Maha and Nebraska Folk & Roots lineups; New Kasher track; Sheldon performance series announced

It was a significant weekend for festival lineups in Nebraska with both Maha and Nebraska Folk & Roots announcing this weekend.

Maha Music Festival announced the 12-band lineup for their sixth year Sunday at O’Leaver’s in Omaha.They said it was the best lineup yet, and they didn’t disappoint, snagging a couple hip hop acts, high-energy punk outfits and buzzed-about indie pop bands.

The headliner, Modest Mouse, released its long-awaited sixth album, Strangers to Ourselves, earlier this year and was the most requested band for the festival, according to Maha’s Facebook. Maha will be just one of several festivals on Modest Mouse’s summer schedule, including Sasquatch in May and a handful of European festivals.

Tim Kasher’s side project, The Good Life, reunited in 2014 and announced a new album set for release this summer. The other locals, Freakabout, All Young Girls Are Machine Guns and Both, will round out the hometown festival. Starting the festival with the rapidly-rising popularity of Both may draw crowds early in the afternoon. This mirrors the early-day placement of hip-hop acts M34n Str33t and Purveyors of the Conscious Sound in 2014 and 2013.

Atmosphere is a Minneapolis-based hip-hop duo that has been releasing albums since 1997. The act is affiliated with the Rhymesayers label and shares roots with Doomtree, who played Maha last year. This set will be for the diehards or the folks who can’t make it Atmosphere’s May 16 show at Slowdown.

Electronic act Purity Ring exploded in 2012 with its debut album Shrines, a dark pop collection of imagist tracks. The Canadian duo released Another Eternity in February. Wavves belongs to the southern California garage rock movement alongside Best Coast and King Tuff. The band has released four albums. Even with veterans like Atmosphere and Modest Mouse, The Jayhawks may be Maha’s throwback act this year. The alt-country band has been releasing albums for thirty years now, sometimes akin to Neil Young and others more like fellow Minneapolisites The Replacements. Alvvays released its self-titled debut last year, a grand indie-pop effort lifted by Molly Rankin’s soaring vocals. Ex Hex plays a throwback punk more reminiscent of surf pop than aggressive D.C. basement shows. Speedy Ortiz has been releasing albums since 2011, but the lo-fi indie band is just recently gaining national traction. NPR began streaming the band’s forthcoming album, Foil Deer, yesterday.

O’Leaver’s opened up their newly-constructed patio area for the estimated 850 people who RSVP’d to the announcement party via Facebook. M34N STR33T’s Haunted Gauntlet and production company The New BLK created the lineup announcement video that played as more than 100 onlookers readied their phones to tweet the lineup. 2014 Maha performers M34N STR33T later played to the packed bar.


Modest Mouse
Purity Ring
The Jayhawks
Ex Hex
The Good Life
Speedy Ortiz
All Young Girls Are Machine Guns

Maha Music Festival is held August 15 at Stinson Park in Omaha. RSVP here. General admission and VIP tickets are available.

For the fun of it, we had two of our current interns, Kelly Langin and JP Davis, make hybrid prediction/wish lists for Maha before Sunday’s announcement. Check out how their picks and hopes compared:

Kelly Langin, Spring 2015 Editorial Intern:

Modest Mouse
Passion Pit
Shakey Graves
Hop Along
Simon Joyner
Lot Walks
Telepathy Problems

JP Davis, Spring 2015 Multimedia Intern:

Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers
Modest Mouse
See Through Dresses
Run the Jewels
Alabama Shakes
Diarrhea Planet
John Klemmensen and the Party
Universe Contest
Sylvan Esso
Sufjan Stevens
Conor Oberst

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Nebraska Folk & Roots Festival announced the first part of its lineup with a party at The Bourbon on Friday and performances by Jack Hotel, Lloyd McCarter and the Honky Tonk Revival, Bud Heavy and the High Lifes and Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies.

At Folk and Roots, Kill County, Desert Noises and Eros and the Eschaton grabbed the top billing for the festival at Branched Oak Farm outside Raymond, Nebraska. The festival recommends camping at Branched Oak State Park.

Passes are available June 22 for the July 31 and August 1 festival. Here’s the full lineup:

Kill County
Desert Noises
Eros and the Eschaton
Bud Heavy and the High Lifes
Victor & Penny
Dr. John Walker
Jack Hotel
The Bottle Tops
All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
Evan Bartels and the Stoney Lonesomes
Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies
Lloyd McCarter and the Honky Tonk Revival
Toasted Ponies

This is apparently about half of the festival’s lineup and further additions will mostly include touring bands, according to co-organizer Jeremy Buckley. All in all, it’s a solid lineup so far. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the lineup’s slight veer away from folk with the addition of soul acts All Young Girls Are Machine Guns and Mesonjixx and the dream pop of Eros and the Eschaton.

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In terms of Record Store Day releases, You Be Me for a While is perhaps one of the most exciting for Nebraska music fans.

As we wrote last week in a feature interview with Chris Farren (of the band Fake Problems), Farren and Tim Kasher teamed up for a split seven-inch on which both songwriters wrote and recorded one song. Then, they traded chords and lyrics and recorded their own versions of each other’s songs.

Today, Stereogum premiered Kasher’s track “Half Full.”

It’s a classic Kasher story song centered on a tragically realistic protagonist, narrated by a more crooning Kasher than usual.

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Last week, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Sheldon Art Museum announced its spring performance series. The museum will host musical performances on April 23, April 30 and May 7. RSVP here.

UNL art student and Sheldon student advisory board member Phoebe Little booked the shows, and had this to say about the series:

“The main goal of the Spring Performance Series is to give local artists an opportunity to create within the context of the museum, to transform it from a space that is often only for looking to a space for collaboration and interaction.”

Little says performances will take place in the museum’s sculpture garden, the great hall and the auditorium. See the lineup below:

April 23

Sun Day
Miniature Horse

photo of Bogusman by JP Davis

April 30

I Forgot to Love My Father

May 7

Izzy Dominguez
Red Theater
Son, Ambulance

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Monday means we turn over our weekly HN Radio playlist, streamable at the top of any page on

This week’s playlist kicks off with the new Icky Blossoms single “Living In Fiction,” which we wrote about on the site last week. We also received some specific submissions to the playlist this week from Nebraska artists newly on our radar.

First, there’s “Hennessy Louis V” from the Omaha emcee Rarri Vuitton. His EP Wavy John Chaney came out at the beginning of last month. Check out a video here.

Then, we’re featuring the song “Here and Now” by Norfolk’s Tucker Hill Citizen’s Brigade. That’s the title track from their forthcoming physical album. More on it here.

And, then we’re rolling with a pair of songs from the twangy Omaha country band Clarence Tilton, which has its album release show Friday, April 18 at Reverb Lounge. RSVP here. The self-titled album was recorded at Powerbase Studio near Wisner, Nebraska.

Stream this whole playlist through next Monday, and you’re likely to catch some of it on our KZUM radio show tonight. That’s HNFM from 8 to 10 p.m. on 89.3 KZUM in Lincoln or worldwide.