Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ep 7 - Song 1: "Pop Star" by Kate Kane

Although some people may know Kate Kane as a paranormal investigator or a superhero who is part of the Batman family, she is best known as the singer/guitarist and half of the songwriting team of Lipstick Homicide.

But besides investigating paranormal cases, helping Batman, and playing with Lipstick Homicide (and playing drums for Maiden Mars and making a duet album with Trevor Trieber), she manages to find time to do some solo work!

Kate Kane - Vocals, Guitars




Lipstick Homicide:

Maiden Mars:

Ep 7 - Song 2: "I am Love" by Hath No Fury

"Hath No Fury wasn’t just some rock band to me.

"Hath No Fury was my broken heart. Hath No Fury was lost and gained friendships. Hath No Fury was overcoming stage fright. Hath No Fury was taking those first, absolutely terrifying steps towards love. Hath No Fury was pages of scribbled words and hours of feeling fingertips pressed to strings, pressed to wood, gaining callouses, gaining soul. Hath No Fury was love. It was MY love.

"The idea to start a band came to me one night when I was brokenhearted, crying on my kitchen floor, contemplating smashing my beloved guitar. I wasn’t brokenhearted over some boy. No. I was brokenhearted because I just could NOT sing the way I wanted to. I didn’t know how. I couldn’t do it on my own. I didn’t understand. (Part of the problem was simply that I was beating myself up too much to relax and enjoy myself, but it took a couple more years to figure that one out.) Hath No Fury gave me a confidence, and capability, that I did not have before.

"I was happy to get to play music with three incredibly talented men while we were together. The fun, fierceness, and buoyancy that Brian Olson, Jay Corigliano, and Andrew Wightman brought to the table was great.

"There are still profiles up in places for Hath No Fury, but we are no longer an active band as of June, 2014. My current band is called The Spartan Blue and is even more of everything I wanted in a band."
- from Jen Allen's Queen of the Sea blog

Jen Allen - Vox, Guitar
Brian Olson - Electric Guitar
Andrew Wightman - Bass
Jay Corigliano - Drummer

Sidenote: The video for this song features Iowa couples who submitted their pictures after Jen Allen put out a request. And, yes, yours truly and my wife are on there!



The Spartan Blue-


Ep 7 - Song 3: "Since You've Been Gone" by Peace, Love, and Stuff

"Peace, Love and Stuff is a vintage rock band from Des Moines drawing inspiration from blues, rockabilly and pop.

"The band's distinct style of coupling classic chord progressions with a contemporary pop feel has been praised as a 'polished, high-energy act that’s a comfortable fit in a wide variety of lineups,' by Des Moines' Cityview magazine.

"'The vintage rock four-piece provides one of the most entertaining local shows around, and it doesn’t do it through pyrotechnics, flashy costumes (though McRoberts’ style has its own group of fans) or lighting gimmicks. Instead, the group engages its audience through the power of old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll played really well.' (Cityview - April 16, 2014.)"
- from their Facebook page

Lavonne McRoberts - Lead vocals
Joe McGuire - Drums and Vocals
Jake Doll - Electric Bass and Vocals
Dylan Boyle - Guitar

Home page:



Ep 7 - Song 4: "Ganglion Sister" by Love Songs for Lonely Monsters

"Devotion. Isolation. Brute, anthemic tales. All of this encapsulated in the fervent dread of a fiend, shaken by passion.

"Des Moines, Iowa’s Love Songs For Lonely Monsters (LS4LM or Love Songs for short) have been wrapping deep, umbral guitars and zealous pulsating rhythms with the celestial vocals of the ever-enchanting Amy Badger since forming in late 2009. Upon inspection, it is possible for the listener to peel back the layers of Fugazi and Gang of Four-inspired post-punk aggression to find a heart within the madness; a soul purposefully melodic, maintaining a phenomenal pop sensibility."
- from their home page

Amy Badger - vocals, guitar
Brian Gellerman - drums
Chris Lachky - bass
Dan Hutchison- guitar
Nicklas Parks - guitar

Home page:



Ep 7 - Song 5: "Rocker Chick" by Lipstick Homicide

'Hair is flying everywhere over what I thought were two high school girls. A young guy behind them making faces that would look like extreme pain if he wasn’t smiling.

'Despite the hair all over her face, the blonde is shredding wildly on her guitar, adding nice high harmonies that play well with the lead singer’s deeper voice. Short, exciting solos sporadically shooting out of those blinding fast hands!

"Catchy, thumping basslines come from an instrument that almost looks too big for the short brunette. With a sometimes painful expression, she sings using a ferocity and energy that shouldn’t come from someone that small.

'Meanwhile behind them, the thin young guy is pounding out a strong punk beat, despite the fact that his goofy smiles are the only thing letting you know he’s not having an epileptic fit.

"This was my first impression of Lipstick Homicide two or three years ago at The Space’s anniversary show in Ames. It was a short 20 minute set, but I was blown away and hooked! I found out I could fall in love with a lesbian couple and straight guy!

"And in the years since, I’ve seen them multiple times, including at my 50th birthday party! And the band’s live show has just become tighter and stronger. I think they are best thing coming out of Iowa! So if you enjoy fun, catchy pop tunes done in a hard, punk style, this is a band not to be missed!"
- from The Des Moines Music Coalition website

Rachel Feldmann - Bass/Guitar/Vocals
Kate Kane - Guitar/Vocals
Big Luke Ferguson - Drums



Ep 7 - Song 6: "I Don't Have Anything" by Adrien Daller feat End the Wrld

"Raised in Iowa. Moved to England to study musical theater. Sang "God Save The Queen" to The Queen. Got deported. Returned to Iowa. Started writing music. Joined Trouble Lights and released "The Endless Prom." Solo EP soon to be released."
- from her Facebook page

"'I Don’t Have Anything' is another disco track (produced by Young, but also featuring Jordan Mayland and Cory Wendel) in the same vein as '5 to 9', but Adrien Daller (of Trouble Lights) gives it her own lyrical spin. For such a happy, bouncing track, it is actually kind of a sad story being told. The contrast of this Moroder-esque music with a tale of damaged love is a really neat, and surprisingly deep for such a sugary piece of business."
- from Iowaves Music Blog

Vocals - Adrien Daller
Production - End the Wrld
Drums - Jordan Mayland
Bass - Cory Wendel



Trouble Lights -

Home page:


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ep 6 - Song 1: "4/4 Marches-Scotland the Brave, Leaving Liverpool" by The Iowa Scottish Pipes and Drums

"The Iowa Scottish Pipes and Drums are based in Des Moines, IA, and were founded originally from the membership of the Iowa Scottish Heritage Society in 1975. Over the last thirty years the band has played for many high profile events, including the Archbishop of Canterbury's visit to Iowa, the Inaugural Ball for the Governor of Iowa, the World Scottish Festival in Montreal and the Victorian Society national convention. In January, 2011, a quartet of pipers played at the Capitol for the newly inaugurated Governor of Iowa's Open House."
- from their website

You can also order their two CD's at their website -

Tom Mulvehill - pipe major
Susan Frambach - pipe sargeant
Ron Best - pipes
Mel Ploessel - pipes
Grant Purdy - pipes
Mort Seldenfeld - pipes
Susan Seldenfeld - pipes
Joel Severinghaus - pipes
Bruce Smith - pipes
Chris Tyrell - pipes
Chuck Leibold - lead drummer
Chad Lensch - snare drummer
Adam Best - tenor and snare drummer
Bob Henderson - bass drummer

Home page:

Ep 6 - Song 2: "Hills of Ireland" by The Flatland Ramblers

'The Flatland Ramblers, (formerly known as The Flatland String Band,) a traditional old-time band based in Polk County, Iowa, plays a lively mix of American mountain tunes and Celtic instrumentals. If you like music of the 1800s as it was played in 1975, you'll love this band! Funky enough for a barn dance, hip enough for the coffeehouse, we play 19th century music for the 21st century. Perfect for farmer's markets, Civil War reenactments, Renaissance fairs, céilís, keggers, political rallies, weddings, wakes, hog roasts, hoolies, hoedowns, shindigs and shivarees!"
- from their website

Scott Ross - 5-string banjo, cittern, bodhran
Jeanne Witt - flute, piccolo, pennywhistle, mandolin
Barbara Shultz - mandolin, octave mandolin, tenor banjo
Donna Ritchie - guitar, Jew's harp

photo by d.j.

Home page:



Ep 6 - Song 3: "The Wounded Hussar/Silieve Russell/The Humours of Ballyloughlin" by Chulrua

"Chulrua (pronounced cool-ROO-ah), translates from the Irish as "red back," and was the name and distinguishing feature of the favorite wolfhound belonging to ancient Irish hero Fionn MacCumhaill.

"Our concerts are in keeping with the old tradition—music in a relaxed, intimate atmosphere, and tunes offered as they were handed down from generation to generation in Ireland.

"The heart of Irish music is the session, where tunes are played and traded, and conversation about music is the central theme. Sessions can be held anywhere, but are usually the best—and most relaxed—in a small, intimate place like the kitchen of a house or a small pub. The music we present onstage comes from that tradition."
- from their Facebook page

Pat Egan - guitars, vocals
Paddy O'Brien - acordion
Timothy Britton - whistles, pipes, flutes

Home page:


Ep 6 - Song 4: "Finnegan's Wake" by Wylde Nept

"Wylde Nept is a cast of colorful characters that specialize in charging up a crowd with raucous pub tunes from all over the Celtic and sea-faring world. Whether the band is playing classic tunes of rebellion, mirthful ballads, maritime sea chanteys, popular originals, or just good, old-fashioned drinking songs, the goal is always to give the crowd a rollicking evening of friends, music, and merriment. Over the past ten years, Wylde Nept has built a loyal following around the fresh, youthful energy they pump into the classic songs of the British Isles."
- from their ReverbNation page

Westan James - Vocals
Steven James - Accordion and Vocals
Jon Southwood - Guitars, Mandolin, and Vocals
Wayne "The Punisher" Twombley - Guitars and Vocals
Brian Fahrner - Bass and Vocals
George "The Littlest Viking" Curtis Jr. - Bodhran, Dumbek, and Vocals

Home page:



Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ep 6 - Song 5: "Salt of the Earth" by The Killigans

Okay, I have to admit, this band is not Iowan. These are Nebraska boys. But it is Celtic music.

"The Killigans are a seven piece “folk-punk” band from Lincoln, NE. The Killigans “sound” combines the diverse musicals tastes of the bands members; fusing Punk Rock, Folk, Country and Western, Celtic, European folk, Americana, and other types of music into an upbeat, foot-stomping, beer-raising party. Lyrically, the songs range from classic storytelling to rebel songs to ballads to middle class anthems. The Killigans are a band who thrive on live performance and crowd interaction."

"THE KILLIGANS were born in a filthy garage in 2004, hammered together out of the spare parts of other Nebraska bands and fueled by a love of good whiskey, great friends, late nights, buzzing tattoo needles and crusty old punk rock albums. They have existed in various incarnations since their inception, but as their rabid fans will testify, they have never failed to ignite the passions of anyone who wanders close enough to hear their foot-stomping, glass-raising anthems for tenacious underdogs, lonely vagabonds, and anyone who’s just trying to make it in this world. Their rapidly-growing body of work draws from the most enduring, vibrant aspects of American music – the storytelling of folk, the fighting spirit of punk rock, the heartfelt poignancy of country and the unforgiving grit of rock ‘n roll.
- from their website

Chris Nebesniak – guitar, vocals
Brad Hoffman – acoustic guitar, lead vocals
Greg Butcher – electric guitar, vocals
Nathan Olson – mandolin
Pat Nebesniak – accordion
Trevor Nebesniak – bass guitar, vocals
Ben Swift – drums, vocals

Home page:



Ep 6 - Song 6: "Brothers in Arms" by The Vandon Arms

"In a damp, cold basement just off of Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa, The Vandon Arms started off as a group of friends playing the music they loved for no one but themselves. There were no fans, no Myspace or Facebook pages, nothing for sale, and no disillusions of being rich and famous. The early get-togethers resembled drunkin sing-alongs more than any band rehearsal. The group and their friends would belt out old Irish choruses at the top of their lungs for hours...

"...Buz, Clint, Hutch, Craig, and Moosher still carry on the same attitude that came with those early basement sing-alongs. Their music and live shows are simply about having fun, not making money, being cool, not being cool, or anything else that too many other bands get caught up in. This has always been and always will be the band's philosophy..."
- from their Facebook page

Sad to say, Des Moines lost its very own Celtic punk band! Life took over and spread them across a few states. But I still recommend getting and downloading their music if you're into Celtic punk.

Buz, Clint, Hutch, Moosher, Craig, and Clayton




Ep 6 - Song 7: "Red is the Rose" by Sarah Hobart

"Sarah is a brilliant musician and educator living in Central Iowa. She is a versatile singer who accompanies herself using an instrument rooted in the folk tradition; the dulcimer. Sarah delights audiences with her clear and lovely vocals, her inspired choice in music, and her ability to pull listeners into far off worlds, whether it be ancient Ireland or modern-day New Orleans...

"From her website: Sarah Hobart discovered a love of her ancestral Irish folk music while distracting herself from her studies in opera in college. She now writes original music as well as exploring the rich cultural heritage of Celtic, Apalachian, and other World musics. Her vocal qualities range from powerful to ethereal, enhanced by the enchanting sounds of her lap dulcimer..."
- from a Facebook event

All vocals - Sarah Hobart


Ep 6 - Song 8: "2004 Long March"by The Omaha Scottish Pipes and Drums

Some may complain of me including an Omaha group here, but as far as I'm concerned, Omaha is an honorary Iowa town!

"The Omaha Pipes and Drums has been thrilling audiences with their repertoire of Traditional Scottish and Irish music since 1970...

"In 2004, the Omaha Pipes and Drums competed in three games in Scotland; North Berwick, Bridge of Alan, and the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow. The band finished in 6th place in Grade 4 at Bridge of Allan, 8th Place in Grade 4 at North Berwick, and 7th place in the qualifying rounds of Grade 4B at the World Pipe Band Championships...."
- from their home page

And they provide FREE bagpipe and drum lessons! -

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ep 5 - Song 1: "Chasing Heaven" by Ryan Sheeler

"Ryan is a composer, instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, educator and music researcher from Ames IA. He has studied guitar, composition, conducting, and musicology at Iowa State and the University of Iowa.

"He has won awards from ASCAP, The Iowa Motion Picture Association, and the Paramount Group. Ryan is also co-author of From Bakersfield to Beale Street: A Regional History of American Rock n' Roll with David Stuart and Scott Anderson (2nd edition - 2009, Kendall-Hunt).

"Ryan's latest solo album is entitled Polk County Line (2011)."

Ryan Sheeler - lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar
Scott Draper - keyboards
Randy Baumeister - bass
Clark Bishop - drums

new promo pic for 2011 - thanks to Kara Cipolloni




Ep 5 - Song 2: "Ladycop (digital Hoffman demo)" by The Wych Elm

The Wych Elm describe themselves as alternative, experimental folk rock, and "male/female vocals with rock music which veers towards both traditional songcraft and bizarre art-rock. Guitars, Moog-y keyboards, drums and bass instrumentation. Everyone writes their own songs so there's a variety element to live programs."

Cheyenne - guitar and vocals
Tyler - bass and vocals
Jason - drums
Lindsay - keyboards




Ep 5 - Song 3: "Roadkill" by Virginia Creeper

"Virginia Creeper formed in 2008 when Mike McCullough and Michael Martin began playing “guerilla gigs” in the atrium of the Design building at ISU, playing mostly Martin’s originals as well as occasional covers in the americana and acoustic-rock genres. The duo’s sound is built around the interplay of Martin’s thick and drony acoustic guitar rhythms with McCullough’s mandolin improvisations."
- Micheal Martin on Virginia Creeper
Micheal Martin - guitar/vocals
Micheal McCollough - mandolin/guitar

Photo by Rebekka Brown/Iowa State Daily

Ep 5 - Song 4: "The Fossil Lights" by Prisms &Portals

"Prisms & Portals’ music might be described as hypnotic, progressive, cinematic and explosive instrumental rock, interspersed with electronic music, glitchy textures and droning ambient soundscapes. Subtle influences may be heard throughout the music spanning from bands such as Tool, King Crimson, Vessels, 65daysofstatic, Woven, Aphex Twin, Jacaszek and more."
- Shaun Riekena of Prisms & Portals

All instruments - Shaun Riekena
Additional atmospheric guitars - Todd Riekena

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