Oberhofer at M-shop – 3/31

Aren’t going to make it Iowa City tomorrow? It’s okay, I understand, I guess. Did you get tickets to Young the Giant and Grouplove before they sold out at People’s? You didn’t!? Well, you’re in luck. The M Shop in Ames hosts one the brightest emerging stars in the world. Go here for details .

Brad Oberhofer is the writer and genius behind the multi-instrumental, art house pop outfit Oberhofer. The sound is jaunty and fun., It dances from classical piano to guitar to electronic without even breaking a sweat. This will be a ton of fun. But whatever you do, remember to go see some live music this weekend. There are lots of choices.

Site related stuff, I feel like I neglected the old girl this week. My duties at our local sporting goods retailer and with DMMC kind of took up the bulk of my time. I will be back Monday with some stuff, probably, and Tuesday the 80/35 lineup drops, so I will have some things to say about that too, I’m sure. Ta ta.


Free Show Alert!!!! Skye Carrasco at The Deadwood in Iowa City 3/31

Click the pic for the full Mission Creek Schedule

My 2010 album of the year was Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs. Kind of a cliche pick, I know, but it was really good. I pretty much listened to it for roughly four months straight. It is a magical album.

My 2011 album of the year is the one I posted above from Iowa City’s Skye Carrasco, Dark Pines. It is so unlike anything else I have ever heard. The classical violin, the piercing vocals, even the simple drums all hit me in just an intense, near personal way. (Here is my review.)

Now, if Arcade Fire was playing a free show in a small club during an awesome festival, I would probably not only be there, I would likely have camped out for a week to make sure I got in. So, why miss Skye Carrasco?

I understand why you wouldn’t go to Iowa City. You have to drive. Maybe find a sitter. Maybe you’re tired from a long week (believe me, it ain’t a horrible excuse). But sometimes you just have to say fuck it and do things. This show is free. This artist is amazing. Get there.

Today @ Desmoinesmc.com

Sorry for the light workload today, but I have been hard at work of at the Des Moines Music Coalition’s site. There are two GDP previews up for The White Elephant and The Beatnicks. Special thanks to Ann Klein for her valuable editing skills and slogging through my sleep deprived and hangover blurred musings.

Today @ Des Moines is Not Boring

Today is about maybe my favorite album I’ve listened to in the last few weeks. Go here to read about Pennyhawk’s Sisterbones. Please click on the Bandcamp link and go buy it because it’s awesome and it’s only six bucks.

A Little Something To Get the Blood Going

I am 31 years old. Last night I played beer pong. Please don’t judge me, my day is already not going the smoothest and I could really use you not to think less of me. I have about ten things I need to write and I am also at home today with my daughter, so, you know, a lot on my plate.

To get moving, I decided to watch this. I have a hard time watching the hardest working band in Iowa, The Poison Control Center, and not firing up. I was actually at this show, and the manic energy of The Poison Control Center is even more infectious in person. So, whatever you have to do today, go out and kill it. And kill my hangover too, will ya?

Today @ DesMoinesMC.com

In my ongoing effort to get you to go to GDP, I previewed Hath No Fury. So, are you going to go to GDP now?

Mission Creek Preview

I have an odd work schedule today so I can’t write something new in this spot. So, feel free to read my preview of the Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City, which kicked off last night. I still hope to make the Sharon Van Etten/Bowerbirds show, so hopefully I will see some of you there. Click here to go to the Des Moines Music Coalition’s website.

GDP Song of the Day-ish – The White Elephant – Airplane

Gross Domestic Product is just around the corner, April 14 to be exact, and I thought to help promote it a little, I would feature a song from one of the bands each day-ish. I probably won’t do it everyday, thus the -ish. For more info on GDP visit the Facebook Event Page or Des Moines Music Coalition’s website

This was one of two acts that I wasn’t even slightly familiar with coming in to this year’s GDP. I will get to the other very soon, I’m sure (spoiler alert: It’s The Beatnicks). With as much focus as I have on Iowa music, you’d think there wouldn’t be a single band that I don’t at least have a passing knowledge, let alone two that are featured at arguably Iowa’s biggest showcase for local talent. I think that just speaks to how much is actually going on in our state.

Every year, Joe Lawler writes a music award column for Des Moines Register’s Juice. Its is fun and local artists get some exposure (both musically and the artist who creates the awards). Well anyway, this year they released a reader’s choice category and the voting is here . On that list, there are a ton of acts that I’ve never heard of. I am a guy who spends a large amount of time studying Iowa music, and I still only knew maybe half.

I think it is a testament to this town, this state even as to just how much talent we have. And with the amount of acts sharing members, that list shows just how hard working this scene is. It is a full time job at this point for me to just kind of keep up, so just the vastness of our area is a little Carl Sagan level mind-numbing.

As for The White Elephant, I liked it. I thought it had a hard rock sound with a southern rock vibe. On Facebook they call themselves “swamprock”, and that seems very spot on. The sound is dirty and garage, but the vocals are crisp and bright. It reminds me of a swap in fact. Lots of beauty hidden among the grime and muck.

And now I realized that I spent nearly no time talking about the music. I promise I will do The White Elephant again. For now, go listen to their EP here.

Gross Domestic Product Song of the Day-ish – Tires – 05

Jordan Mayland and Phil Young are Tires (From their Facebook)

Gross Domestic Product is just around the corner, April 14 to be exact, and I thought to help promote it a little, I would feature a song from one of the bands each day-ish. I probably won’t do it everyday, thus the -ish. For more info on GDP visit the Facebook Event Page or Des Moines Music Coalition’s website






This was a little unexpected to me. I know of Mayland and Young’s work in other bands, and they tend to lean more towards the pop rock-punk rock side of things. So, to get smacked in the face by the noisy electronic instrumental brilliance of “05” was kind of just staggering. The layered drums and and the bleeps and bloops and the synths and the overall noise and I actually need a moment to catch my breath just writing about it.





This is kind of unlike anything I have heard from an Iowa band. I’m sure there are some folks out there who could correct me if I’m wrong, and to be honest, I kind of hope I am. I hope there is a whole community of Kraftwerk and Sigue Sigue Sputnik disciples just running around making electronic noises at each other in, say, Roland that I just don’t know about. In fact, the only Iowa band I can think of that comes close to this is a band called Blutiger Fluss. But they aren’t this wonderfully obnoxious with sound. This is a pretty rare and modern sound for us backwoods Iowa folks to handle. Just know that if you don’t like this, I will think less of you. Or, I won’t, but regardless, please like this so more people will do stuff like it.

Road Trip Tuesday – Nada Surf with An Horse – 3/30 The Waiting Room in Omaha

Here is something I don’t get. Flaming Lips are awesome. Their live show is unreal and their albums are unique and unlike anything other. Somehow, they have completely overcome their early potential one-hit wonder status from “She Don’t Use Jelly”. Every bit of praise and critical acclaim they have earned and is more than well deserved.

Yet, somehow whenever I tell someone that Nada Surf is awesome the first response is always, “Really? Those guys who did “Popular”?” So let me state once, for the record, Nada Surf is awesome. Yes, those guys who did that song “Popular”

Of course, it is a little unfair to compare the two bands other than their potential one hit wonder status. The Flaming Lips are stalwarts of experimentation. They are constantly trying new and mind-bending things whereas Nada Surf are an indie rock band. It would almost be more fair to compare them to, say, Pavement who almost never get just remembered for “Cut Your Hair”. Well, regardless, Nada Surf are great. They have found a way maintain their ability and integrity and still stay slightly under the radar. This is a solid show and they should be regarded in the same air as some of the other 90’s bands who are still spoke of in hushed tones.

I also really like An Horse. A two piece band who of course are going to be compared to The White Stripes, although I think they are close to a male female Local H, if we’re going with two piece bands. They seem to have more of a hard rock hit than a blues infused sound.