Iowa City Weekender: April 7-9

Mission Creek was excellent this year. Between the full-on coverage, the variety of shows, and the crazy counter-programming, my body eventually crashed out on me by Day 6. I had to skip out on Day 7, which was sad because I missed Kurt Vile. I made up for it by seeing Wye Oak the next day. I will see them every time they come through this town in the future without question. One of my fave live shows this year. But, as you noticed from the fact that these sentences were written in the past tense, Mission Creek is in the past. This is the now. And, in this now, we have another new weekend to try something new out.


Carolina Chocolate Drops // Englert Theatre // 7:30 PM // $10-29, All Ages

I start with something that I never would have expected: a Black string band. Carolina Chocolate Drops hail from Durham, NC and are one of the few remaining Black string bands in the country. While they might not look like a lot of other string bands, they can play just as well as any of them. Mixing traditional instrumentation with modern ideas (they do a cover of Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style”), Carolina Chocolate Drops should be a treat to see. Move quickly though because this show is almost sold out.

Phaded + Headie // Iowa City Yacht Club // 9:00 PM // $5, 19+

I tend to be behind the curve on a lot of things. Some of this is intentional, but most of it isn’t; I’m just not as young as I used to be. If you want to know what is hot on the streets right now (I think I just made myself older by saying that), you need to know about dubstep. I’ve talked about it in this column before. If you’re interested in dance music, this show at the Yacht Club should provide a prime opportunity to check out this new sound for not too much cash. Like I said earlier, this weekend is about trying new things. This offers a prime opportunity for that.

Elliott Brood w/ The Western Front // The Mill // 10:00 PM // $6, 21+

If you don’t like dance music, dubstep, or just plain don’t want to learn about them, there’s another learning opportunity. There’s this place that’s not too far north of us that’s pretty big where they say stuff weirdly. It’s not Minnesota. It’s north of there. It’s Canada. On Thursday, The Mill will present some of the finest in Canadian folk/alt-country in the form of Elliott Brood. Nominated for a Canadian Grammy, which is called a Juno, Mark Sasso and his band have developed a worldwide following for their distinct sound which merges hard rock swagger with traditional folk instrumentation and lyrics. With The Western Front bringing a “nice set,” according to Drew, this should be a good night to finally figure out what is good in Canadian music now and learn more about the elusive alt-country tag, a label that has baffled many for years.


Nate Staniforth // Englert Theatre // 8:00 PM // $8 Students, $15 Adults; 13+

Moving from music for a second, I was talking to Nate’s brother the other day about the fact that the first thing you see on the posters for this show is not the name Nate Staniforth, but the word Magician. I thought this was pretty strange, but according to his brother who helped designed them, Nate wanted them this way. I didn’t really understand, but then I did some research. Nate’s got the attendance record at the Englert from 2006. Even more than that, the kid is talented. If you need to be convinced, watch this video. It’s magic without the lameness of Criss Angel or the flashiness of a Lance Burton. It’s magic at its simplest, most amazing level. If you are free, check this show out.

Andre Williams w/ Hex Breakers & Sarah Cram & The Derelicts // The Mill // 9:00 PM // $8, 21+

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Sleaze rock is dirty, filthy, gross, and totally awesome. If it were a person, it’s that greaser with the hot rod that your mom told you to stay away from because they look like trouble. This rock and roll spirit is the one called up by Andre Williams. Having started his career back in the 50s writing songs in the aforementioned style, Williams is also well known for working with legends like George Clinton, The Turners, The Dramatics, and The Stylistics. Andre Williams had street cred by the boatload until he threw it all away with drugs, resulting with him living on the streets for a period of time. When he reappeared clean and sober in 1996, he reminded the world that he was still the maniac genius that everyone remembered him to be from songs like “The Greasy Chicken” and “Bacon Fat”. With The Hex Breakers and Sarah Cram & The Derelicts in support, Williams a/k/a “Mr. Rhythm” will bring power to The Mill stage, rocking in that old-school rocker way. This will be a good show for those who dig folks like Chuck Berry, Link Wray, Carl Perkins, The Gories, and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (Williams worked with this band on their album Acme).


Old Capitol City Roller Girls v. Kansas City Roller Warriors Plan B // Coralville Marriott // 6:15 PM // $10 Adv, $13 Day of Sale; All Ages

After a stint on the road, the Roller Girls come back to the home track with a perfect 3-0 record. Help keep them on the right track by seeing them this Saturday. They will be jamming against the Kansas City Roller Warriors Plan B. The last couple matches have been close, so they need your support more than ever. Early tickets can be bought from either New Pioneer Co-op, Uniquely Ink in Sycamore Mall, and Crossroads Tattoo in Coralville. Kids under 10 are free, so bring the little ones with you. They’ll like the nonstop action as much as you will.

Pieta Brown w/ The Vagabonds // The Mill // 8:00 PM // $10 Adv, $12 Day of Show; 19+

There isn’t too much that I can say about folk songstress Pieta Brown that hasn’t already been said. She is of this land and is always welcomed back here warmly. This is her first visit since her residency in the winter. I’m sure that you will help in welcoming her back to Iowa City this Saturday.

There’s a lot of variety in this edition of the weekender. Hopefully you can find something that you would normally do and something that you would’ve never thought about otherwise. As always, have a great weekend!


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