80/35 Early Bird Tickets on Sale March 23, Lineup Announced April 3


The Greater Des Moines Music Coalition is offering its members extra early early bird tickets for the 5th birthday of 80/35 on July 6 and 7, 2012. VIP passes and two-day tickets will go on sale to DMMC members on Friday, March 23 at 10 a.m. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday, March 26 at 10 a.m. Plus, get ready for that lineup announcement on April 3!


Big Harp at Vaudeville Mews on March 21

With a collective age of 95 (drummer included) and unmentionable sickenly sweet nicknames for each other, Chris Senseney (vocals, guitar, keyboard) and Stefanie Drootin-Senseney (bass and backing vocals) of Big Harp rock. And what rocks even more is that this Los Angeles-based duo is making a stop—with their kids in tow—at the Vaudeville Mews this Wednesday, March 21st.

Venue Review: Wooly’s

The light from the faux-streetlamps bounced off the hardwood floors, casting shadows from the revelers who could be bothered to show up on time. To my left, a newly varnished bar spread liquor and beers for what seemed like the length of a state highway, back-lit in a way that somehow highlights the heaven and hell of hard liquor. All this while underneath the glow of high definition basketball.


Behind me, animal trophies were mounted as if to say, “The animals were slaughtered by rock.” The stage set high above those of us on the floor; lording over us in a way that stages in this town rarely do. It was reminding us that while there were other reasons to be there, music was the ruler of this joint. The high ceilings and exposed rafters added a slight cathedral feel to the place, as if we were about to hear the Pope pontificate, and not just a dirty garage band.


That was the setting as Wooly’s, at 504 East Locust, opened this past weekend. The night featured two Des Moines acts: The Holy White Hounds and Bright Giant.


GDP Preview: The River Monks

While Indie Folk Rock band The River Monks have been playing their hearts out at SXSW in Austin, we’ve been getting geared up for their upcoming appearance in our own fabulous music festival – Gross Domestic Product – on April 14.


These Des Moines-based 80/35 alums are an incredibly talented mix of multi-faceted artists. Their impeccable blend of interesting instrumental melodies and thoughtful lyrics makes for an amazing collection of music that just plain makes you feel good.

Listen to GDP, Sonic Harvest bands on Locusic

Local music fans can now listen to free playlists showcasing the dozens of Iowa bands performing at Gross Domestic Product on April 14 and featured on the upcoming Sonic Harvest compilation from Sound Farm Studio & Recording Environment and Maximum Ames Records.

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.