sound check

December 30, 2010
By Michael Swanger

Junk Poet


515 Management

Whoever doesn’t think that hard rockers get better with age hasn’t heard Junk Poet’s triumphant return album, “Live.” Formed in 1994 by brothers Jay (guitar) and Rich (drums) Lyon, Joel Grau (bass) and Jon “FU” Fullerton (vocals), Junk Poet issued two Grunge albums in 1994 and 1996 (Slipknot opened for them in 1996) before various members exited and the band folded in 1998. Ten years later, the group’s members reunited to record this hard-hitting live album that finds them at the top of their game, if not better than 15 years ago. Just listen to the hard-hitting, throaty versions of “Creepy,” “Goop,” “Low” and the newest tune, “Two Steps,” to understand why Junk Poet’s return should serve notice to the local metal scene. Here’s hoping this is the beginning of a productive second act. CV

(Junk Poet performs Saturday, Jan. 1 at 9 p.m. at the House of Bricks. $10.)


Bob Pace

“Live at Blues on Grand”

Independent release

No one, perhaps, consistently played Blues on Grand during its 11 years more than Des Moines’ own Bob Pace. For years, the veteran singer-guitarist and his band (Neil Stoffregen, Chandler Bowerman, Steve Charlson) held court there every Tuesday, playing contemporary blues fueled by rock, soul and jazz. “Live at Blues on Grand” not only is an entertaining documentation of those performances, but a tribute to a club that Pace dearly loved. That much is clear in the enthusiastic performances of original songs like “Brothers,” “Howl at the Moon,” featuring Iowa Blues Hall of Fame singer Steve George, and the spiritual ballad “Gospel Blues.” A bonus studio track, “Mother Blues,” upon which Pace moans for the loss of his “second home,” caps off this touching tribute to Pace’s longtime affiliation with BOG. CV

(Bob Pace plays Friday, Dec. 31 at the Top of the Tower Ballroom at the Holiday Inn at 9 p.m. $50.)

Round Kick Gym

Best of Des Moines 2011

Fall Relish

Coupon Guide