Under the Radar Festival kicks off; Milk Run double header (Conny Franko, The Bricks) tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:41 pm July 6, 2016
A frame from the Studio Fackler film "One Day, One Month, One Year," which premiers Saturday night at Kaneko as part of the Under the Radar Festival.

A frame from the Studio Fackler film “One Day, One Month, One Year,” featuring members of the .tbd dance collective. The film premiers Saturday, July 23 at Kaneko.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The third annual Under the Radar Festival kicks off tonight at Project Project, 1818 Vinton St. I don’t know what Project Project is, nor do I know much about this festival, which runs through Saturday at venues around downtown. But I guess that’s why they call it “under the radar.”

The event describes itself as an annual “experimental performance” festival. “We emphasize non-commercial and independently created work, and work that represents under-represented ideas and identities,” says the website. Performers come from all over the country to take part. The common denominator is “avant garde,” which is a rarity (and a tough sell) in Omaha.

One of the highlights is a show being held at The Slowdown Saturday night that features the .tbd dance collective.

Another festival highlight is Thursday night at House of Loom where a handful of electronic musicians will perform, capped off by Dereck Higgins, the local legend who should add “hardest working man in the biz” to his unofficial title. Higgins is in at least four bands the last time I counted (including the sublime Chemicals).

And Friday night Milk Run holds the UTR court with a show featuring Big Slur (Dan Scheuerman of Deleted Scenes).

Full festival details, ticket info and schedules are available at http://www.undertheradaromaha.com/.

* * *

Speaking of Milk Run, tonight the tiny club on Leavenworth is hosting two shows simultaneously. Minneapolis punk act Fucking headlines with Conny Franko (a.k.a. Conchance of M34n Str33t fame), Flak and CBN over in the tiny side, while The Bricks headlines in the art gallery side with Kate Berreckman Sam Vicari and Lincoln’s Scott Severin. The shows are $5 each and start at 9 p.m.

* * *

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.

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Live Review: Chemicals (and Hi-Fi House), Record Store Day recap; Rick Moranis tonight…

My Record Store Day 2016 haul...

My Record Store Day 2016 haul…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, another Record Store Day has come and gone and we’re all a little lighter in the wallet for it.

I purchased the majority of my booty down at Homer’s, which by early afternoon was still basking in the afterglow of the mob scene that it withstood earlier that day. Did I buy everything I wanted from the 2016 RSD collection? No, no. But I got what I needed. BTW, that Feelies recording is particularly sublime.

One of the Hi-Fi House sound systems.

One of the Hi-Fi House sound systems.

I hit Drastic Plastic next, then after my trip downtown I checked out the mysterious Hi-Fi House that was celebrating RSD with an open house of its own. Located at the old Joseph’s College of Beauty building at 3724 Farnam St., the facility is first class all the way — a huge open, carpeted space with comfortable furniture arranged in circles throughout, centered around stereo equipment set-ups, like what I was told was an $80,000 system (shown above).

Part of the Hi-Fi House's extensive vinyl library.

Part of the Hi-Fi House’s extensive vinyl library.

Behind the big room are a couple smaller ones. Inside the first is the Hi-Fi House’s album collection, or what I was told was merely a portion of the collection (which is spread out in locations around the country). A glance at the titles indicated that the music touches all genres. Some of it looked unplayed and was still sealed. There also were some interesting music-related items lying around, like a Patti Smith edition of a Pono Music Player — something I’ve never seen in real life.

Tucked further back in the building was the remnants of the Bomb Shelter Radio studio, which had been housed at Milk Run. One assumes the broadcasts will continue at Hi-Fi House. But I can’t tell you for sure as I still can’t get anyone from the organization to do an on-the-record interview. Hi-Fi House might be open but it’s still hush-hush, for now.

Chemicals at Hi-Fi House, April 16, 2016.

Chemicals at Hi-Fi House, April 16, 2016.

There was 20 or 30 people on hand at Hi-Fi House when Chemicals began its set. Of all the bands I’ve seen Dereck Higgins perform in since Digital Sex broke up, Chemicals was the most impressive. I don’t know much about jazz — or improvisational jazz for that matter — but I can still recognize great music played with fire and funk, and Chemicals was all of that. Higgins said during the set that the band was still in its development phase, but you couldn’t tell by Saturday’s performance.

The band includes guitarist Jacob Cubby Phillips and keyboardist Jake Reisdorff. Horns were provided by trumpeter Blake DeForest and the always amazing James Cuato on saxophone (and keyboards). But keeping it all together was gritty drummer John Evans crashing the beats with style and finesse, and of course Higgins himself at the center, one of Omaha’s greatest bassists holding it all together.

At first I wasn’t expecting much thanks to the long, unstructured noise collage that kicked things off, and then Evans cut through the clutter with a defined beat and Higgins dropped his bass line and we were on our way. This is modern, progressive rock jazz in the same vein as Kamasi Washington, progressive but tuneful and exciting, and well played. I’m sure there was a lot of improvisation going on, but there was no mistaking each song’s foundation and arrangement — this wasn’t random noodling. Can a recording be far behind? (Hey Hi-Fi House, why not put it out on vinyl?).

Hand Painted Police Car at Almost Music, April 16, 2016.

Hand Painted Police Car at Almost Music, April 16, 2016.

After Chemicals I strolled down to Almost Music and caught Hand Painted Police Car rip the paint off the walls while a crowd thumbed through the bins.

Then it was off cross-town to the new Recycled Sounds, sort of hidden on 76th St. across from Buffalo Wild Wings but tucked in behind a strip mall. It’s easy to miss, but you won’t want to miss it. Recycled moved from its old location in Lincoln and will become a regular stop for used vinyl (along with Almost Music). The releases are very well organized — by band by alpha — and there’s a ton of it. It’s where I found that Lloyd Cole 12-inch 4-song 45.

* * *

Tonight at Reverb Lounge a handful of Omaha performers are getting together to celebrate the genius of Rick Moranis. Among them are Kait Berreckman, Michael Campbell, Castor, Vago, Doug Kabourek (who is the living embodiment of ’80s-era Rick Moranis) and Stephanie Krysl. Expect classic SCTV skits in the bar and the best of the best from past Canada Day events on The Reverb stage. $7, 8 p.m. Tell them Louis Tully a.k.a. The Keymaster sent you…

* * *

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.

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More Live at O’Leaver’s (Cursive, Big Harp, Dumb Beach, more); new Mitch Gettman; HBD Dereck Higgins; Blitzen Trapper, Cancer Bats tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:56 pm July 7, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

How Live at O'Leaver's looks on your iPhone.

How Live at O’Leaver’s looks on your iPhone.

The next batch of 30 sessions has been released at the Live at O’Leaver’s website. We’re talking live performances recorded at the bar located at the direct center of the universe.

So far I’ve listened to the Cursive tracks (sublime), Big Harp (cool, different, surprising) and Swamp Walk (Stoner rock extraordinaire — where did these guys come from?). The Swamp Walk recordings are a prime example of why this effort is so important. I probably wouldn’t have heard these guys without this website (What can I say, the band’s name isn’t exactly enticing).

I’m trying to talk mastermind Ian Aeillo into creating some sort of Live at O’Leaver’s Radio button that would randomly play tracks from the entire archive — now there’s an internet radio channel I could get behind. Quick tip for you iPhone users: Go to liveatoleavers.com and create a home screen button so the site is always just a tap away.

Here’s the list of new artist sessions available at the site:

Cursive
Frontier Ruckus
Kickback
Planes Mistaken for Stars
Roman Polanski’s Baby
Brad Hoshaw
See Through Dresses
She Keeps Bees
Last Good Tooth
Dirty Talker
Dumb Beach
Goon Saloon
All Eyes West
Empty Moon
Manic Pixie Dream Girls
Bob Log III
Kill County
Coaxed
Boneheart Flanagan
Dan Mariska
Big Harp
Uh Oh
Worried Mothers
Hotlines
J Fernandez
Anna McClellan
Universe Contest
Swamp Walk
New Lungs
Small Houses

* * *

Singer/songwriter Mitch Gettmann has some new tracks online. You can check them out below. Apparently Mitch ain’t moving to Chicago after all. And he’s got a Kickstarter campaign on deck ready to launch next week. More info soon.

* * *

Dereck Higgins turns 60 today. If you’re involved in Nebraska’s music scene you already know who he is, what he’s done and what he’s still doing. He’s a local legend. If you don’t know, read this profile that barely scrapes the surface of his art and music.

At my 50th birthday rock show/benefit for Hear Nebraska (where Dereck performed as part of Son, Ambulance) he gave me copies of two of his releases on vinyl — a remastered reissue of Nice and a colored-vinyl copy of Flyover. Both albums are now part of my warm-up and stretch routine prior to a long run. Order yours here.

I remember thinking at my birthday party that I would be lucky to be half as vital a part of the local music as Dereck is when I turn 60. We should all be so lucky.

Happy Birthday, Dereck.

* * *

Portland folk rock band Blitzen Trapper (Sub Pop) takes the stage tonight at The Waiting Room. We Are the Willows opens. $15, 9 p.m.

Also tonight at Slowdown Jr. it’s the hard stuff from Cancer Bats (Metal Blade Records). Opening is Megaton and Varmint. $10, 8 p.m.

* * *

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.

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Dereck Higgins and the life of an artist (in the column); pro panel (Mogis, Fink, Whipkey, Olson), songwriting comp winners tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:27 pm May 11, 2015
Dereck Higgins

Dereck Higgins

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Dereck Higgins has been the topic of a number of cover stories and feature articles over the past year, all of them lauding his musical and artistic achievements. Good stuff, but I noticed none of the stories talked about the struggles Higgins deals with as a working artist and musician whose sole income comes from his music and art.

He talks about those challenges and the decisions he made to get where he is in this month’s Over the Edge column, which you can read online right here at thereader.com.

* * *

As mentioned last week, tonight I’ll be moderating a panel of local professionals involved in the music biz, all of whom you’re probably very familiar with: Mike Mogis, Orenda Fink, Matt Whipkey and CJ Olson. They’ll be providing insights about the music industry from each of their unique perspectives. Mogis from the studio; Olson as an A&R dude; Matt and Orenda as singer/songwriters.

In fact, the audience (which can include you, as this is free and open to the public) is singer/songwriters who took part in the Omaha Performing Arts songwriting contest held in conjunction with their presentation of the Broadway musical Once down at the Orpheum starting tomorrow night. Think of this as a mini-seminar with some of the area’s most successful talent as your teachers.

The panel starts at 6:30 at The Waiting Room and is free. It’s followed by performances from the winners of the OPA songwriting contest. Come on out and see me sweat under The Waiting Room lights.

* * *

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.

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New Joyner track streamed; new LPs coming from Higgins, See Through Dresses, Mountain Goats; Whipkey love…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:56 pm January 21, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Lots of release news today…

Simon Joyner, Grass, Branch & Bone (Woodsist, 2015)

Simon Joyner, Grass, Branch & Bone (Woodsist, 2015)

“You Got Under My Skin,” the first track off Simon Joyner’s upcoming album, Grass, Branch & Bone, is being streamed via Stereogum today (right here). The album comes out on Woodsist Records on St. Patrick’s Day. Pre-order your copy here. You won’t regret it.

* * *

Dereck Higgins, Myths...Realities (DHV, 2015)

Dereck Higgins, Myths…Realities (DHV, 2015)

Dereck Higgins’ follow-up to last year’s Murphy LP is titled Myths…Realities and is being co-produced with KiNETiK Records (Greece). The collection is archival material, most of it never released. Preorder your copy of this limited-run release here.

* * *

See Through Dresses, self-titled (This Charming Man, 2015)

See Through Dresses, self-titled (This Charming Man, 2015)

Preorders are being taken here for the European release of See Through Dresses’ self-titled LP on German label This Charming Man Records. The record drops in late March.

* * *

In non-local music news, The Mountain Goats today announced they’ve got a new album coming out April 7 on Merge called Beat the Champ, which is about professional wrestling. “I wrote these songs to re-immerse myself in the blood and fire of the visions that spoke to me as a child, and to see what more there might be in them now that I’m grown,” said head goat John Darnielle. Check out the first track from the album, below.

* * *

Rock NYC has written a love letter to Matt Whipkey in the form of a glowing review of his upcoming album, Underwater, calling Matt “Omaha’s best export since Conor Oberst.” Read the review here and check out Matt’s latest video, below.

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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.

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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:


* * *

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.

* * *

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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Post-script Maha comments, and the live review (in the column); Dereck Higgins Indiegogo campaign, Travelling Mercies, Feel Tight tonight…

Category: Blog,Column,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 1:01 pm August 20, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

More comments and review of this year’s Maha Music Festival are in this week’s column. You can read it in the new issue of The Reader, out tomorrow, or online right here.

Some final thoughts/post scripts to Maha 2014:

Domestica's Jon Taylor at the microphone.

Domestica’s Jon Taylor at the microphone.

— Jon Taylor sung leads on at least two Domestica songs during their Maha set — a departure as Heidi Ore has handled lead vocals with Domestica and Mercy Rule for about 20 years. Jon did a stellar job. It’ll be interesting to hear how it translates on future Domestica recordings.

— As mentioned in the review, Icky Blossoms’ new material is harder and more acidic than stuff off their debut album, but that doesn’t make it any less danceable. Expect their new album on Saddle Creek probably early next year.

The intense crowd in front of the stage during Icky Blossoms' set.

The intense crowd in front of the stage during Icky Blossoms’ set.

— Speaking of Icky Blossoms, the band got a nice shout-out from The Head and the Heart during their set, gushing that Icky was their favorite band so far at the festival. Maybe the Ickys should try to get an opening slot on THATH’s next tour?

— I was skeptical about the Maha Ferris wheel until I saw it. It actually was pretty cool and when I went past it early in the evening there was quite a line of people waiting to get on.

—  Maha outdid themselves with this year’s Global Village. Lots of cool shit for kids to do while mom or pop is rocking. This is one of the central things that make Maha a festival rather than just a day-long concert.

— Ain’t none of my business but it was disturbing to see — while leaning through the crowd near the stage during Local Natives’ set — some guy carrying a baby with no hearing protection standing right next to me. Even with ear plugs I thought their set was loud from that vantage-point. Can that level of decibels be healthy for a baby?

— The Boulevard seasonal ale being served in the beer tents (something sweet blended with ginger) was indeed tasty. I’m developing a taste for sissy beers.

— It wasn’t all roses for Maha. The food selection was…lacking. I’m not sure what they can do about this. I swear I saw people walking around with cheeseburgers but I couldn’t find where they were coming from. That said, would it kill them to find a vendor that offered a pleasant, refreshing salad? Or ribs?

— For every person I talked to who loved the line-up there was someone who whined about the line-up. Maha will never be all things to all people, nor should it be. I like their basic two-stage recipe, though I think they’re going to begin struggling to find new, decent locals to fill that local stage who haven’t already played in the past two years.

— BTW, I’ve gotten plenty of shit about missing Radkey’s and Doomtree’s sets. Sorry fans. I’m quite familiar with their catalogs, and it just ain’t for me. Knowing that I was going to miss about two hours of the festival, I had to choose judiciously. I’m sure they were fan-fucking-tastic…

— The biggest disappointment was The Both’s set. The idea was good on paper, but I don’t think it translated to a festival. Aimee Mann’s music is probably better suited for a sit-down concert in, say, the Holland or the Orpheum rather than an outdoor stage. Conversely, someone needs to book Ted Leo at The Waiting Room.

— Oddest moments at Maha: The times between sets when there was no music. I mean nothing. You’d think they’d at least have some house music going over the PA. Even the annoying generic reggae beats that I’ve heard at so many other large concerts between sets would have helped fill the void. The simple answer is for Maha to hire one (or a few) of the area’s many DJs to fill in the gaps between sets. It would be a nice tip o’ the hat to the local DJ culture.

After six festivals, Maha is finally reaching its capacity. No, it hasn’t outgrown Stinson Park. Even at (what I think was) its maximum attendance level (toward the end of The Head and the Heart or at the very beginning of Death Cab’s set) it was still possible to comfortably walk through the crowd (By contrast, try navigating through the crowd during the last band at the annual Memorial Park freedom rock July 4 hog-calling concert).  The attendance number being reported is 7,000. Maha could squeeze a couple more thousand into Stinson, and maybe even reach that golden 10,000 number if they find the right headliner. Does Maha need to get bigger than that? It will have to if it’s going to attract the Beck / Wilco-level headliners.  How else can Maha grow? How about a second day-long festival — one held in the spring, the other in the late summer? Or add an amazing Friday night warm-up set in the park…

BTW, if you went to Maha, fill out the Maha survey so they can capture your thoughts and make it even better next year.

More Maha review here.

* * *

You know that Dereck Higgins release I mentioned the other day that I wondered would ever make it onto vinyl? Well it is, probably. Dereck launched an indiegogo campaign to help fund the pressing. You can contribute (and pre-order the LP) here.

* * *

Hear Nebraska’ second-to-last Live at Turner Park concert for the season is tonight. The line-up is Lincoln bluegrass outfit The Bottle Tops and roots rockers The Travelling Mercies.The show starts at 6 p.m. Bring a blanket and some booze and enjoy. More info here.

Also tonight at Slowdown Jr. it’s the debut of Feel Tight, a new project featuring members of Talking Mountain, The Seen and Weird Howl. Opening up is Huge Fucking Waves and Stephen Nichols. $5, 9 p.m.

* * *

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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Bloodcow launches Kickstarter (Come on, guys); Dereck Higgins’ Murphy drops; Chris Walla leaves Death Cab; HN in Turner Park (hip-hop edition); Record Club tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:47 pm August 13, 2014
Frightening screen capture from the Bloodcow Kickstarter video.

Frightening screen capture from the Bloodcow Kickstarter video.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, Bloodcow launched its Kickstarter campaign yesterday. They’re trying to raise $8,900 so they can release their 4th album, Crystals & Lasers, on vinyl and other formats. I know there’s some folks who are “anti-Kickstarter,” but I see it as a chance for fans to pre-order a release at a pretty decent price and get some other tchotchkes along the way.

If there’s one disappointment with Bloodcow’s Kickstarter it’s the lack of creative premiums. They’re only offering the usual war chest of goodies — vinyl, CD, T-shirt, play at your house, producer credit, etc. I was hoping for something more becoming of a Council Bluffs band of self-proclaimed Xenu followers. Come on guys, where’s the “Spend a night with Bloodcow at a classy Council Bluffs strip club” or “Have your picture taken with Bloodcow at the BLACK ANGEL OF DEATH” or “Hand-etched Bloodcow tattoo by artist Karl Nicholason” or “Guest role in Aaron Gum-produced drag queen video” or “An actual Bloodcow” (I’m not sure what that is).

Without those, I’ll probably just go in at the vinyl/t-shirt level. You should, too. Check it out.

* * *

Dereck Higgins, Murphy (self-release, 2014)

Dereck Higgins, Murphy (self-release, 2014)

This morning Omaha songwriter/musician Dereck Higgins (InDreama, Strange Attractors)  posted a link to his latest release in Bandcamp, Murphy, the follow-up to his Flyover Country album. Higgins says he might release the all-instrumental Murphy on vinyl late this year or early next year. The record is named after a buddy Higgins knew in high school who had a party spot along the Elkhorn River. Check it out.

* * *

Death Cab for Cutie announced on its website today that longtime member Chris Walla is leaving the band. No reason was given for his departure. This Saturday’s Maha Music Festival will be among the last times you’ll be able to see Walla on stage with the band. DCFC also announced that its new, yet-to-be-titled  album has been recorded with producer Rich Costey (Mew, Interpol, Cave In) and is slated for release in early 2015. Wonder if they’ll be playing any of the new material on Saturday?

* * *

The second in Hear Nebraska’s Live at Turner Park concert series is tonight at 6 p.m. and features local hip-hop artists AZP and BOTH. The concert is free and a fun way to check out Turner Park’s new concert stage. Find out more here.

* * *

Also, tonight’s Record Club at the Shop @ Saddle Creek features Death Cab for Cuties’ seminal 2003 release Transatlanticism. Record Club is a chance for folks to get together and listen to an album in its entirety, then discuss it afterward. Fun! The needle drops at 7 p.m. More info here.

* * *

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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Speedy Ortiz, Digital Leather, Dereck Higgins, Old Bones tonight; Gardenheads Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:35 pm March 21, 2014
The Gardenheads play O'Leaver's Saturday night.

The Gardenheads play O’Leaver’s Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tonight’s show at The Sweatshop Gallery features three bands that just played at South By Southwest. Headliner Speedy Ortiz is coming off a big splash with last year’s Major Arcana (2013, Carpark) and brand new EP Real Hair (Carpark). They must have played a dozen times in Austin last week, and I missed every performance. No strangers to Omaha, they usually play at the Farman St. house. Opening is Digital Leather returning from their own SXSW tour along with Boston band Pile. This $10 show should be a mob scene. Starts at 9.

Also tonight, Dereck Higgins celebrates the release of his new self-released album, Flyover, at the Carver Bank. The album’s music was written for or inspired by Jim Fields’ feature motion picture Flyover Country. Also performing is singer/songwriter Greg Hand. The show starts at 7 at Carver Bank, 2416 Lake Street. More info here.

Meanwhile, local hardcore supergroup Old Bones (ex-Split Second, 8th Wave, Race for Titles) is headlining tonight at fabulous O’Leavers. Timecat and Goon Saloon also are on the bill. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) O’Leaver’s hosts Springfield, Missouri band The Gardenheads. You first read about them here, where I described their most recent album, Growing Season, this way: “Maybe it was because I’d just seen the Big Star movie, Nothing Can Hurt Me, but the band’s music recalled Chilton, Bell and Co. The Beatles also came to mind, as did Matthew Sweet and The dBs and Wilco and the finer pop moments from the Titan! label.

Yeah, I like their record. Check it out in its entirety below (skip to track 1). I saw them play to six people at Barley Street Tavern last year. Let’s see what they can bring to O’Leaver’s Saturday night. Headlining is Those Far Out Arrows. John Larsen also is on the bill. $5, 9:30 p.m.

* * *

By the way, Bank of the West announced this year’s “Independence Day” Memorial Park concert line-up. It’s a real “must-miss” event with Blues Traveler, Sugar Ray, Uncle Kracker and Smash Mouth. Really, really bad. Book your travel out of the Dundee area June 27.

* * *

Uh, have a good weekend…

* * *

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: Higgins, Snake Island; Gardenheads, Dondero, Stevens tonight; Junkfest #19 Saturday; more O’Leaver’s mystery…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:41 pm November 8, 2013
Snake Island at The Waiting Room, Nov. 8, 2013.

Snake Island at The Waiting Room, Nov. 8, 2013.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With bands rotating on and off stage playing only 20-minute sets, last night’s Flyover Country CD release show felt like a social gathering more than a rock concert. The smallish crowd of fewer than 100 got a taste of a handful of bands with tracks on the CD. The two highlights I caught were Snake Island playing a blistering, well-crafted set of garage-ish rock that was too well-played, too “put together’ to really be considered “garage.” The word “slick” came to mind, along with “professional” and “tight.”

Dereck Higgins at The Waiting Room Nov. 8, 2013.

Dereck Higgins at The Waiting Room Nov. 8, 2013.

The other highlight was composer/performer and local legend (he probably gets tired of hearing that description) Dereck Higgins, who took the stage behind a keyboard and laptop and performed throbbing, synth-fueled multi-layered dance tracks that got a handful in the small crowd moving their asses — no easy feat in flyover country. Cool stuff that anyone who grew up listening to Factory dance records, or bands like New Order or Depeche Mode would appreciate. Higgins said the movie soundtrack was a taste of the material he put together during those creative sessions. Look for a new full-length Higgins release in the near future. I’d love to see how his stuff would translate at House of Loom played to an audience that came to dance.

A final footnote on Flyover Country: The film’s premiere is tonight and tomorrow at The Omaha Community Playhouse. Film rolls at 7:30, and tix are available from flyovermovie.com.

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Way back in September, I wrote a column about a Springfield, MO band called The Gardenheads. The piece, which you can read online here, was a review of the band’s LP release Growing Season, wherein I referenced Big Star, Alex Chilton, Matthew Sweet, The dBs and Wilco, among others. I called the record one of the best I’ve heard this year, and certainly one of my favorites. I never expected to hear from the band again, let alone see them play.

Well, lo and behold, The Gardenheads are playing tonight at The Barley Street Tavern. The band is opening for The Beat Seekers, which means if you want to catch them, you’ll have to get there early. $5, 9 p.m. Funny how these things happen.

Also tonight, David Dondero returns to fabulous O’Leaver’s topping a stellar line-up that includes Brad Hoshaw and Ted Stevens Unknown Project. Dondero is on the road supporting his latest album, This Guitar, which was just released on vinyl by Unrequited Records. $7, 9 p.m. O’Leaver’s is  selling tickets to this one, which you can buy online right here.

Meanwhile, over at The Sydney, Mark Stuart and the Bastard Sons performs with The Willards and Randy Burk. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday’s highlight is Junkfest #19 at The Sweatshop Gallery. The 11-band line-up is a celebration of Unread Records, which you read about in detail here. Among the performers: Furniture Huschle, Ramon Speed, David Kenneth Nance, Spirit Duplicator, I Am the Lake of Fire, William Wesley & the Tiny Sockets, Simon Joyner, Charlie McAlister, Hossflesh, Church of Gravitron and Nathan MA. 6 p.m., $7. Come celebrate the cassette culture and some fine, fine music.

Also Saturday night, Snake Island plays at O’Leaver’s with Ex Nuns and Pisswalker. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Oh yeah, one more thing… They’re calling these folks the return of emo, and judging by their name, I can see why. Sunday at Slowdown Jr. it’s The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die (yes, that’s the name). Pitchfork compares their new album Whenever, If Ever (Top Shelf) to Bright Eyes and Arcade Fire in this 7.8-rated review. Opening is Better Friend and I Forgot To Love My Father. $8, 7 p.m. Bring a hankie.

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The latest clue regarding O'Leaver's Black Friday concert...

The latest clue regarding O’Leaver’s Black Friday concert…

Speaking of O’Leaver’s, I receive yet another clue about their mysterious Black Friday show in the form of the graphic on the left. No idea what it means. I did receive some other data regarding this show last night, basically confirming that no, this is not a warm-up show for Cursive’s December residency at The Waiting Room, nor is InDreama on the bill. Others have speculated (correctly) who one of the bands will be. See if you can figure it out.

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Did I leave anything off the list? Put it in the comments section. Have a fine 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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