See Through Dresses, Scabby Ghouls, Thick Paint tonight; Las Cruxes Saturday; Simon Joyner and The Sirens Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 9:17 am October 27, 2023
Just to clarify, this is not my dog.

by Tim McMahan,

By default, it’s Halloween weekend, at least as far as bars are concerned. So brush off your Taylor Swift/Kelce costumes and have a good time. It’s also another no-touring-indie-bands weekend. See what’s on the event horizon through next spring as far as touring indie acts in yesterday’s blog post

There are a few local shows happening this weekend, not the least of which is the long-awaited return of See Through Dresses. The band is playing a reunion gig tonight at Benson Theatre as part of the 2023 annual fundraiser for Omaha Girls Rock. They’ll be joined by a handful of OGR bands. Tickets are $25 and available at Music starts at 7 p.m., and yes, costumes are encouraged.

No doubt costumes will also be all the rage tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s as the club hosts a free punk rock show with The Scabby Ghouls, The Shidiots, DSM-5 and Blowing Chunks. The spooky fun starts at 9 p.m. 

Meanwhile, over at The Sydney in Benson, Thick Paint opens for singer/songwriter Anna McClellan. $10, 9 p.m.

Three local shows tomorrow night (Saturday):

Local rockers Garst are headlining at Reverb Lounge with Bad Self Portraits and The Moose & The Public. $12, 8 p.m. 

Las Cruxes is headlining The Down Under Lounge’s 8th annual Halloween show Saturday night. Joining them are Jar, Glue, and Grief Police. $8, 9:30 p.m. Again, costumes.

And finally, Pet Bun and Sputnik Kputnik are playing at Pageturners Lounge Saturday night. No cover but a $10 donation is suggested. Music starts at 8 p.m. 

And then Sunday night Grapefruit Records in the Old Market is hosting a rare Omaha performance by Simon Joyner and the Sirens. It’s a tour kick-off show for the band as they’re headed back on the road. David Nance will be playing a set of brand new material in his opening solo set at 8 p.m. $10. No mention of costumes, but every day is Halloween in the Old Market, right?

That’s it. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a wild and crazy Halloween 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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Titus Andronicus, Country Westerns, Simon Joyner and the Echoes tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 6:31 am March 28, 2023
Titus Andronicus at SXSW 2009. The band plays at The Slowdown tonight.

by Tim McMahan,

The first time I saw Titus Andronicus live was at Habana Calle Annex 6 at the first South by Southwest Festival I ever attended way back in 2009. Of that performance, I said: “I liked their most recent album (The Airing of Grievances) enough to place it on my 2008 top-10 list — it’s rowdy and rough and young, with unbridled energy — and so was the band, bashing away on stage, the frontman sporting the new-hipster unibomber beardo look. It was loud, but forced — they never got into an angry groove or maybe it was just too early for that sort of thing.” It was a day show.

Fourteen years later, Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles still has that new-hipster unibomber beard look, but it ain’t so new anymore. I’ve seen Titus many times since that first gig, and have another chance tonight at The Slowdown. 

The band’s latest, The Will to Live, was release last year on Merge Records. It’s a departure from the Titus I remember all those years ago. On this new record, the band is “drawing on maximalist rock epics, from Who’s Next to Hysteria.” Big riffs and lots of guitar solos, it sounds like power pop from the Titan label, sort of. Actually, it reminds me of Butch Walker and The Let’s-Go-Out-Tonites, an album that came out two years before Titus Andronicus’ debut album.

At any rate, it’s change from massive, punk anthems like “Four Score and Seven” or “A More Perfect Union” from the band’s seminal 2010 album, The Monitor, which was remastered and rereleased in 2021. The band’s had a lot of personnel changes since 2008, but their latest line-up with Stickles, Liam Betson on guitar, R.J. Gordon on bass, and Chris Wilson on drums, has been the longest-running consistent lineup in their history. According to the one-sheet, The Will to Live was created in large part as an attempt to process the untimely 2021 death of Matt “Money” Miller, the band’s founding keyboardist and Stickles’ closest cousin. That’s a lot to process. Expect an epic performance because Stickles and Co. leave everything on stage every night. 

Opening band Country Westerns combines punk and classic rock and has the audacity to say their 2020 debut made Pitchfork’s list of the Top 35 rock albums of that year. But get this, the band includes Nashville underground legend Brian Kotzur. Prior to Country Westerns, Kotzur drummed for Silver Jews and Crooked Fingers and has played in bands with Duane Denison of The Jesus Lizard, and country legends Bobby Bare Jr. and Charlie Louvin. Soak it in.

You get both bands for a mere $20. Show starts at 8 p.m., in the front room. 

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Also tonight, it’s the tour kick-off for Simon Joyner and the Echoes at Grapefruit Records, 1125 Jackson St. The band released a new CD last month that features full-band reinterpretations of songs from across Simon’s catalog, including a cover of Loudon Wainwright III’s “Hospital Lady.” The Echoes are Mychal Marasco, drums; Sean Pratt on guitar, bass and keys; and Megan Siebe on strings, keys and vocals. Starts at 8 p.m., $10 suggested donation. Let’s send them off in style.

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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.


Simon Joyner ‘Made to Order’; Mudhoney, Violenteer, Beach Bunny tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:39 pm May 4, 2022
Violenteer at O’Leaver’s April 15. The band opens for Mudhoney tonight at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan,

Last week legendary Omaha singer/songwriter Joyner announced that in preparation for his upcoming East Coast tour in July, he’s offering a one-of-a-kind CD of home recordings of songs chosen by the purchaser. It’s like creating your personal Simon Joyner play list, then having Joyner perform and record new renditions of each song, at a starting price of $5 per song. The songs will be recorded next month and the CD will be shipped out before the July tour.

Says Joyner: “Each Made to Order CD will be packaged in a deluxe gatefold jacket, designed and screen printed by Sara Adkisson Joyner. I will inscribe, sign and hand-write your title selections. And each will of course be numbered 1/1 since they’ll all be unique. It promises to be a true labor of love but a sweet little suite of songs guaranteed to keep the customer satisfied and arriving in a sturdy, handsome package!

I can only guess how he’s going to pull this off, but figure a large percentage of buyers will choose the same songs — i.e., Simon’s greatest hits. The ones that come to mind: “Javelin,” “Joy Division,” “One for the Catholic Girls,” “The Only Living Boy in Omaha,” and of course, “Double Joe” from his Room Temperature album. But just as likely, folks will select one-off rarities like “Here Come the Balloons” from the 2003 limited edition 7-inch from Tongue Master Records.

Some very old songs may be difficult to remember but I will do my best to honor all requests!,” Joyner writes. “Here is your chance to hear a new recording of something I rarely play live, for instance, or something I wrote so long ago that I no longer remember the chords or words. I will have to go back and re-learn some, I’m sure.

Orders are being taken through the end of May. Check out his Bandcamp page for more info.

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It’s nice to see competing shows on a Wednesday night. It’s got to mean something about the return of normality, or maybe it doesn’t….

Tonight at The Slowdown, Seattle grunge-era punk legends Mudhoney headline. The band is said to have influenced such classic ‘90s acts as Nirvana and Alice in Chains, and is probably best known for their singles “Touch Me I’m Sick” and “Suck You Dry.” Their most recent release is 2019 self-release Pedazo De Pastel. Opening the show at 8 p.m. is our very own Violenteer, the double-bass-attack rock band fronted by Randy Cotton (Ravine, Ritual Device), reviewed here. Tickets are $25, and this is a No Vax No Entry show, so bring your evidence.

Also tonight, Chicago indie four-piece Beach Bunny headlines a sold-out show at The Waiting Room. The band has a new album slated for release in July on Mom+Pop Records, who also released their 2020 album Honeymoon. The bands Wednesday and Ky Voss open at 8 p.m. This also is a No Vax No Entry show.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: Simon Joyner at Grapefruit Records; Will Johnson house show Thursday…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 8:45 am April 26, 2022
Simon Joyner at Grapefruit Records, April 25, 2022.

by Tim McMahan,

I was reading the liner notes to Simon Joyner’s new yet-to-be-released album, Songs from a Stolen Guitar, and the writer, James Jackson Toth, said that Joyner recently turned 50, which was a head-spinner. I remember seeing a curly-haired Simon play at the Howard Street Tavern way back in the early ‘90s. It literally seems like yesterday. He was a young gunslinger back then with a rep for being a rising star of national proportions, at least amongst those of us who shopped at The Antiquarium.

There were two things that stood out on his first cassette, Umbilical Chords, which came out in ’92. First, he was one heck of a songwriter in the Bob Dylan vein, a real coffee-shop crooner who could bang out a song on an acoustic guitar with a punk-rock intensity. The second was that he could not give two shits if his voice was off pitch or out of tune, as long as he could convey whatever was on his mind. That Peter Brady-at-puberty singing style followed him through a lot of albums and a lot of live shows and I never knew if he was doing it on purpose or if that’s just the way he sang. And I still don’t know.

But what I do know is that seven years ago, around when he recorded Grass, Branch & Bone, his 13th studio album, that off-pitch warble faded away, and Simon began singing mostly on pitch, on key, rarely stepping in the vocal pot-holes I remembered from his early days. And maybe I’m just imagining things, but his songwriting structures became more concise. Songs that may have had five verses in the past now only had three, and were better for them (to me, anyway), almost as if he was writing pop songs instead of folk songs — tunes like “You Got Under My Skin” and “Yellow Jacket Blues” and the just-released “Tekamah” off the new album are short and sweet, with clever hooks.

And maybe I’m dreaming this, but Simon’s arrangements on his recordings also seemed more straightforward or certainly less complicated than the densely packed, layered sounds heard on 2006’s Skeleton Blues, for instance.

That’s a long-winded way of saying it’s been fun listening to Simon’s style evolve over the past 30 years. Through it all, the songwriting and the lyrics never lacked in depth, incisiveness, heart and soul. That was underscored Monday night at Grapefruit Records as Simon, accompanied only with his guitar, played a selection of songs that spanned from ’94 up to tunes from that new album.

Here’s the set list (that I was there for; I don’t know if he played an encore):

“Three Well-Amed Arrows” from Heaven’s Gate (1995)

“Carolyn’s Got a Secret” from Songs from a Stolen Guitar (2022)

“You Never Know” from Pocket Moon (2019)

“Nocturne” from Hotel Lives (2001)

“Old Days” from Grass, Branch & Bone (2015)

“Javelin” from The Cowardly Traveller Pays His Toll (1994)

“Don’t Tell Bobby I’m Through Singing These Blues” from Low Fidelities & Infidelities (2019), but also likely a new version that’ll be on the new album

“Evening Song to Sally” from Lost with the Lights On (2004)

“Parachute” from Songs for the New Year (1997)

“Yellow Jacket Blues” from Pocket Moon

“The Actor” from the new album

“My Life is Sweet” from Hotel Lives

The solo acoustic versions of these songs were so good I forgot what the recorded versions sounded like. Based on the audience reaction, a lot of folks in addition to me count “Javelin” as among their favorites. I was lucky to hear him sing it live. I think the last time I watched it performed was at the Cowardly Traveller album release show at Howard Street Tavern.

There were a lot of fellow Omaha musicians scattered among the 50 or so patrons who either sat in chairs or stood among the album racks. I said yesterday this was his first show in four years when in fact it was his first Omaha show in four years — a warm-up for a tour that begins in Europe next week. The new record comes out May 20. I’m hoping he’ll have a formal album release show at some point to give everyone there last night a chance to compare and contrast how those new songs sound played with a full band.

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Speaking of solo acoustic shows, Will Johnson of Centro-matic fame is playing a solo acoustic house show Thursday night in Omaha as part of an Undertow tour (Undertow is a website/company that helps artists book house show tours). Tim Kiefer is the host. For more information (including location) go here, where you can also purchase tickets.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


My RSD purchase; Simon Joyner, Lonnie Methe tonight at Grapefruit…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 9:45 am April 25, 2022
Simon Joyner at O’Leaver’s, July 1, 2016. Simon plays tonight at Grapefruit Records in the Old Market.

by Tim McMahan,

I made one Record Store Day stop at Homer’s Saturday afternoon after lunch. The crowds had subsided, but it was still plenty busy. Homer’s dude and Omaha man-of-action MarQ Manner said it was the most successful RSD he can remember, with a lot of stock having already been sold.

I flipped through the bins and had to decide between three albums – Joni Mitchell, Blue Highlights, Iggy Pop Live in Berlin, but ended up buying Lou Reed – I’m So Free: The 1971 RCA Demos. I only have one Lou Reed album (New York). I wanted something I could put on and just play in the background when I work, something I intend to play a lot.

I haven’t been inside Homer’s in at least a year and was surprised at how crammed it was with stuff. I remember the store being a lot more open, bright and orderly. These days every square inch is occupied with something, probably because they no longer have a warehouse (I can’t imagine having to do an inventory of all that stuff).

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Legendary Omaha singer/songwriter Simon Joyner performs for the first time in four years tonight at his record store, Grapefruit Records, 1125 Jackson Street in the Old Market. His latest single, “Tekamah,” is one of my recent favorites. He’s got a new album coming out May 20 called Songs from a Stolen Guitar (co-released by BB*Island and Homeless) and is headed to Europe next week on tour.

Joining Simon tonight is Lonnie Methe, who I haven’t seen perform since a gig he played at O’Leaver’s back in 2011 with David Kenneth Nance and Ember Schrag. I didn’t even know Lonnie still lived in Omaha until someone told me last week at O’Leaver’s that he’s actually lived here for years!

The show is $10 and starts at 7 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Bug Heaven tonight; Petfest line-up; Jim Schroeder, Megan Siebe, We Were Promised Jetpacks Saturday; Sasami Sunday; Bandcamp Friday, new Joyner, Gettman, Kasher…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 1:05 pm April 1, 2022
Sasami at Reverb Lounge, April 19, 2019. The band returns to Reverb Sunday night.

by Tim McMahan,

There’s a shit-ton to get to, so let’s get to it…

Tonight Bug Heaven headlines a Bug Symposium production at The Sydney in Benson, where it’s also Benson First Friday (that means art shows throughout our little city in the city). Crabrangucci also is on the bill. $10, 9 p.m.

Both acts are on the line-up for the 2022 Petfest, happening Aug. 13 behind Petshop Gallery in Benson. This year’s headliners are Chicago electronic/industrial duo HIDE (Dais Records) and Amulets. The full line-up:

Cat Piss
Universe Contest
Ghost Foot
Bug Heaven
Better Friends
Thirst Things First
Mike Schlesinger
Aly Peeler
No Thanks
Dave Nance Band
Ruby Block
Jenny Haniver
Marcey Yates

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: It’s the best local-band lineup of any Nebraska festival. Tickets are $30 advance/$35 DOS, and are available right now.

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Speaking of strong local line-ups, tomorrow night is one of the best: Jim Schroeder will celebrate the release of the vinyl version of his new album, Mesa Buoy, at a concert at Holy Family Community Center, 1714 Izard St. Joining him and his band are Megan Siebe, who’s also celebrating the release of her new album, and Dan McCarthy. It’s a free show and starts at 7 p.m.

Also Saturday night, We Were Promised Jetpacks returns to Omaha, this time to The Waiting Room, with Weakened Friends. 8 p.m., $16.

And then Sunday night is the big Sasami show at Reverb. This is a return engagement, as she kicked ass at Reverb back in April 2019. Since then, she’s really changed up her sound and style. Her new album, Squeeze (2022, Domino) goes from one extreme to another. Jigsaw Youth opens at 8 p.m. $15.

And lest we forget, it’s Bandcamp Friday, wherein the fine folks at Bandcamp waive their fees for all sales made through their website, and some record labels also are following suit. Bandcamp Fridays are becoming an important release date for indie bands, who use it to drop new singles or pre-sale album notices.

Among them are Simon Joyner, who this morning announced his new album, Songs from a Stolen Guitar, comes out May 20 on Grapefruit Records (a label he owns and operates). The all-star support includes Megan Siebe, viola, backing vocals; David Nance, lead guitars, backing vocals; Michael Krassner, guitar, piano; Max Knouse, guitar; Sunshine Joyner, guitar, vocal; Ryan Jewell, drums, percussion; Wil Hendricks, bass guitar, and Ben Brodin, Wurlitzer, B3, vibraphone. Check out a couple of the songs and preorder here.

Singer/songwriter/rocker Mitch Gettman’s new single, “Goldie” is over 11 minutes long and keeps you grooving the whole time. It’s the first track off a yet-to-be-announced new album and features Paul Jensen on bass, Nate Van Fleet on drums (he also co-engineered the track with Jeremy Gerrett, who mixed/mastered), and mind-blowing sax solo by Skye Junginger. Check it out below.

Little Brazil has released yet another new track off their forthcoming album, Just Leave, out June 3 but available for preorder from Max Trax Records website.

Tim Kasher dropped a new song (and video) fro his new album, Middling Age, which comes out April 15 on 15 Passenger (pre-order here). “Forever of the Living Dead” features Laura Jane Grace and Jeff Rosenstock. Check it.

And Dereck Higgins (of Digital Sex and Chemicals) has a new EP out today called Personal Power. Buy the download here, and check out a track below.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show (or your album release) 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


#BFF & #BSS this weekend (Brion Poloncic (ex-Cactus Nerve Thang)) at Little Gallery; Kasher launches Home Phone; Grapefruit Records opens; and it’s Bandcamp Friday…

Hey there, here’s that column I mentioned last week about not updating my blog in so long and how it will live forever (or at least until I don’t). It’s published in the May issue of The Reader, and online here. Go read it!

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Brion Poloncic’s Weird Therapy opens at The Little Gallery Saturday.

It’s an anomaly similar to the perfect aligning of stars in the sky — both Benson First Friday and Blackstone Second Saturday are this weekend.

BFF you know about. BSS is a new art effort in Blackstone where galleries host openings. To celebrate, The Little Gallery Blackstone (formerly in Benson) is hosting Weird Therapy – a collection of 130 small ink-on-paper works by Brion Poloncic.

Local punk rock fans with a sense of history will remember Poloncic from his work the bands Tomato a Day and seminal Grass Records act Cactus Nerve Thang. Poloncic’s art is as mind-blowing as his music.

The show runs from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday at The Little Gallery Blackstone, 144 So. 39th St. (inside The Mansion just north of Night Owl). The event is free, distance controlled, and wear a mask! Free beer! Come by and say hello.

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In music news, Tim Kasher of Cursive and The Good Life launched a new Patreon called Home Phone. The archive project is a mix of new songs under the Home Phone moniker: “Short, catchy, to-the-point jams – unreleased songs I’ve written for Cursive / The Good Life / solo material that never saw any light of any day,” Kasher said of the project.

The online subscription service costs $6 a month (or $5 a month with annual subscription). The Patreon site will also include live streams, and if this goes the way of other Patreons I’ve seen have, Kasher will be doing all kinds of outlandish things online in no time. Check it out at

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In other Kasher news, there’s a massively long video interview with Tim by Bringing It Backwards – the online interview show of American Songwriter magazine. The nearly hour-long interview delves deep into the history of Kasher’s music, Cursive, Saddle Creek Records and more. Check it below.

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Azure Ray has dropped yet another track from their forthcoming album, Remedy, out in June on Flower Moon Records. This one has a good beat, you can dance it, check it out.

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Grapefruit Records opens today in the Old Market.

Simon Joyner’s new record store in the Old Market, Grapefruit, is slated to open today at 11 a.m. The shop, located at 1125 Jackson St., Suite 5, will sell new and used records, and the space will also be the world headquarters of Joyner’s Grapefruit Records label.

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And lest I forget, it’s the first Friday of the month which means Bandcamp Friday – that day when Bandcamp waives fees on its download sales. Go to Bandcamp and buy some stuff!

That’s all I got. 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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Grapefruit Records to open in Old Market; Saddle Creek signs Indigo De Souza; new Cursive interview…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 3:20 pm April 23, 2021

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated the ol’ blog. In fact, I just wrote a column that’ll be published in the May issue of The Reader saying that it’s been a long time since I updated the ol’ blog, but that I haven’t given up — there just hasn’t been anything to write about music-wise (which is basically the lede to the column).

As I continue to point out, ain’t been a whole helluva lot of rock shows to write about, but there has been some news.

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I just discovered via his Instagram page that Omaha singer/songwriter Simon Joyner is about to open a new record store in the Old Market that will also act as the world headquarters of his Grapefruit Records label. The new shop is located at 1125 Jackson St., Suite 5, which appears to be the old Antiques Annex space on 12th street.

Joyner says the store will open either May 1 or May 7, depending on how preparations go, and will feature new and used records. The shop marks the 3rd record store in the Old Market, joining Homer’s and Vinyl Cup. Hey, just like ol’ times…

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The other hometown record label, Saddle Creek Records, has been on a roll lately.

Their most recent release from just-signed act Spirit of the Beehive, ENTERTAINMENT, DEATH, was bestowed with the “Best New Music” honor from Pitchfork, who gave the album a massive 8.3 rating. If you haven’t heard the album yet, grab some headphones and some LSD and enjoy. It’s a… challenging listen, but people love it.

On a more pop-flavored level, Saddle Creek this week announced that it signed Asheville, NC, singer/songwriter Indigo De Souza and is rereleasing her 2018 debut album, I Love My Mom, April 23. De Souza’s sound is more in line with the indie sound you’d hear on something like Sirius XMU — poppy, fun, accessible.

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A week or so ago out of the blue music blog Vinyl Writer Music posted an interview with Cursive’s Matt Maginn.

Matt covers the usual history/influences/Ugly Organ topics before he gets to what’s next for Cursive. He said he’s spent his off time repairing “a couple of bars/pubs in our beloved hometown….” and then goes on to say “Musically, it’s a bit more depressing. We have thrown around lots of long-distance ideas, but we have really not had the time to focus on them….

…I think we will start writing again as soon as it is safe and ideally get back on the road as soon as possible too. We are playing the Psycho Festival in Las Vegas, which we are really looking forward to at the moment. It will give us a chance to feel a little normal again and remember we are a band.

We had to cancel a lot of good shows when the pandemic struck, so we are itching to get out there and play. It sounds like a dream right now to actually return to a life that involves writing, rehearsing, and playing live. It’s funny how one year can really change how you feel about your existence and purpose in the world.

Read the entire interview here.

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That’s all for now. I’m hearing various and sundry things about upcoming music events. Things are happening. We’re almost there. Get vaccinated and we’ll get there sooner.

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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Soundtrack to a Pandemic (the top 40 Nebraska recordings 2020); Flight School, Lightning Stills, Simon Joyner new music…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 1:02 pm December 4, 2020
Some artwork for the top Nebraska releases in 2020.

So Bandcamp Friday (today) is the day in which you can purchase downloads via Bandcamp, and all the money goes to the artists because Bandcamp is waiving their cut. With that in mind, I pushed online my column in this month’s issue of The Reader. It’s a listing of 40 Nebraska recordings released during this, the Year of Our Covid 2020. Included in the story are links to all 40 recordings on Bandcamp, wherein you can buy, download and listen to the best our state has to offer.

You know, The Reader didn’t do a “music issue” this year, and as such, didn’t publish a Reader Top 20 (and the next whatever). This list of 40 releases is as good as it gets considering no one was out performing or touring this year. These artists threw their wares to the masses anyway, knowing that they wouldn’t be able to support their album releases with live shows.

With that in mind GO TO THE STORY NOW and check out the list, click through the links and download/buy some music and support local area artists while hearing some damn fine sounds. Another way to help the artists out is by sharing The Reader story on your social media channels so others can discover what we already know.

Couple more things…

Flight School is a musical project of studio engineer/musician/genius Ian Aeillo. Ian doesn’t like it when I call him a genius, he thinks I’m funnin’ him, no matter how many times I tell him I’m not. The guy just can’t take a compliment. Fact is, Ian was involved in a number of the 40 recordings I mentioned in my Reader column.

Anyway, this morning, Flight School dropped its latest digital full-length effort, This Will Get You There. It’s 21 songs Ian wrote for his favorite vocalists, none of which sing on any of the tracks, leaving you with just Ian’s fine instrumental music. I asked him to list the “favorite vocalists” on the Bandcamp page so we could try to guess who went with which song, but he wasn’t having it. Buy/download/listen here.

Also online today, Lightning Stills (a.k.a. Craig Fort and band) released his entire debut EP Sings His Songs, which wasn’t expected to drop for awhile, but this being Bandcamp Friday, he said ‘what the heck.’ Check out the recording here, buy and download!

And for one day only (today), Simon Joyner is making available for download at Bandcamp Ten Songs (Home Demos for 2021 Album). These are demos recorded on his phone over the past few months that he’ll use as reference while working on songs, but the sound quality is hella good (certainly better than those early Sing Eunichs! recordings!). Go, buy, download here.

That’s it. If you’re going out, wear a mask (as if I had to tell you that!). Have a great weekend!

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


Bandcamp waves fees again today; new music from Big Nope, Mike Schlesinger, Simon Joyner, Poster Children, The Golden Age…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:18 pm May 1, 2020

Bandcamp is waving its share of revenue on all purchases at the site today.

by Tim McMahan,

The last time Bandcamp waved its cut on all online shares for a day it resulted in $4.3 million in music and merch sales. It also resulted in some pretty sloooow Bandcamp server speeds.

Well, Bandcamp is doing it again today, waving its “revenue share” on all shares at its website today until midnight PDT. In addition, 150 artists and record labels are offering donations and special merchandise (check out the list). It’s kind of like Records Store Day but for online music sales. Among the labels taking part is Saddle Creek Records, which is giving 100 percent of revenue from generated sales to artists.

Actually, most of the good indie labels are participating this way, including Matador, Merge, Captured Tracks, Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and more.

With that in mind, here are a few recordings to check out (and buy!):

Big Nope, the new project from See Through Dresses’ drummer Nate Van Fleet, today released the 3-song Back to You EP. Recorded and mixed by Ben Brodin with contributions from Nick Costa and Charlie Finnigan, this is the best Big Nope release yet. Buy here.

Last month’s Live at The Sydney live stream will be remembered as one of the few bright spots from this COVID misery we’re currently suffering, and now you can relive it after the pandemic has subsided, thanks to today’s release of Mike Schlesinger – Live at The Sydney. The six-song EP is one of the best live sets I’ve heard in a long time. Buy here.

Speaking of live sets, Simon Joyner today released Simon Joyner & The Bingo Trappers Oct. 21st 2012, an 11-song LP that features Joyner favorites like “The Only Living Boy in Omaha,” “Three Well-Aimed Arrows” and “Christine,” along with a couple Bingo Trappers covers. Buy here. Also check out Joyner’s Bandcamp merch page that includes a new T-shirt designed by urban folkie Jeffrey Lewis, with all profits today going to Food Bank of the Heartland and MusiCares Foundation.

Seminal ‘90s punk band Poster Children today released a live recording from their 1992 Cabaret Metro show. It’s a scorcher. Buy here.

Finally, released today is a vintage track from Lincoln band The Golden Age, called “Home is a Hotel,” recorded in the first half of the 2000s. The band featured Rob Hawkins on guitar/vocals with Tim Jensen, Alisa Heinzman and Ian Aeillo. Ah, where are they now? Buy here.

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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.