By Cady Colosimo
If you went to a show in Des Moines this year then odds are you saw Phil Young play. When he’s not playing in one of his many musical projects (Annalibera, The Wheelers, Tires, Karen Meat and the Computer, Big Digital, 00PP7, Night Stories, and solo) he’s working with other bands producing their music at Wabi Sound, and contributing to dsmshows.com, which he helped start. His credentials don’t end at the Iowa border; Young graduated from the Los Angeles Recording School and went on to work at Nightbird Studios in West Hollywood, California where he worked with Drake, Green Day, and many more of the music industry’s top figures.
Young is a busy guy and most recently he’s been busy with his spookiest project, Night Stories. The sinister, lyric less music is inspired by John Carpenter’s classic scores and contains all the thrills of your favorite horror film. The duo, Young and Greg Meister, just released the band’s first 7” record on bloodgushingrecords.com. Night Stories emerges only when appropriate, AKA October and Friday the 13th. Catch them while you can, if you dare.
- Oct 29. Kum & Go Theatre(live scoring of Haxan), 7pm$5 (All ages)
- Oct 31. Vaudeville Mews, 8pm $5 (21+)
"Sparks" by Beach House
I have a lot of respect for Beach House, they have always made music for themselves. They don’t make music for the masses; it just turns out that a lot of other people like it, too. I think this is the perfect approach to making music. You shouldn’t have to doll yourself up and try to sell yourself to “make it” playing music. You should make art you like and if other people like it too, that's a win-win. This Beach House track triggers some deep inner-solace for me, like the first time I listened to “Sometimes” by My Bloody Valentine. You know everything in this world is fucked—just take a look through your Facebook feed—and will (relatively) soon end. BUT that’s okay, cause you’re alive and there’s a lot you can accomplish today.
"Hairspray Heart" by Black Moth Super Rainbow
I’m obsessed with this band. I have been listening to these Philadelphians for almost a decade now and the progression they’ve made is almost unbelievable. How is it possible for a band to successfully make each album they release better than the last?! BMSR’s album Cobra Juicy is a killer driving album. Jump in the car, roll down the windows, turn on “Hairspray Heart” and take a cruise while all the leaves are starting to turn orange. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
"Depreston" by Courtney Barnett
This song is a kind-of reminder to myself to stay poor. I’m self employed and my income fluctuates quite a bit. When I’m poor I find myself appreciating things like a simple cup of tea or a bed to sleep in. When I had a full time job and a consistent income I worried about such futile things like material belongings and collecting possessions. I want to appreciate what I have, not worry about what I don’t have. Courtney Barnett’s debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit is a very real, very truth filled album definitely worth a listen.
"Wind" by Emily Reo
I had the pleasure of playing a show with Emily Reo in the handball court at the Des Moines Social Club with my band Tires (www.tires.bandcamp.com). There were maybe 10 people there, tops. It was a tragedy that more people weren’t able to see her. She filled the huge handball court with her sonic bliss and played with such poise to a small yet attentive group of friends. I bought Reo’s album Olive Juice that evening and I have spent many nights since floating in the ocean of synths and beautiful melodies that she weaves throughout the album.
"Red Lights" by Holy Fuck
Holy Fuck is probably my favorite band. They are a huge musical inspiration to me. Groovy bass, driving kraut-esque drums, and bizarre keyboard and pedal noises. It's the music of my dreams. I could spend hours writing about this band, but I won’t.
"Dot Com" by Battles
Again, one of my favorite bands. Their 2007 album Mirrored got me thinking about and making music in a much different way than ever before. Their new album La Di Da Di is a sort of “return to chaos” for the three-piece. This all-instrumental album is a wild ride that, at times, is quite entrancing. It’s very inspiring to see such forward-thinking progressive music being made by a band whose youngest member is 38.
"Heels" by Disasterpiece
I woke up at around 4am the other night and just couldn’t fall back asleep, which happens to me a lot. Usually I can just throw on a record (like Emily Reo’s Olive Juice) and drift right back into the abyss but none of my records were doing the trick so I pulled up Spotify. My good friend Chris had mentioned to me that this soundtrack was probably something I’d be into and that I should check it out. So I threw on some headphones and pressed play. Boy, was that a huge mistake- I was wide awake and horrified for hours after the first listen. This is all before I had seen the film too! I’ve been getting really into old horror soundtracks mainly because of bandmate and old friend Greg Meister (Wheelers & Night Stories). The suspense and urgency Richard Vreeland creates with a fairly simple palette of sounds is absolutely incredible. Watch the movie, listen to the soundtrack, get spooked.
"Xenophobe" by Zao
I saw Zao live for the first time around the year 2000 in a hot, sweaty cornfield in central Illinois. I’ve since drifted away from a lot of the heavy music that once took up 80% of my music library. Xenophobe is a new awakening for Zao. Their style has changed over the 10 albums and 20 years since they’ve been a band. I hope they continue to make music like this. They’ve hit a stride that could turn them back into the juggernaut they once were. I still get really into metal with specific hardcore tendencies but it has got to be something really special for me to listen to it on the regular. Des Moines band Omens are the only ones around these parts pushing the envelope when it comes to this style of music.