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Sound Circuit

Ain’t no party like a Music U party…

10/14/2015

The third annual Music University kicks off this weekend at Drake University. In three short years, the Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC) has streamlined Music University, honing its focus and making what it believes to be a more effective, better event.

Andrew WK speaks at Drake University’s Cowles-Kruidenier Auditorium for Music University on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 12:30 p.m. He will perform at Vaudeville Mews at 6:30 p.m.

Andrew WK speaks at Drake University’s Cowles-Kruidenier Auditorium for Music University on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 12:30 p.m. He will perform at Vaudeville Mews at 6:30 p.m.

“It’s sort of an overwhelming thing to try and put together because there’s nothing else like this in Des Moines,” said DMMC Administrator Christopher Ford. “Every year we’ve changed it a bit to try and narrow in on what people in our region want and need out of something like Music University.

“The biggest change this year is that everything is a little more focused than years before. The first year was very much, ‘Let’s just see who we can get to come in and build a program around what they can talk about.’ Last year was more, ‘Let’s try and provide a little bit of everything and see how that works.’ This year is much more focused.”

The highlight of Music University stands to be the keynote speaker. Year one saw Wilco guitarist Nels Cline top off the event. Last year was Husker Du’s Bob Mould. This year, Music University brings the party to town with keynote speaker Andrew WK.

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For Ford, Andrew WK perfectly fits what the DMMC looks for in a keynote speaker.

“The rest of the day is just the nuts and bolts of the music business,” he explained. “There’s a lot to take away from it and a lot of information. So really, the point of the keynote is just to inspire people and make people leave thinking, ‘I can actually do something with this information.’

“Andrew is known as being an inspiring speaker. But as someone who has come out of a really big-time music career and continued on independently and been able to continue his career, he serves as a great example for independent musicians.”

After the talking is done, Andrew WK will do what he is actually best known for and close out the festivities on Saturday with a show at Vaudeville Mews. Iowa City’s Lipstick Homicide will open, so be ready to party hard. CV

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