Another O’Leaver’s/Brothers weekend; Brad Hoshaw/7 Deadlies tonight, Dim Light release show Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:48 pm September 21, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here we go:

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies. Hoshaw, who used to be renowned for playing three or four times per week, has cut back on his local live performances. In fact, this is only his third performance of 2012. Hopefully he’s been filling that time writing new songs (which we’ll  hear tonight). Joining Brad and the boys are The Daredevil Christopher Wright and The Matt Cox Band. $5, 9;30 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) at The Brothers Lounge Dim Light will be celebrating the release of their debut full-length CD. Recorded by Tom Barrett at Sleepy House Audio and mastered  in Seattle by Slow Skate’s Robb Davidson, the album features 14 tracks by Dim Light’s Cooper Moon (vocals/guitars), Barrett (bass) and drummer Boz Hicks. Opening is The Filter Kings. No word on cover, but it’s probably $5 and the show will probably start around 10.

Meanwhile, O’Leaver’s is hosting a four-band bill Saturday night headlined by Well Aimed Arrows, with Places We Slept, Lush Bruises, and The Tanks. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Am I missing anything? Add it in the comments area. Have a good 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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Universe Contest, Dim Light; to scoop or not to scoop? (in the column); Koffin Kats tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , — @ 1:16 pm May 10, 2012
Universe Contest at The Waiting Room, May 9, 2012.

Universe Contest at The Waiting Room, May 9, 2012.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Maybe 40 on hand for last night’s Omaha debut of Universe Contest, which is either evidence of how hard it is to get people out on a Wednesday night or the dominance of this week’s Big Omaha event (though I doubt any of those techno-nerds would have come to this show anyway).

By 10 first opener Ideal Cleaners already had cleaned house. Second opener Dim Light came on next and blazed through a set of minor key tribal rock dirges sung in a style that got my mojo risin’ (Get it?). One of Omaha’s most magnetic (and cool) frontmen, Cooper Moon laid down his vocals with dollops of delay like a 10-foot-tall biker vampire performing an exorcism on an abandoned Stuckey’s. His guitar was bright and bluesy, but it’s the rhythm section of bassman Tom Barrett drum legend Boz Hicks that cannot/will not be ignored.

Next, Universe Contest. The Lincoln five-piece (two guitars, bass, keyboards and drums) has had comparisons to early Modest Mouse hung around their necks thanks to their recordings. The resemblance is hard to ignore, but on stage, the Modest Mouse comparisons don’t wash. UC is more calculated. More backwoods. More proggy. And, yeah, more tuneful.

The Modest Mouse thing comes from the wonky, scratchy vocals a la Isaac Brock, who (regretfully) smoothed it out on MM’s more recent records. Take away the Modest Mouse overhang and they’re harder to pin down. As the name implies, they’re spacey, but not shoegaze spacey or Bowie spacey. Spacey like a group of Midwestern hillbillies who got ahold of a stack of Popular Science magazines and figured out how to build their own spaceship from abandoned grain silos, Case tractors parts and the cockpit from a hollowed-out ’73 Maverick. I can see them now sitting on the launchpad in their overalls, their hippie hair sticking out of their gold-painted football helmets. 10.9.8.7…

Best moment of the night was the set closer with the almost whispered line “…breaks my heart.” It sounded like a weird, spacey, bluesy combination of Uriah Heep and Soundgarden, and nothing at all like Modest Mouse. They finished their short set by midnight to cries for more. If they can get past the Modest Mouse thing, watch out.

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In this world of instant media; does it really matter who says what first? Who has the scoop? Who tweets it first? Or rather, does it matter who says it better? That’s the essence of this week’s column in The Reader, which you can read online right here. I’ve been trying to find a better name for the column than “Beyond Lazy-i,” which was the publisher’s idea. So I’m trying a different name every week until something sticks. This week it’s called The Moleskin Diaries. Who knows what it’ll be called next week. I’m open to your suggestions.

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Tonight at Slowdown Jr. it’s the psychobilly sounds of Koffin Kats with The Hooten Hallers, The Blacktop Ramblers and Video Ranger. Early 8 p.m. start time. $12.

Also tonight, Skypiper plays at The Waiting Room with Betsy Wells and I Heard a Lion. $7, 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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review and images from The Hear Nebraska CD release show…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:53 pm December 5, 2011

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Not a lot of time for a hardcore critique, so I thought I’d share some brief comments and photos taken at last Saturday night’s Hear Nebraska Vol. 1 CD release show at The Sydney. The event had a pretty decent turn-out despite the shitty weather, and the music couldn’t have been better (or louder).

Digital Leather at The Sydney, Dec. 3, 2011.

Digital Leather at The Sydney, Dec. 3, 2011.

Digital Leather had the biggest stand-up crowd of the evening, which is a dumb way of saying that more people stood near the edge of the Sydney’s so-called “stage” for their set than any other Saturday night. This continues to be my favorite local band.

Domestica at The Sydney, Dec. 3, 2011.

Domestica at The Sydney, Dec. 3, 2011.

Domestica brought it like the “old days,” and took every opportunity to let the crowd know that they were, in fact, from the “old days.” Lighten up on the old-age stuff folks. Your brand of punk rock is timeless and eviscerates 95 percent of the competition that’s young enough to be your kids.

Masses at The Sydney, Dec. 3, 2011.

Masses at The Sydney, Dec. 3, 2011.

This was a different Masses than I heard in July 2010 at TWR. Their sound has evolved from sludge noise to intricate, orchestrated, voice-of doom-rock that borders on metal but isn’t metal. Of the three or four all-instrumental rock bands that I’ve seen from Omaha and Lincoln (and you know who I’m talking about) these guys are now on top of the list.

Not pictured but worth mentioning is Dim Light, who played an amazing set. Is it me or is their sound constantly evolving to something that is thoroughly unique and brutal? Amazing stuff.

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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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Her Flyaway Manner, Well Aimed Arrows tonight; Dim Light, Snake Island tomorrow; Yuppies Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:37 pm November 18, 2011

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

No national shows going on this weekend of note, but there are lots of local shows, including many featuring bands that I’ve never heard of!

Tonight at Slowdown Jr., Lincoln heroes Her Flyaway Manner has a CD release show with Omaha punks The Fucking Party and Dads. $7, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Barley Street Tavern, Well Aimed Arrows opens tonight for Millions of Boys and St. Joseph Missouri band Dsoedean. $5, 9 p.m.

While over at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s Bear Stories and Swamp Rock with Flesh Eating Skin Disease. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday), Rock Paper Dynamite headlines a show at The Waiting Room that includes Dim Light, Snake Island! and Moses Prey. $7, 9 p.m.

While over at The Barley Street Saturday night it’s Great American Desert (formerly South of Lincoln) with Not a Planet, Betsy Wells and Low Horse. $5, 9 p.m.

Finally, close off the weekend at The Sandbox Sunday night when Yuppies headline a show with Supersonic Piss, The Liz, Weakwick, T’Bone and Servus. $6, 8 p.m. Find out more here.

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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Column 293: The next Next Wave — Live Review: Conduits, Dim Light…

Category: Blog,Column,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 12:34 pm October 20, 2010
Conduits at The Waiting Room, Oct. 15, 2010.

Conduits at The Waiting Room, Oct. 15, 2010.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Column 293: Where To Now?

The next Next Wave…

As 2010 begins to wind down a new crop of bands begins to rise up to carry on Omaha’s reputation as one of the country’s best music scenes.

There are some of you who, upon reading the above statement, quietly, sardonically, cynically laughed to yourselves, and thought (with a wry smile on your subconscious minds), “Best music scenes in the country? Tim, really. We haven’t heard that kind of talk in eight or nine years, and even then Omaha was only known by the tiny handful of music aficionados who give two shits about indie music.”

True, true. But even now, eight or nine or how many years later, when I interview a nationally known band that’s traipsing through Omaha on tour and ask (as I ask all of them) what they know about Omaha or Nebraska, they all say the same thing: “I’ve heard Nebraska has something special going on musicwise. Saddle Creek Records, right?” And so on. People remember. And the ones who knew — who were influenced by the city’s crown-jewel bands — still hold a flame for Omaha, whether or not that candle blew out years ago.

Will we ever relive those golden years when The New York TimesSPIN and the BBC were fumbling over each other trying to figure out what was in the water that made Nebraska songwriters so special? I am here to say that, yes, it could happen again. In fact, it probably will. And when it does, it will start (again) with those same legacy acts — Cursive and Bright Eyes (look for new albums by both in the near future) and maybe even The Faint (even though they seem to have given up making new music, a pity) — who will reinvent themselves in this new decade as bands that still have something important (and catchy) to say.

But it can’t stop there; it has to continue with a new crop of Omaha and Lincoln bands. It was just a few years ago that hope came in the form of what I idiotically called Omaha’s “Next Wave,” most of which recorded for Slumber Party Records — Capgun Coup (now with Team Love Records), the amazing Bear Country, the brash, bratty Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship, cartoon kids Talking Mountain, Thunder Power, ultra-cute Honeybee, and hip-hop artist Conchance — all doing their own thing, creating their own sound but very much in the fashion of the Saddle Creek oeuvre.

Unfortunately, while those bands produced some fine recordings, they remained anonymous. Don’t blame their music; blame their schedules. What everyone forgets about the Creek bands was (and is) their bare-knuckle work ethic and willingness to get out of town and tour, even if they were only playing house parties and empty lounges. Sure, a few Slumber Party acts toured out of Omaha, but their roadwork was miniscule compared to, say, The Faint’s road marathons of yesteryear. A disappointment? Kind of, sure, when you consider what could have been, and what could still be.

Dim Light at The Waiting Room, Oct. 15, 2010.

Dim Light at The Waiting Room, Oct. 15, 2010.

So who are the next Next Wave bands? Two played last Friday night at The Waiting Room. First (and the one with the most promise) is Conduits. While so many local bands (including all those slumming for gigs in Benson) are enamored with dusty, countrified Americana, Conduits is trying to reinvent shoe-gaze. Consisting of J.J. Idt, guitar; Nate Mickish, guitar; Mike Overfield, bass, keys; Roger Lewis, drums, and frontwoman Jenna Morrison, their set was a slow-burn, droning methadone drip, a glowing haze cleanly cut by Morrison, who stands on the edge of the stage like a proud hood ornament in black-and-white striped sweater dress and heels. Morrison has come a long way since her days in Son, Ambulance where she was barely noticed standing in the background adding the occasional chirp. With Conduits, she has nowhere to hide; she’s a golden-haired chanteuse or a modern-day Nico, bending her notes through warm layers of guitar. Their music is mesmerizing, and when it goes on and on, ever building, it feels improvised and daring.

A lot of Saddle Creek people were in the audience, there to support Old Canes on the launch date of their latest tour. Playing as a five-piece, Chris Crisci’s runaway chuck wagon music was filled out by trumpets, glockenspiel, melodica and plenty of acoustic guitar. With Old Canes, Saddle Creek has looked toward Lawrence, Kansas, for hope; but maybe it’s time they look again toward their hometown.

Appropriately, the lights came down for Dim Light, a band that’s been evolving for years, but at its core has always been frontman/guitarist/caricature Cooper Moon, one of the most recognizable members of the Omaha music scene.

Dim Light’s music is the soundtrack to a David Lynch Blue Velvet nightmare. Not midnight — more like 3 a.m. music, a time when nothing good ever happens. Cooper can sound like bluesy Jim Morrison if he wants to, but his voice feels more like an angry-drunk strut over his rockabilly spy guitar, staggering forward but held up in that drunken sailor-Jesus pose by Tom Barrett’s slutty bass lines and Boz Hicks’ subtle stick work. It’s pure theatre that leaves nothing to the imagination when Cooper belts out weird lines about things burning in your veins.

Conduits and Dim Light — that’s just two. There are more. I’ll be bringing them to your attention over the coming weeks and months. I want the scoop before the Times or SPIN or BBC comes in and steals my thunder… again.

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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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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