Live Review: Take Cover VI-Omaha (Song Syndrome, Jocelyn)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:48 pm January 30, 2017

Song Syndrome at The Waiting Room as part of Take Cover VI, Jan. 28, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve criticized Hear Nebraska in the past for the format behind its Take Cover events, or as I jokingly used to describe them: “Bands you don’t know covering songs by bands you don’t know.”

Well, if Saturday night’s crowd is any indication, Andy Norman (HN’s executive director) and team should keep things just the way they are. By the time I left the festivities a little after 10 p.m., The Waiting Room was comfortably packed with the biggest crowd I’ve seen at one of these events.

I caught only the first 90 minutes or so of Take Cover performers. Two acts stood out:

Song Syndrome used to be a band called Anthems (thanks for the data, Mr. Manner). It’s a red-hot rock outfit with Social Distortion overtones and an in-your-face frontman who looks like someone you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. They bit off a little more than they could chew when the tried covering an Elliott Smith song, and inasmuch admitted it from stage. Still, their own material was head on, brutal. Why they would change their name from Anthems to Song Syndrome is a mystery, but I suggest they either change it back or come up with a better name, because unfortunately, in this age when there are a zillion new bands starting up every day, your band name actually matters.

The other standout was local phenom Jocelyn, who has been tearing up the stages like the Side Door Lounge for awhile now, developing a rather sizable following for her brand of acoustic pop. Her style and energy are undeniably infectious, and her voice could make her a finalist on The Voice. Jocelyn covered an Ally Peeler song and one other, and then did an original that got the crowd to explode.

What stood out as much as her voice and energy was her youth. Jocelyn looked like a teenager but performed like a seasoned veteran. I was reminded of one of my all-time favorites, Tracy Chapman, except for the fact that Chapman’s music (specifically her debut album) is layered with deep, painful emotions on songs about survival and redemption. Jocelyn’s songs, on the other hand, are as shiny and upbeat as you might expect from someone her age. In her defense, Chapman was 23 when she recorded her Grammy-winning debut. Jocelyn still has some living to do, but maybe she’s better off never going to those dark places…

Mr. Norman tells me this was the most successful Take Cover weekend in the organization’s history, pulling in thousands in donations from the 300 or so on hand at The Waiting Room and the nearly as many who went to the Bourbon edition Friday night in Lincoln.

For years I’ve always tried to convince Andy to focus on only one artist for the covers portion of the show; host something like “Take Cover: Elliott Smith” or “Take Cover: Tim Kasher,” wherein all the participants select one song to cover by the featured Nebraska artist. But why fiddle with an already winning formula?

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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David Nance makes Cosloy’s list; Hear Nebraska’s Take Cover 6 lineup; Bib, Conny Franko, Bien Fang tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:29 pm December 28, 2016
Bien Fang at O'Leaver's March 4, 2016. The band plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

Bien Fang at O’Leaver’s March 4, 2016. The band plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Among the year-end lists (or list of lists) I pay attention to is the annual Matador Records’ “Orgy of Self Congratulations,” wherein Matador artists and associates lay out what music and performances were their favorites in the past year. Matador co-founder Gerard Cosloy always ends the blog with his lists, and among his favorite recordings in 2016 was David Nance’s More Than Enough (Badabing Records). Is it a big deal? Probably not, but it is to me because I’ve always respected Cosloy’s taste in music, back to his days at Homestead Records. Check out Cosloy’s full list (and the rest of Matadors’ listings) right here.

By the way Big Thief, Saddle Creek’s biggest roster addition, also made it onto three other Matador folks’ lists. Big Thief has had a big year. Someone needs to bring them back to Omaha…

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Speaking of David Nance, Hear Nebraska announced the line-up of its 6th Annual Take Cover concert at The Waiting Room Jan. 28. This is a fundraiser where performers cover a song by another Nebraska artist and play one of their own songs to boot.

Among the participants this time is the aforementioned David Nance. Other standout acts include See Through Dresses, Mint Wad Willy and Thick Paint. More info and full line-up here.

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Nebraska band Bib has captured its share of national attention this year. Noisey did a Q&A with the band upon the release of their demos 7-inch and 5-song EP Pop on Deranged Records and ETT in Europe. They also received a brief write-up in Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll; and, of course, hit the road on tour. And they’re capping off the year with a gig at fabulous O’Leaver’s tonight.

Conny Franko, who’s had a pretty good 2016 in his own right, also is on the bill along with the super-talented Jim Schroeder (UUVVWWZ). Subtropics headline. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Lincoln’s Bien Fang (self-proclaimed grunge-pop band featuring Rachel Tomlinson Dick, Nathaniel Luginbill and Katherine Courtney Morrow) opens for Hottman Sisters at The Waiting Room. Scott Nohrenberg kicks things off at 8. $7.

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Lazy-i Best of 2016 Comp CD

Lazy-i Best of 2016 Comp CD

Finally, if you missed it yesterday (and many of you did), enter to win a copy of the Lazy-i Best of 2016 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: Car Seat Heardrest, Sam Evian, Whitney, Big Thief, Father John Misty, A Tribe Called Quest and 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. 9.

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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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