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On the Beat: Breaking in the new year

I want to have a commemorative plate destruction party. I was thinking about some Christmastime introduction to this column, and all I could think about was some single woman carefully setting up commemorative plates around her living room, in their little stands, and getting the lighting just right, and it was making me insane with […]

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Talking Movies: A Half-Jigger of Solace

How many children does Lady Macbeth have? That’s the kind of ridiculous question a certain strain of literature teacher will torture students with. The answer, obviously, is: Shakespeare would have told us, had it been important. Nevertheless, there are a few characters who so transcend their storylines that they really do acquire lives of their […]

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CD Review: She Swings She Sways – Wasted Love Songs

She Swings She Sways Wasted Love Songs www.sheswingsshesways.com A common sophomoric “insight” into music is that we only have 12 notes, and that this imposes some upper limit on the possibility of musical expression. It’s not like it’s hard to demolish this idea with combinatorial mathematics, but both the argument and refutation are beside the […]

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Hog Haven

As local officials responded to the threat of floods in southeastern Iowa with repeated appeals for help with sandbagging, I jumped at the chance—to bury my head in the sand, or a sandbag, whatever could be spared. The last time I volunteered during a disaster, the results were disastrous. I’d been part of a mission […]

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Album Review: The Tanks – Keep Breaking Down

The Tanks Keep Breaking Down Scenester Credentials www.myspace.com/thetanks When Keep Breaking Down opener, “Command Divide” begins in earnest, after a groan of wheezy feedback, it feels like the two years since the Tanks’ debut, Summon Creature was but a day. Lead singer Kevin Koppes bellows over a thick, sludgy mess concocted by bass player Adam […]

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Prairie Pop: 12 Days…To Drown Out Holiday Muzak with Twisted X-mas Rock.

Organized religion is responsible for more bloodshed than any institution in human history, but Christmas music is its biggest sin. I hate those songs—and the hegemony they hold over the airwaves, public spaces and every nook and cranny of our subconscious in the weeks leading up to Jesus’s birthday. Nevertheless, I make an exception for […]

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The Weekender Nov 27-Nov30

Imagine that I’m telling you all these things while turkeys are getting slaughtered in the background. Or maybe not. This weekend’s entertainment pickings are a bit slimmer than usual. The Picador used to always have some sort of oddball townie one-off show on Thanksgiving, but not this year! The Mill has no entertainment, though you […]

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Eugene Chadbourne, Crackety Sax, Evan Miller 11/16/08 @ The Mill

Eugene Chadbourne is a prolific guitarist/banjo/songwriter who has produced a supremely odd, but brilliant, body of work over the last 30 years. He started out as a performer working with John Zorn, a more famous but just as brilliant an experimentalist. When Chadbourne struck out on his own, he genre-hopped with reckless abandon, from Country […]

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