Summer Arts & Entertainment


Live music is so much a part of everyday summer life around here that we often take it for granted. Don't believe me? When was the last time you went to a farmers' market, an art show, a neighborhood festival, a food or beer event, a biker rally, a winery or a fair and didn't hear a band? Not often, I'm guessing. It's the one art form that organizers insist on using to not only help draw a crowd, but to add some culture and flavor to their event.

With that said, however, if you don't support live music it will go away. The proof is in the absence of a few venues and longtime concert series that are missing from this summer's calendar. So be sure to support live music when you can. It's good for the soul and the community.


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Unbelievable: Bluder's contract and Deace's tweets


The story:

That "contract" is no contract at all, which none of the sports pages bothered to point out. And it's out-of-whack with reality or common sense, which none of the editorial pages bothered to point out. It pays her a minimum of nearly three times the entire revenue that women's basketball takes in at Iowa each year. It's the equivalent of paying Kirk Ferentz more than $50 million a year — which, of course, the university might do in the next go-round.

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Will the circle be unbroken?


While going down life's weary road
I'll try to lift some traveler's load
I'll try to turn the night to day
Make flowers bloom along the way
Those lyrics, from "A Beautiful Life" by the great Stanley Brothers, come to mind when listening to Jim Johnson talk about the late Steve and Maxine Mealey. Johnson, founder and operator of the free Bluegrass Tuesdays concert series held in Indianola every summer on the Warren County Courthouse lawn, credits the late couple for helping to preserve the series and wishes they were alive to see the fruits of their generosity. Steve Mealey died Feb. 9, a year or so after his wife passed away.

"I don't know if touring is in the blood, but I sure like it," said Nelson via telephone from his Maui home during a rare day off. "We've done 465 shows since January 2009, and we're supposed to do over 250 this year. I love being on the road and going different places every day."


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Humbling times for food snobs


Former Gourmet editor Barry Estabrook resurfaced this month in the Atlantic with "The Farmers Market Myth" debunking the perception that farmers' markets are expensive places where "only rich food snobs can afford to shop." Estabrook cited two studies, with one by Iowa State University's Leopold Center, showing that fresh produce is actually less expensive at farmers markets than at supermarkets in the same towns. His conclusion: "It's getting harder to be elitist these days." No kidding. Zagat, the "Burgundy Bible" of restaurant ratings, jeopardized their brand in recent years by including fast food chains. Food snobs such as I rarely venture to such places because industrial corporations don't allow much creativity, and independent restaurants do more for local economies. However, if Zagat dispatches its food snobs to review chains, I felt duty bound to check out their champions.


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Say somethin'!

Tell us what you think about local politics, music, restaurants, bars, entertainment or anything else going on in Des Moines.


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On the town

Cityview brings you updated
nightlife images, trivia and bar
specials from the metro area's
hottest spots.
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