Outlandia vs. Maha (vs. Petfest)… Cassandra Jenkins, Andy Shauf tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:47 pm March 22, 2022
Outlandia vs. Maha, both are winners.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

As we all know by now, Outlandia Festival announced their line-up yesterday, and it’s easily the biggest drawing ticket of any local festival in recent memory.

Wilco, The National, Band of Horses, Silversun Pickups, The Breeders, Local Natives, Real Estate are the top “gets,” and each is a big draw by themselves. The price point of $79 single day / $149 2-day is a bargain (but don’t forget the $25 parking fee (or $15 if you’re willing to take a shuttle)). I don’t know what Falconwood Park’s capacity is, but even without knowing, I have to believe this will sell out. Tickets go on sale this Friday, and the festival is Aug. 12 and 13.

Meanwhile, today The Maha folks announced its line-up for their festival July 29 and 30 at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village. The headliner is Beach House, who currently has the No. 1 album on the college radio charts (It already topped the Billboard rock and alt charts), with Car Seat Headrest returning to headline the Friday night lineup. Filling in the gaps are Princess Nokia, PUP, Indigo De Souza, Sudan Archives, Bartees Strange, Geese and Sweeping Promises. Tickets are $35 for Friday night, $65 for Saturday, and $85 for the two-day event. Parking is free.

In a cage match where ticket sales are the key to victory, Outlandia will win hands down. But there’s one problem with Outlandia’s line-up, for me anyway: There’s not a single band I want to see. Everyone is ga-ga about The National, which to me is like the (comedian) Steven Wright of indie bands. Droll, very droll. I’ve seen Wilco before (Zzzzz), and I was at Aksarben Coliseum when The Breeders opened for Nirvana 30 years ago, and that was a snooze.

Outlandia’s history has direct ties with the Maha Festival. Three dudes who originally put together Maha are involved, and I guess that partially explains the line-up. Those guys all worship Wilco and have wanted to book them at Maha as long as I can remember. The knock against Outlandia: It’s old white-guy music, Dad Rock. Maybe so, but Dad Rock sells, baby, especial in this market.

As for Maha, well, I’m not a big Beach House fan, either. I’ve seen them live at TWR, and they bored me to tears. But, I love Indigo, Car Seat and PUP, and am intrigued by Geese, Bartees and Sweeping Promises. Actually, I’m intrigued by the entire line-up except Beach House, but I’ve never liked Maha’s headliners. This year’s Maha Fest is like a SXSW showcase sponsored by Pitchfork. Of the bands booked, only Beach House, PUP and Car Seat Headrest could fill The Waiting Room. The rest (except for maybe Princess Nokia and Sudan Archives, who I know nothing about) would be hard-pressed to sell out Reverb. Compared to Outlandia, Maha’s line-up is more youth-targeted, diverse and likely to sell poorly in a market that doesn’t have a real college radio station. But that’s always been the case.

Outlandia only has two local bands on the bill, Clarence Tilton and Masonjixx. Maha has six local acts, but still manages to miss the mark when it comes to capturing what’s going on in local indie music scene. Only Spanish-language punk band Las Cruxes fits that bill.

That’s where Petfest comes in. The tiny festival hosted behind Petshop Gallery in Benson just happens to be the same day as Outlandia this year — Aug. 13 — and the ticket price is about the same as Outlandia’s parking fee. Hands down, Petfest has the best local line-up of any festival or concert. Having seen this year’s line-up, I can tell you that will be true again. But this year, it’ll also have a few national touring acts, too. Because of Outlandia’s surprise announcement yesterday, Petfest has decided to slow-drip announcing their line-up over the next couple of weeks.

So who will be the big winner? In my opinion, all of them will be. Because as I said before, Outlandia targets a different audience than Maha (or Petfest). As a wise man told me, the kids will be at Maha, and their dads will be at Outlandia.

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Tonight at The Waiting Room, Cassandra Jenkins opens for Andy Shauf. Her 2021 album, An Overview of Phenomenal Nature, was on my 2021 year-end best-of list. Andy Shauf’s latest, The Neon Skyline, is out on ANTI- records. 8:30, $20.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


James Scurlock rock ballad and who is Koso?; Maha/Slowdown concert series; Bacon supports #SaveOurStages; new Anna McClellan…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 12:44 pm September 11, 2020
Omaha singer/songwriter Anna McClellan has a new album coming out Nov. 20 on Father/Daughter Records.

Here’s just a big ol’ stew of music news to chew on over your live-music-less weekend…

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Call it a protest song or simply the voicing of pure rage, but yesterday the track “The Potential of Getting Violent,” popped up on Bandcamp by a band named Koso. The brooding, dark rocker is a white-knuckle indictment of those involved in the James Scurlock homicide, name-checking everyone from Jacob Gardner to Don Kleine to Jean Stothert by someone who sounds very familiar with the matter. Among the song’s most barbed lines:

So we can’t defund police
Cause murderers will run free
I know one that you missed
He murdered a man in the streets

The only information listed about Koso is that the band is from Omaha. All proceeds from purchases of the track “will be donated to the family of James Scurlock.” Check it out below.

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Yesterday Maha and Slowdown announced a partnership for a series of outdoor concerts to be held in the Slowdown parking lot in the coming weeks.

Running every Friday and Saturday from Sept. 18 to Oct. 3, the events feature a range of locals acts, and marks a reopening of sorts for The Slowdown, which has been closed since March due to the pandemic.

From the press release:

We have this large lot, the weather is still in our favor, bands are available to play, and there’s a way to do this safely,” said Slowdown owner Jason Kulbel.

We’re beyond thrilled to have the chance to help put on something fun while it’s still 2020,” added Maha Executive Director Lauren Martin. “Plus, Omaha’s live music venues are hurting badly, and supporting events like these is one way to help.” 

The set up will be a bit awkward, as is necessary with COVID-19 still blazing through our community. “The lot will be divided into individual sections, or ‘pods,’ each with a maximum capacity of 10 people,” says the press release. “Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, and face masks must be worn at all times when outside of your pod.” It’s not clear as to whether you share the pod with people you came with or with strangers. For example, if I buy one ticket, do I get my own pod or do I have to get in a pod with a bunch of strangers to fill it to the 10-person capacity? I’m sure we’ll find out before the first concert, which is next Friday, Sept. 18, with Clarence Tilton and Pony Creek.

Here’s the full schedule:

Sept. 18: Clarence Tilton/Pony Creek; $15, 6:30 p.m. start time
Sept. 19: Rhythm Collective, Ro Hempel Band, Dereck Higgins; $15, 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 25: Kolby Cooper, Pecos & the Rooftops; $15, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 26: Andrea von Kampen, Matt Cox; $15, 4 p.m.
Oct. 2: PetRock; $25, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 3: Mesonjoxx, And How, Cameron Logsdon, Anginas Sada, Those Far Out Arrows, Kethro; $15, 3 p.m.

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The folks at the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) Tuesday sent out yet another letter asking folks to please, please, please write your congressmen and tell them to support the Save Our Stages Act, a bi-partisan relief bill to assist independent venues as they try to survive through the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, nearly 2 million letters of support have been sent by fans urging passage of the bill.

The NIVA letter said the bill now has 144 co-sponsors. And while no Nebraska senators are among them, Nebraska District 2 Congressman Don Bacon was listed as having signed on as a co-sponsor. This, of course, comes as something as a shock, as I assumed no Republican from Nebraska gave a shit about live music, but here you go. Give credit where credit is due.

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Finally, yesterday Anna McClellan, one of my favorite Omaha musicians, announced her new album, I Saw First Light, is coming out Nov. 20 on cool indie label Father/Daughter Records (Diet Cig, Pure Bathing Culture, Bent Shapes).

From the press release: “The album was recorded over two weeks with a multitude of local cohorts, and it documents Anna’s journey from the Midwest to the east coast and back again, probing both the roots of her creative impetus and her ongoing commitment to social issues.”

Preorder here, and check out the first two tracks, “Pace of the Universe,” and “Desperate,” below:

That’s all I got. Have a great weekend!

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


MAHA announcement 4/22; Wilco plays for free; Fun, Antiquarium subversion tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:00 pm April 10, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

MAHA logo

The fine folks at the MAHA Music Festival announced via social media yesterday that they’ll be making a line-up announcement April 22 for the festival, which is slated for Aug. 11 at Stinson Park. While I don’t know what they’re going to announce, something tells me it’ll be more interesting than what Stir announced a couple weeks ago, though that’s not saying much when you’re talking about acts like Creed and Michael Bolton. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, it was announced yesterday that one prize plum of a band, Wilco, will be playing the free Saturday in the Park concert in Sioux City July 7, along with overrated “soul diva” Joss Stone and  Black Crowes croaker Chris Robinson and the Brotherhood. Strangely, one of the strongest bookings locally last year was Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at the free Playing with Fire concert at Stinson Park. It’s amazing how these bands keep getting booked to do free festivals, while the folks charging for tickets are being left in the dust.

That said, Wilco live bores the living piss out of me, especially since they’ve turned into a pseudo jam band. Regardless, both MAHA and Red Sky would have loved to have had them for their event. Who knows, maybe Red Sky will sneak Wilco in on one of their dates (sched shows they’re free July 16-20) though I doubt it. We already know one Red Sky booking, and I’ve been told by a couple people another (Here’s a hint: it’s a hair band). Red Sky has to pull off at least one cool band this year, right? RIGHT? Well, actually, no, they don’t.

Funny how Stir and now (apparently) MAHA are beating Red Sky to the punch when it comes to line-up announcements, unless of course, RS is struggling again this year to fill their dates. Ask yourself what band could Live Nation, their booking agency, schedule that would would fill the Ameritrade Ball Park. Springsteen? He’s in Europe in July. How about… Radiohead? They’re in Asia in July. Arcade Fire? They’re not touring, and it would never happen anyway. That leaves a bevy of country acts who I don’t know and don’t want to know, and a boatload of Freedom Rock bands…. things are looking mighty grim for Nebraska’s “biggest festival”…

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Speaking of sold-out shows, pop band Fun is playing Slowdown tonight with Sleeper Agent. This one has been sold out for weeks. (This is turning into a big week for One Percent productions). Note: It’s an 8 p.m. start time.

Don’t have tix? Well then head over to The Waiting Room for the next best thing: The Antiquarium’s Subversive Showcase Vol. 2 featuring Phoenix Karaoke with Loopy Eddie, Outlaw Con Bandana, Places We Slept, Morning At Sea, a comedy troupe and a DJ. What more could you want for just $5? Starts at 9.

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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.


Column No. 300: A look back at Year 6; Brad Hoshaw, Rah Rah tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , , , , , — @ 1:54 pm December 9, 2010

Column No. 300

A look back at year 6.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Goddamn. Just look at that number. 3 0 0. Not all were as perfect as a bowling score, but still… that’s a lot of friggin’ words. And I haven’t run out yet.

It’s hard to believe that six years ago Column No. 1, an interview with then hot propriety Willy Mason, was published, Dec. 2, 2004. Golden-boy entrepreneur John Heaston and the work-hardened galley hands at The Reader have been kind enough to keep this page open to me all these long years, with hopefully many more to come. Don’t believe all that putrefied tripe about the “death of print.” Newspapers will be around long after that shiny iPad you’re getting for Christmas has been recycled a dozen times over by the good folks at PBR.

So, as I crank out yet another recap and update some of the “better” columns of the past year, I thank you, precious reader, for coming along for the ride, always willing to crack your window whenever the gas accidentally escapes. At the same time, I kneel before you, hat in hand, eyes turned downward, and beg you to send your column ideas via dancing electron to tim@lazy-i.com. Your thoughts make my thoughts grow, and are the fertilizer that keeps this mighty tree sturdy as we enter year seven — just in time for Second Grade.

Column 255: The Letting Go, Jan. 20, 2010 — We said goodbye to a pure garage-punk genius named Jay Reatard, who at age 29 was way too young to die. Jay’s impact on our modern world is still being felt by all of us who value flash-brave creativity, and without a doubt, his spark always will be felt long after we let him go. We’re still letting go of The 49’r, whose bitter demise remains fresh in our minds. When this column was published, the hopeful were organizing the “Save the 49’r” Facebook page, but I think we all knew better. You can’t stop graft. The lights went out in October. The wrecking ball awaits. Fuck you, CVS, you overblown toilet-paper store. I’ll never step foot in your fluorescent nightmare. And yes, Mr. Gray, voters will remember.

Column 258: Long Live the Hole, Feb. 10, 2010 — In the dead of winter, all-ages basement punk club The Hole was forced to move out of its hole beneath the Convicted skate shop across the street to the above-ground relic that used to house jaunty Omaha gay bar The Diamond on south 16th. It looked like a new beginning for a venue that some thought could serve kids the same way the Cog Factory did in the ’90s. But the location was too good to be true, and in September The Hole was dug up once again, forced to move to another basement, this time beneath Friendly’s Family Bookstore in Benson, where it now resides. Probably. A glance at the club’s Myspace and Facebook pages shows no listings for upcoming shows, and the sign above the club’s alley entrance is gone.

Column 262 & 263: Austin Bound, March 10, 2010 — Why should local bands play at South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin? Little Brazil, It’s True, Digital Leather, The Mynabirds, Thunder Power, Eagle Seagull and UUVVWWZ all gave their best reasons, which boiled down to: 1) exposure, and 2) fish tacos. Despite playing to crowds that ranged from a few to a few hundred, none of them got their “big break,” but they did get king-sized hangovers and lots of memories. I haven’t decided if I’m going back this year…

Column 266: No Excuses, April 14, 2010 It was an opportunity to point an accusatory finger directly at you, the local indie music community, and warn you that there were no excuses this time. None. The MAHA Music Festival line-up — Spoon, The Faint, Superchunk — and an ultra-cheap $33 ticket made sure of that. If Omaha really wanted a true indie rock festival — the beginning of a Midwestern Lolla or Coachella or Bonnaroo — it had to turn up at Lewis & Clark Landing this year. And you did, thousands of you for what is now being rumored as the last Faint performance ever (though I’ll believe it only when Todd tells me so). Now comes word that an already crowded local music festival season is about to get more crowded next year. Will MAHA be able to get you to come out again in 2011? Two words: Arcade Fire. Dare to dream.

Column 267: Identity Crisis, April 21, 2010 — This bitter live review of Digital Leather’s performance at Harrah’s Casino was a chance to whine like a pussy at how the band on stage only vaguely resembled the one heard on their amazing albums (Blow MachineSorcerer, Warm Brother). In hindsight, well, I had nothing to whine about. Digital Leather live is a filthy, punk factory that bleeds anger on its own level, whether or not I can hear the friggin’ keyboards. If I want nuanced subtlety, I can always stay home and listen to the records (something we’ll all get a chance to do when Digital Leather releases its latest work of art in 2011).

Column 271: Comfort Zone, May 19, 2010 — Stephen Pedersen, Omaha’s version of Buckaroo Banzai (high-fallutin’ Kutak-Rock lawyer by day / Saddle Creek rock star by night) explained why he and the rest of the aging yuppies in Criteria are content only playing the occasional reunion show. In fact, the band hasn’t played again since that Waiting Room gig in May. Instead, the esteemed counselor has his eyes set on a different sort of reunion — this time with his old pals from seminal Nebraska indie band Slowdown Virginia, who are prepping to take the stage Dec. 23 at the club that (sort of) bears its name — 16 years after their first show. I’m sure they’ll all look and sound exactly the same.

Column 277: A Modest Proposal, June 30, 2010 David Fitzgerald from Athens, GA’s Flagpole magazine did me a solid by writing a review of the debut album from It’s True. Alas, his kind words weren’t enough to keep the band alive, as the same evening the column hit the streets, It’s True announced from stage its demise. So we said goodbye to one of Omaha’s most promising acts… didn’t we? Don’t be so sure.

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There are a couple of shows worth checking out tonight at the usual hot spots.

At The Waiting Room, Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies return to the stage with a bunch of new material. Opening is relatively new Americana/Folk Rock act The Big Deep. $7, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, down at Slowdown Jr., it’s Regina, Saskatchewan indie band Rah Rah, who was named named “Best Alternative New Artist” and “Best New Canadiana Artist” in iTunes Best of 2009 list. They’re opening for local faves Honey & Darling, along with Canby. $7, 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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.