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Album Review: Dan Padley — ‘Perfectly Whelmed’

Dan Padley, a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Music, has been a versatile asset to Iowa City’s music scene. From touring with singer/songwriter Elizabeth Moen to performing with his band Laranja, he’s a player’s player, meshing seamlessly with the music at hand. Perfectly Whelmed seems more personal and reflective than his […]

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Album Review: John William Watkins — ‘The Oracle’ EP

John William Watkins, an Iowa native living in New York City, showcases his songwriting and singing in minimal acoustic arrangements on The Oracle EP, released June 21. His lyrics deal with evergreen topics of love and loneliness, from his point of view as a gay man. Watkins sings blunt, personal lyrics in a gentle, quavering voice

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Track premiere: Dana T’s “When I Trust The Written Word”

Dana Telsrow, who works as an engineer at Flat Black studios, has released several albums of his own songs as Dana T. He also records and performs with Karen Meat. He’s a busy guy, with some big musical ideas. The pair of instrumental songs, the recently released “YouTube For Self-Help Idiot” and “When I Trust […]

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Album Review: Eric Paul — ‘Killer’ EP

The first thing I notice about Eric Paul’s Killer EP is guitar tone. In particular, the opening track, “Paradise of Sin,” has a wide stereo guitar sound, subtly overdriven. It’s the kind of electrified guitar sound that gives you that warm feeling when you hear it at concert volume, combined with the punchy drums that bob and weave around the guitar parts. […]

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Album Review: Dryad — ‘The Silurian Age’

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. […]

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Album Review: Good Morning Midnight — Both Neither and Both

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 […]

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Album Review: Ben Driscoll — Earthly Remains

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. […]

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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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