OEAs, Grammy’s and Chipotle; Simon Joyner on NPR; Cursive in Denver; Testament, Bloodcow tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:39 pm February 13, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The final count on my Omaha Entertainment and Arts (OEA) awards predictions: 5 for 15. Not bad. Actually, that’s appalling, but it accurately reflects my knowledge of the Benson music scene. Last night’s big winner was Galvanized Tron, who took home the Artist of the Year and Best Hip-Hop awards. I’ve never heard GT’s music before. In fact, I haven’t heard seven of the 14 winners’ music. Pleasant surprises were Conduits (best indie) and Icky Blossoms (best DJ/EDM), two bands whose music I have heard (and enjoyed) and who recently signed big fat record deals with a couple national indie labels we’re all familiar with. Least surprising: That Bright Eyes’ The People’s Key took home Album of the Year. To the best of my knowledge, Conor skipped the ceremony. Here’s the rest of last night’s OEA Award winners:

Best New Artist: Snake Island
Best Artist: Galvanized Tron
Best Cover Band: Yesterday & Today
Best Ethnic: The Bishops
Best Progressive/Experimental/Funk: Satchel Grande
Best Jazz: Jazzocracy
Best Blues: Kris Lager Band
Best Hip Hop:  Galvanized Tron
Best Soul/R&B Gospel: Lucas Kellison
Best Country/Americana: Matt Cox
Best DJ/EDM: Icky Blossoms
Best Indie: Conduits
Best Hard Rock: Broken Crown
Best Adult Alternative/Songwriter: AYGAMG
Best Album: Bright Eyes, The People’s Key

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In other awards show news, legendary Omaha producer Tom Ware of Warehouse Studios went home empty handed from last night’s Grammy’s, as his work with Lady Gaga was overlooked by an academy that was “gaga” for Adele. It was fun watching Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon awkwardly accept the award for best new artist. Said Vernon at the podium: “It’s also hard to accept because when I started to make songs, I did it for the inherent reward of making songs, so I’m a little bit uncomfortable up here.” So were we, Vernon.

A still from the Chipotle commercial.

A still from the Chipotle commercial.

The rest was business as usual. I watched every second of last night’s Grammy’s broadcast and the most impressive moment was an animated Chipotle commercial about organic farming featuring Willie Nelson singing a cover of “The Scientist” by Coldplay. I “rewound” and watched the commercial three times.  You can check it out here.

The broadcast had an amusing ending when KMTV cut off the evening’s big finale featuring Paul McCartney and a stage filled with famous guitarists (Bruce Springsteen and David Grohl among them) so we could get an accuweather update. Apparently no one at the station pays attention to their own programming. Yet another shining example of KMTV’s rock solid commitment to becoming the worst network-affiliated TV station in Omaha. Keep it up, guys, you’ve got KPTM and the run!

* * *

If you weren’t up at the crack of dawn Sunday morning you missed NPR’s feature on Simon Joyner that aired as part of Weekend Edition. The piece featured Simon talking about his music and his life in Omaha, and included comments from Conor Oberst and myself. So if you’ve ever wondered what my voice sounds like, here’s your chance to find out as the audio story is now online. Nice work, Clay, though there’s the issue about the spelling of my last name…

* * *

Denver’s Westword has a review of Sunday night’s Cursive show at the Larimer Lounge online here. From the review:

“‘I don’t know why we don’t come here more often,’ Kasher chuckled and complimented the crowd. The rock elder statesman looked genuinely bashful as he paid his audience the largest possible compliment. ‘You guys are awesome. You should go to Omaha and teach those guys how to rock!‘” 

Really, Mr. Kasher? REALLY?

By the way, you can now hear Cursive’s latest, I Am Gemini, streamed in its entirety right here at rollingstone.com.

* * *

Tonight is officially metal night at The Waiting Room as ’80s thrash metal band Testament takes the stage with Omaha’s own metal masters, Bloodcow. $25, 9 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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


  • That Chipotle commercial is incredible, the best ad I have seen in a long while.

    Comment by Donovan Beery — February 13, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  • As far as the Who will win (or more appropriately who WON)/Who should win list that you’ve provided I’d be very interested in reading about the factors that go into these selections.

    As far as best album, best artist, and best new artist categories go I would love to see something that critiques the actual music of the nominees. What do the nominees actually bring to the table creatively and musically? How do their most recent releases stack up side by side? What about the QUALITY of the lyrical content, or the quality of musicianship? How is the music constructed? Are the songs well thought out and orchestrated? Is the core of the sound copy-and-pasted, computer-generated beats (not saying this always bad) or specific and thoughtful instrumentation?

    All of this concerns the fundamental building blocks of the ACTUAL MUSIC which I don’t read much about. The quality of the lyricism, instrumentation, harmonic movement, vocalization, etc. are the only important facets of what a band is attempting/achieving so why does it seem like there is so little discussion about this?

    For example, if Icky Blossoms is the best new artist what do they provide and do better than the other nominees, or should be nominees? Are their lyrics breath taking? Is the musicianship unmatched? If so, how so? (this might be a hard one because they don’t have an actual record to critique) I’m not interested in hearing that people show up and dance because if that’s the criteria then any DJ with a computer could be considered an artist and anyone can make danceable noise with a computer and a synth.

    These concepts should be the core of any discussion about music and for some reason they’re usually not. This is not a criticism of any one person in particular but more so of the collective conversation that surrounds the music/art scene in this town.

    Comment by reader — February 13, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

  • There is a 60 person music academy that votes on the winners and this is after hundreds of public nominees set up the potential nominees. There is no way to collect that information….and I can’t think of one person-that would want to read through hundreds of book reports on each winner and the nominees. This isn’t being decided by two or three people.

    Comment by MarQ — February 14, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  • I wasn’t talking about the OEA’s I was talking about music blogs and criticism in general. I have no issue with the OEA’s, it is what it is.

    Comment by reader — February 15, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

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