Father John Misty tonight; Petfest 2023, Dundee Day Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 7:31 am August 18, 2023
Thirst Things First at Petfest 2022. The band returns to Petfest 2023 Saturday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Petfest you already know about since I wrote about it in detail here yesterday. Go ahead and read it, we’ll wait….

Other detes about Petfest: Just $30 if you buy your ticket today online here, $40 if you wait until tomorrow. Children under 10 are free. It’s located behind Petshop Gallery at 2725 No. 62nd St. The fest features 20 bands and performers starting at 2 p.m. and running sometime aft 11 p.m. 

It’s going to be hot as fxxx, so bring a water bottle if you don’t plan on getting all liquored up. 

All info here. See you there.

What else is happening this weekend? 

Maybe because it’s being held at Lincoln’s Pinewood Bowl, but tonight’s Father John Misty concert has been flying under my radar. He played at Maha 2018 right before Weezer and was pretty good. His duet with Lana Del Rey is one of my favorite songs of 2023. FJM is opening tonight for boring folks rock act The Head and the Heart.  Miya Folick also is on the bill. This is a seated show with tickets running between $30 and $70 bucks. Starts at 8 p.m. 

Also tonight, Des Moines folk rock band The Nadas plays at Reverb Lounge with Elizabeth Moen. $20, 8 p.m. 

Tomorrow (Saturday) in addition to Petfest, it’s Dundee Day, which I accidentally wrote about last week (right here). Again, don’t miss the parade along Underwood Avenue at 10:30 a.m. featuring a marching band consisting of a number of indie music notables from bands that include Desaparecidos, Cursive, Flowers Forever, the list goes on and on. Should be weird.

Las Cruxes kicks off the Dundee Night Street Party at 4 p.m., which is capped off by Satchel Grande at 10:15 p.m. The full line-up is here.

Also, the Riverfront grand opening is this weekend, and there are a couple interesting performances, but you’ll have to navigate their painfully lousy website to figure it out. I plan on going down there sometime this weekend. Future home of Maha Music Festival…

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 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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: Maha Music Festival year 10: Is bigger better?; Cults, Metric tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , — @ 12:45 pm August 20, 2018

ZZ Ward performs during day 1 of the the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 17, 2018.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A few things before we get started.

First, the line-up. It was controversial the day it was announced if only because this was the 10-year anniversary of the Maha Music Festival. There’s only a few of us who have been to all 10, who know the dips and turns that this festival has gone through over the past decade. And every one of us has a favorite year. Mine just happens to have been last year when Maha coaxed Belle & Sebastian to their festival stage along with Downtown Boys, New Pornographers and the Faint. Run the Jewels was the usual meh headliner, but at least made a statement that Maha wasn’t going to be be mistaken for a dad rock festival.

The speculation for year 10 ranged from LCD Soundsystem to Courtney Barnett to Arcade Fire to Wilco. Three of those four names had released a relevant new album in the past year. When Weezer was announced as the headliner, an enormous group yawn came over Omaha’s tiny audience of indie music followers. Weezer was never an indie band, doesn’t play indie rock, could even be mistaken as an MTV band thanks to it’s classic “Happy Days” video for “Buddy Holly.”

What indie fans failed to realize is that if Maha is going to pay a quarter-million dollars (or whatever they paid for Weezer) the band better be able to sell a shit-ton of tickets — or at least draw a massive crowd. And Weezer did just that. I don’t know the numbers, but Stinson Park was overflowing last night when Rivers kicked off their set with the “You Wanted to See It” bite from Happy Days.

On the other hand, the crowd was less than massive the prior evening for TV on the Radio, but I’ll get to that.

The second thing to mention before digging into the performances is how well this festival operates — and has operated from day 1. No event has better trained, better prepared volunteers than Maha — all 700 of them. I was greeted with a smile every where I turned, from check-in to buying drink tickets to the eager young lady who explained which container to dump my trash/recyclables. That doesn’t just happen, believe me. Working with an army of volunteers is a difficult, thankless job that’s ignored when it’s done right.

Finally, one of the smartest/best things to happen to Maha was selecting Stinson Park at Aksarben Village as its location. No matter what happens in the future, no matter how big or small the festival becomes, Stinson should remain ground zero for this annual event. Nothing could be more convenient.

Time for a Format Change

All that said, there was one thing that became glaringly obvious after this year’s two-day festival — there’s no reason to start bands before 6 p.m.

Yes, there was only a few hundred on hand to hear Clarence Tilton kick things off at 6 p.m. Friday night, but the crowd just seemed to grow faster by the moment. Whereas Saturday festivities were lightly attended all the way up until Hop Along took the stage. As a result, few saw some of the festival’s best performances — specifically David Nance and U.S. Girls.

Organizers, ask yourselves: If you know no one’s going to be at the park at noon to see these artists, why bother booking them so early? I would have loved to see a 6 p.m. crowd eat up Nance’s set, or for that matter, if an early-evening audience would have tried to dance to U.S. Girls.

I’m sure there’s a good reason for starting at noon. I don’t know what it is.

The perfect Maha Festival would run three days — Thursday, Friday, Saturday — each day starting at 6 p.m. Six bands each on Thursday and Friday, five bands on Saturday. That’s 17 high-quality bands, each getting a decent shot at playing in front of a sizable crowd instead of the usual handful there at noon for reasons we’ll never know. This is the only option if Maha is never going to take the plunge and book one of its headliners very early in the day in an attempt to get the crowd out early.

The later start times also allow festival-goers to avoid most of August’s oppressively hot/humid weather. Why haven’t they done it this way in the past? Does it have to do with better-utilizing vendors and facilities? I would be surprised if they’re covering labor costs before 5 p.m. As for the bands that “get their break” playing the early stage, that’s been a running joke since the festival started — “We played Maha… in front of 18 people at noon.”

Yeah, you might have a smaller crowd at 6 p.m. than at 9 p.m., but it’s going to be bigger than what was there Saturday for The Dilla Kids.

Day 1

Caveat: I wasn’t even planning on attending Friday night’s festival, but when Maha offered me a press pass, I had to go if only to see Clarence Tilton on that ginormous stage. The Omaha-based alt-country five-piece belted out its usual great set of rural-tinged rock that would make Uncle Tupelo proud.

Clarence Tilton performs at the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 17, 2018.

I’ve seen these guys play the best stages in town all the way down to a neighborhood street party and they never disappoint. The big stage only magnified their talent, though as mentioned, only a hundred or so were there to hear it. No matter. They kicked it up as if the Stinson bowl was filled.

State Disco performs at the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 17, 2018.

State Disco followed from the smaller “Omne Partners Stage,” but I’ll be damned if that stage didn’t sound louder than the main “Decades Stage.” Unlike what the name implies, State Disco don’t play no disco. Their style sounds derived from 2000s-era Vegas alternative band The Killers with some Muse and Strokes thrown in for good measure.

I walked up to the stage to get the photos and turned around to see about a dozen girls standing in a line, grooving. Cute. In the words of a seasoned musician who I bumped into: these dudes are professional, and you can tell they’re dying to get heard on the radio.

Hurrah for the Riff Raff performs at the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 17, 2018.

Half of the multitude of people I spoke to Friday night were there to see Hurray for the Riff Raff, hence (I assume) the reason they were on the big stage. Front woman Alynda Segarra is hard to take your eyes off of. She certainly commands the stage, though the band’s brand of rootsy rock failed to capture my attention, and after a few songs I was off to check out the Rabble Mill mini-ramp on the other end of the park.

Benjamin Booker performs at the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 17, 2018.

I got back in time to watch New Orleans blues-rocker Benjamin Booker on the side stage. He and his band played a blue-stomp rock in the Black Keys vein but with more variety (which isn’t saying much). Booker’s stuff comes out on ATO, the same label as Alabama Shakes, Drive-By Truckers and Hurray for the Riff Raff (I assume it was a package deal). Seems like blues-rock replaced alt-country as an indie outlier genre. We can thank Black Keys for that.

As middle-of-the-road as those two ATO acts were, they were light-years ahead of blues rock act ZZ Ward. For the half-dozen of you who asked how Dusty and Billy sounded, the “ZZ” stands for Zsuzsanna, as in Zsuzsanna Eva Ward. I would have preferred Dusty and Billy.

The music kinda sorta reminded me of Shania Twain hick-country; I halfway expected Ward to rip into “Man, I Feel Like a Woman.” It was at this point that I was thinking these last three bands would have been a great fit for the ol’ Playing with Fire concert series. Maybe that’s the crowd Maha was after.

Needless to say, Ward was an odd choice to precede early-2000s indie rock icons TV on the Radio, the band the other half of the crowd was there to see. By now Stinson was crowded, though the bowl was only half filled; the power lines leading to the side stage that cuts the park in half acted as a pseudo barrier. It was crush full on the other side of that line and pretty far back. The Maha folks had to be pleased.

TV on the Radio performs at the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 17, 2018.

What can I say about TV on the Radio’s set? I’ve never been a fan, and don’t know much beyond 2008’s Dear Science, which stands as a landmark album from that era. I recognized “Golden Age” from that album, but few others. They sounded strong and tight, as if they released that album last year. I didn’t hang around for the full set, though I’m told they played “Staring at the Sun” for an encore.

Day 2

The Dilla Kids had the inauspicious honor of opening Day 2 at 12:30 to what appeared to be about 50 people. The ensemble totaled 11 on the big stage including a graffiti artist who would hang out through a good part of the afternoon.

The Dilla Kids kicked off Day 2 of the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 18, 2018.

I’ve never seen these folks before and was very impressed with the band — every aspect but especially the rhythm section. Top-notch beats that would not stop. Fronting them were MCs Marcey Yates and Xoboi, who were all about getting the party started at lunch time, rapping about “Wings and Thighs.”

Did I mention it was humid as hell? Just as miserable as you’d expect in mid-August.

David Nance Band performs at the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 18, 2018.

David Nance Band got the day going on the side stage. Playing as a four-piece with guitarist Jim Schroeder, bassist Noah Sterba and drummer Kevin Donahue, they ripped into a guitar-fueled set of songs, many I assume from the band’s upcoming Trouble in Mind debut due Oct. 5.

Among my faves was a song presumably called “Kingdom of Shit” and the roarin’ first single, “Poison.” Nance and Schroeder played off each other throughout, challenging themselves to a feedback contest. The new stuff has a Neil Young / Crazy Horse vibe, with jams you’d love to have gone on for 20 minutes or more. He ended the set with a dirge, which is a no-no for any festival (He would have killed them if he’d closed with “Negative Boogie”).

U.S. Girls perform at the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 18, 2018.

Then came U.S. Girls. I was expecting something more electronic and dance-beat fueled like on their new album, In a Poem Unlimited. Instead, the band ripped into heavy guitar rock that morphed into dance-beat fabulousness spurred on by front woman Meghan Remy’s inviting coo.

The sound was slow, heavy and erotic, Remy out front and inviting, imploring the crowd of around 300 to dance instead of just standing there staring like lumps. The lead guitarist, dressed head-to-toe in red, looked like an extra from an episode of Starsky and Hutch but was friggin’ amazing. This was not your typical Maha moment, it was something completely different, and I don’t think the audience knew what to make of it. A highlight.

Next up was Mesonjixx at 3 p.m. In all years past, there have been some holes in my coverage of the Maha Music Festival, and this year would be no exception. One looks at the schedule and picks the spots when they’re going to go home to recover from the heat, or, in my case, go home and let the dogs out. This was my chance.

As a result, I missed Mesonjixx, who I’d seen just a few weeks ago at Slowdown, as well as Hop Along (who I intended to catch at O’Leaver’s Sunday night, but failed) and Ravyn Lenae.

Tune-Yards perform at the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 18, 2018.

I returned at 6:30 for Tune-Yards and am happy I did. This was my favorite set of the festival. Tune-Yards play as a trio fronted by super-talented Merrill Garbus standing on a platform with a battery of pedals at her command used to trigger a myriad of loops and samples. With bass player Nate Brenner on one side and a drummer on the other, she crushed a large-ish crowd with thick beat, high-rhythm art-rock songs as experimental and interesting as Eno-era anybody.

The band is enjoying some notoriety thanks to scoring the break-out film Sorry to Bother You, but Tune-Yards already were well-known with the indie set, having plenty of airplay on national streaming indie stations and Sirius XMU. Her song “Gangsta” somehow gets sneaked into every cable program, and single “Water Fountain” has been used in a number of commercials.

The rhythms were pounding, and god help me, some people were actually dancing.

The Kills perform at the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 18, 2018.

It was a hard act to follow but The Kills did the best they could from the side stage. A band this big, I was surprised to see them relegated to the small side, but it didn’t tamp down their energy.

As you’d expect from a festival, the fans got a greatest hits set that included “List of Demands (Reparations),” which is the only Kills song I can pick in a line-up.

(Festival sets are kind of like listening to a band’s Greatest Hits album. Everything is out of context and placed in an unfamiliar order and as a result, looses a bit of whatever it was that made the music stick in the first place.)

Father John Misty performs at the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 18, 2018.

By the time Father John Misty started at 9 the audience had arrived. The whole park was filled and the bowl was a crush mob. The Omaha World-Herald reported the attendance was “almost 8,000” (by comparison, the 2015 Maha with Modest Mouse was officially sold out, whatever that means, so which had a bigger audience?). Let me put it this way: It was a shit-ton of people.

I expected a sleepy set from FJM a.k.a. Josh Tillman and got anything but. He came out dressed to the nines and ripped though a greatest hits set of his own backed by an incredible band. I never realized how many good songs FJM has, from “Nancy From Now On” to “Real Love Baby” to the current hit, “Mr. Tillman.”

His stage shtick is looking debonair and reserving his smooth dance moves for just the right moments. He has one of those voices that is unmistakable and bound to be a touchstone to this era, at times reminding me of Elton John.

I expected some snappy patter but he only got in one zinger from stage, paraphrasing, “I want to dedicate this song to all the sad-looking Weezer fans up front. Hang in there, guys. It’s almost over.”

From there he kicked into a wicked version of “Pure Comedy,” a song whose message I’m sure went well over their heads. He closed with “I Love You, Honeybear” — the set seemed to fly by.

Weezer performs at the 2018 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 18, 2018.

Then came Weezer. I only stuck around for the first four or five songs. Weezer sounded great. Just like Weezer. And the crowd loved it.

Which brings us back to the line-up. Look, I don’t know where Maha hopes to go from here. It’s hard to imagine them bringing in a more commercial band than Weezer and still maintain some sort of indie-rock connection. You could say they stepped away from that years ago, or were never really concerned about it (Let’s face it, Garbage is hardly a cutting-edge indie band).

Maha will never have my dream line-up because my dream line-up would probably sell a total of 300 tickets. That’s not what it’s about. Maha is about bringing community together around music. You can’t do that without having a radio-friendly legacy act at the top of the bill. And if you can slip in a U.S. Girls or Tune-Yards or David Nance along the way, well then, you’ve succeeded. And they have. Here’s to the next 10 years…

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NYC band Cults headlines tonight at The Waiting Room. In addition to Columbia, the band’s music is released on Lilly Allen’s In the Name Of label. Dreamy synth rock in the vein of early M83. The Shacks (Big Crown Records) opens at 8 p.m. %15.

Also tonight Metric opens for Smashing Pumpkins at CenturyLink Center. 7 p.m.

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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.


It’s Maha Festival weekend: Clarence Tilton, TV on the Radio tonight; David Nance, U.S. Girls, Hop Along, Tune-Yards, Father John Misty Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:00 pm August 17, 2018

U.S. Girls is among the highlights of tomorrow’s Maha Music Festival, which kicks off tonight at Stinson Park.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Ah, Maha. The festival gods must be looking down kindly on this one as the weather is looking perfect and from all indications, this is gonna be big event.

Everyone is asking about ticket sales. The fact that Maha hasn’t sold out of VIP tickets yet (and everywhere you look someone is giving away passes) may be an indication of sales sluggishness, but the fact is Maha and other festivals do a lot of walk-up sales, and with this weather, I have no doubt that’ll be the case.

Tonight’s first-ever Friday showcase has a ringer with TV on the Radio headlining at 10:30. I have to admit TOTR is a band that went right by me when they first hit the scene in the early 2000s. That said, there’s a ton of buzz about this set.

Tonight will mostly be a night of discovery for me. I’ve had zero (known) exposure to ZZ Ward, Benjamin Booker and Hurray for the Riff Raff. And to be honest, the band we’re most excited to see is opener Clarence Tilton at 6 p.m.

GA tickets for tonight are $45; VIP tix are $110.

Them comes the really big show tomorrow.

Like Omaha World-Herald’s Kevin Coffey, I also have five acts that I’ve deemed “must-see”:

David Nance Band at Reverb Lounge, Nov. 15, 2016.

David Nance Band — With a new album coming out in October on Chicago’s Trouble in Mind Records and on the verger of a massive Eastern U.S. Tour, Nance is one of those acts that any festival would love to have — and he’s grouped in with Maha’s “local acts.” Nance and Co. are headed to this year’s Gonerfest in Memphis next month. Their music is a rough-shod style of psych-rock direct from the garage rife with amazing guitar work and Nance’s Jon Spencer-like bark. If you haven’t seen him, here’s your chance. He comes on after The Dilla Kids at 1:15.

U.S. Girls — The Philly band fronted by Meghan Remy has had records released by Siltbreeze, FatCat and their cuurent label, 4AD. Their latest, In a Poem Unlimited, is loaded with pop songs, like the infectious “Rosebud” that Madonna would kill for. They can be dancey, they can be spacey, but it’s Remy in the middle with her sweet coo. This one starts at 2 p.m.

Hop Along at Slowdown Jr., June 4, 2015.

Hop Along — The new-era Saddle Creek Records act is no stranger to Omaha. Frances Quinlan has a guttural, scratchy, feral-cat growl of a voice on tuneful indie songs that have become Sirius XMU staples. The band’s latest album, Bark Your Head Off, Dog (2018, Saddle Creek) is a personal favorite, having just acquired a new puppy of my own that enjoys barking way too much (in fact, she’s barking as I type this, dammit).

Hop Along goes on at 4:15. BTW, rumor has it that Hop Along is the “secret show” at O’Leaver’s Sunday night. No one has confirmed or denied that rumor…

Tune-Yards — They’ve gained new notoriety for having been included in the soundtrack to 2018 break-out dark-comedy Sorry to Bother You. I know them from their 2011 4AD Records debut release Whokill, and its tasty single “Gangsta.” They used to be the duo of Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner. I’m assuming they’ve grown since I saw them play at SXSW in 2009. Interesting, weird, arty act. On stage at 6:30.

Father John Misty — This could be a real wild-card. Misty, who’s no mystery to Omaha fans having played here before, can either put on a blow-your-head-off set filled with laff-riot between-song patter or he could be BAF, depending on his mood. Let’s hope he’s the former. I know a lot of people who bought tickets to Maha for this performance alone. 9 p.m. start time.

Then there’s Weezer, who didn’t make my list because, well, I’m not a huge Weezer fan. They lost me after Pinkerton, which came out something like 22 years ago. That said, the crowd will crest for their set.

If ticket sales are slim this year it’ll be because your typical Weezer fan not only doesn’t know the who the openers are, but doesn’t care. They’re looking at this as a $70 Weezer concert, which may be a tad steep. Actually, if they walk-up tomorrow, they’ll be paying $80. That’s lot of cash to see a band play a Toto cover.

Maha Festival headliners have never been the draw for me. My all-time favorite Maha moment came from an afternoon set by Belle & Sebastian. I typically catch the first couple songs by the headliner than head out. We’ll see what happens this year.

Here’s the full line-up w/times:

The Friday night gig:

6 p.m. – Clarence Tilton
6:30 – State Disco
7:20 – Hurray for the Riff Raff
8:15 – Benjamin Booker
9:10 – ZZ Ward
10:30 – TV on the Radio

The Saturday schedule:

12:30 p.m. – The Dilla Kids
1:15 – David Nance Band
2 – U.S. Girls
3 – Mesonjixx + Omaha Girls Rock
4:15 – Hop Along
5:30 – Ravyn Lenae
6:30 – Tune-Yards
7:45 – The Kills
9 – Father John Misty
10:30 – Weezer

More info at MahaMusicFestival.com. See you there.

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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.


Hot or Not? Maha Music Festival 2018 headliners Weezer, TV On the Radio, Father John Misty…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:49 pm April 18, 2018

Weezer is one of the headliners at the 2018 Maha Music Festival.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

So here’s the deal: The folks who put on the Maha Music Festival raised the bar insurmountably high with last year’s line-up, which exceeded my expectations. It was so good, I was left scratching my head as to how they could possibly beat it for their big 10th anniversary fest.

I mean, they’d have to pull out all the stops with massive names like Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Beck, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett, Kendrick Lamar, The Breeders, Superchunk — the biggest and best of indie that are still making important new music today.

If they could snag just a couple of the above names they could at least match 2017’s stellar line-up.

Well, yesterday the folks at Maha announced the 2018 line-up. But before they did, they made a “big announcement” a few weeks earlier concerning their 10th Anniversary — that the fest is expanding to two days. Ambitious, no doubt. Their other big news — their merger with Big Omaha — was a big dud, and sounded more like an albatross had been hung around their necks.

In the face of all that, this year’s line-up sounds sort of like an afterthought. The hot band on the ticket is TV on the Radio, a beloved legacy act that hasn’t released in album in four years. A lot of people are pumped and I’m hearing the band will be the Friday night headliner. Personally, TVOTR has never been my cup of tea, but I get the excitement from the fans — a lot of folks point to 2008’s Dear Science as one of their all-time favorite records.

The Saturday night headliner is Weezer, a band that headlined a night of the 80/35 Festival a couple years ago. Weezer has a huge fan base, thanks to their debut album, which came out 24 years ago, a solid follow-up with Pinkerton in ’96, followed by their green album in ’01. After that, most people lost track of the band, but it doesn’t matter as long as they keep playing “Undone – The Sweater Song” on tour. Fun fact: Weezer released an album last year called Pacific Daydream.

The third headliner is Father John Misty, a big name in indie with a big fanbase. His droll, low-key songs and stand-up comic stage patter are just right for a theater crowd, but maybe not so much for a festival. I’ve watched his Pitchfork Live set where he basically stood there and sang for two hours. Who knows, maybe he’ll bring along some special effects.

Moving on to the second tier bands, three names stand out for me. Tune-Yards (originally spelled tUnE-yArDs) are a fun, quirky band (but again, pretty dull live, or at least they were dull when I saw them at SXSW a few years ago). Hop Along has Saddle Creek Records pedigree and their new album is getting a lot buzz (because it’s good). And U.S. Girls, who was lauded as a standout at this year’s SXSW.

I’m only vaguely familiar with The Kills and not familiar at all with ZZ Ward, Benjamin Booker, Hurray for the Riff Raff and Ravyn Lenae.

On a positive note, Maha wisely expanded its selection of local bands to five this year, including a couple of my faves: David Nance and Clarence Tilton. State Disco, Mesonjixx and The Dilla Kids (none of which I’ve seen play live) round out the line-up.

So, disappointed? Not really. I’ve been bracing for disappointment since I left last year’s earth-shattering show knowing the odds of getting one of those massive names I listed at the beginning of this was slim and none.

From a business perspective, the festival should sell well (Don’t underestimate the power of Weezer). The pricing is kind of interesting.

2-day Early Bird general admission passes are $90 — a bargain. The Saturday-only GA advance tickets at $70 cost twice as much as the Friday-only GA advance tickets ($35), which would seem to indicate either a shorter day or less-inviting line-up on Friday? I guess we’ll see when the schedules are released. Maybe they’re just trying to cash in on those Weezer fans.

It also brings up the question as to what day/night Father John Misty will play. He seems perfect to open for TVOTR, but as a co-headliner, they might move Misty to Saturday to help justify the ticket price. If so, they could lose some Misty fans who won’t pay the Weezer tariff.

VIP tickets — which are really the way to go if you’re into these bands — are only being sold in 2-Day increments for $290, which is a shame because some folks may only be able to go to one day of the fest. Oddly, you’re paying twice as much for two days of fun but they didn’t double the “Maha bucks” allocation. Rip!

Even if only a couple bands trip your trigger, at this price point Maha remains a bargain because, let’s face it, half the fun is just going to the festival, hanging out on the lawn, drinking beer and enjoying the music. No one locally puts on a better event (thanks in part to their army of volunteers).

See you there…?

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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.


Podcast feedback; Father John Misty moves to Sokol Aud; Johnny Cash tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:07 pm February 19, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I received lottts of feedback on the Lazy-i Weekly Wrap-Up podcast, and welcome more if you feel like sharing. Recording these things ain’t easy. If you haven’t checked it out yet, the podcast is below.

No. 1 complaint was that I don’t sound like “me” on the podcast. One person said I sound like an old lady. Another said I sound like a hedgehog wearing glasses (great idea for a podcast mascot). Someone pointed out that I sound like I was reading something. That’s because I was. Fact is I’m trying to put these together as easily as possible, grabbing items that appeared in the past week’s Lazy-i entries, along with audio clips recorded at shows. I’m never going to write a brand new, 3,000-word script every week.  It’ll evolve… probably.

What else…

I was bummed when I went to buy my ticket to the April 8 Father John Misty show at The Waiting Room and discovered it was sold out. But fear not. One Percent moved the show to Sokol Auditorium, and $20 tickets are now on sale once again. It would be quite a feat if he sold out a venue that size.

I went recently ’round and ’round with someone about Misty’s new album, I Love You, Honeybear, which came out a couple weeks ago. The other guy didn’t like it. He said it was over-produced and too mainstream. And while I agree there is an abundance of strings on some tracks, I still dig the record. Misty a.k.a. J. Tillman is one of the better lyric writers out there these days, and this album showcases that talent in a way can only be described as “nostalgic.” The record sounds like it was produced four decades ago. It sounds like music  they used to play on KFAB in the ’70s, the kind of music they now play on (the still operating) Magic 1490 AM — lush, tuneful, old-fashioned and familiar.

To me, Misty/Tillman sounds like a cross between Grant Lee Buffalo and ’70s-era Elton John mixed with modern-day songsters such as Iron & Wine or Shearwater (though Tillman is much funnier than those two rather stoic outfits). He’s been compared to Nilsson, which I get. Is the new record as good as his last album? Who knows, but it’s definitely worth checking out, and worth buying tickets to the show.

Check out his recent Letterman appearance, singing my favorite song off the new record.

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Speaking of shows, there’s only one show worth mentioning tonight: The Barley Street Tavern is hosting a Tribute to Johnny Cash. Among the performers are Lash LaRue & the Hired Guns, Pat Gehrman, Brad Hoshaw, Michael J. Fillmore, Joe Watson, Josh Watson, Stephanie Krysl, Travis Sing and Daniel Burns. It’s worth going out in the cold. $5, 9 p.m.

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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


No Morrissey; new Neil Young; Obama and the black swan (in the column); Father John Misty tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:59 pm November 1, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Quiet news day today. Who else was headed to Lincoln for Morrissey tonight? I’m as bummed as the rest of you about the show’s postponement (but not cancellation). Based on the announcement, it may not be until 2013 before it gets rescheduled.

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I’ve been listening to the new Neil Young & Crazy Horse album Psychedelic Pill for the last couple of days and can whole-heartedly recommend it for any Neil fan. Fantastic stuff, including the 27-minute opening song “Driftin’ Back” and 17-minute “Ramada Inn,” which are among the best jammers he’s done in years. His lyrics have never been so rooted in the every day, as if he feels Father Time leaning over his shoulder…

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In this week’s column, how Super Storm Sandy may have changed the outcome of next week’s election. It’s in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here. It’s almost time to vote, people…

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Father John Misty a.k.a. Josh Tillman, toured with David Bazan and Richard Buckner before joining Fleet Foxes as their tour drummer, but even Tillman says his FF tour of duty was merely as a hired hand. I’ve never been a Fleet Foxes fan — their music is too unstructured (and boring) for my tune-hungry ear.

On the other hand FJM plays psychedelic folk songs with a slight alt-country lilt and lyrics that teeter close to the edge. To me, the music off Fear Fun (Sub Pop, 2012) sounds like a cipher of Grant Lee Buffalo (who remembers that ’90s relics?). Gorgeous stuff. Check out the video for “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” below and hear it live tonight at Slowdown Jr. when FJM plays with singer/songwriter Le Sera and Jeffertitties Nile. $10, 9 p.m.

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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.