Cirrus Minor
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Cirrus Minor

Des Moines, Iowa, United States | SELF

Des Moines, Iowa, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock




"Cirrus Minor - Featured Band of the Month"

Demented Magazine's Featured Band CIRRUS MINOR's single from the sky is now featured as track of the month!! These guys rock!! Reminds me of a modern tool dare i say... never before have i ever ever even compared a band to tool but ill make a exception in this case!! I am proud to have these hard working guys in my magazine heard "loud and proud" \,,/ i am humbly humbled. -Jeff Wayne Grissett - Demented Magazine

"Cirrus Minor to release first album in Ames"

By Vincent Geerts
Ames247 Staff Writer

Des Moines-based band Cirrus Minor earned a reputation in Ames after playing sold-out shows at DG’s Taphouse. When the band was invited back to the venue for its first headlining gig, members decided to do more than just play a show. This Friday, Cirrus Minor will distribute the first copies of its debut full-length album, “Animadverto Demens,” to everyone paying admission for their show at DG’s Taphouse.

Friday night won’t be fans’ only chance to get the album for free. Cirrus Minor will perform another release show for fans of all ages the following day at The 504 Club in Des Moines; anyone who pays admission will also receive a copy of the album. Bassist and founding member Aaron Lea hopes that distributing the album will help spread the band’s name.

“We’ve been working really hard to try and get our name all around,” Lea said. “This way, people have something physical to remember us by.”

Cirrus Minor has played shows with big-ticket acts all over the musical spectrum. Blues Traveler, Primus, Girl Talk and Wookiefoot have all shared bills with the local act, but the band’s style doesn’t match any of them. Lea said the band plays music from all kinds of genres for practical reasons.

“We try to make our shows as much of a party as we can,” Lea said. “If you’re partying all night, you don’t want to listen to only one kind of music all night.”

Lea said the band also enjoys the challenge of playing such a diverse set of material. “Animadverto Demens” reflects the band’s live performance style, and the genre on the record varies from track to track.

“We’re really happy with the way the album came out,” Lea said. “We put a lot of time into it and we think it really shows what we’re capable of.”

Though the band has changed drummers since the recording of the album, Lea is certain it will not hold the band back. The lineup has been unchanged for almost a year now, and five new songs have been written. Lea said the band members will be recording the new songs to an EP in the fall, and gearing up to play festivals next summer. - Ames 24 7

"Cirrus Minor (album promo)"

Cirrus Minor

"Animadverto Demens"

Independent release

Des Moines-based psychedelic/alt-rock band Cirrus Minor (Aaron Lea, Joe Corbin, Rich Cantrell, Mike Ruby) has opened shows for Primus, Widespread Panic, Dweezil Zappa, Blues Traveler, Huey Lewis and Bruce Hornsby; won battles of bands to perform at Wakarusa and Summer Camp festivals; and been featured in High Times magazine as the publication's "Band of the Month." Those varied experiences only begin to foreshadow the band's eclectic sound on its new album, "Animadverto Demens." From brooding alt-rock ("From the Sky"), to reggae ("No Sens"), to funk-rock ("Discoitis"), to jam-rock ("Smiley"), Cirrus Minor covers it all only the way they can. CV - Cityview

"Cirrus Minor Releasing New Album"

Popular Des Moines psychedelic jam band, Cirrus Minor, is releasing it’s first full-length album, Animadverto-Demons, this weekend and launching an all-out assault on Central Iowa. With blow-outs in both Ames and Des Moines with bands The Sun Company, The Maw and Dead Larry, there’s no excuse for not celebrating the band’s long-awaited debut effort.

But somehow calling it a “debut” just doesn’t fit. Formed in 2008, it seems like Cirrus Minor has been a part of the live music scene in Des Moines forever, garnering a major fan base both regionally and locally through their megawatt live shows where their mix of adept musicianship couples with a level of improvisational skill not to be outdone. Definitely a jam-ish band, they include just enough words to keep the lyrically-minded from getting bored. They pride themselves on their genre-morphing style, with a little, funk, disco, blues, you name it, blending seamlessly. But as you’d expect from a band named after a Pink Floyd song, the psychedelic rock basis is always obvious. Their ever-growing fan base is spurred on by turns at Wakarusa, Summer Camp, and a myriad of other regional shows and festivals.

The best way to sum up the 10-track Animadverto-Demons in one sentence, is to say that it feels like dancing at a festival with a beer in at least one hand. Mid-January when I’ve forgotten what summer is, I’ll put on the first song, “From the Sky,” and remember fondly. So what took so long so long to release it? Bass player Aaron Lea explains that the wait wasn’t intentional, but because all of their live shows are available for free download on, the band was able to “spread the word” without a full-length release. He adds that there will be a follow-up album out early next year featuring their current line-up (they’ve since gotten a new drummer).

Named one of High Times Unsigned Bands of the Month, you should definitely spend at least one night this weekend celebrating this long-awaited album. Friday’s show with Sun Company at DG’s Taphouse is 21+, starts at 9 pm and includes a copy of the album. Saturday’s Des Moines show has been moved to House of Bricks and features guests The Maw and Dead Larry. An all ages show starting a 4 pm, with an admission price of $8, you get in half price if you bring in a cd from Friday’s show. For more details, visit - Des Moines Music Coalition

"Little BIG Fest Preview: Cirrus Minor"

For the heavier side of jam bands, check out Des Moines' Cirrus Minor. Named after a relatively obscure Pink Floyd song, the band definitely leans towards psychedelic, but also caters to the jammier side of Primus, Tool, and Frank Zappa.
The band's last album, "Awaiting Dilation," captured them experimenting while keeping a solid groove going on, and their live set promises to do the same.
Cirrus Minor plays the Grand Ballroom at Little Big Fest at 8 PM, on Friday, November 19th, at the Hotel Fort Des Moines.
Check out some of their music at: - Des Moines Music Coalition

"Little Big Fest: The Day After"

Cirrus Minor seemed a tad out of place at first, but they won over the crowd with prog-rock worthy polyrhythms, volume, and stage presence. They veered towards metal halfway through the set, threw in some reggae jams, and were bone-crunchingly tight the whole time. - Des Moines Music Coalition

"Cirrus Minor To Battle for Spot at Summer Camp"

Tomorrow night Cirrus Minor will be headlining a show at the Vaudeville Mews in downtown Des Moines. It's another in a series of Battle of the Bands, this one with an opportunity to play at the Summer Camp Festival on the line.
Summer Camp is an annual jam band festival that takes place Memorial Weekend in Chillicothe, Illinois. Since 2001, it has featured such acts as Ecoostic Hookah, The Samples, Umphrey's McGee, Leftover Salmon, Two Cow Garage, Rebelution, Los Lobos, Family Groove Company, Junior Brown, Buckethead, and Victor Wooten. Cirrus Minor won Des Moines' battle last year and made the memorable trek across the Mississippi. Like most kids who go to summer camp, they want to go back again.

Cirrus Minor started out in 2008 when Aaron Lea (of Reality's Flaw) met with Rich Cantrell (Redwing) and Mike Ruby (Alchemist) about forming a band that would appeal to a newer audience. Cirrus Minor was born, and they have been steamrolling ever since.The name was lifted from a Pink Floyd song, made famous from the More soundtrack. (This is my speculation... I have not confirmed this.) They are the chameleons of the Des Moines rock scene, changing their genre from show to show, and sometimes, even song to song.

"We are like an Ipod on shuffle." Aaron told me last week while sipping beers at the Hull Avenue Tap. "If you are partying all night, and don't just want to hear Reggae, or Funk, or Metal, then we are your band."
It works too... Cirrus Minor is, in a way an all-star band, consisting of four of Des Moines' most established musicians (Joe Corbin plays drums). As their influences they list Primus, Tool, Zappa, Floyd, WSP, hundreds more.... and I can attest to the fact that their music is a reflection of each of these bands, sometimes all wrapped up into one. When they play Funk, they play it like Funk is supposed to sound - with sex-infused slap bass and panty-dropping guitar licks. When they play Reggae, it's reminiscent of a party scene in Jamaica. You might as well have sand in your toes and a big old skanky spliff sittin' on your lips. When they play hard rock, they are in their element... Same as when they play Psychedelia. There is no style that these guys don't seem to have a handle on. They even do a Doors tribute show once or twice a year that's unbelievable.

But that's the limit of their cover band status. 99% of the music Cirrus Minor records or plays live is original, with the elements of each style represented in their songs. It's a twisted curvy road they take, but they handle it with the ease of a Maserati on the Autobahn. Nothing seems to phase these guys, and it always seems that they are having as much fun as their audience is, which is usually alot. They have shared the stage with the likes of Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler, Primus and Zappa Plays Zappa. Once they were named the unsigned band of the month in High Times Magazine.
If you haven't heard Cirrus Minor, leave a comment and I will make sure that you get a copy of the new CD "Animadverto-Demens" (Ok, the first 3). Unlike many bands, the CD actually gives a genuine feel as to what Cirrus Minor is all about. Their picture is so much bigger than can be parlayed into words. It must be heard.

And seen.

Head down to Vaudeville tomorrow night and check out their set. They play last, so they can really use your support. Simply enter the venue and put your one vote into the envelope with their name on it. Let's not deny them a chance to go back to summer camp. - The Bigfoot Diaries

"Unsigned Band of the Month"

Cirrus Minor was the Featured Unsigned Band of the Week at 12-23-09 thru 12-29-09, and went on to win their online poll, securing their spot as the High Times Unsigned Band of the Month for the May 2010 . - High Times Magazine

"Awaiting Dilation CD review"

Written by Bryon Dudley
Friday, 08 May 2009

You take one look at Cirrus Minor’s album cover art, and you can tell they’re not afraid to wear their psychedelia proudly on their sleeves. The cover features a close-up of an eye, the blazing blue iris looking almost like lightning or flames. This is a good image to prep you for the journey you take on the debut album from the Des Moines band.

There’s a nice welcoming of trippy, faded-in delay guitars on the disc opener “From the Sky,” joined by some rolling bass and drum work by Aaron “Ogre” Lea and MacKenzie Fleener. From there a lot of interesting grooves pepper the album, showcasing stop-start rhythms that are on the nu-metal side of King Crimson at times and, more often, Primus.

With just this going for them, Cirrus Minor could’ve ended up sounding like a thousand other bands, but instead they’ve experimented, and it is here where they really succeed. Synthesizers add splashes of the epic on the standout title track, which is the lone instrumental on the album. There’s also bits of backwards-sounding bass, and some nice growls and swirls. The track has compositional movements, and gets downright prog-rock in places.

The reggae pot anthem “No Sens” has steel drum sounds in it, and has probably the catchiest chorus of all the songs. There’s also some great lead guitar playing in it by singer/guitarist Mike Ruby. “Don’t Tase Me, Bro” is more of a catchy porchstomper (even including harmonica, by keyboardist Rich Cantrell). In true pop tradition, it comes in at under four minutes – most of the songs are over the six minute mark, allowing the band to build drama.

The mix of serious and fun on the album works – you get the hard driving crunch sometimes, and you get the campfire sing-along and partying other times. It’s like some Bob Marley fans found themselves listening to Tool and Pink Floyd a lot, and couldn’t choose between them when putting the band together. So they didn’t, and why should anyone have to?

And as a parting rhythmic gift, the live closer, a cover of Michael Franti’s “Pray for Grace,” features hip-hop Franti friend Radioactive, beat boxing away with Cirrus Minor’s groove unit. It showcases the band’s “live” potential, which sounds like a fun show. - Des Moines Music Coalition

"Guaranteed Good Times"

Insectoid and Cirrus Minor (with Jason Sturges)
House of Bricks - Saturday, June 20, 5pm AND 9pm - 5pm All Ages; 9pm 21+ - unknown cost (rock/electronic/psychedelic)

Need more than music to keep you entertained? Then this is the show for you-or rather, shows as there will be an early and a late show. One word particularly sticks out to me when reading about what will be occurring at this show: LASERS. I love lasers. There will also be a full multimedia performance, including dancers, projection screens, live screen painting, and perhaps even a large panorama. Impressed? Because I am. Come on down to the House of Bricks, have a few drinks, and prepare yourself what can best be described as a rockin’ psychedelic experience!


"Awaiting Dilation"; 2009. 6 song EP.
"Animadverto Demens", August 5th, 2011.



Cirrus Minor is an eclectic musical artistic endeavor, producing a unique brand of alternative rock unbound by stylistic restrictions. From funky dancable jams to face-melting, intense progressive rock, their music twists through numerous genres, much like an iPod on shuffle. Dishing up unique takes on blues, funk, raggae, folk, disco and more is all a part of the founding philosophy of the band- a group of high caliber musicians from very different backgrounds enabling each other to have the freedom to fully artistically express themselves with no limits. This highly creative and diversity-driven approach to songwriting has gotten Cirrus Minor invited to share bills with jammers (Widespread Panic, Umphrey’s McGee, Blues Traveler, etc…), experimental psychedelic acts (Primus, Zappa Plays Zappa, Fishbone, etc…), rockers (Green Jello, Nashville Pussy, etc...), rappers (Wiz Khalifa, De La Sol, etc…), and many other eclectic acts (Yonder Mountain String Band, Huey Lewis, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Bassnectar, STS9, Disco Biscuits, Slightly Stoopid, moe., Girl Talk, Bruce Hornsby, and many more), while their energetic live shows help them win over every audience. Cirrus Minor has spent the past four years touring festivals and venues in 9 states (including Wakarusa, Harvest Fest, Summer Camp, dates with Primus and Wookiefoot, etc…).
In early 2008, Cirrus Minor was formed as a 3 piece band by Aaron Lea (bassist), Mackenzie Fleener (drummer), and Mike Ruby (guitarist/singer), becoming a 4-piece with the addition of keyboardist Rich Cantrell shortly after their first show. The band recorded a 5 song demo, 2009’s “Awaiting Dilation”, which sold out of its initial (and only) pressing at the CD release show, and then was put online for free and downloaded over 1,500 times. In the fall of 2008, CIRRUSMINORLIVE.COM was launched to allow fans to get a free recording of any of their live concerts, since each show is unique; whether they are looking to preserve the memory of a show they were at, or to catch one they missed. After 2 years of regional touring, Cirrus Minor underwent some lineup changes, most notably the addition of drummer Joe Corbin and the departure of Mackenzie from the band for personal reasons.
Cirrus Minor is a band with the rare ability to jam the jam crowds, rock the rock crowds, and go smoothly from shaking people’s butts to melting people’s faces in any setting. Their years of hard work and overall quality of their musicianship has garnered them a regional fan base, well over 8,500 friends on Facebook and MySpace, and worldwide media attention. With the release of their full-length album, "Animadverto Demens" (released August 2011), Cirrus Minor continues to make each show a unique experience, leaving a trail of fans in their wake wherever they go.