Benson First Friday Femme Fest, Gramps, American Cream tonight; Closeness, NE Hardcore Saturday; Nance, Joyner Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 8:52 am September 2, 2016
The second annual Benson First Friday Femme Fest is tonight...

The second annual Benson First Friday Femme Fest is tonight…

by Tim McMahan,

Some call Labor Day weekend the last weekend of summer. But the last time I checked, summer doesn’t end officially until Sept. 21. And I plan on soaking in every last day of it. Anyway, a new tradition (at least for the last year or so) is Benson First Friday Femme Fest, or #BFFFF. I’ve never been to one before and likely won’t again since I have my own Labor Day weekend tradition that involves New York City. This year is the exception. I’m here. I’m going.

What exactly is the point of Femme Fest other than to gather bands together that include women in them to play together on one night? I’m not entirely sure. There used to be a time when rock ‘n’ roll was exclusively a boys’ club. Take a look at the pop charts (or any chart) and you’ll see that’s no longer the case. In fact, women performers, singer-songwriters and rockers dominate just about every genre, if not in sheer numbers, in overall quality (sorry guys, but times have changed).

That doesn’t mean there still aren’t problems when it comes to women in rock, or that gigs like these aren’t appropriate (or necessary). In the press releases I’ve received for this event from #BFFFF organizers, a clear mission for Femme Fest is never spelled out. The closest I’ve seen was the following written by organizer Rebecca Lowry for the pages of BFFFF sponsor Hear Nebraska:

Over my years watching the form of the music community shift and change, I am amazed at how quickly this has become a community consumed by women in music. The sheer number of us has drastically increased, and continues to do so, shaping some of the best music to come from our state.

The specifics: 56 bands at eight venues for $10. Here’s the sched. See you there:

The Waiting Room Lounge
6:30 – 7:20 :: OPENING CEREMONY :: All Young Girls Are Machine Guns/Omaha Girls Rock
7:30 – 8:05 :: KMK
8:15 – 8:50 :: Mary Ruth McLeay
9:00 – 9:35 :: The Hottman Sisters
9:45 – 10:20 :: Dani Cleveland
10:30 – 11:05 :: Lexi Robles
11:15 – 11:50 :: La Guerre (Lawrence, KS)
12:00 – 12:35 :: High Up
12:45 – 1:30 :: HEADLINER :: CJ Mills

Reverb Lounge
7:30 – 8:05 :: Blue Bird
8:15 – 8:50 :: Field Club
9:00 – 9:35 :: Edem Soul Music
9:45 – 10:20 :: Keiria Marsha’
10:30 – 11:05 :: Lady Scientist
11:15 – 11:50 :: DJ P2K
12:00 – 12:35 :: SharkWeek

The Barley Street Tavern
7:30 – 8:05 :: The Shineys
8:15 – 8:50 :: Badland Girls
9:00 – 9:35 :: Annie Dilocker
9:45 – 10:20 :: White Bee (Detroit, MI)
10:30 – 11:05 :: Tara Vaughan
11:15 – 11:50 :: Briner
12:00 – 12:35 :: Kait Berreckman Music

9:00 – 9:35 :: PYRATE
9:45 – 10:20 :: The Clocks
10:30 – 11:05 :: The Morbs
11:15 – 11:50 :: Muscle Cousins
12:00 – 12:35 :: Universe Contest

SoundCheck Rehearsal Studio
7:30 – 8:05 :: Soul Tree
8:15 – 8:50 :: The Ronnys
9:00 – 9:35 :: Calling Cody
9:45 – 10:20 :: Molly Gaughan & The Dustbunnies
10:30 – 11:05 :: Tiny Monsters
11:15 – 11:50 :: Edge Of Arbor
12:00 – 12:35 :: Pleiades & the Bear

Burke’s Pub
7:30 – 8:05 :: Ragged Company
8:15 – 8:50 :: The Toppings
9:00 – 9:35 :: The Ragabonds
9:45 – 10:20 :: 24 Hour Cardlock
10:30 – 11:05
:: Dammit Daniel
11:15 – 11:50 :: Wagon Blasters
12:00 – 12:35 :: The Electroliners

Pizza Shoppe Collective
7:30 – 8:05 :: Aly Peeler
8:15 – 8:50 :: Emily Ward
9:00 – 9:35 :: Cat Deluca
9:45 – 10:20 :: Wendy & The Lost Boys
10:30 – 11:05 :: Virginia Tanous
11:15 – 11:50 :: Belles & Whistles

The Sydney
7:30 – 8:05 :: DOOM BLADE
8:15 – 8:50 :: Shen Teh Music (La Crosse, WI)
9:00 – 9:35 :: No Thanks
9:45 – 10:20 :: Better Friend
10:30 – 11:05 :: Screaming Plastic
11:15 – 11:50 :: Domestica
12:00 – 12:35 :: The Clincher

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#BFFFF isn’t the only thing going on tonight.

Over at fabulous O’Leaver’s it’s the return of Gramps (Django Greenblatt-Seay’s joint) with openers The Edge Of and the stage debut of Win/Win. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Meanwhile Milk Run is hosting American Cream (Nate from STNNNG) along with Robust Worlds (Chris from Vampire Hands) and Alcools (Mike from Almost Music). $5, 9 p.m.

Closeness at O'Leaver's April 30, 2016. The band returns Saturday, Sept. 3.

Closeness at O’Leaver’s April 30, 2016. The band returns Saturday, Sept. 3.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to O’Leaver’s for Closeness (The Finks’ sublime new jam (review)). Joining them are Silversphere (the band formerly known as The Lepers) and Little Ripple. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Speaking of festivals, Saturday is the Nebraska Hardcore Showcase at the Lookout Lounge. Acts include Bad Blood, Bib, CBN, Circle VII, Crease, Culture War, Dilute, Downtrod, DWNR, Feral Hands, Flak, Hercules, Jocko, Lost Boys, No Thanks, Pisswalker, Relentless Approach and Sister Kisser. All for just $5. Runs from 2 to 11 p.m. Yes! BTW, Bib is listed as kicking the showcase off at 2 p.m. And Bib might be the hottest new noise/punk band in the area. See what the hype’s all about.

Finally on Sunday, Reverb Lounge is hosting a special show featuring Simon Joyner, David Nance and headliner Neil Michael Hagerty & The Howling Hex (Drag City Records). $8, 8 p.m. Hey, we all have Monday off, right? Might as well get blasted Sunday night…

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great third-to-last weekend of summer.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Women musicians sought for Femme Fest; Anti-Flag at Slowdown tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:54 pm May 19, 2015

By Tim McMahan,

Is it right to segregate music by the gender of those who make it? No.

But for better or worse, rock ‘n’ roll has historically been a boys’ club, with “girl groups” too often treated as an offshoot or novelty by ignorant fans who can’t get their minds around the fact that what women say in music is as relevant (or moreso) than anything men say.

Still, it’s hard to feel sorry for “women in rock” when so much of my favorite new music is fronted by — or written by — women. Such as: Courtney Barnett, Hop Along, Natalie Prass, Icky Blossoms, Laura Marling, Speedy Ortiz, Miniature Horse, Domestica, and so on.

That said, is Nebraska lagging behind the rest of the nation when it comes to women-fronted bands? That’s where Rebecca Lowry comes in. The singer/songwriter also known as All Young Girls Are Machine Guns is organizing a DIY festival dedicated to showcasing all the talented women in music in the Omaha/Lincoln community.

She’s calling it Benson First Friday Femme Fest (#BFFFF), and she’s targeting the first Friday of September — Sept. 4 to be exact. Clubs involved in BFFFF so far are The Waiting Room Lounge, Reverb Lounge, Barley Street Tavern, Petshop and Sweatshop, 1912, Burke’s, The Pizza Shoppe Collective and The Sydney. That’s like,  just about every possible venue in Benson.

With so many stages to fill, Lowry and the team that’s helping organize BFFFF are looking for talent. The submission process is now open. To get involved, simply send an email letting them know you want to play and the name of the woman/women in your project. Send your submission to Deadline is June 15.

BTW, the event is not exclusive to women. “Plenty of women in this community hold down male-fronted bands by playing the bass or by bangin’ it out on the drums or in any other number of ways. We will not leave them high and dry,” Lowry said in her press release. All ages and all genres are welcome.

Also, BFF’s Jamie Hardy is working on filling the usual spots with art from some awesome women,” Lowry said. “If there are any women interested in showing, they can contact Jamie directly at, making sure to put ‘Femme Fest’ in the subject line.”

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Tonight at The Slowdown Pittsburgh punk rock band Anti-Flag (Fat Wreck Chords, SideOneDummy, RCA) headlines. The band’s progressive political rock goes back to 1988. All proceeds from the digital download of the track below, “Police Story,” are being donated to the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund. Opening is The Homeless Gospel Choir and War on Women. $20, 8 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.