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Book excerpt: The Fugs’ Ed Sanders incites a indie media revolution with his zine ‘Fuck You’

Ed Sanders grew up in western Missouri, in the small farm town of Blue Springs. After briefly attending the University of Missouri, he hitchhiked to the East Coast in 1958 to attend New York University. “I soon was enmeshed in the culture of the Beats,” Sanders recalled in his memoir, Fug You, “as found in Greenwich Village bookstores, in the poetry readings in coffeehouses on MacDougal Street, in New York City art and jazz, and in the milieu of pot and counterculture that was rising.” He also began volunteering at the Catholic Worker, a newspaper founded by activist Dorothy Day that was dedicated to social justice. […]

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Prairie Pop: Sell your soul; you’ll feel better

Before Bart Simpson did it, though long after Faust, I sold my soul. This prank permanently cemented my status as a vaguely remembered factoid: “The guy who sold his soul on eBay.” I orchestrated the prank at the height of the late-1990s dot-com era, when eBay was the hot new auction website of the moment. […]

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Iowa City to be renamed Iowa Rock City

By order of a special “rocklamation,” the City of Iowa City will officially change its name to “Iowa Rock City” on March 28, 2015. The one-day name change was approved at tonight’s Iowa City Council meeting. The rocking initiative is the brainchild of University of Iowa communications professor and Little Village columunist Kembrew McLeod, who […]

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Read an excerpt from Pranksters: Making Mischief in the Modern World

Pranksters: Making Mischief in the Modern World

Prairie Pop columnist, Kembrew McLeod, will be reading from his new book, Pranksters: Making Mischief in the Modern World, at Prairie Lights this… […]

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DOWNLOAD: The “ILLBOARD” Hot 100 playlist – Kembrew’s guide to going (instru)-Mental this Christmas

DOWNLOAD THE PLAYLIST If you’re like me, Christmas songs probably send you into a murderous rage that ends with a trail of bloody reindeer and a decapitated Salvation Army Santa (those incessant ringing BELLS!). Fortunately, I have a plan to combat this musical menace that does not involve bloodshed. What you need is an impenetrable […]

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Prairie Pop: The Most Unforgettable Voice You've Never Heard

Rarely has a lowly rock critic altered the course of popular music history, but Chuck Eddy did. Perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but bear with me. Back in the mid-1980s he reviewed Aerosmith’s Done With Mirrors, which captured the band at the lowest point in their career. When that album was released, they […]

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Prairie Pop: Big Fela

Fela Anikulapo Kuti is Nigeria’s Bob Marley. Fortunately, up to this point, he hasn’t been turned into the sort of dorm-room-poster-trustafarian-Legend caricature that Uncle Bob became. Lost in the bong haze is another Bob Marley–a global political figure who used music as a weapon, sort of like Malcolm X riding a massive wave of bass all up in your face.

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Grrrls gone mild

Paradigm shifts typically happen in the abstract–at the level of the Big Picture–not right in front of your eyes, real time. Nearly 20 years ago, I watched and heard the musical-cultural ground move under my feet in the dank basement of my next-door neighbor’s house (typically not the type of place where a shifting paradigm takes place).

“We want revolution, GIRL STYLE NOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW,” Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna howled during the kick-start of the band’s set. I was standing just four or five feet away, eyes bugged out with jaw on ground. At 21, I had seen a few memorable things in my brief semi-adult lifetime, but never anything like that.

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The Killer Apps on Little Village Live (VIDEO)

Loren Glass and Kembrew McLeod–both University of Iowa Professors–dropped by Little Village Live on Wednesday to give us a little taste of their all-mobile phone cover band, The Killer Apps. Known by their stage names, Dr. G and RoboProfessor, Loren and Kembrew had more than just music to share with us, however. Their interest in […]

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