Omaha Gives (to Hear Nebraska); Live @ O’Leaver’s data disaster explained; Peach Kelli Pop tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:50 pm May 25, 2016
Peach Kelli Pop plays tonight at Reverb Lounge.

Peach Kelli Pop plays tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Omaha readers already know that it would be a good idea to stay away from social media today, as all channels are being flooded with Omaha Gives solicitations.

Every year for one day every non profit in Omaha comes to Facebook and Twitter with hand in hat begging for cash to get them through the year. Fact is Omaha Gives is an effective way for them to raise money. Look, would you rather have someone asking for donations just once a year or all year long?

My advice: Jot down your list of favorite charities, bite the bullet and make your donations. Then step away from the chatter for the rest of the day. Kind of like turning off NPR during their semi-annual fund drives (after you’ve made your pledge, of course).

That said, if you’re a music fan and you’re looking for a good 501(c)(3) organization to give to, you’d be hard pressed to find a better organization than Hear Nebraska. I say this not only because I’m a founding board member of HN, but because no other non-profit does more for local music than Hear Nebraska.

HN’s sole purpose is to promote Nebraska bands and music. That’s it. If you’re in a band, consider HN your personal PR agency. It’s there to help you get people to come to your shows and buy your music. It does this through hearnebraska.org — a website that covers local bands and musicians with in-depth feature articles, interviews, videos and photos taken at performances (lots of them). The site also has the most comprehensive gig calendar for Omaha and Lincoln you can find anywhere online. HN also organizes a shit-load of programming featuring Nebraska bands all year long throughout the state.

Has Hear Nebraska ever:

— written about your band?
— covered one of your shows?
— posted photos from one of your gigs?
— promoted your upcoming concert on its calendar?
— booked your band to play one of its many programming events?

Or have you ever gone to an event sponsored by, organized by — or that you heard about from — Hear Nebraska?

Then, come on, take a second and click this link and donate to Hear Nebraska during Omaha Gives. Minimum donation is $10 — less than the price of a single movie ticket. That donation will help HN continue to promote Nebraska bands and musicians.

Do it.

* * *

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 12.49.13 PM
This morning Live @ O’Leavers announced via Facebook the reason why they haven’t released any new live recordings lately. The reason:

“...during an electrical storm, we happened to lose both our main and backup drives which we thought were safe as they were stored at separate locations. This means nearly everything from July to February has been lost.”

Well, not lost entirely. The data still may exists, but it’ll cost just north of $900 for a data recovery outfit to try to get the sessions back.

Among those lost sessions are live recordings of performances from Cursive, Beach Slang, Lithuania, Mike Schlesinger, Bib, Bus Gas, So So Sailors, All Dogs, Whispertown, The Subtropics, Wet Nurse, The Ridgeways, Super Moon, The Vahnevants, Brilliant Beast, Bellum Boca, Sucettes, Lithuania, Ex-Breathers, Boytoy, Eagle Seagull, Megafauna, Lineman’s Rodeo, Sean Pratt and The Sweats, Sharkmuffin, The Olympics, Tara Vaughan, MXMW, Ecstatic Vision, Pleiades and the Bear, The Sunks, Hag, Ocean Black and a ton more. As many as 85 sessions.

That’s a massive chunk of live recordings. O’Leaver’s doesn’t charge listeners for the service, so there ain’t no money to pay for the data recovery. What money they do have to invest in the Live @ O’Leaver’s project has gone toward making sure this kind of massive data crash never happens again.

“We have a better redundancy system in place now; multiple backups of each session spread across five drives placed in multiple locations and a cloud backup of the entire shebang. All told, we have over 11 terabytes of data since the February restart,” said Ian Aeillo, who does all the work surrounding Live @ O’Leaver’s.

Ian says new sessions could begin going online next week, hopefully. To whet your appetite, Ian posted the following recording from local super group Healer, recorded last October before the troubles, appropriately titled “Rainy Day Song.”

* * *

Tonight at Reverb Lounge it’s Peach Kelli Pop. Read my 10 Questions interview with frontwoman Allie Hanlon from yesterday. Should be a high-energy show. Opening is The Way Out. $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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Hear Nebraska raises $16k; Who is Laibach? (Spectre comes to Slowdown tonight)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:00 pm May 21, 2015
Laibach plays at The Slowdown tonight at 8 p.m.

Laibach plays at The Slowdown tonight at 8 p.m.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Thanks to all of you who opened your wallets and gave to Hear Nebraska during this year’s Omaha Gives event. I’m told more than 300 people contributed gifts totaling more than $13,000, plus the organization won an addition $3,000 for having the most unique donors for its size category.

Of course you’ll have a chance to donate to Hear Nebraska again June 3 when Reverb Lounge hosts a very special rock show. Details at the bottom of this blog entry. Seriously, mark your calendars…

* * *

So who/what is Laibach? According to Wikipedia:

Laibach (Slovene pronunciation: [ˈlájbax]) is a Slovenian avant-garde music group associated with industrial, martial and neo-classical musical styles. Laibach was formed on 1 June 1980 in Trbovlje, Slovenia, at the time SFR Yugoslavia. The band represents the music wing of the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) art collective, of which it was a founding member in 1984. The name “Laibach” is the German name for Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana.

The band is on the road touring their most recent album, Spectre (Mute, 2014), which Pitchfork gave a lowly 4.9, saying, “The stiffly prefabricated industrial-dance grooves that Laibach habitually fall back on don’t quite cut it any more, and without a monolithic state to serve as the object of their satire, they’re reduced to mocking political fatuity. The result is sometimes all but indistinguishable from what they’re mocking.

But what does Pitchfork know? I haven’t heard the record, but I know that Laibach is renowned for its live shows, which are nothing less than arena quality. The fact that they’re coming through Omaha and to Slowdown is something of a miracle.

This is a recent live review, from Quietus, April, 2, 2015:

Their current show is dark, dense, thrilling, hilarious, a spectacle in a way precious few of the theatrical arena performances of our day so much as approach.

And

Chiefly, this set is heavy-duty ’80s electrop – damn fine heavy-duty ’80s-style electrop, at that – with the ludicrously charismatic Milan Fras’s vocals not so much guttural as dredged from the drains, and his (equally ludicrously beautiful) foil, Mina Spiler, cast as the perfect Teutonic, operatic ice-queen soprano. They assemble amid the sound of howling wind and slow percussive menace, as Riefenstahl searchlights rise from the stage and a skeletal constructivist tower weaves itself from lines of light across the backdrop screen.

One more comment from Wiki: The popular German musical group Rammstein has acknowledged influence by both the aesthetic approach and material of Laibach. When members of Laibach were asked by an interviewer about Rammstein “stealing” from them, they responded that “Laibach does not believe in originality… “

This show comes the day after Judas Priest launched this year’s Stir Concert Series. Laibach has little if anything in common the JP’s Spinal Tap pop metal, but I have to believe it would appeal to some of those who threw the devil horns last night in Council Bluffs. Maybe not. $25, 8 p.m.

* * *

Here’s that reminder I was telling you about. June 3. Be there.

The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

* * *

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Omaha Gives to Hear Nebraska; Digital Leather, Gloom Balloon, Orenda Fink tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:03 pm May 20, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 12.56.32 PMOn this, the high holy holiday of local fundraising — Omaha Gives Day — I’m not going to get all “guilt trippy” except to say that if you’re a musician or you run a business that involves music or you’re a music fan, you really should take a second and make a donation to Hear Nebraska.

I’m not saying this just because (full disclosure) I’m a Hear Nebraska Board Member; I’m saying it because there isn’t any other organization in this state that does what HN does for local music — from first-rate promotion of local shows to music journalism to the org’s emerging role as an important resource for putting on local shows. And now with the Good Living Tour, HN is getting bands heard in the outer reaches of the state.

As Hear Nebraska continues to grow, I see it becoming an even more crucial resource for local bands and musicians, which are at the heart of what HN is trying to accomplish.

You can be a part of it. Just go to this page on the Omaha Gives website and make a donation of any size. You’ll feel good all over.

* * *

There’s a boatload of shows happening tonight.

Top of my list (of course) is Digital Leather at The Brothers Lounge. The band has a new record, All Faded (FDH Rcords) coming out June 23 that is arguably the best thing they’ve ever done, and is destined to be in my top-10 “favorites” list of 2015. This morning CMJ premiered the first track off the album, “Cold Inside,” which you can hear below.

See them perform it live tonight. Also on the bill is Indianapolis self-proclaimed “swampydeathrock” band We Are Hex. No cover listed, but probably $5. 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Iowa invades The Sydney with Des Moines bands Christopher the Conquered and Gloom Balloon. Gloom Balloon is the debut solo project by Patrick Tape Fleming, founder of semi-legendary indie rock band The Poison Control Center. Also on the bill is Omaha’s Bazile Mills. $8, 9 p.m.

Finally, there’s a big, free Omaha Gives showcase happening at The Slowdown tonight. On the bill: Orenda Fink, Louder than a Bomb, Opera Omaha, McCarthy Trenching and Super Ghost. The fun starts at 8 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Hear Nebraska raises +$13k; Conor on Fallon; one final Morrissey twist; Nebraska Nice? (in the column); Orgone tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:52 pm May 22, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The preliminary numbers from yesterday’s Omaha Gives effort are in, and according to the website, 508 unique donors gave Hear Nebraska $13,333.60. That’s an impressive amount, especially that 508, which validates the organization’s reach and value among its fans.

Hear Nebraska had the most donors of any charity in the “small organizations” category, which means it will receive an additional $10,000 bonus from the Omaha Community Foundation. Thanks to all who gave.

Other notable returns: Omaha Girls Rock pulled in $3,874 from 177 donors; Maha Music Festival raised $26,779 from 272 donors, and Omaha by Design drew $6,601 from 82 donors.

* * *

I got home five minutes too late from Morrissey Monday night to catch Conor Oberst on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Conor was backed by Dawes for a performance of “Zigzagging Toward the Light,” from his new album, Upside Down Mountain (Nonesuch, 2014). In case you’re wondering, that ball cap he’s wearing says Byron Bay Ballooning, an Australian company.

Remember when it was a big deal when Conor got a slot on late-night chat shows? He’s done it so often that now it seems commonplace. I’m still waiting for that Saturday Night Live performance.

* * *

Speaking of the now infamous Morrissey concert in Lincoln, here’s one last twist of the knife gleaned from the Morrissey Solo web board. Apparently Moz played “One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell” — which he’s been saving for encores on this tour and would have been the encore in Omaha — as the first song in Lawrence the following night. The webboard has other interesting details and comments about the Lincoln show, along with a lot of whining. Check it.

By the way, today is Moz’s birthday. Be Nebraska Nice and wish him a happy 55th…

* * *

Speaking of Nebraska Nice, in this week’s column, reflections on the state’s new marketing catch phrase and a suggestion for something different. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here.

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room afro-funk ensemble Orgone returns. Dopapod opens. $10, 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Maha Festival adds Icky Blossoms, Domestica; Laura Burhenn returns for Omaha Gives!; NPR streams Conor; Envy Corps tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:00 pm May 12, 2014
Icky Blossoms playing a rainsoaked Maha Music Festival in 2012.

Icky Blossoms playing a rain-soaked Maha Music Festival in 2012.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yesterday between tornadoes the fine folks at the Maha Music Festival announced the last two acts for their Aug. 26 concert:  Icky Blossoms and Domestica.

It’s a return engagement for Icky, who played the rain-laden Maha Music Festival in 2012. I think this will represent the first time an act has played the festival twice (Wrong. Turns out It’s True! and Mynabirds both have played Maha twice, and this will be the second year also for Envy Corp.).

Domestica is a Nebraska original, and a Nebraska legend. Two core members, Heidi Ore and Jon Taylor (wife and husband) were the duo behind one of the best bands to ever come out of Lincoln — Mercy Rule — more than two decades ago.

With yesterday’s announcement, Maha’s 2014 line-up is now complete: Death Cab for Cutie, The Head and the Heart, Local Natives, The Both (featuring Aimee Mann and Ted Leo), Doomtree, The Envy Corps, Radkey, Twinsmith, Matt Whipkey, M34n Str33t, Icky Blossoms and Domestica. That’s 12 bands for $50. Such a deal…

* * *

Speaking of Maha, the non-profit joins a handful of other non-profits including Hear Nebraska, Opera Omaha and Omaha Girls Rock! for a special fund-raising concert at The Slowdown May 21 held in conjunction with Omaha Gives! Featured acts include Saddle Creek band Twinsmith and Mynabirds’ frontwoman Laura Burhenn, in town from her new home in Los Angeles. It should be a crazy way to close out what is sure to be a crazy day… of fundrasing. Details here.

* * *

NPR First Listen is streaming Conor Oberst’s new album, Upside Down Mountain, it its entirety. The record comes out May 19 on Nonesuch. You can listen right here.

* * *

Maha and 850/35 Festival band Envy Corp is headlining a show tonight at The Waiting Room. The full lineup includes Moon Honey, Soft Touches, and what I’m told is the final performance of Masses. It’ll be historic. $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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Omaha Gives is today (as if you didn’t know): Hear Nebraska, Maha, Omaha Girls Rock; Unread Records now on Bandcamp; Mousetrap returns 8/16; Gordon tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:46 pm May 22, 2013
Unread Records homepage

Unread Records homepage

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If you’re on Facebook and you live in Omaha than you’re already tired of being inundated with people asking you to give money today as part of the Omaha Gives event. I will not pile on, other than to point you to what I said last week during Lincoln’s version of this same fund drive, i.e, give some cash to Hear Nebraska (by clicking here), and here’s why. Other charities to consider: Omaha Girls Rock, the Maha Music Festival (which you may not know is a non-profit) and FilmStreams. The rest is up to you. Do your duty. Give. And then do what I plan to do: Turn off Facebook for the rest of the day. Here are the give links:

* * *

Max Larson, drummer of rock group The Dad (formerly know as Dads), emailed a head’s up about the band’s 7-inch release show (and tour kick off) this Friday night at Sweatshop Gallery in Benson.

We will be playing with Fletch (aka Mike Schlesinger of the late Gus & Call), Pro-Magnum (hippie-hating members of Digital Leather & The Fucking Party) and Sister-Kisser (female-fronted anger),” said Larson. “The record is $5, admission is $5, and I believe that all-you-can-drink keg beer will be available for $5 (This might have been a cruel joke, though).” This should be massive fun.

Larson also added this very useful PS: “P.S. I’m not sure if you’re a follower of Unread Records, but a week or two ago Chris put a large handful of his releases up for stream on Bandcamp. It is my understanding that, until now, a number of these recordings have suffered from limited digital representation. Most of these bands/singers are from Omaha (including Simon Joyner of course), so if you want to listen you should. The link is http://unreadrecords.bandcamp.com/

“Chris” is Chris Fischer, who I spoke with way back in 2000 for an article in the Omaha Weekly. I was going to post a link to that story (which still exists on Lazy-i), but you’d have to scroll around to find it and I figured what the heck, I’ll just post it below. Unread Records started out as a tape label and still is, though they also sell other media, including vinyl, as evidenced by The Dad 7-inch that Unread is releasing. According to the Unread Records website, the label’s world headquarters is now located in Pittsburgh. Check out the Bandcamp page for some very rare recordings, go to Unread to order / buy some awesome stuff, and keep up with the label on their Facebook page.

Now, into the Wayback Machine, from The Omaha Weekly, Sept. 14, 2000:

The roster of fall releases by Omaha’s Unread Records is crowded with a number of … wait-a-minute, you’ve never heard of Unread Records? That’s probably because the label is part of the underground world of cassette-tape-only record labels, a music scene so obscure that it makes an indie label like Saddle Creek Records look like DreamWorks in comparison.Operated by Chris Fischer out of his house/performance space known as Gunboat, Unread Records has produced cassette and vinyl releases from some of the underground’s most famous unknowns, including a tape by South Carolina’s “king of banjo” Charlie McAlister, as well as a 7-inch single by Shrimper and Catsup Plate recording artist Will Simmons.

Fischer says there are “zillions” of tape only labels. Some more-famous artists who have put out tape-only releases include Sebadoh’s Lou Barlow, folk-music favorites The Mountain Goats, and even undisputed funk-groove indie rocker Beck, Fischer said.

“I started my label three years ago to put out tapes for me and my friends,” said Fischer, who recently moved to Omaha from Lancaster, Penn. “I don’t have any artists signed to anything, and I don’t ever want to put out a thousand units of anything.”

That shouldn’t be a problem for the 20-year-old entrepreneur. Most his 27 releases include hand-made cassette shells or screen-printed jackets. Though promotion is usually through word of mouth or the Internet, Fischer has placed ads in fanzines and sent flyers to a handful of record labels that pass them onto their customers. His most popular release thus far is the McAlister cassette Turn of the Century Photograph of, which moved more than 300 units.

Fischer said the label will branch out to CDs this fall, with a release by Fizzle Like a Flood (Omaha singer/songwriter Doug Kabourek, who also performs as The Laces). Also look for a split 7-inch vinyl release by Park and A Boy Named Thor, a split-label CD with Twee Kitten Records, a Jarbaby one-sided LP, as well as cassettes by Church of Gravitron, Park, Caleb Fraid and others.

Just as obscure as Unread Records is Gunboat, Fischer’s performance space located in the basement of the house he rents at 301 So. 38th Ave. Past Gunboat performers include most of the Saddle Creek Records’ stable of artists, who have made house shows a staple on their recent tour schedules.

“House shows are a different kind of scene, a more personal performance that allows the fans to hang out with the people who play,” Fischer said. “There’s no stage, it’s kind of one-on-one.”

Gunboat shows attract a mostly under-21 crowd made up of house show regulars or people who have heard about the shows either by visiting the Saddle Creek Records website (www.saddle-creek.com) or by spotting a flier at The Antiquarium or Drastic Plastic. Fischer says his largest show drew about 70 people.

One recent night at Gunboat included performances by Bright Eyes, Philadelphia’s Jen Turrell (Rabbit in Red), and Pennsylvania band Chauchat. Last week, Fischer hosted Jarbaby from Normal, Ill.

Among the bands slated for Gunboat’s upcoming Sept. 20 show are The Good Life (a new project by Cursive’s Tim Kasher), Boston’s Kolya, Omaha emo-rockers Secret Behind Sunday and Lincoln’s Her Flyaway Manner (slated to release a CD on Caulfield Records) Fischer says the cover is usually two or three dollars, all of which goes to the touring band to help cover their expenses.

* * *

Ah, those were the days…

Speaking of blasts from the pasts, I just got word that Mousetrap has been booked to play a return engagement at The Waiting Room Aug. 16 for what I’m told is being billed as a “Pre-Maha Party” (the Maha Music Festival is the following day). No idea who else will be playing this gig, but I’m told we should expect to hear some new Mousetrap material along with old favorites. Mark it down on your calendar.

* * *

Finally, Maha Music Festival and The Slowdown are hosting an Omaha Gives Showcase tonight. Among the acts are current favorite, Gordon. Also on the program are A Wasted Effort, Rock Paper Dynamite and The Seen. It’s a free show, but you’ll be hit up to give money (and you should, you cheap-ass). Gordon I believe plays second, so get there early.

* * *

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.

Lazy-i