Live Review: Domestica; Travelling Mercies launches Kickstarter for Motel…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 1:49 pm February 25, 2013
Domestica at The Sydney, Feb. 22, 2013.

Domestica at The Sydney, Feb. 22, 2013.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Who remembers this, circa Nov. 1994?

Who remembers these guys, circa Nov. 1994? Tisdale is the one in the hat.

Domestica unveiled a lineup change at the Sydney Friday night with the addition of Paul Tisdale on drums. The last time I saw Tisdale play live was way back in ’93 with his classic band, Sideshow. Back then, Tisdale became a slashing, violent blur every time the guitars kicked in. Twenty years later and time hasn’t diminished Tisdale’s insane percussion skills. Not in the least.

In fact, Tisdale is the first drummer (including Ron Albertson) whose drumming was so big that it drowned out Jon Taylor’s and Heidi Ore’s usual mammoth roar… at least during the first part of Friday night’s set. Tisdale hits those friggin’ drums hard hard hard, and as a result, they’re loud loud loud. So loud that two songs in, the sound guy passed a message to Taylor, who responded with: “Those are the words I love to hear.” The “words” (I think) were “turn your guitar up,” because that’s exactly what Taylor did, and would again a couple songs later.

Does any band really need to be that loud. The answer, of course, is yes. With Taylor pushing it to 11, the earth’s tilt was restored and all was right with the world once again.  Now if only the Sydney could have turned up Heidi’s vocals, which were lost where I stood on the opposite side of the room from the stacked PA and on the other side of Tisdale. It’s a balancing act that’s been around as long as I can remember seeing Heidi and Jon play. Add Tisdale and the equation becomes that much more difficult. Something tells me that over time, they’ll work it out. So is Tisdale a permanent part of Domestica? Let’s hope so.

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Last week the folks in Travelling Mercies launched a Kickstarter campaign for their sophomore full-length album Motel. They’re trying to raise $4,000 to help cover their recording and production costs. After one weekend, they’re already 1/4 of the way there.

I’m trying to remember the last time I saw this band perform and think it had to have been years and years ago, way back in the old Saddle Creek Bar days. Back then, the band was sort of a laidback Americana/Folk band. That, apparently, no longer is the case, based on the couple demos that frontman Jeremy Holan passed along. We’re talking breakneck buzzsaw rock with a hint of Americana to give it a rural tilt. Holan sees Kickstarter as a simple way to presale the record, and to me, that’s the best way to use Kickstarter (if you’re a musician). Check it out.

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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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Birthday Suits tonight; Domestica featuring Pawl Tisdale (ex-Sideshow) Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:53 pm February 22, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I have no idea if shows are cancelled tonight. Frankly, I don’t know why they would be as the streets are fine, just fine.

Anyway…

Birthday Suits

Birthday Suits

Two shows of note tonight: Asian Man recording artist Birthday Suits is playing at Slowdown Jr. with a band called “opk.” According to their label, Birthday Suits is “2-piece psychedelic garage-punk from the Twin Cities. Big riffs and high energy complimented by a wild live show.” Find out if they’re lying. $7, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Barley Street tonight, Country & Western band The Electroliners plays with The Ronnys and the Sub-Vectors. $5, 9 p.m.

Highlight show of the weekend is at The Sydney Saturday night. Our old friends from Lincoln, Domestica, open for The Filter Kings and The Killigans. The twist here is that Domestica will be debuting a new drummer — the legendary Pawl Tisdale, who some of you codgers might remember from his work in seminal ’90s Lincoln power trio Sideshow. Sydney shows typically start at 9, so better get there early. $5?

Meanwhile, over at O’Leaver’s Saturday night, it’s Millions of Boys with Schwervon and Well Aimed Arrows. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Omahype (check out their fancy new website) presents Back When at The Barley Street Tavern with Worried Mothers and the humorous styles of OK Party Comedy. $5, 9 p.m. More info here.

See you on the red carpet…

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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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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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Live Review: Cursive’s Domestica; MAHA 8/13; and the winners are…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 2:00 pm January 19, 2011
Cursive at the Waiting Room, 1/18/11

Cursive at the Waiting Room, 1/18/11

By Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The chatter in the crowd: How old were you when this album came out? Me, I don’t remember. What I do remember is interviewing the band a decade ago in the back room of the USA Baby store just east of 72nd on Dodge St. where Tim Kasher’s mom worked. Kasher had just moved back to Omaha. Ted Stevens had just joined the band. They were a tight, fun, happy bunch singing bitter, angry songs about Kasher’s broken heart. Cursive’s Domestica was the ultimate break-up album, whose cover art featured a young couple in strange, awkward embrace — a couple played by a cute young girl who would become the keyboardist/vocalist of Fortnight (and who looks as cute as ever) and a young guy who would become a Grammy Award winning CD sleeve designer. Domestica would eventually become recognized as Cursive’s epic masterpiece, and songs like “The Martyr” and “The Casualty” would become a permanent part of their set list for the next 10 years.

It didn’t matter if Kasher messed up the opening line of “The Casualty” or if he even remembered the words, because the SRO crowd at The Waiting Room last night spent the evening singing along like an indie rock Greek chorus — a happy soccer mob chanting anthems that have become part of their lives. The set honestly didn’t sound much different than when they first played the album top-to-bottom at Sokol Underground a decade ago. Kasher’s voice certainly hasn’t changed… much. The guitar interplay between Kasher and Stevens — the most distinctive element of the album — was as playfully distorted as ever.  As much as the songs themselves, it was that guitar style that I remember most about that album.

So yes, they played all the songs in order with no pauses or stage banter in between, and that’s just the way the crowd wanted to hear it. It’s a slim set — just a little over a half-hour — and that brevity has helped it age well. But while I have to admit that Casualty/Martyr are one of the best one-two punches in indie rock history, Domestica is not my favorite Cursive album, not anymore. That honor goes to 2003’s The Ugly Organ (which hopefully we’ll hear in its entirety in 2013). Regardless, Domestica is the band’s most important album. It’s the one that pushed them to the next level of national attention, at a time when everyone around the country was just beginning to whisper about what was happening in Omaha.

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The folks at the MAHA Music Festival announced this year’s dates/location — August 13 at Lewis and Clark Landing. The festival remains a one-day event, which makes it more of an all-day concert rather than a festival. Regardless, their growth won’t be contingent on the success or failure of the Red Sky Music Festival, but rather their willingness to take risks and go out on a limb with a line-up that will attract the gaze of the world outside of our city limits. Will they be successful? Come back tomorrow for the final part of this year’s 2011 music predictions and find out…

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And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Here are the winners of the Lazy-i Best of 2010 CD sampler:

Elizabeth A. Toepel, Morse Bluff, NE
Adrian Mejorado, Edinburg, TX
Cami Rawlings, Omaha, NE

Congratulations! And thanks to everyone who entered the drawing. See you next year!

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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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Live Review: Peace of Shit; Cursive’s Domestica tonight; drawing deadline today…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 5:39 pm January 18, 2011
Peace of Shit at O'Leaver's, Jan. 14, 2011.

Peace of Shit at O'Leaver's, Jan. 14, 2011.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

How good is the new Peace of Shit cassette? Well, really good, actually, though it sounds (appropriately) like shit in my ’99 Tracker. The poor sound quality has as much to do with my standard-issue cassette player (which makes everything sound like shit) as it does the overblown, tin-can rattle recording. But no matter how dirty it sounds, you can’t keep a song as good as “Out of Our Heads” hidden beneath all the filth, nor can you ignore a line as good as, “I can only do one thing, and that’s drink, without you.” Sounds like frontman Austin Ulmer has had a little of his Digital Leather experience rub off, both in his vocal style and his song structure. Consider this the more punk, less New Wave version of DL (closer to the live DL sound). But amidst all the anger and angst and panic in the streets, there’s room for a ringing little pop song like “Slumber Party” that will have you doing a drunken twist with your chained-up gimp down in your personal basement torture room. Don’t have a cassette player? Doesn’t matter. You should still buy a cassette from the Rainy Road Records website, or from The Antiquarim if the band ever gets around to dropping some copies off down there. It comes with a download code so you can add the digital files to your portable listening device. Those files provide more pristine versions of these songs, but I still prefer the fuzzy, shitty versions coming from my Tracker’s 6 x 9s.

As you would expect, the live version of POS is a different animal than the cassette version. Frontman Ulmer had his paws wrapped around a couple microphones while he mmrrwwrrred the lyrics backed by a 5-piece punk band. Unlike, say, a Shanks show (I went to a fight and a rock show broke out) all the energy was focused directly on the music. Though they’ve only been around for a few months POS has somehow already floated to the top of the punk-rock toilet bowl as one of the best collections of local hard music talent in Omaha. It’s like they’re stars already, sort of. OK, maybe not stars, but a band that deserves more exposure. That is if their name doesn’t hold them back. It’s Ceelo Green all over again. Maybe they should change their name to the less offensive Peace of Poop.

Uh, maybe not…

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Tonight at The Waiting Room, Cursive performs their landmark album Cursive’s Domestica top-to-bottom, beginning-to-end, in honor of the 10-year anniversary of its release. No more needs to be said, except that they performed Domestica in Chicago on New Year’s Eve (review of that show here) and that tonight’s show has been sold out for quite a while now. Lightning Bug opens, show starts at 9 p.m.

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Lazy-i Best of 2010

Lazy-i Best of 2010

This is it, the last day for entering the drawing for a copy of the Lazy-i Best of 2010 Sampler CD. Considering the number of entries received so far, your chances are pretty good this year of getting a copy. Just send an e-mail to tim@lazy-i.com with your name and mailing address. Tracks include songs by Arcade Fire, Jenny and Johnny, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Belle and Sebastian, Titus Andronicus, The Mynabirds, A Weather, Zeus, The Black Keys, Pete Yorn and more. Full track listing is here. If you’re lucky enough to win, you’ll also get the new limited edition Lazy-i Sticker to stick on something. Deadline is TODAY. Do it.

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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.

Lazy-i