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‘We should be building off of each other’s progress’: FilmScene and the Englert announce joint fundraising, programming campaign

This Saturday, April 20, FilmScene and the Englert Theatre unveiled the steps toward a new vision: “building the greatest small city for the arts in the America.” The outer lobby of the Englert Theatre was filled with notecards hanging from balloons, filled with statements from community members on why they find the arts important. Additional […]

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Video premiere: Crystal City, ‘Three-Dimensionality’

Crystal City is hitting its decade mark as a band this year, and it shows. Sam Drella and Dave Helmer have a tight sound together that could only come from an instinct for each other born in synchronicity, honed through familiarity and sparked to life by a mutual joy in experimentation. The Iowa City duo bill the band they front as “heartland rock and roll,” […]

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‘Apple Season’ is moving and restrained

Iowa City needs new work. We are a City of Literature, a city of curation, a city of having written — new work shakes us out of our steadiness and surety and forces us to contemplate the glorious mess of process. It gifts us with those nuggets of honesty that can be sluiced away by a deluge of revision or buried deep beneath layers of polish. […]

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Track premiere: Brian Johannesen, “Music Business Blues Breakdown”

Ready for some new music from Iowa City musician Brian Johannesen? I know I am! His loping, longing Northern Town was a favorite when it came out in May of 2017, a year after his return to Iowa City from Nashville. Since then, he’s made his mark on the community as one of the top-notch […]

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Just announced: Big Grove to present inaugural Cornfed Folk Fest in June

Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City has announced their inaugural Cornfed Folk Fest, a new music festival that will take place on two stages starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 8. Iowa City folk legend Greg Brown headlines. […]

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Album Review: Surf Zombies — Return of the Skeleton

Return of the Skeleton by Surf Zombies Five albums in with Return of the Skeleton, and Cedar Rapids’ Surf Zombies are as fresh and fired up as ever. A rotating cast of some of the CR music scene’s heaviest hitters, the Surf Zombies have at their core guitarist Brook Hoover (full disclosure: Hoover, an in-demand […]

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Album Reviews: The Feralings — The Feralings

Iowa City folkies the Feralings released their highly anticipated debut EP last October, a collection of six gorgeous tracks that’s stylistically scattered but so tightly woven and so cleanly mixed and mastered (I hope we hear a lot more from Ben Schmidt and Rescued Rabbit Studio) that the diversity has the feel of a carefully curated sampler. […]

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Album Review: Kate Kane — Meet the Cats

Meet the Cats by Kate Kane I can’t think of a single better combination of words than “cat-themed Kate Kane album from Bloated Kat Records.” Any of those three factors would have me dropping everything else to listen, but the combination is an outstanding pop-punk success filled with whimsical odes that I’m pretty sure retroactively […]

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Experience community for Christmas

Christmas has a mixed reputation. Sure, it’s the season of love and of giving, of stepping outside yourself, of the world becoming a little bit brighter. But for those who feel alienated for any reason — whether they’ve stepped away from their religious faith; or they’re separated from family, by circumstance or choice; or they simply find themselves alone in a strange place with no way to reach out — it can go from being the most wonderful time of year to the darkest. […]

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