Friday, May 30, 2014

Our Picks for the Top Five Acts at The Dark Star Jubilee

Dark Star Orchestra might have been the host of the Dark Star Jubilee at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio, but several bands made a huge impression on the 5000 people who showed up. Unaware of most of the bands in the lineup, I was pleasantly surprised time and time again. It was an incredible weekend of music. Here are my Top five favorite acts along with some honorable mentions. (All photos by The Bigfoot Diaries.)

5. Rumpke Mountain Boys

The Rumpke Mountain Boys
These fellas are known throughout the eastern midwest as THE party band. Their exploits are legendary: they are known for tearing it up in festival campgrounds well into the next day. "They're like the devil," one camper told me. "They are usually among the last standing when the sun is coming up in the morning. I don't know how they do it." Their live act on stage is a mystery as well. They play with a fervor and a tightness that is common among the bluegrass genre, but the way they do it is different. They have labled their sound "Trashgrass." The Rumpke Mountain Boys seem to beat to their own drum, and were more than capable of holding down their hour-long afternoon slot on Sunday afternoon. After their set, they became the first non-headlining band that the crowd beckoned to come back out for an encore - a request that was denied due to time restraints. They were clearly the local favorites. 

Interesting factoid: According to Sam Cutler, the Jubilee's Master of Ceremonies, this band who hails from Cincinnati had an interesting back-story in getting their name. "I asked about their name, and reminded them that there were no mountains in Cincinnati," Cutler said to the crowd before he introduced the band. "Then they told me well, the garbage dump is the highest point in their county and the people who handle their garbage are called Rumpke so they decided to call themselves the Rumpke Mountain Boys."

4. The Ragbirds

Erin Zindle of The Ragbirds
The Ragbirds were fantastic. Erin Zindle plays the violin spectacularly, hitting notes well above the typical scale that one associates with normal playing. She played fast, slow and anywhere in between, and she did so effortlessly. Her voice is melodic and warm and perfectly suited for the road-folk style of music that the Ragbirds play. The rest of the band were along for the ride, steering the ship through tidal waves of joy, wonder and sorrow. Imagine driving a car across the United States and the natural soundtrack that would accompany it. That's The Ragbirds.

Interesting Factoid: The Ragbirds have now played in 47 states. The only states they haven't performed in are Utah, Alaska, and Hawaii.

3. The Wailers

Al Anderson of The Wailers. 
It seems that everybody was excited to see the Wailers play. Not only did the crowd in front of the stage triple in size, but musicians from other bands came out of their backstage hiding spots to witness this legendary act. The Wailers did not disappoint. Led by original Wailer and reggae bass pioneer Aston Barrett, the band immediately began to spread the gospel of the Rastafari through music. They were billed as playing the Legend album in it's entirety, but they also found time to put in a few other songs as well, such as "Positive Vibrations", "Punky Reggae Party" and "Trenchtown Rock." They drifted from song to song effortlessly and musically was right on point. The entire crowd, backstage musicians and all, was dancing to the Jamaican rhythms. The vibe was incredible. If one band brought everybody together during this festival, it was the Wailers. Their set lasted an hour and a half, but it seemed to be over as soon as it started.

Interesting Factoid: Despite the billing that said that The Wailers would play the entire Legend album, they did not play "Redemption Song" or "No Woman No Cry" in Legend Valley.

2. Galactic

I had never heard Galactic, but I was expecting great things from this band from New Orleans. Their live show has been talked about in music circles for years, and I was excited to see what the buzz was all about. They were in fact a major reason I chose to attend this festival. Their set started at 11:00 on Saturday night, and it provided a blistering blend of jazz, fusion, electronica, and rock. It was a stark contrast to the other acts that were playing in the Jubilee and the raw combination of horns, bass and guitar made for an incredible jam. Sometimes they delivered a spacey drawn out sound, while other times the sound they were creating reminded me of the soundtrack to a spy movie. It was a set packed with soul, funk and teases of rock. It was ridiculously tight and the absence of vocals during most of the set wasn't a factor. It was one of the most intense live performances I had ever seen live. I can't wait to see them again.

Interesting factoids: Corey Glover of Living Color fame is a touring member of the group and he handles the rare occasions the band uses vocals. Drummer and Galactic founding member Stanton Moore has recorded with bands as diverse as funk keyboardist Robert Walter and heavy metal act Corrosion of Conformity.

1. Anders Osborne

Anders Osborne

Holy shit. Anders Osborne took me completely by surprise. I didn't expect to get my face rocked off at a jam band festival. Anders Osborne came out and after a song or two, many people left the area in front of the stage. Meanwhile, others joined in. It was a different type of music fan - one that resembled more of one that would go to a rock show than a hippie festival. I took that as a good sign! Anders Osborne and his 4 piece band absolutely shredded and those of us who hugged the front row rail loved him for it. The combination of his insane guitar and his melodic folk metal voice made for a very entertaining set. He reminded me more of the MC5 than he did somebody who occasionally plays with Phil Lesh and Friends. 

He seemed so rare... a quality that I haven't experienced in a band in a very long time. Half way through his set I decided that he is now one of my all-time favorite musicians. Then I wondered how come I hadn't heard him before. Two dudes next to me were leaning on the rail that separated the crowd from the stage. They were obviously very much in to Osborne's set and at one point I mentioned that this is by far my favorite act of the festival. The two told me that they were from Battle Creek, Michigan, and they drove all the way down just to see Anders Osborne. Then they mentioned that they could actually care less about the rest of the bands. It struck me odd that they would pay the entire festival price for just one act, but I understood. Anders Osborne was definitely worth it. After the set was finished, the two dudes and I high-fived and then we turned to walk back up the hill into the sea of people. Glancing over, I noticed one was wearing a Municipal Waste t-shirt. Fuckin-A, I thought. Metal heads at a jam-band festival. 

Interesting factoid: Osborne's band is based out of new Orleans but he was actually born in Sweden.

Honorable Mentions:

These bands also deserve mention for their performances. 


There are so many bluegrass bands out there. Kudos to the folks who organized the lineup for this festival, as they did a fantastic job of booking bands that sound different from each other. While there were a few bluegrass style bands in the lineup, none of them sounded like the other, and each one had it's own distinctive sound. Cornmeal was no exception. They held the 4:15 Sunday afternoon slot and right away they made it known that this wasn't your daddy's bluegrass band. Their sound was all over the place, and they showed in leaps and bounds why they are one of the most heavily touted bluegrass acts in the world. Their energy was the perfect segway into the evening's festivities and they provided a much needed acoustic shot of adrenaline. They are another act I am looking forward to seeing again.

The Everyone Orchestra

Matt Butler conducts the Everyone Orchestra
This event was a lot of fun. The concept behind this all-star act is the conductor (Matt Butler) generates a unique sound by using a marker and wax board to suggest styles and tempos to the band and audience. In doing so, he essentially creates a new song, or style, or both. Of course the audience was invited to participate, and of course they did. Lots of fun. The Everyone Orchestra consisted of Erin Zindle (Ragbirds), Jeff Mattson (Dark Star Orchestra), Rob Barraco (Dark Star Orchestra), Drew Heller (Toubab Krewe), Ben Kaufmann (Yonder Mountain String Band), Randall Moore (Ragbirds), and Rob Koritz (Dark Star Orchestra).

The New Riders of the Purple Sage 

Michael Falzarano and David Nelson of New Riders of the Purple Sage
David Nelson is a folk-rock pioneer and brought his unmistakable sound to Legend Valley as they rolled through their lengthy set lists. The highlight might have been "Panama Red," which pretty much epitomized the weekend spirit for most of us concert revelers. He was joined by such legendary musicians as Michael Falzarano (Hot Tuna) on guitar and Buddy Cage (Dylan, Garcia, Rick James) on the steel. 

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus was great as well. With a name like Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, one might expect a tinge of psychedelia, and this band delivered just that. In fact, they were the perfect mix of rock and roll and psychedelia, twisting it beautifully together like a cosmic doobie. On their facebook page they describe themselves as "Hot rocking for galactic freedom." What else does one need to know about these sonic storm troopers?

Thursday, May 29, 2014


The Firecracker 500 is now upon us like some massive alien spacecraft hovering over the city. All that's left for you to do is show up. Get yourself to the Mill in Iowa City and get set for 3 days of gut bucket, mind twisting rock n' roll. This is the real deal. It's the stuff your mom warned you about, so you know it's gonna be a cool time.

You may have already seen in these pages the lowdown on the 80/35 festival. It seems that the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition has decided to serve up a heaping plate of mediocrity. If that's your thing by all means go for it, but if you really crave the big beat then you need to be at the Firecracker 500 in Iowa City this weekend.

Get the venue info here.

So there you go. Show up and be sure to say hi if you see me. If I'm even half way lucid I'll be happy to talk to you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Too New To Be Known: An Interview With Grant And Dan Of Panthallasa

As I drove into the parking lot, I didn't really know what to expect. I had heard the horror stories from Grant Peter about the "Poodle Lady" who owned the space next to where he practiced, and her affinity to harass anyone who seemed out of place, or anyone who may have unknowingly parked in her grooming service's empty parking stalls. I half expected to see her when I pulled into the lot - almost hoped to see her - if nothing else to match her actual appearance with that of the one imagined in my head. 

But she wasn't around on this day. What caught my eye was the hidden bar that sat behind this particular building. It was like a speakeasy, tucked away in a spot not visible from the road. The neon lights said it was a bar, but the crowd of dudes in tank tops and emblemed jackets standing outside on the patio told me that it was a unique spot, like an exclusive club, and one that might not attract (nor welcome?) strangers. 

I was early, and I had a few moments to kill. I pulled into the an empty spot underneath a neon Corona light and went inside.

The place was empty aside from a few dudes who were sitting at various spots around the bar. After I sat down, also bellied up, one of these fellas went behind the bar and asked me what he could get for me. I ordered a beer and scanned the place. On a big projector screen a concert was being performed by a singer I didn't recognize. He resembled Wayne Newton, only he sang in a foreign language I couldn't decipher. But it was a high quality video and during the times the camera panned over the crowd, I could see that this gentleman was adored. His fans swooned at him and sang along with his every word. The video was being played very loudly, especially I thought, since nobody seemed to be watching it. 
Most people were enjoying the weather outside on the patio. 

I asked the bartender if he was the owner.

"Yes," he nodded.

"How long have you been here?"

"For a few years," he answered in a thick accent. "Have you been in here before?"

"No," I replied. I am here to meet the band downstairs."


After a slight pause, he asked, "Do you like that kind of music?"

Assuming that he meant heavy rock and roll, I nodded yes.

"They are really loud." he said.

At that point, my phone buzzed and I looked down to see a text from Grant. Apparently he was downstairs in the space directly underneath the bar. I was here to meet him and listen to his band for the first time. 

I paid for my beer and went outside and walked down the hill alongside the bar to the area tucked underneath, where there were a couple of shop doors. One door was unmarked, and the other was clearly the entrance to the poodle shop. I pulled on the unmarked door and went inside. I could already hear the buzzing of the amplifier and the long chords being played on the guitar. The guy upstairs (whom I found out later to be Bosnian) was right. It was very loud. I wondered how my ears would take it in such a small practice area. I immediately understood the qualms that the Poodle Lady had with Grant. I also understood why the video being played upstairs was turned up so loudly.

Back track a week or so to my house where Grant came to talk to me about Panthallasa, his new project. He brought along with him his bass player, Dan Powell and we gathered around the kitchen table and discussed the metamorphosis of this new endeavor and the evolution of a two-man project to a full piece band. 

We also discussed their upcoming show at the House of Bricks this Friday night, Panthallasa's first live appearance. It's an early all-ages show and they will share the stage with Des Moines' prog-metal bands The Maw and Violent Fade. 

Listening to Grant talk about his band, I began to realize just how big of a project this has been for him, and how one man's vision can come to light, even through the turmoils he has faced. It's not easy to see something through while maintaining a vision, especially with constant distractions. Grant has somehow managed to do just that. Friday night's performance at the House of Bricks will be a celebration. Plus his band rocks.

You can hear for yourself by visiting their Soundcloud page. Turn it up LOUD. You can see for yourself by going Friday. 

At $7, this concert is a steal.

The cover of Panthallasa's digital EP. (Click this and all photos to enlaarge.)

What IS Panthallasa?

Grant: Yes. Ok.. I hate documentaries... absolutely hate them. But about a year and a half ago I was watching this documentary on Netflix about plate tectonics. And kinda in passing when they were referring to Pangaea  which, at least I learned about in 6th grade - it was that super continent - so while they were talking about this super continent, they also mentioned this super sea. It was this ocean that surrounded this super continent called Panthalassa. We're spelling it a little bit differently because the logo I drew up, it looks like there are SS bolts in it. We can't be having that... So we nixed one of the S's and added an L. But it's still pronounced the same, Panthalassa.

How long have you been working as a band?

Grant: With this line up, what, a couple weeks?

Dan: Yeah. I've been playing with the band for about a month. 

So it's a newer project.

Grant: Yeah. It's a new project using very old riffs. Some of these songs were written years ago but as musicians you are always throwing stuff into the bone pile basically then you come back to it, pick it back out and rework it. So initially it was just going to be a recording project between the guitarist and I, the drums were all going to be programmed and we hadn't even tackled the idea of doing vocals yet. As it snowballed we actually started getting live members together, and kind of a funny thing, when our vocalist Matt Burkett, came into the project, he just showed up at our actual first live rehearsal, he just walked into the room and he looked at me and said, "Do you mind if I sing?" I was kind of like, "Uh, yeah... sure... whatever dude. Go for it." And I really liked it so how he kinda joined in there. It worked out.

Was he just in the neighborhood? 

Grant: Well pretty much, man. (Laughs.) We share a rehearsal space with a band called No One, which is a two-piece which features Matt Burkett on guitar and vocals and Shane Mills, who is also in The Maw, on drums. So it was a rehearsal space that we were sharing with them, and yeah he was in the neighborhood and he came in. He asked me if he could do vocals and yeah. he pretty much was just ad-libbing stuff for several months and I kept asking him if he was going to write lyrics, and he never got around to it, so I just started doing it.

So let's talk about the snowball effect. Tell me about when the process of when you knew that you were going to go from a two person project to let's bringing in more musicians and making it a band.

Grant: Well not to get to deep into... what are the words I'm searching for? I'm not going to say that the stars aligned or that there was this clarity, but there came a point when it became obvious that I wasn't going to be able to do it as I envisioned it. It was just myself and Joe, and the person with whom we were working with is in a full-time touring band and they weren't going to have the time to dedicate to it and I had the time all of a sudden.

Ok. So who IS Panthallasa? 

Grant: Panthallasa as the current lineup is Mr. Dan Powell who is here, plays bass. We have a drummer now, his name is Shane Mills. I mentioned him earlier. That guy is in about 4-5 bands at a time. Joe Curry is on guitar, Matt Burkett is the vocalist who plays the guitar occasionally, even though he says he don't want to. 

Dan: He wants to.

Grant: Yes he does. He likes the way it looks around him. (laughs) 

Who doesn't?

Grant: Yeah. (laughs.) And I kinda do what's left over which is some guitar and I also screw around with some electronic stuff.

So you have a show coming up...

Grant: We do! May 23rd, first show, it's going to be at the House of Bricks. I'm really stoked on this. The lineup is one that I'm actually most excited for because they're two bands that I've always wanted to do a show with but due to circumstances, it has never actually happened. So it's us, and then the next band up is The Maw which I couldn't even begin to describe that band. It's everything you could want out of a band. Phenomenal music. Then, I guess you could call them the actual headliners, is Violent Fade. They are an instrumental three-piece, but when you think of instrumental three-piece bands, it doesn't quite do it justice. There is actual composition and arrangement there. You aren't going to just go and watch these guys thrash around.

Sounds fantastic. Will you guys be releasing an EP or a CD?

Grant: Yes. No CD. I was actually talking to Joe Antleman from Aquamarine (Dream Machine) today and he was asking me when is the CD release show... We're not doing a release show. We're not even doing a CD. Um... Nobody buys them anymore. Nobody buys CDs unless you are like myself, a neurotic completionist, you're not buying it. Everybody downloads off of iTunes or a bit-torrent site, and they pirate it, and it just ends up on their phone or their iPod or whatever. So it's going to be released digitally, for free because again, nobody is buying this stuff. I'll have a Bandcamp so it'll come like in this zip file, get artwork all that stuff.

Very nice.

Grant: Yeah... It's probably the easiest way to get music to people now anyway. If they are coming to your show, they are actually going to spend more money at the bar than they are at your merch table.

So how are you involved with the process, Dan? 

Dan: Well one day actually, I guess... I hadn't talked to Grant in months. Let's see... Oh yeah. I remember now. he wanted to start a Limp Bizkit cover band, was that it?

Grant: Yeah.

Dan: Or Korn, or something like that.

Was that a serious venture, or was that just bullshit?

Grant: Yeah. Ok. (Laughs.) Seth Peters (Dead Horse Trauma) is kinda like a spiritual type guidance counselor to me. If I ever have an issue, I run it by him. We were just talking one day, kinda BSing around and maybe it was his idea, but we were talking about doing a Limp Bizkit cover band. He's like do you know how much money you'd make off of that if you were doing that? I'm like, yeah. Even though people really rail on Limp Bizkit, you know that they'd go see a Limp Bizkit cover band JUST to be ironic. So yeah... I posted something about it on a social media site, and Dan saw it.

Dan: Yes. That's what happened.

Grant: And we're like cool man. We'll do this. 

But you guys were friends before?

Dan: Yeah. We've known each other for a long time.

Grant: Since what, 2008 maybe?

Dan: Yeah I played in a band with Grant, I guess when I was playing with him, it was Patient Zero, which became Autocrat. So I did that for a short while. Played guitar for a short while. But anyway, yeah. So I'm like Ok! You're totally down! Let's do it! and I wasn't playing music at the time and I guess it just never really materialized like... a... Limp Bizkit cover band... which is actually what should happen...

Grant: Not exist?

Dan: Yeah. (laughs.) Then he shot me a text one day wanting me to fill in for a little bit, just doing live shows. Then after a couple of weeks, it's like, "hey, you are in the band. You don't have much of a choice, and you can't quit." 

Grant: Pretty much.

Dan: I'm like, ok. So here I am.

Panthallasa:  Joe Curry, Matt Burkett, Dan Powell, Shane Mills, Grant Peter

You mentioned Seth Peters. How much of an influence does he and Dead Horse Trauma have on Panthallasa?

Grant: You look at bands that are successful locally. You look at what they do and how they operate as a business unit. Obviously the art's there, but in the Midwest we have this work hard, play hard mentality, but what comes first? It's the work. Dead Horse Trauma exemplifies that. They work so freaking hard it's ridiculous. I mean, it's amazing that any of them actually have day jobs outside of what they are doing because they are so busy promoting and touring. So their sense of work ethic has sort of rubbed off on me. Maybe not to the degree where I'm out handing out flyers to people, but just how they run their day to day operations. It's a business. I think that's why they are as successful as they are because they aren't dicking around. It's not an excuse to party, it's not an excuse to say 'I'm in a band!' you know. I mean they treat everything as a product. I don't think that there's anything wrong with that inherently, I mean you could probably go overboard... Are they there yet? I don't think so. Not at all. So I kinda run Panthallasa pretty tightly. Don't get me wrong. It's not like we are all just brownie-faces when we are sitting in the rehearsal space. We may have a couple of beers in there or what not but we are not in there partying, we are in there working. You show up to practice when practice is scheduled and you gotta learn your parts. You gotta know what you are doing. It wasn't this way initially, but lately I'm kinda rolling with it, but I look at some of the bands that have influenced me personally... The Mars Volta, a band called The Ocean, The Dillinger Escape Plan. These are all bands that are led by one individual and this individual writes the majority of their music. Each band member is given a little lee-way with their parts, but it's not a very democratic process at all. It's you show up, you do what you are supposed to do and we go home. Simple as that. It hasn't worked with everybody, you know one of my best friends was out first bass player, and we're still on pretty good terms. I'm not going to say that our friendship wasn't deteriorating, but it wasn't as strong as it used to be and you could just tell that he wasn't really enjoying the fact that he didn't have a whole lot of creative input on it. Fortunately the people we have now understand how the cookie crumbles. Wasn't that in Bruce Almighty? 

So everybody in the band is in tune with that philosophy?

Grant: Well, if there are any issues it hasn't been raised. You know... we all write. Right now as it stands I'd say it's about 80/20 with the 80 being myself doing the writing and composition and the vocalist doing 20 percent. Now Joe, the other guitarist, I kinda let him have some free range, the way I've described it best is a coloring book. It's blank. Here are the lines. Your instruments are the crayons, markers, paint, whatever. You stay with these lines. You can use any colors you want as long as you stay within these lines. Don't go outside the lines because I've got it set on this clear path. I know it kind of sounds tyrannical or egotistical, but I know what I want. I don't lose any sleep over it. 


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

And Now A Word From Andy Shernoff...

Finally a punk rock album about religion! (No facepalm required.)

Andy Shernoff has released his new solo EP, On The First Day, Man Created God, which he considers his first concept record. (Although he says many think the first Dictators album is a teenage rock opera). He says that this EP is not for children. 

In his own words, from his website, he discusses each track:

Are You Ready To Rapture?

I’m from New York City where nobody actually believes Jesus will return to earth so I grew up completely unaware of the Rapture. As a kid I saw a few nut jobs in Times Square screaming about the end of the world but it’s different today. It’s not just the ranting of religious fanatics anymore, we have powerful people in government who gleefully anticipate the apocalypse …. and some want to be President. I find that very scary.

I had the phrase Jewish zombie rolling around my brain and wanted to incorporate it into a song, so I researched Christian eschatology extensively. It was very important to me that every line in the song reflected what these knuckleheads actually believe. I probably wrote 25 verses until I found the right combination of drama, truth and sarcasm.

… enjoy my video for the song as well.


What happens when lovers have different views on religion? … I conceived this song as a conversation between a couple where one is a skeptic and the other a believer. I imagine this would be awfully difficult to maneuver in real life so in a rare move, I dropped the sarcasm.

Fisher Of Men

I loved the phrase Fisher Of Men and thought it would be a good starting point for an empathetic song about an evangelical with doubts. The phrase comes from the New Testament (Matthew 4:19) and is a call for evangelicals to convert non-believers. If you sincerely believe in a literal bible I understand why you would want to convert your friends and family to save them from an eternity of torture. The question then arises, what would happen if you couldn’t “save” your brother? Is it possible to be happy in heaven if you know a loved one is burning in hell? …. If that was the case heaven would not paradise.

Get On Your Knees For Jesus

We’re back to sarcastic Andy on this one but delve beneath the surface and I think you will find serious lyrics about original sin, one of the most preposterous religious concepts I have ever heard …. Let me get this straight, we are all sinners because a talking snake convinced Adam and Eve to taste an apple from the tree of knowledge? I deserve punishment for the sins of someone else? Sorry I’m not buying.

But you totally should... Go to his website and buy this EP.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Anybody remember when rock and roll was dangerous? How long has it been anyway? I mean whatever it is that the powers that be are foisting on everyone today doesn't sound or feel like rock and roll to me. Maybe I'm wrong; but it sure seems to me like the primitive thud has been replaced by the complacent thwap. What I'm hearing called rock and roll today (i.e. the stuff getting played on the radio) sure sounds like a lot of formulaic, robotic drek. It seems all you need now days to be heralded as a rock n roll king is to look the part. A couple of tats, the right kind of clothes, the right hair or lack of it, and your on your way. But remember, actually playing rock and roll will be no good. In fact it will most likely hurt your career.

The mighty and powerful at the top tiers of the music biz are on a mission. That mission seems to be to make music bland, flavorless , and sterile. That want it to be exactly like themselves: Soulless. So they've taken rock and roll and cleaned it up. They've scoured and sanitized it to the point where it has become unrecognizable (at least to me anyway). What they've done is they've taken out the trash. And trash is one of the most important components to what makes the music so great. (I think the same can be said for country music, as well as the blues and jazz). You can't separate the trash element from '50s Elvis. Or the Beatles. Or even the Beach Boys. (Those are dirty Chuck Berry riffs underneath those majestic pop melodies on the early stuff). The Ramones, Blue Cheer,the Stooges, the Germs, the Cramps, the Clash, Motorhead; all trash baby. Garage, psychedelic, heavy metal, and punk were all born in trash. Rock n roll (along with most other great music) was created by dirt poor. It was invented by the penniless blues men and hillbillies, not by a bunch of wine spritzer drinking pussies who now seem to be running the show.

Trash is good. Yet the movers and shakers in the industry seem to disagree. They offer pale substitutes, if they even try at all anymore. As time marches on, rock n roll seems to be being replaced, little by little with something much more bland. Something DE-fanged, sanitized, and safe for the masses. The rock n roller has been replaced by the rocker(a half-assed douche-bag anointed by the music biz and their media allies as representing rock n roll on their terms). Every time I hear the term it always seems to be referring to some fashion plate doink who couldn't rock standing up in a canoe on the ocean during a hurricane. The real stuff is continually pushed to the outside or the underground, and although it's still there, kicks do keep getting harder to find. It seems to me that for the most part, as music evolves it gets worse, not better.

So what can ya do? How do we stave off this insidious onslaught by whatever zombie overlord types are running things? 

Lots of things probably. Start your own band for one thing. Instead of going to see the current tour of has-beens  like Motley Crue and Aerosmith; go find a band of drug addled high school losers, who hang out in the drummer's parents' basement, filled with black light posters, bong smoke, Dead Boys and Screaming Lord Sutch records, and an old black and white TV set that plays nothing but Munsters and Outer Limits reruns; and give them a place to play. You can probably pay 'em in cheeseburgers.

The other thing you can do is pick up an issue of PORK. This thing shouts rock and roll right from the cover and keeps screaming all the way to the end. Bad ass for sure. It's just the kind of trash the world needs right about now.

Rock and roll+weird art+bad ideas is what it says over the title, and with a come on like that how come you don't have a copy in your hands yet. This is the work of one Sean Aaberg along with friends and family; and believe me when I tell you that I get down on my knees every night and give a prayer of thanks for these people.

You'll get stuff on bands like Speed Wolf, Nightmare Boyzzz, Glitter Wizard, and many more that you might wanna give a listen to.(Pretty sure Rolling Stone ain't gonna turn you on to this stuff). You get low brow art, kustom kulture koolness, comics, and cool articles. There's clubs you can join and all kinds of cool stuff you can buy. All of it dripping with true rock n roll soul. This thing is rock n roll as lifestyle. It's like Ed "Big Daddy " Roth, Basil Wolverton, and the Hell's Angels put out a zine. Yeah it's that cool. If for no other reason you should get this just to plaster the thing all over your walls. You'll be the coolest person on your block. So if you (like me) need that trash rock, low living infusion in your world, then you need this. You need this like you need Imodium ad on that interstate bus trip after a long, grueling night of all you can eat burritos and a bottomless cooler of Hamm's beer. So subscribe and I'll see you at the Tiki Bar.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cornmeal And Other Bands Added To This Summer's Camp Euforia Lineup

They aint playin' over there in Lone Tree.

This one goes to 11. 
When Camp Euforia announced their original lineup three weeks ago, only a handful of bands were confirmed for the weekend. This week they've announced several additions including Jon Wayne and the Pain, Old Shoe, Dead Larry and Natty Nation, plus Chicago's seasoned jam masters, Cornmeal. If it was a party before, now it's a face melting revelment of bacchanalia. Batten down the hatches, kids. Shit just got real.

The lineup is as follows:

Euforquestra (2 sets)
Keller Williams
The Motet
Kyle Hollingsworth Band
Head For The Hills
John Wayne and the Pain
Juno What?!
Old Shoe
Natty Nation
Dead Larry
Aaron Kamm and the One Drops
Mr. Baber's Neighbors: The Solar String Band
Fire Sale
The Candymakers
Dr. Z's Experiment
Chris Gelbuda
Abbie and the Sawyers
The Grosso Family Band

The festivities get started on July 11 on "Jerry's Farm," in Lone Tree, Iowa. It carries over into the next day and night, with music being played "at three different venues" which include the outdoor main stage, the up close and personal small barn, and a late night acoustic stage. 

CEXI offers free parking, free camping, regional arts and crafts vendors, and music that keeps on going late into the night. For the early risers, on Saturday there will be a morning yoga session available as well as a coffee with the Grosso Family Band. This intimate festival continues to find faithful fans that yearn for a music festival with a totally personal experience.

Cornmeal will tear up the stage this summer at CEXI

Tickets are available at right now. 

For more information, please go to

For volunteer information, please email

The Inagural Waukeye Music Festival Announces It's Lineup

There's so much good music happening in the area, and plenty of great festivals going on as well. 

Tom Morris and Dan Dahle are happy to announce the lineup for the first annual Waukeye Music Festival in Waukee, Iowa on July 19th. The gates will open at 10:00 AM, with the music festivities starting an hour later. Food, beverages and merchandise vendors will be on site, and camping is permitted.

The Waukeye Music Festival is a kid friendly event. 

"This is a family friendly festival, so bring the kids," said Tom, who also owns the Hull Avenue Tavern. "Children 12 and under get in free." 

The lineup includes both local and regional acts. It's a mixed bag of folk, bluegrass, psychedelia, big beat, and rock and roll. Tickets are available through for $20. 

"Buy them in advance, says Tom, "because they go up to $25 on the day of the show."


11-11:40 - MY FUTURE SIN


1:05-1:50 - GOOD OL' BOYS


3:15-4:00 - RUMBLE SEAT RIOT



6:30-7:15 -THANKFUL DIRT

7:35-8:20 - WHISKEY DICK


9:45-10:30 - CIRRUS MINOR

10:50-11:35 - OLD SALT UNION


Line up and set times are subject to change.

The festival will be held on the Hawkeye Antique Acres, a beautiful piece of private land located just off I-80 at exit 117 (the Waukee exit). 

If you or anyone that you know that would be interested in having a Retail/Merchandise booth at this event please email us at


Waukeye Music Festival Facebook Page