News Bits: Saddle Creek noms; Conor/Phoebe reunion; Ritual Device in Omaha; new Pat Buchanan; Outlandia announcement imminent…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 9:41 am March 26, 2024

Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Obersts reunited for a few numbers at Oberst’s show at Teragram Ballroom in LA March 21.

By Tim McMahan,

Time to clean out ol’ in-box. Hold onto yer hats… Much of this you may already have seen on the socials; some you haven’t. Here we go…

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Once again, our hometown record label – Saddle Creek Records – has been nominated for a Libera Award — the annual awards handed out by the American Association of Independent Music. Saddle Creek was nominated in the Label of the Year category for labels with 6 to 14 employees. Also in their category: Captured Tracks, City Slang, Lex Records, Light in the Attic, Mack Avenue Music Group and Photo Finish Records. Seems like Saddle Creek is nominated every year. Could this be the year they take home the prize?

In addition, Saddle Creek Records artist Indigo De Souza was nominated in the Breakthrough Artist, Best Singer-Songwriter Records, and Music Video of the Year categories. The 13th annual Libera Awards ceremony will take place June 10 at Gotham Hall in New York City. More coverage at Variety.

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The indie music world was thrown in a tizzy last week when Phoebe Bridges joined Conor Oberst on his “Conor Oberst and Friends” residency show at Los Angeles’ Teragram Ballroom – a series that heads east to Bowery Ballroom in NYC next month. The best coverage of the incident appeared in Them, an online publication that purports to be the “best of what’s queer.” 

Them’s James Factora reported that Bridgers walked on stage during the show’s encore and together with Conor performed Bright Eyes classic “Lua,” Oberst’s “Double Life” from 2014’s Upside Down Mountain and Better Oblivion Community Center tune “My City.” The occasion marked the first time the two have performed together since October 2020. Factora wonders whether, with the announced hiatus of Boygenuis (Bridgers’ project with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus), if this unannounced reunion could be a sign of future BOCC things to come… 

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I already mentioned that legendary ‘90s-‘00s Omaha punk band Ritual Device is among the performers at this year’s Lincoln Calling May 3 and 4 (the festival schedule has yet to be released). Now comes word that RD will be playing back-to-back nights at Reverb Lounge in Omaha May 2-3 leading up to the LC weekend gig. The shows feature the band’s original lineup of Jerry Hug, Mike Saklar, Eric Ebers and Tim Moss. 

It’s been a decade since the band has taken the stage stage, and I’m sure there’s a good reason for this reunion. More to come…

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Speaking of artists from Omaha’s first golden age of indie music, Patrick Buchanan, the frontman of another ’90s-’00s legendary punk band, Mousetrap, yesterday released a new 5-song EP from his project House of Transgressor called Ain Soph Aur, which, along with the eerie album cover artwork, seems a wee bit satanic. Check it out on Spotify (I don’t see a Bandcamp or YouTube link), and here’s the first song on YouTube: 

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Finally, word from on high is that the fine folks who putting together the Outlandia Festival will announce the line-up for the August 9-10 festival sometime Thursday evening. No doubt you’ll see it blasted all over the socials that night, but I’ll be writing about it the following morning in Lazy-i

Who do you think will be this year’s headliner? After last year’s Lord Huron / Modest Mouse headliners (a festival that also included The Faint, Cat Power, Criteria, The Good Life and Horsegirl, among others), I can’t even imagine what they have up their sleeves — prior to this festival, I had never heard of Lord Huron.

With the Maha Music Festival taking the year off due to financial issues (according to their press release), Outlandia controls the board as the only indie music festival in the Omaha area this year. As it enters year 3, will it maintain its indie focus? We’ll find out Thursday night…

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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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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