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Album Review: Thomas Comerford – Archive + Spiral

Thomas Comerford Archive + Spiral www.thomascomerford.bandcamp.com As the principal singer and songwriter in the band Kaspar Hauser, Thomas Comerford has built a reputation for his inventive take on roots rock. Archive + Spiral is less rocking and more country, with a vibe more living room than rock club. Comerford’s slightly nasal baritone recalls Lou Reed […]

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Album Review: Grand Tetons – They Do Move in Herds

The debut album, They Do Move in Herds, from Grand Tetons is a quintessential 20-something’s album. The quartet has composed a paean to the lost years between college graduation and the “real world.” It’s clear from the opening organ strains of “Honey Don’t Know”—the aural equivalent of the sun cutting through the blinds and peeling open the lids glued to your eyes by a whiskey-soaked sleep—that Grand Tetons are sucking down experiences like well whiskeys and $2 tall boys. There isn’t a whole lot of restraint: too much to drink, too quiet, too loud, too many instruments; there’s a lot of life, and energy and the alt-country group wants you to feel it as intensely as they do. […]

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Album Review: Lady Killaz – Dynamic Duo

Lady KillAZ is Lyssa and Klymaxx, two young women who reside in Cedar Rapids, and Dynamic Duo is their debut mix tape. Since I’m a middle-aged white guy my taste in hip hop runs to the classics from the ‘80s and newer ‘conscious’ rap. Lady KillAZ on the other hand are ghetto and proud. They don’t give a f*ck what a geezer like me might think of their beats and rhymes. […]

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Album Review: Clancy Everafter – iowania

If there is one thing that you can say about the current generation, it is that it has a disturbingly high proclivity towards chilling. Don’t take this as everything being alright. For all of the fun it sounds like everyone is having, the chill vibe is laced with malaise, anxiety and wanderlust. This ambivalence towards the good life can be heard on Clancy Everafter’s excellent Iowania. […]

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Album Review: Ex-Action Model – Dropland

Ex-Action Model Dropland Mission Freak Records exactionmodel.com Brendan Hanks’ full-length debut under his long-running nom-de-plume, Ex-Action Model, is a testament to the years Hanks has spent perfecting his programing and sequencing abilities. Dropland is a diverse collection of electronic pieces that manages to cram a wide variety of sounds and textures over the run of […]

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Album Review: T'Bone – Mount Trashmore

T’Bone is based in Chicago, but is made up of Iowa natives Leland Meiners (bass), Ed Bornstein (drums) and Pat McPartland (guitar), and their album Mount Trashmore was recorded in Iowa City at Luke Tweedy’s Flat Black Studio. Chicago, birthplace of seminal post rock bands like Tortoise and Gastr Del Sol, is an apt home for these guys, whose songs follow their own crooked paths, leaving pop song conventions far behind. […]

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Album Review: John Rapson – Mystery and Manners

Questions of authenticity and the creative process have long been pressed on fans of modern music, especially electronic music. File sharing and digital manipulation change the collaborative process and force listeners to ask how important human playing, human authorship and human interaction are to creating what we call music. Is collaboration collaborative when it is […]

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Album Review – Fetal Pig: Autopia

Fetal Pig Autopia fetalpig.bandcamp.com Jesus said “Behold the lilies of the field. They toil not, neither do they spin.” For some reason Fetal Pig reminds me of Jesus’ lilies. With a band history going back nearly 20 years, these guys do what they do not because it makes them rich and famous–because it hasn’t–but because […]

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Album Review – Rahlan Kay: Now You Know

Rahlan Kay is the new hip-hop handle for Rowland Gibson, who has in the past been known as Genuyne, DNA and Testfyi. Rowland is a producer and MC from Cedar Rapids who has been a regular in the Iowa hip-hop scene for over ten years. He’s nothing if not persistent. There’s more than a few sketchy MCs around who are legends in their own minds, but Rowland’s different–he’s church folk, a family man and dead serious about his craft. […]

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Album Review – P-Tek: Oh! What a Miracle

P-Tek (Adam Protextor) makes me feel old, since he’s a friend of my son, Sean. You might know Adam from his involvement with the Resist Evil horror movie, which starred another Iowa City hip-hop head, Coolzey. Adam’s verbal gymnastics and bent sense of humor, in full effect on Oh! What A Miracle! owes a debt to Coolzey and his Sucker MCs posse, but he’s cinematically deranged in his own special way. […]

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Album Review – The Wheelers: Bubix

The Wheelers are a pan-Iowan band with members scattered between Iowa City and Ames. Other joint efforts between these two cities often result in heavy drinking, name calling and injuries and, while I can’t confirm that The Wheelers encounter a similar fate when they get together, the teetering energy here is very much the same. […]

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