A note from the Programming desk.

Friends – 

I am sending this email with an equal mixture of excitement and sadness – excitement because the shows listed below are the “I can’t believe THAT person is playing at the Social Club, let alone in Des Moines!” types of shows, and sadness because October marks the end of my tenure with the Social Club as I move on to new opportunities.

I want to thank all of you who have supported the incredible artists who have played at the Social Club the past few years, especially those of you who took a risk on something new. Exploring the unknown, pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones, sharing space and time and conversation and art with those who may not look like or think like or sound like us – these are the experiences in which I have personally found some of my favorite musical moments, and they are the experiences that I believe make the Social Club the Social Club.

So! Here are a collection of upcoming shows about which I am very excited. Don’t miss it.

 

 

DMSC PRESENTS: DONNY MCCASLIN!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16th, THE BASEMENT

October 16 – DMSC Presents: Donny McCaslin
For me, this is the ultimate “I can’t believe HE is coming HERE” show – if you aren’t familiar with Donny, you probably at least know the artist with whom he most recently collaborated – DAVID frickin’ BOWIE! Donny was the bandleader and arranger behind Bowie’s final album, “Blackstar,” and he is bringing that band through on tour on the heels of a new album coming out this Friday, two days before his show here!

DOORS 6PM, MUSIC 7PM // $12 ADVANCE, $15 DAY-OF // ALL AGES

If you aren’t convinced, just watch this:

 

MARIA MULDAUR’S “BLUESIANA”

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19th, THE BASEMENT
Yes, THE Maria Muldaur who sang “Midnight at the Oasis,” but if you get past that song you unearth a 40+ year career in which Maria has explored the long history of American Roots music, from tribute albums to early female Blues musicians to collaborating with a jug band, finally settling on her own style of electric blues she calls “Bluesiana.” This is a rare occasion to see her perform live.

DOORS 7PM, MUSIC 7:30PM // $17 ADVANCE, $20 DAY-OF // ALL AGES

 

 

HELADO NEGRO 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22th, THE BASEMENT
Fresh off of a tour opening for Sufjan Stevens, Roberto Lange aka Helado Negro is touring behind his excellent new album Private Energy. Merging electronic influences, latin guitar, bubbly synths and piano, and lyrics in both English and Spanish, Lange has created an album that feels to me like a giant kaleidoscope through which identity politics and vulnerability metamorphose into something beautiful. Local slam poet Russhaun Johnson and a new local band that I think is one of the best bands in Des Moines, Ancient Posse, open the show.

Pitchfork just reviewed the new album, check it out.

DOORS 8PM, MUSIC 9PM // $10 ADVANCE, $12 DAY-OF // ALL AGES

 

JC BROOKS / GRAND AVENUE RUCKUS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5th, THE KUM & GO THEATER
JC Brooks (formerly JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound) escapes easy definition for all of the right reasons – they’re too funky to be a rock band, too inventive to be a throwback soul band, too commanding of your attention to be the background band in a bar – but they’re also a little bit of all of those things in the best way. Take Otis Redding / James Brown soul, add in the backbeat of you favorite Bruno Mars song, and run it all through a six and a half foot lead singer in JC Brooks and you’ve got yourself this show. With an opening set from the awesome local group Grand Ave Ruckus, a second line brass band who will get the party started.

DOORS 7PM, MUSIC 8PM // $12 ADVANCE, $15 DAY-OF // ALL AGES

Not convinced? This Wilco cover will do the trick:

SONNY KNIGHT & THE LAKERS / DJ EIGHT TEN

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11th, THE BASEMENT
Sonny’s the real deal – at 69 years old, he’s just now entering the prime of his career after taking time off of music for decades to be a truck driver. “Retro-soul” doesn’t work for Sonny, because the time period referred to as “retro” is exactly when Sonny first started singing. Instead, this is just original soul, with the backing of the super tight sounds of The Lakers. Local favorite Dj Eight Ten will spin before and after the show.

DOORS 9PM, MUSIC 9:30PM // $10 ADVANCE, $12 DAY-OF // ALL AGES

 

 

HARMONIOUS WAIL’S “HOLIDAY WAIL AND GOOD CHEER”

SATURDAY, DECEMBER  3rd, THE KUM & GO THEATER
A world-renowned gypsy jazz group plays a Christmas-themed show. You shouldn’t need any more information that than to come. Harmonious Wail, or “The Wail” as fans affectionately call the trio of mandolin, bass, percussion, and vocals, has been playing their style of American gypsy jazz music for over 20 years, and we’re excited to host them for a rare Christmas show during their 2016 tour.

DOORS 7PM, MUSIC 7:30PM // $15 adv, $18 dos, $50 GA + dinner //  ALL AGES

 

 

THE BAD PLUS (2 shows)

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22nd, THE KUM & GO THEATER
This will be a show for the ages at the Social Club – The Bad Plus are one of the most forward-thinking, explosive instrumental groups out there. What they can do with a bass, piano, and drums not only defies a genre, but has also led to an entire generation of new performers who may be trained in jazz but grew up listening to Radiohead and find music that falls somewhere in between those worlds. On a personal note, this is the band I have wanted to book at the Social Club since I started at the Social Club, so I can’t be happier that they are coming.

SHOWS AT 6:30PM AND 8:30PM // $14 ADVANCE, $17 DAY-OF // ALL AGES