Brad Hoshaw says farewell, Midwest Dilemma tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:31 pm July 22, 2019

Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlines at The Waiting Room, Feb. 21, 2014. The band plays its farewell show tonight at Slowdown, Jr.

by Tim McMahan,

Tonight we say goodbye to Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies as the band perform its farewell concert at Slowdown Jr. Brad’s moving to the West Coast in the coming weeks. The show is part of Brad’s “Farewell Tour.” 

But I think it won’t be the last we hear from Brad. Hoshaw just wrapped up a new album and (likely) will be on the road supporting it, and I’d be shocked if he didn’t roll through his old stompin’ grounds at some point. Hoshaw will always stand as one of my favorite singer/songwriters not only from Nebraska, but from anywhere. Here’s hoping he can break into the crowded California music scene.

Helping say goodbye are Brad’s old pals Midwest Dilemma and Matt Cox. This is an early show — starts at 7:30 p.m. $9. 

BTW, Brad’s also doing a solo farewell show July 28 at The Trap Room…

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Jolie Holland, Matt Cox, Midwest Dilemma tonight; Millions of Boys Saturday; 1912 is now open…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:35 pm August 8, 2014
Matt Cox celebrates the release of his new album, Nishnabotna tonight at The Waiting Room.

Matt Cox celebrates the release of his new album, Nishnabotna tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan,

Not a lot happening from a national indie standpoint again this weekend, but we’ll make up for that next Saturday when the Maha Music Festival blows up Stinson Park again.

That said, there is one national show worth mentioning. Houston singer/songwriter Jolie Holland headlines at The Slowdown tonight. Holland has quite a pedigree, having been courted musically by the likes of Tom Waits. She was sort of known as a bluesy twanger but walked away from that slightly with her latest, Wine Dark Sea (ANTI-, 2014), an album at times rife with rough-hewn, feedback-fueled electric guitar while at other times, haunted by glowing strings. There’s a hollow shimmer to this recording that reminds me of very early Cowboy Junkies, a loose, jazzy, dark-lit feel that’s both lonely and inviting. Opening is Brooklyn trio Shy Hunters. $12, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Matt Cox is having a big ol’ CD release party at The Waiting Room for his new album, Nishnabotna (2014, Sower).  The self-produced album was recorded and mastered at Hidden Tracks Studio/J Garrett Sound Productions over the past year. Very laid-back, very country. Cox’s press release references Allman Bros and Willie Nelson, which certainly gives you an idea of his influences. Opening are his pals Sarah Benck, The Filter Kings and The Electroliners. $7, 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s, it’s the return of Midwest Dilemma. Where have these guys been the past couple of years? With Las Vegas folk-pop band Rusty Maples. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night’s only gig (on my radar, at least) is Millions of Boys, Free Cake for Every Creature and Lincoln’s Once a Pawn opening for The Shidiots at The Barley Street Tavern. $5, 9 p.m.

BTW, the new bar across the street from The Waiting Room, 1912 (read about it here), finally opened its doors this past Tuesday. The rooftop deck awaits you. And no, the kitchen isn’t open yet and won’t be for awhile.

Did I miss anything? Put it in the comments section. 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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Omaha songwriters night (MWD, Hoshaw, Hedges, Whipkey…); Neutral Milk Hotel is SOLD OUT; Hobbit desecration (in the column)…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , — @ 2:27 pm December 18, 2013

by Tim McMahan,

Three local songwriter showcases are happening tonight, two of which are series that are celebrating their final curtain call (for now).

Down at Slowdown Jr. it’s the return of Midwest Dilemma. Frontman Justin Lamoureux’s band has taken on a myriad of forms — everything from a trio to a 16+ piece acoustic orchestra. What configuration will he take tonight? Opening is Landon Hedges, better known as the frontman of Little Brazil and member of Conor Oberst-powered rock band Desaparecidos. Joining them is the always entertaining Brad Hoshaw. Get all three for one low price of $7. Show starts at 9.

Also tonight, Matt Whipkey ends his “Whipkey Wednesdays” solo series at The Lauter Tun, 3309 Oakview Dr., a bar that recently announced it’s closing its doors for good. Send them both off in style. Jessica Errett opens. 8 p.m. and absolutely free.

Also ending tonight is MarQ Manner’s Songwriter Night at The Library Pub, 5142 No. 90th St. According to the Facebook invite, this is the last night of the series, though there’s more to come in 2014.  Slated to play: Magick K Band Acoustic, Dallas Hendricks, Matt Cox and Scott Severin. Show starts at 8 and is free free free.

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If you didn’t get your tickets to Neutral Milk Hotel you’re out of luck. E-tix is showing that it’s SOLD OUT.

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In this week’s column, a look at how film-maker Peter Jackson desecrated J.R.R. Tolkien with his latest installment in The Hobbit trilogy. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here.

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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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Lazy-i Interview: Icky Blossoms talks new album, David Sitek, the line-up, touring and the soul of creativity; Live Review: Midwest Dilemma; Buck Bowen tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:29 pm March 8, 2012
Icky Blossoms

Icky Blossoms

by Tim McMahan,

Here’s the story: Icky Blossoms is headed to SXSW next week. They’re driving. The distance from Benson, Nebraska, to Waterloo Records in Austin, Texas, is roughly 770 miles the way the Google flies. Gas currently costs around $4 a gallon. They’ll be driving a van that probably gets (if they’re lucky) 10 miles a gallon. If you use the above numbers:

770 / 10 x $4 = $308

That number does not include the cost of roadside junk food and other assorted “necessities” to make the 14-hour non-stop drive tolerable. Nor does it include the cost of lodging (substantially more than $308 if they’re staying at a hotel) and meals needed while in Music City.

Icky Blossoms just returned from Los Angeles where they recorded their debut album with TV on the Radio’s David Sitek to be released on Saddle Creek Records in early July. If you’ve ever been to LA and know how expensive its pleasures cost, than you know the band very likely is tapped out.

That’s where you come in. This is an early heads up for this Saturday night’s Icky Blossoms show at The Slowdown. In an effort to generate as much money as possible to cover costs, the band has moved the concert from Slowdown Jr. to Slowdown’s big stage.

Icky Blossoms needs you. Change whatever you had planned for Saturday night. Buy your tickets now. $7, here. You will be watching the birth of Omaha’s Next Big Thing.

To entice you even further to come to Saturday’s show, Icky Blossoms’ guitarist/vocalist Nik Fackler offered to answer some questions about the new album, touring and the future of the band.

What did Dave Sitek do to improve these songs? Did he act more like an engineer or as a traditional producer, and what’s the biggest change we’re going to hear in these songs from what we’ve heard in the past?

Nik Fackler: Sitek produced a creative, experimental and pro atmosphere for us to work in. I personally haven’t worked with many music producers, so for me he was kind of like a film director. He orchestrated the flow, experimented with ideas, created beats and analogue synth sounds and kept us all on schedule. He had an ear for what would work on the dance floor and kept a continuity between all the songs. The biggest change to previously released songs is quality, clarity and bigness.

Did you guys write any new material in LA for this record? Will we hear new songs on Saturday? What is the scheduled release date for the new record?

Nik: We wrote three new tunes when we were out in LA and we will be playing all three at the show on Saturday. The record is going to come out in early July.

What’s the lineup for Saturday night’s show? Is it the regular “live band” lineup?

Nik: The live lineup has shuffled a bit. Saturday’s show will see Saber Blazek (Machete Archive) on bass, Clark Baechle (Faint, Depressed Buttons) on drums, Nik (Fackler), Sarah (Bohling, keyboards, vocals), and Derek Pressnall (lead vocals, guitar) take stage.

How is Derek going to tour with: 1) a new baby in the house, and 2) Tilly and the Wall releasing a new record (and, presumably, touring as well)? Is that going to limit the amount of touring that Icky will be able to do this year? 

Nik: We are planning on touring and promoting the record as heavily as we can. How much that will actually be will be determined in the way the record is received and what kind of offers come in. If all goes well it definitely will be a balancing act, but not one we can’t handle. Our main focus right now is to continue to make our best songs and as many of them as we can so we can build a fan base. Scheduling stuff can always be worked out.

What about your schedule? If funding comes through for one of your major film projects, won’t you have to put Icky on hold? Does one project (music or filmmaking) take precedent over the other?

Nik: Creation is my soul.  The goal for me is to never limit the amount of things I can create. I think we live in an age where artwork like film and music can be accomplished quickly. The digitizing of the world has removed some of the hands on aspects of art, but created the ability to produce things more quickly and with just as much quality. Right now, I am in a mode of work. Trying to forge a path for myself where I can do everything and not have to put anything on hold. Right now, it’s about coming up with a balanced and positive process to execute all these different ideas I have.

Neither takes precedent over the other. In a way I see them as all part of the whole.

How many times is Icky going to perform at SXSW? I know of only two gigs currently scheduled.

Nik: We are playing three shows. Thursday: The Waterloo Records Party, Waterloo Records Parking Lot, 2 p.m.; Friday: Saddle Creek Showcase at Lamberts BBQ, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: Mad Decent/ Check Yo Ponytail/ Fool’s Gold Super Party at Emo’s East, Noon.

Opening for Icky Blossoms this Saturday at Slowdown is Midtown Marauders and Pony Wars. 9 p.m. $7. See you there.

And this just in: Rolling Stone is featuring the first track off the new album, “Babes,” right here. Or download it here.

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Midwest Dilemma at Slowdown Jr., March 7, 2012.

Midwest Dilemma at Slowdown Jr., March 7, 2012.

Last night saw a much stripped-down version of Midwest Dilemma at Slowdown Jr., at least compared to the last time I saw Justin Lamoureux’s band, where there were something like 16 people on stage. Last night MD played as a 4-piece with Lamoureux on guitar backed by cellist, flautist and brass player (tuba, bass trombone). I know he likes the big ensemble (hey, who doesn’t want to be surrounded by their friends?), but I much prefer this slimmed-down format which strips the songs to their bare essentials with just enough unique accoutrement for added flavor. Years of performing have aged Lamoureux’s voice like a fine Bordeaux. He’s discarded any vocal affectations (at times in his career he used to sport an Oberst bray) and now sings with a purely unique folk voice that would be appealing to anyone who likes, say, M. Ward’s style of music. Among the highlights was an ode to The 49’r and Lamoureux’s pre-song take on the role the bar played in his life (spoiler alert: booze). He hinted that a new album could be ready to go in a couple months, but quickly added that he’s been saying that for the past four years. Maybe it’s time we all put a collective boot up his ass?

Headliner Water Liars came on at around 10:30 to play a short set in front of about 10 people (including myself, bar staff and Lamoureux’s bandmates). Despite the lax crowd, their songs sounded heartfelt and full for a duo in the classic guitar-and-drums design. I love this guy’s voice, which reminded me of Will Johnson on songs that reminded me of Will Johnson as well. Gorgeous stuff.

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Tonight at House of Loom it’s the homecoming of nefarious hip-hop artist Buck Bowen, returning from California and places beyond. Hear Nebraska has the story of where Buck’s gone and where he going, right here. His hop-hop set tonight is part of Loom’s Midtown Marauder Showcase, which runs from 9 p.m. to 2 and costs $5. More info here. Bowen also will be manning the turntables at Loom Saturday night for a DJ set. Info on that showcase is here.

Also tonight, a live performance by KMG and Birthday Suits — I have no idea who these dudes are, but it don’t matter cuz the show’s at O’Leaver’s, which means it ain’t nothing but a party. $5, 9:30 p.m.

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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.


Landing on the Moon takes one small step onto the MAHA stage; Deerhoof, Mates of State tonight; Back When Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:00 pm June 25, 2010
Midwest Dilemma

Midwest Dilemma at The Waiting Room, 6/24/10.

by Tim McMahan,

The wagering was hot and heavy at last night’s MAHA showcase at The Waiting Room – a winner-take-all battle-of-the-bands cage match to determine who will play the MAHA Festival’s second stage. With his ongoing support from a certain Omaha World-Herald music writer, I put all my money down on Tim Wildsmith to get the most “votes.” But after I got to the show at around 10, I began to have second thoughts. Midwest Dilemma had a nice-sized crowd listening to their set, and I remembered hearing somewhere that it was Justin Lamoureux’s birthday that night. Add to that the fact that there must have been nine musicians on stage with Justin — if each one brought nine friends, that would equate to, well… a lot of votes, from a crowd of around 225. Others I talked to thought that the close-out band, Matt Cox, would draw all the last-minute voters. My personal faves — Landing on the Moon and Honey & Darling — went on at 8 and 9 p.m. — way too early to make a dent in the voting bloc.

So imagine my surprise when they announced that Landing on the Moon — the band I reviewed in my column a week ago — got the most votes. They’ll be joining Round One winner, Betsy Wells, on the second stage, along with whomever gets the most votes at the upcoming OEAA showcase July 16 and 17 in Benson.

Speaking of the OEAA Summer Showcase, guess how many Saddle Creek, Speed! Nebraska, Slumber Party, Bocca Lupo, and Doom Town acts are playing the two-day event. Go on, guess. How about 0, as in none. Does anyone need more evidence that the OEAA program has eroded into a Benson-only event?

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There are two great national shows fighting for your music-going dollar tonight. At The Waiting Room, Deerhoof will take the stage along with Southeast Engine and Broken Spindles (Joel Petersen of The Faint). 9 p.m., $12. Meanwhile at Slowdown tonight it’s Mates of State with Thunder Power and the X-Medic. Mates of State is on the road promoting a CD of cover songs titled Crushes (The Covers Mixtape) that features songs by Deathcab for Cutie, Fleetwood Mac, Nick Cave, The Mars Volta and Belle and Sebastian, among others. $15, 9 p.m. And if that weren’t enough, Bloodcow is playing at O’Leaver’s with Kentucky Beltfight and The Yuppies. $5, 9:30 p.m.

O’Leaver’s also is doing a show Saturday night, with Traveling Mercies, Cat Island, The Low End and Adam Robert Haug. $5, 9:30 p.m. Also tomorrow night, Henry Rollins does his stand-up shtick at Sokol Auditorium. $25, 8 p.m.

Sunday night is the big Back When reunion show at The Waiting Room with Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship and Lightning Bug.  This one will be loud. $7, 9 p.m.

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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 © 2010 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.