The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The mists of neon: Neon Indian will perform a DJ set Saturday night as part of the FlyOver Fashion Fest

Ed Bornstein/The Daily Iowan

This year’s inaugural Flyover Fashion Festival, will which run Friday and Saturday, will see the convergence of fashion, music, and innovation.

While a slate of DJs, rappers, and couturiers are set to make appearances at a variety of venues, perhaps the most anticipated — and somewhat confusing — is that of Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo.

“They reached out to us, and it was such an unusual request in terms of time, intention and place, so I immediately was like ‘F— yeah,’ ” Palomo said.

Neon Indian — the stage name of Palomo’s one-man avant-synthpop outfit — has been touring the country in support of his new album, Vega Intl. Night School. He’ll forgo the microphone in favor of a turntable for his DJ set at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

“There’s always a misconception when you see a band on a DJ bill,” Palomo said. “People think they’re just going to show up and play a couple of songs off an iPod before packing up, which isn’t the case for me.”

Palomo’s long history with DJing dates back to his days as a college student in his home state of Texas.

“I had a [DJ] residency in Texas with my drummer long before Neon Indian,” he said. “We played every Wednesday and would always be voraciously collecting new records. It’s how I started developing a sense of what music I wanted to make.”

DJing plays an instrumental role in his creative process, Palomo said, noting that he tends to prefer a balance between giving conventional performances and curating DJ sets.

“Before deciding to play another live show, I really felt like I just had to come back to DJing,” he said. “It’s where I grow the most as a musician.”

As expected, in the lead-up to the release of his most recent album, Palomo had to take some time off the road and cut back on his DJ sets—of which he performs an estimated 40 to 50 in an average year.

“When I wrote the record I had stopped playing live for a while, but it’s a very necessary part of the process, where I’m just inhaling music for the fun of it, figuring out what fits best in a dance-floor context,” he said.

In the past, Palomo’s DJ sets have proven formative in the development of his own music; they can act as a microcosm of sorts in which the stylistic elements of his future projects can be viewed.

Acknowledging the challenges of playing a canned set to a live crowd, Palomo speculated on what the differences might be between his previous DJ performances and his upcoming set at the Mill.

“There’s a very different set that you’ll deliver if you’re DJing at a basement in Bushwick, or if you’re doing an event where you have to play to the crowd and see what makes sense and what they’re going to connect with,” he said.

Neon Indian DJ set
When: 10:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Mill, 120 E. Burlington
Admission: $15

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