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Album Review: Anthony Worden — Slouching Towards Tomorrow

AJ Worden’s Slouching Towards Tomorrow is inescapably tied to musical touchstones of the ’60s and ’70s, particularly Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground. It is wrong to say that his music is derivative of those influences, even as the listener can’t escape noticing them. Like Borges’ poet Menard, his project is a fresh creation in a new context; instead of 1965 New York, Worden lives in 2018 Iowa.

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Album Review: William Elliott Whitmore — Kilonova

Will Whitmore has been performing and making albums since the turn of the millennium, always faithful to his own idea of what makes a song that sticks. He writes songs that are simple and devastating. His voice, as it did even when he was in his 20s, sounds not just older than his years, but as though it comes from a different century. […]

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Dead Rider’s Todd Rittman talks David Bowie, layered lyrics and Flat Black Studios ahead of Grey Area

Dead Rider is a Chicago rock band made up of Todd Rittman (formerly of Chicago noise rockers U.S. Maple); Andrea Faught on trumpet and keys; and drummer Matt Espy. While their sound is heavy on guitar and drums, keyboard plays a big part, and they seem to wind their own path between rock, jazz and Tortoise-style experimental rock. […]

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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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