Bud Comte, Renee Sound Studio owner and Nebraska music hall-of-famer, dies at age 86; Wendy Jane Bantam maintains hope through struggle in new single “Afraid”; Photo coverage of No Means No Fest, Omaha Under The Radar & more

Bud Comte, Renee Sound Studio owner and Nebraska music hall-of-famer, dies at age 86

Today’s news begins on a somber note, as Bud Comte, longtime musician, bandleader and Renee Sound Studio owner, passed away Thursday at age 86.

A Springfield, Neb. native, Comte became the bandleader of Bud Comte and his Orchestra in 1955 after returning home from the Korean War to his home in David City. The band played its first show there and proceeded to tour regionally for the next 30 years.

As detailed in our 2014 profile of Renee Sound Studio and its owner, Comte began recording in his family’s basement in the early ‘60s. Soon after, he moved to the garage and then the recording studio proper, overseeing country, polka and rock records over the next 30 years. Comte has received numerous honors for his music, including his induction into the Nebraska Country, Polka, and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame.

Those with memories of Bud are welcome to share them in the comments or via email at news@hearnebraska.org.

Since his passing, many have revisited our story on Bud and Renee Sound Studio — written by Chance Solem-Pfeifer and photographed by Shelby Wolfe. In celebration of his life and impact on Nebraska music, we invite you to do the same here.

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Wendy Jane Bantam maintains hope through struggle in new single “Afraid”

In the mold of an old lovelorn country song, Lincoln songwriter Wendy Jane Bantam conveys a deep sorrow in her new song. Vivid imagery speaks to turbulence and horror: a hanging body, an angry abyss, a dream of fire. Josh Rector’s violin weeps and guitarists Benjamin Kushner’s and Mark Leeker’s clean-toned chords and slides weave around each other as a familiar face drifts away, just out of reach.

And yet the narrator maintains her resolve at the end of “Afraid,” which premieres today and appears on Bantam’s new record Summer Devil. Neither she nor the person speeding off into the night fear the future, for they seem to leave a twisted past in their separate wakes. As the song reaches climax, Bantam’s voice strengthens, bolstered by vocalist/drummer Justin Jones.

Summer Devil drops tomorrow, July 11, on Tremulant Records. Listen to “Afraid” below:

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Photo Coverage: Omaha Under the Radar

Experimental dance, music and art took over five Omaha venues at the fourth annual Omaha Under the Radar Festival from Wednesday to Saturday last week. Like each UTR Festival, experimentalists from around the country descended upon Omaha, as artists such as New York’s piano/drum three-piece Warp Trio and Ohio bassoonist Dana Jessen gave performances at the festival. HN multimedia interns Marti Vaughan and Emma Petersen caught a of the few shows, and their photos are below.  


Brian Grimm, Pipa and electronics, Madison, WI — OutrSpaces


Chicago Academy for the Arts — OutrSpaces


Chinook Collective, Oboe and string quartet, Omaha – Joslyn Art Museum


Dana Jessen, Bassoon, Oberlin, Ohio — at OutrSpaces


Elizabeth Baker and Helen Hansen French, piano and dance, St. Petersburg — Joslyn Art Museum



Mnemosyne Quartet, wind quartet, Kansas City — OutrSpaces


Nebraska Modern Dance Theatre, Omaha — Outr Spaces


Split the Stick, percussion, Omaha/Chicago — OutrSpaces


Vivian Kim and Ensemble, dance, Denver — Josylen Art Museum


photos by Marti Vaughan


Karma Lilola,drag performance and dance, Omaha — Reverb Lounge


Ridgelines, electronic music, Omaha — Reverb Lounge


David Smooke, toy piano, Baltimore — Reverb Lounge


Obelus, dance and electronics, New York — Reverb Lounge


Warp Trio, piano trio and drums, New York — Reverb Lounge

photos by Emma Petersen

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Photo Coverage:  No Means No Fest at Midtown Art Supply & Milk Run

On Friday, Milk Run and Midtown Art Supply hosted the first No Means No Fest, a DIY music festival aiming to combat rape culture in the music and arts communities. The event featured a number of local and touring bands, visual art and poetry. HN multimedia intern Marti Vaughan went to the festival on Friday night to snap some photos.


Dominique Morgan


Floating Teeth


J. Crum


Pink Aye


Ian Nauslar


Sgt. Leisure


The Morbs



photos by Marti Vaughan

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Photo Coverage: ZooFest

This year marks the Zoo Bar’s 44th anniversary, and to celebrate, the Lincoln house of blues hosted its 19th ZooFest on Friday and Saturday nights. Hundreds of fans took to 14th Street, which was blocked off for the festival, to catch local blues, funk and soul acts like Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal and The Mezcal Brothers and national touring artists Ruthie Foster and Sidewalk Chalk. HN multimedia intern Emma Petersen caught Friday night’s action in photos:


The Paladins


Ruthie Foster


Sidewalk Chalk

photos by Emma Petersen

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The Way Out on Hear Nebraska FM

It’s Monday, which means Hear Nebraska assumes control of the KZUM airwaves tonight for Hear Nebraska FM. Tune in at 8 p.m. CST for two hours of Nebraska music via 89.3 FM in Lincoln or streaming via kzum.org or the Tune-In app.

Tonight, Ashland four-piece pop punk band The Way Out joins us live in-studio. The young band emerged last spring with debut EP Good Grief, embarked on its first tour shortly thereafter and have been a fixture in the all-ages scene since. The band is currently working on new material for its follow-up record, and will perform some of that material tonight on the air. Tune in to hear it all at 9 p.m.

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Concert Round-Up

The weekend may be over, but local shows aren’t slowing down at all. Check out where you should be to start the week with our picks below. Find a more comprehensive list of shows on our events page here, and tell us which shows you’re headed to in the comments section.


Chess Club with Better Friend and Salt Creek at Lucy’s Pub – Lawrence, Kansas post-hardcore trio Chess Club plays their second Nebraska show in as many days tonight at Lucy’s Pub. The band is on its first tour, and HN recently caught up with them in a Q&A, which you can read here. Two Lincoln post-rock heavy-hitters, Better Friend and Salt Creek, open the show. 9 p.m. $5. All Ages. RSVP here.


Mad Dog and the 20/20s Album Release Show with No Thanks at Duffy’s Tavern – Lincoln ska punk band Mad Dog and the 20/20s follow up their 2016 self-titled EP with their first full-length, Things We Should Have Said (But We’ll Dance To Instead), and they’re releasing it Tuesday night with Omaha post-punk band No Thanks. Oh, it’s also $1 Beer Night at Duffy’s. 10 p.m. 21+. RSVP here.

Rozwell Kid with Vundabar and Great Grandpa at Slowdown – Fresh off its latest full-length, Precious Art, which dropped in late June, West Virginia-based power pop outfit Rozwell Kid stops in Omaha in the midst of a U.S. tour. Vundabar and Great Grandpa bring their grunge-y pop sensibilities on the tour too. 8 p.m. $10. All Ages. RSVP here.