* Summer officially starts this week and with it comes a few more local music festivals. Up next is the Omaha Solstice Reggae and World Music Festival at Riverwest Park, 233rd and West Maple Road. The show is Saturday, June 21st and scheduled performers include Rhythm Collective, the Bishops, Don Minott, Dred I Dread, the Dropsteppers, New Common Ground, Erroll Organs and Erroll Bonnick Tickets for the one-day event are $20. For more information, visit omahasolsticereggaefest.com.
* Lincoln's The Railyard, 350 Canopy St., will host the first Nebraska Folk and Roots Festival Friday, July 18th and Saturday, July 19th. Organizers hope to turn the festival into an annual event. Performers include Wild Child, David Mayfield Parade, Union Specific, The Bottle Tops, Toasted Ponies, Root Marm Chicken Farm Jug Band, Evan Bartels & the Stoney Lonesomes, Jack Hotel, Bud Heavy & the High Lifes, Shawn Cole, David Boye, Gerardo Meza, Bonehart Flannigan, Jack Hotel and the Southpaw Bluegrass Band. Bands will play outside at the Railyard before nightly showcases held at the adjacent music venue Vega. Tickets for the entire weekend are $15.
* The Faint essentially hosted their own festival this weekend with a trio of Omaha shows at three venues, which culminated with a semi-secret free show at the Slowdown, 729 North 14th St. I caught the first night Friday, June 13th at the Sokol Auditorium, 2234 South 13th St. The Sokol is the one room the Faint have played the most and they attacked it as if it was home turf, mixing in a heavy dose of new songs on a set list that honed in on cuts from their Danse Macabre and Wet From Birth albums. It was a vivid reminder that no other Omaha band can get a crowd moving like the Faint.