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Album Review: Hex Girls — More of That

Listening to the debut album from Cedar Falls band Hex Girls, I’m reminded of the time before punk broke in the ’70s. Bands like the Dead Boys and Johnny Thunders’ band the Heartbreakers took ’60s garage rock and psychedelia mixed in attitude and energy (and speed and alcohol) and spilled it on the dirty stages […]

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Album Review: Brother Trucker — 5

Des Moines band Brother Trucker is an honest-to-goodness Iowa institution. Since 2000, the band has toured extensively, bringing their roots rock and country to avid fans in bars throughout the Midwest. Their Iowa pedigree was established when they signed on as one of the original bands on Dave Zollo’s seminal Trailer Records, where they released […]

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Album Review: David Huckfelt — Stranger Angels

David Huckfelt took advantage of a break in touring with the Pines to become the artist-in-residence at Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. The writing he did in solitude there formed the basis for his first solo album, Stranger Angels. The close proximity of nature during Huckfelt’s residency informs the record. The first single, and […]

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Album Review: Holy White Hounds — Say It With Your Mouth

Holy White Hounds Say It With Your Mouth www.holywhitehounds.com Des Moines band Holy White Hounds are back with their second album. Say It With Your Mouth picks up where their 2016 album, Sparkle Sparkle, left off. Producer Brandon Darner, who produced that first record, is back at the helm as producer. Darner’s ability to make […]

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Chrash throwing a Get Out the Vote record release party on election night

Just in time for the midterm elections, Quad Cities trio Chrash have released their politically-charged sixth album titled ‘2017 The Music.’ In support of that, they are going to be performing the album in its entirety at Rozz-Tox on Tuesday, Nov. 6. […]

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Album Review: Kevin Gordon — Tilt and Shine

As I write this, it has been one year since the passing of one of America’s greatest songwriters, Tom Petty. It’s appropriate, then, that I’m writing a review of another “songwriter’s songwriter.” And, like Petty, Kevin Gordon’s formative years were spent in the American South. […]

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Writers’ Workshop alumnus Kevin Gordon brings his poetry-fueled country blues to CSPS

Most reviews and interviews with Gordon mention that he spent time attending the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa in the late ’80s getting his Masters in Poetry. But during this time he was also performing his music around eastern Iowa. […]

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Album Review: Younger — Night Milk

Listening to Night Milk, the latest album from Iowa City’s Younger (recorded at Magic Barn Studios, produced by Pete Becker and released by Little Village) I’m reminded of a time in the ’90s when it seemed that women everywhere were picking up guitars and making powerful and edgy new music. Record labels were signing them as fast as they could, and bands like the Breeders, Belly, Juliana Hatfield, Courtney Love’s band Hole, Veruca Salt, L7 and Garbage climbed the charts and were fixtures on video music channels. […]

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Album Review: Other Brothers — Born Out Of Tune

In April, KUNI’s Mark Simmet interviewed Des Moines Blues Rock trio the Other Brothers, who had just released their third album, Born Out Of Tune. He brought up the question of what to call their brand of music and decided it was classic rock. The conversation turned to how classic rock has gotten a kind of stigma based on the typical limited radio station song rotation, but that the sound of that music is making another comeback. Guitars are cool again and bands like the Other Brothers are are getting deserved attention from it.

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Album Review: King of the Tramps — Wild Water

The Tramps’ latest album, Wild Water, returns with the southern rock-influenced formula the band is known for — dual Allman Brothers-style guitar leads, searing slide, driving drums and lots of groove. Partridge draws from his small town Iowa experiences, yet delivers songs I think can resonate with anyone. But, while I wouldn’t call Wild Water a political record per se, it’s clear that Partridge has had some hot button issues on his mind. […]

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Album Review: Thrio — We Like To Have Fun

In the bio for Eastern Iowa jazz trio Thrio, they describe themselves as “chord-less” — a somewhat clumsy way to explain that the band, as a trio of sax, bass and drums, doesn’t incorporate any instruments that play chords (keyboards or guitars for example). This isn’t a new idea for jazz — in fact, Sonny Rollins is credited with pioneering this configuration in 1957, which in turn influenced sax-led trios for decades to follow. In an interview with The New York Times in 2007, Rollins said that the lack of piano allowed him freedom to play outside of a song structure typically dictated by it.

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