Maha rising; Conor Oberst gets Pitchforked (6.6); Digital Leather returns; Chuck Prophet tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:05 pm March 14, 2017

Screen capture from the video for “Digital Lust” by Glow in the Dark.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Lots of little stories today….

The fine folks at the Maha Music Festival will start selling tickets Friday for this year’s fest, which takes place Aug. 19 at Stinson Park/Aksarben Village. Tix are GA $55 and VIP $185, though the actual line-up won’t be known until March 30.

Will it be worth the price of admission? IMHO, the answer is yes. From what I’m hearing about the line-up, this one could very well sell out, despite the fact that it’s the same day as Lady Gaga at CenturyLink Center. That little fact has Maha sweating, but let’s face it, we’re talking about two very separate, very different audiences…

* * *

Pitchfork today reviewed the new Conor Oberst album, Salutations, and despite Ian Cohen spending most of the review lambasting the record as a sort of easy-path sell-out of Ruminations, still gave the record a 6.6 rating.

Says Cohen: “Oberst re-recorded all 10 songs (of Ruminations) with a full band and a host of guests, added seven new ones and hit shuffle—a decision that drags Salutations down and bring its predecessor along with it.” Cohen goes on to say Salutations effectively turns Ruminations into a collection of demos. Maybe so, though that stunt worked just fine for PJ Harvey.

Read the review here. I’m still waiting for that Tim Kasher review, Pitchfork.

* * *

If you haven’t already guessed, I won’t be going to SXSW this year. The festival in Austin gets rolling tomorrow, though there’s showcases going on today. Those of you stuck in Omaha will at least be treated to a couple Digital Leather shows in the coming days.

Here I thought the band had broken up, but now I’m told DL will come out of hibernation if the prices is right (Why not?). This morning the band announced a free show at Blackstone Meatball on St. Patrick’s Day with opener Chalant.

This is presumably a warm-up for their opening slot for Corey and the Angels March 18 outside at Maloney’s Irish Pub on 72nd St. — maybe the strangest show of the year. Joining Corey Feldman and Digital Leather will be Thick Paint and Glow in the Dark (new project featuring Aaron Gum). It’s a $30 ticket, but who can put a price on memories that could last a lifetime?

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the rock ‘n’ roll stylings of Chuck Prophet and his band The Mission Express. You read about Chuck here yesterday. This 8 p.m. show is $20.

* * *

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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

The Good Life in Pitchfork (4.4 rating); Fat Wreck Chords invasion (Lagwagon, Strung Out) tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:54 pm August 19, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Pitchfork review for The Good Life’s new album, Everybody’s Coming Down went online today. The album scored a lowly rating of 4.4. The review compares the record mostly against past Kasher material rather than considering it on its own merits. That, of course, is the writer’s prerogative, and the obvious past-time for any critic who has been following Kasher’s work throughout his career.

Needless to say, he didn’t like the record, as he concludes:

But whether it’s Cursive or Good Life or Tim Kasher, it’s all sitcom at this point, his version of “Mulaney” or “Mr. Robinson”—a barely fictionalized, deadened version of his own life starring him. Or, ‘Shit Tim Says”.

I had to Google “Mulaney” and “Mr. Robinson” to figure out what he was talking about. I guess someone watches those teevee shows after all. Consider that when you read the review, here.

The record has been scoring better reviews from other sites as a whole. Consequences of Sound gave the record a “B,” concluding: “In a word, it’s a human album. Kasher doesn’t pretend to make sense of all the things he sings about. But in the act of trying not to ignore life’s absurd anomalies, to make as much sense as any one person can, he finds solace.” Read that review here.

While that old standby All Music gave it 3.5 stars (here), saying “Everybody’s Coming Down is ultimately engaging if meandering, and at its heart — whatever the style — is memorable, energized songwriting.

And Exclaim gave the album an impressive 8 out of 10 (here), saying, “Everybody’s Coming Down feels both focused and purposeful, something not all albums can lay claim to after a band’s nearly decade-long absence.

My take: It rocks. Check it out for yourself.

* * *

The Fat Wreck Chords tour rolls into town tonight at The Slowdown (in the big room). On the bill: Lagwagon, Strung Out, Swingin’ Utters, The Flatliners, toyGuitar and Bad Cop/Bad Cop. That’s a ton of punk for $25. Show starts at 7.

* * *

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

Desaparecidos in Pitchfork (7.6 rating), others weigh in; Rig 1, High Up, Delta Spirit tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:05 pm June 22, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tomorrow is another big music release day with new records from Digital Leather and Desaparecidos scheduled to drop.

Desaparecidos, Payola (2015, Epitaph)

Desaparecidos, Payola (2015, Epitaph)

In anticipation of the Desa release, Pitchfork reviewed their new album, Payola, today giving it a righteous 7.6 rating that tops the massively long, strange, wandering write-up by chief critic Ian Cohen. I think Cohen liked it, though the only out-and-out compliment was: “But Payola advocates chaining yourself to an ATM, taking a baseball bat to a limousine, and shouting every word at the nearest authority figure. And this makes Conor Oberst a writer of awesome punk rock lyrics,” which I’m not entirely sure was written with a straight face.

Cohen tracks through the album with cryptic nods for each track. His most accurate observation: “...a topical record that’s been cobbled together over the span of five years is going to sound dated in a 24-hour news cycle. It’s not just the references to Occupy or the NSA’s Fairview surveillance system or flashmobs, though those tend to jut out like 2012 RT’s on your timeline.” So true.

While he was busy trying to decipher the meaning of every song he forgot to notice that the record out-and-out rocks. For my money, it’s better than Read Music/Speak Spanish, though the new record’s message isn’t as forward-looking as much as reflective. Cohen’s most damning comment was a left-handed compliment: “It would appear that Payola is where Oberst’s been storing the splenetic rage that fueled his most compelling work and has mostly gone missing since I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning.” Oh snap!

Read the whole thing here.

Overall, the album is getting raves.

Consequences of Sound gave Payola a B+, saying: “Few bands can return after a 13-year absence and sound vital and fresh, transforming an old-school approach into a process that sounds original. That’s precisely what Desaparecidos have done, making Payola a welcome comeback surprise.”

The Guardian gave the record 3 out of 5 stars and called it “middling” in the headline, concluding “They’re not exactly pushing things forward, but for anyone who wants to take a trip back to when MTV2’s Gonzo was a must-watch, Payola will pave the way.”

Drowned in Sound gave it an 8 out of 10, saying: “There aren’t many bands that would detail a song with the fantasies of a teenage gun obsessive, relate to a radicalised youth or launch a scathing attack on the Fairview Surveillance Programme. That Desaparecidos accomplish these things in the form of such frequently brilliant, perceptive tunes is laudable.”

DIY gave the record 4 out of 5 stars and said “Even Oberst’s accepting shout of “We’re doomed!” towards the end of ‘The Left Is Right’ is less doom-and-gloom and more hopeful. This is an album designed to move people, and ‘Payola’ manages to do so in so very many ways.”

And finally, the old standard All Music gave the record 4 out of 5 stars, concluding: “Politically charged punk rock can be an exhausting and overtly self-righteous affair in the wrong hands, but Oberst and company temper their outrage with unadulterated melodic might, resulting in that rare protest album that rewards both the condemners and the condemned.

Metacritic currently has it in the green at 74. Impressive.

* * *

Speaking of Desaparecidos, Desa keyboardist Ian McElroy’s other project, Rig 1, performs tonight at Pageturners. Opening is High Up, a band that features Christine and Orenda Fink, Greg Elsasser, Josh Soto, Eric Ohlsson and Jason Biggers. The band is “endorsed by the Gifford park Neighborhood Association,” according to their Facebook page. Can’t beat that. 9 p.m. and Free.

Also tonight, Delta Spirit and Friends plays at The Waiting Room. “Friends” could include members of Deer Tick, Dr. Dog and The Walkmen, who have been confirmed for the tour, according to the listing on the One Percent Productions website. $20, 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Mousetrap, RAF; Oberst LP out today (Pitchfork gives it a 6.5); Morrissey tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:01 pm May 19, 2014
RAF at The Waiting Room, May 17, 2014.

RAF at The Waiting Room, May 17, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Rough crowd at the Punk Rock Reunion show Saturday night at The Waiting Room. An example of just how rough:

While standing at the bar waiting to buy my usual Rolling Rock, a big fat biker-looking dude about my age tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Thanks a lot for cutting in line.” I looked over at him and his two big fat biker buddies and said, “Sorry, didn’t see you guys standing there,” at which point he gave me a “What the fuck?” look, and then said, “Don’t worry man. What’s your name?” I said it was Tim, and he said (while shaking my hand), “My name’s Jack, as in Jack Miyoff — haw haw haw.” His fat pals rolled at that one.  I just rolled my eyes and moved along, feeling like Luke Skywalker during the Cantina scene of Star Wars, hoping Obi Wan would show up and cut the fat biker’s arm off.

Strange crowd. Lots of bumping and jostling. Lots of angry old people. Lots of drunks. But I guess it’s what you’d expect from a punk rock reunion. The only thing worse than angry young punks is bitter old ones. But at least they have good taste in music.

As evidence, I give you RAF. The band put out a few cassettes back in the ’80s, including one that spent a lot of time in the tape deck of my Ford Fiesta. The band consisted of guitarist Paul Moerke, drummer Tim Cox, bass player Dereck Higgins and frontman Matt Miller, who formed the band. For Saturday night’s reunion gig, Kelly Callier, formerly of Jimmy Skaffa, took over the frontman role and did a yeoman’s job pushing the crowd to match the energy on stage. The break-neck performance was matched by a break-neck mosh pit, just like the old days.

Mousetrap at The Waiting Room, May 17, 2014.

Mousetrap at The Waiting Room, May 17, 2014.

Mousetrap followed. Their set felt more realized and steady than the last time they played at The Waiting Room about a year ago. There’s always been something disturbing about the band’s music. When they were just kids, you chocked-up the music’s pain and violence to energy and youth. Now that they’re older, the songs take on a more sinister quality. Or maybe it seems more dangerous because it seems real, like these guys could actually do whatever it is frontman Patrick Buchanan is singing about. Scary.

In case you’re wondering, local hero Matt Bowen pulled it off behind the drum kit, supplying the necessary bombast to keep the action rolling.

Cordial Spew provided a hardcore ending to what turned out to be a hardcore night. They played a set that was much more together and professional than the band I saw play at Our Lady of Guadalupe Social Hall in the ’80s. The show back then was a brutal mess, while Saturday’s show was simply brutal, and a reminder (along with the night’s earlier sets) that some things do get better with age, just ask Mr. Miyoff.

* * *

Conor Oberst, Upside Down Mountain (Nonesuch, 2014)

Conor Oberst, Upside Down Mountain (Nonesuch, 2014)

Breaking with the usual Tuesday release-day schedule, today is the official drop day for Conor Oberst’s new solo album, Upside Down Mountain (Nonesuch, 2014), and the reviews are coming in fast and furious. They are arguably the best reviews he’s had for one of his LPs in years.

Not the least of which is the all-important Pitchfork review, which gave the album a slightly better than mediocre 6.5 rating. The review’s conclusion: “It’s gorgeous to the point of near gaudiness, a ‘return to form’ after a strange decade evolving from wildly prolific, heartbreak soundtracking, Winona Ryder-dating enfant terrible into a domesticated Americana bard no longer interested in why to be young is to be sad. Hopefully, Oberst will find a way to make ‘older and wiser’ just as revelatory.

Rolling Stone was more laudatory with its 4-Star review. None other than David Fricke weighed in with: “But like Neil Young’s Harvest and Jackson Browne’s Late for the Sky, this is dreaming stalked by despair, then charged with rebound. ‘There are hundreds of ways,’ Oberst sings in that song, ‘to get through the day. . . . Now you just find one.’ Here’s a good place to start.”

All Music gave the record 4 Stars. Stephen Thomas Erlewine’s review concluded with: “Oberst remains an eccentric — he’s not one for obvious hooks, or even insistent melodies — but of all his albums, Upside Down Mountain feels open-hearted, measured, and bright, the kind of record that opens up a new chapter in a career and possibly wins over new listeners.

The Guardian also gave the record 4 stars, concluding “…melodies emerge strongly from these simple musical settings and there’s little to distract from his lyrics, which explore solitude and regret – those hoary old staples of US road music – in rich and inventive ways.”

Drowned in Sound gave the record 8 out of 10, saying “...the new album is bathed in a Laurel Canyon glow, but it’s by no means a throwback. It comes on with a rootsy, sure-footed poise far removed from the dense electronics of Bright Eyes’ 2011 release The People’s Key, though the bigger difference here is the nature of the lyrics found within.

Consequence of Sound gave the album a grade of B, concluding with “...Oberst at least has his first good album in years, and the songwriter’s narrative has a ways to go before we can judge whether he fulfilled all those expectations put on him 20 years ago when he was still a child.”

To counter all the raves, Pretty Much Amazing gave the record a grade of C-, stating: “…the very distance between the album’s mellow, casually lovely sonic maturity and Oberst’s thematic arrested development results in an eerie, unintended detachment.

As for what Lazy-i thinks, I’ve only had the album for a couple days so I’ve yet to come to a conclusion other than to say it’s the most overly produced Oberst album I’ve ever heard, and that it seems to be an obvious reach for a larger audience.

* * *

Tonight I’m off to Lincoln for the Morrissey concert at Rococo Theater. We have general admission balcony seats, which means we may or may not be able to actually see the performance. This one’s been sold out for a long time.

* * *

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

Pitchfork rates The Faint/Doom Abuse 6.1, others weigh in; Lupines Saturday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:49 pm April 11, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 12.39.36 PMWell, the Pitchfork review of The Faint’s new album, Doom Abuse, just came out. Those arbiters of all things hipster gave the record a mediocre 6.1. To his credit, critic Ian Cohen spent a lot of time in his review trying to dissect the album’s lyrics, which is good and all, except no one listens to Faint records expecting some sort of lyrical revelation. They listen for the beat, the color, the energy. I mean, how many times have you contemplated the meaning behind “Going to the Hospital” or “Erection”?

The review’s closing line: “Doom Abuse isn’t so much an argument for the Faint’s continued relevancy as it is for the potency of their real-time nostalgia.” Huh? I’ve read that three times and I’m still not sure what it means. Read the whole review here.

A few other big hitters have weighed in on Doom Abuse:

Consequences of Sound gave the record a B-, saying, “The hiatus did them good, and in the Lorazepam paranoid dreams of The Faint’s world, that’s a glimmer of needed hope.Read it here.

Popmatters gave the record a 6: “Does it measure up to their greatest moments or delve into new terrain? Not at all. But if the Faint’s goal was to have fun and make a good Faint-sounding record, then mission accomplished.More here.

NME also gave the record a 6: “A good seven years out of date, ‘Doom Abuse’ is pure synth-pop mania, frequently teetering between unadulterated Trent Reznor pop brilliance (‘Unseen Hand’, ‘Lesson From The Darkness’) and impressions of Skrillex driving a monster truck through a Savages gig in a video arcade (‘Animal Needs’, ‘Dress Code’). Does it abuse you? Oh yeah…More here.

AV Club on the other hand, gave Doom Abuse a B+: “Whether agitated or brooding, Doom Abuse is a pointed reminder that The Faint is most comfortable when things are slightly askew.Review here.

And ol’ reliable All Music gave Doom Abuse 3.5 stars: “Equal parts whimsical and despondent, it’s Disintegration-era Cure wearing an Imagine Dragons hoodie that’s trying to have an LCD Soundsystem, ‘All My Friends’ moment, and while the Faint don’t quite pull it off, they’re all the better for trying.

Disintegration-era Cure? Uh, no. Read more here.

If you missed it, I weighed in on the record in the 1st Quarter reviews roundup, saying the record “not only is good, it’s Blank Wave Arcade good. As a whole, the record is more immediate than any previous Faint record, and by that I’m talking about their no-nonsense, straight-forward approach to each track. I read that unlike previous studio marathons, the band got in and got out quickly on this one — no fucking around, no over-thinking — and it shows. The arrangements at times can be acidic and brash, but the album still has classic Faint dance moments (“Evil Voices,” “Loss of Head”) that will get the crowd jumping every time. Welcome back, boys.”

I give a B+ and 4 stars (out of 5) and think history will be kind to it.

* * *

It’s a lousy weekend for shows — there’s a lot of cover and tribute bands playing around town tonight and very little original music.

With that in mind, we skip to Saturday and The Barley Street Tavern where the mighty Lupines are headlining a show with a couple bands I’ve never heard of: St. Joseph Missouri band Scruffy & the Janitors (This Tall Records) and Danny Sabra. $5, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, William Elliott Whitmore (Anti Records) plays at The Waiting Room with Austin Lucas. $12, 9 p.m.

That’s it. Have a good weekend.

* * *

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

Who is Speedy Ortiz and why are they playing at West Wing? Melvins tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:07 pm July 17, 2013
Screen capture from the Speedy Ortiz video for "Tiger Tank." The band is playing tonight at West WIng.

Screen capture from the Speedy Ortiz video for “Tiger Tank.” The band is playing tonight at West Wing.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Good ol’ Pitchfork. Some of the shit that they’ve pushed to the top of the list has, indeed, been shit. And though their reviews are hit and miss, music fans have no choice but to take Pitchfork seriously since it’s the default “house organ” of the indie music scene. In fact Pitchfork has become so successful, the folks behind the website recently launched a new film review website called The Dissolve, so now you can get that famous Pitchfork point of view about the movies opening this weekend (though The Dissolve will never have the impact on the film industry that Pitchfork has had on the indie music industry…).

Anyway… I say all this because I do keep an eye on Pitchfork if only to help guide my Spotify listening habits (though these days I almost exclusively rely on review aggregator Album of the Year for that need), and noticed they got it right when they lauded the new release from Massachusetts band Speedy Ortiz called Major Arcana (Carpark). The record already was at the top of my personal music-listening list before it was ordained with Pitchfork‘s “Best New Music” status, scoring a massive 8.4 rating

For me, Speedy Ortiz conjures comparisons to Guyville-era Liz Phair (but much heavier), Breeders, Pavement… It will end up on my “favorites of 2013” list.  If you haven’t heard their stuff, check out the YouTube vid at the bottom of this post.

Anyway, before the Pitchfork review came out, Speedy Ortiz booked its current tour, which consists mostly of small rooms and house shows, like the one going on tonight at West Wing here in Omaha. If you don’t know what West Wing is, well, look it up on The Google. The band now has a booking agent and are likely to play more “traditional” venues the next time they come through (though the band comes out of the Boston DIY basement scene which they love, and I’m told has played at West Wing before).

I’m still trying to figure out a game plan for going to tonight’s show. As I’ve said many times before, whenever I go to a house show everyone thinks I’m a cop, or someone’s dad come to spy on his son/daughter, and I can’t blame them as I’m usually old enough to be the father of most people in the room… No idea when this starts, who else is playing or how much it costs, but if you see someone who you think looks like a narc in the crowd, be sure to say hello.

If you don’t feel like going to a house show, Melvins are playing tonight at The Waiting Room. This is being billed as their “30th Anniversary Tour,” and features the core band of King Buzzo and Dale Crover. Honky (ex-Butthole Surfer Jeff Pinkus’ band) opens. $17, 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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Pitchfork Top-50; STNNNG are back; HN T-shirts; Conor Oberst (SOLD OUT), Ladyfinger tonight; Kite Pilot, Musico Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:44 pm December 21, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With all these lists coming out, here’s one more: Pitchfork today announced its Top 50 of 2012. The list is relevant (I guess) because Pitchfork continues to be the more revered music criticism website in the country for indie music, whether you like it or not. No. 1 went to Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city (Interscope) of which I’ve heard nary a track, more damning evidence of just how out of touch I am with today’s music. No. 2 was Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, which I have listened to a few times, though it didn’t make my list (which you’ll have to wait until next week to read). No. 3 was Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel…, which I reconsidered (and relistened to) after the very public death of her dog, and must say it was better the second time around.

I was surprised at the number of artists on the list who were making follow-ups to breakthroughs, such as Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors and Beach House. We continue to regurgitate ourselves. As a whole, it’s not a bad list, but it’s hard to argue against the fact that this was another (in a series) off year(s) in music…

* * *

The STNNNG are back with a new album, Empire Inward, slated for February. Check out the first track, “Brain-Dumb,” below. They just got back from playing the UK’s All Tomorrows Parties (curated by Shellac). Something tells me we’ll be seeing them on an Omaha stage soon…

* * *

The Hear Nebraska T

The Hear Nebraska T

Hear Nebraska is hocking new T-shirts for 2012/13. Do yourself a flavor and order one right here. Your $25 not only gets you a colorful fashion statement but also helps support Nebraska music’s No. 1 mouthpiece. And HN major domo Andy Norman says if you get your order in today, you should get it delivered by Christmas. Good luck.

* * *

The other day Desaparecidos announced that it’s headed to Europe in February as part of a tour that will focus mainly on the Eastern Seaboard of these United States of America, ending with a couple dates at Webster Hall in NYC (one of which already sold out). How long will this Desa stretch continue, or is this going to do it? We’ll just have to wait and see…

* * *

Speaking of Conor Oberst, his concert at Joslyn’s Witherspoon Hall is officially sold out. Opening band Whispertown hits the stage at 8 p.m. followed by the boy wonder himself playing a collection of tunes that will likely stretch back to the early Bright Eyes years.

Don’t have tix? Well, you’re not completely out of luck. There’ still plenty of tickets available to tonight’s Ladyfinger show at  Slowdown Jr. with Everyday/Everynight and Maps for Travelers (Back When, who had been scheduled to perform, have cancelled due to illness). $8, 9 p.m.

That brings us to Saturday, when Kite Pilot is slated to play at fabulous (and recently repainted) O’Leaver’s with Gordon (acoustic set) and Video Ranger. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Finally, the most bizarre event of the weekend is the Musico reunion show The Barley Street with Cat Island. Musico was a three-piece power-pop band from around the turn of the century that included among its members Darren Keen of The Show Is the Rainbow and Touch People fame, Brad Underwood and Mark Hinrichs. Expect crazy. $5, 9 p.m.

Have a good weekend…

* * *

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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Hey, I’m Alive; Solid Goldberg does Hootenanny tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:17 pm December 18, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’m back. And it only took three days. Don’t get what I got.

* * *

Not much happening musicwise. The PR folks behind Statistics (Denver Dalley of Desaparecidos) are letting it be known today that you can download the first Stats track, “Nineteen Ninety-Nine,” right here. It’s free. Get it.

* * *

Pitchfork just posted its top-100 tracks of the year. Grimes’ “Oblivion” was No. 1. Meh. They sure like Frank Ocean.

* * *

There is actually a show going on tonight. They’re calling it “The Last Hootenanny.” I’m not sure if it’s a side-joke about the Mayan calendar or they’re really ending the series, which has been going on around town for years. Regardless, it’s happening tonight at The Waiting Room and features the usual collection of Benson-centered alt-country/Americana/folkies, with one very bold exception. Listed in the line-up is the one and only Solid Goldberg, a.k.a. Dave Goldberg’s one-man rock freakout which must be experienced to be believed. It’s not just a performance, it’s also fan-frickin’-tastic songs by one of Omaha’s most iconic musicians. Your $7 cover supports “the Nebraska Farmers Union and the Nebraska Agriculture Council in their efforts to start up a small food hub so you can buy more local, sustainable, humanely raised meat” (because “Humanely Raised Meat Just Tastes Better”®). The show starts super-early at 5:30 p.m., and the partial lineup of acts is here on the One Percent website.

* * *

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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Tilly and the Wall (of press), Pitchfork, Under the Radar reviews; President Romney? (in the column); So-So Sailors, Lincoln Calling Day 3 tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:44 pm October 11, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tilly & The Wall

Tilly & The Wall

There’s a nice feature in today’s issue of the New York Daily News about Tilly and the Wall and the band’s new album, Heavy Mood, as well as their upcoming show at The Bowery Ballroom this Saturday. From the article: “Tilly and the Wall’s songs make an insightful, and subversive, connection between the mania of punk-rock and the madness of toddlerhood.” That pretty much sums it up, along with the headline, which describes Tilly as “…children’s music for twisted adults.Read the whole thing here.

Heavy Mood is the first Tilly album that I’ll likely keep on my iPhone after the hype has worn down. The record sounds like 21st Century B-52’s combined with Lykke Li and the usual tap dancing/hand-clapping action. I’ve always preferred their dance stuff over their ballads, and that’s the case this time as well. Heavy Mood is the most “adult” sounding album of their catalog. Now let’s see if the band and Team Love can turn it into a big fat hit. With press like this, along with this feature in the Chicago Sun-Times, they’re off to a good start.

Certainly those stories will help offset last week’s dreaded Pitchfork review, which gave Heavy Mood a ho-hum 5.9 rating, negatively compared it to last year’s tUnEyArDs album (apples v. oranges?), and concluded with, “Where are the characters, and what became of those kids passed out on the lawn? The heart of Heavy Mood is lost its in own sloganeering.” Oh those kids are still there, they’re just older and are starting to have kids of their own, but one assumes they’re as high as ever.

Under the Radar gave Heavy Mood a less-than-complimentary 5/10 rating, here.

* * *

In this week’s column, how the presidential election won’t affect me, why I’d make a perfect Romney supporter, and why I’m not one. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader, or online right here. Tonight is the VP debate, which I’m sure the Prez is hoping will erase all memory of last week’s debacle. Expect a circus.

* * *

Speaking of debates, tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s I foresee a number of debates taking place between piss-soaked patrons, including PBR vs. Old Style; Rumplemintz vs. Jagermeister and maybe most crucial of all: hold it vs. wet your pants, while everyone’s favorite bar keep, Chris Machmuller, strolls out from behind the bar to stand (or sit) behind a microphone backed by the rest of The So-So Sailors for an evening of personal, evocative rock and roll. Joining them is Lincoln band Kill County for what promises to be a memorable night of Midwest-style soul music. $5, 9:30 p.m.

* * *

Also tonight: Lincoln Calling Day 3. Here’s the sched:

Thursday, October 11 — $13 for day pass (age restrictions may apply)

Bourbon Theatre
* 9:30 p.m. Cowboy Indian Bear (Lawrence) https://www.facebook.com/cowboyindianbear
* 10:30 p.m. UUVVWWZ (Lincoln) https://www.facebook.com/uuvvwwz
11:30 p.m. Laetitia Sadier (Paris, France) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laetitia-Sadier/111944478831848

$8 adv, $10 dos 18+

Duffy’s Tavern
9 p.m. Shipbuilding Co. (Lincoln) http://www.facebook.com/ShipbuildingCo
* 10 p.m. The Lepers (Omaha) http://www.newlepers.bandcamp.com/
11 p.m. Christopher the Conquered (Des Moines) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christopher-the-Conquered/32754596859
* 12 a.m. Poison Control Center (Des Moines/Ames) https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Poison-Control-Center/98639736292
$5 for 21+

Zoo Bar
8 p.m. Bonehart Flannigan (Lincoln) https://www.facebook.com/bonehartflannigan
9 p.m. The Big Deep https://www.facebook.com/thebigdeep
10 p.m. The Bears of Blue River (Chicago) https://www.facebook.com/thebearsofblueriver
11 p.m. The Spring Standards (New York) https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Spring-Standards/22313881085
12 a.m. Low Horse (Lincoln) https://www.facebook.com/lowhorse
$5 for 21+

The Spigot
9:30 p.m. Discourse (Lincoln) http://discoursehc.bandcamp.com/
10:30 p.m. Skullskowski (Lincoln) http://www.facebook.com/pages/SkullSkowSki/221262994614504
11:30 p.m. Diamondz R 4Eva (Lincoln) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Diamondz-R-4Eva/137403893010744
12:30 a.m. Piss Poor (Lincoln) http://www.facebook.com/PissPoor
$5 for 21+

Black Market
7 p.m. Guilty is the Bear (Omaha/Lincoln) https://www.facebook.com/GuiltyBear
8 p.m. Fraternal Durango (Lincoln) http://www.facebook.com/fraternaldurango
No cover, all ages

The Alley
9 p.m. Alex Walker (Lincoln) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alex-Walker-The-Revival/110816322379631
10 p.m. Intergalactic Fu (Lincoln) http://soundcloud.com/intergalactic-fu
11 p.m. Zed Tempo (Lincoln) http://www.facebook.com/ZedTempo
12 a.m. Drum and Disorderly (Lincoln) http://www.drumanddisorderly.com/
$5, 21+

Fat Toad
Nick the Quick (Lincoln)
Adam A (Lincoln)
No cover, 21+

Mix Barcade
Grindhouse presents Digitalove featuring
$pencelove (Lincoln)
Cocky Cat (Lincoln)
Cake Eater (Lincoln)
No cover, 21+
http://www.facebook.com/grindhousecrewofficial

Yia Yia’s
10 p.m. Professor Plum (Lincoln)
11 p.m. Powerful Science (Lincoln) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Powerful-Science/139781829399076
12 a.m. Time Hammer (Lincoln) http://www.facebook.com/timehammermusic

No cover, 21+

* * *

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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Icky Blossoms Pitchfork review (6.6); Tribute bands (R.E.M., The Cure), Noah’s Ark, Snake Island tonight; SPEED! Nebraska Soapbox madness (and concert) Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:42 pm July 20, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Icky Blossoms' Pitchfork rating...

Icky Blossoms' Pitchfork rating...

The Icky Blossoms Pitchfork review went online today. They gave the band’s debut a 6.6, which is a little better than OK, and in line with what they typically give Saddle Creek releases (though Mynabirds’s latest came in at 7.5). Kudos to writer Ian Cohen for using the term “Cornhusker” in his review. Whether he got the rest of it right is a matter of opinion, though this write-up was better written with more color (and more research) than the typical Pitchfork review. It concludes with:

“So while the band comprises veterans, it’s worth remembering Icky Blossoms is still a debut. That point is driven home by the appropriately-titled closer ‘Perfect Vision,’ the moment where the past and present of Icky Blossoms’ personnel dovetail towards an individual perspective. A woozy, six-minute duet cruising at a pace no quicker than a backhand moving across a sweaty brow, Pressnall and Bohling kick back as boredom sets in, bicycles spin all over town, and ‘there’s nothing to do but get high in the afternoon.’ It’s the most in-tune the two sound with each other on Icky Blossoms and the most potent unification of sound and emotion as well. It’d be too easy to posit Icky Blossoms as a mid-career diversion for Pressnall, to consider the band latecomers or hayseed interlopers to a sound NYC hasn’t had much use for in a while. And perhaps it’s unfair to hold them to the standards of their urban peers when “Perfect Vision” suggests Icky Blossoms might be more suited for wasteful afternoons than a wasted evening.”

Not bad. Read the whole thing here.

* * *
Tribute bands are a dicey experiment for everyone involved, especially if the band being tribute-ized has an avid fan base that knows every nuance of the music. Such is the case for R.E.M. and The Cure, both of whom get the tribute treatment tonight at The Waiting Room.

REModled poster

R.E.M.odeled

Via drummer and TWR bartender Matt Bowen, R.E.M.odeled is “a chronological series of album-by-album shows paying tribute to R.E.M. (natch!) that includes myself (Matt plays in The Third Men), Chuck Davis (ex-Janglepop), Jeff Bell (ex-Janglepop), Mike Volk (Qing Jao) and Mike Hergert. For the first show we’re doing Murmur, of course, but also throwing in Chronic Town since it was actually their first release.”

R.E.M.odeled will be followed by Fear of Ghosts, which Bowen says, is a “straight-up Cure tribute, covering most of their career, up to and including Disintegration. That band is me (again!), Phil Reno, Braden Rapp, Tom Barrett and Ryan McLaughlin.

Unlike bands that play original music, tribute bands (and cover bands) are by their very nature novelty acts. Their intent isn’t to communicate personal messages or emotions of the musicians on stage. They exist purely to entertain. For many people (myself included) the music of R.E.M. and The Cure is ingrained with deep personal meaning. Their songs are not just music, they’re the soundtrack to our lives; signposts as we traveled through times both triumphant and disastrous. So when a band goes on stage and tries to recapture those intimate moments, they better know what they’re doing. The margin of error is razor thin. The audience will either smile and nod knowingly, or roll their eyes and shake their heads (or even worse, laugh).

Make no mistake, these bands will be judged from the moment they walk on stage. Yeah, I know this is “all for fun,” which is generally why I don’t go to these things. I’d like to keep my memories of this music as unmarred as possible for the same reasons that I prefer closed-casket funerals. One person’s “goofy fun” is another persons loathsome insult. That said, Bowen not only is a local legend as a musician (He’s a veteran of such Saddle Creek-related bands as Norman Bailer, The Faint, Commander Venus and Lullaby for the Working Class as well as Magic Kiss — a precursor to Tilly and the Wall), he’s also an audiophile, DJ and music aficionado whose knowledge about both bands runs deep and wide. Translated: I trust Matt to take this endeavor seriously.

So… go. The show starts at 9 and costs $7.

Also tonight, Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship headlines a show at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Buildings and Lincoln band Dirty Talker, who will be celebrating the release of a new CD. Dirty Talker features Brendan McGinn from Her Flyaway Manner. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Snake Island has a busy night in store. They’re playing an early show in Lincoln opening for A Place to Bury Strangers at The Bourbon Theater before heading back to Omaha to play a show at The Sandbox with Des Moines’ Holy White Hounds, The Dead Records and Isle Life. $8, 9 p.m.

Start your Friday night on the chill side by catching a set by DJ Andrew Norman — that’s right, thee Andy Norman of Hear Nebraska — as he mans the turntable for Loom’s Friday Afternoon Club. It’s part of HOL’s “non-DJ DJ series.” Andy (or as he’s known in the hip-hop community DJ Mad Frodo) kicks out the jams beginning at 5 p.m.. It’s fun and free.

soapbox riot 2012 poster

Tomorrow’s big event is the annual SPEED! Nebraska Soapbox Riot (Derby) at noon at Seymour Smith Park. Watch as some of your favorite musicians and O’Leaver’s regulars risk life and limb and reputation as they hurl down the ramp in their homemade racing machines. Gravity as we all know can be a cruel mistress, especially when the engineers of these fine jalopies very likely were tanked when they were put together the brake assemblies. There will be blood, indeed…along with heat exhaustion and stroke.

Later that evening — at 9 p.m. to be exact — the bandaged survivors will pick up guitar, bass and drumstick to perform live at O’Leaver’s. Among the bands: The Filter Kings, Domestica, The Wagon Blasters, The Really Rottens, Sons of Soapbox and Qing Jao. Your $5 not only will pay the bands, but will help cover any ongoing medical bills (j/k)(probably).

* * *

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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i