80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines this Weekend
A high school English teacher once told us in class that you could tell it was prom night in Iowa when all the farm boys drove their dad’s tractors into town. The hayseeds in my class laughed—not because the idea of driving one’s father’s International Harvester to prom was necessarily a bad idea—but because we weren’t from Iowa, and they were. Get it?! IOWA!!
Well, whatever vicious stereotypes sweeping through my hometown 18 miles above the Border about Iowans being a mostly an instant potato-subsisting, hog-smelling class of fannypackers were revealed to be entirely unsubstantiated when I moved to Des Moines for a summer. In fact, in recent years as far as trendy-worthy hipness is concerned, Iowa’s stock is rising faster than you can say “Michelle Bachman.”
Consider the recent Iowa Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage; and what about the primary win Iowa voters gave then long-shot-candidate Barack Obama? Okay, so Iowa may not be a hotbed of avant-garde progressivism, but they do have a bigtime, kick-ass indie music festival this weekend that will see Spoon and Yo La Tengo on the same stage.
This coming weekend’s 80/35 Music Festival is only the latest evidence to suggest the good people down in Iowa are doing their best to quiet the supercilious mudslingers to the north. And frankly, there’s nothing quite as exciting going on in the Twin Cities this coming weekend (outside of a renovated Taste) as what they’ve got cooked up down the I35 corridor.
The 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines’ Gateway Park (running July 3 and 4, $35 in advance for a 1-day ticket) has a list of great bands too long to mention (but we’ll try): Spoon, Modest Mouse, Yo La Tengo, Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs, the Walkmen, Solid Gold, the Heavy, the Cool Kids, and Dawes. This is just a start. And it’s bound to be a seen-and-be-seen hipster crowd. Outside of the recent Republicans’ Presidential Straw Poll in Des Moines, this coming weekend will likely break the record for highest incidents of Croakies-sightings in the city proper.
So come on down, enjoy the best little city in the Midwest, and bring a camera—there are plenty of roadside fields on your way down the interestate to stop and see those flywatters chasing Volkswagon-sized hogs around on souped-up ATVs (likelysomewhere outside Albert Lea).
Here is “Bible Thumper” from Solid Gold, who will be waving the Minnesota flag at 80/35 (4:30 p.m., Saturday, at the Kum and Go Stage).
“Bible Thumper” by: Solid Gold