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On the Beat: Redemption songs

As I watched Shabazz Palaces repeat “black is you, black is me, black is us, black is free” at their excellent concert at Gabe’s on April 25, I got a nice reminder of something that I have been thinking about for a while: the political power and hope of music. This is something that can […]

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On the Beat: Getting fresh

As far as I can tell, Iowa City has moved on to spring. The markers dot the city. Everyone is cruising around on their bicycles, wind whipping through their hair. Ladies and gentlemen alike are swapping their duck boots and heavy coats for flip flops and shorts. The days are getting noticeably longer while the […]

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Elite 8: Music of 2011

It is a bit odd to condense a year’s worth of listening into such a short, impossibly definitive list, yet each of us is attracted to the act of putting a stamp on a handful of albums that may (or may not) represent the best of the year in question. It is all about a sense of style, a method of sculpting self-identity by which others will judge us and against which we will judge others. So, having acknowledged both the absurdity and necessity of making such lists, let us now gaze upon the Elite 8 records of 2011. […]

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