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Posts Tagged ‘music’

For Kids and By Kids added to ICPL Local Music Project

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 25th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library is pleased to announce that For Kids and By Kids, Songs from Iowa Rock City, Volume One, will be available to download as part of the Local Music Project beginning Tuesday, March 24. The download may be found at

For Kids and By Kids features 24 tracks performed by Iowa City musicians. The idea for the CD stemmed from a concert/dance party for children at the Library during the 2014 Mission Creek Music Festival.FKBK-COVER

The first-ever Mission Creek concert for kids was organized by University of Iowa Professor Kembrew McLeod and his wife, Lynne Nugent, managing editor of The Iowa Review, because they wanted the spirt of the annual festival to extend to parents and young children, too. After watching families rock out to area performers – and seeing some of those same musicians perform for older audiences that night – the couple realized a CD would allow Iowa City families to embrace the local music scene year round.

More than 1,000 copies of For Kids and By Kids will be pressed and shared with local families as a free CD release party at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at The Englert Theatre. Families unable to attend this event can download or stream the tracks for free on the Library’s website at The CD will also be available in limited quantities after the release party at the Englert box office, White Rabbit, and the Library’s Children’s Room.

“ICPL is proud to be a part of yet another one-of-a-kind music venture,” says Jason Paulios, senior adult services librarian. “We’re so appreciative to all of the project collaborators and especially the local musicians, kids and adults, for sharing their music with the community. We hope this collection inspires a new generation of musicians.”

To download a copy of the music or access it in the Library’s catalog, click here.

For more information, contact Jason Paulios at (319) 887-6075.



Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words

by Kara Logsden on December 9th, 2014
Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words Cover Image

Malka Marom‘s new book chronicles her conversations and friendship with Joni Mitchell beginning in 1973 and culminating in their final interview in 2012. Marom first met Mitchell at a coffeehouse in 1966. In their conversations they explore friendship, the creative process, and life.

Marom, who has a unique story of her own, was a pioneer in international music performance and hosted “A World of Music” TV show in Canada beginning in 1966. Marom’s background gave her the unique perspective to share Mitchell’s words as a peer and a friend.

Although I enjoyed the entire book, I keep thinking about three parts. The first is when Malka and Joni first meet. The written words gave a good sense of who Joni Mitchell is and how her career began. This laid the framework for the entire book.

The second part I think about is Joni’s formative years when she contracted polio and spent a lot of solitary time in a hospital. This period in her life set the foundation for her work as a musician, poet, writer, painter and composer. It also helped her become comfortable with the concepts of loneliness and aloneness.

The final part, and probably my favorite, was Joni’s quest to describe herself. Because she’s had such a prolific music career and explored other artistic mediums such as poetry and painting, she is hard to describe. She also took the lead to produce many of her albums and worked hard to win the respect of the musicians she worked with. This was a difficult feat because she was not formally trained as a musician so they often didn’t “speak the same language” when describing their goals for performance. Ultimately the description Maron and Mitchell settled on was “Renaissance Woman.” I liked that description and after hearing Mitchell’s words, I think it is a fair description for a remarkable life.

Friday Night Concerts Begin THIS WEEK!

by Kara Logsden on May 13th, 2014

2014 05 FezLet the SUMMER begin in Downtown Iowa City! Summer of the Arts’ “Friday Night Concert Series” kicks off this Friday May 16 with The Fez.

The Fez is a 15-piece Steely Dan jazz/rock-fusion tribute band composed of many awesome local musicians. Bring your lawnchair and head Downtown to the Weatherdance Fountain Stage to enjoy summer sounds from 6:30-9:30 PM.  If there’s a chance of bad weather, check the Summer of the Arts webpage for schedule and location updates.

Can’t wait until Friday night for some local music?  Check out the Library’s Local Music Project at or click here to listen to Fez musician Saul Lubaroff and his quartet play “Blues for Zane and Will.”

For a full Summer of the Arts schedule, navigate to:

We’ll see you Downtown this summer!

P.S. Don’t forget the Library is open until 8:00 PM on Fridays :)

An R&B Christmas

by Jason Paulios on December 11th, 2013

Are you sick of the same tired Christmas interpretations? Try something from this collection of CDs for an R&B Christmas.
"Best Man Holiday" CD art Soundtrack to the new Malcolm D. Lee film “The Best Man Holiday” featuring contemporary R&B artists such as: Jordin Sparks, Fantasia, R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, and Ne-Yo.

"Funky Christmas" coverA holiday compilation of Atlantic Records’ Cotillion imprint featuring performances by 1970s R&B/Soul singers including a young Luther Vandross.

MaryChristmasA new Verve Christmas release of classics from Mary J. Blige called, “A Mary Christmas” (we see what you did there).

Christmas with a little New jack swing, it’s “Christmas With Babyface.”

Christmas soul originals with James Brown, it’s no Sex Machine but it’s still funky.

Despite the ridiculous cover, this CeeLo Christmas album, “Cee Lo’s Magic Moment,” is the real deal.

Many of the songs included on the Jackson 5 “Ultimate Christmas Collection” have become modern Christmas classics.

A Motown Christmas” collects songs from Motown legends from 1965 through the early 1970s including tracks by: Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, and Diana Ross & the Supremes.

Lightning Bolt

by Candice Smith on October 15th, 2013
Lightning Bolt Cover Image

First disclaimer: I am one billionty percent biased in this review.

Second disclaimer: I haven’t even listened to the entire recording that I’m recommending to you, but I already know that I love it.

I’ll admit that I am not the most adventurous when it comes to music. I listen to new stuff and buy things based on reviews or recommendations, but in general, I already know what I like, I stick with it, and occasionally add to the ‘I like’ category when I want. I’m not ashamed to admit this! Yes, all those Spiritualized CDs sound similar…and they do it really, really well, so I continue to buy and listen! Yes, some of the songs I listen to when I run are the exact same songs I listened to when I ran in high school…still good to run to! The music is more than something to listen to…it’s a pick-me-up, a warm blanket, a reliable friend.

And Pearl Jam is my bff. We’ve been constant companions for over 20 years now. I have run, literally, thousands of miles with PJ (now you know why I run so much). I’ve traveled to concerts and met great people because of PJ. I have postered my locker, clothed my abdomen, and stickered my car with symbols and pictures of PJ, proclaiming my devotion and gratitude to anyone who might see! I schemed to meet my husband-to-be because he reminded me of Eddie Vedder; he (my husband, that is) invited me to his dorm room to listen to Pearl Jam bootlegs, and here we are, 20 years later, in harmonious bliss!

There’s no real way to defend or explain why you like the music you like, and I don’t think you need to. You just enjoy it, and be happy that it exists. I have no musical talent at all, so my appreciation is simply as a listener. I like the music. I like the words. I like the songs. Solidly grounded in classic rock with a flash of punk, a bit of a diy ethic, strong morals and good storytelling. Is it corny to say that it’s part of my life? Maybe. But it’s more than just music…it’s the emotions, thoughts, moments and memories that go with it.

As I get ready to listen, I recognize this album as a gift. Sure, it’s one I bought myself, but with all that comes with it, it’s worth so much more than I paid.

Go on, give it a listen…and tell me, what’s on your turntable or playlist that you love?

R.A.P. Music – Killer Mike

by Jason Paulios on February 28th, 2013

This was an album that, for whatever reason, I kept putting off listening to last year.  I finally got around to it after seeing how many “Best Of 2012″ lists included Mike and it now tops my “Best of 2012 that I didn’t listen to until 2013″ list.

This is an aggressive album both musically and lyrically.  The production is tackled by El-P who is known for his dark, tense beats, mixing synths, grime and classic samples; they are a soundtrack to a dystopian urban future.  His soundscapes are detailed and crafted with Mike’s delivery and content in mind.  A less skilled rapper would be swallowed by these sounds but Mike’s swagger and righteous anger fit hand and glove with El’s beats.

Lyrically this album is message-heavy with nods to classic hip hop (Eazy-E and Public Enemy are referenced) as well as R&B/Soul/Jazz/Blues legends that infused politics into their art (Nina Simone/Miles Davis).  His song “Reagan” details government and political lies (“We invaded sovereign soil going after oil, taking countries is a hobby paid for by the oil lobby”), “Don’t Die” is a story of running from dirty cops (“Cause if I get caught it’s my life they terminate, or stick me in a cell at Guantanamo Bay … I’ll be an outlaw before I ever behave, I’ll die a free man before I live like a slave, and nothing changes if they catch me today, f*#k the police is still all I gotta say.”).

For me, Mike is probably at his best when he’s rapping about the difficulties of growing up poor in a racist society and the impact family and music can have.  He ends the album with two inspiring tracks “Willie Burke Sherwood” and the title track: “What I say might save a life, what I speak might save the street, I ain’t got no instruments but I got my hands and feet … And the words that I put in the wind, coming back like a boomerang, when I take this microphone, point it at the crowd they start to sing.”

Be sure to check out Killer Mike live at the Blue Moose on April 6th as part of the Mission Creek Music Festival!

This Wheel’s On Fire

by Guest on May 15th, 2012
This Wheel’s On Fire Cover Image

Everyone knows what Levon Helm sounds like, and I’m happy to report that his authorial voice matches that exactly.  Were it a wine, it would be a rich, downhome red, with a pronounced twang and hints of vulgarity.  Barbecue wouldn’t overwhelm it, nor possom for that matter.

Helm had a lot of interesting friends, a lifetime of road stories, and plenty of practice telling them.  He was, after all, mentored both by rockabilly wildman Ronnie Hawkins and The Bob Himself.  He backed Dylan on his first electric tour, and describes the surreal experience of riding a private jet, staying in the best hotels and getting booed every night.  It shook him so much, he quit music for a time, and worked on an oil rig in the gulf.

He also kept a molten anger against Robbie Robertson, The Band’s primary songwriter.  Helm felt the songs were more collaborative than the songwriting credits reflected.  Playing music was his whole life, so Robertson’s decision to break up the band didn’t sit well either.

How much of this to believe?  Can’t say, tho parts of it seem pretty well embellished.  I doubt they really blew up a nightclub after the owner declined to pay them.  Or if they did, that the police let them go because the owner was a jerk.  On the other hand, “Well, it ain’t easy to come out and say I shot myself in the ass” has the ring of truth to it.

Helm died last month.  Nobody’s going to forget The Band anytime soon, but his late-life records (after surviving throat cancer) Dirt Farmer and (especially) Electric Dirt are well worth your attention as well.