O’Leaver’s launches beer garden series, buys Winchester Bar & Grill…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:48 pm May 16, 2018

The fabulous Winchester Bar & Grill is now owned by the same folks who own fabulous O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There’s no better place to enjoy great weather than your own back yard… or a beer garden. The folks at fabulous O’Leaver’s know this, so a couple years ago they built a giant beer garden behind their building. This hidden Narnia is one of the Omaha music scene’s best kept secrets (that’s not really secret).

Anyway, O’Leaver’s just announced a new “Summer Happy Hour Live Music Series” that takes place out in the beer garden one Thursday per month. The schedule:

May 17 — Bazile Mills
June 21 — Clarence Tilton
July 19 — Electroliners
Aug. 16 — RAF
Sept. 20 — Clarence Tilton
Oct. 11 — Shithook

These 6 p.m. gigs are $5, and what’s interesting is they haven’t limited the bands to quiet acoustic combos. RAF is a violent, raucous punk band. What will the neighbors say? Well, it’s so early in the evening I can’t imagine they’ll say anything.

Noise issues are the only reason I can fathom why more Omaha beer gardens don’t host outdoor gigs. Benson’s 1912, for example, has a massive beer garden on its roof perfect for a weekly local gig. The just opened Bärchen, also in Benson, has a great beer garden behind its building.

Speaking of O’Leaver’s, the club’s ownership group has expanded its holdings with the purchase of Winchester Bar & Grill at 7002 Q St., right across the street from Fun Plex. In addition to their attempt at cornering the market on volleyball (Winchester has five nets), there’s also pool, darts and karaoke.

Winchester’s motto: “A Legend of Good Times and Food Since 1975,” which is probably the last time I was there. Actually, I remember Winchester’s as part of the ’80s club scene that stretched along 72nd street (Who remembers Jodhpurs, Brandywines, The Crazy Horse and The Ranch Bowl — meat market bars that featured cover bands? Toss Arthur’s in there for good measure since it was right up the street).

I’m told the new owners haven’t had a chance to make any changes but “anything is possible there” including live rock shows, maybe in line with what we’ve seen at O’Leaver’s. Maybe they’ll play off the name and focus on a C&W theme, or Americana? Time will tell. I intend to drop by this weekend before or after the races at Horseman’s Park.

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Monday’s item about Maha charging volunteers a $35 deposit caught the attention of the Maha folks.

They said the grizzled Maha veteran volunteer who complained to me literally didn’t get the memo, as veteran volunteers were offered an early-bird opportunity in April to volunteer and waive the $35 fee. Any other veteran volunteers who didn’t get the memo should get in touch with Maha at volunteer@mahamusicfestival.com.

Maha also reiterated that volunteers are what keep the festival a well-oiled machine, which is something anyone who’s gone to a Maha Festival already knows.

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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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Surprised by the Maha Festival schedule? Single-day tix on sale; volunteers charged $35 deposit…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:40 pm May 14, 2018

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Was anyone surprised by the Maha Music Festival lineup announcement last week? Pairing Weezer and Father John Misty makes perfect sense considering Maha is charging $70 for Saturday and $35 for Friday. In some ways, the line-up announcement changed the complexion of the festival, for me anyway. Saturday looks very solid:

Weezer
Father John Misty
The Kills
Tune-Yards
Rayvn Lanae
Hop Along
U.S. Girls
Masonjixx
David Nance
The Dilla Kids

They’ve grouped everyone I wanted to see on Saturday; and while I’m not a big Weezer fan (especially of their output the past decade) I generally skip the headliner anyway. For a few people I’ve spoken to, FJM is their headliner, and they were hoping he was playing Friday night (so they could save some cash, I suppose). But it would make no sense to put two headliners on the Friday half-day show. FJM makes Saturday more than just a Weezer concert with a string of opening bands (though for some Weezer fans, that’s all it is).

As it stands, unless you’re a TV on the Radio fan (and I’m not), Friday night’s line-up, which starts at 5:30, is a bit of a snooze:

TV on the Radio
ZZ Ward
Benjamin Booker
Hurray for the Riff Raff
State Disco
Clarence Tilton

If you buy the two-day pass, you’re getting Friday for just $25 more ($95) — worth it for TVotR fans (and for Hurray for the Riff Raff, whose 2017 concept album The Passenger (ATO Records) was a critical smash in a bluesy Big Thief sort of way). TVotR currently is only scheduled to play three other dates this year, including a Red Rocks show Aug. 15 with Father John Misty (which is why some thought FJM would be playing with them Friday night).

Something else new this year: Maha volunteers are being asked to submit their credit card info and will be charged a $35 deposit “which helps make sure everyone comes to their shift and your fellow volunteers aren’t left hanging.” I’ve already heard a complaint about this from a long-time Maha volunteer who says she’s never screwed Maha so why are she being charged? What about loyalty? Etc.

And this new policy would seem to exclude anyone who doesn’t have a credit card, but how many 19-year-olds (the minimum age for most volunteer slots) don’t have a credit card these days?

By the way, Des Moines’ 80/35 Festival requires volunteers to authorize an $85 charge on their credit cards.

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Did anyone else notice that The Decemberists have been booked to play The Holland Oct. 1?

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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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