Happy Bright Eyes Day!; Grammy/OEAA thoughts; Middle of the Map Fest; Pimps of Joytime tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:56 pm February 15, 2011

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Some odds and ends on this groovy Tuesday…

I hereby declare today, Feb. 15, 2011, as Bright Eyes Day, as the band’s new album, The People’s Key, officially “drops” at stores near you. No, there will be no parades, no fireworks, no turkeys thrown from helicopters, just lots of people buying lots of CDs (hopefully). If you live in the tri-state area and don’t want to be disappointed by arriving at the store only to find that they’re out of stock, go to Homer’s Records, who is absolutely guaranteeing that they’ll have plenty of CDs and vinyl on hand at competitive prices.

And just so you know that today is extra special, it’s also Conor Oberst’s 31st birthday, so roll by his Fairacres compound and wish him all the best (even though he probably ain’t there as he’s playing a show in Stockholm tomorrow).

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It’s been two days and the smoke has cleared and now it’s time to contemplate this year’s Grammy’s and Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEAAs).

First, the Grammy’s. I watched the whole thing unfold on my plasma Sunday night, one performance after another after another, remembering fondly when The Grammy’s was just an awards show. You have to admit, it was a stellar combination of musical talent that hasn’t been pulled together since the last Live Aid-style charity festival. On top of the legends sheet: Bob Dylan, Mick Jaggar, and, of course, Babs, followed by the next tier — Lady Gaga, Eminem and Arcade Fire.

So I’m thinking to myself — why is so much of the telecast being spent on performances this year? The only thing I could think of was that the artists and bands have closely examined the writing on the wall. The days of living high on the hog from CD sales are quickly coming to an end. These days the real money comes from ticket sales, and if you can get inside John Q. Slob’s living room and properly swing your moneymaker enough to convince him that it’s worth it to shell out the $75 to $100 per ticket when the caravan rolls into his local arena, you’ve done a helluva lot more than sell a few thousand CDs. Or maybe I’m wrong…

Anyway, the evening’s biggest Gee Whiz moment was Arcade Fire winning Album of the Year for The Suburbs, beating out a slew of major label bozos. Just how significant was the win? If it results in above-ground radio airplay and million-unit sales, it could spark interest in indie artists by majors in a way that hasn’t been seen since the Nirvana land-rush days. Or it could just be one giant head-scratcher by all those kids who bought or stole the latest Ke$ha/Katy Perry/Ga Ga record. Only time will tell.

As for the OEAAs, I followed the results as they were tweeted by hearnebraska.org. No surprises and most of my predictions were on the mark. It was a big night for It’s True, who won the Artist of the Year award.  But as much as I like the band, they didn’t deserve it, especially when you consider they announced their breakup shortly before the MAHA Music Festival, and then spent the rest of the year doing…nothing, while other artists (specifically Saddle Creek artists) were busy touring, making new albums and bringing the attention of the country right back here to Omaha. Oh well, it’s all just for fun, right?

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Speaking of festivals, someone posted some information about the Middle of the Map festival on the ol’ webboard, and the event looks promising. To be held April 8 and 9 in venues throughout Kansas City, the festival will feature 25-30 local and national acts, including Cursive, Appleseed Cast, Daniel Johnston, Dosh and The Life and Times.

“The festival is brought to you by Ink Magazine and The Record Machine. Ink magazine and inkkc.com are Kansas City’s premier lifestyle and entertainment publication and website,” said MotM organizers. “Owned by The Kansas City Star, it is one of Kansas City’s largest publications and the only one produced by and for people in their 20s and 30s.” The only one? Really? Whatever happened to Pitch Weekly? Regardless of the politics, the festival sounds like a good time, with two-day passes selling for a mere $25. Find out more at middleofthemapfest.com.

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Finally, there’s an odd little show going on tonight at a venue off the beaten path. The Hideout at 320 So. 72nd St., a place known mostly for hosting local metal shows, is hosting Brooklyn-based funk trio The Pimps of Joytime. Check out their myspace page and get ready to get weird. Opening is DJ Brent Crampton and SpenceLove. $7, 9 p.m. More details at the Facebook event page.

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Tomorrow right here: Pete Yorn. Thursday: Tennis. It’s a busy week…

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


  • I was surprised to see you write up anything on the OEAA’s. No mention of the fact that a COVER BAND was invited to the podium to accept their award and give a speech but local songbird Rebecca Lowry and her violinist Kaitlyn Maria Filippini (both, of course, from All Young Girls Are Machine Guns) were given their award down on the floor in front of the stage like a couple of hobo’s being given spare change… Disgraceful. Not to mention the fact that a cover band is winning an award in the first place. I should start copying famous works of art in hopes I could win an OEAA. After 5 years, you’d think the OEAA committee would have these wrinkles figured out. Also… you’re right. Why on earth did It’s True win? This years winners list looked like that of 2009. It is real, real tough to support this organization when they keep flubbing it up.

    Comment by SupportLocal — February 15, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

  • We rotate which awards get speeches and which ones do not. The only two that stay every year is Artist Of The Year and Album Of The Year. So this year the cover band was one of the awards that got to give a speech. All Young Girls Are Machine Guns won two awards and they did give a speech on their second award.

    It’s always debated whether the cover band award should be included, but every year it is the category that gets the most public votes-and I think the winners in that category have been good choices. Groups like Acoustic Groove who really make the songs their own and are very talented musicians. Song Remains The Same, which include some very respected musicians in town that also do original music, and Secret Weapon who also have musicians in original bands.

    It’s True released their album in 2010 and played some big shows at The Waiting Room and Slowdown-they toured for a month to the South and West and back and played South By Southwest. They also performed on the main stage at MAHA. I would say they accomplished quite a bit this year. Their new album comes out on April 1st….with a show at The Waiting Room that night and one in Lincoln the following night.

    Comment by MarQ — February 15, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

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