TWINS Cover “I Knew The Bride (When She Used to Rock and Roll)” Bonus B-Side For Square America

Photo by Michael Roeder

Photo by Michael Roeder

It’s no secret that the guys in Cedar Falls band TWINS are fans of Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds and owe a little of their guitar pop swagger to the groundwork Lowe and Edmunds laid down in their various projects as solo artists, together in Rockpile and their production work for just about everyone in the late 70’s and early 80’s (Lowe’s work with Elvis Costello is my favorite period of his).

As a tribute, TWINS have recorded a cover of “I Knew The Bride (When She Used to Rock and Roll)” a song that has been a part of every wedding reception I’ve ever attended. This cover is a bonus download for anyone who pre-orders the new TWINS album Square America which drops on July 1st! Be sure to catch TWINS with Volcano Boys at The Mill on 7/1 for the Square America release show! $8 Cover. Deets HERE.

You can read my review of Square America at Little Village Magazine.

A bit of trivia: Nick Lowe wrote “I Knew The Bride (When She Used to Rock and Roll)” and the version we usually hear is his 1984 recording. That studio version has Huey Lewis and the News as the backing band, with Mr. Lewis providing the distinctive harmonica honking. The version that TWINS have done is closer to the sped-up one that Dave Edmunds recorded in 1977.


Pre-order Square America at Maximum Ames!

Check out TWINS first Daytrotter Session. There will be a new one coming!

(Upcoming Shows) Glenn Jones Brings His American Primitive Guitar to Iowa

Photo taken by Tim Bugbee

 I feel like I’ve arrived at the party late.

While I was familiar with the work of John Fahey and his proteges like Leo Kottke, until recently I didn’t really look into the phenomenon that is generally known as “American Primitive.” Musicians I follow closely like Joey Burns of Calexico, and MC Taylor from The Court & Spark and Hiss Golden Messenger, and the guys from Tortoise have all mentioned Fahey one time or another.

It actually took a conversation with MC Taylor regarding Tortoise and the similarity of the song titles “In Sarah, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Women and Men” from TNT, and “In Christ There Is No East and West” the Christian standard interpreted by Fahey and a chance PR e-mail from Thrill Jockey about their new signing of Glenn Jones to send me falling down the rabbit hole that is John Fahey’s career. In particular, it was this video of Glenn Jones that Thrill Jockey sent that really grabbed me:

Glenn Jones – Of Its Own Kind from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

Beautiful, right? The fact that there is a whole genre of music that is based in this classically-inspired folk acoustic guitar playing is a bit overwhelming to me. In an e-mail exchange with Glenn Jones recently, he referred to Fahey as “the fountainhead” in that Fahey inspired so many guitarists with his work. In addition to his own career recording his own music, he also worked on a very extensive reissue of Fahey’s early works dating from 1958-1965. Titled John Fahey: Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You (The Fonotone Years 1958-1965) it is a project that Jones started working with Fahey on before his passing in 2001. Weighing in at 115 tracks spread over 5 CD’s and an 88-page accompanying book, it is clearly a labor of love for Jones.

Jones continues his Fahey influences in his own solo work. Spread over three albums on the label Strange Attractors Audio House Glenn Jones’ solo work are stringed instrumentals– guitar, slide, banjo– in spare arrangement. His fourth solo album and first on Thrill Jockey titled The Wanting continues largely in this vein, although it is really a culmination of the developments he has made.

The Wanting has been in very regular rotation for me since I got the promo and I’m still struck by the sheer beauty of the work and I’m looking forward to seeing him perform this week in Iowa City and Dubuque. Monday night he will be at The Mill in Iowa City and admission is $7 and doors are at 8:30PM. On Tuesday night he’ll be in Dubuque at Monk’s Kaffee Pub which will be NO COVER and is a super place to see Glenn who should benefit from such an intimate setting!

Click Here for Glenn Jones’ Facebook Page (that I’m helping him with) – please consider clicking “Like”

Below is the full tour schedule.

Glenn Jones Tour Dates (from Thrill Jockey)
Sun Oct 16 Chicago, IL – The Hideout
Mon Oct 17 Iowa City, IA – The Mill
Tue Oct 18 Dubuque, IA – Monk’s
Wed Oct 19 Bloomington, IN – Russian Recording
Thu Oct 20 Lexington, KY – Collexion
Fri Oct 21 Louisville, KY – Clifton Cultural Center
Sat Oct 22 Knoxville, TN – The Pilot Light
Sun Oct 23 Asheville, NC – Harvest Records
Mon Oct 24 West Columbia, SC – Conundrum Music Hall
Tue Oct 25 Greenville, SC – Horizon Records
Wed Oct 26 Decatur, GA – Decatur CD
Thu Oct 27 Chapel Hill, NC – The Nightlight
Fri Oct 28 Takoma Park, MD – Potts-Dupre Schoolhouse
Fri Oct 28 Takoma Park, MD – House of Musical Traditions
Tue Nov 1 Brooklyn, NY – Zebulon
Thu Nov 3 Easthampton, MA – Flywheel
Fri Nov 4 New Haven, CT – Never Ending Books
Sat Nov 5 State College, PA – Schlow Centre Region Library
Sun Nov 6 Harrisburg, PA – Moviate


Pieta Brown Announces Three-Week Residency at Iowa City Mill: This Land is Your Music

Pieta Brown live in Iowa City
Pieta Brown and The Iowa City Mill have announced a three-week residency in November called “This Land Is Your Music” and will have Pieta exploring her catalog in various solo and band configurations as well as showcasing local musicians.

The shows will take place the first three Thursdays in November: 11/5, 11/12, and 11/19 and will start at 8PM. The tickets will be $10.

As the daughter of Greg Brown, Pieta grew up surrounded by the fertile and tight-knit Eastern Iowa music scene. It was this scene that gave Pieta the launching pad to her career and these shows are a way for her to give tribute. I think this is a really cool thing for her to do.

Of course, on 11/10 Red House Records will be releasing Pieta’s first EP for that label, and I’m sure the 11/12 show will be a sort of record release party.

Also, it’s worth noting that The Pines will be playing a show at the Mill on Friday 11/20– do you suppose we’ll see some Pines showing up for the 11/19 show? We can hope!

The other acts that will be playing have not been announced, but I will update this as I get details.

Click Here for the Iowa City Mill Calendar

Click Here for Pieta Brown’s Website

Upcoming Show: Bo Ramsey & The Mystery Lights at The Mill 10/23

 Bo Ramsey at The Mill 5/2/09

Back in May I had the chance to see Bo Ramsey and his band The Mystery Lights during his short run at the end of April/beginning of May at the Mill in Iowa City. It was a typically great show with Bo fronting a band of sidemen dating back to The Sliders days.

Bo is going to play another solo show with The Mystery Lights on Friday 10/23 at the Mill in Iowa City. Show starts at 8PM and the cover is $12. My birthday will be at Midnight, so this is a cool way to celebrate!

In other Bo news, got a retooling today– it seems to be the first one since I can remember dating back to the 1990’s! This one looks much cooler, and the tour date calendar (as well as other pages) can be subscribed with RSS so you don’t have to miss any shows! I subscribed mine in

According to The Mill, the opening act is to be announced.

Click Here to visit Bo Ramsey’s Website

Click Here to visit Bo Ramsey’s MySpace Page

Upcoming Show: Wye Oak at The Mill in Iowa City 9/20/09

You’d think that as many times as I’ve reported that Wye Oak was going to play in Iowa somewhere, I’d have seen them at least once! They even played here before the release of their new album The Knot at some performance space in Iowa City some months back, which I also missed.

And so it is that Wye Oak will be back playing the Mill in Iowa City just over a year from the last time they played there! As it turns out, they will be taping another Daytrotter session, too!

Wye Oak will be playing The Mill on Sunday September 20th. Doors are at 8PM, $6 cover. Opening will be Chicago band Netherfriends, and Iowa City singer Alexis Stevens.

Click Here for Wye Oak’s website

Click Here for Wye Oak’s MySpace page

Click Here for Wye Oak – The Knot at Merge Records where you can stream their new album.

Click Here for their amazing Daytrotter session.

Upcoming Show: Cracker at The Mill in Iowa City 8/30

David Lowery
The ever-touring machine that is Cracker will be making another stop in Eastern Iowa at the end of this month at The Mill in Iowa City. Cracker is touring behind their new rocking release and debut on 429 Records Sunrise in the Land of Mint and Honey. Their stop at the Mississippi Moon bar in Dubuque in February was great– they played a handful of the new songs, but I’m hoping to hear more of the new album in a live setting.

The show will be at 9PM on Sunday, 8/30 with doors at 8PM. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here. The opening act is garage rock band The High Strung.

Click Here for Cracker’s Website

Click Here for Cracker Tour Dates

Upcoming Shows: Bo Ramsey & The Mystery Lights

Bo and Jon

I happened to be looking at upcoming shows on The Mill Restaurant and saw that they were going to be having a Bo Ramsey headlining show! In fact, looking at his tour page it seems that he’ll be playing three dates this spring and summer.

The shows are listed as Bo Ramsey & The Mystery Lights and they will be playing The Washington in Burlington, IA on 4/25, The Mill in Iowa City on 5/2, and– as he has in the past– he will be playing the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest in Davenport on July 2nd.

According to Bo, The Mystery Lights will be long time “Sliders” Al Schares on guitar and Steve Hayes on drums. Joining them will be Jon Penner on bass (see picture above)  who worked on Fragile with Bo and Steve Hayes. Jon also frequently plays with Pieta. I saw Jon at the Springville show a couple of years ago which I reported on. Al Schares is also notably the Program Director for KUNI.

I missed the short run of shows from last spring, so I’m really looking forward to hearing the Fragile songs worked in a live setting.

When asked if there will be more shows this summer, Bo said, “we’ll see.” If shows get added, I’ll update this article.

Sat, Apr. 25, 2009 The Washington Burlington, IA
Sat, May 2, 2009 The Mill $20 Iowa City, IA
Thu, Jul. 2, 2009 8:30 PM Mississippi Valley Blues Fest Davenport, IA

Click Here for Bo Ramsey’s website
Click Here for Bo Ramsey’s MySpace Page
Click Here for the Facebook Event I created

Upcoming Shows: Wye Oak in Iowa City and… Dubuque?

Wye Oak is back with another attempt to play Iowa City’s Mill. You may recall that they were scheduled to play the Mill back on June 15th in a bill that had Thrill Jockey new signings Pontiak. Your’s truly was to go and cover this, but the Floods of 2008 (as it will become known) prevented both the bands and me from getting to Iowa City. The route that the Iowa DOT was recommending to get to town took you over 200 miles out-of-the-way!

So, true to their word, Wye Oak is coming back to Iowa City– again at the Mill— on Wednesday 9/17 in a lineup that has Rock Plaza Central headlining and The Lonelyhearts opening.

More interesting than the Mill show (at least to me) is the fact that Wye Oak will be playing at Isabella’s in Dubuque, IA (my other hometown) on Saturday 9/10. Isabellas is a COZY little bar in the basement of the posh-ish Ryan House Restaurant. Since Wye Oak is a two-piece, they would fit on the little stage at the far end of the bar. But, the bar itself probably only holds 100 people or so– it would be a snug affair for certain!

Download four songs from If Children by Wye Oak

See a bunch of live videos of Wye Oak on YouTube

High Places – 03/07 – 09/07 (Review) & Upcoming Show

The High Places’ first release on Thrill Jockey is a collection of singles and hard-to-find tracks leading up to their signing. This release stands as an introduction to the collaboration of Robert Barber and Mary Pearson. Barber provides a babbling brook of cut-and-paste drum circle riddims propelling the paper boats of Pearson’s innocent iko-ikoish jumprope chants. Daycare psychedelica for the Thomas the Tank Engine set, if you will.

At times the at once atmospheric and Caribbean feel of the songs reminds me of my favorite parts of Adventures in the Ultraworld by the Orb.

The cover art used in this release is exactly the same as the band’s 2007 High Places EP 7″ (only 300 made) on Ancient Almanac that earned an impressive 8.2 at Pitchfork. All four songs from that EP are represented here along with some harder to find tracks including “Jump In” which was a song commissioned for an elementary school music program. It seems to me that this band isn’t entirely inappropriate to play for the little ones, in fact, and certainly a bit more interesting that some of the kid fodder dolled out today.

The band is currently on tour gearing up for their self-titled release on 9/23. You can hear two songs– “Golden” and “From Stardust to Sentience” from that release if you visit the band’s MySpace page. They also have some downloads available, too.They will be stopping in Grinnell College at Bob’s Underground Cafe on Thursday, 9/25 and at The Mill in Iowa City on Friday, 9/26 where they will be with Ponytail and Wet Hair.

Sep 6 2008 8:00P
FREE! East Village Radio Music Festival at South St. Seaport New York, New York
Sep 11 2008 8:00P
Le Poisson Rouge w/ Crystal Slits, Breathe Owl Breathe, Deastro New York, New York
Sep 16 2008 9:00P
Brillobox Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sep 17 2008 8:00P
Grog Shop Cleveland, Ohio
Sep 18 2008 8:00P
The DAAC Grand Rapids, Michigan
Sep 19 2008 8:00P
Forward Festival w/ Dan Deacon Madison, Wisconsin
Sep 20 2008 8:00P
Pygmalion Fest @ Krannert Center w/ Yo La Tengo Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Sep 23 2008 8:00P
Record Release Show at AV-aerie Chicago, Illinois
Sep 24 2008 8:00P
Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sep 25 2008 8:00P
Grinnell College w/ Ponytail, Wet Hair Grinnell, Iowa
Sep 26 2008 8:00P
The Mill w/ Ponytail, Wet Hair, Peaking Lights Iowa City, Iowa
Sep 27 2008 8:00P
Rhinoceropolis w/ Ponytail Denver, Colorado
Sep 29 2008 8:00P
Kilby Court w/ Ponytail Salt Lake City, Utah
Sep 30 2008 8:00P
Badlander w/ Ponytail Missoula, Montana
Oct 2 2008 8:00P
Nectar w/ Ponytail Seattle, Washington
Oct 3 2008 8:00P
Department of Safety Anacortes, Washington
Oct 4 2008 8:00P
Richards on Richards w/ Ponytail Vancouver, British Columbia
Oct 6 2008 8:00P
Backspace w/ Ponytail Portland, Oregon
Oct 8 2008 8:00P
Bottom of the Hill w/ Ponytail San Francisco, California
Oct 10 2008 8:00P
The Smell w/ Ponytail Los Angeles, California
Oct 12 2008 8:00P
Modified Arts w/ Ponytail Phoenix, Arizona
Oct 15 2008 8:00P
Emo’s Austin, Texas

Listen to Head Spins

High Places MySpace Page

High Places Blog

Upcoming Show: Wye Oak & Pontiak at The Mill 6/15/08

While I was out doing some research on the new Thrill Jockey signees Pontiak, I noticed that they are going to be playing at the Mill in Iowa City along with new Merge Records act Wye Oak. I wasn’t familiar with Wye Oak— they looked like a folk act which seemed puzzling to me considering the grungy distortion brought by Pontiak.

Well, a bit more research and listening to the album stream of If Children on Merge’s website revealed a band with its feet in a more shoegazer-y location. At times they sound like Low to me with the layered sounds and the dreamy delivery. Another band from Baltimore– what’s up with the insurgency of Baltimore bands all of a sudden?– Wye Oak is a two piece with Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack playing all instruments on the album and able to deliver this in a live setting.

Pontiak– although NOT from Baltimore– are getting a helpful boost from Baltimore band Arbouretum. Arbouretum and Pontiak are going to release a split LP on 7/22/08 on Thrill Jockey Kale which will be a tribute to John Cale. Vinyl only, thank you! TJ doesn’t have any streaming samples to listen to for Kale, yet, but they do have samples of Pontiak’s 2007 release Sun on Sun, which will be re-released on Thrill Jockey September 9th. You can purchase mp3’s and apparently the 2007 Fireproof Records vinyl before then, though!

Wye Oak and Pontiak will be joined by Ames, Iowa band Poison Control Center, and the surfy good vibrations of The Botticellis for a night of Indie goodness sponsored by Mission Creek— all for a measly $7! I’ve provided enough links below that you should be able to memorize the words to all of these band’s songs so you can sing along.

I’ve included links below to the Daytrotter sessions that both Poison Control Center and The Botticelli’s have done. Not to be upstaged, Wye Oak and Pontiak are scheduled to record a Daytrotter session before the Iowa City show.

Download four songs from If Children by Wye Oak

See a bunch of live videos of Wye Oak on YouTube

Listen to tracks from Sun on Sun and Valley of Cats from Pontiak’s website.

Poison Control Center’s Daytrotter Session

The Botticelli’s Daytrotter Session