Posts Tagged ‘Nebraska’

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Nebraska songwriter David Nance returns to Trouble In Mind Records with his fifth (proper) studio album “Staunch Honey”, his follow-up to his acclaimed 2018 album “Peaced and Slightly Pulverized”. Returning to the home-recorded magic of his early albums, “Staunch Honey” was recorded entirely to tape by Nance himself at his Omaha home with the occasional assistance from his long time live bandmates Jim Schroeder & Kevin Donohue.

Guitar man David Nance continues his prodigious output of underground heartland rock with what might be his most accessible album yet. “Staunch Honey” sounds instantly timeless, but also as fresh and unique as any other rock album that came out this year. “My Love, The Dark and I” is probably the best union of Nance’s country-rock influences and his lo-fi aesthetic, without the confrontational squeal of his “Silver Wings” cover, but with just enough of a rough-hewn, homemade feel to please fans of Honey Radar or, well, Nance’s earlier, rougher records. Normally a White Light / White Heat kinda guy, “July Sunrise” and its loping guitar lines is more The Velvet Underground, but with Nance singing like Tony Joe White instead of Lou Reed. “Learn the Curve” is a slinky, bluesy vamp, while “If the Truth Shows Up” finishes the whole thing up with the stoned-out-of-its-mind psych chug of Endless Boogie. If you ever wanted to hear one of Dickey Betts’ almost saccharinely upbeat Allman Brothers songs turned into a smokey, hazy space journey, you’ll probably want to listen to “Gentle Traitor” which starts off with the colourful, chiming guitars of Betts songs like “Blue Sky” and “Jessica,” before drifting off into the cosmos. Nance has been keeping up the good fight for years now and with Staunch Honey, he might finally win over your rock ‘n’ roll uncle. 

Many of the tunes on “Staunch Honey” feel like classics, but that’s because in Nance’s hands – they are. Not content to let the album go by without the rumble of guitar, “If The Truth Ever Shows Up” closes out the album. It’s an instrumental jam with Nance wrangling and riffing on a gut-punching guitar solo for 6-plus minutes that feels very much like the end credits to a long-lost midnight movie.

When you’re stalking around Bandcamp on any given Bandcamp Friday looking to round up your already-packed cart to an even fifty bucks, Father/Daughter tends to be a great place to land. 

Signed to the ever wonderful Father/Daughter Records, Anna McClellan is a singer-songwriter based out of Omaha, Nebraska. Anna’s latest album, “I Saw First Light”, is one of the year’s finest records. Among this interesting roster, though, you can also find the sophomore record from Omaha’s Anna McClellan, who’s also gearing up to release this Friday. “I Saw First Light” continues her experimentation within the contexts of lo-fi bedroom recordings and folk rock, 

Anna McClellan began performing original songs in her hometown of Omaha, NE at the age of seventeen and has been actively recording and touring ever since. Her debut, Fire Flames, earned her an opening slot on a Frankie Cosmos tour. Through the doors that tour opened, McClellan eventually met Father/Daughter Records which led to the release of her second full-length record, Yes and No, in 2018. After a stint in NYC, several subsequent tours and meandering, Anna returned to Omaha and recorded I Saw First Light, her latest effort for Father/Daughter Records.

The album was recorded over two weeks with a multitude of local cohorts, and it documents Anna’s journey from the Midwest to the east coast and back again, probing both the roots of her creative impetus and her ongoing commitment to social issues. The process of composing and recording I saw first light has both reformed and renewed her dedication to exploration, be it inward or external, and to her own boundless creative energy.


All keyboard/piano, electric rhythm guitar and lead vocals: Anna McClellan
All songs written and sung by Anna McClellan

Released November 20th, 2020

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Bright Eyes are the Omaha, Nebraska based band consisting of Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Nathaniel Walcott.

Bright Eyes have returned with new song “One and Done,” the third track released from their upcoming new album, following the previously shared “Forced Convalescence” and “Persona Non Grata.”

“One and Done” is built with some lovely string arrangements that give reminds a bit of some of The Last Shadow Puppets earlier work, just with a more introspective and vulnerable folk performance from Obsert as well as some welcome horns.

It’s another wonderful new track from the band who are back in fine form. We need that album as soon as possible.


Released May 27th, 2020

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“…..all the good ones in the world they keep dropping dead, everybody’s got a bullet flying at their head……” Looking forward to a new album sometime in 2019??


“No One Changes” 
Conor Oberst- piano and vocal
“The Rockaways” 
Conor Oberst- guitar and vocal
Nathaniel Walcott- keyboard
Released November 7th, 2018

It’s just been announced that Conor Oberst is working with the Felice Brothers band again on a new (sort of) album. Salutations is going to be 7 new tracks, plus all the songs from Ruminations done with a full band instead of solo. Earlier they released the first new track, “Napalm,” as well as their version of  “A Little Uncanny.”

“Napalm” is, in my opinion, one of the most electrifying track’s Oberst has released since “Roosevelt Room” appeared on Outer South. There’s a little twang in the vocals on some lyrics, and since Ian Felice isn’t focused on singing he’s free to go wild on lead guitar. Salutations also features Oberst’s Monsters Of Folk bandmate Jim James and drummer Jim Keltner.

“Napalm” by Conor Oberst and The Felice Brothers

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Over the course of the past six years, Omaha, NB musician David Nance has released three full-length albums for labels Grapefruit and Ba Da Bing Records, a 7-inch, numerous cassettes, CDRs and unlicensed “cover albums”. His latest full-length is credited to the David Nance Group and features Nance alongside his recent hot-shit live band of fellow Omaha musicians. “Peaced and Slightly Pulverized’s” sounds are alternatingly tender and brusque.

The anthemic Poison with its fuzzed-out guitar riff that leans into a Crazy-Horsian guitar maelstrom and white-hot solo, to Ham Sandwich; a blisteringly frantic rant about a lunchtime torment – uncomfortable in its directness. Side one closes with the epic seven and a half minute Amethyst; an emotional odyssey with Nance and Schroeder strangling their guitars into a twin-guitar, barbed-wire duel. The album’s centerpiece is In Her Kingdom, an emotive ballad that fades into view with a plaintive guitar strum that ebbs and flows with a ris ing tide of swelling guitars, it’s riffs gilding the melody and adding flecks of gold to Nance’s tale of poverty and grace. The album closes with Prophet’s Profit’s biting commentary on false idolatry utilizing the group’s not-so-secret weaponry of Nance and Schroeder’s six-string simpatico to bring the listener home.


Bruce Springsteen scored his first major pop chart hit in 1980 with “Hungry Heart.” Coming off that, it would have been reasonable to expect The Boss to strike while the iron was hot and write more ear candy so that his nationwide commercial success might match his critical acclaim and his live reputation. But Springsteen always had the long game in mind even as a young man, releasing an album in 1982 called Nebraska that was almost defiantly anti-radio. It came down to the notion that the stories on that record, like the clash between duty and family at the heart of “Highway Patrolman,” were the ones he needed to tell to properly continue his career-long conversation with his fans.

In a 1998 interview with Double Take magazine, Springsteen explained where his head was at when he wrote and recorded the songs that would become Nebraska. “I think I’d come out of a period of my own writing where I’d been writing big, sometimes operatic, and occasionally rhetorical things,” he said. “I was interested in finding another way to write about those subjects, about people, another way to address what was going on around me and in the country – a more scaled-down, more personal, more restrained way of getting some of my ideas across.”

In terms of “Highway Patrolman,” that restraint is evident in the way that Springsteen doesn’t feel the need to fill in every little detail or burden the song with exposition. His narrator, police officer Joe Roberts, is clearly a man of few words, yet what’s roiling inside of him can be detected in Springsteen’s world-weary delivery. His basic problem: He is sworn to uphold the law in his little Michigan town of Perrineville, but, as he sums it up, “I got a brother named Franky and Franky ain’t no good.”

He then details how the scenario has played itself out over the years: Franky causes trouble, and Joe uses his position to sweep those problems under the rug. “But when it’s your brother sometimes you look the other way,” Springsteen sings, and it’s immediately clear where this stance of willful ignorance will lead. But Joe defends himself by telling nostalgic stories of happier times filled with drinking and singing; “Nothing feels better than blood on blood,” he explains. He defends his actions by falling back on family ties: “Man turns his back on his family well he just ain’t no good.”

Springsteen takes a verse to explain how the brothers came to be in this position, which is important because the themes of poverty and people forced into suffocating circumstances run rampant throughout Nebraska. Joe tells how he attempted to farm until he could no longer make ends meet. Meanwhile Frankie spends time in the Army at a time when the Vietnam War was ramping up, so we can only assume that his own personal problems were exacerbated by his stint in the conflict.

It all leads to the final verse, when Franky finally does the kind of damage that can’t be ignored. Joe Roberts hustles out to his vehicle and starts speeding through the streets in search of his brother. The juxtaposition in this section is fascinating, as the suspenseful, high-speed pursuit is contrasted by the staggering pace of the song. We are led to believe that Joe might finally confront his wayward brother, but Springsteen gives us a final twist: “Well I chased him through them county roads/ Till a sign said Canadian border five miles from here/ I pulled over to the side of the highway and watched his taillights disappear.”

The ambivalence of this ending is truly haunting. Franky might be getting away for now, but it seems a given that he is headed for a bad end without his brother around to clean up his messes. And for all of his good intentions, Joe is now left to wonder if he enabled Franky with his actions. “Highway Patrolman” is about impossible choices, a story song that teaches no lessons and leaves no morals. It’s also proof that in songwriting, less can be more, especially when you’ve got a master like Bruce Springsteen deciding what to include and what the listener can figure out for themselves.

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Hailing from Southeast Nebraska, Bartels and his band of brothers, The Stoney Lonesomes are making honest, hard hitting, Americana Rock that is not easily forgotten.

Evan Bartels is a lot of things, but above all else he is a great story teller. He has dedicated his life to living in a way that encompasses all facets of the human experience and capturing those feelings and emotions in his songwriting. The words that you can’t find when you wish only to know someone has felt what you are feeling… that’s what is put into his songs and they grab you and resonate in your bones. 


I don’t know what does but. Bartels is the next generation of gruff, emotional rock songwriters. I’ll tell you this it opens with a nice acoustic part, but you sure as shit better stay for the 1:20 mark and hear that breakdown. If you click away from the song after that, we aren’t even friends. Get the hell out of here with this song, man. I don’t even know what to say about it anymore it’s just so good.

You can listen to ‘Tattoo’ and the rest of Evan Bartels‘ full length album “The Devil, God & Me


Band Members
Evan Bartels, Logan Bartels, Jake Brandt, Bryan Keeling

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Co-fronted by the ethereal Sara Bertuldo and the whispered baritone of Mathew Carroll, See Through Dresses work bits of Cocteau Twins, The Cure, and other reverby ’80s bands into their new album “Horse of the Other World”.  Its instant, urgent, and bursting at the seams with sentimental angst, “Lucy’s Arm” is a brilliant next-step…a sonic explosion of guts and glory that hits like a hammer.  Sara Bertuldo’s vocals absolutely soar, but the heavy bass line and looping guitars keep her tethered. The track sounds like an authority figure hit with a glitter bomb, a moment of levity for a person who can’t quite fully give in to it and divorce themselves from the world. 


“Violet,” the first single from See Through Dresses’ upcoming sophomore album, comes out swinging with a towering, shimmering riff that threads itself throughout the song. Their new album, Horse Of The Other World, alludes to their shoegazier past, but most of the songs have a vibrancy and urgency that’s difficult to walk back from. “Violet” in particular is an absolute monster of a track.

Black Sabbath kicked off their final world tour last night in Omaha, Neb. with a 14-song set largely dedicated to their most popular songs. You can see the full setlist below.

The founding members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler were again joined by Tommy Clufetos, who took over for original drummer Bill Ward on Sabbath’s 2012-2014 reunion tour following a still-acrimonious split.

In Omaha, the quintessential heavy metal band kicked off its farewell tour — dubbed “The End” — and said this really is the final hurrah. Nearly 50 years after first forming (and 34 years to the day after Osbourne bit the head off of a bat), Black Sabbath took the stage with thundering versions of “Paranoid,” “War Pigs,” “Iron Man” and the eponymous “Black Sabbath.”

Even though it wasn’t a perfect show, it was tough to say goodbye. Black Sabbath basically invented heavy metal. Back then, they were just four guys in Birmingham. Fast forward 50 years and their guitar tones, howling occult lyrics, and slamming drumbeats are standard metal stuff, and those same guys stood in front of nearly 13,000 screaming fans. Wednesday’s show was just shy of a sellout, and people packed to the rafters to watch the band kick off its final jaunt with a no-nonsense 90-minute set. The thousands — heavily male, dressed in black and often heavily tattooed — heard the first ominous notes of “Black Sabbath” and jumped to their feet to hear the band run through its classics.

Backed by a screen full of psychedelic video streams and flanked by six flaming pyres, frontman Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi dressed all in black for the occasion. (They were joined by drummer Tommy Clufetos, who has sat in for original drummer Bill Ward for several years.)

Iommi was pure thundering bliss on guitar. Playing some battered-up, well-used Gibson SGs, the legendary picker had a thick tone that was often menacing, sometimes forceful and always bursting with lightning. Butler availed himself well, especially on the band’s more recognizable basslines such as “War Pigs.” And Culfetos beat the drums like he hated them. Then there was the Ozzman.

Osbourne’s voice wasn’t great. It wasn’t awful, really. It simply wasn’t very good. On Wednesday, he was sometimes flat. He was sometimes pitchy, occasionally off-key. He almost never hit the notes he was looking for.

Osbourne did better on less vocally demanding songs such as “Dirty Women” and “Black Sabbath.”

It was the first show of the tour, so maybe his voice will warm up. Maybe they’re still working out the sound in his monitors. Maybe it’s just that he’s 67 years old.

It’s not clear what the cause was, but Sabbath also shuffled around its original setlist and skipped three songs. After Osbourne and Iommi consulted on stage, “Children of the Grave” was moved from the end of the setlist. They then skipped “God is Dead,” Under the Sun” and “After Forever” and finished the show with “Dirty Women” and “Paranoid.” The show came in 30 minutes under it’s originally scheduled runtime. (Read the show’s setlist below.) But nothing could stop fans from loving him.

They screamed every word to “Snowblind,” and danced around for “Children of the Grave.”

When the chugging chords of “Paranoid” signaled the end of the show, the arena was brought to its feet while purple confetti rained from above. When the show ended, the band took its bow and the house lights came up, many people refused to leave their seats. It was too hard to admit it was over. “This is the beginning of the end for us and I just wanted to say thank you for all of your support all these years,” Osbourne said at the end. “Thank you. Goodnight. God bless you all.”

As hinted at on an promotional video highlighting the band’s rehearsal sessions for The End tour, 1970’s slow-burning, bass-heavy “Hand of Doom” was performed for the first time in almost 40 years, alongside expected classics such as opener “Black Sabbath,” “War Pigs” and “Children of the Grave.

Unlike Black Sabbath’s last tour, nothing from their most recent album 13 was performed at last night’s show. Nor were any songs from The End, a new CD featuring four unreleased studio tracks from the 13 sessions and four live performances. This CD will only be sold at shows on this tour.

The End tour continues tomorrow night in Chicago, Ill., and is currently scheduled to conclude Sept. 21st in Phoenix, Ariz. You can get all of Black Sabbath’s tour dates at the band’s official site.

Black Sabbath Setlist: 1/20/16 Omaha, Neb.

01. “Black Sabbath”
02. “Fairies Wear Boots”
03. “Tomorrow’s Dream”
04. “Into The Void”
05. “Snowblind”
06. “War Pigs”
07. “Behind The Wall Of Sleep”
08. “N.I.B.”
09. “Hand Of Doom”
10. “Rat Salad”
11. “Iron Man”
12. “Children Of The Grave”
13. “Dirty Women”
14. “Paranoid”