Live Review: Summer Cannibals, Straight Outta Compton; the Maha survey; the week ahead…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:46 pm August 24, 2015
Summer Cannibals at O'Leaver's, Aug. 21, 2015.

Summer Cannibals at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 21, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Light crowd for Summer Cannibals Friday night at O’Leaver’s. I guess that was to be expected, considering they’re virtually unknown here and Sting’s daughter was playing cross-town at the same time. The dozen or so of us on hand got a great show by a young band that could emerge as this generation’s Sleater-Kinney. Actually, I’m more apt to reach for SC’s latest album than S-K’s (sacrilege!) thanks to having a better handle on pop, though the band was no slouch when it came to raw, meaty guitar sound.

BTW, Miniature Horse cancelled Friday night and Low Long Signal played as a two-piece, so it should have been an early night, except that I ran into a local music scene legend and we proceeded to attempt to solve the entire music industry problem over PBRs and Rolling Rocks. Our solutions are pending.

We also talked about Straight Outta Compton, which I recommend you catch whether you have an interest in late-’80s gangsta rap or not. I was warned the two-and-a-half hour movie had too many slow moments, but I didn’t notice them. It was fun seeing not only NWA re-imagined on screen, but also other stars from the era, like Snoop Dogg and 2Pac. Who would have guessed Eazy-E could come off so lovable?

* * *

The folks behind the Maha Music Festival launched their annual post-festival survey this weekend where they ask what you liked and didn’t like about Maha and (more importantly) who you want to see at next year’s festival. Now is the time to speak up. Survey feedback was one of the factors that got Modest Mouse booked this year. Survey here.

* * *

Friday night was my only venture out to music this weekend, and this week is looking kinda thin. The highlights:

— Simon Joyner plays at O’Leaver’s Tuesday night.
— Little Brazil closes out the Hear Omaha concert series at noon Thursday outside at 13th & Howard.
— Beach Slang (Cursive tour mates) and See Through Dresses play at O’Leaver’s Thursday night.

And then it’s the weekend again already…

* * *

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Maha Music Festival 2015 (and the after party); Midwest Dilemma, Super Ghost tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:50 pm August 17, 2015
The crowd gathered to listen to The Good Life during the 2015 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 15, 2015.

The crowd gathered to listen to The Good Life during the 2015 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 15, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

First, read this. It’s the “where do they go next” interview with Lauren Schomburg, who sits on the Maha Music Festival board of directors. It’s a tough question because it’s going to be hard to top this year’s festival, which was held Saturday at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village.

Maha has become a model of how a festival should be run. Actually, it’s been a model of efficiency since its first year in 2009. Even way back then, whether you liked the bands or not, you had to admit the organizers and their army of volunteers had their shit together. Now in the present day, when there’s a band for practically every taste, Maha remains a streamlined, seamless experience, from the overall facility layout to the food offerings to the 501(c)(3) booths to the children’s play area. Even the parking and (in my case) bike lock-up availability was first class. And if you’re a VIP ticket-holder, they even had your restroom needs covered.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, but what about the bands?

First off, this isn’t a comprehensive review of the day. I missed some bands in the middle when (like last year) I needed a break from the blazing sun, heat and humidity and escaped for a few hours of AC and a power-nap (What can I say? Getting old sucks). That, after getting to the festival late, which meant missing opening local acts Both (who I just saw a few weeks ago) and Freakabout (who I can see some other time). I’ve heard a smidgen of grumbling about the lack of a “local” stage at this year’s Maha, but only the smidge-iest of smidgens. While a festival gives local bands exposures to a new audience, it takes away slots for national bands that we’ll likely never get a chance to see in Omaha again.

Ex-Hex on the Maha Music Festival main stage, 8/15/15.

Ex-Hex on the Maha Music Festival main stage, 8/15/15.

Bands like Ex-Hex and Alvvays.  Ex-Hex, the post-punk trio headed by ex-Helium frontwoman Mary Timony, rifled through a set of fast, heavy rock songs in lean-rather-than-gritty fashion that was almost matter-of-fact in its presentation. They powered through one song after the next off Rips (Merge, 2014) playing the closest thing to psych-garage rock I heard Saturday, though their music sounded downright tidy compared to the garage bands I’m used to. Maha needs to book at least one dirty, sloppy, snarling, don’t-give-a-shit rock band per festival to get festival-goers a chance to say, “Can you believe they booked those guys/gals?”

Alvvays on the Javlin (smaller) stage at Maha.

Alvvays on the Javlin (smaller) stage at Maha.

Ex-Hex played on the “Weitz Stage” — the big/main stage — while Alvvays played on the smaller Javlin Stage right next to it, and though it didn’t look as impressive, the sound from the smaller stage was just as fierce (though not as loud). While Modest Mouse was the festival’s main draw, Alvvays was the band I was most excited to see. I chased them around SXSW this year, never able to get into the venues because they were already at capacity. Now here they were on an Omaha stage. Their candy-colored summer shimmer-rock was everything I hoped it would be, playful and fun in the mid-day heat. Alvvays played the best tunes off their 2014 debut along with a few new ones that have me looking forward to their next album.

So did the ploy of placing these two high-quality bands so shortly after noon get people to come out to Maha earlier? Only the Maha folks can say for sure, though the crowd of at least a thousand was definitely larger at 2 p.m. than in year’s past. Certainly Ex-Hex/Alvvays are more known quantities than, say, Army Navy and Appleseed Cast, bands that had the early slots back in the day and failed to draw even a few hundred people. I like the ploy, though when you book as many quality bands as Maha did this year, it’s hardly a ploy at all, it’s a necessity. If the festival is only one day long with one band performing at a time, you have to place them somewhere in the schedule or not book them at all.

The Jayhawks at the Maha Music Festival, 8/15/15.

The Jayhawks at the Maha Music Festival, 8/15/15.

Which brings us to The Jayhawks, a band that is almost legendary locally for putting on shows that bombed over the past two decades. I talked to more people Saturday who were excited to see Jayhawks than any other band. This year they filled the role of the “indie legacy” act that appeals to dudes in their 40s and 50s, many of whom were pushed against the fence of the VIP section during their set.

Somewhere in my basement is my copy of 1992’s Hollywood Town Hall (American Recordings) that contains at least a few of the songs the band played on stage Saturday, sounding exactly like they did when the band played them at Sokol years ago. Ignore the shaggy gray hair and little has changed. There had been a rumor that Matthew Sweet was going to join the band on stage, but it never happened (though photos of Sweet backstage appeared on Facebook Sunday morning).

Speedy Ortiz on the Javlin Stage at Maha Music Festival, 8/15/15.

Speedy Ortiz on the Javlin Stage at Maha Music Festival, 8/15/15.

It was during the Jayhawks’ set that I made my getaway for a few hours, missing All Young Girls Are Machine Guns, the Omaha Girls Rock band and Wavves, returning just in time for Speedy Ortiz on the small stage. What to say about the set? It was a solid walk-through of the band’s songs off their last couple albums, heavy on Foil Deer (Carpark, 2015) material. Frontwoman Sadie Dupuis has a voice that leans toward Liz Phair on songs that have Phair’s same face-kick confessional quality. Dupuis sings about her life with a knee-groin intensity that recalls ’90s post-grunge post-punk. I love it.

The crowd gets into Atmosphere at The Maha Music Festival, 8/15/15.

The crowd gets into Atmosphere at The Maha Music Festival, 8/15/15.

By 7 p.m. the crowd had ballooned to several thousand for Minneapolis indie hip-hop act Atmosphere. The duo of Slug and Ant have been coming through Omaha semi-regularly for nearly 20 years performing a straight-forward, beat-heavy style of hip-hop that takes the lead from ’80s acts and makes it wholly their own. Slug’s rhymes are clear, distinct, personal and in-your-face, which is why the crowd was yelling along with them as they held up their “scissors” (Slug’s word for a peace sign).  No other act got the crowd going at Maha like Atmosphere, a brilliant booking that cut across genres and age lines and added a bounce that the festival sorely needed.

The Good Life at Maha Music Festival, 08/15/15.

The Good Life at Maha Music Festival, 08/15/15.

Atmosphere was the perfect launching pad for the evening home stretch, led off by local heroes The Good Life. Tim Kasher and Co. lit up the small stage with a collection heavy on songs from their intense new album Everybody’s Coming Down (Saddle Creek, 2015) as well as the best Good Life material from throughout the band’s 15-year history. I’ve seen TGL play at least a dozen times over the years, but never to a larger crowd.

Purity Ring's __ on the Maha Music Festival main stage, 8/15/15.

Purity Ring’s Megan James on the Maha Music Festival main stage, 8/15/15.

It was dark by the time Purity Ring took the stage. It became keenly obvious why they were placed so late in the day. The electronic duo of frontwoman Megan James and technology performer Corin Roddick played behind a cascade of multi-colored lights that were draped from the rafters of the big stage and shimmered in iridescent tones in time with their ethereal electronic rock. Their style is dense and gorgeous, ambient and stylish and wholly unique, casting a spell over the massive Maha audience. Again, another smart, unexpected booking that added a level of sophistication to the festival, though the duo’s set went on too long. A little bit of Purity Ring goes a long way since their music is anything but varied. No amount of pretty lights could make it any more interesting.

A view from the side of the stage of Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock during the Maha Music Festival, 08/15/15.

A view from the side of the stage of Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock during the Maha Music Festival, 08/15/15.

The crowd was at its apex for Modest Mouse. I strolled out of the VIP area and discovered the grounds had become a darkened chaos of people, but despite the sell-out size of somewhere in the 9,000 range (or so I was told, I still haven’t heard the official number) there was plenty of room to move either through the crowd or around it along the sidewalks that surround the park. Any more, however, and things could have gotten ugly.

Modest Mouse came on late (maybe because they had to tear down all of Purity Ring’s Christmas lights?), and I was told were going to play late as well. For me, they were one of the least interesting bands on the bill, having seen them do a stand-around set years earlier at Sokol. Not much has changed in their performance style, though their music certainly has changed. Somewhere in the past decade, Modest Mouse lost its weirdness, swaying north of the caustic noise that made The Lonesome Crowded West (1997, Up) a masterpiece. When they discovered thicker, more straight-forward beats and melodies, they lost their edge and (of course) become much more popular. So who can blame them? Had they kept on their initial trajectory they wouldn’t be headlining festivals.

Still, the crowd was definitely into them (at least the folks near the stage) as the band played through their catalog of recent releases. I didn’t stick around until the end, opting to get a head start to O’Leaver’s where Speedy Ortiz had announced they’d be playing an unofficial after party.

Which brings us back to how we started this tome and the question that was on everyone’s minds as they walked back to their cars (or bikes) after a long, hot day in the park: What can Maha do to top this? Just having another sell-out ain’t gonna cut it. In fact, a sell-out is the least they can do to match this year’s success.

As the article pointed out, Stinson’s already booked for 2016. The most common suggestion is expanding Maha to two days, effectively doubling your volunteer needs but gaining some cost efficiency associated with staging, etc. Could Omaha support a two-day indie music festival or would Maha have to expand the stylistic breadth of bands to include non-indie stuff? Maybe instead of two days, Maha should stay at one day and book a next-tier indie band like Arcade Fire, Beck or Wilco and either raise ticket prices or find bigger sponsors to cover the increased booking costs.

My vote would be for Maha to add a Friday night event to the all-day Saturday event (a suggestion which sounds strangely familiar).

The real question: What do the folks who run Maha want Maha to become? What’s their definition of success? What’s the ultimate end-game? How far can they push it before Maha bleeds too far away from its original vision? Lauren outlined where she wants Maha to go. What’s the vision for the rest of the Maha team?  And, by the way, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it just the way it is (no matter what Tim Kasher says).

* * *

Speedy Ortiz at the unofficial Maha afterparty at O'Leaver's, 8/15/15.

Speedy Ortiz at the unofficial Maha after party at O’Leaver’s, 8/15/15.

As I was saying, there were a couple Maha after parties. The official after party was at Reverb. The unofficial party was at O’Leaver’s where Speedy Ortiz finished off the night playing a ferocious set that was different from their Maha set list, crystallizing the difference between seeing a band at a festival and seeing a band in a club setting.

Playing to a crowd of 60 or 70 that included members of Maha bands Alvvays and The Good Life, Dupuis and her band gave a performance that was as dynamic and intimate as you would expect, wearing a flower in her hair given to her by a fan who stood right in front of her.  It was a stark reminder that no matter how much fun festivals may be, they’ll never be a replacement for seeing a band at a small music venue — one of the major advantages of loving indie music.

* * *

A couple shows tonight…

Midwest Dilemma opens for Nashville’s Great Peacock tonight at Slowdown Jr. $8, 8 p.m.

And indie/emo band Super Ghost headlines New Music Monday at The Waiting Room tonight. Also on the bill are Bill Riccetti and Like Noise But Louder. The free show starts at 8 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Maha Music Festival weekend (Alvvays, Ex-Hex, The Good Life and, oh yeah, it’s SOLD OUT); where are the after parties? Megafauna tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:45 pm August 14, 2015
The huge crowd at Maha 2014. Expect an even bigger crowd when the festival kicks off tomorrow at Stinson Park.

The huge crowd at Maha 2014. Expect an even bigger crowd when the festival kicks off tomorrow at Stinson Park.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There are a few guides to tomorrow’s Maha Music Festival online for those headed to Stinson Park  for the annual event that as of noon today is SOLD OUT.

The best guide is located at the festival’s website — http://www.mahamusicfestival.com — where you’ll find set lists, a good map of the compound, a list of vendors, the Globe poetry/comedy stage schedule and the Community Village index.

The website also lists the festival’s rules in its “FYI” section, including their leave-and-come-back policy, which has changed from previous years. This year, if you leave the grounds before 6:30 but intend to come back, you have to get a “re-entry voucher” and also have your ticket. If you leave after 6:30 you’re not allowed back in unless you’re a VIP wristband holder.

There are other Maha guides, if you’re interested. Maha’s official Public Relations Division — the Omaha World-Herald — published its guide, here.

And The Reader also published a guide to the bands, carefully crafted by Wayne Brekke, online right here.

But hey, if you’re just looking for the sched, here it is (again):

Noon    Gates Open
12:00    BOTH
12:40    FREAKABOUT
1:15    Ex Hex
2:05    Alvvays
2:55    The Jayhawks
4:00    All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
4:35    Vintage Paisley (Omaha Girls Rock)
4:50    Wavves
5:55    Speedy Ortiz
6:50    Atmosphere
8:00    The Good Life
9:00    Purity Ring
10:20    Modest Mouse
Midnight Show Over – See you in 2016!

So where are the after parties? The “official” afterparty is being held at Reverb Lounge and showcases All Young Girls Are Machine Guns and Rothsteen. It’s free and starts at 11:30.

Meanwhile, the unofficial Maha after party is being held at fabulous O’Leaver’s, and includes a “special surprise guest” along with Oquoa, Sean Pratt and the Sweats and Nathan Ma and the Rosettes. $5, 9:30 p.m.

All of that is happening Saturday. What about tonight?

Well, there’s actually a Maha pre-show at Reverb tonight featuring The Good Life, but entrance is limited to just 100 and you must have your Maha ticket in hand to get inside. According to the One Percent website, “Watch our Facebook page this Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. for a link to register for a spot for this show!” I couldn’t find the link, but I’m sure it (was) out there, right? Good luck.

Also tonight, Austin band Megafauna plays at O’Leaver’s. The female-fronted power trio has toured with Cursive, Mission of Burma and Trail of Dead, among others. Also on the bill are Laika the Space Bitch and headliner Lineman’s Rodeo. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday it’s all-Maha all day and all night. But one more show worth mentioning is Super Ghost at Midtown Art Supply, 2578 Harney. Also on that bill are Sioux Falls’ Tenenbaums and Low Long Signal. $5, 8 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you at 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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More Maha info (set sched, food, booze); The Good Life streams new album…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:47 pm August 11, 2015
Speedy Ortiz at SXSW, March 18, 2015. The band plays at The Maha Music Festival Aug. 15.

Speedy Ortiz at SXSW, March 18, 2015. The band plays at The Maha Music Festival Aug. 15.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Maybe it’s because Maha is Saturday, but it’s a dead week show-wise. I mean nothing’s going on (unless there’s a show under the radar  I don’t know about (which is very possible)).

That lack of shows allows you to scratch together $50 for your Maha ticket. I’ve had three people in the past three days contact me via the internet asking what the Maha set schedule is — three people who apparently don’t know how to use the internet, because the Maha set schedule has been at mahamusicfestival.com for weeks now.

So for those lazy few unwilling to click the above link and scroll down, here’s this year’s Maha Music Festival set schedule:

Noon        Gates Open
12:00    BOTH
12:40    FREAKABOUT
1:15    Ex Hex
2:05    Alvvays
2:55    The Jayhawks
4:00    All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
4:35    Vintage Paisley (Omaha Girls Rock)
4:50    Wavves
5:55    Speedy Ortiz
6:50    Atmosphere
8:00    The Good Life
9:00    Purity Ring
10:20    Modest Mouse
Midnight Show Over – See you in 2016!

I’m told there may be a secret “special guest” joining The Jayhawks, whose set is pretty early in the day. In fact, my favorite band of the festival — Alvvays — plays right before The Jayhawks at 2:05 p.m., and indie darling Ex-Hex is right before that. At first blush you might say, “I would have scheduled both those bands later in the day,” but perhaps Maha has finally taken my advice and scheduled a couple quality national bands early in an effort to get people to Stinson Park earlier in the day. Now let’s hope the heat index is somewhere below 100 degrees.

Maha today sent out a press release that lists this year’s food and booze vendors. Not a bad selection (though I would have loved to see LaCasa on the list):

To Eat: Big Daddy’s Donuts, Country Sno, Hy-Vee, Jones Bros, Kebobs Gyros and Brats, Mangia Italiana, and Voodoo Taco. For VIP only: Kitchen Table and Dante Pizzeria.

To Drink: Boulevard Brewing Company (hopefully the beer backpack dudes will be back), Pabst Blue Ribbon, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Mike’s Palm Breeze Ruby Red, Angry Orchard, Red Bull, Coors Light, Pepsi Products (boo! Where’s my Dr. Pepper?) and that old favorite Mixed Cocktail.

* * *

The Good Life have a prime slot at Maha, going on at 8 p.m. The band’s new album, Everybody’s Coming Down, is being streamed in its entirety at Stereogum (but actually on YouTube, below). Listen to the whole damn thing prior to its Aug. 14 drop date and read about the album in my interview with the band.

* * *

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Where does Maha go from here? (in the column); Oquoa, Rocky Votolato tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , — @ 12:51 pm August 10, 2015
The Maha Music Festival is this coming Saturday, Aug. 15, at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village.

The Maha Music Festival is this coming Saturday, Aug. 15, at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Maha Music Festival is this coming Saturday, and chatter continues that this could be the first year it actually sells out. I don’t know what “sells out” equates to — 10,000 tickets? If it happens it would create a new benchmark and would likely signal a change in how the festival is run in the future. Expansion to a 2-day event? Partnering with other local entities?  A move of venue?

Those options are covered in this month’s Over the Edge column in The Reader. Maha Vice President Lauren Schomburg talks about the current state of the festival and possible future scenarios. The jury is definitely split as to whether Maha should remain a quaint 10,000-sized one-day indie music festival or take steps to grow into something bigger at the risk of losing some of its charm. Read the column (online here) and then let me know where you weigh in. And purchase your $50 tickets before it sells out.

* * *

Tonight at Pageturners Lounge Oquoa plays a free set as part of the bar’s summer concert series. The show starts at 9 p.m. More info here.

Also tonight, singer/songwriter Rocky Votolato (Barsuk Records) headlines at Slowdown Jr. with Dave Hause and Chris Farren. $12, 8 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Modest Mouse, Alvvays, Ex-Hex, Speedy Ortiz, The Good Life among Maha 2015 lineup; Live Review: Peach Kelli Pop, BUHU…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:13 pm April 13, 2015
maha2015logo

The Maha Festival line-up was announced last night, and it’s a doozy…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

By now you’ve heard the line-up for the 2015 Maha Music Festival, which is being held Aug. 15 in Stinson Park at Aksarben Village. If somehow you’ve missed it, here it is again:

Modest Mouse
Atmosphere
Purity Ring
Wavves
The Jayhawks
Alvvays
Ex-Hex
The Good Life
Speedy Ortiz
All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
Both
Freakabout

Their best line-up ever? Maybe, maybe… Modest Mouse was the first name I’d heard from this line-up prior to the announcement, and my reaction was, meh. I’ve seen them live and they’re less than interesting, to say the least. It’s hard to undersell the impact of their album The Lonesome Crowded West, which was groundbreaking at the time of its release in 1997. They’ve had more commercial success with later albums, but never reached the level or arcane creative madness/genius heard on that ’97 album, and likely won’t again. On stage, they pretty much stand around and play their songs.

So no, I wasn’t exactly tapping my heels with joy when I heard they were the headliner, even though I knew their booking would sell a lot of tickets. Neither did I understand why Maha booked The Jayhawks, a band that is legendary in its failure to draw a crowd in Omaha. Does anyone remember who these guys are? Obviously someone associated with Maha does.

Atmosphere has a big following in Omaha. Their style of hip-hop just ain’t my thing.

So those were the only bands I heard were booked for Maha until a couple weeks ago. Then the floodgates opened.

Unless you wanted to arrive an hour before the show or wait in line forever you weren’t going to see Alvvays at South By Southwest this year. The band was a “must see” act, thanks to their 2014 debut album, which is somewhat awesome. Alvvays is the band I’m most looking forward to seeing at this year’s Maha festival.

But coming up right behind them is Speedy Ortiz (who I did manage to see in Austin this year), Ex-Hex (featuring Mary Timony of Helium, and whose last album is a Pitchfork favorite), the electronic kaleidoscope of Purity Ring (not exactly dynamic live when I saw them a few years ago, but a departure for this festival), and Tim Kasher’s pop band The Good Life (anytime you can get Kasher on your stage, you’ve won).

I tip my hat to Wavves. They outshined Best Coast when they opened for them at The Waiting Room back in 2011. Wavves is the closest thing to garage rock you’re going to get at this year’s Maha.

As for the three locals who fill out the balance of the bill, well I haven’t seen or heard any of them, though I’m familiar with AYGAMG’s recorded stuff.

Pound-for-pound, Maha has a more attractive line-up than Des Moines’ 80/35 Festival, despite having half as many bands on the bill — which is perhaps as good an argument as any to keep Maha to one day (though I still think they should put on a concert somewhere the evening before).

Looking back at my comments, last year’s festival drew 7,000. Will they beat that number with this offering? Ironically, Death Cab for Cutie (who headlined last year’s) would probably draw better this year because they just released a new record. That said, Death Cab vs. Modest Mouse is probably a wash in terms of draw.

This year has a better undercard than last year’s Doomtree/Radkey/Local Natives/Head and the Heart combination. From a legacy-band perspective, Aimee Mann/Ted Leo is a teensy bit more well known than The Jayhawks. And it will be hard to beat last year’s local stage offering (Icky Blossoms/Domestica/Whipkey/M34n Str33t/Envy Corp (who I consider local), which was as good as it gets.

What I said after last year’s festival applies again this year:  “For every person I talked to who loved the line-up there was someone who whined about the line-up. Maha will never be all things to all people, nor should it be.

To me, Maha has remained consistent in its mission (as I understand it), which is to put together one of the best indie concerts in the region. The operative word here is “indie” — not garage, not heavy metal, not punk, not C&W, not pop. If indie was their target, they’ve scored a direct hit. Just remember, indie is a sub-genre with a limited audience. Maha may never exceed that coveted 10,000 threshold as long as they stay as a one-day festival…

* * *

BUHU at O'Leaver's April 10, 2015.

BUHU at O’Leaver’s April 10, 2015.

Speaking of rock shows, there was a nice one at O’Leaver’s last Friday night. Austin band BUHU was a two-man crew featuring one guy on synths and the other on guitar and vocals, creating a catchy post-wave music, thanks in part to great programming and to the lead guy’s sweet vocals. Fun stuff.

Peach Kelli Pop at O'Leaver's April 10, 2015.

Peach Kelli Pop at O’Leaver’s April 10, 2015.

BUHU was followed by the all-female power-garage sound of Peach Kelli Pop. It is, no doubt, sexist to call this band an “all-female group” (why not refer to BUHU as an “all-male group”?). That said, the band epitomized the best parts of a long history of all-female punk rock bands. I loved their style, their sound, their energy. I’ll have a snippet of their music in this week’s podcast, online Wednesday.

* * *

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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