Dedicated to classics and hits.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


War on Drugs
Dirty Beaches (2 piece)
Wet Hair (1)
Friday, March 30th, 2012
@ GABES in Iowa City, Iowa.


  I love that Dirty Beaches is playing this show.  Talk about an ignored/under served market!  It seems to me that a large part of the "magic" of touring a territory as big as the United States is to figure out viable ways to get into the smaller markets.

 Back when this show was announced I broke down the relevant demographics. (2)  But that really only took into account the Iowa markets themselves- and wholly failed to account for the geographical relationship between Iowa City and Chicago.  Market Statistical areas East of Chicago in Illinois include:

-  Rockford, Illinois MSA- population of 350,000.
-  Peoria, Ill.- population of  379,000
- Bloomington/Normal, ILL.  population 169,000

  So that is another 900,000 people. And of course, there are no geographical impediments to driving in that area unless it is snowy or something.   You add that to the million an a half in all the Iowa MSA's- you are already up to close to 2.5 million in a potential Audience for a live show in Iowa City, IA- now you are talking the market size of a St. Louis or Baltimore, MA., i.e. top 20 market size.

  Why would you ignore a potential market that is also one night away from Chicago, ILL.- which is a must play? My sense about the "shape" of the modern Audience for indie bands is that it is geographically dispersed- with 10-20 in lots of smaller cities/towns.  The traditional rock touring schedule obviously concentrates on the more established touring markets, but I think one aspect to the phenomenon of being "Pitchfork famous" is that bands can viably tour more and different markets both home and abroad.


(1)  Wet Hair:

Wet Hair is Shawn Reed, Justin Thye, and Ryan Garbes, the two remaining members of Raccoo-oo-oon that stayed in Iowa City after the band’s end. Reed also runs Night-People Records, which Garbes often contributes to. Wet Hair began as a solo outing for Reed in late 2007 during the final months of Raccoo-oo-oon, and after the release of a 12” EP and the Irifi Cassette Garbes was added on organ and live drums.

  Night-People Records, of course, released Dirty Beaches on tape before Badlands was released.

(2) Iowa City MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area)- #260 size market in the United States with 152,000 people.  Cedar Rapids MSA is directly north of Iowa City, and it has a market size of 257,000 people (#176.)  Within 50 miles you have Waterloo, Iowa MSA (#237/167k),  Dubuque, Iowa MSA(#353/93k) and of course Davenport, Iowa(#134/379k.)

Of course Des Moines, 50+ miles to the west is a big daddy in the area with  569 thousand people and an MSA rank of #88.

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