Oh yeah, also hitched with Bob to Omaha to see GY!BE (and opener Xylouris White!)...
On Saturday, January 30, Bob Nastanovich and his pal Charlie Ezell spun a few records with me at the Red Monk here in downtown Des Moines. It has been a whirlwind since then: Voting in my first-ever Iowa caucuses and starting a new job, to name a couple of things. But as far as I know Bob and I will be playing records again this Saturday night, with the superb Dustin Smith, frontman for the Maytags. So I figured I might as well revisit my notes and document what I played in between Bob and Charles's selections that night. Looking at the list now, I'm pleased with how it works as a 15-track compilation capturing whatever whims I had for my record bag that night:

Deerhunter - Fluorescent Grey
Lucinda Williams - I Just Wanted to See You So Bad
D'Angelo - Ain't That Easy
Exploding Hearts - Sleeping Aides and Razorblades
Martin Denny - Quiet Village
David Bowie - Fame
Chromatics - Blue Moon
Leonard Cohen - Suzanne
Disappears - Replicate
Amerie - 1 Thing
Super Furry Animals - Ysbeidiau Heulog
Grimes - Flesh Without Blood
Heems - Patriot Act
UGK - Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You) [ft. OutKast]
Taken By Trees - Dreams



New years are bittersweet things, and especially so when they bring about the live reunion of a beloved, still unjustly little-known band of friends. My first night as an Iowa resident, in 2009, I saw a mind-blowingly terrific set by a local group called the Poison Control Center, and it ended with Des Moines transplant Bob Nastanovich taking the stage to lead a spirited cover of his band Pavement's early-'90s song "Two States." On December 31 — two critically acclaimed albums, hundreds of live gigs, various real-life changes and a painfully long hiatus later — PCC played again at the same place where I had gone on to see them so many times, and again Bob joined them for "Two States." Except this time, Bob and I were also DJing for what, if my amateurish one-man blog is to be believed, was our fifth New Year's Eve set together. Pals we've seen the band with over the years have, like PCC's members, moved away. Venue booker Ladd Askland's brother Stone, who himself now lives halfway across the country as a student at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, led one of the opening sets with his punk-ish band Quick Piss; Iowan-via-Nashville Arin Eaton and her group Karen Meat nailed their road-honed, costume-filled set (including songs from Karen Meat & the Computer). Bob and I spun our records before, in between and after. Vaudeville Mews has at least another year on its lease in the now-burgeoning downtown neighborhood. We entered 2016 with what felt like the best evening of music that Bob and I have ever played side by side, and a spirit of gratitude for our friends who could be there as well as a recognition that, even sprawled across a continent, we're forever connected by nights like these. If you're reading this, you probably know the feeling.



Six Organs of Admittance - Saint Cloud (Bob)
Melody's Echo Chamber - Crystallized
The Stylistics - Tears and Souvenirs (Bob)
Alabama Shakes - Gimme All Your Love
Ravi Shankar - Thumri (Bob) (my Ravi Shankar obituary)
Giddy Motors - Whirled By Curses
Astrud Gilberto and the Walter Wanderley Trio - Goodbye Sadness (Bob)
Courtney Barnett - Pedestrian at Best
Victor Feldman Trio - Serpent's Tooth (Bob)
Modesty Blaise - I'm Going Out
Noelani and Ka'upena & Nahenahe Singers - Pili Me 'Oe (Bob)
Grimes - Belly of the Beat
Elliott Smith - Needle in the Hay (Bob)
Mazarin - Chasing the Girl
Steve Martin - King Tut (Bob)
The Coathangers - Chicken 30
Wwax - Inn Town (Bob)


Tommy Tutone - 867-5309/Jenny
Run DMC - It's Like That (Bob)
Shamir - On the Regular
Slave - The Great American Funk Song (Bob)
Deee-Lite - Groove Is in the Heart (Peanut Butter Mix)
Dennis Coffey and The Detroit Guitar Band - Whole Lot of Love (Bob)
The Poison Control Center - Give It a Try
Los Indios Tabajaras - Ritual Fire Dance (Bob)


Bully - Milkman
Built to Spill - Car (Bob)
Yoko Ono - Walking on Thin Ice
Hot Chocolate - You Sexy Thing (Bob)


Missy Elliott - Work It
Kim Wilde - Kids in America (Bob)
Jamie xx - Loud Places (this one was paradoxically quiet on vinyl...)
Zorba the Greek - Syrtaki (Bob)
No Doubt - Hey Baby
Donna Summer - Hot Stuff (Bob)
Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Out of My Head
Shirley Ellis - The Clapping Song (Bob)
Justin Timberlake - Like I Love You (feat. Clipse)
R.E.M. - The One I Love (Bob)
Beyonce - Get Me Bodied
Brick - Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody (Bob)
Ke$ha - Your Love Is My Drug
The Beastie Boys - So What'cha Want (Bob)
OutKast - Ms. Jackson
Hot Chocolate - Don't Stop It Now (Bob)
Prince - When Doves Cry
Sade - Cherry Pie (Bob)
Mariah Carey - Always Be My Baby
New Order - Temptation (Bob, by timely request for some New Order)
Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) (12" Remix - Radio Edit)
Salt-N-Pepa - Push It (Bob, but we'd pushed it too far and had to cut it off)

Laughably incomplete Spotify approximation:



Paparazzi use backdoor — no exceptions.
On December 31, for a fifth straight year, Bob Nastanovich and I will help celebrate New Year's Eve by playing records on Fourth Street. We'll be back at Vaudeville Mews, but it won't just be us. The classic lineup of Ames-formed psych-pop heroes the Poison Control Center will return for its first live performance in recent memory, joined by current local faves Karen Meat and Quick Piss. I'm excited.

OK, this is partly a long way of saying Bob, Whitney Nastanovich and I DJ'd last month and I keep forgetting to post anything about it. There were some technical difficulties so I didn't squeeze in as many records as usual; then again, leading with an 8-and-a-half–minute Swedish jazz cover of the synth duo Suicide may have had something to do with it. On NYE I'll see if I can once again keep track of what Bob is playing, because his picks are always more interesting to me than mine.

All that said, for now, here's my November 14 setlist, which was interspersed with great songs from Bob and Whitney — thank you again to the Red Monk and the Royal Mile for hosting us, to all our local friends who came and danced, and to Jason Narducy and his out-of-town band Split Single for stopping by after their set:

Deerhunter - Snakeskin
Neneh Cherry & the Thing - Dream Baby Dream (Suicide cover)
Gloom Balloon - She Was the One That Got Away
Jamie xx - Gosh
Kendrick Lamar - Alright
Arthur Russell - A Little Lost
Carly Rae Jepsen - Run Away With Me
T-Pain - Can't Believe It (feat. Lil Wayne)
Lana Del Rey - High By the Beach
Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On
jj - ecstasy
Gladys Knight - Midnight Train to Georgia
Pipettes - Pull Shapes
Drake - Take Care (feat. Rihanna)
Taken By Trees - Too Young TTA Way (The Tough Alliance remix)
A Tribe Called Quest - Can I Kick It?

Spotify version (substitutes a Jens Lekman cover for "A Little Lost" and the same single's unremixed A-side for "Too Young TTA Way")