80/35 Music Festival Set for Great Year

Ah, music festivals. The sights, the wonderful sounds, the obnoxious people, the drunken revelers, the ridiculous outfits. They are a key part of human existence for most people. We in central Iowa are spoiled with music. Wells Fargo attracts popular musicians, and the local acts are a source for quality (though sometimes bizarre) acts. The largest music festival around here is 80/35, an event held in Des Moines on July 6th and 7th. Sponsored by U.S. Cellular, it traditionally brings in upcoming artists. Previous acts have included The Roots, The Flaming Lips, Public Enemy, and Modest Mouse. This year, nameliners include the Ames-based Mumfords , alt-rock Dinosaur Jr , the bluegrass-rooted Leftover Salmon, and reggae-rock The Sundogs. However, it is the presence of two groups in particular that have left music fans excited. The first is the mind-numbingly bizarre Leslie and the Lys . Leslie Hall, a proud Ames High grad (her most famous act during her high school years was crashing the fall homecoming court parade with her mom’s Mustang while wearing a tiara and neck brace.). Her music is literally impossible to categorize, but the closest you could call it is vaguely modern pop. The second is the spectacularly popular indie pop band Death Cab for Cutie. Ian Garrett Kolb, music critic for Le Monde , has praised the band for their “ melancholy, melodic songs about feeling both intelligent and unsure, hopelessly romantic but wary of love ”. They were the signature act netted by the 80/35 committee. The response to the lineup this year has been extremely positive. Jens Hoifeldt, alumnae to the native band Poison Control Center and noted music critic (or independent music harpy) said, “ While obviously this in no way compares to Woodstock, and none of the bands were born in Athens, Georgia, it still looks to be a good gig ”.