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Your guide to the Firecracker 500 Festival

The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and that not only means grilling out, day drinking and illegally setting off fireworks in your yard, but also the return of the Firecracker 500 Festival. For the third consecutive year, Firecracker 500 will feature some of the coolest garage, psych and soul bands both from the midwest and beyond, including a ton of local favorites like The Ills, Lipstick Homicide, Good Habits and Autodramatics. Spanning four nights, the festival’s first half will take place at The Mill ($10 cover each night), but will move to Blue Moose Tap House for both Friday ($12) and Saturday ($15) evenings. Below are a few highlights that attempt to capture the diversity and awesomeness of this year’s line-up. […]

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The Stage: Everything old is new again

In the planning stages for Riverside Theatre in the Park, which began on June 14 and runs through July 7, the production team had to devise a way to make the classic plays of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1599) and Richard Sheridan’s The School for Scandal (1777) vibrant for contemporary audiences and also different from other recent versions. […]

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Spend the weekend with Seldom Seen

Seldom Seen festival | June 28-29 | Monmouth, Iowa Seldom Seen returns to Mineral Crossing this weekend, and festival organizers have put together their biggest offering to date — by quite a margin, in fact. Since 2011, the quiet 625-acre farm in Monmouth, Iowa has brought people together to camp out and celebrate artistic endeavors […]

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The Tube: Have we made a huge mistake?

Maybe it’s my pre-pubescent sense of humor, but the funniest aspect of the fourth season of Arrested Development is Tobias’ new license plate which reads “ANUSTART.” In his bizarro world, that’s supposed to be plate-speak for “A New Start.” The schtick pops up again in a later episode when Lucille 1 encounters Tobias in rehab, […]

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Live Music Preview: June 20-29

I know I’m not alone in saying Cursive will always have a place in my heart. They emerged when indie rock was a big deal. Anyone who was anyone was paying attention to Omaha’s Saddle Creek Records. If you haven’t listened to 2003’s … […]

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Hot Tin Roof: Stormfront

The wind here typically comes roaring out of the northwest; from the vast, flat plains of the Dakotas. These winds originate far north of the US–Canadian border over the frigid landmass that comprises the northernmost aspect of our continent. Topology allows these winds to gain atmospheric momentum as they race unabated by land formations that could pose an impediment, serve as a deflecting buffer. Winds directly from the west have traversed the lofty heights of the Colorado Rockies and possess a mischief of their own. It is when the winds come from the south, when they carry all the moisture they have absorbed from the Gulf of Mexico and collide with the searing heat of the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma and the tabletop flatness of Kansas that they harbinge bad things to come. It is easy for anyone living in this immediate area to tell that bad things are indeed are the way. […]

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John C. Reilly interview: Bring it back home

Actor John C. Reilly is known for his breadth of comedic and dramatic roles in movies like Magnolia, Step Brothers, Cedar Rapids and The Aviator. He is also known for his musical film roles in Chicago the Musical, Prairie Home Companion and the tour de force Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Reilly has recently […]

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Iowa City Weekender: June 20-23

Joshua Hoffman, your regular Weekender columnist, is off on vacation. As such, this edition of the Iowa City Weekender has been hijacked by yours truly. Still reading? Great, because there are lots of exciting events to check out this weekend. Lets talk about them. Thursday, June 20 Cursive w. Digital Leather, The Olympics | 9:00 […]

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Crafty: Quick and easy bargain bouquets

One of my 2013 New Year’s resolutions was to fill my home with fresh flowers on the regular. My aesthetic preference in arranging flowers leans towards the non-fussy, uncomplicated variety which is lucky because, as anyone who has purchased a dozen roses or other fancy bouquet may know, fresh blooms can cost. Since I like […]

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Talking Movies: The horror, the horror!

Upstream Color, the eagerly awaited second film by indie director Shane Carruth, is extremely difficult to describe. It’s partially a mind-blowing sci-fi film along the lines of his first movie, Primer, which won the 2004 Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. It’s also kind of a romance. But if I were forced to label it, I’d […]

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Screenshot: Why can’t there be a good Star Trek game?

To accompany May’s release of Star Trek: Into Darkness, Paramount released a Star Trek video game as well, developed by Digital Extremes. While the critical reaction to the film sequel was middling (as a lifelong Trekkie, I thought it was just fine, but then these new movies are barely Star Trek at all), the critical […]

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