KZUM honored with National Keeping the Blues Alive award; Crucial Changes to table at Chicago Zine Fest; Omaha busks landing in latest Omaha Stairwell Sessions

KZUM honored with National Keeping the Blues Alive award

Lincoln community radio station KZUM has been a champion of local blues for decades, a cause that has earned it national recognition.

KZUM has been selected as one of 15 recipients of The Blues Foundation’s 2016 Keeping the Blues Alive award. It will be honored January 29 in Memphis in conjunction with the International Blues Challenge.

“We are beyond honored and thrilled that The Blues Foundation is recognizing KZUM with this award — its significance isn’t lost on us,” says Ryan Evans, KZUM program director. “More than anything, it recognizes the good work done for many years by the station’s hard-working volunteers and the best listeners in the world, who are just as passionate about music as any place in the country.”

Since its founding in 1978, KZUM has consistently put blues at the forefront of its diverse programming schedule, dedicating its afternoon drive-time programming to the genre for a chunk of that time. The Blues Society of Omaha nominated the nonprofit radio station for the award, followed by recommendation letters from the likes of Curtis Saldago, Kris Lager, Tommy Castro and more.

If you haven’t tuned in for one of KZUM’s many blues oriented shows, check out a complete schedule here.

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Crucial Changes to table at Chicago Zine Fest

Long time Omaha-based hardcore zine Crucial Changes has announced that it will have a table at the Chicago Zine Fest. The news is two-fold, as the zine also forecasted one (possibly two) new issues by the April 30, 2016 event. With some additional tidbits, I’ll let blog author Keith McGrath take it from here:

“As mentioned before, I wasn’t able to Chicago Zine Fest this year due to registration complications. However, moving forward, the organizers of the event really stepped it up and opened registrations more than 5 months early, instead if the first come first serve gauntlet in the past. I sent in my application a few weeks ago, and I’ve been waiting patiently for their decision. I’m happy to announce that Crucial Changes has been selected to table at Chicago Zine Fest 2016.  What this means is that there will be a new installment of Crucial Changes zine soon. With the time allowed leading up the event, it is a possibility that I can crank out two issues by April 30th. Also planned in the near future, I have at least two other printing projects lined up: One being a tri-fold pamphlet/newsletter for OMDGA, my local disc golf club, and the other being a surprise to be unveiled later.

In local zine news, it has been brought to my attention that there is going to be an Omaha Zine Fest next year on March 12th, at 1316 Jones, a very nice banquet hall in downtown Omaha. I haven’t been able to get much more information about the event outside of a registration period expected to open soon, and an opportunity to sponsor the event. For more information, email:  I’m pretty excited for this event because I’d like to meet local zinesters and talk about and share ideas to help grow the scene. I plan on sharing more news about the event as more information is released.

In other CCHQ news, expect an upcoming fall/winter scene report, and possibly an interview or two. 2015 is winding down, so also expect a year end best of records list to be written up in the next eight weeks. Lots of things are happening, so be on the lookout for more updates as they happen. Peace!”

Check out more from Crucial Changes, including concert photos, at its blog here.

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Omaha busks landing in latest Omaha Stairwell Sessions

Folk-pop act Omaha busked a rousing performance in the latest Omaha Stairwell Sessions. Omaha musician and videographer Ben Baldwin curates the series, filming each session in the stairwell of the Highline Building. In this edition, Topher Booth and Matt Jones fill to echoing space with acoustic guitar and standup bass, playing its songs “Silent Sound” and “Me Oh My.” See the full band perform tomorrow night at The Down Under with Ragged Company and Ben & Bolt (RSVP here).

See Omaha’s performances below:

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HN Workshops: Protect yourself and your music

If you’ve ever written, recorded and released a song, you need to know this stuff.

Hear Nebraska is hosting its second workshop Saturday designed to help musicians with the legal side of recording. University of Nebraska College of Law student attorneys will teach legal basics relevant to all musicians, including: copyright law; licensing; contracts; streaming services; performance rights organizations; and signing with agents, managers and labels.

The workshop takes place in Lincoln at NonProfit Hub, 211 N 14 St in the third-floor conference room (RSVP here). The Lincoln session is sponsored by KZUM.

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Concert Round-up

Tonight, Bellum Boca returns to O’Leaver’s to play with Omaha’s Bed Rest. The Chicago math-rock band released a brand new EP Mask at Gabe’s in Iowa City, a show that Omaha’s See Through Dresses also played. Bellum Boca performed at O’Leaver’s just a few weeks ago with Cursive. RSVP to the tonight’s show here.

Also tonight, catch an all-Omaha billing at Slowdown with Ojai, Edge of Arbor, Kait Berreckman and Edison & the Elephant. Ojai, the singer/songwriter project of Michael Hulstein, just got a new release from Live At O’Leaver’s. RSVP to the front room show here.

As always, head to our statewide calendar at for a full listing of tonight’s shows. If you do not see your show or one you plan to attend, email us at, or add it yourself. And keep those song submissions, story ideas and news tips coming.