Just so you know, in case you weren’t there. Metromix has some photos. I’m on the left in #14.

I got there just in time for Wolves In The Attic and they were a definite highlight of the evening, way more exciting in person than I’d come to expect from some YouTube video I saw of them once. When I first moved to Des Moines I got them confused with Wolves In The Throne Room for a while because I wasn’t familiar with either but both names seemed to be floating across my radar regularly at the time. Turns out I ended up liking both. In some ways they aren’t that different — both seem to present an intense level of energy and a formidable racket of guitar texture. Wolves In The Attic, rather than a black metal band oriented around nature, sound something more like Swervedriver on overdrive.

Christopher The Conquered was intense in their dramatic testimonial kind of way, every bit as raucous and fun as their set at Gross Domestic Product. The Mynabirds, in from Omaha, were pretty pleasant, especially in the vocal department. There’s a fair bit of buzz around them but I can’t help thinking they might kinda disappear in the sheer mass of similar indie-folk outfits in their hometown.

I don’t have to tell you Poison Control Center put on a wild, raucous, super-fun show, because they’re remarkably consistent in that regard. They were joined by a horn section borrowed from Christopher The Conquered, and from what I’ve heard, were likewise joined onstage by just about everybody in the venue at the end according to Dan (Why Make Clocks), who reports that he was among the throng playing a tambourine, but by that time I’d gotten really tired and made my way home.

PCC is touring the US epically this year in support of this new CD, which is called Sad Sour Future. I haven’t given it a good full listen yet but I’m expecting it to meet all expectations.

UPDATE: for a more detailed account, probably more insightful than my terse reportage, check out Marc Hogan’s bit over at Des Noise.

Metromix (and several others via Facebook, Twitter, etc) reports that co-headlining 80/35 Fest along with Spoon this year will be Modest Mouse. Also local singer-songwriter Cashes Rivers and Iowa folkster extraordinaire William Elliot Whitmore. This is shaping up to be a freaking awesome show.

Dubuque avant-psych-blues duo Map Of The Woods are doing a live webcast Wednesday night. I have no idea what they’ve got cooked up — probably playing some songs, who knows what else. Definitely worth checking out.

At the end of what I think is the third verse of “Rock and Roll” on Led Zeppelin IV there’s this weird noise that’s definitely part of Robert Plant’s vocal track. It’s after the line “Open your arms open your arms open your arms, baby let my love come running in”. I’m pretty sure Plant was just exclaiming something like “yeah!” but for some reason it comes out all garbled on the album, sort of like “glelp!” I listened to this record a bunch of times as a kid, and always been curious about this. Check it out at about 2:41:

I wonder if it just turned out that way somehow from going back and overdubbing at that spot, or what. Anyone have any ideas?

It came out yesterday. Did I forget to mention it yesterday? Well I didn’t forget to order my copy. I haven’t even listened to any of the tracks they’ve had out online yet, but they are great live, so I’m excited to hear it.

I met John Pemble at Impromptu Studio the other day. I didn’t know who he was, but I knew he was fascinating. Here he is with Amadeo Rossi making the second lineup announcement for this year’s 80/35 Music Festival:

And since I missed out on posting it, and perhaps you missed out on it too, here’s the first one:

Experimental noise artist Crank Sturgeon (see if you can get this video to work) will be performing as part of Experimental Issue #11 at Clawfoot House in Lincoln, NE, a venue run by singer-songwriter Ember Schrag and soundscaper/Public Eyesore Records boss Bryan Day, this Sunday. Actually, the Clawfoot folks do a lot of pretty cool stuff, check out all those links.

A group of artistically-interested folks I know from the Cedar Falls music scene of back in the day that call themselves The Ambient Funk Playwright Society are doing an arts event called The Shan’t Bee on July 16-18.

Teen Dream cover

Invoking the time-honored rule-of-the-road that whoever’s driving runs the radio, I played this CD on a longish car trip weekend before this last, on which my 15-month-old son, my wife, and her mother were present, in between Kowloon Walled City’s Gambling On The Richter Scale and Richard Buckner’s Dents and Shells. Neither of the women in the car were particularly fond of the San Fransisco sludge quartet, but more interestingly, both preferred Dents and Shells to Teen Dream, which they characterized as “dreary” in comparison. An odd assessment given Mr. Buckner’s depressive reputation. But perhaps not so very off-base. Teen Dream is a bit of a rainy day album, likenable to vintage Mazzy Star, so it was perhaps too sunny a day, too pretty a drive through the country, to suit its mood. If the boy had an opinion, he didn’t voice it, but if he had, it would probably have sounded something like “eeeeeee durgle-durgle.”

I didn’t pay much attention to Beach House when the buzz was going around about their previous album. I follow a few of the bigger “indie” music web sites but I have a reflexive tendency to file anything they seem to be giving too much attention to under “trendy” and avoid it. It was a promotional stream on Spinner, engaged in out of curiosity, that convinced me I wanted to own a copy of Teen Dream. It’s a gorgeous album, and the band gets a lot of expression out of seemingly minimal elements — a burbling rhythmbox and a simple reverb-drenched guitar line, is at times about all they need behind Victoria Legrand’s voice to get the point across. The impression it leaves is more about the overall feel than about specific choruses, at least for the first few listens, but a few things stick out. One of my favorites: the keyboard line that drives “Lover Of Mine.”

It's True cover

It’s True main-man Adam Hawkins has a problem of misplacing his guitar after gigs. Good thing he always manages to find it, or he might not have been able to finish their self-titled debut, due out Tuesday. Not sure if you can still pre-order, they had some kind of deal a couple months ago connected to their SXSW send-off show…