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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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Chicago’s The Right Now return to Iowa City

Chicago Soul and R&B band The Right Now celebrates nine years together in 2017. Over those years they have logged countless miles bringing their polished and passionate performances to stages across the U.S. They recorded and self-released three albums and two singles; their distinctive take on soul music stands out in an increasingly populated genre. […]

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Album Review: Ryne Doughty — Date Night

Des Moines-native singer-songwriter Ryne Doughty approached the production of his latest album, Date Night, with the desire to step away from the more stripped-down folk sound of his 2013 album, Under The Willow Tree. “I love that last album and the sound but I just wanted to do something different and really bring these songs to life,” he explained. “All of the songs are still songwriter based, but with more instrumentation and energy.” […]

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Album Review: House of Large Sizes — Idiots Out Wandering Around (Reissue)

It’s impossible to talk about the history of Iowa modern rock without talking about Cedar Falls band House of Large Sizes. During their 17-year run (1986-2003) they released eight albums, including a very brief stint on Columbia Records and a bunch of singles. Since 2003, HOLS has sporadically come out of retirement to play shows in the area to eager fans; this month HOLS put out its first release since 2003’s self-titled album — a gorgeous, expanded, two-LP color vinyl reissue of their 1999 live album. […]

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World premiere video: Mark Olson’s Cedar Rapids ode “Seminole Valley Tea Sippers”

Little Village is pleased to debut the video for “Seminole Valley Tea Sipper Society” — a song with its genesis in eastern Iowa. The song, by Mark Olson, one of the founders of seminal Minnesota band the Jayhawks, is featured on a CD that comes along with the current issue of the music magazine Uncut. […]

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Album Review: Crystal City — Bartenderly

Iowa City band Crystal City’s newest record Bartenderly molds midwestern milieu into 17 tracks of honest-to-goodness barroom rockers and ballads — the kind not heard from perhaps since the Replacements dragged their lager-soaked poetry to the masses. It’s clear that Dave Helmer and Sam Drella worship at the Temple of Westerberg with their loose and quick first-take don’t-look-back approach to chugging rock and roll. […]

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Album Review: The Dawn — Wooly

As we look on the landscape of music generally described as “jam band” 50 years after the Summer of Love, it is dotted with pretty much every musical subgenre one can think of—much wider than the folky, psychedelic rock and country music of genre progenitors the Grateful Dead. The term today describes bands that share a common spirit of approach to performing music—one part is the improvisation at the heart of it; the other part is the community of fans who embrace that improvisation. […]

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Album Review: NAOMI — Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

In Cedar Rapids we appear to have a new trend of band names that are, um, a name: DICKIE, Colleen and the latest of these: NAOMI, which is named after its radically asymmetrically-coiffed frontwoman.

NAOMI aptly calls their high-energy music “snarky pop/rock.” On their debut record, Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish, I hear bits of Garbage, No Doubt, P!nk and Avril Lavigne peppered through the songs. Songs like “Hell To Pay,” “A Common Story (I Know)” and “Sex Appeal” all adhere closely to the compressed and distorted guitars, stomping drums and fun synth lines. The layers of Naomi’s edgy vocals in harmony and unison carry the melodic hooks into earworm territory. […]

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Interview: Pieta Brown on ‘Postcards,’ pen pals and Flat Black

The songs for Pieta Brown’s latest album, Postcards, were written while she was on a solo tour. The isolation and distance and the challenge to stay connected inspired the songs. When it came time to assemble them into an album she compiled a list of her dream collaborators and sent them “musical postcards.” The credits for the album read like a who’s who of American folk, and those familiar with her career will see some notable musicians she’s worked with or toured with including Calexico, Mark Knopfler, Carrie Rodriguez and the Pines. […]

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A-list: Daytrotter welcomes 47 bands for two-day festival

Last year was a landmark year for Daytrotter.com. It was the 10th anniversary of the website — an almost impossible feat for any website, let alone a music site that calls its home the Quad Cities (almost the farthest place in the country from any location considered a music capital). Their intimate sessions with bands […]

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Album Review: Colleen — Vol. 1

Colleen Vol. 1 soundcloud.com/colleenband/sets/vol-1 Colleen is a Cedar Rapids-based husband and wife duo that delivers a beautiful, often soaring mix of bombastic live percussion and electronics buoying silvery vocals. Heather and Tyler Stück built excitement over the past months by releasing two of the tracks as singles in the lead-up to their new 4-track EP, […]

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