Ted Leo goes the Kickstarter route; Lotus tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:57 pm February 22, 2017

Ted Leo does a street show. The photo is from his Kickstarter page.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Via an article in A.V. Club, Ted Leo today talked about why he went the Kickstarter route for his next album. Leo said with his relationship with mega-indie-label Matador Records at an end, Kickstarter was a viable option “… I feel it was an interesting and creatively challenging way for me to consider moving forward, not just with this album, but as artist wanting to make music at my own preferred pace. And not having to be buffeted about in the stormy seas of the record business such as it is.

Read the whole article here and contribute in Leo’s Kickstarter from here (I know I will because, well, I love Ted Leo).

I’ve been asked by local artists what I think of Kickstarter. It’s a great way to presale your record, especially if you intend to press vinyl. At the very least it’ll give you an idea regarding how much demand there is for actually releasing your music on vinyl. If you can’t hit your goal, you may want to rethink your strategy. Vinyl is pricey.

Leo’s goal is a whopping $85,000. He just went online with his Kickstarter and he’s already at the $50,000 mark. No doubt he’ll hit his goal, after which the pressure’s on to get the record out. He doesn’t want to be in the same situation that Matthew Sweet found himself, having conducted a Kickstarter in the summer of 2014 that he’s yet to make good at (though he promises the record will be out in late spring).

Another local artist brought Pledge Music to my attention. According to the website Pledge Music is “dedicated to empowering artists, labels and brands to build communities, fund and pre-sell recordings, and provide unique experiences and exclusives throughout the entire music production and promotion lifecycle.” Pledge is truly music-focused (unlike Kickstarter which is wide open to any offer), and is more of a pre-sale website with some monster users, including Willie Nelson and Weird Al and Nelly Furtado. Has anyone locally tried Pledge?

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Tonight Philly/Denver electronic band Lotus plays at The Slowdown. I only included this show announcement because the Slowdown’s description says, “The tightly produced yet raw grooves recall sounds of The Talking Heads, Jamiroquai, and LCD Soundsystem.” Really? JackLNDN opens. $25, 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Lazy-i Interview: The Both (Aimee Mann & Ted Leo); Maha: The Head Vs. The Heart (in the column)…

Category: Blog,Column,Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:57 pm August 14, 2014
The Both = Aimee Mann + Ted Leo. They're playing at Saturday's Maha Music Festival.

The Both = Aimee Mann + Ted Leo. They’re playing at Saturday’s Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Maha Music Festival pre-coverage is hitting the streets today, including the stuff I worked on for The Reader.

Every year I do one Q&A with one of the traveling Maha artist, and this year it was with Aimee Mann and Ted Leo of The Both. Among the questions asked:

  • – Is playing together everything you dreamed it would be?
  • – Are you creating something with a new fan base or building on your solo fan bases?
  • – During the songwriting phase, Aimee, did you ask Ted to throttle back / Ted, did you ask Aimee to ramp it up?
  • – Aimee, did you foresee the decline of the music industry when you created your own record label in ’99?
  • – What do you think of Kickstarter?

And the question I was most interested in asking:

  • – Aimee, I have to ask a two-part Magnolia question: 1) What did you think when PT Anderson had the characters sing the lines to “Wise Up,” and 2) What did you think the first time you saw it in the finished film?

And so on. You can read the answers to those questions and more in this week’s issue of The Reader, or online right here.

Aimee and Ted were a lot of fun to interview, especially Ted, who reminisced about past shows he’s played in Omaha and how lousy they were. Leo came through with Dismemberment Plan in 2001, as a headliner at Sokol Underground in 2003, and opened for Against Me at Slowdown in 2008. He always puts on a great show, whether he thinks he does or not.

I have not had the best shows of my life in Omaha, and that’s not inflective of Omaha per se,” he said. “There’s so many factors that come together like a perfect crap storm to make a show crappy, there are so many moving parts and every day you’re on tour, you can’t blame it on one thing. I’m happy to be back in this context with Aimee at the Maha festival.”

This is the first time Aimee Mann’s been to Omaha, and she had no preconceptions about our fair city.  “I’ve heard nothing (about Omaha), so it’s a lovely clean slate,” Mann said. “The reason any musician doesn’t or does go to a town or area has nothing to do with personal preference, it’s all about the promoter or booking agent. If there’s not a promoter that thinks that people will come to see you, you don’t show up at that town.

Go read the interview. It’s long.

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In other Maha news, my column this week focuses on the future of summer music festivals and how Maha fits into the equation. For perspective, I interviewed Tre Brashear, one of Maha’s founders, about the challenges he and his team face putting the festival together every year, and where he thinks Maha is headed. You can also read that in The Reader or online right here.

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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.