Benson First Friday Femme Fest announces 50-plus acts, headliner CJ Mills; Weekend Round-up features Dolores Diaz & the Standby Club, plus new music by Tara Vaughan, The Way Out, Lodgings, Mad Dog & the 20/20s

Benson First Friday Femme Fest announces 50-plus acts, headliner CJ Mills

For a second year, Benson’s September First Friday will highlight the music community’s strong female presence in a neighborhood-wide festival.

Benson First Friday Femme Fest released the finalized lineup for its Friday, Sept. 2 extravaganza. In all, eight Benson venues will stage 58 acts, all including at least one woman member.

CJ Mills headlines this year’s Femme Fest. The Omaha singer/songwriter has blown-up over the last year, releasing her snappy, grooving debut EP Quiet and nabbing a spot on this year’s Maha Music Festival lineup. Other notable acts include Better Friend, Domestica, Edem Soul Music, Freakabout, High Up, Tara Vaughan, The Hottman Sisters and Universe Contest. See the entire roster below.

One of the largest Benson events last year, Femme Fest expands from seven to eight venues in 2016, adding Soundcheck Rehearsal Studio to a list that includes The Waiting Room Lounge, Reverb Lounge, Barley Street Tavern, Petshop, Burke’s Pub, Pizza Shoppe Collective and The Sydney. Though time slots are still being finalized, founder/organizer Rebecca Lowry says with roughly 7-8 acts per venue, sets will likely begin at 5 p.m. and end around 2 a.m.

The Benson First Friday Femme Fest lineup includes:

24 Hour Cardlock
All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
Aly Peeler
Annie Dilocker
Belles & Whistles
Better Friend (LNK)
Big AL Band
Blue Bird
Briner (Grand Island)
Calling Cody
Cat DeLuca
CJ Mills
Dammit Daniel
Dani Cleveland
Domestica (LNK)
Edge of Arbor
Emily Ward
High Up
Jazz Simone & DJ P2K
Kait Berreckman
Keiria Marsha
La Guerre (Lawrence, KS)
Lady Scientist
Lexi Robles
Lot Walks
Mary Ruth McLeay
Molly & The Dustbunnies
Muscle Cousins
No Thanks
TBD Omaha Girls Rock*
Phoenix Rising
Pleiades & The Bear
Ragged Company
Screaming Plastic
Shen Teh (Winona, MN)
Tara Vaughan
The Badland Girls
The Birds & The Beards
The Clincher
The Clocks
The Electroliners
The Hottman Sisters
The Morbs
The Ragabonds
The Ronnys
The Shineys
The Toppings
Tiny Monsters
Virginia Tanous
Wagon Blasters
Wendy Jane Bantam (LNK)
White Bee (Detroit, MI)

* * *

Concert Round-Up: Weekend Edition

Go to a show this weekend. They are many. Find a fuller listing at our statewide calendar here, and let us know what we missed in the comments or via email at Add events by visiting our Contribute page here.


Tara Vaughan record release with Miwi La Lupa at The Waiting Room – the Omaha singer/songwriter celebrates the release of her darker, deeper sophomore LP Dandelion Wine. Read our Q&A with Vaughan in which she talks relationship blame, boy-bands and her stint in a traveling Beatles cover band. Miwi La Lupa opens the show. Tickets are $10, RSVP here.

The Way Out, Super Ghost, Mint Wad Willy and Uh Oh’s Joe Champion at Milk Run – Young Ashland-based indie rock quartet The Way Out releases its debut EP Good Grief tonight. HN premiered “NVM,” the album’s fifth track, in yesterday’s news. The EP as a whole is dynamic, marked by thoughtful, introspective lyricism and a mix of classic pop punk, garage and shoegaze elements. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m., and entry is $5. RSVP here.


Dolores Diaz & the Standby Club, Carl Miller & the Thrillers at The Waiting Room – the all-star Omaha country cover band takes the Waiting Room stage for its second-ever show. Fronted by Corina Figeroa Escamilla (Conor Oberst’s wife), the band boasts a laundry list of notable Omaha players, including Oberst, Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis, Cursive’s Matt Maginn, The Good Life/Oquoa’s Roger Lewis, McCarthy Trenching’s Dan McCarthy, Miwi La Lupa, Phil Schaffert and Ben Brodin. Watch later today for our interview with McCarthy and Escamilla. Brazilian music band Carl Miller & the Thrillers opens the show. RSVP here.

Lodgings record release with Sun-Less Trio, Eric In Outerspace, the Morbs at Milk Run – the Bryce Hotz-led garage rock group releases its debut self-titled LP tomorrow night at Milk Run. Get to know the band, its experienced cast and its live sound with our early-week live video and Q&A feature here. Cover is $7, music starts at 9:30 p.m. RSVP here.

Mad Dog & the 20/20s CD release at The Bourbon – the Lincoln ska-punk band releases its own debut EP Shelf Life tomorrow night at The Bourbon. The group has been together for less than a year, already carving out a local following. Our Gabriella Parsons caught up with frontperson Madeline Christensen and company prior to its Lincoln Exposed appearance. Read the interview here. The Killigans, Risky Clique and The Bishops round out the bill. Tickets are $5 today, $8 tomorrow. RSVP here.

Remember to send all story ideas, news tips, song submissions and other band news to Have a great weekend.