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

Hmmm.

Yeah.

So.

Tires.

Fuck.

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.

*inhale*

*exhale*

*inhale*

*exhale*

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.

Sonic Harvest Brings the Iowa Thunder

As great as I think I am at giving focus to Iowa artists, there is no better way to discover new music than to actually listen to them. well the good folks at Sonic Harvest has given you all a chance to do that in one nice neat little package. Featuring 1 track from 30 different bands, all recorded at the now world famous Sound Farm in Jamaica, IA.

The album features lots of my favorites like Christopher the Conquered, Poison Control Center, Why Make Clocks and Mumford’s to name a few. But luckily for me it features acts I’m not as familiar with like Sean Huston and Pocket Aristotle. So there really is something for everyone.

In addition, the CD release show actually features 14 of these artists all on one show. Starting at 3pm and going until 1am. Bombay Bicycle Club in West Des Moines hosts this event this saturday, and I would highly recommend heading there. Check out the poster above for the schedule (as you can see, yes you do need to be there right at 3). Click here for details.

Gross Domestic Product Song of the Day-ish – Hath No Fury – Bruised

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 is a rock band. I mean, lots of bands are rock bands, but GDP usually seems to have the indie prefix attached to whatever they happen to bring in, indie-rap, indie-rock, indie-folk. And while indie just means unsigned, that little prefix usually adds a hauty or experimental air to the proceedings. So while Hath No Fury is by definition an Indie Rock Band, well, they ain’t.

This is guitar rock and roll. That’s not a bad thing. Sometimes a six string and a story to tell is all you need to really make an impact. I’ve heard a little bit from this band, and from what I’ve heard, they tend to have a little more of a sweet voice on top of the guitars. For this song, the voice turns a little gruffer, which seems appropriate. (I am aware that there are two different singers. I don’t mean the voice literally, I mean the voice of the band).

I like this and think especially at GDP it will be a nice change of pace to the proceedings. It would be like a breath of fresh air, but instead it would be a breath of menthol smoke and spilled beer. Don’t act like that’s a bad thing.

Incidentally, they are playing with Black Storm Alice and Lady Jules at House of Bricks on Friday. So maybe check them out then, too.

The Mynabirds – Tonight at Vaudeville Mews!

The Mynabirds' Laura Burhenn (from their Facebook)

I have a thing for female musicians, especially ones that lean a little more indie. Not like a sexual thing (although, to be fair, I am very likely to develop a pathetic school boy crush on pretty much any female in a band), I just like the sensitivity and strength female front women bring to their projects. Recent standouts like Lykke Li and Grace Potter and historically strong women like Debbie Harry (as well as Iowa standouts like Elizabeth Arynn and Skye Carrasco) all seem to have an entirely different level of amazing from their male counterparts. Maybe it’s that just by being women they have to work that much harder to be appreciated, which seems like a damn shame, but an unfortunate fact of life.

The Mynabirds are an Omaha alt-indie band featuring the talented Laura Burnhenn. Burnhenn spends her time with this project, but also as an occasional member of Bright Eyes. She is a mutli-instrumental dynamo who bounces musically from Indie folk and pop to an occasional, near-experimental sound. The Mynabirds most recent single, “Generals”, actually seems a little more rock than some of their earlier works. Hell there are times, like “Numbers Don’t Lie”, where there seems to be some 60’s soul influence and the guitar in “Give It Time” has a bit of a Dick Dale or surf rock quality.

There are just a lot of neat things the Mynabirds do musically. They are unafraid to try things differently and it never seems to backfire on them. The piano is heavy and prominent in a lot of songs, absent in others. The vocals go from jaunty to morose, playful to sultry without missing a beat. I am interested in how they perform live because a lot of the sounds come from backing vocals and layers. It will likely differ from the recording, but the pure talent should overcome any issues.

The show also features Saddle Creek label-mates Big Harp and Des Moines’ Dustin Smith and the Sunday Silos. It is a 21+ with the first band at 8pm. Go here for more info.

Gross Domestic Product Song Of The Day-Ish – Love Songs For Lonely Monsters – Inherent trait

LS4LM - Courtesy of 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

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Road Trip Mon..Err Tuesday – Andrew WK – Minneapolis

Minneapolis hosts what might be my wife’s dream concert on March 22nd. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. WK’s work, go ahead and click that video. There can be questions about his legitimacy, but man to hell with that. It’s pretty much just going to be awesome.

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Happy St. Patrick’s – Featuring The Vandon Arms

The Vandon Arms were, at one time, the premier Irish punk rock act in Des Moines. Though they have now abandoned the project, they do occasionally reunite for a show or two, here and there. Here is just a quick song to remind you of their awesomeness. Also, a reminder from your caring blog-master to be safe and kind to one other on Saturday. You go to a rock show and someone in the pit falls in front of you; help the bastard up. You go to a pub and a man falls off his stool or needs help out the bar, you help the bastard out. You drink too much and want to get home, you call a cab and let the bastard drive. You take a cab home, tip well, and probably don’t call them a bastard. Drink well, be well and I will see you all Monday.

Gross Domestic Product Song of the Day-ish – Trouble Lights – Safe With Me

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 (although so far, so good), thus the -ish. For more info on GDP visit the Facebook Event Page or Des Moines Music Coalition’s website

I already blew it by posting this once to try and get y’all to like me, so it seems awkward to post it again. However, it is just too good to ignore. Trouble Lights will, legit, be the next big thing to come from this state, and arguably just the next big thing, period. I will reserve comment for now, both because I am lazy and it’s Friday and because I am making my triumphant return to promoting on April 13 (Trouble Lights headlines a Des Moines Social Club production: Subjective Vaudeville), so I need as much prose as I can to try and get y’all to come to the show. So, presented without comment, Trouble Lights.

Okay, some comment. This wouldn’t normally be my kind of music. But the technological ability and vocal range and just passion displayed in one song is enough to persuade me to buy into them. Also, there is quite a bit of pedigree involved. I heart Little Ruckus and I heart Utopia Park, so knowing that there is some level of genius from those two acts behind this, then I’m sold. Also, I know that there we be a vocal minority that are against this as being just some Gaga tribute. While, the influence is obvious, there just aren’t enough acts that nail the genre so significantly that I can honestly overlook that and know that there is more to come. I assure you, this is more than just civic pride. This is being happy that for a very rare moment, I am on the ground floor of greatness.

Gross Domestic Product Song of the Day-ish – Christopher the Conquered & His Black Gold Brass Band – Treasure Catcher

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

I am under attack by histamines today, so I am going to put up an easy one. I was going to try and save Christopher the Conquered for a later date, to kind of coincide with the release of his new album (which you can pre-order right here, please), but I dunno this is an easy one to talk about. I’m not going to go too in depth about the music and such because I want to save it for a later date, but I figured you could click this and listen to get you through the day. I mean, just watch this and try not to smile a little because of it. It is just insane, so imagine what they have planned for a show of this magnitude.

A few years ago I took a bit of a leap and tried to get more involved in music. Being as I don’t play an instrument, I figured the easiest thing I could get on board with was promoting. One of the first shows I booked with local artists was when I came upon Christopher the Conquered. Theatrically, their stage presence was unlike anything I had ever seen and musically, they were more gifted than anything else I had even thought to book. Personally, Chris Ford and Nate Logsdon and the rest of the band are some of the most humble and interesting people I have ever come across, and the fact that folks like them can succeed in an industry like this gives hope not only to music, but to humanity. It is because of people like them that I think arts can survive despite what is an increasingly dumbed down society. There ain’t a person alive that won’t get caught up in the joy of the video above.

What I have discovered in my few years being involved is that in the Iowa music scene, there are very few jerks. It seems that everyone wants the scene to succeed, not just their own personal ambitions, which just has to be rare. They are way more willing to help out another band as they are to try and undermine them. I think that’s why I do what I do, because I want to help out in any way I can. Because these aren’t just good artists, they are good people who deserve to be heard. So, please go pre-order the new album. Buy as many albums from local musicians as your budget allows. Go to Hotel Fort Des Moines April 14, or hell any local show you can, and support these artist. Because, dammit they would do the same for you.