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Within these walls: Belonging, change and ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’

Joe Talbot’s film — his first — is a collaboration between the director and his friend/scriptwriter/main character Jimmie Fails, who tells a story at least partly autobiographical about changes to the city of San Francisco and the struggles that members of its lower classes face as they adapt. […]

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‘Ain’t Got Time For Hate’: Blues singer Shemekia Copeland headlines North Liberty Blues & BBQ festival

Shemekia Copeland’s headlining set at the 13th annual North Liberty Blues & BBQ festival starts at 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 13. The musical lineup also includes sets from Southern Culture on the Skids, Gloria Hardiman & the Monday Night All-Stars, Kevin Burt, Joe & Vicki Price and Brian Johannesen. Admission is free. […]

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‘The Dead Don’t Die’ is summer blockbuster parody, Romero homage and philosophy treatise rolled into one

I appreciated ‘Broken Flowers,’ enjoyed ‘Coffee and Cigarettes,’ have a copy of ‘Paterson’ that remains unwatched — and loved ‘Only Lovers Left Alive.’ I was thus incredibly excited to see that Jim Jarmusch was exploring the horror genre again in ‘The Dead Don’t Die,’ playing now at FilmScene. […]

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Dan Hutchison’s Sump Pump Records is a hub for metal acts, DIY artists and vinyl nerds

Along with its wild abundance of musical talent, Iowa is also a treasure trove of top-notch record labels. As someone with a passion for lifting up local artists, I’ve been obsessed in recent years with discovering just what confluence of events has put all of these talented and discerning folk in positions to do just […]

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The joy of anticipation and aftermath

As someone easily overwhelmed by crowds and sensory overload (and more so as I age), I can find Iowa City’s wonderful summer festivals a challenge. I have many times enjoyed the tunes, charts and riffs flowing from the stages of the Iowa City Jazz Festival. I have often parked my camp chair on the Pedestrian Mall on Friday night […]

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Political and personal strife fuels Closet Witch’s ferocious, ‘therapeutic’ shows

Of all the hardcore bands and DIY power violence outfits to emerge from Eastern Iowa in recent years, few have been able to channel sheer anger and emotion as effectively as Closet Witch. Forming a little over five years ago, the band is characterized by their aggression, both onstage and on-record. Guitarist and primary songwriter […]

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HIDE’s Heather Gabel is taking a chainsaw to rape culture

Heather Gabel, one-half of the Chicago-based industrial EDM duo HIDE, has an affinity for the haunting, empowering and confrontational. You may have seen Gabel between flashes of strobe lights and clouds of dry ice in the Yacht Club basement during Mission Creek Festival 2019: glimpses of black-smudged lips yelling […]

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‘Late Night’: A relentlessly entertaining and engaging comedy

As superhero movies and Star Wars flicks continue to reign as the most popular entertainment to see on the big screen, it becomes increasingly harder for completely original stories to grab people’s attention. With Late Night, we have a great example of why we should be going out and supporting original stories. […]

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Iowa City black metal band Dryad on fighting fascism, channeling Tolkien and consuming music responsibly

Anger and outrage can be expressed through any musical genre, but metal has proven particularly contentious: From its inception, it found a place in working class culture — but, as the 2016 election exemplified, the revolutionary anger and discontent of the working class is often pushed toward the political right and into racist, nationalist and misogynist […]

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Artisan’s Sanctuary confirms Neil Young to close out Woodstock celebration (Updated)

The dream of the ’60s is alive in Marion. That’s where, on Aug. 18, nonprofit community arts collective the Artisan’s Sanctuary will present their own tribute to the 50th anniversary of the fair that redefined music, festivals and naked mud dancing. […]

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