Album Reviews: Slip Silo – Monsoons / Koplant No – Transit EP


  Slip Silo and Koplant No are two local groups which share two members (Brian Lewis on trumpet, keyboards and laptop, Drew Morton on bass, synth and vocals) with adjacent releases. This invites a classic English Final “Contrast and Compare” review. Firstly, Slip Silo (also starring Matt Logan on vocals and guitar and Justin Leduc […]

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Album Review: Exposed Fiction

Exposed Fiction Exposed Fiction Exposed Fiction’s self-titled debut album arrived at my house with a big crack through the middle. It’s romantic to imagine the music is that powerful, but it’s more likely the Postal Service or our intrepid publisher Mr. Steele broke it accidentally before dropping it off. No matter. You can listen […]

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Album Review: The Twelve Canons – Volume 4: Sacrifice

The Twelve Canons Volume 4: Sacrifice The Twelve Canons is currently singer/songwriter Jim Durocher and multi-instrumentalist Justin Norman. Volume 4: Sacrifice came with a note from Norman that mentioned “FYI it was recorded in a mental institute.” Jim Durocher’s personal demons are no secret around Iowa City, but it’s not my place to air […]

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Album Review: Jason T. Lewis – The Fourteenth Colony

Jason T. Lewis The Fourteenth Colony A common problem fiction writers have with musician characters is that if the author isn’t a skilled songwriter, then the character is much less believable. Never mind the fact that we never really know what the character’s songs would sound like, either. Iowa City author and musician Jason […]

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Album Review/Interview: Oberhofer – Time Capsules II

Brad Oberhofer| 7:00pm | Yacht C lub | $8 | 19+ Even though Brad Oberhofer makes sweeping swathes of ornate, indie-pop, he hardly comes off as the dramatic frontman–with heart stitched on sleeve–he presents on his debut LP, Time Capsules II. Oberhofer spoke fairly quietly, at a measured pace when we talked in mid February. The Novocaine from the […]

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Album Review: Imperfekt – Tunes For Improvement

Imperfekt Tunes For Improvement Imperfekt is a hip-hop MC that produces his own beats. Though locally there are several examples—Rahlan Kay and Coolzey come to mind—it isn’t a common thing. MCs and producers tend to specialize, but in the decidedly un-hip-hop environment of Iowa, perhaps these guys feel like they’re on their own and […]

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Album Review: Human Aftertaste – Black Toad

Human Aftertaste Black Toad DC Comics introduced us to Bizarro World, the cubical world where everything is the opposite of our world. The Bizarro aesthetic code was “Us love ugliness!” Human Aftertaste would, I guess, be the Bizarro Bieber. They’ve gone through various incarnations through the past several years but there’s a consistent commitment […]

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Album Review: Death Ships – Circumstantial Chemistry

Death Ships Circumstantial Chemistry Death Ships w/ Mike Doughty, Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps // The Mill // Thurs, Mar. 29 Back in 2006 Dan Maloney and his band Death Ships were gigging regularly from his Iowa City home-base and gaining some notoriety. Life changes forced a do-over in Chicago which resulted in […]

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Album Review: Kelly Pardekooper – Yonder

An oft-quoted rule-of-thumb for writers is “write what you know.” Great written works are usually imbued with a strong sense of place derived from the writer’s ability to pull that little bit of themselves in–people, places, conversations, situations. Kelly Pardekooper lived in Iowa most of his life and recorded five albums of Grade-A Iowa Americana. […]

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Album Review: The Pines – Dark So Gold

The Pines: Dark So Gold

I’ve been a dedicated follower of former-Iowa City band The Pines since their first album came out on Dave Zollo’s late record label, Trailer Records, in 2004. Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt have since recorded three albums for Red House Records—a label with a famous affinity for the Iowa City folk and blues scene. Each […]

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Album Review: Grism – Social Obligations

Grism is a group comprised of Zach Lint (aka Coolzey of the Sucker MCs), Grace Locke Ward (Petit Mal, Leslie & The LY’s, superstar), Rachel Feldman and Kate Kane (Lipstick Homicide). They’re longtime friends and members of the recombinant scrum of rock bands in Iowa City. Even though Grism is a vehicle for Zach’s […]

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Album Review: Cuticle – Mother Rhythm Earth Memory


This release by Cuticle (aka Brendan O’Keefe) is notable in the first place because it will be released on Not Not Fun, a well-respected boutique label, known internationally for adventurous releases on vinyl and cassette. Mother Rhythm Earth Memory will be limited to 500 vinyl records; I hope the vinyl will be followed by a […]

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