Live review Benson Days and Marcey Yates; Wavves tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:44 pm August 1, 2016
Marcey Yates at Burke's Pub as part of Benson After Dark, July 29, 2016

Marcey Yates at Burke’s Pub as part of Benson After Dark, July 30, 2016

by Tim McMahan,

Benson’s getting crazy. Saturday night’s Benson After Dark crowds were impressive, but activity on the streets was over the top. But it’s getting that way almost every weekend in Benson. Now if they could just figure out a way to get a little biz in the daylight hours.

Here’s another observation from this weekend: For the first time I can remember, Benson Days worked. After the parade, Maple Street from down by the post office up to the Masonic Lodge was lined with tents and food trucks (maybe the most food trucks I’ve seen at one Omaha event). Hundreds of people crowded the streets. It was… surprising, exciting. When I came back later that afternoon, around 3 p.m., the crowds were still hanging on.

I have no idea if Benson After Dark was a success because the bars would probably have been jam-packed anyway. The venue where I spent a couple hours — Burke’s Pub — had a steady stream of people paying to hear the music.

I hung out at Burke’s not only because my wife was working the door, but because Marcey Yates was on the line-up. Actually, I’m not positive the project is called “Marcey Yates.” Op2mus? The Dilla Kids? Stdnt Body? All those names were used at one point.

The group consisted of a drummer, bass player and two guys with microphones, one of whom controlled samples. Not every song used a sample; some merely featured bass and drum and voices. That minimal, spare production gave them breathing room for the rhythms and backing track.

On a musical level, Yates’ is enticing. Warm, subtle rapping atop the beats. It’s a pleasure to see live instruments at a hip-hop show rather than someone yelling over pre-recorded tracks. The rap flowed smooth from one man to the next; and the room bounced  with the rhythm. The drawback (for me, anyway) was I couldn’t make out a word either of the rappers were saying. I could hear them just fine, rhythmically they were a smooth force, but the meaning was lost, and that’s a shame.

I need to hear and understand the words to get to the next level. Maybe not “understand” as much as comprehend what’s being said. My favorite hip hop (and it’s a short list) has easily recognizable lyrics that take me to wherever the artist is living. Kendrick, for example, can race along at a furious pace and I can still make out every word. Friday night the lyrics were lost on me. Maybe it was the PA, though this morning I’m listening to some of Yates’ Bandcamp stuff and while the production is first class it’s still a struggle to catch all the rhymes.

But I love the groove. So much so I’m contemplating hitting up this Friday night’s New Generation Music Festival at Aksarben Village featuring the Dilla Kids (Marcey Yates and XOBOI). Read more about the event in today’s Hear Nebraska blog entry.

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Wavves returns to The Waiting Room tonight. Seems like the band is making Omaha a regular tour stop. This is the fourth time they’ve played here, if my math is correct (2011, 2013, Maha 2015). Tonight they’re playing with Philly act Steep Leans (Ghost Ramp Records) and Party Baby. $23, 8 p.m.

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


The Millions tonight; Benson Days (Dumb Beach, Simon Joyner) tomorrow; beer and Playboy (in the column)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:53 pm July 26, 2013
The Millions, circa 2013

The Millions, circa 2013

by Tim McMahan,

I’ve been fighting a summer cold all week. It’s insidious in its intensity. A seemingly benign pestilence quietly builds and builds… I know, I know, “Who gives a sh*t about your f**king cold, man, just tell us what’s going on this weekend.” You’re heartless…

Tonight’s performance by The Millions at The Waiting Room is sort of both a CD release show and the first of three farewell shows. The band is rereleasing M Is for Millions as the second CD from the band’s “Millions Archive Series.” The two CD set includes M is for Millions as it was originally released on cassette by the band before they were signed to Smash (minus the songs “No. 6” and “The River,” which are already available on the recently released Poison Fish CD).  Disc two is called M is for Millions Sessions and contains 11 previously unreleased tracks.

In addition to tonight’s show, the Millions is headed to Lawrence tomorrow to play at The Bottleneck, and then plays the Maha Music Festival Aug. 17. After that, the future of the band is anyone’s guess. Lives have a way of getting in the way of things like rock and roll, and certainly that’s the case with The Millions, who presumably will go back to their usual day-to-day existences after Maha. Bassist Marty Amsler said the band never intended to play beyond last December’s reunion show at The Bourbon. These three shows are merely “bonus time.” That said, something tells me this won’t be the last you hear from these folks…

Opening for The Millions tonight is fellow Lincolnites UUVVWWZ. $10, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, The Sydney has a red hot show featuring See Through Dresses, Dsoedean and Well Aimed Arrows. $5, 9 p.m.

And….tonight at The Barley Street, Blue Bird plays with Communist Daughter and Field Club. $5, 9 p.m.

Benson Days is Saturday in… Benson. Of note is the “Benson Mainstage,” which apparently will be a beer garden and stage located somewhere on or near Maple Street. The line-up ain’t half bad:

12 to 2:30 — DJ Kobrayle
2:30 to 4:50 — Brad Hoshas, Matt Cox and Sarah Benck
5:10 to 5:50 — Howard
6:10 to 6:50 — Dumb Beach
7:10 to 8 — Simon Joyner
8 to -9 — DJ Dave Goldberg

Following the day activities, Benson bars will be hosting bands throughout the strip, but it’ll cost you $10 for a wrist band. The clubs’ lineups are here.

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In this week’s column, how Playboy magazine got me hooked on canned beer, and why (despite the proliferation of online porn) Hefner’s enterprise will never drop the nudie photos. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader, or online right here.

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Have a good 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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.