Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Mynabirds are in the studio now, on tour in March

Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds (Photo courtesy Saddle Creek Records)
You may already know this from following The Mynabirds' Twitter, but singer/frontwoman Laura Burhenn has been in the studio recording once again with Richard Swift.

Swift produced The Mynabirds' first album, "What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood," which is fantastic and was one of my best albums of 2010.

The Mynabirds recently performed "Roses While I'm Living" for The 78 Project, a video project that films breakout artists singing songs from the past and recorded on old technology. The song is by Dock Boggs, an influential singer and banjo player. You can watch the video below, which includes the soulful song and a bit of an interview.

The Mynabirds are also going out on a short tour, including to SXSW. Big Harp will be supporting them starting on March 10. An Omaha date comes shortly thereafter on March 23 at the Waiting Room. I'll be there. Will you?

The Mynabirds Tour Dates - Spring 2012
Mar-07, Denver, CO, The Walnut Room
Mar-08, Salt Lake City, UT, Kilby Court
Mar-10, Los Angeles, CA, Hotel Cafe
Mar-13, Tucson, AZ, Solar Culture
Mar-21, Des Moines, IA, Vaudeville Mews
Mar-22, Minneapolis, MN, 7th Street Entry
Mar-23, Omaha, NE, The Waiting Room

Monday, January 16, 2012

Icky Blossoms sign to Saddle Creek

If you've been around the Omaha music hangouts, you've probably already heard the rumblings about Icky Blossoms getting signed.

Now, it's official. Icky Blossoms has signed with Omaha's indie label Saddle Creek Records and is going to record with Dave Sitek from TV On The Radio in Los Angeles.

Icky Blossoms is Tilly And The Wall's Derek Presnall, filmmaker/musician Nik Fackler, and vocalist Sarah Bohling. The band formed from Presnall's former band Flowers Forever, which had one release on Team Love and performed at Conor Oberst's Concert For Equality.

I really dig the song "Perfect Vision," which is streaming on the bands website. It - along with other songs from the band - is hazy, dreamy pop that you could either space out during or get up and dance to. Listen over here.

More info is coming on the band's album and some tour dates and the like. (I'm a little surprised they didn't wait to release this info until they had a release date or an album title, but what do I know about running a record label?)

What do you think about the signing? I like that Saddle Creek has gone with another Omaha band.

Conor Oberst and Phil Schaffart play a secret show in Omaha

Conor Oberst (Credit: Alyssa Schukar/The World-Herald)
"Phil and Conor are playing at Krug Park tonight. Don't tell too many people..."

That was the text I got at about 6 p.m. last night. The "Conor and Phil" in the text were, of course, Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes and Phil Schaffart, a member of Bright Eyes' road crew and frontman of Omaha band Con Dios.

They were playing a secret show at 9 p.m. in Omaha.


Secret shows are a somewhat regular occurrence in locales such as New York where there are enough "name" bands to be able to fill small clubs and bars at a moment's notice.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Weekend Roundup: Lots going on this weekend

There's some good shows going on this weekend, all of them local.

Who's going out this weekend?

• Omaha rapper Jimmy Hooligan takes the stage tonight at Slowdown. $10 tickets

• See rockabilly band the Blacktop Ramblers tonight at the Waiting Room. $7 at the door.

• It ain't a concert, but O'Leaver's will have its Men Of O'Leaver's 2012 calendar available on Saturday. I've seen some of the images and they are both glorious and disturbing. There's a release party/signing at 9 p.m.

• Also at the Waiting Room this weekend is the Hootenanny on Sunday. A bunch of local musicians will be playing and jamming to raise money for the Gifford Park Teen Market Garden. $5 at the door.

• If you like the Doors, you should head to Slowdown's front room on Sunday. The Lizard King, a Doors tribute band, features a lot of talented, local guys. $7 tickets.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

311's Nick Hexum broke his elbow, will have surgery

311 is, from left, Chad Sexton, SA Martinez, Nick Hexum, P-Nut and Tim Mahoney.

Today on Twitter, 311 singer/guitarist Nick Hexum dropped some news: he broke his elbow riding his bike and walking his dog at the same time.

The Omaha native said he broke his bone cleanly, is in a cast and will have surgery.

He says he'll be fine for 311 Day, the March 11 concert (3-11, get it?) the band puts on every other year or so. This year it's a three-day event (fan event and two nights of 311 concerts) in Las Vegas.

Tickets to the event, $102 to $135, get you into both concerts and are still available.

"I'm going to make a full recovery and be burning up the fretboard in no time!" Hexum said in his post.

I know I have some 311 fans that hang around this blog. Are any of you headed to 311 Day this year? Let's talk in the comments!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Conduits' self-titled album will come out on Team Love

Team Love - the New York-based label co-founded by Conor Oberst - has cut back in recent years with the economy taking a dive, but that hasn't stopped them from releasing Omaha band Conduits' upcoming, self-titled album.

You can pre-order the album over at Team Love's store.

The band is also out on tour in March and April with Cursive, which will be a big boost for the group.

(Note: Conduits says on its Facebook page that the album comes out on March 20. Team Love's website says it comes out on March 30. When is it actually available? I'm trying to find out.)

Update: The album does indeed come out March 20. Team Love will ship pre-order copies about two weeks before that date, so get to ordering!

You can download the band's "Top Of The Hill" from its BandPage on Facebook and also listen to it below.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Anchor Inn closing. What does it mean for Omaha music?

[UPDATE:] Here's the full news story from the OWH's Roseann Moring, who has all of the details concerning the city planning director and Omaha's zoning laws (which state the Anchor inn can't be rebuilt).

And the land lesees responded with a statement saying they think they're not violating zoning laws.

So, the city is telling the Anchor Inn that it can't rebuild and re-open. The nitty-gritty details have a lot to do with FEMA money, flooding, city land leases and all that.

But the short story is that the bar (and occasional concert venue) won't be re-opening even though they've started rebuilding the property.

I dropped a line to Marc Leibowitz at 1% Productions to ask him what he thought of it.

Marc told me that 1%'s lone 2011 booking at the bar's riverside stage - Yonder Mountain String Band - had to be moved because of flooding problems.

Leibowitz wasn't planning on booking anything at the Anchor Inn this summer.

"There's no reputable agent that would book a venue that doesn't exist," he said. "It (currently) has no stage and it hasn't been open so it doesn't exist as a venue."

Anchor Inn had been used in the past primarliy because promoters couldn't find a similarly-sized venue. Other outdoor locations such as Westfair Amphitheatre east of Council Bluffs are cost-prohibitive for small concerts. ("You can't put 1,000 people at Westfair," Leibowitz said.)

Leibowitz said 1% is looking at places including Sumtur Amphitheater in Papillion for outdoor shows. Lewis & Clark Landing in Omaha (where Maha Music Festival debuted) is another option, but Leibowitz said it's booked just about every weekend.

What do you think about the closure? Do you have any epic Anchor Inn memories?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Video: My top 10 albums of 2011

In case you missed my top 10 albums of 2011, I have a new video version of it.

It's myself and online editor Randi Stevenson doing a quick rundown of the list.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Download Cursive's 'The Sun And Moon'

Today, you can download "The Sun And Moon," the first track from Cursive's upcoming album "I Am Gemini." Get it below.

Cursive also announced even more tour dates. Their first leg ends in Omaha on March 3. They head back out on March 22 with Omaha band Conduits in tow, which is a fantastic gig for an Omaha band. Let's hope they make the best of it.

Anyway, "I Am Gemini" comes out on Feb. 21. You can pre-order the album starting today from Saddle Creek Records' online store or from iTunes. Pre-orders will be shipped two weeks early on Feb. 7.

"I Am Gemini" is another Cursive concept album, this time about brothers Cassius and Pollock, one good and one evil that were separated at birth. It was written by Tim Kasher from start to finish and recorded at Omaha's ARC Studios and mixed at Red Room in Seattle, Wash., with producer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Minus The Bear, Isis), who also did Kasher's solo album.

Tour dates are after the jump.