The sound


By Michael Swanger


Pictures of Then: Greenwood enjoys watching hometown scene grow

Tim Greenwood, a 25-year-old native of Polk City and keyboardist for the Minneapolis indie-rock band Pictures of Then, is looking forward to seeing family and friends when his band headlines the first night of the U.S. Cellular World Food Festival on Friday, Oct. 9 in the East Village. But he is also intrigued by the growth of the local music scene.

“Des Moines has been a hot spot for us,” Greenwood said. “Since the time I grew up in Des Moines until now, it has become a legitimate stop for touring bands like ours. The scene is much more alive than I remember it being. It is a much cooler cultural place.”

Like other musicians who have left Des Moines in search of professional music careers in bigger cities, Greenwood cut his teeth locally. As a teenager during the 1990s, he was a fan of local rockers The McKenzies, which included guitarist James Biehn (Soapbox Prophets). Greenwood would attend their concerts and pick Biehn’s brain for advice during set breaks. Eventually, Greenwood made his stage debut opening for The McKenzies at the House of Bricks when the club was located near Merle Hay Mall.

“I was a huge McKenzies fan and got to be good friends with James, who was kind of a mentor to me,” said Greenwood, who took piano lessons as a child but learned to play guitar as a teenager.

After graduating from North Polk High School, Greenwood studied jazz music for one year at the University of Northern Iowa, playing keyboards. But at age 19, he decided that “the straight-laced thing wasn’t my cup of tea,” and moved to Minneapolis where he joined a drummer-friend to start a band. For four years, Greenwood fronted the alt-country outfit Broken Heart Jones, playing guitar and singing. When the band began to fizzle in late 2007, Greenwood was looking for change of pace and that’s when he met Pictures of Then.

“From the first rehearsal, everything felt good and clicked into place,” said Greenwood, who immediately joined Pictures of Then as its full-time keyboardist. “Part of the allure of the band was it had serious touring aspirations, which is kind of my thing.”

Being on the road while promoting Picture of Then’s 2009 album, “And the Wicked Sea,” has taken Greenwood and company to live music venues from their hometown to Texas. Inevitably, there have been stops along the way in Des Moines, including the Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines Arts Festival and Crossroads Entertainment Conference.

“To have great shows in Des Moines to look forward to has been really awesome,” Greenwood said. “Each time we book a show in Des Moines, we look forward to it.” CV



2009 U.S. Cellular World Food Festival free concerts


Friday, Oct. 9 • Corona Stage
4-5:30 p.m. Soapbox Prophets
6-7:30 p.m. Fundamental Elements
8-10 p.m. Pictures of Then


Jazz & Wine Pavilion presented by Meredith Corp.

11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Mike Giles & the 3x5
5:30-7:30 p.m. Brazilian Sunset
8-10 p.m. Bella Soul Jazz Trio featuring Tina Haase Findlay


Saturday, Oct. 10 • Corona Stage
6:30-8 p.m. Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts
8:30-10 p.m. Bonne Finken and The Collective


Jazz & Wine Pavilion presented by Meredith Corp.

11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Scott Davis Quartet
2-3:30 p.m. Mike Giles & Seth Hedquist
4-5:30 p.m. Ed East
6-7:30 p.m. Tony Williams
8-10 p.m. Sam Salomone


Sunday, Oct. 10 • Corona Stage
1-5 p.m. Toque Music All Stars


Jazz & Wine Pavilion presented by Meredith Corp.

1-2:30 p.m. Hot Club of Des Moines
3-5 p.m. Tony Valdez Group

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