If you are looking for some live music to round out your Valentine's Day weekend, here is a look at Central Iowa's top weekend concerts.
The Diplomats of Solid Sound headline Wooly's in Des Moines on Saturday night. The DoSS got their start in Iowa City more than 15 years ago. The soul/funk/R&B group has released a number of 7" singles, and they released their latest full-length album, What Goes Around Comes Around, in the fall of 2010. Opening for the Diplomats will be Mr. Kicks, Poppa Neptune, Royal Nonesuch, and the Paige Harpin Group. Tickets for the show are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at the Wooly's box office or online through Ticketfly. This will be a 19-and-over show.
Country singer Brittany Bexton will play Whiskey Dixx on Saturday night. The California native started singing at the age of 2 and has never stopped. Bexton released her self-titled debut EP in June of 2012 and released a new single entitled "Free Fall"(see video) last October. The 21-and-over show starts at 9 p.m. and has a $3 cover.
Minneapolis funk rock band Dead Larry comes to DG's Tap House for a show Saturday at 9 p.m. The Iowa City bred rockers released a new EP last year entitled Never Made It to Space. Both Heatbox and GoodcaT have been attached to this show at one time or another, but neither is currently being listed as a part of Saturday's show. The show has a $7 cover and is open to all 21 and older.
Maids will play a live show at Vaudeville Mews on Saturday night at 10 p.m. followed by DJ sets by both members of the band. The Des Moines duo calls their music "Midwest disco". They released a new single entitled "Bandits" on January 24. The show has a $5 cover and is a 21-plus event.
Summerset Winery will host a Valentine's Ball for couples on Saturday night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The ball features a wine reception, a sit-down dinner (catered by Christiani's) with a bottle of wine, a photo by Maharry Photography, and live music by Fat Tuesday and Janey Hooper. The Valentine's Ball is $55 per person and reservations and payment must be made in advance by calling the winery at (515) 961- 3545.
Kick off your Sunday with the Botanical Blues concert series at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This week's performer is Brad "Be Bad" McCloud. McCloud has been playing guitar since third grade and is a former Iowa Blues Challenge winner. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors (65+), $3 for kids 4-17, and free for Botanical Garden members and kids under 3. (Admission to the gardens is included.) Food and beverage are available for purchase from the gardens' Trellis cafe.
Rock and roll/acoustic artist Michale Graves will play Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines on Sunday at 5:45 p.m. The New Jersey singer/songwriter spent two stints as head of the re-invented Misfits and also spent time as the lead singer of Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg (see slideshow). Graves released two solo albums in 2013, Vagabond Acoustic and Lost Skeleton Returns. Sauk Rapids metal band Buzzard and Des Moines rockers Handlebar will open the show. Tickets for the all ages show are $10 and they may be purchased at the door or online through Tikly.
Texas-based Americana artist Carrie Rodriguez will play a sold-out reserved seat show at The Flying Mango in Des Moines on Sunday. Rodriguez's Give Me All You Got was named to the Americana Music Association's "Top 10 Albums of the 2013". The music will start at 7 p.m.
California-based reggae/world music performer J Boog will headline Wooly's in Des Moines on Sunday night. The Samoan singer/songwriter was nominated for the 2013 Pier Awards "Live Artist of the Year" in December. He released an EP and a new album in 2011 and has been touring ever since. Los Rakas will open the 8 p.m. show. Tickets for the show are $13 in advance and $15 the day of the concert. They may be purchased at the Wooly's box office or online through Ticketfly.