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Citizen – July 23

In the early 2010s, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia were fertile ground for bands heavily indebted to ‘90s indie rock and Midwest emo bands like Mineral and American Football, and Boston-based Run For Cover Records took many such acts under its wing. Among labelmates like Turnover, Tigers Jaw and Title Fight, Toledo’s Citizen rose to the […]

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Migos at Stir Cove – May 26

It’s not really an exaggeration to say Atlanta hip-hop trio Migos have taken over the rap game since their track “Bad and Boujee” topped the Billboard Hot 100 and became a near-cultural phenomenon in 2016. Their heavy-hitting style, aided by Metro Boomin’s bass-heavy instrumentals, has become the standard in trap-rap, earning them a pair of […]

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Backbeat for August

In the past few months, it’s become almost customary to start this column with news from the Saddle Creek Records camp, whether to commend the new Sam Evian and Hop Along albums, or to discuss the signing of a new artist like Tomberlin or Stef Chura. The trend won’t end this month, either, as Saddle […]

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Backbeat for October

As summer fades into autumn there’s a shift in the artistic landscape. Movie studios start scaling back their popcorn releases and begin to roll out their Oscar bait, and the biggest video games are released in anticipation of the holiday season. In essence, they’re saving the best for last. While this doesn’t always translate to […]

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Get Hip!

The Blues Society of Omaha (BSO) partners with Jazz on the Green to present former Omahan and world-class blues vocalist Shaun Murphy Thursday, Aug. 2, 7:30 p.m. in celebration of the BSO’s 20th Anniversary. Murphy’s credits include working regularly in the studio and on tour as a backing vocalist for artists including Bob Seger and […]

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World Class Music on Local Stages

The annual Zoo Fest’s outdoor shows July 6 and 7 celebrate Lincoln’s historic Zoo Bar’s 45th Anniversary. The street fest kicks off Friday, July 6, with Evan Bartels (5 p.m.) followed by Zoo favorites Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials (7 p.m.). Friday night’s headliner, Tex-Mex roots-rock stars Los Lobos, plays their highly anticipated set […]

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July Backbeat

The wheels at Nebraska’s largest record label, Saddle Creek, and its first cousin, Cursive’s 15 Passenger, spun swiftly in June, with both signing new artists within the past month, and the former releasing a new record. Saddle Creek welcomed Kentucky-based singer-songwriter Sarah Beth Tomberlin, or Tomberlin for short, to the ever-growing Omaha label’s roster. With […]

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Pause. Refresh.

Johnny Boyd at Reverb Lounge, Nov. 16 – Irresistible swing, jazz, American songbook, classics and originals, with Boyd surrounded by a world-class band that can do it all. The Reverb show was a perfect collision of artistry, musicianship and showmanship. Stellar! Jon Dee Graham at Byron’s in Pomeroy, Iowa, July 16 – There is no […]

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Backbeat Column – May 2018

The weather still feels like winter at this column’s deadline, but the calendar says it’s festival lineup announcement season. Nebraska’s two largest music fests came through with contenders for their most ambitious slates yet, both revealing full details within a two-day stretch in mid-April.  In its 10th year, Maha Music Festival is bigger than ever. […]