Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ep 44 - Cover by Robert Braune

“ There is this desire that I have, to want to paint people the way that they are seen. The way that I see them. But if I am honest with myself, I find that I lack a talent that is needed to achieve such an image. So while still attempting to do so, part way through I am reminded of the difficulty that is involved with this task. So I find this medium ground where I can still portray human without it being pure representational. They become these monster like humans, but retain human qualities. Thus becoming less monstrous and more humanly relatable. Or I would like to think so. I’m not other people so I cannot speak for them.

"More so, I am ultimately trying to create memorable images. Ones that people will one day want to put in some college students art history book. So, the images I paint, I try to make them as representative of my work and the way that I plan to continue to work...

“I would say my work is abstracted realism. Often I paint from something that is real but it becomes abstracted through the quality of my work. By definition I would be abstract. But abstract is an abstracted word. It’s been simplified to the point that it’s to easily applied to things... Honestly, when people ask me what I paint, I usually just say still lifes and portraits. Then I just show them some photos of work. People can make up their own minds on what my paintings are.”
- from an interview with Jon from the Art Beacon website

Original version of artwork
in its original proportions and form

Home page:

Deviant Art page:

An old website of his:

Ep 44 - Song 1: "King Size Cigarette" by The Law

"Well, The Law was, like, Des Moines’ big pop-punk band, and they decided that, since nothing was going on in Des Moines, they would move to Boston."
- from an interview with Scruffy the Cat's Stephen Fredette on the New, Reviews, and Interviews website

"(Charlie Chesterman) brought punk rock to the plains, way back when such a thing just wasn't done. His band the Law plowed that sound into the heartland underground and it's never been the same."
- from the liner notes of Chorus Vs. Solos: A Tribute To Charlie Chesterman

"When I was still in high school, a long, long time ago, the only radio station I listened to regularly was WPRB, operated by students at Princeton University. I first heard a lot of great bands through the station, including some that eventually became standard-bearers--R.E.M., the Violent Femmes, the Minutemen, the Feelies, Mission of Burma--but to be honest I know I've forgotten the great majority. I learned about groups like the Neats and the Dream Syndicate, who didn't quite get canonized but still mean just as much to me now as they did nearly two and a half decades ago. And I remember a handful of songs that earned a special place in the station's rotation but were by bands that nobody really knew much about, even at the time.

"One was called "King Size Cigarette," a fantastic, ultracatchy garage tune by a band from Des Moines, Iowa, called the Law, reputedly the state's first punk act. It'd been released as a single in 1980, but WPRB had transferred it to a cart--a bulky cartridge containing a tape loop, usually used for commercials or public service announcements (I know this because I eventually got to DJ on the station one evening in 1986). Another fine song from the single, "Reason for Treason," also got some airplay. The Law's front man, Charlie Chesterman, later moved to Boston, where he started Scruffy the Cat. A great holiday song by the Law called "What Did Santa Claus Bring You for Christmas?," cut in 1981, eventually turned up on the My Pal God Holiday Record, a compilation released by WPRB alum and former Chicagoan Jon Solomon."
- from a post by Peter Magasak on the Chicago Reader website

UPDATE 3-11-17: Fixed a mistake in the lineup where it correctly listed Eric Coleman as the drummer.

Chuckie Suicide (Charlie Chesterman) - Vocal, Guitars
Tim P. The Very Dangerous (Tim Johnson) - Guitar
Billy Disease (Kevin Hensley) - Organ, Sax
Mac Paul (Mac Stanfield) - Bass
Bolt Upright (Tad Hutchison) - Drums

The Law on The Underground Archives:

Charlie Chesterman home page:

Friends of Charlie Chesterman Facebook page:

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Ep 44 - Song 2: "Candy Lips" by The Frank Lloyd Tribe

"My name is Nicholas Buckton and I am the lead singer/guitarist of a band called the Frank Lloyd Tribe. I was born in Des Moines and have been recording and writing music here since I was in fifth grade.

"FLT was a rock band that was formed in Ames, IA when I was in school at ISU from 2008 to when I graduated in 2013. We would play (extremely) raucous house shows and would throw parties that centered around our band playing for many hours. We had the fortune to have our music played on the radio, used in a professional skiing video and a host of other odd and fantastic things.

"I have since calmed down a bit, but the music has been recorded and still remains from that time period."
- from an email to IMSC

Nicholas Buckton - Guitar/Vocals
Jay Kasperbauer - Drums
Elizabeth Opie - Bass




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Ep 44 - Song 3: "Rebekah (You've Got the Whole World)" by Liberty Hall Collective

"Hailing from the lands of corn (2 guys) and the lands of cheese (the other guy), Liberty Hall Collective was forged from a mutual necessity for music making in Storm Lake, Iowa in late 2013. Since then, they have risen to considerable acclaim for their unique mix of 60’s and 70’s-bred pop, modern rock sensibilities, and a foundational love of all kinds of music. From Brett Pongratz’s pop-punk-esque ventures to Kamron Warden’s Paul McCartney-style compositions to Chase Harrison’s anything-goes songwriting, the diverse range explored in the group is impressive. Liberty Hall Collective’s fun and diverse sound and stage antics are sure to delight audiences the world over."
- from their ReverbNation page

"From The Beatles to Ty Segall to Panic at the Disco, Liberty Hall Collective’s music has been compared to a number of sounds, but it truly has no equals. Forged from a mutual necessity for music making in Storm Lake, Iowa in late 2013, the group is founded on a unique blend of 60s and 70’s-bred pop, modern-rock sensibilities, and a foundational love of all kinds of music. This is aided by an exciting and dynamic stage show with as many twists and turns as a great novel. The band’s second album, Lights, shows the band’s scope and scale expertly, from earth-shattering arena rock to reserved, delicate jazz-pop ventures. (I don’t know how to end this)"
- from their Facebook page

Brett Pongratz - Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Chase Harrison - Bass, Backing Vocals, Wah-wah pedal
Kamron Warden - Drums, Organ, Backing Vocals




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Ep 44 - Song 4: "Good Intentions" by The World Is Flat

"Buzzkill rock from Des Moines, Ia."
- from their BandCamp page

"Three high school friends raised in a homeschooled environment spent their time playing Green Day and Modest Mouse covers in a basement. One day, one of them said 'Hey! This sounds pretty ok.' So they called themselves 'Branded As Better.' After everyone asked them why they were called, 'Brandon Is Better' and why there was no one named Brandon in the band, they renamed themselves 'Anticonscience.' They played shows for several months and over that time were challenged to write better and more authentic music. With a short hiatus, the group got together and began writing, working out a specific sound. They came back at 'The World Is Flat.'

"There are three of us.
Josiah Sutton, a pretentious wannabe philosopher with a love of 90s alternative, punk, and indie.
Stuart Merritt, a guitarist stuck on bass who keeps trying to make our music sound like Coldplay.
Morgan Vander Hart, a drummer who spends his time playing metal and indie, and serves the job of being attractive."
- from their Facebook page

Josiah Sutton - guitar, bass, vocals
Stuart Merritt - guitar, bass, vocals
Morgan Vander Hart - drums, raw sex appeal




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Ep 44 - Song 5: "Masquerade" by No Good Deed

"No Good Deed is a rock band from Des Moines Iowa comprised of a group of battle scarred veterans of the central Iowa music scene. "
- from their BandCamp page

“'In practices, people contribute with drum or guitar parts, and we’ll see what works and go from there,' Morgan said. '(Hansen) will come in with a bunch of ideas, and I’ll come in with a bunch, and we’ll all just kind of jam on riffs and see what works. At this point, after being together for a couple of years, we’ve kind of gotten to the point where we finish each other’s sentences.'"
- from an article by Chad Taylor in Cityview

"If you’re looking for beefy heartland rock ‘n’ roll with enough of a pop sheen to make it palatable, you’re 'Looking for a Mantra.' These fo​ur guys, veterans of the no-BS Midwest scene, rumble like they’re trying to keep the years at bay, and they’re succeeding.

"Guitarist/vocalist Doug Hansen drops fat chords and takes instrumental breaks in unanticipated directions. At times it’s the sonic equivalent of watching a mountain biker with a ProCam wobblying at the edge of a vertiginous cliff. Hansen is the dominant songwriter with six and one-half writing credits (the half shared with drummer Tim Schmitt) but everybody contributes to an effort made vastly more formidable through the efforts of many hands...

"Mostly, though, it’s reliable power pop with an edge sharp enough to cut yourself on. Imagine Urge Overkill without the preening, or Material Issue without the eagerness to please."
- from Patrick Beach on Austin American-Statesman

"No Good Deed’s component members have been around the scene for a couple of decades. In a way, you could call the band a kind of “super group” of early-’90s Des Moines influences... Lead singer Rob Reeves and guitarist Doug Hansen drive No Good Deed’s sound with a classic combination of clean vocals and crunchy rock riffs. It might not be hipster-slick, but it’s definitely still cool."
- from a review by Chad Taylor in Cityview

"Much like Cedar Valley bands House of Large Sizes and the Mittens, No Good Deed are what some people might call old-timers (all of the members are older than 40) who have stayed true to loud, fast rock 'n' roll while resisting grunge and other dreary sounding trends from the 1990s." - from a review by John Molseed in The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Doug Hansen - Guitar Vocals
Jeff Morgan - Bass, Vocals
Ray Ebert - Drums

Home page:



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Ep 44 - Song 6: "The Falling" by Karen Meats The Vahnevants

"Karen Meat and the Vahnevants, two great Des Moines sounds that taste oh so great together. On this release, we find local singer/songwriter/musically schizophrenic pop-star Karen Meat getting dissolved into the acid-drenched “Back from the Grave” stylings of the Vahnevants. Just like taking too much of too much of Hoffman’s Olde Original, It’s nearly impossible to tell where the Id and Ego of each entity begins and ends."
- from Ed Bignar's Pop Occulture website

"Karen Meat and The Vahnevants hail from Des Moines, Iowa, where the musicians are a tightknit bunch with a penchant for collaboration. Given their shared interests and buddy status, It’s only right and natural that Karen Meat (Arin Eaton) and the Vahnevants would make a record together. The resulting EP,“Karen Meats the Vahnevants,” will not disappoint fans of either act.

"On first listen, the four songs on this EP might sound like the Vahnevants with a different frontperson. Closer inspection, however, reveals Eaton’s songwriting assuming an equal role. The creative signatures of the two acts blend well, with melodies teased out by guitars as much as vocals...

"Throughout the proceedings, them Vahnevant boys whip out lil’ lassos of C&W licks and strangle vibrato-laden leads out of their guitfiddles. 'Karen Meats the Vahnevants' is the musical equivalent of falling off a barstool. Morricone banshee wails blow by like tumbleweeds, and the overall effect is something akin to Joe Meek scoring a western.

For all the obvious points of aural reference, “Karen Meats the Vahnevants” never wanders into pastiche. The lyrics hit on the age-old concerns of rock ‘n’ roll (falling in love, falling out of love, getting soused) but framed in modern terms (they use the word ‘thot’ in a song title, fer fuck’s sake). The bleached-out recording–captured by Des Moines’ busiest taper, Phil Young–benefits the songs, the vocals at once present and distant, a thick film covering the lens.

So here ya go: rock ‘n’ roll chocolate and peanut butter. Eat y’self fitter and grab the tape, out now on the recently revived RULE_OG_Y label."
- from a review by Bob Bucko on the Your Record Collection Sucks website

Arin Eaton - vocals
James Brittenson - bass guitar
bRyan Meier - cello/drums
Micah Sturdevant - guitar/piano
Jared Vaughn - guitar/drums


Karen Meat's home page:

Karen Meat's Facebook page:

Karen Meat's BandCamp page:

The Vahnevants' home page, maybe?

The Vahnevants' Facebook page:

The Vahnevants' SoundCloud page:

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Ep 44 - Song 7: "30 Days" by Men of Science and Faith

"Formed in the beginning of 2014, Men of Science & Faith grew out of the idea of playing music forever. The group met on campus at Central College, with all of the members participating in performing arts ensembles. Honing their skills in and outside of classes and rehearsals, the four-piece band began rehearsing and writing."
- from their ReverbNation page

Dann Kuttler
Nathan Thiessen
Lucas Hamilton




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Ep 44 - Song 8: "Speak to Me" by Bonne Finken

“A beautiful spitfire, (Bonne) projects a girl-​power vibe that seems unintentional, a feat for which many strive for and fail. Finken’s voice is her greatest strength. A close second is her massive stage presence.”
- Mary Buck - The Des Moines Music Coalition

"A vocalist at heart... Bonne Finken has become a true "musical warrior" by immersing herself into a decade's worth of studio recording/production and live performance.

"Learning composition by ear, Bonne writes her own rock/powerpop/electronic music and continuously changes the scope of what's possible for both her local music scene and for independent solo artists...

"Known for her versatile talent, Finken also put together a beautiful live show that ranks among the most popular in the region - featuring not only her magnetic stage presence but vibrant visual designs and a live band that is filled with the state's most seasoned professional musicians."
- from her home page

"To hear her sing, you’d never know Bonne Finken was once a shy, small-town-Iowa girl. Her confident, passionate vocals demand the attention she used to studiously avoid...

"She doesn’t strive to achieve anyone else’s mold, which is apparent in her remarkably versatile voice that allows her to transcend genres effortlessly. One moment, she’s making your heart race with a take-no-prisoners approach to a slice of driving, R&B-tinged pop. The next, she’s melting your heart with a soul-inspired ballad. Finken even has the capability to carry a down-and-dirty, loud rocker. The fact that her vocal delivery has been compared to both the soulful croon of Annie Lennox and to the legendary wail of Janis Joplin is a testament to her impressive adaptability.

"Finken’s love of singing was instilled by her father when she was a child in Knoxville, Iowa. A victorious battle with cancer at the age of 24 added fuel to her burning musical passion. Re-evaluating her priorities, Finken realized, 'The only thing I’ve ever wanted my whole life was to sing.' She cut her teeth as a performer in local karaoke competitions and as a vocalist-for-hire in various cover bands. But her days of singing other people’s material were numbered. Finken emerged from her cancer scare with the confidence to begin composing her own songs, which soon poured forth in abundance...

"That fearlessness and desire to remain true to herself and music continually wins her new followers each time she performs and every time her recordings are heard. Finken’s propensity for musical growth and her incomparable work ethic promise refreshing and exhilarating musical experiences for years to come. Stay tuned for her next move — the only predictable aspect of which is a phenomenal lead vocal performance." - from her Facebook page

Written and arranged by Bonne Finken
Vocals, Organ and Synth Programming: Bonne Finken
Electronic Drums and Bass Programming: Glenn Sawyer
Bass Guitar: Jon Locker
Strings: Travis Rollins and Elle Rollins
Drums: Jay LaBella

Produced by Glenn Sawyer, Rich Veltrop and Bonne Finken
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at The Spot Studios in Lakewood, Colorado

Home page:
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