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Album Review: Public Property – Work to Do

Recorded in the famed Anchor Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, Public Property’s new album features some big-name contemporary reggae musicians like Toots Hibbert from Toots and the Maytals–who is playing with the band for their July 2 CD release show in Des Moines’ People’s bar–Ticklah from Dub Side of the Moon,and Elliot Martin, the lead singer from John Brown’s Body. The album also features a solo from Jake Shimabukuro, a man known as the world’s best ukulele player. […]

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Album Review: Joe McNertney | Colloquialisms

Joe McNertney Colloquialisms Mr. McNerty is one of Eric Rohm’s collaborators in The Noble Octopus, and like his label mate on the enigmatically named Pelletier Comes Alive! label, McNerty is not a shouter.  This CD is anchored in the acoustic folk songwriting tradition, but also contains generous helpings of sonic experimentation.  Some stuff he does […]

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Album Review: Noble Octopus | Noble Octopus

The Noble Octopus The Noble Octopus The Noble Octopus was started by Eric Rohn and friends at Grinnell College before moving to Iowa City. With the emphasis on clean guitar sounds and low-key vocals they recall the softer side of Yo La Tengo. The Steve Reich-esque looped guitar piece “Droplets and Isolations” immediately had me […]

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Album Review: Bowerbirds | Upper Air

Bowerbirds Upper Air Dead Ocean www.myspace.com/bowerbirds The sophomore release from North Carolina’s Bowerbirds opens simply and unassumingly with an acoustic guitar and the voice of lead singer Phil Moore. Upper Air isn’t making a grand statement, nor is it declaring a grand departure from the group’s debut Hymns for a Dark Horse, it is quietly calling […]

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Album Review: Public Property | work to do

Public Property work to do www.publicprop.com Recorded in the famed Anchor Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, Public Property’s new album features some big-name contemporary reggae musicians like Toots Hibbert from Toots and the Maytals–who is playing with the band for their July 2 CD release show in Des Moines’ People’s bar–Ticklah from Dub Side of the Moon,and […]

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Miracles of God: Album Review

Miracles of God O’ What a Wonderful Day/No Refunds www.myspace.com/miraclesofgod Iowa City’s Miracles of God have waited long enough in obscurity. After years of playing dusty power-pop, the indie underground has finally caught up. A glut of new fuzzed-out pop purveyors like Times New Viking and Vivian Girls sing about the saccharine love and bitter […]

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The White Tornado: Album Review

The White Tornado Seek Shelter www.white2rnado.com The White Tornado is keyboardist Bill Peterson, who’s been playing shows around Iowa City for some time. Seek Shelter, his debut record, showcases his facility with the piano and organ, not to mention his puckish sense of humor. Stylistically he’s not stuck in any one genre for long, but two […]

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Album Review: Porno Galactica – MixTape Vol. 1

Before Metallica and Napster ever butted heads, people used to venture
out and by their music on something called compact discs. Then, came
the era of the download. Now, artists like Porno Galactica can spread
their music without having to busk out on the pavement. Porno
Galactica, consists of Don and Phil Rabalais. They have made their
first release, Mixtape Vol. 1 directly available to anyone with an
internet connection and a computer. The release doesn’t sound like
anything you’d expect from Fairfield, Iowa. […]

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Album Review: N.A.S.A. – Spirit of Apollo

In the late 1990s, a new phenomena proliferated through commercial hip hop. Deejays began releasing albums overloaded with guest vocals and uninspired tunes. If you were a fan of rap music it was hard to escape this constant barrage of “exclusive” albums. Most were 15 tracks too long and you could tell every emcee was more concerned about the paycheck than the rhymes. […]

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