May 2011

(Screen capture from “All The Sun That Shines” video)
One of the coolest collaborations Iowa City ever produced was the shifting collective known as Cuticle. Originally the brain child of Brenden O’Keefe (Nimby) and Daren Ho (ex-Raccoo-oo-oon, Driphouse), Cuticle has also been a trio with the added clout of Jeff Witscher (Rene Hell, Marble Sky, etc). Recently, most of the work has been done Witscher and O’Keefe (Ho will occassionaly Skype-in from NYC). Regardless of the construction, the results are usually pretty sweet. (more…)


Ryan Garbes (ex-Raccoo-oo-oon, Wet Hair) looks mighty prolific lately. Dude had two knock-out releases–a cassette and 7″–in 2010, an upcoming full-length, due out on Hello Sunshine, and a yet-to-be released cassette from Smeraldina-Rima tentatively slated for a June release. Right now, everyone’s, rightfully so, fixed on his new slab, Sweet Hassle, out on Woodsist offshoot Hello Sunshine. (more…)

(Screen capture from Test Patterns video)
Online music magazine Impose has just launched a brand new video feature called Test Patterns. For the two-part inaugural installment, Impose video’d Iowa City krauty, sun-soaked, pop mavens Wet Hair. The session was taped back in April, on the band’s Northeastern tour, at Shea Stadium (the now famous DIY spot, not the now-demolished former home of the New York Metropolitans). The videos aren’t quite as lo-fi as the feature’s name would imply, really, the only nod to being a guerrilla, post-test-pattern airing is the random changes of color. Otherwise both the picture and audio quality are really beyond reproach. If you don’t believe me, just get a load of either “Echo Lady” or “Tarantula” below–both standouts from the group’s brand new De Stijl-released In Vogue Spirit. (more…)

Last summer, Night-People label head, Shawn Reed, unleashed Cola-Heavy Nights, a mix of then recently released and upcoming tracks from the label; dude’s at it again. We’re barely even into spring and Reed already has another summer-themed sampler of recent and upcoming Night-People jams.
From the greaser quaffed Dirty Beaches to the dopamine-diluted reggae of Coppertone; from the sleepy psych of Reed’s fellow Wet Hair bandmate Ryan Garbes to the synthy wisps of Three-Legged Race; Deluxe Double Fold is all the drunken euphoria, backyard bbqs, sweat-soaked porch hangs, and heat-stroked pass outs you can experience.
Go ahead and get down, cause Reed’s broken us off with a lil’ taste of the Night-People Records’ summer output for free. Download it here. Check the tracklisting (with a couple cuts streaming) below: (more…)

One of the hardest things about being attached to a smaller local music scene is when a promising act breaks up. It happens a lot. When Iowa City’s Molly Ringwald called it quits a year or so ago, I was pretty bummed. The flip side of that coin is that rarely do talented, interesting people stay off the stage for long. So welcome two-thirds of Molly Ringwald back into the fold, folks. Dustin Hamnes and Jake Mathesien find themselves part of a quintet making a similarly shaggy brand of music in Safe Words. (more…)