Clarence Tilton tonight; Flowers Forever, David Nance Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:44 pm March 24, 2017

Flowers Forever at O’Leaversfest, Sept. 23, 2016. The band plays tomorrow night at The Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yet another quiet weekend for indie rock shows (it’s beginning to sound like a broken record)…

Tonight’s highlight is Americana band Clarence Tilton at Slowdown Jr. The band is hands-down my favorite country-tinged local combo — this is what Uncle Tupelo would sound like if they were still around. CT opens for headliner Carson City Heat. Sack of Lions also is on the bill. $7, 9 p.m.

Also tonight fabulous O’Leaver’s is hosting a local punk show with Stronghold, A Different Breed and The Natural States. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night it’s off to The Brothers Lounge for massive four-band bill headlined by Flowers Forever and featuring David Nance Band, Lazy Wranglers and Athens noise/power duo Crunchy. $5, 9 p.m.

And… that’s it for the weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great one…

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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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Live Review: Flowers Forever; Ten Questions with Jackie Greene; Weathered, Super Ghost tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 11:42 am September 26, 2016
Flowers Forever at O'Leaversfest, Sept. 23, 2016.

Flowers Forever at O’Leaversfest, Sept. 23, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Another O’Leaversfest has come and gone. Alas, I was only able to take part in Day 1, last Friday night, and only for the closing band. If the rest of the weekend was as well attended as Day 1, organizers may want to consider adding a camping option for the festival — let all those out-of-towners pitch their tents in the volleyball courts.

On warm evenings like Friday, it’s become more and more common for the majority of the crowd to be out in the new beer garden, and that was certainly the case, all basking in the glow of Tyrone Storm’s deft DJ skills. So crowded and hectic was it that I escaped to the old front beer garden, where only a few people sat around and smoked and waited for the band to play. Old-school O’Leaver’s… for the beautiful people…

Flowers Forever drew everyone back inside. In the old days, Flowers Forever was Derek Pressnall and whoever joined him on stage (but with a couple regulars). Friday was the same thing, with original member Craig Dee on drums. Third original member. Chris Senseney, was not in the house (or at least I didn’t see him). The other five slots were filled with a few familiar faces, including Annie Dilocker on keyboards and Sarah Bohling of Icky Blossoms on bass.

The set kicked off with an rousing version of “American Dream” off the 2008 debut (and as far as I know, the only Flowers Forever album released) and barrelled through a number of other songs off the album including “Black Pope” and “Strange Fruit.” I’d forgotten how much I liked the record when it came out. To me it always felt like an outsider coming into the cloistered Nebraska scene and creating his own, new thing from the bits and pieces that resonated with him. The outsider being Pressnall, the bits and pieces being the more upbeat moments from Bright Eyes’ early 2000s offerings.

Of the unknown players on stage, a standout was the lead guitarist, a young guy who absolutely shredded throughout the set. The next day Craig Dee told me the guy was Cubby Phillips, who, upon further research, I discovered is a jazz dude who won the Outstanding Soloist Award at the 2013 Great Planes Jazz Festival. Head-spinning skills, he has. (Update: Dereck Higgins just pointed out that he’s the guitarist in Chemicals).

I never found out what inspired this Flowers Forever “reunion,” though I must say the music has aged well. I’m told this wasn’t just a one-shot, and I’d certainly pay to see them again, though reunion bands have a way of fading if they don’t augment their past with something new. Pressnall now has Icky Blossoms as a creative outlet these days, and for him, maybe that’s enough…

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Jackie Greene plays at Slowdown Jr. Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Jackie Greene plays at Slowdown Jr. Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Roots / American singer-songwriter Jackie Greene is known as a musician’s musician, having played with a ton of people over the years, including as a member of the last iteration of Black Crowes and with Joan Osborne in Trigger Hippy. His latest album, Back to Birth (2015, Yep Roc), was produced by Los Lobos member Steve Berlin, and will appeal to Black Crowes fans or anyone who enjoys dense, guitar-infused American Trad rock.

I sent Greene the ol’ Ten Questions and this is what he had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Exile On Main Street

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Lovin Cup”

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

Spooning the merch girl.

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

Spooning the bass player.

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

Chipotle-flavored anything.

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

Osaka, Japan.  A distant second would be Perth.

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

Somewhere in rural South Dakota.  It was winter and the gear froze.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Online, generally.

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

Someday, I’d like to open my own typewriter repair shop.  We’d only service post-war American-made machines. We’d have limited hours. I probably wouldn’t like to do anything involving a nail salon.

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

I have a friend from Omaha.  I’ve heard lots of stories.  Most of them good.

Jackie Greene plays with The Cordovas Tuesday, Sept. 27, at Slowdown Jr.,  729 No. 14th St. Tickets are $18 Adv./$20 DOS. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com

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It’s a night of emo rock at Milk Run this evening. Headlining is Omaha’s own Super Ghost, whereas the traveling band is Minnesota act Weathered. Altura and Medlock open. 9 p.m. $5.

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

O’Leaversfest weekend: Flowers Forever tonight; High Up, Junior Boys Saturday; Cursive, Destroyer (solo) Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:21 pm September 23, 2016
Cursive at The Waiting Room back in Dec. 2013. The band plays O'Leaversfest Sunday.

Cursive at The Waiting Room back in Dec. 2013. The band plays O’Leaversfest Sunday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Our summer of music festivals continues this weekend with O’Leaversfest, held at fabulous O’Leaver’s, natch… It’s not so much a festival as three nights (and days) of music with some strong headliners every night.

The fest kicks off tonight with a four-band lineup headlined by the return of Flowers Forever — a band Derek Pressnall formed in the wake of Tilly and the Wall and preceding Icky Blossoms. At its height, FF released its debut album on Team Love Records in 2008 and I believe did some brief touring. Primary personnel in addition to Pressnall included Craig Dee and Chris Senseney. Who will make up the band tonight is uncertain. And why Pressnall decided to dust off this project now also remains a mystery.

Also on tonight’s bill are Bien Fang (Rachel Tomlinson Dick); Eric in Outerspace and Fun Runner, with the mighty Tyrone Storm spinning in the beer garden. $7, 8 p.m.

O’Leaversfest Day 2 tomorrow night (Saturday) starts in the afternoon with a beer garden show featuring James Maakestad, Mike Schlesinger and CJ Mills. That starts at 4 p.m.

Then, of course, the fest makes room for the Husker Game *sad trombone*.

The evening show is headlined by red-hot indie soul band High Up. Also on the bill are All Young Girls Are Machine Guns and experimental jazz act Chemicals, which demands that you get there at 10 p.m. sharp. Dramatron DJs in the garden. Your $7 entrance fee gets you in all day.

O’Leaversfest closes out Sunday afternoon with a Sunday Social program starting at 4 p.m. with Silversphere (new electronic project by the folks in The Lepers), Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship and headliner Cursive — yes, that Cursive. Your $7 cover will include food (and fun).

O’Leaversfest isn’t the only thing happening this weekend.

Tonight Milk Run is hosting a Noise and Electronic Fest with Ruby Block, Satanic Abortion and Plack Blague (and more). $10, 7 p.m.

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers headline at The Waiting Room tonight with Enormodome. $20, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) indie electronic dance giants Junior Boys are playing at Slowdown Jr. The band is on the road supporting its latest, Big Black Coat (2016, City Slang), a record that Pitchfork gave a massive 8.0, saying “Big Black Coat leaves behind introverted electronica of previous Junior Boys records. There’s some mid-era Kraftwerk in its place, as well as a big debt to Detroit techno, that sweet spot in the mid-’70s when krautrock met disco, several of Arthur Russell’s many house aliases, and even Prince circa Controversy.” Sounds tasty. Egyptrixx and Borys opens the show at 8 p.m. $16 Adv./$18 DOS.

If you want a preview of Sunday’s Cursive set, the band will be playing down in Lincoln Saturday as part of Hear Nebraska’s Beer Nebraska event. Five bands, five breweries, one price of $30. Also on the bill are Criteria, Universe Contest, Columbia Vs. Challenger reunion and Better Friend. The event runs from 2 to 9 p.m. at Zipline Brewing Company in Lincoln. No address listed, so get out your Google maps. More info here.

Finally Sunday night Destroyer (solo) plays at Reverb Lounge. I assume this is a Dan Bejar solo show. Mac McCaughan opens. $15, 9 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend and I’ll probably see you at O’Leaver’s!

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: InDreama, No Joy, Flowers Forever, The Prairies; a Halloween weekend…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 2:14 pm October 29, 2010
InDreama at Slowdown Jr., Oct. 28, 2010.

InDreama at Slowdown Jr., Oct. 28, 2010.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I have to tell you, I love going to debut performances by local bands. A few weeks ago it was Beauty in the Beast (Eli Mardock of Eagle Seagull fame’s new band). Last night it was InDreama, a new band fronted by Nik Fackler that includes an all-star cast, as described in yesterday’s blog. Fackler made it very clear before the set that this was, in fact, the first time the band had performed in front of a club audience. It showed. The set was only about 15 minutes long and focused only on four songs that shared the same psychedelic sonic palette. As you can see by the photo, Fackler was going for drama with his lighting — a projector off stage left that shot beams at a hatchet angle augmented with a couple floor strobes, all other stage lighting was turned off. Add billows of stage smoke and you’ve got a recipe for theatrics, and there were plenty.

Fackler and Co. opened with a couple acoustic songs that showed his knowledge of Bookends-era Simon and Garfunkel. Vocally, he sounded nothing like how he did in The Family Radio, instead his voice was deep and resonant and enhanced by effects and it all sounded actually very good, backed with harmonies from Sam Martin (Capgun Coup) and Dereck Higgins (Digital Sex). The lyrics were slight and simple and somewhat affected (I could imagine these songs sung in French).

The set went full-bore when Fackler switched to electric guitar and closed out the micro-set with “Exodus from Reunion, A + STORM > great = End” that turned into a psychedelic soundwash complete with dramatic deep-blue synth effects and rigid, pounding power chords that eventually pulled back with the now-ritualistic kneeling-down-and-fiddling-with-the-foot-pedals noise collage. Very dramatic, very promising, but all-in-all, very short. Missing were their poppier rock numbers that the band has on their iLike page, but then again, I’m not sure how they would have fit into the dark interlude that Fackler was trying to create. So yeah, a work in progress, a dream half-dreamed. But Fackler tells me there’s more to come when he’s back from El Lay and the InDreama CD is released in December, backed by a tour.

Next up were The Prairies, a local garage noise-band that I wasn’t in the mood for but that converted me to their punk rock sound by the end of their set. More than half of their success rides on their incredible drummer, who hits his drums harder than anyone I’ve seen on stage in a long while. Just amazing drumming that drove this hot rod right over the edge, pushed along by some tasty guitar solos.

No Joy at Slowdown Jr., Oct. 28, 2010.

No Joy at Slowdown Jr., Oct. 28, 2010.

In the third slot was Montreal band No Joy, a buzz-saw shoe-gaze band fronted by two shaggy-haired women with electric guitars and a love for righteous riffs. I was reminded of Jesus and Mary Chain, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Dinosaur Jr., and a bit of Throwing Muses. Each song was a pounding fuzz factory that chugged along at a hypnotic pace that made you wish they’d go on for 20 more minutes (even though most of the songs sounded pretty much the same). As described in yesterday’s Sentimentalist write-up, they closed out their set and began packing their gear while the amps were still buzzing, without saying a word to the crowd. I don’t know if that’s cool or insolent, and I doubt they care either way.

The crowd of about 50 or stuck around for Flowers Forever, whose sound continues to evolve from its original psych-rock to something that more closely resembles Talking Heads New Wave meets The B-52s with some deep-bass synth-dance beats thrown in to liven it all up. During their pogo-party moments, frontman Derek Pressnall turned into a Midwestern version of Fred Schneider, talk-echoing with the band’s cute blonde frontwoman whose rather demure singing has a dry air of Debbie Harry. Biggest surprise (of the night) was electric guitarist Nik Fackler providing some very interesting counters and leads that made it all work.

FF has been evolving into a psych-dance band for awhile now, and it seems close to the final stage. There’s no question that Pressnall enjoys leading the crowd on dance numbers more than anything else he’s doing on stage — leading the band as it repeatedly played two party-friendly songs over and over. He knows what his crowd wants and by-damn he’s going to give it to them. Things got weird toward the end when someone (Sam Martin?) threw a gigantic bag of popcorn into the crowd, which eventually became throwing material. More hi-jinx ensued, climaxing with an abrupt confrontation over a microphone stand that had made its way into the crowd. No one got hurt (at least while I was there).

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I hate Halloween. I don’t mind giving candy to kids at the door, that’s fine, that’s what it should be. I’m not into the adult side of Halloween where everything turns into a costume party. And when Halloween’s on a Sunday, that means the costumes stretch over the entire weekend. That said, it would be kind of weird to see people dressed as pirates (or zombies) at Saturday’s Joan of Arc show at Slowdown Jr. though you can pretty much count on it. Also on the bill are Bear Country and Thunder Power. $10, 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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

No Joy, InDreama debut, Flowers Forever, The Prairies tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:43 pm October 28, 2010

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It is one of the more compelling show line-ups in a while, and it’s tonight at Slowdown.

It kicks off with stage debut of Dreama, or InDreama. The band’s name is in dispute these days (because someone else already has it). I actually like InDreama better anyway. The lineup consists of some local all-stars: Nik Fackler (The Family Radio, Flowers Forever, director of Oscar-buzz motion picture Lovely, Still), Sam Martin (Capgun Coup, soon-to-be movie star), Craig DeMayo (a.k.a. Craig D of Tilly and the Wall and a handful of other bands), Dereck Higgins (legendary Omaha musician and bass player, Digital Sex) and Aaron Gum (a co-conspirator of Fackler’s in the film-making world).

But forget about the personnel for a minute, and go to InDreama’s iLike page and listen to Simon & G-ish “Dream Fool Fuck #9,” or noise-tango dance-scream “Saw a Blind Dad” or epic, cinematic “Exodus from Reunion, A + STORM > great = End.” InDreama’s music is scary good. Here’s a band that’s reaching for something few other local bands bother looking for — a sound that’s both contemporary and progressive yet tuneful and picturesque. Yeah, it’s arty, but it doesn’t give up melody for experimentation. With Fackler at the helm, who knows what its future holds (he’s a busy guy). He tells me it’s the real deal, as is his participation in Derek Pressnall’s Flower’s Forever. How will he be able to balance a life split between film making and rocking? Time will tell.

On top of the bill is No Joy, a Montreal female duo that has an album coming out on Mexican Summer (Best Coast, Soft Pack, Dungen) that I would describe as classic buzz-saw shoe-gaze in the Jesus and Mary Chain vein. Here’s what Sentimentalist Mag said about their Knitting Factory gig at CMJ this year:

No Joy, a Montreal/L.A. quartet fronted by two guitar-wielding ladies with Cousin It hair streaming down to hide their faces, opened the Mexican Summer night in contemplative fashion, summoning any darkness in the room and blasting it forth with grungetastic riffs and morphine-dosed vocals that sparkled and seared in equal measure. Their Lush-esque, shoegazer licks came on clean and strong, and an impressive rhythm section courtesy of their two black-clad band mate fellas gave songs like “No Summer” and “No Joy” a slick backbone and raised the hair on the back of our necks. We liked the novelty of the set ending without any final notes or any adieu; The ladies were already busy packing up their gear on stage while their guitars still blared against their ballsy amps, while drummer and bassist played on.

Sounds scrumptious. You can check out their music on their Myspace page.

Fackler tells me Flowers Forever is going in a new and different direction. A little bird also tells me we’re in for a cross between shimmery shoegaze and an electronic dance experience. We’ll find out what Mr. Pressnall and Co. have up their sleeves tonight. And, The Prairies also is on the bill. All of this for a mere $6. Get there early for InDreama, who kicks things off at 9.

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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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