Ted Leo goes the Kickstarter route; Lotus tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:57 pm February 22, 2017

Ted Leo does a street show. The photo is from his Kickstarter page.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Via an article in A.V. Club, Ted Leo today talked about why he went the Kickstarter route for his next album. Leo said with his relationship with mega-indie-label Matador Records at an end, Kickstarter was a viable option “… I feel it was an interesting and creatively challenging way for me to consider moving forward, not just with this album, but as artist wanting to make music at my own preferred pace. And not having to be buffeted about in the stormy seas of the record business such as it is.

Read the whole article here and contribute in Leo’s Kickstarter from here (I know I will because, well, I love Ted Leo).

I’ve been asked by local artists what I think of Kickstarter. It’s a great way to presale your record, especially if you intend to press vinyl. At the very least it’ll give you an idea regarding how much demand there is for actually releasing your music on vinyl. If you can’t hit your goal, you may want to rethink your strategy. Vinyl is pricey.

Leo’s goal is a whopping $85,000. He just went online with his Kickstarter and he’s already at the $50,000 mark. No doubt he’ll hit his goal, after which the pressure’s on to get the record out. He doesn’t want to be in the same situation that Matthew Sweet found himself, having conducted a Kickstarter in the summer of 2014 that he’s yet to make good at (though he promises the record will be out in late spring).

Another local artist brought Pledge Music to my attention. According to the website Pledge Music is “dedicated to empowering artists, labels and brands to build communities, fund and pre-sell recordings, and provide unique experiences and exclusives throughout the entire music production and promotion lifecycle.” Pledge is truly music-focused (unlike Kickstarter which is wide open to any offer), and is more of a pre-sale website with some monster users, including Willie Nelson and Weird Al and Nelly Furtado. Has anyone locally tried Pledge?

* * *

Tonight Philly/Denver electronic band Lotus plays at The Slowdown. I only included this show announcement because the Slowdown’s description says, “The tightly produced yet raw grooves recall sounds of The Talking Heads, Jamiroquai, and LCD Soundsystem.” Really? JackLNDN opens. $25, 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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That dog. Kickstarter; another Faint show; Conor Oberst, Yeasayer tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:31 pm November 3, 2016
Classic '90s indie band That Dog (that dog.) is back is Kickstarter-ing it...

Classic ’90s indie band That Dog (that dog.) is back is Kickstarter-ing it…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Nothing to do with Omaha music, more to do with a band I dug in the ’90s…. LA-based indie band That Dog. is recording their first album in a decade, and needs help to pay for it. That’s where you come in. It’s the same old story:

We’ve managed to self-finance most of the recording process, but we need help covering costs for mixing, mastering and some preliminary marketing.

The premiums are pretty rad — they’ve obviously never done a Kickstarter before and have no idea what a pain in the ass fulfilling these premiums will be. Needless to say, they’ve already exceeded their $17,500 goal. Check it out here. Apparently they’ll be touring this record…

* * *

If you missed The Faint show on Halloween, never fear. The Slowdown just announced they’re playing again Dec. 30, and doing a Faint+Goo show New Year’s Eve. Tix on sale tomorrow.

* * *

Tonight is that long sold-out Conor Oberst show at the 40th Street Theater, 4006 1/2 Hamilton St. The $35 tix sold out quick; congrats to those who snagged some. Doors open at 7 p.m. Hartford/Focht (Matt Focht and wife Crystal Hartford) are the warm-up act.

Also tonight, Brooklyn indie band Yeasayer plays at The Waiting Room. The band had a hit with Odd Blood in 2010. They’re touring their latest album, Amen & Goodbye, which came out this past April on Mute. Canadian electronic musician Lydia Ainsworth opens. She was a shortlist nominee for the Juno Award for the Electronic Album of the Year. $25, 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Matthew Sweet: New album could arrive this summer; new music from Damien Jurado, HÆLOS, The Thermals…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:59 pm January 12, 2016
Matthew Sweet center stage at the 1200 Club March 28, 2015. Sweet gave an update on his upcoming album.

Matthew Sweet center stage at the 1200 Club March 28, 2015. Sweet gave an update on his upcoming album.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Did you participate in Matthew Sweet’s Kickstarter campaign back in the summer of 2014? Wondering where the new album is that had an estimated delivery date of April 2015?

Well, Sweet chimed in with an update yesterday to campaign contributors saying that recording has been completed, mostly.

“All the songs I recorded with Ric in October are sung and essentially finished,” he wrote. “Over the next few days, I’ll be writing the very last songs of the project. That’s right, there will be a final batch!…Looks like the final tally will be around 33 songs. Everyone should know I am working, listening and scheming all the time to make this extra special.”

Sweet said later this month The Bangles’ Debbi Peterson will be coming to Omaha to record the very last batch of drums. Other guest musicians for the record have included Greg Leisz, and Val McCallum (who have worked with Lucinda Williams, Eric Clapton and Jackson Browne), Darian Sahanaja (Brian Wilson, Zombies, the Wondermints) and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys. There are a ton more.

“This last batch (of recordings) should be done by April, and detail and guest work for the first 24 songs will also continue til then,” Sweet said. “Then I will be mixing the album in earnest into May. From experience I would say it is very likely the record and rewards will be delivered sometime this summer.”

Gotta love Kickstarter.

* * *

New music is starting to take form for 2016.

Damien Jurado has a new album, Visions of Us on the Land, coming out March 18 on Secretly Canadian. Here’s the first single:

Matador announced that their recent signing, HÆLOS, will see their label debut, Full Circle, released March 18. Here’s the first single, “Oracle.” Very trippy.

And Saddle Creek act The Thermals announced their new album, We Disappear, comes out March 25. Here’s the first single, “Hey You”:

Much more to come…

* * *

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

Cursive reissue, Oberst 7-inch, Whipkey Kickstarter, Rural Alberta Advantage tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:53 pm October 16, 2014
RRA042111

The Rural Alberta Advantage at Slowdown Jr., 4/21/11. The band returns to Slowdown tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I go away for a couple days and look what happens. Let me run though these real quick-like…

Cursive's Art Is Hard gets the vinyl-deluxe treatment...

Cursive’s Art Is Hard gets the vinyl-deluxe treatment…

Cursive and Saddle Creek Records yesterday announced it’s giving seminal 2003 album The Ugly Organ the reissue treatment. The Ugly Organ (Deluxe Edition) [Remastered] will be available on 2xCD and 2xLP 180-gram vinyl, with eight additional tracks on the accompanying disc. These tracks – written during the same sessions as and originally intended for The Ugly Organ – were released on 8 Teeth To Eat You split with Eastern Youth, and their ‘Art Is Hard’ and ‘The Recluse’ singles, and the Saddle Creek 50 comp.

The $23 vinyl and $13 CD drops Nov. 24, just in time for Thanksgiving, though pre-orders are being taken now at the Saddle Creek online store for earlier distro. I don’t own a good copy of this record. Back when it was released, Creek sent out promo CDs with limited artwork, etc. I have a lot of those black promos lying around. I’d prefer to own a nice slab of vinyl for this classic piece of Nebraskana rock, and now I’ll have my chance.

* * *

Speaking of new vinyl, Conor Oberst yesterday announced he’s releasing a limited edition 7-inch (What other kind is there?) for Records Store / Black Friday Nov. 28. The single is two songs not included on Upside Down Mountain: “Standing On The Outside Looking In” b/w “Sugar Street.” Better get in line now.

* * *

In other vinyl news, Matt Whipkey Monday announced a new Kickstarter campaign for a new 10-song LP, Underwater. With the album already recorded, Whip’s trying to raise $5,250 to cover production costs.

Kickstarter has evolved into a straight-forward way for musicians to pre-sale their albums, providing both a product for their audience while cutting down on risks associated with producing and selling very expensive vinyl recordings. Once they meet their goal, they’ve essentially covered their risk, and anything beyond that is gravy, or so the plan goes.

I still meet people who have an attitude about Kickstarter, Indiegogo and the other campaign tools. I don’t get the gripe, especially when it’s merely a pre-sale mechanism. On the other hand, I get the cynicism toward Kickstarter when it comes to bands creating campaigns designed to “fund our tour.”

Anyway, check out Matt’s Kickstarter campaign here.

* * *

Lots to do tonight…

Tonight is opening night of the Local Filmmakers Showcase at Film Streams. Among the short films are music videos for The Faint, Orenda Fink and UUVVWWZ. The showcase only has a one-week run, so make plans to check it out. More info here.

Afterward, stay downtown for The Rural Alberta Advantage at The Slowdown. The band’s new Saddle Creek Records release, Mended With Gold, is the best of their career. Opening is July Talk. $12, 9 p.m.

At The Waiting Room, Little Brazil frontman Landon Hedges does a solo set openign for touring band The Apache Relay. $10, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Barley Street, Scott Severin and CJ Mills open for Kevin Sandbloom. $5, 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.

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Matthew Sweet Kickstarter winds down; The Brigadiers tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:53 pm July 22, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With the Matthew Sweet concert at O’Leaver’s just around the corner  (It’s July 30 and long sold out) I thought I’d point out Sweet’s Kickstarter campaign, which only has four days left.

Actually, I discovered the campaign via the Lloyd Cole Facebook feed — Cole prompted his followers to help Sweet out, and even offered to fly out and “play modular synth” on Sweet’s new album. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the head?

Anyway, Sweet, who is now an Omaha resident, is panhandling for cash to make a new solo album, and already has met his $32,000 goal — he currently stands at $43,185, including the $40 I chipped in to get a copy of his vinyl when it’s ready next April.

Check out his Kickstarter pitch below, which mentions his move to Omaha and his hope to “get all my friends out in Nebraska” to help make the record.

BTW, The Lupines will open for Sweet at the O’Leaver’s show.

* * *

Tonight at The Sydney The Brigadiers open for Zeeland, Michigan band The Fever Haze. $5, 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.

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Live Review: Cat Power’s Chan Marshall Struggles through marathon solo performance; Hear Nebraska launches Kickstarter…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:50 pm November 25, 2013
Cat Power at The Slowdown, Nov. 22, 2013.

Cat Power at The Slowdown, Nov. 22, 2013.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It would be easy to make fun of last Friday night’s Cat Power show at The Slowdown except for the fact that there obviously was something wrong with Chan Marshall.

Throughout the two-and-a-half hour solo performance Marshall looked anxious and irritated, clearly struggling with either an illness or a serious case of anxiety, stage fright or just not being prepared, all the while constantly being distracted by someone in the crowd who was baiting her from the edge of the stage (whether that person realized it or not).

Marshall came on late at around 11 with an electric guitar, which she played for the first hour of the marathon performance, banging out older material along with a cover of the Stone’s “Satisfaction,” which was sublime. But it was later in that hour that the cracks began to show, as she struggled to remember the chords while marching in place to an internal beat, often leaning over and coughing off microphone.

At the end of the first hour she began talking to herself or someone off stage, trying to figure out something with her guitar before hastily putting it down and walking over to the massive upright piano that stood to her left. She sat down and played one song after another for another 90 or so minutes. I use the term “played piano” loosely, as the arrangements were sparse and somewhat cryptic. One song featured Marshall poking out a series of triplets only with her left hand while agitatedly fidgeted with her right.

About halfway through the set I recorded a song with my iPhone — “The Greatest” off the album of the same name. I watched the video just now. There sits Marshall with her back to me, agonizing over the barely recognizable chords, skittishly playing like a piano student sight-reading the music for the first time — unsure, unsteady, halting, then playing the wrong chord, stopping, quickly playing a run-though of all the chords to try to remember the progression (with the crowd yelling encouragement) before starting again. It was disturbing.

The song eventually wandered away without really ending as Marshall switched to something else entirely and the crowd half-ass clapped realizing that was the end of that one.

Moments later, Marshall became unglued. As mentioned, throughout the performance someone — likely an adoring fan — kept trying to talk to Marshall. In response, Marshall would kind of carry on a conversation with her or respond to whatever was being said, mostly off microphone. Some of the baiting remarks resulted in Marshall launching into a babbling monologue about some inanity.

Finally Marshall got exasperated and began yelled at the fan . “What you’re doing is really f—-ing annoying,” she said (I’m paraphrasing here). “It’s not funny. It’s annoying.” And so on. Marshall would later apologize for the outburst, but that didn’t stop whoever it was from talking to her from the front of the stage.

It went further downhill from there. Before one song, Marshall fiddled around trying to figure out the chords for a full 30 seconds, talking to herself the entire time but then ultimately figuring them out. She called for opener Nico Turner to come out. “Is Nico in the house?” A few minutes later Nico walked across stage, but then exited without playing. She would call for Nico later, who likely now was standing off stage, watching.

Marshall finally got tired of the piano and slung her guitar back on at around 12:30. By now she was clearly fractured, disturbed, slightly confused and excessively jittery. It probably didn’t help that she had downed two mugs of coffee that sat on her piano throughout the performance and had a stage person bring out a third.

As 1 a.m. rolled around, Marshall declared that she could keep going, though by then the once-full floor was nearly half empty, and I was sitting alone along the railing next to empty seats. She ended up playing another 20 or so minutes before exiting with a salute, a chest pound, a kiss to the audience.

Here’s the funny part: Throughout the entire monotonous ordeal, Marshall’s voice was, well, remarkable. Her amazing voice never gave up on her. I realize after reading Chris Aponick’s interview that she can’t afford to bring a band on the road any more, but it was obvious after that show that she can’t afford NOT to have a band backing her. Marshall needs to push away from the piano, set the guitar down and let someone else worry about the instruments, and simply focus on her gorgeous vocals.

* * *

Last Friday Hear Nebraska launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund their upcoming Vol. 2 compilation album. The 10-song collection is going to be pressed on vinyl and is the perfect time capsule of Nebraska’s music scene circa 2013.

The album’s lineup:

SIDE A

1. Universe Contest | “The Day the Earth Took Pills” from the upcoming full-length, We Are the Rattlesnake
2. Pleasure Adapter | “Everything Has Been Erased” from the band’s self-titled EP
3. Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship | “Caucasian Meditation” from the LP You Need You
4. Millions of Boys | “Dudcats” from Competing for Your Love
5. Tim Kasher | “American Lit” from the Saddle Creek Records release Adult Film

SIDE B

6. Skypiper | “Even If” from the Troubledoer EP
7. Conchance | “The Dead Daylight,” previously unreleased
8. McCarthy Trenching | “29” from a Love Drunk Session
9. Lloyd McCarter | “Big Time” from Tired of Being Me
10. Simon Joyner | “Javelin,” recorded live at Hear Nebraska’s An Evening event

Hear Nebraska is positioning the campaign as an album pre-sale. $20 gets you a slab of vinyl and a download code, but there are plenty of other cool options available, including signed posters and copies of the record. Check it out. As of this morning they were nearly a quarter of the way toward their $4,000 goal.

* * *

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

Brad Hoshaw’s doing a Kickstarter; Jeremy Messersmith, BOY to highlight Day 2 of Lincoln Calling; Willie Nelson tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:56 pm October 16, 2013
The ironically named duo BOY headlines Lincoln Calling's Day 2 festivities at The Bourbon Theater.

The ironically named duo BOY headlines Lincoln Calling’s Day 2 festivities at The Bourbon Theater.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A few days ago Brad Hoshaw launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the production of his new album with his band the Seven Deadlies. You can read the details here (including some sweet premiums). Seems like Kickstarters is for presales more than anything these days, a way to pre-pay for an album and get the money in the hands of the artists when they need it most. Kickstarter takes some of the risk out of making records. Some.

Hoshaw is an enigma to me and has been since I first saw him perform all those years ago. His band’s debut album is one of the best collections of songs to emerge from our fair city. The sad part is that it never caught the attention of anyone outside of Omaha. It should have. So who’s fault is that? Well, I guess it’s Hoshaw’s, right? Why didn’t he get this record in the ear holes of the industry people who make decisions in Nashville, New York, Los Angeles, Hollywood, etc.? It’s easier said than done, and virtually impossible without the right connections. Maybe he tried.

Making a good record has never been enough to break through to something bigger than playing well-attended Omaha shows, especially if your music is written to appeal to something broader than an indie music audience. At least there’s a path with indie. There’s a chance of getting reviews of your record in the handful of “important” indie websites, and if you’re lucky, in Paste or Pitchfork. And then on from there. There is no similar path for mainstream-targeted music, and Hoshaw’s songs certainly fall into that category.

At the very least, his music is picture-perfect for use in commercials, film or television. Who else thought “Carpenter” was the perfect song for a Sherwin-Williams commercial? But for that to happen, someone in charge first has to hear the song. I’m not sure how you do that. Hire an agent? Maybe, maybe…

Anyway, the first step is still to create the music, and this Kickstarter is where you come in. Check it out and give ol’ Brad a hand.

* * *

Speaking of songwriters who deserve to be heard by a larger audience, Jeremy Messersmith is playing Day 2 of Lincoln Calling tonight at The Bourbon Theater. Messersmith — like Hoshaw — is a mastercraft songwriter who knows his way around an infectious hook and a clever lyric.

And Messersmith is breaking through. He recently signed with Glassnote Records, whose stable of acts includes Mumford & Sons, Phoenix, Chvches and The Temper Trap. Messersmith used to just give his music away via his website. I don’t think that’ll be happening with any new material, nor should it.

Messersmith opens for German duo BOY, whose music has been compared to Feist. Check it out below.

That Bourbon show is $15 and starts at 8 p.m. The rest of the Lincoln Calling line-up is at their website, here.

Meanwhile, back here in Omaha, there is virtually nothing interesting going on except for the Record Club at the Saddle Creek Shop, which tonight features Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger. Hosting tonight’s installment is none other than Dan McCarthy of McCarthy Trenching, who will lead the discussion after the album’s play concludes. The needle drops at 7. 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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Whipkey launches Penny Park music/memories project; Kickstarter update: Outlaw Con Bandana, Travelling Mercies…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:55 pm March 25, 2013

Penny Park graphicby Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Bad weather (or the threat of if) kept me away from the bars all weekend. What month is it, anyway? March? March used to be “kite-flying month.” Not anymore. Thank you global climate change.

Over the weekend, Matt Whipkey launched his Penny Park Omaha, NE Summer 1989 project. For those too young to remember, there was this urban amusement park located where the Hy-Vee currently stands at 79th and Cass St. I always thought the park itself was kind of shitty, but the lagoon, well, that was special.

Anyway, it was called Peony Park, not Penny Park. But there were some legal questions tied around using the Peony Park name. Whipkey points out that the record isn’t specifically about the park but about a girl named Penny Park.

Penny Park is a person. Peony was an amusement park. The former spent a great deal of time at the later. This is a record about a girl,” says the mypennypark.com website.

As part of the recording project, Whipkey is asking people to send in their memories and photos of Peony Park. Those photos may be used in the album’s gatefold. We’re talking about a 21-song double vinyl album, folks. In fact, tomorrow, Whipkey will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to help fund its production.

For now, here are a couple recordings that will give you a flavor of the project:

 

Speaking of Kickstarter projects…

Outlaw Con Bandana is currently running a Kickstarter to help produce a new double-vinyl LP and writing collection.

White Pariah is a micro publishing company started by four friends from Omaha, NE. The Ticks and Trips vinyl and writing collection will mark our first release. We’ve worked really hard to make sure this thing rules. The writing collection has a bunch of great prose, and poetry from Brendan as well as some old photos we had him dig up from the depths. The booklet also features lyrics to all 27 songs featured on the album, which we had fun making Brendan type up. We hope everyone loves sitting down and going through this thing.

OCB is only trying to raise $1,000 and currently is at the $865 mark with four days to go. Go to his Kickstarter page and give him a hand.

About a month ago I told you about the Kickstarter campaign for Travelling Mercies’ Motel album. Well, according to that Kickstarter site, the band has met it’s $4,000 goal (though the pledges listed don’t add up to $4,000 — I’m not sure how that works. Regardless, congratulations are in order).

Kickstarter is quickly becoming a accepted way for artists to “pre-sale” their albums, effectively funding their production and taking away a lot of the risk involved. For better or worse, it’s become a primary business model for independent musicians.

* * *

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.

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A $187k Kickstarter band campaign? Loom anniversary Saturday; So-So Sailors tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:56 pm August 15, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s a quiet Wednesday…

I fell across this item about indie folk band Murder by Death and was surprised at the amount they’ve raised via Kickstarter: More than $187,000. Which made me wonder what exactly are the limitations for Kickstarter campaigns? This one was created to fund a deluxe vinyl edition of their latest album, which they’ll self release and which augments the digital/CD release on Bloodshot. Look at some of the premiums you can receive for donations: Tattoos on band members. A Kentucky bourbon distillery tour. A day of riding roller coasters at Cedar Point Amusement Park with the band.

$187,000. I’ve asked before, I’ll ask again: Is Kickstarter how independent bands will survive (or thrive) in the future?

* * *

House of Loom sent out an announcement today about their 1-year Anniversary party this Saturday featuring Philly/NYC DJ Rich Medina. Details at the Facebook invite. I can’t believe it’s been a year since the club opened. If you haven’t checked out the chillest bar in Omaha, you’ll never have a better opportunity.

* * *

Tonight at The Sydney in Benson it’s the always entertaining So-So Sailors with Hers (formerly known as Honeybee & Hers) and Kelly King. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight in Benson, chamber-pop band The Last Bison plays with Skypiper. $8, 9 p.m.

* * *

Tomorrow: The final word (for now) on Maha.

* * *

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.

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Kickstarter feedback; Neil Young on poor quality mp3s, piracy; Lana Del Rey’s new album; Blind Pilot tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:02 pm February 1, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A few notes on a quiet Wednesday:

I heard back from the two Kickstarter artists I called out in yesterday’s blog entry. Both said they haven’t forgotten me. One is going to come through with some vinyl at O’Leaver’s on Friday. So maybe Kickstarter is the new model, eh? Without the data on the number of artists actually fulfilling their Kickstarter promises, it’s hard to say, though things seem to be pointing in that direction.

* * *

Neil Young and Walt Mossberg.

Neil Young and Walt Mossberg.

Interesting interview with Neil Young at the Dive Into Media conference of All Things D (right here). Neil talks about his mission to “try to rescue the art form that I’ve been practicing for 50 years.” He’s talking about the inferior quality of mp3 files and how he wants to see the quality improved. “You can’t associate poor quality with convenience.”

Young said it’s all about creating a new device that will play high-quality music files, sort of a high-end iPod. And he says he was working on such a device with Steve Jobs, but that not much has happened with the project since Jobs’ death. “Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music,” Young said. “His legacy is tremendous. But when he went home, he listened to vinyl. And you gotta believe that if he lived long enough, he would have eventually done what I’m trying to do.”

As for music piracy, says Young: “I look at the Internet as the new radio. I look at radio as gone … Piracy is the new radio, that’s how music gets around.”

* * *

I listened to the new Lana Del Rey album this morning on Spotify. Her voice lands somewhere between Stevie Nicks, a Perry/Aguilera-esque pop starlett and Lili Von Shtupp of Blazing Saddles (I don’t buy the Nico comparisons). It’s been fun reading the unbridled hate for this young lady throughout the blog-o-review-o-sphere. I guess you could argue that she would have been better served staying under the radar rather than appearing on SNL, but a few million dollars gained from the exposure is a few million dollars, I suppose, especially if you manage to hold on to some of it after your nova-bright star burns out. It’s a shame that her producers allowed her to use her kitty-cat voice so much on songs like “National Anthem.” It’s not so much that you feel embarrassed for her as much as you feel embarrassed for yourself for listening to it. Conversely, the three singles that preceded the full-length release — along with a couple others — are striking. She could have been the next big thing, and she may still be, but after hearing this full length, I doubt it… unless she can pull herself away from the big-label handlers… People seem fixated by her past, which I couldn’t give two shits about. That said, imagine how differently her music would have been perceived if Del Rey was a sexy, dirty, strung-out musician living on the fringes. Imagine if Courtney Love had released a couple of these songs a year or so after Kurt’s death, before she cleaned up…

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s up-and-coming Americana indie band Blind Pilot with Midwest Dilemma. $12, 9 p.m.

* * *

Tomorrow: A special announcement about Lazy-i and its future. Don’t miss it!

* * *

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.

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