Getting ready for Record Store Day; The Faint chart at No. 146; Mates of State, the Entrance Band tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:47 pm April 16, 2014

rsd2014by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s never too early to begin talking about Record Store Day (RSD), coming up this Saturday.

Homer’s Music is catering to the hard-core collector who will be waiting in line to snatch up what arguably will be the largest selection of RSD inventory in the area. Homer’s goes all out, as the line that will be forming in front of their Old Market store in the wee hours of the morning will attest.

To help keep the early morning line-sitters comfortable, Homer’s is handing out donuts along with entertainment in the form of live performances by Brad Hoshaw and Matt Whipkey, who will be selling their own limited-edition RSD 7-inch split single (I’ve got it; it’s good). In addition, Michael’s in the Market will be selling breakfast burritos. Heck, Homer’s has even rented a porta-potty so you won’t have to cross your legs. Promos include free RSD T-shirts for those spending more than $150, and Micheal’s gift certificates for those spending over $50 (while supplies last).

Homer’s will open at 10 a.m. Saturday. So will Saddle Creek Shop, Drastic Plastic and Almost Music.

You’ve probably heard this before: The best thing about South By Southwest is the day parties. You show up at a location — maybe it’s a park, maybe it’s a record store — and you spend the whole day there just listening to bands. It’s usually very chill. Best of all, it’s free — you don’t even need a badge to get in.

You’ll get a taste of what SXSW day parties are like when Almost Music hosts its own day party this Saturday for Record Store Day. The free event, which runs 11:30 to 7:30, will feature one of the best line-ups of local talent I’ve seen at any event. Check it out:

Nathan Ma (Places We Slept) 11:30-12:00
Anna McClellan (Howard) 12:15-12:45
The Lupines 1:00-1:30
The Subtropics (Noah Sterba, Megan Siebe, Zach LaGrou) 1:45-2:15
Uriah (formerly Ben Love) 2:30-3:00
L. Eugene Methe (Rake Kash) 3:15-3:45
Simon Joyner & the Ghosts 4:00-4:30
Orenda Fink (Azure Ray) 4:45-5:15
Luke Polipnik Trio 5:30-6:00
The Churls (feat Joe Knapp of Son, Ambulance) 6:15-6:45
Mike Schlesinger (Gus and Call) 7:00-7:30

The only thing missing is a beer tent, but you can always walk up the street to Krug Park or Infusion to get your brew on — both open at noon.

The irony is that Almost Music will be hosting the best special event for RSD, but likely will have the thinnest selection of RSD merch. My suggestion: Get to Homer’s and the other shops at 10, then head over to Almost Music for an afternoon of fantastic music… and bargains.

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Homer’s General Manager Mike Fratt tells me that first week CD sales of The Faint’s new album, Doom Abuse (SQE Records), cracked the Billboard Top 200 at No. 146, with sales of 2,226 units. The album’s deluxe limited edition vinyl, released two weeks earlier, racked up 293 units, for a grand total of 2,519 units to date. Impressive…

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Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return (to Omaha) of Mates of State. Whenever I mention this show, someone says “They’re still around?” MoS have been coming through Omaha for more than a decade, and they’re still going strong. They toured last summer with The Postal Service, even though they haven’t released a new record since Mountaintops (2011, Barsuk).

Tonight’s show is being promoted as part of their “Acoustic Piano / Drums / Voices / Strings / Horns Tour.” Opening is Blue Bird. $16, 8 p.m.

Tonight also is the latest installment of Record Club at the Shop @ Saddle Creek. The featured record: The Entrance Band’s 2013 release, Face The Sun (Beyond Beyond Is Beyond). 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.

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Pitchfork rates The Faint/Doom Abuse 6.1, others weigh in; Lupines Saturday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:49 pm April 11, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 12.39.36 PMWell, the Pitchfork review of The Faint’s new album, Doom Abuse, just came out. Those arbiters of all things hipster gave the record a mediocre 6.1. To his credit, critic Ian Cohen spent a lot of time in his review trying to dissect the album’s lyrics, which is good and all, except no one listens to Faint records expecting some sort of lyrical revelation. They listen for the beat, the color, the energy. I mean, how many times have you contemplated the meaning behind “Going to the Hospital” or “Erection”?

The review’s closing line: “Doom Abuse isn’t so much an argument for the Faint’s continued relevancy as it is for the potency of their real-time nostalgia.” Huh? I’ve read that three times and I’m still not sure what it means. Read the whole review here.

A few other big hitters have weighed in on Doom Abuse:

Consequences of Sound gave the record a B-, saying, “The hiatus did them good, and in the Lorazepam paranoid dreams of The Faint’s world, that’s a glimmer of needed hope.Read it here.

Popmatters gave the record a 6: “Does it measure up to their greatest moments or delve into new terrain? Not at all. But if the Faint’s goal was to have fun and make a good Faint-sounding record, then mission accomplished.More here.

NME also gave the record a 6: “A good seven years out of date, ‘Doom Abuse’ is pure synth-pop mania, frequently teetering between unadulterated Trent Reznor pop brilliance (‘Unseen Hand’, ‘Lesson From The Darkness’) and impressions of Skrillex driving a monster truck through a Savages gig in a video arcade (‘Animal Needs’, ‘Dress Code’). Does it abuse you? Oh yeah…More here.

AV Club on the other hand, gave Doom Abuse a B+: “Whether agitated or brooding, Doom Abuse is a pointed reminder that The Faint is most comfortable when things are slightly askew.Review here.

And ol’ reliable All Music gave Doom Abuse 3.5 stars: “Equal parts whimsical and despondent, it’s Disintegration-era Cure wearing an Imagine Dragons hoodie that’s trying to have an LCD Soundsystem, ‘All My Friends’ moment, and while the Faint don’t quite pull it off, they’re all the better for trying.

Disintegration-era Cure? Uh, no. Read more here.

If you missed it, I weighed in on the record in the 1st Quarter reviews roundup, saying the record “not only is good, it’s Blank Wave Arcade good. As a whole, the record is more immediate than any previous Faint record, and by that I’m talking about their no-nonsense, straight-forward approach to each track. I read that unlike previous studio marathons, the band got in and got out quickly on this one — no fucking around, no over-thinking — and it shows. The arrangements at times can be acidic and brash, but the album still has classic Faint dance moments (“Evil Voices,” “Loss of Head”) that will get the crowd jumping every time. Welcome back, boys.”

I give a B+ and 4 stars (out of 5) and think history will be kind to it.

* * *

It’s a lousy weekend for shows — there’s a lot of cover and tribute bands playing around town tonight and very little original music.

With that in mind, we skip to Saturday and The Barley Street Tavern where the mighty Lupines are headlining a show with a couple bands I’ve never heard of: St. Joseph Missouri band Scruffy & the Janitors (This Tall Records) and Danny Sabra. $5, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, William Elliott Whitmore (Anti Records) plays at The Waiting Room with Austin Lucas. $12, 9 p.m.

That’s it. 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The Faint drop-day and Homer’s event; no Fischer?; new ROAM download (Stef Drootin, Dereck Higgins); Maha Annoucement April 17…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:56 pm April 8, 2014
The Faint's Doom Abuse is out now...

The Faint’s Doom Abuse is out now…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s drop day for The Faint’s new album, Doom Abuse, out now on SQE. To celebrate, Homer’s is hosting an in-store meet-and-greet with The Faint this evening at 6 p.m. According to the press release “The band will hang out, Homer’s will spin the new CD, and there will be free soda, beer and pizza.” Free beer? Seriously. Of course the CD will be for sale as well as the limited deluxe special edition vinyl. Get it.

* * *

I knew it was too good to be true. Moments after posting a link to yesterday’s blog entry someone posted a comment saying that Fischer no longer is on the bill for the Punk Rock Reunion show May 17. I’ve sent an email to 1% to confirm this but haven’t heard back. Fischer is still listed on the event 1% page, however… I’ll let you know one way or the other when I know…

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ROAM In the Family

ROAM In the Family

The latest installment of David Matysiak’s ROAM project went online yesterday. This time ROAMers “explore the theme of family by creating a new audio collage using archived materials or new recordings to engage the concept in all of its literal and figurative manifestations.” Contributors include Stef Drootin (Big Harp), Dereck Higgins (InDreama), Devin Brown, Julie Hines and more. Download it for free right here.

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The folks at the Maha Music Festival yesterday tweeted that they’ll be announcing this year’s concert line-up April 17. I foresee surprises in store. Maha Fest is slated for Aug. 16 at Stinson Park…

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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First Listen: The Faint returns (in fine form) with Doom Abuse; John Klemmensen / food bank benefit tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:04 pm March 26, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Faint, Doom Abuse (2014, SQE) is out April 8.

The Faint, Doom Abuse (2014, SQE) is out April 8.

The Faint’s promo company, Big Hassle, is distributing the band’s new album, Doom Abuse, to various and sundry journalists, including yours truly. It’s good. In fact, it’s Blank-Wave-Arcade good.

“Evil Voices” was the record’s first wait-what-the-f***-is-this? moment. It has my vote for first single, though I guess “Help in the Head” has that honor as it’s being premiered on NPR right now (here) with the laser-site-paranoia video for the song up at Pitchfork (here).

“Loss of Head” was another a-ha moment; it sounds like a radio track. As straight-forward as The Faint has ever been.

Another song that raised an eyebrow was album-closer “Damage Control,” which takes the song “B12” by Shawn Foree project Mere Mortals and adds different lyrics and synth textures. There is no mistaking that amazing synth hook at the front end. Foree, who fronts Digital Leather, said he co-wrote “Damage Control” with Faint frontman Todd Fink, who also plays synths in Digital Leather. Needless to say, it’s another highlight in an album filled with them.

As a whole, the record is more immediate than any previous Faint record — and by that I mean there is a no-nonsense, straight-forward approach to each track. I read the band got in and got out quickly on this one — no fucking around, no over-thinking — and it sounds like it. You’ll find out for yourself when the album is released April 8 on SQE Records, though I have no doubt it’ll leak in its entirety before then on NPR or Huffington or some other mega-website (Hey, why not leak it on Lazy-i and give my core 300 readers a head start?).

BTW, once this record gets around, that June 13 Faint show at Sokol Auditorium will sell out. You may want to beat the stampede and buy your tickets now.

* * *

After a rather dull 2013 this has been a very solid first quarter of new music. For those of you wondering where the quarterly wrap-up is, I’m working on it now. Album reviews are easily the hardest thing to write — harder than interviews, features or live reviews. Stay tuned.

* * *

There’s a benefit going on tonight at The Pizza Shoppe in Benson for Food Bank for the Heartland. Featured performer is John Klemmensen and The Party. The music starts at 6 p.m. and there’s no cover, though 10 percent of your food purchases will go to cover the food bank’s administration costs. More info here.  Go ahead, eat pizza.

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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