New Virtual Beginning

This is my official changeover to wordpress, and so far I am happy with my decision. But what do I do about all this empty space I now have allotted for me…..recap the month of July, which I can’t believe is nearly over. I need to tighten my grip on summer. Let’s start from the top…

On the 3rd, I took a mini road trip with my favorite people to the 80-35 Music Fest in Des Moines. While I am sure there were likely many great acts that I overlooked, I was there to see William Elliott Whitmore and Holly Golightly.  They both played in the same afternoon, back-to-back on the free stage. So not only did I get to see them both perform, but I didn’t have to pay listen. Whitmore was amazing, as always, conversing with the crowd more than any performer I’ve ever seen, yet still being right on the mark with his songs. Holly Golightly’s set was lovely, though I am disappointed that the fellow that played with her outsang her a little bit. Maybe it was the sound man’s fault. Just the same, I’d have liked to hear more of her. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. All around, it was worth it to go to a festival  and deal with the heat and the crowds of Des Moines just to see these two.

That night we zipped over to the Vaudeville Mews to catch another great performance by Iowa City’s Lonelyhearts, full band in tow. The Mews is such a great venue and though much of the crowd potential was still down at the festival, the Lonelyhearts pulled off a great, high-energy show that kept the crowd moving. I’d head out of town to see these folks play anytime.

Three days later, the Lonelyhearts took the stage at The Mill in Iowa City and, of course, I was there. John claimed they were doing a set that was a virtual carbon-copy of their Mews show, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was not. They mixed up their setlist a bit, performed a new song and packed the Mill in the process.

But, wait, I can’t fail to mention the openers from that night, Emotron and Larry Sievers. They were both sights to be seen. When I first got to the Mill, Larry had already taken the stage with his series of burning candles and sudden, sporadic shots from his smoke machine as he sang along with his impressive keyboarding. I am a big fan of the feather in his hat, too.  Emotron was one of those acts that I don’t quite understand, but oddly enjoyed. His wall of tvs behind his fenced in kennel-like setup and crazy ‘wardrobe’ initially distracted me from the quality of his music — which was actually a very good combination of electronic melodies and his interesting voice. He even touched my heart with an Oasis cover that sounded nothing like the original except for the lyrics. Definately a sight to behold.

Three days after THAT show, I was a proud attendee of the Sam Locke Ward release party for his album Barely Regal Beagles. My sweetheart, Douglas Kramer Nye, opened with his powerful, sometimes catchy repertoire of sad bastard music. He was followed by the great Ed Gray, who performed my favorite of his songs, I Can Chew a Bone. Sam wrapped it all up with his usual style of witty lyrics and all-over-the-place, yet amazing, guitar abuse. Three of my favorite local sad bastards, all on one stage in one night. ❤

During the above show, I snuck out to get a few shots of Euforquestra, who was playing in the Ped Mall, and somehow ended up on a co-worker’s roof. Consequently, I missed Alex Body’s set, which was right after Ed’s. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t left the Mill and missed Alex and his newly chopped locks.

Here are the Euforquestra shots from the Friday Night Concert Series in the Pedestrian Mall.

On the 10th, I raced down to the Ped Mall again, this time to catch Cirque Stupendo and Dr. Eli Calico’s Medicine show. I was delighted to have some time in the setting sun watching them juggle,  belly dance, roller skate, and play tons of instruments while singing through victrola horns like megaphones.I had a dinner date, though, and was super bummed that I missed the firedancing that happened after the sun went down.

On the 18th, I stepped into a crowded Prairie Lights bookstore for the first annual roast of Iowa City. It was funny, with speakers poking fun of all the standard things people think are ridiculous about this City of Literature….newly adopted city ordinances on busking and smoking, binge drinking college students, the over-education, or rather lack of employment for those with degrees, etc… Funny, nothing unexpected, but overall a great event to initiate in our fair city of literature.

Last Saturday, the 24th, Downtown Saturday Night Concert Series featured Will Whitmore. Let’s just say the Ped Mall was packed, his show was amazing and the pink sunset was the perfect cherry on top.

And, finally, for now, Saturday Night at the White Lightning Warehouse was shocking and delightful. Old Scratch Revival Singers performed, complete with painted faces and green lighting, with every member plugged into an amp….what a fucking awesome show. They were followed up by Cirque Stupendo’s rated R show which can not be explained in a way that does it justice. The photos include juggling, (only this time in very little clothing), suspension, erotic dance, loud guitars and phallic imagry left and right. AGAIN I missed the firedance. And I left at 3am. Makes me wish I had stayed up til Sunday’s dawn to take it all in.

And the month has yet to be over….coming soon….

Cheyenne Marie Mize at the Mill……TOMORROW! Thursday, July 29th. Be there! I will.




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