"Some people travel, some people are pretty,
we have a scraggly dog."
It's been a while since my fall concert preview, so here's a by-no-means-comprehensive (or binding!) list of other shows I might see this season. Please let me know what I'm missing.

Also, download Spoon's set from this summer's 80/35 Music Festival here (via Joe Lawler).


Hank Williams III. People's Court (with tbd). Oct. 26. All Ages $20/$22

Joan of Arc. Vaudeville Mews (with Love Songs for Lonely Monsters and Noremac McCarthy). Oct. 28. 21+ $10

Willie Nelson. 7 Flags Event Center. Oct. 28. All Ages $40-$50

Bear in Heaven. Grinnell College (with Lower Dens and Sun Airway). Oct. 30. All Ages & Free

The Misfits Karaoke Halloween Ball. Live-band Misfits karaoke at Vaudeville Mews. Oct. 30. $21 & Free

The Books. Grinnell College (with the Blackheart Procession). Oct. 31. All Ages & Free


Electric Six. Vaudeville Mews (with the Constellations and the Jitz; Kinky Kyro will spin records). Nov. 2. 21+ $15

Oh No Oh My. Vaudeville Mews (with the Pomegranates, Parlours). Nov. 3 All ages $7

Candy Claws. Vaudeville Mews (with the Chain Gang of 1974, the Autumn Project, Love Songs for Lonely Monsters). Nov. 6. 21+ $7

The Coathangers. The Underground (with Coyote Slingshot, Deep Sleep Waltzing). Nov. 6. 21+ $5

David Vandervelde. Vaudeville Mews (with Brass Bed, the New Bodies, the Seed of Something). Nov. 9. All Ages $7

Gold Motel. Vaudeville Mews (with Mother Culture, Pink Kodiak). Nov. 20. All Ages $7

Rhonda Is a Dead Bitch. Record release party at Vaudeville Mews (with Golden Veins, Distant Trains). Nov. 20. 21+ $5

J-FLo. Vaudeville Mews. Nov. 26. All Ages $8

PrettyGirlHateMachine. Vaudeville Mews (with Touchnice of Maxilla Blue, Neon Current with Richie Daggers, MC Genetics, the Renegades of Sound). Nov. 27. 21+ $5

George Jones. 7 Flags Event Center. Nov. 28. All Ages $50


Free Energy. Vaudeville Mews. Dec. 8. 21+ $10



Ain't that some shit?
Tiger Trap: "Supercrush"

Long-overdue quarterly report for stuff from, like, July 1 to September 30, but I don't promise I didn't make some exceptions. I never like doing these:

Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest (review)
Big Boi: Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
Best Coast: Crazy for You
Das Racist: Sit Down, Man
Robyn: Body Talk Pt. 2
Tennis: Tennis (cassette)
Tamaryn: The Waves
Darren Hanlon: I Will Love You at All
Rick Ross: Teflon Don
How to Dress Well: Love Remains (review)

Apologies to Wavves, No Age, Working for a Nuclear Free City, Glasser, Superchunk, the Walkmen,  Los Campesinos! (EP), Junip, Andrew Cedermark, Washed Out (CD-R), Kingdom (EP), Salem, El Guincho, Gold Panda

Special extra apologies to Das Racist for not spending enough time with Shut Up, Dude before my 2Q list

Stuff I thought I'd really like and never quite warmed to but still might end up loving: Matthew Dear, Jamey Johnson, John Legend and the Roots, Oneohtrix Point Never

Stuff I thought I'd really like and never warmed to and don't expect to listen to again: Cee-Lo's Stray Bullets mixtape

Cee-Lo: "Fuck You"
Deerhunter: "He Would Have Laughed"
Das Racist: "hahahahaha jk?"
Deerhunter: "Helicopter (Diplo & Lunice Mix)" (I like to think of this song as my cat's theme song right now... she's been moping in the corner ever since we brought home a dog yesterday. Sad!)
Tennis: "Marathon"
Jens Lekman: "The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love"
Robyn: "Hang With Me"
Warpaint: "Undertow"
Duck Sauce: "Barbra Streisand"
Les Savy Fav: "Let's Get Out of Here"

Apologies to Cheryl Cole: "Parachute (Ill Blu Remix)", Das Racist: "You Oughta Know" (technically 2Q but needs to be reiterated ahead of year-end consideration, besides, it's my list), Deerhunter: "Revival", Digital Dubstar [ft. Miss Fire]: "Can't Say No", Dream Cop: "Daily Mirage"the Fives (ft. Vanya Taylor): "It's What You Do (Hottest by Far)", Frankie Rose and the Outs: "Little Brown Haired Girl" (should've been on my 2Q list), Gold Panda: "Same Dream China", Kisses: "People Can Do the Most Amazing Things", Maximum Balloon [ft. Little Dragon]: "If You Return"NDF: "Since We Last Met", Nicki Minaj: "Your Love", No Age: "Fever Dreaming", R. Kelly: "Fireworks", Robyn: "Criminal Intent", Still Corners: "Endless Summer", Superchunk: "Everything at Once", Teen Daze: "Wet Hair"Teengirl Fantasy: "Cheaters", the Walkmen: "Stranded", among many others

The track you should pick from The-Dream's Love King, a 2Q album: "Make Up Bag", if only for the title pun (can you believe this hasn't been done before? Or has it?) and T.I.'s persuasively remorseless verse ("All that I do for you is just a part of me doing me").

- Pitchfork Music Festival (LCD Soundsystem, Robyn, Titus Andronicus, Major Lazer, Pavement, Big Boi, Beach House, Neon Indian, Surfer Blood, Freddie Gibbs, Best Coast, Sleigh Bells, Modest Mouse, more). July 16-18, Union Park (Chicago).
- 80/35 Music Festival (Spoon, Modest Mouse, Yo La Tengo, the Walkmen, the Cool Kids, Zola Jesus, Califone, Evangelicals, the Poison Control Center, more). July 3-4, downtown Des Moines.
- Pavement, with the Poison Control Center. Sept. 11, the Uptown Theater (Kansas City).
- Best Coast, with Male Bonding. Sept. 17, Grinnell College.
- Tennis, with Maid Marian, the Land of Blood and Sunshine, the Seed of Something. Sept. 17, Vaudeville Mews.
- Devo. July 24, Walnut Street Bridge.
- The Poison Control Center, with Christopher the Conquered, Why Make Clocks, the Atudes. Aug. 29, Des Moines Social Club
- Darren Hanlon, opening for David Dondero, with Derek Lambert. Sept. 28, Vaudeville Mews.
- Black Mountain, with Mondo Drag. July 26, Vaudeville Mews.
- Toro Y Moi, opening for Phoenix. Aug. 10, People's Court.
- Tim Kasher, with Cashes Rivers, Parlours. Sept. 27, Vaudeville Mews.
- Retribution Gospel Choir, with Why Make Clocks, Wolves in the Attic. Sept. 30, Vaudeville Mews.
- YellowFever, with Coyote Slingshot, the Seed of Something. July 19, Vaudeville Mews.
- Abstract Rude, with Musab, Gadema, Young Tripp. July 11, Vaudeville Mews.

The Strokes: "Under Control"

The Softies: "Goodbye"



Operator, get me the president of the world!
When Tokyo Police Club first started getting what kids used to call "blog love," longevity was a non-issue. They were "Tokyo Police Club," after all. And the concise, energetic Canadian band's first few releases were EPs and singles-- short-lived, but satisfying, pleasures. Then another much-blogged band known for their EPs, Austin's Voxtrot, put out a full-length and the thing flopped. In 2008, Tokyo Police Club issued debut album Elephant Shell, making the jump to Omaha's Saddle Creek label (Bright Eyes, Cursive, Rilo Kiley), and what do you know? It turned out to be pretty good. I saw them open for Art Brut at the Warsaw in Brooklyn. They were awesome. I saw them play in front of like 2,000 people at Denmark's Roskilde Festival. Also awesome.

Response to this year's follow-up, Champ, has been more mixed. A lot of the discussion has focused on the songs being longer, the band stretching out a little bit, but I think it's telling that most reviewers seem to have trouble finding something distinctive about the music to use as a hook. Here's Spencer Kornhaber, writing in SPIN: "How can a band with so many ideas make so many songs that leave you feeling the exact same way?" Champ still sounds like Tokyo Police Club, so it's never bad, at all, but as far as I've been able to tell there's not much reason to listen to it rather than the first album or early EPs.



I agree with you-- who needs stuff?
On Friday we drove to the small town of Fairfield in southeastern Iowa. I drove, actually. It was probably the longest I've ever driven-- two-plus hours!-- and I promised Mrs. Des Noise I would do it, sort of as a sweetener for making the trip to see bands on a Friday night instead of, I dunno, going to Fong's Pizza or something. I guess you could say my efforts at re-learning driving are going well.

There wasn't much traffic. To get to Fairfield, you take a four-lane state highway that turns into a U.S. highway, or a U.S. highway that turns into a state highway, I forget. Once you're past Des Moines and its suburbs, you go through miles and miles of farmland. The "American Gothic" house is off from one exit. Roseanne & Tom's Big Food Diner used to be around that area somewhere, too.

And then there's Fairfield. Once home to Parsons College, remembered by my Midwestern mom as a "party school," this town of 10,000-ish now holds the Maharishi School of Management, which bought Parsons after it went bankrupt in 1974. Yes, we're talking about the same Maharishi the Beatles studied under during their time in India. In fact, Fairfield is a huge hub for practitioners of Transcendental Meditation. David Lynch is a regular, among many others-- the town likes to respect its Hollywood visitors' privacy. (I can say that Paul McCartney's son James made his U.S. performing debut less than a year ago at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.)  Jammy psychedelic guitar was emanating from the town square when we arrived-- my wife was behind the wheel at this point, because we had to stop to check the directions and I didn't want to parallel park-- and the overall feeling of the charming downtown reminded us of sort of a cross between Madison, Georgia, where my parents live, and the Northern California coastal town of Sebastopol. Way more food options than you'd expect from a place like this: Thai, Indian, Turkish, and on and on. We met our gracious hosts at a delicious cafe/bookstore called Revelations, which has a menu with more vegan-friendly options than just about any place I've seen in Iowa. Locals were walking around in white, flowing pants. They were some of the healthiest, happiest-looking people I have ever seen. All that organic food will do that for you, I guess. Not to mention living someplace where you can see the stars and the Milky Way actually looks milky. Or might there be something to that meditation stuff, after all?



It's my job to write songs/ Allow me to do whatever I want.
Last night after the usual Friday stop at Fong's Pizza we headed over to the Des Moines Art Center for the Manhattan Short Film Festival, a free event with 10 short films from all around the world. Apparently other people were also watching screenings in other cities on various continents. At the end we all voted on our favorites. The place was packed when we got there-- tried to sit on the floor up front, tucked away in a corner, but as we half-suspected that space was in violation of the fire codes, so we headed back up to the ledges in back we had passed by on our way in, where we ran into Ben Godar and Nathan Wright and then found a couple of spaces we could occupy. It was dark in the theater by the time we were finally seated, so I didn't get a chance to look at the ballot where we would vote for our favorite short films-- as Mrs. Des Noise points out, that's "short movies" to us laypeople--and I was sort of imagining and frankly dreading the possibility that we would be asked to rank them all in order, Pitchfork-style. The UK entry, The Watchers, was up first and was engaging with a neat twist ending but it's hard to know how something is going to compare when it's first, you know? There was a cool short from Croatia where these kids go off to some ruins and party and commit all the sins so I was sort of hoping for some sort of horror-movie ending but it turned out to be more of a sad commentary on the effects of the civil war there in the 1990s. One of the most visually beautiful films was the French entry but it was almost like they were doing a school report on Madagascar and decided to ask their parents to help them make the most lavish, expensive, tasteful diorama ever, like the Avatar of reports on what you did over your summer vacation, like they were trying so hard to impress you that they forgot it's more important to move you. The entry from Quebec, A Little Convenience, was definitely a contender for my vote, with its delightful, sumptuously realized, magical-realist depiction of a man who sort of starts floating, but it kind of made me think of that Calvin & Hobbes storyline where Calvin thinks his gravity has reversed its polarity, except this one didn't really fit into any sort of story and kind of trailed off at the end (don't get me wrong, I liked it, too, I just was having to rank these films against each other). The entry from Germany, 12 Years, was the shortest and depicted a pair of animated, human-like dogs talking to each other at a restaurant, with an elegant female dog and a smaller male dog who kind of reminded me of a canine Woody Allen, and I dunno, I don't want to reveal too much about it and it's hard to say if I liked it because the dogs were a gimmick (other movies had "gimmicks" though, too, in that case, like cute children or sex or politics or whatever) or because I had already seen a still of one of of the dogs so I was primed to like it, but of all the shorts we saw it was the one that I enjoyed most and also the one that had the most singular, distinctive story, communicated most memorably, so that I know I will always remember this one even though I might not  be able to distinguish the murder-investigation short from Poland from other crime stories a decade from now because although it was interesting it just wasn't as much of a unique work of art (and I know there can't be degrees of "unique" but something can't be more "immaculate" than something else either-- it's like being pregnant-- not trying to start beef with anybody on that one, though; it's a general observation, I could've singled out anyone-- including myself-- it's just, I feel like the internet has displaced the professionals but instead of filling their shoes professionally we're all amateurs now... we all expect everything for free and you get what you pay for... like we're all willing to do stuff now that doesn't have much heart or soul in it but we obviously don't do it for the money, so we're like that Huffington Post journalist who got the Obama "bitter" quote, and where is she now, and if we really care about youth culture shouldn't we care that we're gradually extracting all its heart and soul?).



An electric guitar/ Nobody plays like you.
So a couple of months ago now I joined Netflix for the third time. The first was in like 2003 or 2004, when I was living in my first post-college apartment in Evanston, Illinois, and it's lame but I remember we felt pretty much almost futuristic signing up, especially because my first year in town there wasn't even a movie theater within walking distance, and the closest video rental store was still way too far away for any night wintry and miserable enough that you'd just want to stay in and watch a video. The second time I joined Netflix was in New York, and I can't remember if we started the subscription in Queens or in Brooklyn, but I gave it as a gift to Mrs. Des Noise, so I didn't personally have easy access to picking out movies, which was unfortunate because I'm the one who obsesses more about stuff like that and spends more time on a computer, and we were both working so much that in our time off we wanted to talk or hang out with friends or rest, so Netflix probably made a bigger profit off us than just about anyone else, and then when we moved to Des Moines we decided we'd skip the expense and just pick out movies from the library, which was great because it meant we ended up seeing all kinds of hilarious screwball comedies I'd never seen before, classic stuff like Bringing Up Baby or The Awful Truth or His Girl Friday or The Philadelphia Story, fast-talking metropolitan movies that reminded me that the Boomer generation's narrative of the pre-rock'n'roll 1950s as some kind of Edenic time we either must return to or rebel against is just a gross over-simplification of actual history, because I mean, it's 1938 and Cary Grant is saying he's "gone gay!" or it's 1940 and Katherine Hepburn is asking, "You haven't switched from liquor to dope by any chance, have you Dexter?"