Ten Questions with The Beths (at The Slowdown July 15)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 6:34 am July 11, 2019

The Beths play at The Slowdown July 15.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Beths’ bandleader/singer/songwriter Elizabeth Stokes is an indie-rock firecracker who, along with her bandmates, creates hook-filled self-deprecating gems reminiscent of acts like ’90s heartbreakers That Dog., current-day dream wonders Alvvays, and fellow down-under-er Courtney Barnett (though Courtney’s from Australia while Stokes and Co. are from the land of hobbits, New Zealand).

Unlike Barnett, The Beths are still flying under the radar, which makes this upcoming Slowdown Jr. show a chance to see them before they become the inevitable festival-circuit darlings. Their new album, Future Me Hates Me (2019, Carpark Records) is, in a word, sublime — one of my favorite albums so far this year.

We caught up with Stokes and gave her the Ten Questions survey, of which she only answered nine, because, well, if you can’t say something nice…

What is your favorite album? 

This is unfair, just one? My favourite one for a long, long time was The Postal Service Give Up. I was 14 when it became my favourite record, I think that’s the age at which music just gets absorbed straight into your bloodstream and becomes a part of you. I love it with my whole heart.

What is your least favorite song?

What do you enjoy most about being in a band? 

I enjoy physically playing music with other people, connecting and locking in together. It feels different every time and it’s sometimes the easiest thing in the world and sometimes really difficult.

What do you hate about being in a band? 

Hate is a strong word. I’m not crazy about the ‘in the van’ element of touring (I know I’m not alone in this). I get a bit carsick and I can kind of feel my brain and body atrophying after spending hours and hours every day sitting in a vehicle. Holding out for teleportation here.

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)? 

Chocolate. I wish it was something more original or interesting but that would be a lie. It is chocolate. It is easier to not eat chocolate in America because it tastes… strange? But in Europe and at home I purchase and consume chocolate almost every day, please someone help me; it’s not right.

In what city or town do you love to perform? 

This is so hard, so many amazing places I’d have to offend by not saying them. OK, I’m going to pick at random… Glasgow and Edinburgh (I know that’s two, but I don’t want to further divide them). Our shows there are just wild.

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

Auckland, New Zealand, a few years back. It was an opening party for the NZ Film Festival. We were playing as quiet as we could but were still way too loud for this party. People came down after watching this three-hour-long heavy film, and we just cranked into a 45-minute set. We were playing super self-consciously and people were trying to talk about this movie. This old guy yelled at us to stop, I thought maybe he was from the venue. Turns out he was just a super-rich patron of the festival who decided he’d had enough, so we finished the set and then I just cried in the equipment closet. I learned to never play apologetically and I know now we could play the same show and handle it a lot better.

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? 

Kind of. We have been touring basically non-stop for a year, and the touring kind of pays for itself now. And we’re just starting to earn a bit of money, I think by the time we get home in September we’ll have earned enough to hold us down for the period we’ll be back home writing and making the next record. When we’re home, Jon does studio work and live sound, Tristan is a freelance drummer. Ben and I are instrument teachers but might just fill the gap with whatever odd jobs we can find. NZ has some great funding bodies that have been very supportive and without whom we wouldn’t have been able to afford to tour at all. The NZ Music Commission helps with international touring, NZ On Air helps with recording and music videos.

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

I wish I was brave enough to have ever tried stand-up comedy. Or maybe writing would be something I wish I was good at. I think customer service or sales I’d find pretty rough. I grew up working in cafes and even in that job customers could make me cry pretty easily.

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

Nothing bad I promise! First thing that comes to mind is a line in ‘Rabbit Fur Coat’ by Jenny Lewis.

The Beths play with Girl Friday on Monday, July 15 at The Slowdown, . Tickets are $15. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Scott McCaughey (sold out living room show w/Peter Buck 7/11)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:37 pm July 9, 2019

Scott McCaughey plays a living room show in Omaha July 11.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There’s little doubt that Scott McCaughey would have sold out his July 11 living room show even if his ol’ pal Peter Buck of R.E.M. wasn’t joining him on the tour. McCaughey has played with some of indie music’s greatest acts, including Minus 5 and Young Fresh Fellows, as well as a variety of Peter Buck side projects including The Baseball Project, Filthy Friends and Tired Pony.

Like all Undertow Living Room Shows, this one takes place at someone’s home, whose address is only made known after a ticket has been purchased at the Undertow website. The only clue to the location is the zip code: 68132. So somewhere in Omaha July 11 a group of around 40 people will be listening to songs performed by a couple rock legends.

We caught up with McCaughey and gave him the 10 Questions treatment:

1. What is your favorite album?

Scott McCaughey: THE BEATLES. a/k/a “The White Album”.  I declared it the The Greatest Album In The World back when I was a teenager, and I’m sticking with it.  Strangely, it might not even be the best Beatles album.  But there’s so much of it!  Others: Neil Young – Tonight’s The Night; Big Star – 3rd; The Sonics – Here Are The Sonics, etc.

2. What is your least favorite song?

“I’ve Never Been To Me” – Charlene.  It haunts me to this day.

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

Hanging out with my friends.  Discovering new ways to make each song brilliant on a night to night basis.  Making rules for van behavior, then breaking them.

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

It’s like being married, but without the sex.  In most cases.

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

A frothy smooth pint of Guinness, maybe at The Long Hall or Mulligan’s in Dublin.  I haven’t had one in years though!

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

Chicago rules.  Madrid, Spain, is however THE BEST.  The Laurelthirst Public House in Portland, Oregon, has magic.

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

Oh, my.  Seattle (another one of my top cities to play).  It was at the end of three months of a grueling U.S. Young Fresh Fellows tour and we were in tatters and I took cold medicine and copious alcohols and took it out on my bandmates and audience — in hindsight, anyway.

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, somehow.  I quit “regular” work (record store, natch) in 1987 and have been muddling about since then.  There have been some quite lucrative years and many leaner ones.  The secret is don’t expect too much, and be thankful for what you get!

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

Is musician a profession?  I guess so!  Hard to imagine doing anything else at this point.  It’s my life.  But I’m not going to denigrate anybody else’s job – that’s a luxury to think that way.

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

I haven’t spent any time there, which is weird.  I mean, I KNOW Conor Oberst! (He’s amazing.) I once met a son of Robert Altman and he sent me a VHS of his documentary called Omaha — that was beautiful and funny and interesting.  But I kind of forgot most of it now.  No working VHS player.

Scott McCaughey plays a sold out living room show July 11. For more information, go to http://undertowshows.com.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Ratboys (at O’Leaver’s Friday night)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:05 pm June 12, 2019

Ratboys plays at O’Leaver’s Friday, June 14.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Ratboys’ publicist described the duo as a “‘post-country’ meets indie rock group from Chicago.” After listening (many times) to their last full-length, GN (2017, Topshelf), and the follow-up EP, GL (2018, Topshelf) — the titles stand for Good Night and Good Luck — I can’t find much “post-country” about them. But then again, I’ve never considered Wilco, who frontwoman Julia Steiner references as among her influences, to be countrified, post or otherwise.

Instead, Ratboys reminds me ’90s college acts like Belly, Throwing Muses, That Dog, The Breeders and upbeat stuff from Azure Ray and Hop Along. That said, you get plenty of pedal steel on standout EP song “You’ve Changed,” though I prefer the rattle-rock of the EP’s title track and closer, “After School.” Steiner’s warm, soft coo makes it all work no matter what genre label you hang on her music.

Guitarist David Sagan is listed as the duo’s other half, though the band performs live as a four-piece, which we’re likely to see Friday night at O’Leaver’s. We caught up with Steiner and gave her the Ten Questions survey. Here’s what she had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Julia Steiner: A Ghost is Born by Wilco.

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” by The Offspring.

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

Playing music with my friends all the time!

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

Trying to tell people what our music sounds like.

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

Bread

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

Boston, MA

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

Fort Collins, CO, in 2015, we hadn’t slept and we were all really grouchy

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?

Not yet, all of us have a variety of side jobs to supplement our income from the band. Dave and I deliver groceries, Sean is a freelance journalist, etc.

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

My dream job would be some sort of radio sports analyst. I wouldn’t like to work construction.

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

Not many to be honest! I have a couple friends who grew up in Omaha, but they’ve been pretty tight-lipped about any craziness.

Ratboys plays with Uh Oh and Bed Rest Friday, June 14, at O’Leaver’s, 1322 So. Saddle Creek Rd. Showtime is 10 pm., tickets are $10. For more information go to liveatoleaver’s.com.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Diane Coffee (at Slowdown Jr., June 2)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:00 pm May 30, 2019

Diane Coffee plays at Slowdown Jr. Sunday, June 2.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Diane Coffee is Shaun Fleming. As an actor, he’s voiced a slew of animated characters including Jim & Tom Possible in Kim Possible and Leonard Amadeus in Teacher’s Pet. As a musician, he’s played drums in Foxygen. But as Diane Coffee he’s released three albums of retro electro-pop, singing in a voice that would make George Michael or Boy George proud.

On his latest release, Internet Arms (2019, Polyvinyl), Coffee croons about love in a tech age, desperately pushing emotion into a digital space that’s often too cold and isolated to allow for anything as bold as a human touch. He surrounds his smooth vox with lush synths and electronic beats that sound alien and futuristic in an ’80s sort of way. Standout track “Stuck in Your Saturday Night” sounds like it could have been sandwiched in heavy rotation on VH1 between Huey Lewis and Cory Hart.

We caught up with Diane / Shaun and asked him to take the 10 Questions Survey. Here’s what he said:

1. What is your favorite album?

Shaun Fleming/Diane Coffee: Not sure I can pick an all time favorite. My first favorite album, and one I just recently fell in love with all over again, was the self-titled Third Eye Blind record!

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”

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

Touring

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

Touring

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

Throatcoat Tea

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

That’s hard, don’t know if I have a favorite. Any show can end up being an incredibly memorable experience if the energy is right. I do love playing in LA because it allows me to see my childhood friends and family

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

At a festival in Dayton, Ohio, we had a front-of-house engineer show up late to our set completely wasted and unprepared. Forgot most of his gear at home. It was one of the most unprofessional things I’ve ever experienced. That said, the audience was so unbelievably supportive and energized, it turned into one of my most favorite shows I have ever 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?

For the most part. I will usually drive for Lyft or work odd jobs to supplement my income if need be.

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

Marine Biologist; Politician

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

I heard it’s the birthplace of the Reuben sandwich!

Diane Coffee plays with Disq Sunday, June 2, at The Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 Adv/$15 DOS. For more information, go to theslowdown.com

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Lady Lamb (at Reverb April 22); Sasami, The Crystal Method, Glow in the Dark tonight…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:00 pm April 18, 2019

Lady Lamb plays at Reverb Lounge Monday, April 22.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Lady Lamb is singer/songwriter Aly Spaltro, who you may remember as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, a moniker she dropped shortly after her 2013 debut, Ripely Pine. She’s actually been releasing EPs and LPs since 2009, bouncing between indie labels Ba Da Bing Records and Mom + Pop Records. Her most recent, Even in the Tremor, brings her back to Ba Da Bing for an intimate collection of folk rock songs. Spaltro paints intricate personal portraits of daily life with all the messy emotions that come with it.

We caught up with Aly and asked her to take the Ten Questions survey. Here’s what she said:

1. What is your favorite album?

Aly Spaltro: Widow City by The Fiery Furnaces

2. What is your least favorite song?

Maybe ‘Thrift Shop’ by Macklemore?

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

Having friends with which to contemplate snack options at gas stations.

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

Late load-outs with tons of gear after shows!

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

Black diner coffee

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

New Orleans

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

In Brussels, Belgium, our van was robbed and they stole my pedalboard and discarded our merch all over the street. That was a rough show to say the least!

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 I am very fortunate to have been supporting myself with my music since 2010 when I left home in Maine and moved to NYC.

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

I’d like to attempt film editing. I would absolutely hate to be a helicopter pilot.

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

Romantic Saddle Creek stories of some of my favorite musicians like Conor Oberst, Jenny Lewis and Tim Kasher all hanging out and making music together!

Lady Lamb plays with Renata Zeiguer and Alex Schaaf Monday, April 22, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Showtime is 8 p.m., tickets are $15 Adv./$17 DOS. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

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Two red-hot shows tonight:

At Reverb Lounge, indie darling Sasami, a.k.a. Sasami Ashworth, headlines. Her self-titled debut was released on Domino Records last month. Canadian singer/songwriter Ellis opens at 8 p.m. $12.

Meanwhile, around the corner at The Waiting Room, the electronica duo The Crystal Method headlines. Their sixth studio album, The Trip Home, was released on Tine e Records last September. Opening is our own electro-rock kingpin Glow in the Dark, who’s getting ready to drop a new record called Teenline. Aaron Gum and Co. just dropped a new video for a song from that album, called “Gemini Looks.” Check it. Tickets are $25, showtime is 8 p.m.

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Who’s excited about the Maha Festival line-up announcement tonight at The Slowdown? Let’s hope it’s bigger than the Mueller Report…

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Savak (at O’Leaver’s Saturday); Kero Kero Bonito, #BFF tonight; Twinsmith, Red Ribbon Saturday; Mdou Moctar, David Nance, Ocean Black, Gymshorts Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:36 pm April 5, 2019

Savak plays at O’Leaver’s Saturday, April 6.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Mike Jaworski is an Omaha music godfather, even though he hasn’t lived here in years. The guitarist/vocalist for Brooklyn band Savak, who plays at O’Leaver’s Saturday night, cut his teeth in a little local act called Hong Jyn Corp. Since then, he’s played in a number of bands including Virgin Islands and The Cops, and ran Mt. Fuji Records, whose roster included Little Brazil.

Now with Savak, Jaworski continues his life goal of crushing people with rock ‘n’ roll. The trio, which formed in 2015 in Brooklyn, includes guitarist Sohrab Habibion (Obits, Edsel) and drummer Matt Schulz (Holy Fuck). Their latest, Beg Your Pardon, released last year on Ernest Jenning Records, has a controlled urgency that combines aggressive post-punk beats with a strangely sinister psych-rock groove. 

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

1. What is your favorite album?

Mike Jaworski: Signs of the Zodiac, Scorpio

Matt Schulz: Bad Brains, s/t

Sohrab Habibion: Don’t have a favorite, but recently I’ve been somewhat obsessed with “Blood on the Wall” by Some Chicken: https://youtu.be/4fu2FqKf_U4

2. What is your least favorite song?

MJ: I’d be perfectly fine if I never heard “Hunger Strike” by Temple of The Dog ever again.

MS: I fuckin hate that Toto song by Africa.

SH: Bizarrely, he’s super into the Weezer cover of it. Go figure.

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

MJ: Playing music and hang time with my pals. Getting to travel and see friends in other cities. Eating and drinking the local culinary delights and beverages.

MS: The glory and the riches.

SH: Getting to hang out with friends and clamor about.

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

MJ: Nothing to hate for me. I don’t enjoy being away from my family for extended periods, but our tours are typically short guys.

MS: Nothing.

SH: There’s plenty of goofy stuff, mostly “business”-related or the occasional personality management issue, but nothing so far has been awful enough to stop doing it.

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

MJ: Toss up between coffee, wine and unleavened bread for me. 

MS: Gage.

SH: Probably the 7″ version of Everything’s Gone Green. That bass line is undeniable. I’d dance to it, for sure: https://youtu.be/M4qFoKu-Po0

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

MJ: Omaha! It’s my home town, duh. This is where I learned how to put on my rock ‘n’ roll boots and pants and hats and socks and belts and mesh tank top t-shirts.

MS: Prague is usually fun but the food sucks.

SH: Prague and Brno, too. The Czech Republic is pretty wonderful in general. And, for the record, I’ve had some tasty nibbles in Prague.

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

MJ: I had a particularly horrible show at SXSW last year. Don’t eat the brown acid. That’s all I can say.

MS: I can’t remember, but to avoid laying any blame, I will say it was all my fault.

SH: Let’s just say it was a misunderstanding. But, if we never return to Besançon in eastern France, I doubt they would mind. I’d like to extend another sincere apology to the lovely folks at Les Passagers du Zinc and somewhat less so to the irritatingly exuberant dancers the night we played there with The Poison Arrows.

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?

MJ: No. Nope. Never. Nein. Negatory. Bills are just a concept from the man, man.

MS: I’ve always had jobs, regardless of the money I make from music of the amount of touring I do. I’m a workaholic.

SH: Briefly in the ’90s I did not work at another job. Or maybe it’s better to say the amount of time between jobs was longer than at any other point since I was 15 years old. When we’re not doing band stuff I spend my check-scoring hours either hustling graphic design work or composing a variety of music for tv, film and commercials. Each day is a little different and that keeps it interesting.

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

MJ: Would love to be a Shaman. Would not want to be Donald Trump’s hair stylist.

MS: I don’t want to do anything else. I wouldn’t want to be a dog catcher.

SH: Whatever the job is where you actually feel like you’re contributing something positive to the world. Work that I’d prefer to avoid would involve spending time with distasteful people or actively abusing other people’s health and wellbeing. You know, like those miserable turds who run insurance companies or mansplaining tech bros, etc.

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

MJ: I have lots of stories. What do you want to hear?

MS: I’ve never heard of Omaha.

SH: We’ve been told that there will be a parade to welcome the return of hometown hero Michael Jaworski. Also I’m looking forward to getting a tour of the boyhood homes of everyone from Ritual Device. Jokes aside, the band I was in back in the ’90s, Edsel, spent some quality time in Nebraska and even wrote a song called, “Omaha Intervenes.” Not sure it holds up, but our intensions were good: https://youtu.be/t0J8lVGfeV8

Savak plays with Little Brazil Saturday, April 6 at O’Leaver’s, 1322 S. Saddle Creek Rd. Tickets are $8, showtime is 10 p.m. For more information, go to liveatoleavers.com. 

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So what else is happening this weekend? 

Tonight at The Waiting Room, London band Kero Kero Bonito headlines. Their latest, Time ‘n’ Place, was released last year on Polyvinyl Records. Check them out on their way to Coachella. Jaakko Eino Kaveli opens at 9 p.m. $15. 

Also tonight, it’s another Benson First Friday (#BFF). They’re celebrating at The Sydney with Laughing Falcon and Kobrakyle for a benefit show for flood victims. $5, 10 p.m. 

And since you’ll be in Benson anyway, might as well drop by The Little Gallery, our little shop at 5901 Maple in the east bay of the Masonic Lodge Building. Tonight’s show features small works by the Midwest Fiber Art Alliance (MFAA). See what cool stuff they made with fabric! We’re open from 6 to 9 p.m. Come on down!

Also tonight but not in Benson is No Win, And How and Win/Win at fabulous O’Leaver’s. 10 p.m., $5.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to O’Leaver’s for the big Savak / Little Brazil show. This one will be massive. 10 p.m., $8. See you there.

Also Saturday night, Saddle Creek Records act Twinsmith headlines at Reverb Lounge. Jack McLaughlin opens at 9 p.m. $10.

Meanwhile, over at The Brothers Lounge Saturday night, Seattle band Red Ribbon headlines with Oquoa. $5, 10 p.m. 

Finally, Sunday is absolutely loaded with shows.

The best of the bunch is at Pageturners, and it’s free. Nigerian rock innovator Mdou Moctar headlines. This guy is considered the guitar god of the Sahara. His new album, Llana (The Creator) (2019, Sanel Sounds) just scored a massive 8.0 from Pitchfork, who said “The Tuareg musician’s first full-band studio album is an incandescent set of guitar music with a spontaneous, celebratory air—and a latent urgency reflecting the region’s very real difficulties.” It’a amazing that Omaha is even getting this must-see show. The David Nance Band opens at 9 p.m., and like I said, it’s free. 

Also Sunday evening, Omaha sludge-metal giants Ocean Black plays a special 6 p.m. matinee show at O’Leaver’s. Joining them is Austin band SkyAcre, along with Fashion Week and Montee Men. That’s some loud shit! 6 p.m., $7.

Finally, indie pop act Gymshorts headlines at Reverb Lounge Sunday night. Local rockers Garst open at 8 p.m. $7.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great 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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with DeVotchKa (@ TWR Feb. 10); Samantha Crane, About-Face, Cult Play tonight; Lupines, Janglepop Saturday…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:51 pm February 8, 2019

Devotchka plays at The Waiting Room Sunday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

“Devotchka” is a Russian word for “girl,” according to Wikipedia, whereas DeVotchKa is a Denver four-piece fronted by brassy crooner Nick Urata. The band’s history dates back to 1997 and 11 studio albums including their latest, This Night Falls Forever (2018, Concord Records), a romantic collection of lush ballads that, on tracks like “Done with Those Days,” and opener “Straight Shot” sees Urata channeling such vintage vocalists as Roy Orbison and Chris Isaak.

One common thread in these songs is their sentimentality,” Urata says. “When you first discover rock and roll, that’s usually the same time you’re discovering girls or boys, when everything is so romantic and huge — that era of your life is where these songs are coming from.”

We caught up with Urata and gave him the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s eight of his answers:

1. What is your favorite album?

Nick Urata: Revolver by the Beatles. Every song on it is a classic and in a genre of its own. The moment I heard it I knew I had to make music.

2. What is your least favorite song?

The “877 Kars 4 Kids” (jingle/commercial)

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

I’ve always wanted to be in a band. I’ve been in so many that fell apart when you find one that works it’s like magic. To have brothers and sisters in music, to share the peaks and valleys of this life is a blessing.

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

“Hate” is a strong word, but if you’re serious about your band it takes over every aspect of your life.

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

I left (this one and No. 10) blank. They will just get me in trouble…

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

Omaha, obviously.

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

There have been a few.  When we look back it turns out our home town of Denver is the sight of some of our worst disasters. Mostly because that’s where we cut our teeth and learned how to put on a show. It’s always the ones that you think are going to be earth-shattering that are the biggest let down. For us early on we were asked to open for Marilyn Manson, we were elated, but the reality was a harsh one. I thought his fans would be enlightened and open to something different, but the diehards up front hated us and made our first arena show a nightmare, it was also the day GW got re-elected, very dark…

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?

It goes back to my previous answer: If you are willing to give up any semblance of a normal life you can eventually quit your day job. I’m happy to report we all have.

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 be a cinematographer, but I’m not sure I can even spell it so I guess that says something, but I think the fact that we can capture our world in such a beautiful light is a miracle we take for granted and future dystopian generations will cherish.

On the flip side, anything around an airport or church.

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

Devotchka plays with Neyla Pekarek (formerly of The Lumineers) Sunday, Feb. 10, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple Street. Tickets are $25 Adv/$60 M&G. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

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Now onward to the rest of the weekend…

Acclaimed singer/songwriter Samantha Crain headlines tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s. She’s a Choctaw singer, songwriter, poet, producer and musician from Oklahoma and a two-time Native American Grammy Award winner. Sean Pratt and McCarthy Trenching open at 10 p.m. $10.

Meanwhile, over at The Sydney in Benson, Cult Play headlines with Lincoln band Universe Contest and Dross (members of Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship). 10 p.m., $5.

There’s also a four-band emo show at West O bar Dr. Jack’s Drinkery, 3012 No. 102nd St. Headlining is Nebraska band About-Face, with Missouri act Faintheart, and Nebraska bands Midwest Coasta and Phantom Killer. $10, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to O’Leaver’s for the amazing Lupines. Also on the bill are Las Cruxes and Chase the Ghost (Reagan Roeder/Brian Tait madness). $5, 10 p.m.

Also happening Saturday night is the return of ’90s/’00s Omaha act Janglepop at Reverb Lounge. Read this ancient article about the band here. Modern-day jangle-pop alt-country band Clarence Tilton opens at 8 p.m. $5.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great 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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Future Generations (tonight at The Waiting Room)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:32 pm January 15, 2019

Future Generations plays tonight (Jan. 15) at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Brooklyn indie band Future Generations was trying to get their heads around their changing world on their sophomore album Landscape (2018, Frenchkiss). “The title partly came from ending the first significant relationship of my life, and with the band’s move to Brooklyn, we were all put into this world we’d never experienced—living on our own and navigating the landscape of being in New York City,” said frontman Eddie Gore.

Produced by Justin Gerrish (Vampire Weekend, Hamilton Leithauser), Landscape also is the first Future Generations release to feature their full lineup which, in addition to Gore, includes Mike Sansevere, synthesizer/guitar/percussion; Eric Grossman, guitar; Devon Sheridan, bass, and Dylan Wells, percussion.

We caught up with the band and gave them the ol’ Ten Question treatment. Here’s what they said.

*Band note* This was done in the van on the way to Indianapolis and later to Omaha, with Devon dictating and transcribing questions and answers.

1. What is your favorite album?

Dylan Wells: Kid A by Radiohead

Mike Sansevere: I gotta think about it. You can probably just put Donuts by J Dilla for me. It’s a played-out answer, but that’s probably it.

Eric Grossman: That’s a good question I have no idea. That Bruce Springsteen live album probably, I have no idea what it is.

Eddie Gore: Parachutes by Coldplay

Devon Sheridan: It always changes but right now I’d say Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Dylan: “Piano Man” by Billy Joel.

Mike: Ohhhh yeah that song sucks (Dylan and Mike fist bump). Might have to second that.

Devon: Mine is “We Are Young” by Fun..

Eddie: Whatever that “Thunder” song by Imagine Dragons is.

Eric: I don’t know what are some bad songs?

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

Dylan: Traveling, specifically eating at cool little diners every morning.

Mike: Making music, that’s why (I’m in) in a band, to make music.

Eric: *too busy playing Mario* just say uhhhh, figuring out and eating lunch.

Eddie: Getting paid to hang out with my friends.

Devon: I’m with Eddie. I also just like putting good energy into the world via music. Always thought it’d be so cool to do that.

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

Dylan: Financial insecurity.

Mike: Traveling. I also really hate foreign bathrooms, just a different toilet everyday. That kills me.

Eric: The stress of being in a different place everyday. I like being in my own bed.

Eddie: I don’t really hate anything about being in a band.

Devon: I hate the always nagging feeling of never feeling like you’re doing enough, either creatively or professionally, for the band. Even if it’s not true.

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

Eric: You can say butter.

Dylan: A nice Northern Rhone Syrah.

Mike: You can put down water for me.

Eddie: Cheese.

Devon: Eggs, they’re freaking next level.

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

Dylan: Austin.

Mike: Atlanta.

Eric: The North Pole.

Eddie: Nashville.

Devon: Nashville, because of hot chicken and Eddie’s parents’ super comfortable basement.

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

Dylan: Baltimore, because I fell out of my drum throne.

Mike: I never make mistakes.

Eric: There was a hectic show in D.C. where my pedals didn’t work. It was with Mt. Joy earlier this year.

Eddie: We played the wrong venue in Alabama a couple years ago. That was bad.

Devon: We played an empty show at a terrifying bar in Memphis on a Monday, and now we always say “at least it won’t be as bad as ‘Memphis on a Monday.’”

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?

Devon: Not quite yet, but getting there. Mostly we all bartend and work in the service industry to varying degrees. We all love and appreciate food, and it keeps us flush when we’re not touring. Mike does royalties for labels.

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

Dylan: I would want to work on a winery; would hate to do an office job.

Mike: Accountant/Accountant.

Eddie: Food critic. I’d hate to be a music critic.

Eric: Would love to work and office job; would hate to work on a winery.

Devon: Would love to do criminal defense law; would hate to be a gun manufacturer.

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

Dylan: Birthplace of 311.

Mike: Warren Buffett. And they got a Whole Foods by the hotel.

Eric: All I know is Omaha Steaks.

Eddie: I don’t know anything about Omaha.

Devon: OMAHA!!!

Future Generations plays with Magic City Hippies, Tuesday, Jan. 15, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple Street. Tickets are $20, showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Middle Kids (at The Sydney Dec. 8)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:00 pm December 6, 2018

Middle Kids play at The Sydney in Benson Saturday, Dec. 8.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Middle Kids’ debut LP, Lost Friends (Domino, 2018) is one of the funnest, hookiest, prettiest records of the year. I point to the band’s Australian roots (they’re from Sydney) for their music’s sheer golden-sun tunefulness, because in my experience, those Aussies know their way around a beautiful melody (And as Exhibits A, B and C I give you Courtney Barnett, Tame Impala and Wolfmother, all past winners of Australia’s highly coveted Triple J award for album of the year, just like Middle Kids was this year).

The trio’s origins go back to 2014 when frontwoman Hannah Joy met bassist Tim Fitz through mutual friends and began making beautiful music together, both the kind you listen to and otherwise (as in they’re married now). Drummer Harry Day filled out the combo on their self-titled EP in 2017. 

The follow-up full-length, Lost Friends, is a buoyant ride of anthemic indie rock that shuffles and shimmers in a style that fits right alongside acts like Alvvays, First Aid Kit and Oh Pep! — bands that aren’t afraid to put melody above all else. 

I caught up with Middle Kids’ Tim Fitz and gave him the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s what he had to say: 

1. What is your favorite album?

Middle Kids’ Tim Fitz: Pretzel Logic by Steely Dan

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Aja” by Steely Dan

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

The joy and community that comes with mutual experience and creation.

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

Continually trying to work with others and love them is a terribly painful blow to the ego.

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

Cheetos

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

Too many! Philadelphia comes to mind. Also played a great show once at Stubbs BBQ in that great Texan city known as Austin.

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

Had a terrible gig in Portland once that involved a sound guy who was definitely affected by some substances, to the point where he didn’t know how to get any sound out of the speakers. They called in another guy to help, who was also out of his mind, and together they drunk drove that sound-desk for the duration of the 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?

We all do a few things in music, a few little fingers in a few pies. We get by with a little help from our friends. It took a while but once you get that first Porsche you never look back. You gotta diversify, hustle and follow your gut. You gotta buy low and sell high. That’s how we do it anyway.

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

We would love to open a Boulangerie in Paris. We would hate to run a Lawn Mower Shop.

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

We hear that the people are good souls. We’ve heard their skies are cold and gray but their hearts are warm and their eyes are bright.

Middle Kids plays with The Shacks Saturday, Dec. 8, at The Sydney, 5918 Maple St. Tickets are $13 Adv./$15 DOS. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Cloud Nothings (@ The Waiting Room 11/13)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:39 pm November 12, 2018

Cloud Nothings plays at The Waiting Room Tuesday, Nov. 13.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings began as singer/songwriter/frontman Dylan Baldi’s secret basement project that caught fire in a big way, resulting in a record deal with rising indie label Carpark Records (Speedy Ortiz, TEEN, Dan Deacon). Through the course of their five-album career spanning back to their self-titled 2011 debut, the project has worked with some of the hottest producers in the business including Steve Albini, John Congleton and John Goodmanson.

For their latest, Last Building Burning (2018, Carpark), the band worked with metal producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Myrkur, Black Mountain). The result is a bracingly sharp turn from the melodic indie rock of 2017’s Life Without Sound; a move toward hard, fast, punk wherein Baldi’s croon had devolved into a sneering, angry, agitated bark that cuts through a wall of shrieking guitars. Intense.

I caught up with Dylan Baldi and gave him the Ten Questions treatment:

1. What is your favorite album?

Cloud Nothing’s Dylan Baldi: It feels reductive to choose a single favorite album of all time. Favorite album of 2018 so far is Rose Mercie’s self-titled. Wild Raincoats/Electrelane-sounding hybrid out of Paris, France…very cool band.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Honestly there are so many bad songs. Most songs are bad. How can a person pick just one?

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

I like the feeling of actually creating energy. Like when a song is at its peak there can be an actual, almost tangible energy created. Pursuing that energy is the whole reason I play music, it feels good to hit those highs.

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

I hate waiting for our records to come out. I wish there was a way for vinyl to come into existence the second we finished recording. But unfortunately major labels are clogging the vinyl pressing plants with deluxe Rolling Stones reissues or something so we have to wait four months for our puny little records.

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

Lead. I love to just sit in an old basement full of lead and breathe it in. That’s also my other favorite part of being in a band. The free access to lead. I can smell it now…

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

I like playing anywhere that has good food. There are lots of places with good food. Even better is when the venue gives you dinner. That is the apex of luxury to me. Chicago seems to have an inordinate amount of venues that also feed you delicious food. I’ll say Chicago.

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

We played a show in Singapore a few years ago that stands out. Our drummer and I missed our flight from Cleveland because we were buying Naked Juices at the bagel store in the airport, so we ended up getting to Singapore like an hour before we were supposed to play. Then during the jetlagged fever dream of a show all the mics and drum hardware kept falling over, and the soundpeople just pointed and laughed and didn’t fix anything. Then we got a beer near the venue to pretend the show didn’t happen, and the beer turned out to cost $40. Singapore was hard for us.

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?

Yeah we’ve been strictly musicians for about six years now. It’s the biggest luxury. Gives me lots of time to make sure I’m making the best music I can. It took us three years of touring and working together for basically zero dollars. But luckily it resulted in an album that people liked in 2012, so since then we’ve been doing okay.

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

I would like to be a librarian. I feel like the library science must have lots of layers that I wouldn’t understand unless I went through school to learn it all. And I like books. I would hate to do anything where I have to be alone for a long period of time. I like being around people.

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

We have lots of friends in Omaha, and my girlfriend made a record here with Mike Mogis. She loves it here. We’ve never been, I’m looking forward to it!

Cloud Nothings plays with Nap Eyes and David Nance Tuesday, Nov. 13, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $15, showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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