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Exploring the visceral and diaristic music of Mykki Blanco

Mykki Blanco has gained prominence in the past few years as an artist that blows up conventions — in the hyper-masculine world of hip hop, she’s queer, HIV positive and gender fluid, a gay man performing as a woman without being either trans or drag. Her songs are, as she says “diaristic,” speaking about personal fears and feelings in a genre known for bragging about expensive cars and coke-dealing and violence. She is both Mykki Blanco and Michael Quattlebaum Jr, she and he — an artistic creation, but never artificial. […]

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Interview: Pieta Brown on ‘Postcards,’ pen pals and Flat Black

The songs for Pieta Brown’s latest album, Postcards, were written while she was on a solo tour. The isolation and distance and the challenge to stay connected inspired the songs. When it came time to assemble them into an album she compiled a list of her dream collaborators and sent them “musical postcards.” The credits for the album read like a who’s who of American folk, and those familiar with her career will see some notable musicians she’s worked with or toured with including Calexico, Mark Knopfler, Carrie Rodriguez and the Pines. […]

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The Cool Kids bring their inventive approach to production to Flat Black

In 2008, the Cool Kids were “bringing ’88 back,” channeling a stripped-down eighties boom-bap rap aesthetic for a new generation. “When we started,” Sir Mike told me in advance of their appearance at this year’s Mission Creek Festival, “I was about seventeen and Chuck was twenty-two.” This led to a series of acclaimed singles and albums, a burst of activity that began with their debut “Black Mags” and abruptly ended after their 2011 LP, When Fish Ride Bicycles. […]

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Interview: Kelly Link offers a quiet but ferocious start to the Mission Creek Festival

Kelly Link Prairie Lights — Tuesday, April 4 at 4 p.m. Hancher — Tuesday, April 4 at 6 p.m. The Mission Creek Festival this year starts not with a bang, but with an insistent whisper — the sort you can’t possibly ignore. The kind that lures you close, that forces you to listen. At 4 […]

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Jim Beam and Mission Creek team up with Iowa City restaurants for festival cocktail offerings

Those enjoying the musical performances, literary readings and film screenings during the Mission Creek Festival can also wet their whistles with signature cocktails crafted by local mixologists. In partnership with Jim Beam and Mission Creek, participating venues — Forbidden Planet, The Mill, Motley Cow, Pullman, Trumpet Blossom, and the Blue Moose — will serve specially […]

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Prairie Pop: Iowa City rockstars Younger bring new material to Mission Creek

For a band that was originally conceived as a goof, Younger has rapidly transformed into one of Iowa City’s best rock bands — exploding with energy, intricate arrangements, barbed lyrics and catchy hooks.

“We had talked about playing together for a long time,” drummer Sarah Mannix recalled. “I don’t think that we honestly believed it was going to be an actual band. I think we just got together more as a joke.” […]

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Interview: Margaret Cho opens minds through comedy

“Optimist” might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of comedian and provocateur Margaret Cho. But her work, spanning three decades of dives into familial ties, racism and sexual assault, has always had resilience as its core. Little Village caught up with Cho to talk about aggression, sheet masks and performing during “difficult presidencies” before her Thursday, April 6 appearance at the Englert Theatre as part of the upcoming Mission Creek Festival. […]

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A-List: The undefinable Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird’s discography is a compelling set of intricately arranged songs that have no obvious cognates in the contemporary musical scene. Having studied violin, Bird also plays guitar, sings and whistles his way through a set of songs that make excellent use of loops due to his intricate and impeccable timing. His songs are worth studying in advance of a performance, as each provides a dizzying set of dense, clever lyrics that are occasionally lost in the rapturous soaring of the violin. […]

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Album Review: Anthony Worden — Ideal Conceptions of the Beautiful and Good

Once labeled freaks, David Bowie and Lou Reed broke down the confines of masculinity found in the prototypical rock star persona of their time, while reimagining the vivacity and delicacy of rock and roll when others were preoccupied with LSD-laden fantasias (though that didn’t keep them away from their respective addled phases). Their legacies are undoubted; they carved a path of self-indulgence, spanning influences between Americana, krautrock, electronic and more. […]

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Mission Creek Festival 2017 presents: Sci-Fi CoLab

For Mission Creek Festival 2017, Motley Cow presents a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The dinner will incorporate music, dance and a sci-fi storyline to explore philosophical questions about class struggle, the value of art and pain and the nature of humanity. The short story is being written for the event by poet Richard Siken, and is expected to evolve along with the menu until the moment it’s performed. […]

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Mission Creek announces Mykki Blanco as newest lineup addition

Mykki Blanco Blue Moose Tap House — Thursday, April 6 at 11 p.m. Michael Quattlebaum Jr., the rapper, poet and performance artist from Orange County, California better known as Mykki Blanco, is the latest addition to the lineup for the Mission Creek Festival, which runs April 4-9 in various locations across Iowa City. Quattlebam’s Mykki […]

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Just announced: Ghostface Killah added to Mission Creek Lineup

One of the most quintessential names in East Coast rap is joining the already robust Mission Creek Festival 2017 lineup. The festival team announced today that Ghostface Killah is the newest addition to the Mission Creek festival, which runs April 4–9 this year. He joins headliners Andrew Bird, Margaret Cho, Saeed Jones and Rufus Wainwright, […]

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