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.
1. Samuel Locke Ward & Darren Brown – From the Privilege of the Grave (Grotto Records/Mission Freak Records)
–>Pick up one of the best experimental pop albums of the year here.
2. Alex Body – Chief of Time and Frequency (Night-People Records) / Just Say Yes (Self-released)
–>You can get all of Alex’s jams (many for Free.99) here.
3. Rene Hell – Porcelain Opera (Type Records)
–>Type Records has the whole dern album streaming on their site.
4. Living Ghost – Wilderness Names (youtouchusyoudie Records)
–>Pop by Living Ghost’s bandcamp site and pay what you like for the album.
5. Samuel Locke Ward & The Boo Hoos/Mumford’s – 7″ Split (Self-released) / Samuel Locke Ward – Barely Regal Beagles (self-released)
–>Swing by Sam and The Boo Hoos’ bandcamp to pick up the split.
–>Cop many of Sam’s solo slabs from over the years here.
6. Ryan Garbes – Real Sugar (Arbor) / Ryan Garbes (NNA Tapes)
–>Links to purchase all of Garbes’ material from all the labels and collectives who’ve released ’em can be found right here.
7. Olivia Rose Muzzy – The Fisherman’s Dream (self-released)
You can bounce over to Daytrotter to download Muzzy’s session or peep her myspace page to hear samples from this debut EP.
8. Wet Hair/Rene Hell – “Flowers of Light/55 RN gaz” (Bathetic Records)
–>Stroll over to Bathetic Records to purchase this split 7″.
9. The Wandering Bears –The Wandering Bears (self-released)
The Wandering Bears wonderful new LP is available for free, right here.
10. Hallways of Always – Magical Minds (Long Play Records)
–>There are still copies of this William Whitmore/Jenny Hoyston collaboration available at Insound.

Some slabs ‘n’ cassettes I’ve only just gotten (a whole mess of Night-People jams) or just heard about which already deserve mention or will almost assuredly be noteworthy:

Dunebuggy – Live: White Paint/High Jinx and the Perfume Tuxedo (Night-People Records)
The Savage Young Taterbug – Syrupy Evenings (Night-People Records)
Rene Hell – Baroque Arcade (Night-People Records)
Wet Hair/Naked on the Vague – 12″ Split (Night-People Records)
–>All of these solid Night-People jams can be purchased from the label’s site.
Distant Train – Congratulations on Your Suicide (Centipede Farm)
–>pick up Distant Train’s latest on their bandcamp site here.
Solid Attitude – Prison Water (self-released)
–>Download the debut Solid Attitude EP (for FREE) here.

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