Daniel Pujol will release a new album with Saddle Creek Records in May. (Photo by Johnathan Kingsbury)
Daniel Pujol sings about living in a public world and being down in the pitch black on his new single, “Pitch Black.” Listen to “Pitch Black” below.
It’s the first single from PUJOL’s upcoming 11-song album, “KLUDGE,” which will be released May 20 on Saddle Creek Records.
“KLUDGE” is only his second full-length, after 2012′s “United States of Being,” but PUJOL has released a multitude of EPs and singles with everyone from Saddle Creek to Third Man.
According to the press release, “KLUDGE” examines ‘well-worn subjects like love, death, authenticity, identity, alienation and society, Pujol applies a filter completely his own and brings these ideas to a place they’ve never existed before. His words examine the world with his signature brand of skepticism, humor, idealism, and an unmistakable earnestness and sincerity.” Pre-order the album right here.
Some songs, such as “Circles,” have been in PUJOL’s repertoire since early last year. (See a full tracklist after the jump.) He even told me about it when I spoke to him last: “I’m super excited about that one. Every instrument in the song is supposed to imitate the feeling of spinning because it’s a song about being stuck in a thought circle. I want the music to sound like you’re in a circle.”
I dig the guy’s garage rock, which is delivered with a wink, and “Pitch Black” is another excellent track to add to the catalog. Like Mikal Cronin and Ty Segall, Pujol packages a pop song in a guitar-heavy garage track. Listen once and you’ll be singing the chorus all afternoon.
The cover art is simply a photo of his guitar amplifier, from which he long ago pulled the speaker and added a fake fish bowl. (If you ever see him live, you can see the sucker lit up. It powers a pretty decent stack.)
Twinsmith is, from left, Bill Sharp, Jordan Smith, Matt Regner and Oliver Morgan.
A little more than a year ago, Twinsmith didn’t even exist.
Now the fuzzy, beachy Omaha rock group is a local buzz band.
Since playing its first show last year, Twinsmith has released a self-titled album full of surf rock and echoing reverb as well as a 7-inch vinyl single with Saddle Creek Records. The band has already hit the road to tour both coasts, and Twinsmith is headed to South by Southwest in the coming weeks — trips essential for any indie rock band that hopes to be heard outside of its hometown.
Last February, band members went by the name Betsy Wells, but it wasn’t nearly the same group.
At the time, singer/guitarist Jordan Smith and his friends played folk rock. They were even ready to cut a different album, but when the band’s lineup went through a shakeup, they decided to try something else.
Smith, Matt Regner and Bill Sharp swapped their old drummer for Omaha rock veteran Oliver Morgan, and the band decided to rename itself and head in whatever direction the wind would take them.
“I think we were over writing these folkier songs,” Smith told me. “It was like, ‘Let’s totally start brand new.’ It felt refreshing.”
They landed on the beach, so to speak.
With InDreama, The Caves, Lot Walks
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St.
Tickets: $7 at etix.com, Homer’s Music or at the venue
Information: onepercent-productions.com or 402-345-7569
With Gordon, Jeazlepeats
When: 9 p.m. Sunday
Where: Vega, 350 Canopy St. in Lincoln
Tickets: $5 for those 21 and over, $7 for those 18 to 20
Information: vegalincoln.com or 402-805-4785
On songs such as “1’30” ” and “Big Deal,” Twinsmith plays sunny surf rock the likes of Wavves and Team Spirit. It’s not the usual thing you’d expect from a band hailing from a land-locked state, but that’s the way the band likes it.
“We never thought about it too much. I don’t know how to not make it beachy,” Smith said. “It sounded like fun music to play being from Omaha. … We keep it simple. Three chord structures with a fun beat to it.”
They’re already working on material for a sophomore album, and they’ll play at least two of those songs at a pair of SXSW send-off shows this weekend in Omaha and Lincoln.
Twinsmith has been ambitious with touring, and it seems to be paying off. Smith said the band members have the attitude that they want to be successful and perform as long as they can.
“As long as we can put out records and go on tour, we’re gonna do it, I don’t want to regret anything. I don’t want to be saying five years from now, ‘I really wish we would have gone on some tours,’ ” he said. “We have the van. We have the time off. Let’s do this.”
Spring is just around the corner, and though the vernal equinox (the first official day of spring) doesn’t come until March 20, we’re in the mood for sunnier skies.
We’re already planning an outing to the park, to a ballgame and to just about anywhere that doesn’t involve the words “inside” or “snow.” To get us ready, the iPod is loaded with the following spring playlist.
“Here Comes the Sun,” The Beatles
The sun! Finally. George Harrison’s beautiful composition captures exactly what we’ve been feeling. It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter, indeed.
“Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” Creedence Clearwater Revival
As sure as there will be sun this spring, there will most certainly be plenty of rain — both showers and thunderstorms.
“Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season),” The Byrds
This oldie talks seasons, but it’s also perfectly mellow and just the sort of thing we have in for springtime.
“All the Way,” Eddie Vedder
Baseball and new beginnings — two of our favorite things about spring — are captured beautifully by the Pearl Jam frontman in this tune about his beloved Cubbies.
“Happy,” Pharrell Williams
Sunshine is here, and Pharrell has us feeling a groove. As he sings, can’t nothing bring us down from this one.
“If She Wants Me,” Belle & Sebastian
Bright and strummy is how we like it.
“Life in Technicolor,” Coldplay
The name says it all: This two and a half-minute instrumental is the feeling of waking up one day and realizing everything outside is becoming brighter and more vivid.
“All My Friends,” LCD Soundsystem
This song starts with a spritely piano melody and then builds and builds and builds until it’s so bright and beautiful you can’t help but love it.
“I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz
We feel Mraz should be used sparingly, but we dig this tune for any time we feel like relaxing in a lawn chair with a glass of lemonade. It will therefore be used often in the coming months.
“The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy),” Simon & Garfunkel
We don’t know if we love this song because it’s so familiar or because we just wanna feel groovy.
What’s your favorite? Mention it in the comments and we’ll add it to the playlist below.
Welcome to “Just Announced,” a weekly feature of all the notable concerts in the Omaha/Lincoln, Neb., area that were announced this week.
Without further ado, here they are:
♦ Pop duo Karmin, which features Nebraska native Amy Heidemann, will put out its debut full-length album, “Pulses,” with Epic Records on March 25. The group will play Slowdown on May 3. Tickets, $20, go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at onepercentproductions.com.
♦ Americana two-piece Little Hurricane will release sophomore album “Gold Fever” and play The Waiting Room Lounge on May 6. Tickets, $12, go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at onepercentproductions.com.
♦ Pop-rock bands Hellogoodbye and Vacationer are teaming up for a co-headlining tour that includes a stop at The Waiting Room Lounge on May 9. Tickets, $15, go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at onepercentproductions.com.
♦ Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg recently recorded their third full-length album as First Aid Kit in Omaha’s ARC Studios, and they also appear on Conor Oberst’s upcoming solo record. Catch them performing June 2 at The Waiting Room Lounge. Tickets, $15, go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at onepercentproductions.com.
♦ Omaha electro-rock band The Faint will release a new album, “Doom Abuse,” on April 8. They’ll follow with a tour that takes them to Omaha’s Sokol Auditorium on June 13. Tickets, $20, go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at onepercentproductions.com.
♦ Pinewood Bowl has made its first announcement for this summer’s concert season: The Moody Blues will play the outdoor amphitheater at Lincoln’s Pioneers Park on Aug. 25. Tickets, $36 to $175, go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster or the venue box office.
No more tickets left for these shows. Better find a friend with an extra or start combing through Craigslist.
♦ If you waited to get tickets to see reunited indie rock band Neutral Milk Hotel on March 29, you’re out of luck. The concert is sold out.
The album was mixed by Mike Mogis, and it’s also the band’s first full-length release since Joel Petersen left the band.
The band folded for a time after releasing “Fascinatiion” in 2008 and touring for more than a year. in As frontman Todd Fink told me awhile back, they weren’t having a whole lot of fun. When the band reconvened in 2012, they decided to go abandon the meticulous process they took on previous releases and just make new music “fast and furious.”
“I don’t know if we’re gonna be as picky about what stuff gets made or what. I think we’re gonna take a different approach — just making sure that it’s about fun and making things instead of waiting and waiting for something amazing to happen and then spending a bunch of time retooling it,” he told me in 2012.
“We didn’t second guess things,” Baechle said on their label’s website. “We just went with it. It feels more real. We wanted to see what we happened to play and just capture it. And leave the mistakes in.”
The result includes elements of low-fi, feedback, noise and punk rock. Lyrics speak of dark thoughts, subconscious and psychic phenomena, according to the band.
Beck, “Morning Phase” (Capitol) Rating: ★★ (out of four)
“Morning Phase” is Beck’s first album in five years and it’s an echo of an album from 12 years ago. But like an echo, the reflection lacks some of the definition that made the original what it was.
“Sea Change” was Beck’s break from slacker rock to take a trip full of slow folk strummers, and while it would be easy to call this a return to form, this album does little more than downshift into orchestral mid-tempo tunes and never really leave. “Sea Change” was brililant because it was different, but it still retained some of the breaks and beats that drew us to Beck in the first place.
“Morning Phase,” on the other hand,” has little to admire other than a lot of double meanings (including the title) referencing a breakup and weepy orchestral movements.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing to pull anyone (both him and the listeners) out of the funk other than looking forward to the dawn, a new beginning that’s constantly referenced on this album even though Beck himself doesn’t sound too confident that it’s ever gonna come.
It’s a sleepy record perfect for some mellow mood music, and only a few songs ever move out of that dreamy place. “Blue Moon” has some confidence from a thumping beat, an acoustic guitar strum and a pile of layered vocals.
The final two songs are the best on the album. “Country Down” is a sort of easy-listening country tune that will make you want to hit the repeat button, and “Waking Light” takes Beck’s orchestral vision from the rest of this album and makes it fully realized with a dynamic beat and strings that rise and fall instead of simply swishing around.
Karmin, which features Nebraskan Amy Heidemann, will put out a new album, “Pulses,” on March 25.
Pop duo Karmin, which features Nebraskan Amy Heidemann, will put out its debut full-length album, “Pulses,” with Epic Records on March 25.
The group also dropped the video for “I Want It All,” the album’s first single, online today. (Watch it below.) “I Want It All” will likely be a huge single on the radio with all of its “Da Da Das” and singalong chorus of “All I need is one more night with you … I want it all.”
Karmin gained notoriety for their inspired YouTube covers songs before being signed to a major label. I felt like their debut tried way too hard to ape other pop stars without Karmin being able to find it’s own sound. They may have it here even if it’s somewhat generic dance pop.
Heidemann is a native of Seward, Neb. She met musical partner and fiancé Nick Noonan while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies release a new album, “Funeral Guns,” tonight at The Waiting Room Lounge. (Photo by Bridget McQuillan)
“Delta King” is my favorite song from Brad Hoshaw & the Seven Deadlies’ new album, “Funeral Guns.”
I was happy when Mr. Hoshaw allowed us to premiere the song here on Rock Candy.
Think of it as jazzy horns telling a tale about following someone down to New Orleans, but then losing it all. Hoshaw wrote it from a female perspective about an old girlfriend who took off for the Big Easy with another guy.
The song has a certain pep to it that’s part country, but mostly those horns pushing the tune along. And I dig it.
Catch him play the “Funeral Guns” album release show tonight at The Waiting Room Lounge. Former Omahan and excellent singer-songwriter Kyle Harvey opens the show. 9 p.m. show, $7 at the door.
Below, read my column from last week, which is all about Hoshaw, “Funeral Guns” and his visions for both his music career and the Omaha scene.
Brad Hoshaw isn’t like most other local musicians.
He doesn’t want to be considered “local” at all.
Hoshaw works his music career like a professional. He takes time to craft his songs, even decamping to a Wisconsin cabin every year to do nothing but write. He’s worried about his stage design for his upcoming release show. He sees co-writing as a technique to do more of and not something to avoid. He wrote a series of songs for a local musical. He enjoys taking risks on projects such as the time he teamed up with a local rock band to make a collaborative album. (It fizzled, unfortunately, but he’s still up for similar future projects.)
Hoshaw doesn’t mind thinking big. On stage, he’s a bard who sings familiar tales of busted dreams and broken hearts (at least on his new album, “Funeral Guns”). But over coffee last week in Benson, he revealed that there’s a lot more going on.
Hoshaw has plans to tour on “Funeral Guns” with his band, the Seven Deadlies. There are promotional plans in the works. He eventually wants to play a show at the Orpheum Theater, whether as an opener or as part of a bigger project with the Symphony or other local bands.
This sounds like any band you’ve heard of, but it’s big stuff when you compare it to a typical local artist.
Hoshaw wants things in Omaha to step up.
“I want to see more of people being more open with their art — collaborations and trying new things,” he told me. “I want people to let go of their fears to experiment and create.”
For Hoshaw, that starts with “Funeral Guns,” a 10-song collection with Hoshaw’s soft voice singing about falling apart and picking yourself back up while, for the most part, accompanied by acoustic strumming and pedal steel. Occasionally, as on “It Falls Apart,” guitarist Matt Whipkey cranks up the volume with a bluesy jam.
The journey to produce “Funeral Guns” began three years ago.
In 2011, Hoshaw began tracking bass and drums in short sessions. It took him until late last year to finally begin recording the album in earnest as he didn’t want it to take another couple of years to finish.
After all of that, “Funeral Guns” will be released Friday, almost five years to the day after Hoshaw & the Seven Deadlies’ first, self-titled album was released.
“Funeral Guns” was a collaborative effort between Hoshaw and his band — Whipkey, producer/drummer Scott Gaeta and bassist Craig Balderston. With Hoshaw at the helm, they fleshed out songs together rather than learning already-written arrangements.
Supporters and fans were also a part of the album. A Kickstarter project funded most of the album’s production, and some of Hoshaw’s supporters are on the actual recording.
One day, Hoshaw needed backup singers for a recording session on the song “Company,” so he went to Facebook to ask around. Sure enough, a group of five local singers showed up at the studio and recorded hand claps and vocals on the song.
“It’s a down-to-earth, organic album,” Hoshaw said.
On “Funeral Guns,” Hoshaw’s songs tell short stories, and he favors big metaphors such as the one in “New Tattoo.” The idea is that he tattoos his ex’s name on the bottom of his foot, and that way he can walk all over her forever.
Hoshaw enjoys a good murder ballad as well as folk tales — stories that give off their own atmosphere.
“There’s some embellishments, but there’s something true in every song,” he said.
Some songs were written with a few of Hoshaw’s regular collaborators, who meet annually in a Wisconsin cabin. Another was written by former Omaha singer-songwriter Kyle Harvey, who will open Friday’s show.
“Delta King” is my personal favorite. A swinging jazz horn melody drives the song about a woman who left Hoshaw for New Orleans and another guy.
As with many of his tunes, it came from an experiment. He wrote it for a female-fronted local band, which ended up breaking up. Hoshaw kept the song for himself, and it’s the best on the record.
It’s another example of how branching out and trying new things has been rewarding for the singer-songwriter.
“I’m not 100 percent open with my art. But I would like to see people … being more free spirited with collaboration and trying new things and not worrying about failing,” he said. “I think it would really add to the vibrancy and the strength of the local music scene.”
When you’re on your Valentine’s Day date, there’s lots of music to choose from to rock in your car, during dinner or while sharing a bottle of wine in front of the fireplace.
But you must remember that there are also some songs you don’t want to play unless the date is going so poorly that you simply want it to end immediately.
I’m here to help, and the following songs are guaranteed to ruin the mood on any date. So avoid them if you want things to go smoothly — or keep them in your back pocket if you’re looking for a way out.
“I Do Not Hook Up” by Kelly Clarkson — A great, empowered sentiment, but the middle of a romantic evening is a poor time to blast this one.
“Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye — Supposedly the ultimate mood-enhancing song, “Let’s Get It On” will almost assuredly kill the mood. I love Marvin Gaye, but almost anyone is going to giggle at this song instead of grooving to it.
“Lips of an Angel” by Hinder — This one is a two-fer: It’s about cheating and it’s also completely terrible.
“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton — Fantastic song, but also one detailing the emotional story of Mr. Clapton’s son, who died way too early. A good cry is not going to get you a goodnight kiss.
“Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves — A little too loud and peppy for an amorous night out.
“All Night Long” by Lionel Richie — Anyone who catches you playing this song is gonna think your intentions match up with its incredibly catchy refrain.
“Smack My Bitch Up” by Prodigy — Violence never got anyone to think, “That was a great date.”
Anything from “Glee” — Anything else would be better. Anything at all.
“Your Body is a Wonderland” by John Mayer — Haha. This song … this song is terrible.
“I Just Had Sex” by The Lonely Island — It’s a parody that makes us laugh a lot because it’s so over the top, but it’s gonna freak your date right out.
“Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” by Crash Test Dummies — One of the most bizarre pop tunes ever constructed will not only cause a break in conversation but assuredly stop it right in its tracks.
“Hundreds of Ways” is the first single from “Upside Down Mountain,” and it’s a bright, strummy song about being happy after tough times. It features vocals from the Swedish sisters in First Aid Kit, and they apparently join Oberst on most of the album.
According to Rolling Stone, most of the songs are about settling down and finding peace after turmoil. (Oberst is married, so no surprise there.)
“Upside Down Mountain” will be Oberst’s first major label album. Nonesuch is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. His previous albums have been released on Saddle Creek Records and Merge Records.
For Record Store Day,” Oberst will release a 7″ single with “Hundreds of Ways” and album outtake “Fast Friends.” Record Store Day is on April 19.
Tickets to Oberst’s Omaha performance go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via onepercentproductions.com. Folk rock band Dawes will open the show and serve as Oberst’s backing band throughout the tour. (No Mystic Valley Band to be found.)
Listen to Oberst’s new song, “Hundreds of Ways,” below. Full tour schedule is after the jump.