Lincoln Calling, Hear Nebraska Merge; Guided by Voices, Bruce Hornsby concerts announced; Digital Leather releases ‘Whack Jam’ cassette; Weekend photo coverage

Lincoln Calling, Hear Nebraska Merge

Hear Nebraska’s mission to support and cultivate the state’s music community has led the organization to taking on one of Nebraska’s biggest festivals.

This year, Lincoln Calling becomes part of Hear Nebraska’s (HN) programming menu. The 13th-annual music festival will feature more than 60 emerging national and local artists performing in multiple downtown Lincoln venues Oct. 6-8.

“It’s an opportunity for us to lend our energy and talents to a project that was already really awesome, and which was well positioned to become something the entire city and, ultimately, state, could be proud of,” says HN Executive Director and Co-Founder Andrew Norman. “By supporting artists, venues and local promoters, Lincoln Calling makes Lincoln’s music and arts scene even stronger. By drawing regional crowds to businesses in the heart of Lincoln, it helps stimulate our economy. And by injecting an influx of undeniably cool people and youth culture into the city, it makes Lincoln a more appealing place to live, work and play — valuable evidence for businesses aiming to attract and retain top talent.”

Founded by Lincoln concert promoter Jeremy Buckley in 2004, Lincoln Calling has combined strong local talent with emerging national artists such as Future Islands, The Hood Internet, Sea Wolf and Those Darlins. The festival has drawn an average of 4,000 concertgoers in recent years.

“Live music has long been an important part of the vibrant culture in the city, and partnering with the Hear Nebraska stable of talent and resources can only serve to make the festival a destination spot for music fans across the country,” says Buckley, who will continue to serve in a leadership role with Lincoln Calling that includes booking the majority of the lineup.

While Lincoln Calling has predominately featured local acts in recent years, HN plans to build the festival into a national event by featuring a higher percentage of regional and national artists (while still featuring top Nebraska talent). Norman says while the Lincoln Exposed festival (which is unconnected to HN) exists to highlight solely local bands, Lincoln Calling will serve local artists by creating opportunities to network with bands from around the country.

“Making connections between Nebraska musicians and these national artists can help get our bands out on the road more, which I think is really critical to strengthening Nebraska’s music community and industry,” Norman says.

Working with Buckley and fellow Lincoln Calling organizer Spencer Munson, HN wants the festival to be a “big tent” project, Norman says. He says organizers will continue to reach out to local promoters, venues and non-music entities to create collaborative opportunities.

“Lincoln Calling will again feature the Homegrown Film Festival, great comedy, and visual art as it falls on October’s First Friday,” Norman says. “But there are so many different types of cool culture and art that happen in this city and state. We want creatives to view Lincoln Calling as an opportunity to showcase what they’re working on, and to get involved.”

Lincoln Calling joins HN’s programming lineup which includes the Hear Lincoln and Hear Omaha concert series (and a yet-to-be-announced summer 2016 series in a Greater Nebraska city), the Good Living Tour, as well as music journalism, promotion and education programs. Last year, HN produced more than 50 concerts in 11 Nebraska music communities — mostly free and all-ages — while pumping more than $109,000 into the Nebraska music industry, including $56,000 directly to bands.

Hear Nebraska’s vision is to make the state a globally recognized cultural destination,” Norman says. “Lincoln Calling is our newest, awesome tool with which to do it.”

Organizations, venues or individuals interested in getting involved with Lincoln Calling can contact HN Executive Director Andrew Norman at

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Guided by Voices, Bruce Hornsby concerts announced

A pair of concerts featuring influential, heralded live acts were announced over the weekend.

Vega announced longtime indie rock band Guided By Voices. Started in 1983 in Dayton, Ohio, the band was noted for its lo-fi aesthetic and prolific output, releasing nearly an album per year from 1987 until its initial disbanding in 2004. It reunited in 2012 and spat out six albums in a three-year span. The band tours now with founding member Robert Pollard, the constant throughout Guided By Voices’ various lineup changes. Tickets to the April 29 show are $22. RSVP here.

Rad Kadillac and One Percent Productions collaborated to bring Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers to Sumtur Amphitheater August 10. Hornsby won the Grammy award for best new artist in 1987 and has released numerous influential albums with the Range, the Noisemakers and as a solo artist. Hornsby draws frequently from classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, Motown, gospel, rock, blue and jam band musical traditions, and was at one point a frequent Grateful Dead collaborator. Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 on the day of the show. RSVP here.

We’re always on the lookout for major concert announcements. Email us at 

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Digital Leather releases ‘Whack Jam’ cassette

After its surprise December digital release, Digital Leather’s latest full-length Whack Jam will drop on tape April 1 via Bobby Hussy’s Madison, Wisconsin label Kind Turkey Records.

Whack Jam is the home-recorded follow-up to Digital Leather’s latest studio LP All Faded last June on FDH Records. Project founder Shawn Foree played and recorded the entire album from August to December in his Omaha attic. The result of those sessions is Foree at his most unfiltered, a lo-fi, synth-heavy album which explores multiple genres and abstract ideas.

Roughly 50 copies are available for pre-order here.

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Wild Powwers, Bien Fang, Low Long Signal at O’Leaver’s

HN contributor Cruise Curtis went to O’Leaver’s Friday night, grabbing photos of Seattle’s Wild Powwers, Lincoln punk trio Bien Fang and Omaha’s Low Long Signal. See his photos below:

Wild Powwers

Bien Fang

Low Long Signal

photos by Cruise Curtis

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Bolzen Beer Band, Freakabout, Laughing Falcon at Duffy’s Tavern

That same night, HN contributor James Dean was at Duffy’s Tavern, photographing Bolzen Beer Band, Freakabout and Laughing Falcon. The concert was a fundraiser for Nebraska acts headed to SXSW this year. All three will play in the Nebraska Exposed showcase at Austin, Texas venue Cheers Shot Bar March 16. RSVP here if you’re headed down as well.

See Dean’s photos below:

Bolzen Beer Band


Laughing Falcon

photos by James Dean


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Manslaughterer, Ezra, Borealis at Zoo Bar

HN multimedia intern Lindsey Yoneda was around the corner at Zoo Bar, catching a heavy rock billing of Manslaughterer, Ezra and Borealis. See Yoneda’s photos below:




photos by Lindsey Yoneda

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Bloodcow, Montee Men, Super Moon at Barley Street Tavern

And back in Omaha, HN multimedia intern Adam LaRose was at Barley Street Tavern for Bloodcow, Montee Men and Super Moon. See his photos below:


Montee Men

Super Moon

photos by Adam LaRose

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Concert Round-Up

We just added more than 50 events to our statewide calendar. Click here and start planning your week around it. If you do not see your show or one you plan to attend, let us know in the comments or add it yourself using the “contribute” button at the top of HN’s homepage. And keep those song submissions, story ideas and news tips coming.