There are nights out, there are nights out that melt your face off, and then there’s last night, which was an alien-chest-burster, singularity event.

The Public Enemy “Fear Of A Black Planet” lecture event was a huge deal from me. As I told Chuck D afterwards, “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back” was my jam in 1988, and my 3 year old son Sean heard it an unconscionable number of times riding around in his car seat. Hank, Chuck, Keith, and Harry basically treated us to some great recollections and anecdotes about being young, gifted, and black and in the right place at the right time. Even more amazing, they were arguing with each other! I got the impression that Public Enemy, the tip of the spear of a genuine cultural eruption, were really an argument that’s been going on for nearly 30. Like Chuck said, “we could go to 11,” meaning they could keep talking, but it struck me also in the Nigel Tufnel sense.

Later at Gabes, the night started with strong sets from Wet Hair and Broken Water. Then, it was like the Gatekeeper was met by the Keymaster, opening a portal into a sea of roiling magma, when Overgain Optimal Death began to play. This was some scary shit — like Can jamming with Megadeth on a meth jag. Absolutely brilliant.

As if that was not enough, Acid Mother’s Temple proceeded to absolutely demolish Gabe’s. One doesn’t spend 30 years trying to perfect a unique vision of psychedelic rock nirvana without learning to go from a standing start to the heart of an exploding red giant in a minute flat. I, sadly, felt compelled to walk down the alley for the Bomb Squad after a couple of long songs, but from what I hear about the rest of their set, lives were changed, babies conceived and a dozen bands were launched.

The Yacht Club was OWNED by the Bomb Squad. Hank and Keith Schocklee are one of the iconic, legendary hip hop production teams, so they attracted an over-capacity crowd, but once they got them there they proceeded to defy anyone’s expectations and play a set of wonked-out Dubstep. It was way more Croydon UK than Long Island, and I think a few people were disappointed, but… I’m an old-school raver, and if you put me in a basement with 200 sweaty nutters thrashing to music that rearranges your inner organs with bass, I’m a happy man. It tickled to me to no end that the Bomb Squad were enthusiastic proponents of the UK Bass music that I’ve been devouring the last couple years. Even more so, hearing it presented with American hip hop a capella vocals brings it all back home — we’re all one world, and rocking a party is the same everywhere.

Wet Hair [audio:]
Broken Water [audio:]
Overgain Optimal Death [audio:]
Acid Mother’s Temple [audio:]

Created with flickr slideshow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene


Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.


Scattergood Friends Middle School Meet & Greet

Come and visit us at the Iowa City Holiday Farmers Market and the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center on Saturday, November 16.

Learn More
Event Details

Iowa City Farmers Market
November 16
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Robert A. Lee Rec Center

Little Village
2019 Give Guide

Get to know some of the nonprofits helping to make the CRANDIC a better place to live.