Take Cover 5’s line-up has some interesting combinations (High Up takes on Digital Leather?)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:59 pm January 28, 2016
The 5th Annual Take Cover benefit for Hear Nebraska is Saturday at O'Leaver's.

The 5th Annual Take Cover benefit for Hear Nebraska is Saturday at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Gotta wonder how fabulous O’Leaver’s is going to handle the crowds Saturday night for Hear Nebraska’s Take Cover Pt. 5. I mean, if all the bands performing were to show up at once the club would be at capacity. Where are the fans gonna sit?

The premise every year for Take Cover is the same: A local band covers another local band and also plays a song of their own. This year’s line-up, which was announced Tuesday, has a number of interesting match-ups:

— High Up is covering Digital Leather’s “Studs in Love.” The song has been covered by others (most notably The Hussy on last year’s DL/Hussy split), but High Up will undoubtedly bring something unique to their rendition.

— CJ Mills is covering High Up’s “Two Weeks,” my personal favorite High Up song and one that will demand an insane level of energy for Mills to pull off.

— Well Aimed Arrows is covering Millions of Boys’ “Girl’s Name.” Like a sonic Reese’s peanut butter cup, two of my favorites together in one tasty treat. How will WAA strip this one down to its bare essentials?

— Mint Wad Willy is covering Digital Leather’s “Young Doctors in Love.” Can a band who has more in common with Wilco pull off this post-punk-style gem from a few years back? Digital Leather appears to be the favorite for covers this year, and deservedly so. It’s a shame they’re not covering someone themselves…

— Eric in Outerspace is covering Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship’s “Wrecking Ball Girl.” This one seems like an obvious combination stylistically, though EiO could make the tune sound even grittier.

There’s more, lot’s more. Check out the lineup at Hear Nebraska. Again, the show is Saturday night at O’Leaver’s. Admission is a $10 donation at the door. The fun starts at 9 p.m. See you there.

* * *

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

Sweatshop’s back (sort of); HN’s ‘How to Get Covered’ overtime; The Renderers, Vegetable Deluxe tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:54 pm September 29, 2015
The Renderers are playing tonight at fabulous O'Leaver's.

The Renderers are playing tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

When The Sweatshop announced it was closing its doors, I was told that a new owner was taking over the venue who had no interest in continuing the gallery’s live performances that were held in the garage out back.

Whoever told me that was wrong.

Last week the folks who run Petshop, the gallery right next door to Sweatshop at 2725 N 62nd Street, announced that “Starting Oct. 1, the Sweatshop space at 2727 will become one with the Petshop space at 2725, all under the name Petshop.”

In addition, the newly merged gallery will continue to book live music. From the Petshop statement:

“Although the well-associated name Sweatshop will be leaving, Petshop will continue to honor the name’s legacy and role in the local and national music and art scenes.  Local musician and artist, Nick Holden will be taking over the music calendar for Petshop, with plans to curate shows for the space.  Expect the return of live music to the space starting on Benson First Friday Nov. 6.  Details TBA. For booking inquiries, please email petshopbooking@gmail.com

“Sam Parker and partner Chris Aponick, of Perpetual Nerves, have also been long-time contributors on the music side of the space, most notably for their role in organizing Sweatfest (July 2015).  They will continue to book music for the space, working through Holden.”

Aponick confirmed the above. It’s great news as Sweatshop has become a go-to venue for all-ages “house show”-type indie and punk shows featuring notable national touring bands.

* * *

A week or so ago, Andrew Stellmon of Hear Nebraska reached out via email asking for an interview on the topic of what bands and musicians need to do to get covered in the press. The article went online last Thursday and includes comments from Kevin Coffey of the Omaha World-Herald, Caroline Borolla of press agent Riot Act Media and local music manager Emily Engles, who in addition to managing Rock Paper Dynamite and Matt Cox (among others) also is the President of the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards Board of Directors.

Check out the story here. It became pretty obvious after reading the story and seeing who else was interviewed that I blew the assignment. I thought the article was targeting bands trying to get national press, not local bands trying to get local press — in that instance, everything will work, from press releases to sending Soundcloud links, etc.

Anyway, as result, a lot of (actually most) of what I sent Stellmon didn’t make it into the article, but being a completest and because I hate seeing anything I’ve written go unread, here are the comments I sent Stellmon, for the record:

Q: Why is it important for the press and musicians/bands to understand their relationship with each other?

Lazy-i: Not sure I understand the question. I’m not sure it is important from the standpoint of a musician as an artist or the standpoint of a journalist trying to get a story. The way they act toward each other is how they define their relationship.

Q: For an aspiring musician/band, what comprises an effective approach to seeking coverage?

Lazy-i: Depends on what the musician/band is trying to accomplish. If the goal is to create art, the musician will continue to create art regardless of the coverage s/he receives. If you believe in your music — and you’re making quality music — the press will find you.

Q: When approaching a media outlet for coverage, especially by email, what are three things that a band should include in its communication? Alternatively, if you receive communication from a band seeking coverage, what three things do you look for in an email, etc?

Lazy-i: The answers to both questions are likely the same. I don’t have time to listen to all the Soundcloud/Bandcamp links that I receive via email. However, if the band sends me a complete download of their recording, I’m more apt to listen to it because I can add it to my iTunes for listening wherever I’m at. If the band sends me a CD in the mail, I’m even more likely to listen to it; and if they send me a vinyl copy of their record I feel almost obligated to listen to it and comment.

These days time permits me to only listen to submissions from local bands I’m already familiar with or national bands that are either signed to a known label or are associated with a band that’s I’ve heard of or is signed to a known label. If I’ve never heard of the band or its label, the odds of me listening to or even finishing reading their email is remote.

An exception is made for touring bands that are playing at venues that I like or respect and that book the style of music I listen to. Clubs like The Waiting Room, Reverb, Slowdown, O’Leaver’s, MAS, Sweatshop (now defunct) are prime examples. I’m apt to listen to the music just to see if it’s something I might want to cover.

Q: Is there anything else you would add?

Lazy-i: On one hand, technology has made it easy and cheap for bands to record and distribute their music. On the other hand, because almost anyone can record their own music on a laptop and upload it to a website, there literally are thousands of people trying to get their music heard and written about. That glut of online music is making it nearly impossible for bands to get their music heard beyond their circle of friends and family. Just like it’s always been, the only way to break through is by touring and live performances because no one has time to listen to all the anonymous music being uploaded to Soundcloud/Bandcamp/Youtube, especially in an era when all music is virtually free via Spotify/Apple Music.

That being said, because of the enormous glut of available music, the role of the music critic has never been more important. Sure, anyone can listen to anything online at any time virtually for free, but that doesn’t mean they have the TIME to listen to it. Critics help listeners decide what they should spend their time listening to.

An addendum to the above: Just this past weekend I discussed this very topic with a couple musicians who have toured nationally at some point in their careers, and they agreed that –despite the advent of technology — touring is the only effective way to get your music heard by an audience outside of your community. It’s common sense.

* * *

There’s another big show tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s. The Renderers will be in the house. The band from Christchurch, New Zealand, was formed in 1989 by Maryrose Crook and her husband Brian (of The Terminals). They have released records on Flying Nun Records, Merge Records, Ajax Records, Siltbreeze Records, among others. Simon Joyner has toured with The Renderers. As Joe Biden would say, this is a big fucking deal. Hopefully Ian will have the tapes rolling, as I’d love to see this band represented in Live at O’Leaver’s.  Headlining the show is a reunion of The Subtropics. Also on the bill is Vegetable Deluxe, a new project by ex-Brimstone Howl guitarist Nick Waggoner. $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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

Lazy-i

What’s so important about The Good Living Tour? (in The Reader); Endor the movie; Sam Martin tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:52 pm July 8, 2015

goodlivingtourby Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Somewhere on newsstands is the July issue of The Reader, and within its pages is a feature story about Hear Nebraska’s Good Living Tour . Waitaminit! Looks like you can also read the story online here.

The story gives you the usual who, what, when, where and how of the tour, and most importantly, the “why,” plus some technicolor from a Scottsbluff resident on how hard it is to see new bands when you live in the far reaches of western Nebraska. A full tour schedule is also provided to help you plan your summer vacation.

I won’t recast the story here, other than to say the tour is ambitious, it’s one-of-a-kind, and it could be an important moment in the history of local music. Its success depends on getting people to the shows, people who very likely have never heard of any of the bands involved. No doubt the Hear Nebraska forces have been hard at work doing their part to get the word out. But will it be enough? We’ll find out in a couple weeks.

Anyway, check out the story and pass it along to folks you know who live in these communities. Sharing is caring. Hear Nebraska thanks you.

* * *

Local boy wonder Aaron Gum (who you remember from InDreama (which, btw, I wish would get back on stage)) is co-directing a feature-length horror film with screenwriter Faustus McGreeves called Endor. Or at least he’s trying to. The crew is looking for money, and that’s where you come in.

According to Mr. Gum, filming is scheduled to begin this summer. Eli Mardock (of Eagle*Seagull) is composing an original motion picture soundtrack, and the final film will be color corrected by Jaimie O’Bradovich (Who remembers Shinyville?). Country musician Jeremy Starkel will be seen on screen as himself performing a new song written and being recorded for the movie, and rapper/actor Keives Mcgaugh will act in the film. On top of that, the campaign/teaser video features guest appearances by Orenda & Todd Fink and Nebraska state senator Colby Coash.

You can view that teaser here. and while you’re there…

The production is hoping to raise $7,000 via an IndieGoGo campaign that expires in 14 days. They’ve already raised $4,290. Among the premiums are tix to the premiere showings, posters, signed stuff, cameos, even props. Check out the campaign here and throw some money into the hat.

* * *

Pageturners’ Summer Concert Series continues tonight with singer/songwriter Sam Martin (Capgun Coup) along with Nathan Ma. The free concert gets rolling at 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Thanks for coming to the show!; Hop Along, Old 97’s tonight; Whipkey for lunch…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 2:16 pm June 4, 2015
Son, Ambulance at The Reverb June 3, 2015 -- the Big 50 benefit for Hear Nebraska.

Son, Ambulance at The Reverb June 3, 2015 — the Big 50 benefit for Hear Nebraska.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Whoa, what a night. Thanks to everyone for coming out to the Big 50 concert at Reverb last night. It was a great way to welcome in the next half-century — great friends, great bands, great times. Now what am I going to do for 51?

The Lupines at The Reverb June 3, 2015 -- the Big 50 benefit for Hear Nebraska.

The Lupines at The Reverb June 3, 2015 — the Big 50 benefit for Hear Nebraska.

Wagon Blasters at The Reverb June 3, 2015 -- the Big 50 benefit for Hear Nebraska.

Wagon Blasters at The Reverb June 3, 2015 — the Big 50 benefit for Hear Nebraska.

And there was some news at the show. All three bands either have recorded or are recording new music. When they will release it, none could say, but based on what we heard last night, we’ll all be adding lots of new music to our record collections very soon. Thanks again to the bands for playing the gig. It was a blast!

* * *

There’s another rather huge show tonight, this time at Slowdown Jr., where Saddle Creek’s latest and greatest signing, Hop Along, makes its Omaha stage debut. The band’s just-released album, Painted Shut (Saddle Creek, 2015) sits at No. 16 on the College Music Journal Radio 200 chart and No. 18 on the KEXP Variety Music Chart. Not to mention the record is getting air time on Sirius XMU, which is becoming sort of an ad hoc national indie radio station. This could be Saddle Creek’s biggest non-Omaha signing since Rilo Kiley. Here’s your chance to see them on a small stage. Opening are fellow Philly bands Lithuania and Field Mouse. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight Dallas alt-country band Old 97’s play at The Waiting Room with Oil Boom. $25, 9 p.m.

* * *

And this just in over the lunch hour, Matt Whipkey and his band kicked off this season’s Hear Omaha concert series in the Old Market (right underneath the atrocious sculpture of the Husker kid in a baseball cap). The series, brought to you by Hear Nebraska and various sponsors including First National Bank, features a different local band performing over the lunch hour every Thursday.

Whipkey rocked a crowd of around 100 consisting of dudes and women in business suits, local hipsters who live in the surrounding lofts and other tourists/curiosity seekers wondering what all the good-time noise was about. Next week Orenda Fink plays the Hear Omaha stage. Check out the full schedule here.

Matt Whipkey at Hear Omaha in the Old Market, June 4, 2015.

Matt Whipkey at Hear Omaha in the Old Market, June 4, 2015.

* * *

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

The Big 50 concert: Son, Ambulance, The Wagon Blasters, The Lupines tonight at Reverb…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 11:36 am June 3, 2015
The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tonight’s the night at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. in Benson. It’s an early show — 8 p.m.

The amazing Lupines kick things off — one of my all-time favorite Omaha bands.

They’re followed by the tractor-punk stylings of The Wagon Blasters, a band that features the legendary Gary Dean Davis in the driver’s seat.

The evening closes with a very special set from Son, Ambulance, one of the most storied bands of the Saddle Creek era, playing music that is as vital today as it was a decade ago.

That’s three great bands for $10, and every penny goes to support Hear Nebraska, an organization near and dear to my heart. Plus, there will be cake! RSVP here.

Thanks to my wife, Teresa, for putting this together.

See you tonight!

* * *

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

Pre-Birthday musings @ Hear Nebraska, the column; No Coast Fest today, Will Butler (Arcade Fire) tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:16 pm June 2, 2015
Will Butler at Maggie Mae's Rooftop, March 20, 2015. He plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

Will Butler at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop at SXSW, March 20, 2015. He plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It felt like the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life” yesterday after Hear Nebraska posted this very kind profile/interview with myself, conducted by the esteemed Jon Taylor of the band Domestica (and Mercy Rule before that). Jon’s story talks about why I’ve spent the first half of my life writing about music and recaps some of my reporting over the years.

For the article, Jon and I met at an Old Market antique store — fitting, I suppose. He was determined to buy me a birthday present, but he just couldn’t find the right “thing.” Writing this story was gift enough. Give it a read.

Also yesterday, The Reader posted my Over the Edge column, which will appear in the June issue (which should be in the racks soon if it isn’t already). It also talks about why I still listen to new music and, more importantly, why I continue doing so despite the fact that rock ‘n’ roll is considered a young man’s sport. Give it a read here.

And a reminder that we’re just one day away from the Big 50 concert at Reverb, June 3, 8 p.m., Lupines, Wagon Blasters, Son Ambulance, a benefit for Hear Nebraska. Cake will be available. You should go! RSVP here.

The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

* * *

Today and tonight is the No Coast Music Festival at Westfair Amphitheater. The event is sponsored by 89.7 The River, which explains the commercial-leaning line-up (ironic, considering The River isn’t a “commercial” radio station (It’s a public radio station, in case you didn’t know)).

Here’s the schedule:

Gates at Noon.
1:30 – Twinsmith
2:30 – In The Valley Below
3:45 – Saint Motel
5:00 – Icky Blossoms
6:15 – Joywave
7:30 – Bleachers
9:00 – Cage The Elephant

It’s worth the effort to arrive early.  Details about facilities, parking, re-entry rules, etc. are here (leave your spiked bracelet at home). Tickets are $15 (despite what their website says).

It’s not the only show happening tonight. Will Butler of Arcade Fire is playing at The Waiting Room. Remember, this is Will, not Win. I caught his set at South By Southwest this year and while it in no way resembled an Arcade Fire concert, it was still plenty of fun (in a dance-music sort of way). Opening is Jo Firestone. $12, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Oakland stoner metal band Connoisseur plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Flak, Cube, Vasty Andrews. $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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

New Good Life Aug. 14; Lincoln gives to Hear Nebraska; Merchandise, Whipkey, David Kenneth Nance tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 3:58 pm May 28, 2015
The Good Life, Everybody's Coming Down (Saddle Creek, 2015). Release date Aug. 14.

The Good Life, Everybody’s Coming Down (Saddle Creek, 2015). Release date Aug. 14.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Lots to cover and virtually no time to do it. Here’s the bullet list:

The Good Life will release Everybody’s Coming Down — their fifth full-length album and first in eight years — on Aug 14 on  Saddle Creek. The band premiered the first track off the album, “Everybody,” yesterday.

From the press release:

Everybody’s Coming Down marks a vibrant sonic evolution for The Good Life. The album fully expresses the band perhaps more so than any previous release, combining and reflecting each member’s nature and strengths: drummer Roger L. Lewis’s love of classic rock, multi-instrumentalist Ryan Fox’s chaotic approach to melody, Stefanie Drootin-Senseney’s propulsive yet tuneful bass parts, and Tim Kasher’s deft, complementary song writing. Viscerally hitting songs like rollercoasting anthem “Everybody” and the boisterous “Holy Shit” sit alongside psychedelic-tinged rock like “Flotsam Locked Into A Groove” and the ambient, atmospheric “Diving Bell,” as well as The Good Life’s now-known lyrical, folk-indebted pop (“The Troubadour’s Green Room,” “Midnight Is Upon Us”). Lyrically, Everybody’s Coming Down is an engrossing, contemplative mix that touches on existential and cosmic queries, ruminations on regrets and self-worth, and the power of memory versus experience.

Everybody’s Coming Down was written mainly in late 2014, and The Good Life played a few shows that August, October and December to road-test some of the new songs. Recording began in January 2015 at Omaha’s ARC studios and finished in the quartet’s respective homes, which are scattered across the US: Chicago, IL (Kasher), Omaha, NE (Lewis), Los Angeles, CA (Drootin-Senseney), and Portland, OR (Fox). The band then traveled to Dallas, TX to mix with John Congleton (St. Vincent, Baroness, Angel Olsen, Cloud Nothings) at his Elmwood Recording. A full track listing and cover artwork are below.

As you already know, The Good Life are slated to play this year’s Maha Music Festival Aug. 15, which will be followed by a U.S. tour with Big Harp.

Will Kasher write a script for this album, too?

* * *

Give to Lincoln day is happening today. And as with Omaha Gives, as a member of their Board, I beseech you Lincolnites to open your wallets for Hear Nebraska. One could argue (and more than a few have) that Hear Nebraska covers as much (or more) in Lincoln than it does in Omaha. In fact, I’ve heard one local musician refer to HN as Hear Lincoln. But seriously, I hear about more bands in Lincoln from hearnebraska.org than any other website. Help them keep it coming. Make your donations here.

* * *

Tampa indie band Merchandise (4AD Records) headlines at Slowdown Jr. tonight.  According to The Georgia Straight, the band’s 2014 album, After the End, was met with “universal acclaim, with critics and fans alike responding to its lush layers of chiming guitars and brooding melodies with comparisons to the Smiths, the Church, and Echo and the Bunnymen.” Indeed, despite its 4AD pedigree, the band has a surprisingly commercial sound. Opening the show is Cloakroom (Run for Cover Records) and local heroes Super Ghost. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Matt Whipkey and his band perform at Reverb Lounge with The Willards. It’s a warm-up show for his opening set tomorrow night for Dwight Yoakam at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. Tonight’s show is $7, 9 p.m.

Finally, singer/songwriter David Kenneth Nance plays a set tonight at Almost Music in Benson. Also on the bill are Itasca, Oath and The Full Slabs. $5, 9 p.m. More info here.

* * *

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

Hear Nebraska raises $16k; Who is Laibach? (Spectre comes to Slowdown tonight)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:00 pm May 21, 2015
Laibach plays at The Slowdown tonight at 8 p.m.

Laibach plays at The Slowdown tonight at 8 p.m.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Thanks to all of you who opened your wallets and gave to Hear Nebraska during this year’s Omaha Gives event. I’m told more than 300 people contributed gifts totaling more than $13,000, plus the organization won an addition $3,000 for having the most unique donors for its size category.

Of course you’ll have a chance to donate to Hear Nebraska again June 3 when Reverb Lounge hosts a very special rock show. Details at the bottom of this blog entry. Seriously, mark your calendars…

* * *

So who/what is Laibach? According to Wikipedia:

Laibach (Slovene pronunciation: [ˈlájbax]) is a Slovenian avant-garde music group associated with industrial, martial and neo-classical musical styles. Laibach was formed on 1 June 1980 in Trbovlje, Slovenia, at the time SFR Yugoslavia. The band represents the music wing of the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) art collective, of which it was a founding member in 1984. The name “Laibach” is the German name for Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana.

The band is on the road touring their most recent album, Spectre (Mute, 2014), which Pitchfork gave a lowly 4.9, saying, “The stiffly prefabricated industrial-dance grooves that Laibach habitually fall back on don’t quite cut it any more, and without a monolithic state to serve as the object of their satire, they’re reduced to mocking political fatuity. The result is sometimes all but indistinguishable from what they’re mocking.

But what does Pitchfork know? I haven’t heard the record, but I know that Laibach is renowned for its live shows, which are nothing less than arena quality. The fact that they’re coming through Omaha and to Slowdown is something of a miracle.

This is a recent live review, from Quietus, April, 2, 2015:

Their current show is dark, dense, thrilling, hilarious, a spectacle in a way precious few of the theatrical arena performances of our day so much as approach.

And

Chiefly, this set is heavy-duty ’80s electrop – damn fine heavy-duty ’80s-style electrop, at that – with the ludicrously charismatic Milan Fras’s vocals not so much guttural as dredged from the drains, and his (equally ludicrously beautiful) foil, Mina Spiler, cast as the perfect Teutonic, operatic ice-queen soprano. They assemble amid the sound of howling wind and slow percussive menace, as Riefenstahl searchlights rise from the stage and a skeletal constructivist tower weaves itself from lines of light across the backdrop screen.

One more comment from Wiki: The popular German musical group Rammstein has acknowledged influence by both the aesthetic approach and material of Laibach. When members of Laibach were asked by an interviewer about Rammstein “stealing” from them, they responded that “Laibach does not believe in originality… “

This show comes the day after Judas Priest launched this year’s Stir Concert Series. Laibach has little if anything in common the JP’s Spinal Tap pop metal, but I have to believe it would appeal to some of those who threw the devil horns last night in Council Bluffs. Maybe not. $25, 8 p.m.

* * *

Here’s that reminder I was telling you about. June 3. Be there.

The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

* * *

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

Omaha Gives to Hear Nebraska; Digital Leather, Gloom Balloon, Orenda Fink tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:03 pm May 20, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 12.56.32 PMOn this, the high holy holiday of local fundraising — Omaha Gives Day — I’m not going to get all “guilt trippy” except to say that if you’re a musician or you run a business that involves music or you’re a music fan, you really should take a second and make a donation to Hear Nebraska.

I’m not saying this just because (full disclosure) I’m a Hear Nebraska Board Member; I’m saying it because there isn’t any other organization in this state that does what HN does for local music — from first-rate promotion of local shows to music journalism to the org’s emerging role as an important resource for putting on local shows. And now with the Good Living Tour, HN is getting bands heard in the outer reaches of the state.

As Hear Nebraska continues to grow, I see it becoming an even more crucial resource for local bands and musicians, which are at the heart of what HN is trying to accomplish.

You can be a part of it. Just go to this page on the Omaha Gives website and make a donation of any size. You’ll feel good all over.

* * *

There’s a boatload of shows happening tonight.

Top of my list (of course) is Digital Leather at The Brothers Lounge. The band has a new record, All Faded (FDH Rcords) coming out June 23 that is arguably the best thing they’ve ever done, and is destined to be in my top-10 “favorites” list of 2015. This morning CMJ premiered the first track off the album, “Cold Inside,” which you can hear below.

See them perform it live tonight. Also on the bill is Indianapolis self-proclaimed “swampydeathrock” band We Are Hex. No cover listed, but probably $5. 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Iowa invades The Sydney with Des Moines bands Christopher the Conquered and Gloom Balloon. Gloom Balloon is the debut solo project by Patrick Tape Fleming, founder of semi-legendary indie rock band The Poison Control Center. Also on the bill is Omaha’s Bazile Mills. $8, 9 p.m.

Finally, there’s a big, free Omaha Gives showcase happening at The Slowdown tonight. On the bill: Orenda Fink, Louder than a Bomb, Opera Omaha, McCarthy Trenching and Super Ghost. The fun starts at 8 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

HN announces full Good Living Tour lineups; Once songwriting contest (and I’m on the panel); Matt Pond PA tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:01 pm May 7, 2015
Matt Pond PA

Matt Pond PA at Slowdown Jr., May 11, 2010

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

First, if you haven’t already, check out this week’s podcast. Reviews of albums from Courtney Barnett, Waxahatchee, John Klemmensen and the Party and Simon Joyner, with special guest Chris Aponick, plus a HUGE concert announcement (that we made online here yesterday and that you’re going to get sick of hearing about). Check it out.

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Over the course of what seems like a month (But was only a week or so) Hear Nebraska has  announced the line-ups of its Good Living Tour — a series of concerts the org is putting together in towns west of Omaha and Lincoln. It’s kind of like musical missionary work.

Actually, that’s a very pretentious way of putting it. It’s not as if the people in small towns don’t have access to the internet, where music lives these days. You can’t point to their lack of a terrestrial radio station that plays local music on rotation because, well, Omaha doesn’t have one of those, either.

That said, it’s safe to say that someone in West Point or Valentine is out of touch with indie rock bands in Omaha and Lincoln because the vast majority of people in Omaha and Lincoln also are out of touch with these same bands. Brad Hoshaw and John Klemmensen may draw a few hundred people to their album release shows; but that leaves about 800,000 people in Omaha who still don’t know who they are.

And as I’ve said before (broken record) the next time you’re in line at Hy-Vee tap the shoulder of the person in front of you and ask if they know who Cursive or Conor Oberst is, or for that matter, what Hear Nebraska is. Let’s not kid ourselves. The organization still has a lot of work to do to get the word out in its own back yard, let alone in rural Nebraska.

Still, this is a cool project that sits at the heart of what Hear Nebraska is all about. It’s rare for the folks in these towns to see these bands perform. Check out these dates and line-ups, gas up and take a road trip:

July 17 — Imperial
The Talbott Brothers
See Through Dresses
The Bottle Tops

July 18 — Ogallala
Twinsmith
Freakabout
Lloyd McCarter

July 19 — Gering/Scottsbluff
McCarthy Trenching
Both
blét

July 20 — Valentine
Kris Lager Band
All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
Oketo

July 21 — North Platte
M34n Str33t
Brad Hoshaw
A Ferocious Jungle Cat

July 22 — Kearney
Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers
The Seen
Mike Adams and Friends

July 23 — West Point
Rock Paper Dynamite
John Klemmensen and the Party
Dustin Prinz

July 24 — Nebraska City
A Summer Better Than Yours
Kill County
The So-So Sailors

July 25 — Grand Island
AZP
Simon Joyner & The Ghosts
Icky Blossoms

More info, including times and venue locations, are available right here at hearnebraska.com.

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When I agreed to be the moderator of next Monday’s “pro panel” discussion sponsored by Omaha Performing Arts that’s being held at The Waiting Room (Mike Mogis, CJ Olson, Orenda Fink, Matt Whipkey, 6 p.m, free!) I didn’t know I also was volunteering to be a judge in a songwriting contest. I, uh, don’t usually like music contests, of any kind. Songwriters competing against each other, what’s the point? Is one song really better than another? In this case, yes.

The contestants were told to use the Broadway musical Once as an inspiration (the touring company version is currently performing the musical at the Orpheum). I listened to 50 entries, all posted on YouTube, along with a panel of judges. The obvious choices floated to the surface, and the top 20 songwriters who entered will be performing on stage after the panel discussion. The top two won something coveted by a lot of musicians (local and otherwise): Recording time with Mike Mogis at ARC Studio. Impressive.

So the winners were: Luke Heffron, 17, of Omaha won for “Forget Myself” in the 13-18 Age Division, and Drew Nenemen, 29, of Omaha won for “Another Love Song” in the 19-29 Age Division.

My general observations after going though this process: There are a lot of Jack Johnson / Dave Matthews / Taylor Swift fans out there (especially Jack Johnson fans). I was more impressed with the 13-18 age category entries as well as those who performed with a full band rather than sitting in their bathroom with a guitar on their lap. There’s a lot o’ young talent in this town, and you’ll get to see some of the best on Monday. It should be fun night.

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Tonight, it’s the return of Matt Pond PA. Seems like ol’ Mr. Pond has been coming through Omaha every few years for the past couple decades. This time the show is part of the band’s 10 Year Anniversary tour in support of one of their most beloved albums, Several Arrows Later. Each night, not only will Pond and crew play the album in full, but also a sampling of songs from their upcoming album The State of Gold, which will be released later this year. Opening is Young Buffalo and our very own See Through Dresses. $12, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, listen to Matt Whipkey’s Underwater album on a $250,000 sound system that includes a $100,000 turntable. The free event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Sound Environment, 11021 Elm St. Whipkey says beer and wine will be provided. Bring your checkbook; you’ll want to go home with one of those turntables…

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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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