Meadowlark songwriter nights; Take Cover dates; Quick thought on Kickstarters; Weekend shows

With the new year, Lincoln’s Meadowlark Coffee and Espresso is reimagining how it presents shows.

Beginning Jan. 11, Songwriters’ Sundays will see the 16th and South Street coffee shop transformed from busy café to intimate, performance-focused space each week.

“The coffee shop will begin closing for regular business at 9 p.m., turning down the lights, turning off the espresso grinder (still serving coffee and pastries), and creating a listening space for singer-songwriters to perform and build a community,” says Will Hutchinson, one of the series organizers, in an e-mail.

Hutchinson says Meadowlark recently hosted a benefit show to raise money for monitors and simple lighting. The series has KZUM, Lincoln’s community radio station, as a sponsor.

The inaugural show features Hutchinson and Lincoln trio Xion. RSVP here.

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Today, we announced the dates for our fourth annual Take Cover fundraiser concert: Jan. 23 at The Waiting Room and Jan. 30 at The Bourbon.

Take Cover asks about 15 local songwriters to perform two songs, an original and a cover of a song by another Nebraska artist. The event is a celebration of a productive and inspiring music community. We’ll have raffle prizes from local businesses for audience members as well.

Each night is $8 at the door and with different lineups in both cities. In our opinion, it’s worth making the drive to both.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for lineup announcements.

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A few hours before Oketo lit up the Vega stage last Friday, they recorded a stripped down version of their song “Bone Dance” in the venue’s stairwell. Shot by regular Hear Nebraska contributor JP Davis, it’s part of Vega’s ongoing Vega.TV series.

It’s a nice reminder — as we saw in flying colors on HNFM earlier this year — that the band can have a reliable and artful second speed as an acoustic act.

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Omaha’s Unscene Patrol is looking to raise $7,500 in a Kickstarter campaign to record, print and distribute a new album. With three days to go, the band is about $6,000 shy of its goal at press time. To help out, learn more about the campaign and contribute here.

For our part, we want to see Nebraska musicians release their music however they best see fit. It’s true that Kickstarter and other crowdfunding campaigns have become a viable option for many artists in the current state of the industry. However, Kickstarter campaigns often fail or seem overreaching when they want to use the audience as a signed band would a record label.

If you’re considering a crowdfunding campaign, look around to see what has worked for your peers. Carefully consider what’s realistic. For instance, check out this Kickstarter, successfully funded two years ago. Kill County ran a tight, straightforward campaign. They had the music, which they recorded themselves, ready and wanted to create physical copies.

In that case, the Kickstarter campaign works as a metric for whether there’s a demand, rather than asking the audience to shoulder the entire process. The result is an extremely modest budget.

So, indeed, we hope every Nebraska act, including Unscene Patrol, nails its Kickstarter. But as an organization that sees and promotes a lot of crowdfunding campaigns, we see what works and what doesn’t, and we implore bands to try and run them as thoughtfully as possible.

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Between tonight and tomorrow, there’s a bevy of long-weekend shows. You can check out a complete listing on our events calendar. (And if it’s not complete, email us a link to the missing show at

—For a few highlights, we’d start with Har Mar Superstar and The Pizza Underground tonight at The Waiting Room. It’s bound to be pretty wild, alien and theatrical. Har Mar is known for his intense, often underwear-bound, soul singing. Desaparecidos’ Denver Dalley will play in Har Mar’s live band, fresh off Desa’s big show at The Waiting Room on Tuesday.

Pizza Underground, as you might already know, has Macauley Culkin in its ranks, and performs Velvet Underground tunes with the lyrics changed to pizza appreciations. Reception at their live shows has been dicey at times, and full disclosure, they have no media list for their portion of the show.

For a quick bit of inside baseball: It’s by no means a media outlet’s divine right to cover any given show. But not allowing any media into your set sends a signal of some kind. “We don’t need press” is one way to read it. Probably true in the case of a band with a celebrity and clear concept/gag. “We don’t care what you have to say” is another. Yet another is, “We don’t want people to know what you have to say about us.”

We’ll still be providing coverage via Har Mar’s people. Look for it Monday.

—Boximus Maximus 2.0 is the main event in downtown Lincoln tomorrow. The Duffy’s-Zoo Bar-Bourbon mini-festival will feature a dozen rock/punk/loud acts as a tribute to the bygone Box Awesome venue. (You can read everything fit to print about the defunct venue in this oral history.) RSVP here.

—Tomorrow night, Oquoa and See Through Dresses play Reverb Lounge with Thinkin Machines, the new Omaha band’s debut. Thinkin Machines features Alex van Beaumont, bassist for pop-punk band Millions of Boys. RSVP to the $8 show here.

See Through Dresses, who signed to European label This Charming Man earlier this year, unveiled the alternate album cover today for the European version of the band’s already-out debut. Check it out, it’s birds instead of flowers.

See Through Dresses (2015) This Charming Man Records, Euro version alternate cover

A photo posted by See Through Dresses (@seethroughdresses) on

—Also tomorrow night, O’Leaver’s Pub’s new piano will get its coming-out party. McCarthy Trenching, Anna McClellan, Annie Dilocker and former Hear Nebraska managing editor Michael Todd (who now lives in Sioux Falls) play O’Leaver’s for what’s sure to be a charming and intimate singer-songwriter night. RSVP here.