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.

Lazy-i

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.

Lazy-i

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.

Lazy-i

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.

Lazy-i

New Twinsmith track in the wild; Saddle Creek Records at SXSW 2015; New Madrid tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:55 pm March 3, 2015
The latest promo shot of Twinsmith. The band is headed to SXSW again this year...

The latest promo shot of Twinsmith. The band is headed to SXSW again this year…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Saddle Creek band Twinsmith today leaked the title track off their forthcoming album, Alligator Years. It’s jaunty! Listen below. The band returns to Austin for SXSW this year, playing the Saddle Creek/Nicodemous SXSW Day Party April 19 at Stay Gold and the Saddle Creek SXSW Showcase April 21 at Red Eye Fly.

In fact, heck why not, here’s the full schedule for Saddle Creek bands at this year’s SXSW Fest in Austin:

Orenda Fink

Thu-Mar-19 Stay Gold – Saddle Creek/ Nicodemous Day Party 1:35
Fri-Mar-20 The Liberty – Breakthru Radio Day Party 12PM
Sat-Mar-21 Wonderland – BirdDog Promo / Paper Garden Party 12PM
Sat-Mar-21 Red Eye Fly – Saddle Creek Showcase 11PM

Icky Blossoms
Thu-Mar-19 Stay Gold – Saddle Creek/ Nicodemous Day Party 5:40PM
Fri-Mar-20 The Liberty – Breakthru Radio Day Party 4PM
Sat-Mar-21 Red Eye Fly – Saddle Creek Showcase 1AM

The Mynabirds
Thu-Mar-19 Stay Gold – Saddle Creek/ Nicodemous Day Party 4:50PM
Thu-Mar-19 Mohawk (inside) – Domino Party 12:30AM
Sat-Mar-21 Red Eye Fly – Saddle Creek Showcase 10PM

PUJOL
Mon-Mar-16 Hotel Vegas 7pm with Jacuzzi Boys, Twin Peaks
Tue-Mar-17 Maggie Mae’s – KLBJ Showcase 11pm with Turbo Fruits. Free (no wristband required)
Thu-Mar-19 Container Bar – Culture Collide 1:45pm
Thu-Mar-19 StayGold – Saddle Creek / Nicodemous Day Party 4pm
Thu-Mar-19 Swan Dive – Infinity Cat Showcase10:05pm
Sat-Mar-21 Red Eyed Fly – Saddle Creek Showcase12am

Twinsmith
Thu-Mar-19 Stay Gold – Saddle Creek/ Nicodemous Day Party 2:20PM
Sat-Mar-21 Red Eye Fly – Saddle Creek Showcase 9PM

Unfortunately, the label’s latest and greatest signing, Hop Along, won’t be at SXSW this year. Looks like we’ll just have to keep waiting before we can see them in the flesh.

Who you can see in the flesh tonight is Athens indie band New Madrid, who headlines at Slowdown Jr.  Opening is local trio Fake Plants. $8, 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Desaparecidos signs to Epitaph; new Twinsmith single released in the wild…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:59 pm January 28, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

In what could be the worst-kept secret in the history of indie rock, it was officially announced yesterday that former Saddle Creek Records band Desaparecidos has signed with Epitaph Records for the release of the band’s first new album in 13 frickin’ years.

Rumors of the Epitaph signing go as far back as the band’s 2013 Maha Festival performance. Conor Oberst all but confirmed the deal (or more accurately, didn’t deny it) in this May 2014 interview in The Reader.

Epitaph’s official announcement adds nothing new to the story, not even a street date for the album, only that it’ll be released this year. One assumes that the release would be sometime around the start of the band’s brief April tour, that starts April 8 in Denver. We shall see.

Not being discussed is why the new Desa record isn’t coming out on Saddle Creek. I suppose the writing was on the wall when they self-released three singles over the past couple years. With Oberst now on Nonesuch and Bright Eyes seemingly on indefinite hiatus, it appears Oberst has all but cut ties with the record label he helped create.

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Twinsmith's new single premiered this morning at AV Club.

Twinsmith’s new single premiered this morning at AV Club.

Speaking of Saddle Creek, its newest addition, Twinsmith, saw the debut of the first track off its sophomore album, Alligator Years, premiered this morning at AV Club (Don’t forget check out the comments at the end of that AV Club story). Twimsmith is touring with Cursive in February before they begin a headlining tour March 2 in Chicago (which leads to their appearances at SXSW in mid-March). The rekkid comes out May 5.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Twin Peaks and Midtown Art Supply; Twinsmith, Darren Keen goodbye party tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:57 pm November 26, 2014
Twin Peaks at Midtown Art Supply, Nov. 25, 2014.

Twin Peaks at Midtown Art Supply, Nov. 25, 2014.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Midtown Art Supply doesn’t look like much from the street. In fact, it’s hard as hell to find. I drove past the storefront three times in the dark looking for it, trying to find some sort of indication that a show was going on. I should have just looked for the smokers, who huddled on the sidewalk outside the concrete building on Farnam Street, just a stone’s throw from what we used to refer to as the “loony bin.”

The interior is urban rustic bordering on squatters’ flat, or so it seemed. Playing hidden behind the crowd of about 100 was Twin Peaks crashing through a set of stripped down pop that was too well-written to be mistaken for garage. Since the band was playing at floor level, you could only see the tops of their shaggy heads in the near dark of the barren, cold art space.

A Lazy-i reader spotted me and pointed to a hole-walkway covered by a stapled-to-the-wall vinyl shower curtain that flapped in the cold darkness. “Go through there to get to the back stage and the bathroom,” he yelled.

We crossed into a blackness, a room with echoing high ceilings strewn with guitar cases and pieces of drum kit presumably from one of the opening bands, and walked to another hole in the wall where a half dozen people crowded to watch the band from behind. I leaned through and grabbed some photos of the mop-tops serenading a sea of bobbing heads while people pushed pass me to get to the bathroom.

Twin Peaks’ music is rowdy up-beat rock that borders on garage surf, but as I said before, there is a precision to it that puts it on another level. If you haven’t checked out Wild Onion, you should. Clearly the record has a lot of young fans, in fact judging by the number of eager, shining faces I got a feeling Twin Peaks’ might be drawing a younger crowd than the mob that was currently watching Desaparecidos over at TWR.

Standing toward the back drinking a beer out of a red cup, I suggested to the promoter that in the future he add a riser or something so the band could be seen above the crowd, and he told me there was an elevated stage hidden behind the large projector screen hanging behind the band, but for whatever reason it wasn’t being used for this show. He said with the stage in play, the room could comfortably hold a few hundred people, and has for past shows.

When the lights came up, I saw just how amazing — and monolithic — the space is. While the performance space isn’t much to look at, the interior of this building is cavernous and covered with eye-popping graffiti — huge spray-painted murals, which might explain the headache-inducing acrylic smell that hung over the back rooms. The building continues down into a basement where a skateboard ramp leaned against a wall. Down it went to another huge space broken up by support poles where I was told massive thousand-person raves had been held in years past. Another opening led to a blackened room filled with hundreds of doors leaning in stacks against each other. I was told there were more passages somewhere through the darkness that led who knows where. Anyway, an inspiring space which is now home to a talented local artist…

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Night two of holiday week takes place tonight. Saddle Creek Records band Twinsmith headlines a show at Slowdown Jr. Opening is Lincoln band Oketo and Stephen Nichols. With turkey day tomorrow, this could be a big show. $7, 9 p.m.

Also tonight is the going-away party for local legend Darren Keen at House of Loom. Keen is high-tailing it to Brooklyn in the coming days, and we’re all going to miss him dearly (just wait and see). Tonight’s performance will feature Darren covering Daft Punk live. According to the invite: “He’s rebuilt & restructured some the songs from the ground up. Along with Mark Hinrichs on a trap drum set, Keen has sampled the source material and built up a wall of electronics that really nail the things that are special & amazing about the music of Daft Punk.” Show starts at 9, and the price: “$5 until we fill up / $8 after.” 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Saddle Creek signs Philly band Hop Along, Twinsmith; Halloween w/ Noah’s Ark, See Through Dresses; Orenda Fink Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:15 pm October 31, 2014
Hop Along joins the Saddle Creek Records stable...

Hop Along joins the Saddle Creek Records stable…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I was out of touch all day yesterday at meetings and stuff, but I did see the message from Saddle Creek that went out announcing the label signed Philly band Hop Along. I’m listening to the band now on Spotify (or at least I think I am). And I like what I’m hearing. Very indie-sounding. Almost post punk. Breathy female vocals. Kind of reminds me of Helium, Mary Timony’s old band, though it’s more upbeat. Not a hint of mandolin or pedal steel or anything that could be mistaken for alt-folk or alt-country. Like I said, me likee.

Let’s be honest, that alt-country/alt-folk label is more of a Nebraska thing than a Saddle Creek thing. Icky Blossoms, PUJOL, Twinsmith have nothing to do with alt country. Sure, Rural Alberta Advantage gets lumped in with the alt-country-folk thing but even they are far from country. (And I don’t want this to come off as me hating on alt-folk/alt-country/Americana, we just have a lot of it around here and most of it is pretty boring).

Data from Creek: “Hop Along will enter the studio this week to begin work on their Saddle Creek debut, which will be produced by John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., etc) and released in the Spring of 2015.”

The band’s last album, 2012’s Get Disowned, was released in the U.S. on Hot Green Records (It was apparently the label’s fourth release?) and overseas via East London label Big Scary Monsters Records, who counts among their roster Cursive.

More trivia: The band’s singer, Frances Quinlan joined Weezer on stage in Philadelphia at The Trocadero last weekend to sing “Go Away” with Rivers Cuomo and company.

It’s a pretty exciting signing for Saddle Creek and the first non-Omaha band that they’ve signed in years that I’m looking forward to hearing live. Hopefully they’ll come to Omaha some day.

Also announced yesterday was probably the local scene’s worst kept secret: That Twinsmith has been signed by Saddle Creek. Everyone knew this was a done deal for awhile.

Sayeth Creek: “This fall the band hit the studio with Brandon Darner and Luke Pettipoole of The Envy Corps to record their sophomore effort and first full-length on Saddle Creek. You’ll be able to hear the results in Spring of 2015.” Will rock stardom ensue? Time will tell…

Check out some Hop Along below:

I talk to people all the time who hate St. Patrick’s Day. They call it “amateur night” and so on, and that’s fine. I love St. Patrick’s Day, but what did you expect? Just look at my name.

Well the kind of venom people spew for St. Patty’s is what I feel for the adult-version of Halloween. I get how folks like to dress up and put on make-up, but costumes just ain’t my bag, and if you have to wear one to see the show, well, I guess I’m staying home.

But you shouldn’t. Especially considering who’s playing tonight.

Reverb’s got a first-clash bash happening tonight headlined by Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship with See Through Dresses and the always entertaining Darren Keen. I’m hearing STDs are doing an all-cover set. No idea if this is a costume-optional gig (but it probably is). Who knows, I might drop in dressed as Painfully Awkward Robb Lowe. $8, 9 p.m.

Tonight’s gig at The Brothers, on the other hand, is a straight-up costume bash. On the bill is Omaha’s newest stoner rock sensations Nightbird along with Blowing Chunks and Lincoln’s Ron Wax (Ron Albertson ex-Mercy Rule, ex-Liars). $5, 9 p.m.

And of course the masquerade will be happening at fabulous O’Leaver’s tonight, hosted by Members of the Press, who go on at 11. $5.

November starts tomorrow. Celebrate with Orenda Fink as she headlines at The Slowdown. Joining her are New York band Matteah Baim And The LCs (Kobalt / Dream Drive) and our very own Anna McClellan. $8, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, 24 Hour Cardlock headlines at O’Leaver’s with The Pink Flamingos and Dirty River Ramblers (yee-haw!). $5, 9:30 p.m.

And Edge of Arbor (Jessica Errett’s band) is celebrating a CD release at Reverb Saturday night. Joining them are The Derby Birds and Tara Vaughan Band. $7, 9 p.m.

Have a happy Halloween…

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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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