Local music to m’ears

July 23, 2008 —

Des Moines BoyzIn May my little sister traveled through Italy. A waiter at a café asked where she was from and when she responded with “Iowa,” he got very excited and, with accent, proclaimed “AHH, Slipknot!” And while Slipknot is definitely a famous Iowa band, it and its brother band, Stone Sour, are not the only groups we have here!!

One Iowa band, The Josh Davis Band, will play an August 6, 6 p.m. free show at DMU – part of orientation festivities for new students and their families!

Other great local bands include the following:

Beati Paoli is a pop rock quartet that has been touring across the country. The guitarist is actually a friend of mine and was my DJ partner for our radio show in college!! Check out some of the tunes on their MySpace page!

Another group, also friends of mine, but an entirely different genre is the hip-hop group Des Moines Boyz. Check out their interview after the recent 80-35 concert: http://www.rockiowa.com/blog/2008/07/live-at-8035-des-moines-boyz-interview/

If country is your thing, maybe you’ll recognize the name Jason Brown. His latest hit, “We’re all in the same boat” is on the radio all the time. He has shows all over Iowa and the midwest. I actually saw him last at a backyard, private-party concert and can vouch that he seems like a great, down-to-earth guy that will go very far in the music biz.

A little closer to home, but also closer to our hearts at DMU, is Pumptown, a family-band from Iowa that performs around the midwest. Their sound has been called island-country, rock or folk and the best part is drummer/guitarist Amy who is also a DMU D.O. student!

A popular folk rock group you’ll have to hear is the The Nadas. They have six albums, have sold 75,000+ albums, been recognized in Playboy and had one of their songs used in the Speed Channel’s “Pinks” show.

As for where you can hear great local or national music around town….. The Alive Concert Series, held every summer, brings national acts to the outdoor amphitheater near the Des Moines River. It’s a great venue for live music. This year, due to the floods, many of the concerts have been held at People’s downtown.

Vaudeville Mews, also in downtown Des Moines, has tons of concerts by local and national musicians.

A few minutes to the west, the Val Air Ballroom hosts everything from dances to concerts to MMA events. Their current upcoming schedule includes Seether, Flogging Molly & Jason Aldean – how varied can you get?!

House of Bricks, in the East Village, offers regular live concerts, some local, some national.

The biggest venue in Des Moines, The Iowa Events Center with Wells Fargo Arena. It’s fairly new – sadly the only show I can claim to have seen there is Rod Stewart!

IowaTix.com is a good place to see lots of upcoming shows at various venues.

Live at the Creek Concert Series is held every Sunday at Jordan Creek mall for free.

Not far from DMU, Blues on Grand is known for getting great national blues players. In 2002, it was named ‘best blues club in the nation’ in the Blues Foundation’s Keeping The Blues Alive Awards.

So when you need a study break or tunes to listen to while you workout, there’ll be plenty of options in Iowa!


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