The final SXSW recap (in The Reader); Saddle Creek consortium re-ups with ADA; Alex McManus does Hitchcock, Conchance insurance tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:56 pm March 20, 2014
Conchance performs tonight at The Slowdown.

Conchance performs tonight at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The final word on this year’s South By Southwest conference/festival in this week’s issue of The Reader. It includes summaries of my favorite performances from Coachwhips, Protomartyr, Future Islands, Twinsmith, Eros and the Eschaton, Destruction Unit, Eagulls, Mark Kozelek and more. Check it out in the printed edition, which also includes a ton o’ pics by yours truly. You can also read it online at thereader.com right here.

The Reader‘s coverage also includes Chris Aponick’s take on SXSW’s sights, sounds and smells (Over the course of the week, I smelled dope smoke more often than cigarette smoke. Have they legalized it in Austin already?). Chris spent a lot of time at Beerland (as he always does), and also gives his perspective on Trust, Perfume Genius, Coachwhips, Charli XCX, Perfect Pussy, Burger Records and more. It’s online here.

Over the past few days I’ve been reading a lot of SXSW dissing, mostly by people who have never been there. Fine. I get that you don’t need to take a bite out of a shit sandwich to know it tastes bad (probably). And anyone who tells you SXSW is anything more than an industry boondoggle is feeding you some of the above. That said, if you go to SXSW simply to listen to music, you’d have to try pretty hard not to have fun.

As for performers/bands, well, my heart goes out to them. It’s expensive and it’s a hassle — there’s nothing like seeing a very tired-looking band hump gear through the 6th Street chaos. And then wonder if the cost/hassle was worth it. Most bands I’ve interviewed who have gone to SXSW told me nothing ever came of their performance. I think if you’re only playing once during the festival, you’ll be overlooked. The bands that make the biggest mark — that get noticed — play at least eight times during the week. Fans/journalists/industry gimps are bound to notice your name when it shows up over and over on the SXSW master schedule — and then wonder “Who the hell are these guys?” But if you’re in a brand new band, the chances of getting multiple showcases/sets during SXSW are slim and none.

Dan Scheuerman of Deleted Scenes posted an honest perspective at Hear Nebraska that’s worth your attention (read it here). His summary, “..only a statistically insignificant percentage of bands who play SXSW get discovered, and for the rest, it’s just a good excuse to hang out and enjoy a little bit of springtime before anyone else.” No doubt.

Now that should be the last word on SXSW 2014…

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Super-indie consortium Independent Distribution Cooperative (IDC), which consists of Saddle Creek Records, Merge, Beggers, Domino and Secretly Canadian, resigned a physical distribution deal with Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA), according to this Billboard.com article.

ADA is an arm of Warner Music Group. According to the article, “As part of the deal, ADA will continue to provide physical distribution services to major brick-and-mortar chain accounts for the consortium of labels and their distributed labels too. ADA will also sell select indie accounts on a non-exclusive basis, meaning that the labels can also sell directly to indie accounts too.

The rather convoluted article also mentions that IDC has negotiated for digital distribution, but isn’t clear what that means for the labels. The take-away for me is that these indies continue to work together to keep their product stocked in your local record stores. Wonder what they could accomplish if all five labels merged into one major label?

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Film Streams’ Hitchcock 9 Silents in Concert Repertory Series continues tonight. It features the silent films of Alfred Hitchcock brought to life sonically by live musicians. Tonight it’s the 1927 film The Ring featuring live music by Alex McManus (The Bruces), Aaron Markley and Daniel Ocanto. Tickets are $12 general; $10 students and $8 for Film Streams members. The curtain rises at 7 p.m. Find out more here. If you haven’t been to one of these, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Also tonight, Conchance and Rock Paper Dynamite perform at the Rock Enroll showcase at The Slowdown. The free event will provide information about how to get health insurance coverage as the March 31 deadline looms. Music starts at 9.

* * *

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.

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SXSW: And in conclusion…; Fat Whites, Skeleton Man, St. Patty’s Day tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 1:46 pm March 17, 2014
Fat Whites are playing at Sweatshop Gallery tonight with Skeleton Man and Sam Martin...

Fat Whites are playing at Sweatshop Gallery tonight with Skeleton Man and Sam Martin…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The final entry of my SXSW coverage went online at thereader.com yesterday. You can read it right here. It features Cate Le Bon, Protomartyr, EMA, Angel Olson, Eros & the Eschaton, Urge Overkill and Mark Kozelek.

For those who missed the earlier posts, here they are, in order:

SXSW Day 1 – John Moreland, Deerpeople, Boyfrndz, Sour Notes, Those Howlings…

SXSW Day 2- Tragedy on Red River; Protomartyr, Coachwhips, Destruction Unit, Twinsmith, Kurt Vile…

SXSW Day 3 – Eagulls, Future Islands, Jeremy Messersmith, Total Bathing Culture, Classixx…

SXSW Day 4 – Cate Le Bon, EMA, Angel Olsen, Urge Overkill, Eros & The Eschaton and Mark Kozelek…

As for the photos from SXSW, simply scroll down and see all four days worth of images, posted on Lazy-i.com.

It’s good to be back in Omaha.

Throughout the festival, there was a lot of talk about the “commercialization” of SXSW, specifically centered around the exclusive showcases for mainstream acts like Lady Ga Ga and various hip-hop icons. There may be truth to the claims, but I couldn’t tell you because I don’t go to SXSW to see mainstream pop stars. SXSW didn’t feel much different than the first time I went in 2009. Same crowds, same chaos (except this year when a drunk murdered innocent bystanders).

For the first time ever I didn’t step foot in Mohawk or Stubb’s during the entire festival. Mohawk was beset with marathon-long lines every time I walked past it. As was Stubb’s, though to be honest, Stubb’s is a lousy place to see a band at SXSW — it’s hard to get anywhere near the stage unless you show up hours in advance, and who wants to waste an afternoon waiting in line outside of Stubb’s?

Another criticism thrown at SXSW is that it no longer has the ability to break an unknown independent band. But did it ever? Most bands that perform in Austin already have label deals and have done moderate touring or else they wouldn’t have been selected by the SXSW star chamber selection committee. It is what it is. As Mark Kozelek said during his set last Friday night, there are two types of bands who come to SXSW: The ones that are thrilled to be there, and the one’s that can’t figure out how they got talked into coming back. I saw plenty of both…

Will I be coming back next year? I’m not as certain as I was when I returned from Austin in 2012. The whole routine is beginning to grow old. And the festival itself seems to be flattening out. As we drove to the Austin airport, our cab driver told me he thought there were a lot fewer people in Austin this year than last year, for both the Music and the Interactive conferences. Maybe it’s time SXSW got back to its roots, though I doubt that’ll happen.

* * *

I’ll be enjoying a pint of Guinness at The Dubliner this afternoon. You should join me.

As for music, the Sweatshop Gallery will be hosting London’s Fat Whites tonight. Joining them is Skeleton Man,  Telepathy Problems. and Sam Martin. $5, 10 p.m.

 

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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SXSW Day 3 Photos: Future Islands, Eagulls, Jeremy Messersmith, Future Bathing Culture, Pi in the Sky…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 11:37 am March 14, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Read my Day 3 SXSW recap/journal right now at thereader.com!!!

Now onto yesterday’s photos…

The Eagulls landed at French Legation Park for the Pitchfork Day Party. They were snarly lads.

The Eagulls landed at French Legation Park for the Pitchfork Day Party. They were snarly lads.

* * *

Not a lot of LOL-ing going on during Jerome LOL's set.

Not a lot of LOL-ing going on during Jerome LOL’s set (that lady ain’t Jerome, btw)…

* * *

No home runs for this Mark McGuire.

No home runs for this Mark McGuire.

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Future Island's Sam Herring in full shimmy mode.

Future Island’s Sam Herring in full shimmy mode.

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Classixx had the beats that kept people dancing.

Classixx had the beats that kept people dancing.

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The endless mic check at massive Butler Park Stage at Lady Bird Lake.

The endless mic check at massive Butler Park Stage at Lady Bird Lake.

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The Pi in the Sky skywriters circled all afternoon.

The Pi in the Sky planes circled all afternoon.

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Pure Bathing Culture at Hype Hotel.

Pure Bathing Culture at Hype Hotel.

* * *

Nina Nesbitt at Swan Dive.

Nina Nesbitt at Swan Dive.

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The incomparable Jeremy Messersmith and his band were messer-merizing at Swan Dive.

The incomparable Jeremy Messersmith and his band were messer-merizing at Swan Dive.

* * *

Happy Pi Day

Happy Pi Day

* * *

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.

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SXSW Day 1: John Moreland, Deerpeople, Boyfrndz, Sour Notes, Those Howlings…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 11:17 am March 12, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

First, read this week’s column that provides a preview of this year’s South By Southwest Festival. It’s in this week’s issue of The Reader and online right here.

Then, go RIGHT HERE and read my Day 1 report from SXSW featuring the bands pictured below. All my day journals will be posted at The Reader website, but will be linked from Lazy-i, where all photos will be displayed, with a bit of commentary, as below.

Folkie John Moreland had the honor of being the first performance I took in at SXSW 2014. Here he is on The Buffalo Lounge Stage playing a song used in the TV show Sons of Anarchy.

Folkie John Moreland had the honor of being the first performance I took in at SXSW 2014. Here he is on The Buffalo Lounge Stage playing a song used in the TV show Sons of Anarchy.

* * *

Cute, precocious Stillwater band DEERPEOPLE may be familiar to folks who attended Lincoln Calling over the years as they're a regular festival staple, as they are at SXSW. Also at The Buffalo Lounge.

Cute, precocious Stillwater band DEERPEOPLE may be familiar to folks who attended Lincoln Calling over the years as they’re a regular festival staple, as they are at SXSW. Also at The Buffalo Lounge.

* * *

Austin noise band Boyfrndz were brutal and loud at 512 Club.

Austin noise band Boyfrndz were brutal and loud at 512 Club.

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Austin power pop band The Sour Notes had pretty lights and pretty melodies at Cheer Up Charlie's.

Austin power pop band The Sour Notes had pretty lights and pretty melodies at Cheer Up Charlie’s.

* * *

Those Howlings had the local hipsters doing The Frug from the shitty indoor stage at Cheer Up Charlie's.

Those Howlings had the local hipsters doing The Frug from the shitty indoor stage at Cheer Up Charlie’s.

* * *

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.

 

 

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At SXSW this week; Matthew Sweet sighting (in Omaha)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 8:16 am March 10, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It was warmer in Omaha than in Austin yesterday. That’s supposed to change over the next 24 hours. Until then it’s hoody weather and a chance of rain this afternoon. Doesn’t matter since I’ll be cooling my heels in hotel conference rooms all day anyway, enjoying the Interactive portion of the South by Southwest conference. The Music portion of SXSW doesn’t start for a day or so, and by then, the sun should be shining again (but you’ll probably still need a hoodie).

Look for SXSW coverage beginning Wednesday.

* * *

He was wearing these glasses...

He was wearing these glasses…

A brief story: While enjoying some delicious chicken curry at Mai Tai 2 in Aksarben village this past weekend, I glanced over at the table next to ours and recognized what I thought was a familiar face. “Pssst. Is that Matthew Sweet sitting at the table next to us?

Teresa didn’t remember who Matthew Sweet was so I had to sing a few lines off Girlfriend and look up his picture on my iPhone. I passed it over to her. We couldn’t say for sure. But after I found yet another photo with Sweet wearing the very same glasses as the guy next door, well, it had to be him. I will never know for sure because we didn’t ask, but…

After I got home I discovered an article on the ‘net — an interview with Sweet, where he talks about moving to Omaha and building a home studio where he’s currently working on the followup to 2011’s Modern Art. Someone else confirmed the story on Sunday. So Sweet is back in Nebraska (but not in his hometown of Lincoln). Now all we need is  someone to book him at one of our local clubs. Surely he has to try his new material out on someone before he lays it down in his studio…

* * *

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.

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The Photo Atlas, John Klemmesen, The Big Deep tonight; Scott Severin Saturday; Against Me, Cheap Girls Sunday; SXSW time…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 3:00 pm March 7, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

sxsw2014logoIt’s the last weekend before the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, which partially explains why we have a number of good bands coming through town, many of whom are headed down south afterward.

For example, Denver’s The Photo Atlas, who is slated to perform at SXSW, is playing at fabulous O’Leaver’s tonight with local boys The Sharks and John Klemmensen and The Party. If you haven’t seen The Photo Atlas before, do yourself a favor — their live set is pure electro-dance-rock chaos. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Speaking of O’Leaver’s, did anyone see the Omaha.com write-up on The Club? Somehow while putting together her pithy descriptions the writer left out the part about all the staggering drunks hustling to get one last shot of Rumplemintz before passing out in a heap beneath the tiki bar, or that time someone threw a bass drum near at Whipkey… Ah, but that was way back in 2005. Things have changed a lot since then, haven’t they? O’Leaver’s, where your world could explode at any moment…

Also tonight (but not related to SXSW) The Big Deep is celebrating the release of their new album, Echoes on Little Blue, at The Waiting Room with Rock Paper Dynamite and Michael Wunder & the Uninspired. Your $10 cover also pays for a download of the new record. Show starts at 9.

Also tonight, Saturn Moth plays at The Barley Street Tavern with MPDG (Manic Pixie Dream Girls), Carl Miller and John Wilwerding. No idea on the cover, show starts at 9.

Saturday night singer songwriter Scott Severin waves goodbye to Omaha during a farewell performance from the Barley Street stage. Don’t worry, Scott’s only going down the road to Lincoln. Helping send him off is Mark Irwin and Two Shakes. No idea on the cover, show starts at 9.

Then on Sunday it’s a mammoth show at The Slowdown featuring Against Me, Laura Stevenson and The Cans, Cheap Girls and Saintseneca. All four bands are playing showcases at SXSW next week but you can see them here for a mere $15. NOTE: This is an early show — 7:30 start time.

Of course I’ll miss that fantastic Slowdown show as I’ll already be in Austin, attending the SXSW Interactive Conference prior to the Music Conference. I still haven’t figured out which bands I’m going to see on which nights. But like the last time I went to SXSW, expect to see plenty o’ tweets and photo updates on Lazy-i. Full coverage will appear in The Reader (They’re supplying my badge!) and/or at thereader.com, which also will include reports from fellow music critic Chris Aponick.

Let the games begin… Have a good weekend.

* * *

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.

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SXSW Sched is up; PUJOL leaks new track; Kasher will play in someone’s living room (and you can watch)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:52 pm March 3, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

No shows for me last weekend. I intended to see Digital Leather and Twinsmith, but talked myself out of both shows due to: 1) the cold, and 2) the fact that I’ll likely see them both in Austin next week.

Speaking of South by Southwest, for those of you attending (and for those of you who aren’t but want to see what you’re missing), Sched’s Unofficial Guide to SXSW 2014 is now live. Though not recognized by the powers that be at SXSW, it is somewhat definitive…

* * *

What else…

PUJOL, Kludge (Saddle Creek, 2014)

PUJOL, Kludge (Saddle Creek, 2014)

In case you didn’t know, next up on Saddle Creek Records’ release calendar is the new full-length by PUJOL titled Kludge. The album has a street date of May 20, but you can pre-order it now from the Creek site. And you can stream or download the first single from the album, “Pitch Black,” at VICE, where Daniel Pujol talks in detail about the new album: “I wanted to make an album that sounded completely fictional. Like a cartoon nightmare. Tiny wind-up orchestra.” It goes on (and on)

* * *

Speaking of Saddle Creek artists, Tim Kasher is embarking on a “Living Room” Tour, and tickets to the March 24 Omaha Living Room Show are now available for $20 right here. No idea where this is being held. I guess they let you know after you buy your tickets…

* * *

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.

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Random Notes (Slowdown, Pleasure Adapter, Mynabirds, SXSW 2014); Tyvek tomorrow…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:50 pm February 10, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Catching up on old news…

I was informed last week that Val Nelson no longer is employed at The Slowdown. Val used to run hospitality and coordinate booking for the club. Jason Kulbel has taken over the duties for the time being. I’ll miss Val. She’s been at Slowdown since the club opened in 2007  It was always nice to see her smiling face in the crowd or behind the bar.

* * *

It was reported a few weeks ago, but you may have missed it: Pleasure Adapter broke up. No details as to the reason for the breakup, though I’ve been told that Jeff Ankenbauer is already working on his next project. Keep an eye out for that.

Pleasure Adapter had recently recruited Matt Maginn of Cursive to play bass and looked poised to move to “the next level.” There had even been talk of the band entering the studio. Funny how these things go down.

* * *

In other local band news, I’ve been told Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds has moved to Los Angeles, and her Facebook page confirms it. Laura moved from D.C. to Omaha sometime after 2009 after leaving her previous band, Georgie James, and forming Mynabirds. Another loss for the Omaha music scene…

* * *

Looks like yours truly will once again be traveling to Austin to cover the SXSW Music Festival. This year’s festival may have the smallest Omaha representation in recent memory. Saddle Creek will not be sponsoring a showcase, though Creek artist PUJOL will be performing and I’m told Twinsmith could make an appearance. Beyond that, I’m not aware of any other Omaha/Lincoln act taking part. If you know otherwise, drop me a line or leave a message in the comments area.

* * *

Looking at the ol’ blog it’s been two friggin’ weeks since I’ve posted a live review. That’s because it’s been two friggin’ weeks since I’ve been to a club. Blame it on a combination of the cold weather and lack of touring indie shows.

That said, Detroit band Tyvek (In the Red Records) is playing at Sweatshop Gallery tomorrow night for what’s practically a secret show as it’s not listed  on either the Sweatshop or Tyvek Facebook pages. Are they purposely keeping the show on the down low as to not detract from the fact that Tyvek will be opening for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks at The Waiting Room this coming Sunday? Maybe, maybe…

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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.

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