January 2011

In yet another instance of wonderful Iowa music news I didn’t get to because of list making and Kanye ego-stroking, Samuel Locke Ward has made a whole mess of his solo material available on his bandcamp site. (more…)


I just got my mitts on the second album from bass saxophone extraordinaire, Colin StetsonNew History Warfare Vol. II: Judges, his sophomore slab, comes out on Constellation Records on February 22nd and is already in contention for my tops of 2011 (it probably would have made my top 10 of last year without much trouble). Stetson has been, for the past decade, the go-to for experimental and indie greats when they’re craving the scronkiest or sweetest sax sounds this side of Albert Ayler; Stetson’s wrap sheet is a collaborator’s wet dream: Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, David Byrne, and TV on the Radio, just to name a few. (more…)

Last year I fell head over heels for the lo-fi Southern stylings of Big K.R.I.T. (dude just missed my top 10 records of the year). His debut slab, K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, got the young MC picked up by Def Jam–which meant that, sadly, the album was no longer available as for free through his Myspace page. One of the standout’s from his 2010 slammer was “Neva Go Back,” a sentimental track about youth and family (the hook: “I wish I was a kid again / runnin’ with my friends and them /  up and down the street”) over a blusey guitar loop, “Neva Go Back” is getting a remix of sorts. (more…)

In the midst of composing lists and reviewing Kanye West releases, I forgot to alert all y’all to some new Alex Body tracks. I’ve been kicking back with these two new numbers for a few weeks now, and I can say, without hesitation, that Body continues to get better. The initial hype and excitement which bubbled around his solo debut and first few live shows a year ago almost refuses to dissapate as he continues to further hone and improve his craft. I’ve detailed Body’s exceptional growth before, so I won’t expound on his meteoric trajectory, I’ll merely drop these two new gems on you and let the bobbing of your head to the rest. (more…)

Solid Attitude

Prison Water (Rotting Tooth Recordings)

(out of five)

The inaugural offering from this Iowa City punk outfit is a blistering 7″ called Prison Water. In true punk fashion, only one song eclipses the two-minute mark, but this quartet packs more than enough energy into the six songs that brevity isn’t exactly an issue.
Solid Attitude open things up with slinky, snappy, Stooges-channeling “Bad Attitude.” The opening slice is one of the few to really, really lean on the band’s chops. The constant wind-up and release, the taut runs up the neck of a guitar to the cathartic splash of a cymbal, gives the song’s 1:40 run time an almost epic feeling. (more…)

2010 was a lean year, my friends; both cinematically and personally. While I spent much of the summer cooped-up, wishing for enough money for a ticket to a show or a movie, there were few films which were actually worth the $10+ admission. Of course, no year is completely devoid of entertainment or pathos-rich catharsis. So, below, I present the a list, the final list in this long series looking back at this past year, of 10 films (and honorable mentions) that really did it for me in 2010.  (more…)

Iowa, specifically Iowa City, has been on a bit of a tear over the last few years. A micro-Renaissance is occurring as some of the city’s finest songwriters have stepped up their respective games, great acts have collaborated and produced wonderful work, acts have smoldered and birthed stunning solo careers, it’s been hectic but fruitful in Iowa City. The only downside in 2010–as far as IC music is concerned– came with the hiatus at Scenester Credentials; we found our normally small, but solid punk and metal scene lacking it’s most viable outlet. However, the scene soldiered on and graced us with quite an impressive offering of new tunes. After the jump, you’ll find a list of my favorite 10, or so, releases from Iowa and Iowa City. (more…)

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