What makes Identity Crisis more than an academic exercise is Benson’s skill as a composer and producer. The production on “Bite Your Lip” and “Til You Got It” verges on EDM-tinged pop, but it has enough harmonic variety to not feel as synthetic and fake as EDM can. […]
The metal scene in Iowa City has always been a pocket universe where the boundary between fans and musicians is permeable. It’s like the bar in Cheers — where everybody knows your name — but with more long hair, tattoos and black leather. The competition between bands is to be the loudest, heaviest and tightest, not the most successful. […]
Both Neither And Both by Good Morning Midnight Good Morning Midnight is a band unafraid to wear its influences proudly. On Both Neither And Both, the song “Ballerina” has the low-slung slyness of mid-tempo Nirvana, and “Dynamite Head” has a chugging, breakbeat rhythm that recalls Creation bands like Swervedriver and the Boo Radleys. A rock […]
2018 has been a trial, as we’ve watched the country succumb to the increasingly outlandish and horrible thrashing in the mud of President Tony Clifton. People have said that great music comes out of dire political times, but I hate that idea … Making great music is a personal, inward-focusing task. […]
Doing due diligence on Ben Driscoll — whose name I know mostly from live performances on KUNI FM — I turned up an article from 2015 in the Cedar Rapids Gazette that calls him a “former musician” and describes his Cedar Rapids woodworking business. Lucky for us, news of his demise as a musician is greatly exaggerated. […]
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.
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. […]
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. […]
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. […]
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). […]
Precious is Cedar Falls’ Oliver Weilein, and “He Has Abandoned Us” is a concept album based around the story of a man (of unspecified historic time) who loses his family to the plague and retires to an abandoned temple to beseech God, who never answers him.