Unsane (noise-punk originators), Violenteer, Big Water at Reverb tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 8:25 am February 23, 2023
Violenteer at The Slowdown, May 4, 2022. The band opens for Unsane tonight at Reverb.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Yeah, Unsane music is intensely hard, but unlike traditional hardcore or modern death-metal, the band’s music carries an undeniable thread of melody and counter-melody that glows through the depths of the ricochet-hand grenade rhythms. Start with a hard-fast guitar riff, layer on top a feedback-fueled lead guitar, and then sing-scream electro-distorted lyrics about alienation, fear and retribution while the drums/bass lay down a strangely funky groove and you’ve got the recipe for an Unsane song. It’s a recipe I heard repeated by many, many bands since Unsane kicked things off with their 1991 self-titled debut album on Matador Records — you know, the one with the decapitated dude on the cover.

Unlike mega-popular metal acts Metallica or Slayer that reveal a cheesy/campy center to their fist-pump rock, Unsane music feels and sounds dark, groovy and sinister. Their music is technically smarter and more compact than your typical goon-rock growl metal, which I can only listen to for about 10 seconds before saying “Turn that shit off.” The fact that Unsane is still touring today is somewhat amazing. 

Randy Cotton, who’s band Violenteer opens tonight’s Unsane show at Reverb Lounge, tells me Unsane recently obtained the rights to their early material, and they’ve remastered and re-released their first S/T record, as well as an album of previously unreleased material recorded before that. “This tour mainly focuses on that early material,” Randy said.

Violenteer will be unveiling a new singer/noisescape artist at tonight’s show. “His name is Steve Tulipana (Season To Risk, Roman Numerals, Slights, or Drop A Grand), and he resides in Kansas City,” Cotton said. “We are super-stoked about it. He will be entering the studio next month to record on our album as well.”

Tulipana is bringing his KC friends Big Water to open tonight’s festivities. The band includes Matt Perrin, formerly of the band Bummer.  “Bummer had really blown up nationally in the last few years,” Cotton said. “They had a sense of humor somewhat reminiscent of Killdozer, yet it was all their own. One writer described Bummer as being sort of like Nirvana on meth.” 

Any other night I’d expect this show to sell out at Reverb Lounge, but the sub-zero windchill could keep folks at home. $15, Big Water kicks things off at 8 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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Ochoa, Steady Wells, Violenteer, Leafblower Saturday; Duma, Guster Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 10:20 am November 11, 2022
Violenteer at The Slowdown, May 4, 2022. The band plays at Reverb Lounge Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here comes the weekend. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a single thing to do tonight show-wise, though Saturday is packed. It’s usually the other way around. So, here’s the line-up.

Friday night is a wasteland. Go to a movie.

Saturday you’ve got options. 

Our old pals Oquoa are headlining at fabulous O’Leaver’s Saturday night, no doubt still playing songs from they 2019 LP Timesquares. It’s indie awash in shoe-gaze awash in frontman Max Holmquist’s brassy tenor voice. Joining them on the bill are Steady Wells featuring Jordan Smith of Twinsmith. Singer/songwriter Alexis DeBoer, whose vocal style is more than a little reminiscent of Angel Olson, opens the show at 9 p.m. $10.

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Meanwhile, across town at Reverb Lounge in Benson, Violenteer headlines a three-band bill Saturday night that includes the band Glow and Max Trax Records artist Leafblower.  $10, 9 p.m. 

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Just around the corner at The Waiting Room, gothy industrial instrumental band Lucida Dark headlines a bill that includes Minor Movements, metal monsters Living Conditions and hot new indie sensation Bug Heaven. 8 p.m. $15.

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And now for something completely different…

Sunday night, The Slowdown is hosting Kenyan-Ugandan industrial grindcore/noise act Duma. Their music is brutally heavy, downright punishing. Just listening to the below track makes me jittery and anxious. Imagine how it’ll sound live. Opening is Masma Dream World, the solo recording project of multi-disciplinary artist/healer Devi Mambouka. Kicking things off is Nebraska’s own leather-clad noise gimp Plack Blague. $20, 8 p.m. In the front room.

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If noise ain’t your thing, our old pals Guster are back in town, this time at The Admiral (a.k.a. Sokol Auditorium). I still remember seeing them play at the old Ranch Bowl back in 1999 when they were just getting going (Here’s a fun Lazy-i interview from back in the day). Not sure what brings them back to Omaha as they don’t have new material coming out (that I know of). Still, should be a great show. Chicago band Ratboys opens at  7 p.m. $30 or $75 balcony.

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 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Neko Case moves to TWR; Violenteer, Mere Shadows tonight; Jeff Rosenstock Saturday; Solid Goldberg, Las Cruxes Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:27 pm June 10, 2022
Las Cruxes plays Sunday night at The Sydney.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Where did the week go? Sorry about the lack of updates, but I was supposed to be on vacation over my birthday (thanks for the birthday wishes via Facebook), but Delta Airlines had other plans and I never made it out of Omaha. And since last weekend, things have been pretty quiet show-wise.

News-wise, the June 23 Neko Case show slated for The Admiral has been moved to The Waiting Room, again because of “construction delays.” Ticket sales must have been slow, as TWR only has about 1/3 the capacity of the Admiral. Should make for an intimate gig (incidentally, Case is requiring patrons wear masks in the club).

Still no official word on when The Admiral will have its grand opening. The June 13 Tech N9n3 show at The Admiral has been rescheduled, while the June 15 Chvrches Admiral show has been moved to The Bourbon in Lincoln. The next shows slated for Admiral — the July 2 and 3 Bright Eyes concerts.

Today, via The Admiral Facebook page: “We are getting so close! The water main break is all cleaned up, the paint is drying, shipments are arriving, barware, sound, & lighting are getting unboxed, inspections are happening…. and we have loads of dusting to do! It’s almost time!!!” Fingers crossed.

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Which brings us to the weekend, much of it to be spent at The Sydney in Benson.

Tonight at The Syd it’s a triple post-punk bill headlined by double-bass madmen Violenteer, with Mere Shadows and Hussies. For whatever reason, The Sydney doesn’t list ticket prices, so I can’t tell you what it’ll cost at the door (but it’s probably around $10). I can tell you it starts at 9 p.m.

Saturday night, indie punk Jeff Rosenstock (Arrogant Sons of Bitches, Bomb the Music Industry!) headlines at The Slowdown. His latest, Ska Dream, was released last year on Polyvinyl, though he’s most well known for his 2018 album, POST-. His set list from last Monday’s show in Seattle (thankfully) implies he may be playing mostly songs off 2020’s No Dream. NNAMDI and Catbite open at 8 p.m. $20 (main room!).

Then Sunday night it’s back to The Sydney for headliner PAGOTO (members of L.A. Witch) with the inimitable Solid Goldberg and Omaha’s top Spanish-language punk band, Las Cruxes. $10, 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 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Mudhoney, Violenteer; A Deer A Horse, No Thanks, Las Cruxes tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm May 5, 2022
Mudhoney at The Slowdown, May 4, 2022.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

One of the good things about post-pandemic rock shows is that clubs seem to have adopted a weeknight, two-band, 8 p.m.-start-time policy, which translates to getting home by 10:30, a nice contrast to the old days when weeknight shows meant dragging your tired carcass home at 1 a.m. and then having to drag it to the office the following morning with four hours’ sleep.

Whether Mudhoney was rebelling against that policy or actually had technical problems last night at The Slowdown will forever be a mystery. One of the band’s grips fiddled with the stage microphones, tested guitars, tested drums, then tested the microphones again for nearly 20 minutes, so that the 9:15 set didn’t start until around 9:50. A classic rock ’n’ roll move? I have a feeling someone was getting high backstage.

In any event, the legendary Seattle four-piece ripped into a set of grunge-flavored psych rock that highlighted musicians whose skills have been honed to a microfine edge. Standouts were legendary drummer Dan Peters in fedora, who was showcased in an extended drum solo early in the set, and lead guitarist Steve Turner, whose tone and style were pure arena gold. Frontman Mark Arm, looking like a rock ’n’ roll version of Lucius Malfoy, cracked heavy his own guitar solos and was in prefect voice, no doubt just as he’s done for the past three decades.

Listening to this band was like staring at a musical moment captured in amber, their sound the epitome of ‘90s-era big-guitar alt rock. For better or worse, music has changed dramatically over the past 30 years, though the audience only slightly so. Among the gray-haired fans was sprinkled a new generation of rock fans that looked much more clean-cut than the grunge rockers I remember from the early ‘90s.

Violenteer at The Slowdown, May 4, 2022.

Opening (on time) was Omaha’s own Violenteer. Last night’s performance felt heavier and more sludgy then their set a couple weeks ago at O’Leaver’s. The band’s double-bass attack was roped in by Eric Ebers’ precise drumming, and vacillated between metal, math and prog in their mostly instrumental compositions that became trance-inducing at times, especially on the set’s closing song, that went from stoner to psych rock in a deliciously Floydian fashion.

Leader Randy Cotton mentioned from stage that the band will be entering the studio to record a new album in the near future. More to come…

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Two shows again to choose from on this Cinco de Mayo.

Over at The Sydney in Benson, Brooklyn noise rock band A Deer A Horse headlines. Joining them are Omaha punk masters No Thanks and Goofy Gooey. $10, 9 p.m. (What’d I say about weeknight shows with 2-band bills and 8 p.m. start times? Not at The Sydney).

Also tonight, Omaha punkers Las Cruxes headlines a bill at Pageturners Lounge in Dundee. Joining them are Chicago’s Kelroy and NYC’s Brook Prodemore. I’m told the first band will hit the stage at 9:30. No idea on price. BTW, this same line-up is playing tomorrow night at The Down Under.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Simon Joyner ‘Made to Order’; Mudhoney, Violenteer, Beach Bunny tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:39 pm May 4, 2022
Violenteer at O’Leaver’s April 15. The band opens for Mudhoney tonight at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Last week legendary Omaha singer/songwriter Joyner announced that in preparation for his upcoming East Coast tour in July, he’s offering a one-of-a-kind CD of home recordings of songs chosen by the purchaser. It’s like creating your personal Simon Joyner play list, then having Joyner perform and record new renditions of each song, at a starting price of $5 per song. The songs will be recorded next month and the CD will be shipped out before the July tour.

Says Joyner: “Each Made to Order CD will be packaged in a deluxe gatefold jacket, designed and screen printed by Sara Adkisson Joyner. I will inscribe, sign and hand-write your title selections. And each will of course be numbered 1/1 since they’ll all be unique. It promises to be a true labor of love but a sweet little suite of songs guaranteed to keep the customer satisfied and arriving in a sturdy, handsome package!

I can only guess how he’s going to pull this off, but figure a large percentage of buyers will choose the same songs — i.e., Simon’s greatest hits. The ones that come to mind: “Javelin,” “Joy Division,” “One for the Catholic Girls,” “The Only Living Boy in Omaha,” and of course, “Double Joe” from his Room Temperature album. But just as likely, folks will select one-off rarities like “Here Come the Balloons” from the 2003 limited edition 7-inch from Tongue Master Records.

Some very old songs may be difficult to remember but I will do my best to honor all requests!,” Joyner writes. “Here is your chance to hear a new recording of something I rarely play live, for instance, or something I wrote so long ago that I no longer remember the chords or words. I will have to go back and re-learn some, I’m sure.

Orders are being taken through the end of May. Check out his Bandcamp page for more info.

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It’s nice to see competing shows on a Wednesday night. It’s got to mean something about the return of normality, or maybe it doesn’t….

Tonight at The Slowdown, Seattle grunge-era punk legends Mudhoney headline. The band is said to have influenced such classic ‘90s acts as Nirvana and Alice in Chains, and is probably best known for their singles “Touch Me I’m Sick” and “Suck You Dry.” Their most recent release is 2019 self-release Pedazo De Pastel. Opening the show at 8 p.m. is our very own Violenteer, the double-bass-attack rock band fronted by Randy Cotton (Ravine, Ritual Device), reviewed here. Tickets are $25, and this is a No Vax No Entry show, so bring your evidence.

Also tonight, Chicago indie four-piece Beach Bunny headlines a sold-out show at The Waiting Room. The band has a new album slated for release in July on Mom+Pop Records, who also released their 2020 album Honeymoon. The bands Wednesday and Ky Voss open at 8 p.m. This also is a No Vax No Entry show.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Violenteer, The Sun-Less Trio; Jon Spencer and the HITmakers CANCELLED…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , — @ 12:56 pm April 18, 2022
Violenteer at O’Leaver’s, April 15, 2022.

by TIm McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Has it really been more than two years since I went to a show at O’Leaver’s?

The Club first closed due to COVID-19 in March 2020. I think the last show I saw there prior to that was Lincoln band Perfect Form, who played O’Leaver’s in February 2020.

Stepping back through the doors Friday night, it felt like nothing changed. They added booths up near the “stage” and moved the piano over to along the wall where I like to lean on stage left. Maybe that was the reason the room felt a little smaller, tighter than I remembered. Everything else was the same, though, even the smell. And there were plenty of familiar faces in the crowd who I haven’t seen at a rock show since before the plague came to town. It was good to be back.

Violenteer is a band that consists of former members of classic Omaha Golden Age band Ritual Device. Randy Cotton and his brother, Barry, are up front providing a double-bass attack while drummer Eric Ebers keeps the flow going with gusto. I expected the trio to sound like the next iteration of Rondy’s follow-up to Ritual Device, a pseudo metal-punk band called Ravine. But Violenteer surprised me by its variety of styles that ranged from punk, math and best of all, a psychedelic throb reminiscent of early Pink Floyd.

The highlight of the evening was the second song of their set, an instrumental (as most songs were) that built in intensity and gravity, recalling the heavier moments of Floyd’s Meddle. Barry and Randy created balanced counter melodies that gave the music a surprising dimension. Almost as interesting were a couple prog/mathy instrumentals, and less so the punk stuff where one or both Cottons provided some yell vocals, but hey, you have to mix it up, right?

The Sun-Less Trio at O’Leaver’s, April 15, 2022.

Opening was Mike Saklar’s The Sun-Less Trio. Mike also is a former member of Ritual Device and Ravine, though this trio’s bread and butter is psych rock with classic rock leanings, powered by Saklar’s guitar prowess, which is somewhat legendary.

Like I said, it was good to be back to O’Leaver’s. And if you missed it, there’s another show next month with Wagon Blasters. That said, I’m skeptical O’Leaver’s will ever be what it once was — the go-to place for small touring punk bands and indie acts to land between tour stops, where any night of the week you could be surprised at who you might be seeing and hearing. That these shows are free makes me think they’re merely a nod to their past, a sort of musical philanthropy that the owners realize we all need after two years of pandemic.

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Speaking of pandemics, tonight’s Jon Spencer and the HITmakers show slated for The Waiting Room has been cancelled. Last night’s show at 7th Avenue in Minneapolis also was cancelled due to someone in Spencer’s band coming down with COVID. When is this pandemic going to end?

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Violenteer, The Sun-Less Trio tonight (at O’Leaver’s!)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:01 pm April 15, 2022
Violenteer plays tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Pretty quiet weekend for shows. As has always been the case, we get a lot of touring indie bands during the week as they head to bigger cities for the weekend. Woe is us. That means weekends are typically dedicated to local band shows, and that’s cool, too.

The only one on my radar this weekend is tonight at fabulous O’Leaver’s headlined by new band Violenteer. About the band:

Hailing from the fertile musical heartland of Omaha, Nebraska, informed by numerous local projects, recordings, and national tours, and by time spent jamming in the Portland music scene, band founder Randy Cotton joined with his brother and long-time creative collaborator Barry Cotton (Members of the Press) and drummer Eric Ebers (Ritual Device, Ravine) to create Violenteer during the COVID global pandemic. As a permanent three piece who occasionally fold-in other acclaimed musicians to add mod-synth, samples, lap-steel, and guitar layers for recording and live shows, Violenteer collectively posit an innovative musical take on this often dark, violent, confusing, and sometimes beautiful world.

The band will be opening for classic ’80s-’90s grunge band Mudhoney at The Slowdown May 4. Here’s your chance for a sneak preview. Also on the bill is Mike Saklar’s The Sun-Less Trio, and Lincoln metal band The Fatal E’s. It’s a free show. In fact, next month’s show at O’Leaver’s with Wagon Blasters also is free. I’m sure there’s a story behind that. The fun starts at 9 p.m.

That’s all I got for the weekend. 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 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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i