If you haven’t noticed yet, there is a massive music festival coming to this town next week. For eight days, Mission Creek will be holding this city down, bringing everything from ambient drones to raves to lit readings in tattoo parlors. There are touring acts, local bands, international writing sensations, radio personalities, underground legends, John Waters (he’s his own category), everything. If you like music, this next week will certainly be a time to hear some new sounds and maybe even find a new favorite band. That’s what I’m hoping for. If you like books, next week will offer an opportunity to find your new favorite small press or learn about a new writer. I’m also aiming for both. I want to learn a lot of things next week. I want to take away a mental swag bag from this festival. While you’re brimming with anticipation for this whole shindig to start, get into the groove (and burn off some of that excess mojo) with these events this pre-Mission Creek weekend.
7 Walkers // Englert Theatre // 8:00 PM // $20 Students, $25 General Admission; All Ages
Since Jerry Garcia’s passing in 1995, the remaining members of the Grateful Dead have been making music on their own which displays the creativity that the band always embodied. This Thursday sees this tradition continue as the Dead’s drummer Bill Kreutzmann brings his new project 7 Walkers to the Englert. Springing from a jam in Oregon, 7 Walkers is a collaboration with Kreutzmann and Louisiana native Papa Mali. In what has to be one of the few accurate self-descriptions in the history of music, the band describes themselves as a mix of Bay Area psychedelic rock and New Orleans funk, or “swampadelic.” The influences of both sounds can be heard in their energetic, driving music that makes you want to move. This is a show for fans of the jam, the Dead, and the swamp as well as the sonically curious.
Handmade Nation // Beadology // 9:30 PM // Free, All Ages
If you haven’t noticed, there has been a very steady rise in the production of crafts in America (I point to the lovely What A Load of Craft! as an example to this point). Once the bastion of your grandmother, the face of crafting has shifted immensely, becoming considerably more political and punk (not to mention younger) over the past few years. Filmmaker Faythe Levine noticed this and started traveled around the country, talking to 50 DIY/underground crafters to find out about what motivates them. The result of this work is the film Handmade Nation. Fittingly, Beadology, a local home of crafters and active supporter of the crafting lifestyle, will be screening the documentary along with having a discussion and helping the first 20 people that arrive make their own bracelets for free.
The Woods // Public Space One // 5:00 PM // Free, All Ages
In for the next week, Public Space One will be housing The Woods, an exhibition of work done by Gail Simpson and Keith Lemley. Showing sculptures based in wood and neon lights, the artists use ideas of nature vs. civilization, synthetics, weather, and decay as beginning points for their work. Friday will be the opening day for the exhibit, and it will be open until April 2nd.
Dead Larry w/ Amanda Miller, Item 9 & The Mad Hatters, Blood Banked & Jon Eric // Iowa City Yacht Club // 7:00 PM // $6, 19+
After almost a year of recording and mixing, Dead Larry have finally finished their album …as the radio. Mixing Rock and Roll with some funk and a couple good jams thrown in for fun, the band has developed a solid following for their quality live performances. To give back to all of those that have supported them during this process and have stuck with them throughout the years, the band will be having a CD Release party at the Yacht Club. Supported by album guests Jon Eric and Amanda Miller as well as Item 9 & The Mad Hatters and Blood Banked, this show will be a joyous celebration to a band that has been working really hard around this town laying down the grooves.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis w/ Blueprint & Idris Goodman // Gabe’s // 7:00 PM // $10, 19+
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have been independently successful on the hip-hop underground, well known in their hometown of Seattle. Back in 2008, they went Voltron and produced the well-received Vs. EP in 2009, which repurposed beats from songs like Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under The Bridge” for new creations. The two have continued to work together since that EP dropped. Lewis is the producer while Macklemore is the MC. Lewis’s beats are old school, boom bap, the kinds of beats that backpackers and car bangers relish. Macklemore talks from his heart, spitting rhymes about shoes, watching 1990s Mariner teams (read: the ones with Ken Griffey, Jr.), and living a drug-free lifestyle amongst other things. While he might be a bit emotional, his flow is smooth, and he can certainly hold his own on the microphone. Travelling with Blueprint, an electro/hip-hop act that could easily headline a tour on its own, this promises to be a solid night of hip-hop at Gabe’s.
Joe & Vicki Price // The Mill // 8:30 PM // $8, 21+
Visiting Iowa City again from the hinterland that is Decorah, The Prices have upgraded from playing at George’s (which ain’t too shabby to be fair to the buffet.) to The Mill. If you are not familiar, Joe & Vicki Price play those old, hard-hitting, dirty delta blues like Muddy Waters and guys who sold their souls to the devil to play well. It hits hard and deep while keeping your attention the entire time. If you like the blues and/or slide guitars, you should not miss this show as it is always a treat to see the Prices play.
Iowa City Community Supported Agriculture Fair // Robert A. Lee Recreation Center // 1:00 PM // Free, All Ages
As the springtime comes around again, many are digging out their spades and getting ready to turn some topsoil. For those of us with non-green thumbs, it helps to know people who have one because its benefits are immense. These connections can be made this Saturday at the Iowa City Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) fair. CSA farms from around the area will be looking for new members who want to help create one of the best things on the face of the plant: locally grown produce. It’s a great way to both eat well this summer as well as support local farmers in their efforts to support biodiversity and environmental health.
Toyer // Theatre B, UI Theater Building // 8:00 PM // Free for Students, $5 for the Public; 18+
A honors thesis for lead actor Cassandra Schiano, Gardner McKay’s Toyer centers around Maude, a woman who helps women that have been lobotomized and turned into human toys by an unknown assailant. When a strander traveler comes to Maude’s office for help, the audience is left to wonder if his intentions are sincere or if he is the Toyer himself. The Theater Department puts on good work, so I don’t have any hesitation in recommending this play to you, fair reader.
Yet another active weekend here in Iowa City, and it’s only going to get more awesome next week. In addition to the cheap lifestyle, this weekend is one that makes me happy that I live in this town.
Now that you have all of this information, go out and do something!
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