The Ames Scene: June 17, 2016

Sherrinford/Noun Project

ISU’s Student Union Board Announces Phantogram on Oct. 15

The ISU SUB bookers have been rolling out some very solid headliners for their fall program at venues spanning a wide range of spaces at far-flung spots around ISU’s campus. This week they announced that the booming electro-pop hit-makers Phantogram will be appearing at the Great Hall of the Memorial Union on Oct 15. Tickets go on sale June 24. Tickets are on sale now for another killer SUB show at the Hansen Agricultural Learning Center for hard-hitting hip-hop party-starter Waka Flocka Flame (probably the only Ag Center on his tour?).

Jen McClung, Wally Neal and Ben Schrag at Vinyl Cafe

Vinyl Cafe in Downtown Ames has been hosting a weekly Open Mic Night every Sunday at 7 pm as well as periodic, all ages folk, country and pop shows throughout the week. The local artist (and host of the Open Mic Night) Ben Schrag has also started a monthly Sunday afternoon unplugged concert series that will run through the Summer months.

Ames singer-songwriters Jen McClung and Wally Neal will join Ben for the first of the concerts this Sunday at 2 pm. Jen McClung writes lucid, emotionally-stirring original folk songs including a few funny and very touching tunes about her experiences as a mother. Wally Neal – a veteran of classic Ames acts like Yeti on a Budget, Morning Sex & the Good Weed and Secret Freedom – finds a soulful, lyrically complex complement to his virtuosic guitar-playing in his solo material. Ben Schrag will open the show with his crystal clear upper vocal range and immensely pleasing, catchy originals.

Way Down Wanderers at DG’s Tap House

The Chicago bluegrass unit Way Down Wanderers specializes in a classic take on Americana rooted in golden 70’s folk rock like The Band or CSNY but with a touch of the acoustic-dance mentality of the newgrass revival. Consistently solid musicianship and songwriting please the mind as much as the ear. They’ll be at DG’s Friday night. The funky, genre-bending local mainstays Obsidian’s Dream will open the show along with Duane Mark.

Pop Punk Show at The Record Mill

The heavily active North Ames basement venue The Record Mill is hosting a thick pop-punk lineup next Thursday with the scream-along friendly acts Unturned and With Iowa In Between, the blindingly fast and impeccably tight Ames favorites Underdog Story and the Ottumwa-based folk-punk songwriter TJ Wilt & His Guitar.

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.