Iowa City Weekender: February 3-5

It’s somewhat disorienting to think about the fact that we are already in our second month of the year. January didn’t seem that long. But, then again, nothing seems long against this freakin’ snowstorm. Took a walk with my friend out in the alleyways of downtown, and, aside from being pretty cold, the snow was just so deep. I’m up to my knees in snow. That’s crazy. You’ve probably dug out by now, or at least solidly into the project, so use this weekend to get away from the pains that you experienced and tears that you shed this terrible week.


Salvage // Theater B, Theater Building @ University of Iowa // 8:00 PM // $5, Free for Students, Parental Discretion advised

Written by Iowa Playwrights Workshop student Kevin Artigue, Salvage, or a recovery in three acts, is a play about a violin player who kills her husband with a toaster. She goes on a spiritual odyssey which takes her from the Mojave Desert to a new life of birds, home finance and berry farming in Iowa. This looks like it could be a very compelling piece of theater, and, given the writer’s history in experimental theater in Los Angeles, anything is possible within this simple context. One of my favorite plays still (“True West” by Sam Shepard) can be described as a play about two brothers, so don’t let simple descriptions fool you. But, you’re reading Little Village. You’re clearly smarter than that.

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you’re tired from digging out from the blizzard, so I’ll stop here for Thursday.



Enter The Void // Bijou Theater // 6:15 PM // $5, Free for UI Students, 18+

As you might know since we’ve been fighting it for the past 3 or 4 decades, America is at war against drugs. This and a number of other things have led people to never do drugs in their lives. They may be asthmatic, easily excitable, skittish, just plain don’t want to. Doesn’t matter. The point is that Gaspar Noe’s Enter The Void might be able to accurately recreate the sensation. Shot from the first person, the film takes the viewer on a trip through the life of Oscar, an American drug dealer who is shot dead by the police. Moving between the past and present, the film is visually stunning and intense. Watch this trailer to see what I mean:

This would be a good way to start the weekend, but if movies that seem like they’re on drugs are not of your particular interest, maybe Second City is more of your speed.

Second City: Fair and Unbalanced // Englert Theatre // 8:00 PM // $22-27, All Ages

Touring on their Fair & Unbalanced program, The Second City is a long established improvisational comedy troupe with bases in Chicago and Toronto. They’ve produced comedic geniuses like Jon Glaser (seriously, if you’ve never watched Delocated!, you should sit down, re-evaluate what you’ve been doing, then start watching it). More important than alumni, the live programs are actually pretty good. I’ve gone to a prior tour event a few years ago, and it was a good time. I’d recommend it. Oh wait, I just did. Moving on…

A Special Finish/ SATURDAY

On this coming Sunday 66 years ago, Nesta Robert Marley was brought into the world. Raised in a life of poverty in Kingston, no one ever really expected much from Nesta. 36 years later when he died, Nesta became Bob and was an icon the world over, spreading reggae music and rastafarianism far and wide. While I have problems with the fact that a guy who was trying to foment serious revolution in Jamaica (which is, easily, one of the most politically/socially troubled countries on this planet. Don’t let the nice beaches fool you.) is used as a justification by many to smoke pot, even these misguided youth found their lives affected by this man’s struggle. In short, his presence can be felt everywhere and his likeness deserves to be on a t-shirt like Malcolm X.

Locally, the influence of Marley’s music can be seen in the reggae and jam bands including the now-defunct Public Property. For those who sympathized with the struggle or just liked listening to him while burning a huge spliff on their front porch, many will be paying tribute to the legend. Iowa City is no exception.

There will be two celebrations for the man. The first will take place on Friday:

Birthday Bash w/ Natty Nation // Iowa City Yacht Club // 9:00 PM // $10, 19+

This is an annual tradition over at the Yacht Club. The Roots/ Dub-based Natty Nation takes the stage and rocks it for a little while oh so right. You know how this goes by now, so there’s not much need to discuss it. Also, by it being an earlier day, you don’t have to debate over whether or not you want to go to The Wailers show because you can with no problem. Which Wailers show? Look at this informational bold section below.

The Wailers w/ Duane Stephenson & special guest Dave Bess // Blue Moose Tap House // 7:00 PM // $20 Advance, $25 Day of Show, All Ages

If you are looking at that and asking which Wailers, it is those Wailers. The ones that played backup for Bob for all of those years. They’ve obviously swept up a bit, but the new Wailers are certainly of the quality of the original Wailers. More importantly, to paraphrase an old episode of The Simpsons which involved a certain Canadian rock group, there won’t be any new crap. New versions sure, but the songs that you know and love from the band are what you will hear, and that means a lot of Bob Marley, fitting given that this is his birthday weekend. He’s probably proud that his music has actually affected this many people in the world.

On that note, I end this edition of the Weekender. Have a good weekend.


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