Live Review: Zola Jesus; Whispertown, High Up, Mudd Club, Lovely, Still tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:31 pm October 12, 2017

Zola Jesus at The Waiting Room, Oct. 11, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A very sparse crowd last night for Zola Jesus at The Waiting Room; which wasn’t surprising. I remember seeing her five years ago at SXSW with a friend (who also was at last night’s show). The SXSW show was packed — shoulder to shoulder. I remember my friend saying Zola Jesus would have a hard time drawing in Omaha, and he was right… five years later.

I got there just in time to see/hear the last 15 minutes of one of the openers, John Wiese. The act was basically this guy sitting in the dark on stage plugging away at a computer that made loud static noises, layered tones and other dramatic sound effects. Some folks said it sounded like the soundtrack to a horror movie. I thought it sounded like someone working on his car. I wanted to yell, “OK, try it again…

Zola Jesus came on at around 9:15. A trio, frontwoman Rosa Danilova was flanked by a guitarist and violinist. No drums, no bass. All of that was handled by programming and pre-recorded tracks, which I assumed were controlled from the sound board.

When I saw Zola Jesus five years ago, the music was entirely ethereal, ambient compositions, very drone-y. By contrast, last night could have been a dance party — dark, pop songs driven by big beats, thick bass and Danilova’s amazing voice that (to me) recalls early Sinead O’Connor. The set was broken up by gorgeous slower numbers, like album highlight “Witness,” which Danilova said was about suicide. Actually, her new album, Okovi (2017, Sacred Bones) dwells on death, though you wouldn’t know it by the beats.

Five years ago I thought Danilova could become the next Gaga. Now I’m thinking she could be a better, more human version of St. Vincent, sans guitar of course. I guess we’ll see in another five years.

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Tonight there’s a slew of events, some of which don’t have a live music component.

Film Streams, for example, is showing a special memorial screening of Nik Fackler’s feature motion picture, Lovely, Still, in honor of Martin Landau, who passed away a few months ago. The program starts at 7 p.m.

Also this evening author Richard Boch, the doorman at the legendary Mudd Club in the early ’80s, is doing a Q&A with our very own Scott Severin, who was a Mudd Club kid back in the day. You’ll be hearing lots of stories about NYC debauchery in a time when kings like Bowie and Lou Reed ruled the Lower East Side. The event is being held at Hi-Fi House and is free and open to the public. Starts at 8 p.m.

And after all this, there’s a great show at fabulous O’Leaver’s tonight. Indie band Whispertown plays with High Up. $7, 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Beach House, Pro-Magnum, Gordon tonight; Jake Bellows, Whispertown Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:47 pm September 25, 2015
Beach House plays tonight at The Slowdown. The show is sold out.

Beach House plays tonight at The Slowdown. The show is sold out.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The show of the weekend is, of course, Beach House tonight at The Slowdown, and it’s SOLD OUT. Get there early for opener Jessica Pratt, whose most recent album, On Your Own Love Again (Drag City, 2015), got a rousing 8.1 in Pitchfork. 9 p.m.

Meanwhile back uptown, Pro-Magnum headlines tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Also on the bill are Mike Schlesinger, Sean Pratt and the Sweats. $5, 9:30 p.m.  Check out Schlensinger’s cover of “Look at Miss Ohio” by Gillian Welch recorded live at O’Leaver’s as a preview of what you’ll hear tonight:

Don’t forget about the event I told you about yesterday, Art Bazaar is happening in Benson capped off with a show at The Sydney headlined by Gordon with A Ferocious Jungle Cat. Bands start at 11. $5.

There ain’t a whole helluva lot going on Saturday night. Carson City Heat is playing at O’Leaver’s with Rothsteen and Tara Vaughn. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Actually, what could really end up being the show of the weekend is Sunday afternoon when O’Leaver’s hosts one of its Summer Socials. Food (sausages and sides) starts at 2 p.m. The music starts at 5:30 with Omaha ex-pat now LA scenester Jake Bellows, his pals Whispertown and the inimitable  McCarthy Trenching. $7.

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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The Circle of 300 (in this week’s column); Spinto Band, Whispertown vids; Betties, Great American Desert tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:57 pm May 23, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The premise of this week’s column: There are only 300 people in Omaha who really give a damn about indie music (or local music, for that matter), which means all of the various and sundry media that report on the scene are talking to the same 300 people. Talk about your echo chambers, but it’s the same in every city. Hey.. it’s just a theory, right? Check it out at thereader.com, here, or pick up a copy of this week’s edition.

By the way, the column’s name this week is Over the Edge. I’m going to keep coming up with names until something sticks.

* * *

A couple interesting locally produced videos went online today. First up is the latest installment from the Love Drunk Tour 2012. The crew has been back from their tour for a few days now and keep spitting out the videos, like this one from The Spinto Band for “The Living Things.” As videographer Brendan Greene-Walsh says at the beginning of the video, the Love Drunk team filmed this one just as Spinto’s keyboard player, Sam, crossed the finish line at the Delaware Marathon Running Festival. Had that been me crossing the finish like, I would have been immediately rushed to the nearest ER hooked up to an IV drip. Not Sam. He just plunks down on the pavement and starts playing. The video would have been funnier if he threw up at the end. Check it out.

Also online today, Omaha.com’s “Guest List” caught Whispertown doing “Blood from Wine” at Krug Park when the band was in town a couple weeks ago. That breathy voiced guy is, of course, good ol’ Jake Bellows of Neva Dinova fame. Me like-ee. Check it out here.

* * *

Tonight at The Barley Street it’s The Betties with Todd Day Wait’s Pigpen. $5, 9 p.m.

Down at Slowdown Jr. it’s Great American Desert, a.k.a. Max Holmquist, with Desert Noises and Betsy Wells. $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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Dead Wave debut, Millions of Boys tonight; Whipkey Three CD release show Saturday; Whispertown Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:47 pm May 11, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before we dive into the weekend, a big thank you to Conduits front woman Jenna Morrison for the sweet shout-out in her recent interview in Ghettoblaster Magazine (Check out the answer to No. 18). I think that’s the first time anyone has said something nice about the website in print! Keep a lookout for some Conduits performance news very, very soon…

* * *

And now, the weekend…

I’ve been hearing about Dead Wave for what, over a year? The new band features among its players Cooper Moon and Tom Barrett of Dim Light. Between sets at Wednesday night’s TWR show, they told me that Dead Wave will finally make its stage debut tonight at The Barley Street Tavern. Their style: a cross between Joy Division and The Jesus Lizard, says Barrett. Now I got your attention. Also on the bill are Minnesota band Daymoths and Chromafrost (featuring Lincoln Dickison). Debuts are always special. Don’t miss this one. $5, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Millions of Boys returns to O’Leaver’s stage for the first time since front woman Sara Bertuldo got back from a rather lengthy tour of duty with Conduits when that band opened for Cursive on their last tour.  Also on the card, Everyday/Everynight, Love Songs for Lonely Monsters and Howard. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday night’s big event is The Whipkey Three CD release show at Stir Live and Loud at Harrah’s in Council Bluffs. Opening is The Big Deep. $7, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Landing on the Moon plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s with The Kickback and The Seen. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Barley Street, Snake Island plays with Madison band Tiny Riots. $5, 9 p.m.

And then Sunday night it’s the return of Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s, with Dinosaur Feathers and Whispertown, featuring Omaha expat Jake Bellows (Neva Dinova). Whispertown’s front woman is featured in a funny new video on Will Ferrells Funny or Die website called “Get to Know…Morgan Nagler,” that also features a lot of familiar faces, including one Omaha golden boy. Check the out video here and make sure you rate it “Funny.” $12, 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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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