Another Take Cover weekend; David Nance, Cult Play tonight; Sun-Less Trio, Lodgings, Lupines Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:37 pm January 27, 2017

The Sun-Less Trio at The Waiting Room, Oct. 7, 2015. The band plays Saturday at The Brothers Lounge.

by Tim McMahan,

It’s another Take Cover weekend in Omaha and Lincoln. The annual event, a fund-raiser for everyone’s favorite music non-profit, Hear Nebraska, features local bands covering other local bands’ songs plus performing one or two of their own.

The Lincoln version is tonight at The Bourbon, while Omaha’s edition is tomorrow night at The Waiting Room. Among the 12 performers in Omaha are See Through Dresses, David Nance, Mint Wad Willy and Thick Paint. Covers will include songs by The Good Life, Neva Dinova, Elliot Smith and Bright Eyes.

The 8 p.m. show is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. This is the sixth year for Take Cover and each year it gets bigger and better. Do it.

What else this weekend?

David Nance kicks off a big weekend at The Brothers tonight. He’ll be headlining with Satanic Abortion and Suzie Q. $5, 9 p.m. (though Brothers shows are notoriously for starting late).

Also tonight self-proclaimed dark-techno band Cult Play headlines at fabulous O’Leaver’s with Little Ripple and Big Slur (Dan Scheuerman of Deleted Scenes). $5, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday night…

The Sun-Less Trio have a new CD they’ll be selling at The Brothers Lounge before and after their performance. The disc’s packaging contains a highly detailed explanation of how frontman/engineer/producer Mike Saklar recorded the album — very technical stuff involving analog equipment and other doo-dads. Tape-Op would be proud.

Performed by Saklar on guitar/vocals/keys, Cricket Kirk on bass and Marc Phillips on drums, the 8-song collection has been in the works for a number of years, and now is available for your listening pleasure.

Sun-Less Trio actually opens the Brothers show. Also on the bill are Relax, It’s Science and headliner Lodgings. And the fine folks from B&G Tasty Foods will be on hand slinging their famous loose-meat sandwiches. $5, 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, the mighty Lupines headlines at The Sydney in Benson. Sean Pratt and the Sweats and The Morbs open. $5, 9 p.m.

Slowdown Jr. Saturday night has Conny Franko (M34n Str33t), CJ Mills, Haunted Gauntlet and headliner The Regulation celebrating an album release. $5, 9 p.m.

That’s not all. Joining Edison & the Elephant and Satellite Junction at O’Leaver’s is Big Wheel, a rock band that features Jason Churchill and Kevin Hiddleston, two of the most notorious sound engineers in the city. Believe me, if you go to shows, you’ve seen these dudes twirling the knobs. $5, 9:30 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend…

* * *

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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Take Cover Omaha, New Lungs, Yuppies, Skypiper tonight; Take Cover Lincoln, Geography Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:55 pm January 18, 2013
The Brigadiers at The Waiting Room, Dec. 27, 2012.

The Brigadiers at The Waiting Room, Dec. 27, 2012.

by Tim McMahan,

Here we are on the verge of yet another weekend.

As mentioned yesterday, tonight is the Take Cover Omaha, Vol. 2 benefit show for Hear Nebraska at The Sydney in Benson. Fourteen performers, 14 covers, one low price of $5, which goes to support Hear Nebraska programs. Show starts at 9 p.m. See you there.

Also tonight, The Brigadiers headlines a show with New Lungs at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Brigadiers is Shane Lamson, guitar, vocals; Mark Weber (ex-Box), lead guitar, vocals; Vic Padios (ex-Calico, ex-Gymnastics), bass, vocals; and Clint Schnase (ex-Cursive) on drums. New Lungs have a self-released EP coming out Feb. 9 called You’re Not Gonna Recognize Me that is red frickin’ hot. The Lungs are Danny Maxwell, vocals, guitar; Craig Fort, bass, and Corey Broman, drums. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, over at The Brothers, Yuppies headline a show with Lincoln madman Ron Wax and Iowa City’s Solid Attitude. This is the last time you’ll see the Yuppies on stage until next fall. $5, 9 p.m. More info here.

Also tonight, The L. Eugene Band, a jazz trio featuring Methe on keys, Mike Tulis on fuzz + tremelo guitar, and Brian Poloncic on drums, is playing a set at The Side Door lounge with Love Technicians, Guilty Is the Bear and Paris When It Sizzles. SDL Facebook page says it starts at 8 and no word on cover.

And finally, over at The Waiting Room tonight, Skypiper is headlining with Quiet Corral & Mike Schlesinger. $7, 9 p.m.

Not so crowded tomorrow night:

San Francisco electro-dream-pop band Geography plays at The Slowdown with On An On. $10 Adv./$12 DOS.

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And if you’re in Lincoln Saturday night, check out Take Cover Lincoln, Vol. 2 at The Zoo Bar. Same deal as the Omaha version but with 16 bands. $5, 9 p.m. More info here.

* * *

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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Heads up to Take Cover (tomorrow); guns are here to stay (in the column); Bear Stories tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:51 pm January 17, 2013

by Tim McMahan,

Take Cover poster

Take Cover poster

We haven’t had a show worth a shit all week and then tomorrow there’s an avalanche. Needless to say, I already have commitments for tomorrow night in the form of Take Cover Omaha, Vol. 2 at The Sydney in Benson. Just like last year, each performer will play one original song and cover one song by another Nebraska-based band and/or performer they admire. The line-up as of this writing:

Dan McCarthy (McCarthy Trenching) covering Bill Hoover (Dark Town House Band)
Landon Hedges (Desaparacidos, Little Brazil) covering Lullaby for the Working Class
Luke Pettipole (Envy Corps) covering Great American Desert
John Larsen covering John Klemmensen
John Klemmensen (… and the Party; Landing on the Moon) covering Ladyfinger
Ted Stevens (Cursive)
Laura Burhenn (The Mynabirds)
Heather Berney (The Betties) covering Matt Cox
Django Greenblatt-Seay covering The Good Life
Rebecca Lowry (All Young Girls Are Machine Guns) covering Paul Williams
Rachel Tomlinson Dick (HERS) and Teal Gardner (UUVVWWZ) covering Outlaw Con Bandana
Aaron Parker (Gordon)
Max Holmquist (The Great American Desert) covering Neva Dinova
Lee Meyerpeter and Josh Dunwoody (Filter Kings)

Your $5 cover will go to support Hear Nebraska, a little ol’ music-lovin’ organization in which I’m a board member. So, you know, you should go. Show starts at 9.

There are at least three more shows going on tomorrow night (which I’ll talk about in tomorrow’s blog). Why can’t you people figure out a way to spread the love over a few more days?

* * *

This week’s column is about gun laws and the bluster about changing them, which will result in nothing happening because people got to have their toys, no matter how dangerous they are. You can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader or online right here. Lock and load.

* * *

Uh, I swear that tonight’s show wasn’t on the One Percent website earlier this week, but there it is now. Tonight at the new, improved Waiting Room, it’s Bear Stories with Millions of Boys, Thirteenth Year and Fumescrew. It’s a chance to check out the club’s improvements to the sound, lights and stage, which Kevin Coffey writes about today’s OWH (right here).

* * *

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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Live Review: Take Cover HN benefit; Icky Blossoms, Domestica tonight; So-So Sailors tomorrow…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:48 pm October 21, 2011
Tie These Hands at Slowdown Jr., Oct. 20, 2011.

Tie These Hands at Slowdown Jr., Oct. 20, 2011.

by Tim McMahan,

I walked into Slowdown Jr. last night for the Take Cover benefit (for Hear Nebraska) just in time to see Tie These Hands cover a song by Her Flyaway Manner (a member of HFM working behind the bar gave it a thumb’s up) and a tune by Mr. 1986 (fantastic, intricate instrumental, hat’s off for tackling such a complex number, guys).

Who doesn’t love the cover show concept — a local band covering another local band’s song? Unfortunately, I didn’t know who the next two solo-acoustic performers were, or what they were covering (strike that — one did a cover of a Neva Dinova song). I asked the guy next to me, who’s been around the scene for years, if he knew who the guy was on stage. “Never heard of him.” So, in essence, we were hearing a cover performed by someone we didn’t know of a band we never heard of, which kind of defeats the purpose of a covers night. Regardless, later Mitch Gettman pulled off a fine solo acoustic version of Bright Eyes’ “Road to Joy” along with an Elliott Smith song (Smith was born in Omaha).

While most of the seats in Slowdown Jr. were filled, I don’t know how many were paying customers and how many were performers waiting their turn. I’ve written about the Take Cover production before (right here) so I won’t belabor the point. I’d love to see someone put one of these together but instead of inviting a dozen or more performers, pick only five or six (or three or four, if that’s all you can get) well-known local acts and in addition to letting them pick the songs, assign them a song or two that most of the crowd is probably familiar with. And then publicize the combinations. You’ll get a crowd there to see both the performers and the songs to be performed.

I’m sure the organizers feel humble, fortunate and thankful to have anyone willing to perform at their benefit for free. However, Hear Nebraska exists for one reason only: To promote Nebraska music. And that includes the big-name touring acts with record deals that call Nebraska home. HN is their PR staff, their marketing agent, their promotional arm. And the folks behind it don’t make a penny from their efforts. Everything HN does comes from the heart. Surely the organizers could get at least one or two of the area’s bigger-drawing acts to participate. Maybe not. Regardless, the show was a success, people had a good time, and who knows how big it will get next time…

* * *

And so, the weekend…

It kicks off tonight with Icky Blossoms headlining a gig at The Waiting Room that also features Somasphere and Lawrence band Cowboy Indian Bear. I can’t remember Icky headlining a show before, so this could be special, especially if Derek Pressnall and Co. roll out some new material. IB reminds me of an early version of The Faint, not necessarily musically, but from the band’s dance-party energy. People become intoxicated with fun at Icky Blossoms shows, and that’s a rarity in these days of endlessly droll vibe bands that are more about setting a scene than having a good time. $7, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Lincoln legends Domestica (Jon & Heidi from Mercy Rule with the amazing Boz Hicks) plays tonight at O’Leaver’s with Ketchup & Mustard Gas and headliners The Answer Team. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow night it’s back to The Waiting Room for The So-So Sailors, with Con Dios and The Matt Cox Band. $7, 9 p.m.

* * *

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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Column 346: Magnet Magazine is back; Maria Taylor is expecting; Live Review: Milagres; Take Cover, Major Games (ex-Zoom) tonight…

Category: Blog,Column,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:56 pm October 20, 2011

Column 346: Re-Magnetized: The Return of Magnet Magazine

by Tim McMahan,

About three or so years ago, in what was a reflection not only of the dwindling music industry but the downward spiral of the print magazine world, I received what I thought was the final issue of Magnet magazine.

What is MagnetMagnet was the quarterly bible of the indie music world, a slacker’s guidepost to everything cool, a critical lighthouse in a sea of audio mediocrity. Every issue was a snapshot of what was hot and happening right now in indie music. Each issue launched with an in-depth cover story that led into smaller profiles on bands and musicians just getting noticed, updates on those that have been around awhile, and, of course, pages and pages of reviews of records that you hadn’t heard before, all capped off with an essay by acerbic scribe Phil Sheridan, who wrote from a vantage point every one of us could recognize.

Magnet launched in 1993, and I have no idea how I found my first issue, which I still have, stuffed in a box somewhere in my attic (I probably bought it at Homer’s). It joined an already crowded magazine rack that included hip, cool, but physically unreadable (because of its design) Raygun, the slick and concise Option, and the other bible of indie, Alternative Press. Of those three, only A.P. is still around. Magnet was the best of the bunch, the most in-the-know and the most critically important and accurate.

For a band to be featured in Magnet, well, that was a big deal, especially if it was an Omaha band. And to be reviewed in Magnet was sort of an honor. Remember, this was before the prominence of the internet (Yes, kiddos, there was a time before Pitchfork, when people actually read these things called magazines).

We all knew, for example, that Saddle Creek Records was onto something when Magnet began to take notice.

Magnet was one of the first magazines to do a Bright Eyes feature,” said Saddle Creek Records executive Robb Nansel. “I remember I was working my ‘real’ job when Magnet called me at work to set up the photo shoot for that article (right around the release of Letting Off the Happiness (in 1998)). There was a lot going on for the label at that time, and it wasn’t long after that phone call that I put in my resignation.”

Reviews and features about other Saddle Creek artists soon followed in Magnet, and shortly after that, the rest of the world began to take notice of what was going on in Omaha. Those reviews weren’t always terribly positive. In fact, Magnet didn’t offer a rating system, just narrative and descriptions, which oftentimes left you wondering if the writer liked the album or not. But that was part of the appeal (to me, anyway) — Magnet left it up to you do decipher.

Anyway, about three years ago, new issues of Magnet quit arriving at my door. No real explanation was given but I knew the magazine hadn’t folded. In fact, their website — — continued to be updated. After a year went by, however, I figured I’d seen the last of the printed version.

And then out of the blue last Friday there it was, peeking out of my mailbox, a fresh new issue of Magnet featuring those shaggy boys from Wilco on the cover — same design, same slick perfect-bound publication, as if it had never gone away.

Magnet Editor-in-Chief Eric T. Miller explained it all on page 4. It turned out that the declining music and publishing industry had finally caught up with them. The publication took a short hiatus to redesign the Magnet website. That hiatus became extended when injuries sustained by the publication’s art director — Miller’ wife — put a wrench in overall operations. Things looked bleak as to the magazine’s return, and then out of the blue, Miller ran into Alex Mulcahy, an old friend whose company, Red Flag Media, publishes metal magazine Decibel. And the next thing you know, Magnet was back, but this time as a monthly instead of a quarterly.

There are a few other changes. The publication seems thinner and some sections are missing along with some writers, but the profiles are there (including stories on Neon Indian, Tommy Keene, Spank Rock, Beauty Pill, Mac McCaughan, Das Racist amd Thundercat), a Q&A with Blondie’s Debbie Harry, and a lengthy cover story with Wilco. And of course, those reviews. Though now each review also includes a 10-star rating, which takes away a lot of the mystery. But I guess in this era when bands live and die by a Pitchfork 10-point rating system, adjustments had to be made, even though ratings dissuade people from reading the actual reviews.

My favorite part is the return of Phil Sheridan’s “Back Page” column, which starts off: “We know what you’re thinking, and it’s wrong, as usual: Now that 1995 is back, here comes Magnet to cover the bands it already covered to death. Literally.”

So true, Phil, so true. All’s I know is that Magnet is back, and hopefully this time it’s for good. Because in an age when we’re all tethered to electronic gizmos that put every conceivable piece of information at our fingertips — including the music that we listen to — it’s nice to be able to turn off the screen, unplug the electronic world, pull back the cover of something tangible that we can hold in our hands — whether it’s a book, or a copy of The Reader, or an issue of Magnet — and just read.

And, Robb Nansel put it, “Magnet exposed us to tons of great music when we were growing up, and I am definitely happy to see them carrying on.”

So am I.

* * *

At the end of her interview with Arizona State University’s State Press, Maria Taylor (of Azure Ray, Bright Eyes and her own solo fame) dropped this little unexpected tidbit:

State Press: What is the first thing you are going to do for yourself once your tour is over?

Maria Taylor: Well, the first thing I am going to do is find out if I am having a boy or a girl! I haven’t really told any of the press yet, so why not? I can tell people now, you know, it’s been three months. I feel like, I might have to sit down sometimes during the set so I might have to explain anyway. This is going to be a different tour, very different. No drinking, I’m just tired and kind of sick. But I just decided, “No, I gotta do this, this is what I do. I gotta go on tour.” But now I’m kind of like, “Oh my god, did I take on too much?” It’s going to be kind of hard. So, literally the day after the tour I’m going to the doctor to find out if it’s a boy or girl. Ah, crazy!

There were no obvious follow-up questions asked (read the whole interview here). Ask them yourself when Maria comes to town for a show at The Slowdown Oct. 30.  Congratulations, Maria!

* * *

Milagres at The Waiting Room, Oct. 19, 2011.

Milagres at The Waiting Room, Oct. 19, 2011.

Counting myself and the opening band, there was probably around 20 people on hand for last night’s Milagres show at The Waiting Room — disappointing, but is anyone surprised?

The band isn’t exactly a household name. They obviously don’t get any radio play. The show didn’t get any press other than blog mentions (You call that “press”?). And it was a Wednesday night, with an opener — South of Lincoln — that’s new to the scene. So why did I think anyone would be there?

Milagres, by the way, was fantastic — a real find for anyone into the whole Beach House/Arcade Fire indie dream-rock sound. The Brooklyn five-piece, which included two keyboards, was honed but angelic, floating just beneath frontman Kyle Wilson’s brassy, sometimes falsetto vocals. I sat back and wondered which song they’ll perform during their inevitable appearance on Letterman or Kimmel (My pick would be the echoing, endless frontier melody of “Halfway,” the opening track to their latest release, Glowing Mouth, which you should track down and buy).

Despite the sparce crowd, the band was charming and gracious, playing a number of songs from the new album during their 45+ minute set, sprinkling in heartfelt compliments about Omaha along the way. “This is our first time in Omaha; hopefully it won’t be the last.”

There’s a lot of very good under-the-wire acts coming through over the next couple of weeks; including Future Islands (Wednesday, Nov. 2 at TWR), Peter Wolf Crier (Tuesday, Oct. 25 at TWR) and A.A. Bondy (Nov. 4 at TWR). Any of these bands, along with Milagres, would have been a coup for something like the MAHA Festival; all are bands I would seek out if I was going to SXSW next spring. Terrific bands with terrific albums. But I’m afraid no one is going to show up for these shows, either.

What’s the answer? The Reader no longer covers every good indie band that comes through town. Blame it on page count. Blame it on editorial direction. The same is probably true at the other local publications that cover music.

How does the word get out to the masses that they’re missing something that’s phenomenal, that we’re lucky to even get here? I don’t know. Lazy-i ain’t the answer. Maybe there isn’t an answer?

* * *

Tonight Hear Nebraska brings Take Cover to The Slowdown. The program’s concept is simple: Nebraska musicians take turns covering a song by another Nebraska musician of their choice. Among the performers on this mostly solo acoustic night of music: All Young Girls Are Machine Guns, Eli Mardock, The Lepers, Anniversaire, Justin Lamoureux and Mitch Gettman along with a bunch of Lincoln performers playing songs by acts including Neva Dinova, Bright Eyes, Matthew Sweet and It’s True. The show starts at 8 and winds up around 1 a.m. (or later). Your $5 cover gets you in and goes to support Hear Nebraska. Seriously, you should go. More info here.

Also tonight, Lawrence band Major Games plays at The Barley Street Tavern. Major Games is a new project by Jeremy Sidener, a former member of classic ’90s bands Zoom and Panel Donor as well as Arthur Dodge and Danny Pound Band. Major Games carries on the ’90s noise-rock tradition (check out a track on the band’s Bandcamp page). Opening is Spell Talk and third TBA band. $5, 9 p.m.

And in addition to that, Peace of Shit returns to the O’Leaver’s stage tonight with Duluth band Low Forms, described as “Pete Biasi’s (Falcon Crest, Total Fucking Blood, Signal to Trust, tons of other shit) new band. Husker Du/Wipers style punk rock.” $5, 9:30 p.m. More info here.

And finally, tonight at The Brothers Lounge, it’s Joe Jack Talcum of The Dead Milkmen with Sam Locke-Ward & the Boo-Hoos and Well-Aimed Arrows. $5, 10 p.m. More info here.

* * *

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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i ‘Take Cover’ fund raiser tonight (in Lincoln); Saudi Arabia/Dim Light Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 5:14 pm September 16, 2011

by Tim McMahan,

hearnebraska logo

I need to come up with a permanent disclaimer to place on any comments regarding, which says: “Full disclaimer: I’m on the board of” Not that it matters — I’m not involved in the site’s day-to-day activities and have little or no input on events, such as this weekend’s fund raiser, which is being held tonight at The Zoo Bar in Lincoln.

Called “Take Cover,” the Hear Nebraska posse put out a call to local bands asking them to come up with covers of songs from other local bands — i.e., Nebraska bands covering Nebraska bands. Cool idea.

Among the pairings: All Young Girls Are Machine Guns covering It’s True; Jim Schroeder and Teal Gardner of UUVVWWZ covering Flowers Forever; The Renfields covering Bright Eyes, and so on. Looking at the list, there are 11 bands in the line-up that are new to me, which I guess says more about my knowledge of the current Lincoln music scene than the lineup (actually, there are a number of bands playing the Omaha version of Take Cover next month who also are new to me). So (if you’re like me) there’s a good chance that you’ll be hearing new bands playing covers of songs by other new bands.

While I think this is a cool idea, I’d love to hear bands like Little Brazil covering Cursive or Digital Leather covering Digital Sex or Gus & Call covering The Filter Kings or Wagon Blasters covering Simon Joyner or Conduits covering Kite Pilot or The Fucking Party covering Mousetrap or Blood Cow covering Ritual Device or Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship covering Sideshow or Ideal Cleaners covering Cellophane Ceiling or Icky Blossoms covering The Faint or So-So Sailors covering Bright Eyes or All Young Girls Are Machine Guns covering Mercy Rule. Or vice versa. I’m told that it was hard to get these kinds of bands to participate in a benefit where they’re only allowed to play a few songs. That said, I think a curated version of this same event would raise some interest across the scene, especially if it was recorded…

Anyway, show starts at 8 p.m. at The Zoo Bar and your $5 cover goes directly to the folks at Hear Nebraska. More information about the show, including the line-up, is here.

Also tonight in Omaha, The Filter Kings are playing at The Waiting Room with The Blacktop Ramblers and Matt Cox Band as part of the Sailor Jenny Pinup Pageant. $7, 9 p.m.

Tomorrow night it’s off to O’Leaver’s for Saudi Arabia, Dim Light and Leeches of Lore. $5, 9:30 p.m.

* * *

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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.