Live Review: Quilt; MiWi La Lupa, Bomb Shelter Radio tonight, Josh Hoyer Saturday; Yuck, Big Thief Sunday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:38 pm April 1, 2016
Quilt at Reverb Lounge, March 31, 2016.

Quilt at Reverb Lounge, March 31, 2016.

by Tim McMahan,

Last night’s Quilt performance at Reverb Lounge was a gorgeous step back into another time and place: San Francisco circa 1967, or at least what I think it must have been like back then, sans drugs and war and technology and free love.

Audibly the band captured that fractured, beautiful era with its own pastoral rock rife with Byrd-ian harmonies, Jeffersonian Airplane guitar and sun-streaked flowers-in-your-hair melodies amped up to modern times with flourishes of pace and rhythm likely absent from the Nixon era.

That’s a colorful and long-winded way of saying that Quilt’s performance dripped with even more nostalgia than what’s heard on their sublime new album, Plaza. That record is, without a doubt, destined to become a modern indie rock classic, dense with strings and flute and keyboards along with the band’s sterling performance. But Plaza is more upbeat, modern-sounding and “rocking”  than what we got last night, which for the most part, felt a tad subdued and painted in sepia tones.

The four-piece recently became a five-piece with the addition of a keyboard player, who gave dimension to the traditional rock arrangements. It’s harmonies that take the sound to the next level. While front-woman/guitarist Anna Rochinski and guitarist/vocalist Shane Butler provided the bulk of the lead vocals, drummer John Andrews’ tight harmonies on almost every song  provided glowing nuance. Bass player Keven Lareau also threw in some extra woo-hoo vocals. Andrews got to sing lead on one number, which he dedicated to local hero Simon Joyner.

While most of the songs were laid-back, the band got the crowd moving on the night’s closer, “Own Ways,” which also is the album closer on Plaza and my favorite song on the album. Imagine Feelies’ rhythms with spy guitar and CSN&Y harmonies — the perfect highway driving song.

Afterward, it was a feeding frenzy for merch back inside the bar (and I think I accidentally screwed the band out of $5 when I bought a vinyl copy of the new album and a T-shirt. I’ll pay you back next time, Team Quilt).

Halfloves at Reverb Lounge, March 31, 2016.

Halfloves at Reverb Lounge, March 31, 2016.

Opening band, Iowa City’s Halfloves, played standard indie fare that too often felt muted and  withdrawn for what they were trying to pull off. That said (and this is the strangest thing), the band had a way with how it ended songs. I started noticing this toward the end of their set. The third-to-last song (no idea what it was called) had an amazing instrumental outro that played off a shimmering keyboard line and could stand on its own as a musical piece (and that got the best crowd reaction of their set). Wonder if these guys ever considered doing instrumental-only compositions…

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What a week of shows. From an indie music standpoint, the weekend lets up on the gas pedal, at least until Sunday night.

Tonight’s big show takes place at fabulous O’Leaver’s, where native New Yorker now Omahan MiWi La Lupa celebrates the release of his new album on Team Love Records, Ended Up Making Love, produced by Mike Mogis and Conor Oberst. I would not be surprised if half of Bright Eyes doesn’t make a guest appearance during MiWi’s set. Opening is McCarthy Trenching and Mike Schlesinger. $8. Starts at 9:30. Expect a crowd.

Tonight also is the swan song for Bomb Shelter Radio at Milk Run. The art project / guerrilla radio station located in the art room next to Milk Run will be broadcasting tonight’s show live starting at 9 p.m. at 95.5 FM in downtown Omaha and online at

Bands will be playing in both the Milk Run and in the Bomb Shelter room. The lineup: No Thanks, Sam Martin, Conchance, Dominique Morgan, Silversphere, Was (members of Gordon, Universe Contest), Rogue Moon, Graham Ulicny, The Shrinks. The show starts at 9 sharp and is $10.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal celebrates the release of their new album, Running from Love, at The Slowdown (no doubt in the big room). Opening is Satchel Grande and Rothsteen. The 8 p.m. show is $8 Adv/$10 DOS.

Also Saturday night, O’Leaver’s has Anthems, Low Long Signal and Super Ghost. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Finally Sunday night, Lookout Lounge does it again. Indie band Yuck (MAME Records) headlines a show that also includes Saddle Creek Records’ latest signing, Big Thief, making their Omaha debut. Opening is Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship. I suspect this will be a rather massive show. Better get your tickets now. $12 Adv / $15 DOS. Show starts at 9 p.m.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, 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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Ten Questions with QUILT; Operators, Dereck Higgins tonight…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:33 pm March 30, 2016
Quilt plays Reverb Lounge Thursday March 31. Photo by Daniel Dorsa.

Quilt plays Reverb Lounge Thursday March 31. Photo by Daniel Dorsa.

by Tim McMahan,

Quilt’s latest album, Plaza (Mexican Summer, 2016) has the distinction of being my favorite record from Q1 2016, hands down.

The 10-song opus is a throwback to a time when records were complete collections of great songs instead of the usual tossed-together block of ethereal “vibe” noodling. The four-piece that hails from Boston has a modern take on psych rock that gives nods to ’60s-’70s acts like The Byrds and Fleetwood Mac. They sound as if Quasi had sex with The Shins and gave birth to a smarter, more fit, more tuneful version of Of Montreal.

The above description is selling the record short. I know, I’m gushing now. So what! How they’ll reproduce the dense, intricate arrangements (that includes a string quartet, harps and, yes, flutes) on stage at Reverb Lounge this Thursday, March 31, is a mystery. But I’m sure they’ll figure it out.

We asked Quilt to take our Ten Questions survey, based on the Pivot Questionnaire that caps off each episode of Inside the Actors Studio, but with a musical (instead of an acting) focus. Here’s what drummer John Andrews (also of the band Woods) had to say:

What is your favorite album?

Quilt: That’s a hard question to answer but I always just say The White Album by The Beatles. I’ve been listening to it since I was an actual baby and I’m somehow still not tired of it. It has a little bit of everything.

2. What is your least favorite song?

I used to work in a Salvation Army in Lancaster, PA, and they only played the contemporary country station. I don’t know any songs in particular, but that stuff is so bad. That’s not country music.

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

I love those late night drives on tour through the middle of nowhere when everyone else in the van is asleep and you’re truckin’ down the highway listening to good tunes. Right now we are driving through New Mexico. It’s a beautiful landscape. “Wasn’t Born To Follow” by The Byrds is my current favorite driving song. I always just wanna be in that scene in Easy Rider.

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

Smelling my bandmates fart in the van.

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

Black raspberry ice cream

6. What city or town do you love performing at?

I’ve been lucky enough to play with my other band Woods at Woodsist Festival for several years in Big Sur California. There’s nothing better than playing outdoors under the redwood trees.

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

We’ve played a lot of bad shows it’s hard to remember the worst. A story that comes to mind is from Denver, Colorado, when some lady was freakin’ out on drugs or something and was messing with our equipment on stage. She was grabbing the mics on our amps and kept messing with things on our merch table. The show wasn’t all that bad but it’s just a good example of the crazy people you meet traveling. We call them punishers.

8. How do you pay your bills?

With a check

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

Dream jobs are: park ranger, camera man for the NHL, mailman, animator for The Simpsons.

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

I heard Simon Joyner has an antique store?

Quilt plays Thursday, March 31, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Opening is Iowa City band Halfloves. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $10 ADV / $12 DOS. For more information, visit

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Two notable shows happening tonight.

First, there’s the Operators show at Reverb Lounge I told you about on Monday. Read the Ten Questions interview with Dan Boeckner if you haven’t already — it’s a hoot. Operators, btw, was the band that opened for Future Islands the last time they came through Omaha. Opening tonight’s show is Bogan Via. $12, 9 p.m. Two-band bills during the week are like gold to me.

Also tonight, there’s an early show at House of Loom featuring the legendary Dereck Higgins. It’s described as “a night with an in-depth and candid mix of talk & performances alongside some of Dereck’s favorite local talent.” The 7 p.m. program is free of charge.

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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 © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.