The Ames Scene: July 1, 2016

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Sherrinford/Noun Project

Maximum Ames Music Festival Lineup Announcement

The sixth annual MAMF is returning to downtown Ames from Sept. 15-18 and the fest announced a first wave of the artists and schedule this week. (Disclosure: I am one of one of the organizers of this event.) MAMF6, presented by London Underground, will feature over 100 acts at a dozen venues in around downtown ranging from civic spaces like Ames Public Library to pop-up style venues like the tattoo parlor Inkblot Studio to small rooms like Vinyl Cafe to galleries like The Octagon Center for the Arts to established clubs and bars like DG’s and Deano’s.

The lineup announcement includes the groundbreaking Lavender Country, whose landmark 1973 self-titled album is recognized as the first openly gay country record ever; DJ Yella of NWA, who was inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame this year and is recognized as a pioneer of West Coast rap and hip-hop; Baby Dee, a transgender singer-songwriter and master accordion player; and Simon Joyner, the Omaha-based underground songwriter whose work has been cited as an influence by mainstream acts like Bright Eyes and Beck but who has continued to labor in a more obscure world of cult classic status.

The lineup, schedule, and ticket pages are live now.

Wayne “The Train” Hancock at DG’s Tap House

The rocking country-blues guitarist Wayne “The Train” Hancock masters a bouncing style of honky-tonk playing that has been called “Juke Joint swing,” a rollicking take on a Western swing sound of Texas great Bob Wills. This is guitar mastery not just for ears but for the feet. If you can’t make it down to 80/35 on opening night this is definitely your top choice in Ames. He’s at DG’s Tap House on Friday, July 8.

80/35 Hidden Gems

But if you ARE going to 80/35 it’s always a good idea to make some discoveries outside of the highly vetted (and uniformly excellent) top tiers of talent by exploring the down-bill talent that packs the schedule through the afternoons. A few names I’d recommend: local surfy garage rock duo Odd Pets (Kum & Go Stage, July 9); overpowering, breakdown-free metal trio Druids (Main Stage, July 9); underground Chicago rap standout Vic Spencer (Kum & Go Stage, July 9); Des Moines hip hop star — and his killer backing band — MarKaus (Nationwide Stage, July 8); and noisy, driving punk act Goldblums (Kum & Go Stage, July 9).

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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.