We’re just about ready to put a bow on another 365. The only piece of advice I’d give you for the year ahead is: Don’t buy a new calendar until after the New Year. They always go, like, half off. Buying them before then is just throwing your money away.
This past year threw a bevy of shows at us, from touring acts like Alan Jackson and The Wallflowers, to thousands of local shows at every venue in the city. I managed to make it to more than 100 of them this year — 103, to be exact — and I can’t wait to see 100 more. But since the holiday schedule and the weather both conspired to keep me out of the venues this past week, I thought I’d recap some of my favorites from the past year and maybe give you a jump-start on your live music bucket list for 2013.
Maxilla Blue put on an amazing show for its CD release at the Mews back in March. If you love hip hop, these guys should already be in your collection. If you don’t love hip hop, you should give them the chance to change your minds.
The Gross Domestic Product Festival at Hotel Fort Des Moines in April was almost blown away by a huge storm but was still the place where I first got to hear acts like Trouble Lights, The White Elephant, Unknown Component and Christopher the Conquered.
Bonne Finken and the Collective released “Live at the Loft” in May, in a show opened by Chad Elliott and featuring the Kees Hip-Hop Dance Crew. Finken is an amazing performer all by herself, but when backed by the Collective and combined with the ladies from the Kees Crew, it was a sight to behold.
Fast forward to November, and I was happy to be in attendance for Kingston’s Superhero Rock-N-Aid Masquerade at House of Bricks, with As For You, Aren’t We All, Ashes Armada, Nest of Snakes, Dead Horse Trauma, Hath No Fury, Mars on Fire and This Sudden Darkness. It was an amazing night of music, and a bunch of money raised for a good cause.
Space prevents me from going on, but there was so much more: Ricc Terranova’s final show with Superchief, Blue Haven’s first show in Des Moines, and Matt Woods and the Thunderbolts’ last. Let nobody tell you that Des Moines isn’t full of great musicians and amazing places to watch them play. We’ve got a good thing going here, Des Moines. See you next year. CV