Iowa City Weekender: July 28-30

I hope that you’ve enjoyed your summer because starting next week, everyone comes back and Iowa City turns back into a busy college town. The transition has already begun, but we’re not going to talk about that. If you’ve been here this summer and are staying here this weekend, there will be plenty for you to do.

This week, I’m going to give a nod to the poor lad and lasses like myself out there in the world. Living in the world costs money, and sometimes, you just don’t have any. So, each of these three days, I’m going to provide a low-to-no-cost option for both the poor and the swimming in their money like Scrooge McDuck people (Link NSFW). You can throw around cash if you like. That’s your choice. I just wanted to provide some options for broke people to show that I’m thinking about them and their weekend plans too.


Johnson County Fair // Johnson County Fairgrounds // 10:00 AM // Free, All Ages

There are few things more truly American than a county fair. I think that they truly get at the spirit of a place, showing what is important to the people of the county. Johnson County’s fair displays the work of young farmers raising livestock and varieties of exciting activities for all of the family from the young ones to granddad. Since this is the last day of the fair, there will also be a fireworks display at 9.30 PM in addition to a pie contest during the day. If you would like to find out more about what the fair offers, check out the Johnson County Fair website.

Colourmusic w/ Morning Teleportation // The Mill // 9:00 PM // $8 Adv, $10 Day of Show; 19+

Hailing from Stillwater, OK, Colourmusic follow much in the acid-drenched steps left by Oklahoma City psychedelic juggernaut The Flaming Lips. While The Lips do put some value into lyrics and building songs that have a skeletal structure, Colourmusic works in a much more abstract style, writing circular songs that sometimes eschew clear lyrics for full psychic impact. This abstraction gives them much more space in which to play, leading to great experimentation and freedom to develop and change their sound. This can be seen all over the band’s new album My ____ Is Pink, which is exciting and full of quality, slightly sinister psychedelic rock music, recalling the Kills merged with The 13th Floor Elevators and The USAISAMONSTER. Colourmusic’s skills and musicianship along with their passion on stage have led them to gain a reputation as an excellent live band, one that can be backed up by looking at video of them at SXSW for example. With Morning Teleportation, this is a show that should be checked out by fans of psychedelic music and/or The Flaming Lips without question because it’ll rip.


Paper Thick Walls // The Mill // 9:00 PM // $6, 21+

Hailing from Chicago, Paper Thick Walls plays a haunting, sophisticated type of folk-rock. Their music contains beautiful instrumentation and excellent harmonization between singers Eric Michaels and Kate Schell as they spin dark tales of despair with ease and vocal grace. Their music would appeal to fans of Sufjan Stevens, Neko Case, Wilco, and The Arcade Fire. Being only six dollars, this is a show where the poor and the rich can meet and enjoy a band that can write mesmerizing, hauntingly stunning music. A solid bet for one’s Friday night.


Brighton, MA w/ Dewi Sant // Ped Mall // 6:30 PM // Free, All Ages

As a part of the Downtown Saturday Night series, Summer of the Arts will be hosting Brighton, MA and Dewi Sant on the stage in front of the Sheraton on the Ped Mall. A Chicago-based band, Brighton, MA should be familiar to some residents of Iowa City as they played at this year’s Mission Creek festival. For those who missed it, the band plays an infectious, melodic style of indie rock, following in the lines of The Sea and Cake, Shame Train, and Let’s Active. Playing with them will be Dewi Sant, a Minnesota band that is far more folk-based than Brighton, MA. Their sound is far more reminiscent of the traditional singer-songwriter/folk set up with quiet lyrics and instrumentals. These bands will complement each other well and be an excellent way to start a Saturday evening.

Collectible Boys w/ White Tornado & Synthaholics // Iowa City Yacht Club // 9:00 PM // $5, 19+

Collectible Boys is the primary vehicle for Renee Zukin. Surrounded by excellent musical talent, Zukin has used her voice to sing songs that merge an R&B/Jazz soulfulness with a pop sensibility. Collectible Boys write music about things that can relate to everyone, making them immediately accessible and catchy. They’ve been working hard for the past two years and this Saturday will be the realization of all of those efforts. Collectible Boys will be having a party to celebrate the release of their debut album Sense of Redemption. Joining with White Tornado & Synthaholics, this show will be an exciting one for a very gifted band.

In last notes, if you need to pick up some cheap furniture, you can either drive around town and poach from the stuff that people have thrown out like I do because I’m grimy to the core or you can go down to the Chauncey Swan ramp and pick up some actually nice things. This will be going on all day Saturday. If you make it to the Swan ramp between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM, swing by the Iowa City Public Library and support the Friends Foundation as well as the organization that provides us all entertainment and knowledge for free by buying a book or five.

If you want to see shows on four days this weekend, your best bet for Sunday would be Spelling Bee w/ Wax Cannon & The Men from Beyond!!! // The Mill // 9:00 PM // $3, 21+. Spitting out crazy punk heroics, Spelling Bee will bring the fury that your life may, or may not, actually need. With local rockers Wax Cannon and the Men from Beyond, this show will be a howl for the basement price of $3.

Whatever you do with your weekend, make sure you have fun.


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