I spoke of this briefly on my blog, but I wanted to get the word out here as well. Every year, a local act gets to play on the main stage at 80/35, and they get there because of us, the general public. Each year, a battle of the bands is set up and we get to hear them play and then decide who gets a prestigious spot to play on the same stage as The Avett Brothers, Death Cab For Cutie, Dinosaur Jr. and many others. It is a nice feather in the cap and a solid thing to put on their resume.
Now, that is all well and good, but here is why you should really be paying attention. Not just so you can make an informed vote. You should be paying attention because this is about the easiest way to discover a new band. I mean, I assume you all use Locusic, right? (If you don’t, you’re missing out and I think less of you.) But, where Locusic is great for a song or two, this is an easy way to see how people perform, how they sound, and how the present their art as a whole. So where you would normally have to leave the house, Iowa Public Radio has made it super easy for you to bear witness to some great local music.
Of the eight that were chosen, the three finalists all go on to play a live show where the winners get the spot. The real winners, though, are the people who get to listen to all of this awesome music. Now, while the genres aren’t amazingly diverse (really the biggest fault of the contest, but I can’t complain too much) all eight are really, really good and are absolutely worth your time.
Already taped were Ames’ rock and soul band Ladysoal on Monday, Iowa City’s Emperor’s Club were taped Tuesday and recent GDP performers The White Elephant from Wapello were yesterday. Tonight is a band I am not all that familiar with, so I am particularly intrigued, The Beat Strings from Waterloo. Next week, the very fun folk of the Seedlings, the simple, yet elegant pop of The Wire Frames on Tuesday and the pure rock stylings of The Holy White Hounds and Love Songs For Lonely Monsters on Wednesday and Thursday. In Des Moines, these can all be heard live on 101.7, but the easiest way is to just go online.
So, go, listen and vote. While your favorite may not win, hey, at least you got a new favorite.
Try Not To Miss Shows – 5/3 – 5/9
Ladysoal, Doctor Murdock and Lesbian Poetryw/ Nate Logsdon – Gas Lamp – 9pm
If you listen to Ladysoal and like what you hear, then check them out with a couple of other Ames acts. This is fun.
Desert Noises w/ The River Monks, Seedlings and Sara Swenson – Vaudeville Mews 5/3 – 8pm
Good folk music show, and will you look here, Seedlings are in the play in contest, too.
White Elephant – Wooly’s 5/4 – 10pm
Yep, one more from the play in.
Hank III – Wooly’s 5/5 – 9pm
Son of a legend, Grandson of an Icon, Hank Williams, III is somehow a cross between both his grandfather and father, and yet, nothing like them at all. All country swagger and heartache, wrapped in a punk exterior. Awesome show.