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A-List: Helltrap Nightmare’s Sarah ‘Squirm’ Sherman and Julia Dratel talk comedy and the grotesque

In anticipation of their headlining show at the Green Gravel Comedy Festival on Saturday, May 13 I spoke with Helltrap Nightmare head writer/performer Sarah “Squirm” Sherman and producer/collaborator Julia Dratel as they traveled by van to their next performance on the East Coast leg of their tour. Their overlapping answers (as each jumped into the midst of the other’s sentence) are represented here. […]

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Opinion: What does it mean for a straight white man to become aware of sexual assault?

Meditation practices distinguish attention and awareness. One simple way to distinguish them is to understand attention as a mental or conceptual activity — one’s thoughts — and awareness as what falls outside of the mind — perceptions, sensations, attunements. President Trump issued a proclamation on March 31 declaring April Sexual Assault Awareness Month — the […]

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A hushed full house at The Mill for the Pines, Dead Man Winter

The Mill was the perfect venue on April 19 for a Wednesday night of atmospheric delicacy, performed for a hushed full house. The Pines, local legends transplanted to Minnesota, framed the night with a sense of intimate delicacy. Their first songs, without percussion, allowed the audience to focus on the twining of harmonies and whispered vocals that generated a sense of intimacy. […]

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Review: J. E. Sunde and Kishi Bashi close down Mission Creek 2017

The concluding night of the 2017 Mission Creek Festival was hosted by the Englert, and as usual drew a full crowd. The closing acts face the daunting challenge of being measured against each other show that the audience has watched — and finding their audience likely to be more exhausted than on previous nights as […]

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Review: Mission Creek night three at Gabe’s — Maiden Mars, Younger and Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings marked their return to Gabe’s by announcing that it was a time of mourning for the country, and added that they were pleased by Mission Creek’s emphasis on welcoming people of all sorts to share their love of the arts. This was one of the only comments made during a frenzied show, in […]

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Review: Mission Creek opening day events at Hancher

At 6 p.m. on April 4, Joe Tiefenthaler opened Mission Creek 2017’s Hancher component with a short statement about the enduring importance of the arts in terms of building what is essential within human communities. In addition to thanking sponsors, it was a necessary statement (given the current political backdrop in which the arts risk no longer being funded by the government), and a welcome invocation of the need to remind ourselves of the essential ingredient that the arts play in our experience of being human. […]

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FilmScene to participate in a nationwide screening of ‘1984’

1984 FilmScene — Tuesday, April 4 at 6 p.m. FilmScene, located in the Pedestrian Mall at 118 E. College, will join more than 90 independent film theaters across the country who are screening 1984 on April 4 (the date that protagonist Winston Smith begins his diary entry) as a way of articulating protests against the […]

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Interview: Whitney’s Max Kakacek on process and relationship

Whitney w/ Helena Deland The Mill — Saturday, April 1 at 9 p.m. Lauded for their Light Upon the Lake and playing in their own backyard after an Australian tour, Chicago’s Whitney will perform at the Mill on April 1 at 9 p.m. A Mission Creek Presents show the weekend before Mission Creek kicks off […]

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Interview: Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner talks music, art and love

Lambchop, the musical collective anchored in the vocals and musical genius of Kurt Wagner, will be playing their first show in Iowa City on March 23 at The Mill. The show is set to start at 8 p.m., with House and Land serving as openers. Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the door. […]

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