(Initial) Live Reviews: Omaha Girls Rock, PWF Sharon Jones; Red Sky (endurance test) begins today…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:42 pm July 18, 2011
Omaha Girls Rock! the Slowdown July 16, 2011.

Omaha Girls Rock! the Slowdown July 16, 2011.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ll be writing in more detail about both Omaha Girls Rock and the Playing With Fire / Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings concerts in this week’s column (out on Thursday), but suffice to say both events were hugely successful.

I would guestimate that more than 200 people were on hand for OGR, a crowd that included not only proud, nervous parents, but also all the usual suspects that make up the Omaha indie music scene. All left the show with huge smiles on their faces (and for the organizers, a few tears). How can anyone not love this program? This was merely its inaugural year. You can find out more about OGR and make donations at the Omaha Girls Rock website. Get involved.

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings perform at Playing With Fire, July 16, 2011.

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings perform at Playing With Fire, July 16, 2011.

I guess you could say Stinson Park passed its Trial by Fire hosting the Playing With Fire concert Saturday night. I rode my bike to festivities at around 8:30 p.m and it was still muggy, hot, miserable. That could be why the numbers were what they were. If asked to guess, I’d say there was a little over 2,000 people in the park; but I’m hearing numbers as high as 7,000, which seems, well, unlikely. We’ll have to wait and see what the “official” numbers were. Regardless, there was plenty of room in Stinson to handle the crowd. The staging, the vendors, the security, all worked incredibly well.

As for sound and lighting, PWF organizers did a great job for what appeared to be a venue with some limitations (and time constraints). The sound was kind of… weird. It seemed like the further back from the stage I went, the louder it was (especially the high-end/snares, etc.). The best sound was right under the stage, where you’d expect it to be its loudest — but it wasn’t. Well, what do I know about sound engineering? Regardless, it was plenty loud, in fact, loud enough for the folks at nearby Pinhook Apartments to enjoy the show from their balconies with clarity.

My only comment about Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings — I felt lucky to be there, to be able to say I saw and heard this incredible band live and in person. If you don’t know what they’re about, check out there music (right now). Jones, age 55, performed with more energy than most R&B divas 1/3 her age — singing, dancing, grooving, pulling guys on stage to act as foils for her “you-better-do-me-right” rockers. I’ve never heard a band half as a good playing this style of R&B. Beyond that, you just had to be there.

There was talk from stage that this may not be the last Playing With Fire concert. Here’s hoping that’s the case.

More about both concerts Thursday…

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Speaking of concerts and festivals, the Red Sky Music Festival kicked off at noon today down at the TD Ameritrade ballpark and surrounding parking lots, whose surface temperature will likely exceed 130 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s already close to 100 right now. Tonight’s “headliner” is a Steve Perry-less version of Journey. You can see today’s schedule here. Good luck to those venturing out in this painful, miserable, intolerable heat.

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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Sharon Jones & Dap Kings, Omaha Girls Rock! Showcase Saturday, and the rest of the weekend…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:56 pm July 15, 2011

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Playing With Fire

Last night on my way home from work, I drove by Stinson Park at Aksarben Village and noticed that Mercy Street had already been closed. Semi-truck trailers were parked all along the west end of the street near the park, conceivably filled with staging equipment. The handful of workmen on site weren’t scurrying around the park’s fixed stage, but rather they were climbing around the roof and grounds around the bathroom outbuilding next to the stage, I assume finally getting it finished before tomorrow’s big event, the Playing With Fire Concert featuring Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings.

Maybe a better name for the series would be Trial by Fire, because with an estimated crowd of more than 7,000, we’ll see if Stinson Park and the surrounding village can handle such massive numbers. I’m a tad skeptical, having seen how a few hundred looked during last Saturday night’s jazz concert in the park (and that was without all the additional staging and lights that are being hauled in for this massive free (but donations accepted) concert). Needless to say, somewhere in and around the grounds will be the folks who are organizing the MAHA Music Festival, which also moved its day-long Aug. 13 show from the Lewis & Clark Landing to Stinson.

I guess maybe we should just stick with the Playing with Fire moniker as temperatures could be in the 90s at showtime. The details:

Gates open at 4 p.m. Free parking will be available at the parking garage at 64th & Center. You can bring lawn chairs, blankets and sunscreen, but leave your pets, coolers and outside drinks at home. Opening bands include Crimson Dawn, Brad Cordle Band, and Malford Milligan. So if I’m doing my math correctly, Sharon Jones & Dap Kings probably won’t hit the stage until around 8 p.m. The concert is scheduled to end at 11, according to the Playing with Fire website.

So that’s one of the big concerts this weekend. The other is the Omaha Girls Rock! Showcase at The Slowdown, also on Saturday night. The showcase will feature one original song from each of the six bands at this year’s rock camp, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The bands’ fantastic names are: Cherrybombs, The Jellybeans, I Just Don’t Like Trees, Mischief Managed, Urban Scrunchies and Pandas Of Peace. Also on the bill are Honeybee & Hers, Jessica Errett, Arrica Rose and Tara Vaughan. Of course your entire $5 ticket price will go to the 2012 Omaha Girls Rock Camp. I have this image that the show will somehow resemble the battle of the bands scene from Jack Black’s School of Rock. It should be a blast.

What about the rest of the weekend?

Tonight’s marquee show also is at The Slowdown. San Francisco’s The Fresh and Onlys (In the Red Records) plays with so-called sunshinecore/no coast act Bad Weather California, and the always amazing $olid Goldberg. $10, 9 p.m.

O’Leaver’s has Saturn Moth tonight with Mother Of All and The Beatseekers. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And over at The Barley Street Tavern it’s Thunder Power with The Benningtons and Talking Mountain. $5, 9 p.m.

Saturday night has the recently lauded-in-Lazy-i band Well Aimed Arrows playing at The Sandbox, 2406 Leavenworth, with The Fungi Girls (HoZac Records) and Eric in Outer Space. Find out more here. $5, 8 p.m.

And Omaha legacy band Such Sweet Thunder has another reunion show Saturday night at Venue 162, 162 West Broadway in Council Bluffs. 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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Column 331: Tilting at Windmills with Big Harp; The Get-Up Kids return tonight…

Big Harp

Big Harp

 

Column 331: Big Harp: One Attempt at a Perfect Life

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Somewhere on a sun-baked highway in Southern California drives the Senseney family. Presumably in a mini-van.

Behind the wheel is father, Chris, navigating the straight-arrow route from their home in Los Angeles to Palm Springs. His wife, Stefanie Drootin-Senseney, leans over and adjusts a strap on the car seat that holds baby Twila, age 11 months, while brother Hank, who will be 3 in September, cranes his little neck toward the window, waiting for the giants to appear.

The giants in Hank’s world stand upright, one right next to the other, each with three heads that spin around a single eye, all facing the same direction like a row of sentries guarding the hilltops.

“Hank wanted to see the windmills that make electricity,” Chris said. “We found them, and he was happy at first, but he didn’t like it that we couldn’t go into the windmills.”

Golden family moments like this are one of the reasons the Senseneys moved to Los Angeles.

The story began three years ago in Omaha. Chris was the frontman to arty folk-rock band Baby Walrus, as well as a sideman in a handful of other acts including Art in Manila and Flowers Forever. Stefanie played bass in Saddle Creek Records band The Good Life as well as in her own project, Consafos.

“We’d seen each other around Omaha,” Chris said, “but we didn’t really know each other until the tour.” The tour was a joint road trip between Art in Manila and The Good Life. “It just kind of happened. We kind of hung out during the tour, now here we are with all these babies.”

Their move to Los Angeles was driven more by convenience than rock ‘n’ roll. Stephanie’s parents live out there, an eager pair of babysitters. Chris’ home in Valentine, Nebraska, also was an option, but “there’s not much of a music scene there,” Chris said.

Music wasn’t on his mind much at first, anyway. Perhaps out of a sense of duty or roll-playing tradition, Chris got fitted with a cubicle inside an LA advertising agency, where he joined the legions of Americans who toil behind a computer from 9 to 5.  Still, he never quit writing music.

Big Harp, self-titled debut (2011, Saddle Creek Records)

Big Harp, self-titled debut (2011, Saddle Creek Records)

“It seemed to make more sense to at least make another record and put it out and tour on it and see what happens,” he said. And so, Chris and Stephanie created Big Harp, and fleshed out Chris’ simple story ballads, sung with a smoky, throaty yowl similar to Mr. T. Waits or Mr. R. Newman or Mr. D. Berman or Mr. S. Merritt. They got their friend, Pierre de Reeder of Rilo Kiley fame — whose daughter is around Hank’s age — to let them use his studio and record their songs over the course of three days.

They sent the recording around to some labels and got a few bites, but it was their old friends at Saddle Creek Records who took the bait. “There was some back and forth,” Chris said. “They wanted to make sure we were willing to tour and do other things bands do.”

And so, on Sept. 13 Saddle Creek Records will release the debut full length by Big Harp, but before that happens…

Somewhere on a sun-baked Midwestern highway drives the Senseney family headed to Omaha. Presumably in a mini-van.

Sharing the back seat with Hank and Twila is a drummer, and maybe one more band member, along with someone charged with looking after the kids when mom and dad are on stage. Just like their search for the windmill giants, touring is a family affair.

“We’ll try to have one of our moms along or try to find a friend who can come with us,” Chris said of the tour logistics. “We’re going to do whatever we can to make it work. It’s not the easiest thing to do with kids, it’s a little harder, but we can manage. The only concern is we’re going to have to make more stops along the way, and we’re not going to be sleeping on people’s floors. It’s going to be more of a production, but that’s okay. I think it’ll be fun.”

In some ways, Friday night’s show at The Slowdown is a return to the scene of the crime, though Stephanie has made trips back and forth between Omaha and L.A. to coordinate her new project, Omaha Girls Rock (omahagirlsrock.com), a much-needed organization focused on providing support for girls who want to try their hand at making rock music. Helping her is an army of the area’s best talent — members of Omaha’s tight-knit creative community who are more like an extended family, a type of family that doesn’t exist for them in L.A. It’s something that the Senseney’s have learned to live without.

“It’s different now, we have our own family,” Chris said. “Most of the creativity stuff happens at home. I’m doing this with my wife, someone who’s always around me. We have each other to work with; we have our own creative community.”

Life for the Senseney family seems, well, kind of perfect.

“I don’t know if it’s perfect,” Chris said, “but we’re all really happy where we are right now. We’re looking forward to getting the record out, hitting the road and bringing the kids along, and seeing if we can make it perfect.”

Big Harp plays with The Grisly Hand and Gus & Call Friday, July 8, at The Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St. The show starts at 9 p.m., tickets are $7. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

* * *

I first interviewed Kansas City self-proclaimed emo band The Get-Up Kids way back in 2002 when they were arguably at the height of their popularity (you can read that story here). Three years later the band called it quits after a decade in the business. A year after that, I interviewed then-former Get-Up Kid Rob Pope as a member of Merge Records band White Whale (read that one here). When asked if he still listens to his Get-Up Kids output, Pope said he hadn’t. “I’m sure I will at some point for novelty’s sake,” he said. “The last time I did listen to it, it took me back to when I was 18, which was cool. I still appreciate music I listened to when I was that old, but, really, do you listen to the music you listened to when you were 18?”

Well, Rob, now not only will you get to listen to it again, you’re getting to play it again, as the band has reunited with a new album released this past January called There Are Rules out on their own Quality Hill Records imprint (rather than old label, Vagrant). Now you, too, can relive those 18-year-old memories all over again tonight when The Get-Up Kids play at The Waiting Room with The Globes and Major Games. $19, 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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The Envy Corps added to MAHA; Omaha Girls Rock needs your help; South of Lincoln tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:33 pm June 28, 2011

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yesterday the fine folks who organize the MAHA Music Festival added their final band to the line-up, Ames, Iowa act The Envy Corps. The band recorded their new album, It Culls You, with venerable local knob twirler A.J. Mogis, and the result is something that sounds like a Midwestern version of Radiohead. Corps frontman Luke Pettipoole couldn’t sound more like Thom Yorke if he tried. When I commented as such, Pettipoole responded with, “Yeah, we were going for kind of a latter-day Radiohead meets HUM via Talk Talk kinda sound, nice to hear it kinda came through.” It did, Luke, it did. I like Radiohead, and I like this record, though I don’t know if it’s actually been released yet.

On a certain level, The Envy Corps is a natural fit for MAHA, though they have (nearly) zero ability to attract any new bodies to the festival who haven’t already been attracted by Guided By Voices or the rest of the line-up. Most people haven’t heard of them, though they briefly were on Mercury imprint Vertigo Records a few years ago. You could argue that, considering their following and the number of times they’ve played in Omaha, they actually belong on the local stage rather than on the headliners’ stage. On another level, the announcement is sort of a white flag that MAHA gave up on landing a true emerging artist that’s had a modicum of CMJ/national attention. Maybe they ran out of money; more likely they ran out of time.

With the final addition of Envy Corps, MAHA becomes an all-male revue. There will be no women on stage Aug. 13. What this says about either MAHA or the state of the indie music industry is anyone’s guess. I know that MAHA reached out to a number of female-led performers, but had no luck landing them for this festival. However, I do find it hard to believe that they couldn’t find one single female performer for either the national or local stage. Red Sky isn’t immune to this subtle form of sexism. It’s also going to be a sausage party, without a one woman scheduled to cross the main stage during the six-day festival (though it does have women represented in two side-stage bands, the unknown Kids These Days and the Natalie Merchant-less 10,000 Maniacs).

The above problem underscores the importance of organizations like Omaha Girls Rock. If you haven’t been following OGR, here’s a quick overview of what they do and why they’re doing it. And now you can help. OGR has an immediate need for equipment and instruments for use at their July camp. That means you can finally find a use for that drum set that’s sitting down in your basement with all those clothes stacked on top of it. Or that big amp in your office that’s always in the way. ORG needs all of it, along with guitars, mics, cables, PA, keyboards, anything you’re willing to loan or donate. If you can help out, shoot a quick email to elizawebbmusic@gmail.com and they’ll work with you to get that stuff off your hands.

* * *

The fine feathered friends at Slo-Fi Records (i.e., the illustrious Kyle Harvey) is keeping busy with more summer releases. This time it’s singer/songwriter South of Lincoln a.k.a. Maxwell Beardsley Holmquist, whose new Slo-Fi release is being celebrated tonight at The Barley Street Tavern with Down With The Ship, Seattle act Archeology and the man himself, Mr. Kyle Harvey. Show starts at 9, and will run you $5. Definitely go and pick up a copy of the CD.

* * *

So where’s that review of last weekend’s Shanks shows? You’re just gonna have to sit on your hands until tomorrow (or Thursday)…

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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Column 321: Omaha Girls Rock is about more than rock ‘n’ roll; Jonathan Richman tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , — @ 12:53 pm May 5, 2011

Omaha Girls Rock logoColumn 321: Omaha Girls Rock is about more than rock and roll

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I was drawn to Slowdown last Sunday night not only because the lineup was stellar (Fortnight, Honeybee and Hers, Conduits and The Good Life), but because I was down with the message behind organization “Omaha Girls Rock.”

But before we get to that, let’s turn to Stefanie Drootin, founder and executive director of OGR. As a member of The Good Life, Drootin is among the best bass players Omaha has ever seen. When I asked her about her motives behind forming OGR, she recalled a story that she characterized as a “funny example,” that was anything but funny.

“Years back, when The Good Life was touring with Rilo Kiley, we were at a Brooklyn club during sound check and the bouncer kept trying to kick me and Jenny Lewis out of the club,” she said. “We told him we were in the band, and he said, ‘No you’re not, you’re groupies following the boys.’ And I said ‘Dude, Jenny’s the lead singer.‘”

It would be easy to simply chock this up as just another example of a thick-headed bouncer who’s suffered one too many blows to the head, except there’s obviously more to it than that, and Drootin knew it, along with every other touring woman musician who’s been asked, “So which dude in the band is your boyfriend?” or “Hey merch girl, where do you want to set up your table?”

Because despite the efforts of Janis Joplin and Tina Weymouth and Patti Smith and Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde and Debbie Harry and Ani Difranco and Liz Phair and Siouxie Sioux and Kim Deal and Mia Zappata and Kat Bjelland and Tina Turner and Shirley Manson and Beth Gibbons and Joni Mitchell and Heidi Ore and Stef Drootin and every other woman who’s strapped on a guitar or sat behind a drum kit or keyboard or stood alone behind a microphone at the front of the stage, rock ‘n’ roll has always been perceived as a boy’s club. A club where women on stage are viewed as oddities or gimmicks or eye candy or “obviously” someone’s girlfriend (especially if she plays bass). Where a girl with a guitar is not a musician, but a “female musician.” Where any band in which more than half the musicians are women is referred to as a “girls group” (and when was the last time an all-male band was called a “boys group”?).

Drootin knows this. So do the 29 other musicians and people involved in our music scene who are listed on the volunteers page of omahagirlsrock.com. It’s a list that could also double as a roll call of some if the best musicians in the Midwest who just happen to be women. It’s a list that’s way, way too short. Drootin knows this, too.

That’s why she put together Omaha Girls Rock, an organization whose vision statement reads: “Our ultimate goal is to provide a support system enabling and encouraging girls to design their own futures and to realize those designs.” Sure, it’s about giving girls the confidence to pick up an instrument and form a band, but Drootin says it’s more than just rock and roll.

“Our workshops are not just about music, though that’s a lot of it since it’s a rock camp,” she said. “The workshops also deal with self esteem, body image, stuff so girls feel confident no matter how they’re treated. I feel like I was lucky that I had the confidence to be able to deal with a lot of the stuff that goes along with being a girl in a band.” Unfortunately, not all girls are so lucky.

Participation in the program doesn’t require previous music experience. The day camp, to be held at UNO’s music department July 11-15, is for any girl ages 8-18. Upon arriving at camp, girls will be checked in by a faculty member before assembling themselves into bands. Every day they will receive instruction in their chosen rock instrument (guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards or drums); attend two workshops on subjects ranging from self-esteem to songwriting; and have rehearsals guided by a “band manager” (counselor) in preparation for the final showcase, slated for July 16. Along the way, the program will develop and hone life skills, such as cooperation and creative thinking, and participants will emerge as confident and capable young women “sure of their voices, and of their worth.”

“A lot of girls think you have to be a singer or the token girlfriend bass player to be in a band,” Drootin said. “We’re saying you can be whoever you want to be.”

Her vision for Omaha Girls Rock is ambitious. Future efforts include going to schools and recruiting girls to get involved in music and in rock. “It’s been a whirlwind,” she said. “This is our pilot year, and we want to make this as huge as we can, but we’ve got to take the first step, which is band camp.”

It’s safe to say I, along with most of the 200+ at Sunday night’s fund raiser weren’t thinking about the organization’s problem statement or gender issues or the role of women in rock when we were watching Drootin and the rest of The Good Life kick out songs from the band’s enormous catalog of songs. We were just loving the music, and that’s the way it should always be.

To find out more or to get involved in Omaha Girls Rock, go to omahagirlsrock.com.

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Mr. Modern Lovers himself, Jonathan Richman, is playing at The Waiting Room tonight with, I guess, nobody, as no opening acts are listed. I take it back, it sounds like he’ll be joined by a drummer, and will be singing in no less than five languages, based on this Reverb review of Tuesday night’s show in Denver. $13, 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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: The Good Life, Conduits and Osama…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 6:46 pm May 2, 2011
The Good Life at The Slowdown, May 1, 2011.

The Good Life at The Slowdown, May 1, 2011.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I have to mention this…

I didn’t hear the news until after I got to Slowdown last night, and not on the radio, as I was tuned into the new tUnE-yArDs CD (which, ironically, is titled whokill). While waiting in line to buy my ticket, the leader of one of the city’s better rock bands (who wasn’t on the evening’s bill) came up to me rather gleefully saying, “Did you hear? They got Osama bin Laden.” I glanced over at three guys standing on the sidewalk smoking who were overhearing all of this, grinned and said, “OK, I’m with you. And?” expecting a punch line. “No really, the president is going on later tonight with an official announcement.” I just kept smiling. The musician shook his head and said, “Look at your iPhone. It’s true.”

I knew I wasn’t being punk’d. A few hours earlier, someone had posted on Facebook (specifically @jeremy.lipschultz) that an out-of-the-ordinary late-night announcement was coming from the White House at 9:30 CT, but it hadn’t happened by the time I’d left home. When I walked into the cavernous darkness of The Slowdown, I noticed more people than usual (which means everyone) with faces aglow from gawking at their smart phones. They stared intently, saying nary a word. And the only acknowledgment from the stage came from Tim Kasher, who said something like “Some of you might think it’s a big deal. You all know what I’m talking about since we all have computers in our pockets.” A handful clapped. Not a lot. During the break between sets outside on the patio, someone who has spent half her life under the shadow of Osama said. “I guess it is a big deal, right?” I told her the best thing about it was that it might help decide the 2012 election. We both nodded and changed the subject. The night was supposed to be about music, not the capture of the modern-day real-world equivalent of the head of HYDRA or SPECTRE. I’m happy they got the guy, and I’ll leave the rest of the commentary to the political blogs…

Conduits at The Slowdown, May 1, 2011.

Conduits at The Slowdown, May 1, 2011.

Back to the subject at hand… A few hundred showed up at last night’s Omaha Girls Rock! benefit at Slowdown — a nice crowd. I got there in time to catch Conduits, who has become a finely honed drone machine effortlessly firing on all six fuzzy cylinders. When they’re dead-on, like last night, their music is like that moment in a great wide-screen movie when the flyover-plane — barely strafing the desert — comes to the edge of the cliff and the shot opens to a miles-wide canyon below. Huge, majestic, breath-taking. Conduits were made to perform on a large scale, on large stages like Slowdown and The Waiting Room (and MAHA’s main stage?). I don’t know if I’d get that same feeling if they were playing at, say, O’Leaver’s or Barley Street, but I’d like to find out.

Seeing The Good Life again was like running into old friends at the bar that you haven’t seen in way too long, catching up on gossip, reliving old war stories, remembering everything you liked about them and wondering why you haven’t spent time with them lately. During a free-spirited set that lasted over an hour and included special guests Chris Machmuller on alto saxophone (on two songs) and Craig Korth adding harmonies to a cover (“Oh Yoko”), the band seemed to barely scratch the surface of their fantastic catalog. A grinning Kasher told the crowd how much fun they were having on stage and thanked them for sharing it with them, especially since they “only play about once a year” anymore, which is an absolute shame.

By all indications, the fund raiser was a big success. Now it’s time for the folks at Omaha Girls Rock! to roll up their sleeves and get to work. You can find out more about the organization right here.

A side note: The long-awaited four-song split with Conduits, Icky Blossoms, InDreama and Touch People has finally arrived and was on sale at the merch table last night, which means if you preordered a copy, it should be on its way.

* * *

Tomorrow: A live review of Saturday’s Digital Leather show, some Red Sky comments and info about a show at The Barley Street that you crazy shoegazers won’t want to miss…

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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The Return of Digital Leather, Mogwai Saturday; The Good Life and Omaha Girls Rock! on Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:30 pm April 29, 2011
Mogwai at The Slowdown May 11, 2009.

Mogwai at The Slowdown May 11, 2009.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ll make this simple: Digital Leather is one of my favorite bands. They’re playing for the first time in Omaha since last November this Saturday night at O’Leaver’s. Expect to hear plenty of new material from upcoming releases. Joining them will be Millions of Boys and Baby Tears. The cherry on the cake: The first 25 paid through the door will receive a copy of the Digital Leather/Cola Freaks split 7″ courtesy of Vice Records and Scion A/V. $5, 9:30 p.m. Do Not Miss This One.

I jumped ahead of myself.  What about tonight? The most interesting show this evening, unfortunately, is in Lincoln, where West Plains, Missouri natives Ha Ha Tonka play at the Bourbon Theater. Their latest album, Death of a Decade, was released on Bloodshot Records. Foodies may recognize them from their recent appearance on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations show on The Travel Channel. They take alt country to a whole new level. Headlining is Kris Lager Band. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Damon Dotson plays at Slowdown Jr. with Zach Short. $8, 9 p.m.

In addition to the return of Digital Leather, Saturday night is Mogwai at The Slowdown, with Errors opening. This will be the first time that a baseball game at the new TD Ameritrade Park will overlap a big show at Slowdown, but let’s face it, it’s just Creighton Vs. Bradley, and does anyone really care about Creighton baseball? The game, which starts at 6:30, will probably draw a few thousand, which should leave plenty of parking in and around the Slowdown compound. Now if this was CWS… but who am I kidding? Slowdown will be turned into a giant beer tent (and money printing operation) for those two weeks of June. Anyway, Mogwai is freaking amazing live, and if I wasn’t going to see Digital Leather, I’d be down there getting my ears blown off with you (don’t forget your earplugs, seriously…). Here’s my review of their May 2009 show at Slowdown. $20, 9 p.m.

Finally, Sunday night is the return of The Good Life, who haven’t played around here in a long, long time. They’re playing at Slowdown with Conduits, Honeybee and Hers and Fortnight. The 5-star line-up is a benefit for Omaha Girls Rock!, a camp for young girls to learn and play music. All bands performing have members who will be teachers and contributors in the program, and all proceeds will go toward the camp. Find out more about OGR! right here and read Hilary Stohs-Krause’s feature on the program (including perspective from OGR! founder/executive director Stefanie Drootin) at Hear Nebraska, right here. Great show for a great cause. $12, early start time of 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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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