Iowa City Weekender: August 11-13

When a hurricane comes to whatever town it’s going to hit, there is usually a quiet period when the eye of the storm passes over. You can go outside and engage in fairly regular activities until the next wall of the storm hits. Generally, you shouldn’t do this, but if you grew up in a place that gets hurricanes all the time like Florida, you can take the risk from experience. Iowa City is sitting in its own hurricane eye. Everyone has started moving back, and they are slowly getting settled. The next wall starts in a week or two when they all start going to school again, cutting you off on your bike and living their lives here again.

There is Sand in the City this weekend, taking up a couple blocks of downtown real estate. If that is your interest, you can learn more about it at the Summer of the Arts website. I’m not a huge sand person, so this Weekender is for my people as well as the ones who do like sand but need to do something in the night. Let’s begin.


John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light w/ John Watkins // The Mill // 8:00 PM // $6, 21+ After 10:00 PM

Hailing from Denver, CO, John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light write deep, hard-hitting pop songs. They’ve certainly got soul, but they’ve got considerably more heart. As the main songwriter, Common imbued his songs with emotional complexity and excellent musicianship. He delivers the songs that your body needs sometimes like when things aren’t going well or you’re at the top of the world. This is a feeling that has been shared by the many who’ve supported the band in Denver and help the band continue forwards. If you want to get in better touch with your soul, definitely give this show some consideration.


Taj Weekes & Adowa w/ Tribal Momentum // Iowa City Yacht Club // 9:00 PM // $7, 19+

Hailing from St. Lucia, Taj Weekes is a modern roots reggae artist. If all you think about when you hear reggae is Bob Marley, not only are you slightly behind the times, you don’t know about modern reggae. In the modern form of the music, different styles are mixed into the traditional slow, pulsating sound. For example, Dancehall incorporates sounds from traditional reggae as well as British club culture and American hip-hop/funk culture. Taj Weekes blends his roots style with folk and soul music, making for a blend that is both danceable and very, very smooth. His voice is strong as he speaks to what he is passionate about: peace, love and understanding. With Tribal Momentum opening, this should be a nice solid night for grooving and relaxing.


BarcampICR // Iowa City Public Library // 9:30 AM // Free, All Ages

BarcampICR describes itself as “part unconference, part idea orgy.” The event is intended to provide people who want to express their ideas a place to do so. The conference has reserved all of the meeting rooms in the IC Public Library and gives anyone with an idea 20 minutes to present it to an audience. The only requirement is that you show up between 9:30 and 10:00 to register for a slot. A similar event for reference is the Works-In-Progress Festival, but you don’t even need a started project for BarcampICR, only an idea. There are a lot of creative people here in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, so this event will provide an opportunity to not only meet other creative folks in town but to also learn more about what they are doing and maybe get involved with them in creating something awesome. To learn more and to register for the event, visit the BarcampICR website.

Full Moon Cruiser Ride // College Green Park // 9:00 PM // Free, All Ages

When I was at the Public Library during the week unlocking my bike, I got a handbill from a lady who is organizing a bike ride for the Full Moon. I don’t have much information, but night bike riding is always fun. Streets are mostly empty, cool, and quiet. It’s a quite serene experience and probably my favorite time to ride. It’ll definitely be fun to go out in a posse and have fun just riding through town on a full moon night. If you don’t have a cruiser, it’s cool. I know I don’t have one, but I’m still showing up. If you are scared of the night ride during the full moon, remember that you can bike faster than a werewolf can run plus downhills are to your advantage (unless you’re on a fixie).

As I noted above, there is a full moon this weekend. The streets will be illuminated in the white glow of the moon. It’s going to be an awesome time. Make sure you have fun and love one another this weekend.


Do you have an event that you would like to see here? You can take the risk of trying to find me on the street and passing off information that way. Generally, this is rather hard. You’d be better served emailing with details and dates about your event.

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