Iowa City Weekender: November 3-6

Hello and welcome back to the Weekender. Before we begin, I want to put in a quick reminder for everyone to reset their clocks before they go out on Saturday. Remember, we fall back, so you get to do to 1 AM again, a plus if you messed it up or had a particularly awesome hour the first time. While you are checking your clocks, make sure to check your smoke detectors too. With all that out of the way, I can stop being a firefighter and go back to what I do better: talking about things happening around town. Something that’s going on all weekend that I want to mention here is the Global Lens Film Series going on all weekend at the Bijou. There are a number of excellent, acclaimed films from all around the world. More information along with trailers and showtimes can be found at The Bijou’s website. With that said, let’s get into this column.


Supersonic Piss w/ The Liz, Names Divine & Buoyant Sea // Gabe’s // 9:00 PM // $5, 19+

In case you don’t know, there are a lot of punk bands operating in this town. Supersonic Piss is one of the elite ones. Their music is punk played with speed and zero remorse. I’ve seen these three dudes and a lady on a number of occasions, and they’re coming into form right now. They’ve found the balance between punk style and sheer metal heaviness. The result is music that is aggressive, raucous, rad and inspirational. SSP is about to go on a tour of points east, so this is the last time that you will be able to see them in town for a while. Come check them out as they play with their tourmates The Liz, Chicago rockers Names Divine and Buoyant Sea.

Dance Gala 2011 // North Hall, University of Iowa // 8:00 PM // $5-20, All Ages

This weekend marks the second and final weekend of the annual Dance Gala, which is the major performance for the University of Iowa’s Dance Department. This year’s Gala host the world premiere of a new piece from Trisha Brown. A contemporary choreographer, Brown has won a National Medal for the Arts and a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and is a member of the Dance Hall of Fame. Her piece is the highlight of a stellar night which features work from the prestigious faculty of the University performed by their students. If you are interested in dance, this is a show that is not worth missing. Tickets are available at the Hancher Box Office.


James Luna: Phantasmagoria // Old Capitol Senate Chambers // 6:00 PM // Free, All Ages

A full-blooded Pooyukitchum Indian living on a reservation in San Diego County, CA, James Luna is known worldwide for his installations and performance art that investigate ideas of ethnic and racial perception as well as issues that affect Native American communities. On this Friday, Luna will be giving a performative lecture as a part of the Ida Beam Visiting Professor Lecture Series. Entitled “Phantasmagoria”, it will be an interesting talk from a truly provocative, engaging artist. Some of his work can be seen at his website. Additionally, there is a good interview that gives further insights into his work at Smithsonian Magazine.

Heather McDonald // Main Lounge, Iowa Memorial Union // 10:00 PM // $5, 18+

If you watch Chelsea Lately either frequently or rarely, there is a good chance that you have seen Heather McDonald. Her knowledge of pop culture is impeccable as well as her comedic skills, frequently earning her a chair on Handler’s nightly round table. A very funny woman who probably has a thought or two about the recent divorce of Kim Kardashian, this is something definitely worth checking out for the stand-up fans.


In The Axis // Coralville Center for the Performing Arts // 6:30 PM // $12-15, All Ages

This Saturday, Iowa City’s professional dance troupe Poetic Rebound Performance Company will be presenting an evening of contemporary dance. Supported with music from Tallgrass, many different styles of dance will be on display from modern dance to contemporary ballet. There will be performances from PRPC as well as City Ballet of Iowa, Analía Alegre-Femenías, Elizabeth June Bergman, Kate Carol and Co. Dance and the Nolte Academy of Dance. This event will bring a different style and flair from Dance Gala and will be another excellent dance event for this weekend. Tickets are available at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts website.

Grand Tetons w/ MichaelSarah, Derek Lambert & the Prairie Fires // The Mill // 9:00 PM // $5, 21+

A hardworking band, Grand Tetons have been playing around here for the past year plus. They call themselves a “power folk” band which is apt. Their music has emotions that it wears on its sleeve and has a solid country twang while maintaining those folk elements, earning them that self-defined genre. This show on Saturday is a celebration of the band’s first album They Do Move In Herds. Celebrating this event with the band will be MichaelSarah and Derek Lambert & The Prairie Fires. If you need extra incentive to check out this show, your entrance will also get you a code to download the album digitally. Given that you get a copy of the CD when you walk through the door, there’s no reason to not check this show out if you are a fan of folk, Americana or country.


Wole Soyinka // Englert Theatre // 7:30 PM // Free, All Ages

Wole Soyinka is a giant in the field of literature. Winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature, Soyinka has made a career fighting for the rights of human beings all over the world both through his own actions as a citizen as well as his written work. Insightful, creative, and genuine, Soyinka’s plays and novels display an ability to make the difficulties of living under a dictatorial regime clear to everyone, even those who’ve never come close to such a horrific situation. An outspoken advocate for humanity that was sentenced to death in his native Nigeria, this Sunday marks a truly special day in Iowa City when we are graced with the presence of a living literary icon. If you are familiar with who he is, there is no reason to not attend. If you are not familiar, you should still attend to learn more about what it means to speak truth to power.

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I hope that all of you stay safe, remember to reset your clocks and have a good weekend!


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