Omaha never became "the next Seattle."
Sure, a lot of attention has been focused here and with good reason. But we still haven't turned out anyone as big as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden or Nirvana.
About 10 years after those comparisons were thrown around, two of the biggest Omaha-based bands are the same ones that were the biggest 10 years ago: Bright Eyes and Cursive.
In the next year or so, I think more attention is going to be thrown this way, and the bands it's directed at will carry a familiar stamp.
Watching Icky Blossoms kick out the jams at SXSW about a week ago, I came to realize this band could be huge. Without an album to promote or really anything in terms of name recognition, they packed in a few venues and had people dancing up a storm.
"Babes" is a new dance anthem that's going to pop up in more and more places. Eventually, you'll hear it as the background of a car commercial or in a dance club during a Judd Apatow movie.
You can say the same for The Mynabirds' "Generals." The track has a guitar riff that's perfect for jamming out. Replace Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" with this track in any film, commercial or iPod playlist and you wouldn't miss a beat.
The band's shows have been fantastic and populated with big crowds. Even frontwoman Laura Burhenn admitted to me last week that they were surprised so many people came to their shows when the band doesn't have a new album out until June.
Add in Cursive, who's busy crossing the country with its latest album, "I Am Gemini," and you've got a trio of busy artists who are on the verge of breaking big.
Noticing a trend here? I mentioned a "familiar stamp" above and that is the one from Saddle Creek Records.
Once again, our hometown indie label is taking some of the best stuff in town and showing it off to everyone around the world.
That's not to discredit anyone not on Saddle Creek. Some of the best music I listen to comes from Nebraska and it beats out a lot of what shows up in my mailbox every day.
But while others have predicted another label would gather talented artists and rise from the basement of a few friends (much like the Creek did more than a decade ago), it hasn't happened. And no big indie label such as Merge or Sub Pop or Matador or even Third Man or Mom + Pop has popped up to give an Omaha band a chance.
I wish they would.
For now, I think we'll have to sit back and watch the ride that a bunch of people from our hometown (people we know, we're friends with or at least people we've seen perform) are about to have. It will be a very good year.