An Open Letter to the Des Moines Music Scene

Hey there. How have you been? It's been a while. You look good.

You might have noticed that I kind of dropped off the face of the Earth there for a little bit. It was something I had to do, for my own sanity as much as anything else. There was a pretty dark patch back there, and I needed to step away from just about everything and get my own head straight. Some of you probably didn't miss me all that much.

But I'm not here to talk about the lily-livered mashuganas whose depths of narcissistic self-fellatio is only rivaled by the thinness of their skins. I'm here to talk about the Des Moines scene as a whole. The jazz men and metal heads; the DJs and the MCs; the indie rockers and the blues thumpers: This whole, weird, wonderful pile of sound and fury that the city puts out in dozens of ways, in dozens of places, every night.

You may not have missed me, but I missed you. And now I'm back.

I'm gonna be completely honest, I don't know what exactly that means just yet. But I do know that this site is going to wake up again. I've got plans to do some things that I've always wanted to see happen in this town, and talk about some things that I think should be better known. We're going to explore some subjects that nobody else seems to have the time or inclination or balls to get into, and we're going to do some pretty fun shit together.

That last bit is the most important takeaway here. The last thing Des Moines needs is another publication or website telling you what's happening this week, or how good the newest MAIDS album is. There are already plenty of those. I'm going to look at things in a little different way--often in long-form--and It's all going to directly involve the musicians who make this town hop and move as often as I possibly can. I don't want to sit here and tell you the Why of things, I want to show you the How.

It's going to be a process. There are still going to be weeks when the site is relatively dark, because it's just me, and I've got shit to do, yo. But after taking four months away from almost everything to work, get some monkeys off my back and make sure I'm where I need to be, there are things I want to talk about again.

In the meantime, I'd encourage you to take a look through the stuff that's already here. At the risk of breaking my neck over my own dick, I'll say that there's some pretty good work on the table already. Go look at the trek that I made last spring, following Sara Routh and Rae Davis for 6,000 miles in a Prius. Or check out the first long-form effort on the site, my profile on Bradford Johnson's difficult road back to a healthy life. 

You're a beautiful, crazy mess of a scene. But if a person can manage to look past all the politics and petty squabbles and tempests hiding in everyone's teacup, there's some really awesome stuff happening. Stuff worth talking about and arguing over and championing. Stuff worth celebrating. Here's hoping a few of you come celebrate with me.

It was a long walk in the wilderness, Des Moines. But it feels good to be home.

-Chad