Libera Award winners; live music returns to The Waiting Room; Josh Hoyer tonight, Matmos Saturday (virtual), Under the Radar Sunday (virtual)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:02 pm June 19, 2020
Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal play tonight at Falconwood Park.

Well, Saddle Creek Records lost again (this time to Sacred Bones) for Label of the Year (Medium) at last night’s Libera Awards, streamed live in what was a pretty efficient program. Big Thief, who flew the coop from Saddle Creek to 4AD, won Album of the Year for U.F.O.F., an album that probably would have been released on Saddle Creek had the band not skipped the label.

A few other notable winners: IDLES won for Best Live Act; Fontaines D.C.’s Dogrel (Partison) won for Best Alternative Rock Album; Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising (Sub Pop) was named Best Indie Rock Album; Cigarettes After Sex’s Cry (Partisan) won Best Mainstream Rock Album (though it’s hardly a rock album); Amyl and The Sniffers’ self-titled album (ATO) won for Best Punk/Emo Album; and Orville Peck took home Breakthrough Artist and Best Country Album (though it’s not really a Country album) for Pony (Sub Pop).

The program kicked off with a lengthy Black Lives Matter video and testimonials from artists, which was well done. And though there were plenty of mentions of COVID 19’s impacts on the industry throughout the program, the overall tone was somewhat muted rather than desperate. Strangely, there were no mentions of efforts by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) to get legislation passed to financially support the live music industry. Odd.

Meanwhile, there’s this story today in Consequence of Sound stating 600 artists have signed the open letter to Congress asking for funding. You can, too.

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I typically don’t write about cover bands or tribute acts, but tonight’s Shoot to Thrill AC/DC tribute is different because it marks the return of live music to The Waiting Room.

As explained a couple weeks ago, tickets are $15 but you have to buy a minimum of four tickets, which gets you a table. Remember, due to COVID-19 restrictions, you have to be seated at all times at these kinds of events, with people six feet apart at your table and tables six feet apart, etc.

Beginning June 22, those restrictions change again as we enter “Phase 2,” but I’m not sure how that will impact venues except apparently allowing for eight people per table instead of the current limit of six.

As mentioned before, if tickets are still available at the door the day of the show, they might sell some singles/doubles, if possible. The show starts at 8 p.m.

By the way, that July 3 Good Life show at The Waiting Room (still listed on the 1% website) has been postponed until later this year.

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Josh Hoyer doesn’t have to worry about any stinking table restrictions. His show tonight with his band Soul Colossal is a drive-in concert, which means you drive your ass there and stay in — or around — your car for the duration of the concert, held at Falconwood Park, 905, Allied Road, Bellevue.

Tickets start at $40 per 1- or 2-person vehicle, and then go up by $20 per person per vehicle after that. The show starts at 7 p.m. Find out more about what you can and cannot do right here.

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It looked like about 100 people were tuning in to watch Dereck Higgins last night while I was watching his virtual concert streamed from Low End at The Bemis.

Low End is doing it again tomorrow night (Saturday), this time with Thrill Jockey / Matador Records act Matmos. The Baltimore-based ambient/electronic duo has released 10 albums since their start in the late ‘90s, including last year’s Plastic Anniversary on Thrill Jockey.

Tonight’s free stream starts at 8 p.m. and you can find it via the Low End Facebook page or their Twitch account at

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Finally, this year’s Under the Radar Festival is also a virtual affair. Sunday night’s concert starts streaming at 6 p.m. Here’s the line-up:

6:00 – Kristin Jonina Taylor  
6:30 – Anna Elder  
6:50 – Adam Marks
7:20 – Cubby Philips
7:50 – Aaron Allen Jr
8:10 – Stacy Busch
8:40 – Mesonjixx

You can plug into the show from the Experimental Sound Studio webpage, here.

And that’s all I got for now. Seems like we’re getting closer and closer to returning to real live concerts, but we’ve still got a ways to go. If you go out, don’t forget to wear a mask. It’s not only healthy, it’s pretty cool.

Hope you 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Josh Hoyer drops ‘Do It Now,’ and hits the road…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 1:46 pm January 21, 2019

Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal’s Do It Now dropped last Friday on Silver Street Records.

by Tim McMahan,

Last Friday Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal released their fourth full-length, Do It Now, via Silver Street Records. The 10-song collection was recorded at Silver Street in Ashland and Make Believe Studios in Omaha.

From the Josh Hoyer website: “Upon its initial European release in August 2018, the album drew rave reviews from European publications, with Blues Magazine stating, ‘Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal still prove to be at the top of the contemporary soul movement.’ The band promoted the album on their second European tour; a 37-city outing spanning six different countries.

I don’t jack about modern blues and soul other than Sharon Jones, Dap Kings and whatever Black Keys are up to these days, but I dig Hoyer’s album, which feels like a throwback to the kind of FM easy-listening R&B music I remember back in the ’70s by acts like Lou Rawls, Jerry Butler and The Impressions.

Gotta wonder how Hoyer’s turn on The Voice helped build his national exposure and fan base. He talked about it in this Q&A with the Lone Peak Lookout, last summer:

From the article: “I learned a lot from being on the show. I met a lot of like-minded performers and got to understand the industry a lot more. In the end, it is just a very tough business. No one is going to achieve much success unless they are willing to roll up their sleeves and put in a great deal of work into their craft. There is no easy way to the top. I’m thankful to have made new fans via the show, but I am still out here working my tail off for everything the band and I are able to achieve.”

Hoyer and his band are touring the Rocky Mountain states through early February, with a Valentine’s Day gig at Zoo Bar in Lincoln before touring throughout the Midwest (including a Slowdown gig March 16) and South through this summer.

Check out the new album on Spotify and iTunes and buy the vinyl from his merch page.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.