The Faint weekend (w/Closeness and Choir Boy); Cursive Saturday (Sold Out); Sebadoh, Flower Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 7:27 am May 24, 2019

The Faint at the 2017 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 19, 2017. The band is playing at The Waiting Room tonight and tomorrow night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Holy smokes, it’s an indie rock weekend!

It starts tonight at The Waiting Room where The Faint begin a two-night tour of duty. The band is on the road supporting Egowerk, the new release and a return to Saddle Creek Records.

Expect a mostly retrospective set, if the set list from the May 18 show in Seattle is any indication, where they played only one song off the new album? That can’t be right, can it? I guess we’ll find out tonight and tomorrow night.

I’m assuming Closeness will open the show for what will likely be the last time they play in Omaha for a long while due to Todd and Orenda Fink moving out west a few months ago. DAIS Recording artist Choir Boy has the center slot. What I’ve heard off their last album Passive with Desire, sounds like laid-back, synth-driven Bryan Ferry.

Saturday night’s Faint show, also at The Waiting Room, has the same line-up. Tickets are still available for both shows for $25. Start time is 8 p.m.

Also happening tonight, Chase the Ghost plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s with La Te Da and Jeremy Mercy. No price shown, but probably $5 and it probably starts at 10 p.m.

That brings us to Saturday and Cursive at Winchester Bar & Grill. You read my interview with Tim Kasher yesterday (and if you didn’t, go do it now). Here’s the set list from their May 20 show in Richmond. Seems like I remember hearing capacity at Winchester is north of 200. The venue is about twice the size of O’Leaver’s, but it’s still pretty small for a gig like this. Especially with openers mewithoutYou and The Appleseed Cast. This is the last gig on this tour, so expect fireworks.

Believe it or not, $22 tickets are still available. THIS ONE”S sold out. Don’t sleep on this one. Start time is 8 p.m.

O’Leaver’s will be limping along Saturday night with Wichita power-pop band Kill Vargas, Seymour and Garst. $5, 8 p.m.

Finally, Sunday night Sebadoh returns to Reverb Lounge. Who remembers when the band played the room’s grand opening? It was a comedy of errors that the band suffered through with good humor. In addition to a battery of sound issues, frontman Lou Barlow was suffering a painful toothache. Still, it was a pretty good set.

Opening is NYC punk band Flower (Simple Machines Records). Their bio: “Flower is a post-punk noise/pop band from NYC formed in 1986 featuring later members of Versus, French, and Cell. Flower was a staple of the NYC underground scene carved out by Sonic Youth, Live Skull, Swans, etc, utilizing the noise element of the aforementioned artists to deepen the textures of more classically oriented pop/rock songs. They continue to perform and record today.

$25, 8 p.m. Tickets are still available.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you at the clubs.

* * *

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

The Faint get Pitchforked (6.5 rating); goodbye Dick Dale; New Thick Paint track, BRNDA tonight at The Brothers…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:37 pm March 18, 2019

The Faint, Egowerk (2019, Saddle Creek)

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Faint’s new album Egowerk (2019, Saddle Creek) came out last Friday and the reviews are already coming in.

AllMusic.com, the longest-running online music reviews website (and about the best place to find data about a disc, along with Discogs), gave the record 3 1/2 stars. Their conclusion:

Todd Fink has never been a particularly emotive singer, but his detached croon and dystopian lyrics lend a verisimilitude to the retro feel of the 11-track set. Simultaneously laconic and engaged, his presence — like the LP itself — feels spectral; the last being standing amidst an empty room filled only with decibels and discarded glow-sticks and wrist-bands.”

OK then.

Pitchfork was more pointed and, at the same time, more complimentary, giving the album a middling 6.5 rating. Their conclusion:

Toward the end of Egowerk the songs grow thinner and more obvious in their ’80s references. Gary Numan synths flutter over the four-on-the-floor electro-funk of ‘Young & Realistic,’ the album’s most faithful callback of the Danse Macabre days, while ‘Automaton’ robot dances the record to the finish line with no particular ambition to awe. A little bit of the Faint goes a long way, but as long as there’s technological angst — and it’s impossible to imagine a time when there won’t be — there’s always going to some life left in this sound.”

Pitchfork has never been big fans of the Faint. Egowerk is the highest-rated Faint record at Pitchfork since Dance Macabre scored a massive 7.8 way back in 2001.

More to come.

* * *

Virtuoso guitarist Dick Dale passed away over the weekend at the age of 81. Dale made Nebraska a regular tour stop in the latter years of his career. I got the chance to interview him way back in ’98 and he was as boisterous with his words as he was with his guitar.

Here, he recounts being approached by Quentin Tarantino about the use of his masterpiece, “Misirlou,” in the classic Pulp Fiction:

“Quentin makes movies from the energy of songs. He said, ‘I’m one of your biggest fans.’ He said, ‘Misirlou is a masterpiece. I would love to have your permission to make a movie that will be a masterpiece that will complement the masterpiece of Misirlou.’ I knew when he did Reservoir Dogs and the shit he had to go through that he was no bullshitter. I’m a very good judge of character.”

And here is as good an epitaph as you’ll likely find. From the article:

“I don’t play pyrotechnic scales. I play about frustration, patience, anger. Music is an extension of my soul. If you go to a Dick Dale concert you’ll see skinheads, tattoos, androgynous people, tribes of all the lands, college professors… That’s where typical musicians fail — they try to show off and play more technical to impress other musicians. But I’m playing for the people who are working for $3.50 an hour, the carpenters, the ditch diggers, the grass-roots people.”

RIP, Mr. Dale.

* * *

Tonight, D.C. slacker rockers BRNDA play at The Brothers Lounge. The four-piece has a pretty cool Pavement-esque indie pop sound. Dig. Opening is our very own Thick Paint, who will be rolling out some new tunes as they kick off a tour with Delicate Steve, who ain’t playing tonight. Who is playing tonight is Nathan Ma Band. All this for a mere $5. 9 p.m.

Check out the new Thick Paint track! Hey Graham, who’s putting out the new record?

* * *

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

Oberst/Bridgers, The Faint/Closeness Omaha dates, plus a big Saturday show announced…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:36 pm January 29, 2019

The Faint at the 2017 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 19, 2017. The band is playing at The Waiting Room May 24 and 25.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here yesterday I said indie music is on the wane in Omaha (and it is) and today we have three big concerts announced.

The first is Better Oblivion Community Center — the new project featuring Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers — announced they’re playing at The Slowdown March 21 with Lala Lala and Christian Lee Hutson. Tickets, which are $25, go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. This will sell out.

Check out the new BOCC video that dropped today, directed by Japanese Breakfast:

The other big announcement is that The Faint and Closeness are playing at The Waiting Room May 24 and 25. Choirboy also is on the bill. Tickets for this one also go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. These will sell out as well.

And maybe the biggest announcement of all…

This Saturday Almost Music and Solid Jackson in the Blackstone District are hosting a concert from 4 p.m. until whenever in honor of them closing their doors. They’re going out of business, folks. If you’re looking for bargains, better get there now. When I stepped into the shop last Saturday all vinyl was 50 percent off.

The line-up for Saturday’s going-out-of-business concert:

Bad Actors (first show): 4:15-5:00
Eric in Outerspace: 5:15-6:00
Kyle Jessen: 6:00-6:45
Putter & Co.: 6:45-7:30
Little Ripple: 7:30-8:15
Pagan Athletes: 8:15-9:00
Wagon Blasters: 9:00-9:45
Houma: 9:45-10:30
Conny Franko: 10:30-11:15
BIB: 11:15-midnight

Donations are welcomed; it’s BYOB; and Nite Owl is preparing “special punch” for the occasion. It’s free so this one won’t sell out but it’ll definitely be SRO. Come say goodbye to a local hero.

* * *

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

2019 Maha Music Festival Aug. 16-17 at Stinson; new Faint track, album in March; the return of Serial (ex-Ritual Device/Cellophane Ceiling) Dec. 22…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:11 pm December 11, 2018

A screen cap from The Faint’s latest video, “Child Asleep,” directed by Nik Fackler.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Some news nuggets that have been sitting in the in-box…

Today the fine folks at the Maha Music Festival announced that the 11th annual festival will be held Aug. 16-17, again at Aksarben’s Stinson Park (Why mess with a good thing?).

No word on who will be performing, but it’s pretty early for that sort of an announcement. Last year the headliner was Weezer, which marked a shift to a more, shall we say, Stir Cove-style concert. Here’s hoping they return to their indie roots. There are plenty of big-name indie bands that could fill the park, not the least of which are Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett, Arcade Fire, Wilco and The National, to name a few off the top of my head.

In addition, Maha announced the continued support/production of Big Omaha as part of Maha week. The Big Omaha portion kicks off Aug. 14.

* * *

Last Friday The Faint not only dropped a tasty new track, “Child Asleep,” but also announced their new 11-track LP, Egowerk, will be released March 15 by Saddle Creek Records (pre-order here).

The album takes on the dark side of social media, a theme frontman Todd Fink is quite familiar with. Says Todd in the press release: “Egowerk’s focus is on the current social state of the Internet: an amazing world of free knowledge, communication, and opportunity is proving to be a toxic battleground. One where the people most sure of their opinion are quick to take a stand and destroy anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

Egowerk marks the first studio album by The Faint in four years and only one completely self-produced by the band. Omaha filmmaker Nik Fackler created the head-spinning video for “Child Asleep,” below. If the rest of the album is this good, look out world, The Faint are back…

* * *

What’s become a diabolical holiday tradition, Omaha heritage-punk supergroup Serial announced it’s fourth annual holiday appearance at Brothers Lounge Dec. 22 with Rusty Lord opening.

Serial is Tim Moss, John Wolf, Lee Meyerpeter and Jerry Hug — four royalty from Omaha’s golden age of punk rock, having performed in such stellar ’90s acts as Ritual Device, Cellophane Ceiling, Bad Luck Charm, Cactus Nerve Thang and Men or Porn.

Expect a night of heavy rock favorites performed by four guys who helped define the Omaha indie rock/punk scene. More info here. Plan accordingly.

* * *

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

New Music: Those Far Out Arrows, The Faint; I stand corrected…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:48 pm October 30, 2018

The Faint have a new song out on Saddle Creek. Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

“American Trap,” the second track from the upcoming Those Far Out Arrows album, Part Time Lizards, dropped yesterday.

Sayeth Arrows’ member Evan Keelan-White, via Anchr Magazine: “American Trap’ sends a clear message about what’s happening in our world today. There’s no hiding the content and the intentionality of the lyrics. We encourage everyone to avoid the American trap, which can manifest in unique ways from person to person. The ‘American dream’ has failed so many generations of Americans…lies, deceit, and broken promises.”

Part Time Lizards comes out via High Dive Records this Friday.

* * *

If you haven’t heard by now, The Faint is back with a new track released via Saddle Creek Records called “Chameleon Nights.” With three dates slated for the balance of the year, could we see a new album by the lads in early 2019? Time will tell.

* * *

I stand corrected for a statement made in yesterday’s blog post. I said the new Young Jesus album received the highest rating of any Saddle Creek Release from Pitchfork (BTW, I tried to confirm this Sunday night). Well yesterday the label reminded me Twitter that Big Thief’s Capacity album from last year earned an 8.3, while Hop Along’s Get Disowned, a reissue from 2016, earned an 8.5.

Who remembers the old days when Saddle Creek releases had to beg for anything above a 6?

* * *

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

#TBT Aug. 13, 2008: Oberst debut solo, Faint’s Fasciinatiion storm Billboard charts; Witch Mountain, Ocean Black tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:57 pm August 9, 2018

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

On this Throwback Thursday (#TBT), from the blog 10 years ago:

Conor Oberst charts at No. 15, The Faint at No. 45… – Aug. 13, 2008 –

So how did Conor Oberst and The Faint do in their first week’s sales of their new albums? Here’s the skinny by way of Homer’s General Manager Mike Fratt:

Conor Oberst’s self-titled album sold 28,546 copies last week, plus 354 copies prior to street date for a total of 28,918 copies. That’s good enough for the album to chart at No. 15 on Billboard. Conor Oberst also was the No. 3 best-selling download on iTunes, moving 9,941 digital units.

The Faint’s Fasciinatiion sold 11,333 last week, plus 222 copies before street date for a total of 11,584 copies — good enough to claim the No. 45 position on the Billboard charts. Fasciinatiion also was the No. 15 best-selling download on iTunes, moving 3,250 digital units.

FYI, digital downloads are included in the overall total sales number. Thanks again to Mr. Fratt for the data. Overall, an impressive first week by both artists. I think you could see both albums continue to climb the charts, but especially Fasciinatiion, which has had less pre-release media attention, and is only now getting the notice it deserves.

And the original reviews from the Lazy-i posted a week later:

Conor Oberst, self-titled (2008, Merge)

Conor Oberst, Conor Oberst (2008, Merge) — It differs from Bright Eyes in its more minimal production, though it’s far from stripped down (just Mogis-less). Song wise, it’s not a stretch at all, though Oberst does seem more relaxed, even resolved to his stricken condition of being ordained the rambling “voice of his generation.” Call him that if you want to; he’s not listening. Unlike Lifted or Wide Awake, there’s no need to block off your afternoon or give it your undivided attention to enjoy it. Like he says on album opener “Cape Canaveral”: “There’s no worries, who’s got time?” No one, Conor, no one. And while there’s nothing as striking as, say, “Lua” or “Waste of Paint” or “I Must Belong Somewhere,” it has its moments of absolute clarity, including country stomper “I Don’t Want to Die (in the Hospital)” and rock anthem “Souled Out!!!” Oberst is too smart to do either. Rating: 4 stars.

The Faint, Fasciinatiion (2008, blank.wav)

The Faint, Faciinatiion (2008, blank .wav) — It’s no wonder that the album’s best song, “The Geeks Were Right,” also is the most straightforward and least dependent on technology to “make it sound different.” You see, I like frontman Todd Fink’s voice just the way it is. And with all of the electronic bleep-blooping going on elsewhere, Dapose’s opening guitar riff feels downright organic. But a straight-up rock band is not what the throngs of stylish, sweaty youth are looking for. Give them the robot-voiced dance machine with its dense bass and thump-thump-thump rhythms. They want to bounce, not think. What are they singing about? Who cares as long as there’s a thick-ass beat and plenty of strobes. Which makes me wonder what would happen if these guys stepped away from the synths, vocoders and effects pedals and picked up traditional instruments once again. They could be that great rock band we’ve all been waiting for, if they wanted to be. But they never will, not now, not when they don’t have to. With a slew of classics already in their quiver, it makes you wonder why they even bother making new CDs in the first place. Rating: 3 stars.

* * *

Tonight at Lookout Lounge Portland doom-metal band Witch Mountain headlines. When it comes to the grind, they’ll have stiff competition from opener Ocean Black, Omaha’s stoner-rock satans. Super Moon is also on the bill. $12, 7 p.m.

* * *

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

Lazy-i

The Faint in LA; Bill Hoover, thespian; Thick Paint, Media Jeweler, BiB tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:41 pm July 18, 2018

Thick Paint at Slowdown Jr., March 30, 2018. The band plays tonight at Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Faint yesterday posted they’re playing the Cloak & Dagger show at LA’s State Theatre Nov. 10. DAF (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft) — the so-called  “godfathers of techno,” the pioneers of EBM and the forefathers of electropunk — are the headliners.

Also on the bill are She Wants Revenge, HEALTH, Boy Harsher, Tamaryn, BOAN and Black Mare.

When was the last time The Faint played anywhere? Good to see that they’re still alive and kicking. Someone should organize a “warm up” show for them before they head west…

* * *

Speaking of old school musicians, Bill Hoover of The Darktown House Band and The Short Timers is perhaps better known these days as a fine artist/painter. I hope to some day be able to afford one of his masterpieces.

Well, tonight you can catch Bill as a thespian when he performs in a new play by his bro, Joe Hoover, called Amends. The show is directed by Nils Haaland and also features Joseph Patrick.

The play’s world premier is tonight at The B Side of Benson Theater, 6058 Maple St. (right next door to Virtuoso Pizza). Performances also will be held tomorrow and Friday at B Side. Showtime is 7 p.m. For more information.

* * *

Did you see Minus the Bear is calling it quits? Their Oct. 14 show at The Waiting Room is part of their Farewell Tour. More info at Stereogum.

* * *

I’m listening to the last Thick Paint track released on their Bandcamp page. When are we going to get some new stuff from these folks — and even more importantly, who’s releasing it? You can ask the band yourself tonight when they headline at Brothers Lounge. Joining them is Santa Ana band Media Jeweler and Rogue Moon. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Pageturner Lounge continues its summer concert series with BiB and KC’s Mentira. 9 p.m. and the usual free!

* * *

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 The Faint (@Maha Saturday); new Sun-Less Trio, Sam Evian; Graham Ulicny, Field Club tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:51 pm August 17, 2017

The Faint at The Slowdown, Dec. 30, 2016. The band is among the acts playing at this year’s Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This is the seventh in a series of Ten Questions interviews with bands performing at the Maha Music Festival Aug. 19 at Aksarben Village. For the printed version of all interviews, pick up the August issue of The Reader.

The Faint

This isn’t the first time The Faint has graced the Maha Music Festival stage. The band was one of the headliners along with Spoon and Superchunk at the 2010 festival, held at Lewis & Clark Landing. Their top-bill status — then and now — is well deserved.

One of a trio of acts that put Saddle Creek Records (and Omaha) on the indie music map in the late ’90s and throughout the 2000s, The Faint exploded onto the national scene with 1999’s Blank-Wave Arcade, an album that defined their post-punk, electronic-fueled dance-rock style. Non-stop touring and a reputation for putting on electrifying, sweat-soaked live shows quickly made them concert favorites throughout the country.

Fronted by Todd Fink with guitarist Dapose, drummer Clark Baeckle and newest member, keyboardist Graham Ulicny, The Faint continues to put out new music including three new songs on 2016 “greatest hits” compilation CAPSULE:1999-2016 (Saddle Creek).

What is your favorite album?

Todd Fink: I would never do that to  myself.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Bare Naked Ladies, “Cherry Cola”

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

Free Cabernet

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

The music.

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

Egg nog.

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

Tokyo or Berlin.

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

A festival in Switzerland(?) I had a complete Billy Joel/Casey Kasem meltdown on stage.  I used to really hate it when the vocoder wasn’t hooked up right.

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 live in a castle for free.

8.5 What do you eat then?

Carrots.  With bunnies.

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

I’ll be a milliner soon.

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

That Omaha made the reuben.

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.

* * *

With everything else happening this weekend, I didn’t want the fact that Mike Saklar’s band, Sun-Less Trio, is celebrating the release of a new album, When Rivers Rebirth Different Maps, at two shows. The first is tomorrow night, opening for Stephen Sheehan at Reverb Lounge (which you read about here). The second is Saturday night at Brothers Lounge with Lupines and Bled Notes.

From the album’s liner notes, Saklar describes the sessions as: “A fabulous disaster. Like a broken record that hops back a few grooves endlessly. The completion of this record is yet another audio miracle notch in the analog belt. The third recorded miracle.” Check it out below:


* * *

Speaking of new albums, Saddle Creek announced today it’s releasing a new EP by Sam Evian with drummer Chris Cohen called Need You, out Oct. 8. Evian also announced a fall U.S. Tour, but it’s a NOmaha affair at this point.

* * *

Former Omahan Maria Taylor is part of the band backing Daniel Johnston when he plays in Los Angeles Nov. 2, according to Pitchfork. Other band members include Ben Lee, Mike Watt and members of Silversun Pickups.

* * *

A couple shows tonight…

Graham Patrick Ulicny (the newest member of The Faint) is playing at Kaneko tonight as part of their Soundscapes Series. 7 p.m., $10. More info here.

Also tonight, local indie band Field Club plays at Reverb Lounge with The Senators and Bokr Tov. $7, 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.

Lazy-i

Live Review: The Faint, Plack Blague; 2016: The Year in Music (fave releases/fave live shows); spotty reception this week…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 2:07 pm January 2, 2017
The Faint at The Slowdown, Dec. 30, 2016.

The Faint at The Slowdown, Dec. 30, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I think we’re going to start a new tradition for New Years — instead of celebrating on New Year’s Eve, when the drunks are out, with all the traffic and the unholy fireworks, we’re going to celebrate the new year the night (or the weekend) before NYE. I figure I’m going to be home on NYE at midnight anyway to shield the dogs from the war noises booming overhead, I might as well celebrate the new year before the fact. Kind of like we did this year. Now if only we could get The Faint to play a pre-NYE show every year.

The Slowdown was packed Friday night, but not too packed. In the old days, The Faint would have easily sold out two nights in a venue the size of The Slowdown. Now the best the band can do is comfortably fill a large venue two nights in a row. Let’s face it, the band’s heyday was 15 or so years ago with the breakthrough of Danse Macabre, and even back then, I remember seeing The Faint perform that album at Sokol Underground — a show that stands out as my all-time favorite Faint performance. It’s followed closely by an unannounced pre-grand-opening performance at The Waiting Room in 2007 — probably the loudest Faint show I can remember.

That same year, in June 2007, The Faint had sold out a two-night residency at Sokol Auditorium. All of those Sokol Aud shows from that decade (and the years that followed) were complete madness — hot sweaty bouncing dancing messes of humanity; absolute spectacles.

Last Friday night’s show didn’t quite reach the level of those Sokol shows, but it was a good time nonetheless. If there was a drag on the performance it came from the audience, because the band was clearly on point playing a set of greatest hits in support of their CAPSULE: 1999-2016 album that just came out on Saddle Creek. It’s easy to forget how many great songs these guys have recorded. It’s a good time to mention that the new material — three new songs released as part of the CAPSULE album — stand tall among their finest efforts, seamlessly blending into the set.

A haunting Clark Baechle behind The Faint’s drum kit….

A ghostly Clark Baechle behind The Faint’s drum kit….

The Faint’s light show has been an evolution over the years. I remember the days where they controlled colored floodlights with floor pedals, to haunting effect. These days the light show is a flashing, strobing choreographed wonder in perfect sync with every bone-rattling beat. I have no idea how it could get any better.

Maybe it was thos awe-inspiring lights or the enormity of the music but the audience on the floor seemed a bit dumbfounded. It took half a set to get their butts moving and not until the end until they got their arms in the air and bodies began to be carried over the crowd — a far cry from those old Sokol Aud days.

The band kicked off the four-song encore with a rehearsal of sorts for a surprise they intended to roll out the next evening, NYE — a cover of Prince’s “1999” — a sloppy, rowdy, slam-bam version wherein the band got lost somewhere after the second verse, which the crowd either didn’t notice or didn’t care. The whole place blew up for the last song of the encore — a celebratory version of “Glass Danse” that left them covered in sweat. There is no such thing as a bad Faint show.

Plack Blague at The Slowdown, Dec. 30, 2016.

Plack Blague at The Slowdown, Dec. 30, 2016.

I missed Closeness, but got to see about half of Plack Blague’s set. It’s been too long since I’ve experienced Raws on stage. The last time was at O’Leaver’s a few years ago for a set of ear-bleeding distorted noise and screaming. Last Friday night’s set was a different story — a raw, leather-clad set of electro-noise-fueled disco fronted by a bondage geek with slippery, greasy dance moves. For any other crowd, Plack Blague would be controversial if not shocking, but Faint fans have been following Raws’ path for years and expect nothing less than the most salacious performance. What a way to kick off a new year…

* *

2016yearinmusic
It wouldn’t be a new year without looking back on the old year, and as such my 2016: The Year in Music story finally went online at The Reader‘s website.

The article includes a look back at a rather rough year, a year that will be remembered more for its deaths than its music. We lost a lot of heroes in 2016, and the wounds are still very much open for a lot of us.

The article also includes my list of favorite albums as well as my favorite live shows from 2016, along with a crapload of photos. Take a look.

Lazy-i Best of 2016 Comp CD

Lazy-i Best of 2016 Comp CD

And while you’re remember 2016, you might as ell ahead and enter the drawing for a copy of Lazy-i Best of 2016 Comp CD.

The collection includes my favorite indie tunes I’ve come across throughout last year as part of my tireless work as a music critic for Lazy-i. Among those represented: The Faint, Oh Pep!, Mitski, Quilt, Low, Big Thief, Father John Misty and lots more. The full track listing is here, or take a listen if you have Spotify.

Entering to win a CD copy is super simple: 1. Send an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com, or 2) Write a comment on one of my Lazy-i related posts in Facebook, or 3) Retweet a Lazy-i tweet. You also can enter by sending me a direct message in Facebook or Twitter. Hurry, contest deadline is midnight Jan. 9.

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Reception at Lazy-i central will be spotty this week as I’m off to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). I may or may not update the ol’ blog. I’m considering posting photos and info about cool music-related gadgets that I find on the show floor, or maybe I won’t. Best bet is to check back either way…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

High Up video debuts, new EP on Team Love; The Faint, Closeness, Ridgelines tonight; goodbye 2016 (and good riddance)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:53 pm December 30, 2016
A screen capture from the new video for High Up tune "Two Weeks."

A screen capture from the new video for High Up tune “Two Weeks.”

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Looks like the fine folks in High Up have been plenty busy. Today Elle magazine debuted the new video for the song “Two Weeks,” deeming it one of the “10 Best New Songs to Listen to in January.” I guess someone forgot to tell the editors that the song came out two years ago. But the video, directed by Harrison Martin, is brand new and features a lot of local heroes. See how many you recognize.

The other bit of news from this video release is that High Up is now working with Team Love Records, who is releasing the band’s EP Jan. 20. What other High Up music will Team Love be releasing?  This could be the beginning of something big…

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You’ve made it to the NYE weekend.

The big show tonight is at The Slowdown where The Faint takes the stage. As of this writing, tickets were still available from The Slowdown website. Who knows how long they’ll last. Opening is Closeness (featuring Todd and Orenda Fink) and Lincoln noise-beast Plack Blague. This is a 9 p.m. show. If you intend to see Closeness, you better get in line early (doors open at 8). My past experience at Slowdown is that they start the shows at the stroke of 9 p.m. regardless of the monstrous line of people waiting to get in. Tix are $25.

The Faint play Slowdown again tomorrow night for Happy Goo Year X, which I assume will feature Goo DJ sets in addition to a Faint performance. Tix to that one are $40 today, $50 tomorrow.

Back to what’s happening tonight…

Ridgelines is hosting a show tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s that will also feature The Sunks and hip-hop act Both. Ridgelines, which is an electronic/ambient project by Mike Johnson, will be celebrating the release of their new album The Scarlet Ibis: a soundtrack by ridgelines tonight as well. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, Milk Run has Club Nothing (Anna Sun), Twin Reflex and Inflatable Egg. $3, 9 p.m.

Which brings us to New Year’s Eve… NYE is a night dedicated to DJs and cover bands — not a night to see original music (let alone indie music). I shall spend mine at Alamo Draft House and will be home in time to protect my poor hounds from the annual firework onslaught, which has become worse than the 4th of July.

On many fronts, 2016 has been a pretty lousy year, but with the New Year brings new hope for a better tomorrow *puke*. Here’s hoping yours is better than ever.

Lazy-i Best of 2016 Comp CD

Lazy-i Best of 2016 Comp CD

But before we leave 2016 behind, why not remember it one last time with the Lazy-i Best of 2016 comp CD? The collection includes my favorite indie tunes I’ve come across throughout last year as part of my tireless work as a music critic for Lazy-i. Among those represented: Conor Oberst, Maria Taylor, Jeffrey Lewis, Navy Gangs, Jeff Runnings, Pet Shop Boys and lots more. The full track listing is here, or take a listen if you have Spotify.

Entering to win a CD copy is super simple: 1. Send an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com, or 2) Write a comment on one of my Lazy-i related posts in Facebook, or 3) Retweet a Lazy-i tweet. You also can enter by sending me a direct message in Facebook or Twitter. Hurry, contest deadline is midnight Jan. 9.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i