15 Passenger plans re-release of first two Cursive albums; Thick Paint, Anna McClellan release split record, embark on tour; Nebraska Funk & Soul Alliance, House Fest announce second-year events

15 Passenger plans re-release of first two Cursive albums

Cursive’s big plans for its new label are starting to take shape, starting with a few of its own notable re-releases.

15 Passenger has announced it will reissue remastered versions of the Omaha band’s first two albums, 1997 debut Such Blinding Stars For Starving Eyes and 1998 follow-up The Storms Of Early Summer: Semantics of Song. They will be available on vinyl (the first time for Storms) on Dec. 1, 2017, celebrating the 20th anniversary of both records.

Originally released by Crank! Records and Saddle Creek Records, respectively, Stars and Storms marked the beginnings of a two-decade run that amassed a huge following and helped put Omaha music on the map. One can hear the early makings of the band’s trademark technical complexity, witty and confessional lyricism and dynamic melodies.

Stars and Storms have both found the capable hands of Ed Brooks, who among other notable projects (Pearl Jam, Fleet Foxes, Mastodon) remastered Cursive’s The Ugly Organ. The former comes on blue and white swirl vinyl and contains a foreword by Washed Up Emo’s Tom Mullen; the latter comes on a white swirl vinyl and includes forewords by guitarist Ted Stevens and the band’s longtime friend and European tour manager Oliver Wyczisk.

Pre-order Such Blinding Stars For Starving Eyes here and The Storms of Early Summer here.

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Thick Paint, Anna McClellan release split record, embark on tour

Catching up on more release news today, as Omaha indie rock band Thick Paint and Nebraska ex-pat Anna McClellan have teamed up to release a split EP Bifocal on Portland tape label Majestic Litter (run by The Good Life guitarist Ryan Fox).

The EP brings the first official recorded output for Thick Paint since its post-Reptar inception and full-band formation. Led by Graham Ulicny, that band’s half bursts with angular guitars and syncopated rhythms that build on its songwriter’s solo work.

McClellan’s half comes two years after her uniquely brilliant solo debut Fire Flames. Her four Bifocal songs depart from its predecessor’s robust classical influences toward sparser, folkier territory — with help from Omaha weirdfolk band Razors on the lead track — while maintaining her trademark aloofness and whimsy.

The two acts embark on a month-long nationwide tour that includes a December 5 stop at Brothers Lounge. See dates below.

11/6 – Washington, D.C. at Slash Run
11/7 – Raleigh, N.C. at Neptune’s
11/8 – Atlanta at 529
11/9 – Athens, Ga. at Caledonia Lounge
11/10 – Asheville, N.C. at Margaritaville
11/11 – Macon, Ga. at Fresh Produce
11/12 – Birmingham, Ala. at Firehouse
11/13 – Oxford, Miss. at Proud Larry’s
11/14 – New Orleans at Saturn Bar
11/15 – Houston at TBD
11/16 – Austin, Texas at a House
11/18 – Phoenix at TBD
11/19 – Tucson, Ariz. at Bar Passe
11/20 – Joshua Tree, Calif. *
11/22 – Los Angeles at a House*
11/24 – Los Angeles at TBD*
11/25 – Oakland, Calif*
11/26 – San Francisco at Amado’s*
11/27 – Arcata, Calif. at TBD *
11/28 – Portland at Valentine’s*
11/29 – Olympia, Wa. at a House*
11/30 – Seattle at Woodland Theater
12/1 – Missoula, Mont. at TBD
12/3 – Denver at WMCA
12/5 – Omaha at Brother’s Lounge
12/6 – Des Moines at Vaudeville Mews
12/7 – Minneapolis at Eagle 34
12/8 – Chicago at FLOOD HOUSE
12/9 – Cleveland at Mahall’s
12/10 – Philadelphia at a House
12/11 – New York at Sunnyvale

* w/ Media Jeweler

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Nebraska Funk & Soul Alliance reveals lineup, will benefit area charities

A fleet of Nebraska soul, funk and jam bands united last December to play a new festival founded by Lincoln musician Josh Hoyer with the intent on giving back to the community. Encouraged by its success, the festival is coming back next month.

The Nebraska Funk & Soul Alliance has announced the full lineup for its second year on Saturday, Dec. 16 in five downtown Lincoln venues. A $20 donation gets fans access to all 31 bands while all proceeds benefit four charitable organizations — The Bay, Jacob’s Well, LightHouse and Malone Center in Lincoln; and Omaha Home for Boys, Youth Care & Beyond, Youth Emergency Services and Youth Link in Omaha.

“As we see more and more tax dollars being taken away from social welfare, the more important it is for communities to pitch in and help their most vulnerable,” Hoyer said. “This is one way for the creative class to contribute to our cities at large.

Hoyer called the inaugural event “spectacular,” both because of its community atmosphere among musicians (“I think all the musicians dug being able to hear what everyone else is working on”) and because of it raised more than $6,400.

Find ticket information here and view the full schedule below.

Zoo Bar – 136 N.14th

6-645pm: The Wondermonds
715-8pm: Chack
830-915pm: The Marz House Band
915-945pm: DJ Ole Moaner
945-1030pm: Ben Baldwin Band
1030-11pm: DJ Ole Moaner
11-1145pm: Jocelyn
1145-1215am: DJ Ole Moaner
1215-1am: Rothsteen
1-2am: DJ Ole Moaner

1867 Bar – 101 N.14th St

630-715pm: Jus B.
745-830pm: Fosters
830-9pm: DJ Relic
9-945pm: Edem Soul Music
945-1015pm: DJ Relic
1015-11pm: Sleep Sinatra
11-1130pm: DJ Relic
1130-1215pm: Dazzleships
1215-1245am: DJ Relic
1245-130am: CJ Clydesdale Band
130am-2am: DJ Relic

Bodega’s Alley – 1418 “O” St

7-745pm: TJ Saddler
815-9pm: Citizens Band
930-1015pm: Third Eye Merchants
1045-1130pm: Mesonjixx
12-1245am: Domestic Blend
115-2am: BOTH

Duffy’s Tavern – 1412 “O” St

730-815pm: Jens Lehman & Time Cops
845-930pm: The Bishops
930-10pm: DJ Spence
10-1045pm: Khari
1045-1115pm: DJ Spence
1115-12am: Dominique Morgan & The Experience
12-1230am: DJ Spence
1230-115am: Chemicals
115-2am: DJ Spence

The Bourbon – 1415 ‘O’ St

8-845pm: Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal
915-10pm: Kellison Quartet
1030-1115pm: Emily Bass & A Near Miracle
1145-1230am: A Ferocious Jungle Cat
1-145am: AZP

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We’re Trying Records, Lucy’s Pub announce revamped House Fest

art by Cody Fenske

This past spring, 30 local and touring bands and hundreds of fans packed into Omaha house venue Lucy’s Pub for the aptly titled “House Fest,” a two-day affair which celebrated the local DIY scene and its regional connections. It looks to be bigger and better in 2018.

Co-producer We’re Trying Records has announced House Fest’s return and revamping, adding community sponsors and an outdoor stage. Lucy’s Pub curator David McInnis said the event, which will take place March 16-17, will again commit to a community-oriented mission

“We want to keep the focus on DIY centric approaches, curating a safe all-ages environment, grassroots networking, and benefit contribution,” McInnis said. “But we want to make it bigger this year, so we’re adding an outdoor stage and working with local businesses to create an even better experience.”

Like last year’s edition, which donated $1,275 to Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, House Fest 2018 will include a charitable component, the benefactor of which will be voted on by the public.

Though the lineup has yet to be announced, We’re Trying Records managing director Jordan Hiebner hinted at again booking both local and nationally touring acts to continue fostering new connections for Omaha bands looking to hit the road.

“Last year, it just felt like everyone in the house was connecting, and the vibes were good and cohesive,” said We’re Trying Records’ managing director Jordan Hiebner. “It’s cool to see so many people looking forward to House Fest already, and we’re excited to bring some new out of state acts to the Omaha scene that we all love.”

Find more information about House Fest — sponsors, updates and guidelines — by RSVP-ing here.

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Concert Round-Up: Weekend Edition

Take a look at our picks for the weekend below and find a fuller listing at our statewide calendar here. Tell us where you’re going in the comments and add your own shows here. Email news tips, story ideas and song submissions to news@hearnebraska.org.


Universe Contest, Lodgings, Pets With Human Names, The Good Gurls at The Sydney – Lincoln prog rock band Universe Contest plays the Omaha half of their album release celebration Friday night with Omaha’s Lodgings and The Good Gurls and Des Moines band Pets With Human Names. Get Cot Livin’, the band’s first album since 2014, dropped on Halloween night at Zoo Bar. Find it here and dive in with our album review podcast team here. Music starts at 8:30 p.m., with First Friday art by Bzzy Lps starting at 5 p.m. The show is free. RSVP here.


Domestic Blend, Smoove, Bach Mai at O’Leaver’s – The Club has an all local billing tonight, headlined by pop/R&B outfit Domestic Blend. New group Smoove was created during week-long collaboration leading up to the CONSPIRE music festival. Bach Mai will melt your heart. 10 p.m. show, $5, 21-plus, RSVP here.


Carrie Ann Buchanan releases Bones at The Down Under – Two-time OEAA-nominated singer/songwriter Carrie Ann Buchanan releases new EP Bones Saturday in Omaha. A long time in the making, it was recorded in four days at Austin, Texas’ Rubicon Studios in 2015 with Daniel Barrett. Jack Hotel, The Shineys and Minneapolis singer/songwriter Jeff Krause fill out the bill. 9 p.m., RSVP here.

Muscle Cousins, When Particles Collide, Robo Dojo at Barley Street Tavern – New England rock duo When Particles Collide rolls through Omaha on its nationwide tour. 9 p.m., $5, 21-plus. RSVP here.


Low Cut Connie, Stonebelly, Jake La Botz at Duffy’s Tavern – Scuzzie, booze-fueled Philadelphia rock band Low Cut Connie storms into Lincoln on the heels of its fourth full-length album Dirty Pictures. Nashville songwriter Jake La Botz and Lincoln jam rock trio Stonebelly open the show. 9 p.m., $12 in advance/$15 day-of, 21-plus, RSVP here.