Faces are changing on Ludlow Street.

Downtown New York came to Downtown Des Moines over the weekend. The two hit it off pretty well! Turnout wasn't overwhelming, but a surprising number of people who saw Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas at People's Court on Friday night appeared to be clapping and dancing with a decidedly un-Lower-East-Side enthusiasm. My group wasn't quite as demonstrative-- you have to plan out the best times to go over to the bar area, which is separate from the main floor, and where you have to stay while you have a beer, because local all-ages show rules are complicated-- but the overall consensus seemed to be: GOOD SHOW. Casablancas did "11th Dimension" of course and other songs from his solo debut album, last year's new wavey Phrazes of the Young, plus his bizarro hit cover of Saturday Night Live sketch song "I Wish It Was Christmas Today," and a couple of Strokes songs, too (including a moving, unadorned version of "I'll Try Anything Once," the song that became "You Only Live Once" from third album First Impressions of Earth). With a six-member backing band, and some of the newer tracks stretching to a very un-Strokes five minutes, the show was a bit proggier than I expected; Casablancas was about as cool as I'd hoped (I've never seen the Strokes before), not saying too much but expressing what seemed to be pretty genuine pleasure over his reception in a town he'd never played previously (during "I'll Try Anything Once," he complimented people for clapping along and then cracked a self-deprecating joke when everybody stopped with one verse left to go... "Now you're just showing off," he said as the interaction resumed one song later). He also sells really nice T-shirts. I wish it was Christmas today-- unfortunately, the Strokes (reunion, of sorts?) tour isn't until this summer.

Hey, you!

Ladd of the Vaudeville Mews booked a show at Beechwood Lounge over in Des Moines' East Village on Saturday night: Iowa's own Land of Blood and Sunshine and the Jitz, plus lo-fi party-rockers the Beets out of Queens, New York. The Beets' first full-length, Spit on the Face of People Who Don't Want to Be Cool, is out on Brooklyn's highly worth-watching Captured Tracks label. Beechwood Lounge doesn't have shows often, I don't think, and it's a funny place anyway-- think of the High Life Lounge, except a little bit farther east, with Budweiser instead of Miller-- and the basement has a rough, communal vibe to it, load-bearing view-obstructing columns adding to the, I guess we call it, charm. It's a good spot to see a show. I think we decided one of the Beets looked like Jonathan Richman and another like John Lennon (they sang in harmony a lot) and I forget what we came up w/ for the rest of them-- they have a stand-up drummer and a guy who sits in a corner and plays the flute or recorder or something, I couldn't quite make it out. The sound was a sort of scuffed, sloppy, deadpan take on 1960s garage-rock. At least as much Pabst Blue Ribbon as Anheuser-Busch product was sold.

Upcoming shows after the jump....


- Poison Control Center's Record Release Party at Vaudeville Mews April 30

- Canby's Record Release Party w/ Golden Veins (ex-Beati Paoli) at Vaudeville Mews May 1
- Poison Control Center's Record Release Party at the M Shop in Ames May 1
- Brother Ali at Vaudeville Mews May 2

- As I Lay Dying at People's Court May 3 
- Owl City at Val Air Ballroom May 4
- Harlem w/ the Jitz at Vaudeville Mews May 5 
- Mayday Parade at People's Court May 5
- Aquaserge (ex- Stereolab, Acid Mothers Temple), Casper and the Cookies, The Huxley Maxwell Exit, Pink Kodiak, Rhonda is a Dead Bitch at Vaudeville Mews May 7
- Leslie & the Badgers, Ferrably Lionheart, Monday Mourners at Vaudeville Mews May 9
- Afroman at Vaudeville Mews May 13
- Baroness at Vaudeville Mews May 17
- MONO w/ the Twilight Sad at Vaudeville Mews May 18
- Mark Mallman w/ Why Make Clocks at Vaudeville Mews May 19

- Mark Mallman, JOOKABOX, Yourself and the Air, Thomas Oldham at Vaudeville Mews May 19 (two shows)
- Maxila Blue's Record Release Party at Vaudeville Mews May 21
- Love of Everything (member of Make Believe, Joan of Arc), Sudden & Subtle, Gabe Cordova at Vaudeville Mews May 24
- Pocahaunted at Vaudeville Mews June 4
- Damien Jurado at Vaudeville Mews June 6

- Mini Mansions (member of Queens of the Stone Age), Superchief, Mason Cain, Mumfords at Vaudeville Mews June 8
- Pearly Gate Music at Vaudeville Mews June 9
- Wheels on Fire, Coyote Slingshot, The Seed of Something at Vaudeville Mews June 9
- The Melvins at House of Bricks June 27
- 80/35 Festival July 3-July 4
- Old 97's at Nitefall on the River July 22
- Phoenix at 7 Flags Event Center, Aug. 10
- Keith Urban at Iowa State Fair Aug. 13
- Pat Benatar w/ REO Speedwagon at Iowa State Fair Aug. 17
- Darius Rucker at Iowa State Fair Aug. 19
- Sugarland at Iowa State Fair Aug. 21
- Sheryl Crow at Iowa State Fair Aug. 22 

1 comment:

  1. Glad Julian was cool! thats all you can hope for! sounds like a good weekend!