NPR’s Tiny Desk contest; Sam Martin album; Pure Brown guitarist; Kris Lager Band in documentary

There’s no question NPR’s Tiny Desk series has been on the forefront of the live, location-based video boom the last five years. John Legend, The Avett Brothers, Neko Case, T-Pain, Conor Oberst (this year) and a few hundred others have entered the NPR music offices to play stripped-down sets.

We’d like to see another Nebraska artist join those ranks.

NPR Music announced this morning it’s holding a contest to invite one (presumably anonymous) artist to its own Tiny Desk special. Full guidelines for entrance are all here.

Applicants record a video of one original song, and in line with the office digs of the series, there must be some sort of desk involved. It’s quite the slate of judges too, including NPR’s Bob Boilen (obviously), singer Valerie June, Reggie Watts, Maha 2013 featuree Thao Nguyen and a few more.

Seriously, Nebraska artists, submit for this. What’s the worst that could happen? You wind up with a cool video of yourself. Deadline is Jan. 19, 2015.

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Sam Martin’s long-awaited solo album, A Notion in an Ocean, is available for preorder today. It’ll be released officially on Dec. 9 on Make Believe Records. The first single “Bye Bye” was released in May.

The former Capgun Coup frontman worked with a handful of Omaha familiars, including old bandmates Greg Elsasser, Sean Pratt and Jesse Mckelvey, Noah Kohl of Sun Settings, Dereck Higgins and Todd Fink.

Based on Martin’s other solo work and “Bye Bye,” A Notion in an Ocean may find Martin familiar to ears who got to know him as the slack-jawed singer of Capgun Coup. Here, though, Martin seems altogether a little more interested in having his listener take him seriously. Tracks don’t seem as much like they’re barely held together at the seams, which was, of course, part of the Capgun Coup charm. But we’re excited to see the result of a more conscious-of-self Martin.

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Tonight, Lincoln’s Pure Brown plays its first show with Jesse Butterfield on guitar, rounding the progressive rock band out to four members, two guitarists.

Lincoln audiences may also know Butterfield from Thundersandwich. Pure Brown, The Midland Trio and Thundersandwich play at Duffy’s Tavern tonight for Dad’s Beer Night. RSVP here.

Drummer Hunter Carter says Pure Brown has intended to add a fourth member for some time, but that first they wanted to focus establishing a solid sound and trajectory. Up to now, that sound has been mostly tinged by classic video game theme song covers like Techmo and Tetris. He says video game covers have typically comprised half of the band’s set.

Carter says a second guitarist will give Pure Brown more range to write original songs. They’re booked to play shows now with every genre, from death metal to jam bands, and we await seeing this new versatility play out.

Pure Brown at Duffy's Tavern | 2.6.14

photo by Michael Todd

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 Hard-touring Nebraska roots act Kris Lager Band will be featured in a forthcoming documentary about American funk and blues artist Andy Frasco.

The Party’s Over looks chock full of optimism and ecstatic live footage, though clearly chronicles some of the hopelessness that so many road-dwelling indie musicians face. See the trailer for The Party’s Over here:

Earlier this year, Kris Lager Band toured with Frasco on the Freakout Therapy tour, opening on 10 dates for him in January. The band traveled to China later in the spring with Frasco and crew. 

From the trailer, the movie features at least one interview with Kris Lager Band keyboardist Jeremiah Weir, though we’d assume it’s much more than that.

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Scott Frost? Jim Tressel? Why not an oil-obsessed alien overlord?

Lincoln pop-punk band Thirst Things First released a video yesterday pitching their fictional frontman BOOT’s candidacy for the vacant Husker head coaching post. The video promises “faster runs,” “tackles,” “throws/passes” and so much more.

It’s weird, and the title is enticing enough that it has nearly 800 views (and a few scorned down votes). Also, there’s a chiptune version of the tunnel walk song. Your move, Shawn Eichorst.