My Tentative 80/35 Schedule

Tires has a new EP available on their website. Click to listen to it. Photo by Tony Galloro and borrowed from their Facebook.

Tires has a new EP available on their website. Click to listen to it. Photo by Tony Galloro and borrowed from their Facebook.

80/35 dropped their schedule a few days ago, and it is full of awesomeness and a little heartbreak. It is not as agonizing as last year’s, but there are some definite conflicts that I think we are going to have to deal with. As always food and drink and stopping so my wife can pump and the children and friends and family throw wrenches into these things, but its always good to have a plan. So, let’s get to it.

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Some 80/35 Pre-Shows For You To Check Out and Invite Your Friends To, Please!


Video by Cody Osen of Iowa Concert Photographers

While I have been away from the blog, I haven’t exactly been doing nothing. I wrote a couple of things for Des Moines Is Not Boring. I threw together a couple more band previews for the 80/35 website. I got to San Fierro on GTA: San Andreas. I watched as my wife raise our newborn son. So, you know, I have been busy.

But something I am super proud of is something for everyone to enjoy, unlike most of my writing which is pretty self indulgent, to be honest. Myself, along with Band Bombshell and Iowa Concert Photographers have put together a couple of fun 80/35 pre-shows with some of our collective favorite Iowa bands.

On July 4th from 4-9 head out to the PBR Bar (the outdoor bar next to Vaudeville Mews) for Land of Blood and Sunshine, Christopher the Conquered, Diamonds For Eyes and Is Home Is.

On July 5th from Noon- 4, head down to the 80/35 festival grounds early and head over to Gas Lamp for Peace Love and Stuff, Rebel Creek and Lesbian Poetry. The festival itself doesn’t start until 5, so this gives you a chance to have some music all day and get warmed up for the festival proper.

Oh, and both shows are free. Both shows are all ages. Both shows really want you to come. Pretty please?

Head here for more info on the 4th

And here for more info on the 5th

Gross Domestic Product Is Saturday

House of Large Sizes headlines GDP this Saturday. Click for all the details.

House of Large Sizes headlines GDP this Saturday. Click for all the details.

What can we say at this point that hasn’t already been said. I did a profile of each band last year, this year DMMC did it bigger and better on their website (click the pic to check that out). Now it’s just planning your schedule and heading that way. While all access passes are sold out online, there will be a handful opening up at 5pm tomorrow at the Kirkwood Hotel/Des Moines Social Club for $20. Otherwise, each show is available to purchase separately (Early show (5-9) at Vaudeville Mews, Late Show (930-1 21+) at Vaudeville Mews and 4th Street Theatre). Here is the full lineup:

Vaudeville Mews Outdoor Patio (FREE)
5:30-6:15: Madison Ray and All the Single Ladies
6:30-7:15: TWINS
7:30-8:15: Kris Adams
8:30-9:15: Annalibera
9:30-10:15: Dustin Smith & the Sunday Silos
10:30-11:30: MR NASTI

VAUDEVILLE MEWS EARLY ($7)
5:15-6:00: Jordan Mayland & Thermal Detonators
6:15-7:00: As For You
7:15-8:00: Land Of Blood & Sunshine
8:15-9:00: Handlebar

VAUDEVILLE MEWS LATE ($12)
9:35-10:10: Wolves In The Attic
10:25-11:00: The Wheelers
11:30-1:30: House Of Large Sizes

4TH ST. THEATRE ($8)
5:45-6:30: Is Home Is
6:45-7:30: Lesbian Poetry
7:45-8:30: H.D. Harmsen
8:45-9:30: Seed Of Something
9:45-10:30: The Olympics
10:45-Midnight: Trouble Lights

THE LIFT (FREE DJs SPINNING VINYL)
5pm: DJ Pretty Good, Pretty Bad (Chuck Dusbabek)
6pm: DJ No Jack All Jill (Jill Haverkamp) – Long time DMMC & 80/35 volunteer, owner of On Pitch
7pm: DJ Scented Vinyl (Daniel Bosman) – Host of legendary Scented Vinyl & Barista at Mars Cafe
8pm: DJ’s Roland and Arthur (John Adrianse and Ryan Meier)
9pm: DJ Tone Zone (Tony Galloro) -Local music photographer and DJ of Back Stage Ball 2013
10pm: DJ Mona Bonez (Ramona Muse) -Local musician, artist, member of Leslie & the Lys, and The Lift Pub Quiz host!
11pm: DJ Bob Nastanovich (Bob Nastanovich) – member of indie rock legends Pavement
12pm: DJ Hogstyle (Marc Hogan) – Music writer for Spin, Pitchfork, and Emusic!
1am: DJ Up All the Way All the Time (Brandon Logsdon) –Vaudeville Mews employee

DES MOINES SOCIAL CLUB (FREE OPEN MIC “OPEN CIRCUS”)
OPEN MIC WITH SPECIAL APPEARANCES.
5-8PM: SIGN UP
8-11:30PM: OPEN CIRCUS

As for me, I will be down there barring a baby appearance. Probably hanging out at 4th Street and PBR Bar, but we will see where the night takes me. Hopefully, I will see you there. If you are there, come say “hi” and buy me a beer because I am poor.

24 Hours Later – A Look at the 80-35 Lineup

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Greater Des Moines Music Coalition released the first part of 2013’s 80/35 lineup yesterday at 10 am. You don’t come to this blog for breaking news. I am aware of this. It’s why I didn’t throw out a post immediately after the 80/35 lineup announcement. Others broke the news, and you likely would’ve got it from other outlets then come here and read the same damn thing. I figured why not give this news 24 hours to sink into the public and then we can talk about it a bit without the either initial disappointment or initial excitement. And from my minor amount of research, there seems to be a little of the former and a lot of the latter.

Just in case you were under a rock yesterday and I AM breaking news, here is the initial lineup announcement:

FRIDAY: JULY 5
————–
> David Byrne & St. Vincent
> Yeasayer
> Tea Leaf Green
> Roster McCabe
> Kitty (Pryde)
> Euforquestra
> Dustin Smith & The Sunday Silos
> Annalibera

SATURDAY: JULY 6
—————-
> Wu-Tang Clan
> Deerhunter
> Umphrey’s McGee
> Wavves
> Mr. Baber’s Neighbors
> House of Large Sizes
> Jon Wayne & The Pain
> The River Monks
> Tires
> Trouble Lights
> Mumford’s

My first reactions are that having someone as legendary and even a little rare as both David Byrne and Wu Tang headline a festival as inexpensive as 80/35 is incredible. Wu Tang especially. Ghostface, RZA and Method Man could all be near the top of this festival solo, so to have them all together is just silly. Maybe I have been thinking a lot about money lately, but it sure seems like $50 for two days and two acts of that magnitude is just an incredible bargain. Throw in the rest, like Deerhunter, Yeasayer and one of my favorite bands in the world Wavves, and it seems like such an incredible no brainer.

I guess the big complaint I have seen is that Wu Tang is washed up, which is super annoying. Ghostface Killah has been releasing critically acclaimed albums for years. I get that we are six years plus from Fishscale, but c’mon, suddenly they’re washed up? Method Man, RZA and GZA have been doing solo stuff for a while, too. So it seems like a silly notion that this is some washed up band from the 90’s and not a legendary group with something to contribute artistically. I even saw someone say that it wasn’t indicative of where hip hop is in 2013, as if WU Tang wasn’t a huge influence on pretty much all of these people, everything from how to market yourself to actual performance. It is super silly to discard them as washed up. Nearly idiotic.

Now to the stuff I don’t like. There are a lot of jam bands. There are always a lot of jam bands, I guess it just seems that this year, there are a lot of well known jam bands. As far as stature goes, UM, Tea Leaf Green, Roster McCabe and Jon Wayne and the Pain are all big enough names that they may take up a spot for a bigger name band I would be more into. Now last year’s late announcements added shit like Jaill and K-Holes, so I am not too concerned and assume there will be more stuff to my liking. I am not as excited about the initial announcement as I was last year, but there is enough good to overcome the, uh, less good.

Oh, and good choices for locals so far. Giving Tires and Trouble Lights a spot on the fest seems like a no brainer and they seem like the two that will steal the show from all the national attention if given a chance. I’m excited for them and hope they get a good spot to showcase what they can do. As for the rest, just pure talent all around. I have zero complaints.

Euforquestra and Camp Euforia Celebrate Ten Years Together

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Earlier this week I spoke of some upcoming festivals. Well, the tenth annual Camp Euforia has now announced their initial lineup and it is pretty awesome. I am usually not one for these jam out camp out festivals, but this year’s Camp Euforia in Lone Tree on July 12 and 13 is trying to change my mind. A great lineup including two nights of Euforquestra and also a night of 80/35 alums Greensky Bluegrass headline a solid lineup of roots, jam, bluegrass and all sorts of other music.

Here is the pertinent info:

Camp Euforia Tenth (!) Anniversary at Lone Tree, Iowa on July 12 and 13. Tickets are available at the wonderful Midwestix.

Eufórquestra – two nights
Greensky Bluegrass
Dumpstaphunk featuring Ivan Neville
Pimps of Joytime
Family Groove Company
That 1 Guy
Pert Near Sandstone
Public Property
UltraViolet Hippopotamus
Mr. Baber’s Neighbors – The Solar String band
Beaker Brothers
Dead Larry
Uniphonics
Tallgrass
Chasing Shade
Fire Sale
Zeta June
The Candymakers
Coffee with the Grosso Family Band
D. Bess
Jaik Willis
Maximilian Eubank

Gross Domestic Product 2013 Announced, A Review of Now That’s What I Call Music 45, and More

EMI MUSIC / SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT / UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC! VOL. 45

The normal Muzak at my work is one of the most surprisingly progressive radio stations in town. You’d think that a big box retail store wouldn’t play songs by the likes of Cut Copy, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, Handsome Furs, Billy Bragg and Wilco, XX, Miike Snow or Ra Ra Riot, but everyday I hear that and more. Unfortunately, our Muzak crashed and we had to go with a back up plan. We bought Now That’s What I Call Music 45 (full disclosure, we also bought the 2013 Grammy Winners CD and Now 44. We also had an unfortunate stint with Now 11. Oh and I made a couple of mixes (with some Iowa artists even!), but they were nixed because my co-workers are haters. Well, one co-worker. Well, he thought Black Lips’ “Family Tree” was too loud. He was probably right.)

Here comes a shocking revelation. I am a music blogger who doesn’t listen to Top 40 much anymore. Or like, at all. I know that there is a thing called One Direction that exists, and one of them is named Harry and he got hit in the groin at a concert recently, but I had never listened to a single song. It isn’t personal; I just have precious little free time, so I don’t go out of my way to seek out stuff I probably won’t like. However, being exposed to Now 45 for four to five hours a day for roughly six days exposed me to some stuff I wouldn’t know otherwise. On that note here is one sentence about each song. Scroll down to the next bullet point if you don’t care and just want to read some stuff about Iowa.

One Direction – “Live While We’re Young” – I have a soft spot for boy bands ever since Donnie Wahlberg told me I had cool hair back in the late 80’s, so I kind of liked this song more than I imagine most non-12 year old girls would.

Flo Rida – “Cry” – The hook annoyed me, but this wasn’t terrible.

Ke$ha – “Die Young” – Ke$ha has this trait where I can’t stand her verses, but I always really like the choruses and this was no exception.

Ne-Yo – “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself) – There are so many songs that sound exactly like this song.

Pitbull – “Don’t Stop the Party” – Still wish Daddy Yankee was the breakout Reggaeton superstar, but Pitbull is kind of an endearing dude who got shipped to Alaska and went with a smile and holds concerts where he just pumps his fist with a Bud Light in his hand…

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and I couldn’t help but like this one.

Calvin Harris and Florence Welch – “Sweet Nothing” – Love.

The Script feat. Will.I.Am- “Hall of Fame” – Didn’t love.

Maroon 5 – “Daylight” – This wasn’t as good as “Harder to Breathe” or “She Will Be Loved” but better than “Moves Like Jagger”.

Phillip Phillips – “Home” – This is in a bunch of commercials.

Ed Sheeran – “The A Team” – I think it was about a hooker and I could see why someone would like this, but I didn’t really.

Taylor Swift – “We Are Never Getting Back Together” – So catchy I eventually got Stockholm Syndrome and threatened anyone who tried to speak ill of it.

Kelly Clarkson – “Catch My Breath” – I still like Kelly, but this one was a bit forgettable.

P!nk (Does she still spell her name with an exclamation point? Did she ever? Did I dream that? Ke$ha spells her name with a dollar sign, still, right? Can I spell my name D@ve? No? Okay.) – “Try” – Hey, she’s coming to town on Nov. 8 and this song was a pretty okay little pop ballad.

OneRepublic – “Feel Again” – This is in a bunch of commercials, too, I think.

Imagine Dragons – “It’s Time” – I was familiar with this one because they played Gas Lamp just before they blew up, and I was pretty meh about it then and still am.

Florida Georgia Line – “Cruise” – Every time this guy goes “and sing from the heart”, the Earth moved a little closer to the sun and I could feel our imminent demise as a species.

There were a few bonus tracks, but I think this pretty well covered my experience with the Now records. Wasn’t a horrifying experience, but I do hope the regular Muzak works when I go back on Thursday.

2013 Gross Domestic Product was announced and it is a doozy. Spread across four 4th street venues on April 13, this year’s event features 19 acts and is headlined by the highly influential House of Large Sizes. This is a very rare opportunity to see one of Iowa’s legendary acts and so many others. Click the link for full info.

– I wrote a couple of pieces for Des Moines is Not Boring one about Cedar Falls post punk/pop band Twins and one about Iowa City singer/songwriter Brooks Strause

Lazerfest 2013 added Killswitch Engage and Bush to a lineup with Alice in Chains and more on May 10 in Boone. That may get me to go.

-Speaking of summer festivals, a new one called Rocket Suzie will be held in Spencer on June 8. It features a lot of really cool folk, acoustic, rock and alt country acts headlined by another influential and legendary Iowan Greg Brown and Texas band The Trishas. That is neat.

-Earlier this year I had a post mentioning a new album from Gadema and Aeon Grey. Well Aeon Grey’s album Lead Breakfast is out today and is available on Uncommon Records. Oh, and Gadema decided to drop ANOTHER album, this time with Purify called Hard to Hate and you can check that out here.

-I am going to check out Darwin Deez tonight at Vaudeville Mews, I think. But there are a ton of other cool shows in the next day or two. A favorite of mine, Fetal Pig, is playing the late show at Mews with Universe Contest and more. Also, one of my favorite country acts Ryan Bingham is playing a show at Wooly’s.

-Tomorrow Vaudeville Mews has an early show of Fol Chen, a late show with Jaill, Wooly’s has G Love and Special Sauce, and House of Bricks has Red Lamb, Dark Mirror and more. So, there is a lot going on. Try to hit at least one.

Birthday Parties Are Pretty Okay

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It has been one year since I started this blog. I celebrated by letting the domain name expire and then scrambling to repurchase it before I ruined everything. The talented women over at Band Bombshell, though, they had a much better idea than I did. They decided to throw a party. A birthday party is a much better idea. They also didn’t purchase a domain name. Also, a solid move.

So, go celebrate the one year anniversary of another of Iowa’s great music blogs. I like them very much. People would wonder why I would plug the competition, but I think considering anyone trying to promote the scene, and/or make their own type of art as competition is just stupid. We are all trying to achieve the same goal, only they go about it in a much different way than I. I am a little more self-centered. I like to talk about myself a lot more than others like to talk about me. Or talk about themselves, I guess. Full of cool Q&A’s and other neat journalistic type stuff, Band Bombshell is a great resource for those trying to learn about Des Moines and stuff happening in Des Moines.

Tonight at 10pm at Mews, they celebrate their first year. They do it in style with music from Gloom Balloon, Dustin Smith and the Sunday Silos and Volcano Boys. Should be a good time.

Safety in Numbers: The Space For Ames Music Marathon 2013

Is Home Is' Mickey Davis

Is Home Is’ Mickey Davis

When I was a kid, there used to be houses with blue stars in the window. It was to let you know that if you needed a place to go to escape a kidnapper or a bully or whatever, you could go there and there was a nice person who totally wasn’t a psycho who could look after you until a parent or guardian was able to look after you. In 2013, it is kind of a hilarious notion that you could just trust some random stranger with your flesh and blood, just because they had a placard in their window, but that was what they lead you to believe. If there was a blue star, it was safe.

The Space For Ames should have a blue star in its front window. There is this gentle vibe from the people who frequent the place that tells me there is no wrong way to create art at The Space For Ames. Even the room itself has this glow that says you are allowed to come here and try whatever you want, judgment free. The peace sign made of recycling, the holes in the ceiling and the art on the wall all spoke to what this room allowed people to do and that they shouldn’t be afraid to do it. This is as safe a spot to create art as I’ve ever been in.

While the safety certainly comes from the aura, it doesn’t hurt that it also feels like a clubhouse. The Space is this roughly 13′ by 20′ box tucked in a hidden mall in Campustown surrounded by a Korean restaurant and a Domino’s. The room itself is a drywall closet that arguably has no real business being a venue, but somehow this tiny room has enough heart to support whatever pre-conceived notions you can build based off of its appearance. For five years, The Space For Ames has hosted a ton of eclectic art events, a lot of music, but a lot of other things including plays, art openings and yoga. On its birthday each year, The Space holds an epic marathon of music and this year’s was the biggest of them all. Starting at noon and carrying on long past after I left at 2:15 am, The Space hosted 55 Iowa bands of varying disciplines and genres, twenty minutes at a time.

My original plan was to spend the entire 15 plus hours there, jotting down notes and maybe presenting a bit of a list column documenting each act, but real life interfered, as per usual. I had to lurch around in day job hell until 10pm, then race home for a change of clothes, then haul up to Ames hopefully by 11:15 to catch Brooks Strause. Here is the cross section of the festival I made:

11:15 – Brooks Strause
11:35 – H.D. Harmsen & the Electrophones
11:55 – Flavor Basket
12:15 – Secret Freedom
12:35 – Is Home Is
12:55 – Mumford’s
1:15 – Stewardesses
1:35 – Christopher the Conquered
1:55 – Surgery

From that list, there were several I was excited to see. But there was a big three that I had to catch (it was four, but, well, I guess see my note regarding Stewardesses): the coffee-house genius of Brooks Strause, the pop fire of Harmsen, and the industrial lust of Surgery. I was familiar with all three, but had yet to catch any of them live. A nice twenty minute set where I could get a taste, form an opinion, and move on. Almost like an artistic wine tasting. If I hated them, I could just spit, and move on to the next artist. So, while I would love to talk about Mumford’s, Is Home Is and CtC again, eh. I think we all know where I stand with them (hint: they’re awesome), I’m going to focus on these three. Quick and dirty on Flavor Basket and Secret Freedom: I missed Flavor Basket and most of Secret Freedom because I had to run out to my car and drink a beer (The Space is alcohol free) because I am despicable and can’t be in a social situation without at least a little booze.

And let me knock out Stewardesses here, as well. I was excited for their set, only I ended up having a long discussion with someone, quite unexpectedly, that took me out of their set, both physically for a time and mentally afterward. I wanted to watch, and they were actually one of four that I wanted to see, but yeah, it didn’t happen. Sorry. I will do my best to make it up to them.

Brooks Strause is a brilliant singer songwriter. His performance reminded me a bit of when I caught Jeff Mangum in Ames back in September. He was bearded and a little slouched, much like Mangum. Also, while he was super talented, his emotion is what carried him, much like Mangum. His ability to put his heart on his sleeve was hypnotic and what he had to say and how he chose to say it was wrapped in this emotional blanket and etched on his face. Only, the emotions weren’t just his. He projected in a way that you couldn’t help but feel what he felt and believe what he believed. I feel like if he sang a song about robbing a bank, I would have slipped panty hose over my head before he was finished. At minimum, I would’ve driven the getaway car.

HD Harmsen is a handsome and charismatic pop star. His backing band are powerful enough to turn dinosaur bones into petroleum. That is as enjoyable a way to spend twenty minutes as anything. There just doesn’t seem to be any reason why he can’t be a gigantic star. Where Strause had everyone in the palm of his hand just simply by performing, Harmsen was a classic charmer. Making eye contact with everyone and playing to the crowd as much as time allowed. His live set held enough of my attention that I am even more excited to see what his debut album will bring later this year.

The final band I caught was Fairfield’s Surgery. Surgery are a three piece synth and guitar industrial act that pulls a lot from 80’s acts like Depeche Mode. I was completely blown away. Musically, they are unlike almost any other band I have come across in Iowa, just dark beats and scary sex. There is just this aura of danger and debauchery that comes not only from the sounds they make, but from the performance style of lead singer Joseph Mayfield. He is so in tune with the music and what he is supposed to do as a performer that you can’t help but be simultaneously scared and titillated. While performing, he is a madman who oozes an uncomfortable amount of lust towards himself and everyone around him. Musically, though, they are dark beats mixed with a hypnosis guitar. They were amazing and their three song set left me wanting more and questioning several thoughts about myself that I am pretty sure I had concretely settled on years ago.

While all the acts I was able to catch in full were stunning in their own way, the real star on this night was The Space, itself. It seriously felt like a true judgment free zone. Where fearless artists can make the art they want and perform it in front of a grateful and understanding audience. Here’s to five more years as a safe place for people to make possibly dangerous art.

Let’s Talk About A Large Breasted Woman, A Lady In A Bikini And Lots Of Other Music Stuff

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I tend to get pretty personal on this blog, because I think of this as much as my own personal blog and less as an all encompassing news source. There are lots of other people out there who do music news and journalism a whole lot better than I (For instance, check out Band Bombshell. They’re pretty awesome). Plus, I am pretty cheap and use this as my substitute for therapy and just make an unsuspecting public who just want to read about Poison Control Center or something deal with my neuroses.

Since it is my style, I sort of figured I would have to write a post discussing the sudden loss our family recently suffered, just because that’s what I do. When shit sticks in my mind it helps for me to try and work it out someway. But I have been staring at a blinking cursor for a week or so, and when I do write something I select all and destroy. I think it is because I can’t wrap my brain around what happened or why. I have yet to quantify my feelings in any sort of rational or verbal manner. The fact that a person can be there and then just not be there is an altogether new experience for me, and no amount of drafts I have written have really come across the way I feel. I think mostly, because I don’t know how to feel. I am sad for the loss, I am baffled by how life and death works and I am inspired by the life she lead and my desire to live a life that would make her the most proud. But I still don’t feel like my words can honor and express my feelings. My heart is broken so much that I think it broke my brain, as well.

So, I’m instead going to talk about this large breasted woman I saw at the mall today.

She looked like Cartman’s assistant from that episode of South Park where he’s Dog The Bounty Hunter only with dark hair. And a tattoo of a dragon on her right breast. It was mesmerizing.

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Anyway, there are like a billion things I have missed in the last couple of weeks, so let me try and highlight a couple of them, since I think I can still handle that.

– Former Des Moines based singer Roxi Copland is in the running for a contest to help pay for her next album, and she actually has a real shot at this. Roxi is a hell of a talent, so if you could throw a vote her way, that would be swell. Also, she said if she got to fourth she would make a video of her doing a bikini clad snow angel:

So, she’s a good sport, too. Give her a vote .

– Iowa City’s Mission Creek Festival announced their lineup and it is awesome. Grizzly Bear, Divine Fits, Deerhoof, Iris Dement, Thao and the Get Down and Jeff the Brotherhood highlight the multi-day, multi-venue fest. For more info click here.

– Several bands have released albums in the past, oh, month or so. I think the big two are MINT and John the Bastard. MINT is currently available on iTunes while you can grab John the Bastard from their Bandcamp. It is loud.

– I have a new piece up at Des Moines is Not Boring featuring Brant Williams of The Workshy. I censored myself in the final draft, but just know that where it says “Popeye Doyle” I meant to write “Johnny Wadd”. You can read that here.

-The link has a list to a bunch of cool shows, but none cooler than The Space For Ames Anniversary Party. 15 hours and 55 Iowa bands. That is pretty incredible. You should go for at least a little bit. More info right here.

-On the subject of Ames, one that I missed is the EP Release show of talented singer/songwriter Sean Huston. Tonight at DG’s Taphouse in Ames. Feel free to check out the EP here and be sure to grab a copy.

-If you are a long time follower of this blog, you know how much I love Gross Domestic Product. This year’s event will be held at Vaudeville Mews/4th St Theatre on April 13. If you’re a band and you’d like to play that event, send them some of your work. You have until February 11. More info for that right here .

-And speaking of DMMC, their annual Backstage Ball fundraiser is set for February 22 at Val Air Ballroom. The Backstage Ball helps fund all the cool shit DMMC does throughout the year, as well as gives them an opportunity to honor people who make the Iowa music scene better. This year’s honorees are Nate Logsdon and Chris Lyng from Mumford’s, Marco from Dark Mirror, volunteer and all around badass Becky Migas and two guys who are also way better at music journalism than I, Joe Lawler of Juice and Chad Taylor of Cityview. Oh, and me. They’re honoring me. That’s messed up.

I feel like I’m leaving some stuff out, but, eh, I did pretty well I think. I promise I will get my shit together soon.

DIFH

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My wife and I are having another kid who is due in late April. This time it is a boy. Despite his kick-ass onesie with an otter and a pun and having a penis so I can teach him about man stuff like football and spitting without feeling weird about it, I am nervous as fuck about all of this.

It seems weird, because my revisionist history tells me that before my daughter was born, all I could picture was all of the cool stuff I would get to do with her. I would teach her stuff about music and hockey and wrestling and whatever and she would hang on my every word and gaze up at me like a puppy and soak it all in and revere me; part teacher’s pet, part dachshund. For some reason, before the birth of Fat Noodle (we let his sister name him; what are you gonna do? She’s three. It’s our fault for giving her that much power) the stuff I am mostly worried about is the logistics. Where will he go to day care? How will we pay for it? What if they fight? How will I handle him being an annoying little brother like I was? What if he needs food? How will I pay for THAT? What if he wants to play hockey? He will want to play hockey and I won’t be able to afford it. I mean, I think I was nervous about a lot of this stuff before Lorelei was born, but it seems like it is rearing its ugly head way more. So, then I get nervous that all of my worry will make me a bad father towards him, or that I will end up resenting him for making me worry this much.

A weirder, more abstract worry that I have is that I really like my daughter. We are good friends. So, what if being some other dude’s father means I spend less time with her? Like, do I not get to hang out and play hide and seek with my favorite person in the world because now I have to watch over somebody else? This is such a dickhead thought to have, because clearly I will have to find time for both, and I will certainly like him as much as I like her. But man, what if I don’t? That could happen, right? I mean, what if he’s just a compete asshole? Or, what if he’s a good kid who gets driven to being an asshole because his dad loves his sister more? Heady stuff.

So, all of these things are stressing me out a bit. I was sick earlier this week, and I’m still not convinced that I didn’t will sickness upon myself just so I could lay on the couch for two days and not move and not have to think. But, two things are obvious: I need a new job so that I can afford this new person and I need to accept that I will love him unconditionally. I need to remember that he will be a different person from my daughter, and moldable and enjoyable in different ways. He is totally going to be the Owen Hart or Jeff Buckley reincarnate I had always dreamed of, or he won’t be and that’s cool, too. I guess. I always joked that Lorelei was going to be an Olympic gold medalist and then president and then the Pope. Now, I’ll have a kid that actually could be the Pope! Imagine, Fat Noodle I pontificating from his golden throne. What I need to accept is that I am an idiot, and having two kids will be awesome in a different way that having one kid was awesome.

But things are going to change and I have to accept that. Most days when I go to work, I write the letters D I F H on my hand, on the outside just above my thumb. It stands for “Do It For Her”. It is a reminder that sure my job sucks, but I don’t do it for me. I work hard and earn a paycheck to support people I love more than myself. I have to do things I don’t want to do to make my kid’s life easier. Now, all that changes is I have to change the H to a T, for Them. It will be a bigger challenge and it will be hard and I will have to do things I hate and I will forever worry. But dammit, if I can handle one, I can handle two, right?

Right?

Oh, right. Music.

I had a piece for Des Moines is Not Boring run yesterday about Gadema’s The Brighter Side of Nowhere. I like the piece and like the album, but man, did it just make me want to listen to Gadema’s Jim Kelly Acquisition again. You should go do that, too.

Is there a cooler song in the world than “Mr. Kelly”?

As for shows this weekend, well tonight is the annual Asklandaganza. Dubbed Ganza 666, go to Mews and see Poison Control Center, Derek Lambert and the Prairie Fires, Wolves in the Attic and Mantis Pincers. Every time Mantis Pincers plays, I feel it is the last time they ever will, and then I miss them. Then they play again and I am totally amped and I miss them again. This time, I was totally set to go, but I have to work, so I can’t. This will for sure be their last show now because I am that unlucky. So, go see Mantis Pincers while you can. More info is right here.

Saturday is packed. I think my pick if you could only go to one would be at Gas Lamp for The Melismatics . They’re a Minnesota band, and they are awesome. But Mews features an early show with HD Harmsen and Lesbian Poetry opening for the Canadian band Boats. Also, the late show is headlined by Sioux City Pete and the Beggars with Land of Blood and Sunshine and Trouble Lights, among others. And for those in Ames, you could check out the M Shop for Mumford’s, Peace Love and Stuff, Rebel Creek and Surgery. This happens to be Surgery’s album release show, so it is well worth your time.

So with Surgery’s album, that pretty much puts me at about a dozen albums I need to review. So come back Monday for some of that.