How will COVID-19 impact rock ‘n’ roll?; Neva Dinova / Bright Eyes surprise; Las Cruxes live…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:50 pm March 11, 2020

No, it’s not the cover of the new Luna album…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

My lack of updates has more to do with having little to write about than my general laziness. That said, with Cononavirus COVID-19 boiling on the horizon, I’m afraid I’ll have even less to write about in the very near future.

We all know SXSW has been deep-sixed and Coachella is being “postponed” until the fall. Forget about the festivals. The next obvious question is: When will COVID-19 result in cancellation of rock shows coming our way, and how squeamish will people be about being crushed hip-to-hip at any of our local venues?

There are still skeptics who say the whole thing is being overblown. COVID-19 will really hit home for skeptics 1) when someone they know gets it, 2) when they’ve been forced to work from home or are self-quarantined, or 3) when something they really like is taken away.

They’re talking about playing the NCAA basketball tournament in empty arenas. Isn’t it only a matter of time before more bands follow Pearl Jam’s lead and cancel their spring and summer tours? Even small indie acts?

In a time when artists — specifically indie artists — no longer make significant money from CD sales and depend on touring and merch sales for income, COVID-19 could be a real financial knee-capper. Or imagine being on tour only to have the venue reach out on the road to say it’s no longer hosting shows due to COVID-19. Now what?

Imagine you’re a brand new act like Disq, who just released a great record on Saddle Creek, with plans to tour the country and play festivals all summer. What happens if COVID-19 craters your tour? Touring by itself is a financially risky venture; even more so when three or four dates are cancelled.

On top of that, think about the medical risks bands take playing crushed venues in different towns every night? Forget about foregoing handshakes, what do you do about hugs at the merch table?

And how will music venues be financially impacted by COVID-19 from either a downturn in business, cancelled tours or cancelled shows? Will they be able to keep the lights on if they lose a few months’ worth of revenue?

So yeah, worst case scenario it could be a long, boring rock-show-free summer, and that would be a bummer, but also think about everyone in the rock ‘n’ roll food chain who will be impacted by COVID-19, and pray there are no serious long-term impacts.

Get out to the clubs while we’re still getting rock shows. Just make sure you wash your hands.

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Speaking of rock shows, our old friends in Neva Dinova have been added as the opening act to the sold out May 23 Bright Eyes concert at the Hollywood Palladium. Isn’t that a kick in the head. Maybe if we’re lucky, Jake Bellows and the boys will make a trip out to play at an Omaha Bright Eyes show (which, btw, is still non-existent).

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Omaha’s favorite Latin-language garage-punk rockers Las Cruxes did a live in-studio performance for latinalt.org. Check it out.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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January shows of note: new Digital Leather track; Las Cruxes makes NPR best of Latin list…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:40 pm January 6, 2020

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Looking at the calendar it’s going to be slim pickens show-wise for the month of January. Still, there are a few shows on my radar:

— Criteria has been added to that Cursive/Cloud Nothings show Jan. 15 at Winchester Bar and Grill. The only surprise here is that Criteria wasn’t on the original show line-up, as the band will be hitting the road the following day on tour with Cursive.

— Indie singer/songwriter Your Smith has a gig at The Slowdown Jan. 19. I dug her last album — very dance-y, very fun.

— Cold War Kids are coming to The Waiting Room Jan. 23 (*yawn*).

— Lawrence, Kansas, legacy indie act The Anniversary play The Waiting Room Jan. 29. Band member Adrianne Verhoeven is no stranger to Omaha, as she’s performed as as a member of bands Art in Manila and Flowers Forever.

— And InDreama closes out the month with a show at Reverb Lounge. What has Nik Fackler and Co. been up to lately? Find out.

There are more smaller shows dotted in between those, which I’ll keep you apprised of as they come near. I’m to the point now where I’m happy if there are at least two solid touring indie shows coming through town per month. Anything more than that is frosting on the cake these days.

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Remember that Digital Leather song “Compass” I mentioned was a stand-out at the last two DL live shows? Well, a recording of the song was released via Bandcamp last week as the first single off the band’s upcoming album. Dig it:

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The last single from everyone’s favorite Omaha-based Latin-language punk band, Las Cruxes, made it onto NPR program World Cafe‘s list of the Best Latin Music for 2019. Check out the track, “1303 Mente Enferma,” on their playlist included in the article.

From the article “... it was great to hear bands like Las Cruxes, Davila 666, Mueran Humanos, Choked Up, Le Butcherettes and Mi Puga Mi Pishgo rocking out with punk, Brit-influenced rock en español and even dark wave sounds.” Lsten along here.

And look for a new Las Cruxes recordings (hopefully) by the end of the month.

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Lazy-i Best of 2019

Today is the last day to enter to win a copy of the Lazy-i Best of 2019 Comp CD!

The collection includes my favorite indie tunes I’ve come across throughout last year as part of my tireless work as a music critic for Lazy-i. Among those represented: DIIV, Hand Habits, Uh Oh, Sharon Van Etten, Orville Peck, Simon Joyner, Prettiest Eyes, Purple Mountains and lots more.

To enter, send me an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com. Hurry, contest deadline is TONIGHT, Jan. 6, at midnight.

Or listen on Spotify. Simply click this link or search “Lazy-i” in Spotify and you’ll find the 2019 playlist along with a few from past years, too!

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Las Cruxes at The Brothers; Mike Watt and the Missing Men, Wagon Blasters tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:48 pm September 30, 2019

Las Cruxes at The Brothers Lounge, Sept. 27, 2019.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Playing as a 6-piece with two of the city’s best drummers (Nate Van Fleet and Jeff Lambelet, sitting above the band like a couple rock ‘n’ roll gargoyles) a second guitarist flown in from Chicago, a second vocalist and local hero Landon Hedges doing a unibomber impression on bass, Las Cruxes was pure punk bombast.

The set got off to a rocky start Friday night at a semi-crowded Brothers Lounge as (I’m told) that second guitarist was borrowing Hedges’ guitar, and frontman Eduardo ‘Yayo’ Trujillo could be seen prior to the set showing him some chord progressions. By the third song it didn’t matter as everyone was locked in, with the Chicago guy adding a much needed layer of vocal energy above Yayo’s high voice.

The songs sounded like a cross between The Pixies and every three-chord punk band you’ve ever heard, but propelled full-throttle by the double-barrel drum attack, it was like watching a couple synchronized swimmers in a boxing ring trying to outdo each other, while down below Hedges did his usual rock pirouettes with his back to the crowd (mostly). With everything else going on, Landon was the glue holding it all together.

When music is as powerful (and loud) as this was it doesn’t matter that you can’t understand a thing the Spanish-language singer is singing, and besides, how many punk shows have you gone to where you really understand what was being shouted? The message behind the energy was enough, with Yayo falling backward into the drums at the end of the set.

I’m told Las Cruxes is heading out on tour, down south to Mexico way, and that Hedges is coming along. The band’s albums are backed by Sony distro in Mexico, and I can only imagine what their shows will be like in places like Nueva Laredo or Juarez, where no translation is needed.

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Tonight a punk legend takes over Reverb Lounge. Mike Watt, who carved his name into the Mt. Rushmore of punk rock with his work in Minutemen and fIREHOSE (among others), and his band, The Missing Men, headline.

About the tour that brings them to Omaha, via the hootpage:

not too long ago original missingmen drummerman Raul Morales along w/Paloma brought on board new shipmate Sofie so that means no more big tours for him but of course he will be on missingmen recordings and local gigs he can do… Raul is now a pop! not too long ago, original missingmen guitarman Tom Watson lost his pop and now he’s like me (lost mine in 1991), we’re both missing our pops. it’s for that reason I named this sally forth the ‘dick watt tour 2019’ – named after my pop which is also the name of the next missingmen album, continuing the theme. me and tom have been touring for twenty years now! crimony. standing in for raul this tour is big man Nick Aguilar who we all think is up for the job. we’ve been doing prac ‘pert-near every day a month before the tour I did bass for Flipper and the three weeks since. d boon, me and georgie went to school w/his pop rudy (san pedro high, class of 1976) so in a way it’s a total connect – ain’t life a trip?!

Local legends/tractor-punk originators Wagon Blasters opens the show at 8 p.m. $15.

Here’s a sneak peek, from their set just a couple weeks ago in Santa Monica:

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Las Cruxes features local star power (and two drummers); The Mynabirds, Now Now tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:44 pm September 25, 2019

Las Cruxes circa 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There’s a new version of an old band debuting at The Brothers Lounge Friday night that features some serious local star power.

Las Cruxes is an established rock band from Los Angeles who’s put out a full length and a number of singles. Did I mention they’re a Spanish-language punk band? Here’s their bio via Spotify, translated via Google Translate:

“Las Cruxes is a collective band of Post-Sunflower-Punk-Psychedelic pop led by Eduardo ‘Yayo’ Trujillo, who has been on the American / Mexican scene for several years after having played in bands like Pastilla (Sony / BMG) and Howler (Rough Trade). He began his independent career as a soloist in September 2016 along with Xavier Martinez (and) decided to form a band with a noisy raw sound without rules.

“In March 2017, the independent label of Miami AFONICO signed them and (released their) first EP ‘Casa’ distributed by Sony US Latin. At the same time the Monterrey label CINTAS releases the EP in cassette format. In November 2017 the two singles of the new album came out, ‘Far’ and “Bleach” by AFONICO / SONY US LATIN and the LP in cassette format  ‘ILUSIONES, DEPRESSIONS.'”

Trujillo recently moved to Omaha to be closer to his son, according to Little Brazil’s Landon Hedges. Trujillo wanted to keep his music moving forward, so he asked Hedges to help him “build a band.” So for Las Cruxes’ show Friday night, Hedges will be playing bass, and rounding out the rhythm section will be two of the best drummers in Omaha — Jeff Lambelet from Digital Leather and Nate Van Fleet from See Through Dresses — both playing at the same time. Trujillo’s guitarist also is flying in from Chicago just for Friday night’s show.

The band’s 2018 LP Ilusiones, Depressions is available via Spotify and is somewhat awesome, though I have no idea what they’re singing about. Hedges described the band’s sound as post-punk Pixies, which is accurate. Though singing in Spanish, Trujillo has the same phrasing and style as Black Francis, but Las Cruxes songs are more melodic and less experimental than typical Pixies stuff.

What will happen with this configuration of the band after this show will likely depend on its success. See you at The Brothers Friday night.

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Tonight Laura Burhenn reunites with the version of The Mynabirds that played on her 2012 album Generals (Saddle Creek), when the “We Are Family” tour rolls into Reverb Lounge. I suspect we’ll be hearing most of Generals as well as other nuggets from the past, and maybe even the band’s new cover of Portishead’s “Glory Box,” which was released Monday on Spotify. Jones Family Retro Show and Patric Demphier open at 8 p.m. $15.

Also tonight, Minnesota indie band Now, Now plays at The Waiting Room. Their latest album, 2018’s Saved, was released on Trans- Records. No opener listed. $17, 8 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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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