Words by Sommer Sharon
Linkin Park will not play the Wells Fargo Arena on February 6, 2015, as previously planned, and the other kinda “big” rock band scheduled to appear in the Des Moines area in February, Puddle of Mudd, is on shaky ground as well.
Linkin Park's lead singer Chester Bennington injured his leg this week, resulting in the cancellation of the rest of the tour. Bennington's injury reportedly requires immediate medical attention making it impossible for him to continue to perform.
Reports were good on the first few shows. Sounds like Des Moines missed out. Get your refunds by contacting the original point of purchase (DAHLS, the venue box office, etc.).
Bennington plays double duty, as he also became the lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots in 2013, after STP gave Scott Weiland the boot. Weiland's run-ins with the law, struggles with substance abuse, and various meltdowns were a constant distraction for the band and, despite his talent, he did more harm than good.
Speaking of train wrecks....Puddle of Mudd's lead vocalist Wes Scantlin was arrested this week in Denver. Allegedly he took a joyride on an airport baggage carousel, and ended up in a restricted area (idiot). A fan bailed the dude out so he could play the show that night. What a tool (both the fan and Scantlin). Scantlin could use a(nother) night in jail. The promoter for the Denver show posted on their Facebook page, “I apologize to all of those who left early. I hope you enjoyed Lola Black, Horse and Drug Under. Those of you that stayed I hope you love Puddle of Mudd cause we will NEVER book them again.” Good call.
The incident comes after a meltdown at a show on the 2014 tour, which resulted in the cancellation of the rest of the tour. The meltdown was caught on tape showing Scantlin throwing beer and a microphone into the audience, and threatening the attendees.
Friends of mine, who will remain nameless, had planned a tour with Puddle of Mudd last year. I think they played all of one show before Scantlin screwed the whole thing up. My prediction is Scantlin may screw it up again, and it's likely Puddle of Mudd may not make it to Des Moines. Various reports from my sources say Scantlin is a mess on stage, he's either drunk, high or both, and Puddle of Mudd can barely finish their set. Based on these reports, it may be better if they take another break. Which is unfortunate for the rest of the guys in Puddle of Mudd, who are not melting down or choosing to ride airport baggage carousels into restricted areas. To Scantlin I say, DUDE, it's not the 80s. You can't be a total fucking disaster and remain relevant.
Sommer Sharon is a freelance writer living in Des Moines. She's a frequent contributor to Screamer Magazine, and writes for us when we ask her nicely enough.
Kill Matilda, for the uninitiated, is a punk/metal-ish band of misfits from the wilds of Vancouver. That's in Canada, for those of you who both failed geography and missed the headline.
The band has become known throughout their homeland for their luscious licks, crazy back story, relentless touring schedule and vivacious, outspoken primal screamer/front woman Dusty Exner. Now, with the help of an indiegogo campaign and a new, zombie-proof set of hell-on-wheels, the band has embarked on a mammoth, six month tour of the United States.
We spoke with Exner from the road in Kansas, as the band was headed to the limitless bounty of Nebraska. We talked a bit about how the tour was going, and why they decided to commit so much time, cash and energy to a tour of this size.
"American bands have a HUGE advantage over Canadian bands," she explained. "Even if you never leave your home state, you're at a better advantage, because there are just so many more people."
"We wanted to hit as many places as possible," she continued, talking about the tour length and layout. "We really wanted to break into the American audiences. We've even been booking the tour on the fly, so that we can play more in areas that have been more supportive."
That kind of flexibility in booking has allowed the band to linger in areas like the deep southwest, where audiences have embraced the act and wanted to hear more. Exner says that the band has been getting a huge response from the all-ages crowds, including shows in Albuquerque played to large, entirely under-21 crowds. Des Moines City Council, consider this more shade thrown in your direction.
You can check out Kill Matilda Gas Lamp on Thursday, Jan 22. But in the meantime, we asked 'em 10 Good Questions.
1: Who's Matilda and what did she ever do to you?
Have you ever seen a zombie movie before?
You know how a lot of times the zombie plague has been started by an outbreak of some military virus, that has been developed in some secret lab, and they don't want anyone to know about it? Well a lot of people don't know that that actually happened in Canada a while ago.
The Canadian government created this virus and it started zombifying a lot of people. The government started hiring a lot of Zombie Managers—it was actually really good for the economy—to kind of go town to town and kill all these zombies before they could wipe everyone out. So that's how we met; we were all zombie managers.
You don't say.
What we found out, was that if we show up in towns posing as a touring band, people tended to freak out less. Because everyone wants to hear live music. That's good. Nobody wants to know their town is overrun by zombies. So it was either "We're here to play you music!" Yay! Yay! or "We're here because of the zombies" Ahh! Ahh! It just makes our jobs much easier.
I can imagine.
So anyway, the virus that got out and started all the problems was being developed under the project code name Matilda. So our band name is a jab at our side jobs. Because we're all out to Kill Matilda.
2: You're a band with punk and metal influences, two genres known for aggressive and outright anarchist overtones. You're also from Canada, a land renowned for its people's overbearing politeness. When you play gigs in Saskatchewan, how do you avoid being stoned like witches?
So you've been there?
Yeah. We just don't play there very often. We mostly just avoid it entirely.
3: Speaking of Canada, what's the deal with curling?
It's like lawn darts on ice. It's giant shuffleboard.
And are you guys fans?
Only when Canada is defeating the US
4: Did you write your own Wikipedia page?
Um...No. It...spawned from the internet somewhere.
Yeah. But I'd like to change it, I just don't know how. I'm web-deficient when it comes to that stuff.
What would you change?
It's just outdated. Can you do it? I'll send you stuff.
5: Which has been the more exciting three city swing: Agua Priete, Albuquerque, Midland, or Tulsa, Topeka, Lincoln?
Well, we haven't actually gotten to Lincoln yet, but I'd say Agua Priete. Those three dates were great, because we played in mexico and didn't know what to expect, and it was awesome. Then we played in Albuquerque, and played for, like, all 12 year-olds. And in Midland, we opened for Saving Able, which was kind of a big deal.
7: On instagram you posted a picture from Las Vegas of Dusty in front of one of the Treasure Island pirate ships. On a scale of 1-10, how much does it suck that they stopped doing the ship battle show?
I don't know because I've never seen it. That was our first trip to Las Vegas, so we have nothing to compare it to. That's like asking a Mormon kid how much they miss Christmas.
8: Is the song “Geisha With a Switchblade” as dirty as I think it is? Because I've listened to it, and it sounds pretty dirty.
Yeah. Well, it's dirty, but it's also very nuanced. I wrote that song about the worst serial killer in Canadian history. For many years, women have been going missing in Canada, mostly Aboriginal women. An Aboriginal woman is four times as likely to go missing in Canada than a white woman. So there's a big issue about how they're treated in Canada, and how the police treat their disappearances, which is usually like they're no big deal.
So for years, all of these women were going missing and nothing was really being done about it. The police would dismiss their disappearences to their own families. "Well, maybe she's just out on a bender." "Maybe she just picked up and started over somewhere else."
So that song was written from the vantage point of a vigilante sex worker who decides to get justice against Robert Pickton. So everything in the song can be read two ways. It can be about sex, or it can be about murder.
9: You ran an indiegogo campaign to raise funds for a new van. How's that beast working out for you?
It had it's ups and downs, but it's stabilized now. It's name it Helga, and it's our home. We're grateful to our fans for helping us get it, because it's provided us with a safe, if sometimes terrifying way to get around.
10: As we've previously discussed, you guys tout yourselves as pretty serious zombie hunters. While in Des Moines, do you plan on having a meal at our famous Zombie Burger?
Yes? Let's say yes. I didn't even know that was a thing.
Oh, it's a thing.
I'm a vegetarian though, so can I eat a non-meat zombie?
WRITTEN BY CADY COLOSIMO
made being a feminist cool way before Beyoncé and Emma Watson. Girls Rock! Des Moines—aka GR!DSM—was founded in 2013 by none other than Band Bombshell’s very own Rae Fehring. Fehring got the idea years ago after watching a documentary about a Girls Rock 'n' Roll camp in Oregon; which has since inspired many similar camps.
Fehring’s best friend Jennifer Carruthers, 34, has been involved since the beginning. Carruthers started out as a volunteer and has since worked her way up to a full-time employee as the Director of Development. While Carruthers may not be a musician—she says: “I have about zero musical talent, unless you count rapping karaoke"— the importance of music is not lost on her. “Music is so important to me because I feel like it is the one and only true universal language."Read More
WRITTEN & COMPILED BY ERIKA OWEN
There's a good chance you've seen a Tiny Desk concert before. If not, I'm sorry to inform you that you're sorely missing out. (I suggest you start here, with Macklemore's performance.) The good people of NPR cram an entire band—no matter how big it may be—into the same tiny room to perform a couple of their songs. Depending on how big the group is, you've got a different kind of energy with each performance. And sometimes it ends up being downright funny watching all everyone do their thing with little more than a few inches to move around.
But what does that have to do with local music? Tiny Desk recently opened up a contest for musicians around the world, making it possible for your favorite local musician to get their big break—there are even a few from Iowa taking the plunge (we're looking at you, Extravision, Roxi Copland, and Har-di-Har). It's usually really tough to find stories that bridge the Des Moines-NYC gap that I created when I moved out East, but this contest makes it easy work considering we've got some Brooklyn/NY names in there, too. So, grab a drink, listen on, and head on over to the Tiny Desk Contest Tumblr to see more of the entrants.Read More
One of the best things blasting out of the interwebs from Des Moines is Brian Campos' often interesting, frequently hilarious Pants OFF Podast. Every other Tuesday, he sits down with a different musician, songwriter or difference maker in the Des Moines' scene. For this week's episode, he chose to sit down with Band Bombshell's own Chad Taylor, and get our Managing Editor's unvarnished thoughts on local music, what it's like on the very bottom rung of local celebrity, and what's good and bad in this town, and how he contributes to both. Give it a listen here or on iTunes, and give Brian some love on Facebook.
Written and Compiled by Erika Owen, Chad Taylor, and Casey Erixon
A couple of weeks back we gave you our favorite tracks/bands from 2014—you didn't really think we'd leave you hanging without sharing our own must-listens for 2015, did you? For this edition of 8 Tracks, we pulled eight bands that we think are definitely worth your attention this year, whether they've got new albums on the way or if they're just planning on giving us more of what we love. From school teacher rap (seriously, you'll get it later on) to some familiar faces, read on and listen to what you've got coming at you in 2015:Read More
They always seem to catch us with our best faces on for those still shots, am I right? After a seemingly forever break for the holidays, we're back with the first local music segment of the year on KCWI! We hope you all had a fantastic Christmas/Hannukah/Festivus and managed to ring in the New Year with your drink of choice in hand. We're here to talk about local auditions—opera hopefuls, pay attention—a new release from Peace, Love, & Stuff and a really exciting show announcement over at Woolys. Plug in and get informed:
Written by Rae Fehring
When I was in grad school, someone told me that the best paper is a finished paper. So freaking true. Regardless of the verity of that statement, it did nothing for getting my damn fingers to just.type.the.first.word. Nevertheless, I learned the lesson. So each week–for the most part, because I am also known for soapboxing, tangents, politicizing music, and general feminist rabblerousing–I will introduce you to a woman in music you should know but probably don’t. And to make it easier on me, I’ll just start with a name.
So no name this week. Instead, in the spirit of the Holiday Season, I thought I’d share my Top 5 Favorite Holiday Tunes by Female Artists. I like to call l it my TFFHTFA. And no, acronyms are not my strong suit. My hope is that this list will definitely surprise you and get you in the Holiday spirit…though, I fancy myself as a bit of a Scrooge. Growing up Jewish, I never really thought twice about Christmas. Who needs a tree when you have a Menorah, a Dreidel, and some Gelt!? Best cheap chocolate EVER!Read More
It's a new year! So, for the first Critical Mass of 2015, the boys talk about things they didn't do on New Year's, stuff they're looking forward to this week, Peace Love & Stuff's upcoming album release, and what's hot in local toilets.
Words by Cody Osen
Our own Chad Taylor celebrated his birthday recently, and as usual he threw a rockin' good show at Des Moines' Gas Lamp. The lineup featured some local favorites: Brother Trucker, Randy Burk and the Prisoners, Stutterin' Jimmy, and—one new act that you're sure to hear a lot more about in the coming months—The Other Brothers. The Gas Lamp was packed on the cold December evening, and whether the people knew who Chad was or not, didn't matter; they came to support local music.
We had two photographers in attendance: Brenna Norman, as well as our Photo Editor Cody Osen. Check out their favorite photos of the night below.
This past Saturday, Des Moines rockers Sky Patrol put together a show at Vaudeville Mews, giving themselves a pat the back for their first year as a band. As the guests of honor, they sounded great and closed the gig out in style. Meanwhile, playing in the second spot, The Spartan Blue showed everyone that they've continued to get better as time goes by. The band is getting ready to switch into writing mode and hope to have an album out in 2015, but in the meantime, their live act is only getting stronger.
WRITTEN BY ERIKA OWEN + CHAD TAYLOR
It's been a great year for music. I feel like I'm always saying that come December, but that's probably a really good sign, right? While we still have to endure to the Robin Thickes of the world (although, maybe not for long if Australia has anything to do with it), we've got plenty of local talent to take in. For this edition of 8 Tracks, we grabbed eight songs that represent some musicians that created something great this year. Read (and listen on), and make sure to add your own favorites in the comments.
Hugs and good music,
Erika & Chad
"STEP BACK BABY" BY BONNE FINKENRead More
Intro Written by Erika Owen, Playlist Compiled by William Erixon
Come the holidays, you've probably heard the same ten Christmas songs at least ten times over (that's a lot of the same songs). We're hear to help. We got our writer William Erixon to give us a list of his eight must-listen Christmas tunes. And to call them a refreshing change from the usual go-tos would be an understand. Give it a listen, read William's commentary, and share your favorite holidays anthems in the comments.
"Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" by Sufjan StevensRead More
Friday I photographed Liana, Trouble Lights, Annalibera, and Mumford's at Gas Lamp. See the photos from the concert on the gallery below, and thanks for checking it out!
Thursday was time for our weekly spot on Des Moines only local, live morning show, Great Day on KCWI. This week, Chad talks some festival news, breaks down your holiday show options for the weekend, and talks about a couple of local acts to check out.
Last Friday, The Maytags rocked Wooly's in celebration of the release of their debut EP with help from Tiny Deaths, Kris Adams and the Lefties, and Gloom Balloon. Photographer Brenna Norman was on the scene to capture Dustin Smith throw down with his new band. Check out the gallery below!
This week on 99.1 KFMG's Critical Mass, Chad and Joe let you know what's happening in Des Moines with Christmas slowly approaching. This week, the boys talk about Max Wellman, The Des Moines Gay Men's Chorus, Annalibera, and Chad has a special message to Steel Panther fans.