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All over the art scene

BY KELLY DIGGINS | APRIL 03, 2009 7:30 AM

From the music to the venue, No Age likes to experiment in more ways than one.

On Saturday at 6 p.m., when No Age takes the stage at the Picador as part of Iowa City’s Mission Creek Festival, the venue will be one of the duo’s more traditional locations.

Drummer and vocalist Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall are No Age’s members. The Los Angeles-based punk-rock band look for more unconventional spaces, such as libraries or art galleries, to throw standard concert etiquette out the door and give crowds something unexpected.

“As you play at different places, there are different expectations,” Randall said. “We want the crowd members to get out of their comfort zone.”

His pick for the band’s most memorable performance took place on a footbridge in Austin, Texas, he said.

“It was 3 a.m., and there were 200 [or] 300 people just jumping up and down on this bridge that was ready to collapse,” he said.

The pair first met while going to concerts in LA, and they formed No Age in 2006. Since then, the two have transitioned through different labels; they are now on Sub Pop Records, on which No Age released its début full-length album, *Nouns*, in 2008.

In addition to its music, No Age is always looking for ways to expand itself with other artistic endeavors, from designing clothes to making a film.

“Everyone has ideas,” Randall said. “Everyone says, ‘You know what would be cool?’ For us, the band is an opportunity to write a book or make shoes or jackets. It can all be done under the umbrella of No Age.”

No Age is also involved in the All-Ages Movement Project. The national organization is based in San Francisco and promotes youth involvement in art events in various communities.

Although No Age may have numerous side projects, the band doesn’t plan to take a break from writing music anytime soon. In the upcoming months, the band will be seen at more performances on the festival circuit before heading back to the studio to work on a new album.

“We’re building a new practice space right now,” Randall said. “We’re going to lock ourselves in a room and write an album.”

Saturday’s performance will be No Age’s first appearance at the Mission Creek Festival and the act’s first show in Iowa City. According to Mission Creek (Iowa City) founder Andre Perry, booking No Age was one of the last decisions; the band’s distinct guitar sound caught his attention.

“We had covered our bases in a lot of different genres, but we didn’t have a headliner that brought a really loud guitar sound,” Perry said. “We liked that about No Age, the blistering, dirty guitars and raw drumming, mixed with very pop-like songwriting and melodies.”

He expects No Age’s supporters won’t be disappointed and recommends the show for new fans who want to be introduced to a group that isn’t afraid to experiment.

“They seem like a band that wants to try new things,” Perry said. “If you live in LA, I mean, what’s newer than Iowa?”


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