send cds for review to: little village, po box 736, iowa city, ia 52244 off a song like “Malt Liquor and Cheese” and then turn around and present a song as honest and sweet as “Learned My Place.” As far as mixing, the drums and bass on this record largely take a backseat to the straightforward guitar parts and vocals, which gives the album an intimate garage vibe and adds to the backyard barbecue feeling of the album. While it may be silly to say that Tuff Jerks' records reminds me of drinking a specific beer, I mean it as the highest compliment. One of the ways music can succeed when it maintains a cohesive aesthetic is by tying itself directly to the sensory memory of the listener. Fantastic music can do this on the first listen. So, until you have your next High Life, this album should be able to tide you over.Austin Ga Lucas Williams was born and raised in Iowa City but now works as an environmentalist in Chicago. He likes bicycling and beer.
Dave Olson No October daveolsonmusic.com “What’s that place that she came from? A little town a couple miles from where the
plane of Buddy Holly went down.” - Dave Olson, on “Buddy Holly” “Buddy Holly” with its Clear Lake reference wraps up No October—the latest album from Dave Olson, a Twin Cities-transplanted former Iowa Citian. Though he’s been away for a while, it’s clear that Iowa still provides him with inspiration. Living in Iowa and Minnesota provides Olson with a superstar backing band made up of Pieta Brown (who duets on the Tom Waits cover “Georgia Lee”), andl the similarly-transplanted Benson Ramsey (The Pines, The Honeydogs) contributes keyboards. Carl Broemel of
Kentucky band My Morning Jacket steps in for some help as well. Olson shows shows his Iowa roots in his songwriting and music. He’s primarily an acoustic folk-country-blues guy with lyrical storytelling that reminds me of Greg Brown and Dave Moore. But his vocal style is closer to Joe Henry, or Glen Phillips from Toad the Wet Sprocket. The care Olson takes with his lyrics make his songs stand out from the crowded field of singer-songwriters mining the same vein of earnest Americana. I find myself smiling at the neat turns of phrase and subtle humor found in lyrics like “I drive to Tulsa the same time each year. October makes me think of her and there’s no October here,” from the title track. Olson’s mix of effortlessly economical songwriting and polished performances makes No October a wonderfully compelling listen each time. While Olson may have no October for himself, he perhaps has provided the perfect soundtrack of the coming falling leaves for the rest of us. Michael Roeder is a self-proclaimed "music savant." When he's not writing for Little Village he blogs at http://www.playbsides.com.
Sept. 19-Oct. 3 2012 | Little Village
Little Village | Iowa City's News and Culture Magazine