Criteria returns from the road (with voice in tact)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , — @ 2:00 pm February 5, 2020

Criteria performing at Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles Jan. 26, 2020.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

My chief concern about the two-week Criteria tour, which just wrapped up, was how frontman Stephen Pedersen’s voice would hold up to violently intense singing night after night. Judging by this video of the Jan. 26 show at The Teragram Ballroom in downtown Los Angeles, his voice held up just fine.

My other question was how well fans of headliners Cursive and Cloud Nothings would receive the band. Would anyone even remember Criteria, who haven’t toured in more than a decade?

“(There were) plenty of folks there to see Criteria in every city,” Pedersen said. “People showed up early! It was bizarrely good! By end of our set it was apparent that we made new fans each night. Super cool. I made myself available to folks after we played (by running merch) and it was shocking and humbling how many folks wanted to talk to/thank me/us for putting out a new record and going on tour.”

The new record in question is Years, released last month on Cursive’s 15 Passenger Records. Pedersen said the album debuted at No. 42 on the Billboard Alternative chart. “I have no idea what that means,” he added.

So with this tour’s success, will Pedersen step away from his lucrative day job and hit the road for a year-long tour?

“No dice,” he said. “I worked from the road fairly successfully. Long drives on the West Coast meant lots of time to get work done.”

But that doesn’t mean the band is going into hibernation, either.

“We’re processing next moves,” Pedersen said. “Maybe play a couple festivals. Maybe do some East Coast dates. We’ll see.”

It’s too late for Coachella, but there’s always South by Southwest and Lollapalooza!

* * *

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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Criteria’s ‘Years’ drops (last week); new Digital Leather, Dereck Higgins…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:40 pm January 20, 2020

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Criteria, Years (2020, 15 Passenger)

Last Friday Criteria’s new album Years dropped via 15 Passenger Records. It’s a banger. BrooklynVegan was the first outlet to sort of review the album, saying: “The more polished sound suits them well, and helps elevate their chunky post-hardcore/alt-rock to a level where Criteria sound like even more of a force than they did during their initial run. The songwriting is inspired, the songs rip, and it just feels great to have this band back.”

Indeed. Get your copy and have a listen here. Tonight Criteria opens for Cursive at Neumos in Seattle.

* * *

Digital Leather last week shared yet another song off its forthcoming album, Because You’re a Winner, called “V.” Check it below:

* * *

And the always prolific Dereck Higgins dropped a new track in Soundcloud called “Scoobs.” He says he’s “causally working” toward a new album. And pssst…. InDreama also is in the studio.

* * *

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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Cursive, Criteria, Cloud Nothings tonight at Winchester…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:19 pm January 15, 2020

A bronzer-infused Cursive in their official tour photo featuring tour drummer Pat Oakes (far right, Western shirt). Photo by Ariel Panowicz.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Cursive, Criteria and Cloud Nothings kick off a 2-week winter tour tonight with a massive concert at Winchester Bar and Grill, the sister club to O’Leaver’s that’s owned and operated by a team that includes Cursive’s Tim Kasher, Ted Stevens and Matt Maginn.

Despite Cursive and Criteria both playing ’round these parts in recent months (in Cursive’s case, this past September) the show should draw a sizable, raucous crowd. My first foray at attending a rock show at Winchester was a less than stellar experience thanks to surprising sight-line problems — i.e., you couldn’t see the band through the crowd. We’ll see tonight if they’ve remedied that problem by raising the stage.

The Boise Weekly has a new interview with Kasher that could act as a nice preview to tonight’s show. The funniest line of the article is the closer:

“I can assure you,” Kasher said, “that we will probably be going back into hiding for a little while after this.”

Ah, but there’s no place to hide when you own and operate a record label.

The wild card on this tour will be Criteria. Cloud Nothings has a similar if not more hyperactive style of angst-ular indie as Cursive, whose latest album, Get Fixed, is another angry downer of a collection of very densely packed, mathy indie rock songs, the highlight (for me anyway) being the chopped-riff-powered “Black Hole Town,” that begs everyone to sing along to the chorus “This town’s a black hole / This town’s an asshole!”  By contrast to those two bands, Criteria’s music is a sparkling flying rainbow unicorn of bright shiny indie rock — certainly a palette-cleanser between two rather acidic flavors, though I have a feeling Criteria will likely have the opening slot on this tour.

$20, 8 p.m. You may want to get there early and grab one of Winchester’s famous cheeseburger baskets. You’ll thank me later.

* * *

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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Catching up on the holidays — Criteria, Lodgings, Little Brazil,Stephen Sheehan…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:52 pm January 2, 2020

Criteria at The Waiting Room, Dec. 28, 2019.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The holidays are over. Now we enter into the dark, black chasm known as January (though so far, not so bad weather-wise!).

I caught a couple shows over the break. The top getter was Criteria at The Waiting Room Dec. 28 with Little Brazil for what has become a holiday tradition (what’s it been, five years in a row?).

Stephen Pedersen and Co. never sounded better. Killing behind the kit was Mike Sweeney, though I was half-expecting Nate Van Fleet to be up there seeing as he’ll be playing with the band for the upcoming Criteria/Cursive tour the last half of January. Instead, Nate was standing behind me during the set with his jaw wide open watching Sweeney chop down trees one at a time.

Pedersen was in his usual fine voice on what has got to be the hardest songs for anyone to sing. I felt exhausted after every tune. Doing it nightly will be herculean achievement, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Pedersen. The band used the occasion to roll out a couple songs from the new album, which they’ve been performing live for a few years, so yeah, they fit right in with the rest of the catalog.

I’m very interested to see how the Cursive fans react to Criteria on this upcoming tour. No doubt, many already are familiar with the band. But there will be some young Cursive fans who may not be, and Criteria has a completely different vibe than Cursive — it’s like a guy wearing a gold lamé jacket standing next to some dude in a black hoodie. Criteria has always shimmered brightly, coming off like a rallying cry before a battle; whereas Cursive is a darker thing altogether, Cursive is the angry negotiations that go nowhere leading up to the war.

In these dark times we live in, we could use some new Criteria. So what happens if on this tour these guys break big and a nation demands more? Can Pedersen and Co. push back from their dusty office PCs and become the rock stars they were meant to be?

Lodgings Dec. 28, 2019.

I got to the Waiting Room early to catch Lodgings, who put out one of my favorite albums of 2019 (the Steve Albini engineered Water Works). The songs sounded even better live (but don’t all good songs sound better live?). The four-piece with Bryce Hotz out front and backed by a stellar band that includes the legendary Steve Micek on guitar along with Michael Laughlin and Eric Ernst on drums have a grinding indie-rock style that stumbles forward with a throbbing heart. There is something about Hotz’s vocals that remind me of Vedder (more so the phrasing than the vox itself), whereas the music reminds me of classic Grifters (a band that no one seems to remember, and one of my all-time faves).

Little Brazil at The Waiting Room, Dec. 28, 2019.

In the middle was Little Brazil, who rolled out a number of new songs, and hopefully are headed to a recording studio in the near future. It was funny looking out over the audience and seeing three past Little Brazil drummers in the crowd — Nate Van Fleet, Matt Bowen and Oliver Morgan — watch as new drummer Austin Elsberry took the reigns, keeping up a fine tradition.

Little Brazil is an enigma to me. They’re one of the city’s most unique bands that’s always deserved as much national attention as any Saddle Creek Records band. And they’re playing some of the best music of their careers right now. Why they haven’t caught fire is a mystery to me.

Stephen Sheehan and his band Dec. 23 at The Waiting Room.

Finally, it was a treat to see Stephen Sheehan and his band play at The Waiting Room Dec. 23. Sheehan once again gathered together some of the area’s best talent to back him on a set of Digital Sex and The World songs, as well as a new original. It got me wondering if maybe he shouldn’t re-record these songs, giving us a modern take on what are considered Omaha classics.

* * *

Lazy-i Best of 2019

Speaking of classics, relive the classics of the year gone by with the  Lazy-i Best of 2019 Comp CD!

The collection includes my favorite indie tunes I’ve come across throughout last year as part of my tireless work as a music critic for Lazy-i. Among those represented: DIIV, Hand Habits, Uh Oh, Sharon Van Etten, Orville Peck, Simon Joyner, Prettiest Eyes, Purple Mountains and lots more.

To enter, send me an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com. Hurry, contest deadline is Monday, Jan. 6, at midnight.

Or listen on Spotify. Simply click this link or search “Lazy-i” in Spotify and you’ll find the 2019 playlist along with a few from past years, too!

* * *

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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Minne Lussa, Domestica, Staffers tonight; Criteria, Little Brazil, Las Cruxes, Fox (debut) Saturday, Twinsmith, J&M Mowing (supergroup) Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:35 pm December 27, 2019

Criteria at The Waiting Room, Dec. 30, 2017. The band returns to The Waiting Room this Saturday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, 2019 is going out like a lion.

There’s a solid triple-bill tonight at Reverb Lounge headlined by Minne Lussa (Matt Rutledge and Co.), Lincoln legends Domestica (ex-Mercy Rule, maybe it’s time I quit referencing that classic ’90s act?) and Silversphere (ex-Lepers) who opens the show at 9 p.m. $8.

Also tonight, The Brothers is hosting a three-band bill with Staffers (Anna McClellan, Noah Kohll, Ryan McKeever, Ameen Wahba), Razors and Sean Pratt & the Sweats. $5, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, down at The Slowdown it’s Satchel Grande with Omaha Beat Brigade. $10, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) is crowded.

Every holiday season there’s always one gig where a classic local band reunites. This year it’s Criteria at The Waiting Room. The band, with a new album about to drop on 15 Passenger Records, is warming up for a tour with Cursive next month. Huge. Opening is Little Brazil and Lodgings (whose 2019 album, Water Works, made my list of 10 favorite albums of the year). $8, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, Spanish-language punk band Las Cruxes is playing O’Leaver’s with a new line-up seeing as Landon Hedges and Nate Van Fleet no longer are with the band. Mere Shadows and Towering Rogue open at 10 p.m.

Over at The Barley Street Saturday night it’s the debut of Fox, a new project by Jessica Errett Renner and Marta Fiedler (ex-Blue Bird). Fox opens for Sadie Sanner and Dave Tamkin at 9 p.m. $5.

Sunday night over at Reverb Lounge, it’s one of those holiday shows where folks are in town and just want to jam, which is exactly what J&M Mowing is. The cover band consists of Mike Jaworski (SAVAK, The Cops), Kelly Maxwell and Mike Loftus (both of Sons of…, Shovelhead, 60-Watt Saloon and Hong Jyn Corp.) and Dave Mainelli of Bazile Mills, who is headlining the show. WARNING: This is a 5 p.m. show because these guys are super-old. $8.

Also Sunday night it’s the return of Saddle Creek Records act Twinsmith to Slowdown Jr. The band plays with opener Salt Creek and headliner The Real Zebos. $7, 8 p.m.

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

The second coming of Criteria: New album on 15 Passenger, Cursive tour, ping-pong…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:42 pm December 5, 2019

Criteria 2019. Photo by Django Greenblatt-Seay.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You already knew that Criteria was hitting the road with Cursive in January, and if you read this blog, you also already had a good idea that the band’s new album, Years, was coming out at some point on 15 Passenger. It’s been rumored for over a year. The fact that the recording is actually seeing the light of day is nothing short of a miracle.

Criteria announced the album and tour via Brooklyn Vegan yesterday before unleashing it on social media. Included in the BV story was both a track off the new album and an amusing/disturbing video of Criteria frontman Stephen Pedersen playing ping-pong with a diminutive Tim Kasher of Cursive. Hi-jinx indeed ensue.

Anyway, the new record is available for pre-order from 15Passenger.com. It comes out Jan. 17. The new tune, “Agitate Resuscitate,” is a real scorcher, and the first question that came to mind upon listening to it was how in the heck Pedersen is going to be able to sing it — along with all the other high-flying Criteria songs from yesteryear — night after night for two weeks without turning his vocal chords to bloody ribbons.

As the website says, this is the first new album by Criteria in nearly 15 years. In that time, the band has pulled itself together at least once or twice a year for a one-off show, after which Pedersen could retire back to his professional life and conceivable talk in a hoarse whisper at work the following Monday morning. Instead, he’ll have to get right back behind that microphone the next night. I don’t know how he did it 15 years ago let alone how he’ll do it for two weeks in January (The sched: six days in a row, break, four days in a row, break, four days in a row). No doubt he’s been in training for the past few months. He’ll pull it off…

Folks who follow Little Brazil on Facebook already know that Austin Elsberry has taken over behind the drum kit, replacing Nate Van Fleet. That’s good timing considering Van Fleet will be holding down the drum chores for Criteria on the upcoming tour in place of drummer Mike Sweeney. Those are rather massive shoes to fill, Mr. Van Fleet, but I can’t think of anyone better to try.

You’ll be able to see both Little Brazil and Criteria when the bands play at The Waiting Room Dec. 28 with Lodgings. Talk about your down home holiday extravaganzas…

* * *

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

Lana Del Rey headed to The Orpheum Nov. 13; Criteria to join Cursive on the road…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:37 pm October 10, 2019

Lana Del Rey is slated to play at The Orpheum Nov. 13.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, it’s just been dead news-wise the past few days, with no shows going on. It must be fall. This happens every year, right? Actually, I’m not sure that’s true. I’m also not sure Omaha isn’t becoming flyover country again like it was in the ‘80s and early ‘90s.

I say that and then yesterday the internet exploded with news that Lana Del Rey is doing a show at The Orpheum, Wednesday, Nov. 13. I’ve been listening to her new album, Norman Fucking Rockwell!, quite a bit lately, and I was a fan of her debut, Born to Die, or specifically of the song “Video Games.” A little of Lana goes a long way, especially when she pulls out her baby-doll voice — a combination of Marilyn Monroe and Betty Boop — as she did too often in those early records.

But Lana left her inner Marilyn at home when recording the new album, which is her most mature and satisfying to date. Del Rey’s music has always played like the soundtrack to ’70s So-Cal cinema, an audio version of Tarantino’s latest complete with characters drawn from a make-believe version of El Lay, one with endless sunsets and endless broken relationships played out on Venice Beach or the Hollywood Hills, circa 1975. Pretty stuff, if a tad formulaic.

I enjoy having her music in the background if only for the flat tone of her voice and the low-key arrangements that make it easy to ignore. That said, it’s perfect for a seated-audience Orpheum performance. In fact, I initially had Del Rey in mind as the obvious “get” for a Maha Festival, but her style seems better suited for a theater than the grassy knoll at Stinson Park.

Anyway, tickets don’t go on sale until tomorrow (Friday) at 10 a.m., and based on some of her past gigs, I won’t be surprised if the price point starts above $100. I couldn’t find the show listed on the Ticket Omaha website. Yet, strangely, there are a number of websites already selling tickets, such as tickets-center.com, which has tickets ranging in price from $222 to $652. How is that possible?

You’d expect it to sell out quickly, but who knows how well it’ll do in Omaha. There are still tickets available to her theater show in San Diego Friday night. Here’s hoping that Craig Dee, with all his music-industry connections, can finagle a Lana Del Rey after show at O’Leaver’s. Now that would be something…

* * *
This just in, Criteria will be joining Cursive on their upcoming January tour. That’s right, Criteria. Rumor has it the band has a new record already in the can, and there have been even more rumors as to who will be releasing it, but nothing “on the record.” Also on the bill is indie superstars Cloud Nothings — that’s an impressive line-up.

There’s no Omaha date on the tour, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a sneak peek of Criteria’s set in the form of a warm-up gig prior to them hitting the road…

* * *

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

See Through Dresses, David Nance Band, Sucettes tonight; Criteria, Little Brazil, Sean Pratt/Sweats Saturday; Jake Bellows Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:15 pm December 28, 2018

Criteria at The Waiting Room, Dec. 30, 2017. The band returns to The Waiting Room this Saturday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Another long weekend… of shows! All of them local acts, but great local acts. Here we go:

Tonight at Reverb Lounge it’s the return of See Through Dresses. It’s going on two years since Horse of the Other World came out on Tiny Engines. The band plans to unveil new material tonight. Come see what they’ve been up to. No Thanks opens at 9 p.m. $10.

Meanwhile across town tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s y’all get another chance to see David Nance Group. Like I said a couple days ago, no two Nance sets are the same — expect some surprises. Joining them are Sucettes (Dave Goldberg and Co.) and CMB. $5, 10 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Criteria returns to The Waiting Room. The band has been working on new material destined for a 2019 release (the scuttlebutt is it’ll be on 15 Passenger). Joining them is Little Brazil, whose 2018 release Send the Wolves (Max Trax Records) made it onto my list of favorite 2018 releases (which you’ll see in the January issue of The Reader or online here Monday). Bokr Tov opens at 9 p.m. $8.

Meanwhile, back over at O’Leaver’s Saturday night, Sean Pratt & the Sweats plays with And How and Stathi. $5, 10 p.m.

The marquee show Sunday night is Jake Bellows at Slowdown Jr. One assumes the Californian is back in town visiting family and figured ‘why not do a show while I’m here?‘ Why not indeed. Joining him is McCarthy Trenching. $8, 8 p.m.

And that’s all I got for the weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section.

I’ll be posting the annual Music Year in Review article on New Year’s Eve, which includes the usual list of favorite releases, favorite live shows, etc. Then on New Year’s Day look for my annual Predictions story. Both of these also will be in the January issue of The Reader (but who knows when that’ll hit the racks?…).

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Criteria, Little Brazil rock The Waiting Room at holiday showcase…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:48 pm January 3, 2018

Criteria at The Waiting Room, Dec. 30, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You’d think sub-zero weather would have shooed fans away from going to The Waiting Room last Saturday night. No sir. A rather large and festive crowd showed up to see a line-up of acts that first made their mark in the mid 2000s perform with the same vigor they showed in their hey-day, and maybe give us hope in this modern age we live in.

Little Brazil at The Waiting Room Dec. 30, 2017.

Little Brazil boasted yet another new line-up. The core duo of Landon Hedges and Danny Maxwell remain intact, but now Shawn Cox, who you may remember from Landing on the Moon or Microphone Jones, is handling lead guitars while See Through Dresses’ Nate Van Fleet was behind the drum kit. The result was a different sound for LB, most notably coming from Cox, whose more controlled style is a contrast to former guitarist Mike Friedman’s edgy, frenetic sound. Cox’s solos had a melodic and (dare I say it) Clapton-esque feel (And this isn’t a jab at Friedman, who I think is one of the best guitarists to ever come out of Omaha).

LB played old favorites including “Brighton Beach” and “You and Me,” but really uncorked it on a number of new songs, including one they’d never played live before, which was my favorite of the evening. Or maybe I’m just excited to hear new stuff from LB. The band is about to put out a new album (recorded years ago) on new label Max Trax Records. Hedges says he also has a gaggle of even newer songs queued up and ready for a return to the studio. Call it a second coming for Little Brazil, and who knows what will happen if they get their show on the road…

Criteria remains ageless. Frontman/heart-throb/teen idol Stephen Pedersen — in trademark striped T-shirt — has lost none of the panache. I kept waiting for him to step into a pothole on those high notes, but he hit them all night. While the rest of the crew — drummer Mike Sweeney, bassist A.J. Mogis and guitarist Aaron Druery — played as if they just finished a month-long tour instead of performing one of their semi-annual shows.

Criteria transitioned into a weekend warrior act back in 2008 or so but never lost its edge, and continues to write and perform new material, though a rumored new record never seems to materialize. That kind of thing costs money, and if you’re not going to hit the road, does it make sense to release new stuff? I say “why not?” though I’m not the one footing the bill.

That said, while Saddle Creek might be too busy with shiny pennies like Big Thief and Hop Along, labels like 15 Passenger (Cursive’s new label) or the aforementioned Max Trax could be interesting homes for new Criteria material.

Regardless of what happens, this holiday concert, which also featured opener Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship, has become an Omaha tradition that never gets old, right along with these bands…

* * *

Lazy-i Best of 2017

Here’s another thing that never gets old: the Lazy-i Best of 2017 Comp CD.

The collection includes my favorite indie tunes from last year, including songs from SUSTO, David Nance, Alvvays, Luna, The Lupines, LCD Soundsystem, Digital Leather, Beck, CLOSENESS, King Krule, Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile and lots more. The full track listing is here, or take a listen if you have Spotify.

Want one? Enter to my drawing to win a copy of this limited-edition, hand-crafted CD. To enter, either: 1. Send an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com, or 2) Write a comment on one of my Lazy-i related posts in Facebook, or 3) Retweet a Lazy-i tweet. You also can enter by sending me a direct message in Facebook or Twitter. Hurry, contest deadline is midnight Jan. 5.

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

SERIAL (ex-Ritual Device), See Through Dresses, Staffers tonight; Criteria, Little Brazil Saturday; Happy (frozen) NYE…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 12:00 pm December 29, 2017

SERIAL at The Brothers Lounge, Dec. 23, 2016. They return for another go tonight at The Brothers.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Despite the fact that New Year’s Eve has been usurped into a night of firework-bombs that exceeds the 4th of July (driving my dogs under the couch shaking in fear) I was considering going out this year… until I saw the weather forecast that calls for ambient temperatures ranging between -15 and -20. No. NYE is always a bomb anyway; even was back when I was single. It’s definitely not a night to see original indie music. I mean, who wants to hear that at midnight?

Anyway, there’s plenty of other good stuff going on this weekend, starting tonight at The Brothers Lounge where SERIAL returns for their third annual holiday show.

SERIAL is Tim Moss (Ritual Device), John Wolf (Cellophane Ceiling, Bad Luck Charm), Lee Meyerpeter (Cactus Nerve Thang, Bad Luck Charm, Filter Kings, Ocean Black) and Jerry Hug (Ritual Device). Moss, Wolf and Hug also were the Men of Porn, but that’s another story

To give you an idea what you’re in for, here’s part of the review from last year’s show:

The first set included covers of songs by Nugent, the Stones, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, one of my favorites by Pavement (“Two States) and Bowie’s “Rebel, Rebel.” As Wolf said, they were SERIAL, killing one classic at a time.

Moss’s wife, Clementine, took over the drum kit, allowing the bearded wonder to growl a couple numbers himself, including a punked-up version of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab,” and a gruff cover of AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds” that featured a young lady with dreads who crushed the guitar solo.

I only stuck around for the first set. Lord knows what happened after that. Opening the show is KC band Drop a Grand. $5, 9 p.m. (but I bet it doesn’t start til 10)…

Meanwhile tonight over at The Waiting Room it’s the triumphant return of See Through Dresses. The band has been touring all over the U.S. this year. No doubt you’ll be hearing a well-honed machine on stage. Joining them is Saddle Creek Records band Twinsmith and Oquoa. $8, 9 p.m.

But that’s not all…

The fine folks at Almost Music are hosting an in-store tonight with Staffers, Apoptosis (featuring Anna McClellan) and Sean Pratt & The Sweats. This one starts at 8 p.m. and is $5. You could probably hit up this show early than walk down the street to Brothers to catch SERIAL. Just sayin’…

Tomorrow night (Saturday) is The Waiting Room’s big holiday show featuring our old friends Criteria. Will Stephen Pedersen and the boys roll out some new Criteria material for family and friends? Find out. I do know we’ll be hearing a couple new one from opening band Little Brazil (along with the classics). Those brutes in Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship opens the night at 9 p.m. $8. In the words of everyone’s favorite holiday movie icon: Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho.

There is actually one notable show going on New Year’s Eve, and it’s at fabulous O’Leaver’s. The sinister electro-dance sounds of Cult Play headlines with post-punk rockers No Thanks and Houma. Come for the rock, stay for the NYE madness. O’Leaver’s is a crazy drunken madhouse on any given Sunday; no doubt it’ll go next-level crazy-fuck when the clock strikes 12. You’ll have to tell me about it since there’s no way I’m going out in 21-below weather.

For those of you who do, have a great New Year’s Eve and I’ll see you in 2018.

* * *

Lazy-i Best of 2017

I almost forget to remind you about the Lazy-i Best of 2017 Comp CD?

The collection includes my favorite indie tunes I’ve come across throughout last year as part of my tireless work as a music critic for Lazy-i. Among those represented: SLuna, Closeness, Slowdive, !!!, Digital Leather, Perfume Genius, Big Thief, Wilder Maker and lots more. The full track listing is here, or take a listen if you have Spotify.

So the big news is you, too, could win a copy of the CD. To enter, either: 1. Send an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com, or 2) Write a comment on one of my Lazy-i related posts in Facebook, or 3) Retweet a Lazy-i tweet. You also can enter by sending me a direct message in Facebook or Twitter. Hurry, contest deadline is midnight Jan. 5.

* * *

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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i