Happy Halloween… New Faint video; Faint and Gang of Four tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:41 pm October 31, 2016
A screen cap from The Faint's new video for "ESP." The band plays tonight at Sokol Auditorium.

A screen cap from The Faint’s new video for “ESP.” The band plays tonight at Sokol Auditorium.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Halloween on a Monday night is kind of weird. Actually, any holiday on a Monday kind of sucks because you have to go to work (or school) the next morning.

It’s the same problem with great shows on work nights. Like tonight, when The Faint close out their month-long tour with Gang of Four at Sokol Auditorium. Faint shows are always spectacular, and judging by the reviews and photos that have been posted throughout this tour (like this Westword review of Saturday’s show) tonight’s will be no exception.

There are those who pointed out that Gang of Four’s only original member is guitarist/vocalist Andy Gill, and thus discount this as not a true Gang of Four show. More like Gang of One. Regardless, it sounds like they’re as brittle and off-kilter as ever. Do not miss if you can avoid it. Tickets are $28. Pictureplane opens at 8 p.m.

To help you get psyched for tonight’s show, The Faint released a new video for “ESP,” directed by Omaha filmmaker (and member of Icky Blossoms and InDreama) Nik Fackler. This one features choreography by Nik’s wife, Kat. Check it out at Stereogum.

Have a good Halloween…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Another new Faint song ‘ESP’; new video for ‘Young and Realistic’; tour starts tomorrow…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:46 pm September 28, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Faint released what I believe is the third new song off their upcoming CAPSULE:1999-2016 album, out Oct. 28 on Saddle Creek. Consequence of Sound got the honors. This one might be my favorite. The tour kicks off tomorrow in Minneapolis, headed to Omaha and Sokol Auditorium on Halloween.

And yesterday SPIN debuted the video for “Young and Realistic,” the second new song off the new record, directed by Faint frontman Todd Fink and Nik Fackler of Icky Blossoms. It’s creepy.

Feels like old times…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Nik Fackler talks music, film and his latest movie project (in the column); new Live @ O’Leaver’s (Pt. 1)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:49 pm February 9, 2016
Kat and Nik Fackler

Kat and Nik Fackler

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Omaha filmmaker/musician Nik Fackler has been putting his nose to the grindstone working on a number of new film projects. He just finished a script about the music industry, which is in the hands of his agent at William Morris as well as iconic actor Martin Landau, who starred in Fackler’s first feature film, Lovely, Still.

In this month’s Over the Edge column, Nik talks about his film projects, his music (with Icky Blossoms) and working with his wife, Kat, who will be performing this Saturday night at Kaneko (where Nik also will be debuting yet another new film project). The column is in the new  issue of The Reader, on newsstands now, and online right here. Check it out.

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I’m rolling around in my head whether I should buy tickets to tomorrow night’s God Speed You! Black Emperor show at Slowdown. One Percent Productions just posted a “low ticket warning,” saying only 15 percent of tickets remain before it sells out. Here’s the deal: Advance tickets are $22 plus $4.15 service fee for a total of $26.15 right now; or I can wait until tomorrow and get tickets for $25 at the box office.  Do I roll the dice?

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Last week Live @ O’Leaver’s released a handful of new sessions on their illustrious website. Links to these quality recordings are below. Consider them a precursor to what I’ve been told will be three new mammoth sessions to be uploaded to the L@O site this week. Is O’Leaver’s trying to break the Internet?

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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New Orenda video; Big Star tour; new ROAM; Mula, Zucchini, Maha, Guardians and Chubby Cyclists (In the column); Talbott Brothers, Burkum Boys tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:48 pm August 7, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Orenda Fink yesterday released a new video for the song “Ace of Cups” from upcoming album Blue Dream, which comes out on Saddle Creek Records Aug. 19. The video (below) was directed by Nik Fackler (the director of feature films Lovely Still and Sick Birds Die Easy as well as a member of Icky Blossoms and InDreama) and Aaron Gum (also in InDreama). It’s a head trip. Look for cameos by The Faint’s Todd Fink and InDreama’s Dereck Higgins.

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Some Big Star news…. A band is being pulled together to play Big Star’s Third in concert that includes original member Jody Stephens on drums. Joining him are Mike Mills, Mitch Easter (Let’s Active), Chris Stamey (The dB’s) and “guest musicians from each city.” The band will be backed by a chamber orchestra and sets also will include songs from #1 Record. Cities are Carrboro, NC; Washington, DC; Seattle and LA. More info at ardentmusic.com. Ardent recently announced that #1 Record and Radio City are being remastered and rereleased by Stax, with a drop date of Sept. 2. I do love Big Star…

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When in ROAM: Audio Postcards from the Four Corners of the Globe

When in ROAM: Audio Postcards from the Four Corners of the Globe

David Matysiak (Coyote Bones) posted the next installment of his ROAM audio series. This time it’s audio postcards from around the globe. Contributors include Sarah Bohling (Icky Blossoms), Sam Martin (Capgun Coup), Mike Albanese (Maserati), Graham Patrick Ulicny (Reptar), among others.

Check it out via SoundCloud here.

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In this week’s column, random notes on Mula (delicious), zucchini (big), Maha (soon), Guardians (awesome) and cyclists (chubby) . You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here.

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Speaking of Maha, the Maha Team announced yesterday that the festival is getting a Ferris wheel for the Aug. 16 concert at Stinson Park. “We are also introducing a game truck to the entertainment lineup in the early part of the day,” Maha said in a press release. “This truck will be stocked with a variety of XBOX, Nintendo Wii, and PlayStation 3 games.”

Ironically, I jokingly called their $50 ticket an “all-day ride pass” in my column this week not knowing about the impending Ferris wheel addition, which is bound to cause some confusion with someone.

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Couple shows to consider tonight:

At The Waiting Room indie/country blues band Bazile Mills headlines with Burkum Boys (the bros from Skypiper). $7, 9 p.m.

At The Barley Street, it’s The Talbott Brothers Band w/ Maxwell Hughes (former Lumineers guitarist, yes those Lumineers) and John Larsen. 9 p.m. $5.

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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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The inside scoop on Sick Birds Die Easy (in the column) plus outtakes; Long Low Signal, Betty Jean, Lincoln Exposed tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , — @ 1:53 pm February 6, 2014
Ross Blockley from a scene from Sick Birds Die Easy.

Ross Brockley from a scene from Sick Birds Die Easy.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

In this week’s column, an interview with the Nik Fackler, Sam Martin and Ross Brockley, the stars of Fackler’s new film, Sick Birds Die Easy. Fackler separates the real from the unreal, the fact from fiction in this documentary that isn’t a documentary but kind of is. You can read it in the current issue of The Reader, or online right here. Go ahead and read it now and come on back, we’ll wait for you…

With the column being more of a review and description than a Q&A, there was a lot of leftover interview content that didn’t make into the 1,000-word news hole. Hopefully much of what I missed was covered in a story that (I was told) was being written by Leo Adam Biga, The Reader‘s cover story writer. That said, here are a few details:

— Sam Martin’s soundtrack is as central to the film as the visual footage. Martin seamlessly combines the style of music he’s known for with a sublime score that perfectly accentuates the mirth and madness of every frame. “All the score work was done after a (mostly) final cut was done,” Martin said, “but while Nik was editing I gave him a hard drive of everything I recorded in the last two years so he picked (music) out of that hard drive. After that I tracked all the score work.”

“It was like a treasure chest hard drive of amazing music,” Fackler added. As I mentioned in the column, the DVD version of the film comes with a separate copy of the soundtrack.

— Fackler said the film’s budget was a little less than $100,000. His producer was Steve Hays of 120 dB Films, who Fackler had met when his film Lovely, Still premiered in Toronto. “(Hays) whole concept was ‘Let’s make a film that’s kind of like this new genre that’s popping up that’s a hybrid, kind of like Paranormal Activity.’ Initially I wasn’t interested in doing it, but then sent him a one-page concept.”

Hays gave the green light and Fackler proceeded to shoot more than 500 hours of footage that took a year and a half to edit between tours with Icky Blossoms and Tilly and the Wall. The entire time Hays was breathing down his neck for a print to hand over to various festival committees.

“It was good having that pressure to get the film edited,” Fackler said, but added. “I’m really burnt out on editing. Editing this film really took a lot out of me. I’m ready to put that hat away.”

— I’ve been a fan of Ross Brockley since he played the slacker son in the series of commercials with the pitch phrase: “What do you think this is, a Holiday Inn?” Brockley becomes the central figure in this film — you love him, you hate him. I asked why he doesn’t do more work and Brockley said his main focus these days is his organic farm operation located south of Lincoln called Brockley Farmaceuticals that he’s operated for the past 14 years. The farm was partially paid for by his Holiday Inn work. Still, Brockley hasn’t turned his back on acting. “It’s not like I”m passing up roles and offers all over the place,” he said.

— Dana Altman of North Sea Films, who is seen running a camera in the movie and plays a minor role, is said by narrator Fackler to be giving up film making to buy a farm of his own. “He did buy a farm,” Fackler said during the interview. “It’s so beautiful, I think if Dana had his choice, he would be there full time, but you can’t take the film maker out of him. He’ll always love film.”

— As for Fackler’s future: “I don’t know what I’m going to do next,” he said. “I like to have small goals and work real intensely one thing at a time. I don’t like to have all my eggs in one medium. Right now the focus is releasing Sick Birds and then music full-time. I’ve started writing a new script. Film will always be a part of my life. I don’t see being a musician and touring into my 40s and 50s.”

If you don’t have tickets to next Tuesday’s screening of Sick Birds at Film Streams and you want to go, you better get them soon. Fackler implied sales have been brisk. I wouldn’t be surprised if it sells out. And though it will be available on DVD and Video on Demand, it’s worth seeing on the big screen. Details/tickets are available here, and the after-party at The Slowdown should be (as the kids say) off the hook.

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A couple shows on the radar tonight.

New band Long Low Signal headlines at The Waiting Room with The Love Technicians, The Sub Vectors and Let Alone. Interestingly, LLS plays tomorrow night at Slowdown, apparently prepping to go into the studio. I have no idea what they sound like. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, tonight at Slowdown Jr., Betty Jean of The Betties is hosting a CD release show. Joining her is Travelling Mercies and Matt Cox. $5, 9 p.m.

And in Lincoln, it’s night two of Lincoln Exposed. Get the deets here.

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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: Son, Ambulance, InDreama; Pro-Magnum, Dumb Beach tonight; Hear Nebraska Take Cover, Lou Reed Tribute Saturday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:46 pm January 17, 2014
Son, Ambulance at The Waiting Room, Jan. 16, 2014.

Son, Ambulance at The Waiting Room, Jan. 16, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Saddle Creek tweeted last night that Son, Ambulance hasn’t performed in five years and “sounds like they’ve been practicing the whole time.” The sentiment was spot on. Joe Knapp stood proudly center stage backed by a four-piece band that included his brother on keyboards. He sounded like he never went on hiatus, his voice a Midwestern cross between Art Garfunkel and Elvis Costello, confidently pounding an electric guitar, shaking blood back into his hands between songs.

They opened with “Paper Snowflakes” off Key, and played a handful of favorites including “Juliet’s Son” off Someone Else’s Deju Vu and oldie “Katie Come True” off the Oh Holy Fools split. Hearing those tunes again was like slipping on a pair of well-worn shoes, comfortable and familiar, then looking at them in a mirror and marveling at how good they still look. Son, Ambulance music has indeed aged well and would fit in with the current mode o’ day of indie music.

The band’s overall sound seemed more straight-forward and less… ghostly than I remember from the old days. Listening to Deju Vu again after the show, I was surprised how much echo and delay they used in the studio on songs like the title track. Last night when Joe and Co. ripped into one of their more upbeat numbers they sounded like early, no-nonsense Marshall Crenshall; the sonic weight of the band felt stripped down and obvious. Nice.

While there might have been more than one new one (certainly there was more than one I was unfamiliar with) Joe introduced the set closer as a new song dedicated to last night’s birthday boy and his mother, the tune a gritty rocker about being a bad seed, a bad boy, a bad man. Sorry ma. Fantastic stuff. Hopefully Joe and Co. have more where that came from and we’ll be seeing a new Son, Ambulance record out on the Creek in the near future.

InDreama at The Waiting Room, Jan 16, 2014.

InDreama at The Waiting Room, Jan 16, 2014.

Prior to Son, Ambulance, InDreama lit the stage on fire with a ferocious performance that saw frontman Nik Fackler crush through the songs off the band’s debut LP. InDreama music dances between personal, quiet love songs and strange other-worldly bombastic head trips, a welcome extreme in contrasts few other bands local or otherwise seem to grasp. Ain’t nothing wrong with dynamics, folks.

I recognized one new song — or at least I haven’t heard it before — it came right after crowd-raver “Reprogram” and was straight-up big-rhythm rock. At their most enjoyable, InDreama strives for pop; at their most ambitious, they reach for epic. Great songs and great performances transport you. Set-closer “Exodus” conjured memories of standing along the Rio Grande River on the Laredo side and looking over at twilight, watching the neon and digital signage in the distance glow through the dust haze like staring at a futuristic third world, new and dangerous. With it’s huge, ominous duo synth tones growling like fog horns and Fackler’s feral yelps “Exodus” sounded like something off the Bladerunner soundtrack, like Vangelis on acid. Epic indeed.

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Onto the weekend.

Tonight’s feature show is at fabulous O’Leaver’s where Pro-Magnum headlines a bill that includes Dumb Beach, Fire Retarded and Coaxed. What’s better than a night of garage punk and mai thia’s? $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s the Battle of the Cover shows as two Benson venues host dueling covers nights.

At The Waiting Room, Hear Nebraska presents Take Cover Omaha, their annual fund raiser where a dozen or so Nebraska musicians cover a song by another Nebraska musician of their choice plus perform one of their own. The lineup includes Ted Stevens, Simon Joyner, Landon Hedges, Matt Whipkey, Darren Keen, Dan McCarthy, Sara Bertuldo, Ian Aeillo, Becky Lowry, Vic Padios, John Klemmensen, Rachel Tomlinson, Max Holmquist, Dan Scheuerman and John Larsen. I wonder how many will be doing Bright Eyes covers? $7, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, down the street at The Barley Street Tavern, it’s Lou Reed Tribute night where (you guessed it) local musicians cover a Reed classic. Performers include Mitch Gettman, John Klemmenson, Ben Sieff and Scott Severin. $5, 8 p.m. Wonder how many are covering “Sweet Jane”?

Also Saturday night, Rainy Road Records is hosting a label showcase at O’Leaver’s with performances by Touch People, Worried Mothers, and Cooper Lakota Moon. $5, 9:30 p.m.

That’s what I know. If I missed anything, put it in the comments section. 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Tell me when I’m wrong; Sick Birds Die Easy trailer, new Icky Blossoms vid online…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:51 pm March 6, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With nothing indie musicwise to write about this week (though my column, which goes online tomorrow, is about the Women Who Rock exhibit) I thought I’d take this moment to point out another in a series of flaws and apologize in advance…

I keep finding instances where I either spelled someone’s name or project wrong in a past article or blog post and the person who I was writing about (who must have known I blew it) said nothing. First, sorry for the f-ups. It’s happening more often lately, moreso (I think) out of work stress than age. Second, tell me when I got it wrong, please.

One guy who I’ve been mentioning in the blog for years recently pointed out (very subtly, very nicely) that I consistently spell his last name wrong. In addition to being a cardinal sin in journalism, I’m more than familiar with this sort of mistake as people always spell my name as if I were the lost son of Ed McMahon (there’s no f-ing “o” in my name).

And then yesterday in Facebook I noticed that the trailer for Nik Fackler’s documentary, Sick Birds Die Easy, was finally uploaded to YouTube. I was trying to figure out when I first wrote about Nik’s new movie, so I did a search in Lazy-i and discovered that I referred to the film as Sick Birds Die Young. What a massive f-up. And it appeared that way in print, too. Nik must have saw the error, but being the charming lad that he is, said nothing to me about it. If it appears only online, I can at least try to fix it (that’s the miracle of the Internet). If it’s in print, well, I can’t do anything about that as The Reader typically doesn’t publish corrections.

Anyway… Here’s the trailer to Nik’s new film. Looks like a drug-filled adventure featuring some familiar faces from the Omaha music scene. And tell me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that the guy from the “What do you think this is, a Holiday Inn?” commercials?

Here’s a classic Holiday Inn spot featuring above-mentioned actor. That series of commercials was better than 90 percent of the sitcoms aired on network television over the past 10 years:

That’s not the only project Nik has been busy with. There’s this little ol’ band called Icky Blossoms that just happens to have dropped a new video this week for the song “VIllage,” directed by and featuring the folks in Church of Tomorrow. As George Takei would say, “Oh my….

One more thing…

As mentioned last week, the comments section of this website has been busted for who knows how long. It’s fixed, so you can now conveniently report my mistakes 24 hours a day…

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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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Lazy-i Interview: Nik Fackler’s delicate/hectic balance between film and music; Sun Airway, Filter Kings, Wallflowers tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:49 pm October 25, 2012
Nik Fackler

Nik Fackler

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

As mentioned before, I typically point you to my weekly column in The Reader on Thursdays because the topics generally aren’t music related, but when I do write music-related column, like this week’s interview with Nik Fackler, I’ll go ahead and include it here (as well as point you to The Reader‘s website). So here you go:

Over the Edge: The Life and Times of Nik Fackler

The filmmaker and musician is about to take another turn.

by Tim McMahan

Who exactly is Nik Fackler?

He used to be known as a filmmaker who wrote and directed Lovely, Still, the independent feature film starring none other than Martin Landau, Ellen Burstyn and Elizabeth Banks. If you haven’t seen it, you’re not alone.

But after the film failed to garner national distribution, Fackler changed careers. These days, he’s a rock star (whatever that means in the post-music industry era). In fact, this column was targeted to support the debut vinyl release by his band InDreama, which takes place this Saturday at The Slowdown in what surely will be an orgy of weirdness and delight performed (and viewed) through sweaty Halloween masks. Fackler would have it no other way.

But InDreama is just one slice of this musician’s life. Our interview for this column took place less than 24 hours after Fackler returned from a two-week tour playing bass with nationally known indie pop band Tilly and the Wall. Fackler talked via cell phone while driving from band practice with InDreama and heading to another band practice for dance/grind/vibe rock band Icky Blossoms, where he plays guitar. For those of you keeping count, that’s three bands, simultaneously.

So I guess Fackler is committed to being a musician, right?

Well, no. While all this was going on, Fackler completed his second feature film, the documentary Sick Birds Die Easy, and submitted it for consideration to the Sundance Film Festival. He’s keeping his fingers crossed that the movie will have its world premier there in January.

And then… what?

“Right now I feel overwhelmed,” Fackler said. “I would hope that I can do music for awhile, and if none of it succeeds, I’ll always have filmmaking waiting for me. It’s mostly filmmaking and storytelling that’s calling me, but music is a much easier way to express yourself. It’s more fun and it’s cooler than filmmaking, even though I think I’m better at filmmaking…”

Such is his conundrum. It’s not that Fackler is confused as much as exasperated. He says making films is really more about the business of selling a project. “You have to make the most beautiful package possible — here’s a great script, great actors, great music — it has to be something they can’t say ‘no’ to.”

“They” are the money people who will finance it all. The plan was to ride the success of Lovely, Still to his next film project. “I didn’t touch a guitar for two and a half years during Lovely, Still,” he said. “I was ready to be a filmmaker. And then Lovely, Still wasn’t successful. I’m proud of it and hope over time more people get to see it, but it didn’t go anywhere. It came out in 2007 when every (film) distribution company was closing its doors. The film sat there and waited for the economy to pick up and was forgotten.”

Meanwhile, Fackler’s disillusionment about the filmmaking process only grew. “I got to the point where it was time to write a new script, and that time passed me by,” he said. “I felt constricted. I hoped Lovely, Still would blow up and I could make another film right away. When it didn’t, I had to start over. I knew it would take years to make another film, so I picked my guitar back up because I needed an immediate release of creativity. If I don’t have that, I feel like I’m being choked.”

InDreama, self-titled (Team Love, 2012)

InDreama, self-titled (Team Love, 2012)

Fackler became a wanderer. He didn’t have a job, he slept on couches, he traveled. “I fell off the grid,” he said. And all the while, he wrote songs and recorded them on his MacBook using GarageBand. After a year, he had completed 15 songs, which he played for Ashley Miler, a Kansas City music producer with a “far out psychedelic mind” who helped pull it all together into a cohesive package.

The final product is a very strange, very personal musical document of Fackler’s lost year that listeners will either “get” or won’t. He hopes it’s the former but is okay if it’s the latter. “If people like the music, that’s awesome. If not, I’m not paying attention.”

While all that was going on, Fackler finished his next script, tentatively titled We the Living, which he said combines mythology and religion with a science fiction aspect. But before he figures out how he’s going to make it, he has to go on tour with both InDreama and Icky Blossoms before (hopefully) heading to Sundance to screen and promote Sick Birds...

So who exactly is Nik Fackler?

To me, he’s the same 19-year-old mop of hair that I remember meeting at his parents’ diner back in 2005. Goofy, smiling, bleary eyed and happy. Now 28, he never seems to age, but he’ll tell you he has.

“It gets harder as you get older,” he said. “No one is expecting anything from me, but I’m expecting more from myself. As I get older, it gets weirder. I own a house and am in debt to banks and don’t have health insurance (and probably should). Should I be worried about this? I’ve got all sorts of lives to live beyond this one.

“I would love to say I have a direct vision to my path, but I don’t,” he said. “I’ve really let go as an artist. I jumped off the path and don’t see it anymore, and something inside me tells me that’s okay.”

* * *

Join Fackler on his pathless journey this Saturday at The Slowdown for the Freaks of the Night: Halloween Costume and Dance Party a.k.a. the InDreama record release show. Also on the bill is Icky Blossoms, Lincoln freak show performer Plack Blague and Places We Slept. Tickets for the 9 p.m. performance are $6.66 in advance or $8 day of show.

Over The Edge is a weekly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, the media and the arts. Email Tim at tim.mcmahan@gmail.com.

* * *

I’ve been listening to Philly dreampop band Sun Airway most of the morning. The publicist describes their music as “Touches of ELO and New Order brush up against hints of modern sounds like M83 and Radio Dept., carried by the subtle breeze of Bjork’s Homogenic,” which  pretty much sums it up. There’s definitely a heavy M83 dreamgaze thing going on. Pitchfork gave their last record, Soft Fall (Deep Ocean), a dazzling 7.3 rating. Check out their video for “Close,” below. Opening is Kite Pilot, who is on a bit of a local tour with four show slated in as many weeks. $12, 9 p.m.

 

Meanwhile, over at O’Leaver’s, those boot-scootin’ sumbitches The Filter Kings are headlining a show with Reno Divorce and Ground Tyrants. $5, 9:30 p.m. Don’t forget your cowboy hat!

Finally, down at The Slowdown, it’s the return of Jakob Dylan and The Wallflowers, with Trapper Schoepp and the Shades. $30, 8 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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Fackler & Higgins on InDreama; a look back at Fashion Week (in the column); The Lupines, Baby Tears, Jake Bellows tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:08 pm August 30, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s been somewhat quiet news-wise the past few days, which has given me a chance to catch up on some new releases. Look for a slew of reviews online in the coming weeks, including a summary of the best stuff from the first three quarters of 2012. The year indeed started out slow, but there have been a few interesting releases this summer.

What else…?

Omaha singer/songwriter/musician/filmmaker/golden boy Nik Fackler and bass playing legend Dereck Higgins talk about the upcoming InDreama debut right here at Hear Nebraska. The article is an intriguing combination of text and audio files from the interview. Look for the new InDreama to hit store shelves Oct. 23 on Team Love Records.

* * *

In this week’s column, a look back at last Saturday night’s Fashion Week finale, a review that’s bound to get me in trouble… You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here.

* * *

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s The Barley Street Tavern, it’s the return of The Lupines with Baby Tears and St. Louis band Hope and Therapy. The usual $5, the usual 9:30 start time.

Also tonight, traveling troubadour Jake Bellows (ex-Neva Dinova) is playing a set at The New BLK, 1213 Jones St., as part of the Top Coat and Tails II closing party. Jake goes on at 10. According to The NBLK: “No cover. Free drink (until it’s gone, feel free to byob also). We’ll be taking donations to help Jake put a new clutch in the ’71 Datsun for it’s journey back to LA. Come down.” OK, now you have to go…

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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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Lazy-i Interview: Icky Blossoms (CD release show July 3); Nightmare Boyzzz; The Whipkey Three tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:45 pm June 28, 2012
Icky Blossoms on the Earth Day stage in Elmwood Park, April 21, 2012.

Icky Blossoms on the Earth Day stage in Elmwood Park, April 21, 2012.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The germination of Omaha indie dance-rock band Icky Blossoms dates back to a different sort of flower created by the band’s mastermind, Derek Pressnall.

Started in 2007 as a side project to Pressnall’s main band, Tilly and the Wall, Flowers Forever was a multi-layered, psych-rock head trip, but by 2010 the band’s sound began to change. The band’s final evolution came at a frenzied performance at Slowdown Jr. in October 2010. With only about 50 people left in the club, Flowers Forever closed the evening with an unexpected number called “Babes” that transformed the room into a throbbing dance club. The crowd, who only moments earlier had been struck motionless by the thick, buzz-saw shoegaze sound of Montreal band No Joy, at once lost all inhibitions and simply let go, liberated by the song’s irresistible bass line and disco thump-thump-thump.

Bodies moved. Hands rose. Sweat glistened. And just like that, Icky Blossoms was born. At its core were Pressnall channeling John Lydon and Fred Schneider, dreamy blond vocalist Sarah Bohling sounding like a modern-day Nico, and crazy-haired guitarist/dynamo Nik Fackler, on his knees coaxing shrill noises from his axe, lost in the moment.

When “Babes” ground to a halt the crowd cried out to hear it again. Never ones to disappoint, Pressnall and Co. took it from the top, and the party continued. And then things got weird(er) when someone (maybe Capgun Coup’s Sam Martin) broke open an enormous bag of popcorn and began throwing it like like buttered confetti. It was strange, surreal, fun, and became a sort of blueprint for future performances.

“Every performance should evoke emotion, danger, excitement,” Pressnall said, surrounded by his bandmates last week at the Old Dundee Bar & Grill. “What’s the worst thing that could happen? We’re a rock ’n’ roll band. We want the show to be exciting and a little uncomfortable in the best sense of the word. We’re trying to push ourselves on stage, and there’s a bit of magic involved.”

Icky Blossoms, self-titled (Saddle Creek, 2012)

Icky Blossoms, self-titled (Saddle Creek, 2012)

The band tried to recreate that magic when recording its debut earlier this year with TV on the Radio’s David Sitek in his Los Angeles studio. “We were looking for instantaneous grooves,” Pressnall said. “That was the first thing we talked about for every song — the groove has to be there as soon as the music starts.”

“We constantly asked ourselves if a song would translate to a huge club or a massive festival,” Bohling said. “Would the groove get everyone’s attention?”

No doubt the grooves on the new album are impossible to ignore. Clocking in at around 42 minutes of sonic debauchery, Icky Blossoms’ debut, slated for release by Saddle Creek Records July 17, re-imagines the band’s dense, high-energy live sound. At the core are the songs — modern dance numbers that combine house beats and sonic stylings influenced by bands like Jesus and Mary Chain, The Happy Mondays, Depeche Mode, The B-52s, The Cure, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Public Image Limited and hometown heroes The Faint. Pressnall, Bohling and Fackler know what buttons to push, and gleefully jam them down as hard as possible on every track.

Album highlights include howling opening number “Heat Lightning,” orgiastic dance mantra “Sex to the Devil,” hypnotic album closer (and early single) “Perfect Vision,” and, of course, the track that’s bound to light up every runway at Fashion Week this fall, “Babes.” Taken individually, each track has its own sonic vibe; but as a whole, the album can be overwhelming, if not exhausting.

While Pressnall, Bohling and Fackler are the core members, the band’s stage lineup is a revolving cast. The current configuration includes the powerhouse rhythm section of drummer Clark Baechle of The Faint and high-kicking bassist Saber Blazek of Lincoln band The Machete Archive.

“It’s safe to say Clark has come up with some things that have impacted the band,” Pressnall said, though he added that they could lose their star drummer now that The Faint intends to regroup later this year. “Both Clark and Saber will work with us for the next six months,” he added. “Who knows where we’ll go from there.”

But that’s not the biggest question hanging over Icky Blossoms’ future. Beyond the fact that Tilly and the Wall has recorded a new album set for release later this year by Team Love Records, Pressnall and wife Jamie (also a member of Tilly) have a couple young children to raise. How can he do that and tour?

“Being away from my children is incredibly hard, much harder than I thought it would be,” Pressnall said. “It’s hard to describe. The separation really started to affect me after a couple weeks in LA. When touring, I would like to see my kids at least every two weeks, but if I had to I could go out for four weeks at a time. We’ll figure it out.”

Then there’s Fackler, who is more well-known outside of Omaha as a successful filmmaker. His 2008 feature film debut, Lovely, Still, which starred Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn, landed him a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award.

Fackler just completed his second feature film, a documentary titled Sick Birds Die Easy shot in the jungles of Africa. “It’s an exploration of western culture and ancient culture, drug addiction, spirituality and the destiny of mankind,” Fackler said. Now that the first cut is in the can, he’s in the process of submitting the film to festivals, which he says will tie him up most of July.

But with all that going on, the band still plans to tour this fall and winter. They’ve already signed with national booker The Windish Agency (M83, Ra Ra Riot, Dirty Projectors) and have their hearts set on a landing an opening slot with a more established band.

But no matter who it is, Fackler said the goal will still be to create an environment from the stage where people can let loose and dance.  “If you’re making music, that’s the best compliment.”

Icky Blossoms will celebrate the release of its debut album with UUVVWWZ and Depressed Buttons Tuesday, July 3 at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $7. For more information, call 402.884.5353 or visit onepercentproductions.com.

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Muscle Shoals, Alabama band Nightmare Boyzzz calls their music “Shit Pop,” which conjures a number of unsavory images that seem right at home at a place like O’Leaver’s. They actually play sweet garage rock that recalls our old friends The Ramones. Check out “Devil III” and “My Body Breaks Down” at their Bandcamp page. Also on the bill, Omaha’s own Peace of Shit and Black Out Sounds (Worried Mothers, Thee Tapeheads). O’Leaver’s, $5, 9:30 p.m.

The Whipkey Three returns to The Waiting Room stage tonight in support of their recent self-released album Two Truths. Read more about Matt and the boys and the new record here. Opening is The Lupines (Ziegler, Tulis, Friedman, Dabestani, amazing) and The Ground Tyrants. $7, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Lonely Estates plays at The Barley Street Tavern with The Rocketboys and From Indian Lakes. $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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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