Women musicians sought for Femme Fest; Anti-Flag at Slowdown tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:54 pm May 19, 2015

By Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Is it right to segregate music by the gender of those who make it? No.

But for better or worse, rock ‘n’ roll has historically been a boys’ club, with “girl groups” too often treated as an offshoot or novelty by ignorant fans who can’t get their minds around the fact that what women say in music is as relevant (or moreso) than anything men say.

Still, it’s hard to feel sorry for “women in rock” when so much of my favorite new music is fronted by — or written by — women. Such as: Courtney Barnett, Hop Along, Natalie Prass, Icky Blossoms, Laura Marling, Speedy Ortiz, Miniature Horse, Domestica, and so on.

That said, is Nebraska lagging behind the rest of the nation when it comes to women-fronted bands? That’s where Rebecca Lowry comes in. The singer/songwriter also known as All Young Girls Are Machine Guns is organizing a DIY festival dedicated to showcasing all the talented women in music in the Omaha/Lincoln community.

She’s calling it Benson First Friday Femme Fest (#BFFFF), and she’s targeting the first Friday of September — Sept. 4 to be exact. Clubs involved in BFFFF so far are The Waiting Room Lounge, Reverb Lounge, Barley Street Tavern, Petshop and Sweatshop, 1912, Burke’s, The Pizza Shoppe Collective and The Sydney. That’s like,  just about every possible venue in Benson.

With so many stages to fill, Lowry and the team that’s helping organize BFFFF are looking for talent. The submission process is now open. To get involved, simply send an email letting them know you want to play and the name of the woman/women in your project. Send your submission to bfffemmefest@gmail.com. Deadline is June 15.

BTW, the event is not exclusive to women. “Plenty of women in this community hold down male-fronted bands by playing the bass or by bangin’ it out on the drums or in any other number of ways. We will not leave them high and dry,” Lowry said in her press release. All ages and all genres are welcome.

Also, BFF’s Jamie Hardy is working on filling the usual spots with art from some awesome women,” Lowry said. “If there are any women interested in showing, they can contact Jamie directly at Bensonfirstfriday@gmail.com, making sure to put ‘Femme Fest’ in the subject line.”

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Tonight at The Slowdown Pittsburgh punk rock band Anti-Flag (Fat Wreck Chords, SideOneDummy, RCA) headlines. The band’s progressive political rock goes back to 1988. All proceeds from the digital download of the track below, “Police Story,” are being donated to the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund. Opening is The Homeless Gospel Choir and War on Women. $20, 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


AYGAMG Kickstarter; Neil Young chimes in on vinyl ‘fashion statement’; New Sam Martin video; Lincoln Exposed tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 2:22 pm February 4, 2015
A screen capture from Sam Martin's latest video...

A screen capture from Sam Martin’s latest video…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s amazing how little is happening musicwise this week (these days). The biggest bit of news is that The Waiting Room is undergoing some sort of transformation, according to their weekly email blast. I’ve reached out to one of the club owner’s asking for details, but got no response, and since they virtually have no shows this week… well, we’ll just have to wait and see. What more could they do to the place?

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A few days ago, Reb Lowry of All Young Girls Are Machine Guns (AYGAMG) emailed saying she launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the pressing of a two-song 7-inch single. She’s trying to raise two grand. You can help her out here.

That is if you’re into “fashion statements,” as Neil Young described vinyl in an interview that is catching fire on social media. I’ve seen the quote a dozen times in a dozen different online publications, always taken out of context. Here’s the full quote, which isn’t nearly as negative as everyone thinks, from the source, The Frame, 89.3 KPCC:

[There’s been] a little vinyl resurgence — you might point to that. But let’s face it: this is a convenience-oriented society and vinyl is not a convenient thing. It’s a niche and it’s a great niche and it’s a wonderful thing and I hope people continue to enjoy vinyl and it continues to grow because it’s a good thing. However, a lot of people that buy vinyl today don’t realize that they’re listening to CD masters on vinyl, and that’s because the record companies have figured out that people want vinyl. And they’re only making CD masters in digital, so all the new products that come out on vinyl are actually CDs on vinyl, which is really nothing but a fashion statement.

If vinyl is a “niche” market, what would you call the market for the PonoPlayer, Young’s latest business venture that everyone is saying is a piece of shit? Among the critics, technology hardware reviewers Ars Technica, who called Pono “A tall, refreshing drink of snake oil.”

Among Ars‘ findings in their review: “As most audio-obsessed geeks will tell you, research and tests about high-res audio tend to make Neil Young and his Kool-Aid salesmen sound like fools. In many cases, higher-rate sampling can make audio sound worse. (Go down a real frequency rabbit hole here if you want.) Hell, Mr. Young must know by now that his older, degraded ears are less likely to pick up higher-range frequency audio than any of his potential customers.”

Harsh. Ars concluded: “No amount of testing (with PonoPlayer) made 192kHz/24-bit FLAC audio sound noticeably better than high-quality MP3s.” Plus, Pono doesn’t have a “hold” button? What?

Let the battle rage on. Apple owns this market and will until Spotify begins to produce its own (unnecessary) player, which I have to believe is just around the corner.

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Sam Martin has a new video out called “I Like to Hide” from his new album, A Notion In an Ocean. He shot, edited and directed the whole damn thing. Sam’s music reminds me of Harry Nilsson. I have no idea how Sam will take that comment, but it’s meant as a compliment. And if you don’t know who Nilsson is, Google him. You’re missing out.

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What else.

There might not be shit happening in Omaha this week (month) but there is in Lincoln. Tonight is the kick-off of Lincoln Exposed — three venues tons of Lincoln bands. Tonight’s sched:

Duffy’s Tavern

8:40-9:20 – Domestica
9:40-10:20 – Kerry Eddy and the Current Situation
10:40-11:20 – This Machine Kills Vibes
11:40-12:20 – Life is Cool
12:40-1:20 – Blue Sky Angel Parade

Zoo Bar

8-8:40 – Root Marm Chicken Farm Jug Band
9-9:40 – Omni Arms
10-10:40 – Powers
11-11:40 – Red Cites
12-12:40 – Universe Contest

The Bourbon

8:20-9 – Melon Company
9:20-10 – Floating Opera
10:20-11 – Emily Bass
11:20-12 – I Forgot To Love My Father
12:20-1 – The Dancing Dead

Check out the full festival calendar here: https://www.facebook.com/events/904564312896270/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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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.