Wagon Blasters record release show, Candy Boys tonight; The Love-Birds, David Nance Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:23 pm July 13, 2018

Wagon Blasters at Lookout Lounge April 30, 2016. The band plays tonight at Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s been too long since the last Wagon Blasters 7-inch came out — like five years too long. Well, they’re back on vinyl with a new 7-inch, Pandamonium Paradise E.P. (2018, Speed! Nebraska), four geetar-powered tractor punk ditties that are sure to be the soundtrack to the hottest summer on earth.

You can pick up your copy tonight at The Brothers Lounge, where Gary Dean, Jesse, Will and Kate will be rifling through the new songs and a ton of old favorites. The sea-glass vinyl record is limited to 300, so you better get yours quick.

If you can’t make it to the show, you can order one online at the Wagon Blasters’ fancy new Bandcamp page that not only features their full discography by a boatload of Speed! Nebraska merch including new seed caps and super-fast-looking racing-stripe Tees (I need one of those in large, Gary, make it blue).

Joining Wagon Blasters tonight is fellow Omaha act The Broke Loose and Lincoln pals Domestica. $5, 9 p.m.

Also happening tonight is the debut of The Candy Boys — the new band fronted by John Klemmensen (which you read about yesterday) — at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Joining them is Not Funny and Not Ben Shin. $5, 10 p.m.

Saturday night Almost Music in the Blackstone District is hosting an in-store concert with San Francisco jangle-pop summer-of-love band The Love-Birds. Dayton noise act Stress Test opens along with Omaha’s favorite psych-rock troubadours David Nance Band. $5, 9 p.m.

Sunday night Bazile Mills plays at Reverb Lounge with The Ruralists. $7, 5 p.m.

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Southern Culture on the Skids, Wagon Blasters, Those Far Out Arrows, Effluvium tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm May 22, 2018

Those Far Out Arrows at The Brothers Feb. 17, 2018. The band plays tonight at Burke’s Pub.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s busy for a Tuesday night show-wise…

At The Waiting Room surf-punk twang-masters Southern Culture on the Skids headlines. It’s been a couple years since their last album, The Electric Pinecones, was released. I gotta believe they have new stuff up their sleeves. I know opening band Wagon Blasters definitely has some new material if not available than on the way. $20, 8 p.m.

Meanwhile tonight at Burke’s Pub in Benson, the BFF crew is hosting a launch party for Omaha Gives (which is tomorrow). The stellar line-up includes Those Far Out Arrows, Hussies, FiFi NoNo and DJ Tyrone Storm. The fun starts at 8 p.m. and it’s free. More info here.

Finally, over at Brothers Lounge, Effluvium performs with Houston noise duo Adam Goodwin & P. Gkika and Mighty Vitamins. $5, 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Justin Townes Earle, Boner Killerz tonight; Wagon Blasters, Marmalakes Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:24 pm May 11, 2018

Wagon Blasters at Lookout Lounge April 30, 2016. Gary Dean and the gang play Barley Street Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Not much happening this weekend. No touring indie bands, very few local shows of note. Maybe because it’s Mother’s Day weekend? No, that’s not it.

Let me see what I can find…

Steve Earle’s son Justin Townes Earle headlines tonight at The Waiting Room with Blake Brown. $25, 9 p.m.

The Boner Killerz are opening a show at Barley Street Tavern tonight with three bands I’ve not heard before: Robo Dojo, Catberet and When Particles Collide. $5, 9 p.m.

The Barley Street might be the place to be this weekend actually, as tomorrow night (Saturday) The Wagon Blasters play with Anonymous Henchmen and headliner Big Al Band. $5, 9 p.m.

Saturday afternoon Hi-Fi House is hosting a listening party for Austin band Marmalakes new album Please Don’t Stop, which comes out today on Austin Town Hall Records. The band consists of Chase Weinacht (guitar/songwriting) and Josh Halpern (drums/production). Halpern plays with Shearwater and Palo Duro, while Weinacht performs with The Hermits. The listening party runs from 4 to 6 p.m. It’s a shame they’re not going to perform.

UPDATE: Marmalakes are playing a gig Saturday night at Lucy’s Pub, 8932 Blondo St. (which isn’t a pub at all, rather it’s the location for house shows) with Bokr Tov, Oatmeal 97 and You Doo Right.

Also Saturday night at fabulous O’Leaver’s Lawrence folk-rock band The North Fork plays with Mr. E and the Stringless Kite. $5, 10 p.m.

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

* * *

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

Lazy-i

The Broke Loose, Wagon Blasters, Closeness, Twinsmith, Clarence Tilton tonight; TFOA, Lupines, Bad Bad Men (John Wolf) Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 1:06 pm February 16, 2018

Twinsmith on the Maha Music Festival main stage back in 2014. The band plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s a packed weekend for local shows, not much from a national-touring-indie perspective, but what else is new? It’s February, after all. Who wants to tour through Omaha in February? Apparently no one.

Anyway…

The Brothers Lounge is really stepping up its game, hosting two shows this weekend. Tonight’s headliner is The Broke Loose. The band released a single this past January called “Flatlands,” and another in February called “Cold As Hell.” Both were recorded with Rick Carson at Make Believe Studios. Frontman Glenn Antonucci said they’re the first in a series of nine singles, all recorded at Make Believe, that they plan to release one by one over the course of 2018.

Why release a single at a time versus a full album?

“Well, a couple reasons,” Antonucci said. “For one, we thought many of the individual tracks that came out of this session had a distinctive feel, and could stand on their own. And of course, it also gives us the ability to offer up something new each month (or thereabouts), rather than drop an album on people all at once and then retreat into silence for a year or more.”

I like it. It’s like the old days or rock ‘n’ roll when bands released 45s then compiled them into albums. Too bad Broke Loose songs aren’t being released as 45s, but imagine how much that’d cost…

Opening for The Broke Loose tonight is legendary tractor-punk band Wagon Blasters (Gary Dean Davis and crew) and Ottumwa Iowa basement rockers X-Ray Mary. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight Closeness headlines at The Sydney in Benson. Seems like we haven’t heard from the dynamic duo of Todd and Orenda Fink for quite a while. Will we be getting a glimpse of new Closeness music tonight? Opening is Lincoln’s Universe Contest and garage-punkers FiFI NoNo. $5, 9 p.m.

That’s not all. Tonight Saddle Creek Records band Twinsmith headlines at Slowdown Jr. The Sunks open at 9 p.m. $10.

And also tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s another shit-kicker of a bill headlined by Omaha’s finest alt-country band Clarence Tilton, who just released a split LP with Monday Mourners. Opening for Tilton is fellow boot-scooters The Eletroliners and 24-Hour Cardlock. $5, 10 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to The Brothers for a special night of rock headlined by Those Far Out Arrows. The always awesome Lupines hold the second spot while a new band called Bad Bad Men, featuring John Wolf (Cellophane Ceiling, Bad Luck Charm), Chris Siebken (Lude Boys) and Jerry Hug (Ritual Device), has the opening slot. Lots o’ curiosity about these bad hombres. $5, 9 p.m.

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

* * *

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

Lazy-i

While away: Milk Run gets shut down (again); Charles Bradley cancels LC appearance (again); Wagon Blasters, Charlie Burton tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:43 pm September 7, 2017

Wagon Blasters at Lookout Lounge April 30, 2016. They’re playing tonight at Barley Street Tavern.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’m back after spending nearly a week in Manhattan, watching tennis and Yankees and people strutting around in kinky boots. It’s been a couple years since I’d last visited NYC, and can report the town has gotten dirtier but never more fun.

Anyway, it looks like a few things happened while I was gone.

Of note was the shut-down of Milk Run… again. Based on this fine Hear Nebraska report,  Johnny Law showed up during the Nebraska Hardcore Showcase Saturday night at the cavernous DIY show space located in the basement of Midtown Art Supply at 2578 Harney. Apparently someone called the police and said there was a drug-fueled rave going on with minors and booze.

Of course it was all bullshit, but still, the show was cancelled because the building’s owner apparently wasn’t aware that shows were being held in his building’s basement, despite the fact that Milk Run has been operating from the dungeon space since March. Where was the landlord before? Of course there’s more to this story; no doubt arrangements had been made without formal leases or contracts, which is the nature of DIY (most of the time).

Lookout Lounge stepped up and the showcase was moved, but Milk Run remains an idea without a home. They have shows booked through October, including an Oct. 9 date with Worriers (a hot punk band whose last album was produced by Laura Jane Grace of Against Me, and who just signed with Side One Dummy). They’re hustling to find other venues, but the question remains where they’ll land permanently.

In some ways it’s not surprising that it’s so hard to find a space for an all-ages DIY music club. What landlord wants to take on that potential liability? On the other hand, based on their last two venues, the Milk Run folks aren’t looking for much more than a room with electricity and a bathroom. Milk Run I, located on lower Leavenworth, was the size of a large closet. Milk Run II was a concrete bunker.  If that’s all they’re looking for, there has to be an open bay somewhere in South Omaha willing to take it on. Or maybe not.

Throughout its short history, Milk Run has booked some gold-star touring indie bands, some so good that I wished the shows had been booked at nicer venues. I assume the DIY and all-ages factors are what helped them land the gigs.

There may be a possible solution to Milk Run’s dilemma — a talked-about new non-profit all-ages stage that could host some of their shows. But it’s a long way away (if it happens at all), and it’s definitely nothing like Milk Run. Omaha needs a dedicated, all-ages space willing to take a risk booking national bands that are too financially risky or under-the-radar for the usual mainstream venues to book…

* * *

Speaking of non-profits, Hear Nebraska was dealt a slight body blow yesterday when one of the headliners for its upcoming Lincoln Calling Festival — Charles Bradley — announced he is cancelling all upcoming tour dates due to illness.

According to the press release: “The beloved soul singer was diagnosed with stomach cancer last fall and, after undergoing treatment and beating it, he returned to the road this past spring. He began to feel run down during recent tour dates and learned that his cancer spread to his liver, though hasn’t returned to his stomach. He will be taking time off to focus on treatment and recovery.”

Bradley was slated to headline the Duffy’s Outdoor stage Friday, Sept. 29 (vs. Angel Olsen at The Bourbon). Same thing happened last year to LC, when Bradley’s initial stomach cancer was diagnosed. The festival was still a big success, as I’m sure it will be again this year.

BTW, it recently was brought to my attention that Lincoln Calling is getting stiff competition in Omaha that same weekend, with Fleet Foxes Sept. 29 and Future Islands/Explosions in the Sky Sept. 30, both held at Waiting Room Outdoors (located on Military Ave. next to Jake’s). Coincidence?

* * *

A couple red hot shows are happening tonight…

At the Barley Street Tavern, The Broke Loose begins a residency (Hey, who wouldn’t want to live at The Barley Street?), and opening is none other than The Wagon Blasters. It’s been awhile since Gary Dean Davis and Co. have bounced on an Omaha stage. 9 p.m., no price listed, but probably around $5.

Also tonight Nebraska legend Charlie Burton continues his recent revival, this time at fabulous O’Leaver’s. His full band — Charlie Burton and Or What? — is playing what is billed as a “special happy hour beer garden gig” — which I assume means he’s playing outside? This one is early, start time is 6 p.m., and costs the usual $5.

Also… Omaha and Encounter magazine are celebrating their latest issues with a party at The Slowdown tonight featuring the maestro himself Brent Crampton along with DJs Kethro and  Stephen Bils. $5, 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Oh Pep!, Wagon Blasters, tonight; Sucettes, Dave Nance, Against Me! Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 10:55 am February 24, 2017

Oh Pep! at The Waiting Room, Sept. 30, 2016. They return tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The power just came back on, and I have something to do over the noon hour, so this is gonna be quick-quick-quick…

NOTE: THIS SHOW IS CANCELLED due to weather. Almost Music in the Blackstone District is hosting a show tonight featuring Wichita band The Travel Guide, Omaha proggers Relax, It’s Science, and something called Nance Jessen Marasco, which Almost Music proprietor Brad Smith tells me is “improvisational freedom rock from David Nance, Kyle Jessen and Mike Marasco (Prairies, Simon Joyner, etc).” Oh boy! $5, BYOB, starts at 8.NOTE: THIS SHOW IS CANCELLED due to weather.

The Barley Street Tavern tonight is hosting Broke Loose, Brazen Throats and the mighty Wagon Blasters. No price listed but probably $5 and probably 9 p.m.

Oh Pep!, the Aussie duo of Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs, who opened for Mountain Goats last September and whose album, Stadium Cake (2016, Dualtone) made it on my best of 2016 list, and who took part in a Ten Questions Survey right here, are opening tonight for Valerie June at The Waiting Room. I don’t know who Valerie June is, but I can tell you that Oh Pep! is worth the $15 admission on their own. Starts at 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s off to Reverb Lounge for an all-star garage/indie/low-fi concert headlined by Sucettes with Dave Nance Band and Mike Schlesinger. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, down at The Slowdown, Laura Jane Grace and the folks from Against Me! headline a show Saturday night with Mobina Galore and Typesetter. $20, 9 p.m.

That’s it for now. I might update this later if new info comes my way this afternoon. If not, have a great weekend and be safe on dem icy streets…

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Dereck Higgins Experience, Wagon Blasters, Big Al Band; Ten Questions with Dawes; Bandcamp results…

Category: Blog,Interviews,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:42 pm February 6, 2017

Dereck Higgins Experience at O’Leaver’s, Feb. 4, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Dereck Higgins, one of Omaha’s most prolific musicians, unveiled yet another new project Saturday night at fabulous O’Leaver’s. This new four-piece combo, called The Dereck Higgins Experience (or DHX, as he referred to it from stage), continued in a similar jazz fusion direction heard on Higgins’ recent solo album, Flyover Country. In fact, the combo created a live version of  at least one song from the movie soundtrack.

On bass and synths and acting the role of Emcee, Higgins was joined by James Cuato Ballarin on synths/wind instruments, Aaron Gum on synths, and stellar guitarist Jacob Cubby Phillips. All but Gum also are in progressive jazz band Chemicals, a more experimental, free-form combo than DHX, whose set felt split between smoother fusion numbers a la Spyro Gyra, and funky, digital-fueled jazz concepts. Less intricate and less challenging than Chemicals, DHX’s music likely is more accessible to a larger audience.

I’m told this offshoot of Chemicals isn’t a replacement for that band, who according to Higgins has a scheduled gig at the Harney Street Tavern Friday night, while DHX will play the following evening at The Down Under.

Next up was Wagon Blasters who were in particularly fine form, maybe because it was Guitarist William Thornton’s birthday. Gary Dean Davis yelled through a rowdy set of trademark tractor-punk rock songs, doing his darndest to break through O’Leaver’s floor and onto the birthday/karaoke party going on in the basement.

As a lark, I tried streaming Wagon Blasters’ set via Facebook Live through the faux window sills off stage left. You can still view a recording of the performance in Facebook (or below). Scroll to the 23:38 mark in the video to see Gary’s epic punk-rock stage fall!

Finally, Big Al Band closed out the night with his flying V and Holly Pop on the drum kit. Favorite moment of the set — the final song wherein Al swapped out the V for a bass for a go at song called “Jolly Roger.” Nice.

As mentioned, O’Leaver’s now has a basement party room. I snuck (sneaked?) down there Saturday night and was pleasantly surprised at the set-up, which includes a full bar and karaoke stage, all of which is available for rental at a bargain price. Let’s see, sand volleyball, live music, tiki bar, two outdoor beer gardens and now a karaoke party room? What more can O’Leaver’s squeeze into their entertainment complex?

* * *

As you see below, I’m continuing the Ten Questions series both here and in The Reader. I recently got some push back from a publicist, asking if I would be able to do an actual interview with the band he represents rather than the survey. Fact is, I simply don’t have time to interview and write band features for every interesting act coming through town (and considering the pay for these features ($0.00), can’t afford it.). The Ten Questions format allows me to hype a touring indie band’s upcoming show in a way that’s not too time taxing. Let me know what you think of these surveys…

 

Dawes, photo by Matt Jacoby.

LA folk-rock band Dawes epitomizes a style of music I grew up listening to — tequila sunrise ’70s soft rock. You know what I’m talking about — those laid-back groovy bands they used to play on the FM (and AM) stations and still do if you have a classic rock channel in your town (and who doesn’t?).

But somewhere/somehow over the past few years it’s become accepted for snotty, tone-deaf hipsters and hipster wannabes to denigrate (via Facebook) music infused with a peaceful, easy feeling. And that’s a shame, because the new folk rock that they often laud — from the likes of Wilco, Ben Kweller, Jenny Lewis and even our very own Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band — owe much of their sound to those FM giants.

Certainly Dawes does. That classic ’70s El-Lay studio sound is evident on their latest album, We’re All Gonna Die (2016, HUB Records), which, at times, reminds me of One of These Nights-era Eagles (there, I said it). On songs like the title track, the slow burnin’ “Roll with the Punches,” the wah-wah funk of “When the Tequila Runs Out,” heck, just about every track, Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith unapologetically puts a modern spin on AOR gold, sounding like the second coming of Don Henley or Glenn Frey, complete with warm-cushion vocal harmonies. And that’s about as cool as it gets.

We caught up with Taylor Goldsmith and asked him to take our Ten Questions survey. Here’s what he had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Taylor Goldsmith: Always changing but I often go back to Warren Zevon self-titled.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Even though she’s one of my heroes and maybe the greatest songwriter that ever lived, there’s a song called “Not To Blame” by Joni Mitchell that I really hate.

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

The shows. The songs get to change shape every night and we get to pull out old ones we haven’t played in years sometimes.

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

Being gone from home so much of the year. While I love touring, it’s hard to keep a semblance of a normal life in order by being gone over half the year sometimes.

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

Coffee. I always want more coffee. About to make some.

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

We love playing at home for our friends and family and also love playing places like Nashville or NYC for the amazing venues and sold out shows, but there is also something special about coming into cities we’ve never been to or rarely play and having those more intimate experiences. It’s fun to still be building audiences in cities. It feels like we’re going into the past and future of the band from night to night depending where we are.

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

An LA show in 2012. I had really lost my voice. I got a steroid shot and it made it a lot worse. By the time we got onstage I could barely whisper. But we couldn’t cancel because everyone was there already and I didn’t want to let the band down. It was rough.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Yeah, music pays the bills. We quit our jobs and moved out of our homes the day before our first tour for North Hills. It meant we couldn’t afford places for a while, but we’ve never had jobs since.

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

It’d be fun to be a novelist. I really idolize those guys. My brain just doesn’t work that way though. I’d hate to do just about anything that meant I couldn’t go outside during the day.

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

Well our good buddy Conor Oberst lives there so any stories we know are somehow indirectly connected to him and the community he’s introduced us to. After spending some serious time there (more time than we typically can in a city during tour) we’ve really fallen in love with Omaha and have been looking forward to this show for a while.

An Evening with Dawes is Tuesday, February 7, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $23 Adv./$25 DOS. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

* * *
Bandcamp says it sold nearly a million dollars worth of music on Friday: “With several hours remaining, we estimate that fans will have bought just over $1,000,000 worth of music today, which is 550% more than a normal Friday (already our biggest sales day of the week). All of our share of that (12%) goes directly to the ACLU. The other 88% (less transaction fees) goes directly to the labels and artists…

A lot of those labels and artists also donated their share to ACLU or other charities. If you bought something, good for you. We’re going to see a lot more of these kinds of efforts over the next four years as the current administration continues to do all it can to dismantle the nation’s arts, take away women’s rights and bar immigrants from our borders. Do what you can; it makes a difference.

* * *

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 Simon Joyner (and others) for sale for a good cause; BFF, Mitch Gettman tonight; Wagon Blasters Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 2:05 pm February 3, 2017

Mitch Gettman at The Waiting Room, May 2, 2014. He plays tonight at The Barley Street Tavern.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before we get to what’s happening (or what’s not happening) this weekend, let me point you to a special deal from singer/songwriter Simon Joyner. Here’s Simon, via Facebook:

Friends, I’m putting up “The Phoenix Demos: Songs for Upcoming 2017 Album” for exclusive purchase during the Bandcamp fundraiser tomorrow. Nine out of 12 songs I recorded live a couple of weeks ago in Phoenix with just guitar, vocal and Michael Krassner on piano to prepare for the new album we are about to record with the band in Omaha. Get the stripped down sneak peak at songs being considered for a new album.

“I’m only making these demos available for one day at a premium to hopefully raise some money for the ACLU Nationwide, Planned Parenthood, and the Refugee Empowerment Center. You are encouraged to pay more than the asking price if you can, it will all go to these organizations. I’m also making available “Salt Lake City House Show 10-20-16 (with David Nance).” It’s a particularly well-recorded show from the Diss Riptide living room tour we did a few months ago and the only show that David Nance joined me for the entire set!”

The sale is part of #NoBanNoWall, a Bandcamp effort with more than 200 artists and labels donating their Bandcamp profits to the ACLU and other organizations in support of immigrants and refugees. Check out the index and buy some stuff.

Also, Saddle Creek Records is donating the proceeds from its Bandcamp sales today to the Refugee Empowerment Center in Omaha.

* * *

Well, this is about as sparse a weekend for shows as I can remember.

Tonight, of course, is Benson First Friday, and I would be remiss in not mentioning the art show being held at the gallery operated by my wife — The Little Gallery in downtown Benson across the street from The Sydney on the storefront level of the Masonic Lodge. Titled Oscillating Bodies, the show features the work of Torrey Smith and Nadia Shinkunas. Opening hours are 6 to 9 p.m., free and snacks and beer/wine will be available. Swing by and say hello and buy some art. More info here.

The BFF showcase at The Barley Street Tavern features FINO, Lowercase Tres, Ben Jones and singer/songwriter Mitch Gettman. 9 p.m. $5.

That brings us to Saturday night, when you’ve got one of the most eclectic mixes to appear in one night at fabulous O’Leaver’s. It kicks off at 9:30 with Dereck Higgins Experience — the debut of Higgins’ new band project. Dereck is one of Omaha’s most well-known and talented bass players, whose history dates back to ’80s first wave act Digital Sex. Next up is the always entertaining Wagon Blasters featuring tractor-punk legend Gary Dean Davis behind the microphone. The night ends with the two-person heavy-metal grind of Big Al Band. All this for a mere $5.

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

* * *

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

Speed! Nebraska celebrates 20 years; Her Flyaway Manner, See Through Dresses, OEAA showcase tonight; Felice Bros. Saturday; Pro-Magnum Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:48 pm October 21, 2016
The Speed! Nebraska executive team, circa 2006. The label celebrates its 20 year anniversary Saturday night at The Brothers Lounge. Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

The Speed! Nebraska executive team, circa 2006. The label celebrates its 20 year anniversary Saturday night at The Brothers Lounge. Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I dropped the ball. The immensely talented Andrew Spellmon reached out earlier in the week and asked if I would contribute my thoughts to a story he was working on for Hear Nebraska. His one and only question:

What is Speed! Nebraska’s legacy/impact on the local/national scene?

I immediately responded to Andrew saying I’d be happy to comment. The deadline was Wednesday night. And things being what they are in my life these days, I completely forgot to send him anything. It didn’t slow ol’ Spellmon down, however, and yesterday Hear Nebraska published a very lengthy, detailed story called “Racing at 45 RPM: SPEED! Nebraska reaches 20 year milestone.” You can read it right here.

The feature includes “stories and memories” from the artist and collaborators who have taken part in the Speed! Nebraska history, including Jon Taylor (Domestica, Mercy Rule), Dan Jenkins (Ideal Cleaners), Lee Meyerpeter (Filter Kings), George Peek (Solid Jackson), Mike Tulis (co-creator of Speed! and member of The Monroes), as well as people like Dan Schlissel, who created competing label -ismist and now runs Stand Up! Records, and Trey and Lallaya Lalley, who ran the Capitol Bar & Grill and now run The Brothers Lounge.

Stellmon didn’t need me at all. Go read the story right now because it’s good.

Ten years ago, when Speed! Nebraska was celebrating its 10-year anniversary, I penned this story for The Reader that highlighted the label’s origins. At the time,  Speed! was enjoying its high-water mark. Or as Jesse Render, the label’s “special project coordinator,” put it: “We’re like a family. You do whatever job needs to be done. This is kind of the Golden Age of Speed! Nebraska.”

So to answer Stellmon’s original question, I’d have to say Speed! Nebraska’s legacy is not only the 37 vinyl and CD releases that it put out over the course of 20 years, it’s also the people who made the music heard on that stellar catalog of rock ‘n’ roll. Most of them are still doing it, and doing it well. Certainly Speed! Nebraska record executive Gary Dean Davis is going strong, as is the rest of the executive team mentioned in that 2006 article.

In fact, you can see for yourself Saturday night at The Brothers Lounge when Gary’s band, Wagon Blasters, is joined by Mike Tulis’ band, Lupines, for a 20 year anniversary celebration that should be epic in its awesomeness.

What else is happening this weekend?

Tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s another group is celebrating a 20th anniversary — Lincoln band Her Flyaway Manner. Watch as these fossils sling their guitars over their walkers and wheel chairs for a set that should go down in geriatric history. Joining them are Jump the Tiger and Wrong Pets (members of Little Brazil). $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, See Through Dresses headlines at Milk Run. Joining them are New York band Haybaby (Tiny Engines Records) and The Way Out. No price listed, show starts at 9 p.m.

And lest we forget, tonight is the annual OEAA nominee showcase in Benson featuring more than 40 bands playing at six venues. Your $10 wristband gets you in to all shows all night. More info here.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) is the aforementioned Speed! Nebraska 20th anniversary bash at The Brothers Lounge. Wagon Blasters vs. Lupines. $5, starts at 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, The Felice brothers headline at The Waiting Room. They’re out supporting their latest, Life in the Dark (2016, Yep Rock). Shelby Earl opens. $15, 9 p.m.

Finally Sunday afternoon is the Benefit for Standing Rock at O’Leaver’s. The line-up includes Dark Diamond, DJ Machmuller, Noah Sterba and Pro Magnum. The benefit kicks off at 3:30 p.m. $5. Find out more about the benefit right here.

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Closeness, Thick Paint, BAMF, Relax It’s Science; 10 Questions with The Besnard Lakes…

Closeness at O'Leaver's April 30, 2016.

Closeness at O’Leaver’s April 30, 2016.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Closeness is a new project by Orenda and Todd Fink. We all know who they are, and if you don’t, how’s life been in that cave the past 20 years? A better question: Why have they waited so long before collaborating on music? Maybe they’ve always been collaborating and we just didn’t know it. Regardless, now we get to hear the product of these two musical masterminds, and it’s been worth the wait.

Their kit is an assembly of synths, keyboards and other sound robots placed on tables surrounded by lights, cables and other gizmos. Their equipment looked like an operating theater where the couple was about to perform surgery, but with Orenda donning an electric guitar over her scrubs.

They performed face-to-face, though from my vantage point, Todd mainly looked down or over or into his microphone. Orenda, her microphone echoing with delay, provided most of the vocals, with Todd adding his distorted, vocoder-like harmonies deep or high or robotic. Musically, Closeness goes way beyond what you’d expect. Sure, there were the familiar hypnotic beats, of which Todd always has been a master, but it was the melodies and the counter melodies and the layers upon layers of textured sound that set it apart.

Most songs were thick, mid-tempo grooves reminiscent of Orenda’s O+S material, but there were moments of lilting Caribbean-style tempos and traditional electro-rock you’d expect from The Faint. Their short set was only five songs long. Among my faves was a mid-set corker that featured the couple harmonizing on a slow melody that recalled Low’s Sparhawk and Parker.

No surprise that the crazy-packed crowd loved it and wanted more, but there wasn’t any. So has any of this music been recorded, and who will have the honor of releasing it? Or maybe they’ll release it themselves and then hit the road. Ah, what a life.

Thick Paint at O'Leaver's, April 30, 2016.

Thick Paint at O’Leaver’s, April 30, 2016.

Garnering just as much enthusiasm from the crush mob was Thick Paint, the one-man show featuring Reptar’s Graham Patrick Ulicny. With just a small synth, his voice and his guitar he enraptured the audience with his beautiful songs that, at times, reminded me of early Cat Stevens played to a beat box. Really gorgeous stuff.

I realize I’m going backward through my Saturday night, which actually ended at O’Leaver’s. It began at The Lookout Lounge and the Big Al Music Festival (BAMF) First, a word about The Lookout. No other club in town has managed to capture the glorious, run-down ambiance of ’90s-era Omaha rock venues quite like this place. It was like walking into the past, right down to the smell.

Wagon Blasters at Lookout Lounge April 30, 2016.

Wagon Blasters at Lookout Lounge April 30, 2016.

Like the old Knickerbockers or Capitol Bar, the venue is split in two, with a bar in one room and a decent sized music room adjacent with an impressive elevated stage. Imagine the old Sokol Underground shrunk down to half its size and you get the gist. The walls and ceiling tiles were painted black, and air vents over the stage were appropriately covered in fuzzy grime, no doubt a reminder of decades of cigarette smoke, now long gone. Lookout isn’t fancy, but the best rock clubs rarely are.

Big Al, who has been doing his free festival for nine years. kept things on schedule. I walked in at 8:45 and Wagon Blasters were just getting started — right on time. Gary Dean Davis and  crew looked right at home bouncing on the Lookout stage, belting out their usual high-quality tractor punk. Someone in the crowd of around 30 yelled out “Fishin’ Hole”! Hey, you can’t blame anyone for mistaking these folks for that classic ’90s punk band.

Mike Saklar at Lookout Lounge, April 30, 2016.

Mike Saklar at Lookout Lounge, April 30, 2016.

Mike Saklar took the stage next playing solo electric renditions of songs from his former band, Ravine. Ravine (who you can read about here) was Saklar’s post-Ritual Device band that played very heavy-bordering-on-metal rock music way back in the ’90s. Deconstructed as solo material, the songs sounded more tuneful than I remember them, though Saklar is no less a master on guitar. What are the odds that he could resurrect a few of these songs with a full band?

Relax, It's Science at Lookout Lounge, April 30, 2016.

Relax, It’s Science at Lookout Lounge, April 30, 2016.

Then came Relax, It’s Science, the latest project from drummer Jeremy Stanosheck (ex-Kite Pilot, among others). The trio consisted of Stanosheck and two bass players cranking out huge, anthemic, proggy instrumentals with intricate, powerful rhythms. Each bass took turns providing a semblance of a melody countered by the other’s pounding rhythm lines. It was appropriate that the only spot highlighted on Lookout’s stage was where Stanosheck had his drum kit, because he was center of the attention putting on a clinic with his throaty stick work. It’s time Stanosheck got the respect he deserves.

Hat’s off to Big Al for such a strong line-up. This was the first time I’ve attended one of his festivals, and I was impressed by how it was run. On a table in the back of the room was a large pile of canned and packaged foods destined for the food bank. As Gary Dean Davis said at the end of this set, “Keep feeding the world, Big Al.” Here’s to Year 10.

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Tonight Canada’s Besnard Lakes returns to Omaha, this time at Reverb Lounge. You really should go to this one. Look, it’s a 9 p.m. show but with only one opener (Sub Pop and Burger Records band Jaill, which could be a headliner by themselves).

The Besnard Lakes play tonight at Reverb Lounge.

The Besnard Lakes play tonight at Reverb Lounge.

Ten Questions with The Besnark Lakes.

The Besnard Lakes’ music is so massive, so mammoth, it’s the sound you hear while teetering on the edge of a cliff with the gorge spread out in front of you, the river below a mere silver sliver among the rocks.  The Montreal-based six-piece is centered on the husband-wife core of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, who released their first studio album, Volume 1, in 2003 (but which was rereleased by their label, Jagjagwar, in 2007).

While the band is undoubtedly indie — Lasek’s and Goreas’ harmonies are reminiscent of Low — their gorgeously dense music has touch points in ’70s arena rock recalling bands like Yes and Boston, acts that knew how to make their anthems sound majestic. And most of Besnard Lakes’ new album, A Coliseum Complex Museum (2016, Jagjaguwar) is, indeed, majestic — a swirling miasma of beautiful multi-tracked sounds cut to the core by Robbie MacArthur’s sparkling guitar solos. It’s a sound so large one can only wonder how it’ll fit inside tiny Reverb Lounge Monday night.

We asked The Besnard Lakes to take our Ten Questions survey. Here’s what Olga had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

The Besnard Lakes’ Olga Goreas: Side two of The Beatles’ Abbey Road.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Anything that doesn’t come from a sincere heart.

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

Playing bass. I love that thing so much!

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

I really can’t complain about any aspect of being in a band. It’s pretty much the best job in the world. I don’t know, long rides in the van can get tedious I suppose.  I’ve got restless legs too, but I don’t think I can blame it on being in a band! Just gotta get up and stretch once in a while.

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

I do enjoy a well-made double espresso.  Caffeine is the one drug I could never give up.

6. What city or town do you love performing at?

Chicago has been a special city for us.  The audience is always super appreciative, and the city too is quite lovely.  The old architecture melds with the new really well.  I almost get a Canadian vibe from it too, more than any other American city except maybe Minneapolis. Also love playing Glasgow, London and just the UK in general.  Audiences seem to understand us best in the UK.

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

That honor belongs to Victoria, BC.  It had actually started quite well – we took a ferry from Tsawassen to Victoria and two of our bandmates at the time ran into the drummer from Def Leppard, who happened to be playing the same night in the big arena.  We actually went to see them and then went to play our show.  I don’t know if it was something weird in the air but it was a very strange crowd and we tried to be loud enough to be heard over the rowdies.  Jace was trying to sing a song and just got fed up and told someone in the audience who was basically yelling the whole time to shut the fuck up.  This person replies “get over yourself” to which another person in the audience gets into some altercation and the night basically ended with bar fights and the cops being called. The end!

8. How do you pay your bills?

Online baby!

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

I went to university and studied Psychology.  I’d like to be a researcher or a clinical psychologist.  The mind is a fascinating creature to me.

I wouldn’t be able to work at a collection agency or anything that involves taking money from people who don’t have it.

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

We played once in Omaha many years ago. There was a college football game and nobody came to our show.  It’s totally fine, that sort of thing happens here for hockey so I get it. I also remember going to a laundromat and seeing bullet holes in the window. I started calling Omaha “Omaharsh” after that.

The Besnard Lakes plays with Jaill Monday, May 2, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $12. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

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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