Advertisement

Album Review: The Blendours – Level 99

The continuing influence of The Ramones’ music on the face of rock years after their breakup is a testament to the idea that simple and direct is the most effective approach to getting to the hearts of youth. Directly or indirectly, any variation of punk rock today owes a debt to the amphetamine-driven sped-up version of ‘60s rock that The Ramones made. […]

Read More…

Album Review: Blizzard at Sea – Individuation

Blizzard at Sea Individuation blizzardatsea.com “All that I see are the photons, vibrating strings propagating down through the geometry of the higher dimensions. There’s a world that I’m unaware of because it’s not the world I’ve been shown. History is in me. It’s just so easy to forget.”—“Longevity.” I quote the third and final track […]

Read More…

Album Review: Har-di-Har – Word(s) of Whim / Feudal Kind

Har-di-Har Word(s) of Whim Feudal Kind (EPs) Hardihar.com Few things excite me as much as stumbling upon a new band. The discovery of unexplored territory is a time consuming, but happy distraction for me, so I often click through on the Facebook pages of unknown bands when I see they were “liked” by someone else […]

Read More…

Album Review: Iris DeMent – Sing the Delta

Iris DeMent Sing the Delta irisdement.com Iris DeMent put 16 years between her new album, Sing the Delta, and her previous album of original music. She quickly gained critical acclaim (and one Grammy nomination) for her first three albums and while she stayed busy performing and sporadically recording with others and delivering an album of […]

Read More…

Album Review: Greg Brown – Hymns to What is Left

Greg Brown Hymns to What is Left gregbrownmusic.org Following a nearly-aborted album in 2011 (Freak Flag, which I reviewed in LV issue #103) Greg Brown was quoted as saying, “I enjoyed it; even though it was a bitch—what with the lightning, mixing problems, etc.,” he admitted, “it got me interested in recording again, and I […]

Read More…

Album Review: The White Elephant – Self Titled

The White Elephant Self Titled thewhiteelephantband.com Brothers Ron and Tim Coleman and Chris Rohr of The White Elephant grew up in Wapello, IA (pop 2,067) in the Southeast corner of Iowa. Where many from similar small towns in the Midwest might choose other less productive extra-curricular activities, these guys chose to form a band in […]

Read More…

Album Review: Iowa City Song Project

Iowa City Song Project maximumamesrecords.com   As a teenager hungry for a scene larger than the veritable cultural island of Bellevue, IA, at night I would arrange and rearrange my radio antenna to try to capture KUNI to get a glimpse of the world of music around me, which included bands from Iowa City. It […]

Read More…

Album Review: Samuel Locke Ward – Double Nightmare

Samuel Locke Ward Double Nightmare samuellockeward.bandcamp.com I was introduced to the insanity of “Big Lizard In My Backyard” by The Dead Milkmen sometime in the 80’s. The irreverent, usually scatological humor and unpolished performances on the album seemed to have dislodged the chromosome that would have prevented me from being able to enjoy the hometaping […]

Read More…

Album Review: Dave Olson – No October

Dave Olson No October daveolsonmusic.com “What’s that place that she came from? A little town a couple miles from where the plane of Buddy Holly went down.” – Dave Olson, on “Buddy Holly” “Buddy Holly” with its Clear Lake reference wraps up No October—the latest album from Dave Olson, a Twin Cities-transplanted former Iowa Citian. […]

Read More…

Album Review: Bermuda Report – Bittersweet

Bermuda Report Bittersweet facebook.com/bermudareport When I reviewed their debut EP last year, I said that Bermuda Report easily evoked a vacation in the tropics with their jazzy tropicalia-influenced pop. For Bermuda Report’s debut full-length album, Bittersweet, the tiki bar is closed, the vacation is over and singer Abby Sawyer is unpacking her baggage—emotional baggage. The […]

Read More…

Album Review: Dynoride – What You Wanted

Dynoride What You Wanted facebook.com/dynoride Dynoride is a Quad Cities band that was started in 2008 by a pair of old high school friends with the intent of producing—according to their press release—“quirky acoustic songs.” They quickly evolved to their self-described “hard rock riffs, punk energy and pop sensibility.” On their debut album What You […]

Read More…

Live Music: An interview with Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, playing The Englert August 19, 2012

In October of 2009, California band Dawes was invited to be part of the second Daytrotter.com Barnstormer tour which included such exotic Iowa locations as Green Island, West Branch and Maquoketa. The crowds at those shows were not prepared for the fiery, passionate performances by this then-unknown band, influenced by the classic sounds of Tom […]

Read More…