Zeitgeist Music Festival at Kum & Go Theater, Aug. 7

Zeitgeist Music Festival at Kum & Go Theater, Aug. 7

It’s good to celebrate the strange. The alien. The individualistic. After all, the music festival has long served as a means for discovery, allowing attendees the opportunity to throw themselves at the whim of the festival itself and experience music as a whole, rather than through individual bands or expectations. The Zeitgeist Music Festival takes this aspect of discovery to its most extreme degree. The lineup is comprised of 27 different experimental, electronic, and noise music acts from around the Midwest, each defining music through their own unique output, rather than relying on genre tags or familiarity to inform the audience. It’s a practice in open-mindedness. A dismissal of dismissiveness. A dance in left field where innovation begins in its most unrestricted form, before its made tangible, recognizeable, useful. Give up/out/in to Zeitgeist. Let your understanding of “music” expand. Be here now. Be. Here. Now. August 7 1 PM Kum & Go Theater All Age $5 (suggested donation) Zeitgeist Music Festival Lineup: Crowhurst Cock ESP BONEMAGIC Sarin Tantrum Throwers Skyscraper Nazi$exToy BOAR Underwater Escape From the Black Hole Mechanics of Light Mukqs Paul Hertz Sex Funeral Ampyre Midwaste Contraktor कंपन चेतना Sex Tyrant Mountain Eats Mountain Ira Rat Aural Sect$ Fleeting Breath PSSing Match Molotov Cockring More information available...
Paul de Jong at 4th St. Theater, June 25

Paul de Jong at 4th St. Theater, June 25

It’s difficult to discuss the music of Paul de Jong without mentioning his work in the seminal electro-acoustic band, The Books. After all, the duo took sampling and production techniques so far down their own rabbit hole that comparisons are tough to make. De Jong’s cello accompaniment to the band provided the roots for the music, grounding it in folk instrumentation familiarity. The combination between the otherwise disparate electronic and folk influences crafted the sound space for the music where the samples echoed timelessly and the songs propelled themselves forward on cued-up anti-rhythms. IF, the debut solo effort from de Jong, certainly exists on the same shelf as The Books, perhaps borrowing more from the band’s last album, The Way Out, than any of their earlier material. The main differences are in the rhythms and repetition which carry the songs with less discombobulation than The Books and more recognizable song structure. All in all, De Jong’s solo material has not strayed unrecognizably far from The Books’ specific blend of musical experimentation, so fans still reeling from the duo’s disbanding can breathe a little easier knowing that the band’s sound lives on in its individual members musical pursuits. IF by Paul de Jong June 25 8 PM 4th St. Theater (Java Joe’s) All Ages Paul de Jong (of The Books) DJ DJ TANNER Tree Branch Twig More information available...
Curta, Aeon Grey, MarKaus & More at Vaudeville Mews, June 26

Curta, Aeon Grey, MarKaus & More at Vaudeville Mews, June 26

I imagine we’ll all remember 2016 as the year of the great Iowa hip-hop coup. On a large scale, we’re seeing artists like A$AP FERG headlining 515 Alive, Tyler the Creator playing 7 Flags Event Center, Flatbush Zombies devouring Wooly’s, NAS headlining 80-35, and Drake & Future swinging through Wells Fargo Arena. More importantly, on a local scale we’re seeing the hip-hop presence at our established local festivals grow, more hip-hop shows around Des Moines than ever before, and the launch of Iowa’s first hip-hop festival, Fresh Fest. Now, the Vaudeville Mews is hosting one of the most stacked hip-hop bills I have ever seen in this city at the end of the month. The show features longtime Des Moines hip-hop torchbearer, Aeon Grey, Neon Current member, Ryan Nixon, and the current unstoppable force that is MarKaus — the man responsible for Fresh Fest and the FreshenUP series at the Des Moines Social Club. Iowa City’s AWTHNTKTS will return for their first show in Des Moines since last year’s Gross Domestic Product Festival. The touring act, Curta, is coming through for the show as a part of their Bread & Circus tour. The Denver duo’s experimental take on the hip-hop genre is par-for-the-course when it comes to that city, known for its legendary DIY and experimental music scene. The group’s 2015 album, Replica, plays in the dirt, adding elements of noise and psychedelic electronics to its off-kilter production style. It reminds me of some of the more far-out hip-hop offerings from Sub Pop Records, such as the Clipping’s label debut, or some of the less atmospheric jams on Shabazz Palaces’...
Karen Meat “On The Couch” Video

Karen Meat “On The Couch” Video

After pulling some love from both Stereogum and The Grey Estates, Karen Meat & The Computer have now premiered the music video for their upcoming 7″ single, “On The Couch”. The video (by our own Bruce James Bales of DEFT) features the Karen Meat crew doing, well, pretty much exactly what they do: shooting hoops, hanging out, and killing time. It’s one of those straight-forward videos which doesn’t take itself too seriously and really just gets straight to the childlike simplicity of things before “What are you doing with your life?” was ever a question on anyone’s mind. Also, I don’t think they sink a basket at any point during the video which is a perfect detail considering the band’s slacker vibes and penchant for sitting around on the couch. Watch the video below, and read details on Karen Meat & The Computer’s 7″ (courtesy of Des Moines-based Sump Pump Records) release party below below.     June 3 7:30 PM Vaudeville Mews 21+ $7 Karen Meat & The Computer (7″ Release) PURE GUT Land of Blood and Sunshine Dana Telsrow Odd Pets More information available...
Omaha’s Maha Music Festival Announces Lineup

Omaha’s Maha Music Festival Announces Lineup

There has been somewhat of an ongoing discussion between those of us here at DSM Shows as to what roles surrounding cities play in your own music scene. Does a well-curated music festival a couple of hours away play a part in the quality of surrounding cities’ music culture? Or is the condition of a city’s music culture defined only by that which occurs inside the city lines? I think it depends on the city. Des Moines is in a unique position due do its central location between a number of (once?) thriving metropolises. Growing up in central Iowa, driving to see live music was expected. In my teenage years, I probably saw as many shows at Gabe’s Oasis in Iowa City and the Sokol Underground in Omaha as I did at the Vaudeville Mews and The House of Bricks. That’s not to mention the fact that Des Moines band’s are frequently invited to play shows in surrounding cities. Many locals played the Mission Creek Music Festival this year and numerous shows in places like Minneapolis, Omaha, and Chicago this year alone have featured some of our very own musicians in their lineups. Perhaps it’s all a discussion of semantics. Local vs. regional. Either way, until Des Moines becomes a must-tour destination for artists, I’ll continue driving a couple of hours to see incredible, contemporary musicians with no complaints. Omaha’s Maha Music Festival has been bringing great music to the Midwest since its start in 2008. It’s one-day, outdoor festival setup in Omaha’s Aksarben Village is a welcome balance to Mission Creek’s exhausting week of insane talent booked all around Iowa City. Last year’s...