Brain Drain or Brain Gain? (In the column); Speedy Ortiz returns 3/21; acoustic King Buzzo, Gerald Lee Lr. and Miley tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , — @ 2:02 pm March 6, 2014

by Tim McMahan,

In this week’s column, I contemplate the spate of musicians who have flown the coop (Jenna Morrison, Laura Burhenn, Kasher, etc.) and ask if the recent creative “brain drain” is a trend we should be concerned about. The column is in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here.

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Just noticed (via itsadigitalworld blog) that Speedy Ortiz has been booked to play Sweatshop Gallery March 21 with Digital Leather and Pile. I mention this because SO’s 2013 album, Major Arcana, was nothing less than amazing, and her new EP, Real Hair, is equally sublime. I can’t miss them this time…

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King Buzzo tour poster

King Buzzo tour poster

Roger “Buzz” Osborne a.k.a. King Buzzo is headlining tonight at The Waiting Room with Filter Kings’ frontman Gerald Lee, Jr. opening. For those of you who may not have grown up with their delicious noise, Buzzo is a member of seminal ’80s punk band Melvins, who have been credited as germinating a style of punk that evolved (or devolved, depending on your point of view) into ’90s grunge. Melvins put out a new album late last year that also featured original members Dale Crover and Mike Dillard called Tres Cabrones.

Tonight’s Buzzo show will be a change of pace as he’s out on the road supporting his new acoustic solo EP This Machine Kills Artists. This review from of a recent King Buzzo show will give you a taste of what you’re in for tonight: 

“Headliner King Buzzo did a mix of classic material from The Melvins’ back catalog and newer material from his upcoming, as-yet-untitled, all-acoustic album coming out this summer. True to form and reputation—see some of his appearances on Fox News’ Red Eye—Buzzo is a total card, cracking jokes at every possible turn. ‘Suicide in Progress’ and Stag’s ‘Captain Pungent’ both show the musical finesse The Melvins material is famous for, and because the songs are being rendered for the first time without drums or bass, how crucial Dale Crover’s drumming is to each track’s arrangement. On ‘Captain Pungent’ numerous crowd members take to singing the drum fills while Buzzo is silently counting the absent spaces to keep in time.”

Sounds like a riot. $13, 9 p.m.

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And then there’s Miley Cyrus tonight at The CLink. Driving into work this morning, I saw her fleet of tour busses — at least a half dozen — parked along the south side of the DoubleTree, along Capitol Ave. I looked but didn’t see Miley getting out of one of the rigs.

The controversy over her live show is… amusing. Maybe people make a big deal about her crotch-grab antics because she comes from the Disney cabal, I don’t know. She’s not doing anything that Madonna didn’t do two decades ago. Back then, people were up in arms about ol’ cone-tits and MTV and yes, there was a sense that pop music had died a little with every vogue, becoming that much more marginalized.

These days Madonna’s core discography is respected more than it was back then, if only for the sheer production value. Madonna had (has) a shitty voice, but it was pure gold compared to Britney’s ear-bleeding caw. Miley’s voice is a step up from her Disney sister, but it’s still pretty bad, while her music is as equally trite. In the end it doesn’t matter. The kids who are headed to Miley tonight are going for the foam-fingered spectacle, not the music. Let them have their fun…

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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.