The CWS, Slowdown and the ‘myth’ of no parking; that goddamn Morrissey; Matthew Sweet news…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:00 pm June 11, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 12.58.43 PM

Since when did they start calling it ‘The College World Series of Omaha”?

Well, the College World Series kicks off Friday with an opening concert extravaganza by Young the Giant, marking the last time many of us will be stepping foot in downtown Omaha until the series wraps up June 25. The tents already are starting to dot the NoDo landscape like big white blisters atop the usually empty parking lots.

For Slowdown, this is the harvest season, the time of year when they can’t count their money fast enough. In support of the CWS, Slowdown turns into a pseudo sports bar, featuring the finest local cover bands (Secret Weapon) and this year, a special performance by Criteria right in the heart of the action.

Thinking about going to Criteria but are afraid there will be nowhere to park? Slowdown’s Jason Kulbel says that lack of street parking during CWS is a “myth” and that parking is, in fact, plentiful. We shall see.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been down to Slowdown. Checking out their calendar, they’ve got a lot of heavy shows coming up. There’s that Criteria show June 21, The Felice Brothers June 28, Ceremony July 13, Jolie Holland Aug. 8, Kopecky Family Band Sept. 5, Mike Watt’s latest project Sept. 25 and New Pornographers/Pains of Being Pure at Heart Nov. 11.

That New Pornographers show was one of slew of gigs One Percent just announced, including J Mascis Oct. 8 (TWR); Ty Segall Sept. 25 (TWR); and most controversial at all, CHVRCHES Sept. 24 at Sokol Aud. It’s controversial in that CHVRCHES is the same night as The War on Drugs at The Waiting Room. The decision as to which show you choose to attend that night will define you. I’m trying to figure out a way to see both…

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If you haven’t already heard, Morrissey cancelled the remaining dates of his current North American Tour, citing health reasons. Specifically, Morrissey said opening act Kristeen Young doused him with some sort of respiratory plague that he can’t seen to shake. Details on his unofficial website, True to You, where Moz also lists shows from the past tours he and his band consider to be “their best-ever.” For whatever reason, the Lincoln Rococo show wasn’t on the list…

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Omahan Matthew Sweet (that’s right, he lives here now) announced today that he’s working on his first studio album in three years and will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project sometime this month.

He also said among the material he’ll be playing on the tour that brings him to O’Leaver’s July 30 (sorry, already sold out) are “his 90s releases, with such hits as ‘Girlfriend,’ ‘Sick of Myself,’ ‘I’ve Been Waiting’ and ‘Devil With the Green Eyes’ through his most recent release, Modern Art.

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Tomorrow: The Faint.

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Live Review: Morrissey leaves them wanting more…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:22 pm May 20, 2014
Morrissey desperately searched for me in the balcony during last night's performance at The Rococo Theater.

Morrissey desperately searches for me in the balcony during last night’s performance at The Rococo Theater.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You know the old saying “Leave them wanting more”? That’s exactly what Morrissey did last night at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln.

No one quite knew for sure if Moz was coming out for an encore after he walked off stage during the conclusion of “I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday,” the tune he’d closed his regular set with the night before in Denver. As the band winded down and left the stage, the crowd erupted into applause, and then began a half-assed encore plea.

After just a few moments, on came the stage grips who began tearing down the mics, guitar pedals and drum kit in the dark. A few more minutes passed and then the house lights came up, but fans were still holding out hope as some equipment remained on stage along with Morrissey’s mic. Adding to the confusion — no one turned up the house music. Had the house music come up, as it does at most concerts signalling the end of a show, the fans would have gotten the hint. Instead, security dudes had to shoo away the sad and angry fans  — a frustrating end to a frustrating show.

Morrissey’s portion of the gig lasted a mere hour, beginning with Smiths’ song “Hand and Glove” and winding through a rather low-key selection from his solo material.

Opening the show was long-time Morrissey tourmate Kristeen Young, proof that landing an opening slot for a major recording artist is no guarantee of next-level fame. Young has been touring with Morrissey for years. In fact, she opened his May 2007 show at The Orpheum in Omaha. Still, few people know who she is or have heard her records. While there’s no question she has a strong (though very ’80s-sounding) voice, she hasn’t learned to write a song. Thankfully her set only lasted a half hour.

Between Young’s set and Morrissey, the houselights were dimmed for a selection of music film clips that included performances by Mott the Hoople and obscurities like ’65 UK chart-topper Chris Andrews singing “Yesterday Man,” culminating with the Wiz of Oz midgets’ rendition of “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead.”

Then at the stroke of 9 on came Morrissey, sounding as good as he did in ’07. At 54, he’s managed to keep his voice in remarkable condition. And his band was outstanding — a five-piece ensemble with keyboards, guitar, bass and drums, they were dressed in matching jeans, sneakers and blue T-shirts with the Hustler logo emblazened across their chests. Campy.

The highlight of the first half was a striking version of “Ganglord,” the B-side to “The Youngest Was the Most Loved.” You can see the entire 15-song setlist from last night’s show here.

The train went off the rails right after “Speedway.” Morrissey began telling a story that went something like, “On our drive yesterday from Denver, looking out the window I saw a sad…” Someone yelled something. I couldn’t tell what it was from my perch in the balcony, but it apparently involved the word “boring.”

Morrissey tried to tell the story again and was interrupted, and then blew a raspberry into the microphone and signaled the band to commence with “Everyday Is Like Sunday,” which he refused to sing, conceivably because he was pissed off. It wasn’t until the chorus that some of the crowd figured out what was going on and began filling in the vocal void in rather sad fashion. Morrissey then began to hand the mic over to audience members standing near the stage, treating us with awkward hellos.

The incident seemed to take the air out of Morrissey, and he walked through the rest of the performance spending time between songs with his back to the audience, studying a set list to decide what to play next. He livened up for vegan mantra “Meat is Murder,” that included a gruesome film of livestock conditions and animal mutilation that Morrissey made a point to stare at during the extended instrumental portion of the song. No doubt the story he was unable to tell earlier probably had to do with all the livestock facilities he passed along the Interstate.

Needless to say, there were a lot of pissed off people walking out of The Rococo after Morrissey refused an encore. While I would have liked to hear a couple more songs, the decision to play is squarely on his shoulders, and if he wasn’t feeling it, that’s the way it goes.

I blame The Rococo for he screw-up with the house music. That was my first time at the theater and it will likely be my last, after getting screwed around during the ticket purchase (We were told moments after tickets went on sale that only general admission balcony seats were available. I would later discover that wasn’t the case). The sound was bad; the sightlines were bad (as you’d expect). It would have been nice to see Morrissey in a better facility for what is likely going to be his final tour through Nebraska. Oh well, at least I still have my memories of that triumphant 2007 Orpheum concert…

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Morrissey saves Peanuts tumblr; why I listen to 1490 AM (in the column); Saturn Moth tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , — @ 12:48 pm October 10, 2013
...from the This Charming Charlie Tumblr...

…from the This Charming Charlie Tumblr…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With no local music news to speak of today, I thought I’d chime in on the latest Morrissey controversy. Morrissey fans already are aware of the “This Charming Charlie” Tumblr, which marries some of Morrissey’s best lines to Peanuts cartoons. Well apparently the blokes at Universal and Johnny Marr tried to take the site down with a copyright claim. Morrissey chimed in from his unofficial website True To You.

Morrissey is represented by Warner-Chappell Publishing, and not Universal Music Publishing, (who have allegedly demanded that the lyrics be removed).  Morrissey is delighted and flattered by the Peanuts comic strip with its use of Morrissey-Smiths lyrics, and he hopes that the strips remain.”

And remain they do. It apparently came down to a question of “Fair Use” vs. copyright claims. Both Marr and Morrissey control the Smiths’ songs’ copyright, so either can license others to use the lyrics. With Morrissey’s approval of Charming Charlie, the litigation threat, it appears, went away. Read the details (and learn a little about Fair Use) at the Tumblr site and then enjoy some Charming Charlie…

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In this week’s column, why I listen to Magic 1490 AM, the new all-oldies renegade station. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here.

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Tonight at Slowdown Jr., Saturn Moth takes the stage with Hussies and Manic Pixie Dream Girls. $5, 9 p.m. Check out some MPDG below…

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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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Morrissey now March 19; new Low single; New Desa live; Johnny Cash night at the Barley Street…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:55 pm February 26, 2013
Happy Birthday, Johnny!

Happy Birthday, Johnny!

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yesterday everyone’s favorite blog about ’80s and ’90s college music culture, Slicing Up Eyeballs, reported here that Morrissey has rescheduled a leg of his U.S. Tour, including the show at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, now slated for Tuesday, March 19. The Rococo website confirms the new schedule. Let’s see how long this one lasts until it’s rescheduled. BTW, this show has been sold out since last fall.

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Low has a new single available for free download from this Sub Pop Soundcloud page called “So Blue.” Listen to the stream below. The new album, The Invisible Way, produced by Jeff Tweedy, comes out March 19 on Sub Pop and is bound to be one of the year’s best.

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Speaking of free downloads, Desaparecidos’ single “Anonymous” is available for download at Mother Jones. Below is Desa covering Joyce Manor’s “Constant Headache” during their Allston, MA, show. Conor’s getting downright shaggy.

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Today is Johnny Cash’s birthday. If he was still alive he’d be 81 years old and very likely raising living hell.

To honor the Man in Black, the Barley Street Tavern is hosting a very special tribute night tonight featuring a bevy of local musicians including Josh Dunwoody (The Filter Kings); Mike Bechtel, Ira Hughey and Scott Norman (The Bishops); Stephanie Krysl and Travis Sing (The Electroliners); Jeremy Mercy and Vern Feregesen (Travelling Mercies); Matt Whipkey, Matt Cox, Scott Severin, Dane Sybrant (The Debts) and your master of ceremonies, Brad Hoshaw.

Cover is $5, but if you dress in black, you’re in for free! Show starts at 9.

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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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Gordon at The Side Door Lounge; free Shanks download; Morrissey has a bleeding ulcer……

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:55 am January 29, 2013
Gordon at The Side Door Lounge, Jan. 26, 2013

Gordon at The Side Door Lounge, Jan. 26, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I figured the easiest way to finally catch a set by Gordon was to drop in at their show at The Side Door Lounge Friday night. It’d also be a chance to see what the club, located on Leavenworth just a couple blocks from my old apartment (The St. Regis), was all about. The Side Door has become a sort of go-to spot for singer songwriters, at least it appears to be based on the number of shows they book, acts I’ve never heard nor seen before that rarely play at the usual indie music clubs. So there was that… and the fact that the show was free — I had nothing to lose.

I was surprised when I was able to park my shit-car in the club’s adjacent parking lot. I’m not sure where I would have parked otherwise. The neighborhood has a seedy reputation these days, just like it did back when I lived there twenty-some years ago. Once inside the long, narrow, concrete box of a building I almost turned around and left. The place was belly-to-butt. Every table was filled and people were crowded all the way to the bar.

I’ll say this up front: It’s a helluva nice place, well designed, clean, a giant leap from the dinge-holes I’m used to. In fact, it was downright romantic, warmly lit with dim track lighting pointed at tasteful black-and-white art photos along one wall and large ironic pastel drawings of cars along the other. I made a mental note to come back sometime just to drink.

But as a music venue, The Side Door has its share of challenges, mostly due to the layout. The room is filled with short tables that crowd right up to the “stage” in the back. An exit off stage right leads to the beer garden, but forget about going outside to burn one — you’ll never make it through the maze of tables, at least on this night. With no space in front of the stage there’s nowhere for people to stand and watch the band, and if they did, they’d block out everyone sitting down since there’s no stage riser. This likely isn’t a problem during one of club’s many open-mic nights, but for a punk show…

Gordon had posted on Facebook that they would play at “10 sharp,” but it was well past 10:30 before the opener — a duo called I Am the Navigator — finally packed up and left. Then it took another 20 minutes before members of Gordon began skulking out of the back room with their instrument cases and pieces of drum set.

With nowhere to sit, I found the least conspicuous place to stand against the far wall and aimlessly flipped through my iPhone to kill time. The crowd of young hipsters gave me more than my share of ‘who-the-fuck-are-you’ looks.

Finally at around 11:30, the Men of Gordon assembled in the cramped spot it the back of the room between a couple pair of speakers that make up the club’s PA. Before they started, the frontman — a tall drink of water with a big ol’ head of hair — asked the sound guy to turn off all the lights except for the bar lights, which he quickly did, leaving the room lit only by the tiny electric candles on the tables and the penlight attached to lead singer’s microphone, which didn’t last long.

Gordon’s music was as grinding and abrasive as what you’ll hear on their Soundcloud page — a slop-mire of drums and guitar and lead guy’s slurred vocals made raw by a cheap condenser microphone. The sound is pure slacker, a bastard child of Pavement and Galaxy 500 and whatever dark-light indie rock band you can remember from the ’90, which is probably why I like it so much.

The frontman’s mic light still burned brightly as he introduced the first cover of the night. “This next song’s by Nirvana,” he said. “Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994. Good riddance.” And with that the band launched into a scuzzy cover of “Territorial Pissing” recognizable by the guitar chords rather than his screeching.

Between songs a short, weathered-looking woman wearing layers of coats pushed through the crowd right up to the stage. “Hello pretty lady,” said the frontman as she shuffled right past him and into the back room, only to emerge halfway through the next song carrying a couple loaded plastic bags.

At about that time, the microphone broke — along with the penlight and the breaker that powered the left side of the stage. Frontguy stood shirtless in the dark asking the audience to touch his nipples as the band tore into a wasted version of their own “No Masters, No War.” By the end of the set he was laying flat on his back barking out a cover of The Smiths’ “This Charming Man” plagued by the backup mic’s drop outs.

It was a lovely train wreck the likes of which I haven’t seen since The Shanks farewell two-night stand at O’Leaver’s a year or so ago. In a lot of ways Gordon reminds me of The Shanks, albeit a cute furry animal version without the blood and gore. Just like them, Gordon contains unmeasurable raw talent that has a habit of spinning gloriously out of control on stage, or at least it did last Saturday night…

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By the way, Gordon has been named to open for powerhouse Brooklyn post-hardcore band The Men when they play at Slowdown April 27. If you can’t wait that long, you catch them Feb. 7 at the Grant Curtz Benefit show at Slowdown with Video Ranger and Brigadiers.

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Speaking of The Shanks, top Shank Todd VonStup wrote to say that The Shanks “Complete Discography” is available from their Bandcamp page as a free download, at least for the next week. After that, the download will cost you 7 bones. Run on over there and get it while it’s hot.

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Finally, word leaked out Sunday that Morrissey has been diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer, which will sideline him for the next couple weeks including the Feb. 6 Lincoln/Rococo show, which has been postponed (and not cancelled) again. Hold on to your tickets folks and stand by for the rescheduled date, which (if it happens) won’t be at least until mid-March…

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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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Low, Morrissey and Thalia Zedek tracks, releases, video…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:59 pm January 9, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Not much happening ’round these parts today. No shows to speak of (’til tomorrow). So here are a few tunes that went online this morning worth checking out.

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Low has a new album called The Invisible Way coming out March 18 on Sub Pop. The band made the first track from the album, “Just Make It Stop,” available for listening and downloading. It’s downright uptempo compared to some of their earlier stuff. And it’s desperately gorgeous. Check it out:

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Back in the ’90s Come was a hot property on the Matador label. These days Come frontwoman Thalia Zedek is out on her own. Her new album (as Thalia Zedek Band) called Via comes out on Thrill Jockey March 19. Below is a Thalia doing a song off the album, “Walk Away,” live at AMP.

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And finally, our old friend Morrissey performed a rousing version of “Action Is My Middle Name” on Letterman last night. If you missed it, here it is again via The YouTube. Who’s anxious for the big show in Lincoln Feb. 7?

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Tomorrow: A look back at 2012 music sales…

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Lazy-i Best of 2012

Lazy-i Best of 2012

Again, for those who missed it the first seven times, enter to win a copy of the Lazy-i Best of 2012 compilation CD. The collection includes songs by Paul Banks, Tame Impala, Cat Power, The Faint, Ladyfinger, Pujol and a ton more.  The full track listing is here (scroll to the bottom). To enter the drawing to win a free copy send an email with your name and mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.comHurry! Deadline is Jan. 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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Morrissey Feb. 6; Beatles vinyl; King Khan free show (RSVP now); A Place to Bury Strangers, Bleeding Rainbow, Killer Blow tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:45 pm November 12, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The make-up date for the Nov. 1 Morrissey show at Rococo Theater has been announced. It’s now Feb. 6 — a Wednesday night (which means a lot of Omaha peeps will be taking the following Thursday off). See the full rescheduled tour at Morrissey’s “official” fan website. BTW, this one has been sold out for months.

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Mike Fratt of Homer’s Records dropped a heads up that 14 of the most important Beatles albums are being released on vinyl tomorrow. We’re talking back-to-the-basics individual British releases of everything from Please, Please Me to Abbey Road and everything in between, as well as a vinyl boxed set that collects all of them. Check ‘em out at Homer’s tomorrow.

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Tasty booze-maker Sailor Jerry announced last week that it’s sponsoring The King Khan BBQ Show at The Slowdown Nov. 28 along with one of me and Todd Fink’s favorite bands, Digital Leather, opening. It’s free, but you have to RSVP at the Sailor Jerry website, here. 21+ only.

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Bleeding Rainbow at Slowdown Jr. March 1, 2012.

Bleeding Rainbow at Slowdown Jr. March 1, 2012.

Big show tonight at The Waiting Room: A Place to Bury Strangers headlines with Bleeding Rainbow and Snake Island. If the fact that APTBS’s new album, Worship, is a ball buster isn’t enough to get you to the show, here’s what their publicist is saying about the tour: “They bring smoke, lasers, blackness, and ear-splitting volume to their live performances. But this isn’t merely showmanship, these guys make  killer music. Lead singer, guitarist, Oliver Ackermann owns a company called Death by Audio which makes custom effects pedals with names like ‘The Sound Saw’ and ‘Total Sonic Annihilation.’ They’ve sold custom pedals to U2’s The Edge, Nine Inch Nails, Wilco and Lightning Bolt, to  name a few.

Sounds like I better bring my ear plugs.

As for Bleeding Rainbow, their set opening for Crocodiles at Slowdown Jr. last March was one of my favorites so far this year. From the review: “…Bleeding Rainbow was absolutely amazing — one of the best bands I’ve seen in a long time. The set-up was simple — two guitars, drums and bass, with Sarah Everton and one of the guitarists sharing vocals and creating flat-toned harmonies on songs that are jet-fueled by guitar riffs and loud as fuck.” Check out the Chris Aponick interview with the band. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Killer Blow (the duo of Genie Molkentine on drums and vocals and Todd VonStup on electric guitar) plays at Middle House (ex-Gunboat, ex-Hotel Frank, across the street from The Brothers Lounge) with Belleville, IL band Trauma Harness. No idea of cost or time. The house show revolution continues…

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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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