Live Review: Destroyer, Mega Bog at The Waiting Room…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:38 pm February 5, 2018

Destroyer at The Waiting Room, Feb. 3, 2018.

by Tim McMahan,

Trumpeter JP Carter stole the show at Saturday night’s Destroyer concert at The Waiting Room. Oh sure, Dan Bejar was in great voice doing his usual vampy singing, but it was Carter and his glowing midnight trumpet that powered the arrangements and left people swooning.

Bejar spent the night looking dour, leaning on his mic stand at half mast or kneeling while his marvelous six-piece band (two guitars, keys, bass, drums and that trumpet) crushed each song as tight as any band you’ll ever see on the Waiting Room’s stage (or anywhere).

Bejar was spot on vocally, but looked tired and 10 years older than me rather than seven years younger, which he is. No one says a performer has to look happy up there, most of the ultra-serious ones rarely do, but Bejar looked half-awake or stoned, occasionally grabbing a tambourine and tapping along with his back to the half-full crowd (150?).

The set list included a lot of songs off their latest as well as Kaputt and ended with a two-song encore capped with a strong version of “Dream Lover” from Poison Years.

Two days after the show, it’s Carter’s dreamy trumpet that still echoes in my mind, pouring out like sonic lacquer, making every song shimmer. I’d pay just to hear that band led by Carter.

Mega Bog at The Waiting Room, Feb. 3, 2018.

Mega Bog already had started when I arrived a little after 9. Sweet Erin Birgy and a trio of musicians swayed to a jazzy set of pop songs that reminded me of latter-day Joni Mitchell. Birgy’s voice was quiet and quick and matter-of-fact, as if carrying on a private conversation with an invisible friend over coffee.

Unlike Bejar, she looked like she was having a good time, telling the crowd to listen closely to Bejar’s song lyrics, and hers as well, though I struggled to make out what she was singing with her low-key, lovely and quiet voice.

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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.


Ten Questions with Mega Bog (opening for Destroyer Saturday); Son Ambulance tonight…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:38 pm January 31, 2018

Mega Bog opens for Destroyer this Saturday at The Waiting Room. Photo by Vanessa Haddad.

by Tim McMahan,

Mega Bog is the project of Seattle native now Brookynite Erin Birgy, who has been making her unique potion of jazz-infused art rock for eight years. Her latest album, Happy Together (2017, Nicey), runs and wobbles between free-form loveliness and dizzy indie rock, giddily capturing an artist in motion with a breathy voice that evokes memories of Nico. Her band has included members of iji, Hand Habits and Big Thief’s James Krivchenia (who also mixed and mastered her new record).

We caught up with Birgy and asked her to take the Ten Questions plunge. Here’s her answers:

1. What is your favorite album?

Mega Bog’s Erin Birgy: Definitely don’t have a favorite, but Diamond Dogs is almost always on standby. It’s what I use to practice vocals. Deeply inspiring.

2. What is your least favorite song?

(Bandmate) Zach (Burba) and I are trying to pick a least favorite song, but it’s hard! We thought of a time our friend, Joel, who helps with all the album art, was playing something by a Magnetic Zero band.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

I enjoy the responsibility of learning how to take care of others, my family, and act as an ambassador for this weird music world.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

Peanut butter in the car. Having to compromise with other peoples cleanliness standards, or lack of.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Water and cedar oil.

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

“Every place is home” by Vollmar

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

A show at Bard College eight years ago. It was a terrible tour, with an abusive guy in the band we were touring with, and I was at the end of my rope dealing with their creepiness and anger. It was freezing, everyone in the band was fighting, and I cut my hand on a borrowed guitar after mine broke, and just laid my head down on the concrete floor and started crying. I took it all out on Zach while we played, which made it doubly worse. He left the “stage” early and people were backed up against the garage door, just scared and annoyed.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

In some moments, it seems like it. I do a lot of strange gigs, but kind of a $200 an hour minimum, if it’s not music.

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I don’t see myself as a professional. Or a musician. I do see myself as a citizen scientist. I could take that more seriously.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I’ve never heard a story about Omaha, Nebraska.

Mega Bog plays with Destroyer Saturday, Feb. 3, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Showtime is 9 p.m.; tickets are $20. For more information, go to

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Tonight Son, Ambulance returns to the stage, this time as part of Pageturners’ Winter Concert Series. The band just played a few weeks ago at O’Leaver’s, but no two Son, Ambulance sets are ever alike nor is the line-up from show to show. Expect some surprises, and a large crowd. Sean Pratt & the Sweats open at 9 p.m. Admission is, as always, free.

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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.