Slowdown’s upcoming indie schedule; Woods, Simon Joyner and the Ghosts, The Tallest Man on Earth tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:47 pm July 18, 2016
Simon Joyner and The Ghosts at Slowdown Jr., April 4, 2015. The band plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

Simon Joyner and The Ghosts at Slowdown Jr., April 4, 2015. The band plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The most distinctive aspect of Brooklyn indie band Woods (besides their songs, which are sublime) is singer-guitarist Jeremy Earl’s high, almost feminine voice. For sheer uniqueness, it’s right up there with Yes’ Jon Anderson and is eerily similar at times on the band’s new album, City Sun Eater in the River of Light, released this year on Earl’s own Woodsist Records.

You have to wonder how Earl even has time to tour considering the size of Woodsist Records’ roster, which includes Wooden Wand, Sic Alps, The Fresh & Onlys, Crystal Stilts, The Pocahunted, as well as releases from standout acts like Wavves, Thee Oh Sees, Kurt Vile and our very own Simon Joyner, whose last album, Grass, Branch & Bone, was released late last year on Woodsist.

I bring all of this up because Woods performs tonight at Slowdown Jr., and Simon Joyner and The Ghosts opens. It’s an earl(ier) show, starting at 8 p.m., $15.

Tonight’s show is a good reason to return to Slowdown after the CWS. Fact is, Slowdown is sporting an impressive calendar of upcoming indie rock events. All of the following Slowdown shows are on my radar:

July 21 — Atlas Genius, Bear Hands
July 31 — The Jayhawks
Aug. 5 — Conny Franko (a.k.a. Conchance) CD release
Aug. 12 — Protomartyr
Sept. 8 — Frightened Rabbit
Sept. 9 — Bob Mould
Sept. 24 — Junior Boys
Nov. 20 — El Ten Eleven

Not bad. The schedule for upcoming Waiting Room and Reverb shows is nothing to sniff at, either. In fact, tonight The Waiting Room has a heavy-weight show of its own: The Tallest Man on Earth. Swedish folkie Kristian Matsson has put out one hit album after another since 2008’s Shallow Grave (Dead Oceans). He’s on the road touring Dark Bird is Home (2015, Dead Ocean). Opening is Lady Lamb (formerly known as Lady Lamb The Beekeeper) whose last album, After, was released on Mom & Pop Music (Courtney Barnett’s label). $25, 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Refrigerator, Simon Joyner; Lincoln Calling tix on sale Thursday; Electric Six tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:29 pm July 5, 2016
Refrigerator at O'Leaver's, July 1, 2016.

Refrigerator at O’Leaver’s, July 1, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Refrigerator is a literate indie rock band that puts its guts out there for everyone to see, but still doesn’t take itself that seriously. Case in point: Halfway through their set Friday night at O’Leaver’s, guitarist Dennis Callaci decided it was a good time to form a congo line and bounce on out to the beer garden with his brother, frontman Allen Callaci, while the bassist and drummer kept the beat in the club. And out they went doing the usual bunny hop with grins on their faces (along with the dozen or so people who joined in, hands on hips).

The show had been promoted as a special occasion based on the fact that Refrigerator has never played in Nebraska before, despite having close ties with some prominent Nebraska musicians — Simon Joyner chief among them. To me, the band is identified with The Antiquarium, which was where you’d find their albums and cassettes, along with other releases on Callaci’s label, Shrimper. Their music has the same pleasantly abrasive style of a few of my favorite ’90s indie bands like Silkworm, Grifters, a more refined Guided by Voices — smart, earnest rock with a crashing beat that gets you moving. It was a great set.

The band had a big spread of their releases available at the show — lots of cassettes and some vinyl. But with only $20 to spare, I bought a copy of Allen Callaci’s book, Heart Like a Starfish, a handsome tome and a challenging read that I began tackling this weekend. The story recaps Allen’s medical struggles involving his heart. I’m just 40 or so pages into it and it’s getting rather grim, but I know the book has a happy ending because I saw it being lived out on O’Leaver’s stage.

Simon Joyner at O'Leaver's, July 1, 2016.

Simon Joyner at O’Leaver’s, July 1, 2016.

During the opening set, Simon Joyner on electric guitar, accompanied by a drummer, ripped through a number of new songs as well as some chestnuts like “Joy Division” (or at least part of that song) and “Javelin.” Always a good time.

* * *

Lincoln Calling Oct. 6-8

Lincoln Calling Oct. 6-8

As you may or may not know, Lincoln Calling is getting a rather massive facelift this year. The primary change: Hear Nebraska is now putting on the three-day festival, which is being held Oct. 6-8 in venues throughout downtown Lincoln. Believe me, you will be impressed by the line-up, which HN will begin to announce July 13 (they’re doing incremental lineup announcements).

That said, tickets go on sale this Thursday, July 7. Early bird, three-day general admission festival passes will be available at a discount price of $29. Once those sell out, 3-day passes will increase in price to $39 for a limited time, and will eventually sell for $49.

Sales of all-ages 3-day passes that allow entrance only into two venues — The Bay and Tower Square — also go on sale Thursday for $25. Comedy-only passes will be sold for $25.

And then there are the two specialty passes:

Trustee passes at a cost of $250 includes a three-day festival pass, access to a lounge area with comfortable seating and tables, food and drink tickets, and additional perks to be announced.

SPEED! passes at $150 (only 10 available) gets the bearers to the front of the line at every concert, and allows access even when shows are at capacity.

One-day passes may be available day of show — subject to availability. In other words, at these price points, they’re expecting to sell out those 3-day passes.

No doubt Hear Nebraska is going for a South By Southwest-type event. The difference is they’re combining national touring acts of various genres with some of Nebraska’s finest bands, all playing in multiple venues for multiple days.

BTW, I have seen the initial line-up, and yes, it rivals this year’s Maha Festival. Get your tickets Thursday morning at lincolncalling.com.

* * *

Tonight Detroit disco-punk-new wave-garage-metal band Electric Six makes its annual pilgrimage to The Waiting Room. Joining them are In the Whale. $15, 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Simon Joyner, David Nance, Uh Oh tonight; Dolores Diaz (Conor Oberst and Co.) Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 11:41 am January 2, 2016
Simon Joyner and The Ghosts at Slowdown Jr., April 4, 2015. The band plays tonight at Almost Music in Benson.

Simon Joyner and The Ghosts at Slowdown Jr., April 4, 2015. The band plays tonight at Almost Music in Benson.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Time for another very special Saturday edition of Lazy-i. Hope you had an eventful New Year’s Eve/Day.

Only Love Can Bring You Peace, Simon Joyner (Magic Helicopter, 2015)

Only Love Can Bring You Peace, Simon Joyner (Magic Helicopter, 2015)

Omaha’s unofficial poet laureate Simon Joyner celebrates the release of his book, Only Love Can Bring You Peace – Selected Lyrics (1990-2014) — published by Magic Helicopter Press, tonight (Saturday) at Almost Music in Benson. It’s the first selection of Simon’s lyrics (assembled and edited by Simon and his wife, Sara) to appear in book form, showcasing the images and characters of more than 15 albums, EPs, and rare releases, according to the website, where you can purchase your copy for $16 + s/h. But why spend more when you can buy your copy at the cover price tonight at Almost Music, and if you’re really nice, Simon might even sign it for you.

Joining Joyner and the Ghosts are L. Eugene Methe  and The David Nance Band. Your $6 cover charge can be applied to the cost of the book. In addition, Solid Jackson Books is offering 25% off any and all additional books when you buy a copy of Simon’s book. Music starts at 8 p.m.

Also tonight, Lincoln band No Tide headlines a show down at Slowdown Jr. Opening is one of Omaha’s big surprises for 2015, Uh Oh. The band’s 5-song EP, In the Glow, was a pleasant surprise — a mix of indie, pop-punk and sing-along anthems that’s sort of a throwback to a kinder/gentler time in Omaha’s alt rock past. Slacker-rockers Mint Wad Willy kicks things off at 9. $8.

Also tonight (Saturday) local punk rock legends The Shidiots play at O’Leaver’s with The Hemorrhoids and Megaton. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Then Sunday night is the big Dolores Diaz & the Standby Club show at fabulous O’Leaver’s.  The country cover band’s all-star line-up includes Matt Maginn (Cursive), Dan McCarthy (McCarthy Trenching), Ben Brodin, Phil Schaffart (Con Dios), Miwi La Lupa, Roger Lewis (The Good Life), Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes) and Conor Oberst. Of course the real mystery is: Who is Dolores Diaz? You’ll just have to find out Sunday night. Indie superstar Johnathan Rice opens along with Anthony D’Amato (New West Records), who has worked with Bon Iver and Megafauna, among others.

One assumes this will be a madhouse, but you never can tell. If you’re interested, I suggest you get there well before the 9 p.m. start time. Price of admission is the usual $5.

And thus ends the holidays, but not quite yet…

Lazy-i Best of 2015!

Lazy-i Best of 2015!

First, you must enter to win a copy of the Lazy-i Best of 2015 comp CD. The collection includes my favorite indie tunes I’ve come across throughout last year as part of my tireless work as a music critic for Lazy-i. Among those represented: Algiers, Sam Martin, Sufjan Stevens, Clarence Tilton, Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Freedy Johnston, The Mynabirds, and even the aforementioned Simon Joyner, plus lots more. The full track listing is here. Entering to win a copy couldn’t be easier, either: 1. Send an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com, or 2) Write a comment on one of my Lazy-i related posts in Facebook, or 3) Retweet a Lazy-i tweet. You also can enter by sending me a direct message in Facebook or Twitter. Hurry, contest deadline is midnight Jan. 4!

Have a great rest of the weekend…and 2016…and rest of your life!

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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.

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Stop Having Children on a lazy October weekend; Lincoln Calling 2015 recap (and 2016)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:37 pm October 12, 2015
Stop Having Children perform at the Almost Music Terrible Twos birthday bash Oct. 10, 2015.

Stop Having Children perform at the Almost Music Terrible Twos birthday bash Oct. 10, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It was a lazy weekend for Lazy-i. Lazy in that I only saw one band perform, and it wasn’t in a club. Stop Having Children played a set at Almost Music’s “Terrible Twos” birthday event Saturday afternoon. The band was made up of Simon Joyner, David Kenneth Nance, Mike Marasco, and Dis Cretin (as he’s known in the rock world) playing some heavy shit. Whoda guessed Joyner could shred respectably alongside veteran shredder Nance?

I’m already regretting my lethargy in hitting shows last weekend, looking at the calendar. Nothing happening ’til the coming weekend, when it lights up again on Friday (and, there is a Bloodcow show Thursday, too), but more on that later…

* * *

A quick recap of Lincoln Calling 2015, which took place a couple weeks ago. LC frontman Jeremy Buckley said it was another successful year.

I’d say better than last year,” he said. “There were shows at capacity every night from Tuesday to Sunday and I think the bands were generally happy with payouts and bar owners were pretty happy with booze sales. Biggest night was Saturday, with Friday being a close second.”

So what about Lincoln Calling 2016?

One thing that ended up working out really well this year was asking friends and peers to help with curating some of the shows,” Buckley said. “At least 10 of the lineups were curated by other people, which I think added diversity that I wouldn’t have thought of, as well as showcasing 15 of Lincoln’s regularly performing comedians and continuing our local music-oriented film festival.”

Buckley said he hopes to get even more people involved with putting LC together next year. “My hope is to have people that know bands on the local level to help with that with more fervor, so I can spend time talking with booking agents and national touring bands so we can up the amount of touring talent we’re introducing to our scene and our bands.” Hear hear!

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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.

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Live Review: O’Leaversfest (Lupines, Dumb Beach, Digital Leather); Joyner book pre-orders end today; Ecstatic Vision, Swamp Walk tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:56 pm September 21, 2015
Digital Leather at O'Leaver's, Sept. 19, 2015.

Digital Leather at O’Leaver’s, Sept. 19, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I have little to add to what I’ve already said about O’Leaver’s new beer garden. It will be a game changer for the club if this past weekend’s crowds are any indication. I think the word is just starting to leak out about how nice it is. It was shocking how the main club emptied between bands, and how quickly the room filled once the music started. To give people more room tables were removed in front of the “stage,” allowing for more people to throw their devil horns right in bandmembers’ faces.

Dumb Beach sounded brutal as ever. Looks like they’ve had a personnel change since the last time I saw them (Ian Aeillo was back at the soundboard instead of playing guitar). When will we get a formal recording from these boys?

The Lupines at O'Leaver's, Sept. 19, 2015.

The Lupines at O’Leaver’s, Sept. 19, 2015.

Lupines played their usual stellar set, throwing in a couple new songs that frontman John Ziegler said will appear on a upcoming 7-inch single.

Finally (for me anyway, since I left before M34N STR33T) Digital Leather crushed the place, playing a heavy dose of songs off their new album, All Faded. The band will be opening for a string of Desaparecidos dates in late November, a tour that’s bound to see their fan base grow, especially if they play with the ferocity heard Saturday night. For this performance the band had three synth players — I’m not sure who joined Todd Fink and Ben VanHoolandt behind keyboards. They closed as they always seem to do these days with a blistering version of “Studs in Love.” I’ve heard them play this live at least a dozen times — no two performances sounding the same. It never gets old. I’d love to see how the Desa crowds react when Foree pines about his love of hairy asses and Wrangler butts.

* * *

Last minute news just hit my in-box from Simon Joyner.

Joyner has a book of selected lyrics coming out (yes, book) called Only Love Can Bring You Peace from Magic Helicopter Press. The publisher is taking pre-orders through today and anyone who orders gets their choice of a broadside of one of the “Blues” titled songs for free. There’s also a collector’s edition, which is signed by Mr. Joyner and comes with all eight broadsides, plus an mp3 of an unreleased outtake from his latest album, Grass, Branch & Bone. More details and pre-order info here.

* * *

It’s back to O’Leaver’s tonight for Philly psych band Ecstatic Vision. The band counts Hawkwind, Aphrodites Child, Olatunji, Can and early Amon Duul ll among their influences, though Pitchfork mentions Sabbath and Zeppelin in this 7.6 rated review of their new album, Sonic Praise (Relapse, 2015). Swampwalk and Megaton open. $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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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On the road again; Retirement (Joyner/Nance), Nashville Pussy tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 10:30 am September 2, 2015
Times Square, NYC, Sept. 2, 2010.

NYC on Sept. 2, 2010. Something tells me not much has changed.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Reception at Lazy-i Central may be spotty this week as I’m headed to New York City for the annual adventure. Follow the hi-jinx at instagram.com/timmymac29.

Bad timing on my part because I’m going to miss Retirement tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Retirement consists of Simon Joyner and Dave Nance doing their thing as only they can. Also on the bill are Michigan band Trancers and Thick Paint (Graham Ulicny of Reptar). It’s gonna be a good one. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, Nashville Pussy headlines at The Waiting Room with Valient Thorr. $15, 9 p.m.

Speaking of TWR, word on the street is that tickets to the Sept. 10 Desaparecidos show are in short supply. Better get them while you can. Look for my Desaparecidos history-based interview in the September issue of The Reader, which should hit the streets Thursday, followed shortly after by the online version. As Desaparecidos guitarist Denver Dalley says in the story, this may be the last time you get to see Desa live. Who knows? Better take advantage of 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

 

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The Big Concert Announcement: June 3 at Reverb; Lazy-i Podcast for May 6 (Barnett, Waxahatchee, Klemmensen, Joyner)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:27 pm May 6, 2015
The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

So here’s the big secret concert I mentioned last week: My 50th Birthday Concert, organized by Polecat Communications (i.e., my wife, Teresa), June 3, 2015, at Reverb Lounge. The bands: Son, Ambulance, The Wagon Blasters and The Lupines. It’s a fantastic line-up for a celebration, with proceeds going to a good cause: Hear Nebraska, an organization that I’ve served as a board member for a few years now. Please join me for an evening of fun, music and booze!

The announcement was first made during this week’s Lazy-i Podcast (linked below). This week’s episode features Chris Aponick and myself bantering back and forth Siskel & Ebert style (you can decide which of us is which) over four first quarter 2015 releases by Courtney Barnett, Waxahatchee, John Klemmensen and the Party and Simon Joyner. Also a live soundbite from Digital Leather to kick things off. Check it out below.

 

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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.

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Digital Leather, Plack Blague, Esme Patterson, Simon Joyner tonight; Big Al continues; Derby Birds Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm April 24, 2015
A frightening still from Plack Blague's 2014 video for "Boyz Club." The Blague plays tonight at O'Leaver's with Digital Leather.

A frightening still from Plack Blague’s 2014 video for “Boyz Club.” The Blague plays tonight at O’Leaver’s with Digital Leather.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

They’re calling it “The Leather Invasion.” Tonight Digital Leather returns to fabulous O’Leaver’s. On the heels of this week’s album announcement (and a brief tour that brought them to Austin), you can probably expect these guys to be playing new material from the forthcoming FDH release All Faded, out June 23. DL is opening (or so it seems) for the infamous Plack Blague, who must be seen and heard to be believed. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also Friday night Simon Joyner opens for Denver singer/songwriter Esme Patterson at the Reverb Lounge. Patterson, who also is a member of Denver band Paper Bird, is touring in support of her new album, Woman to Woman (Greater Than), of which The New York Times said: “Her voice is wiry and candid, backed by arrangements that roll along the folk-country borderline.”  Also on the bill is Sean Pratt and the Sweats. $10, 9 p.m.

And don’t forget that Big Al’s Free Music Festival continues tonight and tomorrow night at The Hideout, 320 So. 72nd St. Admission is a can of food (it’s a food drive) and it starts at 8 p.m. Details and Friday and Saturday’s schedule are here.

Saturday night it’s back to O’Leaver’s for Derby Birds with Roxi Copland. $5, 9:30 p.m.

That’s what I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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If you haven’t already, check out this week’s Lazy-i Podcast. The 20-minute program features music by Wagon Blasters, Soft Moon, Blue Bird, Ladyfinger and music and an interview with Super Ghost, along with my picks for the best shows this weekend. Check it out below:

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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.

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Live Review: Simon Joyner, Outlaw Con Bandana; New Desa out June 23; Dead Sara tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:53 pm April 6, 2015
Simon Joyner and The Ghosts at Slowdown Jr., April 4, 2015.

Simon Joyner and The Ghosts at Slowdown Jr., April 4, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Simon Joyner never looked more relaxed, more within his element than on the Slowdown Jr. stage Saturday night playing his new music with that band. It was Joyner at his finest singing sad songs to a big crowd of fans and friends and people who have seen and heard him play (in some cases) for more than 20 years.

This version of the Ghosts (his backing band) was as solid as they come. They sounded road-hardened even though they haven’t been touring lately. Among the standouts was guitarist Jim Schroeder, whose muscular style added tension both in his chopping accompaniment and his brazen solos, countered only by Mike Friedman on pedal steel.

Joyner played mainly songs off his new album, Grass, Branch & Bone, all of which already sound like standards to these ears. People are saying it’s the best album he’s ever made, and maybe they’re right. This is the first time I’ve felt that songs from one of his albums could be used in a movie soundtrack or would fit into rotation on a radio station — very likely not something that Joyner was shooting for when he make the album, but wouldn’t it be a kick in the head?

Outlaw Con Bandana at Slowdown Jr., April 4, 2015.

Outlaw Con Bandana at Slowdown Jr., April 4, 2015.

Opening was Outlaw Con Bandana — Brendan Hagberg and Pearl Lovejoy Boyd — playing earthy folk songs with Hagberg either on banjo or acoustic guitar. He’s a throwback performer, a throwback songwriter to a folk style of an earlier time, updated lyrically with stories from his life. It’s the kind of music where you’ll find yourself listening and remembering stories from your own past.

* * *

Desaparecidos finally announced that their next album, Payola, comes out June 23 on Epitaph. The band released a new track, “City on the Hill,” as part of the announcement. The song, below, feature’s Cursive’s Tim Kasher. Album pre-orders can be made here.

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room is the band that Omaha World-Herald music writer Kevin Coffey declared as his favorite act from this year’s South By Southwest Festival — Dead Sara. (I never caught them when I was in Austin). Opening is Wans and Freakabout. $15, 8 p.m.

* * *

Reception will be spotty this week at Lazy-i central as I’ll be on the road. There may or may not be updates (but there probably will be). your best bet is too keep checking back, over and over again…

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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.

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Live Review: Foxygen, Oquoa; Whirr tonight; Simon Joyner release show, Swearing at Motorists, Sons of Reverb Saturday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:49 pm April 3, 2015
Foxygen at The Waiting Room, April 3, 2015.

Foxygen at The Waiting Room, April 2, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Foxygen was hysterically entertaining last night at The Waiting Room, and by that I mean the band played as if every single member had snorted a Hefty garbage bag filled with Peruvian marching powder prior to the set.

Whirling dervishes one and all, but especially frontman Sam France, who came off like an ultra-glam cross between David Bowie and Mick Jaggar (with a smattering of Iggy Pop thrown in for good measure). Over-the-top energy. To say the band played full-on would be a vast understatement. On fire. Yes. And nothing close to what I was expecting having heard their last two (and only two) albums, which ooze slacker disdain. There was nothing slacker about last night.

Playing as an 9-piece (keys, bass, two guitars, vocals, drums, three back-up singers in spangles and spandex) the band barged through a set that epitomized ’70s glam with hints of psychedelic and Motown. The end product was like an indie version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch spot-welded to Jim Steinham / Meat Loaf by way of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Vamping was a key ingredient, along with synchronized dance steps and multiple costume changes.

The frenzy of the manic stage show was only eclipsed by the unceasing drive of the exhaustingly energetic music — a night-and-day contrast to the low-key noodling heard on …And Star Power, their latest album which can be rather…challenging to listen to. The Internet is filled with stories about how this band is either already broken up (and this is their farewell tour) or are in the process of dismantling. You wouldn’t know it by watching last night’s spectacle, which will very likely will be among my top-5 favorite shows of ’15. Here’s hoping all the break-up drama is merely that, and that Foxygen keeps it going, With a show like this, Broadway is calling.

Alex Cameron at The Waiting Room, April 2, 2015.

Alex Cameron at The Waiting Room, April 2, 2015.

Before Foxygen it was one-man Aussie sensation Alex Cameron and sax player Roy. The shtick is Cameron looking and dancing like Talking Heads’ David Byrne and singing like Bryan Ferry to pre-recorded ’80s-flavored beat tracks. Shades of Andy Kaufman, amusing and (somewhat) mesmerizing, though it wore a bit thin after 15 minutes. Cameron’s a funny dude in a Flight of the Conchords sort of way. The crowd didn’t know what to make of him, but he won them over in the end.

Oquoa at The Waiting Room, April 2, 2015.

Oquoa at The Waiting Room, April 2, 2015.

Opening the night with a strong set (though to a half-empty room) was Omaha’s own Oquoa. I hadn’t seen these guys in at least a year and was pleasantly surprised at how their sound has evolved. Frontman Max Holmquist has added more drama to his voice (and these new songs), sounding like Paul Banks fronting a shoegaze version of Interpol.

Oquoa has been compared to Lewis’ former band Conduits, a comparison that no longer fits thanks to Patrick Newbery’s spaced-out keys, which are prominent in the mix. The band’s core sound is now drums, bass, keyboards and Holmquist’s siren voice (His electric guitar was all but unheard in the mix). The product, especially on the set closer, was haunting and harrowing. The only nit I have to pick is that (as with Conduits) I couldn’t tell you what a single song was about as the words were virtually undecipherable, with all annunciation lost in the delay. When it comes to this kind of music, do the words really matter anyway?

* *

Let’s get right to the weekend lineup:

Tonight Whirr (Graveface Records) plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s. The band’s shoegaze sound has been compared to My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. Opening is Fort Collins band Sour Boy, Bitter Girl and Those Far Out Arrows. $7, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, Timecat celebrates the release of their debut album Living in the Dark at The Reverb Lounge. Also on the bill are Eric in Outerspace, Lover’s Speed and Feral Hands. $5, 9 p.m.

BTW, It’s first Friday in Benson. Start looking for parking now.

One other show going on tonight worth your attention: Metal/punk band Cult Leader plays at the very cool Midtown Art Supply, 2578 Harney. Joining them are Varmint, Survive Us All and Omaha’s sludgemeisters Nightbird. $7, 8 p.m.

Saturday night is the Simon Joyner Album Release Show at Slowdown Jr. Opening for Simon and his band are Outlaw Con Bandana and L. Eugene Methe. Tix are $8 today and $10 tomorrow. If you haven’t already, listen to this sweet interview with Simon Joyner from this week’s Lazy-i Podcast. Simon talks about his voice, his music and where he finds the characters that inhabit his songs.

Also happening Saturday night, Swearing at Motorists celebrate its 20th Anniversary Tour at O’Leaver’s with Burger Records band DTCV and Peace of Shit. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also Saturday The Sons of Reverb play at The Reverb Lounge with Left Is West. $7, 9 p.m.

And yet one more show in Benson Saturday night: Relax, It’s Science plays at The Sydney with The Clocks and Laika the Space Bitch. $5, 9 p.m.

That’s what I got. If I missed your show, 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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