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Musicians dive deep into complex industry topics on Crumbs

With so much uncertain right now in the music industry — musicians, both world-renowned and local, canceling all their live events; venues around the globe postponing or canceling events as far out as September and beyond — musicians and industry […]

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Kevin ‘B.F.’ Burt, International Blues Challenge champion, reflects on Iowa’s rich blues history

Kevin “B.F.” Burt is unstoppable. Burt was the second Iowan to win an award at the festival, the first Iowan to win in the Solo/Duo category and the first artist in the festival’s 34-year history to sweep the solo categories—he also won the Solo/Duo Cigar Box Guitar Award for most promising acoustic player and the Lee Oskar Harmonica Award. […]

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Iowa City band Aseethe is taking its minimalist metal sound back on tour

Aseethe, the Iowa City band made up of Brian Barr and Eric Dierks, has been kicking around the Midwest heavy music scene for a few years now, with an evolving sound based around Barr’s exploration of the raw sound of guitar, synth and samples. Having caught the ear of Thrill Jockey owner Bettina Richards, they went from selling her a T-shirt, to Thrill Jockey distributing their 2015 EP ‘Nothing Left Nothing Gained,’ to releasing their current record, ‘Hopes of Failure,’ on the label. […]

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Album Reviews: Younger – Self-titled

Younger

The self-titled debut by Iowa City trio Younger nicely balances intricate arrangements with more hooks than a box full of fishing tackle. Many of their songs contain verse-chorus-verse-defying breakdowns and changes, though without sounding busy or proggy, like on the album’s lead track, “Street Rat.” Similarly, “Clash” begins with a lilting guitar riff and rumbling bass line that propels the first two verses before switching gears halfway through—slowing the tempo and descending into a spiral of three-part harmonized, interlocking bah-bah-baaaah vocals.
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Album Review: Mirror Coat – Whispers

Mirror Coat - Whispers

“Shoegaze” was the genre of a group of late ‘80s and early ‘90s bands primarily from the U.K. who shared a common musical esthetic. Part Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” and part Britpop, the sound was distinguished by its use of layers of effects. The name “shoegaze” came from the observation… […]

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Listen up: Younger premiere “Like A Wave,” the first single from debut LP

Iowa City rock band Younger, featuring local indie veterans Amanda Crosby, Rachel Sauter and Sarah Mannix (from Emperors Club, The Wandering Bears and others) are preparing for the release of their self-titled debut LP, engineered by Pete Becker. “It’s a […]

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Album Review: Ritmocano – Familia

Familia

Latin jazz collective Ritmocano is an all-star lineup of the Iowa jazz community, headed by percussionist and one of my former UI instructors, James Dreier. On Familia, Ritmocano’s most recent album, he demonstrates his abilities playing multiple percussive instruments, from the congas often found in Afro-Cuban music, to the Batá drums of West Africa. […]

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Album Review: Volcano Boys – Self-titled

Volcano Boys

On paper, Volcano Boys looks like another project from the prolific Jordan Mayland (Jordan Mayland and the Thermal Detonators, Keepers of the Carpet, Nuclear Rodeo, Electronidoll and Tires), who is the principal vocalist and songwriter. But the blending of talent from Wolves in the Attic and Mantis Pincers member Trent Derby (drums, percussion and vocals), Eric Moffitt (guitar) and Tom Reneker (bass), gives Volcano Boys a sound reminiscent of retro-’90s alternative guitar rock.
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