The Slow March to My Celebration of Being Elderly Is At Least Littered With Great Music

The Heartless Bastards play Wooly’s on July 27

On Monday, I turn 32. It isn’t an age that is easily celebrated or anything. In fact, I’m of the mindset that after, say 30, you really only need to celebrate the tens, 40, 50 60, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130 (yes this is how old I plan on being when I die). I think the best use of your birthday as an adult is to analyze the year you just had and decide if you lived your life the way you want, and if maybe you should make changes. You know, figure out what works and what doesn’t.

So, at 31 I had a lot of ups and downs. Professionally, I was stuck in the mud. I am pretty much exactly where I was at 30 with little sign of breaking that. This has caused me great stress and monetary struggles. So, obviously at 32, I need to change that. That seems to be the biggest change I need to make. I need top figure out a way to not be in such a stagnant state and find a way to better support my family. So, 31 has been a little rough, but it’s cool, I think analyzing my failures is the first step towards correcting them, right?

However, it was 31 year old me who finally started writing publicly. By finally swallowing my fear and allowing you to read shit I’ve written instead of my usual start something and then bury it that I did pretty much from adolescence on, I have been able to broaden my horizons, learn more about my hometown and make lots of new friends and gain experience and confidence. So, that’s something, right?

Anyway, all confusion about the maturation process aside, it seems as if the promoters in this town are excited for the day of my birth, so they have decided to almost ridiculously pack this week with a bunch of cool national acts, so let’s dive in.

Jane Rose & The Dead End Boys – July 24 Gas Lamp

Some fun Nashville rockabilly with an awesome female lead. Should be a hoot and it should be quick and loud.

Todd Snider and Hayes Carll – July 25 Wooly’s

Todd Snider is a gifted wordsmith and awesome songwriter, but this show is all about Hayes Carll for me. He is a country star who brings a lot of the swagger lost in the pop-ification of the genre.

Nachtmystium – July 26 Vaudeville Mews (All Ages)

Those who tell me about metal shows say this one is pretty special. So, if you’re into metal, maybe check this one out.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – July 26 Simon Estes

80/35 Vets Grace Potter and the Nocturnals return to Des Moines in support of their new album, The Lion, The Beast, The Beat. I like them. I like this new album more than the last one, and some of their early stuff is breathtaking. Also, she’s very pretty, if that’s your thing.

Scott Lucas and The Married Men – Vaudeville Mews – July 26 (21+)

The lead and brains behind the great Local H, Scott Lucas has devoted a lot of time to this new project, which shares some of Local H’s tendencies, but not a lot of its sound. Still, a great show to check out.

Heartless Bastards w/ Love Songs For Lonely Monsters – Wooly’s July 27

Heartless Bastards are incredible. They are part folk, part country, part garage rock. Their new album The Arrow has been in rotation for a while now. They are incredible. Plus, the great LS4LM from Des Moines open. This one will be awesome and completely can’t miss.

JEFF The Brotherhood – Vaudeville Mews – July 29

Another one that I am super excited about. JEFF The Brotherhood are filthy garage rock that is just quick and loud. I am super pumped about that. And hey, it’s a late show, so maybe at midnight we can all celebrate me being old.

The Empty Spaces w/ No Good Deed and Ladysoal – July 30 Gas Lamp

Hey, it’s my birthday.



  1. […] that I think it would be too numerous to name here. In fact, I wrote a whole other post over at my site just to chronicle some of them. Make sure you go see Heartless Bastards over at Wooly’s, though, […]

  2. Happy happy! When I was 32, I left the military industrial complex (essentially the only thing I’d known to that point in my life, having been raised in a Marine family and then having my own Navy career) . . . jumping without a net into some freelance music criticism and small nonprofit gigs. It was a tough year . . . but a rewarding and important one, and the outcomes in the long term have been well worth the transition!!!

    We went to the Hayes Carll show, too . . . first time in Wooly’s. A good experience, and nice to see a good crowd there. Even nicer to see rain on the ground when it was over . . .

    • You know, this just might be the most important and best comment you’ve ever left. Thanks.

      Grumpy I missed Hayes and Todd Snider. I was excited for that one, glad to hear that Des Moines showed up for it. I hope it was awesome.

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