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From: The Daily Nebraskan

Scenefest sheds light on local underground talent

By Clay Masters
Apr 20, 2006

It's common for the Omaha powerhouse record label Saddle Creek Records to overshadow the rest of the local music scene.

What people don't realize is there is an eclectic mix of local talent coming out of Lincoln as well.

Tery Daly, founder of the local music Web site Starcityscene.com and front man for Lincoln's The Static Octopus, has created a music festival for Lincoln that will find its way to the stage at Duffy's Tavern, 1412 O St., this weekend for the fourth time.

``If you've ever lived in a town with little to no music scene, you know why it's important (to try and create a good music scene),'' Daly said.

``Towns without a good music scene are drab, colorless, sad and boring places. A thriving music scene adds so much to the general arts culture of Lincoln, and sadly not as many Lincolnites avail themselves of it as they should.''

The festival is a select diverse sampling of musical styles that represent the Lincoln music scene, Daly said.

``The point of Scenefest is to be an annual showcase of the great music being created by Lincoln bands, and to expose it to the people who don't usually come out to see them regularly,'' Daly said.

The festival is extensively held at Duffy's due to its close relationship with Starcityscene.com. The shows are only open to people 21 and older, but Daly wishes he could expand the audience to a more age diverse crowd.``I asked about doing it as a 19 and older show, but Duffy's has only just started doing those, and they want to limit them to Sundays for the moment to see how it goes,'' Daly said.

``I think all ages shows are awesome, both for fans and bands. I've been playing in bands from the time I was about 14 or so, and it sucks to not really have any place to play your music for people.''

Daly said he tries to look for a nice mix of different styles of music to try and give a good representation of what's currently around Lincoln for people to check out.

``I try to include bands who've asked to be in previous years, but there wasn't a spot for them. There are hundreds of bands in Lincoln, and I'm doing 10-20 spots per year, so it's going to take a while to fit in everyone,'' Daly said.

Prints of Apple Island, which will perform at Duffy's Friday night, provides Lincoln music fans with a unique blend of theater and music.

Aside from the musicians in Prints of Apple Island, the band includes large props and involves local playwright Rob Stewart acting as the band's emcee.

The band has done performances that include dressing Stewart as anything from a news anchor to a preacher.

For a Halloween show, POAI did a Donny Darko-themed show, and for a show benefiting the Gays, Bisexuals, Lesbians and Transsexuals organization at the Culture Center on campus, the band members dressed up as sailors.

``The only thing I can tell you about Friday's show is that I am currently working on a suit for Rob that includes needles on its hands,'' said Prints of Apple Island drummer Timothy Anderson.

``If you want to see what we're doing on Friday night, you'll just have to come to the show to find out.''

POAI, which has been together in its current lineup for the last year, has been content with the relationship with the music scene.

The band is currently working on an eight-track album with Mr. 1986 guitarist Andy Koenke.

``The people in the Lincoln music scene are really good people and good friends,'' Anderson said.

``There is a real sense of camaraderie among everyone, and (Lincoln's) small enough that you can have such a close knit scene and still large enough to have a musically diverse scene.''

Lincoln band Tie These Hands will perform at Scenefest on Friday. The band has been working on a collection of new songs for a new album to follow up its 2003 split-release with Mr. 1986.

Aram Stauffer, the band's guitarist and vocalist, said the band hasn't been playing a lot of shows for the last couple years until recently.

Stauffer said he is excited to see the bands playing at Scenefest 4 and to be a part of his band's first-ever Scenefest performance.

``I really love Lincoln. It's a nice place to be if you want to go on the road, which we're planning on doing in the coming year,'' Stauffer said.``Other cities aren't too far away, and there are quite a few good places (to play shows) just four or five hours away. I like Lincoln. I've lived here my whole life.''

Daly has no desire to ever stop holding Scenefest in Lincoln, and as long as he can spread the word of local music, he is satisfied.

``I see so many great songwriters and bands in Lincoln turning out great work and not getting the appreciation they deserve,'' Daly said.

``The fact that people would rather stay home and watch some hack on American Idol than drive down the street and see someone with 10 times the talent is just sad!''

For a schedule of events, go to Starcityscene.com