Proving Des Moines is NOT boring

A Baker’s Dozen of Try Not To Miss Shows at Maximum Ames 2013

The third edition of the Maximum Ames Music Festival is another excellent chapter in what has become one of the premier events in the Midwest. Few events pull in this much contemporary, legendary and up and coming acts under the umbrella of one event. Somehow, this event does it, and we can say consistently does it, while also carrying the torch for our state. Starting September 26 and running until September 29, this event has something for fans of all types and genres of music.

Christopher the Conquered

Christopher the Conquered

To give you a small guidebook of what to catch under the Max Ames umbrella, here are ten of my favorite shows. As a reminder, this isn’t a festival like 80/35 or Lollapalooza where all the bands are in one place with specific set times; this is spread out amongst several venues with several shows happening all at once. So, here are thirteen of my favorite shows to try not to miss, in chronological order. For venue location and more shows (and there are a lot that I didn’t mention but I kept it to thirteen), head to

Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, Quick Piss, Little Ruckus and Jason Anderson – Zeke’s Sept 26 7pm

This will be a sweaty, gross mess of a show, in the best possible way.

Shook Twins, Holly and the Night Owls, Max Jury and Lindsay Nissen – The Space For Ames Sept 26 7pm

There are a ton of talented singer-songwriters in this show and The Space is such a cool, intimate venue to catch them all. I really like what I’ve heard from The Shook Twins. Their special brand of bluegrass is right up my alley.

Ellesello, Sisko Diq and Nude Girls – Pixels Sept 26 8pm

Ellesello is getting quite a buzz. Ryan Lombard is the former lead singer of Modern Day Satire and Darren Hushak is an acclaimed producer. Together they put together a powerful electro-pop act that is catching a lot of attention.

The Meat Puppets, Samuel Locke Ward and Enemy Planes – DG’s Tap House Sept 26 830pm

The Meat Puppets are a legendary alt-punk group that a lot of people know and some maybe know but don’t realize it (Nirvana played a few of their songs with them on their famous Unplugged album). Also, don’t sleep on Samuel Locke Ward, because he is awesome.

The Pines and Dylan Boyle – London Underground Sept 27 630pm

The Pines played at this year’s 80/35 and they brought it. Oh, and Dylan Boyle is maybe the best blues guitarist in the state.

Greg Brown and Bo Ramsey – DG’s Taphouse Sept 27 9pm

Two of Iowa’s most revered and renowned musicians. Their particular style of music is what inspired people like Boyle to pick up a guitar in the first place.

Dear Rabbit, Googolplexia, Dubb Nubb and Lesbian Poetry – Vinyl Café Sept 28 2pm

Dear Rabbit and Lesbian Poetry are two incredible songwriters. I don’t know, well, anything about the other two, but Lesbian Poetry and Dear Rabbit are enough to make this one huge.

Kitten Crisis, Utopia Park, Cookie Doh and Paper Ceilings – Inkblot Studios Sept 28 4pm

I listened to a little Kitten Crisis and they’re a quick lo-fi punk band. But, uh, Utopia Park. So, yeah, go to this.

The Zombies, Et Tu Bruce and Jordan Mayland and the Thermal Detonators – Ames City Auditorium Sept 28 630pm

Yes, it’s that Zombies. The legendary British Invasion band that most famously played “Time of the Season” which you have heard in pretty much every movie ever about the 1960’s. Also, Jordan Mayland!

Eros and the Eschaton, Annalibera, Mr Nasti, and MAIDS – The Octagon Sept 28 930pm

I’m pretty sure I have plugged every MAIDS, Mr. Nasti and Annalibera show for the last like six months, so that’s not going to stop now. Add in the great Eros and Eschaton and this one is big,

Murder By Death, Larry and His Flask and Brooks Strause and the Gory Details –DG’s Taphouse Sept 28 930pm

Murder By Death are such an incredible whiskey soaked joy of a band. And Brooks Strause is one of the best songwriters in the world.

Bright Giant, John June Year, Holy White Hounds and Dylan Sires and Neighbors – DG’s Taphouse Sept 29 6pm

Iowa rock music. Iowa pop music. Iowa pop-rock music. Iowa super talents.

Mumford’s, Land of Blood and Sunshine, Christopher the Conquered, HD Harmsen, The Wheerlers – Deano’s Sept 29 6pm

The official blow off steam show for Max Ames. The festival is produced by Mumford’s Chris Lyng and Nate Logsdon, so they annually close off a year’s worth of effort bringing this event to fruition by raging as hard as they can with some of their most talented friends.