The CWS, Slowdown and the ‘myth’ of no parking; that goddamn Morrissey; Matthew Sweet news…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:00 pm June 11, 2014

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

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Since when did they start calling it ‘The College World Series of Omaha”?

Well, the College World Series kicks off Friday with an opening concert extravaganza by Young the Giant, marking the last time many of us will be stepping foot in downtown Omaha until the series wraps up June 25. The tents already are starting to dot the NoDo landscape like big white blisters atop the usually empty parking lots.

For Slowdown, this is the harvest season, the time of year when they can’t count their money fast enough. In support of the CWS, Slowdown turns into a pseudo sports bar, featuring the finest local cover bands (Secret Weapon) and this year, a special performance by Criteria right in the heart of the action.

Thinking about going to Criteria but are afraid there will be nowhere to park? Slowdown’s Jason Kulbel says that lack of street parking during CWS is a “myth” and that parking is, in fact, plentiful. We shall see.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been down to Slowdown. Checking out their calendar, they’ve got a lot of heavy shows coming up. There’s that Criteria show June 21, The Felice Brothers June 28, Ceremony July 13, Jolie Holland Aug. 8, Kopecky Family Band Sept. 5, Mike Watt’s latest project Sept. 25 and New Pornographers/Pains of Being Pure at Heart Nov. 11.

That New Pornographers show was one of slew of gigs One Percent just announced, including J Mascis Oct. 8 (TWR); Ty Segall Sept. 25 (TWR); and most controversial at all, CHVRCHES Sept. 24 at Sokol Aud. It’s controversial in that CHVRCHES is the same night as The War on Drugs at The Waiting Room. The decision as to which show you choose to attend that night will define you. I’m trying to figure out a way to see both…

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If you haven’t already heard, Morrissey cancelled the remaining dates of his current North American Tour, citing health reasons. Specifically, Morrissey said opening act Kristeen Young doused him with some sort of respiratory plague that he can’t seen to shake. Details on his unofficial website, True to You, where Moz also lists shows from the past tours he and his band consider to be “their best-ever.” For whatever reason, the Lincoln Rococo show wasn’t on the list…

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Omahan Matthew Sweet (that’s right, he lives here now) announced today that he’s working on his first studio album in three years and will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project sometime this month.

He also said among the material he’ll be playing on the tour that brings him to O’Leaver’s July 30 (sorry, already sold out) are “his 90s releases, with such hits as ‘Girlfriend,’ ‘Sick of Myself,’ ‘I’ve Been Waiting’ and ‘Devil With the Green Eyes’ through his most recent release, Modern Art.

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Tomorrow: The Faint.

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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Mynabirds CD release and Slowdown celebrates five years tonight; OEAA showcase tonight and tomorrow; Jewel Beast Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:11 pm June 8, 2012
Robb Nansel, left, and Jason Kulbel stand in front of Slowdown waaay back in June 2007.

Robb Nansel, left, and Jason Kulbel stand in front of Slowdown waaay back in June 2007.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The weekend’s hottest ticket is The Mynabirds CD release show tonight at The Slowdown. Joining Laura Burhenn and Co. are Jake Bellows and Honeybee & Hers. And it’s also Slowdown’s fifth birthday. Has it really been five years since Jason and Robb opened the doors to this esteemed club? I guess it has been.

It’s fun to reread this article and see how far the bar has come since opening day. But in all honesty, not much has changed. The club is still primarily a music-themed bar (Though its Science Cafe and Pub Quiz nights have become popular). It beat the rest of Omaha to the punch as a smoke-free facility (Can you even remember what it was like to smoke in a bar?). Dan Brennan and Val Nelson are still there (Well, Dan’s there when he isn’t on the road doing sound for Cursive or another big-name national act). There are still no TVs in the bar (Except, of course, for College World Series weeks and other major sporting events, such as Husker Saturdays). And it’s still all-ages (As long as you have a note from your parents). Slowdown is recognized as one of the best live music venues in the Midwest, hosting some of the best touring indie bands in the country. We’re lucky to have it here in Omaha.

Slowdown’s birthday celebration continues tomorrow night in Slowdown Jr. (i.e., the front room) with Howard, Lightning Bug and Family Picnic. Cover is $5 both nights, and both shows have the usual 9 p.m. start time. Drop down and help the Slowdown crew blow out the candles.

The Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEAA) Summer Showcase (oddly named, as summer doesn’t start for a couple more weeks) also is happening tonight and tomorrow. Showcases are being held throughout Benson at The Sydney, The Waiting Room, The Barley Street Tavern and the DP Muller Photography Studio, 6066 Maple St. (one of Saddle Creek Records’ former HQ locations). Tomorrow night PS Collective also is participating. The full band schedule is here. A one-day pass gets you into all the clubs for $10; a two-day pass is $15. As in years past, attendees will be able to vote for their favorite band, and the band with the most votes gets to open the local stage at this year’s Maha Music Festival. Always a good time.

Celebrating nothing but the ability to continue to pour alcohol down people’s throats is O’Leaver’s, who tonight is hosting Snake Island with Across Tundras and Dim Light. Snake Island has been showing off their boss new band T-shirts on Facebook. I might have to swing down there to buy one. $5, 9:30 p.m. This show has been CANCELLED.

Saturday night, Millions of Boys is playing at Studio Gallery, 50th and Dodge, with Jewel Beast, a new band comprised of members from InDreama, Human Pudding, New Lungs, Kathleen Turner Overdrive, and Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship. Also on the bill is Ian Douglas Terry. 9 p.m., $5, 21+, BYOB, more info here.

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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Calling all bands who love The Replacements, The Slowdown wants you; Baby Tears, Br’er tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:43 pm November 15, 2011
The Replacements 8 x 10 Glossy

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The fine folks at The Slowdown are looking for bands that dig The Replacements as much as they do to perform after a screening of Color Me Obsessed: A Film About the Replacements, which is happening at Slowdown Nov. 30.

The evening will start with a screening of the film followed by a brief Q&A with its director, Gorman Bechard. After that, a number of local bands will take The Slowdown’s small stage to perform their favorite Replacements tunes.

The only things missing from this grand scheme, however, are the actual bands.

You got a band? Do they love The Replacements? Then The Slowdown wants you. If interested in performing Nov. 30, send a quick email to info@theslowdown.com with your band’s name and the two or three Replacements tunes that you want to play. The folks at The Slowdown will sort out the rest. What will you get for playing beyond the dying admiration of everyone in the audience? I’ll leave that for you to negotiate with the club (though, in true Replacements fashion, it’ll probably involve free booze).

Bonus points for the band that plays “Die Within Your Reach.”

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One of America’s 50 best new bands (according to this article in The Boston Phoenix), Omaha’s own Baby Tears, is playing tonight at the Side Door Lounge, 3530 Leavenworth. Headlining is Pennsylvania band Br’er; also on the bill are The West Valley, Brothers Family Temple and Daniel Dorner. Show starts at 8, and is free. Looks like Baby Tears may play first, so get there early.

Here’s a taste of Br’er in the form of “Heavenly”:

 

And in honor of the Leavenworth Neighborhood Association, here’s “Homeless Corpse” from Baby Tears. Enjoy:

 

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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Two Nicks; One Gallant’s Devotionals; Blitzen Trapper tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 2:19 pm June 7, 2010

Well, Nick Carl’s new band, The Meadowlarks, was not on hand last Saturday night at The Barley St. Tavern, due I’m told to scheduling and transportation-related issues. No matter. Carl did the show alone, and like the last time I saw him, laid down a good set of simple acoustic love (or lack of love) songs sung in his easy-going coffee-shop folk fashion. I dug it, and so did the 15 or so people in the room. Singer/songwriter Nick Jaina and his band closed out the evening with a rowdy set of crash-bash folk rock featuring stand-up bass and trumpet along with the usual instruments. Jaina sort of reminded me of Elvis Perkins, though his music swings closer to folk than Perkins’ dusty Americana.

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Tyson Vogel, one-half of Saddle Creek Records band Two Gallants, announced that his solo debut, Devotionals, is being released July 13 by Alive Records. “Devotionals music is based around Tyson’s guitar compositions, with Anton Patzner (Judgment Day, Bright Eyes) invigorating the musical space with his violin mastery, and they are joined by various guests and collaborators,” says the press release. “The result is a unique combination of simplicity and raw emotion that will delight new and old fans of Two Gallants, a kind of street music with nods to Rachmaninov and John Fahey. The recording is entirely analog.” Really? Wonder if it comes in cassette and/or 8-track tape format. BTW, Two Gallants’ last full length for Saddle Creek came out in 2007.

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Tonight at The Slowdown, it’s red hot indie band Blitzen Trapper with The Moondoggies. $12, 9 p.m. It’s also Slowdown’s third birthday (remember this article?). Stop on down and buy the staff a round. They deserve it.

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