Screen Shot 2012-05-17 at 12.41.04 PM

Tim McMahan Testimonial | Lazy-i

Before I get to the pitch, the usual disclaimer: I’m on the Board of Directors of Hear Nebraska and have been since the organization launched over a year ago. I’m proud of my association with HN and proud of the work Andy and Angie and Michael and the entire Hear Nebraska team have done in such a short amount of time to promote the state’s music scene, and with very limited resources.

One of the things that sucks about running a non-profit organization like HN is always having to ask people for money. It’s a chore that comes with the territory. I doubt Andy realized when he started Hear Nebraska that he was going to have to spend so much time walking around with hat in hand fund raising. It’s an endless task, but it’s necessary if HN is going to continue to grow into something more than just a web-based music information hub.

But here’s an interesting stat: Andy reported yesterday that of the more than 6,000 unique visitors to hearnebraska.org last week an amazing 46 percent were from outside of Nebraska and 7 percent were from outside the U.S., which ties directly to the organization’s mission to make the state a globally recognized destination. It’s happening, people.

OK, so here’s the deal, and it’s very simple:

If you’ve ever thought about helping Hear Nebraska, which btw is a dyed-in-the-wool 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the time to do it is today, May 17. Because today is Give to Lincoln Day. And that means over the course of this one day, every dollar you donate to Hear Nebraska via the givetolincoln.com website (right here), will eligible for a proportional matching share of a $200k fund, contributed in part by the Lincoln Community Foundation. There’s even bonus cash for the top-3 fund raisers. Track HN’s progresss here.

If that wasn’t motivation enough: For every $10 you donate, you’ll also be purchasing a raffle ticket to win a custom electric guitar created by Lincoln guitar maker Andy Essink. It’s a spalted-maple topped, mahogany-bodied instrument with a cocobolo fretboard, ebony headstock laminate and electronics cover plate, Gotoh tuners, a Wilkinson wraparound bridge and Seymour Duncan Vintage Blues humbuckers. It’s valued at more than $1,300. Give $30 to HN (for example) and get three tickets in the drawing, and so on. I’d love to show you a photo of said guitar, but the only picture available also has a naked Andy Norman in it, and no one but Angie needs to see that. Trust me, the guitar is very nice.

Where does the money go? Well, in addition to covering basic operating expenses (including paying their one employee/editor), money raised would go toward pressing a vinyl compilation of local music, buying promotional banners to hang at events, and eventually building a live, streaming radio station featuring music and interviews by and with Nebraska musicians and touring bands passing through our borders.

All you have to do is slide that little ol’ mouse over to this little ol’ link and head on over to the donation website, read the “Make a Donation” box on the right side of the page, select the donation level that you can afford, then click the donate button. It’s easy, and fun! And for all you deadbeat musicians that HN promotes, it’s the least you can do. Plus you could win a guitar. Just do it before midnight tonight when the matching gifts promotion ends.

End of spiel. On behalf of the hippies at Hear Nebraska, I thank you.

* * *

Two fun shows going on tonight:

Over at The Sandbox, Lawrence band Cowboy Indian Bear headlines with Adult Films, Cheap Furs and Raptor Visions. 8 p.m., $8. More info here.

Also tonight, LA’s Grouplove (Canvasback Records), whose song “Tongue Tied” currently is being used to sell iPods, headlines a show at The Waiting Room with Athens band Reptar (Vagrant). $15, early 8 p.m. start time.

* * *

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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.