Narrowing down a list of just five things I love about local music was difficult, but here are some of the things I'm most excited about at the moment. They'll give you a great taste of the cool things going on in local music.
Wooly's: Des Moines has a lot of great venues, but it's hard to think of one as consistently great as Wooly's. Since it opened three years ago, Wooly's has become the pinnacle stop for touring bands and the destination local bands want to get too. (504 E. Locust St.)
Festivals : This year 80/35 and Lazerfest are being joined by Hinterland and the River Bank Bash, giving local fans a lot of options from bluegrass to metal. Add in Mumford and Sons' Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Waverly and summer is looking very rich.
Des Moines Social Club: When someplace lands David Byrne to speak at the grand opening, music fans are going to pay attention. The Social Club offers multiple venue size options, allowing acts ranging from large acts like Doomtree and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, to medium-sized acts like Har Mar Superstar and space for rising and local acts as well. (900 Mulberry St.)
Locusic: Streaming options for local bands can be hit or miss, but Locusic is a sure bet. This locally-run app (there's also a Twin Cities version) lets you sample songs by local acts and find out more info about them. Go to locusic.com.
Lefty's: Every local venue has an interesting history. The soon-to-open Lefty's was once home to Hairy Mary's, Safari Club, Baggs and other venues. Lefty's is being opened by two former House of Bricks employees this month with a great assortment of Iowa acts, including David Zollo, Maids, Brother Trucker, Canby and Index Case. (2307 University Ave.)