By Vincent Geerts
Ames247 Staff Writer
Locusic.com founder Jake Kerber wants to help local music, and local musicians are happy to return the favor.
Locusic Live Ames will feature seven local artists for only a $ 5 cover charge this Saturday at DG’s Tap House. Between acts, Kerber will jump on stage to give away prizes donated by local businesses, whose ads on Locusic pay for its operating fees almost exclusively.
Kerber hopes to promote his startup business, which he described as a “music streaming service focused on local music” akin to Pandora.com. Though the site only works in central Iowa at the moment, Locusic will expand to the Twin Cities in about a month. Eventually, he hopes to include the nation.
Kerber first got the idea when he traveled the country post-graduation from Iowa State working various tech jobs with his mechanical engineering and computer science degree. In moving from city to city, he went to many local shows but was never sure what to expect.
“I had no clue if I would enjoy that band or even knew who the bands were,” Kerber said. “[Locusic] solves the problem from both sides. It helps bands get exposure and helps everybody else find out about music in the area.”
He said Locusic Live Ames was “another way to show our support for the local scene and highlight some of the musicians in the area, as well as introduce Locusic to the Ames community some more.”
Ames band the Workshy and Iowa City’s TallGrass will headline the event. Originally it was scheduled for the two exclusively, and Locusic had no part in it. Kerber was eager to host an event in Ames before the end of the school year, and he worked with DG’s to combine the events.
A wide variety of acts will hit the stage throughout the evening. Hip-hop, blues, soul, heavy rock, Americana and more are represented in the set list.
Brant Williams, guitarist and vocalist in the Workshy, said the addition of acts was “a good surprise.”
“Anything that helps local music is a great thing,” Williams said. “We’re happy to have it happen.”
He plans to upload the Workshy’s album to the service as soon as he fixes his computer.
Kerber said Locusic has seen a “steady growth” that he believes will continue. He has many ideas for improvement in the service, but he has made it available early for “proof of interest” in his business. Various artists in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area are uploading songs to Locusic now, and the site will open streaming for those areas in a month.
“I plan for it to be a lot more,” Kerber said. “It will help you find shows that are coming up from local bands, help you make a better connection between the fans and the artists and all kinds of stuff that needs to be out there.”
Locusic Live Ames (21+)
When: Doors open at 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: DG’s Tap House