Iowa City Weekender: July 21-23

Back in May when it was cool out and pretty comfortable, my landlord was installing my downstairs neighbor’s air conditioner for the summer. After exchanging greetings, he asked me if I wanted mine put in too. Thinking about the past two summers where I was very comfortable in my ever-baking attic apartment with a couple of box fans and no cross breezes (I live in an attic that consists of like six salon rooms, each one with its own distinct slope from the roof and no connection to one another other than a hallway), I told him, nah, I didn’t need it. He thought I might be of unsound mind and asked me again. I said I was sure, and I didn’t think twice about it afterwards. I’ve regretted that decision every day of this week since it never cools down. Ever. If I had to make the same decision again back in May, I probably would have. I can’t predict the heat. I can predict when weekends are going to be good though. There are some quality things happening around this town of ours that you should check out. Plus, it’s going to rain this weekend, and I’ve got you all indoors. And most of these places are air-conditioned.


Bill Cunningham New York // Bijou Theater // 8:00 PM // $5 (Free for UI Students), All Ages

While his name might be unfamiliar, Bill Cunningham is a well-known figure in New York. Often seen on his Schwinn, Cunningham is a fashion photographer, one that has been documenting the changing style of the city for the past 60+ years. Bill Cunningham New York tells the greater story of Cunningham as well as talking to the people that he’s photographed, which ranges from downtown eccentrics to uptown style mavens like Anna Wintour and Brooke Astor. A critically acclaimed documentary as well as winner of multiple awards at numerous international film festivals, this is the last night that it will be showing at the Bijou and is certainly worth seeing.


Idiot Glee w/ Radio People, Palmetto Moon & Alex Body // Blue Moose Tap House // 8:00 PM // $6, 19+

Idiot Glee is only one man. That man’s name is James Friley. Hailing from Louisville, KY, Friley is making music in the chillwave vein. If that means nothing to you, it features a lot of keyboard loops with effects-laden vocals. It evokes AM music listening and chillaxin’ in the summer. While many of the bands were just pulling on the AM pop side, Idiot Glee gets into the AM soul part, too. When I say he gets into the AM soul part, I mean it; he harmonizes with himself on the album a number of times and has it down tight. He has come out of the gate strong with his debut album Paddywhack. If you want to know more the album, I, in my other life, wrote about it elsewhere. The abbreviated version is that I think this is one of the best albums to come out so far this year. I say that without hesitation or hyperbole. With the openers, this show will be full of a lot of excellent if not slightly leftfield pop music to enjoy.

Shame Train w/ Shipbuilding Co. & Chasing Shade // The Yacht Club // 9:30 PM // $6, 21+

Shame Train is Sam Knutson & friens. Sam is a musican who has been blazing his own trail through the roots/country/folk music scene in Iowa City for years. The problem with being well known in Iowa City is that you run the risk of being taken for granted. Well, every time I’ve seen Sam on the bill for a show, and said to myself “oh, Sam’s playing,” when I show up and Sam gets a few songs into his set, I’m saying “holy sh*t! Sam’s playing!”


The Blow w/ He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister // The Mill // 9:00 PM // $10 Adv, $12 Day of Show; 19+

Khaela Maricich is The Blow, a synth-pop group that is now based in New York City. While this does constitute a change of scenery from her band’s birthplace in the Pacific Northwest, The Blow’s music hasn’t changed at all. It’s still poppy, energetic, a little romantic, and fun. I’ve seen her two times prior, and both were excellent. She’s a fantastic performer, something that should be considered if you are on the fence about attending. With He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister in support, this will be a night for the dancers. That area in front of the stage might get put to good use plus I know Khaela would appreciate dancing.

Drink your water. Stay cool. Don’t forget your cover for the incoming rains. I only hope they actually come down. In the meantime, have a good weekend.


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