Iowa’s Ministry of Musical Appropriateness

Attention all you Iowa lo-fi whiners and mumblecore navel gazers, smarty-pants kitsch-rock dorks, spastic shouters with horn sections, faux-Appalachian hill-music inbreds, new-grass Vaudevillians, crying-on-the-inside noise rock clowns, and vain, skittish perfect-pop pricks! Attention!

There’s a new musical sheriff here in town, and its name is the Iowa Ministry of Musical Appropriateness. We’re here to make sure that the state’s music industry runs just right, the way the Iowa film industry does. Or did. Or will. Whatever.

Now there, settle down, settle down, get in line, and don’t you go getting any big ideas about singing for the masses, just yet. It’s not as easy as just showing up down here with some half-baked musical manifesto expecting us to green light your corn belt operetta.

That ain’t how it works. That ain’t gonna happen. In fact, how about you don’t call us, we’ll call you — got it?

What’s that? What should you do before coming down to the Ministry to see us? Well, first off, how about canceling this afternoon’s band practice and getting your skinny asses down to the Mall to fill out some job applications.

Fold a sweater! Make an Orange Julius! Learn a trade! Contribute for once in your sorry, self-absorbed little lives!

What? You still want to sing?

Sigh. Okay, all right, all right, that’s gonna require you to complete a Form DV-20. There. In the rack on the left. No, your other left. That one.

I’ll need to see some proof of subject matter. You can pick one musical genre, plus two – and only two – primary lyrical themes, one from Column A, and one from Column B.

No, you may not pick two themes from Column B! What did I just say?

Look, it’s math or loserdom. Read the directions. Why? Because math implies loserdom, that’s why. It’s redundant to pick both. There’s a logic behind these forms, alright?

What? Guitar?

You want to sing and play guitar? Well, you can’t do that on a DV-20, for Christ’s sake. Go back to the end of the information line and get the proper form.

And you’d better have proof of permanent Iowa address when you come back — got it?

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