Ten Questions with Mimicking Birds; new Anna McClellan track; John Maus, LukDlx tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:49 pm January 17, 2018

Anna McClellan this morning leaked a new track off her upcoming LP, Yes or No. Photo by Ebru Yildiz.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Sunday night Mimicking Birds opened for someone at The Waiting Room or Reverb, not sure who now. Regardless, the band’s publicist had reached out weeks ago for some promo. I sent her the Ten Questions survey; she’d get back to me.

A few days before the show she sent me some answers from Mimicking Birds frontman Nate Lacy — half of them. Nate didn’t want to answer some things, and asked for different questions. I explained the premise behind Ten Questions is that everyone answers the same 10 questions. He wasn’t interested, and so, no harm, no foul.

Then Saturday afternoon Nate had a change of heart and his publicist sent the following answers. Too late. She asked that even though the concert had passed, would I run them anyway, so here they are. I’ve been listening to Mimicking Birds on Spotify this morning before work. The music is trippy, ethereal, laid-back indie rock that kind of reminds me of Ester Drang. It’s definitely worth checking out. From Portland. On Glacial Pace Records.

So, here’s Ten Questions with Mimicking Birds:

Mimicking Birds

What is your favorite album? 

Mimicking Birds’ Nate Lacy: Pink Floyd’s The Wall 

What is your least favorite song?

Prob anything by AC/DC

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

The exhilaration of performing together as if we’re one entity.

What do you hate about being in a band?

Touring is prob a hate/love relationship, the uneconomical and negative environmental impacts of it, the exhaustion/health affects, being away from loved ones for long periods of time, the danger of endlessly careening across highways in deranged states, etc., etc., but at the same time there are few things  more rewarding than bringing your music to people and experiencing first hand how much the art has affected lives, and being able to hug those people and share that moment of deep connection through the music and its message.  It truly gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment more than any amount of money or things ever could.

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Water

In what city or town do you love to perform?

Denver, CO

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

We’ve had a fair amount in similar fashion but more recently prob Austin due to late set time (12:30-1 am set), rude crowd, poor sound, exhaustion, sick, etc., bookended by very long drives.

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, I also work at a hotel in Portland as a bellman/valet.

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

Entomologist

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

Heard many times we should have been in Omaha instead of Lincoln, NE.

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I’ve been listening to this new Anna McClellan album, Yes or No, a ton. My favorite track is the 8-plus-minute epic “Nail-biting Song” which takes you around the sun and back again. Anna’s got such a unique, soulful voice, there’s no question in my mind she’s going to be discovered by a large audience. It takes time.

Anyway, today McClellan dropped another song from the album (below), which comes out Feb. 23 on Father/Daughter Records. You should pre-order your copy now before they run out, cuz they probably will and then you’ll feel stupid for not pre-ordering your own copy.

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John Maus plays electronic music. Here’s a guy who (according to Wiki) took two years off to learn how to build modular synthesizer. Now that’s dedication to a genre.

A couple of his albums have garnered praise including a “best new music” nod from Pitchfork; the latest, Screen Memories (2017, Ribbon Music) garnered a massive 8.0 Pitchfork rating. Whoot!

Maus headlines tonight at Reverb Lounge. LukDlx opens.$15, 9 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Mogwai (at The Waiting Room Nov. 30)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:43 pm November 29, 2017

Mogwai plays The Waiting Room Thursday, Nov. 30.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Mogwai is a Glaswegian ensemble that creates intricate, throbbing headphone-friendly instrumentals. Their debut album, Mogwai Young Team, released in 1997 on Chemikal Underground and Jetset in the U.S., is considered a post-rock masterpiece that helped open the door to other instrumental-heavy art-rock projects. It was followed in ’99 by Come On Die Young, their first release on indie stalwart Matador Records that led up to their commercial breakthrough, 2001’s Rock Action.

The band’s latest, Every Country’s Sun (Temporary Residence, 2017), holds tight to the formula that has made them indie-rock icons — songs that start with a quiet guitar melody, keyboard or soothing percussion line that slowly build-build-builds as if climbing a mountain until they reach some sort of breathless peak — usually at ear-bleeding wake-the-neighbors decibels — to slowly come back down in wait for the next mountain to conquer.

It’s a formula that’s worked for 20 years, along with a live show augmented with intense stage lighting, blinding strobes and unmatched sonic drama. Find out for yourself Thursday night at The Waiting Room. I caught up with Mogwai multi-instrumentalist Barry Burns and asked him to take the dreaded Ten Questions survey.

1. What is your favorite album? 

Barry Burns: Eek. It’s always changing and very often, too, so I’d be lying to name one.

2. What is your least favorite song? 

This is much, much easier. That Maroon 5 song “This Love.”

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

The concerts and hanging out with some of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

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

Traveling on planes and being away from my wife and daughter.

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

Probably scotch whisky. It’s rarely a disappointment

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

Glasgow, Tokyo, Osama, Barcelona.

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

Oslo. All the gear, like, ALL of it stopped working and I remember trying to hide behind the piano (which was also broken)

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, we’ve been lucky in some ways but also worked constantly the entire time we’ve been together.

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

I’d like a go at proper cooking. Having a lot of time at home for long spells gives me time to practice that so I’m getting better. I’d probably hate being a taxi driver.

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

Only that a guy who used to tour manage and do our live sound used to live in Omaha and he stole 10,000 dollars from us.

Mogwai plays with Xander Harris Nov. 30 at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St.. Tickets are $23 Adv./$26 DOS. 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with The Yawpers (at O’Leaver’s Nov. 2)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:30 pm October 31, 2017

The Yawpers play at O’Leaver’s Nov. 2.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Denver trio The Yawpers plays a gritty, groovy style of alt country/punk/blues that combines the best parts of J. Cash, C. Isaak and C. Stapleton with their own rootsy take on rock ‘n’ roll. The band scored a deal with Bloodshot Records after a successful showcase at 2015’s South By Southwest Festival. Their latest album, Boy in a Well (2017, Bloodshot), was recorded with Tommy Stinson of The Replacements behind the knobs. Can their sound be contained inside fabulous O’Leaver’s vintage walls? Find out Thursday night.

I caught up with Yawpers frontman Nate Cook and gave him the Ten Questions treatment. Check it:

1. What is your favorite album?

Nate Cook: King Bee (Muddy Waters) is probably the one I’ve played the most. It was the first record I ever bought on vinyl, and probably still the one I spin most frequently.

2. What is your least favorite song?

There’s only one answer to this question, and it is “Smooth.”

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

Casting a wide net, eating the finest regional cuisines, and being empowered to act like a 12 y/o.

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

Divorce.

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

Laundry detergent. That shit is a god send on the road.

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

Chicago will always be my jam. My current record for “most days spent awake consecutively” was set there.

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

I once fell down an ice ridden fire escape in Lawrence, KS, after having to open for a Grateful Dead cover band. Sometimes I wish the fall had killed me.

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, but meager to the point of embarrassment. If I want to eat something besides crow and Annie’s I’ll pick up the occasional bartending shift.

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

I always wanted to try my hand at cooking, though I doubt I possess the patience. If you made me teach 8th graders, I’d climb that fire escape in Lawrence every day, praying God relieve my burden.

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

Just of your reputation for putting out quality music, and never letting us fucking play there. Until now, of course.

The Yawpers play with The Velveteers and Clarence Tilton Thursday, Nov. 2, at O’Leaver’s, 1322 So. Saddle Creek Rd. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more information, go to widmestproductions.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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Cults (at Bemis Center Oct. 27); SAVAK streams Cut-Ups; KMFDM, Primitive Man tonight…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm October 26, 2017
Cults at 1100 Warehouse, SXSW, March 15, 2012.

Cults at 1100 Warehouse, South by Southwest Music Festival, March 15, 2012. The band plays the Bemis Art Auction After Party Oct. 27.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Dreamy synth-rock duo Cults have generated a musical cult of their own since their self-titled full-length debut released in 2011 by Columbia Records imprint In the Name Of, run by indie star Lily Allen. Since then, New Yorkers Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion have released two more critically acclaimed albums, 2013’s Static and their latest offering, titled Offering, which came out earlier this month on Sinderlyn.

The new album is a collection of dreamy, floating pop songs that display Follin’s floating, echoing voice over a cushion of synths, guitars and tapping drums, a perfect setting for an early evening bike ride on a vacant, treelined blacktop county road. The duo’s Oct. 27 performance with Omaha’s own dream-pop duo, Closeness, is part of the Bemis Center Art Auction After Party, a joint promotion of Bemis and the Maha Music Festival.

I’m told that there are fewer than 50 tickets left for this show, btw…

I caught up with Cults and asked them to take my Ten Questions survey. Here’s what they had to say.

1. What is your favorite album?


Cults: Home Schooled-The ABCs Of Kid Soul. Pretty sure everyone in our band could sing every lyric to every song from this record. The mix of incredible musicianship with the most bizarre/touching vocal performances you’ve ever heard perfectly rides the line between emotionality and kitsch.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Sugar Ray, “Every Morning.” I once had the song stuck in my head for an entire year. It’s a great song but having any song stuck in your head for that long will ruin it for you!


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

Being able to travel to places I never imagined I would see.

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

It’s hard to keep in touch with people when you are constantly changing time zones and leaving for long periods of time.

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

Salt! I am definitely guilty of over-salting my food on a regular basis.

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

Omaha. The last time we stopped here on tour we played The Slowdown. There was a snowstorm, we did our laundry in the venue, hung out at the bar next door and caught up with an old friend. We felt so at home. One of the best nights of the tour!

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

Soon after our first EP came out we were asked to open for a pretty large act in D.C. Save for a few tiny warm up gigs we had never really played a show before. Let’s just say it was a little too early for us to be playing a stage that big and we could’ve used quite a bit more practice.

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?

Luckily, yes. When we were offered our first tour we immediately dropped out of college and quit our jobs without hesitation. With only one semester left!

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


One of my good friends travels setting up and testing out zip lines. If I was more of a daredevil I think I would try to steal his job. I would hate to be an accountant. Math stresses me out!

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

I heard that the bobby pin was invented in Omaha and for that I am eternally grateful!

Cults plays with Closeness at the Bemis Center Art Auction After Party Friday, Oct. 27, at Bemis Center’s Okada Sculpture & Ceramics Facility across the street from 723 So. 12th St. Showtime is 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 through Oct. 26, $30 thereafter. For more information, go to bemiscenter.org/benefit

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The new one by SAVAK, Brooklyn indie-punk band fronted by former Omahan Mike Jaworski, made their new album, Cut-Ups, available for streaming before tomorrow’s drop day. The band — which includes members of Obits, Holy Fuck, The Cops, The Make Up and more — just played several dates in support of Pinback and  will be supporting Hot Snakes in Brooklyn and Boston next month.

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It’s a night for heavy music.

Over at The Waiting Room, industrial giants KMFDM headlines. Opening is fellow industrial band OhGr (Nivek Ogre and Mark Walk of Skinny Puppy). $28, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, doom metal monsters Primitive Man headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Bell Witch, Vickers and Houma. $8, 9 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Deer Tick (at The Slowdown 10/25)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:46 pm October 23, 2017

Deer Tick plays The Slowdown Oct. 25.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Some might describe Deer Tick as an alt country band, and certainly when they got their start in the early 2000s there was more of a twang in their giddy-up. But these days Deer Tick’s music more closely resembles an indie-fueled folk-rock act with a big heart.

Their latest releases — Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2 — an acoustic album and a separate electric set,  both recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee — are a diverse combination of music styles with solid songwriting snarled to life by frontman John McCauley.

We caught up with McCauley and asked him to take our Ten Questions survey:

1. What is your favorite album?

John McCauley: I don’t know if I could pick one. Mystery Girl by Roy Orbison was the first album I had as a kid and I still really love that record. I’ve been playing the recently reissued A Man Called Destruction by Alex Chilton a lot. Probably wouldn’t count it as a “favorite” but I sure do like that record a lot.

2. What is your least favorite song?

I really don’t like “Rosanna” by Toto. Something in the way the music swings really pisses me off.

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

Traveling, enjoying food in places far from home.

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

Sharing a hotel room sucks. Pretty fun otherwise.

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

LSD. I wish I had the time to do it more often. I think it’s a really beautiful drug. It’s been a couple years since my last dose, I think I’m due for one.

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

Dublin, Ireland. Nice place to buy hats and sweaters, too!

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

It all depends on how you look at the situation. Sometimes we don’t sell a lot of tickets somewhere and the show is uneventful and that sucks. A stretch of shows like that can be really hard on you. But if you want Deer Tick behaving badly stories, they’re quite numerous. One gig in San Francisco we didn’t get paid for because I took my clothes off and got the crowd to started a chant, cursing the sponsor. I was pretty deep in my cups that night and determined to make mischief. Some people thought it was really funny. I think it seemed to some people that I was having a meltdown. I dunno, maybe I was! The guy who did the lights that night said it was the best show he’d ever seen, but other spectators thought the show was a total disaster, worst they’d ever seen! I played a really bad show in Lawrence, Kansas, once. I was in a bad way, mixing pills and alcohol, and played poorly and forgot a lot of lyrics. I think I sang the same verse two or three times in one of our songs. That is one show, maybe the only show, I truly regret.

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. I’ve been doing nothing but music since 2007 or so. Deer Tick started in 2004.

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

I used to be a projectionist and I liked that job a lot. I’d love to run an old cinema, maybe someday I’ll have the chance to get involved with one. I waited tables for a few weeks once and absolutely hated it. Wouldn’t want to do that again. Because of that experience I always tip well. To get less than a 20 percent tip from me you’d have to do something like spit in my food right in front of me.

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

I heard that the band Deer Tick went to Fun-Plex once.

Deer Tick plays with Chris Crofton Wednesday, Oct. 25, at The Slowdown,  729 No. 14th St. Tickets are $20 Adv./$23 DOS. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

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Yes, I did attend a show this weekend — Lung/Crybaby at O’Leaver’s Friday night. Look for a review and pictures from that show tomorrow.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Zola Jesus; Ice Balloons (TV on the Radio, Samiam), Low Long Signal tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:43 pm October 9, 2017

Zola Jesus plays The Waiting Room Oct. 11. Photo by Tim Saccenti.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

After seeing Zola Jesus perform at SXSW in 2012 I walked away thinking frontwoman and creative force Rosa Danilova was an indie Gaga. I couldn’t take my eyes off her as she exploded into dance the moment the band broke into its dreamy, spiritual, post-ambient rock drenched in synths, guitar and drums.

Her music has been compared to Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance, though it bears an even darker tone on her latest album, Okovi, released last month on Sacred Bones Records.

While writing Okovi, I endured people very close to me trying to die, and others trying desperately not to,” Danilova said. “This album is a deeply personal snapshot of loss, reconciliation, and a sympathy for the chains that keep us all grounded to the unforgiving laws of nature.”

We caught up with Danilova and asked her to take the Ten Questions survey:

What is your favorite album?

Zola Jesus’ Rosa Danilova: It changes. Right now it’s the Stalker OST.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Hmm… I don’t know that I have one.

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

Being able to insidiously connect with people I’ve never met.

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

The pressure it makes me put on myself.

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

Sap, from trees.

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

I like to play cities that remind me of home…

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

Well, I once cried on stage at Silencio in Paris. Not my best moment.

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?

Thankfully, I am, though it takes a lot of work and sacrifice. I tour a lot and live in the middle of Wisconsin, which is cheap. It helps make it possible to focus on doing what I love.

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

Sometimes I wish I would be an architect, but I would build very bad buildings. I’m sure they would collapse. I’ve worked many jobs in the past and was fired from most of them. I’m not a very good employee!

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

I’m not sure I’ve heard many stories, but I sort of glorify Omaha in my mind. Being a midwesterner from Wisconsin, I feel companionship with Nebraska. Which is why I’m excited to finally play there.

Zola Jesus plays with John Wiese and Ivan Zoloto Wednesday, Oct. 11, 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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Tonight Brooklyn noise rock band Ice Balloons (Volar Records) plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s. The band includes Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio and members of Samiam, among others. Benny Leather (Ben VanHoolandt of Digital Leather) and Low Long Signal open. 9 p.m. $5.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with The Church (@The Waiting Room Oct. 10)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:48 pm October 5, 2017

The Church plays The Waiting Room Oct. 10.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If you listened to college music in 1988 you owned a copy of The Church’s seminal album Starfish, with its breakthrough hit, the dreamy, atmospheric “Under the Milky Way,” a song that dominated CMJ and MTV. Afterward, the Aussie band released 14 more studio albums, leading up to 2014’s Further/Deeper (Unorthodox Records), which, in some ways, marked a re-emergence for a band that’s always been around.

Now comes the band’s 26th studio album, Man Woman Life Death Infinity, out Oct. 6. It’s the second album with the rejuvenated line-up consisting of frontman Steve Kilbey, co-founder Peter Koppes, Tim Powles and Ian Haug. The tour that brings them to The Waiting Room Oct. 10 is their first since 2015.

We caught up with frontman Kilbey and asked him to take the Ten Questions survey:

1. What is your favorite album?

The Church’s Steve Kilbey: Diamond Dogs by David Bowie… or do you mean by The Church? Then that is Priest = Aura.

2. What is your least favorite song?

By The Church? Maybe “These Boys” off Remote Luxury.

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

Playing onstage when we are having a great night.

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

Playing onstage when we are having a bad night.

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

Marijuana

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

Chicago, Melbourne, London, Atlanta to name a few.

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

I once had a terrible gig in Christchurch New Zealand. Everything was wrong. I wanted to disappear!

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 squeaking by on music, plus I paint and write articles, etc.

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

Love to have been an ancient greek scholar. Hate to be a mathematician.

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

I played there once. I dunno if they liked us much. Hope they do this time around.

The Church plays with The Helio Sequence Oct. 10 at The Waiting Room. Tickets are $25 Adv./$30 DOS/$99 VIP. 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Tears of Silver’s Ken Stringfellow and Grasshopper (@Hi-FI House Oct. 2); Lincoln Calling starts tonight…

Tears of Silver play at Hi-Fi House Monday, Oct. 2. Photo by Greg Dohler.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tears of Silver is an indie supergroup that truly lives up to that designation. It consists of Posies’ founding member Ken Stringfellow, who’s also played in Big Star and R.E.M., along with three members of Mercury Rev — Sean “Grasshopper,” Jonathan Donahue (Flaming Lips) and Jesse Chandler (Midlake).

The band is touring America playing “unconventional venues,” which are announced 48 hours prior to each gig. Think of it as a “secret show” tour. Omaha’s hidden venue is at the not-so-secret Hi Fi House Monday, Oct. 2.

According to the Tears of Silver website (where you can acquire access) “The evening will be a chance to enjoy the modern classics from each artist’s long history as well as some new music they have created for the occasion (and certainly cover songs beloved to them repurposed and retooled for this tour). This is the first time Mercury Rev’s music has been performed in many parts of America for nearly a decade.”

Below, my Ten Questions with Ken Stringfellow and Sean “Grasshopper”:

1. What is your favorite album?

Ken Stringfellow: I’m too curious to really return to a reliable favorite. I’m always hoping to hear something unexpected and refreshing. Also, at any one moment I have something I’ve recently worked on that I’m proud of and I definitely give a few victory lap listens. This week, it’s the Supercalifragile album by Game Theory I produced. How can I summarize… Game Theory was a wonderful, brainy, exuberant band from the 80s… one of the classic ‘college radio’ bands. I was a fan then, and over the years befriended the band’s mastermind, Scott Miller. He had contacted me about rebooting the band after nearly 20 years, but unfortunately took his own life before this album could be completed. It was up to me to see it through; some songs were partially completed that I was able to finish up and mix; other songs were just fragments of ideas on various hard drives/phones and needed to be finished from the composition to the final mix… to this end I gathered some of his close friends and colleagues that he’d already hoped would have been involved in the album — Aimee Mann, Will Sheff, etc… and we delivered what I think is a stunning album, very true to Scott’s intentions as best as we could know them. It’s out now: https://gametheory1.bandcamp.com/

2. What is your least favorite song?

I woke up today thinking about “Holding Out for A Hero.” It makes zero sense. It’s so typical that this song was written by men, and humiliating that a woman had to sing these preposterous words, that bear no resemblance to anything that I can see in the reality of human relationships.

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

Time away from them! If it’s my long time band. I mean, it’s also lovely what a band and its music can mean to people over time. Being that we are celebrating the Posies’ 30th anniversary next year… it’s lovely to have a community that shares the appreciation for the years of work and the results of the music.

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

I don’t think I hate anything about being in a band, temporary (like this assembly for this tour)  or long term (like the Posies). The Posies has been, for example a motivating factor in making me work out issues with my bandmates. If we didn’t have a legacy to uphold, I might have ended these friendships. So, in the short term, I hated being stuck with someone with whom I was having a conflict, but ultimately, it made me work to resolve it rather than abandon the relationship.

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

I basically have beatlemania for fresh figs. I’m quite passionate about wine, too, and have a pretty decent cellar in Seattle, and another one in Paris, another in… etc.

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

Well, Seattle is always special, it’s ‘home’ in many ways, still. I have to say, tho, that there are places that have adopted me, too … I feel very ‘home’ when I play in Helsinki, or Barcelona… my shows in and around Barcelona are pretty amazing, in terms of the audience’s openness and love. And then all the stuff around it — the sunshine, the wonderful food and wine, the Mediterranean… and these relationships just keep growing with the years… the more good experiences I have with an audience, the better the *next* show is likely to be… it’s about building trust and good experiences.

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

Hmmm. Have to  be careful here! I had a pretty weird show in Hamburg, years ago, before I really perfected the art of managing being onstage alone. The club was scuzzy, the audience small, and I was insecure, and let that take over. I couldn’t really complete the show, I started to think nobody there cared etc…  it was awful. No fault of Hamburg, had plenty of great shows there since. It was just where I was at at that point in my life and in my learning curve about being a solo artist.

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 like to say I have been unemployed since 1989. I am loathe to think of what I do as a ‘job.’ It’s really more a continuing flow of miracles, and there’s always enough money to get what I need in life. I basically took a leap of faith at that moment in 1989, when I was 20, to not have a job per se. I starved, until I didn’t. What was important was that I retooled my focus on making my music and my communication the best it could be. It’s still how I think.

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

Well, I was very interested in natural sciences; I could have been a biologist, perhaps. I am quite squeamish about human blood and tendons so pretty sure orthopedic surgeon would be hell on earth.

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

Well, there’s that whole menage-a-trois thing that Warren Buffet had going, right? it’s pretty fascinating, and I’m sure there are many more tales that all locals know, but… I had to hand it to them for being so open about it. I know, I know, billionaire, so people will say yes to whatever, but … it *sounds* like there was much respect and openness to let that situation be what it was. You tell me!

From Grasshopper:

What is your favorite album?

Grasshopper: Miles Davis – Sketches of Spain

2. What is your least favorite song?

“The Farmer In The Dell”

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

The smell of gasoline exhaust in the morning.

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

The smell of gasoline exhaust in the evening.

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

Emeralds.

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

Poughkeepsie

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

In Las Vegas, Nevada, because I’ve never played a gig there.

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’ve generally been able to support myself through music for 20 years. When times are good I’ve fed the ponies, during tough times, they have given back…

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 jockey. I have the height, but I don’t think I could make the weight. I’d hate to be a proctologist.

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

Tom Waits – “A Christmas Card From A Hooker in Minneapolis.” The song’s protagonist mentions, in regard to Omaha:  “Everyone I used to know is either dead or in prison”

Tears of Silver are playing Monday, Oct. 2, at Hi-Fi House, 3724 Farnam St. To attend, go to https://tearsofsilveromaha.eventbrite.com. Show starts at 7 p.m. For more information, go to www.tearsofsilver.space.

* * *

It’s night one of Lincoln Calling. Day passes are $29 for Thursday and $34 for Friday and Saturday (per day). Three-day passes are $59 (plus $8 fees). Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Bourbon Theater
Best Coast
Cayetana
Twinsmith

Duffy’s Outdoor
Palehound
Wand
Post Animal
Acid Dad
Matt Stansberry & the Romance
Salt Creek

Zoo Bar
Mount Moriah
Ian Sweet
McCarthy Trenching
The Artichoke Hearts

Bodega’s Alley
Malcolm London
R.O.E.
M Shah
HAKIM
Maddog & the 20/20’s
Stathi

The Bay
Frankie Cosmos
Navy Gangs
Thick Paint
Sean Pratt

1867
Street Sects
Cult Play
Crease
Darren Keen
Low Long Signal
Verse and the Vices
Bomb Earth

Night Market
Jens Lehman
Karmen Delancey
Indigenous AK
Bach Mai
Orion Walsh

Also tonight, The Melvins return to The Waiting Room. Spotlights opens. $20, 9 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Ten Questions with Kevin Morby (@Reverb 8/28); Brad Hoshaw live at Ted & Wally’s…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:04 pm August 24, 2017

Kevin Morby plays at Reverb Monday, Aug. 28. Photo by Adarsha Benjamin

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before you read the answers to his Ten Questions survey, let me try to explain singer/songwriter Kevin Morby’s connection to Omahan Simon Joyner. Morby may be best known as the bassist for indie band Woods (though he also formed a band called The Babies), which has recorded seven albums on Woodsist Records, which has released albums by Kurt Vile, The Oh Sees, Real Estate aaaand... Simon Joyner. In fact, Joyner performed at the label’s “Woodsist Festival” a couple years ago.

So it’s a shame that Joyner won’t be at Morby’s show Aug. 28 at Reverb (because Simon’s currently on tour with David Nance). The good news is you’ll be able to hear Morby perform songs off City Music, his new LP on Dead Oceans Records. The album is an urban counter-point to his 2016 rural collection Singing Saw. That record pulled from Dylan and Cohen for influences, while City Music was influenced by Lou Reed and Patti Smith (and has similarities to Kurt Vile’s output).

1. What is your favorite album?

Kevin Morby: Skeleton Blues by Simon Joyner.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Any song not by Simon Joyner.

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

Having played with and met Simon Joyner.

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

That I’m not as good as Simon Joyner.

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

Simon Joyner

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

Omaha, Nebraska, because maybe Simon will come.

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

Last night and everywhere that Simon Joyner was not in the audience.

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 a full time musician to cover the bills, and devout Simon Joyner fan as hobby.

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

Simon Joyner guitar tech is attempt. Something I’d hate to do is be a cop.

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

That Simon Joyner lives there.

Kevin Morby plays with Shannon Lay Aug. 28 at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Tickets are $12, showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com 

* * *

Last night Brad Hoshaw played an acoustic set as part of the Mode Shift Membership Kickoff outside of Ted and Wally’s in Benson (you can still sign-up for Mode Shift here). It was good weather, a good crowd and a good time.

Moments into his set, I thought of capturing Brad’s performance via Facebook Live (with Brad’s nod), which you can view below. It dawned on me that if an artist were to tap into the right Facebook channel, FB Live sessions could be an effective way to get their new music heard in a format unique from their recordings. Maybe after hearing a couple new songs from Brad’s just completed Four New Songs EP listeners will wander on over to bradhoshawmusic.com and buy the CD. The following live acoustic version couldn’t be more different than the well-produced studio recording (that features a full band, strings, piano, etc.).

It’s also cool to see fans tap into the feed during the broadcast, from around town and around the country. There was close to 100 views during the live session; the session now has about 300 views… Check it out below.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Ten Questions with The New Pornographers; Stephen Sheehan tonight; Maha Festival, Digital Leather, Lupines Saturday; Blind Pilot Sunday…

The Maha Music Festival is tomorrow at Aksarben Village.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before we get to the full weekend preview…

This is the eighth and final installment in a series of Ten Questions interviews with bands performing at the Maha Music Festival tomorrow at Aksarben Village. For the printed version of all interviews, pick up the August issue of The Reader.

New Pornographers are among the artist playing at this year’s Maha Music Festival.

The New Pornographers

They’ve been called an indie rock supergroup thanks to the richness of talent. The band’s 7-member roster includes three lead vocalists: Dan Bejar of Destroyer, Neko Case, whose solo career stands on its own, and the band’s founder, Carl (A.C.) Newman.

Since their debut in 1997 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, the band has released seven studio albums starting with 2000’s Mass Romantic (Mint Records) before moving to indie powerhouse Matador Records for some of the most iconic releases of the 2000s, including 2003’s Electric Version and ’05’s Twin Cinema.

Their latest, Whiteout Conditions, released this past April by Concord Music Group, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Alternative Album charts.

1. What is your favorite album?

Carl Newman: Love, Forever Changes

2. What is your least favorite song?

I think it is still out there. I haven’t heard it yet. If I have to answer, probably something that is #1 at country radio right now.

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

I like all the people I have met. It is a good foot in the door for meeting people you admire. A great community.

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

Being away from my family. Feeling like you need to please people, like your best isn’t good enough. That sort of thing.

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

I like red wine. I often champion it.

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

D.C. has always been an amazing place for us. A lot of love for all of our projects.

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

I remember playing in a cafe in Chapel Hill in the ’90s. No one there, they were stacking the chairs on the tables as we played. I recall thinking, “Am I paying my dues right now?”

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, so far so good. I played in bands for about 10 years before that happened. Not a tough, hard-working 10 years but still… 10 years. In this era when no one buys music, that might change soon.

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 writer of some kind. Comedy, TV, film, novelist. Always had a lot of respect for the profession. I know, I am sort of a writer, in my way. So many things I would hate to be, it’s hard to choose.

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

Best place on earth. It rules, other places drool. Things like that.

The Maha Music Festival is Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. The day-long concert runs from noon to midnight. Tickets are $55. For set times and more information, go to mahamusicfestival.com.

* * *

Here’s the weekend we’ve all been waiting for. Lots o’ shows, and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate.

It starts tonight at Reverb Lounge with Stephen Sheehan and his band performing songs from Sheehan’s past projects, notably Digital Sex, The World and his solo outings. Here’s the background on this special event. I have a feeling I’m going to see a lot of old, familiar faces tonight. Opening is Sun-Less Trio, who is celebrating an EP release of their own. $10, 9 p.m.

And then along comes the 2017 Maha Music Festival at Aksarben Village. The set times:

12:10: The Hottman Sisters
12:50: Downtown Boys
1:45: High Up and Omaha Girls Rock
2:55: Torres
3:50: Priests
4:45: The New Pornographers
5:55: Built to Spill
7:05: Belle & Sebastian
8:15: Sleight Bells
9:30: The Faint
11:00: Run the Jewels

Tickets today are $55. I’m not sure what the walk-up price will be (or if it’s different).

Downtown Boys is currently trending on the hipster meter, thanks to their hot new Cost of Living LP (Sub Pop) produced by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, which is enjoying a massive 79 rating on Album of the Year composite reviews. Torres also is getting a lot of attention thanks to an upcoming release. Add Priests and, of course, Run the Jewels, and this one of the more progressive Maha line-ups in the festival’s history. They’ve made it hard for me to sneak out and grab a nap tomorrow.

So where’s the after party?

In year’s past, one or two of the Maha acts played a second show somewhere after the festival. I don’t see it happening this year. So for me, the after party is at fabulous O’Leaver’s, where Digital Leather will be burning up the stage along with Sucettes. $5, 9 p.m.

If that doesn’t float your boat, you can’t miss with Lupines, Sun-Less Trio and Bled Notes at Brothers Lounge Saturday night. $5, 9 p.m.

And here’s a sneaky one: Dwight Twilley is playing at Growler USA in West O Saturday night. $15 Adv/$19 DOS, 9 p.m. How is that one not sold out yet?

And yeah, I’m aware there are a couple other big concerts going on Saturday night. But neither Lady Gaga nor the guy from Hootie in the Blowfish are exactly in my wheelhouse, though I’d be interested to see how Jocelyn does opening for Hootie at Stir Cove.

Finally, Sunday night Portland’s Blind Pilot (ATO Records) plays a sold-out show at The Slowdown. They’ve been touring through Omaha for years, growing every step of the way. Gregory Alan Isakov opens. 8 p.m.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. If you see me at Sheehan, Maha or Digital Leather, say hi with a Rolling Rock. 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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