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: