Live Review: Little Brazil, Pro-Magnum; Little Dragon tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:03 pm June 4, 2018

Little Brazil at The Waiting Room, June 1, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

What’s the old saying — the biggest crowds come for album releases and farewell shows… and reunions, of course. Because Little Brazil plays so scarcely these days, Friday night’s show at The Waiting Room notched two of those three. It felt sort of like a reunion while at the same time they were celebrating the release of their new record, Send the Wolves (2018, Max Trax). As a result, the crowd was more than respectable: my guestimate 150+.

I got there in time to see the tail end of Pro-Magnum’s arena rock set. At least it felt like an arena rock show. I’ve seen these guys a ton of times at O’Leaver’s, but to really feel the power and majesty of these metal animals you need a stage as big at TWR’s, and a sound system to match.

Pro-Magnum at The Waiting Room, June 1, 2018.

Fronted by bassist Johnny Vredenburg with guitarists John Laughlin and Alex Kinner and legendary drummer Pat Oakes (congrats, Pat, you made “legendary” status) the band played what we used to call in the business “heavy metal,” with Vredenburg screaming/croaking out the lead vocals in Midwest-satanic fashion. The guitar interplay was most impressive, and Oakes’ throaty drumming,  a keynote back in his days with Ladyfinger, is always a wonder to behold.

This really is a different band on a large stage, visually and sonically. I assume this crew was influenced by the great arena metal acts of yesteryear (Scorpions, Slayer, Iron Maiden, etc.) who never played anything but arenas. If Pro-Magnum sounds like this at TWR, how would they sound playing Baxter Arena?

Little Brazil hit the stage at around 11 with a massive storm about to bear down on the city. I watched the radar tentatively from my phone as Landon, DMax and crew tore into a set that included all my favorites from Send the Wolves — “You,” “Making a Mess” and “Motorbike,” which featured a guest vocal by Ladyfinger’s Chris Machmuller, who also sang on the album track.

It was the usual great performance — these guys never fail to deliver. After the first few songs they played two yet-to-be-recorded songs, presumably off the next album, which will give the crowd something to look forward to, though there’s a lot of meat to Send the Wolves, even a track that features Conor Oberst on vocals (DMax stood in for Conor on Friday night). It’s Little Brazil’s best effort to date and as good as anything Desparecidos put out in its waning years (though in no way political).

In their current roles as family-men, it’s hard to imagine the band hitting the road touring the record, and as far as I know, there’s no plans to do so. So the goal I guess is to sell out the short run of vinyl, move some digital downloads and get spins on Spotify (where it’s also available). And then get back in the studio and do it all again. It’s just like the old days when it was every band’s goal to make enough money to write and record the next album. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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Tonight, Swedish electronic band Little Dragon plays at The Slowdown. The quartet has collaborated with the likes of Gorillaz, TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek and SBTRKT. Kethro opens at 8 p.m. GA tix are $28.

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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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Little Brazil record release, #BFF, Muscle Cousins tonight; M34N STR33T, Lupines Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:49 pm June 1, 2018

Little Brazil at The Waiting Room Dec. 30, 2017. The band celebrates the release of its new album, Send the Wolves, tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tonight’s the big Little Brazil album release show for Send the Wolves. You read the backstory behind the making of the album right here in The Reader. Kevin also did a story in this week’s Go! section of the OWH, which you can check out here. Pro-Magnum and Eric in Outerspace open at 9 p.m. $8. See you there.

BTW, it’s also #BFF — Benson First Friday. If you’re going to the Little Brazil show, drop by The Little Gallery beforehand and check out the opening reception for Home Sweet Home by Katie B. Temple? Temple, an Omaha artist and educator, is the studio coordinator for the Kent Bellows Mentoring Program at Joslyn Art Museum. Home Sweet Home was inspired by homes in Omaha that aren’t currently occupied.

It’s also the gallery’s third birthday, so you’ll be able to enjoy a slice of cake with your beer or wine. The opening is from 6 to 9 p.m. The Little Gallery is located in the bottom of the Benson Masonic Lodge, just up the street from The Sydney.

Speaking of The Sydney, as part of #BFF the club is hosting a show with Hussies, Gerardo Meza & The Dead and Muscle Cousins, who are celebrating the release of their debut EP, Flex. 10 p.m. and free.

Saturday night M34N STR33T celebrates the release of their new album, Don Quixote’s Lance, at Brothers Lounge. Jaw Knee Vee opens at 9 p.m. $5.

Anonymous Henchmen headline at fabulous O’Leaver’s Saturday night. The Lupines and Satellite Junction open at 10 p.m. $5.

The B Side in Benson, 6058 Maple (right next to Virtuoso Pizza) kicks off its B Side Story Sessions Saturday night with Andrew Bailie. Each session features a solo artist in a “Storytellers” style two-hour performance. Bailie has played with Jazzwholes and It’s True, among others. Tickets are $10 advance, $15 DOS. Show starts at 9 p.m.

Satchel Grande headlines at The Waiting Room Saturday night with Omaha Beat Brigade. $8, 9 p.m.

Doom Lagoon headlines at Reverb Lounge Saturday with Cvlt Play, Silversphere and Supper. $5, 9 p.m.

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Simon Joyner & The Ghosts, Lupines, Little Brazil listening party tonight; Domestica, House Vacations Saturday; La Luz Monday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:43 pm May 25, 2018

Simon Joyner at O’Leaver’s, July 1, 2016. Joyner and his band, The Ghosts, kick off an East Coast tour tonight at Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

No national touring shows this weekend, except one:

Simon Joyner & The Ghosts kick off their East Coast tour tonight at Brothers Lounge. Simon will be out supporting his latest, Step Into the Earthquake (2017, Shrimper / Ba Da Bing!). It’s been forever since Joyner/Ghosts have played in Omaha and the first time they’ve ever played at Brothers. This one’s stacked, with Lupines and The Wagon Blasters opening. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Lash LaRue & Hired Guns play at The Barley Street with Ragged Company. $5, 9 p.m.

Scott Severin plays tonight at The Down Under Lounge with The Show Is the Rainbow and Wendy Jane Bantam. 9:30 p.m., no cover listed.

And tonight Little Brazil is hosting a listening party at Hi-Fi House for their new album Send the Wolves, which drops June 1. You can read all about the new record here. Wonder if they’ll have any extra copies of the vinyl for sale tonight? I’m told merch will definitely be on hand. The listening party is from 8 to 11 p.m. and is free.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Cami Cavanaugh Rawlings celebrates her 50th birthday at The Down Under with a rock show featuring Domestica, The Ronnys and her band, Bathtub Maria. This one’s free (though Cami’s asking for canned food for charity Completely Kids). Starts at 8 p.m. More info here.

Over at fabulous O’Leaver’s Lincoln act Red Cities headlines with The Ramparts and Dead on Dust. $5, 10 p.m.

House Vacations are having an EP release party for their new one, Pictures of Friends, at Petshop Saturday night. Orca Welles, Mago and Threesome Egos open at 8 p.m. No idea what this will cost you to get in.

Strangely, there’s no shows slated for Sunday, which sucks because we all have Monday off for Memorial Day. Come on, people!

It being a 3-day weekend, I might as well mention what’s happening Monday night. LA surf/psych-rock band La Luz plays at O’Leaver’s. They’ve got a handful of albums out on labels like Hardly Art and Burger Records. Kansas City power pop band The Whiffs open along with Omaha’s Dirt House. This one starts early at 6 p.m. $8.

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Little Brazil: Don’t Call It a Comeback; new album, new line-up, new record label; Modest Mouse tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:44 pm May 9, 2018

Members of Little Brazil talked about the new record over slices at Virtuoso Pizza in Benson. From left are Shawn Cox, Landon Hedges and Danny Maxwell. Drummer Nate Van Fleet was missing in action.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The May issue of The Reader is on the racks and with it, my Over the Edge column which this time features an interview with Little Brazil. The band has a new record, Send the Wolves, that drops June 1 on new label Max Trax Records. Conor Oberst contributes to one of the tracks. The album release show also is June 1. I suggest pre-ordering some tasty blue vinyl from this here website. Look, it’s all covered in the article, which is on news stands now, online right here or, heck, just read it below.

Don’t Call It a Comeback
Little Brazil returns with a new album, line-up and record label.

Little Brazil is back with a new album that, in my humble opinion, is their best ever.

I write the above without any explanation assuming you and everyone else knows who Little Brazil was, is and will be. Because if you live in Omaha, listen to indie rock and know even a scintilla about the local music scene it’s virtually impossible to not know about the band and its history over the past 14 years.

With frontman Landon Hedges and bassist Danny Maxwell at its core, Little Brazil was always in the conversation as the “next big thing” during the mid-2000s when Saddle Creek Records bands were international commodities and Omaha was being heralded as the “New Seattle” by the likes of the New York Times, Rolling Stone and every publication that followed college music.

The band hit the ground running in 2004 with its debut LP, You and Me, released by former Omahan Mike Jaworski’s Mt. Fuji Records. It was followed by Tighten the Noose in ’07, also on Mt. Fuji, and Son in 2009 on Kansas City’s Anodyne Records. The line-up for those last two featured drummer Oliver Morgan and guitarist Greg Edds. In addition to becoming a staple on Omaha stages, Little Brazil toured the country both as an opening act and headliner.

What kept people coming back was Little Brazil’s sound — part indie, part emo, part punk and unmistakably Nebraskan. Or as I wrote in my first feature on the band way back in 2004: “What gives Little Brazil a leg up on the plethora of indie competition is Hedges’ love for basic melodies, great guitar lines and his strange, childish warble.” No one sings quite like Landon Hedges, his high croon/wail cuts through the deafening wall of guitar, bass and drums like a 10 million lumen beacon through the densest fog.

Little Brazil was always on the edge of breaking through to the next level, but after a year of touring Son, the band hit a wall in 2010 in the form of another band — Desaparecidos. Hedges held a central role in Conor Oberst’s punk-rock side project that re-emerged from a long hiatus with the Concert for Equality. But Desa wasn’t the only reason for Little Brazil’s slowdown.

“I moved to San Diego in 2010 to be with my wife,” Hedges said over slices of pizza and beer at Virtuoso Pizzeria in downtown Benson alongside Maxwell and new guitarist Shawn Cox. “I got married and DMax got married the same year. There was a member switch and, yeah, Desa got back together.”

At the time, Little Brazil was in the middle of writing its next record with new drummer Matt Bowen and new guitarist Mike Friedman, but when Conor calls, you pick up the phone. Desaparecidos recorded and toured off and on for the next five years. “Little Brazil went from doing five shows a year to two and then one,” Maxwell said.

Then in 2015 after Oberst suffered a number of health-related issues, Desaparecidos came to an end. The following January Little Brazil entered ARC Studios with producer Ben Brodin and laid down the tracks for what became Send the Wolves, the new album that comes out June 1 on Max Trax Records (more on that in a minute).

The end of the last Desaparecidos tour is the subject of the first single off the album, “Making a Mess,” that features Oberst once again singing alongside Hedges. “We were sitting in the studio and I texted Conor, ‘You’re missing out on the dubious honor of singing on a Little Brazil song.’ He knew exactly what song I was talking about because Brodin had told him.”

Oberst walked over to the studio (He lives next door) and laid down his vocals. “It was the last song we wrote for the album, it was very special and it was nice that he sang on it,” Hedges said. The two-and-a-half-minute song carries the same energy as a Desparecidos song, with opening lines: “It feels like you’re making a mess / It seems that you’re walking away from something / That you don’t want to say or admit to.”

It’s not the only song on the album reminiscent of Desaparecidos’ style and energy, but instead of politics, Hedges writes about his life, from meeting his wife (“Wait for You”) to growing up in Benson (the infectious “Motorbike”) to his friendship with Maxwell. “This record is as honest as I’ve been on an album,” Hedges says, “and it makes me nervous to have the lyrics printed on the sleeve.”

The lyric sheet is a first for Little Brazil. Another first is releasing the album on vinyl. The label, Max Trax Records (maxtraxrecords.com) was the idea of Marty and Frank Maxwell, Danny Maxwell’s brothers. When Frank passed away unexpectedly in the summer of 2016, Marty and Danny launched the label as a tribute to their brother. Today, Max Trax is home to five bands including Little Brazil, with more on the way.

With the new record and new label also comes new personnel for Little Brazil. The aforementioned Shawn Cox has replaced Mike Friedman on lead guitar, while See Through Dresses’ drummer Nate Van Fleet has taken over behind the kit for Matt Bowen. The new line-up already is working on the followup to Send the Wolves, with plans to enter the studio soon.

Hedges and Maxwell will tell you they never had any allusions of making a living just playing music, and now in their mid-30s, they still don’t. “The motivation is just writing and creating new music with the guys,” Hedges said. “I’ll play music ’til the day I die.”

Little Brazil plays with Pro-Magnum and Eric in Outerspace June 1 at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $8, showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

Over The Edge is a monthly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts. Email Tim at tim.mcmahan@gmail.com

First published May 2018 in The Reader. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Lest we forget that tonight Modest Mouse plays at the Ralston Arena. The band’s last album was Strangers to Ourselves in 2015, which also happens to be the last time they came through Omaha, as headliners to that year’s Maha Music Festival. NYC band Mass Gothic opens. The band’s self-titled debut album came out on Sub Pop in 2016. Tickets are $39.50 to $55. 8 p.m. start time.

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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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New M34N STR33T; new MaxTrax site; Maha announcement day; album review: Yo La Tengo…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:40 pm April 4, 2018

M34N STR33T’s Don Quixote’s Lance album/audio book hits the streets April 13 and 14.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

More new music news:

M34N STR33T is releasing their second album, titled Don Quixote’s Lance, April 13 via streaming services and April 14 at Omaha Zine Fest. Why at zine fest? Because the 14-track album, which consists of recordings from 2013 to 2018, includes a limited-edition 34-page illustrated book from Oddities Prints. There are only 100 copies available and it could sell out at zine fest, but some might be available in record stores on Record Store Day.

This news comes via Adam Robert Haug, who adds, “We plan to book live performances again later this spring, and have even newer music on deck.” Omaha Zine Fest is April 14 at the Union for Contemporary Artists, 2423 No. 24th St. More info here.

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Max Trax Records launched a new website at maxtraxrecords.com (duh), where you can pre-order Little Brazil’s new LP, Send the Wolves, on ginchy blue vinyl. Album comes out June 1. Check it out.

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The folks at the Maha Music Festival yesterday said they’ll be announcing this year’s line-up Tuesday, April 17, at 7 p.m. That’s also when early-bird tickets go on sale. Maha has expanded the festival to two days on this their 10th anniversary year, Aug. 17 and 18.

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The April issue of The Reader is out, though I haven’t seen it on the stands yet. This month’s Over the Edge column is a Q1 2018 music recap with 12 short album reviews — or more accurately, notes about new releases I’ve been listening to. You can read them all online right here. But I’ll be posting a different review from the column every day for the next few weeks, starting today.

Yo La Tengo, There’s a Riot Going On (2018, Matador)

Yo La Tengo, There’s a Riot Going On (Matador) — I assume the title was supposed to be ironic? I’ve been listening to Yo La Tengo since the ’90s, and while every album has a few sleepy tracks, there’s also always a handful of Velvet Underground-style rockers. Not so much this time. With the exception of the grinding “Out of the Pool” and the bouncy “For You Too,” this was the most yawn-inducing YLT album ever, like listening to breezy airport music — warm, pleasant and easy to ignore.

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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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Shaun McCabe Forever; Little Brazil, Sun-Less Trio tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:58 pm February 21, 2018

Shaun McCabe Forever

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I did not know Shaun McCabe, but I know from many people who did know him that he must have been a great dude and a big music fan.

McCabe passed away Feb. 1 at UC Health University of Colorado Hospital after a life-long battle with Cystic Fibrosis.

He was a Lincoln resident and became friends with a lot of Nebraska musicians. In addition, he was the lead singer/keyboardist in the band Bone Camaro, and a music director at KWSC 91.1 FM while in college. But most of all, he was active in the Lincoln/Omaha music scene.

In a show of appreciation of McCabe’s life, a ton of bands, led by Mike Elfers (Thirst Things First, JV Allstars), put together Shaun McCabe Forever, a compilation of rare and unreleased tracks from a variety of Nebraska artists. Among the 23 tracks are recordings by Columbia Vs Challenger, The Killigans, The Machete Archive, Her Flyaway Manner, Halfwit, Gramps and The Golden Age, there’s even a couple Bone Camaro songs.

Any and all donations or purchases of this album will go directly to a McCabe family PayPal account that will ultimately make it to either the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Nebraska or the Children’s Organ Transplant Association in Shaun’s name,” said the Bandcamp page.

Check out the page and make a big-fat purchase. There’s some great stuff there. Shaun McCabe Forever!

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Pageturners’ Winter Concert Series continues tonight with Sun-Less Trio and Little Brazil. This dynamic double-bill begins at 9 p.m. and is absolutely free.

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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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Live Review: Criteria, Little Brazil rock The Waiting Room at holiday showcase…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:48 pm January 3, 2018

Criteria at The Waiting Room, Dec. 30, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You’d think sub-zero weather would have shooed fans away from going to The Waiting Room last Saturday night. No sir. A rather large and festive crowd showed up to see a line-up of acts that first made their mark in the mid 2000s perform with the same vigor they showed in their hey-day, and maybe give us hope in this modern age we live in.

Little Brazil at The Waiting Room Dec. 30, 2017.

Little Brazil boasted yet another new line-up. The core duo of Landon Hedges and Danny Maxwell remain intact, but now Shawn Cox, who you may remember from Landing on the Moon or Microphone Jones, is handling lead guitars while See Through Dresses’ Nate Van Fleet was behind the drum kit. The result was a different sound for LB, most notably coming from Cox, whose more controlled style is a contrast to former guitarist Mike Friedman’s edgy, frenetic sound. Cox’s solos had a melodic and (dare I say it) Clapton-esque feel (And this isn’t a jab at Friedman, who I think is one of the best guitarists to ever come out of Omaha).

LB played old favorites including “Brighton Beach” and “You and Me,” but really uncorked it on a number of new songs, including one they’d never played live before, which was my favorite of the evening. Or maybe I’m just excited to hear new stuff from LB. The band is about to put out a new album (recorded years ago) on new label Max Trax Records. Hedges says he also has a gaggle of even newer songs queued up and ready for a return to the studio. Call it a second coming for Little Brazil, and who knows what will happen if they get their show on the road…

Criteria remains ageless. Frontman/heart-throb/teen idol Stephen Pedersen — in trademark striped T-shirt — has lost none of the panache. I kept waiting for him to step into a pothole on those high notes, but he hit them all night. While the rest of the crew — drummer Mike Sweeney, bassist A.J. Mogis and guitarist Aaron Druery — played as if they just finished a month-long tour instead of performing one of their semi-annual shows.

Criteria transitioned into a weekend warrior act back in 2008 or so but never lost its edge, and continues to write and perform new material, though a rumored new record never seems to materialize. That kind of thing costs money, and if you’re not going to hit the road, does it make sense to release new stuff? I say “why not?” though I’m not the one footing the bill.

That said, while Saddle Creek might be too busy with shiny pennies like Big Thief and Hop Along, labels like 15 Passenger (Cursive’s new label) or the aforementioned Max Trax could be interesting homes for new Criteria material.

Regardless of what happens, this holiday concert, which also featured opener Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship, has become an Omaha tradition that never gets old, right along with these bands…

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Lazy-i Best of 2017

Here’s another thing that never gets old: the Lazy-i Best of 2017 Comp CD.

The collection includes my favorite indie tunes from last year, including songs from SUSTO, David Nance, Alvvays, Luna, The Lupines, LCD Soundsystem, Digital Leather, Beck, CLOSENESS, King Krule, Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile and lots more. The full track listing is here, or take a listen if you have Spotify.

Want one? Enter to my drawing to win a copy of this limited-edition, hand-crafted CD. To enter, either: 1. Send an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com, or 2) Write a comment on one of my Lazy-i related posts in Facebook, or 3) Retweet a Lazy-i tweet. You also can enter by sending me a direct message in Facebook or Twitter. Hurry, contest deadline is midnight Jan. 5.

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

SERIAL (ex-Ritual Device), See Through Dresses, Staffers tonight; Criteria, Little Brazil Saturday; Happy (frozen) NYE…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 12:00 pm December 29, 2017

SERIAL at The Brothers Lounge, Dec. 23, 2016. They return for another go tonight at The Brothers.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Despite the fact that New Year’s Eve has been usurped into a night of firework-bombs that exceeds the 4th of July (driving my dogs under the couch shaking in fear) I was considering going out this year… until I saw the weather forecast that calls for ambient temperatures ranging between -15 and -20. No. NYE is always a bomb anyway; even was back when I was single. It’s definitely not a night to see original indie music. I mean, who wants to hear that at midnight?

Anyway, there’s plenty of other good stuff going on this weekend, starting tonight at The Brothers Lounge where SERIAL returns for their third annual holiday show.

SERIAL is Tim Moss (Ritual Device), John Wolf (Cellophane Ceiling, Bad Luck Charm), Lee Meyerpeter (Cactus Nerve Thang, Bad Luck Charm, Filter Kings, Ocean Black) and Jerry Hug (Ritual Device). Moss, Wolf and Hug also were the Men of Porn, but that’s another story

To give you an idea what you’re in for, here’s part of the review from last year’s show:

The first set included covers of songs by Nugent, the Stones, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, one of my favorites by Pavement (“Two States) and Bowie’s “Rebel, Rebel.” As Wolf said, they were SERIAL, killing one classic at a time.

Moss’s wife, Clementine, took over the drum kit, allowing the bearded wonder to growl a couple numbers himself, including a punked-up version of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab,” and a gruff cover of AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds” that featured a young lady with dreads who crushed the guitar solo.

I only stuck around for the first set. Lord knows what happened after that. Opening the show is KC band Drop a Grand. $5, 9 p.m. (but I bet it doesn’t start til 10)…

Meanwhile tonight over at The Waiting Room it’s the triumphant return of See Through Dresses. The band has been touring all over the U.S. this year. No doubt you’ll be hearing a well-honed machine on stage. Joining them is Saddle Creek Records band Twinsmith and Oquoa. $8, 9 p.m.

But that’s not all…

The fine folks at Almost Music are hosting an in-store tonight with Staffers, Apoptosis (featuring Anna McClellan) and Sean Pratt & The Sweats. This one starts at 8 p.m. and is $5. You could probably hit up this show early than walk down the street to Brothers to catch SERIAL. Just sayin’…

Tomorrow night (Saturday) is The Waiting Room’s big holiday show featuring our old friends Criteria. Will Stephen Pedersen and the boys roll out some new Criteria material for family and friends? Find out. I do know we’ll be hearing a couple new one from opening band Little Brazil (along with the classics). Those brutes in Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship opens the night at 9 p.m. $8. In the words of everyone’s favorite holiday movie icon: Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho.

There is actually one notable show going on New Year’s Eve, and it’s at fabulous O’Leaver’s. The sinister electro-dance sounds of Cult Play headlines with post-punk rockers No Thanks and Houma. Come for the rock, stay for the NYE madness. O’Leaver’s is a crazy drunken madhouse on any given Sunday; no doubt it’ll go next-level crazy-fuck when the clock strikes 12. You’ll have to tell me about it since there’s no way I’m going out in 21-below weather.

For those of you who do, have a great New Year’s Eve and I’ll see you in 2018.

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Lazy-i Best of 2017

I almost forget to remind you about the Lazy-i Best of 2017 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: SLuna, Closeness, Slowdive, !!!, Digital Leather, Perfume Genius, Big Thief, Wilder Maker and lots more. The full track listing is here, or take a listen if you have Spotify.

So the big news is you, too, could win a copy of the CD. To enter, either: 1. Send an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com, or 2) Write a comment on one of my Lazy-i related posts in Facebook, or 3) Retweet a Lazy-i tweet. You also can enter by sending me a direct message in Facebook or Twitter. Hurry, contest deadline is midnight Jan. 5.

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

Introducing Max Trax Records (Little Brazil, Junkyard Dan, Leafblower); NayeFest 2017 dance party/fund raiser tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:41 pm August 25, 2017

Max Trax Records is the new label helmed by Marty and Danny Maxwell.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Remember that new local record label I teased here on Wednesday?

Well, It’s called Max Trax Records, an independent label run by a bunch of dudes we’re all familiar with.

“As a tribute to their brother Frank, Marty and Danny Maxwell have decided to launch Max Trax Records,” says the press release. “Being that Danny is involved in each band, MTR will be the home for Little Brazil, Leafblower, Wrong Pets, Junkyard Dan and New Lungs. Each band has new material ready – or in progress – to release in the upcoming months. In the future, MTR will be looking to sign new artists to the label.”

Whoa!

The first release out of the Max Trax gate will be the debut cassette from Junkyard Dan on Sept. 1. “Dan” is none other than Danny Maxwell a.k.a. DMax himself. The band name is an homage to his favorite wrestler (and idol), the Junkyard Dog, and features Danny on guitar, bass and vocals, and Frankie Maxwell, Jr., on drums. It was engineered, mixed and mastered by Frank Maxwell at Max Trax studio in Sioux Falls, SD, in February 2016.

The two-song single — “Someday” b/w “Leverage” — is the first of what was going to be an album. “I then planned to self-release a cassette on Frank’s birthday (Sept. 1), so when we decided on a combined announcement of the Junkyard Dan single and the launch of Max Trax Records, it felt right,” Danny said.

The local music scene was shocked when Frank Maxwell unexpectedly passed away July 11, 2016, at the age of 49. Launching a record label in his memory is a fitting tribute to someone — and an entire family — that has is greatly impacted the Omaha music scene.

Want to listen to the new Junkyard Dan release? You’ll have to wait until Sept. 1, when it will be available for ordering at maxtraxrecords.bandcamp.com. The limited cassette features hand-stamped navy-blue tapes and white O-cards, handwritten credits and free digital download cards.

And it rocks. I’ve heard the tracks and all I can say is, turn it up!

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NayeFest2017 is tonight (Friday) at The Sydney.

The best way I can think of to describe Nayef Zgkurt: He’s the guy at the rock show or at the party or in the club or even walking down the street that is having a better time than you are.

I know Nayef as the person who is never afraid to dance, no matter the circumstances. He’ll get on the floor and let the music take over with no inhibitions. It’s something this rather bashful, awkward, insecure dude has always admired about him. Nayef really does “dance like nobody’s watching,” but in his case, he doesn’t give a shit if anyone is watching. (And why would he, when you look and dance like Nayef, right?).

Anyway, Nayef also was part of the Omaha music scene for years, at one time working at Saddle Creek Records before moving to NYC to take a record label job. Then (and the details around the event are still spotty) Nayef suffered a massive head injury that resulted in a lengthy hospital stay and brain damage. It was scary news, and to a certain extent, mysterious news that left a lot of folks worried.

Well, months after the incident, Nayef surfaced on Facebook letting his friends know that he is on the road to recovery at a rehab center somewhere in Riyadh. Folks were relieved and wanted to do something to help speed the healing.

And so, tonight is NayeFest2017 at The Sydney in Benson. DJs Brent Crampton, Roger Lewis and Keith Rodger will be spinning the best dance tracks starting at 9 p.m. And a host of guest bartenders will be slinging drinks. Cover is $5. The door, all bartender tips and a portion of bar sales for the night will be donated to Nayef for his medical bills and recovery.

Needless to say, this will be the dance event of the year. Come out and celebrate the man, the myth, the dancing legend known as Nayef. More info here.

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Other than NayeFest, there ain’t a whole helluva lot happening this weekend. I mean, like, almost nothing.

If you have a 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.

Lazy-i

#TBT March 23, 2007: Little Brazil release show for Tighten the Noose; The English Beat tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:46 pm March 23, 2017

Little Brazil circa 2007. The band hosted the album release show for sophomore album Tighten the Noose 10 years ago today.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Another highlight of ’07 along with the opening of The Slowdown and The Waiting Room was the release of Little Brazil’s sophomore album Tighten the Noose.

The album’s official release date according to AllMusic.com was Feb. 6, 2007. That website gave the recording a 3-1/2 star rating, but was less than complimentary in its review, saying, “…while these are perfectly admirable sonic references, they point up Tighten the Noose’s primary flaw: Hedges’ songs are solid, and he’s a perfectly decent singer and guitarist, but there’s a faintly anonymous quality to Tighten the Noose that keeps the album from sounding like more than the sum of (Landon) Hedges’ influences…

I remember when I first read that review thinking it was pretty lazy, especially considering the comparisons the writer threw out (Dream Syndicate? Apples in Stereo? Huh?). To me, Tighten the Noose would become Little Brazil’s “rock album,” comprised of the catchiest tracks they’ve recorded in their career. Tunes like “Last Night,” “Shades” and “Never Leave You” became staples of their set over the years and epitomized their sound. These are the tunes the band will be remembered for, along with the more epic, story-telling songs on the follow-up, 2009’s Son.

At this point in the band’s career, Little Brazil was still trying to pull itself away from Landon’s association with a couple of his former bands — Desaparecidos and The Good Life.

From Lazy-i March 21, 2007:

(Bass player Danny) Maxwell is skeptical that Hedges’ history has had an impact on drawing people to Little Brazil shows. “They don’t say, ‘Holy shit, it’s the guy from Desa.'”

Still, Maxwell said fans are aware of the band’s history and its connection to the Omaha music scene. “They ask us what Conor is doing right now,” Maxwell said. “I usually respond with, ‘I don’t know. We’re here with you tonight.'”

“There are fans out there that love that style of music and ask us what it’s like to be part of it,” (guitarist Greg) Edds explained. “I don’t mind when they’re being sincere. On the other hand, there are the ones who hand us gifts to bring back to Conor and Tim (Kasher).'”

“It’s annoying at this point in our careers,” Hedges said.

“But it’s getting to be less and less of a problem,” (drummer Oliver) Morgan added. “We’re starting to make our own mark.” — Lazy-i March 21, 2007

Read the whole story here.

According to my review in Lazy-i the next day, about 250 people showed up for the album release show at Sokol Underground March 23, 2007. The Photo Atlas was the opener. There was even a balloon drop halfway through Little Brazil’s first song, and Landon almost passed out from the heat/humidity.

From the 2007 review:

“Landon… is a pure crooner, an Omaha-style indie singer cut from the same bolt of cloth as Tim Kasher (a la The Good Life, not Cursive). Every time I see him with his just-woke-up hair and cheap wireframe glasses I think of Corey Haim as Lucas or a bespeckled Bobby Brady, age 13. His voice kinda/sorta matches his appearance — an unpretentious caterwaul that has no problem reaching for the high notes at the peak of a heart-wailing phrase. Little Brazil’s music isn’t exactly a bold, new direction in the world of indie rock. You got your cool guitar riffs, your lean bass lines, your thunderous drums (Oliver Morgan is always at his best every time I see him on stage — he has no second gear), coming together to form a verse-verse-verse song (why are there never any choruses these days?) that typically builds to a predictable — if satisfying — “big ending.” The differentiator — Landon’s Bobby-at-13 voice, that is both honest and simple and, well, good enough to cut through the din. It’s kind if quirky, but perfectly on pitch. And it follows a melody that rises and falls…” — Lazy-i, March 24, 2007

The next day the band drove to Denver to open for The Photo Atlas at their album release show…

Anyway, if you haven’t already, check out Tighten the Noose at Bandcamp. I listened to it again this morning on my way into work and it holds up exceptionally well. Wouldn’t it be a kick in the head if Landon and Co. got together for a 10-year anniversary performance of Tighten the Noose? Think about it, Maha…

* * *

One of those bands that never seems to forget Omaha when it tours, Dave Wakeling and The English Beat, return to The Waiting Room tonight. Local ska band The Bishops opens. 8 p.m., $25.

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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.

Lazy-i