Political and personal strife fuels Closet Witch’s ferocious, ‘therapeutic’ shows

Of all the hardcore bands and DIY power violence outfits to emerge from Eastern Iowa in recent years, few have been able to channel sheer anger and emotion as effectively as Closet Witch. Forming a little over five years ago, the band is characterized by their aggression, both onstage and on-record. Guitarist and primary songwriter […]

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Egyptian musician Nadah El Shazly on her fight against ‘musical political correctness’

There are songs of great sadness, written in the early 20th century by Egyptian Arabs and recorded mechanically. They’re written in a forgotten style, slightly grating on the ears, but evoking a sense of melancholy and nostalgia. These are the sounds which guide the latest musical ventures of experimental multi-instrumentalist Nadah El Shazly […]

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Digging up the ‘underground,’ DIY music scene in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids

From singer-songwriters to heavy metal bands, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids breed a wide variety of musical acts. Dozens of artists make up the local music scene, but not many receive the recognition of concert-goers in the area. Naturally, the local DIY scene — united by the “do it yourself” idea that art shouldn’t have barriers to entry, and that anyone, regardless of skill or status, should be free to make art and share it as they please — tends to operate underground while the artists are often shrouded from curious music fans. Some local venue owners are working to change that […]

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