There are a few reasons why I hadn’t yet made it to the Mews since I moved back, but none of them are any good.

The Mews is a big part of why this place feels like home to me. I went to college near Des Moines, and sometime in there I started seeing shows at the Mews. I would leave the venue with show posters and flyers and put them up on campus. My senior year (2003-2004) was the landmark year I stopped requiring concert buddies and started driving myself to shows on my own. I attended weeknight shows when it was just me and the bartender and the guy at the door. But I was in LOVE with the place.

Walking back in last night finally (for the DMMC shindig with MAIDS and TWINS) was such an experience. It felt like I had really finally come home. The folks I attended with- we all had the strongest memories of going to see Troubled Hubble, of Chris Otepka jumping off the balcony, breaking his tibia, crawling back to stage and finishing the song (with new lyrics about his broken bones) before ending the show to go to the emergency room.

It’s funny, because sometimes I feel like there is a little tension here- between people who have come (or come back) to Des Moines and people who never left. Growing pains, perhaps, or entirely imagined by a girl who consistently feels like she has no right to belong. But this post isn’t about that. This post is about my renewed commitment to go to the Mews more often, on weeknights. To support the mission of the DMMC. To remember I love music and to make a better effort to let music know how I feel. I can still be a part of this. It’s not too late.



I have been painting almost every day since May, drawing lots of hands and animals. This is what I’ve produced lately. 

I am thinking of drawing as casting a spell. Drawing a thing takes figuring out how it works. The first time drawing a novel object is like learning a recipe or a magic spell. The first time combining different elements is an experiment. 

This is what I’m thinking about when I make these paintings. 

I will be at Market Day’s Summer Spectacular on August 2 with works like these. 

Mostly I am drawing and painting on watercolor paper. The last few nights I’ve been moving back to oil painting — brushier, looser work.