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Idris Goodwin: Break Beat Poems

Local Albums: April 2010 – Back in the day–1979–Hawkeye basketball star Ronnie Lester was a hip hop ambassador. Ronnie took his boom box everywhere , playing “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang nonstop. It was, to Iowa ears, something strange and alien, and yet irresistible. Idris Goodwin’s track “Isiah Thomas Camp” took me back to […]

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Sad Iron Music: Self Titled

Local Albums: April 2010 – Sad Iron Music is the musical persona of Jason Lewis, originally from West Virginia, but living now in Iowa City and attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He was in the alt-country band Star City that a few years back achieved some prominence, accompanied, unfortunately, by little financial success. After turning […]

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Ben Schmidt: Silt

Local Albums: March 2010 – Ben Schmidt is a guy who writes songs and plays guitar, which in Iowa City, means he has to work pretty hard to stand out from the crowd. Schmidt’s singing is precisely pitched and without ornament. His songwriting has a pleasant, relaxed accessibility. His guitar playing is accomplished, but Schmidt’s […]

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Surf Zombies: Something Weird

Local Albums: April 2010 – Being of a certain age, and having been a kid in 1960s California, surf music is totemic to me. From listening to my uncle’s Beach Boys records on a blonde-tolex-covered suitcase record player, to hearing “Wipeout” played by every garage band on my walk home from Booksin Elementary in San […]

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We Are The Music Makers and We Are The Dreamers Of Dreams

Read Matt Steele’s Apology to David Bazan if you haven’t already. Most thought-provoking post of the week about the Mission Creek Festival. A week in which I feel good about all the writing the LV-ers contributed. If you happen to read this and haven’t read the posts, peeped the pics and watched the videos, it’s […]

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2010-04-02: Tim Hecker, Greg Davis, Lwa, Wind Farm, Goldwater Marmalade

Put a fork in me, I’m done. I’ve seen the wear and tear on the Mission Creek Brain Trust and Little Village Cadre — in particular, I ran into Andre in front of the Yacht Club about 5:30PM, and he looked like he’d been kept awake for a week by aliens shouting insults in his […]

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Seth Wenger, Constie Brown & Zoe Brown @ RSVP

Found out about this morning on Facebook — hey! social media works!!! ‘Brown’ is a musically evocative name in Iowa City. To make too much of Zoe & Constie’s parentage takes away from the loveliness of this musical performance with Seth Wenger. This is straight up homestyle front parlor folk music, presented in RSVP, surrounded […]

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4/1 – PE/BOMB SQUAD/ACID MOTHER TEMPLE

There are nights out, there are nights out that melt your face off, and then there’s last night, which was an alien-chest-burster, singularity event. The Public Enemy “Fear Of A Black Planet” lecture event was a huge deal from me. As I told Chuck D afterwards, “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us […]

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Xiu Xiu/Talk Normal/tUnE yArDs @Gabes 3-31 – Mission Creek

I rolled in about 1:30AM after yesterday’s show, and woke to my dog yakking up a tidy packet of dead grass. That’s neither here nor there, but sleep deprivation made the whole day seem floaty. Work was a blur. My Mission Creek phase began in the afternoon, participating in two interviews live on KRUI. The […]

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What's New is Old Again: The 'New Gabes' 'New' Sound System

I didn’t mention in my last post having a long chat at the Mill with John Svec, owner & operator of Minstel Recording Studio, and live sound installation guru. He told me that an unexpected bonus of the Picador morphing back into Gabe’s was that the new owners gave him a free hand in renovating […]

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Mission Creek – Cave Singers, Birds & Batteries, Mondo Drag, Lady Espina

I arrived at the Mill to the sounds of Mondo Drag early on in their set. Mondo Drag play the sort of blues-tinged rock music that wouldn’t have been out of place 30 years ago on that same stage; something I can say with authority, since 30 years ago I was there, hoovering up all-you-can […]

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