Phoebe/Conor perform for NIVA; Mal Blum gets the Saddle Creek Document treatment; new Beauty Pill…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:49 pm October 20, 2020
Mal Blum gets the Saddle Creek Document treatment…

Did you tune in last week for SOSFest? I didn’t, either. But most of the performances are now online if you still want to watch. Among them is Phoebe Bridgers at the Troubadour in Hollywood, with special guests Conor Oberst and Christian Lee Hutson. It’s pretty good, but dang, her music is some serious bummage. See below.

Make sure you make a donation toward NIVA’s Emergency Relief Fund, which benefits “independent venues in peril.”

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Mal Blum was among the acts scheduled to play at The Reverb Lounge before COVID-19 blew everything up. It was through researching that show that I discovered Pity Boy, the band’s 2019 Don Giovanni release, which I fell in love with. It’s punk but it’s poppy enough to sing along to, clever, smart with great guitars. It would have been on my 2019 list if I’d known about it in 2019.

Today Saddle Creek Records announced that Mal Blum will be featured as the 14th installment of their Document Series. The 7-inch “Nobody Waits” b/w “San Cristóbal,” will be released Nov. 20 and you can preorder it (and hear the A-side) today.

The tracks were the last thing the band recorded before the COVID-19 lock down. Check it below and keep your fingers crossed that One Percent reschedules Mal Blum at Reverb when the pandemic is finally under control…

BTW, Mal Blum is doing a Crowdcast tonight at 7 p.m. CT. Register here.

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D.C. punk band Beauty Pill dropped a video for new song “Instant Night” today, a song “released out of urgency to inspire people to vote in the November election.”

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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’s (not) happening this weekend? Catch a live stream; FDH halts production; it’s Bandcamp Day (with recommendations)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 3:27 pm March 20, 2020

The reissue of Silkworm’s In the West are among the recordings available from Bandcamp.

by Tim McMahan,

This is usually the spot where I tell you who’s playing where this weekend and which shows you absolutely, positively shouldn’t miss. It may be a long time until I get to do that again.

Last night I watched Kurt Vile on the Luck Reunion ‘Til Further Notice live Twitch stream. Live streamed performances are about all we’re going to get for the time being. A lot of local musicians already are getting into the swing of live streaming, judging by the number of people on Facebook sitting in their basements or bedrooms with guitars in their laps.

There are a couple of sources for lists of these live music performance streams. Kevin Coffey at the Omaha World-Herald has compiled a list, which you can find right here on the OWH website. And L. Kent Wolgamott of the Lincoln Journal-Star also has compiled a list, available somewhere on the Journal-Star website (though I can’t find it) and also here on Facebook. Check them out and put money in the digital money boot/hat to help keep these musicians going until COVID-19 goes away.

What else…

I got an email from FDH Records (the label put out a number of Digital Leather recordings, among other things) that said both FDH and Suicide Bong tapes are halting production of physical copies of new releases.

We hope that once the dust settles we will be able to pick operations back up and get back to our main love of physical copies of music on vinyl and tapes. In the meantime we still plan on working with artists to keep new music coming digitally in these uncertain times.

Just how bad are labels getting smacked in these Days of COVID? If their bands can’t be on the road selling albums, does it make sense to keep pressing? And how are record stores doing when entire states (California, for example) are now on lock down?

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Which makes this a good time to remind you that today (March 20) Bandcamp is waving its revenue share on sales. And a ton of labels are also giving 100 percent of revenue to the artists. “For many artists, a single day of boosted sales can mean the difference between being able to pay rent or not,” says Bandcamp. Check out the list of Artist and labels offering donations, special merch and more for this COVID-19 Fundraiser. (BTW, it appears to be a popular promotion – the Bandcamp servers are slooooow and keep locking up, Keep trying).

Among the recordings:

Mal Blum, Pity Boy (Don Giovanni) – They were slated to play at Reverb in the coming weeks. It was while doing research for that show that I first discovered them, and they’ve become one of my recent favorites. Here’s hoping they can reschedule their Omaha gig.

Porridge Radio, Every Bad (Secretly Canadian) – Some folks classify it as shoegaze but it’s poppier and in a lot of ways reminds me of Garbage. This record is going to be a classic.

Lantern on the Lake, Spook the Herd (Bella Union) – Newcastle band’s latest is sweet and haunting and pretty.

Silkworm, In the West (Comedy Minus One) — This is the definitive reissue of the beloved Chicago band’s second album, remixed from the original 2″ tape by Steve Albini, who engineered the original recording.

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And that’s all I got. Stay in this weekend and listen to some music. Before you know it, this will all be over…

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.