Live Review: Criteria; Mere Shadows, Stigmata Martyr; the week ahead…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 2:29 pm November 29, 2021
Criteria at The Waiting Room, Nov. 27, 2021.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It was a comfortable crowd at Saturday night’s Criteria “holiday” show. I was expecting a sell out crush when I arrived at 10 right in time for their set, but was surprised at the draw, which was probably around 200, maybe half-full. 

On stage, the ageless Stephen Pedersen and his crew belted through the usual set of favorites from the band’s Saddle Creek years and beyond, with the same vigor as when I saw them two years ago at the same club — or for that matter, 10 years ago at that same club. Pedersen, a consummate showman, continues to hit those epic high notes, but will only find them harder to climb as time marches on, unless he’s afflicted with the same age-defying genetics as world’s sexiest man Paul Rudd… a possibility, though I’m no scientist. 

It is these show that keep our scene alive, like a continuous thread that runs through the years. For the most part, the faces in the crowd remain the same, though they’re a bit more haggard. A few new, younger ones were also mixed in, no doubt the progeny of those who came before. I almost missed this show myself, having received a Moderna booster earlier in the day and only just beginning to feel its effects that night. I’m happy I made it.

Mere Shadows at Reverb Lounge, Nov. 24, 2021.

It was a long holiday weekend that began with seeing Mere Shadows and Stigmata Martyr at Reverb Lounge Wednesday night. Mere Shadows provided surprisingly awesome grinding punk rock played with a speed and intensity perfect for breakneck, angry late-night driving on Dodge Street. Big quick riffs and tight rhythms were the fuel. My only critique involves the lack of variety — either change it up or keep the sets short.

Stigmata Martyr was a four-piece Bauhaus tribute band anchored by Randy Cotton and Mike Saklar, former members of ’90s legendary Omaha punk bands Ravine and Ritual Device, and always a pleasure to see and hear live. In the Peter Murphy role was Benn Sieff of Bennie and the Gents fame sounding spot on — you could do no better. But in truth I was there to see the Cotton/Saklar combo, as I’ve never been a big Bauhaus fan. I stuck around for the obvious climax, which was, of course, their rendition of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” Very nice.

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So, if you didn’t get out this weekend to see some live stuff, you may be out of luck. A quick glance at the 1% and Slowdown calendars shows the weeks ahead are rather lacking. In fact, I don’t see anything of interest indie-wise until See Through Dresses returns to Reverb Dec. 19.

Ah, but little bird tells me December could see the return of something we’ve all been waiting for. Stay tuned…

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The week ahead (Stigmata Martyr, Goldberg Wednesday); new Lightning Stills, Uh Oh, Desaparecidos…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:36 pm November 22, 2021

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Welp, we’re headed into Thanksgiving week.

Two shows of note:

Bauhaus tribute band Stigmata Martyr is playing at Reverb Lounge Wednesday night with Mere Shadows. This is a No Vax No Entry show, so bring your stuff. $10, 9 p.m.

Also Wednesday night Dave Goldberg a.k.a. Solid Goldberg, is spinning his personal vintage vinyl collect at Scriptown Brewing in the Blackstone District. Scriptown, for the first time, will be open until 1 a.m. Better be careful what you’re trying out here, Scriptown, it could become a regular thing…

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A few new surprise releases were announced last week.

Lightning Stills released a new single, “Pack of Johnnys.” It features Tom May on leads, and the rest of the boys are all there, Dan, Mike and Darren.

Uh Oh also released a new single last week, called “In a Crowded Room (in D).” This one isn’t in Bandcamp yet, so you’ll have to swing over to Spotify to check out out.

And that new live album from Desaparecidos that Denver Dalley mentioned this summer (here) finally has a release date. Live at Shea Stadium is due April 1 via Freeman Street and Shea Stadium Records. The album was recorded back in 2015 at Brooklyn DIY space Shea Stadium. Check out the first track below, “MariKKKopa” and order the vinyl here.

That’s it for now. Big show coming this weekend. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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