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Album Review: Byrn Paul — Dual Wielder

If you are a fan of guitar virtuosity, don’t bother reading the rest of this review; just go buy this album. Byrn Paul has put in the hours of practice to become a master of the instrument. There’s nothing left out of Dual Wielder because it was too hard to play. If you’re a fan of math rock and the viola da gamba — and who isn’t? — this is the only album you can buy this year that scratches that itch. […]

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Nevāda Nevada brings Kathryn Musilek home to Iowa City

Former Iowa Citian/current Brooklynite Kathryn Musilek still finds time for her music, though, and her band Nevāda Nevada just released *Wild and Glowing*, a six-song mini-album. They’ll be appearing at the Trumpet Blossom Cafe Sunday, June 3 (cover is $5). […]

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Karen Meat’s musical circus

It’s a tale as old as time: Boy makes albums. Girl makes albums. Boy meets Girl. Boy and Girl make more albums. Boy and girl start touring together, performing in matching silver-lamé dresses. Or maybe that’s a new story, or at least news. In advance of their joint album release party May 12 at Gabe’s, I sat down to chat with Dana Telsrow (Dana T) and Arin Eaton (Karen Meat) at the Sanctuary. They’re now a couple, both personally and professionally, but met through music: Telsrow played a show at Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, where Eaton was working the door. Later, Eaton asked Telsrow to play a show in Milwaukee when her full band wasn’t available, and they’ve been performing together ever since. […]

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Worden and MacMillan’s music will take you places

A.J. Worden and Ian MacMillan are trying something different this Sunday, April 29. They will be presenting a two hour performance without beats, without melodies, without words. Using modular synthesizers and keyboards, they will create minimal ambient drone music in the new Garden Club space, upstairs at RADinc. The event, which begins at 7 p.m., is free. […]

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Album Review: Society of Broken Souls — Midnight and the Pale

Dennis James and Lauryn Shapter are an Iowan roots/country duo who tour constantly around the middle of the United States. Their music is based in the folk tradition that wouldn’t seem novel 50 years ago. […]

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Review: Nils Frahm’s show was riveting, and a big feather in the Englert’s cap

Frahm is a gifted composer and performer, but what was most engaging about this concert was the simplicity of the music he presented. The closest comparison would be Philip Glass, but Glass can try my patience, and Frahm instinctively knows when to ride a static groove and when to switch up. […]

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Album Review: Homogenized Terrestrials — Suspension

Phillip Klampe is a veteran of the dark ambient scene, self-releasing his first cassettes in the mid-1990s. His nom de ambient is Homogenized Terrestrials, which is a nod to his similarly long career as a grocery store dairy department manager. […]

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Fiddler’s Picnic thrives in its fourth decade

Fiddler’s Picnic Johnson County Fairgrounds — Sunday, Sept. 24 at 12 p.m. This coming Sunday, Sept. 24, at noon at the Iowa City 4H Fairgrounds, the Old Fiddler’s Picnic continues its four-decade tradition of celebrating folk music. The Friends of Old Time Music’s annual Fiddler’s Picnic is a casual, homemade event. So much so that […]

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Album Review: Rust Belt Union — Impromptu Musicals for the Skeptic

Trust a joker like Matthew James to open Impromptu Musicals For the Skeptic, his album with the Rust Belt Union, with a song titled “Goodbye.” Like Groucho Marx’s song “Hello, I Must Be Going,” it’s ironic but shows a restlessness mirrored in the lyrics: “But it’s just like before I’m always heading out a door and I never quite get where I’m supposed to go.” […]

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