Lazy-i Interview: Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis (at Slowdown this Friday)…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , — @ 8:48 am November 15, 2023
Speedy Ortiz at O’Leaver’s, Aug. 15, 2015, after playing that day at the Maha Music Festival. The band plays Friday night at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan,

Speedy Ortiz music is a rough-and-tumble ride through indie and punk landscapes, contextualized by strange, unpredictable guitar parts, familiar rhythms and front woman Sadie Dupuis’ intricate, confounded and always clever lyrics about, well, living.

Take perhaps Speedy Ortiz’s most popular song, the waltzing anthem “No Below” from the recently reissued 2013 breakthrough album Major Arcana, where Dupuis sings of youth and isolation and having one friend who, in the lowest times, is looking out for you. Or at least that’s how I interpreted the song over the years (and let’s face it, I’ve never been very good at interpretation):

A decade later and a new album — Rabbit Rabbit — and things have only gotten more complicated. Her friendships seem to have evolved on the waltzing anthem “Plus One,” where Dupuis sings: 

Songs are for telling and records for show
Stole my split necklace half to see where I’d help you go
The other piece, it doesn’t fit where I hoped

Intricate, confounded and always clever, that’s Speedy Ortiz, who is playing Friday night at The Slowdown. It’s also Dupuis, who’s crafted a successful career both with this band and as Sad 13, her solo project. She’s come through Omaha in one form or another throughout her career, playing house shows (at the world famous West Wing) as well as DIY venues (Milk Run in 2016 with — get this — Mannequin Pussy and Vegabon) and regular venues, too. 

I caught up with Dupuis recently for a brief interview in support of this Slowdown show and told her she once made fun of me online when I said I was afraid to go to a house show at my age — places where i’m often mistaken for a cop or an angry father.

“I do feel like house shows should be for everyone,” she said. “I’m getting close to 40, I’m not a teenager anymore. DIY shows, especially as the infrastructure for indie venues has shrunk, have become more important. We had a couple shows on this tour that were more in the DIY realm — like art spaces — and really appreciated it.

“We played The Church, which is a basement of a Presbyterian church, and (the venue) gets the kids and people in their 70s to come to all their shows, and that’s important — to foster that generational connection. We’re all music fans coming from different parts of our lives, but coming to the same place.”

Fine Sadie, I’ll no longer turn my back on house shows. (If you see someone who looks like a cop, come say hello.)

Spanning generations was one theme to our brief discussion. i mentioned that the band UN-T.I.L. will be opening for her Friday night, an all-woman, punk power trio that’s the product of Omaha Girls Rock!. Dupuis was thrilled. Over the years, she and her band have been strong supporters of girl rock camps, even donating tour proceeds in the past to Girls Rock programs. 

“I went to a gender-inclusive summer camp, and I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing had I not gone to that camp,” Dupuis said. “I went back as an instructor. We meet girl bands that come out of those programs, and it’s always really cool . We’ve played with ex camper bands, and it’s such a positive ethos that comes out of those camps that injects needed love and support into the indie, punk and hardcore scenes.”

No doubt. BTW, if you haven’t seen UN-T.I.L., get to the show on time Friday night — you’re in for a treat.

Final question: Sadie underwent the dreaded 10 Questions treatment back in 2016 in support of that Milk Run show and was asked (as in all 10Q interviews) if she could earn a living with her music. She said she could but, “I’m not really raking it in.” 

Seven years later, things sound like they haven’t changed much. 

“We took many years off the touring, and I did a lot of random gigs,” she said. “We’ve been touring for a few months. But when (the tour ends) I’ll be back to different freelance projects – writing, production gigs. 

“This is part of why DIY and art spaces are more crucial than ever. It’s been hard for independent venues. For the style of music we play, we’ve been warned that rooms are not the same. I came with expectations that live music changed somewhat in the post pandemic and ongoing pandemic world. It doesn’t change our joy to play to people who do come out and meet us. it’s a different feeling and that’s fine for me personally. Some of my favorite shows were played in front of 10 people.”

Make sure Sadie and her band aren’t playing in front of just 10 people by coming out to The Slowdown Friday night. Joining them are tourmates Space Moth and the aforementioned UN-T.I.L. This front room show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20. See you there…

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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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Mailbag: Speedy loves Mogis; new Nik Freitas; new SAVAK video; Brad Hoshaw, Charlie Parr tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:38 pm May 8, 2018

Brad Hoshaw at The Shark Club, March 19, 2016. Hoshaw plays tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan,

Tuesday is becoming mail-bag catch-up day…

Speedy Ortiz’s third album, Twerp Verse, came out last week on Carpark Records. As part of the media blitz, Speedy’s Sadie Dupuis did an interview with The 405 where she declares her undying love for ARC’s Mike Mogis, who mixed the new album.

From the interview:

You worked with Mike Mogis on this album, how did he come into it?

Dupuis: Yes! We’ve been in touch with Mogis for years about doing a record. We became friends, probably three years ago, and I obviously am such a big fan of his. Maybe that’s not an obvious thing, but my holy trinity when I was in 9th and 10th grade were Bright Eyes, Cursive and Rilo Kiley, and I would order by mail Saddle Creek records. He was the first producer that I remember knowing the name of, so it was really very cool that we found out he was a fan of Speedy, and had invited us to come see his studio, and now every time we go through Omaha we stay with him.

So we’d been wanting to do this record for a few years and the timing didn’t really work out for him to record it, but we were able to carve out some time for him to mix it. It’s the longest time I’ve ever spent in Omaha, normally I’m there for one or two nights, and we were there for close to three weeks. He’s obviously a thorough producer, but working with him as a mix engineer was so much more involved than any mixing process we’ve gone through; he really pays attention to the tiniest thing. For me, someone who’s an aspiring producer, it was really educational to see what kind of things he picks up on. Lyrics really matter to him in a way that I don’t think they always do to producers, especially when they’re strictly focused on the mixing. He’s automating every word so that everything’s audible, and just thinking very hard about the tone choices we made and how he can improve upon them. He has such an amazing assortment of gear that he’s collected over his however-many years of producing stuff, so that was really fun, to see what cool toys he’d be putting my guitars through on this particular track or day. So, yeah, only amazing things to say about Mogis, I really hope that we get to do a record from start to finish with him, maybe next time around. And what a childhood dream accomplished it was to do anything with him.

There’s more at The 405.

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Mystic Valley Band member Nik Freitas dropped his first single, “What A Mess,” from his upcoming solo album Dark & Day out June 29. Among the guests on the record is Azure Ray’s Maria Taylor.

Freitas is also slated to play at fabulous O’Leaver’s June 8 with Miwi Laupa.

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Former Omahan Mike Jaworski’s latest project SAVAK dropped a new video from their sophomore album Cut-Ups (out now on Ernest Jenning Record Co.) called “Christo’s Peers (Soon We’ll Be Floating).” The band is headed to Europe next week for a handful of dates.


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As you may or may not know, Brad Hoshaw is moving away to the West Coast. I’m not sure of the dates or reasons, just that he’s leaving. Which makes tonight’s opening gig at Reverb Lounge for Charlie Parr all that more important. Get yourself some Hoshaw while you can. $10, 8 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.



Ten Questions with Sad13 (Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz), at Milk Run Nov. 25…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:39 pm November 22, 2016

Sad13 a.k.a. Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz plays Milk Run Friday night, Nov. 25.

Sad13 a.k.a. Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz plays Milk Run Friday night, Nov. 25.

by Tim McMahan,

Sad13 is Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz out on her own doing the solo thing; and when I say “solo” I’m talking solo-solo: Dupuis wrote, sang, played guitar, recorded and produced her recently released solo debut, Slugger (2016, Carpark), all by her lonesome.

I don’t know who Lindy West is other than being a good writer. She had this to say about Dupuis’ new record:

It’s very strange (“Or not strange at all! Hi!” says feminism) that most of the music we funnel into little girls’ ears — even music written by former little girls — is about how women are petty, pretty garbage whose only valuable function is to hold perfectly still in men’s boudoirs and wait for intercourse. “I wanted to make songs that were the opposite of ‘Genie in A Bottle’ or ‘The Boy Is Mine,’” Sadie Dupuis says of Slugger, her new solo album under the name Sad13. “Songs that put affirmative consent at the heart of the subject matter and emphasize friendship among women and try to deescalate the toxic jealousy and ownership that are often centered in romantic pop songs.” What!? Songs for women that actually champion women’s autonomy, reflect women’s desires, listen to women when they talk, and let women be funny and normal and cool, like women actually are?

Indeed. Lindy references Tacocat, Waxahatchee, Mitski and Bully in the comparisons. I’ll add early Liz Phair and Eleanor Friedberger to the list. And, of course, Speedy Ortiz, who Dupuis doesn’t stray too far from musically.

I asked Dupuis to take my 10 Questions Survey. Here’s what she had to say:

1. What is your favorite album?

Sadie Dupuis: I am very skeptical of musicians who can definitively name *one favorite album* but Helado Negro’s Private Energy and Solange’s A Seat At the Table are probably my favorite albums released this season.

2. What is your least favorite song? 

R. Kelly “Ignition (Remix)” because I fucking despise R. Kelly but the beat is good and I always accidentally wind up dancing to that before I realize what it is.

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

All the free water bottles and hummus backstage.

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

How it’s changed my perceptions on hummus.

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

Yerba mate!

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

Omaha! And Mexico City.

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

On our first tour Speedy Ortiz played in Missoula and 0 people showed up aside from the promoter. So we just had a noise jam by ourselves in a VFW.

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? 

Music’s the day job and covers my basic living expenses but I’m not really raking it in and have to spend almost all of the year on tour or recording music in order to make it at that level. And I definitely take on lots of odd gigs here and there. I quit my day job in 2013; I was 25 years old. And I’ve been playing in bands since I was 13 or 14, which is around the same time I got my first job.

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

I taught at UMass Amherst prior to touring full time. Would do it again! Worst job for me would be anything that supported the prison industrial complex.

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

I’ve been quite a few times. Y’all have some really great bloody marys.

Sad13 plays with Vagabon and Mannequin Pussy Friday, Nov. 25, at Milk Run, 1907 Leavenworth St. Tickets are $10. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to