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.



#BFF, Uh Oh, Estrogen Projection tonight; Clarence Tilton, GoodView Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 8:39 am March 1, 2024

Kim Darling’s “Unleashed” opens tonight at Ming Toy Gallery as part of #BFF.

by Tim McMahan,  Lazy-i.com

Before we get to the limited offerings of indie music this week, a quick reminder that it’s the first Friday of the month and that means Benson First Friday (#BFF) is in effect tonight up and down Maple Street. Check out art from local artists in venues throughout Benson, including at the Ming Toy Gallery, 6066 Maple St., where tonight we’ll be celebrating an opening and installation by artist Kim Darling called “Unleashed.”  The opening runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Come by and say hi!

As part of #BFF, a new gallery venue, called Floors Floors Floors at 7052 Maple St., is hosting five artists and two bands – Uh Oh and Estrogen Projection. This appears to be the old David’s Flooring place on the north side of Maple before you get into Benson proper driving east. Anyway, bands start at 8:30 and admission is free.

It’s also Bandcamp Friday, which means if you buy your music from Bandcamp today the website will waive its fees and pass all the cash to the artists. Do it!

Saturday night, Omaha’s alt country mavericks Clarence Tilton headlines at Slowdown Jr. Joining them is the elusive B.B. Sledge (“elusive” in that I keep missing these folks when they play). $15, 8 p.m. 

Also Saturday night, “Spacerock” trio GoodView celebrates their album release at fabulous O’Leaver’s. The band Wedding opens the show at 9 p.m. and this one also is absolutely free. 

Finally, The Sydney in Benson has Jeff in Leather Saturday night with Teetah and Ladie Muerte. $10, 9 p.m. 

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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Katy Kirby, Allegra Krieger, Owen Justice tonight at Reverb Lounge…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 8:34 am February 29, 2024

Katy Kirby plays tonigh at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan,  Lazy-i.com

Nashville indie singer/songwriter Katy Kirby could easily be bundled into that crowded talent pool that makes up Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records roster. Her quiet, introspective take on coffee-shop-comfortable indie folk carries an authenticity thanks to its relationship perspectives, a quality which has almost become an indie trope for singer/songwriters who currently dominate today’s college music. 

Her latest album, Blue Raspberry (2024, Anti-), is a “exegesis of Kirby’s first queer relationship,” according to the one-sheet. “Exegesis,” by the way, means critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture, according to Google. Yes, I looked it up, along with “vicissitude,” which was used in the Pitchfork review, as in “Blue Raspberry proves that Kirby is particularly dialed in on these vicissitudes of intimacy. With a little fine-tuning, she could transcend.” I’m still not sure what the writer meant, however, though she gave the record a 7.4 rating. 

Anyway, Katy Kirby plays tonight at Reverb Lounge. Joining her is New York singer/songwriter Allegra Krieger, whose fourth album, I Keep My feet on the Fragile Plane, is a collection of quiet acoustic reflections released by Double Double Whammy last year. Omaha singer/songwriter Owen Justice opens the show at 8 p.m. $18.

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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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Omaha Performing Arts responds to Duran Duran questions; new Vempire single…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 8:43 am February 28, 2024

Vempire’s Shake dual single.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I mentioned yesterday I’d let you know if Omaha Performing Arts (O-pa) responded to questions regarding the May 17 Duran Duran show at Steelhouse Omaha. 

Here’s what I sent O-pa:

A couple quick questions regarding the Duran Duran concert at Steelhouse. First, congrats on the instant sell-out! Someone with industry knowledge posted on social media that the concert was an “underplay” and that after such a quick sellout that Duran Duran will be coming back to Omaha soon. Any truth to that? 

The other speculation about the concert is that Duran Duran was brought in as a thank you to important donors and corporate sponsors on the one-year anniversary of the grand opening, which is why the club seating wasn’t available. Is that the case?

O-pa’s response:

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the congrats! We’re so excited to have pursued and booked Duran Duran to play our one-year anniversary concert. We only have this performance booked with Duran Duran and do not know their future tour plans or schedule. Club seating is not available for this concert because of a private party. 

Thanks for reaching out. 

Lee Turkovich,
Vice President of Marketing & Communication
Omaha Performing Arts

The “private party” comment is consistent with what they’ve posted on social media. Who is the “private party”? We may never officially know.

By the way, after-market (scalped) tickets to Duran Duran are going for $222 at Ticketmaster and as low as $187 at StubHub (not including fees). Yes, that’s more than twice the face value but still a bargain for seeing your bucket-list band at a (relatively) intimate venue. It’s certainly cheaper than driving to see them at the 6,500-capacity WinStar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

. 0 0 0 . 

Over the past couple summers I went ga-ga over Lincoln band Thirst Things First when they played at the annual Petfest Festival in Benson. Well, the TTF frontman Mike Elfers has another project called Vempire with Lindsey Yoneda (of the project Ghostlike). The duo released a new “Dual-Single” this past Valentine’s Day for the tracks “Shake” b/w “Blattodea,” mixed by Jeremy Wurst at B-24 Studios in Kansas City. The release also includes remixes by the likes of Christopher Steffen of StudioPH, Pawl Tisdale of Domestica (and Sideshow) and Minneapolis’ Toilet Rats. Check it out; it’s dance-y, it reminds me of The Faint and Icky Blossoms. Maybe these two could open for Duran Duran?

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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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Duran Duran sellout irritates some, mystifies others…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:02 pm February 27, 2024

Did you get tickets to the May 17 Duran Duran show at Steelhouse Omaha?

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A quiet weekend, except for the whole Duran Duran controversy…

Of course I’m talking about the instant sellout of the May 17 Duran Duran concert at Steelhouse Omaha.  Ticket sales had been announced weeks ago and fans prepared strategies to acquire these very limited-edition items when they went on sale last Friday morning. Only general admission floor/standing tickets were offered. The venue’s balcony/club seats were unavailable, no one was quite sure why, though lots of angry people who identified themselves as older women raged online that they didn’t want to stand for hours at their age. 

Anyway, as 10 a.m. rolled around an enormous online queue for tickets formed. Some fans accidentally waited in a “fanclub” queue, only to be asked for a presale fanclub code – oops, wrong queue, start over. 

Well, the tickets (of course) sold out immediately, leaving thousands of fans disappointed. Why was this concert being held at the smallish Steelhouse vs. the CHI arena, they asked. Anger flared! Conspiracies erupted! The Steelhouse and the Omaha Performing Arts (O-pa) folks have yet to officially comment on the reasons.

And then during the height of online frustration, someone who works in the industry posted an explanation on Facebook, saying the effort was an “underplay,” wherein Duran Duran asked to play a smaller venue like Steelhouse rather than an arena to “feel a closer connection to the audience.” The good news: The insider said that Duran Duran will be coming back to Omaha “sometime soon – especially now that there’s data that shows a sellout in minutes.”

If true, it’s EXCELLENT news for Duran Duran fans, though a second Duran Duran date has yet to be announced. 

There was an alternative theory as to why Duran Duran is playing the smallish Steelhouse. The speculation was that the band was brought in by O-pa and Live Nation (who exclusively books Steelhouse) specifically to play a thank you concert for large donors and corporate entities who made Steelhouse a reality. The concert would act as a one-year anniversary private party, but it was decided to also make the general admission standing-room area tickets available for everyone else as sort of an additional thank you gesture to Omaha in general.

Using Steelhouse for private concerts appears to be part of O-pa’s business plan. Late last year Steelhouse hosted a private birthday party for Susie Buffett that included performances by members of Tom Petty’s old band, which you likely didn’t know about as it wasn’t publicized. The Duran Duran concert could have gone down the same way. 

I’ve reached out to O-pa, asking about both theories. I’ll let you know if someone from the non-profit replies.

We live in a city filled with very wealthy people. You can thank Warren Buffett, who made a lot of folks very rich. And that’s a good thing; I only wish those super-rich folks could do even more for our city. Let’s face it, they’ve already done a lot. Consider the new library being built at 72nd and Dodge, or the Luminarium or the Baxter Arena – all have been at least partially funded by Heritage Omaha.

As for me, it’s hard to get upset about the Duran Duran sellout. I’ve always held them just slightly above Boy Band status, an act propelled to stardom on the wings of MTV. “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Rio,” “The Reflex,” fun, meaningless songs released 40 years ago. But for many, Duran Duran is a bucket-list band. And the fact that their favorite band is playing in their hometown – and they can’t get tickets – must sting (unless, of course, Duran Duran plays here again soon). 

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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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Che Arthur, Healer tonight; Virgin Mary Pistol Grip album release show, Porno for Pyros Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 8:53 am February 23, 2024

Virgin Mary Pistol Grip celebrates an album release Saturday night at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Onto the weekend…

On All Your Tomorrows Were Decided Today, an album originally released 20 years ago that was remastered and rereleased last year, Chicago’s Che Arthur boasts a static, ’90s DIY post-rock sound reminiscent of acts like Silkworm and Husker Du. Strangely, other than a new track release this year, it’s the only album on his Spotify page. Anyway, Che Arthur is playing tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s for a show in which our very own Healer is the headliner. Colin the Rocket Scientist opens at 9:30 p.m., and this one’s Free!

Somehow over the years I’ve managed to miss Virgin Mary Pistol Grip. I must have seen them at some point as they’ve been around for over a decade. After listening to a few tracks of their latest album, Just a Little More Love, I have to wonder what I’ve been missing. The four-piece celebrates the release of that album Saturday night at Reverb Lounge, an album recorded with LA producer Bob Marlette (Filter, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, among others). Dear Neighbor also is on the bill. Waiting for Parry opens at 8 p.m. $10

Meanwhile, out at the new Astro Theater in La Vista Saturday night, Perry Ferrell’s other band, Porno for Pyros, is playing a rescheduled date for their “Horns, Thorns En Halos Farewell Tour.” British trio Tigercub opens at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $49 to $69.

Also Saturday night, Garst headlines at The Slowdown with a slew of locals including Jack, Social Cinema and Bad Self Portraits. 8 p.m., $12.

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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Oh, Maha Music Festival, what has become of thee…? 

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , — @ 8:15 am February 22, 2024
The location where the Maha Music Festival was to be held in 2024…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Last Thursday morning, I (along with other donors) received an email from Maha Music Festival President T.J. Twit that announced the decision by the Maha Board to “pause the festival in 2024 in consideration of upholding the Maha brand experience and its future sustainability and scalability.”

Wait, what?

The decision was made, Twit wrote, because over the past few years “the worldwide festival industry has faced an unprecedented increase in costs for talent, transportation, labor, security and insurance.” In fact, he said, costs increased about 50%. The Board also considered Maha Festival’s “model and forecasted resources,” which sounded like a veiled reference to the fact that two of Maha’s primary organizers, Emily Cox and Rachel Grace, both resigned from Maha last September, just months after the Maha announced it was moving the festival from Stinson Park in Aksarben Village to the newly remodelled Heartland of America Riverfront Park in downtown Omaha.

The plan for ’24 was to bring in a contracted production company to operate Maha’s day-of-show production and festival operations . For, as Twit said in this November 2023 article, “We signed a contract with MECA and as of right now plan on having a two-day festival the last week of July (2024).” 

But after months of searching, the organization never settled on a production company, who knows why but one assumes overall cost had something to do with it. There also were questions regarding how the Maha organization could mobilize the 800 volunteers who helped put on the festival in 2023 – a year that saw the return of pre-pandemic-sized crowds, with 12,000 in attendance over the festival’s two days (but that’s still more than 2,000 short of the record attendance enjoyed in 2019).

Last year’s fest suffered its share of bumps, one brought on by the weather. At one point during the Saturday festivities, Stinson Park had to be evacuated due to storm warnings. The evacuation and the dreadful process of getting everyone back into the park ate into afternoon concession sales. That wasn’t the only hit — Maha didn’t host food vendors inside festival grounds last year, either, forcing concert-goers to leave the park if they wanted to get something to eat. 

Add those hits to the “unprecedented increase in costs” and money becomes a central concern, especially when you’re moving to a new location where some costs are uncertain. 

Maha wasn’t the only long-running festival to cancel in 2024. Memphis’ Beale Street Music Festival, Detroit’s Mo Pop Festival and Columbia Missouri’s Treeline Festival also were casualties, and NME has written about how a number of festivals in the UK have been cancelled or postponed due to not being “economically feasible.” That NME article points to continued escallating costs in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Twit said in his letter that “Maha’s Board of Directors will spend 2024 recalibrating and exploring options and opportunities for Maha Festival to return in 2025, including looking into national partnerships.” National partnership? What could that mean? Perhaps National sponsors? “The Maha Festival, brought to you by Pizza Hut?” Maybe… If so, be prepared for drastic changes in format. It would be a shame if Maha moved away from the recipe — and the kind of musical line-ups — that made it so unique.

Immediately after the announcement, a number of local “experts” took to social media and declared the end of the Maha Festival, saying 2023 will wind up being its last year. Many of those “experts” have railed against Maha since its debut, mainly because they don’t like or listen to indie music or because their personal favorites haven’t been booked. No doubt none of those naysayers ever bought a ticket to a Maha Festival before, anyway.

Still, beyond last week’s press release, Maha has yet to do anything to dispel the rumors (and their own post on Facebook is rife with critics making unchallened inaccurate comments). I guess they think silence is the best approach, after all, you have to assume they’ve retained many of the large corporate sponsors who signed on for 2024 and beyond. If they’re serious about 2025, Maha needs to continue communicating on social channels (and with the local media) about how things are progressing throughout this year for next year. At least share their plan and vision going forward.

Because there’s one festival we’re definitely going to be hearing about this summer — the Outlandia Music Festival. With its announcement last week of its Aug. 9-10 dates, people are getting excited to find out the lineup. Outlandia now stands alone when it comes to local college rock/indie music festivals. And for their third year, we all expect big things…. 

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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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Matthew Sweet; Yo La Tengo tonight at The Waiting Room…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , — @ 8:15 am February 19, 2024

Matthew Sweet at The Waiting Room, Feb. 17, 2024.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

If it wasn’t a sell-out, it was dang close, as The Waiting Room was crazy-packed Saturday night for Matthew Sweet. Just moving around in the crowd was a challenge – a crowd that consisted of people in their 40s and 50s (and older), big people, mostly dudes, many carrying two drinks at a time because they didn’t want to deal with the bar situation. I didn’t even try to get my usual Rolling Rock, knowing I would never get it in time.

Instead, with no clear path in sight, I pushed my way through the cushion-like mass of humanity toward my usual perch at stage left, only to find that the bar had set up a four-top table in that small niche on the other side of the bathrooms, making things that much more crowded. At the table, two post-middle-aged couples dressed as if attending an awards program chatted and laughed in what was probably a rare night out for them. They didn’t seem bothered that tall people stood right next to their table, blocking their view. 

Sweet and his band took the stage a little after 9 p.m. Wearing a Greek sailor’s hat and mustache, he looked like a younger version of George R.R. Martin, a guitar slung over his shoulder, with wee lead guitarist John Moremen to his right, Velvet Crush bassist Paul Chastain on his left, young guy Adrian Carter between them on acoustic guitar and legendary Bangles drummer Debbi Peterson glowing perched behind her drum set. 

With no fanfare they tore right into opening song “The Ugly Truth” and kept on playing the hits, mostly songs off Girlfriend and Altered Beast, with newer song “Pretty Please” from the Tomorrow Forever thrown in for good measure. Sweet was in great voice and the band was tight.

It was right after playing “Winona” that things took a bit of a turn. Sweet launched into what felt like a 20-minute story that covered everything from Valentine’s Day to his second career making cat art (bronzes, now paintings) to his new tattoo to his love for the film MIdsommer to ideas for his next album and on and on – a speech that seemed even longer for me having already heard most of it a few weeks earlier during our interview. Sweet knew he was going on too long because he said so a few times during the monologue while his band wandered about adjusting their instruments, this wasn’t the first time they’ve heard these stories, either. 

I like stage patter as much as the next guy, and even feel offended when a band rifles through a set without acknowledging the audience standing right in front of them, but this massively long monologue killed the momentum the band had built up to that point in the evening, and felt like it would never stop. 

But it finally did stop and the band tore right back into their performance with “Devil with the Green Eyes” and continued for seven or more songs, ending their set with favorite “Evangeline,” wherein Sweet closed the song standing alone on stage with his back to the audience creating feedback with his guitar and pedals. I could hear him start to explain what he was doing as I left the Waiting Room, missing an encore that no doubt included “Girlfriend” and “Sick of Myself,” which he’s been playing as encores throughout this mini tour. 

. 0 0 0 . 

The Waiting Room has another terrific show queued up tonight – Yo La Tengo. This show was rescheduled from last fall to allow Georgia Hubley to recover from knee surgery. Promoted as “An Evening with Yo La Tengo,” expect to hear two sets filled with songs from throughout their career followed by an encore. The band played 22 songs at their Fort Collins show this past Saturday (the set list is here).  Good thing there’s no opener. 8 p.m. start time and $35. How will it do on a Monday night? 

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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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

David Nance & Mowed Sound tonight (album reviews); Matthew Sweet Saturday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 8:33 am February 16, 2024
David Nance and Mosed sound play at their LP release party tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Ironically, the last band I saw in 2023 will be the first band I see in 2024. David Nance & Mowed Sound host their LP release show tonight at Reverb Lounge. The self-titled debut on Jack White’s Third Man Records came out two weeks ago. I mentioned the Pitchfork review already. But since then Allmusic, Paste and Spectrum Culture have also weighed in.

Allmusic gave the album a 4-star rating and concluded with: “It’s anyone’s guess if David Nance & Mowed Sound represents a new direction for the frontman or just a detour on the way back to wilder things, but if his goal was to show he had some cards up his sleeve we hadn’t seen before, he succeeds brilliantly.” 

Paste rated the album 8.0 – “The Nebraska musician’s latest shoulders rock music into new phenomena while remaining achingly indebted to its capacity for magic and freedom.”

Spectrum Culture gave the record a 79% rating (almost four stars) — “A surprisingly tight set of gently pan-fried country-tinged numbers from Omaha’s finest DIY rockers still contains plenty of good old American weirdness.”

High marks, almost “critical darling” territory. Heck even Matador Records co-founder Gerard Cosloy mentioned the record in on his Can’t Stop the Bleeding twitter account with this comment: “alright.  for the price of a lawn GA ticket to see Neil Young & Crazy Horse, you could instead purchase David Nance’s ‘Mowed Sound” AND Ryan Davis & The Roadhouse Band’s ‘Dancing On The Edge’ and you’d still have enough left over (for a downpayment on parking to see Neil Young)

My review? 

David Nance & Mowed Sound, self-titled (Third Man Records) – This is throttled down David Nance. Restraining his usually blewsy, rough-hewn psych/garage rock, brings forth a rootsy, folk rock style more interested in songcraft than in blowing your head off, and that’s not a bad thing. And while there’s a hint of twang, as Nance says this ain’t no country album, and it ain’t. This is an old-fashioned record that should be purchased on vinyl, enjoyed one side at a time, preferably on a sun-drenched weekend afternoon.  So yeah, I dig it. I’d dig it even more if he’d amped up these songs with harder riffs and longer solos, like in his good old days. Rating: Yes.

Maybe we’ll get the harder versions of these songs tonight at Reverb Lounge. Pagan Athletes opens at 8 p.m. $15. Methinks this one could sell out.

Tomorrow night, Matthew Sweet returns to the Waiting Room Stage. I wrote about Sweet and this show yesterday, if you missed it. Mobile, Alabama-based twangin’ singer/songwriter Abe Partridge opens at 8 p.m. $25.

And that is 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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Lazy-i Interview: The Return of Matthew Sweet @ The Waiting Room this Saturday…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: — @ 8:43 am February 15, 2024

Matthew Sweet plays at The Waiting Room Saturday night. Photo by Evan Carter.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

When people talk about successful bands from Omaha, they immediately think of Bright Eyes or (more likely) 311 – a band that moved to California just before they hit it big. But one of the most successful Nebraska musicians from the ’90s (and today) still lives right here in Omaha. 

Born and raised in Lincoln, Matthew Sweet had one of the biggest hits of the early ’90s with his gem-filled power-pop collection Girlfriend (1991, Zoo Records) that boasted infectious singles like the title track, “I’ve Been Waiting,” “Evangeline” and “Divine Intervention.” The album became an international indie favorite.

It would be followed by Alterer Beast in ’93, 100% Fun in ’95 and the critical obscurity Kimi Ga Suki in 2003. In his heyday, when he wasn’t touring Sweet lived in Los Angeles. 

But as he said in an interview last month, after 20 years in La La Land Sweet moved back to Nebraska — and Omaha — 10 years ago. In fact, I once bumped into him at a Thai restaurant in Aksarben Village, whispering to my wife over my Tom Ka Chicken, “Pssst… look over there, eating those noodles, it’s Matthew Sweet.”

“It’s amazing that there still are people who recognize me, because I feel like a relic of a bygone era,” Sweet said. “But hey, we’re going out touring again. I’m finally getting out after Covid, and it’s been a long time.”

Four years, to be precise. Sweet said a health issue made him very afraid to go out in public during the pandemic, not only for himself, but also knowing so many bands that announced tours only to cancel them when a band member came down with Covid. 

“And then over the last year, I’ve really gotten myself together on my health and solved some problems — some breathing things I had — that had made it a big danger for me getting Covid,” Sweet said.

His first performance outing was at the fabeled 30A Songwriters Festival in Florida in early January. 

“I was very, very freaked out and horrified to have to sing and play at all,” Sweet said, adding that he’d only performed a few times online during the pandemic years, “but not really in a venue with real mics and PA. I was able to play a whole hour-long set with the backup of a couple of friends, and my voice worked surprisingly well.”

For this mini-tour that includes the performance this Saturday, Feb. 17, at The Waiting Room, Sweet has pulled together a band that includes him on rhythm guitar, John Moremen (who played on 2017’s Tomorrow Forever album) on lead guitar, Paul Chastain of Velvet Crush on bass and drummer Debbi Peterson from The Bangles. 

“Debbie’s a good friend of mine from Los Angeles,” Sweet said. “She came out here in 2016 or 17 to play drums on Tomorrow Forever, and I’ve recorded the Bangles at my house in Los Angeles. She’s a really good drummer.” Since this interview, Adrian Carter has been added to the band on 6- and 12-string acoustic. 

Sweet said the show’s set list will consist mostly of fan favorites. “Honestly, I’ve never been the sort of artist who has to force new stuff on people, even when they want to hear other things,” he said. “It’s great to see the reaction from people hearing the songs they remember and care about.”

That said, Sweet just released a new album – Live in Grant Park Chicacgo July 1993. The 17-song collection includes favorites from Girlfriend, Altered Beast and 100% Fun, performed live backed by a band that included Richard Lloyd (Television) on lead guitar, Will Rigby (the dB’s) on drums and Tony Marsico (Cruzados) on bass. 

In addition, Sweet is in the early stages of writing his next album, which has a project title Midsommar, a name he “swiped” from one of his favorite recent movies. “I really like that title,” Sweet said. “I’m having the ideas for the songs musically. I’m having tons of lyric ideas and all of it’s starting to come kind of in advance of making the album.”

For Sweet, songwriting inspiration comes from every angle and every medium – film, art and music. When he isn’t making music, he can be found making art, including his lovable cat images that are taking the world by storm.

“I was never good when a label wanted (me to write) a single,” Sweet said. “If anything, as I’ve gotten older, I feel more like an artist because it helps me to think about what I do and who I am. It’s more about doing the art than about whether someone cares at this point. I turned 59 in the fall. I’m sort of at a place where I kind of feel like I can be doing my little things whether I’m making a living or not. And I think that’s what it means to be an artist.”

Matthew Sweet plays with Abe Partridge Feb. 17 at The Waiting Room. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $17 Adv./$25 DOS. 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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Travel alert: Waxahatchee, Nation of Language expand tour… past Nebraska…

Category: Blog — @ 1:47 pm February 13, 2024

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Tuesday is the hot day for announcing tours and shows and we’re having our share of Americana and country shows announced here in Omaha, but little to no indie. 

Case in point, modern post-punk act Nation of Language today announced an expanded 2024 tour that takes them just about everywhere, except Nebraska. Closest pass:

Apr 06 – Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI (w/ Beach Fossils)
Apr 07 – House of Blues, Chicago, IL (w/ Beach Fossils)
Apr 09 – The Pageant, St Louis, MO (w/ Beach Fossils)
Apr 10 – Liberty Hall, Lawrence, KS (w/ Beach Fossils)

Amazing indie standouts Waxahatchee also today announced an extended tour, that goes everywhere but here. Closest pass:

April 18 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater ^
April 19 – St. Paul, MN – Palace Theatre ^
April 20 – Chicago, IL – Salt Shed ^

Check out the new Waxahatchee track that also just dropped today:

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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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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