80-35 Play In

Reported by Lindsay Fullington

This year, 80/35 is teaming up with Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Iowa Public Radio’s Studio One to give local Iowa bands an awesome opportunity to play the stage alongside Death Cab for Cutie, The Avett Brothers, Dinosaur Jr., and more.

On April 23, The Play In committee selected the eight finalists who will fight to play the big stage. Seedlings, The White Elephant, The Beat Strings, The Wire Frames, Love Songs for Lonely Monsters, Emporers Club, Ladysoal, and Holy White Hounds were chosen.

These bands will perform live on IPR’s Night Music from April 30 – May 10. Listeners can rate each performance online. The top three rankings will be guaranteed a slot in the 80/35 lineup. Those bands will perform in front of a live audience in Des Moines on June 21. A final round of voting will determine the top act that will play on the Wellmark Main Stage, and the second and third place winners will each play a set on the free stages.

Congrats, guys! And good luck. We’ll be listening.

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Jazz in Des Moines

Reported by Lindsay Fullington

Usually when people think of local music, their minds don’t jump to jazz. But Des Moines has a surprising amount of super talented jazz musicians that deserve your respect and your ears. And they play in venues you’d never expect. Here’s a list of the places to scout out the scene, and since there’s no cover charge, there’s no reason not to put these performances on your to-do list.

The Lift:

Where: 222 4th Street

When: Every Tuesday, 10-12pm

Who: The Uplift Quartet

Drinks: Specials on Old-Fashioneds slung by the D. Smith (hey, you should drink sassy, if you’re listening classy!)

Vibes: Good vibin’ and totally chill. Younger crowd is perfect for beginner jazz ears.

The Continental

Where: 428 E Locust St

When: Every Friday and Saturday, 9-12pm

Who: Varies

Drinks: Their sangria is worth the extra bucks

Vibes: Older crowd of the working type, but never gets rowdy. These people appreciate jazz.

Cosmo Lounge:

Where: 800 Locust St

When: Every Friday at 9

Who: Varies, but regular Paige Harpin’s voice is super sweet

Drinks: Their martini list puts other bars to shame and Sherry sure knows how to shake them

Vibes: Sometimes is full of tipsy out-of-towners from the adjacent hotel, but they’re legit.

Star Bar:

Where: 2811 Ingersoll Ave.

When: Every Wednesday, 9-12pm

Who: Varies

Drinks: Good beer selection

Vibes: Packed crowd, so get there early for a good booth and good food.

The Films of John C. Reilly Returns

Reported by Lindsay Fullington

After a four-year hiatus, The Films of John C. Reilly will be making a triumphant return to the Vaudeville Mews this Friday night. The band, made up of Clint Curtis, Joe Horn, Daniel Smith, Lincoln Decklever,  Jordan Mayland, and newcomer Pat Fleming from Poison Control Center, is opening for the  Mantis Pincers at 10pm. See event details here.

Besides bringing a rockin’ show, the band will be celebrating Clint’s 40th birthday. If you don’t know Clint, you should. He’s been the coolest bartender at the Mews for the past nine years and has acted in a commercial with James Franco (baller!). Juice recently profiled Clint. See the interview here.

So, bring your friends, pack the house, and get ready for your ears to tingle!

Also at the Mews that night:

Dustin Smith & The Sunday Silos with Christopher Stelling and Kate Kennedy @ 6