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Album Review: Jarrett Purdy — ‘Motion & Stillness’

Motion and Stillness by Jarrett Purdy Garrett Purdy is a pianist, a composer and a recent graduate of the University of Iowa’s School of Music (and through the end of July, he’s an intern at Hancher Auditorium, where I am on staff). His debut album, Motion & Stillness, is entirely made up of his jazz […]

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Album Review: Land of Blood and Sunshine — ‘House of Bellow’

Listening to Land Of Blood and Sunshine is being taken on a journey through a fantasy world of damaged misfits moving through surrealist landscapes. From their first album, 2009’s Magick Carcass Ride, through their last, 2015’s Lady and the Trance, they’ve continued to spin fables in song form. […]

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Album Review: The Diplomats of Solid Sound — ‘A Higher Place’

The Diplomats of Solid Sound are back with a new slab of soul! The line-up has changed a little since 2010’s fantastic What Goes Around Comes Around, but the core of the band is still Doug Roberson on guitar; Nate “Count” Basinger, who flew up from Austin to provide his signature Hammond B3 and piano; and Eddie McKinley on sax. […]

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Album Review: Eric Paul — ‘Killer’ EP

The first thing I notice about Eric Paul’s Killer EP is guitar tone. In particular, the opening track, “Paradise of Sin,” has a wide stereo guitar sound, subtly overdriven. It’s the kind of electrified guitar sound that gives you that warm feeling when you hear it at concert volume, combined with the punchy drums that bob and weave around the guitar parts. […]

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Album Review: MC Animosity — ‘’79 Til Now, Vol. 1’

Ohio native MC Animosity has been making music in Iowa City since 1998. He currently serves as lead vocalist for the Uniphonics, who have opened for the Roots, Wu-Tang and many more amazing hip-hop, jazz and rock-influenced artists. His latest project, ’79 Til Now, Vol. 1, with production from DJ Johnny Sixx […]

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Album Review: Aseethe — ‘Throes’

Out May 17, Throes, the new album from Iowa City’s metal mavens Aseethe (their second since signing to Thrill Jockey), is overflowing with emotion. This album is exhausting. The opening title track is a nine-and-a-half-minute relentless epic. Aseethe pulls no punches, demanding full investment and offering no quarter. […]

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Album Review: Blake Shaw — ‘it happened.’

There is a long-standing tradition in jazz of performing pop standards, and those songs became kind of a lingua franca for jazz musicians. Iowa City jazz bassist and vocalist Blake Shaw — whose latest album, it happened., is a collection of standards — explained the tradition […]

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Album Review: The Ruralists — ‘The Birth of Birds’

The Birth of Birds by The Ruralists I’m new to Iowa (well, I’ve been here almost 18 years, but New Jersey only has a much more reasonable 21 counties to comprehend, dammit), so I had to look up where Sioux Center is to get a sense of where the Ruralists hail from. It’s further north […]

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Album Review: Skin of Earth — ‘Burn Barrel’

With only four tracks, clocking in at 26:44, it’s likely that Skin of Earth’s ‘Burn Barrel’ — released at the tail end of 2018 as an omen, a prediction, a benediction for the year to come — should rightly be called an EP. But damn, it doesn’t feel like one. […]

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