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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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Reflecting on St. Paul and the Broken Bones

I had low expectations for the North Liberty Blues & BBQ festival, which hints at the unmentioned “brews” in the space of the ampersand. In part this is due to my opinion of North Liberty as a cookie cutter town, the perfect setting for Radiohead’s “Fitter, Happier” from OK Computer to serve as a constant […]

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Mouths 6: Stilling

“Mouths” is a fiction story presented in installments. Look for a new chapter each Monday morning throughout the summer. Mouths VI: Stilling The alarm clock flashes a steady stream of banal red numbers at me. Something urgent will happen. The air is thick with tension. Sweat. Vodka. Fear. It is oppressive. Almost insufferable. Something stale […]

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Black Mountain builds an unhurried tension in their June 15 show at The Mill

The opener for the solid summer Wednesday evening crowd at The Mill this week was Majure, who preceded his reputation (signifying mostly a certain laziness on my part, as a Google search took me instantly to his profile). It was my second solo drum show, and while Majure lacked the explosive charisma of Glenn Kotche […]

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The Origins of Works of Art: Rich Opportunities for the Thrifty Aesthete

The upcoming week offers an unusually rich trove of aesthetic encounters for the inhabitants of Iowa City, many of which are intentionally transparent about the nature of the creative process as something nurtured by art itself. Much art — whether music, literature, painting, sculpture, or theater — springs from the artist’s attempt to communicate or […]

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