Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Posted July 01, 2015in Sound Check

Meg Baird “Don’t Weigh Down the Light” Drag City The element that is responsible for perhaps the biggest influence on Meg Baird’s newest solo effort does not come in the form of an instrument or a producer. Rather, it is a city. After her last album, Baird moved from her

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Posted June 24, 2015in Sound Check

The Lonesome Trio Self-titled Sugar Hill Records Consisting of “The Office” and “Daily Show” alum Ed Helms and Oberlin College mates Ian Riggs and Jacob Tilove, The Lonesome Trio has a bit of the “entertainer’s stigma” to overcome. Plenty of actors have dabbled in music, with varying degrees of success,

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Posted June 17, 2015in Sound Check

Muse “Drones” Warner Bros. After the grandiose cacophony of 2012’s “The 2nd Law,” Muse decided to take its next album back to the basics. So, of course, “Drones” is a fully orchestrated concept album with more than a hit of Queen on the aftertaste. As musicians, Muse is fantastic. This

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Posted June 10, 2015in Sound Check

Florence + The Machine “How Big How Blue How Beautiful” Island Florence Welch has made a point to let everyone know how stripped-down her newest album is. It is curious, then, that the first single from the album would be “What Kind of Man,” featuring a 36-piece orchestra backing Welch’s

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Posted June 03, 2015in Sound Check

Joe & Vicki Price “Night Owls” Independent Joe and Vicki Price are genuine, bona fide Iowa legends. Anyone looking to verse themselves on the essentials of Iowa blues should start with the Prices — and with good reason. “Night Owls,” the couple’s latest release, features some songs that fans of

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Posted May 27, 2015in Sound Check

Superchief “Trophy Room” Magnetic Eye If you are a fan of good, old-fashioned, hard-driving rock music, and you are not already a fan of Superchief, you need to come to Jesus. The Des Moines five-piece has been churning out quality music for a good while now, but in “Trophy Room,”

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Posted May 20, 2015in Sound Check

Superchief “Trophy Room” Magnetic Eye If you are a fan of good, old-fashioned, hard-driving rock music, and you are not already a fan of Superchief, you need to come to Jesus. The Des Moines five-piece has been churning out quality music for a good while now, but in “Trophy Room,”

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Posted May 13, 2015in Sound Check

Mumford & Sons “Wilder Mind” Gentlemen of the Road/Island Two words drew me to the new Mumford & Sons offering: “no banjo.” For all but the most ardent folk fans, the frantic banjo and double bass attack of 2012′s “Babel” came on a little strong. Even the band’s biggest fans

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Posted May 06, 2015in Sound Check

Matt Woods “Sawdust and Gasoline” Independent It seems like it has been ages since Matt Woods said goodbye to his longtime compatriots, The Thunderbolts. In point of fact, it has been right about two years, and, in that time, Woods has popped up here and there with other musicians but

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Posted April 29, 2015in Sound Check

Prettygirlhatemachine “Real is a Joke” Independent Do not let anybody tell you that there is not good hip hop coming out of Des Moines. Now, as it turns out, some of the very best of it came out this past week, courtesy of Prettygirlhatemachine. “Real is a Joke” is funky,

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