The fifth annual 80/35 Music Festival presented by U.S. Cellular on July 6 and 7 in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park is coming up this week. The festival will feature more than 40 national, regional, and local acts, performing on three stages.
Below is a video preview of the Iowa bands performing at the event.
Christopher the Conquered & His Black Gold Brass Band: Ames, Iowa
Originally a solo project by band leader Chris Ford began to morph itself, through a group of local musician friends. It is now a brilliantly-sounding conglomeration of piano, drums, bass guitar, trumpets, saxophones, and trombone.
Known for performing theatrical pop-funk music, Ford would sometimes jump up from his piano bench or into the crowd. With a wave of his arms, he signals his brass band to stop playing and proceeds to talk to his audience, encouraging them to sing along with him. Then, Ford, with another wave of his arms, the band strikes, and he bellows out the lyrics.
Christopher the Conquered & His Black Gold Brass Band will be performing on Saturday, July 7, at 1:30p.m. on the Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Stage.
Derek Lambert & The Prairie Fairies: Des Moines, Iowa
It started out as a solo acoustic act by Derek Lambert and later turned into a full band after he recruited some of his friends to add what they feel like into songs. The band include musicians from Christopher the Conquered, Tuborn Jig and Nuclear Rodeo. Drawing inspiration from American folk music, blues and punk rock, the group develops its on rock and roll vibe.
After releasing a 7-inch vinyl EP on Maximum Ames Records, the band is writing new music and hopes to release a full album in next year.
Derek Lambert & The Prairie Fairies will be performing on Saturday, July 7, at 12p.m. on the Kum & Go Stage.
Leslie & the LY’s: Ames, Iowa
Wanting a beat of her own to dance to, Leslie Hall started to perform at open mike nights while she was in college. The band was formed in 2005. The band’s style is a mixture of electronica and hip-hop with a lot of dancing incorporated. Their songs, some about spandex, staying at home and crafting, are mischievously-humorous.
Standing on stage with their bright and colorful body spandex, the band synchronizes dance moves while Hall raps in a hypnotizing rhythm.
Leslie & the LY’s will be performing on Saturday, July 7, at 7p.m. on the Hy-Vee Triathlon Stage.
Mumford’s: Ames, Iowa
Mumford’s live shows are always loud, up-beat, wild, sweaty and entrancing. Their music combines a lively horn section, groovy guitar solos, chanting, and a storytelling way of singing.
As front man Nate Logsdon describe themselves, they are a wild rock party band, although, there’s more to just playing music. The band manages to integrate theatrical aspects and audience involvement at their shows. Mumford’s brings in local talent from Ames High School and other bands, as they get more involved with the Ames music scene.
Mumford’s will be performing on Saturday, July 7, at 3p.m. on the Hy-Vee Triathlon Stage.
Mantis Pincers: Des Moines, Iowa
Mantis Pincers is the brainchild of Devin Frank, David Olson, Eric Moffitt, Jordan Mayland and John Huffman. This psychedelic rock group released a self-titled album through record label Red Nude in August 2011, which was put together within three weeks.
The band plays three to four times a year. For the band members, it is more like a carefree project. Frank said that the musical style that they are all comfortable playing kind of merged into Mantis Pincers. He also mentioned that Mantis Pincers let them do something outside of the bounds of the other bands that they all belong in.
Mantis Pincers will be performing on Saturday, July 7, at 6p.m. on the Hy-Vee Triathlon Stage.
Maxilla Blue: Des Moines, Iowa
Maxilla Blue, formed by Aeon Grey, MC Asphate Woodhavet and DJ TouchNice, came around in 2006. All three members are avid vinyl collectors and listen to old soul, funk, jazz and psychedelic records. Other than drawing inspirations from thoughts and personal life, Woodhavet says that he takes influences from literary works.
“It’s about the music we want people to listen to,” said Asphate Woodhavet on their self-titled albums. At one point, producer Aeon Grey even thought about not naming the tracks. Every two years, the band releases a self-titled album. Maxilla Blue Vol. 3 was released earlier this year in February. For fans that cannot wait two years, the band also release side albums in between the self-titled albums.
Maxilla Blue will be performing on Saturday, July 7, at 4p.m. on the Hy-Vee Triathlon Stage.
Pieta Brown: Iowa City, Iowa
Being exposed to music at a very young age, Pieta Brown used to dance around with dresses on and hats turned upside down collecting money for musicians. But as soon as she started doing her own songs, Brown got addicted to that pretty quickly. She moved back to Iowa City about 10 years ago and started her career through performing at local bars and clubs.
For her, everything is a possibility for inspiration. As an artist, Brown thinks that songwriting is responding to the world and dealing with the world. It’s an artistic exchange.
Pieta Brown will be performing on Friday, July 6, at 8pm on the Hy-Vee Triathlon Stage.
The Sun Company: Ames, Iowa
If you’ve been to a show by The Sun Company, you will know how they can keep grooving and sway the listeners with their tunes. The band came together when they met in college living in the same dorm building. Through friends of friends, the band finally came together when they recruited bassist Kyle Haubrich.
All five members of the band listen to different types of music like jazz, blues, and funk. Melodies come together during jam sessions with a tune popping up first and band members trying to conglomerate their styles.
Their new album, Peeled from the Pig, will be available on iTunes later this summer.
The Sun Company will be performing on Saturday, July 7, at 2p.m. on the Hy-Vee Triathlon Stage.