La Vista green-lights new indoor/outdoor music venue; Those Far Out Arrows, Dirt House tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:47 pm June 20, 2018

An illustration of the proposed La Vista music venue.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This morning while drinking my coffee, shortly after watching a hard-hitting piece about a couple who stole a $25 wading pool (“stealing kids’ summer fun“), KETV Channel 7 reported that 1% Productions and KC’s Mammoth Productions received approval from the La Vista City Council to build a new indoor/outdoor music venue on South 84th St. This is the project first announced back in January.

There’s some disagreement about the venues’ capacities. KETV reported that the new music hall will hold 2,400 while the adjacent outdoor amphitheater will hold 5,000. The Omaha World-Herald reported the capacities to be 1,800 and 4,000 respectively.

When this project was first announced, the biggest concerns I heard surrounded how it would impact The Waiting Room and Reverb Lounge bookings, arguably the best venues in town for indie music, both of which are booked by One Percent Productions. Marc Leibowitz, who runs One Percent with Jim Johnson, is attributed in the OWH article as saying the new facility is “not aimed at taking down other venues.” I’m not sure if he was talking about his own venues, but let’s face it, the La Vista project is too big for the kind of bands booked at TWR or Reverb, which have capacities below 700 and 200 respectively. (Unless, of course, they also build a small club inside the new La Vista facility…).

The bigger risk is the financial gamble — One Percent and Mammoth are putting up the money to build the venues. The price hasn’t been reported, though $15 million was mentioned in January as the cost for the indoor club alone. The city is apparently paying $3.2 million in park improvements (where the amphitheater will be located), which it said it was going to do anyway.

Beyond the financial risks to the promoters, who else could feel the impact of this new music venue when it opens in 2020? Stir Cove comes to mind, so does Papillion’s SumTur Amphitheater. And what about Maha? It seems like the Maha Music Festival was invented as a vehicle to bring in the kind of acts that the La Vista project is tailor-made to host. BTW, One Percent has been involved in booking Maha for nearly a decade.

In the end, the La Vista venues will make it more likely acts like Courtney Barnett and Beach House will come to Omaha (though I can’t see how it will help attract small-drawing high-quality acts like Snail Mail, Algiers and Natalie Prass, who also are bypassing our little ‘burb)…

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The Pageturners summer music series continues tonight with Those Far Out Arrows and opener The Sunks. This free show starts at 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Dirt House, the project led by singer/songwriter Annie Dilocker, is having a listening party for their new EP Come Over, tonight at Hi-Fi House. The free program starts at 7:30 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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A bit of advice when it comes to local music festivals; David Bazan, Laura Gibson tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:52 pm June 21, 2016
David Bazan as Pedro the Lion, performing at Sokol Underground July 6, 2000. Bazan plays tonight at Reverb Lounge.

David Bazan as Pedro the Lion, performing at Sokol Underground July 6, 2000. Bazan plays tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There continues to be rumblings about the River City Music Festival fiasco, confusion about who did what, and what these thieves did in the past, etc. Someone asked me why I haven’t delved into it. And the reason is the same reason why I didn’t get into last year’s Grassroots Festival debacle, and it’s this: The large concerts that feature bands I want to see are booked and promoted by One Percent Productions.

One Percent knows what they’re doing, which is more than I can say for the amateurs who put on those other fly-by-night festivals. Next time you’re about to buy a ticket to a local festival, take a moment and look at who’s promoting it before you drop your cash. If it’s One Percent — or 1% — you’re in good hands. Anyone else? Do your research. Buyer beware.

This PSA is brought to you by the kind folks at Lazy-i.com.

Moving on…

Tonight at Reverb Lounge it’s the return of David Bazan. Bazan, who some of you might remember as the guy behind Pedro the Lion, is out touring his latest release, Blanco (Barsuk, 2016). Blanco is made up of songs previously available in a very limited edition 7” vinyl series called Bazan Monthly, Volume 1 and Volume 2. Bazan picked 10 of those songs to update, remix and flesh out into a cohesive album. These sound much more electronic than I remember Bazan’s earlier releases but no less heartfelt. Opening is Laura Gibson, who I wrote about yesterday right here. Tickets are $15. Show starts at 9.

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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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The CWS, Slowdown and the ‘myth’ of no parking; that goddamn Morrissey; Matthew Sweet news…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:00 pm June 11, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 12.58.43 PM

Since when did they start calling it ‘The College World Series of Omaha”?

Well, the College World Series kicks off Friday with an opening concert extravaganza by Young the Giant, marking the last time many of us will be stepping foot in downtown Omaha until the series wraps up June 25. The tents already are starting to dot the NoDo landscape like big white blisters atop the usually empty parking lots.

For Slowdown, this is the harvest season, the time of year when they can’t count their money fast enough. In support of the CWS, Slowdown turns into a pseudo sports bar, featuring the finest local cover bands (Secret Weapon) and this year, a special performance by Criteria right in the heart of the action.

Thinking about going to Criteria but are afraid there will be nowhere to park? Slowdown’s Jason Kulbel says that lack of street parking during CWS is a “myth” and that parking is, in fact, plentiful. We shall see.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been down to Slowdown. Checking out their calendar, they’ve got a lot of heavy shows coming up. There’s that Criteria show June 21, The Felice Brothers June 28, Ceremony July 13, Jolie Holland Aug. 8, Kopecky Family Band Sept. 5, Mike Watt’s latest project Sept. 25 and New Pornographers/Pains of Being Pure at Heart Nov. 11.

That New Pornographers show was one of slew of gigs One Percent just announced, including J Mascis Oct. 8 (TWR); Ty Segall Sept. 25 (TWR); and most controversial at all, CHVRCHES Sept. 24 at Sokol Aud. It’s controversial in that CHVRCHES is the same night as The War on Drugs at The Waiting Room. The decision as to which show you choose to attend that night will define you. I’m trying to figure out a way to see both…

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If you haven’t already heard, Morrissey cancelled the remaining dates of his current North American Tour, citing health reasons. Specifically, Morrissey said opening act Kristeen Young doused him with some sort of respiratory plague that he can’t seen to shake. Details on his unofficial website, True to You, where Moz also lists shows from the past tours he and his band consider to be “their best-ever.” For whatever reason, the Lincoln Rococo show wasn’t on the list…

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Omahan Matthew Sweet (that’s right, he lives here now) announced today that he’s working on his first studio album in three years and will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project sometime this month.

He also said among the material he’ll be playing on the tour that brings him to O’Leaver’s July 30 (sorry, already sold out) are “his 90s releases, with such hits as ‘Girlfriend,’ ‘Sick of Myself,’ ‘I’ve Been Waiting’ and ‘Devil With the Green Eyes’ through his most recent release, Modern Art.

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Tomorrow: The Faint.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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1% to Open New Benson Micro-Venue (and what’s it mean to the competition?); Crushed Out, HFW tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 5:05 pm April 10, 2014
The Micek space soon to be Reverb, photo stolen from Omahype.com who stole it from Google Maps.

The former Micek space soon to be Reverb, photo stolen from Omahype.com who stole it from Google Maps.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Omaha World-Herald‘s Kevin Coffey got the scoop yesterday on the new club being constructed by Jim Johnson and Marc Leibowitz in Benson. You can read the article here.

Called Reverb, the new club will have a 100-capacity performance space, and is located in the old Micek bay north of Jake’s.

I had been told it would be a bar first and performance venue second. The fact that they’re planning music “three or more nights a week,” was quite a surprise as it sounded like they would only have music — at most — twice a week. Hey, the more the merrier, I always say.

Will this new club impact O’Leaver’s and/or The Barley Street Tavern? Maybe. Probably not. O’Leaver’s caters to such a… unique audience and books such a specific style of garage/punk that I can’t see that changing, especially with the Cursive boys at the helm. O’Leaver’s, after all, is an American institution.

The Barley Street Tavern books mostly Americana / folk acts and local singer/songwriters. There are plenty of those to go round.

Where Reverb could have the biggest impact is on those national indie shows that have been booked at places like Sweatshop and Farnam House. Titus Andronicus, Parquet Courts and Speedy Ortiz are three examples of recent shows that would have worked well at a place like Reverb… that is if 1% could have booked them. I was told by those bands’ publicists that they purposely chose to book their tours in small spaces like houses and art galleries rather than bars. If attracting an all-ages audience was what lured them to Farnam/Sweatshop, then Reverb would probably be out of the picture, as the club is a “21-and-over” bar, according to Kevin’s article.

And what about Slowdown Jr.? Conventional wisdom would tell you that Reverb and The Jr. are similar size and target the same audience. The fact that 1% books both clubs would appear to be the tie-breaker — I can’t imagine Leibs booking a show at Jr. when he could have it at his own club and soak in all the booze money.

I must admit my bias here. I live just a 5-minute bike ride to Benson (which equates to a 10-minute drunken bike ride back home after shows). I’ll take that every time over the commitment needed to drive all the way downtown for Slowdown shows.

The most intriguing thing about Kevin’s article, though, is this line: “Popular bands also have the potential to play limited-access, intimate shows at Reverb, which could charge $100 a ticket to see a band that would normally play for 500 people.”

Think about it this way: Would you pay $100 to see, say, Rocket from the Crypt at a state-of-the-art 100-capacity club like Reverb? I would. In fact, I think it would sell out rather quickly, whereas a $25 RFTC show at The Waiting Room could struggle to break even. With more and more top-line indie acts going after smaller rooms and putting together “living room tours,” the time may be ripe for Reverb. Sounds like we’ll have to wait until this fall to find out.

By the way, with Reverb’s addition, that will bring the number of places serving booze in Benson to just under 100. Kidding. I think the number is closer to 12 or 13 (or 14?). How can that many bars strung together in such as small stretch of town survive?

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Speaking of small, under-the-radar clubs, tonight Brooklyn guitar-and-drum garage rock duo Crushed Out plays at the legendary Brothers Lounge with local surf punkers Huge Fucking Waves. $5, 9 p.m.

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In this week’s column, on the occasion of 100 years of its existence, I reflect on how UNO student newspaper The Gateway has (literally) impacted my life. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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A glance at the upcoming shows; Bob Dylan tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:51 pm January 22, 2014
Bob Dylan circa 1975.

Bob Dylan circa 1975.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

First off, apologies for Monday’s review of last Saturday’s Hear Nebraska Take Cover show. I think I got as much wrong in that review as one could possibly get wrong, from the wrong Bright Eyes song covered by Ian Aeillo to misidentifying the band in which Rachel Tomlinson Dick plays in to not realizing that Landon Hedges was covering a Mousetrap song. The only thing I did get right was that I had a good time…

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Not a lot going on music-wise this week. No shows worth mentioning tonight. That said, One Percent Productions yesterday announced a handful of new shows in the coming months. The national touring shows on my radar:

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Feb. 16 at The Waiting Room with Tyvek.
Russian Circles Feb. 28 at The Waiting Room
Marshall Crenshaw March 2 at The Waiting Room
Neutral Milk Hotel March 29 at Sokol Aud (long sold out)
St. Vincent April 1 at Sokol Auditorium
Okkervil River April 7 at The Slowdown
Tokyo Police Club April 19 at The Slowdown
The Black Lips April 28 at The Waiting Room

I was all set to whine about the lack of shows this winter, but the above is an impressive list — at least two don’t-miss shows per month through April. Unfortunately Friday’s Califone show at The Slowdown is the only thing happening from a national indie show standpoint until that Malkmus show in mid February. Looks like we’ll have to soak in some locals over the coming weeks.

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Speaking of music events, tonight’s Record Club at the Shop @ Saddle Creek features Bob Dylan’s seminal 1975 release Blood on the Tracks. Record Club is a chance for folks to get together and listen to an album in its entirety, then discuss it afterward. Fun! The needle drops at 7 p.m. More info here.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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