Saturday, June 25, 2016

OTHER SOURCES - The "Under the Mic" compilations

Before there Iowa Music Showcase... Before there was CarpeDM... Even before the likes of  "Des Moines 4 Track Compilation", "Iowa City Song Project", or "Sonic Harvest"... There was the Under the MIC(roscope) compilations!

Back in 2000's, central Iowa musicians, Adam Haug and Micah Sturdevant, came up a crazy idea.

"The mission is to have local musicians support one another regardless of style or status and to give everyone a proper analysis for the current state of music in the area. Let's put ourselves under the mic- We are bound to discover something we never knew about each other and most importantly how we can operate more effectively as a community of one."
- from the description for one of their live show at The Vaudeville Mews

They sent out requests for music from central Iowa regardless of the genre. Then they put the first 80 minutes worth they got into a compilation, and gave it away as a cassette. They did this 5 times, using cd's later.

And they put on some live shows to pay for it.

"Last Saturday, ten area bands descended on the Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines for the latest iteration of Under the Microscope.

"The concert is part of a project to help highlight bands from Ames and Des Moines.

"'It's good for local music,' said organizer Adam Haug. 'It gets bands that are known and unknown on stage.'

"The concert is only the final part of the project. Now in its third iteration, Under the Microscope is held approximately every six months, and consists of both a compilation CD and a live show. The UTM staff solicit bands in the 515 area code using such tools as MySpace and, a music-oriented message board.

"Haug said the staff received a great deal of submissions, and putting together the lineups for the CD and the concert was difficult.

"The CD has 25 bands on it, but the show can only host ten to twelve.

"Bands are selected for the project with an eye toward variety and a good performance."
- from Iowa State Daily article by Bill Clearly

Well, the last 3 compilations are now up on Bandcamp! Giving you all a chance to hear what was going on musically in Des Moines in mid 2000's!

Under the Mic Bandcamp site:

Other IMSC articles and podcast episodes on compilations:


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