The first batch of acts for Lincoln Calling have been announced, barely more than a month from when the first notes will ring.
In the 12th year for Lincoln’s largest downtown local music event — which takes place Sept. 29 through Oct. 3 — more than 80 bands will play across 10 venues. The action will center around The Bourbon, Duffy’s Tavern and Zoo Bar, but will spread throughout downtown from the Railyard to Centennial Mall.
This year, festival organizers have added places like punk/hard rock den Knickerbockers and Bodega’s Alley, which at one point was the focal point of the Lincoln jam band scene.
“We love having Knickerbockers and Bodegas in the mix,” says festival organizer Spencer Munson. “We like to shake things up and we miss having them as part of the downtown scene.”
As usual, the roster blends the best indie and folk acts of the state with oft-visiting regional acts. Universe Contest, Bud Heavy & the High Lifes, AZP and Thirst Things First head up the group of annual mainstays, anchored by The Mezcal Brothers, who have played the festival in all 12 years of its existence. Nor is it a surprise to see Halfwit on the bill, who will make its return to the live stage after a summer-long writing break. On first look, notable out-of-towners include Omaha indie rock bands See Through Dresses and Twinsmith, along with Nebraska frequenters Buffalo Rodeo (Bowling Green, Ky.) and Motion Trap.
Though the schedule is forthcoming, the eighth iteration of Homegrown Film Festival will surely kick things off early in the week at The Bourbon. The annual exhibition features DIY and locally produced video shorts, from vignettes to music videos. (Entries are due by Sept. 10 — find more info here).
This year, Lincoln Calling will coincide with Lincoln Startup Week, which will bring entrepreneurs to the downtown area. Festival organizers hope that the two communities will collide.
“There will be lots of cool people from all over the country in Lincoln to scope out the new ‘Midwest Silicone Valley’ and I think Lincoln Calling will help draw some young professionals to our burgeoning city,” Munson says.
Thus far, more than 50 bands have been confirmed, with another 20 to 30 on the way. See the first batch below. Festival booker Jeremy Buckley says that a schedule should be finalized within the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned.
A Ferocious Jungle Cat
All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
The Bottle Tops
Bud Heavy & the High Lifes
Dylan Bloom Band
Gerardo Meza Band
Head of Femur
The Inner Party
Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal
Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery
Matt Cox Band
The Mezcal Brothers
The Midland Band
The Palmer Squares
Rock Paper Dynamite
See Through Dresses
Thirst Things First
What the Fuss
* * *
Speaking of See Through Dresses, the Omaha band debuted a new single, “Haircut,” from its forthcoming EP End Of Days.
The grungey hard rocker features Sara Bertuldo’s chill vocals and Matthew Carroll’s screeching guitar leads, decaying into madness in the song’s outro. It’s a small departure in sound — a bit more upbeat, the guitars leaning sharper — from the band’s self-titled album.
Bertuldo and Carroll also did a brief Q&A with Noisey, which debuted “Haircut.” In the interview, Carroll says that End Of Days gave the band a chance to experiment with different sounds, from the dirtier, more raw sound of “Haircut,” to the acoustic title track.
“It’s fun to try on a few different hats when releasing a smaller batch of songs,” Carroll tells Noisey. “Helps us to prepare a more distinct vision for the next LP.”
Hear “Haircut” below, and read the See Through Dresses interview here. End Of Days comes out this fall on North Carolina indie/punk label Tiny Engines.
* * *
Tonight, Philadelphia punk band Beach Slang plays O’Leaver’s with See Through Dresses and Eric In Outerspace. Beach Slang continues to produce at a torrid pace, and after churning out two EPs in 2014, will release its debut full-length The Things We Do To Find People Like Us on Polyvinyl Records. We published an interview yesterday with frontman James Snyder, who talks about being on the fringe of mainstream society and filling his songs with more confessional stories. Read that story here. RSVP to the 9 p.m. show here.
* * *
It’s a soul-takeover at Slowdown tonight, as Omaha’s Sam Ayer & Love Affair play the front room with a pair of Lincoln bands, Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal and Mesonjixx. The Love Affair made its long-in-the-making debut two months ago at The New BLK, and is currently working on a full-length record. Tonight will also mark the first proper Omaha performance for Mesonjixx. The show starts at 8 p.m., entry is $8. RSVP here.
As always, head to our statewide calendar at hearnebraska.org/events for a fuller listing of shows. If you do not see your show or one you plan to attend, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or add it yourself. And keep those song submissions, story ideas and news tips coming.