Live Review: Wagon Blasters, Those Far Out Arrows; new Neva Dinova mix via Todd Fink; Las Cruxes, Santohs tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:45 pm August 28, 2023

Wagon Blasters at Reverb Lounge, Aug. 25, 2023.

by Tim McMahan,

My evening at Bad Bad Men’s album release show at Reverb Lounge Friday night was successful in all but actually seeing Bad Bad Men perform. It’s starting to become one of those things — at least for 4-band bills — where I’m either going to go early and catch the openers or arrive late and catch the headliners. Having seen Bad Bad Men perform many times and as recently as a few months ago, I opted for the former vs. the latter, as I haven’t seen Wagon Blasters play in awhile. So apologies to John Wolf and his crew, who no doubt killed it, based on the chatter I’ve seen online. Pick up your copy of their new albu, Messed Up, online right here.

As for Wagon Blasters, Gary Dean Davis and company continue to perform with the same energy as any GDD project dating back to Frontier Trust. Gary is a timeless, non-aging entity, which I guess makes him a god (a rock god?). He bounced high on the tiny Reverb stage, belting out classic Wagon Blasters songs, sometimes with cowbell, others times with mouth harp, always with a big voice and the best stage persona of anyone ‘round these parts. 

While Wagon Blasters have an amazing rhythm section, the band’s secret sauce is Mr. Will Thornton on guitar – no one plays quite like him and no band has ever matched the twang-meets-punk sound that defines “Tractor Punk.” It’s the combo of Thornton’s ringing style and Gary’s auctioneer bark that drives this massive Case harvester through fields of rolling rock (OK, that is sort of a beer reference). The only quibble about Friday’s performance is that Reverb’s stage may be too small for Gary’s bounding leaps, which one time landed him smack dab into the bass-drum mic set-up (Crunch!).

Those Far Out Arrows at Reverb Lounge, Aug. 25. 2023.

Those Far Out Arrows continue to evolve their garage psych-rock sound, kicking back on grooves that could go on forever (if I had my way). Fronted by the Keelan-White brothers of Ben and Evan on guitar and vocals, the band is one of my favorites for getting lost in their chugging rhythms and hypnotic ax work. Their last release was 2020’s Fill Yer Cup, which means they’re due for a new release. Come on, boys, let get it going!

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Last week Saddle Creek Records released a remix of Neva Dinova’s “Something’s Out There” — the band’s first new music in a decade — by The Faint’s Todd Fink. It’s a trip. Check it out:

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Tonight you’ve got a rare Monday night five-band show at a place called Razor Wire Productions, located at 1808 Vinton Street. Headlined by Las Cruxes, the line-up includes Sacramento band Santohs, Peach Paw, Good View and Grief Police. Ben Eisenberger kicks things off at 7 p.m. It’s BYOB and it’s $5 (suggested donation).

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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.


Bad Bad Men album release show, TFOA, Wagon Blasters tonight; RAF Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 7:42 am August 25, 2023

Bad Bad Men celebrate their vinyl album release tonight at Reverb Lounge.

by Tim McMahan,

No touring indie shows this weekend, but a couple local album release gigs worth your attention: 

Tonight at Reverb Lounge it’s the album release show for the debut album from Bad Bad Men. The power trio consists of Omaha rock ’n’ roll legends Chris Siebken on drums, Jerry Hug on bass and frontman/guitarist John Wolf.  The album, Messed Up, is a 10-song scorcher that recalls the gritty, bluesy punk style Wolf brought to classic ‘90s-‘00s act Bad Luck Charm, sung with his distinctive snarl/growl that will have you breaking bottles and starting fights. Siebken and Hug are so tight they sound like they’re attached at the hip, while Wolf’s guitar flies high above it all. 

Recorded over two days at ARC Studios with Adam Roberts, it’s the first new release on Speed! Nebraska Records in recent memory. As a result, the album release show is a pseudo showcase, as label executive Gary Dean Davis’ own band, Wagon Blasters, will kick off the evening. Also on this crowded bill are Omaha garage rock titans Those Far Out Arrows and Pagan Athletes — the prog-noise duo of Griffin and Nathan Wolf, who are, yesss, The Sons of John Wolf (now there’s a band name for you)(Waitaminit, does that make Bad Bad Men “dad rock”?). 

You get all four bands for a mere $12. I expect this show to sell out, so you may want to buy your tickets in advance. You will also want to buy the limited-edition vinyl, which will be on hand at the show but is also available for order online. The fun starts at 8 p.m. Need more info? Check out MarQ Manner’s interview with Bad Bad Men at The Reader website

Then tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s the vinyl release show for R.A.F.’s No Salvation album, which was released this past July. The punk band’s line-up is Paul Moerke, Tim Cox, Dereck Higgins, Dan Stewart and Kelley RAF. At least one of the band’s members is traveling in for this special one-off gig. Also on the bill are punk band Cordial Spew and “2 special guests,” according to the flyer. $15, 8 p.m. 

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

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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.


#BFF, Brian Tait, Those Far Out Arrows, Healer tonight; Snail Mail, Water from Your Eyes Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 9:21 am April 7, 2023
Snail Mail at the Maha Music Festival, Aug. 16, 2019. The band plays Saturday night at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan,

Busy weekend! 

It’s the first Friday of the month and that means Benson First Friday! Benson turns into an urban walking art gallery with art openings happening all up and down Maple Street, not the least of which is the opening at Ming Toy Gallery, 6066 Maple St., where Brian Tait has a one-man show. Tait is one of my favorite Omaha artists, with a style that combines street art and abstract, strange, colorful and pure pop. The show runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and refreshments will be available. Come by and say hi.

Later tonight down at The Sydney it’s a 3-band bill headlined by Those Far Out Arrows, with Healer (Dan Brennan’s band that recently opened for Protomartyr at Slowdown) and Jack. $10, 9 p.m. 

Tomorrow night (Saturday) there’s a pair of Matador Records bands playing at The Slowdown. The headliner is Baltimore’s Snail Mail a.k.a. Lindsey Jordan whose debut album, 2018’s Lush, was loaded with dreamy indie pop reminiscent of The Sundays and was an out-of-nowhere smash (and at the tender age of 17). Her follow-up, 2021’s Valentine, is harder and more mature but no less infectious, earning a massive 8.5 on the Pitchfork meter and “Best New Music” accolades. Maybe you remember them playing the 2019 Maha Festival? Joining Snail Mail Saturday night is lablemates Water from Your Eyes, who I wrote about earlier this week. Richmond, Virginia, old-school power pop band Dazy opens the show at 8 p.m. This one’s in the big room. $30.

Also Saturday night, The Sydney is hosting hard punk band Nowhere, Flooding and Omaha prog duo Pagan Athletes. 9 p.m., $10. 

BTW, it’s Bandcamp Friday, so if you were thinking of buying any new music (or old music for that matter) Bandcamp is waiving its fees as it does every first Friday of the month, so do it now.

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

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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: GoatFest 2023 (Those Far Out Arrows, Bad Bad Men, beer, goats)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 7:20 am March 13, 2023
Those Far Out Arrows at GoatFest, March 11, 2023.

by Tim McMahan,

Was it the first-time novelty of the event or a reflection of an actual thirst for Saturday afternoon rock shows? Whatever the reason, Saturday’s GoatFest was a marvelous success judging by the crowd and the good times. When I arrived at a little past 3 p.m., punk-trio Bad Bad Men was already playing in the back corner of Scriptown Brewery, hidden behind a crowd that ran along both sides of the enormous bar all the way to the entrance. From the looks of it, as many people were there to sample a pint of Scriptown’s tasty, just-released Goatsmack Helles Bock as enjoy the music. 

Like I said last week, GoatFest had the potential to provide that same warm party vibe as I remembered from South By Southwest day parties. Anyone who’s been to SXSW will tell you the day parties are the best part of the festival – super laid-back events where you can listen to great bands while enjoying some much-needed day drinking. The only difference: It’s usually 80 degrees and sunny at SXSW, whereas it was 30 degrees and snowing in the Blackstone. But that didn’t slow anyone down. 

Someone told me that Blackstone was considering more daytime rock shows on weekends. It’s something the district could become known for — or that Scriptown could corner the market on if so inclined. Would the crowds continue to show up if they hosted rock shows every weekend? 

To me, it depends on the bands. SXSW day shows, for example, involve the best original indie bands in the country. I wouldn’t go if it featured cover bands or blues acts. Still, plenty of serious beer drinkers like both of those “genres,” and  regardless of the band I could definitely see a regular weekend afternoon series catching on, especially if another venue in Blackstone also got into the act — part of SXSW’s appeal is stumbling from one venue to another and back again to listen to bands all afternoon. 

And Blackstone is tailor made for hosting weekend day shows, more so than Benson, whose stages are dedicated to supporting that district’s robust nightlife, or the gentrified Dundee and its vibrant restaurant scene, or the Old Market that despite its hip brick buildings still feels like a tourist scene. 

Bad Bad Men at GoatFest, March 11, 2023.

What more to say about Bad Bad Men that I haven’t already said? They’re a super-fun hard rock band that verges on post-punk, fronted by Omaha legend John Wolf, whose rapid-fire guitar riffs scorch above a rhythm section powered by a Siebken/Hug powertrain. I don’t know what John was singing through that PA and it didn’t matter. Folks not used to this style of music had to wish they brought their ear plugs (as I always do). 

The music only got louder when Those Far Out Arrows took over shortly after 4. They stand side-by-side with David Nance Group as the best full-on psych-rock guitar band in this region. Both bands have a knack for finding a deep, guttural groove and playing it out for all its worth. The differentiator is how the Arrows stand closer to traditional, pure ‘60s garage rock, taking that sound and modernizing it in their own midwestern way. 

The goats of GoatFest.

Amost forgot to mention — what would a GoatFest be without real goats? Two were stabled out back in a small trailer parked near the patio area, no doubt wondering who all these drunks were stumbling out of the building, gawking at them. 

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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.


The Collection, Mom Rock, The Pinkerton Raid tonight; GoatFest (Those Far Out Arrows, Bad Bad Men), Flogging Molly, B.B. Sledge Saturday…

GoatFest is Saturday at Scriptown in Blackstone.

by Tim McMahan,

It’s been a long, strange week. Anyway… onto the weekend, and it starts with a couple shows tonight and a “fest” (of sorts) tomorrow. 

Two new touring indie bands I’ve never heard of are playing tonight at Reverb Lounge. The Collection is an indie-pop six-piece from Saxapahaw, North Carolina, whose last EP, Rose Colored Glasses, was released on Nettwerk this past January. Not a shitload of information about them anywhere, yet here they are, on tour. 

Opening the show is Mom Rock, an indie-pop trio that formed at Boston College and was featured as a “hot band” in the 2022 Rolling Stone “Hot Issue.” Hey, that’s got to be worth something, right? Latest single, “Bullseye” was released this past February. $15, 8 p.m.

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Also tonight, Durham, NC, band The Pinkerton Raid is playing at Kinkaider Brewing Co., 2279 So. 67th St. in Aksarben Village. I didn’t know this new brewery was even hosting live shows. The Spill calls the band “a towering forest of indie rock with a timbre of folk that shadows Langhorne Slim, Cold War Kids and The Killers.” Actually, they kind of remind me of early Okkervil River. Singer/songwriter Aage Birch and Cincinnati’s Nicholas Johnson open at 8 p.m. And it’s free, which leaves you more cast to buy Kinkaider beer. 

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Tomorrow (Saturday), of course, is GoatFest at Scriptown Brewery in Blackstone. Think of it as your very own SXSW day party as it’s going on in the afternoon, starting at noon (with food for sale from Lazy Buffalo BBQ), a new seasonal beer on tap (along with others) and, reportedly, goats (yes, goats), and best of all, music from psych-rock garage marvels Those Far Out Arrows and hot-as-a-blister Bad Bad Men. It’s free and music starts at 3 p.m.

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Saturday night it’s the Celtic-punk of LA’s Flogging Molly at The Admiral. The band is fronted by former Fastway frontman Dave King and has been making every day St. Patrick’s Day since 1993.  Their latest single, “’Til the Anarchy’s Restored,” was released this past February on Rise Records. Punkers Anti-Flag and Skinny Lister also are on the bill. $45, 8 p.m.

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Also Saturday night, a rare live show at fabulous O’Leaver’s with B.B. Sledge, The Bedrock (“Like an overall-clad Moses descended from a mountain top, barefoot and grisly, songwriter Edward Spencer delivers heavy truth in his lyrics. Combine that with his Morrison-esque baritone and flashes of a 70’s-era Springsteen howl and it’s showtime.”) and Saltwater Sanctuary (Justin Wallin w/effects pedals). Look, I don’t really know who these bands are, but it doesn’t really matter because if you’re considering a show at O’Leaver’s, you’re probably already drunk. $10, 9 p.m.

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Also Saturday night, The Slowdown is hosting a four-band emo show headlined by Nashville band Free Throw (Triple Crown Records) with Can’t Swim, Equipment and Early Humans. Strangely, all the bands’ frontmen have that same snarky emo voice that emo fans seem to love. Still, I’d rather go to this show than to an “Emo Night.” $25, 7:30 p.m. 

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And finally Sunday night, The Sydney in Benson continues their late-shows-on-school-nights series with self-proclaimed queer rock band Rodeo Boys, who “combine Southern twang and 90s grunge in true lonesome and ornery fashion.” They’re from Lancing, by the way. Hussies open at 8 p.m. $10. 

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

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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: The Sunks, TFOA; 3 local indie ‘supergroups’ (Breakers, Dead Letters, BareBear) tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 2:28 pm December 27, 2021
The Sunks at Reverb Lounge, Dec. 26, 2021.

by Tim McMahan,

Last night’s album release show for The Sunks at Reverb was kind of packed. With Omicron running rampant, for the first time I actually felt a little squeamish about attending a show. At its peak there was probably around 60 folks in Reverb, with only a very few wearing a mask — I among them. I didn’t have it on when I went inside, but when I saw the mob, I slapped it on (I always carry a mask with me these days). Did it make a difference? Talk to me in a week.

I also had my earplugs, and I’m happy I did. Those Far Out Arrows don’t hold back, and neither did the guy behind the soundboard. For the uninitiated, the four-piece plays Nuggets-style psych rock in the grand tradition of bands like Them, The Yardbirds, Animals, early Stones, you get the picture, the kind of band you’d expect to see at Gonerfest. Their modern edge comes from the twin vocal attack of guitarists/brothers Ben and Evan Keelan-White, and the rock-hard rhythm section of playing-with-his-back-to-the-audience bassist Derek LeVasseur and drummer Brian Richardson. 

Those Far Out Arrows as seen from behind the soundboard at Reverb, Dec. 26, 2021.

The Arrows played a number of songs off their most recent album, Fill Yer Cup, (including personal favorite, “Snake in My Basement,” which is bound to become a world-wide smash hit once it’s discovered by some Netflix series music supervisor and used as the soundtrack for a road movie’s killing spree sequence). They also played a new one, which sounded like the old ones. They’re nothing if not consistent in their approach. 

The Sunks’ latest album, Wedding Season, came out last January during the height of COVID-19 and thus, never got the album release show it deserved. Since then, frontman Sean Paul has recorded an unreleased solo album (and I’ve clandestinely heard one of the tracks, which was among the best things I heard last year). The Sunks doesn’t sound like that solo stuff. Sean Paul (at times) reminds me of Susto’s Justin Osborne, who reminds me of Jackson Browne, though The Sunk’s music leans in more toward indie than Browne’s or Osborne’s Laurel Canyon-esque approach. 

It’s a laid-back album, whose highlights include the very Susto-esque “Cta” and anthemic “The Sunks Song.” At nearly an hour, it could have been pared down, but in this age of digital-only releases, bands put it all out there. The album is worth checking out, but I’m also excited about that aforementioned solo album.

Played live, the arrangements were more majestic, grander. Sean Paul (Why do I feel compelled to write his full name in all references?) is a solid frontman, was in fine voice and backed by a tight band. That said, I only made it through five songs. It wasn’t because I had to work the next day — the show began at 6 p.m. and The Sunks went on at around 8:15 — it was because I was so freaked out about Covid and the crowd. I guess I’ve seen too many mentions of people getting Omicron in my Facebook feed… 

That said, it probably won’t stop me from going to Breakers tonight at Reverb. The band, according to the 1% website, consists of guitarist Chris Yambor (Sing Eunuchs tapes back in the day, The Reports with Patrick Buchanan (of Mousetrap fame)), bassist Robert Little (Son Ambulance, The Stay Awake), and drummer Matt Focht (Head of Femur, The Faders, Bright Eyes). The site doesn’t mention who’s handling vocals, though I’m guessing it’s Focht (and I’m probably wrong). Joining them are Dead Letters (a trio consisting of two former members of Well-Aimed Arrows — drummer/vocalist Koly Walter and bassist Brian Byrd — along with guitarist/vocalist Mark Johnson from Places We Slept) and BareBear (who, last time I saw them in 2019, featured Rob Walters, Nik Fackler, Matt Focht, and Jacob “Cubby” Phillips). 8 p.m., $10. It’s the closest thing to a holiday show you’re going to get! Wear a mask…

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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.


Farnam Fest (Those Far Out Arrows, Specter Poetics, Tyrone Storm, Satchel Grande); Relax , It’s Science, Violenteer Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:17 pm October 8, 2021

by Tim McMahan,

Farnam Fest is back this Saturday. The Blackstone District block party takes place in the parking lot behind Scriptown Brewery and on 40th Street at Farnam, which will be blocked off for the occasion. The festival will have the usual food trucks and vendors but also features a number of live performances, including sets by Those Far Our Arrows, Specter Poetics (Jack McLaughlin’s latest project) and DJ Tyrone Storm a.k.a. Roger Lewis. The full schedule is below:

4 p.m. — Left Handed Country
5 p.m. — Anthony Worden & The Illiterati
6 p.m. — Specter Poetics
7 p.m. — Those Far Out Arrows
8 p.m. — DJ Tyrone Storm
9 p.m. — Satchel Grande

Farnam Fest actually starts at noon with a dog shows and there’s stuff the rest of the afternoon. After 5 p.m., entry is $5.

Also going on Saturday night in the Blackstone District (but not affiliated with Farnam Fest) is a rock show at The Brothers Lounge headlined by Relax, It’s Science. Also on the bill is Violenteer, the new project by Randy Cotton (Members of the Press, Ravine, Ritual Device). Aircraft Grade, a new heavy instrumental duo, opens at 9:30 p.m. $7.

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

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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.


Live Review: Petfest (Magū, Those Far Out Arrows) and later that night (Bad Bad Men)…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:53 pm August 16, 2021
Lawn chairs and rock ‘n’ roll at Petfest 2021.

by Tim McMahan,

If there was any concern about the Delta variant, it wasn’t apparent at Petfest last Saturday. There were maybe two people in the crowd of 40 or so wearing masks. And while that may shock some, it was no concern to me. I got the feeling the people surrounding me were not of the dumb-rube-Republican-conspiracy-tin-hat-wearing-numbskull variety (Tell us, Tim, what you really think of non-vaxxers…). And we were all outside, and for the most part, “distanced” from each other.

As someone who has been to a half-dozen South by Southwest festivals, I can tell you that Saturday’s Petfest was about as close as you’re going to get to what it’s like at a SXSW “day show” without taking a trip to Austin. Two differences: 1) No one was giving out free Lone Star beers and/or breakfast burritos, and 2) the sound quality at Petfest was far superior than the usual high-school-auditorium PA sound system used at SXSW (oh what those poor musicians put up with).

Ian Aeillo, a mad-genius audio engineer with bat-like ears that can hear frontwards, backwards and sideways, had the ol’ Barley Street white-rock parking lot sounding like LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, pushing sound from both stages simultaneously, it was like sitting in your parents’ 1970s basement listening to a Pink Floyd quadraphonic recording, but with indie bands.

As I said last Friday, this fest brought together the finest collection of local musical talent I’ve seen assembled at one concert in Omaha since, well, last year’s Petfest. Whoever the tastemaker was that booked this gig really knows his or her stuff.

Anna McClellan at Petfest, Aug. 14, 2021.

I came in right when things kicked off at 2 p.m. with Anna McClellan and her band. McClellan is a unique artist both musically and lyrically — she’s warm and lonely and sardonic all at the same time. The slightly off-kilter wonkiness of her vocal delivery only gives her songs more authenticity (to me, anyway). Every one of her performances is memorable, and it was a great way to kick off the day.

Magū at Petfest, Aug. 14, 2021.

Following Anna in the smaller garage stage was the most surprising set of the day. I’ve written passingly about Magū before (a few years ago, regarding one of their releases), but I’ve never seen them live. What to make of a five-piece that prominently includes a tenor sax front-and-center? There’s not much info about the band online (like who’s in the band?). Stylistically they describe themselves as psych rock / shoe gaze, but I’d peg them as modern indie with touches of classic rock. I loved the sax player’s tone and style, which merely augmented the songs and didn’t get in the way.

And then there was the woman keyboard player who sang leads on one song and knocked everyone on their asses. They’re quite an ensemble, which has been sitting right under my nose for years. When are they playing next?

Lightning Stills at Petfest, Aug. 14, 2021.

Magū were followed by Omaha super group Lightning Stills and the Midtown Ramblers (the “Ramblers” part was new to me). Lightning Stills is the countrified alter ego of (former?) punker Craig Fort. He’s surrounded himself with some of the area’s finest ax men, including pedal-steel player Mike Friedman, lead guitarist Tom May, and bassist Danny Maxwell.

I’m told this was the band’s first live gig but you wouldn’t know it by how well they played on these alcohol-drenched tales of personal excess and woe. Hard liquor and twang are a recipe as old as country music itself, and even has its own local iteration in the form of Filter Kings (Hard to beat that band’s “Hundred Proof Man” for pure booze romanticism). The Ramblers do it well, especially when they get into a groove and the players are allowed stretch out on these four-chord-powered jams.

Vocally, you can tell this was Mr. Fort’s first rodeo. Unlike punk, which thrives entirely on angst and energy, you will not get a pass on the vox — ever notice even the slightest waver and/or off-kilter moment when you listen to Waylon or Merle or Jerry Jeff? That’s just part of the deal, and it’s something that Fort will nail down over time.

Mike Schlesinger at Petfest, Aug. 14, 2021.

Speaking of vocals, there are few better voices than Mike Schlesinger — around these parts or anywhere. Mike played a short set alone with his acoustic guitar that managed to hush a parking lot full of drinking revelers who leaned in on every note. Schlesinger closed with “Coolie Trade,” one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. Gotta wonder what would happen if the right “industry people” ever discovered this mega talent.

Those Far Out Arrows at Petfest, Aug. 14, 2021.

Next was the first of a two-set day for Those Far Out Arrows. I’ve written about these guys so many times you’re tired of hearing it — they are at the forefront of Omaha’s garage-rock scene, true disciples of that classic ‘60s psych-rock sound epitomized by bands like Them, The Animals and the Kinks.

Two moments summed up their set for me, both took place while playing their A-side single, “Snake in my Basement.” First, I noticed across the parking lot in an adjacent garage covered with No Trespassing signs this rough, older dude working on his car who looked like the dad from Orange County Choppers. He set down his wrench, leaned back in the shadow of the doorway, watched and listened, nodding his head. Second thing — a little boy no more than 5 years old sat cross-legged in the middle of the parking lot and sang along with chorus.

As a band, what more do you want?

I wanted to put earmuffs on the little dude and his sister when the band tore into “Hell Yeah (MF)” from their Part Time Lizards album, with the repeated chorus, “Hell yeah, mother f***er, hell yeah!

MiWi La Lupa (right) at Petfest, Aug. 14, 2021.

The last performer I caught at the fest was MiWi La Lupa accompanied by guitarist Cubby Phillips. The two played a solid set that underscored why MiWi is recognized as one of the area’s better singer/songwriters.

And that was the end of my Petfest experience, though there was a ton more left that afternoon and evening. The whole day felt like being at someone’s very cool block party. I foresee a day when Omaha hosts a SXSW-style festival in which it invites bands from all over the country to play in venues throughout Benson. And when that day comes, Petshop Gallery and BFF will host a day party, and it’ll be something like this.

I was back in Benson later that night for Bad Bad Men and Those Far Out Arrows at Reverb Lounge. I’ve only been to a couple of shows at the new, improved Reverb, and Saturday’s was the most populated. Again, only the bartenders wore masks despite the Delta variant growing in the community.

Bad Bad Men at Reverb Lounge Aug. 14, 2021.

The super-group power trio of Bad Bad Men is fronted by Omaha rock legend John Wolf, with drummer Chris Siebken and bass player Jerry Hug. When it comes to rock ‘n’ roll these dudes are indeed bad, bad men. Their music rides on Wolf’s heavy metal riffage and is powered by that dynamic rhythm section that recalls a filthy, grinding punk rock heard back in Omaha in the ’90s by acts like Ritual Device and Wolf’s own Cellophane Ceiling. It’s dark and fun, with Wolf growling out the lead vocals and stretching out on blistering guitar leads. Their best set yet.

Those Far Out Arrows at Reverb Lounge Aug. 14, 2021.

The night was closed out by another performance from Those Far Out Arrows. They only played something like four songs at Petfest (everyone at the festival played shortened sets). They added another four of so for this evening gig. My only additional note is a tip of the hat to the band’s bass player, Derek LeVasseur, who makes everything they do up there possible alongside drummer Brian Richardson. You can’t make these songs keep chugging along without those guys.

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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.


Those Far Out Arrows, Jack McLaughlin tonight; Bull Nettles (album release show) Saturday; live shows are back!

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 9:44 am May 28, 2021
Those Far Out Arrows at Slowdown Jr., Aug. 8, 2017. The band plays tonight at The Sydney.

Oh my gawd, live shows are back!

They’ve actually been back for awhile — most venues reopened weeks ago — but this weekend is the first time there are shows I actually want to write about.

As we all know, the city dropped its mask mandate earlier this week; and while people no longer are required to wear masks in businesses, each establishment will have its own masking policy. I spoke to one local venue owner who said he’s taking the mask signs down at all his clubs, if only because most restaurants and other establishments are. That said, each club will be different, and I’ll have one with me when I go out this weekend.

And I have no doubt people still will wear masks in the clubs. I went to HyVee the other day to pick up a six-pack and about half the shoppers wore masks. It’ll be a hard habit to break for some.

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Tonight at The Sydney it’s the long-talked-about return of Those Far Out Arrows. The band released an album last year called Fill Yer Cup that includes the weird, funky single “Snake in My Basement” that’s become something of an underground hit among a number of my friends.

Also on tonight’s bill at The Sydney is the soulful hip-hop of Marcey Yates. This gig has been sold out for a couple weeks, but I’m told by a little birdie that a few tickets will be available early at the door. $10, 10 p.m.

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Also tonight, singer/songwriter/rockstar Jack McLaughlin is headlining at The Slowdown (on the big stage!) with Bokr Tov and Magū. McLaughlin has a new track out called “Interpret It All,” that features Mitch Gettman on guitar, Nate Van Fleet on drums and Dan Artz on bass. Says McLaughlin, “I bought and renovated a house by O’Leavers during the shut down and built a recording studio in the basement….that’s where we are at in the video.” Like I said, this is a main room show (thanks to COVID). $10, 8 p.m.

Also tonight, Township & Range plays at The Down Under with Eddie Spencer. It’s a free show that begins at 9 p.m. Here’s where you can point and laugh at me: I didn’t know that Travis Sing was the frontman in T&R.

In fact, Sing (whose performance name is Travis Linn) is also the frontman in Bull Nettles, a new “cow punk” trio in the vein of Frontier Trust with Doug Kabourek on drums and “Steve” on bass (I don’t know who Steve is, but he’s good). Travis Sing is great on lead vocals and guitar, and their new EP, The Last Days of Empire, blew me away. This is the rural punk-ish album with a political edge you’ve been waiting for.

I really wanted this record to come out in the late summer/early fall last year to coincide with the election, but obviously that didn’t happen for numerous reasons,” Sing said. “I lean left, but I think there’s plenty on the left to criticize, too. This record is likely to piss off people on both sides.”

Yeah, there’s a Frontier Trust flair to the EP, but this one also will appeal to fans of Filter Kings and Social Distortion. The band is celebrating the EP’s release tonight at Dr. Jack’s Drinkery, 3012 No. 102nd St. (102nd and Maple (the old Brass Knocker)). Also on the bill are The Mudpuddles and Danny Burns. $5, 8 p.m.

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That’s all I got. If you go out this weekend, be safe, and don’t be afraid to wear a mask if you want to. Staying alive is pretty cool.

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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.


Azure Ray rereleases debut on Flower Moon; new Las Cruxes…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 3:19 pm November 17, 2020

A couple quick news items from the email box:

Azure Ray, self-titled (2020, Flower Moon)

— Azure Ray’s 2001 self-titled debut, released originally on Warm Electronic Recordings, is being released for the first time on vinyl Jan. 16 in recognition of its 20th anniversary. The label is Maria Taylor’s own Flower Moon Records. Maria, as you know is one half of Azure Ray alongside Orenda Fink.

I remember when this album came out and what a splash it made, eventually gaining the attention of Conor Oberst and the folks at Saddle Creek Records, who would go on to release three LPs by the duo. Preorders are being taken now at Flower Moon’s online store.

— Omaha’s only Latin-language punk band, Las Cruxes, released a new single, “NW,” via Spotify last Friday. No idea if it’s available on any other platform (I can’t find it on Bandcamp)…

— That Nov. 27 Those Far Out Arrows concert with Cat Piss at Reverb Lounge has been CANCELLED. Not sure why, but maybe COVID-19 had something to do with it…

— Currently listening to: Katy J Pearson, Return (2020, Heavenly Recording)

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.