Live Review: Lucy Dacus, Adult Mom, And the Kids…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:00 pm April 3, 2018

Lucy Dacus at Reverb Lounge, April 2, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve been trying to see Adult Mom, the indie music project of Stephanie Knipe, since I reviewed the Sometimes Bad Happens cassette four years ago. Seems like the band cancelled once and/or I didn’t make it to another. They were worth the wait. Fine singer/songwriter stuff that would have been better if the sound were tweaked enough to hear the lyrics.

I could hear Knipe fine when singing alone or with the bassist, but when the full band came in, Knipe was somewhat submerged. Adjustments were made and it got better in the end. Knipe’s an example of someone who will do well on a solo acoustic tour, but that’s not a downgrade on the band, which was tight and good throughout.

Adult Mom at Reverb Lounge, April 2, 2018.

I almost skipped the second band, And the Kids, resenting they were on the bill (I still swear the original line-up had only two bands), but am happy I didn’t. Call them an indie power trio with vocalist Hannah Mohan reminding me a bit of Angel Olsen. She wowed the audience with her guitar work including some fancy behind-the-back strumming and an Indian wrestling match flat on her back with her bass player. I will be doing further investigation via Spotify over the coming days.

Finally it was Lucy Dacus’ turn. They had a sound problem with the lead guitarist’s pedals that forced her to do a solo acoustic number, which actually was a great way to start the set anyway.

Despite the fact she’s on my favorite record label (sorry Robb) I’m not too familiar with her music and that likely hurt the set for me. The strength is more in the lyrics than the melodies (which were somewhat par for the course for indie singer/songwriter stuff), while the turn of the phrases I did catch were stunners.

If the show wasn’t sold out it had to be darn near as Reverb was elbow-to-elbow packed with a crowd mesmerized by Dacus and her band. And as one person put it, the crowd’s age was “refreshingly older,” I’m told thanks to her NPR status.

I only caught about half the set as I turn into a pumpkin at 10:30 on work nights, but I think I got the gist of it (if you know what I mean).

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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: Thick Paint, Mothers; Lucy Dacus, Adult Mom tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm April 2, 2018

Thick Paint at Slowdown Jr., March 30, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I don’t remember Thick Paint’s  duo drummers in the past incarnation (at O’Leaver’s) or maybe I didn’t notice. I noticed Friday night at Slowdown Jr.

We could argue the pro’s and con’s of two drummers over a beer. My take is: Does the second drummer add anything to the sound that a single drummer couldn’t provide by just playing louder? The answer in this case is yes, most of the time. It certainly isn’t a gimmick, and they’re always fun to watch. Isn’t that the main appeal of two drummers?

I’d tell you those drummers’ names but Thick Paint doesn’t list personnel on its Facebook page except for frontman Graham Patrick Ulicny (and everyone knows bass player Sarah Bohling from Icky Blossoms). In addition to having a similar beard configuration as Jim James, Ulicny shares James’ voice. Actually, I tapped into my iPhone notes “Geddy Lee,” that’s how eccentrically high Ulicny’s voice is, and that’s not the only thing the band shares with Rush. There were times during the set that I could drop this band into the prog-rock bin thanks the chord choices and guitar lines, which actually reminded me more of Fripp-y ’80s-era King Crimson.

They’re at their best when they look past the intricacies of their guitar lines, lean back on those duo-drummers (and bass) and just swing, as they did on the last couple songs of their set.

Mothers at Slowdown Jr., March 20, 2018.

Headliner Mothers was a departure from the usual female-led indie band in their embracing of dark, arch melodies. Three songs into their set Friday night they played their poppiest number “It Hurts Until it Doesn’t,” off their last record. The rest of the night was dedicated to  mostly slower, ominous and powerful compositions that would make for great headphones listening (moreso than catching it live).

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When I bought tickets to tonight’s Lucy Dacus show at Reverb I could swear that the booking only listed two bands — Dacus and Adult Mom (who I’m actually more interested in seeing). In fact there’s three bands on tonight’s bill, with And the Kids. So even though this starts at 8 p.m. it could go past 11, which will force me to cut the Dacus set short (Some of us have to work in the morning).

Dacus’ latest album, Historian, was released this year on the mighty Matador label and received a rollicking 8.1 rating from Pitchfork. Adult Mom’s 2017 release Soft Spots (Tiny Engines) made Rolling Stone‘s Rob Sheffield’s list of the best albums of that year.

Note that someone from 1% posted a “low ticket warning” on this show over the weekend, so if you’re interested, better get on it…

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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 Thermals drops; new Dolores Diaz date; Almost Music sale, show; Noah’s Ark…, Making Movies tonight; Those Far Out Arrows, Lucy Dacus Saturday…

Noah's Ark Was a Spaceship at The Waiting Room, April 20, 2013. The band celebrates the release of their new EP tonight at O'Leaver's.

Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship at The Waiting Room, April 20, 2013. The band celebrates the release of their new EP tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Thermals see the release of their new album, We Disappear, today on Saddle Creek Records. The album was produced by Chris Walla (ex-Death Cab for Cutie). You can check it out on Spotify, and in the usual digital outlets. I’m listening to it for the first time now. Sounds a lot more…embraceable than their older stuff. What can I say, I didn’t like their last album. This one I’m digging. They’re starting to remind me of Ted Leo (though not nearly as quirky). Thermals are headed to Omaha May 6 at The Slowdown (of course).

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Omaha super group Dolores Diaz & the Standby Club, who debuted at O’Leaver’s Jan. 3, announced another date, this time at The Waiting Room May 21. The country & western cover band includes half of Bright Eyes (Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis) along with Ben Brodin, Miwi La Lupa, Roger Lewis, Dan McCarthy Phil Schaffart, Matt Maginn, and Oberst’s wife, Corina. The best tunes from that O’Leaver’s set were placed online at Live @ O’Leaver’s (here). Will the band do the same covers or attempt new material? You’ll have to wait until May 21 to find out.

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Almost Music is getting ready for its big move to the Blackstone District with a massive SALE today and tomorrow. The deals: 50% off books, 20% off used vinyl, 10% off new vinyl, and tons of stuff for 99 cents.

In addition, Almost Music is “warming up” its new space by throwing and art and variety show tonight featuring readings and performances by Megan Siebe, Jim Schroeder, Sarah Gleason, Simon Joyner and Louise Requin, Dan Crane and Dave Goldberg. The new place is at 3925 Farnam St. and the free show starts at 8 p.m.

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What else is happening? Well it looks like another O’Leaver’s weekend (or as Ian would call it, “another lost weekend”).

It starts tonight with Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship celebrating the release of their new self-released EP, Three, recorded by Ben Brodin at ARC Studios. Opening the show are Mint Wad Willy, Eric in Outerspace and DJ Joe Benson. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, Afro-Latino rock band Making Movies from Kansas City headlines at The Lookout Lounge. Their second album, A La Deriva, was produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin. Who doesn’t want to rock in Spanish? The Regulation and Anthems opens. $8, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to fabulous O’Leaver’s for Those Far Out Arrows’ album release show. If the record, From the Sun, sounds distinctly like Benson it could be because the album was recorded in brothers Ben and Evan Keelan-White’s Benson digs. The trio is rounded out by Jon Ochsner on bass. Their music has an authentic ’60s psych-garage sound influenced by VU, the Troggs and 13th Floor Elevator, as well as early Brian Jonestown Massacre. Opening the show are Dead Flower Preservation Band and Heavy Lungs. $5, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, rock ‘n’ rollers Big Wheel headline at The Brothers Lounge with The Electroliners. No price listed for this one. Starts at 9 p.m. (though Brothers’ shows always start late).

Over at Milk Run, Lucy Dacus headlines Saturday night. Dacus hails from beautiful Richmond, VA and plays thick-rhythm rock with massive hooks. Check out the tracks below. Infectious. Opening are Sowers, Badland Girls and Crypt Kid. Why Milk Run bills insists on four-band shows, I do not know, but it means some late nights. $5, 9 p.m.

Milk Run has another 4-band bill Sunday night, headlined by Cincinnati “lush-punk” band Leggy. Opening are The Ridgways, Bien Fang (Rachel Tomlinson Dick’s latest band), and Lawrence feedback/delay punkers Arc Flash. $5, 9 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments. 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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