The seventh annual Gross Domestic Product stormed through Hotel Fort Des Moines this past Saturday, April 14. It was definitely one to go down in the books from the raging storms outside to the bands tearing it up on two stages inside. For the fans that made it out to the show, they received a top notch set from each band including surprise visits from bella soul, Utopia Park, Pat Fleming of Poison Control Center, and Elliot Burke of Lesbian Poetry. With this one-of-a-kind night there are many people to thank that help make it all possible.
While some artists carry a lot of weight within their community, the reputation of The Beatnicks preceded the band itself. Rick J (Rick James) and Rel.Lentless (Durrell Haynes, Sr.) are veterans of the Western Iowa/Nebraska hip-hop scene. Last November, the two friends decided to form a group and use their joined force to make hip-hop to further their community and help others. It was a good thing too, because they already had a gig booked before they were even officially a group.
They describe themselves as “three guys making sounds with instruments,” but the Wapello, Iowa, musicians of The White Elephant are much more than noise. They are a fluid and skilled garage/blues rock band who use their instruments to make gruff rock music. And while they did get the noisy part right, it’s the best kind.