Iowa City Weekender: May 12-14

I’ve been ridiculously busy. So much so, I can’t even get into my normally ponderous intro mode in writing this Weekender. That said, I’m coming strong and I’m coming quick this week. The weekend distilled into three options. I don’t think I’ve ever actually done that while writing this column. There’s usually more than one option every night, so this will be a new voyage into the world of the Weekender under my reign. Let’s get started.


On The Move // Old Brick // 7:00 PM // $10, All Ages

As I noted at the end of the last Weekender, Iowa City has a strong arts community, but one place where it is lacking is in terms of dance. On The Move hopes to change this fact by spurring more interest in dance. Organized by Analia Alegre-Femenias and Elizabeth June Bergman, graduates of the University of Iowa Dance MFA, the concert will feature both choreographed and improvised work with contributions from local company Poetic Rebound and Leslie Nolte. If you haven’t gone to a dance concert, you should attend this to understand why we should support it more in our local community.


S. Carey w/ Other Lives & Grand Tetons // The Mill // 9:00 PM // $10 Adv, $12 Day of Show; 19+

I’ve already spent time talking about S. Carey in this column before, so I’m not going to now even though he’s the headliner. You can read this preview from the last time that he was here to learn more. The reason I put this show here is for two reasons. The first is that this will be one of the last, if not the last, show for the current incarnation of Grand Tetons. Their drummer is packing up and leaving town after the show. They’ve been holding it down on this local scene and are good people. You should help send him off well. The second is that the other opener Other Lives is a very good band. A five piece from Stillwater, OK, they write haunting, melodic folk songs. I got my hands on a press copy of their new album Tamer Animals, and it’s a quality listen. It’s dark, well-played, and fully enveloping. Their sound is very much indescribable. It’s certainly folk-based, but it’s simplistic to say the album is just that as there are electronic flourishes and rock elements. As well, there’s the theatricality of Kate Bush and Nick Cave present at moments. It’s a strong album from beginning to end. You can stream the entire thing here. If their live show is anything like the album, this is a concert not to be missed.


Shame Train w/ Amelia White & Mike Mangione // Gabe’s // 8:00 PM // $10, 19+

Shame Train is one of the stronger bands in the Iowa City folk scene, but that strength comes through longevity. Sam Knutson has been working at this project for over a decade now, and it shows. They’ve developed a following across the country and globe with their roots/ americana style and strong songwriting. For this last show for a couple of months, Shame Train will be sharing the stage with Nashville vet Amelia White and Mike Mangione. Working in the same space at Shame Train, Amelia White’s songs are well-written and her voice has range and depth, making her tracks stand out from the roots music chatter. Finishing out this bill is Mike Mangione. Based in Wisconsin, Mangione’s music fits well within this night although it adds more classical elements by incorporating both a violin and cello into the sound. All three bands can write songs, and this should be a must attend event for all of the local folkies.

Feels nice to see the summer coming closer and closer. Let’s just revel in that for now. That and the fact you can keep your windows open all the time now. Have a good weekend.

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