Music Dylan Sires and Neighbors.

Dylan Sires and Neighbors.

Locally grown bands take over East Village

Published on April 8th, 2014 | by Joe Lawler

Last year the Des Moines Music Coalition’s Gross Domestic Product showcase spread across three venues and an outdoor stage on Fourth Street. The 2014 incarnation relocates to the East Village with 18 bands at three venues, along with pop-up concerts at local businesses and a Music University event at the State Historical Museum.

DMMC program manager Chris Ford said that organizers wanted to capture the feel of the first GDP in 2006, ignoring genre distinctions while focusing on the most interesting original acts in Iowa. For the first time the DMMC also added an outside community curator to the selection commitee (this year Kevan Murphy of Live LIVE Music) to help broaden the acts considered.

“We wanted to have someone who could give us a little different perspective and hopefully help us do as good a job as possible of representing the ever-changing and diverse music industry,” Ford said.

“Lipstick Homicide kicks booty!”: If you’re going to get a Tweetdorsement, you could do a lot worse than Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong, who tweeted the above about the Iowa City band Lipstick Homicide after hearing them on “The Thing That Ate Larry Livermore” compilation. The album pays tribute to Lookout Records co-founder Larry Livermore. Livermore even got the two bands on the same stage in 2012 when Lipstick Homicide opened a show for Green Day.

“Larry was talking with Billy Joe and they didn’t have anyone to open their show,” said drummer Luke Ferguson, Lipstick Homicide’s only male member. “So he called us on a Thursday and asked if we could be in New York City for a show Saturday. We packed up our Suburban and drove straight through. We thought we might be pranked, like we would show up and our friends would be there saying, ‘Really? You thought you were going to open for Green Day?’”

Lipstick Homicide recently released the album “Out Utero,” though fans have had earlier opportunities to buy it. The band first released it on Bandcamp last year before heading off on a tour selling hand-numbered burned CDs. Real pressed copies were released through Iowa City’s Bloated Kat Records in December, and the band got vinyl copies in time to open for The Queers in Chicago in February.

Iowa City isn’t known for its punk scene. Electronic music, hip-hop and jam bands do well with the college kids in the area, but Ferguson said the punk scene is growing. The band has a better draw in Des Moines than their hometown, and Ferguson said Lipstick Homicide makes the drive west as often as possible.

Looking ahead, Lipstick Homicide will be performing at The Fest in Gainesville, Fla., in October before heading out on the band’s first European tour in November. But mostly, Ferguson said, the band members (who all share a house in Iowa City) just want to keep making music together.

“We’re all best friends. We just like hanging out in the van, driving around and sharing our music with people.”

Gross Domestic Product

When: 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Wooly’s, 504 E. Locust St., House of Bricks, 525 E. Grand Ave., Beechwood Lounge, 416 E. Locust St.

Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door (for a full festival pass), tickets to individual venues also available.

Info: or



5:15 p.m.: Tim Stop

6:00 p.m.: Media Fresh

7:00 p.m.: Max Jury

8:00 p.m.: Parranderos Latin Combo

9:00 p.m.: Parlours

10:00 p.m.: Holy White Hounds

House of Bricks

5:00 p.m.: Sky Patrol

5:45 p.m.: Dylan Sires and Neighbors

6:45 p.m.: Lipstick Homicide

7:45 p.m.: Love Songs for Lonely Monsters

9:30 p.m.: Chad Elliot

10:15 p.m.: Rumble Seat Riot

11:15 p.m.: Dark Mirror

12:15 a.m.: North of Grand

Beechwood Lounge (free shows)

9:30 p.m.: Maids

10:30 p.m.: Marybeth Doran

11:30 p.m.: Omens

12:30 a.m.: Ira Grace & the Bible Belt Prophets

Pop-up acoustic show schedule (all shows free)

Tacopocalypse, 621 Des Moines St.: Sky Patrol at 3:30 p.m.

Plain Talk Books & Coffee, 602 E. Grand Ave.: Dylan Sires and Neighbors at 4 p.m.

Hill Vintage, 432 E. Locust St.: Parlours at 4:30 p.m.

Ichi Bike, 311 E. Walnut St.: Love Songs for Lonely Monsters at 5 p.m.

Stitch, 315 E. Fifth St.: Ira Grace & the Bible Belt Prophets at 5:30 p.m.

Raygun, 400 E. Locust St.: Marybeth Doran at 6 p.m.

Music University at GDP: Making it Happen From Iowa

With: Dylan Sires, Max Jury and Fernando Aveiga (Parranderos Latin Combo), moderated by Brandon Darner of The Envy Corps.

When: 2-3 p.m.

Where: Cowles-Kruidenier Auditorium, State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust St.

Cost: Free.

About the Author

Joe Lawler covers music and more for Juice Magazine. E-mail him at or follow his updates on Twitter @JoeLawler

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