Lawrence legends Vitreous Humor to open Feb. 4 Cursive/Criteria show…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:57 pm December 14, 2021
Lawrence band Vitreous Humor circa the mid-’90s. The band has reformed and will play with Cursive at The Waiting Room Feb. 4.

by Tim McMahan,

Fell into a rabbit hole of my own making last night as I researched (via this website) Vitreous Humor, a Lawrence band from the early half of the ’90s who I really dug, but never came to Omaha. Well, that’s about to change.

Vitreous Humor has been added as an opener for the Feb. 4 Cursive concert at The Waiting Room that also features Criteria. Is this the same Vitreous Humor who sang “Why Are you So Mean to Me”? Yes, says Matt Maginn of Cursive.

We are thrilled and shocked they can do it!!!!  Blew our minds.

I could go into the background, but it would be just as easy to reprint my Dec. 6, 2006, interview, wherein I interviewed Danny Pound, frontman of Vitreous Humor. Pound was headed to Omaha back then for a gig with his solo band at the old Saddle Creek Bar, which gave me a chance to ask him about Vitreous Humor. The story follows.

By the way, Vitreous Humor rereleased their 1996 LP Posthumous this past May. Here’s an interview with the band on Bandcamp that accompanied the release. And here’s my favorite Vitreous Humor track. Better get your tickets while you can…

Now let’s go back in time…

Less Humor Per Pound
Danny Pound’s brief glance at Vitreous Humor.

You can’t blame Danny Pound for not being eager to talk about his old band, Vitreous Humor.

After all, they haven’t been around for over a decade, and his new band, aptly called The Danny Pound Band, sounds nothing like them. Still, there’s more than a few followers of Omaha’s mid-’90s punk-rock golden age that remembers Vitreous Humor and their grungy, post-punk sound heard on the classic 1993 7-inch, Harbor. The three-song single featured a teen-aged Pound warbling the words to “Bu-Dah,” the single’s catchy B-side that went “In the shithole where we live / Something’s living in the cellar / Keeps us all awake at night / Smells like cooking blood.” Remember it now? Probably not. Still, the song managed to make it onto a lot of mix tapes from that era.

Pound appreciates the memory, but said few people recall his former band around his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas. “Some younger kids look up to Vitreous Humor as one of the old-timey, classic Lawrence rock bands,” he said, “but no one ever comes up and asks about it.”

The story of Vitreous Humor is a rather short one. The Harbor single was followed two years later by a 7-song self-titled EP. Posthumous, a collection of unreleased tracks, outtakes and live cuts, was released on Crank! Records in ’98, well after the band already had called it quits and moved onto Pound’s next project, The Regrets.

A decade later and Pound has left Vitreous Humor’s jangle-grunge behind in favor of a more grown-up, sophisticated sound born out of his fondness for mid-20th century folk and blues.

“After The Regrets broke up, I discovered Harry Smith’s Smithsonian Folkways recordings, began listening a lot of blues and pulled out The Basement Tapes,” Pound said.

The result was The Danny Pound Band’s 2005 debut on Lawrence label Remedy Records, Surer Days, a collection of tuneful alt-country rockers that sounded like a cross between Centro-Matic and The Silos.

But even that style was short-lived. Since its release, Pound and his band — bassist Jeremy Sidener (ex-Zoom — another classic ’90s Lawrence band), guitarist David Swenson, and drummer Ken Pingleton (who replaced former drummer Dan Benson, who also was in Vitreous Humor) — have moved in a whole different direction, creating music that recalls ’70s-era So Cal groove rock. The band’s as-yet-unnamed follow-up to Surer Days was recorded at Black Lodge Studios in Eudora, Kansas, and is slated for release on Remedy Records sometime in the near future.

“You couldn’t call our new record rootsy. It’s more of an electric rock record,” Pound said. “I get bored quickly. I’m always trying to find new things to do.”

As for Vitreous Humor, Pound said he doesn’t understand why the memory of that band continues to live on in places like Omaha and Milwaukee — another city with more than its share of that band’s fans. “It must be a Midwest thing,” he said. “We never toured very much. I don’t think we even played in Omaha as Vitreous Humor.”

While he acknowledges that the band could have influenced someone, Pound is hardly proud of those early recordings. “I’m not offended by that era, but it doesn’t give me great pleasure to listen to that music,” he said before immediately correcting himself. “I take that back. Some of it was interesting, if a bit too earnest. I know there are those who liked it, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

First published in The Reader, Dec. 6, 2006. Copyright © 2006 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Grapefruit Records to open in Old Market; Saddle Creek signs Indigo De Souza; new Cursive interview…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 3:20 pm April 23, 2021

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated the ol’ blog. In fact, I just wrote a column that’ll be published in the May issue of The Reader saying that it’s been a long time since I updated the ol’ blog, but that I haven’t given up — there just hasn’t been anything to write about music-wise (which is basically the lede to the column).

As I continue to point out, ain’t been a whole helluva lot of rock shows to write about, but there has been some news.

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I just discovered via his Instagram page that Omaha singer/songwriter Simon Joyner is about to open a new record store in the Old Market that will also act as the world headquarters of his Grapefruit Records label. The new shop is located at 1125 Jackson St., Suite 5, which appears to be the old Antiques Annex space on 12th street.

Joyner says the store will open either May 1 or May 7, depending on how preparations go, and will feature new and used records. The shop marks the 3rd record store in the Old Market, joining Homer’s and Vinyl Cup. Hey, just like ol’ times…

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The other hometown record label, Saddle Creek Records, has been on a roll lately.

Their most recent release from just-signed act Spirit of the Beehive, ENTERTAINMENT, DEATH, was bestowed with the “Best New Music” honor from Pitchfork, who gave the album a massive 8.3 rating. If you haven’t heard the album yet, grab some headphones and some LSD and enjoy. It’s a… challenging listen, but people love it.

On a more pop-flavored level, Saddle Creek this week announced that it signed Asheville, NC, singer/songwriter Indigo De Souza and is rereleasing her 2018 debut album, I Love My Mom, April 23. De Souza’s sound is more in line with the indie sound you’d hear on something like Sirius XMU — poppy, fun, accessible.

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A week or so ago out of the blue music blog Vinyl Writer Music posted an interview with Cursive’s Matt Maginn.

Matt covers the usual history/influences/Ugly Organ topics before he gets to what’s next for Cursive. He said he’s spent his off time repairing “a couple of bars/pubs in our beloved hometown….” and then goes on to say “Musically, it’s a bit more depressing. We have thrown around lots of long-distance ideas, but we have really not had the time to focus on them….

…I think we will start writing again as soon as it is safe and ideally get back on the road as soon as possible too. We are playing the Psycho Festival in Las Vegas, which we are really looking forward to at the moment. It will give us a chance to feel a little normal again and remember we are a band.

We had to cancel a lot of good shows when the pandemic struck, so we are itching to get out there and play. It sounds like a dream right now to actually return to a life that involves writing, rehearsing, and playing live. It’s funny how one year can really change how you feel about your existence and purpose in the world.

Read the entire interview here.

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That’s all for now. I’m hearing various and sundry things about upcoming music events. Things are happening. We’re almost there. Get vaccinated and we’ll get there sooner.

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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Cursive Buys, Takes Over O’Leaver’s Pub; Night Moves, Renfields tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:29 pm December 5, 2012

O'Leaver's is under new management, and they're a bunch of martyrs.

O’Leaver’s is under new management, and they’re a bunch of martyrs.

by Tim McMahan,

Remember way back in October when I said two bits of red hot news fell into my lap? One bit was that Red Sky Festival was dead (ho-hum); the other I said you’d have to wait for. Well now the news can be told (though just about everyone who follows local music already knows it).

The guys in Cursive bought — and are now the proprietors of  — O’Leaver’s, Omaha’s garage rock ground zero and home to the functionally inebriated. Last Saturday night, the George Washington of O’Leaver’s — Chris Mello — handed over the keys to Tim Kasher, Matt Maginn and Ted Stevens, along with the fourth partner in the venture, Chris Machmuller, who I think is actually a permanent fixture of the club like the album-sleeve-covered walls and the smell.

The full story about the handover is in my column in this week’s issue of The Reader and includes an interview with Cursive bass player and paint fetcher Matt Maginn. Matt talks about why they bought the club and what they plan to do with it. It’s online here. Go read it now and we’ll discuss. Go on, we’re waiting….

Done? OK. The central news from a music perspective is that O’Leaver’s will continue to book bands at the same pace it did before — just enough to keep music fans coming but not too much as to alienate the smelly drunks who JUST WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE.

A few musicians have snickered at the news, worried that the new management will ruin their playpen and will no longer allow their bands to play there. Poppycock. That’s the last thing they’d ever do, though Maginn said Stevens might try to help book a wider variety of bands, which has been sorely needed. For the past year there’s been a revolving door of about six bands that play O’Leaver’s regularly. At the very least, Maginn said they’d like to extend an invitation to bands they meet on the road to come and play at the club the next time their tour crosses the Nebraska landscape.

I doubt anything will change at O’Leaver’s except perhaps the smell. Here are a few other things that didn’t make it into the column: The new crew plans on putting a functional tiki bar in the back room where the Foosball table and punching bag machine (soon to leave) are now located. It’ll be a place where people can hang out if they want to escape the music. I’ve seen the new bar — its uber cool.

I also forgot to mention that the volleyball facilities were part of the deal. It’s a well-kept secret that all three Cursive guys are former collegiate sand volleyball stars with the tan lines to prove it. I suspect we’ll be seeing all three in Speedos and sunblock come next summer.

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Fantastic show tonight at Slowdown Jr. — Domino Records artist Night Moves headlines a show with Lincoln band The Renfields and Omaha surf rock kids Adult Films. $7, 9 p.m.

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Tomorrow: The Reader AND The Lazy-i Top 20 (and Next 10) of 2012. Don’t miss it.

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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.


What’s going on at Team Love Records? Schnase’s back; Lonely Estates, Hoshaw tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:59 pm May 25, 2011

by Tim McMahan,

Team Love Records logoSo what’s going on at Team Love Records, the label started by Conor Oberst and Nate Krenkel whose roster has included Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, Craig Wedren, Dave Dondero and Berg Sans Nipple? When it was announced that Nik Freitas’ new album, Sunday Night Underwater, was going to be released on a different label (Freitas has been with Team Love since 2008’s Sun Down) eyebrows were raised in suspicion. Than word began going ’round that the new Tilly and the Wall CD also may be released on a different label. Tilly’s Wild Like Children is TL01 — the first release on Team Love back on June 29, 2004.

So had the ever-decaying music industry finally dragged yet another label down? Not at all, said Team Love label exec Matt Maginn.

“Due to the economy and a decline in sales in the industry Team Love has decided to significantly reduce its number of releases and new signings,” Maginn said. “The plan since late last summer has been to slow down and conserve cash in an effort to be able to do our usual proper promotion for whatever we release. So basically keep the promotion the same but just much fewer releases.  Our current roster gets priority and of course since they were our first release Tilly is at the top of that list.  With Freitas it was a matter of timing.  He was moving forward at a time when we were just pulling back the reins on expenses so it was best for him to stay on his schedule.”

Maginn said the label has released three records and a documentary in the last 10 months, including new albums by Berg Sans Nipple, Dave Dondero, and Refried Ice Cream.

“There was sort of this initial ‘The sky is falling’ reaction to our financial crunch last year,” Maginn said, “but the plan we have put in place seems to be working and we plan to continue releasing music and maybe even more documentaries, too.”

Maginn added that Team Love would love to release the new Tilly record once it is completed, “but as always, we only do one-record contracts so it is up to them to decide what is the best fit for their record,” he said.

Since I had Maginn’s attention, I asked what he thought about moving to a vinyl-only w/download format — i.e., no CDs. A few touring bands have told me that their fans only request vinyl on the road, and I must admit that I’m also a sucker for vinyl when it’s available.

“I like the digital and vinyl avenue, but it is a little tricky,” Maginn said. “We sell a ton of vinyl at shows but (as part of) total sales it only accounts for about 20 percent when you take in digital and physical CDs at stores, etc. Vinyl is the best but the problem for labels and bands is that there is very little profit in them.  You basically have to sell 80 percent of the product before you can break even. Vinyl costs five to eight times as much as CDs, depending on quality and packaging.”

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Maginn, btw, also plays bass in Cursive, as you’re all aware. And it just so happens that the biggest news so far of this year’s festival season is that Cursive drummer Clint Schnase will return to the band to perform for one night only — during the MAHA Music Festival Aug. 13. Schnase will talk about his return to Cursive here at Lazy-i Friday.

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Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s a free show featuring Lonely Estates, Brad Hoshaw, Moscow Mule and Clock Ticks Late. A five-piece, Lonely Estates currently is recording an album with revered local producer A.J. Mogis. Worth checking out, especially at that price. 9 p.m.

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Tomorrow, an up-close-and-personal look at Love Drunk Studio.

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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.