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.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Quivers (performing at Grapefruit Records Sunday)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 11:37 am September 24, 2022
Quivers play at Grapefruit Records in the Old Market Sunday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It’s starting to become a stereotype about Australian indie bands — they just know now to write really catchy, embraceable melodies that sound on first listen as if you’ve heard them all your life. Melbourne’s Quivers certainly falls into that category. 

The band’s latest album, Golden Doubt (2021, Ba Da Bing!), is a 10-song collection of comfortable indie folk-rock characterized by gorgeous pop melodies, chiming, bright instrumentation and warm, layered harmonies. For me, it’s very much a throwback to the kind of music that dominated college radio in the ‘80s by acts like R.E.M., Hunters and Collectors, The Go-Betweens and The Reivers. 

The band consists of guitarist/vocalist Sam Nicholson, bassist/vocalist Bella Quinlan, drummer/vocalist Holly Thomas and guitarist/vocalist Michael Panton. I caught up with then on their way to Grapefruit Records in the Old Market this Sunday night, Sept. 25, for a very special in-store, and gave them the ol’ Ten Questions survey. Here’s what they had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

We don’t really play favorites but here are some albums that have hugely impacted on us or we are just listening to at the moment.


Mike: Armlock – Trust


Holly: Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again


Sam: Chad Vangaalen –  Soft Airplane


Bella: Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels On A Gravel Road

2. What is your least favorite song?

Sam: I think all music is great, and if someone likes it somewhere then it deserves to exist.

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

Holly: Having band mates! And sharing all sorts of wonderful experiences with them. 

Sam: All the people you meet and places you see that you would never if it wasn’t for a few songs.

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

Holly: I really can’t think of anything to hate.  It’s actually the best; everyone should be in a band!

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?
Mike: Phosphorus
Sam: Pancakes
Holly: Love

6. In what city or town do you love to perform (and why)?

Sam: There’s no city that I wouldn’t want to visit and play music in – we are so excited to get around all these cities in the USA. I would love us to one day play in Mexico City though!

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

Sam: Really don’t want to name names. Our worst gig was still too much fun, sometimes when it gets weird it really is more memorable!

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?

Sam: It supports us emotionally and sometimes financially!

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

Holly: Probably something creative that doesn’t involve 9-5 hours, or maybe a professional sports person? Though I think those days have well passed. I would really dislike working for a big corporation that doesn’t care about people or the earth.

10. What stories have you heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

As a kid my sister had hundreds of CDs, lots of R.E.M., but there was one Counting Crows CD that I think I still know all the words to even though I haven’t heard it since I was ten. Their song “Omaha” made me always want to get there! And of course later hearing Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen. We can’t wait to visit and also to check out Grapefruit Records as we play our instore – we’ve been in contact with Simon Joyner there for a while now and he helps us post our records around the USA. He’s also a great songwriter, too – and I’m sure those store shelves are stocked with some good records!

Quivers perform Sunday, Sept. 25, at Grapefruit Records, 1125 Jackson St., Suite 5. Local support is TBC. Show starts at 6:30 p.m. and is free/by donation. For more information, call 402-769-6583.

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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 Live Skull (playing Lincoln Calling Friday night!)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:25 pm September 20, 2022
Live Skull plays Friday night at Lincoln Calling. Photo by Jen Jaffe.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

When it was announced that Lincoln Calling managed to book seminal ‘80s noise-rock legends Live Skull for this year’s festival, which runs this Thursday through Saturday, I was flummoxed. 

A product of the Lower Manhattan music and art scene of the ‘80s, Live Skull was the definitive post-punk noise act alongside bands like Sonic Youth, Swans and Lydia Lunch. They dominated the late-‘80s with a handful of albums released on Homestead, many featuring Thalia Zedek on vocals and all begging for a reissue. Soon after Positraction was released in ’89, the band called it quits. 

Now they’re back after a 30-year hiatus. The band’s founder — guitarist/vocalist Mark C. — reformed Live Skull with a new line-up in 2018 that includes Lincoln native Kent Heine on bass (Who remembers Kent’s former band, The Holy Ghost? I do. Read my interview with the band from way back in 2002). Live Skull has released a couple new albums including 2020’s Dangerous Visions on Bronson Recordings. 

The Lincoln Calling gig is part of a fall U.S. tour and will no doubt be a highlight of the Festival. I caught up with Mark C. and gave him the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s what he had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Mark C.: Depending on the day of the week either, Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, or Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, or Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew, or Joni Mitchel’s Blue, or The Fall’s Live At the Witch Trials, or Fela’s Expensive Shit!

2. What is your least favorite song?

Every pop song with auto-tuning!

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

Travelling to different cities around the world to perform can be exciting, when the drives aren’t too long, you’ve gotten some sleep, and you get a soundcheck! I also relish not always having to be the driver, so I can shoot video out the window.

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

Hearing loss! Also having to feign laughter at bad, drummer jokes! How can you tell someone’s a drummer? He’s the one hanging with musicians…

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

Organic Hawaiian black tea from the Big Island!

6. In what city or town do you love to perform (and why)?

New York City will always be my favorite, but our last tour of Norway was super fun, and I would say recently we’ve been having a lot of fun playing upstate in Kingston. The air is sweet, the crowd is enthusiastic, and there’s nice outdoor space at the club we’ve been playing at, Tubby’s -where they feed you the most amazing vegan pizza and win you over with positive vibes!

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

Hmm… we’ve played shows where guitar amps blew up, lead singers could just barely crawl onto stage in the middle of the opening song, disappearing sound engineers at showtime…but back in the day we had a gig in Wuppertal, Germany, where we were told we had damaged a $1,800 microphone (somehowjust about the amount of our fee) and therefore they wouldn’t be paying us. And there was the time in Phoenix, Arizona, after a well-attended gig, I think the day after New Year’s, when Tom Paine and I were summoned upstairs to the club owner’s office, but instead of a check, he pulls a gun out of the drawer and slams it down on his desk in front of us. He looked up and asked what we were still doing sitting there!!

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?

There was a time near the end of the ‘80s when Live Skull could support the band members while touring and pay everyone’s rent back home. But I’ve always had other jobs, and these days I record bands at my studio, Deepsea in Hoboken, New Jersey. I also piece together photography work and other assorted activities to help make ends meet.

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

I’ve been semi-obsessed with art photography since I was a kid — you can see some of my work on our early album covers, posters and the 5-D video as well as on Sugar’s Copper Blue – and I imagine I would like teaching it.

Basically, I never thought I could face a steady 9-5 office job of any kind.

10. What stories have you heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Aside from Insurance tips from Mutual of Omaha, I’ve heard they have the largest indoor desert and the largest indoor rain forest in America. Why travel further? And I always thought the Brooklyn Botanic Garden was special with their Bonsai Museum!

Live Skull plays Friday, Sept. 23, at Bodega’s Alley, 1418 O Street, Lincoln, as part of Lincoln Calling. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, including ticket pricing, go to LincolnCalling.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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Grocer (playing tonight at The Sydney)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 5:45 am March 21, 2022
Grocer at The Reverb Aug. 17, 2021. The band plays tonight at The Sydney in Benson.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The last time Philly indie rock band Grocer came through Omaha last August I tagged them for a quick interview about touring during COVID, with the Delta variant about to come down like a hammer.

Drummer Cody Nelson put some wisdom to the situation: “We’re in a new place every night. If we can make sure we’re surrounded by as few potential carriers as possible that increases the chances of us being healthy and being able to continue our tour. If the venue takes the lead, it’s more comfortable for us to show up and be safe.” You can read the full article at The Reader website, here.

Looks like they survived, as the band is returning to The Sydney in Benson tonight, for a tough-as-nails Monday gig. Their style very much is in the early Pixies tradition, angular and cool riding high on the bass line and backbeat drums, while guitarist Emily Daly shreds feedback-drenched leads filtered through a muffled effects pedal.

Since last time, the band recorded a 9-track LP, Numbers Game, that’s slated for release May 6, and just released the first track, “Pick A Way.”

We caught up with Grocer again, but this time subjected them to the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s what they had to say:

What is your favorite album?

Danielle Lovier: My most listened to album is Shadow of Your Smile by Astrud Gilberto.

Nick Rahn: Bitte Orca – Dirty Projectors

Cody Nelson: Commit This to Memory by Motion City Soundtrack

Emily Daly: Sister by Sonic Youth

What is your least favorite song?

Cody: Don’t know if I have one, but I really don’t like Du Hast

Emily: Baby Shark

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Cody: Pass…JK it’s the most meaningful form of social/creative connection I’ve personally ever found. 

Emily: The camaraderie of hanging out with fellow weirdos with the same impossible goals

D&N: Touring!

What do you hate about being in a band?

Danielle: Making a decision on where the four of us should eat a meal while on tour.

Nick: Self Promotion

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Cody: Legal: Coffee, Illegal: Don’t worry about it 😉

Danielle: LSD lol

In what city or town do you love to perform?

Danielle: I think Omaha actually is pretty high up on the list for us, as well as Atlanta & Charleston.

Emily: Chicago/El Paso

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

Nick: Phoenix, too many reasons

Cody: Definitely Philadelphia, haha

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?

Nick: No, I also freelance as an audio engineer and a handyman.

Danielle: Not quite there yet. I make planters.

Cody: Certainly not (yet), I’m also a professional poker player.

Emily: Nope!

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

Emily: I would love to teach, which I’ve done before, but unfortunately doesn’t pay a living wage. I would be useless at anything involving math. 

Cody: I would like to try being a therapist/psychologist, would hard pass any other sort of medical/legal field.

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

Danielle: We heard that there’s a recording studio in Omaha, where the sound engineer actually wrote ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ and gave it to Boys II Men, from which Mariah Carey stole it and said sound engineer was never credited.

Nick: Just the one story about the corn husker who saw Conor Oberst at a Runza.

Grocer plays tonight with Bad Self Portraits and Bach Mai at The Sydney in Benson, 5918 Maple St. Show time is not listed, but it probably starts at 8 p.m. $12.

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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 Squirrel Flower (at Reverb Saturday); new And How music, tonight with Thick Paint…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:05 pm March 16, 2022
Squirrel Flower plays at Reverb Lounge Saturday, March 19.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Chicago by way of Boston’s Squirrel Flower a.k.a. Ella Williams has been writing and recording indie folk music since 2015, but broke through the waves with 2020’s I Was Born Swimming (Polyvinyl) that Paste Magazine called a record “you’ll want to sink into, like a warm bath or maybe a 4 p.m. ocean that’s been baking in the hot sun all day.”

She followed it up with Planet (i) (Polyvinyl, 2021), of which Allmusic said, “Themes of personal, meteorological, and environmental disaster scud like silver clouds over the album’s panoramic arrangements in a tenuous, but pleasingly textural way.” In fact, the record’s one-sheet called it “a love letter to disaster in every form imaginable. Tornadoes, flooding, gaslighting assholes, cars on fire—these songs fully embrace a planet in ruin.”

Sound depressing? Yeah, it can be. But most of Planet (i) is acoustic-riff indie rock that fits alongside acts like Cassandra Jenkins or Tomberlin at their quieter moments. It’s a pretty record that feels like a long, contemplative road trip, dusty and afternoon-sun lit, lost along an empty Highway 30.

Expect to hear tracks off this one when she rolls into Reverb Saturday night, as well as songs off her just release follow-up EP, Planet (Polyvinyl), which consists of outtakes from the Planet (i) sessions and a cover of Bjork’s “Unravel.”

We caught up with Williams and asked her the Ten Questions. Here’s her rather minimal responses:

What is your favorite album?

Squirrel Flower’s Ella Williams: Nebraska by Springsteen 😉

What is your least favorite song?

Happy Birthday

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Playing music with them 

What do you hate about being in a band?

Literally nothing !

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Bagel with cream cheese

In what city or town do you love to perform?

Chicago! Where I live right now. 

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

I’ve never had a bad gig but one time I played in Sioux City, Iowa, and we got caught in the craziest rain storm ever. Full rivers flowing on the street while we were loading out.

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?

I have very low living costs and teach and work catering/restaurant gigs from time to time. It took a long time to get to the point of only needing a bit of side work here and there.

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

I worked as a carpenter’s assistant for a bit, which I really loved. Would like to go into carpentry maybe. I would hate to be in finance or be a coder. 

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

Mainly just nice tales from my friend Paige, who grew up on a goat farm outside of Omaha! Can’t wait to play in Omaha. 

Squirrel Flower plays with Tenci Saturday, March 19, at Reverb Lounge. Tickets are $15, showtime is 8 p.m. This is a No Vax No Entry show, so bring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

. 0 0 0 .

Omaha band And How released a new track off a forthcoming album with no set release date (that I know of). Produced/recorded by Ian Aeillo, who gave me the tip, the song was recorded at the old Enamel Studios (and I’m sure there’s a good story behind that). When we’ll hear more tracks from these sessions is a mystery, as I’m told frontman Ryan Menchaca has his hands full with this project and touring with Thick Paint. Fingers crossed that both bands play at this year’s Petfest…

Speaking of which, tonight And How plays with Thick Paint and Masonjixx (headliner) at Reverb Lounge. $15, 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.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Lala Lala (playing this Saturday at The Slowdown)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:40 pm March 10, 2022
Lala Lala plays at Slowdown Jr. Saturday, March 12.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Chicago’s Lala Lala is the indie rock project by Lillie West playing at Slowdown Saturday night. You might remember when she opened for Better Oblivion Community Center back in March 2019, just months before the troubles. And she’s been through a few times before that.

Her latest, I Want the Door to Open (Hardly Art, 2021) is a sonic push forward for West, incorporating deep beats, electronic shifts and her breathy vocals that at times reminded me of a young Suzanne Vega. It’s a very modern-sounding eclectic collection of songs that can both rock and be quietly introspective.

West co-produced I Want The Door To Open with Yoni Wolf of Why? and had input from poet Kara Jackson, OHMME, Adam Schatz of Landlady, Sen Morimoto, Christian Lee Hutson and Kaina Castillo. Ben Gibbard sings a duet with West on “Plates,” a song about accepting the past regardless of whatever negative feelings accompany those memories.

We caught up with Lillie and asked her to undergo the Ten Questions survey. Here’s how it went:

  1. What is your favorite album?

Lala Lala’s Lillie West: Not sure of all time right now I’m really loving the Sudan Archives album Athena. And I always love Mudanin Kata by David Darling & The Wulu Bunun.

 
  1. What is your least favorite song?

I do not have one. And if I did I would not tell you.

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

Connecting with people. Traveling. Singing. Music is magic.

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

Driving a lot.

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

Ummm I dont know kombucha? Hummus? Soft fabric? Oil paint? THE SKY??

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

I love to perform anywhere but Chicago does always show up for me literally and spiritually. 

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

I completely lost my voice during a set once but I won’t say where because it’s not their fault.

  1. 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 and no. I also do focus groups, sell prints of my photos, make content for different audio companies, sell clothes online… but I quit my day job at a record store in 2018. 

  1. 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 farmer or a dancer. I would never under any circumstance be a cop.

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

I haven’t heard many stories but early in our DIY days we stayed at a house that had a pile of dog food and an inside out dish glove on the ground that no one who lived there could explain. 

Lala plays with Elton Aura Saturday, March 12, at Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St. Showtime is 8 p.m., tickets are $20. This is a No Vax No Entry event, so bring your vax card or proof of a negative test taken within the past 14 days. 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Unwed Sailor’s Johnathon Ford (new EP out Jan. 21)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 3:01 pm January 11, 2022
Unwed Sailor has a new EP coming out Jan. 21 on Spartan Records.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, as you all know by now, tomorrow night’s Unwed Sailor show at Reverb Lounge has been cancelled due to one of the band members getting the Covid. Prior to that announcement, I had reached out to the band to see if they’d do the Ten Questions survey in support of the gig. And even though the gig is kaput, we figured why not do it anyway in support of the release of their upcoming EP, Live at CommVess, out Jan. 24 on Spartan Records.

For those of you not in the know, Unwed Sailor is the long-running post-rock project by former Pedro the Lion member Johnathon Ford. The band plays mostly ambient instrumentals in the vein of classic indie acts like The Album Leaf and Tristeza. Very cool vibe.

Of the new album Ford told super-hip NYC blog Brooklynvegan: “It’s been a long time coming for Unwed Sailor to release a proper live recording and to document the process through film as well. Being able to create an intimate first hand look into the vibe and sound of the band playing music and hanging out together in a live studio experience has been a real treat.”

Check out “Blitz,” the first track from the new album:

You can preorder the EP from the band’s Bandcamp page, here. It’s a monumental drag that this show has been cancelled because it would have been a perfect fit for Reverb. Here’s hoping they can reschedule when this pandemic finally runs its course.

Anyway, here’s how Mr. Ford answered the Ten Questions survey:

What is your favorite album?

Johnathon Ford: Hard question! I don’t have an ultimate favorite, but I would say an album that shaped me as a music lover and a musician would be New Order – Substance.

What is your least favorite song?

Another hard question! There are so many. I’d have to say that “God Bless America” or “Jesus Loves Me” are high on the list.

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

Self expression. Creating music and playing it live.

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

Being forced to cancel shows and hearing loss.

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

Popcorn and coke in my mouth at the same time.

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

Seattle, WA and Portland, OR

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

San Diego, CA in 1996 with my band Roadside Monument. The only person at the show was the bartender and he ended up leaving during our set.

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?

Ah, the seemingly impossible dream of making a living off of music. The forever goal. Serving beer, making pizza, and collecting rent.

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 an archeologist. I’d hate to be a cop.

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

I haven’t heard many stories about Omaha, but I’ve experienced my own stories while playing there. A lot of great memories in Omaha. Too many to count. I can’t wait to come back.

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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

Matt Whipkey interview (in the column); Maha under new management; here comes Destroyer and COVID news…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , — @ 12:44 pm November 3, 2021
A screen cap from the Brothers tribute video from M34N STR33T, titled Monster

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

So, The Brothers is gone. I didn’t make it out to the farewell shows last weekend. I didn’t get tickets before the sell outs, and while Trey and Lallaya graciously offered to put me on the list, The Brothers was never the kind of place to have a list, which is one of the reasons I liked the place. 

My final thoughts: What’s next for the Lalleys? We’ll have to wait and see, but they’re way too young to retire. Here’s hoping it’s something music-related, but they deserve to do as much fishing as they want.

And what will happen to The Brothers’ building? No doubt it’ll go to the highest bidder (though I’m hearing GreenSlate isn’t in the mix).

Check out the video tribute by M34N STR33T, below…

. ) ) ) .

My feature column on Matt Whipkey and his new album, Hard, went up on The Reader website this morning. You can read it here. Matt talks about what did and didn’t go into his “divorce album,” and lists some of his favorite break-up records. My favorite, Beck’s Sea Change from 2005, didn’t make his cut. See what did. And go out and buy tickets to his Nov. 12 album release show at The Jewell. Matt has vinyl in hand that will be sold at the show.

. ) ) ) .

Last week the folks at the Maha Festival announced that long-time Executive Director Lauren Martin stepped down at the end of October. Lauren’s been involved in Maha since it launched in 2009 and has been the ED since 2015. She’s a big reason why Maha is one of the best-run festivals in the country.

I asked why she’s leaving, and Maha Marketing & Comms Manager Rachel Grace said, “She is seeking opportunities that allow her to prioritize her family/personal goals while serving the community.”

Grace now leads Maha along with Operations Manager Emily Cox. No word on 2022 but there will be a festival next year. When and where has yet to be announced.

. ) ) ) .

One Percent today announced Destroyer is booked at The Waiting Room April 28, 2022. Tickets at $22 go on sale Friday at 10 a.m.

One last note: I just discovered this story that appeared online at The Reader Oct. 20. In it, reporter Sam Crisler talks to a number of venues in town about COVID-19 protocols, including CHI Center and One Percent Productions.

From the article:

“We’re trying to get back to where we have bigger crowds, but at the same time, the touring bands that can draw the bigger crowds just aren’t back on the road right now,” (1%’s Marc) Leibowitz said. He estimates around half of the artists that would typically draw sizable crowds to his venues have chosen to stay home so far.

This is beginning to turn around, judging by the dozens of emails I get every day from larger bands announcing tours.

Also from the article:

Leibowitz said he thinks nationwide standards for concertgoers need to be put in place. The variability in COVID-19 requirements from venue to venue and state to state is discouraging artists from touring in the first place, he said.

“If there was an understanding with people that if you want to see music, you have to do X and Y, then they would be better off,” Leibowitz said. “I think it would make less tours cancel.”

I couldn’t agree more. Even in Omaha there is no COVID-related standard for live shows. The restrictions appear to be driven by the artists themselves — touring acts that insist on proof of vaccination are getting their wish (Destroyer, for example, is a “no vax no entry” show). The same restriction doesn’t appear to exists for local artists’ shows, however, but it probably could if locals insisted on the vax-proof restriction….

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Tokyo Police Club (at The Slowdown Oct. 28)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , — @ 1:02 pm October 25, 2021
Tokyo Police Club circa now. The band plays at The Slowdown Thursday, Oct. 28, with And How.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Seems like only yesterday when in fact it was 13 or 14 years ago that Saddle Creek Records announced that it signed one of its first non-Omaha acts — Tokyo Police Club. Elephant Shell came out on Saddle Creek in April 2008 to much fanfare, but the record would prove to be a one-and-done for the label, as TPC would go onto Mom + Pop Music for the follow-up, 2010’s Champ.

And now a decade later, TPC is celebrating that record with a tour that comes through The Slowdown this Thursday, Oct. 28. TPC is issuing a vinyl version of the album in honor of the 10th anniversary. In addition, TPC frontman Dave Monks has a new album coming out Oct. 15 and guitarist / keyboardist Graham Wright dropped a solo album last month. 

That leaves drummer Greg Alsop to do our Ten Questions survey. We caught up with him and here’s what he had to say: 

What is your favorite album?

Greg Alsop: Siamese Dream – Smashing Pumpkins

What is your least favorite song?

“More than a Feeling” – Boston. It’s like 3 terrible songs strung together. 

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

The travel. 

What do you hate about being in a band?

The travel. 

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

5:1 CBD to THC. (Thankfully – legal where I live). 

In what city or town do you love to perform?

Omaha. No – for real. The Slowdown is one of the best venues in the country and we’re always so happy to be back there. It’s a club that actually goes out of its way to make touring bands feel welcomed and taken care of. Laundry? Check. Load-in ramps? Check. Love the Slowdown and can’t wait to be back.  

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

Austin TX, SXSW 2007. At that gig we learned what a “texas mickey” was and why one should never be on our rider…

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’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do this full-time for a while now, which we’re all still extremely grateful for. This will be our first tour since 2019 and we’re all pumped to have the opportunity to be doing this again. 

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

I think there’s a real opportunity to go city to city solving unsolved mysteries. However, everything would have to get wrapped up pretty neatly by “van call” the next morning…

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

Nothing comes to mind, but if there’s some inscrutable case out there please let us know and we’ll get our best sleuths on the job. 

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Tokyo Police club plays with And How Thursday, Oct. 28, at The Slowdown, 729 No. 14th St. Tickets are $20, showtime is 8 p.m. This is a No Vax / No Entry show, so bring proof of vaccination and a photo ID to get in the club. 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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ten Questions with Bad Bad Hats (with And How at Reverb 9/22)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 7:17 am September 21, 2021

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Bad Bad Hats play at Reverb Lounge Wednesday, Sept. 22.

This is the first Ten Questions interview since before the pandemic! Green shoots? Maybe.

Minnesota band Bad Bad Hats are no strangers to Omaha, having opened for The Mynabirds at Slowdown back in 2015 (alongside the lost-but-not-forgotten High Up). They’re back in support of their new album, Walkman, which dropped last Friday on Don Giovanni Records.

The power-pop trio has a soft spot for jangly, cool ‘90s indie rock. In fact, my first run through the album I was reminded of Exile-era Liz Phair, though front woman Kerry Alexander’s lyrics of love gone wrong (and right) aren’t nearly as dark and acerbic as Liz’s bedroom diaries. Playing alongside bandmates bass player Chris Hoge and drummer Connor Davison, Bad Bad Hats headlines at Reverb Lounge Sept. 22.

We caught up with Kerry and gave her the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s what she had to say:

  1. What is your favorite album?

Kerry Alexander: Wow, tough question from the start! How to choose, how to choose. Obviously different albums have been my #1 at different points in my life. But one I always come back to is Fortress Round My Heart by Ida Maria. 

  1. What is your least favorite song?

I, in general, don’t believe in “guilty pleasures” in music, or that certain genres aren’t good, etc. I feel like if music is making you feel an emotion then it’s working as intended. That said, I don’t love “Boogie Shoes.” 

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

There are many things to love, but I like that it’s allowed me to travel so much. I love experiencing new places, trying new food, seeing friends who live far away. I also love the synergy of playing music with other people. When you’ve practiced and you’re on your game and you anticipate each other’s moves. It’s a very special bond. 

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

Rock venue bathrooms. 

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

My lack of illegal substance use is well-documented (see our song “Nothing Gets Me High”). So I guess I’ll say, I like emotional substance. Deep conversations. Sincere feelings. Haha! That’s pretty corny, but I’m sticking with it.

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

This question is always so hard to answer because we love playing in so many different cities and venues. We love Chicago, we love Madison, we love Portland, we love Charlotte, we obviously always love the hometown gig. And I know this is an Omaha publication, so not to pander, but we do have so many great Omaha show memories. It’s always a good crowd, Reverb Lounge is an amazing venue, and it doesn’t hurt that we can get some Coneflower ice cream before we leave town…!

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

Well we try to block those shows from our memory, but we’ve probably played the worst shows in the Twin Cities. Because that’s where we got our start! And we needed some time to get good at our instruments and our flow and our stage presence. And we’re grateful that folks stuck with us while we figured it out. Being a musician is a constant learning experience for me. But that’s what I like about it!

  1. 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 are professional musicians, yes. And that feels good to say! Because it took us about 6 to 7 years of being a band before we could say that. Chris, our bass player, accidentally became a full-time musician when his part-time job told him he couldn’t come back after a tour. Haha! So sometimes you just have to make it work. 

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

I would love to work in music supervision. That sounds fun! Maybe? I don’t actually know what that job entails. But I like the idea of it. Is there anything better than a perfectly soundtracked movie or TV moment? I would be in trouble in any job where I have to drive a giant vehicle. Keep me away from that.

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

I don’t know if anyone’s told me a story about Omaha. I went there the first time with no preconceived notions. I only know my own Omaha story. Which is: Show up to the venue. Load in and soundcheck. Go get some delicious ramen. Grab a beer at the beautiful Reverb Lounge bar. Play a great show. Talk to a bunch of friendly people at the merch table. Go to sleep. Wake up the next day and have Archetype coffee and Coneflower for breakfast. And what a wonderful story it is!

Bad Bad Hats play with And How on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Tickets are $15, showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i