Garbage, Kristin Kontrol, Under the Radar tonight; Relax, It’s Science Saturday; Marissa Nadler Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:02 pm July 8, 2016
Garbage at Maha Music Festival 2012

Garbage at very rainy Maha Music Festival 2012. The band plays tonight at SumTur Amphitheatre.

by Tim McMahan,

Surprisingly a lot of shows this weekend, though many are “under the radar”…

Biggest show of the weekend is tonight at SumTur Amphitheater in Papillion where grunge-era British band Garbage will headline. You remember them from Maha 2012. Opening is Kristen Kontrol (Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls’ new project). Check out her Ten Questions interview. Tickets are $35 general admission, $45 reserved. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

It’s also Under the Radar weekend. I mentioned the highlights a couple days ago. Tonight’s UtR show of interest (to me, anyway) is at Milk Run where they’re showcasing a gaggle of electronic performers: Ammie Brod, Thomas Snydacker, Jared Brown, Jim Fusik and Big Slur (Dan Scheuerman of Deleted Scenes). Tickets are $10, show starts at 8 p.m.

It’s punk rock night at fabulous O’Leaver’s tonight with SHEdiots, Austin act All Opposed and Westside Proletariat. I’m not seeing a price for this one, but it’s probably $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, MiWi La Lupa opens for the Hottman Sisters’ EP release show at Reverb Lounge. I’ve been dying to catch MiWi’s set. Maybe tonight? Also on the bill are Walk By Sea. $7, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Relax, It’s Science opens for Lodgings at Barley Street Tavern. Dirty Talker and KC band Dark Satellites also are on the bill. 9 p.m., $5.

Meanwhile, O’Leaver’s is hosting Saturn Moth, Mint Wad Willy and Muscle Cousins. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Under the Radar shifts to The Slowdown Saturday night with a huge lineup that includes tbd Dance Collective, Radical 2, Bus Gas, Terrence McManus, Owen Weaver and Rosalyn Nasky and Les Moutons de Panurge. 7:30 p.m., $10.

Finally, there’s a gem of a show Sunday night at Reverb where Boston singer/songwriter Marissa Nadler headlines. She’s released albums on Kemado and Bella Union. Her latest album, Strangers, is out now on Sacred Bones. Pitchfork gave it a 7.6 saying she retains “her grey-skies aesthetic while bringing in a more spacious and rock-oriented sound.” Wrekmeister Harmonies & Muscle and Marrow also perform. Tickets are $12 now, $14 DOS. Show starts at 8 p.m.

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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: Maha Music Festival rocks in the rain (and some sh**y photos)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:02 pm August 13, 2012

by Tim McMahan,

There will be more details on Maha and its future in this week’s column. That said, here are some of my initial thoughts:

— Set up in Stinson Park involved construction of a massive second stage next to the Stinson’s permanent stage structure. I was told this was needed because of Garbage’s staging requirements. Though I’m sure it cost a fortune to erect this second “main” stage, the effect was to give the local bands a terrific second stage to play on. The set-up was hands down an improvement over last year’s second stage sitch (and much better than the Lewis & Clark Landing rinky-dink second stage from years 1 & 2). It just elevated the local bands to another more-professional level for folks who have no idea who they are. The only downside: It sounded like one of the amps/speakers was blown in the second stage’s left stack, causing some annoying crackling.

— Food options were adequate, though they could have used a second pizza vendor judging by the snaking line outside the pizza table throughout the day. Bottom line: Given a choice, most people will pick pizza every time.

— I didn’t show up until Josh Rouse. I would have liked to have seen Conduits and Eli Mardock but they were too early in the day, and I didn’t care about Frontier Ruckus or the other early-day bands. I continue to have zero interest in rural-flavored Americana/roots music. That applies to Delta Spirit, though I see them more as a throwback to leather pants ’70s freedom rock. Not my cup of tea, but I have to hand it to them for playing a good set.

— Favorite performances: Dum Dum Girls and Icky Blossoms. Lining up DDG was a coup for Maha — a fantastic band that plays modern rock music; a band that any festival would be lucky to have. Icky Blossoms will be remembered as having one of the most talked about performances of the festival — a full-on frontal dance attack played to a crowd itching to groove. Let’s see if they can make it translate outside of Omaha.

— A solid band with a national rep, Garbage still seems like an odd choice for this festival, though they were probably responsible for selling most of the tickets. In a bill that consisted mostly of indie bands, Garbage has been on Warners or Geffen up ’til their latest (and weakest) release, which came out this year on V2 (owned by Universal). Garbage is more of an alternative rock act than an indie band, and in some ways, a departure for Maha. Did it pay off? We’ll have to wait and see what the numbers say. In some ways, it only confused matters regarding what Maha is supposed to be about. Is it an indie music festival? An alternative rock festival? That said, they played a solid set that laid heavily on their radio-friendly, formulaic back catalog.

— The rain sucked. It’s hard to complain about it since we haven’t had much rain over the past summer. Throughout the last half of the day it rained just enough to annoy, eventually driving people to nearby tents only to stop after a few minutes before starting up again. But whaddyagonna do?

— I would say about a quarter or more of the crowd left before Desaparecidos began playing. Conor and Co. never sounded better as they pushed the festival’s midnight deadline. I could hear the roar of their guitars as I took off early, hightailing it back home on my bike while there was a break in the rain on the radar.

Now here’re some shitty photos taken with my iPhone. Looks like I’ll be getting that iPhone 5 when it comes along because these days my camera makes everything look like it’s covered in a London fog.

UUVVWWZ moments before they started their set.

UUVVWWZ moments before they started their set. The Lincoln band was the quirkiest, arty-est band of the day. Either you were into it or you weren’t. I for one can’t wait to hear their new album.

Dum Dum Girls at the Maha Music Festival 2012.

One of the highlight performance at this year’s festival was the Dum Dum Girls. Red hot!

Maha Festival 2012 crowd mid festival.

Maha Festival 2012 crowd mid-festival, taken from on top of the northwest hill with cars zooming by on Center Street behind me.

Myanbirds at Maha Festival 2012

Mynabirds at Maha Festival 2012.

Icky Blossoms at Maha Music Festival 2012

Icky Blossoms bask in a dance glow emitted from the Maha crowd.

Garbage at Maha Music Festival 2012

Garbage at Maha Music Festival 2012. Smudge on the far right is Shirley Manson. Honest.

No shots of Desaparecidos as everything looked like a blur in the night stage lighting. For whatever reason, no direct spotlights were used on either stage.

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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


MAHA announces initial lineup (and it’s DesapareGarbage); Live Review: Icky Blossoms (and their new record)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:21 pm April 23, 2012
Icky Blossoms at Earth Day in Elmwood Park, April 21, 2012.

Icky Blossoms at Earth Day in Elmwood Park, April 21, 2012.

by Tim McMahan,

By now you’ve heard the news about this year’s MAHA Music Festival. Four bands were announced last night, with more to come.

The bands: Garbage, Desaparecidos, Josh Rouse and Icky Blossoms.

Garbage is quite a catch. Other than a handful of U.S. dates this month and into early May, the band will tour primarily in Europe throughout the summer, sneaking in the MAHA appearance Aug. 11 just prior to heading to Japan. In other words, as of now Garbage is skipping the entire summer U.S. festival season, giving MAHA something of an exclusive.

If you’re too young to remember Garbage, the band scored a couple hits in the mid-’90s with “Stupid Girl” and “Only Happy When It Rains,” which still get airplay on the better radio stations throughout the country. Their last album was ’05’s Bleed Like Me. Now they’re back with a new album, Not Your Kind of People, which comes out May 14 on STUNVOLUME, their own label. The first single, “Blood for Poppies,” leaked about a month ago, continues the band’s brash alt rock sound. Check it out below:

Garbage, “Blood for Poppies”:

[soundcloud url=”″ iframe=”true” /]


Desaparecidos is the mysterious band referenced in my last blog entry (As Desaparepussies). The guys played at Conor Oberst’s Concert for Equality in Benson in 2010, so this isn’t exactly a bolt-out-of-the-blue reunion. Regardless, as of now, MAHA is the only scheduled date for the band, and that alone makes it special. I’m highly doubtful this will be the only Desa show. There’s never been a better time for Oberst and Co. to reform as we enter a rather important political cycle. Are there any other significant political bands out there these days?

Josh Rouse is a singer/songwriter born in Paxton, NE, who now lives in Tennessee. He’s sort of a poor man’s Freedy Johnston, but certainly has his followers, especially in Europe.

Then there’s Icky Blossoms, who is being billed as “headlining the local stage,” which I guess means they play last on the small stage prior to the big stage headliners. I practically begged MAHA to book Icky Blossoms last year and (of course) they ignored me. I can’t say’s I blame them. MAHA is paying more attention to the band now that they’re signed to Saddle Creek. Funny how that happens.

MAHA has at least two more main stage bands to announce May 6. If you’re scratching your head wondering where the “new bands” are (Because let’s face it, all three bands announced yesterday had their heydays at least a decade ago), I have a suspicion the next announcement will fill that void. We’ll all just have to wait and see. As it stands, it’s not a bad start. Red Sky would have been lucky to get either Garbage or Desa (or Icky Blossoms). Instead, Red Sky confirmed that it’s cutting back its festival from 6 to 4 days this year. There are rumors that Red Sky’s local and smaller-band day stages in the parking lot also may be nixed this year as the “festival” continues to devolve into a country-music/hair metal concert series that competes with, what, county fairs?

More MAHA info at their website.

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Speaking of Icky Blossoms, I caught their set at Earth Day Saturday afternoon in Elmwood Park. The band gets better every time I see them play. Imagine what they’ll sound like when they become road-hardened? Sarah Bohling continues to become more confident handling the vocals. Someone pointed out that she has a “tonal” voice — a mid-range mumble that cuts through the chaos, a grounding contrast to the pulsing rhythm section and grinding, squealing guitars. The added jet fuel of bassist Saber Blazek and drummer Clark Baechle now ratchet everything past 11. Prepare for liftoff, MAHA. The band has evolved to a perfect unit, though recent news that The Faint are reforming brings up obvious questions about how Baechle can be active in both bands. He’s the best drummer in the area, and is irreplaceable in both projects.

Bohling’s vocals are especially prime on Icky’s new single, “Babes” b/w “Chicas,” released Saturday as part of national Record Store Day. Between the two sides, I’ll take “Chicas” every time. There’s just something about the Spanish-language version that makes the song more lurid. The production by David Sitek throbs like a sweaty after-hours dance floor in Miami by way of Los Angeles (where it was recorded). Based on just this single, Icky Blossoms could be Saddle Creek’s biggest new signing since Tokyo Police Club. It comes down to how the label promotes the album, and, of course, touring, which is the biggest question mark about the band. Derek Pressnall, Nik Fackler and Baechle all are involved in two bands (Pressnall has Tilly and the Wall, Facker has InDreama and Baechle, The Faint). Not to mention Pressnall’s family obligations (he and wife wife Jamie (formerly of Tilly and the Wall) just had their second child) and Fackler’s film making career, which could reignite at any moment. Something tells me they’ll figure it all out.

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My only other Record Store Day purchases were copies of The Mynabirds’ “Generals” single and the new PUJOL single “Reverse Vampire.” The PUJOL song is better than anything off their Creek debut EP; I’m looking forward to their upcoming full length. I also picked up a copy of the Bright Eyes/Super Furry Animals 7-inch remixed by Danger Mouse that was offered at the Saddle Creek Shop. To my knowledge, this single was never released, and is quite a find.

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Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s Interscope pop band Imagine Dragons with local boys Skypiper. $12, 8 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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.