Lincoln Calling starts this week; Colony House tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:02 pm October 6, 2014
Lincoln Calling 2014 starts tomorrow.

Lincoln Calling 2014 starts tomorrow.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

All the action is happening in Lincoln this week as the 11th annual Lincoln Calling kicks off Tuesday. Actually, the live music portion of LC doesn’t begin until Wednesday. Tomorrow is dedicated to two film festivals happening at The Bourbon Theater.

All the details are at lincolncalling.com. I think it’s safe to say that Lincoln Calling is Nebraska’s largest indie music festival — or for that matter, the closest we get to having a real festival. Eight venues over five nights and god knows how many bands, mostly local but with a sprinkling of regional acts thrown in. My only complaint is that it takes place in Lincoln.

Could Omaha — or more specifically, Benson — host a similar multi-day festival where the participating bands actually get paid something? It would take someone with the same level of dedication as LC mastermind Jeremy Buckley to get it off the ground.  So the answer is probably no, though an organization like Hear Nebraska would be a natural for such a festival. So would Maha in conjunction with its annual concert. Lord knows Benson has the facilities to handle a multi-day local/regional blowout…

* * *

Tennessee indie pop band Colony House headlines tonight at Reverb Lounge. I never heard of these guys but they’ve got nearly 35,000 Facebook likes (whatever that’s worth). With Little Rock’s Knox Hamilton and Philly band Cheerleader. $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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

U2 didn’t just give away their CD; Lincoln Calling (initial) line-up announced; Noah’s Ark in the park, Lars & Mal, Derby Birds tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 1:02 pm September 10, 2014
The slugline over the Apple photo read "A big moment in music history. And you're part of it." Did they mean the end of recorded music history?

The slugline over the Apple photo read “A big moment in music history. And you’re part of it.” Did they mean the end of recorded music history?

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Did you follow the Apple announcement yesterday?

Needless to say, I’ll be replacing my broken-screened iPhone 5 with an ultra-slim 6 sometime in the next two weeks. And how about the Apple Watch! Gotta have one of those, right? Starting at $349, maybe not. I’m waiting to hear the first Apple Watch joke, something along the lines of “It works like the iPhone; if you’re on AT&T it drops a few minutes out of every hour…” *rimshot!*

But maybe the most interesting announcement was when Tim Cook trotted out U2 and then proceeded to give away the band’s new album, Songs of Innocence, to anyone with an iTunes account. I figured something like this would happen eventually, albeit with indie labels like Saddle Creek and Sub Pop. And I said that when it happened…its success will breath new life into an already-established (though waning) act, who will see its biggest crowds ever on tour, generating merch and back-catalog sales for the label and causing the music industry to rethink (again) how it does business.

Who would have thought that U2 would become the poster child for this model? But the fact is, U2 didn’t give away its new album. The Wall Street Journal had the skinny behind yesterday’s give-away. From the article:

We’re not going in for the free music around here,” Bono joked on stage.  Apple didn’t pay a traditional wholesale price for each of the 500 million albums. Instead the company paid Universal and U2 an undisclosed lump sum for the exclusive window to distribute the album. Universal plans to piggyback on the big push for Songs of Innocence to promote the band’s 12 older albums, a critical factor for a veteran rock band.”

The article went on to say the album’s first single would be used “as a central element of a global, 30-day television advertising campaign for its new iPhones and Apple Watch. The campaign is believed to be worth around $100 million, according to a person familiar with the talks.”

Of course most people who download the CD from iTunes for free won’t know the financial backstory, and will assume U2 just gave it away, further enforcing the idea that recorded music has become (or is) essentially worthless. Especially when it just “shows up in your iTunes library” like magic.

I think we’re only a year or so away from an era when all the monster pop acts — Shania, Katy Perry, Gaga, Jay Z, (i.e., the VMA acts) — will give away downloads of their new albums as a matter of course, just to get the music out there before they go on tour, just like U2 has done. I’m not sure where that leaves the little guys (and labels) who still count on revenue from album sales.

And at what point does the RIAA quit going after people who illegally download music, figuring what’s the point when some bands are giving it away and it’s all available online via Spotify anyway….?

Bleak.

As for the quality of the new U2 record, someone online equated U2 to Coldplay yesterday when all this was going down, and goddamn if that comparison isn’t apt. The new U2 album indeed sounds like a Coldplay record. You have to wonder if Bono and Co. ever listen to their older stuff and ask themselves when the spark went out? Can you believe there was a time when U2 was considered subversive? I still remember the first time I heard tracks off War on Z-92, spun by none other that Slats Gannon, who knew he was playing something new and different. What pups we wall were back then…

* * *

Catching up on some news that went down while I was out… Jeremy Buckley announced that there will, indeed, be an 11th Annual Lincoln Calling Festival this year. With Buckley’s role in Vega, I thought perhaps last year’s fest might have been his swan song.

Buckley’s current status with Vega I cannot say here, other than it has indeed changed since last year. None of the parties involved are willing to go on the record as to who is running Vega these days, though it’s common knowledge that Eli and Carrie Mardock are still involved in the day-to-day operations.

The dates for Lincoln Calling are Oct. 7-12. Venues include The Bourbon, Duffy’s, Zoo Bar, Yia Yia’s Mix, Fat Toad Pub, The Cask, Tower Square and Vega. And the bands announced so far:

A Ferocious Jungle Cat
Ages and Ages
All Young Girls are Machine Guns
Annalibera
The Baberaham
Bailiff
Bonehart Flannigan
The Bottle Tops
Bud Heavy and the High Lifes
Christopher the Conquered
Churls
DEERPEOPLE
Evan Bartels Band
The Fabtones
Flannel Channel
Found Footage Festival
FREAKABOUT!
Gerardo Meza
Gloom Balloon
GloWorm
Halfwit
Hank & Cupcakes
Homegrown Film Festival
Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery
The Kickback
Lars and Mal
Manic Pixie Dream Girls
Matt Cox Band
The Melon Company
Oketo
Powers
The River Monks
The Ro Hempel Band
Root Marm Chicken Farm Jug Band
Sidewalk Chalk
Sol Seed
Thirst Things First
Universe Contest
White Mystery
Zoolarious Comedy Showcase

I’m glad to see that DEERPEOPLE is on the bill. I was introduced to this band via Lincoln Calling years ago, and caught their set this year at SXSW. Definitely worth seeking out when you’re wandering O Street that week.

Buckley tells me more details are forthcoming, more bands are being confirmed. Stay tuned, and follow along at the LC2014 Facebook page.

* * *

After two cancellations, Hear Nebraska is finally going to host their finale showcase for this year’s Live at Turner Park Series tonight, and it’s a doozy: Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship and Snake Island are the featured acts. Get some food and booze and head on down. The music starts at 6 p.m. and it’s free.

Another free show going on tonight is at Slowdown Jr. where locals Lars and Mal and The Derby Birds will be performing. This one starts at 9.

* * *

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

Lincoln Calling goes for 100; discount passes end tomorrow…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:51 pm October 1, 2013

Lincoln Calling
by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Jeremy Buckley posted 50 more bands/performers/DUs booked for the 10th Annual Lincoln Calling — one of the area’s longest running local music festivals, slated for Oct. 15-19 in 10 venues throughout the Lincoln metroplex.

Among the new additions that raised an eyebrow — and will likely have me traveling to Lincoln — is Future Islands, whose performance at The Waiting Room back in 2011 was one of my favorite shows that year.

Buckley plans to add one more band to the line-up to make the total a perfect 100. Here are the additions announced yesterday:

All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
Allie Kral of Cornmeal
AudBawl
AZP
Bass Coma
Bassthoven
Burning Down the Villager
Cake Eater
Chris Padgett of the Stereofidelics
Cory Kibler
CowboyUp!
Danny Myrick
DJ Brake-C
DJ Jab
thedjKG
Domestica
Ezra
Future Islands
Guilty is the Bear
Haggard Mess
Henhouse Prowlers
Hot Buttered Rum
Huntress
Karen Choi
Kronen
Life is Cool
Lloyd McCarter and the Honky Tonk Revival
Lucas Kellison
Mr. Deedles
Myth
Nick the Quick
Parker House Cartel
Pharmacy Spirits
Philip White
Powerful Science
Rebecca Lynn Howard
Sharkwe3k
Sharkwrekinbawl
Skypiper
Spankalicious
Sputnik Kaputnik and the Technical Manuals
Steven Garcia
Thirst Things First
Trill Ferell
Touch People
Virtuopath
Wrekafekt
Yimbo Slice

And here’s the first set of artists confirmed last month:

The 4onthefloor (Minneapolis)
The Big Deep (Omaha)
Bonehart Flannigan (Lincoln)
The Bottletops (Lincoln)
BOY (Hamburg)
Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies (Omaha)
Carolyn Wonderland (Austin)
Christopher the Conquered (Des Moines)
Cowboy Indian Bear (Lawrence)
Cowboy Winter (Madison)
DEERPEOPLE (Stillwater)
Desert Noises (Provo)
Dirty Talker (Lincoln)
Eli Mardock (Lincoln)
A Ferocious Jungle Cat (Lincoln)
Freakabout! (Lincoln)
Genders (Portland)
Gordon (Omaha)
Guilty is the Bear (Lincoln)
Halfwit (Lincoln)
The Highest Order (Toronto)
Homegrown Film Festival (Lincoln)
Jack Hotel (Lincoln)
Jeazlepeats (Lincoln)
Jeremy Messersmith (Minneapolis)
John Klemmensen and the Party (Omaha)
The Josh Hill Band (Akron)
Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers (Lincoln)
The Kickback (Chicago)
Masses (Lincoln)
The Mezcal Brothers (Lincoln)
Oquoa (Omaha)
Orion Walsh and the Rambling Hearts (Lincoln)
Pleasure Adapter (Omaha)
Powers (Lincoln)
Red Cities (Lincoln)
The Renfields (Lincoln)
Rock Paper Dynamite (Omaha)
Rusty Maples (Las Vegas)
Saturn Moth (Omaha)
Snake Island! (Omaha)
Tie These Hands (Lincoln)
Too Slim and the Taildraggers (Nashville)
Tsumi (Lincoln)
Twinsmith (Omaha)
Universe Contest (Lincoln)
Whipkey Three (Omaha)
White Mystery (Chicago)
Wiping Out Thousands (Minneapolis)

Jeremy tells me that tomorrow is the last day all-access passes will be available for $20 (inside of the Bourbon at Kinetic Brew during day time business hours). After tomorrow passes go up to $40, which is still a great deal, but why spend $20 when you don’t have to?

* * *

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

Lincoln Calling announces 10-year anniversary festival line-up (and will it be the last?); Omaha’s inferiority complex (in the column)…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , — @ 1:27 pm September 12, 2013

Lincoln Calling
by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

One of the area’s longest running local music festivals, Lincoln Calling, announced the preliminary line-up for its 10th Anniversary festival slated for Oct. 15-19 in 10 venues throughout the Lincoln metroplex.

Organizer Jeremy Buckley says this year’s program features more than 100 bands and DJs from all over the country and world (but mostly from Nebraska). Confirmed so far:

The 4onthefloor (Minneapolis)
The Big Deep (Omaha)
Bonehart Flannigan (Lincoln)
The Bottletops (Lincoln)
BOY (Hamburg)
Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies (Omaha)
Carolyn Wonderland (Austin)
Christopher the Conquered (Des Moines)
Cowboy Indian Bear (Lawrence)
Cowboy Winter (Madison)
DEERPEOPLE (Stillwater)
Desert Noises (Provo)
Dirty Talker (Lincoln)
Eli Mardock (Lincoln)
A Ferocious Jungle Cat (Lincoln)
Freakabout! (Lincoln)
Genders (Portland)
Gordon (Omaha)
Guilty is the Bear (Lincoln)
Halfwit (Lincoln)
The Highest Order (Toronto)
Homegrown Film Festival (Lincoln)
Jack Hotel (Lincoln)
Jeazlepeats (Lincoln)
Jeremy Messersmith (Minneapolis)
John Klemmensen and the Party (Omaha)
The Josh Hill Band (Akron)
Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers (Lincoln)
The Kickback (Chicago)
Masses (Lincoln)
The Mezcal Brothers (Lincoln)
Oquoa (Omaha)
Orion Walsh and the Rambling Hearts (Lincoln)
Pleasure Adapter (Omaha)
Powers (Lincoln)
Red Cities (Lincoln)
The Renfields (Lincoln)
Rock Paper Dynamite (Omaha)
Rusty Maples (Las Vegas)
Saturn Moth (Omaha)
Snake Island! (Omaha)
Tie These Hands (Lincoln)
Too Slim and the Taildraggers (Nashville)
Tsumi (Lincoln)
Twinsmith (Omaha)
Universe Contest (Lincoln)
Whipkey Three (Omaha)
White Mystery (Chicago)
Wiping Out Thousands (Minneapolis)

This is the best selection of up-and-coming (i.e. “emerging”) talent in the area, highlighted by Gordon, Eli Mardock, Pleasure Adapter (now featuring Matt Maginn on bass), Oquoa, Twinsmith, Halfwit and (of course) Universe Contest. Lacking are any Saddle Creek bands (so far), but the omission (for whatever reason) doesn’t seem glaring.

So is this last year for Lincoln Calling? Buckley, who puts the whole thing together, is co-owner of Vega, a new music venue/bar/restaurant being built in the Pinnacle Bank Arena complex. No doubt he’ll be too busy managing and booking the new 500-capacity performance space to organize this annual monster. I asked Buckley if this was, indeed, the last year for Lincoln Calling. His response: “No comment?

For the latest on LC10, go to lincolncalling.com or follow the event at https://www.facebook.com/LincolnCalling.

* * *

In this week’s column, Omaha’s great inferiority complex and who gives a shit what anyone thinks of us? You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right 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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Lincoln Calling Pt. 10 now accepting band applications…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:35 pm May 8, 2013

Lincoln Calling 2013by Tim McMahan, Lazy=i.com

Jeremy Buckley, the guy who runs Lincoln Calling, emailed yesterday to say that his annual 5-day shindig (which takes place Oct. 15-19) is currently accepting band applications at lincolncalling.com.

“Applying doesn’t guarantee a slot at the fest, but will let the organizing committee know that the band is interested in being a part of this year’s fest,” Buckley said. “Lincoln Calling is an annual music festival that takes place in downtown Lincoln at 10 or more venues and showcases 100+ bands and DJs on a local, regional, national and international level. Past performers have included Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, The Hood Internet, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Sea Wolf, Wolfgang Gartner, Laetitia Sadier and The Prids.”

He said last year about 150 bands applied. “It definitely helps in getting contact info together and knowing that bands are interested in playing,” he said. “We probably accepted about 50 bands that applied last year.”

To my knowledge, Lincoln Calling is the only Nebraska-based multi-day music festival that actually pays bands for playing, which is a credit to Mr. Buckley. This year marks the festival’s 10th anniversary, so I expect it to be bigger and better and wilder than ever.

* * *

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

Lincoln Calling announces ‘initial’ 2012 line-up; Joyner’s ‘Ghosts’ drops today; Strung Out, Ron Wax, Gruff Rhys tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:51 pm August 14, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Lincoln Calling 2012

Lincoln Calling 2012

Lincoln music mogul and all-around scenester Jeremy Buckley last week announced the “initial line-up” for his ninth annual Lincoln Calling Festival. “What started as a three-day 25-band fest has morphed into what this year will be a six-day extravaganza kicking off on Oct. 9 with an opening show and ending on Oct. 14 with the Homegrown Film Festival and a special local super group that will be performing its first public show,” Buckley said. No word yet on who is in this mysterious super group. Stay tuned.

Starting yesterday, a limited number of early bird full-ride tickets are available for purchase at Kinetic Brew inside of Lincoln’s Bourbon Theatre, for $20 (age restrictions apply for some shows). “After the initial allotment is gone the price will go up to at least $30 depending on what bands I’m able to confirm between now and the fest,” Buckley said. As in past years, one-day tickets and individual show tickets will be available the week of the shows.

Bands confirmed so far for this year:

Academy of Rock (Lincoln)
Alex Walker (Lincoln)
All My Friends Are Dinosaurs (Lincoln)
AZP (Lincoln)
The Bears of Blue River (Chicago)
Betsy Wells (Omaha)
The Betties (Lincoln/Omaha)
The Big Deep (Omaha)
Carrot Carrot (Lincoln)
Christopher the Conquered (Des Moines)
Classes (Lincoln)
Cowboy Indian Bear (Lawrence)
Dark Satellites (Lincoln/Kansas City)
Dastardly (Chicago)
DEERPEOPLE (Stillwater)
Desert Noises (Provo, UT)
Drum and Disorderly (Lincoln)
Dude Won’t Die (Lincoln)
Everyday/Everynight (Kansas City)
Flashbulb Fires (Denver)
FREAKABOUT! (Lincoln)
Gayle Skidmore (San Diego)
Ghost Hollow Road (Springfield, IL)
Good Show Great Show (Omaha)
Goran Ivanovic and Andreas Kapsalis Guitar Duo (Chicago)
Great American Desert (Omaha)
Hume (Baltimore)
Hunter Valentine (Toronto, Ontario)
Ideal Cleaners (Lincoln)
Intergalactic Fu (Lincoln)
Ivan & Alyosha (Seattle)
The Kickback (Chicago)
Kill County (Lincoln)
Laetitia Sadier (Paris, France)
Low Horse (Lincoln)
Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles (Minneapolis)
Masses (Lincoln)
The Mezcal Brothers (Lincoln)
Midland Trio (Lincoln)
Minor Birds (Twain Harte, CA)
Mob Action (Quincy, IL)
My Brother (Lincoln)
Orion Walsh (Lincoln)
Poison Control Center (Des Moines/Ames)
Queen Caveat (Los Angeles)
Saint Christopher (Lincoln)
Shipbuilding Co. (Lincoln)
The Spring Standards (New York)
SS Web (Milwaukee, WI)
Stonebelly (Lincoln)
Tenderness Wilderness (Omaha)
THEMES (Portland, OR)
Tijuana Gigolos (Lincoln)
Time Hammer (Lincoln)
Universe Contest (Lincoln)
UUVVWWZ (Lincoln)
Vibenhai (Lincoln)
Voodoo Method (Omaha)
Whadawookie (Lincoln)
Zed Tempo (Lincoln)

Venues so far confirmed:

Bourbon Theatre
Duffy’s Tavern
Zoo Bar
The Alley
Mix Barcade
Fat Toad
Black Market
Yia Yia’s

That’s a lot of bands over a lot of days, and Buckley ain’t through yet. “Please make sure to note that this list of bands is about 50-60% complete,” Buckley said. “Every year bands freak out because they aren’t on the list and I get bombarded. Hopefully they’ll grasp that the lineup isn’t finalized if it’s stated in the article.”

* * *

Simon Joyner’s new album Ghosts is officially out today. Local peeps can find it at Saddle Creek Shop. I’m told The Antiquarium will have copies by Friday and Homer’s also will be getting it in sometime this week. You out-of-towners can order it from simonjoyner.net. Quit whining about this being a double-vinyl only release. Every copy comes with a download code so you can listen to it on your precious iPods. Hey, why don’t you do yourself a favor and buy a friggin’ turntable, ya dirty hippies? In case you didn’t know already, analog is the new digital. GET WITH IT!

* * *
Tonight at The Waiting Room Simi Valley post-hardcore band Strung Out (Fat Wreck Chords) headlines a show with Redondo Beach band The Darlings and Chicago Latino hardcore act La Armada. $18, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, it’s the return of Lincoln legends Ron Wax to The Brothers Lounge with Swamp Walk and Detroit band Frustrations. $5, 9 p.m.

And finally, Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals, Neon Neon) plays at Slowdown Jr. tonight with McCarthy Trenching. $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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Lincoln Exposed’s ‘Best year yet’ and is it really that hard to pay bands? Bad Speler does Whitney…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 2:03 pm February 14, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Lincoln Exposed poster

No doubt you’ve been hearing the buzz about last week’s Lincoln Exposed festival. The shockwaves are still being felt throughout the Unicameral. Lincoln Exposed major domo Jeremy Buckley gave me the post-mortem on this year’s event. He organized the event with Dub Wardlaw from Duffy’s and Josh Hoyer from the Zoo bar.

“For the four-day weekend we had about 1,700 people (or 425 a day) paid, not including about 280 band members that got all-access passes, and about 50 other guests (media, volunteers, etc.),” Buckley said. “Venues were easily more crowded than they ever are for any given local show from 6 p.m. until the last note of the night. Best year yet, we even got the mayor out to check out Kill County and The Betties.”

He said most of the venues (Bourbon Theater front room, Duffy’s,  Zoo Bar) were close to capacity Friday and Saturday nights. The weekend’s biggest draw: Universe Contest, a band that Buckley said gets compared to Modest Mouse. “(They) used to be Gooses, couple different members,” he added. Eli Mardock was the biggest draw Wednesday night.

What’s the coolest thing about Lincoln Exposed other than the music and the booze? Like every other Jeremy Buckley production, every one of the 60+ bands and performers got paid. I know the idea of actually paying bands seems alien and strange to most of the organizers of local “festivals” held in Benson and other clubs around town, but Buckley somehow manages to get it done.

In fact, Buckley said more than $7,000 was paid out to performers and $1,500 was paid to sound personnel. Let’s review: The bars get paid, the support folks (soundmen, etc.) get paid, and the bands get paid. Everybody gets paid, including Buckley and his team. Is paying bands to play really that difficult to do? Next time you pay your $10-$20-$30 for a wrist band at local festival that doesn’t pay the bands, ask yourself where at that money went…

Fact is, paying the bands is one of the reasons Buckley is able to attract the best local bands to participate at his festivals.

So what’s the next Jeremy Buckley production? The 9th Annual Lincoln Calling Festival, coming to the streets of Lincoln in mid-October.

* * *

Finally, it was impossible to ignore the passing of Ms. Whitney Houston this past weekend. Her career touched many lives, not the least of which includes our very own Bad Speler a.k.a. Darren Keen, who in the depths of his grief created an amazing  remix of “How Will I Know?” It was a fitting tribute… until Darren decided to attach his remix to this Vimeo video featuring Brent Star of sexyman.com. Whitney lovers may want to skip it and instead check out the remix on Soundcloud, below:

* * *

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

Recap: Lincoln Calling beats last year’s crowds; Brad Hoshaw returns…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:54 pm October 18, 2011

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Looking at the numbers, last weekend’s Lincoln Calling festival was another success. Jeremy Buckley, who organized the event, which featured 100-plus bands and 16 DJs over five nights at 10 venues in downtown Lincoln, said overall attendance was about 4,850, slightly higher than last year’s numbers.

“Overall, I think the whole weekend went about as well as I could’ve  asked for,” Buckley said. “We had a few shows with only about 30 to 40 (in the crowd), but they were either at Zen’s Lounge, where only one band performed a night, or the Black Market, a vintage clothing store that hosted early free shows.”

But other than that, Buckley said at least 50 people attended every show, and 19 of the shows had more than 100 in attendence. “The biggest events were Friday (500) and Saturday (600) nights for DJs at the Fat Toad,” he said. “Those shows only had a $2 cover.”

As is the case every year, Buckley said participating bands took home some cash for their efforts. After he pays off the remaining bands and his advertisers, he said he’ll sit down with friends and begin brainstorming next year’s Lincoln Calling. “I’m actually looking forward to it already.”

* * *

Brad Hoshaw, Spirit of the Lake (self-release, 2011)

Brad Hoshaw, Spirit of the Lake (self-release, 2011)

We were sitting around the table at last week’s Reader music writers’ meeting wondering whatever happened to Brad Hoshaw. None of us had heard from him in a long time — he hasn’t played live in ages and his last formal album came out a couple years ago.

Then the next day as if on cue, Hoshaw posted a link to a new album on his Facebook page. Spirit of the Lake is “a collection of songs written over the past four years at a cabin on Lake Michigan,” Hoshaw wrote. “Most are collaborations with other songwriters from all over the country. I am releasing these home recordings because I’m hoping to raise the money to go into the studio and re-record these same songs with full instrumentation.”

We’re talking homemade bedroom recording heres — just Hoshaw and his guitar and his crazy knack for writing catchy hooks. You can check out all the songs for free on his Bandcamp page, where you can also purchase and download the album for a mere $5. Check it 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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Column 344: Lincoln Calling downsizes and upgrades; a few words about Steve Jobs; Dick Dale tonight…

Category: Blog,Column,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:38 pm October 6, 2011

Column 344: Does Size Matter? Lincoln Calling Pt. 8

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Lincoln Calling logo

We live in a culture where “bigger” is always perceived as being “better.” Some might argue that this concept is The American Way.

Well, Jeremy Buckley, the impresario behind the annual Lincoln Calling Music Festival, isn’t concerned about getting “bigger.” On the surface, one might look at this year’s festival — the 8th Annual, an achievement in and of itself — and say that it’s a step backward. There are no significant national touring acts on the 100-plus-band 16-DJ (so far) roster whose schedule is spread over five nights at 10 venues in downtown Lincoln. Financial support was cut in half for ’11, thanks to a tsunami that not only devastated Japan, but also washed away sponsorship dollars from Toyota. But a glance at the schedule shows (which you can view at lincolncalling.com), this year’s event may be the best ever.

Buckley, as you can imagine, agrees.

“Each year is a different beast,” he said between football games last Sunday afternoon. “Last year the sky was the limit. We had an assload of money from sponsors and a perfect storm of national touring bands that just happened to be coming through at the right time. This year it was doing what we could with what we had, and I think we put together something great.”

Though the festival’s organization falls exclusively on Buckley’s shoulders — and that’s the way he wants it — this year he loosened the reins oh so slightly and got input from folks who asked to be part of the fun. The result is a more varied lineup that spreads the festival’s genres beyond its usual indie-only focus.

“I guess I tried to put an emphasis on making other people do my work,” Buckley said. “Quite a few aspects of this year’s festival came from people asking to help out.”

For example, Buckley received a Facebook message from Corey Birkmann asking why so few punk and metal bands were involved in the program. Buckley’s reply: “I don’t know much about punk or metal, so I don’t know the difference between the good and bad bands.” Birkmann offered to help by booking a show a day at The Spigot that was metal and/or punk-oriented.

“So I said, ‘Roll with it.'” Buckley quipped.

As a result, 12 Lincoln punk and/or metal acts are booked Thursday through Saturday at The Spigot, including Dust Bled Down, Ten Dead and Beaver Damage. “So this year, metal and punk are getting some love,” Buckley said.

KZUM talent Hilary Stohs-Krause, host of radio show “X-Rated Women in Music,” asked Buckley if she could curate a showcase that featured women musicians in an MTV Unplugged-style setting. “I told her to roll with it,” Buckley said. The two-hour Friday afternoon program will take place in the art gallery above Duffy’s. Called The Parrish Project, it will feature student artists from the LPS Arts and Humanities Focus Program under the tutelage of Mezcal Brothers’ Gerardo Meza.

Then there’s music website hearnebraska.org (which Buckley helped develop), that will host a Saturday afternoon program that includes musicians merch booths at The Bourbon Theater. And DJ Spencer Munson a.k.a. $penselove, who pulled together a posse of DJs who will perform at clubs throughout the festival, including the all new Mix Barcade, a venue in the old Bricktop space that will debut as part of Lincoln Calling.

While all that help is “making things a lot less stressful” for Buckley, the festival’s primary attraction continues to be its overall line-up. No, Lincoln Calling didn’t attract any Saddle Creek bands this year, but it did draw the cream of the crop of the non-Creek acts, including Ideal Cleaners, Conduits, Digital Leather, Eli Mardock, Gus & Call, Icky Blossoms, McCarthy Trenching and Pharmacy Spirits, The Show Is the Rainbow, So-So Sailors, UUVVWWZ, Machete Archive, Talking Mountain, Son of 76, The Whipkey Three, Matt Cox, and even some out-of-towners. They include the always amazing The Photo Atlas, poorly named Gauntlet Hair and Nebraska adoptees Cowboy Indian Bear.

Glancing at the line-up, there were a lot of acts that I flat-out didn’t recognize. Buckley even has an answer for that in the form of a massive 47-song digital download available for free from the Lincoln Calling website.

Like like every real festival, all bands are receiving some sort of compensation, whether it’s a guarantee, a cut of the door or an all-access pass to all five days of the event. Helping defray costs were donations from the Downtown Lincoln Association, Guitar Center and Lincoln’s Young Professional Group.

The particulars: The festival kicks off Tuesday, Oct. 11, with the Homegrown Film Festival at The Bourbon Theater at 8 p.m., a listening party at Duffy’s at 10 p.m. and an acoustic open mic night at The Zoo bar at 9 p.m. The real stuff gets rolling Wednesday, Oct. 12, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 15. All access passes for the full festival are $30, one-day passes run $10 to $12, or you can pay the door at each venue, which runs from free to $8.

So no, Lincoln Calling isn’t as big as it was in 2010, “and I’m OK with that,” Buckley said. “I know there are 5,000 people who will go to this and have a good time, and the bands will have better crowds than on any given Friday night.”

That said, Buckley’s already thinking about the 10th Annual Lincoln Calling in 2013, and for that one, size will definitely matter.

* * *

If Steve Jobs is remembered for anything, it will be that he was a great judge of talent and had a terrific eye for design. Even more than that, Jobs inspired greatness in others.

No, Jobs didn’t design the iMac, iPod, iPad, iPhone or any other modern-day Apple product. Jon Ive and his design team did. Jobs didn’t write the code that makes those devices operate – in fact he didn’t know how to code. That was the work of his programmers. And Jobs didn’t come up with the phrase “Think Different” or write the words spoken by Richard Dreyfuss in that amazing commercial. Ken Segall and his team at TBWA\Chiat\Day did that.

Last night when I heard about Jobs’ death, I clicked around on the ‘net and eventually wound up at folklore.org, a website that compiles stories about the making of the first Macintosh by those who were actually involved. Their stories cover everything from the computer’s initial design to programming, construction, marketing, you name it. Through it all, Jobs was an insufferable task master. He put a boot up everyone’s ass that worked at Apple, and if that boot didn’t fit, he fired them. He made insane demands and never accepted “no” for an answer.  He added his two cents to every decision, and expected perfection from everyone.

So no, Jobs didn’t do a lot of what he’s being credited as doing in the endless stream of requiems. Instead he did something that was just as important — he made decisions, he inspired innovation, he recognized good ideas and demanded their implementation. And yes, in the end, he represented all those products and ideas as a bigger-than-life icon as indelible as the Apple logo itself.

Jobs was a perfectionist and had impeccable taste. It seems unlikely that his successor, Tim Cook, has those qualities at the same levels Jobs did  (or if anyone does, for that matter). Cook’s ability to inspire greatness remains in question, along with the future of Apple as an innovator.

* * *

Another aside: Ironically, Jobs will be remembered by some as the guy who helped bring down the music industry as we knew it, when in fact iTunes came along two years after Napster and was designed to help protect the industry in the face of widespread music-file piracy.

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return of Dick Dale. I interviewed the “King of Surf Guitar” way back in 1998 (which you can read here) and was happy that he was still alive and rocking. Now at age 74, Dale is still alive and still rocking. With Speed! Nebraska band The Mezcal Brothers. $20, 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

Column 290: Lincoln Calling Returns!; Retribution Gospel Choir (Low’s Alan Sparhawk), Paleo tonight…

Category: Blog,Column,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:48 pm September 29, 2010

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Column 290: Lincoln Calling, Pt. 7

Nebraska’s biggest music festival returns.

For this week’s column, I simply could have listed the bands that are playing at this year’s Lincoln Calling Festival — along with their time slots — and been done with it. What else do you need to get your asses to Lincoln this weekend?

Instead, I’m telling you to use that magic box on your desk and go to lincolncalling.com — a website that lists all the particulars in a well-organized, well-designed online experience that will do a better job than I ever could (especially with my 900-word limit).

I could have just left it there, but you know me. I had to get in touch with the festival’s Svengali mastermind, Jeremy Buckley, who’s been pulling this musical rabbit out of his hat since the first annual event in 2004.  Back then, LC was 25 bands and a handful of bars. Today it comprises 100+ acts in 11 venues over five days. It’s mammoth.

I interrupted Buckley’s usual Sunday afternoon multi-screen pro football orgy to ask a few questions about the fest. Chief among them: What’s different this year? He said it came down to three things: 1) DJs, 2) Sponsors, 3) More (and better) out-of-town bands.

Points one and two came courtesy of Spencer Munson — a.k.a. DJ Spence, who readers may know from Gunk nights at The Waiting Room. Buckley said Spence helped pull together the nearly 30 DJs who will be playing at four clubs throughout the festival.

“(DJ’s) are an additional aspect that I didn’t focus on before,” Buckley said, confessing that when it comes to clubbing, he’s one of those guys who would rather watch than do. “I don’t go to too many dance clubs, but I have a lot of friends who do and like dancing. I sometimes go with them and sit at the table, drink my High Life and watch the coats, backpacks and purses.”

Despite his lack of love for the dance floor, Buckley said he recognizes that Lincoln has a strong culture for electronic music. That’s why he enlisted Spence to find the top talent from the region.

But that’s not all Spence did. “When he and I began putting this together last spring, I told him my long-term wish was to find someone reliable enough to be our marketing guru and help find sponsors. I don’t have the personality to sell product.” Buckley said. “Spence said, ‘Let me give it a shot.'”

Spence found Scion (which is part of Toyota Corporation), who plunked down $3,700 as a primary sponsor, along with the Downtown Lincoln Association and The Young Professionals Group – Lincoln, both of which threw in $1,000. Add a handful of food and hotel sponsors, and the total came to around $6,000 in sponsorships.

“With that money we built a decent website (lincolncalling.com), and paid a film crew to shoot a video of the event that we can send to agents and bands next year to get them to sign on,” Buckley said.

The dough also helped cover guarantees for larger out-of-town bands, such as The Hood Internet, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, The Love Language, Those Darlins and Sea Wolf. “I couldn’t have paid guarantees back when I was taking the risks all by myself,” Buckley said. “Now we can pay (those bands) what they need. The sponsors make a huge difference.”

The trade-off for all that cash is putting the sponsors’ logos on the website, posters, T-shirts and other promotional materials. “Since Scion is the main sponsor, we’ll have industry swag at each venue,” Buckley said, adding that he hasn’t had anyone call him a sell-out for taking corporate cash. “It was a step that was necessary for bringing in national talent that’s played on Sirius and MTV2.”

In addition to the larger bands, Buckley said he’s excited about the out-of-state acts that he specifically wooed to take part in the event, such as Lawrence’s Cowboy Indian Bear, Denver’s The Photo Atlas, and Deerpeople — a Stillwater, Oklahoma band that Buckley says “plays fun pop with disturbing lyrics.”

Deerpeople are playing at Duffy’s Friday night along with a reunion of classic Lincoln band Pablo’s Triangle, whose members included Matt Focht and Ben Armstrong of Head of Femur, and Jonathan Hischke, who’s been on tour with Broken Bells. “The Pablo’s Triangle reunion is a huge coup that brings together old-school Lincoln folks and kids who know about Broken Bells,” Buckley said.

That show, which also includes bands Shipbuilding Co. and Down with the Ship, is only $5. In fact, each show is individually priced for those who don’t want to wander around “O” Street all night long.

And just like in years’ past, every band that takes part in Lincoln Calling will go home with some cash in their pockets — something that makes this multi-day festival unique. Buckley said bands get their split after paying the sound guy, covering the promo costs and paying he and his partners their 15 percent cut.

This year, advertising costs topped $2,000 — it’s all part of trying to keep the festival growing. But with 100+ bands and 11 venues, does Lincoln Calling really have room to grow?

After seven years of putting it together, Buckley says he still doesn’t know. “We haven’t reached its limit, but we’ll never get 80,000 people in Lincoln over the course of a weekend, other than for football.”

Famous last words.

* * *

Retribution Gospel Choir, who’s  performing tonight at The Waiting Room, doesn’t play gospel music and isn’t a choir. Who it is, however, may surprise you. The trio is fronted by Alan Sparhawk, who you’ll remember as the frontman of indie-rock monsters Low — yes, that Low. RGC released their latest album, 2, on Sub Pop this past January, and it roars. If you, like me, have missed seeing Low, here’s your fix. Opening is DJ M Bowen. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight at Slowdown Jr. it’s Paleo a.k.a. singer/songwriter David Andrew Strackany. Joining him is Zach LaGrou and Simon Joyner & The Parachutes. $7, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Fortnight returns to Fabulous O’Leaver’s opening a show with headliners Bad Country and Nashville band Milktooth. $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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i