Q&A: sami.the.great

Brooklyn-based musician sami.the.great (Sami Akbari) has already made her stop in Des Moines, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give her music a good hard listen. Slightly reminiscent of Eisley and Lilly Allen (in my non-professional opinion), Sam spent part … Continue reading

Mickey Davis of Is Home Is on Touring

Is Home Is (previously Olsen Twinns) took to the road with Tires for a national tour that stopped in D.C., Ohio, New York, and Missouri, among others states. They’ll be finishing up the tour with a show at the Vaudeville Mews … Continue reading

Q&A: Thayne of The Travel Guide

On Saturday night, Wichita-based band The Travel Guide will be making a stop at the Gas Lamp. Having been compared to Wilco, Pavement, and At the Drive-In, you should definitely make it down to this show. The show starts at … 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

Pure Gut Review

If you haven’t heard about one of Des Moines’ new local favorites, it’s about time you do. Pure Gut is a perfectly combined mix of kick-ass guitar riffs and quick, hard-hitting lyrics. Half the time, the words are jumbled, mumbled, … Continue reading

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

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.