Photos: Hinterland Music Festival

Photos: Hinterland Music Festival

This year’s Hinterland Music Festival was a real hootenanny. From locals like Field Division and William Elliott Whitmore, big-name national acts like Ray LaMontagne and Lake Street Dive, and of course the legendary Willie Nelson, the festival this year continued to solidify its status as one of the Midwest’s best up-and-coming folk and bluegrass music festivals. The whole experience felt like a proper throwback to 60’s summer festivals rather than a contemporary take on the tried-and-true camping music festival format of decades past. Here’s to many more. All photos by guest contributor, Meanz Chan...
Guest Mix: Brian Smith of Jack Lion

Guest Mix: Brian Smith of Jack Lion

Always looking to expand the variety of content we offer here at DSM Shows, we’ve decided to start pestering local musicians to make us mixes that we can post. On one hand, it’s a nice opportunity for the artist to cite some of their influences and intersperse some of their own songs. And on the other hand, its an opportunity for us, the audience, to continue expanding our aural studies of the trends and microgenres that decorate the many unique corners of our state. Up first in the guest mix line-up is Brian Smith — horn player and audio/visual programmer for Iowa City based jazz trio, Jack Lion. Check it out below: Tracklist: Photay – Illusion of Seclusion Machinedrum – What U Wanted 2 Feel (Pixelord Remix) Young Thug – Drippin’ Jamie Foxx – You Changed Me (Zora Jones & Sinjin Hawke Bootleg) RY X – Berlin (edit) Brian Lewis Smith – I Could See You As A Mayan Jack Lion – Birds Rafiq Bhatia – Sunshower PNL – J’comprends pas School of Seven Bells – Half Asleep Koplant No – Transit Remix Vijay Iyer – Mystic Brew Desiigner – XXL Freestyle Lapalux – Paz Vega Sibian & Faun – I’m Sorry Jack Lion – SRRNDR Orchestre National de Jazz – The Power of Water...
Phoning It In At The 80/35 Music Festival

Phoning It In At The 80/35 Music Festival

Whenever the 80/35 Music Festival rolls out its lineup every year, we start trying to brainstorm new and interesting ways to cover it. After all, we don’t do much for post-show coverage here on the website (we want you to go to shows, not find out how they were), and most of the acts booked for the festival need little-to-no introduction from us. What we came up is this: Phoning It In At The 80/35 Music Festival. We decided we’d carry on a group message conversation among our writers during the festival as well as the days leading up to it, and post it here for an honest-to-goodness first-hand account of the real 80/35 experience! Okay, so mostly it’s just jokes and cat pictures, but that’s pretty much all we do here at dsmshows, so what did you expect? Enjoy(?)! July 3 1:38 PM   Nick: 80/35 is less than a week away. Let this begin Casey: It’s probably too late to score press passes right? Trey: I applied for us but haven’t heard back. I’ll send another email. C: There you go pulling your weight again. Bruce: I don’t see a lot of money here. T: Especially when we all keep phoning it in. We need more writers so WE can do less. C: (wad of cash emoticon) T: More writers and more sponsored pizza. T: Gusto… T: Just sayin’ Casey, with you working there, it’s an obvious connec. C: I feel like every single group discussion we have ends with “so yeah, let us know when you find those interns, Trey.” C: #makeDSMshowsInternsAgain N: Oh, that’s good. B: Is...
What are we going to do about all these fucking manic pixie dream girl bands?

What are we going to do about all these fucking manic pixie dream girl bands?

You guys, tho: A few days ago, intrepid Des Moines music columnist Chad Taylor boldly and bravely put the Des Moines Music Coalition on blast for (what else?) their booking strategies w/r/t their three major festivals. He made a number of good points and put forward a broad set of constructive suggestions for ways to tweak and improve the way that the DMMC runs their events. The key take-away for me though was his call to action regarding the city’s over-saturation of manic pixie dream girl bands. At first I was skeptical about this, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how dire this situation is. If we are really honest with ourselves, we have to admit that, over the past few years we’ve really glutted ourselves on these manic pixie dream girl bands. It started rather harmlessly as they were but a small portion of a more balanced musical diet, but those days of balance have long since passed. Now-a-days, I can hardly turn my head without bumping into half a dozen new manic pixie dream girl bands, I think. Let’s back up for a second, because, while I’m sure the venerated Mr. Taylor is correct when he labels this manic pixie dream girl band infestation as one of many key problems facing our music community, I think it would be helpful for some of our less informed readers to define some identifying characteristics of manic pixie dream girl bands so that we can remain vigilant and resist their influence. Unfortunately, Mr. Taylor declined to cite any examples at all of manic pixie dream...
The Gross Domestic Product Music Festival

The Gross Domestic Product Music Festival

Gross Domestic Product is Des Moines’ all local music festival. This year marks the 11th anniversary of GDP, and to look back at the past ten years of lineups is like looking through a photo album of the year in Iowa music. The festival’s continued success is due to the Des Moines Music Coalition’s ability to curate a lineup of local artists from a wide scope of genres and present those acts in conjunction with one another to paint a larger picture of the diversity of music our fair city has to offer. This year, we here at DSM Shows were asked to write up the band previews for every artist on the GDP 2016 lineup. We, of course, accepted. Over the next two weeks leading up to the festival, the Des Moines Music Coalition and our humble crüe of jotters here at DSM Shows will be releasing the write-ups for your previewing pleasure. Our hope is that releasing these bios one-by-one will build an enormous amount of hype for Gross Domestic Product, so much so that in years to come, the engaged music audience of Des Moines will celebrate not only GDP itself, but the two weeks leading up to it as well in a manner consistent with what many have come to expect from a Naw’Leans Mardi Gras. Our expectation is that every one of you reading this right now will attend GDP, support this grand opportunity for local musicians, and celebrate our lovely little music culture here in the City of Two Rivers. Or else… *** DJ Eight Ten By Trey Reis There’s a real art to DJing....
Best of 2015: Trey’s List

Best of 2015: Trey’s List

Considering the sheer amount of Iowa music that was available for us to cover this year and the tendency for blogs and netzines like ours to make lists at this time of the year, we decided we’d play our part. We’ve put together lists of our favorite musical events of 2015, including live shows, specific releases, or really any kind of music-related experience of any kind. Zeitgeist Music Festival at DMSC Racquetball Court (October 24) These noise festivals live in the shadows. Like the system of wires connecting the criminal underworld in Fritz Lang’s pioneering pre-film noir masterpiece, Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler, cords ran from the outlets like waterfalls and poured in piles from crowded desks. They lined the walls, weblike in their tangles. What they captured in their coils was something musically prehistoric. Anti-rhythms. Proof of ghosts in the machines. The festival, which took place in the Des Moines Social Club Racquetball Court, collects some of the notable regional experimental music artists for an all-day fest once a year, and was arguably better than ever. The festival is now in its fifth year. Show Preview DJ DJ TANNER Mixtape My pal, Nick, has single-handedly picked through the vinyl selection of every thrift store in Central Iowa, finding pop garbage and repurposing it for his sample-based DJ DJ TANNER project. The guy was nice enough to make me a tape of some of his choice 45s slowed down from their sugar-coated 60’s production to a more bellowing 33 RPM. With the pitch change at that speed, the vocals became androgynous and genderless. The teen angst and frontier blues of...