Another new Faint song ‘ESP’; new video for ‘Young and Realistic’; tour starts tomorrow…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:46 pm September 28, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Faint released what I believe is the third new song off their upcoming CAPSULE:1999-2016 album, out Oct. 28 on Saddle Creek. Consequence of Sound got the honors. This one might be my favorite. The tour kicks off tomorrow in Minneapolis, headed to Omaha and Sokol Auditorium on Halloween.

And yesterday SPIN debuted the video for “Young and Realistic,” the second new song off the new record, directed by Faint frontman Todd Fink and Nik Fackler of Icky Blossoms. It’s creepy.

Feels like old times…

* * *

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

New Faint video; Car Seat Headrest returns in November; Kevin Seconds (7 Seconds), Kait Berreckman tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:55 pm August 24, 2016
At Brad's Corner during last week's Benson First Friday festivities, from left, are Matt Whipkey, Kait Berreckman and Brad Hoshaw. Berreckman celebrates the release of her debut album tonight at O'Leaver's.

Kait Berreckman, center, during a recent First Friday performance at Brad’s Corner in Benson. Berreckman celebrates the release of her debut album tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Let me be the last to the party to tell you about the new Faint video for “Skylab 1979.” I’m just now watching it for the first time over my lunch hour. Pretty cool. Directed by band members Todd Fink and Graham Ulicny. The song, taken from the upcoming CAPSULE: 1999-2016 collection (via Saddle Creek) sounds like classic Faint, which means it’ll blend right into the compilation. Check it out below:

* * *

Wouldn’t you know it, on the Monday after Maha One Percent Productions announces that festival standout Car Seat Headrest will be playing The Waiting Room Nov. 2. For $15, I’ll be there. Wonder what other Maha festival performers will be coming through town again soon…

* * *

Kinda busy night tonight show-wise…

Tonight at The Brothers lounge Kevin Seconds of the hardcore band 7 Seconds headlines with Steve Soto of The Adolescents and The Broke Loose. $10, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Waiting Room Ace Frehley (formerly of KISS, though does anyone ever really leave that band?) headlines with SIMO. $40, 8 p.m.

And down at fabulous O’Leaver’s (where I’m sure there was a river just outside their door last night) Kait Berreckman celebrates the release of her debut album Battle Scenes. Joining her are Soul Tree and Tara Vaughan. $5, 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Pleasures, Universe Contest; The Faint release retrospective on Saddle Creek…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:45 pm August 8, 2016
Pleasures at O'Leaver's, Aug. 6, 2016.

Pleasures at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 6, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I can’t think of a band as densely electronic as Sarasota’s Pleasures, who played at O’Leaver’s Saturday night. The four-piece drenched everything in technology, from the guitar, which was run though an onslaught of pedals, to the the stack of synths to Katherine Kelly’s vocals that were twisted and stretched and strangled by synths and vocoders and pedals all night. The music dripped in a haze of buzzing distortion cut through by a top-notch rhythm section that kept things grounded and rocking.

As interesting as the tech was, there were a few too many times when the vocal distortion got in the way of the music, and I wondered how the songs would have sounded had Kelly simply sung them sans electronic filters. The few moments when her voice peeped through the digital fog reminded me of a young Grace Slick, and certainly she carried the stage with a similar pomp.

Universe Contest at O'Leaver's, Aug. 6, 2016.

Universe Contest at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 6, 2016.

Pleasures were followed by Lincoln’s Universe Contest, whose pounding riffage and bellowing vocals were as musically subtle as hitting a thumb-tack with a sledge hammer — massive walls of throbbing sound and quirky (though barely recognizable) proggy melodies a la early Modest Mouse. The band had one of the better rhythm sections I’ve heard in recent memory, fantastic drumming. And hat’s off also to the violinist, who added much needed sonic nuance (and to the sound guy for somehow making sure she was heard through all the racket).

* * *

That massive Faint / Gang of Four tour is beginning to make more sense. I had been wondering why The Faint had signed up for so many dates without a new album to push. Then last week the band announced that it’s set to release Capsule:1999-2016 on CD and digitally on Sept. 30 and 2xLP on Oct. 28 via Saddle Creek.

The retrospective collection represents a golden era for The Faint and includes 16 of their most beloved songs from five albums reaching back to Blank-Wave Arcade (What, nothing from Media?). The 2xLP is pressed on sexy silver vinyl and the first pressing will contain a bonus  7-inch featuring new songs “Skylab1979” and “ESP,” which feature the newest member of The Faint, Graham Ulicny (Reptar) on synths. Pre-orders are being taken at The Saddle Creek online store, where you can check out the track listing.

It’s a pretty solid collection, though most early Faint albums are pretty solid top to bottom. In fact you can’t go wrong with the trilogy of Blank-Wave Arcade, Danse Macabre and Wet From Birth, whose tracks dominate this new collection…

* * *

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

New Faint track, tour dates w/Gang of Four (Omaha Oct. 31); new boat concert; Will Johnson (Centro-Matic, Monsters of Folk) living room concert tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:40 pm May 17, 2016
Will Johnson plays a living room concert tonight in Omaha.

Will Johnson plays a living room concert tonight in Omaha.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Faint released a new synth-dance-rock track this morning called “Young and Realistic” via YouTube (listen below). In a Stereogum article, Faint frontman Todd Fink said, “This might be a love song. Maybe it’s a respect song. Those are intertwined concepts I suppose. Without respect, love is a weaker bond.

One assumes a new album can’t be far behind. Even more noteworthy was the announcement that The Faint will be touring with Gang of Four throughout October, closing out the tour at Sokol Auditorium Oct. 31. Start working on that costume now.

* * *

In other Fink-related news, looks like the fine folks at Perpetual Nerves are riding the wave of success from Sunday’s concert on the River City Star, announcing yesterday that they’re doing it again July 16. The featured artist is High Up, with Benson Soul Society, so be prepared to dance.

Since July 16 is a Saturday, they pushed the boarding time back to 10:30, with the cruise lasting until 1:30 a.m. Whoa! Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. The last one sold out in a matter of hours, so be prepared with your credit card. More info here.

* * *

Somewhere in mid-town Omaha tonight, singer/songwriter Will Johnson will be playing a concert in someone’s living room.

While the address is not on the website where you can buy your $20 tickets, it’s located on the event’s Facebook invitation. It’s somewhere north of Dundee.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Will way back in 2004, where I learned that as much (or more than) music, he loves baseball.  From that article:

Driving around alone also allows him to indulge in one of his more eccentric past-times — visiting baseball parks. While in Omaha, he hopes to check out Rosenblatt Stadium and, if necessary, sneak inside. “I have a list of stadiums I’ve visited,” Johnson said. “I love them. I love the architecture — just the choices that were made in designing and building a stadium. And I love baseball. It’s a flawless, beautiful game. The challenge is sneaking in and getting out. I’ve had quite a few close calls, including Wrigley Field.”

He’ll be in for a big surprise if he tries to visit Rosenblatt today. Actually, Johnson has been through town a few times since that ’04 concert at The Ranch Bowl, where Teresa and I were among the few in the audience. Will swung by our table and had a drink with us afterward. I’m sure he’ll do the same with you if you go to tonight’s concert.

The $20 tickets must be purchased online here. No tickets will be sold at the door. Show starts at 8 p.m.

* * *

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

Lazy-i

#TBT May 11, 2000: Saddle Creek announces two major releases (Bright Eyes, Cursive)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:48 pm May 12, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

On this Throwback Thursday we’re turning the Wayback Machine all the way back to May 11, 2000, a simpler time before 9-11, before the first iPod and before Nebraska had defined itself as an indie music Mecca. The two releases mentioned in this old Lazy-i blog entry (that also was published in the old Omaha Weekly) would impact the scene for years to come…

Lazy-i May 11, 2000: Saddle Creek Records announced two major CD releases for late spring and early June.

Bright Eyes, Fevers and Mirrors (2000, Saddle Creek Records)

Bright Eyes, Fevers and Mirrors (2000, Saddle Creek Records)

Bright Eyes’ Fevers and Mirrors, the full-length follow-up to last year’s Every Day and Every Night EP is slated to hit the streets May 29. Pre-release hype is huge and already the CD has debuted at No. 42 on the College Music Journal (CMJ) charts, says Saddle Creek’s Robb Nansel. Unlike sales charts, CMJ compiles college and non-commercial radio airplay reports, as well as other key industry indicators,

Fans of Bright Eyes singer/songwriter Conor Oberst’s moody, confessional style won’t be disappointed by what arguably is his most thought-out and well produced effort to date. Oberst has developed a rep for writing rather dreary songs that depress more than uplift. From that standpoint, Fevers and Mirrors is quite a departure, featuring some pretty heavy numbers as well as fully realized accompaniments that move things along quite nicely (look for a full review in an upcoming issue of Omaha Weekly).

Recorded over a month at Lincoln’s Dead Space Studios, the CD features a stable of Saddle Creek special guests, including Lullaby for the Working Class’s Mike and A.J. Mogis, The Faint’s Todd Baechle, and Cursive’s Matt Maginn and Clint Schnase.

Cursive, Domestica (2000, Saddle Creek Records)

Cursive, Domestica (2000, Saddle Creek Records)

Speaking of Cursive, Domestica, that band’s full-length follow-up to 1998’s The Storms of Early Summer, has been pressed and is ready to hit the store shelves June 19. Those who are expecting a quiet return to form from a band that has gone through a break-up and a reunion over the past year, guess again. This one is brutal.

We’re to believe that Cursive singer/songwriter Tim Kasher’s recent marriage and subsequent divorce had nothing to do with these stark rockers that make Trent Reznor’s darkest moments sound like the theme from The Newlywed Game. Song titles like “The Casualty,” “The Martyr” and “The Night I Lost the Will to Fight” paint a not-so-pretty picture of domestic despair.

Despite the mid-June street date, fans can pick up copies of the CD at Cursive’s CD-release party May 27 at Sokol Underground.

With their stable of releases ever growing, Saddle Creek just signed an exclusive distribution deal with Southern Records in the United States, Nansel said. Southern also has exclusive distribution deals with Dischord, DeSoto, Teen Beat, Simple Machines, Tree and Thick as Thieves records. “We think they’re much more representative of our style of music,” Nansel said. “We’ll still be able to consign material and sell CDs at venues.”

The exclusive deal with Southern means the distributor will get a bigger cut of the revenue, but Nansel said that would be offset by better promotions as well as placement in regional chains. — Lazy-i, May 11, 2000.

Pitchfork would place Fevers and Mirrors at number 170 on their list of top 200 albums of the 2000s; while Domestica is listed as No. 25 on Rolling Stone’s “40 Greatest Emo Albums of All Time.” Many point to these two releases as the start of what would become a hitting streak for Saddle Creek and its artists, though The Faint’s Blank-Wave Arcade was actually released the previous November. It would be followed by Dance Macabre in 2001. And the hits just kept on coming…

* * *

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

#TBT: March 22, 2006: When The Faint flew the coop…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:41 pm March 24, 2016
The Faint circa August 2001, from left, Jacob Thiele, Joel Petersen, Todd Fink (then Baechle), Dapose and Clark Baechle.

The Faint circa August 2001, from left, Jacob Thiele, Joel Petersen, Todd Fink (then Baechle), Dapose and Clark Baechle.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here’s another Throwback Thursday from the Lazy-i vault. From 10 years ago, to be exact. The first two paragraphs are the blog intro, followed by the column, which also was printed in The Reader. Seems like only yesterday. Lean back and enjoy this music history lesson…

Lazy-i: The Faint headed to American? – March 22, 2006

Let me take a moment to reiterate my policy regarding rumors — I don’t print ’em. Now, a certain promoter in town does not agree with this assessment — he calls me a “gossip columnist,” which is fine since he doesn’t know what I’m calling him behind his back (just kidding). Look, I hear more than my share of rumors on any given night at the bar, club or venue, but I don’t publish any of them unless I get some sort of official verification about their truthfulness. At which case, it ain’t a rumor no more. To a large part, I depend on people passing me information, and they do so with confidence that 1) I’m not going to reveal my sources unless they want to be revealed, and 2) I’m not going to print anything until someone is willing to verify the information “on the record.” Consider it my own, personal Woodward & Bernstein clause. So when I heard rumors about The Faint leaving Saddle Creek five or six weeks ago, I sat on the story because no one would comment “on the record.” Meanwhile, everyone short of the late Mayor Ed Zorinsky let me know all about it “on the down low.”

Why has this rumor become so pervasive? I think because there’s a tremendous amount of concern as to what it could mean to Saddle Creek and the Omaha music scene if it becomes a reality. The Faint, Cursive and Bright Eyes are the holy triumvirate that has made the label what it is today. There was a similar level of concern a few years ago when rumors began circulating that Cursive was breaking up (a deep throat fed me that tidbit weeks before it become public as well). Different bitter factions may snipe endlessly about how much they don’t like the label or its bands, but at the end of the conversation, they always punctuate it with a statement like, “regardless, I admire what they’ve accomplished, it’s been good for the Omaha music scene as a whole.” Everyone wants Saddle Creek to succeed — there’s nothing but upside to their continued prosperity. So when word of a breakup or defection gets hung on the grapevine, brows furrow and anxiety ensues that perhaps a turnaround in Omaha’s good fortune may be in the offing. If this becomes a reality and contracts are indeed signed, I see downside for some, upside for others and hope in the fact that The Faint are investing a lot of time and money in facilities right here in river city. The band is putting down roots even though they could live anywhere in the country that they wish.

Column 69 — Not for The Faint of Heart
Is one of Saddle Creek’s biggest bands flying the coop?

Omaha is a very small town. And once a rumor gets traction — any traction — there’s no slowing it down. We are a species of gossips and information whores, constantly on the look-out for hot scoop (or poop, in some cases). Information isn’t power in Omaha, information is the new smack that forces those locked in the music scene to stumble around for their next fix.

There was plenty of smack on the streets last weekend in the form of a rumor that The Faint, one of the holy triad of Saddle Creek Records’ bands, is leaving their home-town label for greener pastures. Specifically pastures fed and watered by hip-hop guru and professional turn-around artist Rick Rubin.

I could not grab a beer at any bar without someone leaning in and whispering, “I’ve got a lu-lu. But you didn’t hear it from me,” then saying that The Faint are not only sniffing around, but have already signed a deal with American Recordings and are flying Rubin to Omaha in a silver dart to begin recording sessions post haste at The Faint’s swank new rehearsal space.

It wasn’t exactly fresh news. I had heard about it five weeks ago, maybe more. A well-connected deep throat sent me an e-mail with a single sentence: “The Faint are leaving Saddle Creek.” It sounded like shit to me. The band has been solid all around with the label from day one; no one’s held up the Saddle Creek banner higher. Whenever it came press time, the Baechle brothers were always first in line with a faithful quote. “Why would we leave when we got it so good here? You think we’re stupid?”

But my source had never been wrong. Never. Every bit of info no matter how lame-brained always proved solid. Even when I thought it was pure cockamamie, asking around always came up diamonds. But this seemed too big.

I immediately asked Creek about the rumor, but got zilch back on the record. Weeks went by with nothing new from the grapevine. Deep Throat was swollen shut. Then out of the blue a week ago, I got another tip from a different source. Same story. More details. This time Rick Rubin was mentioned by name along with his record label, American Recordings, home of Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond and Slayer. By last weekend it was all over the streets; it was just a matter of time until I’d read it in the World-Herald, until it was old news.

Calls and e-mail to a member of The Faint went unreturned. No surprise there. So I tried Saddle Creek again, figuring label executives Robb Nansel and Jason Kulbel would be too busy schmoozing at South by Southwest to reply. Lo and behold, Nansel clarified the rumor. “They have not signed anything with American,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Not sure if they will. They are still talking to them, but that is all at this point.”

Nansel went on to write that Rubin has indeed expressed interest in working on the band’s new record, “but I don’t know that he ever expressed doing that in Omaha, let alone at their space.”

What’s in it for Saddle Creek? One story had it that negotiations were under way to compensate the label for its years of support, promotion, and all the other benefits. Apparently not.

“We are not negotiating any compensation with the band,” Nansel wrote. “We have briefly discussed different ways we could/could not be involved with their future records (assuming they don’t end up on Saddle Creek). (We) have not come to any agreement on whether we would be involved at all or not.”

None of this can be a complete surprise to Nansel or anyone at the label. It’s only a matter of time until one of their biggest acts leaves the nest. There are limits to the meaning of the word “loyalty” in the rock and roll business, especially when millions of dollars are at stake. The Faint have had offers before, but always turned them down. Something else must be driving this new level of interest beyond cash.

So, if it’s all true, why isn’t Nansel pissed? “The possibility of a band leaving has always been there,” he wrote. “The bands will ultimately make a well-informed decision about what is in their best interest. We will support their decision regardless of what it is, and hope that all parties are satisfied at the end of the day. Certainly (we) would not be pissed.”

But what would it mean if The Faint does leave the label? How would it financially impact Saddle Creek, especially during a time when so much of the label’s money is tied up in a new, untried venture — the Slowdown entertainment complex slated to begin construction this week just a couple blocks west of The Qwest Center? Nansel didn’t say. Maybe it’s too early to speculate. After all, Elvis hasn’t left the building… yet. — Lazy-i March 22, 2006

* * *

Well, for whatever reason, The Faint didn’t go to American Recordings or work with Rick Ruben on their next record, but they did leave Saddle Creek. Their next album, 2008’s Fasciinatiion, was released on their own blank.wav label.

Some point to the The Faint’s departure from Saddle Creek as the beginning of the record label’s decline. Fact is, no one expected The Faint, Bright Eyes or Cursive to stay on a small label like Saddle Creek forever. All signs pointed to The Big Three eventually flying to the majors. In the end, only The Faint stepped out on the label. Bright Eyes stayed with Saddle Creek (though Conor Oberst struck out on his own), while Cursive never left the nest. And all three continue living happily ever after.

As for Saddle Creek, the label had a great year in 2015, and with new records by The Thermals and new addition Big Thief on the way, things continue looking up…

* * *

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

Lazy-i

Comp CD giveaway deadline; How was Dolores Diaz? January releases; new Faint video (sort of)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:40 pm January 4, 2016

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Let’s get this out of the way first.

Lazy-i Best of 2015!

Lazy-i Best of 2015!

Today is the last day to enter to win a copy of the Lazy-i Best of 2015 Comp CD. The collection includes my favorite indie tunes discovered last year as part of my tireless work as a music critic for Lazy-i. Among those represented: Courtney Barnett, Clarence Tilton, Simon Joyner, Beck, Freedy Johnston, Ceremony, John Klemmensen, Natalie Prass, Digital Leather, Belle & Sebastian, plus lots more. The full track listing is here. Entering to win is super-easy, either: 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.

Contest deadline is midnight tonight! Don’t delay, enter right now.

* * *

How was Dolores Diaz last night at O’Leaver’s? Well, I couldn’t tell you because I DNA’d — i.e., Did Not Attend. It being a school night. But good ol’ Kevin Coffey did, and here’s his review of the show. Also in attendance was Hear Nebraska, and here’s their photos and a brief write-up. And I’m told that the session was recorded, though there’s no guarantee it’ll end up posted at Live @ O’Leaver’s. Keep your fingers crossed. If you were there last night, post your review in the comments section.

* * *

If you’re wondering (like me) what to look forward to in 2016, Album of the Year has you covered. Here’s the website’s list of January 2016 upcoming releases. From the list, I’m looking forward to hearing new stuff from Bowie, Savages, Tricky, Shearwater, Tindersticks, Suede, Eleanor Friedberger, Ty Segall… I assume there’s a few things missing from their list…

* * *

The folks over at Nowness today released a never-before-posted video of The Faint’s “Desperate Guys” music video. Why this was never released back when Wet from Birth was released in 2004 remains a mystery.

* * *

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Digital Leather, The Hussy; The Faint unveils different lineup tomorrow in Chicago; Burkum Boys tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:02 pm June 29, 2015
Digital Leather at O'Leaver's, June 27, 2015.

Digital Leather at O’Leaver’s, June 27, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

O’Leaver’s updated their sound system, again. I don’t know the specifics behind the technology.  Sound engineer Ian Aeillo can tell you. What I can tell you is there are now two massive stacks of speakers on either side of O’Leaver’s “stage,” and they sound good and loud (though one stack, on stage left, now blocks my view from one of my favorite leanin’ spots. Oh well…).

This is the third or fourth time O’Leaver’s has upgraded their sound system since the boys from Cursive and Chris Machmuller took over the venue a few years ago, and it just keeps getting better. The only thing they could do to make the place even better would be to take out the ceiling, add a band riser, knock out the partial wall that divides the raised seating from the hallway that leads to the bathroom and, of course, open that second outdoor patio. Or maybe just nuke the building altogether and build a new club, but that would take away all of O’Leaver’s craptacular charm…

The festivities that brought me to The Club Saturday night was the Digital Leather album release show for their new FDH album All Faded, where we got to see DL perform as an 8-piece — that’s like an entire bucket of chicken, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

The Hussy at O'Leaver's, June 27, 2015.

The Hussy at O’Leaver’s, June 27, 2015.

First up was the The Hussy, the duo of Bobby and Heather Hussy, who were sort of celebrating the release of their own new album, Galore (Southpaw Records), their first release since 2013’s Pagan Hiss. Their one-sheet declares the new record “may be the catchiest and pop-iest record to date.” The record’s range and structure go way beyond your typical “garage rock” album but lacks none of that genre’s attitude. It’s the kind of rock record that Jack White could only dream of making. That said, the album sounds nothing like a White Stripes guitar-and-drum duo sort of record. The tracks are a full-band affair. This is the first Hussy LP with bass guitar added to the entire record, marking it as something of a turning point for the band. You need to hear it.

Anyway, The Hussy performed as a duo Saturday night, losing some of the depth heard on the new record but accentuating Bobby’s crazy-ass guitar gymnastics and Heather’s massive stick work. The duo shared vocals while Bobby bounced high kicks off the monitors and poked out the ceiling tiles with his guitar. Blistering and frantic.

And then came Digital Leather, sporting three keyboard players. Joining Todd Fink and Ben VanHoolandt on keyboards was Greg Elsasser of Capgun Coup. As detailed in this recent Digital Leather feature in The Reader, Elsasser will be replacing Fink for DL’s upcoming tour dates with Desaparecidos. That meant six people (and three keyboard racks) crowding the tiny O’Leaver’s “stage,” made all the more crowded by the 30 or so people who stood right in front of the band.

They opened with “Styrofoam,” played a few songs off All Faded and closed with a very special rendition of “Studs in Love,” that featured Bobby and Heather Hussy, who recorded their own version of the song released on the Digital Leather/The Hussy split LP that came out last year on Southpaw. So, eight people, one massive sound. “Studs in Love” is becoming Digital Leather’s go-to anthem and regular set-closer because, well, there’s nothing quite like it. Will they pull it out when they open for Desa in front of hundreds? I’d love to see how that crowd reacts.

* * *

By the way, I have yet to see a single review of Digital Leather’s All Faded online anywhere (except Hear Nebraska)… What’s up with that?

* * *

Speaking of Todd Fink, after a lengthy hiatus The Faint are back in action again. The band is playing at The Bottom Lounge in Chicago tomorrow night and Summerfest 2015 in Milwaukee Wednesday. Tickets are available at thefaint.com.

For these shows, The Faint will be adding new keyboard player Graham Ulicny from Reptar  (and part of the duo Channel Pressure with Todd). Ulicny replaces long-time keyboard player Jacob Thiele, but there’s no word if this is a permanent change to The Faint’s line-up, which includes Fink, drummer Clark Baechle and guitarist Dapose.

* * *

Pageturners Lounge summer series continues tonight with the Burkum Boys. Singer/songwriter Jessica Errett opens. 9 p.m., 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: The Faint; The Faint return tonight to TWR (tickets still available)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:03 pm December 29, 2014
The Faint at The Waiting Room, Dec. 28, 2014.

The Faint at The Waiting Room, Dec. 28, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Faint concerts are becoming a rite of the holiday season, like putting up a Christmas Tree or anxiously figuring out what you’re going to do on New Year’s Eve (and always getting it wrong).

The crowd last night at The Waiting Room was a one-eighty from the crazy biker AARP crowd at last week’s Ritual Device/Cellophane Ceiling show (which, if you missed it, was reviewed right here, posted on Saturday). We got there early again to get a seat and were surrounded on one side by a mother and her high school-aged daughter (though that couldn’t be because I saw her drinking a wheat beer) and the other by a father and his teen-aged son (clearly too young to drink, spending most of the pre-Faint time fiddling with his cell phone).

Other than the stools along the ledge off stage right and a few around the soundboard, The Waiting Room staff had cleared the hall of tables and chairs, making as much room as possible for the sold-out crowd and what had to be a monstrous guest list. It would end up being a smart decision though at 8:15 when the opening act was on stage — a guy with a laptop and a microphone who mumbled over head-splitting drone beats — the room looked empty despite a hundred or so youngsters mulling around the floor.

Sucettes at The Waiting Room, Dec. 28, 2014.

Sucettes at The Waiting Room, Dec. 28, 2014.

It picked up by 9 when Sucettes took the stage. Dave Goldberg’s new band (first reviewed here) continues to be the embodiment of pre-psychedelic ’60s rock, a mash-up of Nuggets and surf driven by Goldberg’s flashy drumming (and organ playing). There is a childlike quality to their music, simple and happy and smiley-faced and fun, and downright innocent compared to the evil dance noise of The Faint.

As I write this I’m forced to recall the first time I saw The Faint at The Waiting Room, back in 2007, three days after they opened the place, before they tore out the ceiling when the club felt like a dive bar with a big stage in the back. I spent that night standing on a tiered ledge across from stage right above everyone, with a bird’s eye view of the mauling crowd below, hot with giddy aggression, chaos and dance frenzy. The bass at that show was pummeling; it was the loudest rock show I’d experienced since the last time I saw Bob Mould eviscerate ear drums at The Ranch Bowl. The bass was so loud and deep and disturbing that it rattled your internal organs, forcing you to wonder if something was being damaged inside your body. It was an exquisite performance.

In comparison, last night’s show was tame but still ferocious by modern-day Omaha rock show standards. The set was plenty loud, but not scary loud. The band left its orgy of lighting effects home for this gig, instead leaning on colored floor lights and smoke machines, a throwback to the very early days of The Faint when that was all the band could afford. As a result, the staging naturally felt stripped down, as did the performance.

The Faint at The Waiting Room, Dec. 28, 2014.

The Faint at The Waiting Room, Dec. 28, 2014.

And unlike the Sokol Auditorium shows earlier this year, I noticed the lack of the band’s fifth member. Bassist/guitarist Joel Petersen left The Faint a few years ago, to little or no fanfare, and the band continued well without him, but last night early in the set, his absence left a void on some of the songs. Guitarist Dapose spent the first half on bass instead of guitar, and there were times during older material that something was missing. The four-man line-up sounded best playing Doom Abuse material, which was created with this specific line-up.

And then midway through, for a stunning version of “Animal Needs,” Dapose switched to electric guitar and all was right with the world. I assume the bass was coming through either programmed tracks or a keyboard, and it sounded fine, as Dapose scorched the earth with his axe.

As for the crowd, from my vantage point, they didn’t really get into the set until the last half, erupting in the usual bounce-bounce-bounce fashion for the greatest hits, but jumping along admirably to some of the new material, specifically “Evil Voices” and “Help in the Head.” And of course during the encore and set closer “Glass Danse” that had the entire sold-out crowd bouncing.

The Faint at The Waiting Room, Dec. 28, 2014.

The Faint at The Waiting Room, Dec. 28, 2014.

You can check it out for yourself tonight, when The Faint do a repeat performance at The Waiting Room. Who knows when we’ll see this band again. With this leaner, meaner four-piece ensemble, writing music would appear to be quicker and easier. Will they put out another record this year? Who knows. Without new material, future shows would merely be a repeat, which would be just fine for most of last night’s crowd.

Tonight’s show starts again at 8. Openers are Ramona and the Slim Dudes and Feel Tight. $20 tickets are still available as of this writing…

* * *

bestof20014cdbembedA reminder that you can win a copy of the Lazy-i Best of 2014 compilation CD — it’s the special 20th Anniversary Edition. The collection includes songs by Courtney Barnett, Sun Kil Moon, Tei Shi, Protomartyr, The Faint, Stand of Oaks, The Lupines and a ton more.  The full track listing is here. Entering has never been easier: To enter either: 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.

Hurry, contest deadline is midnight Jan. 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Lazy-i Best of 2014 Comp CD (and giveaway!); Cellophane Ceiling, Ritual Device tonight; Good Life Saturday; The Faint Sunday, Monday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:14 pm December 26, 2014
It's the 20th year for the annual Lazy-i comp. The cover reflects all the past years' artwork.

It’s the 20th year for the annual Lazy-i comp. The cover reflects all the past years’ artwork.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This year’s Lazy-i Best of… compilation CD marks the 20th year that these collections have been made. The collection is my favorite tracks from 2014 pressed on CDR for friends and family. To commemorate the 20th anniversary, Donovan Beery designed packaging that shows all the cassette and CD artwork used since 1994 (starting with the Alpo cover). In addition, every copy includes a different “1994 Surprise Track,” taken from the original 1994 comp tape.

Here’s the track listing:

1. Avant Gardner – Courtney Barnett

2. Do You – Spoon

3. J Smoov – Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

4. Sun Kil Moon – Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes

5. Forgiven/Forgotten – Angel Olsen

6. Maria – The Lupines

7. Mirror of Time – Twin Peaks

8. Archie, Marry Me – Alvvays

9. You Are Now – The Trouble with Templeton

10. Bassically – Tei Shi

11. Money Rain Down – Big Black Delta

12. Lie, Cheat, Steal – Run the Jewels

13. Tarpeian Rock – Protomartyr

14. Evil Voices – The Faint

15. You Can’t Help Me Now – The Both

16. It Falls Apart – Brad Hoshaw & the Seven Deadlies

17. JM – Strand of Oaks

18 – Cruel Sexuality – Le Roux

19 – ’94 Surprise Track

Want a copy? Enter the drawing! I’m making it oh so easy this year. To enter either: 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.

Hurry, contest deadline is midnight Jan. 6!

* * *

Well, you made it through another year, and as a reward this last weekend of 2014 happens to be one of the best weekends for rock shows.

It starts tonight with the big Cellophane Ceiling / Ritual Device show at The Waiting Room (read all about it here). As of this posting, $10 tickets were still available. If this doesn’t sell out, it’ll be darn close. Opening is Nightbird, who will be playing songs by Cactus Nerve Thang, another legacy band from the early 90s. It all starts at 9 p.m.

While that’s going on, just around the corner at Reverb Lounge Little Brazil headlines a show with Millions of Boys and Dumb Beach. $7, 9 p.m.

Down the street at the Barley Street Tavern Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies headlines tonight with Matt Whipkey and friends, John Klemmensen and The Party and Matt Cox. $5, 9 p.m.

And down at The Slowdown Satchel Grande holds court with special guest Buck Bowen. $8, 9 p.m.

Saturday night, The Good Life returns to The Waiting Room. This show has gotten very little hype, though it’s one of the bigger shows of the weekend. Joining Tim Kasher and Co. will be Big Harp and Oquoa. Expect another packed house. $13, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Pyrate plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Chicago band The Howl. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And Brad Hoshaw opens for Two Drag Club and Civicminded Saturday night at Reverb Lounge. $7, 9 p.m.

Then comes Sunday and the first of two nights with The Faint at The Waiting Room. Sunday night’s show, with openers Sucettes and Ruby Block, is SOLD OUT. Show starts at early at 8 p.m. Tickets are still available for Monday night’s Faint show with openers Ramona and the Slimdudes & Feel Tight. $20, 8 p.m.

Also Sunday night, The Sweatshop Gallery is hosting a rock show with David Kenneth Nance & his band, Nathan Ma and the Rosettes, and Stomach. $5, 9 p.m.

Finally, Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers returns to The Slowdown Sunday night with All Young Girls Are Machine Guns. This is a super-early show, starts at 7 p.m. $8.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i