Cursive celebrates Domestica; new Kyle Harvey, Illuminati Hotties, the Joy Formidable tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 6:36 am November 2, 2022
Illuminati Hotties play tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Cursive’s Domestica was reissued by the band’s label, 15 Passenger Records, earlier this year; now the band is hitting the road playing the album in its entirety. The record turned 20 in 2020, so better late than never, right? 

Unfortunately, so far this is a NOmaha tour, as Omaha is not among the 20 cities the band will be visiting throughout December. But waitaminit… the tour doesn’t list anything after Dec. 21 and we all know what the X-mas holiday could bring us… Come on, Santa, we want to hear the “The Casualty” played on an Omaha stage…

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Those who came to last month’s Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies gig at Benson Theater were treated to a couple great covers of songs by Omaha ex-pat Kyle Harvey. 

Kyle is now living somewhere up in the Colorado Rockies. He’s a mountain man; a wandering poet, as good with a long-iron rifle as he is with a Bowie knife. But it turns out, Kyle is also good at creating electronic ambient music. 

In fact, Kyle has released two albums of lush soundscapes — Distances and Disjecta Membra. Both are available on Bandcamp. 

About Disjecta Membra: “Scattered fragments recorded to 4-track cassette in my garage during the COVID lockdown of 2020. We had moved into a new house and everything felt completely strange. I didn’t have any sort of DAW for recording digitally at the time, so I set up my Tascam 4-track in the garage and made dozens of recordings. This EP, Disjecta membra, is a peek into that time.

Check out the links below and consider buying a copy (BTW, Bandcamp Friday is just the day after tomorrow). And if you’re missing Kyle’s lyrics, check out his recently published book of poetry, Cosmographies (2022, Cuneiform Press). 

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Two hot shows going on tonight…

Top of my list is the smaller of the two — Illuminati Hotties at Reverb Lounge. The LA indie band is on the road touring their 2021 album Let Me Do One More (Hopeless Records), which garnered a solid 8.0 rating from Pitchfork. Reminds me of ‘90s girl-powered indie rock. Fun! Also on the bill are Tacoma indie band Enumclaw and LA band Guppy. $20, 8 p.m. Don’t sleep on this one – sometime tells me it could sell out…

Also tonight, North Welsh alt band The Joy Formidable headlines at The Waiting Room. You might remember them from the 2016 Maha Music Festival (and they’ve been through town a few times since). LA post-punk band Cuffed Up opens at 8 p.m. Surprisingly, this show also is $20. 

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Red Pears, Benches tonight; No Thanks (final show), Nowhere, Cat Piss Saturday; Jeffrey Lewis Monday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 9:46 am October 28, 2022
No Thanks at Petfest. The band plays their farewell show Saturday night at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s the unofficial Halloween weekend at the bars and clubs — never a good weekend for live indie shows. This year is the exception. 

Tonight at Reverb Lounge, San Gabriel Valley band The Red Pears headlines. The trio has been kicking around since 2014 playing a sort of slacker-indie rock with jangly high-reverb guitar and simple beats. Their recent album, 2021’s You Throught We Left Because The Door Was Open But We Were Waiting Outside (Cosmica Artists) sounds like a garage version of The Strokes. l’d never heard of these guys prior to this show, but could be interesting. Opening is So Cal band Benches, who’s played in the past with iKNHOW and Foster the People among others. Very produced, with synths and smoothy vocals. Texas pop-punk-noise band Floats kicks things off at 8 p.m.  $15.

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Tomorrow night it’s back to Reverb for the grand finale from No Thanks. We’ve watched these folks grow into one of the best bands in the area over the past three or four years, so it’s tough to see them hang it up, but I guess they know what they’re doing. Come say goodbye along with their pals Cat Piss and Hussies. $7, 9 p.m. 

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And here’s an early head’s up about Monday’s Jeffrey Lewis and the Voltage show at The Sydney. I’ve seen Mr. Lewis before and love his stuff (and his comic books, which I’m sure he’ll have for sale at the show). The finest modern, indie, folk/anti-folk (in the Moldy Peaches vein). Check out this extended interview with Lewis (both parts linked from the article) conducted the day after Trump was elected in 2016 (Ugh!). Opening is the always awesome Nathan Ma. Again, this is Monday, Halloween, though I don’t see any sort of “costume requirement” in the listing (though it’s the Sydney so everyone will be wearing a costume because the Sydney is madcap). $15, 9 p.m 

So, a little extra. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section and 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Feeble Little Horse signs to Saddle Creek Records…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:29 pm October 26, 2022
Philly band Feeble Little Horse has signed to Saddle Creek Records.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’m trying to think of really interesting things going on indie-music-wise in Omaha and there just haven’t been any. It’s as if the city is in a dormant period.

That said, our hometown label, Saddle Creek Records, just signed yet another band, Philadelphia noise-pop four-piece Feeble Little Horse. Saddle Creek is re-releasing their debut album, Heyday, which came out last year. 

The band, formed in Oakland, PA, in 2021, described their sound in an interview from Pittsburgh radio station WYEP:

How do you describe your sound?  

  • Sebastian Kinsler, guitar/vocals: We don’t use reverb, we don’t hard pan guitars, and we double track everything.
  • Lydia Slocum, vocals: It’s like we took our favorite songs and put them in the Sebastian blender. I think the sound is super influenced by the music we like and then what the four of us are each exclusively able to contribute.
  • Jake Kelley, drums: noise pop 


When asked what was the first album that “really changed your life,” three of the four members referenced a Green Day album (one referenced High School Musical 2 soundtrack). This is ironic because they (thankfully) sound nothing like Green Day. 

As mentioned, their debut LP was originally released on Philly community label Julia’s War Records, but the band also released a 10-song EP called Modern Tourism in March on local label Crafted Sounds Records

The rerelease of Heyday comes out on Jan. 13 (and includes bonus tracks), but no doubt new original material won’t be far behind. Here’s the first video from that album. It sounds much more influenced by Sonic Youth than Green Day. The full album and EP are already online at Spotify. 

By the way, my Novermber column in The Reader looks at Saddle Creek’s 2022 output (minus Feeble Little Horse). I’ll link to it when it’s online. Saddle Creek is 29 years old this year. What fun do they have in store for their 30th birthday?

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The Rare Candies, Las Cruxes, Josh Hoyer tonight; Kelly Hunt Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 10:46 am October 21, 2022
Las Cruxes last month at Porchefest. The band plays tonight at Shakedown Street.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Remember what I said about going to shows on school nights? When you have an opportunity, do it, even if you know you’ll feel like shit the next day. You never know when the next good touring act will come through town. I skipped Kurt Vile last night at The Admiral and regret it even though his music is pretty same-y / boring. Why? Because there’s nothing coming through this weekend. 

So we’ll have to settle for the locals, and there are a couple good ones.

Tonight at Shakedown Street (the bar formerly known as The Barley Street) it’s an old-fashioned $5 show headlined by garage rock band Rare Candies, an act that sounds (heavily) influenced by Weezer and emo. The mighty Las Cruxes open. Old-school 9 p.m. start time as well. 

Meanwhile, downtown at The Jewell is that Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal show I wrote about Wednesday. Two shows — 6:30 and 8:30. Tickets still available for $15 here.

Saturday’s a wasteland. 

Sunday night country/folk/roots artist Kelly Hunt plays at Pageturners Lounge. From KC.  No cover/$10 suggested donation. Starts at 7 p.m. 

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments. 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Kurt Vile and the Violators tonight at The Admiral…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:34 pm October 20, 2022
Kurt Vile perform at SXSW in 2014. He plays tonight with his band at The Admiral.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Did I tell you the story about how Kurt Vile saved my life?

It happened way back in 2014. I was covering the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, for The Reader. It had been a long day and an even longer night. Kurt Vile was my last stop, a performance at outdoor venue Cheer Up Charlie’s, located on Red River Road. It was your typical beautiful night in March in Austin and I know the fun would go all night, but it was midnight and I was a broken man, tired and ready to end it, but I wanted to see Vile, who was red hot at the time. I wasn’t sure I would even get into the venue (even with a media badge), but sure enough, come on in.

There seated on stage was Vile playing to a standing-room-only crowd, barely visible above the audience’s heads on the low-riser stage. I guess Kurt was tired, too. I didn’t realize it was going to be a solo acoustic gig, a format that really exposes how important a backing band is to Vile’s music. All you could hear was his mumbling free verse recited/sang over barely audible guitar and the constant rumble of the crowd. “mmmblmmmmbl… here’s another one.” Somewhat awful.

Halfway through the gig I said screw it and left to hike back to my hotel about a half-mile away through gigantic crowds of clearly loaded people just getting started. Late night at SXSW is like the scene at the end of The Ten Commandments where they’re having an orgie and making a golden calf while Moses is climbing the mountain barefoot to get the laws. Booze, drugs, loud music all around and thousands of wonked-out people flailing in the streets. 

The next morning I awoke to text messages from my family that said “Are you OK?”  

I rubbed sleep from my eyes. “Yeah, I’m fine. I’m in Austin. What’s up?”

Turn on your TV.

At around 12:30 a.m. the previous night a crazed drunk driver drove onto Red River Road and into a crowd of people, killing two and injuring 23 more. It appeared to happen on the street right outside of Cheer Up Charlie’s. Had Kurt Vile not sucked that night, forcing me to leave before his set ended, I might have been in the crowd and got creamed. 

So, thank you, Kurt, for saving my life.

Anyway…

Kurt Vile plays tonight at The Admiral Theater with his band, The Violators. Based on his set list from his Louisville show Tuesday night, looks like he’ll be playing a lot of songs off his 2022 release, (watch my moves). Opening the show tonight at 8 p.m. is Julia Shapiro from the band Chastity Belt. $35, or $65 if you want to stand in the balcony.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Josh Hoyer and the Soul Colossal album release Friday; Easy Honey tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:52 pm October 19, 2022

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, Green Light (2022, self-release)

Josh Hoyer has a CD release show this Friday for his new album, Green Light, at The Jewell and sent me a copy of the CD knowing full well I have very little background in the kind of music he and his band play. For as long as I can remember he’s been classified as a blues guy; in fact his music leans closer to soul/funk and R&B much in the vein of the late Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, a performer I am familiar with mainly because, for reasons I’ll never know, her and her band creased the frigid indie music waters around the time I Learned the Hard Way was released in 2010. In the purest sense of the term, Jones was an indie artist, as her music was consistenly released on Daptone Records, a label that also released albums by funk instrumental artist The Budos Band. 

By that standard, Hoyer also is an indie artist who continues to fly under the major-label radar for better or ill. This new record sounds as good as anything I’ve heard on Daptone, or for that matter, anything else in this style, which is to say if Daptone Records catalog is your cup of tea, you will not be disappointed. The arrangements are first rate and his singing is as good as ever. 

Josh has kept the new album off Bandcamp, no pre-release tracks on Spotify or even on his website. You’ll have to buy it. More and more, I’m beginning to believe this is the smart thing to do, though it’s still a good idea to release at least one song from an upcoming album.

(Right after I posted this, Josh shared the following YouTube tracks)

Frankly, I’m pleasantly surprised a band like Josh’s, with so many musicians (7 plus Josh) to make the boat float, is surviving in a time when artists are struggling to make any money at all. Obviously there’s no money in releasing albums anymore unless you’re on a major label and selling thousands of copies or have zillions of stream plays. Yet, here is Josh and his band touring a new album. God love ’em.

Josh Hoyer and the Soul Colossal are playing two shows Friday night at The Jewell, at 6:30 and 8:30. Tickets are $15 and available now at the Jewell website

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Speaking of indie bands, Charleston indie band Easy Honey plays tonight at Reverb Lounge. Estrogen Projection opens at 8 p.m. $10.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Fox, Ojai tonight, Begonia, Dooms Saturday; throwback video – Judgement Day at O’Leaver’s…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 7:59 am October 14, 2022
Fox plays tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

No national indie shows this weekend. Hey, we got Black Midi last weekend, right? Be thankful for at least a couple decent touring indie shows per month. (Who remembers the old days, when we were all stretched between multiple touring indie shows per night on weekends?). 

Tonight, local band Fox plays at Reverb Lounge. Who’s in Fox? Hard to say when they don’t have a website and the personnel or any information about the band isn’t listed on any of the online show promotion. No matter, I recognize Jessica Errett and Marta Fiedler in the promo photo. A little digging revealed that Jason Domonkas and Jesse Otterson also are in the band, but no idea what their music sounds like, except the description “We play love songs to ghosts,” so… take a chance? Also on the bill are Ojai and Ebba Rose. $8, 8 p.m. 

Similar situation tomorrow night (Saturday) where you’ve got Begonia playing at The Sydney. Who is Begonia? Hard to say. No description on any of the promo materials. I guess “for fans only”? Luckily, you have Lazy-i to dig around and find out for you. 

Begonia is an “indie pop powerhouse” launched into the Canadian music scene with her “critically acclaimed” 2017 EP Lady in Mind. OK, that doesn’t ring a bell. Her website says she’s “Canada’s breakout alt-diva” who has been nominated for a JUNO award. Opening is Seattle duo Dooms, which includes Katlyn Conroy, an ex-member of old friends Cowboy Indian Bear. There’s also a TBD on the bill. $12, 9 p.m.  

And that’s all I got. Hey, at least we got Black Midi last Saturday, right? If I missed your show put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

Speaking of nostalgia…

Ten years ago this weekend Judgement Day played at O’Leaver’s and I just happened to capture one of the songs. Enjoy.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Live Review: Black Midi at The Slowdown…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 12:43 pm October 10, 2022
Black Midi at The Slowdown Oct. 8, 2022.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The warm-up music for Black Midi at The Slowdown Saturday night was lilting jazz from Wayne Shorter, falling on the ears of a mostly young audience packed into the bowl in front of Slowdown’s main stage. Not a sell-out audience, as the balcony was closed and you could easily get around, but still a healthy crowd, nodding their heads to Shorter’s “Adam’s Apple.”

No doubt the jazz playlist was the band’s idea. Though they have a rep for being a very hard art-rock band, at Black Midi’s core are elements of progressive jazz. So it came as a surprise when the lights finally came down at around 9:30 and the band entered the stage to the strains of The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony.” They took their respective places and preceded to crush it for a little over an hour.

Playing as a four-piece, most of the vocals were handled by guitarist and founder Geordie Greep, who switched between spoken-word phrasing a la Murray Head and a loungy croon that (for some reason) reminded me of Bobby Short. For a few songs, Greep handed over the lead vocals to bass player Cameron Picton (Greep himself taking up the bass for those songs), who either sang or had a shrill delivery akin to John Lydon.

None of that mattered because at the heart of the performance was Black Midi’s music that swung between a kind of lounge-prog to straight up art-noise, performed with acute precision and driven forward by Morgan Simpson’s drumming, which was nothing less than spectacular. Simpson gave a clinic on remarkable stick work, no stroke or beat wasted on a style that ranged from machine-gun bursts to glorious fills to shimmering cymbal work — here was the best drummer I’ve seen in years.

And Greep knew it, taking cues from Simpson, whose kit was set up off to the side of stage left, pounding away as the crowd moshed in a large pit out front. Between all that moshing and Greep’s beat poet/scat singing, the night had a sense of theater about it. It was Broadway crooning atop raindrop keyboards and aggressive punk married with slam poetry – a strange, wonderful combination.

Greep’s guitar work was angular and precise, reminiscent of Robert Fripp / latter-day King Crimson, while Picton’s bass was staccato fill rhythms when not carrying the weight of the chaos melodies.

The majority of the set was dedicated to the band’s latest release, Hellfire. Solid takes on “Sugar/Tzu,” “Welcome to Hell” and “27 Questions” were the standouts. Unlike the recording, no horns, but what are you gonna do? Late in the set the band performed what felt like a shortened version of “John L,” and I could see Greep look at Simpson and sort of shrug.

Though the crowd was clearly into it all night, there was no encore (as apparently there hasn’t been throughout this tour). Greep instead thanked each member of the band and the sound and support folks before leaving the stage.

The line for the merch table was long and deep. Homer’s should have set up a merch tent with used vinyl in the parking lot. Of course a band as complex and challenging as Black Midi could only attract the best music nerds, hungry for limited edition stuff and vinyl versions of the album they already own digitally, and no doubt played in their cars on the way home (as I did).

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Black Midi, Homeless Gospel Choir Saturday; BFF tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:13 pm October 7, 2022
Black Midi play at The Slowdown Saturday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

London trio Black Midi is on the forefront of a new progressive rock movement that is quietly making a mark on the indie music world. The band has released a number of albums since forming in 2017 that feature intricate rhythms with abrupt stop-start time changes performed with military precision, angular multi-key melodies and spoken-word vocals about abstract, obtuse subject matter. They used to call this art rock or experimental rock or avant prog back in the ‘70s, today it’s considered noise- or post-punk.

Whatever you call it, Black Midi’s music is adventurous and challenging, and attracting a niche following among indie music fans many of whom very likely will be in attendance Saturday night at The Slowdown. Just how many show up is the question. This is not a band that gets local radio play and doesn’t really have a presence on Sirius XMU. How people are finding them is a bit of a mystery. I point toward online publications like Pitchfork, who gave 2019’s Schlagenheim (Rough Trade) the coveted Best New Music honor along with an 8.2 rating (the record was also nominated for the Mercury Prize). Joining Black Midi Saturday night is abstract producer/lyricist Quelle Chris. 8 p.m., $30.

Also Saturday night, fabulous O’Leaver’s is hosting its monthly free rock show. The headliner, Pittsburgh’s indie rockers Homeless Gospel Choir, is on tour supporting their just-released Fourth Dimension Intervention (2022, Don Giovanni). No Functional Purpose opens at 9. Here’s hoping this one doesn’t start on time so I can catch the the Choir after Black Midi. Did I mention it’s free? Oh yeah…

I almost forgot that tonight is the first Friday of the month and, hence, Benson First Friday. Check out the art and excitement along Maple Street. Also this Saturday, Farnam Fest is happening over in the Blackstone district.

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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Night Moves (playing tonight at Reverb Lounge)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:49 pm October 4, 2022
Night Moves at The Waiting Room, April 23, 2013. The band plays Reverb Lounge tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Minneapolis indie band Night Moves has been knocking around since 2010, dropping their first full length, Colored Emotions, in 2012 on Domino records. From the Domino Records website: “Founded by guitarist/lead vocalist John Pelant and bassist Micky Alfano, and later joined by Mark Hanson and Chuck Murlowski, the Minneapolis outfit Night Moves meld the sounds of classic rock with Americana, creating irresistible hooky cosmic sludge with a Nashville twang.

I’m not sure where the “twang” comes in. Rather, Night Moves sounds like a psych-rock version of Beach House, with dense, guitar-driven melodies countered by Pelant’s dreamy, wayward croon that bears no resemblance whatsoever to Bob Seger.

The band is on the road supporting their recent EP, The Redaction. I caught up with them and gave them the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s what they had to say.

1. What is your favorite album?
Night Moves: Willis Alan Ramsey by Willis Alan Ramsey

2. What is your least favorite song?
“I’m Bugged At My Old Man” by The Beach Boys

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
“Band” assumes you’re with other people, so from that lens I guess it would have to be the funny times us psychos share together. The “sillies” as they say.

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

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

6. In what city or town do you love to perform (and why)?
Cleveland – feels like we could move there and get jobs.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?
Manitowoc, WI — gear issues, sound issues, personal headspace/comfort problems… my whole family was there, too, which added to the conundrum. Also, there was a man in a white zoot suit and a buzz cut dancing solo right in front of us the whole time #RockinRicky unsure whether or not this helped or further hindered our success.

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?
We all have side gigs, bartending, serving, delivery type jobs.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?
I’d like to design/make fishing lures.  I would hate to drive a bus or work at H&R Block.

10. What stories have you heard about Omaha, Nebraska?
One time we played “Colored Emotions” in the pitch black at Reverb Lounge. We told the sound guy to turn off all the lights. Everything. It was special.

Night Moves plays with Free Music Oct. 4 at Reverb Lounge. Tickets are $18; showtime is 8 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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