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Portugal. The Man, Elle King and Liz Phair to headline the 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines

The lineup for the 80/35 Music Festival was announced on Tuesday morning, and the downtown Des Moines event is expanding for its 12th year. The ticketed area for the two-day festival — Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13 — will now have two ticketed stages, featuring such top-name performers as Portugal. The Man, Elle King and Liz Phair. […]

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Book review and interview: Andrew Ridker, ‘The Altruists’

To read Andrew Ridker’s sparkling novel ‘The Altruists’ is to find oneself inside the claustrophobic confines of a dysfunctional family. The Alters are apparently normal St. Louis residents; parents Arthur and Francine are respectively a professor of engineering and a couples’ counselor, and the children, Ethan and Maggie, are being prepared for successful careers. Yet under their upper-middle-class veneer, there is a profound disconnection. […]

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‘The entire universe’ is in TCR’s ‘Ada and the Memory Engine’

“…0 to 1. The entire universe is in their difference.” There is a whole world just waiting to be discovered and brought into being. There is spectacle in the unsuspecting. Complexity in the simple. An incredible potential for reality in the conjured. And sometimes, things happen to come into being because of a brilliant young woman who’s work languishes behind the scenes of a world maintaining the order of men. […]

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Must-see acts every day of Mission Creek Festival 2019

I often suffer from option paralysis when attending music festivals. But the wonderful thing about Mission Creek is the way it has been carefully curated by the programmers, ensuring that you can have eye- and ear-opening experiences just blindly walking from venue to venue. Still, it helps to have some kind of exploratory roadmap. With […]

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Four Iowa City-connected writers to see at Mission Creek Festival

The 2019 Mission Creek Festival includes, as always, a robust literary lineup. Many of the featured authors have a connection to Iowa City. Of these, four have grabbed my attention. Sabrina Orah Mark Visual Poetry Synthesizer Saturday, April 6, 4 p.m. — 7 S Linn St Iowa Writers’ Workshop alum Sabrina Orah Mark pushes the […]

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Just announced: Big Grove to present inaugural Cornfed Folk Fest in June

Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City has announced their inaugural Cornfed Folk Fest, a new music festival that will take place on two stages starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 8. Iowa City folk legend Greg Brown headlines. […]

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Digging up the ‘underground,’ DIY music scene in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids

From singer-songwriters to heavy metal bands, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids breed a wide variety of musical acts. Dozens of artists make up the local music scene, but not many receive the recognition of concert-goers in the area. Naturally, the local DIY scene — united by the “do it yourself” idea that art shouldn’t have barriers to entry, and that anyone, regardless of skill or status, should be free to make art and share it as they please — tends to operate underground while the artists are often shrouded from curious music fans. Some local venue owners are working to change that […]

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Art exhibition reclaims fairy tales from Disney and reimagines them for our ‘anxious world’

There’s something lurking below the surface in most fairy tales — a stereotype or expectation threatening to shatter the sugar coating. These unsettling lurkers, including questions about race and gender, come into focus in the traveling art exhibition Dread & Delight: Fairy Tales in an Anxious World, on display through April 27 at the Faulconer Gallery in Grinnell. […]

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Brock About Town: Cheers to a successful Floodwater Comedy Fest

One of the greatest things about living in Iowa City is that there’s always something going on — a famous author speaking at Prairie Lights, a wild house party, a half-finished building burning down. This is particularly true during festival season, which, here in the cultural center of Iowa, encompasses basically every weekend that we […]

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Sunshine and rainbow dogs: FilmScene hosts a new doc showcasing creative dog grooming

Canine cosmetology isn’t always shallow or abusive. A new documentary combats stereotypes associated with exhibitionist dog owners while focusing on, arguably, their epitome: competitive creative dog groomers. FilmScene will screen ‘Well Groomed’ on Sunday as part of their Vino Vérité series, co-presented by Bread Garden Market and Little Village. […]

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‘Destroyer’ a slow-burning yet entertaining time at the movies

‘Destroyer centers around detective Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman), who as a young cop went undercover to infiltrate a gang. This leads to something so tragic that it still haunts her many years later. When she finds out that the same gang leader has recently resurfaced, she goes on a personal mission to take him down and finally find peace. […]

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