Proving Des Moines is NOT boring

My 2015 80/35 Plan

For the past few 80/35‘s, I’ve used this space to list a bunch of bands I think you should go see, to let you make over your own mind about the festival. Meanwhile, over at my now cobwebbed personal blog, I used that space to tell you who I wanted to see. You see at DMiNB, I like to guide people into making their own decisions based on what I like. But sometimes, I just want to talk about myself a bit. I see the difference as me telling you what I think you should think, and just straight up what I think.

8035MusicFest2015Right now, I feel like talking about myself. The full schedule is available at, and you’ve had months to do the research on your own. Why do I need to guide you? There are some straight up mean conflicts that I need to discuss and work through, for my benefit, so let’s do that. Without further hemming and hawing, here is my plan for 80/35.

Let’s start with the conflicts first. With three stages (four counting the Generation Z stage that doesn’t seem to get as much love as it should) there are almost always at least two bands playing right on top of each other, and sometimes three. Often those are bands I want to see. So, let’s work this out together.

St. Lucia vs Karen Meat and the Computer vs Rome Fortune (5pm Friday)

What a perfect way to start the festival. St. Lucia are a rollicking pop band from Brooklyn, Rome Fortune is hip-hop from Atlanta and Karen Meat is cow-punk with an electro twist from Des Moines/Nashville. All three are awfully different and all three are very good. Probably going with the main stage for St Lucia on this one, but I think any of the three would be excellent choices.

Winner: St. Lucia

Jenny Lewis vs Asphate (7pm Friday)

Again, two seemingly polar opposites. Asphate is a gifted MC from Des Moines and Jenny Lewis is indie, even alt-rock country royalty. Asphate’s new album (his first as a solo instead of as part of Maxilla Blue) is one of the best in the state, and I saw Rilo Kiley (Jenny Lewis’s prior band) and I kind of hated it. Still, I have tweaked my tastes since then, so I am curious to see what she offers now.

Winner: Jenny Lewis

Canby vs Boh Doran (12pm Saturday)

Boh (the former Mary Beth) Doran’s time in Iowa was like a comet: spectacular and gone as quickly as she arrived. Canby is a blazing star that may be at its brightest right now. It is super tough, but I am intrigued at what the large stage can offer so many diverse sounds and potential members of Canby.

Winner: Canby

Annalibera vs Run the Jewels (7pm Saturday)

The. Meanest. I am actually mad at the organizers for this mess. Annalibera are stunning live, and 7pm on Saturday means maybe their largest crowd ever and plenty of people to feed off. I think this set may end up being the best Iowa set of the weekend, and potentially legendary. But, uh, Run the Jewels.

Winner: Run the Jewels

The Orwells vs The Maytags (8pm Saturday)

The Orwells are a grimy garage band. The Maytags are a smooth, soul pop band. I missed The Maytags last year and everyone yelled at me. So, I think I may have to make that move this year.

Winner: The Maytags

My schedule looks like:


St. Lucia

Fly Golden Eagle

Jenny Lewis

Talib Kweli



The Olympics


Cloud Nothings

Natural Child

Christopher the Conquered

Run the Jewels

The Maytags


What am I screwing up? What does your schedule look like? Let me know in the comments.

80/35 Aftershows To Try Not To Miss

There are a lot of cool shows in and around the festival, but here are the two I plan on hitting. Meanwhile, check out all the local venues as they all offer something pretty awesome on Friday and Saturday (and even Thursday)

Tires w/Easy Fruit and PURE GUTVaudeville Mews 7/10

Tires hasn’t played in a year after basically calling it quits. Tires has new songs. Tires might be my favorite Iowa band ever. Tires might be my favorite band ever. I will be at Tires.

Dylan Sires and Neighbors, The Olympics, MAIDS and Field Division – Gas Lamp 7/11

Doubling up on The Olympics along with three more Iowa greats.