Random Notes: New Twinsmith single; Pitchforkfest announced; labels’ new fast release schedules; new Bright Eyes tour dates (NOmaha…)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 7:58 am February 20, 2020

Twinsmith dropped a new single yesterday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Some catching up on items old and new…

Omaha band Twinsmith has a new single out called “Dreamer,” released on Silver Street Records. As lead singer Jordan Smith describes it, “The song concept is about someone struggling with an addiction and realizing their struggle, but how hard it is to snap out of it. We all know someone going through that.” The track was produced by James Fleege at Silver Street studios in Ashland and mastered by the master, Doug van Sloun at Focus. This follows the release of the 2019 single “Feels,” the band’s Silver Street debut after apparently leaving Saddle Creek Records. Check it out below:

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Welp, they announced the line-up for this year’s Pitchfork Festival yesterday. The dates are July 17-19. Headliners are Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Run the Jewels and The National. Also on board are former Saddle Creek act Big Thief, current Saddle Creek act Hop Along, Phoebe Bridgers, Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten and the return of Fiery Furnaces. Three-day Pitchforkfest passes are $185, which is kinda/sorta a bargain in the festival game.

Why do I have a feeling one of the above-mentioned bands will also be at Maha this year?

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Saddle Creek Records A&R Director Amber Carew is among those interviewed in a Billboard article that dropped yesterday that talks about why indie artists are releasing music at a much faster pace these days.

She said in the old days when she was at ANTI- Records non-LP projects was frowned upon. From the article: “‘So let’s just keep writing until you have a full LP,’” she remembers hearing. “That was always a sentiment that was given to the artists, and that doesn’t come out of my mouth anymore.” It’s all about streaming. Read the epic-ly long article here.

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And Bright Eyes announced an expanded run of tour dates yesterday, but nothing announced in Omaha yet. I suspect there will be a Bright Eyes date here at some point…

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Maha announces Aug. 7-8 music festival at Aksarben; will Leafblower be there (new video drops)?; The Anniversary tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:46 pm January 29, 2020

The Anniversary plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This morning the folks at the Maha Festival announced its 2020 concert will be held Friday and Saturday, Aug. 7-8 at Aksarben Village — i.e, the same place they’ve been holding the festival for years. They used to say “Stinson Park” but the Maha footprint has continued to grow to the point where it practically encompasses the entire Aksbarben Village business district.

From the press release: “The 2020 festival will take place one week earlier than it has in past years. This eliminates any potential conflict with back-to-school dates, so that more attendees from near and far can experience this wide array of Omaha-centric programming.

Rachel Grace, who’s handling media for Maha, said while event times won’t be released for a bit, for what’s happening at Stinson Park expect times similar to last year, which would be Friday night only and Saturday afternoon/night.

Maha also will have programming on Wednesday, Aug. 5, in Little Bohemia and Thursday, Aug. 6, in the Blackstone District at “multiple venues.” What that entails we’ll have to wait and see, though I’m guessing they’re going to feature local acts on small stages on those days and (hopefully) will have at least one national indie act play somewhere Thursday night like they did last year with Pinback at The Waiting Room.

Moving the festival up a week will place it in the height of the summer festival season, which could make bookings more difficult. Will one week make a difference in terms of the heat index? Unlikely, though the first week of August can be a mother-f___er for humidity.

Maha has a big challenge in that last year’s sold-out Lizzo-fueled Saturday helped generate a record-breaking 14,500 attendance. How will they top it, or can they? Booking Lizzo was a stroke of luck. Can they capture lightening in a bottle two years in a row?

More importantly, will they move away from their indie-directed programming to something more pop-flavored (such as a likely out-of-reach Billie Eilish or any other Grammy performer) in an effort to sell more tickets? You can read my thoughts on that here.

So who’s on your Maha wish list? No doubt they’ve already signed their headliner (or are about to). My wish list includes DIIV, Sharon Van Etten, Orville Peck, Strand of Oaks, Big Thief, Caroline Rose, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks and/or Pavement, Pet Shop Boys, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala, King Krule, Algiers, Pinegrove, Frances Quinlan, Haim, Jarvis Cocker and Phoebe Bridgers.

A few of those seem financially out of reach (Tame Impala, for example). With last week’s announcement, Bright Eyes also would seem like a shoe-in for Maha, though I’ve been told that isn’t in the cards. Would Bright Eyes be big enough to headline anyway?

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Here’s another one to add to the Maha list: Yesterday Omaha garage-rock vets Leafblower released a new video produced by the fine folks at Love Drunk. It’s a one-take live performance of the band’s single “Still Lazy After All These Beers.” Imagine DMax, Fort and the rest on the big Maha stage belting that one out dressed as their aged mascot, complete with fog-machine leafblower!

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Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return of The Anniversary. The Lawrence, Kansas, indie band enjoyed a heyday in the early aughts, and includes singer Adrianne Verhoeven, a former member of Flowers Forever and Orenda Fink’s Art in Manila. Twinsmith kicks things off at 8:30. $25.

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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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Minne Lussa, Domestica, Staffers tonight; Criteria, Little Brazil, Las Cruxes, Fox (debut) Saturday, Twinsmith, J&M Mowing (supergroup) Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:35 pm December 27, 2019

Criteria at The Waiting Room, Dec. 30, 2017. The band returns to The Waiting Room this Saturday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, 2019 is going out like a lion.

There’s a solid triple-bill tonight at Reverb Lounge headlined by Minne Lussa (Matt Rutledge and Co.), Lincoln legends Domestica (ex-Mercy Rule, maybe it’s time I quit referencing that classic ’90s act?) and Silversphere (ex-Lepers) who opens the show at 9 p.m. $8.

Also tonight, The Brothers is hosting a three-band bill with Staffers (Anna McClellan, Noah Kohll, Ryan McKeever, Ameen Wahba), Razors and Sean Pratt & the Sweats. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, down at The Slowdown it’s Satchel Grande with Omaha Beat Brigade. $10, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) is crowded.

Every holiday season there’s always one gig where a classic local band reunites. This year it’s Criteria at The Waiting Room. The band, with a new album about to drop on 15 Passenger Records, is warming up for a tour with Cursive next month. Huge. Opening is Little Brazil and Lodgings (whose 2019 album, Water Works, made my list of 10 favorite albums of the year). $8, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Spanish-language punk band Las Cruxes is playing O’Leaver’s with a new line-up seeing as Landon Hedges and Nate Van Fleet no longer are with the band. Mere Shadows and Towering Rogue open at 10 p.m.

Over at The Barley Street Saturday night it’s the debut of Fox, a new project by Jessica Errett Renner and Marta Fiedler (ex-Blue Bird). Fox opens for Sadie Sanner and Dave Tamkin at 9 p.m. $5.

Sunday night over at Reverb Lounge, it’s one of those holiday shows where folks are in town and just want to jam, which is exactly what J&M Mowing is. The cover band consists of Mike Jaworski (SAVAK, The Cops), Kelly Maxwell and Mike Loftus (both of Sons of…, Shovelhead, 60-Watt Saloon and Hong Jyn Corp.) and Dave Mainelli of Bazile Mills, who is headlining the show. WARNING: This is a 5 p.m. show because these guys are super-old. $8.

Also Sunday night it’s the return of Saddle Creek Records act Twinsmith to Slowdown Jr. The band plays with opener Salt Creek and headliner The Real Zebos. $7, 8 p.m.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Preparing for Black Friday; Twinsmith, Uh Oh, Vancouver Sleep Clinic tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:43 pm November 21, 2018

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’ll be another vinyl hunting exhibition this Black Friday. I know that Homer’s is going all in (as per usual), opening at 10 a.m. and giving out coffee and donuts for those waiting in line for the door. No doubt Drastic Plastic and the soon-to-be-closing Almost Music will have Black Friday content, as well as Recycled Sound and Ear Wax Records.

A few of the albums that stand out on the 157-line list of releases on the Black Friday RSD website?

  • BauhausPress The Eject And Give Me The Tape – a live album, compiled from shows across the UK from 1981–82.
  • The ByrdsSweetheart of the Rodeo (Legacy Edition) – the release showcases the country-rock masterpiece alongside 28 bonus tracks, including demos, outtakes, rehearsal versions and tracks by Parsons’ pre-Byrds outfit, The International Submarine Band.
  • Catherine Wheel,  Like Cats and Dogs – a compilation album by the English alternative rock band
  • Saul Williams, The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of Niggy Tardust (10th Anniversary) – Out of print on vinyl since it’s original release in 2008.
  • UK Subs, Sub Mission: The Best of UK Subs 1982-1998 – Twenty tracks selected by Charlie Harper over three sides of blue and yellow vinyl. Side D is highlights from a Live in Bristol 1991 gig.

You want ’em, you better get in line early…

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There’s quite a few pre-holiday rock concert tonight…

At Reverb Lounge Saddle Creek Records artist Twinsmith headlines with punk-pop heroes Uh Oh. $7, 9 p.m.

Going on just down the street at Barley Street Tavern is the 9th annual Benson Food Drive and Songwriter Showcase. Performing artists include Dan McCarthy, Justin Lamoureux and Matt Cox. Food and cash donations to benefit the Food Bank For The Heartland will be collected at the door. Starts at 8 p.m. More info here.

Also tonight down at The Slowdown Australian singer/songwriter/producer Tim Bettinson – a.k.a. Vancouver Sleep Clinic – opens for Swedish indie electronic artist Kasbo.  Ford opens at 8 p.m., $20.

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Let me be the first to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the day off, you deserve it.

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

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Twinsmith, Ex-Cult tonight; Benson Days Saturday; Leafblower, Lupines album releases Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:55 pm July 28, 2017

Is this not the most bad-ass poster you’ve seen in a while? Lupines and Leafblower celebrate releases Sunday night at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

These are prolific times for local music.

Two weekends ago it was a celebration of David Nance and Noah Sterba’s album releases. This weekend we three more local bands celebrating the release of new material.

It starts tonight at The Slowdown main room where Saddle Creek Records band Twinsmith celebrates the release of their third long-player, Stay Cool. This one was something of a surprise for me. I’d pretty much written off the band as a low-octane version of Vampire Weekend, with the same light-bounce indie pop sound. Well, the pop is still there, but the sound has indeed evolved. Stay Cool is a fun listen, a synth-fueled dance-rock album ripe for pop radio that has more in common with Phoenix or Twin Shadow or current-day (dancy) M83  than their past releases. Did I say “synth-fueled?” We’re talking super-synthy. Infectious in a good way; a perfect companion for a run in the park. I Forgot to Love my Father and Thick Paint open. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Goner Records mainstay Ex-Cult rolls into fabulous O’Leaver’s. Their latest, Negative Growth, out on In the Red, is brutal, static noise-rock at its finest. This is a massive four-band bill with Wrong Pets, KC’s Kool 100s (Rainy Road Records) and NOWHERE. $7, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday is something of a blank music-wise. If you have the day free, stop by for Benson Days, which is happening in… Benson. Parade, food trucks, beer tents, face paint. What more do you want? I’ll be there manning the Little Gallery booth (buy some art). And later that night it’s Benson Soul Society at Reverb. Your day is planned.

Then comes Sunday and a duo album release bonanza at O’Leaver’s.

The Lupines just dropped the gorgeously recorded LP called Mountain of Love (Speed! Nebraska Records) that sees John Zielger and the boys crawling out of the “garage rock”cellar that, too often, is code-language for home-made and low-fi. This one sounds huge, majestic, like watching a’70s-era 70-millimeter western saga on the big screen. Recorded over two days at ARC Studios by Ben Brodin, Ziegler on vocals, guitar and piano, never sounded more ominous testifying on these 13 stompers backed by lead guitarist Mike Friedman, bassist Mike Tulis and drummer Calvin Retzlaff. Copies of the release will be available on that new-fangled Compact Disc format. Get it.

Meanwhile, the boys in Leafblower opted for the more traditional cassette tape format for the release of their new one, Live at O’Leaver’s 11-23-16. The four-piece consists of members of Danny Maxwell’s New Lungs, with Craig Fort, drummer Tab Tworek, guitarist John Svatos and DMax. It’s probably no coincidence that the song names are typed in ALL CAPS because this one is bigly loud; in fact, it’s one of those albums that sounds better the louder you play it. I guess that’s why they call it metal.

If that weren’t enough, Asian Man Records band Dog Party also is on the bill. This is part of O’Leaver’s Sunday Social program, which means the music starts at 5 p.m. AND there’s food, this time courtesy of your friends at Smoke Buds who will have pork butt and beans (and more) while it lasts. $5!

And thats all I got for this weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a  good one.

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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.

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Live Review: David Nance, Matthew Sweet; new Whipkey, Twinsmith, See Through Dresses streams…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:51 pm July 11, 2017

David Nance at The Sydney, July 7, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s been pointed out to me that David Nance didn’t just come out of nowhere. He’s been plugging away and putting out music since before 2013, including as a member of Simon Joyner’s band The Ghosts.

And while I knew this, my point was that it’s been within the last year or so that Nance’s profile has exploded. I point toward  Matador co-founder Gerard Cosloy who listed among his favorite recordings in 2016 Nance’s More Than Enough (Ba Da Bing Records). That captured some people’s attention, but Nance already had the ball rolling thanks to his live sets.

Last Friday night was another classic Nance performance, this time at The Sydney as part of Benson First Friday. Nance backed by a drummer, bass and someone making noises on a pedal, ripped through a solid set of songs, some of them off his remarkable new album Negative Boogie, which comes out this Friday on Ba Da Bing. The difference between this set and past Nance sets (for me) was the shorter songs. I’ve seen Nance play sets comprised of only two 20-minute noise ensembles. By contrast, Friday’s set was practically a pop concert.

His guitar work is already respected — ranging from big riffs to lead fills to walls of feedback — now his voice is taking center stage. The only comparison in my mind is early Jon Spencer, and Nance does have a similar stage appeal, albeit hidden behind that huge head of hair.

I managed to capture a couple songs on Facebook Live Friday night, which you can view below. The picture doesn’t come in focus ’til after the 30-second mark (wtf, Apple?!).

Yesterday Brooklyn Vegan premiered a track off Negative Boogie. BTW, if you missed the last Friday’s show, Nance will be playing a duo release show with Noah Sterba this coming Friday night at Reverb Lounge. Sean Pratt & The Sweats opens. Sterba’s new album, 13-Bar Blues, comes out Friday on Simon Joyner’s Grapefruit label.

Also on last Friday night’s bill was Oquoa, who had the center slot. This is one of the tightest collections of local all-stars Omaha has to offer. Now if I only knew what language frontman Max Holmquist was singing in. Max’s vocals make lyrics virtually indecipherable and are more of an additional instrument to the overall psychedelic/shoe-gaze sound.  It’s interesting, but I confess to be a lyrics dude who gets added enjoyment when he knows what the music’s about.

Speaking of undecipherable lyrics, opener FiFi NoNo provided a tense barrage of rhythmic noise, augmented by shriek/mumble/yell vocals. You either got it or you didn’t. I thought it was a weird trip.

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Matthew Sweet at The Waiting Room, July 8, 2017.

Saturday night’s Matthew Sweet show at The Waiting Room drew a respectable crowd — respectable both in size and in manner. It was nice not being the oldest dude in the room for a change. In fact, the majority of fans looked like they were in their 50s, no doubt followers of Mr. Sweet since his ’91 breakthrough album Girlfriend.

Well, those fans got what they paid for as Sweet performed the best songs from that album, including the title track and my personal favorite, “Winona.” The happy crowd sang along to all the hits, which Sweet and his band performed as if they’d been playing them for more than 20 years. My only criticism is that Sweet and his band don’t do much on stage except stand there and play, which can become somewhat boring, but the crowd didn’t mind as long as he kept playing those oldies.

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Matt Whipkey dropped a couple new tracks from his upcoming album, Driver, via his Pledge page yesterday. Matt says he likes this new pre-sale platform. Check them out.

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Speaking of new music, Under the Radar yesterday began streaming the entire new Twinsmith album, Stay Cool, which comes out Friday on Saddle Creek Records. Check out the album here.

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And See Through Dresses today is having their new album, Horse of the Other World (Tiny Engines) streamed in its entirety at Brooklyn Vegan, right here. Says BV about the record: “Co-fronted by the ethereal Sara Bertuldo and the whispered baritone of Mathew Carroll, See Through Dresses work bits of Cocteau Twins, The Cure, and other reverby ’80s bands into Horse of the Other World.”

Me, on the other hand, was mostly reminded of M83. This is definitely a change of direction for STDs. The band celebrates the album’s release Saturday night at The Waiting Room.

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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.

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New Twinsmith, Matthew Sweet tracks; Brother Ali tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:47 pm May 2, 2017

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A couple tracks from upcoming albums dropped yesterday.

Twinsmith announced their next album, Stay Cool, comes out on Saddle Creek Records July 14. Produced by Graham Ulicny (Reptar, The Faint), the band is down to a trio these days, at least based on their publicity photos. They’ve got a date scheduled at The Waiting Room June 21. Here’s the first track:

Matthew Sweet also dropped the first track off his upcoming double album Tomorrow Forever via Stereogum. Sounds like classic Sweet-flavored power pop. The old boy has two nights booked at The Waiting Room July 8 and 9. The new album hits the streets June 16 via Sweet‘s own newly launched Honeycomb Hideout label.

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Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return of Brother Ali. You read his Ten Questions interview last week right here. Opening are Sa-Roc, Last Word and Sol Messiah. Tix are $18, show starts at 8 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.

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Twinsmith, Bloodcow, Tara Vaughan, Miwi La Lupa tonight; Dolores Diaz/Standby Club, Low Long Signal Saturday; Future Punx Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm May 20, 2016
Twinsmith rocks the crowd at Bar 512 in Austin March 12, 2014. The band plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

Twinsmith rocks the crowd at Bar 512 in Austin March 12, 2014. The band plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Another busy weekend of shows. So without further ado..

Tonight at Slowdown Jr. Twinsmith (Saddle Creek Records) returns. Will they be playing new material or just stuff off the last album, Alligator Years? You’ll have to wait and see. Also on the bill are Halfloves and Eklectica. $10, 9 p.m. And don’t bother getting there before 8:30 unless you have tickets to see Hannibal Buress, who performs in the big room prior to this show.

Also tonight, local singer/songwriter Tara Vaughan celebrates the release of her debut album Dandelion Wine, produced by former Joe Pisapia (ex-Guster) down in Nashville. Opening is Miwi La Lupa (Team Love Records) who (I’m told) might be joined by Orenda Fink. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a local celebrity in the audience. $10, 9 p.m.

No doubt fabulous O’Leaver’s also will be chock full o’ local celebrities tonight… or at least drunk degenerates, there to see Bloodcow once again try to raise the soul of L. Ron Hubbard with their diabolical form of metal (Give it up, guys; he’s with Xenu now). Joining them are Jump the Tiger and Towering Rogue. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Lastly tonight, Milk Run is hosting a CD release show for The Way Out, with Super Ghost, Mint Wad Willy and Joe Champion of Uh Oh. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow, before all the night-time stuff begins, swing on over to The Brothers Lounge at 4 p.m. for the Bar Stool Record Swap. Vendors on hand will include Almost Music, Homer’s Music & Gifts, Vinyl Therapy record shop, D-Tour Records and several more. The fun runs 4 to 7 p.m.

Saturday night’s big show is Dolores Diaz & the Standby Club at The Waiting Room, which you read about here yesterday. Opening is Carl Miller & The Thrillers. $10, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Low Long Signal headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Citizen’s Band (who will be recording their set for inclusion with an upcoming studio album) and Stephen Nichols. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Speaking of record release shows, Lodgings is hosting a show for its 12-inch vinyl release Saturday night at Milk Run. Lodgings is Bryce Hotz, Eric Ernst, Dave Ozinga and Jim Schroeder “playing music somewhere between Weezer and Crazy Horse,” according to Milk Run. Also on the bill are Eric in Outspace, The Sun-less Trio and The Morbs. $7, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday it’s back to Milk Run for Brooklyn band Future Punx (Dull Tools Records) with The Razors, The Shrinks and Plastic Garbage. $8, 9 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. No doubt I’ll also be spending a lot of time at Horseman’s Park this weekend for the spring track meet. Three words come to mind: Let it ride.

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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.

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Twinsmith, The Rentals tonight; R.Ring (Kelley Deal); The Travel Guild, Noah’s Ark Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:42 pm May 15, 2015
Twinsmith rocks the crowd at Bar 512 in Austin March 12, 2014. The band celebrates the release of its new full length, Alligator Years, at The Slowdown tonight.

Twinsmith rocks the crowd at Bar 512 in Austin March 12, 2014. The band celebrates the release of its new full length, Alligator Years, at The Slowdown tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s looking extremely busy this weekend, and right in the middle of it we have all these frickin’ storms. Batten down the hatches and get yourself to a club…

The hottest show of the evening is the Twinsmith record release show at The Slowdown for their Saddle Creek Records’ debut Alligator Years. Opening the show is the debut of new local “supergroup” Healer, which consists of Dan Brennan (Ladyfinger), Andrew Gustafson and John Svatos of Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship on guitar and bass respectively; and David Ozinga and Jim Schroeder of UUVVWWZ on drums and bass VI/Rhoads, respectively. Whew! Opening the festivities on Slowdown’s big stage is State Disco $10, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile at The Waiting Room it’s the return of The Rentals. You read all about them in this interview with Rentals’ frontman Matt Sharp in the most recent issue of The Reader and online right here. Now see them live and on stage. Opening the show are tour mates Rey Pila and Radiation City (members of which will be backing Sharp as The Rentals on this tour). $18, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Fore1gn Body is hosting its EP release show at Reverb Lounge with Lightning Bug. $7, 9 p.m.

And over at fabulous O’Leaver’s Joe Jack Talcum of Dead Milkmen headlines with Samuel Locke Ward and Well Aimed Arrows. $7, 9:30 p.m.

But wait, there’s more!

Omaha’s favorite stoner/sludgerock band Nightbird headlines at The Lookout Lounge (the bar formerly known as The Hideout on south 72nd Street). Joining them are a zillion bands including Hand Painted Police Car, Rift, TenDead and I, Titan. $5, 9 p.m. Get there early and have a drink made by “Celebrity Bartender” Jimmy Winter (5 to 8 p.m., despite being a digital entrepreneur phenom, Jimmy (probably) doesn’t know what he’s doing when it comes to booze. Tip at your own discretion).

The list just gets longer Saturday night. On the top of it is R.Ring at O’Leaver’s. The band features Kelley Deal of The Breeders. Yes, this is really happening at O’Leaver’s. Also on the bill is Miniature Horse and Gothko. $7, 9:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, Almost Music in Benson is hosting an in-store Saturday night featuring The Travel Guide and Twin Cities, two of Wichita’s finest. Opening is Omaha band Stomach. $5, 9 p.m. BYOB.

The Slowdown is hosting a sold-out Atmosphere concert Saturday night.

The surprise show (at least it snuck up on me) is Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship at Reverb Lounge. Also on the bill are The Seen and Post Verse. $7, 9 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend and watch the skies…

A reminder:

The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

The 50th Birthday Concert at Reverb, June 3, 2015. A benefit for Hear Nebraska.

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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Review: Icky Blossoms in Pitchfork (6.8 rating); harvest time for Saddle Creek Records…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , — @ 5:53 pm May 14, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s been a long while since there’s been this kind of excitement surrounding Saddle Creek Records: Three releases over the course of the past two weeks: Hop Along’s Painted Shut, Twinsmith’s Alligator Years and Icky Blossoms’ Mask. Boom-boom-boom.

So far, the Hop Along release has received the lion’s share of press (but then again, it’s been out the longest). In addition to its massive Pitchfork rating (7.9), the album received a whopping 4-star review in the new issue of Rolling Stone. And the record is among the top-10 highest rated at review aggregator Album of the Year with a composite rating of 83 out of 100 (based on 10 reviews). Impressive.

Icky Blossoms, Mask (2015, Saddle Creek)

Icky Blossoms, Mask (2015, Saddle Creek)

Not to be outdone, Pitchfork just reviewed the new Icky Blossoms record, giving it a respectable 6.8 rating. The review concluded with, “…a follow-up that finds Icky Blossoms letting their guard down and embracing the values of their music scene, where there’s no higher form of fashion than wearing your heart on your sleeve.” OK then.

I listened to the record over and over last night. The album trounces around with more unbridled energy than the band’s debut, relentlessly so. Mask isn’t so much a dance record as a rock album with a beat that leans closer to acidic psychedelic more than EDM or “electro-clash” (whatever that means). For my money, Mask has more infectious electronic hooks than the debut, which makes it more interesting, and more fun.

Sarah Bohling sounds like an altogether different vocalist, with a range that goes well beyond the deep, pronounced croak heard on the debut. Pitchfork noted this as well, saying about the band’s debut, “There were moments where the band’s primary singer Sarah Bohling in particular sounded as if she longed to emote, but she restrained herself, because genre protocol dictated she remain as dispassionate as the sequenced pulses behind her. On Icky Blossoms’ sophomore album Mask, Bohling recasts herself as a real, vulnerable human being.” Hear hear!

If there’s a criticism it’s that the album is too relentless, rarely letting up on the gas pedal. There’s nothing on the new record as campy or fun as “Babes” or as slinkly/slacker as “Perfect Vision,” though for sheer debauchery, nothing on the debut matches album highlight “Away from You” and the line “Let’s get together / There’s no afterlife.” Or the emotional punch of “Want You So Bad,” which starts off sounding like a lost Azure Ray track.

Allmusic.com — maybe the oldest online review site — came in with a 3-1/2 star review for Mask, pointing out: “…the inelegant use of compression that causes even the sweeter parts of Mask to slam like a digital hurricane becomes downright distracting, especially on the final two tracks which, consequently, are the most aggressive and harshest mixes on the album. Production missteps aside, there is some great material here and Icky Blossoms’ big new sound generally agrees with them.

We’re still waiting for the Twinsmith reviews to come rolling in, though Allmusic has weighed in with a 3-star review, concluding: “…much of Alligator Years feels so familiar that it’s hard to distinguish them from the multitude of other generally pleasant bands working in this same milieu. Still, it’s a solid enough release by a talented young band who have the potential to grow into their own personality.

Exciting times. And it’ll keep on rolling next month when the new Desaparecidos new record comes out on Epitaph the same day the new Digital Leather record comes out on FDH. I haven’t heard the Desa record yet. The DL record is a breakthrough of sorts for the band.

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Tonight at The Waiting Room, The Lone Bellow (Descendent) with Cereus Bright and Clarence Tilton. $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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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