Greetings! Welcome to the new Iowa City Weekender, presented by yours truly, Joshua Hoffman. I’ll be giving you my suggestions for must-see events in Iowa City every weekend, so let me tell you a little about myself. I’ve been an active musician in Iowa City for the last seven years, I play bass guitar in Supersonic Piss and the now-defunct Bongrider. I used to run the Physical Challenge Dance Party at The Picador and still DJ here and there (albeit poorly). I was Music Director at 89.7 KRUI FM for a number of years and currently work in customer service. Alright, enough about me.
My first week on the job and there are SO many awesome things happening this weekend into early next week that there’s hardly room to write about them. But here goes:
THURSDAY April 25
ARU w. Bob Bucko, Jr., Megan Buick, Andy Ferris | 9 p.m. | Pizza On Dubuque
If you feel like getting weird and also eating pizza, go check out these acts at POD on Thursday! Pizza on Dubuque has been using their upstairs much more frequently lately to host music of all sorts, and it’s a the perfect venue for upcoming and underground acts. This show features local folk staples Megan Buick and Andy Ferris as well as Dubuque (the city not the street) noise natives ARU and Bob Bucko, Jr. Check ‘em out:
Donnelly’s ’80s Night | 9 p.m. | Donnelly’s in Iowa City
Who doesn’t love an ’80s party? ‘Nuff said. Check it out on Facebook.
FRIDAY April 26
Sandy Dyas Closing Reception and Art Sale – 5 p.m. | The Englert Theatre
Veteran photographer Sandy Dyas spent a year in The Englert Theatre during its centennial, documenting the inner workings and happenings of the downtown Iowa City presenting arts organization. The resulting exhibit brings to life this historic space, its staff, and, most importantly, the wonderful performers who grace its stage. The exhibit includes several photographs of Mission Creek Festival 2012 artists who performed at the Englert, including The Magnetic Fields, Caroline Smith, and Seun Kuti, as well as additional concert and backstage photography specifically chosen for this artist talk.
A special closing reception will be held on Friday, April 26th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., during which patrons are invited to purchase any of Sandy’s 28 custom-framed prints. Due to generous support from the artist, all proceeds from the sale of this work will be donated to support the Englert’s continued mission. In addition to the closing art sale, all prints are available for sale for the duration of the exhibit. –via The Englert:
Check out some of the photos on Facebook.
Octaves w. Way of Dusty Death, Paducah | 6:30 p.m. | Public Space One | All Ages | $5
Your ticket to the heavy on Friday night is at PS1, Octaves hails from Baltimore, MD. Way of Dusty Death features some of Iowa City’s best punk musicians, and Paducah (formerly Gluestick) hail from Grinnell, IA.
Autodramatics (Record Release) | Brooks Strause and the Gory Details w. Cracka Don, The Wheelers | 9 p.m. | Gabe’s | 19+ | $6
The Autodramatics features some of the best regional musicians Iowa has to offer, ex-members of The Horrors and Liberty Leg to name a couple. Come pick up their new album, an exciting mix of garage, soul and rock-a-billy. They are joined by the always enjoyable and now Iowa City staple Brooks Strause and The Gory Details, as well as ‘the laziest hip-hop legend’ Cracka Don and the Cedar Rapids-based alternative garage band The Wheelers.
Here’s the promo video:
EPX Animation & Gaming Conference (Friday and Saturday) | Art Building West | 3:30 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday | Free
Game designers and and animators will be descending on Iowa City Friday and Saturday for free at Art Building West. Featured artists hail from Gazillion, Laika Studios, Marvel, and Polytron. For more information and full schedule, check out their Facebook page.
SATURDAY April 27
Hue Blanc’s Joyless Ones w. Silent Drape Runners, Other Band, Ben Roller and the Bright Stars | 7:30 p.m. | Public Space One | $5 | All Ages
Garage rock, garage rock, garage rock! The Joyless Ones and Silent Drape Runners hail from Wisconsin, energetic and to the point. The Other Band and Ben Roller are Iowa City natives ready to make you twist! (Facebook)
Rabbit Rabbit w. The Men From…Beyond!, All Dogs Invited | 9 p.m. | Pizza on Dubuque | All Ages
Another chance to enjoy some tunes and eat some ‘za, this time to some psychedelic garage and surf rock! Rabbit Rabbit are from Austin, TX and feature members of Unknown Relatives…and they’ve been on tour for quite some time! Joining them are Iowa City’s surf rock extraordinaires The Men From…Beyond! and All Dogs Invited. Check out the Facebook event for more details.
SUNDAY April 28th
Cafe du Cirque! | 8 p.m. | The Trumpet Blossom Cafe | Free
About once every year since 2010, Iowa City has been blessed with the presence of the multi-talented Luther Bangert. Singing-saw, sword-swallowing, juggling, juggling-whilst-sword-swallowing–you name it, he can do it. He has toured his talents in India as a member of the Great Bombay Circus, Europe and beyond and he will be showcasing his talents this time around at The Trumpet Blossom Cafe! He will be joined by belly dancers and maybe some surprise guests.
Danny Brown w. Kitty, AWTHNTKTS | 7 p.m. | Gabe’s | $15 | 19+
Detroit hip-hop at it’s finest gracing the stage in Iowa City. Killer beats, intelligent raps and a crazy live show. Joined by comedy hip-hop legend Kitty and local up-and-comers AWTHNTKTS. Great way to end your weekend!
BEYOND THE WEEKEND
Just wanted to give a heads-up about some shows also happening after the weekend! Check these out:
MONDAY April 29
Toupee (Chicago) w. Solid Attitude, Way of Dusty Death | 8 p.m. | Gabe’s | Free (disclaimer: I produced this event!)
WEDNESDAY May 1
Acid Mother’s Temple, Tjutjuna, Haunter | 9 p.m. | Gabe’s | $12-$14
Think your event is Weekender material? Email dates and details to firstname.lastname@example.org