Concerts at Grinnell College (IA) That You Can’t Miss

Written by Trey Reis With the excitement of the new semester comes the anticipation of the release of the Grinnell College concert schedule. Often taking a less heavy-handed approach to booking shows than Iowa State University’s Maintenance Shop, Grinnell College’s … Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Vaudeville Mews!

The Mews holds a spot in the heart of every single 4th Street regular and newbie alike. Today marks their 10th birthday, and I think it’s the perfect time to show the venue some love. Ladd Askland, booker for the … Continue reading

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

Q&A with Joe Horn

Reported by Lindsay Fullington

Joe Horn works at The Mews as one of the door guys. You can call him The Gatekeeper–he takes your money and kicks out minors. And he loves doing it–but only if there’s a drink involved somewhere. Here’s a look into The Mews as Joe knows it.

Band Bombshell: How long ago did you start working at the Mews?

Joe Horn: I started 2 ½ years ago filling in for someone. I got too drunk at the end of the night to do the simple math to pay the bands. So I had about a six month break.”

BB: Any other mistakes you want to fess up to?

JH: One time, I paid the wrong bands. Turns out, everyone in bands looks the same. It was hundreds of dollars. The Mews took a pretty big hit for that one.

BB: How much do you get paid?

JH: Enough to have a drinking problem.

BB: Favorite drink at the Mews?

JH: Anything that has alcohol in it.

BB: How many nights a week do you work?

JH: Four nights a week.

BB: What’s your least favorite part of being a door guy?

JH: It’s hippies. I fucking hate hippies.

BB: What’s the best show you ever saw at the Mews?

JH: The Midwest Pop Festival with Cursive.

BB: What’s the worst show you ever saw at the Mews?

JH: There are bad bands. But even if you don’t want to watch them, they’re entertaining because they’re bad.

BB: What are the top 5 bands people need to see at the Mews?

JH: Dustin Smith & the Sunday Silos, Love Songs for Lonely Monsters, Canyons, Derek Lambert & the Prairie Fires, and Autumn Project.

BB: What’s the best advice you can give people attending a show at the Mews?

JH: Don’t ever rub your dick on the inside of the urinal.

BB: Anything you don’t like about the Mews?

JH: My main problem with the Mews is you can’t smoke cigarettes. And if I were single, there’s not enough big-bootied bitches there.

Review: Dustin Smith & the Sunday Silos, Big Harp, and The Mynabirds

Last night was not a night to miss the action down at The Mews. Dustin Smith & the Sunday Silos started off the evening around 8pm, followed by Los Angeles act Big Harp, and the lovely ladies (and dude) of The Mynabirds closed up the show around 11:15pm.

Dustin Smith (banjo, guitar) and Paige Harpin led with vocals for the Sunday Silos. Nick Leo schooled on the keys, and Gabe Cordova rocked the bass. Sam Mogerman kept them grounded on the drums. The Silos started off a little folk-y/indie and grew into a more rock sound as their songs progressed. They debuted a few new songs, including “Let’s Ride It.” Paige’s jazzy sound mixed well with Dustin’s deep, country-inspired vocals. They ended their set with a new jam, “Orphans.” They set off the show with an energetic buzz that led perfectly into the married duo, Big Harp.

Hailing from LA, Stefanie and Chris Senseney started off big. Stefanie sported a bass—that almost overshadowed her slight frame, I might add—and absolutely killed it. A bass-veteran, Stefanie took off on the melody with many of their songs in the best way possible. Chris’s vocal range leaves little to be desired. It was a pleasant surprise to hear his voice go from high pitches reminiscent of Bon Iver to the deep, the raspyness of Tom Waits, and the deep, rolling sounds of M. Ward. Big Harp started off with the title track off of the first album, “White Hat.” A pretty safe bet. The real crowd pleaser was “Out in the Field”—a fun, range-y song with a quick speed-up toward the middle. Chris takes off making noises—literally little yelps and screeches—while the rest of the band follows with a Latin American-esque beat. My favorite song of the night, for sure.

The Mynabirds finished up the night. Frontwoman Laura Burhenn—who sported a hat crafted from a fox’s head for a part of the set—made sure to explain the meaning between the songs at each break. Ranging from self-esteem to “supporting all of the ‘freaks’ out there,” Laura crooned moral-boosting song after song. The Mynabirds had the crowd groovin’ with the buzz that The Silos and Big Harp had alluded to. The sound may have been more girly, but the same raw, strong vocals remained true to the night’s theme.

All in all, an awesome night for music. I’d give it a nine out of ten, in the end. The Mynabirds will be back this summer, so if you missed out this time, don’t make the same mistake. Big Harp is back in the studio, so keep an eye for their new album.

St. Patty’s Day Shows

We’re all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Meaning, there’s no better time to get a little shwasty off some green beer and listen to awesome live music. And don’t worry, if you don’t have any plans yet, I’ve got the list for you. Juice magazine compiled a list of all of the local shows going on in Des Moines tomorrow. Click here to check it out.  Need the perfect pub to start your day off right? There’s a list for that, too.

My suggestion? Hit up Strange Arrangement at The Mews. Let me know where you ending up spending your day. Send me your photos and I’ll post them on the site!