Sucettes120917
Sucettes at Pet Shop Gallery Dec. 9, 2017.

Welcome to Lazy-i, an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news.

The focus is on the indie music scene. Yes, there’s a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area, but Lazy-i also offers interviews, stories and reviews about national indie bands.

Most of the feature stories and columns in Lazy-i will have previously been published in The Reader, Omaha’s monthly alternative newspaper.



No Thanks, Red Kate, Mannequin Pussy, 38 Special tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 7:15 am September 17, 2021

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Mannequin Pussy headlines tonight at The Slowdown.

First weekend of shows since the pandemic where there are two great shows happening on the same night, forcing either decisions or a very long evening. And while that is yet another sign that we’re slowly getting back to “normal,” we’ve still got a long way to go.

Still…

Tonight at the undisputed home of Omaha punk rock — The Brothers Lounge — it’s the best post-punk act currently happening in the region: No Thanks. Check out this Alex Preston interview with the band in The Reader. They’re bringing along their Black Site Records label mates, KC’s Red Kate, who open at 10 p.m. No entry without proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 24 hours. This is the first no-vac/no-entry show I know of at Brothers, and if Brothers is doing it, everyone should be doing it. $7 at the door.

Meanwhile, down at The Slowdown, Philly punk band Mannequin Pussy headlines in the big room. Their new 5-song EP, Perfect, was released this year on Epitaph. Baltimore punk band Pinkshift opens. This also is a no-vax/no-entry event. 8 p.m. $20.

Which will it be? Well, considering the timing, it may be possible to catch both shows. That’s a lot of rock. And it ain’t all tonight.

If you’re planning on tooling over to Benson tonight, be prepared for Military Ave. to be closed as you drive through flocks of silver-haired dudes on their way to see 38 Special on the outdoor stage. They call this Waiting Room Outdoors, but it should be called Reverb Outdoors. Myron Elkins opens at 7:30 p.m. This is a $45 show. Gates at 6, so hold on loosely and don’t let go.

Also tonight, Josh Hoyer and the Soul Colossal play at The B Bar, 4330 Leavenworth. $10, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, just down the street at the Down Under, 3530 Leavenworth, it’s Jeremy Mercy and the the Rapture Orphans. 9:30, no price listed.

While over at The Sydney tonight, Chicago band Waltzer performs. No opener listed, but there will also be a drag show. 9 p.m., $10.

All that stuff happening tonight and ain’t a thing going on the rest of the weekend, at least not on my radar. 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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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NYC notes; Spoon, Nicole Atkins tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:47 pm September 9, 2021

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Looking south toward greater Manhattan from the north shore of the Jackie Onassis Reservoir, New York City.

Well I’m back from my annual trip to NYC. And, once again, I didn’t catch any music on this trip as there were only light calendars at the venues, likely due to Labor Day and Covid. There’s still plenty of shows planned for NYC, but there wasn’t when I was there.

So I’ll leave you with these three observations from a long weekend spent in Manhattan.

  1. In NYC, wearing a mask is ubiquitous. Whether in restaurants or bars or on the streets and subways, everyone wears a mask. NYC requires masks on mass transit and in most building, and wearing one is no big deal. Yes, there are a few “open-nosers” here and there. Few people wore masks in Central Park, however, and no one wore them while jogging (but why would you?). Didn’t see a single anti-mask crazy the whole weekend.

  2. NYC has implemented a proof-of-vaccination and/or proof-of-negative-Covid-test requirement to dine in restaurants and attend events, such as the U.S. Open, where I was. The requirement was no big deal — when we were asked, that is. The U.S. Open had queues where you merely flashed your card or your cell phone with a photo of your vax card — which was very lightly scrutinized. The closest look came at a weird ABBA event in Central Park, where you had to show your card and a second piece of ID. No restaurant asked for our vax cards, though we ate outside most of the time. Manhattan has transformed into a city of outdoor dining. Here’s hoping they keep those outdoor dining areas after Covid has passed.

  3. In the old days, you couldn’t go anywhere in Manhattan without smelling cigarette smoke. It was part of the city scent along with garbage and diesel fumes. These days you can’t go anywhere in Manhattan without smelling pot. It’s everywhere. A new ordinance that went into effect in March allows people to legally light up anywhere in NYC where smoking is allowed under the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act. That would seem to actually be rather limiting, but you wouldn’t know it by sniffing. It was odd watching a guy smoke a joint while trying to figure out the CitiBike kiosk across the street from where we were eating lunch. PS: I’m all for pot, though I don’t imbibe myself; I just can’t stand the smell of it. Skunkweed!


BTW, I did return from NYC with a nasty head cold. As a preventative measure, I got a rapid Covid test yesterday that came back negative. You can’t be too careful these days. Fact is, you’re more likely to get Covid in Nebraska than in New York.

> > >

Tonight it’s Spoon at The Slowdown, and as of this writing the show has yet to sell out, which is kind of a surprise. Tickets are $40, and you must have a vax card or proof of negative Covid test to get inside by decree of the band. It will be interesting to hear how that goes, though I don’t foresee any problems unless an anti-vax knucklehead shows up and wants to cause problems. Nicole Atkins opens 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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Elvis Costello in the park …

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 6:44 am August 30, 2021

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Elvis Costello at Memorial Park, Aug. 28, 2021.

Oh, what a lovely evening Saturday night for the Elvis Costello concert at Memorial Park, apparently brought to us by Susie Buffett as the “anonymous donor” who bankrolled the whole shebang.

While I didn’t arrive until 8:45 (and after Elvis began), I heard more than enough of the concert from my back yard just four or five blocks from the park — a cover band playing “I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night,” the boom-boom-boom of Wyclef Jean’s rhythm section, fading in and out with the southeast wind.

When I walked over the rise to the park’s bowl and the glowing stage along Dodge St., I was pleasantly surprised at how un-packed it was. Those who stayed away for fear of The Delta Variant needn’t worried. The breeze was so stiff and the people so spread out there was little chance of this becoming a super spreader event (sad how that the term has become part of our vocabulary).

As had been previously announced, The Attractions’ synth/keyboard player, Steve Nieve, was unable to get in-country for whatever reason and was replaced by Charlie Sexton on guitar. This personnel change would have an obvious effect on the evening’s performance, as much of Costello’s best songs are keyboard-dense (to say the least). So what we got instead was Elvis Costello and the Layabouts, a guitar-driven combo, and it wasn’t so bad.

Few artists depend more on their voice and their lyrics to carry their songs as EC. And for me, few things stand out as much on his recordings as Elvis’ crooning. And you had plenty of that Saturday night, for better or worse.

Look, it would be easy to complain about every little element of the concert without remembering that: 1) it was free, 2) it was held in an municipal park not designed for concerts, 3) most people were there to see the fireworks and had no idea who EC is and could care less that: 1) Elvis was off pitch on about half the songs, 2) the mix was less than stellar, 3) the set list contained a too many wonky country songs.

I’ve never seen Costello live, though I’ve seen a couple of his live performances on TV and didn’t expect much. All I wanted was the hits, which we got, plus some personal favorites — he did “Uncomplicated” off Blood and Chocolate, for example, which is one of my all-timers.

I also wanted some storytelling — having seen Elvis on the chat shows, I knew he could spin quite a yarn. And we got a few of those, though they sounded a bit tread-worn and forced. But what did you expect? Heartfelt confessions while children were running around swinging plastic light sabers and endless groups of pre-teen girls trotted up and down the grass alleyways giggling? Elvis did just enough to get by.

Halfway into the set I walked down to the bottom of the bowl to see how close I could get to the stage and was surprised at the access — unlike any past Memorial Park concert I can remember. I was close enough that I could have hit Sexton with a bottle had I wanted to. The folks surrounding me down there couldn’t have been more chill and into the concert.

The show ended with an extended version of “What’s So Funny…” an appropriate finale considering everything going on in Afghanistan. And then Mayor Stothert did the countdown and we all craned our heads back for 20 minutes and watched the fireworks.

I had a good time, anyway.

Elvis Costello performing at Memorial Park, Aug. 28, 2021.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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And How, Clarence Tilton tonight; Elvis Costello in the Park Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:11 pm August 27, 2021

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Elvis Costello plays Saturday in Memorial Park.

And so, the weekend. 

Two shows on the radar tonight…

Omaha indie ensemble And How headlines a very crowded bill tonight at The Sydney in Benson. The band always puts on a great show and is one of Omaha’s hottest bands on the verge of… something. Joining them is Lawrence (by way of Ashville, NC) four-piece folk-gaze band Blanky, whose latest, No Summertime, was recorded at Lakehouse in Ashbury Park and released last fall. Omaha hip-hop artist Dex Arbor opens at 9 p.m. No price listed for this show but it’s probably around $10. 

Also tonight, Omaha alt-country phenoms Clarence Tilton headlines at Slowdown Jr. with Farewell Transmission and Watson & Co. 8 p.m., $10.

Tomorrow it’s the big Memorial Park concert extravaganza featuring Elvis Costello and Wyclef Jean. Cover band The Firm kicks it off at 6 p.m. followed by Wyclef then Elvis, with fireworks at 10 p.m. In addition, KPAO public television will be showing local band videos between sets on the the big screens. The city recommends wearing masks, even outside.

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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Review: Indigo De Souza, Any Shape You Take (Saddle Creek Records)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:33 pm August 25, 2021

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Indigo De Souza, Any Shape You Take (2021, Saddle Creek)

I gave up a long time ago trying to understand the strategy behind Saddle Creek Records’ roster decisions. Mad genius? Shot in the dark? Take your pick. Let’s look at the breakdown:

Many are those of the art/noise set who applauded the release of Spirit of the Beehive’s Entertainment.Death — a recording I equate to watching a fine arthouse film that you can admire while seated in the dark but will likely never see again, unless you’re stoned (which I’ve never been). Young Jesus, another recent addition, falls along the same category. Both acts are hugely popular with critics, but I wonder how well they sell (or get played on streaming services, which these days is the mark of success).

Then there’s the cadre of forlorn singer/songwriter projects like Tomberlin, Black Belt Eagle Scout and Hand Habits. Meg Duffy of HH is a major talent and I love her work. But, man, you have to be in the right mood for it. 

Then there’s the more accessible indie-rock staples on the roster — Hop Along, Stef Chura, Disq. These are the most predictable and the most enjoyable. Hop Along and Francis Quinland get their share of Sirius XMU plays; and Disq was my choice for a Saddle Creek breakout band. While I love Disq’s latest album, it’s hardly broken through in a way that, say, Big Thief has (and who is now long gone from Saddle Creek).

This is a long pre-amble to say that Indigo De Souza doesn’t fall into any of these categories, and yet, her new album, Any Shape You Take, is my favorite Saddle Creek release in the past few years. Ten songs, 38 minutes, not a dud in the bunch. Built on a framework of traditional modern indie pop, De Souza in some ways is old school in that she knows how to write a great hook, how to drop in a tasty power chord, where to bring in the rest of the band in a way that makes you look up from whatever you’re doing and PAY ATTENTION. 

The one-sheet that came with the record describes the daughter of musicians and her constant struggle to find her voice as she goes through painful relationships, and so on. These are songs about misplaced devotion and insecurity taken to a familiar level. You may be finding your own way, Indigo, but we’ve all been there. We’ve heard it before, but rarely as honestly or brutally straight-forward. 

Favorite tracks include “Darker than Death” “Die/Cry” and “Pretty Pictures” — pop nuggets that come in at 3 minutes or less. In fact, no song exceeds five minutes, including the closing masterpiece, “Kill Me,” that should have been the first track (instead of the auto-tune-heavy “17,” my least favorite of the bunch). Despite the heavy themes, this is a pop album and it, indeed, rocks, setting it apart from the cadre of depressing women singer/songwriters dominating indie these days like Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus. 

De Souza is backed by a great band with a great rhythm section, though the materials presented with the one-sheet don’t list the personnel and only says “While her backing band has undergone shifts between releases, her sound has stayed tethered to her vision.” So, who knows who will be backing her when she plays at Slowdown in October?

It does say Indigo produced the album herself, teaming up with executive producer Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Waxahatchee, The War on Drugs) and engineers/producers Alex Farrar and Adam McDaniel. The production is quite stellar. Rating: Yes.

Indigo De Souza, Any Shape You Take, comes out Aug. 27 on Saddle Creek Records. Pre-order the album 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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Proof of vaccine mandates (in the column) includes Spoon Sept. 8; Pixies cancel; new Megan Siebe, Brad Hoshaw…

Category: Blog — @ 12:39 pm August 23, 2021
Megan Siebe dropped the first single from her upcoming LP.

By Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Though the article won’t be published until September, due to the ever-changing nature of what’s happening with COVID/Delta, my column already has been published at The Reader website. It includes statements from The Slowdown, One Percent Productions and touring Philly act Grocer on proof-of-vaccine requirements to enter clubs for shows. You can read the article here.

Since it was published last week, the ground already has started to shift. According to the Des Moines Register, as a result of Iowa’s law against proof of vaccination, Spoon cancelled its show at Hoyt Sherman Place and moved it to Slowdown Sept. 9. Entry requires proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test 48 hours prior to entry.

With 1% and Slowdown saying they’ll support these kinds of artist requests, I suspect you’ll see more vaccine-mandated shows popping up. Go to The Slowdown website and you’ll notice that the requirement is in place for Mannequin Pussy Sept. 17, Lightning Bolt Sept. 21, City and Colour Sept. 26, Indigo De Souza Oct. 2, and so on.

Meanwhile, the Sept. 16 Pixies show that was to be held outdoors outside of The Waiting Room has been cancelled due to Pixies canceling their tour. And everyone is wondering if this Saturday’s Elvis Costello concert (and fireworks extravaganza) in Memorial Park is still happening. No indication yet that it’ll be cancelled, but since it is a free event, anything could happen.

. ) ) ) .

Singer/songwriter/cellist Megan Siebe has a new record coming out called Swaying Steady on Grapefruit Records Aug. 27 (preorder here) You may know her from her work with Cursive, David Nance and Simon Joyner. The latest song from the album, “Whispers,” dropped under all our noses last week.

Also with new music, former Omahan now Californian Brad Hoshaw dropped the first single from his upcoming album, Living on a Sliver, which is slated for release Oct. 22. The track “Spun Out & On the Run” is a bouncing indie rocker. Check it out below.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Grocer at Reverb Lounge…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:27 pm August 18, 2021

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Philadelphia indie band Grocer at Reverb Lounge, Aug. 17, 2021.

I dropped in for last night’s set by Philly band Grocer at Reverb Lounge, where I also conducted a quick interview with the band about proof-of-vaccine mandates, comments from which will appear in the September issue of The Reader. Needless to say, they support them, but what reasonable band wouldn’t?

Anyway, the four-piece came on at around 8:45 to a good-sized crowd for a Tuesday night (around 40?). Many in the young audience wore masks while they bounced around to Grocer’s thick-beat post-punk. That beat was created by bassist Danielle Lovier, who shared the lead vocals with drummer Cody Nelson and guitarist Nick Ryan.

Their style very much was in the early Pixies tradition, angular and cool riding high on the bass line and backbeat drums, while guitarist Emily Daly shredded feedback-drenched leads run through a muffled effects pedal, which at times was drowned out by the rest of the band (i.e., I would have loved more of her in the mix).

I dig their new EP, Delete If Not Allowed, and we got a good helping of it last night, including a fiery version of lead track “Better Now.” Other highlights included songs from the band’s debut LP, including “The Party Song” and an acidic version of “Don’t Touch Me” (Who are you singing about, Danielle?).

Side note: Closing band Bad Self Portraits’ drummer handled the vocals last night as apparently frontwoman Ingrid Howell suffered an appendicitis prior to the gig. You know what they say: The show must go on…

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Soundman Dan Brennan to leave Slowdown; Grocer, Cat Piss tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:51 pm August 17, 2021

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Philly indie band Grocer plays tonight at Reverb Lounge.

I woke up to shocking news that sound engineer Dan Brennan is leaving Slowdown for a production manager position with Omaha Performing Arts. Brennan has been a part of Slowdown since the club opened 14 years ago and has galvanized the venue’s reputation as one of the best sounding live rooms in Omaha.

Could this move have something to do with the construction of OPA’s new 3,000-capacity Steelhouse Omaha live music venue slated to open downtown in mid-2023? It’s rumored that Live Nation will be booking bands coming through Steelhouse, which could have a real impact on Slowdown and the new Admiral (formerly Sokol Auditorium). We shall see..

Dan will be leaving the Slowdown control board duties in the able hands of Charlie Ames, who’s work history includes Front of House sound at The Jewell, and who is also quite familiar with Slowdown’s sound system having worked there in the past.

We’re gonna miss you Dan. Charlie, you’re up!

. ( ( ( .

Philly indie band Grocer headlines tonight at Reverb Lounge. Their latest EP, Delete If Not Allowed, was released in May and recorded during the lock-down, and is quite a leap from their last full-length. The band has an edgy, throbbing punk sound reminiscent of early Pixies. Check it.


Also on the bill is local noise rock trio Cat Piss and the indie pop fun of Bad Self Portraits. $10, 8 p.m. start time.


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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Petfest (Magū, Those Far Out Arrows) and later that night (Bad Bad Men)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:53 pm August 16, 2021
Lawn chairs and rock ‘n’ roll at Petfest 2021.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If there was any concern about the Delta variant, it wasn’t apparent at Petfest last Saturday. There were maybe two people in the crowd of 40 or so wearing masks. And while that may shock some, it was no concern to me. I got the feeling the people surrounding me were not of the dumb-rube-Republican-conspiracy-tin-hat-wearing-numbskull variety (Tell us, Tim, what you really think of non-vaxxers…). And we were all outside, and for the most part, “distanced” from each other.

As someone who has been to a half-dozen South by Southwest festivals, I can tell you that Saturday’s Petfest was about as close as you’re going to get to what it’s like at a SXSW “day show” without taking a trip to Austin. Two differences: 1) No one was giving out free Lone Star beers and/or breakfast burritos, and 2) the sound quality at Petfest was far superior than the usual high-school-auditorium PA sound system used at SXSW (oh what those poor musicians put up with).

Ian Aeillo, a mad-genius audio engineer with bat-like ears that can hear frontwards, backwards and sideways, had the ol’ Barley Street white-rock parking lot sounding like LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, pushing sound from both stages simultaneously, it was like sitting in your parents’ 1970s basement listening to a Pink Floyd quadraphonic recording, but with indie bands.

As I said last Friday, this fest brought together the finest collection of local musical talent I’ve seen assembled at one concert in Omaha since, well, last year’s Petfest. Whoever the tastemaker was that booked this gig really knows his or her stuff.

Anna McClellan at Petfest, Aug. 14, 2021.

I came in right when things kicked off at 2 p.m. with Anna McClellan and her band. McClellan is a unique artist both musically and lyrically — she’s warm and lonely and sardonic all at the same time. The slightly off-kilter wonkiness of her vocal delivery only gives her songs more authenticity (to me, anyway). Every one of her performances is memorable, and it was a great way to kick off the day.

Magū at Petfest, Aug. 14, 2021.

Following Anna in the smaller garage stage was the most surprising set of the day. I’ve written passingly about Magū before (a few years ago, regarding one of their releases), but I’ve never seen them live. What to make of a five-piece that prominently includes a tenor sax front-and-center? There’s not much info about the band online (like who’s in the band?). Stylistically they describe themselves as psych rock / shoe gaze, but I’d peg them as modern indie with touches of classic rock. I loved the sax player’s tone and style, which merely augmented the songs and didn’t get in the way.

And then there was the woman keyboard player who sang leads on one song and knocked everyone on their asses. They’re quite an ensemble, which has been sitting right under my nose for years. When are they playing next?

Lightning Stills at Petfest, Aug. 14, 2021.

Magū were followed by Omaha super group Lightning Stills and the Midtown Ramblers (the “Ramblers” part was new to me). Lightning Stills is the countrified alter ego of (former?) punker Craig Fort. He’s surrounded himself with some of the area’s finest ax men, including pedal-steel player Mike Friedman, lead guitarist Tom May, and bassist Danny Maxwell.

I’m told this was the band’s first live gig but you wouldn’t know it by how well they played on these alcohol-drenched tales of personal excess and woe. Hard liquor and twang are a recipe as old as country music itself, and even has its own local iteration in the form of Filter Kings (Hard to beat that band’s “Hundred Proof Man” for pure booze romanticism). The Ramblers do it well, especially when they get into a groove and the players are allowed stretch out on these four-chord-powered jams.

Vocally, you can tell this was Mr. Fort’s first rodeo. Unlike punk, which thrives entirely on angst and energy, you will not get a pass on the vox — ever notice even the slightest waver and/or off-kilter moment when you listen to Waylon or Merle or Jerry Jeff? That’s just part of the deal, and it’s something that Fort will nail down over time.

Mike Schlesinger at Petfest, Aug. 14, 2021.

Speaking of vocals, there are few better voices than Mike Schlesinger — around these parts or anywhere. Mike played a short set alone with his acoustic guitar that managed to hush a parking lot full of drinking revelers who leaned in on every note. Schlesinger closed with “Coolie Trade,” one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. Gotta wonder what would happen if the right “industry people” ever discovered this mega talent.

Those Far Out Arrows at Petfest, Aug. 14, 2021.

Next was the first of a two-set day for Those Far Out Arrows. I’ve written about these guys so many times you’re tired of hearing it — they are at the forefront of Omaha’s garage-rock scene, true disciples of that classic ‘60s psych-rock sound epitomized by bands like Them, The Animals and the Kinks.

Two moments summed up their set for me, both took place while playing their A-side single, “Snake in my Basement.” First, I noticed across the parking lot in an adjacent garage covered with No Trespassing signs this rough, older dude working on his car who looked like the dad from Orange County Choppers. He set down his wrench, leaned back in the shadow of the doorway, watched and listened, nodding his head. Second thing — a little boy no more than 5 years old sat cross-legged in the middle of the parking lot and sang along with chorus.

As a band, what more do you want?

I wanted to put earmuffs on the little dude and his sister when the band tore into “Hell Yeah (MF)” from their Part Time Lizards album, with the repeated chorus, “Hell yeah, mother f***er, hell yeah!

MiWi La Lupa (right) at Petfest, Aug. 14, 2021.

The last performer I caught at the fest was MiWi La Lupa accompanied by guitarist Cubby Phillips. The two played a solid set that underscored why MiWi is recognized as one of the area’s better singer/songwriters.

And that was the end of my Petfest experience, though there was a ton more left that afternoon and evening. The whole day felt like being at someone’s very cool block party. I foresee a day when Omaha hosts a SXSW-style festival in which it invites bands from all over the country to play in venues throughout Benson. And when that day comes, Petshop Gallery and BFF will host a day party, and it’ll be something like this.

I was back in Benson later that night for Bad Bad Men and Those Far Out Arrows at Reverb Lounge. I’ve only been to a couple of shows at the new, improved Reverb, and Saturday’s was the most populated. Again, only the bartenders wore masks despite the Delta variant growing in the community.

Bad Bad Men at Reverb Lounge Aug. 14, 2021.

The super-group power trio of Bad Bad Men is fronted by Omaha rock legend John Wolf, with drummer Chris Siebken and bass player Jerry Hug. When it comes to rock ‘n’ roll these dudes are indeed bad, bad men. Their music rides on Wolf’s heavy metal riffage and is powered by that dynamic rhythm section that recalls a filthy, grinding punk rock heard back in Omaha in the ’90s by acts like Ritual Device and Wolf’s own Cellophane Ceiling. It’s dark and fun, with Wolf growling out the lead vocals and stretching out on blistering guitar leads. Their best set yet.

Those Far Out Arrows at Reverb Lounge Aug. 14, 2021.

The night was closed out by another performance from Those Far Out Arrows. They only played something like four songs at Petfest (everyone at the festival played shortened sets). They added another four of so for this evening gig. My only additional note is a tip of the hat to the band’s bass player, Derek LeVasseur, who makes everything they do up there possible alongside drummer Brian Richardson. You can’t make these songs keep chugging along without those guys.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Petfest is Saturday (Anna McClellan, Those Far Out Arrows, And How, more); Salsa Chest, Thick Paint Friday; Bad Bad Men Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 7:15 am August 13, 2021

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

And How at Petfest 2020. The band performs again at Petfest 2021 Saturday.

Petfest is, hands down, the best collection of Nebraska bands to perform on one bill this year. And it takes place this Saturday at Petshop in Benson.

The event is a fundraiser for Benson First Friday (BFF), and features art as well as music (and beer). If you’re worried about the Delta variant, Petfest is hosted outdoors and has a mask requirement.

I went last year during the height of the the COVID-19 pandemic and saw their safety protocols firsthand, so I have no concerns about attending again this year. That said, you do what you do. The only thing that would make this gig safer is if they required proof of vaccination for entry (come on, Omaha venues, let’s make it happen).

The event takes place in the parking lot behind the Petfest building at 2725 No. 62nd St. Last year bands performed both outside and on the edge of the indoor space (the garage), essentially playing outside as well. Tickets are $20 today, $25 tomorrow.

The schedule:

Outside Stage:
2:00-2:20 – Anna McClellan
2:50-3:10 – Lightning Stills
3:40-4:00 – Those Far Out Arrows
4:30-4:50 – McCarthy Trenching
5:20-5:40 – Thick Paint
6:10-6:30 – Her Flyaway Manner
7:00-7:25 – Oqoua
8:05-8:35 – And How
9:15-9:45 – All Young Girls Are Machine Guns

Inside Stage:
2:25-2:45 – Magu
3:15-3:35 – Mike Schlesinger
4:05-4:25 – Miwi La Lupa
4:55-5:15 – Teetah
5:45-6:05 – CHEW
6:35-6:55 – Moon Pussy
7:30-8:00 – Benny Leather
8:40-9:10 – Ghost Foot
9:50-10:20 – Leafblower
10:45-11:15 – Universe Contest
11:30-Whenever – Crab Vs Kobra

More info at the event’s Facebook page.

Petshop actually gets things rolling tonight with a super-hot bill to be held partially outside (in the same space as Petfest). Atlanta experimental artist Salsa Chest (Joyful Noise/Gray Area Cassettes), whose latest was produced by Thick Paint’s Graham Ulicny, is on the bill with Thick Paint, Double Consciousness and headliner Mesonjixx. 8:30, $7.

AND

If you miss Those Far Out Arrows at Petfest during the day Saturday, you can also catch them at Reverb Lounge Saturday night, where they’re playing with The Darma Rose and Bad Bad Men — the supergroup featuring legendary punker John Wolf fronting a power trio rounded out by drummer Chris Siebken and bass player Jerry Hug. $8. 9 p.m.

One last show of note this weekend – Lincoln singer/songwriter Andrea von Kampen (Fantasy Records) has an album release show Saturday night at The Slowdown with Molly Parden. 8 p.m. $20.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. See you at Petfest.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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