Multi-Track Minds With Madison Ray

Madison Ray has worn a lot of hats: Actor. Singer. Front man. Booker. Writer. Now, five years after the release of his last album with a band behind him, Madison is turning his most ambitious page yet, as he readies himself to release his first truly solo full length album, coinciding with the launch of a new, minimalist fashion clothing line called Andro.

Everything comes to a head on Friday, Nov 10 at the Stoner Theater, but in the lead up to that event, we sat down with Madison Ray at his home and listened to the upcoming album in its entirety, chatting about his music and life along the way.

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I Honestly Don't Know What You Expect From 80/35 at This Point

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.

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Grace Potter's Unknown Territory

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.

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Beach Boys' Mike Love Talks Brian Wilson, Lawsuits, and if He's Really the Biggest Asshole in Rock

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.

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Towncrier: Getting the Band Back Together

Back when the 21st century was shiny and new, five guys got together in Des Moines and created a band called Towncrier. Consisting of drummer Will Locker, vocalist Jerry Lorenson, guitarists Ryan Plotz and Lucas Welchans and bassist Cory Talbot, Towncrier was responsible for some of the tightest material, most well-rounded material to come out of the city's early 2000's music scene. And then it stopped.

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Naughty By Nature Still Leads By Example

In the vast, sprawling world of hip hop, there is little doubt that Naughty By Nature has been playing the game longer than most. As the group gets ready to embark upon a 25th anniversary tour this year, to be accompanied by a new EP and documentary film, members Treach, Vin Rock and DJ Kay Gee find themselves able to look back at all they have accomplished together, while also finally finding themselves back in a place where looking forward does not seem like such a silly idea.

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Living the Dream With Aquamarine Dream Machine

Aquamarine Dream Machine, the Des Moines-based prog rock four piece, is comprised of Daniel Wipf (guitars vocals), bassist Justin Kurtz, keyboardist Joseph Antelman and drummer Justin Bristow. The act's influences and individual ability creates a sound that is one of the more free-flowing yet intricate sounds in town.

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Carson McHone: "Texas is my Hometown"

Carson McHone has a sound that has been shaped not only by the city of Austin, but by the musical traditions of the entire Lone Star State.

“I've been writing since I can remember,” she said in a phone interview. “(My writing) is influenced by the music that I grew up with, and the acts that I got to see here in Austin.”

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Lavonne McRoberts Has the Power

For the past several years, Lavonne McRoberts has been the songwriter and frontwoman for Peace Love & Stuff, a four-piece rockabilly outfit that put on one of the highest energy shows in town. But when you have got four people as talented as Peace Love & Stuff's lineup working together, it can be a difficult beast to hold together.

“We'd all been together for 3 to 5 years,” McRoberts said of the band. “It was just time to grow differently as musicians for all of us.”

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Guster: Battling Entropy

There is a special kind of alchemy that is required in order for a band to make it as a self-sustaining entity. They need to be talented, this much is most usually true. But they also have to be smart enough to be able to tackle the business side of things, and driven enough to keep grinding out the long days on the road and the even longer days off. And, yes, there is a certain element of luck, always lurking in the background. These things always come in unequal measure; sometimes a band that is short on talent will be long on luck, and the results will be the same. One thing is universal, however: there is never time to rest on ones laurels.

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