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.



One Omaha Festival weekend, Night Moves, Whippets tonight; Wedding (the band) Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 8:56 am June 14, 2024
Night Moves at Reverb Oct. 4, 2022. The band plays tonight at The Waiting Room as part of One Omaha Festival.

by Tim McMahan,  Lazy-i.com

I’ve been trying to get my arms around the One Omaha Festival, which kicked off last night at a number of downtown Omaha locations, including the Capitol District Plaza. The festival is a conglomeration of mostly local artists from different genres, with about 10 national acts thrown into the mix.

Among them is the band Night Moves, who is listed as the headliner for the festival’s programming tonight at The Waiting Room. The Minneapolis band, whose last EP was released on Domino Records, played Reverb Lounge in the fall of 2022 (and before that, at The Waiting Room waaay back in 2013). They even did a Ten Questions interview in 2022, which you can read here. Their sound reminded me of bands like Ambrosia, Gary Wright, 10cc and Jackson Browne – FM ’70s soft rock made for slow dancing. Kevin McClure Band, Jocelyn and Public Figure open for Night Moves tonight (Friday) at The Waiting Room starting at 6:30. 

Access to the show is part of a $30 Friday-only festival package that also gets you into Reverb, The B. Bar, Shakedown Street and the Benson Market Stage, which I assume is the outdoor stage on Military Ave. as well as Bullmoose and Secret Park – two bars I’m unfamiliar with. 

The One Omaha Festival concludes Saturday night in Benson with shows at The Waiting Room, Reverb, Shakedown Street, The Sydney and the Benson Market Stage. Omaha Latin-punk mavericks Las Cruxes headlines the Sydney bill. Tickets for Saturday’s festival events are $44.  Tickets are available online here.  

The festival is being produced by Hook n Sync, who has a website but the best place to to find festival schedules is on the Hook n Sync Facebook page

. 0 0 0 . 

You may have noticed The Sydney isn’t part of tonight’s One Omaha festivities. That’s because Madison, Wisconsin post-punk band Whippets are headlining there tonight (Friday). Whippets frontman Bobby Hussy, formerly of The Hussy, was a staple of the Omaha/O’Leaver’s post-punk scene back in the day. Hussy now runs No Coast Records, who released Whippets debut EP in 2022.  Also on tonight’s bill are The Poly Mall Cops, Cupholder and Cat Piss (or so it says on The Sydney’s website). $12, 9 p.m. (but probably starts at 10).

And finally…

The band Wedding, who plays at fabulous O’Leaver’s Saturday night, is a newish local project by singer/songwriter/artist Anne Schulte. The band released a 5-song EP in 2022 called Dream Car, which you can find on Spotify along with 2023 single “Bright as a Star,” which was recorded with Nate Van Fleet, Ben Brodin and Michael Frederickson – dreamy. Tom Bartolomei and Trey Moody open this free show at 8 p.m. 

And that’s all I got. With the College World Series going strong, I’ll be doing my level best to stay out of downtown this weekend… or for the next two weeks! That sound you hear as you pass The Slowdown on the way to the stadium is the warm buzz of the venue’s money-counting machines as they bring in their annual harvest…

If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend!

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

The Mars Volta tonight; upcoming touring indie shows (the calendar)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 8:54 am June 10, 2024
The Mars Volta play tonight at The Admiral Theater.

by Tim McMahan,  Lazy-i.com

No shows for me over the weekend. In planning, I did my usual calendar review. Dance Me Pregnant’s Friday night gig at The Sydney was not listed on the Sydney’s online calendar or on The Sydney’s FB calendar. I found out too late (from a member of the band) and missed that show! Ah, next time, dudes. 

But that’s the science behind these calendars – I’m at the mercy of the promoters and venues to list their shows on their websites, though I can still sometimes find out directly. At last count, there are at least three or four websites and blogs that have show calendars. My go-to beyond Facebook is MarQ Manner’s Omaha Buzz, which has an intense calendar focus. 

The difference between Lazy-i and these other calendars is Lazy-i is curated exclusively toward indie music, both in its previews and reviews.

Anyway, it’s time for that look ahead at the touring indie rock calendar, which is extremely thin for the month of June (partially due to the College Word Series?). It’s not that indie bands aren’t touring, either (check out the First Avenue calendar, for instance – if I lived in Minneapolis, I’d very likely be broke due to all the shows they book). 

Two Omaha shows stand out this week. Tonight, The Mars Volta headlines at The Admiral. For you young folk, The Mars Volta was formed in the early 2000s by Omar and Cedric of the El Paso post-hardcore band At the Drive-In – a band that had a big impact in the late ’90s peaking in 2000 with the release of the epic Relationship of Command (They played a crazy show at Sokol Underground back in the day). 

The Mars Volta is more of a prog/experimental band that never captured the same frantic/chaotic energy of AtD-I nor really escaped its shadow, though they seem to have eclipsed it as far as record sales, thanks to a shift toward more commercial alt rock. 

Opening tonight’s show at The Admiral is sometimes Omar collaborator Teri Gender Bender. $55, 8 p.m. 

The other show of note this week is Night Moves at The Waiting Room Friday night, but that performance is part of the One Omaha Festival. I’d like to see this band, but I’m not interested in the rest of the festival line-up, so what to do?

Here’s are the other touring indie show dates on my radar. Things get better in July. Please plan accordingly: 

  • June 10 – The Mars Volta at The Admiral
  • June 14 – Night Moves at The Waiting Room (One Omaha Fest)
  • June 15 – Wedding at O’Leaver’s
  • June 20 – Aquarian Blood @ Grapefruit Records
  • June 25 – French Cassettes @ The Slowdown
  • July 7 – X @ The Waiting Room
  • July 8 – The Baseball Project @ The Waiting Room
  • June 14 – Whippets @ The Sydney
  • July 15 – Etran de L’Air @ The Waiting Room
  • July 19-20 – Grrrl Camp @ Falconwood
  • July 31 – SNÕÕPER @ Reverb
  • Aug. 3 – Orville Peck @ The Admiral
  • Aug. 3 – Shiner @ Reverb
  • Aug. 7 – Cults @ The Waiting Room
  • Aug. 9-10 – Outlandia Music Festival @ Falconwood
  • Aug. 15 – PACKS @ The Slowdown
  • Sept. 12 – Soft Kill @ The Slowdown
  • Sept. 21 – Built to Spill @ The Waiting Room
  • Sept. 24 – Why? @ The Slowdown
  • Sept. 25 – Descendents @ The Admiral
  • Oct. 1 – Jungle @ The Astro
  • Oct. 4 – Brigitte Calls Me Baby @ Reverb
  • Oct. 4 – Turnover @ The Slowdown
  • Oct. 5 – Fontaines D.C. @ The Slowdown
  • Oct. 17 – Superchunk @ The Waiting Room
  • Oct. 18-19 – Cursive @ The Waiting Room
  • Oct. 26 – Porches @ Reverb

Am I missing something? Let me know…

* * *

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

#BFF, Zepparella, Bad Bad Men tonight; Lucinda Williams, The Crane Wives Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 9:11 am June 7, 2024
Zepparella at The Waiting Room, July 8, 2014. The band returns to The Waiting Room tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

First things first — it’s the first Friday of the month, which means tonight is Benson First Friday (#BFF). That’s the night when galleries and businesses up and down Maple Street support local art through art openings and showings. Among them is our very own Ming Toy Gallery, 6066 Maple St., which is celebrating the opening of William Holland’s “Linear” ink and watercolor works. The opening runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Drop by and say hi.

The only other show of note tonight is the return of Zepparella to The Waiting Room. The four-woman band plays Led Zeppelin songs as only they can. Opening the show is indie-punk power trio Bad Bad Men (Wolf, Siebken, Hug). $22, 8 p.m. 

Saturday night has a couple non-indie shows around town. LA fuzz-pop band Alyeska plays at The Waiting Room with Virgin Mary Pistol Grip. $20, 7:30 p.m. Ska pioneers Burning Spear are playing at The Admiral with Kabaka Pyramid; $65, 7 p.m. 

Sunday night rootsy singing-songwriting superstar Lucinda Williams headlines at The Admiral. It’s being marketed as “An Evening with…” and all tickets are reserved seats. Prices range from $54 to $99. Show starts at 8 p.m. 

Also Sunday night, Grand Rapids indie folk band The Crane Wives headlines at The Slowdown. They’re supporting the pre-release of their next album, Beyond Beyond Beyond, out Sept. 6. Hannah Laine opens this main room show at 8 p.m. $25.

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

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

New Cursive, new label (Run for Cover), new video, new Omaha dates…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 9:26 am June 5, 2024
Cursive circa 2024 – the band has ballooned to a 7-piece! Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

by Tim McMahan,  Lazy-i.com

It’s been awhile since we heard from Cursive. Their last album was 2019’s Get Fixed, released on their very own 15 Passenger Records label. Then, out of the blue yesterday, stories began popping up on the usual indie rags (Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, Under the Radar, Treble, etc.) announcing Cursive will be releasing their new album, Devourer, Sept. 13 on long-running indie label Run for Cover Records.

Boston’s Run for Cover has been around since 2004 when it was founded by then 17-year-old Jeff Casazza, whose early releases included LPs by Tigers Jaw and The Wonder Years, among others. These days, Run for Cover’s roster includes such indie heavy-hitters as Horse Jumper of Love, Runnner, Young Guv, Sun June and Rival Schools, with past artists including Alex G, Pinegrove, Nothing and Pity Sex. 

It’s a curious move to go from your own, sort-of established record label to another mid-sized label, especially when Cursive’s original mid-sized label, Saddle Creek Records, likely would have welcomed them back with open arms, but I’m sure there’s lots more to that story… 

After a prolific few years of new signings (Feeble Little Horse, Palm, Indigo De Souza), Saddle Creek has slowed its output, having only released a handful of singles this year along a new LP by Young Jesus and reissues of The Faint’s Doom Abuse and a couple old Land of Talk EPs. Who’s handling A&R at Saddle Creek after Amber Carew left the label in May 2022?

Ah, but I digress from the topic at hand…

According to the Stereogum article, most of which was likely taken from a press release (which I didn’t receive – COME ON, CURSIVE!), the 13 tracks on Devourer were culled from 69 (?) songs written by Cursive frontman Tim Kasher for the album. Kasher said the album’s title has to do with his “devouring” of art, music, film and literature, which he then digests, followed by outputting his own unique version, which isn’t the most flattering metaphor for what we’ll be hearing on the new album.

Actually, we got the first scent of Kasher’s creative excretions yesterday when the band/label released the video for the first single, “Up and Away,” directed by Brea Grant, a veteran director who’s appeared on episodes of Friday Night Lights and Dexter, and directed 2022’s 12 Hour Shift, according to IMDB. Check out the video below. 

According to Northern Transmissions, the band now weighs in at a hefty 7 members. “We seem to be collecting band members over the years,” Kasher said in the article. Beyond the core trio of Kasher, bassist Matt Maginn, and guitarist/vocalist Ted Stevens, the band includes keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Newbery; cellist Megan Siebe; and recording/touring drummer Pat Oakes and founding drummer Clint Schnase.

But maybe the biggest news of all is that Cursive will launch its 2024 U.S. tour right here in Omaha with two dates at The Waiting Room Oct. 18 (with Little Brazil) and 19 (with Criteria). Also on the bill both nights will be Cursive tourmates Gladie, a Philly 5-piece whose last release was 2023’s Purple Year EP (Plum Records). 

* * *

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

Cloud Nothings, Idle Ray tonight at Reverb Lounge…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 11:57 am June 4, 2024
Cloud Nothings at The Waiting Room, Nov. 13, 2018. The band plays tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan,  Lazy-i.com

Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings, who headlines tonight at Reverb Lounge, is the product of singer/songwriter Dylan Baldi, who started the band as a solo project in 2009 while at Case Western Reserve University. What began as a lark became a career, as he was quickly signed to DC-based Carpark Records, who released the band’s self-titled debut in 2011. 

Since then, Cloud Nothings has recorded seven albums, the last, Final Summer, was released this past April by Pure Noise Records. Pop Matters called it a “master class in Indie Rock,” and Pitchfork gave it a respectable 7.5 rating. It has all the trappings of classic indie, from the jangle-riff guitars to the chugging rhythm section, very reminiscent of acts like Superchunk, who no doubt, was an influence.

Dylan took part in a Ten Questions interview back in 2018 when they first visited Omaha. Asked if he was able to make a living off his music, he said, “Yeah we’ve been strictly musicians for about six years now. It’s the biggest luxury. Gives me lots of time to make sure I’m making the best music I can. It took us three years of touring and working together for basically zero dollars. But luckily it resulted in an album that people liked in 2012, so since then we’ve been doing okay.“ Check out the rest of the answers right here

Playing tonight with Cloud Nothings are Michigan rockers Idle Ray and Tender Grease. The show starts at 8:30; tickets are $26.

* * *

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

Remembering John Heaston: publisher, visionary, friend…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 8:26 am June 3, 2024
Jeff Koterba unveils a portrait of John Heaston at the Omaha Press Club’s Face on the Barroom Floor roast held May 31.

by Tim McMahan,  Lazy-i.com

About an hour before I left to attend the roast of John Heaston last Friday night where he was to be honored by the Omaha Press Club with the 178th “Face on the Barroom Floor,” I received word from a friend that John had passed away earlier that morning. 

To say I was shocked is an understatement. A real gut punch. I questioned whether or not they should go forward with the ceremony since many people would, like me, still be reeling. But in the end, it was the right decision as the roast turned out to be a fitting tribute to John and everything he’s done for the city and not just his work as publisher of The Reader, which is where we had our relationship. 

John’s brother, Ben, kept the crowd laughing as the roast’s emcee.

John’s brother, Ben, was the emcee and provided a lot of spicy quips about his big brother and the crazy, irresponsible things he did in his youth. His Creighton brother, Steve Hudson, echoed those stories with his own, while Leo Louis of the Malcolm X Foundation talked about John’s amusing early efforts to become part of the North Omaha community. Anne Schlachter spoke of John’s ability to talk people into taking part in his plans and ideas, no matter how crazy they were.

I, too, fell for John’s persuasiveness shortly after he began publishing The Reader back in ’94. Unlike many folks who credit John for their first writing breaks, I already had been writing for a regional music publication – The Note out of Lawrence, Kansas – for a number of years as one of their primary Omaha correspondents. I wasn’t interested in writing for The Reader… until The Note went belly up later in the ‘90s. I already had a full-time job at Union Pacific; my music reporting had more to do with acquiring free CDs and getting into rock shows. When John heard about The Note’s demise, I got the call, and he eventually talked me into becoming a freelance contributor and eventually a columnist. 

That was about 25 years ago. John always did what the best publishers and editors do: He backed me up, even when he didn’t agree with what I was writing, for better or worse. As the years wore on, it became obvious the internet would kill print publications. We all watched as the state of print journalism declined, but throughout the years, John kept hoisting the banner for print against all odds. The paper eventually went from a weekly to a monthly, and I think the only reason John finally stopped the presses with the September 2023 issue was because of his illness. 

If you want to read a complete history of the paper, it’s online right here, along with the rest of the content, at The Reader website, thanks to John’s hustle in his final year to reach a deal with Nebraska Public Media, who acquired The Reader and El Perico and not only will host the archive but will begin publishing new content under The Reader banner. 

The last time I spoke to John we reviewed edits to the Nebraska Public Media/Reader acquisition press release. He was clearly relieved the deal had been signed; his baby was now in good hands. But like always, we also dished on other topics, people we knew, music biz stuff, publications and the future, which we both thought we’d see together. He was a visionary, an optimist, a believer that the good guys and gals will always win in the end. He was a friend of mine, and I’m going to miss him. 

* * *

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: Wednesday, Draag; Breakers, Stephen Bartolomei tonight; Spoy, Pagan Athletes Saturday…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 9:49 am May 31, 2024
Wednesday at The Slowdown, May 30, 2024.

by Tim McMahan,  Lazy-i.com

Before we get to the review of last night’s show at Slowdown, a head’s up that tonight, The Reader’s patriarch, John Heaston, is being honored by the Omaha Press Club with the 178th “Face on the Barroom Floor.” I can think of no one more deserving. I’ll be there and will try to snap some pictures or at least get a photo of the drawing. Speaking of The Reader, there’s news about the future of that publication, which I’ll pass along next week…

John Heaston, founder/publisher of The Reader, will be honored with Omaha Press Club’s “Face on the Barroom Floor” tonight.

. 0 0 0 . 

The band Wednesday ended its North America tour last night at The Slowdown, and as you might expect, there was a mad-cap looseness to the performance.

Frontwoman Karly Hartzman was particularly chatty throughout the set (and said so), proudly declaring it was their first time headlining in Omaha (They opened for Beach Bunny at The Waiting Room back in May 2022). With guitarist MJ “Jake” Lenderman by her side providing beautiful harmony vocals along with his snarly lead guitar licks, Hartzman and Co. played all the hits off last year’s Rat Saw God album, including a wonky, intentionally sloppy version of indie hit “Quarry.”

That song’s zany performance was driven by an introduction where-in Hartzman said folks in Denver (where they played a couple nights earlier) had told her people in Omaha don’t know how to mosh. She egged-on the crowd to form a mosh pit and the resulting “hop-and-jump” pit bounced around for the rest of the set. That’s one way to get people in Omaha to “dance.” 

I wasn’t aware Wednesday loved punk and/or metal, but it became obvious when Hartzman provided some genuinely throaty metal screams, especially during the night’s encore, which sounded like something by Destruction Unit. 

The night felt like an all-star performance with Hartzman’s versatile vocals that ranged from a soft coo to that growly scream, but the other heavy hitters were Lenderman, who carried the lead vocals on a cover of Drive By Truckers’ “Women Without Whiskey” — a highlight — and lap-steel guitarist Xandy Chelmis, who can turn any song into a twangy country ballad. In fact, the set also swung between quiet alt-country-esque ballads and gritty shoegaze noise rockers. In the end, the softer stuff won the day (for me, anyway). 

Draag at The Slowdown, May 30, 2024.

Opener Draag showed extremes – between metal/industrial and seamless, ambient shoegaze. Frontman/guitarist Adrian Acosta is a vocal chameleon shifting between Dean Wareham/Galaxie 500 crooning and all-out metal screaming. Fellow vocalist Jessica Huang was the contrast with her cool, purring voice. 

Draag opened with the hard stuff and settled into the rich shoegaze halfway through their set, hitting their obvious sweet spot. I could see these folks opening for any of the major shoegaze bands as they continue to develop their own flavor of the genre. 

Wednesday has been selling out shows on this tour, but only managed to draw around 250 last night at the Slowdown, which made for a comfortable-sized audience for the big room (with the balcony closed). That said, it underscored indie’s weak appeal in the Omaha market and continues to explain why a lot of the heavy-hitting indie acts are bypassing our little town.

. 0 0 0 . 

Speaking of which, onto another rather sparse weekend for indie shows….

Breakers plays tonight at Pageturners Lounge.

Tonight at Pageturners, Breakers headlines. The trio of Chris Yambor, Robert Little and Matt Focht play a jazzy form of indie, sounding like a lounge version of Pavement or GBV. Very cool. Our old friend singer/songwriter Stephen Bartolomei opens at 8 p.m. No cover, but $10 suggested donation for the artist, please.

Then Saturday night Milwaukee noise-punk band Spoy headlines at Reverb Lounge. In the old days we’d call this math-rock – fuzzy guitar speed that sounds influenced by acts like Chavez and At the Drive In whereas they site US Maple and Black Midi as influences. Opening is Ivory Daze and Pagan Athletes. $12, 8 p.m.

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

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Wednesday (the band), Draag tonight at Slowdown… 

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 8:24 am May 30, 2024
Wednesday plays tonight at Slowdown…

by Tim McMahan ,Lazy-i.com

Asheville 5-piece Wednesday, who plays tonight at Slowdown, was one of the dominant bands in indie rock last year with the release of Rat Saw God (Dead Oceans), a collection of story songs that keenly encapsulate North Carolina trailer-park life in tones of Southern shoegaze. 

You couldn’t switch on Sirius XMU on your car satellite radio last year without hearing the album’s single, “Quarry.” That was fallowed by “Chosen to Deserve” and the booming “Hot Rotten Grass Smell.” Frontwoman Karly Hartzman has a voice reminiscent of Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker, though the band’s sound is closer to acts like Momma and Horsegirl. 

You may recognize Wednesday guitarist MJ Lenderman, who’s had a pretty successful solo career, signing to Anti- records after the release of his second album, Boat Songs. Lenderman has played on albums by Indigo De Souza and Waxahatchee.

This show has been on the radar since it was announced late last year. Draag, who I wrote about yesterday, opens the show in Slowdown’s main room at 8 p.m. $25. 

Lean back into a 30+ minute documentary about Wednesday…

* * *

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

Ten Questions with Draag (May 30 w/ Wednesday @ Slowdown)… 

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 8:43 am May 29, 2024
Draag opens for Wednesday at The Slowdown May 30.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Despite their shoegaze collar, Los Angeles band Draag sonically reinvents a number of nostalgic influences to emerge with something wholly modern.

Fronted by singer/songwriter Adrian Acosta, the five-piece is rounded out by Jessica Huang (synth, vocals), Ray Montes (guitar), Nick Kelley (bass), and Eric Fabbro (drums). Their latest EP, Actually, the Quiet is Nice (2024, Julia’s War), is a sonic blur amidst a curtain of strobe lights, like a being wrapped in a warm blanket that has random needles woven into the fabric.

What makes Draag stand out amongst the current army of shoegaze bands is their reliance on breakneck, white-knuckle percussion. Sure, there’s plenty of drone (especially with the vocals, which are mostly indecipherable on first listen), but the tracks’ hammer beats owe as much to industrial and metal as the shoegaze masters who obviously influenced their sound, like My Bloody Valentine, Lush, etc. 

Draag should be a welcome contrast to tour headliner Wednesday – both bands play at The Slowdown tomorrow night (May 30). We caught up with Acosta and the rest of Draag and gave them the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s what they had to say.

1. What is your favorite album?

Currently: The Land of Rape and Honey by Ministry  (1988, Sire)

2. What is your least favorite song?

I’d rather not say. Too close to home. I think some people we know personally are friends with this band whose music I hate. 

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

Making people feel something real.

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

The business side. It kind of sucks the fun out of it. Touring is chill, but the long drives in between can be very mentally challenging at times. 

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

Caffeine &  micro-dosing psilocybin.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform (and why)? 

Seattle, Missoula & Chicago. Couldn’t pick one  – those cities have very good energy to feed off of and everyone we met was polite. 

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

Probably Portland, OR. The energy was off. It was more than likely our fault. 

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

Absolutely not. We all have day jobs. Jessica is an occupational therapist, Ray is the manager for a weed company, Nick works for the post office, Eric is a graphic designer and I (Adrian) run a construction company. 

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

Adrian: Would love to work in production or coach a High School Basketball team. I don’t want to be a contractor anymore. 

Ray: Carpentry. Would hate to work in parking enforcement. 

Nick: A cobbler. Would hate to work at Home Depot.

Eric: Probably would want to attempt to be a zoologist cause I love animals and want to understand their intelligence and communication more.  And would hate to be an advertising executive for a failing fast food company.

Jessica: Painter and interior designer. Job I’d hate to do would be in investment banking. 

10. What stories have you heard about Omaha, Nebraska? 

The Murder at Mystery Manor. I also hear the food is good, the people are great, alongside some very dynamic weather. 

Draag plays with the band Wednesday at The Slowdown May 30. 8 p.m. start time, $25 DOS. 

* * *

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: Eric Bachmann at Ming Toy Gallery…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 11:38 am May 28, 2024
Eric Bachmann at Ming Toy Gallery, May 27, 2024.

by Tim McMahan,Lazy-i.com

The folks at Undertow (the living-room concert promotion company booked the show) said Eric Bachmann would arrive at our gallery at around 6:30 to begin his “load in,” but here we were at a quarter past 7 and still no Bachmann. About a half-dozen patrons had already arrived, three of them Undertow concert veterans who had brought small, fold-out chairs and a small foam-sided cooler, the stuff you see at the Memorial Park concerts. One of them asked where in the room Bachmann would be performing so he could set up his chair. 

I began to worry. Should I text my contact at Undertow? Ah, but my concern was unfounded, as there was Bachmann, his hulking, 6-foot-7 frame standing by the open back door looking like a fit over-the-road truck driver. He quickly specked out the narrow room and decided the best place to “set up” was in the middle along the wall. I helped hump in equipment and he chatted-up early arrivers while arranging his stuff.

A few guests looked mildly confused when they realized there were no chairs and had to either stand or sit on the oak floor, having not read the website’s instructions suggesting they bring a cushion to sit on. I felt sort of bad for the few who clearly looked uncomfortable — the audience’s mean age was probably around 35 — but what could I do? By 8 p.m. – the show’s official start time – everyone had arrived and everything was ready. 

A charming, funny southern gentleman (but without a twang), Bachmann proceeded to give a 90-minute performance that included songs from Crooked Fingers and Archers of Loaf catalogs as well as solo work and new material. If you had a favorite Bachmann song, he played it last night, taking requests from the crowd throughout the set. 

Without a PA, Bachmann’s rich, reedy voice was amazing, filling our small gallery while he switched from steel-stringed and nylon-stringed acoustic guitars and an electric keyboard. 

He filled in the blanks between tunes with stories about past performances, road life and what inspired certain songs, like the woman who pulled up alongside his white van in an SUV after a Vegas show who inspired new song “Spray Tan Speed Queen (in a German Car)” – a track no doubt destined to be on his next album. 

Afterward, many patrons thanked us for hosting, and Bachmann said he had a good time, loved the room, and thought it would be a great spot for other touring Undertow artists. So, this first attempt at hosting an Undertow show at Ming Toy Gallery was, for the most part, a success.

A few take-aways:

  • – The room is too small to host anything but acoustic shows.
  • – Comfortable crowd capacity for the gallery is 40.
  • – Some how, Undertow has to get the message to ticket buyers that we don’t provide seating and to bring a cushion or folding chair. But frankly, I don’t know how they could make the point more clear on their website

After this successful test run, we’ll continue to offer the gallery for future Undertow shows. While we don’t make a penny hosting them, they’re fun and they get new people into the gallery to see local art. And maybe most importantly, they provide an option for these touring musicians who no doubt are looking for ways to eek out a living doing what they love – a difficult task in this digital age…

Full House: Eric Bachmann at Ming Toy Gallery, May 27, 2024.

* * *

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