Priests (not Priest) tonight at TWR; #TBT: 10-year-old album reviews (which held up?)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:40 pm May 3, 2018

Priests play tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

About a month ago I received a promo EP from an artist called Priest. For whatever reason (Maybe because the tracks got indexed on my iPhone with the wrong name) I assumed this was a new EP by Priests, with an “ess” on the end. And I was thinking, “Holy shit, they’ve really changed their sound.” The EP is called Lost Lions and was released on Nordic Records last month.

So when I saw that Priests was heading to Omaha I thought, “Man, that’s awesome that they’re touring a 4-song EP, but I guess when you change your sound like this, why not?” Then I went looking for the EP in Spotify. Nothing.

Turns out I had the wrong priest. Priest is actually Camille Priest. She’s from Orlando. She creates electronic dance music that is crazy catchy in the Charlie XCX vein — actually it kind of reminds me of early Ladytron — about as far away from Priests’ X-inflected post-punk as you’re likely to find. You’ve never heard of her, until now.

Anyway, that’s a long way of saying Priests — the band that played at Maha last year and did this groovy Ten Questions interview — is playing tonight at Reverb Lounge, not Priest (who isn’t playing anywhere tonight). Mellow Diamond and Boner Killerz open. $12, 8 p.m.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for some fun electronic indie-dance pop, check out Priest.

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For Throwback Thursday, a look back at the 2008 Q1 Report, which came out in Lazy-i this week way back then.

It’s interesting to see which of these albums held up a decade later. The releases from Aimee Mann, She & Him and Teenagers still resonate. That Breeders album was a dud (they have a new one out); that Whipkey album was on top of the list until Driver this year; Neil Diamond couldn’t pull off a Johnny Cash; Brian Poloncic is focused on his amazing art these days; and the rest are in the “where are they now” category…

Lazy-i May 8, 2008: Column 172: First Quarter Report
A glance at some recent releases from 2008

Whenever people start asking me what I’m listening to, I figure it’s time for another CD reviews round-up. These are not full, detailed reviews, rather they’re impressions after listening to these albums on and off on my stereo and iPhone over the past few weeks/months. All get the Lazy-i seal of approval.

Aimee Mann, @#&*! Smilers (SuperEgo) — Faithful Aimee Mann fans stood beside this So Cal (by way of Boston) girl back in her ‘Til Tuesday days, did an I-told-you-so when her genius was revealed on the Magnolia soundtrack, and held her hand during all the follow-ups when no one else was around. Here’s their reward: Her best album since Bachelor No. 2.

Black Kids, Wizard of Ahhhs (self released) — Available for free (the trend continues) from their website late last year, the sound is pure ’80s new romantic, and at its finest moments emulates The Cure’s Kiss Me album right down to the Robert Smith groan vocals. Columbia figured it out and gobbled them up for a formal debut slated for July. Black Kids are on the precipice, staring over the edge where bands like Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse stood a few years ago.

The Breeders, Mountain Battles (4AD) — Remember when Kim and Kelley were considered edgy and subversive (and The Pixies were still debonair)? The band never recovered after the burnout suffered at the hands of “Cannonball” way back in ’93, back when MTV still played videos, especially that one, over and over again. There are no Cannonballs hidden here, nor anything as shocking (and grand) as their cover of “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” (from Pod). Still, serviceable; but just barely.

Joan of Arc, Boo! Human (Polyvinyl) — Too often, Tim Kinsella tries to sound weird and unapproachable, so imagine my surprise at the simple acoustic pop of opening track “Shown and Told,” as well as the tumbling “A Tell-Tale Penis” and the back-beat rocker (yes, rocker) “The Surrender #2.” There are still plenty of atonal nightmares, like screamer “9/11 2” and startle-noised “Everywhere I Go.” Download discriminately.

The Long Blondes, Couples (Rough Trade) — Their thump-thump-thump New Wave dance rave-ups, like disco opener “Century” and porn-guitar fueled “Guilt,” remind me of another band named after its frontwoman’s hair color. All right, you youngsters, I’m talking about Blondie. And though vocalist Kate Jackson is no Debra Harry, her music and her band have the same upbeat, heart-of-glass style.

Neil Diamond, Home Before Dark (Columbia) — Note to Rick Rubin: Neil Diamond is famous for his bombastic, over-the-top arrangements that boast enough orchestration to launch a space shuttle. The stripped-down arrangements that worked so well for Johnny Cash may be the wrong approach here. I mean, do his fans really want an evening of intimate, acoustic folk songs? No, they want to stand up and punch the sky along with everyone else during “Sweet Caroline.” That said, there’s more to these tracks than 2005’s 12 Songs. Still, I yearn for the day when Rubin and Diamond finally break down and do an album with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

She & Him, Volume One (Merge) — One of the best moments from the 2003 Will Ferrell break-out film “Elf” was the impromptu duet between Ferrell and a showering Zooey Deschanel. I remember thinking, “Jeeze, she sings as great as she looks.” M Ward (the Him) must have thought the same thing. Deschanel is at her best when she croons her own twangy rocking material, sounding like a cuter version of Jenny Lewis. The charm wears thin in the latter half of the album, thanks to Patsy-styled torch ballads (“Take It Back), cheesy doo-wop (“I Was Made for You”) and too many uninspired covers (Smokey’s “You Really Got Me,” a flawed take on The Beatles’ “I Should Have Known Better”). Now if we can only coax her back into that shower.

The Teenagers, Reality Check (XL) — Sorta funny French synthpop is funnier because of the odd, spoken-word vocal approach, which combines Pepé Le Pew with a Valley Girl. It’s so well-recorded, however, that you can’t help but get into the clean Weezer-meets-The Cars synthpop. Irony was never so catchy.

Tokyo Police Club, Elephant Shell (Saddle Creek) — I’ve been told that a local music mogul predicted this will be the biggest selling Creek release ever, bigger even than Bright Eyes. Early criticism, however, complained that it pales compared to the band’s noisy debut EP. I say it’s far more listenable, like an upbeat Death Cab (a band terminally lost in ennui). They’re young and hip and will look good on TV. Maybe that mogul is right.

A Tomato a Day (helps keep the tornado away), The Moon Is Green (Public Eyesore) — There’s something lost and lonely about Brian Poloncic’s acoustic folk confessions, which plow the same stark territory as, say, Husker Du’s Candy Apple Grey or sad Replacements or Todd Grant’s yearning solo album. Three years in the making, it’s time that they’re finally heard. Check them out at the CD release show Friday night at Benson Grind.

The Whipkey Three, 26 (self release) — It’s the best recording Matt Whipkey ever produced with any band. As one person put it who hasn’t cared for any of Whipkey’s past projects: “I guess persistence pays off. I actually like this.” I like it, too. And it’s about as DIY as you’re going to get — Whipkey burned the CDRs and hand rubber-stamped the discs and sleeves. Pick one up at the CD-release show Saturday night at Mick’s. — First published in Lazy-i, May 8, 2008

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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

Ten Questions with Priests (playing Maha Aug. 19)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 11:30 am August 10, 2017

Priests are among the bands playing 2017 Maha Music Festival. Photo by Audrey Melton.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This is the second in a series of Ten Questions interviews with bands performing at the Maha Music Festival Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. For the printed version of all interviews, pick up a copy of this month’s Reader.

Priests

The post-punk band (proudly from DC) has been ripping out their socio-poli-fueled anthems since 2012 but caught fire this year with their angst-driven full-length debut, Nothing Feels Natural (2017, Sister Polygon). The album captures a dark, stark world of haunted capitalism, anxiety and glum modernism bouncing along to a surf-rock beat. Vocalist Katie Alice Greer sings, howls and spits out lyrics atop the quick-pulse rhythms and jittery bass-driven arrangements that sound like ’80s post-punk Debora Iyall/Romeo Void territory, upbeat and often angry. This is the nervous sound of tomorrow.

What is your favorite album?

Drummer Daniele Daniele: it changes all the time, but Lanquidity by Sun Ra is an album I come back to over and over again.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Guitarist G.L. Jaguar: Journey, “Don’t Stop Believing.” Fuck that song.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Bassist Taylor Mulitz: Answering interview questions 😉

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Vocalist Katie Alice Greer: Anything directly in opposition to making music, there’s a lot of distracting BS you gotta wade through sometimes

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Daniele: Sunshine

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Jaguar: DC ’cause of the home turf advantage.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Greer: New York City. We’ve played there a lot, had some of our best gigs there, too. But one time I was taunting the audience, expecting that we’d put on a really fire gig and blow them away. Instead it was a set rife with technical difficulty, I was totally embarrassed!

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Greer: I do some other odd jobs, but I’m getting there. It’s taken five years at least.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

Daniele: I would love to be a weaver! Or textile designer. I’d hate to have a job where I had to carry a gun.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Greer: Haha. In the movie The Wizard Of Oz, at the end the wizard is in a hot air balloon headed for the Omaha State Fair…. that, and the steaks. But I’m vegan, so Omaha’s a bit of a mystery to me. Looking forward to exploring.

The Maha Music Festival is Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. The day-long concert runs from noon to midnight. Tickets are $55. For set times and more information, go to mahamusicfestival.com.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Review: Priests – Nothing Feels Natural; Big Business, Ocean Black tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:50 pm June 21, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Currently listening to…

Priests, Nothing Feels Natural (2017, Sister Polygon)

Priests, Nothing Feels Natural (2017, Sister Polygon) – The band is playing Maha this year. Pitchfork gave this an 8.5. DC post-punk that’s been compared to Savages. I actually prefer it to Savages, but that doesn’t say much since I’ve never been a Savages fan. This is more like if Protomartyr were fronted by Debbie Harry… or Heidi Ore. In fact track “Pink White House” reminds me a lot of Mercy Rule thanks to the guitar line and Katie Alice Greer’s howl, which I prefer to her snotty, spoken delivery on tracks “No Big Bang” and “Puff” that, combined with the jittery bass-driven arrangements, sound like ’80s post-punk Debora Iyall/Romeo Void territory. Each song ends with a nice *wump* which will be good audience cues when blasted on the Maha stage. Rating: Yes

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Seattle sludge rock band Big Business headlines at Brothers tonight. They’ve released a lot of stuff on Hydra Head, though their last one came out on Joyful Noise. Anthem stoner rock? The band’s name is apt. Opening is our own sludge/stoner rock power trio Ocean Black. This is a $15 show that starts as 9 and will be louder than hell.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i