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.


What are the Libera Awards? Congrats to Saddle Creek…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:51 pm June 19, 2018

The Libera Awards is June 21 in New York. Saddle Creek band Big Thief is up for two.

by Tim McMahan,

Most people who I’ve talked to that listen to indie music don’t give a squat about awards. Let’s face it, indie music has never really been represented at The Grammy’s or anywhere else. Whenever I hear the Grammy nominations and see that everything being honored is pop-oriented I simply nod my head, knowingly. The Grammy’s are a marketing tool; they were never an indication of what’s good.

That said, I do follow award shows. I don’t know why, I guess I’m just a geek that way. So imagine my surprise to discover there is an awards program for indie music called The Libera Awards, which have been around since 2012.

Presented by American Association of Independent Music (or A2IM), the Libera Awards “exist to celebrate the successes of the independent music community – the artists that create the music and the labels that invest their heart, soul and money while using our experience and relationships to promote and monetize the music, thus furthering the artists’ careers and rewarding our fans with the diverse music that they love.”

Terrible mission statement, but we get it.

This year’s awards take place somewhere in New York June 21 as part of “Indie Music Week.” Among the nominees for album of the year is Big Thief’s last album, Capacity, which was released by Saddle Creek last year. Capacity also is nominated for Best American Roots and Folk Album. Congrats to Saddle Creek Records and Big Thief for the nominations.

Unfortunately Saddle Creek wasn’t among the nominees for Label of the Year, a category that comes in both “big” and “small” sizes. Saddle Creek falls into the “big” category as they have more then six employees.

Anyway, check out all the Libera Award nominees in this Billboard Magazine story and read about the role A2IM plays with Saddle Creek Records in my Saddle Creek at 25 story in the current issue of The Reader.

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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.