The Mumford’s rock the Ames Progressive

The Mumford’s performed an explosively original show last weekend at the Ames Progressive.

Nate Logsdon of The Mumfords Photo by Kaleb Warnock

They played with the bands Little Teeth and Coyote Slingshot on Saturday night to an eccentric full house.

“It was really fun, people were ready to dance. It was really fun and really sweaty… everyone was totally up for it. That’s the beauty of shows in Ames, crowds really love shows that are really energetic… It was a really fun night, there was a really good feeling in the room,” said Nate Logsdon and president of the Ames Progressive.

Nate Logsdon, Ames resident and lead singer, kicked off their performance dressed completely in drag. After an elaborate spectacle of revealing his remarkable costume, Logston and The Mumford’s slammed right into their completely original set that included songs from their recently released album Eyes along with a few new ones as well.

The most notable aspect of their performance was their interaction with the crowd. About halfway through their set, Logsdon sat down at the piano as the crowd gathered around as he played piano. The scene exemplified their self-description as a rock and roll storyteller band with a horn section.

The concert is their first performance of the fall. They recently returned from their month-long summer West Coast tour and are happy to be back. “It’s just great to be back in Ames, the scene in is great. There are some really good vibes in Ames, it’s totally the place to be for good live music.” The Mumford’s will be playing frequently in Ames this coming fall and are working on a new album to be released next summer.

The Ames underground is still alive in the summer months

Borrowed from The Ames Progressive

Nate Logsdon and the Ames Progressive continue to be active during the summer months, even when many other venues slow down or even fall off the map.  Logsdon continues to book shows and recruit local musicians throughout the summer and doesn’t let the opportunity to see live music die out.

“Ames is doing great, there are tons of great bands and artists and they really embrace it… from my perspective, Ames has an amazing music scene.” said Logsdon.

The Ames Progressive is a non-profit organization whose purpose to help to provide resources for local artists and musicians and to help stimulate the local cultural economy. It’s a hidden gem tucked away behind the Subway in Campustown but is strikingly active in the art and music realm of the Ames underground.

“It’s definitely to stimulate culture in Ames and provide resources for local artists.” says Logsdon, “There are resources for people in Ames who are looking to perform or publish, or are looking for an outlet for their creativity.”

The venue is an extremely active stage and hosts bands 3 or 4 times a week. Although they most often stage local bands, the Ames Progressive is proud to have showcased bands from all over the United States and the world including touring groups from New Zealand, Australia, England, and Canada.

Fortunately for local bands, Logsdon actively seeks out local talent and tries to recruit them for his stage, “If you’re in a band and you want to play a show, we’ll host you at the Ames progressive.” says Logsdon.

Although it is best known for its music, it also hosts art shows, workspace classes, and even rents rehearsal space to bands. The Ames Progressive also publishes a magazine that prints every month while school is in session and once during the summer.

The magazine itself contains articles about Ames culture, music, art, and political commentary along with poetry and short stories. It also features interviews on occasion, with notable guests like Ralph Nader and Bill Ayers.

Logsdon built the Ames Progressive from the ground up.  It all started in January 2008 with just a few of his friends donating their time and money to help boost the Ames music scene. It began to grow, and eventually picked up to the point that it could be its own self-sustaining organization through sponsorship and ticket sales.

Logsdon spends most of is time performing and promoting local bands and strongly disagrees with the common perception that Ames has no good live music.

“I feel that Ames as a music scene has progressed in the past few years and I feel that there have been a lot of good vibes and good music and I feel very proud to be from Ames.”

The Ames Progressive employs a rotating cast of about 12 to 15 volunteers and continues to grow and has even hosted major underground musicians like Ancient Ribbons, Paeleo, and Dr. Manhattan.

Logsdon encourages anyone interested in booking this intimate venue to contact him via amesprogressive.org.

When: Almost every night of the week

Where: The Ames Progressive:

How Much: $5 for most shows, some are free

Ames on the Half Shell hosts family-friendly entertainment

By Kaleb Warnock

Ames on the Half Shell is one of many events featured at Bandshell Park this summer that offers a friendly, upbeat atmosphere programmed for the whole family.

Ames on the Half Shell is a summer concert series that features both local and regional artists every Friday night from the beginning of June through the end of July.  This summer marks the 8th season of the event and the venue is looking for bands for next year as well.

The Ames Junior Chamber, a group of young professionals aimed at improving the Ames community and providing leadership opportunities for young people, organizes Ames on the Half Shell. The Junior Council or Jaycees are also responsible for the 4th of July fireworks display, Sandboxville, the annual Easter egg hunt, and many other community events.

George Micalone is the chair of Ames on the Half Shell with the Ames Jaycees and is responsible for organizing the weekly concerts. He coordinates with the bands and the City of Ames along with the local food venues to provide a casual and inviting experience to provide “a diverse mix of sounds.”

“People come to hang outside and have a few drinks… it’s a very fun and lighthearted atmosphere.” says Micalone.

Although there is alcohol at the Half Shell, Micalone hopes to gather a diverse crowd encourages all ages to attend the show. The lighter rock music and casual environment of the concerts are intended to appeal to everyone and Micalone hopes to reach out further than the current 25-40 crowd.

The bands apply through the Ames on the Half Shell submission page and are chosen based on their family friendly factor and authenticity or original music.

Dazy Head Mazy was the headlining band for last Friday’s concert. Dazy Head Mazy is a pop rock band based out of Mankato, Minnesota. Their sound allies closely wit the late 90s music of Hootie and the Blowfish, Barenaked Ladies, and the Dave Matthews Band and their primary focus in their music is to provide high-energy fun.

The group formed in 1995 in Mankato and has produced multiple albums that have earned them many local and independent music awards with the award for “Best Pop Album” from Independent Music Awards in 2000 among them.

Since their conception, they have played many noteworthy venues that include the MTV “Choose or Lose” tour, the House of Blues in Chicago, Iowa State Fair, and over 30 college campuses. They also have a slid local performance history having performed on numerous occasions at DG’s Taphouse, the Machine Shop, and VIESHEA.

These numerous performances have forged a strong bond between the band and the city of Ames. Aside from the food, the guys from Dazy Head Mazy have established a unique personal connection with the people of Ames.

“People in Iowa appreciate original music. We get a really good response when we come down.  We always want to come back because it’s like a second home.”

Ames on the Half Shell is open to all ages, but those under 21 are required to be accompanied by a spouse or guardian because alcohol is being sold. The cost of admission is $3 and does not include food and beverages.

The event will continue to be every Friday evening from 5pm to 8pm through July 23. In the event of heavy rain, the concerts will be held indoors at DG’s Taphouse on Main Street.

Check out the track Never Forget Dazy Head Mazy’s award winning album, They’re All Wearing Pearls, recorded at Iowa’s Junior’s Motel.

Never Forget on Youtube

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