Ten Questions with Soccer Mommy (at Reverb Sunday); Lord Huron, Cut Worms tonight (SOLD OUT)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:00 pm October 3, 2018

Soccer Mommy plays at Reverb Sunday, Oct. 7.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Soccer Mommy is Sophie Allison, a Nashville singer/songwriter influenced by the likes of pop stars Avril Lavigne and Taylor Swift, though her music is more easily filed alongside fellow indie singer/songwriter projects Mitski, Waxahatchee and Big Thief.

In fact, on her 2018 Fat Possum release, Clean, Allison’s style and voice are reminiscent of ’80s folkie Edie Brickell, and I’d throw early Liz Phair in there as well (someone Allison has opened for recently) except lyrically Allison’s songs are more longing and withdrawn than Phair’s Exile-era, jaded, take-it-or-leave-it love rants.

Instead, Allison often comes off lost or left-behind, as if watching as her lover hits on someone else at a party she wasn’t invited to in the first place. Even on indie radio hit “Your Dog,” the modern anti-thesis of the Stooges’ tune, Allison sounds worn out rather than angry. Clean is, indeed, a beauty of a record, but I’m waiting for when Allison’s had enough and returns as a mad-as-hell reincarnation of early PJ Harvey.

We caught up with Allison and asked her to take our Ten Questions survey:

1. What is your favorite album?

Sophie Allison: It’s hard to pick just one! One of my favorites that I’ve returned to this week is Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco. It’s a popular choice for a reason!

2. What is your least favorite song?

I really don’t like that F-R-I-E-N-D-S song that is on the radio right now. I don’t know who it’s by, but I hear it all the time. (“FRIENDS” by Marshmello & Anne-Marie — Tim).

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

I like getting to share experiences of traveling and playing music with other people, especially since I really like the guys I tour with.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Sharing the bathroom in a hotel is pretty much the worst part. It can be a battle in the mornings!

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Right now I’m going to just say Malibu so we can keep it user friendly.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

I always love playing in New York and Boston. I feel comfortable with both of those cities since I lived in NY and my sister lived in Boston and it’s always just a fun time.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Probably Liverpool. We showed up right before the set because we missed the ferry and it was just an odd vibe after that.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

I can at least sort of support myself at this point. I don’t really have another choice since I’m always on the road. It took at least half a year to be able to not be struggling to make it through tours, but sometimes we still struggle through it a bit.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do? 

I don’t really think I’d like to do anything else. I guess maybe I’d be a poet, but that’s basically what I do now. I’d hate to be an accountant or something like that.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I haven’t really heard any to be honest! We played there once (with Jay Som and Stef Chura Sept. 12, 2017, at Reverb — Tim) and it seemed like a nice town, the show was pretty small though and not a ton of people came.

Soccer Mommy plays with Sasami Sunday, Oct. 7, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Tickets are $12, showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

Tonight Lord Huron headlines a sold out show at Sokol Auditorium. Opening is Brooklyn’s Cut Worms headed by Max Clarke, whose Jagjuwar release Hollow Ground earned a 7.2 rating from Pitchfork. 8 p.m. start time.

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Sunflower Bean (at Reverb 6/25); Whipkey tonight; Eric in Outerspace Saturday; Bambara Sunday…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:00 pm June 22, 2018

Sunflower Bean plays Reverb Monday, June 25.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Few bands have taken indie stardom by storm quite like Brooklyn’s Sunflower Bean. The trio of Nick Kivlen (lead guitar and vocals), Jacob Faber (drums) and Julia Cumming (bass and lead vocals) exploded onto the scene with the critically lauded Human Ceremony (2016, Fat Possum), a compilation of songs the trio wrote while still in their teens.

Their new maturity is apparent on Twentytwo in Blue (2018, Mom + Pop), released this past March. The band takes on a more rock-fueled tone while Cumming, who handles the lion’s share of vocals, comes off like a modern-day Harriet Wheeler but without the acoustic lilt of The Sundays.

I caught up with the band and gave them the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s what they had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Julia Cumming: Transformer – Lou Reed

2. What is your least favorite song?

Cumming: Anything by the Chainsmokers.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Cumming: It’s a dream come true. I love being on a team with people I trust and care about, and making art with them. We get to travel the world, and no show we play is the same as any other. Each show has improvisation and is kept super live so that we can create these special moments every night. Creating those moments is the best part of being in a band.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Nick Kivlen: There’s nothing we really hate about being in a band but sometimes when you’re on a 4-week tour you really start missing your own bed.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Kivlen: Coffee

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Jacob Faber: NYC will forever be the best.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Faber: Not sure of the worst gig but one that stands out is when we played a frat house and fight broke out and everyone went to watch the fight instead of our show.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Faber: We are lucky enough that we can support ourselves through music, nothing is ever guaranteed, but we work really hard and are able to do it full time.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

Faber: Would love to be a traveling food critic; would hate to be a car salesman.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Faber: All I know about Omaha is that Nick’s old dog, Casey, was from Omaha and he was a great guy RIP.

Sunflower Bean plays with Public Access T.V. Monday, June 25, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Showtime is 8 p.m., tickets are $12 Adv./$14 DOS. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

OK, but what about this weekend?

Tonight Matt Whipkey is playing a free show at Harney Street Tavern. Whipkey has grabbed some national attention lately when his cover of The Beatles’ “Drive My Car,” which appears on his new album Driver, was played on both Little Steven’s Underground Garage and Breakfast with the Beatles, a show hosted by Chris Carter, founding member of Dramarama. Both shows are on Sirius XM satellite radio. Driver also received a positive nod from roots music journal No Depression. See what the buzz is about starting at 9 p.m.

Also tonight (Friday) Denver’s Slow Caves (Old Flame Records) plays at O’Leaver’s with Ojai and Win/Win. $7, 10 p.m.

Saturday night Eric in Outerspace celebrates the release of their new album Later Days at Brothers Lounge. Joining them are Chicago’s The Sueves and The Cassowaries (Andrew Gustafson). $5, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night Montee Men opens for Jump the Tiger at O’Leaver’s. Living Conditions kicks it off at 10 p.m. $5.

A busy weekend for O’Leaver’s ends with a special Sunday matinee featuring Brooklyn’s Bambara (Wharfcat Records). FiFi NoNo and The Show Is the Rainbow opens at 6 p.m. $5.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (at Slowdown May 17); Helmet tonight…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:39 pm May 15, 2018

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club plays Thursday night at The Slowdown. Photo by Tessa Angus.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club — a.k.a. BRMC — have been a force in the West Coast psych rock scene since the band formed in the late ’90s. The core has always been guitarist Peter Hayes and bassist Robert Levon Been, who have shared the vocals throughout the band’s eight studio albums.

Their style: a grimy gutter groove, a loud fuzz guitar and a gritty growl spitting out words about the wrong kind of love. Rock stomps like “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo” off the 2010 album by the same name, and “Spread Your Love” off their 2001 debut B.R.M.C. are the perfect soundtrack for anyone who wants to feel like a bad-ass. The band keeps the grind going strong on their latest, Wrong Creatures, released this past January by Vagrant Records.

We caught up with BRMC’s Robert Levon Been and asked him Ten Questions:

What is your favorite album?

Robert Levon Been: Still waiting for it.

What is your least favorite song?

Nearly all of the them, except the very few that somehow give just enough hope to music to trick it into believing it might all carry on into infinity and beyond.

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

It’s the real dream: to find a place where you set aside all your differences with another person and create something new, beautiful, and unexpected with another person. It’s not far from child birth or any great work of art that’s a collaborative exploration into violent and unknown territory.

What do you hate about being in a band?

The sex, drugs, lies, egos and the distractions. But then again, what would rock ’n’ roll be without all those things?

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

MUSIC. I know it’s like the most pretentious answer of all time, but I don’t care. It really comes down to the song, atmosphere, weird sonic vibrations, and soul. Everything else is just is surface, sugar, icing on the cake, and always fleeting…

In what city or town do you love to perform?

Our dream is to play Iceland, which is the only place we’ve never played and we’ve always tried year after year after year… so please start a petition! To get BRMC TO ICELAND, please.

What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

I think most towns we’ve bombed as many time as we’ve soared, so it kinda balances out. As far as why…I don’t know, I guess we all get nervous and choke just as much as the next guy or gal.

Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

This is actually a good question, because when the band started we ALL AGREED for each member to only be paid a monthly salary (as if we had normal jobs). So if we got a huge licenses for $800,000 dollars we would still just take out a small allowance of that, and that kept us from blowing through our money super fast (with fur coats and lambos). What I’ve noticed though is that after each album we usually have about one year before the accountants start saying ‘Hey look, you’re gonna completely run out of your savings in about six months unless you deliver another new album.’ And that fucks with your head, because you’re just not always inspired every single year to write a new album, which is why I think ‘Wrong Creatures’ took longer than most because we didn’t want to release an album just for, like, tax purposes, which would be almost sacrilegious artistically. So we dragged our feet more than ever before and waited until the songs came more naturally, and it started to feel like an album that we needed in these times. And that’s the only thing that really matters at the end of the day.

What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

A film director or an astronaut. I would hate to vacuum the floors at an airport at like 3 a.m. on the slow Zamboni they’ve got there. I’ve never seen anything more mind numbing than watching a human sitting on a vacuum cleaning going 5 miles per hour, and very understandably looking half asleep while doing a job that’s only purpose is to ease all creativity and soul from your body. But what do I know? Maybe there’s an upside that I’m missing.

What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Just the title all of our all time favorite Bruce Springsteen album, ‘Nebraska’. And that album alone got us through a lot of long van drives cross country in the early days of the band. It’s a spooky album to listen to on an open highway in the dead of night.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club plays with Pete International Airport Thursday, May 17, at The Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St. Tickets are $25 Adv/$28 DOS. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

* * *

The ’90s are back loud and clear tonight at The Waiting Room — Helmet headlines a show alongside metal dudes Prong. $25, 8 p.m.

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Stelth Ulvang (Lumineers)(@ The Slowdown 4/20); review: Clarence Tilton / Monday Mourners split LP……

Category: Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:00 pm April 19, 2018

Stelth Ulvang plays with Wild Child at The Slowdown April 20.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Though singer/songwriter Stelth Ulvang makes his nut as a traveling member of The Lumineers he’s got his own thing going. His sophomore album, American Boredom, was written between tours with his Lumineer pals and has that same winsome folk-rock style of acts like John Wesley Harding and Michael Penn. “I somehow never stop touring,” said the Ft. Collins native. “I enjoy the DIY and indie contrast (of his current tour) to the Live Nation/ Universal shows the rest of the time.

I caught up with Stelth and he did the ol’ Ten Questions survey. Check it out.

What is your favorite album?

Stelth Ulvang: Forced to pick one, probably Built to Spill, There’s Nothing Wrong With Love.

What is your least favorite song?

I really hate “Summer Lovin” UGH it grinds my bones.

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Paid travel

What do you hate about being in a band?

Being in 3 to 5 to 9 relationships.

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Easy, I believe strongly everyone should try psych mushrooms at least once.

In what city or town do you love to perform?

Cape Town, South Africa, has pulled me back 5 or 6 times. Love it.

What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Has ANYONE actually had a good gig in Milwaukee? For a city that prides themselves on their beer consumption, racial segregation, has more riverbank or lakeshore that smells like fish than Chicago, and the cities nickname is “Cream City” Easy answer.

Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Music (with the Lumineers) has become my day job of sorts, but also I suppose last time I brewed coffee for money was 10 years ago! (Salud!).

What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I think I’d be a pretty good salesman at ACE hardware; I would never be a dental assistant. One time a dental assistant asked me what I did for a living, I said, “I’m a musician.” She replied, “I don’t really listen to music.” Jaw dropped.

What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Haha. I have weird hitch hiking stories from Omaha, too long for here. But I’m a big fan of Saddle Creek Records. Shaped my musical scope as I became a musician undoubtedly. But also the Lucky Scalpee is a good one, the one about the crane that stole a child, and the weird one about Pete Postlethwaite having a nervous breakdown in The Drover and a waitress calmed him down and they fell in love and got married…. that one.

Stelth Ulvang plays with Wild Child at The Slowdown Friday, April 20. Tickets are $15 Adv/$17 DOS. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

* * *

Q1 2018 record reviews continue. Read them all here at The Reader website.

Clarence Tilton / Monday Mourners, split LP (2018, self-release)

Clarence Tilton / Monday Mourners, split LP (self release) — This is like getting two albums in one because there’s so much material from both of these local bands — six tracks per band. Side one is Clarence Tilton, who provides another set of the best alt-country you’re going to hear this side of Uncle Tupelo. Des Moines’ Monday Mourners is a new discovery, with a sound that ranges from more traditional C&W (“Steal My Time,” “Trouble at Home”) to heavier, snarling country rock (“Blood on the Wheel”) with twanging guitars that float atop a cushion of organ tones. Giddy-up!

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Titus Andronicus (@ Slowdown Jr. March 18); They Might Be Giants tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:38 pm March 14, 2018

Titus Andronicus plays March 18 at Slowdown Jr. Photo by Ray Concepcion.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Since 2008 Titus Andronicus music has swayed from one style to the next, from bombastic, fist-in-the-air punk to soaring, swaying sing-along waltzes dense enough to keep a sea barge afloat.

The rock continues on the latest Titus Andronicus collection, A Productive Cough (2017, Merge), that finds singer/songwriter Patrick Stickles flexing his metaphoric pen on music that would sound good next to Exile-era Rolling Stones.

Sunday’s Titus Andronicus show at Slowdown will be an acoustic-only take on this new material, plus some Titus chestnuts. Stickles will be joined by Omaha native, pianist Alex Molini. “No drums, no ‘mosh pit’ every song pretty slow and not as loud,” Stickles said of this current tour.

I caught up with Stickles and asked him to take the Ten Questions survey. Here’s his answers:

1. What is your favorite album?

Patrick Stickles: It has been a long time since I declared an album to be my “favorite,” as I don’t much care these days to turn art into any kind of competition. When I did make such lists, I used to say that the self-titled debut of Violent Femmes was my personal number one, though it has been a while since I revisited it, and the adolescent frustration which the album so effectively embodies has slightly faded within me over time. Over the last five years or so, the album I have listened to most is probably Supreme Clientele by Ghostface Killah, which is so lyrically dense that I can hear it a hundred times and always find new wonders — what a powerful pen.

2. What is your least favorite song?

I try not to give too much emotional energy to the music that I don’t like so when I hear a song that irritates me, I don’t tend to learn its name, but I often find myself getting very frustrated when I am at the grocery store and they play that sort of acoustic, “whoa-oh” music that sounds like the band is wearing suspenders. That music must make some people happy though so I shouldn’t put it down.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

The most rewarding aspect of my career is meeting people who testify that the music has had a positive effect in their life, that it has helped them endure their difficult times. Many people in the audience have gone through struggles similar to my own and I know the power that art has to validate the sufferer and fortify their spirit. It is a great honor to be a part of that exchange and to pay my debt to the artists who have helped me to carry on.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

I adopted two baby cats last year and, of course, they can’t come on tour with me. Leaving them at home was difficult and I miss them very much.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

I smoke a lot of cigarettes, though I do not recommend them.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Performing in New York City is always special, as that is mostly where we all live. As I write this, we are gearing up to play in Toronto, which is a rocking town. Really though, any town with a stage where people are willing to show up and receive the music is fine by me.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

In terms of the quality of the performance, the worst Titus Andronicus gig I can remember was in Oxford, UK, which was marred by extensive equipment malfunctions, out-of-tune guitars, general sloppiness and all those sorts of things which plagued Titus Andronicus for the first five years or so of the career. As far as shows which I enjoyed the least, our last show in Akron, OH was ruined by a certain contingent of drunk bros who took it upon themselves to create and enforce an overly violent, macho vibe on the dance floor, which bothers me to no end. This sort of thing happens more often than I would like, but it is usually the fault of a few bad apples and I try not to let it sour my impression of the whole town, Akron or anyplace else.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

I am very blessed that music has been my solitary occupation since 2008, shortly after the first Titus Andronicus album was released. My needs are fairly modest, and it’s not as though I am raking in the dough or figuring that I can retire off this rock and roll thing one day, but I am very grateful that I am able to make my art the focus of my life. There’s no way to know how long that will last, but every day that I get to live the life of the artist is a great gift and I measure my success in those increments.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

The last “regular job” I had before pursuing music full-time was in delivering pizza, so I suppose that if I wasn’t rocking, I would be doing that. Unfortunately, that’s another one of those jobs that is going to be done entirely by robots in a few years. Before that first album came out, I was studying to become a schoolteacher, but I can hardly even imagine doing anything like that now — young people are crazy, especially with those phones they’ve got these days.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

The pianist accompanying me on this tour is a fellow named Alex Molini and he is a native of Omaha. He speaks very fondly of his childhood years and he makes it sound as though Omaha is full of a lot of decent, good-hearted people with strong values. Of course, I have been to Omaha several times myself, always enjoying it thoroughly, and I am sure that our show at Slowdown will be a worthy addition to my expanding book of Nebraskan memories.

Titus Andronicus plays with Rick Maguire (Pile) Sunday, March 18 at Slowdown Front Room, 729 No. 14th St. Tickets are $13 Adv/ $15 DOS. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

* * *

They Might Be Giants returns to The Slowdown tonight. From the promo: “They’re back on the road with a new show with an expanded line-up of musicians. This new set will include all-time favorites, fresh rarities spanning their epic career, and spur-of-the-moment improvisations that will delight even their exhausted road crew.”

They have a new 15-track album called I Like Fun that sounds like everything they’ve ever done over their 37-year career. Check out the setlist from last night’s show in KC. $25, 8 p.m., no opening act.

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Molly Burch (@ O’Leaver’s March 6); Esme Patterson tonight…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:50 pm March 5, 2018

Molly Burch plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s Tuesday, March 6. Photo by Helene Tchen Cardenas.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Molly Burch comes from a jazz vocal background, having studied the art at University of North Carolina in Asheville. But it wasn’t until she started writing songs that she began capturing the attention of a larger audience.

Her debut LP, Please Be Mine (2017, Captured Tracks) is a lonely, winsome collection of heart-ache love songs sung with a voice that’s been compared to Patsy Cline and Billie Holiday. To me, the record sounds like Nancy Sinatra meets Mazzy Star, distinctly modern and dreamy with touches of sentimental, vintage arrangements.

I caught up with Molly and asked her to take my Ten Questions survey, and she bashfully agreed.

1. What is your favorite album?

Molly Burch: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

2. What is your least favorite song?

That’s tough so I will not answer it!

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Getting to know a small group of people really well.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

When personalities clash.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Diet coke.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

I love performing in LA because that is where I’m from and also New York because I get to see everyone at my label.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Ugh, again, tough. I don’t want to offend any cities or towns! Pass!

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Sort of, but mostly because I live super cheaply. I also nanny to help pay bills along with other occasional side jobs.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I love to set up shows and also plan and host parties…maybe a wedding planner? Lol, I don’t know. And I would hate any profession that involved a lot of public speaking.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I’ve heard of the Runza.

Molly Burch plays with Thick Paint and Sean Pratt & The Sweats Tuesday, March 6 at O’Leaver’s, 1322 S. Saddle Creek Rd. The show starts at 9 p.m., tickets are $8. For more information, go to liveatoleavers.com.

* * *
Denver’s Esme Patterson (Grand Jury Records) gets the Hi-Fi House treatment tonight, starting with a 6 p.m. Q&A followed by an intimate performance by Patterson and her band. A “special guest” Omaha songwriter opens prior to her set. Entry is free for Hi-Fi House members, general public tickets are available on a first-come first-served basis for $25.

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with White Mystery (at O’Leaver’s March 4)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:06 pm February 28, 2018

White Mystery plays at O’Leaver’s March 4. Photo by BANGTEL/By the Barkers

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A favorite memory of past South By Southwest festivals was seeing White Mystery play outside at seminal Austin punk venue Beerland. The duo of Miss Alex White on guitar/vocals and Francis Scott Key White on drums belted out their usual ragged-edged garage rock startling passers-by on Red River Street. Before long, a mob formed blocking traffic in all directions.

It was like seeing local heroes make good, as the Chicago siblings have made Omaha a regular tour stop on their many national sojourns, like the one they’re currently on in support of their latest album, the blistering F.Y.M.S. that brings them to fabulous O’Leaver’s March 4.

Check out what Alex had to say in the Ten Questions survey:

1. What is your favorite album?

Miss Alex White: Who’s Next by the Who

2. What is your least favorite song?

Taylor Swift “Shake It Off.” Fight me!

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

The best part about being in a band is the open road ahead of you. It’s a very free feeling of independence.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

The worst part is the claustrophobia of being stuck in a vehicle all day, that sets in shortly thereafter.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

My favorite substance is ice cream. My least favorite is mushrooms.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Omaha is an awesome city to play in the Midwest because everyone is very down-to-earth, loving, and yet wild-out rock’n’roll. I spun records after Farnham Fest and realized how much everyone appreciated the DJ set, which is a really good, validating feeling. Doing that again at O’Leavers this time around. Beyond that, White Mystery shows in New York are always sold out, bonkers affairs. I also love playing Stockholm, Sweden, because it feels so geographically far away, yet super familiar.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Angers, France, was one of the worst gigs ever, because of what happened afterwards — we stayed in an absolutely pest-infested apartment above the ancient venue. A carpet of tens of thousands of cockroaches dispersed when the door opened! It’s hard to relax in that kind of environment.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Yes, White Mystery has been full-time for eight years. It required a lot of saving while reinvesting income into growth opportunities, like self-released albums and merchandise. The first four years, we did not buy any new clothes, shoes or recreational items. We have toured in the same hatchback this whole time, which is great on gas, but a sacrifice in comfort. The best way to get ahead is to do what is right for you, versus what you think people expect you to do. Take calculated risks to advance your career.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

One profession I would like to attempt is cartoon animator! I would be a terrible veterinarian though, because I’m extremely allergic to most animals.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Legends about our pals in Digital Leather, The Faint, Solid Dave Goldberg, and the Box Elders circulate worldwide. Love you all!

White Mystery plays with Those Far Out Arrows and FiFI NoNo Sunday, March 4, at O’Leaver’s, 1322 So. Saddle Creek Rd. $7, 5 p.m. For more information, go to liveatoleavers.com

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review Matt Whipkey, Charlie Ames; Ten Questions with Palehound (@ Slowdown Jr. 2/27)…

Category: Interviews,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:43 pm February 26, 2018

Matt Whipkey and his band at Reverb Lounge Feb. 25, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Matt Whipkey helmed two album-release shows this past weekend — one on Friday night and a second in the early evening yesterday for old folks like me, I guess. In fact there were a lot of older people seated at tables in the Reverb’s stage room, making the concert feel more like a matinee performance than a rock show, though Whipkey did all he could to give the room a rock show vibe.

Whipkey and his core band of Zimmerman, Sing and Anderson (a perfect name for a law firm) ripped through a set of songs off his new double-LP Driver, which currently stands as my favorite Whipkey release. Like an episode of Storytellers Matt gave background between every song while he feverishly re-tuned his guitar (We were told that the songs off Driver have a variety of “tonal colors” that required alternate tuning).  Unlike on the recording, there were no keyboards at these weekend performances, which (to me) gave the set a more rocking feel.

One of those between-song stories was Matt telling the crowd about a convo he and I had during our interview. I had told Matt that, while I like the song “Fred, You’re Dead,” that it would be perfect candidate to be revamped into a punk song, especially considering the political nature of the lyrics. Lo and behold, Matt pulled out a punk verson of the usually slow, dour song, and it, indeed, ripped. The punk “Fred…” would make a perfect 7-inch single just in time for Record Store Day. Come on, Matt!

Charlie Ames at Reverb Lounge, Feb. 25, 2018.

Opening Sunday evening was singer/songwriter Charlie Ames, who performed an acoustic set of originals. Ames had a striking voice and a nice guitar style on a set of broken-hearted pop songs of the woe-is-me variety. A very talened dude, I’d love to see him write a set of songs that stretched him more creatively.

Palehound plays at Slowdown Jr. Feb. 27, 2018.

Ten Questions with Palehound

Led by singer/songwriter Ellen Kempner, Boston’s Palehound released their sophomore album, A Place I’ll Always Go, on Polyvinyl Records last summer (which received a 7.3 rating from Pitchfork, for those who care about such things).  Since then, the indie combo also dropped a new 7-inch release — “YMCA Pool” b/w “Sea of Blood” — as part of Saddle Creek Records’ Document Series singles program.

Having recently finished a U.S. headlining tour, which included shows with Big Thief, Jay Som, Mitski, and M Ward, Palehound launched a co-headlining tour with Weaves that brings them to Slowdown Feb. 27. We asked Kempner to take our Ten Questions survey. Here’s what she had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Ellen Kempner: I definitely don’t have one! My favorite album of this week has been Jolene by Dolly Parton.

2. What is your least favorite song?

I hate “Blurred Lines.”

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Getting to travel and see the country in a way I never would be able to without music.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Being anxious about shows/people liking our music.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Soda

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Hometown Boston shows are great because our friends are there.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Fort Worth, Texas,  the only people we played for were the two teenagers who were in the other band that played.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

(No comment.)

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do? 

Cooking!! I love cooking and used to work as a cook in a restaurant and loved it. I wouldn’t wanna be a professional runner.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Honestly my answer will be really bad cuz all of them just have to do with Conor Oberst.

Palehound plays with Weaves and See Through Dresses Tuesday, Feb. 27, at The Slowdown front room, 729 No. 14th St. Tickets are $10 Adv/$12 DOS. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers (Feb. 22 @ The Slowdown)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , — @ 1:05 pm February 20, 2018

Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers play The Slowdown Thursday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Being the self-proclaimed indie music snob that I am, I typically would never have discovered Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers. I mean, the Michigan-based band has been classified in the jam band / funk / pop category, has counted major label Universal among its distributors. and has been known to perform in Hawaiian shirts. That’s about as far away from “indie” as it gets.

But after receiving multiple emails from their publicist, I watched the video for the single “Lonely” off their Kickstarter-financed latest release, Pluto, and found myself tapping my toe. When I read via Wiki that Hertler started the band in an effort to get the attention of a girl who hosted an open-mic night, I was hooked.

Hertler was game to take the Ten Questions survey. Here’s what he had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Joe Hertler: It’s basically impossible to pick my favorite, but off the top of my head, maybe Black Radio by Robert Glasper? Sgt Peppers and maybe Live in Verona by Jamiroquai are up there, too.

2. What is your least favorite song?

I love It, by Iconopop. My sax player uses it as a wake up song sometimes for the band when everyone’s been sleeping in the van and we’ve reached our destination. I really do not care to ever hear that song again.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Obviously playing music is super fun, but the adventure of tour with my bandmates (and getting to visiting and reconnect with friends and family in distant locations) is ultimately what makes it the most meaningful.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?


It can be stressful at times, but honestly we have a pretty damn good time playing music together and keeping each other in good spirits. It’s important to be aware of your emotions and the emotions of others. It’s also just as important to take care of yourself, you know, like exercising, eating decently, sleeping, and doing fun shit that doesn’t have to do with music, like hiking, site seeing, etc. If you’re aware of how your behaviors affect your bandmates, then really, there’s really not too much to hate. You gotta embrace all aspects of band life.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

I think they’re all pretty damn fun 😉

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Michigan, Mountain States, and the West Coast have always treated us very, very well!

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

We had a sound system take a shit on us at a gig in Ashville. This was also after the promoter moved us to their rave cave room because there were issues with original room we were going to play. The heat went out, too, so it was like 50 degrees in the venue. Made for kind of a rough show. Honestly, though, we don’t really have bad shows. We tend to get pissed and nit-pick over little fuck-ups, but being critical of oneself is just part of it. Certainly doesn’t determine whether a show is good or bad. As long as the crowd is engaged, which they always seem to be – that’s what makes a show good.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Yep! We do various side hustles, but for the most part we support ourselves through music. Aaron is an ex-engineer and part-time chainsaw carver. I used to be a teacher. Micah and Ryan do some work for our producer’s company on the side, and Rick makes giant mechanical wooden clocks.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do? 

I would love to make horror movies!

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Haven’t heard many stories, but there’s some really great music happening in Omaha. My buddy, Rick Carson, owns a really incredible studio called Make Believe, which is a really hot space right now. Of course, there’s the Saddle Creek label. It’s a pretty bad-ass city 🙂

Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers plays with Here Come the Mummies Thursday, Feb. 22, at The Slowdown, . Tickets are $22 Adv/$25 DOS. Show starts at 9 p.m. For more information, go to TheSlowdown.com.

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Destroyer (at The Waiting Room Saturday)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:40 pm February 1, 2018

Destroyer plays at The Waiting Room this Saturday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Sometimes I wish I had an eleventh question. If I did, I’d ask Dan Bejar why he called his project Destroyer when there’s nothing destructive about it.

Destroyer songs, like the ones heard on the band’s latest album, Ken (Dead Oceans, 2017), swing and sway and feel like riding a bike with no hands. In fact, Destroyer has more in common with sweater-wearing acts like Belle & Sebastian than a faux-metal monster like KISS.

Bejar, a Vancouver-born Canuck and part-time member of The New Pornographers, formed Destroyer in 1995. And while he’s had a number of breakthrough records, the one that first stood out (for me, anyway) was 2011’s Kaputt (Merge/Dead Oceans), a dazzling collection of infectious indie pop songs. Ken carries on in the same way, at times dreamy and introspective, at other times dancey and introspective.

I caught up with Bejar and asked him to take my Ten Questions survey. Take it away, Mr. Destroyer:

1. What is your favorite album?

Dan Bejar: Strangeways Here We Come, Hejira, There’s A Riot Goin On, Veedon Fleece, stuff like that…

2. What is your least favorite song?

There’s so many terrible ones it makes me think I’m maybe just not that into songs.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

The nights when the stage sound is killer.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

There are people at home that I miss very much.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Peace of mind.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Bologna.  Outside.  For free.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

I have played a couple fairly gnarly college shows.  Won’t name names in case I decide to enroll.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Yes.  It took five years.  And then another five years of mostly hovering just beneath the poverty line.  It also helped to write songs for the New Pornographers in those lean Destroyer years.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

Acting coach.  Actor.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Debauched… And possibly frozen.

Destroyer plays with Mega Bog Saturday, Feb. 3, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Showtime is 9 p.m.; tickets are $20. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i