Maximum Ames Music Festival Features Local Talent with Headliners Jeff Mangum and Wanda Jackson
Peace, Love and Stuff and Poison Control Center open for idols Jeff Mangum and Wanda Jackson in the Maximum Ames Music Festival. The festival features hundreds of bands over four days starting Thursday.
Jeff Mangum, of Neutral Milk Hotel, and the Music Tapes, which spun out of a group of artists who called themselves the Elephant 6, are among the more than 100 musical acts set to perform in the second annual Maximum Ames Music Festival, which starts Thursday.
The inaugural music festival brought more than 100 bands to Ames last September. This year many of the same local bands and others with local ties will perform in a range of venues and two local acts will be lucky enough to open for their musical heroes.
Patrick Tape Fleming and his band, Poison Control Center, will open for both Mangum and the Music Tapes on Saturday and Peace, Love, and Stuff will open for Queen of Rockabilly Wanda Jackson on Friday. Both shows take place in the Ames City Auditorium.
Neutral Milk Hotel released two records including “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” called a “bona fide rock classic,” in the Rolling Stone.
“My dad introduced me to Bob Dylan and the Beatles. Two of my favorite things in the whole universe. The only thing I felt that I could give back to my dad is Neutral Milk Hotel,” Fleming said.
Fleming learned of the band at a music store in Minneapolis.
“It changed the trajectory of my life,” he said. “My band wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Neutral Milk Hotel,” Fleming said.
“In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” is a concept album about Anne Frank and the Holocaust that Fleming said transported him to a new plane of understanding of what art is and why people make it.
“It inspired me to want to achieve something like that,” Fleming said.
Jackson, considered the pioneer woman of Rock-N-Roll, has been inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame and toured with (and dated) Elvis Presley.
Her biggest hits are probably “Funnel of Love” and “Let's have a Party” said Peace, Love and Stuff's Dylan Boyle.
Lavonne McRoberts, lead singer of Peace, Love and Stuff, was introduced to her songs through her grandfather who played Jackson's songs on car rides.
“She is my musical hero I am like stoked beyond belief,” McRoberts said.
Both Jackson and Mangum have experienced a recent revival. Mangum disappeared from the music scene about 10 years ago, but has made a recent comeback at music festivals such as Coachella and Jackson released an album with Jack White of the White Stripes exposing her to college aged listeners and the slightly older set and is currently on tour for a new release called, “Unfinished Business.”
Another national draw will be The Dirty Dozen Brass Band a 35-year-old band from New Orleans, which people can catch free during the FACES of Ames Festival 6 p.m. Saturday at Bandshell Park.
Hundreds of other bands including Maximum Ames Music Festival creators Nate Logsdon and Chris Lyng's band Mumford's are in the four-day lineup.
Boyle said the local bands are what the festival is truly about.
“This festival educates the community about all the talent that we do have in town and in the central Iowa area,” he said.
Some say the Ames music scene is reminiscent of the collaboration of creativity in the Athens scene of the 1990s that the Aeroplane record came out of. It's one of the reasons why Lyng and Logsdon, sought the Music Tapes and Jeff Mangum after last year's festival ended.
“We're starting to get a scene built here and it only gets better,” Boyle said.