To all of us in the East & West Coast bubbles, everything in between is flyover country, or ‘the hinterland’. That moniker is particularly applied to a place at the heart of America (both geographically & spiritually), Iowa, and now it’s main city of Des Moines takes it to its own heart & spins it on its head with the new Hinterland Festival in Water Works Park, Friday & Saturday, July 31st & August 1st:
FRIDAY, JULY 31st
|Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, 9:30 PM
Alex Ebert, former singer of Ima Robot (QRO interview), got a ton of buzz right after forming Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (QRO live review) – is it justified, or just PR hype (QRO spotlight on)? Judge for yourself (QRO photos at a festival) – but watch out for him jumping into the crowd (QRO live review), like at so many festivals (QRO photos at a festival)!
|Future Islands, 8:00 PM
Baltimore’s Future Islands (QRO photos) play a highly acclaimed, darker form of synth-pop (QRO photos at a festival) as they come to the Hinterland (QRO photos at a festival).
|TV On the Radio, 6:30 PM
One of the bands that put Brooklyn not only on the indie-map, but also at the top of it, is the borough’s TV On the Radio (QRO live review outdoors in Brooklyn). 2004’s debut Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes introduced their complex-yet-accessible indie-tech-punk-rock, 2006’s Return to Cookie Mountain proved it was no fluke, and 2008’s Dear Science (QRO review) saw the band launched into the top tier of alternative music (QRO live review). The group took something of a break after that, as members such as Tunde Adebimpe, David Andrew Sitek, and Kyp Malone did various side/solo projects, but returned in 2013 (QRO photos at a festival) with Nine Types of Light (QRO review). Nine Types was a return in quality as well as success for the band (QRO photos at a festival), though they unfortunately lost bassist Gerard Smith to cancer in 2011, but have kept on magnificently (QRO photos outdoors in New York), including at festivals (QRO photos at a festival) and with last year’s Seeds (QRO review).
The Envy Corps, 5:00 PM – QRO photos at a festival
SATURDAY, AUGUST 1st
|Old Crow Medicine Show, 9:30 PM
One of the most authentic acts in this current hipster-fueled Americana revival has been Old Crow Medicine Show, who’ve done everything from the Big Easy Express Tour with Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (the documentary of which won a Grammy – QRO screening review) to appear numerous times on A Prairie Home Companion – and, oh yeah, they had a platinum hit single “Wagon Wheel”.
|Brandi Carlile, 8:00 PM
Singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile (QRO interview) has emerged alongside a whole new generation of socially minded melodic songstresses (QRO photos), and this year she (QRO spotlight on) put out her latest (QRO photos outdoors), The Firewatcher’s Daughter.
|Yonder Mountain String Band, 6:30 PM
From the yonder mountains of Colorado comes the progressive American bluegrass of Yonder Mountain String Band, who recently recruited a new mandolin player.
|St. Paul & The Broken Bones, 5:00 PM
From Birmingham, Alabama, St. Paul & The Broken Bones bring the true southern soul.
|Lucius, 3:45 PM
The New York Times described Lucius (QRO photos outdoors) as “The next Feist” (QRO live review) – even if you don’t believe everything The Grey Lady says, be sure to check them out as they come to the Hinterland (QRO photos at a festival).
|Justin Townes Earle, 2:30 PM
Justin Townes Earle (QRO photos outdoors) is yes, the son of famed alternative country artist Steve Earle (and his middle name, yes, comes from the equally acclaimed Townes Van Zandt), and started off in music in his father’s backing band, The Dukes, but he has more than made his own (three) names in music. This year’s Absent Fathers received widespread praise (as did his 2012 production work on Wanda Jackson’s Unfinished Business), and now he comes to the Hinterland (QRO photos at a festival).
Joe Pug, 1:15 PM – QRO photos
Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear, 12:00 PM
For festival website, go here: http://hinterlandiowa.com/