Live Review: Gramps, Karen Meat, Sam Martin, Take Cover Five; Kayla sets her sights on Omaha…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:36 pm February 1, 2016
Karen Meat and the Computer at O'Leaver's Jan. 30, 2016.

Karen Meat and the Computer at O’Leaver’s Jan. 30, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It was a great weekend of live music, something I haven’t been able to say for a number of weeks. It started Friday night at O’Leaver’s with a triple bill kicked off by Django Greenblatt-Seay’s band Gramps.

Third time’s a charm for these boys, as the set was their best yet. I’ve described them in the past as a sort of slacker-rock cross between Little Brazil and Criteria, which leaves out the lyrical uniqueness that G-S brings to the table. His songs are field observations about a guy doing his own thing whilst living in the shadow of a corporate-fueled existence — which has a familiar resonance to Criteria’s anthems, though G-S’s life is quite different than Steve Pedersen’s.

I watched the set seated at a table filled with co-workers who also are G-S’s co-workers. Imagine playing your music in front of the same folks you see every day down at the office. I’d be nervous. For G-S, it was just another day at the office, albeit a much different office than the cubicles we all share downtown.

Gramps was followed by Des Moines’ Karen Meat and the Computer. With two guitarists and a bass player, they’re not your run-of-the-mill power trio. Drums came by way of prerecorded tracks, and for the most part I didn’t miss them (though the “stage” looked a bit empty).

I take that back— while the rhythm lines were predictably tight, the energy level was a tad lacking.  Front woman Karen Meat a.k.a. Arin Eaton, filled the void with her girlish growl on golden garage-rock tunes that got me singing along by the third time through the chorus. Check out the recordings. They had a cassette for sale at the show but didn’t get a chance to pick one up. Man, a lot of bands are putting out cassettes these days. I guess they provide the same nostalgia for half the price of vinyl.

Sam Martin at O'Leaver's Jan. 29, 2016.

Sam Martin at O’Leaver’s Jan. 29, 2016.

Finally, the all-new all-digital version of Sam Martin closed out the night with a set of throbbing electronic rock songs that are his catchiest tunes ever. The set-up was Sam behind a synth rack, guitar slung over his shoulders, and a pair of strobing flood lights at his feet that bounced along with the digital pulse.

Maybe it was the fact that he was singing to layers of prerecorded tracks but Martin’s voice was at its most controlled, least caterwauling. Sonically, music ranged from deep-blue house beats to acidic front-loaded rhythms, each song glowing with its own energy. I look forward to hearing Sam’s next record.

So is Martin’s one-man show the future of indie rock? Sure, there have been a lot of one-person projects over the years (Darren Keen was among the first to do it locally), but I keep seeing more and more popping up. Is it the product of technology or the reality of today’s music economics? Regardless, the trick to making it work is finding a way to make the performance lively despite the isolation. Martin pulled it off with the combination of lights, beats, guitar, voice and a giant helping of Martin charisma.

High Up at Take Cover Five at O'Leaver's Jan. 30, 2016.

High Up at Take Cover Five at O’Leaver’s Jan. 30, 2016.

Onto Saturday night and Hear Nebraska’s fifth annual Take Cover show at O’Leaver’s. As expected, it was a crushed room cast in constant motion — 12 bands, each performing one cover and one original. The cover had to be a song by a fellow Nebraska band.

I’ve been to most of the past Take Cover nights and usually left wondering what was the point, as they featured unknown bands playing covers of unknown songs by fellow unknown bands (that would have been the case had I gone to the Lincoln version of Take Cover last week). Saturday night’s show was the best Take Cover yet because it featured full bands (Take Cover used to be a solo acoustic deal) covering familiar songs, or at least I knew most of the bands and songs they were covering.

A standout was old school punk band Hand Painted Police Car covering The Faint’s “Agenda Suicide,” giving the classic electro-clash rocker a new metal life. The guitars and bass ripped into the main melodies, while guest synth player Dereck Higgins provided the familiar digital icing on the cake. Then the band flew into one of their own numbers without letting off the gas and voila, you’ve just discovered a new band that you hadn’t heard before.

And that’s the point of Take Cover — it’s an annual tribute to past conquests by the next wave of conquerors. You (hopefully) leave the club with some new bands to follow. Among the new blood that caught my ear was Marcey Yates. I’m not a hip-hop guy but I can spot the real deal when I hear it and this guy is about as legit as it gets. And he did it live.

Then there’s Vegetable Deluxe, a garage band fronted by former Brimstone Howl member Nick Waggoner, the guy who used to look like he was 14 years old and now looks exactly like Beck. Forget how he looks. The band captures that ’60s East Coast psychedelic sound circa Lou Reed / Velvet Underground about as well you’re going to find ’round these parts. Someone should have slotted them to open that Brian Jonestown Massacre show in May.

I’ve been trying to catch a set by Eric In Outerspace for a long time and now I’m kicking myself for having waited so long. They do a sort of psychedelic garage rock thing as well, though it’s marked with a ’90s post-punk Sonic Youth flair. Which made them perfect for covering Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship.

Uh Oh at Take Cover Five at O'Leaver's Jan. 30, 2016.

Uh Oh at Take Cover Five at O’Leaver’s Jan. 30, 2016.

Earlier in the evening Uh Oh, another band I’ve been trying to catch for a long while, crushed an Eric in Outspace cover before ripping into their own song.

Look at all these new bands taking over the scene.

Maybe the most compelling covers of the night were of Digital Leather songs. Mint Wad Willy did a straight up rock rendition of DL’s “Young Doctors in Love” that added heavy guitars on an already heavy song, and Omaha’s hottest new band High Up tackled DL’s perennial set closer “Studs in Love” warping the original intent. Or did it? Suddenly, I’m confused.

Well Aimed Arrows closed out Take Cover Five at O'Leaver's Jan. 30, 2016.

Well Aimed Arrows closed out Take Cover Five at O’Leaver’s Jan. 30, 2016.

The night ended with Well Aimed Arrows covering Millions of Boys to an exhausted crowd.

What should have been utter chaos — switching out a dozen bands over the course of four hours — came off swimmingly, and no doubt was another Hear Nebraska success.

Rumor has it that many of the performances were recorded for Live At O’Leaver’s… Stay tuned.

* * *

Apparently it’s going to snow tomorrow.

This blizzard, which The Weather Channel has christened Kayla, could make attending tomorrow night’s gigantic ska show at Lookout Lounge challenging. But, hey, anything good is worth the fight, right?

The lineup for that show includes The Toasters, Jimmy Skaffa celebrating 20 years, and The Bishops. Lookout posted that “As of Mon, Feb 1st at 10:58am this show is still on. The Toasters are planning on driving up from Wichita early tomorrow.”

Your best bet is to follow The Lookout Lounge’s website and/or this Facebook invitation for the latest updates on the show.

Batten down the hatches.

* * *

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.

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Take a Look at O’Leaver’s new patio; more Live at O’Leaver’s (Eli Mardock, Gordon, Sam Martin, more)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:47 pm September 16, 2015
O'Leaver's new patio / beer garden, looking from the back benches toward the new bar and patio entrance. The door from inside O'Leaver's that leads to the patio is on the far left.

O’Leaver’s new patio / beer garden, looking from the back benches toward the new bar and patio entrance. The door from inside O’Leaver’s that leads to the patio is on the far left at the end of the concrete ramp.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I had a chance to snap a few photos of O’Leaver’s new patio when I was at The Club the other evening. I’ve had lots of people ask what the new beer garden — which is now open for business, just in time for this weekend’s O’Leaversfest — looks like. Instead of describing it, see for yourself. It’s huge.

A look at O'Leaver's new patio / beer garden from the new bar looking toward the back benches.

A look at O’Leaver’s new patio / beer garden from the new bar looking toward the back benches.

I’m told the patio’s new bar will be manned on Friday and Saturday nights, and the occasional special event. I could see people hanging out there all night, smoking and getting blasted. I’ve used the phrase “game changer” to describe this patio before. I think it fits.

Check it out tonight if for no other reason than the fact that there’s nothing else going on and it’s gorgeous outside.

* * *

Speaking of O’Leaver’s, another batch of Live at O’Leaver’s recordings hit their website yesterday. The new batch includes Eli Mardock, Sam Martin, Once a Pawn, Roman Polanski’s Baby, Miwi La Lupa and Gordon. Check out the tracks below.

* * *

CORRECTION to yesterday’s post: I said yesterday in the section that included my review of the new Mynabirds album Lovers Know that The Mynabirds show at The Slowdown was Wednesday when in fact it’s tomorrow (Thursday). Ooops. Sorry. Thanks to Nayef for pointing this out!

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Sweatfest, Bloodcow; New Krill; Super Ghost, Tie These Hands, Good Living Valentine tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:16 pm July 20, 2015
Gordon at Sweatfest, July 18, 2015.

Gordon at Sweatfest, July 18, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Sweatfest was indeed sweaty. And messy. I didn’t get there until 6 p.m. Saturday evening where I found Gordon playing outside behind the Sweatshop Gallery in the white-rock parking lot that had been cordoned off with bright orange plastic fencing.

Sweatfest had three stages — one outside, one in the gallery and one in the performance garage — with sets scheduled to overlap. Gordon continues to be one of my favorite local bands, frontman Aaron Parker channeled Jim Morrison and/or Nick Cave on music that is brutal and beautiful and full of dread.

Bloodcow at The Barley Street Tavern, July 18, 2015.

Bloodcow at The Barley Street Tavern, July 18, 2015.

As 7 p.m. rolled around, I escaped the fest momentarily to catch the Bloodcow CD release show at Barley Street Tavern. Interestingly, the Barley doesn’t open ’til 7 p.m. on Saturdays — when the band was scheduled to be on stage. I found them a half-hour earlier standing by the back door with their gear, trying to contact someone who could let them in. By a quarter to, the Bloodcow “party bus” arrived, disembarking holiday revelers onto the sidewalk dressed in colorful Hawaiian shirts and leis.

The doors opened a little after 7 and the band loaded in, but there was no soundguy on the premises. Keep in mind, Bloodcow had a schedule to keep. After their Barley show they were headed to O’Leaver’s for an early gig and then to T’z Lounge in CB for their third show of the night. Band members huddled around the darkened soundboard with their phone flashlights ablaze looking for some way to turn on the equipment, to no avail.

It looked like the first stop of their tour would end in disaster until someone found the power switch. With one microphone working and no stage lights, the band lit into a short set at around 7:45 while their fans threw devil horns from the dance floor. As always, Bloodcow snatched triumph from defeat. Before the set ended, a soundguy showed up and turned on the stage lights, though the band sounded just as good in the dark.

By the time I got back to Sweatfest at around 9, the Sweatshop parking lot looked like a post-apocalyptic beach movie with a few hundred sweaty, stinky people wandering around in the dark as the violent power of Dumb Beach’s music blared through the open overhead garage door.

Sam Martin in the Sweatshop Gallery at Sweatfest, July 15, 2015.

Sam Martin in the Sweatshop Gallery at Sweatfest, July 15, 2015.

Round 3 of the Spaghetti Wrestling Tournament at Sweatfest, July 18, 2015.

Round 3 of the Spaghetti Wrestling Tournament at Sweatfest, July 18, 2015.

While I was gone someone showed up with the spaghetti and poured it onto a couple old mattresses set out in the parking lot as a makeshift wrestling ring. A masked female wrestler stomped on the wet noodles as if crushing grapes for wine. With an emcee calling the action, opponents (half of them women) were doused with cooking oil and set ablaze (just kidding). Once greased down, they went at it. Best two out of three falls — whoever pushed the opponent out of the “ring” was the winner. Gross, sloppy, decadent fun. By the end of the rounds, limp spaghetti hung from the overhead power lines.

By all accounts, Sweatfest was a success; I’m told bands played into the wee hours. The fest reminded me of the fun, small-venue gigs that take place on the east side of Austin during SXSW, backyard summer shows where people bring their own booze, kick back and enjoy the music. Here’s to Sweatfest 2016.

* * *

As FYI, here’s the new video by Krill. Someone needs to book these guys here.

* * *

Tonight at Pageturners its Super Ghost and Lincoln band Tie These Hands. The free show starts at 9 p.m. What a way to start off your week…

Also tonight, the Good Living Tour continues in Valentine, NE, with The Kris Lager Band, All Young Girls Are Machine Guns and Oketo at Bull Market Beer & Grill. Free and 7 p.m. and all ages.

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

What’s so important about The Good Living Tour? (in The Reader); Endor the movie; Sam Martin tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:52 pm July 8, 2015

goodlivingtourby Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Somewhere on newsstands is the July issue of The Reader, and within its pages is a feature story about Hear Nebraska’s Good Living Tour . Waitaminit! Looks like you can also read the story online here.

The story gives you the usual who, what, when, where and how of the tour, and most importantly, the “why,” plus some technicolor from a Scottsbluff resident on how hard it is to see new bands when you live in the far reaches of western Nebraska. A full tour schedule is also provided to help you plan your summer vacation.

I won’t recast the story here, other than to say the tour is ambitious, it’s one-of-a-kind, and it could be an important moment in the history of local music. Its success depends on getting people to the shows, people who very likely have never heard of any of the bands involved. No doubt the Hear Nebraska forces have been hard at work doing their part to get the word out. But will it be enough? We’ll find out in a couple weeks.

Anyway, check out the story and pass it along to folks you know who live in these communities. Sharing is caring. Hear Nebraska thanks you.

* * *

Local boy wonder Aaron Gum (who you remember from InDreama (which, btw, I wish would get back on stage)) is co-directing a feature-length horror film with screenwriter Faustus McGreeves called Endor. Or at least he’s trying to. The crew is looking for money, and that’s where you come in.

According to Mr. Gum, filming is scheduled to begin this summer. Eli Mardock (of Eagle*Seagull) is composing an original motion picture soundtrack, and the final film will be color corrected by Jaimie O’Bradovich (Who remembers Shinyville?). Country musician Jeremy Starkel will be seen on screen as himself performing a new song written and being recorded for the movie, and rapper/actor Keives Mcgaugh will act in the film. On top of that, the campaign/teaser video features guest appearances by Orenda & Todd Fink and Nebraska state senator Colby Coash.

You can view that teaser here. and while you’re there…

The production is hoping to raise $7,000 via an IndieGoGo campaign that expires in 14 days. They’ve already raised $4,290. Among the premiums are tix to the premiere showings, posters, signed stuff, cameos, even props. Check out the campaign here and throw some money into the hat.

* * *

Pageturners’ Summer Concert Series continues tonight with singer/songwriter Sam Martin (Capgun Coup) along with Nathan Ma. The free concert gets rolling at 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

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?

* * *

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.

* *
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.

* * *

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.

Lazy-i

The post-Thanksgiving blues; Elvis Costello headed to Lincoln; new Sam Martin Dec. 9, RSC finds…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:51 pm December 1, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It looks to be monumentally quiet gig-wise this week. In fact, there’s virtually nothing on my radar the entire week. Post-holiday doldrums? I guess.

The only notable gig news came in a press release stating that Elvis Costello is booked for the Rococo in Lincoln March 3. Tix on sale Thursday at noon starting at $47.

Speaking of Lincoln gigs, Cursive announced it’s added a show at Vega in Lincoln March 22, the day after their gig at The Waiting Room.

Going through the ol’ in-box…

Capgun Coup frontman Sam Martin, last seen doped out in Nik Fackler’s film Sick Birds Die Easy, has a new album out a week from Tuesday, Dec. 9, on Omaha’s own Make Believe Recordings called A Notion in an Ocean. The record features a slew of guests, including Greg Elsasser, Sean Pratt, Noah Kohl, Dereck Higgins, Jesse Mckelvey and Todd Fink. Check out the video for the first single, “Bye Bye,” below.

How’d you do at Record Store Day Friday? I was surprised to find a lot of inventory still available at Homer’s and Drastic Plastic when I dropped in on both stores that afternoon. My only official RSD purchase was the American Hustle soundtrack. Other than that, I bought a copy of Joy Division’s Preston 28 February 1980 live album, out on Drastic Plastic Records (massive 200 gram vinyl), and scored used copies of Peter Gabriel’s debut album and Harry Nilsson’s The Point at Almost Music. Not bad…

BTW, those Guardians of the Galaxy cassettes are now going for more than $50 on ebay. More evidence that cassettes are back?

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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

The inside scoop on Sick Birds Die Easy (in the column) plus outtakes; Long Low Signal, Betty Jean, Lincoln Exposed tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , — @ 1:53 pm February 6, 2014
Ross Blockley from a scene from Sick Birds Die Easy.

Ross Brockley from a scene from Sick Birds Die Easy.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

In this week’s column, an interview with the Nik Fackler, Sam Martin and Ross Brockley, the stars of Fackler’s new film, Sick Birds Die Easy. Fackler separates the real from the unreal, the fact from fiction in this documentary that isn’t a documentary but kind of is. You can read it in the current issue of The Reader, or online right here. Go ahead and read it now and come on back, we’ll wait for you…

With the column being more of a review and description than a Q&A, there was a lot of leftover interview content that didn’t make into the 1,000-word news hole. Hopefully much of what I missed was covered in a story that (I was told) was being written by Leo Adam Biga, The Reader‘s cover story writer. That said, here are a few details:

— Sam Martin’s soundtrack is as central to the film as the visual footage. Martin seamlessly combines the style of music he’s known for with a sublime score that perfectly accentuates the mirth and madness of every frame. “All the score work was done after a (mostly) final cut was done,” Martin said, “but while Nik was editing I gave him a hard drive of everything I recorded in the last two years so he picked (music) out of that hard drive. After that I tracked all the score work.”

“It was like a treasure chest hard drive of amazing music,” Fackler added. As I mentioned in the column, the DVD version of the film comes with a separate copy of the soundtrack.

— Fackler said the film’s budget was a little less than $100,000. His producer was Steve Hays of 120 dB Films, who Fackler had met when his film Lovely, Still premiered in Toronto. “(Hays) whole concept was ‘Let’s make a film that’s kind of like this new genre that’s popping up that’s a hybrid, kind of like Paranormal Activity.’ Initially I wasn’t interested in doing it, but then sent him a one-page concept.”

Hays gave the green light and Fackler proceeded to shoot more than 500 hours of footage that took a year and a half to edit between tours with Icky Blossoms and Tilly and the Wall. The entire time Hays was breathing down his neck for a print to hand over to various festival committees.

“It was good having that pressure to get the film edited,” Fackler said, but added. “I’m really burnt out on editing. Editing this film really took a lot out of me. I’m ready to put that hat away.”

— I’ve been a fan of Ross Brockley since he played the slacker son in the series of commercials with the pitch phrase: “What do you think this is, a Holiday Inn?” Brockley becomes the central figure in this film — you love him, you hate him. I asked why he doesn’t do more work and Brockley said his main focus these days is his organic farm operation located south of Lincoln called Brockley Farmaceuticals that he’s operated for the past 14 years. The farm was partially paid for by his Holiday Inn work. Still, Brockley hasn’t turned his back on acting. “It’s not like I”m passing up roles and offers all over the place,” he said.

— Dana Altman of North Sea Films, who is seen running a camera in the movie and plays a minor role, is said by narrator Fackler to be giving up film making to buy a farm of his own. “He did buy a farm,” Fackler said during the interview. “It’s so beautiful, I think if Dana had his choice, he would be there full time, but you can’t take the film maker out of him. He’ll always love film.”

— As for Fackler’s future: “I don’t know what I’m going to do next,” he said. “I like to have small goals and work real intensely one thing at a time. I don’t like to have all my eggs in one medium. Right now the focus is releasing Sick Birds and then music full-time. I’ve started writing a new script. Film will always be a part of my life. I don’t see being a musician and touring into my 40s and 50s.”

If you don’t have tickets to next Tuesday’s screening of Sick Birds at Film Streams and you want to go, you better get them soon. Fackler implied sales have been brisk. I wouldn’t be surprised if it sells out. And though it will be available on DVD and Video on Demand, it’s worth seeing on the big screen. Details/tickets are available here, and the after-party at The Slowdown should be (as the kids say) off the hook.

* * *

A couple shows on the radar tonight.

New band Long Low Signal headlines at The Waiting Room with The Love Technicians, The Sub Vectors and Let Alone. Interestingly, LLS plays tomorrow night at Slowdown, apparently prepping to go into the studio. I have no idea what they sound like. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, tonight at Slowdown Jr., Betty Jean of The Betties is hosting a CD release show. Joining her is Travelling Mercies and Matt Cox. $5, 9 p.m.

And in Lincoln, it’s night two of Lincoln Exposed. Get the deets here.

* * *

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

Picking up the slack: Slowdown Virginia, Jake Bellows, Yuppies, Sam Martin…; Blue Bird, Hoshaw tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:00 pm August 22, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Back to business as usual…

* * *

This was just brought to my attention, though apparently it was published in May: NME published a list of 75 “Ultimate Cult Heroes.” Check out No. 10, chosen by Conor Oberst: Slowdown Virginia — “It was Tim Kasher’s [from Cursive] first band. We started our label [Saddle Creek] ’cos we were all in love with this band and wanted everyone to hear it. We got all our friends to kick in money to make a CD. They were into the Pixies, high energy, amazing melodies. This was in ’93. I was 13. Up until then I wasn’t really playing music, but seeing them, I saw how it was possible.

BTW, No. 1 was Syd Barrett, chosen by NME’s Liam Cash.

* * *

Jake Bellows yesterday released a video for “I Can’t Wait,” off his just-release Saddle Creek album New Ocean. Check it out:

Jake’s also the “Band of the Day” whatever that means.

* * *

The Yuppies just announced they’re releasing their debut album on Dull Tools Records Sept. 15. Dull Tools is the label run by the guys in Parquet Courts. Check out “Hitchin’ a Ride” from the new album, below:

* * *

And Mr. Sam Martin (of Capgun Coup) today released his solo album Trite Monsters via Bandcamp. The 18-track long player is available for download for $7. Check it out in its entirety here, then buy it. Here’s a zinger of a track called “Email”:

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Tonight at Slowdown Jr., local acts Blue Bird and Brad Hoshaw open for The Giving Tree Band. $7, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, blues rocker Matt Cox plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Filligar and TORCHES. $5, 9:30 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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Dave Sink memorial vid online, OEAAs; new Sam Martin/Sean Pratt EP; Touch People DJ sets…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:02 pm February 18, 2013

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

What’s that? You skipped the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards ceremony last night at The Hilton? Well, you’re not alone. The only regret is missing the Dave Sink tribute as part of his Lifetime Achievement honor. Well, don’t fret because the tribute video shown at the awards show is online right here at YouTube:

As for the rest of the show, here’s this year’s top music “winners”:

Album of the year: Icky Blossoms, self-titled
Artist of the Year: Icky Blossoms
New artist: Universe Contest
Rock: Snake Island
Hard rock: Bloodcow
Alternative/indie: Cursive
Singer-songwriter/folk: All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
DJ/electronic: BASStoven
Country/Americana: Matt Cox

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Sam Martin & Sean Pratt, Kids, Beat Your Vegetables (self-release, 2013)

Sam Martin & Sean Pratt, Kids, Beat Your Vegetables (self-release, 2013)

Capgun Coup’s Sam Martin and Sean Pratt just put out a 5-song EP on Bandcamp called Kids, Beat Your Vegetables. It’s two Martin songs and two Pratt songs and the duo covering the ’20s standard “Tonight You Belong to Me.”  My favorite track is “Big O’le Child,” which betrays my aged taste for melody rather than dissonance. It’s a real foot-stomper. You can listen to the whole thing below, but head on over to their Bandcamp page and buy the download for a mere $5. You’ll feel better for it.

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Speaking of online music, Touch People is putting DJ sets online at his Soundcloud channel. I’m currently listening to this one:

More to come…

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Looks like we’re in for a blizzard this week… batten down the hatches.

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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.

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Album Review: Capgun Coup’s Contextual Doom…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:08 pm April 4, 2012
Capgun Coup

Get ready for Contextual Doom.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It is with utter dissapointment that I fell asleep before heading out to The Waiting Room last night for the Antiquarium Subversion Showcase and seeing Capgun Coup. Though I can’t comment on their performance, I will say this about CC’s new album, Contextual Doom: It sounds like frontman/CC mastermind Sam Martin had an epiphany involving early Velvet Underground. The album, slated for release next month by ORG Music, has the same looking-through-a-dirty-window-on-the-Lower-East-Side feeling associated with, say, the VU & Nico album.

Half of the record involves laid-back “Sunday Morning” guitar riffs, tom-and-tambourine percussion and Martin’s own flat, seen-it-all-before vicodine-infused vocal delivery. It doesn’t get more slacker than on “My Bordumb Is Bored,” where Martin mumbles, seemingly with half-closed eyes, “I’m high as the ocean and my mind is commotion all my thoughts are unspoken and my heart it is broken…” The other half is garage ravers like “Claire Doesn’t Care,” which props up Martin’s lethargy like a dancing, twitching corpse. But even pumped up mothers like “Laugh/Cry” have a Velvet overlap — if you slowed the song by about 50 bpm you’d get something akin to “Heroin,” but with the lyrics, “Don’t it feel so good inside to have a good reason to cry? All your tears will dry.”

Martin is a musical enigma. He’s not so much Omaha’s version of Lou Reed as much as Omaha’s own Anton Newcombe — as unpredictable as he is talented, out there as much as out of control. And Capgun Coup is one of those bands that has a different life on vinyl than it has on stage. Their recordings (and no more than this one) are showcases for intelligent garage rock songwriting that nods knowingly toward the past while defining a better, if not slumped-shouldered, future. On stage, Capgun Coup is unpredictable — you never know what you’re going to get from gig to gig, which can vary from a taut, high-energy rock show to an extended, off-kilter caterwaul careening out of control. Whether triumphant or disappointing, they’re never boring. And neither is Martin, or for that matter, this album.

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For those keeping score at home, my latest column is in print and online right here at thereader.com and centers on the life and death disappointments of Game of Thrones. Check it.

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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.

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