The Ames Scene: May 6, 2016

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Sherrinford/Noun Project

Nova Labs Album Release Show

DG’s is hosting another edition of Nova Labs‘ ongoing monster album release parties (which always feature some type of free food) this Saturday night in support of new releases from the Des Moines indie-rock standouts Grandchamp and the Ames instrumental metal crew White Lodge/Black Lodge.

Grandchamp’s new disc Ampersand is a particular gem of Nova Lab’s recent crop of records. As the title suggests, it’s an album that repeatedly says “yes AND,” adding layers and meanings and eschewing the minimal, while finding an intricate guitar language that recalls Television or Stephen Malkmus.

Touring acoustic rock acts Tyler Jakes and Jordan Carr will be on hand as well in addition to the witty Chicago folk-punk singer Al Scorch, who is out in support of his excellent new record Circle Round the Signs on Bloodshot Records.

Terror Pigeon Returning for a Show at The Record Mill

The North Ames house concert venue The Record Mill announced a show for May 29 (the final Sunday of this month) with all-time Ames favorite Terror Pigeon (who used to go by the slightly more elaborate Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt). The band is a wild one-man electro-punk dance party that has involved a huge range of props and gags in his live show over the years, including parachutes, giant inflatables, wearable light shows, audience participation percussion, and a whole lot more.

But, touchingly, all the machinery of the live event is in the service of ultra-sincere sing-alongs about loving someone with all your heart and holding on to the optimistic energy of your teenage years. Don’t be surprised to see a few tears being shed while people hold a fist in the air and shout along.

Another treat of the evening will be the Ames debut of the Fairfield-based pop-punk unit Night Pits, which features an all-star lineup with members from Iowa underground favorites like Little Ruckus, Mr. Nasti, and Runaway.

Live Ballroom Dancing in the KHOI Studio

Ames’ downtown community radio station KHOI 89.1 FM will be hosting a laid-back evening of dancing this Sunday at 8 p.m. in the meeting space of the Pantorium adjacent to its broadcast studio. The event is an offshoot of the weekly Evenings with Elizabeth program, and Elizabeth herself will be on hand to spin vinyl for the dancers live in the studio.

The Building that Once Housed The Space for Ames Has Been Demolished

People active in the music scene from 2007-2013 will have to convince the scene kids of the future that there was a weird little building behind Fighting Burrito at one point and that, within it, there was a tiny little room for rock ‘n’ roll. The building itself is no more after being demolished this week in Campustown’s continuous (and ultimately very positive, most likely) reinvention in the face of dramatically expanded student enrollment numbers. DIY spaces come and go, that’s inherent to their nature, and this one was no different. But in its run it served as the breeding ground for dozens of Ames bands, some of which continue to this day and some that have long since moved on. Next time you’re over that way take a peek and savor a vision of what isn’t there.

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Nate Logsdon is a writer, musician, and entrepreneur from Ames. His music and local culture articles have appeared in the Ames Tribune and Ames Progressive and on numerous websites and blogs. Logsdon is a founder of the Maximum Ames music company and the Iowa Music Store. He is also the owner of Cycles Recycling and the former bar manager of the rock club DG's Tap House. Logsdon writes and plays music with local band Mumford's and many other ensembles. He releases albums under his own name and others.