Phoebe/Conor perform for NIVA; Mal Blum gets the Saddle Creek Document treatment; new Beauty Pill…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:49 pm October 20, 2020
Mal Blum gets the Saddle Creek Document treatment…

Did you tune in last week for SOSFest? I didn’t, either. But most of the performances are now online if you still want to watch. Among them is Phoebe Bridgers at the Troubadour in Hollywood, with special guests Conor Oberst and Christian Lee Hutson. It’s pretty good, but dang, her music is some serious bummage. See below.

Make sure you make a donation toward NIVA’s Emergency Relief Fund, which benefits “independent venues in peril.”

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Mal Blum was among the acts scheduled to play at The Reverb Lounge before COVID-19 blew everything up. It was through researching that show that I discovered Pity Boy, the band’s 2019 Don Giovanni release, which I fell in love with. It’s punk but it’s poppy enough to sing along to, clever, smart with great guitars. It would have been on my 2019 list if I’d known about it in 2019.

Today Saddle Creek Records announced that Mal Blum will be featured as the 14th installment of their Document Series. The 7-inch “Nobody Waits” b/w “San Cristóbal,” will be released Nov. 20 and you can preorder it (and hear the A-side) today.

The tracks were the last thing the band recorded before the COVID-19 lock down. Check it below and keep your fingers crossed that One Percent reschedules Mal Blum at Reverb when the pandemic is finally under control…

BTW, Mal Blum is doing a Crowdcast tonight at 7 p.m. CT. Register here.

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D.C. punk band Beauty Pill dropped a video for new song “Instant Night” today, a song “released out of urgency to inspire people to vote in the November election.”

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Random Notes: Saddle Creek keeps busy (new Land of Talk, Young Jesus, Document 12); new Uh Oh video…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:24 pm July 20, 2020
Young Jesus at O’Leaver’s, Oct. 28, 2018. The band has a new album coming out on Saddle Creek Aug. 14.

The COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t seem to be slowing down Saddle Creek Records. My inbox is filling with news of new releases from our hometown record label despite the inability for bands to tour.

Top of the list is the new one by Canadian rockers Land of Talk, Indistinct Conversations, which drops July 31 (It was originally slated for release in May). This is the fourth album for the trio fronted by Elizabeth Powell, coming 12 years after their 2008 Saddle Creek debut, Some Are Lakes.

Last week the band released the fifth single from the album, a video for the song, “Now You Want to Live in the Light.” Check it, and preorder the album here.

Perhaps the label’s most way-out-there project, Young Jesus, announced Welcome to Conceptual Beach will drop Aug. 14 on Saddle Creek.

From the hype sheet: “This is Conceptual Beach, a place John Rossiter, vocalist/guitarist of Los Angeles-based Young Jesus, describes as his long-time mental refuge, where he imagines himself living—like a medieval, stigmata-wrought hermit—all his needs for okay-ness finally met. But for the first time, he’s opening up and inviting others to join him there.”

The first single, “Root and Crown,” is a gorgeous track that hopefully points toward where the band is headed on this album. Check it and order pre-order the album here.

Finally, the next installment in Saddle Creek’s Document singles series is the label’s first foray into drone metal.

The band, Divide And Dissolve, is “a heavy two-piece utilizing drums, guitar, saxophone & live efx music designed to decolonize & dismantle white supremacy,” according to their Facebook page. The duo from Kulin Nation (Melbourne) is “Takiaya Reed (Black & Tsalagi [Cherokee]) and Sylvie Nehill (Māori),” according to the one-sheet.

“RVR” b/w “8VA” drops Aug. 7. Check out the A-side below and pre-order here.

What else does Saddle Creek have up its sleeve for 2020?


And who else has been keeping busy?

Well, today local indie band Uh Oh released yet another video off their 2019 album Stay Close, this one for the song “True Blue.” Check it out below and download the album from their bandcamp page.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Review: The Sun-Less Trio ‘The Willow Tree,’ release show tonight; Saddle Creek’s latest ‘Document’ (featuring Hovvdy)…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:37 pm August 29, 2018

The Sun-Less Trio at Reverb Aug. 18, 2017. The band celebrates the release of a new EP tonight at Pageturners Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tonight The Sun-Less Trio celebrates the release of a 5-song EP called The Willow Tree at Pageturners Lounge. S-L T is a project helmed by singer/songwriter Mike Saklar, who us old-timers remember for his guitar work in a number of bands including late-’90s post-punk projects Ritual Device and Ravine.

S-LT is geared differently than those metal-tinged efforts, leaning more toward minor-key slow-burners a la Disintegration-era Cure (but with more emphasis on guitars than keyboards). Dim-lit, tonal, emotional and ultimately atmospheric, The Willow Tree turns and sways on a dark edge. Saklar chose to open the collection with “Branches Sway,” the most somber song on the EP, desribed as “A hypnotic monotone rhythm captures the minory chords in a classic manner, only to be destroyed by an unforeseeable middle 8.”

A pity he didn’t come out of the gate with the title track, a rocker centered around a guitar riff and Marc Phillips’ pounding drums (of the dry-echo recording, Saklar does a particularly awesome job with Phillips’ booming stickwork). Drums are right in the middle of “The Station,” a slow-swing dirge that closes out the EP. “Exposure” is another echoing ghost track.

By contrast is the EP’s other highlight, “X-Y-Z,” a self-proclaimed drug song that features Saklar’s best guitar work.

This is one of those recordings that takes multiple plays to absorb. Saklar makes the most of his vocals, using them as a secondary tonal instrument that bends with the chords (lyrics, thankfully, were included in the liner notes I received).

The EP will be available as a 7-inch vinyl. The album’s Bandcamp page includes 14 additional tracks (including different mixes of the EP’s songs). Also on tonight’s bill at Pageturners are Styrofoamy (Jim Schroeder/Colin Duckworth) and Stephen Bartolomei. The free show has an 8:30 start time.

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Saddle Creek Records’s 7-inch “Document Series” continues with a new release by Austin band Hovvdy.

Hovvdy (pronounced “howdy”) is the writing and recording project of a couple drummers, Charlie Martin and Will Taylor. Their debut album, Taster, originally released on Sports Day Records was reissued in 2017 by Double Double Whammy. The follow-up, Cranberry, came out this past February.

“Easy” b/w “Turns Blue” 7-inch drops Oct. 5. Pre-order 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Wilder Maker is Saddle Creek’s second ‘Document’; Lincoln Calling announces 2017 line-up today…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:41 pm May 4, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Wilder Maker, “New Streets” b/w “Only Child” (2017, Saddle Creek)

First of all, I’m a sucker for record clubs. I belonged to the Sub Pop Singles club for years; I joined Matador’s record club for a short while, and now Saddle Creek is doing its version of a record club with its Document series, and so far, they’re two for two.

Says Saddle Creek: “The Document Series is comprised of an exclusive record featuring unreleased music from artists outside of Saddle Creek’s roster, along with a specially curated zine highlighting the artist’s hometown / music scene.

Brooklyn five-piece Wilder Maker has been around since 2012. Led by Gabriel Birnbaum, this is solid, tuneful songwriting (as you’ll hear when you listen to the  track, below). Call it pop indie, it has more in common with ’70s FM rock than anything on Sirius XMU, where it’s bound to get some airplay.

They’re apparently pals with Sam Evian, who recorded the tracks at his Figure 8 studio, which might explain the Saddle Creek connection, as Evian released his last album on Saddle Creek last year.

As is probably the intent, after buying the preorder, I checked out Wilder Maker’s last release, 2015’s Everyday Crimes Against Objects of Desire, Vol. III on Bandcamp, a sleepy six-song EP which bears little resemblance to the Saddle Creek single but is interesting in its own (perhaps too) laid-back way.

In addition to being more upbeat than the EP, the single features Katie Von Schleicher on lead vocals rather than Birnmaum’s growl-y voice. And so, Saddle Creek can add another to their list of strong female-fronted releases that includes Hop Along and break-out act Big Thief.

I’m kind of liking this one-at-a time (actually two-at-a-time) approach to physical releases. Would I like a full-length by Wilder Maker? Sure, if all the tracks were this good. I’m not sure if singles make economic sense for the label or the band (these singles clubs have a way of evaporating over time) but for me, good things come in small packages, sometimes.

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I have seen the initial line-up announcement for this year’s Lincoln Calling festival, which is slated for Sept. 28-30. You will be seeing it, too, sometime today, whenever Hear Nebraska decides to release it (probably any moment now). It is impressive. There are at least four Maha-quality headliners and a plethora of second-tier indie stars. Keep your eyes peeled to lincolncalling.com. Or just watch your social media feeds…

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Saddle Creek launches singles series w/Posse; NE-HI, Lucero tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:45 pm March 2, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve practically begged Saddle Creek to launch a singles series for years, and today the label announced that it’s finally going to do it.

The Document Series will comprise of an exclusive record featuring unreleased music from artists outside of Saddle Creek’s roster, along with a specially curated ‘zine highlighting the artist’s hometown / music scene, according to the label.

We see Document as a unique way to reference our past, while at the same time reaching out to bands that aren’t already part of the Saddle Creek family and allowing them to shine a light on the art and music of their own communities,” says the press release. “It’s our way to try to capture a band and their community in a specific place at a specific time, and share that with the world.”

The first installment of the Document Series is the two-song Kismet 7” from Seattle’s Posse, to be released March 10. Other artists slated for the series include Palehound, Hand Habits and Wilder Maker. You can preorder the Posse 7-inch for $7.99 today from the Saddle Creek website.

Whereas I love this idea, there’s one vital component missing — the ability to subscribe to the releases. I’d like to pay one price and have a year’s worth of the series’ releases delivered to my door. Come on, dudes, offer a subscription service. I guess I’m never satisfied…

Find out more about Posse via this episode of Band in Seattle:

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Tonight at Reverb Lounge its Chicago garage band NE-HI. You read their Ten Questions interview yesterday. Opening the show is Nathan Ma & The Rosettes and Wrong Pets, the new project by Reagan Roeder. $10, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, right around the corner at The Waiting Room, Lucero headlines with Esme Patterson. $25, 8 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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