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Olivia Rose Muzzy: Fisherman's Dream

Local Albums: March 2010 – Olivia Rose Muzzy makes an odd brand of folk music with a double bass, loop pedal, and her wild, expressive vocals. Her debut record, Fisherman’s Dream, presents her live act accurately, rather than tracking all of the many bass parts comprising each piece separately, we’re treated to marked addition as […]

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Ben Schmidt: Silt

Local Albums: March 2010 – Ben Schmidt is a guy who writes songs and plays guitar, which in Iowa City, means he has to work pretty hard to stand out from the crowd. Schmidt’s singing is precisely pitched and without ornament. His songwriting has a pleasant, relaxed accessibility. His guitar playing is accomplished, but Schmidt’s […]

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Surf Zombies: Something Weird

Local Albums: April 2010 – Being of a certain age, and having been a kid in 1960s California, surf music is totemic to me. From listening to my uncle’s Beach Boys records on a blonde-tolex-covered suitcase record player, to hearing “Wipeout” played by every garage band on my walk home from Booksin Elementary in San […]

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Alex Body: Just Say Yes

Alex Body Just Say Yes Self-release Local Albums: March 2010 – Alex Body’s solo debut, Just Say Yes, is a glitchy, lo-fi epic consisting of condemnations of himself and humanity over digital and analog loops and faux pipe organ drones. Just Say Yes takes some time to warm up, but by the third track, “Without […]

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Coolzey – The Honey

Local Albums: January 2010 – Zachary Lint Aka Coolzey has taken time off from home renovation and starring in zombie movies, to drop another CD of profound silliness. Or silly profundity–I’m not quite sure. Full disclosure: I’ve done some post production and mastering work for Zack in the past. But hey if you want someone […]

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Album Review: Autechre "Oversteps"

There are few musicians whose music is as polarizing as Autechre. It would be one thing if they were resolutely in the experimental music camp. The avant-garde have their audience, who embrace abstraction and difficulty, and revel in sound only marginally less random than brownian motion. But Autechre occupies a strange middle ground between the […]

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Mountains: Choral

CD Reviews: February 2010 – Mountains recorded it’s third release, Choral, in front of a live audience with minimal overdubs added later for effect or layering. And despite the trappings of their genre (ambient), the record feels live, not stately. The Brooklyn-based duo pays attention to the listener, quietly adding elements like a fog descending […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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