Live Review: Soccer Mommy, Pool Kids; Temple of Angels, Nathan Ma Band tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 6:53 am August 9, 2023

Soccer Mommy at The Waiting Room, Aug. 8, 2023.

by Tim McMahan,

If Phoebe Bridgers is truly the “saddest factory,” then Soccer Mommy is the queen of mid-tempo bummers. Playing to a crowded but far from sold out Waiting Room last night, Soccer Mommy a.k.a. singer/songwriter Sophie Allison and her band, pulled out one mid-tempo bummer after another, and it was sadly, sweetly satisfying. 

Allison’s band was first rate – two guitarists (one pulling double-duty on keyboards) and a killer rhythm section, they were at their best when everything shimmered in a shoe-gaze haze. At the center of it all was Allison’s sweet, clear, hang-dog vocals that made every song sound like the morning after. She even turned Sheryl Crow’s feel-good summer pop-song “Soak Up the Sun,” into her very own bummer anthem. 

The set list pulled heavily from her latest album, Sometimes, Forever, but included plenty from her catalog, from “Circle the Drain” to the stark “Darkness Forever,” where the band was given room to stretch out. Toward the back half of the set, Allison dispatched the band for a solo rendition of early chestnut, “Still Clean,” that placed a spotlight squarely on that sweet voice, that yes, was reminiscent of Sheryl Crow, though much more forlorn. 

The night’s best moments came during the two-song encore, where the band ripped into her biggest hit, “Your Dog,” that finally got the crowd moving. It was followed by rocker “Don’t Ask Me,” which cast shades of early Bettie Serveert — pure ‘90s indie rock.  Leaving the hits for the encore is probably the oldest trick in the rock ‘n’ roll handbook, but I couldn’t help but wonder how different the evening would have gone if they started their set with these two rippers.

Pool Kids at The Waiting Room, Aug. 8, 2023.

Opening band Pool Kids was the first female-fronted emo band I’ve seen in a long time (and by “emo,” I mean the more recent Fall Out Boy/Thursday/”emo night” version). Fronted by vocalist Christine Goodwyne, the band leaned more into alt-rock than indie, thanks to her high-flying rock delivery. Say what you will, but the crowd looked like they were having a lot more fun during Pool Kids’ set…

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Austin’s Temple of Angels just released their debut full-length, Endless Pursuit, last month on Run for Cover Records (Runnner, Young Guv). The record is a collection of chiming, dreamy rock songs that sound like a cross between The Church, trippy Cure and The Sundays, with a nod to The Chameleons, who they reference on their one-sheet. 

The band plays tonight at Reverb Lounge with one of my favorite locally connected acts, Nathan Ma Band. Unfortunately, there are two more bands on tonight’s bill — The Dirts and Western Haikus — which makes this a four-band bill on a school night – come on, guys. Starts at 8 p.m., $17. Worth it if you don’t have a job to go into the next morning.

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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.


Soccer Mommy returns to The Waiting Room tonight w/Pool Kids…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 6:57 am August 8, 2023
Soccer Mommy at The Waiting Room Nov. 7, 2021. The band returns tonight.

by Tim McMahan,

Well, look what we have here – a touring indie show tonight at The Waiting Room! 

It’s the return of Nashville’s Soccer Mommy a.k.a. Sophia Regina Allison and her band. She’s part of indie’s latest wave that just happens to be dominated by women singer/songwriters, such as Snail Mail, Japanese Breakfast, Mitski, boygenius artists (Phoebe, Julian Baker, Lucy Dacus), Tomberlin, Big Thief, Indigo De Souza, Blondshell, the list is endless. 

Her latest LP is 2022’s Sometimes, Forever (Loma Vista Records); her breakthrough was 2020’s Color Theory, released just before the country was enveloped by Covid-19, and for many it ended up being their “Covid album” thanks to singles like “Circle the Drain” and “Yellow is the Color of Her Eyes.” They just recorded a cover of Sheryl Crow’s “Soak up the Sun,” which you’ll likely hear tonight toward the end of her set.

Ironically, Soccer Mommy’s Nov. 7, 2021 show was my first show back to The Waiting Room after the pandemic. The band has made Omaha a regular tour stop, playing at Reverb back in September 2017 and October 2018 (when Sophia succumbed to Lazy-i’s Ten Questions treatment (which, btw, is coming back soon)). 

Opening act, Tallahassee’s Pool Kids, are a natural compliment to Soccer Mommy based on their 2022 self-titled debut on Skeletal Lightning. They have a new EP, POOL, released at the end of June. 8 p.m., $40.

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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.


Live Review: Soccer Mommy, Alexalone; Post Animal tonight; the week ahead…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:54 pm November 8, 2021
Soccer Mommy at The Waiting Room, Nov. 6, 2021.

by Tim McMahan,

First time back to The Waiting Room since the Before Times and not much has changed. I had no idea Soccer Mommy was as popular as she apparently is, based on the size of the crowd Saturday night, which looked like a sell-out. TWR doesn’t appear to be metering crowd size due to COVID-19, and they’re not obligated to.

And while we were all warned they would be checking COVID-19 vax status, no one checked mine on the way in. That said, everyone in the crowd was wearing a mask except when they were drinking, at the request of the artist. It seemed oddly comforting to be masked in the middle of the crush-sized crowd.

Alexalone at The Waiting Room, Nov. 6, 2021.

We dropped in while Alexalone was in the middle of his set. He — Alex Peterson — was anything but alone surrounded by a sizable band who navigated through his murky, plodding shoegaze rock that at times sort of reminded me of Bedhead, especially in his dry vocals. The contrast between the quiet numbers and when he punched it up with his band was severe in a good way. An interesting choice for an opener.

Soccer Mommy falls into the club of women singer/songwriters who are tearing up indie these days, falling nicely somewhere between Phoebe Bridgers and Snail Mail, though front woman Sophie Allison has more in common with Liz Phair than either of those two, balancing a sound that hints at Phair’s early sonic choices. Songs like “Royal Screw Up,” and “Circle the Drain” from her latest album recall Exile in all their alienated glory.

The band sounded great; almost too much so as Allison was consistently buried in the mix, but maybe that was the plan or maybe I just lost track as the band played one mid-temp song after another after another…

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On Mondays I’m going to try to take a look at what’s coming up the rest of the week, just to set a course, so to speak. We’re finally getting to a point post-COVID where shows are again being booked during the week, at least at the 1% and Slowdown venues.

For example, that rescheduled Post Animal show is tonight at Slowdown Jr. This is the band with the Stranger Things connection I wrote about here. Garst opens. $20, 8 p.m.

This Thursday Big Thief member Buck Meek headlines at The Waiting Room with Kidi Band. $12, 8 p.m. Surprised to see this booked at TWR, but they’ve already got Dustin Bushon a.k.a. FXTHR booked at Reverb on Thursday night, preforming as Historical Romance. That one’s $10, 8 p.m.

And then it’s the weekend, but I’ll get to that later…

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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.


Lincoln Calling starts tonight (Soccer Mommy, Samia, Fanclub); another new Cursive single…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:39 pm September 19, 2019

Lincoln Calling starts tonight…

by Tim McMahan,

It’s frickin’ year 16 for Lincoln Calling, can you believe it?

The annual festival officially kicked off yesterday, but the main spate of shows begins tonight. The festival boasts 80+ bands in eight venues over four days. You can see the entire schedule at This year’s line-up is heavy on the hip-hop/pop/DJ culture, with only a smattering of indie rock compared to last year’s stellar line-up.

From an indie perspective, all the fun tonight is at The Bourbon Theater, where headliner Soccer Mommy plays at 11:30. Fronted by Nashville native Sophie Allison, the crew released its debut, Clean, last year, which placed it front and center among a cloud of indie singer-songwriters like Saddle Creek’s Hop Along, Stef Chura, Big Thief, etc.

Interestingly, today Allison released a new song and 7-inch single, “Lucy,” via Loma Vista Recordings. Check it below, and expect to hear it tonight at the Bourbon. After this gig, she’ll be out on tour opening dates for Vampire Weekend and Wilco. Not bad.

The Bourbon gig kicks off at 7 p.m. with Fanclub, a kickly little indie-pop trio from Austin. They’re followed by Boston singer/songwriter Squirrel Flower, who sounds like the second coming of Mitski on her 2018 album Contact Sports (2000 Pigs Records). That’s followed by Samia, a New York singer/songwriter who’s been compared to Phoebe Bridgers (though she sounds more upbeat, imho). Samia is signed to Grand Jury Music. It all leads up to Soccer Mommy at 11:30.

Of course there also are bands at Duffy’s, Zoo Bar, Bodega’s and 1867 Bar, but I’d be hanging at the Bourbon if I was headed to Lincoln tonight.

So how much does it cost? Single day passes are $25. Three-day all-access passes are $50. VIP packages are $125. Full info at

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Today Cursive dropped yet another new single in YouTube, “Black Hole Town.” According to the page, the song will be released tomorrow on 15 Passenger Records. One assumes, digitally. This comes on the heels of the single “Barricades,” which was released Sept. 13. I’m not sure if these songs are part of a 7-inch release, maybe an EP or other upcoming record? Time will tell. Or I guess I can just ask them when they play O’Leaversfest Saturday night.

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


AJJ (Andrew Jackson Jihad), Kimya Dawson, Wrong Pets, BFF tonight; Big Al, No Means No fests, Natural States Saturday; Soccer Mommy Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:41 pm October 5, 2018

Andrew Jackson Jihad at The Waiting Room, July 15, 2014. They return as AJJ tonight at TWR.

by Tim McMahan,

Let’s start with the “antifolk” show at The Waiting Room tonight.What is antifolk? Well, according to it’s “a musical genre that promotes song-writing over technique and personality over polish. Some see it as the evolution of folk, others as a combination on punk and folk.” Couldn’t have said it better if I tried.

AJJ sort of falls under this definition. Once known as Andrew Jackson Jihad, AJJ is headlining this show tonight at TWR. Their name sounds punk-y but they’ve never sounded punky to me,  more like early Mountain Goats — clever lyrics, wonky vocals. Political? You bet (Check out the timely “Night of the Long Knives,” below).  They’re out supporting their latest, Ugly Spiral: Lost Works 2012-2016 (2018, SideOneDummy). Also on the bill: Kimya Dawson is better known for her work with Moldy Peaches, an antifolk style she’s continued as a solo performer. Laura Stevenson (Don Giovanni Records) and Shellshag (Don Giovanni) round it out. That’s a lot o’ entertaining for $18. Starts early — 7 p.m.

By the way, it’s Benson First Friday. The Sydney is celebrating with a four-band bill that includes Wrong Pets, Montee Men, Living Conditions and Tyrone Storm. $5, 10 p.m.

And if you’re in the Benson neighborhood, don’t forget to stop by The Little Gallery, located in the east bay of the Masonic Lodge Building (just across the street and a block east of The Sydney in East Benson). Tonight’s gala opening featured artist is Megan Thomas. Booze and treats provided, 6 to 9 p.m. Stop in and say howdy.

Two “festivals” are happening tomorrow night (Saturday). The No Means No Festival is going on at Petshop Gallery. Thirteen bands including No Thanks, Jocko and Bedrest start performing at 7 p.m. $7. More info here.

Also tomorrow night is the Big Al Free Music Festival at fabulous O’Leaver’s. It’s an all-solo affair that includes performances by Dereck Higgins, Sam Martin and Darren Keen (as well as Big Al himself). Comedians will perform between sets. It’s free but you have to bring food (cuz it’s a food drive, duh). Starts at 8 p.m. More info here.

Also Saturday night, The Brothers Lounge is hosting a rock show headlined by The Natural States (it’s their EP release show), with Houma and Silversphere (ex-Lepers). $5, 9 p.m.

Finally on Sunday Soccer Mommy headlines at Reverb Lounge. You read her Ten Questions survey here a couple days ago. Sasami a.k.a. Sasami Ashworth, formerly the keyboardist for the L.A. indie rockers Cherry Glazerr, opens. $12, 8 p.m.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend. Stay dry.

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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 Soccer Mommy (at Reverb Sunday); Lord Huron, Cut Worms tonight (SOLD OUT)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:00 pm October 3, 2018

Soccer Mommy plays at Reverb Sunday, Oct. 7.

by Tim McMahan,

Soccer Mommy is Sophie Allison, a Nashville singer/songwriter influenced by the likes of pop stars Avril Lavigne and Taylor Swift, though her music is more easily filed alongside fellow indie singer/songwriter projects Mitski, Waxahatchee and Big Thief.

In fact, on her 2018 Fat Possum release, Clean, Allison’s style and voice are reminiscent of ’80s folkie Edie Brickell, and I’d throw early Liz Phair in there as well (someone Allison has opened for recently) except lyrically Allison’s songs are more longing and withdrawn than Phair’s Exile-era, jaded, take-it-or-leave-it love rants.

Instead, Allison often comes off lost or left-behind, as if watching as her lover hits on someone else at a party she wasn’t invited to in the first place. Even on indie radio hit “Your Dog,” the modern anti-thesis of the Stooges’ tune, Allison sounds worn out rather than angry. Clean is, indeed, a beauty of a record, but I’m waiting for when Allison’s had enough and returns as a mad-as-hell reincarnation of early PJ Harvey.

We caught up with Allison and asked her to take our Ten Questions survey:

1. What is your favorite album?

Sophie Allison: It’s hard to pick just one! One of my favorites that I’ve returned to this week is Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco. It’s a popular choice for a reason!

2. What is your least favorite song?

I really don’t like that F-R-I-E-N-D-S song that is on the radio right now. I don’t know who it’s by, but I hear it all the time. (“FRIENDS” by Marshmello & Anne-Marie — Tim).

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

I like getting to share experiences of traveling and playing music with other people, especially since I really like the guys I tour with.

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

Sharing the bathroom in a hotel is pretty much the worst part. It can be a battle in the mornings!

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

Right now I’m going to just say Malibu so we can keep it user friendly.

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

I always love playing in New York and Boston. I feel comfortable with both of those cities since I lived in NY and my sister lived in Boston and it’s always just a fun time.

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

Probably Liverpool. We showed up right before the set because we missed the ferry and it was just an odd vibe after that.

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?

I can at least sort of support myself at this point. I don’t really have another choice since I’m always on the road. It took at least half a year to be able to not be struggling to make it through tours, but sometimes we still struggle through it a bit.

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

I don’t really think I’d like to do anything else. I guess maybe I’d be a poet, but that’s basically what I do now. I’d hate to be an accountant or something like that.

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

I haven’t really heard any to be honest! We played there once (with Jay Som and Stef Chura Sept. 12, 2017, at Reverb — Tim) and it seemed like a nice town, the show was pretty small though and not a ton of people came.

Soccer Mommy plays with Sasami Sunday, Oct. 7, at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Tickets are $12, showtime is 8 p.m. For more information, go to

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Tonight Lord Huron headlines a sold out show at Sokol Auditorium. Opening is Brooklyn’s Cut Worms headed by Max Clarke, whose Jagjuwar release Hollow Ground earned a 7.2 rating from Pitchfork. 8 p.m. start time.

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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.