Ten Questions with The New Pornographers; Stephen Sheehan tonight; Maha Festival, Digital Leather, Lupines Saturday; Blind Pilot Sunday…

The Maha Music Festival is tomorrow at Aksarben Village.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before we get to the full weekend preview…

This is the eighth and final installment in a series of Ten Questions interviews with bands performing at the Maha Music Festival tomorrow at Aksarben Village. For the printed version of all interviews, pick up the August issue of The Reader.

New Pornographers are among the artist playing at this year’s Maha Music Festival.

The New Pornographers

They’ve been called an indie rock supergroup thanks to the richness of talent. The band’s 7-member roster includes three lead vocalists: Dan Bejar of Destroyer, Neko Case, whose solo career stands on its own, and the band’s founder, Carl (A.C.) Newman.

Since their debut in 1997 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, the band has released seven studio albums starting with 2000’s Mass Romantic (Mint Records) before moving to indie powerhouse Matador Records for some of the most iconic releases of the 2000s, including 2003’s Electric Version and ’05’s Twin Cinema.

Their latest, Whiteout Conditions, released this past April by Concord Music Group, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Alternative Album charts.

1. What is your favorite album?

Carl Newman: Love, Forever Changes

2. What is your least favorite song?

I think it is still out there. I haven’t heard it yet. If I have to answer, probably something that is #1 at country radio right now.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

I like all the people I have met. It is a good foot in the door for meeting people you admire. A great community.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Being away from my family. Feeling like you need to please people, like your best isn’t good enough. That sort of thing.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

I like red wine. I often champion it.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

D.C. has always been an amazing place for us. A lot of love for all of our projects.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

I remember playing in a cafe in Chapel Hill in the ’90s. No one there, they were stacking the chairs on the tables as we played. I recall thinking, “Am I paying my dues right now?”

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Yes, so far so good. I played in bands for about 10 years before that happened. Not a tough, hard-working 10 years but still… 10 years. In this era when no one buys music, that might change soon.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I would love to be a writer of some kind. Comedy, TV, film, novelist. Always had a lot of respect for the profession. I know, I am sort of a writer, in my way. So many things I would hate to be, it’s hard to choose.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Best place on earth. It rules, other places drool. Things like that.

The Maha Music Festival is Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. The day-long concert runs from noon to midnight. Tickets are $55. For set times and more information, go to mahamusicfestival.com.

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Here’s the weekend we’ve all been waiting for. Lots o’ shows, and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate.

It starts tonight at Reverb Lounge with Stephen Sheehan and his band performing songs from Sheehan’s past projects, notably Digital Sex, The World and his solo outings. Here’s the background on this special event. I have a feeling I’m going to see a lot of old, familiar faces tonight. Opening is Sun-Less Trio, who is celebrating an EP release of their own. $10, 9 p.m.

And then along comes the 2017 Maha Music Festival at Aksarben Village. The set times:

12:10: The Hottman Sisters
12:50: Downtown Boys
1:45: High Up and Omaha Girls Rock
2:55: Torres
3:50: Priests
4:45: The New Pornographers
5:55: Built to Spill
7:05: Belle & Sebastian
8:15: Sleight Bells
9:30: The Faint
11:00: Run the Jewels

Tickets today are $55. I’m not sure what the walk-up price will be (or if it’s different).

Downtown Boys is currently trending on the hipster meter, thanks to their hot new Cost of Living LP (Sub Pop) produced by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, which is enjoying a massive 79 rating on Album of the Year composite reviews. Torres also is getting a lot of attention thanks to an upcoming release. Add Priests and, of course, Run the Jewels, and this one of the more progressive Maha line-ups in the festival’s history. They’ve made it hard for me to sneak out and grab a nap tomorrow.

So where’s the after party?

In year’s past, one or two of the Maha acts played a second show somewhere after the festival. I don’t see it happening this year. So for me, the after party is at fabulous O’Leaver’s, where Digital Leather will be burning up the stage along with Sucettes. $5, 9 p.m.

If that doesn’t float your boat, you can’t miss with Lupines, Sun-Less Trio and Bled Notes at Brothers Lounge Saturday night. $5, 9 p.m.

And here’s a sneaky one: Dwight Twilley is playing at Growler USA in West O Saturday night. $15 Adv/$19 DOS, 9 p.m. How is that one not sold out yet?

And yeah, I’m aware there are a couple other big concerts going on Saturday night. But neither Lady Gaga nor the guy from Hootie in the Blowfish are exactly in my wheelhouse, though I’d be interested to see how Jocelyn does opening for Hootie at Stir Cove.

Finally, Sunday night Portland’s Blind Pilot (ATO Records) plays a sold-out show at The Slowdown. They’ve been touring through Omaha for years, growing every step of the way. Gregory Alan Isakov opens. 8 p.m.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. If you see me at Sheehan, Maha or Digital Leather, say hi with a Rolling Rock. 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

Ten Questions with The Faint (@Maha Saturday); new Sun-Less Trio, Sam Evian; Graham Ulicny, Field Club tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:51 pm August 17, 2017

The Faint at The Slowdown, Dec. 30, 2016. The band is among the acts playing at this year’s Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This is the seventh in a series of Ten Questions interviews with bands performing at the Maha Music Festival Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. For the printed version of all interviews, pick up the August issue of The Reader.

The Faint

This isn’t the first time The Faint has graced the Maha Music Festival stage. The band was one of the headliners along with Spoon and Superchunk at the 2010 festival, held at Lewis & Clark Landing. Their top-bill status — then and now — is well deserved.

One of a trio of acts that put Saddle Creek Records (and Omaha) on the indie music map in the late ’90s and throughout the 2000s, The Faint exploded onto the national scene with 1999’s Blank-Wave Arcade, an album that defined their post-punk, electronic-fueled dance-rock style. Non-stop touring and a reputation for putting on electrifying, sweat-soaked live shows quickly made them concert favorites throughout the country.

Fronted by Todd Fink with guitarist Dapose, drummer Clark Baeckle and newest member, keyboardist Graham Ulicny, The Faint continues to put out new music including three new songs on 2016 “greatest hits” compilation CAPSULE:1999-2016 (Saddle Creek).

What is your favorite album?

Todd Fink: I would never do that to  myself.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Bare Naked Ladies, “Cherry Cola”

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Free Cabernet

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

The music.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Egg nog.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Tokyo or Berlin.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

A festival in Switzerland(?) I had a complete Billy Joel/Casey Kasem meltdown on stage.  I used to really hate it when the vocoder wasn’t hooked up right.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

We live in a castle for free.

8.5 What do you eat then?

Carrots.  With bunnies.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I’ll be a milliner soon.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

That Omaha made the reuben.

The Maha Music Festival is Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. The day-long concert runs from noon to midnight. Tickets are $55. For set times and more information, go to mahamusicfestival.com.

* * *

With everything else happening this weekend, I didn’t want the fact that Mike Saklar’s band, Sun-Less Trio, is celebrating the release of a new album, When Rivers Rebirth Different Maps, at two shows. The first is tomorrow night, opening for Stephen Sheehan at Reverb Lounge (which you read about here). The second is Saturday night at Brothers Lounge with Lupines and Bled Notes.

From the album’s liner notes, Saklar describes the sessions as: “A fabulous disaster. Like a broken record that hops back a few grooves endlessly. The completion of this record is yet another audio miracle notch in the analog belt. The third recorded miracle.” Check it out below:


* * *

Speaking of new albums, Saddle Creek announced today it’s releasing a new EP by Sam Evian with drummer Chris Cohen called Need You, out Oct. 8. Evian also announced a fall U.S. Tour, but it’s a NOmaha affair at this point.

* * *

Former Omahan Maria Taylor is part of the band backing Daniel Johnston when he plays in Los Angeles Nov. 2, according to Pitchfork. Other band members include Ben Lee, Mike Watt and members of Silversun Pickups.

* * *

A couple shows tonight…

Graham Patrick Ulicny (the newest member of The Faint) is playing at Kaneko tonight as part of their Soundscapes Series. 7 p.m., $10. More info here.

Also tonight, local indie band Field Club plays at Reverb Lounge with The Senators and Bokr Tov. $7, 9 p.m.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Torres (@Maha Saturday); Hartford/Focht tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:00 pm August 16, 2017

Torres is among the acts playing at this year’s Maha Music Festival. Photo by Ashley Connor.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You may or may not have been aware of the fact that I’ve been out of town since last Thursday, enjoying some R&R in Cape Cod. But I’m back, just in time for Maha and some other happenings this weekend. Sneaky, I am…

Now this…

This is the sixth in a series of Ten Questions interviews with bands performing at the Maha Music Festival Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. For the printed version of all interviews, pick up the August issue of The Reader.

Torres

Torres is the creative alter-ego of Brooklyn’s Mackenzie Scott, who has been playing a unique brand of gritty, guitar-fueled indie rock since releasing her self-titled self-released debut in 2013. In its 8.1-rated review, Pitchfork compared her to Cat Power and Songs:Ohia. She followed with 2015’s critically acclaimed Sprinter (Partisan Records).

Leaked tracks from her upcoming 4AD release, Three Futures, due out Sept. 29, hint at a more electronic-driven approach, with blaring synths, crisp drop beats and glowing guitars, reminiscent of St. Vincent, but with lyrics that embrace ecstasy, desire and indulgence rather than self-denial.

1. What is your favorite album?

Torres a.k.a. Mackenzie Scott: Kate Bush, Hounds of Love

2. What is your least favorite song?

Napoleon XlV, “They’re Coming to Take Me Away”

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Traveling and experiencing the world

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Sitting all day, every day, when touring

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Lord’s lettuce. I strongly prefer Sativa-dominant hybrids.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

All of them. I always feel good when we play in Scottsdale, AZ, strangely.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

I’ve had a lot of terrible performances. One that I remember as being especially humiliating was in December 2015 opening for Sleater-Kinney in Brooklyn. I broke a string before my penultimate song and didn’t have a backup guitar. I walked off the stage in the middle of the set and frantically ran around looking for a spare guitar, but there were none available. I walked back onstage empty-handed and sang “Honey” sans guitar, then skipped the last song of the set. The crowd was gracious and I know it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was, but I still agonize over it.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I’d love to act in any capacity, whether it be film, TV or theatre. I would hate to have any job where I have to answer to somebody else. I always knew I wanted to be my own boss.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Zilch! I’m looking forward to arriving with no preconceived ideas about Omaha.

The Maha Music Festival is Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. The day-long concert runs from noon to midnight. Tickets are $55. For set times and more information, go to mahamusicfestival.com.

* * *

Tonight at Pageturners Lounge Hartford/Focht (Matt Focht of Head of Femur fame, and wife Crystal Hartford) opens for Effluvium. This is a free show and it starts at 9 p.m.

Also tonight, City and Colour (Canadian singer/songwriter Dallas Green of Alexisonfire) headlines at The Slowdown with Marlin Williams (Dead Oceans). This 8 p.m. show is sold 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with The Hottman Sisters (@Maha this Saturday)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:00 pm August 15, 2017

The Hottman Sisters are among the bands performing at this year’s Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This is the fifth in a series of Ten Questions interviews with bands performing at the Maha Music Festival Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. For the printed version of all interviews, pick up the August issue of The Reader.

The Hottman Sisters

The Hottman Sisters are Jessica and Heather Hottman (plus Ed Getzlaff on drums). They’ve been gigging in the Omaha area for at least a couple years, playing a style of twangy indie-pop rife with harmonies that recall acts like Decemberists, Neko Case and First Aid Kit. The band self-released its debut album, This Two, in 2016, before heading out of town on tour.

What is your favorite album?

Jessica Hottman: Anything by Bing Crosby. My grandpa, who was a performing musician and who passed away before I was born, I am told had a voice like Bing. I like to imagine it’s my grandpa singing those songs. I am also a super nostalgic person, and he sings beautifully composed music that brings out “all the feels,” as they say. Also, anything by Elvis Presley.

2. What is your least favorite song?

I will call them “endless songs.” For example, the song that goes ‘99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer, take one down, pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall. Pause. 98 bottles of beer on the wall, 98 bottles of beer…‘ you get the picture.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

That moment while performing, when my sister and I look at each other and want to smile and cry all at once because we love what we do.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

I hate how fast things go sometimes. Like when I look forward to a show and then, BOOM, it’s over and done. It’s fleeting like anything else, so I try to stop and enjoy the little steps along the way.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Ice cream. Definitely ice cream.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Baton Rouge, LA, has been one of our favorite places so far. NYC is amazing as well.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

We had a show that got rained out in Austin, TX.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

We are able to support ourselves. It has taken us about three years to get here. All of us do work gigs when we are back though, to boost our income. I have my teaching degree, so I sub elementary school (K-6) in the Westside District. I also do some local modeling. My sister, Heather, works to sort and digitize records at a medical office, and our drummer Ed, teaches private drum lessons through a nonprofit. He also plays jazz gigs when he is back and occasionally drives for Lyft.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I would love to be an actress. I definitely would not want to be a surgeon. Lots of blood = passing out = not helping the patient = not good.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I live here so I hear stories everyday! When I am out of Omaha, many people have no idea where Omaha or even Nebraska is at. If they do, they usually talk about the corn, flat land, CWS, or that one time they drove through Omaha.

The Maha Music Festival is Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. The day-long concert runs from noon to midnight. Tickets are $55. For set times and more information, go to mahamusicfestival.com.

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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

Ten Questions with High Up (@Maha this Saturday)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:00 pm August 14, 2017

High Up is among the bands slated to play at this year’s Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This is the fourth in a series of Ten Questions interviews with bands performing at the Maha Music Festival Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. For the printed version of all interviews, pick up the August issue of The Reader.

It should be noted that High Up, The Faint and Hottman Sisters are the first Omaha acts to have ever taken the Ten Questions survey, which was designed solely for traveling out-of-town bands. Still, all three had something unique to say about their home town…

High Up

High Up is the most talked about indie act to come out of the Omaha music scene since the band debuted sometime around 2015. Driving all the talk is frontwoman Christine Fink, sister of Azure Ray’s Orenda Fink (who also is in the band). With a voice reminiscent of Janis Joplin’s, Christine belts out High Up’s unique flavor of golden blues in a style Joe Cocker would admire — all jerky moves and pained expressions with a little James Brown shake thrown in to make it ultra-groovy.

After a string of local live gigs, the band hit the studio and recorded a a self-titled EP, released this past January by Team Love Records. The highlight, a smoking single called “Two Weeks,” is guaranteed to turn the Maha crowd into lifelong fans.

1. What is your favorite album?

Christine Fink: Grand Prix – Teenage Fanclub

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Centerfold” – J. Geils Band

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Being able to connect with people on a real, emotional level, without having to maintain any kind of friendship afterward.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Being broke and juggling schedules.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Xanax

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Minneapolis so far, but I have a lot more touring to do!

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

We played a show in Oklahoma City on the way to SXSW. The room was long and narrow, with a mirror on the other end. There was literally no one there, so I had to watch myself perform to no one in that giant mirror across the room. Toward the end of our set a member from another band heckled me and then jumped our bass player, who inadvertently sent the guy crashing into the monitors, and then my pocket-sized sister had to get in between him and the rest of the band. All of this WHILE we were playing. Oklahoma City and the club were cool though!

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

No. I work full time and sulk a lot when we’re not on the road.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I’d love to be an archaeologist or historian. I’d hate to be a doctor. Too much responsibility.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I heard a staircase at Hummel Park counts differently going up and down, which I couldn’t verify because I can only count up to how many fingers and toes I have, and there’s way more than nine steps.

The Maha Music Festival is Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. The day-long concert runs from noon to midnight. Tickets are $55. For set times and more information, go to mahamusicfestival.com.

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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

Ten Questions with Downtown Boys; The Buttertones, Ron Gallo, Sylvan Esso tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 11:15 am August 8, 2017

Downtown Boys are among the bands playing 2017 Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This year’s Maha Music Festival, to be held Aug. 19 once again at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village, has arguably the best line-up in the festival’s 9-year history.

That’s high praise considering past Maha Festivals have included stellar acts such as Death Cab for Cutie, Garbage, Guided by Voices, Spoon, Dum-Dum Girls, Desaparecidos, Car Seat Headrest, Bob Mould and Superchunk, among others.

After last year’s strong, dance-driven line-up, Maha refocused on upcoming and semi-classic indie rock acts, striking a balance between veterans, up-and-comers and some of Omaha’s hottest bands.

Over the next couple weeks,  I’ll be publishing profiles of the 10 performing at this year’s Maha which also appear in this month’s issue of The Reader. Each band was sent my Ten Questions survey, an email questionnaire based on the Pivot Questionnaire made popular in this country by the TV show Inside the Actors Studio (but originally created by French talk show host Bernard Pivot). My version of the questionnaire adds a unique musical slant. We start with Downtown Boys…

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Downtown Boys

It’s hard to top the description published on Downtown Boys’ Spotify page, which calls them “a six-piece multiracial, gender-integrated, bilingual rock band from Providence, Rhode Island, that plays fierce but joyous punk rock with blazing energy, howling saxophones and breakneck rhythms guaranteed to start a pogo frenzy on the dance floor.”

After releasing their full-length debut, Full Communism on Don Giovanni Records in 2015, the band is hopping over to Sub Pop for Cost of Living, due out Aug. 11.

What is your favorite album?

Joey La Neve DeFrancesco: That’s hard and changes regularly. Right now I really love the new record by Algiers, The Underside of Power.

2. What is your least favorite song?

If I could never hear “Closer” by The Chainsmokers + Halsey again I’d be pretty pumped.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Performing live is the best part. Getting the immediate satisfaction of reaching people with something, sending a message, being a part of that community in the moment.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

That musicians and cultural workers of all stripes are hugely undervalued, under-respected, and underpaid

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Pass

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

We like playing all over the place! Our favorite city is probably McAllen, TX, a city at the very bottom of the state right by the border. There is a really inspiring community there working in both culture and activism. It’s one of those places where after we play we’re like, “OK yeah this is why we do this.”

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Hmm I’m not sure! And if the gig was bad I’m sure it’s more the circumstance and arranging of the show and not the city’s fault, so I don’t want to throw any particular municipality under the bus. Victoria and I have another band called Malportado Kids and once we played at Skidmore College and a drunk bro was being super violent in the crowd and we got in an argument that ended with him choking me against a wall, so that was probably the worst for me personally.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

After doing this for years and years, we are only now at the point where we can even look at this as something that’s somewhat sustainable. We all still have other jobs to supplement what we make with music. There are five of us and we split everything evenly, so it’s pretty hard to make a real income on what we do just with the band. We continue pushing to make this something that we can do more and more full time, but the cultural economy treats workers like trash.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

Everyone in the band would have a different answer to this. I worked at a history museum for a while and I like that sort of public education work. As for what I would hate to do, I’m not sure – I’ve had so many awful minimum wage jobs over the years and I’m glad I’m not doing one right now, but I think all of those jobs could be sustainable and dignified and meaningful if we organized our economy better.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

This is the first time we’ve played Omaha or anywhere in Nebraska so we’re very excited! I was really into the Saddle Creek bands like Desaparecidos and The Faint in high school, so that’s most of what I know of the city, and I’m thrilled to be playing with The Faint at the festival.

The Maha Music Festival is Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. The day-long concert runs from noon to midnight. Tickets are $55. For set times and more information, go to mahamusicfestival.com.

* * *

It’s a garage rock smorgasbord tonight at Slowdown Jr. So-Cal surf rock band The Buttertones headlines, a band whose sound was inspired by The Sonics, The Beatles, The Monks and The Cramps. Opening is Philly garage rocker Ron Gallo (New West Records), and our very own Those Far Out Arrows. Wear black. 8 p.m., $12.

Also tonight, Carolina electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso plays at good ol’ Sokol Auditorium. Their latest, 2017’s What Now was released on Loma Vista and is indie-pop candy. Flock of Dimes (Partisan Records) 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

Ten Questions with the Maha bands (in The Reader); David Nance Group, Taiwan Housing Project tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:38 pm August 7, 2017

David Nance at The Sydney, July 7, 2017. He plays tonight at Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The August issue of The Reader is on newsstands now. In it is a 4,000-word preview of this year’s Maha Music Festival compiled by yours truly. I say “compiled” because I took the easy way out and sent all the bands my Ten Questions survey. Seven of the 10 replied (Boo to you Run the Jewels, Belle & Sebastian and Sleigh Bells).

Anyway, I have no idea if/when The Reader will place the tome online, though I intend to post all seven interviews here at Lazy-i over the course of the next couple weeks. Keep watching. And pick up the printed version if you’re near a drop-off kiosk. I got my copy at LaCasa on Grover St.

Aug. 19 is a packed day for shows, with Maha, Lady Gaga, Darius Rucker/Jocelyn and now Digital Leather at O’Leaver’s. BTW, where’s the Maha after party this year?

* * *

David Nance Group is back from the road and he’s playing tonight at Brothers Lounge. Joining him is Philly’s Taiwan Housing Project (Kill Rock Stars), a collaboration between Mark Feehan of Harry Pussy and Kilynn Lunsford of Little Claw. Alcools opens. $5, 9 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

Lazy-i

Downtown Boys join Maha; new See Through Dresses; Robert Hinrichs video; Dressy Bessy tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:48 pm April 20, 2017

Downtown Boys have been added to the 2017 Maha Music Festival lineup.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Did anyone notice that the line-up for this year’s Maha Music Festival had a slight change?

Downtown Boys, who describes themselves in Wiki as a “bi bilingual political dance sax punk party from Providence,” has joined the line-up, replacing Surfer Blood. Downtown Boys has released material on Don Giovanni Records; they signed to Sub Pop this past February.

* * *

See Through Dresses yesterday dropped the first single off their upcoming sophomore album Horse Of The Other World, titled “Violet.” Very dreamy! Check it.

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I don’t know who this Robert Hinrichs is other than he lives in Lincoln and he’s trying to give James Murphy a run for his money. His video for “Can U DigIt,” dropped today. The track is off Hinrichs’ latest album on Interrobang (2017, Tremulant).

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Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s long awaited return of Denver band Dressy Bessy (Kindercord Records). Opening is Arc Flash, Uh Oh and Nathan Ma and The Rosettes (whew! that’s a big line-up). $7, 9 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Maha Lineup (Run the Jewels, Belle & Sebastion, The Faint…); Milk Run launch, Sam Martin, Whipkey tonight; Bien Fang, Voodoo Glow Skulls Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:23 pm March 31, 2017


by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If you’re in Omaha or the surrounding area and have even an inkling of interest in the Maha Music Festival you’ve already heard the line-up. There’s no way you could miss it. Still, for Lazy-i readers in far-off lands (or living off the social media grid) here is the list of who will be playing at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village Aug. 19:

Run the Jewels
Belle & Sebastian
The Faint
Sleigh Bells
The New Pornographers
Built to Spill
Torres
Surfer Blood
Priests
High Up
The Hottman Sisters

First time in Maha history where I’ve been familiar with every act (though I’ve never heard music from Priests before).

Run the Jewels is a massive “get,” though I’m probably the only one in America who didn’t like their last couple of albums (I’m more of a Tribe Called Quest kinda guy). However, I dig their new single, “Ticketron.” And hip-hop does very well at Maha.

Belle & Sebastian is a bucket list band for me, and by themselves would be worth $55 or more.

Anyone who’s been to a Faint concert knows they bring it every night, though I have a feeling they’re going to amp things up just a little more for this show.

Sleigh Bells… meh. They’ve always been a one-note act to me, but they should be fun to watch.

The question I have about The New Pornographers — will Neko Case and Dan Bejar a.k.a. Destroyer be part of this show’s line-up? — a central question.

Built to Spill is practically a local band considering how many times they’ve played in Omaha. If they can keep Doug Martsch from turning it into a 30-minute jam session it could be a great addition.

I’ve followed singer/songwriter Torres for a few years. She’s a quiet addition that will break up a rather noisy day of music.

Surfer Blood is sort of outside of my wheel house. They have their fans.

Like I said, Priests I’d only heard of. I listened to their latest album, Nothing Feels Natural (Sister Polygon Records), on my way to work this morning. Sort of alternative post-punk that’s light on melody. We’ll see. Part of the fun of any festival is checking out new acts. Maybe they’ll stick, maybe not. Check out the song “Pink White House” and tell me it doesn’t remind you of Mercy Rule.

Which brings us to the last two acts on the bill — both locals. High Up is a no-brainer — probably the most talked about indie band from Omaha (along with Closeness) in the past couple of years. Christine Fink has a stage presence that never fails to capture an audience.

The Hottman Sisters have the unfortunate chore of kicking off the day, a slot that historically is played to an empty field, which brings up one of the criticisms of Maha. When Maha first began all those years ago, local acts played a big role in the festival, playing throughout the day. In years’ past locals alternated with nationals throughout the day up until the early evening. These days local acts are relegated to the first two slots of the day and The Faint (who, while a local band, has a national following).

I can’t say I can necessarily blame Maha pulling back on locals. They don’t sell tickets and most can be seen any given weekend in Benson or some other midtown venue. The loser, of course, is local bands, who are denied a platform for expanding their audience.

Some also might criticize Maha because it no longer features under-the-radar indie acts as in years past. Let’s face it, other than Priests and Torres, this line-up is packed with well-established names. You won’t hear any complaints from me, though there is something to be said when a festival can look back and say something like “We had Dum-Dum Girls back in the day….

So,  the big question: Will it sell out. Or more specifically, is this line-up strong enough to compete with Lady Gaga? The answers are yes and no. Yes, I think it will sell out eventually (probably day of show), but no, it can’t compete with Gaga.

To me, there is a sweet irony to Lady Gaga playing the same day as Maha. I’ve always viewed her as a novelty act, a kids’ pop act… until this latest album, which goes beyond the usual kitsch and could, at times, appeal to an indie-music listening audience. Maybe that’s why her latest record seems to be lagging behind the previous ones, at least in terms of notoriety. The new, less popular Lady Gaga would have fit right in on a Maha bill…

By the way, I’ve heard from two or three people who are NOT associated with Maha that Gaga could make a surprise appearance at the festival. After all, she used to have a Nebraska connection, and her show has been sold out for a long time. I think it’s highly unlikely, and even if she did, how does that help Maha sales when they can’t market around it?

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The new Milk Run launches tonight at Midtown Art Supply, 2578 Harney St.. The featured bands: Altas, DHX (Derick Higgins), Mint Wad Willy and Jack McLaughlin. $7, 9 p.m. Could be weird.

Meanwhile, tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s, it’s Sam Adam Martin, Thick Paint, and the premier of Thor Dickey. 9:30pm. $5.

Also tonight, it’s night one of two nights of Matt Whipkey Band at Growler USA, 16274 Evans St., which I wrote about here yesterday. The gig is free and starts at 9 p.m.

And The Nadas return to The Waiting Room tonight with Dan Tedesco. $15, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night it’s back to O’Leaver’s for Bien Fang, Siamese and Idlefox. $5, 9:30 p.m

The legendary Voodoo Glow Skulls are headlining at Lookout Lounge Saturday night. Joining them are The Shidiots, Graveyard Smash, Heat@aves and Noizewave. $10, 8 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend. This rain has to end sometime…

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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.

 

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Growler USA targets original music in West Omaha; Maha announcement, Those Far Out Arrows, Arc Flash, Jonathan Richman tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:56 pm March 30, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Brent Malnack, owner of new brew pub/restaurant/music venue Growler USA IM’d me yesterday to say Matt Whipkey Band will be playing free shows at his place from 9 to 10:30 p.m. this Friday and Saturday.

Growler USA, part of a national chain, is located way out in what I’ve heard referred to as Wonder Bread Land —  16268 Evans Plaza (right off 162nd and Maple). Malnack, who books the club, said he’s focusing on original music, not cover bands — which is something new for West O.

“All original music with the exception of the Rat Pack Jazz guys and other jazz acts,” he said. “Singer-songwriter types like Mace Hathaway and Sarah Brandt. We have Gaudio, Matt Cox Band, Charlie Burton and others coming up.”

Malnack says he and his co-owner wife have put much coin into the 120-capacity room’s sound system. “We’ve got over 1,000 pounds of custom sound panels hanging in the room. It is more studio than club,” he said. “Tom Ware did all of the sound treatments.” Ware is a legendary soundman who runs Ware House Productions.

“Our thought is that with no cover charge people will drop in with nothing to lose,” he said. “If they hate it, they’ll leave. We’re trying to keep some of the younger folks from making the trip to Benson, or at least stopping by our place on the way down.”

Still, I assumed based on the bands he mentioned that he was interested in mostly Americana and blues acts and might stay clear of indie, garage and punk rock. “Only one rule so far,” Malnack said, “no pointy guitars (metal, hair metal). Everything else is welcome.”

Over the years I’ve gotten into lengthy arguments with members of the Omaha music community over whether original music like the stuff booked in midtown would go over in West Omaha. I believe there is an enormous, exponentially huge audience of kids, young adults and music fans west of 72nd St. who are untapped in this music scene. It would be interesting to see how a traditional O’Leaver’s/Brothers/One Percent-type band — i.e., indie/garage band — would translate out west.

Something tells me the pay scale blows away midtown clubs. Just sayin’. Here’s an opportunity for bands to grow a fan base and make good money.

I plan on checking out Growler USA this weekend. If I do, I’ll have a full report next week.

In the meantime, Kevin Coffey has a detailed article about Growler USA in today’s Go section. Check it out.

* * *

Tonight the Maha Music Festival folks have their big reveal at Reverb Lounge starting at 7 p.m. No doubt they will be tapping into their social media streams to spread the news as bands are announced. Maha’s “line-up video” premiers at 8 p.m. Reaction here tomorrow. As I mentioned before, it’s an impressive line-up and a bit of a change in direction from last year’s festival. And yes, I think it could very well sell out again this year…

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Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s Lawrence band Arc Flash headlines. Joining them is our very own Those Far Out Arrows and Condor & Jaybird. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Modern Lovers founder Jonathan Richman (featuring Tommy Larkins (Giant Sand) on drums) plays The Waiting Room. 8 p.m., $15.

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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.

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