Bits and pieces from the in-box (Robert Plant, Protomartyr, Ty Segall, Courtney Barnett/Kurt Vile)……

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:54 pm September 26, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

No updates since last week because there ain’t a whole helluva lot happening. No indie shows last night or tonight and not much on the horizon until the weekend (which is very crowded indeed).

A few things from today’s inbox…

Robert Plant announced his U.S. tour dates. His closest pass to Omaha is Chicago Feb. 20 and Minneapolis Feb. 22. I’d definitely go see him if he played Omaha. Plant has a new album out Oct. 13 on Nonesuch called Carry Fire.

Protomartyr today shared a new track off their Relatives in Descent album, upcoming on their new label, Domino, a song called “Don’t Go to Anacita.”

Ty Segall dropped a new single today called “Alta,” recorded at Electrical Audio with Steve Albini during a break on tour this past spring.

And Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile today released a new single, “Continental Breakfast,” off their upcoming joint album Lotta Sea Lice, which drops Oct. 13 on Matador.

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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.

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Live Review: Protomartyr; Maha Festival ED explains how the line-up was chosen (in the column)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 11:52 am August 15, 2016
Protomartyr at Slowdown Jr., Aug. 12, 2016.

Protomartyr at Slowdown Jr., Aug. 12, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Protomartyr brought the big noise with them Friday night at Slowdown, Jr.  The four-piece, fronted by nattily dressed Joe Casey, who looked like a young, slim version of John Goodman (get ready, Joe, you’re going to look just like him when you’re in your 60s), belted out at least 45 minutes of pure indie punk, gliding on Greg Ahee’s amazing guitar tone (and skill) and Casey’s barking vocal delivery.

Those vocals: Call them atonal, call them simply yelling, the closest we’ve got is Gary Dean Davis’ enthusiastic bark. Or maybe Craig Finn’s talk vocals, but that’s not quite right. Finn always sounds like a college guy snottily reading slam poetry when he fronts The Hold Steady, whereas Casey’s bark vocals seem more like someone scolding you about what’ll happen if you don’t start paying attention. And whereas Hold Steady songs play like ironic pictures of hipster America, Casey’s vision is darker, psychologically dystopian, not so much lacking in hope as providing a warning. But fun nonetheless.

Casey sold it all with his visual cues — a sort of sarcastic glare or look of indifference — as if none of it matters because you’re not listening, anyway. You’re just trying to dance. Which they did. Friday night’s crowd (of around 75?) was one of the youngest I’ve seen at an indie punk show, with mainly of young women crowding the stage. Mark Kozelek would have been envious.

* * *

You’re going to be hearing a shit-ton about the Maha Music Festival this week, seeing as it happens this coming Saturday. I’m adding to the din with this month’s Over the Edge column in The Reader wherein Maha Executive Director Lauren Schomburg explains how they came up with this year’s line-up, which features electro-dance headliner Passion Pit. Read the column here.

Apparently Ryan Adams was in the running. So were a lot of other acts, but in the end, this line-up made the most sense both fiscally and for their target audience (a younger crowd than in year’s past).

I asked Schomburg what her “dream line-up” would be. Her answer: “Probably some combination of Florence and the Machine, Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem.” Yes, that would be impressive. It also would cost a bazillion dollars and would have to be held somewhere much larger than Aksarben Village.

At the time of the interview, Schomburg said Maha’s ticket sales had been slower than last year’s festival. She pointed out that festivals have taken a hit this year across the board nationally. Bonnaroo 2016 was the least attended year in that festival’s history, with attendance down 45 percent since its 2011 peak. Attendance at the 80/35 Festival was down as well versus the previous year.

Schomburg said the election year could be playing into the attendance decline as well as the fact that we seem to be saturated with festivals these days. That said, Maha’s line-up appeals to a younger audience, an audience that waits longer to purchase tickets. Expect a solid run-up in sales this week and the day of event. “The community is always supportive,” she said, adding that sponsorships “have been phenomenal.”

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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

About that Tommy Stinson event; Protomartyr, Channel Pressure tonight; Bummers Eve Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 11:01 am August 12, 2016
Protomartyr at 2014's South by Southwest Festival. The band plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

Protomartyr at 2014’s South by Southwest Festival. The band plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A brief comment about last night’s Tommy Stinson (of The Replacements) interview/performance at Hi-Fi House. Someone asked why I didn’t write about the event in Lazy-i yesterday. The reason: To my knowledge, the event wasn’t a “public event.” You had to be “invited” to attend. So writing about it would have been like presenting you with a shiny coin and then snatching it away at the last minute.

How does one get invited to Hi-Fi House events? I’m not sure. You can become a member of Hi-Fi House for an annual fee, which is applied on a sliding scale depending on if you’re a musician, a member of the local music industry, or a civilian. One assumes members are automatically invited to these kinds of events. I received an invitation, but was unable to attend due to a prior engagement.

I’m told that one of these days in the very near future I or some other member of the media will be granted an interview with the folks who run Hi-Fi House and explain their services and fees. Until then, the music clubhouse on Farnam remains a mystery, though you can always drop in and ask someone about how to get involved.

* * *

My above-mentioned “prior event” that kept me from Stinson was supposed to keep me in Chicago all weekend, but my plans changed overnight, which means I’ll be able to go to tonight’s Protomartyr show at Slowdown Jr. This is one of the highlight concerts of the summer, in my opinion. Here’s how I described their performance at South By Southwest a couple years ago:

“The Detroit-based punk band is fronted by a guy who looks like an insurance salesman, complete with a sensible haircut and full-on business attire, but who has a singing style akin to Husker-era Mould or The Fall’s Mark E. Smith. Deadpan anger, straight-faced disgust, like an upset father with a controlled rage and a back-up band that is pure Gang of Four post punk.” 

Their last album, The Agent Intellect (2015, Hardly Art) topped a lot of year-end best-of lists last year, and received a whopping 8.2 on the Pitchfork meter. Yeah, these guys are still pretty red hot. No Thanks and Shrinks opens. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets are $12. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one sells out.

If it does, you can always go see Channel Pressure, a project featuring Todd Fink of The Faint and Graham Ulicny of Reptar (and The Faint), perform at House of Loom tonight. It’s part of a party they’re calling Flesh Danse, which also features DJ sets by members of The Faint. $5, 8 p.m.

Saturday night over at fabulous O’Leaver’s its Bummers Eve, described by writer Art Fin as “Simple, fun surf punk trio from Cincinnati with lots of reverb and distorted vocals that reminds me of Wavves, early Crocodiles, maybe Terry Malts and going back to one-chord wonders like the Ramones.” Check out “I Want Your Drugs” below. Also on the bill are The Sunks and Ridgeways. $5, 9:30 p.m.

That’s all I have. 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

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

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

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

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Orenda Fink, Blue Dream (2014, Saddle Creek)

Orenda Fink, Blue Dream (2014, Saddle Creek)

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Random Notes: New Rig 1 record 5/13; Protomartyr does The Stooges; Whipkey/Hoshaw, Desert Noises tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:52 pm April 23, 2014
Rig 1, a.k.a. Ian McElroy, has a new album coming out in May.

Rig 1, a.k.a. Ian McElroy, has a new album coming out in May.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A few bits from the in-box.

Rig 1, a.k.a. Ian McElroy of Desaparecidos fame, has a new record coming out May 13 on Team Love. Titled North of Maple, the album includes contributions by Clark Baechle, Jacob Thiele and Dapose from The Faint, Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes) and Orenda Fink; and is produced by Andy LeMaster (Now It’s Overhead). The album release show is May 14 at Bowery Electric in NYC, so get your plane tickets now. The first single, “Duality,” is below:

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Protomartyr is a band I (luckily) fell across a couple times this year at SXSW, and it turns out, was one of my favorites. Much to my surprise (and pleasure) I notice they’ve been booked to play Slowdown Jr. May 15 (It’s an Eyeball Production). If you have even a passing interest in post-punk, you need to attend this show.

Anyway, yesterday Protomartyr was featured in AV Club‘s “Pioneering” series where they were interviewed about The Stooges and performed a cover of “Down on the Street” at the Michigan Union Ballroom (why that location is significant requires watching the video). Check it out below:

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I considered Matt Whipkey’s and Brad Hoshaw’s split 7-inch release party to be Record Store Day, specifically their performance for hundreds of line-waiters outside of Homer’s before the shop opened last Saturday.

Instead, they’ll both be performing tonight at Whipkey’s weekly Wednesday night performance at the Harney Street Tavern (Whipkey Wednesday), and are calling it their record release show for “I Miss You” b/w “Sorry,” which will be available for purchase at the show. 9 p.m., free.

Also tonight downtown, Provo band Desert Noises (SQE Music – yep, that’s The Faint’s label) plays with John Klemmensen and the Party at The Hive, 1207 Harney St. $7, 9 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i