by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
What to say about Biters, who played at Slowdown Jr. last Friday, other than they brought the big-guitar glam-pop rock like no one since maybe Butch Walker at TWR last year and certainly like no band from around here. Their sound was pure Cheap Trick meets T. Rex meets The Stooges meets The Boys meets… well, you get the picture. One could argue that the sound is at its very core derivative, and that derivative is exactly what the crowd was there for. With the shag cuts, skinny-leg black pants and rock Ts, they certainly were trying to look the part of a NY glam punk band circa 1980-something. And you could toss them off as just another modern tribute if they weren’t so darn good at what they do — wet-leather tight from the duo guitars to the amped-up rhythm section and the too-wordy frontman with the inane between-song (or in some cases during-song) crowd patter. After the last few years of somber-dream-vibe and/or country-hick indie, I could use more of this.
Biters were followed by fellow Atlanta rockers The Booze, who put on a clinic of how to ape Exile-era Rolling Stones right down to wee frontman Chaz Tolliver’s Jagger strut. With their unintentional hippie-era costuming, it would be easy to make fun of — or simiply discard — this band if (again) it wasn’t so good. Makes you wonder why the focus in Altanta isn’t on these two fun and amazing acts…
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Over the weekend, the ol’ Twitter account finally topped 500 followers, thanks to @autopilot_art a.k.a. Alexia Thiele, who as Lazy-i’s 500th Twitter follower wins nothing except my humble gratitude and my suggestion that everyone who reads this should check out autopilot-art.com, Alexia’s small but mighty Omaha-based clothing business. I met Alexia once while shopping for hoodies down at American Apparel, wherein I suggested that all long-sleeve T-shirts should have a hood sewn on them (and inwhich she agreed). As for what it means to reach the 500 mark — well, not very much. As we watch the not-so-interesting evolution of Social Media, Facebook is clearly coming out on top, and will remain so, while Twitter will always be a tool for promotion moreso than conversation. Anyway, thanks Alexia and the 499 others who follow @tim_mcmahan. 1,000 here we come.
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Finally, and briefly, I’ve had a few people ask what I think of the Stir Cove concert series line-up that Harrah’s announced last week (which is listed here). My initial reaction is that Harrah’s seems to be oh so gradually getting interested in the big name indie acts, and as a result, could provide some competition for the one important music promoter in our neck of the woods. Black Keys was announced in February, and sold out a few weeks later. Mumford & Sons, a band that has caught the attention of folks into formulaic Euro-ethnic rock, sold out within hours of its show announcement. Good for them. Something tells me Flaming Lips will be next. As for the rest of the line-up, well, there’s a reason why they call them “casino acts” — almost all are bands that had their best days a long time ago, except for apparently Eric Church, who I’ve never heard of. Last year the Stir folks dipped their toe in the indie waters with Phoenix. How long before they realize that major CMJ performers are good for their business? And if they ever do, what will it mean for those Omaha venues that depend on the big indie acts for their livelihoods?
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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.