OEAs, Grammy’s and Chipotle; Simon Joyner on NPR; Cursive in Denver; Testament, Bloodcow tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:39 pm February 13, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The final count on my Omaha Entertainment and Arts (OEA) awards predictions: 5 for 15. Not bad. Actually, that’s appalling, but it accurately reflects my knowledge of the Benson music scene. Last night’s big winner was Galvanized Tron, who took home the Artist of the Year and Best Hip-Hop awards. I’ve never heard GT’s music before. In fact, I haven’t heard seven of the 14 winners’ music. Pleasant surprises were Conduits (best indie) and Icky Blossoms (best DJ/EDM), two bands whose music I have heard (and enjoyed) and who recently signed big fat record deals with a couple national indie labels we’re all familiar with. Least surprising: That Bright Eyes’ The People’s Key took home Album of the Year. To the best of my knowledge, Conor skipped the ceremony. Here’s the rest of last night’s OEA Award winners:

Best New Artist: Snake Island
Best Artist: Galvanized Tron
Best Cover Band: Yesterday & Today
Best Ethnic: The Bishops
Best Progressive/Experimental/Funk: Satchel Grande
Best Jazz: Jazzocracy
Best Blues: Kris Lager Band
Best Hip Hop:  Galvanized Tron
Best Soul/R&B Gospel: Lucas Kellison
Best Country/Americana: Matt Cox
Best DJ/EDM: Icky Blossoms
Best Indie: Conduits
Best Hard Rock: Broken Crown
Best Adult Alternative/Songwriter: AYGAMG
Best Album: Bright Eyes, The People’s Key

* * *

In other awards show news, legendary Omaha producer Tom Ware of Warehouse Studios went home empty handed from last night’s Grammy’s, as his work with Lady Gaga was overlooked by an academy that was “gaga” for Adele. It was fun watching Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon awkwardly accept the award for best new artist. Said Vernon at the podium: “It’s also hard to accept because when I started to make songs, I did it for the inherent reward of making songs, so I’m a little bit uncomfortable up here.” So were we, Vernon.

A still from the Chipotle commercial.

A still from the Chipotle commercial.

The rest was business as usual. I watched every second of last night’s Grammy’s broadcast and the most impressive moment was an animated Chipotle commercial about organic farming featuring Willie Nelson singing a cover of “The Scientist” by Coldplay. I “rewound” and watched the commercial three times.  You can check it out here.

The broadcast had an amusing ending when KMTV cut off the evening’s big finale featuring Paul McCartney and a stage filled with famous guitarists (Bruce Springsteen and David Grohl among them) so we could get an accuweather update. Apparently no one at the station pays attention to their own programming. Yet another shining example of KMTV’s rock solid commitment to becoming the worst network-affiliated TV station in Omaha. Keep it up, guys, you’ve got KPTM and the run!

* * *

If you weren’t up at the crack of dawn Sunday morning you missed NPR’s feature on Simon Joyner that aired as part of Weekend Edition. The piece featured Simon talking about his music and his life in Omaha, and included comments from Conor Oberst and myself. So if you’ve ever wondered what my voice sounds like, here’s your chance to find out as the audio story is now online. Nice work, Clay, though there’s the issue about the spelling of my last name…

* * *

Denver’s Westword has a review of Sunday night’s Cursive show at the Larimer Lounge online here. From the review:

“‘I don’t know why we don’t come here more often,’ Kasher chuckled and complimented the crowd. The rock elder statesman looked genuinely bashful as he paid his audience the largest possible compliment. ‘You guys are awesome. You should go to Omaha and teach those guys how to rock!‘” 

Really, Mr. Kasher? REALLY?

By the way, you can now hear Cursive’s latest, I Am Gemini, streamed in its entirety right here at rollingstone.com.

* * *

Tonight is officially metal night at The Waiting Room as ’80s thrash metal band Testament takes the stage with Omaha’s own metal masters, Bloodcow. $25, 9 p.m.

* * *

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.


Who will win / who should have won at the 2012 OEA music awards (and Grammy’s); Lincoln Exposed tonight; Slumber Party, Dirty Flourescents Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:55 pm February 10, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

OEA logo

Well it’s that time of year again for the Benson Music Awards, uh… I mean the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEAs).

Look, I’m so far out of the loop regarding the OEAs since I resigned as an “Academy Member” back in 2010 that I no longer get any correspondence from the organization. And I mean absolutely nothing, which is strange, because I still write about music here at Lazy-i.com and The Reader (who (I think) is still an event sponsor).

Oh well. If you want to know my gripes about the OEA’s, read my public resignation, published in my column two years ago, right here.

Nothing has changed. In fact, the whole thing has become even more incestuous. Most of the area’s best talent continues to be ignored, while bands and performers willing to “rally their fans” to vote in the “open voting” portion get nominated. Yes, I know Marq, there’s a whole process for selecting nominees that go beyond the open voting. Still, somehow the OEA’s managed to overlook some of the area’s best talent, including Darren Keen, Simon Joyner, Digital Leather, Ideal Cleaners, Skypiper, Yuppies, Depressed Buttons, McCarthy Trenching, Back When, Baby Tears, It’s True, Con Dios, Peace of Shit, Capgun Coup, Thunder Power, and on and on.

There are politics in everything, including music.

Anyway, the OEAA’s annual awards banquet is Sunday night at the Hilton downtown. And as I do every year, here are my thoughts for each music category on: 1) who will win, and 2) who should have won:

Best New Artist:
Who will win: We Be Lions
Who should have won: Icky Blossoms

Best Artist:
Who will win: Matt Cox
Who should have won: Bright Eyes

Best Cover Band:
Who will win: Secret Weapon
Who should have won: Secret Weapon

Best Ethnic:
Who will win: Donnybrook
Who should have won: The Turfmen (too bad they weren’t nominated)

Best Progressive/Experimental/Funk
Who will win: Satchel Grande
Who should have won: InDreama

Best Jazz
Who will win: Steve Raybine
Who should have won: Steve Raybine

Best Blues
Who will win: Kris Lager Band
Who should have won: no idea

Best Hip Hop
Who will win: Galvanized Tron
Who should have won: Conchance

Best Soul/R&B Gospel
Who will win: Lucas Kellison
Who should have won: Second Chance

Best Country/Americana
Who will win: Filter Kings
Who should have won: Filter Kings

Who will win: Somasphere
Who should have won: Depressed Buttons (also not nominated)

Best Indie:
Who will win: So-So Sailors
Who should have won: So-So Sailors

Best Hard Rock:
Who will win: Mitch Gettman
Who should have won: Ideal Cleaners (also not nominated)

Best Adult Alternative/Songwriter
Who will win: Mitch Gettman
Who should have won: Tim Kasher (not nominated)

Best Album
Who will win: Bright Eyes, The People’s Key
Who should have won: Bright Eyes, The People’s Key (Something tells me Conor won’t be there to accept his award).

Details about Sunday night’s event are available at http://oea-awards.com/

* * *
Hey, the Grammy’s are Sunday night, too. Who cares?

Well, despite the fact that The Grammy’s have turned into an extended episode of American Idol and The Voice, I’ll be watching if only to see if Omaha legend Tom Ware picks up a Grammy for his work on Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, which is up for Album of the Year. Keep your fingers crossed, though I think Adele will ultimately take home the trophy.

The closest thing to an indie category at The Grammy’s is “Best Alternative Album,” where it’s Bon Iver, Radiohead, Death Cab, Foster the People and My Morning Jacket. My money is on Bon Iver, because he sure as shit isn’t going to win in the other categories he’s nominated in.

* * *

So what’s happening this weekend?

Lincoln Exposed continues in Lincoln tonight and tomorrow. Details here.

Last week’s Slumber Party Showcase at the Saddle Creek Shop that got cancelled due to the snow has been rescheduled for this Saturday afternoon starting at 3 p.m. The lineup: Jasong Mountain (of Talking Mountain),  Andy Cubrich (of Family Picnic), Sam Martin (of Capgun Coup), and Bobby Rubalcava (of The West Valley/The Benningtons) and more. Come on down, it’s free.

Saturday night Dirty Flourescents, Comme Reel and Techlepathy light up O’Leaver’s for a night of midwestern punk. $5, 9:30 p.m.

And then Sunday night Hear  Nebraska is hosting a show at Loom featuring Bad Spele (Darren Keen), Machete Archive and more. 9 p.m., $5. More details here.

And finally, Slowdown Jr. is hosting an OEA after party featuring Snake Island and BASSthoven. 9:30, $5 or free if you can prove (willing to admit) you were at the OEAs.

* * *

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.


OEA Award nominations announced; and who is Daniel Christian?

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:55 pm October 19, 2010

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Well, despite my stepping down as an Academy Member (see why here), the OEAAs continues to function. The list of nominees was announced on their website yesterday, here. As always, there are lots of surprises. Among them: Who is Best Roots/Americana/Country/Bluegrass nominee Lymphnode Maniacs? Who is Best New Artist nominee Hello From Ghost Valley?

But the biggest question of all: Who is the multiple category nominee (including for Artist of the Year, and Best Alternative/Indie) Daniel Christian? How has this maverick, who apparently is better than Tim Kasher, Conor Oberst, most of the Slumber Party roster (congrats, Noah’s Ark) and Speed! Nebraska artists, and acts like Box Elders and Digital Leather (currently touring in Europe) managed to escape my ever-inquisitive ears?

I did a little research on Christian’s Myspace page and here’s what I found: “Out of Nebraska comes a singer-songwriter who blends pop/rock sensibilities with country/folk roots. He weaves hooky, stick-in-your-head melodies backed by big harmonies with thought-provoking lyrical content. The result is a style of art and entertainment that audiences have dubbed organic ‘thought rock,’ which, according to fans, ‘sounds like cinnamon rolls taste!

The entry goes on to say that Christian has won two National Country Music Festival awards. His debut album, I Am Merely Sand, was released in 2007. “The collection of critically acclaimed songs features such notable talent as Grammy®-winning bassist Charlie Chadwick (Pam Tillis, Steve Earle, Peter Frampton) and guitarist Pat Bergeson (Chet Atkins, Alison Krauss, Lyle Lovett).” Impressive.

In addition, Christian is a “member of the American Federation of Musicians, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and the Nebraska Arts Council. He is also a founding member of Nebraska’s chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), and in 2008, composed the school song for Johnson County Central High School in his hometown of Tecumseh, NE.

So there you have it. I may never have heard of him, but obviously someone has or else he wouldn’t be nominated for an award that honors the best musician/performer in the Omaha/Lincoln area for the past year. I listened to a few of the songs while on Christian’s Myspace, which I would describe as middle-of-the-road James Taylor. Well recorded, if not boring. But I figured the best way to really check out Christian’s music is to see him perform live, but according to his gig schedule it looks like he’s currently on some sort of regional pumpkin-patch tour, as he has a slew of gigs slated for Vala’s Pumpkin Patch in Gretna, followed by a dining hall performance at Central Community College in Columbus. He is, however, playing at Myth in the Old Market Oct. 28 (no cover!), but that’s it for Omaha/Lincoln gigs. So… How did he manage to get nominated for Artist of the Year? It’s just one of the many mysteries that surrounds the OEAAs.

Regardless, good luck to all the contestants.

* * *

Tonight at The Barley Street Tavern, All Young Girls Are Machine Guns (an OEAA nominee for Best Adult Alternative/Singer-Songwriter) performs with The Migrant, Tenderness Wilderness, and Chad Wallin. $5, 9 p.m.

* * *

Tomorrow: Reviews of last Friday night’s Conduits/Dim Light show (w/pics).

* * *

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.