Finally somebody said it: there is nothing beyond Jersey; Jack Kerouac made all that shit up, he was a science-fiction writer...
- Lester Bangs, a noted "rock critic"

This is me. This blog isn't about me, but I understand this is how blogs are supposed to start: with an introductory post of some kind. Right?

So here goes all kinds of nothing...

Hi, everybody! My name's Marc. I write regularly for Pitchfork.com, and I have also written about music for Playboy.com, SPIN, the Village Voice, Paste, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications, with varying levels of (in many cases extreme) irregularity. I have lived in New York City for the past five years, and at the end of the month my wife and I are returning to her hometown of Des Moines.


Shows at Vaudeville Mews and People's Court. Burritos at El Bait Shop. Beers at the High Life Lounge. Fireworks after Iowa Cubs games. The 80/35 Festival. We're pretty psyched to get involved in all the fun stuff going on around town. The quote at the top of this post is intended with utmost irony. (Maybe imagine you're reading it in the voice of Stephen Colbert.) But I hope it speaks to whatever it is I'm trying to accomplish here.

What is that? ...What is that? Huh, well, I'd mainly like this blog to do two things:

First, and most importantly, Des Noise will be a place for fellow Des Moines people to hear about noteworthy music happenings in our area and beyond. I'll post news, previews, reviews, photos, etc., as my mood and free time dictate (this is just for fun, after all). Stay tuned for a roundup of must-see shows this summer, as well as potentially Q&As with downtown Des Moines' music insiders. I'm not trying to compete with existing local music news sources, just share another perspective. I'll definitely be critical when I think something sucks, but we're all in this together.

Second, but also importantly (to me, anyway), Des Noise will be a place for fellow music obsessives everywhere to get an alternate take on current music culture. C'mon: Nobody needs another blog with photos of people taking photos of some blog-bait show in Brooklyn. A thoughtful, passionate description of what's happening in an up-and-coming Midwestern city with a resurgent downtown? In the first state to vote for Barack Obama during the presidential primary season? One of the first states to allow gay marriage? I hope a few of my friends, or at the very least my haters, will find that kind of interesting/amusing/enlightening. Or even if not, that they'll read it anyway. I'll try to be a decent science-fiction writer. (Better than William Shatner!)

So with all that out of the way, I should amend what I wrote at the top of this here whatsit, right below the Lester Bangs quote. Des Noise isn't about me... and it is. Contrary to what professional tastemakers and amateur snobs alike would have you believe (whether from financial self-interest or just their own smug sense of superiority), music isn't handed down on stone tablets, to be put up on some pedestal, encased in glass, declared "objectively" great, and-- dios mio, man-- never breathed on except when sneering at fans of music you don't like. Music is about people: how it makes us feel, how we interact with it, and what it tells us about ourselves and our world. It's about the good times out dancing like nobody's watching, and it's about the hard times staying in and fighting back tears. At best, in whatever small way, I'd like Des Noise to reflect some of that limitless possibility.

I'm interested in where music meets our lives and helps us, in those rare but unforgettable instants, feel like we're part of something bigger.

That's where you come in. If this blog is sort of about me, then it's also, well, sort of about you. Especially if you live in Des Moines. And especially if you're reading this, wherever you live. So please, get involved-- comment, e-mail, send me suggestions, tell me I'm a douchebag, ask me if I'm related to Hulk, come up and punch me in the face at shows... however the spirit moves you! That's how this works. I hope?

You'll also be able to follow Des Noise on Twitter and Tumblr. If you're into that sort of thing.

Thank you so much for your time! I promise the rest of my posts won't be this self-indulgent. Except when they are. I can't wait to see you-- on the town and online.


P.S. Please don't actually punch me in the face at shows. Not so much for my own sake, but my mom-- she'd worry.





  2. Thank you! I'm really excited everybody has been so welcoming so far. I definitely am not trying to come in here and step on local people's toes. As much as I like stepping on toes.

    Hope to see you soon!