You see, they make puns about sirens and fire and such. I make them about glam metal bands.
When I first got involved with the Des Moines Social Club back in 2008, I really didn’t know what I was in for or what I exactly intended to do. I kind of did it just because my sister told me to, and to be honest, I am always trying to impress my sister. There are few people I look up to as much as her, and none I look up to more. In my years volunteering with them (unfortunately, much less than I used to) I have gotten to book some of my favorite bands in the world. I got to be on the ground floor of some of Des Moines’ most buzzed about bands like Christopher the Conquered, Mumford’s, Maxilla Blue, Rebel Creek, Nuclear Rodeo and so many more. I got to expand my knowledge of what it takes to be a promoter, a manager and a fan. I got to make playlists to play in a bar and argue with people over how appropriate it was to play Metallica’s “Battery” or Minor Threat in mixed company (many say it is inappropriate, including people like bar owners who’d like people to stick around and drink. I say if that drives them away, I don’t want them anyway. I lost that battle.)
But outside of the music, I also got to act in a play. I got exposed to some of Des Moines’ best visual artists and finally understood that art wasn’t just paintings of stuff. I got to play and excel at trivia and have fun with strangers who soon became friends (and eventually help write questions and host and occasionally curse at a large group of people over a microphone) I got to be at least tangibly involved with a professional wrestling group (I kind of still regret the day I turned down the chance to help write their storylines; a chance I only turned down because I was embarrassed at how much I had to drink the night I spouted off with storyline ideas). I helped build a set out of old album covers and the most moldy plywood ever in Des Moines dirtiest building. I also got to load up sandbags in a freezing thunderstorm and push a one wheeled popcorn cart (even though it should have had two) from the Court Avenue Bridge to 4th and Walnut at 2am through drunken guys in Affliction shirts and past about 45 J-Woww clones. I think I liked both of those things more than acting.
But here is the most important thing about DMSC. I learned a lot about various art, but I mostly learned a lot about myself and what I was capable of. I still have a long way to go, but I wouldn’t be as far along now if it weren’t for them. I also have made life long friends and family. People that I know and love and trust. Even though I was the most novice person there, I was never excluded or made to feel stupid. I was encouraged and pushed and loved, in return. Zack Mannheimer always likes to tell about how he found Des Moines to be the best city for his vision. For me, it was his vision that helped me find Des Moines, or at least the Des Moines I never knew actually existed. This Des Moines, in turn, helped me find myself. I fell in love with my hometown, and it loves me back. And that is pretty awesome.
This is why we need DMSC. We need it to help more people who don’t know what they’re looking for, but they know they’re looking for something. We need DMSC to help them find it.
Here are some other links:
I wrote about the new Hanwell Album Sweethearts of the 66 over at Des Moines Is Not Boring. This link also has a huge list of shows you should check out this weekend including Leslie and the Lys, Ladysoal, Utopia Park, Trouble Lights, Gospel Music, Seed of Something, prettygirlhatemachine, Aeon Grey and much much much much more. Oh, so much more.
Here is an event I want to single out. It is an awesome show with focus on and in celebration of many LGBT artists and supporters. Included are Olsen Twinns, Vaj of Courage, Shady At Best and Vill. All proceeds go to One Iowa. Click the link for more info.
In lieu of an actual 80/35 Song of the Day-ish, why not go back and check out some I did for GDP artists who are also playing 80/35 like Love Songs For Lonely Monsters, Christopher the Conquered and His Black Gold Brass Band and Mumford’s (who awesomely get to open for Jimmy Cliff this Tuesday at Simon Estes).
So yeah, stuff to do, stuff to read, but most importantly something to get involved with and actually be a part of.