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My 80/35

Well, as Allison mentioned further down the page, this past weekend was the inaugeral 80/35 Festival here in Des Moines. And like her, I only watched a few full sets. Here is what I saw:
 
ANDREW BIRD
 
I’m not super knowledgable when it comes to Andrew…most of what I know is from Scott playing his records and a few albums I got from Mandy. I will definitely make more of an effort to check him out though, as I thought he put on a great live performance. His live band consisted of himself on violin and guitar mostly, another gentleman alternating on guitar and bass and a third gentleman on drums and keyboards. The thing that I was really impressed by was the loops Andrew and his band members used…as far as I could tell, most were looped live, and the violin plucking that Mr. Bird did seemed pretty complex ( at least to my musically retarded ears). I think you would have liked this one, Scott. He played a new song at the end that was pretty good too, though most of the songs were new to me. So, good job Andrew.
 
THE FLAMING LIPS
 
This was my third time seeing the Lips in three years and the setlist, by and large, was the same as what they played the first two times, with about half the songs pulled from 2006’s At War With The Mystics. With most bands, this might annoy and/or bore me, but seeing The Lips is such a spectacle and there’s so much good will between the band and the audience that I still really enjoyed it, and probably always will. This time there were dancing Teletubbies on stage instead of aliens or superheroes, but apart from that the basic setup was the same, with the large half-circle screen behind the drums synched up with videos for most of the songs. Presumably this and the confetti cues are some of the reasons why the setlist remains steadfast. Wayne is still, and will probably forever be, everybody’s cool uncle and played that role perfectly. Michael still sits to oneside playing his bass, and Steven stands at the other, speaking to the crowd in his Mickey Mouse voice. And the show is still amazing. It never gets old being covered with confetti, or seeing painted naked girls dancing around a giddy Wayne. I was glad that among the singles from the last few albums they found room for a couple of more obscure numbers, like the excellent Steven-led “Pompeii Gotterdammarung” from Mystics and “Mountain Side”, pulled from In A Priest Driven Ambulance from way back in 1990. Unfortunately, this being a festival show, the set seemed slightly truncated and the rumors I’d read of about the inclusion of some Clouds Taste Metallic material proved, at least for this show, to be unfounded. I really hope this isn’t coming off as me not liking the show; I did, very, very much. I just hope that the next time I see them, it will be in conjuction with the release of a new album, so that I can look on their show with fresh eyes again.
 
SETLIST:
 
1.) Race For The Prize
2.) Free Radicals
3.) The Song Remains The Same (Led Zeppelin Cover)
4.) Fight Test
5.) Mountain Side
6.) Vein Of Stars
7.) Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Pt. 1
8.) The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
9.) Pompeii Am Gotterdammarung
10.) The W.A.N.D. (w/ “Taps” Intro)
11.) She Don’t Use Jelly
ENCORE
12.) Do You Realize??? 
 
BLACK FRANCIS
 
As with The Flaming Lips, this was also my third time seeing Charles Thompson IV live, though the circumstances have greatly varied each time. The first was in 2004 in Minneapolis, at the first Pixies show in 13 years. The second was Frank Black, solo and acoustic at the Sokol Underground in Omaha in 2006. This third time saw CT IV playing under his Pixies-era moniker of Black Francis, which he reverted to a couple years ago in a conscious move to signal a change from the more country/bluesy route he’d been pursuing for awhile to a more angular, punky sound closer to his Pixies work . And this was definitely a Black Francis performance: pretty much all the material he played was from records he’s released since the name change. This included some songs from the part-live/part-studio album CHRISTMASS, a couple from his new mini-LP Svn Fngrs and the entirety of last year’s Bluefinger record. I’m sure most people were disappointed that no Pixies songs made it into the set, or even a “Los Angeles” or “Headache” (and I certainly wouldn’t have minded either), but I was more than happy to hear a whole set made up of songs I like that I’ve never heard live before. I’m glad that of the three different times I’ve seen him perform, there’s only been three or four songs played at more than one concert. As a fan, it’s nice to know that each time I see Frank Black Francis or whatever you want to call him, I’m likely to have a different experience with a completely new setlist each time. Frustrating for more casual fans maybe, but hopefully even they can appreciate his desire to showcase new material as opposed to playing “Where Is My Mind?” as an obligation.
 
SETLIST
 
1.) Tight Black Rubber
2.) Threshold Apprehension
3.) Test Pilot Blues
4.) Seven Fingers
5.) When They Come To Murder Me
6.) All Around The World (Trad.)
7.) Bluefinger
8.) (Do What You Want) Gyaneshwar
9.) Captain Pasty
10.) Lolita
11.) You Can’t Break A Heart And Have It (Herman Brood Cover)
12.) Your Mouth Into Mine
13.) Discotheque 36
14.) Angels Come To Comfort You
15.) She Took All The Money
16.) That Burnt Out Rock ‘N’ Roll (Gary Green cover)

MISC.

I saw some of Jakob Dylan‘s set while I waited for Black Francis…pretty standard folky/countryish rock. I also saw a bit of Yonder Mountain String Band, who I officially hate. But the hippies shore liked ’em.

 

CONCLUSION

Though there were only three performers that really appealed to me, I think, for a first effort, that 80/35 did a good job filling the bill with bands diverse enough to draw enough differing segments of people to create the great turnout they ultimately had. It seemed from my view that Friday was more of the “alt/indie” lineup and Saturday was more “dirty hippie“, but the organizers seemed to know what they were doing booking a jam band and The Roots, as they pulled in the people. Also, unlike the other outdoor festival I’ve been to (Pitchfork), I could come and go from the premises as I pleased. Which was nice. So, all in all, good job 80/35. Looking forward to next year.

miloprometheus

80/35

Well, it seems like someone should write about the biggest music festival to hit downtown Des Moines, so here I go….

Overall: There was an overall lack of enthusiasm, in my opinion.  But it’s always good for people, myself included, to hear new stuff.  Here’s why I think people weren’t very excited for the bands (excluding PCC):  Nobody, except for about ten people total, walked over and held a spot for Black Francis; perhaps people were being polite and I hear there was excitement right in front of the stage, but a lot of the time people didn’t cheer for the FL until after he said, “Thank you;” during the FL, the people in front of me did not move once; the FL played a lot of recognizable singles, but the reception for each song was pretty much the same; the person behind me was more concerned about complaining how he didn’t have weed and how he just came to get high off of someone else’s weed.  Yeah, I like going to concerts where people are really excited and don’t stand the entire time w/ their hands folded or in their pockets…

I only saw five bands perform…

Andrew Bird: I think this was my favorite performance of the the entire festival. I have been wanting to give him a listen for awhile and his performance was a good reminder to do so. I think, with the exception of indie kids and some out-of-towners, nobody knew he existed before Friday evening.

Flaming Lips: Fuck Bush. Fuck this war. Am I the only one getting tired of hearing this everywhere from MTV to the anarchist’s hat at the bus stop? It is the general consensus that America does say, “Fuck Bush and Fuck this War,” so can’t we go beyond spreading the word that has already been spread and focus on the next election? Anyway….the Flaming Lips are known for their crazy, over-the-top, party-style performances. Is it just me or did it seem like we got a slightly abbreviated performance? With the naked painted ladies, skull costume and psychdelic colors, I was mostly reminded of a Beavis and Butt-head dream sequence, which isn’t bad, but who wants a dog when you can have a puppy? Maybe I would have enjoyed this more had a pair of giants not been standing right in front of me.

Jakob Dylan

Black Francis: I went to see Black Francis hoping for the Pixes, or even Frank Black. :( It still was thrilling to see a member of one of my favorite bands perform though.

Poison Control Center: This was the most fun performance. Their loyal fans love them, so the energy is great!

Food: I ordered chicken nachos and there were six-inch pieces of chicken on them, which made them impossible to eat without sitting at a table with a fork and knife. Also, they put shredded cheese on top of pump cheese, ew! I wish I could have found the regular nachos you get at ballparks or movie theaters. OH well, I had some delicious Thai Food afterwards.

Drink: The beer was cheap and the one with the one with the horse was decent. The water was cheap too, but the vendor was overly aggressive when it came to tipping!

Conclusion: I definitely have to commend the committee/people that made this happen because it was quite the feat. Good luck next year!

VOTE FOR BEATI PAOLI!

As some of you may or may not know, the Des Moines Music Coalition is hosting the 80/35 festival on July 4th and 5th. It will feature such acts as The Flaming Lips, The Roots, Frank Black, Andrew Bird, as well as some local and regional bands.

Well, the entire bill has been filled except for one slot. And they are allowing the fans to vote on it. Why am I mentioning this? Beati Paoli is on the ballot, that’s why silly! Go here to vote for us. I believe the top five bands will then have a battle-of-the-bands style play off next Wednesday. Yes, we realize it’s the same night as our show with Everthus the Deadbeats, but let us worry about that.

It’s really easy to vote though, because we are second from the top. Tell your friends. Tell your family. or something. And I’m not sure how trustworthy this surveymonkey.com is, so you may want to make up a fake e-mail address.

ps. Voting ends Saturday, so get to it!

thenoisingmachine