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Album Review: Koplant No — Elker

The opening track “Before We Go” on the reunited Koplant No’s new album “Elker” is a compound of skittering synth decay and dripping percussion flitting around a lone trumpet carrying a mournful melody. It’s a track that would fit perfectly on a Jack Lion record — which seems obvious when you consider that fellow Iowa City group Jack Lion shares Brian Lewis Smith on trumpet and Drew Morton on bass.
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Dick’s Tap and Shake opens up their Shake Room music venue

Located in what used to be a trophy shop next door to Dick’s Tap, the front door of the Shake Room has had a sign announcing the coming arrival of the performance venue since the end of last year. In the last few months there has been a flurry of activity getting ready for the opening. […]

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Album Review: Middle Western — When Your Demons are Underground and You’ve Got to Dig Them Up

When long-time Iowa City scene staple Dave Zollo and Lee County troubadour William Elliott Whitmore started performing together a couple years ago as Middle Western with members of Zollo’s band The Body Electric and Chicago guitarist Stevie Doyle, it seemed a natural fit. […]

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Album Review: BEES — Shady Lady EP

The early 1970s was a dynamic time for country music. The old guard of ’50s and ’60s country artists started taking a backseat to the rise of artists crossing over with rock and R&B who took over the Top 40: artists like Glen Campbell, Mac Davis, John Denver, Elvis in his post-’68 Comeback period, Jerry Reed and J.J. Cale. […]

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Album Review: Treesreach — Some Night You Will Hear Me Crowing

Some Night You Will Hear Me Crowing, the debut album from Cedar Rapids trio treesreach, uses the story of Peter Pan as a thread joining the musical squares in a large double album quilt in the form of symphonic interstitial pieces. Taken by themselves, the rock songs are not directly Peter Pan-themed, but they evoke a sense of melancholy similar to Peter Pan’s afterthought.
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Album Review: Gloom Balloon — Drying the Eyes of the Goddess of Gloom, Underneath the Stars and the Moon

The songs on Des Moines band/project Gloom Balloon’s sophomore album were inspired by life-changing events of falling in love and the birth of Patrick Tape Fleming’s son Nilsson (who makes an appearance on the opening track, “Password”). […]

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Colleen and treesreach bring new music to Groundswell

Two Cedar Rapids-based bands I’ve been following for over a year — treesreach and husband and wife duo Heather and Tyler Stück, who perform as Colleen — will be at Groundswell (201 Third Ave SW, Cedar Rapids) on Saturday night starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5. […]

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Album Review: Har-di-Har — we will will you

‘we will will you’ isn’t about Julie and Andrew Thoreen’s separation as couple and band but rather the subtly uncharted part where they consider coming back from it. The band goes on to describe the album as a record that “invites us into the process of re-commitment.” […]

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