Tangled Up in Blue

Iowa’s greatest musical treasure*, William Elliott Whitmore is less than a month away from unleashing his fifth full-length offering, Field Song. (more…)


It’s been five years since Ed Gray last laid tracks to tape. That resulted in one of my favorite albums of the last 10 years, the lo-fi stunner The Late Gray Ed Great. The long-awaited follow-up to Gray’s 2006 masterstroke, Old Bending River is considerably more polished. Before you start bellowing “sell out” or some such nonsense, that doesn’t mean Gray is penning tunes for Train or Matchbox 20; River is still dark and gruff, it’s just recorded on some better microphones. (more…)

Iowa City’s Brooks Strause is back with another collection of dark, demented folk, My Foreign Right Hand. Strause posted his latest effort on his new bandcamp site a mere 9 days ago. With that posting, Strause has radically redrawn his musical boundaries. My Foreign Right Hand certainly treads familiar ground with the opening pair, “An Autobiography” and “Identity Crisis Blues,” both clinging faithfully to Strause’s rasp and penchant for whiskey-soaked folk blues. However, the Juke-joint rave-up of “Can’t Remember” might sooner find itself on a new Devotchka LP than the raspy, mid-tempo melancholy which occupied Strause’s previous effort, the wonderful The Misanthrope and his Doubtful Faith. (more…)

Artwork by Rachel Sauter

I’ve been meaning to offer up props to this new Iowa City crew, Emperors Club, for a couple weeks now. But it seems to be as good a time as any.
As seniors around the country get back into the groove after spring break or lower their head to eek out the last few days before that respite, graduation is ever-present on the horizon. And a good many students who are wrapping up their undergrad careers may do as the first track from Emperors Club suggests, and make their ways to the hipster’s mecca. (more…)