School's out, what did you expect?
I wasn't going to go to any shows Monday night. Sure, Austin up-and-comers YellowFever were playing. And recent Des Noise live favorite Coyote Slingshot. And young locals the Seed of Something. Plus, there was a late show featuring recent Pitchfork "Rising" honorees Candy Claws, whose glo-fi primer "Catamaran" I positively reviewed, like, nine months ago. But Mrs. Des Noise and I had just made the six-hour drive back from Chicago after what felt like the biggest Pitchfork Music Festival yet, only a couple of weeks after spending Fourth of July Weekend on our feet for the 80/35 Music Festival here in Des Moines. Yeah, I wanted to see those bands. But not Monday night. Not like Japandroids a year ago. We just wanted to go home and crash. Does that mean I'm getting too old for this?

Cats and rats and cats and rats and cats and rats.
As it turned out, we found ourselves talked into catching a bit of YellowFever's set, which seemed to get better with every song. Performing as a two-piece, the group had a bit of the shyly mathematical precision of another duo, Sunderland, England-based Field Music, who I also like.  Except YellowFever's setup is relatively simple, they look like they've just stepped out of their artists' studio after a day's painting (with some red splotches ending up on the lead singer's shirt), and they're on scuzzy Brooklyn indie-poppers Vivian Girls' Wild World label. Still, nothing about YellowFever's music was sloppy or "lo-fi." The set crystallized for me with the intricate krautrock drones of the song that yielded this post's title, and from that point I was nodding my head, right into the closing performance of relative oldie "Cats and Rats," which appeared to receive the biggest crowd reaction. YellowFever were inventive instrumentally despite their limited setup, with the drummer playing occasional bass lines on a keyboard and the singer/guitarist leaning over a second guitar to play a slide on the finale. Then we had dinner and went to bed (sorry, Candy Claws-- next time! Anybody have a recap?).

Your choice was right.
As for Pitchfork, everybody asks what the highlight was, which is basically the post-show equivalent of the "what are you most excited about seeing today?" question I was asking people during the festival, but, well-- it's never that simple, is it? LCD Soundsystem's headlining set Saturday night was the fest's musical peak for me, helped by the fact that we were in the crowd with friends, dancing to every song-- no "Dance Yrself Clean," but we got "Losing My Edge," "Someone Great," and "All My Friends" (Where are your friends tonight? As Pitchfork's Ryan Dombal wrote of LCD's performance at another festival, they're "right here, and so is everyone else"); the only small disappointment was a finale of "New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down," a totally great song that New Yorkers may not realize isn't really relevant anyplace else-- would've preferred one more dancefloor banger to send us off to the after party. Pavement's Sunday headlining set was everything I hoped it would be, maybe not as entertaining as Major Lazer's set earlier in the day (I missed most of Big Boi hoping to take advantage of my prime B stage position to see thunderous Sleigh Bells, who started like a million hours late) but I can't wait to see them again in a smaller venue; Des Moines resident Bob Nastanovich was definitely the coolest guy on stage, screaming and banging away on a tambourine, as always. Modest Mouse played older stuff in their Friday night headlining set than they did two weeks ago at 80/35, declining to do hit "Float On"-- for me the result was decent background music for chatting with your friends; that band is at a weird place in its career, all cleaned up and professional, with multiple generations of fans who all know different songs. Robyn was as entertaining as I would've hoped for Friday night, playing dancier versions of songs from her self-titled album and 1990s teen-pop days as well as from her fantastic new album, Body Talk Pt. 1, while other musical highlights for me included the always-great Titus Andronicus (who I saw a month ago in Brooklyn and forgot to tell you about), a surprisingly strong solo set by personal fave Washed Out (he said something about how the vibe was "really chill," haha), Delorean braving scorching temperatures for their Cut Copy-style dance-rock, Freddie Gibbs rapping songs for the murderers (Chicago sure has enough of 'em) to distract me from Panda Bear boring nearly every honest person in sight (I kinda took it personally, because I had just interviewed him, and he even said the songs he was about to play would "bum people out"-- I WAS NICE TO YOU, BRO, WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO BUM ME OUT?), Beach House, Neon Indian, Surfer Blood, Best Coast, and did I mention Major Lazer was wildly entertaining? In short, it was probably the best lineup of any Pitchfork festival yet (I haven't even talked about Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Liars, Local Natives, or so many others), but it was more crowded than ever, too, with Heineken instead of Goose Island, and higher temperatures, so it's hard to say where it ranks in my Pitchfork experiences overall. I have some interviews from the festival over at Pitchfork, and other thoughts on the Des Noise Tumblr blog.

Leave the sunshine out.
Before we left Des Moines for Chicago I also caught Gabe Cordova (always a fun singer-songwriter, this time back with another cover Velvet Underground's indie-pop prototype "After Hours" and a couple of new songs), the rootsy harmonies of the River Monks, and the massively twangy Americana rock of St. Louis band (and Vaudeville Mews veterans) Theodore.

Lots of new shows have been added, so check the calendar below:


Old 97's. Thursday, July 22. Simon Estes Amphitheater.

** Devo. Saturday, July 24. Simon Estes Amphitheater.
** Black Mountain. Monday, July 26. Vaudeville Mews.

** June Panic. Tuesday, July 27. Vaudeville Mews.

Poppets. Tuesday, July 27. Vaudeville Mews.

The All-Girl Boys Choir, with Squidboy. Sunday, Aug. 1. Vaudeville Mews.

Electric Leaves, with Why Make Clocks. Tuesday, Aug. 3. Vaudeville Mews.

Jamey Johnson. Thursday, Aug. 5. Val Air Ballroom.

** The Delta Mirror, with Golden Veins. Friday, Aug. 6. Vaudeville Mews. 

Black Keys, with Morning Benders. Sunday, Aug. 8. Val Air Ballroom.  

Rooney. Monday, Aug. 9. Vaudeville Mews.

** Phoenix, with Toro Y Moi. Tuesday, Aug. 10. 7 Flags Event Center.  

Netherfriends, with Gabe Cordova, Deep Sleep Waltzing, Bear Country. Tuesday, Aug. 10. Vaudeville Mews.

Keith Urban. Friday, Aug. 13. Iowa State Fair.

The Battle Royale. Saturday, Aug. 14. Vaudeville Mews.

** Richie Daggers Birthday Party with Gadema, Young Tripp, others. Saturday, Aug. 14. Vaudeville Mews.

** Vanilla Ice, with Tone Loc. Sunday, Aug. 15. Iowa State Fair.

** Tennis, with the Land of Blood and Sunshine, Maid Marian, the Seed of Something. Tuesday, Aug. 17. Vaudeville Mews. 

Tegan and Sara. Tuesday, Aug. 17. Hoyt Sherman Place.

Pat Benatar, with REO Speedwagon. Tuesday, Aug. 17. Iowa State Fair.

Broken Spindles. Wednesday, Aug. 18. Vaudeville Mews.

Darius Rucker. Thursday, Aug. 19. Iowa State Fair.

** Tapes 'N Tapes. Friday, Aug. 20. Vaudeville Mews.

Sugarland. Saturday, Aug. 21. Iowa State Fair.

Sheryl Crow. Sunday, Aug. 22. Iowa State Fair.

Why Make Clocks. Saturday, Aug. 28. Vaudeville Mews.

Canby. Sunday, Aug. 29. Vaudeville Mews.

Sarah Jaffe. Monday, Aug. 30. Vaudeville Mews.

American Idol Live Tour. Tuesday, Aug. 31. Wells Fargo Arena. 

** Pavement, with the Poison Control Center. Uptown Theater, Kansas City, Mo.

Hot Hot Heat. Tuesday, Sept. 14. Vaudeville Mews.

** Best Coast, with Male Bonding. Friday, Sept. 17. Grinnell College.

All Tiny Creatures, with the Autumn Project, Blutiger Fluss. Friday, Sept. 17. Vaudeville Mews.

Maxilla Blue. Friday, Sept. 24. Vaudeville Mews.

** Scout Niblett, with the Land of Blood and Sunshine. Sunday, Sept. 26. Vaudeville Mews.

** David Dondero, with Darren Hanlon, Derek Lambert. Tuesday, Sept. 28. Vaudeville Mews.

** The Strange Boys, with Gentlemen Jesse and His Men, Natural Child, the Jitz. Friday, Oct. 1. Vaudeville Mews. 

Band of Horses. Friday, Oct. 1. Val Air Ballroom.

Passion Pit. Monday, Oct. 4. Val Air Ballroom.

Joan of Arc. Thursday, Oct. 28. Vaudeville Mews.

Electric Six, with the Constellations, the Jitz. Tuesday, Nov. 2. Vaudeville Mews.


  1. The Seed of Something were great, as usual!

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