* The Maha Music Festival revealed its main stage line-up, scoring a headline performance by Oklahoma psych-pop icons the Flaming Lips. The all-day music festival is scheduled for Saturday, August 17th at Aksarben Village’s Stinson Park, near 62nd and Center streets. Excitable indie pop act Matt & Kim and Bob Mould of Husker Du and Sugar round out the top of Maha’s 2013 bill. Saddle Creek Records-signed punk-pop band The Thermals, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down and Austin rockers Sons of Fathers are the other national acts scheduled to appear at the festival. Tickets are now on sale for the event for $45 via etix.com.
* Local singer songwriter Brian Alexander has released his latest single “You & Me” on various digital outlets including iTunes. Alexander, a regular performer at several downtown Omaha bars, plays a mix of originals and genre-hopping covers live, while promoting himself with quirky gimmicks like full-size billboards and a life-size cardboard cutout of himself that he hauls to gigs. Alexander, who also bills himself as the Acoustic Gangster, recorded the new original song locally at Make Believe Studios with producer Rick Carson.
* Jazz rises up from the grave for the first ever Omaha Undead Jazz Festival, Friday May 3rd through Sunday May 5th. The trio of shows will happen in three venues. Friday’s show featuring Tatsuya Nakatani and Michel Donada is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the OM Center, 1216 Howard St. An improvised music workshop with Luke Polipnick and friends is scheduled for 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday at the Sweatshop Gallery, 2727 North 62nd St. The Studio Gallery, 4965 Dodge St., will host the Sunday night show featuring performances by Dana Murray, Mitch Towne, Luke Polipnick, Flamethrower, the Matt Amandus Trio and the Brad Thomson Trio.
* The Men bridged the worlds of their pummeling guitar-loving punk jams with their newly found Americana bent that highlights their 2013 release New Moon at the Slowdown, 729 North 14th St. This meld of sounds favored the guitar chaos of the Brooklyn band’s first two albums, but buttressed by piano and just a slight twang. The band electrified the half-full room right out of the gate with a sweaty, seasoned rip through several songs. It’s a set that rewarded those already familiar with the band’s albums, but at nearly an hour the full-speed carnage blended the band’s songs into a blur. Still, I stuck with it and went home knowing that I saw what may end up being one of my favorite shows of 2013.