By Dylan Boyle
The Ames underground and indie music scene is continuing to grow, and this semester more than 40 local acts are releasing recordings or heading into studios.
In the past few years, several studios have cropped up in Ames offering decent rates for studio time, allowing more local bands to record albums and release EPs. Dennis Haislip founded Alexander Recording Kompany in the basement of Reiman Music on Main St.; Bryon and Rachel Dudley started recording bands at The Spacement in North Ames; brothers Roy and Jesse Henceroth, who spent time working in studios in Nashville, are recording bands in their apartment; and Pinnacle Records continues to record and promote local artists.
Some artists have already released albums or EPs in the last few months and others will be releasing work in the spring. This list is still being updated. If you don’t see you or your band listed here, contact Dylan Boyle.
The Sun Company
Currently untitled live recording
Recorded live at The ARK on Jan. 21.
Released Feb. 25, e-mail email@example.com for a copy
The Sun Company made the live recording at the first ever Ames City Limits concert put on by The ARK, where a live band is invited into the studio to record in front of a live audience.
“The FEB Album”
Recorded during February at Roy and Jesse Henceroth’s apartment
Released in February
Roy and Jesse Henceroth, of the BreezeWay, moved to Ames last fall after going to audio engineering school and recording bands in Nashville, Tenn. The twin brothers have already made an impact on the scene recording bands and solo acts, as well as mastering albums.
“We Are Here”
Recorded in February at The Spacement
Released March 6, available on CD, iTunes and on Lady Soal’s Facebook page
Vocalist Sharika Soal said the band’s first full-length album is “the story of Ladysoal from beginning to end. With each song it starts a new chapter from happy to angry, to sad to grateful.” Ladysoal will also be filming a music video for the single “Sunshine” to be released in April.
The River Monks
Recorded at Nick Frampton’s house in Creston from May to December and mastered by Bryon Dudley at The Spacement in February.
Released March 8, available online, iTunes and Amazon
The title of The River Monks first album has a unique connection to the band’s name. When making sure the name The River Monks wasn’t taken — derived from the french translation of Des Moines — Ryan Stier googled the name and found only one result: a photo of monks titled “Jovial River Monks.”
Recorded in February at The Spacement
To be released at the end of March, available on CD and as a digital download.
Kate Kennedy, vocalist and guitarist for Pennyhawk, said the four-song EP will feature one new song as well as three rerecorded versions of her older material.
Old Road Riot
Recorded at home in February and March with help from Roy and Jesse Henceroth
To be released at the end of March or in early April, available on iTunes and at shows
Recorded in February at home, Grandma’s House Studios
No release date set, shooting for mid-April, available at shows, eventually online
Jeff Karnowski, drummer and vocalist for Snacks, said the band’s first release will probably be an EP with their usual genre-crossing variety of songs and gangster stuff like “Freak Yo Ass Up.” Karnowski said he and keyboardist Michael Pfaff are excited to hit the road in March, with stops in Denver, Omaha and Austin on St. Patrick’s Day, during SXSW.
Currently untitled, but likely self-titled
Recording currently at The ARK
To be released in April, available locally, possibly online
DiMarco, who performs in The Inebriated Saints and runs sound at many shows around Ames, said the album will be acoustic with “a couple surprise non-acoustic bonus tracks.”
Thoughts of Crossing
“Someday All This Will Be Yours”
Recording began in early 2010 at a home studio and will be finished soon
To be released in April, available at the band’s website, at shows and on iTunes
Tom Hummer, bassist for the band, said the album will have a little more diversity than their last and will definitely have a post-rock feel.
The Poison Control Center
Recorded at Cook Tut Studio in Chicago and mixed at ARC in Omaha
Album will be released in the late spring or early summer, available online, in stores and at shows
Patrick Fleming, vocalist and guitarist for PCC, said the there will be heavy touring throughout the country in support of the album that will be released on vinyl as well.
Currently recording at The Spacement
Released at the end of June, available online, as well as cassette tape, vinyl and CD
Nate Logsdon, singer and guitarist for Mumford’s, said the band will go on a national tour in July to promote the album consisting of nine religiously-themed songs.
Derek Lambert and the Prairie Fires
“It Shines” 7 inch
To be recorded in April at the Vaudeville Mews.
To be released in June or early July, available on iTunes, on vinyl at shows and online (vinyl will come with a download card).
Lambert said he is excited to record with the Prairie Fires since it will be the first time he has recorded with the full band. While the album will be recorded at the Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, it won’t be necessarily a live recording with an audience, but he said it will have a live feel to it.
Recording at The ARK
To be released tentatively before summer, available online and at shows
Brandt Williams, guitarist and vocalist for The Workshy, said this will be the band’s first studio album, but will definitely still have a live feel to it. He said the band is looking forward to playing the Wakarusa Festival this summer, as well as several other festivals and a possible tour.
Recording started last year at Midday Studios in Des Moines and at Liberty Palace Studios — the Liberty House — and is ongoing.
To be released in summer, available at shows
The Volcano Boys is Jordan Mayland’s first full-project since Keepers of the Carpet – he currently plays in The Wheelers and Nuclear Rodeo as well – and he said the album will “rock balls.”
“Nothing But Excuses”
Recording at The Spacement
To be released at the end of summer, available at shows and on iTunes
Huston, who has done independent recordings before and this his first professional release, said most of the acoustic guitar and drum tracks have been finished and he’s now looking for a lap steel player for one song and working on writing horn parts.
Christopher the Conquered
“The Fate Of A Good Man”
Recording in March and April in Ames, Des Moines and Champaign, Ill.
To be released in September, available at the band’s website, on iTunes, at shows and in stores throughout the Midwest
Chris Ford said, “This album attempts to communicate the Truth but will inevitably fail to do so.”
Strong Like Bear
Recording at The Spacement
To be released in early fall
Bryon Dudley, guitarist for Strong Like Bear, said recording is about halfway done on the full-length album.
Jordan Mayland and the Thermal Detonators
“Jordan Mayland and the Thermal Detonators II”
Recording is ongoing at Mayland’s home studio and will be produced with Phil Young at Liberty Palace Studios.
Release date has not been set
Mayland said the album will have more of a classical feel than his first album, composed of jazz and pop piano songs. The album is also being recorded to half-inch tape, instead of digital.
Recording this semester at The ARK
To be released on iTunes in the future
English professor and poet Jim Coppoc will record a spoken word album of covers — poems written by others but read by him.
Against the Grain
Recording at The ARK
To be released in late summer, available online and possible at Reiman Music
Dennis Haislip, who owns and runs Alexander Recording Kompany and sings in 35 South, will be releasing a solo album that he said he has been working on for some time.
Isaac Norman, singer and guitarist for the duo, said the band intends to record and release an album this year and is still in the planning stages.
Currently untitled live album
Bombardier recorded the second Ames City Limits live album at the ARK in February and is still discussing plans on when to release the album. The band will also be recording a studio album at the ARK soon and are hoping to release it by fall semester.
English professor Jen McClung is currently writing material for an album, to be recorded and released in the future.