Hello, hello. Come on in. Get settled in for another dose of the Weekender. Here’s how it’s going to work this week: This weekend, especially Thursday (tonight) is nuts and there is simply too much to write about. For the most part my blurbs are unnecessary for these things. For example, I think we all know that The Envy Corps w./ The Olympics is going to be a great show. Cutting things for the sake of time saving made me feel funny, so I’ve just included videos for each event this week and I’ll let them do most of the talking. Some will have short write ups, some won’t. I’ll let you do some exploring! Here we go!
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals w./ Rayland Baxter // Iowa Memorial Union // 8:00 PM // $23.50
Talented and super sexy Grace Potter and her backing band, The Nocturnals hit the IMU tonight as part of an extremely extensive American tour. The band has become wildly popular in American country and folk rock circles. Potter’s strong voice, sassy attitude and overall sensibility as an entertainer give her a demanding presence on the stage. The band has established themselves as “the real deal” per se, performing at major music festivals, late night talk shows, appearing in film and TV credits and touring with band like the Black Crowes and Dave Matthews band. With three proper full lengths under their belt, Potter and her crew and gearing up to release their next album, The Lion The Beast The Beat later this year. Supporting Grace Potter and the Nocturnals on the road is Nashville singer/songwriter Rayland Baxter.
We know that the dudes behind Night-People and their band, Wet Hair are awesome. Let’s focus on one of the most recent acts to release something on Night-People, Featureless Ghost. Featureless Ghost is the two piece electronic project of Matt Weiner and Elise Tippins. Their brand of dancey synth pop calls upon influences from decades past through a fresh, modern lens. Night-People’s Shawn Reed write, “Seeing a live video of a radio performance of their song Scanproof was a revelation of what could still be done in the contemporary saturated music environment with synth and electronic pop music.” Featureless Ghost will release a full length LP on Night-People this summer.
Kleffman Comedy & Musical Friends // Public Space One // 7:30 PM // Donations
Blizzard at Sea – Iowa City Metal
As You Were – Davenport Punk
Collin Mcgee – Acoustic
Simon Joyner & the Tarnished Angels // The Mill // 9:00 PM // $7
Living in Iowa City, I see Simon Joyner as something of a legend. The singer/songwriter basically laid the foundation for the Omaha music scene which has grown and thrived over the past two decades. Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes consistently cites Joyner as one of the biggest influences and inspirations. Joyner played a packed living room show in Iowa City a few years ago (at the house in which I’m currently residing!) and I know I’m not the only one in the room who was moved by the delivery of his songs. He has put out almost 20 albums in the past 20 years and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Joyner will be joined by his band, The Tarnished Angels. Opening the show is quite a list of local talent: Ed Gray, Ramon Speed, Samuel Locke Ward and Douglas Kramer Nye.
Tim Eriksen // CSPS Hall (Cedar Rapids) // 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM // FREE (Donations Accepted)
For more information and to RSVP, visit the CSPS website. Here’s what they have to say about this totally unique and awesome opportunity:
Performer and shape-note singing authority Tim Eriksen will present a Sacred Harp shape-note “singing school” Saturday, April 28 from 10 am to noon. Following lunch (a “dinner on the ground” potluck), Tim will convene a traditional shape-note “singing” from 1 to 3 pm.
Eriksen is acclaimed for transforming American musical traditions with his startling interpretations of old ballads, love songs, shape-note gospel and dance tunes from New England and Southern Appalachia. He combines hair-raising vocals with inventive accompaniment on banjo, fiddle and guitar.
The morning and afternoon CSPS events are free (donations accepted) and open to all. The basics of shape-note singing will be taught at the “singing school” workshop, though everyone is welcome, from experts to first-time singers. A “singing” is an inclusive event where singers sit in a square facing inward. Participants take a turns leading: standing in the center, selecting a song, and beating time with the hand. The four-part harmony singing is performed without musical accompaniment.
Tim leading the Cold Mountain Singers:
Lights w./ The Ambassadors // Gabe’s // 7:00 PM // $13 Adv., $15 Day Of
Rob Merritt, well known throughout the region’s arts, journalism and nonprofit sectors, established himself as a playwright in 2011 when The Summerland Project premiered as part of Theatre Cedar Rapids’...