Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards nominees announced; Desaparecidos, Both, All Young Girls Are Machine Guns among ‘Artist of the Year’ nominees; New Live at O’Leaver’s recordings include Speedy Ortiz, Beach Slang, The Hussy

Awards season is once again thrust upon us, and with it comes the annual recognition of some of Omaha’s best musicians, bands and music professionals.

The Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards have announced nominees for best-of awards in visual arts, performing arts and live music. Artist of the year nominees include nationally-touring Desaparecidos, hip-hop duo Both, soul ensemble All Young Girls Are Machine Girls and Kris Lager Band, among others.

Though nominees are largely Omaha based, the roster also includes acts from Lincoln and beyond that are active in Omaha or that tour outside the state. That would explain appearances by Freakabout, Oketo, Plack Blague, Kris Lager Band, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal and SharkWeek. Even Mark Wolberg is up for Best Live Music Sound Engineer for his work at Lincoln’s Zoo Bar.

Voting Academy members and fans will have the opportunity to see many of these acts Friday, Oct. 23, at the OEAA Nominee Showcase in Benson. Seven venues will host more than 40 live performances throughout the night (RSVP here). Though it’s likely — and one would hope — the enterprising show-goer is familiar with many of the nominees, or has at least heard or seen them in some capacity.

We’d like to issue congratulations to all of the nominees, and look forward to seeing more from each leading up to the January awards ceremony. For now, view the list of nominees in 19 live music categories below. The entire list can be found at the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards website here.

Best Rock
Carson City Heat
Pancho & The Contraband
Rock Paper Dynamite
Through The Stone
We Be Lions

Best Hard Rock
Arson City
Black Velvet
Screaming For Silence
The Clincher
The End In Red
The Impulsive

Best Alternative/Indie
High Up
Icky Blossoms
See Through Dresses

Best Singer/Songwriter
Aly Peeler
CJ Mills
John Klemmensen
Kait Berreckman
Michael Campbell

Best DJ
DJ Madix
DJ Mellie Mel
DJ Shor-T
E Babbs
Houston Alexander

Best Americana/Folk
Burkum Boys
Clarence Tilton
Pleiades & The Bear
The Electroliners
The Willards Band
Township & Range

Best Country
Belles & Whistles
Dylan Bloom Band
Jason Earl Band
Jimmy Weber
Nathan Wade
Sack of Lions

Best R&B/Soul
Dani Cleveland
Dominique Morgan
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal
TJ Saddler

Best Hip-Hop/Rap
Latin Threat
Marcey Yates
The Madness Apparatus

Best Blues
Christy Rossiter & 112 North Duck
Clark & Company
Hector Anchondo Band
Mojo Bag
Steve Byam
Steve Lovett

Best Jazz
Camille Metoyer Moten
Delve Trio
Escape From AlcaJazz
Luigi Inc.
Omaha Guitar Trio
Steve Raybine

Best Progressive/Experimental/EDM
Citizens Band
Dereck Higgins
Linear Symmetry
Plack Blague

Best Ethnic
Esencia Latina Band
Mariachi Zapata
Polka Police
The Bishops
The Prairie Gators

Best Cover Band
3D In Your Face
Hi-Fi Hangover
Lemon Fresh Day
Peace, Love, etc. Band
Secret Weapon
Taxi Driver

Artist of the Year
All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
Aly Peeler
Arson City
Belles & Whistles
Dominique Morgan
Kris Lager Band
Matt Whipkey
Screaming For Silence

Best New Artist
Devil In The Details
Justin Ready & The Echo Prairie
Pleiades & The Bear
The Hottman Sisters
The Madness Apparatus
Virgin Mary Pistol Grip

Album of the Year
The Horror Show, Arson City
Clarence Tilton, Clarence Tilton
Payola, Desaparecidos
Loveaholics Anonymous, Dominique Morgan
Mask, Icky Blossoms
Party All Night, John Klemmensen
Underwater, Matt Whipkey
The End In Red, The End In Red
Alligator Years, Twinsmith

Best Recording Studio
ARC Studios
Focus Mastering
Grubb Inc. Recording & Productions
Hidden Tracks Recording Studio
Icon 1NE Recording Studio
SadSon Music Group

Best Live Music Sound Engineer
Ian Aeillo, O’Leaver’s
Dan Brennan, Slowdown
Keith Fertwagner, Lookout Lounge
Jon Pitts, Reverb Lounge
Ben Strattion, Waiting Room Lounge
Mark Wolberg, The Zoo Bar

* * *

O’Leaver’s sound engineer Ian Aeillo has been a machine as of late. Today, Live At O’Leaver’s made public three new sets of recordings from Speedy Ortiz, Beach Slang and the Hussy, all recorded within the last four months.

All three have received a noticeable amount of buzz lately. Massachusetts based Speedy Ortiz played its O’Leaver’s set on Aug. 15, merely hours after its Maha Music Festival appearance. Pitchfork gave its new LP Foil Deer 7.9 out of 10 (lofty, by the website’s standards) for its musical complexity and vocalist/guitarist Sadie Dupuis’s sharp lyrics.

Philadelphia’s Beach Slang comprises an East Coast super-group of sorts, combining vocalist/guitarist James Snyder’s 20 years in Weston with drummer JP Flexner’s time in Ex-Friends and bassist Ed McNulty of NONA. The band is on the cusp of its first LP The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us, and will play a headlining spot at The Fest at October’s end. We talked to Snyder before the band’s Aug. 27 performance.

The Hussy has also garnered its share of national blog support after Galore dropped June 30 on Southpaw Records. Our readership might recognize Bobby Hussy from the split his band did with Digital Leather, and his collaboration with Shawn Foree on the synth project Tit.

Head to the Live At O’Leaver’s site here to hear these new recordings and the rest of the public catalogue.

* * *

Omaha/Austin, Texas-based label We’re Trying Records has announced its signing of Aurora, Ill., emo band Mighty Ships, and will release new LP The Coastal Midwest Thursday. The signing grows the independent label’s roster to three, with Lincoln’s I Forgot To Love My Father and Omaha’s Super Ghost on board for the Sept. 1 launch.

Mighty Ships has quickly grown a following since forming in 2013, playing the local house show circuit on the strength of its initial demos. The Coastal Midwest is the trio’s first LP and first label release.

Hear the Awakening demos below, and find more information about the album release here.

* * *

Show highlights tonight include the maiden voyage of Vegetable Deluxe, formed by a pair of scene veterans in Vince Franco (Stomach, Dads) and Nick Waggoner (Brimstone Howl, Forbidden Tigers). Columbus, Ohio, band All Dogs, Omaha’s Sean Pratt and Jettison fill out the bill. Entry is $7. RSVP here.

As always, head to our statewide calendar at for a fuller listing of 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.