Oh Pep!, Wagon Blasters, tonight; Sucettes, Dave Nance, Against Me! Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 10:55 am February 24, 2017

Oh Pep! at The Waiting Room, Sept. 30, 2016. They return tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The power just came back on, and I have something to do over the noon hour, so this is gonna be quick-quick-quick…

NOTE: THIS SHOW IS CANCELLED due to weather. Almost Music in the Blackstone District is hosting a show tonight featuring Wichita band The Travel Guide, Omaha proggers Relax, It’s Science, and something called Nance Jessen Marasco, which Almost Music proprietor Brad Smith tells me is “improvisational freedom rock from David Nance, Kyle Jessen and Mike Marasco (Prairies, Simon Joyner, etc).” Oh boy! $5, BYOB, starts at 8.NOTE: THIS SHOW IS CANCELLED due to weather.

The Barley Street Tavern tonight is hosting Broke Loose, Brazen Throats and the mighty Wagon Blasters. No price listed but probably $5 and probably 9 p.m.

Oh Pep!, the Aussie duo of Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs, who opened for Mountain Goats last September and whose album, Stadium Cake (2016, Dualtone) made it on my best of 2016 list, and who took part in a Ten Questions Survey right here, are opening tonight for Valerie June at The Waiting Room. I don’t know who Valerie June is, but I can tell you that Oh Pep! is worth the $15 admission on their own. Starts at 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s off to Reverb Lounge for an all-star garage/indie/low-fi concert headlined by Sucettes with Dave Nance Band and Mike Schlesinger. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, down at The Slowdown, Laura Jane Grace and the folks from Against Me! headline a show Saturday night with Mobina Galore and Typesetter. $20, 9 p.m.

That’s it for now. I might update this later if new info comes my way this afternoon. If not, have a great weekend and be safe on dem icy streets…

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

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Live Review: Mountain Goats, Oh Pep!; Ten Questions with Larkin Poe; Mark Kozelek solo tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:34 pm October 3, 2016
Mountain Goats at The Waiting Room, Sept. 30, 2016.

Mountain Goats at The Waiting Room, Sept. 30, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Another crushed, table-clearing night at The Waiting Room last Friday for The Mountain Goats — especially impressive when you consider it was a $25 ticket.

John Darnielle and company have been coming through Omaha literally for decades. Darnielle pointed that out from stage, reminiscing about first hearing a young, bombastic folkie named Simon Joyner when Joyner passed through Darnielle’s town. They exchanged information and eventually would record and release music together. In fact, I’m holding a copy of the Why You All So Thief 7-inch, a split between Joyner and The Mountain Goats that came out on Sing, Eunuchs! way back in 1994 (and which is still available from Simon’s grapefruitrecordclub.com website).

Darnielle played a couple songs which were either inspired by or recorded at the time of those Joyner sessions, recorded “with Simon just around the corner from the Antiquarium.” One of those songs was “Baboon,” played during the solo acoustic interlude in the center of his set. The rest of the night, Darnielle was accompanied by his band, including a dude on a jazzy tenor saxophone, playing songs from their latest album, an ode to professional wrestling called Beat the Champ (2015, Merge). Most were preceded by a funny story explaining the lore of the world of wresting and the characters that inhabit it.

I’ve been watching and listening to Darnielle for years and other than a few recent loungy additions, his story-telling song-writing style hasn’t changed. Every song is an introduction to a new character who is trying to do his or her damnedest just to get by. Simple, honest songs that no doubt have influenced a variety of bands from The Hold Steady to Decemberists.

While the crowd was definitely into the set — a few even moved to the beat on the floor — Mountain Goats isn’t exactly a dance band, and is now reaching a level of popularity where a sit-down concert at a formal theater might make sense. Imagine them at The Orpheum…

Oh Pep! at The Waiting Room, Sept. 30, 2016.

Oh Pep! at The Waiting Room, Sept. 30, 2016.

Opening act Oh Pep! drew upon gorgeous melodies and frontwoman Olivia Hally’s remarkable voice for a memorable set of music from their debut album, Stadium Cake, which they said took seven years to make. While Hally handled the acoustic guitar parts, the “Pep” part of Oh Pep! —  Pepita Emmerichs — switched between mandolin and violin while adding gorgeous harmonies. This is a band to keep an eye on.

Oh Pep! closed out the set with help from Mountain Goats, who joined them on stage for a rousing version of the band’s first single, “Doctor Doctor.”

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Larkin Poe opens for Elvis Costello tomorrow night at The Holland.

Larkin Poe opens for Elvis Costello tomorrow night at The Holland.

Talk about your sweet opening gigs, Atlanta sister act Larkin Poe will have a hard time finding a better tour mate than the legendary Elvis Costello, who they open for Oct. 4 at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

The band, fronted by Rebecca and Megan Lovell, started out as the Lovell Sisters with their sister, Jessica, an act that ran its course in 2009. In their new iteration, the sisters have definitely gone electric, playing a southern-fried style of rock that sounds like heavy Alison Krauss meets Iris Dement.

Here’s how the sisters tackled the Ten Questions gauntlet:

What is your favorite album?

Megan: Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd.

Rebecca: Living with the Law, Chris Whitley.

What is your least favorite song?

“This Is The Song That Never Ends”

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Megan: Playing music for a living! The opportunity to get up onstage and share a connection with people of all shapes and sizes. It’s amazing to see so many different parts of the world.

Rebecca: Creative freedom. The art of singing and songwriting has been around since the dawn of enlightened man; to be able to carry on that tradition and walk the righteous way of rock’n’roll is an incredibly satisfying way to live.

What do you hate about being in a band?

Megan: You have to say goodbye to your home and loved ones far too often.

Rebecca: The temptation to be highly critical of yourself as an artist. All the time.

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Megan: Cheddar flavored popcorn. It should be illegal.

Rebecca: Patchouli oil.

In what city or town do you love to perform?

We played a sold out show in London at the Borderline a few months ago – having ticket scalpers working the sidewalks out front of the club, for our show, was a rush. We appreciate the support our British fans have shown us.

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

The worst gigs we’ve ever played are the gigs that we didn’t get to play. We’ve only had to cancel a few shows due to illness, but canceling a show is the worst thing of all.

How do you pay your bills?

We’re proud to be full-time musicians. We pay our bills by being ’21st century artists’… In short: we do just about anything and everything to bring in the dough – touring, recording, writing, you name it.

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

Megan: I’d be a professional stunt double. I’d hate to work in a slaughterhouse.

Rebecca: I’d be a crystal-gazing clairvoyant. I’d hate to be a competitive eater.

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

We’ve made our own stories in Omaha with native son, Conor Oberst. We’ve spent a couple pleasant nights at his place, Pageturners Lounge, listening to friends perform or playing songs of our own!

Larkin Poe opens for Elvis Costello Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Holland Performing Arts Center, 13th & Douglas Streets. Tickets range from $46.25 to $126.25. Showtime is 7 p.m. For more information, go to ticketomaha.com

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Tonight, Mark Kozelek makes his first appearance ever at Slowdown Jr., and if I’m not mistaken, first time ever in Omaha. He’s played the last two Sun Kil Moon shows at Vega in Lincoln. Tonight’s show is listed as “An Evening with Mark Kozelek,” with no opener. I’m curious how this will deviate from a SKM show and the set he performed Sept. 26 as Sun Kil Moon in Denmark, which you can read here. I can tell you it’ll be a heavy experience for those who attend. I saw Kozelek as SKM perform in a church at SXSW a few years ago, and it was a long, dark evening that I’ll never forget. $23, 9 p.m. See you there…

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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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Ten Questions with Oh Pep!; NPR streams Oberst’s ‘Ruminations’; The Wombats, MONA tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:41 pm September 29, 2016
Oh Pep! plays Friday night at The Waiting Room.

Oh Pep! plays Friday night at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Oh Pep! is the Aussie duo of Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs. They started as pop folkies but evolved into an indie band influenced by acts like Paul Kelly, Leonard Cohen, Glen Hansard, Elbow and Arcade Fire. Their latest, Stadium Cake (2016, Dualtone) is an acoustic-powered folk-rock album that recalls acts like early Jenny Lewis, upbeat Azure Ray or laid-back Angel Olsen — gorgeous melodies eclipsed by gorgeous-er harmonies.

We caught up with the band via the interwebs with our Ten Questions survey. Here’s what they said:

1. What is your favorite album?

Pep: Shrek, the soundtrack.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Liv: You haven’t heard it, but we wrote it the other day.

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

Pep: Writing music, performing music, travelling.

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

Liv: Being intimately aware of which direction your band members are breathing in when travelling in the van.

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

Pep: Water.

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

Pep: Melbourne, our home town. New York City, our second home. Omaha, our third home.

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

Pep: There have been a couple of pre-show pukes, but we can’t pin that on one particular place.

8. How do you pay your bills?

Pep: …with money.

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

Liv: Well, I went to law school for a brief minute. In saying that, maybe I wouldn’t have liked being a lawyer so much, who knows…

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

Pep: I heard there’s a killer gig coming up there at The Waiting Room. Oh, and that Bright Eyes are from Omaha, Nebraska!

Oh Pep! opens for The Mountain Goats Friday, Sept. 30, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $25; showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

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NPR today started streaming the new solo album by Conor Oberst, Ruminations (Out Oct. 14 on Nonesuch Records). It’s been marketed as a spare, solitary record featuring Conor and his guitar or piano and a harmonica, and that’s pretty much what it is — a throw-back of sorts to the early days, though there’s nothing low-fi about the recording (but one old-school touch is back on a few of these tracks: Conor’s classic shaky bray).

It’s what we used to call a bedroom recording, the same way I guess that Springsteen’s Nebraska was a bedroom album. You get a vision of Conor sitting alone in one of the many rooms in his Fairacres estate with a glass of something sitting next to a burning cigarette and a tape recorder. Quite a contrast to the big-production recordings of the last few Oberst / Bright Eyes records. It crossed my mind what Mogis would have done with these songs if given free reign.

I’ve only listened through it once. It’s good. Check it out at NPR.org

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Liverpool band The Wombats play at The Waiting Room tonight. Though defined as an indie band, their records have reportedly sold more than a million copies world-wide. Their latest album, Glitterbug, came out last year on 14th Floor Records / Bright Antennae. Label mates MONA from Nashville opens. $20, 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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