The OEA Award nominations are in, and reason why The Faint (and Orenda and Conor) were left out; Drive By Truckers tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:45 pm September 16, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

OEAAs...

OEAAs…

Yesterday the 2015 Omaha Entertaining and Arts (OEA) Award nominations were announced. I looked through the nominees list (here) and in addition to not recognizing a lot of the nominees, wondered why three of Omaha’s finest talents —  The Faint, Orenda Fink and Conor Oberst — didn’t receive any nominations. All three released well-received full-length albums this year and toured extensively.

I turned to the President of the OEA Board, Emily Engles, for answers. Through a series of e-mails, Engles explained the nomination process:

Me: Any idea why The Faint weren’t nominated for anything?

Engles: They were not in the top 6, nor top 20 even.

Me: So the nominees are determined entirely by popular vote, right?

Engles: We receive the list all the way down to one vote, the music committee then makes sure everyone is in the right category as sometimes a band happens to be in the top for both rock and hard rock or both country and Americana. A committee of board members and voting academy members put the puzzle together using the entire list.

Me: Do you take into consideration things like album sales or is it purely based on public submitted votes? How do you prevent a recording that the committee recognizes to be an inferior recording (but that has a lot of public votes) from being nominated in a “Best of” category?

Engles: It is based on local shows and local affect. We only remove a band or album from a category if it is the wrong genre or album (was) not released within the award season, Sept 1-Aug 31.

Me: Is there any recourse by the board for adding an artist or recording that the board felt was overlooked by the public?

Engles: We do scroll through the events of the major venues (WR, SD, Shamrocks, Hideout, Chrome, Barley, etc.) for release shows to see a somewhat comprehensive list.

Me: So if someone on the board thought a band was overlooked by the public during the nomination process, the board could have added that band as a nominee?

Engles: It is the board and a select few from the voting academy. Yes, if someone was grossly overlooked, they could be added if the vote passed.

Me: Is there any reason why The Faint, Conor Oberst or Orenda Fink couldn’t be nominated?

Engles: The Faint landed at about #50 on this list with two nominations, Orenda at about 80 with one, Conor does not appear. While I understand the national effect they have for Omaha, they did not have the same local effect (Omaha release show, subsequent local shows, etc.) to grab the attention of the OEAs. I am speaking purely on my behalf…Marq Manner is our “indie” expert when it comes to the three you mentioned and may have a better explanation if mine is not sufficient.

I thanked Engles for her comments and pointed out that The Faint obviously had a rather large local effect considering they hosted massive shows at Sokol Auditorium, The Slowdown and The Waiting Room — i.e, more locals saw The Faint perform than any other nominated performer in any category. The same could be said for Conor Oberst.

So I did as Engles suggested and asked my ol’ pal MarQ Manner, who also is an OEA Awards board member. Here’s what Manner said:

MarQ Manner: While we don’t totally go on votes we certainly weigh them and where the public is pointing when debating. We had votes for well over 100 bands and the general vibe was that people were more focused on albums from groups that may not be on the national stage. We did not make any out loud choice to not include Conor, The Faint or Orenda. I think we just looked at 30 albums that were there and looked and researched and found what we thought were the best and most impactful albums in Omaha.

You have to understand that we have people on the committee that are hard rock people. roots rock people, hip hop, jam band, etc. it’s not the indie music awards. One of the biggest complaints about the OEAA’s is that Conor, Cursive, etc., are nominated. I disagree with that and think those nominations just make the award more important for the non-national band who may win in a following year. Is it a perfect process? No. I can’t think of an award organization that has it down. Our goal is to recognize the arts in Omaha that is having and impact and people are excited about.

For what it’s worth…

Moving on.

* * *

Tonight, right back to The Slowdown for Drive By Truckers and Lucero. $30, 8 p.m. show.

* * *

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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Hear Nebraska Live (Digital Leather, Big Harp) tonight; OEAA Benson showcase tonight and Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:35 pm June 7, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before we get to the OEAA weekend, another reminder about tonight’s Hear Nebraska Live event at 1200 Club at The Holland. Show starts at 7:30 and features Big Harp, Digital Leather and Kill County. No idea on the band order. Tickets today are $30. The whole thing is being filmed for rebroadcast on Nebraska Educational Television sometime in the not-so-distant future. Tix at ticketomaha.com.

OEAAs...

OEAAs…

Which brings us to the other big event this weekend, the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award Summer Showcase held in bars and showcases throughout Benson. All-entry to every place is $10 per night or $15 for a 2-day pass. All money raised at the door goes to the OEAA folks to help fund their annual awards show. The unofficial benefactor is, of course, the bars who are getting two free nights of entertainment on their stages, as the bands aren’t paid. This explains the overall lack of bands from Saddle Creek, Speed! Nebraska, Slumber Party, Rainy Road and other local labels. Those bands have moved beyond what has become a Benson talent show, complete with a prize — the opening slot on the local stage of this year’s Maha Music Festival.

Still, as I’ve said in the past — no one’s put a gun to any of these bands’ heads and told them they had to play for free. With that in mind, I’ve placed (*) by recommended sets. Should be a good time, if they don’t get hit by a thunderstorm tomorrow night.

Friday, June 7
The Waiting Room

8-8:40- Escape from AlcaJazz
8:55-9:35- Civicminded
9:50-10:30- Narcotic Self
* 10:45-11:25- The Whipkey Three
* 11:40-12:20- Travelling Mercies
12:35-1:05- Ten Club
1:20-2am- Galvanized Tron

The Sydney

8-8:40- Towne, Murray & Polipnick
8:55-9:35- Morning at Sea
9:50-10:30- All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
* 10:45-11:25- Halfwit
* 11:40-12:20- Touch People
* 12:35-1:05- Universe Contest
1:20-2am- BuckHunter

Barley Street Tavern

8-8:40- Skyman
8:55-9:35- Black On High
9:50-10:30- Those Far Out Arrows
10:45-11:25- Dirty River Ramblers
11:40-12:20- Moses Prey
12:35-1:05- The Sub-Vectors
1:20-2am- The Big Deep

Sweatshop
2727 N 62nd Street

8-8:40- Pancho and the Contraband
8:55-9:35- Tracey Skretta
9:50-10:30- Polka Police
* 10:45-11:25- The Shidiots
11:40-12:20- Never Trust the Living
12:35-1:05- Guilty is the Bear
1:20-2am- Kaitlyn Maria Filippini

Burke’s Pub

8-8:40- SPORK and SPiNSTER
8:55-9:35- 24 Hour Cardlock
* 9:50-10:30- Scott Severin
10:45-11:25- Michael Wunder
11:40-12:20- Mitch Gettman
12:35-1:05- Hector Anchondo Band

PS Collective

8-8:40- Acoustic Gangster
8:55-9:35- Belles & Whistles
9:50-10:30- Lucas Kellison & Undisco Kids
10:45-11:25- Witness Tree
11:40-12:20- One Eye White
12:35-1:05- Island Alumni

Louis Bar & Grill

8-8:40 – More Machine Now Than Man
8:55-9:35 – The Minnahoonies
9:50-10:30 – Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers
10:45-11:25 – The Matador
11:40-12:20 – The Impulsive
12:35 – 1:05 – Linear Symmetry
1:15 – 1:50 – Rygol

Saturday, June 8

The Waiting Room

8-8:40- Save the Hero
* 8:55-9:35- John Klemmensen and the Party
9:50-10:30- Cannonista
10:45-11:25- The Electroliners
11:40-12:20- Voodoo Method
12:35-1:05- After the Fall
1:20-2am- Lon-Meezy

The Sydney

8-8:40- Mola-B
8:55-9:35- Edge of Arbor
9:50-10:30- Vago
10:45-11:25- Artillery Funk
11:40-12:20- AZP
12:35-1:05- Purveyors of the Conscious Sound
1:20-2am- Wrekafekt

Barley Street Tavern

8-8:40- The Counterplot
8:55-9:35- The Decatures
9:50-10:30- Big AL Band
10:45-11:25- Molehill (touring band)
11:40-12:20- Rock Paper Dynamite
12:35-1:05- Field Club
1:20-2am- The Beat Seekers

Burke’s Pub

8-8:40- FINO
8:55-9:35- Phoenix Rising
9:50-10:30- Ryan Osbahr
10:45-11:25- Dominique Morgan
11:40-12:20- shooK on3
12:35-1:05- Buzz Junior

PS Collective

8-8:40- A Wasted Effort
8:55-9:35- Square1
9:50-10:30- Tenderness Wilderness
10:45-11:25- The Bishops
11:40-12:20- The Ronnys
12:35-1:05- Steps to Mars

OEAA’s couldn’t have picked a better weekend for this (except maybe weather-wise) as there isn’t much else going on.

It’s Benson First Friday tonight, but that just means parking will suck in Benson.

The legendary Dereck Higgins is performing tonight at the Carver Bank Art Space at 2416 Lake St. The show starts at 7.

Saturday night O’Leaver’s is hosting a punk show featuring Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and the legendary Qing Jao. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Polka party stewards Brave Combo are playing at the Summer Arts Festival downtown Saturday. (Probably a good time to reread my 2000 interview with the band). They go on at 7 p.m. and the event is free.

Did I miss something? Put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

* * *

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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Who will win / who should have won at the 2012 OEA music awards (and Grammy’s); Lincoln Exposed tonight; Slumber Party, Dirty Flourescents Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:55 pm February 10, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

OEA logo

Well it’s that time of year again for the Benson Music Awards, uh… I mean the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEAs).

Look, I’m so far out of the loop regarding the OEAs since I resigned as an “Academy Member” back in 2010 that I no longer get any correspondence from the organization. And I mean absolutely nothing, which is strange, because I still write about music here at Lazy-i.com and The Reader (who (I think) is still an event sponsor).

Oh well. If you want to know my gripes about the OEA’s, read my public resignation, published in my column two years ago, right here.

Nothing has changed. In fact, the whole thing has become even more incestuous. Most of the area’s best talent continues to be ignored, while bands and performers willing to “rally their fans” to vote in the “open voting” portion get nominated. Yes, I know Marq, there’s a whole process for selecting nominees that go beyond the open voting. Still, somehow the OEA’s managed to overlook some of the area’s best talent, including Darren Keen, Simon Joyner, Digital Leather, Ideal Cleaners, Skypiper, Yuppies, Depressed Buttons, McCarthy Trenching, Back When, Baby Tears, It’s True, Con Dios, Peace of Shit, Capgun Coup, Thunder Power, and on and on.

There are politics in everything, including music.

Anyway, the OEAA’s annual awards banquet is Sunday night at the Hilton downtown. And as I do every year, here are my thoughts for each music category on: 1) who will win, and 2) who should have won:

Best New Artist:
Who will win: We Be Lions
Who should have won: Icky Blossoms

Best Artist:
Who will win: Matt Cox
Who should have won: Bright Eyes

Best Cover Band:
Who will win: Secret Weapon
Who should have won: Secret Weapon

Best Ethnic:
Who will win: Donnybrook
Who should have won: The Turfmen (too bad they weren’t nominated)

Best Progressive/Experimental/Funk
Who will win: Satchel Grande
Who should have won: InDreama

Best Jazz
Who will win: Steve Raybine
Who should have won: Steve Raybine

Best Blues
Who will win: Kris Lager Band
Who should have won: no idea

Best Hip Hop
Who will win: Galvanized Tron
Who should have won: Conchance

Best Soul/R&B Gospel
Who will win: Lucas Kellison
Who should have won: Second Chance

Best Country/Americana
Who will win: Filter Kings
Who should have won: Filter Kings

Best DJ/EDM
Who will win: Somasphere
Who should have won: Depressed Buttons (also not nominated)

Best Indie:
Who will win: So-So Sailors
Who should have won: So-So Sailors

Best Hard Rock:
Who will win: Mitch Gettman
Who should have won: Ideal Cleaners (also not nominated)

Best Adult Alternative/Songwriter
Who will win: Mitch Gettman
Who should have won: Tim Kasher (not nominated)

Best Album
Who will win: Bright Eyes, The People’s Key
Who should have won: Bright Eyes, The People’s Key (Something tells me Conor won’t be there to accept his award).

Details about Sunday night’s event are available at http://oea-awards.com/

* * *
Hey, the Grammy’s are Sunday night, too. Who cares?

Well, despite the fact that The Grammy’s have turned into an extended episode of American Idol and The Voice, I’ll be watching if only to see if Omaha legend Tom Ware picks up a Grammy for his work on Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, which is up for Album of the Year. Keep your fingers crossed, though I think Adele will ultimately take home the trophy.

The closest thing to an indie category at The Grammy’s is “Best Alternative Album,” where it’s Bon Iver, Radiohead, Death Cab, Foster the People and My Morning Jacket. My money is on Bon Iver, because he sure as shit isn’t going to win in the other categories he’s nominated in.

* * *

So what’s happening this weekend?

Lincoln Exposed continues in Lincoln tonight and tomorrow. Details here.

Last week’s Slumber Party Showcase at the Saddle Creek Shop that got cancelled due to the snow has been rescheduled for this Saturday afternoon starting at 3 p.m. The lineup: Jasong Mountain (of Talking Mountain),  Andy Cubrich (of Family Picnic), Sam Martin (of Capgun Coup), and Bobby Rubalcava (of The West Valley/The Benningtons) and more. Come on down, it’s free.

Saturday night Dirty Flourescents, Comme Reel and Techlepathy light up O’Leaver’s for a night of midwestern punk. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And then Sunday night Hear  Nebraska is hosting a show at Loom featuring Bad Spele (Darren Keen), Machete Archive and more. 9 p.m., $5. More details here.

And finally, Slowdown Jr. is hosting an OEA after party featuring Snake Island and BASSthoven. 9:30, $5 or free if you can prove (willing to admit) you were at the OEAs.

* * *

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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OEA showcase, Talking Mountain tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 7:59 pm November 5, 2010

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This is what we call a late-day post. The event of the evening is the Omaha Entertainment & Arts (OEA) Awards showcase in Benson. More than 20 artists playing in four venues all for one low price of $10. Go to the OEA Facebook page for the lineup and schedule. In all honesty, I haven’t seen half of these bands before (a few of them I’ve never even heard of), and there isn’t a better — or more convenient — way to catch them all at once. First band hits the stage at 8.

Skipping Benson? Check out Talking Mountain at O’Leaver’s with Lawrence, Kansas band Mammoth Life and The Benningtons. $5, 9:30 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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Column 280: So Long, OEAAs; MAHA lineup complete; Concert for Equality sold out; Speed! Nebraska hangover; Techlepathy, East of the Wall tonight…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

BTW, a quick glance at Craigslist yesterday showed Deluxe Concert for Equality tickets were being offered for as much as $200 each, while general admission tix were being offered for $100 each. There are 25 listings there now, and most are “want to buy” ads.

Column 280: Goodbye, OEAAs…

It’s better than beating a dead horse…

I just finished writing a 1,000-word critical review of this past weekend’s Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards showcase in Benson, and then I threw it out.

It dawned on me after adding the -30- (a traditional, out-dated way of ending news stories) that I should take the same tact that I take for bands that I don’t care for — just don’t write about it. There’s no point in tearing down the OEAAs. The bands that participate aren’t indie bands, aren’t bands that I cover in my column and website, and aren’t the kind of bands Nebraska has become nationally known for.

In truth, the OEAAs don’t target any specific “type” of band. The organization’s showcases are open invitations to anyone willing to play for free, with apparently no criteria that eliminate anyone from consideration. As a result, the showcase has become a two-day open mic night, where truly talented performers like Ember Schrag, Ground Tyrants and a couple others, get lost in the overwhelming fog of mediocrity.

Even the annual awards process has become somewhat misguided. As an OEAA Academy member, I found myself not voting in a number of categories last year because the nominees simply didn’t fit the category definition — and I’m not talking about from a genre standpoint, but as representing the best bands from the Omaha/Lincoln area in a specific category. I have no interest in voting for the least mediocre among five mediocre bands, while the area’s real talent — the bands that release albums on nationally distributed record labels, the bands that go out of state on tours — are consistently ignored by the process or refuse to participate.

When the OEAAs began four years ago as a non-profit, there was some discussion that money generated from the effort could some day support a scholarship fund or some other worthy cause. But that never happened. Conceivably, money raised from the showcases is funneled into covering costs involved in putting together the annual awards banquet — a program that’s supposed to showcase the best and brightest, but where the best and brightest rarely perform.

Despite all of this, there’s no question that folks enjoy the OEAA showcases and awards banquet, whether I do or not. Who am I to begrudge anyone for having a good time? So with that, I wish the OEAAs the best of luck as I resign my position as an Academy Member, put down my gun and slowly walk away…

* * *

Speaking of the OEAA’s, the MAHA Music Festival filled its final opening slot for bands performing on the Kum & Go Local Stage from those participating in last weekend’s OEAA showcase. In an open vote of OEAA patrons, the winner was R&B act Voodoo Method, a band that harshly clashes with the national acts chosen to perform on the main stage. I guess that’s what the MAHA committee gets when it leaves a decision as important as who will perform at their concert up to someone else.

* * *

If you were on the fence as to whether or not to buy tickets to the Concert for Equality, being held July 31 in Benson and featuring Bright Eyes, Cursive, Desaparecidos, Lullaby for the Working Class, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, The Envy Corps, David Dondero, The So-So Sailors, Conchance, Simon Joyner, Flowers Forever and Vago, along with some TBA superstars, you can forget about it. The event sold out last week. Deluxe Tickets, which originally cost $50 each, were being listed on ebay for $315 a pair last week, and I suspect you’ll see even higher prices as the event gets closer. Could the concert be moved from one of Benson’s side streets to Maple Street, freeing up more tickets? We’ll have to wait and see.

* * *

Finally, I skipped Day 2 of the OEAAs to attend the Speed! Nebraska showcase at a crushed-full O’Leaver’s — the epilogue to the Soapbox Riot soapbox derby held at Seymour Smith track earlier that day (and won by Wagon Blasters’ frontman Gary Dean Davis). Speed! Nebraska Records boasts arguably the best roster of pure rock bands in Nebraska — including Mercy Rule, Ideal Cleaners, Techlepathy, The Third Men, Mezcal Brothers and Wagon Blasters, all of whom performed that night (and none of whom played the day before at the OEAA showcase). Note to the MAHA committee: Any of those bands would have been an amazing addition to the Kum & Go stage. Maybe next year?

* * *

It’s a night of nightmare music at Slowdown Jr. tonight with Gunnison Beach, New Jersey noise band East of the Wall (proggy, syncopated rhythms, monster vocals, loud), Name (crazy fast guitars, metal, screaming), Masses (pounding instrumentals, violently loud, torturous), and Techlepathy (intricate, tense, free-fall explosions). Earplugs highly recommended. $8, 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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Where’s that review? Kasher’s Monogamy Game 10/5; Peace of Sh*t tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 2:35 pm July 20, 2010

The Ground Tyrants at The Sydney, OEAA Summer Showcase, July 16, 2010.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

So where’s the review of last weekend’s OEAA summer festival and the Speed! Nebraska showcase? You’ll just have to wait until tomorrow’s column, where the reason for the delay will be revealed. Until then, above is a lovely photo from the OEAA’s of The Ground Tyrants playing at The Sydney. Of the bands that I saw on Friday (including Civicminded, After the Fall and Jes Winter), The Ground Tyrants were the clear winner. Too bad they lost to mediocre R&B act Voodoo Method, who will now perform at The MAHA Festival. But I’ll talk more about that decision tomorrow.

Also in Lazy-i this week, look for a MAHA overview/interview with board member Tre Brashear and an extensive feature story/interview with Superchunk. Those stories go online Thursday and Friday.

* * *

Among the spectators at O’Leaver’s worshipping at the alter of Speed! Nebraska Records Saturday night was Cursive’s Tim Kasher, whose solo debut, The Game Of Monogamy, is set for release Oct. 5 on Saddle Creek Records.  Recorded this past January at a rental home in beautiful Whitefish, MT, and also at SnowGhost Music, the album marks the first time Kasher has written, recorded and produced an album under his own name, according to publicist, Cobra Camanda. Sayeth the press release:

The Game Of Monogamy is more of an arranged record than any of Kasher’s past releases, filled with theatrical arrangements and lush instrumentation to create his own blend of classic pop. Ornamented with strings, harp, oboe, flute, and trombone, among other instruments, the songs vary in sound from vibrant and catchy (“Cold Love,” “I’m Afraid I’m Gonna Die Here”) to sweeping and grand (“No Fireworks,” “Monogamy”), and from hushed and spare (“Strays,” “The Prodigal Husband”), to urgent and fraught (“A Grown Man,” “Bad, Bad Dreams”). This moody orchestral pop evokes a 1950s-esque, conservative atmosphere, setting the stage for a dilemma that remains thoroughly modern.  The protagonist’s arc in The Game Of Monogamy spans the wide range of distinctly human emotions tangled up around relationships in a starched shirt society.  Call it the score for our collective sexual plight: expression routinely becomes repression in the name of romance.

If you say so, Amanda. Kasher enlisted Patrick Newbery (trumpet/keys for Cursive; also of Lacona and Head of Femur) to help with the arrangements, the production, and to play on the record. Erin Tate (Minus The Bear) and Matt Maginn (Cursive) also stopped by to add some drum and bass parts, respectively, and members of the Glacier National Symphony were recruited for the classical instrument parts.

The only question I have is: Where’s my promo copy?

* * *

Tonight at O’Leaver’s, it’s  Watching the Trainwreck, The Goodnight Loving, Peace of Shit and The Prairies. $5, 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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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