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Mission Creek 2019: A look back (VIDEO)

Each Mission Creek Festival has its own flavor that weaves through the nights, the venues, the conversations, the drinks and cigarettes to create an identity more than the sum of its parts. One major shaping influence is the nature of the Mission Creek Festival ethos, which makes it an event that would be impossible to imagine elsewhere — it is one part experimental, one part traditional, one part Iowa City, one part books, one part music, one part conversations. It is a celebration of the Iowa City community as much as it is a celebration of art. […]

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Mission Creek 2018: A look back

It is impossible for any one person to offer a complete perspective on the Mission Creek Festival (MCF), as even the avid attendee is still limited to one body and one set of guiding preferences. More than most years I became aware of my limitations as a reviewer and the radically different possibilities for what MCF means, is and becomes. […]

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Elite 8: The top albums of 2017

Here is another year of albums to consider. It’s silly to rank music at all and also fun in that it ignites passionate conversations about the art that has moved us (for better or worse) in the last year. Please accept this list as an invitation to hear something new, and introduce us to something new by sending your own list of wonderful musical moments — albums, songs, shows, etc. — from 2017. […]

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Review: MONO constructs a sonic canvass at Gabe’s

MONO returned to Iowa City after just over a year touring on 2016’s Requiem for Hell. The crowd was oddly thin, but appropriate: it was perhaps the quietest that I had heard Gabe’s during a show. The band was illuminated with a quiet red light, and throughout their set the band seemed to play around its steadfast glow. The light was warm, and evoked a sense of patience that let each band member’s instrument enter into, and exit from, each song. The distinct contribution of each performer could be acknowledged and recognized. Both the band and the audience were equally engaged at the occurrence of sound as it sprang forth from the stage: All present were enraptured at its production, in its occurrence. […]

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A hushed full house at The Mill for the Pines, Dead Man Winter

The Mill was the perfect venue on April 19 for a Wednesday night of atmospheric delicacy, performed for a hushed full house. The Pines, local legends transplanted to Minnesota, framed the night with a sense of intimate delicacy. Their first songs, without percussion, allowed the audience to focus on the twining of harmonies and whispered vocals that generated a sense of intimacy. […]

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