Head to the center of the country, Western Gateway Park in Des Moines, where the I-80 and I-35 meet, for the 10th year of Iowa’s excellent 80/35 Festival, Friday & Saturday, July 7th & 8th:
FRIDAY, JULY 7th
MGMT, 9:15 PM
All of a sudden, Wesleyan University gave birth to a bunch of indie acts, but none blew up like MGMT (QRO live review). Songs like “Electric Feel” (QRO video) and “Time To Pretend” (QRO video) launched 2007’s Oracular Spectacular in the stratosphere. The follow-up was bound to bring them more back down to earth, and Congratulations (QRO review) is a classic over-ambitious sophomore release, with third, self-titled record full-on weird.
There was a big break after MGMT, but this year they’re coming back with Little Dark Age. The two-man psych-rock band of Ben Goldwasser & Andrew Van Wyngarden (QRO photos outdoors) is more than prepared to blow minds outdoors when they come to headline 80/35 (QRO photos outdoors at a festival).
|Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, 7:00 PM
The ‘Screaming Eagle of Soul’, Charles Bradley is one of the many great soul singers to emerge from Brooklyn’s DapTone Records, which also brought the world Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (QRO live review) and Budos Band (QRO album review), but Bradley more than stands on his own, from festivals (QRO photos at a festival) to hotels (QRO photos at a hotel) to Marvel’s Luke Cage to topping the bill at the one-and-only Apollo Theater (QRO photos)!
Elephant Revival, 5:00 PM – QRO photos at a festival
Kum & Go Stage
Closed Format, 9:30 PM
Bully, 8:15 PM – QRO photos
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, 6:45 PM – QRO photos at a festival
The Suburbs, 5:45 PM
Lily DeTaeye, 5:00 PM
Radio Moscow, 8:15 PM
MarKaus, 7:00 PM – QRO photos at 80/35 ’16
Elizabeth Moen, 6:00 PM
The Vahnevants, 5:00 PM
SATURDAY, JULY 8th
The Shins, 9:15 PM
The Shins (QRO photos) are back! The Shins are back! The band (QRO live review) that caused Zach Braff (and the world) to fall in love with Natalie Portman in Garden State had one of the most-anticipated & best-received records of 2007 in Wincing the Night Away (QRO review). Then the band (QRO photos) left label Sub Pop, and soon started losing members around main man James Mercer, who eventually put The Shins on hold to work with Danger Mouse as the middling Broken Bells (QRO album review).
But Mercer & whoever makes up the rest of The Shins (QRO photos at a festival) came back, reclaiming their indie crown with 2012’s great Port of Morrow (QRO review), and again played big stages (and big shows, like Austin City Limits – QRO live review on Austin City Limits) and big festivals (QRO photos at a festival). Mercer took time off for another, better, Broken Bells record (QRO review), but returned this year for another great Shins record, Port of Morrow (QRO review) and are perfect for 80/35 (QRO photos at a festival).
|Action Bronson, 7:00 PM
From Flushing, Queens, Action Bronson moved from gourmet chef to rapper with panache on his 2014 major label debut, Mr. Wonderful. He still keeps his hand in the foodie game thanks to a VICE television show, though has been dogged by his controversial lyrics.
|The Motet, 5:00 PM
The sprawling Motet (QRO photos at a festival) crisscrosses genres as they crisscross the country.
|Hop Along, 3:15 PM
From the folk-rock side of the City of Brotherly Love is Hop Along (QRO photos at a festival).
Coral Creek, 1:30 PM
prettygirlhatemachine, 12:00 PM
Kum & Go Stage
BassRaja, 10:45 PM
DJ Chris Coffey, 10:00 PM
DJ Apollo, 9:30 PM
Chicano Batman, 8:15 PM – QRO photos at a festival
Diarrhea Planet, 6:45 PM – QRO mp3 review
Modern Life Is War, 5:45 PM
A Giant Dog, 4:45 PM
Henhouse Prowlers, 3:45 PM
WebsterX, 2:45 PM
Bad Bad Hats, 1:45 PM
ZULUZULUU, 12:45 PM
Closet Witch, 12:00 PM
Middle Western, 8:15 PM
Trevor Sensor, 7:00 PM
Dan Tedesco, 6:00 PM
Tha Füt, 5:00 PM
Ancient Posse, 4:00 PM
Traffic Death, 3:00 PM
Aaron Earl Short, 2:00 PM
Stuttering Jimmy & The Goosebumps, 1:00 PM
Glitter Density, 12:00 PM
For festival website, go here: http://2017.80-35.com/index.phtml