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WoodEe Awards

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Beep Beep, Yuppies, Cursive headed to SXSW; Column 206 is (sort of) a rerun...

Three Omaha bands are listed on the South by Southwest website as "official showcase bands": Beep Beep, Cursive and Yuppies. I think this list will only get bigger as we get closer to the event, which is March 18-22 in Austin. You can keep track of the list as it grows right here. No word yet as to whether Saddle Creek or Team Love will be hosting a showcase this year…

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The Modern Age and Rock, Paper, Dynamite are at Slowdown Jr. tonight. $5, 9 p.m.

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This week's column is a consolidation of three or four blog entries from the week prior, so if you're a regular Lazy-i reader, you've seen it all before. I include it here merely for documentarian purposes…

Column 206: Headline Rippers
News from the 'net

Here’s a recap of some news that went down last week that's been burning up the Interwebs.

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Sounds like the Box Elders -- everyone's favorite Omaha garage-punk trio -- annihilated Brooklyn music venue Market Hotel Jan. 10, according to "Box Elders left a lasting impression and had the whole, sold-out, Brooklyn room going crazy," said the reviewer. And apparently Gerard Cosloy was in the house. Cosloy, who started Matador Records with Chris Lombardi in 1990, listed Box Elder's "Hole In My Head" 7-inch on his year-end list of favorite recordings. Will the trio become label mates with Times New Viking? Stay tuned.

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According to a press release from Nettwerk Music Group, Maria Taylor's third solo album, LadyLuck, will be released April 7 on Nettwerk. "Teaming up with producer friends Andy LeMaster (Bright Eyes, Azure Ray and a host of Saddle Creek label mates), Mike Mogis and Lukas Burton and featuring collaborations with Michael Stipe, Nate Walcott of Bright Eyes and Mckenzie Smith of Midlake, LadyLuck showcases Taylor's ability to pull at your heart strings while proving she's not a woman down on her luck," said the release. Two tracks from the album became available on iTunes Jan. 13.

I'm told Nettwerk has handled Taylor's management for years. A Canadian company, the label has released music by Great Lake Swimmers, HEM, Guster, Sarah McLachlan, Skinny Puppy, Ladytron, Josh Rouse, and Single Gun Theory, among others. Interestingly, Nettwerk has a history of fighting the RIAA, and has even offered to pay legal fees to defendants being sued for downloading. According to Wiki: "Nettwerk is one of the first major music companies to abolish DRM, releasing songs in the unrestricted MP3 format, as well as the lossless FLAC and Apple Lossless formats."

It's a shame to see any act leave Saddle Creek, but this shouldn't be a big surprise to the label, considering Taylor's past relationship with Nettwerk. I figured Orenda Fink/Art in Manila would be the first to jump ship. Is this a body-blow to Saddle Creek? Well, anytime you lose a performer of Taylor's caliber, it's gotta hurt.

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Speaking of Orenda, up until this past week, Saddle Creek continued to secretly market (now there's an oxymoron for you) a project called O+S. Creek's December e-mail update listed a full-length from O+S as a future release. At the time, I asked Creek who/what O+S is, and was told "More info to come" from Creek exec Jason Kulbel. Meanwhile, Saddle Creek twittered cryptic messages to its followers, like: "can't wait for you to hear the new O+S album! you're going to love it!"

Well, O+S was revealed last week as a new project by Orenda Fink -- the "O" -- and Scalpelist, aka Cedric Lemoyne of Remy Zero -- the "S." College Music Journal reported on it Monday: "The collaboration originally began with Fink's residency at the Bemis Center of Contemporary Arts in Omaha," CMJ said. "As part of the residency experiment, Fink collected odd sounds on travels from Omaha to Haiti, and eventually asked LeMoyne, her friend for nearly 20 years, to help organize it all. LeMoyne was soon sampling and looping the recordings, ultimately crafting the disparate noises into pop song structures for the two to write songs around."

Look for the album on March 24. The reaction? Disappointment by those who were hoping the O stood for Oberst.

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Flipping through the latest issue of Rolling Stone (which now resembles a copy of Us magazine, I still haven't figured out how to cancel my subscription) I noticed former Omahan Mike Jaworski's Mt. Fuji label mentioned in David Fricke's column. Fricke was shelling out praise for the Whore Moans, a Seattle band that just released its new album -- Hello from the Radio Wasteland -- on Mt. Fuji. Said Fricke, "...the Whore Moans are steadfast believers in loud-fast salvation, or what they call in one power-cord catapult, 'The Holy Fu**ing Moment.' This album has plenty." Nice.

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Tim Kasher talked about getting older in an interview with the Youngstown Vindicator. "Why do people have to act so old?" said Kasher, in the article. "The problem is we all get older, but generally for Americans -- and not myself -- going out to see shows becomes something younger people do, which it doesn't have to be that way. So I think it means more to us when 30-year-olds are into [our music]. Not to dismiss teenagers: When you write and play this umbrella genre of rock ’n’ roll, that’s who listens to it, teenagers."

Kasher went on to say in the article that, believe it or not, he and his band mates were once teen-agers but are now in their 30s. "And it’s not like we’re playing some antiquated music that we don’t believe anymore," he said. "We’re still doing the same things that we believed in then. So I guess it means more to us when there are 30-year-olds who actually have been with us the whole time. I don’t think there are many of them, frankly."

Well, something tells me Kasher will see more than his share this weekend as he and the rest of Cursive play sold-out shows at The Slowdown Friday and Saturday nights. This old guy will be among them.

--Got comments? Post 'em here.--

posted by Tim at 10:47 AM

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