Oquoa debut, Dumb Beach, Worried Mothers, Whipkey tonight; Burhenn, Fink, McCarthy Saturday; Ted Stevens and tacos Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:02 pm August 23, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Happy Friday. Here’s what’s happening tonight and tomorrow night.

oquoaTonight at O’Leaver’s it’s the world premiere of rock band Oquoa (Pronounced o’ ko’ uh; the word apparently is Urdu for R*O*C*K). The new trio consists of former Conduits members Roger Lewis and J.J. Idt, and frontman Max Holmquist (Great American Desert). There’s nothing quite like seeing a band’s stage debut. Also on the bill is Electric Chamber Music (James Maakestad, Aaron Markley, Dan McCarthy, and Daniel Ocanto). This could be a big one. 10 p.m. $5.

There’s also a punk rock show happening at the Sweatshop Gallery in Benson tonight featuring Dumb Beach, Worried Mothers and Austin trio Salted. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Waiting Room, Matt Whipkey is re-celebrating the release of his latest album, Penny Park, as he’s making the double-vinyl album available on CD. Matt opens for Witness Tree. Also on the bill is Moses Prey and The Decatures. $7, 9 p.m.

Saturday afternoon the Saddle Creek Shop in the Slowdown complex is hosting another in the “Songs @ Shop” series featuring all-acoustic performances by Laura Burhenn (Mynabirds), Orenda Fink (Azure Ray), Dan McCarthy (McCarthy Trenching) James Maakestad (Gus & Call) and Zack Lagrue. All will be playing songs of the ’60s, as the event is part of Omaha Public Library’s America’s Music summer program. The fun starts at 3 p.m. and is free. More info here.

Saturday night Thunder Power plays at The Barley Street with Holy White Hounds and Mint Wad Willy. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Brothers Lounge, No I’m the Pilot opens for Jaw Knee Vee (“LoFi Rawkabilly Punk Blues Trash Boogie Woogie Stomp from St. Paul”). $5, 10 p.m.

And finally Saturday night, The Bishops play at O’Leaver’s with Faded and The Bricks. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday afternoon O’Leaver’s is hosting its “Sunday Social Club,” this time featuring Ted Stevens Unknown Project and the garage-punk duo of Killer Blow. $5 gets you in plus access to the taco bar! Tacos start at 4 p.m., music starts at 5 p.m.

Did I miss something? Put it in the comments section. Have a good 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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: Record Club @ Saddle Creek Shop; Lincoln Exposed begins tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:51 pm February 8, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Record Club @ Saddle Creek ShopI’ve been espousing this premise about the future of music and entertainment in general for the past year. It’s this: As music becomes more accessible and virtually free via Spotify/Rdio/Rhapsody (and eventually iTunes) bands won’t be vying to get you to buy their music as much as simply take the time to listen to it. With all the distractions from all the media bombarding us like radiation every second of every day, just finding time to listen to new music, and really consider it, is a precious thing, because no one wants to waste their time listening to your music if it’s shitty.

I think this future I’m describing is already here.

Last night’s inaugural meeting of the Record Club at The Saddle Creek Shop was a salvo aimed directly at this idea. The club’s concept: Sit and listen to an entire record album uninterrupted, and then afterward, talk about it. It seems simple enough, until you ask yourself when was the last time you sat and listened to a complete album uninterrupted, beginning-to-end without surfing on the net or updating your Facebook page or driving around town or shopping at Whole Foods. Just sit for 43 minutes and listen. To the whole thing. No skipping around. Top-to-bottom. Who has the time to do something like that anymore?

Believe it or not, back in the old days before the iPod, people used to do it all the time. At record stores like The Antiquarium, they sat around, smoked cigarettes, listened to records and talked about them. That’s what Creek chief Robb Nansel remembers. That’s what he’s trying to recreate at his new record shop (but without the smoking). That’s the concept behind this club. In some ways, it’s a noble if not extravagent idea.

So there we were last night at 7 at the shop, all six of us, listening to Cursive’s I Am Gemini one side at a time. And afterward, we talked about the record. Did we like it? Did we hate it? Where does it rank among the band’s discography? What the fuck does it mean? Will “kids” have the patience to listen to a concept album and “get it”? Can any of the tracks survive in isolation, out of context? Whether Nansel wants to admit it or not, it was kind of like a focus group consisting of music fans, though I’m not sure if anyone felt comfortable enough to say if they thought it sucked in front of Nansel and the record store guy (there were only three “civilians” there). But the fact is, anyone who would trek out on a snowy Tuesday night to listen to this record is probably pre-disposed to like it.

Creek is marketing this as “the best Cursive album since The Ugly Organ.” Am I the only person who liked Mama, I’m Swollen and Happy Hollow? Like I said yesterday, Gemini is a return to Such Blinding Stars-style Cursive, but that wasn’t the consensus last night, as none of the three had heard that album before (or Domestica, for that matter).

Eventually, the topic shifted to the record’s format. I love the idea of Saddle Creek releasing everything on vinyl with a CD tucked in the sleeve. Why would anyone want just the CD when you can get the vinyl and the CD for just a few dollars more? Well, that also wasn’t the concensus last night, as none of the three had a turntable, have no plans on buying one and wouldn’t know what to do with the record. They’d rather spend $10 and just get the CD. So what do I know?

Then the topic shifted to Spotify. Everyone likes it, everyone uses it, but they use it differently. I listen to full albums on Spotify. A few only listen to playlists and never listen to full releases. Then the discussion shifted to how anyone makes any bloody money from Spotify.

And so on for more than an hour. The point is, I went into this thinking it might be a long night filled with awkward and forced “conversation,” when it was actually interesting and fun. When was the last time you just sat around and talked about music?

They’re doing it again in two weeks with Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. Will more than three people show up? Who knows. But let me leave you with this thought:

I’ve heard for years local music fans and bands suggest how great it would be to figure out a way to get together and talk about music outside of a bar setting. No one’s ever figured out a way to pull it off. Here’s an opportunity to not only listen and discuss new or classic music, but to talk about what’s going on with music during a time when the very nature of how we listen to music changes every day.

And it wouldn’t kill you to listen to stop for an hour and listen to a complete album. It’s certainly worth the investment… in time.

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Tonight is the kick off of the annual Lincoln Exposed festival in, uh, Lincoln. The festival runs through Saturday at three venues: The Bourbon Theatre, Duffy’s and The Zoo Bar, and features performances by some of Lincoln’s best bands.

Tonight’s line-up:

Bourbon Theatre
8:30 p.m. Strawberry Burns
9:30 p.m. Professor Plum
10:30 p.m. Sputnik Kaputnik
11:30 p.m. Powerful Science
12:30 a.m. Aren’t We All Dead

Duffy’s Tavern
8 p.m. Dean the Bible
9 p.m. Pharmacy Spirits
10 p.m. Eli Mardock
11 p.m. Orion Walsh
12 a.m. Foam_Form

Zoo Bar
6 p.m. Dr. John Walker
7 p.m. Tijuana Gigolos
8:15 p.m. Sons of 76
9:15 p.m. Hangin’ Cowboys
10:15 p.m. Lucas Kellison
11:15 p.m. Ghost Runners
12:15 a.m. Omni Arms

Cost is $6 per night to get into all three clubs, or $20 for the full week! The full schedule is on their Facebook page, here. Hey, I’d go if I lived there…

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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Column 335: Speed! Riots! Saddle Creek Shopping! 120 Minutes!; Honey and Darling tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , — @ 12:42 pm August 4, 2011

Column 335: Speed! Nebraska Riots! 120 Minutes Returns! Tony Bonacci Directs!

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Filling in some blanks as we head into two weeks’ of MAHA Music Festival coverage…

Speed! Soapbox Riot 300 EP (Speed! Nebraska, 2011)

Speed! Soapbox Riot 300 EP (Speed! Nebraska, 2011)

I mentioned that I was in beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado, last week enjoying some well-deserved R ‘n’ R (that’s rest and relaxation, not rock ‘n’ roll). Because of that personal holiday, I missed this year’s Speed! Nebraska Soapbox Riot — the third annual race held at Seymour Smith Park. We’re talking grown men rolling down steep tarmac hills in homemade racecars. It doesn’t get any more “American” than that.

After I got back from The Rockies — still a little bummed that I missed the derby — I discovered stuffed inside my mailbox a copy of Speed! Soapbox Riot 300, the companion compilation 10-inch record that commemorated derby day. In addition to being a sort-of competitors’ guide to the event, the record represents the hottest young acts on the Speed! Nebraska label, an entity now in its 15th year of operation.

Side One — a.k.a. “Heat 1 – Rally Champs” — launches with Riot organizer and label executive Gary Dean Davis’ tractor-punk revivalists Wagon Blasters doing “Here Comes Scat Pack,” a chomp-chomp rock tune with a dusty, cascading guitar line and GDD screaming the reframe “Accelerate, accelerate, four-on-the-floor!” That’s followed by The Really Rottens (Charlie Johnson and Benny Kushner from the Mezcal Bros.), The Filter Kings (fronted by guitarist Josh Dunwoody), and Domestica (The 2011 version, featuring Heidi Ore, Jon Taylor and new drummer Todd Johnson).

Side Two — a.k.a. “Heat 2 – All Americans” — features the newest addition to the Speed! Nebraska family, Students of Crime (Wagon Blasters’ Robert Thornton’s other band), followed by The Third Men (label executive Mike Tulis and Co. covering Big Star classic “Back of a Car”) and Lincoln power-punk trio Ideal Cleaners gassing up a hot-rod titled “The Ghost of Rat Tail.”

We’re talking seven of the finest country punk songs coming to you at 33-and-a-third RPMs, tucked into a screen-printed sleeve and limited to just 300 copies — a must-have for any music fan or soapbox derby enthusiast. If you missed the race, you can get a copy for a mere $10 at The Antiquarium record store in the Old Market. GDD tells me you can also order it by going to speednebraska.com, clicking on the original Soapbox Riot record in the “Buy” section and writing “300” in the message area.

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Saddle Creek ShopAnother event I missed while in The Rockies was last week’s grand opening of the new Saddle Creek Shop at 721 No. 14th St. in the heart of the Slowdown complex. In addition to selling more Saddle Creek merch than anyone can imagine (a literal warehouse full), the shop also carries a variety of new vinyl releases. I’d love to tell you more about their selection except the storefront is only open from 10 to 6 weekdays — when all of us who can afford new vinyl are at work. Looks like I’ll get my first gander at the shop Aug. 11 when Tim Kasher does an in-store celebrating the release of his new EP Bigamy: More Songs From The Monogamy Sessions. The EP’s official release date isn’t until Aug. 16, but The Shop will have CDs and vinyl on hand at the event.

* * *

120 Minutes on MTV2

The most influential indie-music TV show of the past 20 years finally returned to the cable airwaves last Saturday night. Yes, I’m talking about 120 Minutes now on MTV2. The program runs at midnight on the last Saturday of every month (actually, it’s the Sunday morning after the last Saturday, but who’s counting?).

As if the show never went off the air, there was ol’ cueball-headed VJ Matt Pinfield interviewing Dave Grohl, P.J. Harvey and Danger Mouse while cuing up videos from new acts like Cults and Givers along with chestnuts by Pearl Jam and Radiohead. The best way to watch 120 hasn’t changed since it launched in 1986 — record it so you can skip the commercials. The only difference now, of course, is that you’ll be recording with a DVR rather than a VHS tape deck — some things do change. Fast forwarding cuts 120 Minutes down to about 45 minutes of actual content, especially if you’re skipping lame videos by the likes of Mumford and Sons

Just like the old days, I “discovered” a couple new bands by watching the inaugural return episode — North Wales act The Joy Formidable, and Worcester, MA, band Dom. But instead of running out and buying those bands’ latest CDs the next day, I merely added them to my Spotify playlist and listened to them before I went to bed. Like I said, some things do change…

* * *

Finally, The Benningtons’ frontman Tony Bonacci just finished directing and shooting a short film called “Telephone” that you can view right now on Vimeo. Written by Sam Martin and Jesse Mckelvey of Capgun Coup (who also contribute a song to the soundtrack), the nearly 10-minute short tells the story of what happens when a young blond firecracker (played by Emma Penrose) goes on an accidental date with a creepy old dude (Scott Dombeck channeling Steve Buscemi but without Buscemi’s charm). Snarky dialogue and screaming ensue.

The short was edited by none other than Academy Award winning film editor and Omaha native Mike Hill (Apollo 13Night Shift). How did Bonacci get Hill to work on his project? “I’m friends with him,” Bonacci said. “He really loves the film, actually. He’s a hilarious guy.”

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Seems like it’s been awhile since Honey & Darling have done a show, what with frontwoman Sara busy with her other band, Millions of Boys. You’ll get a chance to see H&D tonight at The Barley Street Tavern with Costa Mesa acoustic outfit I Hate You Just Kidding (Mazzy Star meets a ukelele) and new local act Family Picnic. 9 p.m, $5.

And, of course, The Flaming Lips are playing over at the boats tonight (Stir Concert Cove). Tix are still available for $46.50 via ticketmaster. 8 p.m. start time.

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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.



Comme Reel CD release, Icky Blossoms tonight; Speed! Nebraska soapbox riot, Saddle Creek Store grand opening Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:59 pm July 22, 2011

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Finally, the weekend.

Comme Reel

I’m listening to the new Comme Reel CD right now, the one that’s being celebrated with a release show tonight at O’Leaver’s. It’s warm and groovy, the perfect jazzy soundtrack to these 100-degree days. The band features Marc Phillips (Students of Crime, ex-Carmine, ex-Carsinogents) on drums and bass and Chris Esterbrooks (Mal Madrigal, ex-Philharmonics, ex-Carsinogents) on bass and keyboards, along with frontman Mike Saklar (No Blood Orphan, ex-Ravine, ex-Ritual Device) on guitar, vocals, bass and pedals. Though they’ll be playing their songs live tonight, the CD is worth seeking out if not for the songs and performances than for the recording itself, whose specifics Saklar documents in great detail in the liner notes — recorded to 8-track analog tape; mastered to 2-track tape and then pushed to state-of-the-art technology. It sounds fantastic. This is the best recording Saklar’s been involved with since his Ritual Device days. The show’s line-up is almost as impressive: Techlepathy, Benjamin Brodin, Dirty Fluorescents, Colin Hotz, Cricket Kirk, Melissa Dundis and No Blood Orphan. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight at The Waiting Room, Icky Blossoms headlines a show with Talking Mountain and Sun Settings. Icky Blossoms is a dance-driven re-imagining of Flowers Forever, featuring Derek Pressnall of Tilly and the Wall fame along with Nik Fackler (InDreama) JJ IDt, Sarah Bohling, Dylan Strimple and Craig Dee. They’ve got a new song, “Temporary Freakout,” which you can check out on their band page. Catch this band before they explode. $7, 9 p.m.

Soapbox Riot 300

What drives a full-grown man or woman to construct an engineless four-wheeled vehicle, strap on a helmet and then “drive” the rickety jalopy down a steep, blacktopped incline at breakneck speeds? Some would say courage; others would say stupidity. Now in its third year, the Speed! Nebraska Adult Soapbox Derby attempts to answer that burning question this Saturday at Seymour Smith Park. Beer and food will be available for the citizens who choose to attend these free gladiatorial matches. Blood-covered survivors will meet that evening at O’Leaver’s for a concert featuring Speed! Nebraska artists Domestica, Filter Kings, Third Men, Wagon Blasters and the Students of Crime. The show also is a release party for a new 7-band 10-inch record featuring all of the bands playing, plus Ideal Cleaners and the Really Rottens. Again, the soapbox derby is being held Seymour Smith Park Soapbox Track, 72nd and Washington Sts., 11 a.m. racetime, absolutely free. Post-race concert at O’Leaver’s, 50th & South Saddle Creek Rd., $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tomorrow, the brand-spanking new Saddle Creek Shop is celebrating its grand opening. If you haven’t heard about this (and who hasn’t?) it’s a new record store run by the label that deals in Saddle Creek swag along with a generous selection of new vinyl from a plethora of non-Creek bands. The celebration, which starts at noon and runs until 6 p.m., features performances by Orenda Fink (Azure Ray) and The Mynabirds, along with DJ sets from Todd Fink (The Faint), DJ M Bowen (Commander Venus) and Derek Pressnall (Tilly & The Wall). Free food, commemorative merch, door prizes, what more do you want? Get down there and buy some vinyl, people.

Also tomorrow night at Harrah’s Stir Lounge, Darren Keen plays with All Young Girls Are Machine Guns and Lincoln band Irkutsk. $5, 9 p.m.

Finally Sunday night, Colourmusic (Memphis Industries) plays with Morning Teleportation and Landing on the Moon at The Waiting Room. $8, 9 p.m. Highly recommended.

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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.