Monday, August 31, 2015


Posted August 26, 2015in The Sound

Blood, Annie Lennox and crack: a conversation with GWAR

GWAR has been doing whatever it is they do for more than 30 years now. Known for a stage show that is full of blood, bodily fluids and plenty of fanboy sacrifice, the band of intergalactic misfits have developed a devoted following around the globe. Most costumed acts at least

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Posted August 19, 2015in The Sound

Jonny Lang and the power of inspiration

Jonny Lang took to music with the kind of effortlessness that few of us mere mortals will ever experience. After picking up a guitar at age 12, he independently released an album two years later and was signed to a label a year after that. “My memory of everything, since

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Posted August 12, 2015in The Sound

Witchy woman

Stella Katsoudas is no stranger to the Des Moines scene, though a large number of people may not actually know her by her full name. The Chicago native was first introduced to Des Moines audiences in the mid- to late-’90s by the pioneering minds at the dearly departed 107.5 FM.

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Posted August 05, 2015in The Sound

It’s Alive!

There is a lot that is unique about 515 Alive. For starters, it is the only event of its size in the state that caters exclusively to fans of dance, house and techno music. Basically, if you are a fan of DJs, 515 Alive is your nirvana. But beyond that,

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Posted July 29, 2015in The Sound

A new feel to old-time music

Old Crow Medicine Show — the Virginia-born, Nashville-based seven-piece — has been churning out music that calls back to an old-time country sound since 1998. The band’s sound has developed and matured over the years, thanks in no small measure to the guidance of producers David Rawlings and Ted Hutt.

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Posted July 22, 2015in The Sound

Layers on layers

If you allow for the possibility that a metal band can be a “band’s band,” i.e., one of those acts that does all the little technical things that only other musicians really appreciate, then Between the Buried and Me is a band’s band. Formed 15 years ago in North Carolina,

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Posted July 15, 2015in The Sound

War never changes

When talking about bands making it big outside of Iowa, people tend to pose the question like there is a large amount of luck involved. “Who will be next?” — as though it is a lottery. That, of course, completely overlooks the fact that there is a ton of hard

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Posted July 08, 2015in The Sound

The Ataris’ many forms

If we are talking frankly, The Ataris, historically, have not been so much a band as they have been the work of front man Kris Roe and a revolving door of supporting musicians. Since the band’s inception in 1995, nearly two dozen musicians have come and gone at various points,

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Posted July 01, 2015in The Sound

Building an aesthetic

St. Lucia is, at its core, the brainchild of South African-born Jean-Phillip Grobler. But it is difficult to create anything in a void, and St. Lucia’s music is no different. So while Grobler may have created most of the music on St. Lucia’s self-titled debut, it is the work of

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Posted June 24, 2015in The Sound

Breaking down the wall

Chris Jericho made his name in the squared circle of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). But from an early age, growing up in Winnipeg, Canada, Jericho wanted to be two things: a professional wrestler and a rock star. Fast-forward three decades, and the 44-year-old stands as a six-time WWE World Champion.

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