in the comments section.

No doubt there’s nothing happening on Monday and Tuesday of next week, so let me take this opportunity to wish you a happy holiday from everyone at Lazy-i.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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Coat Drive Dec. 23 to feature David Nance Group, Clarence Tilton, Stephen Sheehan, Garst…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:39 pm December 19, 2018

The Coat Drive for Heart Ministry Center is Dec. 23.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With not a whole helluva lot going on today (or this week, for that matter) I thought I’d give you a little head’s up about a rock show happening this Sunday at The Waiting Room.

It’s the Coat Drive for the Heart Ministry Center. The non-profit, located at 2222 Binney St., has been around for 40 years providing food, clothing and health care to people affected by poverty. They help around 7,000 a month. You can read more about the center here.

Dave Nance Group at The Waiting Room, Nov. 13, 2018.

The line-up for this coat drive is pretty stellar. At the top of the bill is David Nance Group. The band has been on tour supporting their latest album, Peaced and Slightly Pulverized (2018, Trouble in Mind), which made my list of 10 favorite releases of 2018 (which you’ll be reading about in short order). Nance always puts on a great show. If you ever thought “Man, I wish I would have seen Neil Young in his Rust Never Sleeps prime,” here’s your chance to see the next best thing. Don’t blow it.

Clarence Tilton performs at the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 17, 2018.

Clarence Tilton is simply the best alt-country band in this area, though their music transcends that genre in an indie sort of way. I’ve compared them to The Rave-Ups, The Reivers, The Windbreakers and, of course, Uncle Tupelo. Their latest release is a 6-song EP called World Rolled In, but they also released a split 12-inch with Monday Mourners earlier this year.

Stephen Sheehan and his band at Reverb Lounge, Aug. 18, 2017.

Then there’s Stephen Sheehan. The former frontman of ’80s-’90s post-ambient rock bands Digital Sex and The World re-emerged a year ago performing songs from both those bands with a new ensemble that includes Dan Crowell, Mike Saklar, Randy Cotton and Donovan Johnson. These guys rip. Plans call for the band to enter the studio next year to record new material. Stay tuned.

Finally, opening act Garst is not a band I’m familiar with but they’ve been playing around a lot this past year. The four-piece is celebrating the release of its debut CD four days after this show (Dec. 27) at Reverb Lounge.

You get all four bands for one low price of $10 or a new or lightly used coat. Note the above poster says $8. I suggest you split the difference and give $18. All proceeds go to Heart Ministry Center. Show starts at 7 p.m.

Look, most of us have the next day off seeing as it’s the eve or Christmas Eve. Consider this the first of the annual onslaught of holiday rock shows, with See Through Dresses on Dec. 28 and Criterial on Dec. 29.

Get in the spirit, why don’t ya.

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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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