By Cady Colosimo
As the drummer of Des Moines alt/rock band Foxholes, Ben Barndollar is the keeper of the beat. Barndollar started playing drums in the 7th grade and got his start with a blues band. He moved to Des Moines in 2007 and has been with Foxholes since their inception in 2012, where he assumed the role of the older, wiser elder of the group.
When he’s not kicking back on the drums he’s kickin’ it as a newlywed with his beautiful wife Cara. The two like to keep active biking and running, and you might even see them sprinting around Beaverdale together from time to time.
Foxholes are currently hard at work on their new LP and have been putting in mad hours recording at Wabi Sound. You can catch a glimpse of what they’ve been up to at their show this week at Lefty’s on Thursday, Oct 1.
Hum // Stars
This song changed my life. I was watching “120 Minutes” in our living room in Indiana, having just moved from Champaign, Illinois (in 8th grade), and I was stuck to the TV from the first chord. Even listening to it now, while writing this, I get goosebumps and the hair stands up on the back of my neck. When I found out the band was from the place I was born and raised, I felt an instant connection and realized amazing things can happen right in my own neighborhood. I started going to local shows and discovered music is not just the radio and MTV. Read Jeff Inman’s 8-Track for a great opinion on this band. I listen to something from this band at least once a week and am quick to let anyone know all about them if they have not yet had the pleasure.
Sunny Day Real Estate // In Circles
The artwork for this album (Diary) is genius. The little people characters are caught in situations that should be easy to get out of, if you have hands. Songs one and two off the album are a great representation of what was happening in the early to mid-90s, and the height of Sub Pop (Records). They were releasing great music that would, to me, define the sound for a generation. The band’s on again, off again relationship has resulted in a number of great albums, but Diary is still the one I go to for that sense of nostalgia.
Two Gallants // Halcyon Days
In a world with lousy power duos, Two Gallants brings something different. Their songs make you feel dirty, unkempt, and longing for someone or something. All the albums are like reading a book of short stories. Each one with a different cast and different situations, but with a familiar feel throughout. Adam Stephens’ lyrics and guitar play perfectly with Tyson Vogel’s drums, which almost take on the lead, with the twangy guitar playing the rhythm. This song is very different from a lot of their other stuff, but the sheer power of the song is perfect for long commutes when you need a pick-me-up.
Wye Oak // Strangers (cover of The Kinks)
The Kinks are a go-to when I need to remember what music is capable of. A band that should have been bigger than the Beatles (sorry dad), but were held back for whatever reason. They were banned from touring in the US at the height of the British Invasion. Their catalog is so expansive and crosses so many genres, you’re sure to find something you like. Watch any Wes Anderson film and the song that makes you go “I wonder who sings that?” is most likely The Kinks. I am adding the Wye Oak cover of the song “Strangers” because I love when a band can take an amazing song and keep the elements that made it amazing, but make it different. It’s a hard task and Wye Oak did it. But definitely listen to the original as well.
Granddaddy // The Crystal Lake
I have to admit, I am late to the game with this band. I heard the name for years and never sought them out- a huge mistake. This song has all the elements for me; great guitar lines, synth, and an amazing end that bring it all to a perfect close. I am very happy they are releasing a new album soon so I can join the bandwagon and experience listening to new music from this great band.
The Shins // Simple Song
Another song I have been obsessed with for the last 6 months. Everyone has heard it. Another one that popped up on a mix at some point and instantly went in the “Shit I Like Right Now” mix on Spotify, and gets played constantly. Such a great song to put on in the car and play drums on the steering wheel.
Beirut // Goshen
This is a more recent obsession. I heard this on a Spotify mix during a road trip with my wife. It is bare, simple piano chords with a simple horn line to finish it off. The microphones are cranked way up so you can hear every little noise happening in the studio, which makes it feel very personal. I have interpreted the meaning about 100 different ways, which is another reason I like it so much. Send me a message on Facebook with your take.
Walter Martin // Sing to Me (featuring Karen O.)
This song will always be one of my favorite songs. When planning our wedding our first song was always going to be “Africa” by Toto- no doubt in our minds. My wife and I have had countless dance parties in our living room after a glass/bottle or two of wine to that song. But when I heard “Sing to Me” I instantly realized Toto would have to wait until later in the reception. It’s such a wonderful song about a girl and a boy in love. Mushy I know, but take a listen and tell me you don’t instantly turn into a big ball of fluff.