Indie legend John Vanderslice is playing somewhere in Dundee this Friday (4/5); LA LOM tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 9:18 am April 1, 2024

John Vanderslice performs April 5 at a Dundee house show.

by Tim McMahan,

The last time I saw John Vanderslice perform was back in October 2005 at Sokol Underground when he was touring with Matador Records experimental noise artist The Double. I don’t know whatever happened to The Double. Vanderslice, on the other hand, is playing an Undertow concert this Friday somewhere in Dundee.

Vanderslice came in hot back in 2001 with Mass Suicide Occult Figurines, released on then super-hot indie label, Barsuk Records. It would be followed by about an album a year, peaking with career highlights Cellar Door (2004, Barsuk) and Pixel Revolt (2005, Barsuk). 

In 2009, Vanderslice switched labels and began releasing albums on red-hot indie Dead Oceans, and these days he’s releasing albums on his own Tiny Telephones label, including last year’s CRYSTALS 3.0

In fact, Vanderslice might be more well-known as owner/operator of Tiny Telephone, a studio in the Mission District of San Francisco that recorded a plethora of indie giants including Death Cab for Cutie, Sleater-Kinney, Deerhoof, Moutain Goats and Spoon — artists whose albums many of which Vanderslice contributed to. That studio closed during in 2020, according to Wiki, though a second Tiny Telephone studio still operates in Oakland and is run by Vanderslice.

He’s one of those guys who has always had has finger on the pulse of indie music and is credited with bringing a number of today’s indie heroes on the road with him, including Sufjan Stevens and St. Vincent.  And now you have a chance to see him play in someone’s living room in what can only be described as “an intimate solo performance.”

The location of Undertow shows are kept secret except for their zip code, which is why I know this one is taking place in Dundee. You’ll get the actual address after you buy a ticket, which is $25 and available here at the Undertow website. Don’t worry, I can pretty much tell you the house where this is happening is amazing (though I’ve never been there); the owner has hosted many Undertow shows. 

Give it a shot. This guy really is an indie legend. 

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Tonight, instrumental trio Los Angeles League of Musicians (LA LOM) plays at Slowdown Jr. Their style is Cumbia Sonidera, ’60s soul ballads and classic romantic boleros. Pretty cool stuff. DJ C-Record opens the show at 8 p.m. $25.

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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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Mark Eitzel (American Music Club) is playing tonight in someone’s living room…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 6:30 am October 12, 2023

by Tim McMahan,

Somewhere in Omaha, but probably in midtown, Mark Eitzel will be playing a show tonight in someone’s living room. 

Eitzel, who may be best known as the frontman to seminal ‘90s indie rock band American Music Club, is on an Undertow tour wherein the artist plays in someone’s living room, usually solo acoustic but sometimes plugged in. The show’s location is a secret until you purchase a ticket. The only clue is the house is located in the 68102 zip code. 

Eitzel’s last proper studio album was Hey Mr. Ferryman (2017, Merge), a gorgeous, lush set of dreamy, gritty, personal music Eitzel has become known for. But in addition to that, Eitzel has self-released a number of collections on Bandcamp, the latest being a solo acoustic collection, Lover’s Leap USA, released in May 2021. 

The third and last time I saw Eitzel perform was back in May 2008 when American Music Club played a 30-minute set at The Waiting Room with The Third Men and Brad Hoshaw. The first time was back in 2002 when he played solo at Sokol Underground with Tim Easton and Matt Whipkey. “The idea of smart people writing songs for the masses is over,” Eitzel said in an interview in support of that 2002 show. “The masses don’t really want to hear them.” Does he still hold that opinion? Find out tonight. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online here. The show starts at 8 p.m. somewhere in Omaha. 

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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.


Ten Questions with Scott McCaughey (sold out living room show w/Peter Buck 7/11)…

Category: Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:37 pm July 9, 2019

Scott McCaughey plays a living room show in Omaha July 11.

by Tim McMahan,

There’s little doubt that Scott McCaughey would have sold out his July 11 living room show even if his ol’ pal Peter Buck of R.E.M. wasn’t joining him on the tour. McCaughey has played with some of indie music’s greatest acts, including Minus 5 and Young Fresh Fellows, as well as a variety of Peter Buck side projects including The Baseball Project, Filthy Friends and Tired Pony.

Like all Undertow Living Room Shows, this one takes place at someone’s home, whose address is only made known after a ticket has been purchased at the Undertow website. The only clue to the location is the zip code: 68132. So somewhere in Omaha July 11 a group of around 40 people will be listening to songs performed by a couple rock legends.

We caught up with McCaughey and gave him the 10 Questions treatment:

1. What is your favorite album?

Scott McCaughey: THE BEATLES. a/k/a “The White Album”.  I declared it the The Greatest Album In The World back when I was a teenager, and I’m sticking with it.  Strangely, it might not even be the best Beatles album.  But there’s so much of it!  Others: Neil Young – Tonight’s The Night; Big Star – 3rd; The Sonics – Here Are The Sonics, etc.

2. What is your least favorite song?

“I’ve Never Been To Me” – Charlene.  It haunts me to this day.

3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Hanging out with my friends.  Discovering new ways to make each song brilliant on a night to night basis.  Making rules for van behavior, then breaking them.

4. What do you hate about being in a band?

It’s like being married, but without the sex.  In most cases.

5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

A frothy smooth pint of Guinness, maybe at The Long Hall or Mulligan’s in Dublin.  I haven’t had one in years though!

6. In what city or town do you love to perform?

Chicago rules.  Madrid, Spain, is however THE BEST.  The Laurelthirst Public House in Portland, Oregon, has magic.

7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

Oh, my.  Seattle (another one of my top cities to play).  It was at the end of three months of a grueling U.S. Young Fresh Fellows tour and we were in tatters and I took cold medicine and copious alcohols and took it out on my bandmates and audience — in hindsight, anyway.

8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

Yes, somehow.  I quit “regular” work (record store, natch) in 1987 and have been muddling about since then.  There have been some quite lucrative years and many leaner ones.  The secret is don’t expect too much, and be thankful for what you get!

9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

Is musician a profession?  I guess so!  Hard to imagine doing anything else at this point.  It’s my life.  But I’m not going to denigrate anybody else’s job – that’s a luxury to think that way.

10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

I haven’t spent any time there, which is weird.  I mean, I KNOW Conor Oberst! (He’s amazing.) I once met a son of Robert Altman and he sent me a VHS of his documentary called Omaha — that was beautiful and funny and interesting.  But I kind of forgot most of it now.  No working VHS player.

Scott McCaughey plays a sold out living room show July 11. For more information, go to

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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 © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.