The Thermals quit; Cursive rumblings; Flower Moon comp; Anna McClellan review; Erika Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards) tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:42 pm April 10, 2018

The Thermals at Slowdown Jr., May 6, 2016. The band announced its break-up yesterday.

by Tim McMahan,

The Thermals yesterday announced that they’re breaking up. I first read about it here at Brooklyn Vegan though it was announced via their Facebook page. The reason given: “we feel our band has reached far beyond our initial expectations and goals, and are stepping away from it while we still cherish it.”

It got me wondering why bands make these sorts of announcements; especially if they’re not contractually obligated to do anything like record another album or tour. The Thermals are on Saddle Creek Records, which historically has worked with bands on an album-by-album basis — i.e., I’m not aware of any three-record deals with Saddle Creek (then again, I’m not privy to their contracts).

I guess with some bands there would be concern over owning the name. What if Hutch Harris decided to record a solo album and call it a Thermals album? Is that really possible, would he do such a thing? I can’t imagine it. It would be like Tim Kasher releasing a solo record and calling it a Cursive album. No way. I can see that being an issue with arena acts maybe, but not indie bands at this level.

So why announce that you’re breaking up? Just go off and do your thing, be it a solo album or some other project, and if/when the mood strikes and the timing’s right, get together with your comrades and do shows or write another record.

Bright Eyes, which is really a loose-knit collection surrounding Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott, never really announced a break-up. The Faint went for years between records. Cursive has been known to “go on hiatus” while members do other things like The Good Life or Mayday.

I’m rambling now. The Thermals are gone, but I wouldn’t count them out. Or heck, maybe they’ll never play together again…

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Speaking of Cursive, the band has been named among those performing at Fest 17 in Gainesville, Florida Oct. 26-28. I’ve heard Cursive has been busy recording a new album slated for release on their new label, 15 Passenger Records. With this fest date now in the books, can a full tour announcement be far off?

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High Up, Orenda Fink, Jake Bellows and Maria Taylor are among the artists on the upcoming 2-LP comp album Friends and Family Volume 1 , out May 11 on Taylor’s Flower Moon Records.

These are all musicians I greatly respect and have been fans of for years – but what makes the compilation unique is that they are also part of a collaborative community of friends and family members who have been working together and supporting one another for years. I wanted this compilation, and Flower Moon Records, to be a vehicle to continue to support, promote, and celebrate their work.” The quote is unattributed, but I assume it’s Maria Taylor saying that.

There’s a lot of other familiar names on the 16-track list, including Whispertown, Nik Freitas, Umm and Taylor Hollingsworth. Full track listing and preorder info here.

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Q1 2018 CD reviews continue. Read them all here at The Reader website.

Anna McClellan, Yes and No (2018, Father/Daughter)

Anna McClellan, Yes and No (Father/Daughter) — More than any other female indie singer-songwriter doing piano-driven confessionals, my heart hurts when I hear her slightly off-kilter voice warble through a set of yearning love notes. McClellan unashamedly holds nothing back when she belts out her stories unpolished and beautiful. She’s a broken-hearted nerd who deserves to win, just like the rest of us.

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Tonight The Waiting Room hosts Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards fame. her new album rocks. Jessica Errett opens at 8 p.m. $17.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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