If only I still had this hat...
Locals-made-good the Seed of Something held the triumphant release party for their proper debut album, English, which I am biased about but would recommend to just about anybody who likes precocious garage-rock hullabaloo, on Saturday night at Vaudeville Mews. I was lucky enough to catch a bit of their first set before DJing outside at the PBR Bar, and I'm pretty sure they played all of the new ones except for "Fire." I've had the record for a while thanks to their Indiegogo campaign, so I played that one during my own set. I also played a whole weird mix of stuff: For some reason I started reaching for the universal, slam-dunk dancefloor songs pretty early, and I was a little leery of one of my turntables because a speaker problem was causing feedback if I played it too loud, so by the end of the night pretty much every other song it felt like I was finding myself falling back on something from an LP I'd already played. I guess I should bring another crate? Or something? Anyway, thank you to everybody who kept dancing waaay too late, and thanks to Ladd for booking me, and thanks to Joe and Derek and T.J. for getting me all set up, and thanks to Tony and Sami for bringing the Lydia Loveless seven-inch, and thanks probably especially to Brian for letting me talk him into driving me home with my gear; you all are running rings around this little downtown.

What I played is below, with a Spotify approximation that probably leaves out all the best stuff because it always does:

Sparks: "Goofing Off"
Gloom Balloon: "The Face"
The Seed of Something: "Fire"
Lydia Loveless: "Blind" (Ke$ha cover)
Solange: "Losing You"
LCD Soundsystem: "I Can Change"
Creedence Clearwater Revival: "Proud Mary"
Prince: "When Doves Cry"
Gang Gang Dance: "MindKilla"
Lana Del Rey: "Brooklyn Baby"
Digable Planets: "Borough Check"
Arthur Russell: "Tone Bone Kone"
Archie Bell & the Drells: "Tighten Up"
Best Coast: "Crazy for You"
Yoko Ono: "Walking on Thin Ice"
How to Dress Well: "Words I Don't Remember" (meant to play "Repeat Pleasure," whoops)
Constantines: "Nighttime/Anytime (It's Alright)"
Wilson Pickett: "Mustang Sally"
Disclosure (feat. Sam Smith): "Latch"
Chance the Rapper: "Interlude (That's Love)"
Jessie Ware: "If You're Never Gonna Move"
James Brown: "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag"
Arctic Monkeys: "R U Mine?"
So Cow: "Shackleton"
Al Green: "Let's Stay Together"
Studio: "West Side Part 1"
Chic: "Le Freak"
Michael Jackson: "Billie Jean"
Paramore: "Ain't It Fun"
Whitney Houston: "How Will I Know"
Röyksopp / Robyn: "Do It Again"
Sam Cooke: "Having a Party"
DJ Sammy: "Heaven"
TLC: "Creep"
Beyoncé: "Partition"
Gorillaz: "Feel Good Inc."
Liars: "Let's Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack"
Spice Girls: "Wannabe"
Kingdom: "You"
Warren G (feat. Nate Dogg): "Regulate"
Drake: "Hold on, We're Going Home"
Wilson Pickett: "Mustang Sally"
Elite Gymnastics: "Minneapolis Belongs to You"
James Blake: "CMYK"
LOL Boys (feat. Heart Streets): "Changes"
Iceage: "You're Blessed"
Spoon: "Got Nuffin'"
Michael Jackson: "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
James Brown: "I Got You (I Feel Good)"
2Pac (feat. Dr. Dre): "California Love"
Whitney Houston: "Saving All My Love for You"
Dr. Dre (feat. Snoop Doggy Dogg): "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang"
The Tough Alliance: "Neo Violence"
Chic: "Good Times"
Korallreven (feat. Victoria Bergsman): "As Young as Yesterday"
Snoop Doggy Dogg: "Who Am I (What's My Name?)"
UGK (feat. OutKast): "Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You)"
Azealia Banks (feat. Lazy Jay): "212"
Frank Ocean: "Sweet Life"
Beyonce: "XO"



Photo by Arin Eaton
The Vaudeville Mews is a big part of why I moved to Des Moines, Iowa, almost five years ago now. My wife and I would come back to visit her family, and we'd go to some new restaurant/bar or other. And they were pretty good! But we didn't move here until after I ended up reading about the Mews, near Fourth and Court, the small local music venue. Jonathan Richman, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Jens Lekman had been through the doors not long before I arrived.

A few years back they opened an outdoor bar, in the adjacent alley. Somehow, I'm told because it sold the most Pabst Blue Ribbon in all of Iowa, it ended up apparently being sponsored, as the PBR Bar. That was open for a couple of years, on warm weekend nights and farmers market mornings. Then the building next door got sold, and last fall they had to tear down the alley bar.

They reopened it a few weeks ago. I had the honor, privilege, thrill (is that a U2 Batman song?) of DJing the first night back. Here are some songs I played. (Spotify approximation, which lacks CEO, Chance the Rapper, Kate Bush's actual version of Kate Bush's song, etc., also below.) Thank you, everybody!

The Tough Alliance: "Setting Sail"
The Grace Period: "Mod Killer"
The Seed of Something: "Downtown"
Bully: "Milkman"
Courtney Barnett: "History Eraser"
Ray Charles: "You Don't Know Me"
Belle and Sebastian: "The Stars of Track and Field"
Sally Shapiro: "If It Doesn't Rain"
Danny Brown: "25 Bucks" (feat. Purity Ring)
Mac DeMarco: "Passing Out the Pieces"
Silk: "Freak Me"
Lydia Loveless: "Head"
Deerhunter: "Nothing Ever Happened"
The Poison Control Center: "'Torpedoes on Tuesday'"
Grace in the Jones: "Walking in the Rain"
TNGHT: "Higher Ground"
PM Dawn: "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss"
CEO: "Halo"
Beyonce: "Partition"
R. Kelly: "Ignition (Remix)"
LCD Soundsystem: "All My Friends"
Chance the Rapper: "Juice"
Disclosure: "Latch"
Sleigh Bells: "Tell 'Em"
The Go! Team: "Ladyflash"
Dwight Yoakam: "Honky Tonk Man"
Ghost Town DJ's: "My Boo"
Beyonce: "Drunk in Love" (feat. Jay Z)
Chic: "Le Freak"
Lucinda Williams: "Passionate Kisses"
Ricky Eat Acid: "In my dreams we're almost touching"
Drake: "Worst Behavior"
Al Green: "Let's Stay Together"
Kylie Minogue: "Can't Get You Out of My Head"
ESG: "Moody"
The Long Blondes: "Fulwood Babylon"
Kate Bush: "Hounds of Love"
OutKast: "So Fresh, So Clean"
New Order: "Bizarre Love Triangle"
M.I.A.: "Come Walk With Me"
No Doubt: "Hella Good"
M.I.A.: "Double Bubble Trouble"
Missy Elliott: "Work It"
Daphni: "Yes, I Know"
Amerie: "1 Thing"
Michael Jackson: "Rock With You"
TLC: "No Scrubs"
T-Pain: "Can't Believe It" (feat. Lil Wayne)
R Kelly: "Bump N' Grind"
Madonna: "Live to Tell"
Whitney Houston: "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (12" Remix - Radio Edit)
Madonna: "Like a Prayer"
Photo by John Huffman



They walked through Bedford Stuy alone / Photo by bgh
Thank you so, so, so much to everybody who came out to the Vaudeville Mews on Tuesday night. For the third straight year, the Vaudeville Mews gave me a chance to spend my New Year's Eve playing records I like with Bob Nastanovich and whoever else cared to listen and/or dance. The Mews' lease only goes through the end of 2014, so it's possible this was the last time Bob and I will get to do an "NYE throwdown," at least at my favorite venue's current location. But let's not worry about that yet.

Thanks to Joe and TJ at the bar, Bob at the door, and Derek for running sound. Thanks to my neighbors for making their first-ever visit to the Vaude. Thanks to the young women who asked me to play Beyoncé three times and posed for pictures with me and my B'Day record cover. Thanks to the dude who asked me to play Matt Valentine and Erika Elder from his phone. Thanks also to the couple of people who requested R. Kelly — I'm sorry I was too lame to put "Ignition (Remix)" in my crate this year, but with all the strangers in the room, I just didn't think it was right to risk bringing up painful associations for anyone. (There's nothing wrong with "Bump and Grind," but at least this once I figured we could leave that to the Bumps McGhee song.) Thanks to Ladd for booking us, and thanks as always to Amedeo for running the place.

The new year is about new beginnings, and flubbed song transitions (all by me, sorry), and wondering how in the world you're going to follow the Special AKA's "Nelson Mandela." Oh, and by the way: Thanks also to all my friends who made it out. You really shouldn't have bought me those shots.

Here's what we played, plus the closest Spotify approximation:

The Reverend Gary Davis - You Got to Move
Echo & the Bunnymen - The Original Cutter [Bob]
Scott & Charlene's Wedding - Two Weeks
The Gun Club - Sex Beat [Bob]
Courtney Barnett - History Eraser
Barry White - Barry's Theme [Bob]
Digable Planets - 9th Wonder (Blackitolism)
The Special AKA - Nelson Mandela [Bob]
Bahumutsi Drama Group - To the Comrades
Baby Mammoth - Tasty Maloney [Bob]
Joanna Gruesome - Do You Really Wanna Know Why You're Still in Love With Me?
Hot Chocolate - You Sexy Thing [Bob]
Kingdom feat. Kelela - Bank Head
The Cure - Grinding Halt [Bob]
Lydia Loveless - Steve Earle
Musical Youth - Pass the Dutchie [Bob]
Deerhunter - Pensacola
Donna Summer - Hot Stuff [Bob]
Jonathan Richman - This Kind of Music
The Velvet Underground - We're Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together [Bob]
The Field - A Paw in My Face
Pierre Henry - Jericho Jerk [Bob]
Sky Ferreira - I Blame Myself
The Beastie Boys - So What'cha Want [Bob]
Arthur Russell - A Little Lost
Blancmange - Don't Tell Me [Bob]
Blood Orange feat. Samantha Urbani - You're Not Good Enough
The Feelies - The Boy With the Perpetual Nervousness [Bob]
Frank Ocean - Lost
Bumps McGhee & His Twisters - Bumps and Grinds [Bob]
ESG - Moody [attempted, totally played wrong track]
The B-52's - Rock Lobster [Bob]
Disclosure feat. AlunaGeorge - White Noise
Booker T & the M.G.'s - Born Under a Bad Sign [Bob]
Quiet Village - Circus of Horror
Nancy Sinatra - Sugar Town [Bob]
Camera Obscura - New Year's Resolution
Chic - Le Freak [Bob]
TNGHT - Bugg'n
Blondie - One Way or Another [Bob]
Run-DMC - King of Rock [Bob]
Doris Day - Everybody Loves a Lover [Bob]
Wilson Pickett - In the Midnight Hour
Les Rita Mitsouko - Andy [Bob]
Liars - Let's Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack
Jack Hylton Orchestra - Gold Diggers of 1933: We're in the Money! [Bob]
LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge
Nightmares on Wax feat. De La Soul - Keep On [Bob]
G-Clefs: "I Understand (Just How You Feel) - Auld Lang Syne"
Peggy Lee - Mack the Knife [Bob]
Jessie Ware - If You're Never Gonna Move
Dinosaur Jr. - Freak Scene [Bob]
Beyonce - Get Me Bodied
Kool and the Gang - Ladies Night [Bob]
Beyonce - Freakum Dress
Beastie Boys - Something's Got to Give [Bob]
M.I.A. - Come Walk With Me
Soft Cell - Tainted Love [Bob]
Robyn - Konichiwa Bitches
ABBA - Dancing Queen [Bob]
Beyonce - Ring the Alarm (I think? I may also have played "Freakum Dress" again!)
Hot Chocolate - Beautiful Lady [Bob]
Curtis Vodka - Hey Girl
Heart - Crazy on You [Bob]
Justin Timberlake - SexyBack
Run-DMC - It's Like That [Bob]
Toro Y Moi - Say That
R.E.M. - The One I Love [Bob]
Madonna - Into the Groove
Cozy Cole - Topsy Part 1 [Bob]
Drake feat. Rihanna - Take Care
Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls [Bob]
Jackie Wilson - (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
MC Shy-D - Shake It [Bob]
Big Tymers feat. Boo and Gotti - Oh Yeah!
Billy Joel - You May Be Right [Bob]
Prince - Kiss
The Ray Mirijanian Oud and Clarinet - Bint El Shalabiyeh [Bob]
Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) (12" Remix - Radio Edit)



"Oh, no, I would never claim to be an actual DJ..."
Had another excuse to spin records and type up my best approximation of what I played and post it here! Friday night was the birthday of Patrick Tape Fleming, of local bands the Poison Control Center, Gloom Balloon, and Dickweed, among probably others, and the Vaudeville Mews put together an evening to celebrate. Tony Galloro aka DJ Tone Zone kindly brought (and shared) his turntables, and we both spun at the venue's outdoor "PBR" bar. I DJed the earlier shift, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., so we could get home before too late for the babysitter. That in mind, I mostly brought a bunch of scrappy indie records I thought Patrick might like, but it turned out my tweeted promise to play "Work It" got around to our friends, so I ended up leaving a lot in the crate and focusing on records to keep a few of 'em dancing. My iPhone notes always get a little sketchy -- I'm gonna blame AutoCorrect -- but I think this is pretty close to what I played. Thanks to Tony, Ladd, Patrick, Joe, John, Clint, Brandon, and everyone who helped! And huge thanks to everyone who came out! I caught awesome sets beforehand by Wolves in the Attic, Pure Gut, and A Quick Piss -- thanks to those guys, too. I guess I'll be DJing a full set again on September 28 so let's hope it's not too cold or rainy or Oktoberfest-y? (Oh also I should mention it was brutally hot this night.)

Pure Ecstasy - You're In It Now
George Jackson - Aretha, Sing One for Me
Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine?
Laura Marling - Master Hunter
Sly & the Family Stone - Higher (Mono Single Master)
Missy Elliott - Work It
Aaliyah - Are You That Somebody?
Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble
David Bowie - Fame
Kleenex Girl Wonder - Migration Scripts
Life Without Buildings - The Leanover
TLC - No Scrubs
Paramore - Ain't It Fun
No Doubt - Hella Good > No Doubt - Hey Baby
R. Kelly - Feelin' on Yo Booty (Dirty South Mix)
Free Energy - Something in Common
Pulp - After You
LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends
Cibo Matto - Know Your Chicken
Whitney Houston - How Will I Know?
Muuy Biien - Another Degradation
Delorean - Deli (or another track from this EP)
Dom - Living in America
Chemical Brothers - Block Rockin Beats
Beyonce - Upgrade U (probably) and Ring the Alarm (possibly)
The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me

Tony and me
Dance-party photo stolen from Tony's Instagram



With DJ Tone Zone / Photos via Instagram
Last night was GDP, an annual festival downtown here showcasing local music.

A bunch of groups were playing, and one of the more talked-about shows was packed gig by reunited band House of Large Sizes at Vaudeville Mews. I managed to catch continuously game-raising young rock'n'rollers the Seed of Something once again, plus I finally saw all-around nice dude Dustin Smith and his group the Sunday Silos -- they had an outdoors free-stage crowd eating from their hands with a deftly played set of old-fashioned soul. Heard a bit of perennial noise-rock favorites Wolves in the Attic over at Vaudeville Mews, too, but did I mention that place was packed?

Anyway, over at local bar the Lift, which this month has art on the walls from our friend Ashley Tape Fleming, the Des Moines Music Coalition had organized a series of DJs. Another pal, Tony Galloro, kindly offered up his turntables for the night, and a bunch of us got to spin for an hour each, including former Pavement auxiliary drummer and my New Year's Eve DJing partner Bob Nastanovich. My wife and I showed up around 5 p.m. for the too-modestly named DJs Pretty Good and Pretty Bad, and then somehow my old waking-up-early self needed to stay alert until midnight for my own set.

So eventually I spun a few records. Here's what I played:

Hello Saferide - The Quiz
Deerhunter - Wash Off
Frank Ocean - Lost
CFCF - Cometrue (feat. the late Jason Molina)
Blur - Tender (Cornelius Remix)
Chromatics - Kill for Love
Robyn - With Every Heartbeat
Das Racist - Rainbow in the Dark
LOL Boys - Changes (feat. Heart Streets)
Vondelpark - Hipbone
Sade - By Your Side (Neptunes Remix)
D'Angelo - The Root
John Mayer - Who Says
Solange - Losing You
Air France - No Way Down

With DJ Bob Nastanovich

With DJs Pretty Bad and Pretty Good



Professional and everything.
So last night Bob and I spun records at Vaudeville Mews.Thanks to Ladd, Bradie, Patrick, Dustin and everybody who came out to ring in 2013 with us. Here's what we played:



These guys listen to music.
So I've been putting together a little online radio station for eMusic the past few months. (If you don't know eMusic, it's a subscription music discovery service, and I'm honored to contribute alongside all of the super-knowledgeable critics who write there.) While I don't necessarily expect anyone to want to trawl through all of my playlists, I figured I might as well share the songs I've added so far.

Maybe bands will Google themselves and see I'm not a big jerk all of the time? Maybe you'll skim the names and either nod your head in agreement or spit out your coffee in frustration, wondering why I put x on my list but not y? Maybe nobody will ever see this? Who cares!

P.S. If you're in town, please don't forget, Bob Nastanovich and I will be spinning records until we fall down over at Vaudeville Mews on New Year's Eve.