Outlandia weekend; hipster parade, Las Cruxes NEXT Saturday; The Menzingers, White Reaper, VIAL THIS Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 7:30 am August 11, 2023
Las Cruxes last year at Porchefest. The band plays Dundee Day next Saturday.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

So, Outlandia this weekend. The preview is here. Weather should be awesome. Tix and other info at OutlandiaFestival.com

So what else is happening this weekend?

Not much tonight and Saturday – but here’s an early head’s up for NEXT SATURDAY…

NEXT Saturday is Dundee Day, and part of the festivities include a parade that runs along Underwood Avenue from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. What would a parade be without a marching band? But not just any marching band. In addition to some of Omaha’s finest musicians, this marching band includes a number of indie music notables from bands that include Desaparecidos, Cursive, Flowers Forever, the list goes on and on.  Expect some surprises. 

Later that afternoon is the annual Dundee Night Street Party, which will be kicked off at 4 p.m. by Las Cruxes and capped off by Satchel Grande at 10:15 p.m. The full line-up is here

Onward to THIS Sunday…

Down at The Slowdown Sunday night, The Menzingers return. The pop-punk/emo/indie band has made Omaha a regular tour stop throughout its career. They’re on the road supporting their latest full-length, On the Possible Past, released last November on Epitaph. Also on the bill are Prince Daddy & the Hyena and Mercy Union. 8 p.m., $35.

Meanwhile, over at The Waiting Room, pop-metal/hair-metal band White Reaper headlines. The band started out as an indie-punk band that recorded for Polyvinyl and opened for acts like Twin Peaks and Together Pangea, but then got signed to Elektra, switched up their sound and became a sort of faux hair-metal band, or at least that’s how their sound on their latest album, Asking for a Ride (2023, Elektra). Could be fun. No opener listed, $25. 8 p.m. 

Also Sunday night, Minneapolis indie-punk all-female trio VIAL headlines at Reverb Lounge. Their latest is Loudmouth (2021, Get Better Records). Local heroes Social Cinema (Kill Vargas, Death Cow) opens at 8 p.m. $16. 

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. If you’re going to Outlandia, don’t forget your sunblock. 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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Column 324: The story of Love Drunk Studio and its quest for the perfect take; Underwater Dream Machine tonight…

Category: Blog,Column,Interviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:31 pm May 26, 2011

Column 324: Love Drunk Measures Success One Perfect Take at a Time

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

It starts with a tight close-up on a perfectly lit guitar or keyboard, cropped to the strings or the hands or the ivories. The camera is steady, but moves oh so slightly, just so you know that there’s a pair of worried hands holding it. And then someone says in the background, “Whenever you’re ready,” and the song begins.

Maybe the most effective type of music video is one that simply captures a band performing. If it’s done right, you leave the experience three or four minutes later not only knowing a band or performer’s song, but what they’re feeling while they play it. And maybe — just maybe — you’ll be so taken by the music and the images that you’ll seek out more.

Love Drunk logoIt’s a simple premise that drives Django Greenblatt-Seay, the mastermind behind Love Drunk Studio. Don’t call it a company. Greenblatt-Seay (or just G-S as he’s listed in production credits) prefers to call it “a project.” But what started as an experiment in sound and light and technology has become one of the hottest grassroots music “projects” to come out of Omaha in years.

The idea of creating one-take performance music videos started almost by accident. “I was experimenting with my home audio recording studio, trying to get a better understanding of how to use the equipment,” said G-S, who also plays in bands Down with the Ship and Midwest Dilemma. “I asked my good friends in the band Flashbulb Fires to record a song in one take. They had a friend filming it with a flipcam and I had a crappy point-and-shoot. Afterward, I thought maybe we could edit it all together into a one-take live music video.”

He liked the product so much, he wondered if he could “get it to look good on purpose,” so he lined up his first real video shoot with Portland singer-songwriter Nick Jaina. That was June 8, 2010. Almost a year later and G-S and his merry band of Love Drunk videographers (as many as 30 volunteers) have shot 43 sessions, 20 of which were for Nebraska artists including It’s True, The Machete Archive, Gus & Call, Sarah Benck, Conduits, Honey & Darling and Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship. You can see and hear all of them online at lovedrunkstudio.com or the studio’s affiliate website, hearnebraska.org.

After awhile, shooting local bands became old hat. “All the gear is mobile, so we didn’t have to stay in Nebraska,” G-S said. “We decided to hit the road for the same reason that a band hits the road. If we didn’t try to make this regional or national, it would eventually devalue the videos and no one would give a shit anymore.”

So he scheduled some vacation time from his corporate communication gig at OPPD, and asked for volunteers to come along on tour. Angie and Andrew Norman (who run hearnebraska.org), photographer Daniel Muller and fellow videographer Andrew Roger (who runs Ingrained Video) all took the challenge — to shoot 15 bands in 13 cities in 15 days. The Love Drunk Tour started in Kansas City April 29 with indie band Everyday/Everynight, and concluded in Chicago May 13 with indie band Holyoke. In between the crew traveled throughout Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island and Michigan.

Highlights include Arrah and the Ferns performing on a Philly rooftop, electro-dance band Quitzow playing in a New Paltz, New York Laundromat, and punk rockers The Menzingers playing at the Ava House in south Philly. The day of the Menzingers shoot, the band signed a three-record deal with Epitaph.

G-S said he choose the bands based on personal preference, geography and recommendations. None of the bands said no, and why would they? Love Drunk videos cost them nothing but time and one perfect take (and yes, they’re all really done in a single take). G-S said the videos are a way of giving back to bands who often are asked to perform for free for fund-raisers and other events. “On the other hand, no one ever does anything for free to benefit the bands,” he said.

While bands can receive copies of the video files to post on their websites and YouTube pages, G-S asks that they point users to lovedrunkstudio.com “so that people that watch the video can be a couple clicks away from finding other videos we’ve done. If they like them, maybe they’ll be enticed to buy some of their music.”

Think of it as sort of a video version of Daytrotter and its famous recording studio in Rock Island, Ill., where some of the best bands in the world drop by for a couple hours to record sessions that wind up on daytrotter.com. Since it launched, users have downloaded songs more than 21 million times from Daytrotter.

G-S said Love Drunk videos have received about a thousand views each on his site. The Menzingers’ video is the most popular, with nearly 6,200 views. “It’s very important to get music bloggers to re-post our videos,” G-S said. “We’ve had videos picked up by dozens of blogs, including punknews.org.”

While a fund raiser helped cover some of its costs, G-S personally dropped around $2,000 on the tour, mainly for hotels. Though they were offered places to stay 14 of the 15 nights, travel logistics often made those offers impossible to accept.

Regardless of the cost, G-S said he’s planning another Love Drunk tour next year, perhaps down south. Meanwhile, he continues to shoot bands right here at home, including recent shoots with members of Little Brazil and The Show Is the Rainbow. The videos have become so popular that bands are now approaching him for shoots, a situation which can be awkward.

“If your band isn’t putting out a new album, isn’t touring or is otherwise new, we’re probably not going to be able to help you,” G-S said. “We want thousands of people to watch these videos, but if you’re not working hard to create momentum on your own, then it’s tough to get that kind of mileage out of our work. If you’re writing really great music and if you have worked hard to build a buzz, then you’re probably already on our radar. Don’t call us, we’ll call you. But if we call you, fucking call back. Jesus.”

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Tonight at Slowdown Jr. Underwater Dream Machine opens for Lincoln band Cool It, Action, along with The Betties. $7, 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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.