Outlandia vs. Maha (vs. Petfest)… Cassandra Jenkins, Andy Shauf tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 12:47 pm March 22, 2022
Outlandia vs. Maha, both are winners.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

As we all know by now, Outlandia Festival announced their line-up yesterday, and it’s easily the biggest drawing ticket of any local festival in recent memory.

Wilco, The National, Band of Horses, Silversun Pickups, The Breeders, Local Natives, Real Estate are the top “gets,” and each is a big draw by themselves. The price point of $79 single day / $149 2-day is a bargain (but don’t forget the $25 parking fee (or $15 if you’re willing to take a shuttle)). I don’t know what Falconwood Park’s capacity is, but even without knowing, I have to believe this will sell out. Tickets go on sale this Friday, and the festival is Aug. 12 and 13.

Meanwhile, today The Maha folks announced its line-up for their festival July 29 and 30 at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village. The headliner is Beach House, who currently has the No. 1 album on the college radio charts (It already topped the Billboard rock and alt charts), with Car Seat Headrest returning to headline the Friday night lineup. Filling in the gaps are Princess Nokia, PUP, Indigo De Souza, Sudan Archives, Bartees Strange, Geese and Sweeping Promises. Tickets are $35 for Friday night, $65 for Saturday, and $85 for the two-day event. Parking is free.

In a cage match where ticket sales are the key to victory, Outlandia will win hands down. But there’s one problem with Outlandia’s line-up, for me anyway: There’s not a single band I want to see. Everyone is ga-ga about The National, which to me is like the (comedian) Steven Wright of indie bands. Droll, very droll. I’ve seen Wilco before (Zzzzz), and I was at Aksarben Coliseum when The Breeders opened for Nirvana 30 years ago, and that was a snooze.

Outlandia’s history has direct ties with the Maha Festival. Three dudes who originally put together Maha are involved, and I guess that partially explains the line-up. Those guys all worship Wilco and have wanted to book them at Maha as long as I can remember. The knock against Outlandia: It’s old white-guy music, Dad Rock. Maybe so, but Dad Rock sells, baby, especial in this market.

As for Maha, well, I’m not a big Beach House fan, either. I’ve seen them live at TWR, and they bored me to tears. But, I love Indigo, Car Seat and PUP, and am intrigued by Geese, Bartees and Sweeping Promises. Actually, I’m intrigued by the entire line-up except Beach House, but I’ve never liked Maha’s headliners. This year’s Maha Fest is like a SXSW showcase sponsored by Pitchfork. Of the bands booked, only Beach House, PUP and Car Seat Headrest could fill The Waiting Room. The rest (except for maybe Princess Nokia and Sudan Archives, who I know nothing about) would be hard-pressed to sell out Reverb. Compared to Outlandia, Maha’s line-up is more youth-targeted, diverse and likely to sell poorly in a market that doesn’t have a real college radio station. But that’s always been the case.

Outlandia only has two local bands on the bill, Clarence Tilton and Masonjixx. Maha has six local acts, but still manages to miss the mark when it comes to capturing what’s going on in local indie music scene. Only Spanish-language punk band Las Cruxes fits that bill.

That’s where Petfest comes in. The tiny festival hosted behind Petshop Gallery in Benson just happens to be the same day as Outlandia this year — Aug. 13 — and the ticket price is about the same as Outlandia’s parking fee. Hands down, Petfest has the best local line-up of any festival or concert. Having seen this year’s line-up, I can tell you that will be true again. But this year, it’ll also have a few national touring acts, too. Because of Outlandia’s surprise announcement yesterday, Petfest has decided to slow-drip announcing their line-up over the next couple of weeks.

So who will be the big winner? In my opinion, all of them will be. Because as I said before, Outlandia targets a different audience than Maha (or Petfest). As a wise man told me, the kids will be at Maha, and their dads will be at Outlandia.

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Tonight at The Waiting Room, Cassandra Jenkins opens for Andy Shauf. Her 2021 album, An Overview of Phenomenal Nature, was on my 2021 year-end best-of list. Andy Shauf’s latest, The Neon Skyline, is out on ANTI- records. 8:30, $20.

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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.


Jeremy Messersmith house show; Sufjan Stevens, Low headed our way; Wilco giveaway; Author, Good Living North Platte tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:43 pm July 21, 2015

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I typically don’t write about upcoming shows, but there are a few that have just been announced that are under the radar.

First among them is a house show featuring Jeremy Messersmith Tuesday, Aug. 4, at a “midtown” location (You’ll find out where presumably when you buy your ticket). Messersmith is calling this his “Supper Club Tour.” Says Messersmith: “I want you to bring the food. But not just any food! I want to try your best, most mouthwatering dishes; the kind passed down through battered cookbooks, the kind that you’ve sworn to keep secret. I want to provide a soundtrack while you sample a feast the likes of which will never be seen again.” Mmmm. You can purchase your $20 tickets right here. I gotta believe space is limited…

Also announced today:

Sufjan Stevens is returning to Omaha, this time to the Orpheum Oct. 28. The last time he came through town with his band was way back in September 2005. From the review of that show:

Sufjan Stevens at Sokol Underground, Sept. 20, 2005.

Sufjan Stevens at Sokol Underground, Sept. 20, 2005.

Packed it was last night at Sokol Underground. It was sold out, and we’ll leave it at that. Packed from stage to the merch table, wall to wall, a mass of humanity come to see Sufjan Stevens and his 8-person band of cheerleader musicians dressed in their Big “I” T-shirts, some holding pompoms, all playing a myriad of instruments, most singing. The pompoms weren’t mere props. Stevens and crew began four or five songs with well-choreographed cheers, complete with arm signals and spirit fingers. It was that kind of set, a goodhearted rah-rah for ol’ Illinois, all in celebration of his second “state LP,” this one dedicated to The Prairie State.

Seriously, at times it was like listening to a choir led by a little guy in a Cubs hat with a voice that was a morph of Art Garfunkel and Ben Gibbard singing lullabies to Jacksonville, Decatur and Chicago. I didn’t know what to expect from the arrangements, I knew Stevens would be hard-pressed to recreate the lushness heard on the CD. But by God, he captured the majesty thanks to the glockenspiels and brass (especially his trumpet player) and keyboards and battery of percussion and those four female cheerleaders whose angel-voices made the whole thing float. Listening to Come on Feel The Illinoise as I write this after the show, I think everything was a tad funkier live, especially “Decatur,” which sported a nice bass riff and finger snaps and probably some sort of synchronized cheer-dance. After playing high school pep-rally standard “Varsity,” the band came back and did a one-song encore that nicely rounded off the hour-long set.

It was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Considering the overall glumness of his new record, Carrie & Lowell, I don’t expect the Orpheum show to be as light-hearted. Still, this is must-see stuff. Presale tickets available here beginning tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Another must-see show announced today, Low plays Reverb Lounge Nov. 12.

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If you haven’t seen it, the Wall Street Journal chimed in on Wilco giving away digital downloads of their latest album, Star Wars. You can download the album for free from here. Says the WSJ: “The popularity of the surprise album release—and Wilco’s decision to offer theirs for free—shows how much less album releases matter to many major artists relative to touring and other revenue streams.” and “… for acts such as Wilco, whose albums sell well but aren’t massive industry blockbusters, touring is the bigger part of the equation.”

This brought up a discussion last night at a dinner, where it was suggested that bands giving away digital versions of their music would become “the norm,” and that bands would rely on a combination of performance income, publishing rights sales (i.e. TV / commercial / movie use) and vinyl sales (and other merch) for the majority of their income. This may be work for established bands like Wilco, but it would likely mean hard times for up-and-coming acts…

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One show of note tonight: Minneapolis four-piece Author plays at Reverb Lounge. Their most recent release, Of Brighter Days, came out this past January (listen to it below). Kind of Washed Out meets Owl City, sort of.  Opening is KC’s The Author and The Illustrator and EKLECTICA. $8, 8 p.m.

Also, the Good Living Tour rolls into North Platte tonight for a show downtown on “The Bricks,” (whatever that is). On the bill: A Ferocious Jungle Cat, Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies and M34N STR33T. Oh my, what those railroaders are in for… The free show starts at 8 and is all ages.

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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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


MAHA announcement 4/22; Wilco plays for free; Fun, Antiquarium subversion tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:00 pm April 10, 2012

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

MAHA logo

The fine folks at the MAHA Music Festival announced via social media yesterday that they’ll be making a line-up announcement April 22 for the festival, which is slated for Aug. 11 at Stinson Park. While I don’t know what they’re going to announce, something tells me it’ll be more interesting than what Stir announced a couple weeks ago, though that’s not saying much when you’re talking about acts like Creed and Michael Bolton. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, it was announced yesterday that one prize plum of a band, Wilco, will be playing the free Saturday in the Park concert in Sioux City July 7, along with overrated “soul diva” Joss Stone and  Black Crowes croaker Chris Robinson and the Brotherhood. Strangely, one of the strongest bookings locally last year was Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at the free Playing with Fire concert at Stinson Park. It’s amazing how these bands keep getting booked to do free festivals, while the folks charging for tickets are being left in the dust.

That said, Wilco live bores the living piss out of me, especially since they’ve turned into a pseudo jam band. Regardless, both MAHA and Red Sky would have loved to have had them for their event. Who knows, maybe Red Sky will sneak Wilco in on one of their dates (sched shows they’re free July 16-20) though I doubt it. We already know one Red Sky booking, and I’ve been told by a couple people another (Here’s a hint: it’s a hair band). Red Sky has to pull off at least one cool band this year, right? RIGHT? Well, actually, no, they don’t.

Funny how Stir and now (apparently) MAHA are beating Red Sky to the punch when it comes to line-up announcements, unless of course, RS is struggling again this year to fill their dates. Ask yourself what band could Live Nation, their booking agency, schedule that would would fill the Ameritrade Ball Park. Springsteen? He’s in Europe in July. How about… Radiohead? They’re in Asia in July. Arcade Fire? They’re not touring, and it would never happen anyway. That leaves a bevy of country acts who I don’t know and don’t want to know, and a boatload of Freedom Rock bands…. things are looking mighty grim for Nebraska’s “biggest festival”…

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Speaking of sold-out shows, pop band Fun is playing Slowdown tonight with Sleeper Agent. This one has been sold out for weeks. (This is turning into a big week for One Percent productions). Note: It’s an 8 p.m. start time.

Don’t have tix? Well then head over to The Waiting Room for the next best thing: The Antiquarium’s Subversive Showcase Vol. 2 featuring Phoenix Karaoke with Loopy Eddie, Outlaw Con Bandana, Places We Slept, Morning At Sea, a comedy troupe and a DJ. What more could you want for just $5? Starts at 9.

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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.