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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. […]

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Album Review: Alexis Stevens – Self-titled

Alexis Stevens Self-titled alexisstevens.bandcamp.com Alexis Stevens’ sophomore album is almost endlessly poignant. Stevens’ self-titled album has turned my daily commute into a bittersweet epic whose only disappointment is when work comes into view and the dream of a road trip ends as I punch the clock. There’s a reason I smell the Atlantic Ocean during […]

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Album Review: Rahlan Kay – Relationships: A Sucka 4 Luv Story

Rahlan Kay Relationships: A Sucka 4 Luv Story reverbnation.com/rahlankay Beginning sometime in the late 90s, a loose confederation of Hip Hop MCs, producers and DJs began meeting Monday evenings at Vince Woolums’ (founder of the Rotation party crew) home. It came to be known as the Iowa City Beats & Rhymes Society. It was the […]

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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 […]

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Album Review: Awful Purdies – Hiatus

Awful Purdies Hiatus www.awfulpurdies.com The women of the Awful Purdies combine many years of musical experience, compounded by six years of playing shows together. They all sing, play and write, staying close to the modern folk music vernacular. What gets me about the Awful Purdies is that they come together and create something seamless and […]

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Album Review: Coolzey – Live from the Cave @ Dougman

Coolzey Live From the Cave @ Dougman (Public School Records) www.psrecords.net Zachary Lint, alias Coolzey, normally slings rhymes and crafts beats, however, last November he took a little break from hip hop to stomp out a set of raw tunes that he’s finally put out into the world. Live From the Cave @ Dougman is […]

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Album Review: Austin Galante – Cat of Nine Tales

Austin Galante Cat Of Nine Tales austingalante.bandcamp.com Austni Galante’s musical evolution, from the straight-ahead hip hop of The Committee, to the Rap-Rock of Bad Fathers, to the hip hop/dub step/sci fi of Black Market Maven, to this solo debut, comprises a classically American long, strange trip. Prior to this album, Austin’s output has heretofore been […]

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Album Review: Slut River – Off White

Slut River Off White slutriver.bandcamp.com On Off White, Slut River is Joe Ross (also of The Tanks), Mickey Shaw and Matt Fenner (of Solid Attitude) and Anna McDermott. If you’ve been going to local shows you’ve seen the Slut-Riverenes in many different bands over the past few years, but in Slut River they seem to […]

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Album Review: The Tanks- Epic Loads

The Tanks Epic Loads thetanks.bandcamp.com The Tanks third long-player, Epic Loads, finds the noise-rock trio settling into a groove with a new drummer, Joe Ross, and refining the more assured approach of their previous album, The heart of Epic Loads’ lineup may be the strongest set of songs the trio’s ever committed to wax. It […]

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Album Review: We Shave – Cuts

We Shave Cuts (Sangre Libre Records) soundcloud.com/weshave We Shave make pretty pop for music nerds. Their latest EP, Cuts, was recorded in a time-space rift where blue-eyed soul, garage rock, kraut rock and hints of no-wave get along like old friends at the bar. But the real secret to We Shave isn’t the genre splicing. […]

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Album Review: Lake Street Dive – Fun Machine

Fun Machine EP lakestreetdive.com Lake Street Dive is a four-piece birthed from Boston’s New England Conservatory Jazz program, mixologists of the perfect martini of soul, folk and jazz, shaken not stirred, and garnished with a sprig of indie-pop sensibility. This intoxicating formula is equal parts spare, precise percussion delivered by Philly native Mike Calabrese, brassy […]

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Album Review: Wet Hair – Spill Into Atmosphere

Wet Hair Spill Into Atmosphere De Stijl Records Wet Hair’s fourth LP, Spill Into Atmosphere, is the band’s most accessible to date—a claim I lavished on their third album, 2011’s In Vogue Spirit. The Iowa City trio soldiers along, refining their Krautrock infused ragga even further. Justin Thye (Goldendust) has joined Shawn Reed and Ryan […]

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