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The return of Tilly and the Wall

When Tilly and the Wall arrived on the national stage, the five-piece had already been plugging away quietly in Omaha for some time. Formed in 2001–due in part to the demise of several other Omaha-based bands around the same time, including Conor Oberst’s Park Ave.–their first show took place at an open mic event, and their first album was recorded in Oberst’s garage. That’s pretty indie rock, right? […]

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Hot Tin Roof: Sorrow House

My first experience with Mercy was in the single stall bathroom in the emergency room lobby. I was 19, high—lost on my way to or from a house party. The lobby air was disorienting; it smelled like lemon, rubber, grief and chicken noodle soup. I remember an overall sense of antiseptic. […]

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Talking Movies: Origin story

Two major movie releases are happening this late spring: The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann) on May 10 and Man of Steel (Zack Snyder) on June 14. Man of Steel is about a guy who gets transplanted from a strange alien world called Krypton to the wholesome, unassuming Midwest. The Great Gatsby is about a guy […]

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Live music preview: May 23-29

The band name “4onthefloor” is a reference to the band’s onstage schtick; every member of the band has a kick drum in front of them at all times (and they never deviate from the 4/4 time signature). The Minneapolis four piece is straight up rock and roll. […]

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Tallest Man on Earth heads to the Englert on June 4

I’ll start with addressing the obvious point: Kristian Mattson is not the tallest man on Earth. While he is only of average height, Mattson’s shadow looms large. Armed with one acoustic guitar, slight backup instrumentation and a powerful voice, Mattson’s music channels the spirit of folk legends Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie as well as a modern pop sensibility. […]

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They Might Be Giants returning to Iowa City on June 2

Are you a child of the 1970s? 1980s? 1960s? Do you like science? Have you watched a cartoon in the past 20 years? Did you ever watch Malcolm in the Middle? If you can answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, you probably know who They Might Be Giants are. […]

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Rotten Tomatoes: Feminism revisited

Though we’ve made great strides toward women’s rights, in America our greatest complaint is the unequal distribution of jobs (there are far more female kindergarten teachers than female bricklayers, for example), throughout the world women are denied education and the vote, forced to marry, and trafficked into sex slavery. […]

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Andre Nickatina performing at Blue Moose

When San Francisco’s Andre Nickatina released his debut album under the stage name Dre Dog in 1993, the Bay Area hip hop scene was experiencing a gilded age of sorts. E-40 had just released his first studio album, Mac Dre–a dear friend–was coming off his first LP after a series of EPs and Too $hort’s infamous “Blowjob Betty” was the hot new track following the release of his soon-to-be-platinum album Get in Where You Fit In. […]

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Highlights from this year’s batch of UI MFA shows

It’s graduation time in Iowa City, and for the University of Iowa’s School of Art and Art History, that means an avalanche of visiting artist and MFA shows are going up and then coming down far too quickly. Off campus, there is the general upswell of creative activity that spring always seems to bring: A […]

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Iowa City Weekender: May 9-11

There is some really awesome stuff happening this weekend in Iowa City! First, I won’t be writing about Aziz Ansari at the IMU this Friday, because it is sold out and I am jealous. However, here are the haps that you must check out: Thursday, May 9 CJ Boyd w. Haunter, Phil Ochs, Dwelling Fruit […]

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Take 380 to Crazy: Pornstar’s Ball at Woody’s Showclub

Photos by Distraction Photography “Pornstar’s Ball. Tits and techno. This is going to be crazy.” On hearing that last utterance in my friend’s pitch for potential weekend plans, I couldn’t help but clench my fist. “This is going to be crazy” is usually all I need to shoot down whatever proposal follows. Say this to […]

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