Behind the wheel with Matt Whipkey; Diet Cig, The Spook School tonight…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:42 pm February 6, 2018

Matt Whipkey behind the wheel of his Town and Country.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This month’s Over the Edge column in The Reader is a feature on Matt Whipkey’s new album, Driver, which Whipkey will be celebrating with a pair of shows later this month at Reverb.  You can read the story online here, or in the printed version of The Reader, which should be on newsstands now or in the very near future. Or you can just read it below…

Uber Confessions
Rocker Matt Whipkey’s new album captures life behind the wheel.

Maybe, if you’re lucky, the next time you call for an Uber or Lyft after a hard night of partying, you’ll get Matt Whipkey.

He’s the guy who drives the black 2010 Chrysler Town and Country. The guy with the perfect hair.

“OK, here’s a weird one I had last night,” Whipkey said during some off time on a drizzly Sunday afternoon at Zen Coffee. “This woman grabbed me too many times during the ride. I felt uncomfortable. She was in her 40s or 50s and told me she’d just done drugs. She didn’t tell me which ones, but by the way she was acting I can only guess. It happens. I wasn’t scared.”

But there have been plenty of times when he was scared.

“One time I picked up these guys at Oscar’s at around 8 p.m. It was three dudes. Two of them were average people, but one was huge, six-nine, a big guy, bigger than everybody. He was intoxicated and excitable. They were going to this strip club, American Dream off 72nd and F, and this guy gets excited and says ‘We’re gonna see naked chicks’ and he starts jumping up and down, shaking the whole car, then grabs my shoulders and starts shaking me, lifting me up and down. We’re on the Interstate doing 80. I said, ‘You’ve got to stop him.’ But this guy could easily have taken all three of us.”

Whipkey, one of the smoothest talkers you’ll ever meet, somehow calmed the monster and got him to put him down. “You get really good at conflict avoidance, de-escalating the situation,” Whipkey said. “I dropped them off and reported it to Uber immediately. The sad thing was that it was on his friend’s account, and that guy — not the big guy — will get banned from Uber for it.”

Whipkey’s been driving for Uber and Lyft for two years as a side hustle from his regular job teaching guitar lessons and being a rock star. As a result, he’s got a million stories about life behind the wheel hauling drunks, druggies, bigots, homophobes, horn dogs, celebrities and normal folks like you and me.

“I’ve given rides to the most down-on-their-luck people to the most desolate places in Omaha and also given rides to billionaires to their private air strips. It’s a strange equalizer. For that fraction of time, it doesn’t matter. It’s my car. I’m driving you. There’s trust there.”

Matt Whipkey, Driver (self-release, 2018)

It’s a job that inspired the songs on Whipkey’s latest album, the double LP Driver, which he and his band will showcase Feb. 23 and 25 at Reverb Lounge. The collection is 14 portraits of loneliness, desperation and inner monologues (along with a Beatles cover), all of which rock, at least most of the time.

Whipkey, known for his catchy, guitar-fueled pop songs and bombastic stage presence, stretches in new directions on this record, most notably with the album’s opening and closing tracks that bookend the collection with warm, acoustic touches and unexpected keyboards. The songs contrast nicely with riff-rock ballads that underscore Whipkey’s guitar prowess and his tight backing band consisting of Travis Sing, bass; Scott Zimmerman, drums; Korey Anderson, guitars; and keyboard player J. Scott Gaeta.

The thread that ties it together is Whipkey’s breathy, growling vocals, which do their best to coax every last drop of emotion from these lonely stories, like the longing “Amy Knows” about a woman who just transferred to Omaha and has “fourteen days to fix a lifetime” and the rocking, Nugent-esque screamer “The Driver” where Whipkey keeps a tight stranglehold on his blazing ax.

Whipkey spent a good nine months recording the album with Scott Gaeta at Gaeta’s Music Factory Productions studio, laying down tracks when he wasn’t on the road. During that same time, he also recorded his previous album, the 2017 pop collection Best New Music. All of this came shortly after opening 30 dates for music legend Dwight Yoakam on his 2015-2016 tours.

The week prior to this interview, Whipkey opened for ’70s legacy act America in Sioux City, Iowa. He hopes to get more of those kinds of large-stage gigs, though he’s just as determined to get his music heard in his home town.

“The goal was to make the best record with the resources we had,” Whipkey said. “I don’t have the national mentality of ‘This song is going to take you to the next level.’ I want this to take me to the next level as a songwriter and as an artist. If you think in that regard, it will translate into other areas where people will recognize that you’re growing and doing something that no one else is doing.”

Matt Whipkey and his band perform with Stephen Sheehan Friday, Feb. 23, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Showtime is 9 p.m. Whipkey will perform a second show at Reverb Sunday, Feb. 25, with Charlie Ames at 6 p.m. Both shows are $10. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

Over The Edge is a monthly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts. Email Tim at tim.mcmahan@gmail.com

* * *

Tonight at Reverb Lounge it’s the return of Diet Cig. The band has made Omaha a regular tour stop of the past few years, even making a special appearance at 2016’s Maha Music Festival. This tour marks the first time the band is playing as a 4-piece, as the duo will be joined on stage by Anna from The Spook School (bass) and Karli from Plush (keyboards/vox). The Spook School will actually open tonight’s show, along with Great Grandpa. $15, 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Farnam Fest goes next level (Tennis, Shannon & the Clams, White Mystery); Diet Cig, Rays, David Nance tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:41 pm June 7, 2017

Diet Cig at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016. The band plays Reverb tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Remember when your typical neighborhood/business district block party meant a tiny stage and a handful of local bands belting it out in the hot sun? Not anymore.

Benson has a bunch of outdoor street concerts in the works this year (one of which, held a couple weeks ago, may have rattled your windows until 11 p.m.). And now The Blackstone District is stepping up this year, taking its annual street gig, held in the parking lot behind Mula, to new heights.

Farnam Fest, slated for Sept. 16, is a free event. The line-up: Tennis (who recently opened for The Shins at Stir Cove), Shannon and the Clams (who played last year’s sold out River City Star boat cruise), White Mystery (a perennial must-see duo at SXSW), Yes You Are (Kianna Alarid from Tilly and the Wall’s new bag), High Up (the brightest new star in the Omaha music scene), Miwi La Lupa (the Omaha transplant with albums out on Team Love) and Both (Omaha hip-hop up-and-comers).

Music kicks off at 4 p.m. but the festival starts at 11 a.m. Yeah,  but what about that buzz-kill Husker game? Festival promoter/booker Sam Parker says they plan on projecting the game onto the stage earlier in the day. If you can’t beat ’em, join em.

* * *

Lots o’ music tonight…

Oakland CA band Rays headlines tonight at Brothers Lounge. Low-fi garage slacker rock that counts Desperate Bicycles and Eddy Current Suppression Ring among its influences. Opening is the hardest working man in Omaha music, David Nance and his Group, and Billy Liebermann $5, 9 p.m.

Diet Cig returns to Omaha tonight, this time at Reverb Lounge. The band played Maha last year, and just released their debut LP, Swear I’m Good at This on Frenchkiss Records. Opening is Philly band Sports, who sounds a whole lot like Diet Cig. Their latest album is out on Father/Daughter Records. $13, 9 p.m.

And tonight Pageturners continues its summer series with Ojai and Ryan Menchaca. The free show starts at 10.

* * *

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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Maha Music Festival weekend (and Car Seat Headrest preview); Wagonblasters, Chemicals, Your Friend tonight; Diet Cig after Maha…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:29 pm August 19, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The crowd gets into Atmosphere at The Maha Music Festival, 8/15/15. This year's festival happens tomorrow.

The crowd gets into Atmosphere at The Maha Music Festival, 8/15/15. This year’s festival happens tomorrow.

In my Reader write-up I mentioned Car Seat Headrest as the band I’m most excited to see play at this year’s Maha Music Festival, which (of course) is tomorrow at Aksarben Village. The band’s new album, Teens of Denial (2016, Matador), is far and away my favorite record so far this year. A double-album, every one of the 12 tracks is a keeper, which makes it a throw-back  to an era when albums (not just songs) mattered, and so did the words.

Considering the over-riding theme — a young man’s struggle with depression, paranoia, anger, lonesomeness, and a world filled with ennui — I guess you could call it a concept album. Car Seat Headrest (one of the worst band names anyone could dream up) is mostly singer/songwriter Will Toledo, a 24-year-old dude from Leesburg, Virginia, now residing in Seattle. Chris Lombardi at Matador Records signed him in 2015 conceivably after hearing the best bits of the 12 albums he released on Bandcamp. It’s a story that kind of reminds me of how Matador signed Liz Phair after hearing her Girly Songs demos.

Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial (2016, Matador)

Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial (2016, Matador)

The band’s debut, Teens of Style, came out in 2015; but its Teens of Denial that represents the first solid, cohesive release by Toledo. Sonically, the album is an amalgamation of 90’s-era indie, but most beholden to Pavement and Stephen Malkmus. A song like, say, “Destroyed By Hippie Powers,” sounds like a tuneful out-take from Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain sung by a doped up Ray Davies of The Kinks. If you’re a fan of any of those classic ’90s releases on Matador or Homestead or Grass you’ll be right at home here.

Thematically, Toledo paints a grey portrait of a nerdy white dude trying to fit into a hipster world filled with drugs and assholes where he doesn’t (think he) belong(s). It’s personal confessions taken from a movie John Hughes would have directed had he survived until the 2010s, with lyrical clarity matched only by Westerberg (or our very own Conor Oberst). Each song has at least one deviously clever line (and more). Some of my faves:

“Fill in the Blank” — You have no right to be depressed / You haven’t tried hard enough to like it.

“Vincent” — If I’m being honest with myself / I haven’t been honest with myself.

“Destroyed by Hippies” — It’s more than you bargained for / But it’s less than what you paid for.

“(Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Using) Drugs with Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem” — Drugs are better, drugs are better with / Friends are better, friends are better with drugs.

“Not What I Needed” — I’ve been waiting all my life for some real good porn / Something with meaning, something fulfilling / I’d like to make my shame count for something.

“Drunk Drivers / Killer Whales” — We are not a proud race / It’s not a race at all / We’re just trying, I’m just trying to get home.

“1937 State Park” — I didn’t want you to hear / That shame in my voice / My pain is my own.

“Cosmic Hero” — And of course I’m alright with death / But do why you talk about it so goddamn much?

“The Ballad of the Costa Concordia” — How was I supposed to remember to grab my backpack after I set it down to play basketball?

“Connect the Dots (The Saga of Frank Sinatra)” — Little boy says I’ll touch the heart of the nation / Little boy says I’ll punch the heart of everyone.

“Joe Goes to School” — I’m a tourist attraction / Biking down Dog Street.

There’s more lines and better ones and they all sound better in context and surrounded by power chords and blister-fast drums (at least during the upbeat ones). If you listen to the album with the lyric sheet, as I did, you’ll walk away a bit befuddled, a bit depressed and sorry for young Toledo who (probably) doesn’t have anything in his life that deserves your pity. There is a semblance of hope that underlines the overall experience, a realization that this character, this kid is smart enough to figure it all out on his own.

It’s a great album with a message about depression that fits well with Maha’s overarching mental health theme this year. Who knows if it’ll translate live on the Maha stage. I’ve seen a lot of bands who know how to write great songs and record terrific albums that wind up being dead-boring live.  We’ll see tomorrow.

Those going to tomorrow’s festival, everything you’d want to know about Maha is available right here at the Hear Nebraska website. You can, of course, also go to the Maha website for details. GA tickets are $55 today. I think they go up DOS. And Maha still has VIP tickets available for $185, which is a steal if you like most of the bands.

* * *

Diet Cig at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016. The band plays the Maha afterparty at Reverb tomorrow night.

Diet Cig at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016. The band plays the Maha Festival afterparty at Reverb Lounge tomorrow night.

Maha isn’t the only thing going on this weekend.

Tonight at Reverb Lounge Relax, It’s Science headlines a show that includes Wagonblasters (Gary Dean Davis’ latest and greatest) and Pyrate. $5, 9 p.m.

Around the corner at The Waiting Room, Chemicals (amazing prog-jazz-rock band featuring some of Omaha’s best talent) opens for Funk Trek. Chemicals on this big stage could be something else. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Your Friend headlines a big show also featuring Chicago’s The Dan Ryan, Briner and Sam Adam Martin. $7, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night is usually dedicated to Maha after parties, but this year there’s only one, at Reverb with See Through Dresses, Bien Fang, Anna McClellan and (just announced this morning) “special guest” Diet Cig. There had been rumors or rumblings that Car Seat Headrest was the special guest, but apparently not. The free afterparty show starts at 10 p.m. Last year’s O’Leaver’s afterparty featured a set by Speedy Ortiz that eclipsed their set at Maha (and which you can hear right here).

That’s all I got. See you at Aksarben tomorrow, and have a great 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Diet Cig, The Front Bottoms; Ten Questions with Cross Record; Day Wave tonight…

Diet Cig at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016.

Diet Cig at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Slowdown, god bless ’em, runs a show on time. Last night was no exception. I’d raced downtown to catch Diet Cig, who was scheduled to begin their set at 7:30 p.m. — an early start time for any show. A quick dinner and I was tooling down Cuming Street. I arrived at 7:30 to be met by a line that snaked along the sidewalk past the Saddle Creek Store toward Film Streams. As I waited in line I heard Diet Cig playing inside Slowdown. Nobody’s fault but mine.

It took a good 10 to 15 minutes to get inside, but once there, I got to hear at least half of Diet Cig’s set. They’re a new band with a very small selection of songs — they haven’t even released a debut full length as far as I can tell. Only singles and EPs.

Not only are they a new band, they’re a young band, or more precisely, a young duo consisting of frontwoman/guitarist Alex Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman. Their brand of indie is post punk bordering on garage rock, big riffs, big drums and a little voice. The product is cute… no it’s adorable, especially as Luciano in Daisy Dukes does her half-ass chorus-line-style step kicks while bouncing around stage.

What the songs lacked in clarity (I couldn’t understand a word she sang, and blame it partially on the sound mix, which was muddy all night) the duo made up for with brazen energy, managing to get the early-evening crowd to pump their fists. I’m ready to see how they top it when they play the Maha Music Festival this August.

They were followed by Brick + Mortar, a three-piece indie band that wasn’t really a band at all. It was a frontman singing over prerecorded tracks and live drums while a gimp in tight green satin shorts pranced around stage in nipple tassels spraying water into the audience. Meanwhile a gruesome blood-spray video was projected on the big screen behind them.

While their music was not my cup of tea, I salute them for their indie ethic — the band says they’ve done everything on their own, including releasing all their music on their own label (though AllMusic lists their 2013 Bangs EP as having been released by Universal Music). The crowd loved them.

The Front Bottoms at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016.

The Front Bottoms at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016.

Finally at around 9:25 (10 minutes late!) The Front Bottoms took the stage to the screams of their adoring fans who packed the bowl (though this was not a sell out — the balcony was even closed).

I won’t repeat how I described them the last time I saw them because their sound hasn’t changed a lick. Actually, nothing about the band was different than when they played at The Waiting Room three years ago. They even had the same spray-painted backdrop. Why would they change anything? Their fans don’t want them to change. They don’t need elaborate staging, just the band playing the songs they love.

And play they did, with the crowd singing along to every word. I haven’t seen this sort of sing-along since Dashboard Confessional. The quality that Dashboard and Front Bottoms share (other than being unabashedly emo) is a front man who writes songs that any sad sack can relate to, who then sings them with the clearest enunciation. You only have to hear a Front Bottoms song once and you’ll know all the words the next time ’round.

To be fair, about halfway through the set, the band did break out some lighting effects that looked like icicle Christmas lights. And there was a bubble machine and the those floppy “windsock dancers” that are so popular with used car lots.

To me, their set was less enthralling and sloppier than when I saw them last. They rolled out my favorite of their songs, “Au Revoir (Adios)” fairly early in the set and rushed it as if they just wanted to get it out of the way. Still, the crowd was enraptured by the performance, bouncing and singing and waving along to every note.

So far, every time they’ve come to town they’ve played bigger stages, despite having virtually no local airplay. A glance at their wiki entry implies their popularity has been fueled mostly by YouTube videos, which I guess makes them “YouTube phenoms.” You have to assume they’re just going to get bigger, if they don’t burn out first from constant touring along the way. Here’s hoping they sell out Slowdown next time through.

* * *

Cross Record plays at fabulous O'Leaver's Thursday, May 5.

Cross Record plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s Thursday, May 5.

Ten Questions with Cross Record

Cross Record is vocalist Emily Cross and her husband, Dan Duszynski. The couple live a seemingly idyllic life in dusty Dripping Springs, Texas. Reading their bio, you’d believe Cross and Dyszynski fled to the tiny town of 1,788 to escape the hustle-bustle of their former home in Chicago, having “grown fed up with the violence and lack of warmth.” Good story, until you realize the Dripping Springs is located just 24 miles west of Austin, and includes among its residents (according to Wikipedia) Sam Bean of Iron & Wine, Johnny Gimble of the Texas Playboys and Kurt Neumann of BoDeans, and so on.

The contrast is important. Because despite being a half-hour away from one of the largest music cities on the planet, Dripping Springs is also known as the Gateway to the Hill Country. It is, indeed, isolated, especially if you live on an 18-acre rented ranch, which they do. That remoteness permeates Cross Record’s new album, Wabi-Sabi (2016, Ba Da Bing), a wispy collection of big-horizon music often broken mid-song by lightning-crash distortion and/or percussion, as if saying no matter how you try to escape, the din of life will keep on finding you.

We asked Cross Record to take our Ten Questions survey. Emily answered most of them, with help from Dan. Here’s what they had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?



Emily Cross: It changes, depending on my mood. Right now it’s ANTI by Rihanna.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Dan Dyszynski: “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.. “It’s the whitest, most generic, singer-songwriter-reggae-ripoff-piece-of-shit in the world”

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

Sharing, communicating, connecting, smiling, making friends.

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

Nothing, really.

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

It’d have to be water. I’m made out of mostly water.

6. What city or town do you love to perform?

Glasgow.

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

Honestly, I don’t like to think about or dwell on my “worst gigs.” Even the worst of shows provide me with some sort of valuable experience. I often feel pretty terrible about my performances, so no single one really stands out in my mind.

8. How do you pay your bills?

I’m a nanny, and I’ve had about a million little odd-jobs.

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

Full-time animal activist or animal sanctuary owner. Certified Public Accountant.

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

I haven’t heard any stories about Omaha, Nebraska. I’ll have some, soon.

Cross Record plays with Simon Joyner & the Ghosts and Those Far Out Arrows Thursday, May 5, at O’Leaver’s, 1322 So. Saddle Creek Rd. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $6. For more information, go to liveatoleavers.com

* * *

Bonus! Late yesterday afternoon Diet Cig finally supplied the answers to the Ten Questions survey, which went online at The Reader website a few hours prior to last night’s show. Here it is:

1. What is your favorite album?

Diet Cig: Space Jam Soundtrack

2. What is your least favorite song?

Anything by the Talking Heads

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

Getting to tour and meet other people’s pets.

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

Nothing comes to mind… it pretty much all rawwwks.

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

Pixie Sticks (Ed note: Pixy Stix)

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

Philadelphia!

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

First time in Denver, CO, our car had gotten broken into and we were so bummed out all day, we just wanted the show to be over.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Cash $$$$

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

Dog walker!!! I’d hate to work at a deli ever again… I still get nightmares about processed meats.

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

Conor Oberst walks around with a super soaker full of Nair on Halloween and terrorizes local kids.

* *

Tonight it’s back to Slowdown Jr. for Day Wave, who you met yesterday. Also on the bill are Lot Walks and Bokr Tov. 8 p.m. showtime, $12.

* * *

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

Ten Questions with Day Wave; The Front Bottoms, Diet Cig tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:39 pm May 3, 2016
Day Wave plays tomorrow night at Slowdown Jr.

Day Wave plays tomorrow night at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

On the new EP Hard to Read (2016, Grand Jury/Fat Possum) Oakland band Day Wave is all Jackson Phillips, who did the Prince thing by performing and recording the album all by his lonesome.

Phillips’ music falls into the same indie dream pop realm as Wild Nothing, Diiv, Black Marble, Violens, Dignan Porch, that slew of bands that have taken the Joy Division/New Order aesthetic and combined it with modern-day gloom.

That said, don’t expect to see only one guy standing behind a keyboard when Day Wave plays Slowdown May 4 (tomorrow night). Phillips will have a touring band in tow to fill out the sound on stage. And it’s a good thing, too, because Day Wave has been added to a slew of festivals this summer, including Lollapalooza, Governor’s Ball and Shaky Knees.

We asked Phillips to take our Ten Questions survey. A man of few words, here’s what he had to say.

1. What is your favorite album?

Day Wave: Hmmm that’s a tough one, I’ll say Brian Eno – Here Come The Warm Jets.

 2. What is your least favorite song?

That song that says “I’ve seen better days” over and over.

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

My favorite part is writing and recording songs, I can do it all day long.

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

I don’t enjoy the lack of sleep that comes with touring.

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

I’m a big fan of almond butter.

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

I just got back from Australia, that was pretty much one of the best places.

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

I haven’t played any bad shows with Day Wave!

 8. How do you pay your bills?

By check.

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

I always wanted to be a photo journalist for National Geographic. I never wanted to do anything involving math.

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

I’ve heard it’s haunted.

Day Wave plays with Lot Walks and Bokr Tov Wednesday, May 4, at Slowdown Jr., 729 No. 14th St. Showtime is 8 p.m. Admission is $10 Adv. / $12 DOS. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

* * *

The Front Bottoms at The Waiting Room, Jan. 12, 2014.

The Front Bottoms at The Waiting Room, Jan. 12, 2014.

I wasn’t expecting much of anything the first time I saw the Front Bottoms back in January 2014, mainly because I’d never heard of them. But I have to tell you, I was blown away. From the review of that show: “Their sound was reminiscent of some of my favorite humor-inflected bands of the ‘90s and ’00s — Atom and his Package, Fountains of Wayne, Too Much Joy, Mountain Goats, Dismemberment Plan, The Hold Steady, The Decemberists — bands that write smart, funny, self-referential lyrics that anyone can relate to.”

And now they’re back tonight at The Slowdown. Joining them is Maha 2016 band Diet Cig. Get a preview of what you’re going to see at Stinson Park this August. Also on the bill is Jersey band Brick + Mortar. This is a 7:30 show; tickets are $21.

Also tonight Minnesota band Cult of Lip plays at Milk Run with Hussies and Super Moon. $7, 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.

Lazy-i