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Sound Notes

Sound Notes Pick o’ the Week


Downtown Des Moines said goodbye to one of its highlights on Oct. 27, as People’s closed its doors for the final time after its “Night of the Living Dead Moines” show. Shows booked through the rest of the year will either be cancelled or moved to alternate locations.                

People’s owner Tom Zmolek, who’s had a hand in central Iowa’s music scene in one way or another for a quarter century, has given a litany of reasons for the closing, ranging from declining ticket sales and just being tired of the grind, to a general over-saturation in the Des Moines market. All are reasons that are understandable, but no less unfortunate to the people in this burgh who love and appreciate the venue and what it’s meant to the scene.                

As of press time, there’s no clear direction for The Site Formerly Known As People’s, but there’s a pretty big footprint to fill, and I’m not just talking about square footage. Thanks for everything, Tom, and best of luck to you in whatever comes next.                

Sound Notes Pick o’ the Week: On Thursday, Nov. 1, Wooly’s welcomes in the best thing to come out of Colorado since Mork and Mindy, The Flobots. The all-ages show kicks off at 7 p.m., and tickets will run you $13 in advance (available through, or $15 at the door. Also playing are Ames’, Come Unity, and our very own It’s Complicated.                

You can get all your glockenspiel-related music needs fulfilled at the Vaudeville Mews on Friday, Nov. 2, courtesy of Seedlings. That all-ages show starts at 10 p.m. and includes The Tinder Box, Luna Moth and Crystal City, all for $5 at the door.                

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If you manage to have absolutely no fun this weekend, you can be certain that it’s not the Val Air Ballroom’s fault. The venerable venue (alliteration!) has a couple of excellent shows on back-to-back nights.                

First up, Friday, Nov. 2, is a night of punk overload, courtesy of Dropkick Murphys, along with The Mahones and Teenage Bottlerocket. That sucker gets underway at 8 p.m., and tickets are $27 in advance through, and $30 day of show.                

Then on Saturday, Nov. 3, Des Moines’ own Faculty Lounge opens for George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $20 in advance (also through, or $25 day of show.                

Also on Nov. 3, Minneapolis metal act Nuisance has its Des Moines CD-release party at House of Bricks starting at 5 p.m. Dead Horse Trauma and Strate Jak It also perform.                

Blue Moon Dueling Piano Bar has Dave Hawke, John Sackett and Justin Flagg performing on Thursday, Nov. 4, starting at 8 p.m.                

That same night, you can catch Aquamarine Dream Machine down at el Bait Shop, also starting at 8 p.m.                

Finally, on Monday, Nov. 5, Pacific Northwest dream-poppers Tomten play down at Gas Lamp. That party starts at 8 p.m., and admission is a steal at just $3. Mahalo. CV

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