A traveling we will go…; Voting is Cool (Orenda Fink, Simon Joyner, more) Wednesday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 11:01 am October 13, 2014
Voting Is Cool, featuring Orenda Fink and Simon Joyner, is Wednesday night at The Slowdown.

Voting Is Cool, featuring Orenda Fink and Simon Joyner, is Wednesday night at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’m off to Chicago for a few days of bizness, but there’s not much going on around here show-wise anyway.

I’ll be back in time for the big Voting Is Cool concert at The Slowdown Wednesday night, a free gig brought to you by ballothero.com. Performers include Orenda Fink, Simon Joyner, Sean Pratt, Anna McClellan and Edem. Show starts at 8 p.m.

This is turning out to be a very strange voting season. The more you know, the better off you’ll be before you enter the voting booth (and you will enter the voting booth, right?).

* * *

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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Was there a Conflict of Interest in the OEAA nomination process?

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:06 pm September 17, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

OEAAs...

OEAAs…

Yesterday’s post outlining the nomination process for the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEAAs) resulted in a number of people suggesting there was a conflict of interest since Board President Emily Engles works for a number of bands nominated in various categories. As OEAA Board President and facilitator of the nomination process, was Engles in a position to influence the final list of nominees?

To help clarify the issue, I asked Engles, via email. Here’s what she said:

Me: Which OEAA-nominated bands and performers do you work for?   

Engles: The Decatures – booking/promo; Stonebelly – booking; Mitch Gettman – booking/promo (this partnership started Sept 3); The Willards Band – booking/promo.

Me: What do you do for those bands/performers, and do they pay you?

Engles: Yes, these bands pay me a monthly fee. E3 Music Management is registered with the State of Nebraska..I have also done some “freelance” work for Hector Anchondo and Matt Cox…referrals and connecting them with the right people, mostly.

Me: How were you involved in the nomination process, specifically in categories where bands you work for were nominated?

Engles: As OEAA President and a member of the music committee within the board, I serve as facilitator. I make sure each committee (Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Music) have the list of nominees, meet deadlines, gather contact information, etc. A music review committee of board members and music voting academy members gathered to go over the full list of nominees (like I said in an online comment, we look at the entire list down to those with only one vote, not just the top six). We make sure the artists are in the correct category (many fans put a band in both rock and hard rock or both country and Americana, not knowing where they may fall) and look at the entire list for who may be moved up once those bands that should not be in a category are removed.

In regard to the categories where bands I work for were nominated, I remove myself from the discussion about who should be moved up once the incorrect bands are removed. I allow the other four members to make the final decision…I do not push or make the final call as I might in other categories.

Engles suggested I reach out John Heaston for a formal statement from the OEAAs in regard to the organization’s conflict of interest policy. “We have board members who are also in the arts and may be nominated,” Engles said. “We have voting academy members who may also be nominated…it is requested they remove themselves from actively participating in such categories, just as I did in regard to the bands I work for.

“The bands I work for are nominated because they are talented and work hard to make an impact on the Omaha music scene,” she wrote. “I work hard for them and they work hard for me.”

To clarify further, Engles pointed me to the nomination statement from the OEAA website, which you can read here.

* * *

A final thought…

When you turn art into a competition, you are saying one work of art is better than another work of art. Conversely, you’re saying something isn’t as good as something else. All art is subjective. I might think Bob Dylan’s voice is mercurial; you might think it sucks. The truth is in the eye — or ear — of the beholder.

I can make you a top-20 list of my favorite Nebraska bands. You can agree or disagree with as much of it as you want, understanding at the end of the day it’s just one man’s opinion.

And when you create a non-profit organization that’s designed to recognize the brightest local talent through an awards program, there’s going to be people who disagree with your choices.

However, when the area’s best-selling local albums by the three local performers who draw the largest local crowds are not nominated for the Album of the Year, Singer/Songwriter of the Year or Artist of the Year, people are going to ask questions.

I asked the questions yesterday. The answer was very clear. All three artists were considered during the nomination process, and Conor Oberst, The Faint and Orenda Fink simply didn’t make the cut. The nominating committee felt they’re not as good as those nominated for Best Singer/Songwriter; their records were not as good as those nominated for Album of the Year, and as artists and musicians, they simply didn’t do as much musically as the people who were nominated for Artist of the Year. The OEAA nominating committee has spoken.

Do you agree with them?

* * *

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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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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Feel Tight = Talking Mountain + The Seen; New M34n Str33t video; Bloodcow gets ready to Kickstart; Orenda’s Blue Dream streams…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:00 pm August 11, 2014
Orenda Fink's new one, Blue Dream, is streaming at NPR Live. Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

Orenda Fink’s new one, Blue Dream, is streaming at NPR Live. Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Going through the mailbox…

This just in from Talking Mountain main guy Jason Meyer:

“Feel Tight” is a new band that I’m in with dudes from the Seen and Weird Howl. I think we’re calling it “black prog stoner doom,” which is just a fancy way of saying Black Sabbath stoner rock with other tendencies. Explorations of genres I know very little about. I get to play a loud guitar.

ANYWAY.

We’re playing our first show at The Slowdown August 20 with Huge Fucking Waves (Allan from Snake Island’s surf band) and Stephen Nichols, who is doing some sort of solo/bass/noise/art performance and is Christine Fink’s huzbs. Could be a blasto.

Yes it could, indeed.

* * *

What else:

M34n Str33t has a new video out for “Night Owl,” a track from their Mutants of Omaha LP. Check it out below. No doubt the crew is getting ready for Saturday’s Maha Music Fest (They go on stage at 1:55). Is Mean Street on the verge? There’s a lot of people who think so.

* * *

Speaking of being “on the verge,” the guys in Bloodcow are prepping a Kickstarter campaign for their new album, Crystals and Lasers. Hey guys, don’t tell us you’re going to do a Kickstarter, just do the damn thing. I can only imagine the twisted “premiums” available for donors with this one, none of which can legally be delivered via the U.S. Mail.

Check out the new track here, if you have a PC. They posted the track as a frickin’ .wma file, which isn’t happening on my Mac.

* * *

NPR First Listen is hosting a stream of the new Orenda Fink album, Blue Dream. Check it out here.

* * **

So what do you think of the “We Don’t Coast” slogan, which is showing up on billboards and Social Media?

I stand by my original suggestion. BTW, I’m getting tired of all these montage videos that show zoos and ball parks in timelapse format. What would it take to get someone to make a gonzo-style video that highlights one crazy night in Omaha?

* * *

BTW, there ain’t much happening music-wise this week. Save it up for Maha.

* * *

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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New Orenda video; Big Star tour; new ROAM; Mula, Zucchini, Maha, Guardians and Chubby Cyclists (In the column); Talbott Brothers, Burkum Boys tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:48 pm August 7, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Orenda Fink yesterday released a new video for the song “Ace of Cups” from upcoming album Blue Dream, which comes out on Saddle Creek Records Aug. 19. The video (below) was directed by Nik Fackler (the director of feature films Lovely Still and Sick Birds Die Easy as well as a member of Icky Blossoms and InDreama) and Aaron Gum (also in InDreama). It’s a head trip. Look for cameos by The Faint’s Todd Fink and InDreama’s Dereck Higgins.

* * *

Some Big Star news…. A band is being pulled together to play Big Star’s Third in concert that includes original member Jody Stephens on drums. Joining him are Mike Mills, Mitch Easter (Let’s Active), Chris Stamey (The dB’s) and “guest musicians from each city.” The band will be backed by a chamber orchestra and sets also will include songs from #1 Record. Cities are Carrboro, NC; Washington, DC; Seattle and LA. More info at ardentmusic.com. Ardent recently announced that #1 Record and Radio City are being remastered and rereleased by Stax, with a drop date of Sept. 2. I do love Big Star…

* * *

When in ROAM: Audio Postcards from the Four Corners of the Globe

When in ROAM: Audio Postcards from the Four Corners of the Globe

David Matysiak (Coyote Bones) posted the next installment of his ROAM audio series. This time it’s audio postcards from around the globe. Contributors include Sarah Bohling (Icky Blossoms), Sam Martin (Capgun Coup), Mike Albanese (Maserati), Graham Patrick Ulicny (Reptar), among others.

Check it out via SoundCloud here.

* * *

In this week’s column, random notes on Mula (delicious), zucchini (big), Maha (soon), Guardians (awesome) and cyclists (chubby) . You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here.

* * *

Speaking of Maha, the Maha Team announced yesterday that the festival is getting a Ferris wheel for the Aug. 16 concert at Stinson Park. “We are also introducing a game truck to the entertainment lineup in the early part of the day,” Maha said in a press release. “This truck will be stocked with a variety of XBOX, Nintendo Wii, and PlayStation 3 games.”

Ironically, I jokingly called their $50 ticket an “all-day ride pass” in my column this week not knowing about the impending Ferris wheel addition, which is bound to cause some confusion with someone.

* * *

Couple shows to consider tonight:

At The Waiting Room indie/country blues band Bazile Mills headlines with Burkum Boys (the bros from Skypiper). $7, 9 p.m.

At The Barley Street, it’s The Talbott Brothers Band w/ Maxwell Hughes (former Lumineers guitarist, yes those Lumineers) and John Larsen. 9 p.m. $5.

* * *

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

Orenda Fink, The Hold Steady tonight; new Faint vid, Jenny Lewis, RAA, Strand of Oaks…

Screenwriter of Jurassic Park III, Alexander Payne, is among those who will be on hand for tonight's Chuck Hassebrook fundraiser. Hey Al, just playin' with ya...

Screenwriter of Jurassic Park III, Alexander Payne, is among those who will be on hand for tonight’s Chuck Hassebrook fundraiser. Hey Al, just playin’ with ya, Mr. Oscar…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There’s a couple shows happening tonight scheduled in such a way that you should be able to hit up both of them.

Show No. 1 is Orenda Fink at The Slowdown. The gig is a campaign fund-raiser for Chuck Hassebrook, who’s running for Nebraska governor against Pete Ricketts.

The lowest entry price-point for this show was $50, but organizers repriced general admission tickets to a mere $15. Also on hand will be screenwriter of Jurassic Park III (and director of a few movies, including About Schmidt and The Descendents) Alexander Payne.

Opening for Orenda are The WordSmiths (?) and McCarthy Trenching. Look, it’s a good opportunity to do what you can to keep Ricketts out of office while getting some quality music to boot. You can give more than $15 if you wanna. Donations range right on up to $2,500, Mr. Moneybags.

Get your tickets here. The program runs from 5:30 to 8:30 tonight.

That means you’ll have plenty of time to get across town to The Waiting Room, where The Hold Steady will be playing tonight. I can take or leave ol’ Craig Finn and Co., but have to admit it’ll be a treat to see them on TWR stage, and surprisingly, this one has yet to sell out. Opening is the Josh Berwanger Band (He’s the dude from Lawrence band The Anniversary and The Only Children). This is nice-priced at $18. Show starts at 9.

* * *

Check out the new video by The Faint for “Scapegoat” off SQE release Doom Abuse. What dungeon basement was this shot at?

* * *

Also released yesterday, the title track off Jenny Lewis’ upcoming album The Voyager. Check it below. Lewis is booked to play the Slowdown Aug. 4, by the way…

* * *

While I’m cleaning out the ice-box, here’s the latest track from Saddle Creek band Rural Alberta Advantage. Their new one, Mended with Gold, comes out Sept. 30 on the Creek.

* * *

This is connected to nothing local, I just wanted to pass along that I’ve been digging the new album by Strand of Oaks, HEAL (Dead Ocean). I’ve been looking for the vinyl in Omaha, and of course, no one has it. This one is on my shortlist for the first half of 2014. For you Spotify-ers out there:

* * *

In this week’s column, what happens when a top music PR flack (Catherine Herrick of Beggars Group) turns her back on the business and hits the road with her band? You can read it in the current issue of The Reader or online right here.

* * *

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

New Orenda Fink 8/19; new vids (HERS, Rig 1) Protomartyr tonight; the MF-ing Food Express (in the column)…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , — @ 1:04 pm May 15, 2014
Protomartyr at this year's South by Southwest Festival. The band plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

Protomartyr at this year’s South by Southwest Festival. The band plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Orenda Fink, Blue Dream (2014, Saddle Creek)

Orenda Fink, Blue Dream (2014, Saddle Creek)

The always amazing Orenda Fink yesterday announced that her new album, Blue Dream, is coming out Aug. 19 on Saddle Creek Records. The first released track off the album, “Ace of Cups,” is being streamed at Soundcloud here.

The press release calls the new album “a year-long meditation on death” that started with the death of Fink’s dog of 16 years, Wilson. I’m already feeling bummed out.

The album truly came together at ARC in Omaha, NE with the help of producers Ben Brodin and Todd Fink (The Faint), along with drummer Bill Rieflin (Ministry, Swans, R.E.M., King Crimson),” says the release. Sounds enticing.

* * *
Speaking of new releases, a few new videos from bands with local ties (and new albums) have been released in the past few days.

Former Omaha Melissa L. Amstutz, and her band. HERS, debuted a new video for “Please,” a track of her forthcoming album Youth Revisited. The vid was directed by filmmaker Lindsay Trapnell.

Also, Desaparecidos keyboardist Ian McElroy’s Rig 1 project has a new video for “Duality,” the first single off the new album North of Maple (Team Love Records).

* * *

One of my favorite discoveries from this year’s South By Southwest Festival, Protomartyr, headlines a show tonight at Slowdown Jr. The Detroit band’s post-punk sound has been compared to The Fall, Pere Ubu and Wire. Their new album, Under Color of Official Right (Hardly Art) is already on my best-of list for 2014.

Opening for Protomartyr is Coaxed, Worried Mothers and Telepathy Problems. This is a big one, folks. $10, 9 p.m.

* * *

In this week’s column, a rant about the Omaha World-Herald‘s litter distribution system called “Food Express” and how the paper is reacting to the public uprising against it. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader, or online right here.

* * *

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

New ROAM online (David Matysiak a.k.a. Coyote Bones, featuring Orenda Fink); Dead Meadow, Snake Island, Dim Light tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:59 pm March 5, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Roam - I Had the Weirdest Dream, March 2014

Roam – I Just Had the Weirdest Dream, March 2014

Remember David Matysiak? He’s the guy behind music project Coyote Bones and CoCo Art. David used to live here in Omaha. You might have seen him carrying sound recording equipment in Nik Fackler’s new film Sick Birds Die Easy. One of his many projects these days is ROAM, a monthly podcast he curates engineered by Mason Brown with ideas by Devin Brown and design by Jordan Noel.

This month’s ROAM (the 7th installment) includes contributions by Matysiak, Mason and seven others including Orenda Fink of Azure Ray. The theme, well, let David tell you: “For this 7th installment of the ROAM podcast series we challenged our incredible collection of contributors to compose a piece of sound art that is the encapsulation of a dream, a vision, a nightmare that is so compelling and concretely manifested as to render obsolete this cliche about the pointlessness of narrating our dreams.

It’s pretty friggin’ trippy. Check it out here or below (but put your headphones on first). All past ROAM transmissions are online here, including last month’s, which featured a contribution by Tim Kasher. Check ‘em out.

* * *

Interesting show tonight at Slowdown Jr. Dead Meadow headlines a bill that includes Snake Island, Dim Light and Swamp Walk. Dead Meadow released three records on Matador before moving on to Xemu Records. This should be a good one. $12, 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Orenda Fink’s ‘Nebraska,’ Simon Joyner and Ron Wax tonight; new Maria Taylor…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:41 pm September 25, 2013

Orenda Finkby Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Just in time for fall, Hell for Breakfast, the blog run by Orenda and Todd Fink, posted a recording of Orenda’s rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” (embedded below). Orenda’s breathy coo on this grim lullaby could entice any pick-up driving sumbitch to go on a killing rampage…in a good way.

You’ll get a chance to hear Orenda sing it live tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s.

Todd writes, from the HfB blog:

“On Wednesday Orenda will be playing (Springsteen’s) song “Nebraska” along with a bunch of new and old songs.  She’s letting me sit in on the drums. Our neighbor Greg Elsasser (from Capgun Coup, and No, i’m the Pilot) will be bowing the spooky-saw and playing bass. Christine Fink (O’s sister who recently moved here) and Pearl Boyd (Outlaw con Bandana) will be singing backups. And Orenda’s usual partner in crime, Ben Brodin, will be playing his tape delayed moody guitars.”

Also on the bill, the incomparable Simon Joyner (check out his one-on-one Hear Nebraska interview conducted at midtown meat house The French Bulldog) and Chicago’s Circuit des Yeux and duo Spires that in the Sunset Rise (that’s STITSR, which is very similar to TSITR). This one is $7 and starts at 9 p.m. sharp. Get there early.

* * *

Speaking of members of Azure Ray, yesterday Maria Taylor debuted her first song off upcoming Saddle Creek release Something About Knowing called “Up All Night,” and it’s a baby song (of course). The new record comes out Oct. 29.

* * *

Also happening tonight at The Brothers Lounge it’s the return of Lincoln’s Ron Wax (a.k.a. Ron Albertson) along with KC punkers Lazy and our own Video Ranger. $5, 9 p.m. Check out some Ron Wax below…

* * *

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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Notes: RS premieres new Kasher track; Finks’ Hell for Breakfast; New Maria Taylor; the week ahead, No Blood Orphan Friday, Love Language Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:22 pm August 28, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Rolling Stone yesterday premiered “Truly Freaking Out,” a track from Tim Kasher’s upcoming Saddle Creek release Adult Film (due Oct. 8). You should check it out.

I like this new Kasher album more than his Monogamy/Bigamy solo records. It seems more thought out and complete, more than a refacing of Good Life or Cursive tunes. Kasher’s thrown in a lot of interesting sonic twists. Like RS said, “Truly Freaking Out” is buoyed by “bloopy bass barrels… and fuzzy, escalating synths…” It’s strangely retro. And the keyboards on “The Willing Cuckold” and “Life and Limbo” also shift the usual Kasher melodies to new places. In fact, the keyboards throughout the record are the difference-maker between this and other Kasher-fronted projects.

Lyrically, pretty dark. Kasher — a self-proclaimed atheist — appears to be coming to grips with his mortality, as well as his loved ones’ impending end. Listen too close and you’re in for a bummer of a ride. Regardless, Adult Film is the most satisfying record Kasher has produced since Help Wanted Nights.

* *

Todd and Orenda Fink have launched a “lifestyle blog” called Hell for Breakfast. Yes, it contains music (the duo perform as Low Angle Eyes), but it also has other cool stuff like art and video and various writings. The latest posted recording is of the duo covering Velvet Underground’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties” during last week’s Saddle Creek Shop / Omaha Public Library event. Go to the website to hear and see more…

* * *

Speaking of members of Azure Ray…

Maria Taylor, Something About Knowing (Saddle Creek, 2013)

Maria Taylor, Something About Knowing (Saddle Creek, 2013)

Maria Taylor announced last week that Saddle Creek will be releasing her next solo album Oct. 29, titled Something About Knowing. The record was influenced by “the life-changing joy and newfound responsibility of being a first-time parent.” Maria said she recorded it during her son’s naps and its brimming with “bliss and contentment.” Should be quite a contrast to Kasher’s record, eh? Ol‘ Mike Mogis was apparently behind the knobs on this one, and Andy LeMaster (Hey, whatever happened to Now It’s Overhead?) mixed two songs.

* * *

Since I’ll be out the rest of the week, here are the highlights from the music calendar for the balance of the week and weekend.

Tonight (Aug. 28) Lincoln punk band Tie These Hands headlines a show at Slowdown Jr. with Eli Mardock and Saltwater Sanctuary. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight (Aug. 28) Columbus Ohio band Emily and the Complexes play at The Sydney with Saturn Moth. It’s probably $5 and probably starts around 10.

Thursday (Aug. 29) Under Water Dream Machine plays at The Barley Street with Love Technicians and Portland act There Is No Mountain. $5, 9 p.m. While I’m thinking about it, there’s only 12 days left in the Bret Vovk/Nick Carl Kickstarter campaign, and they’re still a few hundred dollars from their target. Help these brothers out

No Blood Orphan, Top Shelf/Lost Tricks (Ant, 2013)

No Blood Orphan, Top Shelf/Lost Tricks (Ant, 2013)

Friday night (Aug. 30) it’s the return of No Blood Orphan to O’Leaver’s. Consider it a reunion show, with all five classic No Blood Orphan members (Bartolomei, Cox, Esterbrooks, Phillips, Saklar) returning for one special performance. In fact, Mike Saklar emailed to say that in addition to No Blood Orphan, there will be “mini-sets” by: Stephen Bartolomei (Mayday, McCarthy Trenching); Chris Machmuller (So So Sailors, Ladyfinger); McCarthy Trenching (So So Sailors, Mal Madrigal); Lincoln Dickison (Chromafrost); Cricket Kirk/Custom Catacombs (Dirty Fluorescents) and more. Available at the show will be a new clear vinyl 7″ and a dual-EP CD titled Top Shelf and Lost Tricks. This one will be special $5, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday night (Sept. 1) there’s a pretty sweet show going on at O’Leaver’s — Merge Records band The Love Language headlines a show with Pony Wars and No, I’m the Pilot. It’s listed as a 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $7 and are actually being presold right here. A ticketed, early show at O’Leaver’s? Will wonders never cease… You’ve got Monday off, so there’s no excuses for missing this one.

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Have a happy Labor Day. Say goodbye to summer…

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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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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