"Kinky does not wish to discuss politics."
In prepping for my phone conversation with legendary songwriter and humorist Kinky Friedman, his manager makes the parameters of the phone call clear: no politics. So naturally, exactly four minutes and 28 seconds into the call, Kinky starts talking about politics.Read More
In case you missed it, The Des Moines Music Coalition made their initial lineup announcement for 80/35 this week, including headliners The Shins and MGMT. But, of course, you didn't miss it. Because as a simple perusal of the social media format of your choice will show, there are always two phases to every 80/35 lineup announcement: the statement itself, followed immediately by the moaning from people who can't wait to tell you how much the lineup always sucks, but how this year's is the Worst Ever.Read More
A friend recently posed a question on their Facebook page: what is your favorite rock band in Des Moines? The answers received were a crushingly disappointing mixture of defunct acts, cover bands (oh so many cover bands) and, of course, Slipknot.
On the other side of that coin, there are a small number of bands in town who somehow always manage to be recipients of an amount of praise and admiration that is inordinate compared to their output and, frankly, talent level. Both of these situations vex me, and for exactly the same reason.Read More
Much like Patresa Hartman and the Other Brothers before them, the poor Monday Mourners were completely blindsided by this song choice. "Gold Digger" was completely out of the country act's wheelhouse; none of the members were even familiar with the song.Read More
Des Moines has always been a pretty metal-loving town. Our biggest export helped define the genre in the 90s, and the east siders make sure that metal shows always draw well in town, be they touring acts or locals. So it seemed obvious to have that facet of the scene represented. The question was: who to pick?Read More
Most of the bands that participated in the first installment of Completely Covered really disliked the Kanye West source material, but still managed to come away pretty pleased with their finished results. One exception to that, however, was Cover Grrls.Read More
Even before we managed to get Nova Labs on board to help with the recording of each "Completely Covered" track, I knew I wanted to have Bryon Dudley's band, Strong Like Bear involved. Partly because there wasn't anyone else doing what SLB was doing, on the level they were doing it, but also because I figured if anyone was going to take the idea and run off into some uncharted territory with it, it was going to be Dudley and his crew.Read More
For day three of our "Completely Covered" retrospective, we turn to the only solo act to complete the project, Patresa Hartman. Once a song had been decided on, Patresa was quickly the first person I pictured in my mind. Patresa's intimate, personal songwriting style was so incongruous with Kanye's flash and bluster, that I knew the results had the potential to be some of the most interesting of the entire project.
Patresa, of course, hated every minute of it.Read More
The idea in and of itself wasn't a new one. As soon as the first song was ever written, the first cover song probably followed closely behind. More recently, publications and websites have been pulling bands together for cover song series for years, with The Onion A.V. Club's "A.V. Undercover" probably being the best known current example.Read More
So, as you probably know by now, I have stepped down as Cityview's regular music writer, with the August 11 edition being my last in that capacity. Most of my music writing (such as it will continue to be) will move over to this site, but Cityview was in the position of needing a new scribe to cover the local and national scenes for them. The search did not take them long, nor did they have to stray too far from the established communityRead More
Almost exactly a year ago, Grace Potter made the biggest decision of her career to date and set aside her band, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, to release a solo album called “Midnight.” Not only did the album put Potter out on a creative island, but it also marked an extreme musical departure from what fans of The Nocturnals had come to love.Read More
I did not know Jimi Scribner, not in any meaningful way at least. Sure, I knew him; I'd seen him working sound at House of Bricks, or making food in that same venue's kitchen. I'd talked to him a few times over a beer at Lefty's or seen him at a live show here and there. And every time our paths crossed, he always called me by name, shook my hand, and had a smile ready. He was like that with everyone, so far as I knew.Read More
Scotland-born KT Tunstall had her two most recognizable hits right out of the gate with the singles “Suddenly I See” and “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” from her 2004 debut album, “Eye to the Telescope.” And while those hits have become the signature songs in her catalog, perhaps the most important work she has done would come eight years later with the release of 2013’s “Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon.”Read More
Despite what a few of its more persecution complex-laden members will try and tell you, I'm actually a huge fan of the Des Moines Music Coalition. The DMMC has transformed Des Moines in the summer, with 80/35 becoming a genuine premiere event in the state and, with the Gross Domestic Product and Little BIG Fest events in the spring and fall (to say nothing of the 80/35 free stages), the DMMC has created some of the biggest local music showcases in the city as well. However, a big part of loving something is being honest about it. Being able to see where the flaws are is an integral part of growing and improving over time. So when I have been willing in the past to say "this could be different," it has come from a place of genuine interest, rather than malice. Because, again, big fan.Read More
It can be easy to forget how great the Beach Boys were. People remember the fun-loving surfer sound, and they remember the album “Pet Sounds.” But when discussing the greatest bands of all time, it is the rare person who will toss the Beach Boys name in alongside acts like The Who and the Rolling Stones. Not because they do not belong on the list (they do), but because something about their legacy has not seemed to endure in the same way as the other great bands have.Read More