Glow in the Dark tonight; Bad Self Portraits, Pagan Athletes Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:15 pm August 19, 2022

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I tell people that even if they have just an inking of an urge to go to a rock show they should go because you never know when the next chance will come around. That’s never been more true than right now, as once again, there are no touring indie rock shows happening in Omaha this weekend.

But, there are a couple local shows to consider…

Glow in the Dark is opening tonight at Reverb Lounge for a couple bands I’ve never heard before. GitD alone is worth the $8 cover charge. They go on at 8.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) local indie band Bad Self Portraits has an EP release show at Slowdown Jr. Omaha prog duo Pagan Athletes is on the bill along with Estrogen Projection. $12, 8 p.m.

That’s it. Well, at least we had Petfest last weekend, right? And Outlandia? Like I said – when a good show comes your way, go! You never know when the next one will happen…

Have a great weekend.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

weekend.

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Ground Floor Guitar robbed, GoFundMe; who is Cola (and what is NACC)? Pagan Athletes tonight…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yes, I know this is old news, but there are still one or two people in the world who may not have heard it: On July 1, Ground Floor Guitar in the Blackstone District was robbed at gunpoint. Details of the incident are beyond harrowing. The thieves got away with cash and more than $20,000 in musical instruments.

John Svatos, who runs the shop, is an icon of the local indie music scene whose bands include Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship and Healer. I can’t wrap my mind around why someone would rob a guitar shop, of all places. At least no one was hurt, though there will be scars we can’t see, the kind caused by having a gun shoved in your face.

Phil Schaffart, another member of the Omaha indie music family, set up a GoFundMe to help Svatos while the shop remains temporarily closed. You can donate here.

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I fell down a rabbit hole last night looking at different college music charts and came across the NACC — the North American College & Community Radio chart, based on weekly airplay from college and non-commercial radio stations in North America, or so the site tells me.

Back in the old days before social media, there used to be the College Music Journal and the CMJ Charts. Having your album make it onto the CMJ used to be a big deal. And then one day, CMJ disappeared (BTW, the once important New York City-based CMJ Music Festival still exists, sort of). Is NACC taking CMJ‘s place? No idea, though their site says they’ve been around for five years, and their chart looks… interesting. Most of what I expect to see is there, with Wilco taking the top spot. But where’s Big Thief? And what about Beach House? So yeah, I’m kind of scratching my head.

Right behind Wilco on the chart is a band called Cola, and their album Deep in View. Turns out Cola consists of former members of the band Ought (Ought broke up sometime ins 2021). Cola’s album was released by Fire Talk Records, but looks to be disto-ed by Rough Trade.

And lo and behold, Cola is playing at The Slowdown July 18.

What got me falling down this rabbit hole was a post by Little Brazil that pointed out that their new album, Just Leave, was No. 187 on the College Radio Charts 1000 (it was No. 332 this past week). I have never heard of College Radio Charts and there’s very little info online about the organization. Needless to say, their top 30 is different than NACC’s top 30. Still, congrats to Little Brazil!

The big question: Are college radio charts relevant in the steaming era?

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Tonight at Reverb Lounge, the dynamic duo of Pagan Athletes headlines a show that includes a couple bands I’m not familiar with: Captain Howdy and Thee Bots. $7, 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Thelma and the Sleaze, Universe Contest, Pagan Athletes tonight at Sydney…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:55 pm June 16, 2022
Universe Contest at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 6, 2016. The band plays tonight at The Sydney.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Quick like bunny!

Tonight at The Sydney in Benson, Nashville’s Thelma and the Sleaze headline. The band is “an all-female, queer, southern-rock and roll band” according to Spotify. Their latest, 2020’s Sacred as Hell, was released by DryerBaby Records. Lincoln’s Universe Contest and our very own Pagan Athletes open at 8 p.m. $15!

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Lazy-i Best of 2021 Compilation CD; Pagan Athletes, Bad Bad Men tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 10:27 am December 22, 2021
Lazy-i Best of 2021

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

On reflection, it has been a strange year in music. Certainly that was the case from a local music perspective, especially if you compare the output of new local music in 2021 to what was released in 2020, during the heart of the pandemic.

Last year 10 of the 21 tracks included in Lazy-i Best Of 2020 comp were from Nebraska artists — a record of sorts. This year, only two artists on the annual Best Of compilation have Nebraska connections (three if you include Azure Ray). My theory is that most local artists released albums in 2020 and waited until ’21 to try to push them via live performances — why work on new material if you haven’t tried to sell the old stuff? Maybe that was the case, I certainly hope it was.

The artists included in the 2021 Best Of Lazy-i Compilation are an eclectic mix of old timers and brand new talent. Of the 21 artists, only 12 previously have played in Nebraska (and only three played here last year), while a couple are headed our way (Parquet Courts, Azure Ray). The comp is usually comprised of acts I’ve interviewed or reviewed over the past year, but because so few local bands released material last year and so few acts came through town, this is more of a collection of my favorite tracks from 2021.

Here’s the track list:

Hand Habits – “More Than Love” from the album Fun House (Saddle Creek)
Claud — “Soft Spot” from Super Monster (Saddest Factory)
Indigo De Souza — “Pretty Pictures” from Any Shape You Take (Saddle Creek)
Low — “Days Like Theses” from HEY WHAT (Sub Pop)
Sufjan Stevens, Angelo DeAugustine — “Back to Oz” from A Beginner’s Mind (Asthmatic Kitty)
Wet Leg — “Chaise Lounge” single (Domino)
Life in Sweatpants — “Good 2 Yourself” from Good 2 Yourself (Long Time Friend Discount)
Flyte — “Everyone’s a Winner” from This Is Really Going to Hurt (Island)
Cassandra Jenkins — “Michelangelo” from An Overview on Phenomenal Nature (Ba Da Bing)
The Coral — “Vacancy” from Coral Island (Run On)
Parquet Courts— “Walking at a Downtown Pace” from Sympathy for Life (Rough Trade)
Brad Hoshaw — “My Dying Day” from Living on a Sliver (self-release)
Mdou Moctar — “Ya Habibti” from Afrique Victime (Matador)
Courtney Barnett — “Sunfair Sundown” from Things Take Time, Take Time (Milk!)
Nation of Language — “Across That Fine Line” from A Way Forward (Play It Again Sam)
Spoon — “The Hardest Cut” single (Matador)
Turnstile — “BLACKOUT” from GLOW ON (Roadrunner)
PawPaw Rod — “Lemonhaze” from A PawPaw Rod EP (Godmode)
Matt Whipkey — “Mayday” from Hard (Unusual)
CHVRCHES, Robert Smith — “How Not to Drown” single (Glassnote Entertainment)
Azure Ray — “Bad Dream” from Remedy (Flower Moon)

Want a copy of the CD? Enter to win one in the annual drawing! To enter, send me an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com. Hurry, contest deadline is Monday, Jan. 3, at midnight.

The playlist also is available in Spotify. Simply click this link or search “Lazy-i Best of” in Spotify then select Playlists, and you’ll find it along with a few from past years, too.

BTW, that’s Greta on the cover, the newest member of the McMahan family.

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Tonight at Reverb Lounge it’s Pagan Athletes (chaotic keyboards/drums from the Wolf Factory) with Bad Bad Men (classic line-up of Wolf/Siebken/Hug) and Nowhere (Thor’s (Retox) new band featuring Camille (No Thanks) and Gabe (Natural States)). $10, 9 p.m. What a way to bring in the holiday…

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Pagan Athletes, Universe Contest, BFF tonight; Soccer Mommy Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 2:43 pm November 5, 2021
Pagan Athletes celebrate the release of their debut album tonight at OutrSpaces.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Sam Crisler at The Reader wrote a massive story on Pagan Athletes, who celebrate the release of their debut LP tonight at OutrSpaces. The drum/keyboard duo of Nathan and Griffin Wolf are the sons of Cellophane Ceiling frontman and Main Vein impresario John Wolf. Sam’s story goes deep in the history, and into the making of the album and the band’s sound, which I would describe as psychedelic-punk-prog-sonic-rollercoaster. Read it here.

OutrSpaces is located at 1258 So. 13th Street. Playing with PA are Verb the Noun, Ben Eisenberger w/chamber group, and Kyle Jessen. No price listed, but it starts at 8 p.m. 

Also tonight, The Sydney in Benson celebrates Benson First Friday with a show headlined by Universe Contest. Also on the bill are Better Friends and All Young Girls Are Machine Guns. $10, 10 p.m. 

Tomorrow night it’s back to Benson for Soccer Mommy at The Waiting Room. Nashville native Sophie Allison is the Mommy and she’s on the road supporting her sophomore release, Color Theory (2020, Loma Vista). Opening is Polyvinyl artist Alexalone. $20, 8 p.m. 

Also Saturday night, I Don’t Know How But They Found Me (Fearless) headlines at The Slowdown with San Diego’s Ignant Benches. $30, 8 p.m.

That’s all I got other than to say that it’s a Bandcamp Friday again, so if you’re going to buy some digital downloads, today’s the day to do it as Bandcamp (and most labels) will be passing along its fees to the artists. Have a great weekend.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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When will Omaha bars reopen? New music: Eddy Mink; Pagan Athletes; No Thanks, Marcey Yates tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:40 pm May 21, 2020

No Thanks at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 2, 2019. The band plays a live streamed showcase tonight at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

We’re all still sitting around twiddling our thumbs waiting to hear when bars are going to be allowed to reopen, especially after Iowa announced a 50 percent capacity reopening starting next Thursday (May 28).

If you’re like me and you’re watching the various and sundry COVID-19 reports/charts/graphs, the numbers seem to be flattening or headed downwards in Nebraska. Meanwhile, flip through Facebook and you’ll quickly find numbers that say Douglas County is still red hot — cases continue to rise, but so do tests. And yet, I’ve still (luckily) yet to know anyone who has tested positive (or know anyone who knows anyone who has).

With the Nebraska DHM (Directed Heath Measures) proclamation expiring June 1, I foresee we’ll be getting an announcement regarding bars reopening sometime in the next week. If they follow Iowa’s lead and allow for a 50 percent capacity reopening, will you be willing to return that first week of June?

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New music continues to be released even during the shutdown.

The long-awaited new album by Eddy Mink (a.k.a. Kerry Eddy), Open Container Heart Surgery, dropped last week on Spotify and other streaming services.

Recorded at ARC with Ben Brodin in March 2018 with Ben Armstrong on drums/keys, Patrick Hargon on guitar, baritone guitar and pedal steel and Eddy on guitar and vocals, it’s one of my favorite local releases so far for 2020. Eddy has a bright, aggressive voice that’s like hearing one of the Wilson sisters (Heart) fronting a modern indie rock band. The songs gallop on a rhythm section whose bass lines lead the way (see standout tracks “Eaten Alive,” opener “Alarms”).

I’m including a Spotify link below because the band doesn’t have a Bandcamp page (though you can find the entire album here on YouTube).

The Wolf Brothers of Griffin and Nathan are sons of local rock royalty — John Wolf — but that’s not why you should check out their new four-song EP Live at the DN. The drums/synth combo’s recordings are jittery sonic acid trips of rhythm and noise. Call it electro-punk annihilation, or the soundtrack to your personal COVID nightmare.

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The doors are closed tonight at The Slowdown but there’s still a rock show happening on the big stage, and you’re invited to tune in via the internet.

Punk rock show-stoppers No Thanks and hip-hop master Marcey Yates (a.k.a. Op2mus) are the first to be featured in a new live stream experiment at Slowdown. With house sound guy Dan Brennan and renowned videographer Django Greenblatt-Seay behind the controls, this is sure to be a next-level streaming experience.

And it ain’t free. Tickets are $5 (though you can donate more) with the cash going to the talent involved. Ticket holders will receive a link to the event both 48 hours and 10 minutes prior to the event. Performances begin at 8:15 sharp. More info and tickets available here.

It’s the next best thing to going to a rock show. See you there…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Weekend in Review: Almost Music (Pagan Athletes, Wagon Blasters), Matt Whipkey; No Thanks, Hussies tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:51 pm February 4, 2019

Matt Whipkey and his band at Reverb Lounge Feb. 2, 2019.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It was a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd at Almost Music Saturday night around 8 p.m., the store filled with revelers celebrating the unfortunate demise of an Omaha music store. Some of the book shelves had been moved out of the Solid Jackson side to make room for the crowds watching the bands. In back they were doling out what can only be described as “doses” of the Nite Owl “punch” that indeed packed one. It was a happy though solemn affair as we were all happy to see the bands and each other, and sad that it was the last day for Almost Music and Solid Jackson, a store that will never be equaled (Unless Brad decides to open one again some day).

So crowded was the store that we couldn’t see Pagan Athletes, who were performing on the other side of the room. The synth/drummer duo was knocking out crazy futuristic jams, hyper-kinetic instrumentals that held the crowd in a trance with its jittery swing. The fine young man standing next to me drinking the blood-colored punch from a coffee cup said the band consists of John Wolf’s sons! Wolf is nothing less than an Omaha music legend behind such great bands as Cellophane Ceiling and Bad Luck Charm (among others). No doubt talent runs in the family. Check out some Pagan Athletes demos below.

 

Wagon Blasters at Almost Music’s farewell show, Feb. 2, 2019.

Speaking of legends, Pagan Athletes was followed by Wagon Blasters, the next evolutionary step in the ever mutating genre of Nebraska Tractor Punk. Gary Dean Davis was in his usual fine form, as was the rest of the band, who I could barely see while standing  atop a three-foot step ladder, where I took the above photo (I never got a clear shot of Pagan Athletes).

We only hung around for a couple Blasters songs, overcome by ennui generated by the knowledge that we wouldn’t be able to stop into Almost Music again on Saturdays after lunch at Noli’s. Brad, we salute you (and by the way, you hit the nail squarely on the head with that Rat Columns album — primo!).

We headed cross town to catch Matt Whipkey’s set at Reverb Lounge. Whipkey has been performing in a variety of bands and projects for almost two decades, and while rock has always been the staple, his style has varied from Americana to heavy metal (or close to it). That variety makes for a fine selection of songs and styles, which we got a heathy sample of Saturday night.

It’s become known in some circles that Whipkey has been working on a secret project, and sure enough he rolled out one of those songs last night — a punk version of “Fred, You’re Dead” (of which there’s a slower version on his last album, Driver). When will Whipkey reveal this full punk project? Only time will tell…

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Tonight Cam Stout celebrates her birthday at The Brothers Lounge. I don’t know who Cam is, but I like her taste in music, as the bands No Thanks and Hussies are both performing in her honor. $5, 10 p.m. Happy Birthday, Cam…

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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