The Ames Scene: May 13, 2016

Druids at DG’s Tap House

The Des Moines metal trio Druids will be appearing at DG’s on Friday night as they prepare for the release of their third LP later this month. The band favors a sludgy, mid-tempo assault that gains added ferocity from the strictly non-melodic hardcore-style vocals of lead singer Luke Rauch, who is a veteran of numerous classic Iowa bands. They manage to appeal to a broad range of rock and punk fans, as evidenced by their upcoming Main Stage appearance at the usually metal-free 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines this summer.

As a further testament to the band’s cross-genre positioning, Druids will be supported by a diverse lineup at this show including the devilishly hypnotic psych-rockers Land of Blood and Sunshine (in which Luke of Druids serves as one of the drummers) out of Marshalltown as well as the blaring Des Moines powerpop crew Easy Fruit.

80/35 Announces Schedule

And speaking of 80/35: The festival announced the schedules for all three stages at this year’s fest and, as always, it’ll have you bouncing around between all three in a merry, sweaty haze all weekend.

A few highlights to definitely plan for: a recently reunited Wolf Parade opens the Main Stage mayhem with a cutting noise-punk set at 5 pm on Friday; 90’s hip-hop legend Nas headlines the same stage on Friday night at 9:15 pm, surely with large segments of his all-time classic album “Illmatic” on display; the Minneapolis soul-queen Lizzo shreds the free Kum & Go Stage at 8:15 pm on Saturday night; and the nearly drone-level guitar fuzz noise of Des Moines garage punks Goldblums break eardrums at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the free Nationwide stage.

Vinyl Cafe Adopts the Sunday Evening Open Mic Night

The basement record store and coffee shop Vinyl Cafe is adopting the Sunday evening Open Mic Nights from former neighbors Iowa Music Store in a friendly merger. The Open Mic will continue at it’s regular time of 7:30 p.m. on Sundays and, as always, is open to all ages and is friendly to singer-songwriters and poets.

Ames artist Ben Schrag will continue hosting the events too and this is maybe the best news of all. His ease in appreciating and encouraging all types of music — and his warm and jocular manner in doing so — makes the Open Mic Nights as much a family gathering as an artistic display.

Blames Whiskey’s Bi-Monthly Comedy Show at Deano’s Runs All Summer

Blames Whiskey — the comedy promotions team of enterprising Ames comics David Melendez and Joey Ficken — is hosting a bi-monthly gathering of comedians and musicians at Deano’s on Main Street all summer long, every other Sunday starting this week. The first week’s musical act will be the lanky and lovable Evan Campbell who will be appearing alongside a nice mix of central Iowan stand-ups.

Nate Logsdon is a writer, editor, and indexer from Ames. He was a founding editor of the Ames Progressive and contributing editor at the Iowa Informer.