We're always posting new stories and interviews about the musicians we love to listen to. But what about the people who help bring these musicians to venues near you? By that, I mean the bookers, music writers, music fans, music marketers, and concert photographers (among many, many others) you might share a drink with on any given night. Sure, you might chat music for a bit. But do you know the most played songs on their playlists? Probably not. 8 Tracks is a new weekly feature spotlighting one music influencer and their top 8 songs at the moment. Make sure to listen along on Spotify here. It'll be changing weekly depending on who's choosing the songs, so make sure to save your favorites. [Ed Note: Three songs on Draper's list weren't available on Spotify (Tool's "Lateralus," Peace, Love and Stuff's "Moonshine Lover," and The Autumn Project's "Song 1").
Most of you are familiar with Mike Draper, even if you don't know his name. As the main mind behind local clothing-store-turned-zeitgest Raygun, the odds are very good that Draper's thoughts and products have been plastered on your chest at some time or another.
But he's also a big fan and patron of local music. Raygun's flagship East Village location (there are also stores in Iowa City and Kansas City) has played host to "pop up shows" at Little BIG Fest and Gross Domestic Product, and Draper produced Peace, Love & Stuff's debut EP, which he also gave away at his store. See what's been looping on his playlists. [Ed Note: Two of the songs (The Autumn Project's "Song 1" and Peace, Love and Stuff's "Moonshine Lover") on Draper's playlist unfortunately aren't available on Spotify. Give them a listen below along with the others. We included a cover of Tool's song on the Spotfiy list. Make sure to check the other two out below.]
The Autumn Project - Song 1
According to my iTunes, I’ve listened to this song 293 times. That’s a little over 39 hours. This was recorded live at the Vaudeville Mews. For full effect: listen with a smoke machine going.
Peace, Love, and Stuff - Moonshine Lover
One of the best up and coming bands in Des Moines. Their album is in production, and this track is up on Sonic Factory’s site—so you can get in on the ground floor! Full disclosure: their drummer is RAYGUN’s carpenter/welder, their guitar player is one of our printers. If they get too popular, we’re going to have to find two new employees.
Polica - “Warrior Lord”
I thought these guys were European because of the little symbol below the C, and the Portishead/Massive Attack sound. But they mention “basketball” in one song, which didn’t seem very European. And it turns out they’re from Minneapolis, which is not in Europe.
Arctic Monkeys - “Arabella”
Speaking of Europe, Arctic Monkeys! My kids like this song. It sounds great blasting in our Volvo SUV while sitting in the Starbucks line. These guys played in Kansas City recently, but I couldn’t go because I’ve got kids.
Fair to Midland - “Amarillo Sleeps on My Pillow”
Speaking of kids, since I have them jumping around at rock shows isn’t really my thing. But when I heard this Texas band, I wanted to throw myself around with sweaty fat kids in black shirts and baggy shorts. Two of the best rock albums I’ve heard in a long time. Turns out they broke up already. Sorry, fat kids.
Deftones - “Tempest”
Back when I did jump around with sweat fat kids, Deftones was a popular band. They can stick kick some ask if you ask me. No one plays two throbbing chords like these guys.
Pinback - “Drawstring”
I’ve always wanted these guys to play 80/35, but I’m not really sure they’d draw that many people. Really great stuff, but seemingly not particularly popular.
Tool - “Lateralus”
No Mike Draper list would be complete without Tool, the greatest gol-dang-band in the frugging universe. If you think their stuff is a little too pretentious, you’re opinions will be reinforced with this video explaining the supposed meanings behind “Lateralus."
Walk on in to any of Raygun's three Midwest locations, or check them out at www.raygunsite.com