An Interview with Thao (of the Get Down Stay Down)

Thao (of the Get Down Stay Down) has been incredibly generous for this year’s Little BIG Fest (Nov. 4) including taking the time to thoughtfully answer our questions (below) and hosting a special songwriting workshop for the campers of Girls Rock! Des Moines! In our interview, Thao reveals her impression of Des Moines after her 80/35 2016 performance, what we can expect for her solo set… Read more »

LBF Band Hype: Thao (of the Get Down Stay Down)

Drumroll please, for the almighty Thao Nguyen. Folk rock, indie pop, whatever you want to call it, Thao’s music is catchy AF. Anchored by her Cat Power-esque singing voice and airy arrangements, Thao’s music is ever-evolving and hard to categorize. It’s the kind of music that you find yourself inexplicably dancing to and don’t remember… Read more »

LBF Band Hype: Izabel Crane

Two words: Ozark jazz. Let’s let that marinate for a minute. OK, what is it? Well, the Ozark Jazz Society (yes, that’s a thing) describes it as “traditional jazz around the Lake of the Ozarks area. The originators had Dixieland in mind but we are branching out into a combination of Dixieland, Ragtime & Big… Read more »

LBF Band Hype: Her Crooked Heart

Fans of Regina Spektor and Feist will most definitely be drawn to the alternative folk music of Her Crooked Heart. Hailing from Minneapolis, Rachel Ries — the multi-instrumentalist behind the name — released her first EP “To Gentlemen” under the new moniker this past May, with a full album debut titled “To Love To Leave… Read more »

LBF Band Hype: Diva & the Deacons (ft. Tina Haase Findlay)

Tina Haase Findlay and husband Brandon Findlay’s newest musical manifestation comes in the form of Diva & The Deacons (formerly Bella Soul). Tina is a local blues and jazz vocalist legend, and she brings her signature stage presence and swag to Diva & the Deacons. The band’s freewheelin’ style means you’ll never know which direction they’ll… Read more »

LBF Band Hype: Lily DeTaeye

Community-Selected Artist and wunderkind Lily DeTaeye is on the up-and-up. At the beginning of 2017 she signed with Station 1 Records. In July, she played at 80/35’s Kum & Go stage. If you didn’t catch her there, you might recognize her from playing covers at nearly every outdoor event in Des Moines this summer — always… Read more »

LBF Band Hype: Rae Davis

Rae Davis is a familiar and prominent presence in the Des Moines music scene. Active since 2007, Davis has made many contributions to the scene over the years, but her latest solo work is 2016’s EP “Soul & Skin.” At five songs, the EP is short and sweet — my deepest apologies for the cliché,… Read more »

LBF Band Hype: Juliana & A Soul Purpose

You would never guess that Juliana Logan is just 18 years old. The Davenport native sings with a confidence and maturity that musicians many years older wish they possessed. I’m not kidding. When I first listened to this band I thought it was a seasoned crew of road-tested musicians. Instead, it’s a bunch of teenage… Read more »

LBF Band Hype: Hadiza

Little BIG Fest Community-Selected Artist and Iowa City band Hadiza takes its name after its leader Hadiza Kubura, who sings — sometimes in French, see “Langue Maternelle” — and plays piano. Regardless of your musical preferences, Hadiza transcends genres to create music that’s just plain good. Kubura’s rich vocals are simply delightful to listen to… Read more »

LBF Band Hype: Jess V

Where does Jessica Villegas — aka Jess V — find the time? Does she have a time-turner necklace, à la Hermione in “Harry Potter,” so she can work on all her musical endeavors? We may never know. Here’s what we do know: Villegas also plays in two other Des Moines bands (bass in Foxholes and… Read more »