See Through Dresses, Joy Division tribute, Seven Questions with Black Mountain (Slowdown tonight)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 10:49 am November 27, 2019

Black Mountain plays tonight at Slowdown Jr.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I don’t remember there being so many shows on the night before Thanksgiving. With (most) of us off work on turkey day, it makes sense (although who wants to be hungover at the family gathering? Everybody?).

Three shows are on my radar tonight:

Over at the Reverb Lounge, See Through Dresses returns with what I have to believe will be a set that includes a lot of new songs. Locals Hail Varsity opens at 9 p.m. $10.

Meanwhile, just around the corner at The Waiting Room, there’s a slew of tribute acts hitting the stage. Headlining is Control, a Joy Division tribute that features among its players guitarist Mike Saklar and bass player Randy Cotton. In fact, that duo will also be part of Stigmata Martyr, a Bauhaus tribute that comes on right before Control. The evening kicks off at 9 p.m. with 138, a Misfits tribute. $10.

Finally, down at Slowdown Jr. indie metal band Black Mountain headlines. Their new album, Destroyer, was released on Jagjaguwar, a label that’s been releasing their stuff since their self-titled debut back in 2005 — an album that’s still a regular on the ol’ stereo.

At the top of the mountain is Stephen McBean, who’s rock history goes back beyond his previous band, the more laid back Jerk with a Bomb, which merely hinted at the harder stuff to come. On Destroyer, McBean and Co. give us a modern take on Black Sabbath combined with something that’s a lot more funky. Check out “Boogie Lover” to hear what I’m talking about.

I tried getting McBean to do a 10 Questions survey but he wasn’t having it. Instead, here’s seven questions (sort of):

What is your favorite album?

Black Mountain’s Stephen McBean: Rudimentary Peni, Death Church

What is your least favorite song?

Thankfully, I can’t remember.

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Playing music with humans & machines.

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Oysters.

In what city or town do you love to perform?

The one I’m currently performing in.

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

I like the Philadelphia Flyers.

What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Camp Dump strike.

Opening for Black Mountain tonight is Ryler Walker. This is a Slowdown front room show; tickets are $20; showtime is 8 p.m.

Look for an update tomorrow.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

New venue The Berkley to feature local music, food; Wilco tonight…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , — @ 1:44 pm November 20, 2019

Future location of restaurant/music venue The Berkley.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Berkley is a new live music venue / restaurant that’s opening in January at 1901 Leavenworth, the building that used to house Connections and is just a door down from where the first Milk Run was located, with Shuck’s on the opposite end.

It’s the brainchild of Amelia Drake and Deb Sauls. You might remember Amelia from the post-wave duo Drakes Hotel, a band that included her husband, Christopher Yanulis (and if you don’t, here’s a reminder from 2007).

Drake said she and Sauls are going full force on renovating the space, and at the same time, she’s figuring out the kind of music The Berkley will host.

“We’re looking for lower-decibel bands like singer-songwriter or small piece acts,” Drake said. “We are going to be a little different from other venues in town in that we are primarily a restaurant. So, musicians may find performing with us similar to playing a supper club. I’m hoping to attract talent that would be comfortable playing in a coffeehouse circa 1995.”

She’s working with local musician Virginia Kathryn Gallner to book bands. “She’s given me a formidable list of local acts to check out. I’m still making my way through them,” Drake said, adding that she only just moved back to Omaha in June. In addition, she’s reaching out to an Ohio connection who books national acts to try and piggyback on bands passing by Omaha.

Drake said The Berkley will only book music Friday and Saturday nights while it fine-tunes its service. It’ll also host youth acts on weekend days (likely Sunday) “to give young musicians an opportunity to cut their teeth on our stage.”

I think they’ll have no problem finding singer/songwriters to book, but I’m hoping they branch out to more acts like, well, Drakes Hotel. It’ll be interesting to see how the bookings evolve.

No doubt it’s a unique neighborhood to start a business. I remember parking being a bit of a challenge, but I’m told they’re reconfiguring the venue’s back lot for additional parking — who remembers that back lot when the Milk Run was in operation?

To keep track on The Berkley’s progress, follow them on Facebook, here.

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Tonight is the big Wilco show at The Orpheum Theatre. One assumes this is the type of concert Omaha Performing Arts intends to book in the proposed new $109 million music venue to be built next to the Holland.

That said, this show is far from sold out. Tickets were still available — including a ton of $45 balcony and $70 orchestra seats.

Tuomo & Markus, “a Helsinki Finland based musical group founded by renowned Finnish soul artist and jazz musician Tuomo Prättälä and singer/songwriter Markus Nordenstreng from Finnish rock band The Latebirds,” kicks things off at 7:30 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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with The Beths (at The Slowdown July 15)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 6:34 am July 11, 2019

The Beths play at The Slowdown July 15.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The Beths’ bandleader/singer/songwriter Elizabeth Stokes is an indie-rock firecracker who, along with her bandmates, creates hook-filled self-deprecating gems reminiscent of acts like ’90s heartbreakers That Dog., current-day dream wonders Alvvays, and fellow down-under-er Courtney Barnett (though Courtney’s from Australia while Stokes and Co. are from the land of hobbits, New Zealand).

Unlike Barnett, The Beths are still flying under the radar, which makes this upcoming Slowdown Jr. show a chance to see them before they become the inevitable festival-circuit darlings. Their new album, Future Me Hates Me (2019, Carpark Records) is, in a word, sublime — one of my favorite albums so far this year.

We caught up with Stokes and gave her the Ten Questions survey, of which she only answered nine, because, well, if you can’t say something nice…

What is your favorite album? 

This is unfair, just one? My favourite one for a long, long time was The Postal Service Give Up. I was 14 when it became my favourite record, I think that’s the age at which music just gets absorbed straight into your bloodstream and becomes a part of you. I love it with my whole heart.

What is your least favorite song?

What do you enjoy most about being in a band? 

I enjoy physically playing music with other people, connecting and locking in together. It feels different every time and it’s sometimes the easiest thing in the world and sometimes really difficult.

What do you hate about being in a band? 

Hate is a strong word. I’m not crazy about the ‘in the van’ element of touring (I know I’m not alone in this). I get a bit carsick and I can kind of feel my brain and body atrophying after spending hours and hours every day sitting in a vehicle. Holding out for teleportation here.

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)? 

Chocolate. I wish it was something more original or interesting but that would be a lie. It is chocolate. It is easier to not eat chocolate in America because it tastes… strange? But in Europe and at home I purchase and consume chocolate almost every day, please someone help me; it’s not right.

In what city or town do you love to perform? 

This is so hard, so many amazing places I’d have to offend by not saying them. OK, I’m going to pick at random… Glasgow and Edinburgh (I know that’s two, but I don’t want to further divide them). Our shows there are just wild.

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

Auckland, New Zealand, a few years back. It was an opening party for the NZ Film Festival. We were playing as quiet as we could but were still way too loud for this party. People came down after watching this three-hour-long heavy film, and we just cranked into a 45-minute set. We were playing super self-consciously and people were trying to talk about this movie. This old guy yelled at us to stop, I thought maybe he was from the venue. Turns out he was just a super-rich patron of the festival who decided he’d had enough, so we finished the set and then I just cried in the equipment closet. I learned to never play apologetically and I know now we could play the same show and handle it a lot better.

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? 

Kind of. We have been touring basically non-stop for a year, and the touring kind of pays for itself now. And we’re just starting to earn a bit of money, I think by the time we get home in September we’ll have earned enough to hold us down for the period we’ll be back home writing and making the next record. When we’re home, Jon does studio work and live sound, Tristan is a freelance drummer. Ben and I are instrument teachers but might just fill the gap with whatever odd jobs we can find. NZ has some great funding bodies that have been very supportive and without whom we wouldn’t have been able to afford to tour at all. The NZ Music Commission helps with international touring, NZ On Air helps with recording and music videos.

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

I wish I was brave enough to have ever tried stand-up comedy. Or maybe writing would be something I wish I was good at. I think customer service or sales I’d find pretty rough. I grew up working in cafes and even in that job customers could make me cry pretty easily.

What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska? 

Nothing bad I promise! First thing that comes to mind is a line in ‘Rabbit Fur Coat’ by Jenny Lewis.

The Beths play with Girl Friday on Monday, July 15 at The Slowdown, . Tickets are $15. Showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to theslowdown.com.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Scott McCaughey (sold out living room show w/Peter Buck 7/11)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:37 pm July 9, 2019

Scott McCaughey plays a living room show in Omaha July 11.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There’s little doubt that Scott McCaughey would have sold out his July 11 living room show even if his ol’ pal Peter Buck of R.E.M. wasn’t joining him on the tour. McCaughey has played with some of indie music’s greatest acts, including Minus 5 and Young Fresh Fellows, as well as a variety of Peter Buck side projects including The Baseball Project, Filthy Friends and Tired Pony.

Like all Undertow Living Room Shows, this one takes place at someone’s home, whose address is only made known after a ticket has been purchased at the Undertow website. The only clue to the location is the zip code: 68132. So somewhere in Omaha July 11 a group of around 40 people will be listening to songs performed by a couple rock legends.

We caught up with McCaughey and gave him the 10 Questions treatment:

1. What is your favorite album?

Scott McCaughey: THE BEATLES. a/k/a “The White Album”.  I declared it the The Greatest Album In The World back when I was a teenager, and I’m sticking with it.  Strangely, it might not even be the best Beatles album.  But there’s so much of it!  Others: Neil Young – Tonight’s The Night; Big Star – 3rd; The Sonics – Here Are The Sonics, etc.

2. What is your least favorite song?

“I’ve Never Been To Me” – Charlene.  It haunts me to this day.

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

Hanging out with my friends.  Discovering new ways to make each song brilliant on a night to night basis.  Making rules for van behavior, then breaking them.

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

It’s like being married, but without the sex.  In most cases.

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

A frothy smooth pint of Guinness, maybe at The Long Hall or Mulligan’s in Dublin.  I haven’t had one in years though!

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Chicago rules.  Madrid, Spain, is however THE BEST.  The Laurelthirst Public House in Portland, Oregon, has magic.

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

Oh, my.  Seattle (another one of my top cities to play).  It was at the end of three months of a grueling U.S. Young Fresh Fellows tour and we were in tatters and I took cold medicine and copious alcohols and took it out on my bandmates and audience — in hindsight, anyway.

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?

Yes, somehow.  I quit “regular” work (record store, natch) in 1987 and have been muddling about since then.  There have been some quite lucrative years and many leaner ones.  The secret is don’t expect too much, and be thankful for what you get!

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

Is musician a profession?  I guess so!  Hard to imagine doing anything else at this point.  It’s my life.  But I’m not going to denigrate anybody else’s job – that’s a luxury to think that way.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I haven’t spent any time there, which is weird.  I mean, I KNOW Conor Oberst! (He’s amazing.) I once met a son of Robert Altman and he sent me a VHS of his documentary called Omaha — that was beautiful and funny and interesting.  But I kind of forgot most of it now.  No working VHS player.

Scott McCaughey plays a sold out living room show July 11. For more information, go to http://undertowshows.com.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Ratboys (at O’Leaver’s Friday night)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:05 pm June 12, 2019

Ratboys plays at O’Leaver’s Friday, June 14.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Ratboys’ publicist described the duo as a “‘post-country’ meets indie rock group from Chicago.” After listening (many times) to their last full-length, GN (2017, Topshelf), and the follow-up EP, GL (2018, Topshelf) — the titles stand for Good Night and Good Luck — I can’t find much “post-country” about them. But then again, I’ve never considered Wilco, who frontwoman Julia Steiner references as among her influences, to be countrified, post or otherwise.

Instead, Ratboys reminds me ’90s college acts like Belly, Throwing Muses, That Dog, The Breeders and upbeat stuff from Azure Ray and Hop Along. That said, you get plenty of pedal steel on standout EP song “You’ve Changed,” though I prefer the rattle-rock of the EP’s title track and closer, “After School.” Steiner’s warm, soft coo makes it all work no matter what genre label you hang on her music.

Guitarist David Sagan is listed as the duo’s other half, though the band performs live as a four-piece, which we’re likely to see Friday night at O’Leaver’s. We caught up with Steiner and gave her the Ten Questions survey. Here’s what she had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Julia Steiner: A Ghost is Born by Wilco.

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” by The Offspring.

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

Playing music with my friends all the time!

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

Trying to tell people what our music sounds like.

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

Bread

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Boston, MA

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

Fort Collins, CO, in 2015, we hadn’t slept and we were all really grouchy

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?

Not yet, all of us have a variety of side jobs to supplement our income from the band. Dave and I deliver groceries, Sean is a freelance journalist, etc.

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

My dream job would be some sort of radio sports analyst. I wouldn’t like to work construction.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Not many to be honest! I have a couple friends who grew up in Omaha, but they’ve been pretty tight-lipped about any craziness.

Ratboys plays with Uh Oh and Bed Rest Friday, June 14, at O’Leaver’s, 1322 So. Saddle Creek Rd. Showtime is 10 pm., tickets are $10. For more information go to liveatoleaver’s.com.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Diane Coffee (at Slowdown Jr., June 2)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:00 pm May 30, 2019

Diane Coffee plays at Slowdown Jr. Sunday, June 2.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Diane Coffee is Shaun Fleming. As an actor, he’s voiced a slew of animated characters including Jim & Tom Possible in Kim Possible and Leonard Amadeus in Teacher’s Pet. As a musician, he’s played drums in Foxygen. But as Diane Coffee he’s released three albums of retro electro-pop, singing in a voice that would make George Michael or Boy George proud.

On his latest release, Internet Arms (2019, Polyvinyl), Coffee croons about love in a tech age, desperately pushing emotion into a digital space that’s often too cold and isolated to allow for anything as bold as a human touch. He surrounds his smooth vox with lush synths and electronic beats that sound alien and futuristic in an ’80s sort of way. Standout track “Stuck in Your Saturday Night” sounds like it could have been sandwiched in heavy rotation on VH1 between Huey Lewis and Cory Hart.

We caught up with Diane / Shaun and asked him to take the 10 Questions Survey. Here’s what he said:

1. What is your favorite album?

Shaun Fleming/Diane Coffee: Not sure I can pick an all time favorite. My first favorite album, and one I just recently fell in love with all over again, was the self-titled Third Eye Blind record!

2. What is your least favorite song?

“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”

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

Touring

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

Touring

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

Throatcoat Tea

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

That’s hard, don’t know if I have a favorite. Any show can end up being an incredibly memorable experience if the energy is right. I do love playing in LA because it allows me to see my childhood friends and family

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

At a festival in Dayton, Ohio, we had a front-of-house engineer show up late to our set completely wasted and unprepared. Forgot most of his gear at home. It was one of the most unprofessional things I’ve ever experienced. That said, the audience was so unbelievably supportive and energized, it turned into one of my most favorite shows I have ever played.

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?

For the most part. I will usually drive for Lyft or work odd jobs to supplement my income if need be.

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

Marine Biologist; Politician

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I heard it’s the birthplace of the Reuben sandwich!

Diane Coffee plays with Disq Sunday, June 2, at The Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 Adv/$15 DOS. For more information, go to theslowdown.com

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

The Lazy-i Interview: Cursive’s Tim Kasher talks Winchester, Vitriola, 15 Passenger and (most importantly) volleyball…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:28 pm May 23, 2019

Cursive, from left, are Ted Stevens, Patrick Newbery, Matt Maginn, Tim Kasher, Clint Schnase and Megan Siebe. Photo by Tony Bonacci.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

When Cursive takes the stage at Winchester Bar, the ramshackle home of volleyball and karaoke recently purchased by a consortium that includes members of the band, you’ll see some old and new faces.

The band’s core — frontman Tim Kasher, guitarist Ted Stevens and bass player Matt Maginn — will be joined by new permanent members keyboardist Patrick Newbery and cellist Megan Siebe. Drummer Pat Oakes will be sitting in for returning member, drummer Clint Schnase.

It’s a big group that creates a big sound on the band’s new album, Vitriola, recorded at ARC Studios with wizard knob turner Mike Mogis. To my ears, it’s a return to the classic bash-rock style Cursive became known for beginning in the late ’90s on its many Saddle Creek Records releases. 

My simplistic (and there’s no one more simplistic than I) take on the record’s theme is that Kasher’s getting older and these songs reflect his anxiety about aging and/or the struggle and futility of life (versus say, songs about his struggles with relationships (Domestica) or religion (Happy Hollow)). There’s also a  political theme that runs through a few songs that’s hard to miss, though I wouldn’t consider this a protest album. 

During a phone interview that took place a few weeks ago, Kasher talks about the new album, the band’s new record label, 15 Passenger (which they own and operate), working again with Schnase and buying yet another volleyball bar to run alongside The Club called O’Leaver’s.

Tell me about Winchester? Why did you buy it? What are your plans? What do you feel about playing there?

Kasher: Winchester is a bar that went up for sale a handful of years ago and the fellas that are in this group business that we have saw it as an opportunity. And Chris Machmuller (of Ladyfinger fame, who also runs O’Leaver’s) also has been wanting a kitchen for some time, and that has a restaurant as part of it. O’Leaver’s is also going to be utilizing its kitchen soon. But those are the reasons, I mean, the volleyball, essentially.  They know how that works, so they thought they’d go for it. I like the spot myself. I guess we all liked it, you know?

It is bigger. It’s got a stage, it’s got good cheeseburgers and you’re cornering the market on volleyball. You guys are becoming the volleyball kings.

Yeah, it’s funny, we have definitely become the volleyball people. And it’s really not that far out of the way. It’s just kind of relative to what we understand and which direction we go in Omaha.

So, you’re in Chicago, right?

No. I’m in L.A.

So, you’re in L.A. and they call you and say ‘Hey, we’re thinking about buying Winchester. What do you think?’ Because it couldn’t have been your idea, right?

No. It was not. The whole process really took a while. I guess it is over a year ago now, and we just kind of talked about it and considered it. But I only offer as much input as is necessary, only if there is any major red flags, but I don’t think that has ever come up for me. I’m just kind of happy to let them do what they do.

Alright, so tell me about the album. Everyone says it is this angry album, but I think it’s just delightful. I like ‘Remorse,’ which is my favorite Cursive song since ‘From the Hips.’ 

Thanks. That’s actually a song that Patrick Newbery brought in. This is the first time that we more completely wrote with Patrick. He worked on I am Gemini but it was a little bit after the fact. He kind of came in and rounded the edges and put organs and different things on. But this time he wrote from the start and I encouraged him to bring songs in, too, and that was one of the things he had lying around. So I put some melody and vocals on it and it’s a nice piece.

Yeah I assume you’re playing that live?

No. We actually haven’t been.

What?

Perhaps we should.

Why not?

I don’t know, I guess for us it felt like more of the appropriate somber deep cut for the album. 

You’ve really analyzed this record more than any of the others I think. It’s amazing the stuff you’ve said about it in interviews. Does that much thought go into it? I mean it seems no darker than the other records. 

Sometimes it just has to do with what the press says, you know? Prior to being released I kind of scratched my head and I’m not sure what to think of it and I wonder what others think of it. Others kind of enlightened me to what their impression is and what their perception of it is, so then I just kind of start going along. So apparently this one came off as a lot darker and heavier than what, though, I’m not sure. Because I agree with you, every Cursive record is pretty heavy, I guess. Happy Hollow was probably in a little bit of a different direction, but…

It sounds like you’re getting older to me, that’s all. You know. In the same way I’m getting older, too. You’re getting more pissed at stuff.

Yes, that’s true.

So, tell me how it’s going in terms of putting this out yourselves versus Saddle Creek Records? I talked to (Saddle Creek label chief) Robb Nansel and he said ‘I think they just wanted to do it themselves. I’m not sure why they want to do it themselves, because it’s such a pain in the neck, etc.’ Has it been difficult doing the label for you guys? Is it more work than you thought is was going to be? 

No, I don’t really think there’s been much of a problem. Also Saddle Creek has a lot of bands. They have a lot more moving pieces as a result of that. We are very boutique, as you can tell. It might be a better question for Matt and Ted, but it’s been actually pretty enjoyable and we do have a distributor and stuff, too. It’s not like every role has been thrown in our laps.

Part of the joy of life is doing things yourself and running your own business. The bars are kind of like that as well. It’s a challenge, and I think everybody kind of likes the challenge.

Is it more financially satisfying?

You know, probably not. But that wasn’t part of it. Those were the conversations we had with Robb before we ever made the decision.

Money really wasn’t the driver?

No, we were always clear about that. Money is not a factor at all because we actually know that money won’t be a factor. There’s not some big slice that we’re getting, you know? It’s a modest business.

So it’s about controlling the product then?

Yeah, yeah. And feeling good about that and representing ourselves.

Why hasn’t Cursive issued a Greatest Hits album? Or a live album, you know? Conor’s done a live record, The Faint did Capsule (a retrospective). When are you guys going to do your Greatest Hits collection?

We never talk about it. It’s not a terrible idea.

Well, it brings up the question if whether they’re even relevant in an era of streaming?

True. I mean really, it’s just almost like making a play list. I think we’ve already done that. We still have an interest in documenting what we do live, and that’s still a conversation we throw around. We still haven’t pulled the trigger on that. But that would probably be our version of a “best of” record.

Like… Cursive Live at Oleaver’s, maybe?

Absolutely.

So where does the band live these days?

Actually everybody is here in Omaha. Except for me.

What’s it like having Clint Schnase back in the band?

It’s a blast.

How did that come about?

It was just great timing. Everything clicked together really well. As 15 Passenger, Matt, Ted and I saw it as a means to slowly re-release our catalog under the same umbrella. But as we would have those conversations it was always just kind of fun to play around and say, ‘Jeez, we could really do what we want, we don’t have to set any perimeters.’ And the obvious conclusion to that would be, ‘I guess if there’s anything we were to release, it would probably be a new Cursive record.’ So we asked ourselves, ‘Are we doing another Cursive record?‘ Because we sincerely never know. Every record we do, we never really talk about another one.

So doing 15 Passenger kind of helped stimulate us, made us curious and gave us something to work toward. It would be kind of cool to release another Cursive record on our own label. So that idea was very slowly marinating between us, and then out of the blue Clint reached out and (said), ‘If you guys ever want to do a record again, I’d love to.’ And so hearing that we were like ‘Actually, we’ve been talking about doing another record, so if you wanted to then that’s perfect.’ Once he reached out to us, we were just like ‘Oh my gosh, we’ve got to do it.’

I assumed he kind of pulled away for personal or possibly family stuff and now he must have some time to do this.

I probably shouldn’t speak on his behalf, but I think that’s quite fair to say that he wanted to kind of settle down more and start a family. And I think for him his daughter is like a young lady now, so I think he felt that he could dedicate a little more time. But I don’t think he would ever like to do the heavy tour circuit again like we used to do. (Pat Oakes is the band’s tour drummer and will be playing the Winchester show). Even when we were young and we were doing that, it really wasn’t his bag. And Clint was always very vocal about that.

He’s just a crazy drummer. I mean he’s one of my favorites, so muscular and aggressive. 

For me it really shines through. I’ve loved the other drummers we’ve played with, they’re just amazing. But the actual Cursive drummer is Clint. That’s the sound of what we are and what we do, you know?

How’s Megan enjoying being part of the band? She’s kind of been touring with you for years before this anyway, right?

Yeah, Megan and I have become really close touring partners. She does solo tours as well now and it’s great. We get along great. We’re great friends and I think she’s enjoying herself.

So tell me about what’s next. What are you guys working on after this tour is done?

Well, I kind of had to ask myself that. I wasn’t really sure. I always want to keep moving forward, writing stuff. So after some consideration of what it is I do in this life, I just started writing songs again. So I started working on another solo record that I’ll hopefully put out next year. I’ll see how it goes.  And then, of course, I’ll always have scripts. I’m having a string of good luck right now, so I’m hoping to give that a shot this summer.

So another movie possibly (Kasher wrote and directed 2017 feature film No Resolution)?

Yeah. But I don’t want to jinx it. I’ve had those things fall through so many times in my life, but I’m trying to stay on track to shoot it this summer.

What about the label? There’s rumors about another band joining the label.

Yeah, we have two things and maybe a third thing. I don’t think it’s stuff I can talk about yet, because it’s another thing that, if it falls through, that’s like… And then there’s a secret announcement that we are going to do for one of them, too, and who knows?

So, anything else? Anything else going on that you want to mention?

We’re excited about doing Winchester. Excited for people come out and see it. I imagine a lot of people probably haven’t yet.

Cursive plays with mewithoutYou and The Appleseed Cast Saturday, May 25, at Winchester Bar & Grill, 7002 Q Tickets are $22, showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to winchesteromaha.com.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Lady Lamb (at Reverb April 22); Sasami, The Crystal Method, Glow in the Dark tonight…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:00 pm April 18, 2019

Lady Lamb plays at Reverb Lounge Monday, April 22.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Lady Lamb is singer/songwriter Aly Spaltro, who you may remember as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, a moniker she dropped shortly after her 2013 debut, Ripely Pine. She’s actually been releasing EPs and LPs since 2009, bouncing between indie labels Ba Da Bing Records and Mom + Pop Records. Her most recent, Even in the Tremor, brings her back to Ba Da Bing for an intimate collection of folk rock songs. Spaltro paints intricate personal portraits of daily life with all the messy emotions that come with it.

We caught up with Aly and asked her to take the Ten Questions survey. Here’s what she said:

1. What is your favorite album?

Aly Spaltro: Widow City by The Fiery Furnaces

2. What is your least favorite song?

Maybe ‘Thrift Shop’ by Macklemore?

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

Having friends with which to contemplate snack options at gas stations.

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

Late load-outs with tons of gear after shows!

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

Black diner coffee

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

New Orleans

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

In Brussels, Belgium, our van was robbed and they stole my pedalboard and discarded our merch all over the street. That was a rough show to say the least!

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?

Yes I am very fortunate to have been supporting myself with my music since 2010 when I left home in Maine and moved to NYC.

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 attempt film editing. I would absolutely hate to be a helicopter pilot.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Romantic Saddle Creek stories of some of my favorite musicians like Conor Oberst, Jenny Lewis and Tim Kasher all hanging out and making music together!

Lady Lamb plays with Renata Zeiguer and Alex Schaaf Monday, April 22, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Showtime is 8 p.m., tickets are $15 Adv./$17 DOS. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

Two red-hot shows tonight:

At Reverb Lounge, indie darling Sasami, a.k.a. Sasami Ashworth, headlines. Her self-titled debut was released on Domino Records last month. Canadian singer/songwriter Ellis opens at 8 p.m. $12.

Meanwhile, around the corner at The Waiting Room, the electronica duo The Crystal Method headlines. Their sixth studio album, The Trip Home, was released on Tine e Records last September. Opening is our own electro-rock kingpin Glow in the Dark, who’s getting ready to drop a new record called Teenline. Aaron Gum and Co. just dropped a new video for a song from that album, called “Gemini Looks.” Check it. Tickets are $25, showtime is 8 p.m.

* * *

Who’s excited about the Maha Festival line-up announcement tonight at The Slowdown? Let’s hope it’s bigger than the Mueller Report…

* * *

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with DeVotchKa (@ TWR Feb. 10); Samantha Crane, About-Face, Cult Play tonight; Lupines, Janglepop Saturday…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:51 pm February 8, 2019

Devotchka plays at The Waiting Room Sunday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

“Devotchka” is a Russian word for “girl,” according to Wikipedia, whereas DeVotchKa is a Denver four-piece fronted by brassy crooner Nick Urata. The band’s history dates back to 1997 and 11 studio albums including their latest, This Night Falls Forever (2018, Concord Records), a romantic collection of lush ballads that, on tracks like “Done with Those Days,” and opener “Straight Shot” sees Urata channeling such vintage vocalists as Roy Orbison and Chris Isaak.

One common thread in these songs is their sentimentality,” Urata says. “When you first discover rock and roll, that’s usually the same time you’re discovering girls or boys, when everything is so romantic and huge — that era of your life is where these songs are coming from.”

We caught up with Urata and gave him the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s eight of his answers:

1. What is your favorite album?

Nick Urata: Revolver by the Beatles. Every song on it is a classic and in a genre of its own. The moment I heard it I knew I had to make music.

2. What is your least favorite song?

The “877 Kars 4 Kids” (jingle/commercial)

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

I’ve always wanted to be in a band. I’ve been in so many that fell apart when you find one that works it’s like magic. To have brothers and sisters in music, to share the peaks and valleys of this life is a blessing.

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

“Hate” is a strong word, but if you’re serious about your band it takes over every aspect of your life.

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

I left (this one and No. 10) blank. They will just get me in trouble…

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Omaha, obviously.

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

There have been a few.  When we look back it turns out our home town of Denver is the sight of some of our worst disasters. Mostly because that’s where we cut our teeth and learned how to put on a show. It’s always the ones that you think are going to be earth-shattering that are the biggest let down. For us early on we were asked to open for Marilyn Manson, we were elated, but the reality was a harsh one. I thought his fans would be enlightened and open to something different, but the diehards up front hated us and made our first arena show a nightmare, it was also the day GW got re-elected, very dark…

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?

It goes back to my previous answer: If you are willing to give up any semblance of a normal life you can eventually quit your day job. I’m happy to report we all have.

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

I would love to be a cinematographer, but I’m not sure I can even spell it so I guess that says something, but I think the fact that we can capture our world in such a beautiful light is a miracle we take for granted and future dystopian generations will cherish.

On the flip side, anything around an airport or church.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Devotchka plays with Neyla Pekarek (formerly of The Lumineers) Sunday, Feb. 10, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple Street. Tickets are $25 Adv/$60 M&G. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com

* * *

Now onward to the rest of the weekend…

Acclaimed singer/songwriter Samantha Crain headlines tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s. She’s a Choctaw singer, songwriter, poet, producer and musician from Oklahoma and a two-time Native American Grammy Award winner. Sean Pratt and McCarthy Trenching open at 10 p.m. $10.

Meanwhile, over at The Sydney in Benson, Cult Play headlines with Lincoln band Universe Contest and Dross (members of Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship). 10 p.m., $5.

There’s also a four-band emo show at West O bar Dr. Jack’s Drinkery, 3012 No. 102nd St. Headlining is Nebraska band About-Face, with Missouri act Faintheart, and Nebraska bands Midwest Coasta and Phantom Killer. $10, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to O’Leaver’s for the amazing Lupines. Also on the bill are Las Cruxes and Chase the Ghost (Reagan Roeder/Brian Tait madness). $5, 10 p.m.

Also happening Saturday night is the return of ’90s/’00s Omaha act Janglepop at Reverb Lounge. Read this ancient article about the band here. Modern-day jangle-pop alt-country band Clarence Tilton opens at 8 p.m. $5.

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Future Generations (tonight at The Waiting Room)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:32 pm January 15, 2019

Future Generations plays tonight (Jan. 15) at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Brooklyn indie band Future Generations was trying to get their heads around their changing world on their sophomore album Landscape (2018, Frenchkiss). “The title partly came from ending the first significant relationship of my life, and with the band’s move to Brooklyn, we were all put into this world we’d never experienced—living on our own and navigating the landscape of being in New York City,” said frontman Eddie Gore.

Produced by Justin Gerrish (Vampire Weekend, Hamilton Leithauser), Landscape also is the first Future Generations release to feature their full lineup which, in addition to Gore, includes Mike Sansevere, synthesizer/guitar/percussion; Eric Grossman, guitar; Devon Sheridan, bass, and Dylan Wells, percussion.

We caught up with the band and gave them the ol’ Ten Question treatment. Here’s what they said.

*Band note* This was done in the van on the way to Indianapolis and later to Omaha, with Devon dictating and transcribing questions and answers.

1. What is your favorite album?

Dylan Wells: Kid A by Radiohead

Mike Sansevere: I gotta think about it. You can probably just put Donuts by J Dilla for me. It’s a played-out answer, but that’s probably it.

Eric Grossman: That’s a good question I have no idea. That Bruce Springsteen live album probably, I have no idea what it is.

Eddie Gore: Parachutes by Coldplay

Devon Sheridan: It always changes but right now I’d say Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend.

2. What is your least favorite song?

Dylan: “Piano Man” by Billy Joel.

Mike: Ohhhh yeah that song sucks (Dylan and Mike fist bump). Might have to second that.

Devon: Mine is “We Are Young” by Fun..

Eddie: Whatever that “Thunder” song by Imagine Dragons is.

Eric: I don’t know what are some bad songs?

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

Dylan: Traveling, specifically eating at cool little diners every morning.

Mike: Making music, that’s why (I’m in) in a band, to make music.

Eric: *too busy playing Mario* just say uhhhh, figuring out and eating lunch.

Eddie: Getting paid to hang out with my friends.

Devon: I’m with Eddie. I also just like putting good energy into the world via music. Always thought it’d be so cool to do that.

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

Dylan: Financial insecurity.

Mike: Traveling. I also really hate foreign bathrooms, just a different toilet everyday. That kills me.

Eric: The stress of being in a different place everyday. I like being in my own bed.

Eddie: I don’t really hate anything about being in a band.

Devon: I hate the always nagging feeling of never feeling like you’re doing enough, either creatively or professionally, for the band. Even if it’s not true.

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

Eric: You can say butter.

Dylan: A nice Northern Rhone Syrah.

Mike: You can put down water for me.

Eddie: Cheese.

Devon: Eggs, they’re freaking next level.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Dylan: Austin.

Mike: Atlanta.

Eric: The North Pole.

Eddie: Nashville.

Devon: Nashville, because of hot chicken and Eddie’s parents’ super comfortable basement.

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

Dylan: Baltimore, because I fell out of my drum throne.

Mike: I never make mistakes.

Eric: There was a hectic show in D.C. where my pedals didn’t work. It was with Mt. Joy earlier this year.

Eddie: We played the wrong venue in Alabama a couple years ago. That was bad.

Devon: We played an empty show at a terrifying bar in Memphis on a Monday, and now we always say “at least it won’t be as bad as ‘Memphis on a Monday.’”

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?

Devon: Not quite yet, but getting there. Mostly we all bartend and work in the service industry to varying degrees. We all love and appreciate food, and it keeps us flush when we’re not touring. Mike does royalties for labels.

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

Dylan: I would want to work on a winery; would hate to do an office job.

Mike: Accountant/Accountant.

Eddie: Food critic. I’d hate to be a music critic.

Eric: Would love to work and office job; would hate to work on a winery.

Devon: Would love to do criminal defense law; would hate to be a gun manufacturer.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Dylan: Birthplace of 311.

Mike: Warren Buffett. And they got a Whole Foods by the hotel.

Eric: All I know is Omaha Steaks.

Eddie: I don’t know anything about Omaha.

Devon: OMAHA!!!

Future Generations plays with Magic City Hippies, Tuesday, Jan. 15, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple Street. Tickets are $20, showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.

* * *

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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i