By Michael Swanger


Local folk-pop-soul, singer-songwriter Dustin Smith will celebrate the release of his new album, “Burgess,” by performing an all-ages CD release concert on Friday, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. Menlo opens the show. Admission is $7.

Dick Prall’s “Holiday Ball” will be held Friday, Dec. 11 at People’s Court at 8 p.m. Proceeds from the event benefit Children and Families of Iowa. Bright Star will also perform. Tickets are $10 in advance through IowaTix and $15 at the door.

KTop, the Ames rock band formerly known as Kountertop, performs Saturday, Dec. 12 at People’s Court.

Marshall Hanbury Jr. of the Chicago-based folk group Pinstripe 45’s will perform solo on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. at Mars Café. The singer-multi-instrumentalist will play songs from the band’s new album, “Through the Darkened Window.”

The Des Moines Choral Society will host its annual Christmas concert on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 3700 Cottage Grove Ave. Tickets are $20 for preferred seating and $15 for general admission. Admission is $7 for children. Call 273-5255.

For years, The Blenders have performed their a cappella holiday show in Des Moines. However, on Tuesday, Dec. 15, they will be accompanied by a band when they bring their “Holiday Soul Tour” to the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, $37, are on sale through the box office and Ticketmaster.

Ohio-based indie-rockers Red Wanting Blue plays two shows in Ames this week. They include Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 9 p.m. at Headliner’s, 2430 Lincoln Way, and Thursday, Dec. 17 at 9 p.m. at Mother’s Pub, 2900 West St.

The “Winter Jam Tour” featuring Fireflight, Newsboys, NewSong, Tenth Avenue North, Third Day and Tony Nolan, plays Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium on Jan. 24, 2010. Ticket info TBA.

Grammy Award winning R&B group The Black Eyed Peas bring its “The E.N.D. World Tour 2010” to Wells Fargo Arena on March 25. Ticket prices were not known as of press time, but will go on sale Friday, Dec. 12 through Dahlstickets.

Hoyt Sherman Place, managed by VenuWorks of Ames, and its executive director, Carol Pollock, were recently named runners up in the 2009 Hall of Headlines Award by the national live entertainment industry publication Venues Today. Pollock and her staff were nominated in the “Bookings” category for booking 37 concerts/shows in 2009, triple the number of events held at Hoyt in the past three years. The venue increased its audience size by 25 percent, utilizing 13 promoters and VenuWorks has reduced the operating deficit by $150,000 from its first full year of management in 2007.

Matt Eimer, founder of Simply the Blues Festival in Fort Madison, has announced that the festival’s six-year run is over. Known as the first blues festival of the summer season in the Midwest, the event hosted several Iowa and international blues groups, and was part of the prize package for winners of the Iowa Blues Challenge.

Are you tired of boring, predictable Christmas albums and songs? If you like indie-rock, you might visit There you can download about a dozen holiday tunes for free from XO Publicity artists like Blue Skies for Black Hearts, Caravan of Thieves, The Backsliders and The Winter Sounds. The compilation, “XO for the Holidays Vol. II,” is a follow-up to last year’s popular digital album that garnered more than 180,000 downloads. CV

Coupon Guide

Max Fights

Brewfest Footage

Click here for larger viewing

Coupon Guide

Coupon Guide
Fall Coupon Guide