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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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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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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Dustin Smith: Des Moines' Maytag Man

Just a few weeks over a year ago, Dustin Smith started a new project. After having performed solo, and founded Dustin Smith & The Sunday Silos with his best friend Paige Harpin, Smith was ready for the next step in his sound.

“The more I look back at The Sunday Silos and what I was trying to achieve there, I remember constantly feeling at live shows like it wasn't being well received,” he said. “I wanted people to have fun, and I wanted to go on the search for a rock band.”

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The Incredible Jim Viner

Absolutes are not very common. Reality doesn't often like to trade in them. However, if you were to walk into just about any music venue, practice room or recording studio around town and say “Jim Viner is the best drummer in Iowa,” you would find yourself on about as solid ground as it gets.

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Easy Fruit: Keeping it Fresh

Easy Fruit, a straight rock four piece, is one of the newer editions to the capital city's music landscape. Which is not to say that its component members lack experience with playing music in town. All four of them, Brad Turk, Thomas Oldham, Cory Wendel and Chris Marshall have all played for various bands around town for years. But Easy Fruit marks something different for all of them.

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Bob Pace's Crowd Pleasing Ways

Bob Pace is one of the great blues men in the city. He has been performing around town for years, and has a large and devoted following. For the past two years, one of his most popular gigs has been down at Gas Lamp on Friday evenings, at the venue's weekly “Work Release” event.

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Nothing Apathetic About the Future for Apathy Syndrome

Say what you will about Dead Horse Trauma's music—the band is a divisive one, artistically—there's no debate about how hard the band works at their stage show and the promotion of same. Now, for a look at what the hardest working act in Des Moines metal was like in their early days, all you have to do is peek your head into an Apathy Syndrome show.

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MINT: Staying Fresh

Mint has a problem of identity. It is not that they do not know who they are; they most certainly do. Rather, Mint's identity issue lies more in keeping themselves within the public consciousness.

“There's two modes for bands to be in,” explained drummer Christian Peters. “There's creating mode, and there's playing live mode, and we haven't really been in that playing mode for a while.”

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Chris Ford is Ready to Conquer

2015 is set to be a very big year for Chris Ford. As the front man of Christopher the Conquered, Ford has already proven himself to be the guy who ruins the bell curve on creativity in this city, but he's also never been one to rest on his laurels. To that end, Ford has created more opportunity for himself to perform and grow this year by streamlining his work as an Administrator with the Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC).

“I have a more defined role with (the DMMC), and have a lot more free time for my own projects,” Ford said. “Now, I finally consider myself a full-time musician.”

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Rally Round the Family

Cancer, I don't mind saying in plain language, is a son of a bitch. There is not a person on the planet who hasn't been touched by the blighted disease at some point or another in their lives, and none of us would wish it on our biggest enemies. So when Matt Nyberg's family was stricken, it wasn't a question of who would help, it was a question of how to accommodate everyone.

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The Ebb and Flow of Conrad Bascom

There's a duality to music. The art form carries with it an ebb and flow that can be felt as surely as the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe. It's a soothing, tranquil rhythm that Conrad Bascom appreciates.

“One of my most deep seeded desires for music and the art I create, is to maybe provide people with a sense of comfort,” he said in a phone interview. “Something (people) can relate to, that reflects their experiences. But, at the very least, I want them to be entertained.”

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Dustin Smith Moves Forward as a Solo Silo

Dustin Smith and his group, The Sunday Silos, are the minds and talent behind some of the city's best and most intimately soulful sounds. It's a tradition of talent that is being carried forward over the next few months, as Smith heads to Nashville to record the tracks for his next EP, and gears up for its release.

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As For You: Just Grinding it Out

As For You is kind of the blue collar end of Des Moines metal. Not as flashy or polished as Dead Horse Trauma (but then again, who is), nor as bombastic as, say, Green Death, As For You consists of five really talented guys—bassist Harpo Dunaway, drummer Brian Ickowitz, vocalist Josh Baumunk and guitarists Jeremiah Johnson and Harold Waits—who are just happy putting their heads down and grinding out some serious sounds.

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