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Prairie Pop: Major Disappointments

I’m guessing that many of you have never heard of Tommy Keene. He’s a working musician who has accumulated a fairly deep catalog over the past 30 years, but he has never scored major hit and, in fact, the man has had his share of setbacks. Keene’s experience with Geffen Records in the 1980s, for […]

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Designing Woman

For UI President Sally Mason and others, the outfit may not make the woman, but it matters. Pragmatism may soon skirt the runway as more people struggle with employment and basic needs. But still, fashion parlance ought to remain, albeit for a serious purpose: business. Such is Sally Mason’s wardrobe. Business first, pleasure second. And […]

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We Can't All Be Snappy Dressers

I’ve never been able to dress myself. I know the singsong directions about which limb goes in which hole, that the tag goes on the inside of your shirt, and all those other Puritan rules. I get it, okay. But when people talking about clothing as an extension of power, of a critical element of […]

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The Sit-Down with Leighton Pierce

Related: Agency by Leighton Pierce You’ve got a lot of your works online. Some artists are reluctant to do that. “For a while, I didn’t put much online. Then I put online only older things. Now I’m thinking, why not let people get some sense of the work? Let it capture their interest. The two-inch […]

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A Wrinkle Time

Agency Leighton Pierce Related: Q&A with Leighton Pierce www.leightonpierce.com In his latest work, film and video artist Leighton Pierce gives visual manifestation to one of modern society’s greatest fears: lost time. Agency of Time (Toward part 2), a five-channel video, two-channel audio installation, uses lush, abstracted imagery and sound cues to draw the viewer into […]

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Talking Movies: Tears of a Clown

La Strada dir. Federico Fellini 108 mins In the early morning hours, at the end of a spirited drinking party, as passed-out sophisticates snore on the couches, an old man lectures two weary writers that tragedy and comedy have the same source, and that one who truly understands their root should be able to compose […]

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On the Beat: Spring breakdown

March in the actual world might be known for St. Patrick’s Day or warmer weather (hopefully), or a certain kind of basketball madness, but in the music world, it’s all about one thing: the SXSW music festival and conference in Austin, Texas. Perhaps the biggest and most indulgent exercise in industry self-love ever to be […]

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The REAL Irish Pubs of Iowa City

St. Paddy’s Day in Iowa City can easily devolve into a grotesque debacle, a cavalcade of fake accents, leprechaun abuse, green beer and vomit — the traditional parade of stereotypes.  Did St. Patrick go to the trouble of ridding Ireland of snakes (even if he really didn’t) for this? But in spite of it all, […]

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Album Review: Deer in the Night | Po' Girl

Po’ Girl Deer in the Night www.pogirl.net [audio:http://www.pogirl.net/deer/deer.mp3] Canada is, like, this whole other country. They apparently are secretly responsible for about half of the music we think of as American. Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen? All Canadian. Comes now Po’Girl–two women, Awna Texeira, and Allison Russell, one Torontonian, one Quebecois–sneaking across at Windsor, […]

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Album Review: Soul on Display | Bonne Finken

Bonne Finken Soul on Display www.bonnefinken.com It takes some gut for a white girl from Knoxville, Iowa, to use “Soul” in her debut CD’s title. But Finken can, as they say in the parlance, bring it. She has a voice and delivery with the buttery depth of Annie Lennox, the effortless blues edge of Bonnie […]

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