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Album Review: Suspect – Faux Empath

Suspect Faux Empath www.raccoo-oo-oon.org/np Suspect (AKA Ryan Beck, Iowa City to Chicago transplant) is part of the ever-growing group of artists — many with recordings released on former Iowa Citian Shawn Reed’s Night People label — who are seeking to find a new musical path based on techno music, but outside the club/dancefloor/rave world from […]

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Album Review: The LonelyHearts – Age of Man

Full disclosure: I am incredibly jealous of Andre Perry, Executive Director of the Englert Theater, musician, author and past contributor to Little Village. No one should be this good at that many things. I’ll try to rise above that deadly sin as I consider the new album he’s made with his musical partner John Lindenbaum, Age of Man… […]

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Album Review: A432 – Broken

A432 (Iowa City’s Logan Stimmel) calls himself a sound artist, rather than a musician — which means that I have high confidence many Little Village readers will not like Broken. A432’s music sits in the general vicinity of the music of Autechre and Richard Devine. It is deliberately abstract, without being arbitrary. Any sounds that originated as acoustic vibrations in air (i.e., “normal” music or location recordings) have been digitally altered and treated to render them unrecognizable. […]

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MCF Preview: Dawn of Midi is sensuous, immediate and visceral

Dawn of Midi w/ Tyondai Braxton Englert Theatre — Wed., Apr. 6 at 6 p.m. Dawn of Midi are an acoustic trio that features Qasim Naqvi on drums, Aakaash Israni on bass and Amino Belyamani on Piano. Their record Dysnomia has slowly built its reputation and sales since it was released almost three years ago, […]

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Album Review: Elizabeth Moen – Self-titled

Elizabeth Moen Elizabeth Moen www.elizabethmoen.bandcamp.com On “Songbird,” the first track from her eponymous debut album, Elizabeth Moen sings, “Singing at the top of my lungs trying to get through.” It shows off her voice and guitar in a way that perfectly situates her in the singer-songwriter tradition alongside Joni Mitchell, Janis Ian and Judee Sill. […]

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Album review: Jim Viner’s Incredible B3 Band – Comango!

Jim Viner’s Iowa City music resumé goes back a ways, at least to the 1990s, in the bands Head Candy, Bent Scepters and Brother Trucker. Jim Viner’s Incredible B3 Band is chock full of IC veterans, like the organists Radoslav Lorković and Nate Basinger. The band’s personnel overlaps with The Diplomats of Solid Sound, led by Doug Roberson, who also plays here. […]

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Album Review: Cedar County Cobras – Delta Avenue Juke Joint

Cedar County, Iowa is home of West Branch, Springdale, Clarence, Lowden and the Cedar County Cobras. Their debut album’s title, Delta Avenue Juke Joint, is an inside joke: Delta Ave. is a county road that connects nowhere to nowhere a few miles north-east of Cedar Bluff, where the album was recorded. It’s the kind of place where fun is, of necessity, homemade…
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Album Review: Dana T’s ‘tiny mind MASSIVE soul’

Popular music is a tug of war between artistic and commercial concerns, and at the center of it all lays genre. For an artist, genres have stylistic signifiers and limits. A great musician can make punk rock that is satisfying and original within those limits, but if he or she adds a sitar or using diminished 13th chords, it usually stops being punk rock. […]

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Album Review: The Ills – Fuck this planet

Erika Ebola, Danny Dysentery, Molly Marburg, Tommy Tinnitus, Stella Salmonella; I think I’m sensing a theme here. This is definitely punk rock/hardocre straight out of the 1980s, reminiscent of the Circle Jerks, Plasmatics, and the Rezillos. One may well ask, does the world need more hardcore punk rock with track names you can’t say on the radio or TV?
Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: Punk rock at this point is beyond a sociological phenomenon of the past, and has become a vernacular folk tradition. […]

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Album Review: ‘The Chymical Wedding of Brooks Strause’

Iowa City attracts songwriters; you might even say it creates them. The “Class of 1970,” which includes Dave Moore, Greg Brown and Bo Ramsey, set the template: rooted in American folk music, but shot through with the personal and the cosmic. Those older artists cast no shade on the younger cohort that includes Ed Gray, […]

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Revisiting Howard Zinn’s ‘A People’s History of the United States’

Howard Zinn’s most famous book, A People’s History of the United States, was first published in 1980. Zinn intended it to be an overview of American history, but with a different point of view: “ … this book will be skeptical of governments and their attempts, through politics and culture, to ensnare ordinary people in […]

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