GDP Preview: Trouble Lights

Trouble Lights is a musical duo from Fairfield, Iowa. It’s made up of singer Adrien Daller and producer Philip Rabalais. They’re performing at Gross Domestic Product in Des Moines on April 14, and we caught up with them to talk about music in Iowa, 8-foot tall animal warrior queens, and lady-pop electric dance music. Take it away, guys.

GDP Preview: Tires

Electronic rock band Tires plays primarily instrumental music, with an emphasis on groove and a layered palette (including the occasional electric drill on guitar).  The huge sound produced is accomplished by just two people: Phil Young on guitar and electronic sound manipulations, and Jordan Mayland on drums and synthesizers.

 

The two are in a virtual “who’s who” of Iowa bands, including The Wheelers, The Volcano Boys, The Mantis Pincers, Nuclear Rodeo, and many others.  As if that wasn’t enough, they often control their own lighting during performances as well.

Sound Farm, Maximum Ames to release Sonic Harvest compilation featuring 30 Iowa bands

Jamaica, Iowa – (Press Release) Sound Farm Studio & Recording Environment has partnered with Maximum Ames Records for the release of a 30-track digital compilation of Iowa independent artists.

 

The compilation, Sonic Harvest, brought together 30 Iowa bands and seven engineers from Iowa studios and gave independent artists the opportunity to record one track for free at a professional studio with great producers. The tracks range from singer-songwriter tunes like Sean Huston’s “Ways To Fall Away” to dance tracks like Utopia Park’s “Ghosts.”

Meet the Music Makers: Chris Ford

Chris Ford is the frontman and driving force behind Christopher the Conquered, who are releasing their third album, “The Fate of a Good Man,” on Maximum Ames Records on April 17th, and playing Gross Domestic Product on April 14th. Chris was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule and sit down with me for an interview at Deano’s in Ames over a couple of Red Stripes.


DMMC: Tell me about the new album – is there a theme or concept behind it? The name seems to imply one.

 

Chris Ford: Yes, there is. When I write songs, I write organically, just whatever comes to me, and then I learn later, or while I’m writing, what it means to me. I write a lot of songs, and I don’t really work anything out with the band unless I know I’m going to use it, because it’s a lot of effort and work.

GDP Preview: Unknown Component

You may be surprised to learn when listening to the mix of guitar, bass, piano, and drums on any of Unknown Component’s nine albums that this band is made up of only one member: Keith Lynch. In addition to his vast musical talents, he records and mixes all his music, releases and promotes all the albums, and even creates his own cover art.

 

Keith Lynch is a completely self-taught musician who started playing at age 16, when he found an acoustic guitar in the attic of his home. He has been working as the one-man-band, Unknown Component, since 2002. He continually works to improve his skills as a musician, striving to make each new album better than the last.

Gross Domestic Product Preview

Get geared up for another great year of Des Moines’ finest local music showcase. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will take place at Hotel Fort Des Moines on Saturday, April 14. This year’s lineup will again exemplify the best and brightest of the Des Moines music scene. GDP will feature 10 bands spanning and transcending the indie, folk, hip-hop, rock, acoustic, electronic, and pop genres.

The Des Moines Hip-Hop Scene

Kyd n TreIt’s a typical weeknight outside 212 4th Street in Des Moines, or as many local musicians know it, “The Mews.” Tonight, the special being served is local hip-hop. Passing by, you might hear the bass from the drums thumping through the closed doors, as many gather outside the venue in small “cypher” sessions: free styling over beat boxing or no beat at all. Inside, a crowd huddles close to the stage listening to emcees deliver raw lyrics about the lives they’ve lived and the feelings they know.

7th Annual Gross Domestic Product Lineup Announced

DMMC_GDPGet geared up for another great year of Des Moines’ finest local music showcase. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will take place at Hotel Fort Des Moines on Saturday, April 14. This year’s lineup will again exemplify the best and brightest of the Des Moines music scene. GDP will feature 10 bands spanning and transcending the indie, folk, hip-hop, rock, acoustic, electronic, and pop genres. 

Locusic Connects Local Community with Local Bands

Last year Iowa entrepreneur Jake Kerber saw an emphasis on local shopping, eating and growing, and wondered where the focus on local music was. Out of that was born Locusic, an internet radio service based in Des Moines that lets listeners discover local music and gives bands free airplay in their community. 

 

Kerber came up with the idea for Locusic the night before Startup Weekend 2011,  almost one year ago. He wanted to pitch something during the weekend, which would be a networking-and-creating event among some of the Midwest’s top innovators. And at the end of the weekend they’d vote on projects that could actually be viable, and one of those ideas could be Iowa’s next big startup.

Music University: Band Management – March 14 at House of Bricks

The Greater Des Moines Music Coalition’s free music business education series, Music University, continues on March 14 with a panel on band management featuring Andy Anderson. The discussion will focus on getting the most effective output from band members in all aspects of the process including songwriting, practicing, performing, marketing, and self-management on a professional level.