New stuff from Jake Bellows, Jason Steady and Ben Eisenberger; High Up’s You Are Here review…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:48 pm April 30, 2018

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Catching up on some email…

The first video from the Friends and Family Volume 1 comp, out May 11 on Maria Taylor’s Flower Moon Records, dropped last week. It’s for a Jake Bellows track called “Tattoo,” and is actually a short film (more than 9 minutes long) directed by Martin Kenna. Very well shot, but missing from the frame is Jake Bellows himself (and we all know Jake can light up any room… or video).

Check it below:

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A new EP by Jason Steady & the Soft Ponies also dropped last week, called This Is Where I Am.  It’s described by Mr. Steady as “Songs about adventure, girls, smoking pot, waking up in the sun, and vegetarianism, but not necessarily in that order.”

The band, which includes Knife de la Garza and Aaron Lee, is heading out on a 14-city tour in May, which doesn’t include Omaha. What are you afraid of, Jason? Come on!

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And then there’s a new cassette by Ben Eisenberger called Three Islands. Ben also plays guitar in Hussies, Screaming Plastic and FiFI NoNo. The acoustic folk on this pretty 7-song LP is quite a departure from those projects.

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Q1 2018 record reviews continue. Read them all here at The Reader website.

High Up, You Are Here (2018, Team Love)

High Up, You Are Here (Team Love) — This Omaha act has been working up to a full-length debut for a couple years, and a number of these songs have been released as different recordings on their debut EP last year. Most notable is “Two Weeks,” which gets a different arrangement that brings the horns up front and feels louder and more confident. Unlike their past EP (and live performances) the band keeps the energy pumping even on the ballad-heavy numbers like the cover of Bright Eyes’ “Make a Plan to Love Me” and the gospel-organ fueled “Blue Moon” that sounds like an FM radio single. “Domino,” another stand-out, is  a punchy sequel to “Two Weeks.” When will a bigger audience discover these guys?

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The return of Talking Mountain: Jason Steady re-releases Old Gold / Ancient Jamz; Dirt House tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:30 pm January 22, 2018
Talking Mountain at The Waiting Room, 7/22/11.

Talking Mountain at The Waiting Room, 7/22/11.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Who remembers Talking Mountain, the fun-loving combo from the mid- to late-2000s? My fondest memories of the band are:

1) They loved loved loved using smoke machines and lasers, so much so that one time they played at The Waiting Room and there was so much smoke billowing out the front door I thought the place was on fire.

Jason Steady (I think) in Talking Mountain.

2) They used to perform wearing super-cool muppet-like masks that had to be hot as hell. I always wanted one of those masks.

And, of course, 3) I loved their friggin’ music. I mean, who doesn’t want to hear a song about a snowman that loves to work out?

I bring this up because the mastermind behind Talking Mountain — Jason Steady — just released the 2007 album Old Gold / Ancient Jamz for its 10 year anniversary. The record is being released under the Jason Steady moniker (rather than Talking Mountain), and is available on CD and cassette.

It’s a collection of the best demos and bedroom recordings Steady did between 2004 and 2007, both alone and with friends. It originally came in 2008 on defunct label Slumber Party Records. Why is Steady re-releasing it now? Is this some sort of get-rich-quick scheme?

“Haha! There shall be no getting rich,” Steady said. “You know, it’s 10 years old and I kind of feel like the follow-up album (Nature of Magic) was a misstep, sonically speaking. I’ve got a new band now, which we’re just calling ‘Jason Steady’ to keep things simple, so I figure we’d re-release this one while we work on the follow-up, which will be a proper spiritual successor. It’s honestly the album I’m probably most proud of, and it’s literally bedroom demos. Go figure.”

Steady spent two weeks last May and almost all of November on the road with Chris Twist (former Omahan, currently in the Lemons and Nobunny), “remembering how fun it is to just play songs without the added hassle of lasers, lights, fog, projections, backing tracks, etc.”

His new band includes Ryan “Knife” De La Garza (who is more known for his comedy these days) on drums and Darren Keen (The Show Is the Rainbow) on bass. The official release show is this Saturday at the Replay Lounge in Lawrence, Kansas, with The Dull Drums (Tulsa, OK) and Arc Flash. (Hey, Jason, when’s the Omaha release show?).

Jason Steady, Old Gold / Ancient Jamz (2017, self-release)

The products are real hand-made efforts. The CD has a full-color print, minimally packaged with a hand-folded xeroxed insert slipped into a 3.5 mil poly sleeve. “The lettering on the cassette is custom-cut vinyl lettering that was hand applied,” Steady said. “The inserts were hand drawn, then printed, hand cut/folded, and assembled. Each one of these was touched by a human (me) a lot. I’m sorry if there’s a hair in yours.”

Order your copy and peruse the Jason Steady collection at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ifeelrealistic

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The Pageturners Lounge Winter Concert Series continues tonight with Dirt House (Annie, Amy, Miwi & Roger) and Ryan Menchaca & The Invisible Horses. It’s free and starts at 9 p.m. Can’t think of a better place to be on a snowy Monday night…

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Clarence Tilton, BFF (Jason Steady) tonight; Big Al Music Fest Saturday; Numero Group Pop Up Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:23 pm October 6, 2017

Wagon Blasters at Lookout Lounge April 30, 2016. The band is playing the Big Al Free Music Festival at O’Leaver’s Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before we get to the weekend rundown, notice anything different about the Lazy-i homepage? Come on, LOOK.  I want to thank Digital Leather for holding that position on the homepage for six years. I’m sure at some point we’ll rotate a more recent photo of Shawn and the guys the next time I go to a DL show (which can’t be too soon).

Anyway, soggy weekend ahead, at least part of it. Don’t let the rain keep you inside. Here’s what’s happening…

Omaha’s premiere alt-country band, Clarence Tilton, is playing a set out at Growler USA, way out on 162nd and Maple. St. If you haven’t been out there, now’s your chance. It’s free and the place has something like 100 beers on tap. No opener. Starts at 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, tonight O’Leaver’s has a bill of unknown acts (unknown by me, anyway) that include House Vacations, Condor & Jaybird and Harakiri. Where is Craig D. finding these bands? Check out HV’s track below. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And, in case you forgot, it’s the first Friday of October, which means it’s Benson First Friday.

We’ve got a special art show tonight at The Little Gallery, located across the street from The Sydney in the east bay of the Masonic Lodge building. You may know him from Talking Mountain or Wolf Dealer or his latest musical project, Number One Hit Kids, or you also may know him as an exciting graphic artist on his way to blowing up the Omaha art scene. The renaissance man I speak of is none other than Jason Steady. And tonight, The Little Gallery presents: Jason Steady: Objects.

Swing by between 6 and 9 p.m. and enjoy some chips and salsa while you peruse the art, along with some strange coke+red wine concoction (and probably beer). See you there.

That brings us to Saturday night and the 10th Annual Big Al’s Free Music Festival at O’Leaver’s. Yes, it’s free, but you’re encouraged to bring a can of food for the food drive. This year, Al’s added a “comedy stage.” Local funnymen will do standup between music sets, which are listed below:

5:00 – 5:25 The Shineys
5:45 – 6:10 Jales Hupke
6:30 – 6:55 ARMY of 2600
7:15 – 7:40 Bathtub Maria
8:00 – 8:25 Sam Martin
8:45 – 9:10 Relax, It’s Science
9:30 – 9:55 Dereck Higgins Experience
10:15 – 10:40 Mike Saklar Trio
11:00 – 11:25 Wagon Blasters
11:45 – 12:10 Big AL band

Also Saturday night, Nebraska legend Charlie Burton continues his return tour, this time playing with his band, Or What, at The Barley Street Tavern. $5, 9 p.m.

Finally, Hi-Fi House is hosing an open-to-the-public event Sunday afternoon featuring record label Numero Group. According to Wiki, Numero Group is “an archival record label that creates compilations of previously released music, reissues original albums, and creates album reconstructions from a variety of musical genres.”

Hang out and hear stories from label co-founders Rob Sevier and Ken Shipley, and hear selections from the works from the one-of-a-kind Numero catalog. They’ll also be selling tons of Numero Group merch from their pop-up shop. Noon to 6 p.m. Hi-Fi House is located at, 3724 Farnam St.

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

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Streaming and repeated listening (in the column); new Wolf Dealer; Landlady is Man Man offshoot; Dawes tonight…

Category: Column — Tags: , , , — @ 1:41 pm February 7, 2017

Is Spotify changing the way we listen to albums?

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Finally, my answer to that burning Facebook question: “List 10 albums that have made a lasting impression on you as a teenager, but don’t think too long about it.”

My answer is in this month’s Over the Edge column in the current issue of The Reader, on newsstands now or online right here. Not only do I provide my list, but I talk about why few people under the age of 30 are able to make their own list, and how Spotify is changing the way I listen to records. Read it online here.

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Punk rockers Wolf Dealer made a video for their latest song, “Too Old to Die Young,” featuring skateboards and pizza. It was filmed on a stupid smartphone, says frontman Jason Steady.

Wolf Dealer are playing this Saturday, Feb. 11, at Milk Run with Karen Meat from Des Moines, IA, “who are the best band in the world,” Steady says. “Bradley, their Omnichord player and co-songwriter, used to live in Omaha and was in the best line-up of Talking Mountain in the golden years when we released that vinyl album, but failed miserably.” More on that show later.

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O’Leaver’s sent out their upcoming schedule, and among the shows currently flying under a lot of people’s radars is Friday night’s gig featuring the band Landlady. Turns out Landlady is a project by Adam Schatz a.k.a. Brown Sugar of the band Man Man. Now I’ve got to change my Friday plans…

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Tonight is the big Dawes show at The Waiting Room, which is being promoted as “An Evening with Dawes,” which I guess is an easy way of saying there are no opening acts. If you haven’t already, read my Ten Questions with Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith before you go to the show. Tickets are $25, starts at 9 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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