I don’t know how the folks at bandcamp would feel about this if they found out, but somebody’s using the site to make downloads available of various old demos, 7″s, etc from certain now defunct eastern Iowa bands here, and it’s a treasure chest. Classic material from The Vidablue (later known as Ten Grand), Matt Davis’s pre-Vidablue band Brazil, Burmese (where’s the Bottledog! stuff, Mr. Dude?), Kita, Epileptic Cheetah, Sludgeplow, Autodramatics, The Pee-Pees, Los Marauders’ classic You Make My Cum In My Pants 7″, and a whole lot of stuff I either never or barely heard of. I love these kind of underground-musical-historical-preservation projects.
Bandcamp is catching on so fast I can hardly keep up posting here every time someone I know or know of in or near or connected to Iowa starts putting their music up there. Here are some I’ve hit upon recently but haven’t posted about before. I’ve listened to all of this stuff and it’s all good stuff or I just wouldn’t bother mentioning it.
The Cryogenic Strawberries
The Twelve Canons
Meth And Goats
Bob Bucko Jr.
Aural Resuscitation Unit
The Poison Control Center
And here are a few that have less (as in, mostly nothing) to do with Iowa, though I think at last a couple of them work with labels from around here:
Het Droste Effect
Look What I Did
Seventh Rule Recordings (label)
Wreck And Reference
R. Stevie Moore
Steve Lawson (also check out his blog, I highly recommend his writings on modern music promotion and internet DIY)
Also Fetal Pig will have one up soon with our forthcoming album on it. So that will be rad.
Latest classic Iowa/midwest band to come to my attention as having a bandcamp account is The Slats. Led by Brian Cox, The Slats started out in Cedar Rapids, hit their stride in Iowa City, and then ended up scattered between various parts of Iowa and Minneapolis, and over those years developed into a powerhouse trio with a unique sound that blends skronky, trashy, sludgy noise guitars with mad Cars-y hooks. To what extent The Slats are still an active band is unknown here at the Farm but theslats.bandcamp.com is the place to get a bunch of their albums (noticeably (to longtime fans) absent is their scrappy debut Car, a fine chunk of rock worth seeking out if you’ve collectory inclinations). Go check that shit out.
Announced yesterday on the Afternoon Records website and all the requisite social-web outlets, Iowa’s #1 rock band The Poison Control Center have deleted their MySpace page and set up shop on bandcamp. Besides their recent 7″ and Sad Sour Future album, you can pick up digital reissues of some of their older stuff (The Go-Go Music Show mercifully excluded).
Bandcamp is on fire, and so is Des Moines’s scene of youthful indie rockers, several of whom — Pocket Aristotle, The Seed Of Something, and The Chatty Cathys, you can catch tonight at Vaudeville Mews’s early show along with The Longshadowmen and Why Make Clocks.. Come out at 5pm and give the nice fellow at the door $5. And to get back on the subject of bandcamp, here’s Pocket Aristotle’s page.
Here’s a band that’s on bandcamp that’s not from Iowa, they’re called Iowa. They’re from Australia and I like the sound of them, sort of a shoegazey mix of Dinosaur Jr.’s Bug and Eric’s Trip. You can download their still-scant catalog (they seem to have just started releasing stuff last year) and/or buy their two 7″s on bandcamp, check it out.
Yet another friend of mine has hit the bandcamp scene. Gabe Wilkinson of Waterloo/Cedar Falls and his electronic/industrial-rock project Microwaved have made available an album called Desperation Upon the Wings of Angels. ’80s retrofuturist-dystopian vibes, harsh factory-like rhythms and dissonant effects make it a real treat. The download comes with bonus remixes and videos. Go check it out.
And the latest awesome DIY musician to jump on the bandcamp bandwagon? Why it’s Austin-via-Iowa-City singer-songwriter-rapper-improviser-keyboardist-presidential-candidate The BassTurd From Las Vegas, Nevada! This is awesome news. So far he has up the first 3 in his 2005-2008 series of 20 EPs, but I’m sure we can expect a lot of rare gems to surface if he manages to stick with what is surely an epic project of uploading his notoriously voluminous discography. Maybe, if we’re super lucky, he’ll digitize some of his old cassette releases, or maybe we’ll finally be able to download Live From Your Mom’s Bedroom.
Lawdy, this bandcamp thing is catching on. Deservingly so. Iowa City pop-punk girl-boy group Lipstick Homicide are the latest Centipede Farm acquaintances to make their sounds available on the DIY music platform. Right here.