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…

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DSMShows Presents Dylan Boyle, Night Stories, UWEFTBH, Osario at Chapman House, Oct. 7

Summer is overrated. I don’t like the sun, I’m not into the daytime, and I prefer to wear sweatshirts. And that’s not to mention the season’s climate extremes which continue to rain destruction across our state on a more and more frequent basis.

Therefore, I welcome October in Iowa. With it comes all those wonderful gradients of warm colors dancing and falling in the leaves on the trees. All the good foods are finally harvested and ready to enjoy. And people finally stop all of their summer procrastination and get back into their routine, whatever it may be.

For us, it means throwing killer house shows! And October being the month it is, we decided to go a little dark and a little spooky with this one. The bill is comprised of all experimental-leaning electronic acts — a genre appearing more frequently from the dark corners of our burgeoning lil’ music scene here.

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Liz de Lise at The Basement, Sept. 21

Liz de Lise recently put out a self-titled album that is pretty damn compelling, and as much as I think you for sure should go listen to it (and in particular “Meat From Bone” and “Clouds Up Ahead”), I really think the thing to do to make sure you get your ass at this concert is watch their video for The Key, a Philadelphia musical publication.

Watching them perform “Baby” as part of The Key’s Studio Sessions video series, even on my tiny little glowing screen, was a thrilling experience from start to finish. From the very first chord you are reminded of how precarious and delicate the process of performing live music can be.

The recklessness with which these two musicians pursue their vision serves as a constant reminder that, at any moment, this whole thing could just fall apart. It almost seems like they’re piloting their song as close to that edge as possible just for the rush.

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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 the 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.

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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.

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Mumford’s, The Maytags, Twins, Wheelers at Maximum Ames Music Festival, Sept. 18

When a local group of people create an entity with the purpose of changing their community, you can always tell they’ve succeeded when the entity becomes the focus of scrutiny by said community.

From the festival’s start in 2011 until now you can see its growth. Some years, the lineups have really impressed and some years have been a little less desirable. That is the cycle of a music festival. It’s all a juggle of who’s available and within your budget.

I was living in Ames when I first heard that my friends, Nate Logsdon and Chris Ling, were going to start the Maximum Ames Music Festival. Both Nate and Chris play in the well-known Ames band, Mumford’s.

It was a powerful time for the Ames music scene and the festival really raised the bar from year one. The idea that your friends and creative contemporaries could have a wild idea of putting on a music festival of that scale and then see them put it into action and have it succeed is amazing and empowering.

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DTCV at Vaudeville Mews, Sept. 3

DTCV is a band I mostly know about because of their recent music video for their song, “Historie Seule”, which was made by Steven Soderbergh. The video, inspired by Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du Cinema is itself a strange study.

The history presented by both Detective and Soderbergh is complex and challenging, but is just about that: history. Both approaches are difficult to understand. The lyrics because they are in French and the video because there are not many obvious links from the subject matter to the visuals.

Both parties — DTCV and Soderbergh — make you work for it. There are layers to the music of DTCV that are not at first understood, but being confused is underrated. Being confused reminds us how little we actually know. Being confused forces us to pause.

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IPR Studio One Presents Liz Moen at The Basement, Sept. 1

In a review for Little Village Magazine, Kent Williams writes that Elizabeth Moen’s debut album “seems to have come — as the best things sometimes do — out of nowhere.” I can’t think of a better way to describe how Moen’s undeniable talent just sort of sneaks up on you and totally blows you away.

I can just imagine having seen her playing in some Iowa City coffee shop a few years ago and leaving broken and obsessed, telling all of my friends how urgently they *need* to find an opportunity to see her perform, having to be told I need to stop talking about how urgently they *need* to find an opportunity to see her perform.

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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.

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DSM Shows Presents: Channel Pressure, Haunted Gauntlet, Kid Froopy & Tires at Vaudeville Mews, Aug. 26

After going to a few concerts by the same band/s, you might start seeing a few of the same people at each show (let’s be honest, Des Moines is not that big).

After a few bump-ins or awkward waves, you can kind of start to form a conception of what you think someone’s personality might be like. Over time you might get to know the person; musician or attendee, as individuals and start to see their true characteristics, not the preconceived notions you had before getting to know them.

I’ve had the pleasure of playing lots of shows with bands and individuals that I eventually get to know and over time some have become very good friends. That is the coolest part of the community to me, when you hit that legit friend status. You no longer have to be AT a show to hang out. That’s when I see our music scene as more than just a really lame popularity contest.

This Friday is not a popularity contest. This Friday is a group of friends playing music together with the sole-purpose of having fun. It will be a safe-zone from bull-shit, preconceptions, and arrogance. All are welcome (21 and up obvi).

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Upcoming Events

Jul
23
Sun
7:00 pm Sunday Night Blues Showcase @ The Gaslamp
Sunday Night Blues Showcase @ The Gaslamp
Jul 23 @ 7:00 pm
Sunday Night Blues Showcase @ The Gaslamp
Event Name : Sunday Night Blues Showcase Staring The Bad Boys of The Blues (EVERY SUNDAY). Start Date : 2016-04-03 Start Time : 7pm Event Details : 7pm to 11pm FREE EvenT Content : Sunday[...]
7:30 pm Open Mic @ Iowa Music Store
Open Mic @ Iowa Music Store
Jul 23 @ 7:30 pm
Come and play your songs, read your poetry and share your art. Sign up on the day of open mic.