Live Review: Lucy Dacus, Adult Mom, And the Kids…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:00 pm April 3, 2018

Lucy Dacus at Reverb Lounge, April 2, 2018.

by Tim McMahan,

I’ve been trying to see Adult Mom, the indie music project of Stephanie Knipe, since I reviewed the Sometimes Bad Happens cassette four years ago. Seems like the band cancelled once and/or I didn’t make it to another. They were worth the wait. Fine singer/songwriter stuff that would have been better if the sound were tweaked enough to hear the lyrics.

I could hear Knipe fine when singing alone or with the bassist, but when the full band came in, Knipe was somewhat submerged. Adjustments were made and it got better in the end. Knipe’s an example of someone who will do well on a solo acoustic tour, but that’s not a downgrade on the band, which was tight and good throughout.

Adult Mom at Reverb Lounge, April 2, 2018.

I almost skipped the second band, And the Kids, resenting they were on the bill (I still swear the original line-up had only two bands), but am happy I didn’t. Call them an indie power trio with vocalist Hannah Mohan reminding me a bit of Angel Olsen. She wowed the audience with her guitar work including some fancy behind-the-back strumming and an Indian wrestling match flat on her back with her bass player. I will be doing further investigation via Spotify over the coming days.

Finally it was Lucy Dacus’ turn. They had a sound problem with the lead guitarist’s pedals that forced her to do a solo acoustic number, which actually was a great way to start the set anyway.

Despite the fact she’s on my favorite record label (sorry Robb) I’m not too familiar with her music and that likely hurt the set for me. The strength is more in the lyrics than the melodies (which were somewhat par for the course for indie singer/songwriter stuff), while the turn of the phrases I did catch were stunners.

If the show wasn’t sold out it had to be darn near as Reverb was elbow-to-elbow packed with a crowd mesmerized by Dacus and her band. And as one person put it, the crowd’s age was “refreshingly older,” I’m told thanks to her NPR status.

I only caught about half the set as I turn into a pumpkin at 10:30 on work nights, but I think I got the gist of it (if you know what I mean).

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: Thick Paint, Mothers; Lucy Dacus, Adult Mom tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm April 2, 2018

Thick Paint at Slowdown Jr., March 30, 2018.

by Tim McMahan,

I don’t remember Thick Paint’s  duo drummers in the past incarnation (at O’Leaver’s) or maybe I didn’t notice. I noticed Friday night at Slowdown Jr.

We could argue the pro’s and con’s of two drummers over a beer. My take is: Does the second drummer add anything to the sound that a single drummer couldn’t provide by just playing louder? The answer in this case is yes, most of the time. It certainly isn’t a gimmick, and they’re always fun to watch. Isn’t that the main appeal of two drummers?

I’d tell you those drummers’ names but Thick Paint doesn’t list personnel on its Facebook page except for frontman Graham Patrick Ulicny (and everyone knows bass player Sarah Bohling from Icky Blossoms). In addition to having a similar beard configuration as Jim James, Ulicny shares James’ voice. Actually, I tapped into my iPhone notes “Geddy Lee,” that’s how eccentrically high Ulicny’s voice is, and that’s not the only thing the band shares with Rush. There were times during the set that I could drop this band into the prog-rock bin thanks the chord choices and guitar lines, which actually reminded me more of Fripp-y ’80s-era King Crimson.

They’re at their best when they look past the intricacies of their guitar lines, lean back on those duo-drummers (and bass) and just swing, as they did on the last couple songs of their set.

Mothers at Slowdown Jr., March 20, 2018.

Headliner Mothers was a departure from the usual female-led indie band in their embracing of dark, arch melodies. Three songs into their set Friday night they played their poppiest number “It Hurts Until it Doesn’t,” off their last record. The rest of the night was dedicated to  mostly slower, ominous and powerful compositions that would make for great headphones listening (moreso than catching it live).

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When I bought tickets to tonight’s Lucy Dacus show at Reverb I could swear that the booking only listed two bands — Dacus and Adult Mom (who I’m actually more interested in seeing). In fact there’s three bands on tonight’s bill, with And the Kids. So even though this starts at 8 p.m. it could go past 11, which will force me to cut the Dacus set short (Some of us have to work in the morning).

Dacus’ latest album, Historian, was released this year on the mighty Matador label and received a rollicking 8.1 rating from Pitchfork. Adult Mom’s 2017 release Soft Spots (Tiny Engines) made Rolling Stone‘s Rob Sheffield’s list of the best albums of that year.

Note that someone from 1% posted a “low ticket warning” on this show over the weekend, so if you’re interested, better get on it…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Rusty Lord (Dave Goldberg, et al.) debut, Miwi on a boat tonight; Adult Mom, vinyl swap Saturday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:08 pm June 23, 2017

Adult Mom plays Saturday night at Milk Run. Photo by Richard Gin.

by Tim McMahan,

On to the hotness that is this weekend…

Tonight, another mega debut, this time at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Omaha welcomes Rusty Lord. No, not the bald, nebbish WOWT meteorologist, the new rock project featuring Austin Ulmer (Dumb Beach) on guitar and vocals, Ben VanHoolandt (Digital Leather) on synth/guitar, Johnny Vredenburg (Digital Leather, Pro-Magnum) on bass/synth/vocals, and the legendary Dave Goldberg behind a FULL drum kit.

Says Vredenburg, “It’s somewhat what you’d imagine it to be. loud, abrasive dissonance with maniacal drumming driving it, yet a different sound from any of our previous bands.” I asked him to pin down a genre, and he said “probably psych/synth-punk.”

This is a four-band show, kicked off by Alcools, then Rusty Lord, followed by Effluvium and headlined by Satanic Abortion. $5, 10 p.m.

Also tonight, it’s another River City Star rock ‘n’ roll cruise down the Missouri River, this time featuring Miwi La Lupa, with AllSortsOfGood and the turntable stylings of DJ Tyrone Storm. The details:

Gates – 7 p.m.
Boat Access – 8 p.m.
Set Sail – 9 p.m. (they leave with or without you, folks)
Dock – Midnight

Cost is $20 for General Admission-only ticket, or $35 for General Admission + Miwi La Lupa’s Beginners Guide on vinyl!

And then Saturday night…

Through some happy accident a few years ago a link to Adult Mom’s Bandcamp page made it into my email, wherein I purchased a cassette copy of her 2014 release Sometimes Bad Happens, a great debut. That release must have caught the attention of Tiny Engines (the label that releases See Through Dresses’ albums), who put out Adult Mom’s 2015 full-length debut Momentary Lapse of Happily.

Now along comes Soft Spots (2017, Tiny Engines), which is her best release yet. “Her” is Adult Mom frontwoman/songwriter Stephanie Knipe, who is described by her label as “a gender-weird queer navigating through heartache, trauma and subsequent growth” and who gives the record an RIYL of The Weakerthans, The Cranberries, Girlpool, Liz Phair and Diet Cig.

In fact, Adult Mom emerged from the crowded forest of indie bands at about the same time as Diet Cig. I thought AM would be the one to break through, but it’s been Diet Cig that’s gotten all the attention, unfortunately. As a result, Diet Cig has had sweet opening tour slots and played Maha and Slowdown, while Adult Mom is relegated to playing tiny venues like Saturday night’s show at Milk Run.

Soft Spots is a gorgeous collection of bitter-sweet relationship songs that sonically remind me of K Records bands like The Softies while lyrically her music has a similar honesty heard on Elliott Smith albums. Knipe has a one-of-a-kind voice that emotes a sort of confident loneliness that fuels rocking tracks like “Steal the Lake from the Water” and “Drive Me Home.” The record is definitely worth checking out.

And so is the show — Saturday night at Milk Run. Opening for Adult Mom is Philly band Free Cake for Every Creature and our own The Morbs. $8, 9 p.m. Remember, Milk Run is now at Midtown Art Supply. Enter through the alley.

One more thing to mention this weekend… Brothers Lounge is hosting another Omaha Record Swap from 4 to 7 p.m. Almost Music, Homer’s, Vinyl Therapy and D-Tour are among those who will have stock on hand. It’s free and the drinks are extra tasty at Brothers.

And 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 — 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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.