Waka Flocka Flame, Mike Floss at ISU Ag Center, Oct. 11

Waka Flocka Flame, Mike Floss at ISU Ag Center, Oct. 11

Whether he’s rapping overtop marching horns or making light of the time he got shot, it’s pretty certain Waka Flocka Flame goes hard in da mutha fucking paint. Waka Flocka, born Juaquin James Malphurs, grew up in the music scene with his mom, Debra Antney, as the former manager of Gucci Mane. Mane gets to take credit for being the brains behind the creative name of “Flocka Flame” while “waka” came from the Muppets character Fozzie Bear’s catch phrase, “waka waka.” Since Waka Flocka was surrounded by musicians, it was no surprise when the then 24-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia, jumped into the music scene with his first album, Flockaveli, in 2010. “No Hands,” his third single from the album features Roscoe Dash and Wale and peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, which is his highest charting single in the US. While Waka Flocka maybe hasn’t garnered the national spotlight like N.W.A. quite yet, he holds the same aggressive adrenaline and isn’t afraid to speak his opinions. In all his albums and mixtapes, he gives off a “no one can stop me” temperament. And he’s right. He won’t take any bullshit from people and you best believe it. Perhaps one of his biggest attributes, though, is his choice of collaborations. Waka Flocka brings in a variety of musicians on his recordings, which is evident on his 2012 sophomore album Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family, which features Drake, Nicki Minaj, B.o.B., Ludacris and more. Although he hasn’t released a full album in four years, his 10 mixtapes and attempt at running for President of the US has...
SIRES, Halfloves, TWINS, Eklectica at Wooly’s, Sept. 16

SIRES, Halfloves, TWINS, Eklectica at Wooly’s, Sept. 16

Get transported to the peace-loving days of the 60s and 70s for the pre-release party of SIRES’ forthcoming album, Soul for Sale, available October 21 from Station 1 Records. Childhood friends Dylan Sires (guitar/keys/vocals), Ross Klemz (percussion/vocals) and Graham Howland (bass/vocals) have played music together for years and it shows in the tight, balanced mix of soul and seductive rock n’ roll. Formerly known as Dylan Sires and Neighbors, the band has spent time touring in Japan, played last summer’s 80/35 Music Festival, and even opened for Mumford & Sons on the “Gentlemen of the Road” Iowa stopover in 2015. After the release of their last album, No One, in 2014, the band decided to shorten its name and focus on their sound. Spoiler alert: it worked. The lyrics are heartbreaking and the three-part harmonies stay with you long after you’re done listening. SIRES has a lasting impact that can’t be mimicked.  If their soul is for sale, I’m first in line to buy it. Get a sneak peak of the new album with the recently released single, “She’s Into Me,” a music video (by our own Bruce Bales of DEFT) that would make Michael Jackson proud. Also on the night’s agenda are a fistful of regional powerhouses including Halfloves (formerly known as The Olympics), Waterloo’s TWINS and Omaha-based Eklectica. Clear your schedules because these are bands you don’t want to miss. September 16 7 PM Wooly’s All Ages $10 SIRES Halfloves TWINS Eklectica More information available from the Wooly’s...
The Host Country, Ben Schrag, I’m Gonna Die at Maximum Ames Music Festival, Sept. 16

The Host Country, Ben Schrag, I’m Gonna Die at Maximum Ames Music Festival, Sept. 16

The Maximum Ames Music Festival appeals to all music-listeners by bringing in a wide variety of local and national acts to steal the hearts of festival attendees. After a solid lineup of blues, pop and punk during the first day, the festival eases into day two with the powerful vocals of The Host Country. Back in 2009, Ty Wistrand (guitar/vocals) and Diana Weishaar (keys/vocals) were both attending the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, when they realized they had similar music interests and writing styles. So they decided to take a stab at collaborating musically; the result — The Host Country. The acoustic duo recorded an EP in May of 2011, but when it came time to release a full-length album in 2014, they moved towards a bigger sound with more instrumentation. Keeping with the same simplistic style as the EP, they brought in only two others — Tom Rue (bass) and Ethan Weishaar (drums). Walk Away, the band’s 2014 album, has the same laid-back rhythms and melody and harmony pairings, but it provides a more mature sound with a full band. The Host Country takes the popular song-writing topic of love to another level by using Wistrand and Weishaar’s impeccable harmonies to create an intimate connection to the emotional and heartfelt lyrics. Joining The Host Country are Ames-based bands Ben Schrag and I’m Gonna Die. September 16 6 PM Vinyl Cafe All Ages $5 The Host Country Ben Schrag I’m Gonna Die More information available from the Maximum Ames Music Festival...
Digisaurus, Attic Light, Tinderbox Circus Sideshow at Lefty’s, Aug. 31

Digisaurus, Attic Light, Tinderbox Circus Sideshow at Lefty’s, Aug. 31

Digisaurus frontman, James Allison, spent the last few years experimenting with a collection of genres — synthpop, disco and electronic. After a break from his previous band, The Regrettes, he landed on his new creation by combining smooth, funky bass lines, varying drum speeds and some falsetto to make you feel like you’re dancing out in space, free of the world below. In 2015, the Columbus, Ohio-based band worked with producer Mike Landoit (Maroon 5, OAR, Michael Franti) to release its first EP, No More Room for Love. This year, they’re taking their release game in a more non-traditional direction, releasing each of their 2016 singles as trading cards with digital downloads. The group released “Charlie’s Got Me Runnin’” in July, and its trading card includes a download link with a variety of options to delve into the song’s creative process and instrumentation, including MP3 and WAV versions, original demos, and instrumental and stem tracks. This will be Digisaurus’ second trip to Des Moines in 2016, and they’re bringing Attic Light and Tinderbox Circus Sideshow along for the ride. Attic Light comes up from our southern neighbor, Kansas City, to complement Digisaurus with upbeat, funky grooves sure to make you get up on your feet. Tinderbox Circus Sideshow is a self-described “ten-in-one” show that features anything you may find at a carnival — juggling, burlesque, clowning, you name it. Prepare to be entertained. August 31 7 PM Lefty’s All Ages $10 Digisauraus Tinderbox Circus Sideshow Attic Light More information available...