How to Mission Creek: A guide to Thursday night

Photo by Carl Pocket via Flicker Creative Commons
Freddie Gibbs performs at the Blue Moose Tap House tonight at 11 p.m.– photo by Carl Pocket via Flicker Creative Commons

Here, Little Village‘s Tube columnist, Melissa Zimdars, offers her recap of last night at Mission Creek, and her plans for this evening.

I know only nerdiest television columnist would fact-check a comedic routine, but in case anyone in Iowa City raised an eyebrow at the Cameron Esposito show last night like I embarrassingly did between laughs: the longest running, scripted television show is not Law and Order: SVU (361 episodes) or even just Law and Order (456 episodes), but rather the daytime soap, Guiding Light (15,762 episodes airing over 57 years!). And if you want to just go by prime-time TV, then the winner is still Gunsmoke (635 episodes) by a strong margin.

Anyway, even though I already knew a lot of Esposito’s routine through videos (hair joke, check; guacamole joke, check; period chunks joke, check), the way she weaved together these already familiar bits made them feel new and conversational, like listening to a close friend’s hilarious stories over dinner and a bottle of wine (or two). But one of my favorite parts of last night’s show was the opener, UI senior Ethan Simmons-Patterson. I was a bit on edge when he started his routine about stereotypes and straight men, as such material can easily spiral into “haha, stereotypes are funny” territory, but the young comic’s timing and wit produced some of my biggest laughs.

-- photo by Adam Burke
Ethan Simmons-Patterson performs stand up at the Englert Theatre. — photo by Sanna Miller

My night ended at Gabe’s with Silver Apples, an electronic, psychedelic, now-solo-act that has been experimenting with dissonance in sounds and tempo while using a synthesizer of self-invention since the 1960s. I have no idea what “instruments” were being used to make the sounds flooding my earholes, but it was wonderfully weird.

But enough about yesterday…as Jay-Z currently says into my headphones, “on to the next one!”

Tonight feels like the Mission Creek night of hip hop, whether discussing the genre’s role within American culture and identity politics, or listening to the sounds of one of the best rap artists around.

Jeff Chang

The Mill — Thursday, April 2 at 7 p.m.

I recommend starting at The Mill to hear Jeff Chang (7 p.m.), a hip-hop and cultural critic as well as the author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop (2005) and Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop (2007). And in addition to writing for The Village Voice, Vibe and Spin, Chang recently published Who We Be: The Colorization of America (2014), which weaves together the stories and struggles of numerous artists of color, the desegregation of music and the selling of multiculturalism in the U.S.

Freddie Gibbs with Maxilla Blue and AWTHNTKTS

Blue Moose Tap House — Thursday, April 2 at 9 p.m.

Then grab some dinner before heading to Blue Moose for Maxilla Blue (9 p.m.), a hip-hop trio from Des Moines, followed by Iowa City’s AWTHNTKTS (10 p.m.) and then Midwest-by-way-of-the-west-coast rapper, Freddie Gibbs (11 p.m.). Gibbs put out one of the raddest rap albums of 2014, the Madlib-produced Piñata, and a couple weeks ago released a surprise, three-song EP, Pronto.

Chris Forsyth

The Mill — Thursday, April 2 at 12 a.m.

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How to Dress Well

Gabe’s — Thursday, April 2 at 12 a.m.

After Freddie Gibbs, totally change your musical pace and finish the evening strong with either Chris Forsyth at The Mill (12 a.m.) or How to Dress Well (12 a.m.), Tom Krell’s R&B/experimental pop solo-project, at Gabe’s. (Fun fact: Krell graduated from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon in 2006 with a degree in philosophy.)

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