Live Review: Iceage, Corporate Merger, Glow In the Dark, Las Cruxes, Porchfest…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:54 pm October 3, 2022
Iceage at The Slowdown Sept. 30, 2022.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It dawned on me as I was sitting on the couch watching the Yankees, waiting to see if Judge gets No. 62, that maybe I got it wrong and Earth was headlining Friday night at The Slowdown instead of Iceage. I high-tailed it down to the club where Iceage had already begun their set to a crowd of around 60 in the front room.

The band, who I thought was the next Interpol after they got signed to Matador eight or so years earlier, was killing on stage. Elias Bender Rønnenfelt is one of those frontmen who really puts everything out there even if he’s playing to a half-empty club. This band has only grown over the years — a better band, better performers — but now they’re touring opening for a legacy sludge-metal band?

Rønnenfelt standing on the edge of the stage, reaching out and making eye contact through hair hanging in his face like a young Johnny Depp, singing right to the front of the crowd during set highlight “The Lord’s Favorite” off 2014’s Plowing into the Field of Love, I’m thinking he could be the next Bono if the band could just find a hit. At other times the Danish act reminds me of an ‘80s Manchester band with Rønnenfelt as a modern-day Shaun Ryder.

They leave the stage to the strains of “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music, and I wonder about their career trajectory as I wait a half hour or more for experimental drone trio Earth to get their gear set up. It’s a strange combination for a touring bill, a ‘00s-era post-punk band like Iceage with this feedback-drenched instrumental act who helped define drone rock 30 years ago. I made it through two Earth songs before heading out to Benson.

The Corporate Merger/Bloodcow reunion at The Sydney Sept. 30, 2022.

When I got to The Sydney The Corporate Merger was already on stage. I don’t know the history or reasons behind Bloodcow’s breakup other than frontman Matt Owen moved to Sioux City and there was scuttle-butt about use of the band’s name, etc. Well, Corporate Merger is no Bloodcow. The style is different, much more post-punk than Bloodcow’s power metal and I like it better. Owen mentioned some future recordings, which sounds enticing. For their final song they called up former band member Navin to play an old Bloodcow number and the crowd went nuts.

I spent a some research time Saturday trying to figure out the name of the style of aggressive, industrial, high-BPM dance music Plack Blague pummeled me with while I watched Glow in the Dark set up. The closest I could come was “EMB Powernoise.” Brutal beats with infectious digital hooks that felt like runway music for a Black Mirror robot fashion show or a leather-boy dance-club scene from an old Scorsese film set in New York in the ’80s (After Hours) but with synths instead of guitars.

Glow In the Dark at The Sydney Sept. 30, 2022.

When Glow in the Dark finally made it on stage, I was still feeling the after-effects of the Plack Blague DJ set, that made GitD’s beats feel flaccid in comparison. Well, the effect quickly wore off as the set rolled on. The duo has a distinctly ’80s club vibe to their very cool dance music that combines beats and live vocals with an AV projection that takes you back to a VHS era. I can’t for the life of me find an online outlet for their music, and maybe that’s (wisely) by design.

Las Cruxes at Porchefest, Oct. 2, 2022.

Sunday I rode my motorcycle down to the Gifford Park area for some Porchfest action and caught a little bit of Matt Cox and the first half of Las Cruxes set just a block away at the park’s mobile stage. From block to block throughout the neighborhood there were people on porches playing a variety of folk music – hence the name Porchfest — while small gatherings stood along the sidewalks or sat on the ground or in lawn chairs enjoying the music and the fine fall weather. 

Las Cruxes multi-electric-guitar punk is about as far away as you can get to folk, but still somehow fit into the overall vibe. Good times.

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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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Welcome back (again); Plack Blague tonight; Eric in Outerspace Saturday; Specter Poetics Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 8:31 am February 18, 2022
Faye Webster plays Saturday night at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Aaaaaand…. we’re back. Again.

If you believe all the hype, the pandemic is over and it’s smooth sailing from here on out. Right, we’ve all heard that one before. Even if it’s just a reprieve, I’ll take it.

Tour announcements have been hitting my email box hot and heavy. Unfortunately, the NOmaha trend continues, with so many acts bypassing our friendly (and numerous) stages. I guess we should be thankful for anything we get these days. Can’t say I blame the promoters for being gun-shy toward booking indie shows. Times have, indeed, changed. But while indie music is more popular than ever outside of our fair city, the jury’s out as to whether it’ll continue to draw crowds like it it did leading up to the pandemic.

And then there’s the question of how many concertgoers were lost after two years of COVID. Folks who went to shows before the pandemic have seen their lives change — older, new commitments, new family members, the list goes on and on. A changing of the guard is about to happen at Omaha’s music venues, a new audience will either augment or replace the old one. No doubt I’ll be seeing a lot of new faces at the clubs, and will miss seeing a lot of the old ones.

Moving on.

Atlanta singer/songwriter Faye Webster became one of indie’s frontrunners with the release of 2019’s Atlanta Millionaires Club on Secretly Canadian. She’s got a laid-back, swinging, rural style layered with plenty of pedal steel and her twanging, nasal vocals that remind me of Natalie Prass.

Faye and her band are hitting up The Slowdown Saturday night in support of her latest, I Know I’m Funny haha (again on Secretly Canadian). I believe this show was originally slated for the small room and was moved to the big stage weeks ago.

Opening for Webster is Richmond, VA’s Kate Bollinger, whose records are pressed by Ghostly International, and who has a more straight-forward indie rock sound in the Belle & Sebastian vein. $18, 8 p.m. This is a No Vax No Entry show, so bring your evidence. You may also want to have your mask at the ready. I think Douglas County dropped the mandate, but Slowdown might have different ideas.

THIS SHOW HAS BEEN CANCELLED!

Also Saturday night, Eric in Outerspace is headlining at The Sydney in Benson. Joining them are Sweet Streak along with Emma Lyness and the Legumes. There’s almost no details on this show. I suggest showing up around 10 and expect a $10 cover, more or less.

Hey, before all that happens, Nebraska’s own singing leather bondage geek, Plack Blague, is playing at Reverb tonight (Friday) with Gore-TXT. You want weird? You got it. $12, 9 p.m.

Finally, Sunday night Pageturners is hosting shows again, this time with Specter Poetics (Jack McLaughlin), Bellhead and David Schock. This free show starts at 8 p.m.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. 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.

Lazy-i

The Bralettes, High Ruler, #BFF, Clarence Tilton tonight; Plack Blague Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:38 pm January 4, 2019

A frightening still from Plack Blague’s 2014 video for “Boyz Club.” The Blague plays Saturday night at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

We’ve entered the black hole known as “January” — a dark, cold month which naturally invites people to stay inside huddled next to their TVs and/or fireplaces and forego traveling out into the abyss. Club owners and promoters know this, and as a result, quality indie shows (especially nationally touring indie shows) will be hard to come by over the next few weeks. Thus is life.

Still, a few local shows worth mentioning:

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Dallas all-girl (their description) indie-punk trio The Bralettes headlines. Catchy, jangly, fun. Omaha’s The Morbs opens along with Bach Mai. $5, 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, it’s the first Friday in January and that means Benson First Friday (#BFF). The Sydney in Benson is celebrating heavy this time with some metal in the form of Lincoln’s High Ruler, along with Truth in Ruin and Bitch Dust. $5, 10 p.m.

BTW, The Sydney’s BFF featured fine artist (you know, painter) is none other than Sabre Blazek (Who remembers Machete Archive?). You can check out his art at The Sydney for free starting at 5 p.m.

And since you’re going to be in Benson anyway, you might as well swing by The Little Gallery, 5901 Maple St., for our BFF opening. It’s called “Transcendence” and features eight artist including works by the show’s curator, Marie-Elena Schembri. We’re there from 6 to 9 p.m. Stop in and say hi and have a snack and a cup of Joe!

One other show tonight: Clarence Tilton is playing a free set tonight out at Growler USA.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) everyone’s headed to Reverb Lounge for Lincoln’s favorite bondage-leather-geek-EDM-genius Plack Blague. Joining in on the fun are CBN, Glow in the Dark and Lowercase Tres. $5, 9 p.m.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section.

Lazy-i Best of 2018

Also, I still have a copy or two of the Lazy-i Best of 2018 Comp CD. The collection includes my favorite indie tunes I’ve come across throughout last year as part of my tireless work as a music critic for Lazy-i. Among those represented: David Nance Group, Courtney Barnett, Sextile, boygenius, Natalie Prass, Azure Ray, J Mascis, Caroline Rose, Parquet Courts, Little Brazil, Cursive and lots more. The full track listing is here, or listen on Spotify.

Enter to win a copy of the CD by either: 1) Sending an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com, or 2) Letting me know you want one via Facebook comments, or 3) Retweeting a Lazy-i tweet (If you use social media and win, I’ll reach out later for your mailing address). Hurry, contest deadline is Monday, Jan. 7, at midnight.

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

ADULT., Plack Blague tonight at Reverb…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:48 pm October 15, 2018

Plack Blague at The Slowdown, Dec. 30, 2016. The Blague performs at Reverb tonight with ADULT.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

ADULT. is a Detroit synth-rock act that’s been kicking around since 1998 with a number of self-released recordings (but mostly distributed by Thrill Jockey). They’re playing at Reverb tonight at 8 p.m. Fun fact: ADULT. did a remix of The Faint’s “Agenda Suicide,” see/hear below. Another fun fact, Lincoln electro-leather-geek-punk legend Plack Blague opens, so get there early. $12.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Jon Cobb benefit (Plack Blague, Cult Play, Jocko, Effluvium, Nathan Ma & The Rosettes, Death Cow, Crease) tonight at The Waiting Room…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:56 pm January 24, 2018

The benefit for Jon Cobb is tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ll admit it right now: I don’t know Jon Cobb. So I reached out to my pal Brad Smith of Almost Music, who told me Mr. Cobb is a member of such notable local punk acts as Bib, Suzi-Q, Dilute and one-man act Ruby Block.

He’s also one of the kindest, sweetest people I know,” Brad said, and let’s face it, we all know Brad is one helluva judge of character.

According to the One Percent website, Cobb also works at Reverb and The Waiting Room, so, if like me you don’t know who he is, chances are you’ve still crossed paths with him if you’re a music fan.

The reason I’m telling you this is because tonight there’s a benefit for Jon Cobb at The Waiting Room. Cobb has been in and out of the hospital and unable to work. All proceeds from this show will go toward helping pay his personal and medical expenses.

The all-star line-up for tonight’s benefit: Crease, Death Cow, Nathan Ma & the Rosettes, Effluvium, Jocko, Cult Play and Plack Blague. The fun starts at 8 p.m., entry is $10.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: The Faint, Plack Blague; 2016: The Year in Music (fave releases/fave live shows); spotty reception this week…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 2:07 pm January 2, 2017

The Faint at The Slowdown, Dec. 30, 2016.

The Faint at The Slowdown, Dec. 30, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I think we’re going to start a new tradition for New Years — instead of celebrating on New Year’s Eve, when the drunks are out, with all the traffic and the unholy fireworks, we’re going to celebrate the new year the night (or the weekend) before NYE. I figure I’m going to be home on NYE at midnight anyway to shield the dogs from the war noises booming overhead, I might as well celebrate the new year before the fact. Kind of like we did this year. Now if only we could get The Faint to play a pre-NYE show every year.

The Slowdown was packed Friday night, but not too packed. In the old days, The Faint would have easily sold out two nights in a venue the size of The Slowdown. Now the best the band can do is comfortably fill a large venue two nights in a row. Let’s face it, the band’s heyday was 15 or so years ago with the breakthrough of Danse Macabre, and even back then, I remember seeing The Faint perform that album at Sokol Underground — a show that stands out as my all-time favorite Faint performance. It’s followed closely by an unannounced pre-grand-opening performance at The Waiting Room in 2007 — probably the loudest Faint show I can remember.

That same year, in June 2007, The Faint had sold out a two-night residency at Sokol Auditorium. All of those Sokol Aud shows from that decade (and the years that followed) were complete madness — hot sweaty bouncing dancing messes of humanity; absolute spectacles.

Last Friday night’s show didn’t quite reach the level of those Sokol shows, but it was a good time nonetheless. If there was a drag on the performance it came from the audience, because the band was clearly on point playing a set of greatest hits in support of their CAPSULE: 1999-2016 album that just came out on Saddle Creek. It’s easy to forget how many great songs these guys have recorded. It’s a good time to mention that the new material — three new songs released as part of the CAPSULE album — stand tall among their finest efforts, seamlessly blending into the set.

A haunting Clark Baechle behind The Faint’s drum kit….

A ghostly Clark Baechle behind The Faint’s drum kit….

The Faint’s light show has been an evolution over the years. I remember the days where they controlled colored floodlights with floor pedals, to haunting effect. These days the light show is a flashing, strobing choreographed wonder in perfect sync with every bone-rattling beat. I have no idea how it could get any better.

Maybe it was thos awe-inspiring lights or the enormity of the music but the audience on the floor seemed a bit dumbfounded. It took half a set to get their butts moving and not until the end until they got their arms in the air and bodies began to be carried over the crowd — a far cry from those old Sokol Aud days.

The band kicked off the four-song encore with a rehearsal of sorts for a surprise they intended to roll out the next evening, NYE — a cover of Prince’s “1999” — a sloppy, rowdy, slam-bam version wherein the band got lost somewhere after the second verse, which the crowd either didn’t notice or didn’t care. The whole place blew up for the last song of the encore — a celebratory version of “Glass Danse” that left them covered in sweat. There is no such thing as a bad Faint show.

Plack Blague at The Slowdown, Dec. 30, 2016.

Plack Blague at The Slowdown, Dec. 30, 2016.

I missed Closeness, but got to see about half of Plack Blague’s set. It’s been too long since I’ve experienced Raws on stage. The last time was at O’Leaver’s a few years ago for a set of ear-bleeding distorted noise and screaming. Last Friday night’s set was a different story — a raw, leather-clad set of electro-noise-fueled disco fronted by a bondage geek with slippery, greasy dance moves. For any other crowd, Plack Blague would be controversial if not shocking, but Faint fans have been following Raws’ path for years and expect nothing less than the most salacious performance. What a way to kick off a new year…

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2016yearinmusic
It wouldn’t be a new year without looking back on the old year, and as such my 2016: The Year in Music story finally went online at The Reader‘s website.

The article includes a look back at a rather rough year, a year that will be remembered more for its deaths than its music. We lost a lot of heroes in 2016, and the wounds are still very much open for a lot of us.

The article also includes my list of favorite albums as well as my favorite live shows from 2016, along with a crapload of photos. Take a look.

Lazy-i Best of 2016 Comp CD

Lazy-i Best of 2016 Comp CD

And while you’re remember 2016, you might as ell ahead and enter the drawing for a copy of Lazy-i Best of 2016 Comp CD.

The collection includes my favorite indie tunes I’ve come across throughout last year as part of my tireless work as a music critic for Lazy-i. Among those represented: The Faint, Oh Pep!, Mitski, Quilt, Low, Big Thief, Father John Misty and lots more. The full track listing is here, or take a listen if you have Spotify.

Entering to win a CD copy is super simple: 1. Send an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com, or 2) Write a comment on one of my Lazy-i related posts in Facebook, or 3) Retweet a Lazy-i tweet. You also can enter by sending me a direct message in Facebook or Twitter. Hurry, contest deadline is midnight Jan. 9.

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Reception at Lazy-i central will be spotty this week as I’m off to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). I may or may not update the ol’ blog. I’m considering posting photos and info about cool music-related gadgets that I find on the show floor, or maybe I won’t. Best bet is to check back either way…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Digital Leather, Plack Blague, Esme Patterson, Simon Joyner tonight; Big Al continues; Derby Birds Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm April 24, 2015

A frightening still from Plack Blague's 2014 video for "Boyz Club." The Blague plays tonight at O'Leaver's with Digital Leather.

A frightening still from Plack Blague’s 2014 video for “Boyz Club.” The Blague plays tonight at O’Leaver’s with Digital Leather.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

They’re calling it “The Leather Invasion.” Tonight Digital Leather returns to fabulous O’Leaver’s. On the heels of this week’s album announcement (and a brief tour that brought them to Austin), you can probably expect these guys to be playing new material from the forthcoming FDH release All Faded, out June 23. DL is opening (or so it seems) for the infamous Plack Blague, who must be seen and heard to be believed. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also Friday night Simon Joyner opens for Denver singer/songwriter Esme Patterson at the Reverb Lounge. Patterson, who also is a member of Denver band Paper Bird, is touring in support of her new album, Woman to Woman (Greater Than), of which The New York Times said: “Her voice is wiry and candid, backed by arrangements that roll along the folk-country borderline.”  Also on the bill is Sean Pratt and the Sweats. $10, 9 p.m.

And don’t forget that Big Al’s Free Music Festival continues tonight and tomorrow night at The Hideout, 320 So. 72nd St. Admission is a can of food (it’s a food drive) and it starts at 8 p.m. Details and Friday and Saturday’s schedule are here.

Saturday night it’s back to O’Leaver’s for Derby Birds with Roxi Copland. $5, 9:30 p.m.

That’s what I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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If you haven’t already, check out this week’s Lazy-i Podcast. The 20-minute program features music by Wagon Blasters, Soft Moon, Blue Bird, Ladyfinger and music and an interview with Super Ghost, along with my picks for the best shows this weekend. Check it out below:

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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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