#TBT: Jan. 18, 2004 — The first time I stepped inside O’Leaver’s…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 8:36 am January 18, 2024

The Kingdom Flying Club, circa 2004…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Looking for something to post today (there is nothing going on… I mean nothing), I ran across my first review of fabulous O’Leaver’s, published 20 years ago today in Lazy-i. O’Leaver’s had already been hosting live shows for awhile before I first stumbled into The Club, and my comment that I “can’t imagine a Saddle Creek Band playing an announced show there” would prove to not only be wrong but in some ways prescient as members of Cursive would eventually buy the bar years later. 

Over 20 years, O’Leaver’s surprisingly hasn’t changed much – at least not the main room where bands perform. When Kasher, Maginn and Stevens took over, they upped the sound system and made a shit-ton of improvements, including adding that bucolic beer garden. But the overall ambience in the main room is the same, including those record-album sleeves stapled to the walls like college-dorm wallpaper.

After a time of post-COVID live music dormancy, it sounds like changes are afoot at O’Leaver’s. The club recently closed its grill and seems to be returning to hosting live music, judging by a somewhat robust upcoming events calendar that includes Sunday’s Neva Dinova show and that Rosali gig in February. Check out their full upcoming events calendar. Asked online if O’Leaver’s has turned the rock machine back on, someone who handles their social accounts replied, “Well YES WE HAVE!!!

As for Columbia, Missouri’s Kingdom Flying Club, after that 2004 O’Leaver’s gig, I interviewed the band in support of their return engagement two months later (With Civella, and A Cult of Riley, read that interview here). The band released a maxi-single a year after their 2003 debut on Emergency Umbrella Records, and then just… disappeared, which is a rock ’n’ roll trope that has been repeated a million times and will be repeated a million more.  That said, you can still listen to their debut on YouTube (linked below). 

Live Review: Kingdom Flying Club at O’Leavers – Jan. 18, 2004

Part of what I heard about O’Leavers is true. It is a small place — some would say downright tiny. But I wouldn’t say it’s cramped. It’s actually cozy in sort of a Homy Inn sort of way. Also like The Homy, O’Leavers is decorated with tons of shit on its walls — in this case, hundreds of album covers that span a few decades, as well as rock posters, including a prominent image of David Bowie in full Ziggy mode. With a bar on one end, the band plays directly across the room in a step-up seating area, standing right in front of a nonfunctioning fireplace. It’s like someone’s funky, 1970s “music room” or a college guy’s basement apartment, and I suppose that’s where it gets its charm.

I have heard people complain that it’s too small for live music. It wasn’t last night, but that’s because the bill consisted of under-the-radar acts. I can’t imagine a Saddle Creek band or one of the large West Omaha bands playing an announced show there. The room looks like it could comfortably hold maybe 75 people. Last night’s crowd looked to be around 50, and there was plenty of room to walk around, get a drink, even sit down. The sound system this night was provided by Matt Whipkey of Anonymous American fame, two small overhead amps and whatever gear the band brought with it. As a result, it wasn’t deafening — I didn’t need to wear earplugs and could talk to people without screaming during the sets.

I walked in hearing the strains of a band fronted by the guy who used to be known as Stop At Line. His new band consists of him on electric guitar and a drummer playing sorta screamo punk a la Desaparecidos. It’s not bad, but it needs a bass and some variety in the songwriting — every song sounded the same.

The headliner was Columbia, Missouri’s Kingdom Flying Club. You already know how much I like this band if you read my Year in Review (their album, Non-Fiction, made my year-end top-10 faves list and a selection from it is included on my 2003 Best of Comp (which you can still enter to win a copy of… see details). Now after seeing them live, I’m convinced that they could be the next Weezer — a bold statement, I know, but they’ve got that whole pop-rock thing down to a science. Live, they sound like a cross between Weezer and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin or any other band you can think of that played that sort-of alt style circa 1993. Their stage presence is pure slacker — the thin, pasty keyboardist/vocalist looks like he’s about pass out at any moment, while the other vocalists/guitarist looks like he just walked out of the quad at Everyplace University. They were sloppy at times, not exactly tight, but their approach almost seemed intentional. I think these guys know that it’s their songs that are going to get them noticed, and despite their liaise faire attitude; they won over the crowd playing mostly songs off Non-fiction, though there were a couple I didn’t recognize. They closed with a cover of AC/DC’s “T-N-T” which was respectfully messy and fun.

My take on O’Leavers is that it’s a delightfully and purposely unpolished gem of a club that will continue to have an impact on Omaha’s music scene. Now if they’d only get a website so that we could find out who’s playing there next.

— Lazy-i, Jan. 18, 2004

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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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Neva Dinova adds Jan. 21 O’Leavers gig with Jess Price, Sean Pratt…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 8:22 am January 16, 2024
Neva Dinova at Reverb Dec. 14. The band plays at O’Leaver’s Sunday, Jan. 21.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There hasn’t been much to talk about music-wise, however Craig Dee at fabulous O’Leaver’s IM’d to say Neva Dinova will be playing at the club this-coming Sunday afternoon/evening (Jan. 21) with Sean Pratt and Jess Price of Doom Flower/Campdogzz.

Price was on that smoking Dec. 14 bill at Reverb Lounge (that also included Marcey Yates), so if you missed that show, here’s another chance to catch Jake and Co., along with a solo set by Jess Price. I’m told Neva has been in town since that December show holed up in Make Believe studio working on a new album, and that Jake flies back to LA next Monday. Sean Pratt also has been recording new material, which you’ll likely hear Sunday afternoon. The O’Leaver’s gig starts at 5 p.m. $15.  

Has O’Leaver’s turned the rock machine back on? They also just added a concert with Rosali (backed by David Nance and Mowed Sound), April 20.

It being the dead of winter in Omaha, there hasn’t been many other touring indie shows booked, though a couple more have been announced. Here’s your Omaha touring indie rock calendar through spring:

  • — Jan. 21 – Neva Dinova, Jess Price at O’Leaver’s
  • — Jan. 21 – Squirrel Flower, Goon, The Dirts at Reverb
  • — Feb. 1 – MX Lonely at Blindspot
  • — Feb. 16 – David Nance and Mowed Sound LP release at Reverb
  • — Feb. 17 – Matthew Sweet at Waiting Room
  • — Feb. 19 – Yo La Tengo at Waiting Room 
  • — Feb. 24 – Porno for Pyros at The Astro
  • — Feb. 29 – Katy Kirby at Reverb
  • — March 6 – Jenny Lewis at The Admiral
  • — March 18 – Color Green at Reverb
  • — March 22 – Sun June, Wild Pink at Reverb
  • — April 20 – Rosali at O’Leaver’s
  • — April 24 – Sheer Mag at Reverb 

Missing from the above list – any touring indie shows at The Slowdown… what’s going on there?

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Lazy-i Best of 2023 compilation CD.

I’m closing the books on 2023, which means this is your last chance to claim a copy of the Lazy-i Best of 2023 Compilation CD. If you want one (they’re free), drop me a line with your mailing address and I’ll mail one to you. It includes music from Genesis Owusu, Slowdive, Blondshell, Neva Dinova, Boygenius, Lewsberg, Lana Del Rey, Bad Bad Men, Palehound and more. You can also listen to the playlist at Spotify from this link or search “Tim McMahan” in Spotify, then select “Profiles,” then “Public Playlists.” You’ll find it along with a few from past years.

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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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Is O’Leaver’s returning to (regularly) hosting live music?

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 9:07 am October 24, 2023
Tim Kasher and band at O’Leaver’s, March 21, 2013 – just one of the hundreds of bands that graced the legendary Omaha club’s “stage.”

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

We tend to make things better in our minds after they’re gone, forgetting the bad stuff, remembering only the good moments – it’s true both for people and music venues. O’Leaver’s is a good example. The energy of a night at O’Leaver’s is hard to describe — when there’s a great band playing on their stage, the crowd is drunk and happy (but not too much of either), and you can find your favorite spot to soak it all in. 

In reality, not every night was so golden, but there was always someone there who knew your name. Then along came the pandemic and O’Leaver’s changed its business model, opened a grill, put in booths and cut down on the live music. Suddenly, unless you had a serious drinking problem or played volleyball, there were fewer reasons to go to O’Leaver’s. 

I cannot blame the folks behind the bar (which include members of Saddle Creek Records band Cursive) for trying the bar-food experiment – after all, it works so well for O’Leaver’s sister establishment – The Winchester (owned by the same team of rock stars). That said, The Winchester ain’t O’Leaver’s. I can imagine taking my imaginary family to Winchester’s for dinner — I can’t imagine taking a family to O’Leaver’s for burgers and cokes (though plenty of people did).

Okay, so yesterday O’Leaver’s posted on social media that it’s pulling the plug on its kitchen. “We were never able to reach our goals of sustainability since opening 3 years ago,” they posted on Facebook. “O’Leavers pub will continue to rock and roll!! We open at 3:30 on the weekdays and noon on the weekends. Happy hour is always a blast and Jeopardy’s still on at 6 every day. AND, live music is on the calendar!!

Does that mean a return to the old days at O’Leaver’s with live music every weekend? Not likely. Omaha legendary musician and member of the O’Leaver’s brain trust, Craig Dee, said the club may slowly start ramping up music again “but not like the old days.”

Last weekend O’Leaver’s hosted two nights of music, including the return of heritage post-punk act Dance Me Pregnant. Alas, I was unable to attend, but heard it felt like… old times. The club has another free show slated this Friday — a punk-rock gig with The Scabby Ghouls, The Shidiots, DSM-5 and Blowing Chunks. Could more shows be on the way?

I remember a time when fabulous O’Leaver’s booked up to four shows a week, which even for me was exhausting. I’d be happy with rock shows every other weekend, but then again, I’m an old guy. Here’s hoping The Club will re-emerge as another tour-stop and/or viable stage for local post-punk bands, because lord knows we desperately need it…

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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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: Scout Gillett; Maria Elena Silva (Chicago) tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 7:15 am April 3, 2023
Scout Gillett at O’Leaver’s, March 31, 2023.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A friend of mine met me at O’Leaver’s last Friday night for the Scout Gillett set. The show was scheduled to start at 10 p.m. with Anna McClellan, but by the time I arrived a little after 10, McClellan had already wrapped up her set, so they must have moved her start time.

There was my friend with his beer. While I hadn’t been to O’Leaver’s in at least six months or more, he hadn’t been there in a number of years. 

“Were those booths there before?” he asked, pointing at two sets of black leather booths installed along the south wall, directly in front of “stage right.” No, those are new, at least new post-Covid, when O’Leaver’s changed their business plan to become more of a burger joint and less of a rock club. 

“What’s with the projector screen behind the band?” he asked. I told him once upon a time, O’Leaver’s installed a big screen TV that was behind bands, and then created some sort of cover-up for it and then took it down. Now it appears they’re using a projection TV and no longer lift the screen, giving the staging area an office party vibe. Not sure why they’d leave the screen down unless they were watching the women’s Final Four game before the set and forgot to close it. 

The wall of electronic candles also was new, as were a couple beer signs I didn’t recognize, and every so often someone would emerge from where the Tiki Bar used to be with baskets of French Fries, but all in all, O’Leaver’s hadn’t changed much. I told my friend how despite its tiny size and lack of a real stage The Club used to be one of the most important — and fun — places to see a band, and some pretty remarkable bands at that. 

You can still relive some of those crazy O’Leaver’s nights at http://www.liveatoleavers.com, where high-quality soundcloud files of sets are still stored and playable online, including by bands like Johnathan Rice, Xetas, Head of Femur, Dolores Diaz & the Standby Club (Conor Oberst project), Speedy Ortiz, Cursive, Bob Log III, Orenda Fink, Mike Schlesinger, Simon Joyner, Matthew Sweet, Iska Dhaaf, Digital Leather and tons more. 

Anyway… Scout Gillett and her band kicked off their set at around 10:30. Playing as a four-piece, the Brooklyn crew sounded more straightforward and less hazy and moody than what’s heard on their delectable No Roof No Floor (Captured Tracks) album, more like a bar band than shoe-gazers, surrounded by around 30 people in the half-filled club as the Iowa women’s team celebrated their Final Four victory on the overhead TVs. 

The highlight was Gillett’s lead guitarist, whose name I didn’t catch and who isn’t listed on her Bandcamp page. He played some soaring fills and solos over a band that you could tell has the fire power to fill a big stage when/if the situation calls for it, unlike Friday night when a more subdued rhythm section was the state of play. At one point late in the set Gillett walked through the main floor area playing her guitar, the only thing missing was a basket of Fries. 

O’Leaver’s has yet another show coming up May 6 with David Nance & Mowed Sound and French rockers En Attendant Ana. Oui Oui!

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Pageturners has another of their sneaky Monday night shows tonight with Chicago singer/songwriter Maria Elena Silva. “Sweet, spacious songs sung in English and en español that evoke endless prairie,” says the Viking Choice Guide to Bandcamp 2021.  Omaha ambient artist Phill Smith opens at 8 p.m. $10 suggested donation.

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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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Cursive wows NYC; Live Nation gets Steelhouse bookings; another O’Leaver’s weekend…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 8:29 am January 28, 2022
A group of 18 to 45 year olds presumably milling around the new Steelhouse music venue in 2023.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Not a whole helluva lot going on this weekend, which (again) is OK considering Douglas County’s test-positive rate for COVID-19 is around 40% according to CovidActNow. I’m among the few who still hasn’t gotten it (as far as I know) and I really don’t want to. That said, I’ll be returning to the bars next week for Cursive…

Speaking of which, BrooklynVegan, the East Coast’s indie music website, did a nice review of the Cursive show at Irving Plaza in NYC earlier this week. From the review:

Up next were Cursive, the only band whose lineup was unaffected by COVID, and you could tell that Tim especially was so grateful to be there. He talked about believing in humanity and being thankful for everyone being as responsible as possible during these weird times, and he and the rest of the band just seemed ready to put on one of the best shows of their lives. Cursive always bring it, but Wednesday night’s show felt like one for the record books. Tim was as animated and expressive as ever, the band’s string and horn-fueled post-hardcore was as weird and manic and intense as ever, and they were locked in from start to finish, teasing fan faves like ‘A Gentleman Caller’ and ‘Big Bang’ throughout the set before finally playing them near the end, and touching on a great variety of highlights from all throughout their career. In a month where people can’t stop talking about “emo nostalgia,” Cursive reminded everyone that they’re lifers.”

They are indeed. Mr. Kasher reportedly joined a COVID-crippled Appleseed Cast on drums for their last song that night. So talented. You’ll get a chance to see for yourself how talented Cursive is next Friday when they play at The Waiting Room with Lawrence legends Vitreous Humor and our very own Eric in Outerspace. I’ll be the one wearing the N95 mask.

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In other news, Omaha Performing Arts announced the worst kept secret ever yesterday morning that Live Nation will be the exclusive promoter at their new Steelhouse Omaha, the $104 million, 3,000-capacity live music venue slated to open in mid-2023 downtown by the Holland Center. Live Nation books radio-friendly pop and alt-rock acts as well as C&W, just a whole variety of musical styles except indie, which is what I happen to cover (though they do count Lucy Dacus among their fold).

The Steelhouse folks don’t mince words — their target age demo is 18-45, which is outside my range. I’m not sure why they’d publish that, considering Live Nation books plenty of acts that appeal to the 45+ age group, like Sammy Hagar and Reba McEntire. I still hold out hope that they’ll book at least a couple indie bands per year that are too big for our usual haunts.

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So, this weekend…

Top of the list has to be Light Speed Highway at fabulous O’Leaver’s Saturday night. I don’t know anything about this band, but based on this track (below) they’re an alt-rock band that borders on anthem-flavored power punk, which is a sound that would be right at home at The Club. This free show starts at 8 p.m. and includes “guests” which I assume means an opening act.

Other than that, Kris Lager Band is playing at Reverb Lounge Saturday night 8 p.m., $12.

The Slowdown is doing a screening of The Smile – Live Broadcast (which I thought was last week). This is Thom Yorke’s new band with Jonny Greenwood and Tom Skinner. 7 p.m. $20.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. If you go out, mask-up. Have a great weekend.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live music is returning to O’Leaver’s (finally)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 7:49 am December 1, 2021
O'Leaver's is under new management, and they're a bunch of martyrs.
O’Leaver’s announced its first two shows since the Before Times.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve always said, we’ll know we’re on the back side of this pandemic when O’Leaver’s starts hosting shows again. Well, guess what…

O’Leaver’s first show back will be Dec. 11 featuring an Omaha supergroup comprised of Jerry Hug (Ritual Device, Porn Music), Dan McCarthy (McCarthy Trenching) and three members of Ladyfinger — Chris Machmuller, Jamie Massey and Pat Oakes. For this one-off show, they’ll be playing (get this) covers of Bob Seger songs. The free show will start at 10 p.m.

The next show at O’Leaver’s will be New Year’s Eve and features Smutthole Burpers, a Butthole Surfers cover band with Dave Schildman (Natural States), Colby Jenkins (Bokr Tov), and Anna Schmidt (Boner Killerz). This one also is free, starts at 9 p.m. and also has karaoke thrown in.

Craig Dee, a part-owner who books shows at O’Leaver’s, said the reason the club waited so long to reopen was due to the August 7 flooding that submerged the venue’s basement as well as damaged the main floor. The entire basement had to be torn out and rebuilt. While it wasn’t the first time O’Leaver’s has been flooded (It’s located on flood-prone Saddle Creek) Craig said, “That was the worst we’ve seen.”

But that wasn’t the only reason they waited. “The other music venues in town rely on bands more than we do,” Craig said. “Reverb, Sydney, Slowdown, etc., need those live bands.”

The last show I saw at O’Leaver’s was Perfect Form on Jan. 31, 2020. O’Leaver’s closed due to COVID in March 2020, along with most other small live-music venues. The next time I stepped foot in the club was to get a cheeseburger from their newly opened kitchen. It’s also when I noticed they’d installed booths where the stage had been. Well, the booths have been removed and the stage is back, but the kitchen is still there and open til midnight on weekends and 11 p.m. weeknights.

Time will tell if O’Leaver’s returns to regular booking. “We most likely won’t be as band heavy as before,” Craig said. “Doesn’t seem like as many touring bands coming through.” Time will tell, but regardless, it’s great to see them hosting shows again.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Contemplating other 2020 year-end lists (while listening to Gordon)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 11:05 am December 21, 2020
2020 critics’ picks…

It has been excessively quiet in Lazy-i land over the past week. I’ve spent this down time writing the annual Year in Review and 2021 Predictions articles for The Reader, which will be out in January. Seems like a long time to wait, considering every other publication already has posted/printed their year-end “best of” lists.

Pitchfork, the self-inflicted arbiter of hipster taste dipsticks, published its top-50 list last week. Pitchfork is more of an electronic/hip-hop review website these days based on these numbers, and no doubt that’s a reflection of indie’s ever-changing shift in direction. And yet, there’s still plenty of indie and pop to go around on this list — Taylor Swift at no. 29; Soccer Mommy at No. 26. And so on.

Who am I kidding. Pitchfork sneaks a few obscure albums on their list every year to appear to be hip, but in the end, it’s the same ol’ story. Topping the Pitchfork list was Fiona Apple, who is topping a lot of lists this year, followed by by Waxahatchee and gospel-tinged art rocker Moses Sumney on Jagjaguwar. Phoebe Bridgers, our pandemic It Girl, came in at No. 4.

Stereogum published its top-50 list three weeks ago. Fiona Apple, was again at the top, followed by Waxahatchee and Run the Jewels, with HAIM at No. 4 followed by Taylor Swift. Poor Phoebe was pushed all the way back to No. 28!

Consequence of Sound has become more rabid about its reviews these days. They try to be edgy, but they’re just as predictable. No. 1, Fiona Apple; No. 2 Run the Jewels; No. 3 Phoebe Bridgers. Waxahatchee drops to No. 6 on their list, right about the new Deftones album. Maybe they’re not that edgy after all. In fact, flipping through their list, it’s easily the most pop-centric of the bunch.


It’s here that we look at the aggregate site Album of the Year, which combines reviews from all the websites, assigns points for where an album falls on a list and then adds them up to come up with its rankings.

With that in mind, it should be no surprise that Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters was No. 1, with 444 points; Phoebe Bridges was a distant No. 2 with 364 points; followed by Run the Jewels RTJ4 at No. 3 with 304 points; Taylor Swift at No. 4 with 246 points and Duo Lipa at No. 5 with 223 points (I don’t get Duo Lipa having watched her on SNL and discarding her as a Katy Perry wannabe).

Missing from all these lists is the new Bright Eyes album, Down in the Weeks Where the World Once Was. It certainly got a lot of attention when it came out, but not nearly the push that Phoebe Bridgers got for her release on the same label.

According to Album to the Year, BE’s album did have some year-end lists appearances: No. 5 on The Sunday Times list, No. 9 on NBHAP, No. 10 on DIY; No. 12 on The Forty-Five; No. 21 on Double J; No. 40 on Slant Magazine and No. 45 on Uncut. Its year-end Album of the Year aggregate ranking was No. 267. Well.

BTW, the Gordon album I’m listening to is the three-song live set recorded at O’Leaver’s way back in 2014. I don’t know whatever happened to Gordon, but I can give you this holiday tip if you’re looking for something to listen to while wrapping gifts: Check out Live at O’Leaver’s. Within a few minutes of perusing the site you’ll be falling down the rabbit hole back to a simpler time when we all listened to live music surrounded by convicted felons and other assorted drunken miscreants. I miss O’Leaver’s. I might have to swing by at lunchtime and get a cheeseburger…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Some bars and venues prepare to reopen (O’Leaver’s, The Waiting Room); it’s Bandcamp Day (again)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:26 pm June 5, 2020
O’Leaver’s is back open for business, but no shows yet…

Oh, what a week it’s been. And the last thing that’s probably been on your minds is music and the lack thereof. But here we are with the weekend upon us and still no live music in which to partake.

Though to be honest, even if shows were booked they’d likely be cancelled due to curfews tonight and tomorrow night that will see the city of Omaha close its doors at 10 p.m. I like to think they’re being done in support of Black Lives Matter events rather than out of fear of them.

That said, things are loosening up with regard to bars and venues reopening. Bars, as you know, got the go-ahead to reopen on Monday, June 1.

The first venue to reopen: Fabulous O’Leaver’s. I got word about the reopening Tuesday from Craig Dee, who said both O’Leaver’s and Winchester are now open. They’re obviously following Douglas County Health Department guidelines, which means they have tables set up six feet apart, four to a table. And yes, the outside patio is open.

O’Leaver’s is open today from 3:30 to 9 and tomorrow from 12 to 9. Expect an announcement very soon about the launch of their new grill.

While there’s no drink minimums or charges to enter O’Leaver’s, there’s also no live music. The first show listed on their schedule isn’t until July 18 (but that could always change).

On the other hand, The Waiting Room’s first show is slated for June 19 — Shoot to Thrill, an AC/DC tribute act. Tickets are $15, but you have to buy a minimum of four tickets — which will get you a table. If you want to go alone, you can, but you still have to buy a table. The reason being, regulations require people to be seated at tables, not standing around. Hey, you’ve got three friends to share the freight, right?

Marc Leibowitz, who owns/operates The Waiting Room with Jim Johnson, said if tickets are still available at the door the day of the show (meaning it’s not sold out in advance), then they’ll sell some singles/doubles if possible.

He said the new rules brings The Waiting Room’s capacity down to just 84 people — that’s 21 tables of four.

Reverb Lounge, btw, has no shows scheduled until August, and no plans to reopen this month.

As for The Slowdown, Jason Kulbel could only tell me that the venue will not be reopening this month. And still no word from The Brothers (it’s closed, too).

Today until midnight Bandcamp is once again waiving its share of sales to support artists impacted by COVID-19. Most labels (including Saddle Creek Records) also are sharing 100% of digital revenue with artists.

But artists also are donating to BLM causes.

— SAVAK (Mike Jaworski’s joint) is donating proceeds from sales of a new 7-inch to the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.

— Simon Joyner is splitting profits among four national and local organizations (including the Union for Contemporary Art and Culxr House).

See the full list here.

That’s all I got for now. Have a great weekend…

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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


O’Leaver’s launches beer garden series, buys Winchester Bar & Grill…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:48 pm May 16, 2018

The fabulous Winchester Bar & Grill is now owned by the same folks who own fabulous O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

There’s no better place to enjoy great weather than your own back yard… or a beer garden. The folks at fabulous O’Leaver’s know this, so a couple years ago they built a giant beer garden behind their building. This hidden Narnia is one of the Omaha music scene’s best kept secrets (that’s not really secret).

Anyway, O’Leaver’s just announced a new “Summer Happy Hour Live Music Series” that takes place out in the beer garden one Thursday per month. The schedule:

May 17 — Bazile Mills
June 21 — Clarence Tilton
July 19 — Electroliners
Aug. 16 — RAF
Sept. 20 — Clarence Tilton
Oct. 11 — Shithook

These 6 p.m. gigs are $5, and what’s interesting is they haven’t limited the bands to quiet acoustic combos. RAF is a violent, raucous punk band. What will the neighbors say? Well, it’s so early in the evening I can’t imagine they’ll say anything.

Noise issues are the only reason I can fathom why more Omaha beer gardens don’t host outdoor gigs. Benson’s 1912, for example, has a massive beer garden on its roof perfect for a weekly local gig. The just opened Bärchen, also in Benson, has a great beer garden behind its building.

Speaking of O’Leaver’s, the club’s ownership group has expanded its holdings with the purchase of Winchester Bar & Grill at 7002 Q St., right across the street from Fun Plex. In addition to their attempt at cornering the market on volleyball (Winchester has five nets), there’s also pool, darts and karaoke.

Winchester’s motto: “A Legend of Good Times and Food Since 1975,” which is probably the last time I was there. Actually, I remember Winchester’s as part of the ’80s club scene that stretched along 72nd street (Who remembers Jodhpurs, Brandywines, The Crazy Horse and The Ranch Bowl — meat market bars that featured cover bands? Toss Arthur’s in there for good measure since it was right up the street).

I’m told the new owners haven’t had a chance to make any changes but “anything is possible there” including live rock shows, maybe in line with what we’ve seen at O’Leaver’s. Maybe they’ll play off the name and focus on a C&W theme, or Americana? Time will tell. I intend to drop by this weekend before or after the races at Horseman’s Park.

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Monday’s item about Maha charging volunteers a $35 deposit caught the attention of the Maha folks.

They said the grizzled Maha veteran volunteer who complained to me literally didn’t get the memo, as veteran volunteers were offered an early-bird opportunity in April to volunteer and waive the $35 fee. Any other veteran volunteers who didn’t get the memo should get in touch with Maha at volunteer@mahamusicfestival.com.

Maha also reiterated that volunteers are what keep the festival a well-oiled machine, which is something anyone who’s gone to a Maha Festival already knows.

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Take Cover 5’s line-up has some interesting combinations (High Up takes on Digital Leather?)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:59 pm January 28, 2016

The 5th Annual Take Cover benefit for Hear Nebraska is Saturday at O'Leaver's.

The 5th Annual Take Cover benefit for Hear Nebraska is Saturday at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Gotta wonder how fabulous O’Leaver’s is going to handle the crowds Saturday night for Hear Nebraska’s Take Cover Pt. 5. I mean, if all the bands performing were to show up at once the club would be at capacity. Where are the fans gonna sit?

The premise every year for Take Cover is the same: A local band covers another local band and also plays a song of their own. This year’s line-up, which was announced Tuesday, has a number of interesting match-ups:

— High Up is covering Digital Leather’s “Studs in Love.” The song has been covered by others (most notably The Hussy on last year’s DL/Hussy split), but High Up will undoubtedly bring something unique to their rendition.

— CJ Mills is covering High Up’s “Two Weeks,” my personal favorite High Up song and one that will demand an insane level of energy for Mills to pull off.

— Well Aimed Arrows is covering Millions of Boys’ “Girl’s Name.” Like a sonic Reese’s peanut butter cup, two of my favorites together in one tasty treat. How will WAA strip this one down to its bare essentials?

— Mint Wad Willy is covering Digital Leather’s “Young Doctors in Love.” Can a band who has more in common with Wilco pull off this post-punk-style gem from a few years back? Digital Leather appears to be the favorite for covers this year, and deservedly so. It’s a shame they’re not covering someone themselves…

— Eric in Outerspace is covering Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship’s “Wrecking Ball Girl.” This one seems like an obvious combination stylistically, though EiO could make the tune sound even grittier.

There’s more, lot’s more. Check out the lineup at Hear Nebraska. Again, the show is Saturday night at O’Leaver’s. Admission is a $10 donation at the door. The fun starts at 9 p.m. See you there.

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.