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Where’s a holiday when you need one? This weekend started last night with Pezzettino and Mike Mangione at the Blue Moose, and it won’t stop till late-late-late on Monday night…And in between? Oh, let me tell you!
Lesly & the LY’s w. Bitch + Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps + | Englert Theatre | 8:00 p.m. | $16, all ages
The Iowa Women’s Music Festival kicks off tonight with three solid acts at the Englert. Caroline Smith impressed a big crowd at her Mission Creek show this spring at the Mill, and Leslie Hall has sold out said venue more than a couple of times, so we are looking forward to getting them all in a bigger venue where more people can get in on the fun. This is a special occasion, so you should totally wear your gold pants and your gem sweater.
Farm Blaide | Camp Ramrod | 8:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. | FREE
This party was put together by some local rockers, some of whom are under 21 and now can’t kick it at bars after 10. Whatever that means, in Iowa City, it’s nothing new that some of the weirdest and coolest music scenes are out on the periphery–in basements, backyards, at Happy Hollow Park (like last weekend) or, this Friday, at Camp Ramrod (LOL, it’s at 2762 Black Diamond Rd, Iowa City). There’s no cover and these precious days of warm weather are going to slip away from us soon, so no reason not to go hit up one more outdoor show, and check out a few new bands (Sonador, The Blood Beats) along with one of Iowa City’s most seasoned DJ’s, Coolzey.
Ha Ha Tonka w. Death Ships, Grand Tetons | The Mill | 9:00 p.m. | $8
Former Iowa Citian Dan Maloney brings his band Death Ships back to the Mill this weekend to open up for Ha Ha Tonka. Local indie dude Grand Tetons opens the show.
Click here to listen to the Death Ships Daytrotter session
5th Annual Iowa City Zombie March | Starts at Happy Hollow | be in costume ready to march by 5:00 | Bring some non-perishable food donations
That’s right folks, it’s time for the 5th Annual Iowa City Zombie March! If you’ve never been done up like the undead, no worries, there will be some peeps around to help you get all bloody and gnat-infested. Just bring some trashed clothes and your sense of humor to Happy Hollow Park sometime Saturday afternoon, and find a crew of good people getting zombie-fied to go on the march collecting donations for flood relief and other local charities.
Wylde Nept | IC Yacht Club | 9:00 p.m. | DONATIONS
Two niche cultures collide when local Celtic group Wylde Nept rocks out as the culminating event of an afternoon-long dead-man’s walk across Iowa City. As if walking into a Wylde Nept show wasn’t weird enough as is, it should be twice the brain-eating weirdness with a bunch of zombies jamming out to Irish traditions while pounding beers. Who’s in?
40th Annual Fiddler’s Picnic | Noon-6:00 p.m. | Johnson County Fairgrounds | FREE
Enjoy some of the best string music either side of the Mississippi this Sunday as all the best pickers in the region will converge on Iowa City for the 40th Annual Fiddler’s Picnic. You’ll hear country, celtic, americana, blues and probably some good ol rock n roll as these players take their turns on a continuous stage of top-notch talent. Think that includes you? Bring your instrument and sign up to take your turn on the mainstage. Got fiddler dreams? Take part in workshops to hone your skills, then head out to the parking lot and join in on the jams going on out there. Whatever your main interest/musical taste, you will be able to find talented innovative musicians bringing new ideas to old-school instruments, all acoustic, just the fingers and the bows on the strings. Get a close-up look at one of Iowa City’s greatest traditions, the annual Fiddler’s Picnic, this Sunday.
School of Seven Bells w. Active Child | Blue Moose Tap House | 6:00 p.m. | $10 advance, $12 door
Some bands are awesome right out of the gates and others take time to develop into impressive, head-turning acts. If I were to place my bets, I’d put School of Seven Bells (SVIIB) in the latter category. Their debut, Alpinisms (2008), released on the much-revered Ghostly label, set the stage for a band as interested in electronic backdrops as they are with the delicate folk melodies of a band like Azure Ray. On their sophomore effort, Windstorm, SVIIB continue to hone their penchant for digital hooks and tender harmonies. Case in point: the title track surges forward on a cascading vocal and an infectious My Bloody Valentine synth-loop. Tucked away in the intimate space of the Blue Room (upstairs at the Blue Moose), this should be a trippy, head-bobbing show.
Built to Spill w. Revolt Revolt | Blue Moose Tap House | 9 p.m. | $17.50 advance, $20 door
This is the juicy middle section of our rockingly awesome Monday sandwich. From our Fall 2010 Live Music Preview:
Built to Spill, the guitar-focused brainchild of Doug Martsch, has always been a fascinating band, whether it’s been through the groundbreaking guitar pop of There’s Nothing Wrong with Love (1994), the sprawling masterworks of Perfect From Now On (1997), or the razor-sharp licks of Keep it Like a Secret (1999). Formed in 1992 in Boise, Idaho, Built to Spill’s angular jams–one part Pavement/Tripping Daisy ‘90s slacker rock, one part Neil Young/Crazyhorse expansiveness–laid the groundwork for countless future indie darlings, in particular Modest Mouse. They have no less than three modern-classic albums to their credit–four if you include their live record (with a twenty-minute cover of “Cortez the Killer”!)–and continue to be an impressive act both live and on-record into the 2000s.
Their live shows have become highly regarded for their loose, exploratory nature: Hey, why not dip into a 15-minute reggae cut or an epic meditation on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (both happened at their last show in Iowa City.) For sure, Built to Spill’s long-awaited return to Iowa City is an important event, the kind of show that should bring out a wide age range of older guitar-heads and younger indie kids looking to soak up a crucial history lesson.
Night-People Presents: Grass Widow, Wet Hair, and Golden Dust | The Warehouse | 9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. | $?
The Facebook event page says this is going to start on-time and go quick. If it does, you’ll probably be making difficult decisions around 10:00 Monday night. If it comes down to finances and a penchant for relative obscurity, the Warehouse show will take the cake. The cake being your eardrums.
Here’s the roundup according to show producer Shawn Reed:
Grass Widow: San Fran all lady pop/ garage/ post punk trio in the vein of greats band of lore like the Raincoats etc.
Wet Hair: Iowa City psyched out synth pop droners bring it full force as a trio for this show with all new songs.
Golden Dust: recent Iowa City transplants from Des Moines debut performance of weirdo cold wave synth and post industrial pop darkness.
Show up early this show will go quick, bands will start at 10:00.
See? See!?!? So much weekend! Hope you enjoy it!!