Willy Mason (formerly of Team Love Records), Sean Pratt tonight at Pageturners…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 7:55 am March 12, 2024

Willy Mason plays tonight at Pageturners Lounge.

By Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

According to my records (glances at the Lazy-i Archives), it’s been about a decade since singer/songwriter Willy Mason came through town. The last time was opening for First Aid Kit at The Waiting Room back in June 2014. 

From that review: “Mason’s brassy voice has deepened dramatically since he emerged a decade ago. As proof, he played the standout track “Oxygen,” from his Team Love debut, the Ritalin-referenced lyrics betraying his lost youth. Last time Mason came through was as a solo artist, too. I’d like to see him with a band.”

I’d still like to see him play with a full band, though that’s not going to happen tonight at Pageturners. 

Those of you who were around at the dawn of Saddle Creek Records 20 years ago might remember a then-high-school aged Willy Mason played a tangential role as one of the first artists signed to Conor Oberst’s and Sean Foley’s fledgling record label, Team Love (along with Jenny Lewis and Tilly and the Wall, among others). 

The story behind that signing is also in the Lazy-i Archive, right here. Since then, Mason’s been on a bunch of labels and these days his music is licensed to Cooking Vinyl, including his last EP, Bok Bok Hill. Tonight Mason plays at Pageturners Lounge, along with our very own Sean Pratt (sans Sweats?). 8 p.m., $10 suggested donation (Why not just charge a cover?). 

Maybe Willy’s record label pal, who also owns Pageturners, will show up tonight for old times’ sake…

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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.


What’s the deal with Bright Eyes? Relax, It’s Science Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:39 pm January 10, 2020

Bright Eyes new graphic added to its website and social media accounts.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yesterday the folks behind Omaha indie band Bright Eyes changed the branding on their social media and band websites. What could it mean?

My sources tell me… actually, my sources don’t tell me anything. It could be a promotion for a 20th anniversary release of Fevers and Mirrors. Or it could be that Bright Eyes has retained the rights to its back catalog from Saddle Creek and will use its own label — in this case, Conor Oberst’s Team Love Records — to do a series of reissues, much the way Cursive did when it reissued its back catalog on its label, 15 Passenger Records.

If you sign up for the Bright Eyes mailing list from the rebranded website, you’re provided with this mailing address:

Bright Eyes
11 Church Street
New Paltz, New York 12561

That’s the address for the Team Love Records worldwide headquarters. (By the way, take a look at a Google street view of that address — New Paltz looks absolutely charming!).

Or maybe it could just mean the boys are getting the band back together. With Phoebe Bridgers releasing a new album and presumably touring throughout 2020 and Mogis and Walcott apparently wrapping up soundtracks and other projects, maybe the time is right to kick the tires on the ol’ Bright Eyes jalopy? No doubt a tour would be something special.

Anyway, we’ll find out soon enough. Probably.

There’s only one show of note this weekend: Libations, a KC band that calls itself  “a three piece mathy indie band,” headlines at fabulous O’Leavers Saturday night. Joining them are a couple new Omaha bands I’m not familiar with — Yoga with Cats and Goosehound. In the middle is the double-bass-attack madness we know as Relax, It’s Science. All four bands for just $5. 9 p.m.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section have a great, snowy 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Nate Krenkel on piracy, streaming (from 2015); Dereck Higgins, Chemicals tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 3:50 pm January 11, 2018

Chemicals performing at Hi-Fi House, April 16, 2016. The band plays tonight at The Down Under.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I guess consider this video a Throwback Thursday since it went online way back in 2015. I just discovered it this morning when I was trying to remember whether Nate Krenkel was the guy who ran Team Love Records — he is. He’s also the guy, along with Gabe Gonzalez, who runs NAG Management. They’ve represented Conor Oberst’s projects since back in the day. NAG also works with Mega Bog, who opens for Destroyer at The Waiting Room Feb. 4.

Anyway, doing my Googling, I fell into this video from Copyright Alliance of Krenkel talking about piracy, streaming and record labels from way back in 2015. I mean, if I’ve never seen it before, it’s new to me, right? Nate points to a grim future in a streaming-only world. Take a look:

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Tonight musician extraodinaire Dereck Higgins launches his new monthly showcase at The Down Under Lounge. Aptly titled “An Evening with Dereck Higgins,” it features Higgins’ various musical projects as well as local and regional acts, visual artists, etc. Tonight Higgins welcomes his red-hot progressive jazz project Chemicals, while Hugo’s Art Galleries will display the works of Derek Shockey.

This one’s free and starts at 9 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Future Tense: 2012 Music Predictions, Pt. 2 – The Lightning Round; Conduits sign to Team Love; Stolen Kisses tonight…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:33 pm January 12, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

futureAnd now, the conclusion of my annual music predictions columns, where I gaze into the glossy black finish of a Fender Squier and see visions of what will occur in the coming days / months / years. Hang onto your hats, because it’s time for the Lightning Round!

— With all this new technology that (presumably) puts every bit of music ever released at our fingertips, a new appreciation for curated radio will emerge. And by that, I don’t mean radio programmed by a closet full of brain-dead suits somewhere in balmy El Lay, but rather a low-watt or web-based alternative station whose content is developed by a guy or gal who could be standing next to you in line at Baker’s. Look for not one, but two stabs at creating a low-power FM community radio station in Omaha next year, the result of S.592, a.k.a. the Local Community Radio Act. And remember, it’s only as good as you make it.

– Benson’s rebirth as Omaha’s music/tattoo/booze/vice hub hasn’t gone unnoticed outside of our little burg. A Hollywood film crew will set up shop in ’12 to document the creation of our little street of dreams as a weekly “reality” TV show featuring a gaggle of lovable characters. The Real Housewives of Benson? Benson Venue Wars?Benson Park Hillbilly Hand Fishing? Make sure the camera gets your good side.

— Speaking of film making, the fine work of one of our many local videographers will catch the attention of a large-ish national record label who will either fly one of their rock stars to Omaha or fly an Omaha video crew to the rock star to create a music video that will air on MTV and/or go “viral” on the interwebs.

— Last year saw Homer’s worldwide chain of stores get whittled down to just one measly location in the Old Market. This year will mark a rebirth of sorts for Omaha’s favorite independent music retailer when it alters direction to broaden its customer base. Translated: Homer’s will become much more than just a music store.

– As we mourn the death of The Anchor Inn interest in outdoor concerts continues to grow (even as club attendance at rock shows continues to dwindle). Local promoters will reach out to a few new park-like compounds to host large concerts like MAHA and Playing with Fire in places you’d never imagine. And yes, Memorial Park and a certain Sarpy County ballpark will be in the mix.

— Speaking of outdoor festivals, did that burning sea of empty pavement that greeted Red Sky’s unattended day programming and a half-empty (or more) Ameritrade Ballpark teach MECA anything? This year at least one big name indie-style rock act – someone you’ll actually be excited to see — will get booked for Red Sky and make you rethink the whole debacle… until you see the rest of the festival’s line-up. Another poor year of ticket sales will force MECA to rethink Red Sky’s future (just like the organizers of Kanrocksas are doing right now).

– Early planning by the fine folks at the MAHA Music Festival, on the other hand, will pay off big time this year as they land one of their all-time dream bands (But will they be able to sell enough tickets and find enough sponsors to pay the enormous guarantee? Yes). This will be MAHA’s the last year at Stinson Park, as the concert turns into a real-life “festival” in 2013.

— Artists we’ll be talking about this time next year: MGMT, M.I.A., Conduits, The xx, Lana Del Rey, Bloc Party, Black Sabbath, Frightened Rabbit, Sleigh Bells, Garbage, Modest Mouse, The Shins, Paul Westerberg, The Mynabirds, Van Halen, The Arcade Fire, Husker Du, Digital Leather, Tilly and the Wall, Best Coast, Ritual Device and Beck.

— Artists we won’t be talking about this time next year: Katy Perry, Cee Lo Green, Metallica, Bright Eyes, Kanye, Black Keys, Black Lips, Ryan Adams, Bon Iver, M83, Vampire Weekend, RHCP, Madonna, The Bieber and The Gaga.

— This year all of Eddie Van Halen’s problems will be resolved once and for all.

— Despite the many music- and culture-focused websites that have popped up over the past couple years, a new locally produced, slick print publication will emerge in 2012 with a special emphasis on music, art and fashion. And don’t bother looking for it online.

— As an experiment, Matador, Sub Pop or our very own Saddle Creek will release an entire formal full-length album by one of their top acts as a free download (You’ll still have to pay for the vinyl, and there will be no CD). Its success will breath new life into an already-established (though waning) act who will see its biggest crowds ever on tour, generating merch and back-catalog sales for the label and causing the music industry to rethink (again) how it does business.

— The next local act to break through on a national level won’t come from the indie ranks, but from Omaha’s under-appreciated hip-hop scene. As a result, look for a new hip-hop / urban-focused club to launch somewhere in midtown or downtown in 2012.

— Bright Eyes never made it onto SNL, but nothing will stop Cursive from stepping onto that famous 30 Rock stage.

And finally, one of the city’s longest-running local music columns will call it a day in 2012, in print (though it will continue to live on (forever?) on the Internet). Now who could I possibly be talking about?

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Moving on…

Conduits, self-titled (Team Love, 2012)

Conduits, self-titled (Team Love, 2012)

Yesterday’s red-hot news was that everyone’s favorite local shoe-gazers, Conduits, announced that they’ve signed with Team Love Records, who will release their self-titled debut album March 20. Pre-orders are being taken now at the Team Love online shop ($12/CD; $16/vinyl), which will get it into your earbuds two weeks before the street date. In addition, the band hits the road with Cursive and Cymbals Eat Guitars in March for a couple months.

It’s a nice return to form for Team Love, who also recently announced that it is releasing Simone Felice’s self-titled solo debut April 3, recorded with members of Mumford & Sons and his fellow Felice Brothers. So does this mean that Team Love also will soon announce the release of the highly anticipate Tilly and the Wall album? And what about Icky Blossoms, Derek Pressnall’s reinvention of Flowers Forever, a band that released its debut on Team Love in 2008? Will Team Love release an Icky Blossoms full-length in the near or distant future? We’ll have to wait and see.

For now, let’s bask in the Conduits’ news. For most of us, the music on this debut will seem almost rustic, having been played at local clubs for more than a year. In fact, the recording itself was created nearly a year ago. Will Conduits be able to keep up the intensity on songs they’ve been playing since 2010, and how will they ease any new music into the set list? We’ll see when they hit the road in March.

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Tonight at Slowdown Jr. it’s a free rock show featuring the reunion of Stolen Kisses, the surf-pop garage band that features members of Talking Mountain and Omaha expat Chris Kramer, who is back in town from Chicago on vacation. Tonight they’ll be performing as a five-piece and unveiling some new songs, and possibly a few chestnuts. Opening the show is Lincoln’s Powerful Science, headed by Joshua Miller of Columbia vs Challenger, and fellow Lincolnites Well-Dressed Man Disguise, which Kramer described as “psychedelic punk rock. Probably like early XTC.” Sweet. Like I said, it’s free, and the show starts at 9 p.m.

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Lazy-i Best of 2011

Lazy-i Best of 2011

Well, folks, we’re getting down to the wire. If you want to enter the drawing for a copy of the Lazy-i Best of 2011 Sampler CD you better do it now. This year’s disc includes tracks from tUnE-yArDs, St. Vincent, Icky Blossoms, Decemberists, Gus & Call, Lana Del Rey, It’s True, Eleanor Friedberger and a bunch more (check out the track list at the bottom of this blog entry). To enter, just send an e-mail (to tim@lazy-i.com) with your name and mailing address. It really is that easy. Hurry! Deadline is Jan. 17!

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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.