The Musical A-List

This is about as unscientific as it gets. For this year’s Top 20 list we’re submitting our teams, ur … bands, and letting you sort it out. The criteria? For me, the band has to be either: 1) actively recording music, 2) actively touring, and/or 3) actively playing gigs in the Omaha/Lincoln area. If asked […]

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Ten Questions with Ratboys

Ratboys’ publicist described the duo as a “‘post-country’ meets indie rock group from Chicago.” After listening (many times) to their last full-length, GN (2017, Topshelf), and the follow-up EP, GL (2018, Topshelf) — the titles stand for Good Night and Good Luck — I can’t find much “post-country” about them. But then again, I’ve never […]

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Ten Questions with Diane Coffee

Diane Coffee is Shaun Fleming. As an actor, he’s voiced a slew of animated characters including Jim & Tom Possible in Kim Possible and Leonard Amadeus in Teacher’s Pet. As a musician, he’s played drums in Foxygen. But as Diane Coffee he’s released three albums of retro electro-pop, singing in a voice that would make […]

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The Wind Cries Stupid

It’s easy to imagine the pitch for Bless This Mess, the new half-hour shitcom on ABC TV whose pilot aired last month. Imagine the hip, hoodie-wearing pitchman or pitchwoman at the head of the Disney boardroom table giving this elevator summary: “It’s like a reverse Beverly Hillbillies or a modern-day Green Acres but with hipster […]

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Live Review: Sasami, Ellis at Reverb

Sasami at Reverb last night was a hoot. Rarely have I seen such a well-balanced trio, with every musician playing a crucial roll, and amazingly so. The drummer was mesmerizing, and the bass at times carried the melody, but at the center was Sasami Ashworth, who you could tell was having a great time playing […]

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Ten Questions with Lady Lamb

Lady Lamb is singer/songwriter Aly Spaltro, who you may remember as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, a moniker she dropped shortly after her 2013 debut, Ripely Pine. She’s actually been releasing EPs and LPs since 2009, bouncing between indie labels Ba Da Bing Records and Mom + Pop Records. Her most recent, Even in the Tremor, […]

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Postcard from San Juan

Let me start by saying this reporting is all observational. I didn’t go to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to dig into the island’s recovery efforts and reveal the pain and healing amongst the survivors. I went to get a tan. And to swim and drink rummy drinks and get away from sub-zero, dirty-snow Omaha, at […]

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25 Years and Counting

Twenty-five years is a long time to do anything, let alone publish a newspaper. When people ask me what I know about John Heaston — the publisher of this here rag you hold in your hands, a publication that’s celebrating its 25th year — the first thing that comes to mind is his tenaciousness. The […]

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Ten Questions with DeVotchKa

“Devotchka” is a Russian word for “girl,” according to Wikipedia, whereas DeVotchKa is a Denver four-piece fronted by brassy crooner Nick Urata. The band’s history dates back to 1997 and 11 studio albums including their latest, This Night Falls Forever (2018, Concord Records), a romantic collection of lush ballads that, on tracks […]

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