Bowie was there; Karl Marks, Bokr Tov, Matt Cox Friday; Lavender Country, The Twilight Hours (ex-Trip Shakespeare) Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:36 pm April 27, 2018

The stairway at the Broadway and Lafayette St. subway station in Manhattan.

by Tim McMahan,

One of the things I had a chance to do in my free time while in Manhattan this week was visit the David Bowie Is Here display at the Broadway & Lafayette Metro station. The display was inspired by the David Bowie Is exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. For years Bowie lived in the neighborhood near the Lafayette St. train station.

Throughout the subway station were photos of Bowie, writings and other images from throughout his career slapped onto the subway-tile walls. The most stunning is the one above, which forms a different photo of Bowie when viewed from the other side of the stairway.

As part of the exhibit, which was presented by Spotify, special David Bowie Metro cards were printed and sold. I picked up four of the series of five (the fifth was sold out). Very cool.

Anyway, I’m back in time for the weekend. And here’s what’s happening.

Tonight at The Brothers Lounge Boston noise rock band Karl Marks headlines. The band’s latest, Universal Care (2018, Exploding in Sound), has received nods from the likes of Paste and NPR. Don’t be fooled. This is heavy stuff. Hussies and Chalant open at 10 p.m. $5.

Also tonight (Friday) Bokr Tov plays at The Barley Street Tavern with Odd Harmona, Ojai and Scott Severin. $5, 9 p.m.

Over at The Waiting Room Matt Cox celebrates the release of his new album, High Places. Opening are Dustin Arbuckle & The Damnations and Rex Granite Band featuring Sarah Benck. $10, 8 p.m.

Tomorrow night it’s back to The Brothers for a very special performance by Lavender Country, the first openly gay country band whose self-titled collection released in 1973 has lived on in rerelease. Frontman Patrick Haggerty has been featured on NPR and in the following documentary, which will take only 15 minutes to watch but will make you want to swing by The Brother Saturday night and see Haggerty live. $7, 10 p.m.


Also Saturday night, The Twilight Hours, which includes Matt Wilson and John Munson of Trip Shakespeare, are headlining at Reverb Lounge. Daniel Christian opens at 9 p.m. $12 Adv/$15 DOS.

Last but not least, Matt Whipkey Band is playing a free set of music out at Growler USA. 9 p.m.

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


So long, David Bowie…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 1:43 pm January 11, 2016
David Bowie - 1947-2016

David Bowie – 1947-2016

by Tim McMahan,

I woke up and discovered that David Bowie had died of cancer at the age of 69. Did anyone see it coming? I’d read he’d been ill a few years ago, but then figured he’d recovered, what with the release of The Next Day in 2013 and Blackstar just last week. Now it appears Blackstar was his swan song and parting gift. Its reception was greeted with open arms — critics and fans love the album. Would the way it was received been skewed had we’d known he was dying? Probably. Instead, Bowie went out creatively on top, with people pointing to Blackstar as a triumphant return. And we’re all left wondering what just happened. Somewhere he and Lou Reed are laughing together and saying, “Just play the bloody albums.”

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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.


CD Reviews: Bowie, Iceage and Spotify (in the column); Tim Kasher, Brighton MA at O’Leaver’s tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:17 pm March 21, 2013

by Tim McMahan,

If you’re a regular reader, you’ve seen a couple of these reviews in one format or another already (though they’ve been slightly altered). Bowie got nudged from the top spot on Billboard by Bon Jovi, which is a shame. Whether you like the new Bowie album or not, it’s hard not to root for him. I didn’t mention the new Low because I only got it yesterday. It’s a return to form for the Duluth trio. I’d love to get them back to Omaha somehow. The surprise among the Honorable Mentions is the Hookworms album, which is real steamroller of a record — grinding psychedelic throb rock, entrancing, Find it.

OTE53: The Quarterly Music Roundup, Brought to You in Spotify

Time for the usual roundup of what I’ve been listening to, this time stretching back to the beginning of the year. And for your information, all of it is available right now via Spotify.

Iím not trying to endorse the service, which is systematically fleecing just about everyone involved in the music industry. I’m just letting you know how I’ve come across the music, and it’s a lot different than it was in “the good old days.”

There was a time about five years ago when I received five or six manila envelopes per week in the mail loaded with promotional CDs. Today, I get about one CD a month (and it almost always sucks).

Instead of CDs, record labels now ìserviceî critics electronically. That means sending us emails with super-secret passwords that allow us to download albums from highly secured ìpress onlyî websites. To be honest, I prefer the downloads to cluttering up my office with CDs, even though I canít trade mp3s for store credit at Homer’s.

But lately even those download codes are drying up. Maybe itís because I’m writing less and less about music in these pages, or because record labels now simply streaming full albums via music websites prior to official street release.

Or maybe itís Spotify, where one can find every new album streamed on its release date. Make that “almost every new album,” because not everything is on Spotify, or even available online. Which explains why there’s no review of the new My Bloody Valentine album, titled m b v, below. Not only is it not in Spotify, it’s not on iTunes or available as a free stream anywhere. If you want to hear the new MBV, youíre gonna have to pay for it, kids, just like we all used to do.

Now, onto the reviews:

David Bowie, The Next Day — Some records take time to “sink in,” but how much time do you give? If itís David Bowie, you give it all the time it needs, I suppose. But after listening to this one off and on for about a week, I’m still struggling to find anything that stands out as being “essential,” or for that matter, memorable. Highlights “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” and “(You Will) Set the World on Fire” are as close to straight-up rock as you’re likely to get from the once-Thin White Duke, and are indeed good, if not safe. The foggy, fuzzy, melancholy ballad “Where Are We Now?” is comfortably attractive. The rest of it feels by the numbers, if not slightly dated; functional, but sung well by a voice we all love (and miss). Maybe thatís all weíll ever get from now on, or all we need, or maybe I just haven’t given it enough time.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away — As with most of his recordings, Cave is perversely dramatic in his singing/speaking, as if telling dark lies at midnight, which by the way, is the best time to listen to this record. The centerpiece, “Jubilee Street,” starts with a quiet repeated guitar line and Cave’s weird story about a street hustler named Bea. It builds slowly over six and a half minutes to a massive crescendo reminiscent of the best moments from the Kadane Brothers — the guys behind classic bands Bedhead and The New Year. But instead of Matt Kadaneís droll, monotone vocal delivery you get Cave at his most urgent. The rest of the record is merely sublime. From the dark rumble of “We Real Cool” (with the winning line, “Wikipedia is heaven when you don’t want to know anymore”) to the nearly 8-minute-long rock eulogy “Higgs Boson Blues” that calls out both Hannah Montana and her real-life counterpart: “Miley Cyrus floats in a swimming pool in Toluca Lake and youíre the best girl I ever had…” Shades of Robbie Robertson’s spoken-word dramas are conjured (“Somewhere Down the Crazy River” comes to mind), but Cave is never as corny, and never less than sincere.

Foxygen, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic — One of the most hyped releases so far this year, and worthy of it. Produced by Richard Swift, who worked on the last two Mynabirds albums, track “In the Darkness,” with the line: “Thereís no need to be an asshole / Youíre not in Brooklyn anymore…” is pure ’70s Stones, as Stonesy as you can get without dragging Mick’s saggy old bones into the studio.

Iceage, You’re Nothing — Matador Records may be the only label left (well, along with Sub Pop and Merge, and good ol’ Saddle Creek) where just the announcement of a band’s signing is big news. It means that the label’s brain trust has “discovered” something new, something “breakthrough” that could be as defining as when they signed Liz Phair or Pavement. Unfortunately, the last time that happened at Matador was when they signed Interpol way back in 2002. Still, when word leaked out that Matador signed Iceage it sent people scrambling to the internet to find out what these Danish punks sound like. That answer was only mildly hopeful. Iceage puts a new snarl on post-punk, like a modern version of Husker Du sung by a wasted slacker with a cockney’d scowl and not much to say. Songs like “It Might Hit First” border on hardcore, though there’s something artful beneath the buzz (Maybe itís the guitar solo that cuts in at the 30-second mark?). When they pull back toward the more conventional (“In Haze”) the ice melts revealing something akin to melody, and the road that all good punks head down… eventually.

Honorable Mentions worth seeing out on Spotify, or at your local record store: Suuns, Images du Futur; Foals, Holy Fire; Yo La Tengo, Fade; Big Harp, Chain Letters; Bleeding Rainbow, Yeah Right; Hookworms, Pearl Mystic.

Over The Edge is a weekly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, the media and the arts. Email Tim at

First published in The Reader. Copyright © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Tonight is second night of Tim Kasher’s two-night stand at O’Leaver’s. Last night was the solo acoustic gig. Tonight he’ll have a band of familiar faces backing him (so I’m told). Opening is Brighton MA, who according to Omahype is actually a Chicago band who has played with The Walkmen, Okkervil River and Elvis Perkins, among others. Will this one sell out? Don’t chance it. Buy your tickets now. $10, 9:30 p.m.

Hey guys, you better have that tournament going on somewhere…

Also tonight, Dirty River Ramblers play at The Sydney with Brad Hoshaw and In Cahoots. And Celtic-style howlers Great Big Sea are at The Waiting Room ($25, 9 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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Kasher to enter studio, hit the road in March; new David Bowie (as expected)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:53 pm January 8, 2013

by Tim McMahan,

Tim Kasher’s press folks announced today that he’ll soon be entering the studio to record the follow-up to his 2010 solo LP The Game of Monogamy. Expect to hear his new songs on his upcoming solo tour that starts March 12 in Hamden, CT, includes two nights at his new club (O’Leaver’s) March 20-21, and concludes March 23 at Shuba’s in Chicago. “He’ll be performing new songs in addition to tracks from Monogamy throughout the tour, and an array of friends will back him on varying accompaniment in each city,” says the press release. Wonder if he’ll be doing a surprise warm-up set at O’Leaver’s as well. We’ll have to wait and see.

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Bowie in 2007.

Bowie in 2007.

The other hot news of the day is that David Bowie has a new album coming out in March called The Next Day, which I sort of told you about in my 2013 predictions story.

Someone recently asked me about a different prediction from that same article and if I “knew something that they didn’t.” In this case, the answer is yes. Three or four weeks ago I was on the phone with David about something else (I think he was asking about my recipe for mulligatawny soup) and I off-handedly asked if he was working on anything new. He mentioned the new album, but asked me to keep it “on the down low” as he wanted to announce it on his website. So there you have it. Now what about the inevitable tour? If we could only get him to come to Omaha.  Attn: Maha Music Festival organizers…

Anyway, more details about the release are here are Reuters. Check out the first track from the album, “Where Are We Now?” below:

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Lazy-i Best of 2012

Lazy-i Best of 2012

Here’s another subtle reminder about the Lazy-i Best of 2012 compilation CD giveaway — the collection includes songs by Paul Banks, Tame Impala, Cat Power, The Faint, Ladyfinger, Pujol and a ton more.  The full track listing is here (scroll to the bottom). To enter the drawing to win a free copy send an email with your name and mailing address to tim.mcmahan@gmail.comHurry! Deadline is Jan. 15.

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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.