i want to live forever: A Review of Glitter Density’s “Make Ya Mother Proud”

i want to live forever: A Review of Glitter Density’s “Make Ya Mother Proud”

Almost a century ago a woman named Edith Wharton became the first person to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction when she published The Age of Innocence, a tragic love story set in New York City during the 1870’s about a doomed romance between a man with a bright future and a woman with a questionable past. Towards the end of the novel the protagonist, Archer Newland, is talking to himself about his son’s generation and recalling his own difficult decision to choose duty over love, and says: “The difference is that these young people take it for granted that they’re going to get whatever they want, and that we almost always took it for granted that we shouldn’t. Only, I wonder— the thing one’s so certain of in advance: can it ever make one’s heart beat as wildly.” The generation of young people right now taking their first tentative steps into the real world is the first generation in a long time that must exert a tremendous amount of effort to accomplish any kind of life that is either comfortable or fulfilling, to say nothing of both at the same time, and this burden seemingly has freed them to more seriously consider how best to apply that effort, forced them to consider what kind of life might actually be worth that effort. The kind of permanence and normalcy that one could eke out of a life as a bored housewife or a unionized factory cog isn’t all that easy to find in today’s fast food kitchens and ride-share apps. The economic security that accompanied a white picket fence...
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...
Willliam Locker and Nella Thomas “1871” Music Video

Willliam Locker and Nella Thomas “1871” Music Video

It’s funny how nationalism and the Western genre have become intermingled. I blame John Wayne. After all, most of the best characters in the classic Westerns are outlaws, taking our American notions of justice and liberty into their own hands, following a civil war which had divided the the United States’ national identity down the middle. Sure, at some point we started rooting for the sheriffs and their deputies, but in this day-and-age, I think those times have passed. We’re once again rooting for the outlaw. Take the 2016 contemporary western, Hell or High Water, for example. The protagonists are two brothers, who’ve been forced to rob banks in order to secure a future for their families. The police officers charged with stopping them aren’t even presented as the antagonists, but rather the film points the moral finger at the banks which have been “legally” robbing people for years. That’s kind of the cultural shift we’re seeing right now. It’s a time of re-examining the laws that put civil rights and environmental activists under arrest, while “rulemakers” like police, banks, and big business continue to mold those laws to whatever form best fits their interests. Considering the state of things in this country, the figure of the outlaw probably holds more relevance today than it did when westerns first began to glow from the silver screen. So, it’s good to see some love for the ol’ western from some of our own here in Des Moines. The video for William Locker and Nella Thomas‘ “1871” (from Stefan Egeberg Hansen) does it right, starting with a death, and ending with a shootout, all while weaving a fiery tale...
Tony Bonton and the Mimzees “Sheltallica”

Tony Bonton and the Mimzees “Sheltallica”

Song cycles were once a prominent form of presenting music. A song cycle (or “Liederyklus” in German) is a group of songs with some type of coherence bringing them together. For Tony Bonton and The Mimzees‘ “Sheltallica” it is the words of Shel Silverstein. Those words have long resonated with Tommy Boynton, who composed 9 out of 10 songs in the cycle. Boynton’s musical prowess is evident and expanded upon by an incredible performance from Brendan O’Donnell on viola, but it isn’t really the music that strikes me as much as how they play it. I’ve never seen Tommy more at home than when he plays these songs. They are a part of him, and with a master like Brendan next to him, the confidence of the duo soars. The two weave their way through the mystical yet natural world of Silverstein, playfully changing pace and mood throughout the cycle, but always moving forward through the ebbs and flows. And that’s it. The playfulness. The youthfulness. The lack of a filter. That is what is important.  The ability to play is often forgotten once adulthood visits us, but Boynton and O’Donnell haven’t lost it.  This video, these songs, they are two people doing what they love to do most, while expressing their condition and the condition of others through the words of a true master. But even childhood is not without hard lessons. Silverstein’s words have never been empty, they are rich and full of knowledge and of heartache. Songs like “The Little Boy and The Old Man” are the perfect example of the cycles of life. We start much...
Danny Brown at Wooly’s, Sept. 27

Danny Brown at Wooly’s, Sept. 27

We here at DSM Shows are enthusiastic about local music. Our number one goal is to get people out to see what the musicians in our town have to offer. I mean, that’s why we all quit our jobs and now squat in an abandoned building next to a Starbucks (free wi-fi, free dumpster pastries). Seriously, we live for this shit. Well, with that said, the local scene can be damned because tomorrow Danny Brown will be in town. Known for his idiosyncratic vocal delivery, deep musical knowledge, and eclectic style, the Detroit MC is hands down one of the most important figures in rap music today. His wit, ear for atypical beats, and overall dopeness set him above the majority of his peers. And I haven’t even mentioned his live shows… In support of the highly anticipated Atrocity Exhibition, Danny Brown will be performing at Wooly’s with supporting acts Maxo Kream and ZelooperZ. Grab your tickets here, and preview the excellent “Really Doe” off of Atrocity Exhibition below: September 27 8 PM Wooly’s All Ages $25 Danny Brown Maxo Kream ZelooperZ More information available from the Wooly’s...