Iowa City Weekender: September 15-17

Hello, and welcome to another Weekender. This week has been a weird one, hasn’t it? I think this Weekender will pick up on a substantial amount of that weirdness because I’ve got some random things for you to do. Real talk (Link is Awesome but Totally NSFW). I think we should get a start on all of this.


Viva Voce w/ The Parson Red Heads & Alexis Stevens // The Mill // 9:00 PM // $8 Adv, $10 Day of Show; 19+

While they hail from Alabama, the duo of Kevin and Anita Robinson call the indie hotbed of Portland, OR their home. The music that they make under the name of Viva Voce merges the country-blues-Americana influences of their home town of Muscle Shoals with the spirit of progression and creativity that is present in the music of Portland. What results is a mix with a country/rock spirit with flashes of shoegaze, psych, and pop bursting from its seams. The duo create music that is raw, passionate and engaging. If you liked Wye Oak when they were here, do your best to make it out to this show as you will not be disappointed. Playing in support will be L.A.-based The Parson Red Heads and the beloved local songstress Alexis Stevens.

Born Gold w/ Alex Body & The Return of Physical Challenge // Gabe’s // 9:00 PM // $3, 19+

So, there is a two-level music space downtown at the intersection of Washington and Gilbert. It’s next to The Full Kit. It’s currently called Gabe’s, but two names ago it was called the Picador. Every Thursday night, you could find the various members of Iowa City’s alternative/arts/college crowd hanging out in the patio and/or dancing inside. There would be DJ’s and it was an all-around cool scene. With The Yacht Club now owning Gabe’s and changing the name to Gabe’s, the Thursday night party is coming back at least for this week. For the paltry sum of three dollars, you can check out local psych-loop wizard Alex Body playing with Born Gold. Formerly known as Gobble Gobble, Born Gold is coming with an frenetic electro-pop attack from the Great White North. If you are into artists like Dan Deacon, Baths and Braids, Born Gold is right up your alley. The night will end with DJ sets from DJ Daddyhoff (the O.G. Physical Challenge DJ), DJ Body and DJ Baby Games.


The Fez // Blue Moose Tap House // 9:00 PM // $10, 19+

For those who don’t know, Steely Dan is the duo of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. Although it was only two men, Steely Dan used a number of studio musicians to create jazzy, complex albums like Aja and Pretzel Logic that they would become legendary as time passed. Thanks to their thoughtful approach to making ridiculously smooth music, Steely Dan has gained followers all over the globe and spawned a number of cover bands to pay tribute to their music. One such tribute band resides right here in Iowa City: The Fez, which features members of Public Property and Insectoid. LV music contributor Tim Gavin has written an excellent preview to the show to get a better idea of what will happen on Friday. If you are a fan of The Dan, this show is for you. The Fez isn’t trying to put their own spin on things; they want to be as faithful to the original vision of Fagen and Becker as possible. This is something that has generated a lot of local excitement and will be a spectacle to see for sure.

The Uniphonics w/ PB & Jam and Tallgrass // Iowa City Yacht Club // 8:00 PM // $6, 19+

To keep with the local music theme, The Uniphonics have been fan faves in this town for a very long time. Their mix of conscious lyricism and soulful grooving has won them a loyal following here in Iowa City and throughout the region. This Friday, they are going to rip it up at the Yacht Club with locals Tallgrass and Minneapolis supergroup PB & Jam, which will be making its first trip to the cozy confines of the Yacht Club. Aside from the fact there will be six hours of music, there will also be a free keg for the age-appropriate members of the audience starting at 8:30 PM. If you didn’t know before I mentioned the free keg, this show is going to be a straight-up party. Go with your friends and have fun at this one.


Bike Library’s 1000th Checkout Celebration // Bike Library (College & Gilbert Sts.) // 9:30 AM // Free, All Ages

The Bike Library has become a local institution. Run by volunteers, The Bike Library provides bikes for the community as well as a place to come and fix your own bike. It took the effort of the entire town to make this happen, so it’s quite the accomplishment to see the Library get to the magical 1000th bike. There will be coffee and food there, so when you finish your laps of the Farmer’s Market, head up the staircase at the Swan ramp and stop in to say hello.

Zombie March // Happy Hollow Park (Brown & Lucas Sts.) // 5:00 PM // Donations Appreciated, All Ages

I’m not exactly sure what year this is of this particular tradition, but this is one of my favorite things to see in Iowa City. Once every year, a bunch of people get covered in fake blood, wear tattered clothes, and start lurching down the streets of this town just like in Dawn of the Dead. That’s right. This weekend is the return of the yearly Zombie March. What makes it even better is that this is a yearly event for charity. The march preparations will start with makeup at 3:00 PM. If you want to participate in the walk, show up at Happy Hollow at 4:30 as the walk to and through downtown will start at 5:00 PM. The march will be followed by a show at the Yacht Club. Five dollars will get you in the door there, and the appropriately named Surf Zombies will be providing the entertainment. Also, dress to the nines as there will be an award for the best zombie costume at the Yacht Club.

Last things. This weekend’s late night movie at The Bijou (11 PM Friday and Saturday // $7 Public, Free for UI Students) is a Norwegian horror mockumentary called Trollhunter. Mixing elements of The Blair Witch Project with Norwegian folk culture, this film is a nice alternative for those who might not want to go to a show one of these weekend nights.

Also, while not technically on the weekend, The James Gang is holding a general interest meeting this Monday at 7 PM in Public Space One. For those who don’t know, The James Gang have been pivotal in developing the arts culture here in Iowa City. With their help and resources, Iowa City has an excellent art/performance space in Public Space One and an amazing yearly music festival in Mission Creek. If you have any ideas that you want to get off the ground or want to get more involved in helping creativity blossom here in Iowa City, come to this meeting and meet like-minded folks that share your spirit.

Stay awesome and remember: don’t shoot the zombies walking down your street this Saturday. If you see a zombie on another day, use your judgment. Don’t shoot first and ask questions later. Shooting only brings more. Have a good weekend!


Would you like to see your event here? Email with dates and details!