By Michael Swanger


The Steady Rolling’ Blues Band from the Quad Cities won the Iowa Blues Challenge held last Saturday at the Downtown Marriott and will represent Iowa at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis next year.


Mars Cafe is updating its Web site and will soon resume listing its concert lineup. Mars Cafe will host another installment of Scented Vinyl on June 7 featuring Crystal City.


The Deftones play People’s Court on Thursday, May 27 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 through Midwestix.


The Belin String Quartet returns to downtown Des Moines for its series of summer concerts beginning Friday, May 28 at 12:15 p.m. at Nollen Plaza. The quartet’s weekly shows concludes Aug. 6. Visit for details.

Former Muddy Waters guitarist John Primer performs Friday, May 28 at 9:30 p.m. at Blues on Grand. Admission is $10.


Tropicale kicks off the free Music on the Plaza concert series in Altoona with a performance on Friday, May 28, from 5 to 8 p.m.


Sleeping in Gethsemane, a technical post-rock band from Fargo, plays Saturday, May 29 at 10 p.m. Taciturn, I Blame the Sea and Auternus open. Admission is $5.

Robert Rich performs Saturday, May 29 at 8 p.m. at Java Joe’s adjoining theater space. Tickets are two for $10.


Yo La Tengo and Dawes will play 80/35 on July 3, 4, respectively.

Smokin’ in the Junction, a barbecue contest sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, has expanded to two days this weekend in Valley Junction. In addition to barbecue and kids activities, Smokin’ in the Junction — part of West Des Moines’ A-May-Zing Days monthlong celebration — includes free live music. On Saturday, May 29, The El Dorados (3:30-6:30 p.m.) and Brother Trucker (7-10 p.m.) perform. On Sunday, May 30, performers include Mickel Williams (noon-2 p.m.), Comfort Zone (2-4 p.m.) and Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts (5-9 p.m.). Visit


In Fear and Faith, The Bled, Of Mice and Men and The Color Morale play an all-ages show at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 30 at the House of Bricks. Tickets are $12 through Midwestix.


Fight Fair, Kill Paradise and Romance on a Rocketship play an all-ages show at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 30 at the Vaudeville Mews. Admission is $10.

Bluegrass Tuesdays resumes Tuesday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Warren County Courthouse lawn in Indianola with free performances by Michael Cleveland and the Famekeeper and Southern Reign.


The Blank Park Zoo Brew summer concert series resumes Wednesday, June 2 with a performance by Dueling Guitars at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free with paid admission to the zoo. Visit


Two shows coming to People’e Court: One Eskimo ($15) on June 20 and Fear Factory, 36 Crazyfists, After the Burial and Divine Heresy ($17) on July 19. Tickets are available through Midwestix.


Straight No Chaser, a 10-man a cappella group, plays Hoyt Sherman Theater on Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, $34.50, are on sale through Ticketmaster and the theater’s box office. CV

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