Advertisement

The joy of anticipation and aftermath

As someone easily overwhelmed by crowds and sensory overload (and more so as I age), I can find Iowa City’s wonderful summer festivals a challenge. I have many times enjoyed the tunes, charts and riffs flowing from the stages of the Iowa City Jazz Festival. I have often parked my camp chair on the Pedestrian Mall on Friday night […]

Read More…

Rock the Chalk street closures announced

Rock the Chalk 2018 Downtown Iowa City — Friday, Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. The third annual Rock the Chalk will be bringing art to the streets of downtown Iowa City Friday. Literally. Participating artists will start chalking artworks onto Clinton Street starting at 10 a.m. on Friday morning. Live music starts at noon; this […]

Read More…

Remembering Dennis Jones, Iowa City’s sound guy

Those who contribute the most to local music scenes often make the least amount of noise. This was certainly true of the late Dennis Jones, an unassuming sound engineer who could regularly be seen operating the sound board for Iowa City’s Friday Night Concert Series, as well as at hundreds of club shows, benefits and other local events over the past three decades, until his death at the age of 68 on Feb. 9. […]

Read More…

UR Here: Iowa City in August is a tale of two cities

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times: the first half of August in Iowa City. For half a month twice a year (also early January), tumbleweeds blow through our deserted streets. Those of us who are left enjoy Iowa City at its best. Those of us who are left suffer Iowa City at its worst.

Our town is at its worst at this time of year because the life has been sucked out of it. The university’s summer session is over, so even that relatively small summer population of intrepid students — the life-force of so much of Iowa City’s energy —
have headed for the beach, for home, for the mountains, wherever. Their professors have packed in their grade books and skipped town for the only two summer vacation weeks available to them. Even the university’s administrative offices are operating on skeleton crews before the onslaught of the fall semester begins. […]

Read More…

A-list: Anaïs Mitchell brings a deep history to the Iowa Arts Festival

Among the exciting national acts brought in for the Iowa Arts Festival this year is Vermont-born, Brooklyn, New York-based songwriter Anaïs Mitchell. Deeply rooted in American folk traditions, Mitchell manages a sound that is contemporary without being retro or revival — an extension of the sound, rather than a tribute to it. She is tomorrow’s folk singer.

Mitchell’s 2010 recording of her folk opera Hadestown featured an array of key voices in the genre, from Ani DiFranco to Iowa’s own Greg Brown. Mitchell continues to work on its transformation into a full stage musical; the 2016 off-Broadway production has been nominated for several awards, including the April Drama Desk Awards announcement of its nomination in the Outstanding Musical category. Her most recent record, 2014’s xoa, was the third released on her own label, Wilderland Records. Mitchell took some time just before hitting the road to answer some questions over email for Little Village. […]

Read More…