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Aesop Rock’s flawless delivery enthralled fans at the Blue Moose

I walked into the Blue Moose on Monday toward the end of Sandman’s set, listening to him close with what sounded like a prayer before prefacing the onset of Aesop Rock, whom he compared to Mozart as the pinnacle of creativity in the twenty-first century. Although I had never attended a rap performance before, I […]

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Moon Hooch brings an odd timewarp to Gabe’s Iowa City

I was first introduced to Moon Hooch through their album Red Sky, released this summer, and was so enthralled by the experience of being gripped by each song that it required a few listens to realize that the entire band consisted of two saxophones and a drummer. Hearing that they were set to play Gabe’s, […]

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Last week’s Larkin Poe show brought a contemplative engagement to Iowa City

Larkin Poe, two sisters (Rebecca and Megan Lovell) out of Atlanta, decided to use their night off from serving as Elvis Costello’s opening band to play The Mill last Wednesday, Oct. 5. As I suspected, they’re better live than their albums, which highlight their technical prowess at their most refined, would represent. Because they currently […]

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Shovels and Rope provide Iowa City with an experience of radical intimacy

Shovels and Rope is a duo comprised of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, who married only after recording and releasing an album together. Their performances forefront this relationship by revealing a peculiar form of intimacy — one that is afforded by distance. During their set at the Englert on Monday, Oct. 3, they seemed […]

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Interview: Fiddle player Gaelynn Lea talks orchestra, advocacy and connecting to humanity

Gaelynn Lea The Mill — Sunday, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. Gaelynn Lea, a fiddle player hailing from Duluth, MN, burst onto the national scene by winning NPR’s 2016 Tiny Desk Music Contest. She will perform at The Mill at 8 p.m. on Oct. 2 (tickets $8–10), and will speak the next morning at Systems […]

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Beach House treats Iowa City concert-goers to a spectacular light show, but fails to fully connect

I enjoy seeing opening acts, especially ones that accompany a band across a tour. Entrance, a solo singer-songwriter, was worth seeing. He seemed steeped in a folk tradition, and most of the melodies felt like memories with words I had not heard. The songs seemed to haunt the edges of what I already knew without […]

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Mouths 7: Stalling

“Mouths” is a fiction story presented in installments. Look for a new chapter Monday mornings throughout the summer. “Shut the fuck up, Sheila!” I scream at the door. I realize that I shouldn’t draw attention to myself. I breathe. “I’m sorry.” My voice is softer. “Just give me a second. Everything will make sense soon.” […]

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