Mountain Goats, Clarence Tilton tonight; Farnam Fest, Sextile Saturday; Closeness (tacos) Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:58 pm September 15, 2017

The blurring red heads of White Mystery at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 31, 2015. The band plays Saturday as part of Farnam Fest.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Rain, rain go away… at least go away on Saturday afternoon…

We’ll get to that in a minute. First, the weekend:

It kicks off tonight with Clarence Tilton at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Joining Omaha’s favorite alt-country band is Bach Mai, while Matt Whipkey takes the opening slot. $5, 10 p.m.

Also tonight, The Mountain Goats return to Omaha, this time to The Waiting Room. Seems like Darnielle and the boys were just here (because they were). Their latest album, Goths (Merge Records) came out in May. Opening is Athens band Mothers (Grand Jury, Wichita). $28, 9 p.m.

And finally, Nebraska legend Charlie Burton and his band (Or What!) play tonight at Down Under Lounge. Prairie Gators open at 9 p.m. $5.

Then Saturday it’s Farnam Fest. The midtown block party will be held at 40th & Farnam in the Blackstone District. It’s free and all ages. Food, booze, stuff to buy, and, of course, music.

Booked by Sam Parker (the dude behind booking this year’s Lincoln Calling Festival), Farnam Fest really stepped up its game with a strong mix of local and touring acts including Shannon and the Clams, White Mystery and headliner indie band Tennis. Here’s the full line-up:

3:00 — Both
3:45 — Miwi La Lupa
4:30 — High Up
5:20 — Yes You Are
6:25 — White Mystery
7:30 — Icky Blossoms
8:50 — Shannon and the Clams
10:10 — Tennis

Looks like there’s only one problem with the festival — the weather forecast. Let’s hope the weather dudes are wrong.

There are actually two after-parties for Farnam Fest:

Over at Blackstone Meatball garage New Wave band Sextile is playing, with Ojai opening. This one was originally slated for Milk Run before the venue’s unfortunate demise. It’s free and starts at 11.

Also happening after the fest — Alex White of White Mystery will be spinning 45s at Brothers Lounge. That one’s also free.

Finally Sunday O’Leaver’s is hosting another in its series of Sunday Socials — early shows that start at 5 p.m. and involve food (this week: taco bar!). Headlining this Sunday’s Social is Closeness (Orenda and Todd, you know ’em, you love ’em), along with opener Effluvium and touring band Detroit’s You. (Avant! Records). 5 p.m. start, $5.

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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: The Blind Shake, White Mystery; Sweatshop winds down; Homeshake, Sheer Agony tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 11:48 am September 1, 2015
The Blind Shake at O'Leaver's, Aug. 31.2015.

The Blind Shake at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 31.2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Another night spent at O’Leaver’s. It’s becoming a habit, thanks to their bookings, which lately have been outshining just about everyone else in town. If you’re looking for rock music, O’Leaver’s is (once again) becoming your go-to choice.

Certainly the rock was a-rollin’ last night, and the turn-out of 30 or so was impressive for a Monday. Things started off with a film by White Mystery shown on the plasma TV that hangs behind O’Leaver’s “stage” (Just when I was about to suggest to grandmaster sound-guy Ian Aeillo that they should take down that flat panel or move it to a different wall — there’s nothing quite as tacky as having a blank plasma TV in every photo taken of bands at O’Leaver’s). The video was like a found-footage collection of road-trip video mashed with a pseudo-psycho-sexual horror film that concluded with a pick-up basketball game where-in some guy won with a granny shot. Coming to a theater near you?

DJ Dave Goldberg spun old-time wax between bands, the next up being Minneapolis power-punk trio The Blind Shake. Riveting straight-forward guitar chops and pounding rhythms backed bark vocals from the dueling guitarists of Jim and Mike Blaha. Brittle and brutal stuff in sort of Thee Oh Sees-meet-The Night Marchers vein. Great stuff.

The blurring red heads of White Mystery at O'Leaver's, Aug. 31, 2015.

The blurring red heads of White Mystery at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 31, 2015.

Then along came the brother and sister team of Miss Alex White and Francis Scott Key White a.k.a. White Mystery. The Chicago duo is becoming old-timers in Omaha. They just played here a few months ago at Reverb, and decided to pass through again after playing Riot Fest in Denver. Their stripped-down guitar-and-drums attack defines a style of garage that is uniquely their own. Now one shreds and screams quite like Miss Alex.

* * *

There was some chit-chat on the patio last night about the demise of The Sweatshop Gallery as a music venue. The art garage in the heart of Benson’s last show is Sept. 12, headlined by Speedy Ortiz-connected band Palehound. Casey Logan at the Omaha World-Herald got the scoop last week, here. I’m told the folks taking over the space aren’t interested in hosting rock shows. A pity, as Sweatshop was gaining momentum after this year’s Sweatfest, becoming recognized as an alternative venue for cutting-edge bands that are flying just under the radar, as well as a few clearly on the grid, like Ceremony, Speedy Ortiz and Parquet Courts, all of whom have played shows there.

* * *

Speaking of The Sweatshop, the ol’ garage is hosting a show tonight headlined by Canadian acts Homeshake and Sheer Agony, with Lineman’s Rodeo and Little Ripple. $7, 9 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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SXSW written recap/reviews Pt. 1 (White Mystery, Twin Shadow, Dotan, Speedy Ortiz); Mynabirds, Orenda Fink, Miniature Horse tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:54 pm March 24, 2015
Speedy Ortiz was the highlight of my Day 1 at SXSW 2015.

Speedy Ortiz was the highlight of my Day 1 at SXSW 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

For those tired of the South By Southwest coverage, bear with me for the next few days as I get through these notes and reviews of each day’s activity. I’m putting them down for posterity and for the record. Writing this is kind of like living the trip all over again, for me anyway.

The first thing one does at SXSW after getting his credentials in order is hit the streets. I arrived late Wednesday afternoon and was on Red River (which abuts 6th Street on the east side) by 5 p.m., which meant an entire evening of music lie ahead. There’s a sense of disorientation when you first arrive — the air is different, it’s humid, it’s warm. That hoodie you brought is no longer needed. Hipsters zing by on bicycles, hucksters are on every corner selling their wares, and everywhere you go there is the deep, pungent stench of weed in the air. Despite the presence of cops, people light up blunts and pass them around in public as if we were in Colorado with no fear of Johnny Law. Too bad I don’t partake in the demon weed as it no doubt changes the complexion of SXSW for those who do.

Anyway, by the time we got to 6th Street we could already hear White Mystery playing on the Beerland patio to a small crowd that tumbled off the sidewalk and into the street. Beerland is an unofficial SXSW venue that hosts its own free day-shows. It is ground zero for garage and punk bands no matter the time of year, and a good place to hang when you’ve grown tired of SXSW’s unending commercialism.

Despite the small PA on the patio, White Mystery sounded as good as when I saw them a few weeks ago at Reverb. The band is a brother-and-sister guitar-and-drum duo that plays gritty, bluesy garage rock reminiscent of another famous guitar-and-drum duo that had “white” in its name.

Next it was off to a warehouse that had been converted into a venue called Iron Castle. There are lots of these conversions along 6th Street during SXSW. Anyplace can become a music venue if you add lights and sound. Only one performer was being featured that night — Twin Shadow. Their staging involved large see-through nylon curtains draped around the triangular stage platform that had images projected onto them. You could sort of see the band’s equipment behind the scrims. I figured someone would pull back the curtain once Twin Shadow took the stage. Nope. The band played behind the opaque mosquito netting — an effect that was more frustrating than innovative.

Twin Shadow plays a bouncy ’80s style of synthpop rife with infectious hooks. This set was no different, though the new music from upcoming release Eclipse wasn’t much of a departure from 2012’s Confess.

Let me note here that SXSW’s history of rigidly following set schedules was nowhere to be seen at this year’s event. Twin Shadow came on 40 minutes late — that meant having to endure 40 minutes of grating house music while I waited.

Onward. Cedar Street Courtyard is located a few blocks off 6th Street in a space between two grand buildings, sort of like the Passageway Gallery in the Old Market. I went to see Speedy Ortiz but (surprise) everything was running off schedule. Instead, I saw a set by Dutch singer-songwriter Dotan and his band. Their sound is mainstream ethnic, the kind of music that would be right at home as the soundtrack for an insurance commercial. Very pretty, very well done. Very safe.

Dotan was a strange opener for Speedy Ortiz (who, in turn, was a strange opener for Spoon, who was scheduled to follow them). The Massachusetts band has played a couple times in Omaha, including at West Wing (and I think Sweatshop Gallery), and I’ve managed to miss them every time. Fronted by Sadie Dupuis, the band plays down-key indie rock reminiscent of Eleanor Freidberger. Great stuff and the best set of the night for me. Spoon was originally scheduled to go on at around 1 but it would be well past that before they got the bands switched out and the sound check out of the way. The courtyard already was well past capacity. There’s nothing quite like standing sandwiched between an enormous crowd and a brick wall unable to move. Spoon would have to wait.

Listen to highlights of Day 1 at SXSW 2015:

* * *

Tomorrow: Day 2, which includes the Saddle Creek SXSW showcase. Two acts that played that showcase are playing tonight at O’Leaver’s — Orenda Fink and Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds. It’ll be just like being in Austin all over again. Opening is the amazing Miniature Horse. $5, 9 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Digital Leather, White Mystery, Calm Fur; Of Montreal, Deerhoof tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:33 pm March 16, 2015
Digital Leather at Reverb Lounge, March 13, 2015.

Digital Leather at Reverb Lounge, March 13, 2015.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

What a weekend for sold out shows. Friday afternoon Icky Blossoms sold out its Slowdown Jr. gig — no surprise there. Then on Saturday afternoon, Criteria’s Reverb show that evening sold out. Again, not a surprise when you consider the capacity of the Reverb’s small performance space.

I ended up at Reverb Friday night for Digital Leather and White Mystery. First up was Jason Meyer’s latest creation, Calm Fur. First time I saw them a few months ago at Barley Street it was a gritty, noise-rock set — quite a contrast to Friday night’s set, which sounded more streamlined and pop-oriented. The band has tightened up everything, and the result is sublime. Meyer recently posted on Facebook that he’s no longer involved in his other project, Feel tight. Does that mean he’s dedicated his services to Fur?

There was a song about halfway through Digital Leather’s set that was a departure from their usual synth punk debauchery. The tune was, dare I say it, downright groovy, with a huge central hook. I tracked down one of the band members afterward, who told me the song was called “Gary…” off the band’s next album (I didn’t know they were working on a new record, but is DL frontman Shawn Foree ever not working on new music?).

White Mystery at Reverb Lounge, March 13, 2015.

White Mystery at Reverb Lounge, March 13, 2015.

DL rolled out a brand new song to start their set, something they said they wrote that afternoon — it was typical of their usual rough-hewn garage rock, bracing and hard. The rest of the set was selections from the last few records and were played with the usual DL panache. Keyboardist Todd Fink, who everyone thought would be a temporary piece of the DL puzzle, now fits in like just another one of the boys, adding backing vocals on a few songs. Is DL Fink’s main focus with The Faint apparently in limbo?

The set ended in classic fashion with a brutal version of “Studs in Love,” played by request from one of the band’s biggest fans (and it wasn’t me). Foree’s said before that he doesn’t like playing the song anymore. He was doing it for the fan. “Studs in Love” has become a staple of Digital Leather’s live set; I’ve heard at least three different arrangements of the song over the past couple years. Each time it gets a little more powerful.

White Mystery closed out the night. The brother-and-sister guitar-and-drum duo of Alex and Francis White roared through a set of monolithic garage-rockers. Who needs a bass player, anyway?

* * *

Of Montreal at The Waiting Room, Nov. 2, 2013.

Of Montreal at The Waiting Room, Nov. 2, 2013.

Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the return of Of Montreal with opening band Deerhoof. From the review of the Nov. 3, 2013, Of Montreal show at The Slowdown:

Theatrics did abound. Three “extras” made stage appearances in a variety of costumes, most resembling blobs or giant wadded up pieces of paper. When they weren’t stumbling around in bulky costumes, the extras slipped into place in white body stockings, unfolding umbrellas that reflected targeted projected graphics (see the eye-popping skull above).

What kind of pageantry are you in for this time? Here’s what the band played Friday night in Chicago, I recognize at least one favorite. Tickets are $20 and the show starts at 9.

* * *

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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Icky Blossoms Vs. White Mystery/Digital Leather tonight; Criteria, Bloodcow Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:53 pm March 13, 2015
Icky Blossoms at Lambert's BBQ, SXSW, March 16, 2012.

Icky Blossoms at Lambert’s BBQ, SXSW, March 16, 2012. The band is warming up for a return to SXSW in Austin with a show tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

We’ve got an intense list of shows happening this weekend.

It starts tonight with a death match between Icky Blossoms and White Mystery.

Icky Blossoms hosts their South By Southwest send-off show tonight at Slowdown Jr. Why is it happening in the smaller front room? The band wants to play in front of a hot, sticky crowd, which is exactly what they’ll get. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one sells out. Tonight’s show will feature at least five songs off the Ickys’ upcoming sophomore Saddle Creek release, Mask. Opening is Telepathy Problems and Rogue Moon. 9 p.m. $8.

Meanwhile across town at the Reverb Lounge in Benson it’s the Chicago drum-and-guitar duo of White Mystery. Opening the show, the always amazing Digital Leather and Jason Meyer’s grindingly dirty new project Calm Fur. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Blue Bird plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Lars and Mal. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And it’s a homecoming for Nebraska’s wayward son Darren Keen, who returns to House of Loom tonight with Kethro. $5, 9 p.m.

Saturday night it’s back to Reverb Lounge for Criteria. Will their enormous sound blow up Reverb’s tiny music room? Opening is The Brigadiers. $10, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night Bloodcow and Bullet Proof Hearts open for The Killigans at The Slowdown. $7, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile over at O’Leaver’s Saturday night it’s Saturn Moth, Westerners with Fake Plants. $5, 9:30 p.m.

One more Saturday show that may be under your radar — Eric in Outerspace and Staffers play at Almost Music in Benson at 8 p.m. It’s a duel-cassette release show! Opening is Nathaniel Hoier. $5, and it’s BYOB.

Finally, Sunday night Philly psyche band Ecstatic Vision headlines at O’Leaver’s with Wet Radio and stoner-rock champions Nightbird. $5, 9:30 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section.

And if you haven’t already, check out this week’s Lazy-i Podcast which includes an exclusive interview with Icky Blossoms where the band talks about why they’re headed back to South By Southwest next week, and what they love and don’t love about the chaotic music festival. Plus Carsinogents, Universe Contest, Bloodcow and more.

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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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White Mystery tonight (and I’m not talking about the snow)…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 1:42 pm March 8, 2011

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

White Mystery logo

As I type this, I’m listening to White Mystery’s new album, Blood and Venom. The record isn’t slated for release until April 20, but their publicist kindly sent a copy my way. The album marks the next step for the red-headed brother-and-sister act from Chicago that have gone against the White Stripes’ model — in their case, Ms. Alex White is on guitar and vox, while brother Francis is behind the drum set. I don’t know their history, but I have to wonder why they kept the “White” name-ology what with the White Stripes and all. Maybe it’s their real last names, which would be a strange coincidence.

Well, other than their name and boy-girl duo line-up, White Mystery doesn’t have that much in common with the late, great Stripes. Instead of taking a ’70s heavy-metal approach, the duo has opted for classic ’60s garage rock with a big dose of delay on the guitars, the vocals, on everything. It is pounding, stomping, kick-in-the-groin garage rock at its finest, and people are starting to notice. Pitchfork gave their debut album a 7.2, and the band has toured with The Gories (among others). And now here they are, playing at tiny Barley Street Tavern tonight with those filthy animals in Peace of Shit and Snake Island. It’s a show you won’t want to miss, and it only cost $6.

Don’t let the forecast keep you in. Any big snow (probably) won’t happen until after midnight…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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