Iowa City Weekender: February 18-20

Gosh, anybody tune in to Little Village Live last night?  Midwest Dilemma was in-studio, or at least Justin Lamoureux, who recently brought us the album Timelines and Tragedies along with about 30 of his closest friends over there in Omaha. A very nice performance indeed, check back soon for video clips at

It seems the radio show is getting better and better all the time – big ups to Features Editor Paul Sorenson for his work on that!  (pssstt… just confirmed, Xiu Xiu and Talk Normal, March 31, guest DJ set before their Mission Creek gig at Picador… Don’t miss it!  It’s gonna rule your noise pop heart!)

Little Village Live is on KRUI every Wednesday from 5-6 pm.  If you are in a band and you want to stop by sometime, just write Paul (at) and tell him a bit about yourself! 

This weekend we have a lot of great stuff to look forward to:


Matt Wilson Quartet | The Sanctuary | 9 pm | $25

Last time I saw Matt Wilson – the NYC-based jazz drummer who brought us 2009’s That’s Gonna Leave a Mark – he was playing with a quartet that featured the inimitably smooth Ron Miles on trumpet.  You may remember Ron from his killer set with Bill Frisell at Jazz Fest 2009. Anyway, they played in front of the fireplace in the pub room, Matt was playing the brick wall to his side like a washboard and making his little kit sing in all manner of unexpected tones.  The consummate entertainer, Wilson is often guilty of cracking up his own band, but he never acts alone – he likes to keep the whole room involved in the set.

If you manage to get a ticket, you’ll probably also want to get involved with the Sanctuary’s extensive beer list — although you might agree that this show merits some celebratory good Scotch (also on the menu).

The Matt Wilson Quartet’s current line up includes…

Andrew D’Angelo – alto saxophone, bass clarinet
Jeff Lederer – tenor & soprano saxophone, clarinet
Chris Lightcap – acoustic and electric bass
and, of course, Matt Wilson – drums

Chicago Underground Duo w Koplant No | The Mill | 9 pm | $8

Another solid recommendation for those jazz fans that are not among the 40 people who get a ticket to Matt Wilson, Thrill Jockey’s Chicago Underground Duo plays the Mill with Koplant No.

And, christalmighty, if you need still more jazz – why not just stack every jazz-subgenre on top of each other, weave it together masterfully, throw it in the basement so you can fall in drunk and call it a Euforquestra show at the Yacht Club!


Rene Hell w Wet Hair | Java House | 8 pm | FREE

If you missed Rene Hell’s set a couple of weeks ago at the Picador with Mountains and TAPE, you can still check John Schlotfelt’s excellent recap of the evening along with audio captured by Arts Editor Kent Williams on our site, over here. But, if you ask me (and I am partial to any and all things Iowa City) – local duo Wet Hair (Shawn Reed and Ryan Garbes) is what’s gonna get me down to the Java House on Washington tomorrow night for some Friday Night Free Music – a series, which has actually been very very kick ass, and which will stick with the noisy and the weird next week with LWA and Ed Gray.  I don’t know what to make of the fact that we can actually enjoy this kind of music at a downtown coffee shop known for being so laid back and comfy and, for lack of a better word, mainstream.  It’s some kind of generational shift that somehow seems to indicate that my generation has officially taken over the planet.  In a word, it pleases me.


See anything | at the Bijou | anytime | $5

It seems everyone, including Little Village, is up in arms over the University’s decision to cancel last week’s showing of Disco Dolls in Hot Skin.  Is it really, as Caroline Berg warns, a move down a slippery slope toward censorship?  Does the University have the power to arbitrarily pull the plug on any event it has a role in funding?  Should it?  What are the implications?  Feel free to make your case in the comments section here.

Supposing that money really is power, I say we help the Bijou become less reliant on University dough by resolving to treat ourselves to more of their movies.  This weekend, The Bijou is showing 2009 horror film The House of the Devil, and 1987’s Wings of Desire from West Germany.


Free Art School w Katie Parry | Public Space One | 3-5 pm | …FREE!

No, “Free Art School” is not an indie rock band (it probably is, actually, somewhere).  This event is just what it sounds like:  Art School.  For free!

This weekend Katie Parry presents…

(A Fragile Line)  art made from emphemeral materials: using sugar, light, sound and stains to create ephemeral art

PS1 requests that you please RSVP by Friday so they can be sure to have enough materials.

Have a great weekend,


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