Advertisement

Album Review: Porch Builder

Porch Builder Tall Tales and Misadventures http://www.myspace.com/porchbuilder When an album begins with a country song about getting arrested for growing marijuana, you know you’re dealing with some Iowa boys who’ve been around the block. These guys have been playing together for 15 years, and on this album, you can hear all those years–they’ll stay in […]

Read More…

Album Review: Petit Mal

Petit Mal Bless Your Little Heart Public Schools Records www.myspace.com/petitmal Petit Mal’s latest, Bless Your Little Heart, is a collection of 10 scrappy tunes following in the footsteps of fellow Iowa alt-rockers House of Large Sizes. The saccharine sweetness of the album’s title is almost nowhere to be found. If you want Care Bears and […]

Read More…

Album Review: The Avett Brothers

The Avett Brothers I and Love and You Sony Records http://www.theavettbrothers.com/ North Carolina’s The Avett Brothers have always had a few too many ideas for their own good. The band’s 6th studio album, I and Love and You, fits into the lose framework of Americana, but within those confines the brothers Avett are all over […]

Read More…

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. […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

Album Review: Testifi | 2 the World

Testifyi 2 The World www.myspace.com/testifyi There’s a lot of recording artists now that give credit to God for their success, but their music has nothing to do with religious themes. Testifyi takes a different approach: There’s nothing but religious themes on “2 The World.” Testifyi has mastered the style of modern hip hop; if you […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

Scheusch: Album Review

Scheusch Scheusch www.myspace.com/scheusch Consider now, the guitar-drum duo, of which persuasion is Scheusch. If you leave out the bass player, you only split the door two ways. You don’t have to load a heavy bass cabinet, and you don’t need to deal with the guy who always gets basil when you send him out to […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…