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Lincoln Calling: Can You Hear Me Now?

story by tim mcmahan



Lazy-i: September 21, 2005

Jeremy Buckley is a self-appointed marriage counselor. His dysfunctional family consists of the Lincoln and Omaha music scenes. And by God he's going to get those two crazy kids together again no matter what it takes.

Buckley's modus operandi is his annual music festival, Lincoln Calling (a play off The Clash's London Calling, get it?). The event, which takes place during the non-Husker weekend of Sept. 23-25, is three days of local and regional bands performing at a handful of Lincoln venues.

A typical showcase combines a Lincoln band with an Omaha band of similar style. For example, the first night at Duggan's sees Lincoln heroes Ideal Cleaners playing with two Omaha bands: Bombardment Society and recent Cursive tour mates Ladyfinger. The following night at the legendary Zoo Bar, twangy, downbeat, Lincoln folk-rock act Icarian Bird plays alongside Omaha's twangy, downbeat, folk-rock act Mal Madrigal. Then Sunday, Omaha indie rock band Little Brazil huddles at Duffy's with Lincoln's angle-rock masters Her Flyaway Manner.

All three Lincoln bands mentioned above have strong followings in the Capitol City, hopefully drawing in their fans to see three Omaha bands that have similar followings 50 miles up the road. It's sort of a rock version of the ol' bait-and-switch. Buckley doesn't care what you call it, as long as it brings the scenes closer together.

"There's a weird animosity between the two cities," he said. "I don't know the reasons. Maybe it's the venues being difficult from time to time. Some bands do well communicating with each other, but other bands can't seem to do home-and-aways."




"Home and aways," as in trading show dates in respective cities -- I'll play your venue if you come play ours, etc.

"It's not too difficult for bands in two places to find bands in the other town that are similar in style," Buckley said. "If the bands put the effort into getting to know each other, that's when camaraderie should happen."

A junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the entertainment editor at the school's newspaper, The Daily Nebraskan, Buckley launched Lincoln Calling last year with $3,000 in seed money from the University Program Council. The results were mixed. A show featuring three Omaha bands -- Bombardment Society, Fromanhole and Gnome Slaughterhouse -- only drew about 15 people. "No one from Lincoln knew who those guys were," Buckley said. On the other hand, a bill that combined Portland's The Prids with legendary Lincoln ambient rockers For Against drew more than 200.

"It was the two extremes," Buckley said. "As a result, the plan this year is to pair a good out-of-town band that doesn't have a lot of street cred down here with someone from Lincoln that does."

That plan, however, isn't stopping Buckley from repeating the winning formula of pairing The Prids and For Against, this time with Lincoln's Eagle Seagull for a Day 2 showcase at Duffy's, or pulling together a stellar Saddle Creek-flavored ticket on Day 1 with Neva Dinova, Tilly and the Wall, David Dondero and Orenda Fink at Knickerbockers.

With such four-star acts in tow and building off last-year's efforts, Buckley hopes to top 2004's draw of 900 total tickets sold, which reaped him a measly $80 after paying the bills. This year's goal is to sell 2,000 tickets. Without last year's $3,000 in seed money ("The university realized they were just giving me money to have fun with."), Buckley had to find ways to trim costs, including offering fewer bands guarantees and paying no more than $50 for sound at each venue.

He's also trying a new pricing scheme, offering all-access passes to the full weekend of shows for only $20 -- a deal considering that all six participating venues are within walking distance of each other, allowing for some serious bar hopping. Without a weekend pass, individual tickets could run as high as $8.

All shows are evening shows. Check with the individual venues for specific start times and ticket prices, or go to for more information.

Here's the full schedule:

Sept. 23

Knickerbockers (901 O. St.):
Neva Dinova
Tilly and the Wall
David Dondero
Orenda Fink

Duffy's (1412 O. St.):
Forty Twenty
Rail Benders

Zoo Bar (136 No. 14th St.):
Kris Lager
Sarah Benck and the Robbers

Duggan's (4410 So. 11th St.):
Ideal Cleaners
Bombardment Society

Sept. 24

The Legendary Shack-shakers
Brimstone Howl

Eagle Seagull
For / Against
The Prids

Zoo Bar:
Outlaw Family Band
Mal Madrigal
Icarian Bird

Chatterbox (819 O. St.):
Love Evil Funk Quartet

Sept. 25

Little Brazil
Her Flyaway Manner
Life After Laserdisque

Zoo Bar:
Electric Soul Method
The Jazzwholes

Anonymous American
The Gov't

Slam poetry

Bodega's Alley (1418 O. St.):
The Balance
56 Hope Street

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Published in The Omaha Reader Sept. 21, 2005. Copyright 2006 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.









Tilly and the Wall


Orenda Fink


Mal Madrigal

"There's a weird animosity between the two cities. I don't know the reasons. Maybe it's the venues being difficult from time to time. "


Anonymous American




Bombardment Society