Live Review: Gordon, Art Bazaar; The Funs, Dumb Beach tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:48 pm September 28, 2015
Gordon at The Sydney, Sept. 25, 2015.

Gordon at The Sydney, Sept. 25, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Nice turnout for the Sidney Buchanan art show at The Little Gallery Friday night. You can check out the show anytime this week before 5 p.m., just swing by the gallery. It’s located right across the street from The Sydney in Benson. Sidney’s work is amazing, and affordable. Maybe too affordable.

I spent Friday night hanging out with Sidney’s son, Patrick, who you may remember from the classic ’90s punk band Mousetrap. Patrick lives in Miami these days. We talked about music, what’s been going on in Omaha over the past few years and how Benson and the rest of the city’s changed.

As the art show came to a close at 9, I mentioned that I was headed to The Sydney later that night to see Gordon, a band I thought he’d like, and to my surprise, Patrick said he’d meet there at midnight. After I left the art show I began to feel anxious about Gordon. Did I oversell the band? Just that sort of thing has happened to me in the past — I talk too highly of a band or compare them to another band and inevitably, the person I’m talking to sees them and they either 1) suck, or 2) sound nothing like what I compared them to.

I got to The Sydney just before midnight, as A Ferocious Jungle Cat was still doing their set. Patrick had already arrived. It’s safe to say The Sydney has the worst PA I’ve heard since, well,  I saw bands play at the old Down Under last November. The Sydney’s PA is on par with what you’d find at a typical house show. Overblown, flat, noisy. Pretty awful, and much worse than I remembered the last time I saw a band play there. My anxiety grew.

Arm Wrestling during Art Bazaar at The Sydney, Sept. 25, 2015.

Arm Wrestling during Art Bazaar at The Sydney, Sept. 25, 2015.

Friday night’s event at The Sydney was a fundraiser for Benson First Friday, which recently attained a 501(c)3 non-profit status. A pair of super-tall drag queens strolled around in wigs and high heels, having performed earlier in the evening.  After Jungle Cat finished a table was set up for the Finals of the evening-long arm wrestling content. Fun. After that, the hosts announced a number of raffle ticket winners of lovely gift baskets.

And then Gordon came on. I’ve seen the four-piece a few times, most recently playing outside behind The Sweatshop Gallery as part of Sweatfest this past summer. Despite the PA, Gordon did not disappoint, though their set did start off rather tenuous, sounding different than I remembered them, with two guitars playing laid-back indie stuff.

Things really got rolling when frontman Aaron Parker put down his guitar and walked off the front of the Sydney’s small platform stage with microphone in hand and did his best Ian Curtis impression on songs that sounded clearly influenced by Joy Division. Buchanan asked me if I thought Gordon knew who they were, and I said I didn’t know, but that the music’s resemblance couldn’t have been a coincidence.  But then again, another of their songs reminded me of a Mousetrap tune, a band that likely played its first show before Parker was born.

Leaning over, yelling into the mic while patrons strolled past to and from the bathroom, Parker pushed as hard as he could, making the most out of that crappy PA, looking up and following people with a bug-eyed stare as they walked back to their tables while has band continued to shred from the stage. I glanced over at Buchanan and could tell he liked what he heard. These guys were making Nebraska proud, having no clue that they were performing in front of one of the city’s Golden Age legends.

Buchanan gave the ultimate compliment after the set: “I’d definitely see them again.” No band can ask for anything more.

Your next chance to see Gordon is this Sunday when they open for Cheap Girls at Slowdown Jr.  along with Eric in Outspace and The Lupines. Do not miss it.

* * *

Speaking of things not to miss, there’s a no-miss show at The Brothers Lounge this very night. Chicago punk bands The Funs headline. Formed in 2009, the duo released their first LP, S/T, in 2013, and have opened West Coast dates for The Breeders. Opening is Nathan Ma & The Rosettes and Dumb Beach. $5, 10 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Take a Look at O’Leaver’s new patio; more Live at O’Leaver’s (Eli Mardock, Gordon, Sam Martin, more)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:47 pm September 16, 2015
O'Leaver's new patio / beer garden, looking from the back benches toward the new bar and patio entrance. The door from inside O'Leaver's that leads to the patio is on the far left.

O’Leaver’s new patio / beer garden, looking from the back benches toward the new bar and patio entrance. The door from inside O’Leaver’s that leads to the patio is on the far left at the end of the concrete ramp.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I had a chance to snap a few photos of O’Leaver’s new patio when I was at The Club the other evening. I’ve had lots of people ask what the new beer garden — which is now open for business, just in time for this weekend’s O’Leaversfest — looks like. Instead of describing it, see for yourself. It’s huge.

A look at O'Leaver's new patio / beer garden from the new bar looking toward the back benches.

A look at O’Leaver’s new patio / beer garden from the new bar looking toward the back benches.

I’m told the patio’s new bar will be manned on Friday and Saturday nights, and the occasional special event. I could see people hanging out there all night, smoking and getting blasted. I’ve used the phrase “game changer” to describe this patio before. I think it fits.

Check it out tonight if for no other reason than the fact that there’s nothing else going on and it’s gorgeous outside.

* * *

Speaking of O’Leaver’s, another batch of Live at O’Leaver’s recordings hit their website yesterday. The new batch includes Eli Mardock, Sam Martin, Once a Pawn, Roman Polanski’s Baby, Miwi La Lupa and Gordon. Check out the tracks below.

* * *

CORRECTION to yesterday’s post: I said yesterday in the section that included my review of the new Mynabirds album Lovers Know that The Mynabirds show at The Slowdown was Wednesday when in fact it’s tomorrow (Thursday). Ooops. Sorry. Thanks to Nayef for pointing this out!

* * *

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Sweatfest, Bloodcow; New Krill; Super Ghost, Tie These Hands, Good Living Valentine tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:16 pm July 20, 2015
Gordon at Sweatfest, July 18, 2015.

Gordon at Sweatfest, July 18, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Sweatfest was indeed sweaty. And messy. I didn’t get there until 6 p.m. Saturday evening where I found Gordon playing outside behind the Sweatshop Gallery in the white-rock parking lot that had been cordoned off with bright orange plastic fencing.

Sweatfest had three stages — one outside, one in the gallery and one in the performance garage — with sets scheduled to overlap. Gordon continues to be one of my favorite local bands, frontman Aaron Parker channeled Jim Morrison and/or Nick Cave on music that is brutal and beautiful and full of dread.

Bloodcow at The Barley Street Tavern, July 18, 2015.

Bloodcow at The Barley Street Tavern, July 18, 2015.

As 7 p.m. rolled around, I escaped the fest momentarily to catch the Bloodcow CD release show at Barley Street Tavern. Interestingly, the Barley doesn’t open ’til 7 p.m. on Saturdays — when the band was scheduled to be on stage. I found them a half-hour earlier standing by the back door with their gear, trying to contact someone who could let them in. By a quarter to, the Bloodcow “party bus” arrived, disembarking holiday revelers onto the sidewalk dressed in colorful Hawaiian shirts and leis.

The doors opened a little after 7 and the band loaded in, but there was no soundguy on the premises. Keep in mind, Bloodcow had a schedule to keep. After their Barley show they were headed to O’Leaver’s for an early gig and then to T’z Lounge in CB for their third show of the night. Band members huddled around the darkened soundboard with their phone flashlights ablaze looking for some way to turn on the equipment, to no avail.

It looked like the first stop of their tour would end in disaster until someone found the power switch. With one microphone working and no stage lights, the band lit into a short set at around 7:45 while their fans threw devil horns from the dance floor. As always, Bloodcow snatched triumph from defeat. Before the set ended, a soundguy showed up and turned on the stage lights, though the band sounded just as good in the dark.

By the time I got back to Sweatfest at around 9, the Sweatshop parking lot looked like a post-apocalyptic beach movie with a few hundred sweaty, stinky people wandering around in the dark as the violent power of Dumb Beach’s music blared through the open overhead garage door.

Sam Martin in the Sweatshop Gallery at Sweatfest, July 15, 2015.

Sam Martin in the Sweatshop Gallery at Sweatfest, July 15, 2015.

Round 3 of the Spaghetti Wrestling Tournament at Sweatfest, July 18, 2015.

Round 3 of the Spaghetti Wrestling Tournament at Sweatfest, July 18, 2015.

While I was gone someone showed up with the spaghetti and poured it onto a couple old mattresses set out in the parking lot as a makeshift wrestling ring. A masked female wrestler stomped on the wet noodles as if crushing grapes for wine. With an emcee calling the action, opponents (half of them women) were doused with cooking oil and set ablaze (just kidding). Once greased down, they went at it. Best two out of three falls — whoever pushed the opponent out of the “ring” was the winner. Gross, sloppy, decadent fun. By the end of the rounds, limp spaghetti hung from the overhead power lines.

By all accounts, Sweatfest was a success; I’m told bands played into the wee hours. The fest reminded me of the fun, small-venue gigs that take place on the east side of Austin during SXSW, backyard summer shows where people bring their own booze, kick back and enjoy the music. Here’s to Sweatfest 2016.

* * *

As FYI, here’s the new video by Krill. Someone needs to book these guys here.

* * *

Tonight at Pageturners its Super Ghost and Lincoln band Tie These Hands. The free show starts at 9 p.m. What a way to start off your week…

Also tonight, the Good Living Tour continues in Valentine, NE, with The Kris Lager Band, All Young Girls Are Machine Guns and Oketo at Bull Market Beer & Grill. Free and 7 p.m. and all ages.

* * *

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: The Men, Baby Tears, Gordon; Flaming Lips, Bob Mould headline Maha 2013…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:57 pm May 1, 2013
The Men at Slowdown Jr., April 27, 2013.

The Men at Slowdown Jr., April 27, 2013.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here we are, a few days late. Don’t blame me, blame my work. Someone has to pay the bills, and it ain’t you.

Anyway… It’s been a few days since The Men played at Slowdown Jr., but my memory of the performance is still somewhat vivid. Just prior to their set I chatted with one of the venue’s bartenders who also happens to be an accomplished musician. He hadn’t heard the band before and asked me what I thought. I recapped my SXSW story (posted last Friday) and said I wasn’t sure what we were in for. That the new album had shades of Centro-matic about it. He nodded. He likes Centro-matic.

Well, just like in Austin, the band climbed on stage and proceeded to rip into three hard fast rock songs that were more garage or punk than anything with a twang. This even though one of the band members was now playing keyboards. “(The bartender) must think I’m nuts or an idiot or both,” I thought.

It took about a half hour, but eventually The Men began to slow it down and bring up that keyboard along with the twang in the form of dueling guitars that sounded like something off The Allman Brothers Band’s Eat a Peach album. Here was a band that could effortlessly switch between hyper-rock and something vaguely resembling alt-country while always maintaining their speed, power, grace. It was good stuff that in its own way had an epic flair similar to what Titus Andronicus brings, but with a more refined songwriting style.

Somewhere in the middle of the set, between songs, one of the guys said, “Being New Yorkers, we’re not a sentimental bunch, but this next one is a tribute to someone who died yesterday.” With that, the band tore into its own unique rendition of George Jones’ “White Lightning.” A fitting tribute indeed.

By the time the band got to the end of its set — more than an hour after it began — The Men’s sound had transformed again, this time into something resembling psych-rock, but again without losing their signature power and drive. It was an exhausting set that left (most of) the crowd of around 75 satisfied..

Baby Tears at Slowdown Jr., April 27, 2013.

Baby Tears at Slowdown Jr., April 27, 2013.

If that set sounds long, Baby Tears made up for it with a short set of only four or five blistering, violent noise-rock tunes. The plan called for playing at least one more long number, but the set was marred by a broken kick-drum pedal which blew out after the first song, leaving all of us wanting more.

Gordon at Slowdown Jr., April 27, 2013.

Gordon at Slowdown Jr., April 27, 2013.

Starting things off was a rather straight-forward set by Gordon, at least compared to the last time I saw them play at The Side Door this past January. I have no idea what drove that weird, wonderful performance, but compared to that chaos, the band was downright restrained Saturday night, resting entirely on their songs and musicianship. They are easily the best Omaha band you’ve never heard of, and I’m scratching my head wondering why no one has helped them put out a record. One young label owner asked me if their 5-song demo was online anywhere. It is. In fact, you can download the whole thing right here. Get it.

* * *

While I’ve been away (though I’ve been right here the whole time) the folks at the Maha Music Festival announced their big stage line-up for this year’s extravaganza, which takes place Saturday, Aug. 17 at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village.

The full schedule:

12:05 – OEA Winner
12:40 – Millions of Boys
1:20 – Hers w/Omaha Girls Rock!
1:55 – Sons of Fathers
2:45 – Rock Paper Dynamite
3:20 – Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
4:25 – The Millions
5:00 – The Thermals
6:05 – Criteria
6:45 – Bob Mould
7:55 – Digital Leather
8:55 – Matt & Kim
10:15 – The Flaming Lips
Midnight – Show Over

The reaction from most people I’ve talked to about this line-up has been, “Whoa, Flaming Lips.” Even “civilians” who never go to rock shows are impressed. The Lips’ reputation for putting on over-the-top multi-media parties with confetti cannons and giant balloons is well known even with the stay-home suburban set. Will this be a game-changer for Maha? We’ll have to wait and see.

But as excited as the armchair music fans are about the Lips, the hardcore indie fans are over the moon about Bob Mould.  Then again… I always assumed everyone knew who Mould is, until I ran into a label guy in his 20s this week who didn’t have the foggiest. I told him that Mould was in Sugar. Nothing. “How about Husker Du? Ever heard of them?” He had, but still wasn’t familiar with their music. Fact is, this guy was in diapers when Zen Arcade came out (if he was alive at all).

My young label geek did know who The Thermals are. I didn’t ask him if he’d heard of Matt & Kim (but he probably has, especially since they just played Slowdown last year). Thao and the Get Down Stay Down is a more obscure choice, and even I had never heard of Sons of Fathers until Maha. Based on their iTunes snippets (They don’t have much of an online presence) I’d classify them as alt country or “roots.” We’ll never know the real story about how Maha found these guys (and why the booked them).

So there you have it, the 2013 Maha Music Festival line-up. Will this one be a record-breaker for Maha, the one that finally pushes them out of Stinson Park and into a larger facility (with campgrounds, as is their dream)? And more importantly, who’s going to pick up all that confetti after the show is over?

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Gordon at The Side Door Lounge; free Shanks download; Morrissey has a bleeding ulcer……

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:55 am January 29, 2013
Gordon at The Side Door Lounge, Jan. 26, 2013

Gordon at The Side Door Lounge, Jan. 26, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I figured the easiest way to finally catch a set by Gordon was to drop in at their show at The Side Door Lounge Friday night. It’d also be a chance to see what the club, located on Leavenworth just a couple blocks from my old apartment (The St. Regis), was all about. The Side Door has become a sort of go-to spot for singer songwriters, at least it appears to be based on the number of shows they book, acts I’ve never heard nor seen before that rarely play at the usual indie music clubs. So there was that… and the fact that the show was free — I had nothing to lose.

I was surprised when I was able to park my shit-car in the club’s adjacent parking lot. I’m not sure where I would have parked otherwise. The neighborhood has a seedy reputation these days, just like it did back when I lived there twenty-some years ago. Once inside the long, narrow, concrete box of a building I almost turned around and left. The place was belly-to-butt. Every table was filled and people were crowded all the way to the bar.

I’ll say this up front: It’s a helluva nice place, well designed, clean, a giant leap from the dinge-holes I’m used to. In fact, it was downright romantic, warmly lit with dim track lighting pointed at tasteful black-and-white art photos along one wall and large ironic pastel drawings of cars along the other. I made a mental note to come back sometime just to drink.

But as a music venue, The Side Door has its share of challenges, mostly due to the layout. The room is filled with short tables that crowd right up to the “stage” in the back. An exit off stage right leads to the beer garden, but forget about going outside to burn one — you’ll never make it through the maze of tables, at least on this night. With no space in front of the stage there’s nowhere for people to stand and watch the band, and if they did, they’d block out everyone sitting down since there’s no stage riser. This likely isn’t a problem during one of club’s many open-mic nights, but for a punk show…

Gordon had posted on Facebook that they would play at “10 sharp,” but it was well past 10:30 before the opener — a duo called I Am the Navigator — finally packed up and left. Then it took another 20 minutes before members of Gordon began skulking out of the back room with their instrument cases and pieces of drum set.

With nowhere to sit, I found the least conspicuous place to stand against the far wall and aimlessly flipped through my iPhone to kill time. The crowd of young hipsters gave me more than my share of ‘who-the-fuck-are-you’ looks.

Finally at around 11:30, the Men of Gordon assembled in the cramped spot it the back of the room between a couple pair of speakers that make up the club’s PA. Before they started, the frontman — a tall drink of water with a big ol’ head of hair — asked the sound guy to turn off all the lights except for the bar lights, which he quickly did, leaving the room lit only by the tiny electric candles on the tables and the penlight attached to lead singer’s microphone, which didn’t last long.

Gordon’s music was as grinding and abrasive as what you’ll hear on their Soundcloud page — a slop-mire of drums and guitar and lead guy’s slurred vocals made raw by a cheap condenser microphone. The sound is pure slacker, a bastard child of Pavement and Galaxy 500 and whatever dark-light indie rock band you can remember from the ’90, which is probably why I like it so much.

The frontman’s mic light still burned brightly as he introduced the first cover of the night. “This next song’s by Nirvana,” he said. “Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994. Good riddance.” And with that the band launched into a scuzzy cover of “Territorial Pissing” recognizable by the guitar chords rather than his screeching.

Between songs a short, weathered-looking woman wearing layers of coats pushed through the crowd right up to the stage. “Hello pretty lady,” said the frontman as she shuffled right past him and into the back room, only to emerge halfway through the next song carrying a couple loaded plastic bags.

At about that time, the microphone broke — along with the penlight and the breaker that powered the left side of the stage. Frontguy stood shirtless in the dark asking the audience to touch his nipples as the band tore into a wasted version of their own “No Masters, No War.” By the end of the set he was laying flat on his back barking out a cover of The Smiths’ “This Charming Man” plagued by the backup mic’s drop outs.

It was a lovely train wreck the likes of which I haven’t seen since The Shanks farewell two-night stand at O’Leaver’s a year or so ago. In a lot of ways Gordon reminds me of The Shanks, albeit a cute furry animal version without the blood and gore. Just like them, Gordon contains unmeasurable raw talent that has a habit of spinning gloriously out of control on stage, or at least it did last Saturday night…

* * *

By the way, Gordon has been named to open for powerhouse Brooklyn post-hardcore band The Men when they play at Slowdown April 27. If you can’t wait that long, you catch them Feb. 7 at the Grant Curtz Benefit show at Slowdown with Video Ranger and Brigadiers.

* * *

Speaking of The Shanks, top Shank Todd VonStup wrote to say that The Shanks “Complete Discography” is available from their Bandcamp page as a free download, at least for the next week. After that, the download will cost you 7 bones. Run on over there and get it while it’s hot.

* * *

Finally, word leaked out Sunday that Morrissey has been diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer, which will sideline him for the next couple weeks including the Feb. 6 Lincoln/Rococo show, which has been postponed (and not cancelled) again. Hold on to your tickets folks and stand by for the rescheduled date, which (if it happens) won’t be at least until mid-March…

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Titus Andronicus, Ceremony; Who is Gordon?; Criteria, Domestica Saturday…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:01 pm November 23, 2012
Ceremony at Sokol Underground, Nov. 21, 2012.

Ceremony at Sokol Underground, Nov. 21, 2012.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’m guessing by the size of the crowd that in the battle between Tilly and Titus, Tilly won. One of my music cohorts blamed indie slacker girlfriends for the poor turnout at Sokol Underground Friday night — maybe 75 tops for a band that packed The Waiting Room the last time they came through. His contention was that the girlfriends insisted on going to Tilly and the Wall at The Slowdown rather than Titus Andronicus at Sokol — girls’ music versus guys’ music — and that the girls will always win that argument. What a goddamn sexist thing to say, Chris! There were a few girls in the crowd at Titus, but something tells me there were a heckuva lot more at Tilly. Sometimes stereotypes are right on.

A little after 10 the warm-up band, Ceremony, took the stage and began playing their brand of post hardcore hardcore music to a tiny mob in front of the stage intent on moshing even if no one else wanted to. Three or four guys bounced around before eventually giving up and maintaining a metal-esque headbob routine. The S.F. four-piece isn’t a hardcore band, at least not anymore, not like they were before they signed with Matador Records. Still, their brutal post-punk sound crossed into hardcore territory during more intense moments or when frontman Ross Farrar introduced a song as “an old one.”

Their more recent streamlined sound is compared to early Wire, some have called it an homage. I wouldn’t go that far for, among other reasons, how much they lean on their guitars. On their new record, they remind me more of Bad Religion than any proto-post-harcore band. I would argue that they’re better live because they’re willing to blur the lines between the old and new as much as they want to, the yelling sounds more genuine.

Titus Andronicus at Sokol Underground, Nov. 21, 2012.

Titus Andronicus at Sokol Underground, Nov. 21, 2012.

We had a bet going on how long Titus would play. The consensus was an hour and 15 minutes. They went about a half our over that (with no encore). Patrick Stickles and company came on in a matter-of-fact fashion and barreled through a set that included the best off the new album (including “Tried to Quit Smoking” “My Eating Disorder” and “Titus Andronicus Vs. The Absurd Universe (3rd Round KO),” and a handful of the classics from the past couple of albums, including “A More Perfect Union,” “Titus Andronicus Forever” and “No Future Part Three: Escape from No Future” with the rousing chorus “You will always be a loser.” Big, anthemic fun without the nasty filler.

Before I left a member of one of the opening bands, called Gordon (the band’s name, not the guy’s name), gave me a copy of their six-song demo EP, I guess they were just handing them out. After listening to it this morning, I’m sorry I got to the show late.

Pretty fantastic stuff, especially opening track “No Masters, No War,” a soulless, dark little counter-argument to the neon-colored youth-freedom anthems that Tilly was singing just a few miles away to a much cuter audience, an audience who would blanch at lines like “And there were piss stains on the carpet / Where I laid my head and slept / There was a memory that I lost / Couldn’t remember when I woke up.” Ew, gross! There is something bracing and honest about a chorus that goes “It was love / It was death / There were no masters / There was no war.”

That goes right into a straight-up indie pop number called “I Don’t Mind” whose guitar lines and rhythms owe a lot to The Cure and Dinosaur Jr., with scratch vocals that are a direct nod to J. Mascis. Short and sweet.

Track three, “Down Goes Red” is a buzzsaw guitar and a droll mumble and a shout chorus of “Bang, Bang, Bang / Goes my gun.” Kind of an RFTC vibe, minus the candy coating. The last few songs are cleaned up garage songs that rock. The whole thing’s good and at times borders on brilliant.

On these recordings (according to the lyrics sheet included in the unlabeled heavy-black plastic CD case) Gordon is Austin Mayer, guitar/vox; Nick Sortino, drums/vox; Josh French, bass/vox, and Aaron Parker, guitar/vox. I don’t know anything about these guys, other than that French is in Snake Island, and that Mayer and Parker are in a project called Scratch Howl.

Don’t know where you can find a copy of these recordings, but they’re worth finding.  The note scratched on the lyrics sheet next to the recording credits says “We suck, we know.” Do you?

* * *

Looking at the sched, it’s going to be a quiet Friday night EXCEPT at The Barley Street Tavern, where Lincoln DIY punk legend Jim Jacobi and the Crap Detectors take the stage with The Shidiots and Never Trust the Living (Rob Rutar, Troy Garrison, Chad Roles and Dave Carnaby). Look, this is the only thing of substance going on tonight, you have no excuses. $5, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night is the long-awaited (annual) return of Criteria. And when I say return, I mean with new material. Sayeth Criteria frontman Stephen Pedersen “Criteria is writing new material (for the first time in 6 years).  Should be 3 or 4 new ones for the show. I am excited to perform them live.” Oh, and we’re excited to hear them, Steve. Opening is Landing on the Moon and Lincoln post-punk strategists Ideal Cleaners. $8, 9 p.m. Expect a crowd.

Just down the street, Lincoln anthem rockers Domestica take the stage with The Lupines (Frontman John Ziegler, Mike Friedman (ex-Movies, member of Simon Joyner and the Fallen Men), Mike Tulis (Monroes, Fullblown, Sons of ___, The Third Men),  Javid Dabestani (Ghost Runners, among others)). $5, 9 p.m.

Have a good 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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i