Hello and welcome to another edition of the Weekender. If you look at the title of this week’s edition, you’ll see that it’s a Halloween special. Let me tell you how this is going to work. This week’s column is going to be broken into two parts. The first part will read like the column that you know and love with normal events around town. The second part, which will come immediately after, will be just Halloween events like Halloween shows and other events, including one or two to which you can take your children. Is everyone good? Awesome. Let’s start.
abUSed: The Postville Raid // W151 Pappajohn Business Building // 7:00 PM // Free, All Ages
In 2008, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers raided a plant in Postville, IA in search of illegal immigrants. While they did find their target, the means by which they did it were highly suspect and its ramifications on the local community were immense. abUSed is a documentary that explores the full story of the raid as well as the effect that it has had on Postville, a town with diversity and mixed-status families. The director Luis Arteta will introduce the movie and host a post-screening Q&A. For more information and a clip from the film, check out LV Contributor Alexis Stevens’s preview.
Orgone w/ DJ Doug Roberson // The Mill // 9:00 PM // $8 Adv., $10 Day of Show; 21+
Hailing from the melting pot that is Los Angeles, CA, Orgone’s music reflects the relaxed vibe of that place, but doesn’t mean that they can’t make you groove. They’ll get your hips shaking with their mix of deep grooves, soulful singing, and raw funkiness. Before and after the show, soul DJ extraordinaire Doug Roberson is going to be spinning records. Fans of local stalwarts Diplomats of Solid Sound, frequent visitors JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, and funk/soul music more generally must find a way to make it to this show.
WiP Closing Reception // Public Space One // 7:00 PM // Free, All Ages
The month-long Works in Progress Festival is closing this weekend. There will be a group movement improv/audience dance party and a closing band. In addition, there will be another performance of “Soundpool,” the collaboration between Chris Wiersema and Analia Alegre-Femenias. I saw this performance at the Opening Reception, and it was rather good. That is being said with a caveat though: this coming performance is going to be different. When they did the first one, they asked for audience photos and thoughts to integrate into the performance. It will be interesting to see how that gets mixed into this new version. Utopia in Four Movements // Englert Theatre // 8:00 PM // Free, All Ages
Utopia in Four Movements is a live music/documentary experience. The music will be provided by Brooklyn’s The Quavers, which features Brendan Canty of Fugazi/DC Hardcore scene fame. The documentary will be done live by Sam Green in collaboration with Dave Cerf. Both of these will combine to tell a story of how the Utopian dream has suffered in the 21st Century. An official selection of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, this movie of hope will be an excellent live cinematic event to follow from the Alloy Orchestra and Metropolis last month.
Popo’s Puppet Festival // Iowa City Public Library // 10:15 AM // Free, All Ages
On this lovely Saturday morning, parents and their children can come to the Public Library and be entertained by puppets telling stories of the high seas, spooky places and many other locales. Aside from stories, there will be refreshments. Additionally, the kids there will be able to make their own puppets that they can take home and have hours and hours of fun with. The schedule of events can be found at the Iowa City Public Library website.
Thomas Comerford // Public Space One // 9:00 PM // Unknown Price (Bring Money), All Ages
Based out of Chicago and known for his work in Kaspar Hauser, Thomas Comerford plays music that would be more appropriate for the prairies of Iowa than the concrete jungle of his hometown. His sound can be described as a folk-rock mix that’s completely modern yet haunted with the spirit of the past. The music is rich and full, absorbing the space around you when playing. The songwriting has a timeless quality and hits deep in the soul, two things that are necessary with this style of music. Comerford’s voice is husky, reminding one of a higher pitched Bill Callahan. He has just released a new album called Archive + Spiral that is beautiful, sad, moving, and genuine. This is going to be an excellent show, something that the Pieta Brown and singer-songwriter fans in town should definitely check out.
Since Halloween is on a Monday this year, it might not be the best idea to go for it on that day. Instead, you should really go for it this weekend. Here are some things that you can do this weekend to celebrate All Hallows Eve the right way.
There are events for the family this weekend. The first is the Halloween Parade and Carnival. Starting over by the Weather Dance fountain in the Ped Mall, there will be face painting, treats, tricks, dancing, crafts, and all around good times. This is a free event on Friday. It starts at 6 PM. For the families with tweens and teens or just the teens, drive out of town and go to The Field of Screams. Much like the movie that it’s referencing, it’s a cornfield. Instead of finding a baseball diamond, you will find a haunted corn maze. This starts at 7:30 PM on both Friday and Saturday this weekend and is $7 for admission. Click the link for an address and further information.
There are a number of Halloween shows happening this weekend and on the actual day. Rather than do this by day, I’m going to do it by venue because each one will be having their own Halloween event(s) this weekend. This order will be dictated by how they are organized in front of me right now, not any bias towards one place or another.
Blue Moose Tap House
Middleagers from Mars, Hott & Cop Bar // Saturday // 8:00 PM // $6, 19+
If you haven’t seen Hott before, you really need to. These dudes bring more intensity than 99% of the bands that I’ve seen in my entire life every time they set foot on stage. It also doesn’t hurt that they can blast out punk rock with speed, fury, technical proficiency and mad style. They’ll be playing with Middleagers from Mars, a Misfits cover band; and local powerhouse Cop Bar. This show is being tagged as the Blue Moose Halloween Massacre. This is apt as there will be a lot of slaying happening.
Carrying on the tradition, The Mill will be hosting its annual cover show for Halloween. This year, the bands being covered will be Hole (Members of Petit Mal, Lipstick Homicide & Sam Locke-Ward & The Boohoos), Elvis Costello & The Attractions (Members of the Wandering Bears), The Cramps (Members of Boxknifes, Sarah Cram & The Derelicts & Liberty Leg) and Jay Reatard (All of Good Habits). This will be a good time. Looking at that list of bands being covered, I’m interested in what Hole and Cramps songs they are going to cover. None of us will know unless we go and check it out.
Wylde Nept // Saturday // 7:00 PM // $10, 19+
Coming back to The Mill, Wylde Nept will be playing their mix of traditional and original Celtic pub songs in full costume. Along with their regular songs, there will also be a number of surprises in store for the audience. In addition to the concert, there will be a costume contest at Midnight. This is a one night special, so what you see this night, you won’t see again until next Halloween and that’s not a guarantee that it will be the same.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show // Saturday // 12:00 AM (Into Sunday Morning) // $16, 17+
No Halloween is really complete without a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Featuring Tim Curry working hard in drag as well as a young Susan Sarandon, this film is legendary and has been in circulation since its release since 1975. A singing and dancing good time will be had at this screening. As all the vets know, there are a lot of things that happen at screenings of this movie. The Englert knows this as well and will provide all of the props with your ticket. All you need to do is show up in your best drag ensemble and know how to do the Time Warp.
Five in a Hand, Item 9 & The Mad Hatters & Caterwaulla // Saturday // 9:00 PM // $5, 19+
This trio of local rockers will be bringing the special heat on Saturday night at Gabe’s. I know that all of them like to go all out for the Halloween show, so this will definitely something to check out this weekend.
Night of the Living Dub’d // Monday // 10 PM // $5 for 19+, $3 for 21+
One of the few events actually happening on Halloween, Dubstep will take over Gabe’s again. Arbiter & Colossus, DJ Solo, Kage and Control Freqs will destroy the decks while Sharlo will have a special light installation. If your Tuesday isn’t going to be too busy, get to this event and make up some new Dubstep dance moves.
Iowa City Yacht Club
The Gglitch’d, Lick It Ticket & Mikel Wright and the Wrongs // Saturday // 9:00 PM // $6, 19+
Local roots rockers The Gglitch’d will be lighting up the stage for the weekend Halloween party at the Yacht Club. As the Yacht Club website says, “don’t be in the minority — make sure you wear a costume.” You might want to save the latex nurse outfit for another night though because you’ll need something that you can move in.
Insectoid // Monday // 9:00 PM // $5, 19+
In what will be the trippiest show of this entire Halloween weekend, Insectoid will be ripping it at the Yacht Club. Mixing rock with electronica and a heavy amount of psychedelic visuals, this is a show that will be very appropriate for the craziest of holidays. If you want an idea of what you might be getting into, check out this video of the band from PATV.
I hope that this Weekender does everyone well, regardless of whether they love or loathe Halloween. I’m in the latter group, but it’s for personal reasons that I will not bore you with here. Have an awesome weekend!