Fear of COVID got the best of me; truth or consequences (in the column)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:47 pm February 7, 2022

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Based on the analytics, the most-read new content on Lazy-i is live reviews (while vintage interviews from the last decade probably attracts the most readers). Live reviews give people a glimpse of what happened during a night at a club — if they were there, too, they can compare mental notes; if they weren’t there, they can catch up on what they missed. It also gives a band’s followers or those just getting familiar with a band a sort of score card. If written with enough detail, live reviews can have a gossipy feel to them — fun!

Live reviews also are the easiest content to write. All I have to do is sit down and recall the evening, glancing at whatever notes I jotted down on my iPhone or pictures taken from the floor. So it pains me to no end that I missed Friday night’s sold-out Cursive show at The Waiting Room. Joel from 1% was kind enough to place me on the list and I was all set to go.

But at around 8 p.m. I began to get cold feet. A number of people from my office have their entire families down with COVID. About half the people I know have had it, and the numbers — though finally on the decline — are still in the hazardous range, with hospitalizations at an all-time high. I sat on my couch Friday night with my uncomfortable N95 mask on and asked myself if I wanted to be in a sold-out room wearing this for three hours, struggling to drink a beer, likely packed up front of a huge crowd or standing all the way back by the bar, and it just didn’t add up.

This was the first time since COVID began that I skipped a concert I had planned to attend, and it was a bummer, but with everything going on, I can’t afford to get COVID and don’t want to.

So, thanks to Joel for the list and apologies for not going. The numbers are improving every day and there will be more shows, including more Cursive shows, to attend. But dang, I really miss seeing Vitreous Humor. That opportunity will likely never happen again in Omaha…

. 0 0 0 .

Speaking of COVID, my column in this month’s issue of The Reader is focused on COVID conspiracies and other lies that are ruining our lives. Read it here.

. 0 0 0 .

Speaking of shows and COVID, tonight’s Black Angels show at The Slowdown has been postponed.

* * *

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

Cursive, Vitreous Humor, Eric in Outerspace tonight at The Waiting Room (SOLD OUT); BFF; Bandcamp Friday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 8:11 am February 4, 2022
Cursive at The Waiting Room, Dec. 19, 2013. The band returns to The Waiting Room tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There’s no argument about it, tonight’s Cursive show at The Waiting Room is the biggest indie show to happen since last summer’s Maha Festival. It’s also the only indie show going on this weekend.

And it’s a loaded show. Eric in Outerspace kicks things off at 8 p.m. By themselves I’d be recommending this show. But in the center slot is legendary Lawrence, Kansas, band Vitreous Humor (who I wrote about here – catch up!). Fans of ‘90s post punk take note; this is a once-and-done sort of performance.

Finally, Cursive takes the stage (probably at 10). The band has been on tour with Thursday, Jeremy Enigk and The Appleseed Cast, slated to play Denver tomorrow, so Tim Kasher and Co. edged this show in before the next leg. With no new music (their last release was 2019’s Get Fixed) expect a night of greatest hits, kicked off with “The Martyr,” if their show Tuesday night at Gabe’s in Iowa City is any indication (Here’s that setlist via setlist.fm).

OK, so the show is $20 and as of this writing is not sold out and I have yet to see any “low ticket warnings” from One Percent Productions. Doesn’t mean it won’t sell out before you get there, so you might want to eat the additional $5.69 fees and get your ticket online. This just SOLD OUT.

Nothing on the 1% site or the Facebook event page indicates that this is a No Vax No Entry show, however, Douglas County continues to be under a mask mandate, so mask up. If I go, I’ll be the guy in the blue N95 and the parka skulking near the stage trying to get a photo.

. 0 0 0 .

Since you’ll be in Benson anyway tonight, you might as well take advantage of Benson First Friday, wherein shops and restaurants along Maple Street will be displaying local art. Here’s the rundown.

As part of BFF, The Sydney is hosting a show with Nowhere and Teeth. 10 p.m., no price listed, but probably $10.

Also tonight, Slowdown Jr. has Infinite Video, Topher Booth and Ebba Rose. $10, 8 p.m.

And lest I forget, it’s Bandcamp Friday, which means you can purchase digital downloads of all our favorite indie music today and Bandcamp (and most of the labels) will waive their cut of the proceeds – which means the artists get the whole pie. Look, you’ll need to take advantage of this now that you’ve dropped Spotify because of the Joe Rogan scandal.

As for the rest of the weekend, tomorrow night punk-rock cover band The Damones is playing at The Waiting Room. $10, 8 p.m.

And that’s it. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Mask up and have a great weekend. Here’s hoping The Covid spike is nearly behind us.

* * *

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

Cursive wows NYC; Live Nation gets Steelhouse bookings; another O’Leaver’s weekend…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 8:29 am January 28, 2022
A group of 18 to 45 year olds presumably milling around the new Steelhouse music venue in 2023.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Not a whole helluva lot going on this weekend, which (again) is OK considering Douglas County’s test-positive rate for COVID-19 is around 40% according to CovidActNow. I’m among the few who still hasn’t gotten it (as far as I know) and I really don’t want to. That said, I’ll be returning to the bars next week for Cursive…

Speaking of which, BrooklynVegan, the East Coast’s indie music website, did a nice review of the Cursive show at Irving Plaza in NYC earlier this week. From the review:

Up next were Cursive, the only band whose lineup was unaffected by COVID, and you could tell that Tim especially was so grateful to be there. He talked about believing in humanity and being thankful for everyone being as responsible as possible during these weird times, and he and the rest of the band just seemed ready to put on one of the best shows of their lives. Cursive always bring it, but Wednesday night’s show felt like one for the record books. Tim was as animated and expressive as ever, the band’s string and horn-fueled post-hardcore was as weird and manic and intense as ever, and they were locked in from start to finish, teasing fan faves like ‘A Gentleman Caller’ and ‘Big Bang’ throughout the set before finally playing them near the end, and touching on a great variety of highlights from all throughout their career. In a month where people can’t stop talking about “emo nostalgia,” Cursive reminded everyone that they’re lifers.”

They are indeed. Mr. Kasher reportedly joined a COVID-crippled Appleseed Cast on drums for their last song that night. So talented. You’ll get a chance to see for yourself how talented Cursive is next Friday when they play at The Waiting Room with Lawrence legends Vitreous Humor and our very own Eric in Outerspace. I’ll be the one wearing the N95 mask.

. 0 0 0 .

In other news, Omaha Performing Arts announced the worst kept secret ever yesterday morning that Live Nation will be the exclusive promoter at their new Steelhouse Omaha, the $104 million, 3,000-capacity live music venue slated to open in mid-2023 downtown by the Holland Center. Live Nation books radio-friendly pop and alt-rock acts as well as C&W, just a whole variety of musical styles except indie, which is what I happen to cover (though they do count Lucy Dacus among their fold).

The Steelhouse folks don’t mince words — their target age demo is 18-45, which is outside my range. I’m not sure why they’d publish that, considering Live Nation books plenty of acts that appeal to the 45+ age group, like Sammy Hagar and Reba McEntire. I still hold out hope that they’ll book at least a couple indie bands per year that are too big for our usual haunts.

. 0 0 0 .

So, this weekend…

Top of the list has to be Light Speed Highway at fabulous O’Leaver’s Saturday night. I don’t know anything about this band, but based on this track (below) they’re an alt-rock band that borders on anthem-flavored power punk, which is a sound that would be right at home at The Club. This free show starts at 8 p.m. and includes “guests” which I assume means an opening act.

Other than that, Kris Lager Band is playing at Reverb Lounge Saturday night 8 p.m., $12.

The Slowdown is doing a screening of The Smile – Live Broadcast (which I thought was last week). This is Thom Yorke’s new band with Jonny Greenwood and Tom Skinner. 7 p.m. $20.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. If you go out, mask-up. 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Cursive postpones first weeks of tour, Diet Cig cancels Feb. show; new Anna Schulte…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:51 pm January 5, 2022
Diet Cig at The Slowdown, May 3, 2016. The band CANCELLED a February 2 gig at Reverb.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here we go again… though I don’t think it’s the same thing as 2020.

Bands are beginning to cancel gigs and tours as Omicron rapidly spreads through the world. Don’t matter if you’re vaxxed or boosted, you could still come down with this new strain of Covid-19, though being vaxxed/boosted seems to prevent serious cases.

Monday Cursive announced that it’s postponing the first few weeks of its January tour, and will now begin in Detroit Jan. 18. The decision is backed by co-touring act Thursday, who wrote on Facebook, “The reality is that these days decisions made concerning touring are not totally in our hands. Recommendations from our crew and the other artists on the bill (never-mind our families) have become a bigger part of the conversation as we try our best to navigate these current circumstances.”

They say they’re “trying their damndest to integrate the reschedules ASAP.” The cancellation doesn’t impact the Feb. 4 Cursive/Vitreous Humor/Criteria show at The Waiting Room.

Along those same lines, One Percent Productions announced that Diet Cig has cancelled a show for Feb. 2 at Reverb Lounge.

Genuinely so sad to announce that our winter tour dates are canceled due to covid never-endingly raging through our communities,” Diet Cig wrote on Facebook. “We’re not rescheduling these dates. To be honest, we’re so burnt out from the constant reschedule-cancel-reschedule-cancel cycle and are accepting this as a chance to take a breather, keep focusing on our new music, and prepare to put on the best show possible once it’s safe.

If you read my 2022 predictions, you know that I think this latest wave of Covid will quickly blow over and that we’re seeing the last of the worst of the pandemic. But I’m no scientist (just a soothsayer). I continue to hear stories from lunatics who believe the Covid vaccine is a government-run micro-chipping operation. Until those nuts get sick, dead or vaxxed, we’re going to be stuck with some form of Covid…

. 0 0 0 .

On a more positive note…

See Through Dresses drummer Nate Van Fleet is also a producer. He just finished working on a new EP by Anna Schulte, titled Dream Car. Schulte is an Omaha native now living in France and New Orleans who you might remember from the Omaha band Pretty Healthy. Nate said she flew into town late last spring and recorded at Divine Hammer, a North Omaha recording studio that was run by him and Matt and Sara from STD. Check out the EP on Spotify:

. ) ) ) .

Lazy-i Best of 2021 Compilation

Hey, my copies of the Lazy-i Best of 2021 Comp CD should finally arrive tomorrow. That means you still have time to enter the drawing for a copy of your own.

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, including songs by Low, Brad Hoshaw, Azure Ray, Sufjan Stevens, Wet Leg, Parquet Courts, Courtney Barnett, Hand Habits, Indigo De Souza, Flyte and lots more.  The full track listing is here.

To enter, send me an email with your mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.com. Hurry, contest deadline is Monday, Jan. 10, at midnight.

* * *

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

Lawrence legends Vitreous Humor to open Feb. 4 Cursive/Criteria show…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:57 pm December 14, 2021
Lawrence band Vitreous Humor circa the mid-’90s. The band has reformed and will play with Cursive at The Waiting Room Feb. 4.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Fell into a rabbit hole of my own making last night as I researched (via this website) Vitreous Humor, a Lawrence band from the early half of the ’90s who I really dug, but never came to Omaha. Well, that’s about to change.

Vitreous Humor has been added as an opener for the Feb. 4 Cursive concert at The Waiting Room that also features Criteria. Is this the same Vitreous Humor who sang “Why Are you So Mean to Me”? Yes, says Matt Maginn of Cursive.

We are thrilled and shocked they can do it!!!!  Blew our minds.

I could go into the background, but it would be just as easy to reprint my Dec. 6, 2006, interview, wherein I interviewed Danny Pound, frontman of Vitreous Humor. Pound was headed to Omaha back then for a gig with his solo band at the old Saddle Creek Bar, which gave me a chance to ask him about Vitreous Humor. The story follows.

By the way, Vitreous Humor rereleased their 1996 LP Posthumous this past May. Here’s an interview with the band on Bandcamp that accompanied the release. And here’s my favorite Vitreous Humor track. Better get your tickets while you can…

Now let’s go back in time…

Less Humor Per Pound
Danny Pound’s brief glance at Vitreous Humor.

You can’t blame Danny Pound for not being eager to talk about his old band, Vitreous Humor.

After all, they haven’t been around for over a decade, and his new band, aptly called The Danny Pound Band, sounds nothing like them. Still, there’s more than a few followers of Omaha’s mid-’90s punk-rock golden age that remembers Vitreous Humor and their grungy, post-punk sound heard on the classic 1993 7-inch, Harbor. The three-song single featured a teen-aged Pound warbling the words to “Bu-Dah,” the single’s catchy B-side that went “In the shithole where we live / Something’s living in the cellar / Keeps us all awake at night / Smells like cooking blood.” Remember it now? Probably not. Still, the song managed to make it onto a lot of mix tapes from that era.

Pound appreciates the memory, but said few people recall his former band around his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas. “Some younger kids look up to Vitreous Humor as one of the old-timey, classic Lawrence rock bands,” he said, “but no one ever comes up and asks about it.”

The story of Vitreous Humor is a rather short one. The Harbor single was followed two years later by a 7-song self-titled EP. Posthumous, a collection of unreleased tracks, outtakes and live cuts, was released on Crank! Records in ’98, well after the band already had called it quits and moved onto Pound’s next project, The Regrets.

A decade later and Pound has left Vitreous Humor’s jangle-grunge behind in favor of a more grown-up, sophisticated sound born out of his fondness for mid-20th century folk and blues.

“After The Regrets broke up, I discovered Harry Smith’s Smithsonian Folkways recordings, began listening a lot of blues and pulled out The Basement Tapes,” Pound said.

The result was The Danny Pound Band’s 2005 debut on Lawrence label Remedy Records, Surer Days, a collection of tuneful alt-country rockers that sounded like a cross between Centro-Matic and The Silos.

But even that style was short-lived. Since its release, Pound and his band — bassist Jeremy Sidener (ex-Zoom — another classic ’90s Lawrence band), guitarist David Swenson, and drummer Ken Pingleton (who replaced former drummer Dan Benson, who also was in Vitreous Humor) — have moved in a whole different direction, creating music that recalls ’70s-era So Cal groove rock. The band’s as-yet-unnamed follow-up to Surer Days was recorded at Black Lodge Studios in Eudora, Kansas, and is slated for release on Remedy Records sometime in the near future.

“You couldn’t call our new record rootsy. It’s more of an electric rock record,” Pound said. “I get bored quickly. I’m always trying to find new things to do.”

As for Vitreous Humor, Pound said he doesn’t understand why the memory of that band continues to live on in places like Omaha and Milwaukee — another city with more than its share of that band’s fans. “It must be a Midwest thing,” he said. “We never toured very much. I don’t think we even played in Omaha as Vitreous Humor.”

While he acknowledges that the band could have influenced someone, Pound is hardly proud of those early recordings. “I’m not offended by that era, but it doesn’t give me great pleasure to listen to that music,” he said before immediately correcting himself. “I take that back. Some of it was interesting, if a bit too earnest. I know there are those who liked it, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

First published in The Reader, Dec. 6, 2006. Copyright © 2006 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

* * *

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

Grapefruit Records to open in Old Market; Saddle Creek signs Indigo De Souza; new Cursive interview…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 3:20 pm April 23, 2021

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated the ol’ blog. In fact, I just wrote a column that’ll be published in the May issue of The Reader saying that it’s been a long time since I updated the ol’ blog, but that I haven’t given up — there just hasn’t been anything to write about music-wise (which is basically the lede to the column).

As I continue to point out, ain’t been a whole helluva lot of rock shows to write about, but there has been some news.

. * * * .

I just discovered via his Instagram page that Omaha singer/songwriter Simon Joyner is about to open a new record store in the Old Market that will also act as the world headquarters of his Grapefruit Records label. The new shop is located at 1125 Jackson St., Suite 5, which appears to be the old Antiques Annex space on 12th street.

Joyner says the store will open either May 1 or May 7, depending on how preparations go, and will feature new and used records. The shop marks the 3rd record store in the Old Market, joining Homer’s and Vinyl Cup. Hey, just like ol’ times…

. * * * .

The other hometown record label, Saddle Creek Records, has been on a roll lately.

Their most recent release from just-signed act Spirit of the Beehive, ENTERTAINMENT, DEATH, was bestowed with the “Best New Music” honor from Pitchfork, who gave the album a massive 8.3 rating. If you haven’t heard the album yet, grab some headphones and some LSD and enjoy. It’s a… challenging listen, but people love it.

On a more pop-flavored level, Saddle Creek this week announced that it signed Asheville, NC, singer/songwriter Indigo De Souza and is rereleasing her 2018 debut album, I Love My Mom, April 23. De Souza’s sound is more in line with the indie sound you’d hear on something like Sirius XMU — poppy, fun, accessible.

. ( ( ( .

A week or so ago out of the blue music blog Vinyl Writer Music posted an interview with Cursive’s Matt Maginn.

Matt covers the usual history/influences/Ugly Organ topics before he gets to what’s next for Cursive. He said he’s spent his off time repairing “a couple of bars/pubs in our beloved hometown….” and then goes on to say “Musically, it’s a bit more depressing. We have thrown around lots of long-distance ideas, but we have really not had the time to focus on them….

…I think we will start writing again as soon as it is safe and ideally get back on the road as soon as possible too. We are playing the Psycho Festival in Las Vegas, which we are really looking forward to at the moment. It will give us a chance to feel a little normal again and remember we are a band.

We had to cancel a lot of good shows when the pandemic struck, so we are itching to get out there and play. It sounds like a dream right now to actually return to a life that involves writing, rehearsing, and playing live. It’s funny how one year can really change how you feel about your existence and purpose in the world.

Read the entire interview here.

. ) ) ) .

That’s all for now. I’m hearing various and sundry things about upcoming music events. Things are happening. We’re almost there. Get vaccinated and we’ll get there sooner.

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 © 2021 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

Cursive to return to Winchester Bar & Grill in January…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:55 pm December 10, 2019

Cursive at Winchester Bar & Grill, May 25, 2019. The band is returning to Winchester Jan. 15.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I can’t remember it being this quiet show-wise or music news-wise. I mean nothing is going on. No shows this week. Omaha is a ghost town.

Except for this one bit of news: Cursive just announced that they’re returning to Winchester Bar & Grill Jan. 15. This is a new show listing, I believe. Playing alongside Kasher and crew are tour mates Cloud Nothings and “TBA.” No mention of Criteria, who will be joining Cursive and Cloud Nothings the next night in Denver at the Bluebird Theater, unless, of course, Criteria is the “TBA.”

Cursive first played at Winchester, a bar owned by Cursive’s Tim Kasher, Ted Stevens and Matt Maginn (among others), back on May 25. In the write-up for that show, I espoused dreams that maybe the bar could become a new venue for indie rock shows, but that never materialized. Instead, Winchester remains a prime choice for all your karaoke and cover band needs (As well as a great place to get a cheeseburger).

Anyway, mark your calendar.

* * *

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