Eric Bachmann (one ticket left), Flooding, Size Queen tonight… 

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 7:59 am May 27, 2024
Flooding plays tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Eric Bachmann is tonight at Ming Toy. I mention this because there’s one ticket left out of the 40 originally made available. I’d love to see this (possibly) inaugural show sell out.

You could be that lucky person who snags the final ticket. It’s $25 and available only from the Undertow website, right here, where all the information about the show is available. There are NO tickets available at the door. The location is Ming Toy Gallery, 6066 Maple Street, right next door to Legend Comics and Coffee in downtown Benson. Doors at 7, show at 8 with no opening acts. I’m excited and a little bit nervous, but isn’t that the recipe for every success? 

I’ll let you know how it went tomorrow. 

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Also tonight on this busy Memorial Day, Kansas City slowcore trio Flooding plays at Reverb Lounge. Fronted by guitarist/vocalist Rose Brown, the band’s music gives a nod to Bedhead’s somber guitar jangle before inevitably exploding into sound. Opening for Flooding are Omaha noise-punk bands Western Haikus and Size Queen. 8 p.m., $12. 

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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.

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Live Review: Color Green at Reverb; Size Queen at The Sydney…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 11:50 am March 19, 2024

Color Green at Reverb Lounge, March 18, 2024.

By Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Size Queen is a new LimOma band whose members include drummer Sam Crisler – one of the bookers of this year’s Lincoln Calling Festival. Last night I sat in The Sidney and watched Sam meticulously build his drum kit for a half-hour, wondering when the band would actually start playing. In the pre-Covid days, everyone knew an 8 p.m. start time meant a 9 p.m. start, but post-Covid most clubs have been insistent about start times, especially during weeknights. And yet, here we were at 8:30 as Crisler slowly placed one half of a high hat on the pull rod, then the next, then slowly tightened the clutch. I can’t say’s I blame them – the longer you wait, the bigger the crowd, right?

But the plan was to watch Size Queen play at The Sydney and then race across Benson and catch the show at Reverb, which was happening at the same time. Sure, I’d miss Heavy Clippings, but I just saw them last weekend at Goatfest but figured I could still catch The Dirts. Well, you know what they say about plans…

Size Queen at The Sydney, March 18, 2024.

Size Queen finally took the stage a little after 9 p.m. The only other person’s name I know in the band is guitarist Sam Lipsett, who also plays in Cat Piss. I’ve also met the bass player Jessy Hunt before, but knew nothing about the front person (who I’ve come to find out is Rosemary Ellis). 

The band’s sound was feral and combative, aggressive but controlled. I guess you’d call it post-punk, but much heavier and faster, bordering on hardcore, though Crisler’s drumming (thankfully) was more creative and interesting than the usual straight-four hardcore rhythms that seem only designed for moshing. Crisler’s drum work has a definite hard-rock persona that blended well with Lipsett’s feedback-driven, heavy-ass riffs and the solid bass lines. 

Above it all was the whirling-dervish front person who spewed undecipherable yell vocals, struggling to be heard above the rest of the noise. I’ve seen noise-rock bands who tried doing this style of music without a vocalist, and (for me) it rarely works. You’ve got to have someone out front screaming something, whether you know what they’re screaming or not — it adds a necessary counter to everything else going on. It’s risky, and Size Queen’s vocalist pulled it off. 

The band’s 15-minute set was a nod to ‘90s post-punk, more so, say, than grunge, though I was reminded of Skinyard, and the guy next to me (a legend in his own right) referenced Royal Trux. Plucinski’s Cat Piss has a similar but more focused bombast, and no doubt Size Queen will get there, too – remember, this was only their second show (and their first time in Omaha).

Heavy Clippings at Reverb Lounge, March 18, 2024.

By the time I got to Reverb, I’d already missed The Dirts, who played first (not how the bill was listed). On stage in front of a full room was Heavy Clippings sounding louder and more aggressive than at Goatfest/Scriptown last weekend. The band has a handful of singles available on Bandcamp that you can check out here. Those Bandcamp tracks sound more like demos, and one can only hope they’re leading up to a proper LP release in the near future. 

There is (and has been for years) an undercurrent of a “scene” going on in Omaha associated with the record stores The Antiquarium, Almost Music, and now Grapefruit Records. At the heart is Simon Joyner, who continues to produce amazing, vital records and seems to always be on the road touring. While Joyner is globally recognized by a niche audience, another Grapefruit Records regular, David Nance (and his current band, Mowed Sound), has probably garnered the largest fan base, thanks to a catalog of solid recordings, lots of touring, and a recent release on Jack White’s Third Man Records. Heavy Clippings also is part of this scene – a band fronted by Noah Sterba with Jeff Sedrel on bass — their sound fuses singer/songwriter Americana with a unique Midwestern flair.

Others that fall into this Omaha record store scene include Sean Pratt, Nathan Ma, Megan Siebe, Jim Schroeder, I’m sure many more. The group has been around for years – stretching back to the ‘90s – making their own DIY recordings and playing DIY shows. When anyone asks about an “Omaha Sound,” this is what comes to mind more than anything (including early Saddle Creek Records artists, who never had a central, common thread soundwise).

Though they’re from Los Angeles, Color Green has a connection to this scene via one of the band’s two core members – Noah Kohll — a former Omahan and fellow record store hanger-outer who likely has played alongside all these Antiquarium/Almost Music/Grapefruit folks at one time or another.  With fellow guitarist Corey Madden, Kohll has taken that Midwestern sound and fused it with something akin to Allman Bros./Derek and the Dominos-style blues rock to create something both new and familiar, and strikingly beautiful. 

At the heart of it is the gorgeous, intricate guitar play between Kohll and Madden that last night was spotlighted in intros that gracefully led into the songs, some sang by Kohll, others by Madden, harmonized sparingly by the band’s female drummer and bass player (whose names I don’t know but who were spectacular). 

Playing in the dark with only overhead stage lights, Color Green’s hour-long set consisted mostly of songs off their gorgeous 2022 self-titled album, released by ORG Music. And while that record is something you should seek out immediately, it doesn’t hold a candle to the band’s live performance, which took it all to the next level — the best guitar interplay I’ve heard in years (and that includes recent Nance/Schroeder slugfests). The band’s dynamics ranged from heavy riff-rock to bluesy mellow balladry that sounded like The Allman Bros. playing a cover of Led Zep’s “The Rain Song” – a comparison that I’m sure will make the Grapefruit Records folks cringe. 

Toward the end of the set, Kohll talked about his Omaha roots and even pointed out his parents in the crowd, saying the show was kind of a homecoming. That being the case, welcome home, Mr. Kohll. And please, don’t be a stranger.

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Tonight at The Waiting Room, Atlanta-based self-described emo/indie punk Michael Cera Palin headlines a four-band bill that includes locals Trees With Eyes, Valley Street and Dullparty. $15, 8 p.m.

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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.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Ojai, Ione at fabulous O’Leaver’s; Color Green, The Dirts, Chew, Size Queen tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 8:30 am March 18, 2024

Ojai at O’Leaver’s, March 16, 2024.

By Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Just getting to O’Leaver’s has become something of a nightmare with all the friggin’ road construction. Once through the maze of barricades along Leavenworth and Saddle Creek Saturday night, I found a parking lot chock full on both sides of the volleyball courts and almost expected to be turned back at the door. Inside, O’Leaver’s was comfortably filled but not cram packed (So where were all those people who own all those cars?). 

Ione at O’Leaver’s, March 16, 2024.

Ione was already halfway through her set playing in front of a woman-heavy crowd (a rarity for O’Leaver’s). Fronting a three-piece band, Ione stood alone with microphone in hand, a true pop crooner. There’s no denying she has a killer voice, polished and radio-friendly with all the familiar nuances heard on modern pop records, and I have no doubt if she keeps at it we’ll be seeing her on television one day singing a style of pop music that isn’t my cup of tea.

Interestingly, “Ione” has second persona — a side-act called Safe Space, which is a duo with her guitarist whose songs border on modern indie music a la Phoebe but not quite. She appears to be trying to cover all the bases with Safe Space, which is admirable and curious considering how much time she’s invested in her Ione brand. I was told months ago Ione was moving to Chicago. Better see her while you still can — her and he band are opening for Wyrmwood March 29 at Benson Theater. 

No doubt a large portion of the crowd Saturday was there for Ione as the place thinned out for Ojai. A trio fronted by guitarist / songwriter Michael Hulstein, their set was marred by an audio mix that put the bass way out front above all else. Bassist Micah Renner indeed has awesome bass-playing chops but I doubt even he would want his bass to be so prominent in the mix – it overpowered everything on stage. 

Meanwhile, Tanner Rogerson has one of the lightest touches of any drummer I’ve heard behind a kit. I kept checking to see if he was playing with brushes. Hulstein’s chiming, surf-style guitar parts were kind of great when you could hear them above the bass. His approachable vocal style is right on for songs I think I’m going to like when I hear them recorded and properly mixed. In fact, he said much of his set consisted of material from an upcoming EP. I was reminded me of Dave Doughman of Swearing at Motorists, a band I’m sure no one remembers or has even heard of, and a band that’s a lot weirder than Ojai. 

Long story short, I need to see Ojai again when they don’t sound like they’re playing in a bass competition. As for O’Leaver’s — it was hot, it was smelly, it was just as I remember it from the last time I was there. Here’s hoping it never changes. 

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A reminder about tonight’s shows, which I covered in detail last Friday

At Reverb Lounge tonight LA band Color Green (Noah Kohll and Co.) headlines with The Dirts and Heavy Clippings. $15, 8 p.m. 

Meanwhile, down the street at The Sydney, Atlanta psych/electronic band Chew headlines with the Omaha debut of LinOma band Size Queen. 8 p.m., $10.

I’ll see you tonight in Benson…

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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.

Lazy-i

Ojai, Ione Saturday; St. Patrick’s Sunday; Color Green, The Dirts, Heavy Clippings, Chew, Size Queen Monday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 8:41 am March 15, 2024

LA Band Color Green plays at Reverb Monday night.

By Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Get a load of this: The best shows of the weekend are actually next Monday night. 

Briefly, there are (again) no touring indie rock shows in Omaha this weekend. 

Only one show is worth your attention tonight and it’s in Lincoln: The Speed! Nebraska “Winternationals” showcase at The Zoo Bar, featuring Bad Bad Men, Wagon Blasters and Pagan Athletes. If you’re in the Capitol City, it’s definitely worth your time. $10, 9 p.m. 

Tomorrow night (Saturday), Omaha indie band Ojai headlines a free show at fabulous O’Leaver’s. I know very little about this act, other than they’ve been around for a long time. Maybe it’s time I catch their set? Joining them is singer/songwriter Ione (Who also performs around town as Safe Space — I’m not sure why she oscillates between the two names – maybe it has something to do with whomever is accompanying her?). Like I said, FREE, and starts at 9 p.m. 

Also Saturday night, local rock band Safari Room plays Reverb Lounge with Bad Self Portraits and Steady Wells. 8 p.m., $18. 

Sunday is, of course, St. Patrick’s Day, which just happens to be the lousiest day to have St. Patrick’s Day. i think we need to make a command decision and forever make St. Patrick’s Day the second Friday of March. My usual go-to on this national holiday (for us Irish folk, anyway) has always been The Dubliner, who this year features “three fantastic sets of live Irish music.” The main act on St. Patty’s Day always plays in the afternoon, and this year Lincoln act Out of the House gets that honor from 1 to 5 p.m. 

And that’s it for the weekend, so let’s talk about Monday. I generally wait until Monday to tell you about Monday, but considering the lousy weekend, here’s something to look forward to:

Top of the list Monday night is Los Angeles indie band Color Green at Reverb Lounge. The band features Noah Kohll, who has been involved in a number of local indie acts over the years, including Staffers and Nathan Ma. He’s been doing Color Green with Corey Madden for a few years. Their latest is a self-titled album released in 2022 by ORG Music and Aquarium Drunkard that sounds like a modern version of Allman Brothers crossed with The Byrds. Also on the bill are up-and-coming Omaha bands The Dirts and Heavy Clippings (who we saw last weekend at Goatfest). This one’s jam-packed and starts at 8 p.m. $15. 

Meanwhile, just down the street Monday night at The Sydney, Atlanta psych/electronic/noise act Chew headlines. Their latest is 2022’s Horses (Stolen Body Records). Opening for Chew is a new LinOma band Size Queen, whose members include Lincoln Calling booker Sam Crisler. I don’t think they’ve played in Omaha before, so consider this their Omaha debut. 8 p.m., $10. 

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 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.

Lazy-i