Lincoln Calling weekend; Fleet Foxes tonight; Future Islands, Explosions in the Sky Saturday; Marshall Crenshaw Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:50 pm September 29, 2017

Future Island’s Sam Herring in full shimmy mode during SXSW 2014. The band plays Saturday night at Waiting Room Outdoors.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This will go down as the year’s busiest weekends musicwise, at least from an indie music perspective. Yeah, you’ve got Lincoln Calling going on as well as two outdoor shows in Omaha, but you also have a slew of shows at other venues, all of which is going to require making some tough choices.

For those of you who aren’t afraid to drive to Lincoln, Lincoln Calling is very likely on top of the list. The festival continues tonight (no doubt hampered by those pesky Huskers) and Saturday night. The schedule is below and the cost remains $34 for Friday and Saturday (per day). Three-day passes are $59 (plus $8 fees). Get the full skinny at lincolncalling.com.

Friday
The Bourbon
Angel Olsen
Julie Byrne
UMM

Duffy’s Outdoor
Beach Fossils
El Ten Eleven
Closeness
Josh Hoyer
Evan Bartels
Oquoa

Zoo Bar
Universe Contest
Gerardo Meza & Friends
Those Far Out Arrows
Kait Berreckman

Bodega’s Alley
Future Punx
Sego
I Forgot to Love My Father
Once A Pawn
Jacob James Wilton
Number One Hit Kids

The Bay
Kemba
Cakes Da Killa
Jewels and Thalia
Ria Gold

1867 Bar
Eu1ogy
Bogusman
Arc Flash
CBN
Stiff Middle Finger
Screaming Plastic
Edem Soul Music

Night Market
Bazille Mills
Ashley Buck
Histrionic
Pleiades and the Bear
Wagon Blasters

Saturday
The Bourbon
Charli XCX
Flint Eastwood
Plack Blague

Duffy’s Outdoor
(Sandy) Alex G
CupcakKe
Pile
Digital Leather
David Nance
Flowers Forever

Zoo Bar
John Moreland
Brad Hoshaw
AZP
Jagaja
Andrea Von Kampen

Bodega’s Alley
Ghost Foot
Nation of Language
See Through Dresses
Ro Hempel Band
AllSortsOfGood

The Bay
PUP
Yana
The Bad Ideas
Uh Oh
Boner Killerz

1867 Bar
Hovvdy
Crumb
John Freidel
Ojai

Night Market
The Ambulanters
Briner
Bokr Tov
Sleep Sinatra
The In-Betweens

* * *

Meanwhile, back here in Omaha, One Percent Productions is putting on two nights of outdoor shows with acts that make it seem like a mini Maha Festival. The location is at “Waiting Room Outdoors,” which is just outside of Jake’s on Military Ave. between Maple St. & Binney St. The space will have booze tents, concessions and a food truck.

Tonight’s headliner is Fleet Foxes, whose 10 Questions interview you read right here. Opening band is Canadian act Nap Eyes. $36, 7 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) the headliner Future Islands — one of most entertaining live indie acts I’ve seen in recent years thanks to the showmanship of frontman Sam Herring. Yeah, he has some crazy dance moves, but he goes above and beyond all that to capture the audience’s attention. This Future Islands show is loaded. You also get co-headliner Explosions in the Sky and the nasty beats of Holy Fuck. Chapel Hill act Jenny Besetzt opens at 5:30 p.m. $35.

What else is happening this weekend?

Tonight the indie-metal rock of Pro-Magnum returns to fabulous O’Leaver’s. It’s been too long since these guys have played at The Club. Opening is Ghost Foot. $5, 10:30 p.m. (after the Husker game).

Also tonight, Austin indie-noise act Vampyre headlines at Brothers Lounge. Joining them are Church of Gravitron and Lincoln’s Dirty Talker. $5, 9 p.m.

And let’s not forget Porchfest is tonight. Bands include Jack Hotel, Matt Cox, The Bottle Tops, McCarthy Trenching, Midwest Dilemma, Picklegrass, The Shineys, The Bedrock and Scott Severin, among others. The line-up and schedule are here.

Saturday night it’s back to Brothers Lounge for the return of Navy Gangs, with Future Punx and Nathan Ma and the Rosettes. $5, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Phoenix act Pro-Teens headlines at O’Leaver’s with Chaca and Sgt. Leisure. $5, 10 p.m.

Finally Sunday night, the legendary Marshall Crenshaw plays an early evening show at The Slowdown. Bottle Rocks open. This starts at 5 p.m. Tickets are $22 Adv/$27 DOS.

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

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Future Islands, Operators; Bob Log III, Millions of Boys tonight, Saturn Moth Saturday; Digital Leather, Little Brazil Sunday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:55 pm August 29, 2014
The many faces of Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands, The Waiting Room, Aug. 28, 2014.

The many faces of Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands, The Waiting Room, Aug. 28, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Samuel T. Herring paced the stage like a sweaty caged bear. By now, thanks to David Letterman, any fan of Future Islands is familiar with his groovy dance routine, but they probably weren’t so familiar with his other rather unique performance gestures displayed on stage last night, such as:

— Picking the imaginary berry and eating it (along with his hand)
— Pounding his chest, hard, like a gorilla
— Reaching into his chest and pulling out his heart, and eating it (along with his hand)
— Swinging his fist round-house style, hard and wide, just like Elvis
— And “Hello God, it’s me, Samuel” (softly, Waterfront Bando-style, while looking up at the moon).

These gestures and many more were woven into his usual battery of low-dips, twists, high kicks and vogue-like head turns during last night’s Future Islands’ set at The Waiting Room.

The first time I saw him — back in 2011, cold-called, never even having seen a picture of the band before — I was startled and enamored. Last night, having seen the shtick a few times since, I was merely amused and entertained. So was the sold-out audience, who jerked and dived right along with Herring throughout an hour-plus-long set that left him looking as if he’d just undergone the ice bucket challenge, his red collared dress shirt sweat-soaked and clinging to his ape-like physique.

Now you know. Herring doesn’t hold back. He leaves it allllll on stage, every performance, presumably every night. And that kind of kinetic self-brutality has to take a toll on something. Last night it was his voice.

You did not hear Samuel T. at his best. His vocals were ragged from the very start, often breaking down to choked whispers. As one guy put it, “He started his growl pretty early in the set tonight.” He sure did. At past performances, that monster growl had been tossed out sparingly, for effect. Last night his guttural Cookie Monster roar appeared early and often, most likely to compensate for a lack of high end.

The limitation was most noticeable on their most known song, “Seasons (Waiting on You),” made famous on Letterman. The song’s soaring moments were cut off, growled or strangled. Strangely, as the night wore on, Herring’s voice got better. In fact, he sang best during the three-song encore.

Not that it mattered. People who didn’t know better surely thought it was all part of the show, a show that hasn’t changed much since the last time I saw it on TWR stage; and it’s still just as entertaining.

Operators at The Waiting Room, Aug. 28, 2014.

Operators at The Waiting Room, Aug. 28, 2014.

The real surprise last night (for me, anyway) was opening band Operators. The band consists of frontman Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) and drummer Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks), who worked together with Britt Daniel in the one-off Devine Fits project. Rounding out the trio is fetching keyboard player Dvojka. Their sound was a fine combination of ’80s synthrock and post-wave Eno-era Talking Heads sung with indie-rock gusto by Boeckner, who resembled a young (though shirted) Iggy Pop.

Operators new EP, EP 1, captures their synth-rock-dance energy (check out “Ancient”), but doesn’t capture their live dynamic, which was more free-form and fun, a good opening match for Future Islands…

* * *

So what’s going on this long, three-day weekend? Plenty.

Tonight creepy helmeted slide-guitar freakshow Bob Log III graces the stage at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Log III has mainly performed in larger clubs around town, like The Waiting Room. I can only imagine what’ll happen in The Club’s intimate confines. Will Mach be stirring up a Boob Scotch?  Find out at tonight’s massive showbill, which also includes Dumb Beach, Sean Pratt and the Sweats and DJ Dave Goldberg. Note this is a $7 show, starts at 9.

Also tonight, Millions of Boys plays at The Sydney with Kansas-based indie rockers Schwervon! and The Love Technicians. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, down at The Slowdown, Satchel Grande returns with Funk Trek. $8, 9 p.m.

Saturday night local indie rockers Saturn Moth celebrate their CD release at The Waiting Room with The Sub-Vectors, Manic Pixie Dream Girls and Lot Walks. $5, 9 p.m.

Then it’s back to O’Leaver’s on Sunday for a very special O’Leaver’s Sunday Social featuring three things none of us can live without: Digital Leather, Little Brazil and food. The music starts at 5 p.m. and it costs the usual $5. Look, we all have Monday off anyway. Might as well spend Sunday afternoon getting wasted at The House That Mello Built.

That’s what I got. If I’m missing your gig, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend…

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

Paying to play… at the Superbowl (in the column); Future Islands (SOLD OUT), David Kenneth Nance tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , — @ 12:49 pm August 28, 2014
Future Islands at The Waiting Room, Nov. 2, 2011.

http://lazy-i.com/wp-admin/post-new.php Future Islands at The Waiting Room, Nov. 2, 2011. The band returns to The Waiting Room tonight for a sold-out show.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

In this week’s column, the NFL’s plan to charge bands to perform at the next Superbowl half-time, and what it means to the ongoing erosion of the value of music. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here.

People are underestimating how much Spotify and similar streaming services are undermining the market for music sales. We’re quickly heading to a future of 1) music superstars — i.e., the folks that performed on the VMAs — and 2) no one else, at least when it comes to making a living from music. Indie performers are going to be left in the dust, with income only from touring and tour merch sales to scrape by on. Maybe we’re already there.

* * *

Tonight’s big show is Future Islands at The Waiting Room, a show that sold out earlier this week. Here’s how their show went the last time they came through town in 2011. It was among my top-3 favorite shows that year. I expect more of the same tonight. Opening is Operators (Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Divine Fits). This one starts at 8 p.m.

Also tonight, David Kenneth Nance, whose album Actor’s Diary (on Simon Joyner’s Grapefruit Records label) blew me away last year, headlines a show at the Almost Music record store in Benson with Staffers and Sean Pratt and the Sweats. 8 p.m., $5.

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

SXSW Day 3 Photos: Future Islands, Eagulls, Jeremy Messersmith, Future Bathing Culture, Pi in the Sky…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 11:37 am March 14, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Read my Day 3 SXSW recap/journal right now at thereader.com!!!

Now onto yesterday’s photos…

The Eagulls landed at French Legation Park for the Pitchfork Day Party. They were snarly lads.

The Eagulls landed at French Legation Park for the Pitchfork Day Party. They were snarly lads.

* * *

Not a lot of LOL-ing going on during Jerome LOL's set.

Not a lot of LOL-ing going on during Jerome LOL’s set (that lady ain’t Jerome, btw)…

* * *

No home runs for this Mark McGuire.

No home runs for this Mark McGuire.

* * *

Future Island's Sam Herring in full shimmy mode.

Future Island’s Sam Herring in full shimmy mode.

* * *

Classixx had the beats that kept people dancing.

Classixx had the beats that kept people dancing.

* * *

The endless mic check at massive Butler Park Stage at Lady Bird Lake.

The endless mic check at massive Butler Park Stage at Lady Bird Lake.

* * *

The Pi in the Sky skywriters circled all afternoon.

The Pi in the Sky planes circled all afternoon.

* * *

Pure Bathing Culture at Hype Hotel.

Pure Bathing Culture at Hype Hotel.

* * *

Nina Nesbitt at Swan Dive.

Nina Nesbitt at Swan Dive.

* * *

The incomparable Jeremy Messersmith and his band were messer-merizing at Swan Dive.

The incomparable Jeremy Messersmith and his band were messer-merizing at Swan Dive.

* * *

Happy Pi Day

Happy Pi Day

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Brad Hoshaw/7 Deadlies, Lonely Estates; Future Islands video; Cursive is ready for some football; Crooked Fingers tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:32 pm November 14, 2011
Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies at The Waiting Room, Nov. 12, 2011.

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies at The Waiting Room, Nov. 12, 2011.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A couple weeks ago, Brad Hoshaw “released” a new collection of songs titled Spirit of the Lake via his Bandcamp page (You can find it here). The recordings are homemade demos that capture the bare essence of Hoshaw’s latest songwriting output. Last Friday night we got to hear a number of those songs “fleshed out” with his band, the Seven Deadlies, and it’s safe to say Hoshaw could have another hit on his hands if he’s ever able to scratch together enough money to get his band into a studio to make a “proper” recording.

Case in point: “New Tattoo,” a desperate, downright creepy song about the aftermath of love gone wrong that Mr. Cash would have been proud to perform during his darker days. On the home recording, Hoshaw comes off lonely and broken as he sings the lines, “So tell me how you think you’ll feel / When I carve your name beneath my heel.” But on stage with his posse at The Waiting Room Saturday night, the song turned into a blistering, angry threat, a pointed finger of redemption made bold and bloody by a band lost in the same homicidal red-mist as Hoshaw. It was, indeed, a perfect moment.

As satisfying as his ’09 debut album was, I was afraid Hoshaw might be a one-and-done flash in the pan whose flash was never seen much beyond our city limits. The fact that that album never reached the audience it deserved is one of the great tragedies of our local music scene, though in all honesty, I don’t know who else to blame other than Hoshaw and an industry that, despite technology that makes almost any music available to a global audience, is unable to find and expose the greater talent to the greater masses.

The way his debut was left to languish in obscurity, one couldn’t blame Hoshaw if he decided to hang it up and walk away from his dreams. Instead, he’s created another stellar collection of songs, which are almost hidden in those home recordings but are completely realized when performed on stage by his full band. Maybe instead of wasting thousands of dollars in a studio, he and his cohorts should simply polish these chestnuts to a fine sheen and record them live from The Waiting Room stage. Or maybe it’s time for Hoshaw to head to Nashville with these songs in his pocket and see if any of the current C&W elite will bite. He and his songs certainly deserve better than they’ve been getting hanging around here.

Hoshaw was followed by the show’s headliner, Lonely Estates, who was celebrating the release of their new CD by giving away copies to anyone who came through the door (a business plan that seems rather… flawed, though I’m sure they’re happy just to get the music in people’s hands).

Frontman Braden Rapp was an inspiration — how he stands up there and does what he does is amazing to me. First, the vocal lines are as vein-poppingly high-reaching as anything Stephen Pedersen sang in Criteria. He’s going to have to stay young if he’s going to hit those notes in 10 years. Then there’s his stage presence. Alone with only a microphone to lean on instead of a guitar, Rapp seemed completely exposed, forced to fill the space with dance steps and hand gestures, and yet he pulled it off. He is, indeed, a portrait in courage.

Lonely Estates’ music is well-crafted indie pop performed with almost formulaic perfection, every corner perfectly rounded, every direction well charted. Like all good radio music, you know exactly where each song is headed, almost as if you’ve heard them all before. I compared them to Little Brazil in my writeup last week, but their influences likely are more commercial. About halfway though the set, the band did a spot-on cover of Cutting Crews’ “(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight” that tipped their hand and made me think they’d make a great cover band (I was later told that some of the musicians are part of the city’s premiere cover band, Secret Weapon). The standout was guitarist Phil Reno, who put on a clinic with his solos and riffs that placed him on the summit with the area’s most talented musicians.

* * *

Speaking of frontmen, remember how I gushed about Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands when his band played at The Waiting Room a couple weeks ago (here)? Now you can see for yourself what I was talking about in this HearNebraska Live video shot by Andrew Norman and Daniel Muller the night of the show. Check it out.

* * *

Who else heard the snippet of Cursive’s “The Radiator Hums” last night during NBC’s Sunday Night Football? The song came on as Al Michaels was going to commercial; I had to rewind it a few times on my DVR before I figured out what I was hearing. Something like that probably means nothing if it were to happen to a Bieber, Gaga or American Idol winner (loser), but for a band like Cursive and its fans, the five-second snippet is a very big deal indeed.

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room, it’s the return of Merge recording artist Crooked Fingers with Strand of Oaks. $10, 9 p.m.

* * *

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

Live Review: Future Islands; Column 348: 3Q CD Reviews; Conduits tonight…

Category: Blog,Column,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:44 pm November 3, 2011
Future Islands at The Waiting Room, Nov. 2, 2011.

Future Islands at The Waiting Room, Nov. 2, 2011.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Decisions, decisions… Of the two, Real Estate was probably the hottest ticket of the night last night (from what I’ve been told, it was the bigger draw); but to be honest, their latest album (despite the raves) left me cold, and judging from their YouTube stuff, I was afraid of getting a run-of-the-mill “stand-and-play” performance.

Which is exactly what I didn’t get from Future Islands. I don’t think any of the 30 or so people at The Waiting Room expected what they got from frontman Samuel T. Herring. Never mind that the trio’s music, half of which was pre-recorded samples (including the synth-drum-percussion), is like an homage to early Factory Records / New Order dance tracks — dramatic and fun. It was Herring that was the centerpiece, an absolutely mesmerizing frontman intent on connecting with the audience eye-to-eye from the stage.

He looks like a young Streetcar Brando combined with Deliverance Burt Reynolds and Kirkian Shatner, but with the intensity of a Rollins or Morrissey. He owned the stage like a Shakespearean actor performing a spotlight soliloquy with a voice that ranged somewhere between Richard Burton, Pee Wee Herman (in la-la-la-la mode), a monster and Billy Idol. Like a caged gorilla pacing with knuckles dragging on the floor, Herring leaned down trying to glean any sort of eye contact from anyone who would look at him, shifting from one to one to one to one. Dramatic, and the stage lighting only added to the drama — colored floor-mounted flood lights (think Mercy Rule but with colored gels).

But then between songs, Herring turned into a bro’ just chilling with his roomful of new friends, laughing and talking about the road and how much he loved being on stage (despite, he said, his recent misgivings about performing). Charming. While all this was going on, keyboardist Gerrit Welmers and bass player William Cashion were stone. They never cracked a smile or changed expression. Welmers merely stared straight-faced at his battery of synth/computer equipment, poking out melodies while Brando pounded his chest and slapped himself in the face and bounced on all fours and held his hand skyward as if singing to a Hamlet skull or to an invisible moon. You can tell this guy was once an art student — or a closet thespian.

One of the best performances I’ve seen this year.

* * *

Column 348: Third Quarter Reviews Roundup

Just like when Christmas decorations begin popping up at your local grocery store, critics know they’re on the home stretch when record labels begin sending out reminders of releases to consider in their year-end “best of” lists. Ah, but it’s still only November. We’ve two months left for records to hit the shelves (digital or otherwise). That said, I think we’ve probably already heard the best of ’11. Below are some of the third quarter releases that have been burning up my earphones. Who knows if any of them will make the “best of” final cut. By the time we find out, the labels will be lauding the first releases of 2012, and the grocery stores will be replacing those Christmas decorations with Valentine’s Day candy

A.A. Bondy, Believers (Fat Possum) — The former Verbena frontman may be best known as an opening act for Bon Iver a few years ago. Since then, Bon Iver has ascended to indie rock sainthood, while Bondy continues to toil in the clubs, waiting for the attention he deserves. With a voice strangely resembling Jackson Browne’s, Bondy’s music is a moody midnight throb headed to 3 a.m. all alone. There’s a simplicity in the music’s loneliness — both in sound and lyrics — that his fellow loners will find both familiar and comforting. Inspirational lines like “You didn’t know there was a killer inside / Won’t get to heaven tonight” from the title track are part of the reason why I like this better than Bon Iver’s latest (Sacrilege!). Who knows, maybe someday Bon Iver will open for Bondy (though he won’t be when A.A. Bondy plays at The Waiting Room this Friday night. You should go.).

Eleanor Friedberger, Last Summer (Merge) — Has the distinction of being the first album I purchased after discovering it on Spotify (Merge doesn’t send me promos, the cheap bastards). Those who expect the wonky art rock of her main gig, Fiery Furnaces, are in for a big surprise. Friedberger has left the proggy chord/key changes behind for a collection of songs that are SONGS, complete with melodies and choruses and playful lyrics that bounce atop piano chords, hand claps and the occasional sax riff. I’m reminded (strangely) of smart, laid back Hunky Dory-era David Bowie. My wife thinks she sounds like Carly Simon. She might be right (again). Has the distinction of being one of the best records of 2011.

PUJOL, Nasty, Brutish, And Short EP (Saddle Creek) — Saddle Creek surprised all of us when it announced it signed this Nashville phenom back in August. Who was PUJOL? The only thing we knew was that Jack White liked him and that Nashville Scene called him “The Socrates of the house show circuit” (whatever that means). Creek’s first stab at releasing anything resembling garage, PUJOL embraces a ’60s psych aesthetic on this slim 7-song collection that clocks in at just under 18 minutes. Its stripped down, grinding guitar rock owes a lot to early Beatles and is oh so catchy, probably the catchiest thing the Creek has released since… well, ever.

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Mirror Traffic (Matador) — With all the Pavement reunion talk earlier this year, a few of us were worried that Malkmus may be leaving his solo work behind. Silly rabbits. After a couple brilliant out-there releases (’08’s Real Emotional Trash, ’05’s Face the Truth) Malkmus returns to the more straight-forward, less adventurous and more tuneful style that marked his ’01 solo debut. In fact, Malkmus always came off (to me, anyway) as a more tuneful version of Lou Reed — deceptively simple melodies that belie some of the smartest (and this time, strangest) lyrics that cynically capture a life lived in America. Now that he’s “40 with a kid / Living on the grid,” his lyrics are more obtuse than ever. You may not understand what he’s singing about, but you’ll sing along anyway.

Matthew Sweet, Modern Art (Missing Piece) — Matthew Sweet returns after… wait a minute, Sweet didn’t go anywhere. He’s been steadily releasing music on Shout! Factory since ’06, though two of the last three releases were covers albums made with Susanna Hoffs. One would think reworking all those classic hits would put the pop back into Sweet’s step. Instead, there’s a psychedelic tang and guitar-noodling quality that recall the Altered Beast years (the meandering “My Ass is Grass” and “A Little Death,” the layered, synth-symphonic title track). Still, Sweet knows his sweet spot lies in pure, sing-along tracks like the pretty “Baltimore,” and the Byrds-ish “She Walks the Night,” which he could have used more of this time ’round.

M83, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Mute) – Sprawling, ambitious to a fault at 74 minutes, Hurry Up takes M83’s penchant for dreamy, ghostly pop and blows it up to sonic mountains. Like any great epic, it has its perfect moments, like dance floor chestnut “Claudia Lewis,” and triumphant “Steve McQueen.” But there’s also a lot of tonal fluff designed to build cinematic Tangerine Dream-flavored drama (“Another Wave from You,” “When Will You Come Home” “Klaus I Love You”) that lie somewhere between aural interlude and filler. It’s as if M83 is trying to become a modern generation’s version of The Cure, but skipped over the Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me era and went straight for Disintegration. Or maybe they’re just reversing the order. I’m willing to wait and see.

* * *

Tonight at House of Loom it’s Conduits with Pony Wars. I was told that Loom doesn’t really have a “stage,” so it will be interesting to see how they set up the bands. If you haven’t been down there yet (it’s in the old Goofy Foot space) this would be great time to check it out. $5, 9:30 p.m.

* * *

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

A quick Q&A with Future Islands’ William Cashion; Future Islands vs. Real Estate tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:49 pm November 2, 2011
Future Islands. Photo by Mike Vorassi

Future Islands. Photo by Mike Vorassi.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

How to describe Future Islands’ new record, On the Water (Thrill Jockey)? Well, if you’re Pitchfork, who gave the record a 7.7 rating, you say: “With the songs’ energy scaled back, the efforts of the other two band members come to the fore. Gerrit Welmers handles the keyboards and programming, bringing an evocative, setting-sun vibe to slowburners like “The Great Fire” (a soulful duet with Jenn Wasner of fellow Marylanders Wye Oak), while William Cashion’s guitars have the same low-end lurch of early New Order riffs.

I picked the above quote because: 1) I agree with the New Order comparison, and 2) guitarist Cashion agreed to do a quick email Q&A, where he talks about that New Order influence (undeniable on tracks like “Before the Bridge”), the album’s concept (or lack thereof) and his love for The Faint.

Lazy-i: I hear what sounds like New Order in your music, as well as other Factory Records bands. Is that the music you listened to in your “formative” years? What other bands were an influence, and how do you balance their influence when you’re creating your own music?

William Cashion:  We’re definitely fans of Factory Records, and personally I’m more into their earlier releases.  There are many bands that we draw inspiration from.  When we were writing/recording On the Water, I was listening to Fleetwood Mac, Brian Eno, Durutti Column, and Cocteau Twins.  But our influences range from that side of things to Slayer to early ’90s hip hop.  I think we have found a balance in our music, but it’s not something we really talk about or do consciously.  Speaking of balance, in our song called “Balance” we used what Chester calls “disco” cymbals… and that was inspired by the Grateful Dead.

Future Islands, On the Water (Thrill Jockey, 2011)

Future Islands, On the Water (Thrill Jockey, 2011)

When writing the music on On the Water, did you set out early create a concept album or did the concept emerge organically as the songs were written? Some writers need the concept up front to give them a structure to work with when it’s time to write the lyrics. Are you aware of the concept when performing live, or do you file that away for the sake of the evening’s show?

William:  When the album was written and recorded, we never thought of it as a concept album.  It’s actually not a concept album.  I think our one-sheet may have been misleading regarding the “concept.”  It’s a nautical album, for sure… But not your typical Ziggy Stardust kinda thing.

According to your history, the band formed while attending art school in North Carolina. Did anyone graduate, and, beyond music, are any still involved in creating art? How has that collective art background helped the band?

William:  I graduated with a BFA in painting & drawing back in 2006. Sadly I haven’t really worked on visual art much since then – I’ve devoted most of my energy to the band.  I do hope to get back into it in the future – sooner than later, fingers crossed!

Despite the internet and tools like Spotify, it’s getting tougher for bands (especially new bands) to get gain awareness in smaller markets like Omaha. How do you generate a crowd in a market without a decent radio station? A good review in Pitchfork will only go so far.

William:  We’ve always just toured really hard and tried to gain an audience “the old-fashioned way.”  Until the last few years, we never had a publicist or a label behind us, so touring was really the only way for us to get the word out there.  So I’m not really sure how to answer this…but I can say that we do have some pretty bitchin’ tour t-shirts that will only be available at our merch table!

Have you been to Omaha before? If not, what’s your preconceived notion of what Omaha is?

William:  We’ve never been to Omaha before, and we’re really excited to finally play there.  I was into The Faint around the time Danse Macabre came out, they’re my fave Omaha band.

Check out Future Islands’ “Before the Bridge” below:

 

Future Islands plays tonight at The Waiting Room with Ed Schrader’s Music Beat (Load Records). $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Real Estate is playing at Slowdown Jr. with Big Troubles (Slumberland Records). Real Estate’s new album, Days (Domino Records), got a whopping 8.7 in Pitchfork (here). $10, 9 p.m.

Too bad these two shows — which share the same potential audience — couldn’t have been held together at one venue.

Decisions, decisions…

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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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