Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards reveals 2017 nominees; Oberst opens up to Vulture; Coverage of Dog Party, Wing Dam, Every Goddess Wanted, Muscle Cousins at O’Leaver’s

Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards reveals 2017 nominees

Awards seasons is upon us once again, as the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards revealed the nominees for 2017 in music, visual and performing arts. House of Loom hosted the fourth-annual reveal party last night, when the organization announced hundreds of publicly-nominated artists and programs in 54 categories across the three disciplines.

In music, Artist of the Year nominees include CJ Mills, Hector Anchondo Band, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, Belles & Whistles and more, adding up to 10 total. Album of the Year carried just as many, including Jack Hotel’s Voices from the Moon, McCarthy Trenching’s More Like It, Kait Berreckman’s Battle Scenes and Tara Vaughan’s Dandelion Wine. See the full music listing below.

Fans and voters alike can see many of the nominees in-person Friday, Oct 21 for the OEAA nominee showcase, which takes place all throughout Benson’s main strip. The multi-venue event is billed as a chance for artists to make their final push for votes. According to OEAA president Emily Cox, one of last year’s eventual winners wowed the OEAA panel at its showcase show, which led to its victory. (Editor’s note: this writer has a vote).

The OEAA has expanded its scope during the last year, hiring as Vice President R&B artist Dominique Morgan, who helped implement its Omaha Music Workshop Summit this past May to reach more area musicians. And while many of last year’s music winners have found the nominee listings again, there are enough new and emerging artists to suggest a further reach to the nominating public.

The 11th Annual OEAA show takes place Sunday, Feb. 19 at its new location, Omaha Design Center, 1502 Cuming St. View the complete list of nominees here, and each music category below.

*denotes last year’s winner

Best Rock
Carson City Heat
Jump the Tiger
Matt Whipkey
Naked Sunday
Time Giants

Best Hard Rock
Arson City
Before I Burn
Save the Hero
Screaming For Silence*
Through the Stone

Best Alternative/Indie
High Up
Kait Berreckman
Mitch Gettman
See Through Dresses*
The Hottman Sisters

Best Singer-Songwriter
Aly Peeler
CJ Mills
Emily Ward
Tara Vaughan
The Shineys

Best DJ
DJ Madix
DJ Mellie Mel
DJ Mista Soull
DJ Shor-T
Houston Alexander
Spence Love

Best Country
Belles & Whistles*
Dylan Bloom Band
Jason Earl Band
Jimmy Weber
Ryan Osbahr
Sack of Lions

Best Americana /Folk
Clarence Tilton
Jack Hotel
Pleiades & the Bear
Ragged Company
The Electroliners*
The Wildwoods

Best R&B/Soul
Dominique Morgan
E Rawq

Best Hip Hop/Rap
J. Crum
Mark Patrick

Best Blues
Brad Cordle Band
Levi William Band
The Rex Granite Band featuring Sarah Benck
Steve Lovett Blues Band
Tim Budig Band

Best Jazz
Clark & Company
Curly Martin
Kellison Quartet
Mitch Towne
Omaha Guitar Trio*
Steve Raybine

Best Progressive/Experimental/EDM
Citizen’s Band
Human Teeth Parade
State Disco

photo of Chemicals by James Dean

Best Ethnic
Esencia Latina Band
Mariachi Zapata
Rhythm Collective
The Bishops
The Prairie Gators*

Best Cover Band
3D In Your Face
Hi-Fi Hangover
Lemon Fresh Day
Polka Police
Sailing in Soup
Secret Weapon*

Album of the Year
Jack Hotel – Voices from the Moon
J. Crum – Black Sheep
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal – Running From Love
Jus.B – PartySoul
Kait Berreckman – Battle Scenes
McCarthy Trenching – More Like It
Ryan Osbahr – Easy Way Out
Tara Vaughan – Dandelion Wine
The Electroliners – The Common Clay of the New West
Through the Stone – Through the Stone

Artist of the Year
All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
Arson City
Belles & Whistles
CJ Mills
Dominique Morgan
Hector Anchondo Band
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal
Kris Lager Band
Satchel Grande
Tara Vaughan

Best New Artist
A Ferocious Jungle Cat
Born on Leap Year
Mark Patrick
Tiny Monsters

Best Recording Studio
ARC Studios*
Hidden Tracks Recording Studio
Icon 1NE Recording Studio
Make Believe Studios
SadSon Music Group
Screen Door Studios
Ware House Productions

Best Live Music Sound Engineer
Dan Brennan – Slowdown*
Keith Fertwagner – Lookout Lounge
Jeremy Garrett – Freelance
Brenton Neville – Vessel Live
Jon Pitts – Reverb Lounge
Ben Stratton – Waiting Room Lounge
Mark Wolberg – The Zoo Bar/Vessel Live

* * *

Conor Oberst opens up to Vulture

In the wake of serious allegations and in the midst of a grueling nationwide tour, Conor Oberst fell ill in late October last year. It forced Desaparecidos to cancel the remainder of its concert dates and led Oberst to check into the Mayo Clinic, citing anxiety and fatigue.

Now back in in Omaha, Oberst opens up about his struggle, recovery and new album Ruminations in a feature by The interview, also published in New York Magazine, takes place at his Omaha home and Pageturners lounge as he and writer Lizzy Goodman dive into the Joanie Faircloth saga and its increasingly-affecting aftermath.

Check out the article here. Ruminations is out Oct 14 on Nonesuch Records. Saddle Creek releases the Bright Eyes box set one week later.

* * *

Coverage of Dog Party, Wing Dam, Every Goddess Wanted, Muscle Cousins at O’Leaver’s

HN contributor Matt Mejstrik went to O’Leaver’s last night, where Sacremento rock duo Dog Party and Baltimore fuzz rock trio Wing Dam joined locals Every Goddess Wanted and Muscle Cousins for a four-band billing.

Both touring bands are out in support of new releases; Dog Party for ‘Til You’re Mine, which dropped Aug 5 on Asian Man and Burger Records; and Wing Dam for Aug 19 full-length Glow Ahead, out on Friends Records.

On the local end, Muscle Cousins is relatively new to the scene, formed earlier this year by siblings Andy, Mari and Collin Matz. The Matzs have been playing music in Omaha for years in bands like Capgun Coup, Manic Pixie Dream Girls and Saturn Moth. Every Goddess Wanted has been kicking around since 2014, molding responses from personal internet ads they post into lyrics which satirically swipe at toxic masculinity and the patriarchy.

See Mejstrik’s photos below:

Dog Party

Wing Dam

Muscle Cousins

Every Goddess Wanted

Photos by Matt Mejstrik

* * *

Concert Round-Up

Tonight, Christopher the Conquered returns to Lincoln to play Zoo Bar, 136 N 14th St. The blues haven is Chris Ford’s typical Lincoln haunt on the pop singer/songwriter’s seemingly endless tour. Ford still rides the wave of his recent, Ryan-Adams-endorsed LP I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll, out last year on Maximum Ames Records. New York singer/songwriter Caleb Hawley joins Ford on the bill as a kindred pop spirit. Like what you hear, but live in western Nebraska? Hawley plays Heritage days in McCook this Thursday and in Loomis Nebraska on Friday. RSVP to tonight’s show here.

And as always, Duffy’s Tavern has for-donation live music during Dad’s $1 Tallboy night. Tonight sees the return of Lincoln rock band Freakabout from a three-week East Coast tour, joined by a road partner of choice in New Jersey’s American Pinup. Show starts at 9 p.m.; use the extra beer money to pay the bands. RSVP here.

Musicians: releasing new music, planning a tour or have other intriguing goings on? We’d love to hear about it. Send details to