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Posted September 18, 2013in Sound Stage


The inaugural Bushwak Music Festival took place this past Saturday and Sunday in the barely charted wilds of St. Charles, just south of Des Moines. A hundred or so music enthusiasts made the trek southward with tents and sleeping bags and set up shop on the grounds of the town’s

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Posted September 11, 2013in Sound Stage

Polar opposites

Gas Lamp was home this past Friday to two of the scene’s strongest female personalities who teamed up for a show that had its share of bright spots, even in the face of some obvious hiccups. Hiccup one: Opening act Kira Barker, performing what can only be described as karaoke

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Posted September 04, 2013in Sound Stage

Playing for no one

Mid-week music is a tough sell in this town. I don’t understand why, because people still go to late movies and to bars and to baseball games, but stick a live band in a place, and suddenly everyone decides they have to get up early. That’s a shame, because there

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Posted August 28, 2013in Sound Stage

A tale of two shows

This past Saturday, downtown Des Moines was witness to two big shows at different ends of the downtown corridor, and attending both was an exercise in contrasts, to be sure. Starting down on Fourth and Court, Vaudeville Mews was home to “Shoot the Chutes,” an event that struck many in

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Posted August 21, 2013in Sound Stage

Downhill from the start

To the heart of things: Last week at Gas Lamp, Rumble Seat Riot — Des Moines’ own three-piece purveyors of Rockabilly — wound up opening for a couple of New Mexico acts that found themselves so thoroughly outstripped in both talent and presentation it was laughable. For those unfamiliar with

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Posted August 14, 2013in Sound Stage

Young acts leave rockin’ first-impressions

Vaudeville Mews played host to three young acts this past Sunday. Originally part of a larger event with seven bands slated to perform, various difficulties cut the lineup down to just three for the afternoon, but that didn’t stop the groups that performed — Deaf Kids at Play, Pinewood Overcoat

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Posted August 07, 2013in Sound Stage

Weirdly entertained

There’s something about Weird Al Yankovic’s work that’s always struck me as kind of manic. Maybe it’s because most of us became acquainted with his work when we were kids and all hopped up on sugar at some birthday party, but when that accordion starts to play, it gets hard

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Posted July 31, 2013in Sound Stage

Single Ladies and Walking Sluts

Gathering together for the third time in Des Moines, a group of forward-thinking ladies and gentlemen (but mostly ladies) marched downtown to the State Capitol as a part of the annual Slutwalk Des Moines this past Sunday. Helping raise awareness about victim shaming and hoping to drive home the idea

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Posted July 24, 2013in Sound Stage

Jazz in Johnston

Jazz in July is one of those classic rites of summer. Highlighting communities and artists around central Iowa all month long, and doing so in beautiful public spaces, with shows that are free and family friendly, there are not many better ways to spend a summer evening. This past week’s

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Posted July 17, 2013in Sound Stage

Girls rock

Fresh off the start of the inaugural Girls Rock! Des Moines band camp, Wooly’s played host to music this past week featuring the camp organizer Rae Fehring as well as a couple of the camp’s extremely talented volunteers. Starting off the evening was singer/songwriter Patresa Hartman. I’ve had the good

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