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Album Review: The Ills – Fuck this planet

Erika Ebola, Danny Dysentery, Molly Marburg, Tommy Tinnitus, Stella Salmonella; I think I’m sensing a theme here. This is definitely punk rock/hardocre straight out of the 1980s, reminiscent of the Circle Jerks, Plasmatics, and the Rezillos. One may well ask, does the world need more hardcore punk rock with track names you can’t say on the radio or TV?
Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: Punk rock at this point is beyond a sociological phenomenon of the past, and has become a vernacular folk tradition. […]

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Album Review: Broken Water – Wrought

Although Shawn Reed no longer lives in Iowa City, his label — Night People — has its heart here, at least partly-so. In an interview for Art of Iowa, Reed said that while “the label grew out of being into records, booking shows, inviting touring bands to play (in Iowa City),” it “doesn’t live any place in particular.” […]

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Album Review: Creeping Punk – Mirror Woods

Creeping Pink Mirror Woods (Castle Face Records) www.facebook.com/creepingpink Mirror Woods is the first full-length effort from Creeping Pink, the newest band on the Castle Face Records roster.  Neither the slow verb in the band’s name nor the album’s languorous pace reflect the speed with which this music will lodge itself in your brain. Creeping Pink […]

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Album Review: Tom Jessen – Hunting Season

Tom Jessen Hunting Season www.tomjessen.bandcamp.com At the bottom of the back cover of Hunting Season—Tom Jessen’s first album since 2002’s Night—is a dedication to the late frontman for The Clash, “Special thanks to Joe Strummer for giving me a second wind!” Jessen, a Strawberry Point native spent time in Iowa City and released two albums—the […]

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Album Review: Barry Phipps – The Town

The needle drops on Barry Phipps’ The Town and an uplifting organ crackles and pops, skipping its way through a brief instrumental intro and sighing toward a jolly, aptly titled “Sunny Sunday Afternoon.” It may feel a bit too twee for a spring 2015 release, but it is catchy and beautifully arranged, and repeat listens create an emotional reassurance rooted in a kind of imagined nostalgia; it’s as if a past that can’t be placed is painting a future for us of daily routines carried out with care and civility, and neighbors remembering to love before being left to miss one another. […]

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