Iowa City Pride, Chicago Pride Fest, Metro East Pride kick off new Pride wave under COVID’s shadow

Namoli Brennet at Decorah Pride, Two Bit Maniac and Robin S at Iowa City Pride, HoneyVox at Metro East Pride and Debbie Gibson at Chicago Pride Fest.

Iowa City Pride, Chicago Pride Fest and Metro East Pride are happening this weekend. Decorah Pride is coming Oct. 8-9, then Pride Orange City Oct. 15-17. The Fox Valley area holds a Pride Halloween party Oct. 23. And southeastern Illinois joins its neighbors for the 19th Annual Pride Prom Oct. 30.

Namoli Brennet at Decorah Pride, Two Bit Maniac and Robin S at Iowa City Pride, HoneyVox at Metro East Pride and Debbie Gibson at Chicago Pride Fest. Read More

Poignant live performance from ’90s dream pop Fishmans re-emerges

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In spite of such a difficult COVID-consumed year for all of us, the universe gave us unexpected gifts along the way. Some are bright and shiny; some are dark and stormy. Some are both. One of those dual-sided gifts for me has been discovering a 42-minute concert film that a commenter on RateYourMusic calls a “post-rock/dream pop/neo-psychedelia epic…. absolutely heavenly.” Known officially as “98.12.28 Otokotachi no Wakare” (“A Men’s Farewell”), this concert is, as video game developer Daulton Nelson writes,  “a mastery in progressive pop and psychedelic pop” and “an…

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Everyday People Say What unites artists for two shows this week

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Everyday People Say What, one of Iowa City’s most respected jazz/soul bands, will gather its largest group of collaborative musicians yet, in two shows this week. Tonight at Trumpet Blossom Cafe, EDPSW plays before Hadiza, a former Iowa Citian who now lives and tours from Kansas City. EDPSW’s two founding members, saxophonist Mary Reasoner and percussionist Adrienne L. Woodard, will be joined by outgoing bass player Ben Alston, plus six other spoken word artists, singer/songwriters, and rappers. This Saturday, the same six artists plus two more in the soul/jazz/blues realm…

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On the anniversary of Woodstock, a look back at Camp Euforia 2019

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“The sunsets here are some of my favorite,” texts a friend before I head to the last night of Camp Euforia near Lone Tree, Iowa. My car was all set in the back, and I had my bag of nuts and White Claws in tow. I trudged through the festival field like a packhorse, in my Bonnaroo galoshes that I’ve had for over five years. After running into a high school buddy at the festival gate, I wove through and headed to a familiar campsite in the same spot as…

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Camp E’s community spirit impresses HHG


Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, one of the best-known bands at this year’s Camp Euforia, consists of five “bluegrass mavericks,” friends who began creating music in 2013. This Stevens Point, Wis., band has since blown up, selling out shows and playing alongside large names in folk and bluegrass. “We just get together and meet a lot of beautiful, cool people,” says Adam Gruel, on guitar, dobro, and vocals. “Being a part of communities like Camp E will be in our heart and soul for the rest of our lives.” I had…

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LGBTQ and POC: what’s it like to grow up in Iowa?

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This year’s 50th anniversary of Stonewall, though moving, has also been marred by episodes of entitlement. These included the shoutdown, at Stonewall Inn itself, of a black transgender woman as she tried to read the names of murdered transgender women amid a party involving mostly white gay men. The episode illuminated that even LGBTQ communities, while themselves marginalized, are still struggling with intersectionality, inclusion, and respect for other marginalized communities. Isaac Burris, 22, and Adrienne L. Woodard, 59, were among the headline performers at Iowa City Pride recently. They also…

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Live local musicians deserve our dollars

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When musicians perform, audience members only see the final portion of their work. That show, concert, or gig is only the end of a larger process that takes hours, days, and even years of investment and preparation. The compensation for these performances rarely matches the effort and time musicians put into their craft. This doesn’t even account for the time and energy spent booking shows, rehearsing, traveling, and setting up equipment. Typically, musicians make $50 to $75 a night. If you’re part of a band, you earn only a fraction…

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Lend Handicare a hand at March 31 benefit concert

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Ginny Ryan turned to Handicare to help care for all four of her children. All of the staff remember all of her kids’ names, and identified each of their unique needs. “We were so grateful to have the loving support and experienced care of Handicare providers,” Ryan said. “We utilized everything from the infant room to preschool, and felt confident that the kids were in great hands. Handicare has a wonderfully dedicated staff that has fun with every kid.” Handicare now needs the public’s support to pay for some much-needed…

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The best of protest music

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Every year, I dive through the music industry’s “best of” lists, looking for albums and artists that made a splash or flew under my radar. This January, scrolling through lists from NPR, Pitchfork, the Guardian, and other tastemakers, one pattern became extremely clear: 2018 was a year for resistance music. Pop, hip hop, and indie music took a strongly political stance in 2018, reflecting resistance, frustration, and courage in the Trump era. From the cool, devastating rhymes of Noname, to the lonely alt-country ballads of Brandi Carlile, the rhetoric of…

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EDITORIAL: Leaving behind The Music Man’s “Iowa Stubborn”

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Remember these lyrics in “The Music Man,” that famous Iowa-based musical from the ‘50s by Meredith Wilson? “We can be cold as our falling thermometer in December, if you ask about our weather in July. And we’re so by God stubborn, we can stand touchin’ noses for a week at a time, and never see eye to eye. “But we’ll give you our shirt and a back to go with it, if your crops should happen to die. So what the heck? You’re welcome; glad to have you with us…

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